Finally, we are passed that repulsive time in WWE between SummerSlam and the Rumble. It is rather comical that people really thought this “Best for Business” storyline had potential to emit electricity into WWE’s worst time period of the year.
We all know that is a complete boldface lie since Chris Jericho was the first undisputed champion ever. But WWE constantly dismembers their past if it fits into the context of the story they want to tell. So all we can do at this point is grin and bear it.
However, for a match that had been allegedly building for that long, I think calling the entire angle disappointing is an understatement. It’s almost as if WWE went over their past TLC buyrates, and realized they had to do something special this year to boost them.
This entire unification angle was hurried and forced, and agonized from hackneyed build up. This match should have been on WWE’s long-term agenda. It was a match people had wanted to see for at least five years, yet WWE decided to do it at the worst possible time.
For a couple of years now, the World Heavyweight Championship’s credibility had been exceptionally less than the WWE Championship’s credibility. It was nothing more than an upper midcard title. There was nothing wrong with that, but the fact that they were attempting to establish them as equivalent was preposterous. They should have instead spent time striving to amplify more prestige WHW championship, for the sake of this significant match.
Furthermore, they should have instituted both champions as invincible by having them defeat every challenger who stepped in their way. Only after they defeated every person, then they both wanted to become the champion of champions. As a result, they challenged each other to a unification match to turn specializations into answers by conveying who truly is the greatest champion in WWE.
Of course, this could not have happened since John Cena just returned from injury; which means they should have waited for a better time because (A) the WHW title needed credibility, (B) they needed to do this on a more eventful PPV and (C) they needed to build up these champions as unbeatable. I also wasn’t that impressed by their match. They worked hard and took some hellacious bumps, but the bout displayed virtually everything wrong with ladder matches in a nutshell. Both men lackadaisically climbed the ladder, didn’t take advantage of times when they could have won, and acted like taking the belts down was rocket-science. There was also too much downtime and pauses to set up spots, which is what happens when you plan too many spots ahead of time.
If I assembled this my main objective would be selling the importance of winning. Conversely, I would have had both wrestlers climb the ladder faster than anyone else has before. I would also have the wrestlers do spots that they never have done before. Both of these ideas would sell urgency and desperation. Which, as a result, would give immediately give the brand new championship essential credibility.
Humorously, the fatal four-way tag match that was placed on the PPV just two days before stole the show. It is astonishing that both Goldust and this “Best for Business” storyline were the secret ingredients of getting Rhodes over a sympathetic and plucky babyface. Before that, Rhodes portrayed an unlikable douche when he was a babyface.
Cody’s face reign started at Money in the Bank after Sandow pushed him off the ladder to retrieve the briefcase. It generated sympathy for Rhodes and it made the fans wish to see him get his revenge. However, his character ended up bullying Sandow to the point where I was confused about whom I was supposed to root for. He kept stealing his briefcase and demanding that it should be his. This characterized him as whiny and bitchy; two characteristics that are completely insufferable.
The Corporate vs. Rhodes family really transformed Cody’s character. He turned into a very sympathetic figure, and someone who the crowd wanted to rally behind. Ever since that storyline, both Goldust and Cody have had a memorable title reign that has led to great feud and matches. More importantly, however, Cody has gained respect from the WWE audience, and it has solidified him as an established top-tier babyface.
The more HBK is on Raw, the more I think he is going to wrestle at WrestleMania. Last night, he and Punk had a concise, straight-forward yet entertaining exchange on the microphone. It was far from their best work on the microphone, but it was a certainty a Kodak moment. After all, I never thought I would see both CM Punk and HBK in a verbal altercation. This promo teased the rumored DX vs. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. I don’t think they will do that match. Instead, I believe they will kill two birds with one stone by having HBK vs. Daniel Bryan and HHH vs. CM Punk. Oh, and for your information, please don’t try to do an overdone chant like “You Sold Out” while both CM Punk and HBK are in the middle of talking like that tool in the first row near the guardrail was doing last night.
Even though Raw had a lot of great matches, I can’t stand when almost all the losers get their heat back by beating the person they lost to. Even-Steven booking is conservative booking at its worst. It rarely ever elevates both parties involved. Instead it usually makes everyone stay in the same spot. Come to think about it: Not only is it conservative booking… it is also pointless booking. It is also one of the main reasons TNA is on the verge of going out of business. In addition, fans can get rematches (that usually are longer and better too) from the night before. That means fewer people are going to order the PPVs. It is a brainless idea from every standpoint.
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton had an easy ****+ match. It had slow build, smooth transitions, limb psychology and bat-shit crazy down the stretch. Its formula and structure reminded of one of Bryan’s classical ROH matches. This was their best match yet because it received a lot of time, and they were allowed to have a straight up wrestling match with no shenanigans.
One thing I do like about the unification: It makes winning the Rumble match more important. After all, the winner will have to challenge the WWE champion. That also means WWE can’t allow people like Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio to win and chase the inferior title. Two wrongs sometimes does make a right.
Isn’t it also great not knowing what the WrestleMania main event is going to be? That is what happens when (a) they don’t announce it ahead of time or (b) make it very obvious. The guessing game is one of the most compelling elements of the Road to WrestleMania, and we finally have a lot to guess about as nothing is in stone yet.