If you haven’t watched WWE programming in the last week and a half you missed some interesting developments. Well, it was mainly one huge development: Jack Swagger is you new World Heavyweight Champion. On Friday Night Smackdown, Swagger cashed in his Money in the Back briefcase, which had a contract for a title shot, and beat Chris Jericho for the title.
It was shocking and something no one was expecting so you have to give the WWE credit for that, but was it the right move? Many people, especially internet fans, are questioning Swagger’s ability to carry the title. They have every right to do that since this guy has never been in a main event storyline against the cream of the crop of the WWE. Even Stone Cold Steve said on his Twitter account that he was shocked, but he did also say that Swagger has a bright future.
Let’s rewind the clock back to when Randy Orton won the title in 2004 when he defeated Chris Benoit to become the youngest champion ever. Orton was a pretty big star at the time he as was associated with the likes of HHH, Ric Flair, and Batista. That title run almost knocked Orton completely out of the WWE. The run fell flat and the WWE had to take the title off of him as quickly as they put it on. It ook years for Orton to rebound from the failed title run. Did the WWE rush Swagger much like they rushed Orton? Probably, but the WWE could still make this work. My simple message to the WWE Universe is let’s wait and see where this goes. Maybe the WWE learned from the Orton title run debacle.
I remember a few years ago when JBL won the title. I was a part of a big wrestling message board filled with your typical internet wrestling fans. They wanted McMahon’s head for placing the title on JBL. Remember, JBL was nothing more than a mid-card wrestler his entire career who mainly wrestled in tag teams. But in due time, after the JBL character developed, most loved it and praised JBL for making Smackdown fun again. He went on to be the longest running champion on Smackdown. He was also, in my opinion, one of the best heels during the 2000s.
Swagger’s title run just began less than a week ago. Before we judge and label it a failure, I’m willing to give it a look. If it goes down the Orton route, then Swagger might not be able to rebound like Orton did. If it goes down the successful path of JBL’s reign, jackpot.
Lastly, Jim Ross had an interesting blog post about our new WHC. Here's what he had to say: "Congrats to new WWE World's Champion Jack Swagger on his accomplishments as the Perry, Oklahoma native had quite the week at WM26 and in Las Vegas on Friday Night Smackdown. Swagger was my last 'recruit' in WWE and I hope that he has a long, productive career that sees him stay injury free and becomes financial independent. I'd love to see Swagger be able to establish his Championship reign over an extended period of time but wish him the best nonetheless. We had a great, private conversation after Wrestlemania at the hotel and he knows what I personally expect of him and what he potentially can do in WWE if he catches a break, conducts himself as a professional, and works harder than any one on the roster night in and night out."
**It was announced on Raw last night that on April 26th there will be a special three-hour Raw that will include the 2010 Draft. That's right, it's time to shake things up again after Wrestlemania.