(Hello from 2016. This seems to be the only thing that anyone looks at on the old WordPress version of the site, so perhaps you’d like to see the what I thought about Wrestlemania 32? Maybe?)
Second Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
“Creative has nothing for you” is what WWE guys used to be told a lot of the time before being told why they weren’t getting on TV – usually right before being fired – but Wrestlemania is a Special Time, so it’s kind of a tradition that they scratch and claw for any way to get everybody on the show somehow. And starting last year, rather than trying to find some half-assed reason for Brad Maddox to walk by in the background while John Cena talked, they just decided to throw everybody into a big battle royal. And they actually hyped it up to mean something a lot more than what it truly was, by attaching the name of Andre the Giant (the King of Battles Royal, basically) to it, and having Hulk Hogan hype the shit out of it as a Thing of Great Prestige. Then, Cesaro, having broken up with his bad-guy tag team partner on the pre-show and becoming both a singles competitor and a good guy, heaved 400-something pound Big Show with almost unsettling ease, and god damn, it was a Wrestlemania Moment for the ages. The crowd went nuts, the world was on flame with love for the Swiss Superman, and a new star was born.
Then, like with everything in the WWE, the rest of 2014 happened, and it was all ruined. Cesaro was immediately and inexplicably made into a bad guy, paired with a manager who would stand in front of him and hype up a different guy who was never actually there, and instructed to not do his one cool move that made everybody like him in the first place. Then, one of the most thorough on-camera career burials of a WWE Superstar ever happened, and by the end of the year, Cesaro couldn’t beat the guy with the t-shirt cannon. This was publicly explained by Vince McMahon as Cesaro not being able to connect with the fans, (despite that while he was losing hella matches, crowds would literally be chanting “King of Wrestling” – a callback to things that happened years before he was in the WWE for fuck’s sake) because he was “too Swiss.” Vince is senile, you guys.
Anyway, the plight of Cesaro (who is actually one half of the tag team champions now, which sounds nice, but their title defense isn’t actually going to be broadcast as part of Wrestlemania) kind of exposes the fact that the Andre the Giant trophy is definitely no gateway to Bigger and Better Things, and is just somewhere to shovel the Zack Ryders and Fandangos of the world, so they don’t mouth off on Twitter. So overall, there are not enough jerkoff motions and fart sounds to express how I feel about the Second Annual Andre the Giant Battle Royal. I guess Sheamus might be coming back. Eh, fuck Sheamus, though.
Best Case Scenario: Some WWE writer with a fun sense of humor and an Old VHS copy of Beyond the Mat jokingly suggests that the battle royal be renamed in honor of Dennis Stamp, the downtrodden wrestler who gained unintentional fame as the guy who didn’t get booked for Terry Funk’s retirement (lol) show. After all, this whole thing really is just an excuse for the lower card guys who couldn’t get booked in real matches to be able to
get a Wrestlemania payday call their moms and tell them that yes, they’ll actually be on camera tonight. And somehow, mainly because WWE Creative doesn’t give a shit about any story element not involving John Cena or 40+ year-old men, it actually happens, and the Dennis Stamp “I’m Not Booked” Battle Royal becomes a reality. In the end, some random guy no one cares about wins, and Stamp himself steps into the ring to present the trophy. But then, in a twist worthy of M. Night Shamaylan, one of the shitty-ass announcers points out that only 29 Superstars have entered so far, and there should be one more guy, and Stamp himself dumps the guy over the top rope and claims the trophy for himself. The eliminated superstars then hoist him to their shoulders and parade him around the ring in a parade of victory, as the jubilant crowd chants “YOU GOT BOOKED! YOU GOT BOOKED!” and it is immediately announced that Stamp is the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016. I dunno, he just seems like a nice guy, and after eating shit for like 40 years, something good should happen for him.
Worst Case Scenario: I dunno, Sheamus wins? Fuck Sheamus.
What Will Happen: jerkoff motion, fart sound
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Bad News Barrett (champion) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler, possibly vs. more guys added at a later date
Then, there’s this bullshit. Dumping the Erick Rowans and Heath Slaters on your rasslin’ company’s roster into one big match is understandable; hell, it’s borderline clever. This match right here is fucking unforgivable. Here are six of the WWE’s top guys and R-Truth, and they’re all here together, because the WWE couldn’t find places for them in a fucking 4-hour show. This is what happens when you’ve got possibly the most stacked roster in WWE history, (with Owens, Zayn, Itami, Neville, and Balor waiting in the NXT on-deck circle – holy shit, you guys, HOLY SHIT) but you only focus on John Cena, Roman Reigns, and a bunch of part-time old-ass men. Ziggler is a former world champion and should-be main eventer, Dean Ambrose spent 2014 establishing himself (despite the WWe’s best efforts) as a top guy, Barrett, Harper, and Stardust are all good enough to put on main event level matches, and Truth was pretty cool for a few months in TNA a decade ago. Oh yeah, and Daniel Bryan, who was like the sixth guy added to a seven-man match and the afterthought of afterthoughts, is the guy who carried the main event of Wrestlemania XXX and is the most universally-loved good guy in the entire stupid company. DANIEL BRYAN IS THE TOP GUY IN THE WWE RIGHT NOW, AND HE’S THE SIXTH GUY IN A SEVEN-MAN MATCH FOR NOT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
And it’s not like storylines are right goddamn there for a few of these guys. Goldust vs. Stardust was looking like it was going to get compelling as hell, with the former Cody Rhodes going slap-fucking crazy, while Goldust and Dusty Rhodes try to keep the family from falling apart. But Goldust is the only 40 year-old wrestler that the WWE seems to hate, so that got dropped. Dean Ambrose never did get revenge for Seth Rollins busting up the Shield, and hell, before they made Rollins lose every night and changed Ambrose from being an unhinged antihero to a fucking idiot who pulls WACKY PRANKS, that might have been hot enough to be the Wrestlemania main event. And oh yeah, there’s the whole thing where Daniel Bryan never actually lost the WWE title, the title is currently held by a giant monster who repeatedly is allowed to violate the 30-day rule that made Bryan have to forfeit it in the first place, and a match between Brock Lesnar and a scrappy underdog that everyone loves with all their heart would be way more compelling than Lesnar vs. a Large, Beautiful, Perfect Lion-Man that the crowd was badgered into despising.
And hell, take those three guys out, and you’ve got a perfectly fine four-way match, even if you can’t be bothered to come up with anything for Barett, Ziggler, Harper, or Truth. A ladder match with two to four combatants can steal the show and be the best match of the night or even the goddamn decade, if done properly. A seven-man match is just going to be a whole lot of “this guy punched me, so I rolled outside and am dead forever, at least until someone starts to climb the ladder, in which case I shall SPRING TO LIFE.” A whole lot of confusing bullshit, mixed with cringing when the guy that missed 2014 with a neck injury gets repeatedly thrown into or off of a 20-foot ladder.
Worst-case scenario: They keep adding guys to the match in the week leading up to Wrestlemania, until this becomes a ten-man affair with Kane, Big Show, and Erick Rowan or somebody like that tacked on. Daniel Bryan breaks his neck again and misses all of 2015, and whoever ends up winning inherits the Intercontinental Title Curse, where the champ just loses like three-dozen non-title matches before finally losing the belt in his first actual defense. Actually, now that I think about it, the Curse has already stricken down Ziggler, Barrett, and Harper over the last year, so I bet they’ll just try to lose on purpose.
Best-case scenario: Fuck it, R-Truth wins. I know, he’s the out-of-place total jabroni in a match full of guys who should be wrestling in main events, and he’s really only been thrown in there so the WWE can say “hey, we’re not actually racist! There’s one black dude on our show!” But he’s the only guy whose standing in the WWE would actually be improved with the Intercontinental belt, and maybe the WWE’s half-assed desperation to not look like it’s staffed by former members of the OU chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon will have them actually let the IC champ win a few matches this time. As a dude who’s been turned into a joke who yells “whoomp there it is” in 2015 and hasn’t been taken seriously since the first few months of Ron “The Truth” Killings being a thing, of all seven guys involved, he’d probably appreciate it the most, at the very least.
What Will Happen: Daniel Bryan wins, with the WWE hoping that a true main event guy holding the IC strap will raise its prestige in the eyes of fans. Then, they’ll just do the typical Intercontinental Curse thing to him too, and when people still don’t care about the belt, they’ll blame it on Bryan being a lazy millennial, and the WWE will inch closer and closer to death.
NEXT TIME: Seth Rollins tries to make the world care about Randy Orton, and AJ Lee gets one step closer to being fired for marrying CM Punk.