If you were running a car dealership and you had one of the best salesman in the world on your payroll you’d have him out there selling cars like crazy, wouldn’t you? Well if you are the WWE, apparently you’d have him go out and test drive vehicles but in no way have him pitch the car to the person who was thinking about buying it. CM Punk is the best on the mic salesman the WWE has and instead of having him out selling Vengeance to us, for two weeks he’s said very little. The WWE is already in my opinion jamming excessively many pay per views down our throats in the last 2 months. So, why buy Vengeance? They have done little selling of the show, are you excited for Big Show vs. Mark Henry, I know I’m not. Only two matches have me intrigued, HHH and Punk vs. Miz and Truth, and Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes. I’m especially excited for Cody vs. Randy because they have a great in ring chemistry and a good back-story to get behind their rivalry.
Back to Punk and the WWE’s inexplicable, inexcusable decision to not have him sell the match to us. Look I’m not saying Punk is being buried as I’ve been reading everywhere else on the net. I don’t think the WWE walks away from the kind of merchandise sales numbers Punk can put up. I just think they have put stock in building other stories and just assume fans will get behind Punk and HHH with little mic time from Punk. While I can see the plan for what it is, I just think they would score more buys if Punk were being Punk every Monday. I mean did we really need Vickie, Dolph, and Swagger all to have mic time? Sell their tag match with either just Dolph or just Vickie. By the way, Dolph no longer needs Vickie; he has clearly grown into a great heel. He is what we all hoped John Morrison would become, amazing athlete that can put on great matches, but can also get over on the mic. Another by the way I’m out on Morrison for good, he just doesn’t have it and at this point one has to assume he never will.
If you haven’t figured it out I won’t be getting Vengeance. Why should I shell out 44.99 with no real build up and only two good matches to get behind? With that said, here are my picks for Vengeance for the matches that have been announced.
Beth Phoenix over Eve
(upset special) Cody Rhodes over Randy Orton
Swagger and Dolph over AirBoom
Mark Henry over Big Show (Honestly couldn’t care less who wins, both are unentertaining to me)
John Cena over Alberto Del Rio (No way Super Cena loses a last man standing match)
R-Truth and Miz over Punk and HHH
As part of my on going N.O.W. profile I interviewed current NOW World Champion Darin Corbin.
Jared: Who has been your biggest influence on the mic and in the ring?
Corbin: I remember watching guys like Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Chris Jericho. When they held a mic in their hands, you listened. If you have something worth saying, you will captivate people because you believe in your message. Too many times, I find that everybody wants to talk about “how they are going to win…how they are going to beat this guy up…AND IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!” Well, that’s fine. But I’ve heard it. And it’s cliché. So if I wanted to watch two guys just have a pissing contest, I’d go to a bar after hours and dis the local sports teams. These guys would grab a mic, own it, and step foot in a ring, and make people watch. They commanded it, not begged for it. And those guys were the inspiration for me.
Jared: You are N.O.W. ‘s world champion, how did it feel when you captured the title for the first time?
Corbin: For so long I had been a tag wrestler. And after breaking off on my own, it felt like I was still viewed the same. Nobody seemed to have faith that I could be a singles. Even though I knew. And when I captured the NOW Title, I proved a lot of people wrong. On top of that, I’ve defended that title not just in NOW, and not just in North Dakota, but overseas. I’m the reason it is a world title. So it was pretty rewarding to prove that I could branch out on my own, it was liberating.
Jared: I asked around and quite a few fans and wrestlers agree that you are a special in ring talent that the crowd wants to like. However, you have a knack for getting a crowd to hate you. How do you put on a great match crowd-pleasing match while still getting them to hate you afterwards?
Corbin: I think it is a weird complex for people to grasp. I do not shy away from criticism or controversy. I do whatever I feel like doing. And these things have brought me success. Therefore, the fans see me doing things my way and it stems two different reactions. Some of the people wish they could do what I do, and there is that jealousy that starts. So they hurl insults, boo me, etc etc and yet I’m still strong enough to take all their slings and arrows. The people, who like me, find a personal connection. I represent a part of them, or influence them. Therefore, they respect me. But I will not go out there and change who I am for anybody, you won’t see me reaching out for anybody’s approval. I’d rather be fueled by the hate, because it is such a stronger emotion. To provoke such despised reactions to me is an accomplishment. For the fans, it is an escape from reality, and I give them an outlet to blow off some steam or to make them forget. Either way, it is still me being me.
Jared: What has been your experience with N.O.W. crowds; compared to other crowds you’ve seen?
Corbin: The crowds at NOW are amusing to me. Tons of kids. Tons of families. Which is somewhat refreshing. You see these kids get a chance to experience what it is like to finally be able to speak out. They have no filter. They just let you know what they like and what they don’t. But, some of them are brats. I have been chased, tackled, had my jacket ripped, and had the entrances blocked. They are outta control. Makes me shake my head at the parents. But it’s North Dakota, what can you expect?
Jared: Several people compare you to a young Chris Jericho, high praise in my book. What do you say when you hear something like that? Do you like to hear that or would you rather people not draw comparisons and just see you for you?
Corbin: That is really cool to me. But either way, I think he was one of the best at being a well-rounded performer. Never had a bad match. Always an excellent captivator of the audience and could make you like him or hate him with just a look or opening line. So, if I’m being held in those regards. I’m doing a good job.
Jared: You’ve wrestled over seas where and how was that experience?
Corbin: It was such an eye opening experience for me. I got to see how different the view on wrestling is. I was on a brief tour where I ended up doing 9 shows in 8 days, only one day off. Which the guys over there do often. The constant cycle of travel, rest, wake up, get ready, do the show, repeat taught me a lot about how to wrestle around injuries and how to garner a response from the crowd. You learn to perfect little things and what maximizes everything you do; personality and move wise. I learned a lot from the guys over there, a lot of solid advice that I think has helped me back in the states. On top of that, learning the different styles was exciting for me. There was so much that I only got a glimpse on, I hope to return very soon.
Jared: What is your ultimate goal for your wrestling career?
Corbin: Well, I ultimately, and I think a lot of people may give me a hard time for this one, but is to just keep having fun. I met so many people early on in wrestling adventures that were bitter and had such resentment for the business. I never wanted to get that way. Didn’t understand why you would do something you hated. Would I love to go to WWE? Of course. Would I go to TNA? yes. If another televised promotion came up and wanted me on their roster would I accept? You bet. And do I have goals to try and get there? You bet I do. I want to do the best I can and work hard at what I do. If I never try, I only have myself to blame. If I don’t make it because I never attempted, that’s worse than failing to me. I can fail, because that means I went for it. And I learned from it. But no matter what happens if I can look back on everything I did, the journey I took, and can still appreciate all the time and hard work I put into and can say, “I don’t regret a thing, I enjoy this ride and had fun the whole way” then I have stayed true to myself.
Alright 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, this week I previewed the new season on Walking Dead. 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