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Mishal’s Top 5: Wrestling’s Greatest Talkers

Mishal takes a look at a favorite topic of many: Wrestling’s Top 5 Greatest Talkers! Who made the list…and who was snubbed?




Mishal takes a look at a favorite topic of many: Wrestling’s Top 5 Greatest Talkers! Who made the list…and who was snubbed?

We often forget that more than just being an in-ring sport, professional wrestling, as with any form of entertainment, is equally about showmanship & engaging with the live audience in front of you.

As good as a wrestler as someone can be, it often amounts to very little if their skills on a microphone can’t hold the audience’s attention enough. Engaging with an audience through promos (whether scripted or unscripted) is essential to developing character, as well as a connection with an audience that is deeper than just the moves you can perform in a ring. Microphone skills add a tonne of charisma or charm to a character, and in the process makes the entire persona of that specific character far more well-rounded.

In the past, we’ve had our fair share of wrestlers who lack the skills on a microphone & exchange that for what they can achieve in the ring, most recently the likes of Ricochet, Braun Strowman, Nia Jax, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley to name a few are talents who consistently disappoint when handed a microphone and rely on other aspects of their character to make up for the blunder. These talents aren’t alone either, as lack of ability in terms of promos isn’t something new to the business, but something we pay much more attention to nowadays with how wrestling is organized.

Companies like WWE are known to rely far more on scripted promos with their talent, as well as moulding them under a certain ‘style’ to place them into the boundaries of how they want their talents to generally address an audience. Other brands such as AEW or NJPW, however, have brought attention to just how effective an unscripted promo can be when you allow talent to fully embrace their characters without shackles, giving you a better feel for who they are & generally crafting content that gels a lot better with a live audience. Guys like Cody, Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley & Brodie Lee are proof of just how restricted their specific talents were when under the WWE banner & how effective creative freedom can be to a talent trying to redefine themselves.

None of this is necessarily a nudge on WWE though, because even with guidelines, there are some workers who have excelled, and continue to excel within that kind of environment. Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Edge, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre & MVP have been turning in some of the best work of their careers as of late, displaying just how good talent can be working within the ‘WWE style’ as long as you embrace what you’re given to work with.

Where this has brought me to as of late, especially with watching a tonne of content over the last two weeks or so, is just who the standard-bearers are, at least in my mind. The best to cut a promo is sometimes remembered simply for that, their ability to talk at times almost completely overshadows their abilities in the ring due to some of their best moments being behind a microphone, as we’ll see.

So without further ado, let’s dive into wrestlings 5 greatest talkers of all time!

A ‘few’ Honourable Mentions for Greatest Talker Of All Time

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage – An endless stream of catchphrases, an accent that lives throughout history & charisma that anyone, a fan of professional wrestling or not would consider iconic, there isn’t a promo this man touched that didn’t result in cheers.

Paul Heyman – Beyond being the mouth for Brock Lesnar, Heyman in his own right is one of the few I can think of who’s never cut a bad promo. His work under the ECW brand in the 90s, as a commentator for WWE in the early 2000s or whenever he’s intimidating a plethora of opponents before facing ”His client”, few in today’s wrestling scene can hold an audience the way Heyman does and has for over two decades.

Edge – In terms of intensity, it’s hard to find more intense than the ‘Rated R Superstar’. His work over the last six months or so has been amongst the best of his career, but seeing him opposite the likes of John Cena, Matt Hardy & The Undertaker in the past is proof of how methodical the man is on a microphone. There’s an intense, animal-like quality he brings to his promos that is almost unmatchable today that places him levels above most talent.

Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan – Wrestling’s greatest manager, one of wrestling’s greatest heels & one of the most unlikeable bad guys I can think of. Heenan is responsible for some of the company’s most iconic moments of the early 90s, as well as being by the side of some of the industries standard-bearing talents (most notably Andre The Giant himself). Heenan & his mouth are a reminder of just how impactful a manager can be when utilized in the right manner.

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin – Has there ever been a wrestler that’s said so little yet garnered a reaction louder than 95% of wrestlers to have ever existed just based on a few catchphrases alone? Austin never had the most varied promo work, but his style was the personification of taking a simple, tried & tested formula, injecting it with an incredible amount of personality & bringing an audience into the palm of his hands with every word he uttered. Many others certainly have a more complex promo style behind their characters, Austin was straight to the point & never lost any audience member for a moment.

And The Top 5 Wrestling’s Greatest Talkers are…

5. CM Punk

”You can’t leave a mark on the champ’s face. Come Royal Rumble, understand, when you step in the ring with me, your arms are just too short to box with God.”

I’d imagine this is some kind of ‘hot take’ depending on where you stand. Many fans will have a number of others names in place of CM Punk, but for myself, he’s arguably the best of my generation as far as cutting a promo goes. Whether its pre-written material, an unplanned ‘pipebomb’ during a faithful evening in Las Vegas or simply engaging with the crowd, few over the last number of years talk the way CM Punk did every night he was handed a microphone.

Punk’s ‘Straightedge Saviour’ persona was ideal to getting him this high on the list, before that he was somewhat of an oddity. From mid-2009 this all changed, as the man found his voice, his groove & catapulted himself into the main event position he’d been chasing for almost half a decade at that point. Everything following the infamous evening in 2011 resulted in genuine gold coming out of the man’s mouth, positioning himself as the voice of a volatile & frustrated fanbase, calling all the shots on what we had an issue with & (in kayfabe) exposing the business for the circus it truly was. His style was a bizarre blend between Steve Austin, Roddy Piper & Paul Heyman, seemingly taking aspects of their work but rather than mimicking it, infusing it with his blend of pissed off honesty, reflecting the real-life frustrations he had, and still has with the product to this very day based on interviews.

His work alongside the likes of John Cena, Triple H, The Rock, Jeff Hardy, Paul Heyman & Chris Jericho is still amongst the finest of the last decade, setting an incredibly high bar for anyone to follow with the plethora of excellence he left behind.

While it was all a gimmick at the end of the day denying the legitimacy of Punk’s promos is insane in retrospect, since a lot of what he said holds ground in 2020, particularly with the state of the current product as we know it. Punk was a professional wrestling martyr, one who spoke years ahead of so many others, and paved the way for more risky, edgier promos in the wrestling world that we see far more often these days, particularly outside of WWE. More than just that, Punk always felt like the voice fans could listen to without sounding like the robot so many others do when they’re given time to express themselves, and that in my eyes is where he stands out in the crop of talent we see today.

4. ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper

”Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions.”

In my mind, the key to a great villain in professional wrestling is your ability on the microphone. Brutal in-ring action & dirty tactics are fine and dandy, but the ability to insult, degrade & test the audience is what brings out the best in a bad guy. Nobody in the history of the business tested their audiences better than ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper did. Piper was despicable, vile, loud, obnoxious, annoying, relentless, but so good at what he was doing that you just had to love him for the talent he oozed every time he opened his mouth.

Piper understood just what made an audience tick, especially in his era. He never held back on pushing the boundaries set in front of him, despite what you may think of his actions. Every promo Piper cut took it up a notch, which only got worse when ‘Pipers Pit’ became a staple of the WWE in the mid-80s. As a host, Piper was handed free reign to insult & abuse any set of talents that were sent his way, but nothing he ever did felt cheap, it was all timed & measured with precision, unlike so much of today’s heel work on the mic.

Even in his later days following retirement, Piper was just as formidable with words as any newcomer. But rather than playing the heel, Piper used his talents to enhance a variety of names, from John Cena to Roman Reigns, he made everyone & everything look like a million bucks across him in the ring. Sometimes his talents were wasted for the sake of simple filler, but for the most part, those in charge understood the magic this man created in the ring just with words alone.

3. Ric Flair

“To be the man, you gotta beat the man.”

Everyone deep down, whether they want to admit it or not, wishes they possessed the charisma, charm & energy that is carried by ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. Flair is a once in a lifetime character, which isn’t easy to achieve in any medium of entertainment. He’s one that will never be replicated regardless of all the attempts we’ve seen over the last number of decades. From The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Jay Lethal (which is arguably the best imitation in all of wrestling) or even ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor who tries to pretend what he does is original even though one man was 30 years ahead of his time. There, thankfully, will never be another.

But beyond being one of the best workers to strap up a pair of boots, Flair’s mouth was his real weapon. He was the king of trash talk, the king of hype & the unofficial President of wrestling catchphrases. His ‘woo’ chant lives on to this very day, heard in nearly every match, on every show without fail, showing just how transcendent the mans talents were despite the gap between generations. On top of that, Flair has cut an array of promos that set the bar on how to carry yourself as ‘larger than life’ when the industry was carried by personalities bigger than themselves. You may think Flair’s style was brash, cocky, self-indulgent, but that’s how well he played his character, you never doubted the man as anything but what he looked like on-screen.

Every single time Flair uttered a word, you knew he had to listen. Flair, much like the fans, knew he was better than everyone around him, but the sacrifices he made for the business only showed with age, as he’s one of the few examples of a superstar whos promos didn’t just get better as the years went by, he was able to do the one thing that wrestling thrives on, evolve. His trash talk was never stuck in the 1970s or 1980s, it laid the groundwork for how to bash an opponent in the 21st century.

Flair’s contribution to wrestling goes so much further than simply a few incredible promos, but they’ve changed the very nature of the business as we know it. At the very least, we know that his talents aren’t the last we’ll see, because another Flair is quickly establishing herself as a solid follow-up to a legacy that makes it difficult for anyone to find words to go up against.

2. Dusty Rhodes

“I have wined and dined with kings and queens and I’ve slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans.”

Honestly, I could just spend the next few hours quoting ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. Beyond being an incredible in-ring performer or professional wrestler, Dusty Rhodes was one of the most inspiring human beings I’ve ever come across. The heart & soul he possessed for the industry is the kind of thing each of us should dream of holding for the thing we’re most passionate about, and this showed every single time he stepped out through the curtain, but in particular when he spoke to those in the crowd. He ate, breathed & slept professional wrestling, which is why he’s one of the most pivotal names in the industry today.

Dusty’s abilities on the microphone were so good because he essentially was what most people want, a relatable figure, a man of the people & someone who has been through the same struggles as them. Dusty had been through all of it, from the working-class family, going through ‘hard times’ (as his iconic promo suggested) & always facing off against the odds of those in a higher position than himself. He was by no means a small competitor, but Dusty was the definitive underdog in the 1980s, rallying every audience behind him to reactions few in this day & age can receive just because of how perfect the timing of his character was. The character of Dusty Rhodes was a reflection of the struggles the American working class have long been under, but unlike so many other attempts, the genuine nature of him as a person helped with every word he uttered, you were a part of his journey just as much as he was & the power of that sensation is unmatchable as a fan or casual viewer.

His endless array of incredible promos should be discussed on their own rather than forced in here, but everyone should take some time to study the work the man accomplished at his apex. It’s a body of work that so many can learn from, remaining the standard-bearer for how to cut a babyface promo, even today.

1. The Rock

”I know the answer to that. 2+2? Thomas Jefferson, Sucka!”

I’ll be honest, I tried my best, my very hardest, not to put The Rock at the top of this list. Not because I don’t love The Rock, because I certainly do, but because this choice just felt too easy, too standard. At the top of everyone’s list is always The Rock when it comes to professional wrestling, in any discussion about the industry. He’s one of the most important professional wrestlers to have ever existed, an era-defining superstar who changed the very nature of entertainment. More than that, he’s a pop culture phenomenon who everyone, everyone, has heard of unless you live under a rock.

But as hard as I tried to justify another superstar holding this spot, The Rock is just ridiculously good. Some would say too good at what he can achieve on the microphone. Once he broke out of the abysmal shell of a character that was ‘Rocky Maivia’, you just knew something special was emerging, the kind of special this business only gets once. The Rock’s new-found charisma, attitude, witness & insane confidence in front of the camera with a microphone in his hand made him an icon long before the internet came around to clip every word he said & lump it onto social media. The Rock was a trendsetter, heck, he invented a word that is now recognized around the world in every dictionary, trying to be more iconic than that is quite the task.

Even though I’ll admit some of his more recent material hasn’t come across with the same style or nuance he possessed in the late 1990s to early 2000s, nobody cuts a promo like ‘The Great One’, and nobody ever will. More than being a master of words & language, The Rock knew how to connect with an audience like very few others, the bond he has with wrestling fans is unique & almost exclusive to only himself, having them on the edge of their seats at all times, hinging on every word he has to say regardless of how absurd it may be. The number of catchphrases he’s coined, the superstars he’s humiliated through just a few breathes of air & the arenas he’s sent into a frenzy just through his signature catchphrases, there will never be another who can engage an audience like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

I understand this choice may not be anything particularly new, or different to what so many other analysts & fans say in regards to this discussion, but when someone is as good as The Rock, it’s only fair that we acknowledge it rather than deny his brilliance.

What do you think of the list? Anyone left out? Head on over to our Facebook Group to discuss!

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Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?



John Cena Last Match Randy Orton WWE WrestleMania 41

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?

John Cena recently appeared on the Pat McAfee Show, the Monday after his surprise (but mostly expected) WrestleMania 40 appearance during Cody Rhodes’ win over Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Championship. During that appearance, he confirmed what many expect, that he is nearly done with his in-ring career. But Cena even tossed out the idea of a time-frame, detailing that his acting schedule will likely take him through Christmas, and maybe Hollywood could “pump the brakes” to allow for one final run.

That run could easily begin at the Royal Rumble with a surprise entrance (or entering himself via TV appearances as part of the build), with a tease for his 17th world title win before finally settling in on his final match.

Fantasy booking and storytelling aside, the goal here is the final match–more specifically the final opponent. With a John Cena, you’ve got a ton of options. As such, it’s hard to narrow it down to 5, and one of your favorites is likely missing–be warned!

Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Miz – A feud with John Cena gave The Mix a WrestleMania 27 main event–and a WrestleMania  main event victory on top of it. Miz has been receiving more love than ever lately, and a match with John Cena would not be misplaced. Maybe he can use their WrestleMania 33 contest (and Cena’s personal aftermath) as fodder for it, too.
  • AJ Styles – The man who once made it popular to “BEAT UP JOHN CENA” is also nearing the end of his run, and could be the one candidate on this list that could realistically give us a double-retirement match. He would also be the guy who retired both The Undertaker and John Cena (and would probably end up being the guy who lost in both).
  • The Rock or Cody Rhodes – Both great options, but you have to figure their dance card for WrestleMania 41 is already full, potentially standing across the ring from one another. Either is an amazing option (including “Thrice In A Lifetime”), but I just don’t think it’s in the cards.
  • Trick Williams – Potentially a surprising addition to the Honorable Mentions, but the comparisons are there in terms of in-ring style/ability, promo skills, and the interplay they had in NXT (remember, it was Cena who is credited with encouraging Trick to not be afraid to go for it himself despite his relationship with Carmelo Hayes).

5. CM Punk

The fifth spot on this list was nearly interchangeable between several of the honorable mention names, but it really came down to Punk and Seth Rollins for me (with a hint of AJ Styles). The 2011 feud between CM Punk and John Cena was legendary, and is a moment that will forever be seen by me as the one that truly cemented CM Punk as a member of the growing list of all-time greats in WWE.

Punk is uniquely qualified for this match as he would make it mean more than a showboat for John Cena’s career and final match. It’s entirely believable that CM Punk would want to put John Cena’s career into the ground, and WWE has the video archive to support it.

Despite being #5, this could actually be a dark-horse for the match we get, and I can’t see anyone reasonably being upset about that.

4. Roman Reigns

John Cena and Roman Reigns have had two separate legendary programs. the first saw Cena, at times, embarrass Roman in promo exchanges in a feud that took place in the “pre-Tribal Chief” era. The second is more fresh and likely more memorable, as John Cena put Roman Reigns over in a football stadium in Las Vegas at SummerSlam (although it might be more remembered for the return of Brock Lesnar).

Reigns, a legend himself at his point (he’s featured alongside Steve Austin at the top of the “Forever” portion of the Then/Now/Forever/Together video that recently debuted) would provide a pairing akin to The Undertaker serving as Shawn Michaels’ retirement opponent at WrestleMania 26 9notice I didn’t say “final opponent). The end of Roman’s 1316 day world title reign has brought about a new appreciation for Reigns, which would further enhance this pairing at WrestleMania 41.

3. Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker is the picture-perfect definition of a juggernaut in WWE, a fast rising star who almost seems like a lock to main event WrestleMania one day (you never know–Seth Rollins JUST got his first WrestleMania main event last weekend). Breakker recently said farewell NXT as the natural in-ring competitor makes a transition to full-time main roster competition.

Breakker also fits the category of who “needs it.” Bring the man to retire John Cena would be quite the feather in the cap of Breakker’s early career, and would give him a moment that would be relived for generations to come. The only question mark is WWE “trusting” Breakker with this moment, as a sudden change of character could mean that Cena’s final match wouldn’t be seen or discussed as much. Breakker, to me, has given no reason for anyone to suspect that might happen, regardless of any controversies his father and uncle have been linked to.

2. R-Truth

Despite being 5-years older than John Cena, and making his in-ring debut in the same year (1999), R-Truth’s childhood hero hanging up the boots will undoubtedly be a hard-hitting moment for the  man who has basically become the WWE Mascot. Truth emulating Cena in his matches, and of course the RawAfterMania moment with Cena, Truth, and The Miz hitting a Fifteen Knuckle Shuffle (thank you, Michael Cole) on The Judgment Day makes this a near can’t miss final match for both John Cena and the WWE Universe.

R-Truth himself is equally deserving of this match, as it would be a reward for all of his years in the ring as part of a career that seems age defying while proving that age is not only a number, but also a number that can be ignored (see Child Hero, John Cena).

While a rematch of their 2011 WWE Capital Punishment main event is an unlikely WrestleMania 41 match-up, it’s one I believe everyone would love to see.

1. Randy Orton

I mean, is there anyone more perfect? John Cena and Randy were inseparably linked for a good portion of their careers, and have shared the ring more times than Big Show has turned babyface/heel. Both are far into legendary status at this point, and Orton specifically is obviously focused on enjoying this stage of his career.

But Orton is still delivering great performances inside the ring, too.

Randy Orton vs John Cena was an exciting proposition many years ago, became a punchline for WWE booking a few years ago, but is now coming full circle as the perfect match-up to end the amazing career of John Cena. It has my vote, and should have yours, too.

Even if R-Truth would be the most fun option.

What say you? Who is the best candidate to stand across the ring from John Cena in his final WWE match, potentially at WrestleMania 41? Who did I leave out?

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Greg DeMarco’s WrestleMania 40 Saturday Results & Review

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!



Sami Zayn WrestleMania 40

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!

It all comes down to this–at least for the first night! A loaded card in front of a packed house, and I’d expect everyone to deliver one hell of a performance.

Women’s World Championship – Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Rhea Ripley retains

In my opinion, this match should be the main event of Night 1, but The Rock is back and that was going to take precedence (even if I disagree). Becky won this title shot at the Elimination Chamber, even though they were already building the feud before that event in Perth. Ripley herself main evented that event in a stadium, defeating Nia Jax.

  • It was revealed during her entrance that this is Becky Lynch’s “Flu Game,” as she has temperatures as high as 102 degrees throughout the week.
  • Rhea Ripley enters to a life performance of her entrance theme, which you can tell she dug.
  • Prime logo is center ring, just the black outline with “Prime” in the middle, and it is not at all bothersome. I can’t believe people made such a big deal out of bitching about that.
  • The stage looks dope, not at all “too small” as some had said. The whole environment looks great, honestly.
  • Rhea Ripley has been dealing with a wrist injury. She said on the Pat McAfee Show she didn’t expect to work with the wrist brace on tonight, but there it is.
  • Corey Graves points out that Becky’s training was likely impacted by her illness, and Pat McAfee scoffs at him for stating the obvious. I hope that isn’t what we get all night.
  • Commentary notes that is is 52 degrees and windy in the stadium, and I am reminded of Nick Khan’s comments about moving an outdoor WrestleMania to late April in the future, if they don’t get an indoor building (he did say “2026” when talking about that, which likely means the 2025 venue is indeed set).
  • Rhea’s Prism Trap is a fell of a submission finisher. Add in the body lock the way she did, and it’s even more impressive.
  • I just noticed the “Prime” turnbuckle pads and it’s…weird. I just didn’t expect it and can’t think of the last time we didn’t have the WWE/WWF logo on the buckles outside of Black and Gold NXT. WrestleMania 2?
  • I am also noticing that Dude Wipes seems to have sponsored the ring posts. Kudos to WWE (and the wrestling industry behind them) for being so damn desirable to sponsors!
  • That combo to get into the Riptide was fantastic–and the kickout was even better.
  • During the DisarmHer you can clearly see the commentary position, and Michael Cole is legit reclined all the way back. Love it–Cole is living his best life.
  • Rhea’s Riptide into the buckle before the proper Riptide was pretty sweet as well. Made Becky look insanely strong in defeat.

Winner via pinfall AND STILL your Women’s World Champion: Rhea Ripley

Hell of an opener, and if you didn’t know Becky was sick, you wouldn’t have known. Props to them both. That would have satisfied as a main event, but can now go down as one of the best openers in WrestleMania history.

Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships and Smackdown Tag Team Championships – DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) vs. New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate) vs. A Town Down Under (Austin Theory & Grayson Waller) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Awesome Truth (Raw titles) and A-Town Down Under (SmackDown)

As many expected, the belts are hanging separately, meaning we are most likely splitting the tag titles here. Triple H and company have put some serious work into building up the tag team divisions of both brands, and even though I expect the two winners to not be actual “teams,” but either way I actually like the way they didn’t make a big deal out of splitting the titles up, they’re just doing it. They have been defended separately since being unified, albeit rarely.

  • R-Truth makes a joke about DIY being DX and that’s now taken off. I love it.
  • The Miz is very under appreciated. Can literally do anything.
  • Someone is struggling with the “Titan Tron” videos tonight.
  • Not gonna lie, I am the biggest Pat McAfee fan, but he’s actually quite annoying right now.
  • Sign of the night: SANTA DESERVED IT.
  • Lots of green in this match, half of the teams wearing their “WrestleMania Green” gear.
  • Also, loving the Consequences Creed gear for Woods.
  • God Bless Finn Balor for taking that Airplane Spin into the ladder.
  • 205 combined years of experience in this match. That’s an average of 17 years (Waller has the least with 7, Balor and Miz are tied for the most with 23).
  • “Dunne Mountain?!?!” Thank you Michael Cole for fixing that.
  • Poor Finn Balor, not he takes the AA to the ladder after John Cena’s Five Moves Of Doom
  • Hilarious.
  • A-Town Down Under gets the SmackDown tag titles!
  • And Grayson gets tossed through a ladder, still holding a title!
  • The match does continue until the Raw tag titles are also retrieved.
  • If Theory also got the Raw tag titles down, I will laugh my ass off.
  • Birminghammer is a fantastic name for a tandem (somewhat) Burning Hammer.
  • Tornado DDT through a table!
  • Air Raid Crash from the ladder!
  • And we still have more tables set-up.
  • JD McDonagh trying to get Finn–who has taken a beating–to get the Raw tag titles.
  • McDonagh through the tables!
  • PERFECTLY placed Razor’s Edge onto that chair.
  • Dude, that ladder is trashed. (And very unsafe.)
  • AA sends Damian outside!
  • I think everyone wants R-Truth to get this. EVERYONE.
  • YES!

Winners via belt retrieval, AND NEW:

  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions – Grayson Waller & Austin Theory
  • Raw Tag Team Champions – R-Truth & The Miz

Really good Ladder Match, but it’s hard to have a bad one. The tag team titles are split and it was really well done. It made perfect sense to do it that way, not make a big deal out of it and just let it happen. I am excited to see both teams win–not because I picked both, but because I think one team (Waller/Theory) have amazing futures and the other (Miz/Truth) will be a lot of fun, even if their run will probably be short lived.

Santos Escobar (with Legado Del Fantasma members Angel, Humberto, & Elektra Lopez) & Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio & Andrade (with The LWO members Carlito, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, & Zelina Vega

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Dominik and Santos win, giving Dominik “revenge” for his loss at WrestleMania 39.

Look, this match doesn’t make a lick of sense–Dominik shows up two weeks ago and finds his way into another WrestleMania match with Rey? Definitely shoehorned. But Dominik is outstanding, so if this gets him on the card, I’ll take it.

  • More green in this match, and I am here for it.
  • Innovative Double Cross Body by Rey & Andrade.
  • Dominik showing experience beyond his years, making sure the ref sees his tag with Santos.
  • At this moment, I am wondering who turns–Carlito or Andrade. Gotta assume it’s one of them.
  • Three matches in and I don’t even notice the Primo logo in the center of the ring or on the turnbuckle pads.
  • Santos Escobar trying to unmask Rey Mysterio, as if we don’t all have Google.
  • Corey Graves making a great point about Rey taking some responsibility for the issues in his life, and Michael Cole immediately dismissing it.
  • It’s so hard to do a really good Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and Andrade (along with Dominik and Santos) just pulled off two to perfection.
  • Camera shot of Rey’s cross body shows the heaters above the ring. Good–keep ’em warm!
  • This could have easily been an 8-man tag team match. Maybe we get that Monday on Raw (which can also be where the turn happens, making my prediction here likely wrong).
  • Joaquin Wilde gets to do his NXT spot at WrestleMania, and that’s probably more important than officially being in the match.
  • Two masked men–definitely the Kelce Brothers–are here.
  • My bad, it was Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Good call, honestly. Great pop for them, too.
  • Looking at the reply, Dominik sold that ringpost spot like a champ.

Winners via pinfall (Rey on Santos): Rey Mysterio & Andrade

Fun tag team match that served its purpose. Needed? Maybe not, as I really wanted to get Liv Morgan vs. Nia Jax onto this card. But when you can get Rey & Dominik on the card, everyone will be happy. and of course the Jason Kelce & Lane Johnson appearances.

Brother vs Brother: Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Jimmy Uso follows in the footsteps of Owen Hart and Matt Hardy and beats the “more talented brother.”

They’ve wanted this match all their lives–and the preview video was insane. Very well done.

  • Jey in the WrestleMania whites tonight.
  • And we get a hot start to the match!
  • “Big Brother Jimmy” is always a fun thing to hear.
  • More Dude Wipes sponsorship on this one–you have to wonder if having Dude Wipes on the posts for the opener was in error.
  • Superkicks. Lots of Superkicks.
  • Very enjoyable YEET/NO chants from the crowd.
  • Jey just kicking the hell out of Jimmy, including a Jumping Super Kick.
  • This has “Fight Without Honor” feels from old school ROH, where the winners have respect after. We will definitely see these guys together again.
  • Jimmy apologizing to Jey. Crowd is not buying it.
  • Of course it was BS, and Jimmy gains the advantage.

Winner, via pinfall: Jey Uso

Jey breaks the babyface curse by beating his heel brother. Thought we might get an embrace between them, instead we faded out. A good match that was more about the story than the in-ring action. I can see some feeling like this hasn’t “lived up to expectations” because of the high expectations you’d have for an Usos match. Their best work will always be as a team, but I know this is a lifelong dream come true for both.

As for all the Superkicks, I mean….it’s an Usos match.

Six-Woman Tag Team Match – Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, & Kairi Sane) vs. Naomi, Bianca Belair, & Jade Cargill

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Bianca, Naomi, & Jade win when Jade scores the pin (probably on Kairi, who always seems to eat the fall)

This match is all about getting Bianca Belair on the card (she had to be), and Jade Cargill’s debut. It also got Damage CTRL on the card, which they truly deserve–even if it is to lose.

  • Respectfully, Dakota Kai. (Good thing the ring and surrounding area is heated)
  • Not gonna lie, Jade looks nervous. But this is a six-woman tag, and her portion is likely highly choreographed. Gonna be all good.
  • As I watch and enjoy the match (but am not typing much lol), this seems like a match where we’re all just waiting for Jade to come in and win.
  • No one has told Jade about the tag ropes yet, apparently.
  • And now Jade is in, and Damage CTRL makes her look like a million bucks.
  • Dakota Kai nicely gets herself into position for the finish, and Jade gets her WrestleMania win.

Winners via pinfall (Jade on Dakota): Jade Cargill, Naomi, & Bianca Belair

We knew what this one was about going into it, and that’s what it should have been. Jade still ain’t ready. I know it might be an “ego hit” for her to go to NXT, but she needs it. If Giulia can go to NXT, so can Jade.

Intercontinental Championship – Sami Zayn vs. GUNTHER (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Sami Zayn pulls off the major upset and is the one to dethrone Gunther

Gunther has had a stranglehold on the Intercontinental Championship, defending it like crazy in 2023 but slowing that down here in 2024. It’s not fair to say he’s outgrown the title, but that might actually be the case. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens with Imperium leading up to the draft, and at the WWE Draft itself.

  • Sami Zayn was the perfect wrestler to have their journey form backstage to the ring followed by the cameras. From his family to Chad Gable to Kevin Owens, it was all so perfect–maybe too perfect? (Not in that someone will screw him, but in that it might be too heavily foreshadowing his win?)
  • Gunther looked oddly nervous standing on that stage.
  • You know, the Intercontinental Championship is basically a third world title at this point. And we could see the end of a legendary reign. I think this deserved the Samantha Irvin In-Ring Introductions (aka “Japan Style”) treatment.
  • Gunther is smiling confidently now, we’re good.
  • Crowd is ON FIRE for these guys (and evenly split with their chants for each guy).
  • This is the 21st time the Intercontinental championship is defended at WrestleMania, and it makes you wonder what in the hell they were thinking for the other 11.
  • Looks like Dude Wipes is back on the ringpost!
  • Hell of a nearfall, followed up by a Helluva Kick from Gunthcr, and one from Sami!
  • That finish….AMAZING.

Winner via pinfall, AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn

The athletes… the moments… the storytelling… professional wrestling is such a beautiful business. Sami Zayn’s win over Gunther was everything I had hoped it would be when I picked Sami to win. Absolutely beautiful.

Cody Rhodes & World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. The Rock & Undisputed WWE Champion Roman Reigns

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Seth & Cody get the win after tons of interference and surprise appearances, making Roman vs Cody on Sunday a match where The Bloodline is banned from ringside.

So much involved in this one. As you know, If Rock & Roman win, Sunday’s WWE Championship match will be held under Bloodline Roles. If Seth & Cody win, then that mach will see ZERO Bloodline involvement. Personally, if Cody is winning the title, I’d rather it be straight up. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I am wrong.

  • Honestly, after the introductions, I realized I was just watching!
  • This was very much Steve Austin vs The Rock inspired, with them fighting all over the stadium, and pushing the envelope.
  • I loved The Rock basically neutering the referee–normally I hate that, but here it works.
  • That finish and the condition of Rollins both lay perfectly into night 2, I would imagine.

Winners via Rock pinfall on Rhodes: The Rock & Roman Reigns

Per rule, Sunday’s main event will now be Bloodline Rules. And given that, my prediction of Roman retaining might be harder to pull off. This was a good return for The Rock, and perfectly played into the whole story. Job well done.

Greg DeMarco’s Overall Thoughts for WWE WrestleMania XL, Saturday (Night 1)

in a vacuum, this was  highly enjoyable show. Night 2 might end up being legendary if both Bayley and Rhodes win, and it could overshadow Night 1. But the scene was fantastic, production was top notch as always, and the fans went home having enjoyed one for the ages. The Triple H Era s well underway, and will likely kick into a higher gear with Night 2.

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