Best: Everything About Fandango Except … Uh, Well, Huge Chunks Of This Match
Before you ask, I am so excited to write about Raw, dude. You have no idea. But … we’ll get there.
Here, I’d like to say how much I loved the Fandango WrestleMania entrance, which was as much a direct apology to me for the Brodus Clay Mammy thing last year as Daniel Bryan’s victory was for his 18-second loss. Fandango gets a dozen dancing girls on the stage while his silhouette burns against the Brooklyn Bridge. The crowd chants “You Can’t Wrestle” at him, so he beats Chris Jericho with a roll-up. He is FAAAAAAHN DAAAAAAAHN GOOOOOO, and he is the new Stone Cold Steve Austin, or at least this year’s Daniel Bryan. Or Simon Dean, but slightly better. One of those three.
The downside is that the match was … not good. I was sitting pretty far away, and even I could see the Brodus-sized gap between them during moves. I still haven’t watched any of this on tape so I don’t know if it was the timing or if one of them was at fault, but Jericho Lionsaulting into the middle of the ring while Fandango held us legs up about an inch from the rope to set up a Walls of Jericho counter with enough room for at least three dancing ladies between them was pretty rank. I hope they get another shot at it, because Jericho is better than this, and Dirty Curty in-ring work needs to be as over as his entrance theme.
Best: What’s Up Now, Teens Who Talked Shit About Me On The Shuttle Ride Over
We stayed at the Fairview Inn Meadowlands, so it was just a short shuttle over to Mania to avoid the heinous assland of that parking lot. We had a few people in the van with us, including two (I wanna say) teenage girls in homemade “IF PUNK WINS, WE RIOT” hoodies with “TEAM UNDERTAKER FOREVER 21-0” on the back. They struck up a conversation about WrestleMania with us, and mentioned that above all, they wanted to see “Jericho kick Fandango’s ass.”
Now, if you need to be reminded, I am me. I do not think I’m “right” about wrestling (I am never, ever right), but some stuff has become pretty obvious to me in my time as a fan. I am not trying to be the smartest or most correct guy in the room, but if you’re gonna talk about wrestling, I’m gonna talk to you about it like I’d talk about it to myself. I think my exact comments were “If that match doesn’t end with Fandango rolling Jericho up, I will eat my shoes.”
They were not happy. They asked the Canadians why they were friends with me, called me a “smark,” then mumbled under their breath about how I was a “jackass.” I just want to give a popular internet wrestling column shout-out to those girls, and I hope they enjoyed Fandango winning the match with a roll-up.
Best: Being Here Live Means I Got To See Jack Swagger Drive A Jeep To The Ring
WELCOME TO JACK SWAGGER’S JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
I’m sad Jeep Swagger didn’t make it onto the show. In the interest of full disclosure, here are the three thoughts I had while he was driving it around:
1. THEY GAVE HIM TONY’S ENTRANCE FROM SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2009
2. How funny is it that Jack’s the one driving the jeep? Shouldn’t he make Zeb do that? I couldn’t imagine King Kong Bundy driving Bobby Heenan to the ring in something.
3. How much better would this have been if they’d gone with my idea of making him an astronaut? He’d be piloting a space shuttle to the ring, and instead of Zeb Colter he’d have Shaul Guerrero sitting next to him, dressed like a sexy Martian.
Best: Swagger/Del Rio, And Ricardo Living His Dream
This was easily, easily my favorite match of the night. I dug the ankle lock reversals for the first time since Kurt Angle tried to ruin them forever, I loved Del Rio’s fighting spirit (and Mexico fireworks), and I thought Ricardo Rodriguez having 80,000 people chanting ALBERTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO with him was adorable. The crowd wouldn’t cut it out with the WE WANT ZIGGLER chants, which was a shame, because the wrestling in front of them was going really well. They chanted it after the match, too, even when Del Rio was perfectly fine and waving the title around. LISTEN TO WHAT YOU ARE CHANTING AND THINK ABOUT IT, CHANTERS
Worst: The WrestleMania Superstore
The WrestleMania Superstore was such a disappointment for me. I wanted to get the Bent On Destruction Mark Henry shirt because they didn’t have it on sale on Elimination Chamber, but nope, they didn’t have a single one. They had 10,000 Ryback shirts, though. So I thought “okay, I’ll get the Primetime Players shirt.” Only available in 2X and above! Danielle wanted to get the Mick Foley Hall Of Fame shirt (because each of the inductees got their own shirt), but Foley’s was the worst looking one by a mile. Total letdown. But they had that Jim Ross cookbook from 15 years ago, a crate full of unsold Zack Ryder wigs and at least a wall of Kofi Kingston wrestling buddies. Oh, and every single shirt stand sold out of the I WAS THERE shirt about 10 minutes into the show. Tons of Sean Combs INVISIBLE BULLY shirts were still available, though.
I am disappoint, WrestleMania Superstore.
Best: Puff Daddy’s Thing
(it was extremely short)