After much anticipation, the No. 1 contender for the WWE title was decided on Monday Night RAW. It consisted more or less of the same superstars who were in the hunt for the last four months: John Cena, John Morrison, Randy Orton a newbie in R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler instead of Wade Barrett.
All superstars came out and gave reasons why they thought they were deserving of the shot at the gold. This caused the RAW GM to make a five man gauntlet match including all the superstars mentioned. The following is a list of the five participants, the results and an analysis of their potential as WWE Champion.
The ratings here are based on the results of the gauntlet match from Monday Night RAW.
A future hall-of-famer, Orton has attracted a huge following in the WWE Universe. Just listen to the response from the crowd when he interrupted current poster boy, John Cena last night and you will know what I mean.
He is exciting and while he is more of a silent predator, there is an uncertainty about his character and actions which make his personality as the "Viper" very compelling.
Recently he has done something that even Cena has failed to do, and that was to take out the new Nexus. He was the reigning WWE Champion immediately preceding the Miz, and even though he lost to the Miz, his character was built as the stronger of the two. That's because he did not need extra help from anyone, unlike the current champion.
In fact, he has flourished when faced with a multitude of opponents and the RKO has not failed him for the past year.
Even in his failure to get through the first round of the gauntlet match, he was again the loser because of outside interference from the Nexus and a handful of tights from Dolph Ziggler. His character was still presented as stronger than the actual winner and his vendetta with the new Nexus is renewed perhaps in time for Extreme Rules.
Result: First elimination (by Ziggler) of the match after interference from the New Nexus.
The most recent transfer from SmackDown has been struggling lately. He has tried everything to get his hands on the World Heavyweight Title, which got him fired from the blue brand when he attacked Theodore Long so that Vickie Guerrero could become acting GM of SmackDown.
Vickie does a lot of the talking for him on RAW and we have not been given the opportunity to hear from him as much as we would like. he lost at WrestleMania to Snookie and company, without getting the opportunity to even break a little sweat. All in all, he does not seem ready for the WWE title yet. He was the second superstar to be eliminated from the gauntlet match.
Result: Eliminated by R-Truth.
Now on to one of the Johns in the picture.
Morrison has shown time and time again that he has the talent and the looks for a successful WWE champion. At the same time, he has always been in the position where he is looking at the WWE title dangling painfully over him, just inches away from his outstretched fingers.
Say what you will about WWE and the creative team, they do things for a reason and have been pretty successful (and I mean millions of dollars successful).
Why is Morrison in this position? Perhaps the answer lies in his character. He has been criticized for his lack of personality and weakness on the mic. These are important parts of the overall product to being successful in WWE (especially if we agree with the elimination from this week’s Tough Enough).
There have also been rumors that he has been making some waves backstage by showing his dissonance with the way some matches and characters are being handled.
This is not good.
He was pinned by R Truth after taking an exceptionally long time to set up his finishing maneuver. So even though he has the talent to make it, the question remains, does he have the total package?
Result: Eliminated by R-Truth.
As Cena says, the most critical match of his career is always the next match. Therefore I will not dwell too much on his past but look to the present and future. Is there any real reason why Cena should be WWE champion at this time? With his match for WrestleMania 28 already set against The Rock, he does not need the title.
Even though he claimed that the match against the Rock would be grander only if it was for the WWE title, we know that with or without the title on the line, John Cena vs The Rock is the main event for WrestleMania 28, though no other matches have been announced. But, as the Rock would say, it doesn’t matter what the other matches are!!
Even without the WWE title on the line the match is going to draw in the millions and millions of fans of both these superstars.
Additionally, both men are at the stages of their career where they have done a lot in terms of titles (just looking at the past for a short while); perhaps it is the time to give other superstars a chance. With that being said, there is a lot of time between now and WrestleMania 28.
I am assuming that we are not going to see The Rock on RAW every week so Cena has to find a new hobby in the meantime. Why not give him the opportunity, maybe even give him the title in the interim until WrestleMania?
Result: Declared joint No. 1 contender (with R-Truth) for the WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules.
I deliberately left this for last. The last time I can remember R Truth having any real impact is when he was giving strange advice to John Cena when he was in conflict with the Wade Barrett-led Nexus.
This is saying a lot, he does not make any real impact apart from getting the crowd to respond vociferously to his ‘What’s up’ call. Of course he has had matches against CM Punk and Wade Barrett in the recent past which he lost. The point is that they were not memorable.
All of a sudden he is back on the scene and is the joint No.1 contender for the WWE title with John Cena after interference from WWE Champion the Miz and Alex Riley. I can understand it when The Undertaker and Triple H can come in and get a match at a PPV without actually wrestling and winning that much immediately before the PPV. But I am having real problems categorizing R-Truth with these men. He is simply not up to their standards.
He is talented, yes, but he lacks some of the other qualities to make it (similar to Morrison)
But I guess they need a loser for the PPV (bad joke I know). I am really struggling to find the logic here and if anyone has ideas, please let me know.
Result: Declared joint No. 1 contender (with John Cena) for WWE Championship match against the Miz at Extreme Rules.
So the truth is out and we know who the participants of the WWE Title match are going to be.
What are your thoughts on the gauntlet match and what do you predict for Extreme Rules?