Wrestlemania

Wrestlemania 33 Preview & Predictions

PRESENTED BY: WRESTLERUMBLE.COM

Why waste time with a long, drawn out introduction?  Let’s just get ready to rumble!

While I expect a good show from WWE, I do not expect Wrestlemania 33 to be great. Last year, the build up for Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas was all about breaking records, unfortunately those weren’t performance records.

This year, we are set to go on the “ultimate thrill ride”! Whether that holds true or not is soon to be seen. Will this be a thrill ride in kiddie land, or an adrenaline rush on the world fastest and largest roller coaster?

I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

Sure, we get Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship, but this feud has been drawn out much too long. We’ve seen it before at Wrestlemania 20, we’ve seen it recently at Survivor Series, and we saw it indirectly at the Royal Rumble. Plus, the outcome is beyond predictable. More on this later.

When your biggest draw over the past decade is in a mixed tag team match, you have problems. Whether you like him or not, John Cena IS the definition of Wrestlemania. He is bigger, stronger, faster, and more appealing than any other roller coaster ride in the park. For that reason alone he should be featured in a more prominent role.

The WWE universe will be taken for a proverbial ride each match, and some will demand more screams than others.

MATCHES:

PRESHOW

  1. Neville vs. Austin Aries– How this match is not on the main card is beyond me. If you want an acrobatic, fast paced match with great spots, this is your pick. WWE is losing an incredible opportunity to set the standard for the rest of the night by scheduling this match nearly 2 hours before the main show. Why not have this match be the first match of Wrestlemania itself?  Nonetheless, I see NEVILLE coming out on top in what should be an incredible display of athleticism in front of 5,000 fans.
  2. Alexis Bliss vs. “everyone” in a six-pack challenge–  Excuse me while I yawn. I do see a title change coming though. Personally, I think Becky Lynch should be the female face that runs the place, but I don’t think she’s the pick here. Mickie James, naw.  Naomi, perhaps.  Nattie, never has-was-or ever will be the best. That only leaves Carmella and her troll doll James Ellsworth as the pick.  Winner and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion, CARMELLA.
  3. Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal– The only way this should go down is to have BRAUN STROWMAN eliminate EVERYONE.  Yes, EVERYONE! And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

MAIN SHOW

  1. WWE Raw Tag Team Championship– I am a fan of Anderson and Gallows, but they don’t need titles, they need the Club. Sheamus and Cesaro are wasting away on the tag team circuit, and there’s no reason for them to win here. One year after they made their main roster debut, ENZO and CASS will become champions.
  2. WWE Intercontinental Championship Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin- I have no interest in this ride. The pick is BARON CORBIN.
  3. John Cena/Nikki Bella vs. Miz/Maryse– Something tells me win or lose, John Cena will be the “winner” of this match- or the night. If rumors are true, Cena is set to propose to Bella at some point this weekend. How fitting would it be for that to happen in the middle of the ring at Wrestlemania? That’s what makes this match a coin flip to me.  I am going to pick CENA/BELLA only for the bells and whistles.
  4. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens– This will steal the show. Jericho does NOT need a win. His legacy was long ago etched in stone and Owens’ future is still bright. The pick here is Kevin Owens.
  5. RAW Women’s Championship Fatal 4-way– Bayley’s walking in, but she isn’t walking out champion.  I see Nia being eliminated first, followed by Charlotte, and then Sasha Banks defeating Bayley for the title. I don’t know if it is here or elsewhere- but at some point during the night we will get an appearance from SPACE MOUNTAIN himself, Ric Flair!
  6. Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles– I love Shane O Mac, but I don’t understand this match. Shane is a gimmick match guy, not a 5-star match guy, which Styles is. I would have loved to see Styles face off against someone else who is a ‘wrestler’. While Shane will provide some memorable spots to say the least, Styles will pick up the win.
  7. Seth Rollins vs. Triple H– I’m lost on this anymore. Where’s Joe? He’s not in line for any ride this Sunday, but I think he will jump the line and get on board here in some capacity. I want to roll with Seth, but I think Joe will be the difference and set up a feud with Rollins for Summerslam.  That said, I am going to pick Triple H.
  8. The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns– I hate to say it, but Reigns is going to win this match. The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania record is meaningless, and has been since ‘the streak’ was broken in New Orleans. That said, with the dire desire to make Reigns, he is the pick here.
  9. WWE Championship Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton– This will be right up there for match of the night candidate (along with Neville vs. Aries and Jericho vs. Owens). Bray needs to win this match. He needs his signature moment in WWE and this should be it. If WWE wants to move forward and make new stars, Wyatt should shine bright. Winner and STILL WWE Champion, Bray Wyatt.
  10. WWE Universal Championship Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg– I touched on this earlier, and am going to spend about as much time on this match as their first match lasted. Lesnar wins the Universal Title here. He gave Goldberg his moment(s) for his wife and son, now it is time for Brock to get his last dominant run in WWE.

Moving forward, WWE has a chance to push its young stars if they book Wrestlemania correctly. Each outcome I see happening would be in-line with moving forward and not taking steps backward.

THIS BLOG IS PRESENTED BY WRESTLERUMBLE.COM 

Prizes are:

First place: $500 and 2 SummerSlam Tickets
Second place: $200 and 2 Lower Level tickets to Money in the Bank
Third place: $200 and 2 Lower Level tickets to Money in the Bank
4th-10th place: $50
*Any match taking place on the Pre-Show will not count towards your point total*

The winners will be announced by the end of Smackdown Live two days after WrestleMania. You will be contacted via phone and/or email. Winners will also be announced on our Facebook page and Twitter accounts @WrestleRumble, @ManiaPickEm, and @Gimmy_Heart. Follow us on Instagram @wrestlerumble.

 

Top 10 WWE Superstars (using the Mitchamore scale)

Recently, it has come popular to try and rank to top 10 wrestlers in WWE history based off of various scales, ranking systems, etc. There are dozens of ways to determine who had the best run in their WWE career, including time on top, mic skills, mat skills, title reigns, Wrestlemania headlining matches, etc. For me, if I were using my own scale, I would rank on 5 categories:

1) Ownership of Character – because at the end of the day, you have to be a great character to make it in the industry.
2) Storytelling ability – once your character is established, you must be able to tell the story, work with other characters, and complete the ultimate ending of a storyline.
3) In-ring ability – that story must be told and executed in the ring.
4) Mic skills – If you have it, you have it. If you don’t you need a mouth piece. If you don’t have either, you aren’t going to be great.
5) Value to WWE – Do you sell PPV’s, merchandise, and ultimate capture the PR the WWE is looking for.

For this article, I am going to use the Mitchamore Scale, thought up by Blake Mitchamore (@BlakeAaron73)…

His scale took in to account the following…

1. Longevity- How long was there run on the top?

2. In Ring Ability

3. Mic-Work – How good were they with the stick in their hands.

4. Mainstream appeal – Were they just big in the wrestling world or did they break out to the mainstream?

5. Flexibility- Could they reinvent themselves? Did they have multiple runs on top or were they the same exact character throughout their career?

6. Wrestlemania- How many Wrestlemania were they in one of the main event matches on the card?

* Tie Breaker- I used Wrestlemania main events as the tie breaker.

Using this ranking system, here is the way I ranked a short list of superstars. Once they were out of contention, I cut them. Those stars included Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, Kane, Edge, Batista, Mick Foley, Warrior, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar (due to longevity alone). I didn’t feel CM Punk deserved to be considered.

Hulk Hogan – 9,5,9,8,7,10 = 48… Yes, he was terrible at #2, average is a compliment. Remember, this is WWE, not WCW – so #5 shows no real change (he wasn’t a heel during his main WWE run).

Bret Hart – 8,9,7,6,7,7 = 43… Bret really never crossed over in to the “mainstream” media. He was shaky on the mic in my opinion.

Steve Austin – 9,7,8,7,8,9 = 48… Austin was good in the ring, not great. He can’t be a 9 or 10 on the mic because that is for the best, he wasn’t the “best”.

Undertaker – 8,7,6,5,8,10 = 44… Taker’s career has been extended in the last 5-7 years by fighting a limited schedule. I wouldn’t say he was ever “mainstream”. He is however, one of two that I rank at the top of the Wrestlemania scale, 21 … and 1.

The Rock – 9,8,10,10,8,9 = 54… Longevity might be a bit too polite, but even if I drop it 1, that puts him at 53 overall. He worked the mic like no other and, he crossed over like no other. For the overrating he may have gotten from me in longevity, he was underscored in flexibility (should be 9). Heel/face, it doesn’t matter!

Shawn Michaels – 10,9,8,7,8,10 = 52… HBK was a lifer, he was almost perfect in ring – until his back caught up. He was sneaky good on the mic and, well, he is Mr. Wrestlemania!

Triple H – 9,8,8,7,8,8 = 48… Sorry Blake, Triple H isn’t #1. Is is very good though. He wasn’t a lifer, but he is locked in for life now. He’s technical in ring and better than good on the mic. Mainstream – no. He was flexible in character and lost 3 times to Undertaker at Wrestlemania!

John Cena – 10,7,8,8,7,9 = 49… He’s a lifer, in-ring, well… and he’s held the company above water the past decade.

Randy Orton – 8,8,7,8,8,8 = 47… Randy Orton just gets it done. If it weren’t for John Cena, Orton’s legacy would be something much greater. Orton and Cena could have been Rock and Austin part 2, but it wasn’t.

Chris Jericho – 7,8,8,7,7,8 = 45… Y2J was under-appreciated, both in WCW and WWE. Vince saw his potential, which is why he was the first undisputed WWE Champion. That said, he had a shorter run, left and came back as a part timer. He was I.C. champ 750 times, tag partner with 50 guys, and he had the red carpet debut with the Rock. I find it hard to rank him above Undertaker, which is why I think this scale and system needs adjusted.

All that said, here are my top ten according to the Mitchamore Scale.

10. Bret Hart (43)
9. Undertaker (44)
8. Chris Jericho (45)
7. Randy Orton (47)
6. Triple H (lost tiebreaker to Austin based on Mania) (48)
5. Steve Austin (lost tiebreaker to Hogan based on Mania) (48)
4. Hulk Hogan (48)
3. John Cena (49)
2. Shawn Michaels (52)
1. The Rock (54)

NOW, on to the scale I mentioned above –

Bret Hart – 8,7,9,7,7 = 38… He was the Hitman, he owned the character, but he never took it to the next level. He was OK at telling stories, at best. He was damn near perfect in ring, shaky on the mic and ultimately never gave the WWE the ROI they had hoped for.

Undertaker – 9,9,7,7,9 = 41… The reason for the knock down here is when he cut his hair and became a damn biker! He told great stories, was very good for a big man in the ring, could speak when needed – but had Paul Bearer, and he sold millions of Wrestlemania buys, thus of great value.

Chris Jericho – 8,7,8,9,8 = 39… He played too much with his character in my opinion, but made up for it with mic skills. He was a fantastic worker and, like mentioned above, was very transparent. That Rock debut again, didn’t hurt his cause!

Randy Orton – 8,7,8,8,8 = 39… Much of the same as Jericho. Had a chance to be great, but he had John Cena to deal with – stole his thunder. Also, a few suspensions didn’t help his cause.

Triple H – 8,8,8,9,8 = 41… Hunter was very good, just not GREAT in any specific area. He was consistent, and his mic skills in DX gave him a great asset.

Steve Austin – 9,9,8,9,10 = 45… Austin’s character was brilliant and that’s the bottom line! He sold the storyline, was pretty damn good in ring, worked the mic like a champ and his value was top.

Hulk Hogan – 10,9,7,9,10 = 45… So he is tied with Austin, we will break that later. His only flaw was in-ring to me. He didn’t everything else the American way. He headlined the biggest events – Andre, Savage, Warrior, Slaughter. He even came back and work a great one with the Rock (see what I did there?!).

John Cena – 8,8,7,7,10 = 40… Imagine Cena in the Hogan era, what could have been between those two! You could have gotten away with turning Cena heel! That said, Cena is bland to me over time. He really isn’t special in-ring, but his value is second to none, tied with the best.

Shawn Michaels – 9,8,9,8,9 = 43… If it weren’t for injuries, HBK would rank higher. Sorry, but it’s part of the game. He wasn’t durable enough to be on top – but he is still one of the best.

The Rock – 9,9,8,10,10 = 46… Dwayne recreated the way to succeed in the industry. His character was awesome, heel or face. He told a story in the ring and on the mic. His only hitch, to me, was that he was very very good in ring, but others were better, which is why I gave him an 8. His mic skills, yeah. Value, double yeah.

So lets break down this top ten…

10. Bret Hart (38)
9. Randy Orton (39)
8. Chris Jericho (40t)
7. John Cena (40t) – overall value is greater than Jericho
6. Triple H (41t)
5. Undertaker (41t) – this is a judgement on what he DID for the WWE, not what he WILL DO in the future
4. Shawn Michaels (43)
3. Hulk Hogan (45t)
2. Steve Austin (45t) – Hogan created it with Vince, Austin executed it with Vince.
1. The Rock (46)

Now, lets compare my rankings and the Mitchamore scale to come up with an average and comparison.

    Wrestler – Mitchamore/Gulish

Bret Hart – 10/10
Randy Savage – 9/NR
Randy Orton – NR/9
Chris Jericho – 8/8
John Cena – 7/7
Steve Austin – 6/2
The Rock – 5/1
Hulk Hogan – 4/3
Shawn Michaels – 3/4
Undertaker – 2/5
Triple H 1/6

The average ranking would appear as follows –

10t – Savage/Orton
9 – Bret Hart
8 – Chris Jericho
7 – John Cena
6 – Steve Austin
5t – Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, HHH
1 – The Rock

Overall, the results are similar. Each wrestler has their value for each ranking. My problem with the Mitchamore scale rating Triple H 1 and Undertaker 2 is the fact that the Undertaker is 3-0 at Wrestlemania vs. Triple H. Our biggest differing of opinion is Steve Austin and The Rock. However, both scales for me show greater value for those two wrestlers.

It’s all a matter of opinion, but the top 10 is a great list and a good place to start. Who would be the WWE Mt. Rushmore? This is just WWE in the past 20 years – imagine if we added WCW, NWA, and all the other territories and great wrestlers. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, Terry Funk, Sting, Dusty Rhodes.

The interesting thing about the combo scale is the 4-way tie for 2nd/ or 5th. Hogan was Mr. Wrestlemania, Michaels became Mr. Wrestlemania, Undertaker is 21-1 at Wrestlemania and HHH one day will book (w/out Vince) Wrestlemania.

What are your thoughts? Leave comments below or let me know on Twitter @BrianGulish

First, WCW… Now, Sting saves WWE from the Authority

What an ending, the rumors were true (finally). Sting, the Franchise – the Icon, officially made his WWE debut last night at Survivor Series. And, for as awesome a moment it was – I couldn’t speak during or for about 5 minutes after Survivor Series went off the air.

It was the perfect setting – the perfect time, Triple H and the Authority running roughshod over the main event and seemingly nobody in sight to stop the inevitable. At 10:50 PM I tweeted out “I hear voices in my head…” followed by the punch “they’re telling me the WWE trolled us, again” in regards to a Sting debut. It was also a slight bit of anticipation of Randy Orton returning in his hometown to save Team Cena.

So as the inevitable played out and Triple H pedigreed Dolph Ziggler through the mat, it was now or never for a regime change. Triple H proceeded to roll Seth Rollins on top of Ziggler and called for a ref to come out and count the 1-2-3. Cue Scott Armstrong.

Sliding under the bottom rope, Armstrong got in to position as Triple H rolled up he sleeves.

1…

And then I noticed something … The most awkward coil up of an officials arm. It was almost as if Armstrong’s arm was being held back by gravity. “OH SHIT!” I exclaimed… And then the sound of a lightning strike with thunder and a crow’s cry.

I jumped out of my chair and a half, clutching my phone as I proceeded to tweet… “#StingWatch ahahahahhdjfkfjfjrffndksldkfkfjdjdj wooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!”

THE MOMENT I HAD WAITED FOR WAS NOW. Realizing it, the anticipation I had for Sting for years, especially this Survivor Series Sunday, my wife said “just enjoy it” – knowing I would likely be live tweeting it. But even with her thoughts, I wouldn’t have tweeted… I couldn’t tweet. I was frozen. I was in awe. I was reliving my youth – from the 1990 Great American Bash, Super Brawl 1991, Starrcade 1992, Beach Blast 1992, Starrcade 1997… All the matches with Ric Flair, Vader, Ric Rude, Muta, Cactus Jack, and even Hulk Hogan, ran through my mind… AND THEN –

I blinked, and then – he appeared.

For starters, the horror-movie music was a great touch. Part of me wanted his old “Turbo Charged” theme to blast the arena and out would come sting with bleach-blonde hair, but the other part of me said ‘this is right.’

As the cameras got up in his face, followed by a great zoom out – I then began to hear Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL commentate this moment. This was mistake number one, and it was a big one.

Aside from Jim Ross, there should have been no one speaking as Sting made his way to the ring. This should have been a moment to listen to the music, the crowd reaction, and the visual excellence which the production of the moment was. All I would have liked to have seen added would have been smoke or fog rising as he walked through to the ring.

Back to the trio of announcers.

Cole: “Oh my God.”
Lawler: “What?”
Cole: “It’s Sting!”
Lawler: “What!?”
Cole: “Stinger’s here!”

And then, ruining the moment, JBL proceeds to give us a Wikipedia rundown of Sting’s accomplishments.

JBL: “A six-time WCW champion. The two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The Icon, the Franchise.”

Lawler: “But what the hell is he doing here?”
Cole: “The man who’s never stepped foot inside WWE’s arena before.”
JBL: “Well what a hell of an impact he’s made the first time he did. Hoah, God.”
Cole: “But why is Stinger here?”
JBL: “It’s none of his damn business I’ll tell ya.”
Cole: “This is incredible.”

As I watched back more than 2 dozen times already I am more and more troubled by the announcers involvement in the entrance and spectacle of Sting’s debut. Not so much Cole and Lawler (since King couldn’t get a word in), more so JBL.

This was supposed to be a ‘surprise’ moment. A ‘saving’ moment for the WWE against the Authority. Cole set it all up perfectly. He gave us the WOW, Lawler gave us the SHOCK, and then JBL gives us… a resume! As great a wrestler and as storied a history Sting has had, why would it be natural for JBL to tell us his career accomplishments? Then, the next time JBL speaks he says “Well what a hell of an impact he’s made the first time he did.” He hadn’t yet made any impact. He made an appearance. And then after Cole asked why Stinger was here (which I am totally thankful for every time he is referred to as STINGER, since it is his proper character name) JBL bloats out “It’s none of his damn business I’ll tell ya.”

Did JBL know what Sting was doing? Did he know his intentions? How could he speak to Sting’s business when the man literally just appeared less than thirty-seconds prior? Had JBL stayed silent or been muted the commentary would have been.

Cole: “Oh my God.”
Lawler: “What?”
Cole: “It’s Sting!”
Lawler: “What!?”
Cole: “Stinger’s here!”
Lawler: “But what the hell is he doing here?”
Cole: “The man who’s never stepped foot inside WWE’s arena before. But why is Stinger here? This is incredible!”

I am sorry, but JBL took away from the moment for me. But moving on…

Sting approaches the ring and Armstrong comes out to confront him for some reason, not sure why. Immediately, any doubt as to what Sting’s intentions were were erased. If Triple H sent Armstrong to encounter Sting, then Triple H knew he was the intended target.

Sting gets in the ring. Hunter looks unsure of the situation, yet stern in staring in Sting’s eyes. NEITHER BLINKED as the crowd chanted “Holy Shit!” I didn’t chant, I was still speechless, taking in the moment. Everything was surreal. Trench coat, face paint, black and white ring gear – everything was how I remembered it… but then, I blinked. And I blinked again. And again.

This was the first shadow of doubt I ever had with Sting’s WWE debut. My first question – “Is this going to hurt his legacy?” “Does this feel right?” And I asked myself this because it was the first time I saw Sting as a 55 year-old man, in the ring. This WASN’T the Stinger from Starrcade 1997. There was no flowing black curly hair, no youthful face under the paint. Every part of the gimmick was great, but the man playing the part wasn’t who I remembered.

Sure, we all see our hair recede at some point, but I couldn’t get away from this fact with Steve Borden, the man. As I began to pry the doubt away from my mind, Sting then rotated his back to the hard camera only to reveal a very thinning scalp and hair line on top.

The doubt returned… “Is this best for Sting? Is it worth it?”

As the stare down proceeded with NO SOUND from the announce team, I began envisioning the next action sequence… And it began with Triple H clearly questioning “WHAT” Sting was doing, not kindly to say the least (I am sure you can read lips). After a brief acknowledgement from Sting, Triple H pulled back looking to unload on Sting, who ducked the punch – gave a fierce kick to the gut and a seemingly atomic Scorpion Death Drop!

As Sting shot up, he adjusted his coat to the right side on his left knee – got up and rolled Ziggler on top of Rollins. He proceeded to walk past a downed Triple H, through the ropes, and out of the ring as the ref magically appears after being out for 10 minutes to make the 1-2-3 count signifying the end of the Authority!

So, how do I truly feel? How did I truly react?

I felt an adrenaline rush. I felt weightless as I stood in front of my TV, neglect to any of my surroundings. It wasn’t too much, and it wasn’t too little – as far as the spot, it was just right (aside from JBL). Sting didn’t speak words, rather actions. It was the culmination of what Vince said would be a historic Survivor Series at the beginning of the night.

For as happy as I am that Sting has stepped foot in a WWE ring, I am thrown a bit, and only a bit in my thoughts by the fact that it is a 55 year-old version of the man. A month shy of 17 years ago at Starrcade 1997 is the ‘Crow’ Sting I want to remember. I am sure these thoughts of doubt will pass the more I see Sting’s WWE run play out, but I never thought I would DOUBT this moment. And, for a few seconds I did and, might still be.

So where do we go from here? Does Vince kick off Raw tonight and introduce a new authority figure(s)? Does he bring out Sting? Does he reference Sting? Does Sting start the show? Does Cena start the show? Do we see Triple H and Stephanie at all?

The most important question – Does this lead to Sting vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania 31? For all the talk about Sting vs. Undertaker – and even Triple H vs. The Rock, is this the match-up we will see in 4 months? If so, I am fine with it – ONLY if Sting wins.

I think this is truly the best option for Sting. He and the Undertaker wouldn’t be as athletic as Sting and Triple H. Sting and Bray Wyatt wouldn’t make sense from a historical standpoint. But the power of Vince McMahon on two fronts – overseeing HIS company and FINALLY signing Sting, makes this match-up much more enticing. I think Triple H can pick Sting up on the big stage and, Sting himself will seize the moment.

I have so many more thoughts on last night and I will join @JustinLaBar on Wrestling Reality – heard of SportsTalk TribLive Radio tomorrow at 2:00PM – SportsTalk.TribLive.Com

THE ONLY THING FOR SURE ABOUT STING, IS NOTHIN’S FOR SURE….

IT’S SHOWTIME FOLKS!

OMAHA! A ‘Super’ Idea for the Potential Debut of Sting

In 1999, the WWE embarked on a Sunday that was even bigger than Wrestlemania.  It was during Super Bowl XXXIII that the WWE (WWF at the time) spent $1.6M on a 30 second ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNCwb5yoQtw) that featured The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Vince McMahon, and The Undertaker.

The Undertaker.

Isn’t it ironic that the Denver Broncos took part in the Super Bowl that season, and they once again are in the championship game this year as well.  15 years was a long time ago.  As a matter of fact, that was the year of Wrestlemania 15 and, by my calculations – the WWE is due for it’s every 15-year Super Bowl commercial.

Times have changed though.  This year, a 30 second Super Bowl spot will cost $4M!  That much money can buy a lot of things, it also better have an overwhelming return on investment.

The Undertaker.

At Wrestlemania XV, the Undertaker ran ‘the streak’ to 8-0 by defeating the Big Boss Man inside Hell in a Cell.  This year, he has a chance to go 22-0.  But against who?

REFER BACK TO: Return On Investment.

The rumors are hotter than ever and the opportunity for the WWE to capitalize is now.  It has to be.  I am not sure what Batista is being paid for his current return to the company but, at this time I can promise you one thing – the WWE isn’t seeing a high return.

The Daniel Bryan movement is more than just a WWE thing now, it is mainstream and there is a pretty good chance a YES! chant will break out at some point in MetLife Stadium on Sunday, a place the WWE got their hands on before the NFL could.  Stick with me here, it’s almost time to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Last night on Raw, it’s obvious the WWE did two things; A) Rewrite several possible plans they had for the next 68 days, and B) They trolled the WWE Universe incredible well, specifically HHH in the opening segment.  No matter what the WWE wanted its fans to accept, the response was a resounding NO!  So they must call an AUDIBLE.

Next week, Raw takes place live from Omaha, Nebraska… OMAHA!  But the audible, whether it is in place or not needs to be made soon, and it needs to be brought in to play Sunday during Super Bowl XLVIII.

PIECES: The Undertaker, the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning, Omaha (both Nebraska and Audible)… It’s been 15 years since the WWE’s only Super Bowl ad during Super Bowl 33, it’s time to come full circle again, 15 years later.

The Missing PIECE:  STING

Other than promoting the 30th anniversary of the WWE’s biggest event of the year, the WWE is also set to launch the WWE Network, complete with historic and original programming.  One of the major draws in the historic programming section will be WCW.

“The Monday Night War” is set to air on the WWE Network upon its launch.  One of the main pieces of that puzzle itself was Sting (we all know the back story).

For $4M, or $133,333.33 per second, the WWE can promote Wrestlemania and/or the WWE Network on Super Bowl Sunday.  And here’s why they should.

According to Nielsen, last year’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVII on CBS drew an average audience of 108.7 million viewers. The game was viewed in 53 million homes and had a 46.4 U.S. household rating. The in-game blackout, being reported as a separated telecast, averaged 106.6 million viewers.

BLACKOUT, a theme synonymous with both The Undertaker and Sting.

This year’s Super Bowl is estimated to be watched by 115 million people.  Is that an audience the WWE wants to pass up?  115 million people to promote Wrestlemania and the WWE Network to.  And the icing on the cake, the debut date of Sting.

Now, I don’t know for sure whether or not Steve Borden has officially signed with the WWE, but there is good reason to believe he has.  Rumored meetings with Vince McMahon in the past week, including one in Pittsburgh on Sunday at the Royal Rumble.

Next week’s Raw in Omaha also happens to be Sting’s hometown.  I am not sure the stars can align any more for this perfect scenario to play out, that being a WWE Super Bowl commercial promoting Wrestlemania 30, the WWE Network, and the debut of Sting – THE NEXT NIGHT on Raw!

Of the 115 million people watching the Super Bowl, many- if not most, will be familiar with WWE and the Undertaker, and more likely than not, Sting.  Execution is key.

There are several scenarios I have played out regarding how this could be executed.  Would the WWE focus on the WWE Network launch?  Keep in mind, according to SocialGuide’s 2013 Super Bowl Advertising Report, 5.3 million people sent out 26.1 million tweets during the course of the entire game.  That’s right in the WWE Network’s wheelhouse.

Or, would the WWE decide that social media interaction during the Super Bowl will be enough in itself, that they would simply stick to Wrestlemania 30?  Either way, that all important ROI would be mind-boggling, tenfold!

Each second, for the first 21, an image of the Undertaker will be shown on the screen (or a picture of his opponent), in a slideshow/movie tape fashion.  One after another 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0… I think you see where I’m going.

At second 22, a question mark appears 22-0?

At second 23, a Scorpion image flashes in black and white.

At second 24, Stings face appears.

At second 25, the word STING is shown.

At second 26, Wrestlemania XXX is shown.

At second 27, Undertaker vs. STING  is shown.

At second 28, History Is Made is shown.

At second 29, Tomorrow Night is shown.

At second 30, OMAHA- RAW is shown

END OF COMMERCIAL

The buzz generated from something like that would payoff by the end of the game based on social media interaction alone.  The viewership the next night would be the highest rated Raw, possibly ever.

Now I know it’s too late to sell 30 second spots for Raw next week, but the supply for the demand would drive up advertising revenue to new levels for the WWE.  It would enable them to sell commercials on WWE program at a premium for the next 2 months.

At the end of this read, you may be excited for my idea, I know I would be.  But then, just like each week on our show, you have to understand REALITY, as in Chair Shot Reality on Wrestlezone.com.

The reality is the Super Bowl commercial spots are likely already sold out.  If Sting signed in the past 7 days, the WWE surely wouldn’t have been able to acquire a Super Bowl slot on such late notice.  Then again, they may have indeed already secured one to promote the launch of the WWE Network.  That would have been a great idea, and still is.  And, if that’s the case – and the WWE does have a commercial placement on Sunday to promote the WWE Network, I think it’s time to call an audible if Sting is indeed heading “home.”

OMAHA!