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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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1 hour ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

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.  

Just wanted to highlight this and applaud you.  I will also say that I wanted to hate this match so much yet AJ was so damn good at making this a fun match that I couldn't help but like it.  I felt dirty at the time afterward but I liked it nonetheless.

Also, going back to New Day that got one helluva reaction among my group of friends.  It also helped that they were looking forward to that game coming out and could tell what they were supposed to be.  There was also a behind-the-scenes thing that we saw somewhere where they were talking with people from Square Enix.  I want to say it's on the network but it's been awhile since we saw it.

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15 hours ago, AxB said:

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

Match(es) with Perry Saturn definitely weren't actively bad. You'd have to think the match he actually DID have with Jericho in the WWF had to be at least pretty good, right? I'm not sure if I ever actually saw it, though.

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42 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

The match with Regal? I don't remember personally. 

As I recall, Goldberg doesn't either, which is why Regal got fired shortly after that match. 

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Read up on it and Goldberg said Regal was shooting, Regal said they were told to have a competitive six minute match. What it looks like to me is that Goldberg got stiffed in a couple places, looked bad toward the end, complained to the higher ups and got Regal fired. Otherwise it's a fine match and Goldberg actually looks good on the mat for most of it! He had to not like one of those kicks, the headbutt, or the eyepokes though. 

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I agree that the Regal match was actually good because of the struggle there. It was stiff and made perfect sense - Regal's a wily veteran, so of course he'd last for a couple minutes longer just based on trickery alone. People talked about that match like Goldberg looked confused or bad during it, as in it was consensus for a bit there, but I never trucked with it.

EDIT: I do think Regal probably took a bit too much of that match, though. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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7 hours ago, Shartnado said:

Match(es) with Perry Saturn definitely weren't actively bad. You'd have to think the match he actually DID have with Jericho in the WWF had to be at least pretty good, right? I'm not sure if I ever actually saw it, though.

Perry Saturn was the first guy to go ten minutes with Goldberg and they worked out the match at the power plant before hand.

I though the Jericho and Rock matches kinda exposed Goldberg as a guy who couldn't really a longer PPV style match. I think the Rock match has the fans turn on Goldberg and start to cheer The Rock. 

As for matches that havn't ben mentioned. The Hogan nitro match is very well laid out and what ever elimination chamber match he was in is enjoyable

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DAY 106

"Well, well.  If it isn't the consequences of my actions."  

I've been struggling with how to explain what I felt when I re-watched this.  I think it's finally come to me.  This match is really karma for Kevin Owens/Steen (the character). Unfortunately, Kevin Steen, the performer suffered the consequences. 

Kevin Owens was, as mentioned earlier, the recipient of one of the most shocking world title switches ever, as HHH betrayed his protégé Seth Rollins (more... much more on that later). KO's reactions to the title switch are among my favorite bits of acting in WWE in a long, long time. He went from completely confused at what was happening and being outside of his body, to being shocked at remembering he was actually in said match, to relief that the match was over and he'd survived, and finally elation that he was now a world champion in WWE.  

Now, KO's character is an arrogant shithead at this point, so while he absolutely felt he was worthy of the title, and could keep it no matter who his opponent was (ARGH... fuck you Goldberg).  But... he's also smart enough to know he'll take help wherever he can get it.  Enter Chris Jericho. 

Fast forward about 6 months and backstage Vince has a Monty Burns-level "trademark changes of heart", though he'd been building the breakup and betrayal between Owens and Jericho, leading to a match for the Universal Championship at Mania... Bill Goldberg was coming back and well, he just couldn't NOT be champion entering Mania. So, the Owens betrays Jericho at the absolutely wonderful Festival of Friendship.   

"Why's my name on the list..."  Oh yeah, that's the stuff.   

Top 10 Anime Betrayals, indeed.  Fuck that's so good.

And see it works for their characters.  It was a matter of time before one of them betrayed the other, as they're both heels. Kevin is smart enough to know that, and the mistake Jericho made was becoming friends with a snake like KO.  Owens, for his part, probably thinks he knows what's coming from Jericho, because he's seen this sort of thing before. (Though in a FANTASTIC bit of acting... You see him have a change of heart for a second when Jericho says this is one of the best years he's had in WWE... but his fate is fucking sealed when he calls Kevin his best friend.) Thus, the consequences of Jericho's old actions have betrayed him too.

Now, I'm going on and on about the setup.  Because it was pitch perfect... but here we are, a month later, and the match.   It was not.  

We do get the return of the Countdown of Jericho~ in the entrances here and both guys come out to wonderful pops.  I remember at the time thinking it was weird that this match was on second.  The thing was striking me during the re-watch, I can't tell who was off their game more,  Owens or Jericho.  

This match, just isn't drawing me in.  And it apparently wasn't drawing any of the crowd in either, because while they started hot, they are *dead silent* for the middle 80% of the match.  I think I noticed Owens panicking a little about the lack of reaction and trying to pick up his game a little, but this caused them to mistime some more things and everything was a big mess because of it.  

Chris wasn't hitting things as crisp as he should have for a veteran of his stature.  Kevin also looked nervous?  I'm not sure if that's the right word, but he was just off.

The ending was really odd too.  Jericho kicks out of a pop up power bomb, which is Owens' finisher at the time. But then goes outside and walks into a power bomb to the ring apron.  Owens tosses him back in the ring and gets a rather nonchalant three for his first United States Championship.   The crowd barely popped for the title change, I think mainly because they (and I) thought, "that  was the finish?"  

Backstage, as revealed much later on by the 24/7 documentary on him, Kevin realized he'd had a bad match and wanted to make sure he was still in Vince's good graces.  He was not.  

So, the thing was, he (and Jericho) had been quite unhappy at the U title switch.  They felt they'd earned that match.  But when they laid an egg like they did, the consequences of their actions bit them both in the ass.  Goldberg later on in the night would have a better match than them.  So, my biggest conclusion in the re-watch... 

Fuck.  I hate it when Vince is actually right.  

 

 

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On 12/23/2020 at 4:21 PM, Dolfan in NYC said:

The ending was really odd too.  Jericho kicks out of a pop up power bomb, which is Owens' finisher at the time. But then goes outside and walks into a power bomb to the ring apron.  Owens tosses him back in the ring and gets a rather nonchalant three for his first United States Championship.   The crowd barely popped for the title change, I think mainly because they (and I) thought, "that  was the finish?" 

This is symptomatic of an inherent problem with moves like the apron power bomb, IMO. It absolutely works as a death move, and should in theory be a perfectly fine match ender. But unless it's a Falls Count Anywhere match or something similar, there's going to be a delay between the move and the pin attempt as the attacker hauls the victim's carcass back into the ring, and that damages the dramatic timing.

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The thing I don't get about the Apron Power Bomb is that, although the apron is the hardest part of the ring, the concrete floor is RIGHT THERE. Like if they were both on the apron already, I could see how doing an apron powerbomb from there might make sense. But doing it from the floor to the apron, it's one of those things (like going through a table) that's clearly a wrestling logic "More dangerous" move that's actually safer.

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The ladies had what was easily the best workrate year in WWE history from 2016-17.  The elevation of the most talented members of the NXT Women's Division had paid off in spades.  And the most anticipated one was the beloved hugger, Bayley.  

She walks into WrestleMania as champion of Raw, mainly because Vince got some good cocaine the month before and hotshotted the title change on a Raw in February, rather than here.  Her opponents  in this 4 way eliminiation title match are Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and one of the other newcomers from NXT, the terrifying Nia Jax.  Now terrifying is not to body shame the lady because fuck anyone who does that.  Terrifying comes from the fact that she has been destroying jobbers for months and been built up as a monster heel.  (Though her injuring several people legit, sort of makes terrifying a bit appropriate, but for a different reason.)  

Sasha and Bayley, come in with the best pops of the evening so far.  Charlotte comes in with yet another understated yet awesome entrance.  Nia enters. 

I remember going into this match thinking if they wanted this to be good, Nia had to go first, because.... well, I like her, but she's not on the other three's level. Thankfully, it looks like that's what the Horsewomen are also thinking because they all instantly team up on Nia despite their hatred for each other.  It's very smart storytelling because the three of them are quite sure none of them are going to take Nia out on their own (without paying a severe price), so they all work together and eventually they all pin her, together.  

As soon as Nia is pinned, you can hear the crowd start to ramp up as it gets quite good from there.  They're running through their reversals, domination spots, super-athletic spots, and great storytelling.  (In this case, Charlotte is trying to pick off Sasha, who she clearly sees as the bigger threat.)   I think  their height does play a bit of a detrimental role as Charlotte, setting up a future spot, takes out the middle turnbuckle in the corner, rather than the more visible one on the top.  

Of course it comes into play when Sasha gets thrown headfirst in and see you later Lady Banks.  Shame too, the crowd is clearly pissed she's out. 

Bayley's left with Charlotte, and they do a lot of fun stuff together.  I remember thinking, I need to re-watch their original NXT match on whatever Takeover was called back then. They both clearly have chemistry in spades and are doing stuff very well.  

I will say, the ending was pretty weird because of the incongruity to the rest of the match.  Bayley breaks out of a Figure 8.  Charlotte drags her to the top rope, setting up -- something?  I mean Bayley launches Charlotte out and drops a  Top Rope Elbow Drop (ala Randy Savage), which shocks everyone as the finish.  Bayley retains. 

So, yeah, this match is overshadowed a bit in the NXT Horsewomen match history.  I can't remember, but I believe Becky was hurt at this point, because it definitely seems like this should have been the 4 of them.  Oh well.    This was a quite good match when Nia got the boot.  Frankly, even with her in it, it was definitely better than I'd remembered it. 

Up next....  things get Broken!  But that's for the next ride.

End of Day 106.

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41 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

I can't remember, but I believe Becky was hurt at this point, because it definitely seems like this should have been the 4 of them.  Oh well.    This was a quite good match when Nia got the boot.  Frankly, even with her in it, it was definitely better than I'd remembered it.

Becky was just on SD instead so she's in that women's title match later

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DAY 107

It's time for the 2017 Hall of Fame.  The class for this year is The Rock n' Roll Express (Jesus CHRIST does Gibson look particularly hideous), "Ravishing" Rick Rude (repped by his family... more on them in a sec), Beth Phoenix, Teddy Long (who then put Beth Phoenix in a one on one match with the Undertaker), Diamond Dallas Page (looking terrific -- I have been thinking about getting into yoga... hmm), and the very recently retired Kurt Angle.  

Eric LeGrand is a football player who'd been paralyzed and became a motivational speaker.  He won the Warrior Award.  A reminder that this was originally supposed to be for WWE staff who went above and beyond.  Whatever though.  Good for him.   Also, Le Grand is a baccarat term.  

Rude's son did a tribute to his dad by calling everyone in the audience ugly and fat (I mean...).  However, I was struck by just how much this guy looks  like he should be a pro wrestler.  Tall, handsome, clearly a thick boy under the suit. And judging by the charges leveled against him a year later... I can see he's an absolutely lovely person. 😬 

Although it's kind of interesting, the guy who's probably the most important member of '17 HoF currently is the unmentioned on the show Toots Mondt. He and Vince Sr. broke off from the NWA and formed the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the predecessor to the WWWF, and now of course, the namesake of the NXT stage.  

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Although it's kind of interesting, the guy who's probably the most important member of '17 HoF currently is the unmentioned on the show Toots Mondt. He and Vince Sr. broke off from the NWA and formed the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the predecessor to the WWWF, and now of course, the namesake of the NXT stage.  

You could probably also make a case for Rikidozan. It’s surprising it also took Vince this long to put in dr Jerry Graham. 

Edited by odessasteps
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Good lord, I'd forgotten how over Enzo and Cass were.  It may be a total Mandela Effect situation, but I could have sworn when they were heels in NXT, the sing-a-long Enzo did said "a bona fide thug", which changed to "stud" when they turned face.  But I guess you can't teach that. 

Also, for the record, it's fucking hilarious to me that they all but instantly burn their bridges wherever they go and are currently spelling their names just far enough away for them not to get sued by WWE.  

Well, yeah, we're at the Triple Threat Ladder match for the Raw tag straps.  The Realest Guys are followed out by the oddly unnamed The Bar (I think they officially got named a few weeks later).  You can also hear the crowd doing one of those heel cheers for Cesaro/Sheamus, makes me think they really should've gotten a good face run.  The WrestleMania-debuting Bullet Club Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are out last, as they are the tag champs.  I'm really not sure what happened with these guys, I think it may have been Vince's desire not to just copy NJPW and keep them on their own.  But these guys just needed to be parked with either AJ (heel) or Finn (HEEL) and stayed there.  Well, at least Southpaw Wrestling happened.  

So, now the famous moment... I know what's coming and I'm riding and sweating and smiling ear to ear.  The New Day - in full gear - come out as Mania hosts to announce this is now a Fatal 4 Way. (The crowd very much has bought that they're about to enter themselves... a small, but significant chant goes up though.) But who is Team 4?  (Who?  Who?   Who?)

In what's easily the biggest pop since Daniel Bryan held the titles over his head, the Hardy Boyz are back.  Both recent escapees of TNA, they'd been considered longshots to make it to this show, with denials coming from both sides.  You can tell both of them are clearly ecstatic at the reaction. Jeff almost looks emotional.  (Though I will say, a nice little touch Cass did - when the music plays, he instantly goes to Enzo to calm him down and looks like he's giving him a pep talk/scouting report.)  

Now basically there was no way the match was going to live up to the emotion of that moment.  But that's not to say the match wasn't good, because it actually was. Everyone in there with the exception of Enzo & Cass knows how to put on a good match, and even they're smart enough to take direction.  

Interestingly, the crowd is so pumped that they got a legit surprise, there's no one here that's being treated as a heel. Now, that may or may not be a good thing depending on how you roll.  The energy of the crowd and the non-stop action is pumping me up too.  So that's definitely a good thing.  

Ending came as Matt & Karl are fighting at the top of the ladder, Anderson eats a Twist of Fate from the ladder to the floor. (You can clearly see him give Matt a ready cue.) And on the outside, Jeff climbs a 20' ladder and Swanton Bombs his way through Cesaro and a ladder -- the only issue being he was supposed to go through Cesaro AND Sheamus, but S's ladder did not break.  (Ow.)  Matt re-climbs and the crowd goes insane as the Hardys have their 7th WWE tag team championship. 

The match itself was fine to good (better than I remember really), but yeah, that surprise intro.  Hoo boy.  One world to describe it...

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When the Hardy's came out the bar I was at went insane. I leapt out of my chair as fast as I could and everybody was jumping like mad. It was the craziest non-sports-related moment I've been part of at a bar and that alone makes it one of my favorite WM moments. 

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23 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

It may be a total Mandela Effect situation, but I could have sworn when they were heels in NXT

They were faces in NXT. For some reasons fans loved those two.

23 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

In what's easily the biggest pop since Daniel Bryan held the titles over his head,

Eh, it was a nice pop, but I think that award goes more to Shane's return. It and Bryan's pop for betraying Bray were the loudest reactions I recall anything in WWE getting the past ten years.

 

Edited by Eivion
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2 hours ago, Six String Orchestra said:

Didn't the Hardy work 2 ladder matches that weekend? The other versus the Young Bucks in ROH? That is rough. 

Yes. The night before iirc, and one crazy ass match at that.

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