Saturday, June 21, 2014

WWE's Uncertain Future Continues Heading To Summerslam

What a difference a few months can make in wrestling and in the WWE specifically. It was a long battle, but Daniel Bryan got his Wrestlemania moment. A bad program with Kane and neck injury and WWE in a sense was turned on its ear.

While it is easy to cast stones at the WWE you have to admit there has been a ton of turmoil surrounding this company. It started after the Royal Rumble where fans revolted and demanded Bryan to be placed in the title picture. At the same time CM Punk angry over a number of issues decides to go back to Chicago and call it a day. After months of silence he finally came out and declared himself retired. He was also getting married as we would learn to the top woman in company A.J Lee. She beat the odds only to lose the title the next night to Paige and fade away with Punk

First it was to move to Chicago to live with him, than an announcement of a wedding that took place somewhere in Chicago last weekend. The latest is the A.J is expecting and thus will not be back for sometime if at all. It will definitely not be before July in which C.M Punk’s deal is supposed to end if the pregnancy talk is true. Punk's deal coming to an end is even is in doubt with the WWE’s recent actions with Rey Mysterio’s contract, as they rolled it over stated that Rey owed the company time based on injuries. In theory with Punk walking out they could use the same clause to keep Punk under contract assuming this language was in his deal as well. It has all led to a lot of fans picking sides and some turning their back on Punk stating that he did the same to them. While others were just happy for a guy that seemed miserable when he left, finding some happiness since that time even if it didn’t include wrestling.  

There was recent speculation that WWE tried to get Punk to return for Payback in Chicago once they had learned of the injury to Bryan but were unsuccessful. Who knows and at this point who really cares. I am convinced that Punk will not make a move until his current deal expires so he can craft and entirely new deal from scratch.  There is also the off chance that Punk is serious about being retired and done with wrestling. He had always said he would be gone long before anyone expected him to be. About the only thing not on his resume that might interest him is a Wrestlemania Main Event. I could see that being something Punk might be interested in.

I maintain the Main Event for Wrestlemania 32 in Cowboy’s Stadium needs to be Austin vs. CM Punk. It’s a year and half away but this would be the WWE attempting to have the largest crowd in their history for this event should it be the venue for Wrestlemania 32 as it has long been speculated to be.

WWE have much more short term concerns to deal with. Mainly the lack of success for the WWE Network in the early stages, not drawing as big of numbers domestically as they would have hoped. In addition to losing staff over at the network, the WWE also fired their head writer in creative. In addition to the releases of talent last Thursday. Changes are happening all over the place it seems. From the outside looking in it looks like some organized chaos, but at the end of the day still chaos. This likely all sparked by the huge negative reaction to the WWE’s new T.V deal that was expected to double if not triple and even had a personal guarantee from Vince McMahon himself. It didn’t happen while the WWE did get a bump up it was not to the level promised. The low network numbers combined with this news sent the WWE Stock that once had climbed above 30 dollar mark down to below 10 before stabilizing slightly above that number. It closed this past Friday at 11.66 cents in U.S funds.

The one group that has so far seem to navigate all the land mines and benefit in this time of Chaos has been The Shield. They now have been broken up into 3 separate acts as individuals which given the WWE’s lack of people the crowd is invested in makes some great sense.

What originally was thought of has trying to put a band-aid on the situation of Daniel Bryan’s injury may not be anymore. WWE has pulled him from all shows in July and now they are hoping he can be back for Summerslam. Who ends up winning the WWE Title at Money in the Bank might tell you more about Daniel Bryan’s health status than anything.

If it is not one of the old guard and it is in fact a Roman Reigns, Cesaro or a Bray Wyatt it might be an indication that Bryan is not doing so well on his road to recovery. If the Belt were to go on Cena or Orton it might be a sign Bryan is looking on schedule to come back. Losing a title for ether at this stage of the game is not a big deal.

Brock Lesnar seems to be the "wildcard" in all of this, as he was suppose to be taking on the WWE World Champion at Summerslam and that was suppose to Daniel Bryan. Now what happens with Brock? Do they flip his dates around and we see him show up next Sunday? It is possible, but Brock’s original plan was to return for Summerslam and the PPV after that. Brock is very set in only doing his required dates and anything beyond that you are going to have to pay. Given the sweet deal that he already has who can really blame him.

If Roman Reigns were to become the Champion does he face Brock or does he face Triple H as the storyline has been leading us to believe? Cesaro seems the likely fit to face Brock in a feud with Heyman as his manger. It could be the launching point to turn Cesaro baby face finally. Some will say it is too soon and do you really want him to beat Brock which he almost has too in this situation if not at Summerslam definitely on the next PPV.

Bray Wyatt could be the best option as if Daniel Bryan is ready they have some history already and if not a final battle in an “I Quit Match” with Cena wouldn’t be a horrible option for the Title. This despite the two having a long feud, that we all have grown kinda sick of, but if Bray could make Cena quit in a title match that would be worth it. Although the chances we get that finish are probably slim.

In any case if you thought the road to Wrestlemania was a rocky bumpy and unpredictable ride, this one to Summerslam might be even more interesting. Having some lasting impact on the immediate future of the company in the short term and perhaps long term, depending on how it all shakes out.

It is ironic in the predetermined world that is pro wrestling, so many things that could not have been predetermined have impacted on this company in major ways in 2014. WWE has had to endure a lot of shots in 2014 the difference between them and everyone else in the wrestling business is they have more than enough money to take the shots and move forward.

It is not to say this isn’t a pretty vital time for the company because it really is as they are being stretched to their limits in a lot of ways.  

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