History of WrestleMania
Part 2: WM 7-12
07.04.2003 by Big D
Contrary to popular beliefs...
I hope everyone has enjoyed the first part of the WM digest. A lot of people say that after 1990, the quality of the shows took a nosedive. Iím here to say that this may not have actually been the case at all, especially if you take IX out of the equation...
LA Sports Arena
Los Angeles, CA
For some reason, people lament this show, and I donít know why. But for starters, Iím not sure why they didnít run Hogan/Warrior II here. I guess itís Vinceís nature to cash in on a situation (see Angle winning the WWF title on 9/13/01). As far as the actual show goes, the bad stuff was pretty inoffensive, although Iím not sure what the point of burying Demolition was, but I know they were on their way out. And some of the matches were actually pretty good, including Rockers vs. Haku/Barbarian and even Hogan/Sarge. And UT got the ball rolling in a hurry, getting rid of Snuka in short order, and the Mountie running Santanaís WM losing streak to 6. But for the love of god, you have to watch this tape at least once to check out Warrior/Savage. The match was damn good, and had probably the ABSOLUTE BEST ending of any match in history, even better than Foley winning the WWF title for the first time. I mean, even I get a little misty-eyed sometimes about it.
Best match: Warrior/Savage
Worst match: Bravo/Tornado (just kinda there)
Hoosier (RCA) Dome
This show was just cool. I love these kinds of buildings with the translucent roof, so they can wrestle in daylight. Itís a cool effect. And on this card, there wasnít anything really terrible, just filler between the more important matches. And even though Santana found a new gimmick, he still had the same amount of success, dropping the opener to Shawn Michaels, which might be worth something. But there are two matches that really set this show apart, and a couple of other neat (depending on your view) moments. Hart/Piper was really good, and I loved the way they teased heelish tendencies for both guys, even though it all worked out in the end. And Savage/Flair is just totally fabulous. And the post-match interviews are hilarious, especially Flair, where he accuses Savage of cheating, even though he and Perfect were guilty of it for the whole match. Flairís best match in the WWF. And even though Hogan ended up un-retiring later, his passing of the torch to Warrior was pretty well done, even though Warrior fell flat not long after. And while youíre at it, check out Owen defeating Skinner in his WM debut, at least under his own name. Just skip the LOD interview. Also see newly turned UT finish Jakeís WWF career (I wouldnít consider his run in 1996 to be worth too much...)
Best match: Savage/Flair
Worst match: 8-man tag
Las Vegas, NV
The best thing about this show is the venue. That being said, you might want to stop watching after the pre-event hilarity. Wrestling-wise, the best of the day was Tatanka/Michaels, but even that fell short of expectations. If you like Hogan, this was probably a good show for you, although I think they should have went Hogan/Hart all the way. Headshrinkers/Steiners and Perfect/Luger werenít THAT bad, I guess. And the double-Doink thing was kinda cool, although they really needed to be pushing Crush at the time. Just make sure you FF past Gonzalez/UT. It was terrible, and even had a screwjob ending, which isnít really acceptable for a WrestleMania. Everything else was just there.
Best match: Tatanka/Michaels
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
Well, after delivering a bomb the year before, they managed to get things squared away for this one. This show has 2 of the absolute best matches ever, in Hart/Hart and the fist mainstream ladder match at a big event, Michaels/Razor. Make sure you check out the very start of the show, when the announce ďfrom Calgary, Alberta...Ē and the crowd gets excited because they think itís Bret, but instead, ITíS OWEN! Hehe. Well-laid out, as Owen goes over to get credibility, and then Bret wins the title, to go right back in the shadow again. And the ladder match is an absolute bumpfest. And at least they sent Savage out right, giving him a win in the blowoff with Crush. At least they did the right thing by keeping the tag belts on the Quebecers, and screwing Luger. And Perfect was a guest referee was hilarious. Check out the ďWM momentsĒ as well, theyíre styliní! Make sure you watch this one, as it marked a temporary upturn for Vince and the crew, which would stall out a year later.
Best Match: Bret/Owen, Razor/Shawn
Worst match: Doink/Dink vs. Bigelow/Luna
New Haven Coliseum
New Haven, CT
This one always holds a special place in my heart, and not just because Azaroth always has to remind me that he was there. Itís because this has to be the absolute most non-descript WM in history. I mean, outside of LT/Bigelow, and a successful title defense by Diesel, thereís nothing worth writing home about. I couldnít even remember half the stuff that happened without looking at the box. That said, the mains were good, and helped carry the show (even the LT match was way better than expected). It was nice, however, to see Owen capture his first title, and the more I think about it, the more I like the booking, as it almost seems that Yoko was the only reason that Owen won the belts in the first place. Razor/Jarrett as an IC title match was in the middle, Hart/Backlund was good for a blowoff, UT/Bundy was as good as could have been expected. And make sure you check out the opener, as youíll see one of the better teams to never win the tag titles, and Iím not talking about the Blu twins.
Best match: Shawn/Diesel
Worst match: UT/Bundy
This one also makes me smile, as this one gives me material to kid a certain person about, since Bret and HHH both lost. I was a little worried that they might run into trouble by only having 5 matches scheduled for the whole card. And I have to admit, although the ironman match was certainly good, I donít know if it was ***** or whatever people rank matches on. Just too many restholds to start the match. I guess the 6-man tag was okay; Vega/Austin was better than I expected (at least he ditched the ďRingmasterĒ gimmick by then), and I guess if HHH has any reason to have a chip on his shoulder, just watch his match. Goldust/Piper was just too corny for my tastes, especially the stupid OJ footage and the disturbing stripdown at the end. But Diesel/UT was WAY better than I thought it was going to be, and Diesel even wore a shirt that said ďBig DĒ, so thereís some points right there. Just a weird show, but I guess itís worth a watch. But only after some of the others...
Best match: Hart/Michaels
Worst match: Goldust/Piper
Up next: The WWF begins the transition to ATTITUDE...
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A group of friends and I put together this little project in 2003 as an outlet of out collective rage and anger about the
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