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The W - Pro Wrestling - WrestleMania Preview: XXVI is going to be better than X-Seven
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Mr Shh
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Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

Since last post: 8 hours
Last activity: 8 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.48
Nine years after it took place, WrestleMania X-Seven still stands as the benchmark to beat for wrestling PPVs. I watch WM every year, and I always pull for each one to outdo X-Seven, though no one does. My optimistic side always says that, on paper, every WM card is *capable* of being better, but then my realistic side says “Really?” I really believe that XXVI is not only better on paper (as I’ll show below), but that it *will be* better in execution. But the second part is a discussion for next week.

What I want to do here is show how XXVI compares to X-Seven on paper by comparing certain storylines leading up to the big shows. This isn’t meant to be taken totally seriously: some of these comparisons are serious, some are silly, some aren't even appropriate. I just thought that this would be a fun way of looking at the two shows. I was surprised at how many parallel moments there were. I had a lot of fun thinking about this and putting it together. Enjoy.


Better Motivating Obsession: Stone Cold winning the title or HBK beating The Undertaker

The story of Stone Cold’s return from a year-long injury in 2000 was meant to convey his obsession with being champion again. But it wasn’t until shortly before X-Seven, during JR’s sitdown interview Rock and Austin (which was awesome) that Stone Cold really articulated that obsession. The Fed spent a lot of the time using Debra as a way to amp up the personal rivalry between Rock and Austin. It was a bit contrived, but it worked on certain levels.

The story of HBK’s obsession with beating The Undertaker at XXVI has been nearly universally praised. As Shawn lost chance after chance to secure a match with Taker, he conveyed such a strong sense of desperation that helped make the upcoming match even more of a money match.

Winner: HBK beating The Undertaker



Better Uber-Dick Heel: HHH or Batista

I thought this one was going to be tougher than it actually was. Leading up to X-Seven, HHH injured Undertaker with Taker’s own motorcycle, then destroyed the motorcycle. He bloodied Taker with the sledgehammer. He also used a restraining order, which is an awesome heel tactic.

Batista beat the hell out of Cena, then protected himself with security officers. He has an awesome swagger, uses a badass spotlight and wears badass sunglasses – the way he carries himself is just great dickishness. But what cinched it for Batista was how he completely demoralized John Cena, by convincing Cena that he could not beat Batista. HHH tugged on Superman’s cape, but Batista was wearing kryptonite sunglasses.

Winner: Batista



Better McMahon Money Match: Shane McMahon or Bret Hart

Oh boy. The eleventh hour addition of the WCW angle made Vince’s match with Shane infinitely more anticipated, but that’s not saying much considering what they had to begin with: comatose Linda, Trish and the mop bucket, Trish being forced to act like a dog, etc. Really, really bad, but the audience ate it up. Vince got his in the end, but watching it all unfold leading up to the event was just bad.

By definition, a program between Vince and Bret wins, even though it’s been playing to milder audience reactions. But the fake leg injury angle added the spark that woke everybody up. The point here is that we are finally able to witness closure on this issue, and we will.

Winner: Bret Hart



Better Jericho Program: Pee in the tea or Fear of the spear

The spear angle is a *little* silly and peeing in William Regal’s tea is just stupid, but hey, at least we’re not talking about WM X8 here, right? At the end of the day, anything that heel Jericho is involved with will, 99 times out of 100 (the one time being X8), be better than juvenile face Jericho telling people to shut the hell up.

Winner: Fear of the spear



Better Stable Break-up: Radicalz or Legacy

A lot of the TV time between No Way Out and X-Seven was devoted to the split of Chris Benoit from the Radicalz. For a while, they were teasing a WM match between Benoit & Eddie Guerrero, or some combination of those two, Malenko & Saturn. However, they blew the program off early with an awesome Benoit-Eddie match a couple of weeks before WM. Benoit and the other three Radz then went down separate paths leading into WM, as the Fed shuffled the programs and finalized the card. The end result (Benoit-Angle, Eddie-Test) would probably have been better than one match involving the Radicalz (thanks of course to Benoit-Angle), but we’ll never know.

But, it beats the breakup of Orton and Legacy hands down. They may have changed directions drastically with the Radicalz, but that’s better than having no direction at all.

Winner: Radicalz



Better Tag Team Title Picture: Dudleys vs Hardys vs Edge & Christian or ShoMiz vs Morrison & R-Truth

This one is pretty simple. In the first case, the Fed transformed the tag title program from Taker and Kane vs Rikishi and Haku to what we ended up getting. That miracle by itself gives X-Seven the win. But in addition to that, what we got at X-Seven culminated a year-long three-way rivalry, which is pretty cool.

Winner: Dudleys vs Hardys vs Edge & Christian



Better Program Involving A Cult: Right To Censor or Straight Edge Society

Right To Censor was one of the hottest heel acts going in late 2000/ early 2001, despite being Vince’s juvenile response to critics. But it had already peaked by the time of X-Seven and all that was left was to tie the loose ends. Going into WM, RTC’s heat was driven by Chyna’s quest for revenge against Ivory. The remaining RTCers filled up some space in lower card.

The Straight Edge Society is one of the hottest heel acts in a long time (maybe since RTC?). And it hasn’t peaked yet. Going into WM, their heat is driven by Rey Mysterio’s quest for revenge against C.M. Punk. You just don’t mess with another man’s family.

Winner: Straight Edge Society



More Anticipated Match Involving Ladders: TLC II or Money In The Bank

As mentioned before, the three constituent teams in TLC II were on their way to finally settling their year-long war. And this would be their third match against each other that involved ladders. Despite that, there was a certain level of confidence and sense of excitement that these six guys could invent and reinvent spots that would make TLC II better than the previous two matches. The new wrinkle in this rematch was the addition of Rhyno and Spike Dudley. Together with Lita, there would ultimately be nine bodies involved in the match.

There are now ten participants in MitB. Even though it is only one more participant than the number of people involved in TLC II, I personally can’t help but have lowered expectations and be concerned that it’s just going to be one big CF. Maybe there’s also the sense that after fifteen years of televised ladder matches, there are only so many things you can do and it gets harder to top previous matches.

Winner: TLC II



Better Angry Guy Who Lost The Title And A Spot In The WM Main Event: Kurt Angle or Sheamus

Both Angle and Sheamus experienced “meteoric” rises to the top. Angle’s first year resume was just a *wee* bit more impressive than Sheamus’. Once Angle lost the title at NWO 2001, he snapped and started breaking legs. He was justifiably pissed at losing out at the WM Main Event. And he spent the bulk of the time between NWO and WM playing an awesome antagonist to Rock and Stone Cold. Hell, he put Debra in the anklelock!

Then there’s Sheamus. Pin somebody important, then we’ll talk (and I like Sheamus).

Winner: Kurt Angle



Better Official Theme Song: “My Way” or “I Made It”

When I say “better”, I mean “less annoying”.

Let’s see…the number of times the title is annoyingly repeated during the song:
My Way: 22
I Made It: >30 (I couldn’t keep count)

See, then you have to multiply that by the number of times they play the song during a broadcast. This is where “I Made It” gets a slight edge: thanks to the Audioslave song, you only hear “I Made It” once a show.

Winner: “I Made It”



So, there you have it...a 6-4 win for XXVI. XXVI is better on paper than X-Seven. QED.


(edited by Mr Shh on 26.3.10 2008)


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Psycho Penguin
Liverwurst








Since: 24.6.07
From: Greenacres FL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.33
You can make 10 random points about anything and have it come out 6-4 on whatever side you want. I could make WM9 sound better than X-7 like that. I do agree that WM26 has the potential to be the best, because the card has been really well built, but I didn't like HBK/Taker I and I think HBK/Taker II will be just more of the tired kickout crap they tried with the first one.



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SchippeWreck
Banger








Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, CA

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.72
Let's put it this way, the card is so strong, that I'm going to blow $60 on it this weekend, despite only having watched a grand total of an hour of WWE programming over the last 2 years.



"It's magic! We don't need to explain it!"
The Goon
Boudin blanc
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.13
    Originally posted by SchippeWreck
    Let's put it this way, the card is so strong, that I'm going to blow $60 on it this weekend, despite only having watched a grand total of an hour of WWE programming over the last 2 years.


I've watched slightly more, but I'm in the same boat.

If nothing else, I am hoping for closure on the Bret Hart saga from my youth.
i before e
Chorizo








Since: 17.10.03

Since last post: 1316 days
Last activity: 76 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.62
This is the best built card the WWE has put out in YEARS but 60 dollars is ridiculous to pay for any PPV. Unless I can find a friend or two to split the bill, I will gladly wait it out and watch it on the cheap later on. I would have ordered it for sure at a lower price, but oh well I guess.
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 42 days
Last activity: 6 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.40
I'd be watching it at a sports bar if not for the fact a friend of mine invited me to his house to watch it. I'm bringing two bags of tortilla chips and two jars of salsa. I definitely wouldn't have paid $60 for it, but then the only PPV I've ever bought the live broadcast of was WrestleMania XX.



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griff
Head cheese








Since: 26.2.04
From: Manchester, England

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.92
I agree that this is one of the best built 'Manias in years. It's great that most matches on the card havw been given a decent amount of TV time to build storylines and interest. WWE really got its ass in gear early this year.
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.44
I disagree with I Made it being better then My Way. My Way is the definitive Wrestlemania song. Whenever I hear I think of stunners and rock bottoms all over the place. WM X-7 is the greatest Mania to date not because of the build, but the actual event itself was amazing. WM X-9 was great on paper too, but it bombed out after HHH pinned Booker T.

Wrestlemania 26 has some pitfalls as well. It doesn't have a great technical match like Benoit/Kurt, it also has doesn't have a giant face vs face match like Rock/Austin. I highly doubt it will have the shock ending either of Austin's heel turn. I can see Cena getting booed out of the arena when he wins since Batista's promos have been nuggets of truth about John. If Drew wins, it will be ugh! moment when there is a number of better wrestlers who deserve that shot. Orton/Legacy could be a trainwreck as since is by far the weakest build of all the mania matches. I am ordering it too and while the build has been amazing I think people are really going to be disappointed if it doesn't live up to expectations.
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 10 hours
Last activity: 10 min.
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52
This year certainly has a deeper card than 17. Actually, a lot of Manias since then have; there's a good bit of clutter on 17, really. The difference is that there hasn't been a WM where the big five matches all click like they did except for 19, but 17 trumps 19 in every other way because wrestling was so much hotter at the time and everything was more over.

This year has a deep lineup combined with a lot of product momentum. I have faith in everyone in important matches delivering with the pressure on except for Triple H, so I think the biggest obstacle in having one of the best shows ever will be allotting time properly and then keeping the show on time.

    Originally posted by lotjx
    WM X-9 was great on paper too, but it bombed out after HHH pinned Booker T.


I'm confused. Does bomb out mean get really good?


    I highly doubt it will have the shock ending either of Austin's heel turn.


I mean, hopefully not. The heel turn instead of the triumphant beer celebration takes 17 down a bit. They could do something very similar with a Triple H turn on Michaels this year.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 27.3.10 1358)
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.44
I mean killing it via Brock's screw-up almost injurying himself on the SSP, Vince/Hogan being garbage and Rock/Austin being a shade of its former self. WM X-9 has the benefit of HBK/Jericho considering Matt beating Rey was stupid as well. Do I have to mention Nathan Jones being on the card? WM X-9 is vastly overrated.

Austin's heel turn was shocking and also in Texas where he was still being cheered a little bit less, but still got a big pop when he finally killed Rock. It was also a Holy Shit! moment. You had to watch Raw the next day to find out why he did turned and thats where the heel turned fell apart. Instead of turning HHH face and giving explanation or at least implying why he turned in the first place they just put the Two Power Trip together for really no reason. Austin's heel did allow me to flip off my friend who was a Rock friend as soon as Vince came out, because we were arguing all week who was going to win. So, I am ok, because it a weird way, I won too.

(edited by lotjx on 27.3.10 1410)
BoromirMark
Potato korv








Since: 8.5.02
From: Milan-Ann Arbor, MI

Since last post: 187 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.56
I think the OP is mixed up, as I have things scored 7-3 in favor of X-Seven:

Better Motivating Obsession: Stone Cold winning the title or HBK beating The Undertaker

Winner: Stone Cold winning the title

Better Uber-Dick Heel: HHH or Batista

Winner: HHH

Better McMahon Money Match: Shane McMahon or Bret Hart

Winner: Bret Hart

Better Jericho Program: Pee in the tea or Fear of the spear

Winner: Fear of the spear

Better Stable Break-up: Radicalz or Legacy

Winner: Radicalz

Better Tag Team Title Picture: Dudleys vs Hardys vs Edge & Christian or ShoMiz vs Morrison & R-Truth

Winner: Dudleys vs Hardys vs Edge & Christian

Better Program Involving A Cult: Right To Censor or Straight Edge Society

Winner: Straight Edge Society

More Anticipated Match Involving Ladders: TLC II or Money In The Bank

Winner: TLC II

Better Angry Guy Who Lost The Title And A Spot In The WM Main Event: Kurt Angle or Sheamus

Winner: Kurt Angle

Better Official Theme Song: “My Way” or “I Made It”

Winner: “My Way”




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MUTigermask
Boudin rouge








Since: 8.10.03
From: Columbia MO

Since last post: 391 days
Last activity: 245 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
    Originally posted by lotjx
    Wrestlemania 26 has some pitfalls as well. It doesn't have a great technical match like Benoit/Kurt, it also has doesn't have a giant face vs face match like Rock/Austin.


I could have sworn that HBK and Taker were both faces!
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.44
Shawn is playing tweener. He did cost Taker his belt, superkicked his friend out of the Rumble and has cut some heelish promos. Plus, that creepy smile.

(edited by lotjx on 27.3.10 1433)
Psycho Penguin
Liverwurst








Since: 24.6.07
From: Greenacres FL

Since last post: 1390 days
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.33

    I mean killing it via Brock's screw-up almost injurying himself on the SSP, Vince/Hogan being garbage and Rock/Austin being a shade of its former self. WM X-9 has the benefit of HBK/Jericho considering Matt beating Rey was stupid as well. Do I have to mention Nathan Jones being on the card? WM X-9 is vastly overrated.


Woah nelly. How was Matt beating Rey stupid at all? HBK/Jericho got a lot of hate for HBK going over. Brock/Angle was awesome until the messed up SSP. Vince/Hogan and Rock/Austin were fun. Nathan Jones didn't wrestle.



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"I think that in five years, Orton is far more likely to be in Billy Gunn Land than being a major player in WWE." - Big Bad - 11/22/03
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.44
It was stupid, because you shouldn't feel deflated in the opening. I wasn't going to bitch about HBK over Jericho since I do agree that Chris should have won, but his kick to Shawn's balls at the end was nice. Austin/Rock should not be fun, it should be epic. It was finisher after finisher with no real story behind it. The fact that Austin had a heart attack the night before probably had something to do with it. Vince/Hogan's high spot was Piper even then after all the shit we had to get through I was numb to it.
Psycho Penguin
Liverwurst








Since: 24.6.07
From: Greenacres FL

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.33
Matt Hardy was a very popular heel darling on the IWC in early 2003. I don't think too many people were deflated. The fact it was 5 minutes long was a much bigger and more logical complaint.



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"I think that in five years, Orton is far more likely to be in Billy Gunn Land than being a major player in WWE." - Big Bad - 11/22/03
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 10 hours
Last activity: 10 min.
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52
I liked Hogan/Vince a lot, more than Shane/Vince. It's the masterpiece of Vince matches. (Shawn vs. Vince was the best of Vince's WM matches but most of that was Shawn beating up other guys.) It'll be interesting to see how they structure Bret/Vince to keep it fun.

Michaels over Jericho became the right result as time went on. Jericho actually left the company before Shawn did.

Austin/Rock felt like an epic final chapter to me. Austin went out like an old gunfighter's last stand.
UnsUwe
Chourico








Since: 6.7.02
From: Germany

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.00
I never understood the complaints about HBK going over Jericho at WM XIX. From a kayfabe point of view there was no other option (Jericho wanting to end HBK's career), unless Shawn really wanted to retire, which was not the case, since he just came back full time. The match was booked exactly the right way. I guess most people didn't believe that Shawn was back for good, or just complained that internet darling Jericho lost.

And to get back on topic, I could also see this years Wrestlemania becoming the best one ever, at least one of the best. This is possibly the best card they ever came up with, and I'd easily pay $60 if this was available in Germany (it's only around €45 anyway:-)).
Psycho Penguin
Liverwurst








Since: 24.6.07
From: Greenacres FL

Since last post: 1390 days
Last activity: 1386 days
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Y!:
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.33
HHH had about three major matches before WM19: Summerslam 2002, Survivor Series 2002, and Armageddon 2002. There was doubt as to how long HBK would stay around for, and many thought it was Jericho losing to a part time wrestler who would be gone soon. Hindsight has been favorable to the result now, but it was not popular at all then.



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"I think that in five years, Orton is far more likely to be in Billy Gunn Land than being a major player in WWE." - Big Bad - 11/22/03
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