This Week in ‘E – WrestleMania XXX…Laissez les bons temps rouler

Remember when The Rock kicked opened the doors of MSG at WrestleMania XX with an excited furor? That’s how I feel right now.

Bet you thought I was going to pull a CM Punk and not show up this year didn’t you?

I love writing my yearly pre-WrestleMania column for the Pulse and act like I’m some big shot or something. Beside if I can make CB happy, if only for one day, then my work is complete.

It’s freakin’ WrestleMania week! If you are not excited as a wrestling fan then you have no soul. The build for the undercard has been better this year than it was last year, even if because everyone is just focused on one Giant trophy. It’s very old school and I love it.

And the rest of the card is littered with multi-person matches in order to get ALL the boys (and girls) on the card. What is this, WrestleMania 2000?

The top of the card has been well developed and the top four should deliver. And if we get what we all want, then finally WWE will have a moment to replace the damaged WrestleMania XX image.

And will CM Punk and/or Sting show up? Doubt it.

So now…for one last time…again…let’s take some ‘E…

News of the Week
WWE Championship – Randy Orton (c) versus Batista versus ???

Daniel Bryan needs to win this match and beat WWE’s super powers. For WWE’s sake, Bryan needs to beat these two WWE monsters and stand mid-ring holding those two Title belts high above his head while 70,000 fans chant “yes.” Nerd fans have threatened to walk away from WWE for months now, but if Bryan does not win next weekend, it might actually cause people to walk away.

Sometimes the good guy needs to win and in this instance the good guy needs to win. Erase that WrestleMania XX moment that will no longer ever be seen again and let Bryan win. And if Punk walks out to hug him post-match, parts of the Internet will literally explode.

Daniel Bryan versus Triple H

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this. If you’re reading this then you are probably a nerd like me. If WWE has any justice, Bryan beats Triple H like “apparently” has been building since August. Bryan becomes a made man.

The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar

They have been trying to find the proverbial “golden goose” for Undertaker at WrestleMania since he surprised the world with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXV. That match for me personally is the best wrestling match I have ever seen, and it would probably never be surpassed. But I’m also the biggest Brock Lesnar mark I know and I’m excited to see them lock up once again. Taker wins once again, but here’s hoping Lesnar doesn’t accidentally break him.

And I do have a standing bet with a fraternity brother that if Sting shows up he buys the whole pay per view, no questions asked.

John Cena versus Bray Wyatt

The best part of this whole rivalry so far? The boss-ass video package set to Eminem’s “Legacy.” When the hell did WWE get with it and actually use a mainstream song from the actual time it came out? Probably “My Way” from WrestleMania X-Seven, which now has competition for best WrestleMania video package.

John Cena is fourth down on the WrestleMania card, kids. Times they are a changing. You know what would be awesome? If Bray Wyatt won. Clean. Right in the middle. Instantly makes a star. With Cena this far down the card he can afford the loss. Then Daniel Bryan can have a b-show spring time challenger and Bray and Cena lay down for Roman Reigns this summer.

This match should be great as it will be given all the bells and whistles it needs to make it good and without the pressure of the main event spot, they can focus on stealing the show, rather than carrying it.

WWE Tag Team Championships – The Usos (c) versus Rybaxel versus The Real Americans versus Los Matadores

This match has literally no build and no story. It seems incredibly lackluster for a WrestleMania tag title bout, but I’m actually just really glad we’re getting a Tag Team Title match. And actually a pretty cool story would be there if Rikishi accompanied his kids, Carlos Colon came out his kids (breaking kayfabe!) and Larry Hennig came out with Rybaxel. (It’s an awful name and I love and will use it. I mean seriously it’s the worst mash-up tag team name they’ve ever had.) They could combat Zeb Coulter and have a nice legends/old folks home thing going on outside the ring.

But with Carlos Colon’s Hall induction, does this mean that Los Matadores get the victory? I hope not. Jimmy and Jey deserve every bit of success they’ve gotten and have earned it.

The Shield versus Kane and The New Age Outlaws

Babyface Shield is like the greatest thing in the world. It’s like a bunch of puppies frolicking through a field while a baby giggles. They are that awesome. I never want them to break up. Seth Rollins flying around like maniac, Roman Reigns just Superman punching and apron kicking the hell out of everyone while Dean Ambrose smirking like a jackass. Rollins and Reigns would be the awesomest super babyface team ever and could light up a long ass three hour RAW every week for the next six months at least. Give them all my money.

As for the match, they should steamroll the Attitude era holdovers, unless that is the night that Rollins and Ambrose turn on the golden boy to kick off the super push we all know is coming.


Vickie Guerrero WWE Divas Championship Invitational
Participants include: AJ Lee (c), Tamina Snuka, Brie & Nikki Bella, Natalya Neidhart, Eva Marie, The Funkadactyls, Summer Rae, Layla, Alicia Fox, Emma, Rosa Mendes and Aksana

So what are the odds this gauntlet will be better or worse than the infamous Cruiserweight gauntlet from WrestleMania XX? And who will fall on their ass like Ultimo Dragon did ten years ago? My money is on “The Rusian Nightmare” Aksana or that idiot Eva Marie. And where the hell did they drag Rosa Mendes from? I’m sure JTG feels great knowing Rosa Mendes and Layla El get WrestleMania payoffs while he hangs out with Yoshi Tatsu in catering.

AJ Lee is awesome in this role and don’t want her to lose, but where do you go from here if she beats the entire division in one match. She has to lose (probably to Tamina or a Total Diva) so that she can go on her revenge tour throughout the spring. And just because there is no other place in the column to put this, Lana is a hotty.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Participants include: Dolph Ziggler, WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston, Fandango, Alberto Del Rio, Damian Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, 3MB, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Christian, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Justin Gabriel, Santino Marella, The Geat Khali, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Brodus Clay and The Big Show

Twenty-six names have been announced so far, leaving four spots open for surprises, returns and debuts. I’m guessing Alexander Rusev gets a spot, at least one spot goes to nostalgia, Xavier Woods sneaks in there (maybe taking the injured Christian’s spot), Rob Van Dam comes back, and either an NXT guy pops up or someone from the Attitude era. And where the blue hell is Bad News Barrett? Remember when that guy was a thing and a serious World Title contender?

And how low do Curt Hawkins, Tyson Kidd, JTG and Yoshi Tatsu feel when they can’t even make the “get the boys on the card” match. At least Hawkins saw the writing on the wall and started his own wrestling school. I figured Tyson would start benefiting from that sweet Total Divas action, but alas it was not meant to be.

They are seriously hyping up The Big Show as the winner, what with the Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant connection. It’s an obvious and predictable outcome, especially if Hulk comes out and shakes hands with the winner and presents the trophy. And with other favorites like Roman Reigns and Cesaro not in the match, it leaves winners pool wide open.

WWE Hall of Fame 2014
The Ultimate Warrior (inducted by Linda McMahon)
What a random damn pairing. I get the Conservative ideals and the backstage ideals we know nothing about. But if Vince Russo was still booking these two would be Tag Team Champions.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts (inducted by Diamond Dallas Page)
No snark or hyperbole, thank you to The Snake for getting clean and sober. Roberts is a miracle story wrestling fans hope for. This is a great story and incredibly deserved.

Lita (inducted by Trish Stratus)
I can’t hate on any of this, although Attitude era girls going into the Hall makes me feel incredibly old.

Paul Bearer
We saw this coming a year ago when Paul Bearer passed away a year ago, right before WrestleMania XXIX. It would be cool for Undertaker to induct his old partner in crime, but his personal kayfabe mantra makes it seem more likely that Kane will get the honors.

Carlos Colon
I don’t know if it’s been announced yet, but it seems likely that Carlito and Primo Colon will induct their daddy. The punchline of this seems that WWE will buy the WWC library. But here’s hoping it also doesn’t mean that Los Matadores don’t win the Tag Titles as well.

Mr. T
If they’re going TV-PG, then Hulk Hogan will induct him and it will be short, sweet, cheesy and nostalgic. If Rowdy Roddy Piper inducts him, it might bring a sense of fun and urgency.

Razor Ramon
The fact they are hyping him as “Razor Ramon” for this induction makes it wildly obvious that “Scott Hall” will go in a few years from now as part of the original nWo with Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash. This will obviously come after Kevin Nash’s individual induction and DX’s group induction. Look for either Nash or The Kid (or both) to induct him.

Wrestler of the Week
The Shield
Because why not? They are freaking awesome. A babyface Shield is amazing and something I never want to go away. Can Roman Reigns get his big push we all know is coming and let the three of them be friends while Rollins and Ambrose tear up the tag team scene? Like a babyface Seth Rollins is the greatest thing ever in the world. Plus the duo of Rollins and Ambrose won three tag team matches this week, beating The Real Americans on RAW and then both 3MB and Rybaxel on SmackDown.

RAW’s On Tonight!
It’s the second most important RAW of the year, right behind the night after WrestleMania. There probably won’t be much for crazy awesome twenty-minute in-ring matches. There will be a lot of promos, shit talking, wacky video packages and crazy brawls to pacify the insane amount of multi-person matches found on this year’s card.

Mark was a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over four years, evolving from his original “Historically Speaking” commentary-style column into the Monday morning powerhouse known as “This Week in ‘E.” He also contributed to other ventures, outside of IP, most notably as the National Pro Wrestling Examiner for Examiner.com and was previously a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow him on Twitter here.

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