Here are my thoughts on the upcomming event
Tue, 22 March 2005
Email the Author
The biggest wrestling show of the year is almost here once again. Wrestlemania (and to a lesser extent the Royal Rumble) is the Pay Per View that I still find myself getting excited about every single year. In the spirit of building up the hype and anticipation I figured that itād be worth taking a look at the matches announced for the show so far and giving my comments/observations about them all.
I have included who I think should win; that is who I personally believe should get the victory. Iāve also included who I think will win; my guess at who will actually get the victory based on the WWEās booking and things like that. I have seen other people do it that way and thought it worked pretty well, so I copied the format.
Firstly though, one thing I have to ask is, why does the WWE even bother having title belts any more? So far it looks as though the Intercontinental title is not going to defended at Wrestlemania (since Shelton Benjamin currently holds that and heās involved in the ladder match), there are no tag title matches announced yet, no US title match has been announced yet and no cruiserweight title match has been announced yet! So even if any of those titles do get defended itāll be in matches that are thrown together at the last minute, which hardly makes them seem terribly prestigious. Oh well, no use getting too upset about that I guess. It just seems like a bit of a waste.
Keep in mind I wrote this on the 21st of March, so there could be more matches added, or other developments regarding the things I discuss here between now and April 3rd when Wrestlemania 21 takes place.
It would be funny to see me get every single pick wrong, but if that happensā¦bah, who cares? Not like I bet on it. On with the preview!
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero: This one hasnāt actually been announced yet and as of this writing these guys were still tag team champs and (obviously) team mates. But it is still strongly expected to be on the card, so Iāll assume theyāre going to go ahead with it. They have been sort of building up to it on Smackdown, with Chavo constantly trying to create friction between Eddie and Rey. Word is neither guy will turn heel, instead it will be a face vs. face match. One of those ārespect matchā type of deals. If it is part of Wrestlemania 21 it would be my second most anticipated match of the show. These guys have been involved in a few of my all time favourite matches, including one with each other: the widely acclaimed Halloween Havoc match in ā97. They are awesome wrestlers and really great opponents for each other. Put those guys in the ring with each other and I donāt think theyād be capable of putting a bad match together. Itād be more likely to be a matter of whether the match is a very good one or an absolutely great one.
Who I think should win: Rey has a couple of wins against Eddie I believe. This would be a great time for Eddie to get one back.
Who I think will win: If Eddie could get a victory without using his now customary dirty tactics (or even with them really) it would help give him a renewed push. With a renewed push, he could be set up in the near future as a great opponent for a WWE title holding John Cena. I donāt know if thatās something they have in mind, but it makes some sense to me, so I will go with Eddie again here.
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton: Orton was intended to be in the main event, but that plan fell through when live audiences began to turn on him. It now looks like heās going back to being a heel, which is really the more natural fit for his smug demeanour. He still ended up with a high profile Wrestlemania match anyway. The big deal about this one is that it is the self-proclaimed ālegend killerā in Orton challenging the ālegendā of the Undertaker and his 12 match undefeated Wrestlemania streak. Iām actually quite curious to see how this one goes. I found the build up fairly effective. Even that really goofy stuff with the Undertaker shooting lightning bolts and shit didnāt ruin it. I always find his āsuperpowersā quite funny.
They seem to be have been doing the thing with opponents telling āTaker they arenāt afraid of him (even though really they are scared) for about a million years now. But here it is working better than it has for some time, as Orton is a legitimate contender (youngest ever world champ) who has backed up his boasts before (his victories over Mick Foley etc.) so you believe he may be able to win. Theyāve also made it clear that Randy feels like this is his chance at becoming a made star for life by ending the Undertakers legendary āMania winning run, something nobody else has been able to do. Heās being arrogant about it partially because heās trying to convince himself heās not scared. And the Undertaker is getting to the final years of his career (at least youād assume as much) so he might feel a need to prove he still has what it takes to keep his dominant record intact. Nicely done stuff so far I reckon.
I hope the actual match surpasses my expectations, which arenāt too high. It isnāt that I am expecting it to be awful, Iām just unsure how well these guysā styles can mesh (the same basic concerns I have for Tripple H/Batista). The crowd is going to be into it regardless though, thanks in part to the build up and the fact that the Undertaker is always a crowd favourite, so that should help keep it entertaining. Iām genuinely interested in seeing what the finish is going to be too.
Who I think should win: On the one hand it is kind of cool to have a guy that has never lost at Wrestlemania. But if he loses now, heāll still always be the guy that had 12 straight Wrestlemania victories and that sounds cool enough to me. If Orton is intended to be a big part of the future of the company it makes good sense for him to be the one who ends Undertakerās reign.
Who I think will win: While everything in me says that the Undertaker is going to suffer his first Wrestlemania loss, my mind refuses to let me except it. Not because I donāt want him to lose (I donāt mind much either way really) but because I canāt imagine him allowing that to happen. Despite the 'Mania victories being pre-determined, Undertaker seems to be very attached to them and, from all reports, he also wields quite a bit of power and influence backstage. I wouldnāt be too shocked if heād ask to win for one more year. Still if Vince and co. feel strongly enough about it, the Undertaker will lie down for Orton. Iām sure the āTaker sees how much Randy has to gain from the win too. Just to show Iām willing to make a decision Iāll say Orton wins. But if he does I seriously doubt it will be a clean victory.
Sumo Match- Big Show vs. Akebono: From what I gather this is going to be a legitimate Sumo-style contest. No scripted winner or any of that stuff. If that is true, logically youād expect the Big Show to have little chance of winning against a former sumo grand champion. Of course Big Show is no normal man, but neither is Akebono. Showās size isnāt going to intimidate a dude as big as Akebono and sumo wrestling isnāt purely about size anyway, technique also plays a major part. It will be fun seeing two monsters together like that. It reminds me of 80ās WWF when Vince had all those giants squaring off becauseā¦Vince just gets a kick out of really big people. I hope Hogan can resist running in and leg dropping both of them at the end. Old habits die hard you know.
Who I think should win: If it is a legit Sumo match Iād love to see Big Show overcome his lack of experience in that type of situation and pull off an upset victory. I like to cheer for the underdog. It seems funny to think of a guy as huge as Show as an underdog, but he really has to be in this case.
Who I think will win: Again, if this a real Sumo contest and not a scripted confrontation, Akebono would have to go in as the favourite, simply due to having vastly more experience than his opponent. Big Show doesnāt even have a huge size advantage going for him, heās the taller guy but Akebono actually weighs more.
Women's Championship- Christy vs. Trish: Trish is great, sheās beautiful, sexy and very funny. She can actually wrestle well too. Sheās improved so much so quickly that it is hard to believe. Christy is hot too and although she can be rather annoying she is putting a whole lot of effort in and I think sheās going to get better very quickly, much like Trish did (though I don't think she has the natural talent to ever become as good an entertainer as Trish). But Christy is only just learning to wrestle, so it is unrealistic to expect too much here. Should be a mildly entertaining affair and at least they are easy to look at. To be perfectly honest I doubt much of the audience really cares about the match quality of this one anyway.
Who I think should win: Trish. Because she rocks and Christy isnāt ready yet.
Who I think will win: I see Christy getting some kind of shock upset victory somehow. Lita might have something to do with it.
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels: In the wise words of Randy Savage, āOooh yeah, dig it!ā This is one match Iād pay for all by itself. This is one of those rare dream matches, with two of the very best ever in the business who, just through circumstance, happen to have never wrestled each other. Theyāve done a great job building this one up too, starting from their confrontation at the Royal Rumble. Both guys have such excellent reputations and big egos, it is perfectly believable that each of them would want to outdo (and hence feels threatened by) the other. Kurtās match with Marty Jannetty was really good too (apparently it was enough to help Jannetty get a new WWE contract) and a nice preview for what we might expect from this match.
Theyāve certainly got an awful lot to live up to here. That could be the biggest problem, the expectations (amongst people like myself at least) are so high that anything less than a five star (or 11 button) match might be considered anti-climactic. But I have seen what both of these guys are capable of doing at the biggest show of the year, despite pressure and other problems they had to overcome, and I sincerely believe theyāll be able to deliver. I hope they are given plenty of time. I canāt wait for this one, it will likely be the match of the show and it is indeed the one Iām looking forward to the most.
Who I think should win: I honestly donāt care who wins, they should both come out of it looking great either way.
Who I think will win: I have a feeling Kurt Angle is going to get the victory here. One possibility (as a friend of mine suggested) could be Marty Jannetty helping Angle pick up the win as a way of paying Michaels back for kicking him through the window all those years ago. Then theyād have a ready made feud for Marty and Shawn as part of the deal. Whatever happens, I think Angle has more to gain from a win at this stage than Michaels does, so Iāll go with him based on that.
Money-In-The-Bank 6 man Ladder Match- Christian vs. Edge vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho: Kind of strange, how theyāve sort of just jammed all these cats together like that. It could result in a total clusterf*ck. It could also result in a fast paced spot fest with guys flying about all over the place and all kinds of crazy shit. Iām all for that.
Thereās certainly no shortage of ability amongst these guys. I love the stipulation of the winner getting a world title shot that he can use whenever he likes. There are so many possible ways they could go with that, it really adds to the intrigue of this matchās outcome. With so many talented guys all wrestling at once it could go a couple of ways: it might come off disappointing that they werenāt in singles matches- as they might not get as much time or attention as they individually deserve. Or they could use the opportunity to do some eye popping stuff with constant action. It probably comes down to how much time they are given. If they donāt have to rush it too much this one could be absolutely awesome. At the very least I believe it will be fun to watch.
Who I think should win: Chris Benoit. Because he is Chris Benoit.
Who I think will win: I have no idea who they are going to go with here. The most likely choice seems to be Edge. They need more top heels, so they might want to keep him strong. (Iām not going to bother with any jokes about the Matt Hardy/Lita/Edge situation)
WWE Championship- John Cena vs. JBL: JBL as WWE champ went on far longer than was first expected. I have to say that Bradshaw has done a great job with the character and heās also done everything that has been asked of him. Most of his matches have been okay too. Heās a capable brawler and not nearly as bad as some internet fans will tell you. That ālast man standing matchā he had with Kurt Angle in particular was very good. And it wasnāt ALL thanks to Angleās work either. Lately I think theyāve gone overboard with the JBL stuff on Smackdown, he and his ācabinetā seem to be in nearly every segment and the whole thing is starting to get a little old. Nevertheless, JBL has worked hard to deserve his spot and the crowd is certainly keen to see him get his arse kicked; the true sign of an effective heel.
John Cena might be the most popular guy in the entire WWE right now. Heās getting some huge reactions from the fans. Personally, I seem to like him one week and find him annoying the next. Sometimes his act works for me and other times it doesnāt. Heās a bit like a younger āStone Coldā character, if Austin watched ā8 Mileā too many times or something. Anyway, the dude does have charisma. His wrestling style is a lot likes Austinās Stone Cold work too, except Cena is nowhere near as polished or good at the basic fundamentals. Heāll get better with time I reckon. He has an abundance of potential and he seems destined for greatness. It seems entirely probable that a Cena vs. Batista match will be the main event of next yearās Wrestlemania, or some other show down the line. The seeds have already been sewn for that eventual showdown. I wonder if both guys will have title belts when it happens.
Cena and JBL are probably going to put on a real āstreet fightā style brawl. I expect blood, fighting in the crowd and a broken table during this one. The tension has been built and their best bet would be to stick to the brawling. They could make a really fun to watch fight out of this, just as long as it is amped a notch or three on the violence scale.
Who I think should win: JBL winning by hook or by crook has gone on long enough now. It worked, the fans are dying to see him lose, but you need a payoff eventually and that time has arrived. Cena has to go over, simple as that. The only way I can see any sense in having JBL retain is if the Triple H vs. Batista match comes straight after this one (which I expect it will) and they want the crowd to be desperate for one of their favourites to win after the other has failed. Even then theyād be pushing their luck in my book. I think if Cena doesnāt get the belt the crowd will probably shit all over the show and cry like babies. Which is almost enough to make me hope that is what happens, because Iām perverse like that.
Who I think will win: Unless they were intentionally trying to swerve everyone, I think Cena losing the US title was a pretty clear sign that heāll be upgrading to the WWE title at Wrestlemania. Then theyāll have to make a ridiculous spinning WWE belt for him I guess.
World Heavyweight Championship- Batista vs. Triple H: Originally the WWE had planned to go with a HHH versus Randy Orton match for the Raw main event at Wrestlemania, but thatās not the way it ended up. The fans absolutely embraced Batista and more or less demanded that he be the one to face Triple H. I think theyāve slowly built up to this match very well and Iāve really enjoyed watching it all unfold. But the match itself isnāt one that I find myself getting too excited about.
Batistaās ring style doesnāt exactly scream ā40 minute classicā. He certainly looks the part, but with all those muscles to carry around Batista seems to be breathing heavily within a few minutes. Thatās fine for a three minute squash victory, but how will he go if he has to work far longer? The other thing is that Triple H uses a methodical style and that can be great with the right kind of opponent, but with another big lug in there that is even slower than Trips is, it could result in a really dragging pace.
On the other hand, Batista seems to be improving all the time, his power moves are awesome to see and always get the crowd going and he seems to put in plenty of effort. Iām sure Triple H will bump his arse off to help show off Batistaās strength too. Also, both guys are well aware of what an important match this is. They take plenty of pride in their craft, so thereās no doubt in my mind that theyāll both work as hard as they can to make it a good one. I just donāt know how successful theyāll be. I sure hope they surprise me and have an amazing match.
Who I think should win: Iām a sucker for the happy ending at Wrestlemania. This is the only show where I nearly always like it when the good guy prevails and the crowd is sent home with a smile. Iām also a sucker for world title changes at Wrestlemania; it just helps make the event feel more special. Therefore, in my opinion, Batista should defeat Triple H and capture the world title. Besides, it isnāt like Hunter wonāt be getting it back sooner or later.
Who I think will win: As I just said, it isnāt like HHH will be without the belt for too long, so I see no reason why he canāt drop it here. Then again he lost the title at last yearās Wrestlemania, will he be willing to do it again? Also, maybe they want Batista in a long term chase for the title, so that they can get a few more PPV matches out of it? And do they want both fan favourites winning their respective title bouts, or just one so that it stands out more? Those are points worth considering (at least as far as any points regarding wrestling could really be āworthā considering). I still believe Batista is going to win this one. But, one way or another, Triple H will likely have the belt back within a month or two.
Okay, thatās all she wrote for now. As I said at the beginning, some of this stuff might change and other matches may be put on the card between now and the 3rd of April. I hope all you wrestling fans enjoy Wrestlemania 21. Iām pretty sure I will.
Email the Author
More articles by Hillelman