March 28, 2010 was similar to every other WrestleMania pay-per-view that has occurred in my household. A host of siblings and friends and I gathered around my 42 inch plasma TV, and John Cena’s theme music echoed throughout the arena.
As silence filled the room, newly turned Dave Batista made his way towards the squared circle. The moment was as if I’d taken a sip of a 20-year-old bottle of red wine.
Since his face turn and subsequent push in 2005, I was an avid fan of Dave Batista. With little knowledge of backstage politics, each Monday night around 8:45, I found myself holding my remote and waiting for RAW to begin. Following Batista for the next four years, it was almost shocking to witness Batista’s heel turn.
As a longtime fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, I felt there was reasoning behind each decision made.
And despite my emotions, Batista was at his best in the charisma department.
Trashing John Cena and everything he stood for, Batista was humorous yet inserted facts into each promo. In spite of everything Batista said, John Cena had never lost a singles match at WrestleMania. When Cena finally put Batista away, my peers directed their attention away from the event.
Instead, each displayed a similar set of memories.
Each carrying a similar focal point, I was astounded by their claims but realized the truth outweighed my opinion.
The WWE had become too predictable.
Having watched each WWE PPV since WrestleMania 21, I noticed that Randy Orton or John Cena had challenged, or defended, a World Championship at each PPV since 2007, beginning at SummerSlam 2007 and finally ending at this year’s Elimination Chamber. While both performers remain great from a business aspect, the product itself seemed years past its expiration date.
Over the last year or so, the WWE has only focused on the big, fancy name match and has thrown the other matches as simply desperate compliment pieces to their PPV.
The WWE made little (if any) effort to focus on the newer generation. While the WWE Universe clearly revolves around John Cena, Cena vs. Orton, Orton, HHH vs. Cena and HHH vs. Orton had been recycled so many times it wasn’t fit for free TV.
I awaited the rise of the new stars for months, finally receiving a new lease on life at the Money in the Bank PPV.
As Randy Orton ascended to the top of a ladder, The Miz knocked the Viper to the floor and claimed the briefcase as his own. While most are indifferent toward Miz and his character, it was refreshing to witness the first step in a positive direction.
With Nexus making its debut weeks before, I witnessed the potential of Wade Barrett through an incredible promo on RAW.
Nexus headlining SummerSlam remained a win/loss situation for most. Nexus went into the match as an unstoppable unit but left a broken shell of its former self.
Despite the SummerSlam result, Wade Barrett remained RAW’s top heel and looked as if the WWE Championship was in his imminent future. The rehiring of Daniel Bryan and resurgence of John Morrison finally displayed WWE’s attempt and swiftness to create main event talent.
Even with their valiant efforts, there was a proverbial elephant in the room.
Randy Orton was the WWE Champion.
Defeating most of the RAW roster, Orton was booked stronger than the face of the WWE himself. Not to be outdone, Smackdown was also expanding its new talent initiative. Alberto Del Rio defeated Rey Mysterio in his debut match, and the rest is history. RAW quickly rebounded with the World Title matches of Wade Barrett and the MITB cash in of The Miz.
Like most, I felt as if the WWE wouldn’t allow Miz to headline WrestleMania 27. The majority predicted that he would hold it until Elimination Chamber and drop the title back to Orton or John Cena. Surprisingly enough, Miz defeated Orton in three straight matches, while Alberto Del Rio won his feud with Rey Mysterio.
The 40 man Royal Rumble was met with mixed expectations. but it guaranteed one thing: Either John Cena or a fresh Superstar would win the match.
Alberto Del Rio shocked the world once more by winning the match and laid stake to the claim fastest rising WWE Superstar. With Jerry Lawler winning the right face The Miz for the WWE Championship, it seemed as if the WWE finally displaying younger Superstars.
The Miz and Alberto Del Rio were both main eventing WrestleMania 27.
A little over a month removed from WrestleMania, John Cena is the WWE Champion as Randy Orton reigns as World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown. It seems as if progress has ended, as Orton and Cena are almost guaranteed exceptional reigns as World Champions. Cena’s constant promos against Dwayne Johnson and their pending WM 28 match has set the foundation for a one year title reign.
The premature death of Captain Charisma’s title reign has sent the WWE back to its predictable and uneventful direction. Now that Randy Orton will become the John Cena of Smackdown, the show will undergo a number of changes that will ensure Orton’s supremacy over fellow competitors.
But I am a patient boy. I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait until the day the WWE decides to shift a portion of its focus on the younger generation.
Or are we doomed to another five years of John Cena and Randy Orton?