This, my fine smark friends, is WrestleMania weekend. And what a weekend it has been so far. I don’t think NXT Takeover: Dallas could’ve been better on Friday night. It truly showed that the NXT up-and-comers are far from a minor league, showcasing some of the best performers in the world. The championship tag match between The Revival and American Alpha was stellar, aside from a botched tag maneuver resulting in a surround-sound chant of “Botch-a-mania!” and “You [F’d] up!”
It honestly wasn’t that bad, and the rest of the match was near perfect. But the WrestleMania weekend audience jam packed with wonderful wrestling geeks from every corner of the Earth quickly forgave them, and the two teams put on an excellent show, overall, ending in new tag champs: American Alpha.
The debut and victory of Austin Aries, an appearance by Bobby Roode, and a bloody, brutal performance by Samoa Joe proved that TNA’s former talent had arrived and will be making a huge Impact on the WWE in the future.
But the biggest debut of the night was that of Shinsuke Nakamura, with an incredibly unique and dangerous “strong style” that few can perfect. From his entrancing entrance to the handshake with Sami Zayn after the finish, Nakamura made possibly the most impressive debut ever seen. His first match was an instant classic. I dare say it’s beauty and artfulness is matched only by matches of legend.
Nakamura/Zayn joined my list.
Not to exclude Sami Zayn’s work, he made Nakamura’s debut extra special, and made him look as good as he is. Bravo to an incredible performance by both men, provoking my new favorite chant: “Fight Forever.”
Bayley vs. Asuka had a lot of hype behind it. The babyface with loads of heart against the odd, Japanese strong style master. It was almost the female equivalent of Zayn/Nakamura, and similarly, they didn’t disappoint. Ever since her match with Sasha Banks, Bayley has had high expectations for every big match. The hugger extraordinaire put up a valiant effort against Asuka, only to be choked out. In a surprising finish, Bayley was slowly and methodically submitted; an MMA style finish, and a prime example of art imitating life, wrestling inspired by reality.
And with that, we are on to WrestleMania. Frankly, it will be very difficult for the main roster to top NXT: Dallas. Sure, it will impress with its spectacle, but in the actual match quality, it will be hard for the big event to compete with what was originally looked upon as a farm system.
However, there’s one ominous group left off the card. We can almost ensure an appearance by The Wyatt Family, but where, and why? The three major matches on the WrestleMania lineup each feature a former foe of Bray Wyatt. Lesnar vs. Ambrose. Undertaker vs. Shane. Triple H vs. Reigns.
In the case of Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose, we’ve seen Wyatt clash with both participants. The Eater of Worlds and the Lunatic Fringe had a substantial feud for months, but an interference to hinder the unstoppable force that is The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, is much more likely. Brock and Wyatt were set to face off at Roadblock, but Luke Harper fought in his leader’s stead. The purpose of that could potentially be to save a Bray/Lesnar feud for after WrestleMania. It has been teased for so long that I can’t think of a more perfect stage for Wyatt to intentionally provoke The Beast than on the grandest stage of them all.
But perhaps The Undertaker has his work cut out for him against Shane-o-mac if The Wyatt Family decides to attack their old nemesis. Both of these matches have that pesky “No Disqualification” stipulation, so interference is completely legal. Last time I checked Bray Wyatt had devoured The Undertaker’s soul. Who’s to say The Undertaker ever got it back? And if he did, Bray may want to re-devour it! Undertaker souls don’t grow on trees, and they’re delicious.
This feud could rise from the dead again and its effects could shift the WWE Universe into Shane’s control. You may wonder what Bray’s motive is for helping Shane win the ownership of Monday Night Raw. Well, Bray’s goal has always been to bring change and to cause strife. I guess some people just want to watch the world burn, and Shane’s leadership could shift the WWE in The Wyatts’ favor.
And finally, Roman Re...zzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Oh, sorry. Dozed off for a moment there. Let me get some more coffee...
Roman Reigns! The Hound of Justice is no stranger to the manipulation and mind games of Bray Wyatt. The minimal amount of airtime and the exclusion of a major player like Bray Wyatt from WrestleMania is very suspicious. So suspicious, in fact, that he may have big plans for the main event. Considering there’s no Money In the Bank factor at the Showcase of the Immortals this year is cause for alarm. The Universe’s displeasure with the Hound of Justice shines brighter than a firefly in the darkness, and The Eater of Worlds has always intended to lead the people down a path of righteousness to rebel against the status quo, represented by Roman Reigns. And even though The Authority may represent this threat even more than Reigns, The Roman Empire is destined to fall. The Ides of March have come and gone, but Bray can still be the Brutus we need. Anyone but you, Roman…
Anyone but you.