The WWE ‘Money in the Bank’ Pay Per View is in our rear-view mirror, and the obvious happened--John Cena defeated Kevin Owens in a highly entertaining bout.
The reason I say “The obvious happened” is simply because this is how WWE progress their angles. We’ve seen this formula used a thousand and one times—Baby face beats heel, at their next meeting, heel beats baby face—or vice versa, to progress the angle.
Now that each of the two have a victory over the other, I can imagine that at their next meeting, not only will it be their last regarding this particular angle, but it will be also billed in a similar way that arcade fighting games like ‘Street Fighter’ are designed – in the sense that it will be their “Final Round”.
But, What if Kevin Owens had won last night?
It’s a different formula. Why not build Kevin Owens as the guy, that for some reason, John Cena cannot beat.
We both know from the story they tell in the ring that these two are equally matched—But yet for some reason Kevin Owens just keeps managing to take advantage of the tiniest of opportunity and beats John Cena.
Maybe its because Kevin Owens is younger & fresher and has 7 years on John Cena, It could also be that all the battle damage John Cena has sustained over the years is finally taking its toll? And that Kevin Owens is malicious enough to happily take full advantage of that – which might I add, compliments his character.
I can hear the crowd now, as John Cena lies in the middle of the ring, Kevin Owens stands above him raising his palm in reflection of Cena, he bends over and waves his hand in Cena’s face as the crowd chant “You can’t beat me”.
The frustration that John Cena felt due to not being able to beat Kevin Owens in this match was projected through our screens perfectly—for the first time in years, I felt the “Never Give Up” shtick was not what was carrying Cena through this match, but rather that of his old “Ruthless Aggression” mentality.
But of course, by the end of the match, we go back to “Hustle-Loyalty-Respect”.
I want to see more of that RUTHLESS side of John Cena, I want to see what not being able to beat Kevin Owen’s does to the dimensions of the John Cena character, where it could take him?
The beauty of the John Cena character is that he is in fact both baby face and heel every night.
One of the reasons John Cena is a fantastic performer is that he has this amazing ability to come out, get a feel of the crowd and then work that crowd depending on what the crowd give him.
Back in 2010, Shawn Michaels developed an entirely new depth to his character, due to frustration of not being able to beat The Undertaker.
(Authors Note: I’m not saying they should approach this angle the same way)
The best thing about that angle is that it kept Shawn fresh. We were seeing an entirely new side of Shawn Michaels and it made for must see television.
I look at this program between Kevin Owens and John Cena and see the potential that it has—But yet, each and every week I’m seeing the same stuff, the same formula that has been used for over ten years.
WWE Creative – Its time to stop beating a dead horse and re-think the way you write wrestling -- to quote Nirvana “Here we are now, Entertain us!”
REGARDLESS of how good their matches are—we all know the outcome! And I’m not talking about the final pin-fall in their final match; I’m talking about where the angle will progress, because we’ve seen it a thousand times. Kevin Steen is a fantastic talent no doubt about it! But in three years time, when we’ve seen it all and heard it all before—then what!?
Well that’s when creative rinse and repeat and they find the next guy, then we as an audience go through the motions all over again of “Maybe this guy is the next Steve Austin, maybe this guy will change the business”
Now, I don’t want to take anything away from the Cena-Owens match at ‘Money in the Bank’ – it was a fantastic wrestling match, a few blown spots here and there, but I’m not going to nit-pick at it.
But! Again, like their match at ‘Elimination Chamber’, which idiot booked this!?
Who in the blue hell told these two to go out there and kick out of each other’s finishers 5 times each!!
Where is the psychology in this match? c’mon, seriously! Protect your finishers.
Having them kick out of each other’s finishers that much doesn’t make these guys look strong, it makes the moves look weak. You’re trying to put each other over, but you’re just burying each other by doing it.
You don’t just tell a story through the angles and the promos – you tell a story in the match and how you tell that story is by understanding the psychology of a wrestling match, and one of the most important lessons you can learn is to PROTECT THE FINISH!
Again, I’m not taking anything away from the match itself – other than the constant kick outs. The crowd were fantastic, but what you need to understand about a wrestling crowd is, years ago they cheered for whom ever Vince McMahon told them to cheer for –in todays day and age, they cheer for whomever they are told NOT to cheer for. This match was nothing more than a ‘Smark vs Mark’ match.
Its called reverse psychology, and the IWC are being worked.
Its bullshit booking like this that is killing the art of professional wrestling, and the IWC are eating it up because all they care about is what’s happening in front of them NOW! – and that is truly because the bar has been lowered that much that they just want something entertaining to happen right now! It has nothing to do with us “being spoilt during the attitude era”.
When a guy like Kevin Steen comes along, with natural talent on the mic and in the ring, the IWC automatically put him on a pedestal. What this means is that these guys are under pressure to “change the business” because that’s what is expected of them, so they’re forced in the spotlight, they’re forced down our throats and the reason they don’t reach the level of the Austin’s and Rocks is because IT IS NOT NATURAL. It’s force – this means they cannot build stars.
Who cares if the IWC are pleased? Honestly? These types of demographic are going to watch the product regardless of it being good or bad. What is important for the company is to get the average person caring about their product again.
Giving Steen the ‘John Cena rub’ is good because they are testing the waters, they’re seeing what he’s made of. But by giving him that instance rub, is it enough to make the average television viewer interested in professional wrestling again?
If the average television viewer cared only for the wrestling, than WWE would be hitting stronger ratings than they are now – FACT!
Jesus, if the average television viewer only cared for the wrestling then Ring of Honour would be a Billion dollar company.
The average viewer wants to watch a story. For the same reason people watch movies and TV shows.
Ladies and Gentlemen, whether you agree or disagree, I thank you for reading.
I’ve been Jake Jesus, and that is what’s best for business.
Follow Jake on Twitter: @iamjakejesus