Has it been almost a year already since this column made its comeback? Almost, but not quite – and today, alas, marks the final instalment of Grunt ‘n’ Groan (Vol. 2).
Basically, the Dwaynester is moving on to a new day job and one of the things it won’t allow is for him to continue with this column, even on its monthly schedule.
So for his swansong, here are his wishes for WrestleMania 33, coming your way on the WWE Network (Astro Ch 820/840) in the early morning of Monday, April 3 (our time).
Let Rollins run riot: In just a few minutes on Raw this week, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon showed why they are great heels by perfectly summing up the buttwipery of buttwipe bosses the world over who rub their minions’ faces in the “power” they have over them – in this case, the target was Mick Foley. Then the “injured” Seth Rollins came out, dropped the crutch and rushed the ring to show Trips that he’s back to fighting form (and almost validating our suspicions that this whole knee re-injury angle is … just that, an angle). Of course, Trips had to walk out momentarily triumphant but the Dwaynester is really wishing that their much-hyped WrestleMania confrontation will see Rollins declaring that it’s Game Over. And then Trips’ enforcer Samoa Joe should be next.
We want Samoa: Is it just the Dwaynester, or does Joe’s entrance music bring to mind some colossal, relentless, unreasoning destroyer like Godzilla? He’s not in any confirmed WrestleMania match yet, but the Samoan Submission Machine would surely tear the house down, whoever he’s matched against on the grandest stage of the year. He has promised that his WM33 appearance will be “felt full force and without reproach (sic)”.
R.I.P. the Roman Empire: Sorry if you love the Big Dog, but in the Dwaynester’s immodest opinion, Roman Reigns hasn’t earned the right to score a victory over the actual biggest dog in the yard, The Undertaker. A Deadman victory to carry his WrestleMania record to 24-1 is the only way their confrontation should end.
Bray wins the fray: Randy Orton may have burned down the Wyatt Compound on Smackdown, but that should only make WWE Champion Bray Wyatt that much more determined to plant a Sister Abigail on his turncoat “family member”. Thousands and thousands of fireflies lighting up the darkened Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida is one way to close out WrestleMania 33 on a cool note. If that’s the main event, of course, and the Dwaynester surely hopes it will not be this next match…
Lesnar is more: Not really sure what WWE was aiming for when it had Bill Goldberg come out of a 12-year retirement to demolish The Beast, Brock Lesnar, in 86 seconds to perpetuate his “superhero” persona. It continued at the Royal Rumble, with Goldberg dumping Lesnar unceremoniously out of the ring to eliminate him. The angry Beast hasn’t really done much to show his rage, except when he attacked Goldberg on last week’s Raw. It looks like SuperBill might come crashing down to Earth at WrestleMania, but really – when he does show up, Lesnar would carry that belt so much more convincingly.
Shane on you crazy diamond: The signs point to one of Smackdown’s contributions to the WrestleMania card being A.J. Styles vs Shane McMahon. While you have to worry about a guy putting life and limb at risk, especially someone who doesn’t do this full time, Shane-O-Mac’s pay-per-view bumps are legendary and he might well do something here to rival, or even top, his insane leap off Hell In A Cell to land on The Undertaker last year.
Taking the Mickie: Sure, Sasha Banks-Charlotte-Bayley over on the Raw side might be a potential Match of the Night candidate, but the Smackdown ladies will apparently ALL be lining up to get a shot at Alexa Bliss’s Smackdown Women’s Championship. If there’s anyone more deserving of “one more title run” than Goldberg, it would surely have to be Mickie James. So, yeah … one more reign for the country singer/wrestler? Heck yeah! (Trivia: James is the only woman to have won the WWE Women’s, WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts championships.)
Oh, and I also wish that Kevin Owens gets something back for having to suffer the indignity of a 22-second loss to Goldberg at Fastlane earlier this month. Heck, the Dwaynester’s BIGGEST wish is that that travesty of a main event never occurred at all. And in some sunny parallel world where everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies (thank you, Theodore Geisel), K.O. is STILL your undisputed, longest-reigning WWE Universal Champion.
Hardy done by?
There has been speculation of late that the Hardys, Matt and Jeff – or “Broken Matt” and “Brother Nero” as they prefer to be known these days – could be headed back to WWE, where they blazed high-impact trails with Edge and Christian in the late 1990s/early 2000s.
After a falling out with Impact Wrestling, and an appearance at the Ring Of Honor (ROH) 15th anniversary special, the Hardys’ next career move might well bring them back to light up the tag-team divisions of either Raw or Smackdown.
Owing to copyright issues, though, it is unknown at this point whether or not they will be allowed to retain the popular “Broken Hardys” personae as Impact Wrestling is calling dibs on the IP for that. According to industry observers, Impact may be seeking royalties if the Hardys wish to continue using the “Broken” gimmick elsewhere.
Also, the brothers won the tag titles at the ROH event, so they could be sticking around there for a while if the promotion signs them to an attractive enough deal.
Part of the Dwaynester (the bigger part of course) wishes that if they do come back to WWE, it will be to Raw where they will get Enzo Amore to zip his lip and cut back on the sugar a little. Yes, you CAN teach that.
R.I.P. The Outlaw
Former wrestler Ronald Heard, 68, passed away on March 7 from complications after he suffered a burst appendix.
Fans from back in the late 1980s would remember him as “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, with his trademark bullwhip and cowboy hat.
The 1.93m-tall Bass started out in the National Wrestling Alliance in 1971 and joined the then-WWF in 1987.
There, he feuded with folks like Junkyard Dog and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (briefly), and also took part in the first two Survivor Series events as well as the first Royal Rumble. He qualified for the 1988 King of the Ring semifinals, beating a young Shawn Michaels, but his semis opponent “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase paid him off to fake an injury and forfeit their match (DiBiase eventually won the final, defeating Randy Savage).
Bass retired from wrestling in 1991, reportedly owing to the cumulative effect of injuries sustained throughout his 20-year ring career.
A WWE Live event is heading over to this region in a few months – in Singapore on June 28, to be exact. From the news release, it looks like a Raw brand show, with names like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Braun Strowman, Cesaro and Sheamus among those mentioned.
The show will be at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and tickets go on sale from 9am tomorrow at www.sportshubtix.sg.