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The Alliance. Shane McMahon buying WCW could have worked. Fans were tired of the endless McMahon vs McMahon feuds, but at least this made sense. But when WCW was abruptly joined by two former ECW stars and the angle suddenly switched to WCW and ECW against WWF, interest skyrocketed... right up until the owner of ECW was revealed to be Stephanie McMahon.
What really made this Wall Banger was that the original ECW owner Paul Heyman was currently an announcer for WWF and was an active part of the Alliance storyline (and does wonderfully as an obnoxious heel),T meaning there was absolutely no reason whatsoever for Stephanie to be the "owner" of ECW other than to have the Chairman's daughter in a major storyline role.
Even worse is the fact that if Vince felt it absolutely mandatory to have Stephanie be part of the storyline, she and Shane could simply have been co-owners of WCW. There is no reason why this couldn't have worked. There was even potential for the two to have a bit of sibling rivalry where one or both of them didn't want to be co-owners and wanted the other out of the Alliance.
Furthermore, there are many fans who couldn't stand the actual "Alliance" aspect. Originally, the implication was that the ECW wrestlers were going to be a Wild Card third element that would fight against both "major federations", and this was a very enticing element. But, no, we got Stephanie in a dumb hat.
Since going PG, WWE has a real Wall Banger whenever somebody bleeds. At first, it wasn't so bad; wrestlers were not allowed to cut themselves to bleed anymore, but it didn't hurt the matches. However, if a wrestler is opened up hardway (starts bleeding unintentionally due to the match) then paramedics come out to stitch him mid-match, meaning absolutely all momentum grinds to a halt. This was really shown during a ladder match between Christian and Shelton Benjamin. While the paramedics were closing Christian's cut Shelton was free to climb up the ladder. The match was going quite well up until that point.
Footage of that particular match was shown for quite a while afterward, mainly due to the fact that Holly finished the match.
Another crowning example would be the CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio match at Over The Limit...during the match, Punk's forehead was split open, causing them to stop the match, pissing off the crowd to the point of 'Boring' chants, and visibly pissing Punk off as well (breaking his Heel kayfabe persona). They took so long to close the wound that Punk was forced to jump back in the match early to save it, while periodically wiping blood off his still-bleeding forehead.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Triple H. Vince McMahon. The Two-Man Power Trip. Who would have guessed that Stone Cold would be working side by side with his arch-nemesis of the Attitude Era and the man he went through "Three Stages of Hell" with at No Way Out 2001. It took the storyline writers balls to have us Austin fans paint our walls red. Even worse was how Austin was booked as Triple H's lackey. They changed his theme music and let HHH do all the talking. Did we mention that HHH had tried to kill Austin several months earlier?
I disagree with Austin being Triple H's lackey. Keep in mind that Austin was the WWF Champion, and Triple H was the Intercontinental Champion, and by default, Austin was the more important member of the Power Trip. I can understand Trips being accused of holding back the upper mid-carders (Jericho, RVD, etc.), but Austin? Trips knows that he's untouchable.
This was justified by the fact that The Rock was going to film The Mummy Returns but was holding the WWF Championship, so Vince needed an excuse for the fans to take the title from him and put him out of action. And their way was to have Vince screw him over at Wrestlemania X-7, have him lose his rematch in a steel cage thanks to Triple H on the next RAW, and then fire him on Smackdown. In our minds, we thought "what a week for The Rock."
To be fair, it was Austin himself who WANTED to turn heel after WrestleMania to refresh his character, but close friend Jim Ross compared it to "trying to get John Wayne play a Nazi soldier; it's not going to work".
The heel turn itself could have worked, Austin had played a superb heel in all three of the major promotions before. The way they did the heel turn? Yeah, that pretty much doomed it.
Technically, Stone Cold was a "tweener", a Grey Area neither-good-nor-evil fighter between a Face and a Heel. The only reason he was thought of as a Face from a technical standpoint is because he was so awesome as soon as he came on screen, the crowd (including Yours Truly) would mark out and start chanting 'AUSTIN AUSTIN AUSTIN' like five year olds. Realistically then the idea of a tweener making a Face-Heel Turn is kind of like Deadpool doing a Face-Heel Turn. It shouldn't (key word: shouldn't) surprise anyone. But because of the enormous popularity of Stone Cold, yeah it kind of came across as a swerve.
Though what made him a tweener (attacking all kinds and being rebellious) wasn't what turned him heel. It was selling out to Vince McMahon which nobody bought after his years of being an anti-authoritarian blue collar anti-hero.
Justified - though not any less wallbanger-worthy - in that you can't copyright "wrestler", but can copyright "sports entertainer". Of course, why they switched to that from the pretentious, but less-stupid sounding "WWE Superstar"... shrugs
It's believed that because Professional Wrestling gets so little respect from the mainstream media, Vince is actually trying to pretend his product isn't professional wrestling. Also, since Vince markets it as "entertainment" rather than "sport", he's not required to follow the safety protocols that actual sports have (e.g. ambulances on the ready), or file the necessary insurance and license fees other sporting events require. Basically, Vince only has to pay the arenas the fees that a monster truck show or other cultural events would have to pay, and with no other legal obligation... hey, to the arena owners, money is money.
In fact, on WWE's "Stand up for WWE" page (another wallbanger in itself, but I'll let someone else take care of that) they call WWE pure entertainment and compare it to such things as Ringling Brothers and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Only one state - Oregon - still treats pro wrestling like a real sport, holding wrestling to the same standards of drug testing and safety that boxing is subject to. Which is why WWE rarely does shows in Oregon.
The whole "wrestler vs superstar" thing was even lampshaded when Joey Styles, who was temporarily announcing for Raw took off in a flying moment of rage after being completely harassed for several weeks by the likes of Heidenreich and the Spirit Squad (separately) and he proceeds to leave, but not before, at the top of the entrance ramp, going into a rant about how "Back in ECW, we called them what they were, wrestlers! What do we call them here in the WWE? SUPERSTAAARS!" He was announcing for the new ECW not long afterward. And calling the wrestlers "extremists".
Many of the fans cheered madly when Joey had finished. The internet wrestling community, which has always loathed Vince's attempts to deny being a wrestling promoter, almost nominated him for sainthood.
It's gotten so ridiculous that when TV Week.com ran a story on Drew Carey's induction into the WWE's hall of fame, a WWE publicist actually emailed them to complain about the article's headline: "Drew Carey Inducted Into Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Huh? Drew Carey??!!" and demand that it be changed. The reason? Quote: “We are no longer a wrestling company but rather a global entertainment company with a movie studio, international licensing deals, publisher of three magazines, consumer good distributor and more.” The original writer removed the article rather than change it. Full details here.
WWE's treatment of light heavyweights/cruiserweights in general. In the mid-late 90s they decided to get into cruiserweight wrestling to compete with WCW's cruiserweight division, and they brought in Japanese high-flyer Taka Michinoku as the centerpiece. They then never let Taka win any matches aside from occasional Light Heavyweight title defenses, and in fact kept their lightweight wrestlers completely isolated from the rest of the roster - making it clear they had no intentions of pushing any of them or making the division actually matter. So of course it failed to get over. Then in 2001 they did the exact same thing. They decided to reactivate the division and build it around a guy named Essa Rios. And then they never let Rios win any matches. Rios ended up becoming the Jannetty to his valet Lita. During the InVasion, the title was merged with the WCW Cruiserweight Title. The Cruiserweight Title fared better due to lacking the stigma of being the "afterthought belt", but it went the same way as mentioned above.
The only other notable light heavyweight in the company at the same time as Michinoku was Brian Christopher, and they really had nobody to feud with apart from each other. And Christopher himself was hardly the Cruiserweight-style "high flier" the division truly needed — he was just a standard American-style heavyweight wrestler, scaled down.
Not so much the unmasking itself, but the feud with Shane McMahon and the resulting Badass Decay and Character Derailment. For about a month after the unmasking, Kane was the most interesting thing in WWE.
The make-up not working filled it with Narm though.
The look doesn't help either, especially when he decided to shave his head. To this day I see him and think of him as a jacked-up Uncle Fester.
Around 2003ish, WWE abruptly decided that wrestlers couldn't be from Canada unless they had Canadian gimmicks, i.e. Bret Hart, Lance Storm, etc. So after having been from Toronto for half a decade, Trish Stratus was suddenly from New York City, New York. Ditto Chris Benoit and Atlanta, Georgia. Chris Jericho got a new hometown too. Insulting to Canadian fans in particular, and the intelligence of, oh, everyone.
This actually happened around Wrestlemania XX, notable for Chris Benoit's title victory in the main event. Of course, the first PPV following Wrestlemania was Backlash, which happened to take place in Benoit's now former hometown of Edmonton. Normally, a company would accentuate a hometown hero's popularity, not undermine it.
Technically Chris Jericho was born in the US, but since he was raised in Canada and considers himself Candadian, yeah, pretty stupid.
The quote provider was an occurrence on an episode of Smackdown, when The Rock was feuding with the British Bulldog during Bulldog's late 1999 run. For unknown reasons, Rock brought a bunch of bulldogs to the arena and set up a pen for them and fed them so they would poop. Mick Foley spent most of the show, shoveling dog poop and placing it on a silver platter. Rock brought the dog poop to the ring, hijinx happened, and British Bulldog took a Rock Bottom into the dog poop. The fact that the dog poop was obviously clay made it both better and worse at the same time.
Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and Super Crazy were/are all extremely talented cruiserweights who were known for their runs in WCW and ECW, and in Psicosis' case regularly breaking the *** match rating. So when WWE brought them in, they... brought them in as The Mexicools. The gimmick, which was the three of them playing up negative stereotypes for laughs (e.g. riding "Juan Deere" riding mowers to the ring), might have been in bad taste but it wasn't that bad. The Mexicools were actually pretty hot when they first arrived on the scene. Then Juventud got himself fired, leaving Psicosis and Crazy as a tag team. They feuded with MNM and it looked like they were going to win the tag titles... then in what seemed like a last second change, MNM lost the tag titles on Sunday Night Heat, one hour before the MNM/Mexicools match, which of course then became non-title. Any team who clearly is never going to actually win matches isn't going to get over. So they broke up the Mexicools, released Psicosis for not being over, put Super Crazy on Raw, gave him a short run as a legit contender in the Intercontinental title division... and then did the exact same thing, made it clear he was never going to win the title thus cutting his legs out from under him. Then they stuck in him in a team with Hacksaw Jim Duggan of all people on Heat. Crazy got so sick of the treatment he asked for his own release.
On the June 15 2009 edition of Raw, there was scheduled to be an announcement concerning a new General Manager of RAW (acting GM Vickie Guerrero had quit the week prior). The show took place at Charlotte, NC — prime "Flair Country", leading many to think it would be Ric Flair that would be named the new GM. Instead, Vince McMahon announces that he's selling Raw (the fact that he can sell part of his product being a minor wallbanger in and of itself). Making things even worse? The person who bought it was entrepreneur Donald Trump (see, USA Network is owned by NBC Universal, and NBC airs The Apprentice, and this was probably done at the behest of the network suits...so...yeah). Oh, and instead of doing a live interview with Trump, Vince talked to a pre-taped Trump promo, capping off an absolutely painful segment and further cementing Raw's status as the new B-show (with SmackDown! becoming the new A-show).
Made even worse when, on the very next Raw, Trump sold the show back to Vince for "double what he paid".
Trump was originally going to make regular appearances as the owner of RAW, but his schedule didn't allow for it, so they made the quick fix.
A relevant factor apparently was Stanford issuing misleading press releases unintentionally implying that the event was not an angle, and the shareholder confusion that followed.
Confusion, hell — the shareholders believed it so completely that WWE stock plunged. They had to punt on the angle.
John Cena vs. The Miz, full-stop. This feud built up over the span of two months with Miz calling out Cena at every opportunity and laying into him verbally with some genuinely clever insults that started to make Miz one of the biggest heat magnets in the company. When it comes time to step up and fight Cena one-on-one? And on pay-per-view, no less? Cena makes it a Curb-Stomp Battle wherein Miz gets virtually no offense and gives up clean inside five minutes.
What makes the squash at The Bash 2009 even worse is that the very next night on Raw, Cena and Miz had another match together, and while Miz did eventually job to Cena again, he did so only after getting in a wide array of offense and countering many of Cena's trademark maneuvers, leading many to think that THIS was the match they should have put on at The Bash.
BUT IT DIDN'T STOP THERE. The Miz would go on to tap out to Cena for the next 3 consecutive weeks on Raw. Many thought that the Miz would never recover from that burial, but he would be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and become a double champion with the Unified Tag Team Title and US Title (which means he was carrying around THREE belts).
And now he is Mr. Money in the Bank. John Cena burying the Miz was the best that's happened to him.
One thing has nothing to do with the other. You might as well say that Jack Swagger going on a long losing streak where he was made to look about as threatening as a kitten led directly to his MITB win. It didn't. It was a case of WWE making a wrestler look bad, and then changing their minds and deciding to make him look good. That's what they did with The Miz; they jobbed him out to where nobody took him seriously, and then they built him back up. If they wanted to turn him into a main eventer, there's absolutely no reason why they couldn't have skipped the Cena feud entirely and gone straight to the U.S. Title feud with Kofi Kingston. His reign as United States Champion is where his rise to the top really began.
It should be noted, however, that the Raw match suffers from much the same problem that a lot of Cena's matches have as of late: Cena gets his ass kicked from pillar to post, and it looks like he's on the verge of defeat...only to make a miraculous comeback and win with only a handful of moves, despite the prior asskicking he received. Granted, this is more a problem with WWE Creative's booking than with Cena himself, but it should be noted especially as it's a major reason for Cena's massive hatedom.
That's not an issue of the WWE Creative's booking, it's a Professional Wrestling thing in general. Austin, Rock, Taker, Flair, Hogan, Sting, etc. all have done this while being booked at the top (Hell, Randy Orton's doing it RIGHT NOW), yet Cena's seemingly the only one who gets hated for it because he's the current big name of the company.
Cena seems to get the brunt of this mostly because he doesn't have the same reputation and history as Hogan, Taker, or Flair. It's accepted for them because of Rule of Cool, and a glazing of Grandfather Clause. With Cena, he tends to do this to almost ridiculous degrees. Read the entry a few entries down. His opponents will spend several minutes absolutely destroying him, mercilessly murdering him, then he hits his Five Moves of Doom out of nowhere and wins. It's not completely different from the other guys listed before, but Cena is the guy that still does it now (the other guys either don't wrestle anymore, or haven't done a whole lot recently) and Cena is the most recent. Plus the Wangst-filled angle he did a few years back made him a lightning rod of hatred, so he's easy to hate, even if now it's partially joking.
As of LATE?! That's how virtually ALL Cena's pay per view matches have been! Wrestlemania 21: JBL kicks the fucking shit out of him. Cena wins with a sudden FU out of nowhere. Royal Rumble 2007: Umaga beats the fucking shit out of him, though Cena manages SOME offense. Wins anyway. Wrestlemania 23: Crowd is split between Cena and Michaels. Michaels fucking annihilates him. Crowd turns completely against Cena. Cena wins anyway.
A similar thing with Cena happened in 2005, in a very similar feud with Christian. In that case however, the wallbanger comes not from Cena easily burying Christian in the eventual showdown so much as there never being a payoff match. Despite getting over a ton with the gimmick and having massive amounts of momentum, Christian only ever faced Cena in a Triple Threat (where the focus was more on Chris Jericho) before he was traded to SmackDown!, where he languished for awhile before heading over to TNA.
The reason for the squashing was a Take That directed at the anti-Cena wing of the wrestling community, the IWC in particular. The Miz would come out and say things you'd expect to see on an internet forum about Cena being overrated and a corporate tool designed to appeal to kids. The Miz was basically wrestling's version of Superboy-Prime. For the Take That to be truly effective, Cena was going to have to squash the Miz. Once that gimmick was over, the Miz was allowed to be a bit more competent.
They seem to be playing into Cena's hatedom more, but not always positively. Usually, he'll lampshade the crowd hating him, and a lot of the people chanting "Cena Sucks" don't really think so anymore and are just trolling WWE's programming. However, Cena will occasionally get a little bit Anvilicious about how the audience can't judge him. He more or less told some of his haters to shut up when drawing attention to "Only little kids like me, and I'm damn proud of it."
The end of the Cruiserweight title. The last holder: Hornswoggle.
And the fact that there was still a viable Cruiserweight division after Hornswoggle was transferred to Raw the first time, but he still took the title with him! Up until then, holders of brand-exclusive titles gave up their belts upon being Drafted.
Vince simply doesn't like small wrestlers in general, which many would consider a wall banger in and of itself. When he hired Ultimo Dragon and then decided not to do anything with him, WWE went so far as to edit out the cheers Dragon got when he appeared on Velocity.
This came after WWE hired Ultimo Dragon, asked him to do an exhibition match so they could get a handle on his style (because apparently, they'd never watched the guy work before despite hiring him) and then, on the strength of that one match, decided his style was completely incompatible with anyone else on the roster.
Most of Kane's storylines post-mask have been wallbangers. Becoming 'Jacob Goodnight', becoming visibly distressed whenever anyone mentioned a certain date, and threatening people with a hook & a chain only to job to Great Khali at WM? Becoming ECW champion for no discernible reason and then losing the belt without fanfare? The 'I tortured Rey for being an evil mask-wearer' angle which, in all actuality, didn't include any torturing Rey (and involved an absolutely strange image of bald-Kane wearing his old mask)...
Come to think of it, most of Kane's storylines pre-mask were wallbangers... This troper's favorite head-scratcher is the way his voice changed over the years, first no voice, then a voicebox, & then... no problems whatsoever. And don't get me started on Katie Vick...
I'm partial to the "switcharoo" angle involving Undertaker and Kane, which ruined absolutely any chance of people believing that Kane was actually burned in any way.
The whole Katie Vick angle is covered in detail in wrestling's So Bad It's Horrible section, but hell, it was so stupid it deserves a mention here too. And Vince deserves a personal one for thinking he could recreate the Austin vs Rock boom period from a feud revolving around necrophilia.
Playing off the "Trump sells RAW" bit from above: in the one week he owned the brand, Trump enacted a directive for celebrity guest hosts each week on RAW (in reality, this is likely a directive by USA Network executive Bonnie Hammer to try and get WWE mainstream attention). This has resulted in wildly varying results for the guest hosts who aren't wrestling personalities - from hilarious (Seth Green) to "meh" (Shaquille O'Neal) to damn near painful to watch (Jeremy Piven; ZZ Top).
Bob freakin' Barker. "The price is wrong, bitch!"
Dennis Miller. Full stop. Probably the single worst guest host in the history of the gimmick.
It should be noted that part of Piven's awfulness was due to him bringing Ken Jeong with him. Fans did not take too kindly to Dr. Jeong, to the point where one of the comments made during the show was "OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE CHINESE MAN'S BACK!".
OK, it's 2003 and the Iraq War has just started. WWE, opportunistic bastards that they are, decide to capitalize on this. So what do they do? Well, they had Christopher Nowinski (a legitimate Harvard graduate and a heel who represented the Liberal Elite) debating Scott Steiner (playing the pro-troop Bad Ass face) on whether or not America should have gone to war with Iraq. So...yeah...
The idea was sound (especially when you factor in that Vince McMahon is a card-carrying hyperconservative Republican). The problem was making Steiner - who is notoriously inarticulate and prone to hilarious non sequitor rambles - the face and trying to make the fans take him seriously.
Just looking at the two, you have to think this was done for comedy. First off, they picked Steiner for a debate. Second, Nowinski shows up in a dress shirt and tie, while Steiner wears a FREAKZILLA t-shirt and his chain mail hood. Either it was supposed to be a joke, or Vince tried to play the "Chris is a tie-wearing snob, Steiner's JUST LIKE US!!!" angle and dropped the ball badly.
What really sets this moment into wallbanger territory is the fact that a vast, vast majority of wrestlers are conservatives and there are several very charismatic, well-spoken conservatives that could have given Nowinski an actual debate (Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, the Rock) and they picked... Scott Steiner?! Unless Vince was truly having a laugh at his own political leanings, you have to wonder what he was snorting to have the guy who made this promo be anywhere near a debate forum.
Any notion of making Steiner articulate was blown to holy hell during the first sentence of the debate. "Throughout my career, I've wrestled a lot of countries." The idea of Scott Steiner attempting a T-Bone Suplex on the country of Portugal amuses me very much.
Randy Orton has just come off looking somewhat weak after losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 25 and winning the WWE Championship in a six-man tag match at Backlash 2009. At Extreme Rules 2009, Orton jobbed to Batista in a Cage Match; this wouldn't be so bad...except WWE discovered that Batista was injured before the PPV, just after Batista had come off another injury roughly two months ago. Over the next two weeks, Batista is written out and stripped of the title...and the man awarded the WWE Championship because of this? Randy Orton.
Batista had been working injured for up to two weeks before the PPV, yet his arm wasn't taped up and he was still using it with no visible pain. This, combined with still shots from his surgery two days after the PPV (up until then WWE had used video footage of wrestlers' surgeries instead of stills), gave rise to the theory that Batista had actually failed a Wellness test and WWE was covering for him.
The Montreal Screwjob. It has its own entry here on TV Tropes, go there for the rundown.
Even worse was an earlier screwjob against Wendi Richter. One could arguably understand the rationale behind the Montreal Screwjob—Bret Hart had one foot out the door at that point, and given that letting Alundra Blayze/Madusa walk out with the Women's Title wound up having said title belt thrown into the trash on WCW programming, Vince was probably paranoid that a similar incident might occur although the fact that Bret had the legal right to refuse (having creative control over his last thirty days in WWE written into his contract) should have convinced him otherwise. [Although, Alundra Blayze/Madusa has stated several times that she was uncomfortable throwing the belt in the trash and Bischoff essentially told her to or she was fired. Even if Bret didn't want to do it for whatever reason (loyalty, respect, etc), he likely would have.] In Wendi Richter's case, she was screwed out of the Women's Title pretty much because she wanted to read her new contract before she signed it. Also, there was a fast three-count, despite the fact that she had kicked out at one.
The Wendi Richter example requires some explanation. Essentially, Richter was women's champion when some kind of contract dispute came up (Vince claims it was over signing a new contract; Richter says she was still under a five year contract and that the dispute was about licensing rights). Richter was scheduled to wrestle a female jobber called Spider Lady who was normally played by a woman called Penny Mitchell. Having decided to pull a screwjob, Vince has Spider Lady played that evening by legendary female wrestler Fabulous Moolah. Less than two minutes into the match, Spider Lady rolls up Richter and gets a quick count of three (despite kicking out at one). Richter pulls the mask off Spider Lady to reveal Moolah, goes ballistic, leaves the arena and never works with or speaks to either Vince or Moolah (presumably until her Hall Of Fame induction this year).
Raw, September 28th, 2009: Chavo Guerrero, who had been in a feud with Hornswoggle for over two months and had been constantly embarrassed thanks to being put in unfair situations and constant cheating on everybody else's part, saves Hornswoggle from Chris Masters' Masterlock. After Masters had agreed to help Chavo when he finally got his hands on him.
This episode had an even worse example later on with John Cena. He had to "run the gauntlet" against Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show, as well as his Hell in a Cell opponent Randy Orton. At the beginning of the match, Jericho keeps his Walls of Jericho submission locked on Cena for around 5 minutes, purposely getting disqualified in order to do serious damage to Cena. Then Big Show comes in and does even more damage, and when Cena appears as if he's about to defeat Show, Jericho attacks Cena from behind, then helps Big Show deliver a two-on-one beatdown. So, following this, Randy Orton makes his way down to the ring to pick the scraps, and things look like they're going his way...until Cena springs up like nothing had happened and traps Orton by calling down the Hell in a Cell structure. Cena then not only holds Orton off, but is able to chase him all the way to the top of the Cell and give him an Attitude Adjustment. Let me lay this out for you: the company's tag team champions - one of which is The Big Show - spent ten minutes beating Cena like a dog, and all it took for Cena to recover was Randy Orton's entrance.
To be fair, when Orton walks to the ring, he does so at a speed where you could leave the room, make yourself a drink, and come back to Orton still walking to the ring. Not too hard to believe Cena would get up in that time, but what is hard to believe is that Orton wouldn't sprint to ring to further injure Cena before he could get up, when Orton's heel character spent most of his time in Complete Monster territory.
It's not a stretch to say that Orton, being as evil as he was at the time, was simply savoring how he pretty much couldn't lose at that point and felt no need to hurry.
If you go back and watch it, it takes Orton a good two minutes to get to the ring. This one was just stupidity on Orton's part for not capitalizing on Cena's beatdown.
Mike Adamle. He started out in WWE as a "correspondent" who botched wrestlers' names and even the promotion he was working for—until Joey Styles wound up being moved up to working on WWE.com, at which point Adamle was designated as Styles' replacement. Hilarity Ensues as Adamle winds up botching like it's going out of style ("Sheldon" Benjamin, referring to Jimmy Wang Yang as simply "Jimmy", "Mike the Miz", "WW Tag Team Champions", "Omaga the Samoan Bulldog"...) until he's made the Raw GM, and he wasn't particularly good in that role either (although he wasn't notably bad). He eventually left the company shortly afterward.
It should be known that Adamle has had epilepsy for years, and the effects of it are what caused him to botch so much. He actually has a history of botching names during his long tenure as a Chicago sports reporter for the same reason.
Randy Orton's "I Quit" match with John Cena at Breaking Point 2009: namely, every single moment that Orton handcuffed and uncuffed Cena during the match. The Wall Banger here should be obvious - Orton even uncuffing Cena at all in the first place, especially since earlier in the same year Randy had had the good sense to keep HHH at his mercy BY KEEPING HIM HANDCUFFED TO THE ROPES. Rather than doing the same with Cena and constantly beating him up in one area where Cena is cuffed, Orton instead constantly keeps freeing Cena and tying him up to different areas of the ring. This eventually opens him up to the moment where this strategy backfires and Cena does his miracle comeback, making Orton quit very quickly afterwards.
The angle between Jeff Hardy and CM Punk, where they conflicted over Punk's straight edge beliefs and Jeff's drug use, was sort of a no-win situation for the bookers. Even not taking backstage incidents into account, you have Punk, with a fundamentally sympathetic point of view (choosing to be straight edge so he doesn't end up like his alcoholic father), playing the heel against the guy who wants to do drugs because he's a "free spirit not bound by the rules". Since WWE doesn't allow its wrestlers to mention recreational drugs like marijuana at all, Punk had to complain about alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription medication.
The unfortunate real life implications are that Jeff Hardy has gotten in trouble repeatedly for drug use, actually getting fired from 2 companies before the angle took place over it.
The official reason the diva Cherry (real name Kara Drew) was fired in late 2008? "She was too fat."
Candice Michelle got fired for the same reason - she gained a little weight while off rehabbing an injury so they fired her.
Candice wasn't so much as fired for putting on weight so much as she was let go for being too injury-prone. Ironic considering how much mileage WWE gets/got out of Triple H and Batista who stay/stayed injured frequently during their tenures in the company.
That's exactly the reason why Nora Greenwald aka Molly Holly quit altogether. By invoking Hollywood Homely to the point of Values Dissonance, Molly went from hillbilly Juliet (Spike Dudley was the Romeo,) to a brunette no-nonsense prude to a Fat Monica. Never mind that she was credible enough to train other women or remain one of the few legit competitors in a growing era of contest-winning models, Vince was so fixated on her being a "fat-ass" and NOT in the Baby Got Back kind of way that she finally got fed up and quit the business to do missionary work.
People need to realize that any time Vince uses "she was too fat" as the reason for why he fired a Diva, it's not the real reason. "She was too fat" is code for "That bitch wouldn't give me/one of my favorite big guys a lapdance", plain and simple. Vince no longer cares about the quality of women's wrestling and only cares about who will sleep with him and his big guys (hence why Michelle McCool was getting pushed to the moon). If he did care about women's wrestling, the Tramp Stamp Title wouldn't exist, half the Diva's wouldn't have even gotten out of development, and somebody credible (Kharma, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Gail Kim, AJ, Tamina, Melina, Jillian freaking Hall) would be feuding for the Women's Championship.
If what you said about Vince firing female talent is true (which it's not) Vince would have enough sexual harassment and sexual discrimination lawsuits to make his head spin. Also half those names you mentioned have feuded for the title in the past.
From 2005 to early 2007, Jillian Hall was one of the most powerful divas in the company, able to get up after being facebustered or slammed onto the ring steps. Once, Ashley Massaro dove at her and she didn't even budge. Now, she is a joke, with a stupid tone deaf gimmick and losing to sunset flips and roll ups. What were they thinking?
While on the subject of Jillian, how about the whole "growth on Jillian's face" angle? Sure she would recover from this period of stupidity but still.....
Really? Really?! We're this far down and nobody's mentioned turning D-Generation X from a stable of punks obsessed with sticking it to The Man to a pair of forty year old manchildren who hang out with a leprechaun? ........... * thud*
Probably because despite the criticism, the audience loves them. No reason for them to change anything when they move merchandise and sell tickets.
Another Kane storyline worth mentioning involves his time with Lita and Matt Hardy. Heel Kane stalks face Lita and gets to marry her after winning a "Till Death Do Us Part" match against Matt at Summerslam 2004. Lita is unhappily wed to Kane while "pregnant" with their baby until a match with then unknown Snitsky. Lita eventually loses the baby due to the events and now face Kane fights heel Snitsky because there is no longer a baby with face Lita she didn't want with heel Kane. Real Life Writes the Plot as Lita aligns with heel Edge as she dumps face Kane whom she didn't want to marry in the first place because he was a heel then. Kane takes the part of recently released face Matt who heel Lita was originally going to marry a year ago as a face.
Speaking of Lita...her farewell. Hate her or not for what she did to Matt, cheating on him and all...did she REALLY deserve the sendoff she got?
Speaking of her farewell, it has actually been reported that security was confiscating "Thank You, Lita!" signs from fans. Seriously, did Lita piss in Vince's coffee or something? What the hell?!?
This troper remembers that one very well. Linda shin kicks JR in the Sooners after telling him he's fired. Of course, this was all a ruse as JR needed time off for colon surgery. Vince playing Dr. Hiney in WWE's tasteless parody of JR's surgery deserves its own mention.
The first was referring to a staged car accident on Raw as "The worst night of Bret Hart's life." Just think about that for a second. [For those new to wrestling, there was the Montreal Screwjob, the death of his brother Owen in a WWE ring, the concussion from Goldberg that ended his career, and a stroke that guaranteed he'd probably never be able to wrestle another match again.]
The second came at Wrestlemania, when he crapped all over Vickie Guererro's tribute to her late, great husband Eddie by calling her finisher a "Hog Splash." Somebody please fire this man. Now!
Yes get mad at Cole for doing something realistically he would never actually get any enjoyment out of doing. Instead of you know blaming Vince who tells the commentators what they should say over their headsets regardless of how offensive it may be to certain individuals.
Also, in defense of this call, Vickie was (and arguably still is), the most hated heel in WWE, getting deafening amounts of heat every night. Also, keep in mind that she had been in an angle in which she kissed Edge on-screen and had scenes in which it was suggested the two had sex together, so it may have been a little too late to think about honoring Eddie.
WWE Raw for 04/19/10 managed a wallbanger by invoking a much older one. MacGruber, dim-witted parody of 80's icon MacGyver appeared on the show (which in itself is a wallbanger) and was drawn into a match—one he had to actually take part in after he accidentally blew up R-Truth, who was going to be his proxy. As in, literally exploded him with homemade bombs.
Also funnier if you have seen the movie. Lets just say Truth was the last in a series for Mac Gruber.
The Royal Rumble rules constantly change on a whim. What kind of rules does a battle royal match have? Well, some matches have superstars eliminated by the same person that was just ousted seen in such instances as Hogan eliminating Big Boss Man in 1989 and Bad News Brown eliminating Piper in 1990. Yet when Vader threw out several wrestlers including Shawn Michaels in 1996, Vince reminded everyone that the eliminations didn't count since Vader was already gone. Randy Savage was allowed back in the ring in 1992 after he went over the top rope on his own while the same wasn't true for Andre in 1989 or Mil Mascaras in 1997. Finlay was disqualified in 2008 after years of being reminded there are no disqualifications in the match. Anything can be handwaved to meet the needs of the current year.
The Punjabi Prison match. While nobody especially wanted to see The Great Khali fight The Undertaker in a bamboo cage, they'd been hyping this thing for months as Khali's signature match. By the time the PPV rolled around, Khali got injured and Taker ended up facing... The Big Show. Yeah. Khali did end up facing Batista in a Punjabi Prison match later on, but by then, nobody cared.
Khali wasn't even injured. He had elevated enzymes.
And just as soon as people started getting excited about Bryan's role in the new NXT Rookie faction, WWE announced his release. Turns out he was released because he choked someone with their own tie, which one of the sponsors had a big problem with - it reminded them too much of the Chris Benoit murdercide case.
Another possible reason was that it was so easy for kids to emulate. Most people don't have ring ropes and the like, but almost everyone's father has at least one tie.
Of course, this gets even more bizarre once you consider the whole point of this faction at the time was that most/all of them were NXT losers, which means in-universe they didn't have WWE contracts. Which means WWE released Bryan despite not hiring him in the first place, and despite the angle building up that NXT were uncontrollable precisely because they weren't under contract. They kept the rest on their none-books despite them constantly interrupting big matches and beating down wrestlers in and out of the ring, despite being able to just release them from their none-contracts to get rid of them any time they wanted.
WWE's obsession with tearing down any wrestler who built their reputation elsewhere counts as well. Tazz was a machine in ECW; in WWE, he became a joke. Booker T, who'd been a WCW main-eventer and headlined PPVs was booked into oblivion until he got the King Booker gimmick which made him a WWE creation. DDP, a proven worker and drawing card, was booked first as a stalker and then as a lousy motivational speaker. Vince is so obsessed with proving that WWE is the only wrestling that matters that he buries anyone who became well-regarded elsewhere, to the detriment of the product.
In all fairness, Tazz's lack of use in the WWE is mostly due to his injured neck, forcing him to be used very lightly. At the start of his WWE career, Tazz debuted by taking out then-undefeated Kurt Angle. Others that had built their careers in WCW and/or ECW such as Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, and Chris Benoit got fairly good status (though some, admittedly go through rough patches in booking) in the WWE. However, after the collapse of WCW, this seemed to stop, hence the predicament of Booker T.
YMMV on Booker being misused throughout his entire run in WWE.
Kaval, that's all.
YMMV as well. Low Ki is notorious for quitting promotions when he's not given his way.
WrestleMania 25 saw John Morrison and The Miz (the World Tag Team Champions) take on Carlito and Primo Colon (the WWE Tag Team Champions) in a "winner take all" match for the first-ever Unified Tag Team Championship. Except that people didn't see it unless they were at the event. Someone in WWE's booking department decided that people paying for a wrestling pay-per-view would rather see Kid Rock perform for ten minutes than watch a wrestling match. What makes this even worse is that the last couple of minutes of the performance served as the entrance for the 25 Divas in the "Miss WrestleMania" battle royal, meaning none of them got an individual entrance, even though many of them were retired fan favorites making a one night return just for this match.
The real kicker for this is that while the Unified Tag Team Championship match was included on the DVD for the event as a bonus feature, the Kid Rock performance was actually excised from the show itself.
And speaking of the "Miss WrestleMania" battle royal, who won it? Santino Marella in drag. Nothing else needs to be said.
One of the biggest wall bangers in WWE right now is the HUGE double standard between men and women. Men have to be good wrestlers, that's it. Women don't necessarily have to be good wrestlers, and in fact, many were fitness models and cheerleaders before signing with WWE. It seems that the one requirement of being a Diva is at least a C cup. Some examples of how bad it's gotten:
The Titles: Some of the recent champions have done much better than fans expected them to, but it doesn't change the fact that the most talented workers are struggling to get airtime. Beth is injured, granted; but Jillian can't escape her joke character, Natalya is playing arm candy for the Hart Dynasty and it's believed Gail is being buried as punishment for working for TNA. Above and beyond that is the appearance of the titles; the Women's championship is OK, but the Diva's championship just plain looks ridiculous, with a giant pink butterfly as the central motif. Fans have dubbed it the "Tramp Stamp Title".
The Music: Main event men tend to have music that is fairly aggressive, often loud rock or hip hop. Women have rather grating techno and lyrics that (yet again) keep referencing how hot they are regardless of whether it fits or contrasts their character roles at the moment.
The Storyline: While the men fight about their past, a title, or out of sheer hatred, the Divas fight about their looks and generally take their insults from out of a high school flick. Name-calling, hair-pulling, and bitch-slaps are supposedly signifiers of a feud in the women's division, which is ridiculous. Honestly, it's hard to take Michelle McCool calling Mickie James fat as a serious storyline when CM Punk is calling out Jeff Hardy for his drug abuse.
What really sends heads against the walls is Vince and the WWE try to play the Divas up as comparable wrestlers to the men, despite the fact that most fans are painfully aware that they are hired (at least, initially) as Fanservice. Saying that someone like Maryse is comparable to Randy Orton is like trying to say the Lingerie Bowl Puppy Bowl is as challenging a sporting event as the Super Bowl.
They wouldn't have this problem if they would make the effort to find attractive and talented female wrestlers. It boils down to two misconceptions that WWE (or at least, head of talent John Laurinaitis) has about women's wrestling. First, they seem to believe that men will ONLY support a woman wrestler if she's supermodel-material, despite evidence against that. Second, they also seem to think that there is no such thing as a pretty female wrestler [despite homegrown Trish Stratus and at least half the roster of SHIMMER]. The second part is slowly being fixed, as the talent is improving but since Laurinaitis has reportedly said he won't hire any female wrestler that isn't Playboy-material, it's insulting to female wrestlers, female fans, male fans, and wrestling in general.
It all points to the WWE's writing staff seeming to think that All Men Are Perverts. It's all the writers focus on because they think it's all the core of their fanbase cares about.
Crowning example of many of these issues would be Tiffany's run as ECW General Manager. First off, she has absolutely no authoritative sound; her "boss voice" during her promos sounded completely forced. Secondly, during her stint as GM, she went from Torrie Wilson's former theme, "A Girl Like That", to "Insatiable", a song about a girl telling how she's a high maintenance sex-maniac looking for love. Alongside that we had the constant positive interaction with Christian, which, while justified because he was the face of the show, often bordered on accidental Ship Tease (Christian's SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 story mode absolutely does not curb this), and the fact that her character would on occasion make such idiotic decisions as refusing to allow ECW representation at the Bragging Rights pay-per-view for no good reason beyond maybe just her not liking Chris Jericho. There were a couple viewers here and there wondering just why she had this job, and who in fact struggled to see the value in her until they saw her wrestle.
Lay Cool winning the Diva's and Women's Championships. Rather than have LayCool carry the Diva's and Women's titles as co-champions as to be expected when the belts were unified (Michelle would have one, Layla would have the other), or possibly combine them into one title as was done with the tag titles, management decided to retire the Women's Title completely. They erased a championship with a prestigious history held by greats like The Fabulous Moolah, Wendy Richter, Trish Stratus, Lita, Ivory, and Chyna, who brought respect to a once GREAT women's division, and kept the BRIGHT PINK butterfly shaped title with none of the Women's Championship's history.
Most likely what's happening here is that it had something to do with the move to HD. Over the past few years, most of the belts have been replaced with more detailed and elaborate versions that look better on TV (The "Spinner" WWE Belt, the "Spartan" Tag Titles, ECW's "Platinum Phoenix") As far as the new title, that explains that. It doesn't explain why they picked such an ugly design and why they eliminated all of the title's prestige, however.
Am I the only person who thinks that the womans title still exists? In case you forgot the titles were "unified". Don’t blame the butterfly belt for not looking like the old title. Sure I agree that the divas title has been a way more useless title then the womans, but people gotta quit assuming that because the divas title now represents both of them (appearance wise) that the womans titles prestige is gone forever. Thinking that way is just like saying that the short time that Swagger/Miz stole the us title from Kofi, they were actually us champ for that time (this is just one of numerous title theft examples). The belt as a prop means absolutely nothing, they technically don’t even need to use them, it just makes it easier to keep up with whose champion by using it. People gotta realize that the title of womans champion is still being fought for, its just not represented by a physical object anymore(side note: as far as im concerned, the whole time LayCool was as WWE said "co-womans champions" I considered Layla the champ by herself. when Michelle beat Melina at NOC, Michelle became divas champ, with Layla still being womans champ. Then when Natalya beat them both at Survivor Series, "then" the titles were officially unified)
Which is why it may just be best to consider the Divas Title the same title as before, just with a way worse design and worse premise.
Not to mention the idea of Michelle and Layla as Co-Champions. The problem here is that WWE has never officially recognized Michelle as a co-champion (Even still, only Layla is regarded as champion.) This, combined with the fact that Michelle is married to the Undertaker, makes it look like she's maneuvered her way into being champion even when she's not the champion. She defends the title, of course, but it gets frustrating if you realize she's defending a title that she doesn't have. Now, as time has marched on, WWE.com has started showing Michelle as the Divas Champion. While the co-champions thing makes it all something of a murky mess, but it looks like they've quietly handed the title over from Layla to Michelle without any kind of mention of it on television (and without Michelle earning it in any legitimate way.) Isn't helping Michelle's reputation as a God-Mode Sue in any way.
Of course fans' attitude towards the Divas they don't like is hypocritical and thus a Wall Banger in itself. Their response to WWE's policy of "not hiring anyone who isn't Playboy material" is to just assume any Diva who looks like a model will never be a good wrestler, PERIOD. Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres can work just as hard in the ring as Natalya or Beth Phoenix, but the smarks will never respect them because they don't look like they're on steroids or display that "I'll beatup any guy in the crowd and make them like it" look. They also won't acknowledge any improvements made in the division since 2004, despite the majority of the women being competent workers by 2010.
It isn't so much a belief that supermodel-material divas can't be good wrestlers, it's more that we've seen time and time again that the booking and writing prioritize how they look way more than how good they are. Sure most of the women on the roster have improved, but if they would hire them based on their skill as the main priority, we wouldn't need them to improve like that.
Again, this isn't just the women. All the men in WWE are hired for their looks as well. Take a look at the main roster - the majority of guys in there are muscle-bound, in good shape and reasonably attractive. The exceptions are ones who have been there for years like Kane and the Undertaker or ones with the "freak" factor like Big Show and Mark Henry. And for the record, all new divas getting signed have to train in FCW now. True a lot of the Diva Search contestants got put on TV without any training (Ashley Massaro has spoken up saying management only trained her on a per-match basis) but these days everyone who gets signed trains in FCW so nobody gets put on TV without any experience.
SummerSlam 2010; in the big first showdown between WWE and The Nexus, WWE wins. Not great on its own, but what kills it is the details; it came down to Cena against two of the top men in Nexus. After being beaten badly by them, by a traitorous Edge and Jericho, and by the other members of the group just a little earlier in the match Cena takes a DDT on exposed concrete, only to beat both Gabriel and Barrett one right after the other. This one got the fanbase rabid, and managed to piss smarks off even on a night when Bryan Danielson main-evented the second biggest show of the year.
Another is Michael Cole's commentary during the match, specifically his anti-Bryan spiel. The moment Bryan was revealed and hits the ring to take on The Nexus with Team WWE should be a Crowning Moment Of Awesome but it's tainted by Cole loudly pissing all over Danielson's heat. Are we SURE Jim Ross can't come back?
Be careful what you wish for - Ross came back for the "Old School" Raw to call a Danielson match, and all you could hear was Michael Cole pissing all over Danielson and JR.
To be fair, JR got a Crowning Moment Of Awesome out of it. Every time the cut to the commentators, you would see Cole doing his spiel, and Ross would simply give him a "Are You For Real?" look and promptly ignore him.
You forgot to mention the "Hat Smack."
The crap keeps piling on when you realize Cole doesn't have a whole lot to piss on Danielson about. Smarks generally agree that his wrestling ability ranges from good to incredible, which leads to Cole whining about Danielson being pale and vegan.
In desperately trying to smear Daniel Bryan Cole claims he never had a date in his life. Uh...um...this has an impact on his wrestling ability, how?
It doesn't, but it makes it pretty funny since he never mentions it until Daniel has at least two Divas (usually the Bella Twins) fawning all over him.
I don't think any of this is to blame on Cole so much as it's to blame on whoever came up with the wallbanger idea to have Cole jump between being face and heel for certain circumstances. Cole's bi-polar behavior may be just another way to piss off the "smarks."
Speaking of NXT guys, the final episode of NXT Season 2 saw the eliminated rookies start their own Nexus-like stable called Genesis. That alone was a wallbanger in itself. However, the execution of the NXT Riot-like beatdown was beyond disastrous, and may have pretty much killed the angle before it started. See the So Bad It's Horrible section if you really want to know why.
MVP (one of the pros for that season) and Low Ki/Kaval (who was the recipient of said beatdown before the pros rushed the ring and sided with Kaval) had the following to say about the incident:
Low-Ki: “I think the reason for all that can be debatable. My personal opinion on that was 'Don’t celebrate too much right now, because you’re still in my company'... that one feel-good moment that I had after going through all that crap…. knock you right back down to let you know that ‘Hey, this is still my company.'"
MVP: “And you hit it right on the head. It seemed like nobody knew what was going on because no one did. That was just an audible that was called... Vince said send everyone out there and have them all go jump Low-Ki. So I’m standing out there as a babyface and I told some of the other babyfaces ‘Are we supposed to just stand out there and watch this guy get beat up?’ So I said, 'let’s hit the ring.' And this was all audibled, so we were just out there going at it. Afterwards, I was like 'What the hell was that all about?’
"They said ‘Well, you don’t have any alliance with him.’ I said ‘But I’m a babyface, so as a babyface, why would I allow another babyface to be jumped by ten guys?’ And the response that I got was, ’Well, Austin would have just stood there and laughed.’ I said, ‘Would The Rock have just stood there and laughed? Would Cena have stood there and watched and not done anything?’ So it was chaos because literally, nobody knew what the hell was going on.”
This is an older one, but Vince McMahon making himself the higher power that the Ministry of Darkness had been answering to all along, thus ruining five months of storyline in which the Ministry was trying to take over the WWF, and demoting The Undertaker to The Dragon, all so he could revive the Austin vs McMahon feud which was already old by then to begin with. Having Undertaker and his Ministry on the same team with and answering to Triple H, Chyna, and Shane McMahon just didn't fit either. There's a reason Undertaker himself was unhappy with this period in his career.
Smarks (particularly Scott Keith,) agree that WWE wrote themselves into a corner when it came time for the reveal. Keith said in his book Tonight In This Very Ring... that there were 3 ways that reveal could have gone; 1 logical, 2 illogical: 1. The Logical. Mick Foley. Foley however declined because he didn't want to be a heel with no buildup. 2. The 1st Illogical. Steve Austin. Obviously since Austin was in the room with the Higher/Greater Power when the figure revealed his face to Austin...Well, you can finish that train of thought. 3. 2nd Illogical. Vince McMahon. Yeah.
Personally I think Foley being the "logical" candidate to be the Higher Power would've come off as one hell of a stretch that would've worked except two problems that existed at the outset.
1.Taker & Foley had not too long ago come off a feud where Taker tried to kill Foley or his alter ego Mankind at King Of The Ring 98.
2.Off this Foley would've essentially disregard his and Undertaker's bad blood to the point where he could convince Undertaker to form a heel stable that go and kidnap random people to either turn them into his loyal subjects or "sacrificing" whose ultimate goal was to take over WWE. How anyone thinks this revelation would've been logical is beyond me.
Vince McMahon was the only possible choice to be the Higher Power. It's not the first time he swerved everyone as part of his gambit just to screw Austin (think Survivor Series 1998, when Shane and The Rock, whom Vince feuded with heading into the event, were in cahoots with him the entire time). Foley wouldn't have made sense for the reasons mentioned, also the fact that his only "bad blood" with Austin was when Foley was Vince's lackey, and Austin even helped him win the WWE Championship at one point, while he had a lot more bad blood towards Vince and The Undertaker. Other fan choices including Jake Roberts (who was not only not in WWE at the time, but he was going through his drug and alcohol problems and the angle would have ended in an instant Role Ending Mis Demeanor right after the reveal probably, as well as several people who could not wrestle at the time due to injuries, such as Ted DiBiase (who, like Roberts, wasn't even in WWE at the time) and Shawn Michaels, thus a feud with them wouldn't really go anywhere. It got to the point where people said they wanted it to be Brother Love, of all people. So basically they just wanted a random shocking twist for the sake of a random and shocking twist, whether it resulted in anything worthwhile or not. Vince being revealed as the Higher Power wasn't TOO shocking, but did a lot storyline wise, such as make Austin more heroic than he's been at any other time in his career when he saved Vince's daughter Stephanie from the Ministry, and it was what turned Vince from simply the Bad Boss to a Complete Monster who was willing to have his own daughter kidnapped just to screw Austin and cared more about his power and authority than his own family. So if anything it was a Wall Banger on the fan's part who assumed that it was going to be a huge return of someone from the past, whether it made sense or not.
The problem with Vince being the Higher Power is his motivations: getting the belt off Austin. The Ministry had been started weeks before Austin was even slated to have a title shot. Furthermore, Austin's involvement in the feud was completely a fluke, randomly saving Stephanie McMahon in a very odd moment for Austin's character (even he looks a little confused about what he's doing). Also, Backlash '99 where Austin faced the Rock with a Mc Mahon in both's corner (Shane for Rock, Vince for Austin) as a ref was a perfect moment to screw Austin over for the title if he wanted the belt off Austin that badly. So, instead, Vince opts for a needlessly complicated plot that is infinitely less assured and requires Austin acting in ways he never has before in one of the weirdest Xanatos Roulettes ever in pro wrestling.
This troper's always wondered if a person being "the Higher Power" was even needed. For most of the angle, it seemed like Undertaker was Hearing Voices and was worshipping some God of Evil inside of his own head. It made 'Taker a lot more disturbing and threatening. Making him just a Dragon for Vince came off as a bit underwhelming.
Kane's one-day WWF title reign in 1998, where he beat Stone Cold at that year's King of the Ring to win it, only to lose it the next night against Austin on RAW. Quite why the WWE didn't deem it prudent to wait until the next PPV at least for Kane to lose the title is a continuing Wall Banger for this troper, especially since it meant that for years on end Kane would be constantly put in one shit storyline after another, and it wasn't until this year in 2010 that Kane finally got his second world title reign in the WWE.
IIRC, it had to do with the bookers realizing they'd booked a First Blood match with a one of the competitors being a guy with a MASK on his face. Originally, Kane was supposed to job but he'd have to remove his mask for the whole gimmick to work. So they resolved to just have Kane win and Stone Cold win it back the next night.
There's also the fact that Kane declared that if he did not win the title, he would set himself on FIRE. No way that was ever going to happen.
A vast majority of John Cena's title reigns could be listed here, be it his 2005 title reign where he had a godawful set of matches with JBL and then where he gained fan displeasure from constantly going over Kurt Angle before getting the holy hell booed out of him at New Year's Revolution 2006, or maybe his ridiculously overly long title reign from late 2006 onwards that stretched out to well over a year before he had to vacate as a result of getting injured during his feud with Randy Orton. But in This Troper's opinion, the biggest Wall Banger of all of these title reigns was ironically his shortest (aside from his very brief stint as champion at Elimination Chamber 2010): John Cena's victory at Wrestlemania 25 against then-champion Edge and The Big Show had no other point other than to send the kids home happy, and after spending the entirety of that time as champion getting beaten up by his two WM opponents, he then proceeded to lose the title a mere 21 days later at Backlash 2009 ... against Edge .
Randy Orton beating Chris Benoit in 2004 for the world title and his subsequent Heel-Face Turn - a severe case of jumping the gun on WWE's part, especially since Orton's heel run had been going perfectly smoothly and since there was no indication that Orton was anywhere near ready to be a guy carrying WWE programming on his shoulders. To make matters worse, he lost the title a mere month later against Triple H, destroying his momentum and any credibility that his face run might have had.
CM Punk won the world title for the very first time after cashing in his MITB in 2008. During this time however, Punk was made to look exceptionally weak as his only real accomplishment was beating JBL at Summerslam. He then failed to pick up any sort of clean victory over Batista, and then Punk proceeded to lose the championship without ever defending it after he was ambushed backstage by Legacy. This Troper cannot get his head round why the early stages of a heel stable were deemed more important than Punk's title reign, and Punk never even got a chance on the next PPV to win his title back.
Which is now the focus of a feud between Punk and Orton, where Punk cost Orton his title match against The Miz.
Edge shocked the world when he cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase against John Cena at New Year's Revolution. Edge then proceeded to provide RAW a ratings success with his live sex celebration, and at long last the WWE Title scene actually seemed fresh. You'd think that the WWE would capitalise on this, but Edge didn't even make it out of January with the title as he promptly dropped it to Mr Boring Invincible Hero himself, John Cena. Edge meanwhile was demoted to a programme with Mick Foley, although many would argue that Edge ultimately got the better deal. This still doesn't explain why the Backlash 2006 main event where Edge faced Cena and Triple H could not have happened at Wrestlemania 22 though.
Indeed. Cena himself said in an interview that when he jobbed to Edge, he wanted to drop to the midcard and turn Heel so as to refresh his character which had long gone stale with the fans. Which makes this a double-wallbanger in that Cena ACTIVELY TOLD THE WRITERS to drop him to midcard so he could rebuild.
This is more because of Vince's absolute refusal to turn Cena heel, for a number of reasons. 1, Vince doesnt believe a heel Cena can sell tickets or merchandise (Though his SmackDown run proves otherwise). 2, Turning Cena heel, dropping him to the midcard, and letting him rebuild his character would (in Vince's mind) appease the Smarks and, as everyone knows, Vinnie-boy absolutely despises the Smarks (Miz's anti-Cena feud, Michael Cole's heel run and Kaval's Jobber-esque run, and the rather brutal undertreatment of Zack Ryder are all examples of this). So, as long as Vince is in charge, we will never see Cena as a heel.
While Cole and Kaval are good examples, the reason Zack Ryder isn't used is because the vast majority of the casual fans a.k.a. 95% of WWE's fanbase, just can't take him seriously. Smarks are the only ones that want to see a legitimate push out of him, it's really, REALLY hard to see a character like Zack Ryder as anything other than a Jobber, and you can't change the character because that's what made him so popular in the first place.
Depending on who you talk to, some will say that one of the few tolerable parts of the "Invasion" storyline was the feud between Kurt Angle and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. At Unforgiven 2001, Kurt Angle wins a brilliant match with Austin to win his second world championship with the WWE. This title reign only lasted a mere 15 days, however, before he lost the title right back to Austin on RAW, despite the fact that Austin had already been carrying the title a whole six months before Angle's victory. To make matters worse, Angle then proceeded soon afterwards to join Austin in the Alliance.
During the Kane/Undertaker 2010 feud 'Taker appeared to have been weakened since Kane left him in a comatose-like state earlier in the year. In an effort to fully regain his power he decided to bring back his urn, the urn which is held by none other than Paul Bearer. Paul, who hadn't been seen or mentioned on WWE programming in over four years, returned on a Smackdown a few weeks before the Kane/Taker rematch for the World Heavyweight title at the "Hell In A Cell". Paul's abrupt return isn't what makes this a wallbanger though. The thing that puts this in the bang-your-head-into-the-nearest-sturdy-surface category is the fact that during his last appearance Bearer was buried in concrete and left for dead by...you guessed it, The Undertaker! So after no on-screen reconciliation between the two I guess we were supposed to be surprised when Bearer sided with Kane and cost 'Taker the match.
Although some like it or don't mind it, to some, WWE switching to a PG rating induced plenty of wall-related self-injuries. First, it mostly originated from a political move so Linda McMahon can more easily run for senate in Connecticut. Second, it's very easy to argue that the rating is to the detriment to the show. Why? Because it's very, very difficult to switch something to a rating it was not meant to have. If a Disney movie were to switch ratings with Resident Evil, the resulting programs would almost definitely be considered terrible. A program lowering it's rating is usually much worse than raising it. This puts limitations on the product it wasn't supposed to be held back by and leads to new material that would be considered ridiculous under old circumstances and to some, idiotic under the current circumstances.
Actually according to 24Wrestling.com WWE's shift to PG was suggested by some wrestlers in the company one of the common names being John Cena exact reason for this reason not being known. Also one thing the Fandom casually and constantly forgets is the fact that WWE originally didn't have the mature or graphic themes people constantly wet their pants over whenever they complain about how WWE shifted from the Attitude era to PG.
Indeed, the WWF of the 80s might have even been TV-G in some instances. Fans may have loved watching wrestlers light each other on fire and hit them with trucks while Sunny and Sable walked around shaking their boobies. But Vince had to deal with guys like Bob Costas calling him out for ruining something that he admitted was a guilty pleasure (anyone remember that Costas was the ring announcer for The War to Settle the Score?) and media watchdogs like Brent Bozell trying to shame sponsors into dropping their ads. WWE can't win either way.
The most likely reason for the switch to PG is simply Money, Dear Boy. Teen and adult fans aren't as likely to play with action figures and wear WWE t-shirts (for the most part, they've jumped to UFC and MMA in general), but kids will. Add to that some of their new sponsors (Their action figures are now made by the same company that does Barbie, and the switch also gained them Pepsi and 7-Eleven.) You can't really fault them for making a shrewd business decision and with good writers they could make the switch work. The problem is that WWE has no direct competition and are resting on their laurels. They think wrestling fans will tune in because they have no other option, so they don't even bother.
Uh fans do have another option like not watching it, samething most of WCW's fanbase did after the "fingerpoke of doom", samething TNA's fanbase do everytime something happens they don't like, samething WWE's fanbase started doing once Austin & Rock left, WWF became WWE, Cena became one of the top faces in the company etc,etc,etc...
A big problem is that the over-control of wrestlers' promos. A good promo is almost always off the cuff and flows naturally out of the performer. Currently, most of the WWE promos are almost entirely scripted, making an "Austin 3:16 means I just whooped your ass!" moment much, much more unlikely to happen.
In fact, Cena recently gave a Hot-Blooded promo saying he'll kick CM Punk's ass. He then tweeted and apologized profusely, and mentioned he was fined for it. Considering the general premise of the show involves punching people in the head, getting reprimanded for saying "ass" seems excessive.
In the pre-Attitude Era days, wrestlers weren't allowed to curse (except on rare occasions). For example Owen Hart saying that he'll kick The British Bulldog's "butt" instead of "ass". In those days, you could get fined for cursing on the air so that incident was just going back to basics.
And now the WWE has started renaming pay per views. Most of the complaints around it are superficial, except...
...Hell in a Cell. Prior to 2009, Hell in a Cell was THE match you used to end long feuds with a bang and several of the first few Cell matches (HBK vs Undertaker, Triple H vs Cactus Jack, the six man Armageddon match, Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker and especially Mankind vs. Undertaker) established a reputation as the most intense and bloody matches you're likely to see. The WWE brought it out once a year at random and the announcement always came off like a Wham Line that drew huge pops even if the match itself didn't live up. However, now that it has a PPV devoted to it, the feuds fought inside the cell don't have the build-up they used to and just another title match with the exception of 2009 Degeneration X vs Legacy. With the new PG rating you get Orton vs. Sheamus who have only been feuding a couple months in an average feud who have an average no-DQ match with a big cage around them.
WWE instituted a policy of renaming incoming wrestlers so that they could hold onto all legal rights associated with the name after the wrestler leaves. This wouldn't be a huge deal if it wasn't for its inconsistent application, specifically because of who gets exemptions from it. A third-generation wrestler, the son of one of the greatest intercontinental champions in WWE's storied history? Tough, you're Michael McGillicutty now. Married to Jennifer Hudson? ... OK, you can keep your name. Really shows what's important to WWE.
WWE tried to explain this as McGillicutty wanting to avoid comparisons to his father by using his mother's maiden name. This was quickly shot full of holes by them repeatedly mentioning that he's Mr. Perfect's son anyway, and by the Internet quickly discovering that McGillicutty isn't even his mother's maiden name in the first place!
Husky Harris, one of Mike Rotunda's sons, received the same treatment as McGillicutty, with no explanation whatsoever.
WWE didn't explain it, but it's pretty easy to figure out. Mike Rotunda went by Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) during his time with the WWF and had the whole tax-man gimmick. He couldn't have gone with the last name "Schyster" because it doesn't fit his character at all. His full name is Windham Lawrence Rotunda and that's hard to remember, not to mention the potential Mondegreen problem with being in the same stable as a guy surnamed "Otunga." Lastly, "Husky Harris" is much easier to remember and associate with him.
The Edge/Kane feud on Smackdown has involved Edge abducting Paul Bearer and proceeding to taunt Kane through a series of mind-games. Including placing a fake dummy of Bearer on a wheelchair and throwing it down a stairwell, showing videos of Bearer tied and gagged while tormenting him by throwing dodgeballs at his face, and then running over another Bearer dummy with his car, showing Paul tied up in the backseat. Now, aside from the fact that Edge is basically committing felony kidnapping on national television, or that Kane hasn't informed the police. Here's the big Wall Banger, Edge is the face in this angle!
Let's further this Wall Banger for a minute now. Kane had just come off a feud revealing and successfully completing a 15-year-long plan of vengeance against his brother The Undertaker for always trying to keep Kane underneath his shadow. Yet here when Edge is being a borderline Heroic Monster, Kane ends up staring Teddy Long in the face at least twice, Long being the General Manager of the show, and a man who has gotten on Edge's case for wrongdoings in the past, yet the most he could do was demand Paul's whereabouts as if Long was just any other guy as opposed to the one person who could force Edge to give Paul back with the right persuasion. The kicker? When Edge does give him Paul back, he does so from a high enough distance that the emotionally disoriented Kane thinks it's another dummy… and proceeds to push his own father off a balcony and immediately regret it. So basically Kane goes from an evil genius to a complete dumbass, and Edge becomes the evil genius as an accepted babyface. Toss in Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to turn it into more of a free-for-all, and the end result is Edge becoming World Heavyweight Champion at TLC. To zero backlash.
I'd say considering the fact Kane put his own brother into a vegetative state, tried to pin the blame on several other men (even going to the lengths to try and put them in a casket) who had nothing to do with it and burying his brother is more than enough reason to say that Edge doing what he did to Paul was Kane's karma coming back to bite him in the ass.
Well, it was really Kane's karma coming back to bite Paul in the ass. And unlike Kane, Paul had a good reason to turn on the Undertaker, who almost killed him for no reason by drowning him in cement. It just doesn't seem right to me that Kane did all of this terrible shit to other people without Paul's assistance, that Paul shows up to get some payback against the guy who nearly killed him several years earlier, and then Paul winds up being punished for everything Kane did while Kane is only Forced to Watch. It would have been a lot better if Edge had done something to Kane himself instead of to this helpless, bawling, pitiful fat guy. I mean, you could make a case that Taker deserved to get stabbed in the back and buried alive (which he always comes back from anyway, so for him it's not a big deal) after doing this.
Also, how is it Kane's karma that turned him from an evil genius to a stark raving idiot during that whole storyline?
"Stand Up For WWE". In 2010, Linda McMahon was running for the United States Senate. Unsurprisingly, this put a spotlight on WWE, warts and all. The fact that so many wrestlers were dead as a result of drug abuse was brought up, along with how women were portrayed on WWE television, along with how WWE denied its full time employees benefits by insisting that they were "independent contractors", and so on. What do you think Vince did? Do you think he got really serious about encouraging his talent not to use steroids? Do you think he gave his workers better benefits, or a less physically taxing work schedule? Pfft, don't be ridiculous! All of these things were just "biased and inaccurate" reporting! Far be it from Vince to admit (let alone take steps to correct) any wrongdoing. He instead begged fans to "Stand Up For WWE" and make videos telling everybody that all of the bad things being said about WWE were malicious lies.
Now that Linda lost the election, the campaign seems to have totally disappeared...
The Raws before and after the 2011 Royal Rumble could be marked by the WWE grossly underestimating the importance of a couple matches between Edge and The Miz. Why? Well, Edge is the World Heavyweight Champion and the Miz is WWE Champion. That's right, WWE had their two world champions competing against each other. It's an epic main event set-up worthy of Wrestlemania. And they did it twice. And they gave it away twice on TV for free. Not only that, but neither match was even the main event! The first time, the main event was CM Punk vs. Wade Barrett (with John Cena as ref) to determine who's stable (Nexus or the Corre) would stay in the Royal Rumble. Due to Cena pulling shenanigans during the match (both men were disqualified for... foul language), the GM erased the stipulations and thus the match meant exactly nothing. Next week, it's only the semi-main again, taking a back seat to the "Raw Rumble" to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV which would be fine if the card didn't include a friggin' Champion vs. Champion bout! Plus, both matches included interference in one way or another.
John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler are going to have a match at Wrestlemania. Sounds like it could be awesome. Wait? It's going to be an intergender tag match? Ugh, those don't end up so good. Ziggler's teaming up with LayCool? Well, at least it makes sense, they're all heels. JoMo's going to team with Trish Stratus? That's alright; she hasn't been in the ring for a while but she was great. So who's the third person going to be? Melina? Natalya? One of the Bellas? Anyone who actually works for the WWE? Wait... Snooki? Are you making this up? You're not? MOTHERF--
Putting Melina or the Bellas in the match would've made sense if neither of them weren't currently heels and had any legitimate reason to team with Trish and Morrison.
I'll admit, my bad. But my point was really just "Why Snooki instead of WWE Divas?" (the answer is publicity, of course. Still, it just bugs me.)
As if that wasn't bad enough, they didn't even have the decency to make it an early match. No, it was the lead-in to a Wrestlemania main event.
And it happened afterThe Undertaker and Triple H had arguably the best match of the night. Way to kill any momentum and heat coming from the crowd.
In defense of the match order, that was the point. The crowd had used up a lot of energy from cheering a marathon brawl like HHH-Taker, and would not have had enough intensity to keep up with Cena-Miz had it gone right after it. The intergender match allowed the crowd to catch its breath and regain some energy before the main event.
Sorry but Morrison was not the focal point of the match. He was just there as the token male partner. Ziggler was only included because he'd actually been involved in storylines with Lay Cool so Morrison really had no reason to be in the match at all, apart from hitting on Snooki backstage. Celebrity involvement has always been a part of Mania. Mr T was in the friggin main event of the first one. And Morrison was the reason why the match wasn't better since he supposedly snubbed Trish when she tried to talk to him about ideas for it.
Also from Wrestlemania 27, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus were set to have a rematch for the United States Championship. This ended up nowhere to be found during the broadcast. This was due to it being bumped off the card, into a dark match before the show. Even worse, the match is stopped halfway through to be changed to a Battle Royal. Which is won by the Great Khali, who dances for a while afterwards. The United States Championship is simply forgotten throughout this.
And the next day when it does happen Bryan loses again, then gets attacked just so Sin Cara could debut.
So despite everything that was wrong with it, WrestleMania 27 ended The Rock turning on John Cena and costing him the chance to win the title from The Miz. This had the potential to set up something a lot of fans would love to see, a match that the fans would've really gotten into. Not only would The Great One make his return to a WWE ring, but he'd be up against the current face of the company and he would give all of the Cena haters somebody to cheer for. So what happened the very next night on Raw? Cena and Rock talked in the ring, and decided that they would wrestle...at WrestleMania 28. Yes, WWE teases that they're going to give us this match and then informs us that we'll have to wait a year to see it. Are those two even going to remember what they're fighting about by the time WrestleMania 28 rolls around? Are viewers? And are we seriously supposed to believe that after being cost the title by Rocky, Cena's content to say "Oh well, it's no big deal" and not want to go at it as soon as possible?! The only way that this could possibly make sense would be if WWE was actually turning Cena heel and that he was a Dirty Coward who was terrified of facing The Rock, thus agreeing to the year-long wait before stepping into the ring with him.
How does making Cena a Dirty Coward heel make sense? This is the guy who's beaten the likes of Triple H, Randy Orton, & Batista and for no reason gets booked as a Dirty Coward heel whose too afraid to fight the guy (who'll predictably be coming in as a face nevermind the fact that he's a good heel) and who also screwed him out of the title.
He wouldn't be the first guy to undergo an extreme personality shift after a Face-Heel Turn. That part of wrestling isn't exactly logical, but it's still more logical than saying that this is the same Cena as before, that there's absolutely nothing different about him, that he's still the same tough guy he always was...and yet for some reason, he isn't demanding to throw down with The Rock. The only possible explanation is that Cena has changed, because back when Batista cost him the title he demanded a chance to fight Batista, and not wanting revenge on Rocky is completely out of character for Face Cena.
Building to a confrontation a year in advance isn't a precedent. Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade '97 did this and the PPV sold like hotcakes. If you were going to do it these days, Rock vs. Cena would be the way to do it and Wrestlemania 28 in Miami (the Rock's stomping grounds) is a perfect place for it. If WWE actually manages to have the patience to pull it off, this troper salutes them for this kind of long-term booking.
True, but that situation was different. In the case of Sting, he had become demoralized and emo (before it was called emo) over how all of the people he considered friends actually believed that he had joined the nWo and treated him like he was the enemy. Even after it was revealed that the nWo had framed him in order to divide the WCW locker room, Sting was still stuck in his Heroic BSOD and walked away. As 1997 drew on, Sting slowly but surely managed to stop wallowing in self-pity and start thinking about getting revenge. And that led to him terrorizing the nWo for a while, which led to Starrcade. Compare that with Cena and Rocky. It would be one thing if Cena were to react like Sting, to say "You know, half of the WWE Universe hates my guts. I always knew that, but it didn't really register just how much until The Rock cost me the WWE Championship. I heard the cheers when he Rock Bottomed me and Miz pinned me. I've been fighting as hard as I can for a long time to regain that title, to be able to shout 'The Champ Is Here!' one more time. I almost made it, and then I got cheated out of another reign thanks to The Rock. And all of you thought that was the greatest thing ever. Well, I'm not blind. When I feuded with Randy Orton, I heard all of you out there chanting "RKO" just because you wanted to see somebody—anybody—kick my ass. And now that I've been battling Miz, I hear you cheering for him. And when Rocky talks trash to me, when Rocky actually attacks me, you cheer for Rocky. I get the hint, WWE Universe. I see the writing on the wall. I...QUIT!" Followed by Cena walking away, and having vignettes of people in the WWE such as Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler and even Randy Orton trying to convince him to come back, with him saying no each time. Until finally, something happened to set Cena's blood boiling and he came charging back to put a stop to something really horrible, possibly involving a heel Rock. But that's not what we've got. Cena isn't demoralized at all. Neither is Rocky. There's no reason to wait.
Uh yeah there is. They want their match to be on the biggest stage of all. Wrestlemania. They say so. Repeatedly. Just doing it on a Monday Night Raw wouldn't be enough for them.
But that makes no sense. I mean, it makes sense to not give the match away for free by having it on Raw, but there's no logical reason not to book it for the next PPV. If you're really angry at a guy, so angry that you want to punch him, and you challenge him to a fight, how do you think you would react if he said "Sure I'll fight you, but you'll have to wait a year." And apart from the reasons why this is stupid in-storyline, there are several things that could happen in Real Life between now and then: Cena could die (this is pro wrestling, after all), Rocky could die (he's out of the business, but he could still get in a car crash or something), Cena could suffer a career-ending injury because of one botched move like what happened to Bret Hart, WWE might lose fans between now and then resulting in fewer PPV buys than if they booked Cena/Rock at "Extreme Rules", etc. The people who want to see Rock vs. Cena won't care what the name of the PPV is. All they'll care about is that they're seeing Rock vs. Cena. That match is going to make whatever PPV it happens on important. That's how it works: the matches are what make WrestleMania important, not the other way around. Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler was not any more watchable or entertaining because it happened on "the grandest stage of them all".
Maybe Cole and Lawler's match wasn't anymore entertaining or watchable because not only had the feud worn thin by the time Wrestlemania came around but by the time the match happened on the PPV the crowd simply wasn't interested in the match which was booked between Orton & CM Punk and Triple H & Undertaker two matches fans had a much more significant interest in.
A huge problem with this one is the fact that they're adamant to have the WWE title involved in the storyline, when John Cena is not the WWE champion. This sort of trivializes the title and makes it look like it's just an excuse to sell tickets (it might just be that, but they could try not to be blatant about it). If John Cena is the champion at the climax of this storyline... Doesn't it imply that either Rock is coming back for real or that Cena can't lose his title to somebody that isn't staying without the whole storyline looking somewhat pointless?
*sigh* Wrestlemania is the biggest Wrestli-sorry, "Sports Entertainment" event of the year, and every year it has one big match to get people's attention. With there being no guarantee that 'Taker will have his 20th match at the event, they need one big match that'll draw people to the show (in the same way that Rock Vs Hogan, Rock Vs Austin, Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels etc. did for previous Wrestlemanias). Now, for an in-character reason ... Cena, despite being the most over Face in the current Era, has always been considered second to the Rock (and Austin, but that's a different story). The Rock getting cheered for giving him a Rock Bottom and verbally putting him down is more proof of that. So naturally Cena would feel a compulsion to beat him, as it's probably the only big thing in the WWE that he hasn't done yet. That said, he wants to beat the Rock clean, so there's no doubt that he is the better superstar. And he doesn't want people saying that Rock wasn't giving it 100%. So Wrestlemania 28 makes sense on two levels; it's in the Rock's hometown and it's at the one event where everyone (is supposed to) leave it all in the ring. A victory for Cena there would, both in and out of character, be the biggest win of his career. Justification of the time of their battle aside, involving the WWE title is just stupid.
Actually, to a certain degree it WOULD make sense to involve the WWE Title in Cena vs Rock at Wrestlemania 28. Why? Because if one single but large criticism can be levelled at the biggest non-title matches of the past four Wrestlemanias (so we're talking Undertaker vs Triple H, both Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels matches, and Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair) it's that they have completely over-shadowed the WWE Title match. In all honesty, you have to go back to Wrestlemania 23 to find a Wrestlemania where the WWE Title match was the biggest overall on the card. From an idealistic stand-point, the WWE Title match should generally ALWAYS be the focal point of a Wrestlemania card: stuff like Undertaker's win streak / who the "true icon" of wrestling is / who has political control in the company should be taking a back seat, or if this sort of stuff IS being used as a focal point in a Wrestlemania card, then what should happen is that the WWE Title should be slotted in there as well to make it look just as important.
The whole thing has shades of Sting vs. Hulk Hogan in 1997 WCW. The match itself was abysmal, yes, but the year-long buildup to it ended up making '97 their most successful year and that Starrcade their highest grossing PPV.
The only issue now is, is it really fair to just place The Rock in the biggest match of the year just like that? I know it's The Rock, I know he's probably earned a title shot based on his name alone if he's planning to come back (which he probably isn't), but the main event of Wrestlemania is really not the kind of match you just put somebody in a year ahead of time. It seems a bit unfair if you consider that he's technically not on the roster at the moment and by the time of the scheduled match, wouldn't have wrestled an actual match in roughly nine years. Unless they plan on making it a triple-threat match, doesn't this sort of confirm that the 2012 Royal Rumble has to be won by somebody from Smackdown? It also comes off as a bit hypocritical considering that John Cena just decided that The Rock would be in the main event of Wrestlemania despite not really earning to be just placed in it, but made a big deal about CM Punk not being in the title match where he could (and did) leave the company with the title.
It hasn't gone any further than this yet, but I suppose we can't say a dramatic amount else about the R-Truth heel turn. Maybe only true if you like R-Truth, but in case you do, it basically goes down like this. R-Truth has finally got a shot at the WWE title. His entire reason for coming down and being involved with the #1 contender's match was because of this. So when he finally managed to get into the match, albeit via double DQ when Miz and Alex Riley attacked him and John Cena, he came down the next Raw to celebrate, cause, you know, he finally has a chance at the real bigtime after he had spent the last several months jobbing to bigger names. So the next logical step was for John Morrison to come down and screw with him. From how he was acting, it looked like it was Morrison who was turning heel, however. The crowd was outright booing Morrison for being kind of a jerk and sounding like a sore loser. Alright, so Morrison wants a rematch. Fair enough. Truth didn't want a rematch, you know, doing the smart and conservative, albeit boring and hypocritical thing after he'd spent the past minutes explaining how he'd be a champion who would take on all comers anytime anywhere. So then, well the entire London crowd practically forced him to accept the challenge (it's wrestling, if the crowd wants something badly enough, you sort of have to give it to them). So when R-Truth loses, he's justifiably pissed off, he just lost his shot at the title in a totally unnecessary match that he wanted nothing to do with. So of course.... R-Truth then viciously attacked Morrison. In a several minute beatdown that started crossing into Overly Long Gag and Narm, especially after the entire London crowd who forced him into the match started booing that he would be pissed off. Dammit, London. It was almost like they were telling anyone who likes R-Truth that he's never really going to be important and they should just get over it. Hopefully they'll rectify this in further weeks.
In case you're wondering, John Morrison's point was that R-Truth apparently got lucky in making it that far. He did have a point, as mentioned above, but only in that way really. Yes, Randy Orton was taken out of the picture by the Nexus, but you don't know that Truth couldn't have beaten Orton (although the writers would probably make it that way). R-Truth beat Dolph Ziggler cleanly. R-Truth beat his next opponent, who by the way was John Morrison cleanly. He only got lucky against Morrison in that, as the Miz who was on commentary for that match put it, Morrison was too dumb to just pin R-Truth after hitting him with a finisher that usually works, and instead dragged him over to the corner to hit him with another one that missed. Maybe John would have had more sympathy if not for the fact that his loss was entirely his own fault, and the writers pretty much rewarded him for being an idiotic sore loser just to make sure R-Truth stayed irrelevant.
Irrelevant might be pushing it a bit; he's actually getting a bit more screentime than he has as a face. He interfered in the WHC and cost Morrison a shot at the title after a long time of the match actually looking like Morrison had a legit chance to win. On top of that, Truth's subsequent attack on Morrison on the following RAW really got him some good heat with the crowd. This appears to be building up into a pretty good feud, even if a championship belt isn't necessarily involved.
It still implies some unkind things if you consider that they felt R-Truth couldn't have gotten over by having a WWE title shot. Being in that sort of match should probably be enough to get you over in itself.
Thing is though Truth's been over for quite awhile now and supposedly is pretty well like by Vince.
The problem is that up until recently, Truth didn't get a whole lot of airtime where he wasn't jobbing. He does get put in the Elimination Chamber matches, he did make it to the WWE vs Nexus match, but since he rarely talks during these moments, the matches really aren't about him in any way, it comes off a bit more like he's just there to fill in where they couldn't find anybody else. They probably could have gotten him the kind of over they wanted without completely changing him if they wanted to. He was over enough that the crowd went with his opening and sang along, he was cheered when he came out. They probably could have gotten him over by actually letting him win sometimes. Although to be fair, the fact that this conversation is even taking place says that their attempt at getting him over did work on some level, maybe not the way they wanted, but hey.
The 2011 Draft was supposed to fill in the hole Edge left with his retirement by giving a shakeup to both rosters. How is this done? By having a draft show with 8 draft picks (in reality 6 draft picks due to a Shocking Swerve that everyone saw coming) that involved 2 big names switching brands, 3 aging wrestles switching brands, and Sin Cara whose been at Raw for weeks switching to Smackdown because of his tendency to botch several of his spectacular maneuvers. WWE is basically betting that all of it's young talent at Smackdown develops into popular wrestlers (Only Cody Rhodes and Alberto Del Rio have been able to do this) while Raw currently has a log jam of veteran wrestlers who are popular. Oh, and instead of developing the triple threat match for the WWE Championship they instead have a ten minute match between Michael Cole and Jim Ross, most of which was Michael Cole running around.
Uhm, outside the Michael Cole/JR match and Draft swerve, how is this a wallbanger? Building up the new talent into popular wrestlers is what Smackdown does. It's what it's supposed to do. In fact, that's kinda why some people like it more, because it showcases the new guys.
Look at the bright side at least JR busted Cole's mouth in the process.
The only problem I had was the stupid John Cena swap thing they did, and drafting Sin Cara. The whole John Cena thing wasted two draft picks, and Sin Cara was sort of a wasted draft pick since he'd only been on Raw three weeks at the time of the draft. It sort of begs the question, why debut Sin Cara on Raw if you were just gonna draft him to Smackdown less than a month later?
Because Sin Cara kept botching moves and they needed to put him on Smackdown so they could edit out any botches he makes until he stops making them.
Additionally, the picks made on the draft day are always going to be the big names because it's televised, but the real draft happened the next day and featured such moves as Daniel Bryan going to Smackdown (possibly inserting himself into the IC title conversation) and Kofi Kingston going back to RAW, where he won the US Championship from Sheamus (who was also departing for Smackdown as a result of the draft.) Drew Mcintyre moved over to RAW as well, and Ted Dibiase (Jr.) was mercifully moved to Smackdown, where he can possibly rebuild himself after spending an extended period of time buried on the deep RAW roster.
Both Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler's Matches at Wrestlemanaia and Extreme Rules go under here. At Wrestlemania Cole was made to look like a legitimate threat to Jerry Lawler despite not being a wrestler in a beatdown that went on to long and was crapped on by the crowd. Thankfully Jerry Lawler is able to pick up the win, only for the GM to reverse the decision and make Cole the winner of the match. The weeks leading into Extreme Rules Jim Ross is brought into the fray and at Extreme Rules Ross and Lawler have a match with Cole and his trainer Jack Swagger. Now judging from the massive amount of hate Cole has been getting from both marks and smarks alike and all the shit that he put Lawler and Ross through you'd expect him to get the crap beat out of him right...OF COURSE NOT because at Extreme Rules Cole wins CLEANLY by pinning Jim Ross. I don't know what the WWE is thinking by making this decision. Cole is pretty much hated by most wrestling fans and acts like a mega heel and still is allowed to win and still is allowed to annoy the shit out of everyone on Monday AND Friday nights.
Thankfully, he does still fanboy The Miz and trolls Daniel Bryan, but he otherwise seems to be pretty much neutral. Or at the very worst is still a heel commentator, but it doesn't come up that often.
The entire execution of the most recent (April/May 2011) feud for the WHC. Of course, it started out as Edge vs. Alberto del Rio for the WHC in a ladder match at Extreme Rules. Then came Edge's sudden retirement, and the match was changed - to Ensemble Darkhorse Christian and Alberto del Rio for a now-vacant WHC. Then, the 2011 WWE Draft happened (reputedly 6 weeks early because of Edge's retirement), and they drafted del Rio to RAW 6 days before Extreme Rules, which pretty much gives away the ending of the match if you think about it. All three participants in the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship were on RAW, and there's no way both the WWE Champ and the WHC would stay on the same brand. Therefore, since Christian wasn't drafted, you knew before the match started that he was going to win. Which, supposedly doesn't make it any less awesome, seeing as it was probably overdue for years. Then, the same week, new Smackdown draftee Randy Orton takes the title off Christian on the following Smack Down. They didn't wait until the next PPV (which was in less than 3 weeks!), and there was absolutely no buildup feud - the least they could have done was have Orton (who was already drafted to Smackdown) come out after the match and confront Christian or hit him with an RKO. Or maybe a better alternative would have been to keep ADR on Smackdown (as he was very nearly the top singles heel on the Brand at the time of the draft), have him win the WHC, then set up a feud between him and Orton with a match for the next PPV. It would have been a first-time feud, Orton still could have won his title, and Christian wouldn't have to be lumped together with Jeff Hardy and Dolph Ziggler for shortest WHC run ever.
Although, if they actually turn either Christian or Orton heel (easier said than done, considering how much the crowd loves each of them) and set up for a rematch or for Christian to cost Orton the title at a subsequent match (does Smackdown even have a top heel right now, barring the Corre?), they could mitigate the damage a bit. But knowing WWE and their obsession with formula, this probably won't happen.
Christian turned heel.
This in itself is sort of a problem. Christian is coming off possibly one of the most sympathetic positions possible in pro wrestling without involving the death of somebody, his best friend and former tag partner retiring early due to injury and vacating his World Title, so he gets a push and wins it. So this sympathetic guy then loses the title less than a week later in a match that happened for no adequately explained reason to a guy that a lot of people think is already something of a Karma Houdini and Designated Hero. It worked for a little while. You figured Christian would probably win it back at the next PPV, they seemed fine as "rivaling faces." So they then turn the way more sympathetic character heel and have him start acting like a coward. Even worse, the crowd almost seems to not know how to react to this. A lot of people still cheer for Christian, still cheer when he wins, carry signs for him. Any booing he receives seems forced, seeming to come from people who just see that Christian is now a heel and it's protocol to boo him.
Even if it may be a bit of an overstatement, it still seems to imply that WWE just really hates Christian. Sure they gave him the title, but only off of the most sympathetic situation possible, and even then they took it back off him at literally the first opportunity to do so, turned him into a cowardly heel, and only gave it back for a month after winning it back in a way that's basically illegitimate. It looks like what they did was give him the title as much as they did to shut his fanbase up while at the same time trying to strip him of as much momentum and credibility as they possibly can. Basically summed up as, "Yes, we'll give him the title, we sort of feel sorry for him, but we don't want you to forget how much we hate this guy, so we're gonna have him be an even less credible champion than The Miz. Hope you'll be happy with it."
In a match between Eve Torres and Nikki Bella, Michael Cole randomly got up from the commentator's table and called for the match to be over so he could make an announcement. He has done the same thing three more times and no story has been gotten out of it so it's basically just Cole burying the divas even further when they barely get enough time as it is.
Try blaming whoever booked that instead of giving Cole unnecessary flak which he gets enough as is.
That is until Over The Limit, where Eve came out to take revenge.
The "I Quit" match between Miz and Cena at Over the Limit '11 was basically a twenty minute torture session in which Miz, together with Alex Riley, continually put Cena through much physical agony, including a Skull-Crushing Finale into a chair, all the while attempting to force Cena to say "I quit". Of course, Cena refuses all the way to the last minute. And in that last minute, Cena would proceed to beat down both Riley and Miz, and force the latter to say "I Quit". Throughout the whole of the match, Cena barely got any amount of offense in. Yet, he would still end up winning in very short order. Not only was the finish yet another "Cena overcomes the odds" match in which he no-sold twenty minutes of intense, physical pain. Miz, who had been in complete control of the match up until the last minute, was for all intents and purposes, looking very weak by the end.
This goes double because they did the exact same damn thing to Randy Orton at the hands of Cena at Breaking Point '09.
Which gets even funnier when you remember how Sheamus was getting buried by Orton in the leadup to their title match at Night Of Champions which saw Randy take the title off Sheamus so yea creative isn't only guilty of doing that with Cena but Orton too.
The whole walkout which lead to John Laurinitis becoming the General Manager of Raw. The angle started promising with a group of heels deciding to sue WWE for unsafe work conditions, but it quickly became a vote of no confidence. Instead of just having the heels walk out they get the brilliant idea of having everyone walk out (well except for the top faces who where not present). When the board decides to remove Triple H as COO, and have John Laurinitis as the GM, this makes the entire midcard faces look like complete idiots. This perception doesn't improve when the first two matches have the heels beat down the faces (the exact reason for the walkout). The worse part was the fact that Laurinitis fires Jim Ross... again. Really, in the WWE, firing JR to get heel heat is as cliche as having them perform a run-in and beating up on a cruiserweight face (which the heel group did in the first match against John Morrison). Not to mention it's obvious they're trying to make us side with HHH over John Laurinitis. The firing of Jim Ross also caused Michael Cole to pretty much channel Tony Shiavoneat the top of his lungsnote he called JR's firing "The greatest night in the history of the company", which is almost word-for-word Shiavone's Catch Phrase.
Let's not forget that during Triple H's opening promo, he buried the entire roster by stating that he's wrestled most of the talent that walked out and could get a better match out of a broomstick. This probably wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that it was 90% of the roster that he was talking about!
The handling of the mask vs mask match between the two Sin Caras on Smackdown 10/21/11 in Mexico City. It makes sense that they hold a Lucha de Apuestas in Mexico where the crowd would be more into it. However, they could have given the feud some importance if they actually held it on the upcoming PPV on the 23rd. Thirdly, promoting it weeks in advance would have drawn more money whether they did it on Smackdown (which wasn't quite sold out) or on the Vengeance PPV (which needed as much help as possible to draw money due to being only two weeks away from the previous PPV, Hell in a Cell).
Hunico. Ugh... The man himself is a talented wrestler, and his old Sin Cara Negro angle was one of the more interesting things going on in the WWE at the time. After he gets unmasked, however, he just suffers the most crippling Character Derailment - suddenly, he's a mexican gangster (as if to say the only things mexican wrestlers can be are luchadors or gang-members, and if they aren't one, they have to be the other) who doesn't even wear ring-gear any more, fights in street clothes (which is a). pointless, and b). just completely impractical) and, worst of all, his wrestling style is completely changed! He's apparently no longer allowed to use his high-flying manouvers, and has instead switched to a completely generic mat-based style! Why!? Bah gawd!
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin's career following his semi-retirement in 2003 offers consistently reoccurring wall bangers. Austin could have just walked off into the sunset and his awesome legacy wouldn't have been tarnished but he stuck around as a lame "mascot" character for a number of years — and during this time, his sociopathic gimmick mutated from "vigilante who speaks truth to power" to "bully who does whatever the hell he wants and gets away with it". As the months passed, he just got worse and worse. Beating up Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier of the French-Canadian tag team La Resistance because they criticized the U.S. government in the early days of the Iraq War was bad enough. But then, a few months later, when Diva Stacy Keibler — who literally weighs half of what Austin does — declined Austin's offer of a beer, he kicked her in the stomach and gave her a Stone Cold Stunner. And this while Stacy was a face, no less! That moment deservedly made a wrestling website's "Hall of Shame" for 2003.
How the announcers, or rather Jim Ross, responded to this was the icing on the cake. This was during the time when Stacy was in a relationship with Test and later Scott Steiner, who Ross never failed to label as Jerkassesfor their abuse of her. Yet, when Austin gave her the aforementioned Stunner? It's handwaved by saying, while he didn't agree with it, that's just how he is. It's both Jerkass and Moral Dissonance at its worst where one wasn't sure who contributed to it more, Ross or the fans themselves.
The absolute nadir came during WWE's "Homecoming" ceremony in Fall 2005, when Austin "stunned" Vince, Shane, andStephanie McMahon. Okay, so they kinda deserved it. But then Linda — the one McMahon who is pretty much universally respected, both in Kayfabe and in Real Life — came down to the ring and scolded Austin for attacking her entire family. Austin was initially gracious to Linda and even (albeit insincerely) apologized for his actions...and then he offered her a beer, which Linda (perhaps remembering what had happened to Stacy) accepted. Not too bad so far — but then, while Linda is sipping the beer, Austin gives her a Stunner anyway. That's right, Austin stunned a fifty-year-old non-wrestling woman, just for kicks! Things only got worse on the following episode of RAW where the McMahons showed up mad as hell — and for once, who could blame them? Problem was, instead of just firing Austin, they chose to take out their anger on seemingly everyone but Austin. Stephanie slapped ring announcer Lilian Garcia for practically no reason, and Vince lashed out at WWE's entire fanbase for somehow being responsible for what had happened to him and his family. And just when it seemed as if things couldn't get any more disgraceful, Linda (the good McMahon, remember!) told off Vince and Stephanie for throwing temper tantrums...and then, a moment later, vindictively fired color commentator JimRoss and kicked him in the crotch as all the other McMahons laughed! And this was after Ross had (quite needlessly) apologized on Austin's behalf, too! After watching the entire sequence of events, it's probable that two notions flashed through every RAW fan's mind — 1) the McMahons are really evil, power-hungry bastards and 2) thank God that Stone Cold isn't a regular on this show anymore.
The "conspiracy" angle that started over the summer of 2011 became a series of wall bangers that amounted to being one of the worst angles in WWE history. Only the that it started off great with CM Punk announcing his departure and his intentions of taking the WWE title with him, shooting on Vince McMahon for basically letting his company WWE decline for years when it used to be a mainstream empire which made Vince a billionaire at one point, as well as the PG image Vince was trying to get across, and was even about to call out Vince on an incident which contradicted his "anti-bullying" message before he was cut off, saves it from the So Bad, It's Horrible page. So Vince suspended Punk until his contract ran out, taking away Punk's title shot. Which led to John Cena, the WWE champion, threatening to walk out if Vince didn't give Punk his shot. Vince lifted the suspension and gave Punk back his title shot, but told Cena that if he lost the title he would be fired. Towards the end of the title match Vince attempts to recreate the Montreal Screwjob only to be thwarted by Cena, who as a result lost the title to Punk. So of course this leads to Vince threatening to fire Cena.
Then a wall banger brings the angle's momentum to a screeching halt as Triple H's music hits and he comes out wearing a suit, saves Cena from being fired and tells Vince that "No one is bigger than WWE" (yes, he's telling this to Vince McMahon, who is the owner of WWE) and then informs Vince that he has been "relieved of his duties" as Chairman by the Board of Directors (again, Vince is the majority owner of WWE with 88% of the voting power, meanining he would have the final say in this matter) and that he (Triple H) was taking his place and running things now and a new era had begun. All of this coming COMPLETELY out of nowhere with no warning or building at all. Yes, THIS was the intended sendoff for VinceMcMahon, the owner and Chairman of WWE in Real Life and Kayfabe, who made WWE mainstream in the first place and was also the biggest heel in history. It was also the ultimate display of Triple H's backstage politics, he had gone so far as to bury the owner of the company, his own boss and father-in-law just so he could once again hog the spotlight because the Rock vs Cena was getting attention towards WWE which it hadn't seen in a while and Trips wanted to be part of it. Of course, this will all just Kayfabe. Vince was still owner and Chairman in Real Life who will likely never step down and will remain so until he dies. Unfortunately, many people thought it was real, which caused problems with stockholders similar to when Vince "sold" RAW to Donald Trump in 2009. So as the "post-McMahon" era begins, the moment is retcon to HHH merely being the Chief Operating Officer (COO), a position right beneath Chairman and CEO that does not exist in Real Life WWE, with Vince still Chairman and CEO as a Hand Wave.
So now Triple H was the one feuding with CM Punk, but neither pulled a Face-Heel Turn and the feud became more about Triple H defending his wife's honor as Punk made a brief reference to her while shooting on Vince. So now Punk was feuding with Triple H over a brief mention of him and Stephanie in a shoot promo mainly targeted towards Vince. It also made Trips seem hypocritical that he was defending his family's honor, yet completely pulled a Starscream against Vince and had no problem trying to take his father-in-law's company away from him. And Triple H played Face and never was called out for this. In the meantime Cena and Punk are facing each other at Summerslam over who the "real" WWE Champion is (John Cena had won the replacement title but Triple H convinced CM Punk to return with the original) with Trips serving as the special guest referee.
Punk wins after Triple H makes the 3 count while not seeing Cena's foot on the ropes then Kevin Nash shows up and attacks Punk, leading to Alberto Del Rio cashing in his MITB and winning the title immediately afterwards. So Punk, who was supposed to be the "star" of this feud, immediately loses the title to hardly over Del Rio. Nash claims someone had ordered him to attack the winner of the match, heavily implying Triple H (as both are buddies) and wants Trips to "put the band back together". HHH denies that he sent the text, all while John Laurinaitis, who Punk also briefly mentioned in his shoot towards Vince as one of Vince's many yesmen, who debuted at MITB as Vince's stooge whom he sent to try and screw Punk only to get knocked down by Cena, and for some reason stuck around even after Vince left, is being played up as the one who sent the text and hired Nashto help him get rid of HHH. However, Nash reveals he sent himself the text because he wanted to "make WWE cool again". Triple H fires him. Then at Night of Champions HHH and Punk finally face off against each other, with H putting his job on the line. Even after interferences from Awesome Truth and Nash, HHH beats Punk. The guy who was supposed to be the star of this angle lost to a part-time wrestler who wasn't even originally part of the angle. In the meantime the WWE title, which was the whole reason for the angle, is Demoted to Extra with Del Rio as champion till Cena wins it back from him. This leads to Hell In A Cell, where Awesome Truth again interfere and cost Cena and Punk the match, leading to Del Rio getting the title back after just losing despite not being over with the fans, and again the belt is Demoted to Extra, and the PPV ends with Triple H attacking Awesome Truth.
Vince appointed Laurinaitis as the Interim GM of RAW. Laurinaitis would instantly become a generic and blatant Mr. McMahon wannabe, favoring heels and screwing the faces. Meanwhile COO Triple H and Nash reignited their "classic" feud, Nash taking out Trips with a sledgehammer (as The Rock returned to team up with his WM 28 opponent John Cena in the main event of Survivor Series), and Nash would just spend weeks constantly bragging about the pop he got at the 2011 Royal Rumble and wanting to bring the Kliq back together. Though a positive out was Punk regaining the title from Del Rio for good.
After Survivor Series 2011 the angle continues. Punk now feuding with Laurinaitis (he had gone from feuding with the boss to feuding with the boss's son-in-law to one of the boss's Yes Men) while facing The Miz and Del Rio, the same heels who flopped as main eventers all year, for the title at TLC. Triple H and Nash wrap up their feud and Cena, whose scheduled to main event Wrestlemania 28 against The Rock, is left off the card completely.
After TLC HHH finally goes away, but the Punk vs Laurinaitis feud continues in one of the worst ripoffs of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs Vince McMahon ever, with Laurinaitis displaying his lack of acting ability by giving the No Sell treatment to recieving a finishing move. Punk winds up retaining the title against Dolph Ziggler and Laurinaitis is left facing possibly being fired.
During the Road to Wrestlemania, Triple H refuses to fight The Undertaker because he "beat Taker so badly Taker needed to be taken out on a stretcher" (HHH LOST the match) and he wanted to keep Taker's streak going for business since he's Vince's heir to the throne, implying that he knows he can beat Taker but doesn't want to do it, with Taker begging for a rematch to prove himself that he can beat HHH, even though he already beat him twice at Wrestlemania. It does turn out to be a good Hell In The Cell match with Taker beating Triple H so badly he needs to be carried out by Taker and HBK, making you believe you are done throwing things against the wall.
However, Laurinaitis not only keeps his job but becomes permanent GM of Raw and then sets his sights on Smackdown, feuding with Theodore Long. It was a Foregone Conclusion that Laurinaitis was going to win since WWE loves shoving Scrappy heels on the audience, as seen with Vickie Guerrero and Michael Cole. Laurinaitis's team won with Creator's PetThe Miz getting the pinfall.
So while Laurinaitis plays the Mr. McMahon wannabe and hogs the spotlight on both shows despite being a boring character whose actor is terrible and can't cut a promo to save his life, Punk has been Demoted to Extra throughout his entire reign as champion despite being the guy this angle was supposed to get over. Instead of any kind of payoff, CM Punk turns heel basically because he recognizes he is being buried despite being champion and the audience does not even buy him as a heel until he teams up with Paul Heyman.