KB's Corner: Christmas Gifts for the Wrestling Fan
It's the holiday season again and as usual, a light can be seen at the end of the tunnel that is the fall. Wrestling always takes a downturn during the fall with neither major company really putting in much of an effort to compete with the juggernaut that is the NFL. Gone are the days of filler pay per views like Battleground and the annual Autumn Big Show push that boggles my mind every year. In are the days of title unification, major feuds for the interesting characters and the beginning of the Road to Wrestlemania.
The biggest story in wrestling at the moment is the TLC main event to determine the new Undisputed WWE Champion (there's as much chance of it being called the Unified Title as there is of me being Miss Louisiana 1974) with John Cena facing Randy Orton. To say this is a very exciting time is an understatement, yet people don't seem interested in the match at all. “What a stale match!” they say, or “Cena vs. Orton AGAIN?”
This brings me to my first Christmas present to wrestling fans: a four year calendar.
Why four years you ask? That's how long it's been since Randy Orton and John Cena fought on pay per view for a world title. They haven't had a singles match in over three years and they haven't fought for the title since Hell in a Cell 2009. In wrestling, this is nothing short of an eternity.
Let's take a quick look back at what has happened in the last four years in WWE since October of 2009. The Rock has had two (three if you're being realistic) Wrestlemania main events including a WWE Championship, CM Punk held the WWE Title for over 400 days, Nexus debuted and disbanded, the rise and fall of Ryback, and most importantly, TEN men have won their first WWE world title. But somehow, Randy Orton vs. John Cena is still considered stale and overdone.
This brings me to Christmas present #2: a child's size John Cena t-shirt.
A lot of older wrestling fans tend to forget that the target audience for WWE is children. How many ten year olds do you think A, remember Cena vs. Orton happening or B, care that it happened? If four years is a long time to most wrestling fans, it's even longer to kids. They don't see this as a match that's happened multiple times before. They see it as their superhero vs. the most evil man in wrestling. Young WWE fans want to see John Cena beat Randy Orton and don't care about how long it's been since it's happened.
What fans that young won't see though is how good this is for WWE. It's been shown over the last few years that the World Heavyweight Championship really isn't needed in modern times. The main event scene isn't deep enough to support two world titles and eliminating one of those world titles is going to tighten the title picture up. It might even make the midcard titles mean a little something more. What a concept, right?
This brings me to my third Christmas present to WWE fans: pictures of Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio and R-Truth.
These are the kind of people that have been in world title matches in the last few years because we've needed four people in the title scene at once. They're talented guys, but they're just not people that belong in the world title hunt long term, or at all in some cases.
By unifying the titles, we're also going to deflate some of the world title stats. People like John Cena, Randy Orton and Edge were able to amass ridiculous amounts of world titles because they could lose one title and win another the next month (Edge literally did that on the same night once). When you win that many titles, getting another one just doesn't carry the same weight. It's kind of hard to get excited over someone doing something for the twelfth time in less than ten years you know?
Overall this is an excellent time to be a WWE fan and a lot of that is because of the upcoming world title unification. The match will be solid (Cena in a big match is money about 98.5% of the time), the winner isn't clear, and it can tighten up the world title scene in a way that has been needed for years now. If that doesn't give you a merry Christmas as a WWE fan, nothing is going to.