WHAT WOULD STEVE DO? Blog. 01: Jericho Vs. Punk
by, 03-28-2012 at 06:24 PM (2546 Views)
Hi guys! Welcome to the first edition of the WWSD Blog – a look at story lines and scenarios in the WWE and asking the question “What Would Steve Do?”. Now I may not be right all the time, and I’m not claiming to be better than any of the WWE’s current writers, but this is purely my opinion as to what I would like to see if I was given creative control, even just for a little bit! Let’s get started....
Wrestlemania is nearly upon us, and of course this means that we are treated to some of the biggest matches of the year. One of the biggest by far is the match for the WWE Championship, pitting CM Punk against Chris Jericho – a bout that could well steal the show in terms of wrestling quality. As with any main event, this match has needed a strong, solid build in the weeks before the event, and in my opinion it has definitely achieved this with the very intense, passionate promos from both men week in, week out on Raw and Smackdown. The feud between them is fantastic, but the question I have is this – have the WWE wasted a potential blockbuster storyline by making this particular feud personal?
When Chris Jericho returned to WWE in January 2012, everyone could see where it was going. CM Punk claiming to be the “Best in the World” was only going to be tolerated for so long by the man who claims to be the “Best in the World at Everything He Does”, and indeed post-Royal Rumble it became clear that one of the main events at Wrestlemania would involve Punk and Jericho deciding who could rightfully claim the “Best in the World” moniker by competing for the WWE Championship. This was great - two gifted, talented wrestlers who could perform wonders in the ring and on the mic, going toe-to-toe for the biggest prize in the WWE is the feud that many WWE fans have dreamed of for years and years. And so it has proved to be – Punk and Jericho in a game of one-upsmanship, trying to prove that they were the best in the world and making it incredibly difficult to believe one over the other. But then they threw in a curveball. Then Jericho referenced Punk’s alcoholic father, and things took a different twist - one that I’m not sure WWE needed to take.
Jericho and Punk had their feud. They had their gimmick. “Best in the World” vs. “Best in the World”. Both men claimed to be it, but who could actually back that up when the time for talking was over? It was a great starting point for a feud, and was shaping up to deliver a feud where we genuinely had no idea who was actually going to win if done properly. My opinion – it should have been booked like the good old days with Punk and Jericho facing jobbers every week on Raw. Both of them should win week in, week out in a convincing yet very similar way to the other - Punk makes his opponent submit with the Anaconda Vice so Jericho makes his opponent tap to the Walls of Jericho; Jericho wins with a Lionsault so Punk wins with a top rope moonsault etc etc. They never face each other, not even in a tag team match, before Wrestlemania so that when we arrive at the big night they both have identical, undefeated records so they are inseparable on paper. Every argument in Punk’s favour applies to Jericho too and vice versa, meaning that we genuinely have no idea who is going to win the match between them and making an un-missable match for Wrestlemania. It wouldn’t have mattered if Jericho was getting a face reaction, or if Punk was getting heat – the fans would choose who they thought was better out of the two and would have cheered for their man to win, and that would be all that mattered in a feud like this, built in this way.
We didn’t get this though, and instead we were thrown the swerve, pretty much from out of nowhere, of bringing Punk’s family into it. Punk’s straight-edge gimmick was brought in to try and make things more personal between the two, but I’m not sure that it was needed. They already had a good thing, but now they’ve thrown another good but unrelated thing at it, thus using up two good storylines at the same time, which is a really bad move. The “personal demons” storyline that they have now interwoven into the WWE Championship feud could have been used to much greater effect by someone who needed a feud of that calibre. Jericho doesn’t need a storyline like this to get him over as a heel, we know how low he can sink. If it was given to a mid-card heel though, such as The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes or even Jack Swagger if handled with care, it could instantly have made them a main event heel. There could have been an entire summer storyline of the heel getting in Punk’s head, saying he’s worthless because of his personal demons before winning the title. The loss could have made Punk doubt himself even more; they could even have teased Punk falling off the wagon completely and going to take a drink only for another face to snap him out of it, and get him back into the right mindset to eventually win back the title for the “uplifting pop” after a gripping summer storyline. Even if the powers that be didn’t have the faith in the younger guys and wanted the storyline to be carried out by Jericho, it still could’ve happened after Wrestlemania in its own unique storyline and not alongside another one.
I think the current Punk vs. Jericho feud is great, and I’m really pleased that WWE have done some good work with this feud. I just feel that they’ve almost done too much good work too soon, and that with a little more restraint they could have made two incredible yet separate storylines, instead of mashing them together for no further gain.
That’s it for this entry of the WWSD blog. I hope you enjoyed, and feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions below. For now though, take care, but more importantly have fun. Sayonara amigos!