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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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Hager’s been pretty good just being the heavy hitter of Jericho. Only bad showing was that one Dustin match, where him, and Rhodes worked a very slow paced traditional match. That did nothing for either man. I think Dustin was too set on having a match where he plays the older guy putting over the up coming star. When that isn’t who Hager is anymore.

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DAY 80

We begin today with the Hall of Fame class of 2010.  They are: Ted Dibiase, Stu Hart, Antonio Inoki, Wendi Richter, Mad Dog Vachon, Bob Uecker and Gorgeous George.  Frankly compared to last year, this was a rather weak class.  It almost seems like they wanted someone else, but couldn't come to an agreement. Also lol at the rep for Gorgeous George being "some lady he was married to once." 

So, here comes the WrestleMania debut of Sheamus. The story was that he was just some guy racking up huge lifts when HHH was working out, and translated that into winning the WWE Championship within 6 months of his main roster debut.  I've grown to like him and his work more as time has gone by, but I distinctly remember at this point basically thinking "who the fuck is this guy".  Seems like the crowd agrees with 2010 Dolfan on that point.  

Oh man... I didn't realize until now how much I missed Sheamus' old music. 

Yeah, that music fucking rules.  Distinct, pumps you up, and tells you who and what you're about to see.  

Speaking of music.... time to sprint, since HHH is out now. I'm getting lucky with the odometer, because it rolls to 1200 miles ridden as the guitar riff hits.  If I'm right, I should be somewhere at or near 1300 when Hunter's music hits again next year.  

So, the match itself.  Boy, this whole thing seems like a gigantic wasted opportunity.  They wrestle a power vs power match based on the premise that Sheamus is too strong to be pedigreed.... which is... something. Sheamus is way too green (pun!) to be doing the big heat segments and running this match, so HHH is audibly calling the match.  Sheamus really seems a bit nervous out there.   

And while the match is building to it's inevitable conclusion (Kick Wham Pedigree) I'm just thinking about how Sheamus really could have been put over so much stronger here. Like the announcers are building him up to be a stronger threat than what we're seeing in the ring.  And he doesn't even necessarily have to win the match, but aside from one (unnamed) Brogue Kick, he never looks even remotely close to winning, and that's a problem.  

Triple H no sells a "pump kick",  kick wham pedigree.  

This was by no means a burial, but I just didn't see it as the "killer build/put over moment for the new monster" that this REALLY should have been.  Especially given that this is fucking Mania.  

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JK Simmons's character in Whiplash was basically heel Jake the Snake, so if you thought he was a babyface, that's peak "DVDVR argues that the heel is actually a face for some reason" except in movie form.

I feel very strongly about this. 

(Actually, the best analogy would be heel Jake pretending to be a face and befriending Miles Teller's Ultimate Warrior, and then turning on him after putting him through a bunch of trials. The Undertaker in this analogy would have to be uh, the spectre of greatness in a dying musical genre. Yeah, it works.)

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21 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

It's like looking at the movie Whiplash and somehow coming to the conclusion that JK Simmons was the babyface of the movie.  (I mean, he was, but that's another debate for another time.)

And now I want to have this discussion. Someone that isn't me should start the thread so I have time to watch Whiplash again.

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8 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Oh man... I didn't realize until now how much I missed Sheamus' old music. 

Yeah, that music fucking rules.  Distinct, pumps you up, and tells you who and what you're about to see.  

Agreed. Would love to see it back along with when Jeff Hardy finally gets his 08-09 theme back.

 

“I brought this to the powers that be and they basically said they don’t remember it,” Sheamus said. “I was told they don’t remember this song. They said it was outdated.

“So, if everybody watching here wants to hear this music back – get online, petition the powers, tell the powers that be, tell the WWE, because the WWE Universe has the voice. You tell them that you want ‘too many limes’ back when Sheamus walks to that ring.”

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Fun fact: the bassist for Flatfoot 56 (the band that did a version of the old Sheamus song above) once literally in the middle of a song stopped playing in order to shove me into the mosh pit and, in the only time anything like this ever happened in my life, came and found me after the show to tell me how much my energy in the audience was an inspiration.

I am far too old to ever have that much energy ever again.

Edited by Brian Fowler
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Internet creeps celebrated a week or two ago when this neverending angle between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins added the element of Rey's announcing his naive daughter's age as being 19.  It's because most of them forgot their history.  You see 10 years ago, Rey wasted all of our time on Raw to have the crowd sing happy birthday to his 9 year old daughter.  Frankly, I'm a lot more scared of the singers in 2010, than I am of Buddy Murphy in 2020.  Your savior, and mine, CM Punk and the Straight-Edge Society decided to crash the party and because of that, we have a match.  

This is Punk's singles debut at Mania. He's accompanied by Serena & Gallows.  Both of them, but Serena especially, I'd rank as two of the biggest misses on WWE's part.  There's an awkward cut during Rey's entrance as the camera completely misses his jump through the stage.  I honestly didn't remember what happened, but apparently he either didn't make the jump or something malfunctioned, so that was apparently a delay. Rey is dressed as a Na'vi from Avatar.  By the time Rey gets to the ring, Punk is visibly annoyed.  So, that's par for the course for him.

The match itself starts out quite hot, and for good reason... according to wiki, they finished in 6 1/2 minutes. So, it's pretty much non-stop action with Punk doing everything in his power to avoid getting hit by the 619 and Rey playing hide and go seek from the SES.   And it works?  

They manage to work a quite fine match here, and both clearly have their working boots on. Punk is at his best when he's a gleeful, charismatic dick to everyone. And he's delighting in beating the fuck out of Rey. Oh, and not that it really matters, but Rey would have joined the SES if he'd have lost.  

Not to worry though, Punk makes a mistake, gets 619'ed, and since he'd already countered the DTD and the huracanrana earlier, Rey busts out his extremely rarely used 3rd finisher, a top rope splash for the pin. 

The mind can only imagine how amazing the match could have been if they'd been given 10 more minutes.  That said, it also speaks to the value of editing. They basically had no choice but to throw everything at the wall at a frenetic pace, because they did anything else they'd have run out of time.  

Next up... of course it was a work the entire time.  But, speaking of out of time.... 

End of Day 80. 

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DAY 81

Montreal. I honestly stopped paying attention to stories about it 10 years ago (which coincidentally is when this next match happens).  My final theory of the case, and I could be completely 100% wrong about this.  Bret decides to leave WWF for a much bigger paycheck and lighter schedule in Atlanta. Bret is champ, so he goes to Vince, gives him his notice, and the two of them come up with the plan on getting the title to Shawn.  And Bret, Shawn, and Vince are all very good at their jobs, so they fool everyone.  Bret leaves, Shawn is champ, "Mr. McMahon" is born... everyone is happy.  No real enmity. 

And then... Kansas City. Enmity born.  

Eventually ($) things ($) work ($) out.  Vince convinces Bret to make up and come back.  Bret eventually leads the rest of the family (minus the obvious ones) back. 

Without having seen a second of Dark Side of the Ring, that's my theory. 

Anyway, Bret is now back to face Vince in a match.  Vince's big surprise is the rest of the Harts will serve as lumberjacks and jills.  The Harts instantly and unanimously double-cross Vince instantly, and this basically becomes a 10 on 1 handicap match.  And the match goes on... and on... and on....

See, now the thing with the HBK match was at least Vince was trying to put together some kind of offense.  I mean, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, at least it had The Spirit Squad.  Bret is just out there for like 15-20 minutes destroying Vince methodically... which is to say extremely boringly.  THESE people have all grown up in the pro-wrestling industry!   My god!   You'd think that even they could do something other than "Beat up Vince" for 15 minutes straight.  

The crowd that started hot for this is all but asleep by the time Vince instantly taps to a sharpshooter.  

This really felt like it was going to be a debut for someone to save Vince, but nope.   That was awful.   Moving on. 

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"Bret can't take bumps due to his stroke and all that. Okay, cool, so Vince can't really get any offense. No problem, we can do some smoke and mirrors for three minutes, Bret can then whip his ass for another two or three. That'll be fine."

"What about the other 15 minutes?"

"The what?"

"It's scheduled for twenty."

"Can't we give ten more to Rey and Punk?"

Edited by Brian Fowler
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Le Champion du Mond Chris Jericho is up now.  He got the title a month before in the Elimination Chamber seemingly randomly. Edge, who'd torn his Achilles the year before made a surprise return (his first) at the Royal Rumble and began a feud with his former tag partner.  So, well, Jericho's champ, and Edge has a redemption story, so... let them fight.  

Matt Striker on commentary here drops a Sexton Hardcastle reference. Oh, and I should make a reference here to the fact that it is 100% clear that Jerry Lawler absolutely despises Striker. Like it's beyond snide remarks or torpedoing him on commentary.  He openly sneers at him whenever they're on camera and he says anything. And I doubt Jerry is anywhere near good enough of an actor to dismiss it to they're playing their roles.  I never got why Striker got this kind of treatment.  On commentary, sure, he was annoying ("I'm marking out bro"), but generally seemed okay enough to be on TV.  The fact that he's out of the industry now makes me think it wasn't just Lawler who didn't like him, however. 

Anyway, back to the match... the whole match was built around Edge's spear being a super finisher, which, looking at Edge.... lol.   

They wrestle the first 5-10 minutes like this thing is going 45, which is to say... they're being slow as fuck. It's about 50/50 throughout and Jericho is countering most of Edge's spear attempts into trips, rolls through, and attempts at the Walls. Eventually Jericho works on the leg to try to prevent the spear, but Edge isn't picking up on that and doing his thing like his leg is fine.  Odd.  

Anyway, the ref gets accidentally bumped by Edge, Jericho takes the opportunity, get the belt and brains Edge with it.  That only gets 2.  But, it looks like Jericho's seen enough babyface comebacks that he knows he has to end it RIGHT FUCKING THERE...  Edge staggers up and walks into a Codebreaker.  That's enough to end it after only about 15.  

I really didn't like this match as much as I did the first time.  Edge really seems to have a severe disconnect with Jericho, and I'm not really sure what that's about.  The finish was decisive and made Edge pay for his mistakes.  So, that was fine. 

Jericho goes to attack Edge again, but since Edge is playing SuperEdge in this match, he comes back and beats down Jericho, including a spear through the barricade in a cool spot for 2010, but which we've seen a dozen times already, so it's less impressive now.  

Edge would inadvertently cost Jericho the title on the next Smackdown, when Swagger cashed in.  

It's getting late and I'm cashing in the chips on this ride. 

End of Day 81. 

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I think we all liked the match (or wanted to like the match) at the time because (1) it had a decisive heel victory finish, which is always so rare in WWE and (2) Jericho was in his God mode best wrestler on earth phase, albeit on the tail end of it. 

It’s pretty mediocre, though. 

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DAY 82 

Well, this day's forecast called for rain all day and that's what it was, so you guys and gals get a double ride day! Let's start this day off with... oh...  

Alright, well, this is when someone at WWE realized, if we expect to put women on the card at WrestleMania, at least some of them actually need to know how to, you know, wrestle.  So this is a 10 women tag team match.  Heels are Michelle McCool (champ), Maryse (Divas Champ), Layla, Alicia Fox, and Vickie Guerrero. Ugh, nevermind what I said in my previous sentence.  Faces are Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, and Eve Torres.   Well, 2 out of ten ain't bad?   

The match itself is absolutely nothing, aside from the ladies hitting their finishers on each other after about a minute.  They do so one after the other after the other... and then we get a very sweet/bittersweet moment.  A clearly extremely nervous Vickie Guerrero climbs the ropes on a prone Kelly Kelly.   She does the Eddie shake, points up, and delivers as good a frog splash as a completely untrained non-athlete can give.  

That's enough for three.   I ain't going to hate on that final spot.  I'm pretty sure I saw the faces smiling too. 

Up next... ALL EYEZ ON ME~!

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54 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

So, who of Beth, Mickie and Gail, do you not rate as a worker?

Honestly, I don't think either half of LayCool were notably bad, either. 

The other five though...

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2 hours ago, odessasteps said:

So, who of Beth, Mickie and Gail, do you not rate as a worker?

😉

 

They're all good.  I thought the joke works better with me changing only one word of the song name.  

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The match was what it was, but the feud video for Bret/Vince is one of my all time favorites. Loved the build up.

 I remember liking the Jericho/Edge rematch the following month in a steel cage a lot more than the Mania match. It didn't get much talk as a great match but I liked it a lot, a great babyface triumph victory. Of course then Edge turned heel a week later.

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11 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

The fact that he's out of the industry now makes me think it wasn't just Lawler who didn't like him, however. 

He's actually in Impact now. Does commentary on Xplosion and works backstage as a producer.

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