Reality From Ringside #40
November 23, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of WrestleView.comSurvivor Series 2009: The Hangover
Usually before every pay-per-view ?hangover? column that I have written for Wrestleview, I give my quick afterthoughts about how I felt after watching the program. Like how chocolate and peanut butter seem to go great together, talking in the chat room with fellow fans and VIP members while watching a PPV do the same.
Throughout the weekend, I debated on whether or not to purchase this program. $40 could get me a lot of things: A haircut, a couple of decent movies on DVD, potentially three cases of my favorite carbonated adult beverage. I caved in. I gave Vince my money. The main reason I bought the show? I did not want to fish around for open illegal free streams of the show online potentially missing out on something.
As I sat in the chat room responding to the program and chatting it up with ?mark-sists? like myself (definition soon to follow), the hilarious commentary and analytical reactions would constantly be overrun by requests for free streams.
Cries of ?Help me!? would flood the screen and immediately eradicate whatever conversational flow would come through the chat room. What was an enjoyable social experience online would turn into a scavenger hunt of illegal proportions every five minutes.
?I?m not going to pay THAT much for a PPV!? I hear you shouting and I understand completely. However, don?t complain about the program; forfeiting your right to buy and not giving Vince your money allowing you the privilege of watching the PPV grants you ability that someone who did buy does not have? the ability watch something else.
Being a columnist and doing these ?PPV hangover? pieces, it's my obligation to watch every PPV I am able to purchase and render an opinion, ask questions on a program that is not interrupted by purchase enforcers or a bogged down internet connection. Be it good or bad, I must watch the program just as many of my fellow WV columnists and on-air talents must.
However, if you watch the PPV through an illegal free stream and all you can do is complain about the program? you have the ability to do something else with your three hours. You did not invest your hard-earned money into Vince's production. You did not contact your cable/satellite provider, making your wallet considerably lighter in exchange for heart-stopping entertainment.
In that same light, if you did not watch a PPV or television program, you have no right in providing any analysis or opinions to the table. Just because you saw results does not mean that you can automatically deduce what is going on within the confines of WWE or TNA Creative.
The ebb and flow of a wrestling match, the demeanor and character development of the talent involved, and how the crowd responds to such? all of these need to be witnessed in order for anyone to have any valid opinion on anything; regardless of whether you bought the PPV or not, Wrestleview columnist or not.
Oh? by the way? my $40 was well-spent.
Now that I?ve let off some steam and am enjoying my breakfast of champions (coffee and cigarettes), it's time to ask the questions lingering from the 20th installment of WWE's ?Survivor Series?. And no? I don?t do ridiculous ratings systems or grading scales? I abhor them just as much as I despise ?best of? and ?worst of? lists.Within the past three years, have we ever seen as effective a heel turn as Batista's?
Professional wrestling is never the form of entertainment we expect without the occasional personality switch from good to bad or vice versa. It keeps the product fresh, rearranges booking schemes, and maintains our interest in enjoying the spectacle.
It takes the right opponent, the right crowd, and the right moment to make the turn effective. It all started last month at ?Bragging Rights? when Batista snapped against his ?friend? Rey Mysterio and came to fruition last night in the 7-minute destruction of Mysterio by the violently silent Batista.
While Batista's methodical annihilation of the smaller Mysterio did seem to cement him in his heel turn, I don?t believe it is the most effective turn we have seen this calendar year let alone the past three.
It took one moment following an exhilarating main event to set the wheels in motion for another performer's turn to the dark side. His establishing culminated during a segment at the beginning of the following pay-per-view. Since then, every time his entrance music is played and a microphone is in his hands, the hate from the fans is so thick you have to spoon it up.
I am talking of CM Punk.
Both turns occurred against opponents who could sell it effectively to the fans. With Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio being consummate fan favorites and assuming underdog roles, CM Punk and Batista's turn became that much easier.
While Batista's turn can be seen as more forceful and direct through actual action in the ring, CM Punk's was more verbal? his holier-than-thou attitude behind a microphone fueling the fires of disparity and stoking them higher than Batista's violent silence ever could.
You could also place Matt Hardy in the same discussion with his turn on his brother and showcasing the hate in an actual contest at Wrestlemania 25, but it still could not meet CM Punk's ascension to the fans? most-hated list. YouTube videos can definitely prove this, uploaded by some of the most delusional of wrestling fans.Are the ?Sole Survivors? truly a glimpse of the future of WWE's roster?
Survivor Series 2003: Chris Benoit, John Cena, and Randy Orton were the sole survivors in their respective elimination-style matches.
Wrestlemania XX: Orton would get the pin on Mick Foley in his 3-on-2 handicap match involving Evolution and The Rock. Cena would open the program in Madison Square Garden winning the United States title over Big Show. Benoit would headline the card winning the triple threat match over Triple H and Shawn Michaels receiving the World Heavyweight title.
Survivor Series 2007: Triple H and Jeff Hardy were the sole survivors of their elimination-style match.
Wrestlemania XXIV: Triple H would participate in a triple threat WWE title match involving Cena and Orton; he would be pinned by then-champion Orton. Jeff Hardy would provide the ?highlight? of the event during the ?Money in the Bank? ladder match.
Within the wrestling media, we have always had gut reactions and paid for our overblown and exaggerated assumptions. As I have cited however, sometimes these assumptions are realized.
So what are we to think of The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Kofi Kingston?
It is very difficult to assume that what happened six years ago will definitely happen in the present, like some kind of prophetic vision. The same can be said for what happened just two years ago. As many of you know? when it comes to me and predictions? well, let's be honest, I stink.
I am not stating that any one of these four performers will see a potential upper-echelon title match of some kind at Wrestlemania. That is a tremendous long shot. I would not be surprised though if we saw at least two of them in the ?Money in the Bank? ladder match. One or two could be involved in a long-lasting rivalry that reaches its boiling point at the grandest stage of them all.
The one assumption that I will make and I might be going out on a very thin branch with this? but I think of these four may no longer be with the company. WWE is known for making its cost-cutting releases after the fiscal fourth quarter and I believe this year will be no different. I?m not saying that it deserves for any one of these four talented men, I just have a very uneasy feeling that it might.
Speaking of uneasy feelings, we come to the final question we are left with from last night?With Undertaker retaining his title, what can we expect on the ?Tables, Ladders, and Chairs? PPV card?
When the name change was announced a couple months ago, the groans from the wrestling media were emphatic. ?Another gimmick PPV?!? The same reaction was given for WWE's ?Hell in a Cell?, ?Breaking Point?, and ?Bragging Rights? pay-per-views; the reactions from the programs were not exactly met with the same hatred and disdain. Some were proven wrong about their gut reactions? no shock.
Can we see Undertaker in a TLC match defending his World Heavyweight Title?
Before you shout ?Hell No!? to the rafters, take a step back. What ?hardcore?-like matches has Undertaker participated in within the past 2 years? The reason I give this timeframe is because I believe 2007 is when many were rumoring of Undertaker's inevitable retirement.
Survivor Series 2007: Undertaker vs. Batista ? Hell in a Cell
No Way Out 2008: Undertaker wins the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match
One Night Stand 2008: Undertaker vs. Edge ? TLC Match
Summerslam 2008: Undertaker vs. Edge ? Hell in a Cell
Cyber Sunday 2008: Undertaker vs. Big Show ? Last Man Standing Match
No Way Out 2009: Undertaker pinned by Triple H in Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match
I did not count Undertaker's Hell in a Cell match previously this year but I would consider that contest as physically exerting as the ones I?ve just listed.
So? are there any questions regarding Undertaker's ability in heavily-stipulated, physically-exerting matches? His health has been in question; his ability in the ring has been analyzed by the masses as deteriorating.
Just as anyone comes to me providing commentary about how something or someone is underperforming or underrated, I respond with one word that can never be refuted: Scoreboard.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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