Sunday 4 September 2011

Team Game

The Triple H v CM Punk match that’s been announced for Night of Champions was not originally going to happen. It was going to be Kevin Nash (the guy who told Punk to “take a shower, hit the waits, [and] get a clue”) facing Punk, but a medical check revealed it wouldn’t be the best idea for him to work a full match. So Triple H’s in-ring encounter with Punk was brought forward.

The original plan was for Punk to beat Nash and move on to a full feud with Triple H afterwards. Their first match would have happened either at Hell in a Cell in October or Survivor Series in November. The latter probably would have been decided upon because it is traditionally the bigger show and would have felt more appropriate for the first big match between CM Punk and Triple H.

But with things being changed that’s off the cards, and a new plan has to be concocted for the next three pay-per-views. We know Triple H v CM Punk will happen at Night of Champions, and I’m expecting either a gimmicked rematch at Hell in a Cell or the Kevin Nash v CM Punk match that’s been postponed. I’m hoping for the former: Nash holds no appeal for me as a performer in 2011. Plus I think Triple H and CM Punk could have a lively no disqualification type match.

That just leaves Survivor Series, which brings me to my point. In the last several months we’ve seen Punk reference the release of Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows from their WWE contracts and the return of Kevin Nash, real life pal of Triple H, to television. Punk’s recent push has featured a lot of real life feelings, as has his dispute with ‘The Game’ and ‘Big Sexy’, and I think Survivor Series would be the perfect time to have everything culminate. By that time it will have been five months since Punk’s original shoot promo, four since Triple H became COO, and three since Nash’s surprise return. Everyone involved will need a fresh direction by then.

Here’s what I’d like to see for Survivor Series: Triple H challenging Punk (or Punk challenging Triple H) to a Survivor Series match in which they each captain their own team. ‘The King of Kings’ would naturally pick Kevin Nash as his first teammate and the other three positions could be filled by members of the Clique that can still work (Sean Waltman, basically) and current members of the WWE roster that are “favoured by management”: basically guys that Triple H (in the storyline) wants to elevate to the top of the company. It’s a good way to elevate heels such as Dolph Ziggler, The Miz or Alberto Del Rio. Shawn Michaels could be brought in to be at ringside for his best friend too, adding to the realism of the situation and encouraging those after a bit of nostalgia to buy the show.

Instead of putting together a team of guys from the WWE roster Punk would insist on bringing in the aforementioned Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows in order to provide them with the chance to prove they never should’ve been released. In an ideal world the final two men on his team would be Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero, presented as two of the best in the world who have been overlooked by WWE for years. Alternatively they could go with two other former ROH guys already under contract: Bryan Danielson and Colby ‘Tyler Black’ Lopez.

I think this match would work well because it’s so credible. It’s no secret that Triple H is friends with Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman, and seeing him tag with them would give the match the old guard versus new guard feel that the feud is beginning to take on now. Punk wouldn’t just be bringing in the friends he feels were unjustly fired, he’d be trying to create a better WWE, as he’s said he’s wanted to for months. It’s a natural extension of the groundwork that’s been laid featuring realistic, logical developments.

It would be a fantastic opportunity to draw some big money and start fresh feuds. As I mentioned, the fans nostalgic for the past would be catered for by having Waltman, Nash and Michaels involved, while indy wrestling fans would be interested in seeing the Kings of Wrestling, Cabana or the man formerly known as Tyler Black appear on a WWE pay-per-view, or Danielson and Punk on the same team. It would be a good way to begin a push for whoever filled the positions on ‘Team Game’ too. Del Rio and Miz would be perfect for the role of the company’s chosen one, and the match could be used as a starting point for a singles feud between either one of them and CM Punk. Alternatively Hero and Castagnoli could turn on Punk, setting up a Kings of Wrestling versus Cabana and Punk (I don’t think they refer to themselves as the Second City Saints in WWE, sadly) feud.

Given enough promo time in the weeks leading up to the event this match could draw a lot of buys and provide some memorable television moments along the way: Punk, Triple H, Michaels, Hero and Nash all have great verbal skills are there are various combinations that could be put together to create memorable RAW segments. There would be more than enough guys involved to do four weeks of matches to hype the Survivor Series match without using Nash, Michaels or Triple H.

Most importantly this match gives WWE various ways to start a new feud for its hottest character, CM Punk. The promotion should want to make him a central figure for next year’s WrestleMania and to do that it needs to keep him involved in meaningful feuds. The current Triple H feud is fine, and a post Survivor Series match with The Miz, Del Rio, or the Kings of Wrestling would all allow him to continue doing what he’s been doing so successfully, but against someone fresh.

I know we’re not likely to see this exact match take place at Survivor Series on November 20th, but if WWE can go for something similar that mixes their current compelling storyline with the showcasing of younger talent then I think they’d be doing themselves a huge favour, and providing the fans with an exciting and unpredictable main event.

You heard it here first.

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with 'What to do with CM Punk?' When I was watching RAW this week, the thought had occurred to me as well: "When this Punk/Triple H/Nash feud eventually plays out, what's next for CM Punk?"

    Having him play "The Joker," interrupting promos for his own agenda or just for anarchy would get old very fast, so the WWE has to put some weight behind his character and making him the leader of a new faction works, and would work much better than his time as the leader of the Nexus because he actually has a motivation for it.

    What's unfortunate is that we're already looking towards the next angle because creative seems to have bungled the "Who texted Kevin Nash?" mystery. It didn't have that much life left in it, but it certainly could have wrapped up a bit better than it did and in any scenario, Kevin Nash texting himself (whomever was ACTUALLY behind it) is a bit anti-climatic... But perhaps it's a bit early for Vince to come back/Stephanie to be working against her husband/Shane or Shawn Michaels to make a WTF appearance, etc.