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'Rassle Dazzle: A Wrestlemania Recap

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 7 Apr 2014 16:00
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Match IV: John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

And now, the customary (if tiresome) feeding of a love-to-hate new heel to Cena, whose appeal I've never really understood. Don't tell anyone from Massachusetts I said that...

The angle is good, at least. The Wyatt Family are a backwoods apocalyptic cult that seem to be inspired by Rob Zombie movies, though now they look eerily predictive of True Detective. Their leader Bray is fixated on tearing down Cena's All-American Golden Boy stature because... he's evil, basically. The important thing is that Bray is a great performer (his taunt, twisting into a Linda Blair "spider-walk" pose, is unnerving as hell) and staging Cena as square-jawed Boy Scout against cartoonish evil almost makes him interesting.

To my happy surprise, this turns out to be a "narrative-driven match," which we see too few of these days. Said narrative: Wyatt tries to tempt Cena into fighting dirty and thus becoming "like him." It's preposterously silly in execution, but it's my kind of cheese: Cena is a terrible actor, and his version of "moral anguish" as whether or not to brain Wyatt with steel steps is a riot. At the climax, Wyatt hands him a chair and drops to his knees Emperor Palpatine "Strike me down with all your hatred!"-style, but Cena goes for the clean win - this won't be the evening's obligatory "sad ending."

That came next.

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