Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why I’m not buying Wrestlemania this year

This will be somewhat of a departure for me topic-wise of late, as I know not everyone is a Wrestling fan. I am. So, this is something that's been on my mind this year.

I have purchased and pretty much enjoyed WWE's Wrestlemania and other PPV's for nearly a decade. I’ve been a fan longer than that, but it was not until I had my own place and my own cable bill that I really started buying PPV’s. Wrestlemania was the first PPV I ever purchased, and I have looked forward to it every year. My guilty pleasure in a ever-souring economy. Even when they raised the price a few years ago, I told the wife, “Honey, it’s Wrestlemania…it has to be done.”

This year, I’m not buying Wrestlemania, and it’s not solely because of the price tag, although truth be told, that helped the decision along. It’s not because it comes on here at 1pm local time, and I’m busy with my kids. (I could TIVO it and enjoy it after they go to bed.) I’m not buying Wrestlemania for one simple reason: I have seen it before. There is honestly not a single thing on the show that I, in my years of watching WWE that I’ve not seen. I had to go match by match to be sure, and here’s how I figure it:

1) Bunnymania Lumberjack Match: Maria & Ashley vs. Beth Phoenix & Melina. Snoop Dogg will be the "Master Of Ceremonies" for the match and Kim Kardashian will be the "guest hostess.”
This will be drek. To be honest, if the rest of the card was amazing, I still might not buy Mania just because this match is on the show. The Diva’s Division (using the term loosely) is a joke anyway, but to not have the two best female wrestlers in the company on the show illustrates to me that WWE doesn’t care about them, so, taking their cue, I won’t either. Having Snoop and Kardashian in the segment just adds to the unwatchability for me.

2) Batista vs. Umaga
This could actually be a fun match, but I’ve seen Umaga job out to lesser workers before. Repeatedly. Can’t imagine we’ll see a lot here.

3) A 24-man Battle Royale, with the winner receiving an immediate title match with ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero. Participants announced: The Great Khali, Kane, Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo, Mark Henry, Big Daddy V, Hardcore Holly.
I’ll give WWE credit for building up Mark Henry and some of the other bigger guys in this match on recent TV. I’ll be curious to see how they play this, but Chavo does nothing for me as champ and the title has become meaningless, so barring a big surprise, this will be a toilet break for many. I’ll be happy to watch this on fast Forward when the DVD comes out next month.

4) Belfast Brawl: Fit Finlay vs. JBL.
As much as I like Finlay, I hate JBL. His return to the ring only did a little more for me than a “Shockmaster” return would. The thought of paying to see him wrestle again is irritating to me. Plus, I’ve seen Finlay beat people up and I’ve seen JBL beat people up. This angle is insipid, and my only hope is that this is the end of it. I’ll give Finlay credit for his performance of late, but I can’t believe I’m going to see anything new here.

5) Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather
I liked the spot on RAW a few weeks ago where Show threw him out of the ring. I can’t believe they are going to give me anything better than that. I don’t like Maywather, and I just can’t imagine a situation where this is more entertaining that Big Show vs. Akebono a few years ago. And we all know what a barnburner that was. Nothing to see here.

6) Money In The Bank: Ken Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison.
If I could buy the show ala Carte, I’d pay to see this match. Just not $55 dollars. I think it will be good will be curious to see who they have go over. This is really the only match on the card with any real mystery for me. Just not $55 worth of mystery.

7) Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels. If Ric Flair loses, he must retire
Flair should retire from Wrestling and become a manager who can help put young guys over. I saw him Wrestle HBK at a house show in Wildwood, NJ a few years ago and it was good. He’s gotten a lot older since then, and while I’m sure it will entertain and I feel like there is potential for a great Mania moment, I don’t have the confidence in WWE creative to give us anything better than we got on RAW this week from Flair. After putting himself in Flair’s way a week ago, I feel Vince may get involved somehow, and of course, we’ve all seen that before. I hope it’s a great moment for him, and will admit that I popped in spite of myself for the table spot with Vince a few weeks ago. I just can’t see this ending well. Just a gut I’ll admit, but that’s near my wallet, and it says no on this one. I think both of them will work hard, but I could see creative mucking this up worse than an invasion angle.

8) World Champion Edge vs. The Undertaker
This will be a good match, as both men will work hard. However, I’ve seen Undertaker win the title at Mania. And I’ve seen Edge win the world title too. I can wait for the DVD if something unexpected happens and Edge breaks the streak.

9) WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena.
I’ve seen it. I’ve seen all three men win the title. I’ve seen all three of them beat each other up over the past few weeks, when they weren’t inexplicably trying to shake hands. That, and I’m not particularly intrigued about where they go from here with the title. I’m not excited about any of these men as the Champ, as I’ve seen it! Best case scenario here is a MITB winner taking it away from who ever wins-perhaps HHH to pop the crowd and give him another title reign. He only needs a few more title wins to hit 16 right? If the best hope I have is that someone other than these three guys walks out as champ, that can’t be a good thing. In any event, I’ve seen these guys work together. Several times. It’s just not good enough.

So, barring a MITB swerve, I can’t say there’s anything on the card that I’ve not seen before. I may turn out to be wrong, and when I tune into the post game show on www.PWInsiderelite.com the gang may be still coming down from a Mania-induced high and scream-IT WAS AWESOME! BUY THE REPLAY!

And I might. But I just don’t see that happening. The Video Store down the street gets WWE titles pretty quickly, and I’ve got a free rental coming. So, regrettably, WWE will not get my $55 this year. Don’t get me wrong-right around Showtime, I know I’m going to be jonesing to see it. But, sometimes you have to just say no, and that’s what I’m saying this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Continuing Unspectacularity

Things have been pretty quiet of late. We've been dialing back the activities with the kids, as it's become clear that I've still been overprogramming things, and have run myself into the ground as much as I've run them down.

So, we usually try to limit our major activities to one a day-and then time for playing at home. They are upstairs right now playing Trains, and they are waiting for me, so I will keep this short.

The wife is visiting her sister next week with the baby, so I'll be on my own with the twins for a week. I've got some fun stuff planned, and it will be interesting to see what we can do just the three of us. It's hard these days to do things that all three kids can enjoy in the same way, and I end up feeling bad for the baby, as she gets dragged to stuff that's too old for her pretty regularly. A week one on one with Mommy should be great for her.

I'm being summoned. I'll try to post something else in the next few days. Until then-call if you miss me...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brief, unspectacular update

I've been a bit sick the last few days, so I've not much felt like writing. Things are fine, and I hope to have some updated throughts for you before the weekend.

In the meantime, feel free to call or write if you miss my warm personality.