IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Laiman Asks Himself: "Have We Retconned WrestleMania XXX?"
By Al Laiman
Jun 12, 2014 - 1:14:47 AM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS - Laiman Asks Himself: "Have We Retconned WrestleMania XXX?"
It's the week before Father's Day in the menswear business, which means I haven't had much time to do anything this week, let alone get out a 30 Thoughts about this past Monday's RAW... Sorry everyone. However, I have been asking myself a lot of questions now that we're a few months past what I thought at the time was the true beginning of a new time in WWE.
Knowing what you know now, what did 'WrestleMania XXX' accomplish?
In the short-term, it seemed to have established the true kick-off of the so-called "Reality Era" that Triple H had mentioned a few weeks prior. The Attitude Era stars faded into obscurity, a new generation of stars were either made or extended, and the course of the business seemed to be changing. Looking back on that, nearly everything that WrestleMania XXX set out to accomplish.
It was billed as not only one of the biggest shows ever, but the biggest show ever. Hell, it had The Rock, Stone Cold, and Hulk Hogan in the same ring at the same time, and that was just to kick it off! It closed with an image many likened to the half of the end of WrestleMania XX we're allowed to acknowledge, and everything in between was supposed to be a company-wide torch passing.
I feel like I'm watching a different show than what the results of that night promised.
Who were the big stars coming out off that show when it went off the air?
For one, Cesaro went from just turning on his Real Americans sidekicks to having his own Andre the Giant moment in the battle royal named after the guy. He powerslammed the Big Show out of the ring, was handed the trophy by Hulk Hogan, and made the building go crazy. We were anticipating finally just seeing him strike back at Swagger, and we got him being put over by Hulk Hogan.
Then, The Shield went in against three names synonymous with the Attitude Era, and decimated them in under three minutes. The Triad of Oooouuuahhh were doing their best Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania XII impression on them, it was insane.
Bray Wyatt, in a losing effort, arguably stole the show from his experienced counterpart by not only looking like a million bucks against the leader of the Cenation, but started one of the newest crowd participation trends that has only continued to grow with illuminated cell phones.
However, that night belonged to Daniel Bryan. Not only did he defeat Triple H in an amazing match to open the show, but he did it cleanly. Not only did he go on to defeat both Randy Orton and Dave Batista, but he did it despite Triple H and Stephanie's interference. Not only did he raise the titles in the air to an arena full of "YES!" chants, but he shared the moment with the late Connor the Crusher. Everything that's in the recipe for completing the Hero's Journey was finally fulfilled.
Who, realistically, are all of the main-event talents on WWE TV right now?
Is there anyone who can be put on the level of John Cena right now?
A few weeks ago on the podcast, when the news of the stockfall hit, I predicted that they would hit panic mode and rush back to the status quo. Sure enough, Cena stepped up his game, defeated Bray Wyatt, outwitted Stephanie McMahon, overcame the odds against the number one contender, and got to team with the remnants of the Shield to defeat Bray Wyatt for the third time out of four.
Triple H and Randy Orton have been revitalized due to taking away from the group they spent so much time putting over. Reigns and Ambrose are being associated with Cena, so that can't be bad news for their short-term future.
It feels like everyone else is in the Intercontinental/US title division, or is unceremoniously absent.
Has anything that was established at WrestleMania XXX held true to this point?
The Ultimate Warrior got a final sendoff before his unexpected death.
If you were unaware of this, Paul Heyman has a client. I believe his name is Bork Laser. Something about a streak that may have met a conquest of some kind.
Tito has covered the Bryan situation extensively. His father died. He got married. He had a neck injury more severe than originally thought. And the entire time, they've been repeating that he's a B+ player, because if you say that shit long enough, the word association will be completed for everyone except those adamantly standing against it.
WrestleMania XXX was a different lifetime as far as the booking was concerned. Our wrestling memories are supposed to be a giant etch-a-sketch.
"Gee, Corporate Kane has been kinda shitty since he lost the mask."
::shake head quickly::
"Oh, he's masked Kane now, so that means we remember nothing from the last eight months."
"The Shield went over Evolution twice in a row on Pay-Per-View, thereby solidifying their dominance."
:;shake head quickly::
"They can only beat the Wyatt Family with the help of John Cena."
"Cesaro just went over huge as a tremendous face on the biggest show of all time."
::shake head quickly::
"Put him with a heat magnet who is more focused on someone who isn't even there, turn him heel, kill the Big Swing, and don't reference anything that happened before that ever again."
Can this be blamed solely on the stock plunge?
Maybe not entirely, but doesn't it feel like ever since that news came out, we've been desperately heading back to the way things were about a year ago with some serious amnesia problems?
I'm disappointed. You don't understand how psyched I was a few months ago, even before my personal life went to absolute shit right after it. Come to think of it, those situations have an eerie parallel. It was like the night after post-WrestleMania RAW, we were all supposed to forget everything that had brought us to that point, and we've spent the last two months building everything back to where it was: Cena's the only one on top, Triple H and Stephanie are in control, Alberto Del Rio is getting another push, and everyone else is swimming to the surface.
Granted, the midcard has had some great things going on, but even former main-eventers are now fighting over the midcard titles. I really dig Adam Rose and his entrance song, but I'm not supposed to like him. Barrett has been killing it, but can that gimmick get him to the main event? Cesaro is still gold in the ring, but does he have a chance to win Money in the Bank? Can anything that happened at WrestleMania XXX have any sort of establishing legacy, other than a fond nostalgic moment in time?
Do you want it to be that way? The Internet loves negativity.
I've never been one to be negative and critical just for the sake of being so, and anyone who has read me since I've been on here knows that. I don't want to write about shows that can barely hold my attention. Shows that entertain me make me want to write for you. 14 recaps of the same segment doesn't do that. A surprising heel turn doesn't make up for 2:45 of blandness. John Cena and then the rest was getting old six years ago.
I want what WrestleMania XXX seemed to promise. I was finally beginning to love what I was seeing on my television again. And I want that not just as a writer, but as a fan. As long as I don't get any of the horrendous shit that came after that night.
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