Here lies part 2 of my column where I shall continue to poke and probe the stars of this year’s Wrestlemania, and speculate as to what the future holds for them in the WWE. If you missed part one – firstly, what the hell is wrong with you? Are you brain damaged? And secondly, you can find it archived in the Wrestling-Edge editorials. Namaste.
So, swiftly after Wrestlemania Swagger finds himself on the receiving end of the biggest push in WWE since… well, since Sheamus a few weeks ago. And I have mixed feelings about it. Similar to the ones I had when Chyna did Playboy (They’re boobs… but they’re on a man?!).
I’m all for WWE injecting new blood into the main event scene, but why do they feel the best way to do it is to present it as a fluke?! That’s just bizarre – nay, stupid – booking. Sheamus “kind of” pushed Cena through a table, and Swagger beats an already down and out Chris Jericho – yet both became champions as a result. Hardly inspiring, is it?
What makes it worse in Swagger’s case is that just a few weeks ago he was jobbing to the likes of Evan Bourne and comedy-jobber Santino Marella. Seriously, who the hell loses to Santino? Now we’re supposed to take him seriously as champion? To make things even worse, on Swagger’s first appearance since becoming champion, he loses cleanly to Orton! What does that achieve? Nothing, that’s what.
I like Swagger as a performer and feel he has much to offer – I just wish his rise to the top hadn’t been booked by mentally deficient ass hats.
If WWE gives Swagger a long title reign where he continues to hold on to the title via the luckiest of means (in a JBL-esque manner) then the WWE may make it work… But if his title reign proves to be a short one, then the whole thing will prove ultimately pointless and damaging to the prestige of the title.
Will he be at WM 27? Yes sir. But probably nowhere near the main event.
Where did it all go wrong for Mister Kingston? A few months ago, he was legitimately on the verge of breaking into the main event scene in the WWE. But some bizarre booking decisions (along with a couple of blown spots on Kofi’s part that pissed off Orton) have totally eradicated any momentum the guy had.
Fortunately for Kofi, he oozes charisma and his flashy attire and wrestling style has ensured he remains over with the urchins (bright colour amuse the young) despite his rapid demotion. I believe his climb to the top will happen again over time – but on a much slower scale. So I don’t see him harassing the main event spots with any sort of frequency over the next 12 months, but he will certainly be a midcard mainstay.
Will he be at WM 27? Most likely yes. The WWE always aims to have a small number of African/African-American wrestlers in employment at any one time, so he’s always have that going for him.
I was happy to see young Teddy bring the million dollar belt to RAW this week (although I wasn’t so happy to see him score a clean victory over Christian – Captain Charisma should not be the guy putting over younger talent on free TV).
Yeah, so what if he’s recycling a gimmick that’s two decades old, at least he has an iota of a gimmick that can make him stand out now. Rhodes and DiBiase were always gonna struggle as single competitors due to their general blandness and lack of individuality, so I give the thumbs up to anything that can make one of them twinkle a little brighter. I’ve always thought that DiBiase will fare better out of the two – and it looks like WWE are gonna give him a chance.
Will he be at WM 27? I’d certainly like to think so.
There’s no two ways about it, CM Punk is the next big thing. Like his peers – Edge, Jericho, HBK, HHH – he is the total package and guys of this calibre only appear a handful of times per decade. This is also the one guy who you can guarantee will never violate the wellness policy – so as long as he can abide by the dress code policy, he will be lurking in and out of the main event scene for many years.
Once his feud with Rey comes to an end, a heel on heel feud with Swagger (assuming he’s still champ) wouldn’t work – so I’m fully expecting him to enter into a program with Edge. Which will, of course, be all kinds of awesome.
Will he be at WM 27? In the main event.
If you’re like me, you’re sitting in your boxer shorts right now and eating a sandwich whilst you type. Furthermore, you’d have grown more tolerant of HHH over the past couple of years.
Like every only “mature” wrestling fan, I grew ridiculously tired of HHH’s domination of the main event scene in years gone by (much like I tire of John Cena now – but hey, at lesat HHH can wrestle to a high standard!) so it’s refreshing to see him out of the spotlight and working with a broader range of talent- not just the megastars. The King of Kings inevitably has a few more title reigns to come (he won’t be happy until he’s beaten Flair’s record), but I certainly won’t be greeting them with as much disdain as I did with those of yesteryear.
Will he be at WM 27? Yep. And certainly higher up the card than this year.
My problems with Sheamus are similar to my problems with Swagger – why was he ascendancy to the top so freaking rapid? However, I have a bigger problem with Sheamus because unlike Swagger, who has genuine talent, Sheamus has done nothing to demonstrate why he was deserving of donning the strap so early in his WWE career. His promo skills are only slightly above average, and his in-ring ability is so blasé and unspectacular that his matches seem like they’re being broadcast straight from a wrestling school.
I like that the WWE seeks to freshen up the main event scene with new blood, but I can’t for the life of me fathom why anyone behind the scenes felt that Sheamus was a standout pick. Also, how disheartening must it be for the likes of semi-veterans Christian and Matt Hardy – who are super over with the crowd and work their butts off week in and week out – having to watch the untalented goon shoot above them on the pecking order?
The Ginger Ninja’s well documented friendship with HHH will ensure that his job is safe at the WWE, but I have a feeling we may have already seen his one and only reign as world champion.
One last thing – isn’t this guy just destined to fail the wellness policy? He has the worst back acne since Snitsky.
Will he be at WM27? If he’s lucky
Batista has been a revelation as a cocky heel. I’ve never been a big fan of the behemoth’s brawling skills or mic work, but I will be the first to admit that his heel turn provided some great entertainment in the build to Wrestlemania.
John Cena getting the win over Big Dave at Wrestlemania was totally the wrong decision. The “you can’t beat me” storyline was genuinely intriguing and WWE could have milked it for months (maybe even years), instead of having Batista tap-out to the weakest looking submission hold in wrestling history – just like everyone else who comes up against Super Cena. *YAWN*
According to reports, The Animal is set to take an extended break from WWE in order to heal some niggling injuries and to star in a movie (which is virtually guaranteed to win several Oscars!). So no doubt he’ll be made to look like a chump by Cena again at the next PPV before leaving our TV screens.
Batista has openly spoken out many times regarding his desire to retire whilst on the top of his game – so upon his return (I’m gonna predict Summerslam) we could well be witnessing his last ever run in the WWE.
Will he be at WM 27? Indeed… Perhaps continuing the recent trend of a big name retiring on the night.
Jericho has been immensely entertaining as the top heel in the WWE, and it’s obvious that he gets a real kick out of portraying an obnoxious braggart.
Y2J is no spring chicken (he’ll turn 40 this year), but there’s no signs that he’s slowing down his game and I have no doubts that he’ll remain a top attraction in the WWE for the remainder of his career.
One of the greatest traits of Jericho is his totally injury free career. Over the years, fellow main eventers such as Batista, Cena, HHH, Undertaker, Edge, Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, HBK, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, He Who Shall Not Be Named, JBL, … pretty much anyone you can think of has had to take extended time off at one time or another for surgery. To the best of my recollection, this has never been the case for Jericho, and for that reason he is an invaluable performer in Vinnie Mac’s empire. Maybe he’s like the Bruce Willis character in the movie Unbreakable?
Will he be at WM 27? For sure. Unless I’ve just jinxed him and he suffers a career ending injury.
It’s great to have a fit Edge back on the roster – he’s always been one of my favourite stars and you can guarantee that he will always put his heart and soul into everything he does as a performer.
If Swagger’s reign as champ is destined to be a short one, then Edge will surely be the man who dethrones him. Whether he does or not though – I’m virtually guaranteeing that his next feud will be with CM Punk and, as I’ve mentioned above – it will surely be a feud of pure gold.
Will he be at WM 27? Yep. But the frequency of him being injured is becoming a concern. Perhaps he needs to wrestle in one of those sumo suits in the future – that would surely offer him more protection.
How many years does The Undertaker have left in him? Every year, particularly around Wrestlemania, whispers begin to surface that The Dead Man is gonna retire, and each year those whispers prove fruitless.
I’m old enough to remember The Undertaker making his debut in the WWE, and the fact that he is still going today, 20 years later, is a phenomenal feat (only surpassed by HBK – who took a 6 year break to be fair, so let’s just say they’re equals). Obviously, nobody is ever gonna tell Undertaker that it’s time to hang up his trenchcoat and call it a day, because as long as he keeps going it’s good for the locker room, it’s good for the old school fans and, most importantly, it’s good for the business And besides, The Undertaker is much as a locker room boss as Vince McMahon – so nobody is ever gonna tell him what to do anyway. For if they did, he’ll set their homes on fire.
I’d like to think that The Undertaker will aim to take his Wrestlemania streak to 20-0 (20 being a nice, round number – you dig?) so he’ll continue to work his part-time schedule for at least a couple of years yet. But when he does come to retire for good – it will be a sad, sad day indeed. Can you imagine if he started crying in the middle of the ring like HBK and Flair did? That would be weird…
Will he be at WM 27? I sincerely hope so.
One of the hottest heels in the business at the moment – The Miz has genuinely become one of the MVPs in the WWE over the last year or so. And what an unlikely tale that has been.
I fully expect another strong year from The Miz. I anticipate both his tag title and US title run to be prolonged, and he is certainly the right choice to be one of the guys who gets to transcend the roster boundaries.
His wrestling ability has never really matched the excellence of his promo skills (that’s not to say he isn’t a capable worker) so I’m not convinced he’ll ever make the step up to be a bonafide headliner in the WWE. But I certainly wouldn’t complain if he does find himself in the upper echelons..
Will he be at WM 27? Oh yes.
The Big Show
I get why Vince likes to employ giants. Pitting them against smaller wrestlers in genuine “David v Goliath” contests is a sure fire way to attract intrigue from non-wrestling fans. But that doesn’t mean I have to like The Big Show. In fact, I’m rather resentful towards him for having stunk-up main events for the last ten years…
Until now that is. Previously with Jericho, and now with The Miz, Show has truly found his most natural (and tolerable) role in the WWE – that is to be the muscle backing up a big mouth. I have no problem with Paul Wight as a human being – he comes across as a great guy with plenty of time for the fans, and has some decent comedy skills to boot. So the longer he’s kept in this kind of role, and the longer he’s kept away from the world title picture – the happier I am.
Will he be at WM 27? If his knees can hold up for another year.
And so it comes to an end. If I’ve left anyone out I can assure you it was an oversight and that I’m not a a racist or a fascist or someone that discriminates against anyone else is any conceivable way. Unless they’re a Cena fan.
Next week, the stars of WWE are heading to the shores of the UK and I shall be attending the NXT and Smackdown TV tapings in person, so I may well post a column pertaining to how that goes. To anyone else that is attending – let us all hope for a most funsome evening indeed. I’m also going to a “superstar Q&A” event, but so far there has been no information leaked as to which wrestlers will be attending. Fingers crossed it’ll be The Great Khali! Over and out.