Reality From Ringside #93
December 20, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.com
WWE 'TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs' 2010: The Hangover
Last night was a special night for me, aside from the typical once-a-month Sunday filled with sports and pay-per-view wrestling. My brother and sister-in-law made the long trek from Michigan to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my family in Charlotte; I really only get to see them maybe once every year and a half, if I'm lucky.
Last night was a flashback to the happier days of being a professional wrestling fan for me. My brother, my father, and I all gathered around the television to watch professional wrestling. It was 'Male-Bonding Monday' for the first time in a very long time... the three of us losing ourselves in simulated aggression and over-exaggerated emotion. I was reminded why I loved professional wrestling, for its entertainment not for its realism.
With my position on Wrestleview, I of course turned into the inside informant when it came to everything that was happening on-screen. My father and brother occasionally asking why two guys were angry at each other or what the deal was with one guy or another, my recapping abilities were put to the test. It is times like these that I miss; talking to on-again-off-again wrestling fans. Witnessing not just a reaction to what is happening in the ring or otherwise from a wrestling fan, but from someone who is not over-exposed to the industry via internet, is truly refreshing to me.
For too long we sit here, over-analyze, and nitpick every single hold and reaction in a wrestling match that we forget why we're fans of the genre in the first place. It's entertaining. It doesn't matter what your definition of the term is, professional wrestling is entertaining. That's why you tune in at least once a week and invest two hours of your personal time to it. It brings you joy.
Sitting in that living room with my family watching professional wrestling transported me back to when I was fan without an internet to quench my curiosity. We laughed at facial expressions and jokes on a microphone. We winced and cringed at high spots and violent bumps. Call these reactions what you will, typical knee-jerks of marks or archetypal responses of the ignorant... we are professional wrestling fans.
We don't need an internet to affirm what good or bad professional wrestling is.
For three hours last Sunday, being away from a computer with family and watching what has brought me so much joy for nearly 25 years made me forget what an 'internet wrestling community' was, that I actually wrote and provided content for a professional wrestling news website. Ignorance was bliss that night.
I now return to reality and give to you a fulfilling, sober, PPV hangover of WWE's 'TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs'...Will Edge remain World Heavyweight Champion going into Wrestlemania 27?
The end result of the Fatal 4-Way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship should not have really shocked anyone. The match itself was not as much a statement made about how main event-worthy Edge is, but more an indictment on how incredibly weak the prop of the World Heavyweight Title has become because of Kane and Edge.
Was the title that big of a deal between the two? It sure didn't seem like it for the past two months. It looked as if Edge was more concerned about playing 'hide and seek' with Paul Bearer and Kane than he was about actually achieving his ultimate goal. It seemed like Kane was more troubled about retrieving his father than protecting his coveted championship.
The story, in general, made no sense, especially to my father and brother sitting with me watching the show.
"Why did he kidnap Paul Bearer?" My father asked.
"Apparently to get inside Kane's head and play mind games, I think," I answer with a voice fusing the emotions of embarrassment and bewilderment.
"Wait, let me see if I can get this straight," my brother attempts to recreate Edge's mentality through sound logic... of sorts. "Kane is a monster. He has set people on fire. He has electrocuted a grown man's testicles. He has tombstoned the Republican senatorial candidate of Connecticut on the stage.
"Edge must now fight this monster with no soul. What is his plan? Make him angry?! What kind of a $% plan is this?!"
Insipidness of the main storyline aside, Edge is now the World Heavyweight Champion but for how long? All you need to do is look back at his nine previous WWE/World Title reigns and realize how long this may last. His longest reign lasted a little longer than 3 months, spanning from Armageddon '07 (12/16) to Wrestlemania XXIV (3/30/08).
While that may be a damning fact against Edge and the federation's faith in him as a champion, the same should be said for any performer who has held a WWE or World Heavyweight title since April 2008. That was the last time a major title reign lasted longer than six months (Triple H, WWE Title, 4/27/08 – 11/23/08).
The question remains: Will Edge be World Heavyweight Champion for longer than 3 months? With the new tradition of the 'Elimination Chamber' PPV happening every February before the spectacular known as Wrestlemania, all signs point 'no'. With the protective nature of the Elimination Chamber stipulation, WWE Creative can instantly create any feud(s) after the PPV and have more than one month to build momentum for their makeshift idea.
It happened earlier this year. Wrestlemania XXVI's entire main event card was fueled immediately following Elimination Chamber (Jericho-Edge, Undertaker-Michaels, and Cena-Batista).
Speaking of Wrestlemania...Is Wrestlemania XXVII's card starting to come full circle?
Absolutely not. For starters, let's look over what we know is set in stone for next month's Royal Rumble PPV...
John Morrison-The Miz (WWE Title)
Kane-Edge Rematch? (World Title)
United States Title Match
Intercontinental Title Match
Diva's Title Match
Royal Rumble Match
Past Royal Rumble PPVs have seen a five or six match card; however the previous two have not featured a grudge match of any kind. In other words, every match holds some sort of importance in regards to a title of some kind. These matches should not deter from the performers' participation in the Royal Rumble match, either. We have seen this happen before: The Miz and MVP participating in the Rumble after battling for the United States Title and continuing the feud in the Rumble match itself in January.
With the uncertainty of the Royal Rumble PPV and the protective stance the Elimination Chamber PPV has taken within WWE Creative, there is no way you can effectively predict next year's Wrestlemania. Try as hard as you would like and fantasy-book to your heart's content, all of your hopes and dreams can easily be destroyed by one body being flung over the top rope or one sliding of a plexi-glass door.
I would not place any money on any particular match actually happening at Wrestlemania XXVII. Even the obnoxiously obvious observation (ALLITERATION!) of Triple H-Sheamus is starting to come out of focus. The only way this match can still happen is if Sheamus continues to remind us that he indeed ended Triple-H's career, just like how Booker T reminded us of why he was the only true 'king' of the WWE and not 'The king of kings' himself. We may see this trend happen again.
Since the question was asked about Edge, the same should be posed to the opposite brand...Will The Miz remain WWE Champion going into Wrestlemania 27?
This question seems a little more difficult to answer as compared to the first. While it does seem farfetched to think that The Miz would retain his WWE Title after the Elimination Chamber PPV, it should not be ignored. A 'Miz-Cena' main event for Wrestlemania XXVII certainly does sound attractive, but not from the stereotypical professional wrestling point of view you would think.
Wrestlemania has been void of a certain aspect for some time: The aspect of celebrity. Ever since he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and became WWE Champion, The Miz has been on a cross-media blitz, appearing on late night television and drive-time radio promoting WWE and its live shows to no end.
The contrast in on-screen personas makes for a great wrestling match (resilient loudmouth vs. resilient superman) but what makes it even better for the WWE is the potential for promoting, marketing, and cross-media acknowledgement. For the first time in a very long time, you may see a Wrestlemania main event promoted and advertised without the need of an outside celebrity for exposure.
This is why The Miz became WWE Champion and why he is what says he is on a weekly basis. Name another WWE performer who has been on as many mediums as he has to promote WWE and WWE alone in the past 5 years. You can't.
The WWE wants and needs this main event to happen at Wrestlemania XXVII if they even hope of grabbing at least 800K buys worldwide. Unfortunate as it may sound, wrestling has never fueled Wrestlemania... cross-media promoting and marketing has. Ask Liberace, Cyndi Lauper, and Muhammad Ali to name a few.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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