Reality From Ringside #74
July 19, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.comWWE Money in the Bank 2010: The Hangover
I have never seen or heard of a particular match stipulation, let alone gimmick pay-per-view, where the raw visceral emotion of any and all professional wrestling fans are let out with such fervor. After watching WWE's first ever 'Money in the Bank' pay-per-view, I prepared myself for the backlash to come in internets worlds... and it did not disappoint.
Waves of adulation and joy, not only for Kane winning his respective 'Money in the Bank' match but for cashing it in within one hour and becoming World Heavyweight Champion, were crashing against the shores of internets worlds. Cheetoh-munchers and Dew-chuggers rode on their surfboards and wakeboards along the enormous tide. Shouts of "He deserves it!" and "It's about time!" accompanied the crashes...
In the meantime, the other half of the vestal oily-skinned population was marching along the internets worlds' coast towards the palace of McMahon. Torches and pitchforks in hand, they chanted for the one responsible for The Miz's ascension. The Miz's action figures could be seen dangling from poles, hung in effigy. Marchers towards the back of the mob could be seen wearing faux fur while holding oscillating fans in front of their faces; apparent John Morrison faithful spreading his good word... of sorts.
It's just fascinating though.
I have never heard of such a match stipulation that can cause such divisiveness and joy at the same time. I guess it is the metaphor that the 'Money in the Bank' match presents. Seeing an up and coming performer within the industry scratching and crawling, climbing and descending, just to grab a briefcase that has, for the past 6 years, equaled 'immediate push'.
Make your arguments about Rob Van Dam's and Mr. Kennedy/Anderson's talent all you want, the fact of the matter was WWE had stock in them and believed in them enough to give them the opportunity. Regardless of how they failed or succeeded (Edge, CM Punk, Jack Swagger), 'Money in the Bank' has provided a more descriptive and graphic metaphor for mid-card performers attaining the brass ring than 'The Royal Rumble' has in the past 3 years.
What are my thoughts on Kane and The Miz winning their "MitB" matches? I'm not shocked. Hell, I picked them to win the damn things anyway.
With all of this said, done, and then some... it's time to fight through the hangover left from this pay-per-view. What's extremely odd about this month's WWE PPV hangover is that I'm not left with a few questions needing answered. Instead I am left with one very LARGE question with many different answers to sift through.Last Sunday's 'Money in the Bank' event completes WWE's calendar year of gimmick pay-per-views. Looking back, which should stay and which should go?
The cries of blasphemy and treason began last year with the announcing of WWE's 'Hell in a Cell' and 'Breaking Point' pay-per-views. I was part of those screams of rage as well but not because of the gimmicks. I believed that it would take away from the importance of watching WWE's television programming. Did it? Maybe someone should answer that question on a radio show of some kind... particularly one that loves to dive into number-crunching and statistical nonsense...
Here we go... suck it in and remember with me the gimmick pay-per-views everyone just couldn't help but throw horseshoes of hatred at hoping they would hit close enough for WWE Headquarters to listen.Night of Champions
Gimmick: Every match is a title match
Why shouldn't this event be in WWE's PPV calendar? A guarantee to see two women's matches, a tag-team match, two matches involving an uber-competitive mid-card roster, and two major title matches... what more could you want? Throw in a decent grudge match with a month and a half of heat to bring it to 'well-done'; you have a pretty decent looking pay-per-view card and one potentially worthy of $45.Hell in a Cell
Gimmick: Major title matches (WWE & World) fought under 'Hell in a Cell' stipulation
I have nothing against the 'Hell in a Cell' stipulation. In fact, I'll fully admit if this was part of a WWE PPV card and I wasn't writing for Wrestleview, I would immediately purchase it without second thought. The only problem with this PPV is that it takes away from the mystique of the stipulation. A gimmick match that carries a sense of finality and resolution should not be anticipated ahead of time on a calendar... it should sneak up on us and catch us by surprise.Bragging Rights
Gimmick: Card includes inter-brand grudge matches (i.e. 16-man tag match)
What at first seems like the clusterfuck of all clusterfucks can easily turn into a tradition. Cast aside last year's 'match of the year' candidate (Cena-Orton, WWE Title, 1-Hour Anything Goes Ironman Match) and the inter-brand grudge match between The Miz and John Morrison. "Bragging Rights" should focus on the gargantuan inter-brand tag team match and the battle for the extremely cheesy Bragging Rights trophy. Roll your eyes all you want, but there comes a time when we all need to stop being so serious about this form of entertainment and enjoy something a little campy and cheesy every now and then.TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs
Gimmick: Major title matches (WWE & World) will involve any or all of the following items: Tables, Ladders, or Chairs.
These stipulations (especially a 'Chairs Match') do not belong on a PPV calendar, not to mention the fact that you already have another pay-per-view involving 'extreme rules' where any and all items can be used. The "TLC" PPV reminds me of WWE establishing the ECW television program... they only called it ECW because of name/brand recognition. When you say TLC to any wrestling fan, they remember Jeff Hardy dangling from a wire and Edge spearing him into oblivion. You're not basing a pay-per-view off of a stipulation; you're basing it off of an image. This argument can also be used with 'Hell in a Cell'.Elimination Chamber
Gimmick: Major title matches (WWE & World) are contested within the Elimination Chamber.
This has now become a tradition like the Royal Rumble, at the same time adding a sense of suspense to its preceding pay-per-view. We know who the winner of the Royal Rumble is. We know who will be vying for a major title at Wrestlemania. We don't know who will be the champions of either brand until after this event. It could be any one of SIX people from each brand! Wrestlemania's card used to be predictable by the end of the Royal Rumble... now it has become up in the air until the month of the greatest spectacle of them all.Extreme Rules
Gimmick: All matches contested under stipulations of some form.
Another tradition. Like 'Backlash' before it, 'Extreme Rules' has become Wrestlemania's after-party. Sure you loved going to the small get-together at Wrestlemania's apartment. There are quaint ours d'oeuvres and fine wine for you to feast on while Wrestlemania reminded you of how historic it was. However, the following month you are invited to Extreme Rules' apartment party. Brie and crackers has been substituted with lava-hot Buffalo wings. Pinot Grigio replaced by bathtub PJ with an Everclear foundation. Wrestlemania is charming but Extreme Rules is hedonistic.Fatal 4-Way
Gimmick: Major title matches (WWE & World) are contested under Fatal 4-Way rules.
I understand the utilization of the Fatal 4-Way stipulation: Get the title off of the current holder all while protecting his/her importance. However, I don't like the fact of... again... looking on a calendar and seeing this looming on the horizon. Fatal 4-Ways are not exactly awe-inspiring stipulations to look forward to. I cannot think of a time I looked at one of these matches on a PPV card and thought THIS was the reason I should give Vince my money. Look at it this way: If it is a stipulation you could have on any Raw or Smackdown taping, then you shouldn't have it as the centerpiece of a PPV.Money in the Bank
Gimmick: Two 'Money in the Bank' ladder matches for Raw and Smackdown brands.
I am really torn with this gimmick PPV. I love the gimmick and its concept; as I described earlier, it is a tremendous metaphor. The downside is that it takes away from Wrestlemania. I'm not saying that it takes away a traditional match; instead it takes away a viable excuse to showcase between 6 and 10 of your performers all in one match. Take this away and what are we left with on the Wrestlemania card? Triple threats? Fatal 4-Ways? Multi-man tag matches involving nothing? Until we see how Wrestlemania 27 is constructed, we'll know how this comes about.
I know I'm forgetting the "Breaking Point" PPV. According to WWE's current PPV calendar, they have stricken this concept.
So what do you think? What should be kept or let go? This would make for great discussion on that same radio show I talked about earlier... I wonder if people who read listen as well...
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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