Happy Monday TJR Faithful and all I have to say is Wow! What an ending? As Max Landis said, when wrestling works it works. I’m going to be honest with you guys, much of that show wasn’t working for. It was objectively good. The match quality was not sub par, nor was the spectacle, but I just wasn’t feeling it for a long while.
The Stereotype Showcase a.k.a. RacialMania a.k.a. Fatal 4 Way Tag Title match did exactly what I thought they’d do, and only made me dwell on the state of ethnic superstars in the WWE. The following battle royal didn’t help matters on that front (can we start a hashtag movement #GiveEthnicSuperstarsAChance/#NoMoreRacistGimmicks) and directly spat in the face of logical and meaningful storytelling (which is why I watch).
The Intercontinental Title Ladder Match was good, but probably on the lower end of historical Wrestlemania Ladder Matches. That package they ran before showed some stellar and innovative stuff, none of which we got last night, partially because they didn’t have the guys out there to do that kind of stuff. I was more than okay with Daniel Bryan winning, but wish Dean Ambrose had been more of a factor in the match, because they’ve done him no favours since The Shield split. That trend continued last night. That was followed by Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins having a great match that in the grand scheme of things didn’t matter while I was watching it.
Then came Sting vs. Triple H. To call this match a clusterf*@% would be an affront to all decent clusterf*@%’s in the world. It started out fine, but when DX came out, followed by a geriatric, snail-paced NWO, all the suspension of disbelief left my body. What the bloody hell was I watching? None of this made sense! Not only do we know these guys are all best friends, but X-Pac was in the NWO before he was ever in DX, and Sting spent most of his time in WCW fighting the NWO. Sting even compared the NWO to The Authority he was trying to take down now, during the build to this match. I’ll admit I popped when Shawn Michaels showed up, but that fraction of a second doesn’t change my feelings on this match. It was a glacial paced mess that made absolutely zero sense from start to finish, and ended with these bitter rivals shaking hands and JBL yelling “We beat them again!” Seriously, I need to move on, I hated this entire match.
The Divas Tag was solid, but should have been a Fatal 4 Way for the belt. The U.S. Title match was everything I expected to be. No more, no less (although I was hoping Cena would cry when he brought the gold back home… didn’t happen). Then The Rock came out to interrupt The Authority and remind me that there was a time when the top stars were also the hottest acts in the company. He was fun, involving Ronda Rousey was great and Steph getting some comeuppance was great to see, as it rarely ever happens.
Then came the Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker match. I perked up a bit. The Undertaker looked good physically, and to start out he was a ball of fire. Then he stopped looking great and started looking old. Heather Hickey described it best on Twitter:
I hate to say it, but now I know why they kept Undertaker under wraps until now. He looks unsteady and befuddled.
— Heather Hickey (@kickyhick) March 30, 2015
I couldn’t agree with her more. It was sad to watch after a while. Aside from the early flurry and the Bray Crab Walk into the Taker Sit Up, every near fall was breaking my heart because I just wanted it to be over so the guy could get a drink of water and sit down for a moment. Undertaker won and at this point not a single young superstar had been put over at Wrestlemania 31, and I was seriously debating my relationship with this medium.
It was much like when I brought my nephew to see the Michael Bay produced Ninja Turtles movie. It was an affront to everything I loved about the Ninja Turtles. They were bastardized in a film that followed no logic, had no discernable plot, and relegated The Shredder and the Ninja Turtles to side characters in their own film. It was an abomination, but my very young nephew liked all the fighting and thought it was cool. I realized at that moment that it wasn’t for me, and that what I loved about those characters was just gone. Is that what was happening to me and the WWE on this night?
Nothing that happened on this card made me excited for the future. Nothing had me anxious to see what would happen next. Who will Kidd and Cesaro feud with? Who cares, the entire tag team division is filled with failed experiments and racist stereotypes. What’s next for Big Show? Yawn. Who will Daniel Bryan defend his Intercontinental Title against first? If it isn’t Ziggler or Ambrose, I don’t care. What’s next for Triple H and Sting? If it’s some kind of NWO vs. DX thing, count me out. What about the Divas? More of the same. John Cena and the US Title? Another Rusev match for him. Undertaker or Bray Wyatt? Undertaker will slink away again for a year, while Bray will randomly choose a new program. Randy and Seth? Who knows, their beef is over, with Randy resoundingly having obtained his vengeance. I was not riding high at this moment.
Then came the main event. The glorious main event. It was wonderful even before Seth cashed in. There was storytelling and it was the first time all night I was engaged in what I was watching. Brock dominating Reigns. Roman taking the abuse in stride and mounting a comeback. Then Seth swooping in and picking the carcasses of both men having destroyed each other, and stealing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I had said it many times before, I didn’t want Brock or Roman to leave Levi’s Stadium with the championship.
The title is the central piece of the WWE’s storytelling and needs to be more present. Brock doesn’t need the title, because we’ll always dig him. He’s a special attraction that never fails to get people excited. If he had won, and left with the belt, what’s next? What am I getting excited for the next night on Raw. Or the week after? More of the same absent championship?
If Roman had won, it would have killed him. Nobody would have wanted to see him win and he would have forever been viewed as the guy the WWE strapped a rocket to and forced down our throats. He would never reach the level of stardom I know he has in him, because they couldn’t wait to tell a better more meaningful story.
Seth Rollins winning the WWE Championship is the best course of action. Reigns finally faces adversity. Brock will be furious and be after Rollins in the future. Randy’s meaningless match with Rollins now has serious title implications. It was the right way to end Wrestlemania 31. Giving the ongoing narrative the most flexibility and making people excited to see what is coming next, because there are several exhilarating paths to take coming out of the Showcase of the Immortals when it comes to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Thank you WWE, for giving me something to look forward to.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think! How did you feel watching Wrestlemania? Did the main event save the card for you? What was your favourite match? Least favourite? Did that mess of a Sting/HHH match work for you?
Until next time (which will be very soon), I’m Matty J. Douglas saying I can’t wait for Monday Night Raw. Also Go Spurs Go! Have a great week everybody!