Hello everybody, Liam here once again with another edition of Tea Time with Liam, where once again I’ll offer my ramblings on the wacky world of pro wrestling. Once again I’ve been a lazy boy, but you’re all probably used to it by now. Hopefully I’m offering you readers quality over quantity. I can hope anyway. Enough of the intro, lets get on with this weeks/months column.
Not for the first time this year, WWE has found itself in a sticky situation. Once again, one of the top wrestlers in the company is slightly injured and will have to miss the upcoming PPV. As you all know, CM Punk is currently hurt and will be missing the TLC PPV, meaning that the WWE title will not be defended on the show and unless something truly shocking happens, it almost certainly means that Punk will be facing The Rock at the Royal Rumble in January. This is the second time within three months that a top WWE wrestler has been forced to miss a PPV. The other case being John Cena missing the Hell in a Cell PPV due to injury.
Now when Cena was injured, the WWE forced themselves into a corner when they decided to go with the Ryback option to face Punk. You can say however that the decision was justified as Ryback has done remarkably well in his new position as a focal point on Raw. But once again the WWE have forced themselves into a corner, regarding CM Punk being injured. There would be no use whatsoever in Punk being stripped of the belt, especially after a title run which is now in its second year. What seems so obvious right now is that the depth of the WWE roster seems so thin, that apart from Cena and Punk, the main event on Raw is pretty lacklustre.
From what I’ve seen in recent weeks and months, It seems that WWE has finally realised the size of its main event roster. Now it could just be a co-incidence but the fact that Ryback and The Shield are now all becoming focal points on Raw, maybe the WWE are trying to find the next generation of main eveners. We all know that guys like Cena and Punk aren’t going to be around forever and sooner or later, someone younger will come in and try to take that spot. The WWE machine needs to keep on turning. New blood is needed not only to freshen things up, also to create a bit of competition within the locker room. Actually this could also be roster wide. A few new additions to get people talking, or to make them think “damn these new guys are good, maybe I should step up my game.”
What I’ve noticed this year though is a reluctance on WWE’s part to build up a person already on the roster in a under or mid card position. Of course we have one or two exceptions to that, Dolph Ziggler being the obvious person, but more often than not, what WWE have done this year is to try and bring someone new in or go down to FCW/NXT and call some people up to the main roster. We see this with Tensai which right now seems to be a failed experiment as the ex A Train now seems to be languishing as cannon fodder to mid card guys or to make a main eventer look good.
The former Skip Sheffield, now known as Ryback, has flourished since returning from injury. He succeeded where Tensai failed and with Ryback, the fans took to him fairly quickly and he’s already seen as a credible contender on Raw. We all hear about the look that Vince McMahon likes, and whether its true or not, Ryback certainly fits that six foot plus, three hundred pound guy. Ryback has been given a chance and he’s certainly running with it. He’s now easily the third contender on Raw behind Cena and Punk. I applaud WWE for not messing him up as of yet, since they seem to blow hot and cold on who they like and who they don’t like.
This year, we’ve had four new guys arrive from NXT/FCW. The three members of The Shield and Brad Maddox. Moving Maddox aside for just a moment as it’s not clear what WWE are doing with him right now, but The Shield are becoming a major part of Raw right now. Starting with their interference at the Survivor Series PPV, they’ve been tearing up Raw for almost the past month, each and every week, an alliance with CM Punk is hinted and teased. Now we don’t know how this will play out or how long they will be around for, They could bomb, they could flourish. They could become like the Nexus, where after their split, things just kind of went down hill. Or they could be a strand out guy who when they eventually split, might get the call to say “ Right, we like you. We’re going to run with you.”
What I really miss was when the Intercontinental or United States titles were seen as stepping stones to the main event, it rarely happens now where a mid card champion, its used to elevate you up. Now both mid card titles in WWE are practically worthless. When Kofi and Antonio eventually lose their title, they wont be elevated to main event. They’ll likely stay mid card, maybe challenging for the title again at some point but they’ll probably destined to stay in mid card hell for the foreseeable future.
One of my favourite WWE careers is that of Egde. He started out as a young guy. Spent years working his arse off. He really worked his way through WWE. And even though he had to retire early, if you look back at his accomplishments, he held almost every belt in WWE. Four time WWE champion, seven time World Heavyweight champion, United States champion, Five time intercontinental champion, Fourteen time tag champion (12 world and 2 WWE), King of the Ring, Money in the Bank and the Royal Rumble. It took him 14 years to achieve that. He worked his way for a little rookie that nobody knew and he went all the way to the Hall of fame.
That’s what I really want to see, but I fear those days are long gone. No longer do we see these types of stories. Everything just seems so rushed right now. It’s almost as if people are forced to the top right now. I’d love to see someone like Kingston or Rhodes, guys who have been there a good years now, finally move on up but for one reason or another, it just doesn’t seem like happening.
What do you think? Do you think its time WWE created a new star? Does Ryback or members of The Shield have the potential? Do you think WWE maybe overlooking someone? Do you think we’ll ever see another Edge story, of someone starting from the bottom and moving up and slowly winning it all? Let me know.
Time for the plugs.
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That’s it for today. Thanks for reading.