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Wrestlemania 38

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  • #61
    I watched both shows from the theater, and both nights had kids in the crowd. They were the best part. Total innocence and totally absorbed into it. The smarks in the crowd were the worst. I can't believe these people try to make the theater about them like they do at a live event.

    One of my personal turning points was attending a Smackdown with my nephews. They didn't stay into wrestling once I moved away, but seeing them get into the people booed by smarks (it was 2016, so Orton wasn't as popular and respected as he is today, and they LOVED Kane who never was IWC respected after losing the mask) helped me keep my expectations of WWE on that level.

    I'm sure FTR vs Briscoes put on an awesome match, and it likely is better than anything I liked at WM. But I don't care about it because there's no story. Maybe if I watched every dark/BTE and ROH clip I would get it, but it seemed like a general IWC dream match, and I'm bored of that. I don't think there's a future depending primarily on that type of wrestling. An awesome match per card makes all the sense in the world, but it is even better when there's a story involved. Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns a few years back before the retirement was an awesome match with a story and stakes. Daniel Bryan taking off his Wyatt Family coveralls got a better reaction than 95% of his matches because they moment mattered for the story involved.

    Anyways, the other thing people forget is WWE has a pretty dependable track record for their PPV/PLE shows over the last few years. Even the Saudi shows are getting positive reviews from the loudest voices against WWE. WWE's problem is the production/creative side of things, but their roster is tremendous, and when the part of the story they've reached is to have a full on PPV/PLE match, it's really hard for it to fail.

    On the note of creative, it's unfortunate the size of their roster and shows because it does increase the amount of weak storytelling, and seemingly to the point that critics start forgetting the good stories going on. Roman is an obvious one, but Becky vs Bianca really hit another level and had a perfect ending (if it's over) this weekend. Edge's character change is very intriguing as was the Damian Priest association last night. RKO is without a doubt a tremendous success over the last 10 months (I think?). Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens keep reinventing themselves to be top guys even after they've lost and feel lost in the mix below the Romans and Brocks of the roster. Charlotte's heel work still doesn't get the credit it deserves (nor how she can pull out as good a match out of Ronda this weekend).

    I think the fairest way to describe WWE's creative is that it's uninspired. It's by no means bad overall, but they aren't really looking to improve past their current average. Once in a while they strike on something strong, but in general the stories are "ok." Miz vs Mysterios, Balor vs Priest, the womens' tag division, New Day vs Butch and the Brutes..etc. Bland and unexciting, but still something.


    • #62
      Briscoes vs FTR might be the best tag team match I've ever seen. In terms of story, sometimes simpler is better and to me the story of "the two teams that people say are the best in the world fighting for the tag team titles" is as much as I need there. Throw in them trash talking one another online, and I think that too much physical interaction or hospitalization angles probably would have taken away from what the match was.

      It's so interesting to see what kids are in to. At Survivor Series, the only thing the girls wanted to see was Becky vs Charlotte. They watched the majority of it and had fun, but it was all about that match. That's when it really hit me how much a strong women's division means to girls watching the show. With that in mind, I don't think I'd let them watch the Britt Baker vs Thunder Rosa cage match. Girls running around covered in blood would probably be too much for them.

      I'm really interested to see where Edge goes. It reminds me a little of Danielson's return. Most legends -- I think it's fair to call Danielson a legend -- would be content to come back and be babyfaces, coasting for the remainder of their careers. But here's Edge turning heel, which is his specialty, and going all in on it. It's not half assing to hopefully still get a few cheers.

      WWE's production is what kills me. I would love to see Austin just throw punches like I did 20 years ago, rather than a camera cut on each landing.

      I go back and watch the WrestleMania 17 and 19 matches all the time, and I just wish we could have a little more of that feeling of grown men having a fight where even they don't know what they're going to try to do next, and the cameras are just there to film it back in our wrestling. It's the main reason I don't watch a lot of their weekly shows.

      I get that feeling to an extent when Brock and Roman are out there. Lashley, too. A little less focus on production, and a little more just letting the athletes wrestle would make WWE so easy for me to watch.

      I will say, though, that Cody's tattoo is somehow more horrific under WWE's super bright lights. Yikes.
      My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


      • #63
        I try to pretend the tattoo is an ugly birthmark and politely look away.
        See the latest of my Ric Flair saga click here. View my story inspired by colorful wrestlers I've come across in my fandom.


        • #64
          It's an awful tattoo. It's badly placed for a neck tattoo regardless, but also very bad quality.

          I showed it to my tattoo artist a few months ago because I was leafing through LoP and it came up and wanted their opinion on it. We went on to find a few more shots of it from closer up and they were absolutely shocked at the lack of quality in it.


          • #65
            I don't mind it, but I'm not looking for closeups. Tattoos are such a personal thing, and if he's happy, I see no reason to be bothered. It's certainly not bad enough to be on those bad tattoo meme collections


            • #66
              Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
              It's not about being a "fed defender" (a term never heard until this weekend, and I'm assuming some here would include me in that description),
              It's not a term I use without some distance, but it's a more recent corruption of 'Fed Defense Squad', which was the nickname the AEW online fans gave to the WWE accounts that would supposedly appear whenever they a) said anything to praise AEW, or b) critiqued WWE.

              Again, something I used more as a catch-all than out of any real association with the term, because much as I believe that the two main promotions suffer from different manifestations of the same fundamental issue, I think you can probably say the same about the hardcore amongst their fanbases.

              "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


              • #67
                On Cody's tattoo, I had the same issue with AJs big tattoo when he first got it, but I now barely notice it, so we may start to get used to it after a few years...

                I ended up watching night 2 the next day, and I think overall I made the right choice. Definitely not in the bad category, but night one for me stole the show with some excellent matches, so the second night pales a bit in comparison. There was a few more 'moments' in night one, HHH returement, Austin, Belair, etc. Night two had a bit too much silliness, as a previous poster said.

                Edge vs AJ was slightly underwhelming for me, perhaps due to it being the beginning of a story there rather than a conclusion. The filler matches were more filler than night one, if you get my drift, and more nonsensical. The New Day should not be losing in 2 minutes flat after everything they have accomplished, as a team and individually, not just in terms of titles but as entertainers to the general audience; plus the whole Pete Dunne / Butch thing needs to stop. That was incredibly annoying and not in a good way for me.

                Roman vs Lesnar was just OK for me, nothing I hadn't seen before or done better. The two matches I took most enjoyment out of was the Knoxville match and the McAfee match. Both very well put together with non-wrestlers to make it (just about) believable.

                So all in all, happy to have watched mania, but not seen anything to really make me gravitate back to a becoming a regular viewer again.


                • #68
                  I've long accepted that Wrestlemania, in general, is not for me. And that's not an anti-WWE thing, it's just a Wrestlemania thing. There's something about it which just isn't my bag, and I think a lot of it is the pomp around the whole show.

                  I do wonder whether WWE overstretches themselves by going for two big nights. Not in terms of having enough matches or talent, just in terms of producing that much wrestling across two lengthy shows back-to-back.


                  • #69
                    Preferred night one, by quite a bit, but still happy I watched night two.

                    RKBro steals every show for me. Orton looks like he's having more fun than most times in his career, and he was WM main event hot with that crowd. As a Luger fan, some folks seem better when they are working a station lower than their potential. Some of Luger's best character work was 95-96, when he was tag and TV champ. Orton is similar here. In some world, he could be angry that he's relegated to this team, but he is inspired in his work and having fun.

                    I was also underwhelmed by Edge/AJ.

                    Don't care about screw ups, I enjoyed the hell out of Austin Theory/McAfee/Vince/Austin. I'm so stupid, I said, "Ah, it's awesome that Vince and Austin are both having moments" not even realizing Austin could be part of this night, too. Don't know if you needed the Vince/McAfee match, but I kind of like that McAfee can't join Cole as undefeated.

                    The main event felt like a BIG, BIG DEAL to me. Crowd was so hot. Multiple belts almost felt like Warrior/Hogan. Only thing I didn't like is the ending felt rushed.

                    Bottom line: Most years I try to watch 2-3 WWE shows (RR, WM, etc.) and I usually can't sit through but a few minutes. This WrestleMania, I planned to sit through about 30 min to an hour and I ended up watching both nights, plus Cody's interview on RAW. Congrats, WWE. You delivered for me this time.


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Oliver View Post
                      I've long accepted that Wrestlemania, in general, is not for me. And that's not an anti-WWE thing, it's just a Wrestlemania thing. There's something about it which just isn't my bag, and I think a lot of it is the pomp around the whole show.
                      I certainly recognise something of myself in this. Can't comment on the more recent ones, but if you look at the era where I really cared about wrestling, the number of WrestleManias I actually like even then is at something around 30%, whereas the rest of the "big 4" would all be over 80%. But I'd often come out of WrestleMania feeling like it had overpromised and underdelivered.

                      But hey, glad to hear a lot of people had a different experience this time out.

                      "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."