John Cena and Roman Reigns Added to Championship Ladder Match; Seth Rollins Announced as First Entrant in Traditional MITB match
This week’s Monday Night Raw saw John Cena and Roman Reigns qualify to become the final two participants in the Money in the Bank championship ladder match.
In my last column I already had Cena listed as a participant. Maybe I have prophetic capabilities!
I honestly have no idea who is going to win or who would even be the best choice going forward for future plans. However, I do have some thoughts on all the participants.
Since Reigns is being groomed to be the heir apparent, it seems way too early for him to get the title. I do not see Cena winning either, but it has been a while since he held the title. I do not see Randy Orton winning since he came off such a lengthy run not all that long ago. Bray Wyatt is a dark horse candidate because I do believe he is a big enough star to carry the title. Sheamus should not to win unless he is turning heel and Cesaro is not ready yet. Alberto Del Rio is so low on the totem pole that I question his involvement in such a major match.
There will also be a traditional MITB ladder match for a future title shot. Seth Rollins has already been announced as the first participant. I expect Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose to be added as well.
Cody Rhodes Debuts as Stardust
For weeks, Cody Rhodes teased that he was in the process of finding a new tag team partner for his brother Goldust. In a bizarre turn of events Cody revealed himself as the new partner, debuting as Stardust.
I am quite pleased with the direction. This story adds a new dynamic to the team and I enjoyed the intensity on display from Cody. FYI, Stardust is the name their father, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, used early in his career.
Head Writer Released; More Budget Cuts to Come
As if last week’s cuts were not bad enough, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon recently fired head writer Jay Gibson.
According to a report from F4W/Wrestling Observer Online, WWE is looking to save around $20 million this year. A few of the changes going forward include:
- No longer flying in Adam Rose’s Rosebuds from NXT unless they are within driving distance from Orlando.
- Only using local indy wrestlers.
- The production crew not having access to tour buses and requiring them to drive between events themselves.
Clearly, this is a time of great concern within WWE. My best wishes go out to Jay Gibson in his future endeavors.
The Problem with Paige
Nearly three months after capturing the Divas Championship I can safely say that Paige is a technically gifted performer lacking in charisma. Apparently, her role is to work mostly cold matches before going backstage never to be heard from again.
As a huge AJ Lee fan, I was initially furious at how Paige was booked to beat her so effortlessly for the title. AJ had just come off a record-setting Divas Championship run (295 days to be exact) filled with great matches and memorable moments. She even defeated the entire Divas division at WrestleMania 30.
AJ is far and away the most captivating and consistently entertaining female wrestler I have seen in years. For all of the Trish Stratus romanticism, she was never as good of a talker and worker as AJ. Paige has some massive shoes to fill to even be considered in the same ballpark.
The big problem with Paige’s debut is that we have already seen what the end result will be. If you recall in 2003, Gail Kim debuted in similar fashion by winning a battle royal for the vacant Women’s Championship. Like Paige, she was a very good worker who never took off with the fans.
While I respect good workers, it is nearly impossible to get over on workrate alone. While one can point to the success of Daniel Bryan and C.M. Punk as exceptions to the rule, both established a connection with the audience long before they were given a shot at superstardom.
However, the blame cannot be entirely placed upon her shoulders.
Aside from a sit-down interview with Michael Cole, Paige has been given zero character development from the creative team. Only through watching past episodes of NXT did I discover that Paige once did a heavy anti-diva gimmick.
I feel that she could have picked up right where AJ left off as being the polar opposite of the Total Divas. She has the pale skin, cute look (without the overt sexiness) and in-ring ability to pull it off. All she needs is the opportunity.