Professional Wrestling / SOUNDTRACKS/MISCELLANEOUS

WRESTLEMANIA XXIX : The T Point


WRESTLEMANIA XXIX.....only a few hours away

WRESTLEMANIA XXIX

Without any cliches about it being “that special time” for professional wrestling fans, let us get to it. First I will address concerns that there might be a good reason for HARDCORE Wrestling fans NOT to be excited about this year’s Wrestlemania.

The top three main events consist of 4 men who will fade away in the next couple of years from THIS BUSINESS (ironic Triple H reference in a wrestling post :check) and 2 bona fide main event players who are nearer to the twilight of their careers than you would think they are. Is this bad booking? Yes and No. It is good booking because it lends Wrestlemania the appropriate amount of gravitas and charisma. However, this argument is a vicious circle because the above mentioned super stars only got into this position BECAUSE they were given that spotlight. (typical Internet smark rant inserted : Check) Or is that right? Let us go into the minutiae here.

Lesnar? Main evented WM XIX against Kurt Angle. Is a complete freak of nature that comes along once in blue moon. HHH? Jobbed to Ultimate Warrior at WM XII, was Shawn Michael’s lackey for a good number of years, used the D-X and Mcmahon’s lack of a moral compass to get over by using crotch chops and appealing to excited, testosterone fueled high school bullies. Had a heel run in 2000 cemented by main event matches at B level PPVs and a WM 2000 win in a fatal four way over Show, Foley and Rock to become the first heel to retain the title at WM. This HHH push happened due to Austin’s unfortunate neck injury. Undertaker? Most unique gimmick to every grace pro rasslin. Was lucky to get pitted against weak opponents or out going talents at WM, hence leading into the “Streak” storyline. Again, freak of nature. The Rock? Had Austin to act as great foil, and got pushed into the “Mcmahon – Austin” storyline as the corporate champion leading to high popularity and got opportunity to act as a highly enjoyable misogynistic bully who called the boss’s daughter a whore with big breasts. How can he NOT get over?

The point of this quick recap being that the creation of legends is part good writing and MOSTLY LUCK. CM Punk? The pipebomb heard around the world in 2011 leading into the immortal MITB 2011 main event against John Cena just happened to HAPPEN. So your smark arguments about how the event should have been highlighted by Ziggler, Cesaro, Bryan et all and if this doesn’t happen these stars will never get over? Save it – that is not how it necessarily works. Exceptional grapplers with great luck will make it.

Plus, lets have a look at the undercard. We have the exciting and promising The Shield , Fandango against the veteran Jericho, and Big E Langston in the tag title match. I would mention Ryback against my favourite hoss of all time after Vader, MARK HENRY, who DOES WHAT HE DO (talk about Mark Henry : check because that’s what I do) but I don’t really like him all that much. We also have a piss break inter gender tag match between Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and a yet again revamped Tensai, re-re-re-christened Sweet T {oh no they didn’t misuse the word T!!} with hot women Cameron and Naomi) versus the most awesome wrestlers on the roster Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes with the suitably enhanced boobs of the Bella Twins. (talk about women wrestlers only with respect to their physical features: check). We have, wait for it, GAWD KNOWS how many DEBUTANTES on the WM card this year. So I am really not sad about the exposure that the younger members of the roster are getting. Hey, I know its not Tyson Kidd in a ladder match against Bryan for the once again respected Intercontinental Title Belt but whatever, its better than the WM 27, 25, 23 and 24 cards for one. It is better than filling the under card with Santino, Hornswoggle, Flo Rida and other comedy acts just for the heck of it. Heck, it is better than a LOT of things that they have done in the past.

So the main reason that I am a bit apprehensive regarding WM XXIX is only and only because of the somewhat sketchy story lines going into Wrestlemania. In wrestling, I have always maintained that there are two currents of stories that keep moving. One is the overt story line embedded in the video packages they show before the match, which ostensibly explains the proximate reason for the match. The other, is the continuing story of each wrestler, which is never told, only shown. This is the story showing the character development and the effect on each character’s psyche before, during and after the match. It is a story line that ultimately sells the character and can form part of the former overt story line when the time is ripe for a major feud or watershed moment in a character’s story. Since I wrote about the under card in the last para, let me continue to talk about it, this time with respect to the stories put on record by the promotion and see whether we should be sufficiently excited about the under card.

shield

Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show v. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins) 

The biggest story line in the under card is that with respect to the Shield, a trio of bulletproof jacket wearing young rookies trying to mete out their own brand of vigilante justice, as defined by themselves to the main roster of stars on RAW. This is basically, yet another version of the tried and tested invasion story line that TNA does every year and based on the old NWO blue print as written by WCW in 1996-97 made exciting by the fact that the trio is made up of three ring capable wrestlers, two of them from the indies and another one who is typical WWE main event looking HOSS material. They have used group tactics, as JBL would say “like nobody that I have ever seen before and that includes the Four Horsemen”. They are up against the wrestlers they have repeatedly brutalized on the previous episodes of RAW, namely, the stagnant but always dangerous, out for himself, much improved wrestler, the as of now tweener, Randy Orton, the happy go luck Irishman who loves to fight Sheamus and the sometimes villain, sometimes lovable giant Big Show who is coming off a World Title Run ended by the highly popular babyface Ricardo erm.. I mean Albertoooooooo Del Riooooooo (show my fandom for Ricardo : check). Sheamus and Show feuded over the WHC title over the winter and Orton is friends with no one, and quite happy to give his patented RKO’s OUT OF NOWHERE (which is just a diamond cutter as popularized by the awesome Diamond Dallas Page!! Show some DDP love!!) to whoever catches his fancy. The on screen story is that a bunch of individuals are going up against a organized crew of trained Mastiffs skilled at group tactics. The undercurrents – Whither the Shield next? What is their ultimate agenda? Whither Randy Orton – midcard purgatory or a career reviving run as the top heel in the business? Sheamus – a lone powerhouse who will get knocked down after one of the best years of his wrestling life? Big Show – what is this man’s agenda and can he work in a team?

Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) v. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston with AJ Lee

Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) v. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston with AJ Lee for the Tag Team Championship

The other major story line is the tag title feud which is more about the wrestlers and less about the title itself. Daniel Bryan and Kane, wrestling’s own version of the tried and tested buddy cop trope as hilariously parodied by the greatest show of all time, Community (reference Community : check) have run wild over every other tag team and not been seriously tested since they lost to The Shield in a non title TLC match in December. It is pertinent to note the involvement of the super hot AJ Lee in this match. Both Kane and DB had raging boners for her before she ditched them and the idiotic Cena for Ziggler a man who gave her the truth and made no bones about it, also a man who holds the valuable Money in the Bank suitcase he won last June which guarantees him a title shot, anytime, anywhere for the WHC. AJ, to ensure Dolph’s safety, has provided him with his very own version of Diesel aka Kevin Nash circa 1994-95, the monstrous, penis showing Big E Langston who is a bit of a hoss in his own right. These are the men that will face off for the tag titles, held by Team Hell No for quite a long time (at least 6 months from what I can remember).

Alberto Del Rio (Champ) v. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship

Alberto Del Rio (Champ) v. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship

The undercurrents – will DB and Kane break up? What will be the extent of AJ’s involvement? Will Big E be able to hold his side up in his first match ever? Will Ziggler focus on the tag titles or will he be thinking about cashing in the MITB on the winner of the WHC match? Will the tag match go on before or after the WHC match? OMG – controversy!! Why did AJ challenge DB and Kane – to extract revenge or to make sure that everyone is distracted by this feud and no one notices Ziggler until he finally cashes it in for the big one?

Chris Jericho v. Fandango

Chris Jericho v. Fandango 

The rest of the undercard is bleh on storylines – even the Alberto Del Rio – Jack Swagger feud has fizzled out and remains interesting only due to Ziggler’s potential cash in. Jericho – Fandango is interesting because everybody wants to see whether Johnny Curtis (i.e. Faaandaangooooo) ( the NXT winner) can hold up his end in a wrestling match against the Best in the World at Everything I do, the Ayatollah of Rock’n’Rollah, the man with 1004 holds, the Liontamer, the King of the World, host of the Highlight Reel, MR Y2J, CHRIS JERICHO!! (try to hide my disappointment that Jericho is stuck so low on the card : check).

Ryback v. Mark Henry (Grudge Match)

Ryback v. Mark Henry 

Ryback and Henry have only got one story line : Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the biggest hoss of them all? Let us see if Ryback can hold up in a one on one wrestling match against a person not named CM Punk. Let us see whether Mark Henry will finally win a big one on the Showcase of the Immortals (try and insert all Wrestlemania cliches into the post : check) I really hope that the under card gets time to build the match and they don’t reduce it to a “I hit my finisher you hit yours” spotfest – a good wrestling show should have good wrestling, right?

Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) v. Brock Lesnar

Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) v. Brock Lesnar

Moving on to your MAIN EVENTS (I miss Howard Finkel), the Triple H and Lesnar feud’s only redeeming value, is that we get to see Lesnar kick HHH’s ass, at least for some amount of time. It is a no holds barred match and therefore I am fairly certain that we will see the Spanish Announce Table get broken, we will see Heyman eat the super kick from Shawn Michaels, if we are lucky we might even see a little interplay between HBK and Lesnar, and yes, HHH, all things considered, is not a bad brawler. We will see the sledgehammer, the steel steps, and we might see JR go apoplectic ( I don’t know if JR will be on the announce team, but he should be, at least for the Punk-Taker match). So, in short, here is your guilty pleasure, smarks – a patented WWE style MAIN EVENT garbage brawl. Me? I don’t care, I want blood, carnage and mayhem and they better give it to me. I am also interested in Lesnar – he has a 2 year contract extension so I will be looking for pointers that enable me to see where Lesnar goes from losing to HHH at WM (because lose he will).

The Rock (WWE Champion) v. John Cena for the WWE Championship

The Rock (WWE Champion) v. John Cena for the WWE Championship

Rock – Cena? Are you ready for the following statement that I never though I would make? Well, here goes, the only interesting thing about this match is John Cena. Honestly, this is a good thing, because one can’t expect me to be interested in The Rock. He sucks. Die Rocky Die. The only way The Rock could redeem himself would be to go full bore heel, become a prick (oh wait, he already is) and stick around to eat crow and get his comeuppance from somebody like Daniel Bryan before getting bundled back to Hollywood. So in a fashion I will enjoy Cena winning this match (this never happens). The only thing that might make me vomit is if they go for the mutual handshake of respect – Cena should kick his ass, establish his badass credentials and take home the prize. Like the majority of the crowd I am not hoping for him to turn heel (would certainly be interesting though), I am hoping for him to be a badass and not the “I am a super good guy, I am making the kids happy yay!!”. The Rock is a guy who not only defeated you after a retirement of almost 8 years, this guy got a title shot for himself by just stating that he wanted a title shot and the last time I checked, that is not how you get a title shot. Cena, kick this asshole’s candy ass, let him know his role (that of a fictional GI Joe character) and send him packing back to Smackdown Hotel. Crush this gassed steroid entitled petulant misogynistic relic, Cena. Do not show him any respect. Show the kids that some times, you are not supposed to shake your opponent’s hand, you are supposed to stand by your beliefs and give him a swift kick up his ass because people should have to earn your RESPECT.

The Undertaker v. CM Punk (Old School Grudge Match)

The Undertaker v. CM Punk (Old School Grudge Match)

And finally, talking about respect, ladies and gentlemen, it is time now for your MAIN EVENT (or it should be if it isn’t). This match is scheduled for ONE FALL. In the corner to my right, is the man who held the WWE championship, the most prestigious title in professional wrestling in like forever for a record breaking 434 DAYS, he is also a two time World Heavyweight champion, the Straight Edge Superstar, the Second City Saint, a two time MITB ladder match winner, the BEST WRESTLER IN  THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD as of 2013, the best promo guy, the best wrestler to ever do commentary, the one who drops PIPEBOMBS, the man who made Vince McMahon apologize, the man who beat John Cena in two PPV main events and drew with him at a third, the master of the PEPSI PLUNGE, the GO TO SLEEP and the ANACONDA VISE,  CM PUNK!!  In the corner to my left, he is the PHENOM, the DEAD MAN, the man with the most bad ass entrance of ALL TIME in any era of wrestling, the man who is 20 AND 0 at WRESTLEMANIA, he is the most recognizable professional wrestler of ALL TIME, the man who will TOMBSTONE you to hell, and give you your LAST RIDE, the man who ended HBK’s career, and survived the superkick-pedigree combo inside HELL IN A CELL at WRESTLEMANIA, he is the one and only, the UNDERTAKER!!! CM Punk’s story is that he was the man who had to start demanding respect during his run as champ, due to having been sidelined by John Cena (the true heel in reality) on major PPV’s. This led into months of shouting about RESPECT! and 400 DAYS!! He beat the Rock down on the 1000th episode of RAW and proclaimed that the Rock did not deserve the title shot at Royal Rumble. The crux of all of it is – do you like somebody who says the objective truth or do you hate him because he is a douchebag while doing so? I fall in the former camp, because I feel the real douchebags here are The Rock and Cena. However, there is reason to hate Punk because he has started doing villainous acts of disrespect towards the memory of Paul Bearer, the storyline manager and father of the Undertaker and Kane (and Mankind aka Mick Foley aka Cactus Jack aka Dude Love) who sadly died last month at the start of this feud. This has got the Undertaker riled up and rightfully so, becoming the uber face of this feud. Therefore, this CONFRONTATION. This should end up being the match of the evening as per my predictions and I am rarely wrong.

My conclusion : Get ready for some great wrestling, and hopefully meaningful moments and events that develop some of the story lines and characters on display. At the very least we will have moments whose fall outs will have meaning for the men to headline Wrestlemania in the following years and the men who will take up screen time at the B level PPV’s in the next year. It might be the under card, but the under card will have consequences. The three main events will be nostalgia time for wrestling fans as it will be the last time that we see Taker, Lesnar, HHH and the Rock on one Wrestlemania card. Lesnar has at the most 2-3 WM appearances left, Taker at the most 1 after tonight, HHH is being phased out so I give him 1-2 more WM matches, and I predict this to be the Rock’s last WM match. Ok, I’ll give him 2 more, fine. WM XXX will be the last hurrah of many Attitude era stars, as we finally should move past the last vestiges of the legends from that era, WM XXIX is the road to WM XXX, and I for one plan to sit back and enjoy the event that I look forward to the most all year.

It is Wrestlemania, baby.

Baba T 

Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus because she is sexy like that

PS – The HOF thingy that they do in the televised PPV time should be enjoyable because it will involve Trish Stratus (delicious!!) (salivate over the prospect of seeing Trish : check) hopefully wearing something skimpy and awesome and more importantly Mick Foley, one of my all time favourites. CANE DEWEY!! (insert reference to a Cactus Jack ECW era promo : Check) If he doesn’t get a special entrance then shame on the WWE. Shame I say. Yeah it also has the 5 time 5 time 5 time WCW champion during the Russo era SUCKA!!! Booker “WUT THE HAIL” T, plus my nickname ends with “T” , and I always marked out for the spinarooni. Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino, guys who I have never seen wrestle, but who are undoubtedly old school legends, also will be the highlights, and I get that its a big deal. So fine.

Because bloody Mick Foley IS Professional Wrestling

Because bloody Mick Foley IS Professional Wrestling

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