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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:24 am

So, Wrestlemania 28 thoughts.

*** Spoilers Obviously ***



Daniel Bryan .v. Sheamus for the WHC - Now there are going to be two very obvious schools of thought about this one. The Indyrific ROH bots are only going to see the match one way - a ridiculous insult of a squash done by McMahon just to annoy the internet wrestling community who were so looking forward to seeing both their main darlings defending world titles at Wrestlemania. They will take it as an insult to them and claim the match should have gone for 25 minutes.

To be honest, I found myself initially heading in that direction. I thought Sheamus and Bryan could have a decent match, and I tend to think that a World Championship deserves a decent amount of time on the grandest show of the year, otherwise its devalued. I can see that argument.

However, then I took a wider perspective, and realised that in the great scheme of things for the development of both characters, it was actually a perfect bit of booking. Sheamus has been spinning his wheels for a while, so he needed something impactful and decisive to reinvigorate his career and get people interested again. A win like this catapults him back to where the WWE want to pitch him. As for Bryan, losing like this - and lets be clear, it wasn’t a squash it was a “fluke win” and there is a BIG difference - is perfect for his character. Can you imagine what an insufferable prick he can now be to AJ for causing the loss? She takes it, he plays on the guilt, and the crowd hate him more. He can win the title back down the line, but his bitching and moaning about it beforehand has the potential to be gold.

So I can see why they did it, and if its used right, I don’t mind it.

Kane .v. Orton - Actually a better match than I had expected it to be TBH. It didn’t send me to sleep, which is a major bonus for a match involving either of them at the moment. Surprised Kane got the win, but the ending worked nicely (anyone else notice that EVERYONE worked that same corner all night?) and it stops Kane disappearing completely into obscurity. Wasn’t a great match, but it was perfectly servicable, which is more than I had expected.

Divas Match - I actually watched the women’s match this time, and it cemented why I don’t bother the rest of the time. God bloody awful from start to finish.

Cody Rhodes .v. Big Show for the IC belt - This did exactly what it needed to do, and I really enjoyed it. It played perfectly to give the Big Show his singles victory, cap off the feud, and make the IC title look important again. The spear to Cody’s funbags looked like it must have bloody hurt, but the rest of the spots in the match were excellent. Cody played it perfectly in his attacking methods, and Big Show looked good bumping for him. It was all good, and the clean win was exactly what was needed. Good stuff this.

End of an Era. Triple H .v. Undertaker, Hell in a Cell - Taker does it again, and not just in going 20-0 but in having the fourth straight best match on the card at a Wrestlemania. This was an absolute masterpiece of wrestling storytelling from all three involved. I questioned Shawn being thrown into the match, but he played his part perfectly and really added to the drama of the match. I’ll say right now that the tombstone/superkick/pedigree spot had me convinced that the streak was dead. Its what i have said before with guys that have the experience to really know their craft - they make EVERY little move they make count. Every look, every gesture, every little thing like them both being on their backs, Taker reaching out to grab blindly at HHH, and HHH swatting him away. Its a tiny thing but it adds to the match. I love the way they brought in echoes both of the previous HHH/Taker match but also previous HHH/HBK and Taker/HBK matches. It was just a work of genius. HHH’s selling when Taker popped up near the end was brilliant, the final sequence magnificent. I don’t care if Taker only comes back once a year - when its that good its worth it.

Maybe Brock will show up tonight and challenge Taker for next year, but it was right not to spoil the match by doing it at Mania itself.

Team Teddy .v. Team Johnny - These multi-man matches are always a bit of a mess, and this wasn’t much of an exception. It was fine enough, it accomplished its task, and it brought in both the Miz angle and the Ryder storyline well, but the match itself was mediocre, and half of the teams didn’t really do very much at all. Pleased that Johnny won, as I’m sick of Teddy Long.

Punk .v. Jericho for the WWE title. Had the HIAC match not been so epic, this would have been match of the night, as it was a hell of a contest that built up really nicely as it went on. A good classic wrestling match between two guys who are very good at it. I loved the reversals and counters, I loved Punk fighting out of the Walls and Jericho kneeing out of the Anaconda Vice, it was just a great match. The decision to have Punk win was the right one, but it was done the right way to keep some life in things.

The Filler segments - Easy to see why people are getting annoyed at Bryan getting 18 seconds when we are wasting so much time with Deadliest Catch spoofs, Heath Slater getting knocked on his ass, pointless rappers, and especially the Brodus Clay segment. I like Brodus’ gimmick, but christ that was bloody awful. Not sure the raps added anything to the show, and while I understand the crowd needs some comedown time on a four hour show, it felt like there was too much of it.

Rock .v. Cena - First thought is that John Cena looks like he's sponsored by Starbucks. Cena was perfect in this match, absolutely perfect. A brilliant performance from him. Rock wasn’t far behind either, and considering he hasn’t worked a schedule in 8 years, this was a very good match. Wasn’t quite Rock/Hogan, but it was very good. I think it built well, it sold the importance, and it sold the sense of the match being between the two biggest stars. I loved the booking of the ending, it was just right. Rock has the match one, but then decided to showboat, and that’s what costs him. After his “I always manage to win” promo last week, going out due to overconfidence was a perfect ending, and of course it gives Cena a real reason to come back pissed off and either chase the title, or else a rematch with Rock next year.

Overall, I think this was a good Mania. Certainly better than last year. Not up there with Manias 17 and 20, but certainly good.

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Julius Seizure

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:37 am

Once again, I didn't watch it, sounds like it's worth checking out though. I'll wait a few weeks for it to pop up on Youtube and catch it then I reckon. Sounds like it was pretty good, to be fair.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:57 am

I haven't seen it but I have seen the results. Personally I don't think they should have booked an 18 second match for DB. I agree that they could be doing what DS suggests but I think they should have had a longer match. If it is seen as a fluke rather than a squash it doesn't add anything to Sheamus. Anybody can fluke. If it's a squash then it doesn't look good on DB. I just think there are better ways for him to blame AJ and don't think it was the perfect booking. But that's just my view!
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:09 am

The final conclusion on that match really needs to be drawn after RAW and Smackdown this week I think.

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:14 am

It's worth waiting and seeing what they do with it.

I was surprised that Rock won. I know he's going to be on RAW and so things will probably continue but it doesn't say much for your top guy if he's beat by a part-timer! Wink

We talked about Taker/Lesnar at work but just couldn't see it happening. We all wanted this to be Taker's last Mania. Leave it as an end of of an era thing.

A much better idea would be to have Lesnar/Punk. Now that would be a good match.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:18 am

Brock is almost certainly back tonight. Don't know what he will be doing, but it's going to be interesting ;0)

As for Rock winning, Cena dominated most of the match. He actually lost because he got cocky and tried to mock the Rock. It was great storytelling because again, it opens doors for Cena's character.

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:37 am

True. I was still surprised though.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:57 am

Was Lesnar back on Raw after all?
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:09 am

Yes.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:59 am

That was enlightening. Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:57 am

Yes he was. Cena came out in his new t-shirt that makes him look like a poster boy for Starbucks, to cut a promo confirming that they are doing precisely feck all with his character in light of the loss to The Rock and he will continue to be a smiley white meat baby face. As soon as the crowd realised this, they crapped all over the rest of his speech with Daniel Bryan and "We want Lesnar" chants. Cena looked genuinely annoyed at times that they were ignoring him and twice asked "can you just let me get this out?". He then called out the Rock for a handshake.

He didn't get The Rock.

He got THE BROCK!!

Lesnar stalked onto the stage, looking peed off. Cole and Lawler lost their shit on commentary, the IWC exploded!!!. Lesnar then walked down to the ring as Cena looked on like a dumbass. Cena extended a handshake....

....BANG!!!!!! F-5!!! F-5!!! F-5!!!!

Cena is dead. Brock then kicked his silly little hat out of the ring and RAW ended with the man-beast standing over a broken Fruity Pebble Barista Bitch.

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:58 am

There, was that better?

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:29 am

Much! Wink

One would hope that the Cena bit was a play to annoy the fans and build the pop for Lesnar. If not then it's still seems that they still haven't got the guts to turn Cena darkside. They could, of course, do that with feud with Brock but, like we said the other day, the fact he's Brock first victim doesn't make him the feud.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:28 pm

I like how John Cena has gone from SuperCena to SuperPrisonBitch over the last month or so.

I think it's abosutely hilarious. THIS should be the gimmick he should be playing for a while: The goofy fucking Barney The Dinosaur clod that gets punked out and disrespected by literally everyone.

And I hope it continues to happen until the Cena character realizes he's a dickless, spineless, abuse sponge and finally goes insane heel. I have a really strong feeling that they are in fact, going this direction, now. Abusing Cena constantly until he's a broken man and loses his mind.

I'm waiting to hear that Cena went absolutely apeshit and beats a referee within an inch of his life, and then screams at the crowd in a frothing rage, and storms off.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:03 pm

I'd love to see that happen. Rock comes in and beats him, Brock comes in and takes him out, then he gets refused any place in the title picture or something. Finally he just goes apeshit and snaps.

In fact, I might even play out an angle like that on WWE12.

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:04 pm

BTW, the John Cena Starbucks thing - is it just me?

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:34 pm

I thought the exact same thing. Saw a picture of his shirt online.

How many shirts does this guy have?? now we've got, Red, Blue, Purple, Black, Camo, Orange, and Bright Green.

Am I missing any colors? At this rate, he's going to be the first to scientifically discover a brand new color off the side of the rainbow by accident.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:40 pm

While people keep buying them the WWE will keep creating them! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:33 am

Yeah, much better, thanks.

Sounds like a promising return for Brock. I guess he's been forgiven for the WM-XX debacle. Not by Jordan though! (but tbf Jordan never watches so his opinion isn't worth two fucks Razz) I wonder if Goldberg would get a similar reaction?

On the subject of merchandising, I have owned a few wrestling T shirts, but the only one I bought, and not received as a present or hand-me-down was my WCW shirt (the only one I still have now), on my Fb profile picture. Great shirt! I used to have 2 DX T shirts I got given as gifts once, an Undertaker one, an NWO Wolfpac one another which I can't remember who was on. My favourite was the Wolfpac one (I was in year 6 when I got them, so like 1999/2000, when WCW was still around and I was loving it)

I think the most money I've given to WWE would be in return for video games. Or possibly wrestler figurines, I used to have loads of them, although as I recall most were WCW figures.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:10 am

My gut feeling, and it's just that, is that Lesnar left a sour taste but was still respected as an athlete. So time has dulled the dislike and people have accepted him once again. I don't know if Goldberg had that same respect so I would guess people wouldn't be as fond of a return. I could be wrong, mind, as nostalgia is always a big seller!
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:04 pm

I'm 100% sure that it has absolutely nothing to do with how either party feels about the other.

Both parties stand to mutually profit immensely from this, is all it is.

Lesnar returning to WWE results in massive ratings, buyrates, hype, attention that is going to make them buckets of money no matter what, and likewise, now that Lesnar has nothing else to do with his life and no other way to make a living, he'll receive a massively huge profit for him, especially for his wife and kids, now.

Add to this, that WWE now gets to stick a thorn into the side of Dana White, along with this being a free license for both parties to basically print their own money for nothing, and i'm sure all the bad feelings in the world will come to a professional understanding.

Or, at least until Brock is asked to lose to someone he doesn't want to. Then we'll quite possibly have yet another rerun of before. (Unless Brock Lesnar finally grew up a little somewhere during his UFC career.) But for now, it certainly must sound like the best idea for both.

I'm sure there's still bad blood between Lesnar and WWE, particularly from WWE and Vince. But more than that, either party would have been completely stupid to say no to a deal like this, either, and I'm sure that's the much stronger motivator. There's no possible way that this isn't a win-win situation, now.

As much as I might not like the guy, i'll be the first to admit that right now, especially after the reaction to Lesnar in WWE '12, his return is the best possible thing for business, for everyone involved.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:53 pm

The parties I was talking about was the fans and the wrestlers. I think the others were too. But I do agree that between Vince and Brock it's purely business. As DS said before Vince very rarely closes the door totally on anybody. If he can use you he isn't interested in what happened before.

I'm not sure it is sticking it to Dana White, though. Didn't he pretty much say that Lesnar's UFC career was dead and the WWE could have him? He would have known that Lesnar would go back to the WWE if he left.

But I do agree that it is a very good move for the business.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:49 pm

Dana White has a very good relationship with Vince and with the WWE. It's why WWE guys get mentioned by name and interviewed backstage at UFC shows, and why Dana does things like tweeting he's watching Mania. He was keen to protect Brock as a UFC athlete when he was competing, but he was also key in negotiating the WWE12 appearance, and was more than happy to make clear that Brick could go to WWE now that he wasn't competing in UFC.

So there is no question of any tension between WWE and White, or White and Brock.

I also doubt that these days there is any tension between WWE and Brock. As Myron says, I've commented before that Vince is willing to let things go if there is money to be made, and unlike in many other cases, although he left under a bit of a cloud, when Brock left n 2004, Vince didn't lose anything from it, due to Lesnar's no compete clause. If Vince really felt like that, then the likes of Taker wouldn't be being interviewed at UFC events.

Money of course speaks all languages and can heal a lot of wounds, and Brock will certainly generate money. Mike is right that from a business point of view, it's all perfect. But the situation is more honest now. Both sides know what they are getting. Unlike his first run, Brock isn't pretending he's here for the long haul, and WWE and the fans know and accept that. I think fans will just accept it for what it is.

There might be the odd ego around the locker room that it's keen on him. That's to be expected from guys who have stuck around and love the business over everything else. But, again, even they can see the benefits.

And to be honest, it would be exactly the same if Goldberg came back next week and speared Cena out of his boots.


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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:22 pm

Ah. Whoops, I thought you meant about whether the office forgave, Lesnar rather than the fans.


But on that note, let's not forget that the WWE fans now, also aren't the same fans that booed the fuck out of Lesnar at his last Wrestlemania and chanted "You sold out"

Those were the bitter old internet smarks who watched his ESPN interview the day before where he announced that he was basically quitting becuase he was too good for wrestling, and those old school WWF attitude era fans who thought he was being an ungrateful ass.

These fans, today, are the new young audience that WWE traded their old audience for since Lesnar's exit, who only know Brock as that champion guy from UFC, and have only the cliff notes of his dominate old WWE career that they weren't around for.

These are the fans that are cheering "new Lesnar" today because they heard that he originally wrestled in WWE and never got to see it, before, and love him already, looking at him with fresh eyes.

It's a perfect time for Lesnar, really. He's got a brand new audience that knows OF him, even if they don't completly know ABOUT him, who want to see what this giant jacked up, former UFC fighter can do, and most of the fans that booed him back then either don't watch anymore, or just appreciate the fact that he F5'd the guy that annoys them the most.

In short, I don't think it's about being forgiven as much as he's been completely reinvented all over again, for WWE new audience to cheer for. His slate is wiped completely clean because this is a totally new, younger crowd. And to them, his UFC championship adds legitimacy to him. He's going to be viewed as "that guy that can kick EVERYONE'S ass."

And honestly, I say good for him. Like I said, I might not like the guy, but everyone deserves a fresh new start and a second chance, and this is a perfect one. New crowd, new fans, new day, and new opportunities.
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:33 pm

I'm not sure that they are all the new fans but I do get your point. There is certainly an element of newer fans getting their first taste. For the older fans (and I think there's still some around - esp the ones booing Cena!) I think that it's as much becaue time moves on. What seemed raw and painful soon becomes dulled. So they forgive and forget.

Of course the WWE has an opening here. Something they can use. The key will be to make sure they use that. Personally I'd like them to use this to, finally, turn Cena darkside. He's been beaten for The Rock at Mania. Now he's been attacked by Brock. Cena is supposed to the now, the others guys the past. Use that. Have Cena resentful of the fact that the fans are cheering (and there seems to be some genuine feeling when he couldn't get his words out!).
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:34 pm

That should be cheering Brock, of course!
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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:02 am

I'll admit I joined in the "F**k you Goldberg, F**k you Lesnar" chant in the Garden, but that was more a "being there on the night" thing and for the bad match than it was because he was leaving. Personally, I've never begrudged any wrestler that's left the business to pursue other things which they think can make them more money with less stress on their bodies. What right does any fan have to expect that they should stick around just for our entertainment.

I think you are both right to some degree. There are a lot of new fans, and the older ones have mellowed, with the sharp edge of animosity being dulled by the passage of time and the rose tint of nostalgia.

You see it time and time again in wrestling.

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PostSubject: Re: Post Mania discussion   Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:11 am

Agree on people leaving the business. I also think Brock geuinely wanted to do other things - didn't he go off for an attempted career in football? - which, again, I can't begrudge. Sure, it could have been handled better but that's as much the WWE's fault about having a big match where people knew both would be leaving. Plus isn't the Garden supposed to be a hotbed when it comes to fans voicing their opinions?
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