Cody Rhodes wrestled what should have been a dramatic match this past week on WWE RAW. Rhodes was wrestling for his career and yet nobody seemed to care. Why would any fan care when they have seen the stipulation disregarded multiple times over the last several years?
The idea of a retirement or loser getting fired match should be a huge deal right? That stipulation should be rarely used and when used, it should create high drama. Unfortunately you have a company that thinks so little of the stipulation that they throw it on television without even promoting it. How can you expect anyone to care about something presented in such an insignificant matter?
It isn’t even the casual use of the stipulation that has burned the bridge. It’s the arrogance in booking these stipulations when the company knows well and good that they won’t be enforced for long. Sure you have a couple of exceptions to the rule in Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair. What about the countless others that come back a week after being canned?
The lack of creativity with this stipulation is just mind boggling. Either creative doesn’t get it or they just use it when they are lazy. Imagine if the WWE did title matches where the title changed hands and yet for some reason the champion wound up with the title back on television the next week. That sort of happened when Punk won the title, left, and then Cena wound up with it, but it rarely does. If it did title matches and changes would be meaningless and nobody would care. Welcome to the retirement match.
At least when Chris Jericho loses his title matches he leaves for months or even years at a time. I don’t expect Cody to miss anywhere close to that amount of time. In my opinion they really blew this stipulation when Cena was fired during the Wade Barrett angle? You probably don’t because he was back immediately. In my opinion that was when fans grew tired of the angle.
The WWE got a pass when they used this for a big match in 1991. Randy Savage wrestled The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII in a retirement match. Savage lost and was back in the ring several months later. In this case the WWE never actually screwed the fans as they had Jack Tunney first refuse to allow Randy to wrestle, but later created a “fan petition” to bring him back. What fan is going to say no to seeing Savage get his revenge on Jake “The Snake” Roberts? The WWE got a pass here but even with the pass they still acknowledged the stipulation.
Then there was the big CM Punk Money in the Bank angle a few years ago. This was not quite the same situation as there was no stipulation here but the idea was that Punk was leaving. What happened? The guy was back in a couple of weeks. I think whatever pass that the WWE got when Cena came back expired when Punk took such a short absence. At that point fans were done.
And the WWE have nobody to blame but themselves for that.
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