I’m proud to say that my first wrestling pay-per-view experience was WrestleMania 3, headlined by the epic showdown between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. I remember the thrill of watching Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage exchange 1,321 consecutive 2-counts on one another... all within the first 10 minutes of action! At the time I was 11, so young that I was actually excited to see the opening tag team bout between the Can-Am Connection and Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco. I couldn’t believe I was witnessing the last match of the great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, hoping against hope that he would defeat Adrian Adonis, not realizing that I was so naive that I thought I was actually witnessing the last match of the great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
So fast forward a quarter century and what has changed? Well, now it’s Bob Orton’s son who is wrestling on the grandest stage of them all, while the Magnificent Muraco has passed his weird, squiggly arm vein down to John Cena. And Piper? He’s making a cameo at WrestleMania 28 as well. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same and keeps WrestleMania season feeling as familiar as your favorite pair of pants.
Or jean shorts.
But since complaining comes across much better in writing than praise, I’m going to unleash on some of the things that most disturb me about how things stand heading into WrestleMania 28.
The biggest botch of WrestleMania 28 has been the build-up to John Cena against the Rock. An 8-year-old who attends WWE house shows and dresses up like Cena could have storyboarded a better build-up on a chocolate milk-soaked napkin during lunchtime at school. Watching two grown men argue on Twitter -- and about Twitter when standing in front of one another -- infantilizes them. If I could suggest a special stipulation for their match, it would be an In-Ring Tweet-Off. Two men, two chairs, two laptops. Live tweeting with the comments showing up on the Jumbo Titantron. That or a Divas Pillow Match. Either would be appropriate considering what each guy has brought to the table, and performing finishing moves on Mark Henry two weeks before the big event doesn’t erase 11 months of garbage.
The saddest aspect of the Rock’s return have been his insults. “John Cena’s ladyparts!” “I slept with John Cena’s mom!” Please, Rock, take your mid-life crisis somewhere else, as well as your thinly veiled misogyny. Where’s Kharma when you need her?
Advice for the Undertaker
Allowing Shawn Michaels to guest referee is a big mistake for the Undertaker. I did a little googling and it appears that Shawn Michaels spent a great deal of his career teaming with Triple H... yup, that’s right... The Undertaker’s WrestleMania opponent! I know the Undertaker has taken his fair share of bumps and bruises so, perhaps, agreeing to this was a slight oversight. If I were the Taker, I’d consult David Otunga for legal advice on how to get out of this match and protect the streak. At the very least, Otunga could enlist Kane as the special guest timekeeper for the match. Why Kane? Well, I did a little more digging online and, get this, Kane is The Undertaker’s brother.
TWEETS of the WEEK
A tag team effort by Mick Foley and William Regal -- well played, boys. Well played.
My New Comic Strip
I’m tearing down the fourth wall of professional wrestling... no, rest easy, that does not mean I am pantsing The Great Khali. It means I am debuting a comic strip, utilizing my unfettered ability to process the thoughts and actions of WWE Superstars with unprecedented backstage and in-ring access. When the cameras are off, when they think no one is watching: I am there with my iPhone. The result is And Still Champion, which I am certain you will enjoy much more than Flo Rida performing the Rock’s theme music at WrestleMania.