You’ve spent years working for all that you can get. Scars, partially healed sprains, even broken bones pushed you from the front of the line to the back. There were part time highlights. There were thieves of spotlights. Now, at the edge of the largest stage of our industry, the chance to cement your place is at hand.
CORNER 2 CORNER: The Face of the Company
Hello everyone and welcome back to Corner 2 Corner! It’s been a couple weeks since my return and I wanted to start by publicly thanking each of you for your time and your feedback. You’ll find with each entry I will do all I can to respond to your feedback. It means the world to me to interact with fans that both agree and disagree with my view points. There is something very therapeutic about it. I have lot’s of opinions to share with you and I promise that I’ll always be honest with you. With that, let’s get to work!
The Royal Rumble has come and gone and we finally have some answers to the questions, “Who will be left standing?” and “Did the WWE keep their word?” First, the winners. Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch stood tall for their respective divisions. I’m sure most of us are in agreement that this was the expected and desired result. Still, with the desired result we still have more questions than answers. Why build, push, and then seemingly squash Finn Balor? Why have Brock Lesnar be the focal point of your company when you have a very vocal fan base openly stating their want for change? Before you put an answer to this, remember you stood on live television and openly proclaimed the fans to be “IN CHARGE.” The problem with statements such as “This is YOUR universe” is that you leave yourself wide open for this type of questioning. In fact, I’m certain you knew this and in fact chose to make this asinine statement all the same.
Question 1: Why build, push, and then seemingly squash Finn Balor?
Finn Balor has a match that positioned him as the underdog. Imagine, the Demon an underdog. This is the guy Triple H positioned as the top of NXT and then further positioned to become Raw’s first ever Universal Champion. Had he not gotten injured, I wonder what we would have gotten with Finn. 3 months? 4 months as champion? With a match between he and Seth Rollins that we got a glimpse of a future with great competition and hungry talents. Instead, as Balor would deal with injury and recovery, we got Roman Reigns- a man who’s rise to the top was a year too late. We got to see glimpses of what it would mean to have the Beast toppled by the “Ordinary Man who can do Extra Ordinary things.” There was a fever pitch in the arena as we seemed to finally have what appeared to be a the ascension of Finn Balor once more. Of course we didn’t get that. Instead, we got Brock Lesnar remaining as Universal Champion. Truth be told, I’d much rather see Balor vs Rollins than Lesnar vs Rollins.
Question 2: Who faces the Kingslayer?
Seth Rollins was outstanding in his performance during the Rumble. We got looks at potential victors including the obvious choice Braun Strowman. There weren’t any real surprises save one. The winner. I’m sure once Strowman got to the ring and started tossing people out, we all groaned together. Sure, the “monster among men” has gained much in the way of popularity but, we’ve also seen him get shuffled down the deck multiple times. In fact there have been so many rumors surrounding his true standing within the company that some of us probably assumed he would have a short burst in the rumble and then an ousting due to Corbin and McIntyre. Still, he had a great run and the finish of the 2019 Royal Rumble (Men’s Division) was certainly exciting. The question changed from “who will Seth Rollins challenge?” to “Why Brock?” Not that Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins will be a bad match, quite the opposite I’m sure. The issue is more that we have to wait even longer to finally be rid of Brock Lesnar. Yes, I understand he sells tickets. Yes, I understand that we are building to something. The question really leads us to a much larger problem. While we are building a story and leaving fans wondering what’s next, what is happening to the remainder of the roster? Lashley, Cedric, Revival, Apollo., Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, and Bray Wyatt are all waiting right now. Sure, Lashley is the IC Champ but, how long do we need to see talents be wasted until they start to seek other options? Don’t forget, All Elite Wrestling while new, still has the eye of very many hungry talents. So with Seth Rollins, we hope to see the Kingslayer lead the way for more exciting, entertaining, and needed match ups.
Question 3: Does “The Man” get her due?
Now we make our way to the main event. Perhaps not the main event of the evening but, the main event in the eyes of most. The women’s Royal Rumble. We finally witnessed the true rise of “The Man” Becky Lynch. The WWE definitely hit a home run with the delivery of this one. First, an exciting title match that showed us Asuka finally gained the trust and respect of those in power. Let’s also point out that this match up gave us a glimpse of a future rivalry that will certainly bring many to admire the talents of both ladies. The Rumble itself had a few surprise entries but none that could be considered ground breaking or noteworthy. Yeah, it was actually one of those Rumbles that didn’t lack in entertainment but, something was missing. It was not until we finally got to Lana that the crowd actually woke up. No, not because of Lana. In fact it was Becky Lynch who was able to wake the arena from their slumber. As Nia Jax apparently was throwing a tantrum we finally got to see “The Man” in action. Lynch’s victory at the Royal Rumble quite frankly saved the Rumble from being just another pay per view. This victory, this moment in wrestling history, was the moment I needed to finally see my topic for this week.
Question 4: Who is THE FACE of WWE?
Who is the FACE of the WWE? After quite awhile, we may finally have the answer. It’s been some time, probably since Roman Reigns announced his fight with Cancer to be back on, since any of us really had a true vision of who the face of WWE is. We’ve seen John Cena, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and of course Stone Cold Steve Austin. All of these men were more than capable of carrying the company on their shoulders. All of these men, represented eras that we will forever remember. They were titans of their times. Now? Well, now we have someone that is prepared and able to lead the way into this next age. It should come as now surprise that the man to lead WWE into the next age isn’t a man at all. In fact, she’s “The Man.”
Becky Lynch has come a long way from being Sasha Banks’ lackey in NXT. Where we once watched in awe of her looks, we now watch in awe of her amazing ability to captivate a crowd. Two days in a row we watch Becky assault a McMahon. Monday, she tore into Stephanie McMahon. Tuesday? Well Tuesday she slapped Triple H so hard he thought he was in a hog pen match with Henry O Godwin. The crowd LIVES through Becky’s adventures. Whether it’s the remarkable stand offs with Rhonda Rousey or the impactful brawls with Charlotte Flair, we are at the edge of our seats waiting for how it unfolds and what happens next. Her exploits in and out of the ring draw young girls to their feet in hopes to also live their dreams. She is a role model, a warrior, and most certainly a leader. The women and the men look to her for advice, insight, and leadership. The people in charge are looking to her for her merchandise sales, the opportunity to lead the way with the women’s revolution, and of course ticket sales. This isn’t an easy task by any means. Look at Kevin Nash. He was successful in his reign as champion on both a leadership and sales role, but ticket sales were said to be remarkably light. This wasn’t his doing or his fault, but still people (myself included even if it is unintentional) somehow attach this to his run. He had the duty of carrying the banner during difficult times financially and then transitioning out in an effort to make himself known outside of the mighty “Titan Tower.” Next thing we know, Kevin Nash has changed the entire way that business is done for those within by making sure he and Scott Hall are getting guaranteed contracts. At the same time? He becomes one of the many faces of WCW. A titan of the industry and a rightful Hall of Famer.
The Lasskicker has found her way from obscurity to the top of the card. Pulling many with her along the way, she has quickly become the face of change. We know she’s an integral part of the women’s revolution in WWE. She was the chosen favorite of many during it’s early stages. She weathered the storm dealing with the likes of Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Carmella. Becky was pushed backward while we saw the rise of Asuka, Naomi, and a returning Nikki Bella. She was placed on pre-shows, placed in Mixed Match Challenges, and even left off shows entirely. In fact, it was almost a certainty that Becky Lynch’s star had risen and fallen before we had even knew her full potential. She knew. Yes indeed, SHE knew. Becky Lynch’s ability to rise above and fight through adversity was her best quality. When the time came at Summerslam 2018, finally “The Man” broke through. It was as simple as a forearm smash to Charlotte’s face but in that smash, the entire WWE universe rose. It was almost like you heard the entire glass ceiling shatter into a million tiny pieces. When Rhonda Rousey heard the sound you could tell it shook her. And that was the beauty of the story. “The Man” led the charge and we finally had a glimpse of a real challenge and perhaps someone who could carry a good competitive matchup with the former UFC champion. Of course we know what happens next. The facebreaker (insert obvious eyeroll here) and then Charlotte seems to take the place of Becky yet again. Now, this is not to say that Charlotte is incapable of having a great match. We saw at Survivor Series 2018 that she and Rhonda had a great match. Very exciting in fact. What we also saw was that we were left wanting something else.
Here we are again. Over a month until Wrestlemania and it is apparent that Charlotte Flair may actually be inserted into the match we have been teased with since August. Does “The Man” endure another attempt at stealing her spotlight? It would appear we may have no choice. This coming Monday, the McMahons have invited the suspended Becky Lynch (good storyline twist in my opinion) to Raw. Why? Well, the rumor is that we will have an announcement of a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Title. Rhonda defends against Becky AND Charlotte. Sure it’s a story of unfinished business. But is that what the people want? Is that what the ones IN CHARGE want? Only time will tell for sure but, I’m hopeful that in this very tricky build up we will in fact get The Man vs Rhonda. One on One.
UNTIL NEXT TIME:
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