WWE has done it again, as this week has been somewhat of a rebirth for the company. Following the fan acclaimed Money in the Bank pay per view on Sunday, Monday Night RAW saw the beginning of a very unexpected storyline, one of the more shocking events in recent memory.
Vince McMahon, the man responsible for pro wrestling’s worldwide crossover success, stood in the ring with tears in his eyes, as he was told that he had been “fired” from the very company he created. The moment was cliché in some respects, as the notion of a WWE employee being terminated on the air has been used countless times over the years. Of course, this is not just any regular employee. This is Vince McMahon, and his character has endured some close calls over the years.
Vince McMahon has been blown up, crushed under a falling set, and put into a coma thanks to the Nexus, all within the past few years. Much like Danny Greene in Kill the Irishman, Vince escaped disaster every time, arrogantly declaring that no one could ever get the best of him. Greene, however, finally met his maker, and McMahon has seemingly met his fate, thanks to the stroke of a pen and a majority vote.
As I sat there and watched this unfold, I was transfixed. I thought of the pay per view the night before, and CM Punk’s epic victory for the WWE Title. I remembered Punk’s groundbreaking promo, and all of the insults traded between John Cena and The Rock on Twitter. The combination of all this together ran through my head as I watched Vince’s lip quiver as he said “please don’t do this to me.” It was then that it hit me.
This was some damn good television. WWE, for all of its faults and frustrating lack of direction at times, has been more entertaining, and seemingly more focused, than they have since the days of the Monday Night War. This is what World Wrestling Entertainment is truly capable of when they are firing on all cylinders. It seems that the company is rarely ever in this position, and now that they are, I find myself wondering why? More importantly, why now?
There has been much debate over the past few years pertaining to the impact of the internet on the business of professional wrestling. For fans like myself who enjoy writing about the sport, and only want to see it represented in the best possible light, the net provides an open forum to discuss, and editorialize, on the good and bad of WWE. While we are notoriously hard to please as fans, we also hope for the absolute best that the company can offer. We just want the product to improve, and we beg for it virtually every day.
The majority of us understand that the likelihood of anyone in WWE creative keeping tabs on anything we say as a collective is probably slim to none. While we like to believe we have a voice, and that our voice is relevant, we know that at the end of the day, we are just a group of fans who like to surf, write, and sometimes, even argue, about what we think should, or shouldn’t happen in the business.
But despite what our common sense tells us, we still believe that there is always the possibility, however small, that what we say will make a difference. Our points are valid, at least in our minds, and represent the entire spectrum of the business concerning WWE. The mishandling of younger talent is always near the top of the list, as is the plight of the Divas, who can’t seem to get any respect on any level. The love and hate relationship for John Cena and Randy Orton’s Prima Donna attitude round out the top four.
Number five however, is an important one, and one that is near and dear to my heart. It concerns the actual wrestling, the in ring action that brought us all to the table in the first place. For fans like myself who were raised on the days of Jim Crockett Promotions, we long for the return of the athletic aspect, the drama that happens when a story is actually told in the ring, the way it was originally intended. For us, workers like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, while not typical of the WWE Superstar assembly line, are forces to be reckoned with, and well worth the price of admission. We want the return of the sport of pro wrestling, and we will not be satisfied until we get it.
Despite why this is happening, or where it may lead in the coming weeks, this is arguably the most exciting time WWE has seen in years. We went from seeing the same old one two punch of John Cena and Randy Orton, constantly winning, and wearing, their program’s respective titles. Every week it was the same thing, and there was very little drama to be had. Now, Christian is World Champion, and CM Punk is taking pics of the WWE Title in his refrigerator. Vince McMahon is out, and Triple H is in. WWE is going into un-chartered territory with this new direction, and I for one cannot wait to see what happens next.
Tom Clark, Bleacher Report Featured Columnist http://bleacherreport.com/users/316723-tom-clark http://twitter.com/#!/tomclarkbr [email protected]
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