In a moment that was built upon the success of three sublime days of wrestling, the WWE rewarded the hardworking superstars on their roster by granting a part-timer with a losing record a shot at the most coveted title in the history of the company.
During Monday Night RAW’s celebration of Seth Rollins, which would feature on unveiling of a bronze likeness of the double champion, ended in a head scratching folly. With a dubious decision, the WWE has proven that it cares more about headlines than it does about building the stars of tomorrow. Kevin Owens put in three days of consecutively first rate work. His matches and his backstage interviews were stellar, further solidifying him as a true heel in every sense of the word. He’s not alone. Cesaro has been getting fan reactions based on his in ring work for most of his tenure with the company, but as of late he has really started to appeal to audiences with his mic work, making for a solid contender for a title shot. Dean Ambrose has had the unenviable task of performing as a face while being saddled with the nuclear heat power plant known as Roman Reigns.
So who do they have crash Seth’s big party? Sting! Yes, that 50 year old who, according to WWE, has done nothing since WCW folded except lose to HHH at Wrestlemania. In a classic babyface moment, one that would catapult anyone in that spot to an instant main event with the company’s top heel, an over the hill geriatric part-timer was deemed to be “best for business”. The real heat here is between HHH and Sting, with Rollins being used as a proxy for the McMahon’s opinion of the true best performers in the company: themselves.
On June 27, 2011, CM Punk dropped a “pipebomb” on Monday Night RAW, where he seemingly was allowed to vent out loud about his frustration with decisions made by the company that was soon to be his ex-employer. During the now famous speech, Punk lamented the fact that one-time attractions garnered more respect in booking that those that toiled day-in and day-out.“The fact that Dwayne is in the main-event of Wrestlemania next year and I’m not makes me sick.” Four year later, it seems that the same taste of bile is returning to plague the WWE universe.
Sting has done nothing to deserve this spot in the company. This move was made purely to drive up sales of the Network by having Sting wrestle at Night of Champions. Sting winning would be unconscionable, so the only possible result is a Rollins win against someone who does nothing to further the current product. How is beating a 50-year-old sometimes wrestler a measure of a true champion? Even in kayfabe, this does not make sense whatsoever. Ambrose fits the bill as a man who would go to the trouble of switching the statue and hiding under the curtain before attacking Seth Rollins, a man who betrayed him. Instead, we will be subject to watching a man whose star power has receded as much as his hairline.
CM Punk brought a justified gripe to the court of public opinion, with the blessing of his boss. Four years after the first time it was publicly stated that wrestlers disagree with with the booking of part-time stars, another one jumps in to steal the spotlight away before fading away into retirement. Wrestling may be pre-determined, but it should be believable. Sting being placed into this spot over deserving wrestlers devalues the competitive conceit that wrestling is based on. I hope it’s worth the 10 Network buys by Sting fans who don’t already subscribe.