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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: Go Big or Go Bold at WWE Money in the Bank
By The Doc
Jun 24, 2014 - 9:03:45 PM

The Snowman is a genius

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What would be the most interesting storyline that you could come up with for Summerslam this year?

Wrestling, as it is in life, is cyclical. There is a pattern to WWE interest that has become well defined in the modern era. The New Year brings with it renewed enthusiasm. With Royal Rumble on the horizon igniting WrestleMania dreams, the fanbase wakes up from an autumn nap as creative snaps out of its lull and starts putting the wheels in motion for what promise to be the year’s top feuds. “The Granddaddy of ‘em All” kicks ass, takes names, rakes in millions, and gives the wrestlers their Christmas, while we revel in it. Emotional connections to WWE peak. Most of the time, there is some short-term carryover from Mania into the end of April/early May PPV, but then we collectively hit the wall – WWE, the superstars, and the fans.

This year, the carryover lasted a little bit longer than usual, but the slump has finally set in for WWE. The combination of The Shield rising to the top of the card, the reformation of last decade’s most dominant stable, the continued intrigue brought forth by Bray Wyatt’s character, the number of fresh faces in key positions, and the uncertainty surrounding Daniel Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship were enough to shift wrestling’s worst month from May to June this year. Like in Terminator 3, when an adult John Connor learns that his adolescent coup of Cyberdine did not stop Judgment Day, but merely postponed it, wrestling has not been able to bypass its yearly post-Mania season borefest. We’ve been noticing it across the board on LOP and I, personally, have sensed it in much of the fanbase that I communicate with on a weekly basis. The period that my buddy, Q, often refers to as “wrestling’s yearly doldrums” has arrived. Other, more interesting things have hit the television airwaves (i.e. The World Cup). So, despite there being some good things going on in WWE right now, it feels like pulling teeth to sit through an entire 3 hour broadcast. My expectations are high for the quality and unpredictability of the WWE Championship in the Bank Ladder match this Sunday, as described in last week’s column. Dripping with enthusiasm that there’s a PPV in five days, though, I am most definitely not.

I’m finding, right now, that I do not start watching Raw on DVR until 10PM EST and I’m usually caught up with the live broadcast by the time the main-event starts – which, for the record, I’ve turned off early and gone onto bed for the second consecutive week. As much as I’m digging The Shield trio’s individual exploits and Wyatt’s promos, the weaknesses in the current product are a lot more glaring when there’s so much else that I could be doing. It only takes a half hour to watch the segments featuring the personalities in whom I’m most invested. The most exciting part of my wrestling-related week, to be honest, is my countdown of old Summerslam matches (Doc’s note – I’ve enjoyed Mysterio-Angle, Y2J-Cena, Warrior-Rude 1, Angle-Lesnar, and Cena-Orton 1, thus far, and this week is the two “youngest champion in history” bouts from 2002 and 2004, respectively).

In recent years, WWE have worked hard to ensure that the product snapped out of its funk in time for Summerslam hype by offering up a major happening in the early part of the summer. I’m guessing that Bryan’s injury threw a wrench into their thought process in 2014. I just hope that WWE can quickly regroup. Surely, the event with the “one of the top 5 worst drawing PPVs in WWE history” label after Money in the Bank comes and goes does nothing to help current affairs. Battleground on the horizon is like knowing that you’ve got a root canal scheduled. It simply screams “WWE is going to keep on coasting.” Last year, the elimination of the tedious Over the Limit event in May and the adoption of a “less is more after Mania” approach also seemed to eliminate the horrible spring PPV that came to be expected over the years. Throwing Battleground into the summer line-up seems to ensure that we’ll get the throwaway PPV a season later than expected. It was after all, the event that served that exact role last fall. WWE has two annual lulls - during this time of the year and in the fall - and they usually last about two months apiece. It’s tempting to forgo the next three Raws and just tune back in when they clear the road straight to Los Angeles.

With apathy setting in, I have a suggestion for WWE at Money in the Bank: Go Big or Go Bold. The Championship main-event should give us the year’s newest in a long line of Match of the Year candidates and the Contract Ladder match could swoop in and steal the show, but simultaneously use Sunday as an opportunity, WWE, to majorly boost the intrigue moving forward with either the reintroduction of a BIG-time star (namely Brock Lesnar) or the crowning of a new champion that will get people talking (like Reigns or Cesaro or Wyatt or even a cash-in from Rollins if he wins the briefcase) (BOLD). Don’t go status quo, Vince McMahon. I can handle an Orton win to end a good show with an announcement by Daniel Bryan that he’s coming back next month reclaim his title and get the original Summerslam plan back on track, but ideally there’d be more. I’m not sure I can stomach much more of “The Demon, Kane” or another John Cena title reign right now, as rumors have suggested may be in the works. If Cena wins, I quiet…as in, I take a month off. Have Brock maul someone and get his next program off the ground, bring in Sting for a temporary fix, have a dawning of a new era, or do all of the above. I don’t care what you do, WWE, but just do something to reinvigorate my fervor for the product.

I’m quietly confident that WWE are about ready to play their trump card. They have a solid track record of it these past few years. I just need them to go ahead and put it on the table. Because I’m getting bored…and sleepy…andddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

Oh, sorry, I dozed off.

Enjoy Money in the Bank!

To order “The WrestleMania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment,” click here

During the Summerslam push for the book, we will be doing a series of Q&A sessions, one of which will be exclusively for LOP readers. If you have a question you’d like to ask about the book (content or otherwise), please email, tweet, send a message on FB, or simply leave it in the comment section below. Thanks!


Wednesday at 5PM EST - The Doc Says...”What to Expect from WWE Money in the Bank”

On this week's edition of "The Doc Says," we'll take an in-depth look at WWE Money in the Bank with a 5-star Preview, ranking the advertised matches from 1 (least interested) to 5 (most interested). Also, the Win/Fail from Monday Night Raw. Was it a good go-home show before Sunday's PPV? The Doc will follow up his column thoughts on the overall product being rather boring at present time, as well, before wrapping up the show with a discussion of Money in the Bank's legacy.

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