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The Next Big Thing

Last 10 WrestleMania's - The Epic, One time Only Matches 1

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WrestleMania 17 broke new ground for what Mania has turned into, packed big seater arena, completely original and bigger than life stage, use of music out by actual bands and taking the overall visual of mania into new grounds. And of course, the event had more impact than ever before. WrestleMania X-Seven was the greatest WrestleMania of all time, forcing Vince McMahon & co to live up to it more every year.

These aren't necessarily the best match, my favourites, or even main events or title matches, but these matches certainly played a massive or primary part in selling the overall show.

Though The Rock and Hulk Hogan would eventually have the official rematch at No Way Out one year later, the WrestleMania X8 encounter was billed as Icon v Icon. The great buzz was the most charismatic and electric presence in WWE history going up against the long lost but truly and forever loved Hulk Hogan back into WWF. If you're young I'm sure you know all the history, but Hulk Hogan was Mr WrestleMania before it was trademarked by Shawn Michaels. The actual encounter itself was off the charts, as 68,000 strong and millions at home were reborn as Hulkamaniacs and booed The Rock mercilessly. Post match, Hulk Hogan stole the heart of the show by going proper Hulk for the crowd. One of the greatest matches of all time, and one to show everyone that wrestling isn't all about ability in the ring.

The other big draws

The god of WWF Stone Cold Steve Austin d. the returning to WWF but as nWo staple Scott Hall instead of as the familiar Razor Ramon, despite the help applied by his cronie, the returning Diesel who was now known as nWo staple Kevin Nash.

The bad motherfucker version of Undertaker (I wish he was always heel) bloodied Ric Flair in a No Dq match, seeing off interference by Double A to go 10-0.

Emotional comeback hero and royal rumble winner Triple H d. Chris Jericho, accompanied by Steph McMahon for the Undisputed Title to cap his fairytale comeback. It has gone down in history that this main event truly suffered from following Rock v Hogan.

WrestleMania XIX was one of the most stacked Mania's you will ever see. There is another match that was a HUGE encounter, and two more that were legendary but the most historic, never before match was Hulk Hogan v Mr McMahon - coined as 20 Years in The Making. Again, not the best match on the card, as it had stuff competition, but truly one for every fan to be interested in. Hulkamania had officially been running wild for one year, but it collided with Vince McMahon at his maniac best. The stipulation added was that if Hogan lost he would never again wrestle and to compliment both guys it was made a street fight. It truly lived up to the occasion,as Hulk power was in full effect. It included an unexpected and truly mark out intervention by Roddy Piper and McMahon leg dropping Hogan off a ladder through one of the announce tables, and most importantly, the man with the signature blond silken Chinese Hair and the skin of a Hot Dog look hulked up and won to send 20/30 year old kids home happy.

The Other Big Draws

The Rock v Austin III was just probably as big as the above, but as it was the third time I decided to give first dibs to the Hulkster and Mac. Rock needed to beat Austin to be truly happy with his career and that's just what happened. If we were to know that it would have actually been Austin's final ever match and it was promoted as such, there isn't a doubt this would have been head and shoulders above everything.

Kurt Angle v Brock Lesnar was the planned main event for months, as it had the makings of potentially the greatest WM main event of all time. It was off, then on, then off again several times until Angle riskily but thankfully decided to go ahead. Angle losing to Lesnar was always the plan even if Angle was healthy. The match indeed went on to be legendary.

Another match that it seems criminal to not give first praise to is Michaels v jericho. Michaels was still strictly part time, so this had the feeling of a one off clash. It surpassed expectations and probably was the best match of the night, though conspiracy theorists cried about HBk picking up the win.

Triple H v Booker T was also a good match that I feel has got unfairly canned by the iwc on many an occasion. It was quite good considering it followed the above match and had to compete with the others too. Triple H won to retain the World Heavyweight Title, and conspiracy theorists cried once more. WM19 was truly filled with gigantic matches.

WrestleMania XX was when WWE went back to their roots coining "Where it all Begins Again" ,coming back to Madison Square Garden, scene of Mania 1. A bigger card than the previous mania in quantity but not in quality, this still had some standout matches. The special attraction match with be the original unstoppable man Goldberg against the new version of the unstoppable man Brock Lesnar. The rivalry properly accelerated when Goldberg cost Lesnar the title at No Way Out. The hype of this match resulted in one of the biggest washouts in wrestling history. Everybody who knew anything knew Goldberg was finishing up with WWE, but what got leaked one night before Mania was most unexpected, that Brock Lesnar would be leaving immediately after this match to pursue a career in American football. When the crowd started jeering you could see neither mans heart was in it. Goldberg won, Stone Cold, the special ref, stunned Lesnar, and then Goldberg for good measure to finally give the crowd something to cheer about. The biggest dud in Mania history.

The other Big draws

For what the undercard lacked, there were certainly some big matches, and none more anticipated than the return of The undertaker with his deadman gimmick. His return to his roots to take down his evil brother Kane went over incredibly well, as people looked back fondly on the Dead Man days and as fans were somewhat tired of the American Bad Ass. Plus Paul Bearer returned and everybody marked out.

Eddie Guerrero was a fresh and welcome WWE champion going into Mania20, where Angle turned heel in the build up to set up the match. Eddie delighted the crowd by unlacing his boot to prevent the Ankle lock, and picked up the win with a cradle.

The main event was one of the greatest WM main events ever, and put to bed the theory that a triple threat could never emotionally grab the audience. Triple H defended his title against long time foe Shawn Michaels and Royal Rumble winner Chris Benoit, looking to finally reach the promised land. When all was said and done, Benoit made HHH tap and became World heavyweight champ to great applause, leading to best friend Eddie G coming down and embracing his friend, as they were proud to both be champions. For obvious reasons, this match and the great moment after never happened.

WrestleMania 21 went to Hollywood and WWE certainly made the most of it, with spoofs on Hollywood movies a big part of the promotion. This seemed like an old school Mania, were the title matches were by far the most promoted of all matches. But there was one more, and it was the match of the night, Shawn Michaels v Kurt Angle. Though they would again face off, this had dream match written all over it. And so it came to be, the two put on a clinic for Hollywood where Angle made HBK tap to the Ankle Lock.... ANGLE RULES!!!!!

The other big draws

The most innovative match belonged to Chris Jericho's creation, Money In The Bank. Without a doubt in my mind, this remains the best MITB match of all, just look at who was involved. Ladder match experts Edge (who won), Christian, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, the rookie and probably mvp of all MITB matches Shelton Benjamin and the wildcard Kane. A tradition was born that would grace every Mania, apart from the last one.

The WWE Title was finally dropped after JBL's mega run to the chosen one John Cena. People couldn't wait for Cena to become champ, but ironically, once he did everybody started slowly turning against him.

The main event showed that Royal Rumble winner Batista has the "it" factor, when he defeated former Evolution ally Triple H for his first World Title. A really good match.

The streak finally became coined as the streak when Undertaker defeated legend killer Randy Orton in a match that inspired a feud that made Randy Orton's career shine alot brighter since he hit the skids in his face run.

Also, Eddie Guerrero and Mysterio put aside their tag title reign and put on a solid opener, with the latter winning, Eugene was being beaten down by Muhammed Hassan and Daivari until "Real American" hit and the Hulkster made a welcome and completely unexpected return, kicking ass and posing and being American and all that, In another promo Austin stunned Piper in piper's pit, and Big Show and Akebono bored and disgusted everyone by having a sumo challenge match.

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Updated 03-08-2012 at 07:54 PM by The Next Big Thing



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