By The Fallen Angel
Well it is that time of year again when as a wrestling fan you have to look forward into the dark abyss (certainly no wrestling pun intended) of the early summer low point in wrestling and question your allegiance to the puppet master Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Yes just one week ago I could not help but break randomly into the intro tunes to WWF Wrestlemania (see dreadful music from 1993 / Linda McMahon’s entrance music 2000) and was stuck to the dirt sheets like dried Weetabix to a bowl. I was full of anticipation for the biggest weekend of the year and slightly regretful that I had not invested £3,000 in flying to Dallas, Texas.
The week progressed nicely watch Mick Foley on the PG friendly Steve Austin Podcast. At first this was a real poignant insight into the life and times of a warrior that time and bumps has taken its toll on. The genuine friendship between the two was clear and it was great to see that Mick Foley was now looking after his post wrestling body dropping 50lbs since I last saw him. However, like the arrival of an unwanted ex on a night out my enjoyment was soon to be dashed by the introduction of Mick’s daughter, Noelle.
Can I be the only one who literally wanted this to be the point at which Bill Goldberg made his long awaited WWE return to spear her through the ring ropes and out of the WWE for good? I sat there watching this awkward promotion of her new show Holy Foley and then make the statement that she is training to be a WWE Diva (yes I know, but she is a Diva). At this point my attention was diverted past her to the crowd of this podcast sat behind her and how bored and disappointed they were to be then refocused by what seemed to be Steve Austin’s annoyance of the whole situation. I can’t imagine the show will do more than one series and then she will side step to Total Divas and I will put the whole memory into my Total Crap I pretend the WWE doesn’t produce part of the brain right next to Ride Along.
Feeling a little weary from Thursday along came NXT Take-Over Dallas, Texas. From the opening bell this event did not disappoint with the Tag Team clinic between the Alpha American’s and the Revival. The event was smashed by Sami Zayne and Nakamura before the excellent Women’s title and decent NXT title matches. For a full review on this and the Hall of Fame Ceremony you need to listen to the Ironman Show Episode One.
So time for the Big Show, Wrestlemania (32).
I have been a wrestling fan since Royal Rumble 1990 and my calendar starts and ends with Wrestlemania. My wife knows it, my friends know it and I am sure my sleep patterns know it (in the UK Wrestlemania finished at 4:40am this year. The WWE’s biggest event of the Year (and in fact ever) kicked off with what sounded like an out of tune stirring rendition of America the Beautiful before heading into the Ladder Match for the IC title. A predictable but entertaining ladder match of high points followed with Kevin Owens taking a nasty bump on the ladder before the surprise victory of Zack Ryder ushering in a new era of the IC title setting up a worthwhile run (oh wait – see Raw).
My biggest issue with this opener was could I have discriminated it from the other opening ladder matches and Money in the Banks for the last ten years? Would a triple threat ladder match or a fatal four way with less people allow them to tell a more worthwhile story? Next up Chris Jericho defeated AJ Styles in an excellent match up where hopefully this story will come to an end on what seems to be their 10th fight. AJ now should be able to move on and have several feuds and prove his stock in the company (Oh wait he will be Roman Reign’s first victim at the next PPV).
The WWE tag team championship was not on the line in a losing effort from the New Day against the League of Nations in a match that was simply a set up for a returning HBK, Mick Foley and Steve Austin. In what was a nice bit of nostalgia the three legends picked apart the League of Nations and celebrated temporarily with the New Day until Austin stunned Xavier Woods.
The Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose match was a decent encounter though it was more a simple No DQ than a street fight and I feel it was a shame they didn’t use the opportunity to take the action up the ramp during the biggest Wrestlemania ever. I am expecting big things from Dean Ambrose this year and wouldn’t be surprised if he is headlining next year’s event.
Match of the night in my view goes to the three Women in the Women’s Championship Match as the WWE finally killed the sexist, derogatory Diva’s division. In an awesome display of wrestling and fast paced action the three ladies demonstrated that they are in the same league and if not better than the men on this night with Charlotte pulling out the win (though with a little help from Slic Ric – Wooooo!).
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal saw NXT’s Baron Corban pick up the win cementing him as a credible player before his move to Raw the following night.
Following the Rock’s over the top promo of himself using a flame thrower to wow the crowd. Not really sure of the logic here to be honest, we saw a truly impressive entrance by the Wyatt family. Not due to flame throwers but simply crowd response as 100,000 fire flies lit up the AT+T Stadium to the group’s entrance. The crowd popped like mad and for a while the rock seemed to be setting up something beautiful – an impromptu match with Wyatt.
This then however, took 6 seconds in which Erik Rowan was destroyed as a jobber before matters got even worst by John Cena coming to aid the rock. To make me even more annoyed at this point John Cena didn’t seem pleased to be there. A fact covered up by JBL’s commentary who claimed Cena was not fit enough to be there. I somehow think he is in better shape that DDP, Austin, Mick Foley or Shawn Michaels.
The final match of the evening was Roman Reigns and Triple H. Up until this point I think things were going fine but here as expected the company lost the now exhausted fans. As a viewer at home it was difficult to get into the match when all you are listening to is the crowd. What also was obvious was the editing that was done to reduce the booing that was happening.
I think the match was half decent (not a Wrestlemania standard) but I just couldn’t get into it and if I was in Texas at this point I would have got out to my rental car and avoid the gridlock that would have followed from the 100,000 annoyed fans as Reigns won the match clean over the game.
So now the dust has settled and Wrestlemania is 365 days away. I have no desire to tune in again for a while but I am sure that will change in the next few weeks as each opponent is destroyed by Roman Reigns. However, one thing is for sure – I am happy that imaginary £3,000 stayed in my bank account.