The Cena-Free Experiment
by, 10-22-2013 at 04:10 PM (5648 Views)
I've been rather quiet on the boards as of late, but as always, I've been watching and evaluating.
The post-Summerslam scenario was one of the most intriguing and hopeful landscapes I've seen present itself in recent memory. John Cena, the WWE's biggest asset, was knowingly going away on a multiple month hiatus. Part-timers like Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, and The Rock were gone for the foreseeable future. Even other big names like Mark Henry and Rey Mysterio were out of the picture. The months to follow Summerslam were to be filled with fresh faces in prominent storylines and an overall opportunity for members of all cards - jobbers to midcarders to nearly-main- eventers - to raise their stock.
I apologize if this comes off as negative, but truly, what fresh faces have been plugged into the main event scenes? For the WWE Title, its been the Big Show, Randy Orton, Vince McMahon, and HHH. For the WHC, its been Del Rio (still), Rob Van Dam, Christian, and it will be John Cena at the next PPV. That is 8 guys with well over 120 years of experience. Where are guys like Miz, Ziggler, and Sandow in the WHC picture? The last 2 matches Ziggler had against Del Rio, AJ interfered. Instead he's losing on Main Event and wrestling on Pre Shows. And that's a guy who had 70,000 people cheering for him at Wrestlemania in a match he wasn't in - and the following night garnered the biggest pop of 2013.
I know what you are thinking, duh, you forgot about the biggest player in the WWE Title picture, Daniel Bryan. For me, and I hope this comes across as realistic and not pessimistic, Daniel Bryan has not benefited from John Cena's absence - the point of this blog. In my opinion, the brightest Daniel Bryan's star has shined was the moment he knocked out John Cena and pinned him clean. That moment was pure wrestling euphoria - the culmination of a great storyline, passionate promos, tremendous in-ring wrestling, and a clean finish. Knowing how his storyline has continued since, I think Bryan would have benefited more from Cena hanging around to continue their feud than entering the angle he did with Orton and The Authority. Ask yourself what happened since Orton's music hit and he cashed in that briefcase. It is a collection of delayed happenings and an insufferable forcefeeding of McMahons and HHH.
- The babyfaces waited nearly a month before they stood up to anyone, looking weak
- When they finally did, they did it all at once, not allowing anyone to stand out. Justin Gabriel and Zach Ryder were in the mix, how could it benefit a guy like Ziggler or Kofi?
- The Big Show literally cried for WEEKS before taking a stand, ultimately to knock out both Bryan and Orton, only to seemingly be on Bryan's side now
- They've introduced an outrageous bankrupt/mortgage scenario that has no validity. Why don't they show his house being foreclosed or his kids feeling blue if we are supposed to give a shit? He had an iron clad contract and millions a few months ago, and now Stephanie McMahon owns his house? Jesus.
- For every 5 times Bryan comes out and does his Yes! chants smiling like a guy who hasn't been completely dicked over for 3 months, he cuts 1 in ring promo. Where is the fuming, scathing promo in Randy Ortons face? His promo to Cena about him not being a wrestler was the most fire he's shown in this time period.
- 3 dirty finishes at 3 straight PPVs - and a fourth is VERY likely to follow
- 8 weeks of no champion, and they barely even mention that the title is vacated. No one is holding it.
Week after week, it has felt like a recycled rehashing of 'how can HHH insult or degrade Daniel Bryan this week?'. While all of this will eventually culminate in DB getting the strap, I think too much damage has been done. John Cena will be back in a week, and who looks better than before he left?
The ONLY person who's stock has risen is Cody Rhodes. And how hard was it? He was put in a challenging and interesting scenario, returned as a hero, and people gave a shit. When one faction is being an asshole to an entire locker room, the blueprint to build new guys shouldn't be so complicated. Make them tough and selfless and give fans a reason to cheer for them.
I'm rambling at this point, but really evaluate the landscape right now. The WWE title picture is muddied with HHH, Big Show, Stephanie, likely Vince, HBK, Randy Orton, and DB. 7 people. So the WWE's response to losing it's biggest name was to throw a whole bunch of big names into the picture? 7 big names doesn't equal one massive name, WWE.
Upper management's fear to give anyone but a seasoned veteran a prominent role in the main event scenario has been a massive missed opportunity. HHH, for me, has X Pac heat. I dislike the man and the performer, not the character. He's actually been decent in his snobby, corporate badass role, but I'm sick of seeing him. Let your stars shine, give the others a chance to, and stop trying to make yours brighter. If all of this ends and Bryan never gets that title, I'm genuinely bummed that HHH is as the helm(sley?) for the next few decades.