Last Year, the WWE began to induct names from the very early days professional wrestling under the guise of the legacy brand of the Hall of Fame. I for one think that this concept is fantastic and a great way to allow fans a window into a past that most of them may not be aware of and also gives the talent that paved the way an opportunity to be honored. I am aware that most fans don't know a lot of the names that get inducted under the Legacy branch, but that's point of inducting because that is the only way fans will get to know them and even if it is only for a little while they will get more attention then have in a long time.
I am a firm believer in the idea that if it isn't talked about it's forgotten it doesn't matter if it's historically or in current times either way it's pretty easy forget someone or something. This has been a problem for pro-wrestling because it is very easy to forgot a member of the old guard in favor a new face. But that is why I believe this is so important to do for WWE because it allows fans to remember the old school for even a few minutes.
With WrestleMania tomorrow I would typically avoid running two posts back to back. The only reason I have chosen to look back at a WrestleMania is because of the historical significance of this WrestleMania in question. The tagline for this WrestleMania was "End of an Era" due to the Hell in a Cell Match between Undertaker and Triple H and it was billed as "Once in a Life Time" because of the match between John Cena and The Rock.
However, due to the how highly criticized that "Once in a Life Time" slogan would become due to the following years Mania. With that being said we will be focusing on two matches from the card instead of the entire card; once again due to the historical significance of the matches.
Though at this point most people will understand the significance of the match, but at the time most people thought that the WWE was just trying to bury Daniel Bryan by letting him lose to Sheamus in 18 seconds. The concept of the 18 second would later become it's own thing and help with the push of Daniel and that along with AJ Lee's "Kiss of Death" it would help in making Daniel into a superstar. Even though most may think that the only reason Daniel got his push is because Punk walked away and though that might be true history has been written. Nobody could have thought that this match would have had the impact it did on WWE's future as most disregarded this match at the time it became the start of the Yes Movement.
Quite honestly, this was the last good match of Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania against Triple H. The reason why this was the down turn of the streak is not just because Brock Lesnar would break the streak at WrestleMania 30. At WrestleMania 29, CM Punk would attempt to conquer the streak, but comparing the two matches his match with Triple H was much better especially with the magnitude of the match. There is no doubt that this match did in fact signify the end of an era as this would be the last time Shawn Michaels would have an in-ring part of WrestleMania and well that picture it speaks a "Thousand words." Don't Believe me, take a look as this was the last time these three legends were on stage together on the "Grandest Stage of Them All."
Recently, I thought about the idea of continuing to push the hype of WrestleMania in the final week prior to the big event this coming Sunday. Over the years we have seen a tremendous amount of fantastic matches and also a good number of terrible matches as well. Now this isn't a how I would book it, but it is more just trying to make the greatest WrestleMania card combining the matches from past WrestleMania's into one card.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
(c) Daniel Bryan w/ AJ vs Sheamus
Due to the later impact that this match would have on Daniel's career in the WWE as this indirectly set the "Yes Movement" in motion. Nothing would change with this match, because the booking of the match is what caused the movement to begin and I think this would be a great opening match.
2014 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I would say that the Battle Royal would have made it on the card, because of how deeply ingrained in the WWE formula a battle royal has been especially this one as this first installment of the Battle Royal. When it was announced for WrestleMania 30 it was new and fresh and different which brought a bit of intrigue for the match going into the event.
The Rockers vs Haku & The Barbarian
This might be a strange match to include on a super card, but basing it off the idea of formatting and time we would need matches that could carry the weight for the middle of the show. Having knowledge of this match on WrestleMania Seven and how much of fantastic opener this was for the show it could occupy time for this "Super Show."
Euro-Continental Triple Threat Match:
(c) Kurt Angle vs Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit
Looking back at WrestleMania 16 there were very few great moments from the show, but one of the matches that was a highlight of the show was the Triple Threat match between three men making their WrestleMania debut's. This would also be a nice way to change things up focusing on the mat wrestling side of things for the first time this event.
Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage
In my opinion this was one of the greatest matches in not just WrestleMania history, but also in the career of Ultimate Warrior. This was the perfect match from start to finish and the segment following the match was just the icing on the cake. Randy showed just how good he is being able milk a great match out of The Warrior. With how things worked out later in the year I think that the WWE may have chosen to let Randy win over Warrior, but we can't go back we can only wonder "What if?"
Tito Santana vs The Executioner
For those of you who know your WrestleMania history you will know why I chose to include this match out of all the matches. Based on the legacy of WrestleMania I felt including the first ever match in WrestleMania history is very fitting to include in something like this. This match was nothing special, but either way it was still the opening match on the first ever WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
Out of all the best Women's division matches that have happened in the history of WrestleMania this one was one of the best overall matches in a very long time. This match was the embodiment of how much the division has changed in recent years this was the most time a women's match has been given in the history WrestleMania. There is no way I could do something like this without including this match. Especially, with the women getting special entrances including having Snoop Dogg sing Sasha to the ring.
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels
Surprisingly, this was the first WrestleMania meeting between two legends and it would go down as one of the greatest matches in the history of this event. From start to finish these two put together a classic match and one that is still talked about today.
TLC II: WWF World Tag Team Championship:
Dudley Boys vs Edge and Christian vs Hardy Boys
One of the many bright spots of WrestleMania 17 was the match between the Hardy's, The Dudley's and Edge and Christian as it showed just how bright the future was for WWE and what they were doing right. Even though at this point the three teams had been feuding on and off since 1999 not only did they not disappoint the match defied expectations and was a highlight of the show.
The Rock vs Steve Austin
Due to historical significance I selected their match from WrestleMania 19 as it was in my opinion the best match of the trilogy and would be the last match of Steve Austin's career. Without these two men and their ascension through the ranks during the Attitude Era the WWF likely would have gone under. Because much like when your building sports you want someone build around and that someone was Steve Austin and then a guy like The Rock was like having two cornerstones sort of comparable to Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris or Kobe Bryant and Shaq O' Neil (Sorry Big Show). Either way at the time this match didn't really have much significance other than it being the third match between the legends and going in The Rock had never beaten Austin at Mania. That changed!
Once again What Culture hits the nail on the head once again with this video, because the one thing some fans seem to miss is that WrestleMania has moved away from being just designed for hardcore fans. Since around WrestleMania 27 it has become a little bit clearer that the WWE has been pandering to the casual fans when it comes to WrestleMania, because they knew that hardcore fans will watch it either way.
I am not saying that hardcore fans don't matter its just that the WWE don't think they need to try that hard to get the hardcore fans interested in watching the biggest event of the year. With names like Triple H, Shane McMahon, Undertaker, Goldberg, Brock, and others having major parts on the show because they know that it will get casual fans interested in the show due to the nostalgia as Simon mentions in the video.
Even though some of us may not believe that the right match is headlining the show, but I feel like their is a good balance on the show of both nostalgia and good build. For example, with Kevin Owens vs Jericho and Brock vs Goldberg I feel there is enough attention on all sides. Now this doesn't mean that I don't agree with those fans who think full time talent should main event, because I do believe that Randy & Bray should main event since Randy won the Rumble; all I am saying is I understand why they aren't going to main event.
With WrestleMania quickly approaching it is fitting to start putting a bow on all the WrestleMania oriented series. This means that this will likely be the last WrestleMania match we look back at for this years Road to the big event on April the second. There has been so many big matches at WrestleMania and there are numerous matches to chose from. As far as modern wrestling goes there hasn't been many amazing matches other than involving The Undertaker, but very few have had amazing build-up and a match that paid off. Daniel Bryan's push and build up to the biggest WrestleMania match in modern wrestling and it paid off at WrestleMania XXX when Bryan won the World Title. No words can describe how this build paid off so well and unfortunately things didn't go as planned because of injuries, but there is no doubt that this moment will live on forever.
This weekend is Fast Lane and it is the final stop before WrestleMania in early April which means that the speed on the "Road to WrestleMania" will be picking up in the coming weeks and that means the hype will to. The card is slowly but surely coming together with more matches becoming clear even though they may not be confirmed at the moment the direction is present.
For the one match that is confirmed we now look to Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt and though I feel like the WWE could've let things simmer for a few more weeks it is good to finally see the official Mania match getting some hype. This match has been built up for the last 6 months or so and will finally reach a boiling point at the big event. Though as of right AJ Styles may be the Number 1 contender we still have a little under a month before Mania and that means plenty of time for Randy to become number 1 contender again. I am aware that this match has not been announced yet, but it seems pretty clear that it will be announced very soon.
As for the other side of the coin as in a match that isn't even close to being announced but for one reason or another I think will happen. I am going to shift gears and go to RAW specifically the women's division where Charlotte has reigned supreme for over a year. Most people would think it's Bayley vs Sasha, but at this point it's pretty that this match will not happen at WrestleMania this year at least. Next would be Charlotte vs Bayley for third month in a row well I do think they will both be in the match, but it will not be one on one. I think that the WWE may give the women a multi-person match this year as in a fatal four way for the Women's title involving Charlotte vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax for the Raw Women's title. This would put a nice bow on Charlotte in the title picture and could give Bayley her second reign with the title or maybe Nia her first.
WrestleMania over the years has produced some of the best matches during the year and in some cases have given us the best matches in the history of wrestling. In the last 19 years that I have been watching wrestling I have seen some of my all time favorite matches while watching WrestleMania. So with that being the case and WrestleMania slowly approaching I thought it would be a great time to look back at some of my all time favorite WrestleMania matches of all time.
This first match needs no explanation or at least very little. Just thinking about this match gives me goosebumps, this is by far one of the best matches ever not just in WrestleMania history. At WrestleMania 3 not only did the wrestling world change when Hogan slammed Andre but fans jaws dropped when 23 pin attempts later we saw the end of a classic between Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage.
The biggest event of the WWE calendar year is once again slowly approaching right around the corner. This Sunday is our next stop on the Road to WrestleMania and this could make the picture for WrestleMania all the more clear. Even though this PPV is a Smackdown exclusive event this will at least build forward the Smackdown matches set up for Mania.
Currently, Randy Orton is set to challenge for the WWE Championship on April 2nd but at this point who will be champion on that day is still undecided. Rumors as always have been running rampant for the last few weeks as to who will be competing for the WWE title come WrestleMania. At this point rumors seem to point to someone coming away with the title, but I don't think I want to put a name on it at this point. Considering the PPV is right around the corner we will be finding out the WWE World title match for WrestleMania and with that being said I will not spoil anything even if the rumor isn't 100% what is going to happen.
The other part of this is an update from the last installment of the series where I spoke about the possibility of the Rollins vs Triple H match being postponed due to Rollins sustaining an injury. However, at this point it seems very likely that Rollins will be 100% prior to WrestleMania which means the match that is still very much likely to be on. The idea that Rollins will likely be back by WrestleMania has changed an extreme negative into a positive, because at least at this point this means that Seth Rollins will not be missing his second WrestleMania in a row which is great for someone who has become the workhorse of the WWE roster.
The last time we were here I talked about the countdown to WrestleMania and how we have plenty of time to talk about all the rumors and possibilities as the big event approaches in the first of April. At this point we still have both Raw and Smackdown's last PPV before WrestleMania.
The only difference with installment is that I will only be focusing on one match instead of two like I did in this first edition of the series.
Since last August the match and the feud were rumored and in a way only the second match rumored for Mania was Triple H vs Seth Rollins. Due to the injury sustained by Finn Balor following his match with Seth at Summerslam the Universal title picture changed and that also changed the plans the WWE had in place for the next few months. Because originally both Rollins and Reigns were meant to stay out of the World title picture, but that changed.
Eventually Seth would end his feud with Kevin Owens and break into his feud with Triple H. Now he did end up continuing a feud with Chris Jericho until the latter part of the last year before reigniting his feud with Hunter shortly after Survivor Series. The feud really started to pick up in recent weeks eventually seeing Rollins appear at the latest NXT Takeover event last weekend. This little invasion of sorts lead Hunter to make his return to Monday Night Raw to call out Seth Rollins. Unfortunately, it was on this edition of Monday Night Raw that Seth may have reinjured his knee; the same knee that kept him out of action for around a year.
This injury has put Rollins and Triple H's match and feud in doubt at the very least it has put it in doubt as it pertains to it being a part of WrestleMania this year. Though this is very unfortunate and could be a huge loss for the WWE; looking in the bigger picture this could add a ton of heat to not just Hunter, but also Samoa Joe which may have given the WWE another top heel just in one night. I just hope that no matter what happen to Seth that this injury isn't as serious as his previous knee injury for not just Seth's sake but also for the WWE's sake.
The countdown clock for Wrestlemania has already begun and with the show on the first Sunday of April this year that gives guys like me even more time to speculate and talk about what matches may or may not be featured on the card this year. Since this is the first time I am doing this I will keep things simple and pick one match we know will be happening but hasn't been announced yet and another that might happen or could happen.
One of the various matches that at this point is almost confirmed is the third match in the Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar feud. The feud that kicked off around the Royal Rumble almost 13 years ago continuing now over a decade later with the feud culminating in a Wrestlemania match to end it all. Back at Survivor Series 2015 Goldberg return for his first match in 12 years and downright destroyed Brock Lesnar in less than two minutes shocking the world and cracking two of Brock's ribs. Now they are on a collision course to face one more time at Wrestlemania.
A match that hasn't even been rumored as of yet but one I think we could see and I would like to see is a multi-man match of some kind for the United States Championship. The reason I would like to see is because it would mix things up from what we have seen in recent years with the IC Title in a multi-man match. Also this isn't a shot at Roman Reigns but instead at WWE creative for their poor booking in recent months with the United States title. The point of a multi person match would allow a variety of possibilities for the finish and feuds following the match. Who should be in the match well?
Six Man Match for the United States title:
(c) Chris Jerich0 vs Cesaro vs Kofi Kingston vs Big E vs Rich Swann vs Sheamus