Taste My Rainbow - Tournament Troubleshooting (A Messy ‘Mania Makeover)
Oct 22, 2013 - 9:04:27 PM
(A Messy ‘Mania Makeover)
Tournaments in sports (whether real or fake) are the cat’s ass. They broaden the competition for a specific goal and systematically spawn a litany of different scenarios; each as optimistic and curious as the next. The wider the field of participants, the more unpredictable said tourney becomes (a smark’s biggest wet dream in an era where practically everything is public knowledge before it happens). March Madness has been around for what – nearly 75 years? The massive single elimination tournament ain’t lost a beat. In fact, it’s only served to increase the popularity of college basketball across the country. WWE’s King of the Ring staple accomplished much of the same… so Vince & Co. decided to do away with the tourney for reasons I’m still not really satisfied with. How KOTR went from boasting its own annual pay per view to being decided on otherwise throwaway RAW episodes to being shelved completely is a real kick in the eggs.
Sure the company over glorified their June classic on occasion but KOTR brought with it the excitement of holidays actually worth a damn and aided several names in shattering that proverbial glass ceiling (sans Billy Gunn). Management clearly made a hasty decision when they axed the King of the Ring event a decade ago. I mean it’s obvious because WWE’s done nothing but substitute it with shitty, randomly titled pay per views since. Oh and by the way - whoever’s been designing the company’s PPV schedule from 2003 on-forward has the worst fucking case of Tourette’s I’ve ever seen.
Hence why I’m here to resuscitate the battered topic of WWE featuring another tournament at WrestleMania. I figured, with all this talk about John Cena returning to capture Del Rio’s World Championship and being part of a title unification bout at WMXXX, why not kick the hornet’s nest a couple dozen times? Surely, such a chain of events can’t be that unlikely… can it? Cena’s sudden return and impromptu title shot suggests that management may be spinning their wheels on whom they should pair up at The Show of Shows. If we can be fully honest with each other, I’d rather watch my testicles spontaneously combust than be subjected to Tito’s proposed idea of Cena & Orton locking horns on April 6th.
Originally, I devised a 14-person tournament which would include four rounds overall (with both reigning World Champions receiving a first round bye). After doing some basic math however, I quickly realized it would require 13 matches in total which is absolutely ridiculous for a modern day WrestleMania. Half of them could be squashes and the company would still have to cut three or four segments. Therefore, I re-evaluated my options.
The idea of a tourney where only former World Champions were eligible came about and made plenty of sense to me (for a few minutes at least). Then my mind wandered onto the current crop of stars who’ve never done so and how excluding them from the festivities made less sense than Heath Slater posting cryptic tweets regarding his stablemate’s whereabouts when McIntyre hadn’t gone anywhere. Needless to say, I pressed the shuffle button yet again.
I understand, Drew. It’s been a long time coming.
Friday night’s still a little hazy thanks to a combination of root beer vanilla vodka (yours truly has a weakness for bitch drinks… why doesn’t that surprise you?), weed and hookah fumes but, earlier that evening, I decided an ordinary tournament would more than suffice. So why’d I waste your time and a precious chunk of web space explaining all that? Because the site manager compensates us columnists if we hit a certain word limit. So HA – thanks for funding the questionable food products I feed my dog. It’s recalled and remarkably cheap.
This tourney of mine would simply begin with 16 individuals and the first round match-ups taking place throughout the two weeks preceding WrestleMania XXX. Please excuse me as we delve into some fantasy booking for a brief moment. Here are the mock results I jotted down while you were checking Facebook:
-- Daniel Bryan def. Alberto Del Rio
-- Chris Jericho def. Damien Sandow
-- CM Punk def. Antonio Cesaro
-- Randy Orton def. R-Truth
-- Sheamus def. Kane
-- Ryback def. Big Show
-- Dolph Ziggler def. Curtis Axle
-- Brock Lesnar def. Christian/Cody Rhodes/Anybody under 220lbs (for aesthetic purposes)
And thus my proposed WM30 card would look something like this:
>>> Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho
>>> CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
>>> Sheamus vs. Ryback
>>> Brock Lesnar vs. Dolph Ziggler
Sexy, right? Alright well before you go all “Miley Cyrus is the devil in a bear costume” on me, allow SkitZ to explain his choices. The Miz is exempt from my tournament because he sucks, Kofi because his pecs have been tittyfucked so many times that they no longer hang properly and Mysterio because he’s mistaken “injury proneness” for some type of alternative religion. Danielson/Y2J is a no-brainer based on their history from NXT Season One and the fact that Jericho always delivers great performances on the big stage (unless of course his opponent is Fandango). Punk/Orton is a viable option considering their collective stocks in the company and how the face/heel dynamic’s flip flopped in recent years. Sheamus/Ryback would be attention worthy just to see if the ginger could carry Sheffield to a passable effort. And we’ve witnessed how Brock thrives against smaller opponents. Can you imagine the magnitude of bumps Dolph would endure in such a contest? Instant creamsicle.
As for who advances, feel free to go ahead and do some general simulating. Jericho (circa 2012) does what he does best, as does Ryberg , as does Ziggler and The Viper takes one for the team. That leaves us with:
-- Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
-- Sheamus vs. Brock Lesnar
My arrangement of the Final Four accomplishes two things. 1) Bryan/Punk offers wrestling fanatics the indy darling duel they desperately want to witness again. In each of D-Bry & Mr. Sobriety’s previous conflicts, there’s always been a storyline/character hitch preventing them from unleashing their entire arsenals. Assuming Danielson & Brooks dispose of their earlier opponents in a relatively swift manner, they should be conditioned enough to go balls to the walls here. 2) Sheamus/Lesnar presents the polar opposite where you toss the technical bullshit aside and let the lumbering bastards beat each other senseless for 12-16 minutes. This isn’t fucking Khali versus Brodus Clay either. The Celtic Warrior and former UFC Heavyweight Champion are super capable of producing something epic-ish under the right circumstances. Plus, the unforeseen eventuality of said grudge fight would spare us from hearing Sheamus or Brock cut a promo. Pffffft and you thought I hadn’t thought this through clearly…
-- Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar
Surely, this end result entices you? It’s fresh but harkens back to the classic ‘David versus Goliath’ tale. Goatface is such a grizzly and well-versed bastard that he appears suited to tackle any obstacle no matter the difficulty of it. That’s why I can envision the YES! Man in this type of situation and obliterating expectations. Regardless of the chosen path, Bryan should be the guy standing tall as ‘Mania closes; the WWE Championship rose high above his bushy head. I can’t imagine a better campaign to affirm your new face of the company than booking him to defeat Jericho, Punk and Lesnar in the same night. Knocking off Brock in the main event would resonate throughout the wrestling world considering what’s been thrown at D-Bry since SummerSlam. And that includes Brie Bella too. Danielson can pretend all he wants… there’s no way the dude is content with riding an ironing board for his remaining years.
Why It Won’t Happen
Sheesh where do I begin? You know the mere mention of pawning off several fresh match-ups in one enormous bulkload for only $55-65 terrifies WWE’s elected officials. Some of my propositions will never come to fruition due to releases, injuries, creative differences or incongruent storylines and that grinds my gears. Here’s an opportunity for management to transfer my Saturday afternoon playing WWE ’13 onto the big screen and it didn’t even so much as sniff the drawing board. And if that doesn’t kill your boner quick enough, what does it say about the company we rely so heavily upon for personal satisfaction that, instead of depending on their own brand of entertainment, WWE fills our SuperBowl with mini rap concerts? As if anyone in the entire Western Hemisphere still gives a fuck about Kid Rock and P Diddy. Yep the McMahons prefer providing background music during the pay per view’s intermissions rather than occupying those time lapses with tournament tomfoolery. Hey I’m as flabbergasted as you are.
Besides, how could Vinnie Mac condemn the ungodly payoffs he showers his coveted part-time stars with? “Further careers and build towards the future? How absurd! Dwayne, Hunter and Taker’s bank accounts could each use a couple extra mil. Scrap the tourney idea and give each of them a full hour at ‘Mania; that should cover their elaborate entrances, a 30-minute match and an ensuing celebration full of confetti and tribute videos. Fifty minutes dived up amongst the rest of the roster should do the trick, right? Ahhh I knew there was a second reason I kept you around, Patterson.”
In the midst of my ranting and raving, you might’ve noticed that I referenced Cena at the beginning and then didn’t use him in the mock tournament. That wasn’t an error. No it’s become pretty apparent that The Franchise Player is above championships at this stage of his career so I doubt he’d settle for a unification title tourney. I left WWE’s Poster Boy on the bench instead so he could be freed up to snap The Phenom’s streak, kill Hulkamania, behead the Texas Rattlesnake or battle George Clooney while Stacy Keibler is shackled above a tank of piranhas at ringside.
What say you though? Is a tournament at the upcoming WrestleMania (or any future installment for that matter) too farfetched? Do you feel as if WMIV was a one-time deal? Is it a foolish risk financially? Would mystery entrants help or hurt? Speak up, folks.
TMR_ Satisfaction Notwithstanding
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