Monday, April 07, 2014

Wrestlemania XXX a day later


The day after – Wrestlemania continues to trend on yahoo. The announced sold out attendance was 75,167 in attendance for a live gate that was just under 11 million. So far the WWE network has garnered 667,287 subscribers and WWE feel they are on their way to a goal of a million subscribers by the end of the year.  WWE stock took a hit is down almost 5 dollars a share by mid-day. WWE.COM confirmed that the Undertaker was taken to the hospital for a concussion.

Wrestlemania XXX kicks off with the Hulkster making a couple of verbal gaffes- but that enhances the fun when first Stone Cold Steve Austin and then surprise guest The Rock make light of the miscue and cut fun promos to satiate fans of the attitude era and the WWF.

After that feel good moment and a video package showing the rise of the bearded wonder a tribute to Game of Thrones and the god of thunder occurs as HHH makes his royal entrance to the event to take on the yes movement and eventually lose to Daniel Bryan. After the match Stephanie McMahon enters the ring to paint brush the jubilant garden gnome and distract Daniel Bryan from a sneak attack by HHH. HHH attacks Bryan and hits his already injured shoulder with a steal chair.

Full disclosure I skipped the rest of the card in this repeat viewing to re-watch the Taker/Brock match and the main event.

The streak made winning and losing matter and it should. Yes this is sports entertainment – but a vested interest in the result is paramount to keeping folks vested in the matches. Brock Lesnar shocked the Silverdome , the Superdome and the WWE universe by beating an older man that struggled physically at the last 3 Manias by the end of the match. Paul Heyman added so much to the match and the aftermath. I admit the Undertaker and the WWE aren’t my home-team so I am not invested in his character or his winning or losing. I can only imagine this is what it felt like when Ivan Koloff defeated Bruno for the WWF strap in MSG after being champ for most of the 60s. Cole keeps calling the Undertaker the greatest performer in Wrestlemania history- but for my money it is HBK and of course the 2 of them together crafted 2 classics at Mania. The problem with the match last night , well lets be honest it was a slow paced match and a sour note to end such a storied streak, but the Patriots lost at the Superbowl after being undefeated (yeah I know the Dolphins finished unblemished in the 70s). Rocky Marciano finished his career undefeated and is the only person accomplish that feat as a heavyweight pugilist. I loved the moment but as fan of heels and bad-guys I love moments like the Nexus invasion and Evolution dumping RKO out of the group. I get folks being mad- I mean if you were a Denver Broncos fan did you enjoy their shellacking at this year’s Super Bowl. Undertaker is the WWE totem and icon for 2 generations of wrestling fans that bought into his character and he is their home-team , when WWE started hyping the streak angle they found gold- I honestly don’t remember the streak being a big thing in the 90s – but by 2000s it became part of the allure of Wrestlemania. Folks are genuinely upset and some are talking about leaving the WWE and how this is the worst mania ever. I was entertained by Mania and got several hours of extra free content and the Hall of Fame ceremony. Like a boulder being dropped into a puddle last night’s Mania was large on several levels. It took 22 years to build the streak and 3 seconds to demolish it.

 Overall the 360 feed was about 3 minutes lagged behind the laptop feed- however it was a decent viewing experience and even better than the post raw event or even the mania press conference - kudos for such a fine selection and a memorable PPV. I did enjoy the battle royal and the result- congrats to Claudio for his big win.
Decided to watch moments that I cared about in WCW- first the godawful train-wreck that was Starrcade 1997- why oh why did they not just have Sting beat Hollywood outright - arrgh. Currently watching the end of the streak at Starrcade 1998 - I am a Goldberg fan , but also  a Nash fan at that time and I was excited with the change - even the ridiculous run-ins. In the end it speaks to the emotional connection that WWE has made with their fanbase- the long con- once they decided on the streak they made it as big as the title and they added an emotional element to the taker matches - add in the best performer Mania history HBK and then HHH - Lesnar as a heel will get tremendous heat and that is a good thing. The yes movement ended up being overshadowed by the cessation of the streak. And so did the surprise return of the Rock.
 

 Raw featured a rollicking crowd and the debut of Paige who defeated AJ Lee to win the divas title.

In other news TNA co-founder Jeff Jarrett announced today that he plans to launch a new wrestling promotion Global Force Wrestling and that it will be an interactive promotion with their fan base.
Ezekiel Jackson and WWE have parted ways.

Sadly after being inducted into the WWE on Saturday and making an appearance on Raw on Monday Warrior passed away Tuesday.
 

 

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