Pinfall - A WWE Column #001
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Richard Cosgrove kicks off his new regular WWE column with a look at the upcoming Wrestlemania XXX...
Welcome to Pinfall! Not quite as catchy or adrenaline inducing as 'Welcome to Wrestlemania' I grant you, but I suspect Vince McMahon's lawyers might have something to say if I name this, my new regular wrestling column, after their most recognised trademark. So Pinfall it is, but what's in a name when we have other things to discuss, eh?
So why write a wrestling column? Well I've been a fan of the WWE (formerly, of course, the WWF) for over twenty years now and I'm often to be found discussing the WWE Universe with friends and family, not to mention hosting regular wrestling afternoons (watching, that is, not participating) at Casa Cosgrove and reviewing the various WWE DVD/Blu-ray releases that the wonderful people at Fetch send me (thanks Elle, Jeremy!), so I thought why not? OK, let's ring the bell and get this thing started!
Here we are, at the start of February and as we're being constantly reminded by WWE television, we are well and truly on the road to Wrestlemania. Not the 30th Anniversary as they still occasionally insist on calling it (that's actually next year) but undeniably the thirtieth incarnation of the biggest show in wrestling and it's sure to be a big celebration.
With a plethora of old school stars including Hulk Hogan and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper looking set to be included in some way, and fan favourites Ultimate Warrior and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts being inducted into the Hall of Fame (though, sadly, no mention or sign of Randy 'Macho Man' Savage joining the hallowed ranks yet), there's no doubt that the spectacle side of things is well covered, but what of the actual matches?
Here's where I begin to get a little nervous about the greatest show on Earth going off like a damp squib rather than the supercharged firework that it should be. The one certainty at the moment is that Batista will be challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Having returned at the Royal Rumble late in the order to face off against man of the moment Roman Reigns (who I'll be talking about further in the next column), I'm not hugely convinced that Batista still has the star power that he once did.
Personally I was never a huge fan anyway, having thought Evolution was somewhat overrated, so perhaps my judgement is a little biased here, but he's yet to prove himself in the ring properly since his return and the thought of him going up against Randy Orton, who is surely the least interesting champion that we've had for a good few years, in the main headlining event doesn't thrill me at all.
Of course, given the way the WWE is chopping and changing its storylines recently there's no guarantee that Orton will still be holding the gold in April, and given the huge crowd response that Daniel Bryan is continuing to get despite being apparently sidelined by The Authority I wouldn't be surprised if Batista is either somehow replaced as the number one contender by Bryan in an attempt to get the biggest pop that Wrestlemania has ever seen by finally being recognised as the WWE Heavyweight Champion, or if Bryan goes into Mania as defending Champion himself.
Both of these scenarios have problems, of course. Batista has signed up for a two year run with WWE, so it makes sense for him to crown his return by taking the gold at Mania from the man we would love to hate if only we could summon the enthusiasm (that's you, Randy Snore-ton). However, to maximise the pop that Bryan will undoubtedly get whatever he does at Mania then the obvious move would be for him to win the Championship and achieve the WWE's alleged goal of setting a new record for the largest unified chant at a sporting event by having the whole stadium shouting 'Yes!'
Picture it now, the end of Wrestlemania XXX, the whole stadium on its feet shouting in unison, thrusting their arms skywards in a unified, joyous celebration of positivity. The fireworks light up the sky, the chants get louder, every face in the crowd is wearing a mile wide grin, the greatest show on Earth ends on the greatest high possible.
Now picture it if the main event is Orton vs Batista. Not quite the same, is it?
One possible way around this, of course, is if this year does turn out to be The Undertaker's swan song. I'll be discussing the Phenom in more depth in a couple of columns time, but think about this – what better way for The Dead Man to go out than to close Wrestlemania XXX by fighting his last match in New Orleans - the City of the Dead - and then disappearing into the night, never to be seen again? Most. Awesome. Ending. To. Wrestlemania, Ever!
I'll leave you with that thought and see you back here next time.
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