Sunday, March 29, 2015

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 31

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 31 – 03.29.15

Live from San Francisco, CA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler

I’m trying the live stream tonight, so hopefully it doesn’t die on me. The picture is already heavily pixelated early on, though.

Intercontinental title: Bad News Barrett v. Dolph Ziggler v. Daniel Bryan v. Luke Harper v. R-Truth v. Stardust v. Dean Ambrose

So Daniel Bryan goes from winning the World title in the main event to curtain-jerking as the seventh guy in the opener this year. If only he had been born a Samoan. Giant brawl to start, as expected, and guys start hitting dives immediately. Truth, who is apparently a geek that fears heights, tries to climb first but is terrified to do so. Bryan sandwiches some guys behind a ladder and dropkicks it a few times, but that backfires on him. Harper climbs and ends up hanging upside down on the ladder, and Bryan climbs until Ziggler makes the save. Stardust takes out a few guys as the feed jumps around a bit, and he discovers a sparkly ladder under the ring that is apparently his own personal one. And then Barrett immediately breaks it. Well that’s kind of a waste. Harper and Ambrose have a ladder duel and Dean gets dropped on a ladder with Snake Eyes. I can only presume that it was a tribute to Hall of Famer Kevin Nash. Truth clears the ring but is unable to overcome his crippling acrophobia again, which leads to Barrett superplexing Cody off the ladder. Everyone climbs and we get another trainwreck with everyone falling off, leading to Ambrose taking a powerbomb from Harper through a ladder. Jesus. Harper climbs, but Ziggler is on his back with a sleeper and thus both guys fall off. Ziggler climbs alone, but Barrett saves with the Bullhammer. Truth climbs and he takes one too. Bryan hits Barrett with the flying knee, clears the ring, and slugs it out with Ziggler on the ladder with insane headbutts until Ziggler finally drops, to win the IC title at 13:31. That also puts Bryan in elite company as one of the few to hold the WWE Grand Slam (WWE, World, IC, US and tag titles). The match was a crazy, non-stop trainwreck with little else going on, but that’s what we wanted out of it. ***3/4

Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins

Orton with a dropkick early and Seth bails, but catches him with a necksnap to take over. Orton slugs away in the corner and goes after J&J as the feed bugs out a bit, but Rollins hits him with a dive. Back in, Seth gets two. Suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock. Seth pounds away in the corner, but Orton comes back with clotheslines and the powerslam. Rollins bails to the apron and fights out of the draping DDT, and follows with a quebrada. Back in, they fight on the top rope and Seth goes down first, but he rolls through a flying bodypress for two. Orton with the draping DDT, but Rollins rolls him up for two. RKO gets two. I really wish I could mute JBL on this show. HE’S GOING TO THAT PLACE, MAGGLE! HE’S HEARING VOICES, MAGGLE! And then the feed buffers like crazy again on me. RKO on J&J, but Seth gets the curb stomp for two. Moonsault misses and they trade finish attempts, but Orton manages to reverse the curb stomp mid-move into the RKO at 13:10. That was quite the finish and should probably be a GIF for the next 15 years. Nothing special as a match, however. ***

HHH v. Sting

Sting’s entrance just lacks something in the bright sunlight. Hard to be mysterious at four in the afternoon, I guess. Meanwhile, HHH’s entrance is a literal commercial for the new Terminator movie. And the announcers are making fun of WCW?!? Well, credit to HHH for being willing to go out and embarrass himself with this shit. They trade shoulderblocks to start and Sting dropkicks him into the corner, but HHH slugs him down. Sting no-sells the facebuster, but HHH bails as JBL continues randomly bouncing between heel and babyface. Back in, Sting dumps him, but debuts the “dive at the railing and miss” spot. Back in, HHH with a suplex for two. The announcers constantly burying WCW on commentary is really irritating. You won the war FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. Get over it. HHH with the chinlock and some really loud spot-calling, and a spinebuster gets two. HHH has some kind of really ugly bruise on his thigh and it’s kind of scary. Sting fights back and the feed suddenly jumps to the Scorpion Deathlock, but now D-X (New Age Outlaws & X-Pac) runs in and Sting fights them off. I think it would be more awesome if DX was played by the chicks in the Max Landis video. And then Sting hits them with a dive from the top, which is a sight to behold. Back in, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. HHH grabs his trusty sledgehammer, but now the New World Order (Hogan, Nash and Hall) does the world’s slowest run-in and the Scorpion Deathdrop gets two. Scorpion Deathlock while the senior citizens battle at ringside, but HHH makes the ropes. And then Shawn Michaels comes in to superkick Sting in the name of DX, but that only gets two. So it’s the sledgehammer v. bat showdown, and the hammer breaks under the awesome force of WCW’s bat. Stinger splash, but HHH manages one last sledgehammer for the pin at 18:16. Everyone who thought HHH was laying down here were being very naïve. This was more of a wacky spectacle than a match, but it was fine for what it was. ** I suspect it’ll get a lot of love for all the nostalgia stuff, which is also fine. I’m not saying it wasn’t neat to have D-X facing off against the nWo at Wrestlemania, but let’s not get silly about it.

Coming to WWE Network: A whole bunch of stupid bullshit that no one in their right mind would want to watch. A prank show? Diva Search 2015? Really?

Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan gets the endorsement of a bunch of former IC champions. Hopefully they actually follow through on that and don’t just have him do a bunch of jobs to build up title matches.

And now the concert portion of our show, which is where I break for dinner and pause the stream for a while to hopefully let the buffering catch up. I’ve heard of Travis Barker before, but that’s about it. And why you need a drummer for a chick who’s lip-syncing is a mystery to me. And wasn’t there supposed to be an LL Cool J concert, too?

AJ Lee & Paige v. The Bella Twins

Nikki takes out AJ quickly and Brie works Paige over with a running knee for two. Bellas with a double slingshot suplex for two. Paige manages a rollup on Boobs Bella for two, but the Rack Attack gets two. Paige makes her own comeback while AJ is still old cold on the floor for some reason. WHERE ARE THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL? Suddenly AJ pops up again and gets the hot tag, but Nikki rolls through a flying bodypress. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and AJ gets a really shitty DDT on Nikki for two. Another brawl and Nikki lays out AJ with the forearm for two. The feed jumps to AJ putting Nikki into the Black Widow at 6:32. I have no idea what the point of AJ having to sell on the floor for four minutes was about. *1/2

Commercial, commercial, Hall of Fame ceremony, commercial, commercial. You can pretty much cut out an hour of stuff on fast-forward thus far and this whole series of stuff has really sucked the momentum out of the show.

US title: Rusev v. John Cena

Thankfully Lana is back, and Rusev gets to ride a tank. I thought that was D-X’s gimmick? John Cena of course gets the most over-the-top jingoistic video package (complete with Vince heroes George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan) to show everyone that he’s fighting for freedom everywhere. As long as you’re an American who votes Republican. And the crowd STILL boos him. Oh man, this crowd is gonna destroy Roman Reigns. And Rusev also gets booed, so I guess they just hate everyone. Cena immediately attacks and gets one, but Rusev hits him with a spinkick for two. Rusev busts out some sambo (well, he’s playing a Russian, so I can only assume) with a rolling throw for two and follows with a rolling dive into the corner for two. Rusev stops to wave the Russian flag, but this enrages the American blood of John Cena, who comes back with VINTAGE CENA, including getting booed. Rusev escapes the FU and gets a backdrop suplex for two. Uranage gets two. They head to the top and Cena comes off with the guillotine for two. The crowd now resorts to cheering for Lana as Rusev comes back with a superkick for two. Cena with a tornado DDT for two. They slug it out and Rusev gets a whiplash slam for two as the crowd is increasingly bored by this. Cena takes him down with the STF, but Lana throws a shoe in the ring. Honestly, who throws a shoe? This somehow allows Rusev to escape the hold as foot fetishists everywhere lose their minds, and Rusev hits a diving headbutt for two. JBL notes that Rusev is discovering that John Cena does not give up. Except for last month. Cena reverses the Accolade and hits a stunner for two. Oh sure, they bring that move back after 12 years and it’s for JOHN FUCKING CENA? Cena with a rollup for two, but Rusev superkicks him into the Accolade. And Cena powers out of it and reverses into the STF. Lana distracts the ref, however, and Cena lets a charging Rusev knock her off and hits the FU for the pin and the title at 14:34. Nowhere near as good as last month. *** So now Cena can travel the world and inspire United Statesians everywhere.

And now, the pre-show panel discusses the stirring victory for Big Show in the battle royale. So much for Hideo Itami’s big Wrestlemania debut.

The Authority is out to announce a new fake attendance record of 76,000 people! Way to go, 20000 phantom people! Like really, it’s 2015, do they really think people are stupid enough to just believe WWE would have an exact count of people two hours into the show? What if another 100 still want to show up late? HHH takes credit for all of it, but the Rock interrupts. Good, I was thinking that this show was moving at too much of a breakneck pace and needed an interview segment to breathe. Rock lays down the challenge and Stephanie gets in his face and claims that the McMahons made him, then slaps him and sends him packing. But Rock would never hit a woman, so he heads to the crowd, finds RONDA ROUSEY, and invites her to kick Stephanie’s ass instead. And Stephanie can’t resist talking shit to her, which the Rock warns is a bad idea. HHH has had enough and get his ass handed to him, but Steph makes the mistake of going after Rousey and gets chased from the ring under threat of armbar. Obviously she couldn’t actually finish the job due to legal stuff with UFC. Which is too bad because it would have been legendary. See now, Rock v. HHH at WM in Dallas makes way more sense than Rock v. Brock, because there was already a backstory and people would actually want to see that match again. Myself included. If they could pull off Rock & Ronda v. HHH & Stephanie, more power to them. Although once again, how sad is it that these guys just blow away everyone on the roster and make them all look like a bunch of indy chumps by comparison in the span of 20 minutes?

Bray Wyatt v. The Undertaker

We are apparently running long and skip the video package for this match, which is kind of astonishing. Undertaker has reverted to Zombie Cowboy with hair after a few years of the demonic wizard with Mohawk look. Apparently Undertaker’s 21-1 is now the “greatest record in sports history” and I don’t even know where to begin with that one. Like, I’m pretty sure the Patriots going undefeated that one year was a bit more impressive. Somehow, Undertake has used his magic powers to generate 30 pounds of muscle since those photos of him surfaced a couple of months ago, and he’s looking much better than the last couple of years. Bray charges and gets beat up in the corner, and Taker goes old school. Bray comes back with a clothesline, but Taker continues kicking his ass and legdrops him on the apron. Back in, Taker hits Snake Eyes, but Bray comes back with a back elbow and pounds away in the corner. He grabs a hold on the mat and does some sort of charge on the floor to run Taker’s head into the post. That didn’t really translate very well and just kind of looked like Bray taking a bump into the stairs for no reason. Back in, Taker catches him in the gogoplata, but Bray slugs out of it. The announcers now suddenly bring up the storyline of Undertaker doubting himself and contemplating mortality, which would have been nice to bring up TWO MONTHS AGO. Like, did we ever have any followup from Undertaker about how he felt after the Streak ended? Nope. Bray puts him down with a uranage and senton for two. Sister Abigail is reversed into the chokeslam, and the tombstone…gets two. I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that one. A second try is reversed into Sister Abigail for two. I kind of get what they’re going for here, but it’s not working, like at all. We get the crab walk v. zombie showdown, and Bray freaks out. They do the slugfest and Bray tries Sister again, but this time Taker reverses to the tombstone to finish at 15:07. Not at the low level of last year’s match, but there was a lot of laying around and clearly this wasn’t the right opponent for Undertaker. **1/2

Chris Jericho brings his podcast to the WWE Network with super-controversial guest John Cena. I bet Cena will stir up headlines by talking about how fans might love him or hate him but he always shows up.

WWE World title: Brock Lesnar v. Roman Reigns

And so it’s come to this. Don’t you tell Roman that he can’t do something! Because he’ll just go ahead and do it anyway, but to half the crowd reaction he otherwise he would have received. He enters through the crowd and security has to actively fight off people trying to tell him what he can’t do on the way to the ring. DON’T YOU FUCKING TELL HIM WHAT HE CAN’T DO! He summons the anger of people telling him what he can’t do and punches the ring so hard that he sets off fireworks. Brock is so the clear babyface here, and the crowd even sings along with Paul Heyman’s ring introduction of him. Brock shrugs off Roman’s attack, quickly suplexes him, and follows with the F5. The crowd loved that. Brock is bleeding from one of Reigns’s wussy shots. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE BROCK BLEED?! He’s going to murder you! Reigns tries to fight back and Brock suplexes his dumb ass again and beats the shit out of him. Another suplex and Brock is having fun with this. A sixth german suplex and then Brock changes it up by dropping him on the top rope and throwing knees to his face. He punches him right to the railing as the crowd breaks out the “This is awesome” chant for the supposed top babyface getting beaten like a red-headed stepchild. Reigns comes back with a knee and the crowd boos him out of the stadium, and then Brock clotheslines his head off to send him flying off the apron again. Brock should win Wrestler of the Year for this shit. Back in, another suplex sends Reigns out of the ring again, and Brock suplexes him right back in. The crowd is now keeping count of the suplexes that their hero is taking. F5 gets two. Brock is now gloveless, I repeat, gloveless, and personally bitchslaps Reigns with his bare hands. Another pair of suplexes, another F5 gets two. Oh come on. Brock takes him outside to the ringpost, but Reigns reverses him into it. Why would you make this man angrier!? Your continued kicking out has already angered him enough! Back in, Reigns hits the superman punch twice and Brock won’t go down because he’s a real man. A third one finally drops him and Reigns follows with the spear, twice, but it only gets two. One last charge and Brock hits the F5…but Seth Rollins cashes in and it’s now a three-way. Curb stomp, but Brock catches him, so Reigns hits the spear and Rollins curb stomps him and pins him at 16:37 to win the WWE title! So…that was quite the ridiculous finish, but damn if I wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement at it. And really, they found a brilliant way to get out of the corner they were painted into with Reigns. Brock Lesnar has to be some kind of superhuman wrestling machine to carry Roman Reigns to that kind of match. ****1/2

The Pulse

I actually liked this show better than last year, even if the middle dragged a lot for me. The ladder match / Rollins v. Orton / Sting v. HHH spectacle to open the show was a fantastic start and the Rousey angle was incredible TV. And then Brock showed why he’s worth whatever the fuck he wants to be paid with a finish that will probably go down in WM history. Reigns is dead in the water, but who gives a shit about him anyway? Big thumbs up here, especially given low expectations.

825 comments:

  1. I loved this show, actually. A pleasant surprise for sure. And thought it was better than 30.

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  2. Bryan was curtain-jerking last year as well.

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  3. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 29, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    I'm watching the replay right now, as I missed the live show. The RKO out of the Curb Stomp was brilliantly timed and executed. Fucking Orton, man. He lets you down so many times, but keeps sucking you back in.

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  4. Definitely a more fun watch, for me

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  5. I thought the show hit a lull from the Divas match up until Rock and Rousey got the crowd happy, but everything else, including the kick-off, was a great time. I marked the fuck out for Rollins, and damn if that wasn't the most amazing "how did they pull off that good a match" performance from Brock and Reigns.

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  6. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 29, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    "That was quite the finish and should probably be a GIF for the next 15 years."

    http://giant.gfycat.com/BoldWelcomeDowitcher.webm

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  7. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    "Reigns is dead in the water, but who gives a shit about him anyway?"

    Thank you, Herr Netcop. Took the words right out of my mouth.

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  8. My non-fan roommate when I explained why fans hated Reigns - "so wrestling fans are pissed that WWE skipped the foreplay". Yup, a non-fan gets it in one. HEY VINCE!

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  9. I preferred 30 by a wide margin, but this was a fun show.

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  10. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 29, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    I don't think this show holds up over time, but man was it fun to watch live.

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  11. Hard to believe Rollins winning is a "big surprise" ... it was being called a few weeks' out on here.

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  12. Nash grabbing his quad during sting-hhh is YOUR wrestlemania 31 moment

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  13. "Everyone who thought HHH was laying down here were being very naïve."

    THANK YOU....i said this a couple of weeks ago. Wcw doesn't go over wwe. I loved the match

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  14. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMarch 29, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    Scott's rundowns always make the matches sound like they were horrible now, but then you tally up all the snowflakes at the end and the show gets a thumbs up more often than not. Strange.

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  15. "Like really, it’s 2015, do they really think people are stupid enough to
    just believe WWE would have an exact count of people two hours into the
    show?"

    Not sure if sarcasm. With barcode scan tickets, which Levi's has, you can have an exact number of people in the building within 30 seconds.

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  16. Bold Prediction: Reigns got more over losing that match than he ever would winning it nd all of Scott's crowing about him is going to look as funny in ten years as when he declared the Boiler Room Brawl UT's final WWE match.

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  17. Although once again, how sad is it that these guys just blow away
    everyone on the roster and make them all look like a bunch of indy
    chumps by comparison in the span of 20 minute?

    Easy to do when you're always booked to be the coolest guy in the room.

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  18. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBUJzu0U8AAQ4ar.jpg

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  19. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 29, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    HHH vs Rock, with Austin as enforcer and Host of Wrestlemania 32

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  20. It's the fact that it was turned into a triple threat... everyone had it booked with Reigns winning THEN Rollins cashing. No one expected THAT.

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  21. No mention of "Suplex city, bitch?" That might be up there with your beloved "TAP OUT ROCK OR I'LL BREAK YOUR FUCKING LEG"

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  22. My thoughts on this and WM30 are reversed to scotts, I felt some stuff in between the Dbry matches at 30 were a bit deflating and draggy from the horrid taker match, to putting the divas match AFTER the streak ended, to the pointless shield match, but it's still top 5 because of the great booking, the cesaro win, the amazing main event and opening match, the great opening segment and the shock of the streak end. I don't know if I'd do that for this one, but it was far better paced, I guess the middle hurt me less because I enjoyed the sting match quite a bit And the Rusev match.

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  23. Gordon Solie hailed from Suplay City in the French Alps.

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  24. Booed tomorrow, booed next week...doing Brock/Cena II isn't going to change things on the whole.

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  25. Yeah ... that was a really odd comment. The crowd number may be fake, but with computers and all that internetty stuff, stadiums know the exact crowd.

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  26. I'm still trying to figure out who "Lanny Pofo" is.

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  27. "So Daniel Bryan goes from winning the World title in the main event to curtain-jerking as the seventh guy in the opener this year." ...Hey, didn't this happen to another one-time smark favorite in the span of two WrestleManias, one of which was a multiple of 10? (Was the first MITB at WM21 and the first match?) I fear for the Danielsons in 2017, if the "WM10(xA) Curse" is a thing....

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  28. He got punked by a girl tonight.

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  29. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    And never allowed to be shown up by anyone other than Ronda Rousey. That Stephanie stuff gets old fast.

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  30. Agreed. It wasn't an all-time great show or anything, but it was at least entertaining throughout. And watching it live I managed to miss the HoF stuff by chance thanks to an errand so it really didn't drag a ton. Rumours were flying that they were dragging the Rock/Rousey stuff out to get to darkness for UT's and Bray's entrances but I guess that didn't happen.

    Also it's 2015, and The Rock got an insane, sustained pop just by standing there. Just saying.

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  31. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    He's a lost cause. If he wasn't getting some pity claps tonight, he's done.

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  32. I'm so confused, I agree with Scott's analysis of most of the matches (The multi man ladder match thing is so played out it capped at *** for me but that's a quibble).

    Which to me adds up to a mediocre show. Maybe if there wasn't SO MUCH down time and commercials but that's not enough good stiff for 4 hours of programming

    Also, agree to disagree on the 4 people talk for 20 minutes and it's amazing thing.

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  33. I think it's time to bring back an RVD like cash in for the Money in the Bank briefcase. Have somebody cash in ahead of time in their hometown or something. Maybe have someone like Finn Balor, or another NXT guy who has gone up to the main roster, win and cash in ahead of time for an NXT special. The Edge style cash ins are getting old and there needs to be a break from them.


    Also, THANK GOD ROMAN REIGNS DID NOT WIN!!!!

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  34. Eddie vs. Rey opened 21.

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  35. Fair enough. Seems a minor distinction.

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  36. I was expecting Scott to be a negative nelly about this show but I'm glad that he enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a really fun Mania and Rollins ending it as champion was perfect.

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  37. So was Randy Orton in 05. I believe he went over the Champ clean tonight, and has won 12 world titles.

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  38. For fuck's sake, let's not reach that hard to compare Bryan to the guy who murdered his wife and kid with his bare hands.

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  39. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    I can see it now in my dreams... Rollins gloats after defeating Roman Reigns at Money in the Bank in July. "I have nothing left to prove!" he exclaims, only for U.S. Champion John Cena to come out and demand a title match. Now here comes Bryan, who claims the right of a title show as the Intercontinental Champion. Three-way between the U.S., IC and World Champions at SummerSlam? But wait! Here's NXT Champion Kevin Owens, who's tired of waiting in the wings. Four way at Summerslam, thank you and no, I'm not drunk.

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  40. I am SURE he'll booed tomorrow night, but the WWE have been building him along for like two years now. They think a lot further ina dvance than the fans do, sad to say.

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  41. And actual attendance isn't typically recorded, anyway. It's paid attendance. Tracking the number of distributed tickets is not difficult or all that time-consuming.

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  42. Again I must ask, is "Swerved" (the prank show) gonna be hosted by Vince Russo? The Springer one might be interesting depending on what they consider "too hot for TV" (though I feel Benoit and Punk matches might go here ;-)) Seems like they're going for an [as] type adult block here. But never mind that, I SAW THE HULK HOGAN'S ROCK 'N' WRESTLING LOGO in the background! Five stars!!!!

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  43. I really liked the show (better than last year's in my opinion). Nothing overly "great" but every match was solid. And the one that really wasn't (Sting/HHH) was overbooked to my liking. Well worth $9.99.

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  44. Rousey could have at least slammed Stephanie or thrown her over the top rope or something. The armpit grapple into the gentle release was a bit of a letdown, especially since that was the ONE opportunity they had to actually have someone get over on Steph physically.

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  45. Not even the divas were totally odious, actually.

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  46. I give a shit about Roman.

    Choo-choo....*tears*

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  47. Your champions after Wrestlemania 31 are Tyler Black, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Clastahowevayaspellit, TJ Wilson, and some other guy.

    Been spendin most my life, livin in an Indy paradise...

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  48. He jerked the curtain last year too.

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  49. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighMarch 29, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    Great show

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  50. Fantastic show and I hope we get Rock/Ronda vs HHH/Steph at 32. I feel bad for Roman but maybe history repeats itself and he returns as a great heel like The Rock did.

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  51. "Better than 30" is crazy talk.


    30 was bookended by two awesome **** matches, the crowning of Daniel Bryan as champion, and the huge shock of BROCK beating the Undertaker.


    This was not that.

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  52. Reigns is the MVP of the night. Instead of getting his big coronation (booed or not), he gets the shit kicked out of him by a monster, and then gets pinned by the guy who in storyline betrayed him. What a team player.

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  53. I think that's exactly what we'll get.

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  54. I know, and for all I know, Bryan is 10000x the man he was. But it's eerie when I think back to WM 10 and 20, and how life turned to shit for both WHC winners there, and within 3 years, even.

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  55. Maybe he'll just get screwed out of the World title in Montreal in three years.

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  56. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©March 29, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    Man, the fact that Rollins is now WWE champ put me in a genuinely happy mood.

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  57. I wouldn't say bad, but I was blown up from Sting/HHH and it was just alright. Too short to go anywhere. Cena/Rusev disappointed me greatly. I thought Fast Lane was much better.

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  58. Which makes Sting look great. But in reality, Ronda could take both of them so I give it a pass.

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  59. He got punked by a UFC champion, after having beaten Sting in the most masturbatory Mania moment since...possibly ever.

    That HHH, always lying down to make others look good

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  60. I thought this was the best overall Mania since 17. I was really pulled onto every match, especially the main event. It reminded me of New Japan in the way every match had a real epic showdown feel to it. Perhaps a lot of the credit should go to the production crew.

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  61. So... Reigns vs Batista in an iron man match on RAW tomorrow?

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  62. He did get more over losing than winning. But getting over just a little bit as opposed becoming the worst baby face since John Cena isn't saying much.

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  63. Yeah, I think tonight was a big step on the road to rebuilding Reigns. Even at the end the boos were a lot less. His performance and not pulling the trigger on his win was a great decision, actually.

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  64. My match ratings (pre-show included)

    Tag titles: ***1/2
    ARMBAR: ***
    Ladder match: ****
    Randy vs. Seth: ***1/2 (although I wouldn't be against adding another 1/4* for that finish)
    Hunter vs. Sting: ** (for the match. As an entertaining spectacle, it gets the full *****)
    Divas tag: **1/2
    US Title: ***1/4
    Taker vs. Bray: **3/4
    WWE Title: ***** (more around ****1/2 for the actual match, but the ending pushed it to the full monty for me)

    In all, a spectacular, excellent Wrestlemania. The best since X7, and absolutely in the top 10 Manias of all time.

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  65. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 29, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    31 had better matches top to bottom. 30 had better emotion. I'll take the latter but both are good.

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  66. We discussed that exact scenario on this blog.

    multiple times

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  67. I'd rate it:


    1. WM 3
    2. WM 17
    3. WM 31

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  68. "Somehow, Undertake has used his magic powers to generate 30 pounds of muscle since those photos of him surfaced a couple of months ago, and he’s looking much better than the last couple of years."


    Does the WWE Wellness Policy cover zombies or mystical creatures?

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  69. Loved the show. Nice to see Reigns bring it two PPVs in a row. He is going to be a scary good wrestler the more he works. They just have to book him better moving forward.

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  70. This. Moreso when they played the MNW thing up. I feared it when I heard Sting signed, in fact...that he would just be used as the final nail in the coffin. You either get created by WWE or be destroyed by it. That was ALWAYS the case.
    But...I am sure Sting is crying his way to the bank, and to the HOF whenever that is.

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  71. "turned to shit"


    Daniel gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do what he loves and he just cares about growing the business and getting people over. He has a hot wife. It's not a shitty life.


    Benoit's brain was the same consistency as tapioca and murdered his wife and son. To say that Bryan would do the same - stop, just STOP.

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  72. I thought Reigns did awesome on his hope spots.

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  73. I just...REALLY

    people got epic showdown feel from the matches tonight.

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  74. It was a carryjob, congrats to Reigns for taking it but...all he did was get thrown around

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  75. I don't really get what people liked about the Rock/Rousey stuff. It dragged on FOREVER, The Rock's jokes were bombs, Stephanie still looks like the biggest bad ass in the whole damn promotion, Rousey didn't give her a beatdown, and now Rock and Rousey will disappear while The Authority goes on like it never happened. Obviously this was worth paying Rock and Rousey for UNPROMOTED appearances rather than, say, having Daniel Bryan (you know, the guy who owned The Authority at every turn and that they never beat) take the obvious opening of Triple H's arrogant shit talk to put another one over on them. Oh fuck no, we can't go putting over the people who are actually going to be on television for the next eight months.

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  76. I think it was the best WM in the last decade overall. There weren't a lot of classics this year, but as a whole it was really strong

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  77. Levi Stadium has a capacity of 68500. So, i think an attendence of 76976 is about right. But then you can't blame Scott or anyone else for thinking it wrong when they've fudged so much over the years.

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  78. I watched the show with a bunch of non fans and they were hanging off of Rock's every word.

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  79. "And now, the pre-show panel discusses the stirring victory for Big Show in the battle royale. So much for Hideo Itami’s big Wrestlemania debut."


    Not enough is being made about everything that went wrong in this match, from Sandow's big moment getting followed up with getting squashed like a geek to having Cesaro literally go 50/50 with Big Show by getting tossed out like a sack of potatoes. The latter was particularly infuriating, because that crowd was DYING to back Cesaro again. But hey, it's time to push Big Show. Again.

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  80. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    Triple H/Sting took longest match of the night honors, for those who keep track.

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  81. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 29, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    If Im booking Extreme Rules:

    Rollins over Orton strong in a wild Extreme match to retain

    Reigns over Big Show in a fucking squash, as Roman has a harder edge and chip on his shoulderr

    Bryan vs Dolph, IC, 2/3 falls classic

    Rusev over Cena, Last Man Standing

    Brass Ring over Usos, Tag belts

    Crazy 5 on 5 elimination showcase of all NXT guys

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  82. It's magic! He doesn't have to explain how it works!!!!

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  83. Adam "Colorado" CurryMarch 29, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    Hahahahahaha, HHH beat Sting. Fucking awesome.

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  84. I think that in the moment people will like this show, but I also think that in a year's time nobody will remember this show at all save for maybe Rollins cashing in.

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  85. A new era: Rollins is the first WWE Champion that's younger than WrestleMania

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  86. By that logic, Cena was carried by Lesnar at SummerSlam.


    A guy as experienced as Stone Cold has talked about how Brock can't call a match and needs to take his cues from his opponent. I'm guessing the agents played a big part in how the match turned out.


    But from a physical standpoint, Lesnar *did* carry Reigns, since he picked him up briefly a bunch of times for suplexes and F-5s.

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  87. Emphasis on "the more he works". Hoping Vince slows his roll.

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  88. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM

    Rock vs HHH, Austin as ref

    Divas battle royale, with Rhonda destroying everyone before getting her hands on steph

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  89. Said the same in another thread. Having him lose, but still stay strong did more for him tonight than winning the title did.

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  90. Bullshit. His selling, bumping, and facials were all excellent.

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  91. Maybe Ronda is female Brock. I could kill you, but I'll spare you this time.

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  92. Wouldn't go as far as best since X-7 but it could definitely be the best of the past 10 years. 30 was good. 22 was a good show also. But a lot of the shows in the middle of that are forgettable.

    I really liked the show. Even matches that weren't great wrestling matches like Sting/HHH I enjoyed on spectacle.

    Shrug, I hate apologizing for enjoying the product (as rare as that may be) but I really liked the show. Entertained for 4+ hours, can't beat that.

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  93. Reigns must be face deep in a bowl of mayo right about now. Poor guy went from being the next big thing to taking the fall to a guy who wasn't even booked in the match to begin with.

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  94. I feel like there's some recency bias/exceeded low expectations with the 31 love-in.

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  95. Dirty_Dave_DelaneyMarch 29, 2015 at 10:14 PM

    My personal favourite moments at this year's Wrestlemania are:


    -Bad News Barrett tearing apart Stardust's shitty glittery ladder
    -Headbutt battle on top of the ladder
    -Orton's mid-Curb Stomp RKO
    -DX v NWO because why the fuck not
    -Ric Flair knife edge chopping Ricky Steamboat just for the hell of it
    -Springboard Stunner by Cena?!?!?!?!
    -Steph's patronising dismissal of The Rock
    -Rhonda Rousey
    -SUPLEX CITY BITCH
    -Brock's bleeding made Muta proud
    -Seth Rollins cash in being the greatest cheapest Wrestlemania victory ever in the best possible way

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  96. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©March 29, 2015 at 10:14 PM

    And no match went past 20 minutes.

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  97. Mister CrestleManiaMarch 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    The love this show is getting is absurd.

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  98. Vince refuses to put over timezones.

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  99. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro all with championship gold tonight. Kevin Owens and Sasha Banks still rocking the gold down in NXT. John Cena is probably the most accomplished U.S. Champion ever. The championship scene in WWE looks a lot better tonight.

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  100. I still don't trust them not to take the good feelings that people have and fire them down the commode like last year.

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  101. Yeah the crazy thing is, we always judge matches by who "needs" the win.

    Sting will probably never wrestle another match. If he does, he can be rebuilt really easily. HHH hasn't won a match in 2 years and yet still is a part of main event storylines.

    If we use the logic we usually use, HHH technically "needs" the win a ton more than Sting does.

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  102. Harley may disagree with you on Cena.

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  103. My favorite thing about tonight were the nerds raging about HHH like it is 2002. You can tell they've been holding that in for awhile.

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  104. It was an enjoyable enough show. What sucks though is that there's really not going to be anything coming out of this other than the title scene.

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  105. I'm thinking Reigns gets his big moment at Summerslam against Rollins, and the WWE Universe (TM) will be ready for it then.

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  106. I'm floored. Like how low were people's expectations that this blew them away

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  107. He probably has mixed feelings. Yeah, things didn't go the way he probably wanted, but being the most (or second most after Cena) booed champion in company history probably wouldn't be fun, and a good friend in Rollins ended up winning.

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  108. I've drank a lot of scotch to tonight, so I might change my opinion Upon rewatch, but I thought this was a fantastic show. Nothing mind blowing, but no drizzling shits either.

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  109. The Rock's act has worn thin on a lot of smarks especially after the 2 year feud with Cena that expired way before the end.

    But the casuals still eat his act up and love the guy.

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  110. I loved the one guy who kept on calling him an insecure bitch, and Stephanie queen of the cunts or something like that.

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  111. Even Vegeta has a WrestleMania moment!

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  112. Yeah, I'm upping my rating to * for HBK appearance, Nash grabbing his quad, and JBL burying Sting on commentary.

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  113. Ahem.....http://www.chinlock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/bret_hart_usa_champ_by_windows8osx-d5cno3k.jpg

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  114. If it leads to Rousey in the ring at 32 I'm cool with it.

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  115. I thought it was a great performance and Reigns showed good depth to his character. But Reigns is like Brussel sprouts and people generally decide they aren't going to like something ahead of time so it doesn't matter.

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  116. He's difficult; he drove me away from wrestling for years, but he's been a pro-wrestling voice as an exec in many ways.

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  117. The main event wasn't THAT good, but did an excellent job of building drama.

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  118. Don't mind me...I'm just a conspiracy theorist/reader into coincidences. Like I said, Bryan is probably a much better person so I am not saying he'll do anything ever.
    And when I said "turned to shit" I meant Bret and Benoit (though they are two different situations, though to Bret death might be as bad as his getting screwed in Montreal...)

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  119. Mister CrestleManiaMarch 29, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    For real, it wasn't terrible but it's not even a Top 10 Mania, people are losing their minds

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  120. Someone in the live thread was getting legit pissed at the Stephanie promo like it was a fucking RF video shoot interview. Hilarious.

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  121. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    It's funny, too, because Wednesday night everyone's "Triple H is the greatest! We love NXT!" but tonight it's "You sanctimonious prick..."

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  122. He meant "effective heels". I still wish Big Steph would stop ripping off every face's nutsack, though.

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  123. Probably the same person. I wasn't reading the thread during that segment.

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  124. The Vaudevillains must rescue the briefcase because those evil Lucha Dragons are trying to steal it again.

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  125. Also, Scott, Levi's is in Santa Clara, not San Francisco. Same metro, but it's like calling MetLife "New York" when it's in NJ.

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  126. Agree. Not giving Reigns credit for tonight is absurd.

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  127. I think it was a BOTTOM ten mania. No match over 20 mins and only one over ****. Compared to what the average 2015 PPV has? Jesus Christ!

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  128. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    It is WAAAAAY too early to be projecting where 31 goes. Let it simmer for a few weeks and reevaluate.

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  129. Come on, that Rock/Rousey segment was the most overdone segment I've ever seen. And it was paid off with an arm-bar! I do agree that Rock/Triple H is way more intriguing than Rock/Brock. I want Brock wrestling the new guys, not Dwayne.

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  130. He was better than John Cena was in the SummerSlam match.

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  131. It was good. Well worth your Network subscription.

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  132. Want a cookie, then?

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  133. ...They did over capacity :p

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  134. See also: Randy Orton

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  135. I say we need Hogan to give us the straight truth, he's great with numbers.

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  136. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©March 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    4 hour show: over 104 minutes of wrestling.

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  137. I'm gonna lol so hard when HHH draws over a 100K next year with the Rock.

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  138. He throws a lot better punch too

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  139. So I did end up taking McCutchen with the 4th pick in my draft today.

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  140. He's had 2 straight very good PPV matches in a row.



    He avoided the two most overwhelmingly likely outcomes of this match
    a) Brock beating him clean-ish and turning into Lex Luger 2015
    b) Being the least popular 1st time face champion probably ever.


    They have a chance to do something with him instead of making him a guy remembered for getting too much too soon. I had to go all the way back to Tommy Rich to find an analogue and even then I don't think it fits.


    WWE dodged a bullet but he dodged one too. Can't forget that.

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  141. If Roman was Superman, then Brock was clearly Doomsday

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  142. Dirty_Dave_DelaneyMarch 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    I demand that somebody makes a SUPLEX CITY BITCH t-shirt now for an affordable price!

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  143. The most overdone segment you've ever seen? Did you see the HHH/Sting match an hour earlier?

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  144. If Rollins hadn't cashed in feelings about this show would be much more mixed. The main event delivering sends people home happy and that skews perception. Time will be less kind to this show. It was fun in the moment though. No regrets about watching it.

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  145. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:20 PM

    Oh, I meant in the WWE canon. The WCW U.S. Title I consider a separate entity, even if the WWE considers them linked.

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  146. Rock/HHH is appealing not just for both guys' chemistry, but also because at this point I feel the same way about Rocky as I did about Sting: him doing legend vs. legend feuds feels better than him facing a younger talent.

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  147. This a rank of all the Mania's better than 32 since 17?

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  148. My favourite was Adam Wright tilting at his windmill during the Sting match going "Listen, no one's cheering for Sting! It's a totally pro HHH crowd Herp Derp" while a huge LETS GO STING was ringing round the entire stadium.

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  149. Brussels sprouts are delicious!

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  150. I had been saying all month that the only way for that match to work would be for them to book it like Superman and Doomsday.

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  151. His selling was excelent?

    He took 3 F-5's and ran around like nothing even happened!

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  152. So are you saying that's a good ratio or a bad ratio? Cause it's unclear the way you've worded it.

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  153. Hey, I've always kept my HHH feelings on one side of the fence, lol. I'm the one who usually gets yelled at by the "HHH will save us all!" NXTheads!

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  154. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    Ronda Rousey in a VEGETA shirt makes her that much hotter. There's something about a cute girl who is at once a dork and capable of snapping your dick like a twig that gets the juices flowing.

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  155. I mean, Hunter will take his moments as a heel. He just beat down with a bat by Sting last month, and obviously put Bryan over big last March.

    Stephanie just doesn't work at all, though, and needs to be taken off TV ASAP. You just can't have a heel who's constantly getting over on the babyfaces who can't be touched, ever. I'm not saying the ban on men hitting women is a bad thing, but then you can't put Stephanie in that role and expect it to work when there clearly isn't any payoff coming.

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  156. Everyone was expecting it to be Heroes of Wrestling going in. The fact that it ended up being an ok to good show seems to have confounded people.

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  157. They seem to be the only ones that hated the show too.

    HHH win is apparently a dealbreaker.

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  158. Good man...he's the truth.

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  159. Really low expectations and a great ending has led to mass insanity on the show and Reigns, lol.

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  160. And that's more or less what happened.

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  161. And UT in the HOF.

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  162. Raw needs to get a brussel sprouts chant going when Reigns comes out.

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  163. Rorschach was in rare form.

    I mean really, who cares? it's 55 year old Sting. Vince would NEVER have WCW go over WWE at his greatest creation. The match was entertaining sportz entertainment crap and markout city. I was fine with it.

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  164. This show would've done MUCH better without the stupid musical act, the long interview segment, and the waste of time with lots of ads and video packages. If the show is going to be 4 hours, run more than 7 or so matches. Those things just kill the momentum of the show for me.

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  165. Wait until tomorrow night when BoD Mania II comes out. All that love will be even more absurd.

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  166. To be fair, 8 minutes of that was the nWo walking down the ramp.

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  167. Lesnar carried Reigns. Lmfao at you ignorant inbred hicks. How any of you--writer or commenter--manage to get up in the mornng and look in a mirror is beyond me.

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  168. I agree that this was the end of the InVasion Angle 14 years later, but at least Sting was allowed to look like a threat. The guys back in 2001 didn't get that privilege (as well as the big names when they signed them in 2002-04)

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  169. I don't think Reigns is dead at all. He showed he could hang, he showed some charisma and Lesnar couldn't/didn't finish him off. I think Reigns definitely came out of this better than he went in.

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  170. I loved that Hulk Hogan's 2015 Wrestlemania Moment (tm) was getting owned by Xpac.


    After coming out with the NWO to save Sting. The NWO. Saving Sting. The not-fake WCW Sting.

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  171. Even if you cut out an hour of shit, I don't think the show would be deserving of that praise. Watching the replay, the "Monday Night Wars" Sting/HHH match is already too long and stupid.

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  172. Rock Jobbing to younger talent sounds best to me, seeing as you need that young talent to eventually make you some money

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  173. Yes, I saw it. It was nostalgic fun. The Rock/Trips/Rousey segment was boring as hell with a shit payoff.

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  174. Now to listen to the classic Bounty promo.

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  175. Dirty_Dave_DelaneyMarch 29, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    I can't get over Brock's blade job if there was one. I mean he was bleeding immediately after connecting with the ring post. Any chance for a Muta rating for Brock?

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  176. I thought the PPV was good, but not as great as last year with the Bryan saga. Main event wasn't **** either, IMO.

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  177. Reigns was, indeed, really good. WWE needs to take that lesson and apply it to booking him properly going forward. No more selling to Big Show or reading long, scripted, Looney Tunes referencing promos.

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  178. I like that Bret got a nice pop.

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  179. Cena vs. Rusev ---- nowhere near as good as last month --- *** (exact same rating as last month).

    Okaaaaaaaaaaay.

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  180. I too, have always held that HHH loses all perspective when he's personally involved

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  181. He's not bad he's just green. That's a distinction a lot of people have trouble making.

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  182. Agree. I also think Reigns played his role excellently tonight, too. He did a solid job (no pun intended).

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  183. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 29, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    And what is up with "Andre the Giant was MY friend?" It's like she's 9 and won't let it go. She drops that every time she can and it still means nothing.

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  184. In theory the old vet putting over the young guy is the right formula. But to me, it doesn't always feel like the right choice. Like, when Sting came back and set up the feud with Trips, I was glad because him facing and putting over a young guy would've felt weird. Dunno, hard to explain.

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  185. Biff Kensington Has a PosseMarch 29, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    He's just too OLD... so OLD...

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  186. Well, to each their own I guess. Of course, that's not going to bring those people back to watch the various upcoming shows The Rock won't be appearing at.

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  187. Oh, don't mention that! That never happened! lol This is the bestest WM since 17 now!

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  188. I don't know, Hogan at WM9 may have been cheaper

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  189. I don't even really care that he won, I mean it was EXTRA annoying.

    Doesn't change the fact the longest match of the night was him and Sting wresting a boring overbooked brawl

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  190. Yes, I like athletic women (beach volleyball = must see during the last two Olympics...sadly, Misty May-Treanor's retired)

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  191. It wasn't...it was ****1/2

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  192. Someone tried to tell me below that 31's main event was better than 24's. It was fun to watch as an unmitigated slaughter of Reigns. But Taker/Edge was the better match overall. I'm

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  193. Try Zack Snyder.

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