Show of hands. Any wrestling fans reading this looking forward to this year’s Wrestlemania? Honestly looking forward to it? Looking forward to it because of what WWE has done to sell it to you and not just because it’s Wrestlemania? I don’t see any hands,but that could have more to do with it making no sense to write show of hands in something you’re not watching people read than a lack of interest in WWE’s biggest show of the year. Then again, maybe not. Maybe you all feel the same way I do, that this year’s show doesn’t feel special or like a must see.
Looking at the lineup, I don’t see one thing that makes me say gee Steve, shelling out $55 would be a good idea even though you can watch the thing for free a day or 2 later. I don’t even see anything that makes me say gee Steve, you should have a few buddies over to the house and split the cost and have a good time. The second one in particular is really, really bad for WWE. One person not wanting to spend 55 dollars on something is understandable, but when a huge wrestling fan can drive the cost of the show down to a few bucks a person plus booze and snacks and still can’t be bothered, something is very wrong.
Let’s take a look at the card. Would you pay for any of this?
WWE Champion Triple H vs. Randy Orton.
WWE would have to work a miracle to make me care about this match. It’ll probably be decent, but the storyline just isn’t doing it for me.
First of all, Stephanie McMahon is not a sympathetic babyface character. Never has been, never will be. Whenever she speaks, I always find myself spending more energy on wishing that somebody would dig out her voicebox with a rusty spoon than paying attention to what she’s saying. She flat out sucks as an actor, and anybody who beats her down and takes her off of television is an automatic hero.
But even if she was good at her job, they lost me at that stupid Triple H breaks into Randy Orton’s house thing. Why were their random folks scattered all over the place? There were people in every room and in corners, just kind of hanging out. Is that normal in the Orton household? Is he so rich he can afford to hire real people instead of buying statues for decorations? This is the kind of thing I wouldn’t have to think about if the angle was good, which it was back in 1996 when HHH and Orton wereSteve Austin and Brian Pillmanand WWE wasn’t afraid to be edgy. the video kind of loses something being edited together the way it is and not stretched out like it was when it originally aired, but you’ll still get the idea that Austin and Pillman were far more believable characters than either Orton or HHH will ever be.Here’s the overly scripted and poorly acted dreck from a few weeks ago so you can compare.
Which brings me to my biggest problem. I don’t care about Randy Orton or Triple H. I feel like I’ve seen them wrestle each other a million times, and I don’t need to see it again. Even though Triple H is capable of having good to great matches and Orton isn’t that bad, I never need to see either of them on my TV ever again no matter who they’re fighting. It sounds awful, but I always get a little sad whenever Triple H comes back from an injury. My heart never grows fonder when he’s absent, it just breaks a little more when he returns. At least he can cut a decent promo though, which is more than I can say for Orton. I’ve seen oak trees with more charisma than that sleep inducing fuck.
World Champion Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show.
Like the other title match, I’m sure this one will be just fine. It seems impossible for Edge and Cena to have a bad match with each other, and Big Show can definitely step up when he needs to. But like I said above,there’s nothing I haven’t seen before, and we’re missing that hook that’s supposed to dig the money out of my pocket. I understand that it’s supposed to be the love triangle or if nothing else cheering Cena on to victory, but both of those things get a big no from me. I’m so done with all the who cheated on who stuff, and Cena winning Vickie Guerrero even though he can’t stand her might be fun for 2, maybe 3 weeks tops if competent people are writing the comedy. With WWE Creative on the case,I give it 45 minutes before I want to kill myself.
World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo Colon in a title unification Lumberjack match.
This one has the potential to be a lot of fun, but it won’t be any less fun watching it on tape on Monday or Tuesday. Unifying titles should be a big deal, but it isn’t because we have no reason to care about the tag belts or the brands they’re supposed to be on since everybody wrestles everywhere no matter which roster they’re on. for example, follow this. Primo and Carlito are Smackdown tag champs. Miz and Morrison are Raw tag champs. I know Carlito and Primo are Smackdown guys and I think Miz and Morrison are Raw guys, but I could be wrong. In any event they hold Raw’s tag titles, so they’re Raw guys today. The feud leading up to this Mania match started on Smackdown, but in the last few weeks has been largely progressed on ECW, a brand that doesn’t even have tag titles or teams to put them on if they did. So why should we care that one brand is losing it’s tag titles? It leaves one set of belts the company doesn’t care about instead of two, and any brand lines that still exist aren’t any stronger.
Intercontinental Champion JBL vs. Rey Mysterio.
JBL should be calling matches, not wrestling in them. I hope the rumours that he’s retiring are true, he really seems like he’s hurting bad whenever he’s out there.
Money In The Bank – CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian vs. Fit Finlay vs. Mark Henry.
I’ll admit I’m morbidly curious to see Mark Henry in a ladder match, but not $55 worth of curious. I’m sure this match will have quite a few oh my god moments, but I can wait to see them.
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in an Extreme Rules match.
They’ve done their best,but I’m just not feeling this one. I can’t put my finger on why, but I think it might have something to do with neither guy being all that convincing. I know it’s a work, but I’m not sensing the hate. The overly dramatic promos full of words that nobody would ever use in this kind of situation aren’t helping either.
25 Diva Battle Royal to determine the first Miss Wrestlemania.
Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat, with Ric Flair at ringside.
It’s always nice to see guys I grew up watching again and some of the stuff leading up to this has been really good, but I have a bad feeling that this is going to be not so much a match as a segment designed to get Mickey Rourke on the show to play off of the Wrestler. That kind of thing belongs on free TV.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels.
I can’t complain one bit about this. Everything has been done as well as it can and I’m sure that the match will deliver. It just doesn’t feel as special as it should, probably because the so so to outright wretched booking of the rest of the show is bringing it down.
None of this is to say that the show will necessarily be bad. For all I know it could be show of the year and I’ll be kicking myself come Monday for not seeing it live. No Way Out was like that. It looked like a gigantic shitfest on paper but turned out to be the best show since No Mercy a few months earlier. Things like that happen all the time in every sport. Something that’s supposed to be no good delivers beyond everybody’s expectations when push comes to shove. But when you have 0 expectations going in, $55 is a lot of faith to put in people who are hit and miss in terms of giving you quality for your money.