Mike Shannon’s Take – Thoughts on CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Rumble
I usually hate doing these bullet point, “quick hit” columns but with everything going on in the wrestling world lately, this seems to be the best way to cover everything.
-Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@MikeShannon22) already know my thoughts on the Royal Rumble but let’s just say that the Pittsburgh crowd was 100% correct. I was in attendance at the event (in a private box because Pittsburgh knows how to treat their celebrity wrestling columnists) and that live crowd was on fire all night long. I obviously didn’t get to hear how the commentary team reacted to the chants but I’m sure it was in their usual “look at the WWE Universe expressing their opinions…har har.”
-For those who are whining because Pittsburgh booed Rey Mysterio at the #30 slot, know this: They weren’t booing Rey Mysterio because they don’t like him, they were booing Rey Mysterio because he wasn’t Daniel Bryan…big difference.
-Tommy Dreamer had a fantastic idea: Rey wins the Rumble, shocking the crowd and the participants in the match. Mysterio stands the middle of the ring and unmasks to reveal himself to be Daniel Bryan. I swear the roof may have came off of the Consol Energy Center if that had actually occurred.
-Dave Batista looks like he’s been on a vegan diet for about a year. Now, I’m not suggesting that Big Dave had any help getting the physique he previously had in WWE, but he looks like a Jersey Shore reject with his aging muscle tone and European soccer wardrobe.
-John Cena and Randy Orton’s main event match has been praised by some as a “good match ruined by an upset crowd.” I don’t think that could be any further from the truth. Cena and Orton were having the same match they had 1,000 times before until the end when they hit each other with a million finishers and we were expected to give a crap. Not to mention the promised “straight up, one-on-one match” had a ref bump, a belt shot, and outside interference. If I were to attach a star rating to it, it was no better than **1/2.
-Speaking of which, the crowd was booing Orton and Cena because they are sick of seeing them, not because it was a bad match. The crowd never allowed Cena or Orton to win them over because the crowd didn’t want to get won over. The exact the same reason the crowd chanted for Roman Reigns during the Rumble is the same reason they chanted “we want Divas” and “end this match” during the title match. Quite simply, the people are sick of seeing the exact same guys in the exact same spots for the last 10 years.
-Lost in the shuffle is the fact that Roman Reigns looked fantastic in the Royal Rumble and Seth Rollins had a nice run as well. If WWE can properly book the Shield breakup angle, all three guys stand to benefit greatly. Obviously, Reigns will be the one with the proverbially rocket shoved up his ass but Ambrose and Rollins are both superstars in the making as well.
-While certainly not the worst Royal Rumble ever (1999 still holds that honor), the 2014 was one of the worst. The parade of jobbers like R-Truth, Erick Rowen, Damien Sandow, and Luke Harper just sucked the life out of the crowd during the middle of the match. Thankfully, they left Xavier Woods exactly where he belongs: Backstage.
-If WWE was really desperate to not let Daniel Bryan in the Rumble match, this is what they should have done. Forget about Rey Mysterio, have the number 30 countdown end and have no one show up. The crowd would have started chanting for Daniel Bryan and then had Wade Barrett walk out let everyone know he has some “bad news” for them. The heat would have been off the charts (not exactly for Barrett but you take what you can get) and then Rey Mysterio wouldn’t have gotten booed out of the building.
-Triple H wasn’t just the King of Kings in the opening segment of Raw on Monday, he was King of the Trolls.
-CM Punk’s walkout was almost inevitable. He’s had a chip on his shoulder for a long time about the direction of the company and you could almost see how burnt out he was. This feud with Kane that absolutely no one wants to see was probably just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
-I have no doubt that CM Punk will come back to WWE but he’s absolutely right if he’s walking out because of yet another part-timer (Batista) being brought in and instantly getting into the main event of the biggest show of the year. Batista’s ratings jump is only temporary and, soon enough, WWE is going to run out of old guys to bring in and pop ratings. You have to build new guys who people want to see. How long can you sell Wrestlemania based on the Undertaker’s match and a star from the early 2000s returning to challenge for the belt?
-Brock Lesnar’s beatdown of the Big Show was the best use of Show in about 8 years.
-I’m still holding out for an Undertaker vs. John Cena match at Wrestlemania because I’m worried Brock might cave in the old man’s skull with a wayward punch.
-If you were put in charge of WWE for one day and could fire any three guys you wanted, who would it be? My picks would probably be R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto Del Rio. You have to keep the Divas on the road to keep the boys happy.
-They should start putting random guys under the Sin Cara mask just to screw with Mistico. Next week, put Hornswoggle under the mask and have the announcers call it like it’s still the regular guy. The week after, Sheamus gets the Sin Cara treatment and even yells “fellah” a lot. You can even put Vickie under the mask if you want to have him/her cut a Spanish promo every once in awhile.
-Some people wanted my thoughts on WWE Network and they are very simple: Shut up and take my money.