Monday, December 30, 2013

Instant Feedback: I Like to Keep My Issues Drawn

Please, get up Mark, please, I'm begging you
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One noble warrior came to answer the call of the closest thing WWE has ever had to a legitimate leviathan. His broad shoulders and barrel-frame stomped down the aisle. His attack was doomed from the start. The most physically intimidating man in WWE history, a man who should never have to fight dirty, hit the World's Strongest Man while his eyes were staring down the apron. The Beast Incarnate showed a cerebral tendency for trolling, putting his victim through a guard barrier, similar to how his own Hall of Pain began. Then, a F5 on the floor. Mark Henry, it seemed, had been vanquished.

Later, a folk hero with the support of nearly every paying customer in any arena around the world, wanted to finish his year by rolling through a cadre of backwater Golems, led by a demon too evil and too logical to be considered human. The Real Best in the World had been through a trying year. He lost a best friend, was the victim of machinations of those who thought he couldn't benefit them in fiduciary terms, and now was being targeted by these cultists. The wild-eyed elseworlds truck driver was the first tree to fall, even if the man had to use every axe in his repertory and his entire first aid kit. The goat-masked fire-beard was next, falling to guile in shorter order, the only chance the Dragon had of surviving.

Then the one he wanted, the leader, the mastermind, the succubus inhabiting the shell of the former Husky Harris, played one final, dirty trick, and Daniel Bryan was broken.

Heroes can't claim their mantel without a heavy dose of adversity. While my trust in WWE to be able to carry out satisfying second and third acts, especially in long-arching stories such as the ones set up on RAW tonight, I cannot argue with the men, my heroes, being left for dead or having given up their fight to join a cult. In theory, Mark Henry vs. Brock Lesnar should be one of the most Titanic matches in WWE history. Daniel Bryan either breaking or intentionally infiltrating the Satanic South should provide for exciting moments.

But both as a lost-in-the-moment fan and a critical observer, I find myself in a ball, clutching my binkie, asking myself where the hope will descend and shine a light like the sun behind the back of Gandalf the White at Helm's Deep. WWE has hurt me before when asking me to trust them and their long term storytelling, but I guess the outside chance always exists that this time will be the time they follow through.

I mean, it is always darkest before the dawn.