Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mania Memories: Streak Over?

Taker wins, again (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I should probably not admit this, but I really thought Wrestlemania 23 was going to mark the end of the streak for the Undertaker.  He had been undefeated at 14 manias at that point.  I really didn't think it would go on forever.  Plus, his opponent was the world heavyweight champion Batista.  "The Animal" was on top of his game back then and had been relatively dominate.  Plus, there were backstage rumblings that Batista and Triple H were pretty tight, so I figured it made sense.  Right?

While the Undertaker put his streak on the line, Batista put his gold belt up for grabs too.  And in true Undertaker fashion, he tombstoned the dominate champion and pinned him.  We had a new heavyweight champion and a wrestler who was 15 and 0 at Wrestlemania.  I think it may have been that moment that I realized the streak would never die.  The key would be putting the Undertaker in there with opponents who could at least threaten it though.  And I think since Wrestlemania 23, the WWE has done a pretty good job of that.  Of course, four of those Manias have featured two of the same challengers...

HBK vs Cena (WWE)
The other main event of the evening featured John Cena defending his WWE title against Shawn Michaels in a face vs. face match up.  Triple H had been hurt a couple months earlier as the DX gimmick was red hot again, so HBK went on his own and was in pursuit of the WWE title.  He came up short, tapping out to the STFU.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Cena and Shawn hold the tag team titles briefly around this time too?

A couple of other big points from Wrestlemania 23, Mr. Kennedy won Money in the Bank.  Remember when fans thought he was going to finally get the big one in WWE?  He lost out on the opportunity of cashing in as they thought he was going to require surgery for an injury and be off the shelf for an extended period of time.  Edge ended up winning the briefcase and Kennedy took time off, only to find out his injury wasn't as extreme as first thought.  D'oh!  That match also featured a pretty sick spot by Jeff Hardy onto Edge.  I think both men were taken out of the match.

Haircut time (WWE)
Also a part of Wrestlemania 23, no wrestling celebrities, but we did get Donald Trump in another cameo appearance.  This time he was backing Bobby Lashley in his match against Umaga.  Mr. McMahon was in the wild Samoan's corner.  It was a hair match too, with the corner man losing his locks, and of course McMahon lost and got a shave in the middle of the ring.  Stone Cold served as the special guest referee for the contest.  I'm just thankful Trump and McMahon didn't actually wrestle in this match.  The mark in me hoped they'd bring out Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake to do the head shaving, but that didn't happen...

Wrestlemania 23 had some highs and lows (Khali vs. Kane anyone?), but overall I think it was a pretty good card.  This is the only Mania since 22 that we haven't seen live.  So the rest of these Mania Memories blogs will be from the perspective of actually being there.

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