Pro Wrestling

15 Reasons We’re Excited For WrestleMania Weekend

http://dailyreadlist.com/article/triple-h-vs-roman-reigns-preview-odds-and-predic-70 Source: dailyreadlist.com

WrestleMania weekend is finally here, and we couldn’t be more excited. We know, we’ve said a lot of mean things about WWE over the past year, but that’s only because we care so much about wrestling that we want it to be even better than it is. When you get right down to it, we’re always going to be excited about WrestleMania, because it’s possibly the most important weekend on the professional wrestling calendar. Over the next few days, careers will be made, legacies cemented, and there will be a whole heck of a lot of great wrestling. This weekend right here, this is what we live for. But just in case you needed more proof, we thought we’d get a little specific about what we’re looking forward to for WrestleMania weekend.

15. It May Be Cliche, But This Is Our Super Bowl

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. For all that wrestling fans complain about WWE (and we’re just as guilty of it as the rest of you), if you can’t get excited for some aspect of WrestleMania weekend, you might need to find another hobby. Even if you think WrestleMania itself is going to be a giant four-hour long wet fart with no redeeming qualities, there is so much wrestling content out there this weekend that you’d have to actually try not to find something to like. There’s an NXT TakeOver event on Friday night, the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night, and if you’re someone who doesn’t particularly like WWE at all, there are roughly fifty different independent promotions all running shows as alternatives to the mainstream product. This is the one weekend a year that pro wrestling fans should live for, even if it’s just because when you see tens of thousands of fans jammed into Texas Stadium and know that millions are watching on Pay Per View and the WWE Network, you know that there are a lot more of us than anyone gives us credit for. Wrestling might not be “cool”, but it’s what we like, and there is no shame in that. Own your fandom. Wear a wrestling shirt this weekend (we wore one to work, because our job is awesome). Have some friends over for a party, even if they don’t care about what’s on the TV. Have fun with it, is what we’re saying. The rest of the world can have the other 51, this weekend belongs to us.

http://wrestlingnews.co/new-photo-of-the-wrestlemania-32-stage/ Source: wrestlingnews.co

14. Who Isn’t As Hurt As They’re Telling Us?

This has reached a point where we don’t know who to believe. A few days ago, John Cena’s recovery was proceeding well, but he was still not expected back until July. Today, there are rumors that he might be massively ahead of schedule and is expected back any day now, possibly as soon as WrestleMania (and if that happens, we must finally accept that John Cena is either a robot or an alien with advanced healing capabilities). Cesaro has been seen in Texas without a sling and there are rumblings he could be a surprise entrant in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Nobody seems willing to confirm what happened to Luke Harper. And is Seth Rollins still on crutches, or is it all an elaborate ruse? At this point, it’s not a question of if someone’s going to make a surprise return from injury at WrestleMania, it’s really a matter of how many people might do so. We know something’s going to happen, we’re just not sure who or how or when, and that uncertainty can be exhilarating. Also, it gives websites like us plenty of rumors to speculate about.

http://www.mstarz.com/tags/wwe-spoilers Source: mstarz.com

13. AJ Styles Gets His Due

Sure, we’ve seen AJ Styles fight Chris Jericho a lot since he debuted in WWE. And yes, that Jericho match against Fandango on Raw was a grim reminder of the fact that beating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania doesn’t really mean as much as it used to. But there is a good story in the fact that at 38 years of age, after toiling in relative obscurity while being recognized as one of the best wrestlers in the world, AJ Styles gets to make his WrestleMania debut in front of what is expected to be the largest crowd in history. You’d have to imagine that he’ll be getting one hell of an ovation, and even if Jericho isn’t the Y2J of old, you know he’s going to work his butt off to try and hang with Styles and put on a match that might steal the show. There were rumors in the weeks leading up to the show that WWE might consider putting Styles and Jericho in the Intercontinental title ladder match, but we’re glad they didn’t, because Styles deserves this one-on-one match on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/aj-styles Source: WWE.com

12. The “Everyone Hates Kevin Owens” Ladder Match

Much like Styles-Jericho, we do wish this were the one-on-one match between Zayn and Owens that both men deserve, but since they’re probably going to be fighting each other until the end of existence, there will almost certainly be more chances. Plus, even though guys like Sin Cara and Zack Ryder aren’t exactly strong contenders to win this match, you have to believe that they’re going to try and make the most of their WrestleMania opportunity and really show off in front of the audience. It may not lead to anything (in fact, in most cases it almost certainly won’t), but there’s always a chance that if they can get the crowd behind them, they could possibly earn some sort of push, even a minor one. Hey, we always liked Zack Ryder, and we maintain that it’s a crime that WWE has no idea what to do with Stardust, who has literally done everything he can to commit to the part that it’s ridiculous that WWE hasn’t rewarded him at all, so any opportunity they get to try and make the most of their limited time in the spotlight is okay by us.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/11/16/9747866/do-not-test-kevin-owens-melissa-joan-hart Source: cagesideseats.com

11. Ready, Willing, And…Wait For It…

Don’t forget that NXT has their own plans for WrestleMania, and the first thing we’re going to bring up is the team of American Alpha, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. In a very short time, they’ve become the hottest tag team in wrestling (non-New Day category), by basically being two high energy, younger versions of Kurt Angle. Both are former amateur wrestlers, and Gable is a former US Olympian, and watching both of them wrestle is the purest form of poetry this business can provide. Not to take anything away from Jason Jordan, who may be the best hot tag in wrestling and who can throw suplexes like a young Scott Steiner, but we really need to focus on Chad Gable, who has pretty much become the total package in his first year in NXT. He’s charismatic as hell, he connects with the audience, and he wrestles like he invented the concept. The only complaint against him is that he’s really not very tall, but that argument won’t seem to matter as much the first time you watch him effortlessly toss a much larger opponent over his shoulders with as much effort as it would take to throw a beach ball. It’s not too late to get in ahead of the masses and discover the greatness that is American Alpha before the rest of the world does.

http://www.ringsofpain.gr/2016/03/nxt-1632016-dallas-american-alpha.html Source: ringsofpain.gr

10. What Is The Rock Going To Do?

Okay, so we know The Rock is going to be in Texas, and we also know he’s not going to wrestle, because the people who make movies pay a lot of money so that they won’t lose their gigantic international box office stars to freak wrestling accidents while filming. To which you might say “But what if he does?” and we’ll have to point out that if The Rock was wrestling in a match, WWE would have probably already promoted it, since it would be his first actual match since WrestleMania 29. But you might persist and continue to ask “But what if he does?” and at a certain point, we would have to consider how awesome that might be. It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but yeah, that would be cool and a great surprise, and The New Day is at a 4-3 disadvantage in their match, and…no, stop it. It’s not going to happen, The Rock’s more likely going to give a big rousing speech and maybe have a stare-down with someone, but he couldn’t possibly wrestle on the show.

But what if he does?

http://kevineckwrestling.sportsblog.com/posts/9845853/am-i-the-only-one–thoughts-on-the-rock-at-wrestlemania–dean-ambrose–kevin-owens-and-more.html Source: kevineckwrestling.sportsblog.com

9. The Hall of Fame Induction Speeches

The best thing about the Hall of Fame being broadcast in full on the WWE Network is that they don’t have to particularly care about editing or time constraints, after years of getting a chopped-down version on USA Network (which still exists, but come on, if you’re watching WrestleMania you’ve probably got the Network anyway). And while not every speech is incredible, and some of them can be downright boring, it’s always a great opportunity to hear old wrestlers talk about things that happened from their perspective. We’ll get old road stories, and thoughts on their biggest moments, and yes, some lame comedy bits that we’ll chuckle at out of respect. And what really makes it interesting is that you can never predict when some of the best stuff will happen. Last year, we sat enraptured as the Bushwhackers, who were never more than a comedy team in WWE and the last people you’d expect to deliver a long speech, rambled on about their incredibly interesting history as performers (with lots of jokes at John Laurinaitus’ expense) and we were fascinated the whole time. We heard about the old days from Larry Zbyszko, and saw Alundra Blayze finally get a public forum to explain herself years after dropping the WWF Women’s Title in a garbage can on Nitro. Sure, this year’s class isn’t the strongest from a historical perspective, but we bet there will be plenty of entertaining experiences to be had during the ceremony.

http://www.wwe.fr/photos/2015/03/29/the-bushwhackers-are-inducted-into-the-wwe-hall-of-fame-photos Source: WWE.fr

8. Will The ARMBAR Mean Anything?

Last year, it seemed like WWE had already given up on making the ARMBAR (for the uninitiated, that would be the Andre Roussimoff Memorial BAttle Royal, an Internet in-joke which doesn’t make the best acronym, but has the benefit of being a lot faster to type) a meaningful match, moving it to the pre-show and giving it to The Big Show because of course he had to win that once in his life, instead of someone like Damien Mizdow, who could have used the push. And it looked even worse this year, as the mounting injuries forced them to lower the number of participants and basically fill it with absolutely nobody of consequence. Up until this week, the ARMBAR was once again destined for the pre-show, only for WWE to make a sudden switch and apparently move it onto WrestleMania itself. Given the unimpressive quality of the participants already revealed, this instantly led to rumors of who might be making a surprise appearance in the match to win it and maybe allow it to re-gain the importance that was intended when it was introduced at WrestleMania XXX. Of course, it’s more likely WWE needed a filler match in between the more important stuff, and we’ll end up watching Braun Strowman win because he’s really, really big, but until that happens, there might be hope for something better.

http://wrestlingnews.co/competitor-added-to-the-andre-the-giant-memorial-battle-royal/ Via wrestlingnews.co

7. They Already Said No Unicorns, But…

WrestleMania is the place where people break out special moves, special gear, and once-in-a-lifetime entrances. Stardust has been leaking sketches of some sort of ridiculous feathered cape, and now that WWE has Kalisto, they’ve got a new masked lucahdor that they can dress up like a superhero. Plus, maybe Dean Ambrose will wear a new tank top! We already know that The Undertaker and Triple H will have something suitably epic for their entrances (odds are very high that Triple H will be doing a Motorhead tribute), and The New Day has already been teasing people that they’re planning something ridiculously over the top. According to reports, which we hope were made half in jest, there is a “less than 50% chance” that it will involve The New Day riding flying unicorns that shoot rainbows, but frankly, anything and everything is probably on the table. Although, hopefully they don’t skip the intros for the ten-woman tag match by just having Flo Rida attempt to rap while they enter.

http://www.tbo.com/events-tampa-bay/the-power-of-big-e-20160124/ Source: tbo.com

6. Can Dean Ambrose Actually Win?

Of course, he can’t, because he’s facing Brock Lesnar, who eats thunder and craps lightning, but the whole point is that Dean knows he can’t win, but damn it, he’s going to try anyway. And since it’s a Street Fight, Dean has made it quite clear that he’s loading up on every weapon he can get his hands on in order to at least try and level the playing field. Of course, Lesnar can also use weapons if he chooses, but we like to believe that he’s amused by Ambrose’s attempts enough that he’s willing to at least let Dean try and get some shots in before Brock destroys him with his bare hands. We can assume this much: at some point during the match, there will be a point where Dean Ambrose makes a shocking comeback and actually gets himself in a position where the fans stand up and cheer, believing that he might actually get the win. That’s the moment we’re waiting for, and it should be glorious. Of course, then Brock will pop back up, finish destroying Ambrose, and pin him, but it’s that shining moment of hope that we can’t wait to experience.

http://dailyddt.com/2016/03/01/dean-ambroses-push-will-hurt-roman-reigns-wwe-return/ Source: Dailyddt.com

5. The King of Strong Style Is Here

Back to NXT for a few minutes, because in case you hadn’t heard, Shinsuke Nakamura will be making his debut at TakeOver. For your convenience, we made a list of reasons why you should be excited. Even better, Nakamura is wrestling Sami Zayn in his debut match, which means that if nothing else, the crowd will be electric and the wrestling will be very, very good. We’re not sure that Nakamura will spend a long time in NXT (in fact, it may be, and probably should be, just this one match, but it might be a bit longer), but we don’t feel like we exaggerating when we say that his debut will almost certainly be one of the most memorable in WWE history, possibly only surpassed by the first time he makes his entrance on a main roster Pay Per View. And yet, this may still not be the best match at TakeOver, because that honor could very well go to…

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-squared-circle/Shinsuke-Nakamura-is-headed-to-NXT.html Source: Philly.com

4. We’re So Conflicted!

We’re pretty sure we’ve made our love for Bayley entirely clear over the last few months. She’s the perfect babyface, possibly the most beloved character in WWE, and a damned fine wrestler as well. She dragged Nia Jax to a shockingly great match at TakeOver: UK, so when we tell you that we’re excited to see what she can do with potentially one of the best female wrestlers on the planet in Asuka, we want you to know how high the bar is already set. On one hand, it’s been great to watch Bayley grow into her role as the top woman in NXT, and it will probably be emotionally crushing to watch her lose a match and her hard-won NXT Women’s Title to anyone, even someone as good as Asuka. But on the other hand, Bayley deserves to be on the main roster, and she probably needs to lose the title beforehand. At the very least, dropping the title will greatly accelerate that transition. When we tell you that this might be the best match of WrestleMania weekend, we need you to understand that we don’t think we’re exaggerating. Asuka will hit hard and Bayley will sell like crazy, the two of them will tie each other up in ridiculous submission moves, and at the end, if Bayley loses (as we expect her to), we’ll bet that there won’t be a dry eye in the arena.

http://www.wwe.com/article/wwe-nxt-results-feb-10-2016-best-friends-bayley-and-carmella-battle-womens-title-baron Source: WWE.com

3. The WWE Women’s Championship

Transitioning from NXT back to WWE proper, we’re going to stick with the women and tell you how thrilled we are to hear that WWE is almost certainly retiring the Divas Title as soon as WrestleMania itself (but more likely the next night on Raw), in favor of actually treating their female wrestlers like legitimate competitors again and re-introducing the Women’s Championship. We know, a lot of people have warm memories of the Attitude Era, and Trish and Lita, and have grown disillusioned with women’s wrestling in the years since then, and WWE is entirely to blame for that fact. But we need you jaded fans to listen to us when we tell you that Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch are so much better than the women’s wrestling you think you know. We’re not going to go so far as to say this match will be the best of the night (we certainly hope it will be), but by any measure, it promises to be the best women’s match at WrestleMania in history. There are actually rumors that the match has been given up to twenty minutes of time which, if true, means we might be in for something really special. We’re a long way from swimsuit models and catfights, ladies and gentlemen, and we could not possibly be happier about that.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2016/2/25/11117400/sasha-banks-vs-becky-lynch-divas-title-number-one-contender-match-raw-next-week Source: cagesideseats.com

2. Shane McMahon Will Jump Off Something High

You know he’s going to do it. The second he leaped off the turnbuckle and landed on the announce table (hey, he grazed The Undertaker somewhat, and you try making that jump, let alone as a 46-year-old businessman who doesn’t wrestle), and The Undertaker shook it off like he’d been mildly annoyed by the inconvenience, we knew that this was just a precursor to Shane McMahon taking an even larger fall off an even greater height. The prospect both excites and terrifies us, but we can’t deny that whatever Shane does, it will be on every highlight reel possible for a very long time. More importantly, how invested is Shane McMahon in this match, despite being away from wrestling for years and having basically nothing to do with WWE in that time? The very first thing he’s going to do in his big return match is jump of something stupidly high and put his body on the line for a company he has no real stake in, in the name of attempting to “save” WrestleMania. Much like Vince McMahon, whether you like it or not, you have to respect Shane McMahon, whose worth enough money that he doesn’t have to jump off things and put himself through announce tables, but he does it anyway because even though he hasn’t been there for a long time, he still clearly loves the business that he grew up in.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/29/shane-mcmahon-smashes-the-undertaker-through-the-announce-table-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=16 Source: pl.wwe.com

1. Where Are We Going?

One way or another, things will probably change at WrestleMania, and at Raw the day afterwards. Shane McMahon might “control Raw”, and if that happens, we might have seen the end of The Undertaker’s in-ring career, but also, we could maybe see at least some cosmetic changes to WWE programming. We’ll almost certainly have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and if by some strange twist of fate we don’t, that will also set us on a new direction. The Divas Championship will be replaced by the Womens’ Title. Shinsuke Nakamura will officially be a part of WWE. Any number of people could debut or return from injury, including the possibility of some sort of bullet-related group we’ve been hearing a lot about. Hey, Dean Ambrose might even survive his match! Whatever the case, a lot of things are going to happen in a very short amount of time, and there is a very real possibility that WWE will starting off in an entirely new direction, or at least attempting to do so, after this weekend. It’s a classic case of “what might be”, and frankly, we can’t wait to find out.

http://dailyreadlist.com/article/triple-h-vs-roman-reigns-preview-odds-and-predic-70 Source: dailyreadlist.com
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.

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