For several weeks now WWE has been aggressively promoting $9.99 in an effort to boost network subscribers. Indeed it has been pushed so hard that not only is WWE making a joke out of it but $9.99 is now getting over with live audiences who say it along with whatever talent mentions it, usually Hulk Hogan. However the real interesting number in WWE right now is not the price of the network but the number(s) 16:o6. No this is not a Bible verse intended to get someone over or replicate Stone Cold Steve Austin but is in fact the time it took for Brock Lesnar to obliterate John Cena at SummerSlam. For over 9 years WWE has always pushed and protected Cena above all else but at SummerSlam WWE did something different and made Cena look as weak as he ever has in his 12 year TV stint. Unfortunately WWE have booked the rematch for the upcoming Night Of Champions so the questions are, how does WWE book the match just 5 weeks removed from the one sided drubbing that was SummerSlam and who goes over?
Now I have no real issue with how the last match between Brock and Cena was booked unlike some other fans. As I wrote in a previous article, read here, WWE should be applauded for trying something different rather than the same formula that they have relied upon for so long. However with trying something new means stepping out side of ones comfort zone and it appears already that WWE feel the need to jump back to what they know and trust already.
Personally I thought it was good that WWE didn’t book Cena at the after SummerSlam Raw and had sell the beating that Lesnar had dished out the previous evening. All too often when Cena has lost a big match he has come out the next night on Raw smiling and joking like if nothing happened, so it was refreshing that he sold his loss to Lesnar and the best way to do that was by not appearing. However something happened between Raw and the following week as Cena was not only booked on the show, to face Bray Wyatt, but also had announced his rematch against Lesnar at Night Of Champions. Now what happens backstage at WWE is a mystery to most fans and even to those who work for the company but at a guess Cena was reinserted so quickly due to the ratings slightly dropping after SummerSlam. Cena could/should have been off TV for at least another week but instead not only returned vowing vengeance against Lesnar but also smashed Bray Wyatt in much the same way Lesnar had him. It was almost as if WWE felt the need to push the restart button had sacrificed, the once promising Wyatt, just to rebuild Cena as quickly as possible.
Looking at what Cena did to Wyatt on Raw one gets the impression that we will not be seeing this, the above picture, again at Night Of Champions. WWE seem more intent on given Cena more of the Lions share of offence this time round, for if they don’t and Lesnar obliterates Cena again, highly unlikely I know, then what does that say about the rest of the roster, most of whom Cena has previously gone through like a hot knife through butter? Are WWE even aware of what impact it will have on the perception of the other talent? Or are they too focused on rehabilitating Cena ASAP before Nigh Of Champions?
At this stage I would also like to address something else that has been asked constantly which is why didn’t WWE book someone else to face Lesnar at the upcoming Pay-per-view. To which I answer WHO? Who is there on the current roster that is A) A big enough star to face Lesnar and be a credible challenger? B) Be able to take a loss to Lesnar and not be knocked down the card? or C) Beat Lesnar and carry the championship as a headline act? We all know the answer and that is no one but John Cena. Of course some will say Roman Reigns and I have no doubt his time will come but unlike the Cena entrance theme his time is not now.
With WWE wanting fans to (re)subscribe to the network they felt obligated to produce the biggest match possible and after the post SummerSlam ratings dip it was always going to be a rematch. Also they couldn’t not have the biggest title in the company not defended at a show called Night Of Champions. Simply put that is WWE’s fault for not building stars in the 9 years that Cena has been sat at the top of the mountain. There was always going to be a long term price to pay by sacrificing everyone to Cena and WWE are now paying it and with Night Of Champions looming they have the problem of who wins and how?
Most fans believe Lesnar will win and hold the strap until Wrestlemania where he will face either Roman Reigns or the The Rock allegedly. This creates the issue of inactivity as far as the title is concerned. Lesnar only wrestles at PPV’s and certainly wont work any house shows, so WWE would have to find another way to shift tickets etc for these shows. Not to mention that when Rock was a part time champion fans began to turn on the whole thing. Being a part time wrestler is one thing but being a part time champion is different, if you have that belt then fans expect to see you at least turn up to Raw as the bare minimum. Alternatively if Cena walks out of the Bridgestone Arena as champion it will render SummerSlam and the breaking of Undertaker’s streak pointless. This is the predicament WWE finds itself in that its almost a no win situation no matter who goes over at Night Of Champions. Worse if ratings continue to slide as they did this week then what happens at Night Of Champions could become the biggest dilemma of all for WWE.
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