The following is an old post from my previous blog, and I decided it was one of several posts I want to bring back. This is my history as a fan of wrestling. BEWARE: This post is very long. (TL; DR version: I like wrestling. Get it, got it, good.)
Okay, I first and foremost want to say that I don’t exactly know what this post is going to be just yet. I kind of wanted to write about my past as a fan of WWE and of being a fan of the wrestlers that I consider to be “my guys.” Everyone has “their guys” – the one guy that you cheer for over any other, no matter who they’re facing. There are always other wrestlers as well, and I will mention those during the course of this blog, or blog series, whichever one happens. I don’t know if this is going to be one big thing, or several. But we’ll see. If it’s one blog, you may want to take breaks.
In my eleven years watching wrestling, there has always been one wrestler that I’ve cheered over any other. Those wrestlers are Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton, and now C.M. Punk. Other wrestlers that will be included in these posts will be (or for some, probably be in this) The Rock, Stone Cold, Edge, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Undertaker. Maybe some others will, I don’t know. But those are the ones I’m sure will get mentioned, or probably get mentioned.
I started watching wrestling religiously in August or September 2001. I had seen bits and pieces of stuff from 1999 up until that point, but it would only be if I stumbled upon it on tv. I didn’t know when their shows were on on what stations. I guess at 14 I still didn’t know how a tv worked or something. >.> The first match I’d ever seen was The Rock vs. Mankind in a ladder match sometime in 1999, and it was one of the most awesome things I’d ever seen. I can’t remember seeing anything between then and part of the Raw where Triple H originally tore his quad in May 2001. (I remember exactly where I was in my room of my old house at the time when I saw it). A few weeks later, I stumbled upon an episode of Sunday Night Heat where they were hyping up the King of the Ring PPV that was about to start, and with my complete lack of any knowledge of the wrestling world, I decided that Stone Cold vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit for the WWF Championship was the most important thing ever and I just had to see it, so I asked (several times) to order the PPV, and eventually we did. I don’t think we got all of the show, but there was enough for the main event and Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon I believe. (The match where this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB4qOI7xxn0 )
A month or two later, I finally learned how tvs worked and knew when the shows were on. Immediately The Rock became my favorite wrestler because of the ladder match I had seen before. (I can never hate The Rock as he’s what made me a fan, although he should NOT beat C.M. Punk for the title. I will also always like ladder matches for similar reasons). Unfortunately, I jumped into wrestling a little late to be part of The Rock or Stone Cold bandwagon of awesomeness, as both were in their last couple of years in the company. Even if they were the biggest things in wrestling, I can’t really say I was there for the best of it.
Side Story: Some of the reasons I started watching wrestling were because my best friend Tom watched it, and my sister had even watched it before I had. I don’t think she watched it a lot, but she had seen it with some friends probably. Also it was around the time of my parent’s divorce and I was ANGRY. (Yea, I was one of those kids) Instead of doing bad things, I channeled my anger through watching wrestling. And while I was probably still angry, it helped.
While The Rock is what got me into wrestling, he was never really “my guy.” What drew me in when I saw the ladder match was how ridiculous the ladder matches are. I wasn’t drawn in to wrestling from legitimate wrestling, it was jumping off of ladders and stuff like that that made me like it. Now, I’ve evolved from the wrestling fan that just wants to see violence since then, and can appreciate any kind of wrestling. But it was ladder matches that made me a fan, and what follows from that is high fliers, so Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, and Edge were my go to guys, and then Rey Mysterio in 2002.
While Jeff and Edge (Edge was less of a high flyer, but he was in lots of ladder matches) were both favorites, my first #1 guy was Rob Van Dam. He and Jeff did lots of simlar daredevil type moves, but I’m sorry Jeff – you just didn’t do any Van Daminators. RVD was also in WWE a lot longer than Jeff at that point, as Jeff was gone within a couple years for his first run in TNA.
In 2002, I got my first taste of Triple H when he returned from his quad injury. I was immediately a fan, and his return might still be the most epic return in terms of crowd noise I’ve ever seen. But he turned heel in late 2002, and I’ve pretty much never liked him since then. It’s funny – until 2004, I hated who I was supposed to, liked who I was supposed to like. And then when I started to actually be a fan of Randy Orton when he was still a heel, that changed. But the only one who has basically stayed as someone I hate, or now just don’t really care for, is Triple H. I hated him when he was always World Heavyweight Champion, then when he was the guy who continuously buried Randy Orton, and now I just don’t care. I respect him. I don’t like him.
Anyways, back to 2002. Some wrestlers, like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, returned. I didn’t like Eddie in the beginning because he immediately took RVD’s IC title, but that only lasted a couple months. By their ladder match (big surprise), I don’t know if I was a fan, but I didn’t dislike him anymore. I became a fan once Los Guerreros happened, even though I’ve never been and never will be a Chavo fan.
Side Story: Around this time, wrestling almost controlled my life, so to speak. It still does to a lesser extent now, but not like it did then. Everything was awesome to me and I didn’t understand quality of the matches being more important. I had to see every PPV, no matter what. The weekend of the PPVs I would always be so incredibly bored, including during school. I remember for Unforgiven 2003 I had a huge headache the entire weekend waiting for it.
Hulk Hogan made a comeback. After he and Edge lost the tag titles I proceeded not to care.
Shawn Michaels returned. It unfortunately didn’t mean anything to me. What’s funny about HBK is that he’s never been “My Guy” but I’d still consider him the best wrestler of all time. I became a fan the first time I saw him wrestle, though. The first elimination chamber is still the best one.
I HATED Chris Jericho for like, forever. Nowadays I look back at that and I would probably consider it the most shameful thing I’ve done as a wrestling fan. Hating him even though I was supposed to hate him. How dare me, right? It’s not so much that I was supposed to, but I just found him so boring. And I can’t believe that now. And I don’t remember if him turning face even changed my opinion all too much before his first departure. There were some really good matches he had, yes – but I don’t know if at that point I was into “Great Match” as opposed to “So and So better win.”
Side story: As will any wrestling fan, when you first start watching wrestling, you have to accept that the non-wrestling fan world will automatically say “You know it’s fake, right?” the first chance that they get. When I started watching, I didn’t want to believe it. I got angry. Eventually it goes from angry, to “Well, it kind of has to be.” It does, because they have set storylines. It’s not so much that it’s fake. It’s not fake. It’s predetermined finishes. That doesn’t make it less of a sport. The moves still hurt. It still takes tons of athleticism to do. It’s more of a sport than some you see on tv. To the people who say stuff like that – they just don’t get it. They never will. You either get it, or you don’t. You either understand the story being told in a match or not. That’s what the UFC people don’t understand – UFC is just a fight. Why they’re fighting, nobody knows. What’s the story behind the match, what’s the story inside their ring, nobody knows. That’s because there is none. UFC also costs tons of money for short fights. You know why in wrestling. You know the story being told in wrestling. And the best wrestling matches, you can show to someone without the actual buildup, and it will still be great. The best of the best, you don’t need to know the story. Go watch Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker or C.M. Punk vs. John Cena and find out.
Consider this a snack break. Go get something, I’m not anywhere near done.
I wasn’t so much a fan of Kurt Angle at any point, although I’ve always recognized him as a great performer. He is one of the best, though.
Brock Lesnar happened. I hated him unless he was a face.
I know I’m deviating from just talking about Rob Van Dam for most of the first part of the post, but he was basically just in midcard land for most of his WWE career. Winning IC Titles and Tag Titles with various partners, like Booker T and Rey Mysterio.
Randy Orton debuted in 2002, and while I had nothing against him, he was a rookie and I didn’t really care about him. He was just kind of there. In 2003, he came back from injury and was part of Evolution, along with Batista, Triple H, and Ric Flair. Then he and Batista both got hurt in the same match against the Dudleys, including a Dudley in that as well. He came back and I still wasn’t too into him, and was more annoyed when he took the IC Title from Rob Van Dam at the end of the year.
Edge injured his neck in the beginning of 2003 and was out for a year.
By the end of 2003 and start of 2004, things were mainly about Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit when Eddie won the WWE Championship, and the road Chris Benoit had to the World Title was a perilous one, as I remember Paul Heyman making Benoit’s life a living hell at the end of 2003.
I was a John Cena fan. I’m not proud of it, but I was. The heel rapper gimmick was great. Him picking up Big Show for the first of 84939237333849835893 times was moderately impressive. But only the first time. When was the first time? Tribute to the Troops 2003. Basically ten years ago. It’s 2012 now and they still think it’s impressive.
Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble in 2004 after entering #1 (I know WWE would have you believe it was Big Show) and went on to have quite possibly the best WM main event of all time with Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
JBL won the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero, and I HATED HIM. I hated him on the level I hated Triple H. But the difference was that I had respect for Triple H, and had none for JBL. JBL was so incredibly boring as a wrestler. When he came back in 2007 and beyond, I was at least able to recognize as a great character and he could talk very well, but his matches were always so boring. I appreciate him now from what we get these days, and I’m glad to have him back as a commentator. But before he returned from his first run as a commentator I didn’t like him whatsoever.
Bad Blood 2004 is when I officially became a fan of Randy Orton in his match against Shelton Benjamin; I probably credited the awesomeness of the match to both men, but that’s when I became a fan. Shelton was also great. You’d probably have thought the Hardcore Match with Mick Foley at Backlash would’ve done it, but it didn’t. It probably helped, though.
At this point, I would probably consider RVD and RKO to both be on the same level for me. Orton dropped the IC Title to Edge (who had returned a few months earlier and decided he was taking out Evolution by himself, which was awesome) a month later, and then Orton won the World Title from Chris Benoit and turned face a week later after Evolution destroyed him. A lot of people hate his face turn here, but I didn’t. I loved it. I still do. He got the Burn in My Light theme song which is still one of my favorite themes ever. His vendetta against Evolution was one of the best things I’d seen and led to one of my favorite Raw moments ever, and one of my favorite Survivor Series Tag Matches, right behind Survivor Series 2001’s. Unfortunately he lost the belt and somehow they decided Batista was a bigger draw and gave him the push Orton should’ve had, and Triple H started burying Orton pretty much any chance he got – starting with taking the title from him and not losing it back at Royal Rumble 2005.
Side Story: Survivor Series has always been my favorite PPV. Any matches that involve eliminating multiple opponents have always been my favorites, so Survivor Series has always been #1, and Royal Rumble #2. WrestleMania may always be WrestleMania, but not all of them have been epic. Maybe Survivor Series and Royal Rumble became my favorites because I always had so much trouble in the beginning actually seeing them live. SS 2001 we didn’t order, either because we couldn’t, or something screwed up. I bought the dvd and the main event was amazing. RR 2002 we ordered, but the cable company failed and we missed part of it. SS 2002 I had gone to my friend Rick’s house to watch, but they failed to order it before I got there and for whatever reason couldn’t when I was there. I then proceeded to call my mom to pick me up to go home and got grounded after three calls because no one answered the damn phone. I had gotten my dad to tape it at my stepmom’s parents house and taped it, and now it’s one of few shows I have on VHS. It’s lucky it’s one of the best PPVs I’ve ever seen.
Rob Van Dam was injured in the beginning of 2005. I believe I saw the injury happen live at a Smackdown House Show in Chicago. I haven’t been to a House Show since, but I will be in a week. Weird that I remember that now. He was out for quite some time – I don’t remember when he returned. Wikipedia says it was at Royal Rumble 2006, which sounds about right.
Randy Orton was also injured in the beginning of 2005 after he turned heel again, the platform of him doing so was him RKO’ing Stacy Keibler. What a wonderful way to do that. Not.
John Cena won the WWE Championship for the first time in 2005. Unfortunately I was happy about it. Looking back, he did six moves to win that match against JBL.
2005 wasn’t really a good year at all. It featured John Cena’s and Batista’s original title runs, both of which lasted way too long. I may have been a fan of it in the beginning, but by the time Cena got Jericho fired and defeated Kurt Angle at Unforgiven 2005, the Cena fan in me started dying, as he had started beating people he shouldn’t have been beating. I was never really that much of a Batista fan to begin with since he got Orton’s push.
With RVD gone, and Orton not being back until around SummerSlam (And only in a big feud with Undertaker all year, which I wasn’t too big a fan of), mid 2005 was about the original Money in the Bank winner, Edge. (Original MITB match is still the best one, btw.) Edge had turned heel in late 2004 which was great, because his career really took off from there. (He had started getting booed in 2004, even in his hometown, so they turned him heel. Something that happens to Cena in his hometown, but WWE doesn’t care.) Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle also had a great series of matches.
In November 2005, Eddie Guerrero passed away. I still miss him to this day – it isn’t the same without him. RIP.
Unfortunately, Eddie’s passing did two negative things to WWE. Randy didn’t win the World Title back the week it happened (according to Batista’s book, that was going to happen). And the Rey Mysterio world title win happened. That shouldn’t have happened – I’m sorry, Rey and Heavyweight in the same sentence just didn’t work. It may just be a pissed off Orton fan since he should’ve won that match, but whatever.
2006 saw Edge win the WWE Championship from John Cena at New Year’s Revolution. I remember the exact place I was when it happened, and I remember watching it with Tom. I remember blogging about it on MySpace because MySpace was still relevant at the time. In fact the blog probably still exists because my MySpace still exists, I just haven’t been on it in years because it no longer matters. It’s as relevant to the rest of the social media world as Xanga is to the blogging world, apparently. Anyways, it was awesome. And then he lost it back in three weeks. #CenaFailNumberOne
WrestleMania 22 was in Chicago, and I went. I got to see Rob Van Dam win Money in the Bank, Edge Spear Mick Foley through a flaming table, Shawn Michaels jump off a huge ladder and hit a Diving Elbow Drop on Vince McMahon through a garbage can which was over his head and through a table. Rey Mysterio won the title, which I already talked about. And then the Chicago crowd gave birth to the “Let’s Go Cena! Cena Sucks!” or “Fuck You Cena!” or “You Can’t Wrestle!” chants. You’re welcome for those, rest of the WWE fans. Well, I can only guarantee Fuck You Cena was from us, but I don’t remember hearing them beforehand. But Cena won a match he had no business winning again. #CenaFailNumberTwo
Randy Orton was suspended or injured a week later. (I think it was suspended).
After WrestleMania, Rob Van Dam cashed in MITB on John Cena at ECW One Night Stand 2 and won the WWE Championship – my favorite FINALLY taking his rightful title from the guy I hated the most. RVD had a great match with Edge at Vengeance 2006.
RVD was later pulled over in and found with marijuana, because if you find RVD, you’ve probably found marijuana. And that WWE just loves their using the wellness policy against the ones with talent, and not anyone named Cena or HHH or Batista despite them clearly having used steroids, and he lost the title and then suspended. Thankfully he lost it to Edge, and not back to Cena. I will always take solace in the fact that John Cena has never defeated Rob Van Dam.
C.M. Punk debuted in summer of 2006, and I was instantly a fan. And I only became more of a fan as time went on. It’s clear to me that Punk was a #1 guy waiting to happen, as he only got better and better as time went on.
Jeff Hardy also returned to WWE around this time.
Side Story: At Unforgiven 2006, Randy Orton defeated Carlito. A year earlier at the same PPV, Carlito lost to Ric Flair, and the same PPV in 2007, Carlito lost to Triple H. I was totally expecting Carlito to lose to Batista at Unforgiven 2008 so he’d lose to EVERY Evolution member in four consecutive Unforgivens, but it just didn’t happen.
Randy Orton and Edge formed Rated RKO in late 2006, after Edge decided that they had both been screwed over by DX (or moreso, Triple H) in their quest for World Titles. (Fuck Triple H!)
John Cena defeated Edge to win the Title back in a TLC Match in Edge’s hometown of Toronto after losing in his hometown, both places he was booed in. It started Cena’s reign of doom. #CenaFailNumberThree
Around this time, Randy Orton and Edge started going above RVD as after the whole pot thing, RVD was never given anything by WWE ever again. He still had some good matches, and won at his last WM, but that’s it.
WrestleMania 23 came and went with John Cena defeating Shawn Michaels in a match he shouldn’t have. #CenaFailNumberFour At least HBK won their hour long match.
By May 2007, Randy Orton’s gimmick went from legend killer to the beginnings of the viper. He took out Shawn Michaels, and he took out RVD in RVD’s final match in WWE. (RVD won the match but still got a punt which made him disappear I guess.) That punt was the official passing of the torch from Rob Van Dam to Randy Orton, with Edge as a second favorite.
Chris Benoit then happened. It changed the business for the worse and set off the domino effect of turning WWE into what it is now.
Now that Randy Orton was the top guy, it was all about him winning the title, but there were some obstacles to overcome. In the years leading to 2007, Orton had a series of anger issues and drug issues and whatnot, leading to suspensions. I believe he was even close to being fired because I think he had two strikes (I could be wrong), but 2007 is when the Signature Pharmacy thing happened and I believe he only avoided it because he told Vince about it before he found the ten other names that were later suspended. (That and Chris Benoit made for wonderful tv).
The other major obstacle was the John Cena WWE Title Reign of Doom (WHICH CM PUNK HAS SURPASSED, SO THERE) He should have won the belt at SummerSlam, and then Unforgiven. And then John Cena injured himself doing a Hip Toss and was forced to vacate the title. I decided that this was it – it was now or never. If they’re ever going to give the title to Orton, and if they’re ever going to trust Orton ever again, now was the time.
I went to No Mercy 2007, ready to see what happened to the WWE Championship. (I still would like to know if Orton was going to win the title from Cena, though.) Vince McMahon awarded Randy Orton his rightful title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpbZxGZ8YJg
But then, wouldn’t you know it, Triple H came out and ruined the party and won the title from him. How predictable. (Fuck Triple H!) Triple H then defended against Umaga, but then had to face Orton in a Last Man Standing Match. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ozr78H2CWs
Those are my photos, but not my videos. Although if you look at the video comments, you’ll find me eventually.
So Orton finally won the title, and he had a pretty good first reign. But I’ll get to that a bit later.
In late September, videos such as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amhrHgD7Fs0 started happening during the show. (And I proceeded to put them on my Youtube channel and got 100,000+ views) Everyone was speculating about what it was and also already knew that it was Chris Jericho, and were waiting for him to return. I may not have liked him originally, but hey, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I heard he was considering coming back, I was excited. And then mystery promos got me hyped for it. I remember watching it happen live with my sister. He proceeded to have a title match with Orton and then a feud with JBL who decided he wanted to wrestle again.
Chris Jericho Return 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG-7zxW7-MA
I was glad to see Orton even defend against Jeff Hardy, but Cena returned the same night which killed Jeff’s push, and then Jeff killed his push some more as he got suspended. I was most impressed when, against all odds, Orton defeated John Cena (Superman) and Triple H (Backstage Politics) in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 24, which I thought he had no chance of winning. I proceeded to mark the fuck out.
Orton lost the title to, lo and behold, Triple H a month later. (Fuck Triple H!) Orton would then get injured a couple months later. (Fuck Triple H!)
With Orton out, things turned to Edge, C.M. Punk, Chris Jericho, and Jeff Hardy. Edge feuded with Undertaker, Punk won MITB and the World Title, and Jericho turned heel and had and awesome feud with HBK. This is where Jericho firmly became a third favorite. Randy Orton returned at Unforgiven, punted CM Punk forcing him to vacate the title, and I expected Orton to enter the Scramble Match and win the belt, but Jericho did instead, which was also cool.
After Orton had cost Punk the title, I had expected an Orton/Punk feud, but it just never materialized. Well, not until January 2011 when Punk’s reason for costing Orton the title at the Royal Rumble was him costing Punk the title here. Instead, Punk won tag titles with Kofi while Orton feuded with Batista.
In late 2008, Dolph Ziggler debuted. And while I believe it was a loss to Batista, he was impressive. Impressive enough that it’s a travesty he’d not World Champion right now.
At the final PPV of 2008, Armageddon, Jeff Hardy defeated Edge and Triple H to finally win his first WWE Championship, which was awesome. Jeff was one of those people who, when they won the title the first time, it was just a true fan moment, and the internet fan can just go away. (Actually the internet fan wouldn’t exist here since typical internet marks hate Jeff Hardy because of his drug problems. They also think he sucks as a wrestler, even though he doesn’t.) Jeff would lose the title back to Edge at Royal Rumble 2009.
Side Story: There aren’t many times these days where it takes a LONG time for someone to win the title where it’s just like “FINALLY” and it just makes you very happy. Examples: Edge in 2006, Rob Van Dam in 2006, Randy Orton in 2007, Jeff Hardy in 2008, Christian in 2011, and C.M. Punk in 2011. Punk may have won the World Title twice, but he was never on the level of main eventer until 2011. Him winning the title from Cena was him becoming a main eventer. Orton won the World Title, but it was for a month. And most thought his face turn was bad, so it’s not looked brightly upon. Dolph has technically been World Champion for 11 minutes, but it doesn’t count in my book.
Finally, by the Royal Rumble of 2009, a week beforehand on Raw, Orton punted Vince McMahon (live in Chicago, btw), which was clearly going to lead to the biggest push Orton had gotten to date. I had hoped that Orton would win the rumble, but him punting Vince basically confirmed that it would happen. And he did.
But instead of him being a badass heel, he claimed to have IED and used lawyers to guarantee his title match, which kind of sucked. He did awesome things, like punt Shane, Rope DDT Stephanie and kiss her in front of Triple H before Sledgehammering him, but only when there was no one to stop him. If he didn’t have the upper hand, he ran. And it pissed me off. Because all heels in WWE from at least then, and even now, are coward heels. They run at any sign of danger, because the face ALWAYS has to look good. We don’t have heels like Triple H was in 2002, which is why I hated him to begin with.
Also, instead of Orton vs. Cena at WrestleMania 25, they went with Orton vs. Triple H AGAIN. We had seen this numerous times, and it always ended with Triple H burying Orton. (Fuck Triple H!) But this was the biggest push of Orton’s career, and the number of burials he’d been handed by the leader of his former stable was large, and Triple H had been putting people over at WrestleMania for the four years prior to this. A win here would have MADE Orton, so certainly Triple H wouldn’t decide that this would be the one time for his ego to play a part in the win, right?
Wrong. Triple H decided that this was the one time he had to win at WrestleMania, and went on to have one of the all out worst WrestleMania Main Events of all time with Orton. And it’s not just bias because Triple H won, it really was an awful match. (FUCK TRIPLE H!) And by the time Triple H did finally drop the title to Orton, it was in a Six Man Tag Match at Backlash with all sorts of stipulations and Orton left in the beginning of the match and came back halfway through. (FUCK TRIPLE H!)
Meanwhile Edge had lost the WWE Title to Triple H in one Elimination Chamber, only to attack Kofi Kingston and enter the other Elimination Chamber and win the World Title from John Cena. (In hilarious fashion as Cena entered the match, immediately took three successive finishers, and lost. #LOLCena In any other match, Cena would’ve kicked out.) So Edge won the title, but lost it right back to Cena at WrestleMania. #CenaFailNumberFive But then Edge won the belt back again in an amazing Last Man Standing Match at Backlash, leading that Backlash to be considered #RatedRKOsRevenge
Also at WrestleMania, CM Punk won MITB again. And Shawn Michaels and Undertaker had one of the best matches of all time.
Side Story: Between Backlash 2008 and Backlash 2009, the WWE Championship had gone from Randy Orton, to Triple H, to Edge, to Jeff Hardy, to Edge, to Triple H, and back to Randy Orton. #ItsAPalindrome
In two month’s time, Randy would lose the title to Batista, only for Batista to be injured in the match he won it in, and Orton would then win the vacated belt back a week later. Edge would lose the title on the same PPV as Orton lost to Batista, losing it to Jeff Hardy in a great ladder match, only for CM Punk to cash in and win the title a second time, starting his heel turn.
Chris Jericho, after feuding with legends at WrestleMania, and even had a nice match with Ricky Steamboat at Backlash, started a feud with Rey Mysterio over the IC Title, which led to a great series of matches.
CM Punk and Jeff Hardy traded the World Title over the next couple months in a great feud, while Orton traded the WWE Title with John Cena in an awful feud, ending it without the title. Edge got injured after winning the Tag Titles with Chris Jericho, which would’ve been an AWESOME tag team. Rated Y2J, but it didn’t happen. Unfortunately Jericho was stuck with Big Show as a partner for the rest of the year, but did hold the gold for half a year.
Around this time, I started to really not like Rey Mysterio, as he started a feud with Dolph (who had Maria as a manager, which is even more win) over the IC Title, and refused to put Dolph over, twice. This was bullshit. And then he got suspended, and he lost the title to John Morrison instead, even though Dolph was the #1 Contender. And then Dolph lost twice to Morrison. FML.
Punk’s feud with Hardy should’ve made him as a heel, but two months later he lost the title to Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell Match, then ended up in a feud with R-Truth, of all people, which couldn’t even make PPV. Jeff Hardy left the company at this time, and is now in TNA again, and is their champion currently.
Orton’s feud with Cena sucked. After retaining in Orton vs. Cena vs. Triple H II because of Legacy, and pinning Cena, Cena got another opportunity anyway at SummerSlam. Orton retained, it perhaps the most overbooked match of all time. It featured at least to restarts, as Orton got counted out, and DQ’ed, and whether there was a third restart or not, a “fan” attacked Cena while Orton was in the STF. They got rid of him, then restarted the match, only for Orton to pull Cena into the ropes and hit an RKO for the win. Ridiculous booking because Cena has to look like God. #CenaFailNumberSix
A month later, they had an I Quit Match. It was awful. Orton literally DESTROYED Cena. And I mean DESTROYED. Cena doesn’t quit. Cena finally gets Orton into an STF and Orton quits immediately. #CenaFailNumberSeven Orton would win the title back at Hell in a Cell, only for Cena to win it back in an Ironman Match at Bragging Rights, which was highlighted by Orton trying to blow Cena up, as well as the dumb finish of Orton tapping with two seconds left. #CenaFailNumberEight
Orton would enter a feud with Kofi Kingston, which would probably have elevated Kofi to main event status. But then it just died.
Side Story: People who hate Orton will claim it was because Orton called Kofi stupid, but it wasn’t. Orton will be blamed with destroying Kofi’s push, as well as getting Mr. Kennedy fired. It isn’t the truth. Orton will be called boring, he will be called Super-Cena #2, he will get made fun of for getting injured. It’s what the haters do. The only time Orton’s pissed me off because of his title wins (because they are on the level of Cena now), is when he won it from Christian right after Christian won it. That was it. But you can’t make me hate him.
At Royal Rumble 2010, Edge returned and won the Rumble, then went on to feud with Chris Jericho and had a great match at WM (and at Extreme Rules), second best of the night behind another classic from HBK and Undertaker, where HBK retired. That was sad.
Also at WM, CM Punk entered a nice feud with Rey Mysterio. And Dolph should’ve won MITB but Jack Swagger did instead. A lot of things Dolph should’ve gotten, Swagger got instead. And then Dolph was forced to team with Swagger. Fail.
Orton ended up in a feud with Legacy after it broke up, and turned face at WrestleMania. I wasn’t too big on the face turn, but it did bring his taunt back. He had a feud with Edge after WM, which I was super looking forward to, because I had wanted a Rated RKO feud for a long time. I wanted it at WM25. Unfortunately Orton dislocated his should during the match so it didn’t turn out well, and the rest of it just kind of died off.
Around this time, Orton became hugely popular as a face, and I could see him start turning into a second to Cena. I didn’t like it, but I wouldn’t turn my back on Orton because he deserved what he got. It only bothered me because I knew it would lead to him getting the same kind of hate that Cena got, which is bullshit. Orton would win the title from Sheamus at Night of Champions 2010 (live in Chicago!), then punted Chris Jericho out of the company before feuding with Wade Barrett and The Miz, who had cashed in and won on him.
Side Story: Face Chris Jericho came back to WWE in 2007 to stop heel champion Randy Orton. Face champion Randy Orton did get rid of heel Chris Jericho in 2010.
Also in 2010, Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan made their WWE debuts in Nexus. Nexus was awesome, for a while. Then Cena killed it again. Daniel Bryan was an Indy Wrestling God, but I had never seen him, much like I hadn’t known CM Punk before WWE. But I liked Daniel Bryan from the start, and while it had taken some time for him to come into his own in WWE, he was clearly a great wrestler. I could tell Wade would be good even in NXT, but unfortunately he is still missing something that’s preventing him from getting to the next level.
I guess I never mentioned Cody Rhodes debuting in 2007, but I really didn’t become a huge fan of his until around this time, when he started the Dashing Cody Rhodes gimmick. Actually, I think it was more around the time he wore the mask and feuded with Rey Mysterio, but it started here. It was funny, because everyone thought Ted DiBiase would be the one going places after Legacy, and while I do think he’s really good, his career just died.
Dolph Ziggler had the first of 848393939485849939 matches with Kofi Kingston around this time, and Dolph finally won the IC Title from Kofi. He also paired up with Vickie Guerrero, whom he just finally got rid of the week I write this, more than two years later.
CM Punk had had entered an unfortunate feud with Big Show for most of the fall. He also had the Straight Edge Society which was awesome. Unfortunately he got injured right before he would’ve feuded with Daniel Bryan. Fortunately he stuck around and did some awesome commentary. (I hope when he’s done wrestling he’ll be a commentator.) Punk would go on to become the new leader of Nexus at the end of of 2010, which was an awesome segment. This was the start of him becoming my #1 guy.
Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan had a couple of awesome matches around this time as well.
Edge, who had been traded to Smackdown for CM Punk, feuded with Kane and eventually won the World Title at TLC.
Dolph would lose the IC Title in January, only to become number 1 contender for the World Title in the same night. And while Dolph didn’t defeated Edge, it was still a great match. Dolph was given the World Title after Vickie stripped Edge of it for using the Spear, but he lost it back within fifteen minutes. I don’t consider this a real title reign. Neither does Dolph.
The Rock returned around this time. It was awesome.
By WrestleMania 27, C.M. Punk and Randy Orton had finally had their feud that I wanted in 2008. And it was one of few good things to happen at WM. Cody Rhodes defeated Rey Mysterio, but that wasn’t too big of a deal to me. Dolph Ziggler was stuck in a match that involved Snooki. Enough said. Edge retained the WHC against Alberto Del Rio.
After WrestleMania, Rock vs. Cena was announced for WM28. #AndNoOneCared
Edge was forced to retire and vacate the World Title. It was very upsetting. He was a little stale as a face, but it was still too early.
Christian finally won the vacant World Title at Extreme Rules, only to lost it to Randy Orton the following Smackdown. This, as I’ve said, is the only time Orton’s mega push has pissed me off. And the fact that he couldn’t have lost to Punk at least once.
What I realize now about why Orton fell from #1 is that when he was #1, it felt like it was “Us against the world” He had so many things going against him backstage and haters (he still has those), and it seemed like he would never get the titles he deserved. It was like he was fighting the system. And even when he started to win titles, he always seemed to get knocked back down by Triple H. Or John Cena. But nowadays, Orton has gotten the titles that he’s deserved. He’s made it. But I refuse to turn on him like I did with Cena. Orton actually deserves the titles and is a talented performer, and I was invested 100% into Orton from 2007-2010 and I couldn’t just turn my back. He was still the top guy through 2010 and into 2011, but it wasn’t as important anymore for me to be invested into him like I was, because he wasn’t going to go back down the ladder (even though 2012’s kind of sucked for him), but I could see him slowly getting the John Cena push that wasn’t really necessary.
Orton and Christian had a nice feud which ended with a great No Holds Barred Match at SummerSlam, but the focus was no longer on him come one June night.
After a brief mini-feud with Rey Mysterio at Capitol Punishment,(A PPV which also featured Dolph Ziggler defeating Kofi Kingston in their 484657438th match to win the U.S. Title (I guess that makes him a Triple Crown Champion), C.M. Punk became the number one contender for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank. I could see this brewing a bit before Capitol Punishment, as there was talk the Punk was going to leave, and he defeated Rey at the PPV, and MITB was in Chicago. I could see them going with Punk vs. Cena as it hadn’t been done before aside from some victories on Raw. I wanted this match to happen just because it made sense to have the match since the show was in Chicago alone.
I didn’t realize that they were going to make it into the best thing that’s happened in WWE in the past several years. I don’t remember a storyline quite as good in years. Nexus seemed big, but it died quickly because they never followed through with it. They just fed it to Cena. But cue the infamous shoot promo, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OS9wZGb_3g) which of course had to happen, like, my second week of work so I heard about it on the internet. Silly me to think that something awesome was going to happen on what appeared to be an ordinary episode of Raw. I went on a roller coaster as I heard Punk was suspended (as they had taped the next week’s Raw after that show had ended), because you never know if what they say was planned or not. But Cena got the match back. So Punk was going to face Cena for the title and attempt to leave the company with it.
I thought that maybe the whole Montreal Screw Job would happen, or that Punk would win, only for the MITB winner to cash in and take the belt. But CM Punk won, and he kicked Del Rio in the head before walking out of the arena with the championship, standing right below me as the show ended. Even if Punk wasn’t coming back anytime soon, that was certainly the best WWE show I’d ever seen live. It also featured Daniel Bryan winning MITB out of nowhere, and Christian winning the World Title back although from a dumb stipulation. This show is called #TheIWCsRevenge The only problem with the show was that Dolph Ziggler wasn’t in the Smackdown MITB, which was ridiculous considering Heath Slater was. Dolph was ready for MITB in 2010.
Typically, WWE immediately had a tournament for a vacant WWE Title the next night, which Rey Mysterio won, only for Cena to steal from him the same night he won it. #CenaFailNumberNine But CM Punk returned and held up the real title, making Cena’s toy title look like as much of a joke as Cena was. CM Punk defeated Cena in a Unification Match at SummerSlam, only for Kevin Nash to attack him because Nash thought he was relevant again, and ADR cashed in to become champion.
Side Story: Alberto Del Rio’s cash in is completely bogus. For a cash in to be legal, both opponents have to be on their feet to start the match. CM Punk was not, thus this entire thing was a sham.
While Cena somehow ended up getting a match with Del Rio at Night of Champions, Punk was going to face Kevin Nash. But apparently whatever movie Nash was involved it at the time decided they didn’t want him to get hurt, so they hotshotted Punk vs. Triple H at the PPV. (What movie that was, nobody knows since it doesn’t exist.) The match was ridiculous with so much overbooking, ending with Triple H winning and practically killing the entire angle. Because when there’s an awesome angle, Triple H decides he needs to get involved with it and kill it. (Fuck Triple H!)
Side Story: I guess you can see how CM Punk is also #1, as instead of Cena and Triple H continuously trying to overshadow Orton, they’re now trying to overshadow Punk.
Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes had won the Intercontinental Championship, and Dolph Ziggler was competing in two separate matches a night as US Champion, and trying to win the tag titles from Air Boom with Jack Swagger. (Air Boom contained Kofi Kingston!) Randy Orton lost the title to Mark Henry of all people, the feuded with Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. This is where Rhodes and Barrett were becoming really good.
CM Punk got his “rematch” in a Triple Threat HIAC match with Cena, who had won the title in pathetic fashion two weeks prior #CenaFailNumberTen , and ADR. ADR defeated Punk to get the belt back. Punk would then lose a tag team match, partnering with Triple H (which made sense), against Miz and Truth, and ate the pin after Nash, who had been “fired” interfered. (How does one get fired from a job they didn’t really have to begin with?)
All of this was because the angle was so huge and everyone was getting behind Punk despite him being a heel that they thought they were forced to turn him face, which is what killed the angle and hindered his character. They tried to run with the same character as a face and making John Laurinitas a heel GM for Punk to attack. But heel GMs are too played out these days, and Laurinitas seemed like a stooge, where as had the angle continued with Punk against Triple H, the feud would’ve been gold. People don’t care about Laurinitas. People care about Triple H. But they saw the reactions Punk was getting and wanted another #MerchandiseWhore like Cena and Orton, moreso Cena, and turned him face. Even though people would’ve still clinged to Punk as a heel and bought stuff anyway.
Anyways, Punk finally got a true rematch at Survivor Series in New York, and while I originally expected Laurinitas to finally bring in Brodus Clay since he kept talking to him on the phone and pushing his debut date, to cost Punk the match. (Which is hysterical now knowing what Brodus turned into). But Punk won the championship, and is still WWE Champion to this day, 397 days later.
The night after Survivor Series, Youtube links would appear on the Twitter trends display on Raw, leading to videos such as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxGkXIphAHw&list=PL9B12DF27679E37D0
This could only mean one thing – that Chris Jericho was coming back!
Dolph Ziggler lost the US Title to Zack Ryder at TLC, which was cool at the time. They killed the Zack Ryder gimmick this year though. Also, Daniel Bryan cashed in on Big Show to win the World Title. CM Punk retained against Miz and Del Rio.
On the second day of 2012, it was the end of the world as we knew it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oodp9GdkE8k
Chris Jericho was back for a feud with CM Punk, which had been rumored. I was so sure it wasn’t him the night it happened because of two little snippets beforehand saying “He’s here” which is an Undertaker thing, even though he was spotted in town that morning.
CM Punk retained against Dolph Ziggler at Royal Rumble, and Daniel Bryan retained against Big Show and Mark Henry, having turned heel in the process. Jericho did not win the Rumble like he should have.
CM Punk retained in a good Elimination Chamber match at the EC PPV, and Daniel Bryan retained in a not so great one which involved people it should not have. Meanwhile Cena main evented a PPV with Kane and not the WWE Championship.
Wade Barrett got injured around this time.
CM Punk went into WM28 as champion against Chris Jericho and had the second best match of the night, only second to Triple H vs. Undertaker in HIAC. But as a pure wrestling match, it was one of the best matches of the year. Daniel Bryan lost a sham of a match against Sheamus which lasted 18 seconds to lose the title. Cody Rhodes lost the IC Title to Big Show for seemingly no reason. Randy Orton was stuck in a match with Kane and lost.The Rock defeated Cena in the main event, which wasn’t for the championship.
The Rock decided the next night that he wanted to win the title again. Brock Lesnar also returned that night, but that angle was killed immediately by John Cena at the next PPV.
Around this time, Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro debuted. In 2009, Orton, Edge, and Jericho were my top three, with Punk and Dolph waiting in the wings. Now Punk, Dolph, Bryan, and Rhodes are the top 4, with Sandow and Cesaro waiting in the wings. As well as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins who debuted later in the year. (We’re still waiting for you, Kassius Ohno) Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel are also in similar positions if WWE would ever push them properly – Tyson’s been around since 2009, and he’s a great wrestler but he never gets pushed. He’s kind of like a modern day Shelton Benjamin, or even a John Morrison.
CM Punk had another amazing match with Chris Jericho at Extreme Rules (live in Chicago!), and Daniel Bryan even had a great match with Sheamus. Randy Orton defeated Kane. Cody Rhodes won the IC Title back. Cena beat Lesnar in a match not for the WWE Championship. Dolph jobbed to Brodus Clay. #FAIL
CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan in a great match at Over the Limit to retain. Sheamus had a really good match with Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio. Cena face John Laurinitas in the main event. Cena vs. Laurinitas happened on the same PPV Punk vs. Bryan and main evented over it. Also Dolph tried to win the tag titles with Swagger again from R-Boom, a tag team that included Kofi Kingston. Cody lost the IC Title to Christian.
Dolph finally got away from Swagger in the next month, while the Punk/Bryan/Kane storyline started, including AJ. Punk retained in the triple threat, and Dolph lost in a WHC Match with Sheamus – a match where Dolph was clearly more popular to the crowd but Jerry Lawler still decided they were rooting for Sheamus. Oh, and Cena beat Big Show in their 48394858499th match in the main event, which wasn’t for the title, and Laurinitas got fired – something that was Punk’s job to do. Chris Jericho had been suspended for being a heel, and Randy Orton had been suspended again for some kind of drugs.
CM Punk retained in a another great match with Daniel Bryan at MITB. Dolph FINALLY won MITB, but unfortunately Cody Rhodes was forced into the same match because the other one was for former WWE Champions only, which was completely retarded, just so John Cena could win. #CenaFailNumberEleven (Oh, and that main evented over the championship)
Punk turned heel by attacking The Rock, after Big Show killed Cena’s MITB cash in.
At SummerSlam, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler had a great match. Punk retained against Cena and Big Show in heel fashion. Triple H and Brock Lesnar main evented, niether of them have appeared more than twice since then, and this match main evented over the WWE Championship. Dolph should’ve cashed in.
Dolph defeated Jericho in a MITB Case vs. Career Match, which only proves Jericho shouldn’t compete the night after SummerSlam because he lost Career vs. Career Match to Cena the night after SummerSlam 2005 when he left originally.
At Night of Champions, Punk and Cena had another great match over the WWE Title. It main evented because Cena was in it. Dolph lost a great match to Randy Orton, should’ve won though. Cody lost in a Fatal 4 Way for the IC Title, but it was a nice match. Dolph should’ve cashed in. Daniel Bryan won the tag titles with Kane. Dolph Ziggler should’ve cashed in.
At Hell in a Cell, Punk defeated Ryback in possibly the worst Hell in a Cell match ever, because Ryback was in it. It main evented because Cena was injured. Daniel Bryan and Kane retained the tag titles by DQ against Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio with an awesome RKO. Dolph Ziggler should’ve cashed in.
Cody Rhodes was injured for a month during this time. Wade Barrett also returned, but he hasn’t been as good before.
CM Punk retained in a triple threat against Cena and Ryback where the Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns) debuted and attacked Ryback. It main evented because Cena was in it. Punk hit 365 Days as Champion. Dolph Ziggler was sole survivor in a Survivor Series Tag Match. He should’ve cashed in.
CM Punk became the longest reigning WWE Champion in the past 25 years on 12/5/12. He had minor knee surgery and will not compete until January, despite remaining champion.
At TLC, Dolph retained his MITB case against John Cena. The Shield won their first match against Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Ryback in an amazing TLC Match. Wade Barrett lost to Kofi Kingston. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow became number one contenders for the tag titles by beating Rey and Sin Cara, but did not win the titles as they lost the title match. Dolph should’ve cashed in.
Well, that’s my history of a wrestling fan of WWE. (Quick list of awesome people in TNA: Christopher Daniels, Kaz, AJ Styles, Austin Aries (basically TNA’s CM Punk), James Storm, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Kenny King) I guess this post also includes the summation of WWE in 2012 post I wanted to do, so I may not bother with that. It would barely be different. If you’ve read the entire thing, you win an award of not having to read anymore of this post. So, congrats. Thanks for reading.
#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #BelieveInTheShield #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #IsItOctoberYet?