April 5, 2017
HOLY SHIT, what a week we experienced as wrestling fans since last Friday. But is there anything that’s to be surprising about this? I mean after all, all of the festivities were centered around the show of shows, Wrestlemania. I have to say that the show not only delivered for me, but it reached a new high. I’ll explain a little later.
I’m Kyle Robinson, and welcome to another edition of “Book It” if you can’t tell yet, today’s post is going to be about the goings on around Wrestlemania week, and the event itself. With that said there’s a LOT of things to get to so lets get started.
I think the entire WWE Universe expected a lot out of the Hall of Fame Ceremony Friday. The class was full of great deserving individuals for the first time in quite some time. I personally also expected great speeches. And boy, is that what we got. There were a lot of good stories in those speeches and a huge nod to the American Dream Dusty Rhodes, which is how it should be. Overall, getting the induction of Kurt Angle, Teddy Long, The Rock/Roll Express, DDP, and Beth Phenix made the class of 2017 a special one to be a part of.
NXT Takeover: Orlando
Much like Wrestlemania for the WWE, this is NXT’s biggest show of the year, and as it has been for the last year or so, the pressure was on as people were expecting Match of the Year Candidates, and expecting the event to out perform Mania. At Wrestlemania 32, they were able to do that almost easily, however this year, I won’t say that ti was such an easy feat. Now, that’s not to take away from the show. In fact the show was absolutely fantastic and had some great wrestling matches, which included the debut of Alister Black. A man that I call now, will be a future world champion. Also we had one hell of a triple threat Tag Team match which in my opinion is Match of the Year material, I don’t know a lot of the wrestling fans out there who might disagree.Then of course the main event where Bobby Roode retained the NXT Championship over Shinske. Top to the bottom the card was full of very good wrestling matches as it always is.
By comparison, this show felt complete. What I mean by this is that there weren’t a fuck load of injuries so we didn’t have to try to wade through a shit ton of crap that no one really cared to see. Also overall, I don’t know that there was a bad match on the card. Even the Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg match ended up being a very decent match. The only real head scratcher I saw was that Mojo Rowley won the ArmBar. Now, I won’t take anything away from Mojo, but at the end of the day unless the WWE truly intends to push this kid, then what was the point of wasting the win on him. He won the Battle Royal and then wasn’t even featured on Smackdown on Tuesday, does that make sense to you? Because honestly, that’s not how you book the winner of a battle royal, especially one you want to push. However, the story of the night from mania came at the end after the main event. The Undertaker took his second loss at Wrestlemania to Roman Reigns. And at the end of it all, he took all of his gear off and put it in the center of the ring, and seemed to disappear into the ramp, which to most symbolized his retirement. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t emotional during the entire thing. To be fair though, if your a wrestling fan and weren’t moved by not only the display but the show respect after the show to the Undertaker you’re a sad human. Now that I’m a little emotional again, lets’ move on to the Monday Night Raw after Mania.
Monday Night Raw
The night after Raw is always known as a rowdy night and this past Monday wasn’t an exception. First, you’ve got a 10 minute boo-fest of Roman Reigns for his treatment of the Undertaker. It lead to a 5 minute promo where Roman just said “This is my yard now” and dropped the mic. We also saw a great Tag Team Match where the returning Hardy Brothers (You read that right) who captured the titles at Mania, defended them against the club in a decent match. However, the first real surprise if you can call it that, was the reveal of Kurt Angle as the Raw General Manager. The crowd loved it, and I’m excited to see where it goes. The next big surprise was the debut of the Revival on the Main Roster. It’s a call up that’s way overdue, and it’s about time they got their chance on the roster. I expect them to go far. Last, we got the return of Finn Balor who teamed with Rollins to take on Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. It was a decent match that saw Finn get the win in his much anticipated return. There was also an announcement earlier in the night that talked about the Superstar Shakeup. One can only imagine this is similar to the Draft lottery of the past, but no one really knows. We did find out that it will happen next week so that’s going to be interesting. Finally, let’s move on to Smackdown.
This is the first year that Smackdown emanated live from the site of Raw and Mania, and boy did it deliver. The crowd overall wasn’t quite as rowdy but we still got some awesome moments that will be remembered for time to come. The first of those was the debut of Tye Dillinger, the Perfect 10. He’s another one of those wrestlers whose worked his ass off, and his call up was well overdue. But that wasn’t all we got as we got the debut of Shinske Nakamura to a massive ovation. We also got the return of Eric Rowan as a member of the Wyatt family. It will be interesting to see how things play out in that rivalry between Orton and Wyatt continues to play out as they continued the situation on Tuesday.
Overall, the week was filled with fantastic wrestling action. It had a dozen great moments, and awesome things to see as it usually does. This is another Mania in the books and with the debuts, and the impending superstar shakeup it’s going to be interesting to see how the entire product changes after next weeks’ episodes. As always though, the wheel keeps turning, and now we’re making our way toward Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans, LA.
Next week join me as I talk about Wrestlemania 34 and I go full brash and try to predict the card, and maybe some Hall of Fame entrants. For now though, I’m Kyle Robinson picking up the pen and closing the book on this subject.