Wrestlemania 28 Weekend A.K.A. Every Wrestling Fan’s Wet Dream

You're gonna get your f@!&*+^& head kicked in!

WOOOOOOOOO! It’s finally that time of year again! The Showcase of the Immortals! The Granddaddy of Them All! The Super Bowl of Pro Wrestling! The only day of the year it’s a little more socially acceptable to admit as a straight guy you really love watching oiled up guys piledrive and perform small packages on each other! Seriously though, wrestling (Wrestlemania in particular) has become big business since the WWF changed to the WWE and went public as a company. Every year, stars from film, sports, tv and music have thrown their hats into the ring to become part of the occasion. It’s become a bit surreal that the biggest star in the biggest match on the card this year, The Rock, has come full circle as a wrestler/actor/wrestler in his metamorphosis as an entertainer. The same can be said to a somewhat lesser degree for Chris Jericho, who’s challenging for the WWE title this year after appearing on Dancing With The Stars, hosting the game show Downfall on ABC and fronting the international hair metal band Fozzy.

I prefer Chris Jericho to the Rock, but not because he’s not as well known or whatever. It’s because he’s an awesome technical wrestler. My favorite wrestlers have always been the best in-ring competitors rather than the talkers. Hell, I don’t even care if a guy’s mute if he can convey the psychology of a match through his actions. I cried when Chris Benoit died, and I still miss him despite the horrible shit that he pulled. I’ve got the Hitman symbol tattooed on my shin, because it’s hardcore and it’s where Bret Hart would have got it. I unapologetically had “Thank you Shawn” as my facebook status after HBK was retired by the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Michaels and Jericho are both pretty complete as entertainers in and out of the ring, though. And Bret, Lonesome Dove sucked ass, but you tried and you’ll always be my favorite. Guys like CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan Danielson (yes, I know, it was intended) are still my favorite to watch based on their in-ring ability.

Speaking of in-ring ability, if you consider yourself a purist in terms of wrestling, Wrestlemania weekend is the absolute best weekend of the year for indie wrestling. It’s almost overload, in fact. Ring of Honor, my favorite promotion who both the WWE and TNA have pilfered tons of talent from (including both the current WWE and World Heavyweight Champions), still has a ton of great guys like Davey Richards, El Generico, Kevin Steen, Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal, etc.  They also still have a great tag team division that they put time and energy into, unlike the WWE. ROH ran a two day (!) iPPV called the Showdown in the Sun. It was 20 bucks for two 3 to 4 hour shows hosted on Friday night and Saturday morning, respectively. Way better than a 2 for 20 at Applebee’s and less fattening. Comedy/absurd promotion Chikara Pro also had a crossover match on the second ROH show. Another great indie company called Dragon Gate USA had a pretty incredible deal going on Friday night to try and bring in prospective viewers. For $1.99, you could watch a live iPPV with their best talent such as Low Ki, Sabu, AR Fox, Sami Callahan, Richochet, etc.

All these smaller promotions, including TNA (or IMPACT, or whatever the hell they want to be called nowadays), all orbited around the mack daddy Wrestlemania in Miami this weekend. A hardcore wrestling fan could drive no more than 50 miles in any direction in Florida from Thursday to Tuesday this week and watch a different promotion live every day. That’s pretty nuts and pretty special if you like getting a taste of different flavors of technical, comedy or entertainment driven wrestling. Plus, you can catch Ron Simmons, Yokozuna, Mil Mascaras, Mike Tyson and Edge as new inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame along with Ric Flair getting inducted for the second time with the Four Horsemen while being an active wrestler in TNA, which proves he truly transcends all the red tape of wrestling political bullshit. But, of course, we all know what brought us to the dance. So I’ll summarize the card for Wrestlemania 28 and give my predictions in a nutshell:

1. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix (C) and Eve: First off, who cares?!! This match is inserted merely to take a piss. Second, where the hell is Kharma and/or Natalya? One of them should be taking Beth’s title tonight. Third, a celebrity doesn’t lose at Wrestlemania! Babyfaces take this one.

2. Cody Rhodes (C) vs. The Big Show for the Intercontinental Title: Cody’s coming into his own as a talker and a wrestler. Big Show is an agile big guy who makes people smaller in stature but higher in profile than himself look better at Wrestlemania. He does it every year. This year will be no different.

3. Randy Orton vs. Kane: Both these guys bore the hell out of me but are proficient in the ring for what they do. I believe Kane is in the twilight of his career right now and is merely being used to elevate other talent at this point. I just wish he was lifting up somebody other than the 2 guys who couldn’t possibly use any more pushes, Cena and Orton. Orton definitely wins this and I hope this thrown-together feud is finished after tonight.

4. Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny: So this match decides whether John Laryngitis or Teddy ‘Apparently Not All Black Guys Can Dance’ Long takes control of both Raw and Smackdown and based on that alone, it doesn’t matter who’s on what team, Team Johnny takes it. This match basically lets anyone who’s healthy and the company feels is deserving get their entrances and spots in on the big night. Expect Kofi Kingston to do something spectacular, Dolph Ziggler to bump like a mofo and Santino Marella to poke somebody in the head while wearing a snake sock on his hand. Oh, and David Otunga will be the greasiest dude ever, unless the Miz over-applies his fake tanner again.

5. Daniel Bryan (C) vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title: As you can probably tell from the picture, I’m a huge Bryan Danielson fan. He was my favorite wrestler in ROH and I think he’s a tremendous badass character who could be the next Chris Benoit if given a harder edge in the WWE. That being said, he’s Daniel Bryan in the WWE not Bryan Danielson. He’s a chickenshit heel and Sheamus is a monster of a good guy. I expect an entertaining match but Bryan isn’t getting out of this with the title. I just hope in my heart of hearts they tweak his character and he gets the belt back sooner or later.

6. CM Punk (C) vs. Jericho for the WWE Title: Should be the match of the night, but if you like good wrestling you already know that. Unless Jericho is sticking around the wrestling world for awhile, Punk takes this one. I would love to be wrong and see Y2J win the title and stay for a bit.

7. Undertaker vs. Triple H in a Hell in the Cell match with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee: If for one second you think Undertaker will lose this match, you are either still a young child and/or mentally retarded and still think that wrestling is not predetermined. Notice I didn’t say fake. I hope this match serves to set up an HBK/HHH double super ultra retirement extravaganza at Wrestlemania 29 next year.

8. John Cena vs. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson: This is what all the hoopla’s about. If you never have watched and never will watch wrestling again, this is being billed as the biggest match of all time. Bigger than any Hulk Hogan match, even the one against the Rock. I hate both of these guys and always have. I hope they beat each other to death. John Cena’s going to win because he’s the face of the company and Rocky’s passing the torch. I don’t care who wins and can’t believe the amount of hype this surely piss-poor wrestling match is getting.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. It’s after 3 in the morning and I have to get around to drinking scotch whiskey all night long and dying behind the wheel. They’ve got a name for the winners in this world, I want a name when I lose. This is Deacon Blues, signing off.

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