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Wrestlemania 34

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#1281 DMJ

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:23 PM

I liked the segment and thought it was one of a handful of really smart production/booking decisions that helped the show. The show didn't need a big return between Nak's heel turn and the main event. It needed a palate cleanser and Braun going into the crowd provided that. The match was what was it was and I understand why some, like Austin on his podcast, criticized the treatment of The Bar. Obviously, it didn't help that Braun just handed over the titles the next night either. But on WrestleMania night, that segment was designed to provide lighthearted entertainment and I thought it did it well. Long-term, this is not the type of stuff I want to see Braun do every week and I certainly don't want to watch entire PPVs where every segment is treated with cartoonish/"Anything Can Happen!" zaniness, but on a 5-hour show? It has its place.


Similarly, I really respected the execution of the SmackDown Tag Titles Match (and I'm sure The Bar would've preferred to be in the Usos role for that too). Now, it wasn't a "good" match at all, but boy did it accomplish what it needed to. The New Day got their entrance (which is really all the "WrestleMania moment" they need), the Bludgeon Brothers got to look dominant, and the Usos dropped the titles without really dropping the titles because the match was so brief and positioned as such a bathroom break that nobody is going to remember that loss. It was practically a phantom title loss so The Usos didn't suffer anything from it. Plus, if you were paying attention and not using the opportunity to use the restroom or grab another plate of snacks, you actually got a decent 4-5 minutes of action. It was far better than the US Title Match where somehow all 4 guys came out of it looking worse for having been involved.

#1282 Slasher

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:24 PM

Joe: No. Square peg, round hole. Wouldn't have fit with Braun or the storyline.

Like the Mania crowd wouldn't have *exploded* for Joe. Yeah, a ten year old kid so we can have a stupid gag was that much better. Come on now... 

I can accept the idea that it was a dumb storyline to begin with, they probably set up too much of an expectation considering how pro wrestling always work, the tag team division AND Braun deserved better than what they came up with BUT-

according to the story they DID tell, they needed someone who would pose no threat whatsoever to the match. It is Braun essentially deciding to win the tag titles by himself for fun, that is why he entered the battle royal. Angle made him get a tag partner which is something Braun doesn't want to do. So instead of looking for partners, Braun knows he is winning the match regardless of who his partner is. He does what he does, destroy shit, get cheered for it. So why he decides it will be a kid, I don't know- but it has to be a kid or a grandma or something like that to continue telling that story. Bringing Joe in for that angle would change the story too much as either he has to change his character and just stand on the apron and watch on or Braun has to change his motivations-is he no longer in it to win the tag titles by himself for fun or does he no longer believe in himself to fulfill his objective or what?

Then again after 6+ hours maybe no one would have cared.

#1283 Grimmas


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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:34 PM

They should had switched the two women's title matches, had Jax more squash Bliss and have Bliss as Braun's partner.

#1284 C.S.

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:36 PM

We still remember Judy Bagwell twenty years later too. Memorable crap is still crap.

Judy Bagwell was stupid crap, but this was a feel-good moment that worked for a decent chunk of the audience.

Also, in a card that was on its 6th hour and already filled with delirious booking swerves, this felt almost appropriate.

Plus, WWE has never been good with surprises. If you were actually anticipating something huge and you're a longtime WWE fan, I really have to question your expectations and/or memory.

#1285 El Boricua

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:45 PM

In my opinion, the best fit for Braun's partner was Curt "The Human Projectile" Hawkins. That would have allowed for some fun ways for the story to unfold and given you an easy fall guy for getting the belts back on The Bar the next night.

#1286 KawadaSmile

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:30 PM

My opinion is the same as DMJ's. Yeah, it's Wrestlemania, but it doesn't need to be some serious shit through and through. 


I hardly believe it buries the titles - The Bar plowed through the division and while it seemed that in a proper tag setting they would indeed get the upper hand over Braun, all the planning goes downhill when the partner was picked on the spot. It's a fun a fresh angle that gives Braun at least a title celebration, shakes up the RAW tag team division (God knows it needs something new) and gave the crowd a nice little pop.

#1287 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:50 AM

Back on track. Am I the only why waiting for Stacy's insane report ? She must have lost her shit with the Rousey match.


Well I appreciate that. It's a full week later and it feels like Mania might still be going on actually so I'm not sure how insane I can go now. But I should write this stuff down.


Being there is insane. A giant mass of 80-odd thousand wrestling fans packing into that sardine can of a Superdome hallway, the anticipation, the RIDICULOUSLY sexy giant NOLA Baybay Wrestlemania set (get a load of that beautiful looking thing), everything is just amazing to be around and soak in. Felt that the entire weekend, but more on that later.


I had a pretty decent seat in the lower bowl, Section 152 represent. I don't see a lot of live wrestling and I'd never been to a TV taping until the night before so it's really strange for me to be live in the arena watching this stuff from relatively afar compared to seeing it up close on TV with commentary. I tried to keep my eyes on the ring and not the screen as much as possible. It was the battle royals that were hardest to discern what was happening.


Goldust is a motherfucking worker because he did all his shit in this jobber battle royal and got himself super over in the middle of it and was the only interesting part until the finish. Between this and the stuff on Raw Bray Wyatt is already improved exponentially by this tag team. And Matt talking to the Andre trophy was outstanding.


I don't watch 205 Live so I didn't really care about the CW match, but I did want Ali to win if asked. I MAY have had my first micro nap of the evening during and after this to be ready for the Women's BR. Don't judge me I was on like 3 hrs sleep a night in NOLA and I usually function optimally on about 17 hrs.


There was more happening during the women's BR I feel. I appreciated getting to see Becky's entrance live, and Sasha's. Bangers. LOVED spotting all the NXT girls when they came out, Kairi the Pirate and DAKOTA and Bianca Belair and That Indian Girl and...the other ones. So I super loved them running wild and doing the NXT shine spot. Fuck it just do an all-women show, that's all the wrestling content I'd ever need. I motherfucking TAPPED when Becky got tossed. FUCK ALL Y'ALL. Utter bullshit. And it wasn't just me either, everyone hated it and I heard people who aren't me saying that Becky should have won. The Sasha/Bayley face off was cool though. Nobody noticed that Naomi hadn't been eliminated so it was a genuine surprise. What was also surprising was WHY COULDN'T THEY DO THE EXACT SAME FUCKING FINISH WITH FUCKING BECKY?!?! That pissed me off all over again that they somehow DID want a random SD midcard face winning it and it still wasn't Becky.


Seth was pretty damn over for reasons I don't fully understand. But he has a fun song. Balor's entrance live was one of my legit highlights even though I'm fairly indifferent to Balor himself. But at home, my mother LOVES Balor's entrance and we get a kick out of watching it together every week when she watches Raw, so doing it in a sea of 80k like that was stupidly fun. Plus the gay shit. I'm a big ol' dyke who loves her some gay shit, and I made sure to buy the big gay Balor t-shirt when I was there. Match itself was a fun three way spotfest that we were all really into. Opening Mania must be an even more coveted spot these days since you're guaranteed a far better crowd than later on. I knew Miz would lose, I thought Balor would win beforehand, but in the building seeing how over Seth was he was the right choice.




When Asuka hit the main roster, for my own sanity I came to terms with the idea of her losing sometime eventually. I choose to view her NXT run as its own separate perfect entity. Undefeated forever. And I fair dinkum bet ACTUAL money on Charlotte winning on my Sportsbet account before I left the country and won a lot of ACTUAL money on the result. I know how much they love to push Charlotte and have her make history. So my point being, in my mind, I was definitely cognizant of the possibility.


Then the match happened and IT happened and I lost all control of my body. I couldn't move and my jaw was stuck gaping wide for a good 10 minutes of my life. If WWE had a camera on me I'd have been meme fodder for all eternity. This shit fucking FLOORED me. They had an Asuka vs Charlotte tale of the tape style t-shirt on sale at the stores that I passed by countless times over the weekend. When this ended I realised I couldn't leave the building without buying that shirt and having a souvenir of this match. Fucking destroyed me.


Then we get this Jinder bullshit. What a comedown. I stayed in my seat for this whole nonsense just for RUSEV DAY but even then it wasn't nearly as over at Wrestlemania as it had been the entire rest of the weekend. I can't explain to people who weren't in NOLA just how over Rusev Day was. It was chanted non-stop on the streets, constantly sung in bars and shouted at strangers, the t-shirts were everywhere, and the GIGANTIC Rusev Day chant in the tunnel outside of the arena after Takeover was one of the craziest things of all. Too many dang casuals at Mania I guess. I was hopeful going in that he'd win just so they could shut everyone up in their eyes, but when the match got underway I realised that was folly and I was right. I didn't expect Jinder Fucking Mahal though. FUCK JINDER. I had to sit through Jinder Fucking Mahal winning a title at Mania, get fucked.


But I do not despair, because here in this place, in Row 10, Seat 8, Section 152 of the Superdome in New Orleans, LA, and on this day, Sunday the 8th of April, in the Year of our Lord 2018, at approximately 7.30pm CDT I myself bore witness to the most astonishing miracle in the history of wrestling, and also possibly the history of miracles.




This was a stacked fucking card going in, everyone thought it would deliver, a bunch of good looking matches lined up, all their stars, workrate for days...and Stephanie fucking McMahon outworked EVERYBODY. Every fucking body. What a woman.


Also Ronda is fucking amazing. She's gonna be just fine. Had no idea how she'd go in a match, and God damn did they build and build to her hot tag, and then she BLEW EVERYONE THE FUCK AWAY. Minds visibly exploded, I don't think anyone in their wildest dreams thought that she'd be as good as she was. So badass, so fucking QUICK and so smooth. People were LEAPING out of their seats when she did a throw. It was nuts. Her finally beating the holy fuck out of Steph after all that work was glorious, and her beating the shit out of Hunter was even better. I was fucking ROLLING at this, THE ALMIGHTY HUNTOR fucking Almighty Huntor's all over the place over everyone in WWE for 16 years only to job like a fucking bitch to a girl. I love wrestling.


What they did with this match, from the lengthy heat period building up to Ronda getting in, Steph's all time heel work fucking with her, then the HUGE hot tag and all of the twists and turns from that point on, and fucking Hunter and Steph are such cunts that the threat of them actually winning felt super real and created insane tension in all their bullshit nearfalls only for Ronda to run fucking WILD and finally, FINALLY put Steph in this fucking armbar and when she was looking down at Steph as the grip on her fingers slowly slipped away and she was BEGGING and SCREAMING for mercy and Ronda just stared at her all "Die, bitch" and popped her arm out that was the most gloriously badass thing in the universe, and also the most cathartic when you consider this is the ultimate comeuppance for such a piece of shit character that has run ridiculously, stupidly roughshod over everyone for years without any consequences. Until now. It's like if Vince had been Mr. McMahon on TV for a decade before Austin finally turned up and gave him a Stunner.


Yeah this was fucking tremendous. Steph is the GOAT and they gotta strap the rocket to Ronda immediately.


I missed the SD tag match to get food and recover. I just caught it now on the Network stream and it looked fine. The New Day entrance was some weird ass fucking shit though.


So Cena's music hit when I was in the back getting food, and everyone else was too because the hallway was PACKED and joints were running out of food. So anyway I'm shuffling along with my food and Coke in this crowded corridor when CENA'S MUSIC HIT. Suddenly the hallway CLEARED because everyone freaked out and started RUNNING back to their seats. It was a sight to behold. I was freaking out so much I bounded down the aisle trying to balance my shit only to get to my row and realise these weren't the clowns I was looking for (I was sitting in a row with literal clowns yes) and I had gone into the wrong fucking section. So I piss bolted around and was stumbling down the right aisle when Elias' music hit and I laughed and realised I'd been had. Fucking Elias.


I like that they went to the lengths of doing this beatdown and having Cena moping all the way up the ramp before BONG. I love Cena looking SHOCKED when he came out when he'd been expecting him to come out the entire segment. That goofy shot of Cena's jaw on the floor is me after Asuka lost.


I'm gonna be honest, I fucking loved this. The angle was such that Cena was being such a shit and deserved to get his ass kicked by Taker. Taker is 100 years old and this was way better than watching him wince through a longer match. And it was fucking FUN. When Taker SAT UP and Cena TOOK A FUCKING BUMP FOR IT I LOST MY SHIT. Almost nothing pleases me more in wrestling than people selling the fuck out of the Sit Up.


It's easy to forget now but before the angle started a lot of us, myself included, were not keen on the idea of Cena/Taker. It was a few years too late, Taker was too old, he'd retired last year, it was going to be sad, not fun. Then Cena did his thing and talked everyone into wanting the match and suddenly people were...expecting Cena vs Taker. When in reality, Taker was never going to be able to deliver on that. So they went in this direction and did the question mark build and did this as a quick squash and it WORKED. It was fun. It wasn't sad. It paid off the build. Everyone is happy. And we got our Undertaker entrance.


I'm happy for Bryan that he's back. He was beloved. I could not give less of a shit about Shane or this angle though. And immediately taking out Bryan, doing the stretcher job and having fucking Shane work the whole thing just killed the match for the crowd. Nobody wanted to see Bryan dead on the floor. And to me it felt too similar to us waiting for the Ronda hot tag, and they did it much better an hour earlier. But once Bryan got in it got super fun. Shane's coast to coast was impressive though.


I super loved Alexa vs Nia and it's one I'm keen to rewatch. I only got the vaguest sense of Nia killing the fuck out of Mickie and eating her, for example. But it looked fun. Alexa is a great heel piece of shit just continually raking the eyes and being a shit. The last hour was rough for any kind of heat segment just because we were exhausted, but they built it well and the finish was brutal and final and great. Nia crying killed me. This was about the last of my energy here.


AJ vs Nak came way too late in the show for people to really get into. I feel like at 6pm it would have been a fun workrate match like the IC match, even if it wasn't a truly epic dream match like we imagined. But this late, it was a bad spot for a long match like this. I was looking forward to it as much as anyone but I was tapping and my eyes were starting to close on me. I was somewhat shocked that Nak lost, although it didn't seem set in stone, but I was more shocked by the heel turn, which was pretty cool. Gives Nak something interesting to do now at least.


The Nicholas thing was the weirdest thing in history and yet at the same time might have only been the 6th weirdest thing on this show. It took a while for him to find the damn kid. People were into it just for how fucking absurd it all was. "We Want Nicholas" and "Fuck Him Up Nicholas" chants and shit. And the memes, my God the memes. I still have no idea what I actually feel about it, this time of the night is a tired blur and it was just so ridiculous.


So, listen. The people sitting to my right literally got up and walked out when Roman's music hit. No kidding, legit said fuck this and walked out before the main event. So I laid down across their seats and had a nap. I could still hear and see the big screen but I just could not stay upright at that point. People bitch about people bitching about the length of Mania, "oh too much wrestling, boo fucking hoo!" but when you go there, already tired, and sit through a show that is SEVEN FUCKING HOURS LONG it is a HARD SLOG. It is exhausting. No matter what the event - if it were wrestling, a sporting event, a concert, a show, literally anything would be hard to sit through for seven straight hours. You can't blame crowds for dying at these shows. They are just too long.


Having said that, you could have shot all 80,000 of us with cocaine before the main event and it wouldn't have made a difference because nobody gave a fucking SHIT. I cannot adequately convey to you how little anyone in the crowd cared about Roman or Brock. EVERYONE checked out. The beach balls came out, and 90% of the cheering and booing heard during this match I guarantee it was for a beach ball appearing or being confiscated or popping up again. It was actually fascinating to witness, and far more entertaining being there live and watching the crowd than it would have been being at home and having to watch the actual match. What a fucking shitshow.


And then he fucking lost! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I was motherfucking ROLLING in my seats. All of this utter bullshit, years of going with Roman, so many attempted coronations because they fucked it up in the first place at 31, and we had to suffer through it because we KNEW they wanted to do the rematch so Roman would get his win back and then when he did he'd be The Guy and the pain would be over and here we are and man they tried with the build I guess but absolutely zero fucks were still given and Roman still is not The Guy and then to top it all off ROMAN STILL FUCKING JOBS TO BROCK IN THE END. Howling at this nonsense. They troll us with this for years and at the end they fucking EVISCERATE Roman once again because Saudi oil money buys a world title change. What a world.


It actually annoys me a little that the show was so long and the main event was so worthless because my first reaction when people asked me how Wrestlemania was has been "long". And that's bullshit because I finally got to see a Wrestlemania live in person and that's not the impression I want to be left with, or the impression I want to leave others with. I enjoyed the vast majority of it, there was a lot of super fun stuff like Cena getting squashed, Nicholas, people's entrances, and a few genuinely holy shit level moments in Asuka/Charlotte and Ronda/Steph. And of course, it is fucking insane and amazing to be at a live Mania at all and I loved every second being in the building, not to mention the entire weekend. I will never forget it. I am so, so, so glad I decided to just do it this year and go. I truly recommend it to everyone here, anyone who loves wrestling as much as we do to be posting here will really appreciate a Wrestlemania weekend. It is a glorious, surreal experience. And I mean I don't even watch the TV anymore, I follow WWE by watching most of the PPVs and whatever I catch from being on here and various chats. But you can absolutely enjoy Mania regardless. In fact I think I enjoyed it more because I'm not watching and didn't have to worry about booking and shit, just enjoy the spectacle and want people to win. Wrestlemania man. What a ride.

#1288 El-P



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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:38 AM

Well, the wait was definitely worth it. :)


So, listen. The people sitting to my right literally got up and walked out when Roman's music hit. No kidding, legit said fuck this and walked out before the main event. So I laid down across their seats and had a nap.


That cracked me up. #AceRomanReigns

#1289 WingedEagle

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:15 PM

Jimmy's Mania takes were as fun and appreciated as expected, especially a week later.


There's a great point about the main event on a 7 hour show there as well.  I'm not sure The Rock headlining against anyone short of a returning Daniel Bryan (emphasis on *returning*, not regular DB) could keep a crowd happy at that point.  Its too long for people at home on a couch, never mind those cooped up in stadium seating for an entire day & night and thinking about having to slog home.  Just asking for trouble.

#1290 Grimmas


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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:27 PM

Stacey should be the only person to ever give reviews on anything, because she's the beset.

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