In the two years Podswoggle has been around, there are many original events we look forward to. Our annual draft, Royal Rumble pick 'ems, and our year-end awards are just a few examples, but nothing is geekier and fear-inducing than Marcho Madness.
The brainchild of our own Rich Camillucci, we take the concept of the NCAA basketball tournament and create our own mega-wrestling bracket that is simulated via the latest WWE video game.
It is wildly unpredictable, wholly aggravating, and a lot of ridiculous fun.
Since last year, we made two rules for qualifying for the tourney:
-You had to be an active wrestler for at least six months of the grading period (March 2011 to February 2012).
-If you hold a title in the three major wrestling companies, you automatically qualify just like some of the crappy teams in the NCAA tournament making it in because they won some random conference title.
Like any good tournament, there are some intriguing storylines. Let's look at some before revealing the full bracket and the stakes for you, the reader, in Marcho Madness.
-Can Matt Morgan repeat?
Last year, The Blueprint shocked everybody by coming out on top. Sure, simulated wrestling matches are more random than most "Family Guy" cutaways, but Morgan's road to the title was incredibly difficult last year. Morgan toppled, in order: Ezekiel Jackson, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, Douglas Williams, The Undertaker, and John Cena.
Moving down to an eight seed doesn't make Morgan's path any easier. He will have to potentially get past Randy Orton in the second round and then dodge the likes of Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, and Kurt Angle at worst to even make the final four.
Anything is possible.
-The Changing of the Guard
Because of our new rules, Undertaker, Triple H, Rey Mysterio, and Edge are all absent. Thus, young blood is ranked higher than you might think and will have to prove their worth among a strong field. Can Dolph Ziggler or Robert Roode establish themselves as future mainstays, or will they be shocked via upsets from the likes of Epico and Jay Briscoe?
-ROH and FCW make it in
In order to liven the tournament up (and avoid giving Heath Slater and Kid Kash spots), we have allowed ROH wrestlers into Marcho Madness. They aren't any higher than a 10 seed, but you can't count Davey Richards or Eddie Edwards out no matter their position. Also, considering the fact that they should be in WWE right now anyway, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will duke it out as 16 seeds as a means of giving them even the slightest opportunity of making a name for themselves.
-Stealing the Show
It is embarrassing to admit, but we marked out for some of the matchups last year. We were the first guys to believe Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan could have a great match, so we are always looking for those oddball matches that could steal the show. Some first-round matches with that kind of awkward potential are Sting vs Santino, Crimson vs Abyss, Austin Aries vs Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle vs Great Khali. You might laugh, but you never know with WWE '12.
Nobody on God's green Earth had Douglas Williams and Mason Ryan making it to the elite eight last year. Could Magnus duplicate the success of his former partner? Might Alex Riley get himself out of the doghouse in this very tournament? Can Mason Ryan reach his full potential via a video game once again? Surprises are sure to happen and you never know who it is going to be.
-The Number Ones
Last year, one top seed made it to the finals (Cena), another lost in the final four ('Taker), the third was bounced in the sweet sixteen (Edge), and the fourth didn't make it out of the first round (Miz). This year, Cena, CM Punk and Randy Orton all have great chances to go far, and Alberto Del Rio will look to avoid being the lame duck top seed. But problematic opponents are on the horizon early on for all of the top seeds. I wouldn't be surprised to see a regression of success for the top spots.
So enough analysis...here is your official 2012 Marcho Madness bracket! (Right click to save the PDF....make sure to save the PDF on your computer before editing)
The person with the best bracket at the end of the tournament will win a FREE t-shirt of their choosing from the Swoggle Shop!
You gotta play to win! Channel your inner Digger Phelps, call your favorite bracketologist, and don't take Robbie E too far! It is Marcho Madness season and we couldn't be happier.