September 01, 2017

The Pedantic Take

What follows is a written version of the inner dialogue I've had with myself this week. I set out to make a five paragraph essay formatted post and I don't think I did a good job as I am out of practice. I should probably start practicing just in case I ever decide to go get my degree in Wrestling Criticism. Enjoy. 

So, I enjoy the fact that you took my challenge so seriously, or at least your creativity so seriously.

What I was really getting at was trying to wrap my head around booking theory. The hows and whys, because there are legitimate reasons for both of them to go over. I think the general idea of booking the match in general was that Vince is scared that he'll lose Cena to Hollywood pretty quickly and wants to use him to put over his "The Guy" (ie Undertaker, The Rock, etc) now rather than later.

So that being said, if we're just booking the finish to this one match (without possibility of a rematch) the winner is Roman, but we know that John Cena will tell us that WWE is his life, and he'll be back any/ever chance he gets. So there will be a rematch. Then real question is... Are we watching a Roman Underdog Story (Roman loses and must fight to overcome The Face That Runs the Place) or a Warrior/Hogan WrestleMania 6 story? Will this backfire like Warrior winning did or does that even matter in 2017 corporately run WWE?

Business is down (Brock doesn't get 'splosions when his arms come down). Isn't Network Subscriptions that name of the game now? Do little kids have big enough allowances to spend 9.99 a month and buy tickets to the live events and t-shirts when they get there? I know that when I was a kid my parents were not interested in wrestling, so I was never taken to wrestling events, and I got to order 2 PPVs (with multiple other kids contributing to the price so it cost about 10 bucks at most). But they did take me to see Shakespeare plays and Weird Al concerts, because my folks had an appreciation of those things. Had Shawn Michaels or Stone Cold been hosts on the Today Show, maybe my first wrestling event would have been in 94 rather than 2000.

Most wrestling pundits think that the crowd hates Roman because he's perceived as the Chosen One that Vince picked. That he's handsome and your girlfriends/wives all think he's super hot. That he's "related to The Rock." That he does tea parties with his "baby girl." I think that's horse shit.

Roman is an above average big man wrestler. He also has an overused "semi" finisher in the spear, and a completely ridiculous "finisher" in the Superman Punch....which is an illegal closed fist. I would also argue that The Drive By is a really cool move and is over with me. There are issues with his move set in general though. Also, he has been saddled with bad promos, and even when he gets a good one....he feels awkward and stilted (and not in a cute Daniel Bryan aw shucks kinda way). He doesn't connect as a character, he connects because of his size, look, and looks.

The only other coherent argument I've heard about the Roman Reigns dilemma is that the crowd hates him because he isn't Daniel Bryan. This one is logical to me. Rey Mysterio was booed at the Rumble because "he wasn't Daniel Bryan." The argument against is that everybody no knows that Daniel Bryan isn't an option (Even though Brie is saying that some guy named Bryan Danielson is imminent) and there isn't anyone else on the WWE product that is over at the same level right now.

John Cena is more "beloved" now and the tone of the audience's hatred is more of the Kurt Angle "You Suck" rather than the venom spewed back in the Cena vs Edge, Cena vs DX, Cena vs Punk days. I would argue that the reason people have come around on Cena is because his character was tweaked to be more like a Daniel Bryan. He started having technically good matches, stopped putting people down with poo poo/pee pee jokes, and hasn't been as much of a dickhead frat boy lately (I think The Marshall refers to the new character wrinkle as "Goofy Smile Cena.") He also isn't extremely over exposed to wrestling fans. He isn't the star of both Raw and Smackdown (kinda, he mostly picks one). He's also funny in movie roles (anybody watch Tour De Pharmacy....he plays a character that is played by Dolph Lundgren when he is old).

This iteration of the John Cena character is at least far more tolerable and probably charming to people that don't have 15ish years of ill will built up in their brain or are easily manipulated (I'm a stubborn obstinate guy). Now more than ever, because of his extra curricular outings, he really is the "Face" that runs the place. Goofy grin and all.

 Why did they book this at No Mercy!? The only good explanation I've heard is a mix of No Mercy being in Los Angeles, the Network changes booking decisions because your end all be all isn't PPV (which doesn't make sense, because Network Subscriptions is PPV), and Vince wants to burn every possible big money match now so Roman Vs Brock is the only coherent thing to book at WrestleMania.

So who wins September of 2017? What outcome is best for business? Is it just simple "Roman gets outsmarted" and pushed to the ends of space to make up for it?  The "shocking" ending might actually be Roman wins clean. Could it be a schmoz? Could Undertaker cost Roman the win?

They have been booking Roman as a heel. He's lost a bunch of matches lately. I think I've talked myself into Roman winning clean. Cena can have an underdog story, and Roman can get heat for beating both Taker and Cena. Lesnar will go into WrestleMania as the babyface that has beaten the two guys Roman can't beat (Strowman and Joe). It will either embolden small children and ladies that love him, and piss off logical rational people.

It's taken me five days to come up with this conclusion. I've been wracking my brain. So congrats WWE on making me think about stupid wrestling all week.