Haven’t We Met Before?

It's happening again...

It’s happening again…

Do you ever get that feeling that you’ve lived this moment before? You know the feeling that things are repeating themselves in your life? I’ve been getting that feeling a lot lately when I watch WWE. From the rebirth of Rude and Perfect in Dolph Ziggler, the modern version of Goldust in Fandango, Waylon Mercy coming back as Bray Wyatt; the past seems to be showing up a lot more often on television these days. It’s not always a bad thing, but at the same time it makes me feel like we have some very unimaginative people running the creative process for WWE currently. The business goes in cycles, but should it also go in circles all the time as well?

The most recent thing that’s got me thinking of the past is the current WWE title storyline between Ryback and Cena. The only thing we’re missing is an IC title and some face paint on Ryback, and some horrible mic work by him to boot. Well, ok, we’ve got the last one, but seriously am I the only one seeing something I have already seen back in the early 90’s happening in 2013? While the villain may be a bit more evil, a bit more “bad” than the past version, it seems to be ripped from the exact same playbook, and it doesn’t sit too well with me. Actually, judging by last night’s ratings it’s not sitting well with other people either.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m seeing a lot of the old Hogan versus Warrior story here, all the way down to the constant attempts by Ryback to bring up a massive loogie when he’s staring down Cena. Warrior wasn’t known to be the best worker in the ring, called reckless, dangerous even at times, and we’ve all seen that from Ryback. Warrior would have his rambling, incoherent promos where you had to ask if yourself if her were drunk or high when he started talking, Ryback CLEARLY suffers from the same problem. The one thing Ryback has that Warrior didn’t (not that we could ever tell anyway) is his catchphrase. Every time I hear Ryback rules I picture the family of bullies in Billy Madison, O’Doyle rules!

John Cena is obviously the Hogan of this era, unquestionably. He’s making more money for himself and the company than any other worker currently. He’s the “ultimate good guy” who can never be seen as a true potential villain in any situation. He’s got the limited moveset that has the setup moments for fans to cheer specifically for what move is coming next. Cena has the “you can’t see me” while Hogan had the “I can’t hear you” motion. Hell, lately Cena’s even been wearing yellow as his primary color. There’s no question about it, Cena is the new Hogan and at WrestleMania this year Rock essentially passed the torch back to the cartoon character generation after Hogan passed it to him so many years back.

I can’t take this feud seriously because it’s such an over the top mimic of one that was such a big deal so far back in the company’s history. Hogan versus Warrior was THE feud back in the day, it was the past decade versus the new decade, old school versus new school, and I sincerely hope Ryback isn’t a sign of things to come in the world of pro wrestling. Love or hate Cena all you want, but I hope he holds onto the title at Extreme Rules and rights a wrong made so many years back when Vince let Warrior take the title off Hogan on the biggest show of the year. There are so many people with more talent that Ryback on the main roster currently who should be getting this shot, I hope he’s pushed aside and someone like Antonio Cesaro gets a chance to enter the main event after this pay-per-view. At the very least, give Ryback a manager, someone to cut promos for him for god’s sake. If I have to sit through another of his boring rants I swear I’m going to hijack Cena’s plane, knock out all the pilots and put the thing into a nosedive into parts….crap I got caught in a time warp there, my apologies.

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  • Van Hammer

    I marked out for the plane nosedive…. Warrior was insane. I heard an interview with Cena once where he said, “What I am doing now works now. But 5 years from now I could be leg dropping Savage.” Hogan was handed the torch from Andre to usher in the gimmicky 80s and him to Rock and him to Cena so I think your 100% correct here.

  • Darren

    I agree with some of your similarities except for one. The Warror crazy rant promos are legendary. Remember those weren’t scripted he did them of the top of his head. Call me crazy but I actually understood what he was saying. Ryback on the underhand should not be in the same ring as Cena. All he does is pace back and forth, growl and say feed me more and finish it. Now he’s added Ryback Rules. Rules what losing championship matches on paperviews. Creative team couldn’t come up with a better catchphrase than that. I would rather see a heel Miz go after Cena. He could play up how he owns Cena and rub it in how he beat him at Wrestlemania.