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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Wrestlemania XX Breakdown
March 12, 2004 - by Enrique Casteles

I'd like to start off by saying I'm happy with the WrestleMania XX card this year. Sure, it has its flaws, but overall, I think it's going to be entertaining. However, I do think that Vince McMahon needs to step it up, because after WrestleMania, things look like they are going to fall apart. Brock Lesnar has quit the WWE, and he was definitely a key peice to the puzzle in the future. Kurt Angle continues to have problems with his neck, and his career may meet its demise at any time. Sadly, we are going to have to watch icons such as The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold slowly fade away from the wrestling premise, as they are aging and nearing retirement. The Rock has found an acting career, and it seems that he'll never become a main-stream wrestler again. What Vince needs to do is start rapidly pushing talent like Chris Benoit, Rob Van Dam, John Cena, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho -- All solid main eventers, deserving of the World Heavyweight Championship. And he'd better start working fast, otherwise, the WWE may fall from glory in the next couple of years. I think we all agree that it's already not what it used to be, and the massive loss of talent in the near future certainly won't help.

Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero:
I personally can't wait for this match. I think it's going down in the books as one of the greatest of all time. You've got two extraordinary competitors duking it out at the biggest stage of them all - the main event of WrestleMania. Finally, Eddie Guerrero is in the spotlight that he's long overdue, and Kurt Angle is perfectly deserving beside him. I'm honestly fine with whoever wins the match, because both men are excellent wrestlers and are well-deserving of the title. But I think they need to give it to Eddie Guerrero, to prove that his win over Lesnar wasn't a joke. I look for 2004 to be Eddie Guerrero's year.

Triple H vs Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels:
I love the Heartbreak Kid, we all do. But in this case, lesser would have been better. Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble, he should have gone on to face Hunter in a one on one match at Mania. If they wanted to make the match a little bit more interesting, instead of throwing HBK into the mix, they could have made it a ladder match. Either way, what's done is done. You can expect to see Benoit and Shawn Michaels put Triple H over, but if it was up to me, Chris Benoit would walk out the champion. Much like Guerrero, his time in the spotlight is long overdue, and it would be great if he won the title at WrestleMania - rather than Backlash with less viewers.

Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg; Stone Cold special guest referee:
For a while, I was looking forward to his match. I really thought that Brock Lesnar could bring the best out of Bill Goldberg, and that they could put on one hell of a show. But with Goldberg's contract expiring, and Lesnar quitting after WrestleMania I doubt that either of these two men will work themselves too hard. Under these new conditions, it's a toss-up. The original plans were to put Brock over, so either things will go as planned, or Stone Cold will have a field day and beat both of them down.

The Undertaker vs Kane:
The return of the dead man. I'm pretty sure everyone's looking forward to this. I think it's going to be an awesome match, the dead man was one of my personal favorites. And usually, I'd say that the Undertaker should maintain his perfect record at WrestleMania. But I personally feel that the WWE has done a terrible job with Kane. I've always felt that they should give him his mask back, and turn him into a monster. Not a monster that's SCARED of anyone, but the monster that he was when he first struck the WWE - just without the guided light of Paul Bearer. And if the WWE was going to put Kane back on track, a win over the Undertaker would be just the match to put him over in.

RockNSock Connection vs Evolution:
This is going to be a great match. While I despise Batista, I really think that Randy Orton's got some serious talent -- And if they give him the mic a bit more, I think he can do pretty good with it. However, this match needs to be for the fans. The Rock's shocking comeback, him and Mick need to pick up the W at Mania after an exciting match.

Big Show vs John Cena:
I really think that the Big Show doesn't receive the credit he deserves. Sure, his in-ring talents aren't SPECTACULAR, but he's a good wrestler with a lot of experience. And if you've seen him outside of the ring on episodes of Connan O'Brian or MAD TV, the Big Show's an extremely funny guy. I'd bet if they put him on the mic with a gimmick other than a large moron, that he could entertain the crowds, and he'd grow on everyone. This match is open, it would be nice if John Cena was put over for a push - or if they actually tried to make something out of the Big Show.

Chavo Guerrero Jr in the Cruiserweight Open:
This, next to Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle is going to be one of the highlights of my weekend. There's nothing better then plenty of high spots, and a bunch of high-flying wrestlers going at it lucha libre style. I look forward to Paul London being in the match - He's a great wrestler who the WWE hasn't given enough credit, I've seen him in the Indy's. I hope that Billy Kidman allows him to do the Shooting Star Press, because quite frankly, he does it a lot better than Kidman. I doubt this however, Billy complained when Lesnar did it at WrestleMania. Either way, this is going to be a great match. Rey Mysterio would usually be the fan favorite, but I'd prefer that the WWE mix it up a litle bit and keep it away from Rey, or Tajiri - who have held the title for their fare share. I'm personally routing for Ultimo Dragon to steal the show, but it'd be nice if Chavo Jr walked away with a fair victory, as well.

Booker/RVD vs The Dudleyz vs Jindrak/Cade vs La Resistance:
Rob Van Dam is probably currently my favorite wrestler in the WWE, so I look forward to seeing him in the ring any time. However, I don't really like this match. You've got a huge tag team like Booker T and Rob Van Dam, taking on up and coming talent like Jindrak and Cade, and La Resistance. Then you throw the Dudley Boyz into the mix, and it's overall really just an unbalanced match. I'd like to see Jindrak and Cade walk away with the tag titles, despite my love for Booker and RVD. Jindrak and Cade need the push in the tag division, and I'll look for RVD and Booker T more in the main event division, as the WWE heads into this desperate state.

Rikishi/Scotty 2 Hotty vs The APA vs World's Greatest Tag Team vs The Bashams:
This match looks a lot better than the tag team situation on RAW. Although I like Rikishi and Scotty, I'm not much of a fan of them being the tag team champions. The Bashams were great tag team champions, but the WWE needs to start varying their titles. It would be nice to see the APA win tag gold, I like their rugged style of wrestling. But in the long run, the World's Greatest Tag Team is most deserving to win this match. These guys are REALLY growing on me, they're excellent technical wrestlers and can definitely be something in this business.

Christian vs Chris Jericho:
This match is going to be a good one. Chris Jericho, I've learned, has idolized Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat since he was a little kid, and over the past couple of weeks ... I've learned that Jericho is picking up some moves from him. He's been using enzuigiri's and a series of flying kicks that the Dragon used too, I like it. Both of these men were premiere cruiserweights at one point in time in their careers, and I think they'll put on a great match. But I think Jericho needs to put Christian over for the win.

Victoria vs Molly Holly:
Molly Holly had the womens title for way too long. She's a great female wrestler, but Victoria's better. I say they cut her hair off, and let Victoria reign as champion - she's the best female on the roster. Let he feud with Trish Stratus for the title, they've put on some great matches in the past.

Torrie/Sable vs Stacy/Jackie:
I don't care much to who wins this match, lets face it, it's not going to be a great wrestling match. But I'm not going to complain about it. Where would sports entertainment be today without sex appeal? I say give it to Torrie and Sable though, they're the better wrestlers of the two tag teams. Stacy and Miss Jackie are more of the vallet type.

by Enrique Casteles


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