So here I am, it’s the morning of WrestleMania Night 1, and for the FOURTH year in a row here I am with my laptop infront of me ready to talk to you all. So… “LET ME TALK TO YA”… !!!
This weekend means everything to me, I’d think everyone reading this already knows that. Wrestling is everything to me, whatever is going on in my life it’s always there to help me escape, to relax, to cheer me up and comfort me when I need it, to excite me, to bring me to tears such is the emotion this great industry brings out of me like nothing else… well, aside from women and football perhaps… But no football match or date with a woman (sorry ladies) gets me more pumped up and excited than WrestleMania weekend. The build up beginning from January’s Royal Rumble, where we had Cody Rhodes and Rhea Ripley book their spots at the show of shows (more on those two later), and then we are on the road… But it’s not just WWE, WrestleMania weekend has become a phenomenon of its own as a pantheon for the whole industry. This weekend in Los Angeles the entire wrestling world will descend on Hollywood, with dozens of shows, hundreds of performers and thousands of fans packing out all types of venues for the likes of not just WWE, but ROH, GCW and many many more. Dream matches all over the place, matches you thought you would never see or never even think you would want to see until you did, the return of one of the best in the world KOTA IBUSHI, ROH crowning the successors as Tag Team champions to The Briscoe Brothers of Mark and the late, great Jay Briscoe, NXT with their premier show (a brand that has well and truly re-invigorated itself in recent times) headlined by Bron Breakker vs Carmelo Hayes, The WWE Hall of Fame (that I have on as I’m typing this) with Stacey Keibler, Andy Kauffman, The Great Muta, Tim White and of course the legendary Rey Mysterio being honoured, all of that and tonnes more, and of course we have WrestleMania.
Before I talk about the show of shows, I want to talk about me a little bit. The past 12 months have, on the whole, been pretty decent. Whilst I have had my dips mentally, and I’ve been rather sick health-wise on a handful of occasions, I’ve soldiered on. I’ve discovered a lot about myself, and whilst I’m not there yet, I’m getting there. I stand up for myself a hell of a lot more than I used to, I’m able to chill and enjoy myself a lot easier these days, and I think I’m the happiest mentally I’ve been. Yes I have my struggles and dips but I am able to cope and move on from them a lot better these days. And this year as a wrestling fan has been amazing, with the world fully open up now after that stupid pandemic, I’ve been to live shows again, my co-members of the Wrestling Should Be Fun community have helped me discover a real love for Progress Wrestling, where I’ve met many great people, interacted with many of my new favourite wrestlers, frequented many of Camden’s finest establishments, and been reduced to tears on one occasion (DAMN YOU CARA NOIR) such was the passion I felt and attachment to the story I had seen infront of me. But with AEW having, what could be called an ‘up and down’ 12 months, WWE, for me, has gone from strength to strength, I can’t possibly think why…
So… What do you wanna talk about???
WRESTLEMANIA, OF COURSE!
You may of heard me on the Wrestling Should Be Fun podcast this week talking about WrestleMania (if you haven’t go and give us a listen), but join me now as I talk you through what I’ll be putting in for our ‘Pickems’ on Night 1 and Night 2…
We open Night 1 with a man who has main evented on FIVE occasions. But as I mentioned on the WSBF pod, and I never thought I’d be saying this, but I hope Austin Theory wins. That Cena promo the other week BURIED Theory, and it really didn’t need to. It gave me awful flashbacks to when Cena did the same thing to The Miz on the Mania go home, and then… yeah Cena went and beat his ass. Now sure, if Miz had of won it was fine, but him and Maryse got beat by Cena and Nikki and then the other stuff happened… This time Cena outright said if Theory wins it doesn’t matter… Great… Theory’s promo infront of an empty arena on Raw was fine, but for me he has to win this match. I really don’t know for him if he doesn’t. People have talked about the idea of Cena winning, doing the US Title open challenge he made famous on Raw, and losing the title immediately. But really, does he need to? Nope. Theory does WAY more. If he beats John Cena at WrestleMania, even if he loses the US title soon after, it really wont hurt him. I fear taking a battering in the ring, to match the verbal one he took some weeks ago, hurts him an awful lot.
Elsewhere, I’m going Braun and Ricochet for the tag team showcase, just feels like a match they’d win because Alpha Academy look set to split with Otis becoming a… model… and Whilst the Vikings and the Profits are established teams, this just feels like as a showcase match that you would wanna promote the power of Braun and the wonder of Ricochet. I think Seth beats Logan, I think the match will be great absolutely but the build leading up to it just leans me towards a Rollins win (I can’t wait to see the attire and the entrances for this one), and I think Rey beats Dominik… or more that’s what I’m going with. I could see that going either way, Dominik has been amazing during the build to this, the match of his life I am sure how him and his father, I hope the match is great and I am sure the crowd will be with them both all the way. I’m going Becky, Trish and Lita for the womens tag, which I think Bayley in particular could do with the win but given who the champions I think will be after Mania, unless they move Damage CTRL to SmackDown, I don’t know where she goes next. Maybe Iyo and Dakota leave her behind? Maybe we get Trish going rogue??? I think the women will show up here, Trish in particular.
I will be LIVID if Rhea Ripley doesn’t walk out as the SmackDown Women’s Champion. I could write an entire blog on why she should beat Charlotte. I’ve seen Rhea as a star since the Mae Young Classic days, when she won the NXT Women’s title, I was 50/50 on if I wanted her to win it, or lose the title match and then win the women’s rumble that year… But as much as Cody needs to finish the story on Sunday, Ripley MUST do that here. I hope.
And Finally… we have quite possibly, the biggest and most anticipated Tag Team title match in WWE and WrestleMania history. Words cannot do justice to the story that The Bloodline, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have told in the recent months. It’s been pure CINEMA. And now it is time, we get our moment for me, WrestleZAYNia, KOMania runs wild, and The Bloodline begins to crumble… I hope. This match is going to be incredible.
And after all that, we will only be HALF done!!!
People can say what they want, whilst my heart breaks that Bray Wyatt isn’t on the WrestleMania card (and all my prayers go to him and wishing him all the health and happiness, and please come back soon), I am quite looking forward to the absolute FREAK SHOW that will be OMOS vs BROCK LESNAR! It wont be very long a match I hope, but I wanna see it go as fast-paced as possible, Godzilla vs King Kong, big moves only, just make it pure carnage, and I think it ends with Lesnar winning, It would be great if Omos won, but Brock has got his ass beat in the whole build up it’s seemed, and he has lost his last THREE mania matches… but lets see… The women’s showcase should be fine, I see Ronda getting the W here injury and all… would make a lot of sense if it’s her and Shayna to take the tag titles from Lita and her former rival Becky. Bianca vs Asuka is a heck of a match on paper, and whilst people may not be so infused with their build-up, I still have zero doubt this match will be an in-ring masterclass. I’ve changed my tone slightly in recent weeks, and I’m going with Bianca to retain, to extend to 3-0 at Mania having already beaten Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, and then we see the continued meltdown into insanity of Asuka, and I see her taking the title at a later date.
The rise of The Judgement Day, the re-invigoration of a group that was somewhat floundering, has been one of the biggest booking successes of the Triple H-led era. And the current version of Finn Balor has been a joy, a master in his absolute prime as a performer, and now he’s bring back The Demon? Chefs kiss. I see Finn winning here, I think he needs it way more than Edge. But knowing Edge, he’ll do some wild shit in the Cell. I’ve really enjoyed the return run of The Rated R Superstar, and I think that’s winding down now, and this has been a story almost a year in the making, so it seems fitting to me it’s at WrestleMania, inside Hell In A Cell, and it’s THE DEMON vs THE DEVIL of Edge… whatever that Brood looks like…
Maybe the biggest slam dunk of the WrestleMania card is the triple threat match for the IC Title. And it’s cool we have a 3 way where you could make very good arguments for each of the 3 participants winning. I personally am going for Gunther to retain, and I think Sheamus should take it in London maybe at July’s Money In The Bank PPV. But I really couldn’t tell you for any certainty result wise, I’m way more confident that this match will be an absolute BANGER!
Who would’ve thought we would ever be here with these two?
I’ve loved the build, it’s been top class with so many highlights, the fact they haven’t touched once is beautiful. As I said for the tag title match, I could write a whole blog about the story that’s lead us to Roman Reigns vs Cody Rhodes, but I just want to focus on Cody’s promo from a couple weeks back…
I think there’s a lot more net positives in Cody winning. Ideally after they’ll split the titles again, Cody can keep the WWE Championship he has always wanted, and then as the babyface he is (as much as a section of the AEW crowd tried to make you think otherwise) he could let let others fight it out for the Universal title (or another belt if Triple H is that way inclined… PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE BIG GOLD BELT?!?!)…
But regardless of all that, It’s known Roman is having time off soon, my lord he deserves it. The Tribal Chief has been one of the all time great gimmicks. But it just feels like it’s time for the championship run to come to an end. Lets tell the story of what Roman Reigns does when The Bloodline loses, lets do Roman vs Jey Uso at SummerSlam. AND MAYBE… lets have the REAL chief of their Family’s tribe come and claim his rightful place at WrestleMania 40… PLEASE???
As for Cody, it’s just time isn’t it? He came back home 12 months ago, an amazing welcome, he goes 3-0 on PPV against one of the top star’s in WWE in Seth, that all-time brave performance inside Hell In A Cell with the torn pec, the comeback, the Rumble win and some absolutely amazing promo performances. All of it has led to the crowd reactions getting louder and louder and louder as WrestleMania has approached. I was once worried that the love towards Sami would lead us to a ‘Boo-tista’ sort of problem, but Cody’s performances have made that a non-issue. And now, here we are.
I will finish off by quite simply saying… It’s time Cody Rhodes. It’s time.
FINISH. THE. STORY.
Enjoy WrestleMania everyone.