Promos By Hyphen: The Blankety Blank You Love To Hate

Some people take this wrestling stuff too far.

“I hate CM Punk. CM Punk is a punk.”

“CM Punk is a jerk. I can’t believe he brought up Lawler’s heart attack/Paul Bearer’s death.”

“Triple H screws over X-Pac every chance he gets.”

It’s called heat. Heel wrestlers want the crowds to hate them. Do you think its ideal for CM Punk chants to outweigh “Rocky” chants when the WWE Title is on the line? I don’t think so. They want you to hate them. And some wrestlers are so good at it, you can’t help but still cheer for them.

One of my friends gives me shit about CM Punk every chance he gets. “Punk is gonna lose to the Undertaker. Punk is gonna get his ass whooped tonight. CM Punk isn’t very good at all.” Every time, I look at him and say, “It’s scripted. Would I want CM Punk to win all the time? Sure. But then I’d be complaining about how predictable the storylines are.” And still, he keeps right on talking about how much he doesn’t like him.

I think CM Punk peed in his Cheerios or something. This is all speculation of course.

Our boy John Cena gets a good share of hate but for different reasons. “Cena can’t wrestle. Cena is always champion. Cena needs to turn heel. Cena always wins. Cena is doing his Superman routine again.” I too had my issues with our boy Cena for most of these things…until he had that match with Brock Lesnar last year at Extreme Rules. I always respected Cena carrying on the face of the company tradition that Hulk Hogan ran with in the 80’s and there’s no denying the work he’s done for the Make-A-Wish Foundation alone, but from 2005-2011, he was WWE Champion or World Heavyweight Champion every year, even holding the WWE Title for 380 days from 2006 to 2007 when he suffered a legit injury. Despite that incredible streak of staying relevant in professional wrestling, the fans turned on him because…that’s what fans do. But any man who has the balls to let Brock Lesnar beat on him for 20+ minutes has all my respect. He may be predictable but you’ll never hear me shitting on our boy John Cena anymore. It also helps that he’s had two classic matches with Punk in the past year and a half as well.

But our boy John Cena will beat The Rock at WrestleMania for the WWE Title. And the hate will begin anew.

The Miz was somebody who used to make fellow co-founder Thomas spew venom every time he appeared on screen. When he held the WWE Title in late 2010 to early 2011, Thomas would throw all kinds of colorful language out, as if that would make Miz go back to the locker room. “He can’t wrestle. He’s boring. This is our WWE Champion? I like Alex Riley more than him.” I personally love Miz as a heel and have ever since he had that mini feud with Cena in 2009 when he debuted the first anti-Cena shirt worn on WWE TV. Not to mention the damn near spot on imitation he did of The Rock leading up to WrestleMania XXVII. I felt bad for him when WWE’s writers didn’t know what do with him by mid-2011.

But now, I may be on the other side of the fence. While I don’t hate Miz the wrestler, I definitely hate Miz as a face. I know he’s only a face right now because The Marine 3: Homefront just came out but watching him toe the line between trying to be a crowd favorite and being his snarky, heel self is painful. And his terrible use of the Figure Four isn’t helping. Hopefully, he’ll get to return to his heel ways in due time but for now, I’m on the Miz hating bus. I did enjoy his interactions with Jericho and Wade Barrett on the last edition of Raw though.

I hated Triple H when he became a heel in 1999 and DX became a heel faction. But since I missed a huge chunk of wrestling from 2000-07, I missed a large part of his heel run that he’s so hated for and I actually have enjoyed watching his matches. Mike “The Buzz-Saw” Asti’s hate of Triple H stems from the aforementioned horrible treatment of X-Pac at his hands and isn’t really rational but I’ll humor him for a bit.

The man has won the most major championships in WWF/E history. Sure, they recognize Flair as having 16 (he has 22 total) but Trips has the most with one company.

He’s buried talent in the past. Some have said he’s never liked Jericho, he’s been accused of sending Umaga on the spiral that led to his WWE departure and ultimately his death, and he always seems to find his way into the best feuds, which normally results in his winning (like he will over Brock at WrestleMania NY/NJ).

And he botches a lot of spots.

In his defense, who cares how many major titles he’s won? WWE is about entertainment and Triple H can put on a show. He might not have the best move set or the best gimmicks or the best t-shirts (I still can’t find one I’d actually like to own) but when Trips hits that Spinebuster and then the Pedigree, forget about it. This is the reason he’s currently my Undisputed Champion on WWE ’13. And I know Asti will throw a mini fit when he reads that.

He’s buried a lot of talent but he’s also put over a great deal too. The whole WWE is guilty of not making stars as of late, so why single Triple H out as one of the reasons why? When the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac joined DX when the stable turned face in 1998, their career profiles couldn’t help but be boosted. Same with Randy Orton and Batista in Legacy, no matter how many times Hunter beat them in matches later on. He also helped put over one of the most unlikely major title holders ever in Chris Benoit and that’s not something to sneeze at.

Has he won a lot of matches that he didn’t deserve to? Sure. But isn’t that how professional wrestling works?

And yes, he does botch a lot of spots. I think more so when he was a regular worker, but a quick Google search produces tons of results about people complaining about his ring prowess.

I will say though, at WrestleMania XXVII, when The Undertaker attempted that over the top rope onto his opponent on the ground move, his foot caught. And wasn’t nothing on his Earth capable of stopping the spill he was about to take. But Triple H caught him and made it look like a halfway clean move again.

Any man who can catch The Undertaker out of the air in free fall doesn’t deserve to be bothered about the spots he misses occasionally.

On the other hand, I don’t see too many people disliking Dolph Ziggler, at least not in the past 2 years or so. When he was a mid-carder and the writers were letting him languish, I didn’t care about him. But it was some time in 2011 when I noticed he was the king of bumps. And he just puts on great matches. I have no idea why he’s still holding his Money In The Bank briefcase but Ziggles time is now. And no matter how much heat he tries to draw, I always seem to catch the crowds cheering for him. There’s no denying his abilities and having him pound on our boy John Cena isn’t going to help his heat either. I really enjoyed his interactions with Zack Ryder on his YouTube show and it’s a shame that we won’t be seeing another serious feud between those two before Ryder’s inevitable release. But seriously, ask any WWE fan their opinions of Ziggler. If they say they hate him, they have to be under the age of 15.

But a wrestler who I haven’t been enjoying as of late is The Rock. That’s right, one of my favorite wrestlers of the Attitude Era and my second professional wrestling era makes me mad on a regular basis.

The night he appeared on Raw in 2011 to announce that he was hosting WrestleMania XXVII was amazing. Thomas and I hung on his every word that night and I followed his run all the way to the night after WrestleMania when he and our boy Cena agreed to their match at ‘Mania XXVIII. In fact, he was the catalyst to why I even made the trek to Miami last year. I loved his promos when he was on TV, I loved his via satellite promos, and I laughed at every joke made at our boy John’s expense.

But when he appeared on Raw 1000 and announced that he had been magically granted a WWE Title shot at the Royal Rumble, something flipped. CM Punk turned heel that night with a GTS to the Great One but something still didn’t sit right with me.

The Rock was going to be WWE Champion again, just because he made time on his schedule to do it.

So let’s get the fanboy reactions out of the way: “No, I want Punk to stay Champion forever. When did The Rock earn a title shot? There’s no way WWE puts the belt on somebody who can’t be/won’t be on TV every week. I don’t want Punk to lose!”

WWE did this to build up hype for their plans to do a Rock/Cena rematch at WrestleMania NY/NJ. I was among those who were surprised to see Cena lose last year; now we know why. What better way for our boy John Cena to get revenge by not only beating the Rock but also by reclaiming the WWE Title that’s eluded him for a year plus?

So much for once in a lifetime.

That aside, The Rock has been pretty un-electrifying during this run. He always seemed to come up short against Punk verbally and neither of their matches made him look strong at all. Punk pinned him cleanly at least twice at Elimination Chamber and technically beat him at Royal Rumble before Vince came out and restarted the match. When he’s entertaining the crowd, he’s great. But put a wrestler in the ring with him, he stumbles. Hopefully, our boy Cena will bring him back to form.

But that new WWE Championship belt sure is cool.

I could go on to other past wrestlers like Hogan (he’s a dick and hated jobbing), Nash (said to be one of the reasons WCW got so bad due to booking control), Michaels (was a dick before he became born again), Bret Hart (Okay, I kind of personally hate him. Mostly because I missed his era and I don’t see what the big deal was. I do think the Screwjob was effed though.), or even Goldberg (always read he was a pain to work with, and he ended Hart’s career), but I feel like all of those guys were hated more for backstage reasons than what they did on camera.

To sum everything up, we’re supposed to hate wrestlers. We’re supposed to want them to lose or win or hit somebody with a chair or marry the boss’ daughter. That’s all part of the game of professional wrestling.

And can you imagine wrestling without those guys? Or if the writers did exactly what we thought they should do every week? I don’t even think there would’ve been an interest in having two major wrestling promotions in the 90’s, let alone the idea of Hulkamania in the 80’s. We need to hate these guys so that we keep pouring our money into this product so we can see them get their comeuppance. Because, at the end of the day, the golden rule still stands: good guys beat the bad guys. Just make sure you tack “eventually” to the end of that in the case of pro wrestling and you have yourself a start for any promotion, big or small.

But if I have to keep hearing about how much CM Punk sucks from my friend, my next column might be sent from a jail cell.

Best In The World. 4 Life.

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