Like many of the readers and listeners to my syndicated Hart Beat Radio program, I’m also trying to wrap my head around the logic of the main event of this weekend’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view main event – which has Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, the Miz and reigning world champion – John Cena squaring off against each other, with the winner earning the right to face Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33.
I pointed out, last week – when it appeared that a John Cena/ Orton world title clash at Wrestlemania was a foregone conclusion that the match didn’t really grab me – given that they’ve already worked with each other countless times and there are no prevailing hot issues between them, either. I have no idea whether the string pullers in WWE headquarters read my diatribe or, perhaps, saw the writing on the wall themselves, but in any case, they seem to have changed plans on the fly, and have now orchestrated this storyline which entails Cena, the champion, and a bunch of other contenders, including Corbin, Ambrose, Styles, Wyatt, and the Miz, squaring off this weekend in an Elimination chamber match, with the winner getting the opportunity to face Randy Orton at Mania.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but does it not cheapen the hell out of the propriety of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to be having the reigning champ (Cena) being thrown in, with five other challengers in a gimmick match, with the winner earning the right, to face Orton – who’s a mere challenger himself.
Am I missing something here?
Putting things into perspective, can you imagine if back in the 70’s, when Muhammad Ali was the heavyweight boxing champion, if he and other formidable foes, such as Smokin’ Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Ken Norton were made to square off in some kind of elimination tournament, with the winner to face Gerry Cooney.
It’s been widely speculated that Cena will be dropping his belt this weekend, with the common consensus suggesting that Corbin will emerge victorious in the Elimination Chamber charade. Far be it from me to be questioning the impeccable judgment of the enlightened manipulators in Titan Tower, but if that proves to be the case, why the hell didn’t they just leave the damn strap on Styles – who was doing a damn good job with it, for the time being, and have him do the honors at WrestleMania, if they so desired. At that point, they could have primed Cena, if they so desired, to challenge the winner.
I, frankly, have no idea what the ostensible plan is for the elimination chamber match, nor do I have any particular favorites from that group. About all I can hope, is that they keep in mind that – regardless of whether people perceive the WWE to be legit or not, it’s still vital that they perpetuate and uphold the ostensible propriety of the world title. Contrary to what some of the spin doctors in Stamford seem to think, a great deal of history and tradition, not to mention the blood, sweat and tears of some of the greatest workers in the history of our business have gone into making the WWE world title the iconic prize that it is, and those responsible for orchestrating the schematics should never forget or overlook that important variable. Not that they’d be heeding the advice of some disenchanted cynic from the Hart Family, but I implore them to do “what’s best for business.”
On another front, I’m told that Universal champion, Kevin Owenz – who, I might add, has been doing a terrific job, will likely be dropping his title to Goldberg at this weekend’s pay per view, in order to ostensibly add some impetus to the looming clash between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, also at WrestleMania.
I can see the apparent rationale in endeavoring to make the Goldberg/Lesnar showdown as attractive as possible, but given the fact that the previous two matches between them were anti-climactic squash matches that sure as hell didn’t whet anybody’s appetite to want to see them clash again, I have doubts that sacrificing Kevin Owens, as well as the Universal title, just to accommodate two aging part-time “superstars”, such as Goldberg and Lesnar, is a prudent move. Aside from that, it tends to be something of a slap in the face to not only Kevin Owens, but to many other hard working, dedicated guys, who went to great lengths to get that belt over in the first place.
In any case, as with the world title, I’m hopeful that the powers that be in the WWE’s booking department, strive to perpetuate the integrity and image of the Universal title by having a plausible and somewhat legitimate finish, devoid of bullshit and the usual contrived contingencies and whatnot.
On that somewhat reticent note, I’ll wrap up this diatribe, but will be watching, with intrigue, what happens this weekend. I’ll look forward to catching up with you all next week, for my perspectives on what transpires this weekend.
In the meantime (and in between time, as my old crony, Ed Whalen used to say), take care and have a great week!
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