So we have passed Wrestlemania and the Draft, and supposedly are in full swing with how the rest of 2009 should go. Let's recap.
Randy Orton is the Champion on RAW. His group Legacy is the new Evolution, and Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. seemed primed for stardom. DiBiase has a movie coming out at the end of this year and he should have at least the tag titles with Rhodes by then.
There was speculation when DiBiase was called up that he may be the guy to end Taker's streak at Mania and retire him at WM26. I think DiBiase is a long way from being ready to carry that torch, but he is off to a nice start.
With the arrival of Randy Orton's dominance, it appears HHH is ready (finally) to write himself off as a second-fiddle character.
Either he realizes that he doesn't want the responsibility of being the focal point of the brand anymore or he finally makes business decisions over personal ones or he just doesn't have as much say so as we believe, whatever the case is, its happening this way.
HHH is a writer on RAW and for the first time in forever, he doesn't want the belt around his waist. He must really like Orton or just realize that Orton is best for business.
Edge and Jericho will be the faces of Smackdown, and they need it right now. Another esteemed writer on this page, Shane Howard, mentioned in a reply to another article I wrote about the declining ratings Smackdown is getting.
Until they find another network other than MyNetwork TV, I don't know how that can improve all that much. If Vince really wants to better the brand of Smackdown, he will find another network to air it on.
If he could get the TV syndication, he really needs to make a WWE network so he can put his shows on it and not have to worry about contracts with the other TV networks.
Things like that take mega money and sponsorships though and if it were possible I'm sure Vince would've already done it. He just has to work with what he has for the time being.
CM Punk still holds the money in the bank briefcase. It appeared that he was ready to cash it in last Friday night before Umaga showed up and ruined his plans. Good job by the WWE to keep the audience in suspense there.
If you leave them saying "what the **** just happened", that means they are going to tune in the next week to see the next chapter. It was way too early to cash that in and the tease was a good sell.
I read in an interview that Punk would like to go heel but doesn't see the WWE as ready for it. I've seen some of his heel work on the indy scenes and let me tell you, he has got it.
However, with the lack of faces currently on Smackdown (Taker might be missing time, Jeff's contract dispute), Punk may have to be the face to carry the show.
Good luck with that. I'm just not a fan. Some guys you like and some guys you don't. He is just one of those guys for me.
It appears Christian will stay stuck on ECW. However, as we see every week on RAW and Smackdown, it doesn't matter what brand you're on because you can wrestle on any show they want you to.
Hopefully, Christian can get some face time on RAW and Smackdown and maybe even do a small storyline with Edge....hey, a guy can dream can't he?
As I said earlier, Randy won't be losing the title anytime soon. Get used to it. Long title runs seem to get stale after a while (See John Cena and JBL), so it will be interesting to see how the WWE keeps the fans' interest with this. I am an Orton fan so I support it, but I don't speak for the rest of the wrestling world.
I have written seven paragraphs and have yet to discuss John Cena. Maybe it's because his character isn't as important without the belt, and he won't have it. How can "The Champ Be Here" if he isn't the champ? What does the salute mean if he doesn't have the belt giving him prestige? What does "You Can't See Me" mean when you're not in the title picture?
It means I can't see you. Somehow, Cena will still find a way to shine and appeal to his fans and his merchandise sales won't be effected, but his dominance as a character will go down by the end of this year.
Shawn Michaels? How much more is left? One thing is for sure. Every time he steps through the ropes, he is going to make it look like it should. He could have two blown knees and a torn bicep and work a match for 20 minutes and you couldn't tell a thing.
The question is, at what point is it worth it? Shawn has surpassed any expectations we had for him since he returned from his back surgery. If anything, he has improved as a performer since that time.
When he goes, wrestling will never have another person that demonstrates the heart and passion that he does. He doesn't want the burden of being a champion anymore so I don't see him going out that way, but however he goes out, I hope they do it in style just like they did for Ric Flair.
John Morrison's face push is something I hope goes over well. Smackdown needs it. Shelton Benjamin needs to be focused on more, but I say that every year.
Use monsters like Kane and the Big Show for more than just Goliaths that get slain by David. These are just some of the things I feel are in store for us in 2009. Your thoughts are appreciated.