1.) The Shield and the Wyatt Family is the best thing in wrestling in many years. It’s almost odd at this point to see a person or group of people booked well by the WWE, but here we are. The match was electric, and even after watching that match you get the feeling they could do four more matches even better. It saddens me that the Shield might be breaking up soon, as the Wyatt Family vs The Shield feels like it has a lot more in the tank.
2.) If the Shield is breaking up I will give the WWE credit for slow playing it. The dynamic of everyone in the Shield has kind of evolved and shown more depth to their characters since they’ve teased the break up, and as a result, we’ve seen a lot more character development from the team. From Roman Reigns becoming a legitimate future star, to Seth Rollins showcasing the same skills Ziggler has, except having just enough size that might actually allow the WWE to push him, to Dean Ambrose verbal skills on the mic, the Shield is my favorite thing in the WWE to watch. The best part of the match tonight was Ambrose jumping on Bray Wyatt like he was a monkey, throwing a bunch of punches as he took him down. It was just so chaotically desperate that it made you believe it was real for a second, and that is what the good wrestlers do, they suspend reality for a second or two. Ambrose and Bray Wyatt especially excel at the chaotic style, but everyone in the Shield vs Wyatt is fun to watch at this point. Seth Rollins moonsault landing from a top rope backdrop on his feet tonight spot might be the top moment from the show.
3) Roman Reigns is a stud and will be a huge star. This time next year, I have no doubt he will be in the title scene. The WWE continues to push him well, showcasing his power and giving him memorable spots. From fighting out of Cena’s STFU (or whatever the hell he calls it, I assume it’s the “I love puppies and kittens” finisher or whatever else he did to PG rate himself) to fighting out of Bray Wyatt’s first attempt at Sister Abigail, to the Rumble push where he eliminated 482 guys and several unicorns, Roman Reigns is being highlighted in almost every show. He is a big part of the WWE future. Which means let’s all pray they don’t screw it up.
4) Cesaro, who was rumored to have been disliked by Vince due to “not being marketable”, is now apparently marketable (again, for all the good things the WWE does, they do 9 things that make no sense, such as seeing no potential in Cesaro.) Luckily talent rises to the top once in a blue moon, and Cesaro was the MVP of the Elimination Chamber match for me. He emerged as a star in this match as he had several big spots, and just seemed to have that “IT” factor where you got excited watching him wrestle. He got some of the biggest cheers of the night, especially for his Cesaro Swing which is one of the most over moves in the company. He honestly looks like the legit strongest guy in the company.
5) Now to the bad stuff. Batista has been a huge flop so far. The crowd does not like him, and it’s garnering a lot of heat for him. Not the good heat mind you, he is getting X-Pac heat, where the crowd just doesn’t want to see him. Here is how bad it got tonight:
Alberto Del Rio, who is an emotional black hole that nobody has any investment in, someone who is playing a very boring heel as of late, was blatantly cheered on by the crowd during the match tonight. Yes, Del Rio in one night became one of the top faces in the company, just for the sake he was fighting Batista. You got the feeling Hitler himself could have risen out of the grave, and people still would have cheered him on over Batista.
The WWE did everything they could to prevent this. They had ADR fake an injury at the start of the match, coming down with a neck brace and a crutch, claiming he couldn’t fight. Then he proceeded to beat down Batista for 2 full minutes with the crutch. Then they booked the match so ADR beat up Batista for almost all of it, leading to the “epic comeback spot” that John Cena usually uses to get at least a few cheers. Nope, nothing worked. They cheered on every ADR kick, punch, and slam. It was bizarre. It got so bad that the crowd hijacked the match and just started chanting the names of people they’d rather see than Batista. RVD, Y2J, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, they all had their name chanted during this match.
I know the WWE wanted Batista to come back and bring some star power with him, and to be fair, he was a top guy when he left, but man, picturing him in the Wrestlemania main event seems like such an awful proposition right now. Part of it is people don’t have a huge attachment to Batista, and lot of it has to do with people seeing Batista as another guy that isn’t Daniel Bryan getting the top spot, which leads to a lot of hate.
I would say make him a full on heel, but the WWE seems to get off on having blurred lines as of late, plus they have a boner for Orton vs Batista for some reason.
6) Rumor has it Naomi was going to face AJ Lee at ‘Mania for the title, and win it, which would have been a nice story line for Total Diva’s. With Naomi getting hurt, it seemed like that was thrown by the wayside, but nope, Cameron took Naomi’s place tonight, and it looks like they slotted her into the storyline they had for Naomi. AJ won tonight, but Female Diesel (Tamina Snuka) super kicked AJ and almost cost her the fight, which has the whole Female Diesel is going to cost AJ at Mania written all over it. Female Diesel should just wear chaps and aviator sun glasses and get it over with at this point.
My problem with this is two fold:
1) I know the Diva’s title is a joke right now, but having a title win for the benefit of Total Divas just cements the fact that yes, this title is a piece of trash and will be passed around if it helps get some ratings for a side project.
2) But fine, it’s the Diva’s title, it’s not like that is sacred to me. Even then, though, the thought of Cameron winning it, who is one of the sloppiest wrestlers on the roster, makes me very very sad. If you want someone to win it from Total Diva’s, at least let Nattie win it, who although can also be sloppy, at least has much more technical prowess then Cameron. Lita and Trish would shed a tear if Cameron won the title.
7) Randy Orton won, by shock of shocks, having Kane come out and screw over Daniel Bryan. It was down to Orton and Bryan after the Wyatt family took out Cena, and then Kane came down and cost Bryan.
So here is my problem with this.
1) We’ve seen this before for like 4-6 PPV’s. It’s tired. It’s old. It’s boring.
2) Anyone with half a brain saw this, and the last gazillion PPV’s results, coming. Which is shitty writing no matter how you slice it.
3) Right now, Daniel Bryan isn’t in the Mania main event. As it stands, it is Orton vs Batista in the main event. That is INSANE to think they could even THINK of doing that. Wrestlemania crowds and the Raw the night after, is purely in the 18-42 demographic, the demographic who cheers on Bryan and CM Punk and Ziggler. If you’ve ever wanted to see a crowd shit all over a match and completely ruin it, watch it happen if they actually make it stand as Orton vs Batista.
Now, the theory that always gets thrown forward of course is that “Bryan will have his moment.” So technically, yes, Bryan could end up getting into the main event, and somehow win the title, thus getting his Wrestlemania moment, and thus technically being the big pay off for being “screwed over” for an entire year basically.
My problem with that line of thinking is that even if it does happen, it means the WWE threw away around 5 PPV’s on screw job Daniel Bryan endings. They basically said “hahahah give us your money” and wasted people’s time by repeating a story line over and over again. It’s one thing to play the long game with a storyline, it’s another thing to completely bury a wrestler and give him no sort of revenge and bore the fans, making them feel like they wasted their money. How many rows in a week did Bryan get tripled power bombed by the Shield at one point? Five? It got so repetitive that it lost all entertainment value.
So think about it, when did Bryan really get to extract revenge? He got to spray paint a car. That was his big moment. Take that authority, Daniel Bryan just spray painted your car! Yeah!
Steve Austin got to basically anally probe Vince McMahon in a hospital in the Attitude days and that was just a regular Monday. He always had his spots where he got the upper hand after being held down. Daniel Bryan was consistently beaten up and given no sort of momentum of any kind and the only way to view that is an attempt to minimize him and bury him.
“But Wyatt, that’s the point, it made him super sympathetic and made people want to see him win even more!”
Well my problem with that line of thinking is that it gives the WWE too much credit. This is not a smart company. This is a company that cares more about corporate sales than telling a good story. This is a company that prefers its low end wrestlers sell toys on a PPV instead of wrestle a match. This is a company that reverses a heel turn for the Miz a week after it started because he has a Christmas made for TV movie coming out the next week. This is a company that has such god awful story telling that nobody can tell who is good or bad, which has led to people CHANTING FOR A RACIST TAG TEAM. The Real American’s get CHANTS now, because at least they can wrestle and aren’t being force fed down their throats. People literally have zero idea who the hell they are supposed to cheer and boo which is insane to me. For a company that runs a “Be a Star” anti bullying campaign, it’s really odd to see racists get cheered on TV, that’s all I’m saying.
A lot of this starts with HHH. He is so busy being the “wink wink” cool guy that he wants to be both an oppressive regime authority figure but also a guy who “won’t get pushed around” and acts like a face. In short, HHH is a fucking idiot.
Seriously, the WWE takes credit for things it shouldn’t (Daniel Bryan’s popularity. Remember, they tried to fire him once for real, for choking someone with a cable cord because that was too extreme for PG, but the crowd basically chanted his name until they had to bring him back) and the WWE shits in your mouth over things that are bad and acts like it’s a storyline. When HHH has his buddies like Orton, Batista, and the New Age god damn fucking Outlaws all on the top of the show, it pisses people off. Why? Because HHH has the reputation of holding people back his entire career, and only helping his friends.
So what does HHH do when people boo Orton and Batista? He makes sly subtle jokes about it as if it’s part of the show. HHH notices people booing Batista? He mentions how his “good friend Batista” won the Rumble, knowing full well mentioning someone is his friend will garner heat.
And again, not good heat. It’s bullshit X-Pac heat.
On top of that, the rumored matches for Mania before CM Punk left was that Punk would fight HHH (hence Kane’s involvement with him), Cena would face the Wyatt’s, and Orton would face Batista, and Bryan would face Sheamus. Yes, Sheamus.
With Punk out, Bryan seemingly got the Kane story line, which doesn’t lead me to believe they had any thought of putting Bryan in the main event.
Remember, this is a company that knows the fans love Bryan yet held him out of the god damn Rumble match. Again, there is one thing to slow play a story line, there is another thing to shit in your mouth, and that is what the WWE did with not putting Bryan in the Rumble. They could have EASILY put Bryan in the Rumble so the fans could see him and still have Batista win (it’s not like they’re against screwing over Bryan), but they held him out, and as a result, made people hate Rey Mysterio for not being Daniel Bryan, and made them officially turn on Batista.
So yeah, Bryan might still end up winning Mania, sure. But it will not have been done well (there were so many better ways to do it, such as having Kane being an inside guy for Bryan the entire time), and it will have been at the cost of many bad PPV’s. It feels like anytime the crowd hates a result, the WWE pretends they are hip and cutting edge by having fans with mixed reactions about the results. No, it’s not cool that people don’t know who to cheer for, it’s fucking bad story telling, which at the end of the day, is 50% of wrestling.
Anyways, I could go on and on about this, but let’s just leave it at that. The WWE’s inability to tell a good story is making it unwatchable at the moment, save for the Shield and the Wyatts.
8) The WWE Network launches tomorrow, and maybe they have a huge title change occur to get people to tune in, but most likely the big names of Hogan, Flair and Undertaker will be all they do, but it should still be an interesting night. The only sad part for me will be if Lesnar vs Undertaker happens. I have zero desire to see that. Lesnar is a beast and to have to see him sell Undertakers offense and lose to him (no offense to Taker, but he’s old now) just slows down Lesnar’s momentum that could have been used to elevate another star (*cough cough* Reigns *cough cough*)
Three Stars of the Night: