Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summerslam: Wyatt vs Jericho

On the night Chris Jericho found a way to hide yet another return to the WWE collectively we were all overjoyed at the prospect of who he was back to face. Bray Wyatt was that man and it seemed like a no-brainer can’t miss feud. It has not lived up to our collective imaginations and hopes for this feud. In fact, can we go as far as to say it has been bad?  The two will get a chance to make us change are minds at Summerslam where it does not take a rocket scientist to come to conclusion that Bray will win this one.

Jericho got a win from out of nowhere at Battleground taking out Bray with his “Code-Breaker” for the victory. In the build to Summerslam Jericho has won matches against Harper and Rowan to ban them from ringside leaving this a straight up one on one contest.

So where has this feud not clicked when it was widely thought of to be on paper a homerun. After all, you have two of the best talkers in wrestling trading verbal smack on each other. Yet this has just not hit on any level. Bray’s talk of Jericho not being able to save us all and not even being able to save himself has just not struck a chord with anyone. Wyatt in his latest promo suggests that Jericho has always been trying to be a hero and live up to his father who was if you didn’t know a pro athlete in the NHL with Rangers and Kings. Jericho has not seemed to have the comebacks we have come to expect from him. His line about following the buzzards and shoving them down Wyatt’s throat to leave him speechless after Summerslam was somewhat blah by his high standards.

In the ring, these two just do not seem to mesh at all for some reason. Which is even more mind boggling when you consider some of the people in Jericho’s history he has got great matches out of. The one that springs most to mind his match with Bill Goldberg. It was easily the best match in his career in WWE and Jericho was the guy that got it from him. Jericho also was able in more recently to make Fandango look like a million bucks at Wrestlemania in his debut. What the WWE did with that is unfortunate but the night after that Wrestlemania Fandango was a star.

Coming after a program with John Cena that did in some ways raise the level of Bray Wyatt, this seemed to be the perfect follow up for him. Facing a guy that unlike Cena would be more than willing to put him over and make him look good in doing so. Least that was the plan it seemed. Not saying that is not the goal of Jericho, it most certainly is. In fact, Jericho claims there were only two feuds that interested him for Wrestlemania 30 and that was against Daniel Bryan or Bray Wyatt. They both had their dance partners lined up so Jericho took a pass on this past Wrestlemania in New Orleans.

I think it goes back to something I talked about a few weeks ago on the Condo on the Moon Podcast. I am starting to question how good Bray actually is in the ring at this point. If you look at his history on the main roster in this gimmick, he has had more misses than hits in his individual matches in my view. Some of that not of his doing like his debut against Kane in that Ring of fire match. It was a dreadful match if you think back on it. His matches with Cena were not that great with the exception of the blow off to the Cena feud with the last man standing match.

His promos even do not seem as special as they once did, though I would argue he still is an amazing talent in that regard. He has the best entrance in wrestling today with creepy music and lantern now added with the audience participation of all the phone lights in the air. It makes for a breath-taking scene every time he comes to the ring.

Kevin Steen in his interview with that we linked to the story of his signing talked about wanting to work with Bray or against him in the future. Ironically, I said months ago when rumours first surfaced that Steen might be coming that working as part of the Wyatt’s might be the perfect role for him. It seems Kevin agrees with me. Make no mistake about the fact the success Bray Wyatt has had plays some role in the WWE considering a guy like Steen. Wyatt is never going be on the cover of "Muscle and Fitness," and I think it is safe to say neither will Kevin Steen. Still they don’t need to be and the fact they look different and have a different body type I view as an asset as long as it does not affect their work in the ring. I will say this right now without hesitation that Steen can work circles around Wyatt right now. Once he nails down a move set that the WWE can live with... he will be fine. Bray in-ring has not been as good as you might hope. He has a great finisher, a cool spider walk, and a great presence, but that is about it. He moves reasonably quickly for his size but I think lacks stamina to do it for long stretches.

Back to the Canadian that Bray is currently dealing with in Jericho and their up coming match at Summerslam. I really feel Bray needs to hit a home run in this match. If he fails to do so, no one is going to be blaming Jericho with his great history at being able to pull good matches out of almost anyone. He even had some decent matches with Kane if you can believe that. Do not believe me go spend $9.99 on the WWE Network and you will find evidence of this fact. Much like the pressure was on Bray Wyatt to deliver at Wrestlemania it is on him once again at Summerslam. You can debate how actually successful he was at Wrestlemania. The lucky thing for him is between the Daniel Bryan matches and the ending of the most famous streak in wrestling it kind of slipped under the radar that his match was not the best with John Cena.

Therefore, those buzzards had better lead to a good match for Wyatt or I am not sure how interested anyone will be in seeing him in a third match with Jericho, which is almost certainly the plan. Maybe the answer is Bray has to wrestle in brawling type stipulation matches not unlike what Mick Foley did to get over. The thing is can you have those kind of matches as often as Foley did in the modern PG WWE?  Another question when you look at Mick Foley these days would you want to do that even if you could? Foley is a man that smiles on the outside but has to live in constant pain. People who have had encounters with him always talk about how slow he moves around these days. This is what happens, when your career consists of about 1000 car crashes that masqueraded as wrestling matches.

In any case, Bray still can talk and that has a way of hiding many problems for the average fan. Something that Roman Reigns currently does not have in his back pocket. Nevertheless, Reigns seems to be improving in the ring slightly and his work on the microphone while not to the level of a great talker is improving. 

Finally, maybe it is just me but this latest Chris Jericho run does not have me excited either. Could it be possible that we have reached the point that Jericho is becoming just another part-timer that really does not need to be here anymore? That is probably to harsh, but Jericho is not getting any younger and just has not been the same this time around. His best interaction in this run in my opinion was when he came out and confronted Triple H and Stephanie as nod to the feud he use to have verbally with Stephanie in the “Attitude Era” which was great stuff. Unfortunately, not all of which is up on the network currently as of yet as $9.99 doesn’t get you what it use too. In any case, I do not want to be right about this, as Jericho has always been a favourite of mine even prior to coming to the WWE in 1999.

So maybe both guys have something to prove on Sunday!

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