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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown

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I did get a laugh out of Lawler saying "let's give the Devil his due" at the end about Booker and immediately thinking "pot calling kettle here" haha

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Man, that finish is complete ass. How is the setup just "Booker T fell down", how is that real?

At least the Fingerpoke of Doom had the sense to be short.

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Ugh. I remember this one because it was the spring semester of my freshman year in college.

Me and some other guys on my floor were wrestling fans so we scrapped together some money to order the PPV online for $20.

One guy can hook up his computer to his TV so we watch it in his room, another guy has some extra money on his meal card so he picks up a pizza from the pizza parlor on campus. I actually had money in my bank account so we use my debit card to order it.

It's me, another black guy, a Puerto Rican guy and his white roommate. Damn Rainbow Collation in Platteville, Wisconsin.

We get to this match, and we're all cheering for Booker because we were WCW fans. Booker hits the Hangover and we're screaming! After the kickout, we're on edge. HHH hits the Pedigree, but I say out loud, "Nah he's taking too long he's gonna kickout" Nope. We're all silent after until the white guy says "that was bullshit!" 

And it still is.

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2 hours ago, Death From Above said:

Man, that finish is complete ass. How is the setup just "Booker T fell down", how is that real?

It's been a while since I've seen the match, but I remember accepting it on the basis of how much Hunter worked over the leg and Booker using everything he had to hit the Hangover. I'm cool with it since they built the whole match to get to that.

Now the laying around after the Pedigree is a lot harder to explain away. 

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DAY 57

Hulk Hogan has enjoyed the last year doing a comeback/farewell tour. Vince even gave him one final run as WWE Champion!  The nostalgia run was going well, and then Hollywood Rock showed up and challenged Hogan to a match at No Way Out. McMahon interfered (via ref/wrestler Sylvain Grenier) and Hogan lost. They'd spend the next month arguing over who created Hulkamania, and the correct answer is, of course, the WWF marketing team.  The argument boils over, they challenge each other to a match at WrestleMania, and Vince *STABS HOGAN REPEATEDLY WITH A PEN*.   Vince getting away with attempted murder is probably where POTUS got his infamous '5th Avenue' thought.  

Oh boy, the sideways version of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is absolutely awful.  It's so blatant that they cannot get around Hogan doing the "chop it down with the edge of my hand". It can't cost THAT much to get the rights to a 50 year old song can it?  Hogan's soaking in what would be his final entrance to WrestleMania as a wrestler and I can't say I blame him.  Vince must have found some wonder steroid because despite being 10 years older, he's noticeably bigger than Hulk is. 

Now obviously this isn't going to be a technical classic. BUT... well, this is what I'm imagining a brawl between 2 old men who have drunk way too many whiskeys at 3am.  Credit to both of them for essentially working in their limits.  Both guys blade pretty well after post and chair shots. Vince, in particular, takes an unprotected chair shot that gives him the chance to bleed like a stuck pig (or however that saying goes).  I actually noted the oddness of the chairshot, because while it's unprotected, Hogan did a very good job of not following through on the swing.  It's like, he placed the chair on Vince's head and it bounced off.  

Oh, since I forgot to mention it before, this is a No DQ Street Fight.  And a local hobo who claimed to be Rowdy Roddy Piper wanders into the ring and teased that he was going to crack Vince over the head with it.  However, Piper was overexcited and gave away he hated Hogan too (because he spat on him too). So, yes, the 18 year revenge plot is finally fulfilled, and Piper brains Hogan with the pipe.  However that only gets 2.  Vince gets the pipe and ref Brian Hebner tries to take it away from him... in a Street Fight.  So Vince tries to throw him over the top, but Brian fucks up the spot in an ugly way.  (I'm guessing that was brought up when the Hebners were all fired a couple of years later.)  This brings out Grenier.  Hogan beats him down, boots Vince, and THREE leg drops, and that is it.  

The match is silly crazy fun and way better than it has any right to be.  Not surprising considering both guys are absolute masters of the craft and know what will make a good match, and how to work within a certain set of parameters.  I just wish, honestly, that they were both better people.  

I really, really want to like Hulk Hogan.  Actually no, I like Hulk Hogan. The guy I don't like is Terry Bollea. I honestly hope he's reflected on the mistakes he's made, and has come out a better person for it.   

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I wouldn't be surprised if Vince was on test, tren, and masteron, then added Equipoise when he was gonna be doin blade jobs

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1 hour ago, For Great Justice said:

I love this match. With of course THAT shot of Vince looking over the apron with the pipe. 

Oh, you mean this one?  Yeah, I fucking loved this.  Heck, I think it's the only thing I still remember from this match.

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of WM XIX, I can't think of a show with a more loaded roster of all time stars. If you include the preshow, you've got Hogan, Shawn, Taker, Austin, Rock, Cena as tippy toppy guys in the company's history, then Piper, Angle, Lesnar, Guerrero, Rey, Benoit, Jericho, Trish, Show, Kane in that next tier down. 

Arguably the only tippy top names you are missing who were active before or during this time are Flair, Bret, Diesel and I guess you can generously say Batista, Edge and Orton. (I'm probably missing someone)

It's close with 18, which had Flair, Diesel and Edge but no Shawn, Lesnar, Cena, Piper. 

It's a shame the Booker angle overshadows a lot of what I and others remember about this show, because the talent is just stacked and there's a lot of good stuff on there.

Edited by For Great Justice

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Random observation, but I’m not sure if I buy Hulkamania was due to the WWF market team. Hulkamania was running wild something crazy in the AWA before Hogan ever came back to the WWF. I’d say the marketing made it bigger, but Hogan was going to be the biggest star in wrestling even if he decided to stay in the AWA.

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Just for shits 'n grins, I went back and looked at how many Hogan matches made the AWA set out of 150... the total is five.

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2 hours ago, The Man Known as Dan said:

Random observation, but I’m not sure if I buy Hulkamania was due to the WWF market team. Hulkamania was running wild something crazy in the AWA before Hogan ever came back to the WWF. I’d say the marketing made it bigger, but Hogan was going to be the biggest star in wrestling even if he decided to stay in the AWA.

I heard Bischoff talking about Pastamania recently. Even though the home location in the Mall of America kind of turned into a joke, he said it was chosen because Hogan was especially huge in Minnesota due to how beloved he was there during his AWA run.

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2 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Just for shits 'n grins, I went back and looked at how many Hogan matches made the AWA set out of 150... the total is five.

The handicap matches vs the Heenan Family are worth watching.

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16 minutes ago, (BP) said:

I heard Bischoff talking about Pastamania recently. Even though the home location in the Mall of America kind of turned into a joke, he said it was chosen because Hogan was especially huge in Minnesota due to how beloved he was there during his AWA run.

It's weird cause they (WCW) didn't draw in Minneapolis until they got to the NWO era much like a lot of other places. Hogan did one WCW house show at the Target Center in 1994 and it drew 4,300. I know Eric has the AWA connection as well, but if a guy like that is a worldwide star, ideally you could put that shit just about anywhere.

Shit, I probably believe the Kate Kennedy, my mistress works there thing over the AWA thing. By the time Nitro started, Hogan was already several years removed from AWA.

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To be fair, Hogan was only there for 30% or so of the time period in question. As opposed to Bock or Hennig for example. 

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"Crack Addict" is horrifically dated and bad.  Limp Bizkit's relevancy was arguably over well before this, but this certainly drove the stake directly into their relevance's heart.  And it's an unusual misstep for WWE production to make the final epic showdown's theme between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock be this.  

Basically the Rock is done with his WWE career.  He's found success in Hollywood and is actively seeking the way out. But the newly empowered WWE audience didn't like that he was leaving, so they let him know about it.  One of my absolute favorite promo's in Rock's career came after he'd lost to Brock, when he flat out told the audience... "are you SURE this is what you want" and they continued to boo, so he turned and basically told them they had no one to blame but themselves for this.  

So the story they're telling is Rock has nothing left to prove to anyone.  But himself. He's never beaten Steve Austin at WrestleMania.  So, since he gets to be an asshole to everyone now, let's go ahead and challenge that idiot for one last match. Austin, being Austin, is cool with that.  It should be noted though, last time it took rampant, ridiculous cheating for Austin to win, so...   It should also be noted that Rock always looks like he's having the time of his damned life when he's playing heel. It comes through in his performance as he plays guitar and tells everyone why, specifically, they suck. 

Alright, it's match time, and Rock comes out with my absolute favorite version of his theme, the slowed down, intense, "I am a fucking star who's better than you, and you WILL wait for me."

This is the one from No Way Out, but gets over how fucking awesome this is. No one, but Rock could pull this off.  (hmm... maybe Cena)  Anyway, so Austin comes down to another huge pop. So the incredible intensity between these two is palpable and they go at it nearly immediately.  Rock actually controls a lot more of this match than I remembered, talking WORLDS of shit to Austin the whole time. Absolutely delightful. 

One interesting piece of dialogue, which I'm positive is Vince just keeping himself over, is Lawler asking JR if he thought Austin was jealous of Rocky's fame, and JR saying "Austin wants to be a wrestler."  Well, that's very debatable nowadays.  Anyway, Austin is clearly letting Rock lead the dance and letting him do whatever he wants, since this is basically it for him. And by "him", I mean both of them, but more on that later.   Rock is basically wrestling a tribute to all of Austin's best matches and it's great.  Rock at one point has the damned nerve to put on Austin's vest and I'm just smiling ear to ear because Rock is just so good at heeling. 

The crowd is basically all standing starting from the moment Austin hits a Rock Bottom on Rocky out of nowhere, a good portion of which bought that as the finish.  But, eventually, Rock hits a stunner on Austin, and the crowd is collectively starting to lose their shit. Hell, I know how this turns out and I'm getting excited too. Rock then starts shittalking the crowd, mocking them for chanting Austin, Austin.  So SCSA eats another Rock Bottom... for 2. People's Elbow only gets 2.  Rock has that "I'm freaking out" look for a second, collects himself and is ready again.   He's not going to let Austin free this time.   Austin up, Rock's got him...

Then, he pauses.  When the camera flashes to him, you can see Rock beginning to get emotional.  He knows, this moment is the moment of his career.  He's finally about to do it.  

Rock Bottom.   

1, 2, 3.   

Hebner goes to cue Rocky to celebrate, but Rock pushes him away.  He and Austin clearly have a very personal moment, in front of 60000 people. Hebner gets pushed away again (god fuck off Earl)... They finish their moment, Rock celebrates. Goes into the crowd to see his family and is clearly crying at this point.  It was never announced as a retirement match, but it certainly has all the trappings of one.   

Austin of course, has his own moment as he leaves the ring. And he's looking as emotional as I've ever seen him. What we didn't know at the time was Austin was done. This was not, as most people assumed, Rock's retirement match... it was Austin's.   

And for him, and Rock, that was a hell of a way to go out.  

End of Day 57. 

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I actually didn't realize that it had been *that* long since Austin's last actual match. Considering the nature of wrestling "retirements" in general it's actually quite remarkable.

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I’m curious about when Austin decided he was truly done. He’s talked about being unwell WrestleMania weekend and that it scared him into hanging it up, but he was taking bumps again by that summer during his GM run. 

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Co-signing Rock’s theme and entrance here as my personal favorite of all time, with this specific entrance at this specific show being the best ever. 

The whole Hollywood Rock run is peak pro wrestling heel. Very few can touch just how good Rock was right here.

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Hollywood Rock is who Miz tries so hard to be.

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8 minutes ago, Morganti said:

Hollywood Rock is who Miz tries so hard to be.

Which is funny, since it took The Rock's interference for Miz to beat Cena at WM.

I also just wanted to add that prior to clicking onto this thread, a nice in-ring name was on the "currently on the board" thingy.

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Well that too, but watching Rock's old Titantron really reminded me about how much Miz's Titantron is very very similar.

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Triple H going over Booker T after that build permanently eroded a part of my wrestling fandom.

Not the only reason I stopped being a weekly viewer around that time. Not even necessarily the main reason.  [As Dolfan alluded to, wrestling hasn't exactly been shy about dipping its toe in that water over the years and I looked past a healthy share of comparable crap.]  But it was part of the reason. And a little bit of good old fashioned internet HHHate has never completely gone away.


 

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That was absolutely the best run of Rock's wrestling career. It's an all-time great character, it was fully logical both why he was pissed at the fans and why he was such an arrogant douchebag.

Crack Addict it's definitely not a good song, but I do like how the hype video timed the two of them coming to blows right to the "here we go again" lyric.

Austin got the dream ending. His most famous opponent, the biggest show of the year, and a truly great match and then a farewell worthy of the biggest star in wrestling history. 

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I find Rock insufferable as a face. He's a phenomenal heel though.

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