KB’s History of WWE’s Big Four Pay Per Views Now Available in Paperback

You’re all familiar with the Big Four WWE pay per views. Well now you can be even more familiar with them by picking up my collections of reviews, which are now available in PAPERBACK. After years of only having these as e-books I’ve gone through all of them, polished them up, and turned them into actual, physical books. 

They are available worldwide (only in English) from any country’s Amazon page but the US and UK links are available below:

Read more…

ECW on Sci-Fi #42 03/27/2007

It’s the ECW on Sci-Fi before Wrestlemania! On Raw, Vince McMahon pinned the ECW Champion Lashley after interference from half the locker room so the two of them are having an EXTREEEME debate tonight.

Notice the happy, smiling Lashley in the ECW graphic, WWE’s way of telling us we need to cheer him. Worked for Diesel, Luger…

Read more…

The WrestleMania Top Ten

We are 52 days away from WrestleMania 32. As we count down the days to the biggest show of the year, we will look back at how WrestleMania has changed since it debuted in 1985.

Instead of doing recaps of all the shows (a lot of other people here would do that a lot better than I would), I’m looking to create a Top 10 WrestleMania matches and see how that list changes over the years. We’ll also discuss some other highlights and lowlights of each show.

Read more…

New E-Book: KB’s History of Wrestlemania

You might have heard about this show before. The show has evolved from a bigger than average house show in Madison Square Garden to a show that takes over a different major city each year as part of a week long event. It has been called the Granddaddy of Them All and the Showcase of the Immortals and lives up to its reputation as the biggest and most important event of the year. In this book I’ll be looking at every edition of the series and breaking down each show segment by segment and match by match. I’ll be including detailed analysis, history and ratings for each match and show overall.

In this book, I’ll be looking at every Wrestlemania to date, starting back with the glorified house show in 1985 and winding up in Santa Clara, California in 2015. Wrestlemania is a show with more prestige and grandeur than any other in wrestling history and now it’s all collected here. These are ALL NEW REVIEWS and the last time I’ll be doing them for a very long time. As usual I’ll be providing play by play, context and analysis of every show.

The books is my longest ever at over 500 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Wrestlemania” and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-June 1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998 and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF WrestleMania

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: March 31, 1985

Attendance:  19,121

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Here we are–the very first WrestleMania that has spawned over three decades of supershows for the WWF/WWE. Let’s dig in to how the World Wrestling Federation got to this point:

Read more…

No wrecking of Wrestlemania III?

How’s it shaking, Scott?


I was wondering if you could shed some light on something that has always bugged me about Hogan v. Andre at Wrestlemania 3.

From what I remember, the match was hyped on three "facts":

  • Hulk and Andre never fought before.
  • Andre was undefeated for 20+ years
  • Andre had never been slammed

All three are, of course, horse pucky.

So, why had no promoter or wrestler tried to mess with the WWF by unraveling at least one of these lies. Was it respect to Andre? Fear that Vince would blackball/destroy them? I’ve always wondered why there was never even an article in one of the mags with pics of the Showdown at Shea of their first big meeting and a breakdown of how Hulk can survive this time.

​There was absolutely coverage in the Apter mags at the time. They did a big thing about the Shea Stadium match and how Vince McMahon was full of crap and basically lying to people about the buildup. It’s just that the WWF machine was able to yell louder. But given that everyone, even casual fans for the most part, knew that it was built on nonsense and still bought the show anyway, it must have been effective. ​

Wrestlemania 14 alternate universe

Don't know why this popped into my head today, and I'm sure it's been addressed by Its bugging me:
Let's pretend Bret doesn't decide to leave WWE in 97.  All logic throughout from late 96 through 97 seemed to build towards an Austin/Bret rematch at WM 14 where Austin gets his big clean win over Bret to finally become WWE Champion.  Was that the long term plan?  If so, with the Kane angle going, what was Michaels' role supposed to be there?   A feud with HHH over DX?  Owen?

​Yes, Bret putting over Austin was absolutely the long term plan until Montreal fucked it up.  Owen was TOLD that plans were for him to work with Shawn Michaels at that show after Montreal went down, but that's clearly a lie, so I have no idea what the real ​plan for Shawn was going to be.  Shawn's probably done a shoot interview somewhere where he clarifies.  

WrestleMania 23


So at WrestleMania 23, they say that the plan was to do a Tony Cena vs. Triple H rematch, but then HHH's quad injury necessitated them going to Plan B, which was Shawn Michaels. Do you or anyone remember what they were going to do with Shawn before putting him in the main event slot?

The logical thing seemed to be a three-way match with Cena v. D-X because they were teasing various things in that direction, but I never heard of a specific direction for Shawn otherwise.  I would imagine he would have ended up as HHH's cheerleader at ringside, were I to guess.  

Some belated Wrestlemania questions

Hi Scott, been meaning to ask these since mania and never got around to it:
Brock's bleeding – blade job or genuine? I assume a blade job as it was so perfectly timed, fit the story and looked great… But having watched it back a couple of times I can't see any opportunity to blade. Unless the ring post was gimmicked in some way but that seems ludicrously dangerous. Orton. I gather an element of the build to his match was that he used to be the Rollins of a decade ago. He seemed to play this up with a throw back outfit (elbow pads) and busting out his old crossbody finisher. Am I reading too much into this? And a really belated Wrestlemania 9 question. Why introduce JR, a new face, at the biggest show of the year when people won't know him yet? Was WCW a big enough deal that he was familiar to all? Or were the prior announce team just that bad? Ta Gareth WWE's official position is that the blood was hard way.  With no firm evidence to the contrary, that's what we've gotta go with.

And yes you're reading too much into Orton.
And yes JR was a big star.

Wrestlemania III Attendance, also Randy Orton

Hi Scott,

I e-mailed you a few weeks ago with an article claiming that the 93,000 for Wrestlemania 3 was actually a legitimate number and was just wondering what your take on it was. It was during the week before Wrestlemania, so I understand if you were too busy to answer (or if you didn't want to dignify an uproxx article with a response, which is also understandable).

I have a question regarding Randy Orton that's been bugging me for awhile, though. In every shoot interview that Bayless has posted where the wrestlers are asked about him, everyone has praised Orton to high heaven, either as a joy to see him wrestle or by those who have faced him as the perfect person to wrestle against. I know he's not shitting in *everybody's* bag, but why the universal praise? Is it because he's never hurt anyone in the ring?

Thanks,

Vince

​Zane Breslov, the actual promoter of the show, has gone on record saying that there were only 78,000 people in the building.  I have no idea why this 93,000 thing persists even though we know they've literally lied about the Wrestlemania attendance every year for the past two decades.  Is it because ​people think that one year was when they were telling the truth?  
As for Orton, wrestlers have different standards as far as what they like than fans do, obviously.  

Wrestlemania Star (32)


Hey Scott,

So I'm hearing rumors now that the WWE wants to run Rousey vs Steph and HHH vs Rock as 2 singles matches.

I'm intrigued by both of those matches, but when you add in video packages and entrances that's probably a full hour of mania time for those 2 matches.

We haven't even factored in Brock, Sting, or Taker into the situation and 1/4 of mania is already booked with part timers.

Should Bray start looking for a new career or should he keep Bolieving?

Hey man, wrestling is a business and they need to sell 100,000 tickets.  If that show does a $25 million gate, guys like Bray should get down on their hands and knees and kiss the Rock's feet for drawing that kind of money and basically supporting the midcard guys for the next six months in the process.  

WrestleMania Weekend 2015 – Day 4: WrestleMania 31

(Photos by myself and Danielle Stolman)
It’s still
not real to me, this whole thing. It’s weird to think that I actually
went to Axxess, attended the Hall of Fame ceremony, went to WrestleMania
and got to see a RAW show live the next day.
This
experience has left us exhausted but incredibly happy. I never thought
I’d ever get to see a wrestling show, let alone WrestleMania.
In any case, I’m late with the show recap, so this will be a report/recap with photos.

Waking
up WrestleMania Sunday doesn’t carry the same post-Saturday feeling one
would usually have. As all wrestling fans know, WWE pay-per-views
always fall on a Sunday, which sucks because you know that, tomorrow,
you have to go back to your 9 to 5, so that’s always in the back of your
mind, no matter what you do. For WrestleMania, it’s a bit different.
It’s like a holiday. It’s like the Super Bowl. It’s like Opening Day for
baseball. It’s you, sitting with your favorite food and drink and
watching something you really like so that you have a bit of a nice
feeling going into Monday.
That’s about the best way I can describe it.
We
had done Axxess and The Hall of Fame, two things that I looked forward
to and enjoyed. You’d think that I couldn’t be more excited for an
event…but when I woke up the morning of WrestleMania, my brain was
practically already getting our stadium bags ready before my body was
doing it.
The
first thing we did was park. Since I’m an employee of a certain
networking company near Levi’s, we were able to park in the lot where I
work each day…so, that was nice. The main issue is that it was about
85 degrees outside (the initial weather reports said it would be cool
and cloudy) and even the closest work lot is about a mile from Levi’s,
so we had a hike ahead of us.
When
we got there, it was an absolute party. People outside, listening to
music, eating food, buying merch, discussing the matches…really great.

At
this point, we were about 2 hours from the pre-show and about 4 hours
from the actual show. Our ticket package included a nice pre-game
tailgate, so we had to go there first for some food…the problem was
that we both mis-read the ticket and thought the party was in a lot next
to the stadium.
As
it turns out, our party was in “Green Lot 4”, which is located across
the street and about another mile north of the stadium. It took talking
with six different Levi’s Stadium attendants to find this out.
You’d think these guys would know their own stadium. Ugh…so we walked
with bags in our hands and found our way to Green Lot, which is located
at Mission College near the Mercado entertainment plaza.
It was worth it.
Our party was hosted by former WWE wrestler, Matt Striker and catered by The Bad Boyz of BBQ.

They
also had a DJ pumping music while we ate and drank, which was a plus.
The whole affair was laid back. Striker was incredibly nice, made the
rounds to make sure we were okay, and we had some laughs. I nearly
won a signed photo of Hulk Hogan but lost on a technicality because I
didn’t say “Pontiac” before “Silverdome” when I answered a WrestleMania
III venue question. I was kinda bummed about that.
When
I went back to our table to eat, Striker came over and laughed and
shook my hand and said, “Man, you almost had it.” Prior to that, I
couldn’t name all 9 inductees at the WWE Hall of Fame this year. I got 7
of them but forgot Alundra Blayze and Connor Michalek. I told Striker
that I thought I had it twice and that it was like “wrestling the
Undertaker because he just keeps kicking out.” Striker laughed and said,
“Yes, wrestling The Undertaker might actually be easier.”
In any case, we had a lot of fun.

It
was about 3 PM by the time we left. As we were trying to get to the
stadium on-time, we elected to take a nearby “Pedi-Cab” which got us
there in about a fraction of the time it would normally take by foot and
that was a good thing because we heard Cesaro’s music booming from
inside the stadium. We hurried to the front gates.
Let
me tell you something: that new “NFL Clear Bag Rule” is an absolute
joke. The whole point of this new rule was to make lines more efficient
because gate attendants can see right through them and determine if a
bag check is necessary. 
It only makes the entire process slower.
I’m not kidding. When Danielle got there before me, they looked at the
bag, told her to remove her little WrestleMania rally towel, her water
bottle, her sunscreen, her jacket, her camera, her batteries and nearly
everything else. It took them 2 minutes to get through her, then another
2 because she kept setting off the metal detector despite the fact that
she had no metal on her. 
The same thing happened to me.
Oh,
then our tickets wouldn’t scan. The Levi’s attendant looked at us like
we were up to no good and handed us off to their manager. The manager
said, “Usually, counterfeit tickets are the main issue and give us these
kind of scanner errors…” We were horrified and couldn’t tell if the
attendant said we were faking the tickets or if somebody else
did. In any case, it so happened that the Levi’s scanners were the
issue. They hadn’t been coded to accept “certain tickets”, as it was
later explained to us. 
Because
of the bag check thing and the ticket issue, we missed both of the
pre-show matches and got into the stadium as Aloe Blacc sang America,
the Beautiful.
I might add that Levi’s comped us new seats…right next to the entrance ramp and only a few rows from the ring!
Oh…I forgot the recap portion…let’s get going on that!
Aloe Blacc sang a nice rendition of “America, the Beautiful”, followed by fireworks.
We
get a WrestleMania lead-in, narrated by LL Cool J which, for a change,
isn’t awful or pretentious and talks about how we all watch WrestleMania
together since we’re all connected via the Internet.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California!!!
JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry “The King” Lawler are your hosts…
(By the way…here were our seats…Danielle and I are circled and dotted:
We are off and running as ladders surround the ring…
MATCH
#1: Daniel Bryan (challenger) vs. Bad News Barrett (champion) vs. Dolph
Ziggler (challenger) vs. Stardust (challenger) vs. Luke Harper
(challenger) vs. R-Truth (challenger) vs. Dean Ambrose (challenger) in a
Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Cole
states that Truth has a “fear of heights”, alienating any fans Truth
may have had left. Immediate brawling to begin and Harper and Bryan end
up outside. Ambrose hits the Flying Psycho on Harper. Ziggler gets
tossed out as well. Barrett, too. Truth flies at everyone outside.
Stardust hits the Falling Star. Ziggler tries to dive at Harper, in
ring, but Harper tosses him at everyone. Harper dives at everyone as
well. Ambrose escapes the pile of bodies, climbs a ladder outside and
dives at everyone, too. So, now that’s done, Truth is the only one free
and in the ring. He sets up a ladder and climbs. Bryan gets in with
Barrett and clocks him with a ladder. Then he tosses a ladder at him in
the corner and adds Stardust to that pile. He dropkicks the hell out of
everything he piled up. Harper gets in, nails Bryan, then sets up a
ladder. Bryan pulls him down and hits YES Kicks. He climbs but Ziggler
pulls him off. 
Ziggler
and Ambrose fight over the climb. Barrett interferes but he gets
dumped. Truth and Stardust enter and Stardust knocks everyone off the
ladder. The fans chant for “Cody” and this pisses Star off. He goes
under the mat and pulls out his own ladder which is all friggin’
bedazzled. Barrett stops him and clocks him with a piece of broken
ladder or something. Ambrose attacks Barrett and gets back in the ring.
Ziggler and Harper stop him and Harper uses a ladder to beat up Ziggler.
He sets a ladder up on the turnbuckle. Ambrose comes into the ring only
to get tossed into it. Harper puts the ladder around his own neck and
uses it to nail every single guy that comes into the ring. Truth finally
stops him and hits his Truth finisher. 
Barrett
comes into the ring and attacks him. Star enters as well and sets up a
ladder, climbing it. Barrett climbs the ladder and suplexes him from the
top of the ladder. Ziggler and Bryan enter the ring and climb. They
fight at the top. In comes Ambrose. He fights with both Bryan and
Ziggler. Ziggler kicks him off and Ambrose does an incredibly lame
“rebound” spot where he ends up pushing them off the ladder when the
ropes kick him back. He climbs the ladder but Harper grabs him and
POWERBOMBS HIM INTO A LADDER OUTSIDE THE ROPES…holy shit. Ziggler puts
a Sleeper on Harper — but Harper climbs the ladder with Ziggler on
him. Harper drops down and Ziggler is thrown off. Ziggler climbs but
Barrett nails Ziggler with a Bullhammer. Stardust comes in and gets the
same. Truth climbs the ladder but Barrett hits the Bullhammer as well.
He climbs the ladder and gets to the belt — but here comes Bryan,
climbing like a squirrel on speed and stops Barrett, knocking him off.
Bryan nears the belt but Ziggler pulls him off. Barrett pushes the
ladder away — but Bryan hits a Flying Knee out of nowhere. He sets up
the ladder and climbs! Ziggler gets in and he climbs! The two trade
shots back and forth on top of the ladder! They resort to headbutts and
trade those over and over. Finally, Bryan knocks Ziggler off the ladder
and pulls the belt off to win it!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Daniel Bryan at 13:49
RATING: ***. Not a bad start. COULD have been a bit longer with more danger spots, but what the hell, I’ll take it.
Post-match, Bryan celebrates.
PICTURES

The stadium popped BIG-TIME for Bryan here. Both before and after the match. Ziggler and Ambrose got similar pops. Great stuff.
We get an ad for TAPOUT gear, starring WWE superstars.
MATCH #2: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Randy Orton
There’s
some quick initial running back and forth and Orton dropkicks the hell
out of Rollins, who leaves the ring. Orton chases him back in and
Rollins kicks and stomps at him. Orton comes back by tossing Rollins to
the mat and chopping at him in the corner. He punches at Rollins’ head
but Rollins counters with a Buckle Bomb. Orton counters that by running
out of the corner and hitting a clothesline. He goes for an RKO but
J&J involve themselves. Orton knocks them down, then walks outside
and hits the Elevated DDT on both guys. Rollins flies at Orton from
inside the ring, knocking him into the announce table. He pushes Orton
back in and gets a two count. Rollins hits a quick suplex and gets two,
then puts on a headlock. Orton escapes, but gets put in a corner.
Rollins hits a running forearm, then tries again but Orton tosses him
over the top rope. Rollins lands on his feet, then tries to Springboard
at Orton. He misses. Orton hits clotheslines and tries a powerslam,
hitting it on the second try. He tries the Elevated DDT, but Rollins
counters and hits and Enzuguri. Orton falls out of the ring. Rollins
hits a Springboard Moonsault on Orton, then tosses him back into the
ring. Rollins goes top rope but Orton knocks him off and goes for a
Superplex. Rollins blocks it, so Orton hits a big backdrop. Orton hits a
Flying Crossbody but Rollins reverses the pinfall, getting two. Rollins
runs at Orton but Orton grabs him and hits the Elevated DDT. He goes
for an RKO but Rollins counters. A series of counters later and Orton
hits an RKOOUTOFNOWHERE, but only gets two. Orton sets up for The Punt
but Noble runs in to save Rollins — then eats an RKO. Mercury gets one,
too, after he leaps off the ropes. Rollins kicks Orton and hits a Curb
Stomp and NEARLY gets a fall. Rollins goes to rope and tries a Flipping
Splash. Orton moves. Rollins lands on his feet, then kicks Orton in the
stomach to set up for another Curb Stomp. He does it, but Orton’s head
won’t hit the pavement…instead, Rollins flies high into the air AND
ORTON CATCHES HIM WITH AN RKO ON THE WAY DOWN! Orton wins!
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO at 13:15
RATING:
****. Fantastic match between two of WWE’s most reliable performers and
a great ending. This match had Levi’s on the edge of their seats. It
was, at this point, where Danielle said to me, “See? Now he’s gonna cash
in later. They had him lose here so he’ll win during the main event.”
PICTURES

UFC’s Ronda Rousey is at ringside tonight. She was diagonally to our right.
We get the build-up for Sting and Triple H.
Sting
gets a weird Japanese Kabuki Samurai drum entrance whereas Triple H
gets Arnold Schwarzenegger narrating his entrance and, oh look: Triple H
is a Terminator who kills other Terminators. And the crowd pops for
Triple H. Oh boy. (At this point, I didn’t have a good feeling about this. Especially since Bryan and Orton had already won their matches…)
MATCH #3: Sting vs. Triple H
Cole: “And WrestleMania is brought to you by Terminator: Genesys!”
NO SHIT, COLE. Oh, and the match is “No-DQ” all of the sudden. Triple H
and Sting circle each other to start. Triple H gets shoulder tackled by
Sting, then he pounds his chest and yells “WOO!” at the crowd. HHH
comes back with a snap mare and side headlock, then hits a
shouldertackle and does the Crotch Chop. Sting immediately hits high
dropkicks and Triple H takes a seat in the corner, then bails from the
ring. Another lock-up and Triple H hits punches. He tries an Irish Whip
but Sting reverses and tosses Triple H out of the ring. Sting goes for
the Scorpion Deathlock but Triple H kicks out and goes outside. Sting
chases and tries a Stinger Splash but Triple H moves out of the way.
Back in the ring, Triple H hits a delayed vertical suplex, followed by a
knee drop for two. Triple H tosses Sting into the corner hard and Sting
goes down. Triple H does another Crotch Taunt and drops another knee
for two. Triple H puts on a head lock. Sting breaks but flies into a
Spinebuster for two. Sting comes back with some corner punches and
tosses Triple H into the corner. He goes for a splash but Triple H kicks
him. Triple H tries to go for a kick off the ropes but Sting catches
his legs and puts on the Scorpion Deathlock…
…and
here comes Degeneration X in the form of Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and
X-Pac. Sting fights them all off, then turns to Triple H. Sting dumps
Triple H on top of all of them, then goes off the top rope and splashes
all four guys. Crowd chants, “THIS IS AWESOME”. Sting gets back up and
into the ring. Gunn attacks him and Sting knocks him off. Triple H hits
the Pedigree and NEARLY gets a pin. Frustrated, Triple H goes under the
ring to get the sledge…and the nWo shows up in the form of Hulk Hogan,
Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall and they take, like, eight days to get
there. D-X runs at them to attack but the nWo knocks them all down.
Sting grabs Triple H and hits the pin for…TWO?! Are you fucking
kidding me? Wow. (DANIELLE: This match should be over.) Sting
hits the Scorpion Deathlock but can’t even sit down on it. Triple H
crawls and reaches for the sledge…but Hogan grabs it and pulls it
away. X-Pac attacks Hogan. Nash attacks X-Pac. Gunn takes out Nash. Hall
goes for the Outsider Edge on Road Dogg but Dogg counters it and tosses
Hall to the ground. Meanwhile, Triple H gets to the ropes as the crowd
chants “TAP” over and over. Sting goes for the Deathlock again. Shawn
Michaels appears out of nowhere and hits Sweet Chin Music on Sting. Ugh.
Triple H covers…and gets two. Michaels is pissed. D-X hands Triple H
the sledge. He backs Sting into a corner…but Hall gets Sting’s
baseball bat and hands it to Sting. The two men brandish their weapons
and circle each other. Triple H attacks but Sting hits him in the
stomach, then uses the bat to chop the sledge handle in
half…just…wow. Sting drops the bat and punches Triple H in the
corner, then hits the Stinger Splash. He tries again — but, Triple H
picks up part of the sledge and nails Sting with it — and then pins
Sting to win it. Jesus fucking christ…
WINNER: Triple H at 18:34
RATING: ***1/2…if you’re going for spectacle, but the booking was absolute bullshit. Sting should
have gone over. I give it *3/4. I’m sorry. D-X and nWo? I’m not
impressed. I’ve seen the nWo AND D-X (the Outlaws) on RAW. And wasn’t
X-Pac part of the nWo back in January? Wasn’t Hogan predominantly red
and yellow for the better part of the last few years? And wasn’t the nWo
(black and white, not Wolfpac) enemies with Sting? This whole thing was
just a giant Triple H stroke-fest. And, if it’s no-DQ, why can’t the
nWo run in to save their “best buddy”, Sting, from getting pinned? Just
complete hot bullshit.
Post-match,
D-X pulls Triple H off of Triple H and the nWo helps Sting up. Triple H
approaches Sting…and offers his hand. They shake? Oh, PUH-LEEZE. Wow.
None of this makes any sense. 
PICTURES

 

Maria
Menounos is backstage with the new IC Champ, Daniel Bryan. He says it’s
incredible to be champ. Pat Patterson shows up and congratulates him.
Then Rowdy Roddy Piper. He looks menacing, then kisses Bryan on the head
and congratulates him. Steamboat shows up and actually says, “That
match ranks right up with the one Randy Savage and I had!” No,
Steamboat…it wasn’t. Steamboat says, if Savage were here, “he’d
say…WHOA YEAH!” No…no, Steamboat…he wouldn’t say “‘Whoa’, yeah.”
Then, Ric Flair shows up because, apparently, Daniel Bryan needs help
from a bunch of ancient superstars to get over. Flair shows up and does
the “WOOOO” thing. He chops Steamboat lightly, then yells “WOO” at
Maria. Oh, look. Bret Hart’s here, too, because WWE has to overbook everything
right now. Everyone starts yelling “YES”…and, of course, we get a
WrestleMania “DAMN” from Ron Simmons. Everyone continues yelling “YES”
and, mercifully, we walk away from whatever the hell that was.
Skylar
Grey, Travis Barker and Kid Ink perform that one song we’ve been
hearing for two months during every single WrestleMania commercial. (And half our crowd section hit the bathrooms/concession stands.)
MATCH #4: Paige & AJ Lee vs. The Bella Twins (WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella)
Nikki
and Paige start off with Paige immediately tackling Nikki and punching
her. Nikki reverses it and punches. Nikki headbutts AJ, then hits an
Alabama Slam on Paige, getting two. She slams Paige’s head against the
mat, then puts Paige in the corner, tagging Brie who hits a beautiful
missile dropkick for two. Brie pounds on the back of Paige’s head, then
puts her into a Chinlock/Surfboard combo. Brie goes for the running
knee. AJ gets up on the mat — so, naturally, Brie knocks her off the
ring mat again. She hits the knee on Paige and tags Nikki. They hit a
double suplex. Nikki tosses Paige into the ropes but Paige reverses —
and knocks AJ off the damn mat for the third time. Nikki hits the Rack
Attack, but only gets two. Nikki puts Nikki in the corner again — and
Paige elbows Brie off the mat on the way there. Paige elbows Nikki and
Nikki runs at Paige. Paige dumps Nikki out of the ring and then dives at
both women. Paige gets back into the ring and, FINALLY, AJ is up on the
mat. Paige makes the hot tag. AJ hits a press on Nikki and punches at
her, then hits a clothesline. Nikki puts AJ in the corner and lunges but
AJ kicks her and goes for a Tornado DDT. Nikki counters it. AJ gets
back on the top buckle and hits a Crossbody. Nikki catches her. Paige
dropkicks AJ on top of Nikki. Brie saves the pin and both Paige and Brie
roll out of the ring. AJ locks in the Black Widow but Brie kicks AJ.
Paige hits a nice high kick on Brie. AJ goes for a roundhouse but Brie
grabs AJ’s leg and Nikki just hits a vicious forearm. AJ kicks out of
the pin as Brie and Paige fight outside. Paige tosses Brie into the
steel steps and AJ hits the Black Widow on Nikki to get the win.
WINNERS: Paige and AJ at 6:36.
RATING: **3/4. Not terrible but fairly pedestrian — and what was with AJ taking a nap for over half the match?
PICTURES

 

 
 

We get an ad for WWE “heroes”.
We
get a “Tale of the Tape” for Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Cole
pretends Google and the Internet don’t exist and tells us that they got
this information when they “put stats into a computer” and says “the
computer gave us this”.
Cole gives us a look back on this year’s Hall of Famers.
Then we get introduced to them.
PICTURES

We get the build-up between Rusev and Cena…
Rusev
enters with a full Russian colorguard and rides on top of a tank. Your
argument is invalid. Cena’s answer is a video package with a bunch of
shit America’s done. Each time a President pops up, they got either a
huge pop (Reagan, for some reason) or big time heat (Obama, for some
reason). Bush got nothing (for some reason).
MATCH #5: Rusev (champion) (w/ Lana) vs. John Cena (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
They
cheer “U.S.A.”, but they boo Rusev. They boo the whole Russian gimmick,
but cheer for Rusev. I just don’t know anymore. Cena knocks Rusev down
with a clothesline. Rusev comes back with a high spinning kick and gets
two. Rusev hits a headbutt and an Arm Hook Suplex for two. Cena tries a
back drop but Rusev kicks him, then tosses him into a corner and
splashes him. He hits a nice Rolling Kick and gets two. Rusev picks up
the Russian flag and celebrates for absolutely no reason whatsoever as
Cena just lays there. Rusev does the “U CAN’T SEE ME” taunt to Cena so
Cena kicks him and hits Moves 1 through 3. He goes for the 5KS and hits
that. He goes for the AA but Rusev falls off Cena and lands on his feet,
then counters with a side suplex. Rusev goes for a high kick but Cena
ducks and goes for the STF. Rusev kicks out. Cena flies at Rusev who
catches him and hits a Spinebuster. Two count. He puts Cena on the
turnbuckle and goes for a Superplex. Cena blocks it and headbutts Rusev,
knocking him to the mat. Cena hits a Flying Legdrop and gets a close
fall.
Cena
goes for another AA but Rusev kicks out and hits the Flying Superkick.
Rusev misses the Accolade set-up, but manages to hit a low kick to
Cena’s head, getting two. He tosses Cena into the corner and misses a
kick. Cena hits a Tornado DDT. Cena gets to his feet and so does Rusev.
The two exchange blows with the crowd clearly behind Rusev. Rusev yells
“YOU CAN’T BEAT ME, JOHN CENA!” into Cena’s face, then hits an Alabama
Slam following a Tiger Knee to Cena’s head. Two count. He sets up for
the Accolade but Cena counters and locks in the STF. Lana takes off one
of her heels and throws it at Cena (The crowd laughed at this) so
the ref warns Lana to knock it off. Rusev breaks and hits a Fallaway
Slam. Rusev goes to the top rope and hits a Flying Headbutt! 
Two
count and Rusev cannot believe that. Rusev sets up the Accolade…but
Cena struggles and counters it, kicking out. Cena runs to the ropes and
hits a Springboard Stunner! Holy shit. Two count. Cena gets up and goes
for an AA. Rusev breaks it and catches Cena. He tries a Spinebuster but
Cena counters and rolls Rusev up for two. Rusev gets up and slams Cena
to the mat and finally locks in the Accolade and Cole says, “Nobody’s
ever broke The Accolade!” You know, except for Cena and Swagger who both
broke it. Cena gets to his feet and backs Rusev into the corner, then
locks in the STF. Rusev gets to the ropes but Cena gets up and drags
Rusev to the center of the ring. Lana gets up on the mat so Cena walks
over to her. Rusev runs at Cena but Lana takes the bump and eats an AA.
Cena win the U.S. Title as Rusev fails America and her fans.
WINNER: John Cena via AA at 14:31
RATING: ***. Nice match but, honestly, I don’t know why Cena had to win here.
PICTURES

 

WrestleMania 32 is coming to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas next year!
Renee
Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton are at the talking desk.
We recap the Fatal Four-Way Tag Match where Cesaro and Tyson retained
the titles. They also recap that Big Show won the Battle Royal.
Steph
and Triple H are in the ring. She tells us that Levi’s has 76,000-plus
people. She tells us that, back in the day, WrestleMania was on
closed-circuit TV and she got to watch Andre slam Big John Studd. (DANIELLE: And she used Cole’s IBM tape computer to spit out stats.)
She says that the success of WrestleMania is all because of HER. Triple
H says the truth hurts. He brags about beating Sting (which draws
massive heat) and says that he pretty much beat everyone against him,
including the 76,000 people in Levi’s and the millions on WWE Network.
Then he says he owns Sting as well as all the talent backstage. So much
for that handshake, huh? He says The Authority always wins…
The
Rock’s music hits. This got the biggest pop of the night. He takes
forever to talk because the fans are not going quiet. Steph: “Okay! We
get it! You’re happy to see him! Can you be quiet now?” The Rock says
that The Authority doesn’t own the fans…or The Rock. He says The
Authority likes to run their mouths. But what they don’t get is that The
Rock is an East Bay Area Boy. So, The Rock says Triple H has two
choices: 1) Triple H goes backstage and dresses up as The Terminator
again…or 2) They can have a “WrestleMania Moment” right here, right
now. The Rock and Triple H go nose to nose.
Triple
H says that him and The Rock have a great rivalry that goes back years
— and Triple H kicked his ass for most of it. He says he has nothing
more to prove. The Rock says, just like he left his heart in San
Francisco, that Triple H left his balls in Stamford, Connecticut. Triple
H isn’t happy and takes off his coat. Steph steps between them and says
The Rock just likes to rile him and the fans up. He says that there
would be no Rock without the fans. She says that even his relatives
wouldn’t be anything without the McMahons. The Rock says that Steph
likes to talk about the Johnsons and McMahons…but that she wouldn’t be
here without Vince’s “johnson”. She slaps his face all the way into
next week and asks what he’s gonna do about that. She says that these
are her fans, her ring, and her stadium and orders him to leave.
Rock
leaves with Steph riding his ass on the mic as he does. The Rock stops
just outside the ring…then walks to his left…and visits with Ronda
Rousey. He invites her to jump the barrier and get into the ring with
him. She obliges. The Rock tells Steph that he’d never hit a woman…but
he has a good friend who’d be happy to. Steph shrugs it off and says
that her and Steph are friends. She begs Ronda to tell Rock that they’re
friends. Ronda doesn’t respond. Steph says that Ronda’s probably the
most dangerous unarmed woman on the planet. She says that Ronda doesn’t
realize that this is her ring and that she needs to enjoy WrestleMania
like a good little fan. Ronda says that Steph doesn’t get it: any ring she steps into is hers. She says if Steph wants her to leave, Steph should make
her leave. Steph growls for her to get out of the ring. Rock looks at
Rousey and tells Steph that the look on Rousey’s face means that she’s
about to reach down Steph’s throat, pull out her uterus and play jump
rope with her fallopian tubes. 
Triple
H says he’s tired of all this shit and wants Rock to stop talking. Rock
agrees to do so and says this is the last thing they’ll hear from him.
He attacks Triple H and beats on him in the corner. Triple H lunges at
Rousey but Rousey hits a hip toss and out of the ring goes Triple H.
Steph attacks her but Rousey locks Steph’s arm. Finally, she lets Steph
go and this comes to an end. Rock tells the McMahons that they’re
“owned”. 
PICTURES

 
We
go to Undertaker and Bray Wyatt…Undertaker has his usual entrance,
but Bray’s entrance is a mix of theatrical and goofy. He has a “valley”
of scarecrows on the entrance ramp that he “brings to life” and they
follow him down the ramp. The electric signage around the stadium,
during The Undertaker’s entrance read, “NEVER SUMMON THE DEAD”, which I
thought was pretty sweet. The Undertaker also grew his hair back. It’s
still short but it’s not a mohawk anymore. The entire entrance is gold
for so many reasons. JBL, Cole and King wonder if The Undertaker is the
same guy we used to see — yet, he still looks that way. Bray just stares the entire time, in awe.
Bray says this is “his yard”, then runs at ‘Taker, who boots him right in the face.
MATCH #6: Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
The
bell rings and ‘Taker is all over Bray in the corner. He beats on him,
knocks him to the mat, then does Old School. ‘Taker goes off the ropes
but Bray knocks him down with a clothesline. Bray clotheslines him out
of the ring — but The Undertaker lands on his feet and glares at Bray.
Crowd loves it. Bray grabs him by the legs and drags him outside. He
sets Bray up on the mat and drops the leg across Bray’s throat. Bray
rolls into the ring and ‘Taker clotheslines him, then hits Snake Eyes.
‘Taker goes for a big boot but Bray knocks ‘Taker down with a drive-by
lariat. Wyatt beats on ‘Taker in the corner and then puts him into the
adjacent corner. Bray hits a running corner clothesline and can’t get
two. He puts a clutch on ‘Taker but ‘Taker fights out. Bray drops
punches on ‘Taker. Bray stares at him as he struggles to get up. He
crawls to Bray. Bray leaves the ring, then smashes ‘Taker’s head into
the ringpost. Wyatt gets into the ring and boots ‘Taker in the face. He
goes to pick up ‘Taker but ‘Taker locks in Hell’s Gate. Wyatt quickly
realizes he’s in trouble and punches ‘Taker in the head until he lets
go. ‘Taker gets to his feet and lunges at Bray only to find himself in a
Spinebuster, followed by the Reverse Senton. Bray does the Hanging
Spider, then goes for Sister Abigail. Bray does the “thumb across the
throat”, but ‘Taker grabs him by the throat and hits the Chokeslam.
‘Taker calls for The Tombstone and hits it…but only gets two as the
announce team pretends like nobody’s ever kicked out of it. ‘Taker calls
for another Tombstone but Bray counters and hits Sister Abigail! Bray
covers — and gets two. Bray gets up, doing the Spider Walk, walking
over to ‘Taker, who is still on his back. When he gets close, The
Undertaker sits up and glares at Bray in one of the coolest
moments of the night. Bray just melts out of the Spider Walk. The both
get up and start trading shots. Bray gets the best of it and knocks
‘Taker all the way down. Bray goes for Sister Abigail again — but
‘Taker breaks it and shoves Bray. Bray runs at ‘Taker and ‘Taker picks
him and Tombstones the hell out of him for the win.
WINNER: The Undertaker via Tombstone at 15:13
RATING: **3/4. This had some great moments…I really don’t know, however, how long ‘Taker can continue to do this.
Post-match, ‘Taker does the “tribute” spot with the purple lighting and fireworks.
PICTURES

We get the build-up to Reigns/Lesnar…
MATCH #7: Roman Reigns (challenger) vs. Brock Lesnar (champion) (w/ Paul Heyman) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The
bell rings and it’s a goddamn brawl to start. Both men all over each
other. Lesnar hits a German Suplex and an F5…but doesn’t cover Reigns.
Lesnar is cut open. He walks over to Reigns and his some shots to the
gut with his knee. Lesnar hits a Fallway Fisherman’s Suplex. Lesnar goes
for another German. Reigns fights back and tries clotheslines but can’t
knock Reigns down. Lesnar counters with German #2. Reigns gets to his
knees…and smiles. Lesnar hits a Side Suplex, then yells, “SUPLEX CITY,
BITCH!” Reigns comes back with punches but Lesnar hits German #3.
Reigns gets up, grinning. Lesnar kicks him in the ribs, then hits German
#4. Reigns tries to get up but Lesnar just knees him in the stomach.
Brock drops Roman on the top rope and knees Reigns in the face
repeatedly. Lesnar hits a running forearm on a run and knocks Reigns out
of the ring. 
Lesnar
beckons Reigns to get back in the ring and Reigns does. Lesnar runs at
him and Reigns knees Lesnar in the face. He hits kicks to the face. But
Lesnar just grabs his leg after a few of them and clotheslines Reigns
from the ring. Lesnar goes outside and beats on Reigns. He rolls Reigns
back in and then hits a suplex throw. Reigns is tossed from the ring and
crawls back in again. Lesnar hits a belly to belly suplex, the 8th one
overall. Lesnar hits F5 #2. Reigns kicks out. Lesnar smacks the shit out
of Reigns but Reigns doesn’t care. He just laughs. Lesnar hits German
#4 and #5. He hits F5 #3…but only gets two again. Lesnar tosses Reigns
out of the ring. He goes outside and picks up Reigns and tries to toss
Reigns into the ringpost but Reigns reverses the attempt and Lesnar eats
the post instead.
Lesnar
is bleeding as Reigns gets back into the ring. Reigns looks determined
and gets to his feet. He hits a Superman Punch but Lesnar hangs onto the
ropes. Reigns hits another and Lesnar is rocking on the ropes. Reigns
goes for another. Lesnar catches him for a German but Reigns elbows out.
Reigns hits Superman Punch #3 and knocks him down. He hits a Spear!
Lesnar gets up and rocks towards the ropes. Reigns hits another and
NEARLY gets the fall. Reigns goes for another — but Lesnar catches him
and hits F5 #4! Lesnar can’t cover…both men are down. Seth Rollins’
music hits. (DANIELLE: Told ya’!) He cashes in the MITB contract. This is now a Triple Threat Match. O…K.
MATCH
#7: Roman Reigns (challenger) vs. Brock Lesnar (champion) (w/ Paul
Heyman) vs. Seth Rollins (challenger) in a Triple Threat Match for the
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Rollins
boots Reigns from the ring and hits a quick Curb Stomp on Lesnar. He
checks on Reigns to make sure he can’t interfere…and goes for another
Curb Stomp…but Lesnar catches him for an F5! But here comes Reigns who
Spears Lesnar! Reigns tries to get up but Rollins hits a Curb Stomp and
wins the title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Seth Rollins via Curb Stomp at 16:44
RATING:
***1/2. Not a bad finish to the thing. I’d hesitate to call it
“ingenious” since they all but telegraphed the cash-in. Nobody liked
Reigns and nobody wanted to see Lesnar go home with the title. The only
reason WrestleMania ended on a “high note” was because Rollins was the
lesser of three evils. Yay?

Rollins celebrates as Levi’s Stadium shoots its fireworks load and we go off the air.
PICTURES

OVERALL:
***1/2. Better than I expected but nowhere near as good as last year’s
‘Mania. I don’t understand the high praise this show is getting. For the
live experience? Add another two stars. There’s nothing like being
there.

Er…that’s it.

Wrestlemania 31 review podcast (yep, it’s a plug request)

Scott,

Long time reader of your various blogs and books, second time writer.  Yours is the only wrestling blog I read (yes, I am asking you for a favor, but that is true about BoD being my only online wrestling info source).  Anyway, we reviewed Wrestlemania 31 on the podcast "Don and his Amazing Friend" this week, and I personally invite you and your readers to listen.  We had a great time discussing the show.

D&AF is not normally a wrestling show – we dissect older genre movies – but wrestling always finds its way into the conversation.  The link to the show is pasted below, as is the Twitter handle.

By the way, I also watched the Macho Man doc last night, and I couldn't agree with you more about the awesome beginning, and then surprisingly lackluster coverage of his wrestling career.  That said, it is still worth the 90 minutes.

Thanks,

Don

http://donandhisamazingfriend.blogspot.com

Twitter: @secretduck922

Sent from my iPad

Network Editing WrestleMania

Just rewatched WrestleMania on the Network, and it seems to me like they edited the boos for Reigns in his match with Lesnar. It's one thing to edit Smackdown or a YouTube video, but to edit out boos from a live PPV is just ridiculous. I can't recall WWE going to these lengths with Cena. So why are they so insistent that Reigns must not get booed? Wouldn't it be easier to just change Reigns (either heel turn or tweak his character) than try to change everyone else's minds or change history altogether? 

​Haven't we all been watching for the past three months?  They're determined to tell the story of underdog family man babyface Roman Reigns, all evidence of that story not working be damned.  Editing Wrestlemania (and they apparently re-edited Brock's entrance to properly cue to the pyro, so it's not just this) is the least of it.  I'm pretty sure Vince is going to progress to simply paying every member of the audience a couple of bucks each to cheer by June.  ​

Undertaker Planning to Wrestle at WrestleMania 32 and WWE Management Cooled on Sting

The following was reported by Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com:

“The Undertaker was telling those backstage after his match with Bray Wyatt that
he felt great and intended to work next year’s Wrestlemania in Dallas, Texas.

 
Given how strong Taker looked in the ring and how well he was moving around
before and after the show, a lot of people noted that he really must have been
concussed far worse than anyone really understood the year before against Brock
Lesnar.


Undertaker shared a locker room backstage with Sting and the two actually
shared the same flight back to Texas. There was a lot of “if we do this” talk
between the two about a potential match. The original idea when Sting came in
was to eventually lead to the Undertaker bout at a Wrestlemania, although WWE
management has cooled on long-term plans for the former WCW World champion.”


 http://pwinsider.com/article/92761/undertaker-at-wrestlemania-update.html?p=1

WrestleMania Weekend 2015 – Day 2: WWE Axxess

(Apologies for not getting the remaining days of WM weekend out sooner. We’ve both been engulfed in work and life and attending this stuff, adding in the aforementioned, has left us a bit fatigued…more to come!)
Friday was a little different.
We
left work and came rushing over, only to find that the gates hadn’t
opened yet…and there was a line, about a mile long, to get in, with
that classic “zig-zag” format you see in a line at Disneyland.

Luckily, we got in fairly quickly…and immediately got in the first signing line we saw.
It
was rumored that Dolph Ziggler was signing at the station we stopped
at. There was another rumor going around that Paige was supposed to be
here again tonight and that she’d be at the station next door…Danielle
really wanted to get her Paige T-shirt signed.
We
waited for a few minutes to see who would end up where. When the first
Superstars appeared, the crowd cheered…and they were headed for a
booth across from us. It was Erick Rowan and Sin Cara.
 
 
Ok…we
got Sin Cara yesterday. Rowan isn’t totally somebody we want to
meet…we decided to stay in our line. Then, more cheers next to us —
and out came Natalya. I was a bit bummed. Then her Dad, Jim, showed up.
Man…
I asked Danielle if she wanted to move. She said, “No. Let’s see who we get.”
Suddenly, our line began to cheer…and out popped…
Dolph Ziggler.
Let
me tell you something about Ziggler. The dude was performing for the
entire line. Just like Paige, he played to the crowd and toed the line
between cocky and incredibly charming. He gets up from his seat and
says, “Sorry…I’m done. I have no time for ANY of you. See ya’.” He was
only kidding: he left to go sign for the disabled guest line. 
At
one point, he came back from the empty disabled guest line, stopped to
take pictures with the couple of people near the immediate area, signed
their stuff real quick, then rolled his eyes at everyone else as they begged him to sign their stuff, too. With a hair flip, he went back to tend to the regular line. 
When we got there, I asked if he would sign for our mutual friend, Tania, who couldn’t make it out.

I don’t know if it was the volume in the place or if Friday fatigue was
hitting me…I spelled her name wrong. Ziggler could have just signed
her name, as was spelled to him…but he notices and says, “Wait…T, A,
N, A, I?! That’s ‘Tawn-ay’, bro! That’s not how you spell that. I don’t
even know your friend and I know how she spells her name!”

So, we had some laughs and Ziggler says, “Let me spell it again…” So, he writes over
the original spelling, then realizes that you can see a “T”, followed
by some scribbling. He puzzles over it and asks, “I think that looks
like ‘TANIA’…you think she’d be able to tell? I mean, maybe if I
scribble all fancy and professional-looking, she’ll think it says, ‘TANIA’…right?” And we just laughed. He was just a great guy.
He shook our hands and we got our photo with him.
After this, we grabbed some quick food and drink and headed out to see what else we could see.
Turns out, some pretty good Superstars were signing that night.
Kane…who
didn’t look happy to be there at all. Kinda strange. Maybe he was
trying to be the “Corporate” character…but I took quite a few photos
from a few rounds of fans and he didn’t smile once.

A strange choice to sign: The Bogeyman…

And he’d actually sign with Hornswoggle:
After
that, I checked my WrestleMania App (an attendant told me it would give
me signing schedules…huzzah!) and found out that JBL and Jerry Lawler
were signing…so we went to take a pic with them.

Danielle
and I stopped by the Elimination Chamber to take a couple pictures of
Stardust and Miz-dow. One of the funniest things was watching Stardust
freak out and shriek before he would hug the person getting into the
ring with them.
 
We
were just in time to watch a Q&A session with Howard Finkel and
Booker T in the NXT ring. NXT was hosting some “house shows” all Axxess
weekend, so things like this were awesome to watch.
In
the Q&A, Booker praised former manager, Sherri Martel, and said
that he misses her each and every day. When a fan asked if Harlem Heat
would ever get back together, Booker’s response was, “In this business, I
always have one response: never say never.”
 
We stayed around a bit to do the Gratuitous WrestleMania Sign Point…
We made one last trip to the museum as we’d heard that they had added the Andre trophy…
We visited a couple of our favorite wrestlers…
We invaded a Triple H signing and took some pics of him…
And
we closed the night out by watching a really fun match between Heath
Slater and Curtis Axel, in which Axel took bump after bump and sold
everything Slater had — then came back like Hulk Hogan. It was truly
great, crowd-pleasing stuff that the crowd around us loved.

 

Last, but not least, caught this excellent shot of Goldust being interviewed by our local media…

Stay tuned for Part 3…

Er…that’s it.

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 31

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 31 – 03.29.15 Live from San Francisco, CA Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler I’m trying the live stream tonight, so hopefully it doesn’t die on me. The picture is already heavily pixelated early on, though. Intercontinental title: Bad News Barrett v. Dolph Ziggler v. Daniel Bryan v. Luke Harper v. R-Truth v. Stardust v. Dean Ambrose So Daniel Bryan goes from winning the World title in the main event to curtain-jerking as the seventh guy in the opener this year. If only he had been born a Samoan. Giant brawl to start, as expected, and guys start hitting dives immediately. Truth, who is apparently a geek that fears heights, tries to climb first but is terrified to do so. Bryan sandwiches some guys behind a ladder and dropkicks it a few times, but that backfires on him. Harper climbs and ends up hanging upside down on the ladder, and Bryan climbs until Ziggler makes the save. Stardust takes out a few guys as the feed jumps around a bit, and he discovers a sparkly ladder under the ring that is apparently his own personal one. And then Barrett immediately breaks it. Well that’s kind of a waste. Harper and Ambrose have a ladder duel and Dean gets dropped on a ladder with Snake Eyes. I can only presume that it was a tribute to Hall of Famer Kevin Nash. Truth clears the ring but is unable to overcome his crippling acrophobia again, which leads to Barrett superplexing Cody off the ladder. Everyone climbs and we get another trainwreck with everyone falling off, leading to Ambrose taking a powerbomb from Harper through a ladder. Jesus. Harper climbs, but Ziggler is on his back with a sleeper and thus both guys fall off. Ziggler climbs alone, but Barrett saves with the Bullhammer. Truth climbs and he takes one too. Bryan hits Barrett with the flying knee, clears the ring, and slugs it out with Ziggler on the ladder with insane headbutts until Ziggler finally drops, to win the IC title at 13:31. That also puts Bryan in elite company as one of the few to hold the WWE Grand Slam (WWE, World, IC, US and tag titles). The match was a crazy, non-stop trainwreck with little else going on, but that’s what we wanted out of it. ***3/4 Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins Orton with a dropkick early and Seth bails, but catches him with a necksnap to take over. Orton slugs away in the corner and goes after J&J as the feed bugs out a bit, but Rollins hits him with a dive. Back in, Seth gets two. Suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock. Seth pounds away in the corner, but Orton comes back with clotheslines and the powerslam. Rollins bails to the apron and fights out of the draping DDT, and follows with a quebrada. Back in, they fight on the top rope and Seth goes down first, but he rolls through a flying bodypress for two. Orton with the draping DDT, but Rollins rolls him up for two. RKO gets two. I really wish I could mute JBL on this show. HE’S GOING TO THAT PLACE, MAGGLE! HE’S HEARING VOICES, MAGGLE! And then the feed buffers like crazy again on me. RKO on J&J, but Seth gets the curb stomp for two. Moonsault misses and they trade finish attempts, but Orton manages to reverse the curb stomp mid-move into the RKO at 13:10. That was quite the finish and should probably be a GIF for the next 15 years. Nothing special as a match, however. *** HHH v. Sting Sting’s entrance just lacks something in the bright sunlight. Hard to be mysterious at four in the afternoon, I guess. Meanwhile, HHH’s entrance is a literal commercial for the new Terminator movie. And the announcers are making fun of WCW?!? Well, credit to HHH for being willing to go out and embarrass himself with this shit. They trade shoulderblocks to start and Sting dropkicks him into the corner, but HHH slugs him down. Sting no-sells the facebuster, but HHH bails as JBL continues randomly bouncing between heel and babyface. Back in, Sting dumps him, but debuts the “dive at the railing and miss” spot. Back in, HHH with a suplex for two. The announcers constantly burying WCW on commentary is really irritating. You won the war FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. Get over it. HHH with the chinlock and some really loud spot-calling, and a spinebuster gets two. HHH has some kind of really ugly bruise on his thigh and it’s kind of scary. Sting fights back and the feed suddenly jumps to the Scorpion Deathlock, but now D-X (New Age Outlaws & X-Pac) runs in and Sting fights them off. I think it would be more awesome if DX was played by the chicks in the Max Landis video. And then Sting hits them with a dive from the top, which is a sight to behold. Back in, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. HHH grabs his trusty sledgehammer, but now the New World Order (Hogan, Nash and Hall) does the world’s slowest run-in and the Scorpion Deathdrop gets two. Scorpion Deathlock while the senior citizens battle at ringside, but HHH makes the ropes. And then Shawn Michaels comes in to superkick Sting in the name of DX, but that only gets two. So it’s the sledgehammer v. bat showdown, and the hammer breaks under the awesome force of WCW’s bat. Stinger splash, but HHH manages one last sledgehammer for the pin at 18:16. Everyone who thought HHH was laying down here were being very naïve. This was more of a wacky spectacle than a match, but it was fine for what it was. ** I suspect it’ll get a lot of love for all the nostalgia stuff, which is also fine. I’m not saying it wasn’t neat to have D-X facing off against the nWo at Wrestlemania, but let’s not get silly about it. Coming to WWE Network: A whole bunch of stupid bullshit that no one in their right mind would want to watch. A prank show? Diva Search 2015? Really? Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan gets the endorsement of a bunch of former IC champions. Hopefully they actually follow through on that and don’t just have him do a bunch of jobs to build up title matches. And now the concert portion of our show, which is where I break for dinner and pause the stream for a while to hopefully let the buffering catch up. I’ve heard of Travis Barker before, but that’s about it. And why you need a drummer for a chick who’s lip-syncing is a mystery to me. And wasn’t there supposed to be an LL Cool J concert, too? AJ Lee & Paige v. The Bella Twins Nikki takes out AJ quickly and Brie works Paige over with a running knee for two. Bellas with a double slingshot suplex for two. Paige manages a rollup on Boobs Bella for two, but the Rack Attack gets two. Paige makes her own comeback while AJ is still old cold on the floor for some reason. WHERE ARE THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL? Suddenly AJ pops up again and gets the hot tag, but Nikki rolls through a flying bodypress. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and AJ gets a really shitty DDT on Nikki for two. Another brawl and Nikki lays out AJ with the forearm for two. The feed jumps to AJ putting Nikki into the Black Widow at 6:32. I have no idea what the point of AJ having to sell on the floor for four minutes was about. *1/2 Commercial, commercial, Hall of Fame ceremony, commercial, commercial. You can pretty much cut out an hour of stuff on fast-forward thus far and this whole series of stuff has really sucked the momentum out of the show. US title: Rusev v. John Cena Thankfully Lana is back, and Rusev gets to ride a tank. I thought that was D-X’s gimmick? John Cena of course gets the most over-the-top jingoistic video package (complete with Vince heroes George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan) to show everyone that he’s fighting for freedom everywhere. As long as you’re an American who votes Republican. And the crowd STILL boos him. Oh man, this crowd is gonna destroy Roman Reigns. And Rusev also gets booed, so I guess they just hate everyone. Cena immediately attacks and gets one, but Rusev hits him with a spinkick for two. Rusev busts out some sambo (well, he’s playing a Russian, so I can only assume) with a rolling throw for two and follows with a rolling dive into the corner for two. Rusev stops to wave the Russian flag, but this enrages the American blood of John Cena, who comes back with VINTAGE CENA, including getting booed. Rusev escapes the FU and gets a backdrop suplex for two. Uranage gets two. They head to the top and Cena comes off with the guillotine for two. The crowd now resorts to cheering for Lana as Rusev comes back with a superkick for two. Cena with a tornado DDT for two. They slug it out and Rusev gets a whiplash slam for two as the crowd is increasingly bored by this. Cena takes him down with the STF, but Lana throws a shoe in the ring. Honestly, who throws a shoe? This somehow allows Rusev to escape the hold as foot fetishists everywhere lose their minds, and Rusev hits a diving headbutt for two. JBL notes that Rusev is discovering that John Cena does not give up. Except for last month. Cena reverses the Accolade and hits a stunner for two. Oh sure, they bring that move back after 12 years and it’s for JOHN FUCKING CENA? Cena with a rollup for two, but Rusev superkicks him into the Accolade. And Cena powers out of it and reverses into the STF. Lana distracts the ref, however, and Cena lets a charging Rusev knock her off and hits the FU for the pin and the title at 14:34. Nowhere near as good as last month. *** So now Cena can travel the world and inspire United Statesians everywhere. And now, the pre-show panel discusses the stirring victory for Big Show in the battle royale. So much for Hideo Itami’s big Wrestlemania debut. The Authority is out to announce a new fake attendance record of 76,000 people! Way to go, 20000 phantom people! Like really, it’s 2015, do they really think people are stupid enough to just believe WWE would have an exact count of people two hours into the show? What if another 100 still want to show up late? HHH takes credit for all of it, but the Rock interrupts. Good, I was thinking that this show was moving at too much of a breakneck pace and needed an interview segment to breathe. Rock lays down the challenge and Stephanie gets in his face and claims that the McMahons made him, then slaps him and sends him packing. But Rock would never hit a woman, so he heads to the crowd, finds RONDA ROUSEY, and invites her to kick Stephanie’s ass instead. And Stephanie can’t resist talking shit to her, which the Rock warns is a bad idea. HHH has had enough and get his ass handed to him, but Steph makes the mistake of going after Rousey and gets chased from the ring under threat of armbar. Obviously she couldn’t actually finish the job due to legal stuff with UFC. Which is too bad because it would have been legendary. See now, Rock v. HHH at WM in Dallas makes way more sense than Rock v. Brock, because there was already a backstory and people would actually want to see that match again. Myself included. If they could pull off Rock & Ronda v. HHH & Stephanie, more power to them. Although once again, how sad is it that these guys just blow away everyone on the roster and make them all look like a bunch of indy chumps by comparison in the span of 20 minutes? Bray Wyatt v. The Undertaker We are apparently running long and skip the video package for this match, which is kind of astonishing. Undertaker has reverted to Zombie Cowboy with hair after a few years of the demonic wizard with Mohawk look. Apparently Undertaker’s 21-1 is now the “greatest record in sports history” and I don’t even know where to begin with that one. Like, I’m pretty sure the Patriots going undefeated that one year was a bit more impressive. Somehow, Undertake has used his magic powers to generate 30 pounds of muscle since those photos of him surfaced a couple of months ago, and he’s looking much better than the last couple of years. Bray charges and gets beat up in the corner, and Taker goes old school. Bray comes back with a clothesline, but Taker continues kicking his ass and legdrops him on the apron. Back in, Taker hits Snake Eyes, but Bray comes back with a back elbow and pounds away in the corner. He grabs a hold on the mat and does some sort of charge on the floor to run Taker’s head into the post. That didn’t really translate very well and just kind of looked like Bray taking a bump into the stairs for no reason. Back in, Taker catches him in the gogoplata, but Bray slugs out of it. The announcers now suddenly bring up the storyline of Undertaker doubting himself and contemplating mortality, which would have been nice to bring up TWO MONTHS AGO. Like, did we ever have any followup from Undertaker about how he felt after the Streak ended? Nope. Bray puts him down with a uranage and senton for two. Sister Abigail is reversed into the chokeslam, and the tombstone…gets two. I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that one. A second try is reversed into Sister Abigail for two. I kind of get what they’re going for here, but it’s not working, like at all. We get the crab walk v. zombie showdown, and Bray freaks out. They do the slugfest and Bray tries Sister again, but this time Taker reverses to the tombstone to finish at 15:07. Not at the low level of last year’s match, but there was a lot of laying around and clearly this wasn’t the right opponent for Undertaker. **1/2 Chris Jericho brings his podcast to the WWE Network with super-controversial guest John Cena. I bet Cena will stir up headlines by talking about how fans might love him or hate him but he always shows up. WWE World title: Brock Lesnar v. Roman Reigns And so it’s come to this. Don’t you tell Roman that he can’t do something! Because he’ll just go ahead and do it anyway, but to half the crowd reaction he otherwise he would have received. He enters through the crowd and security has to actively fight off people trying to tell him what he can’t do on the way to the ring. DON’T YOU FUCKING TELL HIM WHAT HE CAN’T DO! He summons the anger of people telling him what he can’t do and punches the ring so hard that he sets off fireworks. Brock is so the clear babyface here, and the crowd even sings along with Paul Heyman’s ring introduction of him. Brock shrugs off Roman’s attack, quickly suplexes him, and follows with the F5. The crowd loved that. Brock is bleeding from one of Reigns’s wussy shots. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE BROCK BLEED?! He’s going to murder you! Reigns tries to fight back and Brock suplexes his dumb ass again and beats the shit out of him. Another suplex and Brock is having fun with this. A sixth german suplex and then Brock changes it up by dropping him on the top rope and throwing knees to his face. He punches him right to the railing as the crowd breaks out the “This is awesome” chant for the supposed top babyface getting beaten like a red-headed stepchild. Reigns comes back with a knee and the crowd boos him out of the stadium, and then Brock clotheslines his head off to send him flying off the apron again. Brock should win Wrestler of the Year for this shit. Back in, another suplex sends Reigns out of the ring again, and Brock suplexes him right back in. The crowd is now keeping count of the suplexes that their hero is taking. F5 gets two. Brock is now gloveless, I repeat, gloveless, and personally bitchslaps Reigns with his bare hands. Another pair of suplexes, another F5 gets two. Oh come on. Brock takes him outside to the ringpost, but Reigns reverses him into it. Why would you make this man angrier!? Your continued kicking out has already angered him enough! Back in, Reigns hits the superman punch twice and Brock won’t go down because he’s a real man. A third one finally drops him and Reigns follows with the spear, twice, but it only gets two. One last charge and Brock hits the F5…but Seth Rollins cashes in and it’s now a three-way. Curb stomp, but Brock catches him, so Reigns hits the spear and Rollins curb stomps him and pins him at 16:37 to win the WWE title! So…that was quite the ridiculous finish, but damn if I wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement at it. And really, they found a brilliant way to get out of the corner they were painted into with Reigns. Brock Lesnar has to be some kind of superhuman wrestling machine to carry Roman Reigns to that kind of match. ****1/2 The Pulse I actually liked this show better than last year, even if the middle dragged a lot for me. The ladder match / Rollins v. Orton / Sting v. HHH spectacle to open the show was a fantastic start and the Rousey angle was incredible TV. And then Brock showed why he’s worth whatever the fuck he wants to be paid with a finish that will probably go down in WM history. Reigns is dead in the water, but who gives a shit about him anyway? Big thumbs up here, especially given low expectations.

Wrestlemania XXXI Thread: The Second Hour (8-9 p.m. EST)

All right Blog O’Doomers, we’re three threads in. Disqus apparently is going to make sure we don’t break any records tonight but I appreciate the people that are sticking through the issues and completely understand those who aren’t.

Once again, Reddit spoilers will be deleted and those that post them may get their wigs split!

Keep it clean!

Wrestlemania XXXI Thread: First Hour (7-8 p.m. EST)

All right we survived the pre-game so now it’s time for the real show. Very quickly here are my predictions since no one asked!

— The Bella Twins over A.J./Paige since the Bellas appear to win every week.

— Daniel Bryan wins I-C Ladder Match by outlasting Dolph Ziggler after 20 minutes

— Seth Rollins over Randy Orton because Seth really needs this win.

— Undertaker over Bray Wyatt to start a new streak, don’t think he’ll get to 21 this time.

— John Cena over Rusev for the U.S. Title although I don’t expect this Cena title reign to last long. Rusev is the right guy for that belt.

— Sting over HHH because HHH always won the real life battle here. No need for him to win the worked match right…Right???!?!

— Roman Reigns over Brock Lesnar when Paul Heyman turns on his monster for the new,youngrt monster (or at least the WWE hopes).

Enjoy Wrestlemania!

Wrestlemania XXXI Thread: The Pre-Show

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Well today is the day and this is clearly the Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup Finale (insert any other sports theme you like) of professional wrestling/sports entertainment. And like those events sometimes you don’t get the matchup you want but you can’t deny the success the name has regardless. As Gorilla Monsoon always said…”tonight history will be made.”

And Wrestlemania is also quite the boom for this board as traffic levels go from above average to extremely high during the course of the week.

I don’t know who will be writing reviews on the show…I know I’m not and you can all applaud for that.

Oh yeah the Pre-Show will be competing with the Duke-Gonzaga basketball game so you can all talk about that here too if you want.

I encourage discussion and would appreciate it if you kept it fairly clean.

Also, all Reddit spoilers will be deleted. Please do not spoil the show for those wanting to be surprised (This is Brian Bayless)

Countdown to WM: Wrestlemania XXX

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 30 Live on the WWE Network, from New Orleans, LA. I was watching on the PS3 tonight and the stream was 99% perfect, with only a couple of buffering issues and once or twice where something would repeat. Other than that, it looked HD quality, just like on PPV. For a four hour show I’m very impressed. Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Hulk Hogan joins us to begin his hosting duties and he already botches his lines by calling it the Silverdome. Thankfully the crowd corrects him. And holy shit, here’s Steve Austin. And you can tell the crowd respects him because they do the “What” on cue and not otherwise. And then, because why not, it’s the Rock. Not that I’m complaining, but maybe advertising some of these might have been a good idea. How the hell is anyone supposed to follow this?! Even Rock scores off poor Hulk tonight by pointing out that they’re in the SUPERDOME. So Rock takes credit for electrifying the crowd so much that people give birth nine months after Wrestlemania. And with nothing really important said, they all drink beer and wrap it up. Spectacular. Winner gets the title shot: HHH v. Daniel Bryan HHH’s entrance, which is as noted by the King “like he stepped out of a Frank Frazetta painting”, is indeed quite the deal. HHH and Steph making goo-goo eyes at each other is wonderfully obnoxious as well. HHH offers a handshake, so Bryan kicks him down for two. HHH bails for some brand synergy advice from Steph, and back in he starts working on the bad arm. Bryan takes him down with a headlock as I ponder what the hell is up with Bryan’s furry Berzerker boots. HHH goes work in the corner and takes Bryan down with a legdrag, but they head to the floor and Bryan follows with a tornado DDT off the apron. And then adds a dive off the top because he’s kind of insane. Back in, Bryan goes up and gets crotched, and they head to the floor for a brawl on the announce table. NOT THE MOUNTAIN DEW! Bryan escapes a Pedigree there, but HHH goes back to the arm in the ring. HHH bails and Bryan tries another dive, but walks into a forearm. HHH hammerlock slams him on the apron in a nasty spot and Steph gets some quality trash-talk in. Back in, we get a crossface chickenwing, which turns into a crossface, but Bryan makes the ropes. Slugfest and Bryan comes back with a forearm, and a german suplex gets two. HHH goes back to the arm with a tiger suplex for two, and they head up and slug it out on top. Bryan with a sunset bomb and he comes back with the corner dropkicks, but walks into a massive lariat. Steph is just awesome at ringside as the cheering section. Bryan reverses the Pedigree for two and goes up for the flying headbutt, but lands on the knee and it’s crossface time again. Bryan is fading in the middle, but rolls him over for two and then reverses to the Yes-Lock. HHH makes the ropes, to the disgust of the crowd. Bryan hits him with the suicide dive, but HHH won’t stay down, so he does it AGAIN and then kicks the hell out of him. Back in, missile dropkick and Bryan makes the comeback with the kicks, which gets two. HHH catches the running knee and gets the spinebuster, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. Bryan with a small package for two. HHH has had enough of this guy and pounds away in the corner, but Bryan counters another Pedigree for two. Hunter holds on to the arms, however, and knees him into mush. Another Pedigree is reversed into a high kick, and the running knee finishes at 26:03 to make the crowd lose their shit. **** Come on, no matter how much I was trolling everyone you knew that Hunter was going to do the right thing in the end. And then we get the Corporate Beatdown afterwards to really make sure Bryan has no chance in the main event. I had to add another ½* to the rating just for Steph’s heel mannerisms here. The New Age(d) Outlaws & Kane v. The Shield I’m thinking they’re not gonna match that opener. The Outlaws quickly get stacked up on the ropes and Reigns gives them the running kick, then hits Billy with the Superman Punch. The heels all end up on the floor and Gunn is left alone with the Shield, so he decides to run away. Reigns spears everyone and the Outlaws get put out of their misery with the triple powerbomb at 2:50. I knew they’d be awesome babyfaces. ½* Meanwhile, Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter have an action figure battle, refereed by DANNY DAVIS, but Ted Dibiase buys the playset out from under them. The Andre Rousimoff Memorial Battle Royale (ARMBAR) Everyone is already in the ring except for Big Show and Sheamus, so that should tell you who’s winning. And really, this is a FOUR HOUR show and they can’t even give these poor geeks their entrance? Yoshi Tatsu is gone before I can even type that last sentence. Khali chops Brodus out and then gets dumped by 3MB. And then Zack Ryder, of course. Darren Young takes a day off on the floor. Mark Henry gets tossed by Show and it’s a lot of people laying around and randomly punching each other. Cody and Goldust team up to get rid of Sandow. Big E powerbombs Gabriel out and then follows by throwing David Otunga out. Fandango kicks Big E out, but stops to dance on the apron and gets eliminated by Sheamus with a billion forearms. Show throws Truth out, and Del Rio kicks Kidd to the floor. C’mon, never go to the top in a battle royale, TJ! Goldust goes out via Del Rio’s feet, as does Cody. Rey gets CESARO’D to the floor as I hope to god this means we’re getting a Giant Giant Swing. Kofi gets tossed and lands with his feet draped on the steps, so he’s still in. Cute. Kofi runs wild for a bit, but it’s the GIANT SWING. Show breaks it up with the chokeslam to big heel heat, but Sheamus finally puts Kofi out. Del Rio superkicks Ziggler out to bigger heel heat. Sheamus and Del Rio resume their C+ rivalry and eliminate each other, leaving Cesaro v. Big Show for the SEVEN FOOT GOLD STATUE. Cesaro throws uppercuts but Show tosses him unsuccessfully. Back in, Cesaro SLAMS HIM OUT at 13:15 to win it. What an awesome callback and a pretty fun battle royale once it got down to a manageable number of people. The crowd is going to lose their minds for Cesaro tomorrow night, and clearly the push has begun. John Cena v. Bray Wyatt Bray offers Cena a free shot to “finish him”, but Cena opts for a headlock instead. Bray slugs him down and follows with a back elbow, but charges and runs into a clothesline. This finally prompts Cena to show some emotion, as he gets mad and slugs away on the mat. Cena chokes him out in the corner and puts him down with a big boot, but Wyatt gets a cheapshot and puts him down with a suplex. And we hit the chinlock, until Cena fights out and makes the comeback. Cena tries the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Bray bridges up into the crabwalk to freak Cena the fuck out. Wyatt gets the front rows to sway with him and hits a corner splash, but Cena gets a tornado DDT for two. He goes up and gets caught with a powerbomb, and that gets two for Wyatt. Cena comes back again with the Shuffle, but Bray puts him down with a gutbuster for two. To the apron, where Wyatt hits a DDT for two. The crowd starts swaying again and that’s probably gonna the big thing tomorrow night. They head back to the top and Cena decides to hit the Family with a dive, and the brawl is on. Cena is too good to hit him with the stairs, however, and they head back in for another serenade by Bray. Now, do they have to pay royalties for “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”? I would presume not because it’s a traditional hymn, but you never know with the music division in WWE because they’d probably get sued by the church and manage to lose. Cena with the FU for two. Harper gets a shot behind the ref’s back and Wyatt gets two. Cena gets tossed and puts Harper through the timekeeper’s table as a result, but Wyatt throws Cena back in and tries to finish, only to see Cena reverse to the STF. Wyatt quickly makes the ropes and hits Sister Abigail for two. Bray grabs a chair and offers it to Cena, but he hits Rowan with it instead. Cena finishes with the FU at 22:31. Are you KIDDING me? They spend months building up Wyatt and then he just loses to Cena? Kind of a weird, slow match, too. Good, but not great or anything. *** Brock Lesnar v. Undertaker Undertaker is nice enough to line up a series of caskets the Streak victims helpfully numbered, although the video package and panning shot both omit the 21st victim. Brock quickly slugs UT down and clotheslines him to the floor, but Taker goes to work on the arm. Guillotine legdrop on the apron and Snake Eyes, but Brock escapes the chokeslam and Taker misses a blind charge. Brock takes over and chokes away in the corner, and works on the leg. There’s almost no reaction from the crowd for any of this. Taker comes back with the big boot for two and the chokeslam for two. Brock with the F5 for two. Brock slowly walks around over Taker before getting caught with the gogoplata, but he powers out of it. Another try, but Brock powers out again. And now it’s Brock turn, as he grabs the kimura, but Taker reverses out. We go Old School, but Brock counters with the F5 for two. Brock with a pair of weak-ass german suplexes, as Taker can’t really go up for them any more. Brock pounds him in the corner, but makes the classic error of standing on the turnbuckles and gets powerbombed. Tombstone gets two. There was about a foot of space between his head and the mat on that one. Another try is turned into an F5…and the streak is over at 25:50. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!? Fans at ringside freak out and I can’t blame them. I think I can say without hyperbole that this was one of the worst booking decisions in the history of wrestling. This is a waste of the streak. Not to mention that the match sucked and Brock was booked like a chump leading up to this. **1/4 And then as Undertaker does his dramatic standing up, some guy in the front row yells “YOU SUCK” with perfect timing. There’s a good summation of the whole deal. I feel like this is going to dominate my inbox for the next two weeks. Divas Title Battle Royale Invitational Deal Thingie Does anyone really care about this after watching the streak end? Just a huge stupid trainwreck, including one of the women losing her top accidentally and Rosa Mendes suddenly going blonde for some reason. The Bellas clear the ring and hit a twin dive, but Nikki turns on Brie and gets two. However, in the end AJ puts Naomi in the Black Widow and gets the submission at 6:50 because the other 13 girls suck too much to get the job done. DUD Like really, the Bellas couldn’t have been smart enough to agree for one of them to lay down for the other or something? Meanwhile, Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff confront Hulk Hogan, and Mr. Wonderful is looking much better these days, thankfully. Piper and Orndorff reluctantly agree to bury the hatchet after 30 years. WWE World title: Randy Orton v. Batista v. Daniel Bryan We are blessed by Rev Theory doing the live entrance theme for Orton, since one can only presume they had no other gigs booked tonight. Or ever. Weird note in that Michael Cole hypes up Extreme Rules by calling it a “WWE Special” instead of a Pay-Per-View. That’s gonna take some getting used to. Bryan gets dumped right away and you can tell this crowd is basically dead and buried. Batista and Orton brawl on the floor as Batista sports boots that are the color of infected puss. Orton takes over on Batista in the ring and drops a knee for two while Bryan disappears into the void, but he returns with a missile dropkick on both guys. Bryan hits them both with kicks to wake up the crowd, but Orton puts him down with an exploder for two. Could you imagine Batista and Orton having to main event this show after what happened? There would have been entire sections walking out. Bryan keeps fighting off both guys, but Batista suplexes him to the floor and it’s back to the Batista-Orton snoozefest. Orton gets a superplex and Bryan flies in with a headbutt, as HHH and Steph join us at ringside and take out the ref. Well you knew that was coming. Scott Armstrong makes his return as Batista gets the powerbomb for two. This match was going nowhere anyway. Bryan takes out the crooked ref and then hits the Authority with a dive, and now HHH declares it sledgehammer o’clock. Bryan takes him out and cradles Batista for two, but Orton makes the save. The heels beat on Bryan outside and work together to clear off two tables. And we get a Batista Bomb into an RKO to put him through. The EMTs come for Bryan while Batista goes after Orton and they sluggishly fight on the floor. Orton with the draping DDT off the apron while Bryan gets taken out on a stretcher, but he fights his way off it and Orton hauls him into the ring again. RKO is countered into the Yes-Lock, but Batista makes the save. Bryan puts him in it as well, but Orton makes the save now. RKO on Batista gets two. Orton sets up the punt, but walks into the Bryan running knee and Batista steals a two. Batista Bomb, but Bryan runs in with the knee and wraps him up with the Yes-Lock to win the WWE title once and for all at 23:20. To say this was too long would be a major understatement, but they brought it home well enough with some near-falls that freaked out the crowd and nailed the landing with a great match. **** So everyone can breathe now. The Pulse It was certainly a newsworthy show, bookended by a pair of great Daniel Bryan performances and what will no doubt be the biggest booking controversy in forever. You sure can’t say it wasn’t memorable. I’ll go thumbs up because the two matches everyone wanted to see delivered and they nailed the big happy ending.