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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Thoughts on Wrestlemania XX
March 17, 2004 by Eric James Taylor


Okay. I've never done one of these, so bear with me. I've been watching wrestling for over twenty years now, and i have to say that wrestling in general is getting a real bad rap these days. I have one thing to say to all the naysayers out there that think the product is stale and things should be like they used to be with Doink and the Gobbeldey Gooker: If you don't like it, stop watching so people like me don't have to read your long boring messages about how Triple H doesn't deserve to be champ and such.

That said, I feel this years Wrestlemania was very strong. Not the best ever, but in the top 5.

First, The Jericho-Christian-Trish affair had an incredible buildup, and the twist at WM had me jumping out of my seat calling Trish several unmentionable names. Great storytelling, proving that Christian is an unsung hero to old school fans, i.e. fans that like a little story with their action. Christian is a natural at getting heat. You can't help but hate his guts, and the only other guy that can do that is Triple H. In my opinion, Triple H is the Ric Flair of this generation. He is constantly evolving with his in ring style, and he's been champ for so long. Like I said before, if you don't like it, don't watch.

Next, The Guerrero-Angle match was very good. Awesome win for Guerrero. I actually again left my seat, laughing this time, at the genius of Eddie. C'mon, the boot came off in Angle's hand! Too funny...

The cruiserweight open was okay, and I really felt bad for Ultimo Dragon, who had been waiting for so long to get to WM only to slip and fall twice. I think he should rethink his wardrobe, and get rid of whatever it is that makes him slip, because he seems to have a propensity for doing so (see the match from the WCW Japan Supershow II where he took on Jushin Liger for example).

My night was made when The Undertaker came out. It makes me very sad to think I was the only person happy about it. This is not 1992 (thank god), the old "Dead Man" thing would never go over these days like it did back then (as Mick Foley would say "the fans would fart on it"), so they had to find a happy medium between the Dead Man and The American Badass. I think they did a tremendous job. He kind of looked like an old cowboy, there to restore justice with the trenchcoat and hat and such. I'm a huge 'Taker mark, so whatever he does is fine with me.

The Evolution-Rock 'n' Sock match was too short, and the outcome really surprised me, but I guess it makes sense to push the guys that are there all the time and not cop out to a Hollywood mainstay and a guy who's been retired for four years, as much as I was rooting for Rock 'n' Sock. The Flair backdrop/Foley elbow was the best spot by far.

Both tag titles matches were the same thing in my eyes. While other reviewers hate both teams, I hate the other five teams more, not including APA who kick ass unappreciatively.

The Evening gown match: yawn. I went out for a cigarette at this point.

Cena-Big Show was great. Great way to start the show. The finish was classic with Cena pulling the wool over the refs eyes and getting the big W over Show.

Molly...I can't believe she'd actually go through with it. Even as it was happening, I was totally caught off guard. Wow. Kutos to Molly's guts to do something like that in front of that many people. If I had hair, I certainly would not want to get shaved bald in front of millions of people, let alone the fact that she's a woman.

Goldberg - Lesnar was awfully disappointing. It seemed both guys just wanted to go out there and eat up the time they were given and walk away with the attitude of "can't wait till it's over", which at WM just won't do. I really hope that this is the last I ever see of these two guys again. Their performance showed that neither of them gave a crap about being there, and their time could hav been given to someone more deserving like Billy Gunn or Test (kidding). Lesnar was great until the heel turn last year, and then you could literally see his passion for the sport disappear overnight. I knew it would be a matter of time before he quit. Goldberg, as much as I've tried to defend him in the past to my friends, I have to admit is simply boring. The WWE would be better off without him, especially since all he wants is the top spot, which takes passion to hold. Passion he doesn't seem to want to give.

Finally, Chris Benoit is the World Champion. Seeing him with the belt is awesome. When the bell rung and he started crying, I almost lost it. When Eddie came out, I had to leave the room. Too much emotion. Hey, call me a sap, but to see that much hard work pay off for two guys in the business in the same thirty days, I really felt great for them, and it was a very emotional moment. Remember, they were told it would never happen, and it did. It soooooo did.

All in all, I'd say this year's WM was strong, and I felt it was well worth the money (if not just to see 'Taker kick the crap outta Kane to go 12-0). And while it was sad to see Brock leave the way he did, and get crapped on by the New York crowd (the most unappreciative crowd there is nowadays), he had to know he wasn't going to get away with ducking out like he did. That's my opnion, and no I don't want to hear yours.

by Eric James Taylor ..


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