Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wrestlemania 31

I like wrestling.  So sue me.  I remember being embarrassed by it at one point in my early teens, and I faded away from it for a few years, but the last 2-ish years got me back into the swing of things.  The biggest night of the wrestling year is tonight for Wrestlemania 31, and I'm kinda pumped for it.  Wrestling is absolutely a pop culture item, so for those of you asking why I'm writing this on a pop culture blog, I got two words for ya: sports entertainment.  Think about how many times in life you've wanted to crack up a couple of beers and a can of whoop-ass like Stone Cold Steve Austin.  How many times have you tried to raise your eyebrow like the Rock?  How many times have you done a crotch chop and told someone to 'Suck It' under your breath when their back was turned?  From Hulkamania to the Yes! Movement, wrestling has at times captured a larger audience than just the typical wrestling fans, and on the day of "the granddaddy of them all" Wrestlemania, I will give you my predictions for each match.

Before I begin, I want to give a shoutout to Rikishi for being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last night.  Just think, there is a Hall of Fame for scripted wrestling.  There could literally be a hall of Fame for anything, and you're probably wondering how you haven't been inducted into anything yet, but maybe someday. 

Anyways, Rikishi was always my Dad's favorite wrestler and he provided great moments for my sister Allison and I growing up, so congratulations to you, good sir. I still won't forgive you for running over Stone Cold with your car that one time, but I'm sure you were just having a bad week or something.  Moving on.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match: Usos vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day:
Jesus.  Who cares.  I feel bad for the Usos and the team of Cesaro and Kidd.  All four have a ton of talent and should just be fighting each other for the tag team titles on their own.  Adding Los Matadores and the New Day adds nothing to this.  The crowd won't care about these two, and if by a miracle either team wins, you know damn well the crowd will boo them out of the building and Wrestlemania will be off to a pretty sour start.  I love Cesaro and think he's the most underrated wrestler out there, and I think he and Tyson Kidd will use some real shenanigans to pull out the victory, leaving millions of kids who are obsessed with the Usos to throw a hissyfit.

Go Cesaro.  Please. God.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
This one stands out because somehow Jon Gruden of ESPN QB Camp got involved and made a prediction video.  I don't know why Jon Gruden did this but I guess it helps hype up the match where the winner gets nothing more than a gargantuan trophy of, well, Andre the Giant.  This match is just gonna be filler to make sure 20 wrestlers get their Pay-Per-View bonus checks and get their faces out there.  I think the final 5 guys left in the match will be Kane, Mizdow, The Miz, Ryback and the Big Show.  At some point Mizdow will finally give the crowd what he wants, dumps The Miz over the top rope, gets the crowd wild and celebrates, only for Kane or the Big Show to dump him over the top rope.  Somehow, Ryback will defy all the odds and eliminate the Big Show (maybe with the help of Kane), and then eliminate Kane, giving him the victory which we will all forget about in a week.  They gotta give a good guy the win there, so I don't see how Ryback loses, unless they give the crowd what they REALLY want and let Mizdow win, so mark him as my dark horse in this one.

Paige and AJ Lee vs. the Bella Twins:
Blah.  I have nothing against giving the Divas their chance, but how do they not have the championship on the line here?  WWE is obsessed with getting their hit (surprisingly) reality show some love by using the Bella Twins in a match, while AJ Lee is by and far the most talented Diva out there, yet isn't on the show (respect.).  This match will be the shortest of the night, since WWE almost always ignores the fans, and will give the Bella Twins the victory because those of us who actually like wrestling, just aren't that lucky. 

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt:
A year ago, the Undertaker winning at Wrestlemania was as sure as thing as death and taxes.  A year ago, the world changed and meme creations were rampant when Brock Lesnar shocked the world and defeated the Undertaker's Wrestlemania steak of 21-0.  In all honesty, the Undertaker looked awful that night.  For the first time since I started watching back in '97, the Undertaker wasn't scary.  The only thing scary was that he might legitimately break in half from getting slammed around by Lesnar.  It was almost sad to watch.  I figured that was the Undertaker's great sendoff and he would enjoy retirement.  He hadn't been seen on screen since that night, and all of a sudden he gets into a feud with Bray Wyatt out of nowhere.  I like Bray Wyatt and he certainly has the creepy factor going, almost filling that void in the Undertaker's absence. 

I honestly don't know how to predict this match, since I have no idea how the Undertaker is going to look physically.  While I think Bray Wyatt could win to get a much needed push into the main picture of the wrestling world, I also have a hard time seeing the Undertaker coming back after a year for one night just to lose to a new guy.  I think (and hope) it'll be a much better match than last year, with the Undertaker getting the win, with next year's Wrestlemania being his big sendoff.

Intercontinental Title 7-Man Ladder Match:  
This will be the best match of the night, because it could go in numerous directions.  Ladder matches always have the intrigue factor because people can and have been seriously hurt in them, so the danger is present.  Sterling Archer likes to talk about the 'Danger Zone', and in terms of wrestling matches, a ladder match is a legit Danger Zone.  I think a good guy will come out on top, so I'll narrow it down to Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler or Dean Ambrose.  They won't give it back to current champ Wade Barrett, they won't give it to Luke Harper because no one would care, and R-Truth is too much of a comedy character to actually pull out a victory.  Stardust is weird, and will probably be taken out during the match by his even creepier brother Goldust, so that leaves us with the three good guys.  Personally, I want Dean Ambrose to win because I like his Loose Cannon type of character.  It's kinda fun.  Much like a Nestle Wonder Ball, you never know what you'll get with him.

 As much as I want Ambrose to win, I realize I'm most likely not going to get what I want so that leaves Ziggler and Daniel Bryan. These two are both hugely popular with the crowd, are two of the best wrestlers who always turn out great matches that can get even non-fans into it, which is a huge factor.  Daniel Bryan was the poster boy for WWE last year and mainevented Wrestlemania 30, winning the Heavyweight championship, so it's disappointing to see him in a less important match this year.  Ziggler is underrated and could use this victory to leapfrog him into the bigger picture of WWE.  I think Daniel Bryan will get the win, although it may be the safe pick.  People love Daniel Bryan and I think it may be hard for even WWE to ignore what the crowd wants when it comes to him.  Bryan gets the win in the match that will steal the show.
The fan favorite

Sting vs. HHH:
The old-timers match.  A 'dream come true' for fans to see Sting step into the ring at Wrestlemania after turning down WWE contracts for about 67 years.  It has been an interesting buildup in this feud, yet I think it's predictable.  HHH will start cheating and use his minions to try and win, but Sting will overcome the odds and beat HHH anyways. 

This has been a long process getting Sting here in WWE, and as this is probably his one and only match with the company, I highly doubt he will end up losing.  Sting uses his baseball bat and hit HHH with it before HHH can hit Sting with his sledgehammer while the ref is knocked out, and he gets the win.  I can't believe I'm blogging about men hitting each other with bats and sledgehammers.  

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins:  
WWE fucked this feud up big time and now it just feels thrown together.  To help put the crowd into a reality check, I see Seth Rollins winning.  To be fair, this should be a very entertaining match, but the future is now and Seth Rollins needs a big win further his career.  Taking down a known name and a talented, credible wrestler like Randy Orton will help give him the push he needs to stay in the big picture for years to come.  Rollins cheats and gets the win.  Also, I really hope we see a classic Seth Rollins flip like this:

I can't do this.

US Title Match Rusev vs. John Cena:

John 'Meep Moop' Cena

Rusev was far more interesting with his 'anti-American' rants than he is in a feud with John Cena.  Let's face it, John Cena is the most popular and hated wrestler out there because people are sick of seeing him shoved down our throats every year.  This year is interesting because it's not a top feud, yet there is intrigue because Rusev is undefeated in almost a year with the company.  This is close to call, as Rusev might got downhill once he is defeated, yet WWE just can't let Cena lose for whatever reason.  I'm 50-50 on this one.  I hope Rusev wins, but I love America so I'm also thinking Cena wins.  Dammit.  You know, I bet WWE pulls some bullshit to make them both look strong and have the match end in a draw or something stupid like that.  

WWE World Heavyweight Title Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns:
Oh baby.  A week ago, I would've said Reigns wins this match and the title because everyone figured Brock Lesnar would leave fake fighting and go join the UFC for real fighting.  That all changed when it was announced on ESPN of all places that Brock Lesnar signed a deal with WWE (his contract was over the day after Wrestlemania: talk about timing), that he said was just simply too good to refuse.  With Lesnar seemingly out the door, everyone thought it obvious that Reigns would win, since, you know, WWE kinda needs a champion.  One thing that surprised me was that they let the new contract news leak out before Wrestlemania, as they had a lot more intrigue with the "well, will Lesnar leave or not" thing.  The safe bet would be to keep the belt on Lesnar and see the money roll in with people who want to see him.  In all honesty, Lesnar is an attraction.  He is a freak and he has the type of presence that if you look at him wrong on TV he'll track you down and break your body. 

This match should be good, but I'm predicting a weird finish.  One of these guys is going to get screwed over in some fashion, and I think it may be Lesnar.  Reigns will turn into a bad guy, and people will be intrigued in seeing Lesnar go on a rampage the following month and try to get his title back.  That being said, after Roman Reigns wins the belt, I think Seth Rollins will come out and cash his Money in the Bank contract, beat up Reigns and take the title off of him either right after the Wrestlemania match as Reigns celebrates, or the following night on Monday night Raw.  

And that, my friends, are my predictions for Wrestlemania 31.  Hope you nerds enjoy it as much as I do, which is very unlikely.  

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