(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?)
Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
Man, this match. I guess it does have some sort of story attached to it, where Randy Orton has always been the #1 Golden Boy of the WWE’s evil ruling Authority, but Seth Rollins has emerged as the younger, faster, hairier model to usurp him. And I suppose this should end up being a good match, because Orton is like the game-manager quarterback who you’re never going to be excited to take the field, but who always makes sure it doesn’t turn into a disaster, and Seth Rollins is fucking amazing when given the opportunity. But Jesus Christ, this is a hard one to get thrilled by or even passingly interested in. Orton is boring in ways that I’ve never been able to figure out. It’s weird, like he’s not just walking around slowly and applying headlocks or whatever, but when I hear his boring music and see his boring face, I just get so bored. Like his Titantron video should just be a little kid resting his chin on his hands, sighing, and saying “ohh brother.” And Rollins is exciting and does flippity flops and KEWL MOVEZ and whatnot, but on, but he’s wrestling Randy Orton, and the WWE has done a really good job lately establishing Rollins as “the guy who always loses, often as a member of the heavy side of a handicap match.” The strongest he’s looked lately was getting kicked in the nuts by Jon Stewart, because at least Stewart understands wrestling and thought to immediately run away from the dude who theoretically should be able to unmake him.
(And on a side note, LL Cool J is the official Host of Wrestlemania 31 now, so get ready for that “kinda old, out-of-shape non-athlete guest star beats up Heath Slater and/or Curtis Axel” segment, because it’s comin’, y’all. Heath Slater once had a future, and Curtis Axel is Curt Hennig’s begotten son. We are lost.)
Anyway, I really can’t think of anything else to say about this one. Randy Orton is like the Thanksgiving turkey of internet-based OPINIONZ 4 U about pro wrestling, so I’m gonna need a nap now before I finish this one.
Best-case scenario: Seth Rollins Phoenix Splash attempt reversed into an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE
Worst-case scenario: Seth Rollins “flying nothing” attempt easily transitioned into an RKO OUTTA SOMEWHERE OBVIOUS
What will happen:
The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) vs. The Frenemies (Paige and A.J. Lee)
Gotta start this one with some historical-type back story, leading into the OPINIONZ 4 U.
Anyway, back in when I was a little kid in the 1980s, WWF women’s wrestling was treated as somewhat of a sideshow attraction, like midget matches or “Andre the Giant destroying ten guys you’ve never heard of” matches, but it wasn’t something that was particularly upsetting to watch. The wrestlers were actual trained and experienced pro wrestlers, and some pretty damn good ones like Judy Martin and and The Fabulous Moolah would show up from time to time. And speaking of Wrestles Mania, people sometimes forget that when the WWF and MTV joined forces in ’84 and shit started blowing up, Wendi Richter was pretty much the #2 star behind Hulk Hogan himself. Sure, there were some problems, like Bobby Heenan spending the entirety of Jumping Bomb Angels tag team matches making ching-chong jokes, or that weird period where Rockin’ Robin and Sherri Martell feuded over the championship in matches you never saw on TV, followed by the belt just sort of disappearing and not being mentioned for like five years. But overall, things were okay.
Then, the 90s hit, and shit was getting so crazy awesome with over in Japan that it spilled over into the WWF, leading to some sort of half-assed golden Age of WWF Lady Rasslers. The WWF made a deal with the AJW promotion to bring in some of their top talent, so every other week, imminent WWE Hall-of-Famer Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano were having matches that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels couldn’t top, and walking human hell-machine Aja Kong would occasionally try to give some lucky fan a fun souvenir by sending an opponent’s head flying into the audience, via spinning back-fist propulsion. Shit was nuts. And yeah, there were problems, like the aforementioned ching-chong joke-based commentary being spiced up with fat jokes for Nakano and Kong, and the fact that Bertha Faye was in her entirety a walking fat joke. But we got to see cool rasslin’ with people we had never seen before doing moves we had never seen before, so it was cool. And in hindsight as an internet-ruined wrestling dork, it’s fun to look back and go “Lioness Asuka and Kyoko Inoue were in the WWF? Word?”
Then, fuckin’ Sunny and fuckin’ Sable happened, and it all went away. The internet was becoming a thing, and it was in the awkward stages of shifting from a thing that shitty bald men used to talk about Star Trek to a thing that bored teenagers used to look at O.J. Simpson murder scene corpse photos, and then to its final form as something that bored teens used for jacking off. Pictures of Sunny, manager of champions, became the most-downloaded thing on the World Wide Web, and shit went south. The WWF realized that folks liked boobs, women’s wrestling effectively died in North America, and wrestling as a whole turned into a thing you had to watch in a room alone with a finger hovering over the button to change channels, because if your friends or family caught you watching it, they’d just automatically assume you were some sort of sad, twisted masturbation monster and send you away to be locked in a cage and poked with sharp sticks by “doctors.” The WWF mostly stopped hiring female wrestlers and started bringing in bikini and fitness models, (and according to legend, literally had boob job surgery as a required part of the standard contract at one point) and WCW and ECW skipped right ahead to the next level and were just going ahead and hiring ex-strippers and active porn stars.
And I know we’re talking about ladies here, but let us never forget Val Venis: Wrestling Porn Star, and how much of the WWF “Attitude Era” consisted of stupid bullshit. (Val was good at the wrestling, though)
It was a really weird time, because wrestling was the biggest it had ever been, but simultaneously at its most shameful point where you couldn’t admit to watching it, because there was a closeup on some weird, plastic alien boob every five seconds. Wrestling matches got replaced by lingerie pillow fights and Thanksgiving gravy bowl matches. Women became branded as “Divas,” which if you’re into dictionaries, means that the WWE views non-Y-chromosome-havers as spoiled, shitty bitches by default. Vince McMahon crafted storylines where he got to make out with Torrie Wilson and then made Trish Stratus get on all fours and bark like a dog. Someone found out that Molly Holly loved Jesus and weighed over 110 pounds, so they bullied her about being a grossly fat prude on-camera until she quit the business altogether. The Diva Search happened, and people sat on pies and literally called each other “cum-sucking gutter sluts” on live TV. Kelly Kelly happened. Shit, I could go one like this for days. To sum everything up, the WWE hates women, and for about ten years, they went to extraordinary lengths to prove it. Then everyone got busted for steroids, Chris Benoit murdered his family, and the WWE decided to become a TV-PG kid-friendly show, so things eased up a little.
So here we are, in some weird state of limbo, where things could go either way. On one hand,things are terrible. No one’s had the heart to send Vince McMahon to an old folks’ home or the courage to seal Kevin Dunn inside a barrel and sink him into the immutable sea, so the show is at least still partially run by a senile old man who thinks women in athletic competition is unladylike and barbaric and another old fuckhead who just plain despises them in any form or function. The Total Divas reality show has kept the roster bloated with the worst sort of titty models who accidentally stumbled into wrestling, feeling themselves up on the way to the ring and then flailing around nightmarishly for two minutes until the match ends with a distraction leading to a surprise roll-up. The cast of WWE Diva characters runs the gamut from “bitch” to “crazy” to “crazy bitch,” no one is clearly designated as being good or bad, and if they are, give it a minute, because it’ll be different by the end of the show.
Then again, things are also looking up: Women’s mixed martial arts has become a thing, and Ronda Rousey has shown the world that a woman can violence just as well as a man can when given the opportunity. Down in NXT land, the future WWE Divas are going goddamn bananas, and it’s become a common occurrence for Ric Flair’s daughter and Snoop Dogg’s cousin (seriously) to have matches that make the nerds yell “MATCH OF THE YEAR OMG” into their computer devil machines. Then, there’s the whole #givedivasachance Twittery-hash tag thing that happened, where the internet rose up in protest of two-minute matches with surprise roll-up endings. And it truly mattered, because Twitter hash tags are we get shit done nowadays, don’t you know. It’s how we managed to get Joseph Kony elected, how we mourned the loss of Larry Shippers, finally brought the fiendish Bruce Dackler to justice, and built that giant “Gamer Gate” that finally kept all the video game nerds from entering the country. Internets, y’all.
But if you’re still with me, this is where we’re at; the Bella Twins vs. A.J. and Paige. It’s kind of being sold to the hash tag crowd as some sort of final battle between the Old WWE Divas division vs. a theoretical new one. The Bellas are the kind of models-turned-wrestlers that dominated things for the last… hell, twenty years? Christ. and A.J. and Paige are the “anti-Divas,” who are wrestlers first and eye candy second, and are here to save pro-damn-wrestling from the evil Sports Entertainment of Nikki and Brie. It’s one of those things that should write itself, but things are still all screwed up somehow. For starters, at some point, A.J. Lee and Nikki Bella switched places in the WWE Good Wrestler Heirarchy. Once the Unpleasantness surrounding her husband (CM Punk, in case no one’s told you, it’s CM Punk, you guys) got started, AJ Lee just kinda checked out, and it’s becomes more than apparent that she doesn’t give a single flying, drizzling zebra shit about wrestling anymore. She sleepwalks through matches, mouths off to the boss in real life on Twitter, and seems to have just accepted her fate as a temporary
employee independent contractor of a company that’s not above firing her for who her husband is at any given second. Meanwhile, Nikki Bella grew a whole bunch of muscles that she didn’t have previously all of a sudden and switched roles from Gyrating Titty Model to Lumbering, Face smashing Monster. Who… still gyrates a lot, but hey, baby steps, you know? Meanwhile, Paige is still Paige, the second-generation Superstar who screams and kicks people in their stupid faces and name drops Bull Nakano in interviews, and Brie Bella still sucks, but we like her, because she married Daniel Bryan.
So as far a wrestling match is concerned, this would be way better off as a singles match with just Paige and Nikki, and since Nikki is the champ now, it would make more sense as a Wrestlemania happening, you know? Also, if you separate Paige and A.J., you don’t have to hear the announcers try to pound that “frenemies” bullcrap into our ears, as thought that is a word that people didn’t give up on turning into a word in like 2002. And hell, that’s just more WWE shit right there, where the “good guys” in the match have been pretty much in a constant feud over the last year, with seemingly no one designated as the one you’re supposed to root for. It’s WWE Diva World, where all women just sort of blindly hate each other because BITCHES BE CRAZY, AM I RIGHT FELLAS? Goddammit.
Best case scenario: A.J. stops mailing it in and Brie steps her game up for Wrestlemania, the people in charge actually give this some time to develop, (rather than the normal Wrestlemania Divas match role of five-minute cool-down/bathroom break before the main event) and this match goes down as a classic that changes a lot of people’s minds about what women’s wrestling can potentially be. Over the next year, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Becky Lynch finally get called up from NXT, a new golden age begins, and in 2020, Hillary Clinton is elected to her second term, and Paige vs. Charlotte is the main event of Wrestlemania 36. Sadly, A.J. Lee gets fired for being married to CM Punk.
This is gross enough with us thinking Paige is forty years too young for Lawler to be creeping on like that, but then we remember that’s Jerry fucking Lawler, and he probably thinks she’s ten years too old for him.
Worst case scenario: The match is only given six minutes to happen, with entrances eating up three of those minutes. What little match actually happens is a disaster, with Brie Bella whiffing so badly on a dropkick that she flies over the top rope and has to be carried out by the medical staff, and A.J. misses the match’s pivotal hot tag when she finally gives so few shits about anything that she pulls out a Game Boy Advance – not a smartphone or even a 3DS, a fucking Game Boy – and starts hunting Pokémon, rather than participating in a televised wrestling match. Afterward, Vince McMahon is furious and declares that the WWE Divas division needs a complete retooling, to be overseen by longtime TV producer, Executive VP, and notorious woman-hater Kevin Dunn. Wrestlers like Paige and even Nikki Bella are pushed into the background, Charlotte and Sasha Banks are both released outright, and the division becomes more focused on traditional WWE talent, like Eve Torres, Cameron, and a recently re-hired Jackie Gayda. The WWE Divas championship is re-branded as the WWE Lingerie Gravy Bowl Evening Gown Jello Championship Presented by KY Jelly, and Gayda goes on to have an eleven-month run as champ, during which time terrorism runs rampant, mighty rivers begin to run dry, and faithful dogs viciously turn on their masters. When the first ever “loser gets completely butt-ass naked and rubs all over a buck-toothed WWE Executive” match is announced, the fabric of reality collapses under the weight of such pure evil, the Earth’s crust splits in twain, and all the power of Hell runs rampant over the surface world. Mighty armies fall, great nations are reduced to loosely-affiliated bands of screaming cannibals, and the cities that once defined them shall be as dust, as an unloving God destroys a world no longer deemed fit to exist. The air becomes poison, the water becomes acid, and the land becomes fire. When the screams of the tortured and dying have subsided the only sound shall be laughter of the demons, dancing atop the rubble of all that once was. At some point, A.J. Lee gets fired for being married to CM Punk.
What will happen: A lot of people are watching the WWE with a critical eye toward their on-camera treatment of women, so I doubt this will be the usual blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bathroom break match it would have been in a pre-Twitter world. They’ll get enough time to tell a story, but this is the WWE, and the WWE could fuck up a wet dream, so I’m guessing a clearly-intoxicated JBL will say the word “frenemies” at least 100 times on commentary, half the runtime will be spent with the match shoved into a corner of the screen so replays of something from an earlier dude match can be shown, and the match will end with a surprise roll-up, probably after one or the other of Paige or A.J. turns on the other, because THEY’RE FRIENDS, BUT THEY’RE ALSO ENEMIES, GET IT? FRENEMIES! BITCHES BE CRAZY! Then, A.J. gets fired, because, well, you know.
Anyway, Wrestlemania is this Sunday. There might also be some sort of tag team championship match, or there might not be. Either way, may God have mercy on us all.