Extreme Boredom

People have been wondering where I’ve been. I’ve been getting emails, tweets and messages on Facebook asking me what I’ve thought about the post-Wrestlemania / Brock Lesnar era taking place on WWE television these days.

I haven’t been answering. I haven’t been saying much. I haven’t been too interested in what’s going on. Frankly, I’ve been finding it hard to watch anything WWE lately. I haven’t been caring.

I’m well aware that Brock Lesnar has come back, and yes I’ve tuned in enough to see him F5ing Cena, cutting his pretaped promo and doing that awful contract signing segment. I saw Edge return to tell Cena that he needs to be the Cena he used to be (which I’m fairly certain is the same Cena we’re still watching.) Ultimately, I haven’t been pulled in.

There is some argument that could be made saying I’ve fallen victim to the infamous Wrestlemania hangover. I can’t argue against that, but to say I think that is only a small fraction of why I am not enthralled by current WWE programming.

I consider it more logical to chalc it up to several factors. After watching WWE for years, and seeing the past few where it has been, debatably, bouncing from good to dreadful, it can be difficult to replenish that interest which caused me to tune in in the first place.

Sure, I like Brock Lesnar and I popped just as loud as most people did when he arrived and wiped the floor with John Cena. Internally, I can’t help but wonder if this is half because of my interest in Lesnar and half because of my hatred for Cena. I watched Jericho smash a bottle of Punk’s head with as much interest as the next guy, and laughed just as hard when Jericho slipped in the fake liquor. Still, something is missing here for me as well.

So, what’s the problem? I’ll tell you. First and foremost, I just sat through an entire year of John Cena being the main event focus while not in the title chase and I’m simply not interested in watching it happen again. I don’t care how many times he makes his boo-boo face and puts a ridiculous looking chain around his neck. I’m tired of Cena and I thought, I hoped, I wished, I pleaded, that after Wrestlemania we’d get to see just a little less of this guy. Well, we’re seeing more. I can’t take it. I can’t take this guy.

I love the Rock, but wasn’t too into the angle because it involved Cena. I think Brock is awesome, but I’d rather watch him feud with Santino than John Cena. Cena has the magical ability to disrupt any sense of realism (I know, it’s fake, but you want suspended disbelief) that could exist without his BS. I can’t torture myself to watch this guy.

The Jericho / Punk thing was certainly interesting. I thought it was a little unnecessary to involve family members, but I did think it was funny because Jericho is a promo master and he sold it like gold. I thought Jericho breaking the bottle over Punk’s head was great. Then they had to do that angle with Punk coming out of the Pub which I found to be stupid. I thought they couldn’t get much stupider until I saw the retarded sobriety test angle. I changed channels back to the NHL Playoffs faster than it became clear Punk was only pretending.

These are two talented wrestlers, great promo men and interesting personalities who are trying to sell a match by acting like total goofball morons. It’s a sad state of affairs when the best way to sell what could be a fantastic match is to have them acting like children. Jericho comes off like he’s too stupid to see what’s happening, which is fine if you do it after the buildup, and Punk looks like a fool for playing along with it. Remember when he was all about pipebombs?

The rest of it, I’ll just run through quickly. If a Bella is Diva’s champion than Kharma better be coming back.. oh it didn’t matter, WWE could care less about the title so why should I? Orton vs Kane.. again.. really.. don’t do this to me. The Miz is challenging for the US title against the great champion of…. Santino. Right. Usually Santino is telling jokes, but here the joke is on us. I could go on, but why bother?

So, I’m trying WWE. I am. I’m trying to watch and I’m trying to care and I’m trying to fight through this, but they’re certainly not making it easy on me. Maybe I’m alone, and maybe you guys are loving this right now. I’m glad for you if you are, but I’m certainly struggling to keep my television tuned in. Maybe it will get better.

Elimination Lamer

WWE’s Elimination Chamber usually provides fans with two exciting, brutal matches where top stars from each brand step up and challenge for the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles. They are matches full of exciting spots where the superstars pull out all the stops. It’s rare that a chamber match fails to entertain, or at least, make the pay-per-view worth watching.

Last year’s Elimination Chamber matches saw Wade Barrett, Big Show, Drew McIntyre, Kane, Rey Mysterio and Edge from Smackdown and R-Truth, Randy Orton, Sheamus, John Morrison, CM Punk and John Cena from Raw. Pretty big names and fairly exciting matches, certainly entertaining and worth putting fifty dollars down.

2012 proves to be much less promising. The Raw chamber match will involve WWE Champion CM Punk defending against Chris Jericho, The Miz, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. This isn’t a bad lineup, although it is lacking somewhat in star power. Punk and Jericho are the two big names. The Miz, despite his previous run with the WWE title has been relegated to little more than a midcard jobber, for the time being. Dolph Ziggler was in the midst of a hot run when he lost to CM Punk at the Royal Rumble in a burial and then came into the Royal Rumble match to get his ass handed to him by Kharma, he hasn’t been the same since. R-Truth is clearly a mid-card comedy act. Sure, Truth has skill in the ring and can probably make it look good, but he certainly isn’t treated that way. Kofi, well Kofi has been branded a midcarder ever since his potential feud with Randy Orton was put on the back burner, Kofi has never full rebounded.

This match could be great and exciting, but does anyone truly believe that anyone other than Punk or Jericho has any chance of winning this match? If you’re constructing a match where the point is supposed to be that anyone could win, you might want to either fill the chamber with people the fans could believe might actually win, or actually push some of your participants so they feel like more of a threat! (I know, WWE, pushing is a sin for young talent.)

The match will probably still be great, but a lot of the fun is wondering who could walk out with the title. There’s always one or two people you know won’t win, but usually the chamber has three or four guys you think could take it. This match lacks that probability of a surprise finish.

So, the Raw chamber is looking all right and shows some potential. Turning our attention the Smackdown Chamber, it doesn’t take long before the head shaking begins. The Smackdown chamber consists of: World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, Great Khali and Santino. That’s right, Santino. Daniel Bryan has been booked as the run-away, scared heel who wins through nefarious means. Wade Barrett was receiving a nice push, but Randy Orton pretty much put an end to that. Big Show is.. well who knows what is going on with him from week to week? He went from feuding with Daniel Bryan to performing in random matches. Great Khali and Santino. A giant joke and a normal sized joke. Putting these two in the match immediately eliminates two participants as being likely to win. More on this later. Cody Rhodes has been extremely impressive in his Intercontinental Title run, but it seems incredibly unlikely that he gets the belt. Ultimately we’re left with a high probability that Bryan retains, and the rest of the guys just bounce around. There isn’t even anyone in there who is known for showing the flash and flare that comes along with Chamber matches. Is the Smackdown roster truly this shallow?

Khali and Santino. Here are two guys who haven’t been taken seriously in years and have been relegated to being jokes, literally jokes. These guys being in the Chamber match is not only an insult to people who are going to put their hard earned money down to buy this PPV, but also to other people on the roster who don’t get the opportunity to step up in their place. I can’t, for the life of me, understand the logic behind this. I could, however, see this being a curveball where something reminiscent of Edge occurs with a different wrestler (A returning Alberto Del Rio or Christian, maybe Mark Henry) assaults one of these guys on his way to the ring and takes his place. That, I could buy.

Either way, this years Elimination Chamber seems to be lacking something that they have had in previous years. Aside from the chamber matches, we’ve got John Cena feuding with Kane in an Ambulance match. As much as I enjoy Kane, this storyline has been so silly and full of so much overacting that it’s hard to take it seriously. Simultaneously, it’s hard to imagine Cena losing on his way into his Wrestlemania match with the Rock. Ultimately, does anyone really care what happens in this match?

There is a Diva’s title match on this show with Beth Phoenix defending the title against Tamina Snuka. This could really be an entertaining match, assuming WWE is willing to give it more than five minutes of time. This seems unlikely, but a guy can hope.

So that’s Elimination Chamber, 2012. It really speaks volumes about the current state of WWE. Nothing feels as special or important as it should, nothing feels like it is must-see TV. Nothing feels like it is at a place where it will blow your mind. The Royal Fumble started the year off on a slow step and if Elimination Chamber fails to deliver, the Road to Wrestlemania could be a detour.

Winning Predictions: RAW Chamber: Chris Jericho. Smackdown Chamber: Daniel Bryan. Cena vs Kane: Cena. Beth Phoenix vs Tamina: Beth Phoenix.

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