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Wrestlemania XXXI - The Greatest Show Ever


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Was this Mania better than:

17?

19?

10?

3?

21?

24?

Or 20, or 30, or 23?

 

 

On a first WrestleMania XXXI viewing and I haven't watched the others in years, I'd say this was a better card overall than XX and 21. Maybe 23. X-Seven, XIX, XXIV are my top three WrestleMania events.

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Outside of the main event the show was really just ok for me. That shouldn't be too surprising because my issues with current WWE are big picture issues. I'm thrilled a lot of other people really digged the show. I'm just not there right now.

 

I’m tired of the commentary team adding next to nothing. 

 

I’m tired of Taker, Big Show, Cena, Orton, Rock and HHH clogging up all of the goods spots.

 

Some of the guys can’t go anymore. Some can still bring it. I’m just tired of them. I want to see something else.

 

What makes current WWE so frustrating is the guys I want to see are just knocking on the door. And they are going to continue knocking on the door because there is no room up top. 

 

With the endless Bryan back and forth over the past couple of months, a common talking point was “well, where does a Bryan match fit?”. And those people were right. A Bryan match wouldn’t fit. There are no feuds that fit. There are no matches that fit unless you are going up against the old guard. They cemented their spots on the mania card years ago and that’s just the way it is. 

 

WWE right now feels like a traffic bottleneck. As long as so many people from the old guard stick around, there are three to four old guard matches on the top of every Mania card (Cena match, Taker match, HHH match, Rock match). Unless they are facing each other, these guys tend to go over.  It makes it almost impossible to break through. 

 

The ladder match felt like a holding cell for the new generation of main eventers.

 

I was enjoying Sting-HHH until all of the interference. They had the audience. It felt like a moment. It was almost as if the agents were so sure it was going to be a clusterf*ck, that they turned it into a clusterf*ck.

 

With the Taker and Cena matches I’m reminded of a podcast I was listening to a few weeks back with JR and Cornette. They were discussing the Mania card like the two old school somewhat bitter wrestling personalities they are. They kept on talking about Wyatt-Taker and saying that it looked ok on paper, but “what’s the finish?” How Taker going over Wyatt doesn’t help Wyatt. And how in traditional booking, you don’t book the match unless you know the finish first. 

 

I understand why Cena went over. He’s John Cena. I understand why Taker went over. He’s the Undertaker. These guys are practically institutions. But both Wyatt and Rusev could’ve really used a big win at Mania. And neither have a clear path going forward.

 

I can’t praise Brock/Reigns enough. My knock on Reigns the past couple of months is that as dominant as he has been booked, his offense isn’t very convincing looking. Last night he brought it.  
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What exactly was the deal with the Great Muta Blues Band playing out Sting? Not that it wasn't cool, I just didn't get the connection between the two.

 

It works if they end up fighting with the terminators.  But then HHH doesn't get to put himself over Sting, Muta, Arnold, WWF, WWE, WCW, NWO, TNA, America, Asia, humankind, nature, and technology all in one shot.

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What exactly was the deal with the Great Muta Blues Band playing out Sting? Not that it wasn't cool, I just didn't get the connection between the two.

Daytime entrances are tough, but the bigger issue is the old "music" one, where run ins, even by people who are renegades against the company, always have their music. If Sting is a mysterious vigilante who has no affiliation with WWE, how the heck did he get his own Muta band? 

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I went into this show with Rusev vs Brock as my #1 dream match, and now I want it even more. Those guys were the two best wrestlers on the show.

 

I would be on board with Ronda becoming the Brock of the women's division.

 

That Nash is one ungrateful bastard. WWE inducts him into their HOF, and the very next night he's siding with WCW.

 

I think the entire Sting/HHH match was booked just so Max Landis could make a movie about it.

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What exactly was the deal with the Great Muta Blues Band playing out Sting? Not that it wasn't cool, I just didn't get the connection between the two.

Like with the Black Scorpion, they saw Sting stuff on the Network (in this case, the '89 GAB) and thought WELL THIS INVOLVED STING SO LET'S DO IT.

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Was this Mania better than:

17?

19?

10?

3?

21?

24?

Or 20, or 30, or 23?

 

 

On a first WrestleMania XXXI viewing and I haven't watched the others in years, I'd say this was a better card overall than XX and 21. Maybe 23. X-Seven, XIX, XXIV are my top three WrestleMania events.

 

21 had the Angle.HBK classic, Orton/Taker which was one of Taker's first big streak matches, a MITB match and Rey/Eddie. Also had Hulk's return against Hassan and the main was good.

 

23 had good HBK/Cena and Batista/Taker matches and a MOTYC MITB match.

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Question I'd like to pose to you all, WWE Match of the Year so far:

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan. Fastlane

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. WrestleMania XXXI

Other.

 

For me its either the Rumble Triple Threat or Lesnar vs. Reigns from last night. Plan to watch both to decide.

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The worst thing about HHH-Sting is that it completely invalidates the story they were telling. HHH kept saying it was about WWE vs. WCW, taking all kinds of dumb shots that he gets away with because "he's a heel." Sting finally comes out and says it has nothing to do with WCW, he's just sick of seeing HHH cheat and manipulate to stay on top. Good story, especially if Sting wins and HHH realizes that even his Cerebral Assassinitude has limits. Instead, the match happens...and it's 100% about WWE vs. WCW, from the run-ins to the announcers, and when HHH cheats and manipulates his way to another WrestleMania victory, Sting goes "Hey man, nice work - guess WWE rules and WCW does, in fact, drool." So, so fucking dumb.

 

I'm gonna rewatch parts of Mania later, but I wonder if Triple H won because of corporate synergy. He got this huge entrance/commercial from the new Terminator movie. I would not be surprised if the people involved were like "He's representing us. He can not lose".

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Question I'd like to pose to you all, WWE Match of the Year so far:

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan. Fastlane

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. WrestleMania XXXI

Other.

 

For me its either the Rumble Triple Threat or Lesnar vs. Reigns from last night. Plan to watch both to decide.

 

That's tough. The Rumble match had the better finish. The Mania match was on a much bigger stage.

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Was this Mania better than:

17?

19?

10?

3?

21?

24?

Or 20, or 30, or 23?

 

 

On a first WrestleMania XXXI viewing and I haven't watched the others in years, I'd say this was a better card overall than XX and 21. Maybe 23. X-Seven, XIX, XXIV are my top three WrestleMania events.

 

21 had the Angle.HBK classic, Orton/Taker which was one of Taker's first big streak matches, a MITB match and Rey/Eddie. Also had Hulk's return against Hassan and the main was good.

 

 

Thanks for the reminder. Haven't watched the show since it aired. Really liked Orton/Taker and the first Money in the Bank Ladder match is still one of the best ladder matches I've ever seen. The main events also gave John Cena and Batista their first WWE and World Heavyweight Championships as well.

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Question I'd like to pose to you all, WWE Match of the Year so far:

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan. Fastlane

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. WrestleMania XXXI

Other.

 

For me its either the Rumble Triple Threat or Lesnar vs. Reigns from last night. Plan to watch both to decide.

The RR Triple Threat was much better and it had a finish.

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So not only did HHH get a more elaborate entrance, but he also went over Sting. What was with Sting's entrance? Why was there that one old guy who was not wearing the Sting face paint? Other than his bald spot, I thought Sting looked fine. His flurry before the Stinger splash was cool. Sting was a member of the Wolfpack, so I didn't have a problem with the NWO coming out to even the odds. Prior to their music hitting, I actually thought Flair, Double A, and Malenko would come to the rescue, but that would have made less sense.

 

 

Sting was a Horseman for a couple of months and he and Flair did the respect hug and made up on the last edition of Nitro so it would make about as much sense for them to run out and help him as it did for the nWo black and white to.

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The Kliq and Hogan were all in town for the HOF, it got a good reaction from casual fans that were bigger fans in the 90's, and it played the WCW/WWE angle.  All there was too it.  And since they'd basically ran through all of Sting's spots already before the run-ins started, it was probably either that, or a ten minute Triple H heat segment.  I liked it.

 

Taker/Bray was good.  Not great, not Match of the Year, but good solid pro wrestling with a couple of very nice moments (Bray's fear at the zombie sit up being the best of them.) 

 

Rusev/Cena was fucking awesome.  Springboard stunner motherfucker~!  And, like I said months ago, I'm conflicted on Cena winning.  On one hand, a win for Rusev at Mania cements him as a main event guy, and Cena doesn't benefit from the win.  On the other, the U.S. title does benefit from a Cena win, and building up a foreign monster heel for months before you have the company's top babyface defeat him is pro wrestling 101.

 

The ladder match was what it was.  Shorter than I expected, a lot of really stupid shit to do to their bodies (not just the powerbomb, but when Harper threw Ambrose face first into the ladder too, the superplex, a few others) but it never really grabbed me.

 

The divas tag was fun, good finish, Nikki still lays that forearm in with bad intentions, the Black Widow is still a great finish...  I liked it.

 

Orton/Rollins was fine, nothing spec....  HOLY SHIT THAT FINISH.  Yeah.

 

Main event was fucking insane.  SUPLEX CITY, BITCH.  The blood, then more blood, then an epic blade job after being split open hardway twice already.  Then Rollins, a legit surprise finish, Reigns took his ass whipping like a man and he gave as well as he got.  Yeah, that exceeded expectations and then kept going into fucking awesome range.

 

 

MOTN: Cena/Rusev

 

Moment of the night:  Rollins cashing in during the match.

 

Real best moment of the night: SUPLEX CITY, BITCH

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Question I'd like to pose to you all, WWE Match of the Year so far:

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan. Fastlane

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. WrestleMania XXXI

Other.

 

For me its either the Rumble Triple Threat or Lesnar vs. Reigns from last night. Plan to watch both to decide.

 

Those are three pretty friggin' epic MOTYs and it's March.

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I nearly spit coffee on my monitor when I logged in and saw the words "Greatest Show Ever" in the thread title.

To each their own, I guess.

I posted that right in the middle of Rollins' celebration. I was quite excited. Plus, I was expecting the worst show ever.
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What exactly was the deal with the Great Muta Blues Band playing out Sting? Not that it wasn't cool, I just didn't get the connection between the two.

 

I think it was trying to give a nod to the Bay Area's historic Japanese community. You'd think someone on commentary would make a point to point it out.

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Was this Mania better than:

17?

19?

10?

3?

21?

24?

Or 20, or 30, or 23?

On a first WrestleMania XXXI viewing and I haven't watched the others in years, I'd say this was a better card overall than XX and 21. Maybe 23. X-Seven, XIX, XXIV are my top three WrestleMania events.

21 had the Angle.HBK classic, Orton/Taker which was one of Taker's first big streak matches, a MITB match and Rey/Eddie. Also had Hulk's return against Hassan and the main was good.

23 had good HBK/Cena and Batista/Taker matches and a MOTYC MITB match.

Angle vs. HBK was hideous. Worst possible offender in terms of big matches that nerf finishes and lack any consistent selling or storytelling. It's a great example of Angle's flaws and Shawn's ability to be terrible while convincing rubes he's awesome. Orton/Taker was good more than great, as was Eddie/Rey. Cena and Batista's first world title wins are significant but neither match lit the world on fire. MitB was amazing but not as good as Brock/Roman. 21 is very good but still a level below.

23 had Cena/Shawn (which I love and is an amazing Cena carryjob) and Taker/Batista and nothing else. Total two match show albeit two great matches.

10, 20, and 3 have great standouts but a lot of what came between them is mediocre and/or forgettable.

Even 19 has good stuff, but shorter midcard matches and a lot of the big matches (Shawn/Jericho, Brock/Angle) don't hold up great. It DOES have Austin vs. Rock III but it's a poorly aging top heavy show I think.

Honestly from top to bottom contenders are slim. And it's not that everything was a ****+ classic. It's just that everything was at minimum good and served a purpose. Everything was some degree of memorable. There aren't many Manias like that.

17, 24, and XXX probably all decisively beat it. Money in the Bank 2011 too (an all time show for me). But it's definitely on the high end.

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Question I'd like to pose to you all, WWE Match of the Year so far:

 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Royal Rumble.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan. Fastlane

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. WrestleMania XXXI

Other.

 

For me its either the Rumble Triple Threat or Lesnar vs. Reigns from last night. Plan to watch both to decide.

 

Those are three pretty friggin' epic MOTYs and it's March.

 

 

Agree my fellow MOTY lister (outta likes).

 

EDIT: Also with The Unholy Dragon.

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