The question is, when will AJ wear C.J.'s gear? (Photo via WWE.com)
Cena! Show! Ace! Face Massacre!
"This is a different Big Show." This is a phrase we've heard a lot the past week, and we'll probably be hearing more of leading up to the June 17 No Way Out pay-per-view (PPV). The gentle giant of a few weeks ago is no more. Instead, we have a pissed off badass who is just wrecking the faces on the roster. And it is so beautiful. There is nothing quite like a monster running rampant in professional wrestling. It is the easiest story to book, and I appreciate that WWE is going back to this particular well. It is the Mark Henry "Hall of Pain" storyline all over again. They are letting Big Show run wild, destroy the talent, and get away without a fight. THAT is how you build someone up.
So far, this is probably the best Cena angle we've seen since last year's Money in the Bank (one could make the argument for The Rock at WrestleMania 28, but there wasn't really anything to it. They fought solely for the PPV buys). The only problem is that we know exactly how it will end. Super Cena will show up, put up a valiant and noble fight, and emerge victorious. It's how the movie always plays out. And it's a shame that this, Cena's best feud in almost a year, is going to be labeled garbage because of these two men's past.
The rest of the show after the jump.
Punk! Bryan! Kane! AJ! Triple Threat! WWE Championship!
You remember when we all complained that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were getting no airtime and no build up for their match at Over the Limit? Well, someone has decided to go in the complete opposite direction and overbook the hell out of this thing. We got AJ. We got Kane. We got chairs. We got video game covers. We got these guys showing up on SmackDown. We have everything but the kitchen sink and by gawd they might just throw that in there too.
We now officially have a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship (as someone predicted last week), and I can see the fear in the smarks eyes. This actually may not be the worst thing in the world. The booking for it has made perfect sense so far. Kane is being used as a pawn between the two former Ring of Honor stars, and is not the focus of the feud. But he's still a monster and it makes sense that he gets some payback for being used. There is definitely ways this can be horrible (i.e. Kane wins the title, only to lose it to John Cena at Money in the Bank). As it stands right now? I think it works.
On top of that, I don't believe this will be the last time we see Punk and Bryan battling. It's one of the top faces against one of the top heels. Their paths will cross a few more times in years to come.
Ace! Eve! Otunga! Teddy! Authority! Racial Tensions!
The big brouhaha since WrestleMania 28 is the fact that Teddy Long has become John Laurinaitis' servant. In and of itself, it's a simple storyline that gets some heat on Johnny Ace and makes Teddy a sympathetic character. The problems start when we take into account that Teddy is African American and Laurinaitis is Caucasian. However, where do we draw the line on what is kosher? Does the fact that Eve Torres and David Otunga are minorities themselves change anything? Mark Henry's run as an angry giant had some cries of racism, but Big Show's rampage is almost a direct copy. Is it racist when Show attacks Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth, but perfectly okay when he goes after Cena, Zack Ryder, and Santino Marella? Yes, WWE has a long and unfortunate history with racism. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
SmackDown! On Raw!
For everyone who hates Sheamus, they are doing so passed on their own personal hang-ups and not based on what he does in the ring. His promo against Alberto Del Rio on the last SmackDown (June 1st) did everything it needed to do. He built up Del Rio as an arrogant aristocrat, talking about his collection of cars and vast fortune. When John Cena feuded with Del Rio, he made sure the audience knew all the cars were rented. Sheamus gets his role.
Don't use him as a proxy for Triple H or WWE Creative hate. It's not fair to the guy. Yes, he's a 1-demensional cartoon character. But Sheamus understands what he is being asked to do. Go out there, cut a solid baby face promo, throw in arse at the end, and kick the bad guys head off. He does it, and he's damn good at it. That's why kids love him, and that's why he shouldn't get the amount of hate he has tended to receive.
Hopefully this has helped get you prepared for the nights activities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, make sure to follow the action @Cagesideseats, please join Geno, myself, and the whole Monday Night gang during the live blog here, and join us after the show for the Cageside Live podcast here.