On The Apron: Undisputed


(Note: This will not be a column about the Jet Li/Bob Hoskins film. Sorry, guys.)

It’s been a couple weeks since On The Apron last appeared within these hallowed (web)pages, and in that time…well, not a ton has happened. Survivor Series came and went, featuring not only a main event that turned the shenanigans machine over to 900K, but also one which led to the crowd staging the most heartening peasants’ revolt since the night after WrestleMania. (It’s hilarious, having to describe the post-show Raw that way; it’s like talking about a major political event in reverent tones. THIS WAS OUR PROLETARIAT UPRISING.) Anyway, on to the column, in which Undisputed Championships will be discussed, as will the idea of you not actually wanting the things that you think you want.

1) Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

The above is meant neither to recall Rawhide nor Undertaker’s ill-advised American Choppers period. As I’ve discussed in pretty much every column or podcast I’ve done on wrestling for Heave in the past 2-3 months, WWE is spinning their wheels hardcore right now. There’s clearly only a vague endgame in sight for the Authority angle, and so in the meantime, we get a December-starting Raw with three matches ending in surprise roll-up pins. This is a far cry from the wrestling clinics being staged this past spring/summer, and here’s where I become Internet Guy Discussing Wrestles. It’s not an accident that when the main event involved Daniel Bryan and The Shield and the Rhodes Brothers and a rejuvenated Randy Orton, WWE’s wrestling got exponentially better. Since the return of John Cena, we’ve gone back to the same Orton-Cena battles that’ve been raging on and off for almost a decade now, now with more non-wrestlers talking at them all the while. This is not a matter of coincidence. This, along with Florida Georgia Line, is why we’re not allowed to have nice things.

2) The Undisputed Championship

Or: I’m going to commit seppuku if this is their excuse to revive the spinner title. At TLC (a PPV that, much to the chagrin of hopefully many, still hasn’t added a “Crazy Sexy Cool” match stipulation), Cena and Orton will compete in a ladder match for both world titles. Since WWE was playing coy about the matter of unification last week, the general fear was that Cena and Orton would simply switch belts, in the wheel-spinningest ending imaginable. But on last night’s show, Triple H was rather insistent that unification is nigh. And, for my concerns, this is a great idea. The need for two world titles evaporated when the brand split quietly stopped being a thing, and the World Heavyweight Championship has recently served the purpose that the Intercontinental used to. So, let’s just dissolve into one world champion, create more non-main-event feuds, and restore at least a modicum of prestige to secondary titles, shall we?

Also, every champion should have to carry both belts, a’la Chris Jericho. That should be a requirement.

3) Here’s why the John Cena heel turn would be a horrendous idea

You hear it every time WWE gets into yet another of these “CAN HE OVERCOME THE ODDS?!?” stories: “When is Cena going to turn heel, already?” The common rebuke is that he won’t turn until he has his Hollywood Hogan moment, where his face persona is no longer financially viable and his time as a full-time wrestler is drawing to its end. I think that’s accurate, but I also think that people really need to be a bit more careful about what they wish for. Let’s consider for a moment who Heel Cena would be. He’d be a hybrid of Hollywood Hogan (longtime hero turns on the kids), Hollywood Rock (guy loved for his dominant, assured persona takes that to hateful extremes), and I’ll even throw in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s turn, just because you’d have to make Cena a colossal tool in every way to get certain crowds to stop cheering for him. And whenever WWE pulls that particular trigger, it’s going to be a seismic event, and to put it over, Heel Cena will not lose. For a very, very long time. In a lot of ways, it’d denote a shift of the paradigm, where instead of promising young heels being fed to Good Guy Cena to keep him on top, now every promising young babyface star who’d hope to replace Cena upon his retirement would have to fight uphill. Next time, don’t demand Heel Cena. Demand Better Written, Considerably Less Obnoxious Cena.