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MITB 2021 (memories and pipebombs)


tiger_rick
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Posted (edited)

The ten year anniversary of Cena/Punk from Chicago is on Saturday. Just insane when modern stuff is a decade ago. Stuff that makes you feel old, eh?

I wasn't watching regularly at that point. I'd been in and out for a few years but heard about the "pipebomb" and sought it out. Was a great promo, in isolation. That whole style of angle, with the company being the heel has bern driven into the ground but it worked great for that. One of the best atmospheres for WWE since the early 00s.

Thoughts on the follow up with hindsight? They were never going to please everyone by having Punk pretend he was a free agent for months on end but I would have liked to have seen them drag it out and be more creative with it to make the rematch mean as much as the original. When we talk about their lack of story development, lack of direction and utter desperation, it goes way back to then and beyond. They just didn't dare stray from the formula. 

Here's the opportunity for some to bang on about Kevin Nash again... 🤣

Anyone looking forward to this year's card on Sunday? I'm intrigued by the crowd being back bit there isn't a single wrestler or match I care about even slightly. 

Edited by tiger_rick
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Posted (edited)

Punk blowing Vince a kiss goodbye is the greatest cliffhanger they ever did. It’s fitting for a company who’s almost never paid off an angle successfully that  what comes next is also one of the worst follow-ups of all time. Look, I love Nash. He’s the coolest fucker in the world and arguably the greatest worker of all time in that he actually treated it like a business. Still though. The conclusion of CM Punk fucking off with the belt being Triple H vs. Nash in a rubbish ladder match remains the biggest nosedived in the history of storylines. I’m still not sure they could’ve have paid it off successfully, but what I do know for certain is that you couldn’t have done worse if you wanted to.

For the record though, the Pipebomb promo sucks. Gets far more credit than it ever deserves and has the absolute worst legacy of twats as low down on the card as Peyton Royce trying to emulate it all these years later. The concept of Punk leaving the night of a Championship match after becoming disenfranchised is still an absolutely amazing idea, but all the shoot shit has aged terribly and the company has never truly recovered. Someone mentioned something similar on Twitter recently so apologies if I’m repeating someone who posts on here, but it was so, so true. What a fucking relief it was on last week’s Dynamite when Dan Lambert was slagging the company off and actually got booed. He’d have been top babyface if he’d done that on Raw or Smackdown. “Everything is shit and was so much better back in the day,” and, “this company are a bunch of horrible dickheads,” has become canon in WWE to such a degree that I honestly don’t know how you turn the tide at this point. To hear it’s been a decade? Fucking hell.

Other than last year’s atrocious Money in the Bank match, which will only be remembered for being the shittest Covid-era cinematic match of all time, I’d honestly struggle to tell you anything about any others from the last few years. They’re instantly forgettable now. When did they do that one where all three Shield lads had the belt within the space of ten minutes? That was cool and is genuinely the last thing I can remember from these events.

Edited by Supremo
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I always thought the contract signing segment with Punk & Vince (Cena only really shows up at the end) the week later was better than the pipe bomb promo. Watched it the other week when it popped up on Youtube and the chemistry between Punk and (a still human looking/acting) Vince is fantastic. But yeah, WWE managed to balls up any intrigue the whole 'Punk leaves with the title' had by having him show up so soon after walking out. Then dropping it to Del fucking Rio of all people and the  subsequent HHH/Nash shite.

 

MITB is so meaningless & watered down now that I couldn't tell you who won any of recent years ones. The last MITB I can properly remember is Punk winning it during the Ric Flair retirement Mania in Florida, which must be 12/13 years ago at this stage.

Edited by DCW
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It's not a C-O-N-SPIRACY, R-Truth is what's up - Cageside Seats

It all led up to the Conspiracy Era, so everything ended up fine. Triple H + Kevin Nash + Awesome Truth is miles more interesting to me than CM Punk staying off TV a few weeks longer and/or turning up at ROH or whatever the best fantasy booking was.

Dropping the Awesome Truth after Bourne69 grassed was where the company fucked up big time in 2011. I'll always treasure getting to see them team with Big Kev in Glasgow that year, what an amazingly weird and wonderful time in wrestling.

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Knew you wouldn't let us down @CleetusVanDamme!

The worst thing about the Punk follow up was how much of the build focused on him leaving with the WWE title. Cole constantly selling that the 50 year history of the title ended if Punk walked out. Remember watching that next Raw to see the follow up, sure plenty did. They sold it would be "pandemonium". Then they just no sold it and created a new one. Taking the path of least interest is their mantra. 

Fucking Miz and R-Truth. The whole roster being terrified of the two of them. Bloody hell, someone was smoking too much that year. 🤣

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As much as I detest the term ‘pipebomb promo’, it was for its time incredible. The fact that people to this day still believe that they gave Punk no script on RAW and that he only signed his contract at the 11th hour is a testament to some great storytelling.

The flip side of it though does mean that we’ve had a decade of quasi-shoot promos trying to replicate it, which more often than not amount either fall on their arse or people get carried away and elevate them to a status that they’re nowhere near (Remember a few months when Peyton Royce got to cut her shoot on Talking Smack?)

It’s also around that time that the crowd seemed to shift from being a bunch of people actually enjoying the show to being the “I am so smart” bunch of geeks with their own gimmicks that we have now.

But, we got Kevin Nash back, so it was worth it

Edited by WyattSheepMask
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Punk/Cena is probably my most re-watched 'modern' match (I use that term quite loosely!). Everything from the build up to the atmosphere to the match itself and the stuff after.. it's just perfect. Everything came together so well and as a 'WWE guy' from a young age, that really played in to the whole Punk leaving with the belt stuff. Absolutely gripping from start to finish. You think you know what's going to happen, or what has to happen, but then you've got the hometown guy and a crowd that would be near the top of my list of ones to be a part of if I could time travel.

Also the fact that Punk was one of the guys that really got me into ROH, along with Bryan and Joe.. it was such a special moment that brought together so many of my different wrestling loves in a way that I just never expected to see. Lightning in a bottle for sure. I don't over-analyse the lasting impact or anything like that. I just stick it on, get lost in the moment and enjoy every fucking second.

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10 hours ago, DCW said:

I always thought the contract signing segment with Punk & Vince (Cena only really shows up at the end) the week later was better than the pipe bomb promo. Watched it the other week when it popped up on Youtube and the chemistry between Punk and (a still human looking/acting) Vince is fantastic.

That's a great segment. It's still on YouTube. I watched it again last night. Just great chemistry. It speaks to how out of the blue this all was that Punk is still wearing the Nexus t-shirt in that promo.

 

8 hours ago, CleetusVanDamme said:

what an amazingly weird and wonderful time in wrestling.

Funny how we all see it differently. I was in and out for those few years but when I look back, nearly everything that sticks out from when I did dip in is horrible stuff, fucking DX, the Bret/Vince feud, the Cole heel stuff, the aborted Nexus run, Cena being "fired" but not really, Punk leaving with the title, Kevin Nash's dodgy text messages, Miz on top, even worse - Del Rio on top, Raw being an unsafe working environment, etc. That's before we get to the Authority and that horror show.

We'd probably take it now, like. It's horrible and it's like prime Mid-South compared to now.

Going through MITB, I started counting who is still left in the company 10 years on. Bryan, Sheamus, Kofi, Miz, Truth, Rey, Orton and (I guess) Cena are still on the go. Cody, Matt Sydal, Jake Hager and Christian are still working in AEW. Lots of longevity on those lads. Speaking of AEW, Henry and Show had a match at MITB.

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2 hours ago, WyattSheepMask said:

The flip side of it though does mean that we’ve had a decade of quasi-shoot promos trying to replicate it, which more often than not amount either fall on their arse or people get carried away and elevate them to a status that they’re nowhere near (Remember a few months when Peyton Royce got to cut her shoot on Talking Smack?)

As much as the Pipebomb is doubtless the biggest known example, I don't think all of the blame can be placed on it for this stuff - it's not a million miles away from Joey Styles getting to cut a "shoot promo" to relaunch ECW, or Paul Heyman at the two One Night Stands, or even his promo on Vince in the build to Survivor Series 2001.

I think what the Pipebomb promo "taught" talent is that they can get some easy momentum by playing off fan preconceptions about how the company is run, and I think the Daniel Bryan feud and Triple H's heel run in The Authority are equally responsible for that. Punk at least had fun with it in that run by banging on about ice cream bars and Colt Cabana rather than just how he deserved non-specific Opportunities. 

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46 minutes ago, tiger_rick said:

Funny how we all see it differently. I was in and out for those few years but when I look back, nearly everything that sticks out from when I did dip in is horrible stuff, fucking DX, the Bret/Vince feud, the Cole heel stuff, the aborted Nexus run, Cena being "fired" but not really, Punk leaving with the title, Kevin Nash's dodgy text messages, Miz on top, even worse - Del Rio on top, Raw being an unsafe working environment, etc. That's before we get to the Authority and that horror show.

I just meant those few months at the end of 2011, SD had Menry running riot too. The previous two years were horrific. Remember when they pretended for three hours they were going to do Bret Hart vs Undertaker in 2010? Desperate.

 

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Yeah I'm with Cleetus. It's a great little era for me. There's a lot of Nexus/Corre generic shite kicking about before they figured out how to use NXT to force push a packaged 'character' (something they overdo now) but it's probably the last time I watched B shows live with enthusiasm. Vengeance, Hell in a Cell and Night of Champions that fall were all top drawer, and you felt like you had to tune in to see if something weird would happen at 3:45. For me the pipe bomb led to a lot of that, even if the promo has aged like a fine milk and the contract signing between Punk and Vince was the better segment. And Punk going heel with Heyman was the better Punk.

Punk was fantastic, and even though that promo and character brought about many bad trends, it was funny the amount of people around these parts who sort of disowned him after that run as being nothing special because he seems like an annoying guy (but not nearly annoying enough - evidently - to do some of the rotten shit a lot of other cool heros done from previous eras).

I've said it before, but Kevin Nash returning at SummerSlam is still my favourite live moment in wrestling - ever. Just such an inexplicable, unforeseen explosion.  It's the only time in history - other than Undertaker losing at WrestleMania - that I actually couldn't sleep at 04:00 after a PPV and instead stayed up on this forum and watching more wrestling. 

All that 2011 stuff funnelled into what at the time felt like the biggest WrestleMania since X-Seven as well, with Rock/Cena and Taker/Triple H. MITB's entire legacy will always be that one PPV. The night, and the mini era it kickstarter. The rest of them blend together for me. 2015 has Rollins/Ambrose and Cena/Owens in one of those monthly Network pushes they used to do more often, giving away WrestleMania matches on B shows. Cena/Owens was great, but it's the times we live in. Unless it's on a WrestleMania I'm not sure anyone remembers. 

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Just now, RIDDUM_N_STYLE said:

Who was the MITB holder during Jinder Mahal's title run? I vaguely remember Jinder beating a cash in with a distraction schoolboy but for the life of me can't think who did the cash in

Baron Corbin, Cena distracted him to cost him the match on a smackdown before Summerslam, think it might have been the last sd before the ppv.

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Posted (edited)

Punk's promos have aged appallingly but at the time they got me interested in wrestling again for a few years because at least it felt like they were doing something different.

But the match against Cena has stood up brilliantly, it's still absolutely superb. In fact, the main takeaway from the whole 'Summer of Punk' and shortly thereafter was just how many cracking matches he had - a couple more against Cena, and the TLC triple threat against the Miz and Del Rio was terrific too. But he was knocking out quality matches every time he had one around that time. The general quality of the in-ring stuff around that time was great.

Edited by Devon Malcolm
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  • tiger_rick changed the title to MITB 2021 (memories and pipebombs)

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