Let’s Talk Some Wrestling, I Guess

So…uh…long time, eh? Yeah, again.

Honestly, I think WWE is finally breaking me. There’s still a lot of wrestling I enjoy watching and there are still things to like about WWE, but lately I’ve been finding myself doing as much clock watching during the shows as I do show watching, and that’s even as I’m making pretty liberal use of my FastForward button. It’s hard to even get worked up most of the time anymore, because what’s the point? WWE is gonna WWE, and there are only so many ways to say “What the fuck? This is dumb!” before you just give up because who cares? But I think I’m kinda feeling it today, so let’s go.

1. Considering the number of high profile matches he’d had at the event over the years, Triple H is the most unspectacular WrestleMania main event performer of all time.

I understand why people are saying this. Either because it was no good, nobody cared to see Roman Reigns win the title, it came at the end of a show that had gone on for damn near seven hours and wasn’t overly spectacular to begin with or all of the above, the match he and Roman Reigns had at the end of Mania this year was no fun to watch. By the time they were making their entrances I was ready to go to bed, and the ensuing 30 minutes or 9 years or however long that match went on didn’t help. And of course that gets longtime fans thinking back to 2002 when he had that match with Chris Jericho that nobody cared about because they stupidly put it on after Hulk Hogan and the Rock, which nothing was following. But Triple H has done his fair share of good at Mania. The matches with Undertaker spring immediately to mind, and don’t forget that he was part of the Triple Threat Match at Mania 20, the one we’re not allowed to talk about because Chris Benoit was in it. Oh, and then there’s Mania 30 against Daniel Bryan and almost certainly some others that I’m forgetting. Triple H has never been my favourite wrestler or character, but I’d never say he doesn’t live up to the status of Mania main eventor. Yeah this match was no good, but they also didn’t invest anyone in the story leading up to it, which can do a lot to make folks more forgiving of a bad match.

2. Despite the reaction from the crowd, Roman Reigns winning the WWE Title at WrestleMania 32 was the right call.

It was, because that was the story they’d been trying to tell for a year. It doesn’t much matter now that scores of people weren’t keen on hearing that story or even how terrible they were at telling it, the important thing is that they had something passing for a direction and they stuck to it, which is a very un-WWE-like thing to do. Besides, it’s not as though a Daniel Bryan style better idea fell into their lap this year, so seeing that chapter through to its end was all they could and should have done. The important part is what they do now. Roman Reigns, as much as we all hate what they’re doing with him, is a talented guy who should probably be near the top of the card. It wasn’t all that long ago that everyone booing him now thought so. WWE’s job now is to remind us why we felt that way.

3. Despite Styles’ win on Raw. Chris Jericho defeating AJ Styles at WrestleMania was a horrible booking decision.

It was a bad decision at the time, but it’s even worse now that Styles is the number one contender for the world title because the last thing we need is yet another guy fighting for a belt whilst he runs on the 50/50 win loss geek treadmill with everyone else. And unless something crazy happens, we know that this is ultimately going to lead to him getting fed to Roman Reigns, so who could possibly care? The fact that I’m being forced to ask this question about AJ Styles, literally one of the best wrestlers on planet Earth, is a huge problem. In three months they’ve taken him from being something new, fresh and exciting and made him into just another guy who can’t win a big match and looks to have no upward mobility. Well done, idiots.

4. You have no problem with Rock, Austin, HBK and Foley dropping in to make 365 day employees look weak and ridiculous.

Let me start by saying that I usually like it when legends come back. Sometimes it’s fun to see them do their thing, even at the expense of people on the current roster. But it has to be the right people. If they want to clown the Social Outcasts, that’s fine. Their whole gimmick is comedy. But Wrestlemania annoyed the shit out of me. Had HBK, Foley and Stone Cold just beaten down the League of Nations, I might have been ok with it. Yes those guys just won a match against New Day (another bad decision by the way), but it would have made the crowd happy and then maybe they all could have danced with New Day or had a beer bash with them and the newly babyface tag champs would have gotten something out of it. But instead, they not only laid out the heels, but then attacked the faces as well. And then WWE wonders why nobody now is as over as people were then. Holy fuck.

5. NXT Takeover: Dallas was superior to WrestleMania in every way.

If you take away the Giant Stadium and all the hype that surrounds Mania just because it’s Mania, this is an easy yes. It’s the best wrestling show I’ve watched this year. I’ve seen a couple of New Japan shows that were quite good, but I liked NXT more because I follow it more closely and could understand the significance of it all. I got to watch stories I’d been invested in for weeks and months logically progress and pay off around some fanfuckingtastic wrestling matches, which is really all I want. Hell, I’d settle for good wrestling matches as long as the storytellers don’t treat me like an imbecile. I’m looking at you, Wrestlemania. So yeah, you should all go watch Takeover if you haven’t seen it. I may go watch it again, which I don’t often do with current wrestling. No, not even the stuff I like. There’s just too much product out there to get hung up on one show like we could in the old days.

6. While WWE shifting to a women’s division and title at WrestleMania was the right call, Charlotte winning the triple threat to be the first to hold the new title wasn’t.

There’s definitely a strong argument to be made that Sasha should have won. A lot of fans clearly want it, WWE has protected her character from losses more than they do with basically anyone up to this point and she even got a big, special Wrestlemania entrance. I was all ready to make that argument at the time, but the more I think about it, I’m fine with Charlotte.

When Sasha wins, it should be in a one on one match, not a Triple Threat. Winning a belt by straight up beating the champ for it is nearly always more special than winning it in some wacky 3 or 4 or 6 person match, even when that match is good.

And then there’s the NXT issue. Imagine for a moment that you’ve never seen NXT, and all you know about Sasha Banks is what you see on WWE proper. It’s suddenly a lot less urgent to get that belt off of Charlotte and onto Sasha, because we really know nothing about her and her motivations other than she’s the boss and stuff, and we haven’t seen all those great matches she had with Charlotte and Bayley. None of the things that make Sasha Sasha have happened, whereas Charlotte at least has a bit of an established character. There’s a reason to dislike her because she’s always getting help from her dad to win matches even though she’s totally capable on her own. When somebody the fans have a good reason to get behind finally overcomes that, it’ll mean more. If they can stretch this thing out until SummerSlam while letting them have solid matches with other people, then you’ve got something.

Ok, I’m done. I’m going to go have breakfast and watch some wrestling now. Hopefully I won’t need to complain about it.

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