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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - Was WWE Wise To Give Away Cena vs. Nakamura For Free? (Plus SummerSlam Discussion & More)
By Super Chrisss
Aug 2, 2017 - 3:07:35 PM

Tom Jenner rocks!

So we meet again, ReaderLand. It’s hard to believe that we’re already two days into the final month of summer (September doesn’t count), which means many of us will either be going back to work, going back to school, or in my case, teaching in a school. That’s right; for anyone who cares, I finally finished my seventh(ish) year of college/university and am now a licensed teacher. Which means I get to spend the next forty years of my life surrounded by teenagers. Yay!

But enough about me. We’re here to talk about the wrasslin’. Truth be told, there isn’t anything massive going on in the wrestling world that I found compelling enough to dedicate 1000 words to. Instead, I’m going to discuss a plethora of topics that, well, I would like to talk about. Think of it as a hodgepodge of thoughts, if you will.

And right now, I’m going to jump into the match that everyone else is talking about: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura from last night’s SmackDown Live. First and foremost, there was a lot of debate over the booking (and timing) of this match to begin with. Many people thought WWE were blowing their wad on a money-making, major-Pay-Per-View-headlining match for no reason. When two of the biggest stars in WWE – past (Cena) and present (Cena and Nakamura) – facing off on a random episode of SmackDown for the right to face jobber-turned-champion Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam, anyone will tell you that WWE booking makes no sense.

Initially, I was campaigning for both sides of the Naka/Cena debate: I agreed with the sentiment of ‘saving’ their first-ever, aptly-titled ‘dream match’ for a later, more significant date; HOWEVER, I didn’t find the logic in complaining about getting to watch it for free and not sit through an entire lackluster PPV (i.e. Battleground) beforehand. To reinforce that last point, I’ve been saying for years that booking so many former, part-time stars for major PPVs like WrestleMania and SummerSlam is an unnecessary way of taking the shine from your newer, full-time guys. People are going to tune into WrestleMania almost without question; just like the NFL Superbowl, even if two teams who aren’t very well-liked or have smaller fanbases, people will still tune into the Superbowl every year unless something drastic happens. Much like the Superbowl, WrestleMania has become a draw on name alone and we live in an era where WWE doesn’t need to book dream matches from top to bottom to sell out the stadium or earn a certain amount of PPV buys. Thus, I do agree (to a certain extent) with people who say TV matches will get more views than a PPV match; therefore, there was nothing wrong with ‘giving away’ Cena vs. Nak 1, especially if Cena’s in-ring career is winding down and he’s still in his prime.

That being said…last night was a stern reminder of why most die-hard fans prefer to see dream matches occur on PPV instead of free television. Once the entrances for Cena and Nakamura were over, and we came back from commercial, the time was 9:43. Add in another commercial break five minutes later, and we only got to see these two mega stars do battle for less than fifteen minutes. You know what else was annoying? Cutting to that idiot Mahal watching the match from his skybox with his two cronies. Storyline-wise, it makes sense why they kept cutting to The Mahawhatever, since he’s scouting his opponent at SummerSlam, but I wish WWE would stop doing that altogether. Whether it’s showing someone in a skybox, cutting to a guest commentator at the announce table, or to a manager/valet at ringside, it’s extremely annoying and it takes you out of the match. It’s similar to watching a movie with a friend or date and being asked a question every three-five minutes; it’s really irritating. Had Cena vs. Nakamura taken place at, say, SummerSlam, we would have been able to avoid both the issue of limited time as well as the interruptions.

On a more positive, less-smarky note, I really enjoyed the match (sans the terrible Cena bump at the end, of course). I was actually surprised the crowd wasn’t hotter for Shinsuke, to be honest. I fully expected there to be dueling chants of “Nakamura/Cena Sucks”; instead, we got merely the standard “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants. In any case, it reaffirms WWE’s decision to have Cena put Nakamura over 100% clean last night. WWE would be wise to strike while the Nakamura iron is red hot, much like with Braun Strowman over on Raw.

Speaking of The Monster Among Men, up until this morning, I was certain Braun would be leaving SummerSlam as Universal Champion, especially after Paul Heyman announced on Raw that if Brock Lesnar loses at SummerSlam, he’s also leaving WWE. However, there are new rumours that Brock has no intention of returning to UFC anytime soon, as he is reportedly happy with his WWE run. Honestly, what would he have to complain about? The man only shows up a handful times a year, has seemingly developed a new style where he wrestles no longer than ten minutes (SummerSlam will surely be an exception), and gets paid a ton of money. Not a bad deal. In that case, I can see Brock holding onto the title at SummerSlam, and dropping it only at WrestleMania 34 to hopefully Braun one-on-one (it better not be Reigns). Either way, I’m excited for the upcoming Fatal-Four-Way at SummerSlam.

Another SummerSlam match I’m excited about was made official last night: Randy Orton vs. Rusev. I know a large portion of the IWC has been hating on Orton since WrestleMania, and in some cases deservedly so if based solely on his post-Elimination Chamber PPV performance, but some of the criticism The Viper has received makes no sense. For months, I’ve seen countless people complain how “no one cares about Orton in 2017” and “he has no place in the main-event picture. Yet, Orton gets a good reaction everytime he comes out. I find it funny that the IWC can identify Reigns’ crowd reaction to a tee, yet they seem to willingly ignore the reactions Orton get. Last night on SmackDown, Orton got arguably the pop of the night when he came out to confront Rusev. I’m not saying Orton should be back challenging for the WWE Championship before the end of 2017, but let’s stop pretending that he still isn’t over, ok? All that to say – Rusev vs. Orton at SummerSlam should easily be Orton’s best performance since his match with Luke Harper last February.

As for the women, I have no idea what WWE were thinking when planning their women’s division matches for the summer spectacle. Despite my ire for Charlotte, how the hell is Natalya getting a title shot against Naomi at SummerSlam while the Queen seemingly has the night off two weeks from Sunday? I assume Carmella will cash-in then, but still, Natalya receiving a title shot against Naomi makes as much sense as Dolph Ziggler challenging Dean Ambrose at last year’s show. Hopefully Nattie fares better than Dolph did…

Raw’s women’s division isn’t much better at the moment. What the hell are they doing with Emma? Mickie James? Heck, even Dana Brooke has been M.I.A. for a while now. And why were they apparently heading for another Bayley/Alexa Bliss match when Alexa and Sasha have unfinished business and much better chemistry? That may all change, as it appears Bayley suffered a legitimate injury during her match with Nia Jax on Monday. In that case, we may get Alexa vs. Sasha II after all, and no offense to Bayley, but I’m very much okay with that.

Nevertheless, if Nia really did injure Bayley on Monday, then it’s time to send her ass back to NXT. It was clear she was called up from NXT way too early, and what does she have to show it? Nothing, but some “star-making performances” (definitely not my words, by the way). I turned my back on Nia back in April when she dropped Charlotte on her head during a match (which Charlotte had no way to block or prevent). Now, she seems to have injured Bayley, and if so, she’s unsafe and needs to back to developmental, pronto. The world is not ready for a Nia Jax push and clearly, neither is she.

That’s it for today! Thank you for letting me rant for a bit. I’ll try talk to you guys sooner rather than later.


YOUR Two Centsss: Did WWE blow their load early with Cena vs. Nakamura? Why or why not?

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