Monday, January 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Pushes

Did you ever look at two similar things and wonder how they could be so different? That's what I thought of when I was watching RAW this past Monday. Of course, this is the WWE we are talking about. The fact that they could do one thing right and another thing completely wrong shouldn't come as a surprise to us. As wrestling fans, we should be used to this by now. But this past week's RAW had two different examples of what is good and what is bad with the WWE today.

Lets start with the good first. The good would be the face turn of Alberto del Rio. For once, the WWE has done a good job of turning someone face. Maybe it is just because Alberto del Rio has the type of move set in the ring that works as a face. It also helps that Del Rio has Ricardo to work with and gain some fan support from when he gets picked on by a guy like Big Show. I've enjoyed everything about Alberto del Rio's face turn so far. I think he will work well as a face, so long as the WWE doesn't screw him up. We've seen the WWE turn someone face and screw it up by turning said wrestler into someone who starts making corny and lame jokes. But the WWE hasn't done that with Del Rio, yet.

Del Rio is doing what Sheamus did when he first turned face. Del Rio isn't backing down from a fight. Del Rio fought Big Show on Smackdown and put on a great performance. The WWE did a good job of building him up by letting him recover from two KO punches in the Last Man Standing Match. I liked Del Rio's opening segment on RAW with Show. Del Rio didn't back down from him. That is how you build up a strong face. Don't let him back down from anyone and don't make him say stupid things while doing it. Del Rio needs to maintain this persona throughout his face run. It will be the only way he can gain long term success as one. The good thing for Del Rio is that he doesn't have to change his character much. Del Rio's aggressive style translates well. When you look at the face side of the WWE, there isn't much depth there. There's John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. That's it when you consider the fact that Randy Orton will likely be turning heel soon. Del Rio could easily fit in as a top face, so long as the WWE keeps him as is.

So while the WWE is doing a good job of making a new star in Alberto del Rio, they are doing a terrible job of doing that with Dolph Ziggler. When Dolph Ziggler won the Smackdown MITB Briefcase, it looked like he was on his way to a main event push. Ziggler struggled a bit immediately after winning the briefcase. But it looked like that was changing at the end of 2012. Ziggler was the sole survivor in his Survivor Series match and then he beat John Cena at TLC. Ziggler ended the last PPV of 2012 standing tall. A good sign for the start of 2013, right?

Wrong. During the first two RAWs of 2013, Dolph Ziggler lost two separate matches to John Cena. One regular match, and one in a steel cage. That completely washes away anything good that Dolph Ziggler did to end 2012. By now, that win is already out of everyone's memory. People are now thinking about how Dolph Ziggler threw everything at John Cena and still couldn't get the job done. Some will argue that "It was a good match, who cares who won." Well, there are a lot of people that do care. No one is going to take Dolph Ziggler seriously as a main eventer if he doesn't win a big match every once and a while. Ziggler won a PPV match, but lost the next two. It isn't even a wash, it is like that win doesn't even exist anymore.

And not only did Dolph lose, but the way's that he lost were even worse. Ziggler pretty much through every big move that he had at Cena and couldn't get the job done. Cena always kicked out. But yet Cena hits one Attitude Adjustment and the match is over. We are suppose to believe that Dolph is coming out of this looking stronger than he did before? I'm sorry, but I call BS on that. If Ziggler had at least kicked out of one AA than I may not be complaining as much. But Ziggler eats one AA and SUPER CENA gets his "much needed" win. Add to the fact that Cena pretty much no sells everything after the match and Dolph just looks weak when it is all set and done.

There's no doubt that Dolph Ziggler is going to be a future star in the WWE. But he should already be at that point by now. Instead, the WWE is dragging their feet with Dolph. While I still have faith in Dolph, the WWE is taking a big risk in the way they are booking him. Sure the Internet marks will continue to love him, but will he appeal to the every day normal wrestling fan? Why would they take him seriously after continuous losses to the likes of John Cena and Sheamus. Whenever Dolph cashes in his MITB contract, the WWE will have to book him as a strong Champion during his reign. If that doesn't happen, then Dolph may be doomed to fail from the start. And that would be a damn shame considering how great he has been in the ring and how much he has improved since his start in the company.

You could say the same thing about Miz's face turn. It has been botched so badly that they now have to resort to having Ric Flair give him the Figure Four leg lock to use. Miz should have been turned face about a year ago. But the WWE again took their time with deciding what to do with him. Now Miz just comes off as a terrible face that uses even worse lines than Sheamus and John Cena.

I continue to scratch my head when I look at the WWE. They can do something so well like they have with Alberto del Rio. But then they can do something so wrong like they have with Dolph Ziggler and Miz. It is part of the problem the WWE continues to have with their booking. The WWE is hoping that one big Dolph Ziggler cash in will change his career in the eyes of the fans. But if Ziggler isn't given a strong push once he wins the World Title, fans won't latch on and believe in him as a true main eventer. It is a risk the WWE is now forced to take. If it back fires, the WWE has no one to blame but themselves.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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