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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - Extreme Rules (and Brock Lesnar)
By pen15
Apr 28, 2012 - 5:06:14 PM

Apr 28th - Extreme Rules Thoughts

Apr 27th - Brock Lesnar's WWE future






Extreme Rules Thoughts

Match by match, let’s run some things down.

Pre-Show US Title: Miz vs Santino

Can we expect this to be anything different from Sunday Night Heat? Or the PPV Free For Alls? No? Good, because those ruled.

I hope this moves to the WWE Network in time, but a YouTube preshow is awesome. I expect a decent match, though I’m not sure what to think of the Miz in the midcard mix. I don’t know if the shock of a title switch would be worth it to create attention for the upcoming pre-shows. Or if Santino’s current momentum is staying the course.

Either way, I like the idea. I’ll be tuning in for free on youtube.

Divas Title: Bella vs Beth

While I’ll never expect WWE to change their Diva presentation to a more athletic, and less esthetic delivery, I’m having a hard time tuning in for the Divas, just like most fans it seems. Beth is a special case, as she brings a great mix of both expectations from the women in WWE wrestling (and not wrestling in general). I’m a huge fan of Beth, and do find her attractive and appealing. This is most likely due to her actual passion for wrestling, unlike models who have exposure and a paycheck.

But, Beth’s unique value cannot make a match out of Twin Magic. I don’t dislike the Bellas, nor any of the other model-turned-athlete. Floozy or not, these women are a part of the WWE roster on a full time schedule. I just called out Brock Lesnar for not being able to handle it (or handling being punched and kicked in the UFC as well). These models who have nothing more than bullshit cheerleading experience are able to withstand the grueling routine of traveling city to city, and performing 3-5 nights a week. I don’t know how anyone could disrespect them for the efforts they contribute. No, they aren’t the best female wrestlers, but they still work at it.

The point is that no matter how hard these twins work, we’re still not going to get a good match out of it. Divas matches on TV are fine, because they are kept short, and no one is paying for them. But PPV Divas matches require something special to be worthy of their spot on the card. Especially when the PPV is lacking true talents like Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry and Alberto Del Rio. These guys could be performing, but instead we get the best female wrestler working an injury angle (therefore restricted form her best performance) against one of the least talented women to ever grace the WWE ring.

Rumor is that it leads to something with Kharma. We’ll see.

Intercontinental Title: Big Show vs Cody Rhodes

This angle has been much more interesting since WrestleMania. That’s a rare occurrence, as usually angles have the most steam going into the big event, and then the following months involve WWE milking the shit out of everything.

Instead, Big Show has had a refreshing career change as midcard monster, similarly to how he did as US champion from 2003-2004, along with his tag team title runs with Jericho and Miz more recently. This time, he’s the good guy, and Rhodes is gaining credibility. Sure Rhodes lost at Mania, but he looks to be getting the title back. And rightfully so. Cody Rhodes has been an awesome performer as IC champion, and there’s no reason to stop that.

As for the spinning wheel stipulation choice… well, who cares? There’s no gimmick that will overpower any of the main event matches, so let it be intriguing with the mystery instead of knowing 2 weeks ahead that it’s a pillow fight, or Tuxedo Match.

Falls Count Anywhere: Kane vs Randy Orton

Standard TV main event match here. We’ve seen Orton do this against Barrett just a couple of months ago, this won’t break the mold. Let them have fun, and so will we, the Universe. Nothing special, but should be good.

2 out of 3 Falls: Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan

Hard to imagine any match being better than this. No matter the ego of Vince and Helmsley, there’s no ****ing way they’ll be stupid enough to repeat the mistake from Mania. Sheamus will come out smelling like roses somehow, but Daniel Bryan will look like a beast throughout.

This match will most likely get the most time. And make a star out of Sheamus.

I don’t know what will happen with Daniel Bryan coming out of this, because his momentum is too hot to job out to Randy Orton. I really think he needs to find a feud where he can win a few times with the “Yes” Lock. It’s too bad that this story has been all about Daniel Bryan. Sheamus needs to find something to work with after a showcase of in ring talent on PPV.

Chicago Street Fight for WWE Title: CM Punk vs Chris Jericho

I feel the same about this match as I did before Wrestlemania, even after that match exceeded my expectations. This is more because of the rather lame storytelling. Chris Jericho and CM Punk are not only great mic workers, but great in ring workers. The weeks since Mania have been about Jericho in a screen, talking to Punk in the ring. Jericho had the attack with the bottle of Jack, which was a huge moment, but it’s petered out since.

Also, anyone who’s followed CM Punk’s career, or know anyone straight edge, will know that there’s no way Punk would be tempted. It makes Jericho look stupid for believing that he got in his head enough to crack a life long lifestyle. It’s like saying within a 2 month angle, Kane would turn Shawn Michaels to Satanism after being a born again. Similar to how Hacksaw wore the Maple Leaf in WCW. It was a midcard gimmick, and worked as a lark. As a main event angle, this just felt tame.

Let’s hope the still wrestle like the stars they are.

Extreme Rules: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar

I’ve covered this already, but Brock needs to be a beast, Cena needs to lose, and move on.

Bring on Over the Limit.

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.
http://twitter.com/LOPPEN15





Brock in WWE 2012-2013

I doubt any fan reading this will misunderstand what I mean when I say these part-time returns are a double edged sword. As we saw from Rock in the build up to Wrestlemania 28, there is a struggle between using the name power of the major stars, while ensuring that there is someone to take his place one day. This isn’t a complaint about Rock not putting Cena over, because as shocked as that decision was, it’s easily the most interesting one to come from this year’s “granddaddy of them all.”

No, this is about how Rock helped bring WWE one of the highest rated events in history, by using an entire year to build a single match. With maybe a dozen appearances between Mania 27 and this year’s event, Rock’s star power combined with John Cena’s established momentum delivered a tremendous Wrestlemania that I predict will be remembered as one of the best, even with the worst opening match in Wrestlemania history. Rock’s portion in the last year was a huge risk for WWE to take. It looks like it’s paid off, especially if Rock is penciled in for more appearances. The success of Rock’s return in 2011 opened the door for other wrestling personas to make a similar return. It didn’t take long for the rumors of a return of Steve Austin to the squared circle, with the common story surrounding elevating current WWE Champion CM Punk.

It didn’t take long for Brock Lesnar to appear either. After retiring from the UFC after 2 straight first round losses, Vince McMahon seemed to push the right buttons, or sign off on enough zeroes, to bring back the Next Big Thing. And right off the bat, he took over where Rock left off, and has been cornering John Cena into another PPV loss (in my opinion).

As interesting as John Cena’s losing streak is, I would like to discuss Brock’s upcoming future. The rumor is that he’s been signed for a 1 year contract. I’d like to venture into the realm of possibility and conjecture into what we’ll see from Brock until Wrestlemania 29.

Cena

I don’t expect there to be a string of 2-3 PPVs in a row with Brock vs Cena. Honestly, with the lack of top heel talent on either brand of WWE, sticking Cena with Brock for too long wouldn’t make much sense. This coming Sunday’s PPV should be booked to get people to hate Brock. I know that using Cena seems like the wrong way to go, but even Cena haters respect his heart and efforts. In the end, the people that boo him are serious wrestling fans. Even if Brock brings a style of wrestling that is less comedic and fun, Brock is already portrayed as someone who doesn’t care about the sport, the fans… or anybody. There’s no doubt that some of the meat-headed fans will still cheer him, but he’s going to be a solid heel when that trend fades away. He’s going to embarrass Cena with a clean victory, and then move onto bigger and better things.

WWE Title/CM Punk

Warning: you won’t like this next portion.

Brock is going to beat CM Punk for the WWE Title clean.

And then, the next month, he’s going to do it again in the rematch. Clean.

Don’t Panic. (got your towel?)

If there’s someone that can be cheered 100% against Brock, it’ll be Punk. Brock needs to be a dominant monster as WWE Champion on Monday Night Raw: Starring Brock Lesnar. Brock needs the title, and he needs to find a similar energy that HHH brought to the main event scene in 2002-2003. While there were flaws about the Raw brand upon the original brand split, one of the successes was how well heels were booked. Evolution dominated, with HHH as the World Heavyweight Champion. Again, it wasn’t perfect, as HHH smashed opponents left and right, but it didn’t lead to anything for anyone besides Goldberg.

It’s been a long time since WWE has had a cleanly dominant main event heel champion. There’s a lot of heel talent on either brand, but they’ve been fed to Cena, Orton, and Punk so often that they aren’t much of a threat. This is such a disaster. This is indicated with how the only way for Del Rio, Miz or Ziggler could become a main event champion again, they would need to move to Smackdown, because they have been displayed as clearly not on the level of Punk, Cena, and Brock. The draft will shake things up, but that still only leaves Barrett, Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes as the top level breakout heel talent that hasn’t been used as fodder to the WWE elite face squad.

Brock needs to personify that change. If Ziggler, Miz, Del Rio, Rhodes, Barrett, Bryan, or Christian are to ever be treated as threats to the WWE or World Championships, the wind needs to be taken out of the sails of Cena, Orton and Punk. At least on some level. Brock can do this without damaging anyone.

See, by Brock defeating Punk and taking the WWE title by June, it leaves the door open for Punk to become the sympathetic face to regain the gold. Same for Cena after losing to Rock and Brock. These rematches will matter, but they won’t matter as much if rushed within the first 2-3 months. The audience needs to see that these guys can be beaten. Even though we’ve seen a list of these guys fail to capture the title for a long time, these heels can recapture their momentum if the faces lose theirs.

Brock as the dominant heel champ will bring a change to the WWE. The “Era of Legitimacy” is a great campaign slogan, and something WWE is crucially lacking. By having Lesnar swallowing Cena and Punk, and spitting them out, its showing that the man to defeat the Beast will need to overcome incredible odds. Nothing wrong with that.

SummerSlam

PPVs during the lull between Mania and Summerslam should consist of Brock winning. Beat Cena this Sunday, then Punk once or twice in May and June, and then maybe a fatal four way to stack the deck in July. But Brock must win.

The rumor is that Randy Orton will be brought in against Brock for the biggest event of the summer. I hope not. While that is a great match, truly anticipated, with some history that WWE will no doubt completely miss out on, it’s not big enough for SummerSlam. While I’ve long said that SummerSlam lacks any real character to being the #2 show of the year, by having Brock vs Orton, they aren’t even trying.

Brock should be taking on a legend here. Depending on what the goal is for Mania, he should be defending the WWE title against Rock, HHH or Undertaker. My suggestion: take advantage of the Hollywood setting, and book the decade rematch of Rock vs Brock for the WWE Title. Who wins? It doesn’t matter. In the end, Brock takes the title back, so it depends on how many appearances Rock can make. If he can make it to Night of Champions in Orlando (or Hell in a Cell, or Vengeance) to defend the title against Brock in a rematch, then let Rock get the victory, but Brock gets it back before Survivor Series.

Rock could be replaced by HHH, or Undertaker if the end goal isn’t Brock vs Streak at Mania 29.

Survivor Series

Brock finally loses.

At this point, we need to recreate the monumental 2004 win Eddie Guerrero earned over Brock Lesnar. While Eddie never became a huge star, he had the perfect starting point.

“Why won’t you die, Eddie?”

As much as we can blame Brock for his lack of passion, that moment proves that he can still fit the description of a performer. Eddie looked like a true champion by defying the odds. Not only did he overcome the size disadvantage, but the “glass ceiling” and earned his spot to main event PPVs, including defending the title at WrestleMania.

And think about this: Eddie Guerrero wasn’t on a long push to the main event. While he was a strong performer in 2002-2003, even the IWC in its relative infancy wasn’t really crying about a Guerrero main event push. There was a much larger and strong voice of support for Chris Benoit to make it to the top, while Eddie was accepted as a superior midcard wrestler. It wasn’t until late in 2003 when that hype started picking up steam. Nearly at the same time as WWE acknowledged Eddie’s ability, the audience started thinking “Hey, yeah! Maybe Eddie could be a main event star?!” There wasn’t a long list of title shot failures, or pushes where he was jobbed out. He was a successful midcard and tag team wrestler, who gained popularity naturally.

So, how easy could it be to recreate this? I know it wouldn’t be nearly as natural, and therefore harder for WWE to pull off, but there’s an insane list of talent that could follow in Eddie’s footsteps. With a face turn, Daniel Bryan would be in a nearly identical situation. I could see Dolph Ziggler getting the same treatment, along with Christian, and maybe Cody Rhodes. These are guys who I could easily see the WWE Universe getting behind to be David to Brock the Goliath.

The other option, and the one I would vote for, is for someone who was dominated by Brock in the Spring, to come back to get their revenge and win the title. Either John Cena or CM Punk should regain their composure and confidence, and challenge Brock months later. WWE has failed to capitalize on drawing angles out that long, and it confuses me. They’d rather have 2-3 rematches on 2-3 PPVs straight, instead of splitting it apart. Would the Austin vs Rock trilogy be nearly as memorable if it occurred in 3 straight shows instead of every 2 years? Or a more relevant example, didn’t Brock vs Angle work best because they didn’t have the rematch right after Wrestlemania 19, but waited until SummerSlam 2003?

Repeat that here. Cena and Punk can easily be occupied outside the WWE title scene, and earn their rematch later this year. I would vote for Punk, as Cena can stand to stay away from the WWE Title for a bit longer.

So we’d have CM Punk be Eddie Guerrero circa 2004, and climb the Brock mountain, and win back the WWE Championship.

Clean.

Royal Rumble

If Rock faced Brock at Summerslam, than HHH should work with him here. A Royal Rumble match between Brock and HHH would be pretty huge. The real problem here is who should go over. The obvious answer is Brock, but I don’t think even HHH’s biggest fans would have a hard time admitting there’s no way Helmsley would do business.

While a loss to HHH wouldn’t do Brock any real harm, the reason he needs to win is because he needs momentum back after losing the WWE Title. He needs the momentum to challenge the one man who’s never defeated him in 3 PPV matches. And Brock should challenge him at the event where his opponent is undefeated.

WrestleMania 29: Brock vs The Streak

It’s that ****ing simple.

Honestly, I get that Cena vs the Streak might be the true challenge, but it’s not the bigger match. Undertaker vs Brock has history inside and outside the ring. Brock has defeated Undertaker in the Cell, and in a Biker Chain match, along with a double DQ. 3 PPV main event title matches against Undertaker, and all 3 times, Brock walked away the Champion. No one is a bigger threat to the streak than Brock Lesnar. Add to the face-off when Brock lost the UFC Title to Cain, and you have a connection to the Martial Arts World.

If Brock decides to sign for 2nd year, than a loss here could lead to a face turn with a respectful attitude towards WWE (on screen, unlike now), and starting over completely. If he’s out after this, than losing to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania is as fitting as possible.

This leaves Cena to challenge Taker at WrestleMania 30. I don’t know if Taker’s body can keep this up, but Cena vs Taker at the 30th WrestleMania seems likely. Maybe by then Brock will still be around. I hope so.



Oh, and **** Rock vs Brock at Mania 29. Anyone who thinks this is the right way to go is not a wrestling fan.

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.
http://twitter.com/LOPPEN15

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