Best: Look Ma, No Palm Trees
Hey look, USA Guy is making his WrestleMania debut!
First and foremost, for anyone who read last year’s Best and Worst of WrestleMania XXVIII Live report and were concerned about me, yes, I managed to find a seat this year without a gigantic, monolithic prop object blocking my view. Last year I could only see two corners of the ring and had to watch it all on a video screen. This year? THE ENTIRE RING. I’m moving up in the world! Next year I’ll be eating filet mignon sandwiches in a press box with Chris Sims somewhere.
My company for this year’s event was our lovely Best and Worst of Impact columnist Danielle Matheson and her boyfriend Matthew, and if I can recommend one thing after my third live WrestleMania experience, it’s to go with as many friends as possible. Sometimes you need a person to say “yes, I’ll go get a souvenir cup with you” when Triple H is emerging from Castle Greyskull, and if I didn’t have them around, I would’ve drifted off into memories of watching Athena and Ayako Hamada at SHIMMER the day before and been the most worthless prick smark on the planet. What I do not recommend: being from the American South and speaking in front of Canadians. They think I am HILARIOUS.
Best: Kofi Kingston, Pre-Game Analyst
Hope you enjoyed your WrestleMania Moment, Kofi. It was almost as cool as Zack Ryder’s.
In all seriousness, WWE doing a pre-game show like the NFL or NBA might is a great idea, and something they should’ve been formally doing 10 years ago. Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross want to talk about wrestling in front of me? I don’t care what they’re talking about, I want to listen. They could be hyping Dead Man Down and I’d just sit with my chin in my hands smiling and nodding. Good call, WWE.
I would, however, suggest two improvements:
1. Kofi Kingston being forced to wear a nametag that says “Michael Irvin,” possibly with “LOL” after it, and
Worst: Out Of Time? Cutting Things? Why Not Use That Extra 40 Minutes Of Pre-Show
2. We didn’t get the advertised Rhodes Scholars 8-person tag team match (more on that later), there were no backstage or in-ring interview segments, nobody announced the attendance for a cheap pop, hell, we didn’t even get a Lilian version of ‘America The Beautiful.’ Nobody did a fly-over. Hell, Jack Swagger couldn’t even drive his mobile assault vehicle to the ring on camera because they were cutting for time. But hey, guess what? They still did 40 minutes of pre-show nothingness before the Miz/Wade Barrett match. If you know you’ve got 40 minutes, why not throw the Funkasaurus a bone and have him do his 5-minute “dance, then jump on Damien Sandow” gag? Why not get Snooki in the ring and have Layla blitz her? Something. Anything.
And sure, the fans hadn’t finished filing in yet, but “not everybody saw the entire match” is a much better alternative to “we did nothing, and now we don’t have time for anything.”
Worst: Here Comes The Miz’s Obvious Victory, Or
Best: At Least He’s Not Trouncing Cesaro
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t catch much of this. I was busy trying to connect to that free WiFi network they’d set up that never actually let me connect, then trying to moderate With Leather comments on an iPad while it started to rain. That wasn’t fun. But hey, Miz finally got the victory and continued his “I do very well for myself at WrestleMania” gag, so that’s good. I’m sure he’ll be a great Intercontinental Champion, and keep the belt for a very long time! I HAVE NOT WATCHED RAW YET, NOPE.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it’s super depressing that Antonio Cesaro was the shoot MVP of Raw for like two months, then got stuck on a weird losing streak thing while holding a title and didn’t get a match at WrestleMania. He was wrestling NXT dudes at Axxess. And yeah, shit, I want to see Cesaro wrestling NXT guys in front of me, but I would rather him be rewarded for being an amazing pro wrestler who can have great matches with anybody and holds a title in your wrestling company.
But yo, of course you need that time to show the “I’m one of the millions” Rock hype videos. The fans would not be excited to see the Rock without that four minute video about how great he is!
Things started to look pretty grim after Miz’s victory, which was either God’s way of saying “stop having outdoor WrestlesMania in bad weather climates” or possibly “why the f**k did you let the Miz win.” I’ve been to three Manias, all outdoors. The first two were the ones in Florida (24 and 28), so I assumed this one would be Noah’s f**king Ark to punish me. Penance, or karma, or whatever.
Thankfully it cleared up and we had a nice night, so … good job, Vince McMahon. You are the luckiest possible guy when it comes to outdoor events. Next year we won’t have to worry about it at all because we’ll be inside the Superdome, and I get to find out what Mania feels like indoors. Then in 2015 we’ll get that Mania in Dallas, and we can all set in semi-indoors while it’s 750 degrees outside. In April. Because Texas.