It’s been almost half a year since I wrote one of these things, and almost just as long since I watched a full episode of Monday Night Raw, so excuse me if I’m a bit rusty. That’s not to say that I was ever the Shakespeare of meaningless wrestling blogs, but you get the point regardless.
Much like many of my former SLTD Wrestling brethren, some of whom will grace the MFX Galaxy with their journalistic expertise in the near future, I have taken a brief hiatus from the world of wrestling in order to allow myself to breathe. Needless to say, it’s been fantastic, and man alive, did I become way more productive.
But like a lamb to the slaughter I have decided to re-immerse myself in the ever-lasting frustrations and stress of being a life-long WWE fan. And thus I bring to you the rebirth, if you will, of ‘Under the Spotlight’. A concept I created mid-2013 as an excuse to step back from show-by-show wrestling reviews so I could spew some nonsense about whatever the hell I wanted, as long as it was related to the industry in some shape or form.
If you’re new to my blogs, and let’s face it, you probably are since nobody read the old ones anyway, let me give you a little bit of a backstory. My name is Adam, I’m from Dublin, Ireland but I’m currently spending my weekdays living up in Louth, studying Computing in Games Development (so you may see one or two gaming blogs/reviews from me in the future). But most importantly to the significance of this piece, I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was six years old, and spent just over two years writing my opinions on current happenings in the WWE for a lovely bunch over at SLTD Wrestling.
And like many of my fellow fans, no matter how pissed off I may become with the WWE, they’ve always been my go-to promotion to watch, often acting as a source of escape and happiness. And cutting straight to the point here, one of my favourite parts of the year has always been the January-April stretch, because that means WrestleMania is fast-approaching.
Naturally, this year is a little bit different because rather than following the product (unless you count NXT), the information I gather about current affairs within the company comes from recaps, reviews and rumour sites. I know, I’m one of those people now. *shudders*
But since Fast Lane has come and gone, and WrestleMania is a measly four weeks away, I figured it was time to get back into the swing of things, and more importantly write about the process since I’ve nothing better to do with my time. What’s that about assignments?
There are a lot of relatively big matches scheduled to take place at the 31st annual Showcase of the Immortals, including Sting’s first ever match in a WWE ring against Triple H, Roman Reigns taking on Brock Lesnar in what I can’t imagine will be a clean fight, and John Cena’s rematch against Rusev.
But the match that I’m most excited about is The Undertaker’s inevitable clash with the ‘Eater of Worlds’, Bray Wyatt.
Like me, I’m sure a lot of you still find it hard to believe that The Undertaker’s unprecedented undefeated streak at WrestleMania came to a definitive halt last year. Being brutally honest, and I do tend to look on the bright side whenever WWE screws up, I think they made the wrong decision when they pulled the trigger on the Streak.
Considering how things are going with Brock Lesnar right now, and his sorry excuse for a title reign, it seems to me like twenty-one years of success were thrown down the drain on a gamble that Lesnar would actually do something with it. Instead, the only one around to gain anything from Undertaker’s loss last year is Paul Heyman, with the whole “My client, Brock Lesnar conquered The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania” shtick.
And if you delve even deeper into it, you could summarise the whole charade by saying that the legendary streak ended so that Roman Reigns could potentially gain from it, and become, as many are saying, “the next John Cena”. That’s all fine and dandy, but when that very man, even with The Rock by his side, is booed out of the arena after winning the Royal Rumble match, you have to question that decision. Oh yeah, great success. *winks*
And now there’s a bunch of controversy surrounding Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar after this week’s Raw, because apparently Bork got upset about something and when Bork is angry, Bork smash. At least that’s how I imagine it went down, because I don’t really care enough to find out the true story.
People can deny it until the cows come home, but in my estimation, the grand scheme that was Brock Lesnar’s 2014-15 stretch has been a flop. Sure, there were some great matches, namely the triple threat at Royal Rumble, but Lesnar holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has diminished any prestige that title has had up to this point. The bloody Intercontinental Title means more these days and up until a week or two ago, that meant fuck all too.
But I digress, and like I said, the match that really has my interest is Bray Wyatt/Undertaker. When people think about The Undertaker, one of the first things that come to mind is the Streak. Especially in the last number of years, considering WrestleMania has been the only time to see the Deadman compete.
But if you strip that away, all you’re doing is removing twenty-two matches, some of which actually sucked, from a legendary career that would still be just as celebrated and memorable without them. The Undertaker is a phenomenal gimmick, and an even better wrestler, and the streak may polish off his legacy, but like I said, the man has put enough work into every other aspect of his career that he shouldn’t be remembered solely for his WrestleMania record.
And that’s why I can’t wait to see him take on Bray Wyatt. I was hoping that if this match ever did happen on the Grandest Stage of them all, the streak would still be intact, but I feel like these circumstances make the bout even more intriguing. It’s not about records, or whether Wyatt has the potential to carry the weight of breaking the streak on his shoulders. It’s about two mysterious, incredible men squaring off to see who is better.
Sure, the build-up is going to be full of mind games, especially from Wyatt’s part if they do go down the route of not bringing ‘Taker back until ‘Mania itself (some will argue this ruins the hype, but it worked in 2004, right?), but when they stand on opposite sides of the ring at WrestleMania 31, all the weeks of trash talk and open challenges will mean nothing.
Bray Wyatt, win or lose, is going to be taken to his very limit in what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable match. It may be Undertaker’s last bout, maybe he wants to pass the torch, or maybe he’s going to show us he can still go and set up the dream that is Sting/Taker for WrestleMania 32, I don’t know. But when ‘Taker gets in the zone, especially in the last seven or eight years, you know you’re about to witness a classic.
Speaking from experience, there is nothing like seeing The Undertaker in his element at WrestleMania. I had the privilege of being in attendance when he went 20-0 against Triple H inside Hell in a Cell, and the atmosphere that night honestly still gives me Goosebumps almost three years later. And while the lucky men and women in the arena on the 29th of March will be the first to see Undertaker compete with a ‘Mania loss under his belt, I guarantee, and I sort of hope this is what they’re going for, that he’s going to prove that the Streak was nothing more than a number.
Twenty-one straight victories at WrestleMania didn’t make Undertaker the Deadman, or the Phenom. It just backed it up. And despite his age, some “leaked” photos (Michelle McCool posted them, so they weren’t really leaked at all) of ‘Taker hitting the weights make it seem like the dude is in top form. Don’t get me wrong, the man’s healthiest days are behind him, but I have no doubt in my mind that he is absolutely capable of putting on one of his world-renowned WrestleMania classics.
And Bray Wyatt is just the same. That guy is a visionary on the microphone, and for a man of his size, his athleticism is awe-inspiring. If he isn’t holding championship gold by this time next year there’s something seriously wrong with WWE (take a shot every time somebody says that and you won’t make it to WrestleMania).
Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker are going to put on one hell of a show in California, that’s for damn sure. And I’d bet that when it’s all said and done, no matter who wins, we’re going to be calling it the match of the night. It has a lot of competition, but if Undertaker’s WrestleMania bouts have taught us anything, it’s when to really pay attention to our television screens. When the Deadman arrives on the scene, you’re always about to witness something amazing.
Thanks for reading my first article here as part of the MFX Rambling crew, I really appreciate it. I’d also urge you to go read all of the other blogs on display here, there are some pretty interesting ones and I see a lot of potential in my fellow bloggers.
I’ve barely watched Anime in my life and somehow I’ve found myself reading two different blogs on the topic, so you know they’re good. There are also some retro gaming blogs and even one on the serious topic of depression, which I found to be a very eye-opening read. So take a look!
Also, try not to neglect Duckman and Sir Ian, and listen to the latest edition of the MFX Podcast. The guys are hilarious, so get your fill. They can cover anything from wrestling to Eastenders. Seriously, go listen.
And lastly, if you want to get in touch with me, you can follow me on Twitter @AdamOB_UTS. I’d appreciate any feedback on this blog, so if you can, drop me a cheeky tweet to let me know how much I suck, or you know, don’t suck. Whatever floats your boat.
See you next time!