Tag Archives: Wrestlemania

10 Matches for People Who Don’t Watch Wrestling

© World Wrestling Entertainment

Wow, it has been a while since I’ve posted.

2020 hasn’t been kind to us. Some are returning to a version of normal, while others are still struggling. I’m in the middle of a 14-day quarantine after recently returning to my office for the first time since March.

I was nervous about the test results since I had some symptoms a few days after exposure. Knock on wood; my COVID test came back negative.

Like most people, my wife and I have spent a lot of time with various streaming services. My ever-growing list contains many movies and television shows that I wouldn’t have watched otherwise.

I wondered, what if I wrote a blog that might get people into professional wrestling?

There are many great matches and moments from a multitude of wrestling promotions all around the world. I stuck to WWE since it is the brand most people associate with wrestling.

This isn’t a “best-of” list. Consider this pro wrestling 101 for the uninitiated, citing ten matches that best illustrate the squared circle’s essential story elements. Continue reading

Coronavirus Slams Pro Wrestling

While many hoped the second half of the New Japan Cup could be salvaged, the remainder of the tournament has been canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Japan. The first half of the tournament was canceled last month, with the second half scheduled to occur between 3/16 and conclude on 3/21.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) announced the decision on their website following a meeting with the Japanese Health Ministry. According to CNN, Japan has come under immense international scrutiny for how they’ve handled quarantine and testing efforts. On 3/4, Japan recorded 33 new cases of the virus, which is the highest one day increase since the outbreak began.

“We apologies to fans who were looking forward to the remainder of the New Japan Cup. Ultimately, the health and safety of our fans, wrestlers and staff, as well as society at large is our utmost concern, and we will make announcements about events scheduled after March 22 upon careful monitoring of this developing situation,” The site reads

NJPW is not the only Japanese promotion to cancel events. All Japan Pro Wrestling, DDT, Stardom, and Dragon Gate have also canceled events due to the coronavirus outbreak. The cancelation of significant events across the country has prompted speculation about the status of this year’s summer games. The Olympics are scheduled to begin on 7/24 in Tokyo.

The winner of the New Japan Cup would have challenged IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito on March 31 at Sakura Genesis. In years past, the tournament winner gets to pick which title they challenge for. However, it made sense to streamline the victor’s prize since Naito holds the two top singles titles in New Japan.

New Japan already had to shift their booking plans by moving the annual G1 Climax tournament from its traditional summertime calendar to the fall due to the Olympics Games. Now, they’ve canceled the second biggest tournament of the year.

There is no word yet as to the status of Sakara Genesis on 3/31. Even if the event goes on, it will be interesting to see how New Japan adjusts since the show is built around the winner of the New Japan Cup challenging for the title. It’s kind of like holding the Royal Rumble event without a Royal Rumble match.

The Wrestling Observer noted these event cancellations hurt the Japanese wrestling promotions more that it would if WWE had to cancel their events. New Japan earns the bulk of its revenue from ticket sales while WWE is propped up by billion-dollar television contracts.

There has been talk of canceling this year’s WrestleMania in Tampa, Flordia. Despite WWE’s hefty cushion, such a cancelation would be a financial hit. WrestleMania draws a broad international audience who travels from all over the world.

WWE has stated they will not cancel the show, but that is impossible know right now. Flordia has had 20 cases of the coronavirus with the first two emanating in Tampa.

Even if New Japan took a cue from Nippon Professional Baseball and held their events in empty arenas, most, if not all the foreign talent wouldn’t be able to work the shows due to their country’s travel adversaries.

The economic impact on not just professional wrestling but the entertainment industry is a real shame. If people stop spending money, industries will suffer. In the end, health and safety are paramount. Wrestling is small potatoes in the larger scheme of things going on around the globe. Hopefully, things will improve moving forward.

Be safe out there and wash your hands.

WrestleMania Begins to Takes Shape

credit wwe.com

We’re on the road to WrestleMania 36 as the “granddaddy of them all” goes down on Sunday, April 5, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Several matches are confirmed, while others are all but official due to budding feuds on television.

Online reports, rumors, and speculation cited massive changes to the card over the last few weeks. Let’s take a look at the WrestleMania lineup, confirmed and otherwise.

-Officially Confirmed Matches

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre

WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns

NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte

John Cena vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

-Matches that are all but confirmed

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Bazler

The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles

Edge vs. Randy Orton

Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

-Speculated/Rumored Matches

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Naomi

Intercontinental Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Sheamus

Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler

If all of these matches come to fruition, along with the event’s annual Andre The Giant and Women’s Battle Royal, that will make for a total of fourteen matches.

Here’s where I make some people angry.

While it’s a nice sentiment to have every wrestler on the roster appear on the show, you don’t need every single wrestler to appear on the show. Yes, that means a lot of wrestlers wouldn’t get their moment to shine. WrestleMania is too long as it is (two-hour pre-show/four-hour main card). If the above card stands, there are already several notable names that will be relegated to a battle royal spot such as Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz, and more.

Looking at the star power of the first eight matches, that’s a stellar card with more than enough star power to excite the masses. Those eight matches also represent all of the major storylines that will play out on television between now and April 5th. Instead of squeezing as many people on the show as possible, just give us the premium goods. That way, all of the big matches will have plenty of time to tell a great story.

Ok, ok, I’ve climbed down from my soapbox. I’m done being mean. What do you think? Should WrestleMania be reserved for the most significant attractions, or should everyone get a chance to play? Make your thoughts heard in the comment section below.

Is Charlotte Flair The Problem?

WWE.COM

The world according to Becky Lynch is a beautiful place right now. She won the Royal Rumble on a Sunday and challenged Ronda Rousey the next day to set up their highly anticipated clash at WrestleMania 35.

It is undeniable Rousey vs. Lynch should be the main event of WrestleMania. However, The Wrestling Observer reported as of Monday evening; the plan is for Charlotte Flair to be included into the match, making it a triple threat. Sports Illustrated, however, is reporting the opposite.

Fan reaction to this news has been damned with faint praise. Wrestling aficionados, at their core, are traditionalists. The idea of a WrestleMania main event being anything other than a singles encounter doesn’t feel right. It dilutes the story, and three’s a crowd.

While a one on one match is the preferred choice, would Charlotte’s inclusion really be a bad thing?

Charlotte is one of the best wrestlers in the women’s division. She always has good matches, was initially groomed to be Rousey’s WrestleMania dance partner and many feel she stole at last year’s Mania when she ended Asuka’s undefeated streak.

Adding Charlotte to the Lynch/Rousey equation would make the match better than it’s already going to be. Her inclusion will only draw more heat by having two people to boo instead of one. Also, it gives Lynch a more daunting journey, making her assumed victory even sweeter.

From a business perspective, the first female WrestleMania main event featuring Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair helps WWE in the long run. Rousey is reportedly leaving the company at the end of April. It’s better to have two history-making characters to market instead of one.

In the storyline, Charlotte brutalized Rousey at Survivor Series. Rousey returned the favor at TLC  by costing both Charlotte and Lynch the SmackDown Women’s Title. There are unresolved issues between Charlotte and Rousey, and WrestleMania is the perfect place for a resolution.

Another thing to take into account is the injury Becky Lynch suffered at the hands of Nia Jax, removing her from the match at Survivor Series against Rousey. Charlotte was her replacement.

WWE.COM

The addition of Charlotte Flair improves upon the finished product. However, despite all the positives, there is still a loud voice in the wrestling consciousness that says Charlotte doesn’t belong.

After four years of Roman Reigns featured main events that never got over, WrestleMania finally has a top match everyone is excited to see. Some view Charlotte as the Roman Reigns of the women’s division because, underneath Rousey, she is the performer WWE wants to push.

The biggest problem with Charlotte’s inclusion is how do you get her into the match? WWE needs to develop a logical storyline reason on why Charlotte receives an invite to the party.

She could beat Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Title at one of the two pay per view events before Mania. Still, how would that qualify Charlotte to enter a WrestleMania main event that has already been announced?

A winner takes all match with both titles on the line is intriguing. Still, it just can’t be a title change that gets Charlotte the golden ticket. Many championships have changed hands over the years so close to WrestleMania.

Perhaps, WWE will take a roundabout route of Charlotte somehow convincing Becky Lynch into putting her title shot on the line in a match, winning that match, and Lynch somehow gets back in later on. Unfortunately, not only is that just too easy but from a character perspective, Lynch is too smart to be duped into such a match with an injured knee.

In all likelihood, there is probably a way to get Charlotte into the match that doesn’t feel like she is shoehorned in. However, WWE doesn’t evoke much confidence when it comes to creating that story. There has been a severe lack of quality control with their writing that’s led to their record low television ratings.

Shoehorning Charlotte will be akin to the referee missing the pass interference call in the NFC Championship game. Yeah, the Rams won the game, but everyone knew they didn’t belong in the Superbowl.

Does WWE really want to make Charlotte a third wheel? Yeah, probably. Why? Because Vince McMahon would inexplicably rather tell the audience what he thinks they want instead of letting them tell him what they want.

If Charlotte ends up standing across the ring from Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch on April 7th, please, feel free to boo as loud as you want. Don’t boo Charlotte, however, boo WWE for making a decision that only serves them, regardless of what the audience wants. Charlotte would be merely doing her job.

After all, would anyone turn down the biggest payday and moment of their career despite the creative optics of the situation? No, not at all.

There are more pros than cons to Charlotte’s inclusion in the Rousey/Lynch main event at WrestleMania. However, there is one con that outweighs all the pros. Wedging in an unwanted entity is undeniably what the audience doesn’t want to see.

There is no remainder to this equation. One plus one equals two. Two wrestlers who have produced a tidal wave of enthusiasm for a mano e mano showdown. Charlotte is not the problem, but, WWE’s proclivity to rebuild a perfectly gifted storyline is a big problem.