Hello to all my peeps out there in the WWE Universe. Welcome to another edition of The Dog Pound, a place where your voice can be heard. Now, I know we are just over one month away from the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment, but today I wanted to address something that I had failed to mention during my last go around. I speak of course, about the return of Christian to World Wrestling Entertainment. So step inside, because this column may just become an instant classic!
On February 10th of 2009, those of us that actually sat down and watched WWE’s version of ECW were treated to a nice little surprise, Christian had returned. Not only did he return, but he set his sights immediately on the ECW title, and its champion Jack Swagger. Now, if you’re like me, when Christian returned I bet you a few different thoughts ran through your head. One, yes I am pumped he’s finally back. Two, why no vignetts or build-up for his return? Three, why on ECW? Four, against Jack Swagger? And finally five, “hey at least he’s finally back.”
I think those were the exact thoughts and feelings I had about Christian’s return, and I believe they were in that order too. Initially I was pumped to see him out there and was genuinely surprised as well. Then, I began to think about why the WWE put him on ECW and not Smackdown. Why the WWE gave no promo’s to heighten his comeback. Then, it hit me; being on ECW right now is a blessing in disguise for this man. Let’s face it, Matt Hardy leaving for Smackdown left a big hole to fill and who better than a man returning to the WWE-style of wrestling after years away.
Being on ECW allows Christian the chance to re-introduce himself to the WWE way of working a match. Often slower paced and more storytelling than a TNA dibacle. As a member of ECW, he also brings that veteran leadership into the locker room (along with Fit Finlay) to help tutor the young guys along. After all, Christian is no spring chicken. Above all else, holding Christian off of the main shows for the time being, can build the anticipation for the eventual reuniting or feud between he and Edge.
From stories I’ve read, it appears that Christian was never really a favorite of Vince McMahon’s. With that, the fans got to see the gradual rise of Edge to the main event level. With that though, it allowed Christian to break away, join TNA wrestling, and carve his own niche as a main event guy. If you stop and think, had Christian stayed with the WWE throughout, he most likely would have remained at the mid-card level. But, going to TNA helped show people that he could be a main event guy. With that, Christian was able to return to the WWE having built some stock in his name. Perhaps Vince was able to see Christian thrive in TNA and is now willing to give him the proper shot that he deserves.
Now, some people may say that the WWE missed the boat in putting Christian as Jeff Hardy’s attacker. As a fan, I’d have to agree. Apparently Vince saw that the plans had leaked online and decided to change them. Now, we get Matt vs. Jeff, and Christian vs. Swagger. My argument as a fan would have to be the simple fact that people wanted Christian as the attacker, people WANTED Christian to return and make that immediate impact. From this angle, I would argue that, despite the fact that it leaked online, why not give the fans something they wanted?
From the business angle though, I can see why the original plans were changed. No business wants their plans or secrets leaked online and in the end, maybe this storyline is the big break that Matt Hardy could use to become a true main event guy. I still hope that somewhere down the line we see Edge/Matt team up to face Jeff/Christian. Think about the awkward tension the writers could create between not only the team of brothers, but the subplot between Edge and Matt based on their history.
So far, I have to say I’m impressed with Christian’s return and even though I’m not very high on Jack Swagger, their latest match was truly one to see. I also wanted to leave you all with these two thoughts, and feel free to email me what you think. Is Matt Striker the best announer the WWE has right now? I think so. And, I know I’d be pumped to see it, a feud between Christian and Paul Birchill down the line for the ECW title!