Mark for War: Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!
Hey dudes. As many of you know, it’s football season. Wrestling never takes it back seat, but I write a weekly football column of Decibel Magazine. Therefore, during the football months, this column becomes monthly. Sorry about that, but when we have our time together, let’s make it special. Comment below throughout the week and lets talk wrestling and have fun. I’ll also often take a more general approach to the subject manner and address mutiple things going on to cover more ground.
Lets dive in:
Did you guys check out the MSG event this past weekend? Sort of had a mini-PPV vibe obviously.
God, if this ever was an indication, it might be cool for WWE to scrap a couple of PPV’s a year and explore more of these big prime time events exclusive to the WWE Network. It’d be really cool if they started doing mid-week events in big cities every now and again. Remember the infamous Tuesday Night in Texas back in the 90’s? Really cool event with a great vibe.
As for this week’s MSG main event of Brock vs. The Big Show:
This feud had little steam behind it. It sort of unfolding like a boxing match does, or big UFC fight: little build up other than the fans analyzing the tale of the tape prior to the match. It works well with a character like Lesnar, who is essentially a character who can transcend feuds. He’s more focused on destroying anyone in his path than proving how cool he is through a series of zings in a promo.
The Big Show/Lesnar feud was actually pretty cool when it ran the first time in the early 2000s. The Big Show is a shell of the dominant self he once was. He still has cache as a monster and a legend, but is by no means a valid opponent for Lesnar.
This is actually what made this contest pretty cool. No one in their right mind would have thought that Show would have had a chance to beat Lesnar straight up, especially since his battle with Taker was looming and already advertised. However, there is something special about a match where you essentially know the outcome going in to it. It allows the viewer to enjoy the action, and not worry about the twists and turns of the outcome.
I remember ECW doing this a lot with RVD and Taz during their heyday. Great matches would occur between the two A-Listers and random B-listers. I once saw RVD tear the house down in a 25-minute TV title match with Little Guido, of all people. Everyone knew Guido had no chance, which lead to a refreshing appreciation of the match for skill alone. Very cool vibe!
We’re on what has been deemed Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell” tour, ultimately leading to the Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker. This match is probably going to be a match that falls right in the middle of their feud, not as good as Mania but more entertaining than the Summerslam match.
There’s really three ways the booking of this match can go:
Brock Winning Clean
This is by far the most likely of scenarios, and ultimately what I feel will happen.
It’s happened before, but would be a massive blow to Taker’s legacy if it were to happen again. We’ve seen him beat Brock, most recently at Summerslam in a controversial ending. I said this before, but this was more like a loss for Taker then him losing the match clean. For the life of me, I don’t understand the booking of Taker winning dirty at Summerslam. They should have had him lose straight up, chasing Lesnar for the final time at Hell in a Cell.
Taker Wins in the Cell Match in a Controversial Manner
We’ve seen insanity in the HIAC matches before. I don’t know who would come to assist Taker, but what I’m thinking is Taker turning heal with the assistance of the Wyatt Family. They take him on as their leader, and Lesnar, who is essentially a full-fledged face at this point, now becomes the hunted. This would ultimately lead to an insane feud that would go all the way through Mania. I still heavily feel that Rollins vs. Cena is a major possibility for this years Mania main event, but if Lesnar is in the picture for that, this angle wouldn’t make sense. It would be way to many cooks in the kitchen. Food for thought though: it would be so cool for Taker to align with the Wyatts and Bray to willingly surrender his leadership to the Dead Man out of respect. It would be a very weird dynamic that would add yet another layer to the Bray Wyatt character.
Yet another way this could work out is Taker interfering with Lesnar’s win at the Rumble, in a very cowardly heal move, only to set up a Taker/Lesnar rematch at Mania where Taker is the heal and Lesnar is the face. This could be interesting.
Taker Winning Straight Up
This would make absolutely no sense moving forward with either Taker’s character or Lesnar’s character. Lesnar jobbing only to get a push going forward would be odd. However, if Taker literally destroys himself in the process of beating Lesnar, only to get carried out in a stretcher, it could serve as a cool plot point for a final match at Mania.
What I’m basically getting at is Taker cannot win this match if a final Lesnar/Taker match isn’t looming at Mania 32.
Ultimately the most interesting of scenarios would be Lesnar snagging the belt prior to Mania, only to have Taker surprisingly return at the Rumble, stealing a win, and setting up a final showdown for the ultimate revenge and a final title grasp for Taker.
But interesting, as I’m sure many of you agree, isn’t always the best booking. The best is the most consistent and realistic. Personally, after last Mania, I wanted to see Rusev/Lesnar in this year’s Main Event. This obviously won’t happen. I like the idea of Cena trying to conquer Lesnar at Mania, but I think Rollins is a lock for this year’s Main Event. He’s done so much this year and I think it’s his slot to lose.
So ultimately I see…
Taker (heal) vs. Lesnar (face) at Mania.
I often see this time for wrestling as the biggest lull for booking. It’s a lot of filler and a lot of rekindling of old feuds. Case in point, the Shield-esque Wyatt feud we’ve been experiencing as of late. What makes this time interesting is the building of characters and the building of feuds, ultimately for big payoffs. Believe it or not, that’s where we are at with Taker and Lesnar right now.
Lastly, on one side note:
The Dudleys since coming back to WWE are SUPER over, and I am certain we will see a TLC match featuring them at Mania. What I am really hoping for is a straight up four team brawl. Hopefully there’s room for a team we haven’t seen on WWE TV in awhile: Matt and Jeff Hardy. Do they come with baggage? Absolutely. However, we’ve all noticed as of late that bridges are becoming easily fixable in the WWE, at least compared to how they’ve been in the past. Matt and Jeff, much like the Dudleys, are not as spry as they once were. However, when you add in a team like the Prime Time Players or New Day to carry a heavy part of the load, flashes of magic can occur, ultimately leading to a great Wrestlemania clash.
Match of the Month: Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show, Smackdown, June 12, 2003
It’s basically worth the final bump regardless. Maybe that’s it. If you watch the rest of the match it’s nothing to write home about.