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Old 04-09-2016, 10:39 PM
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WrestleMania 32

Once again I felt the build to mania was relatively weak. Unfortunately, unlike last year this one did not exceed my expectations. It wasn’t a terrible show but it wasn’t really a good one either, and it went way too long. Here’s the breakdown.

IC Ladder Match: Here we go again. I’m just over having these matches on mania. I understand the purpose is to get more guys on the main card and fans usually pop for the high spots, but these just seem like reruns to me. The spots aren’t that impressive when we see them every year. The matches are painfully choreographed even for pro wrestling. In a crowded match like this a guy lays on the floor for five minutes selling a clothesline while everyone else takes their turn doing their spots until it’s his turn again. Considering the battle royal was on the main card, and some of the guys that were in that, this match didn’t even need to take place. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn would have been fine and would have made the IC title seem more important. I would have even been ok with a four way with Owens, Zayn, Miz, and Ziggler. It doesn’t surprise me that Stardust got in the match even though he’s been pretty much ignored since SummerSlam but how in the world did Sin Cara and Zack Ryder make it? And to top it off Ryder wins. What were they thinking? Enough with the “give guys their moment.” Are these professionals or marks? Sadly, I think a lot of today’s pro wrestlers are just as much of a mark as the fans are. Despite my negative thoughts about the match even taking place I could have overlooked it all if the least deserving guy didn’t get the win. Either Owens or Zayn should have won.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho: I would have been a lot more into this match if these two didn’t already wrestle each other three times in such a short span. It would have been really exciting going in if this was their first meeting. To their credit though, WWE did develop the story nicely and Jericho being full-fledged heel added an extra element. As far as the match, I thought it was really good. There were a couple minor slips, including a bit of a sloppy finish, but I enjoyed the match very much. Jericho winning was a surprise but I didn’t mind it.

New Day vs. League of Nations: I’m not sure why Wade Barrett was pulled from this match but a six man tag made more sense. What didn’t make as much sense to me was New Day losing. They are the champs and arguably the most over guys in the company. They probably should have gotten the win here. I suppose I know why they lost and this is where the grumpy old man that doesn’t like fun in me comes out. New Day lost so League of Nations could run their mouths and Austin, Michaels, and Foley could come shut them up. I’m sorry but I did not enjoy that segment. There was just no reason for it other than the easy pop. I know what you’re thinking. If the crowd enjoyed it isn’t that reason enough? Not to me. I’m sick of WWE constantly reminding us how much better the past was than the present by having old retired wrestlers beat up their current roster and then wonder why guys have such a hard time getting over. Not to mention this was so random and none of these guys had anything to do with each other. I wonder how HBK would have felt if Pedro Morales came out and beat him up at WM8 for no reason.

Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar: Major disappointment. When this match was first announced I didn’t think Ambrose was a big enough name to work with Lesnar at mania. As the weeks went on I tried to sell myself on it thinking Ambrose could do some pretty crazy stuff and probably take a good beating in a street fight. I finally talked myself into thinking these two would deliver and it could be a breakout moment for Amrose. I was wrong. This was nothing special at all. The usual Lesnar and his dozen suplexes with Ambrose getting a few shots in here and there. Never once did I feel like Ambrose may win. Never once did I feel like Lesnar was in any danger. There was zero drama in this match and felt like more of a waste of time than one of the bigger matches on the card.

Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch: Fantastic. This was the best match of the night. I guess that may be partially because almost everything else under delivered but it’s not a tallest midget award. This match was good. First of all, I’m surprised WWE was able to hold off until mania to have a triple threat with these three. It seems like that may have been the plan since they all got called up at the same time last summer, but WWE often hotshots things these days instead of having the patience to let them play out. Secondly, WWE did a great job making this match seem like a big deal. This was not your divas piss break match. This ended up being the highlight of the night and it was presented that way. Finally, as mentioned, the match delivered. Great job by all three women. Too bad the show has peaked and we’re only about halfway through.

Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker: This match was clearly done out of desperation. I doubt we would have seen Shane at all had so many guys not been injured. Instead of giving a major rub to one of his full time wrestlers Vince felt he had to call in his 46 year old son who never was a full time wrestler and hadn’t wrestled a match in ten years. And to top it off he created a story that didn’t make any sense. Well I guess the story made sense but why did Taker care about it? They had six weeks to give me a reason to make Taker care and they didn’t do it. Oh wait, I guess he cared because Vince said if he didn’t win it would have been his last mania. Too bad Vince wouldn’t have been in position to enforce that if Taker didn’t win. So putting the story aside I could only hope the action delivered. Shane has stepped up before when he wasn’t expected to and this was Taker at mania so there was hope. Hope is all there was as this match was a bore. They looked old, they were selling like they had been in a war after just a couple minutes, and I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be rooting for. Take the stunt from the top of the cell out of it and tell me if this match had any excitement. And they got 30 minutes? It was probably almost an hour from the time their video package started until the time Shane was carted out. I don’t mean to disrespect a legend but it’s time to say goodbye to Taker. His last few manias have been underwhelming and I’m afraid the fans may turn on him soon if he can’t deliver anymore. Hang it up next year Taker.

Battle Royal: Is Shaq the only reason this got on the main card? And doesn’t making a celebrity a surprise completely defeat the purpose of having a celebrity in a match? What a weak battle royal. You know what would have helped at least a little? Putting Miz, Ziggler, and Stardust in it. I’m afraid this year has set a precedent. Next year we’re going to see Flo-Rida, Scott Hall, and The Honky Tonk Man in the battle royal. Really, who besides Corbin could have possibly won this? If they want to pretend the battle royal is a big deal by attaching Andre’s name to it they are going to have to put better people in it. If it’s just going to be like the usual battle royals take Andre’s name off it and keep it on the pre show.

The Rock vs. Erick Rowan: Should I even have bothered to type that? This was a forty minute segment with a six second unannounced match. I would have much preferred Rock come out, announced the attendance, and left. I hate when people use the term buried around here but this felt like a Wyatt burial. Two years ago people said Cena buried Wyatt by beating him at mania. That was ridiculous. It was a good feud and a competitive match. This was just destroying the Wyatts for no reason. Is there a point in having a six second match when there wasn’t a match announced ahead of time? People have been saying for a while now that Wyatt doesn’t mean anything because he is all talk and never wins. I’ve held out hope but why should we take him seriously anymore? Wyatt vs. Rock could have actually been a really interesting angle but since Rock handled him so easily I guess Wyatt wouldn’t be a threat. If they wanted to do something like that they should have used the Social Outcasts. Better yet they should have just had Rock announce the attendance and Cena could have come out and they could have had a friendly battle of wits on the mic before shaking hands and leaving. And it didn’t need to go forty minutes.

Triple H vs. Roman Reigns: Like HIAC this was too long. The match wasn’t bad but it didn’t need to be 27 minutes. Keeping it around 20 would have made it much better. It’s too bad the fans aren’t behind Reigns. The mania main event barely had any heat because of it. I think this was a planned match for mania for a while but it probably wasn’t the planned main event or title match. The injuries kind of forced this into the main event. I think the fans would have reacted better had it been just another match in the middle of the card.

I know most of my post was negative but the show wasn’t terrible. I just think it could have so easily been so much better. Taking about an hour off would have helped too. The show itself was ok, but I thought it was pretty bad by mania standards and I’d probably put it in the bottom third.
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