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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - The One Wrestler John Cena SHOULD Be Feuding With... (NOT Ryback)
By Mr. Tito
May 28, 2013 - 11:10:43 PM
I watched Monday Night RAW in amazement as the WWE began hyping its next Pay Per View, WWE Payback. Usually, your Main Event scene is what draws wrestling fans to actually buy your Pay Per Views. Certainly, the midcard is important, but the real drawing power is at the top. That's why the WWE ran with Rock vs. John Cena for the past 2 Wrestlemanias. Whether you were big fans of those matches or not, Rock and John Cena are 2 of the biggest draws of all time. It made great business sense to not only have them wrestle once, but twice. Both Wrestlemania 28 and Wrestlemania 29 both drew over 1,000,000 buys, along with Rock and John Cena being involved with the Main Event at Wrestlemania 27 helping that show to draw above 1,000,000 as well. The Main Event or World Title program is very important to a Pay Per View.
Which is what baffles me about why the WWE wants more of Ryback vs. John Cena for the WWE Title program. It's not like we were utterly amazed at the "Last Man Standing" effort at Extreme Rules 2013, nor were we that angry at Ryback for his heelish ways. At WWE Payback, however, we're getting a 3 STAGES OF HELL MATCH with the first fall being a Lumberjack Match, the second being a Tables Match, and the third, get this... an Ambulance Match! It is sure to rival the greatest 3 Stages of Hell Match all time, Triple H vs. Steve Austin from No way Out 2001! *SARCASM*
No, let me predict it right now... WWE Payback will be a DISASTER unless the WWE can officially confirm that the show will feature CM Punk's return.
Nobody wants to see John Cena vs. Ryback again. There is NO HEAT to the match. For much of 2012, the WWE force fed Ryback down our throats as the unstoppable babyface. Like it or not, the WWE used the Bill Goldberg playbook in attempts to get Ryback over. However, unlike Goldberg, Ryback was pushed hard like the next greatest thing. Bill Goldberg through early 1998 was naturally getting over. Goldberg had the charisma that made fans want to root for the guy. WCW fans didn't require bookers to tell them Goldberg great. Fans determined that Bill Goldberg was their guy. WWE's Creative Team has determined that Ryback should be the fans' guy. That's the difference. Bill Goldberg fell apart when the booking got ridiculous and they pushed him to the WCW Title way too early. The booking overkill is what destroyed Bill Goldberg. Ryback's entire booking has been overkill.
For much of 2012 and the first few months of 2013, Ryback was pushed as the next great babyface wrestler. Despite the non-stop "Goldberg" chants, the WWE put a lot of capital into Ryback's push. Then, right after Wrestlemania 29 (and he somehow lost that Mark Henry match, by the way), he's flirting with becoming a heel against the company's top babyface, John Cena. Maybe it could work if the WWE kept Ryback's babyface push going, but they flirted with Ryback as a heel by having him watch the Shield whoop on John Cena, shoot on Cena on the mic, and then attacking Cena. After a year of pushing him hard as the next greatest babyface, the WWE performs a U-turn on the character. Quite confusing to fans... But don't worry, we're about to get THREE STAGES OF HELL after seeing an epic finish to the protected booking match known as "Last Man Standing" when the match ended in a "no contest". Can you dig it?!?
It won't draw. Let the "Excellence in Column Writing" predict it right now... WWE Payback 2013 will be less than last year's June Pay Per View, No Way Out 2012. It had 194,000 buys, but I'm starting to sense that WWE Payback might challenge the low from the June 2011 Pay Per View number, 170,000, at WWE Capitol Punishment 2011. We're thin on the WWE Title scene with Ryback vs. John Cena and also on the Smackdown brand with the World Heavyweight Title in limbo due to Dolph Ziggler's injury. Probably no Brock Lesnar or Triple H. This show will be highly dependent upon CM Punk actually creating drawing power for the show. Imagine that, CM Punk... A draw? WWE RAW has been consistently hitting 2.9 ratings since Punk left the show...
WWE needs a much stronger Main Event program, particularly with its WWE Title. That is the trademark World Championship for the WWE and feuds/matches involving that title should be what draws fans to the Pay Per View. In addition, the matches must be good. When wrestling fans spend their hard earned income on Pay Per Views, they expect a good match for the WWE Title. At WWE Payback, watching Lumberjack, Tables, and Ambulance matches aren't ideal models for a strong Main Event. Those are gimmick matches that Monday Night RAW might use on occasion for a cheap televised main event match. In fact, ending RAW on a Lumberjack or a Tables match actually sucks... It would take a CM Punk shoot interview to make the ending of a Tables match appear interesting... (R-Truth vs. John Cena during Las Vegas RAW when Punk unleashed the "Pipebomb" speech).
John Cena needs a better all around opponent, period. There exists only ONE man on the WWE roster whom Cena hasn't worked an extended program with and could be a counterpart draw. Since he arrived in the WWE, twice, in 2010, the booking has gone completely against him. Yet, because of his natural abilities to get over and legitimate in-ring talent, he's overcome the bad cards dealt to him. This wrestler debuted with a hot angle and a heel stable during June 2010 yet the WWE fired him because he strangled an announcer with a necktie. Seriously. He thankfully returned to the WWE and was immediately given the United States title upon shortly after his SummerSlam 2010 return. Then, he was given the Money in the Bank briefcase for 2011 and then won the World Title over the Big Show in a very cheap way. On his way to Wrestlemania 28, he was booked terribly as World Heavyweight Champion and lost to Sheamus at Wrestlemania 28 in 18 freakin' seconds.
Yes, I'm talking about Daniel Bryan. He is the PERFECT Main Event complement for John Cena. No other wrestler is as accomplished in the ring as Daniel Bryan, but is also over. Do you hear those crowds screaming "YES! YES! YES!"? Fans protested heavily about the Wrestlemania 28 debacle with Sheamus and the chants have intensified since. Pairing Bryan with Kane has actually rejuvenated the Big Red Machine, despite the wrestler being 46 years old and having done it all... Kane is wrestling at a high level as he appears happy with his Bryan pairing. He's 46 and actually wrestling some of his best matches with Bryan. The Dr. Shelby stuff was goofy but Bryan and Kane made the best of it, even with those strange Anger Management course segments.
And then you look at AJ Lee. Can anyone tell me how successful she's been since leaving Daniel Bryan? That RAW General Manager worked out so well, right? Now, she's a co-manager, along with Big E Langston, to Dolph Ziggler. As if Ziggler needs a manager to kick ass in the ring... WWE's Creative Team overplayed their hand with AJ Lee and thought that she was getting over and not Bryan. Oops! Major booking blunder with the General Manager crowning of AJ Lee at the 1,000th edition of RAW during 2012. The WWE soon figured out what a failure AJ was as RAW General Manager and quickly swapped her out for Vickie Guerrero. AJ tried a relationship angle with John Cena and then turned on him at TLC 2012 but people have forgot about that heel turn. She hasn't been as over as she was with Daniel Bryan.
Although Daniel Bryan and John Cena have wrestled a few times, we haven't seen an extensive program between the two. The big problem is that Daniel Bryan would have to turn HEEL to accomplish this needed Main Event feud. With the WWE trying to push Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, the Shield, now Curtis Axel, and possibly CM Punk when he returns, the WWE could be a bit crowded at the top for heels. Although, aside from CM Punk, none of those heels mentioned have the pure heel drawing power that Daniel Bryan could present. Better yet, Bryan could deliver great match after great match that will give WWE fans more bang for their Pay Per View bucks. Older fans would adore the guy as a heel and give the WWE the dynamic of younger fans chanting hard for Cena and older fans chanting hard for Bryan. Worked well for John Cena vs. CM Punk during 2011, and also in 2012.
I know, I know... Daniel Bryan is just 5'10" tall... WWE is the "Land of the Giants". But John Cena isn't exactly massive at 6'1". Dolph Ziggler is 6'0". Former champions Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero weren't tall champions. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart weren't massive wrestlers... Ditto Ric Flair. Maybe Bryan isn't as muscular as the others mentioned that makes him appear smaller. However, what Bryan has that offsets his size is his ability to strike opponents. Those kicks are deadly and he has credible enough offense to take down any wrestler. He is a beast in the ring just like the other smaller wrestlers mentioned. So Bryan is smaller than Kane, Undertaker, Sheamus, and Big Show... But who isn't? Those are large human beings.
For my last point about Daniel Bryan, consider this... The Shield. They are heralded as major booking successes and their matches are getting great praise. I'm a big fan of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns as much as the next guy. Wrote several columns praising this new heel stable. But who have they consistently wrestled against again? Repeatedly in 6 man or tag matches, Daniel Bryan over and over and over again. Even better, Bryan has been the one taking the pinfalls in their matches. He's not only selling their offense like a champ, but he's putting Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns over as the fallguy in most of the matches. In fact, I'd argue that the Shield are blessed to be working programs with Bryan. They might not look as legitimate without him...
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena could be the WWE's hot Main Event program... It's just a matter of actually believing in Bryan (convincing him to shave that damn beard) and creatively turning him heel to generate heat. It would be a unique experience to see Cena up against a competent in-ring technician who could sell any storyline. He's not getting that now with Ryback who unlike Bryan, isn't getting naturally over.
Plus... Both Bryan and Cena are practically brothers now with their love of the Bella Twins. Some of the match ideas that they could come up with at family gatherings...
Make it happen, WWE... Otherwise, give Cena some legitimate Main Eventers like CM Punk or Brock Lesnar to feud with. Otherwise, the Main Event scene will continue to be a lackluster draw for the WWE. Pay Per Views numbers will suffer.
So just chill til the next episode...
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