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Inside The Wheelhouse: How a briefcase has made WWE SmackDown so much more interesting

edgeI did not get a chance to watch the WWE Extreme Rules PPV this past weekend because I was doing the live show for “The Wheelhouse” but as soon as I got home from the studios I parked myself in front of my computer and right to WWE.com. As soon as the page opened there right in front of me was a picture of CM Punk kissing the World Heavyweight Championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Once again a “Money in the Bank” winner has won the championship and now the best WWE show on TV just got a whole lot more interesting.

WWE succeeds in there PPV if they have there fans asking well what’s next or that was such a good show I have to turn into WWE programming this week. And in a way they accomplished that (“Smarks” knew Batista was hurt but won the WWE Championship so what would happened – I have to tune into RAW to see, Tommy Dreamer won the ECW Championship – I have to tune into ECW this week and CM Punk won the World Heavyweight Championship – I have to tune into Smackdown this week), they kept the fan “wanting more” which is hard to do in the internet age of wrestling. But of all the scenarios, of all the four world titles changes, I found the Smackdown situation the most intriguing.

The creative team has been building for weeks that CM Punk would cash in his “Money in the Bank” briefcase against Edge; they have history with each other going back to a year ago when CM Punk cashed in the briefcase against Edge. He attempted to do it again a couple weeks back only to be derailed by Umaga. So for Punk (a Face) to cash in the briefcase against Edge (a Hell) made absolute sense. But Punk cashing in the briefcase against huge fan favorite Jeff Hardy was extremely surprising.

Where are they heading with this twist? Are we getting a triple threat match at “The Bash” with two faces (Punk & Hardy) versus the heel (Edge)? Well they are already pulling that “trigger” this Monday for the big three hour RAW. But this is WWE and they could still do the same match they put on FREE television and attempt to make you pay $40 for it. Or we could be heading to a CM Punk heel turn…which is very intriguing as a wrestling fan.

According to upcoming House Show line-ups (of course *Subject to change*) CM Punk is working on a heel tag team. He isn’t teaming with Jeff Hardy against Edge & say a Chris Jericho. So as it stands right now we are on the horizon of a CM Punk heel turn in the coming weeks on the best WWE brand/show right now, Smackdown.

This is also intriguing cause is if that is where Michael Hays and the Smackdown creative team are heading towards then you have three main heels on your brand with Edge, Jericho and soon to be Punk. And the main faces of the brand are currently just Jeff Hardy (while Undertaker is resting nagging injuries & Mysterio is selling the beat down from Jericho at Extreme Rules & resting up his injured knee). This means either someone is going to turn or someone is getting a major babyface push as we approach Summerslam.

The one heel wrestler I believe should receive the face turn is Edge. “The Rated R Superstar” is the best heel in wrestling today. But at one time he was also a very good face following his King of the Ring win years ago. We saw a weird glimmer of Edge playing the face this past Monday when he came out to humiliate Vickie Guerrero (Vickie – best wishes, thank you for your work as a great heel during your WWE tenure). The best thing is if they turn Edge face then they can open up the potential reunion of Edge & Christian which would help raise merchandising sales and hopefully ratings for one of the greatest Tag Teams in the late 90s.

The one current face that I believe should get the “mega push” up the card is John Morrison. I won’t repeat myself from my blog from last week but the guy is “money.” He is a heck of a worker and can really bring some fresh air into the Smackdown & WWE environment.

It appears that heading into Summerslam we are getting a Hardy/Punk program, a potential Jericho/Undertaker program or furthering the Jericho/Mysterio program, then you can even do a Edge/Jericho program (if Edge turns face) or even a Edge/Morrison program (if Edge does remain heel). Either way if creative is turning Punk heel that leaves a spot open in the top babyfaces for the Smackdown brand.

That one briefcase has helped make the Smackdown brand even more intriguing and great wrestling television.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse.

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Headlocks and Eye Gouges – Eric will be back on Pro Wrestling Radio Wednesday night June 24 at 7 PM/EST. Former ECW world champion, Rob Van Dam joins the show this week.  Listen live and ask a question from the chat room at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp 7PM/EST.

Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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