Ben Wyatt's Low Cal Calzone Zone
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Golfing with Stephen Hawking, he lied about his handicap. Didn't need a golf cart though, I just sat in his lap.
Re: Gotta give some props to WWE for this
They're slowly working harder to establish their champions as dominators in each division, e.g Bryan and Kane picking up wins against combinations of uppercard workers as well as established teams, Cesaro working short enough matches that establish his dominance whilst still serving a purpose in not being a total squash etc.
The problem is though neither Sheamus or Punk have been put in a position where their title programs have been treated as well as they should be. Between Sheamus having a sterile program with Del Rio and his character becoming overbearingly cheesy and cartoony compared to the initial face turn in July of 2011, and Punk forced to play second fiddle to Cena's feuds neither title still really feels as special as it should do, which is a shame because both Sheamus and Punk from an in ring perspective have done really well to carry themselves as credible champions fending off challenge after challenge. Sheamus has had the Bryan matches, the Ziggler matches, the Jericho SD match, the Tensai mini series, the Del Rio feud wasn't stellar but the matches were by no means horrible, just average. Even the Barret program has produced some very stellar TV matches and Punk has had some really top notch matches in his run, even if 90% of the feuds have been poorly written and booked to get the audience to care.
I guess what I'm saying is that WWE is taking a step in the right direction by making their champions have established reigns instead of hot-shotting the belt from person to person. However, in order for championship reigns to truly become special, more thought has to go not just into the booking and writing of the characters and feuds, but also in establishing contenders for eventual matches. This is most pressing for Cesaro and Bryan/Kane. Cesaro's matches on Raw have been really well booked in making him look dominant and a class above each opponent whilst still being competitive enough that they're not a bogstandard squash. However WWE also need to be booking the likes of Kidd, Gabriel, Christian (upon return), Dibiase and other lowercard babyfaces better so that fans can get invested in each of them and then build to an eventual Cesaro title match. If they don't work better at establishing possible contenders, then Cesaro is merely having good matches with guys the audience have little reason to believe as a biable threat, and therefore it'll lessen whatever impact and momentum he could build for himself.
Cena's reign from September 06-October 07 and Batista's reign from April 05-January 06 are how you book long reigns which actually serve a purpose in developing the prestige of the champion and the title. Cena's feuds against Umaga, HBK, Orton, Lashley and Khali were booked well enough that you got invested in the program and match, and the title was firmly established as the centre of the feud: added to that the love/hate divide in the Cena character as well as WWE's resolve to make him the star attraction of the show, and the title has never looked as good as it has done during that reign.
Punk, Sheamus, Cesaro and Bryan/Kane can all do their bit to produce good matches, good performances and good segments but until creative and the commentators do a better job at working on the challengers and getting the wrestlers over its not looking likely that any of the champions will breach that glass ceiling and truly elevate their championships, regardless of how well each is performing.