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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Spoilt For Choice
March 24, 2006 by Alex Kirkbride


WrestleMania, historically the WWE biggest, boldest, and baddest PPV of the year, is usually the one to which we look most forward to. Throughout the year, if we are presented with sub-par PPVs, as we have been on so many an occasion this year, we can always at least look forward in anticipation to this show to end all shows, a show in which months of prepared story lines are brought to a climatic head, a show in which the years future storylines begin their life, and a show which, more often or not, provides us with several salivating matches, which we can look back on and say that they rightfully earned their place in wrestling history, many years later. WrestleMania has, over the years, offered us the great feuds of Austin/Rock, Michaels/Ramon, Rock/HHH, Hart/Austin, Hogan in his various red white and blue guises, and many more besides. However, will this years WrestleMania prove to be the exception to the rule" Maybe, let's see.

WrestleMania 22 will be presented to us all the way from the All State arena, Rosemont, Illinois, and will be headlined with a double-main event featuring Champion John Cena against HHH in a match for the World Wrestling Entertainment Title, as well as a World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat match, in which Champion Kurt Angle will face a double threat to his title, in the form of Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio.

Other matches of note include the long-awaited Shawn Michaels/Vince McMahon No Holds Barred match, as well as the second MOITB match and a Hardcore match featuring the return to in ring action of Cactus Jack, against the arrogant Edge. As an afterthought, we have also been given JBL v Chris Benoit for the US Title, The Boogeyman v. Booker T, Mark Henry v. The Undertaker, Kane and The Big show v. Carlito and Chris Masters, as well as Trish Stratus v. Mickie James for the Women's title and Candice Michelle v. Torrie Wilson in a 'pillow fight'.

All I can say after reading this card is, how lucky are we" In recent years, we've been forced to sit through a Stone Cold v. The Rock tiresome trilogy of matches, or watch Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle lumber around the ring, This year, however, that's all going to change.

This year, we're being offered the chance to see the titan John Cena, take on his biggest challenge yet in his effective 12 months as champion, in the form of HHH, a rivalry at least 3 weeks in the making, if not perhaps even 4.

If that is not enough to get you pumped, why don't you get your juices flowing about the prospect of a Vince McMahon match on the biggest PPV of the year, in the form of one of the biggest PPV names throughout the world, a Mark Henry/Undertaker match, or even a Boogeyman/Booker T match.

In case you haven't realised yet, I'm being absolutely sarcastic in my praise of this years 'Mania, and, in all honesty, am struggling to see a previous Mania which this may top.

For this years 'big one', we are offered an awkwardly put together Triple Threat Match, the build up to which has been largely centered upon taking advantage of the death of one of the companies biggest present stars, if not biggest ever stars. Besides that, we are offered a Pillow Case match, in an effort to promote the WWE's movement into the soft core porn industry in recent years, as well as the chance to watch stars such as The Boogeyman, Mark Henry, JBL, Fit Finlay, and the man himself, Vince McMahon, stink out the ring in an event which stars such as Benoit, Angle, Michaels, HHH, The Rock, Austin, Hart, and many more rightfully super stars have made famous.

We will be forced to sit and watch as the WWE presents us with supposed main eventers in an awfully vein attempt to resurrect the long deceased Tag Team division, and no doubt will be subject to more WWE light hearted humor, which in recent months has brought us the eating of worms, live sex segments, and apparent suicide attempts.

Thankfully, its not all so bad. We can, at least, look forward to the MOITB match, with the fact that it features both RVD and Shelton Benjamon telling us that it should be at least worth watching, as well as a match that, although without good build up, should also be a decent mid carder in Edge and Foley going at it hammers and tongs, and the fact that we will finally see the veil lifted upon the 'psycho' Mickie James, and what will hopefully draw us closer to a conclusion in the Mickie James/ Trish Stratus 'feud'.

But even with these saving graces, surely we cannot help but feel that the WWE has let us down with our annual dosage of 'Mania this year, and in a big way too.

Gone are the intense classic feuds of The Rock and Austin, Angle and Michaels, Kane and Undertaker. Gone are the minutes of our life in which we can watch such competitors as Benoit, Angle, Guerrero and Michaels dazzle us with their technical skills against one another, instead of fat, 'rich' Texans, midgets, and steroid pumped, self obsessed, 60 year old men. Gone are the times when weight divisions actually meant something. When cruiserweights such as Hardy and Mysterio fought one another, instead of Heavyweights such as Lashley, Angle and Orton, when Low Card acts such as Henry and Finlay were pitted in matches against one another, instead of living legends in Taker and Flair, or when a HW match was just that, containing two titans of super stars, instead of a rapper and a man arguably past his best.

Whatever way you have looked at the last year of wrestling action the WWE has presented us with, I am sure that in your heart of hearts, even the most the most die hard of you WWE fans have noticed the decline in quality of matches, promotion of mediocre, at best, stars such as Cena, the desperate storylines containing mockery of real death, be it in the form of Guerrero angles, or Tim White segments, where kids have been able to wake up at 11 am and watch their wrestling icons and heroes involved in sex segments with women we are led to believe are cheap and whoreish, or where, in general, the quality of show-time we are presented with has sharply fallen.

It may be a harsh analysis, but I do not believe that there is any other way to look at it.

We can tell ourselves all we want that the WWE has suffered vital injuries, or in some cases, deaths, that its not their fault their stars are now old to the point that we over highlight the one good match they have in the year, in reference to Taker's No Way Out Match, but these do not change the facts.

The facts are that as things stand, even with the last years additions of 'stars' such as The Boogeyman, Fit Finlay, and Kid Kash, and the promotion of men such as Masters, Carlito, Edge and Benjamin, we are now being presented with a show far inferior in ever way to those wrestling shows we were brought up on, be it in the form of gimmicks, storylines, or wrestlers, are this fact is no better shown than in this years less than appealing WrestleMania.

by Alex Kirkbride..


Jack MacLaine wrote:
*stands up and claps for 20 minutes* Thank you. This year's WM might very well be the worst yet. The card is just awfull. Cena vs HHH" I honestly do NOT want HHH to win. I'm sick of him. I know alot of people love this guy because he is facing the evil empire known as Cena but please, you will hate HHH a month later. Foley vs Edge" Insulting. Why is the future of the WWE being forced to face a man who is obsessed with being in WM" Tag title match" Why is Carlito in it" Shouldn't Carlito be in the MinB match" Speaking of which why are 2 old farts in the form of Finaly and Flair in the match" And you know Flair is going to win. LOL to everyone that honestly thinks that RVD is going to win. WWE will not push him. This isn't TNA. Why is Vince McMahon in WM" He isn't a wrestler. And the most insulting match of them all: Mark Henry vs Undertaker. Why" Why" Why" Why" Why is a man, who is the father of Mae Young's spawn-hand facing a man who is a future hall of famer" Mark Henry isn't even a mid carder. Mark Henry is the type of guy who is on the low card jobbing in dark matches. Henry will be up there with Giant Gonzales as one of the worst wrestlers of all time. There are some match worth watching like Mickie James vs Trish Stratus, JBL vs Chris Beniot and the Triple Threat match but that isn't worth 20-50 dollers. Bottom-Line: Save your cash, Protest, Buy TNA: Lockdown.
Jesse Lee wrote:
In all honesty, I find that there are only four worthy matches this year at Wrestlemania 22. The triple-threat match, the MITB Ladder Match, US Title Match, and the tag match between Kane/Big Show against Carlito/Masters. My reasons are very simple. It'll be interesting to see who turns out the champion with three very talented wrestlers/entertainers with very different ways of getting a result. We could have Rey Rey win and become the first-ever 4" tall champion in WWE history (I kid of course! Not sure how tall he is.) We can have Orton become champion for a second time in a hopefully long career. Or we could have Kurt Angle retain the title. There are many others, such as two wrestlers pinning each other, thus putting the title into a vacant area to let the three (or two) settle it out at the next SD ppv. The U.S. Title match is between two of my favorite SD superstars. That alone makes me wish to see it. Just my own enjoyment. The MITB Ladder Match is very interesting. RVD and Shelton are in there to give the extremes of the match, the high spots. You have two veterans from Fit Finlay and Ric Flair. You also have the ex-flavor-of-the-month, Matt Hardy in there, who may be able to steal a win. Of course, there's also that mystery opponent whom I have my own guess who it may be. Shelton or RVD could win after using high spots to wear down the others or we could get Ric Flair using his dirtiest-player-in-the-game handbook and sneak away until a proper time to win the match. It'll be interesting. As far as the tag match goes, the Carlito/Masters team is the most interesting team RAW has right now. Probably the only team, despite them not really being a team. I see the two having great chemistry together with their dysfunctionalities. Plus, they are getting better every week with presenting their matches and are making the tag titles important to them, which is what we need in an attempt to revive the tag team division. Other than that, I have no other reasons, just my opinions.
Steven Pozaryck wrote:
I disagree with some of your points. First, it seems that you don't believe that Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio could get over as main eventers. Well, you must have forgotten the amazing matches that Matt Hardy has had over the years and Rey Nysterio's win over Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania 21 in an instant classic. This is the one really good thing that the WWE has done recently. They took a life long Cruiserweight and made him a main eventer. Secondly, you think that Finlay is a mid-carder. You have a point there, seeing that Finlay hasn't had a really big match. But you don't have a pulse if you're not entertained by his character. He's refreshing. He's got all the characteristics of a great heel. He's not afraid of anyone, he loves to fight, he picks fights with everyone that he sees, and he'll cheat if he has to. He's a great character that has a future, even at 47 years old. However, you made some good points including how much the Cena-Triple H match has the potential to be terrible. This match may beat out the horrifying Cena-JBL WWE Championship match at last year's WM. See a pattern here. Your criticism of Mark Henry and Vince McMahon are totally understandable and their matches will be the more forgettable ones in WM history. Finally, I wouldn't hammer the World Heavyweight Championship match. Mysterio, Orton and Angle are the best of the best on SmackDown. A lot of people think that 'Mania WWE Championship/World Championship matches should be one on one. I wasn't a great fan of the idea of WM 20 headlined with a Triple Threat Match, but boy did that work. Nice job.
Ktrainham wrote:
I never respond to columns but I feel I had to with yours. A rapper and a man past his time" This is the best fued since Rock/Austin and it takes launch on the biggest event of the year. This will be the match of the night! Also, Im so sick of the Cena bashers. No one works harder in and out of the ring!
Jose Aguirre wrote:
I'm sick and tired of people always bashing modern day wrestling! Especially WWE. Okay, maybe the company isn't perfect, and for a few years it was kind of boring to watch wrestling, but now that WWE has some competition(a.k.a. TNA) WWE has to step up to the plate. Wrestlemania is one of the four PPV's I actually buy instead of going to a freinds house or going to WWE.com afterwards. Every Wrestlemania can't have a dream match, because dream matches are once in a while events that can not be done on a regular basis, but just because this Wrestlemania in particular does not have any dream matches, nevertheless classics will be seen. If you hate modern day wrestling so much why do you keep watching"
Denholm Burford wrote:
I totally agree with you. I mean a HHH-Cena is totally exciting.......NOT! Cena is a loud-mouth punk and HHH is a 10 time world champion who is past his time. And a match between Foley and Edge is ridiculous. Foley is a future hall of famer and edge is a cocky guy who cant stand losing. the money on the bank is an exciting match but having Finlay and Hardy in it is dispicible. Hardy is a cruiserweight and certainly dosent deserve a world title match. And the other thing is having HBK and Mr McMahon in a match is just stupid. HBK has lost all his matches against the mcmahons and obviously will lose at WM 22. Theres no use even having the match. I think a Carlito and Masters team is just wierd. There both young kids who aren't as experienced as Big Show And Kane. Kane is one of my favourite superstars and having him in a match with Carlito and Masters is Brain teaser. The only match I'm really looking forward to is the triple threat match for the world championship. But I don't think Mysterio should be in the match. He was cruiser weight a few months ago and now he's in a world championship. My opinion, I think it shouldv' been Batista in the match by coming back and winning a battle royal to earn a spot in the match. No offense to Guerrero but the only reason Mysterio was in the match is because Eddie died. I think this year's WM will be a downer and will go down in history as the worst WM ever.
Richard wrote: Spoilt for Choice" How about Pray for Death"

WM XXII was a bust, and for some of the reasons already stated. The first World Heavyweight MIDGET Champion has been crowned! In additon to that bit of bad news, Cena the punk wins again! And as if that wasn't bad enough, JBL and Chris Benoit actually was a title match, albeit it was for the worthless U.S. Championship. WM XXII was not all doom and gloom, Trish Stratus finally lost the Women's Title. For a minute there me-thinks Vinny Mac thought that Trish Stratus was the Fabulous Moolah! Suffice it to say, WM XXII is one DVD I WILL NOT BE BUYING!!! OVERALL IT WAS A COMPLETE BUST!!!!
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