JC's Take: WWE Week in Review 12/27-1/2
Hey everyone, welcome back. I want to apologize for the lack of updates last week. It's been a pretty hectic week at work with the holidays keeping us busy. But I'll be back with regular updates today, starting with my review of everything from this past week's action in the WWE.
-Just when you thought the Nexus was dead and gone, they're back. But with a change at the top. C.M. Punk appears to be the new leader of the group, replacing Wade Barrett. First let me say that I loved the start of the C.M. Punk/John Cena program on RAW. Their promo exchange was great. I loved Punk calling out Cena for not leaving like he said he would after being fired by Barrett. I also loved Punk berating Cena for continuing to attack Wade Barrett after thier match, and for making fun of Vickie Guerrero the previous week. If this was the real world, Punk would be getting cheered. But since John Cena is infallable, he's the good guy. Later in the night Cena waited for Punk in the ring, but Nexus came out minus Wade Barrett. David Otunga said Nexus was under new leadership, and offered a truce. Cena rejected, which lead to a Nexus beatdown. Punk came out and gave Cena the GTS, then sat in a chair in the ring. He put on the Nexus armband and gave the other Nexus members his straight edge fist raise. Nexus returned it. So this is there attempt to try and resurrect the Nexus. I like it, but I again I'll wait to see it play out. Punk is such a great worker on the mic that he should be able to get heat back on the group. It seems kind of redundant with the group going after Cena again, but at least there is a change at the top. Sooner or later, however, Cena will have to get away from this Nexus feud, as will the Nexus. But Punk is such a great worker that he should be able to make this feud work for at least a month, probably longer. It'd be interesting to see if they could stretch this feud out til Wrestlemania, but I doubt that happens.
-Of course, with C.M. Punk as the new leader of Nexus, this begs the question: What happens with Wade Barrett? At this point, your guess is as good as mine. Lets take a look at the possibilities:
1. Wade Barrett moves over to Smackdown. I think this may be the best and most logical choice. This would give Barrett a fresh start, and a chance to prove he can do things on his own. Let him show the WWE Universe (I can't believe I just typed that) that he doesn't need the Nexus to succeed. I think the best way to do this is to have Barrett win the Royal Rumble, then deciding to face Edge, or whoever the World Champon is, at Survivor Series. Of course that is me booking, not the WWE. Smackdown is lacking top starts and Barrett would be a good boost to the heel side of things. Or, Barrett could move over to Smackdown to start a program with the Undertaker. Either one of those two options would work and continue to help Barrett climb the ranks in the WWE.
2. Have Barrett come back as a member of Nexus. I wouldn't do this, but if the WWE can't decide what to do with him, this may be where they start. More than likely Barrett would have to do some kind of begging to comeback, which would make him look weak in the minds of fans. Or you could have Barrett comeback, then win the Rumble, then decide to leave the group and head over to Smackdown. Maybe Barrett tries to create a rift in Nexus and bring some of them over with him. Or Barrett can play the David Otunga role, and try to create a rift from within and keep the program on RAW, leading to a Punk lead Nexus vs a Barrett lead Nexus at Wrestlemania. Who would be the face in that program is beyond me.
3. This is probably the least likely scenario, but Barrett could return to HELP John Cena battle the newly-lead Nexus. Barrett could say that he has a new found respect for John Cena, and he wants to help put an end to what he created. You can play up this respect angle as much as you want, but how do you get beyond all the beatdowns and the humiliation Barrett put Cena through? That is why this is the least likely scenario.
-So the WWE decided to not wait til the Royal Rumble, and give us The Miz vs John Morrison tonight on RAW. It will also open the show tonight, and it is going to be a Falls Count Anywhere Match. OK, what is the point of the stipulation? If you are going to do this match on RAW, why give away a stipulation match? The reason stipulations are added to matches is because there is a point for it in the feud. Usually there are the third, or sometimes second match in the feud. But having it in the first match of the feud just shows how much the WWE has water-downed gimmick matches, as will be evident in my Smackdown thoughts. People will watch RAW no matter what, so why add the Falls Count Anywhere gimmick? And what if there is a rematch at the Rumble? Why would people care if it is just a one-on-one match? Now you almost have to add a gimmick to that match to give it any meaning. I think the match will be good regardless because the two have great chemistry in the ring, but just start with the one-on-one, then build from there.
-And on Smackdown, we have two more gimmick matches. Edge takes on Kane in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Title, and Rey Mysterio takes on Alberto del Rio in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match. I can live with the two out of three falls match for Mysterio and del Rio. They've had enough one-on-one battles, so add something to their match. It would have been better if it was a Number 1 Contender Match, but at least it is something different. As far as Edge/Kane Last Man Standing: I don't like it. Just another way to water down gimmick matches. I feel as if the only reason a gimmick was added to this match is because the WWE knows that Edge and Kane can't have a quality singles match. A gimmick match nowadays means almost nothing in the WWE. They're thrown around more than shoes at a Rex Ryan house party, whoops. (GO COLTS BTW!!!)
-WWE TV once again had good matches this week. Randy Orton and Sheamus had a good one-on-one match on RAW, and Kane & Alberto del Rio vs Edge & Rey Mysterio on Smackdown was also good. But the match of the week has to go to the Triple Threat Intercontinental Title Match that closed out Smackdown. IC Champ Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, and Jack Swagger all put on solid performances. And it was nice to see this one get the main event slot on the show. Everyone involved brought their A game, and it added some importance to a secondary title. All three of these men showed they are capable of putting on a main event level performance in the ring. Dolph Ziggler seems to be getting the biggest push out of all three, and he deserves it. With Vickie Guerrero at his side, he instantly draws heat. Ziggler may be in line for a big push in 2011. The WWE needs to elevate talent to the main event level. They've already started with John Morrison, and Dolph Ziggler appears to be next in line.
Other WWE News & Notes
-There was so more Brock Lesnar news thrown around this week. At one point there was a report saying Lesnar had no desire to fight again in UFC, and he was itching to get out and accept a Wrestlemania pay day. Turns out that report was blown way out of proportion. Then UFC head man Lorenzo Fertitta basically came out and said that nothing is going to happen while Lesnar is under contract. The fact that there are still rumors to it means that there probably is still some talking going on. But at this point, I'd but a percentage of about 20% that Lesnar does appear at Wrestlemania. If something was already set in stone, we would have heard about it by now. It would have been cool seeing Brock back on WWE TV. I'm sure he would have been booed by wrestling fans, as they see him as someone who quit on the business and left fans out in the cold. But I'd say right now Lesnar isn't at Wrestlemania.
-There was an injury scare with John Cena this past weekend. He apparently took a bad bump in a steel cage match with Wade Barrett at a house show. Initially, people feared the worst. Cena couldn't put any pressure on his leg leaving the ring. Now, it appears that it was nothing more than a hip pointer, and he should be good to go. That's good news for the WWE, but bad news for those who have grown to despide his TV character. The WWE would have been in serious trouble if they lost their cash cow, especially this close to Wrestlemania. As much as we hate to admit it, Cena is money, money, money to the people in the Stamford offices. Everything: TV ratings, merchandice sales, and PPV buys, would have been down with Cena gone. So it's good news for the WWE. But that means we just continue to get more of SuperCena shoved down our throats.
-Awesome Kong has apparently signed a contract with the WWE. For those of you who don't know what she looks like, just google her. She's a very large African American woman who worked for TNA a couple years. She is a great wrestler in the ring, and had some outstanding matches with Gail Kim in TNA. Hopefully the WWE uses her the right way, and just doesn't make fun of her for her looks. Could this be a sign that the WWE is putting interest back into women's wrestling? I doubt it, but we should get some more quality wrestling out of it. My best guess is that she is brought in as some type of bodyguard for Laycool to combat Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Knowing the WWE, however, she will be brought in as another love interest for Santino.
-With so much attention being given to the IC Title on Smackdown, it'd be nice to see the same done to the United States Title on RAW. I don't mind the whole Daniel Bryan/Bellas angle, but it'd be nice to give him an actual opponent as well. They teased William Regal two weeks ago, and Tyson Kidd this past week. But then Kidd lost to Mark Henry clean, and then his bodyguard Dies, I mean Jackson Andrews, got taken out by Henry as well. With Ted DiBiase Jr. either in the doghouse or just having no direction with his character, there is a lack of dedication to the mid-card department on RAW. If they want to rebuild Nexus, how about giving Justin Gabriel a shot at the US Title? it would just be nice to see the RAW mid-card as well developed as the Smackdown one.
-The WWE should start to increase the build to the Royal Rumble more this week. There has been barely any mention of it on TV the last two weeks. Not that there is a problem with that. It's nice to have so much time in between PPVs that you don't have to worry about building the next one right away. But with the Rumble less than a month away, it should be time for more wrestlers to be talking about it on TV. And if they do decide to go with Miz/Morrison, and lets say Edge/Alberto del Rio as the Title matches, it should mean that the Rumble will have as much star power as ever. Right now I'd unfortunately have to say the favorite is John Cena. But I'd much rather have someone else who could use the boost win the match. As I said earlier, I would love to see Wade Barrett win it, but that may be wishful thinking.
That's all for this week. Instead of a Week 17 Review tomorrow, I think I may end up looking at the head coaching vacancies in the NFL, and who my pick is to take over the respective openings.
Until next time,