Friday, August 12, 2011

Triple H As the Sword of Damocles: WWE SummerSlam 2011 Preview

Who will stand tallest? If there's a God, it won't be the one with the microphone.
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It's weird.

The last time WWE has graced pay-per-view with its presence, it hit every note correctly. Every match was pitch perfect with the exception of the Divas Championship match. The right people won. The right decisions were made. Things looked like they'd be intriguing for awhile with everything that went down.

For the most part, SummerSlam still is intriguing, or at least it should be. Whether or not you felt CM Punk coming back after eight days was a good call or not, they've at least set the table for his match with Cena nicely in response to that. In a vacuum, SummerSlam, while not as highly anticipated as Money in the Bank was, still would look like a decent card on paper.

But then there's the Sword of Damocles hanging over that match, a huge insertion to the main event that has set several fans panicking. Despite the fact that I still remain hopeful despite there being no reason for me to remain hopeful, I can totally understand if people get scared with Triple H now being the special guest referee. There's a part of me that fears terribly that the man who stands tall when SummerSlam goes off the air won't be John Cena, won't be CM Punk, but will be the doofus son-in-law.

It's not just the history that I've been writing about this week in some regard. It's the recent shows where Trips' ego running wild has been a theme, whether overt or a bit muted. The opening segment to RAW this past week was a self-produced tribute to Trips, orchestrated by the man himself. The end segment, as beautiful and effective as it was, had Triple H butting his nose into the conversation and putting himself above Cena at one point. It's a scary time for folks like us who lived through is reign of terror as a wrestler, those who weren't in his fan camp and who didn't enjoy him going over our favorites, for whatever reason.

The thing is, Triple H in this match represents a zipper that could come undone and turn the entire new direction of WWE on its head to some people. If we get worried about Triple H exerting his will, then the play of Randy Orton decimating Christian in 5 minutes with no recourse whatsoever. That domino falls to knock over the Divas Championship match, where Kelly Kelly beats Beth Phoenix clean as a whistle with an ass-shaking stink face into an ass-shaking moonsault that's botched terribly with no discipline. That domino falls to have Wade Barrett defeat Daniel Bryan in three minutes, claiming his Money in the Bank briefcase in the process and having Michael Cole come in the ring and do a dance around the fallen "nerd". Then there's the domino of Sheamus and Mark Henry standing isolated in the middle, because hey, that's really the only sure thing on this PPV whether good or bad. Either you're a big fan of hosses pummeling each other or you're not. But if all of the other four scenarios play out the way they do, SummerSlam will serve as a scorched earth reminder that WWE really hasn't changed at all.

That being said, do I believe all of that will happen? Hell, I don't believe that any of that is going to happen very strongly. Why would WWE reverse direction so quickly, especially when a new regime is slowly taking over, letting the last two months play out the way they have with wrestling becoming more and more of the focus, letting Punk speak his mind, giving Christian a platform to work from that isn't "trusty sidekick" or "never-will-be". Hell, Triple H is the guy who spoke up loudest after Jamie Noble had the crazy idea that Bryan should win Smackdown's Money in the Bank match.

That being said, while I think this will be a step forward for WWE, even if it's a small one that seems like they've just ran in place, I still can't shake the feeling that Triple H is going to do something very terrible. The Sword of Damocles, naturally, is rooted a bit in paranoia. I've learned to recoil at the thought of trusting someone who's bitten me so many times before. So yeah, you'll have to forgive me if I speak out of both sides of my mouth on this one.

I don't know. I get the feeling that this year's Slam is going to be good. I really do. But this feeling of dread abounding, when in a vacuum, it shouldn't be there at all, is just disconcerting. Either way, it marks as a potential watershed moment for WWE. It'll be the point where we get a better idea if change really is afoot and we are in for very exciting times as wrestling fans, or whether the new boss is the same as the old boss.

And hey, if that gives the main event an extra added layer of unintentional tension, we might be talking about this for years to come like we will be Money in the Bank, especially if they shock us and actually do something that doesn't involve the thread on the Sword of Triplcles snapping, sending his long-nosed blade hurtling down at our heads in a terminal velocity of malaise and dissatisfaction.

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