IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Ask Al Laiman #4
By Al Laiman
Jan 18, 2013 - 5:02:58 PM
credit Tom Jenner @imageblownout
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS Facebook Page
Alexander Goodlive Author Facebook Page
Jaded Hope Facebook Page
Please like my three project pages on Facebook and follow me on Twitter! I'll give you ham (and a follow back) if you do!
WATCH THE NEWEST EPISODE OF JADED HOPE - #96!
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Ask Al Laiman #4
@Aaronman99: @AlLaimanLOP Who would you rather see Taker face this year, Cena or Punk, and why?
I've been pretty clear about my wishes for WrestleMania, but let's take a look at the positives that could result out of either case scenario.
Undertaker vs. John Cena: Like it or not, John Cena is the biggest star of this generation. He's the most consistent draw, he's a good guy face that can put a good corporate face next to the banner, and that's not going to change. What is changing is that John Cena no longer needs the WWE title, or to even be in consideration for it. The time is coming where John Cena is becoming a special attraction, and his main event last year with The Rock was the shining example of that.
The Undertaker is clearly at the end of his career. How many more WrestleManias does he have? One? Two? Either way, seldom can an argument be made that there are many. However, in one night a year, the Undertaker has had four consecutive Match of the Year candidates. What are the chances we'll have this opportunity again? The biggest star of today against the Streak. Not someone on the verge of retirement, not a past name looking to send an age into the night, but someone still in their prime and selling out arenas. We've seen the match before, but not in a long time, and not on this stage.
Undertaker vs. CM Punk: CM Punk has spent the last year-plus not only retaining his title, but inventing new ways to win against the odds, instead of just overcoming them. There's no contending that Punk is the top heel in the company, and what better way to book the top heel than against a legendary name beyond necessary crowd disposition?
You want to make sure the streak of Match of the Year candidates goes to five? Who else on this roster could bring one out of the Deadman like CM Punk could? If they insist on doing The Rock vs. John Cena II, is there anyone else you can legitimately see facing The Undertaker? Might as well be another full-time current star, as opposed to another one-off like Brock Lesnar, right? Even if he didn't end the Streak, this kind of match at WrestleMania could make Punk a bigger star than he's already becoming, and WWE needs that now more than ever.
Verdict: John Cena vs. The Undertaker. I don't have any desire to see The Rock vs. John Cena again, and with the way Punk and Rocky are going at it, why would you want to? Face vs. face with virtually no interaction between them in any of the returns, or legendary microphone face vs. legendary microphone heel? Their interaction a week ago was better than anything from the previous year, and I enjoyed that buildup, though the match left a bit to be desired. I want to see The Rock vs. CM Punk in a rematch at WrestleMania, because I believe that match will have the most heat and be the most interesting, and I want to see John Cena vs. The Undertaker because I don't know if we'll ever have the chance to see it again.
@st_crab: @AlLaimanLOP How would you book the returning Mark Henry & Christian? Also, what do you think Christian have to do to be a top player?
Mark Henry's pretty easy to book. He's got a long history with Sheamus, and Sheamus needs something to do, since he's been relegated to Heath Slater's merry band of air guitarists. Sheamus is about to chicken-boot Slater again, and Mark Henry comes out of nowhere and hits the World's Strongest Slam. Done.
Christian? Not only do I not see him getting very strong booking in a return, but I don't think he will ever really be a top player. He'll be an upper midcarder, as he's mostly been, but that run at the top, I don't see it coming back again. He's not a young guy anymore, and I don't know what the investment would be in putting him on top at this point. I like Christian, but from a business standpoint, I don't think it's going to happen. Maybe getting into a feud with Wade Barrett or Antonio Cesaro, and helping them bring their game up to the next level could be in store. If there's one thing Christian's always done well, it's help other guys on their way to the main event.
@IanPowell20: @AlLaimanLOP why is taking off your shirt a sign you're pissed off in WWE? They all do it (except the ladies, unfortunately)
I don't know, but it always gets a pop, doesn't it? Something about it works. Wrestlers are always trying to figure out ways to appeal to the non-18-24 males, right? Shirtless guys with abs get ladies paying attention. Ask Greenwood about her "pretties."
@EmbraceTheBacon: @AlLaimanLOP With the end of Zack Ryder's show, do you see anyone else being able to use social media in the way he had?
The way he had? No. I never watched Ryder's show, because I never really got the gimmick, but you can't take away what the guy did with nothing. He turned it into something, and got a decent little run out of it before he was unceremoniously buried a few weeks later. It was his actions that led to the social media outburst from WWE, and now they have shows everywhere.
The invisibility countering with usage of social media isn't going to be repeated because for better or worse, they learned what they got with Zack Ryder. They gave the guy a chance, he probably wasn't ready for it, and look where he is now. Like him or hate him, I don't see them repeating what they did with Ryder. They'll probably monitor the usage of social media from all stars, and if any get over, it'll be on their own programming. Think of it like the gimmick names themselves... With few exceptions, if you're going to get yourself over, it's going to be under their name.
@Scott25Davies: @AlLaimanLOP is there anyway to get a autograph of you :)
Um... Yeah, I don't like in Narnia, so I don't see it being a problem. I offered a way to get signed books last week.
@Scott25Davies: @AlLaimanLOP Which wrestlers do you expect to retire this year?
For one, Triple H. From wrestling, that is. As he gets further into his role behind the scenes, I think once his match is redeemed with Brock Lesnar, we've finally seen the last of the Game. His speech after the Lesnar match was damn close to a retirement speech, and as emotional as it was, I don't see H lacing up the boots too many more times. Why would he need to?
Other than that, who knows? Big Show and Kane are both up there in years and could be close to that time, but you never can tell. You also never know when a situation like Edge is gonna pop out of nowhere. The roster is getting younger, but injuries can happen at any time. Is there anyone on the full-time active roster that looks like they may be in the twilight of their career? A few of the leftover vets from the Attitude Era. Someone mentioned Mark Henry and Christian are getting up there too. But hey, Larry Zbyszko still wrestles, so anything can happen.
@RandallMorrison: @AlLaimanLOP do you think RAW is better off sticking with the 3 hour format or should they go back to 2 hours?
Great question. A year ago, I might've said that going to three hours would improve visibility for the roster and give them a chance to get through a show without rushing everything.
Now, not so much. How have they used this extra time? Plugging social media, more Did You Knows, showing full replays of things on the hour, not to mention this week where they showed a full replay of the Shield segment right after it just happened.
How is it with an extra hour, not to mention, what five extra shows now, everything still feels rushed on the flagship show? Simple; they didn't expand the show to fit more wrestling in, they expanded it to get time for more commercials and product placement. With three hours, you can spend four different segments of the show explaining how to vote for the Slammy's, or just showing what people said on Twitter. Take the Slammy Award show, or even last week's 20th Anniversary... What was rushed? Matches setting up the tag title match were over in a minute.
With an extended show, and both Hustle and I have harped on this repeatedly, a longer show still has matches interrupted by commercials and more than half the roster getting jobber entrances. At this point, if they went back to two hours, it would be easier to watch and would feel about the same pace-wise. I miss when a three-hour RAW was something special and meant something.
WWE needs to take their Ritalin and learn a little time management. Instead of the self-fellatio called the Did You Knows, let a match develop without a commercial interrupting half the match. John Cena isn't going to be around to be the Deux Ex Machina forever.
Thanks for submitting and reading, everyone!
Just a little announcement, you'll be getting some very special columns come WrestleMania, because me and the better half will be there. I know I'm not the only LOPer that will be either, so I'm both looking forward to an amazing Hall-of-Fame/WrestleMania experience, but getting to meet some of you. Super-excited about going to the show too!
See you Monday Night for another edition of 30 Thoughts!
Oh, and you're welcome.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE BEST OF JADED HOPE - SEASON 3