This is not the sort of thing I normally post here, but I've been thinking a fair bit about last night's Wrestlemania and what I've seen from wrestling fans on the internet about it.
First off, overall, I rather enjoyed a lot of this year's Wrestlemania. There were parts I didn't like, but the end of the show was fucking gold. But I've been reading a fair bit of displeasure about the event and where the WWE is online.
What amazes me is how many wrestling fans forget where the WWE was a year+ ago, and how we got to where we are now.
While Reigns was clearly a rising star (and virtually everybody was cool with that), he was clearly not going to be in the title picture. Then the following happened.
1) Punk leaves/quits/retires/whatever you want to call it.
2) Bryan has neck surgery.
3) EVERYBODY is sick of Cena vs. Orton.
So, what does the WWE do? Well, first step, they can take advantage of Brock's contract. Give him the title, and the fact that he's not always around gives them time to figure out a few things.
So, who is going to be the guy? Punk's out. Bryan's hurt. Cena and Orton are stale. The fans would go crazy for Ziggler, but WWE is concerned about his ability to stay healthy. The bumps and risks he takes and the fact that he doesn't dial it back ever worry them given what happened to Bryan and the nasty concussion Ziggler had. (so, part of what endears him to his fans) Del Rio is gone. So, who does that leave? We need someone who's been around, but is relatively new.
1) Seth Rollins? It's happened, and it's been brilliant. He's a fabulous heel and relentlessly entertaining. And he's now the champ.
2) Dean Ambrose? Possible, but Seth's going to be our new top heel and Dean really isn't a face wrestler... I love the guy, but he's clearly a Piper/Pillman type.
3) Ryback? Bahahahhahahahaha... sorry, no.
4) Cesaro? ... Fuck, I'm just not sure why not. He's great. They even hooked him up with Heyman, which was a gold pairing. And then he proceeded to fall off a mountain. I honestly think he should have been the guy.
5) Bray Wyatt? Too ensconced as a heel. And he's FAR too good at it to move him face. That said, I don't get what they've done with him. He never gets to win important matches. But there is clearly some reason WWE doesn't want him at the very top right now. (even if it's a reason I simply cannot fathom)
6) Reigns... well he's not quite ready yet, but he's got off the charts athleticism, he's got "the look" (tm), and he's been getting better very quickly. His mic work needs to improve, let's give him a shot.
So, they went with Reigns. (eventually) And the fans, who *used* to like him... HATED the fuck out it. He wasn't supposed to be the guy yet. And I *think* most of the WWE brass would agree, but who else?
So, where are we now? Bryan won the ladder match and is now Intercontinental Champ, yet people are somehow upset about it. (Bryan's not the #1 guy! Ziggler was buried! Moan moan moan) Reigns isn't champ, Rollins is! (but he got to have a comeback against Lesnar! Rollins' win was awesome in the moment, but we know it won't last! Moan moan moan)
I may not be the happiest about where things are right now, but I'm just not sure what else WWE could do all things considered. They did a remakably good job considering that their two most popular guys either quit (Punk) or just came back from neck surgery (Bryan)... much like they did at last year's Wrestlemania.
-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman