One Count Kickout – The Gimmick Summer

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Once again we’ve come around to that time of year when the heat of Wrestlemania has faded out and the incessant nagging of gimmicked pay-per-views returns to WWE to torment us for a summer full of half-assed storylines and matches that revolve completely around their stipulation rather than the feud at hand.  In recent weeks we’ve witnessed the return of SuperCena, a controversy involving Christian and the World Heavyweight Title, the torturous continuation of the seemingly neverending feud between Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole as well as a host of other events some of which leave you wanting and others of which leave you wanting to change the channel.

John Cena is simultaneously one of the most loved and disliked superstars in WWE.  The kids, the women and some others seem to really enjoy him.  It is undeniable that he is the current marquee member of the WWE roster.  The main problem about John Cena is what has been termed as his “SuperCena” persona.  There is a level of frustration that is difficult to express when you can watch John Cena get beat down time and again and always make his miraculous recoveries.  Leading into Wrestlemania Cena got beat down week in and week out by the Miz and without fail he’d come back the next week like nothing had happened to him.  This lack of consistency is just another facet of the SuperCena persona and often times makes one wonder what the point is of putting this guy into situations where we’re supposed to believe there is a chance he might not be able to make a comeback.

Case in point will be his upcoming “I Quit” match against the Miz.  Is there truly even a shred of doubt in anyone’s mind that Cena is going to win this match?  We’ve been trained over the years that John Cena does not give up, and will not.  Suffice it to say that the Miz could probably drive a truck over Cena and he’d end up winning the match in the end.  It almost seems like a poor planned main event considering it seems highly unlikely that anyone out there saw the announcement of that match and thought “Oh I must see this, Cena could lose.”  Just from reading twitter one could see that the general consensus was that his assured Cena retains.  Then again, maybe this is what mature fans thought of Hulk Hogan throughout the 80s?  Seems less likely, but the parallels are hard to deny.

The internet was on fire last week with the Christian title loss to Randy Orton.  The backlash was fascinating to witness as it has always been clear that Christian is certainly a fan favorite it did come as somewhat of a surprise to see how insane fans went when this happened.  And perhaps, rightfully so.  Christian has been an emotional investment for years, coupled with Edge’s involvement, his title victory was an extremely special moment.  Fans finally got to see what they’ve been wanting to see for so long and it was clear that even Christian was caught up in the emotion of what happened.  However, WWE being WWE, they did what they do best:  put the belt on the same people as they always do.  Randy Orton returns to Smackdown and on his first night he wins the title from Christian, two days after the culmination of all the hopes for Christian.

The anger and outrage began before the show even aired and Randy Orton became a target, though it would seem that the more appropriate target would be WWE itself.  You have to face the sad fact that Christian broke Vince McMahon’s cardinal rule and he went off and worked for the enemy for a few years.  Now it seems probable that if Vince wants to push you he will despite where you’ve spent the past few years but Christian has never been on the list of who Vince sees as main eventers.  Is this fair?  Probably not, you’d think the man would at least be given a chance to run with the title and see if he can carry it.  However, if this angle leads to a decent main event storyline between Christian and Randy Orton he may be provided with the platform to show Vince exactly what he can bring to the table.  The fan’s anger is justified, but don’t jump the gun just yet.  Take a moment to breathe and give this a chance to evolve.  Getting screwed maybe the best thing that ever happens to Christian.

The Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler angle has gone on for what seems like an eternity.  The question this leaves you with is: why?  What is driving WWE to push this angle so often and so hard?  Do they believe that there is money in this, that fans actually want to see this match take place again and again?  Lets face it, this isn’t Ric Flair and Sting feuding back in the day (or in the future?  That’s a whole different story.)  You’re not seeing fantastic matches that make leave you hungering for more.  You’re seeing a storyline playout that seems entirely designed around making Michael Cole incredibly difficult to listen to, Jerry Lawler constantly coming out on the bottom of the pile and Jim Ross being collateral damage.

The ultimate goal seems hidden and the fact that this storyline is going still could mean that they are building up to something important, like an Anonymous GM reveal or a turn of some sort.  However that is less likely than it seemed back around the time of Wrestlemania and for the most part all I desire in relation to this storyline is to see it end.  No more Michael Cole speeches, no more Jack Swagger interference, no more Jim Ross embarrassment.  It is tiring, it is boring and it is in many ways, tasteless.  Maybe in Vince McMahon’s eyes bringing in the death of someone’s mother is a great idea to get heat but in this writer’s opinion it is uncomfortable to watch and extremely cheap heat.  One can only hope that we are finally seeing the end of this storyline.