Like most of you, I was shocked at WWE's decision to give 61-year-old Jerry Lawler a shot at the WWE title during a pay-per-view event. His upcoming faceoff with The Miz for the strap could have disastrous consequences if not done well.
I am sure WWE has a plan in place for this match; otherwise, they wouldn't have booked it. And I am almost certain that plan has to do with Lawler not winning the gold.
But how about a plan for him to do so and not wipe away three months of work on The Miz's character?
Here's how I would do it.
In the coming weeks, Lawler gets a few warm-up matches by order of the AGM (Anonymous General Manager). Miz/Riley/Cole, fearing an upset in the works for his next PPV title defense, continue to interfere in matches and make efforts to take Lawler out so that he forfeits his title match.
Who steps in to help him out? John Cena!
(C'mon, we know this is where the feud is heading.)
Cena in all his good-guy-glory continues doing "the right thing" by making sure Lawler is not incapable of competing at the PPV.
Does Jerry Lawler win the gold at the Elimination Chamber?
The Raw Chamber match is early in the night, so Cena is already the winner and determined to be the one to face the champ at WrestleMania XXVII. Cena gives a bit of a pep-talk to Lawler in an interim segment, ending with a handshake if they happen to square off at WrestleMania.
Lawler and Miz go about 15 minutes, with continued efforts by Riley and Cole to interfere and allow Miz to retain the belt. Cena finally comes down to the ring (a la Hogan at WMIV) and serves as a corner man for the King.
The Miz eventually confronts Cena behind the ref's back and Cena lays him out (though he doesn't want to, makes every effort to restrain himself, etc.). Cena's actions lead to Lawler's victory and the two celebrate in the ring together.
Raw, the Next Night
On the following night's Raw, there is a celebration for Lawler's victory. He talks about looking forward to his WM opportunity, how this helps complete his career, how great it is to be the only inducted Hall of Famer to win the gold, etc.
Then the lights dim a few times and the AGM announces that Lawler's first title defense will be tonight in a rematch against The Miz. The match goes on at the end of Raw and Lawler pulls out a victory by DQ when the ref notices Riley getting involved.
Lawler retains the title.
The Following Week's Raw
Miz starts the show in the ring, saying how he was robbed, how Lawler doesn't deserve his belt and how this is all Cena's fault. The AGM agrees, and sets up a cage-match for the two at the end of Raw.
Cena will be barred from ringside, and getting involved would cost him his title match at WM. Lawler and Cena are talking in the back, Lawler understands why he can't be in his corner and they end in a handshake.
Miz and Lawler go at it for about 10-12 minutes. As they both attempt an escape with Lawler ahead of The Miz, Riley takes out the ref, throws Lawler back in the ring, then revives the ref to show him The Miz won.
The ref has no choice but to give Miz the title. Cena comes down and attempts to appeal, but the AGM chimes in to say the decision stands and Miz is the new champion.
Miz is now back in possession of the gold and Cena is furious at him (he's so not Hustle/Loyalty/Respect!), setting up their WM match where Cena wins the WWE title.
Lawler challenges Riley for a WM match and the AGM confirms that they will square off at the big event, with Lawler's wrestling career on the line—if he loses, he wrestles no more in WWE.
Cole attempts to interfere in the relatively short match (so Lawler can learn his place as a broadcaster!) but Lawler prevails. He has a title match the following night on Raw against Cena and loses cleanly. The Miz and Cena go on to feud for several months.
Will It Happen?
Doubtful. The WWE has done some crazy things before, and giving the title to an aging veteran clearly involved in a feud just to build up a heel's push would be one of them, but frankly, I'm all for it.
And if it were going to be done, this is how I'd like to see it. But my money's on a Miz victory at the February PPV, as boring as that would be.