08 July 2014

Promos By Hyphen: Is This The End? (Fallout)


I decided after Money In The Bank that it was time that I stopped supporting the current WWE product. Last Monday, I was in a state of, not anger, but definitely apathy. I deleted the WWE App from my phone. I made sure my WWE Network subscription wouldn’t auto-renew come September. I started unfollowing WWE-ran accounts on my Twitter and unliked some pages on Facebook. I even unfollowed a wrestling site that I’ve relied on for news since 2008.

But I’ll be damned if I didn’t turn on Raw a few minutes past 8 PM. Maybe, just maybe, they have something big planned that will excite me enough to stay.

John Cena came out (I do like the way he’s wearing the two Belts) at The Authority’s request. Instead of letting The Authority celebrate his win and his WWE 2K15 cover, he was the babyface and disrespected Trips and Stephanie. They let him know he’d be in a Fatal Four Way match at Battleground. And if he was still World Heavyweight Champion after that, there’s always a Plan B.

Plan B appeared in the form of Seth Rollins and his Money In The Bank briefcase.

I started getting messages about how I was missing a good John Cena promo. I replied with, “NOPE.”

That was the first time I successfully turned off Raw.

About an hour later, Thomas is texting me about The Miz being back. Even though I had my doubts, I turned it on, but only because I’m a big fan of The Miz’s heel work.

Great promo. Then Jericho. Jericho/Miz would have piqued my interest.

NOPE. Codebreaker. Jericho celebrates. Wyatts. Jericho gets beatdown.

NOPE. Not even Chris Jericho coming back to put over Bray Wyatt could convince me. I turned the channel.

I missed AJ Lee’s return. While the idea of her regaining the Divas Championship intrigues me, Creative buried Paige and made her look like a placeholder Champion. But then the thoughts started creeping in:

Could tonight be the night?

The diehard fan in me had to watch the end of Raw. A predictable tag match featuring the participants in the Fatal Four Way was taking place. Cena was down in the ring. Trips waved for someone to emerge from the back. Rollins came racing down with the briefcase. Would they take the Belts off Cena after only 24 hours?

Ambrose thwarted Rollins’ cash-in attempt. Triple H had the briefcase. Cena was still trying to gather himself. The Raw trademark info appeared onscreen. My moment didn’t come again. No CM Punk. Same old status quo.

A week removed from the last column, I’ve had to admit some bitter truths. I can’t just turn off WWE like a light switch, no matter how much I try. But I still don’t want to support predictable product. So here’s what I will do:

  1. Unless the words “CM Punk is back” come across my phone, I won’t tune in to Raw before 10 PM. Cole recaps the whole show 14 times the last hour anyway.
  2. I will watch Battleground and SummerSlam. My WWE Subscription ends September 19th, two days before Night Of Champions. I won’t be renewing at this current time.

I care way too much about WWE Television to quit cold turkey unfortunately. On the other hand, this probably means a few more Promos columns for the people.

Two of my friends were moved to speak their own piece following my column going up last Monday. I’ll present their comments in full and respond appropriately (or maybe inappropriately? We’ll see).

Erik Fomme:

So completely agreed. I read the results this morning after skipping my first RAW in a long time, and the things I’ve been dying to see happen finally did, yet I can’ t force myself to care anymore. Swagger/Rusev was a feud dying to have been started a month ago, but never did as they just fed people for the Bulgarian Brute to eat for no other reason than to just make him look tough. But, now it’s too late for either superstar in this feud. Rusev wins and he’s on the verge of becoming a Goldberg. Swagger wins and Rusev looks weak after he spent all that time chewing people up and spitting them out.

I personally love the fact that any new wrestler with an undefeated streak gets stuck with a Goldberg tag. I actually really enjoyed Ryback’s Goldberg like streak in 2012, but Creative needed a bad guy and now he’s stuck getting no credit for actually having chemistry with Curtis Axel. I wonder how Rusev would fare as an unbeatable face with Lana still as his mouthpiece?

The point to the above is that the WWE doesn’t do things that just make sense. And when they do it’s too little too late. And the things they do that don’t make sense just flat out DON’T MAKE SENSE. Right now, we KNOW Cena is a bookmark to hold the title for Lesnar to take it, who will then be a bookmark for Daniel Bryan to potentially take it back. The 3 time underdog champion starts his uphill climb to become the 4 time underdog champion. Maybe he’ll remind us about how he wrestled in shitty gyms…maybe he’ll thank Cena for the 10th time for the opportunity. So many times the same gimmick can be played before you stop giving a shit… 3 who cares Champions that will go nowhere. Randy Orton was a who cares Champion. In fact the last Champion they had who WASN’T a who cares Champion doesn’t work there anymore. And now I don’t want him back. I don’t want CM Punk back because he’ll force me to have to care again about a company that’s going to screw me over as it screwed him over.

…stop making sense Fromme!

Feuds in WWE start and end too abruptly. The hugest heat the WWE had going for them was The Shield, and since they split them up the feud with the remaining two and The Authority went nowhere. MITB could’ve sky rocketed that feud into the stratosphere if after the really awful Kane screw job to Ambrose if Ambrose returned the favor in the Championship match, took Kane out while Reigns took Orton out and Reigns goes on to take the belts. If there’s issues with Reigns doing it solo then you keep Ambrose around as the mouthpiece of their feud. It covers all bases, because the biggest FU given to the Authority by Reigns is threatened at any moment to be taken away by the Authority with Rollins…who can deliver another screw job to his former pals by stealing the belt from them. If that were to happen. But, what does Rollins holding the briefcase with a Cena Champion mean when you KNOW Cena/Lesnar is coming? It means nothing. It’s hollow. Not as electric it could be with the threat of that briefcase looming over Reigns – and by extension Ambrose – every single moment. In the spirit of what the briefcase really means. Any time. Any where.

100% agree. Rollins has a Ziggler briefcase run written all over him; he’ll hold the thing for damn near a year before he gets to use it because he’s so low in the Championship pecking order. And he could potentially be the third person to lose a MITB cash-in match (Cena, Magneto, er Sandow). Definitely feels like a stash away move on Creative’s part in case Plans A through F don’t work (Plan A: Lesnar. Plan B: Cena. Plan C: Bryan. Plan C: Orton. Plan D: Batista (oh yeah, he’ll be back around). Plan E: Reigns. Plan F: Wyatt.).

And that’s the largest part of what’s wrong with WWE today. It’s hollow, because even when you do get what you want to see the pay off falls flat. I wanted to recapture that time when WWF had to be on their toes from WCW. When WWF was forced from a taped RAW to a live RAW and a live SMACKDOWN. When they were forced to innovate or they go out of business. HHH loses to Bryan and immediately puts himself in a feud with The Shield. He did that before when he jumped to Bryan. He can’t let himself live in a loss. Neither can Cena. WWE just moves on too fast. Dizzying how fast they move on.

Now it’s my turn too.

Builds don’t exist in WWE anymore. There’s no 6 month or even 3 month wait to get two wrestlers in the ring. Now, now, now. That could be blamed on today’s attention spans being so short but and WWE’s need to get people to watch now rather than down the road. But the builds is something sorely missed in today’s product for me as well.

Mark Bousquet:

Yup. Even Raw last night, as entertaining as it was, just put things back in place: AJ as the champ, the Wyatts out of the title picture and feuding with a personality, Sandow as a joke, Reigns force to endure months as Cena’s Sidekick to get him over, when he’s already over …
Again, I love that AJ is back but hate they buried Paige. I haven’t been won over by a Diva so quickly in a long time. The only way this pays off is if they feud over the title until at least Night Of Champions. Thomas kept telling me that the Cena feud would hurt Bray, and while Y2J is nothing to sneeze at, he’s not going to elevate his position in the company. Bray has to look at Sandow’s recent work and be worried.
In all honesty, Reigns was the person who should have came out of MITB with the Belts. Give him a month and if Creative still wanted Brock/Cena at SummerSlam, write him out of the title picture then. At least that way, they’d have a backburner storyline of Roman wanting his Belts back.

Hell, Kofi even gets a much-needed and earned victory and THEY PUT IT ON THE APP!

Just when you thought it could get no worse than a Box, they stuff Kofi into that damned App.

I’ve been forcing myself all day to not overreact and write a similar, “I’m out” column, because the main reasons I came back to the WWE – Punk, Bryan, Ziggler, Sandow, Cody – are all gone or buried. The Stardust gimmick is dumb as all hell and the announcers act like he’s someone new and not Cody Rhodes. “He’s so strange!” they shout because …

Other than put on make-up, what’s he done that’s all that strange?

I hate Stardust too. Cody has done more than enough to put himself near the top of that company. He would’ve been TNA or ROH Champion at least three times by now. I think his comfort level with being a midcarder bothers me too; he should’ve had serious issues after Rhodes Scholars and then his feud with Sandow over last year’s SmackDown briefcase never produced anything. Maybe why he got that fired storyline later in the year…

There’s always a stretch between reality and the WWE’s interpretation of reality, but when Miz comes out and acts like he’s a Hollywood superstar … I mean, stop. At least Miz got off two of the best lines of the night, when he said, “Oh, this is 2012 Jericho” and “nice Lite Brite jacket,” but what’s the point of making his return seem like a big deal only to get immediately squashed by Jericho, who gets immediately squashed by the Wyatts?

If Miz thinking he’s The Rock coming back from Hollywood in 2003 is what it takes for him to get some TV time again, so be it. I just want him to be snarky and hand out Skull Crushing Finales. Hopefully, Jericho’s Codebreaker will be a minor setback. And one thing I will say: When Miz was Champion, at least Creative was trying something different.

With that said, he’ll be on the App tonight.

And why not let AJ fight for the title over the course of weeks instead of just giving it right back to her?

I feel like she negotiated this as part of her time off after Mania XXX. And it could be a ploy for WWE to get Punk to come back too (I HOPE). But what bothers me more: They’re working on Season 3 of Total Divas and they still haven’t let any of them win the Divas Belt? Really? Really? Really.

I understand that some of what a wrestling company has to do is troll the audience by creating a mix of results that make them happy and some that make them mad.

It’s so stagnant right now that I’m actually yearning for the return of Lesnar in the faint hopes they’ll give him the title.

If Brock loses his first match after beating The Streak, that’s when I have to cut the cord. Have to, have to, have to…but then again…

I’m such a sucker.

You and me both brother. You and me both.

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