WrestleMania 31 Preview: Three Days To Go


Today we look at two of the championship bouts taking place at the “Show of Shows!”

 WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal Four Way

The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day vs. The Brass Ring Club (c)

Although this has been shuffled to the pre-show, expect this to be a high-flying, high-impact, dazzle-fest of a match. Sure, hearing The New Day and Los Matadores in the same sentence could elicit some groaning but consider for a moment some of the individuals involved. Kofi Kingston, always delivers something gasp-worthy. Primo and Epico, you know, the Colons, under those ridiculous masks can actually move pretty fast and handle the mat as well. You have Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, both workhorses, and Cesaro, last year’s Andre the Giant Memorial winner never fails to dish out the pain and take all the bumps he wants. Did I mention I love his over-the-ropes Suplex?

The Usos, are the Usos. They fly, they shout, they spot-spot-spot, but we know they are consistent. They can go five minutes or fifteen minutes. The only issue is the injury sustained a few weeks ago, so it is hard to see the Usos coming out with the titles. Putting the belts back on the Usos only means we now wait to see which team rises up to take it from them.

Los Matadores as champions just seems unlikely. It would be comparable to putting the belts on the Bushwhackers. A lovable team, but not championship material. On second thought, this could be a reason to put the straps around them. No one would expect it. Plus, easy fodder for The Ascension.

Could The New Day take the titles and run? For sure. Should they win, I would love to see a heel turn out of them. This whole church-choir-preacher-blah-blah is dull and bland. The crowd is into it for all of five minutes. A heel turn would be shocking, especially for Kingston, who has NEVER been a heel in all of his time in WWE. Never. Not once. Now that would be exciting.

I would prefer for The Brass Ring Club, Cesaro and Kidd retain the titles. They are a great heel champion team, and to be blunt, Cesaro got majorly shafted this year. He won the first Andre Memorial, is paired with Paul Heyman, yet suddenly he went nowhere fast. His mid-tier championship runs have been easily forgotten, yet we all know he carries matches on one finger. He is one of the victims of being lost in the shuffle of an increasing main roster. There are way too many guys now, and just not enough air time, since numerous wrestlers appear on all shows. Tyson Kidd, sure, he is that cruiserweight guy, but he can also last a long match, plus he can pull off being a jerk. The headphones/hoddie thing is a bit off-kilter, but I suppose it works for him.


John Cena vs. Rusev – United States Championship Match

I want to make something clear. I do not hate John Cena. I hate that for a time, the entire damn show was carved around him and you couldn’t go a full hour without seeing his face on television. There was a time where yes, he was champion, but it wasn’t so damn annoying. However, his last two title reigns were probably the most irritating of all. Something about it pushed me, and majority of the WWE fanbase over the edge to say “enough is enough.”

Believe me, WWE heard and they did listen. Even when Cena was not champion, he was close to front-and-center, but let me remind you all of something. WrestleMania 30. A celebration of three decades, and where was Cena? Facing off against Bray Wyatt. No titles, just a feud match. Mid-card folks. He was on the mid-card. This year, sure, championship bout, but it is still part of the undercard. No main event here either.

WWE has listened. Whether you have realized it or not, they have been listening for quite some time. If it was not clear, it was made damn clear on the March 2nd episode of RAW, when John Cena said he would enter the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, an irate Stephanie McMahon, scripted of course, came out to tell Cena, empathically, “NO.” Crowd cheered. Steph went on to play the crowd, and say what we all wanted to hear. “The era of Cena is over.” “No one wants to see Cena with a title.” My favorite line was “it sounds like these people wouldn’t mind if you just sat this one out.”

The crowd went, I believe I described in my prior review as, “batshit crazy.”

I use a lot of quotation marks.

But yes, the crowd lost their marbles, with “YES!” chants reverberating off the arena roof. Hell, even Stephanie played to it “for once I agree with that chant.” She did. We did. Because it is true, fans are tired of seeing super-Cena lift two Cruiserweights for the AA, or listen to Michael Cole mess his pants whenever Cena throws Big Show or Mark Henry with the same move. We have seen it a zillion times already, one more is not going to impress us at all. Hell, when out of all people, Curtis Axel interrupted the segment, the crowd completely lost it, and Axel was getting bigger pops than Cena. The crowd booed when Cena won the match.

We’re not tired of seeing John Cena. We are tired of watching him win.

Rusev is a monster. He is the big brute from Russian, Bulgaria, Transylvania, or wherever he hails from, but he is the big bad foreigner with the United States Championship! No one complained when Sheamus had it, just saying. But when a dastardly foreigner has it, boy do we get mad. We get madder when he has a freakin’ smoking hot leggy tall blonde like Lana to berate us and cut serious promos which piss us off even more, mostly because we’re jealous that Rusev gets to know her, in the biblical sense, whenever he damn well pleases in real life. We hate them. Rusev never loses. Lana does not shut up. We wanted Jack Swagger to beat him. We wanted Mark Henry to squash him. We wanted Big Show to maul him. We wanted Zack Ryder to have one match where he could get more than one move in. They all failed. They all lost. Rusev, the reigning United States Champion would continue to mock our great country.

The feud with Cena and Rusev began as a backstage staredown, and now wound up as Cena trying to prove his days are not numbered. Their first confrontation at Fast Lane ended with Cena passed out on the mat. Scripted. Remember this. We are given the perception a younger Cena would have put up more of a fight. The 2015 Cena is a grizzled veteran who does not have the skills he once had. This is more than just Cena wanting to go all Patriotic Mr. America and bring home the U.S. Title. The story is about whether John Cena “still has it.” The guy isn’t a geezer, but for whatever reason, this is the story which is unfolding. He’s been around a long time, but so was Edge, and we still have Kane, Mark Henry, and Big Show. Let’s not forget Randy Orton has been around just as long as no one is looking for the grey hairs on his poorly shaved dome.

The real intrigue is whether WWE is sending the message we are not sure we wanted. Is Cena going be Hoganized as an aging wrestler who cannot let it go? Or will Cena be the one to tear down the unstoppable wall of Rusev and bring the United States Championship back to the good old U-S-of-A?