It’s been a while since I took to the pages of my blog to outline my thoughts on anything. This time though, I hope you’ll be willing to indulge my guilty pleasure – professional wrestling! As we approach the annual mega-event called Wrestlemania, I feel obliged to post some of my thoughts on what has become one of the biggest entertainment events of the year.
If you’re not a fan of wrestling, this will probably get very boring very quickly. So for those of you who are still with me, here are some of my thoughts:
First, I’m struck by how many of the participants in the main event matches are only part-time wrestlers. The main event is Rock vs. Cena. Of course we know that Rocky is a big time movie star and has decided to come back to the WWE as a part-time wrestler and has been involved in the last two WM’s and now the third in a row. He was also wrestling in the last two PPV’s. But he is in no way a full-time wrestler. But heck, if Rocky wants to play, you let him! Then there’s the Undertaker. For the last couple of years, UT hasn’t had many matches other than the one at WM as he has protected the streak (now 20 strong) with some amazing and brutal matches. He is getting older but as long as he continues to put on the kind of matches we’ve seen the last four years, he’ll always be welcome. More about this match later. Then there’s Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. Neither of these two have had a match since their last one at Summer Slam nearly eight months ago. And don’t forget Fan-Dan-Goooo. He hasn’t wrestled on TV ONCE!! We have no idea what kind of match he’s capable of.
Meanwhile, tried and true workers like The Miz are mired on the undercard. Miz isn’t even on the PPV, he’s on some pre-show with Wade Barrett. This is a guy who was in the main event just two years ago!! And poor Chris Jericho, a true legend in WWE has the misfortune of carrying this Fandango character. Why are these part-timers getting all the cushy spots while the full-timers seem to be getting short shrift? There are a couple of reasons for this. The marquee names are getting older (Triple H and Rock are in their 40’s and UT just turned 48) and the WWE has seen fit to take care of these guys by giving them an easier schedule and bringing them out for the big payday. Lesnar is still a big draw despite his part-time status. The bottom line is these guys can still put on a great show due in large part to their part-time schedule. But I still can’t explain what’s going on with this Fandango dude!
Despite my misgivings about the participants, this looks like it will be one great Wrestlemania. My focus is on the top two matches: UT/Punk and Rock/Cena. First, Rock/Cena: For those of you who don’t know, these two met last year after a one year buildup. The match was great and Rock beat Cena. Cena used the loss to teach a lesson about losing and how to deal with it. He had been saying during the leadup to the match that he HAD to win that match. He couldn’t let Rock walk in after seven years and beat him at what he does every night. But the unthinkable happened. That played right into Cena’s character. He is an idol to millions of little kids all over the world and it made sense to show that sometimes you can’t win them all. You suffer big disappointments and it’s how you deal with them that people will remember you for. These are the kind of real life lessons wrestling teaches from time to time. Ok, lesson learned. Now if he doesn’t beat the Rock this year, his character will have suffered a horrible beating. Not just physically but emotionally to the point that all his bluster will sound like just that, hot air. If John Cena is going to continue as the face of the company, he has to win this match. I thought he had a great opportunity to drive the point home when he was asked on last week’s Raw what kind of regrets he would have if he lost this match. The correct answer was that he would rather live with the regret of losing than live with the regret of not facing The Rock again. (Seriously, I should be writing for these guys!) So I say Cena wins!
Now for my boldest prediction ever: Undertaker finally loses at Wrestlemania!! That’s right you heard it here first. Why would I make such a seemingly foolish prediction?!? After all, it’s been 20 years and no one has been able to beat the Dead Man. I believe there is a convergence going on here. I just watched the CM Punk documentary “Best in the World” on Netflix last week. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. But two things jumped out to me. During the program, JR talks about Punk working with Taker several years ago and that no one expected Taker to like working with Punk. But much to the surprise of everyone, Punk really earned Taker’s respect. That’s saying something! Undertaker is known as the locker room enforcer. If he doesn’t think you’re putting forth a good effort in your matches or not living up to your potential, he has a way of letting you know. Then, right at the end of the Punk program, they mentioned that Punk had become a real leader in the locker room. Well, this is the role UT has had for years. I always thought if Taker was going to drop the streak to someone, it would have to mean something. For example, he will NOT be dropping the streak to Fan-Dan- – -well, you get it. If it’s ever going to happen, this is the year and Punk is the guy. The only wrinkle now is that the man who portrayed Undertaker’s storyline father, Paul Bearer (William Moody, aka by me as Percy Pringle from his days in Championship Wrestling from Florida) died for real. So does the Undertaker lose his mystical powers when the man who carried the urn passes away or does he imbue the Undertaker with even more supernatural powers from beyond which will carry the streak into another decade? That’s why I’ll be watching this Sunday! But you have my prediction. Feel free to leave your thoughts.
And one more prediction: Dolph Ziggler cashes in his MITB Briefcase!