JC’s Top Rope Report: The WWE, Wrestlemania, & The Need To Look At The Long Term
by Justin Czerwonka on February 2, 2013

Well, it looks like my post from about a month ago will have some weight to it after all. The results of the Royal Rumble all but guarantee us a Rock/Cena rematch for Wrestlemania 29. As I stated earlier, the match does nothing for me. I just don’t care about seeing it again.

The WWE will tell us all that the short term results from this will be great. Wrestlemania 29 will be a huge revenue gainer for the WWE. Most people believe that it will be the highest grossing gate Mania of all time. That is fine and dandy. I still don’t buy the idea that this Wrestlemania will have the most PPV buys of all time. There are a lot of people just like me who do not want to see Wrestlemania headlined by two PPV matches that have taken place in the last year. Wrestlemania is suppose to be about big, new matches that haven’t taken place before. Instead, the WWE has decided to take the safe route and book matches that have already succeeded for them. It is lazy booking at its finest. Why try something new when you can go with something that has already done well?

So while Wrestlemania 29 will be good for the short term ratings, revenue and PPV buys, it won’t help the long term success of the WWE at all in 2013. You would think that the WWE would put some effort into making new stars with The Rock back and with more viewers returning. But what did the WWE do? They put out possibly the worst RAW of the last few months this past Monday. Because once again, the WWE straddled themselves with a gimmick RAW. They went for the comedy route rather than making their young stars look like potential main eventers in the company. RAW did its highest rating since the 1000th episode. Do you really think seeing Lord Tensai in lingerie or Ryback making jokes will keep around some viewers who tuned back in to see The Rock? Most people probably watched it and said “This is what wrestling is nowadays?” It was bad booking on the WWE’s part.

I say this time and time again when it gets to Wrestlemania season. This is when casual fans kind of start to sniff around the product again. And with The Rock now WWE Champion, you know there are more than just a few fans who are coming back to the product. And the WWE gave them that horrible show on Monday. People who defend the Rock/Cena rematch will tell you that the WWE will give their mid-card guys a chance to shine at Wrestlemania with everyone watching. Lets go back the last few Wrestlemanias. When has there been a new star made at all in the process? Often times in the past Wrestlemania was looked upon as the changing of the guard in the WWE. But not since Wrestlemania 21 with John Cena and Batista has that happened. Miz won at Wrestlemania 27, but he was immediately pushed back down the card and lost the WWE Title at the next PPV. Plus, the show ended with Rock standing tall after a Rock Bottom to the Miz.

The WWE likes to use Wrestlemania as their big money maker. That’s great. It is their biggest PPV of the year and the show should generate a lot of money for the WWE. But the problem is that the WWE fails to look past Wrestlemania when it comes to the financial success of their company. Why do you think the PPV buyrates and ratings always go down in the May, June and July months? Because the WWE does nothing to keep the casual fan around after Wrestlemania. This year people know that The Rock and Brock Lesnar will more than likely be gone after Mania. What incentive do they have to stay? Do we expect the WWE to do a good job of building up guys like Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan for the casual fan? If the WWE invested as much time in building their mid-card stars as they would building up their big matches, then the WWE would continue to be strong in the summer months.

But even for a life long fan like me, this Wrestlemania will be a tough pill to swallow. Why? Because the WWE is once again going to go the safe route and have John Cena win the WWE Title. Once again, this rematch wouldn’t be necessary if the WWE took the time to build someone up as a main eventer. Imagine if Dolph Ziggler had just gone on a tear all of 2012 and then won the Royal Rumble, and went on to challenge The Rock at Wrestlemania. Would it be the money maker that Rock/Cena would be? No. But the story would be just as good or even better.

And do we really need another year of John Cena ruling at the top? Even last year when he didn’t hold the WWE Title, he still main evented 9 out of 12 PPVs last year. Why should we not believe that the WWE would give John Cena a year long Title reign like they did with C.M. Punk? I think there are a lot more people getting sick of seeing John Cena at the top then the WWE thinks. And with Wrestlemania being held in the New York/New Jersey market, you can all but guarantee a negative reaction to him winning the WWE Title. Hell, there may be just a negative reaction to the whole match overall. That is why I don’t think the WWE will put C.M. Punk in the match, even if the Undertaker can’t go. That crowd will be pro-Punk. I just don’t see any way around that.

So while the WWE may be banking on the WWE bringing them in a lot of money, they really need to be looking towards the long term future of the product. With The Rock apparently ready to give the WWE some publicity by carrying the WWE Title around a bunch of places, the WWE needs to be ready too. If they want to make Wrestlemania a real success, then they need to make people care about the mid-card guys underneath the main players. But if this past week’s RAW is any indication, we could be in line for a long, painful traffic jam on the Road to Wrestlemania.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka



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Justin Czerwonka

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  • Angels

    Why are all of these smark writers complaining of Cena Rock at Wrestlemania now? It has been pretty easy to see since Rock announced he was going after the title. Plus, at the press announcement for WM29 he said he was going to be involved. Plus, why have him go over on Cena at your biggest show? What was the reason, how did it help you in “the long run”? Cena getting his win back after Rock is re-established as impossible to beat.

    Then, the guy who logs the most miles gets back the win and is the top guy again. Now, who ever beats Cena for that belt will hopefully use that to enter that upper echelon.

    You are kidding yourself if you think WWE is not trying to make new stars. They are putting their old pre-conceptions aside. They just signed Generico. The average size of wwe talent was dropped significantly. Punk was Champ for over 400 days! Pretty sure he wasn’t a true Wrestlemania Main Eventer last year, he sure as hell is now. He is a Wayyyy bigger star one year later. Some people thought he was going to beat THE ROCK! He is over, Ziggler is on his way. Now, there is no guarantee he will get there. Vince can’t just wave a wand and get some over to Main Event staus with the majority of the crowd. It take a long time, usually. You rush it, it back fires.

    Sandow, Cesaro, Bryan, are all on their way.

    Who are you upset about that didn’t get the Main Event at Wrestlemania? Ziggler? Punk? Like really, what is the other options? Ziggler is no where near that level yet. You might love him, main eventer that does not make. Letting him win Rumble wouldn’t really get him over. Many people would have said “WTF” It would have eroded some of that suspension of disbelief that helps the WWE work. I mean, they could have booked it with a screw job finish so Ziggler could have won, but that doesn’t really get him over.

    And really, all this is just opinion, it is an art form after all.

    As for Raw being terrible. C’mon. Segments were. But Punk opening the show was great. He showed he had lost his cool and felt cheated. Great reason to have a rematch because he made some good points. They were hypocritical, but he is a heel.

    Orton and Cesaro was a perfectly good wrestling match for those who watch Raw for the wrestling. The Sandow, Sheamus match was great I thought. Some original ways of using the tables. Sandow put up a great fight. He is slowing building. The Big Show segment helped to get over that rivalry. They are “building” Del Rio. He is beating Big Show when Sheamus couldn’t get it done. He is working out great as a baby face. I was not sure how that would go. I will admit, 3 big matches in a row might be a little much, but that is how you build a good rivalry which helps sell tickets.

    Yeah you could see Cena challenging for the WWE title a mile away, but he still had to actually come out and do it. And they didn’t beat around the bush with it either. They could have dragged it for a few weeks or something, but they knew every one knew. Plus, he buried himself and put Punk and Rock over HUGE. Pretty much said Punk was better than him. He said he probably couldn’t beat him. That goes along way with the average viewer.

    Yeah the tensai and Ryback segments were not the smarks cup of tea, but many people enjoyed it. They are going back to 2 hours after Wrestlemaina and I think RAW will be the much better for it. WWE was asked to try it out at 3. It didn’t work out, but you have to give it time. Plus, they know A LOT of people PVR and DL it and fast forward through stuff, so many many people watch it in under 2 hours and skip very little.

    What about Bo Dallas getting the better of Wade again. hmmm, pushing some young talent.

    And the Shield. They have been around for what, 4 months or so, and they are a pretty big draw now. The 6 man tag at EC will do great business. The WWE is building them fantastically.

    Ziggler and Y2J v. Hell no advanced the story. It was a perfectly fine RAW segment.

    And man, c’mon. Brock’s return didn’t do it for you. Yes, HHH Brock is a rematch. But you have to look at it in terms of the story they are telling. It is hard to tell a compelling story when it is a first match between two guys. HHH walked away pretty sure he didn’t have what it takes anymore because Brock killed him. Now, Brock has attacked family and will probably do worse before WM. HHH finding the courage to step back in there with Brock will entertain people. If you don’t think the majority of the paying audience will be clamoring for this…. well….

    As for rematches at wrestlemania….

    Pretty sure Rock Austin X7 and X9 did big, big business. Pretty sure everyone was gushing over HHH Taker last year. Hogan Andre at 4 was a bye it was sooo big. They wanted HHH Cena 2 but HHH got hurt, they wanted Bret Michaels 2 but Michaels backed out. You don’t think Bret Shawn 2 at 13 would have sold more tix than Taker Sid? You don’t think fans wanted that match more?

    Business is not in some deep decline. The nature of entertainment is changing sooo fast. With streaming, PVR, torrents ect it is a different world.

    In 1997 Seinfeld was the most watched program scoring a 21.7 in ratings. Last year it was Sunday night Football at 12.9. That’s a pretty big decline for what a number one show draws. No one want’s to watch the football game the next day, you’ll know the score and it would be pointless. So the ratings fell fast after that show. It is all sports near the top because it is not something you dl or stream. There are TOO MANY good tv shows out there now, no one can watch them all, and watch wrestling and watch sports, and play videogames ect. The WWE is doing just fine in this new entertainment reality. Yup, WWE ratings are down over the last 15 years, but it’s not doom and gloom. PPV buys were up in the summer last year. Summer Slam sold 60,000 more than 2011, NOC did 30,000 more buys and MIB almost tied the CM Punk Cena contract extavaganza that set the world on Fire in 2011.

    I mean, there are 50, 000 less houses with actual TV’s this year. LESS TV’S IN HOUSES THAN LAST YEAR. It is a different world and some people want to compare Attitude era with this era. In my humble opinion, the roster now is Infinitely more talented than the late 90′s. After rumble 2000 it maybe a different story, but defiantly from 93 through 99.

    There is a global economic down shift. Europe is not doing well. WWE is a global company. There profits are going to be less. But attendance is up at live shows as well,6%.

    I know I am all over the place here, but I am not going to write drafts of this and edit, work with me here.

    Casual Fans sniffing around would have seen the big reveal of Heyman, Punk and the Shield and the Return of Brock. Reforming some sort of dangerous alliance might be in the cards, and that would be one impressive stable. I kinda don’t think it will happen becasue Punk and Lesnar are too big to both be in it, who would the leader be? who would get the main events? We’ll see though.

    In the end, you don’t use the MAIN EVENT of Mania to “try” to get someone over. If they were over enough to justify the spot, well, differnet story, but Cena Rock 2 is the best match they can put on Right now. It was a rich back story and it involves two guys that really bring out the passion of the fans. They are almost the yin and yang in terms of who thier fans are. But now I would say punk has a part in that too.

    I really think the whole Taker might not make it is a work for the smarks. The guy has had a year to get ready for an absolute huge pay day. I think he is responsible enough to be ready. He would be kissing a lot of money good bye and I don’t htink he is a fool.

    Plus, on WWE.com they have a little article about ‘What is left for Punk to Accomplish?”

    Um, total foreshadowing of his attempting to end the streak and gain the “respect” of the whole world. And in all honesty, if taker is truly old school, he would know the rub that ending the streak would give someone. Ending that streak, will in essence, keep it alive after Taker is gone because that will be mentioned at every PPV after that. If we stays undeafeated, the streak will only be mentioned when history buffs talk of the Undertaker.

    I would bet on Undertaker winning, but this would be the one match where I actually could see it ending, plus, I pop for the false finishes during the actual matches any way when it might be over.

    Again, really all I am saying is be fair and balanced. Don’t write a whole article that just complains and buries the product. The truth is WWE is still entertaining millions of people, me included. FOR SURE they do dumb annoying things. Oh well, The Winnipeg Jets play like shit some times. I still tune in and cheer them on the next game, and when they do something great, I feel proud and acknowledge it. I look for the positives they have, the young stars who “some day” might be 40 goal scores, their home record ect.

    It doesn’t seem like anybody does that for WWE.

  • BD

    You know what I haven’t had in a while? Big League Chew.

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  • Angels

    I don’t understand the reference.

  • FDSwayze

    Angels, guess what? YOU’RE an internet smark. You just don’t have a site to write for so you have to write your columns in the comments section.

    WWE is horrible right now. You’re ‘column’ is laughable. John Cena sucks. Nobody wants to see him main event another crappy match at Mania. Nothing you write is going to change any of that. Find a bathtub. Light some candles. Turn on some Taylor Swift. And cry yourself a river.

    FIST PUMP

  • Angels

    Could you please just say you don’t like Cena. Obviously he dosen’t suck.
    I think very little of my “article” dealt with him anyway. I never claimed to not be a smark. I am looking for fair and balanced opinions on wrestling.
    Screaming Cena sucks and using 5 year old arguments are childish.
    No one is interested hey.
    0 buy’s of the PPV?
    $0 at the gate?
    $0 of cena merch sold?
    What match would honestly do more buys? With the majority of the public?

    Like, this overtly blind rage over every little thing Cena does.
    He is booked to be a heel with guys like us.
    We pay to see him loose. His rep with smarks is a huge reason punk got soooo over. The MITB match wouldn’t have worked if the. Champ was someone the IWC loved.
    Yes, I like to discuss wrestling. The type of fan that visits this site is who I want to engage. I want people to respond so I comment where it will be seen.
    Attack what I say. Offer counter arguments. Don’t compare me to a woman, like it would make less of a person or something. Like if I did have a bath with some candles and listened to Taylor I would less of a man. Typical.

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  • Zork

    How do you know Cena is purposefully booked for us to hate him? I doubt WWE writers are that smart.

  • Zork

    Also, if you really think that the current WWE roster is more talented than it was in the late 90s, you’ve got to be on something. Are you really considering the entire roster’s overall talent compared to the roster then? Nearly everyone inside the business will agree that times were better for talent back then and today’s wrestlers for the most part are more limited.

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  • Starcade

    The problem with looking at the long term is that you gotta figure out who you’re going to have in the long term — and I think the WWE has to take a long look at this roster and take a meat cleaver to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Alarie/100000589400441 Ryan Alarie

    Rock is brought in to the company, and the only person he is going to put over is John Cena … a guy who has been main eventing longer than Rock’s entire initial run with the company. John Cena the most made of men, surely needs the rub of being put over the Rock. So, it may be the biggest match they can put on right now … but that does mean that in the YEAR since last one, they haven’t been able to come up with a bigger main event than they had the previous year. They are in the exact same position, and have basically been running the Rock/Cena feud for OVER two full years. Two years ago, the main event was about Cena (vs. Miz) and the Rock. Last year was Cena Vs. Rock. This year is Cena vs. Rock. How are they going to come up with a main event for Wrestlemania 30 if they haven’t been able to get anyone else to Cena’s level in 2 years? They’ve been putting all their eggs into the Cena basket for a long time, to the point where they are bringing in outside guys that got over before Cena showed up for him to compete with.

    Brock Lesnar is brought into the company. He not only puts over Cena (because maybe if Cena beats every former face of the company, the people that don’t accept him will finally buy it, because it certainly can’t be for the benefit of the people that already think he’s the best), he only works with Cena and HHH so far, so NOTHING involving Brock has yet to actually do anything to either create new stars, or cement existing ones.

    If the other speculated dream match (Punk vs. Austin) were to happen, that could actually be the last thing Punk needs to become ‘the man’. The guy that main events PPVs instead of being the champion while Cena main events with Big Show or Big Johnny (or Kane, etc).

    Maybe Rock ends up giving Punk a bit of a rub while beating him twice in a row, we’ll have to wait and see, but bringing in old stars, and have them ONLY work with Cena, or other guys that are in semi-retirement is a short term cash grab. Best case scenario, they get people to watch and they enjoy the parts of the show with younger people on it. But to basically say “no one is on the level of these old guys, other than Cena, and other old guys” is just telling any fans that tune in for nostalgia sake that “no one is as good as your old favorites, except for Hogan 2.0″.

    Jericho, at the very least, seems to be trying to help Ziggler make it to the next level. The problem that lots of heir apparents have had in recent years (both MITB winners and Royal Rumble winners) is that they get the title shot … do nothing for a long stretch … and then suddenly win. So, because of the big gap, there is no momentum behind the wind, and they are starting off at a disadvantage. Saddle them with a mediocre feud and you can easily end up with a failed title run that does more harm than good. Shaemus not only had little build between the Rumble and Mania last year, but then having him basically deny the audience a Daniel Bryan match at Wrestlemania (one year after the two of them were actually booted off the card and had their match during the preshow changed into a battle royal) in an attempt to shove him down the audiences throats just made it so that he had to work against a huge tide of negativity. And while the ‘story’ may say they were saving themselves for the rematch at the next PPV … they had an entire week setting up the Del Rio vs. Sheamus feud before they announced the rematch, so it seems more like a damage control decision than a plan. So, long tangent over, Jericho giving Ziggler something to do until he cashes in should at least mean that Ziggler has some momentum going into his World Title match (whenever that will be).

  • Starcade

    Then you tell me who people DO want to see on the full-time roster.

    I assure you, it’ll be a VERY short list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Alarie/100000589400441 Ryan Alarie

    Cena has been the face of the company for what, 5, 10 years? If he hasn’t gotten them out of the down time, he isn’t going to suddenly do it with Rock at his side.

    The fact that the WWE has been UNWILLING to have anyone get close to Cena’s stature is not OUR fault. People would buy PPVs and spend money at the gate with or without Cena, since the WWE is a name brand at this point. Cena sells a lot of merch, but so do other guys that don’t get to headline PPVs, let alone headline PPVs despite not actually being in any kind of match of consequence.

    Punk is the ONE person they have allowed to have Cena’s number, but they also required that Punk turn into a heel so that, after the first couple times, it’s always through treachery that he’s done it. [Even the times as mutual faces, they made sure that Cena was somehow screwed, like turning down the help of Johnny Ace and Vince causing him to be distracted].

    They basically book things so that no one gets close to Cena’s level, so when Wrestlemania comes around, they HAVE to put Cena in the main event. Heck, Punk as an undefeated champion going on nearly 500 days would have been an interesting opponent for Rock to face, but Rock’s schedule meant he had to be gone after Wrestlemania, so he gets to end Punk’s streak [meaning no new star is created by ending his reign of terror]. And then Cena gets his win back from the Rock [again, creating zero new stars by getting to beat a re-retiring legend]. Best case scenario, Punk beats Cena to get his belt back, at least reestablishing that, while Cena can beat the Rock (who did beat Punk), Cena himself can’t quite beat Punk … OR there is no Punk vs. Cena rivalry for a while (keeping the question of who is better alive) while Punk goes over to Smackdown and Cena eats another heel alive as they torture him for an hour in an I Quit match, he shrugs it off, they quit and beg for their lives when he threatens to do something to them, and then does it to them anyway.They have risked booking Cena in such ridiculous fashion that no one will get any credibility for beating him, ESPECIALLY since Cena seems incapable of selling a loss, as he’s almost immediately back into happy go lucky Cena mode in less than a week.

    We don’t pay to see Cena lose because we don’t expect him to, and he rarely does. And when he DOES lose, it doesn’t have any effect on him, so it makes seeing him lose uninteresting. We pay to see Punk, and Bryan, and most of the other guys. IF he happens to be competing against someone good, he may even be involved in a good match. However, there is NO investment to be had in his character, since he is so untouchable as to be a non-entity. He’s a natural disaster that runs over some wrestlers and causes them to lose a title here, or a bunch of matches there, but no lasting positive effect is created.

    Punk is the only exception, and that took several years of beating Cena repeatedly, and never giving those wins back (outside of some non-title situations). And even then, he’s still relegated to being the guy to put over the Rock so that Rock can put over Cena.

  • James A

    I agree that WWE haven’t done anywhere near enough to push younger, full-time talent this year. That’s not in doubt. Where will they go after ‘Mania? How do they plan to stop the fans Rock draws from switching off? These are important questions, you’re right.

    With that being said, Rock vs Cena is a GREAT story. I can’t stand Cena personally, but this sprawling two-and-a-half year long feud is exactly the kind of thing fans have been clamoring for for years. Ever since Rock pledged to become WWE champion again the outcome has been “predictable,” but on this occasion I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In this instance, the destination is much less important than the journey itself. Kudos to WWE for sticking with the plan without panicking and putting the title on Cena.

    Just my opinion.

  • FDSwayze

    No I can’t just say I don’t like Cena. Because he sucks. Not only that, you mention him in your ‘column’ many times. I stopped counting around 20. You AREN’T looking for fair and balanced opinions on wrestling. You are looking for people to make excuses for WWE’s horrible programming right now.

    “What match would honestly do more buys? With the majority of the public?”

    Anything. If John Cena were fired tomorrow, they’d put someone else in the top spot and ratings would not delcline a bit? Would they raise though? Well they only started tanking when Cena got the top spot…so I think they would.

    “He is booked to be a heel with guys like us.”

    No, he is booked to be Jesus Christ. Last year they booked him to beat Breast Cancer.

    “We pay to see him loose.”

    Hahaha. Regardless of this funny typo, nobody is paying to see John Cena lose. People are paying to see WWE. Just like they did before John Cena was there. Just like they will after John Cena isn’t there anymore.

    “His rep with smarks is a huge reason punk got soooo over.”

    The reason CM Punk got over is because unlike John Cena is really good at wrestling, and unlike John Cena he isn’t a little company bitch, so when CM Punk did his promo about how WWE is designed to appeal to morons like you…the fans loved it.

    “I want people to respond so I comment where it will be seen.”

    Good. I just want you to remember this before you get mad at me.

    “Don’t compare me to a woman, like it would make less of a person or something. Like if I did have a bath with some candles and listened to Taylor I would less of a man”

    Hahahahaha! I’m sorry.

    FIST PUMP

  • Angels

    Well, I don’t “get mad” when someone offers up counter points. I am also aware of the typos. Oops. This is fun for me, the arguments. I never actually thought I was going to change minds. I don’t think saying Cena has no impact on ratings, buys ect is an accurate statement. I don’t think anyone comes ever remotely close to his merch. Look at the shop on wwe.com. It’s obvious. Ratings are down across every show and every channel in the last 10 years. You can’t blame Cena for that.

    Offer up a match at Wrestlemania that would sell more tix.

    And yes, people pay to see the matches he is in, hoping to see him lose.(sp.)

    His match against RVD is a perfect example.

    And what does FIST PUMP mean? I am not well versed in internet references.

    Why has this become about me, and not my points. Expalin why he “sucks”. Like, specifics. And not that his character is booked strong. Like, in terms of his performances.
    I am defiantly not saying everything the fed is doing is gold right now. But it is in no way terrible from top to bottom.

  • Cynical Bastard

    A Mania main event that would outsell Rock vs Cena? I’ll give you 3.
    1. Punk vs Rock
    2. Brock vs Rock
    3. Brock vs Taker

  • itsKON

    The majority of midcarders during the attitude era were shite as well, it’s just that they actually had some gimmick or personality that made them stand out.

    Jeff fucking Jarrett

    Billy Gunn

    Viscera

    Mideon

    Brian Christopher

    Scotty 2 Hotty

    Val Venus

    Godfather

    Droz

    The Headbangers

    The Mean Street Posse

    A near-death, barely functioning Animal in LOD2000

    An incredibly injured Davey Boy Smith…

    Those guys are just off the top of my head.

    Shit, load up WWF Warzone or WWF Attitude on the playstation and you’ll be blindsided by the number of terrible guys they had on the books.

  • Zork

    I actually gotta disagree with you on some of those. A lot of those guys are not that good in terms mic work or mechanically speaking in the ring. Billy Gunn, Mideon, and Val Venus though were mechanically much better wrestlers than a lot of people ever gave them credit for. Hell Viscera is more of a capable big man wrestler than they tend to find nowadays.

    But you are right about the rest of those, 2 Cool, Godfather, Droz, Headbangers and definitely Mean Street Posse were limited. Mark Henry was never good, but at least back in those days he could actually move around. As for Jeff Jerrett, ya I never cared for that guy.

    Also…fucking WWF Warzone had like 12 guys on it, and I’d only say that Ahmed Johnson was the only bad one.

  • Angels

    Well, defiantly not punk vs Rock, I mean they just had it. And if they saved it for WM I still don’t think so. But, Maybe. Wrestlemania is a culmination of the last year, and a beginning of the new one. Their game plan moving forward is also taken into consideration.

    Brock Taker I think they are saving for 30. But that could do big business. It’s just such a huge gap between the draws of the absolute top guys and the almost top guys.

    More important than the guys involved is the back story between them. Even Dana White will tell you that. Why do you think UFC has those documentaries leading up to the big fights. Prime Time they are called.

    Brock does pop buys for sure though.

    Rock Cena have a long back story, yes some people say too much but it’s still there.

  • Zork

    Rock vs Taker, that’ll do it.

  • Zork

    This, Ryan, you win. Couldn’t put it any better.

  • Cynical Bastard

    Agreed. This is probably the best written explanation of the problem with Cena and the way he’s been booked.

  • FDSwayze

    Awesome, glad you aren’t upset. I think most of your questions or points here people have covered. Cynicals listed some matches although I’m sure i could do more easily. Here’s a REALLY easy one…

    Punk vs. Bryan

    Ryan already covered why nobody pays to see John Cena lose. Women pay to see John Cena take his shirt off maybe. The match with RVD was an ECW show. People were there because of ECW. Not Cena. And FIST PUMP is just something I write after posts. It’s not an insult or anything like that.

    Now…why does John Cena suck? WWE says he is great, so what do I mean he sucks? Mostly for me, it’s the selling. He’s horrible at it and that’s kind of one of the main things of wrestling. The whole art is making it look real, you know what I mean? And it’s hard to really believe he’s been fighting someone for 30 minutes when he instantly runs around the ring to shake hands with all the girls in the crowd who bought yet another John Cena shirt…now in pink. The Post Cereal people think he’s cartoon character. Even little kids don’t think he’s real.

    Alot of fans have problems with his moves. I think his moves are perfectly fine though. He just goes through the same motions every match, and at the end of the day…for 10 years at the top he’s had very few matches fans even consider that good, and even fewer I do.

    I could sit here all day and tell you matches I didn’t like or point out parts in matches where he’s doing leg drops off the top ropes a minute after forgetting which leg he is supposed to pretend is hurt. Instead I’ll tell you the match I thought was his best.

    John Cena vs. Johnny Ace

    It was just basiclly John Cena doing goofy comedy spots. The crowd loved it. It would have been a really great cool down type of match if it weren’t the main event that night. I think if Cena just goes out there and does that, he’s okay. But if you ask me to take him seriously…I think it’s impossible.

    Sorry for the long column. FIST PUMP

  • BD

    That’s okay buddy. It wasn’t a shot at you or anything.

  • BD

    Still entirely possible that they have Rock drop the belt back to Punk at EC thanks to Brock helping him. That could set up Rock / Brock and Punk / Cena. That’d be a lot better than what they’re saying the current plan is.

    I get that leaves the whole Brock F5′ing Vince thing out to lunch, but have Rock defend Vince, or put HHH against the Heyman stable by having him take his shitty wrestlers Ryback and Shaemus against Shield.

    It’s not likely… but I think it’s an improvement.

  • Cynical Bastard

    You’re correct on both points. It would be an improvement, and it’s incredibly unlikely. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to Rock/Cena 2 and HHH/Lesnar 2, though.

    Rock/Cena was fine the first time, just for the novelty. A rematch won’t have that little something extra, and they didn’t exactly light the world on fire the first time around.

    HHH/Lesnar was just… disappointing. Maybe it would have been better if they’d had a Champ vs Champ match about 10 years ago, or maybe it would have been just as lame. I expected more from them. I definitely don’t want to see a rematch, not when there are so many other people that Brock has never faced in WWE at this time.

    But the main reason I don’t want these matches is because Rock has to drop the title at Mania because he’s leaving, so that means a Cena victory and another title reign in his already overinflated resume, and we can safely assume that HHH gets his win back. Which is retarded. They paid Brock a fetric muckton of cash to essentially do 3 matches and go 1-2. Then they re-signed him for 2 years. If you’re going to castrate him as a competitor, then how do you expect him to draw on a part time schedule over the next two years? He’s not a UFC competitor anymore, and he can’t bring the mainstream audience that Rock does. He needs to be dominating or people will lose interest, in which case they just wasted the money on his contract.

  • Cynical Bastard

    You’ve expressed this point recently in several comments, but I’d like to reply to this one.

    “I think the WWE has to take a long look at this roster and take a meat cleaver to it.”

    Okay, and then what? Let’s suppose they fire everyone you consider dead weight. How many performers does that leave? 5? 6? Less?

    Slashing the roster as drastically as you keep suggesting that they will do is just silly. The world needs ditch diggers. WWE needs jobbers. If they only keep the guys you think are worth it, there’s a severe shortage of potential matchups before the product becomes even more stagnant than it already is.

    And before you say there’s plenty of talent out there waiting for a WWE contract, I agree. They all also need to be vetted and rotated in slowly. That’s the only way to realistically look at the “long term”. I only say this because you keep talking about how we’ll be seeing some drastic changes soon, and that’s just silly, because drastic changes interfere with the revenue stream.

  • BD

    Here’s the thing about that though…

    While you certainly can’t demolish the entire roster at ONCE, you can do it gradually, and even that you can do more quickly than you probably think. Do it in terms of a storyline. Guys can either go along with it, get paid and leave, or, fuck ‘em, they’re gone. They had years to produce and make money for WWE and haven’t. Not really. Especially not given what’s been invested in them.

    Your point hinges on the fact that drastic changes interfere with the revenue stream – which is true. Where I think this point loses some of it’s merit is in the assumption that the guys in question that they should axe (and maybe I’m mis-informed over which ones you mean) actually contribute in some significant way TO that revenue stream. For example, say Shaemus, after his feud with Big Show, was removed from programming. Now, you got Del Rio in there with Big Show, and the fans in general seem to be okay with it. So say instead of moving Shaemus onto something else, that he were just gone. Do you think that would REALLY damage revenue that much given how little he contributes in terms of merchandise and eyes toward the product? We’ll never know for sure, but I doubt it would.

    A month later, you do the same to Henry. Then Miz. Over time, you cut the fat. I think that’s more along the lines of what Starcade is referring to, but I can’t speak for him. That’s just my opinion.

  • Cynical Bastard

    We agree on this. Like I stated above, if you’re going to overhaul the roster, “They all also need to be vetted and rotated in slowly”.

    I just posted because I’ve seen similar comments on a few columns implying that they’re suddenly going to axe all but a couple wrestlers and hire all new talent, and whether the current crop are earners or not, that’s simply not a realistic scenario. If they decide to do it, they’ll do it slowly. That’s all.

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