Whoa-o, whoa-o, it’s Wrasslemania

Given that the purpose of this blog as a whole is to counter my depression by focussing on positives and things that make me happy, Wrestlemania is a bit of a risk; too many times I’ve been burned by terrible booking, or my guy not winning, or horrendous mid-show comedy skits or musical performances, and too many times I’ve just straight up fallen to sleep and woken to see someone holding a title aloft with no idea what happened in the preceding three hours (I even fell to sleep during the first Taker/HBK match, to my eternal shame).

BUT, sometimes Wrestling can still blow me away – Seth Rollins cashing in in the main event a couple of years ago is one of the most exciting ends to a sporting event I have ever seen. So I’m living in hope and excitement that in four days time I’m going to get a load of junk food, a load of beer and have a fantastic time enjoying “The Granddaddy of Them All”!

With that in mind, I’ve decided to increase my interest and excitement in the show by making some BOLD (read – hoping to be as close to accurate as I can possibly be, even if that means stating the obvious) predictions about the outcomes of each match. I may even put my money where my mouth is!

Gallows & Anderson v Enzo & Big Cass v Cesaro & Seamus

Firstly, I can’t believe not one of these teams has a name. I miss the days of Tag Teams with a name, matching outfits and proper entrance music. Although, with that being said, I can’t stand those amalgams that seemed to start with “Brangelina” and made their way into Tag Team Wrestling, so in that regard this is the lesser of two evils.

Question off the bat: has this been officially made a ladder match? I can’t see anywhere that it has, but it seems to be generally assumed that it is. Maybe I missed something, I know Gallows and Anderson used a ladder the other day. Wrestlemania is pretty gimmick free at the moment, so a tasty ladder match between three good teams could fit in pretty nicely.

I can’t see why Gallows and Anderson wouldn’t win this – there seems to be some suggestion that Finn Balor would be involved but I can’t imagine him coming back as a bad guy after the way he had to leave, so I’m going to assume that does not happen and Gallows and Anderson find some other way of retaining the titles (maybe they could do it by virtue of being fucking massive!)

Dean Ambrose v Baron Corbin

Dean Ambrose has never really been the character I want him to be. Perhaps the way I would like to see him go doesn’t fit with the PG nature of the current product and that’s fine, but just from my view the character loses a little edge with the silly comedy stuff. However, he is a great wrassler, his matches are frequently entertaining AND he has claimed that he can guarantee that a rivalry between himself and Bray Wyatt – in any capacity – would result in the best possible matches from both of them. Throw in the fact that Baron Corbin (who I like a lot as well, it’s weird how I have come round to big men in my elder years!) is on a massive roll as an absolute monster and I am confident in suggesting that he will walk away as the new Intercontinental champion.

Cena & Nikki v Miz & Maryse

I’m not a massive fan of tag team wrestling (hence my excitement that the title match may become a ladder match), and I’m very much not a fan of mixed tag matches (unless they’re in a Lucha Underground style such that the women can stand up to the men), and I’m not really a fan of John Cena, and I’m not particularly a fan of The Miz. So you can imagine just how pumped I am for this one. Also, John Cena is already a long way down the Wrestlemania card, there is no way he is going to lose in a mid card match. He is going to pin The Miz, and I probably won’t see it because I’ll be cooking myself up some hot vegan burgers!

Chris Jericho v Kevin Owens

Over the past few months these two have been hilarious, I loved all of the friendship stuff, the chemistry they had together was brilliant. It’s weird that this has now transitioned into a serious feud, which is not to say it hasn’t worked, it’s just odd seeing old throwbacks to the comedy duo (‘The List’ for example) fit into a real rivalry. Even though this will be a great match, I really don’t feel there is any question that Kevin Owens will win, which will take away from my enjoyment somewhat as I won’t believe any Jericho near falls. Then if Jericho does win it will take me by surprise, but I will have already missed the moment by the time I realise because I will have assumed that Owens will kick out. Anyway, it’ll be a great match and Owens will win.

Bayley v Charlotte v Sasha v Nia Jax

This might be the match that I find it hardest to call. It’ll be great, I’m sure of that, lots of action, fast pace, I’m not sure whether the elimination stipulation will add to or detract from that – elimination means no need to break up pins so no finisher sequences, which I’m a real sucker for! I feel like I can narrow it down to two – Bayley and Nia Jax – pretty easily, so I’m going to suggest that they are the final two. After that, does Bayley prove that she is worthy of the title and can retain fairly against the odds, or does Nia Jax display her dominance and win for the first time? I just don’t know. Let’s go with the feel good story (for lots of people – I actually find Bayley pretty annoying) and assume that Bayley retains.

Shane McMahon v AJ Styles

What a strange match. Why is Shane McMahon fighting when there are plenty of properly good wrestlers not on the card? And why, if it’s a Shane McMahon match, is there not some gimmick which allows for a massive fall off something or through something? Can he wrestle a straight match? Do we really want to see him throwing his Muay Thai manoeuvres for ten minutes? Truthfully I think the answer is yes, because when AJ Styles is involved, a good match is likely to follow. Plus, Shane will get his big move moment – flying elbow from turnbuckle to announcers table, you heard it here first. Regardless, surely AJ has to win?

The Undertaker v Roman Reigns

Well. I wish Roman Reigns hadn’t been forced down our throats. The Shield were ace. Roman Reigns was an ace part of The Shield. And then they had to insist we love him. People don’t like being told what to do, Roman Reigns wasn’t ready, and consequently we’ve ended up with a load of resentment. Which is not going to be quashed by having him beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania. But that’s what they’re going to do isn’t it? I guess after the Brock Lesnar thing Undertaker isn’t such a sacred cow any more, but I still don’t think Reigns deserves to be one of two people who ever beat him at Wrestlemania. But that’s what they’re going to do isn’t it? Oh God don’t let that be what they do. Then where does Braun Strowman fit in? Undertaker won’t have a rivalry coming out of this, so if Strowman gets involved then it must be to cost Reigns the match, to set up a rivalry between them. So maybe that will happen. I don’t fucking know! Reigns. It’ll be Reigns. It’s always bloody Reigns.

Seth Rollins v Triple H

I don’t know why Trips is on the card, but he has been involved in, off the top of my head, three of my favourite matches (Rock/SummerSlam/Ladder Match, Cactus Jack/Royal Rumble/Street Fight and Stone Cold/No Way Out/Three Stages of Hell, in case you were wondering) so I have a soft spot for him in spite of some of the issues others (sometimes rightly) have with him. Seth Rollins is an incredible performer, all in all I expect this to be a great fight – match of the night even? Initially I thought that there was no way Triple H could win, what would be the point, why does he still insist on going over big on people when he simply does not need it? But actually, considering Samoa Joe is not on the card, and considering how good a Seth Rollins/Samoa Joe feud would be, I think Triple H wins here with a massive assist from Samoa Joe.

Goldberg v Brock Lesnar

I know I shouldn’t be excited about this, I know I shouldn’t even care, and I know I’m going to be disappointed; both men thrive on being dominant, quickly and brutally destroying their opponents, it won’t work. Then there’s the fact that Lesnar, having been humiliated by Goldberg, is clearly going to win. And yet, call me a fantasist, I am looking forward to it and I feel like they are going to pull something decent out for it. At the very least, it can’t be as bad as  their last Wrestlemania outing.

Bray Wyatt v Randy Orton

For many years I have wanted to like Orton. On paper he has it all. But he has never clicked with me at all, so in spite of the fact that I love Bray Wyatt, I’m not particularly looking forward to this match. I’ve heard people complaining about all the weird magic symbolism stuff they’ve been doing with this, but that’s actually the only thing I like about it. I know it’s cheesy and it’s not the ultra realistic product that we have for the most part in WWE these days, but that’s a good reason why we NEED some bonkers stuff once in a while. I know it’s silly but I like it, so I’m hoping we get some magic, some disappearing, some re-appearing or a sacrificial ritual during the match. Who knows, maybe the Ghost of Sister Abigail will appear and flash her tits to put Randy off. Either way, I’m going to hope and assume that Wyatt wins so that he can get into a feud with Dean Ambrose.

So there we have it. Sounds like a good show!!

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Having acquired a dog just over a week ago, I am spending a lot of time walking around in what could easily be described as “The Countryside”. I have always loved animals and wildlife, and the chances are that I will die in a car crash having lost control as I became distracted by a heron flying overhead, but it seems to have been a long time since I actually got out into nature and saw wildlife up close. Over the weekend I have seen numerous common birds – including a wren which, in spite of its large distribution, I had never spotted before – a pheasant which was actually alive rather than dead at the side of the road, a fox and – most impressive at all – a buzzard take off from a tree not twenty feet in front of me. Initially, when thinking back, I was disappointed that I had not got photographs of these moments, but the more I thought about it, the more I consider that to be a good thing: The reason I didn’t take a photo was because it didn’t occur to me to; I was in the moment, enjoying the experience. It seems to me that the minute we start to film or photograph a moment then we take ourselves out of that moment and are thinking about how we or other people will view it in the future. It has always seemed strange to me when people watch a gig through the screen of their phone, held above the heads of the crowd by outstretched arms, a distillation of an immediate experience. Are our memories really so bad these days that we would rather experience half the emotional impact of something in order to preserve a copy of it, or are we so concerned with receiving hits and up-votes and showing people how much of a good time we had that we are actually willing to compromise on the good time? The fact that Daniel Kitson barely tours and doesn’t release any material is somewhat frustrating as I want to be able to show other people just how amazing he is, but actually the scarcity of Kitson consumption means that I truly appreciate it when I do see him, and the enjoyment and legend of it only builds in my mind and memory, rather than being dulled and oversaturated by being able to see him any time I want. Familiarity breeds contempt, scarcity creates magic and intrigue.