WWE Ideals: What We Want out of Our Champions: Christian and HBK
Here's a really simple philosophical question for you wrestling fans: what is your greatest dream?
First, let me tell you my dream. My dream is to write fiction stories that are so good, a publishing house wants to distribute my books to the world. Then, I want my books to become best-sellers that get turned into movies that I can co-direct and produce, and as a result, maybe make a ton of money outside of an office cubicle. How likely is that dream to come true? I really can't say, as I haven't gone for it whole-hog yet.
But what is the average dream of an aspiring professional wrestler/superstar? To become World Heavyweight Champion? To become WWE Champion?
That's a dream that stretches across generations. Watch Tough Enough to see how badly people want to become that very thing. Watch the look on Shawn Michaels' face when his boyhood dream came true on March 31, 1996 to see what kind of emotion can arise from finally achieving that dream.
Whatever your own dream may be, think about how you would feel achieving it. Would you feel good? Would you feel like your life was complete? Would you feel like there's simply nothing left to search for or do in the world? Maybe you'd be speculative enough to figure on your own that you might not be satisfied with just that one dream, and you might pursue other dreams at the same time.
Now that you have a handle on that, do something else for me. Imagine how you would feel achieving your dream, and then think about how you'd feel to lose that dream shortly after working so hard to get it. Would you feel your life wasn't worth living anymore? Would you feel like it's just not worth the effort to pursue it all over again, since your dream was so hard to get in the first place and vanished so easily?
The point here is very simple. No matter what the actual backstage booking decision was going into the impromptu World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and Christian, on the first Smackdown episode after Extreme Rules, two major factors are in play here:
1) Christian achieved his ultimate dream at the PPV by winning the World Heavyweight Championship in the Ladder match against Alberto Del Rio. Most of us, even some who aren't huge fans of Christian, wanted to see the guy enjoy a long reign, because ultimately, he'd put in the time and dedication to deserve it. He's one of the few ring veterans left that can really sell the emotional impact and significance of such a victory, instead of just considering it a notch in his gun, like some of the newbies have.
2) His loss to Randy Orton is likely meant to be a very saddening thing. It's extraordinarily emotional to watch Christian finally achieve his dream of being a top tier champion in WWE, however the impact of him having his dream, holding it, touching it, taking it home, sleeping with it, whatever, and then losing it two seconds later is eons greater.
Honestly...how would you feel?
Would you be pissed off? Would you be angry? Would you be depressed at having your dream in the palm of your hand and watching it slip away so quickly? Well, let's consider how Christian's likely feeling...
Most of us dream of being celebrities that get followed around for interviews and appearances, and get paid big money to simply be ourselves. But look at what's happened to most young celebrities.
Lindsay Lohan? In and out of jail, alcohol problems, sexual identity crises, broken home. Girl's only 25 and she has that level of nonsense following her around. Had she kept her head on straight, she could've been the biggest thing in Hollywood.
Britney Spears? Numerous failed marriages, at least two kids, probably some substance problems in the past, went crazy and shaved her head that one time, checked into numerous hospitals. She's only about 30 and she's easily peaked more than 10 years ago.
Tiger Woods? He's 35 now, but he broke into the golf scene at least 10 years ago. He's now divorced and is likely still getting hounded by mistresses coming out of the woodwork.
These people have achieved their dreams of being popular, sought-after public figures, and even though some of them are slowly repairing their broken lives, it's still incredibly sad to see them endanger their futures like they've done.
Is this to say that it's sad that Christian agreed to put his World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs so soon after Extreme Rules, instead of just pulling a heel move and saying no? That's not it. Simply...it's sad to see him lose his dream so soon after seeing him achieve it.
We wish long title reigns for all of our favorite stars, and sometimes they get caught with their pants down. Christian's being booked to lose so soon after winning the title is likely similar booking to guys like Sheamus and Swagger.
Granted, Christian's win was through slightly unconventional means in a Ladder Match (at least compared to scoring a standard pinfall), but if he's allegedly viewed as not being main event material by the bookers and guys in charge, then it's incredibly likely they see his character as unable to continue winning at this juncture.
Right now, all of us here, writers and visitors alike, need to breathe, calm ourselves and just watch Smackdown tonight. Once again, I'll tell you...the spoilers only tell a tiny piece of the tale. The Tweets you're reading on Randy Orton and Chris Jericho's Twitter accounts are only a slice of the info and they're often used as vents for emotion that manifests in the form of zingers and one-liners that don't actually inform people of anything.
Just do me a favor and watch Smackdown. Depending on what happens, we might just see this situation as very different than we first interpreted it when reading the spoilers in the first place. I realize WWE has given us every reason to disbelieve that Christian will be treated to a long, high-profile feud with Randy Orton, and in the end, Christian will come out the victor and once again be World Heavyweight Champion. I'll give you that, the possibilities of that happening, given how they've treated Christian in the past, aren't likely.
Earlier, I mentioned Shawn Michaels achieving his boyhood dream at Wrestlemania XII. Michaels held the belt for almost a year, losing it to Sid at the 1996 Survivor Series, so naturally, those of us who remember those days expect Christian to get a long reign, too. But this is a very different situation, a situation that can happen in the big scheme of things, in fact, a situation that yields far more at stake than just achieving a dream alone.
Christian achieved his dream and lost it only a few days later. He felt the adrenaline, the pride, the satisfaction and completeness of fulfilling his biggest desire, only to see all that disappear in the blink of an eye.
For us to immediately expect WWE to simply plop Randy Orton on a pedestal like that and be sympathetic to his own desire to be champion, after Randy not only became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history but has also held numerous World Titles of his own, is a little harsh. We've only read about one episode in this saga, and from what I read, the World Title match was the main event, meaning we weren't going to get any additional details, no answers to our whys, no explanations or motivations.
We were meant to be left with questions.
Maybe Randy didn't beat Christian down after this match, but depending on crowd reactions, facial expressions and remarks by the commentators, watching this situation as it happens could be a very different experience than just reading about it.
Stop being so spoiled by the internet having all the answers you seek. Sometimes? It doesn't. Sometimes, dare I say, you need to be patient and wait to see how things will play out before completely freaking out and going nuts over what may end up being simply...
A stunt to get you to watch.
You think WWE doesn't know that their ratings for Smackdown are lower than they are for Raw, mainly because of SPOILERS? Because that's a stupid thing to think. Believe me, they know.
And if it takes pulling incredibly massive swerves on their taped broadcasts to build serious buzz and get people watching more?
So be it.
If you're truly a fan, then don't be so eager to be rebellious and stop watching because something you didn't like occurred. Give in. Watch. Look. Listen. Pay attention and stay tuned.
I don't like that Christian lost the belt so quick. But tonight? I'll be glued to my screen.
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