It wasn't only what happened at the show that was incredible, but rather what March 14th, 2004 means for the business symbolically.
Many now are drawing comparisions with this event and Wrestlemania X. But considering the card and the buildup on television, I was worried that this show would feature a main event roster straight out of 1998. And even still, it did. You still had Shawn, Taker, Hunter, Mick, Rock, Goldberg, and the bunch at the top of the card. But there is more to it than that.
The WWE, and the Garden crowd, made it clear who to run with as we enter a new chapter in the company. The focus was on matches like Cena winning his first singles title, Christian going over Jericho to move up the ranks, and as much as we all loved legends Foley, Rock, and Flair having their moments, it was Randy Orton who came out with the pinfall in that match. I wouldn't be surprised if two or three years from now, these men were involved in the top three matches of the night. Hopefully, we'll look at XX as a prime example of how these men started to make a name for themselves.
But as the undercard was geared towards guys who will start main eventing two or three years from now, the WWE absolutely MADE two names that have had this coming for a long time. The visual of Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero standing in the ring together with their respective world titles will go down in history as one of the best moments ever. It was really a sight to see how all of this talk of a glass ceiling was shattered in one night. In one way I'm disappointed Hogan, Savage, and co did not appear, and Eric, Vince and Paul had minimal or no roles, but for the sake of the business, I'm glad they did not. The focus should be on the present, and Benoit and Guerrero are the present. Of course, we had Taker's return, we had the Flair/Foley/Rock interactions, we had Shawn and HHH in the main event. But those were all secondary. I was there in that crowd, and by far the biggest pop of the night went to Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit..and our number one memory won't be of Taker and the druids or Austin stunning Lesnar, but rather Benoit winning the title and Guerrero coming out. A great, great moment..that made a great card turn into a legendary card.
Speaking of the Garden crowd, they totally represented where the business should go. What I mean by that is that of the current stars, Guerrero, Benoit, and Cena got incredible pops. Rock and HBK got moderate cheers and boos across the board, and what I interpreted it is how I see them: we love what you two have done for the business, but we want new fucking blood. Flair had monster pops only because he is Ric Flair. The two notable exceptions were Taker, whose nostalgia pop was expected, and Orton, who despite the company's love for him, the fans were totally indifferent towards. What I said earlier about him being the future is based on their own vision, not mine. I think he's mediocre.
And then there's Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg. Oh boy. I'll talk more about this later, but if the crowd was any indication, it's this: if you don't love professional wrestling, we really don't love you. In fact, we hate you. The crowd was well aware of Lesnar quitting earlier this week, and Goldberg's departure has been obvious for a long time. This will probably be one of the most talked about matches of all-time only because it showed how the only two men outside the wrestling circle who came in and got pushed straight to the moon in two years, decided to leave the business on the same night..and true wrestling fans brutalized them for it. Awesome. Austin stunning both of them was such a nice contrast because while those two represent a dislike for the business, Austin was one of the huge reasons the business is where it's at right now. Kudos.
And kudos to Vince McMahon and the WWE for putting out one of the best shows in its history. I truly think it can be in the same breath as X-7, III, and X, if not above or at the same level as those three. Considering X-7 featured guys who were at their peak, we all knew it ruled when it happened. XX, however, had a goal to make a handful of new stars (like X), so I think it may take a little longer to fully appreciate it. Regardless, I can't see how this wouldn't make anyone's top 5 Manias of all-time. It's just a shame the goddamn fatal fourways and Molly shaving head thing had to occur, or else it would rise in points in my book.
I think this WrestleMania will belong near the top of that list years from now. I don't think this is the usual "24-hour WrestleMania hyperbole" that has gone on over the last 4/5 years. This is the real deal. Dreams came true last night.
They followed the same pattern they made 10 years ago at WrestleMania X, and it worked.
Austin did indeed walk out after WrestleMania X8 and, given the direction of the company and the politics involved, I didn't blame him. Still don't.
But, he came back. He came back, put The Rock over, then stuck around. Last night, I was glad he's still around, because he got his due and showed exactly why he didn't put Lesnar over 2 years ago. Austin isn't the first name on the list, he's the last.
Last night, there were no signs of those politics. The fans got their way.
Originally posted by gugsIf they hotshot the title back on to Triple H, then it was (at least for Benoit) all for naught.
What matters is what happens at WrestleMania. That's the final say and the conclusion of the hype. Tonight, a new year begins storyline-wise. Nothing can take away last night.
Last night showed exactly why winning at WrestleMania matters more than winning on RAW, Backlash, or any of those other events. Timing is everything in this business.
Where 17 was better from a workerrate point of view, as far as impact, I could only imagine X being any where near close to this symbolically. Still, this is a subject that we might want to hold back on for about a year or two, as we can speculate but can't quite put in its proper context.
If Benoit don't get the monster face pops tonight, will Vince push the panic button? If Eddie's quarters aren't acceptable for a champion, will we see Taker back on top? Those questions remain unanswered. I just really hope, that Vince sticks with his guns on this one.
Cause three or five years down the road, I want to get on here and say WMXX was the birth of a new era. The same as X was kinda indirectly the birth of the attitude era. As they did it right last night, no dobut about it.
Eddie Guerrero looks like a long-term Main Eventer and WWE Champion. There's really nobody better on Smackdown and there's something going on with Angle so I don't know if I'd put the strap on him again. He looked a step slower at Mania and has at house shows apparently. I'm thinking he's more banged up then he's letting on.
Chris Benoit is pretty much just warming the belt and I don't see this as a changing of the guard on RAW at all. Until we see a RAW World Title match not involving Triple H or Shawn Michaels, there is no changing of the guard. It'll still be fresh and it's amazing for Chris Benoit to get that moment. No matter what happens from here on out, he got that moment and nobody can take that away from him. He got to close out WrestleMania XX as the World Heavyweight Champion.
And if we've all been paying attention, Steve Austin walked out because he couldn't go anymore and was having trouble coming to grips with that. Steve Austin lived and breathed being a professional wrestler. Lesnar and Goldberg were two guys plucked and groomed into the business. Goldberg got in it for the fame and the money, nothing wrong with that and he just laughed off the fans chants. Lesnar had a natural talent for it, gave his body for it, but ultimately didn't have the love for it. Imagine having the balls to stand in the same dressing room with guys like Eddie Guerrero and say that the schedule is too tough. I don't respect those things that Lesnar did but I do respect the fact that he did actually leave instead of sticking around and dragging down morale.
Okay, has it actually been confirmed that Brock actually waited until last week to quit, or is that just when they let it slip that he had? Because I have my doubts that after Nathan Jones got off a plane and never got back on that Vince would ignore one of his biggest stars complaining about his schedule for months.
I think it's just a little too convenient that Smackdown is basically unaffected by Brock's departure. No storylines left dangling, no feuds stopped abruptly, no huge hole in the top of the card even. They never even hinted at a post-Wrestlemania story aside from rumors of him grumbling about being "fed to the Undertaker".
I think that the people who needed to know (Vince and the creative team) either had plenty of warning, or they could see the writing on the wall and were hedging their bets. Hell, you could even make a case that if it weren't for Brock wanting to leave that Eddie Guerrero might not even be the champion today. After all, if Brock was sticking around, why not have him remain champion when he wrestles Goldberg? The Eddie/Angle feud would still be completely viable, and a title win/chase would have given Goldberg a reason to head to Smackdown as some rumors have said he'll be doing.
So let's not all shit on Brock so much. At least not until we know for sure what happened. It's not like he's not going to be coming back in a few months when the NFL looks at the injuries he's had as a wrestler and tells him "hey, man, we don't need a broken-down guy who's never played pro ball."
Kansas-born and deeply ashamed The last living La Parka Marka
"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Originally posted by samothThe true test is whether this post will be relevant in 6 month's time.
Or in six weeks, or in six days, or in six hours.
If they hotshot the title back on to Triple H, then it was (at least for Benoit) all for naught.
If Benoit loses the belt at Backlash, or even tonight on RAW, it can't be taken away from him that he was the winner of the Main Event of WrestleMania. That will always stand and that's why it was important that he won this match and the title last night rather than at a rematch at Backlash, or some other PPV. Everybody remembers WrestleMania. I can name the main event and the winners and losers of those main events of every WrestleMania, and I bet even 1 or 2 undercard matches. I can't remember what the main event of last year's Backlash was. WrestleMania is THE show that sticks with people. I'm sure this is true for more than just me. The casual fan who doesn't regularly watch Raw or order every PPV but got WrestleMania last night just because it's WrestleMania saw Chris Benoit win the big one last night in a hell of a match. That match will stick out in their minds and Benoit as the winner will be what everybody remembers when they think of WrestleMania 20, and that can never be changed.
I thought WRESTLEMANIA XX was shit! One of the worst Wrestlemanias ever! The only 2 good parts was Trish turning heel and The Undertaker! WRESTLEMANIA XX WAS A REALLY REALLY BORING PPV AND I HOPE AND PRAY THAT BACKLASH IS BETTER THAN WRESTLEMANIA XX!
Test: By October 2003, he'll have had another aborted main event push, probably against Kane or RVD. The WWE will try to salvage him by turning him face and giving him another big/semi-main event push.