There's a time for letting go
by, 09-16-2009 at 09:52 AM (862 Views)
If you ordered WWE's Breaking Point PPV on Sept. 13, I'd not blame you if you asked for a refund from your cable provider after the main event.
Nearly 12 years after the infamous 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal, WWE returned to the scene of the crime for the first PPV in Montreal since No Way Out in 2003. Once again, the main event was marred by a screwjob finish that actually benefits no one this time.
CM Punk was defending the WWE World title vs. Undertaker in a submission match. The "Dead Man" had the match won with the Hell's Gate, a gogoplata--or figure 4, if you prefer--choke. GM Teddy Long, on orders from Vince McMahon, no doubt, reinforced that the Hell's Gate had been banned by an earlier, ill-conceived administration, and even though there were no repurcussions the last time Undertaker used the move, the ban was back in effect. Punk then locked on his Anaconda Vice submission, and ref Scott Armstrong called for the bell without bothering to check to see if Undertaker had actually tapped. He didn't. And therein lies the problem.
McMahon feels that because the people of Montreal won't forgive him or Shawn Michaels for "Montreal Screwjob I" at the '97 Survivor Series, then he'll keep repeating the angle as often as he wants. Problem is, that is wrong for business. It takes away what credibility Punk has as a heel champion, and it undermines the authority of Long, who some feel has been turned heel because of this.
The truth is, McMahon and his Smackdown creative team, under the leadership of ex-wrestler Michael Hayes, painted themselves right into a corner by putting up Undertaker as the next challenger to Punk. It was too soon to take the title off Punk, and everyone knew it. Punk had beaten Matt Hardy on Smackdown two nights earlier in a submission match that, quite frankly, was much better. Hardy should've been the choice for the PPV, but McMahon apparently didn't have enough faith to use him in this spot. Undertaker was back from his spring-summer vacation, and that was good enough for the insane chairman.
However, McMahon has only fed his detractors even more fuel with what happened at Breaking Point. Not only that, but now McMahon, who just turned 64 right after Summerslam, is adding Chief Executive Officer to his title, as his wife Linda has stepped down to make a run for the Senate. I've been saying for a long time now that McMahon, despite what he said on ESPN earlier this year, needs to retire himself. Montreal Screwjob II was the result of his selfish desire to revisit his crowning achievement yet again, and shouldn't have happened. His on-screen character is a schizophrenic, prematurely senile lunatic executive. Some feel he's like that for real, and probably is.
And now, WWE is in worse trouble with him tightening his grip on the company instead of loosening it. What if Jeff Hardy implicates others and narcs off to the feds? Vince vs. the US Government, part 2, is one rematch he can't possibly win. And the consolation prize has to be retirement. There's no other way around it.
Smackdown is on a lame-duck network, and will lose viewers if there isn't a proper resolution to this latest creative screwup. Knowing McMahon, he just doesn't care. It's all about what he wants, not what the public wants, and it'll stay that way until the bitter end. As long as he insulates himself in a selfish fantasy world, Vince McMahon will remain the object of scorn, not respect, now and forever, and only has himself to blame, even if he'll never admit it.