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Posted in: Kleck Presents
Kleck Goes Daily! Week 5- Day 35: Is This Wrestlemania, Or A Participation Award Ceremony?
By Kleckamania
Mar 19, 2017 - 6:22:46 PM

Day 35

Hello all and welcome back for day 35 of Kleck Goes Daily! It is hard to believe we are closing up on five full weeks of consecutive columns today! Where does the time go? Well if trends hold most likely the time is going to Wrestlemania 33, like anyone and everything else seemingly in the world. What am I on about? Let's see...

Is This Wrestlemania, Or A Participation Award Ceremony?

Not too long ago I wrote a column in this very series of dailies where I deduced that most likely Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made the bone headed move of causing a No Contest in the #1 contender's match for the RAW Tag Team titles this past week because WWE was being nice and giving another team a shot to perform at the biggest professional wrestling PPV of the year, Wrestlemania. And if you look at the current card you can see that WWE might have extended the same kind gesture multiple times to many performers.

Currently there are roughly 14 matches on the card. And correct me if I'm wrong, but that stands to be a record if it holds. Not only that, but even if a few matches get relegated to the pre-show, we are still looking at the largest amount of competitors involved in this event ever, and that is before other speculated matches potentially are added in the remaining few weeks before the big night. That's a good thing, right? Well part of me thinks it is, but a bigger part of me doesn't.

My memories of Wrestlemania as a little Kleck were pretty awesome. It was one of the maybe two times a year that my family would go over to a friends house specifically for a professional wrestling party. I'm dating myself, you see back then often times the average family only ordered a few of the PPV's a year, and oftentimes, at least where I grew up, people would split the cost and have a little get together to watch the PPV's in groups. Our group was typically my brother's buddies family, and my dad, brother, sister, and I. And all these years later, I can still vividly recall those parties, because it was a big deal for little Kleck.

There was an air of magic that time of year in wrestling. A time when year long feuds came to a head, and intrigue was at a yearly high, like it is supposed to be. And cards weren't a whole lot smaller in the average year back then, but the fewer matches meant more, and were given more time to develop and tell a story, so truly the less amount of matches weren't very noticeable. If a match was on a Wrestlemania card, it meant something, and was a match that people anticipated and talked about well in advance of the event.

And now all these years later it seems like the biggest event of the year is becoming something much different. It kind of feels like that book in high school that would offer to include students throughout the United States- it was called the Who's Who Of High School (insert year here) or something like that. Most people would feel so special to be included, like you were now approaching celebrity status or something. You would ask your mom or dad to pay the fee for the book, then when you got it after a few months you realize that pretty much every freaking high school student alive in the United States was in that book. Instead of some magical book highlighting the coolest kids alive, it was essentially just a glorified phone book with pictures. Instantly you start to realize it really isn't that special, and you kind of just got scammed. I'm sure a lot of the older fans reading this though fell for it at least that one time.

Wrestlemania kind of feels like that now. Like we pay to see this huge spectacle that is the pinnacle of professional wrestling each year, with match after match of pure awesomeness, and then instead we get a who's who of professional wrestling, where they parade out a seeming million wrestlers and each only has a fraction of time to connect with the audience- kind of like a glorified episode of Monday Night RAW.

And I get that part of it is that now that we have the WWE Network, WWE doesn't have to adhere to a time restriction, so they can make the event bigger, and at the same time they have the leg room and ability to be nicer nowadays and give more people the opportunity to perform at the event everyone grew up dreaming about, but it is getting to the point where Wrestlemania just doesn't feel as special as it used to.

Some of the matches look great on paper, while others are complete throwaways. And you see rumors about how WWE is still planning on adding wrestlers to other matches, and add additional last second matches, and the issue just compounds. Take for instance the Women's triple threat match for the RAW Women's Championship. Rumors are now flying that either Dana Brooke, or Nia Jax will be added to at least make it a fatal four way, though there are even some reports that say it will wind up being a 5 woman match come time for April 2nd. This was one of the matches I was most looking forward to, but if they make it a four or five woman match the quality will inevitably water down so much, especially paired with the limited time to work out a decent match, that this match could wind up becoming one of the worst matches on the card.

Then you look at the Triple Threat tag match for the RAW tag titles, the Smackdown women's cluster fu*k, the Andre Memorial match, the mixed tag match, e.t.c. and it just seems like WWE is trying to fit the entire roster on the card at the sacrifice of quality matches and compelling storytelling. Like everyone gets a participation trophy, regardless of how their year was as a competitor. And as a result, we lose a bit of what Wrestlemania is supposed to be. It would be like if every team in the NFL got to play in the Superbowl each year. Kind of kills the value of the season leading up to it, in addition to the event itself.

Honestly, I don't want 20 mediocre matches stretching across 6 hours of time. I'd rather 10 really good matches that were given more time and tender loving care and attention to detail. I want the bestfeuds of the year, that stretch across numerous months, between the very best wrestlers of the year. Matches that you are on the edge of your seat before the bell has even rung. But it seems those days are gone at least in regards to Wrestlemania.

Wrestlemania has become the shiny Who's Who book that seeks to attract the largest audience possible for one night. It attempts to include every single demographic, and every single taste, by adding as many wrestlers and angles as possible, which in turn waters down the entire product/card, and it is getting to the point where present day Kleck only looks forward to it now because it is a given that WWE concludes and begins their central storylines on this particular night, and there should be 2 or 3 really good matches. If it wasn't at least that much I would just watch NXT Takeover: Orlando and skim through most of the matches on the main roster card, which is sad when I look back on those seemingly magical first handful of Wrestlemanias.

Wrestlemania isn't supposed to be a participation award ceremony. Not everyone, and every feud is a unique snowflake that deserves its own spotlight and recognition. Though I suspect this particular night will be just that going forward. Even more so with each successive year. This is the night where WWE has the most outside eyes looking at them, so they do everything they can to bring in as many new paying customers as possible to the product. So all their assorted flavors are on display for this one night out of the year. And when all the flavors are there, none of them feel all that special. The woes of a publicly traded professional wrestling company. Everyone gets acknowledged, but not everyone wins.

And with that we conclude week 5 of Kleck Goes Daily! Have anything to add, or anything you want to discuss? Let's do so in the comments section. Until then I am Kleckamania, thank you for reading, and hopefully I will see you tomorrow for day 36.

Day 34

Hello all and welcome back for day 34 of Kleck Goes Daily! Well, how in the world could I avoid this topic? It is easily the single biggest topic in the professional wrestling world today, and nobody else is touching it with a ten foot pole, so here we go...

What Will Fappen To Brad Maddox, Paige, & Xavier Woods?

{Warning: This will be impossible to do completely tastefully. Especially since I just spent the last 24 hours communicating with SkitZ a lot! The man is a bad influence- not to mention I'm no angel. And come on, did you hear the news?!?}

So unless you live under a rock you have undoubtedly heard that some private footage of Paige bumping fuzzies with guy pals, and being adventerous with herself was hacked off of her iCloud and illegally delivered to the world Friday. And it is not the kind of footage you want floating around for everyone to see. Just the thought of your parents seeing their precious little boy or girl going ten toes to Jesus is enough to make the most laid back of people tense up, but this is much worse than that. And her mom and dad have acknowledged to seeing this all and have publicly addressed it... yuck!

Based on, umm, reports from a friend of mine (yeah... let's go with that!), Paige is seen performing sex acts with Brad Maddox, Xavier Woods, and an unidentified man in multiple scenes. In one of the scenes Paige is with both Brad and Xavier at the same time. She also apparently does some personal exploring in a way Dora would never approve of. If you haven't seen it, it's pretty bad.

Though Paige is a consenting adult, and the people in this footage are also. This footage was also stolen and distributed without consent, but the problem is two of the people in the footage are currently employed by a company that is very much predominantly geared/aimed at children, a company that faces extreme levels of public scrutiny on a daily basis. The scrutiny is also typically involving stuff that is tame compared to world wide distributed gang bangs and various other sex acts.

Paige and Xavier shouldn't get in trouble, but they will. There is nothing illegal on the footage, though WWE has an image to uphold, and those totally legal, and natural (mostly) acts just don't fit within that image. And some can say that there have been Superstars in the past that have had pictures or footage exposed (looking at you, Seth Rollins!), but to my knowledge none of it depicted hardcore sex acts. The only time it did, was when footage was leaked from former wrestlers like Chyna and Hulk Hogan, and Chyna was never invited back as a result of that mixed with other personal issues. As for Hulk, he only was brought back after a successful court case against the people who illegally released said footage, and even that was some time after the controversy settled down. Let's even look at Sunny- to my knowledge she hasn't had any footage leak, and yet her rumored history and issues with the law is enough for WWE to now avoid her like the plague.

Understand though, Vince and WWE are kind of stuck with Paige in the moment, and that is due to a movie they are currently co-producing with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and his Seven Buck Productions studio. The movie is essentially a dramatized comedic glimpse into Paige's family, and her upbringing on the way to professional wrestling stardom. The cast involves Hollywood stars including The Rock and Vince Vaughn among others, and a lot of money and time has been sunk into this project already- it is past the point of no return. And considering the cast and money being pumped into it, it is set to be a fairly big screen comedic release. She might even wind up with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame next to William Hung, and not because "She Bangs".

This means it would be downright surprising to see Paige get fired now, even though she already has two strikes against her based on WWE company policy, and there is most likely something in the fine print that was breached based on the leaked footage (sexual acts on company grounds, i.e. giving a whole new use and meaning to the WWE Performance Center). And despite that violation, I can't see WWE giving Paige strike three, and parting ways with her right now.

Vince McMahon has got to be furious at the moment. Granted publicity is publicity, but this kind of publicity at this time really boxes WWE into a corner. Even with a perceived legal out, it doesn't show much sympathy from an employer if you are fired due to someone stealing your personal information and making it public without your consent. Regardless of how graphic and dirty said personal information is. Add in the potential success of this movie, paired with the potential redemption in court and increased popularity of Sariya if this movie becomes a hit, and WWE is truly stuck having to wade through a disasterous PR nightmare for the foreseeable future.

Xavier Woods doesn't have that kind of leverage at the moment though except for his UpUpDownDown side project. I suspect Woods won't receive a strike, or any visible disciplinary action, but I imagine New Days days are numbered, now sooner than ever, and I suspect Xavier will disappear from WWE television in the immediate future after Wrestlemania, possibly not being seen again, or if so, a while down the road after a successful courtroom vindication, and then just to live out the rest of his contract eating losses. Which kind of sucks, but truth be told Xavier's ceiling once New Day disbanded was inevitably going to be pretty low anyways. It's just a shame that this whole sticky situation might accelerate the whole process.

As for what will happen to Sariya long after the movie is released, whether it is a hit or not, I suspect WWE will quietly part ways with her once her contract is up with the company in 2019. And the whole time in between we can look forward to people speculating on whether we will be asking what Paige is doing in the Impact Zone, though we never have to ponder again if she is vegan (giggity). I suspect though that we have seen the last of Paige in a WWE ring, which she probably prefers anyways considering she has been at ends with WWE for some time now.

And what will become of Brad Maddox? Well if anything he is the only person that will most likely come out of this not only unharmed, but if anything, more popular. And here we were thinking Brad accomplished nothing in WWE, though I wouldn't hold my breath on the possibility of Brad working in WWE again anytime soon, unless it is behind a camera (seriously, guy might have found his calling). Though now he has a lot of buzz surrounding his name, so if he is smart he should strike while the proverbial booking iron is hot on the indy scene (pro wrestling that is).

And as for us? We will go on being a bunch of dirty pervs who glorify crap like this by seeking it out and viewing it (as Dewey Cox would say, "Guilty as charged"). Though I'm sure none of us would be so intrigued to see leaked sex footage of ourselves, or those we love all over the internet unwillingly. Yet that won't stop us from jumping at the opportunity to see a scandal unfold for someone else. Human nature is a bit douchey like that. And though there is some creedance to the notion that if you don't want that kind of attention, don't put personal stuff like that somewhere it can be found and broadcasted, who among us doesn't live in a glass house in the technological age we currently live in? I'm sure all of us have things that we wouldn't want to have put on blast, though maybe not quite as bad as Paige in most cases. Seriously, Rick James might have been seeing into the future when he wrote "Super Freak". But still, most likely all among us should have some sympathy for Paige, Brad, and Xavier, as this has to be an extremely embarassing time in their lives, and none of us are saints. Something to think about when you are ready to go all fire and brimstone on the poor, extremely adventerous young girl and boys in middle of this unfortunate breach of privacy. After all, what happens in the performance center is supposed to stay in the performance center. All joking aside though I'm sure everyone reading this could put themselves in these individuals shoes and empathize with what they must be dealing with right now. And we should, just to remind ourselves of our own humanity- myself included.

And now that day 34 of Kleck Goes Daily! is a wrap, I'm off to go take a scalding hot shower to try and wash off this imaginary filth this subject seems to have layered on me. That, food, and beer- I'm overstimulated. Anything to add, or that you want to discuss? Let's hear (see) it below in the comments section! Until then I'm Kleckamania, thanks as always for reading, and see you tomorrow for day 35- AKA the end of week 5!

Day 33

Hello all and welcome to day 33 of Kleck Goes Daily! This is now the column series that has more entries than Wrestlemania! And I decided due to that that today’s column should be about Wrestlemania, and should be special, so it is a collab. Who is my collab partner you ask? Well I couldn’t convince Chuck Norris to join me, as he was too busy with demi-God stuff, but this guy is good too! He is a former main page columnist, and a LordsOfPain Hall Of Famer, and he is kind of like a venereal disease, in that he will always be with us. If I had a Festival Of Friendship, this man would be involved, I introduce to you, SkitZ!

SkitZ (Kleck is too lazy to do the assorted color coding so just pretend it's there): Thank you Kleck for that oh so flattering analogy. Here I was expecting to have the red carpet rolled out for me and instead, I receive the Melina treatment (presumably because I’ll get into bed with anyone around here). My reputation is clearly warranted since I won’t give it a rest with the juvenile humor but for Kleck’s sake, I’ll clean up my act. After all, the last thing I wanna do is squeeze douche and Melina in the same sentence. Yeesh sorry for that visual. I really need to update my material.

You’re like the JBL of column writing- teaching us about wrestling (or some obscure olympic event) from 600 years ago! Okay, today we split a column, kind of like A Tale Of Two Cities but much, much less poignant, articulate, and artistic. After all, it’s SkitZ and I, we are barely above primates on the evolutionary scale- barely. Today we break down an upcoming main event match at Wrestlemania by discussing the two individuals involved- SkitZ will tell you all about his thoughts on The Undertaker present day, while I tell you something about Roman Reigns. I’d say you may not like this, but most people are resoundingly flinging their crap at this match anyways, so we may get away with some monkeying around. Also, I’m not sure monkeying is a word, but it fits the semi clever wordplay, so just pretend it is to humor us. Anyways, let’s jump in!

Roman Reigns & The Undertaker (Stranger Thoughts Collaboration/Mega Column!)

Well, I guess I’ll get the ball rolling by talking about everyone’s favorite superstar with zero split ends, Roman Reigns! Seriously though, the guy has some pretty majestic hair, what he doesn’t have though, is many fans- but I am starting to think that is by WWE design. What am I saying? Well I’m saying if you are waiting for Roman Reigns to officially turn heel, he already did, so don’t wait any longer!

If you watched Monday Night RAW this week, or even skimmed through it like most of us do these days, you might have seen a segment between Roman Reigns and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Mark your calendars, as this was officially the moment it happened. Answer me this, when a legend like Shawn Michaels comes out to give you friendly advice as to how to approach a match with another legend like the Undertaker, how would you typically respond if you were a good guy or face? I’d bet your answer wouldn’t involve throwing the advice back in HBK’s face, and then strutting away. Not the actions of a face even slightly. Well that is exactly what Roman Reigns did.

When HBK offered advice, Reigns pointed out that Undertaker retired him, and Reigns would be the guy that is going to retire the Undertaker, and dismissed everything Shawn had to say before proclaiming that WWE was his yard now, and walking away towards the back. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen anyone else point to this as his heel turn moment honestly. I think most fans are waiting for some massively definitive moment, like Vince comes out in a dark robe covered in pentagrams and he embraces Reigns, then they sacrifice some puppies or something on a bone altar while bathing in the blood and laughing all sinisterly together the entire time. Well WWE clearly isn’t trying to hit us over the head with this heel turn like that. They are toying with adult fans emotions with a subtle slow heel turn. Making us question just what he is, and what WWE is doing with him. And it is working like a charm.

It wasn’t that way at first. As most of us would know Reigns was pushed hard as a babyface, and it failed epicly. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fans turn on a face like this in my life. It has actually been kind of amazing to watch first hand honestly. And as a result, gradually, Reigns started changing. He started getting more cocky, and saying things like, “I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy, I’m just the guy”, and acting way more uppity and over confident. He now revels in succeeding where most hoped he’d fail, and does it with a smug attitude that just screams heel. At this point WWE wants us to hate him, but in order for us to truly hate him, they have to leave a sliver of ambiguity as to whether he is a face or not, just to sell that fan hatred for him.

Admit it, nowadays if you are a heel, most adult fans love you. WWE doesn’t want us to love Roman Reigns. They want kids to love him, because he is big, strong, tough, and always prevails, but they want us to hate him, and we won’t hate him if he is a full blown heel. This whole situation feels like a new aged way of building a heel in professional wrestling. Like fan sentiment evolved, making heels popular and liked, so WWE had to figure out a way to build up someone in a way that made it so fans just could not stand them. And it appears WWE did this by effectively using very similar booking to John Cena’s.

It is no surprise that most adult fans could not stand Cena for a lot of years. Mainly because he never lost, overcame everyone, and just racked up title win after title win, and accolade after accolade. There were practically no weaknesses and flaws in the character, and WWE just kept repeatedly shoving the man down our throats. Back then they did this because Cena was the babyface of the company, but now it seems like they smartened up and gave this same build to a guy they want to push as a heel. They don’t want us to relate to him, because if we do it builds positive sentiment towards him. They want this character to be inaccessible to the common adult fan, it just drives us further from him, and plays right into their hands. As for the kids? If Reigns keeps winning clean, and being dominant, kids will eat it up and love him, which only makes us dislike the guy more.

To an extent I’m even surprised that WWE had a heel moment as big as Reigns disrespecting Shawn Michaels so blatantly, as it is a bit heavier handed, it almost makes me wonder if that is WWE’s not so subtle way of proverbially winking at fans to acknowledge his turn. And what made the moment even more obvious was the crowd reaction to Braun Strowman coming out and just leveling Reigns from behind as he walked up the ramp. It was a clear heel move by Braun, blindsiding Reigns as he had his back turned, and yet fans ate it up. Fans loudly chanted, “Thank you Strowman”, effectively completing the Reigns heel turn. This moment showed us two things- one, it confirmed that fans dig heels. Braun uses heel tactics frequently and fans love him now, this shows us that building a true heel nowadays is so much harder than it ever was before; and two, it shows us that despite those clear heel moves, fans still sided against Reigns because they just can not stand him, which means WWE is doing their job with him very, very well.

Some might say this is just WWE being completely inept, and trying to force a square peg in a round hole, but that HBK/Strowman segment is a dead giveaway that that is not the case. And it looks like WWE is going to give us one more of those moments, as unbeatable Reigns now faces beloved Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Fans love Undertaker, and yet there is just about no chance Reigns loses this match. At this point my sincere hope is this becomes a stipulation match in which Taker has to retire if he loses, and Reigns beats Taker clean. For a while I hoped he did it by cheating, and just blatantly coming out of the closet as a full blown heel, but now I kind of hope he wins proper. This will send fans into a maddened frenzy. I’m kind of smirking just thinking about the levels of anger that would permeate throughout the WWE Universe if it went down that way. And if it is by WWE design to blur the face/heel line with him, then that would be one of the best heel builds in WWE history as far as I’m concerned.

Look even beyond this Wrestlemania, into the newest rumors circulating about next year’s Wrestlemania. Reports have surfaced that Reigns will face Brock Lesnar at next year’s Wrestlemania for the Universal Title. Answer this, how is Brock Lesnar received by fans nowadays? I’d say undeniably as a face, as fans pop hard for him, and loudly cheer Lesnar and Heyman pretty much every time they are on our screens. So next year, if rumors are true, WWE wants to pit that monster face up against Reigns for the top prize in the company. And if you still say Lesnar is a heel and fans don’t really like him, how do you think fans will react to him this time next year if he is set to face Reigns for the Universal belt? Fans will rally behind Lesnar like you would never believe- especially after Reigns beats Taker this year. Fans will make it clear who is the heel, and who is the face, so why does WWE have to spell it out? They don’t, and they know that.

And when you look at the past few years, a Lesnar versus Reigns match next year makes sense. They had a match at Mania before, when Seth Rollins cashed in and prevented either man from claiming victory over the other, Lesnar faced and beat Taker at Mania prior, and now Reigns faces Undertaker this year. It makes sense for it to come full circle next year. And the other thing to think about is how fans ultimately backed Lesnar after his win over Taker. Many were shocked at first but did wind up accepting it and cheering for Brock. I imagine most of us would say that if Reigns beats Taker in a few weeks, that fans will not do the same for him. They will boo the man out of buildings.That makes a build up to a match between Lesnar and Reigns perfect. The fans again have determined who is the face and who is the heel, and WWE playing this all so subtly is just driving fans to react so strongly. If this is by design it is actually pretty genius. And I am now giving WWE the benefit of the doubt, as even though they have colossally screwed up stuff in the past, there is no way they are so inept and stupid that they are still honestly booking Reigns as a babyface. WWE is a fortune 500, billion dollar business, they are smarter than that. In fact, they have found a way to make a guy a face for one demographic, while making him a heel for another- I’m giving WWE props for that. As much as I prefer clearly defined face/heel lines, in this particular instance, the blend is honestly a beautiful thing.

So when the Undertaker vs Roman Reigns match takes place in a few weeks, and Roman Reigns wins clean, just know that WWE is intentionally trolling you, and they are doing it so well that most people don’t even realize it. And as for my friend SkittleZ, I get the feeling he won’t be feeding into the trolling, not because he adores Roman Reigns, but because he has some thoughts about Undertaker that he has to get off his chest. SkitZ, lay it on us.

SkitZ: Listen I’ll be the first to cheer on tradition but Taker… you sir have not aged well. And judging by all the whining amongst wrestling fans, I’m not the only one who’s lost their taste for his lightning in a bottle. We’ve been conditioned over time to sing The Undertaker’s praises and I’m tired of carrying that same old tune. The guy’s lost his step, his rhythm… the swagger isn’t there (Jack neither - WWE just released him). Granted The Phenom’s practically non-existent nowadays but even when he is relevant and that gong hits, I tune myself right the fuck out. It's obvious today’s Deadman sells tickets on namesake alone seeing as how his performances lately have been as tepid as Tito‘s. Neither man is a stranger to criticism. We’ve grown all too familiar with their tricks and trollish shenanigans and yet many people still welcome them with open arms. There comes a point however when that respect you held for them dissolves into pity and I’ve reached it.

Taker set the bar high and I’m not looking to sell his accomplishments short. All those years of dominance deserve recognition so let us applaud The Phenom’s WrestleMania streak. A commercial success dating back to the early 1990s that, like Cheers, was eventually upended by a Jew and his main attraction (no, Heyman isn’t the draw Seinfeld was but his client Brock Lesnar can sure as shit sellout a venue). The Deadman’s body of work featured its fair share of critical failures early on but he rebounded and ultimately peaked with a string of box office hits from 2005-13 (sans a meeting with Henry that should’ve been reserved for Angle instead). When the streak died though, so too did Taker’s ability to steal the show; along with his overall impact on WrestleMania.

This year’s card is a loaded deck. Hence why Undertaker has nearly gotten lost in the shuffle. If Vince didn’t bet so much of Mania’s success on The Phenom’s involvement, WWE’s younger generation wouldn’t struggle as mightily with transitioning into main eventers. You can point the finger at any handful of Attitude Era stars but Taker is the catalyst for the part-timer problem. Triple H, The Rock, Lesnar, Goldberg, etc. have each fallen in line behind the locker room leader and therefore it's he who should shoulder the majority of the blame. I almost feel guilty doing so since McMahon’s the one who’s placed said burden on The Deadman and everyone can see the toll it's taken. Hell I saw it just a few weeks ago on RAW after Taker chokeslammed Reigns. As he walked gingerly back up the ramp, I remember thinking to myself: “Damn… that man looks like he’s heading for a wheelchair; not rolling into a major match at WrestleMania”.

I find it hard to beat on someone in his position and yet I struggle to support the guy either. The sad truth is, here in 2017, Taker is basically using WrestleMania as a crutch. It’s the only thing holding him upright. At least HBK knew when to hang it up. Undertaker’s wrinkly ass is one Reigns clothesline away from his back going out in front of a worldwide audience. Its eerily reminiscent of that last Rocky movie Stallone did at age 60. No matter how many times an opponent knocks him down, The Phenom keeps getting back up. Despite the fact that everyone wishes he’d just bow out so we aren’t forced to sit through another shitty sequel. Taker has reached a point where he’s stopped looking like Mark Callaway and started mirroring Mickey Rourke the wrestler. A broken down, shell of a man clinging to paychecks and Ace bandages when he should’ve wrapped up his career years ago.

And honestly, what do Undertaker wins really accomplish at this stage? Having his hand raised as the victor does him as little good as being one half of The Ascension. I’m not saying he should be jobbed out now that the streak’s over but Wyatt certainly could’ve used that promotion from upper management two years ago. The Phenom beating Bray clean did neither of them any favors. Ditto for the Shane situation last year. Vince found himself a worthy stand-in for WM32 so why didn’t McMahon Lite follow suit? Because when Touch of Gray returned, the hair trigger fans in attendance all shot off their loads like Kurt fuckin’ Angle had come through the curtain. And now we’re being subjected to an encore from Shane at this WrestleMania because of it. AJ Styles thanks you guys (no not really). For all we know, Shane O Mac was planning on making a late substitution for Cena; at least until Vince got all starstruck by his own son and decided to stay the course. That’s what I try convincing myself anyway. I refuse to believe VKM talked Cena into watching ‘Mania from the sidelines when he was medically cleared to compete a month out from the event. That equation simply doesn’t compute in my head. Especially Vince’s skewed logic of adding Shane to WrestleMania and it equaling dollar signs.

Once the streak ceased to exist, so too did my interest in The Undertaker. Vinnie Mac got all caught up stoking the flames after Taker’s unbeaten record went up in smoke and forgot to plan a proper exit strategy. There were only two boxes left to cross off Taker’s bucket list and the boss made him leave them blank. The Phenom finally wrestles Sting at WM31, Cena at WM32 and then rides off into the sunset with his blonder, less inflatable Nikki Bella. The crowd pops and poof he’s gone. Its textbook storytelling that practically writes itself and yet Vince continues to place a bookmark on Taker’s retirement! As long as The Deadman’s still drawing, McMahon will keep relying on his piggy bank. Sooner or later though, that bank is gonna break. The cracks are already forming and to be completely honest with you, I hope Roman smashes Taker at WrestleMania.

Why would I ask for such a thing? Because The Undertaker is spoiled goods. He’s past due. The guy may not owe me anything but dammit if I don’t demand his resignation ASAP! I don’t care whether it’s Taker calling the shots or Vince holding a gun to his head… please just lay this tired charade to rest. The more Taker clings to the past, the more he restricts the future. Not to mention running the risk of serious injury and having his career end on a tragic note when it should be celebrated. That’s why I’m hoping like hell it's Reigns who they announce as the winner on April 2nd. Roman should knock the old bastard on his ass, defeat him and put the final nail in Taker’s coffin. The heat for Reigns would be sweltering and the dead weight he’s stuck carrying for 15-20 minutes can retire with some dignity. Everyone wins in the long haul; especially Undertaker. Go enjoy life after wrestling before you’re literally dead, man.

What a potty mouth on that SkittleZ character! He’s kind of like that Uncle at the family wedding that makes the family really regret making it open bar. You know exactly which one I’m talking about. And yet we both came to the same conclusion, just from a much, much different direction. Maybe most fans have just finally found someone they are okay with beating Undertaker/losing to Roman Reigns? What do you think?

And that wraps up day 33 of Kleck Goes Daily! Any thoughts on today’s column, or sweet nothings you want to scream/caps lock at either of us? Let’s hear it below in the comments section! I thank both Mr. SkittleZ for joining me for today’s column, and you all for reading! Until tomorrow, I’m Kleckamania, enjoy the rest of your St. Patties day, though if you’re blitzed, don’t drive! (That concludes the PSA section! Though if you are blitzed, I’m not sure why you’re reading this instead of trying to hook up with Wu-Tang’s cousin, Poon Tang) and hope to see you again for day 34 if we didn’t just send you running for the hills!

Day 32

Hello all and welcome to day 32 of Kleck Goes Daily! Over a month and still at it- I must be insane. And I feel a little nuts when I look at fan reactions to the Wrestlemania card, in particular the AJ Styles match. As so many people seem to be down on this match, I'm pretty much the opposite. Though I am a little worried about some things. Let's see...

AJ Styles Versus Shane McMahon Wrestlemania Match Causes Mass Concern, But Should It?

In the past few days I have seen a high amount of anger from a lot of fans in regards to the AJ Styles versus Shane McMahon match at Wrestlemania. And I mean people are just pure vitriol about it. I don't really feel that way, so it is kind of surprising to see such a strong negative reaction from so many. And granted, it isn't my armchair dream match or card (for that matter) for this year, but Wrestlemania is pretty stacked with potentially awesome matches, and make no mistake, this is one of them.

AJ Styles versus Shane McMahon. This match has people acting so pissed. I get that AJ should be facing perceived stiffer competition, but in this particular time on Smackdown's booking did he fit higher? No. He stuck out like a sore thumb in what is pretty much a blood feud between WWE Champion Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. And think about it, who else would he face? If anything, Shane McMahon is one of the highest profile spots on the card. If Shane wrestles, it is put on as one of, if not the main event of that PPV, and that is including Wrestlemania. Any of those guys who you think AJ should face instead, would put AJ lower on the card. And some might say who cares about what spot he is on the card, if he has good competition he could create a moment- well, the higher up the card you go, you typically get more of a focus on booking, production, and are alotted more time. Not to mention Shane McMahon is not horrible in a ring. He sells quite well, surprisingly well for someone who wrestles so infrequently.

If you're worried about match quality, I just don't get it. This match could comfortably hit a 3.5 - 4 /5 for standard rating, and add in the emotion the booking has built over the past couple weeks now, particularly on Smackdown a few nights ago, and this match could easily become one of the most entertaining of the night on April 2nd. One of the perks of facing Shane McMahon is what you saw on Smackdown- a big segment involving a big backstage spot. And an Attitude Era spot at that. With how rare glass spots are nowadays, that sticks out in the product. They pull out the spots for Shane. Do you think AJ would get spots that big otherwise? As much as we would like that, or think it should be that way, it wouldn't have happened without Shane. Not to mention Shane will draw in more eyes then most other opponents, simply because of his history and his family. There are lots of positives to this match, and I think in the hands of AJ this match could become quite the highlight reel.

Where there is concern though, is the very real possibility that AJ Styles could lose this match. After all, look who Shane beat at last year's Wrestlemania? (Edit: my memory of this match stinks, as Taker won! DOH! Thanks readers for pointing that out! As for how that changes my opinion, it only further confirms that AJ will most likely pick up this victory) The freaking Undertaker. I still hate that match, I won't counter any of you if you trash it- it was a waste of two big novelty draws in one match. Still dumbfounded by that one. Add the fact that Shane is a McMahon and you have a big reason why he could be booked to win this match. There is fear that the WWE nasty streak comes out against a former TNA talent and AJ eats a loss to a McMahon family member as a result, but truly, even if he loses, it's not like he can't suffer that loss- it wouldn't even be his first Wrestlemania loss.

And there is concern that once there is proverbial blood in the water, WWE will keep tossing AJ to the sharks thinking he can fast rebound every time. We've seen that very same booking crush guys like Bray Wyatt. Mystique doesn't carry you through a sub 20% win percentage. That is my realest fear in WWE getting too comfortable in booking AJ Styles in loss. This fear we have to live with often, but it is a bit magnified on the grandest stage. Trust me though, if this match involves AJ Styles' employment, then it is a done deal. Sit back and enjoy the show. If it winds up not being for his job, then we might see Shane go over here. And I only personally worry about that here because if Shane's momentum isn't for AJ Styles, then who is it for? There are very few who deserve that kind of push besides AJ, considering he might just be the best active pro wrestler in the world today.

And yet if he still loses, the guy is white hot this past year, and it would take no time to rebound, especially if the loss is to someone booked as overly tough as Shane. Though the truth is there is a really good chance this match will be for AJ's job, and he is pretty much the top heel on Smackdown, who gets a lot of TV time, so expect a win. I could also see this potentially developing into a growing McMahon family angle. That is depending on how far they want to push AJ, but if they ran an AJ TNA act against the McMahons/WWE angle, that could turn him into this generation's top act in fast order.

The writing is on the wall, AJ is a featured player, WWE is building him up. So try and enjoy the match. The worst case scenario isn't life or death, and the best case scenario is an outstanding match that ends in AJ winning against a McMahon. Don't allow your expectations of a different match happening ruin your enjoyment of a match that could be deceptively good. Try to smell the roses, not the manure.

Well that wraps up day 32. Wanna discuss this? Let's do it below! Until then thank you for reading, I am Kleckamania, and I hope to see you tomorrow for day 33!

Day 31

Hello all and welcome to day 31 of Kleck Goes Daily! It's the Ides of March, and I'm still kind of hung up on something that happened on RAW on Monday, so I decided today's topic would be about that. It is all about booked intellect of WWE's characters, and how it affects the suspension of disbelief. Let's take a look...

Why Are WWE's Characters So Dumb?

Now not all characters act and react in unintelligible ways, but a fair few do lately, and almost all do at least once in a while. I watched RAW on Monday, and something happened that made me have a head palm moment. Now I know what you're probably thinking at home, 'you only had one of those moments?' It is RAW afterall, and RAW has been pretty bad since the draft, but this one particular moment really graded on my suspension of disbelief, and made two characters look insanely dumb.

The characters I am referring to are Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. What did they do? Well they interferred in a number one contender's match for their RAW World Tag Team Championships, resulting in a no decision. And why is that dumb? Because every single instance of no winner, or no contest for a number one contender match in WWE adds all challengers to the title match. I literally can't think of one instance where it didn't, unless a rematch was called for, and it wouldn't be if the champs run the interference. So purposefully causing a no contest if you are the champion(s) is pretty dumb. That is unless you enjoy a 17% decrease (in this instance) in the probability of you retaining the titles. And to go even further I'm confident in saying the majority of times that has happened in WWE, one of the challengers wound up winning the title(s). And I can't imagine Gallows and Anderson are feeling that confident considering they got beat down two weeks in a row recently by a solo competitor. And even if you are that confident why would you intentionally create more work for yourself or make things harder? Not Mensa material.

So why did they do this? It looks like it was booked this way to squeeze more people onto the Wrestlemania card. Which I guess is nice of WWE, to give more people that spotlight, but when you look around at all the wasted time on the average Wrestlemania you'd think they'd just add some matches instead of The Rock talking for 25 minutes, or cut some time off from whatever rapper will be there. I like the Rock and some rap and all, but I'd rather watch people, you know, wrestle. And those matches could be booked logically instead of having teams like Gallows and Anderson do something that most people wouldn't do. Why would anyone willingly sign up for more obstacles? Not even a demi God like Chuck Norris would do that. Work smart, not hard.

We could even meet halfway and book a 13 minute multi-team tag match to determine the number one contenders for the next PPV and still give the Rock 12 minutes to tell whatever city they are in a tale about him growing up on those streets- win/win. And it saves from booking characters like dummies. You're welcome.

This situation did make the Chris Jericho blunder look less bad in comparison. The one where Jericho was happy he cost Kevin Owens the World Title right before he was set to face him for it at Wrestlemania. I guess you could just pass that off as the character hates his opponent that much, but it's still fairly dumb. Especially if you intended on costing them the title when you came out to interfere. I've said this before but it seems character logic would dictate that Jericho would come out and just drill KO with a Codebreaker. And if you were worried about that resulting in a rematch before you got your shot, you could just ref bump or wait for distraction and lay out Goldberg. Granted, not the best choice but at least you'd still be in contention for the belt! The World Title is the holy grail in pro wrestling, why would any character toss out a chance at one so willingly? That's it WWE booking, you just made the list!

In this instance I suspect they wanted to create a big shock moment at Wrestlemania, but the character logic of Chris Jericho would get in the way, so the dumb happened. It would just be nice if they could find ways to not book the dumb. As in this instance, I am sure even if Jericho did what he should have done logically, they could have still booked the outcome they were aiming for anyways one way or another. Just a little extra legwork, and it keeps some of the more discerning minds content and connected with the plot.

It really isn't asking a lot. Sometimes it feels like I am watching a classic horror movie, where you just can't believe the character(s) keep walking into doom. You just start craving more logical character reactions, and thinking, and you to an extent lose interest because either the suspension of disbelief is gone, the characters are no longer relatable, or both. Especially when one could still easily write a very compelling horror story without needing to resort to dumb characters.

And I get that the schedule WWE has really puts a strain on bookers, but stuff like Gallows and Anderson willingly putting more teams in the hunt for their titles just shouldn't happen. They could have just waited until the match ended clean and then beat both teams up to prove their dominance even. So many ways to work around that outcome and still accomplish an agenda while not making the character(s) look like lemmings.

So I guess ultimately what bothered me is booking not really putting in that extra effort to keep the writing logical. It affects characters when writing gets lazy, but with all the parody in wrestling I get how easy it can be to get booked into corners, but in cases like these that isn't really a problem, so yeah- let's save the dumb for the comedic characters like James Ellsworth. Booking characters logically could go a long way, it would be nice to see WWE tighten up on the reins just a bit, as it could add fan enjoyment from something so relatively simple.

And that wraps up day 31! We are now through the largest month possible (based on days), and we aren't done yet! Hopefully you'll join me tomorrow for day 32. Until then I'm Kleckamania, as always thank you for reading, and any and all discussion is welcome below in the meantime. Can you think of any instances of dumb booking I didn't mention? One more thing to talk about. Thanks again for checking out Kleck Goes Daily!

Day 30

Hello all and welcome to day 30 of Kleck Goes Daily! If you follow WWE lately even slightly the title says it all. There is a growing issue on RAW, and it needs to be addressed one way or another. Let's have a look...

Stephanie McMahon's Comeuppance

On last night's episode of RAW we pretty much saw what we've been seeing regularly in regards to Stephanie McMahon's character- that is untouchable power and the resulting emasculation of any male character she crosses paths with. And after her encounters with Mick Foley last night, we might as well start calling her Lorena Bobbett. Really though she did nut shot him, but after Foley got in some shots on the microphone. And yet, in the end she still even then gets the upperhand/last laugh, and we are left with a General Manager who is useless. Yes, Mick Foley the wrestling legend is now a completely useless GM. And it is not his fault he is in that position at all, it is Stephanie's.

For a long time now Stephanie has made her mark on Mick, having him under her thumb. From a character standpoint anything Mick does can be overridden and or nullified as Stephanie has proven. And pretty much if Stephanie wants something done Mick has to do it. Effectively we as fans are watching a story unfold of a jerk boss who can't be touched, and her death grip on an employee(s)- but where does it lead, or does it lead to anything?

It has to, right? I mean all WWE has to do is look around anywhere online and see droves of people complaining about Steph being a plague of a character because nobody can touch her, and she can just butcher anyone she wants without repercussion. Look at poor Mick, she has effectively castrated him by constantly belittling and berating him, to the point now where we know he truly has no say in things as a GM unless Stephanie says he does. That has to lead to something. They can't be unintentionally pissing off that many fans. They aren't oblivious.

They have market research teams and a nose to the ground (as has even been proven on this site- they do pay attention to the big sites like Lords Of Pain). Not to mention they do tons of online polls, and see comments on their social media pages and their website. They aren't daft. This is also part of the reason I think we are watching Roman Reigns become a heel. WWE knows fan sentiment, and they have been playing into it to feed off of average emotion. They know Roman as a face succeeding so much makes a lot of fans twitchy, just as they know what Stephanie is doing is ruining any GM that comes to that roster.

This isn't a Mick Foley problem. This problem won't be fixed by anyone else unless the script gives that person the ability to one up her. The only things that will stop her in her tracks is someone pulling and having rank over her, or her having no power over someone. We are undeniably going one of those routes, or WWE has a character that is sabotaging booking on RAW. I think WWE knows what they are doing better than that, right?

We know as fans that no matter if Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, or even Chuck Norris is General Manager of RAW, Stephanie has power over them within WWE. If the almighty Texas ranger winds up gainfully employed by WWE, then even he can suffer the slings and arrows of mortality and office politics. This is like Lumbar telling you to go on ahead and come in on Saturday- it's your day off, it's messing with your life, but as long as that job holds weight in your life you are a neutered pup. The problem is, in professional wrestling, that means wrestlers are having their momentum and credibility sacrificed right now at Stephanie's character's expense. So something has got to give. Either we are about to see a guy like Kurt Angle come in and get some kind of granted power or immunity from Stephanie McMahon, or someone outside of Stephanie's realm of control is about to mess up her orbit, among other things.

And if it is neither of those things and WWE is really just that clueless as to the character's damage, then they need to wake up and Steph needs to go. That is hard to say as someone who really enjoys seeing her on my TV screen- granted, partially because she is kind of a babe, but also because in the past, her character has been outstanding at times. It is certainly wearing out it's welcome these days though. And it is getting to the point where if it is a work, and there is something coming in the booking, is it worth the damage being done to some of the characters? As an example the General Manager spot in particular has now been made to look completely and utterly worthless. How much more damage could be done with more time?

Judging from the amount of time left until Wrestlemania I would be surprised if someone from outside of Steph's realm of control like a Rhonda Roussey showed up to have a match with her. You'd think if they had a name like that they would spend as much time hyping and advertising it as possible, not just toss it in there a few weeks before with practically no build or hype. It is WWE though, so who knows for sure. But most likely that means whoever is coming in brings with them a plot twist, or we deal with months more of the same crap until we get a payoff. Oh joy!

I'm fairly convinced WWE is building heat though. As to what the payoff is I haven't the slightest clue if it is for this upcoming Wrestlemania. The growing problem is gradually becoming a risk of overcooking a build though, so whatever it is, WWE needs to do it quickly. If the RAW product was hitting home runs like Smackdown currently is then maybe they'd have a little more window of time to work with, but the RAW product is not being received well by a lot of fans, so this issue just gets heaped on to the growing dung pile and magnifies overall fan dissatisfaction. So the time to at least progress this angle beyond 'jerk boss is a jerk and nobody can do anything about it' is right about immediately now, as I suspect Mick Foley is about to be 'future endeavered', and the average threshold of fan discontent is fastly approaching. The hour is nigh, WWE- time for Stephanie's comeuppance!

And that concludes day 30. Any input on the topic? I'd love a discussion below in the comments if you were so inclined. Regardless I thank you all for reading, and hope to see you tomorrow for day 31- which will either be another RAW inspired topic I had, or something about Smackdown. Until then, Kleck out.

Day 29

Hello all and welcome to day 29 of Kleck Goes Daily! I'm posting a bit early today because Mondays tend to be chaotic in Kleck's world, so apologies for writing more than daily at this rate! Wow, 29- Grown up number and a new thread- the old one was starting to smell a little funky, and not of the Terry kind! But enough of my poor humor, let's get into a topic I have been thinking about for days now. And the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced we are heading for a major shock at Wrestlemania.

Why I Think WWE Is Going To Shock Us At Wrestlemania

Have I sold this enough yet? Welcome to the internet. I'm sincere though, I've been mulling over a recent outcome of a WWE match in my head, along with a bunch of other recent television instances, and I'm really starting to believe we are in for a big time swerve at Wrestlemania. The match at Wrestlemania that I think will shock us? Bill Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar. The match that tipped me off to this notion? Bill Goldberg AKA IWC Dream Crusher versus Kevin Owens AKA Our Special Not So Little Guy!

Excuse my hyperbole but that is kind of how a lot of fans have reacted to that match. You'd think Goldberg personally Randy Ortoned in your handbag. I agree it stunk that Owens lost so quick, but that fact has been lingering in my mind. In under 30 seconds Kevin Owens was flushed, and lost the World Title on the PPV right before Wrestlemania (at least in RAW's case). That is a big statement. Kevin Owens had a good title run, and reason to carry it through to Wrestlemania. Owens just completed one of the biggest heel moments of the past few years, and fan reaction has been way high for him. There is no case there for WWE changing course, and I don't think they have.

I honestly am starting to believe WWE did that squash just to give us a truly awesome moment at Wrestlemania. And I believe that moment involves Kevin Owens closing out the PPV as a two time WWE Universal Champion.

Why do I think that? Well for starters it was made crystal clear on WWE television that Kevin Owens would get a rematch for the title whenever he wanted. Pair that with how he won the title, Triple H's help, and the recent RAW spot of Owens secretly talking to Triple H, and then throw in Triple H's new henchmen- Samoa Joe, coming to the aid of Owens multiple times and you start definitely seeing a pattern. And it goes deeper then that...

Recently Finn Balor has returned, and is working dark matches in anticipation of his arrival. Who against? Triple H, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens. Who wound up winning the Universal Title as a result of Finn Balor having to drop it due to injury on August 22nd, 2016? Kevin Owens. Hmm.

And when Triple H initially helped Owens win the belt, he even said it was time for the new Era. Granted he was also shoving Seth Rollins down at the time, but it is not a stretch to believe now that Triple H and his beefy pal Samoa Joe will come in and crush Goldberg and Lesnar after their match, and hand Owens another title run right then and there because Triple H believes Kevin Owens is the future. It establishes their unfair stable, adds even more heat to Kevin Owens, while propelling Samoa Joe up to a higher level of monster, and even builds up Triple H as the unfair authority figure.

It also fits with the narrative of Finn Balor coming back and seeking the Universal Title he had to vacate. As on Twitter recently Finn has stated he is coming back for his title. And who better to hold it in that moment then Kevin Owens? It fits perfectly. Add in a stable headed by a corrupt authority figure, and you have the ingrediants for a proper face build. Balor would have to overcome Joe, Triple H, and Kevin Owens in the coming months to get back to the top, think that will be enough to connect fans back to him? Does it fit to have Goldberg or Lesnar in the opposing role? No. Not really.

It even fits for Triple H's perceived ego, as he could say he helped crush two legends. It might even be the beginnings of a war between McMahons, conceivably Triple H versus a returning Vince? When an authority figure starts getting shady someone else almost always steps in to oppose them. Granted, all speculation at this point, but you have to admit there is a lot of evidence backing this line of thinking up- at least up to Owens winning back his Universal title.

In the coming RAWs leading up to Wrestlemania the best we can do is keep an eye on if there are more instances involving Owens, Triple H, and or Samoa Joe, or even Finn Balor, and any more instances of referencing Owens' rematch. Any referenced beef between Triple H and Goldberg or Lesnar? All things to look for to potentially verify WWE pulling the trigger on a KO swerve at Wrestlemania. Worth thinking about in the coming weeks, starting tonight.

Well that wraps up day 29. What are your thoughts on this topic? Let's hear it below in the comments section. Until then I am Kleckamania, thank you as always for reading, and hopefully I'll see you tomorrow for day 30!

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