Welcome to the latest edition of "From the Desk of Mr. V". I am Anthony "Mr. V" Valvo, your WrestleView resident teacher with the same material as last time, but different names, matches, and articles.
So sit back and grab some coffee, cider, or bottle water. Relax as you read the 115th (and 3rd WrestleMania) Installment of "From the Desk of Mr. V".
Quote of the Week
"It's nice to be the best, but not when being the best brings out the worst in you." – Rodney Dangerfield
Welcome to Mr. V's WrestleMania Column!
This is a pretty easy choice to post a lecture this week. I can go with some of the issues in TNA Wrestling or find news about what is going on in the world of professional wrestling. This week, I am looking to only lecture about one thing. What is the one thing that feels like "The Super Bowl" to every professional wrestling fan.
I want to write about WrestleMania XXVII! So class, this is what I will lecture about. What I will do is ask a question about each match and try to answer it as best as possible. Like the other columns before WreslteMania, I will present my expectation and give it a "Potential" grade.
I did this with the other WreslteMania that I have done (since the 25th) and next week I will present two grades. The first grade will be my "actual grade" right after watching the match on television with my group of friends. The second grade will be my "second take grade", which is the grade I give a match when the only things around the room will be me, a notebook, and a pen.
Also included in this lecture will be a question, an opinionated answer, and who I think will win each contest. Usually, I give my details in the prediction column, but this is WrestleMania! I can't pass this up.
Also, this is my chance to do some "Fantasy Booking", in which I will place the matches in order of how I think they should be positioned on this WrestleMania card.
So, let's start writing in the stars, shall we?
Match #1: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (for Sheamus' United States Championship)
Honestly, what better way to kick off the show with this match on the card. In the short time they have worked together on Monday Night Raw, both wrestlers have developed some strong chemistry in the ring and actually has a compelling storyline.
Daniel Bryan arguably is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. Though he is not "big enough" to be a World Champion in the WWE he will definitely give any wrestler (big or small) one of their best matches in their career. Bryan's wrestling skills mesh well with anyone, as he can wear down opponents and finish them off with the LaBell Lock.
Sheamus has come a very long way since he debuted on the ECW brand in 2009. Sheamus has a unique look and has some traditional signature moves. I consider Sheamus more of a power, yet technical wrestler. He can end anyone's momentum with an Irish Hammer and finish them off with either the High Cross or a Brouge Kick.
If one of these guys loser, will they be buried? Honestly, that is the beauty of this match. Both guys are in the upper-mid card (and some may argue that Sheamus is main event already) and have many disciplines in their arsenal. If Sheamus loses, he would still be there in that main picture on the Raw Brand. Sheamus has the size and strength (and more importantly a unique look) to put on a solid match with anybody. If Daniel Bryan loses, it would not be a big deal because he is a bigger asset to the company than many believe. Bryan lacks the size of a WWE wrestler, but he was blessed with the ability to amaze fans around the world by adapting his style to anyone else who steps in the ring with him. There has to be a winner and a loser when one books the result, but whoever loses is still part of the big picture on Monday Night Raw (or Smackdown if one of them gets drafted).
Who wins? SHEAMUS. Sheamus in storyline just got over a long losing streak just so he can start this storyline with Daniel Bryan. Now that Sheamus is the United States Champion, it would in a way be foolish for him to drop the belt quickly. This does not mean that Bryan is "buried" mainly because he is a very versatile competitor in the ring.
Potential Grade: B.
Match #2: The Corre (Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov, The Big Show, and Kane
There is a pretty interesting storyline between all eight men. The Corre is booked to being "all equal" and it is hard to dispute that claim. Barrett is now the Intercontinental Champion, Slater and Gabriel are the Tag Team Champs, and Ezekiel Jackson is the brawn in this group. Marella and Kozlov have a feud going with Corre members Slater and Gabriel, while The Big Show and Kane have been victims of a few attacks by The Corre. This match here has the potential to transition into a payoff at a lower-tier PPV.
Will the crowd at The Georgia Dome pay attention? Sadly, there was not so much "mic time" (aka speaking segments) that can grab my attention. Also, I don't think this will be a long match at all. There is a decent story being told in the ring, however there is not much detail to this eight-man tag team contest that could make anyone very interested. Also, it just felt that this match was thrown together very quickly.
Who wins? THE CORRE. I had a pretty difficult choice with this match, but I am going to stick with the team that has the best chemistry. Big Show and Kane at times attacked each other and formed this quick team in the past couple weeks, while Marella is there for the comic relief (we need one of those). The Corre has been on a roll on the Smackdown brand and if the WWE wants them to be a huge threat to the babyface roster I think they should put these guys over the veterans. I do expect The Cobra planed on someone, but in the end I predict either Big Zeke slamming Kozlov or Gabriel hitting the 450 Splash. It should be a short, but even-paced match with the younger Corre going over.
Potential Grade: C-.
Match #3: Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
After what would be a very quick and potentially uneventful match, get the crowd back on their feet with the most popular wrestler on the Smackdown brand and one of the fast rising superstars in the WWE.
Rey Mysterio always got a huge reaction in previous WrestleManias, and this one will be no different. His fast style should easily grab the attention of those in attendance and those watching the event at home. Mysterio needs a guy who can control a match by being technical and quick. While Rhodes may not be a master at both trades, he is approaching those very quick.
The Cody Rhodes character might be one of the best gimmicks I have seen in 2011, and here is why I am stating this opinion. In drama, there are comedies and tragedies. Rhodes has gone through the "comedic" dashing life and transformed himself into a "tragic" looking and aggressive character. Also, there is a new mean streak to Rhodes that just makes him a very intriguing part to this show.
Is this match the sleeper? If fans love the high-risk, in your face style action, this might be the match of the night. Mysterio is a proven high-flyer and the master of escaping any maneuver. Rhodes has some quick spots as well. Don't forget that "Beautiful Disaster" Kick and he can pull off a pretty good moonsault. They told a story between these two for at least three months and if this is the payoff, I expect this to be one of the best matches on the card.
Who wins? MYSTERIO. In a match that I expect a lot from, I think after weeks of attacks Mysterio gets his revenge on Cody Rhodes inside the squared circle. I could see Rhodes in control for most of the contest, but the face mask Rhodes is wearing will harm him, rather than hurt his opponent, in this weekend's match. Even if the match goes under 10 minutes, I expect this match to really shine at WrestleMania.
Potential Grade: B+.
Match #4: John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler, Layla, and Michelle McCool
Out of the matches on this card, this is the one that makes me scratch my head. On one side we have Dolph Ziggler, who is a fast-rising superstar who had that minute-long World Heavyweight Championship reign. McCool is a pretty gifted wrestler (I think she is has a well-balanced moveset) and Layla is right now the most improved diva on the WWE roster.
On the other side there's John Morrison who they are really trying to build up. He may be one of those spotty wrestlers, but I think he can be entertaining because of the way he can escape about of dangerous spots. Also, Trish Stratus may be one of the best divas in WWE history, but now is there for nostalgia. When this match is over, don't expect her to wrestle in a WWE ring more than one time in 2011. However, Stratus is still not bad despite the fact she has not actively competed in years. Snooki is one of the cast members on the MTV hit show "Jersey Shore" (columnist note: I dread the show, but people watch it). She may be popular, but I am just confused with the fact that the WWE wants to be family friendly and "Jersey Shore" is a show that I would never have my child watch. If adding Snooki to WrestleMania was to get a couple thousand more buys, then it is a success for the company.
Is there any way Morrison, Stratus, and Snooki lose this match? When it comes to celebrities in a match, the WWE always puts the celebrity over their own. Ok, maybe I do not have the research to back that up but I know that the likes of Mr. T, Lawrence Taylor, and Donald Trump's hair all were winners in previous WrestleManias and if I am wrong, I am sorry.
To answer this question, the ONLY way is if Snooki parties too much in the ATL and forgets to appear at WrestleMania. But since Snooki is a media grabber (I won't say what I think because I like to keep my column "PG"), she will arrive fashionably late.
Who Wins? MORRISON, STRATUS, and SNOOKI. Usually, the WWE loves a celebrity appearance. With Snooki competing in this show, it is obvious who is going over in this contest. I expect Vickie to pull some shenanigan, Michelle McCool kicking someone's head off, and Morrison to hit his Starship Pain finisher. Who pins who? I think Snooki will pin Layla to get the victory.
Potential Grade: C-.
Match #5: Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Now that we got the mid-card out of the way (except for Cole and Lawler and with Austin being the ref it will happen later in the card), We have a story involving two guys that been playing mind games with each other for the past couple months. Randy Orton for years has been very psychological and his attacks always were booked premeditated. Orton was on a roll with his "punt" to all the members of The New Nexus. Orton crossed off everyone on his list, except for the leader of the group, CM Punk.
A couple years ago, Orton was the antagonistic heel who did the very same things to Triple H's family. When he did that to The Nexus, he was celebrated. That attack in storyline makes CM Punk very confused. However, the past couple of weeks CM Punk has targeted Orton's knee and comes into WrestleMania as the guy who is healed up and Orton has an injured knee (again, storyline-wise).
This has the potential of being a slower-paced contest with both wrestlers trying to destroy each other through the body and mind.
Will CM Punk get reinforcements from The New Nexus? Right now CM Punk is the leader of a group with no members healthy in this story because Orton injured each member. With this being now a one-on-one bout it seems like Orton will hand Punk a defeat. However, I think at WrestleMania they like to at least have one surprise and I am thinking that someone will come to the aid of CM Punk under the ring and hang him a weapon (like what happened on a Monday Night Raw weeks ago). It looks like Orton is the favorite, but do not be too sure of it.
Who wins? CM PUNK. I originally went with Orton in this contest, but in the last couple weeks I realized that CM Punk may need a win more than Orton does. Orton is a main event player and was for years on Raw. While CM Punk won the World Title on a few occasions, he has been pretty much road blocked the past few months (with losing feuds to the likes of Rey Mysterio and Big Show). What better way to get CM Punk and The New Nexus back on track than with a victory over a main event talent like Orton. It won't hurt Punk's status as a superstar, but I don't think this feud is over yet.
Potential Grade: C+.
Match #6: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for Edge's World Heavyweight Championship
The story began before January's Royal Rumble, when Alberto Del Rio talked about his "destiny" to becoming a World Champion. After winning the Rumble, he went on saying that he wanted Edge's World Championship and he has found a way to wear down Edge's arm (in a way, softening it up for his Cross Arm Breaker finisher). Del Rio also has some associates that will find a way to help in Ricardo Rodriguez and Brodus Clay.
Edge is one of the most recognizable men in the WWE. After defeating Kane for the World Heavyweight Championship, he has overcome some obstacles to maintain his status as champion (except for about a few minutes when Ziggler was the champ). Just when we thought that Edge was his battle with Del Rio, Christian ran in and helped Edge from have a couple one-sided beatdowns. Christian also helped wear down Del Rio, with two surprising victories in recent episodes of Smackdown.
Will there be interference? You bet there will be interference! Whether it will be for just Del Rio or both members of the match, something is going to happen and that makes this story very unpredictable.
(lighter side question) What car will Del Rio be driving? Golden colored stretch limo! You know, something that Snooki wanted with her entrance, but the WWE would say NO! With his gimmick, Del Rio will go all out. Heck, I would not be surprised if there will be a swimming pool in the back of that limo.
Who wins? DEL RIO. Usually the face wrestlers are successful in WrestleMania, but so are the Royal Rumble winners. I also threw in the outside interference factor, with two associates to one. While usually it will not be a factor, I see huge things happening for both Brodus Clay and Alberto Del Rio. Edge will probably chase immediately after dropping the title, so if Edge did win this match it would not make a big impact. Del Rio winning the championship would be a much bigger impact globally.
Potential Grade: B-
Match #7: Michael Cole (w/Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry Lawler with Stone Cold Steve Austin as ref
This match does have a main event feel, even though the match itself won't be near main event quality. Cole started this heel bit since the first season of WWE NXT and it escalated to The Miz winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Even though there are many heels competing at WrestleMania, I am near certain that Michael Cole will be draw heat better than anyone else on the card.
I am still in a way surprised that Lawler never once competed in a WrestleMania. Lawler got his first title shot a few months ago only to have that top spot taken away by one Michael Cole. Lawler I am sure in this story has some pent up frustration and could not do anything about it because of "the rules". When that bell rings, I expect Lawler to play his role very well and be ready for a fight.
Swagger as the trainer and Austin as the referee adds a little bit more to this story. Though many feel that Swagger doing this is a "demotion", I just don't see it. Swagger is a guy that has a ton of potential, but his personality is dry. Adding Swagger as the "trainer" to Cole may be that push that Swagger needed. Also, Swagger is an amateur wrestling champion, so having him train Cole (who obviously is not a wrestler) is perfect. Austin as the referee is pretty much going to seal Cole's fate in this match, and it needed to be done because how else will this match be entertaining?
Will Michael Cole get more than three moves in this match or will he run and hide until the finish? Let's see, the only things I have seen Cole do in a wrestling ring is stomp on a prone person and apply his "An-Cole Lock". Other than that, he does not have much. Despite Lawler's age, he is in good shape and will be chasing Cole until the end. My guess is that we will see more from Swagger than Cole, but when Lawler gets a hold of Cole (with the help of Austin), it will get good.
Who Wins? LAWLER. I felt that the purpose of this match was for Jerry Lawler to finally get his WrestleMania moment as an active competitor. Cole will not even give Lawler a fight and I expect Cole to be Lawler Punched back to his home in Texas. Will it be a technical match? Absolutely not! However, I will be entertained with this, I hope.
Potential Grade: D+ (but an A in entertainment)
Match #8: The Undertaker (and his 18-0 Streak) vs. Triple H
It all started on 2/21/11 when The Undertaker made his return to the ring. Also, on 2/21/11 Triple H made his shocking return as well. The start of the buildup was truly one of epic proportions. The problem though is that not one of them had a televised contest since they were injured. The Undertaker has an injury that is beyond repair, and Triple H took over six months off with an injury as well.
However, this match is important because of one thing, and that is "The Streak". The Undertaker has won every WrestleMania he has participated in and will do everything in his power to make it 19-0. He had a couple scares in the last couple years, but he overcame Shawn Michaels to earn the victories. Last Year's encounter ended Shawn Michaels' career.
Who is the man to challenge The Undertaker? Well, this year it is Triple H who in a way wants to not only end the streak, but perhaps wants to avenge Michaels. With the match being No Holds Barred, this does give Triple H an advantage, as he does his best works where there are no rules to abide by in a match.
Mr. V, Didn't Triple H lose to The Undertaker already at WrestleMania?
Since he is not competing, I am going to ask the great Percy Watson. Mr. Watson, did The Undertaker defeat Triple H once at a WrestleMania already?
Thanks, Percy Watson.
At WrestleMania X-Seven, The Undertaker in fact DID defeat HHH in a match. It was not a particularly good contest, as it was rated by many as the worst match on the card. It is funny how the WWE never mentioned this in a storyline. Honestly, how great would it have been when Triple H asked Shawn Michaels "Why I will beat Undertaker?" Michaels should have said "Because you did not ten years ago".
Who Wins? THE UNDERTAKER. Up until last week, believe it or not I was not sure who was going to win. Both men in this match are the last of a dying breed that was the Attitude Era of the WWE. Personally, I want to watch The Undertaker go 20-0 and then close the casket of his illustrious career. I won't be upset and break my TV is Triple H wins this, but I am 100% sure that Undertaker continues this remarkable feat (even if Shawn Michaels interferes in the match). However, because I haven't seen them wrestle one match this year I am expecting this match to be the most disappointing match on the card.
Potential Grade: C-.
Match #9 (Main Event): The Miz vs. John Cena for The Miz's WWE Championship
Out of all the matches on this card, this one has the main event feel. On one side we have the most popular wrestler of this generation in John Cena, who has been chasing the WWE Title for months only to have someone take it away from him. On the other side, we have The Miz. The Miz was my Wrestler of the year last year and I will never take it back. The Miz not only improved in every aspect as a WWE Superstar, but he right now is the best heel for the biggest wrestling company in the world.
Now, here is the other reason why I think this has a main event feel. The Rock is an electrifying character and the biggest draw the WWE during one of their most crucial times. Expect The Rock, who is hosting the show, to be entertaining and ready for some payback.
There is no need to go into dept outside of these two paragraphs. Both men spoke for themselves weeks before this match takes place on Sunday.
Will The Rock interfere with both men during the match? It is certain that The Rock will make his presence felt during the match; however I think that during the match he may actually "help" John Cena. However, when Cena is declared the winner I think The Rock will get his receipt after Cena delivered an Attitude Adjustment on him last week.
Who Wins? CENA. I think both will put on a great match, but in a way the story has been centered around Miz, Cena, and The Rock. However, inside the ring I think both wrestlers will tell a great story. The Miz is the arrogant, cocky champion and plays the role well. When Cena chases for the title, I think that is where he is most dangerous. Throughout the storyline, The Miz had the upper-hand (with the exemption of a couple episodes of Raw). With that said, I expect Cena winning the title for his fans go home happy. However, look for The Rock attacking Cena after the match and the cameras fade away after The Rock flashes The People's Eyebrow.
Potential Grade: B.
Overall, I expect WrestleMania to be a pretty solid show. For match quality, the average grade is a 2.21, which is slightly above average. I would potentially rate WrestleMania XXVII, from a wrestling standpoint, be better than WrestleMania 25 (which I graded a 1.73 or a C-) but just slightly worse than last year (which got a 2.45 or a C+). However, with some great in-ring action and also adding The Rock, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and Trish Stratus makes this a WrestleMania none of my readers should miss.
All in all class, enjoy WrestleMania. Expect good entertainment and some pretty good wrestling on this card.
Since this column is truly dedicated to WrestleMania, I will split this column into two separate columns. I don't want my readers to be too overwhelmed. So I will end #115 with this. I wish you all a Happy and Safe WrestleMania weekend.
And to my readers, if you want to give a grade about WrestleMania (what was the best match, worst, or overall thoughts) please send them to [email protected] I will put all WrestleMania comment in #117.
Expect #116 to arrive this weekend before Wrestlemania, with all the detentions, gold stars, honor roll, and more.
Well, that does it for me this week. I thank you all for reading this column and I hope you enjoyed this column as much as I typed it out. If you want to get a hold of me during the week, please e-mail me at [email protected] or at [email protected], or by leaving me a message on Facebook. I do get a lot of e-mails and may not reply in a timely fashion, but I will do my best to give you a quicker reply.
Now, students you are allowed to leave the classroom. Please push in your chairs, line up straight, and exit to the closest door around you. Until later this weekend, you are all......DISMISSED!
Along with WrestleView's Raw Recapper and Columnist Dave Stephens, The Teacher's Lounge gives the WrestleView Radio Network Audience a complete rundown of the past week's events in professional wrestling all in a two-hour program. We even have a few games, a detention segment, as well as interviews.
This Week's Guests (on the 4/2 FREE edition of The Teacher's Lounge)
Author L.Anne Carrington, WrestleView Owner Paul Nemer, and WreslteView Smackdown/WWE Superstars Recapper Mike Tedesco
On the 4/2 edition of The Teacher's Lounge, we talked about L.Anne Carrington's novel "The Crusierweight", which I think is a very good wrestling/romantic novel. It seriously is a book that I can't keep down. You can purchase the book via eBook or Paperback right here.
Also, we had "The Boss" of WrestleView.com himself, Paul Nemer and we went over the history of WrestleView.com, past WrestleManias, and hockey.
Finally, we had Mike Tedesco on The Teacher's Lounge to provide predictions for WrestleMania XXVII. We also found out that Mr. Tedesco did a very good impression of a legendary manager in professional wrestling.
Already on the archives we interviewed WrestleView.com staff members, including:
• Jose Marrero (Wrestling Rumblings and FYB Radio host) • Matt O'Brien (Notes from the Nosebleeds) • Josh Boutwell (TNA Recapper and Viva La Raza columnist) • Mike Tedesco (WWE Smackdown and Superstars recapper) • CJ Bowman (The Velvet Room) • Nicholas Gray (The Velvet Room) • Adam Martin even guest hosted an episode (find out which one) (Editor-In-Chief) • Paul Nemer (Site Owner)
But wait, here is plenty more!
The Teacher's Lounge also interviewed professional wrestlers and amazing writers, including:
• Ring of Honor Wrestler and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana. • TNA Superstar Hernandez • Isis The Amazon (formerly Aloisia of WWE) • Lori Carrington (Author of "The Crusierweight) • Crystal Mai (from Diva-Dirt.com)
As always, Dave Stephens and I thank all our listeners as well as our readers. For $4.99 a month, you get all of this along with many other hours of content from the other shows on the WrestleView Radio Network. It does cost a bit of money, but we will do our best to make it worth it. If you want to be a part of the Lounge for our "E-mails" section, you may drop us a line at [email protected]. To sign up, click here.
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