Sunday, March 29, 2015

LIVE WrestleMania 31 thoughts - March 29, 2015

11:03 - Incredibly intriguing WrestleMania with Seth Rollins walking away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  The manner of getting there -- with Rollins interrupting an existing match -- was a bit questionable, though.  In all the years Money in the Bank has existed, that's never been a clause that was seemingly allowed.  Plus, it was done in a way that sacrificed the "new" star in Roman Reigns, while protecting Lesnar (which, given his extended deal, is fine).

What an awesome and well deserved moment for Rollins, though.  He's been one of the best built stars of the year.  In fact, who would have guessed that Rollins would be the first member of the Shield to get the World Championship?  We all thought he was going to be the one lost in the shuffle!

Intriguingly, the build to this year's WrestleMania has been one of the worst ever.  Yet the booking and performances, top to bottom, was practically flawless.  It's so unfortunate that this company can't get their act together and really put out a consistently great product.  All the pieces are there.

10:46 - As you can see in my predictions, I don't see any way that Reigns leaves the stadium as WWE Champion.  But surely the guy is dead in the water if he just gets squashed by Brock.  Even a flukey victory would do him no favors.  Based on the timing, this won't be a 30 minute classic.  It's looking to be 15 minutes or so.

10:40 - I was mostly wrong in regards to my first prediction.  Newish gear (with his logo) but more or less the same.  By the way, it's always difficult to judge in arenas, but he got pretty much no reaction during his entrance.  And right now they're jeering him pretty significantly.

10:33 - Several bold predictions here:  1) Roman Reigns completely changes his gear tonight, possibly even traditional tights.  2)  Reigns wins.  3)  Rollins cashes in and wins.  4)  If Lesnar wins, Reigns turns heel.  Regardless, Rollins cashes in and wins.

10:29 - Just walked in to see Undertaker win.  How was the match?

10:16 - I didn't catch Undertaker's entrance so I'm forced to assume he's back to his American Badass gimmick.

10:05 - Looks like Bray Wyatt is going to be able to wrestle.  This entrance is also strangely similar to the Walking Dead episode I'm watching.

9:46 - Looks like the Rock never got that memo about WWE's partnership with Tapout.

9:36 - Commercial break so I stepped in to see what's happening.  On a VERY long "Loading, please wait" screen.  Disappointing.

8:58 - It is odd seeing Macho Man finally in the Hall of Fame but him not being the highlighted person inducted.

8:52 - They were a little light on each of their accomplishments there.  How about the fact that Reigns is undefeated at WrestleMania?  Or his tag team title reign?  Or Lesnar's King of the Ring win?

8:51 - Alright friends, at 9:00 I'm going into the other room for the next hour and a half to watch the season finale of The Walking Dead.  I'll drop in during commercial breaks and will offer any quick commentary.  Enjoy!

8:49 - Oh yay.  So happy to be wrong.  Sorta odd booking, though.

8:40 - So Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL have been sitting at ringside for nearly 3 hours now and none of them have taken a sip of their Mountain Dew.  Must be delicious!

I'm oddly excited that I get to see AJ Lee before I leave to watch The Walking Dead.  And I can't help but appreciate Paige too.  I think AJ and Paige SHOULD win....but with the faces winning the big matches (most of them), I guess I gotta go with the Bellas, unfortunately.

8:37 - I hate these stupid concerts they do at WrestleMania.

8:32 - Fun backstage segment with Daniel Bryan and former Intercontinental Champions.  Nice to give him a moment and make the title win seem like a big deal.

8:25 - I enjoyed that match soooooooo much more than I thought I would.  Was I anticipating it?  No.  Was it a good match?  Not really.  But I loved the allusions to the WWE vs. WCW war.  And seeing the nWo come out and defend Sting was such a fun visual.  And it was great seeing Nash and Hall without it being about the Kliq. A lot of fun.

8:19 - Okay, I marked out when DX came out.  I marked out HUGE when the nWo came out.  LOVED the nWo/DX confrontation.

8:13 - Did Triple H order the wrong sized logo for the back of his trunks?

8:05 - My gut tells me Sting wins this, but with two strong babyface wins I'm not so sure.  Sting SHOULD win....but I'm going to go with Triple H here.

8:03 - So, um....that happened.

7:59 - I'm confused.....WWE knows that Sting isn't Japanese, right?  I like the visual of all of the musicians wearing the Sting facepaint (kinda like the WWE 2K commercial), but nothing about Sting's character or appearance has anything to do with Japanese culture.  I do like that he's wearing a flashy jacket, and there is a little red in his facepaint....but it's still a little too Crow-ish.

7:53 - I'm shocked Triple H and Sting are on this early in the show.  Not because of their status, but because I figured both guys would need the dark to make an effective entrance.  Sidenote:  I REALLY hope we see a jazzed up Sting appearance.  If he's just in the traditional Crow facepaint and attire, I'll be disappointed.

7:49 - Really no issue with Randy winning here as he's the good guy and the booking was heading into that direction anyway.  That was an AWESOME ending sequence, though.  Loved Rollins missing the flippity flop but still landing on his face, then hitting the first part of the Curb Stomp but then getting caught in a great looking RKO.  I suspect Rollins will have his big moment later tonight.  Great match.

7:34 - Almost a retro look for Orton, with the red trunks and elbow pads.

7:32 - I've been saying for the past year that I thought that Rollins would debut a new version of his gear (I thought a gray one) but we finally have one.  Now he's sporting a gold trim, really looking very X-Men movie right now.  I predict Orton wins this one.

7:26 - If this means big things for Bryan, good for him.  Let's hope for a nice, long reign here.  A really fun, action packed match.  I really, REALLY hope that nobody suffered any significant injuries.  Those Stardust and Dean Ambrose bumps looked really brutal -- I hope everybody is okay.

By the way, does the lack of Sheamus in the ladder match and battle royal add some credibility to the rumor that Wyatt won't be able to wrestle tonight and that Sheamus will replace him against the Undertaker?  What a letdown that would be.

7:19 - Just saw that Barrett has "One True Champion" with an image of the Intercontinental Championship on the back of his trunks.  Love it!

7:10 - I forgot to make this an official prediction, but I did predict privately that either Dean Ambrose or Luke Harper would NOT be wearing blue jeans.  Looks like that's the case with Harper.  I also love his jacket with everybody else's names crossed out.

Stardust has some fun new gear too, but it's a little too similar to the designs he's worn before.  Why not go in a way different direction?

7:06 - Really fun opening video.  I was skeptical at first -- it seemed a little too cross-promotional (Terminator entrance, anybody?) but it really came together nicely and established WrestleMania as a huge spectacle.

By the way, I was wrong about Daniel Bryan.  No cool ring jacket.  But he is at least wearing normal boots.

I'm guessing Bryan wins this.  If not Bryan, I see Ambrose taking it.

7:01 - Random prediction:  Daniel Bryan brings back his kick ass jacket/robe for his WrestleMania entrance.  Enough with the damn t-shirts.  And it wouldn't kill you to get rid of the furry boots either.

I can't get a real sense of the WrestleMania set, either.  I know they said it wouldn't have a location like the past few years, but i'm not getting a sense of what the theme is at all yet.

6:59 - That was a really awesome look at the Intercontinental title ladder match.  They did a really nice job of going over the history of the title, the history of the title at WrestleMania, and the history of ladder matches at WrestleMania.  I kinda wish the match didn't kick off the show, but I'm excited.

6:53 - Okay, now I think WWE is deliberately going overboard with their references to how thrilled they are that fans are dressing up as their favorite Superstars.  I'm sensing it's damage control over all those reports about asking fans to change out of their costumes.

6:47 - Eck, didn't love that ending.  I think they did an effective job of giving Mizdow some momentum and strength, but was it worth it?  I mean, you had Big Show eliminate Cesaro, Ryback, all of the New Day, and Mizdow.  Was it worthwhile to sacrifice so many people to make Big Show look strong?  They could've made an even bigger moment for Mizdow.

Having said that, I did like the various throwbacks to Big Show/Cesaro.  And the overall story of Big Show never actually winning a battle royal was good.  But, again, Big Show is a heel.  Why is he getting a triumphant moment?

6:33 - I love the fact that Miz is wearing a blinged out, more impressive version of the gear that Mizdow is wearing.

6:30 - New blue gear for Miz and Mizdow.  By the way, my prediction is that Miz wins, and then after the match Mizdow finally turns on him.  Also, half the guys in this match are from the tag team title match.

6:25 - For those you keeping score, WWE is allowing people to wear costumes and outfits for WrestleMania.  Hooray for letting your fans get into the spectacle.

6:17 - Prediction #1 is correct!  Fun match, the only thing that "hurt" it was the fact that the announcers didn't even try to make sense of who was the legal man.  The referee actually seemed to keep track of who was legal but the announcers just went on and on about how they didn't know.  Why not try to make sense of it to help the audience follow along too?  But a good match, overall.

6:05 - Okay, our matches on the kickoff show have been begun and I am excited to say that 100% of the competitors have some new gear on!  As you probably gathered, I'm a sucker for Superstars debuting new gear at PPV's, but it's ESPECIALLY important to do it at WrestleMania.

Anyway, follow my LIVE thoughts throughout the night.  However, I'm taking an hour and a half break for The Walking Dead season finale.  Shows what sort of excitement there is for WrestleMania, huh?

I'm guessing Cesaro and Kidd retain here.

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