The X-Factor: The more things change…

They wanted to upstage CM Punk, and they did. Believe me, I’ll talk about him later.

Becky Lynch hits the ring after 15 months away, damn near blowing the roof off Allegiant Stadium. The haters call her overrated. I’d love to see them say that after the John Cena level pop she drew.

Except, it came at Bianca Belair’s expense. Right after SummerSlam there’s a WWE 24 which covers Bianca’s big win at WrestleMania 37, and they pull this. Were they trying to finish before the Pacquiao fight? They couldn’t bump Alexa vs. Eva to the preshow to make more time for a match? Could it pay off in the long run?

The shock return and shock win is not unheard of. Object if you want, but would you be complaining if AEW had pulled something like this?

What was the best way to handle Goldberg vs. Lashley? Couldn’t they have gone for the double count-out or no contest instead? Lashley attacking his son didn’t draw the kind of heat they wanted, Goldberg has lost some of his mystique, and they may very well be saving their rematch for the next Saudi show. I don’t care where they book it, just not there.

I knew it wouldn’t happen. John Cena probably won’t have his 17th reign for a while, but how sweet if it happened in Las Vegas. I would’ve marked out big if he won.

That new shirt? The back was good but the front is ridiculous.

The critics will always slam WWE of going back to the well and relying on those like Lesnar instead of “making new stars”. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. With Roman Reigns’ push as a face being a non-starter, they’ve more or less given up on the idea of making the next John Cena. Plus, they’re touring again, and if you’re gonna bring Brock back, what better place than Las Vegas.

BTW, I was at Smackdown the night before SummerSlam. There was a smattering of empty seats in the upper levels but nothing was tarped off. I had my mask on the entire time. It is not comfortable, but better than catching you-know-what.

No doubt that the wrestling world has been lit on fire this week. The more things change, right? Ten years ago he was the hottest thing going. Now CM Punk returns to the world that he said he’d never come back to and outright dismisses the period of his career that made him famous to begin with. You think John Cena is happy? He put him over not once but twice. They tore the house down in Chicago off the heels of the pipe bomb. Punk’s words about being away from pro wrestling for 16 years don’t help AEW either, what with their taking shots at WWE.

Still, one must’ve wondered, what if Phil Brooks hadn’t sat on the stage that night, with the battered Cena in the ring, and said what was on his mind. If he hadn’t, he would’ve left for some time and perhaps re-signed with Vince McMahon one day. Worked for Drew McIntyre. What happened after MITB in Chicago? I’ll tell you. Triple H happened, sticking his big nose in Punk’s business.

What’s worse is that within the last 6 years, Triple H has gone from being the potential savior of WWE to someone who more or less ruined it. In fact, it was pointed out by a fellow columnist this year just how good Triple H isn’t.

Case in point: he’s helped to create the wrong kind of environment for those about to move up. He knows what Vince McMahon likes. Why have so many floundered?

I’m hoping history will look back on Punk’s this as a game-changing moment, on the level of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash crashing WCW Nitro. We need this to be the kick in the pants the industry needs, especially now.

Don’t mess with the X.