Ousta! Welcome back to the only WrestleView column covering topics both nowhere yet everywhere at once. If you are new to the column you are probably going to hate us for the first couple weeks, but then you are going to hit a point where you say ?oh wait a minute, I think he gets it?. Don?t worry, that’s exactly how it is designed to be. This column is all about gut reactions and traveling thoughts. As the great Andy Kaufman once said: ?I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut?.
After watching Wrestlemania 25 I feel as though I owe the entire Internet Wrestling Community an apology. I have put a lot of thought into this decision, and while sorry may be the hardest word to say, I need to say it. I am sorry IWC, I?m sorry WrestleView, and I?m sorry to each and every one of my readers. I?m sorry because I CANNOT be the guy some of you want me to be. I cannot watch a show and ignore my emotions. I cannot sit back and ‘smarkly? act as though I?m above it. I cannot watch a match and tear apart the tiniest of details and comment on how such and such a feud from the 1970s did such and such of a gimmick/story line/psychology/match better. I simply cannot be that guy.
When I watch a match, when I write down my thoughts, I am 100% driven by my feelings. It is for this reason that I have a very successful recap of ECW each and every week for one of the most elite Wrestling sites on the internet. It is for this reason that I receive and respond to countless e-mails from impassioned fans each and every week who read my column. Forget those ?big shot? wrestling ?writers? that are littered across other sites on the web, their greatest accomplishment is that they have managed to convince themselves that they are somehow ?above? their readers, and that their opinions are somehow more legitimate than anybody else’s.
I will openly and proudly admit that I am no better than any of my readers. Your opinions are just as valid as mine are, and I deeply respect you for having them. I am just one voice amongst millions and it truly is an honor to have so many dedicated fans. I say all this not to plug WrestleView or even myself, but because I am truly thankful that you have embraced and follow along with my thoughts.
I?ve said since the beginning that you will probably hate me for the first couple weeks, but if you stuck with me and kept reading you would eventually come around and enjoy the column. I?ve been doing this column for a couple months now, and I know that there are readers who will attest to the truth of that theory.
Wrestling is a great escape in my life. Nobody’s life is perfect and we certainly all have our trials. When I find myself incredibly frustrated in a situation where I honestly don?t know how things will ever improve I turn to wrestling and writing. I put my heart into a column and let myself get lost in the fantasy world that is professional wrestling. I thank you for embracing my writing and allowing me these couple of minutes each week where I can shoot straight from the gut. I?m no more than a simple fan of this art just like you. Together let’s embark on a journey where we leave the stuck up smark columnists in the trash and sail towards an oasis of enjoyment and appreciation.
My friends, when you step back and look at professional wrestling you realize the absurdity of the sport. Everything from the storylines to the gimmicks to the matches are ridiculous. The concept of paying to watch someone cut themselves and roll around a ring is surely a bizarre one. Friends and strangers alike may hate on it and make fun of you for watching, but dammit this is OUR diversion from the depression of the rest of the world. This is OUR escape into a land of entertainment. So screw the haters and let the passion and real emotions flow.
Real Time in My Mind
The Wrestlemania negativity is KILLING me! Let me be your oasis from the criticism as we focus on the positives of the greatest spectacle in sports entertainment. I got kicked off the phone during Wrestling News Live for sharing my optimism [ironic since I originally turned the show off because I wasn?t going to let their hate ruin my memory of a fun show]. What’s so intriguing about my thoughts? Read on ?
While watching ?mania I pulled out my notebook which I use to keep track of my spontaneous thoughts and decided to see what would happen. I kept notes as the show progressed and have decided that I?d share with you. I?m not going to bog you down with over the top analysis, because this column is about GUT reactions, not smarky nay saying.
– I?m pumped and excited, if there is one thing the WWE is great at, it is editing together promotional videos.
Welcome to the 25th Anniversary?
– Well at least I won?t have to hear about the 25th Anniversary [despite it being only the 24th Anniversary] after this show blows over
– Ok, not the best rendition of this song at ?mania by any stretch of the imagination, but who cares? It’s time for some wrestling!
Money in the Bank
– We are kicking off with this match?!? Awesome.
– Punk enters as the FIRST wrestler to be introduced to the crowd on PPV
– Punk seems to draw a slightly mixed reaction, interesting
– Christian enters, and man I love his new theme
– Great money in the bank match, one of my favorites [definitely in my top 4 Money in the Bank ladder matches]
– Christian can credit TNA for that ladder and rope trick of catching the rope and pushing the ladder back up. Shades of AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn from the early days of TNA
– You know, when TNA was still fun to watch
– Kofi has stolen this match with some eye-popping spots
– Enjoyable storytelling at the beginning when the small guys team up on Kane and Mark Henry with the big guys coming back and returning the favor just minutes later
– CM Punk Wins! Didn?t see that one coming
– Is it just me or did Punk not actually do much in the match?
– Still has me baffled as to why this is happening
– At least I can catch my breath from that adrenaline pumping opener
– I mean congrats on writing Stacy Kiebler’s theme, but really why are you here?
– A bit boring towards the middle/end but I liked the Diva’s coming out during the final number
Divas Battle Royal
– I take back that last statement, because there were no entrances so I don?t have a flying fig of an idea who is in this match
– The poor fans in the audience were probably more baffled than I was
– Santino winning was one of those predictable and thus disappointing moments
Jericho v. Legends
– Steamboat still has it!
– Rourke segment was a bit gratuitous, but an enjoyable moment nonetheless
Matt v. Jeff
– The WWE sure knows how to put together great video packages, they always get me pumped
– Matt has new ring gear, I like
– Matt wins and becomes my FIRST correct prediction of the night, so much for taking the lead in the WrestleView staff prediction standings
– I missed the bulk of this match because my feed was messed up
Backstage Segment #1
– Surprisingly the first backstage segment of the night
Rey Rey v. JBL
– Hell of a promo by JBL to start this one off. I?m not usually a fan of him on the stick but this one really worked for me
– Rey as the joker was one of the most hilarious and yet most glorious things I have ever seen
– This outfit actually tops his Flash costume from a previous WM
– My lord, he is wearing suspenders, this can?t get any better
– Rey wins and I officially plummet further in terms of predictions
– 21 seconds, impressive
– I expected the ?I Quit? but I really thought it was going to be with the Title
HBK v. Undertaker
– HBK’s descent and transformation into the Sexy Boy was fantastically done
– The whole light v. dark motif has been brilliantly executed in this feud
– The Atomic Drop inverted or otherwise remains one of my least favorite moves as it never looks like it connects
– If I saw someone who looked like the Undertaker in a dark alley I would be legitimately freaked out
– Undertaker is undoubtedly the manliest guy on earth who wears eye liner
– Taker crashing into the camera looked unbelievably painful
– Taker barely got back in the ring by that 10 count! That was incredibly close
– I wonder if the worst part of the Last Ride is the wedgie?
– Even knowing there is no way the streak will end my still heart pounds every time it looks as though HBK just might pull it out
– Shawn has kicked out of all three finishers! Are you kidding me!
– I actually fell to my knees in front of the screen to let the energy of the final moments pour over me, agonizingly watching Shawn crawl and give everything for the faintest hope of survival
– Undertaker wins and keeps the streak alive!
Cena v. Edge v. Big Show
– Cena always has the best entrances
– The throwback to the Wordlife theme had me insanely excited
– No like seriously I shouted for joy when it started to play
– The match had all the right spots for a triple threat
– Can we mention the Wordlife entrance again? Absolutely AMAZING
– I loved Show getting tied up in the ropes AND that he didn?t lose while in it
– Show never hits that second rope move
– Moment of trust and then deception between Cena and Edge was brilliantly played
– Cena Wins!! The Champ is Back!
Hall of Fame Recognition
– Stone Cold riding backwards to the ring and tossing the cooler in were incredible spots from a symbolic standpoint
– A farewell in front of 70,000 fans was both deserved and properly executed
– JR has officially declared the Austin Era as complete
HHH v. Orton
– 2nd backstage segment of the night airs before this match, an astoundingly small amount of backstage spots during the PPV
– HHH’s entrance was mad cool
– The commentators constantly discussing the DQ stipulation was really annoying
– Finishers at the start?!?
– This is intriguing, where are they going with this?
– Watching this match gave the impression that something ?big? was happening
– DQ rule explains why we probably won?t see any McMahon or Legacy run ins
– Match bizarrely ends without delivering the ‘something big? moment I was hoping for
– Quote of the Night goes to the Camera guy mistakenly picked up on audio who said this when HHH was lying on his equipment: ?He’s on my cable… I can?t go anywhere!?
– Well, I have no idea what just happened
Every other match, show, and PPV that I watch during the year is subjected to scrutiny and in-depth analysis, but not this show. This is the one show every year where I throw away all semblance of reality and get lost in the fantastical spectacle that is Wrestlemania. Maybe if more people would try the same they?d be able to find the same joy that I?ve discovered. So go with your gut. Push aside the over analytical smart mark analysis of online commentators and let YOUR heart decide whether or not you were entertained.
What’s in the News?
12 Rounds had an opening weekend of $5.3 million
I actually watched The Condemned this weekend and really enjoyed it, so who knows maybe at some point I?ll give 12 Rounds a chance
TNA released a text based game for the iPhone
Can?t hurt I guess
Wrestlemania in highlight form will be airing as a special on NBC in August
So they?ve pretty much given up on their Saturday night specials
Shawn Michaels says he?d like Bret Hart to induct him into the HOF one day
Hart’s response was pretty much ?that’s absurd?
Larry Sweeney returning to ROH after ‘suspension?
I?m still in the dark as to why he was suspended, anyone know?
Tazz leaves the WWE!
I give him a lot of credit for volunteering to work through Wrestlemania [even if the WWE said no thanks] despite letting his contract run out
Another Night in China released
What in tarnation is that taste in my mouth? Oh, that?d be vomit
WWE RAW ? 3.6
ECW on Sci-Fi ? 1.3
TNA Impact ? 1.3
WWE Smackdown ? 1.9
WWE Stock Update
Week Ending April 3rd 2009
Open ? 11.51
Close ? 12.96
Low ? 12.99
High ? 11.25
-Kane def. CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Christian, United States Champion MVP, Finlay, Mark Henry and Shelton Benjamin in an Eight-Man Over-the-Top Rope Battle Royal
-Big Show def. John Cena
-Rey Mysterio def. Intercontinental Champion JBL in a non-title match
-Chris Jericho def. Jerry ?The King? Lawler
-Women’s Champion Melina, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Eve, Gail Kim, Alicia Fox, Tiffany, Brie Bella & Maria def. Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes, Layla, Jillian, Michelle McCool, Maryse, Katie Lea Burchill, Nikki Bella & Natalya
-Mark Henry & Kane def. Christian & Finlay
-Nikki Bella def. Brie Bella
-Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, & No Limit def. Lethal Consequences & L.A.X.
-Team 3D def. MEM Security (Big Rocco & Sal E. Boy)
-Taylor Wilde def. Madison Rayne w/The Beautiful People
-Lethal Lockdown Advantage Challenge Round 1 ?Big Poppa Pump? Scott Steiner (Team Angle) def. ?The Phenomenal? AJ Styles (Team Jarrett)
-Non-Title Match ?The Icon? Sting def. [DQ] ?Samoan Submission Machine? Samoa Joe
-Gail Kim & Maria def. Divas Champion Maryse & Michelle McCool (Divas Tag Team Match)
-United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter def. Shelton Benjamin (United States Championship Match)
-Jeff Hardy def. Ezekiel Jackson
-WWE Champion Triple H def. Randy Orton
-John Cena def. Edge & Big Show (New World Heavyweight Champion)
-CM Punk wins Money in the Bank Ladder Match
-Chris Jericho def. WWE Legends
-Matt Hardy def. Jeff Hardy (Extreme Rules Match)
-Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
-Rey Mysterio def. JBL (New Intercontinental Champion)
-“Santina” Marella wins 25-Diva Battle Royal for title of “Miss WrestleMania”
-WWE Tag Team Champions def. World Tag Team Champions (New Unified Tag Team Champions)
Must Read WrestleView Column of the Week
The Sharp Shooter #8 by Sean Hurley
A look at the role and value of face paint in professional wrestling, because let’s be honest ? if I was a pro-wrestler I would absolutely wear facepaint.
– WrestleView goes VIP on May 1st! Get excited for even more of the content you?ve come to expect from the site. I?m personally looking forward to the addition of staff blogs [you thought I was crazy now, just wait] and helping out on the Wednesday night edition of Wrestle News Live as we focus on my show ? ECW
– Adam Lambert MUST win American Idol, he is amazing
– For this month I have reactivated my Xbox Live Account! Usually I play with my friends at school for some Halo 3 system link, but I?ve dusted off the good ?ole Xbox and recovered my old account for some epic Halo 2 battles. Hit me up if you are nostalgic [or don?t have the money to shell out for a 360] and join me online. My gamertag is Gravity Spasm
So ?that’s a wrap??. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them ?em on over.