Let me tell all of you I have been meaning to write this column since Saturday, but due to lack of time I was forced to push it back. However, let me just say this, I think Unforgiven has the potential to be the best pay-per-view of the WWE fiscal year thus far. Keep in mind the key word there is potential.
What am I talking about? I am talking about the two very powerful “Championship Scramble” matches scheduled to take place. I am very intrigued as to how the WWE will pull it off, and what their plans are when all is said and done. Now I know the concept has been done before with the Hardcore Title, but I think it could (and will) work very nicely with the two biggest prizes in the company.
Let’s start with the World Heavyweight Title on Raw. Now, I will be one of many fans who say that CM Punks’ reign hasn’t been booked all that well. The fact remains that he is STILL champion! The fact that this Championship Scramble is taking place leads me to believe in a number of reasons. One, the WWE still feels that Punk cannot draw well enough on his own to main event a ppv. Two, the WWE feels they have exhausted all options for Punk/JBL in one on one competition, so they needed a reason to get the other top guys involved.
I am happy for the most part with the participants in the match. I do have one question though; Chris Jericho beat Punk cleanly last week on Raw, why is he not in the match? Yet, Kane is? Now I know for storyline purposes and his fued with HBK, Jericho can’t really be committed to the match right now. However, do not be surprised if the WWE pulls a swerve and has Jericho beat Punk for the title right on Raw sometime before Unforgiven! I know I might just be dreaming there.
In all seriousness, I think this match is very solid, and I hope in all that is sacred within the WWE that Punk walks out of Unforgiven, still World Heavyweight Champion. Now is not the time for Punk to lose, especially after having just “proven” himself against JBL not one month ago. Let the straight edge man carry it a bit longer and perhaps when Randy Orton returns drop it back to him.
Now, on to the Smackdown Scramble for the WWE Championship. I absolutely LOVE how Smackdown shaped their match for the ppv. For one, they didn’t just announce the competitors like Raw, they had actual qualifying matches (something they should do more often). Two, if you look at the line-up, with the exception of perhaps Jeff Hardy (and of course Triple H), it’s all up and coming mid-card talent.
This is EXACTLY what the WWE needs to do more often. You have the United States Champion Shelton Benjamin who has had more pushes scrapped for him than anyone else besides perhaps Mr. Kennedy. You have MVP, who has floundered in the mid to upper-mid ranks (also like Kennedy) for sometime now; and you have The Brian Kendrick who has quickly become the new hot heel of Smackdown.
Adding Jeff Hardy to that mix is only right. He has been flirting with the title for quite awhile now, and this is the door he could use to take it. Hardy adds a bit of that extreme and unpredictable element to the match that the others may lack a bit.
I am most excited about The Brian Kendrick being in this match though; I mean who would have thought the WWE these days would put a guy like Kendrick in this match? I have enjoyed how Kendrick has taken this new found freedom of tv time to really show the WWE fans what he can do, both in the ring and character-wise. Anyone who has seen him in his RoH days knows he has the talent, now it appears that the WWE has finally recognized it as well.
Imagine with me, if The Brian Kendrick walked out of Unforgiven as the new WWE Champion. Now pause for a moment and think, how awesome would that be. A move like that may just dull anyone’s notions of Vince being only about the big guys (which I myself have been guilty of saying). May I also point out that Kendrick has a lot of the same traits as a guy in his younger days had and his name is Shawn Michaels.
Michaels had the flamboyant pretty-boy look, like Kendrick now, albeit less dancing. Michaels had a bodyguard (Diesel), Kendrick does too. Michaels is not that big, neither is Kendrick. All these similarities makes me think that perhaps the WWE could surprise us all. The only thing holding it back would be, where do you go once its done?
That is why I would not be surprised if the WWE pulls that swerve and takes the title off Triple H, and the man walking out of Unforgiven as Champion is Jeff Hardy. Hardy is the guy that I believe is ready to finally take that next step. He would be a very shocking surprise for the fans, but also very reliable from a business standpoint as well. He sells a lot of merchandise already, where as a guy like Kendrick is still “coming into his character.”
I don’t know about all of you, but I am very excited as to which direction the WWE will go. Maybe both titles stay put, but I say if one has to switch, give Punk a bit more time, and elevate a guy like Hardy at the same time.