After a much needed personal hiatus, everyone's favorite Bleacher Report writer is back! And following last night's edition of Monday Night RAW, there are a few things I'd like to address. The main of which can be foreshadowed by the picture of choice for this particular article.
I thought John Cena was...impressive on the mic last night. There are Cena haters that will bash me for this, and Cena lovers that will droll on and on about how he's always had impressive mic skills, but for me this was a surprise.
How often does John Cena get to use said mic skills? Not too often, when you really think about it. I'm not saying for a second that he needs to be overly vulgar and offensive, as he was during his rapper gimmick (even if that was the most entertaining part of his career for most fans).
What I'm getting at is, nine times out of ten, Cena's promos are the typical bland Hulk Hogan-esque "I'm never giving up, or backing down, I will defeat you, etc...etc..."
For the little kids, it's great, but for the targeted demographic (which even in the PG Era remains 18-34 year old males) it's not only stale, but downright boring.
Last night we saw a different John Cena. One who wasn't restricted to training and eating vita—I mean, hustle, loyalty, and respect. Last night's Cena was emotional, confrontational, and, more importantly than anything else, entertaining.
John's promo wasn't the usual bland material, nor did it cause most adult fans to roll their eyes and take a Hot Pocket break. Which brings me to the subject line of today's piece:
Why does WWE take one step forward and two steps back?
Every single time WWE does something right, you can almost be guaranteed in this day and age that something will happen that screws everything up. Last night, for perhaps the first time in five years, I didn't mind seeing John Cena on my screen.
I tolerated the stupid guest host, I continued to reiterate "Gail Kim vs Maryse" repeatedly until the obvious tournament final came to pass as I predicted, and I even overlooked the completely fruitless insertion of Carlito and Kelly Kelly as pawns to further the issues between Jack "My Career is in Jeapordy" Swagger and Santino "The Sitcom" Marella.
I enjoyed the friction between DX and the heated tension that continues to exist within Legacy. I felt RAW finally took a step away from its usual "sigh of exasperation" content and made a small but important stride towards becoming a wrestling show again. (Wait, can I still use the word "wrestling" to describe a wrestling show?)
And then WWE reminded me of why I am constantly glad that I'm not furthering the ratings through television viewing. (I'm currently stuck watching the shows online.)
The Cena vs Sheamus Main Event was important in the fact that WWE had a chance to help Sheamus build momentum for his upcoming match against Randy Orton. A match he needs to lose...but, as Champion, it shouldn't look like a foregone conclusion.
Just about every sane WWE fan, from the educated to the legally retarded, all believe that Randy Orton is fixing to destroy Sheamus. If you want people to even consider paying to see this match, shouldn't Sheamus have at least a little momentum moving forward into the pay-per-view?
I mean, WWE has only had a month to build towards this match, and after the final RAW before the Rumble, neither man has anything.
Was the RKO the smart way to end the match? Absolutely, because Orton got his retribution for last week's Bicycle Kick.
So, why did the finish completely kill the positive vibe I got from RAW?
Because John Cena did not need to be in the spotlight. Because the Rumble match has already been built up well, the other obvious build up needed to be Orton vs Sheamus. That's the other money match that this PPV is riding on, mainly because no sane fan wants to see Undertaker vs Rey Mysterio.
Instead, John Cena gets the vital last seconds of camera time on the final RAW heading into the PPV. Someone please tell me why that was necessary. I don't want to hear any of the usual John Cena defenses. The last few seconds of camera time on the go-home show are crucial.
Crucial because when you want to correctly hype a big title match, the go-home show is your most important tool. And the last image the fans need to see on that program is one of, if not both of, the combatants.
Can it be done without jobbing out Cena? Absolutely. It's good that he escaped the DDT. It's bad that he had to have the spotlight at the end of the show.
So, we can all pay $49.95 to watch a title match between two chumps who spent their final pre-Rumble show lying face down, looking pitiful.
Quinn Gammon is a part time student living in the Shirley area of Long Island, New York. He has been a wrestling fan for the past decade and is currently dissatisfied with the sordid state of affairs in what used to be known as "Wrestling".
Questions and comments can be emailed to KidMikaze2007@aim.com.