Sunday, April 6, 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 30

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 30

Live on the WWE Network, from New Orleans, LA. I was watching on the PS3 tonight and the stream was 99% perfect, with only a couple of buffering issues and once or twice where something would repeat. Other than that, it looked HD quality, just like on PPV. For a four hour show I’m very impressed.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler

Hulk Hogan joins us to begin his hosting duties and he already botches his lines by calling it the Silverdome. Thankfully the crowd corrects him. And holy shit, here’s Steve Austin. And you can tell the crowd respects him because they do the “What” on cue and not otherwise. And then, because why not, it’s the Rock. Not that I’m complaining, but maybe advertising some of these might have been a good idea. How the hell is anyone supposed to follow this?! Even Rock scores off poor Hulk tonight by pointing out that they’re in the SUPERDOME. So Rock takes credit for electrifying the crowd so much that people give birth nine months after Wrestlemania. And with nothing really important said, they all drink beer and wrap it up. Spectacular.

Winner gets the title shot: HHH v. Daniel Bryan

HHH’s entrance, which is as noted by the King “like he stepped out of a Frank Frazetta painting”, is indeed quite the deal. HHH and Steph making goo-goo eyes at each other is wonderfully obnoxious as well. HHH offers a handshake, so Bryan kicks him down for two. HHH bails for some brand synergy advice from Steph, and back in he starts working on the bad arm. Bryan takes him down with a headlock as I ponder what the hell is up with Bryan’s furry Berzerker boots. HHH goes work in the corner and takes Bryan down with a legdrag, but they head to the floor and Bryan follows with a tornado DDT off the apron. And then adds a dive off the top because he’s kind of insane. Back in, Bryan goes up and gets crotched, and they head to the floor for a brawl on the announce table. NOT THE MOUNTAIN DEW! Bryan escapes a Pedigree there, but HHH goes back to the arm in the ring. HHH bails and Bryan tries another dive, but walks into a forearm. HHH hammerlock slams him on the apron in a nasty spot and Steph gets some quality trash-talk in. Back in, we get a crossface chickenwing, which turns into a crossface, but Bryan makes the ropes. Slugfest and Bryan comes back with a forearm, and a german suplex gets two. HHH goes back to the arm with a tiger suplex for two, and they head up and slug it out on top. Bryan with a sunset bomb and he comes back with the corner dropkicks, but walks into a massive lariat. Steph is just awesome at ringside as the cheering section. Bryan reverses the Pedigree for two and goes up for the flying headbutt, but lands on the knee and it’s crossface time again. Bryan is fading in the middle, but rolls him over for two and then reverses to the Yes-Lock. HHH makes the ropes, to the disgust of the crowd. Bryan hits him with the suicide dive, but HHH won’t stay down, so he does it AGAIN and then kicks the hell out of him. Back in, missile dropkick and Bryan makes the comeback with the kicks, which gets two. HHH catches the running knee and gets the spinebuster, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. Bryan with a small package for two. HHH has had enough of this guy and pounds away in the corner, but Bryan counters another Pedigree for two. Hunter holds on to the arms, however, and knees him into mush. Another Pedigree is reversed into a high kick, and the running knee finishes at 26:03 to make the crowd lose their shit. **** Come on, no matter how much I was trolling everyone you knew that Hunter was going to do the right thing in the end. And then we get the Corporate Beatdown afterwards to really make sure Bryan has no chance in the main event. I had to add another ½* to the rating just for Steph’s heel mannerisms here.

The New Age(d) Outlaws & Kane v. The Shield

I’m thinking they’re not gonna match that opener. The Outlaws quickly get stacked up on the ropes and Reigns gives them the running kick, then hits Billy with the Superman Punch. The heels all end up on the floor and Gunn is left alone with the Shield, so he decides to run away. Reigns spears everyone and the Outlaws get put out of their misery with the triple powerbomb at 2:50. I knew they’d be awesome babyfaces. ½*

Meanwhile, Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter have an action figure battle, refereed by DANNY DAVIS, but Ted Dibiase buys the playset out from under them.

The Andre Rousimoff Memorial Battle Royale (ARMBAR)

Everyone is already in the ring except for Big Show and Sheamus, so that should tell you who’s winning. And really, this is a FOUR HOUR show and they can’t even give these poor geeks their entrance? Yoshi Tatsu is gone before I can even type that last sentence. Khali chops Brodus out and then gets dumped by 3MB. And then Zack Ryder, of course. Darren Young takes a day off on the floor. Mark Henry gets tossed by Show and it’s a lot of people laying around and randomly punching each other. Cody and Goldust team up to get rid of Sandow. Big E powerbombs Gabriel out and then follows by throwing David Otunga out. Fandango kicks Big E out, but stops to dance on the apron and gets eliminated by Sheamus with a billion forearms. Show throws Truth out, and Del Rio kicks Kidd to the floor. C’mon, never go to the top in a battle royale, TJ! Goldust goes out via Del Rio’s feet, as does Cody. Rey gets CESARO’D to the floor as I hope to god this means we’re getting a Giant Giant Swing. Kofi gets tossed and lands with his feet draped on the steps, so he’s still in. Cute. Kofi runs wild for a bit, but it’s the GIANT SWING. Show breaks it up with the chokeslam to big heel heat, but Sheamus finally puts Kofi out. Del Rio superkicks Ziggler out to bigger heel heat. Sheamus and Del Rio resume their C+ rivalry and eliminate each other, leaving Cesaro v. Big Show for the SEVEN FOOT GOLD STATUE. Cesaro throws uppercuts but Show tosses him unsuccessfully. Back in, Cesaro SLAMS HIM OUT at 13:15 to win it. What an awesome callback and a pretty fun battle royale once it got down to a manageable number of people. The crowd is going to lose their minds for Cesaro tomorrow night, and clearly the push has begun.

John Cena v. Bray Wyatt

Bray offers Cena a free shot to “finish him”, but Cena opts for a headlock instead. Bray slugs him down and follows with a back elbow, but charges and runs into a clothesline. This finally prompts Cena to show some emotion, as he gets mad and slugs away on the mat. Cena chokes him out in the corner and puts him down with a big boot, but Wyatt gets a cheapshot and puts him down with a suplex. And we hit the chinlock, until Cena fights out and makes the comeback. Cena tries the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Bray bridges up into the crabwalk to freak Cena the fuck out. Wyatt gets the front rows to sway with him and hits a corner splash, but Cena gets a tornado DDT for two. He goes up and gets caught with a powerbomb, and that gets two for Wyatt. Cena comes back again with the Shuffle, but Bray puts him down with a gutbuster for two. To the apron, where Wyatt hits a DDT for two. The crowd starts swaying again and that’s probably gonna the big thing tomorrow night. They head back to the top and Cena decides to hit the Family with a dive, and the brawl is on. Cena is too good to hit him with the stairs, however, and they head back in for another serenade by Bray. Now, do they have to pay royalties for “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”? I would presume not because it’s a traditional hymn, but you never know with the music division in WWE because they’d probably get sued by the church and manage to lose. Cena with the FU for two. Harper gets a shot behind the ref’s back and Wyatt gets two. Cena gets tossed and puts Harper through the timekeeper’s table as a result, but Wyatt throws Cena back in and tries to finish, only to see Cena reverse to the STF. Wyatt quickly makes the ropes and hits Sister Abigail for two. Bray grabs a chair and offers it to Cena, but he hits Rowan with it instead. Cena finishes with the FU at 22:31. Are you KIDDING me? They spend months building up Wyatt and then he just loses to Cena? Kind of a weird, slow match, too. Good, but not great or anything. ***

Brock Lesnar v. Undertaker

Undertaker is nice enough to line up a series of caskets the Streak victims helpfully numbered, although the video package and panning shot both omit the 21st victim. Brock quickly slugs UT down and clotheslines him to the floor, but Taker goes to work on the arm. Guillotine legdrop on the apron and Snake Eyes, but Brock escapes the chokeslam and Taker misses a blind charge. Brock takes over and chokes away in the corner, and works on the leg. There’s almost no reaction from the crowd for any of this. Taker comes back with the big boot for two and the chokeslam for two. Brock with the F5 for two. Brock slowly walks around over Taker before getting caught with the gogoplata, but he powers out of it. Another try, but Brock powers out again. And now it’s Brock turn, as he grabs the kimura, but Taker reverses out. We go Old School, but Brock counters with the F5 for two. Brock with a pair of weak-ass german suplexes, as Taker can’t really go up for them any more. Brock pounds him in the corner, but makes the classic error of standing on the turnbuckles and gets powerbombed. Tombstone gets two. There was about a foot of space between his head and the mat on that one. Another try is turned into an F5…and the streak is over at 25:50. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!? Fans at ringside freak out and I can’t blame them. I think I can say without hyperbole that this was one of the worst booking decisions in the history of wrestling. This is a waste of the streak. Not to mention that the match sucked and Brock was booked like a chump leading up to this. **1/4 And then as Undertaker does his dramatic standing up, some guy in the front row yells “YOU SUCK” with perfect timing. There’s a good summation of the whole deal. I feel like this is going to dominate my inbox for the next two weeks.

Divas Title Battle Royale Invitational Deal Thingie

Does anyone really care about this after watching the streak end? Just a huge stupid trainwreck, including one of the women losing her top accidentally and Rosa Mendes suddenly going blonde for some reason. The Bellas clear the ring and hit a twin dive, but Nikki turns on Brie and gets two. However, in the end AJ puts Naomi in the Black Widow and gets the submission at 6:50 because the other 13 girls suck too much to get the job done. DUD Like really, the Bellas couldn’t have been smart enough to agree for one of them to lay down for the other or something?

Meanwhile, Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff confront Hulk Hogan, and Mr. Wonderful is looking much better these days, thankfully. Piper and Orndorff reluctantly agree to bury the hatchet after 30 years.

WWE World title: Randy Orton v. Batista v. Daniel Bryan

We are blessed by Rev Theory doing the live entrance theme for Orton, since one can only presume they had no other gigs booked tonight. Or ever. Weird note in that Michael Cole hypes up Extreme Rules by calling it a “WWE Special” instead of a Pay-Per-View. That’s gonna take some getting used to. Bryan gets dumped right away and you can tell this crowd is basically dead and buried. Batista and Orton brawl on the floor as Batista sports boots that are the color of infected puss. Orton takes over on Batista in the ring and drops a knee for two while Bryan disappears into the void, but he returns with a missile dropkick on both guys. Bryan hits them both with kicks to wake up the crowd, but Orton puts him down with an exploder for two. Could you imagine Batista and Orton having to main event this show after what happened? There would have been entire sections walking out. Bryan keeps fighting off both guys, but Batista suplexes him to the floor and it’s back to the Batista-Orton snoozefest. Orton gets a superplex and Bryan flies in with a headbutt, as HHH and Steph join us at ringside and take out the ref. Well you knew that was coming. Scott Armstrong makes his return as Batista gets the powerbomb for two. This match was going nowhere anyway. Bryan takes out the crooked ref and then hits the Authority with a dive, and now HHH declares it sledgehammer o’clock. Bryan takes him out and cradles Batista for two, but Orton makes the save. The heels beat on Bryan outside and work together to clear off two tables. And we get a Batista Bomb into an RKO to put him through. The EMTs come for Bryan while Batista goes after Orton and they sluggishly fight on the floor. Orton with the draping DDT off the apron while Bryan gets taken out on a stretcher, but he fights his way off it and Orton hauls him into the ring again. RKO is countered into the Yes-Lock, but Batista makes the save. Bryan puts him in it as well, but Orton makes the save now. RKO on Batista gets two. Orton sets up the punt, but walks into the Bryan running knee and Batista steals a two. Batista Bomb, but Bryan runs in with the knee and wraps him up with the Yes-Lock to win the WWE title once and for all at 23:20. To say this was too long would be a major understatement, but they brought it home well enough with some near-falls that freaked out the crowd and nailed the landing with a great match. **** So everyone can breathe now.

The Pulse

It was certainly a newsworthy show, bookended by a pair of great Daniel Bryan performances and what will no doubt be the biggest booking controversy in forever. You sure can’t say it wasn’t memorable. I’ll go thumbs up because the two matches everyone wanted to see delivered and they nailed the big happy ending.

103 comments:

  1. How can someone who watches wrestling for a living not see that they're playing the slow burn with Cena/Wyatt? The psychology was masterful, and the slow pace was EXACTLY what the psychological drama of the match called for.

    That was ****.

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  2. You forgot to rate ARMBAR.

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  3. For better or for worse, it's newsworthy. We'll see whether Bryan's championship run can move the needle, or if they keep faith in him. Undertaker's loss will be just a humongous black eye on the event for a long time though. Tomorrow will be eclectic.

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  4. Think you underrated the opener and Cena/Wyatt a bit, but not going to gripe over it.

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  5. Still don't understand giving the streak to Brock. Mark must have decided it last minute or something.


    Cesaro is my new god.

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  6. Thank god I didn't dig out the cash to bet taker tonite. I really thought it was like stealing if u had the balls to risk it. Thank god I was to lazy

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  7. Was that a top 5 Mania? Only one bad match, and anything with the potential to be crap was kept short. Everything else rocked

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  8. Screencap Of The Year: http://oi60.tinypic.com/2h6vf9t.jpg <-- That guy gets it..

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  9. Maybe it's just the Wrestlemania high that comes with a good show that goes for the big moments, but I disagree with Scott on Lesnar-Taker and the main event (everything else Scott was deadly accurate on in another great review, btw). That was how the streak should have ended...with everyone's jaw dropped to the floor. An amazing moment that nullified the prior boredom. Everyone's response--Lesnar, Heyman, and the 75,000--was golden!



    The main event was action-packed and didn't seem too long at all. I was still waiting for another trade of finishers to be honest.



    But goddamn...to me, this was a great show that helped erase the unpleasant memories of 2 out of the last 3 manias (27 and 29). The nods to the past, the Shield getting a squash, the Rise of Cesaro, and the coronation of Bryan--all awesome choices. I was blown away by a show that looked underwhelming coming into it.

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  10. Hang the boots up Mark. You've more than enough for this business

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  11. I think that was the point of the streak ending, Taker knows he can't do this anymore.

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  12. Morning breaking news: WWE reports just under 670,000 subs. http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/profit-in-sight-nearly-670000-subscribe-to-wwe-network-1201153433/

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  13. The WWE can't be to thrilled with that number

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  14. Didn't factor into the ending of the match, but I have enough faith in both Taker & Brock that I'm sure the injury did factor into why the match kinda sucked.

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  15. Looking forward to how many actual PPV buys there were.

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  16. Well, combined with the pay-per-view buys and in the bigger picture, I think that's a pretty good number, especially 2 months into the network experiment.

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  17. Stock is down about 2-3% in the premarket, which isn't too horrible, and they barely had 6 weeks to work with. But the BIG goal will be keeping that number moving up. Now that Mania is behind them, it's going to be a much tougher sell.

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  18. I hope people realize the badness of this WM30 match make Taker's performance at WM23-29 so much more impressive

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  19. I think they need 1 million subs to be profitable and with WM just passing, it's tougher to draw in new buyers. Slam City and Legends House aren't going to get people to pay for this.

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  20. Maybe the fact they finally gave the fans what they wanted will boost buys in the near future. I guess it really is going to depend on if Bryan is really a draw or not.

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  21. If he can't even take the bump from a single leg takedown without getting injured then yeah, he's done.

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  22. I am too actually. Then the number of PPV buys for Extreme Rules will be interesting too

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  23. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    Two questions:
    1.) I wonder did the concussion affect match quality?
    2.) I wonder if they will mention this on RAW to make Lesnar seem even more badass?

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  24. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Isn't that more a testament of who he was in there with for those matches?

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  25. Taker more than held his own in all of those matches. Yesterday, it was sadly clear that age has finally caught up with him. Him losing actually was logical within the story the match told.

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  26. With the performance of the network last night (by and large a very big success as in terms of not crashing and the video quality) that may help convince other people to subscribe who may have been skeptical about the network prior to Mania.

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  27. You wanted to fight an MMA star Mark, and you're done after a basic MMA move.

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  28. Do we thank the MLB for this?

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  29. To some extent, but last night was a reflection of his age. It's not like he became 50 overnight. Dude was killing it when most his age were done.

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  30. Rightfully so. Wanting the network to fail because he's pissy about Bryan.


    Look at him now.

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  31. If Undertaker is done, which I think there's good circumstantial evidence to suggest that he is, then their hyperbole really is warranted here - it's the end of an era. Undertaker is the bridge from Hulkamania and the New Generation to Attitude and the PG Era. Hard to believe I was six years old when the streak started (!); it was a Hell of a ride.

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  32. And Christian just needs to hang it up at this point. It's getting sad that we have to play the numbers game of how soon he's going to injure himself again.

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  33. That had to be the most anticlimactic ending possible to the streak. No one thought it would end to a part-timer, so the buildup was all but heatless, leading to a moment more of confusion than shock.

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  34. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    True.

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  35. I almost expect his retirement speech tonight.

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  36. If he's cleared, he should.

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  37. That's what made it great in my opinion. Biggest WTF moment I've ever seen. Kudos to WWE for turning me into a 100% mark.

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  38. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    While I agree with that, Brock has never been accused of being the loosest person in the ring to work with.

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  39. That black guy's face said it all.

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  40. Just look at how he almost killed himself at 19.

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  41. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    I agree, but what I'm saying is that this proves to me that HBK, HHH and Punk are great because they knew takers limitations and still carried him to a decent match. (HHH not so much)

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  42. In stubborn WWE land:

    Taker comes out for his teary-eyed retirement speech, Cena comes out to congratulate him....Well, you know the rest.

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  43. I dunno Brock is pretty good, sure he's not Bryan and we haven't seen him wrestle any bad workers other than HHH who he didn't really carry, so I guess it's a big question mark.

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  44. Why? The network is still losing money til it hits 1 million.

    The problem for them is that they dont have anything to sell past WM. If you havent gotten it by now, why would you order? That was a common criticism put out there by many analysts, not just me.

    And I didnt want it to fail...I just said it would bc there isn't a big enough market of wrestling fans that want this product.

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  45. That might be partially true, but... Damn, Taker really looked like he aged 5 years since WM 29. Lost a lot of muscle mass, and just looked... Old..

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  46. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Ties into him becomes "a monster" or whatever Bray was trying to get him to do.

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  47. I can't see Taker giving a teary-eyed speech.

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  48. "And I didn't want it to fail"


    Biggest lie in the history of this blog.

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  49. My first words......

    ITS THE GUY IN THE BOAT FROM CADDYSHACK.

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  50. Well its still losing money, so its still failing right now asshole.

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  51. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Very true. I said that when I saw him. Taker just looked old. I actually was concerned for him when he did the leg drop and was REALLY fearful for Brock when he almost botched the last ride.

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  52. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonApril 7, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    lol

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  53. lol... personal insult... :)

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  54. I!was worried for that simple Old School.

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  55. One more post:

    How many downvotes "would" I have gotten for booking Brock winning the title tonight on the FINGER POKE.

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  56. BREAKING NEWS: Ambitious project doesn't immediately shit out money.

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  57. All the downvotes, suug.

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  58. Taker does his retirement speech tonight, Sting shows up and says One more Time next year?

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  59. If it was a story about how they both have nothing to lose, I'm on board.

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  60. I hope the Sting rumors aren't true. It's just too late for that. It was WM 27 or bust.

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  61. That was a common criticism put out there by many analysts, not just me.
    --------------
    Yet the stock has doubled since the announcement.


    I am DYING for this to succeed. As I have said, anything that continues the cord cutting movement works for me.

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  62. If Rock wasn't involved, that match would have sold the show.

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  63. With the streak over, I think you can throw all rumors in a really big trash can this morning.

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  64. We're gonna need a bigger can.

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  65. I guess Brock winning would feel like a bigger deal to me if he hadn't already been jobbed out since his return. And wtf is the deal with Cena winning? I know it's the joke that he always wins, but Jesus, it was way down on the card, it doesn't hurt Cena to lose, and Wyatt needs to beat a top guy in a match that matters at some point if they want the group to stay over.

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  66. In_the_Interest_of_FairnessApril 7, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    I did some search on Google and the WWE seems to be pleased with the numbers. I don't, however, know how accurate this report is and I don't really know that much about economics either, so what do I know?

    http://www.wzronline.com/wrestling-news/backstage-word-on-the-wwe-network-s-wrestlemania.html

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  67. That ending of the streak was not great. The surprise factor threw everyone off but the match and the build were terrible.

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  68. He beat Daniel Bryan at the Rumble, and pinned Roman a few weeks later. He'll be just fine, don't worry.

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  69. I keep hearing that. Why was the build terrible?? What made it so terrible? It wasn't groundbreaking, but it was simple. Brock wanted to end the streak, Taker wanted to extend the streak, let's fight it out to see who's the better man. THAT IS ALL IT NEEDED TO BE.

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  70. Well, the concussion explains why he looked like he legitimately couldn't stand up. I thought he was just gassed and was honestly embarrassed for him.

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  71. Curious as to how many international subscribers they'll get when it officially launches in those markets. And what will this number mean to the subscription price after the first six-month cycle ends?

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  72. In fairness, the stock was rising on the speculation that they would double their rights fees. I don't see why bignasty takes so much crap for pointing out the potential pratfalls that come with the Network.

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  73. Keep forgetting it hasn't launched internationally yet, I bet that with international they'll get to 1.5 million or so.

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  74. lol, figures that you would be the only one that agrees with him.

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  75. This. With him having trouble just standing I thought there was no way he could pull it off. When Lesnar hooked him for the F5 I thought he might have just been saving him from falling to the floor.

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  76. Considering how quiet things got at the end of that match, it's a really good idea that Undertaker didn't have a youngster like Reigns end the streak. The last thing you want for a new star's big moment is total silence. Can you imagine if back at Clash I they booked a Dusty finish -- crowd pops for Sting winning the belt and then it's reversed. Wrong move. If Reigns speared Taker and got the pin it would've been the same reaction as last night. Instead we'll probably get Reigns winning the Rumble or something. As a Brock fan I didn't even mark out last night - I had the same dumb look on my face as Brock. So stunned silence for Reigns would be bad. As for Taker he obviously wanted to have another match with Brock going back to 2010 and if he decided that's who he wanted to have end the streak, or even have the streak end, that's his call. I do hope he gets a curtain call tonight on Raw because he really deserved a bigger send off than what the fans could give him last night after being stunned so badly.

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  77. He wasn't pointing out the pratfalls, he was actively rooting for it to fail and then claimed he'd laugh at everyone when it does.

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  78. It hasn't launched internationally yet (at least not through official channels). That should bump the number up. Very interested to see if the subscription price changes after the first six-month cycle ends.

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  79. http://giant.gfycat.com/RaggedFlawlessDachshund.gif

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  80. I'm kinda hoping that Disqus can set up an auto-reply feature when anyone mentions Lesnar-Taker looking something like this:
    ---

    There are two trains of thought with this match: 1. The match sucked. Lesnar shouldn't have been the guy to break the streak because he's a part-timer who doesn't appreciate the business as much as a young gun does who'd get the proverbial rub from winning. 2. The streak ended as it should have: With everyone's jaw dropped to the floor. It was an amazing ride and true Moment. And Lesnar doesn't have to carry the burden of beating the streak on TV each week AND can easily give a transferred rub to future opponents. Let's salivate at a future Bryan-Lesnar match now.

    ---

    I (along with many others) am in the latter camp, but I think we're all going to have to agree to disagree on this. We'll go around in circles for the next week regardless, but I'm not sure if anything new can be said that hasn't already been stated a few dozen times already.

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  81. I can't imagine the Network's subscriber base going up very much and if anything expect it to trend down at some point. I suspect 670k is close to the zenith for a niche product like this. I've already noticed commenters on this very blog showing an apathy or boredom already with the network. I mean, how many times is your casual fan going to want to check out old ppv's and the like?

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  82. "When the people go quiet like that, that's when they're buying it."
    -Greg Valentine

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  83. It was terrible. UT kicked his ass twice and made Beock look was then Brock finally got his hands on UT after Heyman distracted him. They took the challenger, who was the heel, and made him look like an underdog in the most ass-backwards booking I have ever seen. The booking was so bad that no one bought any nearfalls for Brock, that's how you know it sucked.

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  84. ... Which is what made the result so shocking. I wouldn't be surprised if they purposely did this. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. (And for the record, Taker got the upper hand twice, by either using the element of surprise, or mind games).

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  85. I have a strong feeling that the original plan was NOT for the streak to end last night, but as Taker continued to try to prepare for the match, and realized his body simply can't do this anymore, he decided it was time. And why not? He BARELY got through this match, and apparently was pretty hurt by it. Next year, he'll be even older and more decrepit, so why not go out now and ride off into the sunset?

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  86. Agreed. And the tombstone piledriver looked legitimately dangerous. I was worried we were going to see an Owen Hart/Steve Austin moment.


    I might be the only one here, but I loved the match. No, it's not perfect- it's flawed with the physical limitations of the Undertaker at his age and with the rust that Brock still has two years into his comeback. But it was also the only way to really end the streak. Cena could not have ended the streak like that. Sting would have been a joke. At this stage, with his limitations, WWE and the Undertaker found the perfect ending for the streak.


    I didn't realize how badly he was hurt, though.

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  87. Cena accuses him of being fake and exposes his tear duct problem? Thus, a heel turn.

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  88. It was a shocking result. It was also a terrible march and feud.

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  89. I disagree. There's still room for growth. Many folks want to see if it'll last or if it's reliable before they sign up, and so far, it has gotten positive word of mouth. The Mania experiment was a huge success with very little hiccups along the way, too.



    However, 670K is no man's land. One has to wonder how many additional resources they'll put into it because it's neither in deep trouble nor on the cusp of profitability. If it was one or the other, I could see something drastic happening. As it is, who knows? I still think it's a slightly encouraging number ultimately.

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  90. That might be accurate. Someone had tweeted out ( and I think posted here) that Taker was seen leaving his hotel with the aid of cane (Kane?) in order to walk. I'm sure his leg joints are about shot and lord knows what he uses to mask the pain of a WM match

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  91. He doesn't have to hang it up- I could still see UT in shorter matches if the story was right. But the time for twenty-minute co-main events at Wrestlemania is done. There's probably one last retirement story in him if he decides he wants a better ending to his career, and I'll be happy to watch it. If not, last night was damn good too.

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  92. Sad but probably true. I hate that Christian might be done; I loved his matches at times, and that street fight with Sheamus was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Great wrestler and fantastic promo guy.

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  93. That might explain how Brock and Paul Heyman played their roles as "just another victim" so perfectly and fooled everybody, as much as I'd like to think it was just because of their awesomeness.

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  94. Match was definitely sub par, but to me, the ending made it totally worth it. It is what it is, I guess.

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  95. The thing I'm curious about is if people will renew right away in late August / early September when the first subscribers have their deals run out. SummerSlam will be part of the first 6 months, but will people wait to renew til around Royal Rumble time if the fall once again doesn't look overly compelling like last year?

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  96. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighApril 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Obviously super early but I think reigns will get the streak gimmick. Just a hunch.

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  97. 2-0, 6 victims already!

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  98. Actively rooting for it to fail = pointing out that wrestling is a niche product and potentially has a limited base of subscribers? Isn't this...true?

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