In An Instant.

On April 6th, the WWE universe celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the biggest event that the industry has to offer.

We got to celebrate WrestleMania XXX.

WrestleMania is about more than winning a match, it is about defining your legacy and leaving an impression on the fans. We got a little more than we bargained for during the thirtieth anniversary celebration, making this one of the most memorable events in the history of the WWE. Fans got to witness more than just matches. We got to see a streak end, men defeat their personal demons, careers defined, and a homecoming nobody involved in wrestling (fan or otherwise) thought would ever happen. The whole WrestleMania weekend, including Raw on Monday, will never be forgotten by anybody that loves this business.

The focal point of the WrestleMania event, other than Bryan FINALLY winning the title, was the end of the streak. That’s right, the streak is dead. It’s not something that anyone thought would ever happen, that can easily be learned from the looks on everyone’s face as the referee counted to three. It was as if time stopped, everything seemed to move in slow motion and no one really knew what was going on. For many of us, the streak was a part of our childhood. The Undertaker is this seemingly invincible being. He powered through his Mania opponents as quickly as they walked down the ramp to receive their fate. It was fairly obvious towards the end of the match that something wasn’t right with him. He was hurting and hurting badly.

What does the invincible man do when he gets beaten?

He stands up in that ring and receives the ovation that he deserves. The outpouring of love and appreciation sang volumes to how much Taker means to the fans and wrestling as a whole. No amount of cheering can ever begin to repay him for the decades of entertainment and memories.

The night before Mania is a celebration of trailblazers in the business and this year’s inductees were all of that and more. The Hall of Fame ceremony is a chance for the WWE Universe to connect with the wrestlers they love on a more personal level. Those watching get to hear personal stories, have a few laughs, and (most importantly) see the superstars they idolize as real people. Real people overcome, cry, laugh, and seeing that human element bonds fans and superstars for life. Two inductees stuck out as being the crowning jewels on such a special evening, those inductees were Jake Roberts and Warrior.

Both men battled demons that affected their private and professional lives, nearly ruining them both. Jake’s speech was absolutely stunning in every single way. The fans could see the raw emotion pouring from each word that he spoke. Roberts literally came from the bottom, and probably could have died four or five times over due to his addictions. What he, with the help of DDP, did was overcome. He realized that he was bigger than what plagued him. Jake realized that he was not his father, he could do better for himself and his family. It was stunning to see him now, compared to just over a year ago, he literally looks like a brand new man.

The biggest part of WrestleMania XXX, and the most anticipated, was the appearance of the Ultimate Warrior. In all honesty, many people were terrified of what he would say because of his reputation for being extreme and unorthodox. When he came out, he looked so proud and a little overwhelmed. The fans gave him the ovation that he deserved but never expected, it was almost twenty years since he had anything to do with professional wrestling. It was a homecoming for him, he got to share his thoughts and make peace with people who had hurt him in the past.

He also appeared on the following night’s episode of Monday Night Raw and thanked the fans for always supporting him in his career and for carrying on the legacy of Warrior. It was a very eerie moment in time, he spoke like he was eulogizing himself almost. The words that he spoke would be exactly that, Warrior sadly passed away the very next day while with his loving wife. Word of his sudden passing spread around the wrestling community like wildfire. It was so unfathomable that people were saying it wasn’t true. A man who was so filled with energy and life, suddenly gone from the world and the people that he loved.

His words inspire and he may be gone in body, but he is always surrounding his fans in spirit.

Always believe.

Kicking It Old School.

Let me start off by saying how much I really do enjoy themed episodes of Raw. They’re so much fun and allow the superstars and fans to enjoy something a little special, everyone just has a good time with them. This past Monday, the theme was Old School (probably my favourite out of all the themed episodes). We got to see legend upon legend and it was just a fun show, not just for the fans but for the superstars as well.

The show opened with Mr. Woooo himself, Ric Flair. In typical Ric style, he came out to have fun and Randy Orton interrupted him and ruined it for the rest of us. He went on his typical rant about how he is the greatest superstar of this generation or any other and how everyone should respect him (blah, blah, blah). I laughed so hard when the camera panned to Flair because he looked like he had a few and trying to stifle some laughter. Orton tried to assert his dominance as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and was promptly stopped by John Cena, who gave the legend the respect that he deserved for his accomplishments in pro wrestling. Then the usual happened, Randy Orton received a challenge and he bitched out. He rolled right out of that ring and walked away with his two belts, with that same smug look on his face that he always has. There is one thing that Orton is very good at and that is playing the role of the asshole. One hundred and ten percent brilliant.

The one thing that he said that I did agree with is that the Authority should reverse their decision on the main event match at the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton versus John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Royal Rumble is the very first step in the Road to Wrestlemania. It is the first pay-per-view of the year and it is of the utmost importance. The match will be good and all but I’m hungry for someone new to take the championship helm. I’m not saying that Randy Orton and John Cena can never be champions again, I’m just saying that they can’t be the champions all the time. There is enough time between now and Wrestlemania to bring someone new into the title race. It just has to be the right person and done properly. Nobody messes around when it comes to anything to do with Wrestlemania.

What we also got to see was Daniel Bryan as a member of the Wyatt Family. It’s still kind of weird to imagine him involved with that faction but I still love it. The Wyatt’s took on Rey Mysterio and The Usos in a three on three tag team match. The difference in Daniel’s demeanor was quite noticeable and I actually kind of liked this aggressive version of the flying goat. The match itself was fantastic, with The Usos and Rey picking up the win via pinfall. You could see the struggle that Daniel Bryan was facing. He disappointed some of the WWE Universe and disappointed some of his fellow superstars. When someone is disappointed in someone, it isn’t hard to tell. Being with the Wyatt Family is going to show everyone just how resilient and adaptable Daniel Bryan really is.

Big E. Langston also continued his Intercontinental Title run and his dominance over Curtis Axel. I really like this combination of superstars, they work really well together and that is something nice to see. There is a nice balance of pure power and calculated athleticism between the two that just makes for great matches. What I didn’t like is that they had Ryback on commentary, this man is even more boring on the microphone than he is in the ring. I could go on a rant about how much I don’t like him but I will spare everyone that 85747585 words that I will inevitably write.

One guy that could teach someone a lesson is Roddy Piper, The Shield learned that the hard way on Piper’s Pit. If someone reading this has NEVER seen a Piper’s Pit segment, you truly haven’t lived. Roddy Piper is the most talented superstar that I’ve ever seen on the microphone, with Punk being his modern-day equivalent. I’ve never seen someone so quick on his toes and have such snappy lines. The Shield, especially Dean Ambrose, thought that they had one up on Piper but he ran out of bubblegum (If no one gets that reference, please watch They Live.). What Roddy expertly did was drive an even further wedge in between The Shield. He did that by asking Roman if he beats Punk, does that make him better than his teammates? My only response to that was ‘Oh snap!’, there is no other logical retort to something like that. When they challenged the kilted one, Punk and the New Age Outlaws came to his aid. I was kind of hoping that we would get a match out of that with Piper as the referee or something crazy like that but it didn’t happen and I wasn’t upset. Just a little sad that no one got a coconut cracked over their skull…I’m kidding…maybe.

We did get a little advancement in terms of story and rivalries, nice to see since the Royal Rumble is just a few short weeks away. Alberto Del Rio started to spark a feud with Batista (I don’t really care for Batista that much but he would crush Del Rio), the Rhodes Brothers took on the Real Americans, Damien Sandow continued his losing streak against Khali, and we had a divas tag team match. Hell, we even got to see 3MB take on Too Cool and Rikishi! We also were witnesses to Big Show challenging Brock Lesnar and Lesnar running away like the little bitch that he is. I just do not understand this guy at all. Heyman and himself claim he is the beast incarnate, yet, he can’t even take on a challenge from an opponent? This all started with yet another confrontation with Henry, resulting in Henry being put in the Kimora lock by Lesnar. I don’t think in an all out brawl that Lesnar could beat either one of these men. That being said, I do like the idea of Lesnar taking on one of the big guys in the WWE but I think a triple threat match would provide a unique angle for this story. In all honesty, I just want to see Lesnar get the crap beat out of him. I’ve always said that Lesnar couldn’t wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag and he keeps proving me right with every single match he has.

My favourite match of the entire broadcast was watching CM Punk take on Roman Reigns.

This match had everything going for it. It had Mean Gene bring out the New Age Outlaws, they did the introduction for CM Punk, and we had some world-class wrestling. In the beginning, there was a definite power struggle and Roman was trying to show Punk that he wasn’t someone to mess with. The two turning points in this match were when Roman missed his flying superman punch, causing him to receive a boot from Punk, and when he could not make the superplex. I was one of those people who thought Punk had it in the bag after that mixed superplex, I was sure he was going to pick up the victory rather quickly. Boy, was I wrong.

Roman missed his first spear but connected on the second. Watching that spear is just as deadly as feeling the move first hand. You can actually feel the impact while you’re watching the broadcast from the comfort of your own couch. The moment that sealed the deal to make this the best match of the night was the appearance of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Everyone knows that Jake has had his share of ups and downs throughout his entire life and wrestling career, he was in bad shape until Diamond Dallas Page took him in and helped him turn it all around. He looked absolutely fantastic and the fans lost their mind when he walked out carrying that snake in a bag. Dean was laid out in the ring, with Damien slithering all over him, Jake also used his ‘partner’ of sorts to scare away Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The only thing that could have made this any better would have been if he had one of them tangled in the ropes like he had Randy Savage all those years ago. You could tell by the smile on Dean’s face that this moment was just as much for him as it was for wrestling fans all over the WWE Universe.

Apparently, there will now be an annual Old School Raw episode airing every January. This wrestling fan could not be any happier about that!

Bret Hart Appreciation Night.

This past Monday was declared Bret Hart Day in the lovely city of Calgary, Alberta.

It was also Bret Hart Appreciation Night on Monday Night Raw and it was something to behold.

I always try to make it to wrestling when it comes to Calgary, which is seldom. It was two years ago that the WWE was in the great city and I had to go. The last few times that Bret was in attendance, I missed it. He was the reason I was at Monday Night Raw in the first place. The rest of the show was awesome but Bret was what I was waiting for.

The three-hour broadcast seemed to take forever and when it was over, it was finally time to celebrate one of the greatest sports entertainers in history. I got up by the barricade, ready with my sign, and anxiously waiting. They showed a very touching tribute video that highlighted the journey that Bret had during his career. It brought me to tears. Here I was, a kid who grew up on the Hart’s, finally getting to see the man who I idolized. Bret Hart may just be a wrestler to some, but to his fans he truly is a special individual. I love him because he is someone who represents the greatness of the wrestling business, sportsmanship, and taking pride in what you do.

Some (okay, most) of my wrestling memories involve the Hitman in some way. When he shook the hand of the 1-2-3 Kid after their match, the iron man match at Wrestlemania XII, wrestling Owen at Wrestlemania X, I can’t even go on because I will be here all day typing away. He has been such an integral part of my life and the fact that I got to even be in the same building as him still blows my mind. When his music hit and he came down that ramp, you couldn’t hear yourself think. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and holding my sign high in the air. It makes me proud as a wrestling fan, as an Albertan, as a Canadian, to cheer for someone like Bret.

The sentiment extended to the people who interacted with Bret along his journey in the WWE, they admire and respect him as much as the fans do. It was so touching and hilarious to hear the stories they told about him, but the best moment came when the crowd started to chant ‘Owen’. You could see that Bret was so appreciative that the fans did not forget his brother and he wished so badly that he could share that moment with him. Same with Stu and Davey. Canadian wrestling fans are some of the most fiercely loyal fans in the world, they stand by their heroes through anything. Did I mention that we are also a tad bit crazy? It was such a great experience to be with all of those people, showing our love.

The appreciation night will never pay back the debt that the fans owe to him for all of the years of entertainment and awesome memories that he has given us but it was a nice start.

Thank you Hitman.

Better Late Than Never: Wrestlemania Recap.

It has been just over a week since the Showcase of the Immortals and I have a lot to say. I even watched it twice, just to relive my favorite moments and remember what I didn’t like. Let’s break it down…

Pre-Show Match: Wade Barrett (IC Champ) versus The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
I still can’t believe that this was relegated to the pre-show.

I also can’t believe that Miz had a victory, however fleeting the moment was. However, I did think that it was a match worthy of being on the main card, with terrific athleticism and showmanship. The fans in attendance were very lucky to see it. I enjoyed watching it on WWE.com, even if Wade lost.

The Miz has no business holding the title, he couldn’t hold a candle to Wade Barrett. I don’t find him entertaining and his constant imitation of Ric Flair is just annoying. He doesn’t have anything really going on and he’s bordering on Zack Ryder territory (Sorry Zack!).

Six-man Tag Team Match: Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show versus The Shield
There is a distinct difference between the two teams that competed in this match. The Shield is a cohesive group and Randy Orton, Sheamus, and the Big Show are not.

You can really tell that Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns are meant to be in a faction together. Each one of those men comprise unique element of one of the most engaging teams since the Freebirds and the Horsemen (That’s right, I went there.). Dean Ambrose is the voice. Seth Rollins is the aerial artist. Roman Reigns is the powerhouse. The other three were good, they were entertaining, but it didn’t seem like it was meant to be.

There was obvious dissention between Sheamus, Orton, and Show at various points throughout the match, especially when it came to who was tagging who. You could see it all over their faces and it affected their performance. There were little rivalries brewing between the three of them throughout the match and it opened up the possibility of feuds involving any combination of Sheamus, Orton, and Show.

The teamwork of The Shield prevailed as Dean Ambrose picked up the win, keeping The Shield’s undefeated streak intact.

Mark Henry versus Ryback
This match was pure power against power, two huge men facing off in the ring. It definitely wasn’t a classic by any means, but it was entertaining and showcased just what the bigger wrestlers are capable of in the ring. Mark Henry and Ryback tussled back and forth, Henry hit the Sammartino bear hug and Ryback took out Henry with his deadly meat hook clothesline. It was a beauty of a move and I felt Henry’s pain. It was awesome.

The Wrestlemania moment, and my personal favorite, of this match was when Ryback had Mark Henry positioned for shellshock. What sold it for me was the look on Henry`s face as he was hoisted on the shoulders of his competitor. The fear sold it and the finish made the match much more than two big guys ambling around. Henry captured the win when he collapsed on top of Ryback, but he got his revenge by delivering a spine buster and a perfectly executed shellshock on Henry.

Tag Team Match: Dolph Ziggler/Big E. Langston versus Team Hell No (Tag Team Champions)
I had a feeling that Team Hell No would retain their titles and I was right.

This match was good but I saw it as just a showcase for both Ziggler and Langston. It was the in-ring debut of Big E and I thought it went over rather well. As I have said in a previous post, he needs to make sure that he is seen as more than just a pile of muscles in a singlet that is too small. The two shining moments were when Langston caught Kane like a baby and when Daniel Bryan got the win with the flying head butt. Aj and Dolph’s kiss before the match, taunting Bryan’s 18 second loss to Sheamus last year, was also a nice touch.

Tag team wrestling is one of the cornerstones of the business and I feel that this match would have been slightly better had it been against an already established team. Rhodes Scholars anyone?

Fandango versus Chris Jericho
Out of the entire card, this is the one that I was most on the fence about. It was one of the greatest superstars of all time facing a man who waltzed in off the ballroom floor. I was not disappointed.

For his first official match in the WWE, Fandango was fabulous. When he caught Jericho in the head with a mid-air dropkick, I lost it. If anyone can get someone like Fandango over with the (sometimes brutal) WWE Universe, it is the Ayatollah of Rock & Rolla. The match was fast paced and flawless, with Fandango gaining the win over the seasoned veteran. My only critique is that he uses an leg drop off the top rope as his finisher.

A LEG DOP OFF THE TOP ROPE! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? I sincerely hope that he is holding out on us…

World Heavyweight Championship match: Alberto Del Rio (WHC) versus Jack Swagger
I was over this angle a while ago. I find Swagger boring and his gimmick very stale. The only point of interest is that Zeb Colter is garnering all the heat for him. Think about it, what has he really done to contribute to the furthering of his storyline? That’s right, nothing.

Del Rio retained via submission. Moving on…

CM Punk versus Undertaker
Epic. How else can this be described? This is probably the most anticipated match of the last few years, one I was so excited about that I could have peed myself. The work put into this match was some of the finest work I have ever seen in my 24 years of watching wrestling. It was so magical, I clung to every word and action of both men for weeks. As bad as this sounds, Paul Bearer’s death added a sense of reality and realness to this match. The Undertaker was hurting and the wrestling world was reeling from the unfortunate news of Bill Moody’s passing. Cue Punk now…

Even the entrances were perfect. Punk had Living Color play him to the ring, surrounded by a mixture of cheers and booing. The Undertaker walked through a sea of the living dead to exact his revenge on Punk for what he did to completely disrespect the memory of Taker’s long-time friend and manager. CM Punk’s black, grey, and purple trunks were also a nice nod to Taker. This match wasn’t about what one did to another or who hated who, it was about the highest level of respect between two men who love this business. Punk was able to win this match via count out or disqualification so Taker had to be extremely careful. It was everything that a good wrestling match should be, the two battled for control constantly and there wasn’t one moment that could be predicted by the fans watching. Taker went for Old School, Punk pulled him off the ropes. Punk went for the GTS and Taker countered with a choke slam. The Undertaker got into the ring at the nine and a half count! I was so into the match I was sweating while I watched it.

My two favorite moments were when the Undertaker gave Punk the ‘stare of death’ when he broke out of the anaconda vise and when Punk gave Taker the flying elbow off the ring and onto the announce table. As everyone saw, the table didn’t break and it added to the long list of injuries that Punk has been working with for the last little while. Things like this just make me appreciate these guys so much more than I already do.

The Undertaker continued his streak to 21-0 when he countered the GTS with a very strategic tombstone pile driver. Taker and his urn were finally reunited.

No Holds Barred: Triple H versus Brock Lesnar
The best part of this match is Triple H beating Lesnar. I didn’t really see a need to have them fight again, although the build up was pretty decent.

Lesnar can’t wrestle. The only way he can compete is if it’s a stipulation that gives him an edge. UFC isn’t WWE, in WWE you have to actually do things. Not knocking UFC fans but I don’t think half of the guys in the octagon could cut it in the squared circle.

HHH won and Lesnar lost. Can’t wait for Extreme Rules so I can watch the same match again!

WWE Championship: The Rock (WWE Champion) versus John Cena
Boring and predictable. The only thing that makes me happy is that the champion will actually be on the flagship program every week. What makes me sad is that we’ll probably be treated to another round of Rock/Cena at Wrestlemania XXX.

Final Thought
I found that the last few Wrestlemania’s that involved Rocky have been somewhat mediocre but this one was the worst. The only thing that truly made it great was Undertaker versus Punk. It had to be tough to book a major event around a champion who was too busy promoting movies to promote the business he supposedly missed so much. The other superstars were left to pick up the load, as well as the staff in the offices. Next year is the 30th anniversary of the grandest event in all of sports entertainment, I hope they step up their game for New Orleans.

Everybody Fandango!

I’m starting this post off talking about the best part of Monday Night Raw, the crowd!

The people who were in attendance at the Izod Center were the best crowd that the WWE has had in a while. It really proves that the crowd can add to the atmosphere of an event and it makes it more enjoyable for everybody. They were literally on fire, they were into everything that was happening and their chants were hilarious. My personal favorites were ‘We are Awesome’ and the singing of Fandango’s theme song. One can also not forget the dancing that accompanied the lengthy serenade. The show was made that much more special because of those people and I wish crowds were like that everywhere. It reminds me of going to Raw in Calgary and chanting ‘We Want Bret’ with everyone. I’ve said it a million times, there is no better feeling than being in the audience at a WWE event.

John Cena opened the post-Wrestlemania Raw as our new WWE champion, with that awful looking belt. I’m glad that he won because we’ll get to see the champion each and every week on television. I think that is part of the reason why fans were so apathetic towards the Rock and Wrestlemania this year, Cena made light of that with his work on the microphone. If you have the top prize, you should be there to defend it each and every week. The question came about regarding who Cena would face next, my suggestion was maybe Jericho. Much to my surprise, Mark Henry interrupted the champ and got into the shuffle. Apparently, Rocky is still the number one contender and Mark Henry had to beat Cena on Raw to earn a title shot. Henry lost, opening the door for Rocky to come back whenever he is done promoting a movie or whatever. Stupid.

How can a guy who left the WWE high and dry, still be the number one contender? I can’t be the only fan shaking my head when Booker T said that. The prospect of a Cena/Henry angle has me very intrigued. Henry is a solid worker who deserves to compete for the biggest prize that sports entertainment has to offer, and compete against the current face of the WWE. The dynamic is there and it is something the fans would want to see, provided that it was done properly. Ryback also apparently turned heel during the Cena/Henry match when he attacked both men. I don’t really think it’s the right move for him when both Henry and Langston are the big guy heels but you never know what will happen with it. Eventually it will work but just not now.

In addition to the rowdy crowd we got treated to, we also got to see some great matches on the broadcast.

We got to see the Raw debut of Big E. Langston when he faced Daniel Bryan. Langston won his bout, with interference from Dolph Ziggler and Aj of course. I like him but I feel like he needs to harness and concentrate his power so it can be used effectively. It’s one thing to be a big guy, but it is another to be able to concentrate the power that you have. The Miz and Wade Barrett also had a rematch for the Intercontinental title, which Miz won from Barrett at Wrestlemania. I thought it a bit odd that would happen but I`m glad Wade got it back. The crowd got into it once again with a ‘Let’s go Barrett’ chant and Wade delivered a very strong showing, demonstrating why he deserves to hold the belt. The Miz seemed overpowered by Barrett throughout much of the match, it doesn`t seem like anyone knows what to do with the Miz anymore. I`m already growing tired of his ‘I’m the new Ric Flair’ gimmick he has going on. I just can’t buy it. Wade won with the Bullhammer Elbow, and this match toppled the one they had on the Wrestlemania pre-show in terms of quality (in my opinion).

One of the big surprises of the night came when Ziggler FINALLY cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase to win Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight title. During the handicap match which saw Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger face Del Rio, Ziggler had his big moment. I like the new Del Rio but it was about time that Dolph had his time to shine in the spotlight. That briefcase made me feel like Dolph was stuck in some kind of purgatory, never to escape. Del Rio won by submission and Ziggles seized the opportunity. It was welcomed with open arms as the crowd promptly lost their shit.

The Undertaker also made a brief appearance to talk about his epic match with CM Punk at Wrestlemania, it was touching (however brief). He dedicated the match to his manager Paul Bearer, who passed away a few weeks before the biggest event of the year. The Shield interrupted Taker’s speech and when Team Hell No came out to help him, the Shield backed off. It was kind of intriguing, it is definitely an angle that I would be interested in watching on tv each and every week. Another interesting feud brewing was that between Randy Orton and Sheamus, I didn’t buy them as a team but they would be terrific in the ring together.

As goofy as I think Fandango is, Jericho vs. Fandango is really entertaining. We all have Chris to thank for that. He interrupted Fandingo`s match with Kofi and even mocked the dancing queen in the process. If anyone can get this guy over, it is Chris Jericho (or the crowd who was singing/dancing to his theme song for hours).

One can only hope that the crowds are that good every week, it really adds to the show and makes it fun. With this year’s Wrestlemania over, it opens the door for some fantastic feuds with the superstars of the WWE.

Thank you guys for working so hard to entertain us each and every week.

Raw Goes Old School.

I always love when Raw goes old school. It’s a different atmosphere and it is something special for the fans. Such a solid show and it had, for me, the biggest moment of 2013 (yes, I went with biggest moment).

I thought all of the matches were quite good, except for the main event but we can get to that later. Onto some of the matches…

Antonio Cesaro versus Ryback
There is no denying the strength of either of these men but I think that Cesaro has the upper hand. This man is a beast and makes Ryback look like a regular guy, that is no small feat. I get a push for Ryback but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the United States champion (or any champion for that matter). Antonio Cesaro is a champ, not a chump and shouldn’t be used to get Ryback more over. At the end of the match, Mark Henry approached the ring for his obvious squash match with Zack Ryder. Henry versus Ryback? Now THAT is something I would love to see!

Speaking of Ryder, what in the hell happened to him? I used to hold out so much hope for him, now he’s just another jobber. This guy was a champion. He needs to do something to regain control of his career. Maybe a character change, maybe something else involving social media, he just needs to get people talking again.

Miz versus Dolph Ziggler
Nothing that the Miz does will ever make me like him. It doesn’t matter how good his match was or how well he can speak in his promos, I just do not like him. I think that he is becoming a slightly improved version of what Heath Slater was doing with the legends. You can have Ric Flair in your corner all you want, it doesn’t make you Ric Flair.

Like I’ve mentioned a few times, Ziggler seems stuck. He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere or really doing anything. I hope he cashes in that briefcase and wins a title because he is such a fantastic athlete and is one of the most talented guys in that ring today.

Jack Swagger versus Hacksaw Jim Duggan (with Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes)
This was just a quickie match that was over before it began. Swagger attacked all three legends and then started screaming his ‘We The People’ garbage. It was just exciting seeing those three guys come down to the ring. I could have done without Swagger.

Primetime Players versus Team Hell No
A pretty solid match. I love the tag team division and I don’t think that it should ever be treated as a joke. This match had a special stipulation, having Ted DiBiase be the manager for PTP if they won. That would be a brilliant idea, they are a team that could really benefit from some strong leadership. Preferably leadership that doesn’t make rape jokes on live television.

For me, Titus was the stand out wrestler in this match. I just love him in the ring. He just needs to find his niche and then he will sail straight to the top. There is nothing but success in his future.

Wade Barrett versus Alberto Del Rio
This is pretty much just going to be me praising Wade Barrett. I like Del Rio but Wade has just come so far and is a superstar that has everything a fan could want. He is athletic, strong, a fantastic talker, and just has a subdued charisma about him that just makes him magnetic. He is such a strong competitor and is very strong with his ring abilities. When he strikes his opponent, you feel it. There isn’t enough good things that I can say about him other than he has such a bright future ahead of him that it is ridiculous.

Now I can talk about what I wasn’t that fond of and that won’t take long!

I hated the Fandango segment. I think the whole idea of his character is stupid and if it is supposed to appeal to women, someone missed the mark. No woman in her right mind would find that poor man’s John Morrison attractive in any way. What a waste of television time but at least they debuted him instead of showing those awful promos. The only thing I enjoyed about that segment is that Kofi didn’t have to job to that loser.

I thought Triple H did great in his promo but it would have been nice to see Brock there. I think his mic skills could be improved a great deal but if you are building a Wrestlemania program, you damn well better show up each week to work. Speaking of not showing up…

The Rock/Cena segment also made me trail off a bit. It is no secret that I don’t like the Rock so I’m not boring anyone with that. Cena is rubbing my last nerve too. This promo is the same thing that they did last time, the EXACT SAME THING! What really got me was that Cena said that the Rock’s time was up. It’s only up until they do the same main event at Wrestlemania XXX. Nobody is interested,I just want this match to come and go. Besides, everyone knows that the real main event of Wrestlemania is always the Undertaker match.

This brings me to my favorite moment of the show and what, I think, is the biggest moment of 2013.

THE UNDERTAKER IS BACK! WAHOO!

My enthusiasm for this moment was amplified when Punk won his opportunity to face the Phenom at the SHowcase of the Immortals. although it was won in a very convoluted fatal four-way match (his opponents were Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show), he still earned it.

Punk versus Undertaker. That, ladies and gentleman, is main event material. Nothing will top it.

Take Me Back To The Start.

I’ve been watching wrestling for my entire twenty-four years and there has been a thought stuck in my mind for weeks. I can count the wrestlers still around from my childhood on one hand. It is shocking and saddening that one day they will all be gone. There are several current superstars on the roster that remind me of my favorites but it isn’t the same. Perhaps I’m being mighty nostalgic here, nothing is as good as the original. The magic and feeling that those superstars had (and still have) for me can never be replicated.

It’s not like they vanished into thin air. Many retired for various reasons, some moved on to other things, and many of them died. Like with anything else, wrestling fans form attachments to the superstars that they watch for years. The WWE superstars of today are dynamic and exciting, I’m not saying that they aren’t with this article, but no one can beat my childhood heroes. There was something magical and special about seeing Bret Hart, Randy Savage, and others, come down to the ring. When that music hit, a chill would run down my spine and excitement would course through my veins (and it still does).

Sounds cheesy but it is 100% true.

The only active wrestler left from my childhood is the Undertaker. He has been a constant presence in the company since he debuted and is the last remnant of the past. He is so amazing, in presence and statistics. How many en can say that they have gone 20-0 at anything, let alone Wrestlemania? The thought that the Undertaker may not compete at next year’s event is truly saddening. It’s almost like a funeral, a person that you loved for years is suddenly gone. You only have your memories of that person.

What makes people like the Undertaker, Bret Hart, and Randy Savage so memorable is that they had an identifiable personality and commanded the ring. People know who they are. They don`t need to see a picture or anything, they just know. Not every person who steps through those ropes is held in such high esteem. Fifteen or twenty years from now, no one is going to remember a Brad Maddox or a Sin Cara, but everyone will remember a John Cena or a CM Punk. Men like that (Punk and Cena) will one day be included with the likes of Savage and Hart.

Every athlete in the ring should have a purpose, they should strive to be the absolute best performer that they can be.It doesn`t mean winning the most championships, but taking pride in your work. If a superstar is at their best, fans recognize that and remember it.

Not to discredit men like Buddy Rogers or Bruno Sammartino, who  made the business what it is, but I am speaking about the wrestlers that I grew up with. I believe that each generation owes a certain debt of gratitude that to the generation that came before them. The demographic of the WWE is changing and expanding, the younger fans should learn about the past and they owe it to themselves to do so. Wrestling, to me, is something that has such a rich and full-bodied history.

When I have children, I want to sit with them and share my love of professional wrestling like my dad did with me.