Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The case of the rogue Ace in the deck

You can tell a lot of the time when the WWE's over-maligned creative staff paints themselves right into a corner and can't get out.

Case in point: With 12 days before the next pay-per-view, Night of Champions, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, aka Triple H (Paul LeVesque, who has a new movie, "Inside Out", opening in limited release this weekend), the current figurehead Chief Operating Officer, has put himself in a very difficult position. He will compete for the first time since Wrestlemania, back in April, vs. CM Punk, who is being posited as the company's new counter-culture anti-hero, this decade's version of Stone Cold Steve Austin. If Punk wins, Helmsley gives up being the COO after just 2 months on the job. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

The original thinking was to match Punk with 52 year old Kevin Nash, who returned to the company in January after signing a "Legends" deal and made an appearance at the Royal Rumble. 7 months later, Nash cost Punk the WWE title at Summerslam after Punk beat John Cena, enabling Alberto Del Rio to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to claim the belt. However, with Nash's history of leg injuries, and having had more knee surgeries than about half the NFL, and fellow grappler Rey Mysterio, combined, Nash was scratched in favor of HHH, especially with Punk pushing the "Cerebral Assassin"'s buttons by dissing the COO's wife, Stephanie McMahon. Apparently, Punk never consulted the last guy to do that, Randy Orton.

Last night, on Monday Night Raw, Nash was "fired" by Triple H, but left the arena in the company of WWE Vice President of Talent Relations John Lauranitis, who has been a player in this drama as well. Lauranitis, you see, "signed" Nash to a "lucrative deal" some three weeks ago behind HHH's back, and the two cads scurried out of the arena like a couple of mice to plot their next move. Problem is, with the match a No-Disqualification bout, that next move seems rather obvious.

But what does Lauranitis gain from this? That's easy. Power, and plenty of it. Stephanie is his superior officer, but if HHH loses the COO's job, Lauranitis can easily be elevated over the golden couple and lord it over them and everyone else. You see, in his wrestling career, Lauranitis, as Johnny Ace, had to deal with the long shadow cast by his Hall of Fame brother, Joe, aka Animal of the Road Warriors. Johnny Ace enjoyed his greatest success in Japan, but has never received his just due from the critics here in America. He has been an executive with WWE for 10 years, and prior to that had the same gig in WCW. He's been Vince McMahon's hatchet man for a decade, and some wonder why he even landed that gig in the first place. I know I do. His mission now, as far as the viewers are concerned, is to eliminate Punk by any means necessary, but with something more valuable at stake, what's stopping him from screwing over Triple H?

Believe me, that is an option I don't even want to think about. Punk AND Helmsley are being played like a couple of fiddles, oblivious to the real threat in their midst. Count on this. Nash will be back at Night of Champions, to stab an old friend in the back. He goes back further with Lauranitis than he does with HHH, a fact that has yet to be acknowledged on television, another sign of creative incompetence. Those of us with long memories can connect the dots quicker than the writers can, which makes you wonder why these scribes are even working in WWE in the first place. I've already gone over that.

Bottom line: In order to save the WWE from ruin, it falls upon Triple H to beat CM Punk, not the other way around. And the sooner they realize this, the better!

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