Welcome to the premiere edition of the Gutt Reactions blog, a slightly skewed look back at the last week in wrestling! Warning: there be attempted humour here.
300: Rise of a #YESMovement
I wanted to include the Occupy Raw event from Raw in this blog, but I didn't quite know how to, as I really enjoyed it despite it's rather hokey presentation. Then, two days later, I watched 300: Rise of an Empire, and had an startling realization – the similarities between 300 and it's awful sequel, and the WWE WHC situation at WrestleMania 30 are uncanny.
First, the good – in the part everyone enjoyed, a small but united group of freedom fighters made a stand by blockading a small part of land, in order to draw out and defeat a tyrannical overlord. There charismatic, bearded leader spearheaded the charge, whipping his men into a frenzy with a battle chant, until he got what he desired from his sworn advisory, even if it now seems inevitable that a rather severe beating is coming his way in the not too distant future due to his shenanigans.
But then, running concurrently to that, you have an almost "also-ran" story playing out, that they desperately want you to care about despite it's gaping flaws in comparison to the first story. Here, the same all-powerful villain is an afterthought, leaving the fighting to play out between a pretty but vapid antagonist (Randy Orton/Eva Green), and a meat head who isn't as good as the guy who went before him (Batista following The Rock, and that guy from Strike Back following Gerard Butler). No one cares, but to try and grab your interest, they will continue to tease that the bearded guy from the first part, without ever really including him. Everyone gets angry, no one has a good time, and until the problem is fixed, some guys in suits stand to lose a LOT of money.
Speaking of Batista, I need to address something he said last week. I'm now going to try my best to process one of the strangest comments in a promo I can ever remember hearing. On last weeks Raw, during what was otherwise a fairly cut and dry heel promo, Batista remarked that people who chant for Daniel Bryan "Read too many comic books, and watch too many movies". OK, thats a simple heel remark, given that heels have been picking on pencil neck geeks since the 80s. But, what is the reason behind Batista's return in 2014 again. . .
Oh yeah, thats right, Hollywood Dave has returned to promote his new. . . comic book movie. So, lets establish the two facts we know:
1. Batista thinks reading comic books and watching films is a bad thing
2. Batista wants you to watch his movie based on a comic book
That is Ultimate Warrior levels of insanity. And just to make matters worse, Batista's follow up promo on Smackdown had him instructing the audience to stop thinking of Daniel Bryan as a superhero, because HE was a superhero. WHAT?!?! Right, so Batista dislikes people who like comic books, therefore he dislikes people who like superheroes, but he thinks of himself as a superhero. So does he dislike himself? Does he want people to like him because he's a superhero?
But in Dave's mind, superheroes are bad, so is he calling himself a superhero because he WANTS to be disliked? Does he want to be a heel so bad he will become the very thing he hates? Does he want to destroy his own movie just so less people like superheroes, so there are less superhero fans around for him to dislike? What does. . . does he. . . what. . . how. . .
Wow, somehow in a movie featuring a talking raccoon and tree, Hollywood Dave is the most confusing part.
The OTHER WrestleMania Streak
Paul Heyman's promo on Raw about the WrestleMania winning streaks of top stars who aren't zombies who can control interior lightning was eye opening. You would have thought some of the other big names would have put together fairly substantial win streaks, but Hogan, Cena, Stone Cold and the rest have barely been able to string together two wins before being subjected to a loss. So I got curious – who has the second best winning streak at WrestleMania?
The answer – Rob Van Dam. Yep, everyones favourite stoner has managed to put together a staggering 4-0 streak on the grandest stage of them all. Doesn't seem like much, but even an unblemished record is a very rare thing, so going four shows without your shoulder being pinned is a remarkable feat. I considered pitching a streak vs streak match for Mania 31, but then I scrolled down and spotted another win-streak owner who would make for a match better than 10 superbowls combined.
For you see, sat at a not too shabby 2-0, which is the joint 3rd BEST streak of all time (The Miz, The Road Warriors and Ax sit in second with 3-0) is legendary icon of screen, film, and flimsy celebrity matches, Mr. Freaking T! Mock all you like, but put that match on the marque for Mania 31, and you will sell out in seconds. And the stakes couldn't be higher! Not only is it streak vs streak, you could also add the stipulation that the winner wins the right to using capitalised "T"s on their merchandise, AND is the only man older than 30 allowed to rock a mohawk.
The tagline? Why "Someones 0 must go, only one T can there be" of course!
If I can be serious for a moment
Here is a quick run down of some of my observations from the week that was -
- I want to sincerely wish Batista and Orton good luck in generating any interest in their potential singles match between now and Mania. Not only does nobody think it will happen, nobody cared when it seemed liked it would be happening. They'll have to do something to cause friction, otherwise they will signpost the Bryan win over HHH to easily, but how they go about that I don't know.
- The editing on the UK version of Smackdown is strange. They cut it in a way that the show now always opens with a match. Not bad logic, but they then also include footage from the WWE app as if it was always part of the broadcast. Cue long silence gaps and more inane than usual commentary from Cole and JBL
- Speaking of JBL, he is now approaching nuclear levels of irritation. His bawling Texan heel commentator stuff is quickly becoming the worst thing about wrestling. Someone needs to put a damn leash on him or something, and reign him back in to acceptable levels. I muted him 4 separate times during SD. Thats a new record.
- It's so strange to see how quickly NXT has thrown away all of it's positive momentum from Arrival. The roster is looking threadbare, so they either need to change up the faces in the main event mix, or debut new guys (and judging by spoilers, I wouldn't have my fingers crossed for any new guys showing up until after Mania).
- I've never understood the logic of foreign language promos. They are almost always delivered by heels, so the basic message is "hate me because I am different". So, that's inciting xenophobia, right? Even I could think of more effective ways of pushing Alexander Rusev than minute long rants in Bulgarian.
It's still real to me, damn it!
And finally, in this closing segment where we look at the bizarre side of wrestling, we have the release of a shirt for everyones least favourite tag team, The Ascension.. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?!? But I suppose it's not entirely surprising since they also made their house show debut at Madison Square Garden recently. Why am I classing this as strange you may ask, outside of the obvious reason of it being the Ascension? Well, they were being managed by Vickie Guerrero. Now that's a conversation I want to hear!
Vickie: "So, what makes you think you'll be a good fit for my services"
Viktor: "WE WILL PURGE THIS WORLD OF ALL THE UNWORTHY AND WEAK!"
Vickie: "Is that so? And how will you go about that?"
Konnor: "WE WILL DEVOUR THEIR SOULS!"
Vickie: "OK guys, I'm sold, welcome to the team! Now, there's just the small matter of my fee. How will we go about that"
Viktor: "DO YOU ACCEPT. . . E-VISA-RATE?!"
Vickie: ". . . no. You know what, we'll figure it out over lunch. What would you guys like."
Konnor: "BLACKENED SALMON PLEASE!".
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the Dot Net NXT podcast with Zack Zimmerman and myself, available exclusively for members of the site! If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG