Is Pro-Wrestling Cool Again?
Sure, it was Wrestlemania week, but it seemed like every major media outlet and platform was talking WWE. ESPN had Lesnar announcing he was re-signing with the WWE with Michelle Beadle, Sportscenter ran a re-cap of the show of shows during their broadcast. Celebrities were all over Levi’s stadium. People on twitter couldn’t believe this many people were talking about pro wrestling! Gripe about it not being “real” all you want, it’s one of the hottest entertainment properties out there today.
Seth Rollins Your New WWE World Heavyweight Champion
The biggest news to come out of Wrestlemania was clearly Seth Rollins cashing in his “Money in the Bank” Briefcase and turning the title match into a three-way dance, then curb stomping both Lesnar and Reigns to pick up the company’s biggest prize. I’ve predicted Seth cashing in at several Pay Per View Events, and this was no different, but while it seemed somewhat inevitable they somehow managed to surprise us again. Cashing in to enter a match in-progress was a new one on me and reminded me of how shocking the first ever cash-in attempt by Edge was way back in 2006. Also, the decision to have Seth get the pinfall on Reigns instead of Lesnar was the clear choice, as Lesnar can always claim he technically never lost his title. Hence Brock’s anger in the above clip when Rollins refuses to give him a rematch at Raw. Steph suspending Lesnar is the perfect angle to keep him off TV. It’ll give Seth a chance to establish his reign (a feud with Orton to start) and will further showcase The Authority’s efforts to keep their golden boy the face of the WWE.
Wrestlemania 31 Fallout
We have new Intercontinental and United States Champions in Daniel Bryan and John Cena. Sting and Triple H had one of the coolest confrontations in Wrestlemania history as each were backed by attitude era staples Degeneration X and the n.W.o. Sting SHOULD HAVE WON, and so should have Bray Wyatt, but it’s hard to root against The Undertaker. Nice to see Paige get a W in her Wrestlemania debut, even if AJ technically recorded the submission, but I’m thinking the Bella twins era may be coming to a close. Rollins lost to Orton, not that it mattered, but damn, how cool was that RKO? It won’t do much for the Big Show career-wise but letting a giant win the Andre The Giant Memorial battle Royale makes sense. Not to mention, the real storyline was Mizdow eliminating The Miz and their feud finally kicking off in earnest. All in all, it was anything but the worst Wrestlemania of all time. My only major gripes was the daylight of west coast time sucked some of the darkness out of Undertaker and Wyatt’s match and while Triple H’s entrance was otherworldly, it was somewhat cheapened by being such an obvious piece of Terminator: Genisys (eww) promotion.
Ronda Rousey: The Next Big Thing
She was soo over with the crowd at the event, in my living room and online, it’s a shame the UFC and WWE act like they don’t like each other. Ronda Rousey would be HUGE for the WWE, she has crossover fans, is a fan herself and she could very easily become the Brock Lesnar of the Divas division. The only thing holding her back, is the rest of her MMA career, but provided she can stay healthy, there’s no reason she couldn’t step inside the squared circle after leaving the octagon. I’m hoping this is leading to an upcoming angle as her and The Rock standing face to face with The Authority was the definition of a Wrestlemania Moment. Maybe we’ll see her again at Summerslam? *fingers crossed*
Merchandising, Merchandising, Merchandising!
WWE: Wrestlemania 31 broke merchandise records. Company sold $3.3M worth of gear, up 27% from last year’s record.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 1, 2015
I know I bought a sweat shirt last week, so $30 of that is me, but good golly, that’s a lot of t-shirts and title belts to sell over 5 days. That number, along with the gate and recent WWE Network numbers should make WWE investors rather bullish.
New WWE Network Shows!
Speaking of the network, it was announced we’ll be getting new original programs in the near future; Jerry Springer Presents WWE Too Hot For TV, Camp WWE, Swerved, Live! With Chris Jericho, Diva Search, WWE The List, Culture Shock and Unfiltered. While we don’t know all the details Springer’s probably the perfect man to host a clip show of outrageous wrestling bits even if it feels like this was something they should’ve cooked up in 1998. Camp WWE is intriguing because as a fan of Seth Green’s animated shows and “adult” animation in general I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. Diva Search could be good, depending on how it’s presented, I hope it’s more Tough Enough than Total Divas. Also, anything that keeps the search off of Raw and Smackdown is a good thing. Jericho’s proven himself as a host on TV and as an interviewer on his podcast, so this is the biggest no brainer of all of them. The ’80s WWE talk shows were gold and if he can recapture some of that magic that’ll be great and I hope it has TV style presentation rather than a video version of an audio podcast. Swerved is somewhat of a mystery, but I doubt the WWE will want to risk its stars’ health if Jeff Tremaine brings Jackass style stunts to the table. All in all, it’s even more value for just $9.99.