1. Now how was that first segment any better than the Chris Jericho/The Miz/Wade Barrett segment from last week? “Pancake Patterson”? But you know what the truly sad part is? Vince McMahon and/or the writers were probably pissing themselves laughing hysterically at that entire bit. I’m so glad we always get “great” TV during WrestleMania season.
2. I’m getting a TON of slack for this (mostly from Inside Pulse’s own Blair Douglas) but I really dug Fandango’s tremendously over the top entrance as well as the fact that he got the rather dead Pittsburgh crowd to boo him for NOT wrestling The Great Khali. Fandango’s introduction to TV has been somewhat similar to when Dolph Ziggler appeared on SmackDown introducing himself to everyone in the locker room over and over again. I LIKE OVER THE TOP CHARACTERS! That’s just me being a product of 80s & 90s WWF TV. Johnny Curtis can wrestle and the fact that he’s not and only “teasing” every week seems to working, at least with the live crowd. The Chris Jericho feud is interesting. I love the idea of a veteran working with a rookie & we KNOW Jericho is fantastic at pulling the best out of people. But this also means we’re getting a “Dancing With The Stars” feud which I’m not too sure about yet.
3. Our poll from last week was whether or not CM Punk went too far in the mockery of Paul Bearer, The Undertaker and the urn. With an overwhelming 71%, Inside Pulse & CE readers agreed with our staff that no, CM Punk didn’t go too far and it is because Bearer was a CHARACTER and so was the urn. It’s a smart way for the CHARACTER of CM Punk to get into the head of the CHARACTER of The Undertaker. Sure its been done numerous times before (the entire damn Million Dollar Corporation stole it at one point or another) but it hasn’t been done in years and not in the way CM Punk is making it work. A good wrestling angle gets under people’s skins and that’s exactly what CM Punk is doing.
4. You had to know that Richardo was going to be injured at some point during this feud. There really is NOTHING sympathetic about Alberto Del Rio except for Richardo. Sure the fans are going to cheer for Del Rio over Jack Swagger but would they really care about the match? Hell, it worked for the Big Show/Del Rio feud, I guess injuring the “puppy dog” Richardo will add just a bit more heat onto Swagger.
5. As much as I HATED Booker T, the commentator. And really didn’t even like Booker T, the WWE Superstar. I LOVED Booker T during WCW’s heyday. Not the dying days of WCW, I’m talking Tag Team/TV/US Champion Booker T. Harlem Heat was probably my favorite WCW tag team of that time and his Best Of 7 series with Chris Benoit were absolute showstealers during the same time that the nWo was running WCW. That right there is impressive enough to be considered a top star. Booker T was ultra-popular (and still is) and is well deserving of a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. Congrats to the SmackDown GM.
7. Sigh, so it was predicted, so it came to be. I really hate the idea of having The Big Show in The Shield’s match at WrestleMania. Not only has he never turned babyface but the last angle he was in, he played the part of the vicious, dastardly heel beating up on the weak Richardo Rodriguez. Sure The Shield jumped him but who haven’t they! This match reeks completely of nepotism. There wasn’t a spot on the card for either Randy Orton or Big Show and since both men have been with the company for so long, there was no way they were going to be left off of the WrestleMania card. The only positive thing to come out of all of this is that The Shield is going to get the chance to shine on a VERY large stage. Unfortunately I really don’t see how the hell they’re going to be able to walk away with a win here.
8. I can’t point out enough how disappointing it is that Dolph Ziggler is getting put into a thrown together Tag Team Championship match with a green tag team partner instead of being in a World Championship match at WrestleMania. The man has worked his ass the last year to get to the top (the last couple of years actually) and gets stuck with this. I really hope they have something bigger planned for Ziggler, either at the big show or at least later in 2013.
9. What could have been a good to great triple threat match to actually add prestige to the Intercontinental Championship got barely 10 minutes. If the WWE EVER wants their fans to take matches like this or their mid-level titles seriously, they themselves have to take them seriously.
10. Good God did Paul Heyman take a stiff beating from Triple H. I don’t know what caused that knot on Heyman’s forehead but it was very reminiscent of the one Chris Jericho received in a Royal Rumble match from a kendo stick shot delivered by Tommy Dreamer. That’s going to look nasty tomorrow. But that’s neither here nor there when it comes to the consequences of the segment. Triple H vs Brock Lesnar – No Holds Barred. Been there, done that at SummerSlam 2012 (although it was just called a “No Disqualification” match. Same rules.). The difference obviously is the somewhat shocking addition of Triple H’s career being put on the line. Honestly, looking back on it, I’m surprised this idea wasn’t brought up more! There was talk that maybe Paul Heyman would take over Triple H’s or Vince McMahon’s job. Maybe it would be a Hell In A Cell match where Heyman would be allowed inside the Cell. A Last Man Standing match so Triple H could beat-down Lesnar to finally gain his revenge and put an end to the feud. But I never heard once heard of a retirement angle and yet it makes PERFECT sense! For a few years now we thought that Triple H was going to make the permanent transition to an “office” position since he’s widely considered to be the one to replace Vince McMahon, at least as the one covering the day-to-day creative aspects. Now that day almost appears to have come. If nothing else, this puts a lot more doubt into what the finish of their match will be. I love it. I don’t want to be able to predict who’s going to win every match (it is part of the reason I don’t take part in the pre-PPV prediction Roundtables). I want to be kept in suspense and surprised when the finish does come. With the schedule that Triple H has worked the past couple of years, there’s no real reason for him to NEED to lose this match to Lesnar. He can still get his revenge, stay a very part-time wrestler and come back when needed. But yet, we KNOW he’s going to retire at some point so why not go out at WrestleMania? This match became much more interesting thanks to this segment and combine that with a strong under-card buildup tonight, WrestleMania 29 is taking shape and the finishes that seemed so predetermined a few weeks ago are now in doubt. And that’s definitely a good thing!