Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NXT Recap (3/30/10)

The last couple of NXT's had been pretty weak since the show was pretty much being used as extended advertisement for Wrestlemania 26. This week promised to be better as the Pros voted on the NXT Rookie Rankings. Did the show deliver on that promise? Read on to find out.

The show started off with Matt Striker in the ring and he welcomed and he called the rookies out, so they could get their rankings. Nice, we actually get the rankings out of the way early, I figured they would make us wait till the end of the show. The Rookies came out to the extremely annoying NXT theme. Our host (who recently got ripped a new asshole by popular ESPN writer, Bill Simmons) revealed that the Rookie, who eventually won NXT would get to face any champion of their choice. Furthermore, there would be another vote after six weeks, and whoever comes in last then, would be told to Get The Fuck Out. Politely, of course...

The Pro Rankings of the Rookie actually ended up being very surprising.
  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. Wade Barrett
  3. Justin Gabriel
  4. Heath Slater
  5. David Otunga
  6. Skip Sheffield
  7. Michael Tarver
  8. Darren Young
After finding out that he was listed as #8, Darren Young blamed it on his Pro CM Punk, and promised that the WWE Universe would see what he was about. Either Young has to accept the Straight Edge lifestyle or he won't be on NXT for much longer. I cannot wait for Punk and the SES to shave that awful hairdo, Darren is sporting.

Daniel Bryan was understandably ecstatic about ranked #1, but he also took the opportunity to call out Cole for his bullshit criticism of the American Dragon. He wasn't done either, since he took a shot at Otunga for not being able to wrestle, and only being on the show because his fiance (Jennifer Hudson) is famous. This is the best Danielson has been on mic in NXT, but it still wasn't that good. The guy just comes off as awkward on the mic, and the WWE should try to limit his mic time now and in the future.

I like these rankings, since they are progressing three storylines with these rankings. Darren Young is going to get increasingly desperate about getting kicked off, and is going to be forced to join the SES. Otunga feels slighted, and is going to work his ass off to prove, he is better than #5, and the MIz betetr watch out because Bryan is coming for that US Title soon. All this doesn't bode well for Skip Sheffield since he is going to "Yep Yep What It do" his ass out of NXT next time there is a vote.

Next up, there was a 8 man tag match featuring all the Pros. The Raw Pros featured Christian, The Miz, Carlito, Regal (has he been seen on Raw?) went against the Smackdown Pros who had CM Punk, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, and Chris Jericho. However, Jericho replaced himself with his rookie Wade Barrett, and joined Cole and Matthews on commentary. Hilarity followed as Chris Jericho ripped Michael Cole a new asshole with lines like "Your mediocrity won't rub off on me, Cole". He also put over Danielson, and Barrett, Miz, R-Truth, Christian and Punk while retaining his heel character. Seriously is there anything that this man is not capable of?

Also, Jericho seems a lot looser on the NXT commentary, and if you are fan of his comedy or the Y2J incarnation of his character, or you like listening to Cole getting ripped a new asshole (This is not a reference to Heidenreich's rape of Michael Cole, you sick fucks) you probably want to watch this match and listen to Jericho's excellence and his utter dismantling of Cole.

Christian, The Miz, Carlito, Regal vs. CM Punk, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Wade Barrett
Surprisingly, this match went on for 16 minutes, and it was extremely entertaining. Regal got tagged into the match against the Straight Edge Savior, and actually got on his knees and begged for Punk to switch Rookies with him. I laughed.... a lot. This match also had Christian/Punk (easily the best part of the match) action in, which might or might not have led me to jizz in my pants. Look, if I have to put with all the other shit that the WWE puts out, I don't think it's too much to ask for a Christian vs Punk feud. Anyway, the ending saw Wade Barrett pin Christian after the World Heavyweight Champion distracted him. This was an entertaining match, which was improved by Jericho's commentary, so if you have a chance to check NXT out, do it.

Winners - CM Punk, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Wade Barrett

The next segment saw a Raw recap with another excellent video package from Adam of Stanford. This was around HBK's farewell address, and once again Adam did a fantastic job. If TNA was smart, they would throw a boatload of cash Adam's way. Their production absolutely stinks, and Adam would go a long way in rectifying that.

8 Man Battle Royal featuring all the Rookies (Winner gets to host Raw next week) - I got excited when Christian's music hit, then I was disgusted when Heath Slater came out. No one should ever be excited to see that douche even under false pretenses. Once all the Rookies made it out, the math began. In a logical move (shocking isn't it?) the NXT rookies teamed up to eliminate Wade Barret, who had just upset Christian, and probably put himself on the fast track to # 1. During the commercial break, Skip Sheffield and Darren Young were eliminated. Once we came from commercials, Heath Slater took himself and Daniel Bryan out of the Battle Royal. Gabriel and Otunga faced off for a little while, but Gabriel got the upper hand, and followed it up with a 450 Splash. Unfortunately, he couldn't eliminate Otunga, in time. Jennifer Hudson's fiance rakes the eyes and threw Gabriel out. He will be hosting Monday Night Raw next week.

Winner - David Otunga

Otunga is a decent choice to host Raw
, but I feel Bryan would have been a better choice even with his problems on the mic.

A) His pro actually wrestles on Raw, which would have allowed him to fuck with the Miz (maybe something with the Hart Dynasty) and progressed their storyline.

B) If they are going with Bryan for US Championship angle (and it appears so) then he needs to get some exposure with the Raw audience, this would have been a good opportunity.

This was a far better outing for NXT then previous weeks. In fact, if you get the chance, I would actually suggest watching it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

WrestleMania Ranking

From worst to the greatest, I will rank each WrestleMania and provide brief reasons why they deserve their rank.

26. WrestleMania IX: No Good Matches, Horrible Hogan Victory Finish
25. WrestleMania IV: Too Long, Only Redeeming Quality is Randy Savage's 1st Championship Win
24. WrestleMania II: Tag Team Title Match Good, Celeb Crazy
23. WrestleMania XI: HBK vs. Diesel and L.T. vs. Bam Bam are Good
22. WrestleMania XII: Ironman Match is the SOLE Reason to Watch
21. WrestleMania XV: Austin vs. Rock is the SOLE Reason to Watch
20. WrestleMania VII: Savage vs. Warrior is the SOLE Reason to Watch
19. WrestleMania V: Hogan vs. Savage is the SOLE Reason to Watch
18. WrestleMania XVI: Triple Threat & Triple Ladder Matches are Great
17. WrestleMania 22: Cena vs. Triple H & Edge vs. Foley
16. WrestleMania XIII: Austin vs. Hart
15. WrestleMania: The Original Will Always be Special
14. WrestleMania XXV: Undertaker vs. Michaels I
13. WrestleMania VI: Hogan vs. Warrior
12. WrestleMania XIV: Austin vs. Michaels, Undertaker vs. Kane, Dumpster Match
11. WrestleMania VIII: Savage vs. Flair, Piper vs. Hart, Ultimate Warrior Returns

Top TEN WrestleManias

10. WrestleMania 21: Batista & Cena Win 1st World Championships, Money in the Bank Debuts, Undertaker vs. Orton, Guerrero vs. Mysterio, ANGLE VS. MICHAELS
9. WrestleMania III: SAVAGE VS. STEAMBOAT, Hogan vs. Andre, Biggest Attendance Ever
8. WrestleMania XXIV: RIC FLAIR'S RETIREMENT, Undertaker vs. Edge, Cena vs. Triple H vs. Orton
7. WrestleMania X8: ROCK VS. HOGAN, Undertaker vs. Flair, Triple H vs. Jericho, Hardcore Title Hijynx


5. WrestleMania 23: Cena vs. Michaels, Batista vs. Undertaker, Battle of the Billionaires
4. WrestleMania XXVI: MICHAELS' RETIREMENT, Cena vs. Batista, Jericho vs. Edge, Hart's Return
3. WrestleMania XIX: LESNAR VS. ANGLE, Jericho vs. Michaels, Hogan vs. McMahon, AUSTIN'S FINAL MATCH
2. WrestleMania XX: Benoit Wins World Heavyweight Championship, Rock n Sock vs. Evolution, Angle vs. Benoit, Christian vs. Jericho, Lesnar vs. Goldberg, Kane vs. Undertaker

Test had a GOOD MATCH! TLC II! Angle vs. Benoit! Gimmick Battle Royal! Undertaker vs. Triple H! McMahon vs. McMahon! AUSTIN VS. ROCK II! Paul Heyman on Commentary!

WrestleMania 26 Reflection

The fat lady has sung and Sweet Chin Music has played for the final time.

Undertaker Defeated Shawn Michaels

This is the greatest WrestleMania match of all time. Despite pretty dull entrances as compared to last year, the emotion and importance of this match was at an all time high. Shawn Michaels gave everything he had and stole the show. Stealing Taker's throat slashing gesture to kick off the match, the story told was how Undertaker grew infuriated over not being able to defeat Michaels. Let the record show, HBK is Undertaker's greatest challenge. The Tombstone outside of the ring was sadistic. Michaels recovering and delivering Sweet Chin Music was unbelieveable. Then, in a true Mania moment, HBK soared through the air one last time with a breathtaking moonsault off the top turnbuckle...crashing onto Undertaker through the announce table. Incredible! The finishing sequence saw Taker reluctant to end HBK's career, similar to HBK reluctant to end Flair's. However, Shawn Michaels doesn't accept sympathy; he demands respect. Taker defintively killed Michaels with a jumping Tombstone for the final pin.

Batista Submits to John Cena

Big time main event feel. Great Match, worthy of the show closer on any other PPV except this one. John Cena's entrance didn't bother me, it just seemed less special than his previous Mania ones. The entire event seemed tone down from the elaborate entrances we've grown accustomed to. Batista and Cena laid it all on the line with signature moves and a satisfying finish: The Animal tapped out because Cena is the real warrior. Once again, the Champ is here!

Bret Hart Finally Gains His Revenge

I have strong feelings about this. Everyone was bored by this match; however, the story of the match couldn't happen any other way. Bret Hart has suffered a stroke; therefore, it is remarkable that he was able to show up at WrestleMania. He even said it wouldn't be a match, it would be a fight. And if you consider reality, this is exactly how a fight between Vince and Bret would go down. Vince would get his ass kicked! Bret wanted to enjoy mutilating McMahon for 13 years and he finally had his chance. The family doublecross was a nice addition to the match, especially seeing the Hart Dynasty pay tribute to the Hart Foundation by giving Vince a Heart Attack on the concrete. 13 Chairshots for 13 years was perfect. Everyone got the finish they wanted: McMahon tapping out to the Sharpshooter. Thank you Bret!

Jericho Retains World Heavyweight Championship
Great match. Tons of nearfalls, which Jericho is the master at. The Spear into a Codebreaker was awesome. Edge wasn't able to defeat his nemesis; however, spearing Jericho through the time keeper barricade provided a Mania moment. This exciting feud should continue at Extreme Rules, and I predict a TLC.

Vickie Guerrero is the Greatest Woman Wrestler Ever! Viva La Raza!

Rey Mysterio Pinned CM Punk
I didn't see this coming, yet it was still a WrestleMania satisfying finish. Another great match which could have used more time. Punk's promo was gold as usual. Serena and Luke added as well, but Mysterio is just unbelieveable. The day he retires will be another sad day for wrestling fans. I was hoping Rey would be forced to join the Straight Edge Society but we shall see how this continues. Extreme Rules Prediction: Hair vs. Mask Match

Triple H Defeats Sheamus
My only complaint with Mania. How can anyone justify Triple H's win? Sheamus needed it much more than any wrestler on this show. The match was good but still. Kicking out of two bicycle kicks? That's bullshit. Sheamus needs to make an impact tonight on RAW to regain his heat.

SHOCKER: Jack Swagger Wins Money in the Bank
I still don't believe this. I would have bet any amount of money (and I did) that Swagger wasn't winning. I felt that this was the least exciting Money in the Bank ever, especially with 10 guys in it. Not saying it wasn't a fun match, just not as exciting. Clearly, Swagger will be the first man to cash in and lose. CLEARLY! And by the way, I told you all that McIntyre wasn't a threat.

Randy Orton wins Triple Threat
Cody's outfit looked worse than Dusty's and Goldust's ever did. Good match once Orton started kicking ass. A boot to the face of Cody and an RKO on Ted was much needed. Orton is now a face with a mission...possibly a Smackdown mission?

ShowMiz Retained Tag Team Championships
A good opener despite R-Truth and Morrison being thoroughly defeated. I enjoy ShowMiz more than JeriShow right now.

Fantasia SNORINO?

I enjoyed WrestleMania XXVI and it lived up to my expectations. The pinnacle of every wrestling fan, ah, can't wait till next year!

Wrestlemania XXVI Review

If you read the preview then you know I was extremely excited about this show. Unfortunately, I might have raised my expectations a little too high, because I walked away from this show a little disappointed. That's not to say the show show was bad, because it wasn't. In fact, this was a solid Wrestlemania that could have been absolutely great, but it wasn't. Let's look at why this sho was solid, and what could have made it great.

ShowMiz (Champions) defeat R-Truth and Morrison - According to Prowrestling.net, this match lasted a total of 3 minuted and 25 seconds, and that is a damn shame. This match involved one of the hottest commodities in wrestling right now (the Miz), three athletic guys who are capable of putting on a good match, and you give these guys 3 and a half minutes. What could have been a showcase for some of the more athletic guys, in the WWE, turned out to be a dull 3 and a half minute match. A good match here could have set a very different kind of tone for the night, and increased the show's rating.

Randy Orton defeated Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes - First of all, whoever changed Cody's ring attire and entrance music needs to be fired. He looks horrible in those white boots,and his legs are so skinny that he definitely requires the knee pads. Once I'm able to grab screens of the show, I will post the pictures here to show just how bad, he looked. Now that I'm done talking about Cody fucking Rhodes' ring attire, let's move onto the match. this is exactly what I expected. Ted and Cody dominate most of the match until they had a falling out. Orton took advantage and Punted Rhodes in the head and RKO's DiBiase for the win. I have nothing bad to say about the match itself, they did fine with what they have, but it was a little predictable. By the way, the pop and crowd support for Orton are absolutely 0ff the charts, and the WWE needs to realize that the fans want a badass face. I really hope they have a good feud in store for him. Also, Orton did break out the Orton Pose (on the ropes) once he won the match. Not only did I mark out, but this was one of the highlights of the night for me.

Jack Swagger won the Money in the Bank - 10 people were entirely too many for this match, and it showed. There were 5 or 6 guys who were just lying around outside, while someone climbed the ladder. It made it look a little ridiculous. Also, Swagger completely botched grabbing the briefcase. Holy Fuck, it had to take him at least 5 minutes to grab that fucking briefcase. Kofi had a pretty creative spot where he tried to use the broken halves of a ladder as stilts. Evan Bourne did a beautiful Shooting Star Press halfway off the ladder. Unfortunately, his reward will be to continue being a jobber on Raw. I was very happy when Drew McIntyre got thrown off the ladder (I expected that charismaless fuck to win) and crotched himself on the top rope. I wanted Christian to win (Sigh, I don't know if he will ever get the respect he deserves) but I'm fine with Swagger. A while back Jack Swagger and John Cena had a tremendous match on Raw, and I hope that's the direction they are taking with the All-American American after his victory in the Money in the Bank.

Triple H defeated Sheamus - Triple H continues to be one of the biggest assholes in the world. He took away the push that was originally meant for Jack Swagger to get this pale idiot over. When give the chance to help establish his gym buddy as a dominant heel, what does Triple H do? He buries him at Wrestlemania. Not only that, he kicks out of Sheamus Big Boot thus even killing more of the Evil Ronald McDonald's credibility. The match was actually much better than I expected.

Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk - This was the match, I was looking forward to the most. Punk and Mysterio had a great buildup to the match as they both stepped their games up. Punk's promos were so good that the last few Smackdown's centered around this feud. What does the WWE give it? This match got a whopping 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Are you fucking kidding me? They let the borefest that was Vince vs Bret go on for 11 minutes, and you give Punk and Rey six fucking minutes. Fuck You, WWE! Even with six minutes, Punk and Rey had a good match as the crowd got behind Mysterio and there were even a few "CM Punk" chants. In the end, the 619 finished Punk. I really hope this feud isn't over as these two deserve a much better blow off match.

Bret Hart defeated Vince McMahon - Like I mentioned above, this was a borefest. I suppose it's my mistake to expect that Bret might have had one last match left him in him. This one left it clear that he doesn't and the stroke had done too much of a number on him. Kudos to Vince for taking an 11 minute beating from Bret. It takes a big man to admit that he screwed someone over, and this was his punishment as Bret pounded on him with a steel chair. By the way, this match could have been far far shorter and it would have been more effective that way.

Chris Jericho defeated Edge to REGAIN the World Heavyweight Championship - Again, I expected a little too much. These two put on a very good match, but it wasn't great. I liked Jericho's reversals of the Spear as it showed that he had found a way around Edge's finishing. It made a all that shitty buildup around the Spear a little more tolerable. I was also appreciative of the Walls of Jericho being turned into Half Boston Crab in order to torture Edge's injured ankle. I was surprised to see that they gave Jericho the clean pin, but in a very pleasant manner of surprised. The post-match Spear through the barricade was awesome and it keeps the feud alive. I hope they improve , because so far this feud hasn't delivered on its potential.

John Cena defeated Batista to become the NEW WWE Champion - Was anyone surprised? Cena ia Hogan 2.0 though I suppose he is better in the ring than Ole' Boot and Legdrop. That didn't stop me from hating Cena even more (if that's possible) after that Marine entrance. He is not a fucking Marine, he played being a Marine in a movie, that doesn't make him one. There was a spot in the match where it looked like Batista had botched a DDT, and injured Cena. I realized at that point that if Batista had Owen Hart'd Cena's career, I would be forever indebted to him. I expected their match to be decent, but they surpassed my expectations, and had a very good match considering the people involved. Cena actually did his Five Knuckle Shuffle off the top rope (I fervently wished for a "Same Old Shit" chant from the crowd, but it never came) and actually sold Batista's offense. They also had a callback to their Summerslam match when Cena jumped off the top rope and Batista turned it into a PowerBomb. The new champion's reaction to his haters after the match was actually pretty funny as he went and hugged them.

Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels - HBK is one of the greatest performers of all time, and I'm very sad to see him go. However, this match was a great way to go out for him. I wasn't sure if they could top last year's match, but they managed it by raising the stakes, and improving the storytelling. I finally understand why people thought Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels was the best match of 2008, I still disagree since Jericho vs Shawn at No Mercy is one of the best Ladder matches ever, but I finally understand their case. Back to the match, with what was at stake in this match, it was impossible not to cheer for HBK as he did that ridiculous Moonsault on top of the table. It was heartbreaking to see Taker hit the Tombstone outside, and it was even worse when you knew the ending was coming. By the way, I absolutely LOVED the defiance Shawn showed at the end by mocking Taker's pose and then slapping him. It fit Michaels' character oh so perfectly. Taker helping Shawn up and shaking his hand was just a great moment as the two veterans showed mutual respect. It was a classy farewell for Shawn as he humbly and gratefully took a final bow, and one fo the greatest careers ever came to an end.

The WWE is retarded and doesn't let you embed videos from their site, here is a video of Michaels receiving a standing ovation in the back as he hugs Ricky Steamboat, kisses his wife (where is Jericho when you need him?) and shares a moment with Bret. I would definitely recommend checking this out.

On a side note, Undertaker has to let a younger star (who needs it) beat him at Mania. Shawn Michaels got to end Ric Flair's legendary career, and he paid it back by losing to Taker two Wrestlemanias in a row. Taker has to let a younger star (Maybe, Punk to make up for their travesty of feud last year)beat him at Mania.

The Commentary - Last but certainly not the least, this was one of the biggest flaws in the entire show. Cole, Striker, and Lawler were absolutely horrendous. Mat "the King of Hyperbole" Striker needed to tone it down, but he went even more over the top. Lawler just does not care anymore, and it's pretty evident, and Michael Cole just needs to stop being Michael Cole. Not only is he a parody of himself, but he says things like "that maneuver", He sounds absolutely cartoonish. This show needed JR or someone like a JBL, because these three are not good.

Atrocious commentary, matches that weren't given nearly enough time, and a relatively weak crowd kept this Wrestlemania from being great. It was a solid show, but it had the potential to be so much more, but the WWE missed the boat. As a result, it gets 6.5 or 7 out of 10.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wrestlemania XXVI Preview

It's finally upon us, the culmination of a WWE wrestling year, the grandest stage of them all, this is the night every wrestler dreams of shining under the spotlight, Wrestlemania 26 has arrived. After last year's disappointing effort, Vince and the boys backstage have stepped it up, and this year's Mania feels like it's going to be a major wrestling event. The Mania card features some excellent bouts, with decent storylines, and in some cases great buildup. There are no gimimick celebrity appearances or matches, there isn't an over the hill "rock star" performing, there is a Divas match, but they are just an unfortunate fact of wrestling life. What we do have is the return of Bret "the Hitman" Hart to the ring against Vince McMahon, a Career vs Streak match between two definite Hall of Famers, two of the best wrestlers fighting over Canadian Pride and the World Heavyweight Championship, and (as much as it hurts me to say this) the two biggest superstars since the Attitude Era facing off for the WWE Championship. This is most excited over Wrestlemania, we have been over a while, and we would recommend buying it.

Here it is baby! The biggest night in professional wrestling. Where legends are born and careers are made. The showcase of the immortals. The granddaddy of em all. It is WRESTLEMANIA!

Aizaz posted his predictions and I shall post mine. Since I'm the bigger fan with the more passionate knowledge, I fully intend to pick a clean sweep for tonight. I hope Zazzy G enjoys the show as well as all of you 2 other readers because WrestleMania is what being a fan is all about. Without further adieu, let's get pickin!

Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase vs Cody Rhodes

Aizaz: This match might have the worst buildup around it. Legacy have done absolutely nothing to distinguish themselves, and it shows in the crowd reactions as absolutely no one cares about these glorified jobbers. In the beginning of the feud, these guys looked like faces as Orton attacked them, but they are so uncharismatic that crowds have vehemently cheered for "the Viper". Even worse for the sake of this match, there hasn't been any tension between Rhodes and DiBiase. If they had a bit had some sort of falling out or disagreement (after all this is a Triple Threat match), one of the two might have managed to get some kind of crowd reaction, but there was nothing of that sort. As it stands now, this match will pretty much play out like a Handicap match with Rhodes and DiBiase teaming up on Orton. Suddenly, the remaining Legacy members will remember this is a Triple threat match, they will fight each other, and Orton will take advantage and win the match. I will be honest with you people, I would totally mark out if Orton broke out the Orton Pose after winning the match.

The Orton Pose aka "How Gay Are You" meter

I might have given the indication that I don't look forward to this match, but that's not entirely true. I'm looking forward to Orton's transformation into an anti hero of sorts. WWE faces are so generic that an intelligent and powerful face will be fun to see.

Predicted Winner - Randy Orton

Johnny C: I enjoyed Legacy last year during the buildup of Mania. They were a pack of dogs attacking the McMahon Family and Triple H. This year, Rhodes & DiBiase have been demoted to boring. Legacy reminded me of Raven with Stevie Richards & Blue Meanie in ECW. They were cronies and so are Legacy. Orton is emerging as the top star of pro wrestling, ahead of Cena and Batista. Foregone conclusion: 2 RKOs and Cowboy Bob will be proud. He won't raise his arm in victory due to the infamous cast.

Winner: Randy Orton

Johnny C Bonus: Santino, Goldust, the Bella Twins, Hornswoggle, and Masterpeice will all be caught in the shower with Mae Young and Betty White for the annual comedy segment.

ShowMiz (Champions) vs. John Morrison and R-Truth
Unified Tag Team Titles

Aizaz: This seems like a throwaway match meant to be filler on PPV and involve guys like Morrison, Show, Truth and Miz However, I still expect these guys to put on a good match. I liked Miz and Morrison's match at Bragging Rights , combine that with the fact these guys were in a tag team for years, and I think both these superstars will shine with the lights on bright. A lot of the buildup around this match revolved around R-Truth & Morrison proving that they are a legitimate tag team by constantly getting the best of Miz & Show. This pretty much insures that ShowMiz will retain unless Daniel Bryan interferes. I think it's highly unlikely since Morrison and Truth are much more valuable as singles wrestlers on Smackdown.

Johnny C: Never in my wildest dreams (and they are wild) did I believe that Johnny Nitro and K-Kwik would be wrestling at Mania 26. Their tandem reminds me of WrestleMania 15 when D'Lo Brown & Test challenged Jarrett & Owen for the belts. Tag teams made out of necessity are detrimental to tag team wrestling. I guarantee that Truth & Morrison won't team up after tonight. ShowMiz are money, though.

Winners: ShowMiz

Johnny C Bonus: Gorgeous George's Wife Drops Dead During the Hall of Fame Introduction Segment

Predicted Winner - STILL Unified Tag Team Champions ShowMiz

Sheamus vs Triple H

Aizaz: A few weeks ago Triple H came out and and claimed that the people who had beaten him at Mania were the ones who had gone on to bigger and better things as he referenced Cena and Bati+sta. I will include Chris Benoit as well, but he is correct, as the people who have beat him went on to have success in the WWE. But. Stephanie's husband is completely wrong when he says "The one who haven't [beaten him] had become footnotes in history. This is just another disgusting example of the WWE's revisionist history. Let's go over the people, Triple H has beaten at Wrestlemania in the past few years. At Wrestlemania 16, Triple H pinned The Rock. The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment manged to have several WWE Title reigns after the aforemtnioned. Let's not forget he became the biggest face in the company for a number of years. Currently, he is a successful Hollywood actor and one day he will be WWE Hall of Famer. Hardly, what I would call a footnote in history. At WM 18, Hunter pinned Chris Jericho. The same Chris Jericho who has had several World Championship regins after the aforesaid defeat. teh same Chris Jericho who was the biggest heel in the WWE for the last few years. The same Chris Jericho, who will also be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame one day. Nope, not a footnote in history. At WM 19, Triple H pinned Booker T. A few years later, the latter manged to win the World Heavyweight Championship as King Booker. I wouldn't call him a footnote in history either. Can Triple H explain to me what exactly he means by footnote in history because every one of those guys has gone on to have success and have championship reigns.

Oh but the mighty Triple H wasn't done with just one quote. No, he had to bury the fucking WWE title. He told Sheamus until the the Celtic Warrior beat Triple H at Wrestlemania, he hadn't arrived. Regardless of whether you like Sheamus or not, the fact that Sheamus won the WWE Title 5 months after debuting on Raw is amazing. But oh fucking NO until he beats Triple H, he hasn't arrived. EAT SHIT AND DIE, Triple H. I expect this match to be the worst one on the card since The Game is reportedly hurt, and I don't expect the mediocre at best Sheamus to carry him to a good match. Anyway, I expect the Master of the WWE Universe to lose, since he will be happy jobbing to his gym buddy. By the way, Sheamus needs to win this match in order to establish himself as the dominant heel, Vince and the writers intend him to be.

Predicted Winner - Sheamus

Johnny C: As a huge fan of Sheamus, I'm pumped for the biggest match in his career. All of Ireland will be closing schools and opening bars tomorrow in celebration. Triple H NOT in the main event is shocking. Obama was right about hope and change. Well, Triple H lost his first Mania to the ULTIMATE WARRIOR and tonight will lose to the CELTIC WARRIOR!

Winner: Sheamus

Johnny C Bonus: Michael Cole will refer to Triple H's "Knee Offenses" as "VINTAGE! TRIPLE H!" rather than "Harley Race Knees" as J.R. Decreed.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Aizaz: The annual spotfest featuring a cast of Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, MVP, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, and Kofi Kingston. I'm huge fan of the MiTB, but I'm even more excited this year. This year's match doesn't feature much star power with the exception of Christian. This is truly an opportunity for the midcard in the WWE to shine, while it also gives one of them to distinguish himself from the rest of the midcard. Last year's breakout star was Kofi Kingston, and he was rewarded with a main even feud with Randy Orton. I'm expecting two maybe three competitors to just go balls out. Evan Bourne doing a Shooting Star Press off the ladder on top of the ladder outside the ring breaking. Anwyay, expect breathtaking starts and a lot of spots involving ladders. Unfortunately, I get the awful feeling that it will be the blackhole of charisma known as Drew McIntyre, who will walk away with the case. No one in the MiTB has been consistently featured in build up to MiTB except that bucket of jizz, which leads me to believe that he will win. The only way the WWE can redeem themselves after this travesty would be to have him cash it in on the same night and lose to Edge. Otherwise, just have the most deserving competitor (Christian) win it. Who doesn't want to see Edge vs Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam?

Predicted Winner - Drew McIntyre

Johny C: Kane has as much of a chance at winning as Jerry Lawler has of knowing who the Smackdown wrestlers are.
Dolph Ziggler should be happy that he's at Mania unlike his former Spirit Squad cohorts.
Evan Bourne will break his neck tonight. I'm calling it.
I would love for Jack Swagger to win but his absence of enthusiasm on RAW indicated that he's simply getting a shirt and a short drive home to Oklahoma tonight.
The only way MVP will win is if the cops are behind him as he runs up the ladder.
Drew McIntyre seems to be alot of people's favorite, but I don't agree. If he is already the Intercontinental Champion, he wouldn't need a Money in the Bank contract to be over.
Shelton is to Money in the Bank what Jeff Hardy is to the ladder match and what William Regal is to the Dutchess of Queensbury match. Regardless, he will still not win.
It is between Kofi and Christian. Despite his squash loss on Monday, Kofi is still a shining star. Christian could use this victory to challenge Edge or to challenge Jericho in honor of Edge.
Rita's has been serving Peeps Water Ice, so Captain Charisma will be steering his ship to the bank.

Winner: Christian

Johnny C Bonus: Christian Cashes In Tonight...and Loses

CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio
If Rey Mysterio loses, he must join the Straight Edge Society

Aizaz: On a card filled with great matchups like Taker vs Michaels and Jericho vs Edge, this is the match I'm looking forward to the most and I firmly believe that these two will steal the show at Wrestlemania 26. By the way, I fully expect Punk to do a mid-match promo, and once again, I would mark out. There is no way Punk misses the opportunity to "preach" to 70,000, and it will be a glorious sight as more than 70,000 people boo or cheer CM Punk. Back to the feud, Punk's micwork has been absolutely excellent and he firmly established himself as the biggest heel in the business. Mysterio has done well as the face as he puts an impassioned defense for the honor of his family. CM Punk has publicly stated that he will steal the show at Wrestlemania, and I for one believe the The Pastor of Purity.

Oh yeah, very much so. I'm looking forward to stealing the show. And letting everybody know that that's exactly what I plan to do.

Yeah, I think me and Rey have chemistry," said Punk. "I've known Rey for...geez, I'm an old man, almost 10 years now. We've wrestled a couple times, and we haven't really been able to showcase exactly what it is we can do. We've barely scratched the surface."

For the sake of this feud to continue, I want CM Punk to win. Seriously, can you imagine the awesomeness of Punk making life a living hell for Mysterio as a member of the Straight Edge Society. It would be even better if Punk converted Mysterio into a devoted Straight Edge follower, since it would further Punk's role as a cult of personality leader. I doubt the WWE has the balls to do that though. Anyway, this is the first prediction I'm making from my heart, and surprise its CM Punk.

Predicted Winner - CM Punk

Johnny C - Somebody should check on Aizaz during this match. He might need a squeegee to clean off his TV screen. Although I haven't been following Smackdown as closely as I'd like to, Punk vs. Mysterio is a certified phenomenal match under any circumstances. Rey avenging his family's humiliation would be appropiate for Mania; however, Punk forcing Rey to join the Straight Edge Society is too compelling to pass up. Tonight Rey Joins...Backlash: Rey Removes the Mask.

Winner: CM Punk

Johnny C Bonus: Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake Cries at Home as the Straight Edge Society Steals his Gimmick.

Bret Hart vs Vincent McMahon
No Holds Barred

It's been 13 years since I have last seen Bret Hart in a WWE ring, and I'm damn excited to see him again. Sure, he might not be in the best health condition after suffering a stroke, but he is still Bret Hart. I expect him to put on a good brawl with Vince and make him tap out to the Sharpshooter. It would be cool to see the dysfunctional Hart family come together after Hart's defeat of the chairman. It would be even better if the Hart Dynasty helped Bret win and get some exposure for themselves.

Johnny C: This is the biggest match with the biggest comeback in wrestling history. NO ONE ever thought Bret would be back in WWE. AND NO ONE ever thought he would WRESTLE AGAIN. He may be older, he may have had a stroke, but here's the thing...he's Bret Hart. He's the Excellence of Execution. He's the Best there is, the Best there was, and the Best there ever will be. I'm calling BLOOD from both Hart and McMahon. I'm calling Vince sending henchmen. I'm calling a Hart Family reunion. And every fan in the world will be calling for the bell when Vince taps out to the Sharpshooter.
Winner: Bret Hart
Johnny C Bonus: Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart will be showing the effects of Canadian Bacon.

Predicted Winner - Bret Hart via Sharpshooter

Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels
Career vs Streak

Aizaz: How do you top last year's classic? You start by raising the stakes considerably by adding a Career vs Streak stipulation. Then you throw in a No-Countout or No-Disqualification clause From there on out, you let these two men do what they do best, which is entertain the fans. With Undertaker reverting back to talking like a normal human being and Shawn Michaels delivering some vintage promos these two have already matched if not exceeded last year's hype. Now all that remains is for the match to take place at Wrestlemania, and I have a feeling people will talk about it for years. Honestly, I'm not ready to see Michaels retire, there are still so many feuds and matches he could be involved in (Michaels vs Punk, Michaels vs Morrison) that it would be a shame to have him retire. This leads me to believe the theory that Triple H will somehow end up costing Michaels the match, and "The Heartbreak Kid" can continue on.

Predicted Winner - The Undertaker advances to 18-0

Johnny C - Best Match Ever. That is my prediction. Enough said.
Shawn Michaels is the Headliner...the Main Event...the Show Stopper...Mr. Wrestle Mania....the HeartBreak Kid....and after tonight....the STREAK ENDER!
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Johnny C Bonus: R.I.P. Taker's Streak

Chris Jericho (Champion) vs Edge
World Heavyweight Championship


Now that horseshit is out of the way, let's get to the actual match. This match involves two of the best wrestlers in the company. Furthermore, both these wrestlers possess tremendous mic abilities. Their feud has a built in history after Edge's unfortunate injury and heroic return at the Royal Rumble. For all intents and purposes, this should have been the main event of Wrestlemania. Yet it's not. Why? Because the build up to this has been absolutely atrocious. I was one of the people who thought that the Rated R Superstar would be refreshing as a face, as it has been years since he has been a face. So far, Edge has made me look like an idiot. I'm sorry but making recycled fat jokes about Big Show isn't entertaining and neither is chanting "SPEAR, SPEAR SPEAR" over and over again. My opinion on the buildup to this match might make it seem as if I don't look forward to this match, but that's not true. Even with the awful build up, I'm still looking forward to the match because of the two excellent wrestlers involved. I'm pretty confident that these two guys will have a match that will bring the house down at Wrestlemania. I can see Edge winning only if Drew McIntyre is going to cash in the MiTB and lose. On the other hand, I just can't see Jericho with how much of a fool he has been made to look in this feud.

Predicted Winner - STILL World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho

Johnny C: This match has been predicted since June of 2009. Although the buildup has been shaky, the essentials of the match are monumental. Edge and Jericho have never, evvvvvverrrr had a 1 on 1 match on PPV. Both are Canadian superstars; therefore, they are superb wrestling machines. Both have been entertaining as heels and faces and both are good friends in out of the storyline. The last time Jericho headed into Mania as the Champion he was the 3rd wheel in Triple H-Stephanie storyline. Now he's looking to steal the show against the man voted in high school most likely to become WWF Champion. I'm a huge Jericho fan but I never bet against the Royal Rumble winner in the WrestleMania Main Event.

Winner: NEW World Heavyweight Champion for the 10th Time...EDGE!
Johnny C Bonus: Good Old J.R. will be sporting his John Wayne Cufflinks.

Batista (Champion) vs John Cena
WWE Championship

This is a match that has benefited greatly from the story and buildup that it's been provided with. From the moment, Batista screwed John Cena to win the WWE Title,this feud has been money. Both Cena and Batista been delivering excellent promos. In fact, Batista has done the best micwork of his career. From a logical standpoint, this feud makes sense, since every one Batista's points make sense. Cena and Batista's rise to the top have practically mirrored each other seeing as how they both won World titles at W21. Then why is Cena the poster boy and why did he get the torch passed to him from Austin? Anyway, the build up and story perfectly fit the jealousy aspect of this incarnation of Batista's character. When the first indications of this match happening became apparent, I wasn't really excited. However, with the excellent build up to this match, I'm actually looking forward to the two biggest stars since Attitude Era facing off in the Main Event of Wrestlemania. Unfortunately, I don't see the guy who has made this feud (Batista) walking out with the title. He has just gotten the bets of Cena way too many times, and the Cena is today's version of Hogan, which pretty much insures he will end Mania as the Champ.

Predicted Winner - NEW WWE Champion John Cena

Johnny C: Hogan vs. Warrior. Hart vs. Michaels. Rock vs. Austin. All of these matches featured the top two superstars in their era battling for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Batista as a heel is natural. He is in wrestling for the money, the fame, and the fortune. He likes winning and he likes hurting people. John Cena is in wrestling for the excitement, the fans, and the culmination of childhood dreams. He visits children in hospitals and gives the people someone to root for. Although I may not like him, I see him as today's Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes, and Mick Foley. This match will be fun and it will be electric. Unfortunately for Cena, I hope one of his heroes will visit him in the hospital.

Winner: And Still WWE Champion...Batista!
Johnny C Bonus: The St. Louis Cardinals will be shown on camera Dropping Imaginary Elbows on each other.

Greatest Mania Moments

As a response to Aizaz's great post, here are my TOP 5 Greatest Mania Moments

5. Hogan Slams Andre at WrestleMania 3

4. Elizabeth Reunites with Macho Man at WrestleMania 7

3. Austin Stuns Michaels to Win 1st WWE Championship at WrestleMania 14

2. Madison Square Garden Crowd Heckles Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania 20

1. Shawn Michaels Retires Ric Flair with a Sweet Chin Music after saying "I'm Sorry...I Love You." WrestleMania 24

Wrestlemania's Best Moments

The day of Wrestlemania is one of my favorite of the year. Last year was a bit tampered due to my extremely low expectations of the show, but my enthusiasm for this year has returned twofold for this year's extravaganza. If Edge's injured ankle isn't an issue, I expect an excellent match between him and Jericho to make up for that awful buildup. I expect Punk and Mysterio to steal the show if they get the right amount of time. Taker vs Michaels will be an absolute classic, there is no way Michaels doesn't put on a wrestling clinic on his way out. You can look forward to these and much more in tonight's Wrestlemania.

In preparation for Wrestlemania, let's rundown some of the best moments in Wrestlemania history.

5. Stone Cold joins Vince McMahon

I know opinions vary greatly on Austin's heel turn, but I thought it was great at the time, and I stick by it even now. At the greatest Wrestlemania of all time (I don't think the WWE can ever top Wrestlemania 17, this was their peak), this was one of the most shocking and awesome heel turns ever. Hell, it might have been the perfect way to end that particular night. It was made even better with Jim Ross screaming "Austin has sold his sold his soul to the Devil". With all the history between these two men, no one ever expected it to happen, but it did, and it's one of the greatest moments in Wrestlemania history. Second, it led to the the formation of the Two Man Power Trip, just watch the video below. You cannot argue with results like those or you will get destroyed a plethora of chairshots.

4. Shawn Michaels ends Ric Flair's career

This is absolutely one of the greatest moments in Wrestlemania history. In fact, I actually got goosebumps when I saw a video of it just now. Years later, even after knowing that Ric Flair shit all over the greatest send off in history, Michaels' famous "I'm sorry, I love you, Ric" and reluctant pin on Flair gave me goosebumps. Really, that's all you need, that magical moment still holds up even after everything Ric Flair has done to tarnish it.

3. Hulk Hogan slams Andre the Giant

You have to realize the magnitude of this moment for wrestling. The first Wrestlemania was a massive success, the second on was far cry from it as it was overbooked and somewhat ridiculous. For the third one, Vince knew he had to have something special, so he lured an injured Andre back with a massive amount of money, and started this feud. Andre the Giant was huge celebrity back then, and one of the things he was famous for not losing. In order to make this moment larger than life, Andre not only had to lose but Hogan had to slam him, which was no small feat. If you ever read Hogan's autobiography (not a recommendation) you will see that this bodyslam gave him permanent back pain. It might have been worth it as more than 93,000 fans in attendance and millions at home stood in disbelief as Hogan continued his larger than life hero persona, and once again put pro wrestling on the map.

2. The Austin Era Begins

No, this isn't Austin's defeat of Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 14. This is moment where Stone Cold Steve Austin became a face and the Austin we all came to love was unleashed. Austin vs Hart was one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches in history, it told one of the greatest stories ever, and managed to turn Bret Hart into a heel (at least for the US) and Austin into a face. The end saw Stone Cold Steve Austin refusing to tap to Bret Hart's Sharpshooter, choosing instead to pass out in a pool of his own blood. How can you not respect a man like that? The fans certainly respected him as they gave him a standing ovation, and turned him from a heel into face. This is where the Austin Era truly began.

1. The "Vanilla Midgets" stand Tall as World Champions

I suppose the ultimate fate of these two men adds a Greek tragedy like quality to the greatest moment in Wrestlemania history. However, even before that this moment was special. 5 years ago WCW let Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko walk away. Kevin Nash called called them "vanilla midgets" who would never draw. At Wrestlemania XX, both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit proved those naysayers wrong as both of them walked out with World championships around their waists. The moment was made even greater by what might be Good Ole' JR's (I'm going to miss him calling Wrestlemania 26) finest commentary as he talked about how Benoit had traveled mile after mile, came close time after time, and he had finally....finally.....FINALLY DONE IT. The Madison Square Garden crowd along with every wrestling fan recognized the significance of this moment. Whatever fate befall these men, this moment can never be sullied for me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bill Golberg in Negotiations with the WWE

Reports are coming in that Bill Goldberg is in negotiations to resign with the WWE. In fact, Bill Goldberg confirmed on his twitter account that he is attempting to make a comeback to the WWE with the following tweets:

YES.. I am in negotiations with the WWE. Looks like 'ole Hogan and TNA missed the boat. Shame for the fans they didn't even try.

Truth is I never thought I'd even consider it........then came my son

No one said I'd wrestle but the door is open
Honestly, this news is pretty surprising considering that both the WWE and Goldberg have ripped Goldberg's career in the WWE. WWE actually admitted that they piped in the "Goldberg" chants during Bill's tenure in the WWE. Goldberg responded in kind referring to the WWE as that "that crappy place" and he didn't exactly have the kindest things to say about Vince either. In 2009, Goldberg was asked whether he would consider getting in the ring again, and his response was:

"Indies I would do in a heartbeat, but I wouldn't work for Vince McMahon if he was the last motherfucker on earth".
Goldberg never clarified what his exact role in the company would, but Good Ol' JR sheds some light on it on his blog :

Bill Goldberg reports that he is negotiating with WWE but my best guess is that it's not about a return to the ring. Bill is a smart entrepreneur and the former Tulsa Edison and University of Georgia football star likely is looking at doing a marketing deal with WWE that might include video games, possible WWE HOF Induction next year in Atlanta, and merchandise sales. It sounds like a win/win for both parties. I really don't know what the potential deal is as I found out about it from reading the internet which reported Goldberg's Twitter statement. Nonetheless after being involved in several of these type deals, I can see where both parties can benefit from an arrangement. Goldberg gets the opportunity to earn additional cash without putting his body thru hell and he gets some nice exposure for his various TV vehicles. The WWE could monetize Goldberg's likeness in a variety of ways. Is it possible for Goldberg to come back and perform in a "farewell bout" in the Georgia Dome next year at WM27? It's possible one has to assume.

Whether he steps into the ring or not, one thing is for sure, Bret Hart needs to watch himself.

Let's take a look back at Bill Goldberg's career in the WWE

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

John Cena and Chris Jericho appear on Late Night

It's typical for WWE wrestlers to go out and plug an upcoming PPV by doing interviews with newspapers, popular wrestling websites, radio shows, and TV shows. This year is no different as both John Cena (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and Chris Jericho (Lopez Tonight) appeared on late night to plug Wrestlemania 26.

John Cena made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show. It was a 6 1/2 minute interview where Cena was his typical hack self. He talked about his match at Mania with Batista. Fallon mentioned that Cena collects muscle cars, while Batista collects VINTAGE lunchboxes. I have never really been a fan of Fallon, but since he made fun of Cole and mentioned my blog, I won't make fun of him. Anyway, if you are a Cena fan you will enjoy it as he does his stupid fist pump and The Roots played his theme song.

Chris Jericho was on Lopez tonight and had a far superior appearance. George Lopez had former WCW Champion Davi Arquette on and while they were talking about Russo's fatal decision to make Dave a champion for two weeks, Jericho's music hit and he came out wanting to expunge Arquette from the record books. the ex and current champion faced off in a hilarious Karaoke off as Arquette wore a MachoMan costume. As most of you know, Jericho is the lead singer of Fozzy, and he very much shined. The crowd especially the ladies loved his rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". By the time it was over, much like a WWE crowd, Jericho had the Lopez show audience eating out of his hands. Following that, Jericho told the story about he became a fan of wrestling (watching it with his grandmother at the the latter's basement) and getting piss thrown at him in a Mexican arena. Both of those were trumped by the story of Jericho losing his virginity. Chris shared this story in his autobiography (A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex) and it's a great one. Let's just say the words 8 1/2 seconds were mentioned.... Hey wait that's what the ladies call John. Heyooooo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deadspin's Dead Wrestler Of The Week: André The Giant

Most people who follow blogs have probably heard of Gawker media. They are the pinnacle of blog popularity. One of the websites under them is Deadspin, which claims to deliver sports "without access, favor or discretion." They absolutely come through on that claim as their targets have ranged from the likes of Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez to Sean Salisbury and Steve Phillips. Anyway, I visit Deadspin for the sheer lulz and their often humorous take on sports. Plus, they have some excellent writers like Drew Margarey and Will Leitch. Anyway, a few weeks ago they started a weekly tribute to dead wrestlers. These columns have been absolutely great as they combine passion for wrestling, emotional attachment to the wrestlers along with some excellent writing. This week, they did an absolutely fantastic column about Andre the Giant's life and career.

Here is Deadspin's own description of it.

Every week, the Masked Man, Deadspin's pro wrestling correspondent, honors the sport's fallen and examines their legacies — famous and obscure alike. Today: André the Giant, who died of a heart attack in 1993. He was 46.

I will just do a teaser of sorts on here, if you want to read the rest of it, you should click right here

"When Hulk Hogan and André the Giant met in what is still considered the biggest wrestling match of all time, exaggeration was in the air. According to various contemporary reports, there were 95,000 people on hand at WrestleMania III to see the 7-foot-5, 525-pound André square off against the goldenboy Hulk Hogan, who stood 6-foot-8 and weighed 320 pounds and whose biceps measured 24 inches around. Probably the only number in that last sentence that's unimpeachable is the III.

Pro wrestling is abundant with such embellishments (and misdirections, fabrications, and lies of omission), even within the context of the sport's carefully crafted unreality. But when André was involved, the mythologizing always hit fever pitch. It's a testament to his outsized greatness that reality — as impressive at it was — couldn't do him justice.

It should be said at this point that every detail of André's life is subject to fantastical reinterpretation, and failing that, normal human error. For every stated fact that follows, there is a contradictory fact somewhere out there. I am indebted to Michael Krugman's André the Giant: A Legendary Life for its "official" timeline of André's early life, but even with that aid, "truth" hereafter should be graded on a curve.

Born André René Roussimoff in 1946 at the foot of the French Alps, in a town called Grenoble, André was normal-sized at his birth, but with adolescence came an incredible growth spurt — details are hazy, of course, but various stories put him at 6 feet at the age of 12, 6-foot-7 at the age of 17, and 7-foot-4 by 19. (There is much dispute that he ever actually reached 7-foot-4.) He had an affliction called acromegaly, a syndrome wherein the pituitary gland overproduces growth hormone. (There are stories that his grandfather in Bulgaria had the same affliction, and grew to a height of 7-foot-8.) Legend has it that when he made the long walk to school as a child, he would sometimes hitch a ride from his neighbor, Samuel Beckett. In his teen years, André worked on a farm, in a factory, and as a woodworker before he was discovered (not by Lord Alfred Hayes, as some legend suggests, though Hayes did meet him early in his career) and introduced to the world of wrestling. He traveled widely almost from the start — throughout Europe, where he was known as "Monster Eiffel Tower," into Japan, where he was dubbed "Monster Roussimoff," and at home in France, where he called "The Butcher" or simply "Giant Roussimoff." Soon, though, he took on a new moniker: "Jean Ferre," a play on the name of Geant Ferre, sort of a French Paul Bunyan. At a time when a wrestler's name printed on a billboard had to sell tickets, it was obvious almost from the start that mythology was the only means of adequate articulation of André's presence."

I can only hope to achieve the kind of success this writer has achieved with his tribute to dead wrestlers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

20 Year Anniversary: WrestleMania 6

"You have lived Hulk Hogan for the last 5 WrestleManias for this one belief. Now Hulk Hogan, I come to take what you believe in, further than you ever could."- Ultimate Warrior WM VI

WrestleMania VI was historic for multiple reasons including its location, main event, and its significance. For the first time ever, WrestleMania was held outside of the United States. While today's WWE travels to Europe for a couple weeks out of the year to feature a British hosted Raw so William Regal can get a gigantic face pop and still lose to Christian in an ECW Championship match, the WWF in the "Rock 'n Wrestling Era" remained a national force in order to destroy the territories while simultaneously exploding in the pop culture. If the WWF was going to expand their fanbase and create a grander event than the previous WrestleManias, then the Toronto Skydome would have to host the 67, 678 fans in attendance for the first WrestleMania of the 90s.

As I compare WrestleMania VI to WrestleMania XXVI, the targeted demographic is similar due to the PG Phase attempting to recreate the magic of the cartoon oriented, larger than life "Rock 'n Wrestling Era." The attendance will most likely be similar as well because the University of Pheonix Stadium holds a maximum of 72,800 and tickets sell out quicker than Jay Leno selling out his comedic creativity for unoriginal hours of boring TV. While WM VI was the first Mania in Canada, WM XXVI will be the first in Arizona. Apparently, the Phoenix Stadium roof will retract in order to provide an outdoor environment for the spectacle. I'm a big fan of the outdoor shows because it adds a different element to the event; for instance, Ric Flair's final entrance filled with colorful fireworks illuminating throughout the twilight sky is a vivid image that is ingrained in my mind.

A sobering statistic is that 12 wrestlers from WMVI are now dead. Only two of the deceased ten made it 60 (Sapphire and Bad News Brown), and of the two only one was a full time wrestler (Bad News). Gorilla Monsoon passed away at age 60, but he retired long before WMVI. An uplifting statistic is that 12 wrestlers are now or will be inducted this year into the Hall of Fame. And only two wrestlers from WM VI will be competing 20 years later at WM XXVI (Hart and Michaels.)

As we begin WrestleMania VI, Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon welcome us to the Skydome. It was truly a warm welcome because Monsoon and Ventura set the standard for excellent commentary teams. Lawler & Cole, Striker & Grisham, Cole & Matthews, and Tazz & Tenay all need to study from this awesome combination of the veteran heel and the veteran face explaining the rules, promoting the spectacle, and providing entertaining insight. A lost aspect of wrestling that Monsoon wisely stated is that the winner gets more money. Wrestling doesn't rely on comedy skits or convoluted storylines; therefore, the object of wrestling is to win the match to win money, prove you are better, and contend for a championship. Wrestling is a sport! Winning is everything! Don't stray from the basics!

In order to illustrate Jesse's iconic legacy as a color commentator, I will post some memorable quotes. Jesse put over the significance of WrestleMania by saying, "I've been to the Superbowl, I've been to the World Series, and I've even been to the Rolling Stones. But this is WrestleMania and I'm fired up!"

Robert Goulet gave a charming rendition of "O' Canada" that reverberated throughout the Skydome. It's reminiscent of how the Superbowl halftime show features legendary singers instead of the youth groups. Goulet adds a dash of class to the event.

Reasons to go retro: WrestleMania Carts, The Fink, Mean Gene Okerlund

Todays announcers have no personality. Sean Mooney must have been the prototype for the soulless geeks like Grisham, Korpela, etc that have emerged over the years.

Hot opener featured Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware vs. "The Model" Rick Martel

I wonder why animals were so often used back in the "Rock n' Wrestling" era. Frankie was certainly an integral component to Koko's gimmick, so why not add a pet to a current wrestler for gimmick enhancement? Mike Knox would get a huge push if he brought a crocodile to the ring. Looking back 20 years later, you have to wonder how Koko is in the Hall of Fame before Martel. Martel is a former Tag Team Champion as well as a former AWA World Champion. Koko is the singer of "Piledriver." Just doesn't make sense. "The Model" gimmick was very original and drew massive amounts of heat with his fragrance, "Arrogance." Unfortunately, Sylvan Grenier couldn't equate to the same success as Martel. The finish showed Koko tapping to the Boston Crab which demonstrates how effective the move can be as a submission finisher 20 years later for World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho.

Winner - Rick Martel

Pre match promos: Demolition wins over Colossal Connection's due to Ax hollering about chopping down Andre like a redwood. I miss exciting 80's promos.

For the first time since Big Show and Kane wrestled Masterpeice and Carlito for the Tag Team Championships, the Tag Team Titles will be showcased at Wrestlemania as ShowMiz defends against the makeshift team of R-Truth & John Morrison. The idea of a makeshift team challenging for the titles isn't new. At Mania 15, Test & D'Lo won a battle royal on Sunday Night Heat (RIP) to challenge Jarrett & Owen for the titles. It's very interesting how Big Show and Andre appear in Tag Team Title matches in the 20 year span. Andre was at the end of his illustrious run when he defended the titles, is this foreshadowing for the Big Show?

Tag Team Champions Colossal Connection vs. Demolition

I can't stress the importance of managers in wrestling. Managers add to superstars' gimmicks, matches, and shows. Without Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Andre's turn on Hogan wouldn't have caused nearly the amount of success that Mania 3 did. Paul Bearer contributed immensely to the aura of the Undertaker. A wrestler like Drew McIntyre would be treated like a legit superstar if Heenan was accompanying him. Haku carried the bulk of his team due to Andre's physical limitations; however, it was funny watching Andre interfere in the match and watching the ref unable to impose any authority on the giant. Aside from the Hardys and the Dudleys in the dawn of the millennium, has there been any tag team in the past 10 years as popular as Demolition? The crowd roared for their entrance and popped for all of their offense. While Haku was pounding away on Ax draped across the second rope, Heenan slapped Ax...then wiped his hand in disgust on the apron. Pure genius! Even Jesse defended "The Brain" by claiming it was a "love tap." The hot tag lead to Smash demolishing Haku and teaming up with Ax to double clothesline Andre. Exciting finish saw Haku inadvertently superkick Andre who became tangled in the ropes. As Heenan attempted to free the Giant, Demolition executed their sidewalk slam/elbow drop from the second rope finisher for the victory.

Winners - Demolition via pinfall

Post Match saw Heenan reprimanding Andre for losing the Heenan Family's Tag Team Championships by slapping the Giant across the face. Well, you don't leave your fractions unreduced, you don't spit in the wind, and you damn sure don't slap Andre the Giant. Andre clasped Heenan, paintbrushed him with his bear claws, and tossed him out of the ring. Haku attempted to avenge his manager's beatdown, but Andre delivered some punches and headbutts to eliminate the Samoan. Andre tossed Heenan and Haku out of the Mania cart as the Giant rode into the sunset as an endearing fan favorite to close out his final WrestleMania in ring appearance. The diabolical Heenan/Andre relationship had finally ceased after 3 years of destruction, record breaking, and money making.

Pre match promos: Earthquake says a lot of buzzwords associated with "earthquakes." Editors note - This isn't nearly as annoying as Desmond Wolfe's constant ouns on words relating wolves. *Puts sunglasses on*

Also said he's "the only natural disaster in the WWF." Well, until Typhoon and The Hurricane made their debuts.

Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hercules

Sadly, both wrestlers have passed away; Quake at 42 and Hercules at 47. This was a squash match for Earthquake to continue his undefeated killing streak. Quake truly was a monster and his feud with Hogan served as his pinnacle. With "The Mouth of the South" at ringside barking on his megaphone, Quake was an unstoppable force and one of the top 5 big men in wrestling history. Hercules appeared to be a modern day Masterpeice especially in this match. Finish saw Earthquake deliver his finishing splash for the victory.

Winner - Earthquake via pinfall

Jesse: "Look at this crowd, all 65,002 of us."

Gorilla: "That's right, Jesse. We are the 2."

Jesse: "I stand corrected, Gorilla. 65,003...You count for two."

Rona Barrett, 80's celebrity gossip girl, interviewed the lovely Elizabeth about her whereabouts since splitting up with The Macho Man. Liz just evokes an angelic appearance and deserves entry into the Hall of Fame for setting the precedent for WWE valets.

Mr. Perfect w/ The Genius vs. Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake

Genius introduces Mr. Perfect so WrestleMania is kicking it up a notch. Having his own announcer was a brilliant heel heat tactic for Perfect. It is a miracle that Brutus never cut off anybody's body parts. This was the best match so far with Perfect making Brutus look like a true star. Perfect was the complete package: his offense, selling, heat, psychology and look were second to none. Brutus won with the Henning patented slingshot into the turnbuckle. Btw, the "Barber" gimmick was a great concept too.

Winner - Brutus Beefcake

Jesse: "I am the epitome of Hollywood. I have Paul Newman's eyes, Kirk Douglas' skin, and Robert Duvall's haircut."

: "Yeah, but what do you have of your own, Jesse?"

Gorilla: "Brutus looks like a hand grenade went off in his pocket."

Jesse: "You haven't said hello to Terry, Tyrell, and Jade from Minneapolis yet."

Gorilla: "I don't even know these people."

Jesse: "No one wants to know you in Minneapolis either!"

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Bad News Brown

First video package of the night building up a match. Bad News said, "If you're gonna insist on wearing that skirt, I suggest you shave those skinny legs." Those are fightin words! Piper did his bizarre half painted black promo which I still don't understand. When Hotrod came out, there was a sign that said "Piper for P.M." Jesse didn't miss a beat. "Piper for Prime Minister? How about Jesse for President?" It could still happen people! Match was basically a brawl with Piper absorbing punishment for the majority. When Piper pulled out a white glove, I wondered if he was symbolically acting like Michael Jackson. Was his "half black half white" act a tribute to Jackson? Anyway, a double countout settled nothing and this feud was never resolved as far as I know.

Double Countout

Legendary comedian Steve Allen appeared in a comedy skit where he played the piano in the bathroom so the Bolsheviks could sing the Russian national anthem. Perhaps Conan O'Brien will relive this skit this year with Abe Washington and Tony Atlas.

Bolsheviks vs. Hart Foundation

Canadian heroes against evil Russians...Ah, I love pro wrestling. Gorilla refused to stand for the Russian national anthem because they suck at singing. By that rationale, I will not put "my hands up" when Miley Cyrus is on the radio. This was a 30 second squash which resulted in the Hart Attack and the victory for the Hart Foundation.

Winners - Hart Foundation via pinfall

Tito Santana vs. Barbarian w/ Bobby Heenan

Tito had this hilariously ugly shirt on for his promo so I couldn't hear what he said. But it ended in "Arriba!" Jesse was on fire in this match.

Gorilla: "I bet you picked up something from the Blue Nodes Club when you wrestled in Mexico."

Jesse: "Oh I picked up something Gorilla, more than once. Let's see, there was Juanita and..."

Gorilla: "That's enough!"

Jesse: "Tito should have sent his food to Barbarian before the match. Chico would have won by countout."

I love Jesse. This was a fundamental speed vs. strength match. "The Brain" saved Barbarian after Tito hit his flying enchilada elbow by putting Barbaraian's foot on the bottom rope breaking up the pin. Tremendous finisher: Barbarian hit a flying closeline from the top rope decapitating Santana for the win.

Winner - Barbarian via pinfall

Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage & "Queen Sensational" Sherri

This is the first mixed tag team match in WWE history. Dusty's promo was gold, talking about how "the common man ain't no king, but he's got the crown jewel tonight." Red Herring? The Savage & Sherri combo should go down in history as one of the all time best wrestler/valet units. Their royal entrance evoked enormous heat with a crown, septor, tiara, gold attire, etc. Dusty and Sapphire come out in their polka dot bumble bee outfits looking like buffoons. Too many dipping dots for Rhodes and Sweet Sapphire. The crown jewel was revealed as...Elizabeth! When the crowd popped, I was quite saddened that all 3 women in this match are now dead.

Jesse: "Wait a minute...465? Their combined weight is 465?? Are you telling me that Rhodes is 200? Cause I know damn well that Sapphire ain't no 265! If Finkel said 565, I might believe it."

Sapphire is defintely a small footnote in WWE history. Current fans must be wondering who the hell is Sapphire? Well, she was a rotund, black woman who was a huge fan of Dusty that wanted to help him in his war with Savage. And she wrestled at WrestleMania. Just think about all the talented wrestlers over the years who never competed at Mania: Lance Storm, Jerry Lawler, Pat Patterson, Shane Douglas, Jack Brisco. Sapphire did something that they never did.

Sapphires offense consisted of hair pulling and hiney bumps. Sherri is a consummate pro who took the offense rather than kick Sapphire's fat ass all over the Skydome. Macho couldn't watch any longer so he flipped out and attacked Rhodes with double ax handles. Jesse is screaming for Savage to nail Sapphire while Gorilla can't condone any of this. The finish saw Elizabeth tabletop Sherri onto Sapphire so Sapphire got the pin. The Savage-Liz-Sherri triangle was money. An outstanding, passionate storyline that wouldn't climax until WrestleMania VII.

Winners - Dusty and Sapphire

Mean Gene interviews "The Brain."

Heenan: "When you're 7'4, it takes 2 and a half hours for the blood to get to your brain. I told

Andre; if you listen to me, you go to the top. If you don't listen to me, you're never heard from again!"

Heenan was, is, and forever will be the best manager.

Rona was chatting with Jesse and Gorilla about some dirt she dug up on Jesse. She said although the WWF guys have "clean images," she managed to find something. CLEAN IMAGES!? In 1990? Where 90% of the roster is on steroids, drugs, and parole? Where Jimmy Snuka, scheduled later to wrestle, killed his girlfriend? The sex scandals and molestation scandals?? Rona sure wasn't looking hard!

Hogan has his pre match promo.
Hulk: "This is where the power lies! Do you want to live forever, Warrior? I can save ya! Save the warriors, turn your darkness into light. What kind of a winner or loser are you?"
Hulk mentioned this line so the fans would still rally behind him as a "good loser."

Orient Express vs. The Rockers

Fast paced matchup. Mr. Juji used the cane, which makes me wonder why wrestlers don't have trademark weapons anymore. Certainly could add to any persona. Another retro aspect is when two foreign teammates would be partners and they spoke in their native tongue so the opponents couldn't understand. Put Jimmy Wang Yang and Yoshi Tatsu together with Funaki and let the good times roll. Fuji salt! Good match but shitty countout win for the Express.

Winners - The Orient Express via shitty Countout

Dino Bravo w/ Jimmy Hart & Earthquake vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
Thank God Jesse points out the absurdity of Duggan screaming "USA!" in Toronto, Canada. My favorite Hacksaw moment happened last year when Slaughter hosted RAW. Slaughter promised Canadian fans that Bret Hart would appear, but Duggan emerged and kept chanting "USA!" Slaughter had this huge smug smile across his face. Canada loathed it. I loved it. Quick match and decent brawl which saw Duggan use the 2x4 for the win.

Winner - Hacksaw via pinfall

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil
DiBiase defintely deserves entrance into the Hall of Fame. This match was a battle over the coveted "Million Dollar Belt." A belt that meant more than the "TNA Global Championship."

Jake's promo had the best promo of WrestleMania VI.

"DiBiase, this is the biggest match of your career. Everything you stand for is on the line. And at the end of the night, you will be a victim of your own greed."
During this match, the Canadian fans started doing the WAVE and Jesse was loving it. Contrastingly, the WWE was pissed at Summerslam 2004 when the Toronto fans did the WAVE during Undertaker's match against JBL. Another screwy countout finish for a good match saw DiBiase retain his belt. Will Ted DiBiase Jr. make history this Sunday at Mania XXVI? For the record, only Ortons, Sammartinos, and this Sunday DiBiase father/son combos have ever appeared at Manias.

Winner - Ted DiBiase via shitty Countout

Akeem w/ Slick vs. Bossman

Slick was an original and deserves Hall of Fame induction. This was a short match where Bossman recovered from a DiBiase sneak attack and delivered a Bossman Slam to the giant Easter Egg for the win.

Winner - Bossman via pinfall

Sean Mooney interviewed Mary Tyler Moore and she knew nothing about the WWF. Absolutely nothing. A true funny gem in WWE history.

Now for my guilty pleasure of WrestleMania VI...Rhythym and Blues!
The Honkytonk Man and Greg Valentine ride out in a pink cadillac with two girls named Peggy Sue and THE COLONEL JIMMY HART. Driving the cadillac...DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE! They all sang "Hunka Hunka Hunka Honky Love" and it was fabulous. The most entertaining part of the show. WWE writers should study this. Valentine stammering his lines was priceless. Unfortunately, the Bushwhackers emerged and the fun ended. But for the record, thats 8 established tag teams featured on this show. I can only think of The Hart Dynasty, Cryme Tyme, Miz-Show and thats it for today.

"Ravishing" Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
Very entertaining match. Snuka had the moajority of the offense, but Rude won with his Rude Awakening. This was Snuka's period of serving as a Jobber to the Stars and I feel it hurts his legacy.

Winner - Rick Rude

Steve Allen had a great line:
"I like Jimmy Snuka because he wearing my wife's underwear."


The whole show was built around this main event explosion. Key elements of this match:
1. The Intercontinental Championship has never meant as much as it did during this match.
2. The first Mania main event between two huge fan favorites.
3. This was the "Passing of the Torch."
As Warrior does his trademark dash to the ring, Jesse mentions how that will hurt his stamina during the match. Hogan's entrance was electric and you could tell the crowd was split between both superstars. The entire match had an amazing atmosphere due to the crowd on the edge of their seat. Power moves started the match with both men having an equal amount of success. The first half of the match featured Hogan in control; then the second half featured Warrior's ruthless aggression. A ref bump, a double clothesline, and Hogan's counter to a running shoulder press popped the crowd. The finishing sequence: Warrior delivers a gorilla press and big splash to Hogan's back...Hogan kicks out and begins Hulking up...3 punches and a big boot....big leg drop is escaped by the Warrior...who finishes with his trademark Big Splash for the 1...2...3.
Crowd went ballistic and Warrior celebrated in all his glory. One of the top 5 best Mania main events ever.

Winner - Ultimate Warrior via pinfall as grabbed the WWF Championship along with the Intercontinental Title

One of the most iconic images in WWE history.

Much better than this one

Warrior should be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year to book end the historic 20 year anniversary of this historic match.