I know a few of you give a damn about WWE, I don’t even know if I am one of them anymore. I’m not lying when I say that I fast forward RAW more than I watch it. If it wasn’t for NXT, I may not even have the network, but ppvs and NXT are still worth $10. Anyway, if you can’t stand reasonable criticism of the product, just stop reading. I’m not just some guy who sometimes watches wrestling. I’ve been a loyal viewer since 1989, seen every ppv, so if I have gripes, they tend to be legit. Let’s do a quick rundown.
Seth, Kane, Big Show defeated Dolph, Ryback, and Eric Rowan
Kane actually got the win. I love Kane, and he needs a win every once in awhile, but I disagree with this approach. I disagree with a lot. Mainly, I disagree with the treatment of Dolph Ziggler more than anybody else on the roster. He became the man, YET AGAIN at Survivor Series. Remember when he cashed in Money in the Bank after Wrestlemania? He was the man then. So after Survivor Series, Dolph and Luke Harper put on match of the night in the opening match. He then just becomes pathetic in 2015. Utterly infuriating to watch from any possible perspective really. You need new stars WWE, Dolph is performing, the crowd loves him. Still, there is a really tiny part of me that smiled when Kane got the pin.
Goldust defeated Stardust
This match had really good psychology, but this crowd in Memphis was absolute dog shit. I feel the wrestlers weren’t able to feed off the crowd and it just didn’t work entirely for most fans. It wasn’t terrible, it just should have been much better. I think everybody expected more and wanted more out of this match. Damn shame. At Mania, they need to have a better match.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated the Usos for the tag titles
I was surprised, and pleasantly pleased. This shows me that the WWE is losing confidence in the Ascension, while Cesaro and Kidd are just really meshing. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I find the Usos incredibly overrated with a very limited moveset. Samoan drop, fly out the ring, super kicks, and top rope splash. Yeah, Roman Reigns thinks you guys are doing it right. This match was slightly better than average.
HHH called out Sting
HHH had his collar popped, ran his mouth. The sledgehammer came out, but so did the bat. Long story short, Sting non verbally challenged him to a match at Mania. I am dying to see what kind of shape Sting is in. I’m hoping he’s in great shape, and I think he will be. Especially if it’s his last match. Notice that we have yet to see Sting without the coat.
Nikki Bella defeated Paige
This match bored me. WWE does such a poor job promoting their female wrestlers. Both girls tried, and it wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t remotely invested in the storyline. The tiny bit of character development is inadequate. NXT does women’s wrestling well. Oh and Nikki won by holding onto the tights so we probably have a rematch coming, unless AJ returns, which at this point, does it even matter? This is coming from a big AJ fan.
Wade Barrett defeated Deam Ambrose via DQ
Sooooo, this match was slightly above average for a little bit, but that ending ruined it. I love both guys big time. They deserved a better ending. Dean has not been allowed to have clean match ending in the vast majority of his ppv matches it seems. Really, they are doing him even worse than Dolph if you can believe that. Dolph’s time is now, but Dean should be in a similar position as Seth, but instead, his matches end in non stop bullshit. It frustrates me as a fan who wants to see these young guys get some good matches and get made as top stars. But nope. Wade is on the verge of drifting off to mediocrity because as soon as you get a title, your push seemingly stops unless it is the world title. Champions should be treated as such, not losing every non title match that they are in. It makes them look weak as hell. But the fans have been saying this for years and years and years. Yeah, this pissed me off. Oh and Dean stole the belt, so I smell rematch. A ladder or cage match with 15 minutes could be top 3 at Mania easily. Dean is slowly becoming the go to guy in gimmick matches, but who cares?
Rusev defeated Cena via submission
I will admit, I didn’t pay attention to this match, so I have to rewatch it. I know the ending, I know Cena put a guy over really well, so hell must have frozen over, so I am rewatching tonight. I can’t fairly have an opinion on this without seeing it. Of course, we probably get the rematch at Mania.
Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan for main event match against Brock at Mania
This match was very good. Easily stole the show. Both guys worked their asses off I feel. I’m not going to just credit Daniel Bryan and be a snob, Roman hung for the whole match. Daniel has that Bret, HBK, Seth, Punk, Benoit, and Eddie quality, where they can make any opponent look good pretty much. Yes, I admit, I’m so over hearing Yes chants, but overall, I am still happy for DB, and hope he gets a few title reigns. Yes, the money match would have been Brock vs Daniel. If you don’t agree, then you don’t understand proper storytelling.
All in all, I have very little interest in this Mania. This is no surprise. Ever since last year’s terrible Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, the WWE has made so many mistakes. It’s awful, and the fixes are not terribly difficult. But it all comes back to ending the Streak. It all comes back to DB not winning the Rumble. It comes back to Punk not only leaving, but the point about all the main roster guys having to take a backseat to part timers at the biggest event of the year, which is also the biggest pay day of the year. Arguably, our top 3 matches at Mania are Brock/Roman, HHH/Sting, & Taker/Bray. 4 out of those 6 are part timers. If I was a young guy who’s had a great year and solid matches like Ziggler, Dean, Luke, Seth, or even a Sheamus or Barrett, I’d be pissed. At the end of the day, it all truly comes back to the WWE not listening to what it’s fans really want. Fans want Roman as a young up and coming bad ass, but recognize that he is still a year or 2 away, and that’s cool. I like Roman, I want to see his evolution. Fans are legitimately getting sick of Cena overcoming every damn obstacle and not putting over the young talent. Fans want Daniel Bryan and Dolph right now as the main event. Fans wanted Bray to beat Cena. Does anybody really want to see Sting vs HHH? Honestly, think about that. I’ll tell you a few changes I would have made.
I would have had HHH putting Bray in matches where he took out enemies of the Authority, subtle hints that they were amicable. HHH could still have had the confrontation with Sting last night, but Bray comes out and they beat down Sting, but he overcomes it and out comes Luke. Then the gong hits. At Mania, we get Taker & Sting vs Bray & Luke Harper. This would be a much better story to tell. Luke is the closest thing in the ring to Taker, and Bray is the closest as far as aura aside from awesome Kane. Sting gets his wish to work with Taker without either of them having to job. Bray and Luke would still look like a million bucks because Sting and Taker know how to sell.
I would have had Daniel and Dolph be the last 2 competitors at the Royal Rumble, and have them tie, or simply get taken out by Brock, some convoluted ending. Have Daniel vs Dolph at this PPV. I would have altered the stipulations. The winner main events against Brock. The loser takes on the IC champ at Mania. Now both belts have a certain prestige. I probably would have Daniel win, but Dolph works about the same. Wade vs DB or Dolph are great matchups for Mania.
Big Show and Kane, Showcaine as I like to call them, should have been tag champs since December. Make them utterly unstoppable.I would have booked the Ascension a hell of a lot better, and had them take out Showcaine. Give the Ascension a long title run. They could take out legendary teams even, but book them smarter.
I actually like Seth vs Randy, but I think they need to somehow need to make it more personal and viscious. Bring back the punt for instance to combat the curbstomp. I even like Cena vs Rusev a lot, but I would slot Dean vs Rusev as a chaotic match, anything goes feel. Book Cena vs Roman, that match would feel important, and you can elevate Roman that way. That’s 7 matches.
So you need a women’s match, but how about you put some talented ones in a 4 way dance, elimination style. I want Emma, Alicia, Summer Rae, and Paige. As much as I love AJ, I would leave her out. Make whoever the female HOF inductee this year is, the ref. Rumor is it’s Medusa, so that would be perfect!
You need the Goldust vs Stardust match, but it needs to be told well. The match needs to be spot on. Stipulation obviously, to force Goldust to retire if that’s what he plans on doing.
Have the Andre Memorial Battle Royale, and dare I say, have Ryback and Curtis Axel as the last 2. Curtis wins. He’s too talented to not be taken seriously. It’d be similar to 2 years ago when Santino was teetering on the main event scene.
The pre-show should have a #1 contenders matchup for the tag division. You have Prime Time Players, Usos, Cesaro & Kidd in a triangle tornado match. C&K or PTP win it. The crowd would be hot for this matchup.
Alas, that’s how I’d have booked things, but you can’t always get what you want. As the card shapes up, I can’t help but feel terribly underwhelmed. In my scenario, the young talents get put over, with the exception of Bray and Luke, BUT I feel being in that match would serve them incredibly well. And, no HHH match, and I like HHH. Only 2 matches featuring part timers. Oh well.
All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.