So anyway, the show opened with the face of the franchise, John Cena, coming out to cut a long promo about how he's back from his triceps surgery, and he's once again the Champ--the World Heavyweight Champion this time--and he's gonna be better than ever. He goes on and on and on, and the crowd's starting to get restless, until finally Damien Sandow comes out, holding the World Heavyweight Title Money-in-the-Bank contract briefcase. Damien reminds us that he can cash in the contract any time he wants, says that he thinks Cena's match with Alberto Del Rio at the Hell-in-a-Cell Pay-Per-View must have taken a lot out of Cena, who was just rehabbing his arm post-surgery, and maybe he, Sandow, should cash in now. Cena dares him to, and wonder-of-wonders, Sandow beats the Holy Hell out of John Cena. He goes to work on Cena's arm, takes him outside the ring and throws him into the steel steps, and then hits the arm with a steel chair. And then he cashes in the Money-in-the Bank contract.
To say the least, this was an entertaining match. Because Sandow was a terrifically conniving and evil Heel and because, much to my surprise, Cena suffered magnificently. Sandow stays on that arm, and without it, Cena can't hit any of his trademark spots. Terrific. The crowd gets waaay into it. Soon they're chanting, "This is awesome!"
So they're heading towards the finale, and Sandow hits a bunch of high-impact moves, but he can't put Cena away. No matter what he does, Cena kicks out. Meanwhile, the announcers are steady teasing the presence of the doctor at ringside, saying that he can stop the match for medical reasons at any time, Cena doesn't actually have to tap out. Finally, Sandow locks in his version of the Crippler Crossface--and yeah, I know I shouldn't call it that after Chris Benoit went crazy and all, but I have no idea what Sandow calls his version, so there you have it--and I'm thinking, Wow, they are really gonna take the belt off of John Cena and put over Damien freakin' Sandow! That is so cool!
Because it made sense. Cena is the face of the franchise, he doesn't need to have a title belt at every single moment, and if he's gonna be in the picture for one of the titles, the Heavyweigth Title isn't the one you want him to be after. You want your main guy to hold the promotion's main title. That's the WWE Title, not the old WCW Title. Meanwhile, a Heavyweight Title run for Sandow would be a big deal, and frankly, having John freakin' Cena out him over would've been even bigger. The WWE could've used that one fifteen minute spot to elevate the guy up the card in a highly believable way. And they need help at the top of the card right now. They have plenty of great, young talent, but Cena--and maybe CM Punk--are the only guys in the entire promotion who could believably be in the ring with somebody like The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin. So using this opportunity to move Sandow up the card would've been a savvy move.
Alas. Cena refused to tap to the Crossface and eventually powered out, and for whatever reason, his doctor never stopped the match. Instead, Cena reversed the hold and hit one of his trademark spots one-handed. It was ugly as sin, and Sandow landed right on his shoulder blades, but what can you do? Cena covered, the Ref counted one-two-three, and the WWE buried Damien Sandow in the most ludicrous fashion in order to put over a guy who barely needs it and for whom their audience is lukewarm at best.
Ugh. This is why I hate John Cena.
If you're wondering, both my kids were crushed. Emma's a smark, so she, of course, always roots for the Heels. But my other daughter, Hannah, barely follows this stuff, and even she asked after the match, "Daddy, why didn't they let the cool guy win?"
I don't know, Hannah. I doubt anyone does.