Cena! Ryback! HEEL TURN! Why Not? WWE Championship!
Coming out of WrestleMania 29, the major question surrounding WWE was, "Who would be joining the championship picture with John Cena?" While the roster is certainly bloated, the vast majority have been handicapped by the promotion's mishandling of the midcard. And undercard. And basically every talent not named John Cena.
And even it's mishandling of John Cena.
So what unlucky victim would be fed to the awesome might of "The Doctor of Thuganomics?" Who would suffer the wrath of the "Face of the Franchise?" Which wrestler would try -- and eventually fail -- to remove the strap from the WWE Champion?
As we found out as Monday Night Raw faded to black last week (April 8), it would be none other than the one and only Ryback.
After a brief feint with Mark Henry engaging in some post match beat down, it was "Mister Feed Me More" who would raise the WWE Championship in the end. Yes, one of the few wrestlers who have finally gotten over as a face has decided to do what the vast majority of fans want.
Take down John Cena.
This could be a beautiful story if it wasn't so sad. The hungry rookie -- pun intended -- going toe-to-toe with the man who reigns supreme over the pro wrestling landscape. A young hero looking to become much more by knocking off the legend himself.
The obvious problem, though, is this is not how the story will be set up, because that would require Cena to play the heel.
And that will never happen.
I've heard people ask if John Cena would even make a good heel, and it's a legitimate question. But I believe Cena's opening promo was a heel promo, and an amazing one at that. The way he played off the crowd's boos was utterly brilliant. The man knows how to play a crowd, and he is fully aware of his place in the eyes of the fans. When he tries to get cheers, he almost always struggles, unless he is in the markiest of crowds.
But last Monday, with the post-WrestleMania smarks out in full force, Cena welcomed -- and relished in -- the boos.
And I loved every second of it.
That is the John Cena i want to see. That is the wrestler I want to be champion. A smug jackass who does things his way, who never gives up and always keeps winning. Someone who is booed not because he draws some cheap heat from insulting the local sports team, but because his actions draw the ire of fans. He could dump the childish shtick that makes him so hard to watch, and he could stop trying to beg for cheers.
I stand by this statement; John Cena could be one of the greatest heels in the history of the business.
And it will never happen for one simple reason; the heel has to lose in the end.
Pro wrestling is modern day mythology. There is an ebb and flow that has to occur for it to be effective. The heel comes in, wrecks [explicit], does battle, and finally loses. If he doesn't, then it becomes boring.
There is a reason Mary Poppins had to leave the Banks household after the father realized his mistakes. She no longer served her purpose, so she left to go to a new
I'm not necessarily saying I want Ryback to go over and win the strap. In fact, I could probably pick half a dozen other wrestlers I would much rather see bring Cena down.
But I am saying Cena should go down.
The meandering at the top of the card helps no one. There's no story that can be successfully derived from it. It keeps talent from reaching their full potential. And, most of all, it's just boring to see the same man win over and over. We know this feud will end with Ryback eating the pinfall and falling down into midcard hell.
Then we'll be right back where we started, wondering who else will fall to the giant.
Maybe I'm wrong, though. Perhaps, WWE will mix things up. We could see a well-thought-out angle involving a rookie -- one who was part of Nexus, although not mentioned in kayfabe -- tired of the old guard's dominance. Even if Cena stays a "good guy," there is potential for this to work.
But then we'll get a dick joke from the champ, Ryback insulting the Carolina Hurricanes, and we'll get to deal with the same old [explicit] for another week in a row.
The Shield! Hell No! Legends! Comedy! Tragedy! War! Tag Team Championship!
When the hell did Team Hell No stop being a comedy act and became a legitimate focus of the show?
Since first going into anger management class with Dr. Shelby, Kane & Daniel Bryan were a joke. The entire premise was an Odd Couple adaption with more oil and fire. It was brilliantly entertaining, of course, and was perhaps my favorite angle of 2012. The fact that they brought the Tag Team Championship into prominence was a much welcome improvement.
But these guys kept winning. And winning. And winning. They were supposed to split up and put someone else over, yet it seemed like that would never happen.
The assumption has always been it would be The Prime Time Players or Team Rhodes Scholars to go over and win the titles. Then PTP became a team of jobbers, and Rhodes Scholars "split up" and can't even get on the WrestleMania pre-show. The angle lent itself perfectly to putting over a heel team, yet no one seemed able to step up to the challenge.
Then comes The Shield cha-cha-ing onto the scene, and things seemed to fall into place.
Even when Hell No and The Shield faced off at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (Dec. 16, 2012), it was more about finding available dance partners. The NXT Trio needed to go over and Hell No could afford the loss. WWE put Ryback into the picture, and easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Now, though, things are very, very different.
Last week, Team Hell No made the save against The Shield when they tried to attack The Undertaker. Then on Friday's SmackDown (April 12), they rushed to the ring to protect Triple H. Not only does this set up a real feud with The Shield, but the team is given credibility by standing with 'Taker and Trips.
And I know it's been said before, but how beautiful was it to see Bryan next to two WWE legends? That man is going to be a star, and those in the back know it.
So the angle is finally revived. It looks like Team Hell No will drop the belts sooner rather than later. Not to a set of jobbers or a de-pushed group, but to a faction WWE has proven it wants to succeed.
The Shield will be your NEW Tag Team Champions.
And I am in love with that idea.
One! Last! Thing!
CM Punk will finally speak after losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. What will he say? Who knows! Who will he call out? I have no idea! Will it be awesome?
You better believe it!
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT at 8 p.m. ET!