Welcome back to “Interinactivity”. This column is moving to more of a “whenever I feel like it” schedule. It will still be on Fridays, but only when I feel like there’s enough material to do it with. Oh, and I quit doing TNA recaps. I quit that shit hard.
So another WrestleMania has come and gone. And with it, enough “Interinactivity” material to last a thousand winters. This is easily the biggest one I’ve ever done. My apologies in advance for the length. If you’d just like to read my thoughts on a certain part of WrestleMania, then for your convenience I grouped the responses into sections. If your comments are featured and other similar ones aren’t, don’t take it personally if I decided to use yours. With so much to go through, chances are I just found yours first.
Undertaker / Triple H
Scott Keith: Just an amazing performance from both, as they just beat the shit out of each other and let it all hang out.
Blair: This was a solid match, and was better than what I expected. Certainly better than last year’s, not as good as their clash at WM17, but I don’t think anyone really expected it to be. I didn’t really see the point of having the Cell there though, as they didn’t really use it. I mean, I didn’t wanna see these two old dudes fall off it or anything, but if they’re not going to do that, and it’s not going to hinder outside interference, which, unless I’m missing something, wasn’t an issue, then I don’t see why they’d bother putting it up. It would have been the same match without the cell.
Scott Keith: I literally don’t think they could have produced a more perfect match given the guys involved, unless there had been blood or something.
Blair: Do those guys involved include Shawn Michaels? Because I found his involvement a bit confusing. Basically it seemed as though he decided to work against whoever the last guy to kick his ass was. Until the end when he just decided “fuck it”. Now again, this is a minor complaint, but I feel like they could have done better if they had EITHER the cell or Shawn Michaels. I don’t think they needed both.
Scott Keith: Shawn and Undertaker mend their fences afterwards, and everyone goes out together, because they’re real men who settled their differences like men, and now they respect each other again. That is what wrestling is supposed to be. Just fantastic.
Flaming Wombat: I understand the sentiment for Taker and HHH riding off into the sunset after such a great match, but on the other hand, doesn’t a match like this show that they still have a lot left to offer? HHH is still far from over the hill, and Taker has put on the best match on like 7 or 8 of the past 10 Wrestlemania’s. Do the people who think they should retire now say so as a compliment or an insult? I am curious. Anyway, amazing match.
Blair: Yeah, I’m with Wombat on this one. I think they’ve both at least a little bit left to offer, although I’d add that they should be used sparingly. And it’s entirely possible that Undertaker isn’t far from a cripple these days (as long as that isn’t just kayfabe) so obviously I hope he stops before there’s a real risk of that happening.
Punk / Jericho
Scott Keith: Unfortunately that beginning just dragged it down too far to fully recover from.
Blair: I agree that they didn’t need to do that silly stuff at the beginning, but I think it recovered just fine. And I think that it perfectly illustrated just why it was that Punk and Jericho didn’t ever need to go beyond the “Best In The World” storyline, at least on their first outing. The crowd was incredibly into it, especially the last half. The first little bit, not so much.
Shamon Of Hedon: Also, anyone else get the feeling Vince saddled Punk/Jericho with the soap opera crap so it wouldn’t steal the show from Cena/Rock, then about halfway through their match Punk and Jericho said “fuck this” and started putting on a clinic? Because the soap opera crap seemed to just abruptly cease right arounf the exact moment they started putting on a clinic.
Blair: Nope. Just you.
WWE does like good wrestling. They just don’t make a habit of it nearly as often as they used to. I’d definitely agree that the match got 100% better once they ditched the lame theatrics though. Even the crowd reaction got better, which isn’t something you can always rely on when you focus on JUST wrestling. It’s a testament to just how good they both are.
But yeah, I doubt anyone else got that impression.
Alex Johnson: I got that impression as well.
Blair: Oh, for fuck’s sake. Not everything in wrestling is a conspiracy, kids.
Matthew Harrak: Does Chris Jericho’s tights mean his ass is The Best In The World?
Daniel Bryan / Shaemus
CB: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? AN 18-second SQUASH by Sheamus over Bryan?!?! Wow.
Blair: How long a squash would you have preferred?
Scott Keith: Why even bother having it (Shaemus / Bryan) on the show?
Blair: Because they wanted to try and make Shaemus a big deal, and giving him the World Title on the biggest show they do was the best way to try and make that happen. And they wanted to put the belt on him quickly because…
Scott Keith: People LIKE Bryan.
Blair: … because of this. The goal was not to get people to like Bryan. That’s why they have him unable to win most of his matches without cheating, and that’s why they have him abusing whatever the girl’s name is that he’s got hanging around him lately. People seem to have forgotten that. They wanted people to like Shaemus, and that wasn’t happening to the degree they wanted, especially for a guy they gave a Royal Rumble win to. The shorter the match, the less apparent that is. And it gets the belt on Shaemus. Besides, it’s not like anyone was ACTUALLY looking forward to actually seeing that match.
Scott Keith: I was looking forward to seeing that match.
Blair: Um… why?
Mike Gojira: There was a collective gasp as Daniel Bryan lost in 18 seconds. Fortunately, few people in the room knew who Sheamus and Daniel Bryan are, so it didn’t really affect them. For those of us who DID know, that gasp quickly turned into a groan. Well, except for Glazer. He was pretty much indifferent as though he expected it.
Blair: Well, at least I know there was one other person around here who wasn’t all that surprised.
Andre 2691: Wow you’ve followed wrestling for how long Keith? People LIKE Bryan????? That would be a perfectly acceptable statement if HE WASNT A HEEL! They’re not supposed to like him. Comparing him to Honkytonk is almost a joke since Honkytonk knew how to play his role and do his job right. The fact that people LIKE Daniel Bryan shows hes just doing a pretty crappy job as a “top HEEL” champion.
Blair: You were headed in the right direction with this, until you started critiquing Bryan for how to do his job as a heel. From where I’m sitting, the guy has done everything he can to get booed, including everything I mentioned above, and was mostly succeeding, I feel, at least until a couple months ago when his heel schtick got SO good that people couldn’t ignore it. That’s when he started getting cheered. Hell, even during his RAW speech where he thanked the crowd, he still was trying to be a dickhead to that girl. Am I wrong on that? I’m curious, what more do people think he could have done to get booed? Does he have to beat the shit out of that poor girl in the ring or does he have to go even further? Let me know what you think.
Y2I: Bryan + Sheamus + April 1 = Vince’s idea of a really funny gag. What the FUCK indeed.
Blair: Holy shit. Another one? Seriously? What exactly were you people expecting to see in this match that I’m missing here? All it would have been was Bryan flying around like a maniac trying to make Shaemus look good while people chanted for Bryan. This is like when people got pissed off about the Fingerpoke Of Doom. Were you THAT excited to see the Nash / Hogan classic? Yeah, Vince loves playing on-air gigs during his biggest show of the year. With World Titles and Royal Rumble winners especially.
Steven Gepp: And then came that opening 30-second “match”. I was ready to punch anything. These two could have gone for broke and delivered a great match to open the show and pop the crowd.
Blair: No. They couldn’t have. Shaemus would have countered Bryan’s actual wrestling by doing his usual boring thing, which would have been passable as an opener, but it wouldn’t have been good, and there would have been a lot more time to hear the crowd reaction and chants for Bryan, which is not what they wanted. They got them out there, Shaemus got a decent reaction, and he took down Bryan before a lot of people could really notice what the crowd was doing. Who could blame them for not thinking that people would be chanting for Bryan into the next match and the next night on RAW? I wouldn’t have thought that. And I LIKE Bryan.
Ralph Hardin: And before I could even get comfortable in my chair, months of character development and effort by Daniel Bryan were thrown out the window put the World Heavyweight Championship on Sheamus in an 18-second throwaway squash that does nothing for anyone.
Blair: This match was not SUPPOSED to be about Daniel Bryan. He’s the heel. Remember? It was supposed to be about Shaemus. That guy who won the Royal Rumble – it was supposed to be about him and about all the time and money they’ve invested in the guy, and getting a return on that investment, which, so far, they haven’t done. Is this result going to change that? No. But they’re taking their best shot.
Ralph Hardin: By the way, the fact that it was the opening match was another slight in my opinion to both Bryan and Sheamus… I mean, win the Royal Rumble and jerk the curtain?.
Blair: Except that the World Title match opened the show last year too. And yes, Shaemus won the Royal Rumble and is jerking the curtain. Because Shaemus is bland and uninteresting. He sucks. Winning the Royal Rumble doesn’t make it any less so.
Matthew Harrak: Wooooah that was a pop for Sheamus. I’m hoping we can hear the crowd a little better this year.
Blair: Yeah, it was the acoustics! That was it. I was talking with Lisa earlier, and we both agreed, Shaemus killed. I mean…
ME SO SAWWY!
Sideshow Bob: Hey Blair, serious question.. Since Shaemus won, in one move, does this increase or decrease your perception of his workrate? Match goes did, but since he was able to do it in one move, is this the most spectacular move ever, or no? Just curious because if it was one move performed to perfection, he would then have a 100% strike/takedown ratio… So how does this figure in?
Blair: That finisher is the same one that Matt Morgan uses. So, it’s good that Shaemus has been reaching for the stars with that. Call me crazy, but I don’t actually know what “workrate” is. I don’t think anyone does. I think it’s one of those IWC terms that people throw around, but when different people use it they mean different things. Does it refer to technical skill? Arial ability? Selling? Endurance? Ability to have a match that’s not the same every time? I don’t know. I don’t really want to know. But I don’t think Shaemus has any of those things. Whatever it is, he’d have to go back in time to have a 100% strike / takedown ratio since a ton of people have taken the move and still beaten him. Actually, that could help make him more interesting. I’d watch the shit out of Shaemus if he were a time traveller. I guess this answer is kind of all over the place. Probably because I don’t really understand the question. To take a stab at it, I don’t think that match shouldn’t be increasing or decreasing anyone’s perception of what Daniel Bryan or Shaemus’ “workrate” is, regardless of what “workrate” means. But that question may have been a joke.
Joel Leonard: The problem is that right now, there are fans out there that don’t understand that Daniel Bryan and Sheamus is not the match for that to happen on.
Blair: I would hitch my wagon to that pack of horses.
J Adam C: Bryan and Sheamus are obviously going to continue their feud.
Blair: No, they won’t. WWE are still trying to get the majority of the crowd to cheer for Shaemus. You gotta give them credit for sticking by the guy. Putting Shaemus against someone who a majority of people are ACTUALLY cheering for isn’t going to accomplish that. Hence why Shaemus is facing Del Rio.
CJ: I’m sure Blair got a good laugh out of the heat Sheamus got tonight
Blair: Aw. No, I’m not happy that anyone fails. All I’m saying is that I saw it coming a mile away. I’ve been saying it for almost a year now. But the Shaemus babyface push HAS failed. After what I read about and YouTubed on RAW, there’s not a lot of debate left to be had on that. Or maybe WWE has failed, in getting him “over” or whatever. Probably some combination of the two, realistically. Either way, it’s not really funny. It’s also just not surprising.
I mean, truthfully, I feel bad for the guy. It’s not like I’m some heartless…
Mike Gojira: Honestly, the first thought that came to my mind when Miami booed Sheamus on Raw was, “Blair Douglas must be loving this moment.”
Blair: … bastard.
Cynical Bastard: I would say the lukewarm reception he (Shaemus) gets is because he hasn’t had an actual feud since… I can’t even remember. He comes out and squashes random people here and there. I’m not arguing that it’s because he hasn’t been pushed, because that’s not true, he just hasn’t had any compelling story going on or even been getting a lot of TV time. Bryan, by contrast, has been getting a lot of TV time and interviews lately.
Blair: Yeah… but the guy won the Royal Rumble. And it’s not like he was getting huge reactions when he was feuding with Henry or anything. And Bryan has used his TV time to cheat and be a dick to his girlfriend, so I don’t get how a guy who everyone thinks is so awesome isn’t able to get cheered over that. You’re entitled to your opinion, of course. You think it’s because he hasn’t had a storyline. I think it’s because he sucks.
Benny Brown: Sheamus got what sounded like a decent (but not great) face pop after winning the match Sunday. That said, there were a lot of empty seats at the time. The Bryan chants throughout the evening – and there were several – would have me believe that the crowd would have been highly upset to see that match result if it happened later in the evening. At least in Miami, Sheamus can’t touch Bryan’s popularity. That clip from above is 100% accurate, judging from what I heard Sunday. Can Sheamus be a face and sell a few shirts? Yes. Can he be the face WWE obviously wants him to be? I wouldn’t bet on it. Bryan has a much better chance of getting that far.
Blair: Good points – and I admit, Shaemus got a decent face pop after winning, and when he came out. Certainly better than I expected. Likely being the first wrestler out there helped with that. But regardless, I never claimed he didn’t. But “decent” is also not all that good. Not World Title good. And not anywhere near as popular as WWE wants him to be. And he’s not getting this “cornerstone” status that everyone claimed he would have by now. Which is the point I’ve been making for some time.
Flaming Wombat: Also, awesome to see Sheamus getting putting over huge, even though it was a horrible booking decision and Bryan (and Sheamus too, actually) deserved better. Awesome, because what Blair said had to happen for Sheamus to be considered huge is exactly what did happen.
Blair: Wrong again. What I said was that putting Shaemus over on that show was the best CHANCE of WWE being able to start making him “huge”. I also said that even if they did that, I didn’t think they’d succeed. The crowd being behind Bryan and not Shaemus when Bryan is supposed to be a dick who abuses his girlfriend, and NOT Shaemus, who has had ALL of WWE’s support to this point and has been babyface booked to the moon… is an embarrassing result. And if you have any doubts, watch RAW, read a recap, or check out the news piece that CB posed of Bryan’s speech to see how your boy Shaemus is doing getting over huge. I’m not even really happy about it, honestly – maybe Shaemus is a nice guy or whatever. It’s not like I want the guy to fail. I’m just saying I saw it coming a mile away.
I was pretty confident I was gonna be right about this Shaemus thing. But even I never expected that I’d be right to this degree. This is hilarious. Bryan has done EVERYTHING he can to get booed up to this point. Shaemus has done EVERYTHING he can to get cheered. Both guys had the company fully behind them in pushing both goals. But Bryan gets cheered and Shaemus is getting booed. Because he sucks. Bryan loses in 18 seconds and gets this. Shaemus gets a Royal Rumble win and a babyface World Title win at WrestleMania and gets… this.
Cynical Bastard: I know the answer before I ask, but did you ever consider that possibly, and quite rightly so, the audience is bullshit that one of their Wrestlemania world title matches was an “18 second” squash? I like Sheamus, and I think that was a lousy move. If he was going to win the belt, there should at least have been a match.
Blair: I don’t think that theory holds a lot of weight, honestly, but I do see what you’re saying. I’d agree with you that it didn’t HELP Shaemus that the match was kept short, and, as Wombat said, both guys deserved better. I just don’t care that much because I don’t think the match would have been any good regardless, and I also HIGHLY doubt the RAW crowd would have been that much more behind Shaemus if it had gone any longer.
Ryan Alarie: Ultimately though, Sheamus is being booed, and Daniel Bryan is getting chants, mostly because of that one match. Having Bryan go out first, and lose to single move, at Wrestle F’in Mania, one year after the same pairing was left off the card completely, is just so insulting, that there had to be a reaction. One of the best wrestlers, and most interesting characters, on the roster, and you just basically throw it away as a technicality so that you can get to the much more important Kane Vs. Orton “I regret shaking your hand that one time” grudge match.
Blair: I’ve seen a few comments like this – ones that claim that Bryan’s recent support and Shaemus’ recent lack of support are all from this one match. The thing about this is that it doesn’t take into account that Bryan has been getting more support since a few months before WrestleMania, because of the great work that he’s been doing with his heel routine. Now, of course, Sunday certainly kicked that up a notch, but to suggest that this is ALL because of WrestleMania is silly. Shaemus’ reactions have been dying down slowly since mid-last-year. And he was never really all that popular to begin with. It’s not like this is an isolated incident. It’s the continuation and acceleration of something that’s been happening for months.
Mike Gojira: While it’s true that the crowd shat all over the Great White’s promo, I’m willing to bet it was more for the poor treatment of Daniel Bryan the night before more than anything else.
Blair: Okay, again, I disagree. But let’s say that you’re right. Why should the crowd care about Bryan? He’s the heel. Shaemus is the babyface. If Shaemus, after winning the Royal Rumble over Chris Jericho, can’t get over on a guy who can’t win matches on his own and abuses his Diva, then that’s a poor reflection on Shaemus, not on the match.
Ryan Alarie: While the argument that the World Title match didn’t hurt Bryan has merit, that doesn’t retroactively make it a good move. The overwhelming crowd response is because of that match. The audience wanted to see Bryan and, were given him doing barely anything (on Raw, he had another brief appearance, before they let him out to do something at the end of the show). It also turned the audience on Sheamus as a nasty side effect. (the fact that the audience hated Del Rio is part of it, but I think has more to do with Del Rio’s entire WWE career up to this point being disappointing).
Blair: You’re right that it doesn’t retroactively make it a good move, but you’ve got the rest ass-backwards. The match is not the reason for the crowd reaction. As I said, that (continually decreasing support for Shaemus and increasing support for Bryan) is something that’s been slowly building for months. And that crowd reaction was at least PART of the reason that the match was kept short in the first place. WWE does listen. They see “YES” signs in the crowd. The listen to fans at house shows. Shaemus was continuing to decline in popularity. Bryan was starting to rise in popularity. Both those things happened despite the best efforts on the parts of WWE, Bryan, and Shaemus. So WWE cut the match short, told Rock and Cena they had some extra time, or just told Brodus to suit up and improv a few minutes or something, and Bob’s your uncle. They’re not ready to give up on Shaemus yet. They’re trying to protect him. And good for them – Shaemus has done everything they wanted him to do. I just don’t think it’s going to work.
Here’s what I think is the OTHER part of the reason the match was kept short.
Mike Gojira: Look, for months now Daniel Bryan’s character has been that of a sniveling, cowardly heel, doing all he can to escape his matches with the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist. He used the Money in the Bank briefcase to fuck over Big Show, he used AJ to escape Show’s rampage, and he used the confines of a steel cage to his advantage against two lumbering behemoths. Story-wise, it was only fitting that Bryan was embarrassed on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Blair: Yes. YES!
Thank you, Mike. Thank you.
That’s the right answer.
Now, as long as you don’t…
Mike Gojira: As a fan, I can’t say I’m happy about missing out on Bryan’s in-ring performance.
Flaming Wombat: All the big faces and heels were getting opposite reactions on RAW, so if you want to use this show as proof that Sheamus has failed as a face, then you also have to say that Bryan/Del Rio/Jericho/Cena/et al have failed in their roles as well. The crowd hated the brevity of the WM match, not the winner. What’s funny is, the group I watched the PPV with remarked how loud Sheamus’s face pop was, both for his entrance and win, and it was only after I came on here that I heard that he was “getting booed”. But now Blair, like a Resident Evil boss, has shape-shifted his argument into a new one against which we will have to apply new bouts of reason.
Blair: You keep pointing out that I’ve changed my argument. But really, you’re the one who continues to do that. You keep making odd excuses for the guy. You also keep making odd comparisons. “He’s only getting booed because of the short match” and “then Blair has to acknowledge that (insert name here) sucks because of (insert comparison that makes no sense and doesn’t take other variables into account here)”.
So because it was a short match, they immediately started chanting for the heel of the match who lost? That’s just silly. Did they all make those “YES” signs as soon as the match was over as well? How about Shaemus’ RAW reaction? How about them chanting for Bryan when Shaemus was in the ring and Bryan wasn’t even out there?
My argument is the same as it’s always been. Which is pretty much what Benny Brown said above. For some reason, you seem to think that I’m saying that Shaemus is worthless – I’m not saying Shaemus is worth ZERO dollars. I’m not saying he gets ZERO reaction. I was actually surprised at the ‘Mania reaction the guy got – way bigger than I expected. But hardly all that impressive. And, I hate to keep repeating this, but the guy sucks. People see it. He’s not getting to Cena / Orton / Punk levels, like many suggested last year – and yes, that did happen. It’s not happening so much anymore. People started abandoning support for this guy before 2011 was even out, and much of it wasn’t even real in the first place. You want to stick up for the guy – cool. But to suggest something like chants for Bryan and boos for Shaemus are because of a short match make no sense to me. Maybe they make more sense to other people, but you seem to be having trouble convincing anyone of that.
Flaming Wombat: I just rewatched the WM “match” to see if it was all in my head (ears?), but no, Sheamus does get a pretty huge face pop for the pinfall and title change. Seems like people liked the title change when it happened, but couldn’t get over the non-match and wasting of Daniel Bryan.
Blair: I wouldn’t go anywhere near the word huge, but yeah, of course he got a reaction. No one is saying he didn’t.
But think about how they chanted for Bryan during most of the Orton / Kane match, and then think about RAW.
Think about it.
All of you.
Just for a second.
How likely is it that most of a crowd… in unison… decided to start chanting for a HEEL, while deciding to boo the babyface… because they were upset about a short match?
Isn’t that kind of an odd method of protesting what happened, let alone for that amount of people?
Time has lost all meaning. This is the last one of these on Shaemus and Bryan that I’m doing.
Mike Gojira: Blair, I ask you to reserve judgment of Sheamus’s push until at least Extreme Rules. If the crowd remains firmly behind Daniel Bryan no matter what city he’s in and loudly boos Sheamus, then I will admit that Sheamus’s title run isn’t what many expected it to be.
Blair: Daniel Bryan and Shaemus are now, after WrestleMania – to me anyway – two separate issues. It was one thing when they were against each other. Now, it’s a bit different, especially if they aren’t facing each other again in the immediate future. As for Bryan, I don’t see his support dwindling anytime soon – watch SmackDown tonight, and let me know – I’ve read the spoilers. And Bryan is STILL talking shit about that girl. Still he gets “YES” chants all night long. As for Shaemus, his support, as I’ve said, has been tenuous for a long time, and what little he did have is now in jeopardy after being put against Bryan. And unless they involve Bryan in his feud, Shaemus’ reactions don’t really have all that much to do with Bryan anymore.
Buddy, you’re about a year late in asking me to reserve my judgement of Shaemus’ babyface push. Sorry. I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass. I’ve just never seen what most of you guys see. I just don’t. They’ve given him every possible opportunity as a babyface and as a heel and it still, to me, doesn’t seem to be working. I still see it as the Ken Anderson thing all over again.
Rock / Cena
Nic Super: They should have taken about 10 min off this match and given tat time to Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus. That could have been a *** match.
Blair: Holy shit. That physically hurt to read.
Cynical Bastard: He (Cena) actually put in the effort to strike a nerve with the people booing him for a change, which was great to see.
Blair: Yeah. If he did even just little things like this more often, then maybe people would stop calling for him to turn heel. At the very least, he’d be way less embarrassing to watch. Actually, I bet they’d get more people to cheer him if they just did a couple little things along those lines.
Scott Keith: My god, who would boo Machine Gun Kelly? No friend of mine, that’s who.
Blair: Holy Christmas Keith, this better be sarcasm. I can’t tell. That guy was horrible, and “this is much more than a wrestling match” was one of the most embarrassing things he could have possibly said. No idea what they were thinking there. I literally cringed. Embarrassing.
Steven Gepp: Then we get some… Well, I guess it’s what the cool kids call music. This wasn’t fun, but did allow me to rush to the toilet.
Jerry Seinfeld: It was more like a full-body dry-heave set to music.
Steven Gepp: I wanted to hate this match just because of the way it was built and the way it had been promoted and everything else.
Steven Gepp: It ran circles around Rock/Hogan at WM18.
Blair: I disagree with this. It had the same kind of vibe, but Rock / Hogan was way more fun to watch, especially with the crowd reactions, nostalgia, and back-and-forth stuff. That’s just me. I get what you’re saying, though.
Mike Gojira: The Rock vs John Cena was a good match, but not epic. It’s a great example of how overhyping can lower expectations. That’s why Hogan/Rock at Wrestlemania XVIII worked so well: no one expected it to be anything special, and it was never built as such.
Joel Leonard: At the very least this match needed to be a shoe in for match of the year. And you know what? It’ wasn’t even the match of the night.
Blair: Well, that’s just absurd. It was never going to be match of the year. It was never going to be match of the night. Look at the participants involved, look at the other matches on the card, and then look at past “Match Of The Year” pairings. It wasn’t really about a wrestling match. Just like that white rapper who isn’t Eminem or John Cena said before the match.
Scott Keith: Rock was a bit gassed, but he just went 30 minutes after being retired for years, can you blame him?
Blair: I wouldn’t have thought so. But apparently from reading the comments and articles around the site, some people can. How dare The Rock not continue training for a sport he doesn’t compete in anymore?
This leads into…
Shamam Of Hedon: Cena carried the Rock. Period.
Blair: There are comments like this all over the place. No idea what they’re based on. But let’s say that’s the case – I don’t know that it is or not, but let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. Does that mean Cena should have won? Look at all those people who carried Ultimate Warrior. You really thought Ted DiBiase should have beaten him a bunch of times?
Tyler: I still can’t believe Rock went over after Cena carried the match because the Rock was blown up after the arm drags. I felt cheated out of my $65 dollars, since the “classic” was anything but. Seriously, I was laughing the whole way through the main event because they had to keep doing rest holds so Rock could try to catch his breath. Cena only looked hit or miss technically cause he had to do all the lifting as Rock could not help him at all. Definitely a lackluster show that started with a dud and finished with a dud.
Blair: Right. As soon as Rock got tired, why didn’t Vince just go “ROCK, WHO IS NO LONGER A WRESTLER, IS TIRED?!?! THAT SON OF A BITCH!!! CHANGE THE FINISH!!!”
Ralph Hardin: It really just seems to me that Cena could have gotten the clean-but-hard-fought win and then received a handshake from the Rock that might have re-established Cena as a more universally-accepted face.
Blair: It really just seems to me that it should have occurred to more people that just MAYBE The Rock coming back was about something OTHER than passing the torch to John Cena? You know, stuff like making money for himself and WWE, and getting promotion for his movies? Apparently some people assumed that he JUST came back because he REALLY liked this John Cena guy, who most people hated, and wanted to put him over. As if somehow that would be a worthy use of his time, given what sounds like an insanely busy movie schedule.
Alex Johnson: And yes, Cena carried Rock. It was far from the masterpiece that it was hyped up to be. Rock seemed soooo out of his element. Definitely not Wrestlemania Caliber. Especially after that HiaC.
Blair: I already addressed the “carried’ stuff. But what the fuck? Hyped as a masterpiece? Who did that? They said it was a huge match. NO one expected a masterpiece.
Listen carefully, you idiots. If you wanted Cena to win – fine. That’s cool. But don’t pretend that it’s because Rock got tired. Besides, Rock did a LOT more work in that match than Cena did. Cena did his same old routine of lame-looking moves. Rock hit some great moves – hard-hitting (DDT and other stuff), ariel (cross body), and hell, even a technical rollup. NO idea where the hell he busted that out from. It wasn’t like he NEEDED to do any of those things for the match to come off well. If he actually was tired – which is an idea based on nothing because he could have just been selling – it’s because Rock is not a full-time wrestler anymore. He hasn’t been for almost a decade. He left that behind to pursue a career that made him more money, got him more recognition and success, and was easier on his body.
But yeah, fuck The Rock, right? We can’t blame him enough for not wanting to to be successful without living a circus lifestyle.
Here’s the bottom line.
The Rock is not my favorite wrestler. He never was.
But he does not owe the WWE anything.
He does not owe the fans anything.
He gave back what he needed to give. He put over Brock. He put over Goldberg. He sort-of put over Orton. He lost MOST of the WrestleMania matches he wrestled. It’s not his fault that Cena sucks, and it’s not his responsibility to try and fix that.
Matthew Harrak: Did anyone really believe the celebrity was going to lose?
Blair: Okay, so this was a quote for the Divas match. But I felt like it applied here. So there you go.
Ralph Hardin: Now here’s the biggest head-scratcher for me? I just do not get putting Rock over Cena?
Blair: And we come to the center of the shrubbery maze.
Here are the Roundtable picks for Rock / Cena:
James Alsop: John Cena
Chris Sanders: The Rock
Steven Gepp: John Cena
Rhett Davis: John Cena
MC Brown: John Cena
CB: John Cena
Jonah Kue: John Cena
Mike Gojira: John Cena
Ralph Hardin: John Cena
EVERYONE (9 writers total) except Chris Sanders felt SURE that Cena would win. I’m not faulting anyone for picking Cena or anything – not in the least – but Alsop said the match was about passing the torch. It wasn’t. Gojira said that the entire point of the match was to give the fans an underdog to root for. It wasn’t. Davis said that Cena is the top guy in WWE and Rock knows it. That doesn’t have anything to do with anything, as Rock is not a regular WWE performer. Kue said that Cena NEEDED to win to stay relevant after the match. I don’t see how that’s the case. Hardin said there was NO reason why The Rock should win, because Cena is the face of the WWE. That doesn’t make any difference either, because Cena is the face of the WWE whether he wins or loses, and Rock is the star. That leads me to Sanders, the ONLY GUY on that Roundtable smart enough to take into account how much WWE has catered to The Rock in the past year.
I didn’t participate, but I did write in the comments before WrestleMania how I figured that Rock was going to win. I wanted Rock to win because I think Rock is better than Cena is ever capable of being. That said, I think either finish – Rock or Cena winning – could have worked. There’s any number of things they could have done.
But here’s what everyone forgot for some reason.
The Rock is a celebrity. A huge celebrity? No. A bigger celebrity than every single person on the WWE roster, combined, and then doubled? Yes. The guy is incredibly valuable to WWE.
On that merit alone, I figured that Rock would beat Cena. It’s not like Bam Bam Bigelow beat Lawrence Taylor. Big Show didn’t beat Floyd Mayweather. Chris Jericho didn’t beat Micky Rourke. Whoever it was that fought Snooki (I’m not looking it up) did not beat Snooki. Hell, that whore from Extra could have ACTUALLY shat herself mid-match and still would have beaten that one WWE Diva that everyone pretends is good.
Not only that, The Rock is one of the 3 biggest mega-stars that WWE has had, ever. The only other guys on that level are Hogan and Austin. MAYBE The Undertaker – and that’s a big maybe.
John Cena is – however much you like or dislike him – and I don’t dislike him – not ANY of those things.
So if I were a betting guy, 10 out of 10 times, my money goes on Rock. Again, I think there’s any number of things they could have done for a finish that would have worked. But given those facts, I can’t fathom why ANYone is actually, legitimately, surprised.
You guys are all crazy and weird.
All of you.
No worries though, I’d still totally do you. You crazies are all right!
That’s it for “Interinactivity” for this week. I hope everyone enjoyed. I worked hard on this one.
Remember to comment or shoot me and e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m going to try to go back to not commenting on these, and just include all my responses when the next instalment goes up. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
I’ll be in my trailer.
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