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 1992 & 1993

These 2 Halloween Havoc’s were very interesting since they seem to be a who’s who of former WWF stars with one that I did not realize had a stint in WCW.

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1992 was a fun show overall with the following highlights:

Big Van Vader vs. Nikita Koloff was a good match between two big guys that showed that WCW did have some of their own talent that could compete with WWF. Same with the tag team match between Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin/Steve Williams. All four putting on a great match with Rhodes and Austin continuing their exciting feud.

The three matches featuring former WWF stars were over all good. Ricky Steamboat going against a young Brian Pillman was an excellent match and they really seemed to have a great chemistry together. Rick Rude vs. Masahiro Chono was also great with Rude not only showing his great in-ring ability but his heel personality was always very over with the crowd and provided some very memorable moments throughout his career.

The guy that I did not realize had a stint in WCW was Jake “The Snake” Roberts. He was involved in a ‘spin the wheel, make the deal match’ where early in the show his opponent Sting had to spin a large wheel to determine what type of match they had (steel cage, texas death match, etc…). It wound up being a coal miner’s glove match where whoever climbed up a pole first in the match could grab the suspended glove and knock their opponent out (it was supposedly metal lined). The match was fine for the most part until the end when Roberts used his gimmick of pulling the snake out of the bag to taunt his opponent but was instead bit on the face himself. It was an actual snake (cobra I believe) and clearly de-fanged. The problem was Roberts had to be overly physical with the snake in order to make it look like he was being bit. Let’s just say PETA would have been all over him today for how roughly he treated the snake.

Overall, a solid PPV and worth a watch.

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1993 was probably the best Halloween Havoc up to this point. Just a brief synopsis of the standout matches:

Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat – two legends put on a great match and showed that both could still work well

Lord Steven Regal vs. Davey Boy Smith – two very different styles of wrestling that really worked well together

Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin – this match seemed to be a bit of a tradition for a few years and never got old since they both had such great in-ring chemistry

Nasty Boys vs. Marcus Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio – simply awesome…Bagwell and Scorpio had silly gimmicks at the time, but were amazing athletes and performed some very memorable high flying moves off the top rope

Sting vs. Sid Vicious – they had a feud for a while and always managed to be entertaining

Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair – two legends who kept the crowd into the match throughout

And finally, Vader vs Cactus Jack – this was a Texas Death Match which is basically no DQ’s, falls count anywhere. Both guys beat the heck out of each and really put everything in to it which made for a fun match.

I am getting close to finishing the Halloween Havoc PPV’s and there is definitely some interesting moments where you really start to see where WCW went wrong as a company. When I get to my synopsis of those shows I may briefly go down to reviewing just one since I will have a bit more commentary.

Otherwise, next week is 1994 and 1995!