WWE: Performing Festivus' Airing of Grievances
The holidays are finally upon us. No, not Christmas. Today is the holiday known as Festivus. Festivus, for those uninformed, was a holiday first discussed on a 1997 episode of the pop culture juggernaut Seinfeld. The holiday is built to be almost an anti-Christmas or a winter holiday not about commercialism with gifts.
Perhaps the most famous aspect of the Festivus holiday is the annual Airing of Grievances, which is a way for the family to get together and talk about all the ways that people have disappointed you over the last year. To be honest, it is about as basic as most holidays seem to get. Without getting into giving out gifts, the gifts involved in Festivus is absolute honesty.
WWE is in need of some Festivus celebration. With today being Festivus and the Feats of Strength being taken care of by the wrestlers, here are my Airing of Grievances to some members of WWE.
Let's start with the face of WWE, John Cena. Cena became a 10-time WWE Champion in 2011, the first man to ever do that. Cena started the year chasing The Miz and his WWE Championship, losing the WrestleMania main event. Once he took it from The Miz, his next feud was with CM Punk, whom lit the summer up with. Their match at Money in the Bank was a fantastic match. Cena would see Punk lose his title to Alberto Del Rio and take it right back from him. Punk would lose the title right back before gaining focus on his feud with The Rock, something that existed for most of the year.
Cena was the only man to hold the championship three times in 2011. Even with his WrestleMania match with The Rock planned a year in advance, Cena was a constant world title contender. Cena had his spot at the big pay-per-view in 2012 already taken, but was constantly defeating everyone, squashing their momentum and chances of a WrestleMania match.
There was a lot of Cena hatred over the past year. R-Truth called for a conspiracy, crowds in Chicago and New York City were especially harsh and even "Rowdy" Roddy Piper tried to rattle the cage for Cena. All the while, Cena refused to make much of it. Cena couldn't care less if people booed, but took special exception to Zack Ryder not getting a title shot or Alberto Del Rio being WWE Champion? Come on, man!
Next, you'll tell me that WWE will start selling anti-Cena shirts and you won't mind...
I mentioned The Rock and his upcoming match at WrestleMania with John Cena. The Rock isn't off the hook either. The People's Champion returns shockingly to host this year's WrestleMania, impacting a main event. In what would have been a rare double count-out in WrestleMania history, The Rock had the match restart, only to attack Cena, which should have been a disqualification. Instead, it leads to The Miz successfully retaining.
The following night has The Rock and Cena making a main event match for WrestleMania one year in advance. Instead of getting back into the swing of things, The Rock makes rare appearances on television with the majority of those appearances being taped trash talk for John Cena. The Rock's return to Miami for WrestleMania is hyped until it is announced that The Rock will wrestle at Survivor Series. Then, it is announced that The Rock will be a partner of Cena's.
The match showed that The Rock could still wrestle at a high level, but he has not appeared once on WWE since his match at Survivor Series. Every single time that fans get behind The Rock and his big match with Cena, he doesn't show up regularly. Does he know that RAW is on every week? Someone find me Michael Cole to tell him that annoying speech about RAW being a long-running weekly show.
I might as well get Michael Cole out of the way now. There is just so much to talk about with him that we should just dive right into it. Cole ends 2010 by costing an aging Jerry Lawler a chance to win the WWE Championship. That ridiculous notion continued into 2011 as Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler ended up becoming a WrestleMania match. The match was the fifth match of eight on the card, following a good Randy Orton-CM Punk match. This monstrosity of a match lasted just seven seconds less than the one that it followed. in all, this waste of time took up almost 14 minutes at a WrestleMania, making it the fourth-longest match of the night. Easily, it could have been even longer.
It got longer. Much longer. For the next two pay-per-views, Extreme Rules and Over The Limit, these two commentators continued to fight. The three matches combined for 24:01 of pay-per-view match time, which was about a half hour too much. This should have never been possible, let alone a reality.
Besides from his obvious ridiculousness in the ring, Cole has not gotten better at commentary. As a heel, he was actually amusing at first. It never got toned down and it is actually taking away from the product as a whole. End this man's free range with speaking. Stop piping sentences into his headset. This commentary team is at an all-time low.
Let me try to test my Spanish out for a minute.
No mas, Sin Cara!
You may be a worldwide phenom, but your style does not translate well to WWE. You need to find your place, much like Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio, two good masked wrestlers, did when they joined WWE. Your style is too raw and different from your competitors that your matches look lackluster. You showed an attitude backstage from the very beginning. You were moved to Smackdown, mainly because your matches were awful live. If you weren't Triple H's first international signing and known across the dirt sheets as his "pet project", you would have gotten fired already.
You also violated the Wellness Policy in the summer, prompting an injury angle. Your merchandise was such a good seller that WWE had to bring a developmental masked superstar to come in and be your doppleganger. What makes it worse is that Hunico, your understudy, was better at your role than you were. After an awful feud, Hunico unmasks and actually has a brighter future than you do. At Survivor Series, when you could actually prove your worth, you get injured. You'll miss a good portion of 2012, but I doubt you'll actually be missed.
Oh, Randy. When will you ever learn? For your entire career, you have had such a difficult time in getting other superstars over that you feel are not on your level. Just ask Kofi Kingston. You have even gotten some people fired. Just ask Mr. Kennedy. This year, you added the ability to crush a heartfelt story and culmination in success for a fan favorite. Just ask Christian.
Edge's retirement prompted a WWE Draft with the big move being Orton's switch to Smackdown. It was clear to many fans that this was done to have Orton be the big star on a brand for the first time in his career. Following Extreme Rules, Orton waltzes into his new show and takes Christian's World Heavyweight Championship. Christian did enough to stay on the level of Orton, but Orton did not relinqush that title until he was kicked in the groin.
Orton has also had feuds in 2011 with Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. Outside of Survivor Series, Orton refuses to lose in a big venue. Orton will beat them on a pay-per-view, but look week on television. It doesn't work that way. When your biggest way to help your new brand all year is jobbing to Mark Henry at Night of Champions, you're clearly not doing a good job. You don't get talent over for their last great run and not help the young talent out.
John Morrison, you have had just about every chance that WWE could have given you. After all, you were discovered by WWE in Tough Enough. You are still a young guy now and they found you way back in 2002. After nine years in the company, your time for not improving, as well as your second chances for screwing up, has all run out. Morrison was a fan favorite with a solid gimmick and a fresh look. At every crossroads, Morrison took the wrong turn.
Morrison's final chance was basically spent after WrestleMania. Morrison was tagging with legend Trish Stratus and "why is she a celebrity?" Snooki. Morrison, apparently prompted by his girlfriend, Melina, gave a supposed "cold shoulder" to Stratus. Melina was apparently upset that she was not considered for the spot. Morrison put a lot of his chances and threw them in the garbage for his personal relationships.
Newsflash to Morrison: if you want to be something in this or any other business, you need to be a company guy. You may not be too thrilled with having to wrestle with a guido from an MTV reality show, but it's that stuff that will be remembered when the creative team has to decide what to do for you.
Seriously, what week are we in? How many more weeks do you need to go before you just crown Titus O'Neil the winner of the season that won't ever end? William Regal is too good on commentary to be in a holding pattern. Move on to season six. At least have other FCW talents move up and have a spot. Even if they take months before they eliminate anybody, it would be much better than watching a bunch of rejects from past seasons be in the same competition for almost a year now.
Speaking of NXT, let's move to Brodus Clay, one of the best things to ever come out of that show.
Brodus, you are in a great position right now. The big men of the company are older and will be retiring pretty soon. Big Show and Mark Henry can only be dominant for so much longer. Clay needs to debut and soon. His promos have stopped and, while fans have given up in him coming out entirely, Clay needs to stay as a company guy. If he doesn't, see John Morrison and ask him how unemployment feels.
Clay filmed a movie with WWE, so it's obvious that he is a guy for the future. Speaking of Morrison, the original plan was for Clay to debut and write Morrison off television. Instead, Clay did the one stupid thing that many WWE superstars have done this year: spoil storylines on Twitter. Brodus Clay, just stop talking on your Twitter account.
You seem like more of the soft-spoken, hard-hitting type anyway. Who would want to possibly follow your tweets? What could a superstar yet to debut again possibly need to tell people? Just be quiet and prepare for whatever way WWE has you debut now. Forever, this will be linked to your character and the questions of which way for debuting would have been better will forever be asked.
It has been a year and a half since Dave Batista was even a WWE superstar. So why are we talking about him? Because he keeps talking about wrestling. It's been a classic flaw of Batista. Even years ago, he spoke openly and was critical of wrestling, mainly WWE and TNA.
Batista was a late bloomer and debuted in WWE at a late point in his career. Even with that, he still accomplished so much in the company. A multi-time world champion, Batista left the company due to not liking the direction of the company. Eighteen months later, it would be hard to agree with Batista's stance.
Batista attempted to sign a deal with an MMA company, but has nothing to show for it. Pictures of him recently suggest that he has lost a lot of muscle, but still kept his attitude. Recent tweets from Batista have him being critical of new World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.
Dave, instead of having sour grapes, just make nice with WWE. You left on bad terms while having your best gimmick in your entire career. That left a lot of money on the table on your part, but that was the mistake you made. Don't start raining on the parade of other wrestlers, especially guys who have made a career of it like Bryan.
I didn't forget about you, Mr. Ryder. You started a YouTube show to basically make fun of your position with WWE. People attached themselves to it and enjoyed when you would make fun of yourself. You were a simple guy that started with a basic t-shirt, a Flip camera and nothing else. Your first episode had you playing with your action figure, pinning The Rock, and listening to music, belting Justin Bieber.
I'll be the one to say it, Zack. You kind of sold out. You now have Broski on just about anything possibly sold by WWE. The production value on the shows suggest that it is much more than just Ryder and his Long Island broskis editing it.
When you get right down to it, your show, which launched your popularity, was all about how disrespected you were and how much of a loser you really were. It was a joke and everyone was laughing. Now, Ryder is winning matches and is a legitimate champion in WWE.
Forty-five weeks after starting this series just for fun, Z! True Long Island Story no longer says anything funny. It ends up being random things with Zack's friends and a lot of "broski" puns. Zack's father used to cheer for someone else instead of him and now, after TLC, he has never been prouder of his son? Are you serious, bro?
Zack, you have run into the paradox that would have occurred if you actually got noticed with these videos. You can't make fun of the company that made you, nor can you try to completely sell out from the fans that made you popular. There's no way out of this and it is going to get messy quickly.