WrestleMania 31

Are we excited yet? No, really. Honestly I’m trying to determine if I was more disinterested for WrestleMania 27 than I am for this, or for WrestleMania 29. Honestly the build for those shows were probably worse than this, but it’s hard to live outside the moment right now. I guess neither show really had anything of consequence on them, and it doesn’t seem like this one will either. Is there some kind of rule that all odd numbered WrestleManias suck, post WM21? 23, 25, 27, and 29 were all bad. And this is shaping up to be no better. But I think there were matches on all of those that I was at least somewhat hyped for, and I can only think of a couple on this show that will do that for me. One of them’s going to surprise you.

I intend to tear everything about WrestleMania Play Button (Yes, WWE is so dumb that WrestleManias don’t even have numbers anymore, so I’m interchangeably calling WrestleMania 31 WrestleMania Play Button) to shreds in terms of build, in hopes that in doing so, I can go into the show with open eyes and just try to enjoy it. It just kind of sucks, really – we must have gotten super spoiled last year and we got one of the best WrestleManias of all time, with only one real blemish (read: 21-1), that going into this show – falling back into this is just disappointing. Maybe that’s why this feels so terrible, because last year’s was so good compared to what we’ve gotten in recent years. But yea, I’ve tried to avoid writing about anything related to wrestling since Fast Lane so I could just dump all of my anger, disinterest, etc., into this post. Is anyone aware of the Youtube Channel “Cinema Sins?” Well, consider this post “Everything Wrong with WrestleMania Play Button.”


Fatal 4-Way for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
(c) Uppercats (c) vs. New Day vs. Los Matadores vs. The Usos
Uppercats vs. New Day vs. Matadores vs. Usos (WWE World Tag Team Championship)

You see what they did here, right? They took last year’s exact preshow match and put it on this year’s preshow, just replacing the one and a half tag teams from last year with different ones. The Usos, Los Matadores, and Cesaro (as part of the Real Americans), were in the same Fatal Four Way Title Match on the WM30 preshow, and there’s only a difference because Rybaxel doesn’t exist anymore and Cesaro is in a different tag team. And the champions are heels and it’s not elimination. So nice to know these guys did so well last year that they’re stuck back in the same place, right? And seriously, what are New Day and especially the Matadors even doing in this match? What have they done to deserve it? WM should have matches with story behind them – not matches with as many people in it as possible just so they can all get a paycheck. That’s what the battle royal is for – the jobbers. As much as I want the Uppercats to win – what’s the point? Who cares? Where’s the direction? It’s just going to be more pointless matches between these four teams! You did such a great job with the Ascension! You know, that tag team from NXT that should be squashing the APA on this PPV, but are just stuck in the battle royal after being relegated to Superstars for a month? Yea, them. Oh, and the Prime Time Players came back, despite no one missing them. I’m sticking with Uppercats to retain, though, as one of the Usos is hurt – if he wasn’t, I was totally going with the Usos just so they could win the belts and dance at WM with their father since he’s going into the Hall of Fame, because it’s all about those WrestleMania moments for the ones that always win.

Prediction: Uppercats

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Because the first one turned out SO WELL for Cesaro. Just ask him. Granted, I guess he has a title belt, but considering at one point they were considering CESARO VS. BROCK LESNAR FOR THE WWE TITLE ON THIS PPV (Early plans last April), a match that would be infinitely better than this show’s main event, btw, it’s kind of pathetic that he’s in a tag title match on the preshow. Again. BUILDING NEW STARS FOR THE WIN!! So why should we get excited about how they’ll book the winner of this one? Hell, why are we even doing another one? We didn’t need this to be an annual thing. It was cool for last year since it was WM30, but are we really going to honor Andre the Giant every WrestleMania now? Can we at least make it the memorial battle royal of the top inductee of the year’s Hall of Fame class? Why not? Anyways – who’s even in this of relevance? No, seriously – I’ve skipped over all the segments that pertained to this. Doesn’t this come down to only one possible winner, Damien Sandow? I don’t really care that a Miz/Sandow match didn’t end up on this card – as much as I’m ready for Sandow to break away from the Miz – where’s he going to go after that? The impersonation gimmick will be over. Once he’s his own man, how are they going to sustain his popularity? I’ve just got a feeling he’s going to get lost in the shuffle like basically everyone. But he’s going to win. Originally I thought they’d need to fill half the spots with NXT guys to have enough entrants, but apparently we’re only going to get one – the winner of a tournament involving Adrian Neville, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, and Tyler Breeze. It’ll either be Neville because he’s the closest to being called up (it could actually be him getting called up, too) or Balor for his entrance. If the battle royal guys get entrances, this year, that is. And if he does it. I want that entrance at WM ASAP – honestly if it were to happen, it would probably be the thing I am looking forward to most on this show. I am not kidding. (Pause for Finn Balor’s entrance music appreciation……I’ll wait for you to go listen to it………So good.) Anyways. I’m kind of sad Sami Zayn isn’t even an option, but I’d still want Balor more, not going to lie.

Prediction: Damien Sandow

A.J. Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins
A.J. Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins
Can I be honest with you? I shit you not, I might be looking forward to this match more than most anything on this card, barring two matches. A basically meaningless tag team match. I guess it’s probably irrelevant to most fans, but A.J. and Paige are a big part of why I watch the shows these days. (Or at least, when they’re on tv, I’m not fast forwarding.) This is one of the few things WWE has done right for this show. I know it’s not a title match, but I don’t care. It’s at least got meaning for me. It’s a perfect representation of what the women’s division in WWE is right now. A.J. and Paige, the women with actual talent, against the useless Bella Twins that somehow have a pathetic fan base because of a dumb reality show. If you go on social media and try to find anything related to A.J. and Paige, half of it is intelligent wrestling fans praising them and half of it is Bella fans who don’t really know as much about wrestling as they seem to think they do hating on them, wishing they were dead. Because, in a world where people are better than your favorites, it’s important to hope they die. These are the kinds of people who are Bella Twin fans. The ones that say “Nikki carried Paige to a good match,” showing that they don’t know the definition of “carry.” To carry someone, you first have to be superior to your opponent, and since Nikki could never be superior to Paige in any possible way, it’s clear that Nikki can’t carry her. It in fact shows Paige is one of those wrestlers who can have a good match with a broomstick. It’s too bad we couldn’t get that A.J. vs. Stephanie feud to happen, though, to show Brie what her feud would have been like had she known how to cut a good promo. Now, the Bellas are better than they used to be – that much isn’t deniable – but that doesn’t mean they are suddenly these amazing wrestlers. I think they’ve improved enough that I should stop saying that “One of them has no talent, and the other has less, but I’m not sure which one’s which” and I should start saying “One of them has no talent, and the other has less, and I do know which one’s which.” (It pains me to say it, but Brie is the one with the less talent, as much as I’d prefer it to be the other way around. But Nikki is just way too hateable to not consider her the better heel.) And seriously, they just come off dumber and dumber every time they’re on commentary, don’t they? And can we please stop pretending that Nikki’s forearm is a devastating maneuver? It’s a forearm. Anyways, A.J. and Paige to win, then one wins the title at Extreme Rules.

Prediction: A.J. Lee and Paige

WWE. U.S. Championship
Rusev (c) vs. John Cena

Rusev vs. John Cena (WWE U.S. Championship)
Look. And I mean, look closely. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that I’m trying as hard as I can to care just enough about Rusev to not want his first loss to be against John Cena. I’m trying really hard. I just can’t do it. Rusev is just way too boring to me. I’ve never cared. I fast forward through most of his segments. He’s basically just new Big Show to me. WOOHOO Anti-American gimmicks for the win! And Cena’s got to stop him because ‘Murica! Because, you know, all of the American Exceptionalism and shit. Rusev brings up valid points….We don’t care, we’re ‘Murica! Remember when I came up with a way better idea that would have made Jack Swagger, of all people, really over? You know, back when they had their feud in the summer, Rusev should’ve beaten the living hell out of Swagger, putting him on the shelf, then Rusev wins the U.S. Title and continues to go undefeated through Fast Lane, where Swagger returns and beats him for the belt at WM, and BOOM, big star??? Yea, that would’ve been SO MUCH BETTER. (AND I hate Jack Swagger, so yea.) But alas, we’re here. And I just don’t care. When Rusev is on my tv I fast forward. When Cena is on my tv I fast forward most of the time. I have basically no time for them. And as much as I want to be all “OMG CENA’S GOING TO BURY HIM!”, Rusev doesn’t get that luxury. Because, let’s be honest, if we needed an example, let’s just take Bray Wyatt as an example. Feuding with Cena did SO WELL for him. Granted, the loss to Cena at Mania was actually the best part of their feud. It was the rest of it that made him look terrible. It kind of sucks that he lost at WM, but it was a good match, and he didn’t look bad from it. He looked worst in his victory over Cena than in either of his losses, to be truthful. But anyways. I’d just like to point out that there are going to be people in the crowd that hate Cena so much that they’re going to be rooting for Rusev. I’m just saying – WWE, what you do with your booking of Cena is your prerogative, but with his character only getting more and more stale, there are going to be people who are going to BE CHEERING AN ANTI-AMERICAN GIMMICK over John Cena. IS THAT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT??? Honestly, what is Cena going to do with the U.S. Title? Make it spin again? (Also, you know who would’ve been a good option to beat Rusev first? Roman Reigns. Then have him have a title reign. Then build him to a World Title next year.)

Prediction: John Cena

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
So this match is happening. Remember when Seth Rollins was extremely hated and people couldn’t wait for him to get his ass kicked? Yea, those were some good times. That overbooked to hell Table match with Cena really killed his heat, outside of that one awesome segment where he got the Authority back. He’s just been losing so many matches since then – yea, his performance in that triple threat was great, but was he really done since then? Months ago I was positive he would cash in at the end of this PPV. Now? I doubt it. As for Orton…….Meh. They dragged out his return for so long after that great segment where Rollins put him on a movie set,  and once they did they had Orton re-join the Authority for three weeks just to do a long con before beating the shit out of Rollins. But, this match is so Orton can get his “revenge” on Rollins?? HE ALREADY GOT IT. Rollins needs the win here – if you want to do the right thing, Rollins wins. But I just don’t feel like that will happen. (This is turning into “The Faces Win.”) (Also remember this could be an Ambrose/Rollins rematch.)

Prediction: Randy Orton

Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
So much good talent in this match…..And R-Truth. This is the proverbial “Creative’s got nothing for you” match for the show. I’m going to go through all of the competitors here one by one.

R-Truth: When did he regain his relevance? Was he ever relevant? I don’t understand. Outside of that one moment where he gave Daniel Bryan the belt and started doing the Yes chant, which was admittedly hilarious, I just don’t get it.

Stardust: I would say I’m disappointed that we’re not getting a Stardust/Goldust match, but considering Cody himself doesn’t want that match, I can’t be that annoyed. I’m not sure if I’m happy with Stardust continuing on after Little Gold Star broke up, but he would probably get lost in the shuffle even more as Cody. It just sucks to me, really, considering he’s deserved to be main event level since 2012. I still remember when Dolph and Cody were stuck in one MITB ladder match that year because the Raw one was stupidly for only former champions, where both Dolph and Cody should’ve had briefcases that year. But I guess I wouldn’t mind if he won this – it would be somewhat interesting if he had the belt as Stardust.

Luke Harper: I also wouldn’t mind if Harper got the title back to give him some direction. (Although I just thought of a Harper/Stardust tag team which would amuse me, although it would be dumb to put them both right back in the tag division. Well, the Wyatts never should’ve broken up but that’s a different story.) Anyways, I really like Harper and don’t like his current lack of direction so a win here would make me happy.

Bad News Barrett: Remember when BNB was over? Like, very popular? Good times, right? He doesn’t even do his catchphrase anymore. He’s the champion and I have the least to say about him.

Dolph Ziggler: Remember that time Dolph won that Survivor Series main event for his team after being down 3 against 1? Yea, that was a good time. Remember when he said multiple times that he was going to become “the man” in 2015? Yea, me too. Remember when he should have won the Royal Rumble? I do. Remember when he had a built in feud for WrestleMania with either John Cena, because he won that Survivor Series main event for his team but Cena got the glory, and Dolph was even fired at one point. Or a built in feud with Triple H for WM because he won the Survivor Series main event for his team – he is the one responsible for ousting the Authority, not Sting – and Triple H fired him. Remember all of that?? I do. It’s hard for me to want him to win the IC Title AGAIN when he should be doing bigger and better things.

Dean Ambrose: For all intents and purposes, Dean is the one that should win this match. This was his feud that was hijacked by five other people. Granted, Dean’s reasoning for wanting the title is silly, as he just wants his face on the wall of champions or something. (Because, you know, he never won that U.S. title.) But he should be the one to win. End of story. As much as it’s preposterous that Ambrose has fallen from main eventing Hell in a Cell with Seth Rollins in the hottest feud of 2014 (except arguably Bryan vs. the Authority) to the usually pointless IC Title, it should still be his moment. (That Ambrose/Wyatt feud did nothing good for Ambrose.) Also, can we go back to Dean’s real finisher, and not this silly DDT?

Daniel Bryan: Now look, I’m a Daniel Bryan fan, but I am not a Daniel Bryan or bust fan. Bryan not being in the main event isn’t the end of the fucking world. Is Bryan/Lesnar a better match option that Reigns/Lesnar? Absolutely. Should they have gone that direction? Absolutely. But once they went with Reigns, they had to stick with him. There comes a point where WWE has to put their foot down, and in this instance, I have to support it. I don’t support their decision to initially pick Reigns to win the Rumble, but once they did, they have to stick with it. Fans can’t be allowed to think “OH WE DON’T LIKE IT SO WE WILL BITCH UNTIL YOU CHANGE IT.” It was fine last year. In fact it was awesome last year. As much as it wasn’t planned, the protesting until they changed it actually felt like an organic part of the storyline and it’s part of why WM30 was so awesome. Doing it again just because you didn’t get your way would be bullshit. Last year Bryan was screwed. It made sense. This year, while it wasn’t a good decision, Bryan wasn’t screwed. He was in the Rumble. And he lost. WWE fucked up, and they have to own that fuck up, and they will pay for that with the crowd reaction they’re going to get for their main event. They made their bed, and they will lay in it. It’s no doubt Bryan is still the most popular star in the company. I was still rooting for Dolph to win the Rumble to begin with, anyway.  It’s too bad they’re not having a singles match, also, as that was rumored. But then the Daniel Bryan fans would be pissed if he lost to a ZigZag. Like they were on Raw. Because, you know, the ZigZag hasn’t been Dolph’s established finisher since 2008. What, because Daniel Bryan is your precious that means he can’t lost to someone’s finisher? So Dolph would have to hit, what? 17 finishers to beat him? Please. Get over yourselves. I really hope Bryan doesn’t win this, for the sake of he should be in World Title feuds and it’ll just feel like “Hey crowd, here’s a consolation prize! Please don’t boo the main event!” It is sad, though, that they couldn’t at least give Bryan something of actual importance. He should have a match with Rollins or Cena.

Wild Card – Sheamus: Sheamus could end up returning in this match, which is fine. But that report I read that said 1) he will be heavily cheered, which is hilariously dumb considering he hasn’t been over since 2011, and 2), will cost Bryan the match and then win, resulting in a Bryan/Sheamus feud, is ridiculously stupid, considering NO ONE WANTS A BRYAN/SHEAMUS FEUD.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
The only other match they didn’t do anything wrong with the year. The only thing missing from this match that’s stopping it from seeming epic is the Streak being over. Put it this way – Bray Wyatt should have ended the Streak. The reasons are obvious. Brock certainly didn’t need it. It should’ve been used to create a star. And Bray Wyatt is the modern day Undertaker. But we’re where we’re at, so it doesn’t matter anymore. That being said, I’m fine with how this is being built – it’s kind of like the Taker vs. Kane build for WM20, only Wyatt wants this. I don’t mind Taker not showing up, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t have liked more random, supernatural shit during the build. The match itself – it should be awesome. Ideally the match would’ve been next year, with the Streak still intact and Wyatt with two WM victories (1 vs. Cena, 1 vs. Bryan or someone popular), and Wyatt would’ve won and Taker would retire. But now that the Streak is over – Bray Wyatt MUST win. There is no debate. Without the Streak, Taker’s just Taker. What does giving Undertaker a victory now do? Let him go 21-2, and then have him beat Sting next year and retire at 22-2 because, you know, 222 will always stalk me. We already had one build up of Bray Wyatt only for him to fall off a cliff, and now he’s finally started to recover from it – a loss to Undertaker isn’t something he needs right now. But I don’t think it will happen.

Prediction: Undertaker

Sting vs. Triple H
Sting vs. Triple H
Let me ask you all something. Does anyone actually care? Honestly – I just don’t give a fuck about Sting. Maybe it has to do with me thinking Dolph Ziggler belongs in this spot against Triple H that makes me not care. It’s not that I don’t like Sting, because that isn’t true – I watched TNA for 6 years (2006-2010, 2011-2012) and I liked him there. His TNA theme is far superior than whatever he has now, btw. But there’s really no one in WWE that I’m dying to see him face, except maybe Bray Wyatt. And they’re trying to make this about WCW in 2015 which is as ridiculous as Sting said it was on Raw Monday. And for a while it was just Triple H saying he was going to “confront Sting” and then he confronted Sting about confronting him to which Sting responded to his confronting him about confronting him and then Triple H responded to Sting responding to him confronting him about confronting him. And Triple H has been punked out by Sting multiple times now, so, again, who cares?

Prediction: Sting

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Let me tell you one thing – this match must seem so irrelevant that I just realized now I forgot to save the picture for this match when I saved them all last night. Great build to your WrestleMania main event, clearly. Anyways – I’m glad I paused halfway through this post and waited a night to finish it, because it was announced today that Lesnar re-signed with WWE, so it’s not quite as predictable now. Look, the amount of talk about how bad this match is going to be that I’ve heard from all the Youtube guys and podcasts that I listen to is immense. And I’m not sure I have the energy to talk about everything that is wrong with this. Reigns isn’t over. Reigns can’t talk that well. Reigns still thinks he’s in the Shield. Reigns hasn’t beaten any legit main eventers except Randy Orton. Reigns isn’t ready. All of that is true. He also is stupid if he thinks we can’t criticize him just because we don’t know how to “lock up.” I’m no chef but I know if food is bad. I’m no actor but I’ve seen plenty of bad acting – like Roman Reigns or the Bella Twins. My question is this – is this the worst built WM main event ever? I mean, as much as I’m sure this match will be better than Cena vs. Miz, the build to that wasn’t bad – but I guess that was mainly due to the Rock. Anyways – now that Brock is staying, I guess him retaining is a possibility, and hopefully he will. It will make Reigns’ “I can, I will” shirt look even stupider. Any adult male wearing that shirt from now on will be looked upon with the same ire as those who are bros wearing Chive shirts.  I want Lesnar to retain, or even moreso, I want Rollins to cash in and win.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

So there you have it – my predictions and everything wrong with WrestleMania Play Button. At this point I’m just ready for it to be over and to look ahead to Extreme Rules in Chicago.

#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #BalorClub #FightOwensFight #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT