Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will Wrestlemania 27 Have "It"?

I have been fortunate enough to attend four of the last five Wrestlemanias (22, 24, 25, & 26).  My friends Chad, Travis, and I will be making the trip to Atlanta for Wrestlemania 27.  And even though we're still 2 months away from the big day, 2 months exactly by the way, we're already talking about the possible card and it's not sparking a whole lot of interest.

I know this may be premature.  Maybe in the next 60 days we'll get wowed with some great storylines that will make the 27th installment of this wrestling spectacular amazing and memorable.  But I'm not holding my breath.

Let's review and discuss.  And by discuss I mean please leave your comments here.  I enjoy hearing from you.

Wrestlemania is my favorite pay per view of the year.  It really is like the Superbowl of wrestling.  Or as I like to say, the Superbowl is the Wrestlemania of football.  But in recent years the appeal of this mega card has faded.  I think the biggest reason for this is the fact that the WWE is putting on 11 other pay per views each year.  Plus there are 5 hours of original programming on prime time television each week (plus an hour of NXT online).  At this stage in the game, it's hard to not say "been there, done that."

Rumors are swirling and based on what went down at the Rumble, that the WWE title match will be the Miz vs. John Cena.  Alberto Del Rio announced he's going after the World heavyweight title, which unless something happens in the next couple of months; we'll get Del Rio vs. Edge.  My problem with both these matches: we've seen them both before, on free TV.  What's the appeal in that?  Sure this time the Miz is the champ and Del Rio is pursuing the gold.  But I'm hardly excited by the prospect of these matches.

Mr. McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels
Wrestlemania 22: The first Wrestlemania I ever attended was 22.  The whole atmosphere was exciting.  Even though there were no big surprises or guests on the card, it was a lot of fun.

I'd say the biggest "Wrestlemania" moment of the night came when Edge speared Mick Foley through the flaming table in their hardcore fight.

Honorable mentions go to the Mickie James "crotch" grab as she was en route to defeating Trish Stratus for the WWE Women's title.  And the street fight between Mr. McMahon and Shawn Michaels.

As the match was coming to an end, Michaels did an elbow drop on McMahon, who had a trashcan over his head.  Oh, and Vince was laying on a table at the time.  Pretty amazing for a guy who was 60 years old at the time.

Flair vs. Michaels
Wrestlemania 24: Without a doubt, the "Wrestlemania" moment of 24 was the retirement of Ric Flair.  I'd been following the Nature Boy since 1983 and had grown up loving to hate him and the Four Horsemen.  Later, he became my favorite and to this day is my all time favorite.  Seeing what I thought at that time was his last match has left an impression on me.  It's something I'll never forget.

That Wrestlemania also featured the Big Show vs. boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather.  This was heavily promoted and got the WWE its much desired main stream media coverage.  As I've written about before, I'm not a big fan of the "celebrity" matches, but I thought this one actually worked well.

Undertaker goes 17-0.
Wrestlemania 25: As I'm writing this I'm beginning to notice a theme.  I think the highlight of Wrestlemania 25, which in retrospect should have been and could have been the biggest Mania of all time, features Shawn Michaels yet again.  His match against the Undertaker was definitely the match of the night.  The two took some crazy bumps and has amazing spots throughout.  Michaels was probably the first legitimate threat to "end the streak" too.  It was a match that clearly could have gone either way.

The main event featured Triple H vs. Randy Orton.  Boring.  And for lots of reasons.  I'm not a huge fan of either guy, so they had that against them.  Secondly, the two had faced off against one another (and John Cena) a year earlier at Wrestlemania 24.  One of my biggest pet peeves is duplicate matches at Mania.  There are exceptions.  Stand by for that.  Plus, how many times prior to this match had Trips and Orton battled it out?  They started feuding back in 2004 when Orton got the boot from Evolution.  Through the years, they had faced numerous times on Raw and on PPVs.

Wrestlemania 25 also failed to have any added wow factor.  While I enjoy Kidd Rock, his appearance did nothing to save the show.  I felt like the Hardy vs Hardy match had an anti climatic ending and of course Super Cena prevailed against two foes in the Big Show and Edge.

Shawn says goodbye.
Wrestlemania 26: Last year's event lacked the big time feel to it too.  We saw Cena vs. Batista, which had transpired before at SummerSlam and Edge vs. Chris Jericho.  Though they put on a good show, it wasn't exactly fresh.  The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels did it one more time too.  Even though I'm not a huge fan of rematches at Mania, this one was pretty good.  It didn't live up to the first encounter (at Mania) but seeing as it was Shawn's last match, I'm glad I was a part of it.

The Bret Hart-Vince McMahon showdown was okay.  Bret clearly isn't the man he was 15 years ago when he was in the WWEHitman in person.

That brings us to today, and as I sit here writing this, clearly one of the missing pieces of the puzzle is "Mr. Wrestlemania" himself Shawn Michaels.  This will be the first year he hasn't wrestled on the card since 2003.  I wonder if Vince will have him involved in the event in some way.  I've heard rumors of him serving as a special guest referee.

There has also been talk of Brock Lesnar appearing at Mania this year.  Dana White and Lesnar himself have put those talks to rest or so it seems.  Then there's the most recent conversation that Sting will be at Wrestlemania.  I'd love to see that happen, but I'm not counting on it.  And if he is a part of the show, I don't think he'll be going at it with the Undertaker as many fans are dreaming.  Again, something I'm not opposed to, but I'm trying to be a realist in the world of professional wrestling.  Almost an oxymoron, right?

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  1. I think in today's climate of the 11 yearly PPV's and hours of weekly TV, the key to the matches is the buildup. Flair-HBK surrounded Flair's retirement. Both HBK-Taker matches were about the streak and HBK's career on the line. Edge-Foley was personal with Edge coining the now famous "wrestlemania moment" phrase. What's the buildup for any of these other matches? Del Rio won the Rumble and simply chose which title he wanted to go after. Miz-Morrison, already been done on Raw, and they barely mentioned their history of being former tag champs. We will have to wait and see (with our fingers crossed!).

  2. I'm betting HBK will somehow be involved in WM. Let's just hope the rumor of a HHH/Taker match with Shawn as a ref-- is just that...a rumor. Because I can safely say- that would cause all wrestling fans to die a little on the inside.

  3. Great stuff man. Love the blog. Keep it up.

  4. Sport for real men! I like this post.