This week I decided to ask myself a few questions and answer them, you know talk to myself like a crazy person.
How special was CM Punk’s title victory at Madison Square Garden?
Well to answer that you first have to explain how important MSG is to the WWE. No one building holds more WWE history; no other building has wrestlers talking about it as MSG does. No on asks, “What’s your Target Center Moment?” Having a Madison Square Garden moment is what every great wrestler strives for. It’s the hollowed ground where Jimmy Snuka took flight from the top of the cage like a bloodied eagle swooping down on its prey. It’s where Kevin Nash beat Bob Backlund in 8 seconds and officially became a superstar. MSG is home to some of the rowdiest fans with the best chants in the WWE. The “We want Ryder” chants during the Morrison vs. Ziggler match were deafening, but nothing compared to the “Don’t tag Cena” chants. Which not to get off track but this is officially getting awkward for Cena and the WWE isn’t it. How much longer can Cena sit and play the “Ah shucks, some people like me, some don’t” routine? The balance of cheers to boo for Cena has tipped to the side of boos and they continue to act like its 2007. All right, back to the point I was making about Punk’s historic MSG title win. The WWE title has only changed hands there four times since 1984; it has been defended 34 times at MSG in that time. That’s less then 10% success rate for the challenger. Cena has never won the WWE title at MSG and he’s been the biggest star for almost a decade. There is a mystique about the place that makes what Punk did on Sunday that much more special. Punk is the most deserving of the honor of anyone on the roster because as his shirt says he is “the best in the world”. Punk put on two amazing matched back-to-back nights with two very different opponents in Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler. The Ziggler vs. Punk match has Raw match of the year written all over it. You have to be glad that such an amazing moment for an old school wrestler happened in an old school place MSG, on an old school pay per view like Survival Series.
Why do the WWE fans like Zack Ryder so much?
Now I’ve gone on record as saying I don’t buy into the Ryder hype. I just think his gimmick was played out months ago, and there is nothing special about his in ring work. The only thing Ryder had going for him for the longest time was his unique You Tube show. For the longest time that was the only place, you could really see Ryder but in spite of his lack of mainstream exposure, his fan base grew. He got a small but vocal following that he convinced he deserved a push. If you ask me this entire Ryder or Riot campaign is one giant work by the WWE crowd on WWE Creative. I’m not convinced Ryder has that many real fans so much as he has become a poster boy for a crowd that is irritated with WWE Creative. The disenfranchised have decided to tell creative “you want to screw this guy out of the title then we’ll chant harder and louder. We will be heard!” It’s as if the Internet smarks found their opportunity to stand their ground and fight creative. Ryder is just the face of the angry smarks more so then he is a true fan favorite, or so I’d like to believe.
Why does the WWE love twitter so much?
I can’t be the only one who finds all the Twitter pimping to be a bit annoying can I? The reason the WWE loves Twitter so much is because it’s instant gratification and instant validation. By getting topics to trend world wide, they can feel relevant and hip. The WWE thinks that if they can get trending topics every Monday they might get a few new curious viewers. It also allows wrestlers to continue stories when the cameras aren’t on. Like when R-Truth tried to sell his “concussion” on Twitter right before news broke that he wasn’t off TV because of injury but because he was being suspended for wellness policy violation. From what I’ve heard and read, it’s the same infraction Evan Bourne was suspended for, marijuana or synthetic marijuana. Which is very disappointing to see because both were finally getting their pushed and both made conscious decisions to let their fans and their fellow wrestlers down? Back to my point though, the WWE has a massive ego and is using Twitter to feed that ego. Will it get a few new fans? That is possible but I doubt it’ll make a significant difference. It is interesting however when used to push story lines, just not cool enough to justify the annoying graphics ever 6 seconds on every WWE event.
Is Sin Cara done in America?
Sin Cara has had a difficult year in the WWE. First, he struggled to adapt to American style wrestlers and guys with any kind of size. Just as he was making the needed adjustments and started, making a believer out of me he is suspended for a wellness, policy infraction (seems to be a common theme in this column, come on guys get your shit together). Then he comes back from that and puts on a few really good matches and again looks like he’s going to live up to the “Next Rey Mysterio” hype that was placed on him when he arrived in the WWE. Now this past Sunday he blew out his knee in what can on be described as a fluke injury. He was doing a routine suicide jump over the ropes to the outside when his knee just gave out on him. I looked like when a running back goes down without being touched and instantly grabs his leg. It looked so real it had my friends and I convinced it was a work because generally when a guy is hurt he tries to hide it. This shows me either that HHH and Mick Foley are tough as Hell for continuing to wrestle on similar injuries, or Sin Cara just doesn’t have that high of pain threshold. Either way he is out for 9-12 months, and I’m betting the over on that type of injury for that type of wrestler. Which leaves the WWE with only one legitimate Mexican star on the roster when their goal was to add more this year. The WWE is trying to get into the Latino market again as it was when Eddie Guerrero was at his peak. Big hit for Cara and big hit for the WWE, I hope he can come back and be successful. However, I have my reservations because it’s hard for high fliers to continue succeeding after a knee goes. The only real exception I know of is Rey Mysterio, and even Rey lost a step after his first knee surgery. It’s like pitchers and elbow surgery. They come back but they never quite have “it” again.
All right, that is all for this week folks, thank for reading. Also, if you enjoy my wrestling column then you should check out my new column at filmonair.com. You can reach me to complain, praise, or whatever either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter via @JaredGebhardt.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt