Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Call me a little naive, but I always believe in a person with authority. Whenever someone criticized the government by saying "Even I could do a better job" I quickly shot down that theory, reminding the person that the president went to school (sometimes law school) and had many years of experience before his current position.
I used to do the same with the WWE. I used to defend Vince McMahon when a questionable firing was made, or when a contract was allowed to expire. I used to defend creative when people claimed they were simply hotshotting shows. I used to rebuke these people and remind them that these writers all have experience in either television production or past wrestling.
I used to do all these things—keyword: used.
Does anyone at all remember back in June when CM Punk cut the promo that was thought to be an instant classic? Before that he was merely in the upper mid-card, and overnight seemingly he was transformed into one of the biggest stars in the business.
People talked and raved about the possibility of a new stable, perhaps called the Cult of Personality. Names like Daniel Bryan, Tyler Black, Colt Cabana, Jon Moxley, The Kings of Wrestling and Evan Bourne with CM Punk being the leader were all thrown out there. I myself envisioned one faction led by CM Punk and a face stable led by Daniel Bryan, independent wrestlers happy with their success in WWE.
But it never happened.
When CM Punk "left" I envisioned him being gone weeks, even months, returning at the Survivor Series, or perhaps even the Royal Rumble. Or if they thought it would still be hot by then, build up his return at WrestleMania.
That didn't happen. Instead we were treated to a lackluster WWE Championship tournament crowning Rey Mysterio as the new champion (with John Cena winning it back an hour later, I might add) and Punk returning the same night. When Triple H returned I pictured real change like he said—the push of new wrestlers, new opportunities.
Instead, at the last pay-per-view, the matches on the Raw side of Hell in a Cell was a main event featuring John Cena as champion (for the third time this year). When Kevin Nash returned, I thought of a New Kliq, or NWO, and yet he simply left after Triple H fired him (even though Nash specifically stated that John Laryngitis signed him to a contract that would pay him even if he sat at home).
When Miz and Truth began speaking of conspiracies and were fired, I pictured a huge stable with a corporate leader that would benefit everyone and send The Miz in particular back to the main-event scene. And yet they were simply reinstated with no warning on an episode of Raw.
Now I'm not saying that I don't have faith in this storyline...wait, yes I am.
Remember the Anonymous Raw General Manager storyline? Remember The Nexus? and the Corre? Remember Wade Barrett's career? I sure don't.
WWE is in a state of panic. With ratings reaching record lows and a lack of main-event talent (I count six: Cena, Orton, Punk, Henry, Del Rio, Sheamus). In 2005, WWE had a mix of old and new. They had new main-eventers in Cena, Batista, Orton, Edge and Mysterio. They had their old hats who could still hold the title in Triple H, HBK, Angle, Benoit, Guerrero, Undertaker and JBL. And, they were preparing for the future with stars such as Shelton Benjamin, Bobby Lashley and Carlito.
None of that is happening now. None of the WWE's up-and-comers look credible with the possible exception of Cody Rhodes.
People often complain that the WWE turns wrestlers face or heel for no good reason—case in point, Mason Ryan. And yet, I have a just reason. I have seen a combined five title reigns by Cena and Orton in one year alone and 10 in two years. I have seen booking on the fly, and random title changes.
At this point, I'm surprised someone hasn't staged a walkout and voted no confidence...
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