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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ViewerMania 21: Is It All Going Wrong"
February 17, 2005 by Michael Turner


As soon as I saw the picture of Batista in another article on this site entitled 'Wrestlemania 21: WWE not showing any care', I knew what part of that argument would be about. I'm not the most informed guy on wrestling and I do not claim to be. Undoubtedly I shall make mistake upon mistake in this article and undoubtedly it shall be picked up upon and pointed out, but this article is merely to inspire you to create your own opinions but also to highlight some of my concerns. That article I mentioned previously helped me think a lot about this, and many questions were raised about the suitability of Batista in the main event of Wrestlemania with the same excuses being used.

1. He's big, so he's only getting a push from Vince for that reason. Big guys don't have wrestling talent! This opinion is often drawn from useless brawlers claiming to be wrestlers such as the forever annoying Hulk Hogan, the man who didn't deserve his push and, while his mic skills are slowly getting damn good, the wrestling skills of one John Bradshaw Layfield leave far too much to be desired. Other mentions go to Kane, Snitsky, Heidenreich, Big Show and Tyson Tomko. While recently Batista hasn't been in many quality matches, he hasn't been in many matches that aren't squash matches either. Before he started squashing everyone, he displayed a wide and varied repertoire, with not only brilliant execution of power moves surpassing many of the greats, he also displays great speed and technical skill, with him using not only his base of signature moves but submission moves too, making him one of the most varied and talented performers in WWE at this present time.

2. He's too green, anyone who has been in WWE for less than 5 years is a rookie, regardless of how long they have spent in any form of wrestling. Batista doesn't have the in-ring experience, anybody who hasn't been in the WWE for long and holds a title is doomed to failure. Admittedly, I don't know if Batista wrestled prior to OVW, nor do I know when he joined OVW. However, he is not making the green mistakes that Chris Masters did on his debut, he can carry off his roles fairly well (think back to small time where he acted as HHH's voice of reason (shame he didn't say 'Get a nose job, Pinocchio), then you'll see how good an actor and how smooth his delivery is). He also developed a hell of a lot faster than the likes of Maven who has finally got a finisher after many years of dropkicking, roll ups and top rope cross-bodies. He may not be a WWE veteran, but he might as well be with his wrestling talent.

3. He has never headlined a pay-per-view, so what makes you think he has the experience to headline the showcase of the immortals, Wrestlemania" What the hell does being in one pay-per-view headliner mean, anyway" Brock Lesnar did and he slowly began deteriorating towards mediocrity, JBL won his first pay-per-view headliner and has been a walking mockery to the WWE Title ever since. JBL isn't showing any positive effects of pay-per-view experience, it counts for nothing. Some of the RAW matches Batista has put on have surpassed many pay-per-view main events, that enough is good for me, I have actually bothered to watch his matches and know he can get it done.

I'm a huge fan of Batista, maybe even a complete mark. However, his prowess in the ring, his in-ring charisma and his gimmick are the kind of stuff a federation can ride on for half a decade, you read me right.

Mind you, I am inclined to say Wrestlemania 21 is going to be disappointing. Lets see, the worst champion/Ted Dibiase rip-off I can remember in JBL facing off against The Rock version 0.5. Neither can wrestle, all they can do is get a fair bit of heat. Frankly I give a lot of heat to JBL, what asshole goes to Germany events and does Nazi salutes" I needn't say more. They needn't do more until they develop some in-ring skills, I want to see more than punching in one of the main events at Wrestlemania and that is all Cena and Bradshaw have delivered for the longest time. There's only a few matches I could possibly think of that are worse, and surprise surprise, two get crammed in...

1. Christy Hemme vs. Trish. Congratulations, you fired Gail Kim! Now you have the one diva who can wrestle but is eclipsed by many other recent divas, versus some no talent bimbo who won a place in WWE by whoring herself out. The crowd are dead in diva segments and Vince can't figure it out that we want divas who can wrestle (Gail Kim, anyone"). Instead, he goes for eye candy over all else (then why the hell did Gail get fired"). I can't figure Vince out, now we have a substitute for the fired and injured against a substitute for a shooting range. Hand me the sniper rifle, America will thank me later. I'll be the best Brit since the British Bulldog (unless you decide to actually PUSH Regal, Vince. Not that you could push anything that isn't a 300 pounder...).

2. Akebono versus Big Show. I hope K-1 refuses to let Akebono go through with this crap, then they might have to use the time on a proper match. nobody cares about a Sumo Match, well, at least not at Wrestlemania. We could be seeing Akio versus Shannon Moore, but we see one nobody versus a no-talent oaf titty-slapping each other. Personally, this isn't my idea of an epic match on the grandest stage of them all, and that's what the fans demand from WWE.

Tag Title Match - oh wait, there isn't one, the tag champs haven't been on RAW for a month. Not to mention Rey and Guerrero look set to go against each other at Wrestlemania, which leaves 1 or 2 weeks to build up a new tag feud on SmackDown! If there is a match, nobody will care.

Randy Versus Taker - now this, my friends, could have been great. Still, not enough build up, and frankly we need a Taker + Kane versus Snitsky + Heidenreich to finish the whole sorry saga off, and with all the gimmicks thrown in and storylines, this could eventually become a semi-entertaining match up. This was ill-timed and ill-managed. This could have been a show stealer, but at least the clash of the Wrestlemania streak and 100% pay-per-view record against legends make this unpredictable.

HBK versus Angle - the run-up to Wrestlemania has been mediocre despite a few attacks, I could care less. Not to mention that, despite his charisma and skills, I couldn't care less about Angle as all I've seen from him for over a month is squash after squash which is mostly brawling and boring. If Angle had been dealt justice recently, I might care, but this Kurt Angle Invitationals have prevented this. Still, this could be a good match with two of the best performers in WWE at this moment.

Chavo vs. Paul London" - A strong possibility, but it'll last 3 minutes knowing how Vince treats the cruisers. Also the run-up to this has been lame, with WWE more concerned with Chavo causing the break-up of Eddie and Rey. I want London on SmackDown!, I want Akio kicking face ass, I want a heel to taste a Mooregasm so I can find out what it actually is. Get some tag matches which are worthy of air-time, and maybe Billy Kidman could be brought back in soon, haven't seen him for a while. Also, side note, what happened to Billy Kidman versus Paul London" Billy disappeared after a damn good match with a brilliantly orchestrated finish and Paul London disappeared until shortly before the Royal Rumble. In short, if this does go down, give it some SmackDown! air-time. We don't care about the divas or the WWE's urge to give us SmackDown!'s which have 45 minutes of bad promos between matches. We care about action, storylines and tension in the air. Deliver it.

I suppose this article has ended up as somewhat of a rant about the many aspects of the latest Wrestlemania card, but frankly, there is a lot wrong with not only the card but how they have used events to draw the crowd into it. Wrestlemania 21 will be poor, all that could make it reach the point where it could be deemed abysmal is Batista or HHH getting injured mid-match, a crappy interference finish or another Lesnar vs Goldberg affair. Anyways, I'm done, and maybe this will add another perspective to the people of this site, even if it is not as informed as the majority of columnists here...

by Michael Turner ..


C Thomas wrote:
I personally do not much care about the Wrestlemania 21 card in general. The Money ladder match is just thrown together. How about one more Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match eh" The Batista / HHH soap opera is just getting over exposed and over done. Everybody knows (or at least having the Phil Collins "I can feel in the air tonight" relapse) that Vince is not gonna let Triple H lose this one again like last year. The Smackdown main event actually looks better than the RAW main event. The Diva match...FACE IT WWE FANS...THE DIVA'S DIVISION IS OVER! IT'S DEAD. IT DIED WHEN THEY GOT RID OF GAIL, JAZZ, AND NIDIA. NO, TAKE THAT BACK. WHEN THE RAW DIVA SEARCH TOOK PLACE. THAT'S WHEN WOMEN'S WRESTLING ON RAW AND IN THE WWE DIED. Now, as for the rest of the show, Smackdown is kicking RAW's a** with match build ups. But to be honest, I won't buy another WWE event until the WWE / ECW mockery ppv "One Night Stand" comes June 12.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
It seems like you dont like anything. I agree with you on something like Christy dont deserve to be in WM21 but i am getting tired of hearing that old crap that Batista is not gonna be good blaa blaa blaa. Batista is already exiting, have you seen hes latest promos" Powerbomb through table, crashing JBL's limo and beating his cabinet. Ringing" Hope so because in my opinion, Batista is doing great promos and is very exiting. You say that power wrestlers and brawlers are boring and stupid" Hulk Hogan was crap but in my opinion, brawlers bring on some of the greatest matches like Luther Reigns vs The Undertaker on NoWayOut. I dont care about cruiserweights neither, only exiting point in their matches is the big stunts but right now, it seems like the only ones doing those are Rey and Paul London. Let's take a look at the WM21 card and i can tell you whats good.

6-WAY Money in the bank 1 contender match: It's gonna be great if they can book it right. 6 guys who fit in to the ladder matches can make it one of the ages but its all about if they can book it so it is cool.

Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle: This is gonna be my favourtie match i think. Kurt and Shawn, or atleast Kurt is one of my favourities, with great charisma and ring skills and his match with John Cena at NoWayOut tells that Kurt is ready to wrestle a match of his life and we already know that Shawn will give his all to this match. This should be a great pure wrestling match.

Undertaker vs Randy: I can't say a lot of this one. Randy is gonna lose i know that one. Should be a good one

JBL vs John Cena: I think i have shown what i think of John Cena's ring skills but he has been showing better wrestling recently. Kurt Angle vs John Cena at NoWayOut was great and i was surprised to see that good match with Cena in it. No point in bashing JBL, he is the best heel along with HHH these days and the fact is that JBL sells.

Batista vs HHH: no comments.
Brad Dykens wrote:
I think the one thing THIS Wrestlemania has going for it, over the LAST Wrestlemania, is that only the elite are represented (except the Woman's division). Last year the squeezed every wrestler and his dog onto the card. Those Tag Team 4-WAYS were absolutely ridiculous, as well as the Cruiserweight open. I think the overall quality of this years Wrestlemania will be better than the last.
JW HOPPER wrote:
I just wanted to point out on obvious fact.... Vince actually listened to the fans on how they were reacting towards this big man. Noone truly knows what these wrestlers go thru to get to the top of the food chain in the wrestling world. One last thought, if Vince hadn't picked Batista to turn on HHH, the ratings would again be disasterous.. I personally don't care who will face HHH, just as long as the match lives up to its hype.
BigHustle233 wrote:
Hey don't worry if your article is a rant because you make some valid points. The problem you see, is that Vince has lost sight of what the people want to see. Now I don't know if Dusty Rhodes' director of authority title is that legitimate or not (being that he's the face behind the power I'll give him the credit) but that company does a good job of giving the fans what they want.

Christy Hemme vs. Trish Stratus is a match that is worth no more than seven minutes at Wrestlemania 21. WWE slapped every hard working female professional wrestler in the face when they got rid of Jazz and Gail Kim. I guess the only way you can be a Women's champion in the WWE is if you are bubbly and cute. That's why they made Victoria drop the crazy woman gimmick. Now she comes to the ring with the most ridiculous Girls Gone Wild music and a dance routine that can make a man limp in 3 seconds. Do they really think that that's cute"""

Big Show vs. Akebono should have went down on SmackDown! in Japan. I'm getting my WTF face ready for this one. The match can be one of two things: a Goldberg vs.Brock Lesnar pose off, or a slap, push and shove match that'll probably take place in complete silence. I mean i can see where the intrigue plays a part, but this match simply won't shock anyone. Wrestlemania is supposed to be about the best matches of the year. The matches are supposed to live up to the hype. Their hasn't been Wrestlemania to do this since Wrestlemania X8 and thats sad being that the WWE is supposed to be the best company out there.

Chavo vs. Paul London needs to go down at Wrestlemania21and the WWE needs to utilize their cruserweights on a grander stage than Velocity. Some of the best talent is being wasted on Velocity. Its a decent show that nobody watches, so why have your most athletic talent restricted to just that show. Don't get me wrong, the big guys in the WWE are good. But could you imagine what TNA would be like without the X-division, if it were just the big guys" It would be out of business right now. There's a large demographic that Vince is tuning out by not giving his cruiserweights their opportunity to showcase themselves. Until he does, more and more fans will be spending their hard earned dollars on TNA ppv's and hotboxing WWE ppv's

To end things on a positive note, I am most looking foward to seeing Undertaker vs. Randy Orton. The story is intriguing and I am a huge fan of the Undertaker and Randy Orton's. Orton has been going throught the motions since losing the World Title and this could be the match that catapults his career into a fresh start on SmackDown! (if the rumors are true).

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels WILL deliver. Say what you want about the Kurt Angle invitationals, this man has never disappointed me in the past. Even with a "broken freakin' neck" Angle puts on classic matches. HBK is the man to watch in 2005 even at the age of forty. He needs to be champion till he's fifty because his matches are that damn good. I'm already gonna give this match five stars * * * * *.

The Raw six man ladder match should be a great match to watch too. I don't care who wins really. WWE needs this type of match to bring me back as a fan and they have some pretty good talent involved. I'm anticipating that this match will be a show stealer and thats a good thing because the main events don't seem to have me hooked.
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
Here are my thoughts and predictions for the WM21 card as of 3/30/05.

1) Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio- The only thing I can say is that Eddie MUST win this match if he EVER hopes to be in a main event again. MidgetMan has already beaten him at least 4 times since the start of '05. and its RIDICULOUS. Those losses sent Eddie from Main Eventer to mid-carder instantly, but a win would go a long way towards re-establishing his career. WINNER: Eddie Guerrero by pinfall

2) Trish Stratus vs. Christy Hemme for the Women's Championship- Who cares" WINNER: Christy by DQ (Trish retains)

3) Big Show vs. Akebono in a Sumo Match- I hope they put this match on HEAT. WINNER: Big Show (Just on a side note; to the best of my knowledge, Big Show is 0-5 at Wrestlemania, so I think he should win.)

4) Money in the Bank Ladder Match- I think this match will be the 2nd best of the night, after HBK/Angle. Personally, I think that this match could go a number of ways, but there is only one man who TRULY deserves that World title match. WINNER: Edge

5) Undertaker vs. Randy Orton- This match is just a formality. WINNER: The Undertaker by pinfall

6) Piper's Pit with SCSA- I DESPISE Austin with a burning, seething hatred that I can't even put into words, so I hope Muhammad Hassan...or Maven...or Gene Snitsky...or SOMEONE...just comes out and kicks the $h!t out of him.

7) HBK vs. Kurt Angle- There's no doubt in my mind that this match will steal the show, and I believe this could surpass the HBK/Hart match from WM12. I actually see this match going about 45 minutes. WINNER: Kurt Angle by submission.

8) World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Batista- As far as I am concerned, they could not even show this match and I wouldn't care. To me, it's an inferior match, for an inferior title, representing an inferior brand. Batista's face turn didn't even shock Helen Keller for crying out loud. I saw his face turn coming since about Summerslam, and it arrived with all of the "suddenness" of a jungle sloth. Batista does not deserve to win the title, but I think he will because that's how Vince is. However, I think HHH will win it back at Backlash. WINNER and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Batista by pinfall

9) WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs. John Cena- In my eyes, this is the main event, and this is the match I have been waiting for for a very long time. I'll admit, I wasn't a JBL fan at first, but by Judgment Day, I was a die-hard mark for the man. I have enjoyed every one of his title matches, and I have a feeling that his title reign isn't quite over yet. Don't get me wrong, I like John Cena (after all, both Cena and JBL are infinitely better than Batista), but I don't feel he is QUITE ready for the WWE title yet. I predict that JBL will hold the title until the Great American Bash in July, where he will lose it to someone who comes over from RAW in the 2005 Draft Lottery (maybe Y2J"). WINNER and STILL WWE Champion: JBL by pinfall
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