Wow. Really, just wow. The first part of this week, has given us so much to talk about and contemplate I really don’t know where to begin. This Sunday marked Daniel Bryan winning the WWE championship. What’s more this Sunday featured John Cena losing cleanly for the first time since WrestleMania XXVIII meaning that Bryan is the first person to successfully beat Cena cleanly since The Rock. Add to that that these two put on a fantastic match that would have easily been match of the night had Punk and Brock Lesnar not gone toe to toe earlier in the evening in what will end up being a contender for “match of the year.” And if that’s not enough to gush about, the whole night ended with a MiTB cash in that involved heel turns from two fan favorites, and an ending that looks to kick off a new heel cooperation with Triple H at the head of it.
There’s so much to be excited about and we haven’t even taken a peek at what happened twenty-four hours later on Raw. First of all, John Cena announced that he would be taking off 4-6 months to have long delayed surgery. This, along with a recent, similar announcement about Sheamus, and Randy Orton’s heel turn the night before, this means that long overshadowed guys like Punk and Bryan are now the top faces in the company. Speaking of Punk, we’re getting to see Punk be his natural tweener self, neither pandering for cheers or boos, which has always been where Punk is at his best. We have The Shield with a new purpose after they have seemed to kind of wander around aimlessly for the past several months.
There’s so much to be excited about, and only one little article to do it in, so after going over the past six hours of WWE, there’s one thing that I really want to talk about, one thing that may be more exciting than anything else I’ve seen, and that’s continuity.
One of my biggest and most recurring gripes about WWE is their blatant disregard for continuity. Two wrestlers who hated each other last month are now the best of friends this month because of someone’s face/heel turn. It hasn’t been spoken about in a long while, but technically Big Show still has an iron clad contract so, he’s at no risk of getting fired, no matter what he does. And to this day, we still don’t know what Triple H was going to say before Sheamus attacked him on the night that Shawn Michaels retired. I understand from an objective standpoint how you don’t what to focus too much on what has already happened. And I get that the average viewer of WWE programming is probably much more casual than you or I, and a few continuity discrepancies here and there may not be that big of a deal to them. But to me it can still be very frustrating, which is why these past few days have been so appealing.
First of all, Just because Orton and Triple H are both heels, this doesn’t mean that they are now the best of friends, even though they are working together. Triple H took some time to acknowledge his past with Orton, and how it hasn’t really ever been a friendly one. And when Steph took a moment to pause before giving Orton a hug in the ring, it gave you just enough time to linger on the fact that just a few years ago, Orton was trying to punt her in the head.
And thats not the only bit of continuity that’s snuck in recently. When Daniel Bryan refused to slap John Cena last Monday, it was done to indicate a lack of respect. So, then at SummerSlam, when the two men began a slapping sequence, it had a much stronger emotional impact as respect between the two men had developed throughout the match. Also when nobody came to Bryan’s aid at the end of Raw this week, it helps to make that more believable because the guy most likely to help out had just the night before been hit in the head and possibly kidnapped by the Wyatt Family. Speaking of Bryan at the end of Raw, it would be easily to complain about how Daniel Bryan was able to hold his own for so long against all three members of The Shield, but remembering that they had already been through two matches that night, you could see how a still fresh Daniel Bryan was able to get so much offense on three worn out guys.
Now it’s very possible that some of this might be coincidence. I don’t know if anyone behind the scenes took the time to plan out every single subtle thing I’m mentioning, but when there is a clear focus on continuity and call backs to reward the more loyal viewers, I’m more willing to believe that those backstage are trying. And that brings me to my biggest point.
When Evolution was formed, way back when, Triple H called Randy Orton the coal that will be squeezed into the next diamond. And now all these years later, Triple H referred to that initial comparison, saying that Orton had now officially achieved Diamond status. It wasn’t a big moment of the night. And it didn’t leave those who weren’t watching during the Evolution story lost and confused. It fit perfectly with the context of what was happening last night, but choosing those words, let Triple H reward those of us who were invested enough in the product to know exactly what he was referring to.