Wrestlemania May Still Be Going On For All I Know, But The Wrestling Notepad Is Here

WWE’s beat the clock challenges are almost always kind of dumb. Who wants to watch a match that randomly ends with no resolution when somebody fails to beat the time? It’s just terrible, unentertaining television. What incentive is there for the opponent A.K.A. the one who isn’t being challenged to beat the clock to participate? They’re flat out being told you’re being trotted out to either lose quickly or beat yourself up for nothing. We never find out what they get if they happen to knock off one of the challengers. But I just now watched Becky, Ronda and Charlotte compete in one for literally no reason. No, “Wrestlemania momentum is on the line” does not count as a reason, announce team. That’s a completely nonsensical statement. Nobody gains a thing here because there are zero things to be gained. It wasn’t for a title match, because there’s already going to be one. It wasn’t determining a favourable entry number, because that doesn’t exist in a 3-way match. All you’ve done is make the Riott Squad who already aren’t over look like even bigger scrubs than before really, really fast and wasted a few minutes of my life. Go away.

I did like Ronda’s “that’s all I have to say” promos though, so at least it had that going for it.

I’ve seen some people upset that Charlotte beat Asuka for the women’s title on Smackdown. I get it. Asuka really didn’t get to do much of anything with her run and isn’t any better off for having had it. But if Charlotte carrying the belt into Mania means that we’re unifying the titles, I’m good. There aren’t enough women on the roster to carry two separate divisions, especially now that some of them are going to have to primarily focus on the tag team side. Besides, there’s only one set of tag titles, so it would make for a nice bit of consistency.

Wait…what…hold on. Did I just see babyfaces doing babyface things? On WWE? What is the world coming to! Dogs and cats living together! The Usos just forfeited their spot in a gauntlet match because they respect New Day and Kofi too much to take a cheap win. I can hardly believe my eyes.

I realize it’s sort of the man’s actual name, but I can’t hear Jax Dane without hearing “jack stain”. Is that the goal? If so, why is that the goal? “It’s funny to make everyone say jack stain” is a perfectly fine answer, by the way.

Oh cool, they are going to unify the women’s titles at Mania. Or at least they’re saying that the winner is going to get both of them.

Why is Beth Phoenix having her first match back after like six years on a random episode of Raw instead of on Mania, which we’re supposed to want to pay for?

Oh fun. WWE is doing its usual stupid tag partners that don’t get along match, but with a twist that is also stupid. Ronda, Becky and Charlotte have to team up against the poor Riott Squad, but “the first woman (Flair, Rousey or Lynch) to betray her team will forfeit her Wrestlemania opportunity.”

First of all, human beings do not speak like that. Please stop.

Secondly, you have to be totally incompetent to book a match wherein there exists the distinct possibility that you will irreparably fuck up the announced main event for by far your biggest show of the year. Even if we stretch logic to its absolute breaking point and say that the person responsible for this decision is hoping to get Charlotte out of the damn thing so it can be the singles match it should have been all along, it’s still a dumb plan because what if she ends up holding her temper?

And hey, what if two people or even all three punch each other simultaneously? Do you call off the entire match or does everything stay as it is? This seems important.

Now having said all of that, why wasn’t that match and especially what followed the last thing on Raw?

Why are we going from that to Braun Strowman beating up guys he’s pretending are from Saturday Night Live?

Why is Braun Strowman feuding with guys who are from Saturday Night Live?

If the story is that Finn Balor is unbeatable when he’s in the demon persona, why would he ever not be in it?

Why does Mustafa Ali have no first name anymore?

I need a keystroke that pastes “holy hell Takeover was awesome” anywhere I need it, because there’s usually not much else to be said after one of these things.

Why, aside from financial reasons, would anyone who became a wrestler because they like wrestling rather be on the main WWE roster than in NXT? It’s such a fun, fan friendly presentation, one where it seems like what you do in the ring actually counts for something as opposed to beating the hell out of yourself on just the longest, most boring, nothing happening messes.

If I were to offer one criticism of Takeover, it’s that we didn’t need a three man booth during the UK title match. Mauro Ranallo and Vic Joseph are both very good play by play guys, but it seemed like they weren’t sure who was supposed to be taking the lead and it made for a bit of a messy call. Add to that the need for Nigel McGuinness to find spots for his analysis and it was just too much. It never completely fell apart because all three are excellent at what they do, but they shouldn’t have been put in the position to all have to do it at once.

Wow, what a Universal title match. Seth gets his ass kicked for what feels like 100 years before he (the valiant babyface I should note) hits Brock in the nuts, curb stomps him a few times and wins. Sure got me excited for this show to go on for five more hours, let me tell you. This is one of those times when I hope they had to lay it out that way because somebody was hurt, because otherwise everyone involved can fuck right off.

Maybe it’s what I get for watching Takeover on the same day, maybe it’s the bad taste the last match just left in my mouth, maybe it’s WWE’s show pacing or maybe it’s my feelings on Randy Orton talking, but I did not enjoy the Styles Orton match much at all. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, I just found it quite slow and dull.

I’m tired of all the 3/4/5/27-way matches WWE insists on. If it’s me I’d rather leave some people off the show now and then for the sake of a more meaningful match rather than bog things down by cramming everyone into every story every time.

Is it me or did Miz beat on Shane McMahon so long that it almost felt like the guy who had been terrorizing a man’s father was supposed to be the babyface?

Never mind. After that finish and the realization that we’re going to have to see a rematch, everyone’s a heel.

Really not feeling this Mania, in case it isn’t obvious. I can’t imagine having to sit through all seven and a half hours of it in real time.

I have no problem with the IIconics winning the Women’s tag belts, but it would be nice if just once somebody could be elevated by holding a title. Are Sasha and Bayley any better off after their two month run? Sure they were the first champions, but what does that really mean when you go on to do next to nothing and then lose right away? It’s yet another example of everyone running in place.

Kofi winning was pretty cool. Great match followed up by maybe even a better celebration. I sure hope they don’t waste a moment like that.

I’m happy that Samoa Joe got to wrestle at Mania, but that was one goddamn pointless match. If Mysterio was hurt that badly going in and they knew it, why couldn’t they have sent any of the other 300 tomato cans on the roster out there for Joe to have that two minute squash with? It’s not as though Joe vs. Rey was built up in any sort of memorable way that made his presence necessary. If it was so important to get Rey a payday, stick his ass in the battle royal. Don’t waste my time with a match like that on a show this long. Save it for Smackdown.

Speaking of things that could have been on TV, there wasn’t much to Reigns vs. McIntyre. It was fine enough I guess, but the story was more about Roman getting back in the ring after his illness than the match itself, and I’ve already seen him in a match. I know it wasn’t one on one, but it never felt like he was ever in enough danger here for me to care about the difference.

It was fun to see him, but should my second favourite thing on the biggest wrestling show of the year be John Cena coming out in his 16-year-old Thuganomics gimmick to make fun of a guy?

HHH and Batista was perfectly acceptable old man violence, but it lost something because it was another case of nothing seeming to be either on the line or in doubt. Of course HHH was always going to win. But let’s say he didn’t and he had to end his in ring career. Who cares? The guy wrestles maybe twice a year, and the rest of the time he’s making far more money running the company. He’ll be fine. That’s not me being a smart ass. It’s the story we’ve been told.

This show is killing me, you guys. I started watching it yesterday. I’ve taken breaks because I had to go do other things. I’ve skipped over everything that isn’t either a match or something that might be important. I’ve had a full night of sleep. I’m still so tired. How do you live watchers do it? I love the WWE Network with all my heart for so many reasons, but one of the worst things ever to happen to WWE is the damn thing giving them the flexibility to run shows that never have to end.

Oh my god there’s still an hour and five minutes on the clock.

They’ve really set Corbin up well to do some fine heel work, but if that really was Kurt Angle’s last match, what a flat end to the career of one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen.

Demon Finn beats Lashley in a well worked TV match and is IC champ again. Cool. Can this show please die now?

Joan Jett still sounds pretty good.

So that was…wonky. Either they messed up the finish or they’re trying to set the stage for a Ronda Becky rematch. But if a Ronda’s shoulders weren’t down finish was the plan, why would you do it in your historic first ever women’s Wrestlemania main event? Even WWE couldn’t be that stupid…could they? Match was pretty good up to that point, but would have been so much better on a show half as long. Something honestly needs to be done about the length of these shows.

I am so done.

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