Thursday, March 31, 2011

WrestleMania Week: WrestleMania Weekend

I have an extremely busy weekend ahead of me. Obviously WrestleMania – the Grandaddy of Them All, the Showcase of The Immortals, WROSSLEMAYNYA! – is Sunday night at Phillips, but there is a massive shit-ton of stuff going on between now and then.

Thursday 3/31/2011
Platinum Championship Wrestling @ The Masquerade – FREE SHOW!
You should really come out to this if you can. PCW has entertained the heck out of me every time I’ve gone and with tonight being a FREE SHOW I can’t imagine why you would skip it. The only scheduled matches are a First Blood match between Pandora and Aisha Sunshine and Vordell Walker challenging Shane Marx for the PCW Championship.
The women’s match was set up back in January when Pandora refused to stop slamming Sunshine’s head into the ring post after drawing blood. I fully expect some crazy shit out of this one.
The Main Event was also set up back in January. After Marx – who has been the champion for over 365 calendar days now – not only defended the title from an invading competitor but won that company’s strap as well, Walker emerged from backstage and issued a challenge. Marx accepted because that’s how he rolls. This match should be amazing. Both of these guys are seriously awesome and I haven’t seen them fight one another before.
Along with those two matches I’m sure we’ll see appearances from The Exotic Ones, the Konkrete Gorillaz, Jay Fury and all the PCW regulars. Hopefully Seanbaby will show up, too.

Friday 4/1/2011
Ring of Honor presents: Honor Takes Center Stage @ Center Stage Theater
See what they did there?
Don’t tell anybody, but I’m actually more excited about this show than anything else all weekend. Don’t get me wrong – WrestleMania is a HUGE deal for me. It’s just that we usually get the opportunity to see the WWE guys a couple of times a year. ROH never comes to Atlanta. I also think it’s pretty funny that we paid almost exactly the same amount of money for the ROH tickets as we did the WrestleMania tickets (around $35 + TicketBastard’s obscene “service” charge).
For some insane reason there is a message stating “No video or digital cameras” for this event. We’ll see about that. Depending on what I can get away with combined with how much I drink, the recap for this show might not be very good. I’m bringing my phone, my Canon and a few disposable cameras just in case those are okay with the nut who made that rule. Thank God for cargo pants.
ROH World Title Match - ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards defends vs. World TV Champion Christopher Daniels
I don’t know who Eddie Edwards is, but I definitely know who Christopher Daniels is. If ROH thinks Edwards is the man to hang with Daniels in the Main Event then I’m inclined to believe them.
World Tag Team Title Match - The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) with Shane Hagadorn defend vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas)
I am very excited to see Haas and Benjamin in this kind of environment. They’re tow of the best, most physical grapplers of our generation and I think it’s a privilege to get to see them like this. I didn’t even know Hero and Castagnoli were a tag team, but they’re both excellent performers who should be able to create a memorable match with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
Final Battle 2010″ Rematch - Roderick Strong with Truth Martini vs. Davey Richards
You had me at “Roderick Strong”, but after seeing Davey Richards in action at PCW a couple of months ago I’m even more stoked. This will be an outstanding match.
Tag Team Challenge Match - Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly
The Briscoes are probably Ring of Honor’s greatest tag team. I’m actually a little shocked they haven’t been signed by WWE yet. I’ve only ever seen them on DVD, so I’m stoked to be seeing them live. The other team are a couple of guys I’ve never heard of.
Grudge Match - El Generico vs. Michael Elgin*The House of Truth Is Banned From Ringside
I have heard of El Generico and Angry Matt is a huge fan of the guy. Michael Elgin is totally unknown to me and I have no idea who the House of Truth is.
Women of Honor - Sara Del Rey & Serena Deeb vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ayumi Kurihara
Del Rey was in TNA for a cup of coffee, but must have figured out what a shitty company she was working for. Deeb is, of course, CM Punk’s former Straight Edge Society moll. I am not familiar with the other two ladies, but I think they might be Asian.
Also scheduled to appear:
- Homicide
- The All Night Express
- Colt Cabana
- The Embassy with Prince Nana

Anything with Homicide or Cabana will be good, but I sure wish it was a match between them. Their feud from a few years ago is INSANE. I’m not overly familiar with The Embassy but I know who Prince Nana is and I’ve never heard of The All Night Express, but it sounds like something Joey Ryan should be involved with. We should be so lucky.


Saturday 4/2/2011
WWE WrestleMania XXVII Fan Axxess
I have no problem admitting that I get a kick out of meeting famous people that I think are cool. I like getting autographs and I love getting my picture with these folks. Not everybody is into that and I get it; but I enjoy brushing shoulders with people who followed their dreams and made them happen. I don’t need to be their pals, it’s just cool to be able to say, “Hey, look at this picture of me and Gail Kim!”
Of course, Axxess is more than just standing in line waiting to have Zack Ryder sign an 8x10. There will also be matches, interactive attractions such as being able to call a match or record a ring entrance, Vince McMahon’s limo and all kinds of other WWE history on display.
According to the website, these are the Superstars we can expect to meet at our session:

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Sheamus, Chavo Guerrero, Gail Kim, Rosa and more!

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.John Morrison, Undertaker, The Corre, Beth Phoenix, Daniel Bryan, Harley Race, and more!
Not too shabby. I’m pretty stoked about Booker, my close personal not-friend Gail Kim, ‘Taker, Bryan and Harley Race. Lil’ Troublemaker will get a kick out of seeing Rey in person. And I don’t want to sound like a dick, but if Rosa and The Corre are actually listed then I can’t imagine who is insignificant enough to warrant the “and more!” moniker. Rest assured, I’ll let you know.

World Wrestling Entertainment presents: 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
The Ring of Honor show might top my “Stoked” list for this weekend, but the HOF ceremony is a very close second. This is something that I think is a huge deal to witness live and in person. You can see wrestling matches any time you want, but to see some of the Legends of the industry inducted into the Hall of Fame and hear their commentary, stories, whatever live and in person is a HUGE deal to me. I find it intolerable that most of the paying audience will be in shorts and t-shirts and probably fucking flip flops for all I know; and the fact that it’s being held in Phillips Arena rather than the FOX or the Civic Center or something probably doesn’t help. Fuck those shitbags. Me and Gnoll will be in suits showing the proper respect to what should be a classy event. Here’s the lineup for 2011 (from Wikipedia):
"The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels
Three-time
WWF Champion, one-time World Heavyweight Champion, three-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner, first WWE wrestler to achieve the "Grand Slam".
I cannot believe we’re going to be in attendance for the Greatest Of All Time’s HOF induction.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
(James Stuart Duggan)
It’s Hacksaw. The “USA” chants will be deafening.
I’m a little shocked DiBiase isn’t already in. I wonder if Virgil will be there. Maybe he’ll be hanging around outside offering autographs and relationship advice.
"Bullet" Bob Armstrong
Held several NWA regional championships. Father of four wrestlers:
Scott, Brad, Steve and Brian.
I mainly know Bullet Bob from TNA, but it is kind of a kick that we’re going to see him inducted.
Sunny
Billed by WWE as the first
Diva.
I think of Miss Elizabeth as the first Diva, but Sunny is great, too. I’m very interested in seeing who she talks shit about during her speech.
Celebrity inductee.
Okay. I like Drew Carey and all – Human Cartoon was one of the first stand-up specials I really enjoyed and I still think the cop bit from it is hilarious (“Do you know why I pulled you over?” “Yeah – do you know why I ran the stop sign?”) – but I can’t say this is a high point for me.
Abdullah the Butcher
A
hardcore legend known for appearing in a number of wrestling territories, holding a variety of regional championships.
I’m also a little shocked Abby isn’t already in. this is cool.
Who doesn’t love these guys? I’ve got to wonder of Droz should have been included here. I’m not sure he’ll get his own induction down the road.
Long-time manager in the AWA, NWA, WWF and AJPW.
Precious” Paul was presented as kind of a package deal with the Road Warriors on TV, but I think he deserves his own slot.

Sunday 4/3/2011
WWE WrestleMania XXVII
Okay, just because I’m super-duper-stoked about ROH and the HOF doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to the Big Show (the event, not the dude). Despite our seats being waaay up in the nosebleeds, this is going to be AWESOME. I wish it was reasonable to plan on going directly back to the house afterwards and watch the replay (hell, now that I think about it maybe we will). I’m only guessing at the match order, but here’s what’s been announced so far (and likely the entire card, save for a possible Battle Royal dark match).
Fuck you, WWE. I hate this match because I don’t want to cheer for that fat little reality show butt dumpling, but I can’t very well go against Trish Stratus. I’ll tell you what – let me just rearrange this match to an acceptable format:
Trish Stratus, Layla El and John Morrison vs. Michelle McCool, Butt Dumpling and Mr. Ziggles (with Vickie Guerrero)
Okay, now that’s something I can get behind. I think this one will jerk the curtain because it’s going to be a big crowd participation match with a happy ending.
Sheamus (c) vs. Daniel Bryan Singles match for the United States Championship
This will be a great workrate match, also likely with a happy ending. I’m stoked to see these two really go at it. I hope I’m right about the placement on the card because WWE is probably going to cut time somewhere and I would much rather it be from the Kofi/Makeyoutired match than this one.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes Singles match
This will probably be entertaining, but I just don’t have much vested in it. I like both guys just fine, this feud just hasn’t done anything for me.
Piss/merch booth break. Sorry, guys.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk Singles match
This match might well kill me. I have no doubt it’s going to be solidly entertaining, I’m just going to have trouble sitting amongst that many people cheering for Randall Keith Orton. This has been a good story, though, and I fully expect Punk to have some dirty shenanigans up his sleeve.
Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre Singles match
Maybe WWE won’t schedule the piss break matches so close together. I like Kofi an awful lot, but I have zero tolerance for Drew Makeyoutired. He bores the ever-loving shit out of me. I think it would be a challenge to watch that useless lump of suck in a match with Shawn Michaels. Even his theme music puts me to sleep, for fuck’s sake.
I almost hope I’m wrong about the card from this point on, because if I’m right this shit is going to be exhausting. I am so excited about these last four matches it actually surprises me a little bit. Not only did Alberto Del Rio strut into WWE and immediately establish himself as a Superstar Main Eventer, he also fired Edge up. If you don’t know, Edge had been sucking pretty badly since his third or fourth face turn in the last thirteen months. That’s hard for me to say because I really like Edge and he’s Mrs. Troublemaker’s favorite wrestler. This match will be fantastic, with shenanigans from newbie Broadus Clay and probably a surprise from Captain Charisma. Well, definitely a surprise from Christian because I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t turn heel on Edge; but I’ll also be shocked if he does. I can’t explain that one, but I think you know what I mean.
Hoo boy. I absolutely hate announcer storylines. And I really don’t like Jerry Lawler very much. But Michael Cole has been such an absolutely reprehensible, irritating douchebag for the last two years that I cannot wait to see him get his ass kicked. Like, bad. Like, hospital bad. Add Stone Cold to the mix and you’ve got a readymade crowd-pleaser. I predict this is the match I’ll lose my voice during, if I haven’t already lost it earlier in the weekend.
Triple H vs. The Undertaker No Holds Barred match
Do I even need to explain why this is awesome? For starters, Triple H’s last WrestleMania match against ‘Taker was so good that it made me stop hating Triple H. That’s the point where I just had to admit that he’s as good as he says. This is going to be intense, but I bet the crowd is as quiet as a Japanese audience. At least, up until the last ten minutes or so. This one is going to be heavily booked, but amazing.
The Miz (c) vs. John Cena Singles match for the WWE Championship
I have stated before that I love The Miz. I’ve followed the guy’s career since his Real World days and I’m thrilled he has made such a name for himself. The fact that he is Main Eventing WrestleMania is just awesome, but he sure as shit isn’t going to win. Damn, you Cena! This will be a fast-paced match that fires on all cylinders (whatever that means).
So there you go. I’m going to be fucking exhausted Monday. I don’t know when or if I’ll put up recaps of everything, but I’ll do my best to make whatever I can manage to do entertaining. If you’re at any of the events and see the purple mask, say “Hi” and buy me a beer. Or at least get a picture with the big guy!

Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

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