The official contract signing segment at the end of Raw Monday night did a great job selling the WWE championship unification bout between CM Punk and John Cena for SummerSlam this Sunday.
What was so great was that CM Punk directly halted the proceedings to state the obvious: Championship matches are official as it is. Contract signings are meant to entertain because the dealings usually end in a heated argument. Hence why so many fans rolled their eyes into the back of their skulls when it was announced that Raw would conclude with such segment. So by him calling it out showed that he hates these segments just as much as the rest of us.
Not only that, Impact Wrestling already did an official contract signing for the Sting–Kurt Angle title match at Hardcore Justice. And before that it was Randy Orton and Christian prior to their Money in the Bank showdown for the World Heavyweight Title. Bottom line is, contract signings in professional wrestling are done way too often. But this one was a refreshing change of pace.
CM Punk showed a video clip from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Facebook targeting John Cena. Despite the clip being about a month old, first surfacing as a response to Cena, who, once again, was badmouthing Johnson at a Raw live event, it was daring for a PG show. Calling someone a bloated transvestite Wonder Woman is definitely not something I would want my future kids to hear. Not only that, Johnson revealed that the reason why the male demographic can’t stand him is because “us men can see through bull sh–!” Although they bleeped out that last word, the fact that they even acknowledged the existence of such a clip shows WWE utilizing social media to build their stories.
Then when Punk brought up WWE firing Vladimir Kozlov the Friday before, the entire arena reacted because they all knew he was fired. But they also knew that once a wrestler is fired, it is as if that person no longer exist. Except for Hulk Hogan. There’s a name that has been mentioned in some form or another on four occasions in the past month. As far as we know, Hulk Hogan is still impersonating a savior over in Orlando. Is WWE attempting to sign Hogan to a legend’s deal after his contract with Impact Wrestling expires? Is WWE going to buy Dixie’s company?
When Cena started mocking the internet smarks about allowing his heel persona to shine through, and his response that he will never change because he doesn’t cater to them, but for the people who support him. I believed him. Even though I’m with CM Punk, both Johnson and Cena are phonies, Cena’s promo conveyed a truly genuine response. Maybe he doesn’t want to turn Hollywood. Back to Hogan, look how his work rate decreased when he stopped saying his prayers and taking his vitamins, and started dying his handle bar moustache black. Besides, WWE depends on John Cena to hustle those red t-shirts and sweat bands. They cannot afford to have their biggest star turn heel. Then again, maybe WWE should have been making stars instead of having Cena be the top guy for 7+ years.
WWE’s lack of creating superstars, and Triple H’s decision to insert himself as the special guest referee (read story here), aside, the contract signing was about two men only: CM Punk and John Cena. Win, lose, or draw, John Cena leaves SummerSlam with a future WrestleMania encounter with The Rock. If CM Punk loses, his role as the WWE champion will be gone, and so will his free reign. Cena was right, the pressure is on Punk because the entire world have their eyes on him. Current wrestling fans, and wrestling fans that have been pulled back into the product because they finally found a character that they want to follow, if Punk loses, he will be known as a one-hit wonder.
There are so many speculations going into this match: John Cena will win, CM Punk will win, Triple H will screw one of the two, Triple H himself will win the title, The Rock will come and interfere with the match. Like Triple H said at the top of Raw, when he announced that he would officiate, “This is the WWE, anything can happen.”
On a separate note: I wonder what Christian will address on SmackDown?