So, for this year’s tournament, my annual preview for Marcho Madness, which is sponsored this year by the good folks over at the Squared Circle Subreddit, is supersized. I’m analyzing as much as possible to ensure that everyone gets the complete story (and so my insane simulation of every Marcho Madness since 1991 doesn’t go wasted).
For those that are unfamiliar with Marcho Madness, 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.
Here are the updated requirements for entry:
-You had to be a full-time wrestler during the grading period, either actively or seasonal (March 2013 to February 2014). This explains why Brock Lesnar, Triple H and Undertaker aren’t allowed in the tournament.
-If you hold a title in the three major wrestling companies (WWE, TNA and ROH) at the time of selection, you automatically qualify just like some of the crappy teams in the NCAA tournament making it in because they won some random conference title. Consideration is also given to developmental companies and other indies.
Now, let’s get into the Tales of the Tapes.
-Which John Cena will show up?
Much like the WWE for the last decade, Marcho Madness revolves around John Cena. The first two years of Marcho Madness feature Cena in the championship, with one title to show for it. Last year, however, Cena barely got by Jinder Mahal and was vanquished by Jack Swagger in the second round. Cena has begun to show inconsistencies in this tournament (he is 27-11 lifetime), but he still enters as the number one overall seed. Will Cena rebound and easily conquer the region or will Cena fall victim early on again? Odds are it will be interesting and factor into everyone’s brackets heavily.
-Can Randy Orton get over the hump?
Randy Orton’s resume in this tournament is, arguably, more exciting than Randy Orton in real life. He was defeated 2011 winner Matt Morgan in the Sweet Sixteen, 2012 runner-up Eddie Edwards and then hit rock bottom in the first round last year as a six seed, losing to archrival Mr. Anderson. He returns this year as the second overall seed and is looking for his first crown. Orton is 28-12 lifetime in Marcho Madness with 1 second place and 3 Elite Eight finishes. Will he finally reach the pinnacle?
-Will Daniel Bryan struggle again?
Storylines in WWE weren’t overly kind to Daniel Bryan in 2013, but the same can be said about Marcho Madness. He wrestled Mark Henry to a draw in 2011, lost to 15 seed Primo in 2012 in the opening round and underwhelmed with a second round exit thanks to Wade Barrett last year. His first stint as a number one seed will be met with excitement and support, but will he live up to the hype? Or will Daniel Bryan add to his poor 5-7-1 lifetime Marcho record?
The answer will be one of his two catchphrases.
-Can Alberto Del Rio avoid the lame duck status?
The final number one seed in Marcho Madness has always had an uphill battle in the eyes of everyone involved. Interestingly, every last number one seed has been eliminated in the Sweet 16 since this tournament began. Alberto Del Rio was one of those men that fell early and enters this year shakier as a top seed than Edge and Jeff Hardy did. He advanced to the Elite 8 in 2011, but was ousted in the first round last year by Tyson Kidd. What will happen this year? Honestly, it’s Alberto Del Rio. I’m surprised I got this many sentences out for him.
-What the hell is going on with two seeds?
Many would think that Magnus, Bully Ray, CM Punk and AJ Styles are sitting pretty as two seeds. It actually might be the opposite. Every two seed lost in the first round last year (to people like Joey Ryan and Justin Gabriel) and no two seed has made it past the Sweet 16 in three years. Magnus is the newer option coming off two victories last year. Bully Ray wants to rebound from his draw with Jay Lethal last year (and return to the championship after losing to Batista in 2007). CM Punk has an impressive 6-3 live Marcho record, but may never be in this tournament again. AJ Styles is lifetime 5-11 in Marcho Madness and hopes to fix that in 2014. What will the New Age Outlaws, Jay Briscoe and Tommaso Ciampa have to say about all of this?
-How will the veterans perform?
Establish names in Marcho Madness are looking for their first title this year after Tensai proved that anything can happen in 2013 by winning the whole thing and not even being in the tournament this year. Dolph Ziggler was the man Tensai beat in the championship last year and holds an impressive 7-3 live Marcho record. As a generous four seed, Dolph could go deep again. Jack Swagger is the only man to beat John Cena and Triple H in Marcho Madness and has been in 2 Elite Eights. His path as an 8 seed will be fun to follow. Wade Barrett is always consistent (5-3 live record). Sheamus won in 2010 and has a favorable draw as a 6 seed. Big Show won Marcho Madness in 2000 and 2005, but has struggled in live events. Kane has been in more Marcho Madness matches than anyone, but never won the whole thing. Will one of these men finally cement their Marcho Madness legacy?
-Which fresh face will emerge?
Several newcomers join the tournament this year. People like Luke Harper, the Usos and Ethan Carter III are all notable names to look out for, but so much young talent could thrive in Marcho Madness this year. The Shield was relatively new when they debuted in Marcho Madness last year to little success. With another year of experience (and actual characters in the game), don’t count these three seeds out. Cesaro, Big E and Damien Sandow all have limited experience as well, but could have their stocks significantly rise if they have impress this year. No one was expecting much from Brodus Clay, Mason Ryan or Douglas Williams in past tournaments. Who will shock the world in 2014?
-Will the small time make a bigger impact?
ROH regressed in the tournament last year after Eddie Edwards’ great run in 2012. This year, Adam Cole sets a record for an independent talent, grabbing a three seed thanks to his current stints as ROH and PWG Champion. He has all the video game tools to make it far in the tournament. Johnny Gargano gets bumped up from a 13 to a 5 seed this year and could really surprise some people as well. NXT’s presence continues to bloom in Marcho Madness. Will Bo Dallas or the Ascension thoroughly ruin this concept with a deep run? Don’t count out some people just because you aren’t familiar with them.
-Who will be upset?
Nobody called DOC defeating The Rock or Great Khali over Kurt Angle. If I have learned anything after watching so much stupid video game wrestling simulations, it is that anything can literally happen. I’ve seen Brian Knobbs make Vader tap out, for crying out loud. Who is susceptible to a shocking early exit this year? Keep your eyes on The Miz over Jeff Hardy, Gunner or James Storm over Bobby Roode, Fandango over Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam over Goldust. Those men have the potential to bust some brackets and go far.
-Which matches will cause marking out?
Sometimes, WWE’s video game has a great wrestling mind and totally watchable/enthralling matches come through. On paper, I can’t wait to watch Davey Richards vs Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt vs Adrian Neville and Sheamus vs Kofi Kingston. Looking further, the possibilities are endless. On paper, this year’s crop is the best. Hopefully, that breeds the best matches as well.
Before we completely wrap up, here is a list of every Marcho Madness Champion and Runner-Up ever. Note: this concept started in 2011, but I was crazy bored last year and simulated the tournament for every other year possible. I did this after I got married somehow.
1991 Winner: Jim Neidhart; Runner-Up: Ricky Morton
1992 Winner: Jim Neidhart; Runner-Up: Ultimate Warrior
1993 Winner: Bret Hart; Runner-Up: Barry Windham
1994 Winner: Lex Luger; Runner-Up: Giant Gonzalez
1995 Winner: Yokozuna; Runner-Up: Avalanche
1996 Winner: The Undertaker; Runner-Up: Cactus Jack
1997 Winner: Lex Luger; Runner-Up: Brian Knobbs
1998 Winner: Bret Hart; Runner-Up: Lex Luger
1999 Winner: Goldberg; Runner-Up: Sting
2000 Winner: Big Show; Runner-Up: Masato Tanaka
2001 Winner: Goldberg; Runner-Up: Lex Luger
2002 Winner: DDP; Runner-Up: Rhyno
2003 Winner: Shelton Benjamin; Runner-Up: Ken Shamrock
2004 Winner: Brock Lesnar; Runner-Up: Goldberg
2005 Winner: Big Show; Runner-Up: JBL
2006 Winner: Triple H; Runner-Up: Kane
2007 Winner: Batista; Runner-Up: Brother Ray
2008 Winner: Tomko; Runner-Up: Randy Orton
2009 Winner: Triple H; Runner-Up: Tomko
2010 Winner: Sheamus; Runner-Up: John Morrison
2011 Winner: Matt Morgan; Runner-Up: John Cena
2012 Winner: John Cena; Runner-Up: Eddie Edwards
2013 Winner: Tensai; Runner-Up: Dolph Ziggler
Whew, that went long. But, I hope that goes to show how awesome this can be. So enough analysis…it’s time to get your picks!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE 2014 MARCHO MADNESS BRACKET
(ALTERNATIVE DOWNLOAD LINK)
(Send completed brackets to
You gotta play to win! Fill out your bracket for a chance to win some sweet prizes including ONE YEAR OF THE WWE NETWORK FREE!!!
Channel your inner Digger Phelps, call your favorite bracketologist, and don't take Bobby Fish too far! It is Marcho Madness season and we couldn't be happier.