A Missed Opportunity for Shawn Michaels and WWE

Lewis HennigCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2009

For the past few weeks, RAW has been the victim of one of the weakest storylines in recent history. The Shawn Michaels storyline in which he becomes JBL's puppet has had most WWE fans moaning over the absurdity.

First of all Shawn Michaels being in the poorhouse is really far-fetched, even with the U.S. economy in the shape it is right now.

If he really wanted to, he could sign a pair of his chaps and sell them for enough money to feed his family for a week, if not a month.

Maybe Shawn is just not accustomed to a lower-tier class of lifestyle and can't adapt to driving his Dodge Charger to work instead of his Mercedes.

Backed with the point he had asked JBL for money instead of his longtime friend and ally Triple H. Why? Because it would loom over him.

Yeah I guess owing your friend money isn't as bad as betraying your friend, your fans and even yourself. Besides wasn't JBL pummeling him in the backstage area just a few months back? Why in the world would he ask him for money?

It would seem WWE is trying to make use of the failing economy to push a storyline, one in which JBL's character is a natural fit.

Now I am not a fan of Shawn Michaels the person, but the man can wrestle and can act. However there are several things working against this storyline that make it uninteresting.

  1. JBL is terrible in the ring, and has all the physique of a bean bag chair. He does have great mic skills, but his characters focus is too narrow. With JBL it's all about the economy and money. It's not a bad premise, but if that is the only angle a character can work, it gets old quick.
  2. As I said, the angle just has many plot holes and seems silly to boot. Better writing could have cleared up this mess.
  3. It's more of the same from Shawn Michaels in terms of acting. Now like I said he can act, but we've seen pretty much the same look on his face since he retired Ric at last year's Wrestlemania. He was sad then as he put away the 16-time world champ, he was sad when he came out to announce his retirement in front of Y2J, and he had the same look of sadness on his face when he first announced he sold out to JBL. Shawn, we all know you can be sad, but we are sick of it.

When I watched RAW last Monday night I was very happy to see Orton and Jericho in the ring trying to protest JBL's win last week which put him in the title match at Royal Rumble.

The points both Jericho and Orton were making were clearly points that the fans hoped would sway Stephanie's decision as they cheered them on. However to rain on the parade, JBL showed up with HBK in tow.

At this point, my interest in the show was fading, and quickly, of course JBL started talking and my interest had nearly hit rock bottom.

However, Orton and Jericho turned the focus away from Bradshaw and instead directed their attention on Shawn. They called him a sell-out, they questioned his integrity and above all else Jericho noted that everything he had said about HBK before was true.

Now my attention was back in the game. It looked like we were going to see HBK turn heel on us all. Instead he utters something about how happy he is that he kept Jericho and Orton from being in the world title picture.

Bad move. The fans were clearly not behind this at all, as the audience's confused laughs and boos illustrated.

The problem is the fans would have much rather seen anyone else in that Fatal-Four-Way win besides JBL. It set up a very uninteresting PPV match-up for the World title.

Suddenly, Stephanie appeared on the Titantron and I was sure she would be issuing a rematch of some sort to make up for the lame ending of last week's main event. This was not the case, though she did announce that both Orton and Jericho would be in the Rumble.

Randy Orton and Chris Jericho argued that they should be in the main event, and in regards to HBK, he should not be in the Rumble at all. Unfortunately, WWE made another bad decision by having JBL agree to that demand.

We later found out he would have HBK in his corner to ensure he won at the Royal Rumble and went to Wrestlemania. He told Shawn in a backstage segment that he hired Shawn for the purpose of getting JBL to Wrestlemania.

This had killed the one spur of interest this whole storyline had struck in me since it's conception. So much potential both created and lost in one night.

A plot that could have actually created interest in the story would involve Shawn being involved in the Rumble and turning heel after the PPV.

Imagine if you will that on Monday Night Raw instead of being left out of the Rumble Shawn was entered into it.

We later have a segment with Shawn and JBL backstage where JBL tells Shawn that if he were to win the Royal Rumble it would be JBL's insurance to make it to Wrestlemania.

Should JBL lose his title match at the PPV or at No Way Out in February, Shawn would award his Royal Rumble win to JBL thus ensuring his appearance at Wrestlemania.

Initially Shawn may resist but JBL would assure Michaels that should Shawn win the rumble he would be off the hook with JBL and his family's future would be secure.

This is a stipulation I don't think Shawn would pass up, as he already has betrayed the fans, what more could he do?

Come Royal Rumble time, the storyline could have JBL lose to Cena in their match, something most fans expect anyways. Then the final match of the night would feature Shawn Michaels in a questionable manner.

No doubt the crowd will feel sorry for him as he is clearly doing this for his family, yet they don't want to see JBL at Wrestlemania, so they boo.

Shawn could then remain in the Royal Rumble till the last three combatants. This would build up so much anticipation with the crowd, because the crowd will fear JBL getting a title shot at Wrestlemania should Shawn win. However, Shawn will be eliminated by the Undertaker, who himself will be eliminated as well.

Next night on RAW we see an angered JBL asking why Shawn lost the Royal Rumble for JBL. Shawn will say it was not his fault, Undertaker was the one who eliminated him.

JBL, still enraged, will tell Shawn that thanks to the Undertaker, Shawn and his family are still indebted to JBL. Shawn Michaels' face sours as JBL walks away.

Fast forward to Smackdown later that week, where Shawn Michaels comes onto the show and attacks the Undertaker during his match, causing him to lose. This will continue to build heat for HBK.

The following Monday on RAW, Shawn explains that he attacked Undertaker last Friday night because Undertaker cost him his way out of JBL's deal. He kept Shawn's family in limbo with JBL by eliminating him in the Rumble.

All this, of course, would culminate in a feud that would lead to Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania.

But as I pointed out, WWE missed the boat on this possibility. Shawn will remain a sad mopey tweener, the storyline will remain as plain as vanilla, and anything involving JBL will be as stale as month old bread.

I question why WWE would shoot themselves in the foot like this. I still hope, as I'm sure many other fans do, that this storyline will end sooner rather than later.

And in regards to the Royal Rumble, I hope that Vince's arrival on RAW in two weeks will somehow result in the overturning of JBL's No. 1 contender status.

However, should that happen, I feel WWE will make the title match at the Royal Rumble a multiple-superstar affair.

However, this is just my opinion on where the WWE went wrong, and what should have happened. Please leave feedback if you think this is a better solution or if you have a better one in mind.


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