The SGP Geek Out Roundtable: Wrestlemania XXX Edition, Part 2

We are around 48 hours away from the biggest show of the decade, and the Roundtable rolls on!

When we left it, we discussed how we thought the show was going to go, what we thought the biggest match would be, how the walkout of Phil Brooks affected the booking of the entire thing, argued what the deal about the Andre Memorial Battle Royal is, and how the rest of the roster who don't have their own storylines will figure in the show.

Today, we continue exploring the event's different angles.

Read more: The SGP Geek Out Roundtable: Wrestlemania XXX Edition, Part 2

The SGP Geek Out Roundtable: Wrestlemania XXX Edition, Part 1

This is it. We're almost here.

We are less than a week away from (what should be) the biggest Wrestlemania in the history of the WWE. 30 years' worth of a pro wrestling legacy is no easy feat to accomplish, and yet here we are - halfway to the lifespan of the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals. (But only a mere fraction of the World Series; then again, nothing else could probably touch that.)

One would think that booking the biggest show in pro wrestling would be a walk in the park. The WWE has more than enough resources: the star power, the fanbase, the huge venue - but nothing about this Road to Wrestlemania has been simple. Vince is partly to blame; the problems plaguing the card are borne out of his own stubbornness and his tendency to write in broad strokes.

And the issues make for a great lot of things to talk about for this Wrestlemania. Not that there isn't anything to talk about every year, but that it seems that this 'Mania is definitely make or break. The entire company may very well be on the line on April 6, and important decisions need to be made and made properly.

In order to talk about the show, I've gathered some of the most opinionated people of our Facebook pro wrestling group, Smark Gilas-Pilipinas, in a huge roundtable. Unlike last time, there's too many of them to introduce at the beginning, so let's all just jump in and get right on with it.

As the French say, L'aissez les bons temps rouler!

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1. What do you predict the match order of the card will be? What would you prefer it to be?

 Michael Bueza: Prediction: Bryan-HHH (a callback to WrestleMania X), WWE Tag Team Titles Fatal Four-Way Match, Andre Battle Royal, The Shield vs Kane/New Age Outlaws, Cena-Wyatt, Divas Invitational, Taker-Lesnar, WWE World Title triple threat.

Preference: Since Triple H would obviously “stop at nothing” to prevent D-Bry from entering the main event, I prefer to see their match before the WWE World Title triple threat. Less preparation time for Bryan if he wins, more intense reactions from fans if HHH wins. Haha.

Stan Sy: Prediction: Fatal 4-way tag team match, followed by Kane & Outlaws vs. Shield. The Andre Battle Royal still closes out the first hour for me. Then, it’s DB vs. HHH to open the second hour. Divas invitational after that as a bathroom break. Then, they’ll close the second hour with Taker vs. Lesnar. Cena vs. Wyatt kicks off the third hour, followed by the 2014 Class of the Hall of Fame, and then the triple threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.

Preference: I’ll have to go with Anthony’s preferred card, except Bryan finally fulfills his underdog story arc by overcoming HHH, and then Orton and Batista in the main event to stand tall as champion at WM XXX as cheers and YES chants rain down on him in New Orleans.

Anthony Cuello: Prediction: Tag Team match goes first for an energetic start, followed by Shield vs. Kane & the NAO. The Battle Royale follows next, and then you have Bryan vs. Triple H to keep everyone excited. The Divas match follows, after which comes all the rest of big matches - Cena-Wyatt, Taker-Lesnar and ending with the Triple Threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Preference: Same as above - except Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H goes SECOND to last. It would create the ultimate underdog moment for Daniel Bryan: here he is, battered after 20+ minutes of tangling with The Game, and now he has to fight both Randy Orton & Batista for the title. It creates the ultimate underdog scenario and is another way for the Authority to screw Bryan over, giving him the possibility of back-to-back matches.

Maro Rimorin: Prediction and Preference: Triple H vs Daniel Bryan, Triple Threat Tag Titles, Divas Title match, Andre Battle Royal, Shield vs. Authority, Bray vs. Cena, Brock vs. Taker, World Heavyweight Championship.

Kim Antonio: Prediction: HHH vs Bryan, The Shield vs Kane and the New Age Outlaws, Fatal four-way for the WWE Tag Team Championship, VG Invitational Match, Cena vs Wyatt, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Taker vs Lesnar, Randy Orton vs Batista vs ___

Preference: HHH vs Bryan, VG Invitational Match, The Shield vs Kane and the NAO, Fatal four-way for the WWE Tage Team Championship, Cena vs Wayatt, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Taker vs Lesnar, Randy Orton vs Batista vs ___

Eunice Braga: Prediction: Going to go with Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena to kick off the show. The reason I put them first was that it seemed to me that having John Cena kick off Wrestlemania would act as a sort of ‘passing the baton’ gesture for the up-and-coming stars, while still fulfilling Cena’s fans’ wishes to see him in a good spot. Then we get the Tag Team Championship, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, Divas Invitational (which will be a bathroom break), The Shield vs. the Authority (if they really want to push the Shield, it’d be great to do this by having their match act as a lead-in to the major matches of the evening),  Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan vs HHH (agreeing with those who said that this will create the ultimate underdog scenario, and it seems like just the kind of move that the Authority would go for, story-wise) and World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match.   

Ro: Prediction, and preference:

- Tag Team Championship match (assuming it doesn’t get bumped down to the kickoff)

- Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H to cap off the first hour

- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

- The Shield vs. The Authority

- John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt to cap off the second hour

- Annual Hall of Fame segment

- The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

- Divas Championship Invitational

- Triple threat for the WWE Championship

It’s an ugly card, classification-wise.  Not enough filler match to pace the event and space the big matches between each other; let’s hope the last two hours don’t tire the crowd out. I’m making the unusual move of putting Bryan/HHH as early as possible thanks to some simple logic: I’m willing to bet that Hunter the villain would want as much time as possible to rest for the main event. I think it’s a placement that doesn’t outright spoil the final main event in either man’s favor.

 

2. Every 10th anniversary WrestleMania has its one immortal, iconic match. WrestleMania X had its legendary HBK-Razor Ramon ladder match. WrestleMania XX saw Chris Benoit beat Triple H and HBK for the World Championship. What do you think will be WrestleMania XXX’s flagship moment, based on how we see the card today?

Michael: It’s definitely the main event, with Daniel Bryan in it (and winning it) of course. But if Cena-Wyatt can pull it off, why not?

Stan: Had it been an up-and-comer like Roman Reigns, Cesaro, or even Daniel Bryan built up as a legit threat to beat the Streak, I’d have bet on any of those three standing over Taker as the flagship moment. But, since the question asked involves the current card, then I’ll go with Daniel Bryan overcoming HHH and the Authority, and eventually standing tall over Randy Orton as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, with Batista either seething outside the ring, or incapacitated.

Maro: I’ll take a shift here and predict the Brock-Taker match as WMXXX’s iconic match. I have the weird feeling that this is Taker’s last match, and you have to hand it to Lesnar: for the few matches he had since returning, he has thus far demonstrated some of the best wrestling in the WWE today. And lately, Taker hasn’t had a bad match at ‘Mania. So this match could very well go down as one of the best matches in WrestleMania history when booked right: Taker retains the Streak after a VERY hard-fought match.

Mikey Llorin: I believe it will be Daniel Bryan, standing tall, with 70,000 people chanting “Yes!”. The show will be written to tease the fans the whole night that we won’t be getting the payoff—just like at Summerslam, Hell in a Cell, the Royal Rumble, and No Way Out—in the same way that they kept teasing the Chicago crowd that Punk might return. Except this time, we finally get our mind-blowing climax. I imagine it to be a call-back/tribute to Michaels’ Iron Man win, or the Benoit Moment ten years ago: the culmination of a lifelong journey, a boyhood dream, and the overcoming of a thousand obstacles. Maybe Punk will come out as this year’s Eddie Guerrero, with Brie Bella in tow, and give him a big hug. And all of us will weep with joy. We will weep for days for that beautiful, beautiful man.

Jocs Boncodin: If booked properly (READ: BRYAN WINS IT ALL), the title match has the makings of a great iconic moment. If not, then expect the Wyatt-Cena match to steal the show.

Kim: There are four candidates for me: the main event, Lesnar vs Taker, and the dark horses of Cena vs Wyatt and the Battle Royal. The last seems the least likely and depends on who are the final few remaining. Cena vs Wyatt could be the next Hart vs Austin so who knows?  Lesnar vs Taker because those two have been on a bit of a hot streak when it comes to big match-ups like these. However, if Daniel Bryan wins everything that seals the deal definitely.

Eunice: It has to be Daniel Bryan winning everything for me. I cannot wait to have the entire crowd and the millions watching at home chanting ‘YES!’ along with DB as he holds up the title, confetti falling from all sides. It would have the biggest impact, it would deliver the payoff for this story, it would be a great nod to the 10th anniversary of Chris Benoit’s Wrestlemania win (another iconic moment), as well as a great way to celebrate 30 years of Wrestlemania. Pretty sure the WWE knows that’s what’s best for business.

Anthony: The simplest answer is Daniel Bryan and 70,000 people chanting “YES!” at the end, Gold around Bryan’s waist. It’s what they’ve been building towards and what will have the most impact. We’ll get tons of great highlights from the other matches, but this seems to be what they’ll go with. It’s the most iconic way to end 30 years of Wrestlemania.

Ro: I just think it’s funny how this is even a question, man. The entire Bryan storyline and the two matches he’s booked in pretty much sets up a huge Bryan victory to close the evening and be that Wrestlemania moment. It’s this generation’s Benoit/Guerrero celebration.

 

3. In your opinion, how much positive impact did Punk’s departure have on the Wrestlemania card as it is? Do you think it would have been worse off if he stayed?

Ro: I can’t claim to know Punk’s reasons for leaving the company, so I’ve decided to come to the conclusions that I won’t judge the man for doing what he did, nor will I support his decision. However, sometimes I wonder what his motivations were. Did he truly leave for himself, or did he play political chess and sacrifice himself so that Bryan could checkmate Vince?

The thing is, we can’t really evaluate whether Punk leaving was “best for business” because we don’t know what the card would have looked like. Sure, there were “rumors” - Sheamus vs. Bryan, for example - but remember that this is a business rife with hearsay, around 95% of which turn out to be false. Remember when they said that The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Undertaker would headline Wrestlemania 30? Yeah.

Would it be worse off if he was there? I’m inclined to say no, because I believe a card with CM Punk is better than one without, only because he’s great. I’m taking it as it is, though, and if it’s true that Punk leaving really opened the door for Daniel Bryan, then he deserves thanks, I guess.

Michael: I’m tempted to say that CM Punk’s departure led to Daniel Bryan’s (possible) entry in the main event. But this argument rests on what the plans were for both of them, way before Punk’s “exile.” It looked like Punk was Triple H’s original WM opponent; as for Bryan, his feud with Kane was intensifying.

If I could do a little fantasy booking here, it could have been Bryan vs Kane (still for the WM main event spot?) and Punk vs HHH (winner becomes main event referee, or they just both interfere during the main event?). But they would have more explainin’ to do.

For instance: Why would WWE not put Punk in the main event? I bet fans would go amok the same way they did when Bryan was initially denied the WM main event.

When Punk suddenly left, it was somewhat easy to have HHH as Bryan’s new opponent. Both have a more recent and more solid back story (ongoing since SummerSlam 2013) than Punk-HHH (2011).

Personally, I prefer the current card. If Punk stayed, the WrestleMania card could have been more complicated. It was doomed from the start anyway, after Batista’s Royal Rumble win. But that’s another argument.

Mikey: I agree with Michael, but I do believe that the current card is the one that made the most sense from the beginning, which, one would/should assume, was probably the plan all along. Strangely, the Punk-HHH match felt like something that WWE was trying to shoehorn in for, ahem, political reasons, just to keep Punk happy. Narrative-wise, the only issue Punk would’ve had with HHH was that little scuffle they had during the Slammy Awards Raw that would’ve been the storyline excuse for that match, and they eventually transitioned that to a mini-feud between him and Kane leading up to the Rumble. Meanwhile, Bryan had tremendous backstory beef with HHH and the McMahons all the way back from the build to Summerslam. Aside from Kane and, perhaps, the Shield, the only WrestleMania opponents that would’ve made a lot of narrative sense for Punk are Orton and/or Batista for the title, if he had won the Rumble. But that was never in the books, because Punk isn’t going to be in a blockbuster movie this summer.

If anything, the positive impact of Punk’s departure is that WWE (presumably) forced to tell a story that makes sense, rather than bending over backwards in order to satiate the ego of one of the talents, even if that ego, unfortunately, belonged to someone most of us liked. It hurts to say it, but good riddance, Mr. Punk.

Jocs: I gotta agree, the biggest positive you could get out of Punk leaving would be forcing the WWE to confront and tell a main event story that actually makes sense, narrative-wise. Plus, one could assume that with Punk gone, the other WWE workhorses are getting some share of the bright lights (Bryan, Cesaro, heck even Ziggler is winning again).

Stan: Before asking how much positive impact Punk’s departure had on the Mania card, I’ll first answer how much positive impact Punk’s departure had on the other boys in the back. For one, as Jox already mentioned, it created room for another top face to truly emerge, and it was Bryan’s spot to lose. And, Bryan took the ball and ran with it. If he wins at Wrestlemania XXX, then he truly will be the #2 babyface alongside Cena. I’ll even go as far as saying he’ll be 1a to Cena’s 1. If they flip-flop between 1 and 1a, I’d be happy, too. That being said, it also opened the room for the other indie alumni to emerge as fan favorites (ex: Cesaro, Ambrose, Rollings), as well as their developmental alumni (Ziggler, Reigns).

As for the card, I’ll agree with the roundtable that this year’s Mania storylines make a lot of sense. And, frankly, that’s something we’ve been asking for for a very long time. It sucks that it took CM Punk’s departure to get here. But, if that’s the price we’re going to have to pay, then so be it. I’m taking this. Would I want Punk back? Of course. Would I want Punk back at the expense of never getting to this point? Give me a moment to think about it; but if you put a gun to my head, I’d pick the current card over having Punk in the picture. Sorry, Punk.

Kim: I don’t what to add that hasn’t been said already. Punk’s departure, while it initially saddened me, does make sense in making a better card especially considering the angles of the Authority and Daniel Bryan.

Maro: I agree with the roundtable in saying that Punk leaving the WWE opened up a lot of room at the top. Personally I’m not sure if Punk somewhat “held Bryan down,” but it’s pretty hard for me to do a what-if-Punk-stayed fantasy booking if only because that takes Bryan out of the title picture for ‘Mania, and delay that moment for something like Extreme Rules. That won’t make a lot of fans happy, I would assume. By taking his ball and going home, Punk left a gap at the brass ring the top-tier talent are holding on to. But I won’t go as far in saying that Punk should take credit for that as the “unsung hero” type at all.

Eunice: I’ve been catching up on what has been happening story-wise, and I don’t know what else to add, but I do agree with the assessment that CM Punk would have complicated the Wrestlemania card--he wouldn’t settle for anything less than a shot at the title, which might’ve led to a Daniel Bryan and The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws match. That would’ve still been fun to watch, no question, but it wouldn’t have been as much of a payoff. I think there’s only so little room for the guy who wants to go up against the top heel, and CM Punk being in the picture would not have provided the WWE with a storyline that fans can really get behind because they would have had to think about making him happy.

Anthony: The thing is, we can’t really evaluate whether Punk leaving was “best for business” because we don’t know what the card would have looked like. Sure, there were “rumors” - Sheamus vs. Bryan, for example - but remember that this is a business rife with hearsay, around 95% of which turn out to be false. Remember when they said that The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Undertaker would headline Wrestlemania 30? Yeah.

Would it be worse off if he was there? I’m inclined to say no, because I believe a card with CM Punk is better than one without, only because he’s great. I’m taking it as it is, though, and if it’s true that Punk leaving really opened the door for Daniel Bryan, then he deserves thanks, I guess.

 

4. This year’s attempt to give everyone a Wrestlemania payday resulted in an Andre the Giant Battle Royal being announced by the Hulkster. While it’s nice everyone gets paid, the question is: just what is this match for, exactly? Is there a special prize for the winner other than bragging rights? A title shot? A trophy of some sort? Who do you think wins this match?

Mikey: This will be much easier to answer when all the participants are confirmed. If a mid-level Superstar wins, then it might be used as a spark for him to “gain momentum” over the next year. If Big Show wins, it’ll be used as a little Andre the Giant tribute moment to honor his legacy—they haven’t done that in a long time, and the 3oth WrestleMania is as good a time as any. My wish is that Cesaro giantly swings Big Show and wallops everybody out of the ring through sheer centripetal force.

Whatever happens, though, I’m willing to bet that somebody’s going to smash that trophy afterwards.

Jocs: If Big Show wins, it becomes a harkening back to the old days were big guys rule. If a new guy wins it, *ehem*Rusev*ehem*, it’s the start of a serious push. If a floundering midcarder wins it, then it’s a jumpstart to a new direction. Either way, I expect it to be a spotfest.

Michael: I agree that a storyline or a big push for the winner would arise from this. It would be cool if they award the actual Andre’s 1987 trophy for his then-”undefeated streak.” But I think this would just be an attraction, like the WWE-NFL Battle Royal at WM 2, and the Gimmick Battle Royal at WM X-Seven.

Kim: As others have mentioned, if Big Show wins, it might be another classic throwback to an old Wrestlemania. If a lower card wrestler wins it, this could be the start of a big push.

Stan: I wish there really was something up for grabs. But, it’s more of a meta-prize than it is a real one. I wouldn’t mind seeing Show win. Lord knows he hasn’t had his fair share of positive WrestleMania moments. For a new school Andre, he kinda needs this one. The others have already shared the meta-prizes up for grabs, and I’m all for it!

Maro: I see the Battle Royal more as a springboard to elevate talent for the next “season” of wrestling: more for those who haven’t been booked well going into ‘Mania. Maybe come Raw After Mania or Extreme Rules, we’ll see someone get pushed because of it. I agree with the roundtable that there should be something more than a storyline push up for grabs - like a PPV title shot or something. That said, I’m going for a Cesaro win on this one.

Eunice: I’m thinking that Big Show might win it just to honor Andre the Giant’s legacy, but I’d love for this to push some of the younger guys to the top. There are rumors now that this might be a yearly thing, and if that’s true, they might use the battle royale as either a) a way to give young talent a storyline push, which would be great because that will make the WWE more sustainable moving forward (rooting for Cesaro and Kofi, actually) or b) a way to bring back the ‘big guys rule the WWE’ era, with the next big ‘big guy’ getting the push.

Ro: It’s nice that you’re all thinking of this as a possible springboard for a young talent, but the problem with that is in order for a victory in this match to translate into possible momentum for the winner, there needs to be something tangible waiting for him at the end.

This isn’t like the Royal Rumble because this battle royal isn’t a difficult test of endurance. This isn’t even like King of the Ring because battle royals are a lot easier to win than several straight matches in a row. So not only do you not have a prize, but winning this thing isn’t even framed as an impressive physical achievement. Why should I be scared of you, then, for winning a gimmick trophy by managing to outlast the rest of the roster in the ring?

A title shot for the Intercontinental or U.S. Championship isn’t so hard. Besides, Dean Ambrose has been holding on to his prop for too long now.

But until this is addressed... I don't give a shit who wins.

 

5. How does the rest of the card round out? The Battle Royal match sort of eliminates Big E from defending the IC Championship. The Shield will be in...something. The lack of clarity for all the other titles (Divas, Tag Team...and even US) still leaves a window open for some kind of title defense. But there are still holes in the card that haven’t been played yet. How do you think all of this will play out?

Image from WWE.com

Michael: The Usos don’t have a Tag Team title defense set for WrestleMania yet. And the possible contenders - Rybaxel and The Real Americans - aren’t in the Andre Memorial Battle Royal as I type this. Maybe they’ll fight The Usos for the belts?

Oops, The Usos have opponents now. And it would be a Fatal Four-way for the belts: against Rybaxel, The Real Americans and Los Matadores. Hmm, predicting a win for The Usos, then the Cesaro-Swagger break-up begins at WrestleMania.

Anthony: The Usos are now defending their titles in a Fatal 4-Way, against Not-Paul Heyman Guys, Los Matadores and the Real Americans. Had the Rhodes Brothers been here I wouldn’t be sure who’d win (Goldust deserves a WM moment) - but with who’s in the match I think it’s clear that this match is going to put the Usos even more over. None of the contenders seem poised to hold the tag titles - at this point, Cesaro doesn’t need it anymore to get over - so the Usos get the successful defense.

What’s more concerning is that there is NO title defense for the US and Intercontinental belts. Honestly, when was the last time Dean Ambrose defended?

Stan: We’re a little over a week away from Mania and we have eight solid matches on the card. In a perfect world, I’d have taken certain superstars out of the Battle Royal and made an IC Title defense involving Big E, Cesaro, and Swagger. Maybe a US Title match, too, but I like the Shield’s current match, so I’m not messing that up.

You know what would have put this WrestleMania over the top? The return of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match! Think about it. You can actually take certain guys from the Battle Royal into that match, and it would fly. Kofi as the spot monkey, Sheamus as the big dude, Christian because he’s done this before, Ziggler as the fan favorite and technical whiz, Alberto ‘cause he could use another clusterfuck of a match, and maybe Mizark. I’m just naming them off the top of my head.

Then again, I’m cool with the current card. I really am.

Ro: I don’t like the current card. Two battle royal matches are overkill and is proof that the WWE could care less about their undercard. The four-team tag title match is stretching it, but it can be forgiven for not being thrown together haphazardly.

It tells me that: the WWE braintrust couldn’t be assed to book proper Divas, Intercontinental or US title matches, they couldn’t get Cody vs. Goldust off the ground in time for the event, and you’re not getting any substantial storylines if you’re not a name who’s decently over.

The action is going to look good on paper, but I’m afraid there are still more problems with it than meets the eye.

 

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That's it for now, but we're far from done! We just didn't want to overload the circuits with the intensity of our discussions. Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week!

 

Are you a Filipino wrestling fan? Do your friends make fun of you because you can go on and on about wrestling? Most importantly – are you on Facebook? Join us at Smark Gilas-Pilipinas! We NEVER stop talking about wrestling, whether it’s the WWE, TNA, indys, Japan, Mexico; anything and anyone and everyone is welcome. What you just read is the way we discuss wrestling in the group. So if you like that, what are you waiting for; go on over and join now!

You can follow Ro on Twitter at @roiswar, or you can ask him anything on his Ask.fm page. (Hint: please ask him about wrestling.)

 

The New Players

There’s a funny sequence in Sherlock’s first episode back from its two-year hiatus. For those who don’t follow the show, the last episode before the break saw—spoiler alert!—Sherlock committing a fake suicide, but the audience sees him alive and well as the show ends. That reveal, necessary to assure the fans they didn’t suddenly witness a series finale, stirred a huge storm of speculation as to just how he managed to pull off such a huge con. That storm raged for the entire two years the show was off the air, seeing theories (and theorists) flying left and right, one after the other, all over the Internet.

The return episode lampooned those diehard fans not only by offering possible explanations spanning the entire spectrum of plausibility, from the practical and real to the wildly fake, but also including the fans as an actual part of the narrative. (The real solution, however, has purposely been left ambiguous.) These varying theories are framed as the different possibilities of Sherlock’s con according to his onscreen fan club, a very thinly-veiled representation of those who’ve spent the past couple of years going insane over trying to find out how he did it. The funny thing was that they’ve made it to the very show they’ve been obsessing over for so long, all becausethey were obsessed. Whether they’re proud of it, however, is a different question.

Last Friday on SmackDown (because of course this piece is about wrestling!), Batista, the #1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, calls Daniel Bryan a mere “fan that was let into the locker room.” It’s the latest entry in the long list of corporate-approved insults designed to antagonize Bryan and build up his underdog legend until someone devises something new in this week’s episode of Raw. Wrestling fans know that what Batista said was not just an onscreen knock against Daniel Bryan the character, but also an indictment against vocal wrestling fans who think they know better than the people running the company (regardless of whether they actually do know better).

From WWE.com

Pro wrestling had always been a form of entertainment laced with subtext which pointed to real life, but it’s never been so deep in subtle winks to the camera until now—this particular period in its history, the so-called Reality Era, born of the fallout from CM Punk’s original pipe bomb. In this day and age, the fourth wall has been demolished and left barely rebuilt, and the secret of wrestling is no longer a secret. The business entered into this age, as many have written and recounted and parroted, because the power of the Internet simply made the move inevitable.

Read more: The New Players

 

Mixels

Despite my being 30 years old, I still have quite the fascination with cartoons designed for kids. That's why I keep my ear to the ground for new stuff. So when I heard of Mixel, my interest was piqued. So I looked into it.

What I found both horrified and impressed me. In a move that would make Disney proud, LEGO, with Mixels as their opening salvo, is set to dominate multiple screens, and capitalize on that through merchandising. So, essentially, this is the strategy of Hasbro from the 80's and Disney of pretty much today. 

Before we get into their multimedia, lets talk about the premise of Mixels. The Mixels are, in true LEGO fashion, creatures with elemental characteristics that can mix and match with others, creating new and interesting combinations. Hence the name, I guess - Mixels. There are three tribes - the Infernites (fire), Cragsters (earth), and Electroids (electricity). Then we've got the Nixels, who are essentially the antagonists. 

Read more: Mixels

 

Instant Magic: Notes from Joshi+Jam Manila

The huge dude covered from head to toe in muscles on muscles just won. He had just beaten the young Japanese guy who now lay on the floor before him.

The poor kid had a nice, agreeable-looking face and came out earlier that night to the DragonBall Z theme, which was enough to get the audience to cheer for him. The big man – simply, ominously named The Bodyguard, and couldn’t have been more than 5’8” but definitely more than made up for it by being as jacked as a Renaissance statue – turned him inside out with a big-time running lariat for the three count.

The Bodyguard wasn’t quite happy with just that, though. He went to pummel the young guy, named Kuroshio, in a ground-and-pound sequence that the latter just literally took lying down. This went on for a few moments until former WWE wrestler Tajiri, who had wrestled the first match of the evening, came in to make the save. Tajiri rolled into the ring and promptly spit his world-famous green mist to the absolute explosion of the crowd in the Ynares Sports Arena.

Soon after that, Akira, Tajiri’s opponent earlier in the night, ran right in to even the odds and make it a two-on-two brawl. All we needed, joked the savvy fans in the audience (which were… pretty much 90% of the crowd), was the presence of former SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long to make the inevitable tag team match official – which it did, by the way, because wrestling logic!

 

Read more: Instant Magic: Notes from Joshi+Jam Manila

 
   

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