In less than 48 hours, World Wrestling Entertainment, the company I know and love has done the unthinkable and pulled off one hell of a massive swerve.
The WWE had been in a lull of late. Coming off the back of another hot Wrestlemania, it’s the time when the company tends to struggle. How do you top the grandest stage of them all? You bring the smaller stage up to the big time.
The idea was simple…a superstar with a contract coming up, a big match against the current golden (or purple) boy of the business topping off a night where there were more screams of “Holy Shit!” than there were chants of “Cena Sucks!”, and the swing of either the WWE Championship or a firing holding up the main event. CM Punk was the contract less one, John Cena on the cusp of being ‘fired’. Punk heated up the whole thing with a beautifully crafted piece of work where he laid into everyone from Vince McMahon, his ‘idiot daughter Steph, and his ‘doofus’ son-in-law Triple H, to Cena, Hogan, Dwayne Johnson and anyone else that popped into his drug-free mind.
What resulted was a buzz in the WWE that I had not felt for a very long time. A sense of realism not often seen on Raw and Smackdown. A real feeling of wonder as to where things may go next…and then comes Money In The Bank!
The Superstars themselves must hate when MITB rolls around. Originally a Wrestlemania attraction, this now-annual ladder-fest has earned it’s way up the rungs (sorry!) to it’s own Pay-Per-View (unless you are in England and you got this one for free”). Bodies inevitably go through proverbial hell from the moment they step in until the moment they are wheeled, staggered, carried and rolled out of the arena. Big falls, insane crash and burns and the odd cocked up move make for an unpredictable set of moments where you don’t know whether to laugh, scream or go wild. Even Sin Cara turned to drugs to earn himself a 30-day ban to escape too much punishment by the steel!
This year’s two MITB matches were nothing short of absolutely breathtaking and one of the outcomes in particular was shocking. Daniel Bryan winning the Smackdown match was a real move I didn’t see coming.
But all eyes were on the main event…and CM Punk, in his hometown, threatening to leave the company with the title belt all felt a little too much like 1997 all over again. Chicago pumped wildly in Punk’s favour and the typical PPV Cena-baiting was well received. Which way would the match go? Would Punk win and leave with the title? Would Cena get fired? Would Punk win, but someone cash in the MITB and keep the title in the WWE’s hands? The simple answer was…NO!
Vince paid homage to the Montreal Screwjob in fine style, coming to the ring and calling for the bell in the middle of Cena’s locked-in STF on Punk…but Cena stopped all that…and walked straight into a GTS for the Punk victory. Chicago’s wind picked up and was threatened to be quelled when Vince forced Alberto Del Rio to cash in…but before he could, Punk laid him out and legged it from the arena with the WWE title belt in tow…which he then went and put in his fridge…
So to Raw…Cena had to get fired and Vince had to address Punk disappearing with his pride and joy…
…naturally we had a tournament to crown the new champion…which would be pointless if there was no belt to compete for! And as the final was set to get underway, Vince came out and threatened to fire John Cena. But would he go ahead with it? Surely not…but how would the WWE get around having a firing stipulation this time? The answer came in the form of Triple H…yes…the bosses’ son-in-law wrecked the Cena-haters party in brilliant fashion by announcing that the board has put a vote of No-Confidence in Vince and were forcing him out of the company.
What really pushed the point home though is that deep down, we all know that the company is indeed heading that way. Vince is no doubt grooming Triple H to take over the reigns and the tears in the Chairman’s eyes could well have been the real thing.
So what happens now? Will we see Vince rising up against Triple H and forming his own band of merry men to bring about an Invasion-esque storyline? Will the company actually be phased into Triple H’s hands full time? When will CM Punk return?
Who knows what will happen, but the buzz around is that the WWE is going from strength to strength with the best PPV I have ever seen and an amazing Raw to back it up…I am certainly getting excited and can’t wait for the next instalment of the saga that just keeps on rolling!
WWE is BACK and better than ever (wait…that sounds a bit like Eric Bischoff!)