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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - (Apr 2-8) ReShaping the WWE Roster (+Mania/Raw Recap)
By pen15
Apr 8, 2012 - 9:12:16 PM

Apr 8th - Reshaping the WWE Roster

Apr 3rd B - Raw Recap (part 1)

Apr 3rd A - WrestleMania Recap

Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus - Reshaping the WWE Roster Accordingly

I am among the fans who was extremely disappointed with how the opening match of the PPV last Sunday went down. I can understand WWE's prerogative to shock the fans from the start, and create a buzz from the first few minutes. In fact, I think it's a tremendous idea, that has definitely worked properly in the past. Just looking at WrestleMania history, we can see a few instances where this occurred. In 1988, we saw Bret Hart and Bad News Brown “share” the win of a Battle Royale for less than a minute, before Brown delivered a cheapshot to win, and turn Hart face in the process. Only 6 years later, Bret lost to his brother Owen in one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time in a true upset. LOD 2000 re-debuted to win the tag win Battle Royale in 1998. At Mania 19, Matt Hardy successfully defended the Cruiserweight championship against the heavy favorite Rey Mysterio. A year later, John Cena earned his first big win in his rise to the top face of the WWE when he 'FU'ed the Big Show to win the US title.

WWE has used shock to start the show before. WWE has used a big face win to start the show before. At Wrestlemania 28, they miscalculated when they tried to combine both and deliver the biggest shocking start in WWE history. Everyone was shocked, as they used a dark horse match of the night contender from 2 developing superstars (one with rather well known talents as a top performer across the globe) and ended it in 18 second with only 1 offensive move.

Did I mention that this match was for the 2nd biggest title in the WWE today?

I'm not a big fan of discussing “title credibility” as I firmly believe (and have proven, helping once again prove that I'm the best writer on LOP) that it does not exist. The titles are merely a representation of the credibility that the WWE bestows upon the stars, but the titles don't have any credibility themselves. Instead, the champions hold the credibility, which feeds into the titles.

The point is that an 18 second shock win doesn't do Sheamus a whole lot of good in his new run holding the World Heavyweight Title. At this point, it erases his past success, and starts him at zero. There's obviously a decent portion of fans who aren't on board the Sheamus title run. Sure, it's stemming from sour grapes over the Daniel Bryan debacle, but to shrug it off as “sour grapes” is to be as ignorant as WWE was to have started this commotion in the first place by ruining a Wrestlemania moment for the fans and the 2 competitors involved.

You build up a star like Daniel Bryan for months, giving him wins over giants and surviving the Elimination Chamber, and you're going to find yourself with someone the fans get behind in some fashion. Heel or face, the fans connected with Daniel Bryan more than even the strongest IWC Bryan Danielson fan would have ever prognosticated. Speaking of IWC, you add those fans that will support Daniel Bryan every step of the way due to what he's achieved before entering Titan Towers, to the ones that have become fans since his debut on NXT, and you're going to come up with a very vocal fanbase. Apparently, they are more vocal at this time than the Celtic Warrior's. WWE miscalculated how well they've done with Daniel Bryan (or how well Daniel Bryan has done for himself) and have put a rather startling roadblock in the path of their new face World Champ.

Why did the WWE let this happen? It's obviously not a short answer, but I can summarize it in short fashion.

The WWE have been working the brand split since 2002. Early on, there were kinks, and they were ironed out slowly over the next few years. Once they hit the perfect stride, they stopped trying to evolve, they instead put band-aids on their issues. When PPV buyrates were dropping, they mixed the PPVs again from brand specific shows. When the ratings for ECW dropped, they scrapped it for NXT. When the NXT ratings dropped, they removed it from TV. Same for Superstars.

Notice that there aren't too many improvements here? Sure, they would solve the issue short term, but in the end, numbers continued to drop.

In the case of Smackdown's World Heavyweight title division, it's no different. While credit must be given for the amount of fresh and new champions in 2011 (Christian, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan) there's obviously still some room for improvement. It's much better than the main event surroundings on Raw, but there's still an aura of the Friday night show being nothing but the Orton show. This shouldn't be, especially for the brand where WWE seems to give MUCH more room to develop for the younger up-and-coming main event talents.

So, I'm going to try to cover a different beast in what I feel WWE needs to do to revamp and restructure their entire production. Nothing here is a science, but perhaps a checklist of goals the WWE should look to accomplish to get themselves on track. If they want someone like Sheamus to be the next HHH or John Cena, then they better look to treat him better than they have. And no, Del Rio isn't the answer either.

Titles thru the Draft

Let's be honest: the Raw main event title is the biggest title in the WWE at all times. Right now, that happens to be the WWE bling belt, so that ends up being the prize to go after (according correctly to the Rock). He didn't want the World Title, he chose the WWE title. Logic dictates that this makes the World Title the 2nd title in the company. After that, you have the US and Intercontinental championships on an even playing field (though with Big Show as champ, I'll give the white belt the nod), and lastly the Tag Team gold.

Simply put, it goes:
1-WWE Title
2-World Heavyweight Title
3-IC Title
4-US Title
5-Tag Team Title

As we've seen, the tag titles fluctuate up and down the card often. Right now, they are on the bottom of the card. That being said, if the titles are in this ranking, then so should the wrestlers themselves. No, I don't suggest WWE should openly label Cody Rhodes an Intercontinental wrestler, or in the IC division. But they should select the best placement off the record for every wrestler, and not let them move to another division without good reason.

The Sheamus/Daniel Bryan angle on Smackdownproves that most of the angles surrounding the big gold belt are midcard feuds. To me, that indicates that these guys are midcarders. I know, I'm online and saying Daniel Bryan, one of my favorite wrestlers ever, is a WWE midcarder. The issue isn't Daniel Bryan, but WWE. We have long since seen WWE erase what a true main event wrestler should be. With the constant character overkill, we see lots of guys with potential, used on TV only to be fed to established main eventers to continue their constant momentum. So while Sheamus, Mark Henry, Christian and Daniel Bryan have been main eventers on Smackdown, you'd be kidding yourself if you feel that they'd be main event material on Raw's current product. They'd be put behind CM Punk, who, while WWE Champion, is still behind Cena, Rock and Brock (along with HHH and the Undertaker when they appear). There isn't anything wrong with it, but there are definitely mixed messages. It's also evidence that clean wins aren't the solution to getting anyone over. Randy Orton put Mark Henry over more than anyone in 2011. Yet, is there any denying who's driving the blue brand bus, and who is in the passenger seat? Stereotypical cops won't be pulling that bus over because it's not being driven by a black man.

There's no exact blueprint to making these successful upper midcard guys stars. Instead, treat them as they are: soon to be stars. And right now, most of them are on Friday Nights, and it should stay that way. Make Smackdown the show with the developing top stars. Therefore, the first move is to draft over the top echelon wrestlers to Raw to make up that section. That means WWE should move Orton over to Raw. He's not a cancer, nor is it a punishment. But if you remove the single man who is head and shoulders in terms of credibility to the mass public, it levels the playing field for everyone who remains. If the Smackdown World Title roster consisted of Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Christian, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Mark Henry, you'd see a lot more star making going on.

For some people, I'll make it even simpler for you: Make Smackdown what WWE's ECW was in 2008-2009.

If Sheamus remains on top of the blue brand for most of 2012 until post Wrestlemania 29, he (along with anyone else who breaks out in that time frame) might be in the perfect position to move over to Raw and compete with the true elite. With the World Title division built like this, the Intercontinental title wouldn't be too far down. With Big Show as the current champion, it could easily be a title booked to elevate wrestlers into the SD main event. Cody Rhodes could come off this angle with Big Show with a lot of momentum and head into World Title contention. I want to emphasize COULD, because I don't think he should. He'd be just like Daniel Bryan as a guy who was elevated too early. Let the audience adapt to him a bit more, maybe jump brands, or work with other opponents first. I have no problem with him regaining the IC gold from Big Show, and then working with other challengers. In the end though, the goal shouldn't be to rush him into being Sheamus fodder.

Meanwhile on Raw, let the dream angles and feuds take place. CM Punk can become the next “elite” star by working with Jericho over the next couple of months, and after that, there'd still be more than enough of a WWE Title division when you include Brock Lesnar, The Rock, John Cena, Kane, the recently drafted Randy Orton, and hopefully HHH.

Who did I miss? Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, and Alberto Del Rio. They are currently on Raw, but would fit into the Smackdown World Title picture quite well. If there's not enough room on the blue brand for them, then draft over to Raw anyone who would take the same position from Smackdown to make room. I think Daniel Bryan should definitely benefit from working “on the verge” on Raw. He hasn't exactly been dropped down the ladder, but I think his skills would be best served in the US Title division on Raw. He could still showcase his in ring skills with the top echelon of the WWE, while working in a division consisting of Jack Swagger, Zack Ryder, Brodus Clay, David Otunga, Kofi Kingston, Lord Tensai, and R-Truth.

Obviously these division splits aren't etched in stone. There can be moves into other aspects. Rumor is Lord Tensai will be in main event angles, and would just be an example of movements that can take place. I would suggest that is someone seems to have worked above and beyond the midcard on either show, like I would suspect Daniel Bryan would quickly become, then instead of wasting them on uneventful main event title shots, move them into the Tag Team division. Again, that title can fluctuate easily, more-so than any other title in the WWE. If we continue to use Daniel Bryan as someone who has reached the limit of working the US Title on Raw, then he'd be the perfect candidate to switch gears. Not only would the tag division allow him some fresh opponents, but it would allow him to cross brands with even more ease. I know the brands aren't split 100%, but I'm writing this with the belief that they will (and should) be separated again soon. With Bryan in a tag team, he could work with the Smackdown stars more often. I'd even team him with someone in a very similar position on Friday nights: Cody Rhodes. I'll gladly admit that I thought of this team at Wrestlemania when they had similar ring robes, especially in color. I would suggest Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes would work well with a draft to Raw, and then merge into a team when the time comes.

Let's recap:

Raw Main event
CM Punk
John Cena
The Rock
Brock Lesnar
Randy Orton
Chris Jericho
Mark Henry

Smackdown Main event
Big Show
Wade Barrett
The Miz
Dolph Ziggler
Alberto Del Rio
Rey Mysterio

Raw Midcard
Daniel Bryan
Lord Tensai
Cody Rhodes
Kofi Kingston
Jack Swagger
Zack Ryder
Brodus Clay
David Otunga

Smackdown Midcard
Evan Bourne
Mason Ryan
Santino Marella
Drew McIntyre
Ezekiel Jackson
Justin Gabriel
Sin Cara
Ted Dibiase

And then the tag teams are the Colons, Reks/Hawkins, Gabriel/Kidd, Usos, Ziggler/Swagger, Truth/Kofi and potentially Rhodes/Bryan, Zeke/Ryback, Santino/Brodus, and Ryder/DiBiase

Obviously, I've explained Rhodes/Bryan, and Brodus/Santino is apparent from last Monday. Let me explain the others.

Ezekiel Jackson and Ryback would make a great power/giant team. Anyone who has read my columns involving tag team wrestling before knows my appreciation for a Demolition type team, and my desire for their return. These 2 greenhorns could mold their techniques into a tag team, and would make stars out of them where their singles careers seem unlikely. Let them develop their skills by working with various opponents who are most likely more talented, and by spitting up their ring work in half using the team. It would make it easier for us fans, while giving them a place to dominate the way you ****ing KNOW the WWE wants these guys to do.

As for Ryder/Deebers, it's simple deduction. Ryder isn't ready to be a solo star. He's over, but not credible or even talented enough to be a singles star. So, it's easy to deduce that with Santino teamed with Brodus, neither of them would be available. Same for Truth/Kofi. There are not many face single stars that would fit teaming with Ryder. But Ted DiBiase is perfect. Both of them could be the social media darlings WWE needs, as both are the 2 guys who use youtube and their tailgate parties to garner a reaction for themselves. I'm hard-pressed to find 2 guys who work harder off camera to make their characters successful on camera. Both guys could use the tag team to hide their limits, be it charisma or in ring skill, and develop naturally.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

Post Raw Thoughts

I’m trying to catch up here, I hate being behind. I usually would just drop the topic, but so much has gone on this week, and I think the topics I will be writing about following Raw and Mania will need a little bit of a backdrop that I’m providing in these quick editorial recaps. With Mania, I went match by match. With Raw, I’m just going to cover each piece that deserves a comment.

Brock Lesnar

I was watching UFC when Brock lost in devastating fashion to Alistair Overeem. The minute he lost, and announced his retirement, I knew Brock was about to coward out, and move on.

I won’t discredit the guy as a smart businessman. But his credibility is in the absolute shitter. Once WWE got tough due to travel, he quit for football. When he couldn’t make the team in Minnesota, he tried MMA. Once he was forced to face competition that was a challenge to his style (I’m not saying he sucked, but he was one-dimensional and faced guys who couldn’t handle that style) he showed himself as a one trick pony, and quit that too.

Now he’s back in the WWE. I’m excited, don’t get me wrong. But I will have a hard time cheering this guy. We just had Cena build up a match against the Rock based on his passion for performing for the WWE Universe, who gets booed anyways. He promoted it against a guy who returned to the WWE for his convenience, not for the fans (true or not)

Yet this guy who left the second the wrestling lifestyle didn’t suit him anymore, he hightailed out of there to find something easier, and comes back to a standing ovation. There’s something off about this. While I do believe Rock came back for more than just the money, I don’t think the same can be said for Brock.

And, day one, he’s demolishing the face of the company.

I won’t say I’m not excited. But the whole thing has left a shitty taste in my mouth. Maybe it’s Rena’s assjuice. Brock’s stuffing in my mouth. It’s yucky.

Let’s hope he is used to do more than Rock has been able to do over the past 14 months. And let’s hope he puts over someone as well as he did with Eddie in 2004.

The Rock

Rock as WWE Champion?

I’ll accept that.

Just like I was fine with the idea of Shawn Michaels as champion when he wasn’t appearing on house shows, The Rock as champion could do WWE a lot of good. Having Jericho return to make CM Punk an even more impressive WWE Champion has worked well for the Straight Edge Superstar. The Rock as WWE Champion could mean something HUGE for whoever he drops the title to. Now, obviously when Rock is asking for a run as WWE Champion, we obviously think Punk vs Rock.

Let’s not kid ourselves. The WWE will continue making money off Punk, but it’s hard to imagine Helmsley letting him gain so much momentum that he’ll allow Punk to headline a PPV with Rock. At some point, Punk is going to drop the title, and that is when the speculation will make sense. Punk vs Rock won’t happen, which is too bad. WWE desperately needs to rectify their issue with pushing new stars, and having Rock of all people make Punk would be giant for him.

The problem isn’t Rock’s ego either. He’ll put anyone over, as history has shown. But does anyone really believe that WWE believes Punk deserves that amount of spotlight yet? I wish they did. Not because I think he’s the best man to replace John Cena (he’s not) but because it’s about ****ing time WWE puts their hat on someone else once in a while. Even if CM Punk becomes nothing more than the next HBK/HHH/Bret Hart (meaning a reliable top star, but not the top draw), there needs to be some sort of seasoning to put him in that position. He needs to be made a star. WWE have done a remarkable job so far, much better than I expected. But it’s pretty obvious that they still consider him behind Cena, Rock, Undertaker, HHH and HBK in terms of value. Things could change, but WWE is doomed to repeat history, and they’ll drop the Punk ball again.

If there’s one thing WWE should do to make Punk a star enough to work against Rock at the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, it would be a big time victory over HHH. Punk needs to get that chip off his shoulder.

I hope to see more of the Rock now. This victory over Cena has changed the landscape, and knowing he’s still going to be around, even if only once in a while, there’s excitement to see what he can do against anyone not John Cena.

Mark Henry vs CM Punk

Hustle hit the nail on the head, this was Henry best match in a long time. While I complained about the lame vocalization during Hell in a Cell, I want to hear Mark Henry just abuse his opponents verbally while he demolishes them physically.

And what Henry needs most in an opponent is someone who’ll sell his offense. Henry has improved enough that he has learned how to use offense to last in a 20 minute match. It’s tough to find a face wrestler who sells better than Punk at this time.

And Punk needed a match like this. He still does. Punk needs to overcome the odds of size, and soon. He needs to be David to a Goliath. Mark Henry might be the right name.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

Post WrestleMania 28 Thoughts

Lots to recap, and lots to discuss. I usually try to avoid discussing the same thing as the other LOP writers, but it’s hard not to cover WrestleMania the week after, no matter how late to the game I may be. I’ll make it quick though, as Raw had its own share of interest, and this will lead into lots of talk following Smackdown as well.

Whether you liked WrestleMania or not, there’s no denying that WWE is unleashing everything they can to keep people tuned in.

Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan


It’s tough to defend anything here. Honestly, this was piss poor thinking on every level. If the goal is to make a star out of Sheamus for fans tuning in for the first time in years, that didn’t happen. While I don’t think this match could have stolen the show from any of the other solid matches, no matter how much time it was given, it didn’t help anyone involved. The bucket load of heat and improvements made by Daniel Bryan since winning the title, it’s all erased.

Now, there’s a problem with the IWC line of thinking with Daniel Bryan. While he is still a tremendous wrestler, we must be honest in saying he hasn’t had a truly awesome showing in the ring in a long while. Those of us to think of him as Bryan Danielson are holding his past and history as a reason to believe he can perform on a WrestleMania WHC main event level, but he hasn’t shown that since the first 2-3 months of being US champion in late 2010.

So what WWE did was ruin a great heel’s momentum for a new face, who may become the next solid main event face. When you think of it in broad strokes like that, it makes sense.

The problem is that we know better. This was dumb, and robbed not only the fans of a great match, but Sheamus and Bryan of their moment. Sheamus deserves better than a lame title win like that. He’s definitely a star for the future. I have no problem with him winning the World Title from Daniel Bryan. It was just the method that was depressing. There was no real momentum for Sheamus here.

And we aren’t alone. The live fans at Wrestlemania showed their discontent as well. There were “Daniel Bryan” and “Bullshit” chants during several of the next matches.

It was a depressing way to start the show. And it deflated the crowd. The support he was receiving live shows that he hasn’t just connected with us internet nerds, but with casual fans as well. I don’t think Sheamus will fail, but I do think there will be retaliation from fans that will refuse to accept him as champion, no matter what. It wasn’t a good first day as champion for Sheamus. It was a terrible last day as champion for Daniel Bryan. It was the worst opening in Wrestlemania history.

Let’s hope it got better from here.

Kane vs Orton

It got a lot better. This was a solid midcard match, reminding me of the type of singles matches upper midcarders would receive on older WWF shows in the late 80s. The crowd seemed unresponsive after the let down of the opening match, which I’m hoping the WWE execs take into consideration. I doubt they will, they’ll deny it and claims it was genius. The reaction for a solid match like this one proves otherwise.

This match deserved a better crowd. Even at home, I was barely paying attention. Thankfully, it didn’t take me as long to get out of my slump as the live audience. This was a solid match. The Kane win was a nice shock (which was needed after that sloppy shock opening match). I’m hoping Kane does something important out of this, even if it’s only challenge for the WWE title on Raw. I think a hard fought CM Punk win over Kane would do the WWE Champion a lot of good. Especially with Kane coming off a victory over the Viper.

Ok WWE, you’ve gained back some credibility. Let’s keep it going.

Big Show vs Cody Rhodes

While I think the drive for future stars is important, and while I think Cody Rhodes is a major star in the making, I believe the right man won here, and in tremendous fashion.

Smackdown (and WWE in general) is loaded with talented heels that are on the verge of breaking out as main event talent. Rhodes has accomplished a lot as Intercontinental Champion, but with the drained roster in terms of face challengers, it’s best for the title to be on a mega credible face, with the huge opportunity to put over another top level heel. Plus, no one shows gratification of a victory like Big Show. His natural emotion is a hard thing to book or cheer against.

Rhodes will be fine, Show isn’t hurt, and the future is bright. Good match too.

Divas Match

Yep. Done.

Hell in a Cell

If there was a match that surpassed my expectations, it was this one. And it was a great enjoyment.

While I won’t claim it as match of the night (so nevermind match of the year), it was a nice change of pace from the standard Undertaker streak ending match since the first HBK confrontation in 2009.

The problem with all these matches has been the same blueprint repeated over and over. The ending was always the finisher kickout, repeated until vomiting ensued in my living room. The wrestlers performed with the sole purpose of outdoing everyone else and a super conscious level. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have the best match, but it seemed like too often, HBK/Undertaker/HHH forgot the emotion of a match, and just put together all the pieces at a furious pace, wrapped it up in a bow and said “take it, bitch!”

This match broke that mold. They didn’t take themselves too seriously at all. It was a brutal beatdown for the time frame, and was a better match than any Undertaker Wrestlemania appearance since the original HBK challenge at the incorrect 25th Anniversary of Mania.

I was wondering how the top level live audience could see through the Cell.

One complaint I had was that I found the drama of HHH trying to influence Shawn to end the match was a bit early. Undertaker surmounted much more offense last year for almost 30 minutes, yet it felt like only 8-10 minutes until HHH expected HBK to call off the match. It might have been longer, but it didn’t feel that way. I found that odd, especially because the rest of the match wasn’t rushed. It was perfectly paced, barring that odd lapse of judgment.

Another complaint was the dumb overbooking. There was some lame BS, especially the HHH attack on HBK. I didn’t get it, it didn’t fit, felt tacked on. Also, the vocalizations were odd. The close ups throughout the entire show were odd, but hearing Undertaker tell Shawn “Don’t stop it” was sort of dumb. There were more than enough promos and talking segments to build up the match, I didn’t think there was any sense in having more talking during the match.

But those complaints aside, this was the perfect Cell/Undertaker match for Wrestlemania. They understood that it was time to take a backseat on some level, and just delivered a great dramatic match. The walk off was a great touch.

The only thing that can hurt this, is if Taker and HHH come back and demolish the “new era,” which is always likely with Helmsley.

GM Warfare

It’s too bad this match was delved into a Wrestlemania midcard match. This is the type of match that could have headlined a basic PPV event, like Over the Limit. And it should have. This is a huge angle for all of the WWE, yet it was a non-factor in the grand scheme of things.

I am not a huge fan of seeing Johnny on TV, and much preferred Teddy Long as an authority figure. So I’m upset that Teddy had such a lame duck final appearance. Especially after being the longest running GM in WWE history. I understand that it’s time for WWE to move on, but it just feels like WWE missed the boat with not offering more in this match, in terms of time, placement, and effort in general.

But, it was a fun 12-man tag match. I can’t complain about that.

CM Punk vs Jericho

Easily the best match of the night. I didn’t expect much from it honestly. It’s odd, but Punk seems to be very hit/miss with who he works well with. When his opponent is too similar, they clash, and that’s what I expected with Jericho.

But WWE gave these guys more than enough time to work a fantastic and classic match up. I’m hard pressed to find too many WWE title matches better than this one. It won’t be as remembered of Rock/Austin 2, or HHH/Cena, but I think it stands above those in terms of delivering a solid brutal match. Very enjoyable, and it will be sad how the other matches will steal the spotlight. This was a better match than Rock/Cena or “End of an Era,” but WWE will never admit that.

Either way, a solid match which was another step in making CM Punk a true WWE superstar. They ****ed up on Smackdown, but on Raw, they perfected the art of making new stars during this Wrestlemania.

Rock vs Cena

Have you ever seen Rock vs Hogan? How bout Hogan vs Warrior? If you did, you’ve seen this match before.

It’s not a bad blueprint to follow, but what was delivered was a solid but unspectacular match. Between the worst Sharpshooter in history, and the weakest STF in a long time, this match was all flash, but barely any substance. This isn’t much of a shock, as this is an average Rock match. The problem is that this means it’s a below average Cena match. I guess even Cena couldn’t get a great match out of “ring rusty” Rock.

The only thing I REALLY enjoyed was the return of the “hand drop.” And the live audience ate it up. Rock was passing out, and instead of referee making the decision, he raised and let Rock drop his hand twice, and after a third, he would have ended the match. But Rock “Rock-ed Up” and saved the match for a more definitive finish. Which shocked, but pleased me. I wanted Cena to win, but there’s no denying that a Rock win is much more of a cliffhanger. Had Cena won, they’d both move on without any real direction, other than Cena hunting for the WWE title again.

But he lost… so it left everything up in the air. As for the Rock, if he is to stick around in any capacity, then it’s much more interesting as he’s easily the top dog right now. If he challenged Punk tomorrow, there’s little reason to believe Rock would lose. Great momentum for both men from this unexpected decision.


I loved Wrestlemania. It was a lot more fun than most of the recent ones. I don’t like ranking shows, but I put it on par with the top echelon of Wrestlemania events. I may still call WrestleMania IV my favorite for nostalgia, but this may be the best single Mania event WWE put on due to the variety offered. There was a bit of everything. Where WWE failed, they fixed in another way. And even if I’m angry over Daniel Bryan losing so quickly, and not having a chance (yet) to showcase his wrestling skill, it’s not like I’ll never see it. The truth is that WWE has too many heels on the verge of breaking out. Did WWE handle this right? **** no. But I can’t hold their decision against one wrestler in favor of another, while WWE developed CM Punk as a true star just hours later. WrestleMania has long been about sending the fans home happy, with the heels being vanquished. It’s not a science, or my preference. But one bad move, no matter how sour it left a taste in my mouth, can ruin such a solid event.

And as we’ve seen, Daniel Bryan will be just fine.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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