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Podcast Episode 159.75 – Royal Rumble 2015 Results and Reactions

There's a reason #CancelWWENetwork was trending worldwide #1 for a bit there...

There’s a reason #CancelWWENetwork was trending worldwide #1 for a bit there…

It’s not about “not getting what we want”. It’s about the ability to be dynamic and course correct. If Vince McMahon and company didn’t see the reaction they got on Sunday night coming from a mile away, then they are a house full of ‘Yes Men’ – and I’m not talking about the Daniel Bryan type. Something’s got to change, and it will be interesting to see how WWE handles their Roman Reigns blunder a mere 24 hours later on Raw.

Lost in the mix is an instant classic match, where Brock Lesnar defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he belongs in the top tier of WWE. Brock Lesnar, in a bit of a confusing manner, proved that he’s a bad ass through and through. John Cena was there, too.

In the end, all of the vitriolic ranting comes down to one thing – we don’t like to feel as if our intelligence is being insulted. Give us some credit, Vince. Think things through from the customer’s point of view – not from yours. You want to sell Roman Reigns to us? Think about how we see him being presented, and act accordingly.

Featuring: Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag), ‘The Beast from the Middle East’ Darrell Johnson (@zazzumplop), Derek (@cap_kaveman), ‘Dirtee Jesus’ Hashtag Billi (@DirteeJesus), Bryan ‘Pipe Bomb’ Gregston (@guitarsalad), ‘Super Jew’ Jared (@SuperJew75), Hunter (@facevheel), and David.

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

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The Road to RematchMania

Brock vs HHH!
Cena vs Rock!
Zack Ryder vs Catering!

Been there, done that. Bemoaning the fact that the highest profile matches at Wrestlemania are, essentially, repeats has been a favorite pastime of the IWC over the last few weeks and I, certainly, have echoed this sentiment on our very own podcast. During Monday night’s show, however, I had a bit of an epiphany that led me to question where this anger comes from. The arguments come in slightly different forms, but I think that they can be broken down into 3 main categories.

The rematch that nobody wanted!

The rematch that nobody wanted!

We’ve seen these feuds before

Some of the best feuds are those that fester and build over time so I don’t think that it is simply a matter of these being repeats. The crux of the problem is that we just aren’t invested in the characters anymore. HHH wrestles too sparingly and is seen more as a corporate figure (besides…when is the last time he won a match?). Brock is on and off tv so often that the wrecking ball persona that they have tried to develop keeps losing steam and it seems clear that he is just in it for the paycheck. We all know that the Rock is just doing this whole WWE thing on the side and that acting is his main gig. This leaves John Cena. He is the one WWE constant and most of us grew tired of his shtick long ago. We have nobody to invest in, so we are angry that this is what we are forced to choose between. Which brings me to my next argument…

There are many talented guys on the roster being misused

I am not arguing that Zack Ryder belongs in the main event, but his example does illustrate a basic point. We have all seen multiple examples where we feel that creative has completely dropped the ball, misusing talented wrestlers or killing their momentum completely. An obvious example here is Dolph Ziggler who seemingly hasn’t won a match since sometime in the 80s (I believe his last pinfall victory was against the Dynamite Kid). We all play amateur booker and we are often disappointed when what plays out on TV is far more obvious and less interesting than our imaginations.

On his back more than AJ.

On his back more than AJ.

I get that this is part of the fun of being a wrestling fan, but at some point it is counter-productive. We can bitch and moan all we like but, at the end of the day, our opinions rarely matter. While I don’t think that we should stop voicing these opinions, once the matches are set I don’t think that harping on the shortcomings does much good either. This brings me to the last argument:

Let's hope HHH shows up in better shape than this...

Let’s hope HHH shows up in better shape than this…

The matches are going to suck

This is where I disagree and think that it all comes back to this matter of perspective. The matches WILL suck if we sit and sulk about not giving a shit about who wins between Rock and Cena or Brock and HHH. Taken objectively, however, I think that you will find that the matches themselves will be quite fun. Say what we will about HHH’s weight or Cena’s 5 Moves of Doom (and believe me, I will mock both plenty), but I would wager good money that if you look at each objectively they will both be a lot of fun. Essentially, it is all a matter of attitude. Would the matches be better if “our guys” were in them? Subjectively, yes but objectively… maybe not. Disliking the matches on some sort of fan “principle” isn’t only ridiculous, but the only people that we are hurting are ourselves.

That smirk is all I need to pick a side.

That smirk is all I need to pick a side.

So… What’s the solution? My advice is to throw away the talk about what could have been, pick a side, cheer on your guy, and enjoy the ride! That’s what makes wrestling fun, right?

The CM Punk Revolution

WWE is always scrambling in the summer months, still trying to recover from their WrestleMania hangover, where you’re likely to see stock prices drop, only to start moving back up as the next “Road to WrestleMania” begins the following year…

This year, they took a big chance on announcing next year’s WM Main Event: The Rock vs. John Cena. I like this in some ways, but in other ways it’s unfortunate. It takes some of the build up out of the equation, as we know one third of what is ultimately going to be another triple main event has already been decided. (The other two thirds are the World Heavyweight Championship and the Undertaker Streak match). In my opinion, they “shot their wad” a bit early, and the build up has been left to Cena and Rock tweeting insults back and forth every few weeks. Still cool, but not gonna drive ratings and won’t get people excited. After all, it’s all about ratings and PPV buys!

The other big story that’s been out there in recent months is that CM Punk’s contract would be running up this July (now only a couple weeks away). Folks have been speculating on whether he’d re-sign, whether he’d jump ship to TNA or ROH, or whether he’d just take some time off like Chris Jericho likes to do. Truth be told, the answer to that question still seems to hang in limbo. WWE took the internet speculation and let CM Punk run with it. It’s now become the most exciting thing to happen on Raw in a long time. The Nexus Invasion was awesome, but doesn’t even compare.

CM Punk saw his opportunity, and he reached out for more than just another one of Vince’s brass rings… you could say this is his “Austin 3:16” moment:

WWE has gone to great lengths to promote this angle, as they’ve now “suspended” Punk, leaving his #1 contender spot open:
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon suspends CM Punk []

I’ll end this post by quoting many of my Twitter followers: “Vince, don’t f- this up!”

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