After this past Monday's edition of RAW, most fans were left with one very simple question repeating in their minds.
In a talent pool that consisted of "Mr. Wrestlemania" Shawn Michaels, the "Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rollah" Chris Jericho, and the leader of the newly christened "Legacy" Randy Orton, the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship is self made millionaire and energy drink salesman John "Bradshaw" Layfield. The man who was physically punked out by Joey Styles not long ago.
On the surface the decision to go with JBL is mind-numbing at best. Some would go as far as to argue that this is further proof WWE storylines are written by Triple H and Stephanie's babies arranging Alpha-Bits on the breakfast table. However, the reality of the situation is far less amusing. Layfield's support doesn't come from the creative department or corporate headquarters.
JBL is on the rise because of the collapsing U.S. economy.
Currently Layfield has the ability to be the ultimate heel without even trying simply because of who he is in reality. He and his wife are quite well off due to all of their successes outside of the wrestling ring, and WWE has capitalized on that fact almost too well.
While so many people are in dire financial straits and struggling to make ends meet, JBL can thank us for bailing out people like him and openly boast about how secure he is in life. It's sick, depraved, and borders heavily on the offensive.
More importantly? It works.
As we lay 2008 to rest, much of the future is uncertain and frightening. Many of the culprits who are to blame for the current economic mess are hidden in the shadows. JBL's current positioning gives people a face to direct a little bit of their anger towards. In some way, he acts as a small outlet for the general public's overall frustration. He also gives people a legitimate reason to back John Cena, which at times is something many people over the age of 16 are hard pressed to find.
So we come back to that burning question.
Really, why not?