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Thursday, April 7, 2016

WrestleMania 32: Everything's Bigger in Texas, Even the Disappointment

WrestleMania 32 was billed as the biggest WrestleMania ever. WWE would talk about how for weeks it was a #FreeWrestleMania to new WWE network subscribers, and even Forbes Magazine said it would out-perform half-developmental, half competition NXT TakeOver Dallas. With such praise like that, one would think WWE would feel the brutal pressure to fulfil such a lofty promise.

WrestleMania 32 to many couldn’t have been anymore dead if it rode through Dealey Plaza. Now, it’s not worse than WrestleMania 27, but that’s also like saying flat Pepsi is better than generic cola. In any instance, we are going to run down the main show. All photos belong to unless otherwise noted.


We start with the Intercontinental Championship Match. Champion Kevin Owens defending the Championship against Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Sin Cara, Stardust, and Zack Ryder in a ladder match. The match has the usual great ladder match moments, and was a pretty safe bet to get the crowd going.

The feud that many are watching for was Owens vs. Zayn, but they won’t be the ones winning this match. It would be the fan favorite, but unlikely, Ryder. Even if everyone knew he may likely lose it the next night, it is still a great moment to be sure. It will be the only good one for a while.


Next up was AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho. WWE paid a metric crap-ton of cash to bring Styles back out of Japan, and actually built him up well going into this match. And given that Jericho was mainly used to put new guys over at big moments, this should mean an easy win to get the crowd going…
Strangely, WWE don’t go that route. The guy fans made dad in midlife crisis jokes about for four years, and spends more time on his back than a star for Wicked Pictures, gets the win. Sure Styles would beat him the next night on RAW, but everyone remembers the headline, never the page 13 retraction. The fans need a face win, and fast if WWE has any hope of a positive reaction to the main event.


WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day  make their entrance out of a giant cereal box, wearing Dragonball Z-inspired entrance attire. They are over and WWE knows it…
And this means that their opponents, The League of Nations, a group that gets so little heat, we may need to hire them to keep our beer cold, get the win. If the fans are to be happy, they need The New Day to at least win a fight after this…
Instead we get Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Stone Cold Steve Austin to clean house...

And have Austin stun Xavier Woods. We’re guessing this means Austin won’t be on Up, Up, Down, Down to play Far Cry Primal. Again, faces win next night. Again, too late to matter.


The Streetfight pitting Brock Lesnar against Dean Ambrose should be promising. Ambrose spent the last few weeks getting several weapons from hardcore legends. Including Foley’s bat, Terry Funk’s saw, and we suspect New Jack gave him something we promised someone we’d never mention here.

The match saw some offense by Ambrose, but sadly, it is mostly Lesnar. The only fight we saw that was more one-sided than this was Arnold Schwarzenegger asking Bill Paxton for a shirt.


Ahh the Hall of Fame inductees. We’d make a joke, but Sting referenced Robocop, and Joker Sting the night before, Thank You Sting.


The triple threat to determine the new WWE Womens Champion is up next. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks. If you’ve been watching so far, you know the least over person is winning.

And you are correct sir/ma’am. This match is great almost through and through. With the three wrestlers showing WWE somewhat understands what fans want out of this division. But despite Sasha being the most over womens wrestler on the main show, as well as an entrance involving Snoop Dogg, WWE piss-izzled that away by having Ric Flair help his daughter to win as usual. We’d say the rule books say that a heel’s normal tactics need to backfire at WrestleMania, but someone forgot the book at home.


We now have The Undertaker, the man who’s WrestleMania appearances used to mean something much greater than your standard part-time guy, battling in a Hell in a Cell match against Shane McMahon, who in storyline would take over RAW if he won. Fans knew even with the confusing story going into this match, that it at least wouldn’t suck.

In a match that for some is a great throwback, and to others a watered-down memory notable for one spot, Undertaker would preserve his streak-less WrestleMania appearances while Shane would not be running RAW. Awesome? Though Shane would still run the show for a night the next night. Still the most logical part of the booking in this feud.


Up next is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Sure this match has been botched twice already, but give it faith.

Is that Shaquille O’Neal? Well he may be able to do something good.

Did he and The Big Show both get eliminated first? Well hopefully a young wrestler wins.

Baron Corbin wins. Ok, 1/3 ain’t bad.


Here are the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. We have dancers on a show with nonsensical booking, and the Champion is in his mid-40s. Are we sure they didn't put a Nitro on the feed by mistake? Oh well, this show should be ending real…

We get The Rock with a flamethrower. We’re betting WWE hopes to get Halloween Havoc 1998’ed.

After Rock burns his own name. No, he isn’t putting Roman Reigns over in this promo, he talks about the inflated attendance record. This brings out Bray Wyatt and the healthy members of his family. Boy Rock ain’t scared. In fact…

He’s wearing his gear underneath his clothes. We imagine he was going to wrestle someone, even if it was a random vendor.

Oh, and because Rock won’t get clearance to wrestle as long as he’s filming, he “wrestles” by pinning Erick Rowan in six seconds. Three seconds faster than Bundy pinned Jones, 23 seconds if you live in real life. The Wyatts now have Rock cornered. One man can prevent us from having to make a hate crime joke…

And his name is John Cena. Sure, he may not be cleared to wrestle, but everyone knows he would no-sell death to be here. Is the show almost over yet? Thankfully, it is.


First, Stephanie, McMahon, dressed like the maitre’d at a leather bar, tells fans they, and this show, belong to The Authority. This is the most honest thing she said since revealing the intentions behind the Warrior Award. She introduces WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple-H...

Oh yes, he’s Champion in 2016. Any wonder toward why ratings are down? Not one bit. Speaking of which, glad he brought creative with him.

Reigns seems to be using the entrance a lot lately. Surely what reason would WWE have of not having Reigns and fans in the same shot? Well, you’ll find out.
Both men meander through what must feel like the Lena Headey walk of shame minus the nudity. Despite the mics on the crowd being turned down, fans booing can still be heard. There are reports from inside Jerryland that chants for Shinsuke Nakamura and Zayn, who oddly enough wrestled at TakeOver, can be heard. In addition, fans are filing to beat traffic, and even chanting for Fandango. Here’s an audio representation of that last part.

The only time fans had any sort of positive reaction to Reigns was when he gave Steph the safest spear we’ve ever seen. We may not be high on seeing men hitting women too often, but if it is to be done, it should only be by those who can make it look like anything other than a running hug.

After Reigns wins, the fans boo a whole lot more. Because of this, most of the shots of Reigns with the Championship don’t show the fans. It’s as if they know.


Many think WWE booked this show badly on purpose to punish fans. While this may be a possibility, it certainly is a bad one given this was in front of at least 85,000 fans, and many using their one month of free WWE network may feel the need to say no to paying for it. As for Forbes Magazine’s prediction, what did TakeOver have you may ask? Well, they had…

Zayn vs. Nakamura…

American Alpha winning the NXT Tag Team Championships

Asuka becoming NXT Womens Champion…

Bobby Roode, who left TNA while Impact is still airing footage of him as one half of the TNA World Tag Team Champions…

And NXT Finn Balor defeating Samoa Joe in the most anticipated main event of the week.

Well, guess we can finally say what the real must-see event for wrestling in April is now.

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