Last night’s grandest stage of them all was not the harbinger of watershed change that I was hoping for, though that’s probably my own fault for having my usual #IrrationalIdealist expectations. We got the distinct impression from Wrestlemania that this is still Vince McMahon’s company and, with minimal exceptions, what he says goes.
Doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable show to end an enjoyable weekend, though.
Come with me, NAIborhood, as the Pope of Positivity walks you through his personal list of favorite moments from Sunday’s Wrestlemania.
Yesterday, my esteemed partner in podcast crime Doc Manson posted an article about the reasons why he was excited for this Sunday’s Wrestlemania. Never one to shy away from borrowing a good idea, I’ve decided to go ahead and offer my own reasons. In order to keep the good Doctor from screaming about plagiarism on this week’s DDTpod, though, I’ve ranked the matches in order of my excitement AND I have included the three prospective pre-show contests.
Monday Night RAW ended in an unexpected fashion as Bray Wyatt (and Family) stood tall over BOTH Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Now, history would usually dictate that said ending guarantees Bray will not win the Rumble, as whomever stands tall on the go-home show tends not to do well on the following PPV. I get that.
But here’s the thing – Bray Wyatt SHOULD win the Royal Rumble.
Now, I can see NAIborhood members like Laz and even my very good friend Doc Manson shaking their heads at me again. “Oh, DC, there you go being that Irrational Idealist again. Bray Wyatt isn’t ever going to be a big deal in WWE.” Perhaps that’s true, but I say it again, with conviction.
Wrestlemania is but a few short days away, which means I can postpone my predictions no longer. NAIpod this week will be a quick-fire predictions show, so rather than take up valuable airtime that could go to YOU, I’ll stick with the written word to get my guesses for Mania down.
Just to make things interesting, I’ll be selecting who I wish would win and who I predict will win, which are often two separate things.
Once upon a time, friends, back before the all-encompassing nature of the Internet, many people got their information, their news, their wrestling fix, their dirt from magazines. For those of who young enough to necessitate explanation, a magazine was a series of physical paper pages bound together which contained static images and written columns. Imagine NAI in a physically tangible form, but MUCH less cooler.
To give you an idea of how archaic this idea is, I remember celebrating the time I received my monthly magazine only to discover they had moved from mainly black and white pages to all-color. This was a HUGE deal way back in the day.
The standard-bearer of “impartial” magazines (meaning ones not put out directly by WWF or WCW) was Pro Wrestling Illustrated . I believe you can still find PWI active today, though I imagine their subscriptions are far less impressive than they were back in the 90’s. PWI was most famous for its annual ranking of the 500 best wrestlers in the world and their “Year In Review”, where they would hand out their annual awards.
In my day, I had a rather impressive collection of PWI magazines. This past summer while visiting my parents’, they showed me the results of their attic cleaning, and among the detritus of old high school athletic awards and theater props, I uncovered a selection of this collection; the crème de la crème of PWI’s. Among these were a number of “special” editions, and on select Thursdays, we’ll be taking a trip in the Throwback Machine to examine certain ones in greater detail.
As has been the case for the last few “What If Wednesdays”, today’s exploration into the ‘what-if world’ is taking an unusual bent. Rather than focus on something that a promotion could have done, or a wrestler, this week I’d like to focus on the fans at large, and something they could do in the days leading up to Wrestlemania.
What If the fans stopped complaining and just enjoyed the ride?
I probably didn’t need to tell you that. Hasn’t always been the case – in fact, for a lot of recent WWE PPV’s, the overwhelming emotion has been apathy above all else. But not this time.
For the first time in forever (Sorry, but I’m an elementary school teacher; there are times I’m going to quote Frozen), it feels like the writing, the booking and the performances have been clicking on all cylinders, resulting in the most exciting PPV since I’ve been back in the WWE fold.
Nobody is quite sure who is going to win the Rumble and nobody is quite sure who is going to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This makes Wrestlemania 31 practically impossible to predict. . .
But that didn’t stop me from trying.
Looking at the most likely Rumble winners and their most likely Mania opponents, I went ahead and booked some prospective cards for March 29’s Grandaddy Of Them All! Am I wrong? Almost certainly! Does it matter? Not in the least!
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.
Brock Lesnar is most likely not going to wrestle again until January’s Royal Rumble. In fact, from all reports, he and his advocate Paul Heyman might not even appear on WWE programming until around the holiday season. Now, depending on who you ask and what time you ask them, this is viewed as both a positive and a negative for the company. I can see both sides of the argument here, but I lean more towards the Barrett side (Bad News, get it?), though it’s not for the same reason everyone else does.
Truth be told, I don’t think Brock Lesnar is as big of a sales pitch as many other people do. I don’t think people are tuning into RAW or watching PPV’s to see Lesnar compete. Right now there are only two reasons people are really watching WWE these days.