Willing Suspension of Disbelief
Surely, you've heard the phrase before. Roughly defined, it means that "an author’s work does not have to be realistic, only believable and internally consistent."
Obviously, getting the audience to willingly suspend their disbelief is important for any work of fiction. In professional wrestling, it is doubly important. Not only are the stories being played out fictional, but the "sport" itself has scripted results. In order to get enjoyment out of it, you need to be willing to look past these factors...
"Suspend your disbelief," if you will.
On Friday (Mar. 8), Mr. Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler has been voted by The WWE Universe to face World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
And there is only one scenario for this matchup which will not break my willing suspension of disbelief.
For a little background
It is my opinion that the main goal of any professional wrestler should be, at all times, to win championship gold. Everything he does, as it relates to the sport, should be an attempt to better position himself to win said championship gold. Furthermore, once he has that championship gold, he should be doing everything in his power to keep it.
Every time Ziggler steps into the ring, he carries with him a briefcase that guarantees him a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Realistically, it is the #2 championship in the company, and in kayfabe terms, it is on par with #1.
For some clarification
On Friday night, Ziggler will find himself in the same ring with the champion and a referee, who are both required for the cash in to take place. This is the perfect set up. Having a non-title match with the champ, for whom you hold a MitB contract, is about as close as it gets to the literal stars aligning for that MitB holder.
The big question has a painfully obvious answer
So, why, under this circumstance, would Dolph Ziggler even put forth minimal effort in this non-championship match?
Realistically, he would not.
It is not believable to me, nor should it be to you, that he even engages Del Rio momentarily in this match.
Is your intelligence as a fan being called into question?
Dolph is always accompanied by his girlfriend, AJ, and her best friend, Big E Langston. Alberto only has his personal ring announcer and mejor amigo, Ricardo Rodriguez. With a three on two numbers advantage, this match should not even be allowed to begin.
Instead, using said numbers advantage, Ziggler should be doing everything in his power to incapacitate Alberto Del Rio.
Del Rio should not even be allowed to set foot inside the ring. A non-title match is irrelevant, so the champ should be beat down at the earliest possible moment.
Bring weapons. Take out Rodriguez - handcuff or duct tape him to the rail. These implements can be commonly found underneath the ring itself, right next to Triple H's sledge hammer, for crying out loud!
Then, take turns hitting finishers on Del Rio and clubbing the ever loving crap out of him with the briefcase until he is comatose. Then, cash in while Big E and AJ guard the entrance ramp (in case anyone else in the back feels like rushing to help out the champ) and win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Obviously, there are kayfabe reasons that this will not be allowed to happen.
Del Rio is working a WrestleMania angle with Jack Swagger and this would definitely screw that up. But, all too often we simply "kayfabe away" any application of real world logic such as this.
For instance, a wrestler calling the cops because another wrestler attacked him outside of a sanctioned match would fit with real world logic (that's a textbook case of assault), but there is no precedent for that in pro wrestling. It would go against the "internal consistency", so it doesn't happen, and we can accept that.
But here, this course of action would be perfectly acceptable according to the "internal consistency" set forth by WWE precedent. It may be against the rules, in that Ziggler would be disqualified from the non-title match (if it is even allowed to begin) but is not actually "against the rules," in that Dolph would still be the champion after cashing in on an incapacitated Del Rio.
So this Friday (well, actually tonight, when SmackDown is taped) when Ziggler and Del Rio square off and none of these things occur -- yes, yes you should take it as an offense to your intelligence as a fan.
Your willing suspension of disbelief should be shattered, and you should feel insulted.
Disclaimer: This article is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of the CSS Senior Editors or Staff.