Dear Angry WWE Fan,
First, let me say that I do, to a degree, sympathize with you. Once upon a time, I would have been completely livid over CM Punk losing his WWE title to The Rock. I was in the front row of the marching band, beating my drum for champions that were real, more believable. Beating my drum for people who show up once in a blue moon to put themselves over to stay the hell home. Beating my drum for Dwayne Johnson to stay home.
I didn’t understand why you would push someone who showed up after eight long years of shunning the company that made him who he was. I thought it was completely asinine to give him the rub when so many guys and gals who were already humping it in the company were gonna get their collective throats stepped on .
But then, I was able to take the Jimmy the fan out of the equation and look at it objectively, and I’m asking you to do the same.
This title change is, indeed, what’s best for wrestling right now.
Punk’s title run was impressive. He had said during a promo recently that his title reign took just as much out of him as Bruno Sammartino’s or Bob Backlund’s did them, based on the amount of matches and type of matches he wrestles, and I agree wholly with that. Bruno and Backlund would never stand up to the current schedule, and you can bet your ass you’d never see them in a Hell In A Cell match, or an Elimination Chamber match, or a TLC match, just to name a few. I feel that Punk has cemented his name with some greats.
With that being said, he doesn’t need to hold that belt anymore. His appeal is to wrestling fans. Fans that already watch and enjoy the product. Fans who adore Punk even when he openly bashes and ridicules them. A strap does not change his popularity, WWE’s popularity, or the amount of fans putting their asses in seats.
The Rock’s appeal, on the other hand, is to the mainstream. The Rock will be plastered all over television and radio, all the while talking about being a wrestler again and holding that WWE belt for everyone to see.
Numbers don’t lie, folks. Monday night saw over five million viewers tune into Raw, drawing a 3.7 rating. I don’t think they flipped over to watch Tensai dance in lingerie. It was to see The Rock, simple and plain. This will continue to be the case, as we draw closer to Wrestlemania. These are ratings that Punk couldn’t bring in during his 434 days as champ. The Rock can.
Here’s another one that will stab you in the gut, angry fan. At Wrestlemania, John Cena is gonna wrestle The Rock again, twice in a lifetime. Much to the chagrin of the “Cena sucks” crowd, he’s gonna win the belt that night. And the part that makes you wanna jump through your computer screen and put me in the Lebell lock….
John Cena deserves to be the champion. More than anyone else in the company, he deserves it.
First, the match itself. So many people are angry about this Rock/Cena once in a lifetime part two thing. But let’s be honest. The match between them wasn’t bad at all. The finish was silly, with Cena trying to hit a Rock Bottom. You could tell by watching him that he didn’t wanna do it, so cut him a little slack. Aside from that, however, it was 30+ minutes of solid back and forth.
The buildup to the match was stellar! The promos between the two were gritty, nasty, and real. They did a great job making you believe the hatred was real, even if that’s because some of it was. All the better. It was a great program, and I think it can be great again this year.
We all know how it’s gonna end. Unless Dwayne Johnson plans on defending the belt against Vin Diesel on the red carpet of the Fast and the Furious Six premiere, his run ends at Meadowlands Stadium in April. That night, John Cena will get the title back, and get a Wrestlemania moment he richly deserves.
You can boo and hiss at Cena all you want. His character truly is corny. His gimmick is played out. The five moves of doom is a real thing, thanks to him. But no one has ever put themselves out there for the business the way he has. Be a Star, Make-A-Wish, cereal boxes, countless appearances and interviews, never stops. Works through illness, works through injury, hell, the man worked through a divorce. Regardless of all that, he punches the clock, every night without fail. I respect that. I think you should as well.
Everyone says Cena plays by his own rules. It’s all over the internet, speculated upon by all us smarks and spot junkies, and so on. My thing is, if John Cena has the kinda stroke that people claim he has, why would he book himself to have such a lousy 2012? And frankly, if he is favored, doesn’t he deserve it for what he does for the company? I say he does.
In closing, Angry WWE Fan, I would just like to tell you to relax. Take it for what it is. Rock and Cena won’t be champs forever, Punk will eventually get his belt back. And when he does, the company will be a better, more watched product for what is happening now.
Jimmy Duncan is the host of the Hookers and Shooters wrestling podcast, available exclusively at www.facebook.com/hookersandshooters/ (Note – The show is on a bit of a hiatus right now, but you can check out the page for back episodes until we get rolling here again in a week or two. Thanks!)