ZING! MT @Heric_Holmes Glad to see that not only are the Rhodes wrestling, they are booking too.
— David Shoemaker (@AKATheMaskedMan) October 7, 2013
September 2012 – WWE Night of Champions featured CM Punk defending his WWE Championship against John Cena. The match ended in a draw, when both men’s shoulders were counted down.
May 2013 – WWE Extreme Rules was main evented by a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship, featuring John Cena defending against Ryback. The match ended in a No Contest, after both men went through a stage wall and were deemed unable to continue.
October 2013 – The IWC lost its collective mind when Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton’s bout for the vacant WWE Championship ended in a no contest/no decision, due to the Big Show’s reign of terror.
Last not was not the first (or the second) time in the last year in which the WWE fans paid for a pay-per-view that inconclusively ended. Seeing a pay-per-view main event end in a count-out, DQ, or, worse yet, the dreaded draw can be completely disheartening. This is especially so for those who struggled with the financial morality of hitting the “ORDER” button on their remote, knowing that $54.95 charge would come back to haunt them on the next bill.
Let’s be honest for a moment, though – Didn’t we all know something was coming? This was the second PPV meeting in the series between the Dazzler and the Viper; the best case scenario would be one of the two winning outright, but clouded by shady circumstances. This bout was a necessary stepping-stone to the “There Must Be a Winner!” cage match at Hell in a Cell.
That’s not to say those who paid for the event should feel angry, but I think I’ve been able to narrow the focus of the anger. Ignoring the power outages, we were treated to some memorable moments (e.g. Family Rhodes versus The Shield; Bray Wyatt debuting the Exorcist crab walk). One thing really sticks in the craw of the WWE Universe: Daniel Bryan is still without the WWE Championship. He’s one of the most over stars of the last decade, and has long been one of the darlings if the IWC (and rightfully so). And yet he has twice been given the strap, only to have it ripped away both times. The frustration of Dazzler-denial is clearly boiling-over, and last night’s finish was one step too far for many.
Was last night’s ending what was “Best for Business?” Perhaps. Those who ordered last night’s PPV in hopes of Daniel Bryan finally winning the belt may be even more inspired to order Hell in a Cell in a few weeks, especially if a winner is guaran-damn-teed. This carries no weight coming from a jerk with no experience in the wrestling industry, but perhaps the WWE should tread lightly. I have to imagine there’ll be a point when wrestling fans stop ordering events in which the purpose is obviously set up for the next $54.95 order.
I could be wrong, though. It’s been done before, and it will be done again…
September 1998: At WWF Breakdown, the Undertaker and Kane pinned WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin simultaneously in a triple threat match, resulting in the title being declared vacant.
October 1998: WWF Judgment Day – Special Guest Ref Steve Austin declared himself the winner of a match between The Undertaker and Kane to determine a new champion. The actual result of the match was a no contest, and the title remained vacant.
Proposal: Daniel Bryan rides a Zamboni to the ring tonight, and flies off of it to attack HHH, Orton, and the Shield. Afterwards, we all calm down. Deal?