Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Sweet Deal for Tag Team Wrestling

KOA, Aaron Epic & Sugar Dunkerton
Photo courtesy: Lewis Marien
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Regular readers of this blog or those who watch My 1-2-3 Cents on YouTube, know that I complain a lot about the tag team scene on the national level.  I am however, impressed with the way things are looking on the independent scene.  Chikara continues to impress me, but today I want to focus on Pro Wrestling Collision.

For the purposes of full disclosure, I am on the commentary team for PWC, and bottom line the point of this blog is to promote our next show, which is Saturday, April 27 at the Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale.  Bell time is 7 p.m.

Ace & Espy vs. the Submission Squad
Photo courtesy: Lewis Marien
I feel like tag team wrestling means something in Pro Wrestling Collision.  Champions Ace Hawkins and Brandon Espinosa have defended their titles more than any other champions in the company.  They've faced the inter gender duo of Alex Castle and Angelus Lane, the Submission Squad, and King Entertainment.  Each one of these matches has resulted in a victory for Ace and Espy.  KOA, the Kings of Armory, will return to face the champions Saturday night.

Sugar Dunkerton and Aaron Epic make up this duo.  They're .500 in Pro Wrestling Collision and favorites among the fans.  The two made an excellent impression on the fans and with those in the locker room.  I'd seen Sugar work before in Chikara as both a member of FIST and The Throwbacks, and I like his style.  He's a great person outside the ring as well.  I don't know a whole lot about Epic, but I was impressed with his work and attitude at the show KOA was on.

Espy & Ace climb the ladder of success
Photo courtesy: Missouri Wrestling Revival
I can't say enough about Ace and Espy either.  This team has been in some of the best matches on the card.  Their battle against Matt Cage and Christian Rose last fall took ladder matches to a new level for me.  It ranks among the best matches I saw in 2012 and I'm honored to have had the privilege to call it.

If you live in the tri state region, I highly recommend the drive to Carbondale.  For $10 you're going to get a great night of wrestling action, not just from these two exciting tag team, but also Collision champion Heath Hatton will defend his gold.  Joey O'Riley's No Limits title is up for grabs against Zakk Sawyer.  Plus, in what may be the grudge match of the year so far, Shane Rich looks to gain revenge on the behemoth Bull Bronson.  This rivalry has been intense to say the least.  Plus Matt Cage will tangle with Farmer Billy Hills.  More matches will be announced Saturday, so if you make it out, please stop by and say hello.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Original J.O.B. Squad

SD Jones
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Long before Al Snow, Bob Holly, and Duane Gill were part of the WWF's J.O.B. Squad, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of "enhancement talent" in the world of professional wrestling.  There are simply too many to name, but I wanted to share a few of my favorite "jobbers" from the 1980's.  Keep in mind, I'm sticking with that decade, and just looking at a handful that I found to be the most memorable.  Our friends on the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook page shared plenty of theirs already, so please do the same there or right here on this blog.

Special Delivery Jones may very well be the most memorable jobber to me for various reasons.  There was something about SD Jones that I liked.  He was certainly the underdog, rarely if ever winning on WWF TV.  My first house show, Jones was pinned by the Spoiler in the opening contest.  I can still remember cheering for SD, hoping his luck would be different in person than it was on TV.  I was wrong.  Probably the most memorable experience was his appearance at the first Wrestlemania.  If you listen to the WWF history, they say he was pinned by King Kong Bundy in nine seconds.  The match actually goes a bit longer than that, but none-the-less it burned a memory in my brain.  I also have a fond memory of SD being Andre the Giant's tag team partner the night Big John Studd and Ken Patera slammed the giant and cut his hair.  Jones got knocked out to the floor while the heels did their thing.

Me & SD Jones
He's the only jobber (at least that I define as a jobber) who had an LJN figure made in his likeness.  I still have mine, although I guess one could argue fellas like Ted Arcidi, Outback Jack, and Cpl. Kirchner all had figures too.  Finally, I had a chance to hear SD Jones speak at the 2006 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  He inducted long time friend Tony Atlas into the hall.  I never realized the two were so close, and had been a tag team years before either had signed with the WWF.  Sadly, SD Jones is no longer with us, but the memories of his matches and the effort he put forth will not be forgotten.

Paul Roma in the early days
Photo courtesy: WWE
Before Paul Roma was pretty or a member of the 4 Horsemen, he was a jobber in the WWF.  His career there started off in 1985.  He found himself on the losing end of most of his matches in those early days.  But Roma had a look about him that set him a part from most jobbers.  Paul was in good shape, athletic, and young.  He just needed a break.

In 1987, he was paired with fellow jobber Jim Powers. The two became known as the Young Stallions and actually made a name for themselves.  If memory serves me correctly, the beat the Hart Foundation either before the Harts won the tag team titles or in a non-title contest.  The Stallions and the Killer Bees were also the surviving teams in the big tag team elimination match at the first Survivor Series.

Roma eventually turned heel and teamed up with Hercules forming the duo Power & Glory.  The tandem was managed by Slick, but only had mild success, picking up perhaps their most notable win over the Rockers at SummerSlam 90.  Roma headed to WCW where he continued to climb the ranks, even becoming a member of the 4 Horsemen.  It was there, Roma would win gold by becoming a tag team champion with Arn Anderson and twice more with Paul Orndorff.  This team, Pretty Wonderful, was probably Roma's most successful run.

I recently saw Roma at WrestleCon in New Jersey.  He looked to be in great shape still.  He's one guy I always wondered why the WWF didn't do more with during his initial run with the company.  But I guess not everyone can be a champion, right?

Iron Mike Sharpe
Photo courtesy: WWE
Iron Mike Sharpe was always up to no good in the WWF.  His leather forearm cover always stood out to me as he tired in vain to hide something in there to get the upper hand.  It never worked though.  I'm trying to recall if I ever saw Sharpe win a match.  He seemed to be the guy who not only jobbed to the Junkyard Dog or George Steele, but also SD Jones and Paul Roma.

Actually, I stand corrected.  I just read some more details on Sharpe's WWF career and he actually pinned Boris Zhukov in the King of the Ring tournament in the late 1980's.  I'd say that's probably his biggest accomplishment in the WWF, but he did win titles in other promotions around the country.  He also comes from a rich linage of wrestling history.

These guys are just a few of the memorable jobbers from my childhood.  Like I said before, someone has to do it.  As Al Snow would say, "pin me, pay me."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wrestling Gives Back

Support this good cause!
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Back in January, my friends Adam and Aaron lost their home in a fire.  I met Adam and Aaron through wrestling.  We all work together with Pro Wrestling Collision and are co hosts on From the Rafters Radio.  Both have also written blogs for My 1-2-3 Cents.

As they each try to rebuild their lives, the cast and crew of Pro Wrestling Collision is helping out.  This Saturday, (April 20) there is a benefit show for Adam and Aaron.  Chaos Pro Wrestling out of Metropolis is teaming up with us for the benefit.  Bell time is 2 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center.

Collision champion Heath Hatton will defend his title against his best friend Shane Rich, in what I think we be a classic confrontation.  The two fan favorites will no doubt put on one helluva show and the fans who come out for this one will walk away the winners.

CPW's champion Ty Blade will take on Shane Smalls.  I have not yet seen a CPW show, but many of their wrestlers have had matches on Collision, so I'm looking forward to seeing this match.  I think it's great that a cooperation between two local indy companies exists.

Other matches planned for Saturday include the wildly popular Collision tag team champions Brandon Espinosa and Ace Hawkins defending against King Entertainment.  The No Limits Title will be on the line in a triple threat match that features champ Joey O'Riley taking on his buddy Jay Spade and the always obnoxious Zakk Sawyer (sorry Zakk).

Again, bell time is 2 p.m. Saturday.  For more details on the show, head to Pro Wrestling Collision or Chaos Pro Wrestling's websites.  It's all for a good cause, helping two great guys get a new start after losing almost everything in a fire.  And be sure to come back a week later when Collision returns to the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sapphire vs. Fandango

Photos courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I've kept relatively quiet on the subject of Wrestlemania debuts until now.  I'm only writing about it now because the WWE made the acknowlegement on the April 15th episode of Raw.  Jerry "The King" Lawler was in the ring preparing to interview Fandango.  In his introduction, Lawler said there's never been a superstar to make his wrestling debut at Wrestlemania and win, which is what Fandango did at Wrestlemania 29.

Technically speaking, I suppose Lawler is right.  He said HIS debut.  However, I would like to make a point of order.  Back on April 1, 1990, Sapphire made her WWF wrestling debut at Wrestlemania 6.  She and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes teamed up to defeat "Sensational" Queen Sherri and "Macho King" Randy Savage.  In fact, "Sweet" Sapphire pinned the former WWF women's champ to win the match for her team.

Sapphire, Dusty Rhodes, & Elizabeth
Wrestlemania 6
Photo courtesy: WWE
Sapphire's time in the ring was short, with her leaving the WWF later that year, after she aligned with "The Million Dollar Man"Ted DiBiase.  But in fairness, she made her in ring wrestling debut at the grandest stage of them all, some 23 years ago.

Obviously, non-wrestlers like Lawrence Taylor, Snooki, and William Perry all made their "wrestling" debuts at Mania as well, but these were all one shot deals.

Of course I think the future of Fandango is much brighter than the one Sapphire ended up having.  But honestly, I just wanted to point this factoid out and get it off my chest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hulk Hogan vs. 10 Faces of the 80's

Hulk Hogan
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

In 1990, something rare happened in the WWF.  It was April 1, Wrestlemania 6 and Hulk Hogan defended the WWF heavyweight title against the Intercontenental champion and fellow baby face, The Ultimate Warrior.  Back then, face vs face matches didn't happen very often.  It was the passing of the torch of sorts (or so we thought) with Hogan and Warrior.  So I got to thinking, which other top WWF faces would have been good contenders for the Hulkster's gold?  Here's the list I came up with, and in no particular order.  The only thing is, I used guys that Hogan never faced, with the exception of one (at least to my knowledge, if I made a mistake, sorry)

Bruno vs. Honky Tonk Man
Photo courtesy: WWE
Bruno Sammartino: As Hulkmania was becoming a world wide phenomenon, Bruno Sammartino had been long retired and working on the WWF commentary team.  However, from time to time Bruno stepped back in to the ring to face the likes of Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, and Adrian Adonis.  The former champ even competed in the Wrestlemania 2 battle royal.  While Bruno was well past his prime at the time Hogan was on top, this battle would have been epic.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage
Photo courtesy: WWE
Ricky Steamboat: I'd argue that Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat was the best wrestler to never hold the WWF heavyweight title.  His run as IC champ was derailed early on in the run, and from what I've read it was all political stuff.  None-the-less, I think the Dragon would have made an excellent champion, and he would have been a competitor unlike any other that Hogan had faced in the 80's.  The champ was used to guys like Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, and the One Man Gang.  Steamboat's matches in the WWF against Randy Savage and Rick Rude, coupled with his battles early on with Ric Flair in the NWA would have prepared him for a run as the WWF's top dog or dragon.

Bam Bam Bigelow & Hogan as partners
Photo courtesy: WWE
Bam Bam Bigelow: When the Beast from the East first arrived in the WWF in 1987, I had visions of big success for Bigelow.  In fact, when Bam Bam entered the WWF heavyweight title tournament at Wrestlemania 4, I had him picked to win in my bracket.  You can imagine my disappointment when he lost in the opening round to the One Man Gang.  Soon after that Bigelow floundered and ended up leaving the WWF.  Even though Bigelow was comparable to other big men Hogan had faced up until that point, Bam Bam had an athletic skill unmatched by his peers.  This would have been one for the ages.

Dusty Rhodes
Photo courtesy: WWE
Dusty Rhodes: As the former NWA world heavyweight champion, "The American Dream" would have made an excellent opponent for Hogan when he arrived in the WWF in 1989.  The Hulkster had just regained the title from Randy Savage, and Dusty was on a big push going over guys like Big Bossman, Akeem, and even Savage.  However, Dusty was in the twilight of his career at this point, retiring a couple years after coming to the WWF.  But I still think the fans would have popped big time for a chance to see two of the most popular men in the history of wrestling square off for the WWF title.

Graham & Hogan
Photo courtesy: icollector
Superstar Billy Graham: If Hogan looked to emulate anyone in the wrestling business, it would have been Superstar Graham.  Although he had been a heel for quite a long time, in the late 80's when Superstar returned to the WWF, he came in as a babyface.  He feuded with the Natural Butch Reed and One Man Gang, and even teamed up with Hogan and Bigelow at the 1987 Survivor Series.  Clearly by this point in his career, Graham was plagued with injuries and far from being the man he was when he held the title.  However, because of the similarities in style, I would have liked to seen this match.

Hogan vs Atlas
Photo courtesy: PWI
Tony Atlas: In his rule breaking days, Hogan and Tony Atlas did compete against each other.  He was one of the few men who could match strength with Hogan.  There are photos everywhere of Atlas pressing Hulk over his head.  The former tag team champion Atlas was a midcarder at best by the time Hogan's run at top started, but I still think it would have been a great opportunity for him.  I'm talking about Tony Atlas and not Saba Simba.

Photo courtesy: WWE
Tito Santana: With two runs as the IC champ, you'd think Tito Santana would have gotten a WWF title opportunity at some point.  Because he was a coholder of the tag team titles during the championship tournament at Wrestlemania 4, Tito missed out on that opportunity too.  It would have been nice to see him get a chance against Hogan.  I think a champion vs. champion match would have been good between these two.

Superfly in action
Photo courtesy: WWE
Jimmy Snuka: In the mid 80's "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka may have been the WWF's second most popular guy right behind Hogan.  Snuka is one of the first guys I remember seeing compete in a WWF ring.  His feud with Roddy Piper was one of the best in that era.  Imagine seeing Snuka climb to the top rope, "spread his wings", and do the Superfly leap on a prone champion.  No doubt Snuka would have brought something out of Hogan and a battle between these guys would have been one fans everyone would enjoy.

JYD vs. Harley Race
Photo courtesy: WWE
Junkyard Dog: Much like Snuka, Junkyard Dog was one of the company's most over faces in the 80's.  He brought a different kind of charisma to the ring.  Although he never reached champion gold in the WWF, I think he was one of those guys who was over enough to be IC champ.  In a different time, I have no doubt he'd not only held that secondary title, but would have been a contender for the WWF gold.

Hacksaw & Hulk as partners
Photo courtesy: WWE
Hacksaw Jim Duggan: This one would not have been pretty, but putting two of the WWF's top patriots in the ring against each other would have been fun.  As JR would say, it would have been a slobber knocker to say the least.  Both men love the good ol' USA, so to see Hogan and Duggan bring that passion to the ring would have been an interesting sight.  Duggan and Hogan beat many of the same men, including Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Harley Race.

What are your thoughts?  Share here or on the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook page.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Our Tribute to Greatness

"Classy" Freddie Blassie & The Grand Wizard
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Each year, Chad and I come up with what we think is a fun costume theme for Wrestlemania.  The very first year, we went as the Spirit Squad (they were around at the time) and people actually thought we were members of the cheerleading team as we walked around the parking lot of the All State Arena and the neighboring Target store.  I'd like to think I was mistaken for Nicky who is now known as Dolph Ziggler.  I kid, I kid.

The originals...
Photo by WWE
Anyway, we've had fun with it each year and always get a lot of compliments (and stares) from fans and even wrestlers.  This year, we decided to pay homage to great wrestling managers.  Chad went for the obscure Grand Wizard.  For those who don't know, the Grand Wizard managed the likes of "Superstar" Billy Graham, Mister Fuji, and Sgt. Slaughter.  He was around in the 1970's, before either of us had even started watching wrestling.  In fact, the Grand Wizard died in 1983, just as I was becoming a fan of the sport.  I went with the more recognizable "Classy" Freddie Blassie.  Of course, he wrestled in the early days of his career, but went on to manage the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff and George "the Animal" Steele when I really got into wrestling.  It wasn't long after that though that Blassie retired and turned his men over to Slick.

Chad and I both worried that fans would not remember The Grand Wizard, but we were surprised at how any people at Axxess and Wrestlemania got it.  Even before we left the hotel, fans identified both of us.  I'll admit, the white hair spray I used didn't cover my hair like I'd hoped, but I think people still understood who I was trying to be.

Wrestlemania selfy
I need to thank my mom once again for helping create my costume this year.  For the last several Wrestlemanias, I've gone as someone who needs a specific sports coat.  Each year, my search a the thrift stores in town turn up short.  So my mom covers one of my old jackets with the proper material.  This year she did it as she's battling bladder cancer.  That's the kind of woman she is, dedicated to helping her son achieve a high level of dorkiness at Wrestlemania.

Thanks to everyone who "got" us this year and posed for photographs.  We ran into several great costumed fans this year, including the Ultimate Warrior, Doink the Clown, and Paul Bearer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WrestleCon/Wrestlemania Weekend Highlights

Blassie, Martel, Wizard, and Testa
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The weekend marked my seventh live Wrestlemania and all the activities associated with the biggest event of the year.  The weekend actually turned into a week for my posse this year, and it was much bigger than just Wrestlemania itself.  Several wrestling companies worked in collaboration to put on WrestleCon, a convention and series of wrestling shows.  Luckily, we were able to attend many of the events, so here are my personal favorites from our time spent on the East Coast.  (These are in no particular order)  By the way, Chad was dressed like the Grand Wizard and I was "Classy" Freddie Blassie on Sunday.

Outside WWE HQ in Stamford
Visiting WWE HQ: Our group arrived in New Jersey Wednesday.  I had always promised myself if I was ever within driving distance of WWE Headquarters I was going to make the trek.  Since Stamford, Connecticut is only about an hour a way, we rented a car and made the drive.  You can see the enormous building from Interstate 95.  We pulled off the highway, parked and walked to the facility and posed from some pictures outside.  It was awesome seeing the place in person, even if only for a few minutes.  It made the trip worth it.

Live from New York!:  I'm focusing just on the wrestling aspects of the trip, which included a trip into New York City and the Ring of Honor iPPV.  Friday night the company presented SuperCard of Honor VII.  The famed Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center hosted the event.  Two decades ago, Monday Night Raw was taped in this facility.  RD Evans stole the show early on, revealing himself as the mystery partner of QT Marshall.  The two went down in defeat to ACH and Tadarius Thomas, but really all four men put on an excellent match and set the tone for a great night of wrestling.  Jay Briscoe realized his dream in becoming the ROH champion with a victory over Kevin Steen, and even though some people hate him, I enjoy the work Shelton Benjamin does as he battled Mike Bennett.  The former WWE Intercontinental champion lost to Bennett in a fast paced match up.

Saraya Knight vs. Cheerleader Melissa
Ladies Night: I've heard plenty about Shimmer, but never had a chance to see it live.  I'm glad I made the decision to get a ticket to Saturday's iPPV 53.   These ladies all proved it takes more than a pretty face to be a wrestling star.  We sat in the second row, which put us close to the action, which included my current favorite women's wrestler Awesome Kong.  She put a beating on Mia Yim, who fought hard against the monstrous Kia Stevens.  There was also a four way tag match for the titles which saw the champs, the Canadian Ninjas retaining against Allyson Danger & Taylor Made, Kellie Skater & Tomoko Nakagawa, and Lufisto & Kana.  Lufisto hit a moonsault onto the other competitors outside the ring and with our view obstructed, all we heard was a loud thud as she crashed to the floor.  Cheerleader Melissa captured the Shimmer title by beating Saraya Knight in a cage match.  That was a first for me too.

Chikara Sets a Record: WrestleCon marked my third live Chikara event.  I always have fun at these shows.  This one was no exception.  More than a thousand fans attended this event, setting a new record for the company.  It was great to be a part of the crowd, which as always is entertaining.  Highlights include the Batiri winning a four team elimination match, which included a hilarious Tebow pose by Mr. Touchdown.  By the way, the ultra jock called me a nerd during intermission and asked for a pen to sign someone's autograph.  Jushin "Thunder" Liger and Mike Quackenbush beat Jigsaw and the Shard, and Marty Jannetty returned to action in an eight man tag.  Another fun/markish point during this show is I ran into Hulk Hogan, the Iron Sheik, and Liger in the bathroom at various times.  Hogan and Sheik were on the other side of the building doing autographs for WrestleCon.  Talk about a surreal pee break...

Bruno Sells Out MSG...Again: When he was wrestling as the WWWF Champion, Bruno Sammartino sold out Madison Square Garden 187 times.  Saturday night, you could say he did it for the 188th time, as Bruno was the headline inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.  The Class of 2013 is without a doubt the best class to ever be inducted.  Bruno, Mick Foley, Booker T, Bob Backlund, and Trish Stratus all held the heavyweight title at least twice.  Celebrity inductee Donald Trump adds some start power and hate him or not, the WWE made the decision years ago for the celebrity wing, and I have no problem with his admission to the wing.  This was my first time at the Garden, and although I had hoped to see a wrestling match there, the Hall of Fame ceremony was a special night.  Wrestling fans need to continue to work on the jeering and cat calls during speeches, in particular Maria Menounos.  Also, the Hall of Fame is a special occasion, trade in the wrestling shirt, jeans, and replica belt for a button up shirt and khakis as the very least.

Welcome to Wrestlemania!: Every year the card seems a bit lackluster heading into the event, but there's something about being in the crowd live for Wrestlemania.  This year being in New Jersey and outside, it was quite chilly.  Early into the show it started to rain, but luckily it only lasted a few minutes.  I had a great time Sunday night.  CM Punk and the Undertaker stole the show in a match that seesawed like any Undertaker Wrestlemania encounter.  There were points when it looked as though the streak might come to an end, but once again, 'Taker picked up the win and went 21 and 0.  There's wasn't a match on the card that disappointed me, but I will say I didn't real feel that "Wrestlemania Moment".  Oddly enough, that would come 24 hours later...

Finally... Dolph is the champ
Photo courtesy: WWE
Dolph Steals the Show: Since Dolph Ziggler won the Money in the Bank briefcase fans have speculated on when he was going to cash it in.  Finally, on the Raw after Mania, the Showoff did just that.  He took advantage of an injured Alberto Del Rio to win the belt.  There were a few times I thought Del Rio would come back and win, but in the end, Ziggler won the gold.  The crowd that night was the most entertaining I've ever been a part of.  Chants for ECW, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and  Fandango's theme music were just a few of the things that were heard.  Of course many of these happened during Randy Orton and Sheamus' match, which I would imagine didn't sit well with the superstars.  Even after the show had ended people continued to hum Fandango's music.  So not only on April 8 did we see Dolph Ziggler step to the next level, I think we also saw the official launch of Fandango.  I'm curious to see where WWE goes from here, as Wrestlemania is typically a reset for a new "season."  Ryback and John Cena seemed destined to feud and I like where things seem to be headed with the Shield, Team Hell No, and the Undertaker.

It was a great weekend.  This of course is the condensed version.  We hope to have all the pics posted on Facebook in the coming days.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wrestlemania 28: The Joke Is On Us

Cena vs. Rock: Once in a Lifetime: Part 1
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm going to start off by giving credit where credit is due.  My friend Adam actually inspired this blog.  Wrestlemania 28, which was held on April 1, 2012, had two tag lines last year.  The main event between the Rock and John Cena was billed as "Once in a Lifetime".  Clearly, that didn't last.  We're six days away from Wrestlemania 29, and the WWE's top two stars are facing off once again.

Of course storyline wise the WWE can cover its tracks with the creation of this rematch.  After all, the Rock did win the WWE title at the Royal Rumble AND John Cena just happened to win the Royal Rumble match, which allowed him to pick which title he fights for.  It's only natural that he'd go after the championship held by the Rock.  Admittedly, Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena just doesn't have the Wrestlemania "feel".

Rock vs. Cena 2:
This time it's for redemption
Photo courtesy: WWE
I'm disappointed that we're getting the rematch and the build up of it being Cena's redemption.  I understand it in terms of him wanting to get a win over the Rock, but Cena is one of the biggest stars the WWE will ever see, does he need redemption?  Probably not, but I'm suspending reality and hoping for warm weather and a good match come Sunday.

The second tag line last year was in the second biggest match on the card, The Undertaker vs. Triple H.  This encounter was dubbed as an "End of an Era" match.  When it was said and done, Undertaker picked up the win, extending his Wrestlemania streak to 20 and 0.  Fast forward a year and BOTH the Undertaker and Triple H are on the card again.  So exactly what era ended?  I realize it wasn't billed as a retirement match, but I think a clearer definition of "end of an era" was needed back then.

End of an era for who?
Photo courtesy: WWE
Of course I'm bringing all this up now because the Wrestlemania card is finally sinking in.  We've griped about the part timers, the lack of a U.S. title match, and Divas championship; but at the end of the day, it is Wrestlemania and we are paying a lot of cash to watch this spectacle live and in person.  

The official Geek Week begins in less than 48 hours as we land in New Jersey around noon on Wednesday.  If you're there too, tweet us and let us know: @kevinhunsperger or @my123cents