Welcome to the Midweek Breakdown. I hope I can get through this column okay, as typing really hurts right now as a result of my left arm injury. I’m kidding, I haven’t negotiated any contracts with former UFC champions recently. It’s been a very busy few days for WWE, so let’s jump right into a 10 Count!
1) The world does NOT need Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
As soon as I saw that Triple H was going to be appearing on Monday’s episode of Raw, my immediate fear was that we would see the beginnings of a feud with Lesnar and the COO. Unfortunately, my fear came true. I understand that these two have not faced off before and that it is a so-called “dream match.” However, this isn’t 2003 anymore. When Triple H listed off several guys that the WWE Universe wanted to see face off against Brock, I was on board with those matches. Triple H wasn’t on that list. As we saw on Monday night, the COO loves to talk. And talk. And talk. As we’ve seen previously, Brock can’t talk worth a damn when he’s in the middle of the ring. Many of Triple H’s feuds involve lots of talking and promos that go on forever, which just isn’t entertaining unless he’s in the ring with somebody who can hang on the mic with him. Brock isn’t that guy. Plus, with the limited amount of dates Brock is working, he should be used to put the full-time superstars over. Guys like CM Punk would benefit huge from a victory over Brock Lesnar. Please don’t make us sit through an extended feud between the COO and Brock.
2) Cena vs. Laurinaitis is the correct option…
Hear me out. This Over The Limit match is a Hell of a lot more intriguing than what I thought it was going to be. When Lord Tensai did not compete in the Beat the Clock challenge, I figured that he was going to be announced as Cena’s opponent for the pay-per-view, and it made me sad. If you’ve read my column recently, you know that I fail to see any appeal whatsoever of Lord Tensai. Judging by his crowd reactions, I don’t think I’m the only one in that boat. A marquee PPV match of Tensai vs. Cena wouldn’t draw. However, Cena taking on Laurinaitis is a lot more interesting. No, it won’t be any kind of fantastic match. What it does have going for it is intrigue. At this point, we don’t really know what Johnny’s motivations are and why he has a problem with Cena. I find that immensely more interesting than watching Cena fight a guy who doesn’t talk and whose biggest move is SPIT CLAW 3000 while making bizarre grunting noises like he’s doing an impersonation of a giant snake or something. It’s not going to be a technical classic, but it’s one of those matches I’m really looking forward to just to see how it plays out, similar to how I always enjoyed a Vince or Shane McMahon match.
3) There’s nothing wrong with John Cena.
I don’t believe that Cena really has any kind of injury, or even that he’s “hurt.” I know he gave a speech on the difference between “injured” and “hurt,” presumably to set up the ensuing attack on his arm. I think the whole thing is a work. If he was even “hurt” to a degree, they wouldn’t have risked moving into injury territory by ripping off his sling and having three men attack his arm. While the old “smash a body part between a chair and the ring steps” thing makes more noise than pain, it wouldn’t take much to do it the wrong way and actually hit the arm in a way that would cause a problem. They wouldn’t take these risks on their top guy in the company if he was actually in a precarious situation that could lead to a major injury. Cena’s fine, this is all part of a storyline to bring him down to a level where Laurinaitis has a fighting chance. Speaking of Johnny…
4) Why he’s so mad anyways?
Okay, that question is easy. Laurinaitis is pissed off because his signing of Lesnar has gone completely haywire and it looks like the big guy is going to be gone for a while. The question is why is he so mad at Cena? He was feuding with CM Punk for a while, and then he made that announcement about Punk defending the title all the time and how a natural disaster was heading his way. Things just kind of stopped after that. We knew that Big Johnny was on Lesnar’s side during the buildup to Extreme Rules, but that didn’t necessarily mean that he had a personal problem with John Cena. This past Monday, Johnny hulked up and flipped the fuck out on Cena in a way that we haven’t seen him do before. What does it all mean? We’ll find out soon enough. A lot of people have a problem with this feud based off of the sudden nature of it. While I agree that it came out of nowhere and left some loose ends with Punk out there, I like the sudden aggression of Big Johnny and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I don’t think it will recapture the magic of Austin vs. McMahon, but Laurinaitis has become an awesome performer that makes the show better. It will be interesting to watch where this goes.
5) A Raw without Dolph Ziggler…
Makes Cody a sad Cody that needs “Soft kitty” sung to him when he goes to bed. Seriously, where was he? He didn’t even come out with Swagger and Vickie. You’re telling me that Jerry Lawler made it into the Beat The Clock challenge but they didn’t have a spot for Dolph? They could have done a heel vs. heel match and it would have been fine, or even let him bump around for Khali for four minutes and it would have been more entertaining than the match we got between Khali and Kane. What happened to when he was wrestling twice in one night on every other show? WWE could have easily given him a meaningful feud last night. Since neither man was going to win the whole thing anyways, he could have helped Swagger beat Randy Orton to help set up the Orton-Ziggler feud that many people have suggested. Simple, effective booking. I still think WWE sees big things in Dolph. I just wish they’d speed along getting to those big things.
6) I’m done with the Funkasaurus…
At least until something more happens with him. I’m happy to see that Hornswoggle wasn’t part of his entourage on Monday. I wasn’t happy to see the kids in the ring dancing with him. That says to me that he’s going to remain a feel-good comedy character for the time being. There’s nothing wrong with that type of character if they give him an actual feud. I don’t count the matches with Ziggler and Swagger as an actual feud. It was really just a few matches in a row, there was nothing more to it to make it an actual storyline. Brodus got one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday, and then he was back to wrestling a jobber on Monday. They’re running in place with him, and it’s beyond stale at this point.
7) What the Hell is with the Divas?
So……we fake an injury angle with Beth Phoenix just to put the title on Nikki Bella. This is done so that Kharma can come back to solve her unfinished business with the Bellas by either having a feud with them if they stick around or destroying them and giving them a reason to be gone from the company. Then the Internetz finds out about this so WWE decides to change it all by having Layla come back and beat Nikki for the title. Then Layla proves herself to be the smartest wrestler in the entire company and defeats both Bellas in five seconds. Then the Bellas are gone for good in some segment I refuse to watch. All of this happened while Kharma tweeted about Extreme Rules and Beth may or may not be injured. Fuck the Divas division until some combination of Kharma, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya have a match. Or until Victoria comes back and makes her return to that weird song by the lesbian teenage girls she used to walk out to.
8) Michael Cole is a heel until John Cena says he can’t be.
This probably doesn’t deserve its own point on the 10 Count, but I thought this was notable as it speaks to the perception of John Cena in the company. Michael Cole is a heel. He sides with all the heels, even if it means he’s a hypocrite like when he bashed on Daniel Bryan for months until Bryan turned heel and now Cole loves him. We’ve seen him praise John Laurinaitis endlessly over the past few months. He’s defended everything Big Johnny has ever done. All of a sudden, Big Johnny snaps on Monday and the victim happens to be John Cena. Cole then reverts into the John Cena lover that we all know hides deep inside him and starts going crazy. My favorite line was “HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE CRAZY?” Anyways, it’s a small observation but it speaks to how Cena is viewed in the company. Even a slightly over-the-top heel commentator will turn face if it means not going against Cena.
9) Go watch Extreme Rules if you didn’t already.
Seriously, do it. This was an awesome pay-per-view. You’ve probably already read that in lots of other reviews, but I feel that it bears repeating. It’s probably going to be WWE’s best show of the year. There were three excellent main event level matches and a very solid opening match. There was also nothing horrible on the rest of the undercard. So many memorable moments, from Big Show’s face when he stepped through the table to the entire, completely surreal Cena vs. Lesnar match. If you haven’t seen this show, you need to check it out. There’s something great for every wrestling fan.
10) YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
As you might be able to tell, I’m excited about the Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk feud. I think most people are. You can even see CM Punk say “I can not wait!” as he walks out to make faces at Daniel Bryan from the entrance ramp on Monday. We’ve seen these two face off before, but we have yet to see the WWE personas of the two men have an actual feud. It’s also for the WWE Championship, no less. It’s not like we’re talking about a secondary title here. Over The Limit is pretty much a must watch show just based off of this development alone. I wish that they got this opportunity on a bigger show, but I understand the WWE logic of trying to boost buyrates for a show that traditionally doesn’t do very well. My only concern is if people end up not buying it anyways due to spending money on WrestleMania and Extreme Rules. I would hate to see Punk and Bryan blamed for that. Hopefully the build for the match will be as good as it can be. I have no doubt they will deliver the goods.
Thanks for joining me on another edition of The Midweek Breakdown. I’ll be back on Friday for Headlines. As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of the week here at TJRWrestling!