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Basically exactly what I expected, but executed so, so well and with SO much heat because Daniel Bryan is the fucking man. Honestly wouldn't be shocked to see Smackdown start competing with Raw's ratings if he's gonna be the top guy for that show. 

Like Owens and Zayn have more or less felt like victims this entire storyline, and here in one segment Bryan firmly cements that he's the good guy and these two are total cunts. Great stuff 

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Yeah that ending was awesome. Bryan explaining how Owens and Zayn already won and they messed it up by attacking Shane was some solid writing. And while it was amazing to see Bryan get some shots in, the ending of him getting his ass kicked was the right way to go. It needs to be WrestleMania when he beats them up.

What interesting developments this has turned into. Going into today I assumed I'd just fast-forward the entire two hours of SmackDown like I always do while I wonder why I even DVR it. And at the end of the night I'm watching solid build-up for one of the most anticipated matches for WrestleMania...a match that wasn't even thought of a few weeks ago and won't even be official until a few short weeks before the PPV. WrestleMania just got a lot better. 

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29 minutes ago, Mike said:

WrestleMania just got a lot better. 

No kidding. I wasn't sure about watching it live and fast-forwarding through it for the first time in like ten years, and that's completely out the window now. I'm totally sold on the match, I'm legitimately excited to see it and how the story pays off, when before I was more annoyed that this was the direction they're going in. I'm expecting an awesome, violent 20 minute brawl where Bryan will do all sorts of awesome stuff that blows everyone away like HBK at Summerslam 02.

I also kinda like the idea of this as Bryan and Shane's last ride as GMs. They started this thing two years ago, and they've had their differences and made mistakes, and their journey is at an end, but they're going out fighting to exorcise the main antagonists of the their show. That's a great story. 

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Smackdown last night did its biggest number since the brand split, with the only exception being the Draft and the superstar shake-up episodes 

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On 3/21/2018 at 0:35 AM, Ruiner II said:

No kidding. I wasn't sure about watching it live and fast-forwarding through it for the first time in like ten years, and that's completely out the window now. I'm totally sold on the match, I'm legitimately excited to see it and how the story pays off, when before I was more annoyed that this was the direction they're going in. I'm expecting an awesome, violent 20 minute brawl where Bryan will do all sorts of awesome stuff that blows everyone away like HBK at Summerslam 02.

I also kinda like the idea of this as Bryan and Shane's last ride as GMs. They started this thing two years ago, and they've had their differences and made mistakes, and their journey is at an end, but they're going out fighting to exorcise the main antagonists of the their show. That's a great story. 

why would you ever not watch Mania live?

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16 minutes ago, Nixon said:

why would you ever not watch Mania live?

Well I was on the fence the last two years, only deciding to watch at the last minute, and when they were over I felt they were a waste of my time, so I was once again on the fence this year especially since there weren't any matches I was especially hyped for. Didn't watch the Rumble for the first time in a loooong time, that went well. 

I PROBABLY would've watched it anyway, just like last year, because once Wrestlemania day is actually here the itch starts to settle in, but I don't have a lot of time these days and I've got diminishing patience for using it to let WWE annoy me with their shitty television. 

EDIT: also keep in mind that me living alone plays a big part in this too; watching Wrestlemania by yourself is very different from watching it with your dad or with friends. It's actually kinda depressing. 

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30 minutes ago, Mike said:

No it didn't. You missed two good Rumble matches!

And alas, the world didn't end. I watched the Rumble a few days later after hearing it was pretty good (and it was) and I saved the other two-three hours of my life while seeing one of my favorite local bands perform. Win all around. 

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So, this COULD be kayfabe, but it'd be a really bizarre thing to make up: WWE is reporting that Shane is now suffering from diverticulitis, the same disease Brock had. They try and tie it into the Zayn/Owens attack, but again, they already had a fake injury for him, it'd be really weird to stack this particular disease on top of it two weeks later, especially when presumably they should be setting up the Mania match tonight. 

So if this is legit, there's no way he's working Mania. Which sucks for him, but it opens the potential for what other exciting partner Bryan can have in his place. Ideas I've seen floated... 

Handicap match

Triple threat match

Team Hell No 

Bryan and Jericho 

Bryan and Gargano

Bryan and Rusev

Bryan and Joe (and various other old school ROH guys) 

Bryan and Ziggler 

 

Naturally, as a fan, the ROH guy suggestion appeals the most to me even if Kane or Ziggler seem more in the WWE's wheelhouse of what they might actually do. Jericho would work but I believe he's booked up.

The ROH guys working for WWE are: Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish. The last three can be confidently counted out. Joe is due back from injury and would make for an awesome match, but he is a heel and I think it would feel kind of random. Ohno and Strong are both in NXT, and while Ohno in particular would make storyline sense and for an awesome match, it'd be a big risk to use a fresh call up for such a big match, since most of the audience doesn't know either guy and you only have two weeks to get people into them. 

So I'm left thinking it wouldn't be the worst idea for Bryan to poach Rollins to Smackdown in his last act as GM to team with him. They've got history in both ROH and WWE, so there's a storyline depth there for the hardcore fans but it's not totally left field for the wider audience. Balor and Miz becomes a singles match, and that's one less triple threat on the card.

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Ziggler and Kane would make the most sense. Rusev would be the best choice but I don't want his newfound popularity overshadowing Bryan's first match back. I also don't want a triple threat or handicapped match. Tough decision to make.

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4 minutes ago, Andrew said:

Y'all sleeping on that surprise CM Punk return 

That will never happen...unless they announce him as being in WWE 2K, in which case he'd then debut within a year after that. 

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52 minutes ago, Andrew said:

Y'all sleeping on that surprise CM Punk return 

I actually mentioned that in my post but I edited it out because I figured I'd catch shit for it, but yeah, if I'm Vince I back up a literal truckload of money to Punk's door for one night only, and immediately have one of the most hotly anticipated matches in Wrestlemania history.

 

Ziggler or Kane would make some kind of storyline sense but they'd be soooo lame, they'd actively hurt the match and make it feel like a smaller deal. Rusev would be cool and all but it'd be so random. I think of the guys it could actually be, Joe or Rollins are my personal picks. Or, if we're doing something totally random, NEVILLE

Really, the most logical thing would be for the top level guy who has a family connection to Bryan and has been complaining for two months about how nobody wants to wrestle him at Wrestlemania... "Well, Bryan, I was going to fight the Undertaker, but he keeps saying no, so I'll be your partner!"

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I was totally joking by the way, Punk ain't coming back for anything short of a major storyline.  Even teaming up with his ol' buddy AmDrag wouldn't do the trick unless he maybe got promised main event.

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4 hours ago, Mike said:

Daniel Bryan and HULK HOGAN vs. Owens and Zayn

Perfect passing of the torch with Hogan taking over for Bryan as GM two nights later on SmackDown

Book it. Now.

We don't need that old shithead back on tv.

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14 minutes ago, Andrew said:

We don't need that old shithead back on tv.

Sure we do. You can't take Babe Ruth out of MLB.

And if you're calling him a shithead because of the comments that got him fired, nearly every black person asked about it has come to the defense of Hogan. And if you're calling him a shithead because of his past reputation, I should point out that the Ultimate Warrior had a significantly worse reputation and said way more, much worse things than Hogan and he is loved by everyone and has a ridiculous WWE propaganda hall-of-fame award named after him.

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Hogan isn't a shithead because of any one particular thing, he simply is, in thorough pepertuity. He's like wrestling's Trump, so up his own ass and so transparently full of shit any time he says literally anything, that whether he's a good guy deep on the inside is impossible to know for sure and completely irrelevant. 

And Hogan's case was an extremely high profile mainstream deal, it really isn't comparable to Warrior. I can't judge whether wrestling fans would pop to see him (they probably would), but he brings literally nothing to the table in 2018 that's big enough to counteract the bad press it could attract, especially right after the heat they got for the Moolah ordeal and guys like David Bixenspan ready to jump on any shitty thing they do. 

And it's just a tone deaf thing to do regardless of publicity. Imagine being a black guy in WWE and having to work with a guy the entire world heard declare himself a racist before dropping the n-word a hundred times. How uncomfortable must that be?

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14 hours ago, Mike said:

Sure we do. You can't take Babe Ruth out of MLB.

And if you're calling him a shithead because of the comments that got him fired, nearly every black person asked about it has come to the defense of Hogan. And if you're calling him a shithead because of his past reputation, I should point out that the Ultimate Warrior had a significantly worse reputation and said way more, much worse things than Hogan and he is loved by everyone and has a ridiculous WWE propaganda hall-of-fame award named after him.

I wouldn't want Warrior back either, not that this is about him because he's fucking dead.

Hogan's a shithead, and more importantly, he brings NOTHING to the table in 2018.  There's no reason to bring him back in any sort of longtime role.  I'm fine with a Wrestlemania cameo now and again but Hogan on TV every week would make Smackdown even more of a chore than it's already been for the last year.

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Watching NXT and Lars Sullivan low key has some of the best theme music in the whole company:

 

His entrance as a whole is really damn cool in general. 

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