Try to imagine two scenarios for a moment.
First, imagine your perfect dream being way out there in the distance. You want to grab that dream, drag it to you and hold it close for all eternity. It's out there and you can kind of see it, but not clearly. But you know it's there! And one day, you believe you'll have it.
Now, imagine that your dream gets dangled in front of you and then snatched away within an instant. Almost worse, isn't it? Because you got to see your dream right in front of you. It was right there, within your grasp, and it got pulled away too fast for you to get a hand around it.
June 27, 2011, this happened. CM Punk cut a classic promo, and all our dreams were dangled in front of us. Over the coming months, it was slowly pulled away, and many peoples' hearts sank.
However, this is what separates the truly faithful from the falsely faithful.
The truly faithful are willing to be patient, because they know their dream may be far out on the horizon, but they're willing to wait to capture it if waiting is what's required.
They're willing to stick it out and fight through the disappointment because they know they'll get what they want in the end, even if a bit of compromise needs to happen in between.
They will be happy with what they get because what they get is what they want. Get it?
The falsely faithful are those who don't believe we will ever achieve this dream of change in WWE.
They see that John Cena has a WWE Championship match against Del Rio in two weeks. They see CM Punk getting pinned at Hell in a Cell and Night of Champions and say "he's buried."
They see a massive storyline take place on one episode, only to get screwed by the bad guys, and they say, "back to the status quo!"
But is that really how it is? In recent years, WWE has been known to drop plenty of balls when it comes to storyline potential coming to fruition, but they've also had moments when their teases came true when we absolutely knew they would.
HBK took on Vince and began crotch-chopping, I knew DX would reunite and have one last hoorah and they did! Vince turned around in his chair to reveal an NWO logo, and I knew the group would be back eventually and they were! Two huge reveals they teased and both came true.
Does this mean that just because Nash came to the ring to NWO music, we'll see yet another NWO rebirth? Possibly not. Probably not. If done right, I believe it could be done well, but that's not the point.
The point is, WWE has been showing fans a number of different possibilities lately and then pulling them back so that we have things to hope for, and it's stupid for us to hope for our own little unique visions of what the future should be when maybe compromising a little can still make us happy.
Will we ever get an ROH guest night on Raw, like we got an ECW guest night years ago? Maybe. Only if WWE does well enough in the short-term.
When Kharma debuted, talk about the Divas Division getting a serious makeover, no pun intended, were rampant! She destroyed Divas on both Raw and Smackdown, and in a shocking turn, she revealed she was pregnant and had to step away for nine months to a year.
Well, right away, the Internet Wrestling Community sobbed and complained. They said Kharma was gone forever, that her push was effectively buried and ruined and, what proved an even greater shock, people started comparing her to Dawn Marie, and even though Dawn Marie had allegedly been fired because she was pregnant, people speculated that Kharma was next to go!
What they forgot is that Kharma has eons more potential than Dawn Marie, and her push barely started before she had to step away. Yes, it was unfortunate that she had to take time off after just getting our appetites whetted, but people know Kharma is out there. They haven't forgotten. And when she returns, it'll be like she never left.
Same thing with Punk's worked/shoot promo. Fans haven't forgotten that. They just acknowledge that he doesn't have to be yammering on 24/7 in order to gain respect. Fans remember what he's done and appreciate him for it.
This past Monday, they cheered CM Punk's name. I didn't hear any chants for or against Cena. If they were there, they weren't nearly as loud as Punk's were.
I read all the time on this site, articles written by people saying John Laurinaitis (learn to spell, it's not that hard) as interim Raw GM is a horrible idea. Is it? You don't think it could be just WWE presenting us with a good situation, in Triple H as COO fighting a conspiracy, and pulling it back as a tease to get us more worked up?
Why is it that people call Alberto Del Rio irrelevant and say he's "not over" because he doesn't get much response from crowds, but Laurinaitis gets some of the loudest boos on either show, up there with Mark Henry, R-Truth, Vickie Guerrero and Christian, and he gets no respect for that?
I thought crowd response was a huge factor, whether good or bad. Anyone gets loud response, they usually get respect. Gee, and I'm accused of overanalyzing.
So Laurinaitis isn't all that charismatic and has an annoying voice. So does Vicki! She has a horrifically annoying voice and she's a terrible actress, and she's respected as one of the top heels in the company.
A lot of people say Laurinaitis sucks as a choice for Raw GM because of those factors. How do I put this politely?
Of course he sucks! Bravo and Brava, you've won! You've figured it out, gumshoes! That's the whole idea!
We went from a computer running Raw to Vince interjecting due to CM Punk's threats. Okay, we appreciate Vince's quality on TV, we're on board so far.
Then, we went from Vince's brief interjection to Triple H as COO. Huge improvement, can we agree on that? It was something somewhat new, Triple H is good on the mic, he's funny and entertaining, not hugely biased, had lots of potential and for the most part, worked pretty well.
Now, Triple H's duties of running Raw have been circumvented by the Board of Directors and Laurinaitis has been named Raw GM until someone else is chosen.
First off, it's not permanent, so unbunch your panties. Guy doesn't get one whole episode of being Raw GM before people are freaking out.
Second, from a story I read on WWE.com, it seems as if Triple H may still be COO, however he's not allowed to run Raw. Might be a slight difference, might be no discernible change from if he were just a wrestler, but again, it's part of how WWE plays with us.
People, please, whatever you do, try and weigh your ability to be fans with your ability to analyze how the product is managed. Two different things.
For instance, if I were in attendance this Monday when Vince said that Laurinaitis would be running Raw as interim GM, I might've booed. Why? Because it's disappointing, insofar as I love Triple H and CM Punk and I don't want to see their progress slowed because of some jerk(s) in a suit.
Notice, I wouldn't be booing because they wrote a bad story. I would be booing because two of my favorite wrestlers/sports entertainers of all time are getting their hands tied by the dudes in power!
Take it from an author who's written numerous books. There's a huge difference between a story that is poorly written and sloppily thrown together, and a story whose twists are disappointing simply because characters die, the ones you root for lose sway and the ultimate goals of the heroes are subverted by the bad guys. A huge difference.
People who carry the "Cena heel turn" torch, we expect little kids to accept that disappointment, yet when we get disappointed that a storyline doesn't go our way, what's our reaction? "WWE dropped the ball, they ruined this storyline, their writers suck."
I will be the first to admit that in recent years, WWE has thrown together some really hasty storylines that fell very flat. As much I enjoyed Nexus led by Wade Barrett (enough to buy a long sleeve shirt to commemorate it), the turns that storyline took were awful!
Most of what made Nexus special died out within four to five months, they suffered a huge loss to Team WWE at Summerslam, and just when we thought that the group would get a resurgence when they helped Kane bury the Undertaker and CM Punk took over, everything kept falling flatter and flatter.
I understand a lot of original Nexus members got injured and were moved back to FCW for more training, etc., but if WWE had any desire to commit to keeping whatever momentum Nexus had strong, they would've brought up various mid-card pros who were busy doing nothing and padded Nexus with a little more clout when members dropped off or were "exiled."
So yes, there is such a thing as bad storytelling in WWE. It's not nonexistent. I just want people to differentiate.
There's a difference between being mad because Laurinaitis is a bad guy GM and we want our favorites back in power and prominence, and being mad because we think they're telling a bad story.
Hell, I hear all the time that CM Punk should be in a rivalry with Daniel Bryan. Why? Because they're two good wrestlers and their matches would be fun to watch? Where's the story there?
There's also a difference between tried-and-true and overdone. Alberto Del Rio's gimmick of being ridiculously rich and driving into the arena in a different car. That's tried-and-true. It's an easy gimmick, but it's classic and easy to feel something about.
John Cena getting another title shot this year against Del Rio at Vengeance, that's overdone, but see, even that is kind of an exception. The context guys like CM Punk and R-Truth have given us about the status quo of John Cena always being on top and management believing he's the best have changed the way even I, a known critic of Cena, feels about the outcome at Vengeance.
In real life, Del Rio might be a far better wrestler than Cena might be, however in relationship to experience in WWE, Del Rio doesn't stand a chance against Cena in two weeks.
Management knows this, and there's a good chance that's why Laurinaitis made the match on Monday. Easy pop for the fans, the company gets their golden boy the belt again (whether part of a kayfabe conspiracy or not), and all the fans who hate Cena get to be ahead of the game when Cena finally turns bad.
There are good stories in WWE and there are bad stories. The walkout not lasting more than a week? Get over it. The walkout was a one-off, it was not bound to last and is really only part of the climax that's building momentum for the conspiracy.
I've been informed the ratings made a considerable drop from the first hour to the second. Know why? Because people wanted to know how the story would play out. They saw something similar to what they've seen in the past, and maybe they changed the channel because they thought it wasn't worth it.
When everything plays out, they'll see. It would have been worth tuning in.
Punk tickled our taste buds and made us appreciate wrestling again. He put WWE management under the microscope and reminded us of what's important. He's not a different person because he hasn't gotten a lot of mic time the past few weeks, he's doing his job same as everyone. And he's picking the right spots to take more action. He's waiting this out, just like we should.
He's gotta have something to say next week. I love that, always pessimism from so many fans. Everyone sees Laurinaitis as a bad choice, but me?
I see Laurinaitis as interim Raw GM, he starts the show next week, and gets interrupted by yet another classic Punk promo where both my fiancee and I are laughing our asses off with our BITW shirts on.
He even tweeted the other day, and I'm paraphrasing: "Next time I kick Johnny Ace's face, it won't be an accident."
CM Punk's made it very clear: he wants to antagonize whoever is in power to incite the right kinds of change, and even if he has personal issues with Triple H, and can coexist to a small degree with Cena, he can solve those issues another time.
His mic skills are enough to carry this storyline exactly where it needs to go. Vince may have had the charisma to be a good foil for Austin back in the day, but Vince was still a cold, corporate character. Laurinaitis is perfect for this. He gets massive heat for exactly the right reasons, besides...
He's likely a very real-life reason John Cena has legitimately stayed at the top so long, which is what inspired Punk to take such an active role in sticking it to WWE Management in the first place.
There are more urgent matters to tend to. Like making a fool of the substitute teacher.