You know, when Hell in the Cell is all said and done, I’d like a statue dedicated to my awesome powers of prediction after we witness Brock Lesnar’s involvement in the Ryback vs CM Punk main event.
In about a week’s time, I will be appearing as a guest on Blair Douglas’s Interinactivity responding to a multitude of comments posted here on the Pulse. While writing these responses, I realized a disturbing trend in the handling of a couple of WWE Superstars in recent memory: Dolph Ziggler and Alberto del Rio. Both men have a lot in common, including winning Money in the Bank. One thing in particular, however, is something I wanted to make note of.
Both Ziggler and del Rio are victims of poor timing.
In the case of Alberto del Rio, his time should have come after Edge’s retirement at Wrestlemania XXVII. Del Rio had spent the previous year built up as wrestling royalty which culminated with winning the largest Royal Rumble of all time. Having opened the show at Wrestlemania and with the possibility of Edge’s retirement looming, there was no reason why del Rio couldn’t capitalize and win the title. He could then cement himself as the top heel on Smackdown and go on to feud with Randy Orton and Christian. Instead, del Rio lost the title match and the follow-up ladder match at Extreme Rules against Christian. He would then be sent to Raw and feud with the Big Show before winning Money in the Bank in July of 2011. After del Rio’s lackluster feud with Wight, things were starting to look up for the Mexican aristocrat who constantly crowed about his “destiny.”
Then the Summer of Punk happened, and del Rio became a footnote as WWE Champion.
Had the company pulled the trigger back in May, perhaps del Rio would be so much more than “that guy who lost to Sheamus three months in a row.” The same could be said for many other wrestlers on the cusp of main event status. Look at Dolph Ziggler, who consistently has good-to-great matches with a number of guys on the roster. He’s been waiting in the wings to cash in MitB for so long, but the reality is that if he cashes in on Sheamus now, it will be a wasted opportunity. The word on the street is that the WWE plans to give in to Randy Orton’s wishes and allow him to turn heel once filming of his movie ends next month. If that’s the case, the big feud coming up on Smackdown will be between Sheamus and the Viper. Where does that leave Ziggler? That proverbial jump to the top of the card will be a faded dream if Orton returns as a heel, because there’s only one Apex Predator on the “B” show.
I remember when Jack Swagger
struggled to grab obtained the MitB briefcase at Wrestlemania XXVI. Almost immediately he cashed in…and had one of the most pathetic title runs since Rey Mysterio. Swagger was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time, having not been built properly before his championship run came to fruition.
Does anyone else recall when Kofi Kingston was in the midst of a push against Orton? Of course you remember that. Kofi’s heat receded faster than HBK’s hairline and he went right back to tag team competition. Now the WWE is trying to give him another opportunity by using The Miz to symbolize Kingston’s critics and self-doubt. By the time you read this, Kofi will have won the Intercontinental Championship on WWE Main Event. Obviously this is just a ploy to boost ratings and get more viewers for the show. I have my doubts about this being the start of a monumental push for Kofi. With Punk, Cena, Ryback, and The Rock all vying for the WWE Championship, is this the time to propel Kofi to the main event scene or will we witness another failed attempt? Personally I thought his feud with Orton should have done the trick, but for some reason the rug was pulled out from under him.
Do you feel the WWE mistimed or completely screwed up the momentum for other wrestlers? Hit me up in the comments below.
Special thanks to Kelly Floyd for covering Smackdown on her own last weekend. We’ll be back to normal this weekend…or as normal as things get at the Smackdown Breakdown.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: alberto del rio, big show, Brock Lesnar, christian, cm punk, Dolph Ziggler, edge, extreme rules, hell in the cell, jack swagger, Kofi Kingston, Mike Gojira, money in the bank, randy orton, rey mysterio, ryback, sheamus, Smackdown, The Miz, The Rock, wrestlemania, WWE, wwe championship