A wise man once told me you should always strike when the iron is hot and that’s why I am writing a column today. In all honesty, I don’t know when exactly I will be writing or for how long. It depends on variety of things. I must say that it did feel good getting back into the swing of things. Last week was sort of a warm up column. So as times goes by, the columns will hopefully start heating up. First, I will tackle the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View and then talk about Raw.
Royal Rumble Thoughts:
There was nothing that stood out as bad. However, everything felt pretty mediocre. It seems like I am always attacking the writing staff and their incongruous ideas, but they actually weren’t the thing that stood out the most to me. It was the effort of the wrestlers that stood out to me the most, which I will talk about later.
Many fans have complained about the predictable outcomes in both the Rumble and the title match, but I have no problem with them whatsoever. Last year I was in the minority; I found the Rock and Cena’s entire feud to be abhorrent. The whole work/shoot stuff was frivolous Regardless, the match was and most likely will be again a very successful moneymaking match. That’s why I cannot condemn them because the entire purpose of running a business is making money.
My grievances with the writing staff in the long scheme of things are essentially irrelevant. However, they are still irksome to someone who has watched wrestling for so long and someone who doesn’t admire their intelligence being insulted (e.g the duct tape finish to a LAST MAN STANDING’S match or the main event debacle). Sometimes “sports entertainment” finishes are serviceable to the story and wildly entertaining, e.g Dude Love vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at Over The Edge 1998 . But in a match that had so much anticipation and such a colossal ideal, a finish like this comes off cheap.
My intelligence were also insulted by glaring logic flaws in the finish. The lights going out is often overlooked by many critics, but the logic behind it especially under these circumstances is ridiculous. I mean how did the Shield shut off the lights during an event that is ran by Vince McMahon? And oh yeah, why did the referee pause for a minute before starting to count the Rock out? I don’t care how often it happens. Lack of application of the rules will always be annoying.
As I mentioned before, the thing that was most evident at the Rumble was the lack of effort by the wrestlers. Hell, I’ve seen better efforts on display at your ordinary Raw. Of course, limitations are often the issue in such a heavily scripted product, so putting the blame on the wrestlers would be ignorant on my behalf.
Meanwhile, the road-agents (who I praised who doing such a creative job of thinking of inventive spots and mapping together some really well formatted matches) gave a rather pedestrian effort.Their lack of effort was exposed big time during the the Rumble – a match that’s reputation has been based upon both great booking and mapped out plan.
Don’t get me wrong, there were several things I liked about the match, although there were too many times where the wrestlers were laying down doing nothing, in addition the finish was uninspired and the match lacked belief that Cena was in peril of being eliminated. An outcome being predictable isn’t a problem. It’s when the match doesn’t tease that the predictable outcome might be untrue (see Undertaker’s Wrestle Mania recent matches for an example of effectively teasing the audience).
Despite an overused finish, Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro had a very good match. They need to allow Cesaro to have longer matches and with less restrictions – because he’s can consistently put on good matches. Both Sheamus and Damien Sandow also gave a solid effort in a match that’s hard to pull off (tables match). Additionally, Bo Dallas and Wade Barrett feud appears to be promising; the undersized rookie getting the best of the big bully can be a very fun angle. And up to this point, I have been impressed by Bo Dallas’ performances. He has good snap to his moves, good agility, and good intensity.
Once again, CM Punk showed why he’s the best talker in wrestling. Both his promos tonight were excellent. Above all, he was outraged about losing (which expressed how important the title is). The lack of this is something that frustrates about Cena’s character. He seemingly never cares afterwards that he lost a title match. I guess to send a message to kids that it’s not the end of the world to lose? It diminishes the prestige of the title nevertheless.
Speaking of Cena, I found his match with Rhodes unnecessary. Nobody benefited from the match. I am also frankly tired of these purposely bad segments – the Diva’s segment, Karaoke and Dance Off. Whenever they happen, I end up changing the channel. After I changed it this week, I found myself fully engaged into the Goodfellas and probably wouldn’t have switched it back if it wasn’t for me intrigued into the main event segment. Does the WWE want people to change the channel? The low-brow humor is one of the main reasons I stopped watching WWE for 6 months.
Anyway, aside from the goofy way Heyman got caught lying, the main event segment was gold. Lesnar’s return actually took a back seat due to Heyman’s brilliant performance. Heyman has played an extremely convincing weasel character. His facial expressions, mannerisms, versatility, and knowing when and why to say something are all top-notch in making the character work. The piece about being a promoter and lying was something for the ages, and these segments with both men should only get better. I think it’s safe to say that Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H will happen and even CM Punk vs. Undertaker. I foresee Undertaker saving Triple H from a beating from the Shield because of their “mutual respect”. Either way, this segment was officially the one that jump started the road to Wrestlemania.