High Road/Low Road 07.02.10: Kane Seeking Retribution For The Undertaker’s Demise
Welcome back to the High Road/Low Road!
A brief explanation of the column: Normally, Sat takes the High Road (positive view) on angles, gimmicks, and other wrestling related “stuff” while Chad Nevett takes the Low Road (negative view), but, this week, things are reversed with Chad taking the High Road and Sat taking the Low Road.
KANE SEEKING RETRIBUTION FOR THE UNDERTAKER’S DEMISE
First of all, this story with the Undertaker having been attacked and Kane seeking vengeance is a great example of the WWE taking a negative (the Undertaker’s injury) and turning it into a positive story development by explaining the Undertaker’s absence and giving Kane a new focus. It’s a little goofy, but it sidesteps the usual ‘wrestler A is injured’ explanation that is usually used.
I definitely agree with the idea of turning a negative into a positive and its always nice to get a different explanation then the usual wrestler is injured. But, does anybody remember what happened the day after that initial SmackDown? We basically saw that people were searching online on Google for Undertaker dead and so on. Is that really what you want people to be searching when we are already hearing about wrestlers dying? I like the fact that the WWE did something different, but this was a bad idea.
While goofy, the story ties into aspects of both Kane and the Undertaker’s characters that have always been there. With the WWE now PG and aimed at kids, it makes sense to use those supernatural elements again somewhat since it helps makes both men look different from every other wrestler and stand out. It lends credibility to the idea of them both being feared by everyone else.
The supernatural thing has really not been played too much by the WWE besides the Undertaker and Kane sitting up after taking a lot of punishment and Kane shooting fire from the ring post. The only way the supernatural elements are really brought forward is if the Undertaker miraculously recovers from the vegetative state and if it was Kane who used the powers to do this to him.
Kane has been floundering lately, moving from minor feud to minor feud, but this story provides him with a strong focus and makes him someone that fans can care about again. By acting on behalf the Undertaker, he gains some of the Undertaker’s heat, and you buy him suddenly being more dominant in the ring thanks to his desire to avenge his brother’s attack. This is a good renewal of the character, taking him back to basics as the violent, angry monster, except, this time, we’re cheering him on.
This angle has definitely made Kane a major threat and that’s a good thing considering he had been floundering for quite some time. But, there are a few negatives to this. First, he’s been decimating four of the top guys on SmackDown. I understand making Kane a threat, but should he really be this big of a threat. Finally, it is safe to say that Kane did this to the Undertaker and eventually this is going to lead to him getting beat to an oblivion like always.
The story began with a fantastic promo by Kane. He doesn’t often get a chance to speak at length, so him delivering such a strong, emotional promo about the Undertaker hit that much harder. As well, to hear Kane speak about the Undertaker in that way gave the idea of the Undertaker being attacked more weight. If Kane is this upset, then it must be a big deal.
The first promo that Kane gave was very good, but after that it got a bit tiresome. I think the best scenario would have been for Kane to give the promo the first week and then just start kicking ass left and right. Having him stand by a casket and talk about vengeance is not working.
The mystery of the Undertaker’s attacker provides a lot of interesting possibilities. Obviously Kane is a suspect, but it could also be any of the other men in the main event and could be used to set up a feud first with Kane and, then, the Undertaker. Or, the WWE could use this as a way to elevate a midcard guy to a role of importance because of his attack on the Undertaker. There’s a lot of potential for when the Undertaker returns as to who they’ll choose as the attacker.
I don’t faith in the WWE at all. I think what we will see is that Kane will be the person responsible because it is the easy way out. How do you explain how somebody put the Undertaker in a vegetative state? You are not going to be able to explain that very easily, so I see it being Kane just for that reason alone.
Even if Kane turns out to be the attacker, it’s been a while since the two Brothers of Destruction have feuded and this could be the last chance for such a feud with both men’s careers winding down in the next couple of years. Newer fans haven’t seen the two in a feud together and the WWE should capitalize on their past at some point.
It has definitely been awhile since they feuded. I believe it has been close to six years, so enough time has definitely passed. The question I have is does anybody want to see an extended feud between the two? I would be okay with a match or two, but I don’t want to see months of these guys feuding.
Are you taking the High Road or the Low Road?
Simply write “High Road”, “Low Road”, or “Both Roads” in the comment section.
Results for Rey Mysterio as World Heavyweight Champion:
High Road: 34%
Low Road: 49%
Both Roads: 17%
Chad Nevett: This was a relatively close one with it being pretty even until the last bunch of comments pushed the Low Road for the win. I’m with the Low Road. I just watched Judgment Day 2006 on DVD (five bucks from Wal-Mart!) and it made me lose all confidence in Rey as a world champion. He’s always the underdog and you can’t be that as champ. Plus, Jack Swagger deserved better.
Sat: I was surprised that this was a low road. I guess people are expecting the same Rey Mysterio from 2006 and I don’t think we will see that just because everybody’s second reign is better than the first one. So, this is a high road for me.
These are all of the e-mails that we received this week. We do not respond to the actual e-mail, but the reply to your e-mail will be below.
Chad Nevett: No e-mails this week except votes. On to the comments!
Below are the comments for last week’s columns and our responses. Every comment will not be included because it makes our lives a lot easier. The comments section was last looked at on Wednesday morning.
Swagger was just starting to come into his own as champion and was producing good matches each week on tv. another few months with the title would legitimizes him as a main eventer for years to come.
Chad Nevett: I agree. Swagger’s run wasn’t as impressive as I would have liked, but a win at Fatal Fourway would have helped.
Sat: I think one of the main problems in the WWE is that people’s first title win is always treated as a fluke.
i would have like swagger to hold onto the belt for a few more months.
i think either drew mcintyre will take the belt off mysterio or taker comes back and beats him for it.
Chad Nevett: I wouldn’t be surprised if Swagger just wins it back at Money in the Bank.
Sat: I think the chances are good that Swagger will win it back at Money in the Bank.
I will go High Road. Rey Mysterio has been one of the most consistently entertaining WWE wrestlers for the past year, and it’s good to see him get the recognition he deserves.
Chad Nevett: People argue this as a reason for his reign, but it doesn’t work for me. The belt is more than just a reward, it needs to make sense and lead to good stories and matches. That only seems partly likely with Mysterio as champ.
Sat: Let’s not forget that Mysterio has been involved in two great feuds (with Jericho and Punk) and I think he deserves a title shot because of that.
High Road, it will be better than Swagger’s joke of a reign where he had a record of 1-68 in his matches. Mysterio should be a better champion and actually look like a legit one.
Chad Nevett: Swagger’s run was booked poorly, yes, but Mysterio’s first run as champ wasn’t much better. Unless the WWE books him differently this time around, it’s going to be the same run as Swagger basically.
Sat: I think how Mysterio is booked will definitely determine whether this is high road or a low road.
The Gold Standard Writes:
Both Roads. While I think Mysterios 2nd reign will be far better seeing that rarely loses nowadays despite being a so called “underdog”, I hate that a feud couldn’t be established between Swagger and Mysterio. Then again Swaggers title win was a joke just like whoever else cashes in the MITB briefcase and wins the title. I would have rather Show win to be honest but I guess now is the time to capitalize on Mysterios popularity. Question now is who does he feud with here?
Chad Nevett: I think Swagger winning back the belt could legitimize him somewhat as I don’t see the WWE booking Mysterio as a strong champion, while Swagger looked better than ever right after losing the belt.
Sat: Swagger winning back the title would definitely help legitimize him as a main eventer. Big Show as champion would have been a bad idea.
The Celt Writes:
I get the feeling most people will take the low road but just because his first world title reign is viewed as “bad” that will zero effect on this one. It could be a completely different run for Mysterio this time.
Chad Nevett: It could be, yes. However, I doubt it somehow. I don’t think the WWE has changed that much in four years.
Sat: Mysterio has not been jobbing lately, so odds are good that he will have a good run.
HBK’s Smile Writes:
A real mixed bag.
If WWE was married to the idea of taking the belt off Swagger and putting it on a face, Rey works a lot better than Show.
Rey does pop the crowd and move merch.
He also has fun matches, which should make subsequent title matches entertaining.
Hopefully, this can thrust a Rey-Punk feud to the forefront, similar to Jericho-Shawn 2 years ago.
I don’t see the reason to take the belt off Swagger in the first place (especially with Cena losing the title later that night, negating the need to have a title switch here). WWE has had a poor track record with people’s first World Title reigns.
Rey further benefits from injuring Taker.
So despite causing the end of the Swagger reign, I’ll vote high road, mostly on the strength of a (hopefully) continued Rey-Punk feud and the promise of fun, fast-paced title matches.
Chad Nevett: Well, it’s not looking like Punk/Rey will be happening. I do agree that there aren’t many better choices for faces to stick the belt on aside from Rey Rey, though.
Sat: I was also looking forward to Punk and Mysterio, but too bad that might not happen.
The WWE had a chance to really elevate a new a talented guy in Jack Swagger. But when you book the champion to constantly lose, of course you need someone else in there. We all know that Rey is one of the top money makers for the company, and traditionally wrestling has rewarded those types of guys with gold. But, Rey doesn’t need to be holding gold to sell himself to the kids. While raising new guys gives the WWE the chance to make even more money. The part that really irks me is that Rey is rewarded by getting the spot of the guy he injured. And why not give the Big Show another title? He has been unstoppable the last few months and is also pretty popular. Show needs to be rewarded too.
Chad Nevett: That Swagger was booked to lose so much was a big drawback. I understand him losing to guys like the Undertaker or Randy Orton after hard-fought matches, because he’s still new to the main event scene and wouldn’t become completely dominant over night. But, there was no reason for him to lose to midcard guys when a win would have made him look strong without hurting them.
Sat: It has been a long time since Mysterio was champion, so maybe you need to get him a title win so he doesn’t lose his fans.
High Road. You know, Jericho had a terrible first title reign. I think we’re glad he got a second chance… why can’t Rey have a second chance? If it ends up being awful then it’s a fitting enough way to say “goodbye” since he’s probably gone in the next couple of years anyway.
Chad Nevett: Another good argument for the High Roads. I’m willing to give Rey a second chance as champ… I’m just very, very skeptical.
Sat: I think his second run will be a lot better. Multiple guys have had a bad run and then redeemed themselves. I think the WWE could benefit from having Rey Mysterio reestablish himself as a main evemter.
We all know he’s going to lose it in a month, two tops. Besides not being championship material anyways, Rey doesn’t need the belt. Show, Punk and Swagger were infinitely better choices for reasons of possibilities; Who’s Rey gonna feud with? Shad Gaspard? Tyler Reks? Ziggler again? Rey’s either done it recently or has to resort to lower card heels.
Chad Nevett: What about Swagger? Kane could be slotted in without too many problems. There aren’t many more high level faces for a heel champ either.
Sat: SmackDown’s main event scene is in shambles, so I see the titles changing every few months to keep things fresh.
ROH Commish Writes:
Mysterio does deserve to a world champion more than once. However, he was not in contention for the title. A long chase would have suited Mysterio’s character perfectly. Make it memorable.
Big Show is similar to Mysterio. He has not won a heavyweight belt since 2002. ECW title excluded. He is more over now than ever. Jerishow and Showmiz helped him tremendously. He just turned face and has been feuding exclusively with Swagger. He got a bullshit DQ win and obviously it is hard to believe when he doesn’t win. I am tired of Big Show being denied a title reign. If Swagger had to drop the title, a short Big Show reign would have been my choice.
A Big Show win would have actually been a reward for good work and not a Mysterio win to placate diva like behavior by Mysterio. Mysterio is really becoming a backstage cancer. He killed Ziggler’s momentum DEAD and Punk has been diminished slightly as well.
Chad Nevett: I’m not as convinced about the Big Show being champion as much as you are, but I can definitely see your point. I would have preferred Swagger keeping the belt since I don’t think either man really needs a title reign right now.
Sat: I think the problem with the Big Show as champion is that it would be hard to get a credible challenger against him.
Low road. Mysterio as World Heavyweight Champion is a complete joke. I don’t know how you even came up with any High Road arguments.
Chad Nevett: I can see how Sat did it. There are arguments to be made for Mysterio as many have shown.
Sat: I think there are arguments for and arguments against Rey Mysterio as champion and that’s why it made a perfect topic.
Mysterio wins a lot and isn’t an underdog so he SHOULD be champion. Mysterio only being world champ once in 5 years when he’s been in the main event scene so long looks silly. Especially with how much he wins outside it. With Big Show, you had the excuse that until he lost some weight recently he was just not capable of having good matches.
Chad Nevett: You’re right, Mysterio isn’t really an underdog, but the WWE continually tries to sell him as one. And I’m sure I’m not alone in not wanting a world champion that’s the underdog. The world champ should be the guy with the advantage going into any fight.
Sat: Mysterio has had a lot of title shots, so he should come out on top eventually.
Nixon from Dixon Writes:
I am expecting the majority of the IWC to say Low, but that’s the thing- the IWC does not matter to the bottom line.
Bottom line is money-something most of the IWC either does not have or will not spend on the WWE regardless.
Rey appeals to those spending money on the company, thus good move all around for the PG Era.
Chad Nevett: Can I call a moratorium on people in the IWC saying that what the IWC says doesn’t matter? Because all you’re convincing me of is that I shouldn’t care what you say.
Sat: The IWC’s impact depends on the wrestlers we are talking about. In regards to Rey Mysterio, the IWC is not important at all.
Low Road… unless this was some sort of move that helped keep Rey in the WWE for a longer period of time. In which case, I would have to go high road. Seriously, I doubt Rey was on the verge of leaving but there is no other logical explanation for his win.
Chad Nevett: Considering Rey was looking forward to some time off, I’m not sure a title win right now will placate him, but we’ll see.
Sat: Isn’t Rey Mysterio signed to a long term deal, so he really has no choice on leaving for the foreseeable future.
Rick C Writes:
And a mighty low road it is. I can’t stand Rey Mysterio. He’s even more annoying than Cena to me. His promos more often than not are weak, and his pandering is even worse. He’s good in the ring, but I only enjoy his matches because people slam him all over the place. I understand that his size is supposed to make him an underdog…but how is that the case when he spent months beating guys like Mike Knox, Kane, etc. I just don’t buy him as a World Champion…and never have. I was fine with the first title victory, because he’s spent two decades working his ass off, but I was over it after 3 weeks of bad booking.
But my biggest gripe, is that every time I read something about him – he’s not happy and he’s complaining about something. Whether it’s about money, or not wanting to drop the IC title to Dolph Ziggler (which really kicked my dislike for him into high gear) – then gets suspended for a banned substance, comes back complaining as usual. And they reward him for it with a World Heavyweight Championship.
And finally – the 619 sucks.
Chad Nevett: Remember, there’s only so much we know about backstage stuff, so I tend to not put much stock in those arguments. And, come on, the 619 is pretty cool.
Sat: Let’s not even argue about the 619. The crowd goes crazy when somebody is on the ropes and the possibility exists for Rey to hit the 619. I think there is some truth to the backstage stuff, but there is no way to know for sure.
Definite High Road.
He’s been nothing short of great in his eight years in wwe.
I was always hoping that he’d get a second run with the world title where there was no talk at all about him only being world champ because of Eddie. That was four years ago now.
His second reign is long overdue. Great to see it again.
Really has been one of wwe’s best over the last decade
Chad Nevett: He’s been a great performer, but so have a lot of guys that don’t work as world champion. Not everyone is suited for the role despite skill, sadly. I currently think Rey falls into that category. He’s a good upper midcard/lower main event guy. Someone that can shift between the two roles, wrestling against almost everyone, but never staying at the top too long.
Sat: The one thing that bugged me about his first run is that everybody kept saying it was because of Eddie (which was true), so it is nice for him to get another run based on his own merits.
Low road. Rey was made to look like a joke last time, as well as the belt. He, as world champion was pinned by Khali with 1 foot in a squash. Furthermore, considering he was only in the match because he injured Taker, this once again reeks of short-term booking. Swagger has just had his balls cut off, when they really were taking a beating anyway. Unless Swagger has a major shift in his character and thus momentum like CM Punk did, it looks like his career will be heading back where it was pre-MITB. I see no reason to put the belt on Mysterio when WWE should be creating new stars.
Chad Nevett: That last sentence is a good argument. I think keeping the belt on Swagger would have led to some feuds with guys who haven’t been involved in the main event scene yet like MVP, Christian, and Kofi Kingston, which could have helped them quite a bit.
Sat: I don’t see Swagger losing his momentum. If he had kept the title, it would have been more of the same stuff. When he regains it, I think he will have a good run.
Mysterio is starting to get into that John Cena camp of kids love him but adults really dislike him. He is broken down and isn’t the same Mysterio he was when he joined the WWE, hell he isn’t the same Mysterio he was last year. Every time he comes back from an injury (and lets face it, that is a lot) he loses a little step more. You would have though that the Smackdown team would have learned from the Great Khali world champion fiasco about putting the world title on injury prone superstars.
Jack Swagger was just starting to come into his own as champion. It didn’t help his run in the slightest that for the first few weeks of his run he was basically a Chris Jericho light. But he was finding his feet with his born champion stick and I was digging it.
Finally, I really don’t believe that Mysterio had any business being in the match because when it all comes down to it, if he meant it or not it was his fault that the Undertaker couldn’t be in the match and I have read that he was given the title as a reward for giving up his month time off. If anything from a storyline stand point I believe that Kane should have been put in the match. Maybe even given the title. If anyone deserves a “reward” it’s Kane for the amount of shocking story lines he has been involved in over the years.
Chad Nevett: I was surprised when Kane didn’t get the Undertaker’s spot in the title match. That seemed a more logical choice than Rey. I’m not sure I would have put the belt on Kane, but I probably would have used him instead as he tried to take out the three most likely suspects in the Undertaker’s attack.
Sat: The one thing that I have noticed with Kane is that he is really slowing down.
I’ll take both roads, leaning towards high road.
Been a big fan of Mysterio since I saw him in ECW back in ’96, he’s a great worker, he’s over & he sells a crap-load of merch. but his knee is messed up again and his first title run was the worst booked run I’ve ever seen so it depends on how he’s booked & if his knee holds up.
Chad Nevett: A perfectly reasonable take on the situation, I think.
Sat: The injury prone thingy definitely works against him, but he does sell a lot of merchandise. It is definitely a delicate situation.
he works his ass off…has incredible ppv matches …is incredibly over….and has been a company man for a long period…wat more can u ask of a champion??
Chad Nevett: People are booked different when champ than they are normally and Mysterio doesn’t necessarily lend himself to good world champion booking.
Sat: I’m not too worried about Mysterio’s run as champion, I think people sometimes worry too much.
High Road. The WWE tends to book the the first reigns of most champions poorly for some reason (Randy Orton, anyone?), so I don’t blame Rey for his first bad reign either. Guy deserved a second chance at it.
Chad Nevett: That makes me wonder if Swagger will get the belt back right away just so he can get a good run as a two-time two-time All-American American American American American American American American American World Heavyweight Champion.
Sat: I think this is the point that everybody is overlooking.
Your reasons for taking the High Road, Low Road, or Both Roads and suggestions for future High Road/Low Road are welcome at [email protected] or in the comment section. Your reply will be included in next week’s column.