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Monday, October 10, 2016

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Retrospective: Ameen On WWE Part Timers

By @MeenHendrix

Part time wrestlers in WWE have become a trend over the years and I'm just going to cut to the chase: I don't really like Brock Lesnar or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at all anymore. I was a huge fan of The Rock growing up but you know times have changed. Before CM Punk left, one of his biggest issues was with the guys who busted their asses night in and night out for this company getting pushed aside for the return of a Part Timer. Punk had been busting his ass for 3 years straight as a top guy against the machine before he finally picked up his ball and left the court.

In 2011, the famed Summer of Punk was almost derailed. Punk was upstaged by the return of Kevin Nash at SummerSlam. Nash Jackknifed Punk after he beat John Cena and for the next 2 months, it was a horrible game of who done it before Punk re-entered the WWE Championship picture at Hell in a Cell. Fast forward to 2012 and here The Rock is on Raw 1000 to announce he has a title shot at the Royal Rumble. At the end of the night, its Rocky who steals the crowd's heart by saving Cena from The Big Show. Then Punk laid his ass out with a GTS. Now fast forward to Royal Rumble 2013 and there Punk is ending his 400+ Day Reign as WWE Champion, dropping the belt to The People's Champion. Then he is added to the Undertaker's streak, another part timer I admittedly give a pass to, at Wrestlemania. Then fast forward to our final stop at Royal Rumble 2014 where Punk is tossed from the Rumble early by Kane and the match is won by part timer Dave Batista.

My issues with The Rock stem from the fact that he had chosen Hollywood over the WWE. Then he comes back and Vince is instantly ready to kiss his ass for the sake of more ratings and more money. He squashed all the momentum out of The Miz's reign as WWE Champion to set up a match that wouldn't take place until a year later. They made The Miz look like a fool despite the fact that he held on to his title because they showed he wasn't worth a damn to them as soon as they found a bigger and better match to push. Then at Survivor Series 2011, he and Cena team up in the main event, which should have gone to the WWE Championship match, but Rocky has the bigger name, and they pretty much have a glorified squash match with the Awesome Truth who we all knew had no chance. The "Once in a Lifetime" match has him go over John Cena, who is arguably the hardest working man. I don't like seeing Cena win all the time, but come on. Hogan passed the torch to Rock at Wrestlemania 18. Cena had to wait another year to have the torch passed on to him after suffering defeat. Then he came back to Raw in January to basically embarass Lana and Rusev for Vince and beat the New Day 3 on 1. And if you haven't seen how he raped the Wyatt family's momentum (which everyone does these days) at Wrestlemania 32, you might wanna skip that.

On to Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate has been The Next Big Pain in my Ass. He doesn't care. He's not here to make friends. He's not here to entertain. He's here to fight and make money. I respect him for being honest about it on the SCSA Podcast when he said he treats wrestling like a job. He has no passion for it but that isn't my issue with Brock. It's his effort that bothers me. He doesn't try. Its been strong, stiff strikes, a million German Suplexes and an F-5 basically every match since he squashed John Cena at SummerSlam 2014. Let's look at the Star Ratings. His top 5 rated matches since he's returned in 2012 are: 4.5 vs CM Punk (SummerSlam 2013), 4.5 vs Cena (Extreme Rules 2012), 4.5 vs Ambrose and Reigns (Fastlane 2016), 4.5 vs Rollins and Reigns (Wrestlemania 31) and 4.75 vs Rollins and Cena (Royal Rumble 2015). Punk and Cena were his finest performances. Punk had to carry the match in the early going, but nonetheless Brock did his part. The Fastlane Triple Threat was carried by Ambrose and Reigns. The match at Wrestlemania 31 was one of the weakest performances I've ever seen. He did 3 moves the entire match: Knee Strikes in the Corner, German Suplex, F-5. The match benefitted from Roman being the resilient babyface and Seth Rollins' shocking Money in the Bank Cash In, which certainly boosted the matches rating. The Royal Rumble Triple Threat was a classic match, but Lesnar was carried by Cena and the hero of the night in Rollins who both delivered phenomenal performances after they took out Lesnar for 2/3 of the match. Other than that, watching Brock Lesnar has been unbearable unless the glorified squash match is your thing.

Part Timers can return at any time and ruin the momentum of a young star (Rock with Miz, Batista with DB) and the casual fans eat it up for the sake of seeing their childhood favorites back in the ring again. It sucks to me, but this is the way things are. The Rock has been cutting the same generic promo every time he comes back. He says he'll never leave and jets back to Hollywood later that night. The cycle continues. At least with Taker, my thing is I give him a pass because one, I know he's getting older, second he's only wrestling once a year, and third he's never left us or chosen something else over us. I just don't see the appeal of part timers and I probably never will.



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