Monday night’s RAW was an historic one. . . Or at least, I believe it was. For the first time in a WWE (not NXT) ring, we saw Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt, otherwise known as the Rotunda brothers, together.
Well, not technically together. Bo had just had a shocking of his shell by Ryback, and following said shock, the lights went out, and thus appeared Bray Wyatt, rather handily taking out Mr. “I’m so Hungry!”
Note: This is how this feud should go, by the way. Bray should defeat Ryback with almost shocking ease. If it goes any differently, I may have to write an entirely separate column in which I drown my tears in a few thousand words about how much I adore WWE’s most cultish jobber.
While they may not have officially been in the ring together, I (along with countless others on the Twitter) felt a level of excitement that is sometimes hard to come by in sports entertainment these days. There has been a growing enthusiasm for WWE to band these brothers together in some form or fashion, and as someone fully and completely on board with this notion, I thought we’d take a few minutes to fully flesh out why this idea is both logical and (potentially) wildly entertaining.
There’s something about a bracket, be it for basketball, wrestling or anything else, that just makes me happy. When I was a child. . . An only child, I’ll have you know. . . I used to come up with epic tournaments, sometimes with over 500 (512, to be precise, so it would work out evenly) wrestlers. In order to do that, you’d have to include multiple gimmicks of the same wrestler, so sometimes you’d have Big Josh wrestling Doink (both Matt Borne) or Dude Love and Cactus Jack in the same bracket somehow. It was amazing.
I can hear you snickering. To paraphrase Teddy Long, stop drinking the hate-a-rade.
Being this particular form of uber-nerd, you can imagine how much I loved King of the Ring, and how overjoyed I was to hear that WWE was bringing it back in 2015. Sure, it’s only 8 men, most of which are the leftover guys from the IC tournament, and sure, it likely means next to nothing, but still. . . It’s happening, and I’m a fan!
Perhaps its only child syndrome or perhaps its just impulse control issues, but patience and I have never really gotten along. This, like most things, can be a blessing and a curse. For one thing, it gave Mrs. Matthews and myself a very entertaining engagement story. (My fervent paranoia comes into play there as well, but that’s another column.)
In terms of writing, my lack of patience means that when I get an idea that I think is good, I can’t help but run with it. To that end, I’d like to welcome you to the first installment of Finisher Friday. If you have read my initial column, where I gave new finishers to the former Shield brothers, you know what’s in store. If you didn’t read it, how dare you! Go read it, so you’re all caught up.
I hope this column finds you mostly recovered from the egregious and tragic news of the week. Yes, friends, Seth Rollins debuted a new finisher on RAW. I could hear you all weeping and gnashing your teeth from the comfort of my bed, mourning the loss of the Curb Stomp.
While “The Architect” has only been a main event player for a brief period, his finishing move sure worked its way into our hearts, didn’t it? That’s the beauty of the truly good ‘match-enders’ – the Superkick, the Sharpshooter, the GTS – sometimes they expand beyond the talents themselves.
The perfect finisher is more than just a flashy move; it’s truly a combination of the right maneuver done by the right superstar, usually to the right opponent. Now, I’m not going to talk much about the Stone Cold Stunner in this column, and if you’ve read my recent work you know why – I take issue with Austin taking issue with someone using his move, so he and I are in a fight right now.
I’ve made myself a deal that this month will be “Mania March” – my posting, Tweeting and WWE Network viewing will likely be focused on “The Granddaddy of them All” (despite Starrcade technically being born first), although I also will be continuing my quest to watch every NWA / WCW PPV as well.
Oh, and I want to watch NXT.
And Jason might finally talk me into trying out this Ring of Honor business.
In the middle of 1990’s Great American Bash (or honestly it might have been a Clash of the Champions, this journey to get through all the NWA / WCW PPV’s makes everything blend together), there was an entire segment of the show devoted to revealing the “updated” top 10 rankings for the World Heavyweight Title and the World Tag Team Titles. Back in the day, professional wrestling was not quite sports entertainment, especially when it came to the NWA – There was still an underlying sense of legitimacy when it came to contending for a championship.
25 years and a whole lot of breaking kayfabe later, there’s nothing quite resembling a ranking system in WWE. Sure, there’s the “Top 25”, or whatever they have up there on WWE.com, but that doesn’t count. Storylines have trumped competition (along with everything else), and the titles are really just a means to an end.
I miss the old days. I miss where wrestlers fought to move up the ranking ladder, where a guy like Stan Hansen could become enraged at being ranked sixth and immediately set his sights on the talents above him; that’s all the storyline you needed. I also miss the days where you could actually have a TOP TEN rankings for tag teams. When was the last time you could confidently say WWE had ten tag teams that all qualified as contenders for the Giant Pennies of Fame?
So, having this soapbox as I do, I decided to craft my own rankings. Rather than my NXT top ten, which ranks potential for WWE success, this is actually done in terms of vying for the World Heavyweight Championship and Tag Titles. There will be elements of kayfabe in here, but that’s half the fun, isn’t it?
The Undertaker is a major feature of the WWE’s Wrestlemania 31 advertisements that currently adorn their production trucks, and with rumors beginning to fly about whether or not Mark Calloway makes his return to WWE in the next few months, I thought we should take a look at what his role could be for the “Grand-Daddy of them all!”
Mega-wrestling fan and all around good guy Tyler ( @MoeTWWE ) set me up with an interesting challenge this evening – create a realistic card for Wrestlemania 31. Never one to shy away from making some un-informed predictions, here we go, in no particular order of course.
Much like pimping, limping or shrimping (if you haven’t read the story behind that from one of Mick Foley’s books, you should), promoting positivity isn’t always easy. Especially in today’s WWE. When I’m trying to find the bright side in Grumpy Cat, you know its going to be a long week.
(For the record, I thought The Miz did an excellent job acting alongside a cat. He made it seem like a bad movie, which is what that was. Plus, the stunt cat? Priceless. #SandowPower)