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flyonthewall2983

WrestleMania 36

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Sorry for the size of the pic but this is the symbolism explained behind the Firefly Funhouse Match last night. Basically, it encapsulated everything that John Cena feared in his personal and professional life.

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I won't say that Orton has always been terrible at WM.  The match against Taker was great.  The 3 way match the year after was great although too short.  Hell I like WM 20 Evolution vs Rock & Sock Connection way more than others did.  But yeah unless it has Daniel Bryan in it there were a lot of nothings after it

 

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I watched with my roommate who last watched wrestling when she was like 11. She was a big fan of Rikishi back then, we watched the Andre the Giant HBO doc together recently (she loved it and wants to watch it again) and she LOVES the GLOW netflix show. She barely remembered Edge (he looked hot back then...now he's just old). She didn't even know Goldberg. Didn't know Ric Flair ("Why do they keep Woo-ing? Charlotte really likes to do the chops" etc). At one point asked "How do you even become a wrestler? Are there like regional tournaments?" So it would be a stretch to even call her a lapsed casual fan. The last Mania I watched live was 32.

But with stay at home orders and the end of netflix reached like two weeks ago, we decided to watch. It was pretty fun in that context. We were looking for camp more than anything else. To say we didn't know anything about the storylines would be an understatement. I haven't seen a single Bray as the Fiend match or segment ever for example. Haven't seen most of the people on the card. Meanwhile she thinks you get to WWE by winning a regional tournament (????). But its Covid19-Mania so fuck it right?

Night 1 we had a lot of fun.

Kabuki Warriors had us at first rolling are eyes like "Kabuki Warriors...are they fucking serious" but my roommate pointed out that they had a lot of stage presence and felt professional (compared to what the divas were when she was a kid). Their costumes in particular are fantastic. We liked Alexa Bliss as like if Margot Robbie was born prematurely and had a meth addiction. Nikki Cross was the most business exposing wrestler of the night for my roommate, but we had a lot of fun making fun of her and the "Naughty Nikki" name.

Elias vs King Corbin sucked but we pretended as though it was a gay lumberjack vs white supremacist.

We really liked Becky vs Baszler. Roommate loved Shayna Baszler. Probably her favorite individual wrestler.

Bryan vs Sami Zayn got over huge in our living room. Especially Zayn's stalling tactics. Roommate was pissed, and it got her heavily invested. She also loved Shinsuke Nakamura's look.

Ladder match I would have hated in any other circumstance, but was fun in this setting. Roommate loved Kofi, liked John, hated Jimmy and then turned around and really liked Jimmy. The Kofi eye-poke spot was our favorite spot of the night up to this point. I'll point out here that my roommate thought everyone's name was stupid. "Daniel, John, Jimmy, Corbin. They can come up with any names and this is what they pick?" Even better was the next match...

Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins I knew I was going to hate because I have never seen either guy in a singles match that I didn't hate. So I made dinner and listened to my roommate shit all over the match. She thought it was boring and it dragged and their names being Kevin & Seth was stupid.

Braun vs Goldberg was over so quick I don't think she looked up from her phone other than to say OMG at Braun's size.

Boneyard match brought us all the way back in. We were both going absolutely crazy for it. At first I thought it was going to be the dumbest thing ever. I initially hated the cinematic aesthetic but pretty quickly realized what I was seeing was amazing. We both agreed they should get an EMMY.

Overall night 1 we had a blast. The undercard was really fun and moved around quickly. We both agreed the silence was fucking weird. Roommate thought they should add in fake crowd noise or music. But overall we really liked it. Boneyard was so great it made up for Kevin & Seth which was the only true stinker.

Night 2 was more of a mixed bag. We were fucking HYPED at the start.
Charlotte vs Rhea Ripley was an awesome match. We were both super into it. Roommate was blown away by some of the stiff shots and was genuinely concerned for Ripley's leg. 6:24 PST my adult roommate said out-loud while watching WrestleMania in 2020 "That one was real. You can't fake that." And I was delighted. We both thought this was the best match of either night excluding the Boneyard match.

Aleister Black vs Lashley had no chance of following the opener. "At least they're big giant muscley dudes" said roommate. Yall...WWE might know what they're doing? Its eye-opening to watch this stuff with an extreme casual fan. Speaking of...

Otis vs Dolph was a legit hit in our living room. Otis got over as a sympathetic figure and roommate wanted to see Dolph destroyed. The post match got legit living room applause. She HATED Dolph.

And you know how just a second ago I was like "Maybe WWE knows what they're doing" well the Edge vs Orton pre-match video package ALSO got over huge. Roommate was super invested. She hated Randy Orton from the video package. I mean legit heel heat. "This guy is the biggest asshole ever and I want to see him get killed" heel heat.

And then those two went out and absolutely killed the entire 2 nights. We hated this. I did my best both nights not to try and influence her. Like I knew Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins was gonna suck when I saw it listed, but I didn't want to tell her "These dudes are the fucking worst." If she liked them, then that would be great. But she hated Kevin & Seth. But BOY did she ever hate Edge vs Orton. I was in making & eating dinner mode during this match and kept quiet while roommate watched mostly silently. Finally she just yelled "IS THIS SHIT EVER GOING TO END?" We were barely halfway through the match. Hated it so much. We spent the 2nd half screaming at the TV for them to finish. According to wikipedia, that match was 36+ minutes and it felt like 200 years. How the same company can have a night like night 1 and then follow it up with this is beyond belief.

Street Profits vs Austin & Angel. Roommate immediately liked this more than Edge vs Orton. Saying about the Street Profits "Now these guys, these guys are actually good wrestlers" (she was comparing them to Edge & Orton horror show) and noted their athleticism, teamwork and "synchronization."

Women's 5 way really dragged and was too predictable. My only attempted influence of the night was to make roommate cheer for Sasha Banks. Roommate struggled to maintain interest honestly.

Firefly Fun House did not work for us on any level and killed whatever interest roommate had left. She thought the Fiend was like a bush-league cheap Joker spoof. She hasn't been watching for forever so she doesn't know about John Cena's rookie year or his rapper phase or his match with Bray Wyatt from 5 years ago. She has no idea who Husky Harris is. Way to self referential and weird for the sake of weird. She got up and quit watching about halfway through and never came back.

Mixed bag. I would say I liked it all overall. Night 1 was awesome. The Boneyard match unforgettable. Charlotte vs Rhea Ripley was a genuine MOTYC type match but night 2 was a disappointment after that. Edge vs Orton was as bad as that Fujita/Shiozaki match where they just stared at each other. Two of the worst matches in history. Unfortunately for WWE, a lot more people watched Edge/Orton. Honestly, if Charlotte vs Ripley had replaced Seth vs Kevin on night 1 and my roommate & I only watched Night 1, we'd probably watch a few more shows. Instead she texted me earlier and asked if there are any Andre the Giant matches on the network. Yes. Yes I believe there are.

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3 hours ago, Cowboy Hats 4.0 said:

Not in favor of adding more matches to the mix. Both nights came in around three hours, right? And that's without a concert or mini-HOF ceremony. Skipping around a three hour show the night of or the next morning was reasonable. Anything more and we're back to it being a chore.

Fair enough. They DID have some filler matches on both nights, like Lashley/Black, Corbin/Elias and the such. You could have some NXT matches there instead.

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The Fun House match is a masterpiece. Comedy gold, yet still deep and meaningful. Credit to Bray for creating all this, and so much respect for Cena because no other ace in WWE's history would have exposed his whole career like this for the sake of entertaining and putting another guy over.

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6 hours ago, SirEdger said:

No photo description available.

Sorry for the size of the pic but this is the symbolism explained behind the Firefly Funhouse Match last night. Basically, it encapsulated everything that John Cena feared in his personal and professional life.

Problem is that if you're not aware that these are his fears it's not something that will be picked up on by most people. There were also a lot of inside baseball allusions that work for those in the know but not for others that don't know or care about those things. So I can see why this can be more divisive than the Boneyard. My view is that this was different and entertaining at parts but not necessarily good. The highlight was still Titus' face after the segment. 

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I think my thing with the FFH match is that unlike the Boneyard match, this looked more like a skit you'd find in a comedy. And Cena didn't even look like he was fighting against anything the whole time. He was playing along with whatever Wyatt had planned, and then he was pinned. There was no sense of "Cena vs Wyatt" and while it was amazing to watch, it really wasn't the right move.

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Watching this again so why not have a "two hours sleep and chock full of gimmicks" Jimmy Redman post, as a little treat - for me. It's my treat to myself to do something as comforting and familiar as open up my mouth and vomit some words all over you.

Rhea looks like a million bucks in whatever cosplay outfit that is. She should keep wearing colours. Be still our beating hearts. Rhea is a lot of things, but above all else she is surely a heartbreaking loss for the lesbians. Never has a straight woman had so much Big Dyke Energy. So anyway this fucking BANGED. I vaguely recall yelling about this live but the point remains. Once again we discover the formula for empty arena matches is a) shitloads of talking, and b) hit each other really fuckin' hard. This one had two dudes bringing Mark Henry trash talk, and frankly also Mark Henry wig splittin'. This was a motherfucking HOSS FIGHT. I am here for NXT Title being the women's Hoss Division: Charlotte, Rhea, Bianca, bring Beth out, and I mean Jesus, consider the laundry list of bangers Charlotte can have on her NXT holiday: Bianca, Io, Mia, Dakota, Tegan, MERCEDES MOTHERFUCKIN' MARTINEZ. This is a match that Charlotte never needed to win, but you realise of course she's going to fucking win because Charlotte. I ain't even mad when Charlotte is gonna hang and bang like that. Plus I ain't watching so fuck do I care. This fucking BANGED and was easily the best match of the weekend (non-Pyro and Ballyhoo Division). I fucking love Rhea like few things, even though I should rightfully hate her for being my doppelganger living out my dreams and also for being so fucking straight.

Because it's still such a weird and wonderful experience watching wrestling WITH someone (who isn't my mother) I'm keeping a list of things that popped my girl tonight. #1 the Deano-Eddie rollup sequence in this match. Imagine seeing that for the first time.

#2 When the Night 1 recap got up to the BONEYARD, "That was the best thing!" I love her.

I headbanged to Black's song and then moved on with my life. I'm watching but I'm not, you know, a moron.

You know that was a fun recap and I'd probably be into the Mandy/Otis soap opera if a) I watched Smackdown, and b) it wasn't a heterosexual love story involving Mandy and Sonya.

Now I am a wrestling fan of some repute, and I am used to being able to suspend my disbelief for quite a lot of utter bullshit. Irish Whips, dudes playing to empty rooms, Undertaker using zombie powers in a Boneyard... but I'm sorry I simply cannot, in all honesty, believe for one single, solitary second that Sonya would be out here giving a shit about no man.

A bridge too far.

I am incredibly predictable, but I will absolutely die on this big gay hill. If Sonya hatched this scheme because she was jealous of Mandy and Otis, and figured once she broke them up and Dolph inevitably dipped out, she'd be there to pick up the pieces of Mandy's poor unsuspecting heart because MEN ARE TRASH, then it is a genius piece of queer cinema and I have no choice but to stan (although there are few things I trust WWE to do tactfully less than a nuanced queer love story with the queer character as the heel).

If she serves up some disappointing hetero nonsense about "Otis isn't good enough for you and he was distracting you from our tag team title hopes and dreams" and starts hanging out with Dolph for no reason, as seen here, it is trash to be disposed of quickly and hygienically, lest we catch the Rona from the disgusting heteronormativity of it all.

Stay safe.

#4 Otis doing The Worm.

#5 Mandy Rose. Yes, for the obvious reasons. My girl is in love with Mandy after seeing her in her Wrestlemania cozzie for 2.7 seconds, and y'all just TRY acting like Mandy gon' have a long term lesbian best friend that ain't thirstier than a fish in the desert. Try me.

I actually really liked the detail of Orton hiding as a cameraman to call back to Edge hiding as a cameraman during one of his 87 historical "surprise out of nowhere" returns/title theivings. Sadly the match peaked there. I mean, as a low key tour of the Performance Centre, it was pretty cool, but as a brawl it was interminable beyond belief and I think it's still going on as I write this 24 hours later. I haven't lived in peace and comfort for nine years just to have Edge come back to do Acting with his Face.

Neither of us could make it through Edge/Orton so thus ends the live re-watch portion of this program. I'm still going to make her watch the Funhouse at some point so hopefully I can come back with some thoughts and feelings. I mean it was basically one of my "Cena's character is actually deep because..." blog posts come to life, and I was baked out of my mind for it, so I'm sure you can imagine roughly where I came down on it.

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If the WWE announcers are just parroting what Vince tells them over the headset, I have to think Titus' reaction to the Funhouse  mirrored Vince's own.

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So I showed my fiance the Funhouse and she is SO MAD AT ME for wasting her time with utter bullshit. I knew it wouldn't go over as well as the Bonehouse because it wasn't an actual fight and it was 95% super meta stuff that went over her head, but still. I am cackling my ass off.

So like I said this whole caper was basically like if one of my long, winding, detailed breakdowns of the John Cena character and why it's so super nuanced and awesome and interesting actually got up from the page, started walking around and turned into a psychedelic fever dream and inserted itself into a Bray Wyatt vignette. 

In other words, it was the most incredible fucking thing I have ever seen in my life.

I'm not sure what my favourite part was. The very idea? Bray singing "You can look but you can't touch" ? Those moments when Cena was Acting with his Face that he knew he was trapped in his body and couldn't escape, like in Get Out? "THIS IS SUCH GOOD SHIT!" ??? The rap segment where Cena's lines were exposed and he couldn't do anything but try to deliver more rhymes that got worse and worse? Bray dancing like he did in NXT? THE ENTIRE FUCKING THING?????

The one piece of feedback I did get was, "John Cena is such a good sport." Is he what. We already established this like a decade ago, but Cena is literally the biggest sport in wrestling history. That was a straight up character assassination disguised as a vignette, disguised as a match. "So John, now that you're Hollywood famous, what we're thinking for your big return match is, you are transported into a wacky alternate universe through a kid's show vignette and you'll face your biggest shoot fuck ups and embarrassments and reach the obvious conclusion that you are not a hero to children everywhere but a colossal asshole egomaniac, cancerous to everyone you work with and ultimately everything that you purport to hate." 

"Cool, how much time do we have?"

I know it's Cena and his entire thing is that he's Teflon in the face of literally everything, but it's hard to see how he walks back out like nothing happened after this. Now that he's in full "Fuck it, I make movies now" mode, you wonder just how many ideas that were always non-starters are now on the table - changing character, turning heel, new clothes...

Cena coming out in trunks in the year 2020 would be the one true sign that we are in fact entering the End Times and this is the Apocalypse.

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Someone pointed out that Rhea looked like Vegeta's daughter coming for revenge and I can't unsee it. 

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Rhea tweeted a photo of herself in 2015 wearing a lower-budget version of her Mania outfit for a match, and openly stated it was Vegeta cosplay, so that seems intentional 

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Sonya Deville was there because she is part of the story. The fact she bothered to get involved with the texting shows she has some investment in the storyline, for whatever reason.

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Otis is a superstar. He's one of those guys who could be successful in any era because of his incredible charisma and strength.

He's a more affable, not yet as good Earthquake.

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How has no one pointed out so far the the Firefly Funhouse match was just an "Edge & Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness" episode with higher production values?

Any how did they not have Cena say "there are no Hulkamaniacs (or I suppose Chain-Gang?) here" at the beginning?

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44 minutes ago, Robert S said:

how did they not have Cena say "there are no Hulkamaniacs (or I suppose Chain-Gang?) here" at the beginning?

Everyone on Wrestling Twitter made that joke when it happened so I suppose they knew they didn't need to make it themselves.

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2 hours ago, KawadaSmile said:

Otis is a superstar. He's one of those guys who could be successful in any era because of his incredible charisma and strength.

He's a more affable, not yet as good Earthquake.

JBL compared him to Ivan Putski. The Mighty Igor is a good comparison as well. Otis is a better wrestler than both. Like you said, he’s super charismatic. His downside is popular gatekeeper face. And he could be much more.

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Otis absolutely could not be much more than a gatekeeper face. His presentation is veering on Eugene levels of not good. He's absolutely the sort of act that would have me running to change the channel if a non-fan saw him on my TV.

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I think having him win the match, and having Mandy kiss him and all, that is probably gonna be the peak of his push in the WWE. I don't see Vince doing anything meaningful with him.

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But why is it a bad thing for Otis to plateau as a gatekeeper face? The key thing is that he is OVER with the crowd, he's got charisma in spades and there's always room for comedy characters. Look at how R-Truth has been employed as long as he's been with WWE mostly by his comedy work.

For me, if you're over with the crowd, no matter your position on the card, you have a use on my roster. This is how WWE should see it.

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2 hours ago, SirEdger said:

But why is it a bad thing for Otis to plateau as a gatekeeper face? The key thing is that he is OVER with the crowd, he's got charisma in spades and there's always room for comedy characters. Look at how R-Truth has been employed as long as he's been with WWE mostly by his comedy work.

For me, if you're over with the crowd, no matter your position on the card, you have a use on my roster. This is how WWE should see it.

And that is probably how they do see it.

Plus, Heavy Machinery has a future as a pushed version of The Bushwackers with a few title reigns. 

It's a nice spot overall for Otis. 

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Yes, that is how they see it. And that is where they get in trouble often with the fans. Because what they see and what the fans see are rarely ever the same thing. 

 

Not to mention, hey maybe Otis has bigger aspirations than what is being offered to him? What if he got as over as a main event caliber star, think the WWE would change tracks for him? History would indicate the answer being no. Just look at Rusev for example.

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I know WWE's gonna WWE, but Otis was actually over - not comedy character over - but OVER over with the crowd before everything went silent. Yeah he's goofy looking but the dude has the "it" everyone looks for so why not push the guy and see what happens? Being a comedy character should be a fallback rather than a main goal IMO. 

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