I believe that this will be the first Wrestlemania in SEVEN years that the main event (or at least one of the main events) showcases two guys that have never worked against each other before. I'm glad that we finally have a first run match. It just makes everything seem that much more special. Here are past WM main events:
X7- Rock/Austin: been there, done that
2000- Floey/HHH/Rock/Big Show: this exact match may have not taken place previously, but all these guys had worked against each other in numerous different combinations
XV- Rock/Austin: still been there, still done that
XIV- Michaels/Austin: seen it before
13- Undertaker/Sid: hadn't wrestled on PPV, but had done the house show thing
XII- Michaels/Hart: had seen it numerous times
XI- Michaels/Diesel: I believe this is year the streak ends. As far as I know, they had not faced each other in the ring yet.
X- Hart/Yokozuna: Did it the year before.
IX- Hart/Yokozuna (I'm not counting the Hogan/Yoko debacle at the end of the night): I think this was the first meeting between for Hart and Yoko.
VIII- Sid/Hogan and Savage/Flair: I think BOTH were first time encounters
VII- Hogan/Slaughter: I'm guessing that these guys crossed paths previously. Maybe in the AWA or something.
VI- Hogan/Warrior: Obviously a first time match up. This one was the epitome of "feeling special"
V- Hogan/Savage: Had been done, but not in a few years.
IV- Savage/Dibiase: not sure on this one, but the main draw going into the card was a Hogan/Andre rematch in the tourny, which had been done a few times.
III- Hogan/Andre: Was done years before, and with the roles reversed.
II- Hogan/Bundy- Had been done, but not in a cage (that I know of).
I- Hogan/Mr. T vs. Piper/Orondorf- had been done in other combos, but without T.
So, by my count (and I may be off here) this is only the fifth WM with a first run main event (the sixth if Savage and Dibiase had not wrestled before). Pointless, but I think first time matchups are always more exciting (maybe not wrestling-wise, but defintiely anticipation-wise).
"...Oh they ran all right. They ran right to the toilet, pulled down their pants, and took a giant hulk-a-crap!"
The anticipation is certainly there. Whether or not Rock and Hogan will be able to capitalize on the anticipation with a solid match remains to be seen.
Me, I think the match will end up being solid, but not outstanding. But The Rock does tend to kick it up several notches for WrestleMania, so I have faith that this will be a very good match. Not a five-star match, but worth waiting for.
The preceding announcement has been paid for by the New World Order.
"Are you CERTAIN? I don't ever remember seeing an Austin/Michaels singles matchup anyway, and certainly not in any kind of high profile matchup!
Of course someone will bust out an archive that'll prove me wrong. ;-)"
No need for an archive. It was King of the Ring 1997 I believe. Brian Pillman gave up his match against Steve Austin to HBK, since Michaels and Austin weren't getting along (they were also tag team champions at the time). I think backstage antics during this PPV included Austin flushing Pillman's head down the toilet however. The actual match ended in a double DQ IIRC, as Austin stunnered one ref, and Michaels superkicked another.
Pillman and Austin wrestled in what would end up being possibly their last match against each other shortly thereafter on Raw.
No matter how bad things may get, just imagine what would happen if Vince Russo was booking again, and you will feel better.
And the only reason that Pillman "gave up" his match against Austin to Michaels was because Michaels and Bret Hart were supposed to have their long anticipated rematch from WM 13, but Bret was still recovering from some injuries (that and the fact that the Michaels/Hart real life fued was starting to get out of hand- this was around the time of the infamous backstage fist fight/hair pulling incident).
"...the people ran, they ran all right, they ran right to the toilet, pulled their pants down, took one big Hulk-a-CRAP every time you opened your mouth!"
It'd be an interesting case if it ever went to trial, but that's a long way and lots of money away. I'd guess the best way to see how worried WWE is about this is if they try changing things for current employees independent contractors in the meantime.