At the end of last night's Raw we were treated to quite a spectacle during the never-been-done-before five-man gauntlet as superstar after superstar was eliminated. However, in the midst of the interference by current WWE Champion the Miz and his lackey Alex Riley, we ended up with not one but two No. 1 contenders. The first one is no surprise as regular main eventer John Cena came in and lasted until the end of the match.
The second one, however, is a major surprise as perpetual mid-carder R-Truth, better known more for his entrance than his in-ring skills, is now the third participant in the main event at Extreme Rules in May. As soon as the announcement was made by the Anonymous RAW General Manager the message boards lit up as only we in the Internet Wrestling Community can.
"Who is this guy?"
"R-Truth is overrated!"
"He doesn't belong in the same ring with Cena or the Miz!"
Here's one I really enjoyed: "They're only pushing him to stick it to TNA for not pushing (The Pope)Elijah Burke when they had the chance."
Oh, and here's my favorite: "The only reason he got this shot is because John Morrison is in hot water backstage."
Whether or not the last one is true (and rumor has it that JoMo is getting some heat backstage over his treatment of Trish Stratus before their WrestleMania match) the fact is that as of right now R-Truth is getting his chance to headline a PPV for the coveted WWE title. What we fans have to understand is that just because WE don't think something should happen doesn't mean those who run the business feel the same way. Like it or not, the man gets pops and is flashy in the ring, even if he did miss that corkscrew elbow by eight inches on Cena.
Here are three reasons that R-Truth should leave Tampa with the WWE title in three weeks:
1) He fills the WWE's "New Blood" Initiative. Think about this: In the past two years we have seen the WWE create World Champions out of Jack Swagger, Sheamus (twice) and the Miz. Yes, I know that Swagger's reign was largely forgettable, but give credit to the WWE for at least attempting to pull the trigger when they could have just placed it on the usual suspects (Cena, Orton, Edge, Jericho). R-Truth would be a nice edition to that class, even if he was just a placeholder champ in the Ronnie Garvin mold.
I know what you're saying. "JR, he's already been a World Champion (NWA) and he's pushing 40! How is that considered new blood?" I'm glad you asked. Remember that in the WWE he's never been regarded as a World Champion so in the eyes of the WWE Universe he would be a newcomer to the main event scene. Besides, can it be any worse than when Rey Mysterio won the gold? He can be built well even in the short term and will always be regarded as WWE champion.
2) It helps legitimize the Miz. How's that you ask? Since winning the title late last year, the Miz has been regarded as the second coming of the Honky Tonk Man, keeping his title via cowardly tactics. Even at WrestleMania he was regarded as an afterthought. How many other World Champions would be fighting 60-year-old announcers on a PPV?
Having R-Truth win the belt would set up a nice summer long feud that would only help both men. Imagine this scenario: R-Truth gets a surprise win at Extreme Rules and the Miz wants a one-on-one match. It gives him an opportunity to win a feud cleanly and add some level of credibility as a guy who doesn't need to rely strictly on tricks to keep his belt, heel or no heel.
3) This gives the WWE a chance to experiment with a longtime wish of the IWC: Turn Cena heel. Did you see the jeers that Cena got when he and R-Truth turned a friendly push into a near fight? Cena's look on his face at the end of Raw told me all I needed to know. Since he will no doubt will be jeered heavily when he faces the Rock in Miami next April, what better way to see what kind of response he will get trying to take out fan favorite R-Truth.
Of course they wouldn't have him turn full blown heel, that would hurt merchandise sales. However, they could have him cut out the goofy promos and have him just get super serious on R-Truth demanding what he feels is "his" title back. A friendly rivalry could turn into a nice feud and elevate R-Truth even more.
Those are my reasons. What are yours?