Over a week later and I’m still reeling from WrestleMania XXX. Did Brian Danielson actually pull the sword out of the stone? Did The Undertaker actually lose? Did Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin actually go face to face in the same ring at the same time?
WWE decided to take a break from advertising their à la cart internet cable channel to produce a wrestling show. It just happened to be the best one in five years which was the best in the five years before that and the five years before that and the five years before that. Noticing a trend? My friends @CFH_Chief and @TheFantom have heard me say multiple times that the WrestleMania’s that end in a 5 or a 0 mean more than the rest. The rest are bastard shows. The exceptions to that rule out of 30 are numbers; 1, 3, 6, 17, and 18. You can make a case for maybe one or two others, but that would be a case built upon personal bias.
- Pro Wrestling isn’t fake, the winners are just predetermined. Just ask Dr. James Andrews about that.
- Pro Wrestling is good when either it is logically predictable or something was just done that shocked the hell out of an 20,000 fans in the arena and a few million watching at home.
- Pro Wrestling is bad when it tries to be unpredictable for the sake of being unpredictable. That is why TNA Impact Wrestling has been stuck in second gear for the last six years.
WrestleMania XXX was logically predictable and shocking as hell. The best of both worlds. WrestleMania V, X, XV, XX, and XXV shared the same traits. From the battle of the Mega Powers, to the Ladder Match, to Austin vs Rock proper, to Benoit/Guerrero, to the magic of The Streak vs Mr. WrestleMania…5s and 0s mean more. Vince knows it. The boys know it. The fans know it.
The ramifications of WrestleMania XXX will literally be felt for a minimum of five years and likely for a full ten…Why?
Daniel Bryan is the new John Cena, the new Steve Austin, the new Hulk Hogan. Daniel Bryan became the last Undisputed Champion at WM XXX. He is the chosen one. He is the people’s champion. No one will emerge to unseat him for at least the next five years, more than likely we’ll have to wait eight to ten whether Vince wants to or not. Strength in numbers folks, never forget that…ever.
The Undertaker is done. He may wrestle Sting next year and have a farewell tour, but he is done. The Streak is over. The Streak has been WrestleMania for the last half decade. WWE has sold a one hour, prime time, network television special to NBC centered around the aura of The Streak since 2009. John Cena being the definition of stagnant since 2006 has meant WWE has had to lean on Taker like a crutch to make WrestleMania mean anything to the adult male audience during that time.
The Streak has also put Undertaker in the same league as Hogan and Austin. Before 2007, The Undertaker was an all time great, a legend, an icon, and a wrestling fan’s wrestler. In the last five years he has crossed the pop culture dividing line. A line only crossed by Hogan, Savage, Austin, Rock, and John Cena. We would all love to think that Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Randy Orton crossed that line too…but they didn’t. They latter are just popular wrestlers, the prior are pop culture icons.
Taker now gets to retire a brand, as big or bigger than the WrestleMania brand, a brand that is bigger than WWE. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. No professional wrestler has worked harder or longer than The Undertaker since 1991. He earned his money the hard way. He earned his one match a year schedule the right way.
But that’s all done now. He’s going to ride off into the sunset, out to pasture. WWE now must pass the torch and give the ball to the new generation. Daniel Bryan is the face of this new generation. Behind him are Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, The Shield, Bray Wyatt and definitely not Batista. The part timer fad may not be over but it is fading the face of the WWE Network profit model. No need to use big names of the past to pop a buy rate when PPVs only cost $10.
No crutch to lean 0n and no choice but to push the new generation of young talent who happen to be predominately junior heavyweight workhorses…..sounds like a reason to hope for me. How about you?