wrestling / Columns

Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report 04.05.12: The Casual Fan’s Guide To WrestleMania

April 5, 2012 | Posted by Sean Kelly

Actually, Jericho IS the best you tool.

Posted By: Moongoose (Guest) on March 29, 2012 at 02:19 AM

Oh yeah? If he’s so great then why did he lose at WrestleMania? Huh? Huh?? Yeah. I sure showed you, “Moongoose!”

Punk might be a stretch, but Jericho is the best OVERALL. He is the best blend of technical ability, athletisism, promo cutting, characterisation, understanding of the business and storytelling.

Posted By: Loki (Guest) on March 29, 2012 at 05:44 AM

Nice try, LOKI, but as we all know, Loki is the trickster god, so I can’t believe a word you say! But, as RAW proved, I will concede that Jericho is the best in the world at falling on his ass! Ha! I showed you, too, Loki!

“Besides, Taker/HHH will steal the show”

I assume you mean ‘steal all the time in the show with 40 minute intros’

Posted By: @ScottOTD (Guest) on March 29, 2012 at 08:01 AM

Nope, entrances were quick. And they did steal the show! I showed you, too, @ScottOTD!.

Man, I’m showing so many people I oughta be a real estate agent.

Bryan has done a nice job lately but let’s calm down with him being worthy of ending the Undertaker’s streak.

Posted By: Hercules Strongs (Guest) on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I think everyone in Miami disagrees with you. Hell, I started out at 411 writing a column on how Bryan should not be world heavyweight champion, and never have I been so delighted to be proven wrong.

Greetings, folks, and welcome to another edition of Thursday Sports Entertainment! Skidoosh!



Lots of fallout from WrestleMania this past week. Let’s dig in, shall we?

WWE had been planning for the World Title match at WrestleMania to be a quick match for several weeks now. The company wanted to set a new record for the quickest title match at WrestleMania, but fell short. The record holder is Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane at WrestleMania 24 which ran eight seconds; Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus was eighteen seconds.


Well, they set out to make a record and they blew it. At first, I was annoyed that they would have Bryan lose in such a humiliating fashion. But all that went away the next night on RAW, when that awesome Miami crowd kept chanting “YES,” booing Sheamus and chanting for Bryan. I think that the WWE inadvertently caused a double turn at WrestleMania, and if we are lucky, the remaining crowds for the next few months will let them know it. It’ll be another Zack Ryder situation – grassroots audience appeal will get Bryan over even more than he already is. Keep your fingers crossed that the crowds in DC (4/9 RAW), Hampton (4/13 Smackdown), Detroit (4/23 RAW), Grand Rapids (4/27 Smackdown) and Chicago (Extreme Rules) keep the momentum going.

Speaking of which…

Daniel Bryan’s “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant broke out at the 4/3 Miami Heat NBA game.


Keep it going, people! Miami is doing its part, make sure that your city does yours! Nothing amuses me more than seeing “the machine” get upended by the people. People power! It’s like Proximo said in Gladiator, “Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.”

PWInsider reports that Brock Lesnar’s new WWE deal is for one year, lasting through WrestleMania 29.

He will be making a minimum of two appearances a month, including extra appearances during the build to WrestleMania 29. WWE can of course negotiate more appearances for Lesnar if he agrees to do them. The belief is that Lesnar will work 30-35 dates over the next year.

Still no word on how The Rock will play into this, if at all.

Lesnar actually made his WWE main roster debut 10 years ago on the RAW the night after WrestleMania.


It’s great to see Brock back on WWE TV. With his past WWE & UFC accomplishments plus his star power, he’s earned the right to have a reduced schedule. A friend of mine said that the end of RAW was the setup for next year’s WrestleMania. I don’t think so. I think it’s more of a setup for Brock to face Cena at SummerSlam, possibly sooner. I could see Brock’s WrestleMania XXIX opponent be either the Rock or Undertaker. Which do you think is the better matchup?

The backstage reaction to Brock Lesnar’s WWE returns looks to be similar to the feelings many had for the Rock’s return. The general feeling from many talents are that Lesnar is another big name that decided to leave WWE at one point, and is now back and will get whatever he wants.


Jeez, if these reports are true, the current WWE roster must be the whiniest in wrestling history. It seems like every time a major star comes back, we get reports of the locker room complaining that another person is taking up a main event spot. Well, there’s a reason that the WWE needs to bring back people like Rock and Brock – they add a level of excitement and interest that very few on the roster can bring to the table. Hey, I have an idea, how about instead of wasting energy on complaining to dirt sheets, the whiners can instead use that energy to come up with something that will take their character to the next level. If a handful of guys were able to do that, then guys like Brock Lesnar wouldn’t be needed on WWE TV.

Also, it’s funny how Rock and Brock’s returns raise the ire of the locker room, but Chris Jericho’s does not. After all, Chris comes and goes as he pleases, touring with his band or Dancing with the Stars if it suits him. Granted, his return is more meaningful than (B)Rock’s because Y2J is working a full time schedule. But still, there’s an inconsistency there. I think it has more to do with jealousy than with having a spot taken. Between Jericho, the Rock and Brock Lesnar, only Jericho never had huge success outside of Sports Entertainment, and sure enough, he’s the one that no one complains about. Just saying. #JerichoIsOverrated

According to TMZ, Randy Orton has lost his role in Marine: Homefront. Orton lost the role due to the real Marines being upset that received a bad conduct discharge in 1999 after going AWOL on two separate occasions. He also disobeyed orders from a commanding officer, was court-martialed and served 38 days in a military prison.

A former unit member of Orton’s, Cpl. Mike Vinn, had the following to say about Orton being cast for the role…

“I am disgusted that his face and the word Marine are being used next to each other — real or fake — because of the fact that he quit us, the country, and the Marine Corps. [Randy] in the role of a Marine is a disgrace to those that have worn and are wearing that uniform.”

WWE released the following statement to TMZ…

“WWE demonstrated poor judgment in signing Randy Orton for the 3rd installment of the film. Despite Randy’s popularity, the fact that he was dishonorably discharged from the USMC made it inappropriate for him to be cast in this film.”


Well duh. Casting a dishonorably discharged Marine as the lead in a movie called The Marine is just asking for a P.R. disaster. You’d think that the WWE would learn their lesson after having to release Finlay because he had the Miz interrupt the National Anthem. Now I am wondering whom they’ll cast to star in the third film. Orton is out and Punk has previously stated he isn’t interested. Perhaps they’ll ask Cena to bail them out? Or should it go to someone else, like Cody Rhodes? What do you say, Team 411ManiaUniverseArmy?

Funny, I write that piece above and then we get this tidbit late on Wednesday:

D’Angelo Dinero has tweeted that Kofi Kingston and JTG are being considered for the lead in The Marine – Homeland. WWE is looking for a replacement for Randy Orton, who was pulled due to complaints that he got a dishonorable discharge from the Marines. lead role, according to former WWE wrestler/current TNA wrestler “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero on Twitter Wednesday. WWE is looking for a replacement for Randy Orton, who was pulled this week. Production begins this June in Vancouver:

Just found out that @TrueKofi and @Jtg1284 are being considered for the lead role in The Marine 3. Congrats! Groundbreaking this can be.~PHS

I’m lukewarm on this. Kofi may have some potential, but JTG? Don’t you want people to recognize the star of the movie? If Kofi gets the part, he can lose a hair vs hair match with Dolph Ziggler. There’s got to be a better option.

Yoshi Tatsu recently posted the following on Twitter, challenging Lord Tensai…

“Who is Lord Tensai’s young boy!? At first I should kick his head off. Just bring it!!!”

“I just wanna let you know Lord Tensai is NOT Japanese. I’m REAL Japanese!!!”

“Open challenge to Lord Tensai from @YoshiTatsuWWE”


Man, that’s gotta suck for poor Yoshi. He’s one of the few Japanese Superstars on the roster, and he gets passed over for a non-Japanese wrestler who has a Japanese gimmick! Reminds me of when Akeem the African Dream was played by a white guy. Anyone else remember that?

Hmm, a white guy who thinks he’s black. Think the WWE could pull that off in today’s modern product?


Anyway, too bad Yoshi’s Twitter comments will fall on deaf ears. I don’t see this Lord Tensai thing lasting too long, though. His match with Alex Riley was boring and his gimmick is nothing new. If anyone out there can make a good case for A-Train lasting in the WWE, please let me know.


This past Sunday I watched WrestleMania with five other people. Of those five, three are casual fans, meaning that the only wrestling knowledge that they have is from what they watched in the 80’s coupled with whatever attention Sports Entertainment has received via the mainstream press.

I thought it might be fun to present to you the casual fan’s take on WrestleMania XVIII. Sure, you’ve read all the analysis, discussed ‘Mania on message boards with other IWC members, but what you have not seen is how Wrestling, and WrestleMania, is viewed by people who don’t know much about the product. These are the people the WWE are trying to get. Here it goes, XXVIII observations from WrestleMania XVIII:

1) All agreed that having Bryan lose in 18 seconds was enormously stupid. The casual fans noticed that the crowd loved Bryan, and questioned why the WWE would make one of their top champions look like a chump.

2) The casual fans thought John Laurinaitis was Brother Love because of his outfit. No one liked his voice.

3) Nobody was really into the Orton/Kane match. Several questions arose as to why this got time and the other match (Bryan/Sheamus) did not.

4) Everyone thought the Deadliest Catch thing was stupid, but laughed at Ron Simmons’ “Damn!”

5) They enjoyed the Cody Rhodes/Big Show match, but all let out loud “ew”s when the Big Show’s diapered, dimpled ass was shown in the pre-match montage.

6) The Divas match was enjoyable filler. Everyone thought that Maria Menounos crapped her pants until someone noted it was probably makeup from the earlier Stinkface spot.

7) Suggested alternative name for the stinkface: “The Asshold.”

8) IWC fan: “Shawn is wearing a referee outfit that actually fits. It truly is the end of an era!”

9) The IWCers made evil mirror universe jokes about JR’s goatee as well.

10) One casual fan noted that HHH strongly resembles Sean Bean’s character of Eddard Stark on Game of Thrones:


11) The casual fans were blown away by the Taker/HHH match. One said “that’s worth the purchase price right there.” No one could believe those sick chairshots to the back.

12) It’s funny how some moves we see every day get taken for granted. The casual fans thought the “throw your opponent into the ring steps” bit looked painful and impressive.

13) During the Hall of Fame segment, one casual fan asked where Yokozuna was. When told he was dead, the response was “probably from eating one too many pineapples.”

14) Many thought that short haircut Edge resembled Willem Dafoe.

15) For the Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy match, they thought that the ring was way too crowded and that there was too much going on. Most impressive spot was Ryder, Truth and Kofi leaping over the ring onto a bunch of Team Johnny guys.

16) No one recognized Eve from her earlier match.

17) All the Casual Fans want a Chris Jericho lite brite jacket for Christmas.

18) They enjoyed the pure wrestling parts of the WWE title match, but felt that the match was maybe 5-7 minutes too long. Too dead at times.

19) The Red & Black color scheme made it difficult for the casual fans to differentiate between Punk and Jericho, especially during the wide shots.

20) The whole room loved it when Punk yelled “Tap, you son of a bitch!”

21) They noticed that JR wasn’t there anymore and asked why he had to leave. No negative comments about Cole or King, just that they recognized JR as being much, much better.

22) One casual fan commented that these two really seem to hate each other. Another responded with “come on, they’re probably going to have a beer together after the match.” Apparently, he missed the whole “Straight Edge” portion of the angle.

23) While initially intrigued by the Funkasaurus, the room quickly turned sour when the racist momma/bridge club dance started. Again, all asked why this crap got time and not Bryan/Sheamus.

24) The consensus among the IWC fans was that the Bridge Club skit was Vince’s idea.

25) Nobody ever heard of “the Cleveland Meth addict” or “Ugly Fifth Element Lady” singers before. Again, questions were raised as to why this crap got time and Bryan/Sheamus didn’t. We couldn’t think of any reasonable answers.

26) Same as above for Flo Rida.

27) Many thought the Rock/Cena match was too slow. We all laughed when the Rock audibly called for a DDT in a girly voice, then executed a DDT right after.

28) No one could believe that the Rock won. All the casual fans immediately assumed that he was making a full time comeback. Oh, how naive.

And there you have it. Impressions from the all-important Casual Fans. All said that they had a good time and would be willing to watch wrestling again, but probably more in a group setting like with WrestleMania, not individually every week. Ah well. Win ‘em over one step at a time, right?



My Twitter chum @FGoodish was kind enough to let me re-post some of his tweets in this column. I always find him entertaining, even though I don’t always agree with him. Something about this guy cracks me up. Maybe it’s because in my head I’m picturing Bruiser Brody posting all these wrestling-related tweets. Anyway, here’s some of what @FGoodish had to say this week!

– One thing I realized about being in the crowd at Wrestlemania, people still think being a great wrestler/worker, is about how many moves one has. “Move-set” fans just don’t get it.

– To prove my point, go count any GREAT wrestler’s moves, and you tell me…

– Wrestling is about story, and psychology. It’s why the older workers are generally the best. They get it, and they’re “over” enough to guide the fans.

– It’s also why a younger guy, like Daniel Bryan, is such a valuable talent. He knows how its done. He understands.

– It’s also probably why #wwe is keeping his talents at bay, since he has been heel. But Bryan cannot stay heel. He is too likeable. Too over

– #WWE Keeping Bryan a heel is like handcuffing their best worker. Well, it isn’t LIKE handcuffing, it IS handcuffing, their best worker. Makes zero sense

– #wwe can keep all Bryan’s matches short, but fans aren’t all stupid. They know talent

– Lord Tensei still has tits, that wrap all the way around, to his back. #Raw

– Mark Henry’s tits = Lord Tensei’s tits #Raw

– Here comes the pain! So, Brock is back, and looking a little fat. Just an observation. #raw

– Cena’s promo was great. Miami crowd was great. Brock’s return was very cool. One might say, wrestling has a little spark. #Raw

Indeed, that Miami crowd was insanely awesome. Best crowd since Survivor Series at the Garden. If all wrestling crowds were that hot, we’d be in another boom period before you know it. Seriously, that kind of passion is infectious. Not only that, but with the theme being “people power,” you know that Bryan has sunny days ahead of him with that kind of audience support.

@FGoodish, everyone! Master of the dopey broad dutch oven.


This week, we have a TIE for the non-Sports Entertainment thing of the week! I found it hard to choose between the two, and figured that I’d share both with you instead. Besides, one is only twelve seconds long, so it’s not a major time commitment or anything.

First up, we have Gandalf skateboarding, telling the traffic behind him exactly what’s what:

Next up is a drunken Canadian with a case of Mercury poisoning. Those were some patient Mounties, right there.

Get this guy in WWE. He can sing songs of triumph when he wins, and songs of sorrow when he loses. He’d be over before you know it!



This week’s Sports Entertainment Twitter #FollowThursday is none other than John “Bradshaw” Layfield, aka @JCLayfield!


Bradshaw’s Twitter is a lot of fun to follow. He likes to make fun of Charlie Haas, tell you some of his exaggerated #JBLFacts and give you updates on his work with the youth of Bermuda. Every once in a while, he’ll throw in a great behind-the-scenes story of his days in WWE. Here are some recent tweets from the Wrestling God himself:

Just got ID’d at my bank making deposit-if anyone is trying to put money into my account without ID…please don’t stop them! #JBLfacts

Funny how no stories at Mania among old timers started with “We were all eating chicken breasts after a good night’s sleep….” #JBLfacts

I would NEVER put over anyone at Wresltemania in 18 seconds—-23 seconds…..that’s different! #JBLfacts

I saw a writer waiting to talk to Dusty Rhodes-I am hoping they can teach Dusty how to do a promo by tonight! #really

And of course, follow all the 411 stuff on Twitter! #spon



That’ll do it for this week, folks. Join us next time when we further analyze Brock Lesnar’s return, discuss the revelation that the Undertaker is a eunuch, and speculate on the fallout of Kurt Angle impregnating Dixie Carter. (Card subject to change).

Hasta Jueves,

This is Sean.


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Sean Kelly

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