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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are here to dance for this crowd. What music are they dancing too...  well.... I"ll just say, I'm getting to dread every time I hear "IF YA SMELL..." and I know the Rock isn't wrestling. 

Sure enough, I'm thinking "though it may make my ride long, I can probably fit in the Rock segment and the main event on this run."   LOL no.  

The Rock takes about 5 minutes to get to the ring itself, including a pyro display where he literally sets his name on fire.  This of course symbolizes Rock's defeat of WWE for copyright ownership of his name.  Vince is seriously lucky the biggest action star on the planet, still thinks he owes him anything. 

Anyway, Rock is here because olympic-sized infinity pools overlooking the Pacific don't just pay for themselves.  He tells the crowd to go home and fuck. He's also there to tell the crowd they are a new WWE record crowd.  It's actually funny because:  a) they actually WERE the biggest paid crowd in WWE history, b) Vince still  felt the need to juice the number, and c) Rock clearly has zero idea what  that number actually is, because he has to look up at the Jerry-tron above the ring to see what the number actually was.  Rock finishes by thanking the crowd.

This part took about 10 minutes.  

And that's the cue for Bray Wyatt's music.  Note: "Broken Out In Love" is really a fantastic song - I've grown to dislike the remake he's currently using - but when I'm quickly approaching exhaustion for the ride... Bray's slow ass needs to hurry up and get to the fucking ring already.  He's got Erick Rowan and the debuting Braun Strowman in tow.  The rest of the segment is going to go horribly for the Wyatts, but seeing tens of thousands of cell phone lights on is an amazing visual.  

Bray says he's chosen the Rock to beat up.  Rock destroys Bray, Erick, and Braun on the mic in 3 sentences and challenges them to a match.   

Rowan is picked and loses "in 6 seconds", which I'll note is the only time they actually hurried in this segment.  

Bray - who possesses Wile E. Coyote levels of genius, finally decides to go three on one.  This draws out the other Hollywood star who now owes Vince absolutely nothing else, John Cena.  They, of course, slaughter the Wyatts.  

You know, there are times that I'd think: getting to interact with the two biggest names in the industry is always a good thing.   This was not that.   

This was making a current rising - but wobbly - star getting knocked down several pegs.  Because no matter how much you think he can hang with the big boys, he very obviously cannot.  

Oof.  That was a yikes segment to look back on.  But it's nothing compared to what is up next.

End of Day 103. 

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I don't hate that segment because of how incredibly fucking long it is.

I don't hate that segment because of how pointless it is.

I don't hate that segment because of how a part timer and a not at all part of the campanyer punked out four full-time guys.

No, I hate that segment because it's the sole reason I can't claim to have been at The Rock's last ever match. Because of a fucking six second joke of a technicality.

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20 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are here to dance for this crowd. What music are they dancing too...  well.... I"ll just say, I'm getting to dread every time I hear "IF YA SMELL..." and I know the Rock isn't wrestling. 

Sure enough, I'm thinking "though it may make my ride long, I can probably fit in the Rock segment and the main event on this run."   LOL no.  

The Rock takes about 5 minutes to get to the ring itself, including a pyro display where he literally sets his name on fire.  This of course symbolizes Rock's defeat of WWE for copyright ownership of his name.  Vince is seriously lucky the biggest action star on the planet, still thinks he owes him anything. 

Anyway, Rock is here because olympic-sized infinity pools overlooking the Pacific don't just pay for themselves.  He tells the crowd to go home and fuck. He's also there to tell the crowd they are a new WWE record crowd.  It's actually funny because:  a) they actually WERE the biggest paid crowd in WWE history, b) Vince still  felt the need to juice the number, and c) Rock clearly has zero idea what  that number actually is, because he has to look up at the Jerry-tron above the ring to see what the number actually was.  Rock finishes by thanking the crowd.

This part took about 10 minutes.  

And that's the cue for Bray Wyatt's music.  Note: "Broken Out In Love" is really a fantastic song - I've grown to dislike the remake he's currently using - but when I'm quickly approaching exhaustion for the ride... Bray's slow ass needs to hurry up and get to the fucking ring already.  He's got Erick Rowan and the debuting Braun Strowman in tow.  The rest of the segment is going to go horribly for the Wyatts, but seeing tens of thousands of cell phone lights on is an amazing visual.  

Bray says he's chosen the Rock to beat up.  Rock destroys Bray, Erick, and Braun on the mic in 3 sentences and challenges them to a match.   

Rowan is picked and loses "in 6 seconds", which I'll note is the only time they actually hurried in this segment.  

Bray - who possesses Wile E. Coyote levels of genius, finally decides to go three on one.  This draws out the other Hollywood star who now owes Vince absolutely nothing else, John Cena.  They, of course, slaughter the Wyatts.  

You know, there are times that I'd think: getting to interact with the two biggest names in the industry is always a good thing.   This was not that.   

This was making a current rising - but wobbly - star getting knocked down several pegs.  Because no matter how much you think he can hang with the big boys, he very obviously cannot.  

Oof.  That was a yikes segment to look back on.  But it's nothing compared to what is up next.

End of Day 103. 

Same podcast Austin tells the story about tearing his shoulder in the legends segment, he talks about seeing Rowan in the back after this segment and just says to him "sorry kid" Which sums that whole segment up.

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the shane O 2016 return is an all time great crowd pop, one of my favorite moments. Amazing reaction as the chants cycle through Shane O Mac/Welcome Back/Holy Shit/This is Awesome.

the Rock seg was the birth of the 7 hour Manias/going past 11 PM est. I remember seeing it was 10 30 wondering what was going on, knowing the main was still to come.

On 12/10/2020 at 1:03 PM, NikoBaltimore said:

Did they cut out the part where Flair kissed Becky?  Because that was uncomfortable and pointless and I remember people not being happy with that one bit.

Also, Sasha definitely should have won.  It was all there.  The Snoop entrance.  The Eddie-style tights.  And just Sasha being awesome in general.  I remember myself and most others at the bar I was at were just ready for her obvious win.  The excitement was building the longer it went.  Then the finish happened and we were all incredibly deflated.

Flair kissing Becky was actually at the Rumble prior to this WM, but yes it's edited out of the Network.

agreed on Sasha. Last time I rewatched it, Sasha's entrance stood out huge as screaming 'star'.  A shame how her stock had fallen the last few years.

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DAY 104

Did you know, the reactions to Roman Reigns and how insanely bad they have been, have their own Wikipedia article?  

It's just astounding to me.  Every wrestler you talk to says, Roman is a god in the ring.  Basically the perfect professional wrestler.  Insanely talented.   And yet none of them could ever explain why he's got such negative heat.  It didn't help that when the Shield broke up the word leaked quickly that Roman was the prize pig and was going to get a colossal mega-push.  The fanbase had just gotten rid of John Cena and was very disinterested in "John Cena 2.0".  

Well, sufferin' succotash, John Cena 2.0 is exactly what they got.  (I remember cringing so, so hard when he gave that promo.) The WWE put the strap on him finally at Survivor Series because Seth Rollins suffered a gruesome knee injury and had to be stripped of the strap.  (My guess is Vince wanted to do Seth/Roman here, for what it's worth.)  But then he lost the title to Sheamus.  He quickly won it back, but now his whole persona was on weak legs...  And then he was made to defend the title in the 2016 Royal Rumble match, which he did not do.  

HHH won Rumble '16 for his 14th (and final... so far) championship and a ticket to WrestleMania. And Vince, who has a massive hard on for underdog storylines thought he had a way to do so with Roman Reigns.  So Reigns wins Elimination Chamber, and here we are.

Oh and while I thought I was going to be able to make this a multiple match day, I forgot.... HHH is in this match... and HHH has a WrestleMania entrance....  Christ.  

Stephanie is on some throne scaffolding(?) delivering a weird  promo about how she and Hunter were so much better than everyone. You straights need to tell me if she was going for 'sexy evil queen' here, because if she was, she did not hit that mark.  Thankfully, she didn't follow Hunter to the ring.  

Sprinting time.  I'll note, it takes HHH about 2 minutes to get to the fucking ring and then spends another minute or so posing and walking around the ring like a dork while they set up the pyro for Roman. 4 minutes is a LONG god damned time to be pedaling as fast as possible.  Normally I can average about 20mph (~32kph) during these sprints, but I'm not coming close to that at the end and my legs are starting to tremble by the effort.  

Fucking finally. Lemmy's done and here's "Not The Shield's Theme".  The crowd isn't happy to see Roman.  Cool pyro though.   My legs hurt.  

Roman gets to the stupid ring and we have to do ring intros because Vince thought they were cool to do in the ring.  I'll tell you what... this *may* be an unpopular position, but I really prefer the intros to happen on the way to the ring.  And while we're at it, they need to get back to introing EVERYONE that comes to the ring.  Jobbers through main eventers.  If they're coming to the ring, I want to know who they are.  

Oh, and Vince was right about Justin Roberts trying to put himself over during the announcements.  He's one of the more annoying parts of AEW.  

So... the match.  

You know, I'm sitting here a few days later trying to recall the match, and I'm getting nothing.  The match is aiming for "epic war" and instead misses completely and hits "ephemeral pabulum."  

Hunter's god damned desire to make everything epic, should have worked here.  It's the rare case where he's working to put Roman over as the new face of the company. As an absolute monster of a man, who can take a hellacious beatdown, but just smiles and keeps on coming at you like a Mack truck.   And Roman's doing fine as the face in peril (a role Roman fucking Reigns should *never* be in, btw).  And HHH is looking like a dominant champ.  But they're missing one big thing.

Buy in from the crowd.  

This crowd is 100% certain that Roman is winning the title.  There's no doubt in their minds. In their frustration with the situation, they've taken to booing Roman and cheering HHH.  Like literally nothing Roman's doing is getting them to buy in.  Oh, and they just lustily boo any of his signature spots ("loading up the Superman punch" especially draws their ire -- to be completely fair though, it is corny as fuck).  

So, this half hour of Sports Entertainment At Its Finest, is finally mercifully ended as Roman spears Hunter and wins his 3rd championship in his big moment.  The crowd - for a WrestleMania main fucking event - barely reacts.  Though I'm 90% sure my memory is correct and they booed the fuck out of this and the music got turned up on them, along with the pyro celebrating Roman's new championship. 

The next day at Raw Roman would give his "I'm not a good guy, I'm not a bad guy, I'm just The Guy."  (Which as we know is patently false, as the only "Guy" is Guy Smiley.  And I will fight whoever says otherwise.) Roman lost the title two months later because he was about to get suspended for PEDs.  Really sums up what a waste this whole thing was.

---

There were points there that this WrestleMania could have been saved.  But everything from the Ric Flair leg grab onwards was "meh" to "oh god why am I watching this."  I really hope Brock does a quick 3-6 month deal with AEW and they get to do a Mox-Brock rematch with what happened here serving as the backstory. And Jericho/AJ was the best surprise I got while re-watching. But wow, the segments that were bad... holy crap...  

And much like the ladies match, things would have gone so much better with just some tweaks here and there.  Maybe all the heels don't have to go over?  Maybe?  And never let Ric Flair be ringside during a women's match ever again.  (This one, I believe, has been done though.)

So, it's not the worst, but it's not the best.  But it certainly was the longest. And there's nothing on earth that could possibly make it any longer!  

Nope... nothing at all.  

...

Um. 

...

Onto Orlando!  

End of Day 104. 

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Only In Modern Wrestling, pt. 253 - Can a wrestler be the "best" is the crowd reacts negatively to him?

Also, I perceive that RReigns suffered from the crap-ass lengthy year before of the mega-push of Rollins as the Chosen One of the evil GM/real-president/The Authority/VKM - Rollins was supposed to be the best, but he didn't wrestle as such, and he was aligned with the main heels, but he was still the focus. The audience was sick of being forced fed "the next Cena/Rock/Austin/cash cow" and the accompanying  storylines, and so were ready to shit all over the next pick (shoot or work), whether or not he was worthy, deserving and/or "the best". 

Argh, I feel like I can't express this thought succinctly. I also regret not requesting before and after pics of Dolfan's calves.

- RAF

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DAY 105

WrestleMania XXXIII (or The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire)

The coronation of Roman Reigns at Mania 32 lasted all of 2 months before he "failed a wellness test" and was suspended for 30 days.  When he came back, he promised a whole new side of Roman Reigns.  This consisted of... *checking my notes*...  not wearing colored contact lenses to the ring.  Which frankly, is an improvement. 

The WWE went through it's current brand split in 2016.  Which led to Dean Ambrose winning his first WWE Championship, and a new world title being created - The WWE Universal Championship. Though NXT's latest call up Finn Balor won the tournament to become the first champion a severe injury in the title match led to a great opportunity.  The fat kid from suburban Montreal got his chance to run with the ball in the summer in one of my absolute favorite angles ever:

And the title stayed on him thanks to help from his newest "best friend" Chris Jericho.  And if you didn't like that storyline... you just made the list.  Then Goldberg came along and fucked everything up.

The women traded the title (well, eventually titles) between the Horsewomen though WWE was starting to Feel The Glow as erstwhile Funkadactyl Naomi was burning it up, along with recent NXT call ups Alexa Bliss... oh, and the final NXT Horsewoman, Bayley.  

Looking back, it actually wasn't that bad a year.  The biggest question though was if that would translate to a good WrestleMania?  *Thought Emoji*

Well, the stage is ginormous, and I hate to think of how long I'm going to have to sprint when HHH comes down for his stupid match. 

And here to start us out is The New Day!   Who really should be wrestling and not hosting.  I forget if one of them was hurt or what, but they are taking their sweet ass time getting to the ring.  I'll also note that Michael Cole and Corey Graves instantly annoy me because when Cole notes that the New Day's outfits are inspired by Final Fantasy, Graves openly scoffs at him. And it's the thing I hate the most about Graves on commentary...  he's clearly in the role of "McMahon's mouthpiece", so it is completely incongruous to have a late-40's guy (who should know what FF is) and a early-30's guy (who definitely knows what FF is), and have the younger one mock the older for this knowledge.  

Shit like that drives me crazy. 

The New Day does their thing.  It's extremely boring to watch it over again and they take up a solid 15 minutes just getting to the ring and talking.  The bottom line, "We are the hosts of WrestleMania. Thank you."  

This doesn't fill me with big anticipation for what's ahead. 

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Even more amusingly, the New Day were dressed as characters from the CURRENT final fantasy MMO, so its not like they were doin a deep cut in the Final Fantasy Lore and coming out as the characters from like Final Fantasy 1.

So the derision and mockery of your fucking sponsor is pretty annoying.

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What’s more is I bet you anything it was a paid promotional spot, because FF14 had a new expansion coming out and New Day was specifically dressed as the three new character classes being introduced in that expansion.

So they probably took Square Enix’s money and then shit on the whole thing.

EDIT:  Argh, yes, what Morganti said.

Edited by EVA
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7 minutes ago, Six String Orchestra said:

At least this is Shane's best match at Wrestlemania thanks to AJ Styles. I pity Dolfan having to sit through Cena and Nikki-Miz and Maryse,  Rollins-HHH and Orton-Wyatt back to back to back.

Now I know why I don't remember it: Repression!

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1 hour ago, Brian Fowler said:

I remember so little of that WrestleMania. Um... Hardyz return? The awesome Goldberg/Lesnar sprint. The very end.

I'm honestly not sure off hand what else was on that show. As opposed to the mid 90's when I can likely come close to naming the entire card...

I have never seen this WrestleMania, so when I read that as "The awesome Godfather/Lesnar sprint," I was intrigued as hell. 

I love Goldberg, but significantly less intrigued now. 

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38 minutes ago, AxB said:

How many Goldberg matches were actually good? Is it just the DDP and Raven ones?

There was a good one with Sting as well.

Edit: To be fair though, I also consider him, hands down, the best squash match worker ever.

Edited by Brian Fowler
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47 minutes ago, AxB said:

Better than Sid, or Vader as a squash match wrestler?

Yes. It's not just that he killed jobbers, it's the absurd intensity and explosiveness with which he did it.

I love Sid. Vader is a top five all-time worker in my opinion. But neither of them have a squash even close to the pure glee I get from watching Goldberg/La Parka.

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I'd actually pick Yokozuna or Kevin Sullivan as best singles squash match worker over Goldberg, but Goldberg is clearly S-tier at it, so I absolutely understand why someone would choose him as the answer to the question of best squash match worker.

I most definitely enjoy multiple of Charles Wright's gimmicks, but I don't really remember any one match of his, so when I misread that line, I just had a couple of seconds with two thoughts: 1) Why the fuck was Lesnar wrestling Godfather on a WM, and 2) this might be his one memorable match of his whole career, I need to see this.

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Here comes the money...  

You know, changing songs as time passes is often times a very bad thing (cf. Lee, Keith), but sometimes... well, I'll just say a 50 year old man coming out saying he's a boy toy -- doesn't work.  "Here comes the new kid on the block",  yeah, not anymore Shane.  He's here with his 3 kids and dancing his way to the ring before dropping them off with his wife and I'm assuming the rest of the family. Notable is that last year, the future Small Business Administration Secretary was in the crowd, this year, she was probably too busy rewriting regulations regarding independent contractors.  Assuming she actually showed up for the job.  

Speaking of showing up to job... here's AJ Styles. 

I should note, this crowd is clearly feeling its oats.  Shane is supposed to be the absolute face in this story.  But cheering for the boss is a storyline that only the WWE can try to pitch in 2017.  So yeah, they're clearly on AJ's side, because Shane is, and will always be, the rich kid you hated growing up who became boss because of nepotism. 

As I'm riding, the thought that hit me was the match is pretty much the old RSPW metaphor.  Ric Flair at his absolute peak '87-'90 (arguably) could carry a broomstick to a 3* match.  So, AJ is being asked to work with a reckless worker, a terrible seller, and the son of the boss.  He has to make him look competent, dangerous, and most of all, a legitimate threat.  Now, the crowd is not buying that Shane is any kind of threat to AJ Styles, at all.  But that's not to say I didn't hear some anxious noises when Shane went on offense.

Shane is, for his part, actually trying it seems.  He does have a neat idea for a counter to a flying forearm into a triangle choke, that were he anyone else on the roster, would have looked really great. He does take a vicious looking one-armed Styles Clash.  Plus he hits the Van Shane-inator after endlessly setting up the spot while the ref is down. 

End comes as Shane goes to the top and busts out a Shooting Star Press(!) that lands him face first on the mat because AJ is NOT about to take that spot.  Phenomenal Forearm sends Shane back to Greenwich.  

AJ basically pulled it off. He carried the broomstick to a very fun little match.  The crowd reactions were entirely wrong because no one wants to cheer for their boss, but otherwise, it was much better than I remember.  Especially because the first time I watched, I was certain Shane was winning.  

Next up:  "We good?"  "No."   😞 

End of Day 105.

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