Monday, April 14, 2014

Vacation Is Over: WrestleMania XXX, WWE Network, Ultimate Warrior and the RAW after Mania

Got back in town from St. Augustine, Florida on Saturday.  We spent 8 days and 7 nights down there at the beach and it really was a cool trip.  Anyhow, I'm back and ready to discuss some wrestling.  Instead of stretching this brain dump into several different posts I figure I will put it all here.

WrestleMania XXX--This show delivered in a big way.  When you can legitimately question whether they went over the top in putting Daniel Bryan over you know that WWE did right by him.  The Authority deserves a ton of credit for going out of their way to make Bryan look as good as possible. 

It wasn't a match, but one of the coolest moments on the show was Hulk Hogan opening the show and then having "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock join him.  Even Hogan's confusion over Detroit's Silverdome and New Orleans's Superdome ended up OK because it gave the three legends something to joke about in the ring.  Really cool moment and it was great to see all three together even though they weren't active participants in the show. 

Cesaro dumping Big Show the way he did was simply amazing.  The whole concept of that battle royal is cool.  Having Hogan endorse an Andre the Giant battle royal is a neat touch to add to WrestleMania now that Hogan is back home. 

The show would have been perfect in my mind had Bray Wyatt beaten John Cena.  I understand why they didn't pull the trigger, but I think you would have more interesting storylines coming out of Mania with a Wyatt win than you did with Cena taking the match.

Last, but certainly not least you had Brock the Conquerer put an end to Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak.  It takes a lot to shock me in general and even more to shock me on a wrestling show, but this one did it.  I was confident that Taker would retire with The Streak intact.  When the referee counted three and the match was over that crowd was eerily quiet as was I.  I couldn't believe what I had seen.  I really wonder if he's done.  If so, he's done a heck of a job making The Streak meaningful and deserves a ton of credit for the work he's done at WrestleMania these last few years.

WWE Network--Being on vacation gave me a true test of WWE Network's capabilities.  I watched it on an iPad with some external speakers hooked up and I had maybe three instances of lag over the condo's wireless.  I was ready for a big Network failure, but was pleasantly surprised with the performance for an event as big as WrestleMania.

Ultimate Warrior--While I didn't think Warrior looked great at the Hall of Fame or especially on RAW Monday night I could not believe when I woke up to the news that he had passed away.  With Warrior I have to say it is one of those situations where I am able to separate his controversial statements with his on-screen character.  He was a big part of my fandom as a kid.  Heading into WrestleMania VI I was firmly in his corner for example.  His passing feels like yet another small part of my childhood passing away.

Thoughts and prayers with his family.

RAW after Mania--Good show, but not mind-blowing.  I think it was a victim of my expectations more than anything.  One takeaway is that I wouldn't mind seeing an Evolution reunion with Triple H, Batista and Orton or at least just Orton and Batista.  That would work for me.  I'm hoping tonight's show keeps my attention better.  I am curious about the Warrior memorial aspect of it.  We will see.

Conclusion--It's been a wild couple of weeks.  Hopefully WWE keeps up the solid work and the positive momentum as we move out of WrestleMania season.  Keeping Daniel Bryan looking good as champion would go a long way in that regard.  The new talent infusion looks promising as well. 

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