Wrestlemania’s 19 and 20

I was a little off my schedule the past week so I have just 2 Wrestlemania’s to discuss, 19 and 20. As always, there will be some spoilers.

Rarely is there a ‘bad’ Wrestlemania. There are some that were definitely less memorable than others, but usually the WWE puts everything they have into making it the best show of the year.

Wrestlemania 19 was a solid show, but despite the fact I have watched it more than once I never seem to remember the card much before I start watching the 19th installment of the longest running PPV. Overall, it is a good show, but the only match that really stands out in my memory is Stone Cold vs. The Rock. This was a top notch match where The Rock finally got a Wrestlemania victory after losing to Stone Cold in Wrestlemania main events the past two times they met. This was Stone Cold’s last Wrestlemania main event since his injuries forced him to retire from full time wrestling. It was a great way to go out and if you watch this match you can see that The Rock is truly appreciative of Austin doing the job for him and subtly thanks him after the final pinfall.

Another match of note is Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon in a street fight. Way better than it had any right to be and both men busted their asses to put on the best show possible. Several high spots, a lot of blood shed by both men, and classic Hogan moments make this an entertaining match with Hogan winning.

Chris Jericho going against Shawn Michaels was another major highlight. Seeing these two legendary and very athletically gifted performers going head to head was a match made in heaven. They have similar styles yet are very unique in their move sets. Both guys were clearly trying to be the match of the night and they did a great job doing so.

The final match of the night was Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesner. An incredible match that had a ton of buildup with a nice payoff of Lesnar winning the WWE title. With both men having legendary amateur wrestling careers seeing them go to head to head in the WWE was a dream match and it did not disappoint.

Wrestlemania 20 was an okay show. Not bad, but not great. The low light of the night was Goldberg’s final match in the WWE against Brock Lesnar. The fans in attendance had no interest in the match and both wrestlers did not gel at all. It was awkward and unfortunate for both men.

Highlights were Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (both all time great performers), the Cuiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Title (featuring Rey Misterio, Billy Kidman, Tajiri, and others), and the tag match between The Rock and Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair/Batista/Randy Orton in a 3 on 2 handicapped match.

Overall, a good show, but definitely flawed in the fact that there was just too much going on. At this time the WWE had an over abundance of talent and did not always seem to know what to do with them.

Still, this was a historic Wrestlemania being the 20th installment and still worth a few hours of your time.

10 more to go before this year’s Wrestlemania!

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 & 1999

My original intention was to review the final 3 Halloween Havocs today and move on to other wrestling PPV’s, but I have had such difficulty getting through the final one in 2000 that I will just go over ’98 and ’99 now and force my way through 2000 for next week. The quality of shows is getting worse and worse.

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1998 actually could have been a great PPV if it was not for one match that was so embarrassingly bad that it brought the rest of the show down.

Starting off with the good:

Chris Jericho beats Raven – Two great characters and terrific performers who started the show off on the right foot. Lots of great high flying spots which ended with Raven submitting to the Lion Tamer.

Disco Inferno over Juventud Guerrera – Disco Inferno was a ridiculous character but he could perform well in the ring. The winner of this match received the right to face Billy Kidman later in the show for the Cruiserweight Championship which leads us to…

Billy Kidman defeating Disco to retain the belt – Kidman was a great wrestler and this match came off great. Fast paced with some great spots with Kidman winning using the shooting star press.

Bret Hart taking out Sting – A match that everyone wanted to see for a long time and finally got the chance. Overall, a good match between two legendary performers.

Now for the one match that destroyed it all…

Hollywood Hogan vs. Warrior – Holy crap was this bad. I have heard about this match for years as being possibly the worst of all time and although I cannot confirm that since I have yet to see every wrestling match of all time I can validate the fact that this match is the worst I have seen yet. I would rather watch Al Snow vs. Big Bossman in a kennel match (look it up on Youtube) 100 times in a row than watch this stinker a second time. It was supposed to be a historic rematch for the ages, but the problem was, in my opinion, Hogan. At this point in his career he just could not put on a great match anymore. He needed to have the right person to work with and even though I feel Warrior was perfectly fine in the match, the way it was scripted no one could look good. The icing on the cake is when Hogan attempted to do the old fireball in the face trick and he fumbled his way through it and wound up burning himself in one of the most embarrassing moments in his career. I feel the main issue is WCW itself. The fall of the organization was beginning and bad booking and pure ignorance is what started the fall.

Amazingly enough, there was one more match that night and thank goodness for it…

Bill Goldberg retained the World Title over DDP – Many people consider it the best match ever on a Halloween Havoc card and they are correct. Both guys were in their prime and busted ass to compensate for the previous match that almost destroyed the show. What I did not know was that when this show aired live the people who had paid for the PPV did not get to see the final match. The PPV lasted well over 3 hours and the cable/satellite companies were prepared for 3 hours, which is the standard, so the show ended abrubtly. The match was aired on Monday Nitro the next night for free and WCW had to refund the people who purchased the show the night before.

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1999 was just weird. It seemed rushed together and was just a giant cluster you-know-what.

Eddy Guerrero beating Saturn was fun. Rick Steiner over Chris Benoit was good. DDP getting a big win over Ric Flair was neat. Then there was Hogan being beaten by Sting. Hogan lies down and tells Sting to pin him which he does. No explanation. Everyone in the crowd sat there with blank looks on their faces as did I. Just nonsensical garbage that should have been explained.

At the end of the show was a 3 minute out of nowhere match with Goldberg winning the World title over Sting. Huh?! The outcome of the match was fine but the shortness of it was bizarre to say the least. The longest match was just shy of 13 minutes which gave this show the feeling of being rushed together and everyone involved just wanting to get it done with and get out there ASAP. WCW was now on its last legs and it really shows.

One more Halloween Havoc to go and I can finally move on to the good stuff.