All you really need to know about how bad WCW was is that they had the chance to have the rematch of one of the biggest main events in Wrestlemania history, Hogan vs Warrior, and they decided to do it at goddamn Halloween Havoc in Las Vegas with a PRESENTED BY SNICKERS CANDY BARS logo on the mat. And because it was a WCW Match, it of course ended with the heels going over and the babyface getting buried. If you want to see what happens in a wrestling company when the heels win way too often, check out WCW. It was just one of the myriad stupid problems that led to their downfall.
Always the matches that should have been huge, but either presented in the wrong way or on the wrong stage. Like Goldberg winning the World Title off of Hulk Hogan on a random episode of Thunder. That was the launching point for Goldberg and WCW gave it away on free TV (and on their B-Show no less) with only a few days of buildup.
Or what about Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan? As a kid I always dreamed of this match happening, and I consistently scratch my head about why this match never happened the right way on the right stage. It should have been a Wrestlemania or Starrcade main event. Yet the only time any version of it ever happened was on a random episode of WCW Nitro, with a screwjob finish that was really about Hogan & Bret both turning heel to lure Sting to the ring so they could kick his ass.
Even the old guy is surprised how well that worked.
I know I don’t usually Instagram my food, but….THIS BURGER I JUST MADE: 1/2 lb grass fed beef, red bell pepper, lettuce, thousand island, avocado, ketchup, cholula, blue cheese, pepper. HERE I COME GOD
It feels like almost once a week now I get an email from one website or another, saying basically "yeah so um, some shit went down, and, everything is probably cool, but um….yeah you should probably change your password."
Funny when you think about it—-The Ultimate Warrior is such a legendary iconic character from wrestling history, and he only ever held the title once. Won it at Wrestlemania 6 in April 1990, and then lost it nine months later at Royal Rumble 1991. Never won the title again. How many other one-time champions from history are there who were as big as Warrior was?
I can’t get enough of Robocop GIFs. For some reason I always automatically think they are awesome
(Source: olgashine, via filthmonster)
The Warrior has returned to parts unknown.
Now that I have had a night to sleep on it, and for the shock to wear off, I am going to write a “devil’s advocate” counterpoint to my post last night where I called the Lesnar victory one of the most horrible booking decisions in the history of pro wrestling.
What if this was actually the right call by WWE? Let’s examine the case for the opposite point of view to what I wrote last night:
- Undertaker clearly wanted the streak to end. Undertaker obviously can exercise some level of veto power over what is done with his character at this stage in his career. Last night would not have happened if Undertaker was not 100% on board with it.
- Brock Lesnar was the ONLY logical choice to do it. Think about it. I hate Brock Lesnar. Lots of fans hate Brock Lesnar. With the streak ending the way it did, there was going to be fan uproar and outrage no matter who beat Undertaker. Brock Lesnar’s character can absorb that hatred. It adds to his character. It doesn’t “ruin” his persona. If Cena or HBK or someone else broke the streak, there is a huge risk that the fan backlash would irreparably damage that character. Lesnar is a mega-heel who loves that everyone hates him, and being “the no good son of a bitch who snapped the streak” only makes you despise Lesnar even more. His character and legacy are thus enhanced by this and not damaged.
- Any hints that the streak was coming to an end would have made the moment less memorable. I complained in my previous post that the buildup to Lesnar-Taker was a generic, paint-by-numbers, cookie-cutter Undertaker feud. Nothing special whatsoever. All the classic plot points were hit—Taker’s opponent insisting “he’s not afraid” only to be rattled and visibly shaken when the coffins and druids come out, and so on and so on. All things we’ve seen a million times before. Perhaps this was by design—the entire angle just lulled us all to sleep, and let us all assume the victory was in the bag for Undertaker, because surely if the Streak would ever be broken, it would be by Sting, right? When the 3 was counted, no one expected it or saw it coming. WWE waited quite a long time after the match before finally playing Lesnar’s theme music, which was a great move—-they let the silence really drive everything home so the moment could sink in. This insantly became one of the most memorable moments in the history of Wrestlemania and pro wrestling, and it would have been far less memorable and far less talked-about if it were something that fans were prepared for.
- Give the match quality a pass. I really did not enjoy the match. I commented last night that it was slow and muddling, and did not really build much tension. Maybe some of that was by design, but reports came out this morning confirming that Undertaker was concussed during the match and had to be taken to the hospital afterwards. If that is accurate, then I am dropping my complaint about the match quality; you can’t in your right mind expect a 5-star match from someone who just got a concussion.
So there you have it. I wrote one blog post last night hating on the decision, and one blog post here defending the decision. Which side will everyone take? When this is further behind us in the history books and we talk about this years from now, which side will we feel was ultimately right?
…WWE was on the verge of “making things right” with the fans after the debacle that was the 2014 Royal Rumble, the Streak ends. It feels like Vince & the creative team were in the back having a sweaty shaky breakdown, like heroin addicts going through withdrawal. They couldn’t let one single ppv go by without throwing in one thing that royally pisses off everybody.
A night that should have been all about Daniel Bryan was overshadowed by (and I do not say this lightly) one of the most horrible booking decisions in the history of pro wrestling.
Everyone on the internet was paranoid that “the worst” would happen—that Daniel Bryan wouldn’t walk away with the championship tonight, and that everyone would leave Wrestlemania in disgust, that the creative team botched what should have been an iconic moment, yet again. It turns out we were all preparing for THE WRONG DISASTER SCENARIO.
I’m not opposed to the idea of the streak ending. Undertaker isn’t even one of my all-time favorites. But I still respect the importance and value of the angle that is “The Streak,” and why you would blow it on something like this is absolutely beyond me. There were
three four things horribly wrong here:
- Ending the Streak TONIGHT. There have been other Wrestlemanias where Undertakers’ match was the most hyped match on the show. Tonight’s Wrestlemania was billed to be Daniel Bryan’s big night, and having something like this happen only took away from what should have been the launching point for your new big star. Undertaker is a part-time wrestler, so it’s not like this was needed to launch Taker into some new fresh angle. Lesnar is a part-time wrestler, so it’s not like this was needed for his career either. If Undertaker’s streak was going to end, it should end on a night when that feels like the most important match on the show GOING IN.
- BROCK LESNAR ending the Streak tonight. This is the most common thing I’m reading from all over the internet based on early fan reaction online, and I am in agreement. Of all the people Undertaker has faced at Wrestlemania, why is Brock the one who does it? Was it just a case of “right place, right time”? Did Undertaker decide he was done, and he was cool with the streak being broken, and was going to put over whoever they ended up putting him with this year? Ric Flair, HHH, HBK, Edge, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Batista…but of all of those people, Brock is the one who gets the win. What this means for the annual “Sting vs Undertaker” rumors I have no idea.
- Brock Lesnar ending the Streak tonight AFTER THIS MEDIOCRE BUILDUP. Nothing in any of the Brock/Taker segments over the last several weeks of WWE programming got me excited for the match to begin with. This feud felt completely phoned in and half-assed. It was a very cookie-cutter, paint by numbers Undertaker feud. The mind games, Taker hiding in the coffin, the Druids, the hyperbole about the greatness of the Streak, etc etc….it was a generic Undertaker feud. Nothing about it placed any single seeds of doubt in fans’ minds about the outcome of the match, the way it’s happened in previous years. People thought HHH or HBK might break it. I personally had a weird suspicion Randy Orton would break it at Wrestlemania 21. This year, it felt almost like a foregone conclusion. People weren’t going in preparing themselves to possibly see the end of the Streak, and thus when it ended, fans did not have any respect for it. If the Streak is going to end, it should be in a way that the fans would be onboard with, and with a fanfare that the culmination of the Streak would deserve. To quote Michael Cole, “NOT—THIS—WAYYYYYY!!”
- Brock Lesnar ending the Streak tonight after this mediocre buildup AND BORING MATCH. That’s the final insult. The subpar feud failed to create doubt about the outcome of the match, and the match ITSELF failed to create doubt. It was a slow, plodding match that never got exciting. Both guys just kind of lumbered along at a snail’s pace, and looked tired from the moment the bell rang. The crowd didn’t get sucked into it feeling like the stakes were high and everything was on the line. People just sat back, clapped for Taker on occasion, cheered the occasional nice move, and waited for the match to wrap up so they could get to the main event. Instead, Undertaker gets pinned for the 3-count and the air completely gets sucked out of the arena. The poor Divas had to FOLLOW that with their match, and the crowd was still in shock. I know the Divas match is traditionally a Wrestlemania “audience recovery match” between 2 big intense matches, to give the crowd a chance to recover with something light/fun, but….making the Divas go out there so quickly after what had just happened felt really cruel to all of them.
I’m not sure what else to say here. As I mentioned, Undertaker isn’t among my top all-time favorites so I’m not feeling the same level of stinging pain & emotion that a lot of people are, but as a lifelong Bret Hart fan I absolutely know the feeling when you watch your all-time favorite wrestler just get royally screwed.
This was my attempt to be calm, leave the kneejerk outrage & disgust to the side, and analyze why this was a terrible booking decision. Something isn’t necessarily bad booking if it sends fans into an uproar—sometimes that’s actually a sign of great booking. But this? This was just a complete mis-handling. I’m not going to say the Streak never should have ended, I’ll just say that if they were going to end it, they should have done a hell of a lot better job pulling it off.