The Way It’s Supposed To Be

Mark Madden

In many ways, wrestling is at a low point in terms of value as performance art. I won’t bore you by revisiting that debate.
But every once in a great while, something happens to remind you of how great wrestling can be.
That something took place at WrestleMania 27.
That something was Undertaker-Triple H. You saw 30 minutes of the business executed (and broadcast) EXACTLY the way it should be.
I can’t praise Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler enough, either. The first half of the broadcast was nearly ruined by Michael Cole pushing his character at the expense of the matches. Ross and Lawler were brilliant during Undertaker-Triple H, exercising silence as a dramatic device TO PERFECTION. Shut up and let the picture speak for itself. That match would have been terrific with no sound, but Ross and Lawler found a way to elevate it. Kudos.
I’m not going to review ‘Taker-Trips blow by blow, but that bout proved emotion and psychology BLOWS AWAY technical ecstasy. ‘Taker never breaks character, not even for a split second, not even during a throwaway moment. That paid off when ‘Taker showed, quite possibly, more vulnerability than he had at any moment throughout his career prior.
As for Trips, his horror at realizing HE COULDN’T WIN was palpable and credible. When ‘Taker kicked out of the tombstone and Triple H slithered away in absolute disbelief, you bought it. When Trips screamed “STAY DOWN!” you really bought into his desperation.
F*** flip, flop and fly. That match was what WRESTLING IS SUPPOSED TO BE. I feel privileged to have seen it.
Paying $54.99 pushed the bounds of my privileged feeling, to be sure. I realize it was 33 percent longer than a normal WWE PPV. I don’t necessarily think it was 33 percent better. Too much filler, not enough killer.
God, that Snooki is GROTESQUE.
Sunny still looks good enough to nail. I bet somebody did.
Why would you deface a Rolls-Royce for effect? That made me cringe. But not as much as Snooki’s gut being exposed.
Wrestlers should have been made to enter the WWE Reading Challenge. Might have been like Vince Young taking the Wonderlic test.
Lawler vs. Cole was disappointing. Cole was just terrible. I understand he’s a non-wrestler, but this was WrestleMania. If Cole couldn’t have been better prepared – or if he was adequately prepared, and was just that bad – he shouldn’t have been involved. Or the match should have been shorter. Are they really going to put Cole and Lawler back together as an announce team? J.R.’s performance emphasized the inadequacies of all others.
The Lawler-Cole angle came and went, and Lawler never cut a promo. Steve Austin got involved. He never cut a promo, either. McMahon should follow The Rock’s suggestion: GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.
The Rock turned heel on Cena. Or did The Rock turn Cena heel?
The crowd certainly wants to turn Cena heel. Will WWE oblige?
How can The Rock not wrestle now?
The Rock was very good from his reintroduction to WWE all the way through his performance at ‘Mania. But somehow, with the exception of the Cena jokes, I felt like I’d heard it all before. If The Rock continues with WWE, he needs fresh material to mix in with the greatest hits.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing

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