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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (Feb 27 - Mar 4) Mania 28 - HHH vs Taker Thoughts
By pen15
Mar 2, 2012 - 3:30:44 PM

Mar 2 - Wrestlemania XXVII Thoughts part 2 - HHH vs Taker

Mar 1 - Rock Sucks, Face It

Feb 29 - Wrestlemania XXVIII Thoughts part 1 - Rock vs Cena

Wrestlemania XXVIII Thoughts – Undertaker vs HHH

Quite the stir from my last column. I always get a bit of a hard on from seeing how many people read the column title, and rush to the comments (or columnists who run to Twitter in their fairy dance) in a frenzy to spew out vitriol without reasoning. It’s quite beautiful. It brings a tear to my eye.

But, today, I will move on from discussing how overrated The Rock is, as I will continue my thoughts on the upcoming “granddaddy of them all” Wrestlemania 28. Part 2: Hell in a Cell – Undertaker vs HHH.

The Cell is Necessary

WARNING : The following will be very scatter brained.

While I among many others will bitch about this match, there’s no doubt that barring the main event, pitting HHH against the Undertaker with the streak on the line is the biggest match WWE has to offer when looking at the current roster. There’s very little to dispute that, nor is anyone really making that an issue.

Where I have a problem is the amount of “in the moment” thinking WWE uses on such a painfully regular basis, and without ever taking proper notice of the damage they are doing in the long run because of it. Wrestlemania is the biggest night of the year, and it’s hard to argue against the idea of putting together the biggest matches possible for the event. However, consideration towards the future must be put in place. That’s why people look forward to seeing HHH and Undertaker lose to the next generation, much like how those legends had victories over Hall of Famers before them. And there’s no place more memorable to do this than at Wrestlemania.

Now, thanks to the streak, I’m not expecting a miraculous victory for the new generation over the Undertaker anytime soon. But HHH is another story. I won’t completely shit on his dominance, because if there ever was a chink in his impervious McMahon armor, it’s at Wrestlemania. He’s put over Chris Benoit, Batista, and John Cena 3 years straight at Mania 20-22. And it’s hard to argue that those 3 victories for his opponents weren’t huge for those stars, as it established them all better than any previous victories. I’ll even argue that those victories erase the fact that since Mania 22, he’s been on an undefeated streak at Mania until Taker last year.

But, both guys now are on limited schedules. And they are brought out for Wrestlemania each year it seems, with HHH having a few more shows than that. HHH lost at those 3 Wrestlemanias, made stars of Benoit, Batista and Cena, and STILL stayed on top of the WWE food chain. I could go on a completely other topic about how the top stars can afford to lose more often in general using that example. But let’s stick to Wrestlemania and HHH in particular. Since losing to Taker last year, he returned to be the boss of Raw, embarrass the new star WWE developed in CM Punk, beat up his friend Nash, and then claim he won the war against Undertaker last year. This is the type of persona that should be a heel. Only someone looking to be booed would lose to a star, and say he actually won, or deserved it, or solved the mystery, or whatever bullshit he’s pulled. Yet, he’s the face.

The face. That’s right… as a face, he’s not put anyone over like he did at Mania 20-22, as he was the heel back then. That’s not a coincidence.

Notice how far off track the complaints about HHH can go? My hatred is rather widespread, but I’m not alone. This match gets a lot of heat from those looking towards a different product, a better future, because while these guys talk about being a part of a dying breed, many fans thought they died off already. Or should have.

But, at this point, it’s a bit late to complain about who they should be fighting against anyways. Now that it’s been announced, other than the length of their interactions, and anti-climatic most of them have been… I must admit I’m interested in the match. I don’t expect it to be a great match, but I expect WWE to tell me it is. I also expect many fans to believe it’s a good match. But, some of us know better. At this point though, we aren’t going to worry about them pretending to wrestle each other. It’ll be a brawl from the start. We’ll still get the WWE “finisher overkill,” which isn’t always bad. It can be done well. It’ll be tough to out-do last year’s finish. I don’t find the “Hell’s Gate” finish to be very good. I’m an MMA fan, so I should appreciate it right? The problem is that he does it wrong. That bugs me, and always has. But I doubt we’ll see a repeat of the same finish, so I expect to see the Tombstone to end the match. And to up the ante, it’ll be on the stairs, or a chair. Or something else.

And in the end, HHH will think he finally put someone over again. Which sickens me.

I don’t think I’d mind this match much if I believed HHH would do something positive towards the business afterwards. But history shows that he won’t.

So, with all bullshit aside, this is the perfect match where we in the IWC must do our best to turn off our smarky brains, and just watch and try to enjoy. I can’t guarantee it’ll be good. But it’s the only way it has a chance to be. It’s one of the few times I agree with those that way “stop bitching, or don’t watch at all.” It shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us when WWE books their biggest show of the year with matches that seem badly planned, or for the lowest common denominator, while offering great TV matches booked at the last minute like Champion vs Champion. Wrestlemania is meant to be the showcase of the immortals, and at this point, the top 2 main events features the only 4 confirmed WWE immortals on the current roster. And there’s 11 other PPVs this month where HHH can prove me wrong, correct the what was the speed bump to the CM Punk momentum at Night of Champions, or put someone else over. Or he’ll end the streak and cause a long list of e-suicides around the world.

Possibly including the best writer on LOP.

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.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

The Rock Sucks

Face It

When Family Guy was brought back to Fox, I cringed because I was tired of it with the DVDs of the first 3 seasons. When Indiana Jones was brought back involving Crystal Skulls, I cringed because I didn’t think a computer made action movie suits the Indy archetype with a lead actor about 20 years too old to play the part. When the Rock returned I cringed because long before he left, I had already seen enough of his ‘meh’ wrestling and repetitive promos.

Yet, they are all back. And my once unpopular opinion that these pieces of media didn’t have anything of value is now shared with many others. I’ll not pretend I’m in the majority, but if I thought like the majority of the people on the planet, I might as well open up my veins with an x-acto.

People are ****ing goofy. I’m reminded of a George Carlin quote: “Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!”

There’s actually a portion of wrestling fans that believe the Rock purposely didn’t give 100% into his recent promo, in an effort to make John Cena look better. These people are obviously the bottom half of civilization that George was talking about.

The idea that Rock agreed to tank a promo is asinine. The idea that John Cena agreed to it is asinine. The idea that WWE is most likely paying Dwayne more money for this appearance than anyone else on the Mania card, and would ask him to tone it down to protect a guy that has T-shirts being sold by WWE about how he sucks, is asinine.

Like I said, people are ****ing goofy. Rock tanked the promo because he’s overrated. He was never the kind of promo guy to draw people into an angle. His talent, and he’s the best at it, is being entertaining for the 2-3 minutes he’s talking, using humor. But serious promos were never his specialty. People forget how dependent he was on humor. He connects with the audience, there’s no doubt. And he’s possibly the best ever. But there’s a reason he was never the top dog when Stone Cold was around. Rock entertained, but Austin made you care about his fights. Rock has always been dependent on his opponents to draw the emotion into the match. Hogan did the work at Mania X-8, and Goldberg’s aura was all it took to make the Backlash main event a draw.

This isn’t to say Rock was worthless. Without him, there’s no direction for his opponents to aim. Cena wouldn’t look nearly as sharp trading barbs with someone like Jinder Mahal. Rock plays the hero well as the guy people look up to, but it was more about how despicable his opponent was than how heroic Rock was. That dichotomy changed when Rock was the heel, as he was a master of ridicule being the arrogant Hollywood heel. But as a face like he is now, it was up to his opponent to make people pay to watch the fight.

Today, it’s no different. So thank you John Cena for drawing the Wrestlemania crowd. Do you deserve all the credit? No. Rock has name power. After that, it’s all you. Congrats.

Rock flunked with his promo on Monday because he never could deliver that kind of promo, and no matter how often he returns and never leaves, he won’t be able to. That’s not his job or specialty. That’s like asking Undertaker to deliver a humorous interview. Rock can hype himself, and he does it like no one else. But between the twitter trending, and the chant starting, I don’t remember too much about him wanting to kick John Cena’s ass at Wrestlemania. I’m sure it was there, but it’s lost between the bullshit. John Cena saved Rock, Wrestlemania, and WWE by making his impression about being the guy with no balls kicking Rock’s ass.

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.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

Wrestlemania XXVIII

I won’t say Raw sucked last Monday night like Hustle did. It definitely wasn’t amazing, but it accomplished something that’s been lacking over the last few weeks, which is proper build up to Wrestlemania. Now, this isn’t to discredit the effort WWE put into building HHH vs Undertaker, as they put a huge step forward last week. The problem was that I still am not the target audience for that match, and the matches I do and did care about had very little momentum coming out of Raw and Smackdown.

That changed on Monday.

So I think it’s a decent time to go over the top 4 matches that have been announced so far. I’m still hoping to see some more build to these matches, and other matches that are yet to be booked. But let’s concentrate on the main card. One match at a time. Today, might as well start with THE main event.

Rock VS Cena

Finally. It took a while, but they’ve finally got me excited in the proper fashion. And they didn’t even present anything well. While many are bitching about the Rock’s promo last night, I loved it - but for all the wrong reasons. From day one of this angle, I’ve been on Team Cena. In fact, there aren’t too many wrestlers I’d choose to cheer against Cena for. And Rock will never be one of them.

Back in 2000-2001, I was tired of the Rock. I enjoyed his 2003 return, but it’s hard not to enjoy modern heels when they are on a roll. The problem is that I can’t think of too many things Rock has done since returning to host Wrestlemania 27 last year that’s really captivated me. This isn’t to say I wasn’t glued to my seat when I knew he’d be on, but it wasn’t in anticipation for the man, but rather where the segment will go. Last night was a great example, as Cena’s interruption was exactly what I was hoping for. Rock doesn’t bring the entertainment I enjoy, but he is bringing the best out of Cena, which is definitely “right up my alley.”

And the word that seems to be most often used to describe their altercation to close off Monday’s program is “uncomfortable.” I’m not sure if I agree with that, but I can’t think of a better word. Whatever the case may be, while I doubt this is a “shoot,” it does help the anticipation. I really expect Cena to bring his continued A-game (though he’s been sub par at Wrestlemania since HBK in Detroit), while I have enough faith in Rock’s abilities to perform adequately enough to keep this from tanking. Will it be the best match of the night? Not likely. In fact, I expect it to be an average match that is highlighted by the hot crowd, similar to Hulk Hogan’s matches at Wrestlemania against Andre, Warrior and the Rock. These aren’t amazing matches, but the atmosphere adds so much to the entertainment that the actual performance is barely a factor for most fans. But if you’re looking for a strong in-ring performance from WWE in 2012, the Wrestlemania main event is not for you in the first place.

As usual, I don’t do predictions, or “what ifs.” But I do enjoy conceptualizing what should happen. And after a year of Rock and Cena tension, I hope it ends at Mania. I know Rock is rumored to be around again next year in New Jersey for Mania 29, with a possible SummarSlam match this August. If so, I want John Cena to be vacant from the angle. The dream match with Cena will be done with. No matter who wins, WWE need to stop riding the Cena cash cow soon, or at least find another money making star. To achieve this, why not have Rock work with the “real” next generation? Cena vs Rock is too similar to Hogan vs Rock from Mania X-8 because the future is still not represented. Cena still has steam left, so I’m not suggesting he needs to be buried or put over everyone. But, the rub Cena will receive from this match is minimal at best. Extending it to another match, nevermind two of them, seems redundant. So, if Rock is sticking around, win or lose at Mania, he’ll still have his worth if he gave a rub to someone else. The go to name seems to be CM Punk, which I wouldn’t complain about. But, I think Punk vs Stone Cold is the goal in terms of establishing the current WWE champion for years to come, plus it’s the better angle. So other than Punk, that leaves Orton as the only current star that would be a dream match for Rock. He’s another who doesn’t need the rub, but I wouldn’t complain if it occurred.

But there’s a long list of almost there heels, just itching for the right program or angle to make their main event matches a permanent fixture. I’m talking about guys like the Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, and Daniel Bryan. Are any of them truly deserving of facing the Rock at Wrestlemania? Not at all. But I could see it making sense by SummerSlam. I’d even have no problem with Rock winning at SummerSlam, if it led to the rematch at Mania 29 where he loses. There’s a lot more interest, intrigue and options if we take Cena out of the Rock equation after April 1st 2012.

The problem with my idea, is that there isn’t as much immediate profit from anything but Cena. Sort of a Catch-22, as a big reason John is the top draw in WWE is because the other stars don’t get their own chance. CM Punk proved that sometimes it’s worth the risk to let Cena lose. It seems the Smackdown team learned most from it, as they’ve developed more stars to battle with Orton than Raw has done with Cena. Rock’s return is a chance to correct that. We’ll see what happens.

Show of the Week

If you read anything I read last week, you’d know how much I loved Smackdown live on Tuesday. Even a solid UFC Pay Per View on Saturday couldn’t dethrone the excellence that was the Tuesday Night Smackdown. ****ing major kudos to WWE for that show.

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.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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