Badseed's Bottomline #364:
The Road to Wrestlemania Begins
Hey yo! So, I was watching Saturday Night’s Main Event the other night and I was highly disappointed. The Road to Wrestlemania has begun, actually, it began awhile ago and the WWE has really done nothing to excite me about the card.
The show started off well with the old school introductions to get fans ready for the big matches. I love these vignettes that play with the music in the backdrop. I was taken back in time at that moment and excited about the show, but then they just screwed it all up.
How do you have two Wrestlemania Main Events competing against one another and have it open the program. Are you high? I mean, these are the closing matches of what is supposed to be your greatest show of the year and you have them open the show. HBK vs. Shane McMahon in a street fight should have opened the show. Damn Vince McMahon and his ego.
And then, the match is not even good. It starts off well, but as a show, this was not booked properly at all. We knew Mickie James was going to turn on Trish Stratus. So, you can’t have two matches like that. Yes, HHH and Cena are enemies, but they are Raw and there should have been some brand pride in this match. And if you were going to have the match end with a turn, do something shocking like have Carlito and Masters come in to help HHH and Orton clean house of the faces and create a new Evolution stable.wrestling brands; a plan Batista was too stupid to hear last year. So, you’d have HHH, Carlito and Masters as Evolution on Raw and you would have Orton lead a group of wrestlers on Smackdown; both as Evolution. It would be sort of groundbreaking. I’d limit it to eight members between the two brands. Randy Orton’s group would have Matt Hardy and MNM. A woman would be awesome because it would be old school Horsemen. I would even take it one step further and have Evolution come out to end Wrestlemania 22 in the Vince McMahon vs. HBK match that is suddenly so important, it should main event, and have them shock everyone by attacking Vince and Shane to help HBK get the win. They would do the crotch chop to get fans excited and come out to DX music the next night only to trash the fans and let them know Evolution is taking over and there is nothing Vince McMahon could do about it. Hulk Hogan. The good guys would be led by Vince McMahon. It would be an interesting twist. On Smackdown, Angle, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Batista would battle Orton’s stable. That would be hot. Tell me why it wouldn’t be.
But we got crap. We got a mess of a match and an ending that was all over the place and defied logic. Good way to kick off the show. Raw was interesting the next night. I actually liked how they involved Cena and HHH into the Vince McMahon vs. HBK program, but shouldn’t it be the other way around. The world title is the most important part of Raw, not HBK vs. McMahon. When will they realize this?
Then we had the Booker T vs. Boogeyman match that was promised to us, taken away, as if there were just so many matches on the show, as it were. This was a Smackdown skit at best, not something for Saturday Night’s Main Event. It also sucked that Undertaker made Mark Henry look weak in what was not even a match. There were two more non-wrestling segments that were cool. I liked Mick Foley’s attack on Edge and the fact that we got thumbtacks and flaming tables on primetime television. Cool. The beer drinking segment was fun. It’s weird, but that segment did more for JBL vs. Chris Benoit than either wrestler could have done in battle. I wish Austin would be the guest referee in that battle. That would be cool. Smackdown could use the lift.
Mickie James turned on Trish finally, but waited until the end of the match. What?! That made no sense. This was the match where Mickie should have tuned on Trish in the course of battle and made a real statement that a win with Trish was less important than a declaration of war. I would love it if Mickie James let us know that she’s not all bubbly at all and is actually one of the biggest schemers in wrestling, getting under Trish’s skin with fake come-ons to freak her out before going in for the kill. That would be great, because Victoria is already a psycho. You can’t have two.
HBK vs. Shane McMahon was a decent battle, but not to close out the show. It just didn’t feel right. And the screw job ending is just going to get fans pumped for a Bret Hart appearance at Wrestlemania that will not happen. If the Montreal incident was a work, then Bret Hart coming out to “save” HBK or “help” Vince McMahon ruins all credibility Bret Hart has with the fans. This isn’t some Matt Hardy crap. This was a moment that changed wrestling. Bret Hart’s career destruction started here. If he stayed in the WWE, he would have never been hurt and could still be wrestling today in matches with Kurt Angle, HHH, The Rock, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Edge and Randy Orton. But if it was a work, how could you even feel that bad for him; a guy who tricked the fans – he almost did this to himself. Something from Bret Hart’s career legacy would be taken away because of this.
And if it was all a shoot, then Hart’s reputation is ruined, because it means he is selling out to the McMahons. The only way he could make this work was to come out the next night, confront HBK after saving him and tell him that he wants to hear what HBK has to say about the whole thing. Have HBK apologize in front of a live audience and have Bret Hart say he forgave him, as he did McMahon from a business standpoint by working on the DVD together. If the two embraced and it was real (obviously, there would have to have been a true reconciliation backstage). Then it would be part of the story and not tarnish it. It would take on a Christian ideal that in order to be forgiven you must learn to forgive. That’s cool. Only then will it work. Fans can sense real. They could pick up on it here. Hart’s career would still have meaning and it would make the Wrestlemania return of Bret Hart all the more special.
So, all in all, SNME sort of was fun to watch, but just didn’t instill the feelings of old SNME from the past. I guess the primetime slot didn’t work for me either or anyone else for that matter. It just didn’t feel right. It should be on at 11:30 p.m. like it was back in the day. When I see SNME in primetime I expect to see Andre the Giant and Ted Dibiase screwing Hulk Hogan out of the world title or the Mega Powers split or Sid Justice turn on Hogan…there was nothing that big on this show. On primetime, I expect more. At 11:30 p.m., I would have been happy with what I got. Now, the WWE looks bad, because the ratings were horrible. The WWE is not that big anymore. SNME in primetime on NBC in the days of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock – that would have been huge. These days, wrestling is just not as popular, but the hardcore fans will follow it. The rating they would have gotten at 11:30 p.m. is a lot better looking than the one they got from 8 to 10 p.m.
The WWE is like a guy trying to hook up with a girl. The guy wants her so bad that when something works, he starts trying harder and harder to make what works something spectacular, and actually pushes the girl away. But when the guy works on a friendship and builds it up slowly, he eventually wins the girl over. Take notes. You’re single, but you have a girl as a friend (the hardcore fans). She doesn’t need primetime. Start with 11:30 and work your way from there. Cater to the relationship you have at the moment so you get the relationship you want (casual fans to become hardcore fans). Understand? Probably not.
Anyways, I am about to go enjoy the rest of my vacation. Next week, I will dissect the Wrestlemania lineup. Until then…peace.