April 11, 2016 - YOUR Wrestlemania 32 Herb Meltzer Memorial Technotronic Hybrid Dorkrate Report

Wrestlemania 32 happened, and it was a thing, and it was like nineteen hours long, and as such, this thing is going to be long as hell. So let's dispense with the introductory paragraphs and plow forward. INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS ARE FOR SUCKERS.

Pre-pre show thing that was shown on the WWE Network and somewhere else, probably:

1. U.S. Title: Kalisto beat Ryback

The Players: Kalisto is a lil masked fella who does flippity-floppity things in the lucha libre tradition.  Ryback is THE BIG GUY, a giant mid-2000s throwback forged from raw pharmaceuticals who used to be a man of the people who was way into self-help books, (no really) but who has now surrendered to his destiny as EVIL FAKE BILL GOLDBERG.

The Pageantry: Ever since becoming Dark Side  of Ryback, The Big Guy has largely eschewed all pieces of flair,  even ditching his old Fake Rob Van Dam ring attire. Kalisto, however showed up dressed like a damn dragon, and according to announcer extraordinaire Mauro Ranallo, he was wearing colors that represented his hero and yours, the late Hayabusa, and he seems like a dude who doesn't just make shit up. For his efforts, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000, a rating system that we here at terrible violence dot com spent many years and untold millions to develop, which is comprised of a vast network of extremely advanced computer-type devices that you would never be able to understand, gives this a Pageantry Rating of TWO (2) STACKS OF DUBBED FMW VHS TAPES.

The Match: Look, this was just north of being a dark match, they didn't get much time, and most of the eventual audience was still trapped outside the stadium, so they weren't gonna go all out. Kalisto did some flips and some flops, and he flipped well, as is his way, and Ryback didn't accidentally murder him, despite HOSSING him around like a DANG HOSS. For real, Ryback kind of has the reputation of being the WWE's Lennie Small, and any time he gets through a match without hugging his little friend until they don't move no more, you count it as a win. Wasn't much, but it was all it needed to be. SO according to the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 technology, this match gets a rating of TWO (2) 1994 HONDA CIVIC DEL SOLS

Regular pre-show that was only on the WWE Network:

1. Ten Diva Woman Tag Match: Team Total Divas (Brie Bella, Paige, Natalya, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie) beat Team B.A.D. and Blonde (Naomi, Tamina Snuka, Emma, Summer Rae, and Lana)

The Players: Shit, gonna plow through this as fast as I can: Brie Bella is the lesser Bella Twin, Paige is ghostly pale and worse at wrestling than her mom, Natalya is Jim Neidhart's kid, Alicia Fox is the Bella Twins' friend, Eva Marie is all red and terrible at everything, and these five represent a reality show. Naomi got fired from Total Divas for being a normal person, Tamina is Superfly Snuka's kid, Emma is the Australian Secret Best Wrestler who once got fired for accidentally stealing an iPhone case, Summer Rae is the secret Fifth Horsewoman of NXT, Lana plays a Russian and a pro wrestler on TV, but is neither in real life, and these five just got thrown together willy-nilly.

The Pageantry and the Match: There really wasn't much in the way of pageantry, because they had a limited time to just rush ten damn people out there. I dunno, I guess Tamina and Natalya both made slightly greater efforts to look like Sindel from Mortal Kombat? Anyway, considering that Eva Marie is an historically bad wrestler who once forgot that you had to kick out of a pin if you're supposed to win the match, and Lana had literally never wrestled before, this should have been the most fabulous of disasters. But they both executed the one move they know and got the hell out of there, before anyone could slip on any banana peels, so it's all good. This match ended in the most predictable way possible, with Brie Bella using one of Daniel Bryan's moves, but it might have been the best Yes Lock ever, and she gets to retire and have his weird goat babies now. Before that, she did that thing where she yells "BRIEEEE MOOOODE" and it never hit me how funny that sounds before. Like the pre-revolution stock WWE Diva gimmicks have always been some variation/combination of "gyrating seductress," "gyrating popular girl who doesn't want you sitting at her table in the cafeteria," or "gyrating cartoonishly exaggerated psychopath," but between the squeaky "BRIE MODE" and the way she can't say a word longer than two syllables without garbling or omitting at least one of them, Brie would have worked much better as a loveable doofus character. Other highlights included Naomi doing a thing where she just kicked the shit out of Natalya like a hundred thousand times in a very not-humanly-possible "mashing the low-kick button repeatedly on Street Fighter 2" way, and Lana yelling insults at her opponents in an extremely American accent, making me wonder if her status as a Ravishing Russian is one of those things they'll just sort of slyly back away from, like Kane being a mute burn victim, Triple H being a foppish old-money aristocrat, or the Undertaker being an admitted double-murderer. After the match, Nikki Bella made a surprise appearance that was kind of hilarious, as she was wearing her full wrestling attire, despite still being in a neck brace from potentially career-ending injuries. Maybe the move to an allegedly kid-friendly product also came with a mandate that they go back to Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling cartoon reality, where ring gear is the only suit of clothes any of them own? This has to be awkward though, when Nikki has to go to a funeral or a christening or something while wearing a baseball cap and literally less than underwear.  But anyway, between the match being okay overall, neither Eva nor Lana triggering "Yakkity Sax," and Brie finishing her career on a high note, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives this a combined match/pageantry rating of TWO (2) "CONGRATION YOU DONE IT" CAKES, plus a supplemental TRASH rating for whoever decided to cut away right as everyone was triumphantly hoisting Brie onto their shoulders after the match. Like seriously, they were in mid-hoist.


2. Lita brings out the New WWE Women's Title belt

Well, it turns out, that last match might have been symbolically the end to more than just Brie Bella's wrestling career. .This was a thing that had kind of been rumored in the weeks leading up to the show but never confirmed or officially announced, as far as I knew, at least. Anyway, WWE Hall of Famer and Someone You Recognize From the late 90s/early 2000s (which will become a theme of the night, as with every recent Wrestlemania) Lita comes out to more or less confirm that OH HOLY SHIT, they actually are going to start making an actual effort with the WWE women's division, beyond it just being used to promote sad nerd boners and reality TV shows. The Divas Championship is being disbanded, the pretty insulting term "WWE Diva" is itself getting tossed out in favor everyone just being a "Superstar" now, and there's a brand new WWE women's title, with a belt that's basically a red/white version of the men's title. And the thing here is that it's a completely *new* championship. Like in addition to its lineage not including the Divas Title, but this one isn't even related to the original NWA/WWF/WWE Women's Title that goes back to the 1950s or whenever. At a glance, it seems kind of weird to just throw out several decades of history, but if you really think about it, it's a pretty startling admission that most of that history was very, very bad. So while it's a bummer that the fancy new white belt isn't the same title that Wendi Richter or Bull Nakano held, it's fucking fantastic that it's also not the one that's been held by Candice Michelle, Sable, or Downtown Bruno dressed in drag. Not to mention that the new championship also doesn't exist under the same Sauron-like 50-year shadow of The Fabulous Moolah, who was probably one of the greater real-life absolutely monstrous human beings in a business that's been defined by its monsters. And as for the actual physical belt, this is awesome, because it at least symbolically puts the women's title on equal ground with the WWE World Heavyweight Title, and while I'm a sucker for ornately-carved championship belts, the old Divas butterfly belt was fuckin' garbage. It looked like a Barbie accessory, as the highest prize for what's theoretically a combat sport. Seriously, if Hulkamania hadn't been a disorder mainly carried on the Y chromosome, and Mattell had decided to supplement the "Barbie and the Rockers" toy line with a "Barbie and the Wrestlers" one, that's pretty much what Barbie's title belt would look like. And this all comes with the caveat that I don't trust the modern WWE to not royally fuck up anything they touch, but hopefully, we can now move past the years of jealous bitches catfighting over boyfriends and the Malibu Dream Belt, and the women's division will actually matter now. The HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives this TV segment the extremely high marks of THREE (3) MILDRED BURKES, TWO (2) AKIRA HOKUTOS, and a bonus craftsmanship grade of TWO (2) TIM DOG CHAMPIONSHIPS.

3. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) beat the Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley )

The Players: Bubba (formerly "Buh-Buh") and D-Von are two guys that peaked creatively when I was like sixteen years old, which was literally over a thousand years ago, and they like throwing other wrestlers through cheap tables, which they no longer light on fire due to concerns for the TV-PG rating. The Usos are members of the enormously gigantic Anoa'i Wrestling Dynasty, more directly being the twin sons of Rikishi, (who was originally Fatu, if you're hella-old and spent the 2000s in solitary) and they are history's most boring exciting tag team.
The Pageantry and the Match: This... This match was nothing. Nothing happened, there were no special extra efforts related to this being THE GRANDEST STAGE OF THEM ALL,  and I had to go back and watch again to recall who won. In fact, I think this match even happened again the next night on Monday Night Raw, and something actually happened that time, officially signaling a new, twisted reality where the post-Mania Raw is officially more important than Actual Wrestlemania, which some morons spent $70 to see in high-def. This match was some mailing-it-in-for-a-weekend-show shit, and just made me sad. And according to the scientific methods employed by the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 deems this match in all aspects to be the merest of


1. SEVEN MAN LADDER MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP:  Zack Ryder beat Kevin Owens (reigning champ), Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara, Stardust, and The Miz

The Players: Kevin Owens is a heavyset Canadian man who loves his family very much, and that means he FUCKING HATES ALL OF YOU. Sami Zayn is a ska enthusiast who has avoided Vince McMahon sticking him with a Muslim terrorist gimmick based on being gingery enough to pass for Irish so far, and is subject to persistent, ugly rumors that his mentor, El Generico, was actually just the same guy wearing a mask. Zack Ryder is the guy who figured out how the internet works and used it to literally be more popular than John Cena at one point, and for some bizarre reason, he's been savagely punished for such audacity, to the point where I'm pretty sure Wrestlemania 32 was his first televised match of consequence in like five years. Dolph Ziggler is a former World Champion who used to be a male cheerleader, and then he was Fake Billy Gunn, and now, he's Fake Shawn Michaels, and we all need to just let go of the thought of him ever being a main event level dude again. Sin Cara was originally the legendary luchador Mistico, but he kept getting hurt and being a giant baby about it, so they shipped him back to Mexico (where I'm pretty sure he's known as something like "Mxyzptlk" now) and put Some Other Guy under his mask, with mixed results. Stardust is an intergalactic super villain who is totally not Cody Rhodes, NOOOO SHUT UP SHUT UP DO NOT SAY THAT NAME IN MY PRESENCE, WE ARE STARDUST NOW. And the Miz is a former reality show contestant Mike Mizanin, who is so astoundingly good at being slimy and hateable on a pro wrestling level, that everyone has forgotten to suspend our disbelief, and we all literally despise him as a real-life human being now.

The Pageantry: Wrestling-based pageantry is usually relegated to the entrances, so there's not much to speak of here, in no small part due to them having to run seven guys out there without taking an hour to do so, and the champ Kevin Owens being  of a staunchly anti-pageantry aesthetic, pretty much  wrestling in my older brother's lounging clothes. But Sin Cara came out in some crazy shoulder pads, and I'm not sure if the all-white look was intended to remind me of El Santo, but it totally did, so I'm giving it credit for that. Meanwhile, Stardust went all out, decked out head to toe in black with yellow polka dots, much in the style of the former Cody Rhodes's dad Dusty, and if that weren't enough, he had "HARD TIMES" emblazoned across his back, and brought out his own special polka-dotted ladder at one point. Because even as a fiendish arch-villain, deep down he is still A Dude Who Misses His Dad, and oh god, here come the damn feelings again. Talk amongst yourselves; I'll give you a topic, which is how the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives this match a Pageantry Rating of TWO (2) MOTHERSHIPS, ONE (1) CAN OF PORK 'N BEANS, AND ONE (1) SEVERED HEAD OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST.

The Match: This was not the most spectacular multi-dude ladder match ever, nor was it the shittiest one ever, and was like the Baby Bear Just Right Ladder Match, in that dudes were flying everywhere and being idiots and smashing into ladders and jumping off of shit, but they seemed to have *just* enough of a concern for themselves that it didn't just turn into ghoulish spectacle. I was able to go "ooohhhhh daaaaang," without immediately having Real-Ass Thoughts about how someone just shaved like two years off their life. Also, the ending was the best thing ever, where they spent a month building up the idea of Owens and Zayn as Blood Rivals Forever who would be the focus of things, and that this was going to mainly be Sami Zayn's WWE Main Roster Coming Out Party, and then OH GOD DANG WHAT THE HELL ZACK RYDER WON WHOOOOOOOAAAAAA. It was a complete surprise, where the prime example of a dude who was only in the match because half the roster was injured ended up raising his arms in Golden Victory, and it was a legitimate feel-good underdog moment of redemption for the most downtrodden and abused wrestler to ever be astoundingly popular while being in such a position. And (spoiler alert if you're magically reading this from the past) even if it did end up being a one-night reign that was used to introduce a new Total Divas cast member, (yeah, I know) Poor Ol' Gil finally got his Wrestlemania Moment, and if they plan to actually move the story forward from here, I'm invested all-the-hell-in on The Hero's (Heroeski's?) Journey of Zack Ryder now. Don't fuck this up, WWE. Anyway, this match and everything surrounding it ruled, so the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 has scientifically rated this match with a score of THREE (3) WOOS AND ONE (1) YOU KNOW IT

2. Chris Jericho beat A.J. Styles

The Players: Chris Jericho is a dude that I hate when he tries to be our good guy Cool Dad, but who is a bad guy now, which paradoxically makes him infinitely more likeable. Also, he's up in his forties now, and I'm pretty sure his torso is melting. A.J. Styles is the Forsaken Hero We Didn't Know We Needed, signed by WCW right before they went under in 2001, but never picked up by the WWF/WWE until now, meaning he's had to spend his prime years wandering the wastelands of TNA, playing second fiddle to Jeff Jarrett and the withered husk of Hulk Hogan, when he rightfully should've been playing second fiddle to Triple H and John Cena during that span. He's also the guy we clown on endlessly for that time he was all "THE GAY COMMUNITY!?" and that is a joke that will never get old, even when its origin has finally been lost to the mists of time.

The Pageantry: Kinda disappointing here, as A.J. didn't embrace the spectacle of THE BIGGEST NIGHT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT whatsoever, and Jericho just wore slightly more bedazzled wrestler panties and greaves than usual. (I know they're supposed to be called "kick pads" or whatever, but I'm an American and I pay my taxes, so I'mma call them shits greaves if I want to) Still, even if it's his normal everyday entrance attire, some slight credit has to be given to Jericho's blinky light-encrusted jacket, so the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 has awarded this with a Pageantry Rating of ONE-HALF (1/2) LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE.

The Match: This was good! Nothing particularly mind-blowing went down, but it was two masters of the art making art masterfully, and told a coherent-ass story of A.J. being super good, but Y2J being the Wily Old Veteran who is The Best at What He Does, so he had every move scouted. A lot of folks got pissed that Jericho won, but it made sense to me. The WWE rightfully gets a lot of shit for only knowing how to write a rasslin' feud that goes "two guys fight each other nd alternate wins and losses until they just stop fighting each other," but this actually did a good job of setting up future considerations, and this was too good a thing they had going to blow it off in one month. Not every fan favorite losing a wrestling match can be classified as a "burial," ya fuckin nerds. Anyway, this wasn't an all-time classic, but it was still super good, so according to the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000, it gets a rating of THREE AND A HALF (3.5) GAY COMMUNITIES.

3. The League of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio, with King Barrett) beat The New Day (Tag Team Champions Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods)

The Players: The League of Nations are four dudes whose goods the WWE damaged so much that they had to just throw them together as a team of EVIL FOREIGNERS and use them for cannon fodder for wrestlers that still have hope in this world. Sheamus is super pale and hella-Irish, Rusev is a Bulgarian Brute who used to pretend to be Russian and is secretly the all-time greatest pro wrestler, Alberto Del Rio is the sad shadow of a man who got real-life fired for confronting racism and came skulking back for huge sums of cash, and Wade Barrett is the saddest boy of all. The New Day are three dudes who got stuck together in a shitty Smiling Black Dudes who Always Lose Because Racism is Outta Control three-man team, and then quit giving a shit and started just goofing off until it became literally the best (and sometimes only) reason to watch the WWE more often than not.

The Pageantry: The League provided Zero Pageantry on this evening, but it didn't matter, because OH SHIT the New Day, you guys. THEY CAME OUT IN A GIANT BOX OF CEREAL THAT TIPPED OVER, REVEALING THEM TO BE DRESSED AS DRAGONBALL Z DUDES. I know some of you haven't been blown the fuck outta your chairs by that, so I'll repeat:

I am saddened to announce that the super computer used to determine HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 has caught on fire and subsequently exploded, killing several good people, and will require a repair time of however long it takes me to type up the match part of this review. So just assume it was OFF THE DAMN CHARTS.

The Match: It... Wasn't great? I dunno. It just felt like a random match from Smackdown or something, up to and including the part where the tag team champs lose a non-title match to set up future considerations. I mean, everyone did their jobs well and whatnot, and it wasn't necessarily bad or anything, but it was just the opposite of memorable once the bell rang. Or maybe my Inner Tiny Baby Child is just mad that my favorite dudes lost? I dunno. But the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 has been repaired just in time to rate this match as TWO (2) BOOTIES.

4. The League of Nations Get Beaten Up By Nostalgia

I am torn on this one. After the match, the League announces that they can beat any three-man team there's ever been, which triggers the Bat Signal to bring out Shawn Michaels, Cactus Jack, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. And for some reason, HBK is wearing his ring gear, despite being retired and not being scheduled to compete in a match, but I guess it's because he's only been retired a few years, so he's still close enough to the modern era of Wrestlers Not Actually Owning Street Clothes. I guess Mick is wearing his rasslin gear too, but by the end, sneakers and sweats were his go-to outfit, so it doesn't really count. (Also, he's apparently dropped like fitty pounds recently, and is looking way less like The Great Antonio than he has in years) Anyway, they handily beat up the League, once again hammering home the modern WWE narrative that All Our Current Guys Suck, and the New Day come back to celebrate with them, despite having the double-humiliation of being beaten by the guys who just got washed by three middle-aged men. On top of all this, THAT SCOUNDREL Steve Austin hits Xavier Woods with a Stone Cold Stunner for no reason, and I now hate Stone Cold forever for destroying God's Most Perfect Angel. ALL HE WANTED WAS TO BRING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL INTO YOUR UGLY LITTLE WORLD, AND YOU STUNNERED HIM FOR IT. I don't know, I want to hate this so much, but it's The Heartbreak Kid and The Hardcore Legend and the Texas Rattlesnake, you know? Also, for real, Xavier probably shoulda known better than to try and make Stone Cold dance in public. But anyway, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 shares my mixed feelings on this, and gives it THREE (3) SHITTY CRAFT BEERS THAT FOLKS PRETEND TO LIKE WHEN THEY GET TOO UPPITY TO DRINK STEVEWEISERS ANYMORE.

5. NO HOLDS BARRED STREET FIGHT: Brock Lesnar beat Dean Ambrose

The Players: Brock Lesnar is a walking Chuck Norris Joke; the most cartoonishly, unrealistically insurmountable human being there ever was. Dean Ambrose is a dude who looks like the scuzzy guy reeking of vodka who shows up at a little suburban kid's birthday party with a really shitty present, and who gets pushed off to another room by the super respectable soccer mom and gets yelled at for like ten minutes, because she has a good life now, and she doesn't want little Skyler to know what a shithead her biological father really is, and doesn't want him showing up and ruining things for her all the time. Also, he's CRAZY.

The Pageantry: There really wasn't any. I guess it makes sense, because Dean Ambrose is just a dirty ol' bastard and Brock is too busy eating huge piles of meat to think up an elaborate entrance. I did like the way Paul Heyman insisted on introducing MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR himself rather than letting some piss ant announcer do it, and he was probably more hyperbolic than usual. So with that and my undying love of anything that reminds me of Extreme Championship Wrestling, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000, possibly out of pity, has bequeathed this with a Pageantry Rating of ONE-HALF (1/2) THE NIGHT KIMONA WANALAYA DANCED ATOP THE ECW ARENA.

The Match: Welp. This was the match we all had the highest hopes and expectations for, and the one that was supposed to save the show when Taker vs. Shane and Trips vs. Roman both shat the bed. But the thing is, a street fight is a match based upon and fueled by violence. Harsh, bloody, nasty violence, pure, visceral, heart-felt violence of the soul; the sort of blindly-enraged, A Man Doing What a Man's Gotta Do, blood lusting TERRIBLE VIOLENCE that's left the planet Earth a cratered hellscape full of starving people, but is part of what makes Fake Wrestling great. And in the modern corporatized and homogenized WWE, that's just not allowed anymore. Don't get me wrong here, in terms of our humanity and the general health of our souls, this is a good thing. But the side effect is that we get a no-rules match between History's Greatest Beast and a dude who was willing to get his face mangled by a Sawzall in CZW, and it turns out to be just some mild swinging of kendo sticks wrapped around kind of a boring normal match. And honestly, Brock's normal matches have been SUPER boring since the fateful day when he uttered the phrase "Suplex City," some marketing guy figured out that would sell some shirts, and it's just been Brock Lesnar repeatedly German Suplexing a dude until he decides to stop ever since. Brock's been reduced from a video game character with a God Mode cheat code enabled to being the kid playing Tekken 2 who doesn't know any of the moves and just sweeps the leg repeatedly until everyone else gets pissed and throws their controllers down. And after weeks of buildup where the Hardcore Legends of the past bestowed Dean with their Legendary Weapons, Dean never used Mick Foley's Enchanted Barbed Wire Baseball Bat, and he couldn't even get Terry Funk's +2 Chainsaw of Deforestation to start. And while the Major WWE Match is defined as one where you know it's a Major Match because dudes keep kicking out of each other's finishing moves, Dean died after one single, solitary F5. This... This match sucked real bad, you guys. Well, I'm not sure if it sucked so much as it wasn't very good, after having the highest possible expectations around it. So with all this in mind, it just narrowly avoids the dreaded TRASH rating, and instead the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives it a grade of ONE (1) DROPPING HINTS ALL YEAR THAT YOU REALLY WANT TECMO SUPER BOWL AND GETTING ALL EXCITED TO SEE AN NES CARTRIDGE-SHAPED PRESENT UNDER THE TREE, ONLY TO OPEN IT ON CHRISTMAS MORNING TO FIND OUT THAT IT'S JOHN ELWAY'S QUARTERBACK  INSTEAD.

6. The Thing Where they Bring Out All the New Hall of Famers (Sting, The Fabulous Freebirds, The Godfather, The Big Boss Man, Jaqueline Moore, Stan Hansen, Joan Lunden, and Snoop Dogg)

Look, this was just kind of a little thing they did where they ran everybody out to wave to the crowd real quick, but I had to give it some sort of mention, because depending on the dude's retirement plans, it's quite possibly the last time we'll ever see BY GOD STANG show up on a live televised rasslin' event. So for that momentous reason alone, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 rates this segment with TEN (10) SCREEN SHOTS OF STING BEING BEATEN UP BY THE FOUR HORSEMEN.

7. WWE WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Charlotte (Reigning and Final WWE Divas Champ) beat Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch

The Players: Charlotte is the Genetically Superior Diva Superstar, in that her dad is *literally* Nature Boy Ric Flair, the wheelin', dealin', kiss-stealin', etc. son of a gun. Sasha Banks is a Legit Boss who is pretty much the Next Great Superstar of WWE, if they manage to not screw this up as much as they usually do. And Becky Lynch is the self-described Lass Kicker, in the she is an Irish lass who enjoys kicking people, as she is really into puns as well as the steampunk aesthetic, and if no one has used the word "steampun" to describe that, then by god, I'm doing it now.

The Pageantry: Much has been made of the fact that Sasha Banks's decision to go into pro wrestling was made as a tiny baby child, when she was taken to the show where Eddie Guerrero defeated MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR for the WWE Title by her older cousin, who is *literally* Snoop Dogg. To commemorate this, she came out wearing a simulation of Eddie Guerrero's pants, while her cousin, again *literally* Snoop Dogg - Mr. O.G. D-O-double-G, L.B.C. himself - added some verses of his own to her entrance music in a way that was quite laid back, despite his ongoing monetary concerns. Not to be outdone, Charlotte brought her dad with her, who again is RIC WHOOOO BY GOD FLAIR, and did this while wearing a fancy-ass robe, which was itself crafted from the one Ric wore before Shawn Michaels declared his love for him and then kicked his face straight to hell a few years back. Also, Becky Lynch, well, bless her little heart, her entrance sure had a lotta steam. Perhaps she might have won if she was only fighting Sasha and Charlotte, and was not also fighting the frizzies? Who can say. Anyway, all of this was truly a spectacle worthy of Wrestlemania, so the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives this match's pageantry the highest marks of TWO (2) BLUNTS, ONE (1) RAIL OF BLOW, ONE (1) EDDIE GUERRERO SCARFACE T-SHIRT, AND EXTREMELY HEALTHY PORES.

The Match: I'm not gonna overreact and say that this was the best WWE women's match ever, (I see you, Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano from 1994) and I'm not gonna say that this was better than a lot of the matches they had with each other back in WWE NXT. But I am pretty confident in saying that this was the best women's match ever at a Wrestlemania, which was all it really needed to be. Things were a little too "aw Christ, they're only going to give them five minutes, aren't they?" at first, with what felt like seventeen-thousand attempts at flash pins to start the match, but eventually, they slowed things down, and Sasha was busting out all sorts of Eddie tribute moves, and Becky was suplexing the living shit out of people, and Charlotte does a moonsault outside the ring at one point that I'm sure Jim Cornette would've described as "the damnedest thing you ever saw" if he wasn't too busy ranting online about how the industry has been destroyed by dudes not working a headlock for twelve minutes or whatever. In the end, Ric Flair cheats to help Charlotte win and trade her old shitty title belt in for the cool new one, because he is THE DIRTIEST PLAYER IN THE GAME, and he taught her all she knows. I keep seeing a lot of people on teh intarnets who really hated this, all upset about how she had to have A DAMN *MAN* help her win or whatever, and seriously, y'all need to calm down. You're reading too much into shit that's not much deeper than what's on the surface, and a lot of you have been buried way too deep inside your little Indie Wrestling Nerd Bubble, where every Big Match has to have the same Big Match Ending: A squeaky clean finish whereupon blood rivals suddenly forget their blood rivalry and it's all handshakes and hugs and tears and big, emotional speeches about "the boys in the back busting their asses night in and night out" and Green Lantern Fan in the front row checking his stopwatch, while the rest of the crowd tries to formulate an over-complex and way-too-meta chant that probably thanks the promoter or uses the wrestler's real names. And that's some stupid bullshit right there. You know what happened here? RASSLIN' HAPPENED HERE. Ric Flair interfering wasn't some nefarious anti-feminist plot by Kevin Dunn to subvert the Revolution, it was Charlotte being THE BAD GUY. And bad guy wrestlers will often employ what you call a heater, someone to do dirty deeds behind the ref's back and make you hate the bad guy for having them there. Ric Flair in 2016 is to Charlotte what Baby Doll was to Ric Flair a hundred years ago. So don't be real-life mad at the WWE for putting Ric Flair there, be fun, fake-mad at Charlotte for bringing him with her, and super-fuckin-pumped to see her get her comeuppance at the hands of Sasha or Becky (or, dare I say... Bayley?) sometime between now and Wrestlemania 33. For actual women's wrestling to be mainstreamly-accepted, it's gotta turn the corner and become RASSLIN', and they did it, you guys. And as the Match of the Night, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 awards this the highest marks of TWO (2) MILDRED BURKES, TWO (2) BULL NAKANOS, ONE (1) SUSAN B. ANTHONY DOLLAR COIN, and bonus grades of ONE (1) MANAMI TOYOTA each in honor of Becky Lynch's straightjacket suplex and Charlotte's crazy-ass moonsault, and ONE (1) "EDDIE GUERRERO IS MY FAVORITE WRESTLER" T-SHIRT to commemorate Sasha's various Eddie-isms throughout. Now hopefully, they can keep this up and find a way to keep Kevin Dunn from oozing up to Vince McMahon, all Grima Wormtongue-like, and planting the idea in his head that things need to revert back to 2005-style lingerie titty-fights or whatever.


The Players: Shane McMahon is the begotten son of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon, and was once presumed to be the heir to his Sports Entertainment empire, until his daughter married a much more muscular dude. He is also completely not an actual pro wrestler. The Undertaker is a super old, old, old man who was once an undead Amish mortician, but has since transitioned in and out of phases of being a Satanic lord of darkness and a motorcycle-ridin' American Badass, until he has finally landed in his current role as vaguely supernaturally-themed cowboy/mixed martial arts poseur. And he literally started wrestling when I was four years old, people.

The Pageantry:
Shane McMahon came out as Shane McMahon is wont to do; he did his weird little shuffle dance and wore a Shane-O-Mac baseball jersey, because even though Chinese Corporate Personal Trainers have him built not unlike a brick shithouse, he is dedicated to his original gimmick of being uncomfortably pudgy-thin. Also, he brought his children out, presumably as an appeal to the Undertaker's undead sense of humanity to not physically murder him on this night, and he had fake million dollar bills with his face on them raining down upon the arena. HE LITERALLY MADE IT RAIN, FOLKS. Meanwhile, the Undertaker came out to his stock "darkness and black lights" entrance, but that was fine, because an outdoor show in the Pacific Time Zone robbed us of any sort of Taker Entrance last year. It just doesn't work with the sun blazing overhead, and the only way Wrestlemania 31 could have been more awkward would have been if some squirrels followed him out and a couple bluebirds had placed a wreath of flowers on his head. But we were indoors this year, so for one shining (well, rather dark) moment, he was The Phenom again, and we all got to forget that he was literally fifty years old and that this match was doomed. So for all this, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 decrees that this match be given THREE AND A HALF (3.5) CONSPIRACY THEORIES LINKING OUR CURRENCY TO THE OCCULT for the pageantry involved.

The Match: Shane McMahon isn't a pro wrestler, and it shows. All he can do is throw weird little dainty baby-punches and hope his opponent can carry him until it's time for him to jump off of something. Meanwhile, the Undertaker is literally fifty years old, and he ain't carryin' shit no more. So this was just a horrifyingly wretched display of two middle aged men pretending they knew MMA for a while, so Shane did his weird baby shit for a while that the Undertaker had to humiliatingly pretend to be hurt by, and it sucked. Low points were Shane doing something that I think was supposed to be a triangle choke to the Undertaker, but he did it so mind-bendingly wrong that he had a free hand just dangling out there, doing nothing.  Like if martial arts ever figures out a hold that can end a dude while leaving one hand free to punch the other guy in the face or flex for the crowd or whatever, it's going to be amazing, but this was not that instance. He followed it up with the worst Sharpshooter ever, and the whole time all this was going on, the Undertaker was sucking wind and sweating his fake tan all over Shane's baseball jersey, and I was literally convinced he was having a heart attack at one point. Then, well, Shane ate shit jumping off the cage, and the ghouls went home happy. So taking all of this into consideration, the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives the match an overall rating of TRASH, with a supplemental Airborne Human Sacrifice Rating of THREE (3) NEW JACKS. (who would then presumably dump out the trash and use whatever was in there to beat up Shane and Taker)

9. ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL TROPHY BATTLE ROYAL: Baron Corbin beat The Big Show, Shaquille O'Neal, Kane, Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Konnor, Viktor, Tatanka, Goldust, Mark Henry, Diamond Dallas Page, R-Truth, Jack Swagger, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Tyler Breeze, and Fandango

The Players: Fuck you, that's like twenty guys, I'm not doing this. I will say however, that it featured four surprise competitors: Diamond Dallas Page is a master of yoga and probably the one good thing to come out of  the horrifying latter years of World Championship Wrestling. Tatanka was one of the more cringe-worthy gimmick wrestlers of the WWF "New Generation" Era, who despite the ravages of time (and presumably depression-related alcoholism from watching the white man steal and subsequently destroy his ancestral lands, coupled with a life of hardships on The Rez) turning him more and more into a sentient, walking beer gut, can actually still FUCKIN GO when placed inside a wrestling ring. Shaquille O'Neal is Shaquille O'Neal, and if you don't know who that is, you don't deserve to know who that is. Baron Corbin, the Lone Wolf of NXT, is a dude making his WWE main roster debut, who is a surly, balding young man who beats up people smaller than he is, and might either be a Secret Werewolf, or possibly the Undertaker's Large Adult Son. This creates a possible scenario where Man From the Dark Side Undertaker and American Badass Undertaker were actually two separate versions of the same guy from two alternate universes, but who made a noble sacrifice to repair the space-time continuum, at which point they were fused into modern MMA Cowboy Undertaker. What I'm saying here is that Baron Corbin is the son of Biker Taker, Mordecai is the son of Satanic Undertaker, and one day, their ultimate battle of The Final Undertaking will chase the sun from the sky and destroy us all.

The Pageantry: It was twenty guys, and they'd be out their goddamn minds to give everybody an entrance, so not much to speak of. It would have been fitting, since Andre himself never had a fancy entrance, but they fucked it up and gave individual entrances to Shaq, DDP, Big Show, and a few other guys. Also, they still haven't figured out that they should delete that "IT'S ME, D! D! P!" shit from Page's music and put the old "SELF HIGH FIVE" back on there instead. Also, I legit think the Andre trophy is made of plastic. The HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 deems this Pageantry to be TRASH.

The Match:
It was fun! Shaq Daddy briefly did Shaq Fu in a Shaqtastic manner that some might describe as Shaq Diesel, but it ended in a Shaqtastrophe, as he and Big Show both got dumped early, and are allegedly setting up a match for Wrestlemania next year. Tatanka did his weird little dance stuff, R Truth did the splits for no dang reason, Barry Corbin ended some folks' days, all the Social Outcasts got hossed around by some big ol' hosses, and a lot of dudes got to have a Wrestlemania payday while most of us went to the bathroom. It was the cool-down before the main event that they used to use the Divas matches for, and no one had any expectations for this, so by default, it exceeded them all. Good job. HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives The Dre a rating of ONE AND A HALF (1.5) PUFFY SHIRTS and ONE(1) DENNIS STAMP


The Players: You know who the Rock is already, as well as John Cena. If you don't, you're a fuckin' fool for having wasted your time reading this far. The Wyatt Family are a pseudo-Satanic, swamp-based cult of possible serial killers led by Bray Wyatt, and they would be the coolest thing the WWE has ever done in a group of villains, had they not pretty much had them lose every match they were involved in for like two years now. Erick Rowan specifically is a gigantic Viking looking motherfucker who is somehow the least of all four Wyatts, because wrestling is weird.

The Pageantry: This began as a thing where the Rock would come out and announce that they did indeed break the rasslin' attendance record and had like 101,000 folks in the building, and it started out with THE WORLD FAMOUS DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS, and finished with Rock coming out with a dang flamethrower and set some giant letters that spelled out ROCK on fire with it, and if they had really been edgy, he woulda done that on Stone Cold's lawn in 1999. Then, the Wyatts come out, and they didn't do anything specifically special, but the way everybody holds up their smart phone flashlights during his entrance is FUUU-HUUUUCKIN AMAAAAZING when it's a six-digit number of people doing it. Also, John Cena shows up at one point. So for the sheer pageantry of the proceedings, the WORLD FAMOUS HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 gives this a rating of FOUR (4) CLAP IF YOU LOVE DYNAMOS

The Dang Bullshit: I am a Bray Wyatt fan. The dude is good, he wrestles good, he talks good, and he came up with quite a fine little wrestling gimmick for himself and a few others. The problem is that his whole thing, as well as the Thing of the entire four-man group (which was a three-man group on this night, as Luke Harper's knee betrayed him, and he's out for a while) is that it has to be taken seriously. It has to be threatening and scary, and much like TERRIBLE VIOLENCE, there is no room for scary threats in the modern WWE. Furthermore, the company is run by real-life intensely awful people who don't know how a narrative's good guy is supposed to act, so the WWE's main Good Guys tend to arrogant, verbally abusive bullies who are completely dismissive of any potential threat looming from their opponents, of which Rocky was the original of this type. So when the presumably scary, threatening Wyatt Family marched out and outnumbered him three-to-one, and Bray said some scary shit, the Rock didn't care, and just verbally destroyed them all, and did the one thing I had been terrified of for like two years now, the one thing that was pretty much going to be a death-blow to the Wyatt Family as a meaningful entity. I can remember thinking, "man, this Wyatt thing is cool, but it's going to be dead in the water as soon as Cena or somebody starts making fat jokes." And while Cena managed to stay his tongue, the Rock could not, and with the words "Eater of Hot Pockets," the Wyatts are now officially toast. They were reeling after that disastrous feud where they lost all those three-on-one matches to Cena, they were in critical condition after spending an entire year being beaten by the Undertaker and Kane, and now, they're basically just laying there motionless, while Republicans argue that it would be murder to mercifully pull the plug. Everything is terrible, you guys, and hopefully things will pick up when Windham Rotunda and Big Rig Brodie Lee find new beginnings in either NXT or New Japan Pro Wrestling. Oh yeah, also, this all led to a match, where the Rock beat Erick Rowan in SIX SECONDS, if it weren't obvious enough that wrestling exists only to bring sadness to our lives. The HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 deems this COMPRESSED TRASH.

11. WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Roman Reigns beat Triple H (champ)

The Players: Triple H is a dude who started out as a snotty aristocrat, who later fell into degeneracy, but managed to pull himself up into being a dominant million-time world champion that married into the McMahon Family and now at least partially runs the company as the son that Vince never had. He's also been at the center of a "the WWE's leadership is a corrupt and evil force of pure malignance that has never and will never come out on the losing end of anything in the long run, but you should still watch our show" storyline that's literally being going on for almost twenty years at this point. Roman Reigns was the third best member of a three-man team called The Shield that everyone liked because he was a quietly cocky dude who would whomp people's asses, so the WWE broke the team up and tried with a startling lack of success to remake him in the image of John Cena and The Rock, before making a third, even more astoundingly, overwhelmingly fan-rejected attempt at making him the face of the company by pretending that he's the new Daniel Bryan. This has all conspired to make him possibly the most hated man in wrestling history, despite announcers insisting he's a fan favorite, beloved by all.  Meanwhile, no one seems to have noticed it, but he's gotten really good at the wrestling match part of pro wrestling, and his match with Brock Lesnar a year ago was probably one of the greatest Wrestlemania main event matches of all-time.  Also, he's pretty much the sexiest man alive, fuck all y'all, I'm secure enough to say it. YOLO.

The Pageantry: First, Roman Reigns failed this on all levels. He's still wearing his old The Shield clothes and using his old The Shield music, (which sounds like some generic Create-a-Wrestler shit, honestly) and he doesn't even do his one unique thing of coming out through the crowd anymore. (Presumably to prevent him from getting ripped to pieces by an angry mob, like the High Septon.)  But Triple H's entrance, OOOHHHH GOD DAAAAAMN, it was the Final Wrestlemania Entrance, the Entrance to End Them All. There are al these freaky-ass videos of dystopian shit going on, and Stephanie McMahon shows up dressed like some sort of Satanic Beyonce with Triple H's Evil Skull Mask that he usually wears during his Mania entrances, and she gives the MOST EVIL GODDAMN SPEECH EVER about how all hope for us is gone, and Triple H comes out flanked by an army of EVIL SKULL MEN WITH REPLICA TITLE BELTS, and it was kinda hilarious because even with them stopping just short of hoisting up a huge, flaming sign that said "THIS IS THE EVIL MAN THAT YOU SHOULD BOO," the crowd still cheered him like a hero, because they just hated Roman so much, and it was all so FUCKIN DAAAAAAARK, and I think I just peed a little. As always, the WWE is good at locking shit down online, so all I could find was where someone had filmed their TV, (and cut off the first couple minutes) but for real, y'all gotta see this crap right here:


The Match: The subject of debate in the weeks leading up to this seemed to be just what sort of extra judicial craziness they had planned to try and save this. Was Seth Rollins going to make a surprise return? Was this going to be the main roster debut of Finn Balor, presumably with some version of The Bullet Club in tow? Hell, I dunno, was the Wyatt Family going to do something meaningful finally? In the end, they swerved us all, and absolutely nothing happened. We got a boring, dry-ass match where nothing of note went down, Roman won like had been foretold in the scrolls so many centuries ago, and the WWE production guys had to just throw their hands up in defeat and completely mute the crowd from the broadcast to hide all of the booing that was going on. This was a fucking disaster. The technicians tasked with running the HERB MELTZER MEMORIAL TECHNOTRONIC HYBRID RATING SYSTEM 2000 all succumbed to The Sadness and committed ritual suicide before the machines could be started and the calculations begun, but as their final act before the life left their bodies, they used their own entrails to spell out The Final Rating: MINUS TRASH.

So there you have it. Given a week to cool down from how much I haaaaaaated most of the latter parts of the show, it was actually better overall than my initial reaction to things. Anyway, that's my review, and sorry I broke your computers by putting like 9 terabytes of image files on one page. Till next time, y'all be good.

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