Random Thoughts From Mania


1. Have you ever seen a card that killed off so many babyface draws? Reigns might as well leave the promotion. He will never be taken seriously again unless he makes the heel turn. He has been lugered to death. Nakamura turned heel, Rollins is in IC title hell, asuka lost the streak which was the only thing getting her over, and Braun had a tag team match with a ten year old. So we are now counting on plus 40 year old flake Bobby Lashley to sell some pay per views. Sounds reasonable.

2. Am I the only guy who doesn’t get Nakamura and Finn Bálor? All I heard about is how revolutionary Nakamura is and he can’t even be bothered to bring it against AJ Styles in a match that everyone swore up and down would be six stars. His works screams lazy to me. Finn Balor without the makeup is a stale babyface that uses the same finish my six year old does when we wrestle. And Finn has like four moves total.

3. Is Cody Graves a face or a heel announcer? One minute he hates Elias and then he talks crap about Sasha and buries the new day. Also why is he everywhere?

1.  ​Tonight was a REALLY strangely booked show.  The thing that annoys me with Roman is that they spent an entire YEAR having Brock kill off guys with the F5 to build up that kickout spot, and then it ended up meaning nothing.  Plus they also spent a year protecting Roman and turning the other members of the Shield into midcard smiling buddies so he's the bigger star, and then he lost anyway.  I don't get what the endgame with Brock is supposed to even be at this point, to be honest.  ​
​2.  Nakamura has been really lazy and unmotivated compared to New Japan, and it's kind of shocking that Vince keeps giving him this big of a role.  Perhaps it's just because he's older and slower now, but even compared to his NXT run he's been working via collect call.  Hard to blame him a lot of time, but this should have been where he brought it.  As for Finn, I've never been into smilin' babyface Balor, but he moves merch, so good for him.
3.  They love Corey Graves but he's turning into tattooed Matt Striker and spends more time coming up with sick burns of his broadcast partners than actually getting anything over.  His performance during the women's Rumble, where he literally spent the entire match drooling over a couple of people like a creepy internet stalker, was really embarrassing to listen to.  ​

Johnny Wrestling as face of 205 Live


Johnny Gargano is clearly getting the call to the main roster…in my opinion the best thing that could happen to him would be to go to 205 Live and dominate.  That brand needs a star, and he could actually make their matches on the main shows/network specials something that people want to watch.  And who knows, maybe Neville will come back and call him out for stealing his spot in a match that could approach *****.

​Hells to the no.  Just leave him on NXT to eventually be champion there and dominate for the next year.  205 Live is a death sentence at this point.  ​

Gargano… the best?


With the first 5-star match in the company since 2011, and now THIS match with Ciampa, is Johnny Wrestling the best wrestler who works primarily in the Western Hemisphere. Combine storytelling, match quality, and ability to generate legit babyface  reactions… does anyone even come close?

I mean, AJ is pretty damn good as well…

March Bashness 2018 Finale


Hey Scott,

 

So here’s how everything played out thanks to all the voting. It was a bit surprising how the Fatal Four played out, but at this rate, the winner wasn’t a major shocker.

 

http://lylesmoviefiles.com/2018/04/08/march-bashness-2018-fatal-four/

 

And if you’ve never seen this before, here’s my look at all the WrestleMania main events done in Mattel figure style:

 

http://lylesmoviefiles.com/2016/03/29/wrestlemania-main-events-action-figure-style/

 

Thank you so much for sharing again. Hope you enjoyed it. And Happy WrestleMania weekend!

 

​Thanks, and looking forward to the 2019 tournament!​

Bryan going heel

Is it just me or does everything point to Bryan doing a big heel turn on Shane?

​No, if anything it's Shane going heel on Bryan, because turning Bryan in his return match at Wrestlemania would be colossally stupid, and even Vince isn't so out of touch that he wouldn't be able to figure that out.  ​

Wasting Talent

Scott,

Which show or era for you has all right talent but is booked and organised completely incorrectly?

Mania 9 seems to be getting some chatter going lately and it's a prime example for me:  it has Bret,Hogan,Luger,Hall,Steiners,Shawn,Taker,Henning,possibility of Savage/Bam Bam etc and it still sucks.


Gotta be WCW in 1998/99, which had the most stacked roster in history but was an absolute comedy of errors that somehow ended up losing money by the end.  How do you lose money with the Outsiders, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, Lex Luger, DDP, Ric Flair, Goldberg and Roddy Piper all featured in prominent roles?

Future Endeavors 2018


Scott,

Who do you think is vulnerable if Vince does some Spring cleaning after Mania?

Oo, good question.  Probably a few of the women because it's getting pretty overloaded on both sides.  Alicia Fox, maybe, or even someone like Nattie (who can transition into a trainer role).

For the men, I think mostly 205 geeks could be chopped.  Maybe a Heath Slater/Rhyno type of team.  Zack Ryder and/or Curt Hawkins.  Pretty much anyone in the Andre battle royal is fair game, I'd say.  Getting rid of Brock will free up a lot of cap space, so to speak, so I don't know that there will be too much bloodletting.

BRAUN Theory and Announce Team

Hi Scott,

So there's a lot of rumors about who Braun's mystery partner will be. There have been a few picks would make it a hoss monster tag team (I've heard NXT call ups like Killian Dain or Freebirding with the Authors of Pain), a few would make it a gag (like Hawkins or a returning Ellsworth), but I think the best thing they could do would be to get Braun majorly over as a Babyface by pulling a stunt that WWE could market for months or even years: Make-A-Wish kid. They could parade something like that around for decades. Michael Cole can call it a WrestleMania moment 37 times in one breath, Cornette has thirty aneurysms, and everyone in the crowd gets to enjoy a huge pop. Then Steph can come on Raw and strip the kid of the title so she can even emasculate sick children.

The only losers in that situation are The Bar who look like geeks, but there's no way they were avoiding that in this match, anyway, and Cesaro and Sheamus seem like they would go for it.

Also, who do you wish was announcing this Mania from WWE's stable of announcers instead of the Cole/Graves/JBL/Saxton/Coach 5-man team that we'll probably get?

​I feel like we NEED to make this Braun idea happen, because then I can finally live out my dream of Brock Lesnar giving an F5 to the Make-A-Wish kid on the way out of the company.  I feel like that would finally get people to cheer Roman Reigns.
As for the announcers, my dream team is still Mauro & Nigel, which is probably why I enjoy NXT Takeovers so much.​

Wrestlemania Tickets

Scott, if you could post this on your blog, I would appreciate it.  My brother in law has two Wrestlemania tickets for sale.  Section E, Row 9.  He paid $2000 each and is willing to take $2000 total.   He lives in NC but will be in New Orleans Sunday.


If anyone is interested,  they can email me here at [email protected]

Thanks

Only $2000?  What a deal!  

Taker Cena


Surely as Takers coach is leaving the Hall of Fame Cena and a bunch of his pals throw furniture at it, cutting Taker and his entourage, leading Taker to accept the challenge because WWE guys don't pussy out due to cuts.


Or does Vince copy this in 8 months when it's out of date?

I'm sure by then Conor will do something else stupid anyway.  

Probably not happening but…

…Cena is set for Taker, gong goes off, lights dim, out comes Bray Wyatt in Taker’s trench and hat.  He’s come out of Hardy’s lake resurrected as a Taker-Wyatt hybrid a la Onslaught, dominates Cena and the WWE for a year, setting up a Taker vs Taker match next year with real stakes.

I literally see EVERYTHING WRONG with this but it also feels kind of right.  Thoughts?


Ugh, no more Bray Wyatt for a while, please.  

WrestleMania Goes Hollywood


How about this for WrestleMania…

John Cena comes out to try and summon the Undertaker one last time.  He still doesn’t show, so instead Cena is interrupted by The Rock and Batista.  They both mention the critical success of Blockers and plug Rampage and Avengers: Infinity War.  They tell Cena he’s one of them now, as three of them form a new nWo Hollywood and leave wrestling forever to bathe in their massive piles of movie money.

Epilogue: After kicking out of twelve F-5’s and winning the Universal Title, Roman Reigns vows to stay in WWE forever because HE AIN’T NO PART TIMER, PAL!  (Or, sufferin’ succotash, he just doesn’t have the chops to transition to Hollywood.) Fans threaten to cancel WWE Network subscriptions but re-subscribe in time for Reigns to headline WrestleMania 35 against… Oh, I don’t know… Let’s say Moe.


This wonderful bit of fantasy booking leads me into a discussion of Blockers, which I saw on Thursday night and I thought was HILARIOUS.  John Cena is one funny guy and the movie was very Apatow-esque.  I hope John gets more big roles like this one.

Roman/Brock Fantasy Booking


Rumors of Heyman turning on Brock sunday have picked up decent steam over the past week so hows this for a Mania ending. Brock hits Reigns with a second F5. Pins him. Before the count of 3. Heyman pulls out the ref. Brock goes out to chase him and he gets in the ring. As Brock corners Heyman, a girl with a ski mask comes out of the crowd and low blows Brock. As he turns around selling the ballshot, boom spear from Reigns. 1, 2, 3, new champ. As all 3 embrace. The girl pulls off her mask to reveal Ronda Rousey. You can then feed Roman Balor, Rollins and even go back to Strowman then eventually Styles and Orton when they come over from Raw. Then Heyman can talk about how Reigns sent Brock back to UFC for the next year and a half before Reigns big face turn. Thoughts?

​As much as Roman turning heel and being managed by Heyman would be awesome and make sense and solve all their depth problems on the RAW side, I just don't see them abandoning Roman's big babyface coronation after FOUR YEARS of trying to make it happen.  ​

Russo departure

In hindsight, wasn't Russo's WWF departure in 1999 (remember, even Prichard admitted it: Vince & co were PANICKING) the best thing that could happen to them? Russo's stories and angles at that point were usually piss-poor, shock-value-driven to the max, and just swerve-to-swerve-everyone logicfree. After the influx of great talent in late 99/early 00 (Jericho, Angle, Tazz, Radicalz), the booking/stories made more sense, were less crash-TV, and more enjoyable in general imo. What you say?

​Even without hindsight a lot of people said it was a great thing that it happened.  I wish it would have happened before Smackdown launched.  We probably wouldn't have had the Blue Blazer storyline either.​

Interesting Timing


So 3 days away from WrestleMania, Dana White announces Brock is definitely returning to the UFC. Do you think Vince/Trips asked a huge favor of Dana here? Just interesting considering this storyline has been that Brock just cares about money, doesn't give a shit about the fans. This seems like clearly a way to get more people to boo Brock out of the building on Sunday.


Also, regarding Daniel Bryan, so brains have the ability to completely repair themselves in 2 years?

​I'm not a doctor, but he's found enough of them that apparently think that yes, they do.
As for Dana, why would he want to play ball with WWE?  They're actively trying to negotiate for the same deal with FOX.  If anything, he'd want them significantly weaker, especially with Ronda defecting to the competition, so to speak.  I think it's just what it appears at face value:  Brock is going back to fighting and he's dropping the title to Roman and leaving.​

Cheap Plug Request


Scott,


Long time reader of the blog, had a quick favor to ask. 

We run a podcast out of NY called The K&A Show – it's a “Man Cave” podcast, think The Man Show in podcast form. 

One of the topics we talk about a lot is pro wrestling since the crew are lifelong wrestling fans.   We had Tommy Dreamer on the show recently to promote House of Hardcore and talk about WrestleMania and are talking to various indy wrestlers in the weeks ahead.    Know there's a ton of podcasts out there, but would love if you can promote us on the blog as I really feel like the readers would enjoy the show.  


And if you do check it out, please leave us a review and subscribe! 

Thanks in advance! 

​You're welcome, and good luck with the podcast!​

WrestleMania Logos


Just saw the graphic of all the WrestleMania logos at the top of your latest Sporting News article (cheap plug: http://www.sportingnews.com/wwe/news/wrestlemania-entrances-the-undertaker-shawn-michaels-26-27-13-stone-cold-steve-austin-34-33/14ys4d0n1osml101n4ewbhlno5).

It's interesting to see how they barely changed for the first 8 years. Which one is your favorite and why?

Totally random bonus question that doesn't deserve it's own post – did you watch the last season of 60 Days In? I thought it started slow, but the twist ending was one hell of a conclusion.

​No, I kinda gave up on the show after the third season, but now you've intrigued me because we were flipping through the guide the other day in fact, and thought “Hey, maybe we should try 60 Days In again”.  
As for Mania logos, I don't mind the recent branding of the logo based on the city/theme, but I wish they'd bring back numbers because it's too hard to keep track of which show is which.  Overall, though, the classic Wrestlemania III logo is still the one I associate with the show overall.  ​

Timing

Scott,

If they had run a nearly identitical build to Hogan/Andre at Wrestlemania 2 would it still be as iconic?  Andre would have had a year less of deterioration, but, does a disjointed 3 city card provide the same long term images of the Silverdome?
Also, which was superior in early 1987:  Steamboat vs. Savage or Flair vs. Blackjack Mulligan Jr?

​There's no way you hold Hogan-Andre in anything but a domed show supercard.  The original plan for the match was Shea Stadium way back in 1984.
And you have to go with Flair-Windham.  Still literally some of the greatest matches of Flair's career.  Steamboat-Savage isn't for everyone, but watching Windham and Flair do a state-of-the-art 45 minute match at 50 miles an hour still feels fresh today.  Seriously, look it up on the Network, the full match is on there and it's AWESOME.  ​

Bryan at mania

Hey Scott,

So now with Daniel Bryan returning to the ring at Wrestlemania, it becomes one of the most anticipated matches on the show. We’re definitely getting a Shane heel turn with Bryan eating the pin, aren’t we?

​The logical payoff based on the stips is for Zayn & Owens to win so they're un-fired and everything can return to status quo, but they can also lose and go to RAW in a draft.  That being said, Shane screwing over Bryan to set up a few months of Bryan v. Owens and Bryan v. Zayn to fill PPV time…not the worst idea.  However, it's Wrestlemania in New Orleans and Bryan's first match back…he's GOTTA be winning so they can have their Wrestlemania Moment ™.  
Or Bryan could turn on Shane because they're colossal morons.  Stranger things have occurred, lord knows.  ​

Undertaker/Cena

Hi Scott, 

So what is your bet, just for the hell of it? Does the match happen at WM 34 or are they building for WM 35?

They're working us smarks pretty good with this feud, right? 

​It's certainly been different.
The match happens.  Ultimately Vince is not going to spend 6 weeks of airtime trolling his audience and then not deliver a match.  ​

Wrestlemania 3

Hey Scott, I was reading a book on Wrestlemania, specifically Wrestlemania 3. In the book, Hulk says that it was up to Andre on who was going over, the slam, and Andre did not want to go over the match with Hulk. Have you ever heard about this? What if Andre wanted to go over? The landscape would have been so different. Also, I have heard Orange Goblin stories, did Hogan respect Andre that much to change his ways?


​Andre knew he was going down for the big boot and legdrop the moment that Vince told him about the match in 1986.  When Hulk talks about the 700 pounder in the ring, he's referring to the amount of bullshit that he was slinging. ​