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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Grandaddy Of Them All - The 21st Edition
April 1, 2005 by Ray Clancy


Well, everyone...the biggest show by the biggest company in the world for sports-entertainment is less than a week away...and quite honestly, this is the most pumped up I've been for a WrestleMania in a long time. In my opinion this is the best one on paper since the brand extension. But the question is, will it live up to the hype"

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (SmackDown! match): Well, it's not like we haven't seen these two provide some classics in the past few months on SmackDown!. This is the first time that I can recall that WWE Tag Team Champions will square off in the spirit of competition at a WrestleMania. These two are arguably the two best Latino wrestlers to ever grace a WWE ring. I know I'm probably going out on a limb there, but their style is unique. I truly believe that when these two get in the ring this Sunday night in Los Angeles, they will provide a match for the ages.

Sumo Match: Big Show vs. Akebono (SmackDown! match): Well, I don't know who is looking forward to this one. As a hardcore WWE fan for life, I think this is sort of a waste of time at WrestleMania. For instance, a WWE Cruiserweight title match could have filled this void quite nicely...the WWE was setting it up for Paul London quite nicely as a matter of fact...but then again...where does that leave Big Show" I guess this is all the WWE could put together for him, though. I kind of find it funny that Big Show just had one of the bloodiest and brutal matches I'd ever seen with J.B.L. for the WWE Championship in February at No Way Out...and now he's in a one night only sort of deal against Akebono. I know the Japanese fans are looking forward to this, but quite honestly I'm not. I think this match will be the biggest letdown on the entire card.

WWE Women's Championship: Trish Stratus(champion) vs. Christy Hemme(challenger) (RAW match): I don't know what to expect in this match, besides a healthy dose of some nice T & A. Trish has stepped up since she has first come to the WWE and has proven on more than one occasion that she is one of the most talented women's wrestlers of all-time. Christy Hemme is simply a rookie, but who knows...we could see an awesome match unfold out of this. I actually think that we will. With Trish's in-ring ability and Christy's potential, I don't see this match as a disappointment. When the WWE first announced it I thought it was going to be, but now that I've had time to re-evaluate this so to speak, I think we'll be in for a decent Women's title match this Sunday at WrestleMania.

Piper's Pit hosted by Rowdy Roddy Piper w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin: This will probably be the most humorous part of WrestleMania this year. If you disagree, what must you be thinking"! These two living legends are arguably the two best in the history of the business when it comes to using the mic. Quite honestly, I don't think anyone knows what to expect in this one. All I know is I will be laughing my head off while this segment is on.

6-Way Money In The Bank Ladder Match - Christian/Edge/Y2J/Benjamin/Benoit/Kane (RAW Match): This match will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT DISAPPOINT! If you peel away some of the names and look at their past with Ladder Matches, these men have provided some classics that fans will never forget. I'm not too certain, but I believe the only one of these 6 men that have never been in some form of match with a ladder involved is Shelton Benjamin. I'd expect him to make a name for himself this Sunday. At the end of this past Monday's RAW, Kane was seen standing on the top of the ladder overlooking the carnage he caused in the ring at the end of the 6-man tag team match. I wouldn't expect Kane to win, but who knows...it could happen. My expectations for this match are very high, as I'm sure yours are as well. These 6 superstars have the chance of a lifetime to be noticed at WrestleMania. And don't forget what is on the line here...a contract, valid for the next year, for a future World Heavyweight Championship match. With this as the prize, I'm almost sure that we will see an amazing amount of offense, and all in all a simply electrifying match. But if you want a prediction, all I'm going to say is don't overlook Edge and Christian. They may seem like the underdogs, but this is WrestleMania. We're bound to see a few surprises, so don't be surprised if the Edger or Captain Charisma can pull it out and win this thing. Besides, they're past with ladders at past WrestleManias has been impressive. This match has the potential to be the best on the card.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (Interpromotional match): Never in the long, illustrious careers of these two men have we seen them face off against each other one-on-one. This match will be a classic. It has all the ingredients necessary to be one, and these two men have had their fair share of classics in the past. Simply imagine what they could do working with each other. This is going to be a very long match this Sunday. Shawn Michaels isn't known for tapping out, and Kurt Angle's resiliency will allow him to kick out of even the worst looking of situations. Expect a classic, as both of these future Hall of Famers try to prove who the best wrestler of this generation truly is.

Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker (Interpromotional match): This is the one I'm looking forward to the most this Sunday at WrestleMania. It fits well, too, seeing as my Dad is a huge Undertaker fan and I am probably the most loyal Randy Orton fan around. Besides that little tidbit, this has the potential to steal the show, especially if the master of the R.K.O. can pull off a win. Granted, The Undertaker is undefeated at WrestleMania...but so is Randy Orton. A 12-0 record of The Undertaker vs. a 1-0 record of Randy Orton. The big question on everybody's mind is whether or not the "Legend Killer" actually has what it takes...has he bitten off more than he can chew" I don't think so, but that's a biased opinion. He was the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in the last 7 years, and there have been some great Intercontinental Champions within those years. People such as Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, amongst others. He is also the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the history of the WWE, and I'm proud to say I was there live to witness it all. However, you can not take away anything away from The Undertaker either. A 4 time WWE Champion, his winning streak at WrestleMania, amongst other accomplishments and feats. Will the intimidating ways of The Undertaker be too much for the "Legend Killer"" Has Randy Orton bitten off more than he can chew when he squares off with the "Deadman" this Sunday at WrestleMania" Many unanswered questions when it comes to these two competitors, but all I can expect is a hell of a match this Sunday.

WWE Championship: JBL (champion) vs. John Cena (challenger) (SmackDown! MAIN EVENT): We can expect a physically intense brawl between these two this Sunday night. With the events of the past few weeks hanging over their heads, they're both going to be out to beat the holy hell out of the other. John Cena has been looking forward to the night where he can beat the hell out of the champion, and during the match he won't have to worry about that stipulation hanging over his head anymore. He can go nuts on JBL, but he has to be careful not to take it too far this Sunday and get himself disqualified. JBL deserves a ton of respect for the lickings he has taken in his past title defenses, and if he can pull it out this Sunday after taking yet another helacious beating, he will have earned full respect from yours truly. JBL has provided some entertaining matches for the championship since he won it last June at The Great American Bash. This will more than likely rank up there as one of the top ones. I think the bigger question here might be in regards to John Cena...is he ready to wear the WWE Championship around his waist and carry the company" I think so. John Cena has definitely paid his dues and I firmly believe that he is ready for it. This Sunday in this match-up, I think we might see a controversial ending, but hey it wouldn't be the WWE without some controversy, right"

World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (champion) vs. Batista (challenger) (RAW Main Event): Well, whoever didn't see this match coming has to be blind. It was brewing for so long, it was simply a matter of putting it out there so everyone can take it in. I know what everyone is thinking. "Triple H has had it too long, that's why Batista will win the title". To be honest I must disagree with this statement. Triple H makes a good champion, simply because everyone wants him to lose it. He's doing a great job playing the heel, he always has. Does anybody remember when Batista was known as Deacon Batista and was on SmackDown! as a partner with D-Von" Triple H makes nothing but valid points when he tells Batista that he made him a star. Without Evolution, who knows where Batista would be at this very moment"! These two should provide a great match this Sunday. With their given past in Evolution, Triple H's devious tricks, and Batista's simply raw power (no pun intended), this match should live up to the hype. But keep this in mind... WrestleMania is the one show of the year where something's gotta give, and I firmly believe that in this match we will get a huge surprise...something that we never thought would happen might happen in this one come Sunday night. That's all I'll say. Expect a physically testing battle when these two men hit the ring for the main event this Sunday night.

So, here's my conclusion. This year's WrestleMania should provide for some classic and memorable moments, as every WrestleMania does. Every year the WWE says "This is the biggest WrestleMania of all-time"... but this one has the ingredients of doing so. So the big question will be answered Sunday at the end of WrestleMania 21...will it/has it lived up to the hype. Coming from me, all signs point to YES. This WrestleMania has one of the best cards in a while, and I like the looks of it. The individuals involved in these matches are more than able when it comes to providing entertaining matches. So, my conclusion, quite easily is that this year's WrestleMania should be one of the greatest of all-time and we are all in for a hell of a show come Sunday night at 7, when WrestleMania 21 Goes Hollywood!

by Ray Clancy..


George Salloum wrote:
I think this PPV is going to be terrible. You said it looks good on paper" Are you freakin kidding me!

50% of this PPV looks terrible in the ring. JBL and Cena both cannot wrestle and both cannot carry another wrestler. JBL seems to always have handicap matches whether it be on SD, but mainly after SD shows and house shows because he is a terrible in ring worker. How can you put the belt on someone who needs to have a handicap match to be able to perform because he can't do it alone"

Then we come to what should be one of the shortest main events in Wrestlemania history (if you count out all the staring down that will take place when the bell rings) HHH vs. Batista. This match has boring written all over it. In the last 2 years, HHH has only had good matches when his opponent carries him (i.e. HBk, Benoit)

He cannot carry a match and is becoming too predictable and stale, while we have the next Goldberg in Dave Batista. Only fights in squash matches and his PPV main events barely last 10 minutes. All I've seen from him is a spinebuster and powerbomb...I cannot believe people when they say that he is one of the most improved wrestlers in the company.

The other 3 that consist of the bad are the Women's match (I won't even bother), Akebono vs. Big Show (same as ladder) and Orton vs. Undertaker which could....and that is a far stretch, could be decent, but I doubt it will be anything great. Orton has not impressed me since he returned from his injuries and the Undertaker's character forces him to work slower and sell less moves. I really don't care if this match turns out good or bad, but the outcome is very important to the future of the WWE.

Yes I am looking forward the ladder match but its a shame that the 5 best workers on Raw have to be put into one match, and Eddie/Rey will be fun also, but I am skeptical about how great this "fantasy" match between HBk and Kurt Angle will be. Angle has been nursing various injuries that have limited his in ring abilites and HBk is really starting to show his age by always having to bust himself open to make the match look better than it actually was. Maybe a few years back I would have loved to see this match, but both men are slowing down and cannot do the same kinds of moves as they did in the past, but nonetheless, this should be a good, but not the best match of the night.

I am not excited about this Mania at all as many of you are because I have looked at the booking of this PPV and realized that most of it is being overshadowed by the whole "hollywood" theme and all the legends returning for one night. Just like a green wrestler, they are trying to hide what is really a bad looking PPV based on the roster the WWE has wasted. All they have become is bright lights and video packages instead of actually selling us on a storyline.

Those are my thoughts on the PPV, but to finish, I don't like the fact that you have to pay $50 for half a good show that lasts 4 hours....I'm just glad my friend is paying.
ShaunCl wrote:
Shelton was in a tag team ladder match at Judgement day 2003.
Jonathan Ayres wrote:
I have to say what the hell! Saying it will be a classic Wrestlemaniais ridiculous!

When you come and look at the Raw and SD main events they truly do suck! Triple HHH is the only decent main event guy in these matches. John Cena and JBL haven't once proved themselves in any good matches and when it comes to Wrestlemania you want to see an amazing match, which these two aren't going to produce.

As with Triple HHH and Batista, that simply isn't a good rivalry in any respect. I mean can anyone imagine Batista being the Champion, let alone winning it at Wrestlemania, he just doesn't deserve it. Look at Mick Foley he busted his ass for years just to be in one main event at Wrestlemania, and then having some guy like Bastita in it, its an absolute joke!

One of the best matches which i agree with you on is Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels. This will be a classic, though both aren't in the same shape as they use to be it will still be a quality match.

I totally agree with the Sumo match being a waste of time. I mean who really gives a damn about that"

As with Ladder the match it will be fantastic. I mean when you have a ladder your always gonna have a good match especially with the talent involved!

Orton vs Taker im not too sure about. Undertaker has become slow and stale though hes good for the crowd and has been in so many classic matches hes bound to be able to pull off another one. Orton is young fresh talent, so it should be an interesting match.

Womens title, um has two fit chicks who are pretty talented so should be good.

Overall though looking at the line up there are really only two matches that should be good one being the ladder match the other Angle vs Shawn. This Wrestlemania is going to have to pull off something amazing if WWE want to continue and not end up like WCW.
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