Wrestlemania 32.

Well, another Wrestlemania is in the books. In fact, it was literally the biggest Wrestlemania in the event’s history. Over 101,000 people piled into the AT&T Stadium to experience the biggest night in sports entertainment. I personally loved the event, as I always do, there were the moments that I loved and some that I didn’t particularly like. That’s the gamble that we wrestling fans take while being so immersed in something so wonderful. Now let’s break down some of my least/most favorite moments…

Favorite Moments:

Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker

Like I had to even say that this match was in my favorite Mania moments. This was the one match on the card that I actually had no inkling of how it would go, especially when Vince added the stipulation that it would be the last Mania for Taker if he lost to Shane. The thought of never seeing the Undertaker at a Wrestlemania again shook me to my core, laugh if you must but I mean that. When Shane made his entrance with his three young sons, I was like ‘That’s it. He’s done, bye-bye Taker’. However, that wasn’t the case.

The match was outstanding and one of my favorite HIAC’s. Shane and Taker brutalized each other to the point that I thought neither man was going to be able to walk out of that arena under their own power. They were literally throwing whatever they could get their hands on at each other. I knew at some point that we were going to get a Shane-O-Mac flying elbow off of something, and everyone was hoping that it would be off the top of the cage. We got our wish and it was amazing, not so much for Shane when Taker moved out of the way right before he came barreling through the table. I thought for sure that Shane was seriously injured. Undertaker won the match and Shane was taken away by the medics, Vince got to retain control of Raw and that was that. What I appreciated most about the match was that there was no fuckery or interference, they got to wrestle a good match and tell a story.

That story left Shane battered and bruised on Monday Night Raw, I couldn’t believe that he was able to walk. He did get his wish when, refusing to be upstaged by Shane’s goodbye, Vince let him have control of WWE’s flagship program for one night.

And it was glorious.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

I thought that this was going to be an easy win for Sami Zayn. He could get the belt from Kevin Owens and they could continue the magic that they had in NXT.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

There was so much going on in the ring that I’m glad I didn’t take notes because I wouldn’t have been able to keep up. Kevin Owens put Sami Zayn through a ladder with a splash that would make Bam Bam Bigelow proud. Sin Cara put Stardust through another ladder, probably injuring himself. Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens superkicked each other at the exact same time. Not to be cliché but it was literal pandemonium. My dad and I were on the edge of our seats, shouting our faces off.

When the other competitors were down and the Miz went to grab the belt, my heart sank. He’s a non-factor for me usually, but that moment was actually scary. It’s bad enough that I have to put up with him on television during MizTV, I couldn’t take him as a champion again. Zack Ryder pushing Miz off the ladder to take the belt was like a godsend. My dad and I agree that Zack deserved the belt. It wasn’t because he was the longest tenured guy in that match that made us feel like he deserved it. Zack deserved that belt for coming out and entertaining fans no matter where he was on the card. Every time that I’ve watched him wrestle live or on television, he’s always giving it everything. I still remember the first match I ever saw Zack in, he faced Tommy Dreamer at my very first live Smackdown. He was still wearing those ridiculous one-legged pants/tights combo, but I was entertained.

He lost the belt to the Miz the very next night but I have a feeling that his title run hasn’t been stopped dead in its tracks.

Sasha Banks

There is a reason why this woman is called ‘the boss’.

The triple threat match was important to all three of the competitors but I think that it was most important to Sasha. It was telegraphed in the way she entered the arena, she had a special saunter to the ring, and she paid tribute to the biggest inspiration in her wrestling career. You could see how much she wanted to win the Women’s Championship with every fiber of her being. She was the most entertaining part of the entire match for me. It was her moment, her time to shine, and she did it.

She may not have won the match but she got to live her Wrestlemania dream and made every person feel like anything and every is possible.

Least Favorite Moments:

Street Fight (Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar)

I love Dean Ambrose and was very much looking forward to seeing him beat the holy hell out of Brock Lesnar. You can just imagine the shock on my face and my dad’s when the exact opposite of that happened…

It was the worst match of the entire event for me, which is upsetting considering it was one of the ones that I was crazy excited for. I thought that Dean was going to get to use the gifts that the hardcore legends, Mick Foley and Terry Funk, had given him the previous weeks. It pretty much turned into the Brock Lesnar Variety Hour and further proved my point as to why I can’t stand him. He proved in that match that he’s just there for a paycheck. He doesn’t give a flying fuck about entertaining people, he just wants to show up, get paid, and leave. I was expecting a FIGHT, not a dance.

I really felt bad for Dean because he is a much better wrestler than what he was able to show in that match. I sincerely hope that the WWE rethinks using Brock further. It may be wishful thinking but hey, a girl can dream!

Ric Flair

I respect wrestling legends. I don’t respect Ric Flair.

During the Hall of Fame, Ric was incredibly embarrassing. Usually, people can laugh it off but this time it was impossible to do that. It was quite obvious that the man was intoxicated and I don’t know how he was even allowed on that stage. He rambled on so much that people were joking that he was inducting himself for a third time. Ric Flair lost any respect he had from me that night. It was supposed to be about Sting and his induction. Instead, he rambled on about his rivalry with Ricky Steamboat, and cried incessantly. I hope that they never allow him to induct anyone ever again.

The following night on Wrestlemania, he interjected himself into the triple threat match and cost Sasha the victory that she deserved. I don’t even get why the fuck he was down there because he never seems to add anything to Charlotte’s matches. He just struts, slaps his arms, and woo’s. He is the embarrassing drunk uncle at the family reunion, you just feel sorry for him because he doesn’t know what a fool he is making of himself. Sure, he’s a legend but conduct yourself with decorum and tact. ESPECIALLY at the biggest events on WWE’s calendar, the entire world was literally watching you make an ass out of yourself.

As always, the Monday Night Raw after Wrestlemania was even more crazy than the event itself! That’s another post for another day!

Shane-O-Mac Attack.

I’ve taken a while to write this post because I’m just blown away at the fact that Shane McMahon is taking on the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

I never usually read any kind of dirt sheet or give in to rumors, I try not to believe anything until the WWE has it on television or reports it themselves. However, I broke my little rule and saw that the Undertaker’s opponent at Wrestlemania 32 would be someone who was from outside the company, but was once with the company. My mind RACED with who it could be but I came up with absolutely nothing.

Zilch. Zip. Zero. Nada.

When Shane McMahon’s music hit on Monday Night Raw, I choked on my own saliva and my dad’s jaw hit the floor. He was the last person that I ever expected to see in a WWE ring again, let alone facing one of the greatest of all time. Aside from the match (which is going to be awesome!), I really enjoyed the premise that brought back Shane’s return. He didn’t just show up, talk, and leave. He was there with a purpose and a real story was laid out in a matter of minutes, he was there to tell his loving sister that she was not next in line. I went bat shit crazy.

All three of the McMahon’s are great on television, one of my favorite moments was watching Vince try to stifle his smiles as he watched his children.

The actual match is what really perplexes me because I have no idea how it will go. I think that both men are capable but they’re no spring chickens, Hell in a Cell is one of the most grueling types of matches one could be involved in. Some people are saying that Shane isn’t actually going to compete and he’ll have someone do it for him or that there will be more stipulations added before Wrestlemania.

I literally have no idea what to keep tying about because I don’t know what is going to happen in the match, the weeks leading up to it, or the weeks following. All I know is that this is one of the most exciting stories that they’ve had in months and it’s something that can keep going for a long time if it’s executed properly. I know that I’m not the only one who wants to see Stephanie have to take orders from her brother, payback sure will be a bitch.

My only gripe is that I wish Wrestlemania was closer because I’m ready!

Turning On A Dime.

Three huge things happened in the wrestling world this week. Three things that could change the outcome of two of the WWE’s biggest events of the year, Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble.

Let’s start with Monday Night Raw and the fact that Roman actually retained the title. The match wasn’t what I thought it would be in that it wasn’t riddled with ridiculous stipulations that would virtually guarantee a loss, but just had the right amount of fuckery attached to keep it ridiculous. Vince was the guest referee and pulled the typical tricks like not seeing things and slower than usual counts. It came to a point where Vince was incapacitated, Scott Armstrong came and went, and another official came out to properly count Roman to victory. The match was good but that wasn’t what was most interesting, the shocker came at the end.

As he and Stephanie were retreating to the back, Vince announced that Roman would have to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match against 29 other superstars. That was only done one other time in the history of the event, and my jaw dropped when it was announced. Intrigue for that event shot up 1000% for that reason and a few others…

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few days, some of the biggest names in New Japan have given their notice after Wrestlekingdom 10.

Excuse me for a moment…AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I will admit that I haven’t been following NJPW for long but I instantly loved Nakamura, among others in the promotion. Of course, as soon as that report came out, the wrestling universe exploded. It was literal insanity. There were people already confirming that those who gave their notice signed and that the launch of the WWE Network in Japan was to coincide with the announcement. The dirt sheets went insane and it was the number one talked about item on my news feed that night.

Like could you imagine Finn Balor and the Bullet Club in the WWE?

I used to keep tabs on certain wrestling news sites but I haven’t really paid attention to much in the last couple of years unless I feel like it’s something super important. I am very much a ‘believe it when I see it’ type of person but this is just too good to not pay attention to. Even the WWE itself has acknowledged it in an article on their own website, that NEVER happens…EVER! Finn Balor even made reference to the Bullet Club on his Instagram and people went even more wild. This could change the face of wrestling from here on out, my dream would be that they debut some of the NJPW at the Royal Rumble and that would result in one of the craziest Mania’s ever.

Lofty goals but Shinsuke Nakamura did an interview in which he said he was going to the WWE after he is done with New Japan. The practical side of me doesn’t want to believe it until I see it but the crazy wrestling fan side of me lost its damn mind.

Another piece of wrestling news that caught me by surprise is that John Cena is undergoing shoulder surgery and will miss the Royal Rumble and, possibly, Wrestlemania. I had to calm myself down because that news also completely changed what I thought the possible stories would be for Mania season. There’s no possibility of him swooping in to win the Rumble and being in the main event of Mania. I wish no ill will on anyone but these last few months, and going forward, will be very interesting for fans all over the world.

Seth is still out, Cesaro is still out, Cena will be out, the Rumble is a title match, huge stars of NJPW are leaving and possibly coming to WWE…I literally can’t even right now.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m ready for the road to Wrestlemania.

Time Is Ticking.

Monday Night Raw was a unique show this week, with a house show happening at the exact same time as the television broadcast. A lot of talent was missing but I thought that it gave others time to shine and further some storylines leading into the Royal Rumble at the end of January.

What was most exciting (to me) was that we got a second appearance from Vince McMahon, something that always means shit is going to hit the proverbial fan. It’s always interesting to see him on television because the reaction is always insane. People love seeing him and they love watching him be an asshole, playing up his billionaire status. In my opinion, he’s probably one of the best heels in the business.

As I’ve mentioned before, he’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

In the opening segment, Roman Reigns was supposed to be the one who was going to be arrested for brutalizing Vince. Stephanie came out, screaming as only she can, with officers in tow. I may not be sure of much in life but I know that when cops show up on a wrestling show, it’s usually never going to end well. Much like weddings and contract signings, something will go awry.

However, the tables turned and Vince ended up going to jail for putting his hands on a detective. That whole deal, and what happened as a result, were actually my favorite moments of the show. So many people complained about it (as they always do) but I thought it added a lot of humor to the show and it allowed Roman to improve his skills on the microphone a little more.

After he was bailed out of jail, Vince came back after Roman with a vengeance. He made the main event for the upcoming Raw and treated us to yet another appearance. Roman has to defend his title against Sheamus with McMahon as the referee. My jaw almost dropped to the floor because I was so excited. With that set of circumstances there is bound to be some sort of fuckery afoot, I couldn’t even begin to think of what it could be. Vince is involved so I like to say that the impossible is possible with that guy, you couldn’t predict what he would do. Sure he may be 70 years old but he is as sharp as a tack.

It’s a title match but I don’t think that the belt would actually change hands this close to the Rumble. It’s less than a month away and the fans react to Sheamus in a way that is less than favorable. They don’t boo him because he’s a heel, they boo him because they don’t like him. What I’m interested in most is to see if any stipulations will be added to the match next week to make it even harder for Roman to retain. I was thinking of what they could be and I came up with the usual no disqualifications and whatever but it would have to be something that wouldn’t allow for any friend of Roman’s to be a part of the match and lead him to victory. Knowing the Authority and Vince, it will probably be a stipulation that is equal parts entertaining and ridiculous.

The Royal Rumble will also have an effect on this match because, if Sheamus loses, he goes to the back of the line. A few of the entrants into the Royal Rumble were revealed and anyone of those guy could be a potential opponent for Reigns leading into Wrestlemania.

I’m just hoping it isn’t the Big Show…

Roman Has Risen.

He finally did it.

Roman Reigns finally won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

For months it was commonplace that he would get in the main event spot and then something would happen. Someone would interfere, there would be some bullshit call, or some other shenanigans would happen. It kind of became the carrot dangled in front of our faces, or the Christmas cookie, whatever you’re into. It really started to affect the fans too because they’d be behind him one second and then the next they’d be booing the hell out of him. Everytime he had a main event match I’d think that he would win but then I’d quickly realize I knew better.

It’s not that I didn’t think it would happen but, with all of the disappointment, it seemed like it would be the (almost) impossible dream.

Things really turned a corner after his match with Sheamus at the TLC event in Boston and in the best kind of way. Roman went wild and took out the League of Nations but Triple H was the one who caught the worst of the ass kicking he administered. I sat with my dad, our mouths wide open because we didn’t think that would EVER happen with Roman. I honestly thought he’d continue to take garbage from the Authority in the same way that Daniel Bryan did with the huge payoff coming at a Wrestlemania. Sheamus seemed like the way that they were going to go for a champion so we just had to deal with it until that moment came along.

Out of everything that came from what happened after the main event, I think that it was most important that Roman was fully established as a force. I really feel that’s something that was kind of creating a roadblock to his success, that he hadn’t really had that big moment to prove what he was made of. That same sentiment I will also extend to the main event of Raw. Reigns had two choices; win the belt or get fired by Vince. He chose the former.

That superman punch to Vince McMahon was a symphony in storytelling. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic here but I felt that’s another moment that truly got Roman over with the fans. The reaction that he got was electric, you could tell that he won over the naysayers but there will always be doubters. I don’t feel like Roman is a placeholder champion. He isn’t just there until someone else gets back, which is how I felt about Sheamus. Roman still has a lot of work to do to build his championship legacy but I think that he will work hard to do the belt justice.

Hopefully the odds of the inevitable rematch with Sheamus at the Rumble will be ever in his favor…

Power Play.

Photo Courtesy of WWE

Photo Courtesy of WWE

Monday Night Raw was one of the final stops on the road to Wrestlemania XXXI.

This was the last major chance that the superstars had to show themselves off and make their mark before the Showcase of the Immortals. I personally think that they did a fantastic job.

Sting kicked off the broadcast by calling out Triple H in the middle of the ring. He spoke about the conniving and manipulative nature of the Cerebral Assassin and his words almost earned him a patented Stephanie McMahon slap. Triple H came down to confront the Vigilante and we got one epic standoff. Well, it would have been epic had Hunter not chickened out and left ringside. He had his sledgehammer but Sting had that bat. There is no guarantee who will win this fight but I think it speaks volumes that Hunter back away like he did. Will he get Sting when his guard is down? Is this all just a double-cross?

I am still in shock that I get to see Sting in a WWE ring after waiting over a decade. There is no bad outcome for this match for me. I’m just happy that I get to see him wrestle on a platform truly worthy of his ability.

(On a historic note, it was 14 years ago this Monday that Vince purchased WCW and won the Monday Night Wars.)

As stacked as the Wrestlemania card is this year, I think that the Intercontinental Championship ladder match is going to be the one to steal the show. The entire situation seems a little chaotic and comedic at times but these competitors have put on some of the most consistently entertaining matches and segments. The person who I want to win is Wade Barrett but the realist part of me is thinking that it will be Dolph Ziggler. Some may see it as a ‘downgrade’ for Dolph but I think that it doesn’t matter what belt a superstar carries, it’s all in how he carries it.

We also got treated to a divas match and some tag team matches, I may not have agreed with who won but I was still entertained. One point of contention that I have is with this whole #GiveDivasAChance movement. I think that it’s great that people want women’s wrestling to be given more exposure within the company because they do have some extremely talented women on that roster. However, it can’t just be AJ, Paige, and the Bellas; everyone needs to get a chance at the belt. AJ isn’t the saviour of the women’s division, I’d hate to break it to some people. There are women who are more talented and more athletic. If you want women to get a fair shake, they all have to be treated as equals in the division and on the roster. Maybe I’m reaching for that rainbow but that’s how I see it. They all work hard so they should all have a shot, there really isn’t that many women on the main roster to begin with. I don’t think the women’s division should be all sunshine and rainbows but you can’t just apply the movement to a small group of them.

Now that I’ve ranted, I think the biggest moment of the night was when Roman grabbed the title out of Lesnar’s hand and held it up. I was rendered speechless and I realize how hard that is to believe coming from someone like me. People will always bitch and moan about Roman and I could give two shits. Like I said in a previous post, no one is ever truly ready to be in that main event spot at an event with the grandeur of Wrestlemania (if you say you are, you’re lying through your teeth). Taking Brock’s title was a major power play by Reigns and I think that it sent a VERY strong message to Lesnar.

I also wanted to address the fact that Lesnar resigned with the WWE, inking a multi-year deal. Yeah, I’m not happy about it but I have heard rumors of what they plan to do with him and I don’t think that he’ll continue on as champ. To me, it doesn’t make sense to put that much steam behind Roman and then just take it all away because some block headed dope can write his name on a line. Before anyone loses their mind, I don’t think Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan are or were in the same type of situation so get out of here with that nonsense. I think that this signing was a strategic move on the part of Vince and WWE to keep Brock away from UFC. Did Brock honestly think that they would let him fight for both companies at once? There’s guys that work a lot harder than he does but I do understand why that decision was made from a business standpoint. I don’t like it in the least but I respect it. Since I’m such a curious cat, I want to know the terms of his deal. We all know that he can’t handle the work and he doesn’t like to travel so it will be interesting to see how often we will actually see him and what he will be doing. I’ve heard the rumors but I tend to not believe something until WWE releases an official statement or I see it for myself.

These people can change their minds like people change their underwear.

The Icon.

It finally happened.

A couple of weeks ago, the WWE Universe finally got what they wanted. They got to see Sting on WWE programming, not quite in the way they wanted but it was good enough for me.

What I’m talking about is the appearance of Sting in a vignette that announced him as a character in the upcoming WWE 2K15. I have to say that the WWE games are among some of the best games I have ever played in my history of being a gamer. (Yes, you can add gamer to my long list of awesome qualities!). It was always thought that there would be no chance in hell that Sting would ever be seen, in any capacity, in the WWE. Many fans, including myself, had believed that to be true. It wasn’t just us being skeptical and cynical, but it had been dangled in front of us like a cupcake on a stick. Knowing that you could reach it but it was always just out of reach.

There have been rumours that Sting was defecting to the one company that he had never been in for about, I don’t know, almost a decade. What made them start was that TNA would take him off the roster page and the internet would blow up. Speculation would start flying around and people would find Sting references in anything that they could. Even those famous 2/21/11 videos had people analyzing everything, right down to the smoke puffs in the very last seconds of the video. I was also guilty of that, not because I was a smart ass fan, but because I’d like to see him get the finish to his career that he deserves. The WWE is the top of the wrestling mountain (in my opinion) and that’s where someone the caliber of Sting should be. I still get crazy when I’m watching things on YouTube or the WWE Network and he locks on that scorpion death lock. I damn near lose my mind. That’s one of my favourite parts of being a wrestling fan.

And to see that he appeared at San Diego Comi-con made the reality that Sting is in WWE all the more real. There’s no denying it when he makes an appearance at an event of that grandeur. Think of it as Wrestlemania for the nerd set, I have yet to go but it is definitely on my list.

While I’m happy he’s here, you can’t stop thinking about what kind of deal he has signed with Vince. Sure, he’s a character in their upcoming game and has some merchandise being released but does it stop there? I sure hope not. What I’m thinking is that he signed some sort of deal that is similar to what Warrior signed before he sadly passed away. He’s been doing an increasing amount of work for the company, he’s getting more exposure, merchandise is coming out, so that leads me to believe that we are so close to seeing him in the ring again. That is the one thing on every wrestling fan’s bucket list. I’d ideally like to see him take on the Undertaker but that may not happen. My only hope is that they put him with someone who can match his status in the wrestling business and someone who has the balls to take on someone like him (and for the love of god it better not be John Cena).

They don’t call him the Icon for nothing…