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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier: It Begins = Brock?
By PEN15
Dec 31, 2011 - 1:22:49 AM

Just a wild fun idea

I don't really believe it, nor am I predicting it. But Brock retired from the Octagon, and it begins in 3 days? Have fun with that idea LOP.

Brock vs the Rest of UFC 141

It’s strange: I’m not much of a Brock Lesnar fan. I never was, even in 2002-2004. He just didn’t captivate me in the WWE. He was a talented pro-wrestler, and definitely had a reason to be in the main event, but he wasn’t a draw for me at any point. His opponents carried the weight of drawing me into his feuds, from day one.

Fast forward to 2011.
I’m still not much of a Brock fan, but he definitely draws me. And I’m not alone. As a main event draw for the UFC, Brock has cemented himself as one of the UFC’s top 3 attractions. And this Friday, I’ll be tuning in once again to see what will no doubt be a pummeling between 2 human hulks.

Honestly, the card itself is a bit lackluster. This is due to the UFC’s dependence on Brock as a draw, especially on New Year’s weekend. Though Dana White did have the foresight to promote the event for a Friday on the 30th instead of their usual Saturday PPV events, all eyes are on the blond bruiser while the rest of the match ups are lacking name power.

Now, as any real MMA fan will tell you, name power means shit all when it comes to a quality show. As I have explained before, I love preliminary matches, as I rarely have any knowledge of the fighters beforehand, and therefore rarely pull for one fighter over the other. I watch for the spectacle, which delivers more often than on the PPV section of a card. Luckily, when Brock is the star of the show, Dana White knows how to fill in the rest of the event with match ups that will deliver in the octagon in terms of furious action.

Now, I’d like to preface this with the info that I don’t consider myself a real MMA fan. I am not in anyway as confident with my opinion or knowledge of MMA as I am with wrestling, because I am still learning a lot of MMA history. I’ve only been actively following the sport into my 3rd year. I watched the original SEG sports versions of UFC when they were on PPV, but I lost interest after 3-4 events. I blew off the modern version of the sport due to the same image I had of those original events that were more like a mix of a shitty Jean Claude Van Damme movie, and 13 year old grade amateur Greco-roman wrestling. Obviously, the sport has evolved, and I‘ve no delusions to the amount of catching up to do.

I’m not predicting anything here, I don’t do MMA predictions. I barely do WWE predictions, but in the case of wrestling, it’s a mental game. It’s easier to predict the sway of the business, as that’s what decides wins/losses. There’s nowhere near as many banana peels in WWE than in UFC. A lucky punch can change the course of history.

I’m a pretty big Nate Diaz fan. I enjoyed his run on THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER. He’s an extremely talented and entertaining fighter. While I generally hate ‘thugs’, it’s usually because they come off as “posers” or fake. I dislike anyone that presents themselves in any form than their true self. But the Diaz brothers are as real as it gets. They grew up in a neighborhood where that attitude wasn’t just a trend for angst filled teenagers, but the way of life. It’s strange seeing these guys that could so easily be called clowns and goons act the way they do into their 30s. But, there’s no doubt that Nick and Nate are very real with their grimaced personalities. They aren’t characters or caricatures. They are 100% pure angry attitude.

I could see why it bothers many fans, in a world of athletes who pride themselves on looking the professional sportman. But every sport has their unruly counter culture personalities. The Diaz bros. are somewhat the UFC version of Dennis Rodman, Sean Avery, Floyd Mayweather Jr., John McEnroe, Pete Rose…etc. Poster children of an alternate dimension on the sport.

Facing Nate Diaz is Donald “the Cowboy” Cerrone. He’s the opposite in so many ways. He’s a good guy cowboy from the Midwest (not sure where he’s actually from, but I’m just talking about his personality) with a good natured fighting spirit, only fighting because it’s what feels right. He’s an MMA redneck version of John Cena basically. And it comes off as rather fake. He’s like an athletic Jim Ross, with his “golly gee, shucks guys!” attitude. The guy is a genuinely entertaining performer, and there’s no denying that this match up will be a FIGHT OF THE NIGHT contender. It’s just odd that I find myself pulling for the gangster over the respectable athlete, based on personalities being thickly portrayed for the camera. I could be wrong, and the Cowboy is a true horse riding, moonshine slingin’ buffoon. But I am not buying it so far. He’s an entertaining guy. And against most opponents, I’d hope for him to win. But not against Diaz.

Also on the card are Nam Phan, Ross Pearson, Matt Riddle, and Manny Gamburyan. All 4 of these fighters were showcased on The Ultimate Fighter, and have developed into solid fighters on UFC cards. Phan was a dipshit on the show, but fights his heart out, and put on a great contest in all 3 of his UFC fights. Pearson is a TUF winner from England, and puts on some great boxing decision ending fights. Riddle is just a tough kid. I don’t know what I like about him, but I do. And Manny is one of the few Armenian fighters that don’t come off as a complete toolbox, which would describe his shithead cousin Karo Parisyan.

CM Punk vs Ratings

I was asked for my opinion on how the ratings have dropped with CM Punk holding the WWE title, especially in the overrun segments. My opinion: The WWE is both genius and retarded at the same time, and it’s impossible to know how they’ll handle each individual situation in comparison to another. They’ve panicked early before, and they’ve stuck it out longer than they should have before.

There’s a lot of fingers pointing at a lot of directions, and sadly, while no one reading this will like this answer, there is no answer as to who to blame. It’s a combination of a lot of things.

The creative team gets the brunt of the criticism, and justifiably so in most cases. While in no way a Cena hater, I do feel that lots of errors have been made to make him superior in every way possible. While there’s no doubt that Cena is booked similarly to how Hogan was portrayed in the 80s with a bit of Attitude Era flair, and there’s no doubt Hogan succeeded in ways Cena will only dream of, it was at the sacrifice of several heels. Once Hogan defeated someone, they NEVER returned to the same position. Heels were thrown away after being chewed up by Hulkamania. This occurred in WCW also, as Flair and Vader were nowhere near the main event draw they were before running into the Immortal One.

Yet today, WWE expects the guys Cena smashes to somehow survive. CM Punk is champion, and no matter how fresh and option as it should be, he’s facing guys that Cena has run threw consistently over the last 2 years. Again, returning to the Hogan comparison, the only man to return to former glory was Macho Man Randy Savage, and he did that by turning face. As a heel, he never reached the same level, no matter how against in WWF. Cena soundly defeated Miz after Wrestlemania 27, and lost to Rock/Cena at Survivor Series. It’ll take more than him attacking 2 midcarders like Morrison and R-Truth to be credible again. Del Rio was never main event ready (anyone who argues this point should eat a cinder block, shit it out, and eat it again) and he was booked as a lame duck champion, no matter what else he accomplished.

So, CM Punk has little support from creative in terms of booking his opponents. And let’s be fair, now that he beat them at TLC, who is left? I’m all for rematches if/when they deserve it, but in a lame attempt to portray Punk over all threats at the last PPV, they’ve eliminated any threats for the next one. Sure, we have a Dolph Ziggler title match next week, and honestly, the WWE might shake it up with a new champion. But then you run into fans becoming disgruntled at too many shake ups. Plus, at the same PPV Punk dominated Del Rio and Miz, Ziggler lost to Ryder. And while Ryder is mega-popular these days, credibility is not in his favor. He will most likely be booked well to make up for it, but that the time that Ziggler put him over, Zack was not at the point he should be for the man he defeated to be main event ready. Thankfully, Ziggler has been booked extremely well, and has improved his on screen character by leaps and bounds recently, so he’s still quite the threat to Punk’s title. I just don’t see him threatening enough to be champion until Elimination Chamber.

The creative team has to face facts that they ****ed over Punk as champ long before the MSG win. I’m sorry, but I’ll scream from the rooftops that there was no reason whatsoever for HHH to beat Punk at Night of Champions. It developed into nothing for no one. While the HHH bashing sometimes goes too far, and the Punk nuthugging is always reaching for new heights, that was a colossal waste of time and talent. Had Punk earned the win, even cheaply, it wouldn’t have changed the course for anything past that event. And HHH would still be a threat down the line if they needed to direly insert a new challenger. Add the crappy Del Rio title reigns in the middle of Punk’s momentum… **** you creative team. It doesn’t take a nerdy smark like me to see that the WWE was in denial of Punk’s ascension in July at Money in the Bank, and again at SummerSlam. The mentality of those in charge was clearly:

“OK, we’ll do it, but there’s no way it’ll last.” - Money in the Bank.

“Oh he’s back? Well one more, but let’s move the momentum over to Del Rio.” - Summerslam.

“Oh, Del Rio isn’t working out, let’s put the belt on Cena instead even though Punk is the rage. Plus, let’s have him lose to HHH, to slow him down. That should prove he’s not the star.” – Night of Champions.

“Shit, ratings are still going down? Let’s put it back on Del Rio. Meanwhile, Punk should team with the guy he lost to, and lose again.” Hell in a Cell and Vengeance.

“**** it, you win Universe, Punk will be Champion.” – Survivor Series.

Wow… maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it’s still a sign that this could have been prevented.

The other side of the coin is that we, the IWC and other venues where people hate Cena, must accept that it will take a lot for him to be dropped from the spotlight. He can’t just disappear. Nor will Punk replace him. Not 100%.

Honestly, there’s one main reason Punk is more ****ed than he should be: Dwayne Johnson.

Now, I know Punk seems down on the Rock’s recent return, and maybe it’s because Punk is just as dorky as we are (or rather, I am) and sees how Rocky has been the doctor that handled the vacuum that was the abortion of CM Punk’s real chance to truly main event.

You see, there’d be no question of how to push Punk to the forefront of the roster if he had a credible heel to work with. Right now, there is none. But there is a man that most likely would be heel had Rock not been booked 1 year in advance for their Wrestlemania main event.

Honestly, I wasn’t for turning John Cena heel until I saw how well CM Punk has worked as a face. Punk’s success to carry the brand (ratings be damned, I’m talking crowd reaction) has shown that now would be the time to turn Cena heel.

Yet, he can’t. Because of ****ing Rocky Maivia and his match at Wrestlemania 28.

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. I don’t look at the facebook comments too much, so I’ll hope for your email instead. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
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