A single day after a meh WrestleMania, we found ourselves with the most interesting show that WWE has put on in quite a while. And while most of it can be attributed to the highly energetic and smarky crowd, there were two key story developments that put an exclamation point on the importance of this show.
The first of it came early on the show, Alberto Del Rio faced Zeb Colter and
Job Jack Swagger but the crowd didn't seem too into it. The crowd made what they wanted extremely clear with audible "We Want Ziggler" chants.
After the match Dolph would indeed come out to a monster pop to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. He would go on to defeat Del Rio to an even bigger ovation.
So why is our resident #Heel cheered so much? If you look at the Dolph Ziggler character, he's a big underdog masked as an overconfident and even arrogant guy. He's a fun guy to cheer for, but he shouldn't be turned face, at least not in the traditional way. I don't want WWE to convert him into its prototypical crowd pandering hypocritical Dick Face, as we'll call them. All that Ziggler needs to do is to slowly stop insulting the crowd and transition into feuding with heels. He needs Big E. Langston and AJ Lee to slowly stop interfering in his matches, instead standing with him as an insurance policy, and nothing else.
I'd be very surprised to get my wish granted, though. WWE is much more likely to book Ziggler engage in over the top heelish behavior to remind the crowd they are supposed to boo him. The smarks will ignore this, of course, and keep cheering him to get a split reaction. He'll remain a superstar who will never properly take off.
Failing that, WWE will fully turn him face and make him the new Miz, to which I say ... really?
But Monday's Raw wasn't all about Ziggler; we got our second huge story point right at the end of the show when Ryback laid out John Cena and followed it with a rather crude gesture. Ryback, who had been getting mild reactions outside of the hugely popular "Feed Me More" chants, got a huge pop for laying out the WWE champion.
Now, most of us know that in all likelihood that was a heel turn, but it is time to listen to your audience and its reaction. Ryback isn't a guy that is very over; he gets decent pops, sure, but what truly puts him over the edge are his catchphrases.
Crowds everywhere seem to love to chant "Feed Me More" and "Finish It." When the man himself enters sometimes the crowd goes mild, but when he starts raising his arms and leading the "Feed Me More" chant any arena gets loud.
It would be criminal to take that away from Ryback. It's fine to turn him on Cena, but don't turn him on the crowd. This feud would be so much better if it wasn't between Cena's good and Ryback's evil, but instead Ryback being sick and tired of being in Cena's shade.
Ryback has to believe that he deserved to main event WrestleMania against The Rock, he has to believe the Royal Rumble elimination was a fluke, and he has to want to prove he's better than Cena by becoming WWE champion.
I think that the best case scenario would be for both guys to compete for cheers. How funny would it be for Cena to come out and start his god-awful stand-up comedy act just for Ryback to come out and have the crowd chant "Feed Me More" instead?
An edgy face Ryback might not to come to be and I understand that. Many people have pointed to CM Punk kicking Jerry Lawler, with many wondering if that was a turn or not, mainly because we all knew Lawler was being stupid and most likely we wanted to kick him in the face too. But Punk did indeed turn and became the best heel WWE has had since....likely Punk when he was leading the Straight Edge Society.
We all know Ryback is not CM Punk, and while he could make a good Monster Heel he's just not going to be the kind of villain that Punk has been. To me, turning him heel is a low percentage bet that might kill his heat. Hopefully he can prove me wrong if that happens.
But when it comes to Ryback and Dolph, I would far prefer WWE listen to the smarter fans. The kids already love Ryback and they can turn Big E. into the dumb face that kids love, if they want to. They can also use AJ to lure the rest of the audience into Ziggy.
Please give US someone to cheer for.
Not a Dick Face.
Not a Cowardly Heel.
We want a Smarky Face.