Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
In part eleven of This Week in Wrestling in 2017, Craig looks at the pairing of AJ Styles and Shane McMahon for WrestleMania 33, we cast our eyes back 20 years to WrestleMania 13 and Brian shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.
Is AJ vs. Shane at Mania a waste?
This week the WWE confirmed what we had long expected: AJ Styles would face Shane McMahon later this month at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania.
After losing out on a spot in the WWE title match – following a fairly convoluted storyline involving the break-up of Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton and a tied battle royale, Styles confronted SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon last week. Over the weekend, he then interjected during a McMahon appearance at Madison Square Garden.
Fast-forward to this week’s episode of Smackdown, Styles attacked Shane upon his arrival and threw him through a car window before being storyline fired by Daniel Bryan.
With Styles being a long-term critic of the way that Bryan and Shane O’Mac run Smackdown Live, there had long been a suspicion that it would lead to a clash between McMahon and the former WWE champion.
Like many, this match does very little for me and I had higher hopes for the undoubted WWE MVP of 2016 than a match against Vince McMahon’s son at WrestleMania.
After a 2016 which saw Styles go toe to toe with some of the biggest names on the WWE roster, and play a big part in the quality of the match, it is fair to say that the match versus McMahon at the end of this month won’t be a plain 1 vs. 1 match-up.
Any stipulation added – likely to involve having Styles fight to be reinstated – will be mostly to benefit Shane knowing that his ability to succeed in 1-on-1 matches being behind him. When you look beyond that cooky booking side of things, this match has, on many levels, the opportunity to be better than most expect.
After all, WrestleMania is a mixing pot of matches. It isn’t just for the wrestling purists, it throws in celebrities, big stipulation and returning part-time talent to draw in lapsed and new fans, as well as the current fanbase, to buy the show. It isn’t your standard PPV by any stretch of the imagination and needs something for everyone.
A scenario where Shane, however clever it may or may not be, takes big bumps for the super talented Styles will offer fans something very different on a card lumbering up to largely focus on big matches featuring big name talent.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, certainly not the purists, but stands the chance of surprising many fans in attendance and watching at home.
20 Years Since WrestleMania 13
Next week marks two decades on from WrestleMania 13, an event that when you look back at you can see the journey the WWE were on from the cartoony days of old to a more adult-focused era. That said, it wasn’t the strongest of cards from an in-ring perspective.
The Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin submission match, with Ken Shamrock as the special referee, is widely regarded as the stand-out bout. What better way to remember it than by watching it with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s commentary
An unbelievable and amazing transformation of the Big Show! Even though his match against Shaquille O’Neal has been apparently scrapped, it was well worth the time and effort he put into his overall health. A true inspiration…
If Broken Matt Hardy had a favorite album cover…this might be it lately…
FTO Impact Wrestling! 😉
An interesting pair of action figures: The Giant Singh aka The Great Khali and Giant Silva
A conspiracy theory, I know, but what if Tugboat was the one who sabotaged the Shockmaster’s WCW debut?!? Mind Blown!
A very cool large replica of the WWE title on display in Orlando, Florida, the site of Wrestlemania 33.
A rare find: 45 record of Jerry ‘the King’ singing!
A young Mark Calaway aka ‘The Undertaker’ sitting in the stands as a fan….
The news that the WWE may already be planning the main event for next year’s WrestleMania 34 between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the Universal title…
Who knew? Mr. T also appeared in World Class Championship Wrestling alongside ‘The Modern Day Warrior’ Kerry Von Erich…
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we looked at the biggest moments in wrestling; n Monday we had part 10 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; Tuesday featured part 106 of Brian’s excellent ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series; we debuted a new writer on Wednesday who has started a rundown of Clash of Champions since the inaugural event; Thursday’s Top Five looked at WrestleMania mistakes and we rounded off the week by asking ‘Whatever Happened to‘ Scotty 2 Hotty.
Next Week on the Blog
In tomorrow’s Sunday Sermon we recast WrestleMania III with modern day superstars, we have the latest ‘Wrestling with Sin‘, the next instalment of ‘The History of the Intercontinental Title‘, a WrestleMania-themed Top Five and more.
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.