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.
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.
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.
The general consensus from last night’s RAW was that the show was a dud.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Most people will admit that the show was decent enough, but it paled in comparison to what many believed the penultimate RAW before Wrestlemania “should be”. I can understand where those people are coming from – the lack of Lesnar, Undertaker and Shane-O-Mac was pretty evident.
However, let’s focus on the show for what it was, not what we wanted it to be. Yes, friends, I’m donning my #PromotingPositivity Pork Pie hat and sharing with you the things I think you should be excited about from last night.
I always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but I never got around to it.
Being of a creative and improvisational mind, D&D always seemed to be right up my alley. Creating a character, a backstory, a code of conduct, yet doing my best to adapt to the situations that presented themselves – Nerdy, perhaps, but seems like a lot of fun.
The closest I came was in college, and if memory serves, one Doc Manson was part of that group as well. We started making characters for ourselves (I wanted to be a Rogue-type, despite being one of the least stealthy people I know), but it fizzled out before it got very far. I consider it a missed opportunity, though I’m pretty sure that if I had gotten into it, Mrs. Matthews wouldn’t be sitting in the other room, us being happily married for going on five years.
Why am I telling you this, besides to beef up my nerd cred and (possibly) score some brownie points with my wonderful bride?
WWE needs to take a lesson from Dungeons and Dragons.
One of the biggest wrestling related stories of the weekend was the announcement that Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns would be teaming with a mystery partner to take on the Wyatts (Bray, Harper, Stroganoff) at Night of Champions. On this weekend’s NAIborhood podcast (available wherever NAIpod can be found), Doc Manson and I discussed it a bit, though I made the mistake of thinking the 6 man tag was at RAW, not NOC. My bad. Ryback would have made sense, but he won’t be wrestling twice at Night of Champions.
People are still buzzing about the mystery so I thought that today, I’d lay out some of the likeliest, and of course, the unlikeliest options.
The last 72 hours have taught me many things, and while this particular lesson was one I’ve long since known about, I certainly have had it reinforced.
I have an addictive personality.
After about 10-12 hours spent in my office Sunday – writing my predictions column (I didn’t do so bad, really), re-recording the initial episode of the NAIborhood podcast (now available on iTunes, YouTube and PodOMatic!), editing, discussing things with ace producer Bill Neville, sending it off, then recording a second episode, I finally re-emerged to the world right around the time of the Money in the Bank pre-show.
I had a choice in front of me. I could dive right into MITB or I could spend some quality time with the beautiful and incredibly supportive Mrs. Matthews, who hadn’t minded losing me to NAI-land for the entirety of our Sunday.
The decision was super easy, so I wound up only watching about half of the PPV last night. To be honest, that was probably for the best, since I wound up skipping the parts most of you seemed to be the most discouraged with.
I’m not going to write a full reaction column, since I didn’t see the entire thing, but I will share this Chief’s brief thoughts on the parts of the show I did catch.
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!
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.