Punk and McMahon, Sort of? — Wrasslin’ Wednesday 12/3/14

Wrasslin Wednesday Header

Derek: We’re coming to you live (two days later) from Tulsa! Annnnd the thrill of the Survivor Series main event is beginning to wear off.

There were those who called last week’s Raw the worst post-PPV Raw in 20 years. Not sure I’d go quite that far, but it wasn’t great. This week, on the other hand, was just coma-inducing.

I think it’s possible that, since Stone Cold had Vince McMahon on his podcast this week, the WWE took a cue from the sponsor of every single podcast in the world, Stamps.com, and mailed this one in.

via @WWENetwork Twitter account.

via @WWENetwork Twitter account.

I don’t suppose I can blame them. There’s only a three week turnaround until the Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, which will be followed by the undoubtedly more interesting road to the Royal Rumble. The Rumble is nearly impossible to screw up.

As you can see, I wasn’t particularly thrilled about this week. I’m getting less inspired with every sentence. Did you find any of it particularly exciting or noteworthy?

Will: Nope, I sure didn’t. I think you hit it on the head by pointing out the short timeframe that WWE has to work with before TLC. There is usually a solid month between PPVs, four weeks of programming to work with. There are only three weeks until TLC, and that show is really just an appetizer for the Rumble and Wrestlemania.

I think the past couple Raws have been underwhelming by design, to some degree. Making them more interesting would mean breaking new ground, and three weeks is a short time to add a wrinkle that doesn’t derail a major storyline. Last week’s Raw was the Survivor Series fallout, this week’s was basically running in place, and next week’s is pre-TLC posturing. I think WWE just wants to stay the course and save the fireworks for the big picnics.

What can they do, really? The heavyweight champ, Brock Lesnar, is still out of the picture. Sting-Triple H is earmarked for a big stage, likely ‘Mania, and they’ll want that one to simmer. Wyatt-Ambrose doesn’t seem to be a top priority and is less than the sum of its parts. They’re running back Team Cena vs. Team Authority. Miz and Mizdow are battling the Usos now; does that move the meter?

Some of the problem is just that WWE has to churn out so much content every single week. It’s like Saturday Night Live. They need to figure out the casting, the story, and the structure, and do it every week. It’s not easy to consistently put out a great product. Some weeks are just going to be worse than others, especially when a bigger event is on the horizon.

Does this line of thought hold any water in your bucket? Or did WWE basically just fart into a camera and I’m just making excuses?

Derek: Yeah, I get it. It’s easier to just look forward to the Rumble than to try and cram a bunch of new stuff in to make TLC more worthwhile. I’d be pissed if I bought a ticket, though. And, not to disparage the good people of Tulsa, but the fact that it was in Tulsa was part of the problem. They wouldn’t have mailed Raw in like that in, say, Los Angeles or Chicago or Boston.

I really can’t think of one single interesting thing from Raw. What, Cena and Rollins are going to fight at TLC and if Cena loses he’s no longer the number one contender to fight the champion we never see? We’re supposed to crank out an entire column about that? Or about Cena gently closing the Anonymous GM laptop? I’ll pass.

cena laptop

Well, I guess there was some big news this week. I don’t follow wrestling news nearly as closely as I watch other sports, but I do get in on the weekly goodness of the Cheap Heat podcast and the Wrestling Wrap Up on IGN. Usually, I wait until after I’ve said my piece on Wrasslin’ Wednesday to take them in because I don’t want to knowingly or subconsciously rip off their thoughts. But this week, I broke that rule because I was completely at a loss on what to write about. Maybe I missed something?

Well, here’s the description for the IGN article:

CM Punk dropped a two-hour tell-all podcast about his decision to leave the WWE while Vince sat down with Stone Cold to answer a few questions.

And here’s the description for this week’s Cheap Heat:

CM Punk meta pod! The guys discuss Punk on Colt Cabana’s podcast, Vince on Steve Austin’s podcast, and the secret life of Pat Patterson.

I wish WWE had told us that we didn’t have to watch Raw this week and we could have just listened to two podcasts to be caught up on this week’s wrestling news.

I suppose I’ll have to give my thoughts on that, though those thoughts are probably available in abundance elsewhere. We’ll get to that soon. First, there’s one thing that I trust Sports Monocle with over any other wrestling outlet: crackpot theories.

If you had money on this whole CM Punk thing being a work, hold on to those tickets. Don’t you find it exceedingly convenient that both Punk and Vince have these huge podcast appearances just a few days apart in the midst of a clearly mailed-in Raw? Not a single interesting thing happened on Raw, and this Punk/McMahon stuff goes down at the same time? Hmmmmmmmm.

So, here are my obligatory thoughts on the podcasts. Not to name any specific events, but every once in a while there will be a big news story, with two vastly opposing groups or ideologies, and I read the things they say and think “Wow, you’re all idiots.” I’m kind of at that point with the Punk situation.

Some of the things Punk said were definitely alarming. If he had a staph infection and the WWE just ignored it, that’s obviously a problem. Punk deserved better, too. He never headlined Wrestlemania, but The Miz did. Now, I’m a man who enjoys The Miz, but that is an absolute crime.

On the other hand, by all accounts, Punk is an asshole. I can’t think of a famous person I’d like to approach more who seems less approachable. Even if it was something as harmless as “Hey Punk, I’m a big fan,” it seems like he’d all but roll his eyes and try to end the conversation as quickly as possible. And God help me if I asked for a picture or an autograph.

Yeah, Punk doesn’t owe me anything. I get that. He’s mentioned before that fans treat him like a commodity, and that they think he exists to entertain them, and that’s not the case. Got it. But if fans of your work come up to you as polite as can be, do you have to be a prick about it?

The point is, if Punk could be dismissive to a fan of his, how do you think he treated his bosses and co-workers? Though that shouldn’t have been enough to rob him of Wrestlemania, because he’s damn good at what he does. And it certainly shouldn’t have been enough for WWE medical folks to ignore a staph infection.

Now we have the shortest and most pointless Wrasslin’ Wednesday of all time because there’s nothing to talk about but two guys way richer than me who I probably wouldn’t get along with saying stuff about things.

Everyone makes me angry. See you next week.



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