This post is short and the idea is embryonic. I'm drinking my coffee as I write this, so nothing is up to speed. Even if it's not ready yet, I want to get it out there.
I don't know where reality ends and unreality begins. I've stopped expecting Daniel Bryan to get his grand karmic payback. The babyface doesn't always go over, especially when Triple H is involved. The business judgment rule is very lenient. Last night, WWE got the kind of heat Freddie Blassie said you'd get in the territories because they didn't give the fans what they wanted. Whereas a crowd in 1960 might have tried to stab Batista for winning, last night's crowd simply chanted Daniel Bryan at the top of its lungs.
WWE has heat right now, good and bad. The company's stock is hot because of TV rights, the network, and the most star studded roster in years. The rumor mill is hot with legendary names because nobody seems to be out of reach for WWE under HHH. Last night in Pittsburgh, WWE had major heat because the fans in attendance were pissed off. Judging by the IWC, the viewers at home were pissed, too. Judging by Lance Storm, Mick Foley, and Jim Ross, there was probably a good percentage of the WWE locker room that was pissed. I'm certain Randy Orton and John Cena were pissed when a crowd shat all over their performance as they risked their physical well being for their pleasure.
The reaction all over cSs' frontpage today and, indeed, throughout the IWC is one of revulsion. Revulsion that our hero ate a clean loss to Bray Wyatt and revulsion that Rey Mysterio was no.30 in the rumble instead of the Goat. Triple H, who idolizes the old NWA, might see this as a victory for his Authority, of the validation of the fans' investment, and proof that the new kayfabe has made marks of everybody. Vince McMahon, like PT Barnum before him, believes there is no such thing as bad publicity.
I don't know where and when WWE will reach a tipping point where fans tune out instead of cheering harder. However, it's instructive to look back at the NWA, where the crowd's hero would chase for years. Could this be a return to long form? Or is just a burial of a too small "good little hand" with mediocre mic skills in favor of the conquering (pseudo-) movie star come home?
The point is that I don't know, Dave Meltzer doesn't know, and nobody really knows. We're all getting worked, or maybe not. Maybe it's still real to you. I think the response of the Universe has been stunning and the fallout has been fun. I'm on the edge of my seat to see what unfolds on Raw tonight. That's the beauty of the new kayfabe.
My coffee's done and there's work to do. See you tonight, or tomorrow in Geno Mrosko's reaction thread.