Our Favorite Matches Of The Pandemic Era

July 2021 is a big month for professional wrestling. WWE and AEW are returning to live touring. Impact Wrestling and Ring Of Honor are welcoming back live fans for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somehow, professional wrestling survived more than a year of uncertainty, lockdowns and empty arenas.

The Wrestling Mayhem Show wanted to celebrate the wrestlers and the other creative minds who helped us get through the past year and a half. Here are some favorite matches of our hosts, guests and listeners from the “Pandemic Era” – the period of time that began in the middle of March 2020 and stretched into July 2021.

Mayhem Mania 2021: Patreon In The Bank

It must be Mayhem Mania season!

Every year, we bring together fans, wrestlers and other folks. Our goal is to construct the BEST WrestleMania card that’s currently possible. Everyone under a WWE contract is eligible to use, as are those who are within the orbit of WWE’s influence. If Vince McMahon can do it, we can do it!

If you’re just tuning in, here’s how we got to this point.
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Opening Round
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 1
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 2
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 3
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 4
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 5
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 6
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 7
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 8
Mayhem Mania 2021 – Round 9

There are two “tiers” to Mayhem Mania. The 8-match “undercard”, where our players create and make changes to matches, and the SUPERCARD. To reach the SUPERCARD, a match must survive three rounds on the “undercard” without being altered in any way, but that changes in our final round – Patreon In The Bank.

With no more time to wait on matches to GRADUATE, we invite the Patreon supporters of the Wrestling Mayhem Show into the final round of Mayhem Mania, imbue them with the authority to make massive changes to our card and enjoy the pandemonium. Some Patreons were granted the authority to imprison and even FREE individuals from SPACE JAIL! Here’s what it looked like heading into Patreon In The Bank.

SPACE JAIL Tickets can also be earned when a match GRADUATES. The creator of the match gets that reward. In addition, the match creator gets to hand out a dose of “punishment” to another player. Our friend Chad The Shad created a board of random numbers and letters which concealed the names of individuals that the “punished” player would be forced to use.

With only ONE match on our SUPER CARD heading into the Patreon In The Bank round, we had to GRADUATE seven matches! Here’s the record of how it all went down.

Patreon #1: Alex Kahrs (Manager Level Patreon)
– FREE Billie Kay from SPACE JAIL
– SWAP Cameron Grimes for Reckoning
– ADD STIPULATION “WeeLC” to Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango & RJ City
– AUTO-GRADUATE Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango & RJ City to the SUPER CARD
– SEND T-Bar to SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduated match for Bobbyfjtown
    – CREATE THE DEMON Finn Balor vs. Aleister Black vs. THE FIEND Bray Wyatt
    – PUNISHED Mad Mike (*Jinder Mahal randomly selected)

Patreon #2: Mad Mike (Manager Level Patreon)
– FREE Peyton Royce from SPACE JAIL
– SEND Bad Bunny to SPACE JAIL
– SWAP Karrion Kross for Jinder Mahal
– ADD STIPULATION: “TLC” to Hurt Business vs. New Day vs. Street Profits vs. The Usos
– AUTO-GRADUATE Rhea Ripley vs. Trish Stratus to the SUPER CARD

  • REWARDS for graduated match for Mad Mike
    – SEND Jaxson Ryker to SPACE JAIL
    – CREATE The IIconics vs. Bella Twins
    – PUNISHED Bobbyfjtown (*Roderick Strong randomly selected)

Patreon #3: D.P. (Poppy Club Level Patreon)
– DELETE Randy Orton vs. Papa Shango and CREATE Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs. Bayley & Carmella
– ADD STIPULATION: “Tank On A Pole Match” to Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs. Bayley & Carmella

Patreon #4: Bobbyfjtown (Manager Level Patreon)
– SWAP THE FIEND Bray Wyatt for Karrion Kross
– AUTO-GRADUATE THE DEMON Finn Balor vs. Aleister Black vs. Karrion Kross
– ADD STIPULATION: “Grave Consequences” to THE DEMON Finn Balor vs. Aleister Black vs. Karrion Kross
– FREE Edge from SPACE JAIL
– SEND Bobby Fish to SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduating match for Bobbyfjtown
    – CREATE Roderick Strong vs. Cameron Grimes
    – PUNISHED Farnsworth (*JBL randomly selected)
    – SEND King Corbin to SPACE JAIL

Patreon #5: Doc Remedy (Pizza Club Level Patreon)
– DELETE Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano vs. AJ Lee & CM Punk and CREATE Dexter Lumis vs. King Corbin
– SEND CM Punk to SPACE JAIL
– ADD SPECIAL ENFORCER Edge to Hurt Business vs. New Day vs. Street Profits vs. The Usos

Patreon #6: Tina Keys (Manager Level Patreon)
– FREE Asuka from SPACE JAIL
– SWAP Jinder Mahal for Drew McIntyre
– ADD STIPULATION: “Hell Of War” to Drew McIntyre vs. Triple H
– AUTO-GRADUATE Drew McIntyre vs. Triple H to the SUPER CARD
– SEND Natalya to SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduating match for Tina Keys
    – CREATE Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Ricochet
    – SEND Nia Jax to SPACE JAIL
    – PUNISHED: Bo Diggity (*Michael Cole randomly selected)

Patreon #7: The Rizz (Manager Level Patreon)
– FREE Pat McAfee from SPACE JAIL
– DELETE Dexter Lumis vs. King Corbin and CREATE R-Truth & John Cena vs. Pat McAfee & Malcolm Bivens
– AUTO-GRADUATE R-Truth & John Cena vs. Pat McAfee & Malcolm Bivens to the SUPER CARD
– ADD STIPULATION: “Punjabi Prison Match” to Xavier Woods vs. Reckoning
– SEND Mace to SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduating match for The Rizz
    – CREATE Adam Cole vs. Asuka
    – PUNISHED: Farnsworth (*Maryse randomly selected)
    – SEND Slapjack to SPACE JAIL

Patreon #8: Farnsworth via proxy: Mainstream Matt (Manager Level Patreon)
– DELETE Roderick Strong & Cameron Grimes and CREATE Maryse & The Miz vs. JBL & Ron Simmons
– AUTO-GRADUATE Xavier Woods vs. Reckoning to the SUPER CARD
– FREE Bad Bunny from SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduating match for Alex Kahrs
    – CREATE Bad Bunny vs. Pitbull
    – SEND Flo Rida to SPACE JAIL
    – PUNISHED: Bo Diggity (*Scarlett randomly selected)

Patreon #9: Kyle Turner via proxy: Sorgatron (Pizza Club Level Patreon)
– ADD Bart Gunn to Adam Cole vs. Asuka
– ADD STIPULATION: “Lion’s Den Match” to Adam Cole vs. Asuka vs. Bart Gunn
– SEND Sammy Guevara to SPACE JAIL

Patreon #10: Bo Diggity (Manager Level Patreon)
– KILL The IIconics vs. Bella Twins and CREATE Michael Cole vs. Scarlett
– ADD STIPULATION: “Submission Match” to Michael Cole vs. Scarlett
– AUTO-GRADUATE Keith Lee vs. Cesaro vs. Pete Dunne vs. WALTER to the SUPER CARD
– SEND Undertaker to SPACE JAIL

  • REWARDS for graduating match for Chad The Shad
    – SEND Tom Phillips to SPACE JAIL
    – CREATE Mick Foley & Piper Niven vs. Robert Stone & Drake Maverick vs. Indi Hartwell & A-Train
    – ADD SPECIAL REFEREE: Rikishi to Mick Foley & Piper Niven vs. Robert Stone & Drake Maverick vs. Indi Hartwell & A-Train
    – ADD SPECIAL ENFORCER Jamie Noble to Mick Foley & Piper Niven vs. Robert Stone & Drake Maverick vs. Indi Hartwell & A-Train

The work is done and we have successfully elevated eight matches onto our Mayhem Mania SUPER CARD!

MAYHEM MANIA 2021 SUPERCARD

Raquel Gonzalez vs. Beth Phoenix
(Created by Tina Keys)

WeeLC!
Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango & RJ City

(Created by Bobbyfjtown)

Trish Stratus vs. Rhea Ripley
(Created by Mad Mike)

Grave Consequences
Aleister Black vs. Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross

(Created by Bobbyfjtown)

“War Of Hell” Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Triple H

(*Designated as “cinematic match”)
(Created by Tina Keys)

Malcolm Bivens & Pat McAfee vs. R-Truth & John Cena
(Created by The Rizz)

Punjabi Prison Match!
Xavier Woods vs. Reckoning

(Created by Alex Kahrs)

Keith Lee vs. Cesaro vs. Pete Dunne vs. WALTER
(Created by Chad The Shad)

We also have eight matches on our “undercard”. We’ll hold a vote on the Wrestling Mayhem Show Facebook group to determine which one will be part of the Mayhem Mania pre-show!

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Ricochet
(Created by Tina Keys)

Bad Bunny vs. Pitbull
(Created by Alex Kahrs)

Piper Niven & Mick Foley vs. Robert Stone & Drake Maverick vs. Indi Hartwell & A-Train
(Special Guest Referee: Rikishi)
(Special Guest Enforcer: Jamie Noble)

(Created by Chad The Shad)

Submission Match!
Michael Cole vs. Scarlett

(Created by Bo Diggity)

Maryse & The Miz vs. JBL & Ron Simmons
(Created by Farnsworth via his proxy: Mainstream Matt)

Lion’s Den Match!
Asuka vs. Adam Cole vs. Bart Gunn
(Created by Kyle Turner via his proxy: Sorgatron)

Tank On A Pole Match!
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon vs. Bayley & Carmella

(Created by D.P.)

TLC!
Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander vs. Kofi Kingston & Big E vs. Street Profits vs. The Usos
(Special Guest Enforcer: Edge)

(Created by Chris Taylor)

*UPDATE (4/3/2021): Due to unforeseen circumstances, Patreon Kyle Turner was unable to participate in Patreon In The Bank. To show our appreciation for his support, we invited him to add a match to our “undercard”. So, for one week only, we have nine matches on the “undercard”.

“ECW-Style” 4-Way Dance!
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Ilja Dragunov

(Created by Kyle Turner)

During the round, our Patreon supporters also had opportunities to book guests for the first-ever Mayhem Mania WAP (Watch Along Party). They’ll join Faye Jackson, who was the first to be booked weeks ago.

We ended up with a very eclectic guest list:
– Bad Bunny (Alex Kahrs)
– David Arquette (Mad Mike)
– Cardi B (D.P.)
– Meghan Thee Stallion (Bobbyfjtown)
– Iron Sheik (Doc Remedy)
– Josiah Williams (Tina Keys)
– The Great Khali (The Rizz)
– MV Young (Sorg)
– The IIconics (Bo Diggity)
– Nicki Minaj (Chad)

Even more guests will be added following Friday’s episode of TALKING Mayhem Mania!

The final inmate count on SPACE JAIL is:
– T-Bar
– Sammy Guevara
– Jaxson Ryker
– Charlotte Flair
– Lacey Evans
– Flo Rida
– Dominik Mysterio
– CM Punk
– Natalya
– Brock Lesnar
– Bobby Fish
– Undertaker
– Nia Jax
– King Corbin
– Mace
– Velveteen Dream
– Austin Theory
– Slapjack
– Tom Phillips

So there you have it, Mayhem Mania 2021 is in the books. As usual, it was a sometimes messy process, but in the end we got a really solid SUPER CARD. Thanks to everyone who played and everyone who followed along this year!

Wrestling Mayhem Show 709: Cinematic Mania

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on Broadway, and Sidekick Media Services.

It’s WrestleMania Quarantine Hangover digesting the weekend, including:

  • We talk about WrestleMania!
  • What does Mad Mike and Mike Quackenbush think of “Full Sports Entertainment”?
  • We talk Firefly Funhouse and Bonyard Match
  • The pros and cons of limited All Elite Wrestling Dynamite tapings
  • What does it take for Heath Slater to become the WWE Champion?
  • Big Question: What match, past or future, would you like to receive the cinematic treatment
  • Early thoughts on The Big Show Show on Netflix
  • What did you learn from pro wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Ronnie Starks (@starkswrestling), Sorg (@Sorgatron),  and Mad Mike (@MadMike4883)

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)
**A special shout out to our Manager Level Patreon supporters Occupy Pro Wrestling (@power2thesmarks), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Farnsworth Investments (@jworth)**
You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow! Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!
Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network. For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.
Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.
Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and videos

Wrestling Mayhem Show 708: What the Mania?

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on Broadway, and Sidekick Media Services.

“One Cool Cat” Justin Idol and his cool cats join the show as we get back to the wrestling chat, including:

  • Justin Idol isn’t up on WWE, so we play, WrestleMania or Mayhem Mania with the matches!
  • What are we excited about in this peculiar pre-taped empty arena stage for WrestleMania
  • We chat with Idol about the new social media efforts for Renegade Wrestling Alliance and trying to use Tik Tok
  • Big Question: What wrestler would you like to be quarantined with?  (don’t be creepy)
  • We touch base on the fallout from Mayhem Mania with Matt Carlins
  • What did you learn from pro wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Justin Idol, Ronnie Starks (@starkswrestling), Hotwheelz (@hotwheelzrwa) Sorg (@Sorgatron), Mainstream Matt (@MainstreamMat) and Mad Mike (@MadMike4883)

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)
**A special shout out to our Manager Level Patreon supporters Occupy Pro Wrestling (@power2thesmarks), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Farnsworth Investments (@jworth)**
You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow! Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!
Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network. For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.
Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.
Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and videos

What 5 Years Of Mayhem Mania Reveals About Our Changing Pro Wrestling Tastes

Over the past five years, the Wrestling Mayhem Show has celebrated the weeks leading up to WrestleMania with Mayhem Mania. It’s kind of a competitive thought experiment that challenges players to make the best WrestleMania matches possible. WWE’s pool of talent has been historically deep in recent years, and our goal is to demonstrate the full potential of their roster.

The ground rules are simple. Only the talents that WWE can realistically book for the real WrestleMania are eligible. Current injuries, contract statuses and other factors help us decide who can be booked. We start by creating an 8-match card. Over the weeks that follow, players make changes to the card, swapping individuals or event entirely new matches. As the weeks go by, some matches survive long enough to graduate to a permanent supercard, opening up room for new matches.

At its most basic, Mayhem Mania is a popularity contest. The matches created over its first 5 years are like a time capsule, revealing who fans wanted to see in the biggest matches on the biggest show of the year. But, as most of us know, the tastes of pro wrestling fans are fickle. A talent who is hot one year can cool off quickly. The name we’re all fighting to book in Mayhem Mania this year may not be mentioned in the next.

Over the first five years of Mayhem Mania, 220 different names have been used to create a wide variety of matches of varying levels of quality, but no name has been used more often than Finn Balor.

That’s 35 weeks when Balor has been booked in a match in Mayhem Mania. He’s been one of the most consistently used names over the past five years, something that will become even more impressive as we take a closer look at his history compared to other names.

Finn Balor

Although Balor’s usage was down slightly in 2019, a recent heel turn and well-received return to NXT sets the stage for a likely resurgence in 2020. Despite his ups and downs in WWE over the past five years, Balor has remained one of the most consistently popular personalities among fans.

It took a down year for the former holder of the top spot, Brock Lesnar, to open the door for Balor to claim it in 2019.

Brock Lesnar

In the 2019 edition of Mayhem Mania, Brock Lesnar was booked in a match just once. That’s an alarmingly sharp decline for a name that was among the most popular in Mayhem Mania. It will be interesting to see if Lesnar bounces back or remains on the sidelines.

Balor and Lesnar are among an exclusive group of eight individuals who have been booked in a match for at least one week during every year of Mayhem Mania.

  • Bray Wyatt
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Charlotte Flair
  • Daniel Bryan
  • Finn Balor
  • Roman Reigns
  • Sasha Banks
  • Triple H

Bray Wyatt‘s history in Mayhem Mania is probably what you’d expect. He was extremely popular from 2015-2017, but he barely made it into a match in 2018 and 2019.

Bray Wyatt

A lot has changed for Wyatt since the 2019 edition of Mayhem Mania. He’s now “The Fiend”, the WWE Champion, and more popular than ever in the eyes of many fans. A big bounce-back should be expected in 2020.

Among the “Five For Five” group, the most interesting name to me is Daniel Bryan. He spent a sizable portion of the past 5+ years retired from in-ring competition. Yet, somehow he kept finding his way into Mayhem Mania. Did we allow a little too much leeway in allowing our players to book a guy who wasn’t medically cleared by WWE? Maybe. It’s still a testament to Bryan’s enduring popularity and the hope fans always held onto that he would one day resume his in-ring career.

Daniel Bryan

As for the two women in this group, Charlotte Flair leads all female competitors with 23 weeks being booked in a match over the five years of Mayhem Mania.

* “Michelle” refers to Michelle McCool. “Stephanie” refers to Stephanie McMahon

Charlotte’s position on top may not be surprising, but she may not hold it for much longer. Despite being used in just the past four years, Asuka has nearly caught her. Also, a closer look at Charlotte’s history shows that her popularity has declined.

Charlotte Flair

As for Sasha Banks, she was popular during three of the first four years of Mayhem Mania, but her usage took a dramatic dip in 2019.

Sasha Banks

Now, let’s take a look at a slightly larger group – those who were booked in a match for at least one week during four of the first five years of Mayhem Mania. Included in parenthesis is the year they were not booked.

  • AJ Styles (2015)
  • Asuka (2015)
  • Bayley (2015)
  • Bo Dallas (2019)
  • Big E (2018)
  • Braun Strowman (2015)
  • Cesaro (2016)
  • Chris Jericho (2019)
  • Dash Wilder (2015)
  • Dean Ambrose (2018)
  • Eric Young (2015)
  • Harper (2017)
  • Jey Uso (2017)
  • Jimmy Uso (2017)
  • John Cena (2016)
  • Kevin Owens (2019)
  • Kofi Kingson (2018)
  • The Miz (2016)
  • Rowan (2017)
  • Rusev (2019)
  • Samoa Joe (2015)
  • Scott Dawson (2015)
  • Seth Rollins (2016)
  • Tommaso Ciampa (2015)
  • Undertaker (2019)
  • Xavier Woods (2018)

Some of the missed years are easily explained, and most deserve a place (with an asterisk) in the top tier list of those booked in all five years of Mayhem Mania. AJ Styles, Asuka, Eric Young, Samoa Joe and Tommaso Ciampa were not yet full-time competitors in WWE in 2015. Others were under contract with other organizations, meaning they were not eligible to be used. The absence of others in certain years is the result of them being off television due to injury: Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, John Cena and Rowan.

John Cena

Despite each missing a year, AJ Styles (31) and Cesaro (29) are not far behind Balor for the top spot on the list of all-time most booked names in Mayhem Mania. Styles has been a very popular name, but can he sustain that popularity? It’s easy to be doubtful after taking a closer look at his Mayhem Mania history.

AJ Styles

As for the reason why some other names are on the “4 Out Of 5 Years” list instead of the “5 Out Of 5” list…

Bayley was left out of the first edition of Mayhem Mania in 2015. She was still in NXT at the time, and was in the NXT Women’s Title picture for part of year. She competed in a fatal 4-way match for the championship in February 2015 at NXT TakeOver: Rival, but the best was yet to come. After Mayhem Mania 2015 concluded, “Peak Bayley” arrived with her championship victory at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August 2015. You can see the reaction. Bayley was a popular choice in Mayhem Mania in 2016. However, her popularity has eroded since then.

Bayley

Dash and Dawson were teaming regularly in 2015, but they were not yet The Revival. They won the NXT Tag Team Championships for the first time in November of 2015.

Braun Strowman was rarely seen in NXT. His popularity didn’t start to rise until he debuted on WWE’s main roster in August 2015. He’s been a fairly consistent choice in Mayhem Mania ever since.

Braun Strowman

Chris Jericho likely would’ve been booked again in 2019 if he hadn’t signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling. Over the first four years of Mayhem Mania, he was a reliable option for our players.

Kevin Owens returned from injury in time to be eligible for Mayhem Mania in 2019, but he was never booked. In 2018, he was booked only once. Owens was one of the most popular names in Mayhem Mania in 2017 and 2016. So, what changed? Early 2017 marked the end of Owens’ reign as WWE Universal Champion. That appeared to mark the beginning of his slide. Owens seems to be in a much better place in early 2020. Perhaps a comeback is in the cards?

Kevin Owens

Undertaker‘s absence in 2019 after appearing in the first four years of Mayhem Mania is clearly a sign that fans are less interested in seeing him perform in the ring.

Undertaker

Bo Dallas is an interesting case. Inexplicably, he was booked in at least one match during the first four years of Mayhem Mania. But in 2019, his slowing momentum came to a full stop and he was not mentioned once. The high point of his modest success was in 2017, when was booked in a match during three weeks of Mayhem Mania. During that time Dallas was still a member of The Social Outcasts.

Now, we’ll look at some of the one-year absences that are less easily explained.

The Usos not being booked in Mayhem Mania in 2017 is somewhat puzzling. They were newly crowned SmackDown Tag Team Champions in March of 2017. But the titles were not defended at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida. Instead, The Usos participated in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Just like WWE, the Mayhem Mania players couldn’t find anything interesting to do with The Usos.

Another tag team worth looking at is The New Day. All three members were left out entirely during the 2018 edition of Mayhem Mania. What makes this so unexpected is the fact that The New Day were still riding the wave of a hot feud with The Usos over the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The two teams were in a three-way match for the titles, with the Bludgeon Brothers as the third wheel, at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. For some reason, The New Day in early 2018 wasn’t what the Mayhem Mania players were looking for.

In early 2016, The Miz was the WWE Intercontinental Champion, but he wasn’t capturing the imagination of the Mayhem Mania players. Perhaps WWE sensed that as well. After seeing Zack Ryder win the IC Title at WrestleMania 32, The Miz teamed up on-screen with his real-life wife Maryse to reclaim the title the following night on Raw. The addition to The Miz’ act worked. He’s been booked in every year of Mayhem Mania since then.

The Miz

Rusev is a sad case. He was booked in the first four years of Mayhem Mania. His popularity and the “Rusev Day” phenomenon made him one of the hottest names heading into WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans in 2018. But Rusev’s star faded not long after that. In 2019, he wasn’t booked in a single Mayhem Mania match. His Mayhem Mania history is an uneven pattern. Rusev has been a big part of Raw recently. Maybe he’ll bounce back again.

Rusev

Luke Harper‘s absence in 2017 may be the most baffling omission of all. During the months leading up to WrestleMania 33, you could argue he was having the biggest run of his career. He was in the middle of a long-simmering Wyatt Family breakup story line involving Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. At the 2017 Royal Rumble, Harper turned on both Wyatt and Orton. He followed that up with some memorable in-ring encounters with AJ Styles. Unfortunately, it didn’t resonate with the Mayhem Mania players in 2017. Harper’s name wasn’t used a single time. For all his hard work, something about Harper’s run didn’t click with us or WWE. He found himself in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33.

So, we’ve been able to pinpoint a good amount of names that started hot in the early years of Mayhem Mania before fading. Now, let’s try to find some “Ones To Watch”. There’s a group of names that have burst onto the scene and surged in popularity over the recent years of Mayhem Mania.

  • Ricochet: 14 weeks booked over the last 2 years
  • Aleister Black: 12 weeks booked over the last 2 years
  • Velveteen Dream: 12 weeks booked over the last 2 years
  • Nikki Cross: 9 weeks booked over the last 3 years
  • Johnny Gargano:  8 weeks booked over the last 3 years

There’s another group that made a big splash in their Mayhem Mania debuts in 2019.

  • Io Shirai: 7 weeks
  • Zelina Vega: 7 weeks
  • Ali: 6 weeks
  • Rhea Ripley: 6 weeks
  • Lio Rush: 5 weeks
  • Walter: 5 weeks

Io Shirai and Zelina Vega both benefited from being attached to a trios tag team match booked in 2019 that included The IIconics on one side and Asuka and Kairi Sane on the other. To me, their popularity individually is still something that needs to be proven in Mayhem Mania.

On the other hand, Ali and Rhea Ripley made far bigger impressions during Mayhem Mania 2019. Both kept finding their way into matches. Since the 2019 edition of Mayhem Mania, Ripley’s stardom has grown dramatically. She won the NXT Women’s Championship in December 2019. I’m proud to say we were on her bandwagon nearly a year earlier.

As for Ali, his momentum feels like it’s stalled since the early part of 2019, when he was orbiting the WWE Championship picture. We’ll see if the Mayhem Mania players remember him in 2020.

There are many more names we could break down. Producer Missy and Mad Mike deserve a ton of credit for helping to bring all the Mayhem Mania data together and organize it into spreadsheets. It’s really interesting to look at years of data and the trends that emerge. But as I mentioned earlier, this is pro wrestling. No one knows for sure what fans and our Mayhem Mania players will want to see in 2020.

 

Wrestling Mayhem Show 652: Babyface Batista

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on BroadwayOccupy Pro Wrestling, and Professor Buzzkill!

Marcus Mann joins the mayhem this week, which means it’s likely we’ll be talking very little wrestling and a bunch of John Cena.  Thankfully we have Larry, Matt, Rizz, Mad Mike, and Sorg to keep the show rolling as we discuss:

  • We have Marcus Mann on the show – the guy who hasn’t watched wrestling since September?
  • Welcome to the Young Justice episode?
  • Marcus Mann is sharing some thoughts on Brock Lesnar and Brock-being-Brock.
  • Anytime Marcus Mann watches a wrestling match, he has some psychology assessments thanks to Shirley Doe.
  • Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar are there for particular reasons in WWE. They are in a category of their own.
  • Liking our discussion about intergender wrestling? Join us for our panel.
  • Randy Orton walks a line all the time.
  • This is the time in the show when Marcus Mann tells us how amazing John Cena is.
  • Marcus Mann is not a fan of skinny Cena.
  • With Patreon in the Bank looming, we’re looking to see if Marcus Mann can book a MayhemMania match WITHOUT John Cena (if someone uses an eliminator).
  • It’s MayhemMania time. We can’t wait to see what our crew books this week!
  • What did YOU learn in wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Larry (@MutilatorLarry), Matt (@MainstreamMat), Marcus Mann (@MarcusMannBHS), Sorg (@Sorgatron), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883) and Rizz (@TheeRizz)

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

 

 

Mayhem Mania 2019: Round 1

This. is. Mayhem Mania!

Not quite a game. Not really a contest. More like a competitive thought experiment. The object is to create the best WrestleMania card possible – NOT necessarily to predict what WWE will do.

This is not fantasy booking. It’s more like reality booking. Any match created must have at least a chance of happening in this year’s WrestleMania. That means all wrestlers come in their current physical, emotional and contractual state. Anyone selected for a match must have a reasonable chance of being hired by WWE to appear on the real-life WrestleMania card. 

Simply put, you’re Vince McMahon with infinite cash and no self-control.


For those of you who are just joining us, here’s where you can catch up on Mayhem Mania 2019: Opening Round

Round 1 of Mayhem Mania 2019 was held during the Wrestling Mayhem Show on Tuesday, January 29. 5 people were invited to each make a single change to our existing card of 8 matches. Here’s how it went down.


 

Move 1 (by Larry)
DELETE Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe and CREATE Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley

Move 2 (by Mad Mike)
DELETE Pete Dunne vs. Drew McIntyre and CREATE EC3 vs. John Cena

Move 3 (by Tina Keys)
DELETE KUSHIDA vs. Lio Rush and CREATE Sanity vs. Gallus

Move 4 (by Jen Carlins)
ADD Dean Ambrose to Braun Strowman vs. Tyler Bate vs. Cesaro

Move 5 (by Beastman)
DELETE Ricochet vs. Shane Strickland and CREATE Drew McIntyre vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Samoa Joe

With Round 2 now in the books, here are the 5 newly created matches on our card.

Braun Strowman vs. Tyler Bate vs. Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose
(Created by Jen Carlins)
week2-1
EC3 vs. John Cena
(Created by Mad Mike)
week2-2
Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley
(Created by Larry)
week2-3
Drew McIntyre vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Samoa Joe
(Created by Beastman)
week2-4
Sanity vs. Gallus
(Created by Tina Keys)
week2-5

And here are the 3 matches that survived Round 1 without being altered in any way.

ELIAS VS. VELVETEEN DREAM
(CREATED BY SORGATRON)
WEEK1-2

 

MUSTAFA ALI VS. DJZ
(CREATED BY ALEX KAHRS)
WEEK1-4
TRISH STRATUS VS. ALEXA BLISS
(CREATED BY PRODUCER MISSY)
WEEK1-5

 

Any match that survives 3 consecutive weeks without being altered in any way will graduate to our SUPERCARD, opening up a new slot for new match ideas.

Prior to the start of Round 2, a bounty of ELIMINATORS were awarded based on the results of our Royal Rumble Challenge. ELIMINATORS allow a player to eliminate any single person from being used at all during this year’s Mayhem Mania. An ELIMINATOR can be used at any time once it’s been earned. Here’s the list of who’s been eliminated thus far.

  • Ric Flair
  • Jeff Jarrett
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Drake Maverick

Next week, five more players will join us to make more changes to our existing card. Which matches do you want to see changed? Which ones are destined for the SUPERCARD? Share your feedback and thanks for supporting Mayhem Mania.

 

Wrestling Mayhem Show 650: The Return Of MayhemMania

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on BroadwayOccupy Pro Wrestling, and IndyWrestling Network!

It’s that magical time of year when we put ourselves in Vince McMahon’s shoes for MayhemMania.  We’ve got Mad Mike, Larry, Farnsworth, Sorg, and Mainstream Matt in studio to talk about:

  • We’re preparing for NXT to see some roster changes due to some call-ups.
  • 205 Live has a new broadcast member in Aiden English.
  • We are headed into the royalest of rumbles with men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches.
  • We’re running down all of the places where you can find John Cena (or his voice). He’s everywhere!
  • We are relying on Sasha Banks to save what could otherwise be a meh match with Ronda Rousey to make it amazing.
  • Ronda Rousey should be in NXT learning the ropes. She’s doing okay where she is – but she’d be better if she were going through and learning the ropes.
  • We’re blaming Smashmouth for so many things tonight.
  • We’re talking some Hardcore Holly and Brock Lesnar.
  • Are we comparing Finn Balor to Hardcore Holly? Maybe.
  • We’re running through our dark horse options for the Royal Rumble.
  • It’s MayhemMania season – which means we’re booking our dream matches.
  • What did YOU learn in wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Sorg (@Sorgatron), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), Larry (@MutilatorLarry), Matt (@MainstreamMat) ‏and Farnsworth (@jworth).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

Wrestling Mayhem Show 648: A Formal Protest of Sports Entertainment

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on BroadwayOccupy Pro Wrestling, and IndyWrestling Network!

We’re back from our holiday hiatus with Mad Mike, Larry, Mainstream Matt, and Sorg!  And, there’s so much happening this week.  Between celebrating our podcast birthday to prepping for this year’s Mayhem Mania we’ve got plenty of hilarity, including:

  • We’re back after our holiday break – and we’re officially a year older as we celebrate our birthday with Sorg and the crew.
  • We are enjoying Mad Mike’s Becky Lynch shirt for the show tonight.
  • Mayhem Mania is coming up – and the playing field just changed. Things could get REALLY interesting this year.
  • Sorg is sporting his sweet Shawn Phoenix shirt for the show tonight!
  • There was a formal protest of sports entertainment that happened this evening.
  • Live production is tough – Sorg is speaking in his professional experience, of course.
  • It was great to see Friend-of-the-Show Britt Baker on the All Elite announcement.
  • Chris Jericho was the big reveal of the All Elite announcement.
  • We’re speculating on who else we may see pop up in All Elite given the talent that appeared at the conference and some of the relationships we’re aware of.
  • Mainstream Matt made it in time for some birthday cake!
  • Mainstream Matt totally rolled in with his Sam Adonis shirt. Best. Birthday. Party. Ever.
  • Who else watched Wrestle Kingdom 13? We’re sharing some of our thoughts.
  • John Cena is slowly turning into John Laurinaitis.
  • Mainstream Matt is crushing dreams.
  • The biggest thing from Wrestle Kingdom 13? Okada’s short shorts.
  • Ibushi and Ospreay are magic.
  • There are a ton of exclusive contracts in various companies – how will that affect some of the former talent team-ups we’ve seen?
  • This week’s Big Question:
    Part 1: Who was your favorite wrestler when you were 14?
    Part 2: Make a match you’d want to see with your 14-year-old wrestler and someone from today’s roster.
  • We’re headed back in time to 2006 – remembering what wrestling was like when the Mayhem Show was born.
  • Mad Mike unearthed a fan mail from Juggalo Jamie – just for our birthday celebration.
  • This is the part of the show where Sorg gets weepy and retrospective about all that he’s seen as a result of the podcast.
  • Mayhem Mania is coming. Mainstream Matt is sharing some breaking news about how this year is changing.

Follow our stable on Twitter: Mainstream Matt (@MainstreamMat), Larry (@MutilatorLarry), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Sorg (@Sorgatron).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

 

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

 

 

 

 

Wrestling Mayhem Show 636: The Ty Cross Recognition Episode

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on BroadwayOccupy Pro Wrestling, and Lucha Fiesta!

We’ve got Rizz, Mad Mike, and Sorg on the show this week with a full chat room to talk about so many things that have happened in professional wrestling this week, including:

  • IMPACT had a meeting with WWE?
  • No one actually died on IMPACT…just their careers.
  • The Dusty Rhodes puppet at the Performance Center tweet was a tug at the heart strings this week.
  • We’re talking Brie Bella and Liv Morgan coming up in the trends and highlights on social media.
  • Back and to the left.
  • My favorite Bella is John Cena.
  • Wrestling is hard, you guys.
  • The divas are hurting the women’s evolution in WWE.
  • Sorg was checking out some Welterweight Wrestling and had some interesting conversations with the guys on the show.
  • We’re talking about a darker side of wrestling – deathmatch shows.
  • Wrestling – without a ring?
  • Comparing deathmatch to Kaiju Big Battel.
  • Wrestling is a subjective art form.
  • This week’s Big Question (inspired by our friend Alex and his wrestling at a rodeo): What is the weirdest wrestling you’ve seen?
  • Zach Gowen had one leg more than this other wrestler that crossed our radar this week.
  • What did YOU learn in wrestling this week?

BONUS CONTENT: Wheelz brought up a botched rope spot video that made our crew chuckle at various points throughout the week.

Follow our stable on Twitter: Rizz (@TheeRizz), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Sorg (@Sorgatron).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.