I don’t want to be one of those guys. You all know what I’m talking about. Those Internet guys. The guys who complain and complain and complain about every single angle going on in pro wrestling today. The ones who tweet, post, and blog about what’s wrong with the business but offer no new or substantive ideas on how it could someday get better—mostly because they’ll never be satisfied anyway. The ones who say there hasn’t been a good Monday Night Raw since 1997. But somehow, y’know, they’re still fans. And hey, at the end of the day, I really don’t think I am one of those guys. But I have to admit that right here, right now, I do agree with them about one thing: The “big match” heading into TLC doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. Not much at all. Note that I am choosing my words carefully here because PWI Publisher Stu Saks tends frown upon the kind of coarse language that I’d rather use to describe the big Cena/Orton “showdown.”
just tough, that’s all. It’s tough to get excited about this when it feels like all we’re being offered is a warmed up batch of leftovers
from the back of pro wrestling’s gigantic, stainless steel LG refrigerator. Many,
many voices on the 'net have sharply (and correctly) criticized the current incarnation
of the Cena/Orton feud, largely because we’ve
already seen it. More than once. And why would this particular showdown—in
which things have been just thrown together for the sake of choosing the “new”
face of WWE—be more personal than the other
ones? Like the time in 2007 that Orton shackled Cena to the ring while he
punted Cena’s dad in the head…I mean that’s
personal, folks. Or how about when Orton’s 2010 win over Wade Barrett
resulted in Cena’s brief exile from WWE? Those were some high stakes, right? The
point here is that we’ve seen these guys before. Sure, they can work a match, but it seems like WWE is just putting some lipstick on the same old cash cows.
the title unification thing? Again, we’ve been down this road before. Is the
title unification for keepsies this time or is this just another story that’ll
be undone in a few weeks or a few months when the story gets stale? I think my
friend and fellow PWI contributor Kevin McElvaney captured the cynicism of a
lot of frustrated fans when he jokingly told me that the TLC main event should
be re-christened as the “No, It's Only Going to Be One Belt,
For Real This Time!” match.
a recent message to their text subscribers, WWE kept up their full-court press
for the forthcoming showdown, asking fans if TLC’s Cena/Orton main event is “the
biggest match in WWE history.” It was a rhetorical question, though, because it
wasn’t attached to any particular poll. But really … Bigger than Hogan and Andre?
Bigger than Michaels and Austin? Bigger than Rock and Cena? Bigger than Sammartino and Morales? It was the
aforementioned text that got me thinking: Is there any other sport or form of
entertainment that consistently hypes its product to a level that makes it
almost impossible to deliver at the end of the day? I think the potential is usually there, but most
comparable enterprises resist the temptation to do so just in case they don’t
deliver … so that they don’t hurt their overall product in the end.
anyone know that the Rams and Titans would put on one of the best championship
games ever before the kickoff for Super Bowl XXXIV was in the air?
Nah. Can anyone say that a World Series will have a nail-biter ending in Game 7
before the first pitch? Nope. But can we say that Sunday’s champion vs.
champion match at TLC is the most important contest in WWE history? In this
case, logic is absolutely turned on its head by the hype machine because WWE suggests it could very well be the best ever.
this could all be an elaborate set-up for a much larger and more exciting story
that naysayers like me are too shortsighted to imagine. But with a healthy mix of recycled
ideas and a shaky build for Orton as convincing and formidable opposition to
Cena’s veritable freight train of momentum, it’s really hard to get excited
about Sunday's main event.
PWI Contributing Writer