Truth Hurts: R-Truth Deserved More in 2011

R-Truth WWE

R-Truth is one of the longest-serving superstars in the WWE today.  Having originally served in the WWF between 1999 and 2002 as K-Kwik, R-Truth began his second run twelve long years ago.  Since then, he has gone on to establish himself as a beloved mainstay.  Something of a multi-talented comedy genius, Truth has settled into the comedy role vacated by Santino Marella in 2014.  Honestly, Truth does it better.  Upon his initial return in 2008, Truth was something of a serious, babyface mid-carder – regularly challenging for the United States Championship that he has won twice.  Sandwiched between the serious babyface and the lovable 45x WWE 24/7 Championship winning goofball periods of Truth’s career lies the most interesting.  Let’s go back to 2011.

R-Truth in 2011

In 2011, R-Truth was three years into his second run and had a sole US Championship run – as well as a WWE Tag Team Championship run (with Kofi Kingston) – to his name.  He was stuck in mid-card purgatory during a time when John Cena was well into the height of his run as the company’s ace.  On April 11, 2011, however, R-Truth would finally earn a shot at the WWE Championship after interference by The Miz (then champion) and Alex Riley (then lackey) led to a double disqualification in a match against John Cena himself.  Truth was then scheduled to face John Cena in a rematch at Extreme Rules, with the added bonus of Miz and his WWE Championship on the line.  This was the closest thing to a main event push Truth has had in his entire career.  Sadly, it would quickly go south for Truth.

Instead of going on to face Cena at Extreme Rules and eventually challenge for the WWE Championship, John Morrison came into the fray.  He challenged Truth to a match, convincing him to put his match with Cena on the line.  Most people would just say no, but R-Truth was perhaps a little bit too naive and accepted.  Of course, much like when Otis recently put his Money in the Bank briefcase on the line against Miz and Morrison and lost, so too did Truth.  Morrison won the match, causing Truth to snap and show a side of him we had never seen – and perhaps never will see – again.  He destroyed Morrison post-match, leading Jerry Lawler to declare “this guy is sick”.  With how closely this feud was tied to the main event title picture, this was a major turn for Truth.  Additionally, Truth did something we had never seen before: he lit a cigarette and started smoking at ringside, prompting a “that’s illegal” chant from the crowd.  This newer, nastier version of Truth was clearly intended to be edgy from the get-go and that is how it should have stayed.

“I’m a Good R-Truth”, Or So He Says

In a pay-per-view perhaps more memorable for John Cena revealing to the audience that Osama Bin Laden had just been assassinated, Cena won the WWE Championship from The Miz in the triple threat involving John Morrison.  However, Morrison very nearly won the match.  The only reason he failed to win was because the new R-Truth prevented him from doing so, costing him a chance at claiming his first WWE Championship.  He would appear on RAW the next night, saying that he is done entertaining the fans; what had they done for him over the years? Rey Mysterio would become the next number one contender for the WWE Championship, prompting Truth to take him out as he did Morrison.  At the time, fans of Truth were both concerned that he had been removed from the number one contender spot.  However, they were also interested, as he was still in the discussion – feuds with Rey Mysterio and Cena would surely bring something big.

R-Truth would pull off arguably the biggest win of his career at Over the Limit, where he defeated Mysterio and became the new number one contender.  John Cena was still the WWE Champion, however, and as any fan around this time would recall, not many heels made it past that brick wall.  At Capitol Punishment, John Cena would successfully defend his WWE Championship against Truth, ending his claim to the title.  R-Truth had been arguable the hottest act in the company up until this point.  Very unfortunately for Truth, just one week after Capitol Punishment, CM Punk would conduct his iconic Pipebomb promo and Truth was soon demoted to the midcard.  He would come out every week, complaining that there was a “conspiracy” against him.  It was here where he first started using the phrase “Little Jimmy”, originally a reference to Cena’s adolescent fanbase.  Eventually, he was one half of Awesome Truth with Miz – both men well and truly out of the main event, even used as fodder at Survivor Series 2011, when they were squashed by The Rock and Cena in a tag match.  Truth’s brief flirtation with the main event had come to an abrupt, unjustified end.

Though a Missed Opportunity, Truth Prevails

Though the height of R-Truth’s 2011 run was a missed opportunity, Truth has still done very well for himself.  It has long been said – perhaps most memorably by Shane “Hurricane” Helms – that if you can make Vince McMahon laugh, you have a job for life.  Truth has run with that perhaps better than anyone in WWE history.  Yes, he is never going to win a WWE Championship.  Yes, he will never be a main event regular, but he doesn’t need either of those things.  R-Truth is making money, has a job for life, and is seemingly beloved by all his peers, his boss, and not to mention, the fans.  Whereas R-Truth should have won the WWE Championship in 2011, time has proven that he is just as special a competitor without it.  R-Truth is awesome no matter what he does and that’s what’s up.

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