Retirement Rumble 2012: The Flop

It seems like not matter how much things change, they constantly remain the same.  Take for example the push of young talent to title positions within the WWE right now - CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Beth Phoenix, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Epico and Primo.

Who would have though 5 years ago that two Ring of Honor alumnus would be sitting atop the WWE as their World champions?

This all sounds like progress, right?  A wrestler doesn't have to be based on their size so much as what they can provide to the company as a character, a performer, and as a worker.

Then Sheamus went and won the 2012 Royal Rumble match.  A guy who is liked because of his looks alone, despite the fact that his looks work sharply against him because of his lack of pigmentation.

There are a number of things working against Sheamus, such as his lack of character and his weak charisma instantly spring to mind.  He lacked the intimidation factor to carry himself over as a heel, but as a face he is somehow gaining steam with the crowds for reasons that are unknown to me.

What also hurts Sheamus, at least in my mind, is the fact that he's a Triple H guy and is notably being pushed because of his ties to the new COO of the WWE.  Instead of naturally getting over with the crowd because he has been honing his craft as an athlete and as a performer he's being pushed, continuously since his debut, as a result of his friendship with a man that has the power and pull to ensure a spot for him on the card.

Some would argue that's not true because Drew McIntyre is also a Triple H guy but is currently struggling to get time on events and is locked in a storyline that has him being defeated by just about everyone and their grandmothers.  What's missing from that equation is the fact that these two aren't the only examples of Triple H's influence aiding their spots, because Dave Batista and Randy Orton also showcase just how much pull he has.

So why do I have a problem with Sheamus?  Aside from his weak look and weak character, I take great offense to him being shoved down my throat simply because he is a crony of Triple H's.

This demonstrates the same lesson we've learned before back in 2004 - that it's not about how hard you work but rather who you know that gets you ahead in life.  That goes against everything we're taught growing up.

Remember when you were told, "if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you put your mind to?" This goes right in the face of that and reminds us that this world is cruel, unfair, and unjust - that only with the right connections can you truly achieve your goals.

At the moment, it's likely that Sheamus will be facing off with Daniel Bryan for the championship at Wrestlemania XXVIII - what sickens me about is here is a prime example of going in the face of hard work.

Daniel is a hard working performer who has struggled and conquered the biggest hurdle of his career to even receive a contract with the WWE - his looks.  He's too small, standing in at 5'10", a far cry from the Hulk Hogan's and Randy Orton's the WWE is so used to pushing as their stars.

He lacks quite a bit of personality, as well.  Coming off as stiff in his delivery and dry in his presence, it's hard to imagine fans getting behind him when it's time for him to speak.

Sounding familiar?  It should, because these are all the same qualities that best described the late Chris Benoit.  Both were respected because of their dedication to their craft as athletes more so than their character.

What's also disturbing to me is how both men's title reigns are just as comparable as Benoit was never given much room to grow as a main eventer, constantly stuck in a feud with Shawn Michaels and Triple H throughout most of his reign - thus far Bryan is also stuck having to face off with The Big Show and an injured Mark Henry.

This isn't to say I think Daniel should be off and about defending his title against everyone, but if his only notable feuds surrounding his title are going to be rematches against the former champions then there's not really room to see him grow in the main event.  This was problematic for Benoit, as well, as he was never placed near the WWE or World Heavyweight titles since dropping to Randy Orton.

Personally, I'm not willing to buy a pay-per-view that features one of Triple H's friend again in a position to take a title from a person who has been working against the industry and its standards to get to where they are.

Things aren't really changing if we're falling back into the same pattern we've already lived out not even a decade ago.

All that's missing for this full circle is CM Punk having a feud with a long time tag team champion mid-carder that is suddenly flung into the stardom of the main event scene.  Thankfully there hasn't been much of a tag team division for the past five years to raise this concern.


Anonymous said...

I think we need to wait for Triple H to die before WWE could get any good.

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