I hate smarks and think smarky behaviour should be punished by being German suplexed into a pit of angry, AIDs infected tigers.
I don’t know what it is about this generation of wrestling fans these days, maybe it’s the anonymity of the internet or maybe it’s just that kayfabe is well and truly dead, but everyone seems to want to be a douchebag these days. Whether it’s booing a babyface ironically or trying to book 4 matches ahead, smarky behaviour is reaching pandemic levels.
Lots of people think smarkish behaviour makes them look cool and clever, but really it’s the wrestling equivalent of an elitist hipster telling you what music or films you should be enjoying instead of what you actually like.
And nobody likes an elitist hipster.
Life is shitty and wrestling is fun, so either shut up and enjoy it or bugger off.
Now that’s out of the way, Wrestlemania 32. WWE were going into the show with a lot of their major players injured, so it was interesting to see how they did going into their biggest event of the year as actual underdogs for a change and despite a couple of duff matches I think they pulled it off pretty well.
I’m not going to do a full review because everyone and their brother and their brother’s dog has beaten me to it, but there’s a few points I’d like to make about the showcase of the immortals, so here goes.
Zack Ryder wins the I.C. Title
Ryder winning the Intercontinental Title in a 7 way ladder match also involving Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Stardust, Sin Cara, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz.
This was incredible. I literally jumped out of my chair when he grabbed the title. For the longest time Ryder has been one of wrestling’s great journeymen who’s suffered from poor booking, but whether it’s been as an Edge clone, Justin Bieber wannabe or Kane’s torture victim, he’s always thrown himself 100% into whatever he’s been given and he deserved this. It was a bit gutting that he dropped it the following night, but hopefully that will lead to some interesting storylines in the future.
Just one more note- to all the people who thought it should have Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn one on one, what do you think now? This was a great ladder match and, assuming KO isn’t actually dead from that half-and-half suplex spot, they have years to build that rivalry up.
Lesnar vs Lunatic- Street Fight
This was disappointing. It was a fun match but given who was in it and the build up I feel it could have been so much better. Ultimately though there is only one thing that really bothered me about this match. It’s the principle of Chekov’s gun- dramatic theorist Anton Chekov once stated that every element of a story should be necessary and irreplaceable.
The example he uses is that if you point out a rifle on a wall in chapter 1 then by chapter 2 or 3 someone needs to be shot by it. WWE, if you are going to spend weeks stating that Ambrose is going to bring a chainsaw and a barbed wire baseball bat to the ring, then doesn’t use them you have essentially teased the cocks of millions of fans. Go watch the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead if you want an example of how to write a barbed wire baseball bat into a story.
Hell in a Cell
Undertaker vs Shane O’Mac, Hell in a Cell. Admittedly this was a one spot match, but what a spot. Shane McMahon jumping off of the 20 foot cell and crashing through the announce table was a sight to behold, even it was slightly awkward that he basically KILLED HIMSELF IN FRONT OF HIS CHILDREN.
I’ve heard complaints that both guys worked a slow match and that spoilt it, but I thought it was fine. At 51 and 46, these aren’t guys in their prime and if you go back and watch some of the classic HIAC (Undertaker v Mankind, for example) they were slow matches built around 1 or 2 high spots. I’m not a fan of the HIAC ppv, I think it’s a match type that should be saved for the most personal, brutal rivalries and that’s what this was, so good times.
In my last entry I said this had the potential to be match of the night and it delivered. A little rushed maybe, a bit botchy but the story they told was incredible. Easy to follow, clearly defined characters, this is what the women’s division needed.
The introduction of a new belt was welcome too. It actually looks like a championship belt instead of costume jewelry. As far as calling it the Women’s Championship instead of the Diva’s championship, there are some people who are calling full on misogyny about the word “Diva”, and whilst I think that’s a going a bit far it’s a good move.
I hear “Diva”, I think selfish, spoiled, drama queen. I hear “Woman” I think strong, beautiful, vibrant, powerful- so good decision I think.
Roman Reigns v Triple H
The best thing I can say about this match is that it happened. The entrance’s were good, Stephanie McMahon’s “we own you” speech was a definite highlight (in fact Steph was probably the best part about this entire bout), but this match just didn’t hold my interest at all.
I’ve gone back and rewatched it since and truthfully speaking it was a functional main event with some good spots like the neckbreaker from the announce table and the Spear through the barricade, but as a viewer I think I was burnt out after Hell in a Cell. In fact, in retrospect that should probably have gone on last instead of this.
Between that, a predictable finish and Reigns being duller than a bag of fish it didn’t have that big match feel that the rest of the card had. It was fun seeing Stephanie get speared though, as a heel she hardly ever gets any comeuppance, so that was good.
Overall I thought this was a good show. Including the pre show it was 7 hours in total and it managed to hold my attention for almost that entire time. Not one of the all time great Manias but still good stuff and a lot of FUN, that thing we used to have before everyone became a fucking smark.
So what do you think? Are smarks ruining wrestling? Am I being too kind to WWE? Are women the future of wrestling?
Let me know what you think and I’ll see you next time.