What a week it was in the WWE Universe. And heck, it's only Tuesday!
In the last 48 hours we've seen John Cena fired from WWE, the official announcement of the return of the King of the Ring tournament and The Miz cashing in Money in the Bank to become WWE Champion.
There is plenty to tackle on all of these subjects, as well as my notoriously vitriolic opinions on TNA, but this edition of Brewing Thoughts gets started with one of the most important gimmicks in WWE history: the King of the Ring.
The King of the Ring Returns Monday in a Serious Way
When the King of the Ring tournament was held in 2008, it was largely a shell of itself.
The same can not be said for this year's iteration.
Raw brings four heavy hitters—former WWE champion Sheamus, current United States Champion Daniel Bryan, former Intercontinental champion John Morrison and the most recent recipient of a repackaging push, Ezekiel Jackson—to the eight man field for next Monday night's event.
SmackDown's qualifying field includes former world champions Rey Mysterio, Big Show and Jack Swagger, as well as MVP, Drew McIntyre, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston.
Needless to say, WWE isn't messing around. This year's King of the Ring will have earned the crown.
As Jerry "The King" Lawler said on Raw last night, six WWE Hall of Famers have been crowned King of the Ring. The tournament launched the careers of Bret Hart, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar.
If WWE creative wants to seriously establish a new megastar, this tournament is the perfect platform. The road is littered with former world champions which could immediately validate the likes of John Morrison, Daniel Bryan or any of the five men from SmackDown who have not yet won a world title.
Money in the Bank = King of the Ring
The King of the Ring pay-per-view was one of the most popular on the WWE calendar of events. Many wondered why it was taken off the schedule.
In 2005, we met the King of the Ring's baby brother, Money in the Bank.
Since the King of the Ring tournament was taken off the yearly slate, Money in the Bank has stepped in to become the launching pad for the superstars of tomorrow.
Becoming Mr. Money in the Bank has launched the single careers of Edge (a former King of the Ring winner in his own right), CM Punk, Rob Van Dam and most recently, The Miz.
Like King of the Ring, winning Money in the Bank doesn't guarantee you a spot in the main event. Jack Swagger's Money in the Bank victory, and subsequent title reign, did little to establish him in the main event.
I am certainly not the only one to welcome the return of the King of the Ring. Monday night could be another very exciting edition of Raw.
Jeff Hardy, Running Off At the Mouth...Again
The face of TNA Wrestling, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, once again went out of his way to levy an unprovoked attack on WWE.
In a video readily available on YouTube (and conveniently included on the right side of the article), Hardy unleashes his profanity-laced opinion of two-time former world champion CM Punk.
This video couldn't be more indicative of the state of TNA. It's a car wreck, just like Hardy appears to be in this video. Their world champion is once again providing lip service to WWE without prompt. Hardy's seemingly directionless rambling is a mirror image of the reckless booking TNA has to offer.
Matt Hardy's YouTube videos were borderline entertaining, if not for the absurdist behavior he exhibited—see, MATTHEW, ALL CAPS! But each time Jeff Hardy voices an opinion online, it is completely absurd in a much different way.
The Miz—the next CM Punk or Jack Swagger?
As quickly as The Miz became WWE Champion, the vultures of the IWC began swirling around the allegedly soon-to-be-dead push The Miz received Monday night.
Only time will tell if The Miz goes the way of CM Punk—a top-notch superstar capable of being at the top of the company for years to come—or Jack Swagger, the Money in the Bank push gone wrong.
(On a side note, time will also tell us if the Swagger push ultimately becomes a failure. Swagger is only 28-years-old. He's got plenty of time to get back to the main event.)
The Miz's first world title run was more of an inevitability than anything. The Miz has been crowned the WWE's next golden boy, the next massive star. Michael Cole has been kissing The Miz's ass for months now—do we really think Vince McMahon wasn't pumping lines to Cole in order to put The Miz over as fast as possible?
While I don't see The Miz carrying the belt into WrestleMania XXVII, he won't be far from the main event spotlight. In fact, he may be involved in the main event in Atlanta.
If McMahon wants someone to go over, he won't give up on it. If you believe the internet chatter of months prior, The Miz will go over...whether the WWE Universe likes it or not.
John Cena Fired? Maybe, But He Isn't Going Anywhere
I wondered to myself just how John Cena would fade into the sunset after Randy Orton retained the WWE title at Survivor Series this past weekend.
Then I read the following series of tweets on Cena's official Twitter account, and realized one thing: Cena isn't going anywhere.
"Sorry i ran back in ring but i told Mr barrett that if he keeps taking short cuts it will come back to haunt him. Just got tix for raw in philly. I can only hope he makes more short cuts. ;)"
While watching Cena's "farewell" speech, I thought Cena was actually going to take some time away from the ring. But after reading that tweet, it doesn't look like that is the case at all.
If WWE is going to keep playing this angle with Cena, it won't be long before Cena is "rehired" to have a match with Wade Barrett.
And, if that's the case, it will be yet another case of badly mishandling a huge storyline.