Last 10 WrestleMania's - The Epic, One time Only Matches 3
by, 01-18-2012 at 02:09 PM (5316 Views)
The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania was an alright PPV but it didn't live up to expectations. However, the show will forever be known as the first encounter between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker at Mania. it was their first official meeting since being the last 2 in the 07 Royal Rumble where they put on the most heart stoppping final 2 showdown in history, and the subequent No Holds Barred, Hell In A Cell and Casket matches way back in 97 and 98. What transpired, is what was the match of the year and also a good shout of GREATEST MATCH OF ALL TIME. Wrestling was shown at it's purest art form, I can't say anything else to describe this match, it was genius. After a misjudged moonsault attempt, Taker tombstoned Michaels for the second time and Taker won to go 17-0.
The other Big Draws
Chris Jericho v Mickey Rourke was going to be the biggest attraction for Mania 25, as Rourke was hot off the heels for his universally well received portrayal as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler. After giving an interview where he said he would be interested in facing Jericho, it looked like it would be a lock. Wisely, Rourke's associates wholeheartedly advised against a match (let's face it, for an A lister off the grid for 15 or so years, wrestling matches would be a very risky move after you've just gotten back to form) with Jericho, so the momentum from the possible Rourke involvement was used for Jericho to feed his ego against pathetic and has been legends (his words not mine) who endorsed Rourke being in the film. In an elimination match, Jericho beat Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper and the shockingly still excellent Ricky Steamboat. Rourke got involved after the match, flooring Jericho, which was a nice moment, meaning that the faces really won at the end of the day even if they technically lost.
John Cena WON AGAIN....AGAIN...ARGHHHHHH as he took Edge's World Heavyweight Title and he pinned Big Show in the triple threat after amazingly doing an F-U (Attitude Adjustment) on both Show and Edge. By the time he won the title, I was okay with it as I had become desensythised and pretty much was in roll over and die "Oh, Cena's champ again" mode. I don't hate John Cena, I hated him from 04 - 06, as I never bought that he was going to be the new Stone Cold. From 06 on, I just accepted he would always be around and so got on with it.
Triple H and Orton had a big dud, which was completely one sided, as trips was out for vengeance ahead of defending his WWE title and proceeded to murder Randy Orton for the whole match, rendering his Royal rumble win useless.
Matt Hardy turned evil on Jeff Hardy costing him the title in favour of his long tiime nemesis Edge at the Rumble, and it turned out to be a classic brother v brother feud, albeit with ridiculous occurances like starting house fires and blowing faces up with pyrotechnics. The two had an extreme rules match at Mania, which was pretty decent but nothing spectacular, with Matt picking up the winning and getting the rub. Oh! back in the days before he became a well known douchebag and I always rooted for thee.
WrestleMania XXVI was one of the best card's on paper in the last few years. It was properly stacked. This was a good Mania too. The one time match was the longest awaited face-off in years, Bret Hart v Mr McMahon. After 12 years of shunning WWE, Bret Hart made his unlikely return in January. I remember watching Raw when he made his return, I thought it might be a prank as they have done in the past. When he returned, he made peace with Michaels, and then with McMahon after a rather more tense conversation, until Mr Mac Mahon (Gerald Brisco voice) kicked Hart in the gut. Hart challenged Mac to a match at Mania which was refused, so a convuluted plan was thought up where Hart got his legs run over by some woman and then challenged to a match by evil Vinnie, who then got the wool truly pulled over his eyes at the contract signing where Bret revealed he was faking. In Mania, McMahon made his way down with his Hart family members that he "bought off". Vince's arrogance got the best of him, as they turned on him right away and Hart brutalised Vinnie for the entire match. It got the right payoff, but my it was a horrible match as expected.
The other Big Draws
The real biggest match at this show however was more promoted than Hart's return (HBK getting himself booked over Bret again eh?) and was Streak v Career, Undertaker v Shawn Michaels. The storytelling from the previous years Mania continued to perfection as Michael's had gone crazy with obsession and challenged "Take" to a match which was refused. Once Michaels cost Undertaker the World Title at Elimination Chamber, the match was on as long as Michael's career was on the line, to which he duly accepted. Though not as good as the match the year before, it was the rightful main event and will go down in history, as Taker's incredible streak went to 18-0 and HBK was forced to retire.
Batista v John Cena for the WWE title was the first genuine John Cena match I was actually looking forward to seeing in a long long time. That shows you there how sucky WWE has often been, that a lifelong fan like me and millions...and millions of others don't pay attention to their main event. Or it's brilliant business strategy, use the main event candy generally to bring in new fans while letting the mid card be used for the hardcore fans. You Decide? His match was interesting though, because Batista was utterly dominant over Cena in the build up, saying bad things always happened to John against him, with bad blood stemming over how similar in accolades yet so far away in fame they were. Batista was magnificent in his heel run, one of the best things I've seen in years, and a real indication that if you have been bored by stale smiley faces for alot of years that you will completely get behind them when they go heel. Cena won though, which in my opinion was the right thing, as WrestleMania is about overcoming the odds and all that jazz. So Cena got away with this one, for a bit
Edge v Jericho for the world title had history behind it too. They were tag champs until injury sidelined Edge for most of a year and Jericho said some demeaning things. Edge won the Rumble on his shocking return and challenged Jericho for Mania. The match was decent, nothing spectacular, and shockingly Jericho won which I thought was great, as the courageous comeback to win the title is overplayed generally. It's a classic though! The payoff was the spear through the barricade after the match. They never really got to go gung ho in a feud before, so I was happy that they got to face at Mania.
Triple H d. Sheamus in a past v future match. Sheamus was new to WWE and the WWE title looked uneasy around his waist because of the haste it was given to him. However, locking up with Triple H really put him on the map. 5 big matches, this Mania was well put together.
Also, Randy Orton beat Ted Di Biase and Cody Rhodes in a personal triple threat between Legacy members.
I hate to jump on the bandwagon but WrestleMania XXVII was one of the worst WrestleMania's I have ever seen, and I felt that soon enough, and I can't believe I paid a handsome sum for it on PPV. What killed it for me was the crowd. And the sub par entertainment. But one thing stood out, and that was Undertaker v Triple H in a No Holds Barred match. Well before the show, everybody knew this would be the biggest match by a mile long. And it didn't disappoint, it was brutal and full of fun spots, including Triple H tombstoning Taker to a thrilling kick out at 2. Taker won in an unexpected way, using Hell's Gate, which I severely liked. The Saving grace of the card, no doubt about it. I hope it stays where it is and is resigned to history though as I am not interested in seeing them duke it out one more time, for 3 Reasons, 1) It has already happened, 2) I don't think the streak needs any overbooking in the actual match like the idea of HBK being special ref (though maybe would hide Taker's ring rust and age)and 3) For the blatant convenience in highlighting that they have never had a match before at Mania one year and the inevitable juggernaut of promotion that will arise for this "trilogy".
The other Big Draws
The Rock returning to host WrestleMania completely overshadowed everything else on the card bar Undertaker v Triple H.
Hell, Rock just being there overshadowed the main event between Miz and John Cena, in which the highlight was a hype video for The Miz before his entrance. Cena came out in some kind of religious deal that just seemed not necessary for him or the occasion. The match ended in double Countout (Huh!), until Rocky used his host privileges to restart the match so he could give a Rock Bottom to Cena and make him lose like the little bitch The Rock thinks he is, for the highlight of the main event. God damn I love the way Rock hates Cena.
Edge (accompanied by Christian) succesfully defended the World Title against Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio (w/Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez) in a match that was unexpectedly the opener. I didn't mind it's placement on the card, as long as they don't make it into a habit for the supposedly inferior title. Had Edge's retirement have been known, this definitely would have been higher up on the pyramid
CM Punk was at his heelish best going into a feud with Randy Orton arising from Orton punting Punk in the head several years ago and ending his first title reign by virtue of not being able to compete. After the big match I think this was going to be everybody's favourite match.
Jerry "The" King Lawlor certainly paid his dues over the years to one day receive a proper bigged up WrestleMania match. Cole apparently also paid his dues and got into this match somehow. I had no problem with the match taking place, or the amount of hype it got building up to the show, and Cole had become a properly hated heel in fairness, but OH MY GOD, BOO, THIS SUCKS WORSE THAN PAT PATTERSON! This was just an example of WWE going through the motions, as it got about 15-20 minutes too much by my memory.
So as we come to The Rock v John Cena we already know that it is going to be the WWE's "Epic match" for the WrestleMania XXVIII card. I don't think they've promoted it badly at all up to now, some people have complained but if The Rock was showing up to TV every week to keep the feud going the feud would be long burned out. Some serious promo's are needed however as it gets closer to Mania, which I don't doubt will be on the way.
The other Big Draws
As of now it is hard to predict with the way the booking has been lately, the fact that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are currently world champ's do nothing to help us anticipate what the card will be, as both could easily lose their spot in the next couple of months. Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes are a lock to be dependable in whatever role they are put in. Kane and Big Show have become more relevant than they have in years, Mark Henry has become a valuable asset, will Undertaker be back in time, and more importantly, who will he face? Will it be Jericho, who is keeping everybody guessing as to what he wants to do. Will Orton, Mysterio, Christian and Del Rio be back in time too? What about last year's main eventer The Miz, how will he fare on the card? A lot of questions that are not clear at all, I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes, and more importantly, will it live up to the standards of previous successes.
On a personal note, I will be taking a break from the blogging for the moment, maybe forever, I have some rather pressing "adult" matters that I must attend to instead of the important wrestling blogging that occurs regularly. To all who have read and commented on any of my blogs, be it positive or negative, I thank you for taking the time to read my opinions, whether you opened your mind or not and I hope you enjoy the blog, plus appreciations to guys like Knox, Rated R(ob)KO and The Crippler, DKWrestlingSaviour and others who have written some of the best blogs I've read, along with newcomers like ComingToCinemas. Thanks to to Ryan Clark, Frank and the e-wrestling news team for providing a blogging system for schmucks like me. And finally, finally, feel free to leave feedback or any questions you wanna ask. Later wrestlemaniacs!