In past interviews I’ve done, I’ve talked to someone whom I feel is more knowledgable on a topic than I, but in this case, I feel as though I’m speaking to someone who is on the same level of knowledge about Wrestlemania 26 that I have, but when it comes to Mr. Yamada, I respect the heck out of his perspective.
Thanks for sitting and talking with me today, the morning after a great night of Wrestlemania action.
Not a problem, a lot of stuff happened last night and while I didn’t watch it I can certainly see a lot of the ripples that have been created after such an eventful night.
And that’s really the aspect that I’d like to take in this article, the ripple after-effects and whatnot. Firstly, were you surprised to hear that there was actually a World Tag Team Championship match happening on the pay per view broadcast?
Not really, I believe the past two Raws and some of the SmackDown episodes were hyping it. One of the things about that match, however, was Morrison and Truth just didn’t have a chance. Even though ShowMiz were putting them over… personally I couldn’t realistically see Morrison and Truth, Truth and Wisdom, to really actually be Tag Team Champions. They were smashed together at the last second and just… no believeability in their winning the titles.
Given the other things which transpired at Wrestlemania, could it have been more fitting for The Hart Dynasty to have lost to ShowMiz instead?
I’d just like to see the Hart Dynasty pushed to the point where they have a legitimate match at Wrestlemania and not have to be hired hands. But, it seems like someone backstage isn’t THAT high on the Hart Dynasty and given how little airtime they’ve gotten…Morrison and Truth were probably the better marquee build for Wrestlemania. Also, Hart Dynasty vs. ShowMiz would have been heel team vs. heel team so it wouldn’t have been as over with the fans.
That’s a valid point, I just can’t help but think that maybe another team would’ve been a better option than Morrison and Truth. Do you think those two have much of a future together in the division, or do you believe they’ll part ways here?
I actually HOPE they part ways here, it’s just an awkward team in general. They had no real reason to be put together and Morrison is a much better singles wrestler anyway. R-Truth is just kinda that mid-card guy that no one really cares about. As far as a better team…I can’t even name another face tag team that could have gone for it. Most of the teams now are heel anyway so I think Truth and Wisdom served their purpose as a face team with DX now being defunct.
So unless a new team is born in the coming weeks, you’re at a loss for options as to whom the WWE would give a title shot to at Extreme Rules pay per view?
Pretty much, I mean chances are Truth and Wisdom will want a rematch and they’ll just repackage the Wrestlemania match, but after that…I really am at a loss for who could really put up a solid program against ShowMiz unless something new is born OR a team switches allignment. I’d like to say the Straight Edge Society but, again, it would be heel against heel so it wouldn’t really draw all that well and Punk seems to have a budding feud with Mysterio anyway.
What of a potential pairing of Christian Cage and Edge as a huge boost to the tag team division?
I think the potential is always there but for some reason WWE doesn’t want to capitalize on it. I think one of the problems is that Vince doesn’t see Christian as a main event guy, but he does see Edge as a main eventer that should hold the World Title or at least be chasing it. I think they feel that putting Edge with Christian would be a waste of Edge’s main event status since it would be used on the tag division instead of big time main events. Plus, right now I don’t see the Edge and Jericho program ending for at least another couple PPV cycles, especially after Edge’s attack on Jericho after the match.
The second match of the evening was a triple threat match involving Randy Orton and his two former proteges from Legacy: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Now, Randy Orton was certainly the most high profile competitor in that match, so most fans were expecting he would be the victor, which was the case. However, I’m not entirely sure it was the right course of action for WWE to go. Do you think they missed an opportunity, or did the right guy win?
For this moment I think they went with the right guy because they’re trying to get Orton over as kind of a vicious face character, but not a heel. I could see how Dibiase winning would have been a feel good moment since his father was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it looked like WWE REALLY wants to get over the fact that Orton isn’t quite heel…but also not quite a face. Plus, I think Legacy got put over well enough for the build to Wrestlemania so they still come out looking alright and Orton still has that tweener/anti-hero vibe to him.
Do you believe that Ted DiBiase or Cody Rhodes are ready for a push in a singles division, or are they still needing some seasoning in the tag team division?
DiBiase looks like he is ready for a push into the singles division but I’m not so sure about Cody. DiBiase has looked really solid in the few singles matches he has had and even in tag matches when he is in the ring he just seems…he seems ready to fly on his own. Cody, however, I don’t know if it’s his character or just his skragly skinny frame…he still comes across like some young kid who just isn’t ready yet.
Out of everyone whose opinion I solicited regarding the outcome of the Money In The Bank ladder match, not a single person predicted that “The All American American” Jack Swagger would be the one to retrieve the briefcase and get the guaranteed championship opportunity. How shocked were you by that outcome?
Incredibly shocked, mostly because not long ago he was jobbing to Santino right before the Royal Rumble and now he’s winning a shot at a championship belt. I’m not sure how much I like this move because this could have been that moment that they made Christian a credible main eventer instead of just “that guy from ECW”. Plus, if Christian wins he could have done one of two things depending on how the Jericho/Edge match turned out. For one he could have rekindled his rivalry with Jericho from Wrestlemania…20 (?) where he stole Trish Stratus from him. Or if Edge won well…I don’t think I need to explain that much further. However, with Swagger…I can’t see him beating either champion or even making that much of an impact on the Main Event scene. He’s been such a nonfactor for so long that it’s just a weird thing to do, almost like WWE wanted to have a swerve for the sake of having a swerve.
I totally agree on Christian Cage having been a much better choice. I loved the potential of seeing he and Edge rekindle their friendship with the briefcase adding a source of tension to the relationship, with Edge constantly looking over his shoulder (had he won the belt – now or in the future) and Edge being somewhat jealous of Christian given that Jericho retained. I could see Jack Swagger as a decent opponent for either Edge or John Cena, given that they play him up to be a great wrestler with some decent power. I’m unsure of my history, but I believe this could be the first year where the Money In The Bank winner fails to win the championship for which they cash in their title opportunity. Agree?
If we’re being really technical it’s the second time, since Ken Kennedy won the Money in the Bank but, like an idiot, put it up for grabs in a match with Edge and lost his shot. But, yeah, I think this could be one of those years where the Money in the Bank winner fails to win the title. Swagger just isn’t ready for a world title. I mean I give him all the credit in the world for being a great wrestler, but he just isn’t ready for the main event yet. He’s been jobbing so hard that it’s just impossible to believe that he could somehow beat Cena or Jericho clean…or even not clean.
Given the way Sheamus was treated through the entirety of his championship reign and then afterwards, was there any doubt in your mind that Triple H was going to defeat Sheamus?
Yes, in fact I was predicting Sheamus would beat Triple H. Mostly because Triple H has been known to put guys over at Mania and everyone knows that Triple H and Sheamus are buddy buddy. There was a thought that, since he was practically invisible during his title reign, Triple H would put him over and really give him some main event credibility. I did watch a post match interview with Triple H on WWE.com and Triple H was giving Sheamus the verbal tugjob as he compared Sheamus to not only himself but the Rock AND Stone Cold.
That’s some lofty praise, and while I’m unsure if Sheamus deserves it or not, only time will tell. It’s a safe statement to say that Rey Mysterio and C.M. Punk are in very different points in their careers. Were it up to you to make the decision, would you have given Rey Mysterio the victory at Wrestlemania?
A part of me says yes because I think the innocent Rey Mysterio being in the Straight Edge Society would have been an interesting dynamic because Rey wouldn’t want to fight for CM Punk but… he’s such an honorable person that he’d have to and it would create a pretty awesome dynamic with a face acting like a heel because he has to.
It might’ve provided an interesting dynamic between C.M. Punk / Rey Mysterio and the individual whom Punk serves as a “mentor” to on NXT.
I don’t think Punk has been seen with his rookie outside of an NXT show. I know Jericho actually used his rookie Wade Barret to help him get the upperhand on Edge a few weeks ago, but it seems to me like Punk is trying to distance himself from his rookie as much as possible.
I suppose you’re right, it might be such a small factor that it wouldn’t / shouldn’t play a role into the decision making. I don’t believe anyone would have predicted an alternate outcome for Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon. Do you think Bret Hart will continue on with WWE in any type of on-screen role?
I seriously doubt Bret Hart will continue on with the WWE, he just seems really tired and the whole reason Bret came back was to get a little bit of closure and absolution. He got that with Shawn and the whole build to Mania was Bret finally getting retribution on Vince and now that he got it…no real reason for him to stick around.
Personally I’d like to see him as an authority figure on either RAW or Smackdown, possibly even interacting with some of the rookies on NXT.
I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around, but I just don’t think he will. From the story standpoint I can’t see Vince allowing it to happen after everything that went down and like I said, Bret just looks tired and like he’s ready to just enjoy the rest of his life in comfort without all the travelling and what not.
I suppose I’m just looking for any piece of hope I can find that Bret might stick around. Given time constraints, we may as well not continue talking about that, though. Was it a shock to you that Edge wasn’t able to take the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho last night?
Somewhat, I thought Jericho had a good chance because the last few shows they were REALLY putting over the fact that Jericho could practically smell when a spear was coming and Edge’s whole deal was, “I can spear you at any time or place.” Also, it seems like WWE is trying to start a trend where it’s not a guarantee that the Royal Rumble winner will win whatever title he goes for. Last year Orton won the Rumble and he failed to take the title from Triple H at Wrestlemania so… who knows.
I’m certain that everyone agrees that Jericho and Edge will meet again this year, likely to be SummerSlam unless they decide to wait for Survivor Series. I’m not sure if you heard, but prior to the Wrestlemania broadcast, a 26 Man Battle Royal was held, and apparently the two men who made the most of it were Zack Ryder and the eventual winner of the match – Yoshi Tatsu. Do those names surprise you as the final two in the match?
For a pre-show battle royal those names don’t really surprise me. Before ECW went down the drain they were really putting Tatsu over as a legitimate threat to the ECW Champion Christian and Ryder as well was being put over quite a bit. So, to see them have a good showing and even winning wasn’t a huge shock to me.
The one thing I do see about that match result is that Ezekiel Jackson wasn’t in the final two, which might signal the end of his push.
Though it wasn’t really advertised, Wrestlemania 26 featured a Ten Diva Tag Match, which was essentially used to further the alliance of Vickie Guerrero with the pairing of Michelle McCool and Layla El. Would WWE have been better served to use that time for a title defense of either the Women’s Champion and/or the Diva’s Champion? They’re both lovely ladies who are very marketable, and yet they comprised 20% of the competitors in that match.
I don’t think it matters, the Diva’s division is so bad right now that there isn’t anything they can do to help it. It probably would have been better to have a Diva/Women’s Title match but…it just doesn’t matter, it’s such a joke of a division that we all know the only reason we watch at all is because of how hot Maryse is.
They are just shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to those two divisions, however. They have some talented women wrestlers, they just aren’t utilizing them.
Despite some of the best mic work I’ve ever seen from Batista in the weeks leading up to the match, John Cena was victorious at Wrestlemania 26 in taking the WWE World Title from Batista. Was it the right move? Do you think Batista will suffer greatly from no longer holding the championship belt?
I thought Cena winning was a TERRIBLE move. Don’t get me wrong, I get that Cena makes them a shitload of money but…this was such a bad move. Batista has had one of the best heel personas in the business these last few months and, really, what was the point of even giving Batista the title from Cena just to have Cena win it back? I mean, what has Cena been doing besides getting killed by Batista? I imagine that is exactly what’s going to happen going into Extreme Rules. Batista will crush Cena and ambush him until Extreme Rules and then probably somehow still manage to retain without any real character development from him. He’s the same stale Cena he’s been for the last ten years.
I saw so much more potential for Batista to help elevate other faces to the main event level – Kofi Kingston, MVP, Christian, Ted DiBiase… even if none of them actually defeated Batista, they would look more credible simply by being in a World Title match against him. If we had more time, I’m sure we could talk much more on this topic.
Was there ever any doubt in your mind that Undertaker would continue his undefeated streak at Wrestlemania, given the high price Shawn Michaels was set to pay?
I thought that if it was gonna happen…this would have to be the year it was done. Not only was Shawn’s career on the line but he seemed to really have Taker’s number this time around. No matter what happened it always seemed like Shawn came out on top. Plus, it was the second try so… if it was going to happen it was going to happen this year. So, I think the streak will remain for as long as the Undertaker remains in the WWE.
I couldn’t agree more. I wanted Undertaker to keep his streak in tact and I’ve always felt as though Shawn Michaels would be the wrong person to break the streak if it were going to happen, as he doesn’t need the “rub” to add to his credibility or to help him get to the Hall of Fame.
That said, I do believe we’re out of time, but I appreciate you sitting with me to discuss last night’s flagship event.
Anytime, it was a pleasure.
The co-author of this article, the interviewee, goes by the username CMAXDKY.