When bad is gold: How cruelty became a recipe for championship success

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September 09, 2013

According to The Showoff, WWE COO Triple H has surrounded himself with Superstars he believes will carry WWE into the future, alluding to The Game’s recent association with Orton and The Shield.

“It’s hard to overcome something that feels like it has been in the works, building for months and even years,” he said. “The champs, all the way through, are bad guys, heels — whatever you want to name it — who don’t have the company’s best interests in mind, and there are so many great Superstars backstage who do have the fans’ interests, and not just egos, in mind.”

Just days before Cody Rhodes' very public firing on the Sept. 9 edition of Raw — the result of Rhodes’ loss to WWE Champion Randy Orton — the second-generation Superstar opened up about WWE’s championship landscape. Like Ambrose, he refrained from using pejorative classifications.

“I hate terms that classify guys as villainous,” Rhodes said the week before his unexpected dismissal. “But yeah, safe to say, that all the current champions aren’t necessarily the nicest guys, and what that says to me is maybe nice guys finish last.”

His solution?

“Take a page out of their book,” Rhodes said, referring to the unprincipled champions.

Some champions, such as Curtis Axel, care little about the attitudes of the other titleholders. “To me, it doesn’t matter if rulebreakers have all the championships, as long as I have mine,” he said. “I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep my Intercontinental Championship.”

Adding to the WWE Universe’s woes is the notable absence of two of the most beloved and dependable do-gooders, perennial World Title contenders John Cena and Sheamus. Both competitors are expected to be sidelined for months while recovering from surgery. Still, the fight isn’t insurmountable, Ziggler insists.

“At some point, someone has to say that their job doesn’t mean as much as having a backbone,” he said. “You put your ego aside, you put your money aside and maybe you risk your entire career to say, ‘This is enough, someone has to stand up to them.’”

Until that happens, don’t expect U.S. Champion Ambrose to lose any sleep over the chatter of the locker room or the passionate WWE fans.

“If you want to boo us, go ahead and boo us,” he said. “If people want to have their opinions on the way we do business, then let them. The bottom line is business is getting done.”

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