After an indefinite hiatus, welcome along to the latest edition of FATP. Sorry it’s taken so long to put fingers to keys!
WWE’s landmark 30th WrestleMania event is now consigned to the history books, and a whole hell of a lot has happened over the last seven days in particular, so (in no particular order) here’s my take on the biggest stories of the week. This might become a regular thing. I’m not sure. I’ll see how it goes.
Daniel Bryan Crowned the New WWE World Heavyweight Champion
After what seems like an eternity, Daniel Bryan fans – and a lot of wrestling fans in general – got the payoff they’d been waiting for when the bearded wonder overcame three-quarters of Evolution in two matches on one night to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WM30.
It’s the only way that the Bryan story they’d been telling since SummerSlam could end. If WWE had risked doing another screwy finish that resulted in Bryan not coming out on top, I hate to think of the reaction they’d have got from that crowd.
The story isn’t finished though. After failing to capitalise on title wins from the likes of Mysterio, Punk and Guerrero before, WWE have to establish Bryan as a credible main-event talent, rather than the placeholders that Mysterio, Guerrero and even Punk (to an extent) became.
It’s time for WWE to invest time and patience in someone new at the top of the card, and there are few better candidates for that position than Bryan. He can work with almost anyone and pull off a great match. I just hope WWE have the balls to go through with Bryan’s title reign, and not end it at the first available opportunity.
Special kudos here to CM Punk. Let’s not forget that, before Punk told WWE to shove it, he was slated to have the match with HHH that ended up going to Bryan, despite the fact that the match should’ve been Bryan’s in the first place. WWE didn’t want to give us a payoff to the Bryan story, but their hand was forced. A little appreciation wouldn’t go amiss…
The Streak Resting in Peace
Well, nobody saw THAT coming did they? The Streak was a HUGE deal to wrestling fans and the fact that it’s been broken by Brock Lesnar has stirred up some controversy, rumours and opinion. I knew it was a big deal when even my dad – who’s in his 60’s – spoke to me about it!
Undefeated streaks, much like rules, were made to be broken. I wholeheartedly disagree with anyone who says the Streak should’ve stayed unbroken. This is the wrestling business. Undefeated streaks/championship reigns HAVE to end sometime and, when they do, you’ll never appease everybody.
The major bone of contention seems to be the fact that it was *cough* Burrrrrroccckkkkk Llllllllessssssnarrrrr who broke it. I’m kind of on the fence about it. I’d have had NO issue with Lesnar breaking it if a) Lesnar was around on a semi-regular basis and/or b) Lesnar had been undefeated since his return in 2012. But he isn’t and he’s not.
Having said that, Lesnar is probably the one bona fide superstar that the WWE have, and is probably the only person who can handle the fact that he’s the one guy that Undertaker COULDN’T beat at Mania.
There’s a lot of pros and cons about Lesnar breaking the Streak, and a lot of unanswered questions that have come out of Mania. Will Undertaker retire? Why did he choose Lesnar? Was it his decision? I’m sure we’ll get all the answers we want eventually, but right now, everyone’s talking about the Streak and that’s what’s best for business. God, did I really just type that? Taxi!!!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you’ll be aware that the Ultimate Warrior sadly passed away earlier this week, just days after returning to the company. I’d like to extend my condolences to anyone connected with Warrior on a personal level. It’s tragic news.
What I won’t be is a hypocrite, like so many others out there who didn’t have a good word to say about him when he was alive, yet as soon as he passes, they’re quick to say how great he was. What I will say is this – I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way that Warrior lived his life. He had complete and utter belief that his way of life was right, and to hell with anyone who couldn’t understand that, and/or disrespected him for it.
I suppose the word I’m looking for is integrity. It’s easy to sell out your beliefs when they’re unpopular, or if people don’t agree with them. From the outside looking in, Warrior never seemed to be a guy who’d compromise what was important to him, and that’s a testament to the character of the man.
Was he the best professional wrestler of all-time? No. Was he one of the most easily recognisable? Yes. Did he have legions of fans around the world? Yes. Did he influence lives? Yes. Those last three questions and answers are the most important. Like him or not, Warrior left an indelible mark on professional wrestling, and should be remembered as one of the biggest stars of the industry.
That’ll wrap things up for today. Feel free to send me your thoughts/opinions on the three topics I’ve discussed today. You’ll find me on Twitter @George_SLTD. If there’s a subject you’d like me to cover in future, you can send those ideas to me the same way.