Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you under somber circumstances. Going into Wrestlemania week, I had hoped that we happy few members of the NAIborhood would find nothing but frivolity and joy, but it seems, as with all things, we must take some time to be sad.
Today, we lay to rest one of our dearest favorites. . . Someone whom we thought might one day live forever.
Today, we say goodbye to the dearly departed Bray Wyatt.
Twitter is ablaze with comments about the latest development in the Undertaker v. Shane McMahon storyline that is being built for WrestleMania this year. The most vocal portions of the audience are displeased with the overall direction of the angle, and every new development only seems to heap more fuel upon the already blazing IWC (Internet Wrestling Community). I’m just not so sure that this storyline is as bad as everyone wants me to think it is.
For weeks, perhaps even months now, the WWE Universe has been wondering one thing…
Who will Undertaker face as Wrestlemania 32?
As time goes by, that question becomes even more fervent, especially since all the likely options seem to be dwindling faster than Titus O’Neil’s WHC chances. (Though as I wrote last week, I still think there’s a way to salvage this from a storyline, which then means a PR, point of view.)
So on a whim this afternoon, I began jotting down a list of potential opponents for The Phenom. Some of these are popular options I’ve seen online; some are completely original. Well, technically I don’t think anything can count as original anymore, but some were created by me without getting help from the NAIborhood.
Therefore, I humbly present to you. . .
DC’s Dozen Potential Opponents for Undertaker at Wrestlemania
Over the last few weeks, RAW ratings have been. . . Slipping is probably too casual of a word. . .Plummeting might be too harsh. . .Let’s settle on declining, and its causing panic within WWE and questions and debate outside of Titan Tower. The Twittersphere has been abuzz with potential problems and supposed solutions, and one of the most common ones is the idea that there just aren’t enough “top stars” for WWE to build stories and content around.
This led to questioning the NAIborhood, asking them to pick 6 stars that they’d center their booking around for the next 4-6 years. Since I always try to answer the questions I ask, I’m here to offer my own “A-Team”.
Since it was my question, I can tweak it, so I decided to come up with a Top Ten. Unlike my usual lists, I’m actually going to rank them from top down, instead of building to number 1, and since I’m already working backwards, might as well put my overall thoughts and conclusions first.
Remember when Hulk Hogan and race in wrestling was all anybody could talk about? You know. . . About 10 days ago? How quickly things change in this social media world, for in less than a fortnight, we’re now talking about Piper (obviously, that would have happened no matter what), Ultima Lucha and some team that may or may not be called ‘Beef Mode’.
For those who wondered how Hogan survives the fallout of his released audio, the answer is in the previous paragraph. Today’s society has a massive case of collective ADHD – We automatically move to the next shiny thing that captures our attention. If Hogan were to disappear from the public eye for a while, only to come back in 18-24 months with a series of tell-all interviews, giving a total mea culpa for his actions and showing us that he is actively seeking forgiveness, a lot of people would break out the red and yellow boas and welcome him back with open arms.
It might seem ludicrous right now, but its true. It could, and possibly will, happen.
One of the less-talked about aspects of the “Attitude Era”, mainly because it wasn’t very exciting to most people, was the ‘gang warfare’ that took place in the late 90’s. I’m obviously not talking about the nWo or DX here, rather the feud between the Nation of Domination, Los Boricuas and the Disciples of Apocalypse.
Now if two of those stables are completely unfamiliar to you, I wouldn’t be surprised – as I said, it’s not necessarily a hallmark of the era, but I loved it, solely because as anyone paying attention knows, I’m a big stable fan. I think there should be stables all the time, so naturally, I crafted a What If Wednesday that goes along perfectly with that.
What if “Gang Warfare” happened again in WWE, but on a much larger scale?
I’m sure I’ve said this countless times before, but I’m not a big sports fan. Maybe it’s my relatively short attention span, maybe it’s just the fact that I was born with only about 2 athletic bones in my body, but it’s true.
Except during the trade deadline.
For some reason, I LOVE trade season. I really don’t care about which sport, although baseball and basketball are my personal favorites, but I just adore all the hype, the rumors, the speculation. Who will be buyers and who will be sellers? Will that top minor-league prospect get traded, and if so, what team leader will be offered in exchange?
Sadly, professional wrestling doesn’t have trades, or at least, they’re not open about it. Sure, there may have been some backroom deals between ECW and WWF in the Attitude Era, but since then, it’s pretty much non-existent. But what if. . . . .
What if WWE and Lucha Underground decide to trade some talent?
With all the hullaballoo (such a fun word to type, let alone say) in WWE / NXT of late, it seems I have fallen off the What If Wednesday wagon, so thanks to a suggestion from NAI Fan Friday contributor and host of RealWorldChamp.com Josh Petrie (@jpetrie18), let’s get back on the horse.
Having worked through a good chunk of the WWE roster, its time to take our eyes to Full Sail University, home of NXT. The world has been focused far more of WWE’s developmental as of late, what with the ESPN piece (which was quite good and should be watched by one and all) and more importantly, with the news that we may have lost both Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami until 2016 due to injuries.
Today, we’ll look at 3 NXT talents who are (for the most part) in need of new finishers. Remember, I give each talent a pair of moves to end their match, almost always from the categories of Power, Strike, Aerial, or Submission.
We begin, as you knew we would, with one of my favorite NXT talents, and most certainly a polarizing figure. .