A Medical Situation
By Mike Aires
Extreme Rules was this past Sunday and it might not have lived up to its namesake if you compare it to the Attitude Era, but it was still a very hard hitting pay-per-view and one of the most brutal shows we’ve had in a while. The quick Intercontinental Title (Tables) match that saw Cody Rhodes regain what is rightfully his was a dud but saw Rhodes get Gorilla Press slammed from 8 feet in the air down to a table on the floor. Looked painful. Even though there wasn’t any weapons used, the 2-out-of-3 falls match for the World Heavyweight Title was “hard hitting” in my book due to the fact that it had some great, big moments, and even saw Sheamus pass out at one point from the YEEEESS! Lock. Then we had Chris Jericho and CM Punk’s “Chicago Street Fight”. Which, I guess the only change from that and a normal no DQ match is that they wear pants? Anyways, they beat the holy hell out of each other. Jericho posted pictures on his twitter of his back after the event was over, and it looked like something out of Deliverance. Punk’s leap onto the announce table was pretty awesome as well. Finally, we had Lesnar and Cena, which delivered huge on their match. For the first time in I don’t know how long, a “fight” actually looked like a legit “fight”. Cena was cut early, but by the end, both men were bleeding, and both men looked rough.
And yet…this column is not JUST about any of that.
It’s about the erection. I know you have it too.
WAIT! Don’t leave yet.
On RAW, we saw them have one of their seemingly bi-annual and not very interesting “Beat the Clock” nights where several Superstars compete against each other in one-on-one matches, trying to win in the fastest time possible. Unless you are Chris Jericho, in which you win but the ref is an idiot and can’t count fast enough and/or watch the clock properly. But in the end, Daniel Bryan beats Jerry Lawler (lolwtf?) quickly to become the Number One Contender for the WWE Title.
Yes, he’s a SmackDown guy. Yes, he just got done going after the WCW Title. Yes, having Jerry Lawler in the match shows how few “good” faces they have in the company right now. And yes…it was announced that CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at the Over the Limit pay-per-view.
Daniel Bryan. CM Punk. As the main event at a WWE pay-per-view. Never thought I would see the day. They’ve obviously wrestled each other a couple times in the past few months, but because of that, I thought they were just throw away matches that the E was giving us (as well as Punk/Bryan) in order to keep the internet twerps from losing their hard-ons for the “indy” matchup between the two. But now we get, at least a mini-feud between the two.
Obviously this means that Daniel Bryan has finished his run with Sheamus, at least for the time being. I’m fine with that, even though they really did have an excellent match at Extreme Rules. It also means that CM Punk and Jericho will be going their separate ways. Once again, I’m ok with it, even though their feud has been well done and they are two of my all time favorites. Jericho likely has one feud left in him before he heads back off to do his Fozzy thing for 3 or 4 months. It seems like this is just a quick feud before both men move on to someone or something else, but that does not change the fact that it excites me to no end. Daniel Bryan has quickly become the best heel in the WWE, and perhaps one of the best in wrestling. Punk does his normal CM Punk thing. Always quality. On top of that, both men know each other very well, came up in similar styles, and are two of the best wrestlers in both the WWE, and in the world.
My love for what both of these men can do in the ring has been well documented over the past year of my writing. Both are technical wizards who can still tell a story in the squared circle. It seems less and less “new” wrestlers understand this, but it is what makes wrestling so damn great, and what makes Punk and Bryan so special.
So how will this feud go? Bigger question is how do I WANT it to go, versus how it will actually play out?
I can answer the “how I would do it” question fairly simply by having them feud for a long time with one trying to one-up the other in the ring. Whereas Jericho/Punk was about who was “The Best in the World” between the two of them as individuals, Bryan and Punk could actually try to show it, by taking on harder and harder opponents, or harder situations (handicap matches, triple threats, etc) to try and show up the other. Bryan could also play the card where he is a lot like Punk in that he watches what he puts in his body, yet he also will stop at nothing to reach his goals. Punk has become the thing he hated, which is a corporate guy. Punk could use the fact that he’s always been “one step” ahead of Bryan, through the Indys, Ring of Honor, the WWE, and now as a multiple time champion in the WWE. The fact that both men know they are masters in the ring damn near writes a rivalry by itself. Add the fact that Punk can always use the microphone as a weapon, and Daniel Bryan has been extremely effective as a heel on the mic, and you have a relatively easy “Shake and Bake” recipe for a good feud.
How will it happen? They will probably just get tossed around, with them talking about their history, with Daniel Bryan; he just wants to get a heavyweight title back. Sounds boring, and would be if it was damn near anyone else in the company.
I’m almost as interested in what the two will do after the pay-per-view. If the WWE wanted to be awesome, they could actually have this be a decent feud and have it last past Over the Limit. I doubt they will, but then again, I did not see them having Daniel Bryan challenge Punk for the title either. In Punk’s case, he is extremely safe, even if he loses the title at some point soon. He’s the 2nd or 3rd top face in the company, and sells merch like a foreigner in Times Square. After the Summer of Punk 2011, it really pushed him to the top of the card where he would stay.
Daniel Bryan, on the other hand, is in a very dangerous place.
Both Smackdown and Raw are over-run with heels. I can name you a handful of what I consider to be main event faces on both shows (Cena, Punk, Sheamus, Orton and maybe…Rey Rey when he returns). That’s it; 4 guys and a midget who likes drugs. Heels though? It’s a lot worse. You have Del Rio, Lesnar, Jericho, Christian, Ziggler, Kane, Rhodes, Lord Tensai, Mark Henry, and Wade Barrett when he returns. All of those people are jockeying with the same spot Daniel Bryan currently holds. The fact that he’s smaller than all of them and for the longest time was not seen as a “bankable” star worries me. That’s the reason why it might be an awesome idea for Daniel Bryan to beat Punk for the title. In my eyes, Bryan needs the belt in order to stay afloat with the vast number of “big-time” heels they have. Let’s hope they do not take the fan support he’s been receiving and use it to turn him face again. His face run was terrible. He barely got noticed.
On a slight side note, looking at those lists, it’s OBVIOUS that some heels are going to turn face this year. I didn’t even put Miz or Swagger on that list. Both are former champions. I fully expect some of them to turn face. Hopefully they give some new guys a chance. Some of the younger guys have never had/tried a face run.
But yes, back on topic…I have a huge technical wrestling boner for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. It might not go down for a while, which has made normal, everyday tasks extremely hard. Hopefully the E lets the two just play it out and have fun with it, regardless of how much time they are given in the feud AND in their match.
That’s all I have for this week. Before I go, I wanted to give everyone a sincere thank you for staying with me (and TJR) and reading, commenting, and enjoying these columns. This marks my one year anniversary writing for the site, and knowing I have readers, and that the site continues to grow is something that easily keeps me coming back week after week, regardless if you want me to or not. I think sometime very soon I’ll do a special one-year anniversary Top 10 list. It’ll be a hoot.
So thanks again.
Have comments or remarks about Extreme Rules, Punk and Bryan, or even my 1st writing birthday? Let us know via the comments below, or you can shoot me something nice or something hilariously asshole-ish on twitter.
Also, remember to check out Headlines each and every Tuesday with Fozzie (@FozzieMB) and myself as we discuss news from the previous couple days. We’re the big men on campus. Our headlines matter. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.