WRESTLEMANIA RESET: WHAT’S NEXT?

Wrestlemania 29 is in the books and I had an interesting weekend to say the least… Not sure where time went.  The week since getting home has been non stop and writing a blog was next to impossible.

First of all, 7 out of 9 of my WM predictions were correct.  I was unable to see the event live as I had to catch an 8 PM flight from Newark back to Knoxville but I was checking tweets and texts prior to boarding.  It looked like rain was threatening but wound up ‘teasing’ everybody and the weather held up.

I’ve heard good and bad reviews about Wrestlemania 29.  That’s the great thing about wrestling fans and pundits; most are passionate about how they feel and don’t mind expressing those feelings. You can’t please everybody. RAW more than made up for any disappointment the night before in my opinion and we quite possibly might have witnessed a new ‘movement’ of sorts in the way a live event is viewed.  Crowd participation is always an added bonus for performers in the ring and Monday’s crowd took it to the next level!

Dolph Ziggler cashing in his MITB brief case was long overdue in many people’s opinion.  I remember when Gerry Brisco recruited Dolph and he went through the ranks of OVW.  I had the pleasure of knowing him a lot better during his developmental time in Tampa.  Mr. Brisco has an eye for talent and I could imagine him beaming with pride when Dolph defeated Alberto Del Rio to become the World Champion…finally!  Congratulations to Dolph Ziggler for his perseverance, dedication, sacrifice and hard work paying off.

To close RAW we saw Ryback take control of his destiny and not be content with ‘waiting his turn.’  To fully appreciate how far this man has come, you have to know where he’s been.  I’ll leave it to him to share his ups and downs, trials and tribulations but suffice to say a lesser man would have thrown in the towel years ago.  This is a classic tale of grabbing the ball away from somebody and running with it.  For those who didn’t believe then, sit back and watch.  Barring any serious injury or set backs, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

I saw a lot of people WM weekend as I made my way to Metuchen NJ for Pro Wrestling Syndicate.

I ran into Mr. Fuji at the Knoxville airport.  He and his son were flying out for an appearance Saturday on a different airline but we talked for a few minutes before they boarded.

It was a great weekend and I met some great people.  I introduced the NEW Heavenly Bodies (Gigilo Justin and The Don of Desire Dustin with manager GTM) to the crowd Friday night.  Justin and Dustin are young, talented and deserve a chance to shine in whatever promotion they appear in.

I finally got to meet the man reponsible for breaking in Edge and Christian (along with many others), Ron Hutchison.  He was every bit as personable as I imagined him to be.  We discussed the fact that learning by a rigid ‘curriculum’ wasn’t the most ideal conditions to actually function or learn in!  But the powers that be will declare whatever they want or need at the time and if you didn’t abide by said declarations, YOU were wrong because anyone in power could NEVER be wrong…

“Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs” is a book I’d heard a lot about and I met co-author Bertrand Hebert at the PWS  show.  We traded books.  I definitely came out on the better end of that deal!  This is the history of Montreal wrestling and so much more. I highly recommend this book to any student of the game as well as a fan interested in some of the inner workings and behind the scenes look at some turning points in the history of the business.  One of the most intriguing characters I knew about but never got to see growing up was Edouard Carpentier.  I’d seen pictures of him with Lou Thesz’s world title but could never find where or how he won the championship.  I’d since learned how the title switch happened and how that win helped the WWA in Los Angeles as well as the AWA in Minnesota come to be.  This book delves into the title switch and many other behind the scene stories that fans and wrestlers alike might find interesting and entertaining.  Many of professional wrestling’s biggest stars came from Canada and “Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs” does a great job covering the history of stars and events from the Great White North.

Joe Omega and Frank Manzo host www.wrestlereaction.net and co-hosted the Wrestlemania  pre-show with me and GFQ Network owner Andrew Zarian and Vegas Fuel’s Jordan Coulsen on Saturday.  We all went to eat at Smith & Wllensky’s Steak House on 49th and Third Ave in NYC Saturday night and had a great meal.  We finished up at the Shenanigans WM party across from Madison Square Garden after the HOF ceremony.  There were a lot of old friends in attendance and we had a good time.

I had a flight out just as Wrestlemania was getting into full swing and I was checking updates from the airport.  Some results surprised me but it all became much clearer after RAW.  After Wrestlemania many Superstars get a new perspective, change directions or hit the reset button.  The RAW after the biggest show of the year tries to jump start or fore-shadow upcoming events.  I thought they did a great job…

Random thoughts:

Doplh Ziggler finally cashing in to win the World Heavyweight Championship was done on one of the most entertaining RAWs in a long time and in hindsight, was a perfect exclamation point to his MITB run.  All the frustration built up was rewarded and I feel like Dolph won’t dissapoint fans or management.  I predict a new champion with a stand out personality will pay off big time.  I hope the powers that be will allow Ziggler to be himself and prove he is a top guy.

Ryback’s frustrations have been real and culminated with a tremendous turn at the end of RAW. I remember two months ago, a friend told me “Ryback was deader than four o’clock.”  Hmmmm.  Ryback looks the part, people were getting behind him and then he loses to Mark Henry at Wrestlemania! How could they just throw this guy away?? Seems like they didn’t.  There is always a bigger picture and it take a while to develop sometimes.  Ryback will be in that picture for the next year and possibly longer.

Fan-daaaaaan-go! He’ll NEVER get over!  Unbelieveable… Here’s a talented guy who supposedly got ‘stuck with a horrible gimmick.’ Again looking at the bigger picture, Fandango got over attacking Jericho and in the course of one week his entrance music exploded around the country and invaded foriegn countries as well!  He is talented and anxious to make his mark.  I predict Fandango will indeed make his mark and be more succesful than anyone could have imagined.

Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes are a good team but even better as singles.  I hope WWE let these guys go their seperate ways for good and concentrate on singles careers.  Sandow has yet to be used to his full potential.  Hopefully he’ll get his opportunity this summer.

I think the RAW crowd could have started a new trend that will carry over into live events as well as TV tapings.  Not sure how long it will last but it was obvious they were having a fun time and isn’t that why you go to an event…to be entertained?  If the crowd interacts with the show it will make it more fun for everyone, including WWE.

WWE continues the transition stage and looking toward the future.  I for one am looking forward to watching how the future unfolds.

Thanks for reading

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