Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WWE Smackdown: Vince Admires Jerks

A couple quick things about last night's Smackdown....

1. This John Cena-Miz feud is all wrong for multiple reasons.  The most glaring thing I took away from this is that Cena legitimately doesn't think The Miz is worthy of his attention at WrestleMania.  While that may sorta be true, Jeezus H. Christ, John!  Ya don't go saying that on national television.  During their face-to-face promo, Miz accused Cena of having too much backstage pull, to which Cena replied, "If I were actually pulling the strings, there's no way I'd be standing here talking to you, I'd be face to face with The Undertaker."  Wow, way to marginalize a guy who's worked really hard over the years to progress as a viable star.  Is The Miz a main event guy?  No, not right now.  But in the past year he's improved immensely and gotten himself way over as a dirtbag, chickenshit heel.  Cena should show him a little more consideration than that.  A lot more consideration, really.  And even if Cena didn't write that line, he's certainly got enough clout to get it nixed from the script, as it makes both The Miz and this entire feud look like a big fat waste of time.

"Wait, I gotta fight THIS loser??"

Not to mention, The Miz is entirely correct when he points out that a few years ago Cena gave The Rock a vatload of shit for being a part-timer who used wrestling as a springboard to Hollywood before opportunistically returning for a big WrestleMania spot, while Cena was there busting his ass every night.  And now the shoe's on the other foot - Cena is more or less exactly where The Rock was at the beginning of his film career, while Miz is a hardworking full-timer who can't get a top match.  Just like in 2012, WWE is trying to persuade us to cheer the wrong guy.  Why in the world would anyone root for Cena in this situation?  He's making himself out to be a total hypocrite while also undressing Miz as a worthy opponent.  Just another example of WWE not understanding what makes a sympathetic babyface (which by the way is probably the biggest reason no full-timer on the main roster is a draw anymore).

This feud and match would be bad enough just with all that, but they're also adding Nikki Bella and Maryse to the match, when there have been exactly ZERO mixed tag matches that were really any good (The best one I can think of was Sable & Edge vs. Marc Mero & Jackie at SummerSlam '98).  Nikki by the way still hasn't really resolved her feud with Natalya, being that their only two televised matches ended in a draw and a Nikki loss.  But now Nikki's in a prominent WrestleMania role while Nattie will be where, in a pre-show six-woman tag?  "Wins and losses come and go," I guess, as Nikki would say.

2. So lemme get this straight - Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble but gave up his Title shot out of apparent loyalty to Bray Wyatt.  Okay, historical precedent would say that the Rumble runner-up now gets the automatic Title shot, but with a split roster I guess that's out the window now (Plus, who wants to see Roman Reigns get ANOTHER WrestleMania Title match)?  Fine.  So we have a battle royal to determine a new challenger, which comes down to a botched ending where AJ Styles and Luke Harper are supposed to hit the floor at the same time, necessitating a singles match.  Harper clearly actually won the battle royal, but whatever, let's do the one-on-one match.  AJ beats Harper clean to become the #1 contender, but then at the end of the show Orton announces he wants the match with Wyatt after all.  Umm, no Randy.  You gave up your Title shot.  Piss off.  You don't get to just change your mind after someone else has already earned it.

Because nothing says "HERO" like a nice graveyard desecration.

So we have yet another supposed babyface who isn't worthy of being cheered - a wishy-washy, untrustworthy dick who pledged undying allegiance to his friend Bray and then set fire to his sister's grave.  That's not at all admirable.  Like, in any way.  Has Vince McMahon never actually met a virtuous human being in real life?  Cuz this isn't how they act.  Meanwhile AJ Styles, another supposed heel, is about to get screwed out of his title shot because of Orton's indecisiveness.  Either that or they have a runoff match next week to finally determine the #1 guy, which if you ask me is a waste of a potentially incredible first-time match that should be saved for a PPV.  I assume if that match happens Shane will somehow cost AJ the match so they can set up that debacle at 'Mania.  And again, who are we rooting for in that scenario?  The heel got fucked over by his boss.  On RAW Seth Rollins (a top babyface) got fucked over by his boss and we're supposed to rally behind him.  Can we get even a modicum of consistency?

Lately WrestleMania season feels like Vince has just come back from a nine-month absence with a ready-made 'Mania lineup, and any current angles and feuds just need to be dropped so they can shoehorn all the wrestlers into place for the big PPV.  There's almost nothing organic about any of these 'Mania matches.  They exist because Vince wants them to.  Rollins vs. Triple H is literally the only big match with a real backstory.  I miss the days when there was a logical buildup to WrestleMania and it was about the culmination of a year's worth of feuds and angles, or the emergence of new stars.  Instead it's become a standalone show where wrestlers are plugged in wherever they sorta fit, after the matches with the biggest possible appeal to the casual viewer are sorted out months in advance.  What a fuckin' bummer....

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