Off the Topic – Cena, Brock and the State of Tag Team wrestling
I was approached with an opportunity to write for PWMania recently by Andy Steven. I accepted it as I feel when an opportunity presents itself, you jump on it. It gets me writing, and it allows me a forum to speak my mind on something I love, wrestling. I may not love it as much as I did when I was a child, but it holds a special place in my heart and always will. I’ve been writing for NoDQ for several months now and was given a chance for a “brand extension” if you pardon my WWE lingo, so here I am. If you are unfamiliar with my writing, I take my time between columns and like to see things unfold before I comment on them. If you are familiar with me, well…hello again.
Now, onward and upward!
Lord Tensai tops the king of the mountain
WWE has been using John Cena better than they have in years. He has gotten his ass handed to him by Brock Lesnar after WrestleMania 28. He had a somewhat competitive albeit predictable and mediocre match with David Otunga which led to him getting hit with a cheap shot and then having his ass handed to him again by Brock Lesnar. All this led up to this week’s RAW where Cena was placed in a matchup with Lord Tensai.
I will admit, I thought that they were going to feed Tensai to Cena this week, build up the match between Cena and Lesnar…however, the WWE swerved us and had Cena lose about as clean as he’s going to lose to a non-Rock/Brock. Albert never would have beaten Cena, but Tensai did…although he had numerous spots where help was given. Still, a win over Cena is no small feat.
Recently, Cena has put numerous people over and has been beaten multiple times. I believe this is the way WWE is responding to some fans(most adults and the internet community,) as they have probably realized this section of the Universe has a point about him. These fans have grown tired of Cena, not because he doesn’t work his ass off, but because he hasn’t changed in years. He’s grown stale. He hasn’t progressed or regressed as a character, he just is Cena. He uses the same moves around the same point in the match, and is almost as if he is a live version of the WWE 12 game. There are obviously exceptions as his matches with CM Punk and Shawn Michaels have illustrated(just to name a couple,) but people have grown to expect the same outcomes of Cena’s matches, that he will win and he will do so with the same moves in the same order, it’s just a matter of time.
I believe that this is the defining moment in his career. This is where he can have that moment where he goes all-in, makes the necessary change…or he can stay the exact same for the next 5 to 10 years and possibly hurt his legacy. Every superstar in this day and age turns at some point, it’s inevitable. I believe that it’s necessary when you’ve hit that wall you have to make the change. Cena needs to form an extremely strong bond with someone. It should be like Savage and Hogan from WrestleMania 4 to WrestleMania 5. Build it up a long time, and finally when it’s least expected he turns on his best friend. He doesn’t need to turn at this moment, but I believe we’re on the road to it…and with these turns business will come.
First things first, he must lose to Lesnar and continue the downward spiral.
I love the fact that Brock is back. I watched just about every MMA fight he’s ever had, and I watched basically his entire WWE career. I followed him when he tried out for NFL and even rooted for him to make it. It’s a good thing he didn’t make it in the NFL though, he’d be banned for life for hitting the other players too hard. Vince would love that, wouldn’t he?
As far as Brock is concerned, I feel that he made the right choice to leave the world of UFC and MMA and go back to the WWE. Some might wonder why I say this. This is because everyone knew that he was battling diverticulitis(multiple instances,) that he had to have a portion of his intestines removed through surgery, especially his last opponent Alistair Overeem.
He knew about this, and he targeted Brock’s surgically repaired body, right where he would have had the procedure. It’s a fight and legal, but it is classless and I don’t blame Brock one bit for possibly having backed out during that fight. Overeem was trying to hurt him and the manner he was trying to hurt Brock could have possibly killed him.
You get involved in a sport to test your abilities, not your life. There are some instances where an athlete is killed, most often in boxing due to the repeated blows to the head, but you don’t go in there with the intention to purposely hurt your opponent, especially in ways that could cause serious injure them to the point where it could kill them. Overeem had one gameplan that night, hurt Brock Lesnar. Hurt him where he is most vulnerable, where he is most susceptible. Lesnar went down because a fight wasn’t worth risking his life. Overeem has since tested positive for extremely high amounts of testosterone and has an alleged history of using performance-enhancing substances.
Lesnar on the other hand is making more in this year than Overeem will, and doesn’t have to risk someone legitimately trying to grievously injure him. He is back in an environment where he can perform at a high level and he has a few years left in him if the schedule is to his liking. He gets to hear from the fans on an almost weekly basis, instead of the every six months or so like it was in UFC. He creates an environment in the WWE that isn’t there when he isn’t.
Some have said he’s bringing legitimacy to the WWE. I would wholeheartedly agree. His presence can only help WWE.
What I’m looking forward to most is what he will do after he beats Cena. There are numerous stars who haven’t fought him before and it adds a level of freshness. There are opportunities for WWE and Lesnar to make a lot of money over the next year, but most importantly, they can give the fans a year to remember forever.
Something that fans won’t remember forever, however, are the current Tag Team Champions. Why?
The Tag Team Championship is more worthless now than ever before
Poor Epico & Primo & Rosa. They go to social media to get out there, make a valid point and are punished for it. I guess as some things change in the WWE, some things stay exactly the same. They griped for weeks about not being used on TV or ‘Mania, and their reward? They, the current Tag Team Champions, were squashed by a team only put together for one night.
It’s arguable that there were two wrestlers on the winning team of Big Show & Khali. I understand the importance to Khali as he is a huge celebrity in India, but let’s be serious…the guy can’t wrestle a match. He can’t make anyone look good and even he has a hard time doing anything, other than chopping someone, in a manner that can be considered “good”.
He does have some pretty good chest chops. I do think Khali should be relegated to a Tag Team…but he should also be limited in the ring. He needs to have a good wrestler as a partner that can carry a match while occasionally tagging in and hitting a few big moves here and there. Hell, put him in a team with Yoshi Tatsu. Couldn’t hurt either one, could it?
About Epico & Primo…I just don’t understand why they would squash their champions like this. I mean, I do understand…but the only thing I see is them losing the titles and losing them soon. I don’t know who would win it, but it’s going to happen sooner than later. They’re a decent team, but we’re at the point in tag team wrestling that we were when you had the Headbangers against the Godwinn’s and the like, right before tag team wrestling was revitalized by The Dudley Boyz, the Hardyz and Edge & Christian. There will be a team that breaks out and makes people want to watch tag teams, but until then you have Epico & Primo as champions, or someone else.
I still say the Uso’s are the best team in the WWE right now. Every time I see them, I am not disappointed. They can wrestle and they wrestle in an entertaining style. They’re not perfect, but they’re as good, if not better than the team of Epico & Primo.
It’s such a shame, they have so much talent that could revitalize the Tag Team division, and it is simply an afterthought week in and week out.
This wraps up the first PWMania edition of Off the Topic
If you’re interested in checking out my column on NoDQ, I’ll post the link shortly after I get this one posted up. I cover the recent happenings with CM Punk and Mark Henry as well as Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan and YES!, the United States Title, Santino Marella and Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger.