I’ve never claimed to had any sort of insider knowledge when it came to wrestling and pretty much anybody else claiming to that isn’t currently employed by WWE is probably lying or just lucky. All that being said, in terms of making sure fans cheer or boo the right guy or at least shifting the public focus, this whole Brock Lesnar UFC thing might be the best thing that could’ve happened to their WM31 main event. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings of their new favorite, Roman Reigns, everyone is focused on Brock and his current contract, if he’s gonna sign a new one, if he’s going to UFC and if he’s currently at odds with management. You’ve got Paul Heyman adding fuel to the fire with top shelf promos that are kinda leaning in on the speculation rather than ignoring it and they’re doing the right thing by Roman because he’s not even trying to respond to anything Paul has to say. For the most part, Roman has been putting in more work in the ring which is his strongest point, even if that may be limited according to most critiques. The crowds have seem to be more passive towards Roman which is apparently more appealing to WWE than getting boo’d (which makes their Cena mantra “at least they’re making noise” even more asinine). Which brings me to the eternal meh-fest that is the Wrestlemania 31 card and wondering if there’s anything that the collective audience is excited to see.
Brock vs Roman. The most enticing thing to me about this match is going to be what the crowd will do. Will Brock get the WM20 treatment since everybody assumes he will be jumping ship or is WWE playing that up to ensure Brock gets the heel reaction they want and not Roman. Or will the fans just crap on the match in general? I’m really hoping I’m pleasantly surprised by the match quality because I really do enjoy Roman and want to see him do well and not have his career screwed up because WWE decided to pull the trigger on him probably 2-3 years too soon. I don’t want to see Roman be the next Ryback but at the same time, he’s really got to come up with something spectacular if WWE wants to justify him beating Brock after the year Lesnar has had. So consider my attitude about this match to be hopefully optimism but I’m not holding my breath.
Undertaker vs Bray. This is one of those situations where I don’t want either guy to lose. especially if this isn’t Taker’s last match. It would be nice to actually see Undertaker in person before WM31 because we already have one ‘Mania match that only has one of the participants doing promos…
HHH vs Sting. I get that the price-tag for a Sting Raw appearance is pretty stiff, they made that abundantly clear with the fake Sting stint a few weeks ago. But can’t they just spring for one more Sting showing just so he can give some sort of insight on why he wanted to fight HHH at WM31? Up to this point, HHH has just been doing promos on what he assumes Sting wants to fight over or is this all about his stance on bats being superior to sledgehammers? Honestly, I’m not expecting too much out of this match, the main intrigue of this is finally seeing String wrestle in a WWE ring with a very slim chance of this ever happening again.
AJ & Paige vs Bellas. Even on WWE’s biggest and longest PPV, we’re still not gonna get a Divas match longer than 5 minutes so why bother having an opinion on something that will never get a chance? I’ll revisit this issue if WWE ever decides to give main roster Divas the NXT treatment.
Rusev vs Cena. It’s Cena’s Hogan vs Sgt. Slaughter moment, there’s no way Rusev is gonna win over Cena in that spot. It’s gonna be awful and Rusev will lose the mountain of momentum he had going for him and he’ll be a Alex Kozlov-like comedy character within a year…I hope I’m wrong but I have that feeling about it. If by some miracle Rusev beats Cena clean (and I mean pinfall or submission, none of this passing out garbage) I will be on the same level of surprise as I was during Brock vs Cena at Summer Slam.
ARMBAR 2.0. Let’s be honest, there’s no way they’re going to top Cesaro winning last year. Although I would like for the massive Andre trophy to survive more than 24 hours this year. The correct way to end it this year would be for Mizdow to win by eliminating Miz. It would be a great way to throw a bone to the whiny, entitled Schrodinger’s IWC (suck it, nerds). Another great way to go (and make sure you make it 30 entrants) would be to involve a few NXT guys and have one of them win and that be their momentum into joining the main roster. Of course, the perfect choice for that is Adrian Neville but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Sami Zayn (I swear if it ends up being Baron Corbin, Bull Dempsey or Mojo Rawley, I’m going to throw Joel at the TV like Kevin Nash threw Rey Mysterio at a production trailer).
IC Ladder match. Honestly, I’ve been saying for years that there was a pretty good sized void in Wrestlemania shows after they took the MitB matches off and I would argue that ARMBAR has done a pretty decent job replacing it so far but ladder matches and Wrestlemania go together pretty incredibly well. I am enjoying the IC belt hot potato (pronounced “po-TAY-duh”) that’s been going lately mainly because there’s this weird reinvestment into R-Crazy for some reason but I’m all for it.
Presumably we’ll get Randy vs Rollins. For some reason, I’m digging Randy right now and I feel weird about saying that considering how much I’ve felt virtually nothing for him the past couple years. But his mic work has been actually kinda good and the turn we saw a mile away was still fun to watch with the double birds. Sure it was a dick move and not at all a face thing to do but Seth really has had a difficult time with getting duped and dicks lately…poor guy.
There’s still no match with Daniel Bryan in it. I know he’ll likely join the ladder match or (at the very worst) have a match with Sheamus but the fact that we’re this close to WM31 and the guy that MADE the last Wrestlemania even close to a success has yet to be included in the card in any way is almost criminal. I had made my peace with him not being in the main event but for crying out loud, let’s do something already, WWE.
Where there are some interesting points here and there to look out for on March 29th, this very much feels like a card where WWE is depending on the grandiose tradition that surrounds Wrestlemania to excite the crowd rather than lean on a well put together and excitable card.
Unrelated note: I was originally going to put together a massive article objectively chronicling every aspect and accusation involved in the Bill DeMott situation. However, the more I researched the more dirt came spilling out from an increasing number of sources. I was about 1/4 of the way through it when word got out that he resigned and a bigger flood of stuff came out about it and more accusations were made. At that point, I felt buried by all the things I would’ve had to include and it felt like each accusation was worse than the last until I reached a sickening point where I just couldn’t be objective as I would’ve wanted and just wanted to talk about wrestling again. I suppose actual journalism was never my strong suit. I will at least say this, I kinda wished that DeMott didn’t resign so he could be justifiably fired if the accusations were ever found to be true. However, the scary thing about that would be that WWE would possibly just move him to a different, less-public position within the company (much like they were rumored of doing after DeMott resigned before it was shot down). That’s the ugly side of WWE, they’ll fire people that really should’ve never been at risk of being fired but will hold onto and cover up for the worst scumbags. And as entertaining as DeMott was on Tough Enough in 2011, he never should have been rehired in developmental after the way he was fired in 2007 (much of the same accusations that came up recently). The argument made by his dwindling supporters that “that’s the way wrestlers were trained in the past and it worked then” is a fundamentally insulting intellectually. We live in a more conscious society that demands transparency and tolerance and if WWE wants to stay away from these types of scandals, they need to keep guys like DeMott far away from their company. Keeping something the same because it sort-of worked in the past is a lazy mind-set and was causing a big problem in NXT and led to no results. You know how that’s true? Look at the successes of NXT. Which were indy stars trained elsewhere and which were almost exclusively trained by DeMott? Pretty one-sided, is it not? Now that he’s out, there was a laundry list of guys that I was hoping would get the nod to be Head Trainer, top of the list was obviously Lance Storm but I understand WWE hiring somebody already in the system to show that it was a personal shortcoming of DeMott and not an institutional failure. I personally like that they picked Jason Albert to take over, he seems very passionate about NXT as well as the trainees and has a seemingly better rapport with them. For once, I find myself rooting for Tensai.
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
The Answer: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. The same probably couldn’t be said for those that live by the pool noodle
Tags: bill demott, Brock Lesnar, chris sanders, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, rager, Roman Reigns, rusev