Monday, March 3, 2014

LIVE thoughts on a frustrating show produced by a stubborn company - March 3, 2014

11:16 - Wow, I'm legitimately shocked that Punk didn't come out.....especially due to the forecasting done in the main event (unleashing Batista, Orton, Kane, AND Triple H against Bryan).  But I do commend WWE....they did a great job of teasing the fans with the possibility enough that the audience didn't completely devour the show.  If they ignored the elephant in the room, the crowd wouldn't have let ANYTHING pass.  Since they THOUGHT they were in on the joke, they played along to an extent.  And by the time it became obvious they weren't going to get what they wanted, the show was over.

The question remains, though:  If Punk ISN'T returning, what on earth is the plan for the WWE Championship match?  Batista vs. Orton would've been a disaster anyway, but now that it's heel vs. heel, it'll be impossible to do.  If they're not going to put Bryan in the match (and it appears they won't), who else is there?  Cena and Taker are already spoken for....what other legitimate face is there to fill that role, if not Punk?  And if Punk IS returning, why miss the opportunity of that monster reaction he'd get in Chicago?

10:57 - Something big is going to happen to close this show.  We're almost at 11:00 and the Batista/Bryan match still hasn't started.

10:43 - Kinda surprised by the innate negative reaction Cena is getting from this live crowd.  In character terms, he's done nothing but support people like Daniel Bryan.  And in actual match results, he's put him (and Punk) over clean.  And right now, his storyline does nothing to interfere with Punk or Bryan's ascension.  He's pretty much just doing his own thing with an upper midcarder.  Having said that, I do love the way Cena responds to a hostile audience.  Notice he hasn't yelled "Deal with it!" yet?

10:34 - Despite my negative history with Paul Bearer, the man is ABSOLUTELY worthy of a Hall of Fame induction.  A great induction for a great career.

10:27 - So Dolph Ziggler finally gets a win and they film Aaron Paul during the pinfall?

10:23 - Here's hoping the Aaron Paul attachment actually gives Ziggler the win here.  Am I dreaming?

10:06 - Remember when Vince McMahon used to stand on lower ground so that Andre Giant, who was legit 7' tall, would look even larger?  Now you have Stephanie McMahon wearing high heels when she's in the ring with Daniel Bryan.  What happened to trying to make your Superstars larger than life?  Why point out his "weakness"?

10:03 - Don't see many people with their backs to the ring right now.

10:00 - I'm surprised they're not closing the show with this match.

9:51 - So what's the plan?  Feature every Diva but the one that is, ya' know, over?  And the champion.

9:46 - By the way, I've said it before but I don't think it's fair for us to pick and choose which of the audience's chants are fair and which aren't.  Just because we agree with the sentiment doesn't make one right and the other wrong.  Shane Helms, for example, just tweeted "that isn't hijacking it's heckling."  Others are echoing the sentiment -- that Christian/Sheamus was a fine match and didn't deserve that treatment from the fans.  But who are we to make that judgment?  Why is it okay for people to chant for Daniel Bryan during a technically fine Cena/Orton match, but if we do it in a Christian/Sheamus match, it's disrespectful?

9:43 - Is there a more one sided feud than Christian/Sheamus?  I know the general feeling is that Christian is all but gone, but really, what good does this do?  Plus, heel Christian is AWESOME.

9:37 - Raw in Chicago is looking better than WrestleMania.

9:30 - What is with JBL's shots at Christian's physique?  He spends the first five minutes of this match talking about Christian flexing, and then the next portion talking about the size of Christian's pecs.

9:16 - I think WWE is greatly overestimating the audience's interest in this feud.

9:06 - An incredible and thrilling match that really highlighted the Shield, even in defeat.  Each member was spotlighted in a physical and on a character level.  Very intriguing stuff.  Loved the match.

8:53 - How did that landing not destroy Rollins' legs?  By the way, Rollins unfairly gets pigeonholed as the third wheel of the Shield, which is very unfair.  Each guy brings the goods in their own way.  It's nice to see him get some attention and the opportunity to be in the spotlight.

8:50 - I don't know why it took so long for them to start doing the "We're Here" portion of the Wyatt entrance live.

8:44 - It's interesting to see how this match was booked.  Cesaro absolutely dominated that (very brief) match.  I understand they're pushing Cesaro, but that did no favors for Big E.

8:37 - Great win for the Usos and well deserved!  Happy to see this team win the titles.  And my favorite part?  Oddly enough, that JBL called the victory before it actually happened.  How often do we see an announcer say "it's over!" which typically telegraphs a kickout or swerve?  It's good to see somebody say "it's over" and for it to actually end.

8:23 - Stop messing around and just give the titles to the Usos.  Do we REALLY need this extended into WrestleMania?  Like I said, there are a bunch of young, full time guys on the roster who have a lot of potential who are directionless when it comes to WrestleMania.  Why waste a spot on the Outlaws?

8:17 - Mark Henry is such a curious character.  On two separate occasions he has gotten over and found success as a bad ass.  And then within a few weeks of turning face, he becomes complete fodder.

8:08 - I'm guessing they wouldn't bring all of this attention to Punk if he wasn't there.  But Heyman is an interesting avatar.  Punk likely won't be working with him, so why have Heyman be the one to tease the crowd?

8:02 - You had to expect them to troll the Chicago audience like that, although I am a bit surprised they wasted that heat on Paul Heyman.

7:38 - Take note of my slightly more optimistic title.  The question is, what will stand out about tonight's show?  Will it be the surprise return of CM Punk?  Will it be the fans hijacking the show (in quite the organized manner, no less!)?  Will it be a surprisingly well booked show?  Will it be more of what we've seen the past year or so?  Honestly, I don't know.  But I will admit that I'm looking more forward to tonight's show than I have been in a while.  And that's something.

Now, regarding Punk's possible return.  I have to wonder, what happens if he does return?  Does he go up against Triple H -- the supposed man he was originally supposed to fight and the match he apparently did not want to do?  Or do they insert him in the title match, even though there's no real backstory behind that?  It seems unlikely he'd return to face Triple H (especially since they've already started building the Bryan/Triple H match), so the title match seems more likely.  How do they make that work, though?

Honestly, if the company didn't care so much about making sure Triple H has a match, why not do the thing most people want to see and that would make the most storyline sense, and that's Orton vs. Batista vs. Punk vs. Bryan in a title match?  I know that means Triple H won't have a match (but hey, the same will probably be said about Ziggler.  And Kingston.  And Miz.  And Barrett.  And loads of other young, full time talents), so that won't happen.

So....what do you guys think will happen?

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