Reality From Ringside #45
December 28, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of

The Ultimate Hangover: Looking back at 2009

I hate lists. I hate labeling moments that some would consider ?the best?. I hate dismissing or crediting talents or matches as the best or the worst of a calendar year. I have never liked trying to ‘sell? my views of what should be seen as good or bad? that is not for me to decide.

You, as a loyal fan of professional wrestling with however as much bias as you may have internally, have seen the same programs as I have. What you or I may see as great or horrid is honestly a waste of time to everyone involved.

What truly deserves a great deal of time for discussion and debate is what has happened within the past year and wonder if the industry or federation involved has truly benefitted from it. While my record in predicting has become legendary with mediocrity? my questions have been far from it.

And so I present? the ultimate hangover of 2009.

I must apologize that this is not a truly legitimate ?full? hangover of 2009’s pay-per-views from WWE and TNA. My ?hangover? columns never really took form until last August and WWE’s Summerslam PPV. Aside from that, so many questions have been brought forth and feeble attempts at answering them have been given by yours truly, even better ones from ?The Realists? who reply to them.

But I digress? questions have been posed, answers given, and now it is time to truly look back at all of them and look at how wrong I was? we were? and what has left to be answered.

11/23/09 ? WWE Survivor Series – Are the ?Sole Survivors? truly a glimpse of the future of WWE’s roster?

?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??

The Miz: Still United States champion and lauded as one of the purest heels of the Raw roster.

Drew McIntyre: Newly-crowned Intercontinental Champion on Smackdown.

Kofi Kingston: Entrenched in a bitter feud with who many consider (including me) the best on the Raw roster: Randy Orton.

Sheamus: Amazingly newly-crowned WWE Champion achieving Lesnar-like success in such a short amount of time since his debut (est. 5 months).

9/21/09 ? TNA No Surrender – What is the Bobby Lashley’s timeline within TNA?

?I would really like to see TNA possibly obtain the rights and privileges to air Lashley’s MMA fights on their programs. This would reinforce the notion that he is who they say he is and remind the viewing audience that he is a legitimate force to contend with within the federation. Sure, we (the well-educated wrestling community) know he is also an MMA fighter, but the typical na?ve wrestling fan doesn?t.?

Lashley just recently signed a contract to compete with Strikeforce MMA, which has a television deal with Viacom who in turn broadcasts TNA’s programs on cable subsidiary, Spike TV. The wheels are in motion for the ultimate cross-promotion? scoff all you want, MMA and professional wrestling fans alike, but this can do nothing but help TNA in a BIG way!

9/14/09 ? WWE Breaking Point – For how much longer should Christian be ECW Champion and remain in ECW?

?In my eyes, Christian has been the personification of the ?internet fan? in McMahon’s vision. Placing him in a brand inferior to the other two, feuds with ring veterans that aren?t as highly regarded as others, and performing on a network in a timeslot that is not exactly beneficial to his ascension within WWE’s roster as a whole.

?Christian’s status within the WWE roster has always been McMahon’s middle finger to the ?internet fan?.

?After foreseeable feuds with William Regal’s henchmen (Kozlov and Jackson), Christian should assume the role that Matt Hardy once held while combating Jack Swagger. After three months? time, Christian should become one of those workers in the ring that help to elevate the younger crop of talent.?

Christian has defended his ECW Title against Zack Ryder, Yoshi Tatsu, and the embodiment of mid-card, Shelton Benjamin. Edge is still rehabbing his Achilles tendon, so dreams of a tag team reunion are tremendously far-fetched. An appearance in Wrestlemania 26’s ?Money in the Bank? ladder match seems inevitable.

So what has happened? Absolutely nothing.

10/19/09 ? TNA Bound for Glory – Has Hernandez become the victim of a great match?

?Now would be a great time for TNA to build him for his inevitable shot at the TNA World Title, but not immediately throw him directly into the fray.. How does a number one contender’s match between Hernandez and Kurt Angle sound? How about beginning a new rivalry with echelon-ascension implications, like against Matt Morgan, Samoa Joe, or the improbable choice of Bobby Lashley?

The options TNA has are limitless and the routes they have to choose from are fairly easily to achieve. The biggest question: Does TNA have the ability to achieve something so simple? I think they do.?

At Turning Point in November, he took part in a vague storyline which culminated in a 6-man tag with Hernandez teaming with Matt Morgan and D?Angelo Dinero facing Team 3D and Rhino. Insert Suicide and Jesse Neal respectively, and you have Hernandez’s match at Final Resolution earlier this month.

A new year’s resolution for 2010 I know that I can keep: Try not to be too optimistic of TNA Creative and their ushering of what little mid-card talent they have. Unfortunately, just like Christian, Hernandez has gone nowhere.

10/05/09 ? WWE Hell in a Cell – Was CM Punk’s legitimacy as a main event talent truly hindered?

?Let’s be honest, though. Is this loss going to really hurt CM Punk at all? He is still considered one of the most despised heels within the company and a definite guarantee for heat behind a microphone. Does he really need a belt to affirm his posture within the roster? I definitely don?t believe so.

?We can believe what we want to about the length of Undertaker’s reign as World Champion, but it is honestly a waste of breath and brainpower. Whether it is long or short, it still does not hurt CM Punk’s stature on the Smackdown roster. With Edge still on the shelf slated for a return to action in January (rumored to be in babyface mode) and Chris Jericho retaining his Tag Team Title alongside Big Show, CM Punk will be viewed as the number one heel for quite some time.

?So before you continue to dog the federation for relinquishing the strap from the Straight Edge’s waist, think of this in the long run? Punk doesn?t NEED anything to cement his status, he already has it.?

CM Punk has yet to return to any sort of title contention now that he has ?reprogrammed? Luke Gallows. With Chris Jericho’s failure in retaining the Unified Tag Team Titles with Big Show, he has now returned to Smackdown? but is far from the number one heel we thought he would be. We can bestow that label to Batista.

I love looking back at questions and answers like these. It reminds me of how incredibly correct or insipidly incorrect I, or anyone else within the wrestling media, can be.

It’s an essential fact of life. We know absolutely nothing when it comes to what could be done, should be done, or will be done when it comes to functions of a professional wrestling organization. All that we (columnists, pundits, and fans alike) can do is one of two things:

1) Say that something was good or bad, welcome the bombardment of criticism from all sides, and try to convince an already-stubborn community that your opinion warrants more merit via rankings and analysis.

2) Just be entertained.

I choose the latter.

Here’s to 2010? and hoping that the pay-per-view hangovers will not be as traumatizing or career-threatening.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts…. adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements:

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