Archive for the 'Wrestlemania Countdown' Category


The Wrestlemania All-Star Challenge

February 23rd, 2014 Posted by Gavok

We’re on the eve of what will be a very important date in wrestling history. The WWE Network is about to go live and a good chunk of the WWE’s future relies on its performance. Making huge risks is a major WWE thing and outside of the first Wrestlemania, people mainly remember the bad decisions that lost a ton of money. The bodybuilding federation, the football league, the political campaigns and so on. Unlike those, the WWE Network is looking like a great idea and I can only cross my fingers and hope it’s something that works out for them as they’re really burning some bridges with it.

I’m picking it up. I know many people who are doing the same. Usually a bunch of us would get together to watch a PPV that only one person ordered, so if we’re all paying $10 for the WWE Network, then maybe they have a chance to pull this off.

In honor of this situation, which will be interesting as hell whether they win or lose, I’m going to try something I saw on a forum years ago. I forgot if it had a name, but I’m just going to call it the Wrestlemania All-Star Challenge. If you have your own blog or whatever and you want to try it, by all means. Use the comments too, if that’s your thing.

Here’s the concept: You have to put together a playlist of the ultimate Wrestlemania. It has to be 29 matches with one match from each Wrestlemania. There are two roadblocks, though. One, no wrestler may get double-duty. You can’t have Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy from Wrestlemania 2 as well as Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy from Wrestlemania 11. Not that you’d want to. Non-participant appearances are fine, so you don’t have to worry about managers or run-ins. Similarly, no title belt may get double-duty either. This is going with the idea that the WWF Championship and WWE Championship are the same thing. You can have Steamboat vs. Savage for the Intercontinental Championship or you can have Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Championship. You just can’t have both.

It’s harder than it looks, coming off as a giant puzzle. It’ll lead to some iffy choices and you’re going to have to drop a match or two that you really like. For instance, I was going to include Hogan vs. Rock, but that caused some problems in other shows where there simply wasn’t a viable match to choose from.

Here’s my list. Noticeably absent are Batista, Chris Benoit, Mick Foley and the Big Show.

WM1: Special Delivery Jones vs. King Kong Bundy. The first Wrestlemania is filled with a lot of nothing matches, but at least this one’s kind of memorable. Bundy squashes Jones in a quick match that they insist is quicker.

WM2: Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff in a Flag Match. Again, this Wrestlemania has a lot of crap matches and anything passable has somebody I’d rather use for another spot on the list. The Flag Match isn’t that bad. It’s short, but both guys make it watchable enough.

WM3: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Championship. It’s the match that stole the show and acted as maybe the best singles match in the first ten years of Wrestlemania. How can I not include it?

WM4: “The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo. Wrestlemania 4 is problematic. There’s nothing especially good and the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude tournament match completely kills the show. Luckily, the first round meeting between Muraco and Bravo has a bit of pep in its step for such a short match.

WM5: The Brain Busters vs. Strike Force. A fun tag match that gives us one of the more memorable tag team splits of the 80’s. Now that I think of it, it’s kind of weird that they split up one of their big face tag teams while being overshadowed by the company’s top angle that was also about a big face tag team splitting up. Back then, the concept wasn’t as overdone as it is now.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Twelve

April 5th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Better late than never, I guess. For those of you who haven’t read up on the site in the past few days, I hit a snag on writing this entry thanks to a mixture of fatigue and sickness. The lack of sleep even led to some actual paranoia where the slightest sensation in one of my legs or arms would lead to my frantic belief that I was suffering a heart attack or diabetes or whatever. Anyway, I got over all that, but it completely killed my writing momentum. Now it’s time to right that wrong.

People have been wondering about Wrestlemania 26 and how it ranks on the list. I have a lot on my plate as it is, so I’m not going to go into too much detail. A lot of the matches were simply good or pretty good, but not great. The main event is phenomenal and I’d consider it better than Wrestlemania 25’s Michaels/Undertaker match. Batista/Cena is pretty good, outside of the completely cookie cutter ending. Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart is not only horrible, but I can definitely say it’s the worst male match at any Wrestlemania. I’d even rather watch Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales.

Using my rating system based on how I remember liking each match, it ends up ranking at #11 1/2. It’s worse than Wrestlemania 14, but better than Wrestlemania 21. Though to the show’s credit, it did help lead into this.

And the world has been a better place since. Thank you, Jack.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Eleven

March 28th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

This was supposed to be up last night, but the stupid website was down until about an hour ago. Bullshit. I’ll have to post Day Twelve tomorrow instead.

For one last Tales of Wrestlemania, we might as well look at the guy whose name is synonymous with the show. Shawn Michaels, who calls himself “Mr. Wrestlemania” has a ton of Wrestlemania appearances and it makes for a good synopsis of his storied career.

Wrestlemania 5: He and Marty Jannetty lose decisively against the Twin Towers.

Wrestlemania 6: He and Marty lose another match, but at least it’s because of cheating.

Wrestlemania 7: Finally, he and Marty win a match.

Wrestlemania 8: Michaels is on his own as a heel, managed by Sensational Sherri. The commentators can’t stop talking about how Michaels is destined for the Intercontinental Championship.

Wrestlemania 9: Michaels is now the Intercontinental Champion as predicted. He keeps his title despite losing his match. Also, Sherri is now out to get him.

Wrestlemania 10: Michaels starts going down the road of being a dick, which is what ultimately causes the ladder match against Razor Ramon for the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. Michaels loses the match and the title.

Wrestlemania 11: A year after the ladder match, Michaels has moved up the ladder and gets a world title shot. It isn’t the true main event and he does lose, but he’s made it this far.

Wrestlemania 12: Take two! Half of the show is dedicated to Michaels winning the belt off Bret Hart. When he wins, he continues to be a dick towards Bret.

Wrestlemania 13: Speaking of being a dick to Bret, he ducks out of wrestling at the show and dropping the title to Bret because he lost his smile. Still shows up with a big intro anyway and commentates the main event. Puts over the Undertaker huge, even though they haven’t met in the ring yet.

Wrestlemania 14: His back is messed up and he has to retire. He drops the title to Steve Austin, though there are rumors that he was reluctant to do so. He steps away from wrestling for the most part and the Attitude Era begins.

Wrestlemania 15: Just because he can’t wrestle doesn’t mean he can’t make an appearance. He appears prior to the main event to tell off Vince McMahon with threats to take him down physically if need be.

Wrestlemania 16: Michaels is relegated to just showing up for Fan Axxess and signing autographs while one overzealous fan yells at the camera that they should bring him back. He vanishes from the scene for the next two Wrestlemanias.

Wrestlemania 19: Michaels has made a shocking recovery from his back problems and is back in the ring. He’s no longer the young up-and-comer. He’s now the veteran, facing Chris Jericho, who is essentially the younger version of Michaels.

Wrestlemania 20: Swerves his way into the main event title match, but it isn’t meant to be. He loses without being involved in the finale.

Wrestlemania 21: Wrestles Kurt Angle in what is essentially callback to Wrestlemania 12. Angle is angry that Michaels’ 1996 showing trumped him winning a gold medal.

Wrestlemania 22: Michaels faces Vince McMahon and destroys him in an angle that could be portrayed as Michaels destroying a representative of what kind of man he used to be.

Wrestlemania 23: Michaels goes to the main event against the champion, but Michaels doesn’t win. At his level, he no longer truly needs the title.

Wrestlemania 24: Defeats Ric Flair and, as part of the stipulation, Flair has to retire. An important landmark in Michaels’ career.

Wrestlemania 25: Puts his own legendary list of Wrestlemania accomplishments against the Undertaker. He fights hard to get to this match, beating JBL and Kozlov for the right, but falls just short of victory.

Wrestlemania 26: It all comes to a head. He can’t let that loss stand. Defeating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania is all that’s left for him to do. If he can’t succeed, he will do like Flair two years before and walk away from the squared circle.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Ten

March 26th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Today’s Tales of Wrestlemania is about Lex Luger.

Wrestlemania 8: Lex isn’t even wrestling. He’s being used for the World Bodybuilding Federation and appears to talk to Bobby Heenan about how jacked he is. Then he drinks some milk. Waste of time.

Wrestlemania 9: They’re really pushing Lex by not only going over Mr. Perfect, but claiming that he beat up Bret Hart earlier in the day. Unfortunately for the Narcissist, this match with Bret will never come to be.

Wrestlemania 10: Having become a patriotic Hogan knockoff, Lex has a title shot against Yokozuna. Despite all these hints that he and Bret are going to meet in the finals, Lex is screwed over by the man he beat just a year earlier: Mr. Perfect. Dang.

Wrestlemania 11: Any momentum Lex has ever had is long gone. Now he’s relegated to teaming up with the British Bulldog and opening the show. He still won’t be having any matches with Bret because he’s no longer in his league. That’s harsh.

Which reminds me, I remember a rumor that Lex was going to win the title at Wrestlemania 10, but blabbed it to a reporter and they had to change the booking of the show. I never found out if that was bullshit or not.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Nine

March 25th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For today’s Tales of Wrestlemania, we’ll do a double. First, King Kong Bundy.

Wrestlemania 1: Bundy appears in the second match and annihilates Special Delivery Jones in seconds. Obviously, this guy has momentum.

Wrestlemania 2: That momentum has brought him to the main event against Hulk Hogan for the title. Bundy loses the match and has nowhere to go but down.

Wrestlemania 3: He’s fallen so far that he’s now in a comedy mixed tag match featuring four midgets and Hillbilly Jim. That’s like hitting rock bottom.

Wrestlemania 11: He returns and is used as a threat of the week against the Undertaker. He’s handily beaten. But hey, at least your Wrestlemania career still looks better than SD Jones!

Here’s a quick one for Yokozuna.

Wrestlemania 9: Yokozuna’s Wrestlemania debut has him win the main event against Bret Hart through cheating. He gets the title, but foolishly challenges Hulk Hogan and loses the belt. It’s not too bad. He’s still the top heel of the company.

Wrestlemania 10: After Bret loses to Owen in the opening bout, Yokozuna is able to get past his first round match with Lex Luger thanks to a crooked referee. It takes a year, but Bret Hart finally avenges his loss from the previous show. There goes Yokozuna’s belt.

Wrestlemania 11: Yokozuna falls down the card, but who better to team with than Bret’s other opponent from last year, Owen Hart? The two win the tag titles off the Smoking Gunns. This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wrestlemania 12: Got bad news, Yokozuna. First, you and Owen are now enemies. Second, we’re feeding you to Vader, so you’re yesterday’s news. And third, you really, really need to do something about that nasty pube beard of yours. Don’t you own a mirror?

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Eight

March 24th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For today’s Tales of Wrestlemania profile, let’s go with Andre the Giant.

Wrestlemania 1: Andre battles and defeats Big John Studd with Andre’s very career on the line. In Studd’s corner is Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

Wrestlemania 2: Andre continues to show his dominance by winning the big battle royal. Later, in the main event, Heenan’s acquisition King Kong Bundy fails to defeat Hogan for the title.

Wrestlemania 3: Andre and Heenan have joined forces to get the title off Hogan. Andre loses the match. Once again, Heenan has failed.

Wrestlemania 4: Andre has a rematch with Hogan, though this time represented by Ted Dibiase. Andre succeeds in taking Hogan out of the tournament, but when he tries to take out Savage, Hogan appears to strike him down. Also at this show, Jake Roberts has a match with Rick Rude that starts a feud between Jake and the Heenan Family.

Wrestlemania 5: Andre is back with Heenan and is going after Jake Roberts. Big John Studd is the referee. Andre is disqualified and chased off by Jake, giving Studd some face closure in their rivalry.

Wrestlemania 6: Andre and Haku are the tag champs. They lose the belts to Demolition and Heenan has had enough. Ever since turning heel, Andre has yet to get a victory at Wrestlemania. Heenan slaps Andre and sets him off.

Wrestlemania 7: Andre is too broken down to wrestle, but he does show up to help Big Boss Man fight the Heenan Family. After helping clear the area of Mr. Perfect, Haku and the Barbarian, Andre gives some words of encouragement to Boss Man and effectively passes the torch before moving on.

Has kind of an Anakin Skywalker ring to it.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Seven

March 23rd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

It’s Tuesday, meaning NXT is on tonight. If you are a wrestling fan and you aren’t watching NXT then you’re doing it wrong. You should fix that immediately. It’s the best show the WWE’s put on in years.

For the remaining days of this countdown, I’m going to do something called Tales of Wrestlemania. The events of consecutive Wrestlemanias have a way of telling an abridged story of some wrestlers’ careers. Their matches act like stepping stones to greatness and links to a higher profile. Or perhaps they show a decline in one’s career. Let’s start it off with Tito Santana‘s profile.

Wrestlemania 1: Not only does Tito Santana open the show, but he wins the very first Wrestlemania match. Later in the night, he helps out Junkyard Dog by convincing the referee to reverse his decision in the JYD/Valentine match. Valentine keeps the Intercontinental Championship, which will allow Tito to eventually win it from him. Things are looking good.

Wrestlemania 2: Tito and his good friend Junkyard Dog are now working together as a tag team against the Funks. Junkyard Dog gets clobbered by a megaphone to the head and gets pinned. Oh well. At least Tito wasn’t the one pinned.

Wrestlemania 3: Tito finds himself in another tag match. He and the British Bulldogs are up against the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis. Davis? He should be easy pickings. Unfortunately, Hart’s megaphone gets used again, this time on Dynamite Kid. Crap, another loss. Still, Tito didn’t take the fall. There’s still that.

Wrestlemania 4: Tito’s found a better partner in Rick Martel. They’re even the champions! They lose those titles to Demolition because YET AGAIN, Tito’s partner gets hit with the heel manager’s weapon. Goddamn it.

Wrestlemania 5: Okay, Strike Force has been on the shelf for a few months, but things are back to normal. They’re going to beat the Brainbusters and… where is Martel going? Well, great. Not only is Tito alone, but he has to be the one who gets pinned. This tag team stuff is for the birds.

Wrestlemania 6: All right! Singles match! Against the Barbarian, who has also broken away from the tag world to do singles matches. Maybe Tito has a chance– nope. Clothesline off the top rope turns him into an accordion.

Wrestlemania 7: Okay, certainly Tito can defeat the Mountie, right? Nope. Taser to the gut after about a minute in.

Wrestlemania 8: Tito’s back with a revitalized gimmick. Maybe that will help him beat this Shawn Michaels guy. Nope. Not only does he lose, but it’s a stinker of a match. Seven losses in a row at this point.

Wrestlemania 9: Yes! Tito Santana finally gets a win again! It’s against Papa Shango! …Unfortunately, nobody sees this, since it’s delegated to a dark match. Sorry, Tito.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Six

March 22nd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

To continue with the worthless trivia, here’s a list of the ten longest matches in Wrestlemania history.

10) Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (Wrestlemania 6): 22:51
9) Triple H vs. Randy Orton (Wrestlemania 25): 23:34
8) Undertaker vs. Edge (Wrestlemania 24): 23:50
7) Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit (Wrestlemania 20): 25:10
6) Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania 21): 27:25
5) Steve Austin vs. the Rock (Wrestlemania 17): 28:06
4) Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena (Wrestlemania 23): 28:20
3) Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania 25): 30:41
2) The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley (Wrestlemania 16): 36:28
1) Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania 12): 1:01:52

That’s no surprise on the last one. But what of the shortest matches?

10) Big Show vs. Akebono (Wrestlemania 21): 1:02
9) Legion of Doom vs. Power and Glory (Wrestlemania 7): 0:59
8) Butterbeat vs. Bart Gunn (Wrestlemania 15): 0:35
6) Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb (Wrestlemania 10)/Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan (Wrestlemania 5): 0:32
5) King Kong Bundy vs. Special Delivery Jones (Wrestlemania 1): 0:23
3) Rey Mysterio vs. JBL (Wrestlemania 25)/Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna (Wrestlemania 9): 0:21
2) The Hart Foundation vs. the Bolsheviks (Wrestlemania 6): 0:19
1) Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero (Wrestlemania 24): 0:09

This is going to be a longer update. Between the two reviewed shows, I have 30 matches to work through.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Five

March 21st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Let’s take a second to look at some random Wrestlemania trivia.

Jeff Hardy and Goldust share the worst win-loss records with 0-5. After them are Crush and the Dudley Boyz, each with 0-4.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff is the only wrestler to go from the main event of one Wrestlemania to the opening match of the next. Similarly, Lex Luger and Eddie Guerrero have gone from having world title matches on one show to being in the opening match the following year. Edge and Chris Jericho have done the reverse by being in the opening match one year and then the main event the following.

Hulk Hogan vs. Zeus was once in the cards for the main event of Wrestlemania 6.

For three years in a row, scheduled matches were dropped from Wrestlemania’s card due to time restraints: British Bulldog vs. the Berzerker (Wrestlemania 8), Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Kamala (Wrestlemania 9) and a ten-man tag match (Wrestlemania 10).

Shawn Michaels and Finlay have both opened three Wrestlemanias in a row.

Bret Hart and Owen Hart have a combined 20 matches at Wrestlemania. Only one of those matches (Bret vs. Austin) has ended with a Sharpshooter.

Wrestlemania 4 is the only time Ted Dibiase has won or lost a match via pin. He’s never won or lost via submission despite his finisher.

Yokozuna has wrestled four world title matches over the course of two consecutive Wrestlemanias.

Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man is the only heel vs. heel match to take place at Wrestlemania.

The mini-tournament in Wrestlemania 10 was decided with a coin toss in-story. Had it started with Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, Lex Luger would have had a singles match with Crush before facing the winner.

If you face Kurt Angle in a title match at Wrestlemania, you will win. If there is no title on the line, you will lose.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Four

March 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For the hell of it, I picked up the 2010 Wrestlemania XXVI Almanac, an overpriced magazine that features lots of facts and interviews relating to the past Wrestlemanias. A lot of it makes for good reading, but there are two things that bugged the crap out of me.

First, there’s a part where they talk about the “most evil Wrestlemania” and say that it’s Wrestlemania 24. The first reason on their list is, “Raven Symone was there. Almost reason enough.”

Yeah! Fuck that evil bitch for showing up to endorse the Make a Wish Foundation and bringing 50 kids to the show!

The other thing that gets me is this page where they show a bunch of pics from various Wrestlemanias and have you figure out which show they’re from. It’s a great idea and the choices work for the most part. Doink and Doink, Snoop Dogg clotheslining Santino, Big Show sumo wrestling, the Fink with a full head of hair, etc. But come on, guys. Can you make this just a little bit harder?

Gee… uh… hm… Summerslam ’94?

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