WWE focuses on the Divas in the latest episode of the Monday Night War. Continue reading
Wrestlemania weekend isn’t just Wrestlemania weekend anymore. It’s the actual close of WWE’s fiscal year. It’s what they gear all of their marketing towards. And because of all the time and money spent towards the event, it usually succeeds and is the one time of the year where most WWE fans buy a wrestling PPV and sit with their friends and watch. It’s pretty much how it was designed originally by Vince McMahon. It is now the Super Bowl of wrestling.
But where as the final game in football is the only thing important going on (unless you count all the parties), Wrestlemania weekend now includes something that is almost more interesting than the wrestling show itself. For the the last three years, WWE has added a Hall of Fame ceremony as an extra event. They televised an hour of it on television and streamed it on the internet, but they add the entire DVD ceremony on the DVD as added incentive to buy the release.
Wrestlemania 22 was the first time in Wrestlemania history that the Hall of Fame ceremony (or any extracurricular activity) actually overshadowed the wrestling card. There were two reasons for that. First, the booking, build-up and match making for the card was pretty atrocious. Thankfully the guys put on awesome performances and the card ending up being pretty good. But the other reason is because of Bret Hart and the late Eddie Guerrero.
Wrestlemania was Vince McMahon’s baby. Technically Stephanie and Shane were his kids, but one could imagine that Vince took just as much care in his raising and handling of Wrestlemania as he did with his own children. And shame on those of you who just said that he might’ve shown more love and care for Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania was live in Madison Square Garden in 1985, and Wrestlemania 10 was also at the Garden in 1995. It didn’t take a genius to figure that Wrestlemania XX would call the Garden home. The line-up was stacked for Mania XX and Vince started promoting the event at Mania XIX. It had an entire year of promotion and it delivered.
There were a couple big ifs about this PPV. Or maybe a couple of big woulds. Would Vince McMahon give Chris Benoit the World Championship? Would Vince McMahon give Eddie Guerrero more than a one month reign as WWE Champion? Would Mick Foley be the Mick Foley of old? And would Hulk Hogan make a triumphant return at Wrestlemania XX?
Well, the answer to the first three questions was yes, but sadly, at least from this old Hulkamaniac’s point of view, the fourth was a big fat no. The PPV was set up with making Chris Benoit the superstar wrestling fans have always wanted him to be as well as establishing Eddy Guerrero as a fighting champion. And it did those things very well in my opinion.
The problem with having a PPV of this magnitude is that if it is a solid event, but doesn’t quite match the hype, it almost feels like a failure. And while that wasn’t the case here, if it wasn’t for the two championship bouts, it might’ve been looked at as a failure. The reason for that is because there were two huge matches that were advertised just as hard and maybe even harder than the two championship matches, and those failed miserably.
This was originally written for Epinions.com on July 10th, 2004.
Typically in World Wrestling Entertainment, tradition is usually kept intact, even though there are a few notably disgusting moments within the company’s history of violating tradition and it’s principles. However, one of the WWE’s most time-honered traditions have been the Royal Rumble match and event. Since 1988, the Royal Rumble match was a proving ground. The rules were simple. 30 Men would compete under the rules of a Battle Royale. The match begins with two men, and every two minutes or so (it changes year to year), a new wrestler will join the Rumble. This continues until all 30-Men have entered. A wrestler is eliminated if he is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. A winner is declared whenever all other participants are eliminated and one man remains.
Originally, the Royal Rumble event was just an idea to draw fans into seeing their favorite superstars within one match. The “every man for himself” motto that has been used since it’s inception brought about intruiging possibilities. Friends fighting friends. Enemies battling enemies. Even tag teams would sometimes battle it out (Demolition, the Hardy Boyz). Though most of the time, the Royal Rumble match is tiring and overly long, there have been a few notable Royal Rumbles which were very fun to watch and entertaining (1992, 1997, 1998, and 2001 are my personal favorites). In 1993, a special stipulation was added to the Royal Rumble match. The winner of the Rumble would become the instant #1 Contender for the World Championship and compete for it in the Main Event at that year’s Wrestlemania, which is the WWF/WWE’s biggest annual event.