Happy Monday TJR Faithful! It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the WWE, specifically as it pertains to the quality of the shows they’ve been putting on. While in the last few weeks NXT may have solidified its place as the WWE’s most consistently entertaining hour of television, Raw and Smackdown have been lacking. Most angles are moving forward at a crawl, and while The Shield break-up was an unexpected and heart-wrenching departure from the monotony, it was not enough to offset the ham-handed way everything else on these last few weeks of television have played out.
The WWE went with the nuclear option of breaking up The Shield. They executed it in an unexpected explosion that shook the wrestling world for days after it happened. That being said, I’m not finding it completely satisfying. It was a great “moment” no doubt, but substantially it was lacking several things, the greatest of which was logic.
Now I know there is a way to spin the Seth Rollins turn and have it make complete sense. It’s not that hard a sell when it comes to reasoning. What makes it illogical is the timeline. Less than 24 hours after beating Evolution, and mere hours after Batista quits, Seth Rollins made the decision to flip from the dominant Shield faction to Evolution, whom just a day earlier he was willing to risk his life and well-being just to beat? Either Triple H is the greatest and fastest negotiator in the world or Seth Rollins decided to take the opposite approach to the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them”.
In that sense, no matter the explanation tonight, I will be left unsatisfied. There were just better options available to get to this exact same point. I would have been had Triple H come out the night after Payback waving the white flag (or so it would seem). He would want to put this whole thing behind them, and he would as a peace offering put all three members of The Shield in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match.
The Shield would work together to win the briefcase in that match, with Rollins being the one that physically claimed it from atop the ladder in the end, with his Shield brethren holding for below. They would announce that their plan is to hold the briefcase until it expires a year from then, because cashing in on a vulnerable Champion is dishonorable and an injustice. That is when Triple H starts to crack the Shield.
The briefcase becomes like the One Ring in the Lord Of The Rings. It corrupts the group. Who really holds claim of it? Should they use it to win the title? Should they stick to their vow? It’s a more interesting way to lead to the group’s destruction that can have the same big moment. Seth Rollins, the seemingly most resolute member of The Shield when it comes to upholding their vow, turns on his brothers Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a violent assault, all so that he can take the briefcase for himself and become WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Triple H is the Cerebral Assassin, and he knew that the briefcase would corrupt The Shield no matter which one won it. That kind of long game would have demonstrated his brilliant mind. As things stand I’m willing to ride with what they’ve done, and I’m hoping that it will be great, as most of what The Shield have done has been outstanding. I’m simply a little dissatisfied.
Now what has probably been the most disappointing thing in the WWE over the last few weeks has been the handling of Daniel Bryan, his injury, and the status of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A lot of people seem to love the segments between Bryan, Brie and Stephanie, but I honestly couldn’t care less. I feel like week after week the segments tread water as they continue to gather information behind the scenes and find out whether or not Daniel Bryan will need to forfeit his title. It’s incredibly frustrating to watch week in and week out because it makes little to no sense that Steph wouldn’t just take the title from him, and I personally don’t care about Daniel Bryan’s love life enough to want it brought into his Championship rivalries as it has been over the last two months.
This week the WWE outdid themselves, having Stephanie come to the ring and announce that at The Money In The Bank PPV, there will be a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. It will either be Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in a Stretcher Match (one of the worst matches known to mankind) or if Daniel Bryan is unable to compete by then, there will be a Money In The Bank Ladder Match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. TJR Faithful forgive me, but I think I’ve turned on Daniel Bryan.
I don’t want to turn on Daniel Bryan, I’m a huge fan of his, but a man is only as faithful as his options. The possibilities that a 6-8 man WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match presents are just so much greater than what promises to be a forgettable stretcher match. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose could be featured in the ladder match for the title. It could be a wildly exciting bout with multiple superstars putting on a spectacular showing. It’s simply the better option. Be honest with yourselves, do you really want to see Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in a Stretcher Match?
I can honestly say that I'm a little happy that Bryan won't be able to compete at Money In The Bank, which makes me very sad to say, but for the sake of compelling television, and his ailing neck, it is probably best. I don’t want Daniel to rush back before he’s 100% and possibly do more damage to his neck. The reports that he has lost strength in his arm, that there could be some residual nerve problems he’ll need to work through and the thought of him coming back too soon from all this just to keep his spot worries me and makes his proposed match at Money In The Bank with Kane even more cringe worthy. I'm glad he'll be focusing on getting healthy.
Which brings me to the possible ladder match for the championship. I have an idea I’ve been kicking around that I think would make this one of the most memorable Ladder Matches in WWE history. At Money In The Bank, if Daniel Bryan is unable to compete, the title will hang from the rafters as the prize for the combatants below, and hanging slightly lower than the Championship Belts will hang a briefcase. I would suggest that the WWE put both the Title and the Money In The Bank Briefcase on the line in the same match. Two incredible prizes, one incredible match.
Now I know what you’re thinking, if the title is on the line, who would be dumb enough to go for the briefcase? Now this is where strategy comes into play. The Championship is the ultimate prize, but do you go for the Holy Grail now, or do you let the other competitors fight over the title and take the guaranteed title shot that all but ensures that you will someday soon become champion. All things considered, you could grab the briefcase as early as possible while trying to avoid taking too much damage, and then exit the match. Once a champion has been crowned, you can return and cash in on a vulnerable Champion after a grueling Ladder Match.
There is also a possibility that someone could want it all, the Championship and The Briefcase. It would be the first time in the history of the Money In The Bank concept that the champion also held the Briefcase, at which point becomes insurance. The ability to immediately call for a rematch if you ever were to lose the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is something no champion has ever had, so in order to win the title from him, you’d have to be able to beat him twice.
There you have it, but as always, I want to know what you think! On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how satisfied are you with the break-up of The Shield? Using that same scale with 10 being the saddest, how sad are you to see The Shield go? Are you a fan of the lackluster Daniel Bryan booking recently? And do you think the WWE gave us those two options for title matches just so that we’d be kind of disappointed if Bryan could compete, or is it simply coincidental?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas diving back into the 2nd season of Orange Is The New Black. There’s a show that knows how to book women! Also, Go Spurs Go! Have a great week everybody!