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[VIDEO] Squared Circle Six Pack: Wrestlemania XXX Edition

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(Credit: Beau Le Blanc/CBS Local)

(Credit: Beau Le Blanc/CBS Local)

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Rest In Peace Ultimate Warrior

I was beyond sad to learn of Jim “The Ultimate Warrior” Hellwig’s untimely passing this morning, he had literally just had the biggest weekend of his career since retiring, being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, appearing on-stage at Wrestlemania XXX and even delivered a heartfelt speech to his fans on Raw for the first time in 18 years. I was never the biggest fan of The Ultimate Warrior growing up and all the rumors made him out to be somewhat of a headcase, but you can’t deny that he was everything pro-wrestling should be. From his music, to the way he would run to the ring and shake the ropes, the neon colored tassels and facepaint, and especially his over the top promos (as confusing as they occasionally were) are what made him a legend, hall of famer and one of the greats of the business. It’s especially sad that it happened the very week he seemingly had made up with the organization and was finally getting the official recognition he deserved. My thoughts are with the wife and children he leaves behind as 54 is way too young. Rest in peace.

Wrestlemania 30 Recap

Boy, were my predictions wrong, only ones I got right were; The Usos retaining, The Shield defeating Kane and The New Age Outlaws (though I didn’t envision a squash) and Daniel Bryan winning both his matches. Still in shock over The Undertaker losing to Lesnar and thus ending “The Streak,” but more on that in a bit. I watched the pre-show and the event on the WWE Network and aside from an audio issue before the Tag Title match and a couple hiccups it performed admirably, so kudos to them. Speaking of the pre-show, while I was saddened to see the dissolution of The Real Americans, Cesaro is mega-over right now and looks to be the next big thing. Wrestlemania  XXX’s open was perfect, to see three different megastars like Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock toasting the WWE’s biggest show was an amazing sight and a great way to kick off a celebration of the show’s three decades. Rivaled only by The Undertaker’s loss, Bray Wyatt losing to John Cena was a shock to me. John Cena’s invincible, a loss at Wrestlemania wouldn’t have hurt him or tarnished his “legacy,” so why not give The Wyatt Family the rub? Though, judging from their reception the next night on Raw, it may be tough to keep the Wyatts as villains for long. Unsurprisingly it was a huge night for Daniel Bryan, finally getting to the top, he took an unbelievable Batista Bomb/RKO spot through the Spanish Announce table, competed in two matches and had the entire stadium chantin “YES!” as the confetti rained down.

The End of The Streak

I was of the mindset that, “The Streak,” Undertaker’s undefeated record at Wrestlemania should stand the test of time and should be one of his many accomplishments that he carries with him into retirement. So, after watching Brock Lesnar hit his third F-5 on the Deadman, I thought, “he’ll kick out of this one, plant Brock with a Tombstone and 22-0 will come across the screen and we’ll all go home happy.” That was not the case, as the 70,000 plus in the Superdome went into stunned silence, some allegedly leaving the arena. Almost all of them failing to really comprehend what they had just seen until Justin Roberts came over the PA to announce Brock Lesnar as the winner. While I may not have wanted to see “The Streak” end, I can see why WWE felt it was time to hang it up. They even quasi-teased it by having the 22nd casket reading “Brock Lesnar,” burst into flames during ‘Taker’s entrance. The Undertaker, despite only wrestling one match a year, has certainly lost a step and clearly doesn’t hit the weights as much as he once did. I’ll also agree with many, who don’t see why the WWE would give such a historic win to a guy who’s only a part-timer, CM Punk would’ve been a logical choice to end it last year, so why not him? I suspect with “The Streak” now ended, that’s the last we’ll see of The Undertaker as a competitor, and will most likely headline the 2015 class of Hall of Famers. He’s one of the few guys almost universally beloved in all of Pro-Wrestling and deserves a heartfelt thank you from the business and the fans alike.

Over The Top Entrances

One of my favorite parts of Wrestlemania is the special ring entrances superstars make, from Michaels coming down the zipline, to John Cena running past an army of clones or driving a Mustang through the stage, they really add extra grandeur to the show of shows. Triple H’s golden armored “King of Kings” entrance was everything I wanted it to be, from his skull mask with crown, spiked shoulder pads and the harem of women on his moving throne, it really sold him as the guy standing in Daniel Bryan’s way. Bray Wyatt’s entrance with a voodoo fire dancer accompanied by Mark Crozer and The Rels, playing the Wyatts’ music, in voodoo paint and bird masks added to the False Prophet’s mystique. I thought Randy Orton coming out to live music wasn’t as great because the audio didn’t seem to be mixed right and it also led to Batista not having his traditional pyro display. Undertaker’s entrance is always impressive, but having 22 caskets line the stage with all his victims’ names was a special touch. While they’re still secondary to the in-ring action, the special costumes and entrances are always a Wrestlemania highlight for me.

Monday Night Raw Post-Wrestlemania

This is traditionally the WWE’s biggest Raw of the year, as it’s typically when they hit the “reset button” and look to build the feuds and rivalries heading into next year’s ‘Mania. It’s also when a lot of new stars make their debuts and this year was no different. We saw the in-ring debut of  The Bulgarian Brute Alexander Rusev, who looks like a cold war throwback, but has the size and skill to become a force in the next few months. His manager Lana has been playing her role perfectly and I’m thrilled to see the manager make a comeback in the WWE. When it comes to managing, nobody does it like Paul Heyman, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan sill holds the crown in my eyes, but I wouldn’t fault you for saying Heyman. He had people booing him out of the building while talking about Lesnar’s destruction of The Undertaker, to then getting a huge ovation as Cesaro announced that he had aligned himself with the former head of ECW. Every time Paul gets on the mic it’s gold, so while Lesnar may be gone, it’ll be great to see him talking up the International Superpower, Cesaro. AJ Lee surprisingly retained her Divas Championship at Wrestlemania and as she crowed about her historic reign we were treated to the debut of NXT Women’s Champ Paige, who then went on to win the Divas Championship in an impromptu match. The Divas division needed a shake-up, and while I thought a member of E!’s Total Divas would be the logical choice, a newcomer will probably add just as much drama. Paige is beloved by NXT fans, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the “Anti-Diva” has in store. It was good to see Batista and Randy Orton on the same page in dismantling The Usos and aligned with Triple H in what looks like Evolution 2.0. Hopefully the fans will appreciate that Batista isn’t just coming back for a cup of coffee and to promote a movie. The Shield also finally broke away from The Authority and are now full fledged faces and will take that next step, and while the WWE clearly realizes they have three stars on their hands, I hope the unit stays together for the foreseeable future. The future is bright in the WWE and if Monday Night was any indication, they’re in a great place.

Jeff Jarrett Announces Global Force Wrestling Promotion

Jeff Jarrett, former WWE and WCW superstar and  former founder of Total Nonstop Action wrestling announced his new project after weeks of teases, Global Force Wrestling. While details are scarce at this time, Jarrett promises that his organization will be a viable alternative to the WWE’s juggernaut and engage fans more than any promotion in the past. He had some success with TNA, but it still struggles to be as relevant as the WWE despite having had icons like Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Sting and Kurt Angle work in their promotion for years. He has long since severed ties with TNA, but his 2012 success in India with Ring ka King probably made him feel like a more globalized product was the way to compete. I agree with the notion that there’s certainly enough room in the marketplace for more than one wrestling company, but there’s nothing Vince McMahon loves more than besting his competitors, so it remains to be seen how this will shake out.

The Squared Circle Six Pack is a weekly reflection on occurrences in and outside the ring of Pro-Wrestling by our resident wrestling fan, Beau “El Diablo Blanco” Le Blanc

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