Monday 13 July 2015

Questioning Authority

When The Authority was first formed at SummerSlam 2013 it had purpose. Triple H was following in that grand old McMahon tradition making "his guy" the champion at any cost. In the case of SummerSlam 2013 it was Randy Orton. The group was also very much about making sure the championship wasn't on alleged B-plus player Daniel Bryan. The initial Authority run was very much characterised by Bryan v Orton matches and Triple H putting down D-Bry in promos.

Things got samey pretty quickly. You can only see D-Bry shout "Yes!" before getting beaten up so many times before you start wanting something with a little more depth. For that matter the novelty of laughing at Randall Keith Orton wandering around in just a T-shirt, giving him the like of a fashionably-shaven sex pest, wears off pretty quickly too. But even though there wasn't much variety at least The Authority had a reason to exist and stay together. As far as wrestling storylines went it was A Good Thing.

This man likes trousers.
Contrast that with now. There's no one standing out as definitive opposition to the group. Randy Orton has been replaced as centrepiece by Seth Rollins1. Fair enough, a decent story was told in 'The Future' replacing 'The Apex Predator' and it was a development that made sense in terms of long-term development. But The Authority of 2013 and '14 was all about doing whatever was necessary to ensure its selected wrestlers won. The modern day incarnation does not do this. The last several months have seen an eye-wateringly dull string of teases regarding Authority members walking out on WWE champion Rollins. The most prominent was the peculiar Rollins versus Kane rivalry in which it was implied several times that 'The Big Red Machine' would turn on Rollins and his McMahon paymasters in order to claim the championship for himself. Instead of quietly retiring like everyone wants him to.

J&J security, Rollins' stooges, have gotten in on the act too, which was possibly even more dull than the Kane teases because there was never any chance they'd be portrayed as serious threats to the title, rendering the entire scenario even more pointless. But the most recent development of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon bringing Brock Lesnar back to the company as "the ultimate test" for their boy makes no sense at all. The Authority, we've been shown and told, want to control the WWE championship because that helps them control how the company is presented to the outside world. Which doesn't tally with the decision to put their cowardly heel champion who relies heavily on assistance against the most dominant man the roster's seen in years. Why would they want to give Lesnar the chance to win the title when it's been established he's his own man and he won't play The Authority's game.

It's a decision that plays down Lesnar's actions the night after WrestleMania. Y'know, the night he F5ed Michael Cole out of his shoes and attacked a cameraman (well, an indy wrestler cosplaying as a cameraman). Yes he offered a storyline apology for these actions but that still doesn't adequately explain why The Authority would bring him back with an all-is-forgiven-and-forgotten edict. Look back at how irate Stephanie was when she initially suspended 'The Beast'. It makes no sense that a few months later she'd simply bring him back and award him a title match to test her crown jewel.

At this point the most sensible thing to do would be to dissolve The Authority. Tripper and Steph would be fine with a reduced presence. Kane would be fine retiring or playing a comedically overworked and stressed middle management matchmaker in place of the McMahons. Brad Maddox could be brought in as his chief of staff or assistant. There's fun to be had there. Noble and Mercury could simply be phased out as TV presences. Rollins, easily the most important member of the faction as he's the one who'll be main eventing pay-per-views for years to come, would be better off on his own right now. It's not that he can't benefit from being the main attraction of a dastardly heel stable. It's that The Authority just isn't that dastardly anymore.


1 It's interesting to note that Rollins wrestles in trousers, making him a perfect contrast to the trouser averse Orty.

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