Thursday, March 28, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 34 - WWE Wrestlemania 34 (2018)

Date: April 8, 2018
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 78,133

So you remember when I started the Ramblemania 32 post a couple days ago with "This show. This Fucking Show?"

I meant for that to open this show... let's try that again... once more with feeling....

This show.

THIS. FUCKING. SHOW.

Not bothering with an intro to this pile of shit. Let's go.



I didn't watch the pre-show this time around, but I did back in the day and for those wondering, Matt Hardy won the Andre Battle Royal that means nothing, Cedric Alexander won the vacant Cruiserweight title before that belt eventually got forgotten in a couple years, and Glow Girl (Naomi) won the women's battle royal that they almost named after the Fabulous Moolah, but decided against it after some backlash... and throughout the show, John Cena was in the crowd as a fan. Yep, yep, yep... this wouldn't last long.

(Also to add a finer point, I went back and watched the battle royal in question, where the finish saw Bayley seemingly eliminating Sasha Banks to win the match, but then Glow Girl suddenly throws Bayley out because she was never eliminated... so yes, they made Bayley look like such a fucking worthless geek that she desperately needed (and eventually get) a gimmick change to essentially ungeekify Bayley. I also firmly regret giving this shitshow the time of the day.)

So in the opening match of the actual card, Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor and Intercontinental Champion Miz to win the title. Finn Balor didn't come out with the Demon entrance, but instead gets a bunch of marks in t-shirts to usher him out... man, that was so lame. Also, the 3D graphics for Miz are terrible and not all that good and I hope they never attempt something this shitty again... oh, who am I kidding? Of course, they will. Anyway, this was a great little opener; not much else to say here. It got me in the mood.

Smackdown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka via submission to retain the title and end Asuka's undefeated streak. Six years after the fact and this match still pisses me off. Not because it's a bad match, because it's not. It's one of the better women's matches that I've come across and it certainly sticks to mind... but to have BABY FLAIR of all people be the one to end Asuka's streak rather than give that to someone who could benefit from it. Instead, the streak was a footnote to one of the eleventy billion championships Charlotte would win in a short period of time. Not only that, but two days later, that year's Money In The Bank winner Carmella would cash in her briefcase and beat Charlotte for the title. And then Carmella and Asuka would feud over the title for the next couple months and... good lord, those matches SUCKED! THEY FUCKING SUCKED! THAT WHOLE FEUD SUCKED! WE HAD BABY FLAIR BREAK ASUKA'S STREAK SO WE COULD HAVE ASUKA JOB TO CARMELLA?! FUCK THESE FUCKING FUCKERS. FUCK YOU!

Yeah, so that put me in a mood.

Oh, look. John Cena is talking with a referee and heads to the back... yep, watching like a fan... fuck me.

Jinder Mahal defeated Rusev, United States Champion Randy Orton, and the Glorious Bobby Roode in a Fatal Four Way match to win the title. This would be post-WWE Champion Jinder Mahal we're talking about here, as he had won the title the previous year by defeating - wait for it - RANDY ORTON! How about that?

Yeah, so the match itself was a thing that happened. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling this one because I'm largely apathetic towards four-ways and Jinder winning the title didn't exactly light the world on fire. I wouldn't call this a bad match or anything, but this felt like something that would've been perfectly fine for a Smackdown or RAW, rather than a PPV match. That's just me, though.

Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle defeated Paul "Triple H" Levesque and Stephanie "Nipple H" McMahon when Rousey made Nipple H submit via armbar. The match itself was... okay. It wasn't great. It wasn't good. Certainly not the four-star classic that some people proclaimed this to be. It was merely okay. Kurt Angle wasn't quite as nimble as he used to be, neither was HHH, which made him selling punches from Cold Ronda all the more comical), Stephanie continues to give me greater appreciation for the MUTE function on my remote control and as far as Ronda goes... well, she was fine. People seemed to like her (at first) before they eventually soured on her, but I wouldn't know about that because I never really bought into what Ronda was selling... assuming she sold... or something...

The Bludgeon Brothers defeated Smackdown Tag-Team champions the Usos and the New Day (with their 3d pancakes, Jesus Christ) in a triple threat match to win the titles. Two big, beefy white dudes dominate over the Samoa team and the Afro-American team... just to feed the trolls, as it were. The match itself wasn't anything special, but at least it went by quick.

John Cena comes down to the ring, seemingly waiting for Undertaker, only to get Elias... whom taunts Cena for a bit before getting beat up. And then we get an actual gong and Undertaker makes his big return from... not showing up for a whole year. I made a big stink about this Undertaker comeback because I felt that his match with Roman at Mania 33 was the perfect way to bow out and anything that came afterwards would result in diminishing returns (see any Taker match from Saudi Arabia not involving Rusev). And believe it or not, I swore off watching any more Undertaker matches and mostly stuck with it - presumably because half of them were in Saudi Arabia and I don't watch those shows at all, so this is the first time that I'm watching this match and... well, what do you want me to say?

Undertaker did a few moves, Cena did a few moves, and Undertaker finished him off with a chokeslam and tombstone. People called this a squash of sorts, but this was mostly a really short match. A really short match was the best thing for Undertaker unless it took place in a boneyard. In hindsight... maybe it would've been better if Taker HADN'T showed up to face Cena and we'd make this a recurring thing where every year, Cena would call out Undertaker at Mania and every year, he'd be denied... and then eventually, prevailing circumstances would come along and curtail the whole thing, but... hey, imagination is free.

Daniel Bryan Danielson and Shane McMahon defeated future tag-team champions and Mania main eventers Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in Bryan's first match since coming out of retirement... sadly, Bryan gets beat up by KO and Sami beforehand, which leaves us with Shane McMahon in a handicap situation against the future tag-team champions. It is as bad as it sounds, and apparently Shane had a hernia during this match, which must have been really painful... but eventually, Bryan would make his return, get the hot tag, and fend off the Quebecois, eventually locking Sami in the LeBell Lock (or whatever he used to call it back then, I don't remember) for the submission win. It wasn't a great match, but Bryan looked great and to his credit, is still going strong today in his final full-time year. Shane, on the other hand... I don't know, actually. I'm sure he's fine, I guess.

Nia Jax defeated RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss to win the title. The story of this match is that Nia is offended by Alexa calling her fat and that's prompted a title match. The match isn't very good; because I have a hard time believing that the tiny Alexa Bliss is an imposing obstacle for the giant Nia Jax to overcome. There's a reason why you don't have babyface giants; it's nearly impossible for them to be put in a situation of peril, especially against an opponent that is much, much, MUCH smaller than they are. In a perfect world, Nia would've crushed Alexa like a bug and pinned her in less than a minute. Honestly, that would've endeared me more to Nia than the match we got... so long as they didn't make her cut any promos about bullying or being special or anything like that... because that would be stupid.

WWE Champion AJ Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the title. I actually enjoyed this match than I did originally, during which time I had just rewatched their encounters in New Japan, which sort of colored my perceptions of this match. And make no mistake; if you're going to compare this Mania match to those, this does feel like a less intense match, but within the WWE stratosphere, it was quite good. After the match, Nakamura presented the belt to Styles in a supposed sign of good sportsmanship and then punched him in the balls. This would spawn a series of rematches all built around grown men punching each other in the balls. I wish I were making this up... but I have musings from the period that confirm this to be the case, including the only Saudi Arabia event that I bothered to watch.

Another copy-and-paste affair: "Braun Strowman and some kid defeated Raw Tag-Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus to win the tag-team titles. And when I say 'some kid,' I really do mean some kid that Strowman picked out from the audience because fuck you, that's why. All of a sudden, David Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000 wasn't so bad after all, because at the very least, he was a grown adult, whereas one half of your new Raw Tag-Team champions has yet to hit puberty. Sadly, before we could see the kid defend the title in Saudi Arabia, he and Braun would be forced to vacate the tag titles the next night on RAW, which would eventually be won by... Bray Wyatt and Broken Woken Matt Hardy... eh, at least it didn't go back to the former champs; then this whole thing would've been a complete and utter waste of time."

Oh wait, it still is...

Undisputed Universal Red Toy Belt Champion BROCK LESNAR defeated Roman Reigns to retain the title in a match that made me wish I was watching their match at Wrestlemania 31. And to be fair here, the premise on paper seemed somewhat plausible - the two guys who dealt Undertaker his only two Mania losses face off against each other in the main event of main events. And once again, THIS TIME FOR SURE, RomanMania was going to run wild and we'd finally get the coronation that we were supposed to three years ago. Roman would finally conquer the Beast at Wrestlemania like the conquering hero, he'd be adored and embraced by the WWE Universe, and Brock can go back to UFC or something.

That was the idea... because you know... THIS TIME FOR SURE!

What ended up happening was that Roman, unsurprisingly, got booed mighty fierce. Brock, meanwhile, got mildly cheered, but then the match would happen... and folks, I say this without an ounce of hyper hyperbole: this is, for all intents and purposes, the absolute worst main event in the history of Wrestlemania.

Hulk Hogan beating Yokozuna in two minutes for the WWF title at Wrestlemania IX doesn't count because that wasn't the main event. That was a bonus match. But I'd much rather watch that match and the post-match celebration on a loop for half an hour than sit through this fucking atrocious match. Hell, I'll sit through any of the McSon-In-Law main event sloths than put up with ONE SECOND of this fucking atrocious pile of shit. Those matches put me to sleep. Cena/Miz was a boring match with a dumb finish. The four-way at Wrestlemania 2000 had a bad finish. Whatever Mania main event you want to consider as one of the worst, I promise you, is nowhere near as bad as this absolute shitfest of a match.

This match was nothing but Roman and Brock spamming finishers on each other and kicking out of them... for damn near sixteen minutes. This match was fifteen minutes and fifty-nine seconds too fucking long. The crowd didn't care. Roman kicks out of an F5, dead silent. People are actively chanting boring, they're booing Roman, they're booing Brock, they're booing anything and everything that happened in this match, they're chanting "Boring" throughout until they decide to stop and go with "THIS IS AWFUL." Roman gets busted open and fires up... before getting F5'ed for the fifth, sixth time? I lost count. Who gives a fuck? This match is over, Brock wins, and everyone cheers not because of Brock winning, but because this shitfest of a show is over and done with.

You want me to give this match complement? Fine, I'll give them credit... for beating out Brock Vs. Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20 for the title of "Most Hated Wrestlemania Match Ever."

This match fucking blows. It is irredeemably awful. It is a waste of time. And most of all, it taints the rest of the show, which actually wasn't all too bad up until the Ronda match and then it kinda, sorta fell off a cliff, but then this match comes along and practically NAPALMS all the goodwill from this show. This show fucking sucks by mere association with this pile of shit main event. Thank fuck I don't have to watch this show anymore for as long as I live. Fuck this match. Fuck this show. Fuck the stupid fuckers who thought this main event was a good idea. Fuck the stupid fuckers who defend this shit. Just fuckity fuck right the fuckity fuck off and get fucked.

That's all I've got...

Later...

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