3B, AJ Styles, Andre the Gian, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dusty Rhodes, Hell in a Cell, John Cena, Kevin Owens, League of Nations, Mick Foley, Miz, NXT, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Shane McMahon, Shaquille O'Neal, Shawn Michaels, Sin Cara, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The New Day, The Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, WrestleMania 32, WWE, WWE Women's Champion, Wyatt Family, Zack Ryder
I think I may have mentioned that I still watch WWE. Yeah, I watch “professional” rasslin’. I know it’s scripted and all that mess, but you know what? I still find it interesting. I’ll admit that as of late there’s been some lull in the “interesting” and it’s not been as interesting as it was a few years back. I love the new talent that’s stepping up but the story lines have been stale. A lot of predictability and gummed-up writing is what we’ve kind of gotten used to.
Ever since the “Attitude Era,” or more specifically, since Linda McMahon ran for office and they watered everything down to keep her looking like a model politician, things haven’t been the same. There are bright spots here and there and some of the PPVs have been worth watching, others not. Then you have the fact that I’m older, and like a lot of my friends that used to watch it, I have a hard time letting go of the oldsters that were what made it so great for me, but I do.
Last night was WrestleMania 32 and it was a whopper. Not only in spectacle but in time. The pre-game started at 5pm, split between the WWE Network and USA Network until 7pm when the PPV proper started. Most of the PPVs start at 8pm and are done around 10:50pm. This one finished its last match at 11:40pm. So that’s almost seven hours of WrestleMania. I’m not complaining, just saying it was a lot. Not only was it a lot, it was a great show; probably the best PPV I’ve seen WWE sling in quite a while… quite a while.
I’m going to talk about some of the stuff, so there will be spoilers. If you haven’t seen the show and are planning on watching later and don’t want to know, then you should probably skip down to the quote and sign off. Thanks for reading! If you don’t care to know, or you did see it, then hang in there. I’m just going to touch on some stuff as briefly as I can.
I have never been a fan of Zack Ryder. I think he’s a fine worker but that “Woo woo woo, You Know It!” crap and the “bro” aspect has always been dumb. Well, he stopped poofing his hair and grew a beard and he pulled off a win in a fantastic ladder match to defeat the champ Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara, Miz, Sami Zayn and Stardust (who was dressed in black with yellow polka dots in honor of his daddy, the late great American Dream Dusty Rhodes). It was Zack’s first title in WWE and he’ll be a good Intercontinental Champ, I think. I was just glad they allowed someone else a little push. Who knows how long they’ll let him keep it but it’s good he got that. The whole match was non-stop action from the beginning to the end.
The Chris Jericho/AJ Styles match was another action-packed match. Jericho still has it and Styles showed why they call him Phenomenal. Lots of high risk maneuvers from both guys and the table turning was remarkable. Advantage Jericho, no wait, Styles, no Jericho, whoa. I was also glad that Jericho got the win, I thought throwing him to the side was premature and Styles has time to make an impact.
The New Day (Kofi, Xavier Woods, Big E) vs. League of Nations (Del Rio, Sheamus, Rusev with Barrett). TND has come into their own as of late. I hated that gimmick at first but it’s grown on me. They work well together, too. I think this was Barrett’s last WM and possibly all he wrote for his WWE career in general as he stated he wasn’t going to renew his contract and I think it’s up soon. Anyway, thanks to Barrett’s interference LON won. Then they said there wasn’t anyone in the history of the company that could take the LON. Well, in the “surprise of the night (part 1),” HBK’s music hit and he came out, followed by Mick Foley, well, Mankind’s music and then Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music. They got in the ring and LON was taunting them, saying, the “old timers” only had three to their four. That’s when TND pulled Barrett out of the ring and left the rest one-on-one. Austin, Foley and Michaels took turns giving their signature moves to the various LON members. Then Austin got his signature beer thrown into the ring where the oldsters drank and did their thing. Then TND got in the ring and got Foley and Michaels to dance. Austin “stunnered” Xavier Woods and more beer. It was great seeing them and while they are old, they moved pretty good in ring. Foley was hobbling getting there but turned it on.
Other than the finish, I think the “women’s division” brought it! These aren’t the women of old, these girls were going at it. And, there was a nip slip from Becky Lynch. That can’t be bad. Charlotte won the “new” WWE Women’s Championship and there’s no reason why that I can see. However, the match was good until the end.
Shane-O Mac vs. Undertaker. Shane pulled out all the stops and got a lot of “This is awesome” and “Holy Shite” chants from the record crowd. Doing an elbow drop off the top of the Hell in a Cell cage onto an empty table below (UT moved) was pretty awesome. I knew that UT was going to win but it was a heck of an effort from Shane.
I think I need to watch NXT more because someone I’d never heard of (Baron Corbin) won the Andre the Giant battle royal which saw Shaquille O’Neal compete. I think this will be the launching pad for Corbin to hit the main roster. It was an okay battle royal.
Impromptu match when The Rock came out to talk to the crowd about breaking the WWE record (101k people) when the Wyatt Family came out (no Luke Harper, though) and picked a fight. Rock beat Erik Rowan in six seconds. When the Wyatts surrounded the ring, John Cena showed up to help The Rock. They hugged. It was kind of cool.
Roman Reigns beat Triple H after a long grueling match. The intro, albeit cheesy, was kind of cool with Stephanie McMahon introducing Triple H like some goth princess. The crowd obviously hates Roman Reigns, although I don’t know why. He has a lot of work to do on his mic skills but his in-ring work, I think, is pretty good. He’s not been over since he took what the crowd thought should have been Daniel Bryan’s spotlight a year ago. That’s not his fault, it was the booking’s fault. No matter how hard the management tries to put Roman over, the crowd doesn’t go for it. We have to remember, though, the WWE Universe hated Rocky Maivia, too, and look where he ended up. I think maybe he’ll work eventually but right now, WWE is in a tight spot with him. They don’t really have any big names and I think that’s the overall problem. They have a lot of mid-carders that are vying for upper echelon but aren’t there, yet. All the big names are getting older and aren’t viable any longer. It’s a weird transition period for them. I hope they pull out of that soon.
Again, this WM was better than most PPVs they’ve put out in the last while. And the crowd? Usually WM is in huge arenas/stadiums and the crowd, by aesthetics, is eliminated from the equation because the venue is so large they just disappear. I was at the Georgia Dome for WM 27 and witnessed it. It’s hard to fill a venue that large with sound. But, this crowd (in AT&T Stadium/Jerry Dome in Dallas) was on fire and brought a lot. 3B and I had fun watching it. All. Day/Night. Long. Can’t wait to see what happens on Raw tonight.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“This isn’t just a dream anymore. This is real life!” – Zack Ryder on Twitter (@ZackRyder)