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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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"But Whose Side is He On?" - Thoughts on the RAW Ending for 1/19/15

As we inch closer to the Royal Rumble and Roman Reigns making us suffer through more Sufferin' Succotash, we saw something that looked like it was booked by Russo circa 1999 last night during the closing minutes of RAW. But, as overbooked as it was, it was pretty great to see (and quite significant).



To recap, the main event was John Cena versus The Authority in a handicap match with both his title shot and the jobs of Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler on the line. Cena's getting the crap kicked out of him, prepping to RISE AGAINST HATE, per the usual with Cena matches these days. However, instead of the Five Moves of Doom (as much as I have a disdain for Cena, that's bullshit. He's got more than five moves. He just doesn't use them unless it really really REALLY counts for something), we get STING! coming out decked out in red and black, scaring the crap out the Authority, allowing Cena to get the roll-up and the pin. After this insanity (and Sting's almost instantly downplayed RAW debut), who comes out to clean up the mess that's been made (and doesn't beat the hell out of Cena...again)?

BARRRRRROCCCCCKKKKK LESSSSSNARRRRR (did I get it right, Paul?)

Yep, Brock Lesnar comes out, beats Seth Rollins, gives Kane and Big Show some F-5s and stands tall at the end of the show. Now, most people are clamoring about saying that this is both an apparent face turn and a sign that Brock's headed back to UFC. I'd like to play the Devil's Advocate and point something out. In all the time that Lesnar has been back in WWE, he's been in business for one person. That person is not Triple H, it's not Vince, it's not even Paul Heyman. Lesnar has been in business for himself. So, of course, he's going to pick the meat off the bones of the guy who stands the best chance to pull some sneaky crap on Sunday and eek out a victory. He's not concerned with Cena because:

a) He's already beaten Cena in the Suplex Fest at Summer Slam '14
b) Cena's probably going to be pretty focused on Rollins himself
c) Cena's not going to win the belt back (especially if the Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan/Dean Ambrose/who-the-fuck-else rumors are true)

That doesn't make Brock the face of all faces. It makes him a tweener who's just out there kicking ass, taking names, and trying to make the biggest payday possible for himself. It also doesn't full-on suggest that he's leaving for UFC. Let's say that Brock does go full-on face and retains at the Rumble. What, is he going to take the friggin' WWE Championship with him to UFC to defend it in some crazy, cross-branded, Inoki Genome Federation-style clusterfuck (as cool and maddening as that kind of sounds)? No, because Vince's ego won't allow that and Dana White--as sports entertainment as he is--won't allow for a fighter to actively, purposely promote a wrestling championship on his stage, much less defend it.

However...if Brock does retain, where does that leave him and the championship? We know that WWE doesn't really like to go Face vs. Face these days (assuming a face wins the RR), so what'd we get? Cena goes heel from losing again, enters himself in the Royal Rumble, eliminates Daniel Bryan in the most violent way possible (just saying), and gets a rematch with Lesnar? Eh. Seen it, don't care. Would Rollins cash in on Lesnar? Maybe, but who's really next in line for Rollins? Daniel Bryan? Dean Ambrose? Roman Reigns? I mean, it could work, but I just don't see WWE pulling the trigger on Rollins' cash-in just yet. Or would WWE get a Face vs. Face thing started with someone like Roman Reigns (who'd have to, y'know, eliminate Daniel Bryan and 'em), but then feed off the crowds and have Roman become Batista circa 2014?

Possibilities are endless, my friends, but one thing's for sure. When it comes to asking "whose side is [Brock] on," there's only one side.

His own.

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