On Sunday, March 29, WWE presented their biggest event of the calendar year live from Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. That's right WrestleMania has come and gone for this year and like most other years WrestleMania lived up to the expectations of being WWE's biggest show of the year. I will be honest that this year's WrestleMania was the first WrestleMania I have seen in almost a decade. Also Sunday was actually my first day with the WWE Network and I can say I happy we decided to order WrestleMania, because it was one of the best WrestleMania's in recent memory. I Just wanted my thoughts on some things that happened on the show.
Highlights or Good Things From WrestleMania
Before I get into this, please remember everyone has their own opinion and if you don't agree with mine that is fine all I ask is that you respect it. Well I guess the best out of the way first and that was the booking of the Main Event which in the end led some of the best booking from WWE in a long time.
Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns had a knock down drag em out fight on Sunday; there is no other way to describe that match other than a fight. Both the men showed why they belonged in the Main Event of WrestleMania in my book. Brock is a f**** beast and that match just how much of a f***** Bad Ass he is and proved once again why him staying with WWE is a good thing. When Brock got split open on the turnbuckle at first I thought the match was going to end via count-out because I didn't think he was going to get back in the ring, and I didn't think he was cut that bad. But when he got back the ring I can say that I marked out for the first time in a long time because Brock was busted bad and blood has become very rare which makes the times we see it that the more special. I didn't forget about the other half of the match that being Roman Reigns as he took a beating like they wanted him to as a way I would think to try and win the fans over, but that didn't work. I will say Roman is getting closer to belonging in the Main Event picture and after Sunday night he proved he can hang the big boys. Then when Seth Rollins music began to play and Mr. Money in The Bank, I was probably like 76,000 other people as I was going crazy at the sight of what was happening. In my book Sunday night saw the best booking of the Main Event in a long time though, because some will tell you they thought Seth would cash at Mania, I don't think anyone thought that Seth would have cashed in during the Main Event.
Sting & Triple H had a Once in a Lifetime Match on Sunday Night and a match that everyone who saw it will remember everything about it because of what it meant for the history of wrestling. Sunday night was Sting's first match in WWE and not only that his debut was at WrestleMania. Winner of the match aside, I think Triple H vs Sting was one of if not the best matches on the show. After 14 years the fans finally got a glimpse of what the Invasion of 2001 should have been and could have been, but wasn't. WWE took us in a time machine on Sunday and after 14 years not only did we get to see NWO vs DX, but we also got to see Shawn Michaels in the same ring as Sting for the first time ever. Think about this also at 55 years old Sting was able to have the match he did and also it took two pedigrees, plus a sledgehammer to put him down. Then we got the hand shake that nobody saw coming when Triple H shook Sting's hand following the match, giving us a picture worth a thousand words.
The Bad or Not So Good:
I am going to keep this short, because I wasn't really disappoint by much of anything at WrestleMania.
7 Man Intercontinental Title Ladder Match:
After some interesting hype for this match I thought ok and then I thought when was the last time that WWE actually had a bad Ladder match on a PPV. Well my question was answered on Sunday, because though this was still a perfect launching point for the New Era of the IC Title the match wasn't that good. I mean outside of a few moments the match in my book was very underwhelming and could have been a lot better.
Though I loved seeing him come back and I felt like he looked a lot better this year than he did last year. Even though all those things are true, I didn't feel good feelings watching his match. I felt almost like it seemed age has caught up to him and that this year or next year needs to be his last match. I will never discount anything he has done in his career, I just think that after seeing him on Sunday age might have finally caught up to him.
I must say that over the last few years, it seemed like WWE even forgot how to have a good WrestleMania. But this year's WrestleMania was different and it actually seemed like the biggest event of WWE's calendar year. I will even go far enough to say WrestleMania, reminded me why I love this wrestling business as much as I do. So for the first time in a long time I will say Thank You WWE for a Great Show!!
March 29, 2015
Live from Santa Clara, CA
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Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Won by: Sheamus
It is very hard to predict the winner of a Battle Royal because these matches are the most unpredictable type matches in wrestling as you never really can be sure who is going to win.
WWE Tag Team Title Match:
(c) Cesaro & Tyson Kidd w/ Natalya vs The Uso's w/ Naomi vs Los Matadores vs New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E)
Though in my opinion the only way that the Tag Team titles can keep respect and any importance is they need to be featured on the show. WWE needed something more on the Pre-Show with the fact that it was 2 hours so they decided on having two matches on the Pre-Show instead of just one. Keeping in mind that this is just a Pre-Show match I still believe that this match will be good and show the talent the Tag Team division has but is still lacking. Cesaro & Kidd hold on to the Gold Tonight.
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match:
(c) Bad News Barrett vs Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose vs R-Truth vs Stardust
I don't know about everyone else but I have thoroughly enjoyed the build-up to this match and WWE's attempt to re-build the prestige of the Intercontinental Title. I firmly believe that this match could be a show stealer and may allow the title to take a step in the right direction prestige wise. Also, I think that there are many different ways for the WWE to go when it comes to this match and who wins. As think that Stardust, and Ambrose are the Wild cards to win and Dolph or Bryan are the more likely choices to win the match. But if I only can choose one guy I will pick Daniel Bryan to win the Intercontinental Title.
Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
This feud may have been exactly what Randy needed to reignite his career which seemed to be dimming over the last few years. But his feud with Rollins has seemingly given fans a look at the old Randy Orton being a good guy for the first time, and I also think we should be keeping tabs on him to see how his character progresses following Wrestlemania. I think this match is going to be good as these two guys work very well with own another and that chemistry will take center stage at the Big Event. Though I think that Seth can just talk his way out of a loss tonight and be able to make people forget, I think that he needs a win more tonight even if it isn't a clean finish. I think Seth needs to be able to get something back on Orton after Seth got his ass kicked a few weeks ago. Seth Rollins wins
The Bella's vs AJ & Paige
These four divas finally get to settle this war with each other in the ring tonight. This match if given the chance could be one of the most underrated matches on the show. To add some more life to the feud may be having AJ & Paige get the win, but having it look like an accident that they win could work.
WWE United States Championship Match:
John Cena vs (c) Rusev
It could be that this is John Cena's first time not in the Main Event feud going into Mania so it might be a little strange seeing him in the middle of the show and not at the end. I think the build for this feud was actually quite subpar and could have been done a lot better than it was. I also firmly believe that having Cena be the one who beats Rusev for the first time is a mistake, because why does Cena need to add another achievement to his long list and why try and make a new star by having them beat Rusev instead of Cena. Tonight, Cena will not only win the United States title, but he will also end Rusev's undefeated streak.
The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
I am probably not alone in thinking that after last year's match with Brock Lesnar, Taker wasn't coming back this year. I am not saying he shouldn't, because The Streak doesn't define the Undertaker his ability to put on a good match and steal the show every year is what defines him. I thought that if he couldn't live up to past expectations that he wouldn't be coming back. I would love to be proven wrong, but until that point I will say that this year is likely Taker's last match at WrestleMania and he will not be back next year. Therefore Bray Wyatt will walk away with the win tonight.
Sting vs Triple H
This match is 14 years in the making and is finally going to happen tonight at WrestleMania. Until last November Sting was the only WCW alumni that WWE never was able to sign. Now after 14 years following the closure of WCW Sting finally will step into the ring for the first time in his almost 30 year career. This match is also the hardest to predict because Sting has wrestled in the ring for over a year and maybe a little rusty. But much like last match with Taker and Bray, I firmly believe this is Sting's first and last match in the WWE. With all things considered Sting has to win his debut in WWE even if this is his last match Sting needs the win more.
WWE World Title Match:
(c) Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs Roman Reigns
The Main Event of WrestleMania, the match that people have been yelling about since January at the Royal Rumble. The same match that has gotten so much Mainstream exposure over the last week it is incredible. The announcement from Brock earlier this week that he is staying with the WWE just adds another wrinkle to the feud and gives more questions. At first this match was the easiest match to predict because most everyone thought that Brock was leaving and would drop the title. However, now the match has become one of the hardest to predict since Brock signed back with the company. But if I had to take a pick I would say Roman isn't ready to be given the ball just yet and therefore Brock will retain the title tonight.
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Over the course of the last few weeks I have been looking back at some of the past great matches that have taken place at Wrestlemania from Bret Hart vs Steve Austin to Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker to Owen Hart vs Bret Hart and many others there is a reason why Wrestlemania is called "The Showcase of the Immortals. It is not because Hulk Hogan main evented 8 straight Wrestlemania's. A lot of matches at Wrestlemania get the fans emotionally invested in the feud and thereby get the fans more excited to see the match because they are so excited for it and have a real emotional interest in who is going to win the match. One of the matches that have happened during the history of Wrestlemania that fits this description perfectly was Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24.
Numerous people at that point thought Flair's career was over because of his Hall of Fame induction the night before, but that didn't change the amount they invested into the match emotionally. I know people who actually cried when Flair lost knowing that one of the greatest if not the greatest wrestler of all time career was over. Then they also like many people cried the next night when the WWE gave Flair the going away party he rightfully deserved for committing 30 plus years to the wrestling business. Relive both great moments with the videos below:
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For months rumors of what will happen with Brock Lesnar's contract following WrestleMania, but now the questions have been answered. After a backstage altercation a few weeks back between Vince McMahon & Brock Lesnar, many thought that rumors would stop because Brock was going back to UFC. However, Brock made a big announcement Live on Sports Center last night when he announced that his MMA career is over and that he had signed back with WWE. Though rumors have it UFC was offering more money Brock still chose to return to the WWE.
Why Did Brock Stay in WWE?
Now before people jump to conclusions this is just my opinion about why Brock stayed in WWE as opposed to returning to the UFC. So let's get to the reasons:
Now I do think that one of the reasons why Brock chose to stay in WWE is because he gets to work a lighter schedule in WWE and would be working a lot more in the UFC. It didn't matter to Brock if he would make more money in the UFC I firmly believe that it's all about the lighter schedule, because Brock has never liked to travel and staying in WWE he won't have to travel that much. It could also be possible that his family played a part in his decision as I am sure taking the lighter schedule would give him more time to be a husband and a father to his family.
I don't believe that the schedule is the only reason or even the major reason he chose to stay in WWE and retire from MMA. I believe that his injury past that caused him to leave UFC the first time played a part in him staying with WWE rather than returning to the UFC. As everyone I am sure remembers Brock missed a tremendous amount of time on the shelf in the last year with the UFC. To be more specific from around 2010-2011 Brock had struggled with the disease known as Diverticulitis. These two reasons I firmly believe played a major part in Brock staying with the WWE and effectively retiring from MMA.
Author's Note: I think that with Brock returning to the WWE it may be time to change his character a bit because by the end of this contract it would be four years of the same Bad Ass heel. I just think that giving Brock's character a breath of fresh air or a new twist would be a good idea considering at this point he might be getting stale. Wrestlemania would be a great time for the change to happen like maybe having Paul Heyman turn on Brock to side with Roman Reigns which would allow Brock to have a face run in WWE before he leaves.
If you want to check out Brock's Announcement:
Since the start of NXT WWE has held many tryouts at the Performance Center looking for the top young talent on the independent circuit. Since then they have signed a various amount of top independent talent like Uhaa Nation, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Adrian Neville, and many others. To my knowledge nobody has turned down the ability to attend a WWE tryout. However, that was until the WWE invited the Young Bucks to a tryout and the Bucks turned down the offer.
Now the WWE seems to be bitter about the fact that someone actually turned down an offer to attend their tryout. Though people believe that the WWE wouldn't be bitter about and just because they used the term "Young Bucks" in Mark Henry's promo a few weeks back and titled an episode of WWE Fury: Superkick Party means nothing. (The term super kick party is very often associated with the Bucks because they are famous for Superkicks)
You may believe that and your entitled to your opinion but just think about it like this, when was the last time someone turned down a WWE tryout. Like I said above I don't ever remember someone turning down a WWE tryout chance, so is it possible WWE just doesn't know how to handle someone saying No to them it's possible. Just think about it the Young Bucks in WWE, how long would it be before they weren't a team anymore.
Since the Royal Rumble the fans have voiced their displeasure of the direction WWE, of who is going to WrestleMania and the person that they have chosen to Main Event the big event. Fact is, most people were left scratching their heads and wondering how WWE could put together such a predictable and overall poor Rumble match. It isn't just the fans that are questioning WWE's current creative direction overall it is also former talent/creative team members. For those who don't know Jim Cornette has a Podcast and his guest on this particular edition of his podcast was former WWE Star Lance Storm.
On the show Corny and Storm brought up a good point of over wrestling history there has never been a promotion where the Authority were heels until the Monday Night Wars. Everyone knows what happened to the WCW, but since 1997 the WWE has had a heel authority figure in form in charge of something on TV and it usually has been a McMahon. So for going on 18 years the WWE has had a heel authority figure and it has usually been a McMahon.
Now I am not saying that the Authority figure should never be a heel, what I am actually saying is that maybe the person who owns the company shouldn't either be the Authority or the heel because that could make people hate the company if they hate the Authority. Wrestling changed during the Monday Night Wars mostly for the better, but somewhat for the worse as well because in a way that was the time when the fans began to hate The Authority's handpicked guys and gravitate to who they want. During the Monday Night Wars the Authority's handpicked guys were a part of the Corporation and who did the fans pick well "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Fast forward to modern times the same thing happened with The Authority now they hated Randy Orton, Batista, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns because one way or another they were picked to lead the company by The Authority. That is why I believe Daniel Bryan got so popular early last year because the people realized he was the opposite of what The Authority wanted and that's what made the fans gravitate towards him. Think about has a McMahon been in charge on TV for too long, and could having the real leaders of the company be heels on TV have damaging effects on the overall success of the company?
At a certain point The Undertaker's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak hit a level where it was almost more important then challenging for the World Title. When Shawn Michaels challenged The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania 25 everyone was excited at the idea of how good the match was going to be, but nobody could have imagined how good it actually was. This match was good that it would win Match of the Year in most if not all Wrestling magazines, they also won the Slammy that year which is where HBK challenged Undertaker again at WrestleMania 26.
Who could forget the incredible video packages they had to build these matches up even further:
WrestleMania 26 (Career vs Streak)
It is unbelievable how good Shawn and the Undertaker are in the ring together and they proved it at back to back WrestleMania's when they stole the show. By far their match at WrestleMania is the most meaningful match that is apart of The Undertaker's streak. I mean that match ended the career of one of if the greatest WWE Superstars of all time in Shawn Michaels. There was no way in hell I could do a recap of WrestleMania matches leading into this years WrestleMania without talking about the two matches I can watch and have goose bumps through the entire match. It is unreal how good these matches are and the meaning they brought to the streak and to WrestleMania is unmatched. Undertaker & Shawn Michaels are two of the greatest Superstars of All Time and these two matches Proved why they will always be held in the highest regard.
A few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw we saw the appearance of A-List celebrity talk show host and long time wrestling fan Jon Stewart. I can honestly say that I probably wasn't alone in thinking that Jon Stewart's appearance was one of the best celebrity appearances in recent memory, because it didn't seem meaningless & he knew what he was talking about. Also I believe that Jon Stewart proved that all celebrity appearances don't have to be meaningless especially if the celebrity is a fan of the company and actually knows the product outside of John Cena.
Though Jon Stewart's segment with Seth Rollins wasn't incredible, it did have more meaning to the show then just having the celebrity to promote something the fans couldn't care about. By the end of the segment the Orton vs Rollins feud took center stage over the celebrity appearance, which is how it should be. Jon Stewart showed that a celebrity appearance from a celebrity who actually knows the history of the company and what is going on in the product and the history of the company instead of just looking like a useless waste of TV time like most celebrity guests are. To further push my point take a look at this excerpt from an article on the Bleacher Report:
"Stewart's explanation of Rollins' questionable Money in the Bank win, among other heel tactics, was simple and effective. The Daily Show host expertly pointed out everything that makes Rollins an effective heel. By the end of the segment, Randy Orton's involvement escalated the feud between Rollins and Orton.
's booking of Stewart is a coup in and of itself. He's an A-list talk show host who is more relevant than ever in his final year anchoringThe Daily Show. Anything else he contributes is an added bonus.
Stewart's segment on Raw Monday night can safely be considered a double-bonus."
For the full Article: Click Here
Also for those who didn't see the segment or want to see it again it's featured below:
This year's Royal Rumble match will go down in history as one of the worst Royal Rumbles in recent memory or even ever. From the Royal Rumble to every other match on the show the event just really wasn't that good at all. One of the few good things that came out of the Royal Rumble was the start of #AxelMania.
See if you don't know what I am talking about then let me explain, at the Royal Rumble Curtis Axel was making his way to the ring, but was attacked by Erick Rowan who then proceeded to run to the ring and fight Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt before getting "eliminated." Only issue was Rowan was never in the match as an official entrant, but Axel was actually in the match but never got eliminated. Now since the Royal Rumble match Axel has been keeping a count on how long he has been in the Rumble match considering he never go eliminated. Now onto the hash tag, #AxelMania is Curtis's attempt to get a match at WrestleMania.
Though I have heard a number of people say that they hate this gimmick I am not one of those people. I can understand why people may hate this gimmick, because I feel like Axel isn't being himself and is using too many Hulk Hogan mannerisms and not being his own character. This is Axel's opportunity to show the potential many thought he had rather than being a modern version of Hulkamania with the same mannerisms.
But I also think that Axel is getting hurt by the fact that he hasn't been anything special for so long that why should people care about him now. It's disappointing because when Curtis Axel made his debut on the main roster, I was one of those people who were looking forward to seeing what Curtis could do and now given an opportunity he still isn't showing his own personality. I think as a comedy act this could work, but following WrestleMania it will be hard to continue considering the gimmick started because never was eliminated from the Rumble and felt he deserved the Main event at WrestleMania.
For this look back in the history books of the biggest event in WWE's calendar year we go back to a time that many WWE fans call the beginning of the Attitude Era. This WrestleMania moment is from WrestleMania 13 from 1997. Now in my opinion WrestleMania 13 overall wasn't that good, but it is remember for really one match and that match was Bret Hart vs Steve Austin (Submission Match.)
In wrestling it is rare to see a double turn in a match as how ever the wrestlers usually enter a the match that is how they usually leave the match. For those who don't know what a double turn is let me take a second and explain; it's pretty simple in this match for example we saw Steve Austin as a heel or bad guy and Bret Hart entered as a face or good guy. But here is where the double turn comes in because as the match progressed the crowd turned to cheering Austin & booing Bret. This effectively turned Bret into the Canadian Nationalist and Austin's move to being the company's Rebel had started.
There is also another thing rare to find in the wrestling business and that is a guy who can carry your company. This is especially rare when it turns out to be someone who a previous employer wrote off as nothing special and that the WWF was writing off until I do believe Bret asked to work with Steve. When Steve Austin arrived in the WWF in late 1995 nobody thought that Steve would become even half of who he became, and that is the amazing part. In a way this match at WrestleMania 13 went a long way in cementing Steve Austin's future as the "Face of The WWE" and the "Face of a Generation"