By Haydn Gleed
A couple of years ago, I noticed there was a lot of negativity around the business of pro wrestling. In my life, no matter what is happening I try to remain cheerful and look for the glass is half full instead of empty approach. Using the inspiration of a ’70s classic song by Ian Dury and The Blockheads called “Reasons To Be Cheerful” I once wrote a blog pointing out that while there’s a lot of things to be critical of in the wrestling business, there were a lot of positives and sometimes these negatives we hear regularly hide the positives.
Well, this WrestleMania I’ve noticed a lot of negativity, so I’m back with another Reasons To Be Cheerful. *Cue trumpets, fanfare and, if I have my way, a tank.*
I’m not for a second saying that WrestleMania is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The way Roman Reigns, the lead babyface no doubt, is dismissing The Undertaker like he doesn’t matter makes me want to vomit. The way that Shane McMahon has been propelled to Superman status just makes me want to put my head into the side of a car. However, I’m here to point out some positives and things to look forward too, in the hope that while you sit down for the 27-hour show, you can say, okay, this is not as good as it could be, but I’m looking forward to seeing it all play out.
-Lets start with an obvious, the appearance of the stadium. It seems that WWE pulls out all the stops to make the stadium look more impressive than the year before. The early pictures coming out of Florida seem to show that WrestleMania will look like one of the biggest shows on the planet.
-The fans. Sometimes when you think that you are not socially accepted for your love of pro wrestling, it’s great to see a show where there are close to 100,000 from all around the world gathered in one place to celebrate one thing, pro wrestling. They will be loud, my god is a WrestleMania crowd loud… well, at least for the first 14 hours of the show
-I know Brock Lesnar against Goldberg is not going to be the most exciting main event in WrestleMania history but it’s not Bam Bam Bigelow against Lawrence Taylor. What you have to remember is that for every one person who believes this is going to be a bad match between two part timers, there’s at least three who will be wowed by the two super heavyweights facing each other. Not the best comparison, but if you go back and watch Hulk Hogan against Andre The Giant from WrestleMania 3, and that was an awful match, but it was an attraction that people still think about today. Brock vs The Berg Of Gold is not on that level, but its been built as a super attraction and as a result all limitations will be taken into account and every trick pulled out. Hey, if you don’t believe that then at least be consoled by the fact that it’s not going to suck as much as their match at WreslteMania 20.
-Shane McMahon may do some sort of dare devil trick. Looking at the pictures of the rollercoaster structure I pray that he doesn’t jump from something that high as I will leave the room like I did when he climbed Hell In A Cell last year, but the bumps (once I know everyone is okay) are spectacular in nature.
-Roman Reigns and The Undertaker will have a decent to good match and there will always be that small slither of a chance that Reigns turns heel either during or after the match. Granted, this is more building up something that might never happen, but the possibility is there. Roman is talented in the ring. Let me put it this way, out of Roman Reigns, King Kong Bundy, Giant Gonzalez and Sycho Sid (all previous Undertaker ‘Mania opponents) who would you rather The Undertaker be in the ring with?
-Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin have good chemistry between them and should have a good IC title level match. We may also see a moment in history if Baron Corbin wins his major title, and considering how he’s shown that he has the potential to be a top level heel once his in-ring work gets near his character, that will be a moment to remember in years to come.
-I still maintain that Chris Jericho against Kevin Owens is the best built match on this card and definitely a match that has an emotional edge to it. I can hear the arguments that the big Owens turn came a couple of weeks too early as the last few weeks have been a bit “spin your wheels” time, but there’s definitely been a story for the fans to get behind. Not only should this be a hell of a match, but if Owens wins it could catapult him forwards down the road of being taken seriously as a big time heel.
-If you are married or have a partner who enjoys soap operas, and especially if you are like me and you have a significant other who’s only involvement in watching wrestling with you is Total Divas and/or Total Bellas, then this is the match for a cuddle and sharing the popcorn. Not only will you have what I believe will be a decent match, but you will also have a WrestleMania moment by all accounts if John Cena proposes. Yes, it’s too mushy for my tastes and as someone who doesn’t want to get married I don’t understand the appeal, but again for every one of me there will be ten people who will be going awwwwwww.
-We can all agree that the women’s division has been booked terribly on both Raw and Smackdown leading into WrestleMania, and although I’m struggling to think of any positives from the Smackdown side of things, on Raw you have an elimination match with four women who we all know will give everything they have to put on a great performance. This is another one of your, ok “it’s not as good as it could be but it’s still going to be a damn fine match” type of moment.
-The Raw Tag titles being in a ladder match adds a dimension to the match that was missing. I had no interest of watching these three teams compete against each other previously, but the added stipulation has given the match that little extra edge that it didn’t have. I’m worried about the safety of Enzo Amore with his want to do crazy things, but that will add to the spectacle.
-Although Neville against Austin Aries being moved to the pre-show is a disappointment on one level, it may be given more time than they would have on the main card due to the length of the pre-show. As a software developer I always think in code therefore Neville + Aries + Plenty of time = fun.
-There are no Brawl For All stinkers like there was at WrestleMania 15 (I’m really reaching).
So as you see there are reasons to look forward to the event. Again, I’m in no way saying that the build has been perfect because it’s been anything but that, but taking away the negativity and trying to look for positives might help you look forward to what is the biggest night of the year in professional wrestling.
Any other reasons to be cheerful that I’ve forgotten? Let me know either through @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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