King of the Nearly Men: Christian, the World Title and the IWC
When I have children and they complain to me that something "is not fair" I will remind them that the Great Khali became WWE Champion and Mr. Perfect never did.
Life isn't fair.
Complaining when your favourite wrestler doesn't get pushed is a lot like saying that life's not fair. We've heard it all before, especially from the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC).
Which means that the following might appear to be slightly irrational. Luckily I have a pretty good handle on irrationality, being not just a wrestling fan but also a woman too.
Christian deserved to be a World Champion.
Now, I'm well aware the word "deserve" is pretty meaningless when applied to wrestling, but I've invested the past 12 years of my life watching Christian, visualizing him winning the World Title.
12 years of waiting and no reward means I feel very entitled to bitch (and not just because I'm a woman).
My case for the defence is that Christian deserved a World Title, that he could have carried a World title and that his move to TNA was completely irrelevant to his misfortune.
I've no idea who the prosecution is but I'm picturing Mick Foley with his Commissioner gavel as the judge.
The Brood, TLC matches, five second poses, Edge & Christian's nuts – the list of classic moments E&C created is longer than the Undertaker's medical bill.
The first match I remember watching as a teenager was Owen Hart vs Edge, at which a silent, enigmatic Christian made his brief debut.
And thus began a 12-year obsession.
Of all the people in the world I've never met, Christian became my favourite. The only unreal relationship to even compare would be my relationship with Neddy, the imaginary friend of my childhood.
Undoubtedly, I'll always love Neddy, but if he ever wrestled Christian I would quite happily hit him with a chair shoot to the back of the head. I'd look deep into Neddy's big baleful innocent eyes and piledrive him into concrete if asked to by Christian.
Despite what, (now that I've written it down), appears to be strong evidence for psychosis, my addiction to all things awesome was initially pretty serene.
I happily followed Christian's career in the early years, happy to see him win the modest tag team and Intercontinental gold. Only somewhere in early 2004 did I start to go Lady Macbeth crazy about things.
2004 was an exciting period of Christian's career, when the Count of Monte Fisto finally looked like he might go main event.
At WrestleMania 20 he defeated Chris Jericho, stealing Trish Stratus at the same time and with a tug of her hair at the top of the ramp, gave the hottest kiss in WrestleMania history.
Admittedly, the only other kisses I can remember involved Viscera and the Boogeyman, so competition isn't intense, but the kiss, nonetheless, was awesome.
With the most successful women's wrestler of her generation on his arm, and momentum from WrestleMania, Christian suffered the misfortune of an injured back in May 2004 which put him out of action for four months.
Momentum lost, The Rock's favourite wrestler had to start all over again. Cue the bright young things at WWE Creative to recognise the potential, and write for it.
Creative devised an arrogant, cowardly heel, not massively threatening in the ring but clever and cunning. Through sneakiness and manipulation he's able to come out on top, (with the aid of a bodyguard), even getting inside the head of WWE's top guy, John Cena.
Perfect! Although this is what Creative came up with for the Miz in 2010.
Christian in 2005 got, "He's a heel and they're cheering him. Move him to SmackDown so we can edit out the cheers."
The usual argument put forward about Christian states that if he hadn't jumped to TNA he would have become a World Title holder, which is about as convincing as Hulk Hogan selling a move. The facts just don't bare it out.
Yes, Christian did get a shot at the World title at Vengeance in June 2005. However, in the four pay-per-views which followed, Christian only featured in two, both on the lower half of the card and both defeats, to Booker T and Chris Benoit respectively. Hardly the resume of a man being pushed.
At the beginning of 2005, Captain Charisma was a classic Ensemble Darkhorse, a supporting character who became unexpectedly massively popular.
Even when wrestling the (at the time) face Batista, and with Johnathan Coachman on his side, the crowd were still chanting "Lets go Christian."
Four days after his defeat to John Cena, Christian was drafted to SmackDown, losing on his debut to JBL, to kill any notion of him being a credible threat. By August 2005, he was being squashed by Batista and taking the pin in matches involving Hardcore Holly. His career was, pretty inexplicably, going nowhere.
Coupled with the rumours of the derisory financial deal offered him and his own disillusion and growing bitterness with the direction of his character, it made perfect sense for Christian to look elsewhere for employment.
Three successful years passed in TNA. Ecstatic though I was to see Christian at the top of the mountain, winning in TNA was still equivalent to a minor league success.
Would Lady Macbeth, with all her poisonous ambition, have accepted her husband offering, "Sorry, I haven't killed the King yet, but I did land a Tornado DDT on Konnan?"
Very unlikely. I wanted more.
Christian returned to WWE in February 2009, and the Peepulation have suffered two years of disappointments. The Royal Rumble at which he failed to appear, replaced in a major storyline by Matt Hardy, was a major kick to the Bam Bam Bigelows.
It got worse. We endured two consecutive years of almost victories in MiTB matches, the latter being particularly heartbreaking. By which I mean it broke my heart.
Almost 12 years of hoping and wanting had, like Lady Macbeth, driven me a little bit Ultimate Warrior-esque. Christian was the favourite to win the match and I let myself believe so.
It was his last chance to claim a World title, and it was finally going to happen. I was picturing him with the briefcase even as he came down the ramp, patiently waiting for a reward like a faithful old hound, sitting in a barn and staring up at the wrong end of a rifle.
And it did feel like Jack Swagger had shot me when he finally retrieved the case. People cry when their sports team gets relegated, and people cry when characters in a movie die, so I didn't mind shedding some tears over the end of a career.
Silly, perhaps, but true. It genuinely hurt. And really wasn't fair.
Christian should have been World Champion in 2005. The WWE could have pit two sides of the demographic against one another. The kids chanting for Cena and the IWC behind Christian. Everyone with something invested in the storyline.
In the ring and on the mic it would have been awesome. Actually reeking of it, as opposed to smelling like cheap reality TV.
The moment passed and it's hard to make a case for Christian becoming World Champion today. I know that he might not necessarily be main event material anymore.
I know this. I just prefer to scream "Push Christian!" over and over at the television until things go blurry and my throat hurts.
While I respect the cold, rational, pure logical thinking of someone such as, let's say, Lance Storm, I prefer a bit of madness.
If you think you're favourite wrestler isn't getting what he or she deserves, tell everyone on the Internet about it. It doesn't matter if you're mocked as part of the IWC, your irrationality is part of your humanity.
To quote a great man, life's far too important to be taken seriously. Be irrational, there's nothing wrong with it.
For the love of sodas and the 'zoo, just push Christian!
The IWC gets attacked for making outrageous and naive demands, yet it's a pretty natural thing to rail against perceived injustice and to be invested in the role of a favourite performer.
If people didn't care who became Champion, why would we watch?
Please feel free to comment but if you do want to mock Christian, please bear in mind the end of the movie "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back".*
*(Obviously this is just a joke. Anyone who doesn't appreciate Christian is probably dead inside anyways...)
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