If there was one topic that kept running through my head during and after last night’s Battleground, it was time, and not just because the ‘event’ ended 15 minutes “early”. To be honest, it didn’t end early, plenty of WWE events end well before 11 o’clock, this one just ended suddenly.
All of the problems I saw people having with the matches, with the results, with EVERYTHING have to do with time. So, let’s take some time today and try to sort things out.
In this 24/7 world of social media, our perception of time has become skewed. It feels like it has been FOREVER since we had a Sunday Night WWE event, when in reality, its been 5 weeks. When we check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Glorknorble (is that how you spell it?) dozens of times each day, it makes it feel like certain things have been going on FOREVER!
This has caused a lot of problems with select members of the wrestle-watching community, as the warped view of time alters our reality.
“R-Truth and King Barrett are ALWAYS wrestling each other!”
Not true - While they fought at Battleground and at the 2 RAW’s previously (which is a little much, I grant you), they’ve only had 7 televised matches against each other since Wrestlemania. With the predilection WWE has for cookie-cutter booking at times, 7 matches in 4 months is really not so bad, until you count the multitudes of chatter that take place about every match. That’s when it seems like forever.
People have made the same claims about Sheamus and Randy Orton, and this points to another fault in our perception of time - The years blur together. I did a very cursory ProFightDB search and found that Orton and Sheamus have had 20 singles matches against each other, stretching all the way back to 2010. 4 and a half years, 20 matches. Not the end of the world.
Look, if people want to take issue with WWE booking, specifically the way there is a tiered grouping of talents in this promotion, all whom spend their time battling each other and often no one else, there’s a lot of weight behind that argument. However, let’s calm down with regards to these “neverending” feuds that, in all reality, really just got started.
Just because it feels like forever doesn’t mean it has been so.
Since I rejoined the WWE Universe with the inception of the Network, one of the loudest criticisms has been the lack of a long-term plan, booking wise. Last year, I attributed that to the surprise departure of CM Punk and the unfortunate injury to Daniel Bryan (and I still think I was right in doing so) - Suddenly the main event tier became much shallower, and WWE had to think on its feet, working week to week instead of month to month. This is why The Shield broke up when it did, this is why Brock Lesnar became a Champion instead of a featured attraction - I submit we can trace all of that to the improvisations WWE had to do creatively.
Was it the best course of action? Likely not. Was it avoidable? Likely so.. Did they do the best they could? Probably, given the set of circumstances and 70 year old obstacles.. Did we have reason to Be Heard with our displeasure? Definitely.
Since Wrestlemania 31, however, I think WWE has collected itself, formed some long-term plans, and is moving forward with them quite nicely. It is US, in fact, that are behind the proverbial 8 ball.
Up until the moment Kevin Owens tapped out last night, the vast majority of us believed John Cena to be a candidate for WWE MVP for 2015. His US title reign was a masterstroke, executed to near perfection. The “John Cena Sucks” chants were now being done ironically, for the most part, the same way we jeered for Kurt Angle, while still loving everything he did.
But when Kevin Owens submits. . . EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MINDS!
Now WWE is terrible, Owens is being buried, and John Cena has an inappropriate relationship with his maternal parent. Can we be that easily swayed? Has WWE earned no benefit of the doubt from the last 6 months?
Have a little faith that there is a long-term plan for John Cena and Kevin Owens. This will certainly not be the end of their feud - We’re heading into Summer Slam with Owens / Cena IV, perhaps even with Cesaro and/or Rusev thrown in for good measure. If August ends with Owens (or Cesaro, really) holding the United States title, having defeated John Cena to get it, a lot of you aren’t even going to remember your vitriolic response to what happened at Battleground.
Nobody is complaining too much about Reigns and Wyatt, and not just because Luke Harper came back and Bray got the victory. Though that certainly helped. People seem to understand there’s a long term plan here. This will likely continue into Summer Slam (AmbReigns vs. Wyatt and Harper, perhaps?), Reigns improves every single time he’s NOT being asked to carry the company, and life is good.
As for the main event, well I can understand if that’s a little harder to comprehend. As the NAIpod gang discussed on the post-show last night (which I still haven’t finished - I was too busy trying to find Bill from Boston’s Twitter handle so I can be his new best friend), the arrival of the Undertaker is a curious thing. It’s difficult to theorize a way to book another Lesnar / Taker match, long-term.
Still, here’s what I do know. Kane has shown an increasing protection of his family over the last few weeks, and then Lesnar took him out, and now “suddenly” Taker is back.. I’m not sure this has as much to do with Wrestlemania 30 as it has to do with Big Brother arriving to stand up for Little Brother.
Oh, and making Summer Slam a must-see event. That helps, too.
Jason is right - If Taker was THAT upset about the streak ending, he’d have done something about it at this year’s Wrestlemania. This seems more personal.
Could we see a reunited Brothers of Destruction taking on Brock Lesnar? What does it do for the Lesnar mythos if he can defeat not just The Undertaker, but Kane as well at Summer Slam?
As for Seth Rollins, things seem to be wide open for him heading into our next Event. He still has unfinished business with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, and right now the WHC picture is wide open.
Hmm, this has me thinking. It might not be the long term plan for WWE, but what if we saw . . .
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt for the World Heavyweight Championship
I don’t know about you, but in my mind, I see that match and think
It’s about TIME.