Today’s article is going to focus exclusively on TV because that’s all I have to report on. But be warned…there are spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t watched Wrestlemania yet…
TV – Wrestlemania
So last night it was Wrestlemania XXVIII, the biggest wrestling event of the year. And that means one thing – I’m writing this while completely knackered having only had two hours sleep last night.
But how was the show itself? Any good?
I would say so. The matches ranged from merely ‘alright’ (such as the Cody Rhodes vs Big Show bout) to ‘very good’ (Jericho vs Punk which started slow but finished with a very slick and engaging sequence) to ‘awesome’ (unsurprisingly,
that accolade goes to the Undertaker vs Triple H bout).
Even the women’s match was surprisingly good, not least because that poor old Greek women/celebrity guest looked like she was in severe pain, what-with all the genuine injuries she had going into the event.
Not that it was bad, but I must say that I was disappointed by Cena vs The Rock. Maybe it’s because it was nearing 4am and I was struggling to stay awake, but I didn’t think the match lived up to the hype. When the match started off in exactly the same way as Hogan vs the Warrior from WMVI and Hogan vs Rock from WM18 I knew exactly how the general sequence of the match would go. Having said that, I was surprised to see Cena lose. It didn’t make sense to me that the Rock – who won’t be hanging around as a regular member of the WWE roster – would beat the man who the company rely upon. But maybe Cena losing opens up the potential for some different storylines for him in the future, rather than just settling back in to feuding with the likes of Alberto del Rio and Mark Henry ad infinitum.
The other thing that initially stunned me as well was the brevity of the Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus match. I felt Bryan should win this one to continue his grating Honky Tonk Man-esque title reign, but maybe the suddenness of the loss – as well as the way you know he’ll blame AJ – allows for some more development. One thing’s for sure though – they need to keep going with Bryan’s character because it is winning over the crowd brilliantly.
And then there’s the Paddy Power-sponsored, Coupon Buster match. I had three different accumulator bets on for the show last night (and as an aside, isn’t it great that you can bet on pre-determined ‘sport’), one of which could have won me £645 off a £12 stake. I accepted when making the bets that the World Title matches could have gone either way and there was an outside chance that The Rock might beat Cena, but I – and I’m sure many others – had it as a stick-on for Randy Orton to beat Kane.
But he didn’t. And with that loss went hundreds – if not thousands – of betting slips across the country.
Paddy Power will be laughing all the way to the bank today,
To go back to it though, I have to extol the virtues of the Hell in the Cell match between the Undertaker and Triple H. For me, wrestling can be superb when the wrestlers involved tell a story. People of a certain vintage will remember classic matches like Randy Savage vs the Ultimate Warrior not for the moves the guys did in the ring but rather with how they sold the storyline they were going for. It’s the very same reason why the film Warrior is so much better than anything you’ll ever see in UFC.
Last night both men – as well as special guest referee Shawn Michaels – told their story – that of Triple H trying to end The Undertaker’s winning streak having come so close the year before – with aplomb. There were no fancy moves, no dangerous high-spots involving either men bring thrown off the cage or anything of the sort. Instead it was a brutal match that was all about how one man wanted to beat the other. It was gripping – so much so that just once or twice the logic centres in your brain switched off and you believed that the Undertaker might actually lose – it was well paced and it was executed to perfection.
And what’s saddest of all is that there are no other wrestlers in WWE today who would be capable of pulling out that same level of performance tonight, tomorrow or six months down the line.
Moving on from Wrestlemania, and I’d like to briefly discuss The Voice. I didn’t catch it the first week it was on, but having read about it I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. There didn’t seem to be any Cowell-esque sob stories and the format was different, which I thought was key. Also, it’s good to see judges who are actually qualified to judge.
It’s all very BBC though isn’t it.
To finish today’s article, I feel I must express my disappointment at the sharp dip in quality of recent episodes of the once hilarious sitcom Modern Family. A sure sign that a show isn’t what it once was is when I’m not fussed about new episodes the day after they are on in the States, and I’ve barely seen any of the episodes transmitted this year.
Last week though I watched two in succession; one where Phil finds out Haley has lost her virginity and another where Claire drunkenly offers to carry Cam’s baby.
Neither were even remotely funny.
The biggest problem with Modern Family is usually Luke – a poorly written, poorly acted and fundamentally unfunny character who has begun to receive an increasingly large amount of screen time. The scene in one of the episodes where
he and Manny drive a car to impress a girl was the worst thing the show has ever done; not even remotely believable or humorous.
But the other problem creeping in to the show – and threatening to ruin it – is that now ALL the characters are becoming stale parodies of what they once were. We get it; Manny is an old man trapped in a child’s body, but there’s a limit to how many ways you can make that character trait – which is all Manny really is – find new ground. Similarly we now know that Claire (played by the increasingly thin and sinewy looking Julie Bowen – a woman who would be considered as looking like the poster-girl for anorexia were it not for her boob job) is up-tight and competitive, Phil is naive and goofy, Cam is flamboyant, Jay despairs of Gloria’s loudness and so on and so forth.
It’s looking increasingly like the show is going to go stale, and that’s a pity because a couple of years ago it was probably the funniest show to come out of the States.
If anything changes I’ll let you know.