Iím going to
duck as a I say this butÖ
disappointed with WrestleMania XX.
I thought the
card had so much potential going in. There were so many matches I was
looking forward to. You had five matches that could get main event
billing. But something fell flat.
For what itís
1) Four hours and
45 minutes is just too long. Especially watching on television, which
has a different dynamic than attending an event live. You get tired
and everything starts to blur together. It appeared that the crowd got
tired and restless, too.
Maybe it wasnít
the length as much as it was the filler. Actually, this was more like
a two-and-a-half hour show stretched out to four hours and 45 minutes.
I think the WWE
does a brilliant job with the video packages. But you end up going,
ďshow the match already!Ē I understand that WrestleMania gets more
casual viewers watching than other Pay Per Views and you feel a need
to catch them up to speed as to why a particular match is
important. But a 60-second voice over some footage would have served
the same purpose. Maybe itís because Iíve been watching the
television regularly and know the angles, but I found myself dreading
the possibility of having to sit through another mini-movie and then
another skit or interview and then the entrances before I got to
see another match.
everybody doesnít have to be in WrestleMania. This is easy for me to
say since a lot of the wrestlersí income is derived from Pay Per
View bonuses and there will be no bigger cash cow for the boys than
WrestleMania. But jamming so many guys onto the card with a shoehorn
hurt the show. Two four-team elimination matches? The matches would
have meant more if you had built the tag team titles on each show to
mean something and then built the challenging teams. That many guys in
the ring with that little time makes sure nobody gets over.
I feel the same
way about the Cruiserweight Open. Interesting concept, except youíre
only giving them 11 minutes. I think the entrances took longer than
the match. You ended up with guys flying through nothing but high
spots and finishes and nothing meant anything.
And then there
were the actual matches.
and Christian were the biggest disappointment on the show. Maybe
itís because I had such high expectations for the match. Iíve
always enjoyed watching both guys.
But I thought
they fell flat here.
didnít jive with their television program. They were so furious with
each other on television they kept attacking each other in the back.
But shortly after the bell rings here we're back to high spots. There
was no intensity.
It was almost
paint by the numbers match. It was spot after spot after spot with
lots of high impact bumps.
Each guy hit
false finishes with his opponent popping right up. The moves didnít
build to anything. Both would register the big bumps but neither
took the time to actually sell anything. It was a sprint to the next
spot. The match didnít tell a story. Watching the match on
television, the crowd appeared to be sitting on its hands.
Open had an excuse for rushing through their match, it was a ton of
guys and they only had 11 minutes. Jericho and Christian had 15
Then there was
the finish. These guys are taking these huge bumps off the ropes and
down to the floor and canít beat each other. They kick out of each
otherís finishing moves. Jericho catches a back elbow from a girl
and gets beat? So in other words, Trish is tougher than either one of
them. It's more devastating to get hit with Trish's back elbow than
How flat was
Christian versus Jericho? Nobody thought John Cena versus Big Show
would be a good match. It was a better match then Christian and
Jericho. Cena sold well for Show. They told a story with the match.
The finish worked. Cena needed brass knucks and needed to hit his
finisher to beat the Giant.
money predicting Trish's turn.
Not because it was great booking, but because it was so predictable.
This is how the WWE always turns its women.
The WWE mantra
when booking women is simple, "Women are evil and manipulative.
If you ever trust one, you'll regret it. They will always betray
wasn't any other logic for booking this turn. Christian has constantly
disrespected Trish verbally and annihilated her physically. Yet she
ends up double-crossing Jericho anyway and siding with Christian.
"Women like it when men treat them like this."
vs Rock & Foley was a good match, but... This is where on the show they needed violence.
I thought there
were several really good angles heading into WrestleMania, but I
thought this was the hottest.
They did such a
good job giving Rock and Foley, particularly Foley, a reason for
The terrific beat
down for what seemed like forever with no help for Foley... the
muggings in the back... Mick Foley's grotesque eye... the
personal humiliation and degradation between Foley and Orton.
The match itself
was fine. I had no problem with the action or the clean finish with
Orton going over.
But there was
never an element of danger.
It never seemed
like either team was going for physical retribution, particularly the
If there was ever
a match that needed a heightened level of violence on the show, it was
It was the one
match on the show that needed color.
We got an
excellent tag team match but we didn't get the next chapter of the
blood feud they built up on television.
they put Fred Ottman in the Ultimo Dragon costume? I
don't know if I ever saw a wrestler as talented as Ultimo Dragon have
such a bad night.
He fell on his
entrance, slipped on the ropes during his introduction, and blew a
In his defense,
there may have been something on the ramp making people slip. Rey
Mysterio also was safe at second during his entrance.
If it's one thing
cruiserweights can't afford, it is to look clumsy.
Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg was bizarre. I
guess everybody in Madison Square Garden reads the Internet. Either
that or a few people started chanting "you sold out" and
everybody else just thought it would be fun to join in.
I think I
understand what they were trying early. They were trying to do the old
school big man psychology in building up to the first lockup.
Instead of building up anticipation, it just fueled the fans to get
angrier and chant louder.
They were going
for Andre the Giant and Don Leo Jonathan and instead ended up
delivering Larry Zbyszko vs Al Madril (the masters of going as long as
they could without locking up).
didn't matter what kind of match Goldberg and Lesnar had, the crowd
was never going to give them a chance.
title matches delivered. Give
Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, HHH, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Benoit
credit. By the time they hit the ring, the crowd had been sitting
there for literally hours and had seen a mixed bag.
When you think of
this show without the two World title matches, it gets a little scary.
was not a terrible show by any stretch.
But when so many
matches had so much potential but didn't deliver, it has to be
Mark Nulty is a
professional journalist that has been in the professional wrestling industry since the
mid-80s as an announcer, referee and promoter.
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