Hate to break the news to you guys, but professional wrestling is scripted.
Shocking, I know.
Sarcasm aside, what keeps wrestling fans coming back is the athleticism, characters and, ultimately, the storylines that bring these aspects of the show together.
The beauty of watching wrestling when I was a kid was the unpredictable nature of it. From unforeseen heel turns to unexpected match results, you would tune in every week not knowing what the hell was coming next.
Now, it’s hard to watch the product and try to convince yourself that you don’t know what you’re about to see.
Somewhere along the line, the WWE lost its fastball in terms of unpredictability.
Could it be because of a stable of stale characters? It’s definitely a possibility. John Cena is the current WWE champion, and anyone that thought that he even had the slightest shot of losing his title has clearly not been watching.
And therein lies a major problem. The chief title has been reduced to a predictable farce of itself.
Even before this past Sunday’s Extreme Rules, it was easy to see the course that the company was taking with the WWE Championship. The Rock was obviously going to beat CM Punk at the Royal Rumble to setup a rematch against John Cena for the belt at WrestleMania. Fans were hoping for at least some sort of twist to that match but ultimately got the foreseeable result of Cena winning clean and The Rock raising his arm in victory.
Fast-forward to this past Sunday, and it was pretty evident to fans that Cena had no shot of losing only a month after he had won the title. It was also apparent that the momentum that Ryback had gained, coupled with a spotty PPV record, would have to result in something other than him losing upright. So the guess from many, including Bleacher Report’s own Donald Wood, was that the match would ultimately end in a draw.
And, lo and behold, we got exactly what everyone saw coming.
When a main event match’s result is being called by a majority of analysts and fans, you have major problems.
I’ve heard people put Cena in the same category as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock. He is certainly the face of the company, just as they were. The difference is that you know when he is going to win and when he is going to lose. His predecessors never gave fans that luxury.
Even at their peaks, there were never any guarantees as to what could happen within their matches. And that was the beauty of the Attitude era. You couldn’t see what was coming next.
The WWE really needs to take a look at the structure that it currently has in terms of storylines for the WWE champion. Cena, without question, deserves to be the titleholder. But he does not deserve the guarantee of holding the championship for an allotted period of time. That’s not even to say that he shouldn’t hold the title for the majority of the next year or so. There just needs to be some sort of monkey wrench thrown into the equation once in a while.
From what has been happening recently, I predict that John Cena will defeat Ryback in their scheduled ambulance match at Payback. I then see a return of CM Punk in the near future, culminating in a reigniting of his feud with the champ, which will ultimately lead us into SummerSlam.
If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong. But if I’m right, we have a major problem. It means that the course of the WWE Championship is so predictable, it can be charted out for almost an entire calendar year.
Here’s to hoping that I’m wrong.