The Survivor Series in November was a crowning moment for WWE: marking the on-screen WWE debut of Sting, and the storyline demise of The Authority, the faction led by real-life WWE executives Stephanie McMahon and Triple H whose act was, yes, getting a bit stale more than a year into its run.
The creative team at WWE obviously can’t stand prosperity.
In the wake of the brilliant writing that had fans buzzing about the upcoming WrestleMania 31 season, we have the nonsense that has marked the past two weeks. The Dec. 29 Monday Night Raw ended with Seth Rollins forcing babyface hero John Cena to “bring back The Authority,” as he threatened to otherwise break the neck of retired WWE superstar Edge. And then this week’s Raw ended with The Authority “firing” Team Cena members Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan, after McMahon and Triple H publicly considered suspensions without pay as the payback for the troika having aligned against them and with Cena at Survivor Series.
And we’re not supposed to feel dumber for having wasted our time watching this crap.
Memo to WWE: Yeah, we know wrestling is fake, got it, long ago, but that doesn’t mean that you have to insult our intelligence. As fans, we actively want to suspend our disbelief for three hours each Monday, and then three hours once a month on Sunday. We know that the superstars in the ring suplexing and clotheslining and bodyslamming and dropkicking each other would kill each other in short order if they were really hitting each other as flush as they make it look.
But that’s where we want to suspend our disbelief. When we chant Holy Shit! after Dean Ambrose flings himself off a ladder onto a prone Bray Wyatt on a table, it’s because those guys are giving up their bodies, and a couple of years off the end of their lives, to entertain the hell out of us.
It isn’t because Vince McMahon thinks it’s funny to have his daughter channel her inner donald trump in firing wrestlers that we know aren’t fired. And yeah, by the way, nice touch on moving their bios to the Alumni page on WWE.com, as if that would convince us that they’re “really” fired.
The firing was just plain dumb. The episode with Rollins threatening Edge to get Cena to “bring back The Authority” the week before was insulting. So we’re supposed to believe that a wrestler threatening serious bodily injury in the ring wouldn’t be met with a squadron of police even for just making the threat, and that of course if he did follow through he wouldn’t then face decades in prison for having done so.
Because, wink, wink, nod, nod, the criminal-justice system has no jurisdiction over what goes on in a wrestling ring.
We fans understand that the heat between wrestlers is feigned for the sake of building interest in the next big show. And by and large, we let ourselves get into the stories, as juvenile as many of them can be, often involving guys threatening each other’s families, bringing up some supposed past bad blood from some imaginary off-screen incident, whatever is being peddled that particular day.
It would seem easy enough to simply let big, testosterone-dominated males with egos to match go all medieval on each other because they want to prove that their the biggest, most testosterone-dominated and egotistical of the bunch, and let us pick and choose our favorites and villains based on personal preferences, but we’re more than willing to play along just because we want to see where it goes.
The recent BS from WWE is beyond the pale moronic. No, none of us believes that John Cena entered willingly into an enforceable verbal contract with Seth Rollins to “bring back The Authority” when Rollins was threatening the life of Edge. And none of us believes that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H actually fired Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan, even with the touch of moving their bios to the Alumni section on the website.
We’d love it if you could just drop the stupid stuff and focus your attention on giving us another damn good Royal Rumble with surprise entrants, a few highspots, and maybe even a surprise winner at the end, since we’ve all been led to believe since the spring that it was inevitable that it was going to be Roman Reigns.
We want to forget that we’re watching fake combat. Despite how hard you make it for us.
– Column by Chris Graham