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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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1 hour ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Forgot to mention, in the middle of the last match, I hit 1000 miles on my bikes odometer.  

(Non-yanks, that's ~1610 km.) 🙂 

Onward...

So 21.5 WMs, each let's say on average 3.25 h long, that makes in total 14.3 miles/h / 23 km/h. 😉

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2 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

In that enormous edit, Mickie did a vaginal claw on Trish, and proceeded to lick her fingers in full view of the cam.  Oh, if you think Chicago liked her before... hoo!   Vince, of course, was furious backstage as they'd been working down their rating trying to avoid a TV-MA at all costs.   Apparently called her a fucking whore when she got backstage and apparently she nearly got fired.  

Boy was that quite a thing to see live.  Even though it was edited out everywhere that clip/gif was instantly everywhere.  And no I wasn't looking for as I didn't need to.  People were just so happy to share it at the time.

But it is sad to see what he called her backstage.  There's many ways to get a point across no matter who you are that's not the way to do it.

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The STREAK~ is now up, featuring The Undertaker. This is the first time they make a super, duper big deal about the streak, because frankly, there's almost no build to this match.  Mark Henry interfered in the Undertaker's #1 contender match, and Taker challenges him to a casket match at WrestleMania to teach him a lesson.  That's basically it. 

Henry is scared of the casket in a way that really reminds me of the insanely racist "Black people are scared of ghosts" trope from early Hollywood.  This is not a good thing. 

I'm pretty sure I saw Mox as one of the druids, but I could be completely wrong about that.  Eh. It's not worth rewinding.  

The match itself is decent enough.  Henry is overpowering Taker, and for the first time in a while, Taker has to use his wits to overcome him.  Fortunately, as displayed by his going for a pin in a casket match, outwitting Mark Henry isn't the toughest task in the world. This match is noteworthy for one, and only one spot, however.  Taker plancha'ing over the coffin to the outside and onto Henry.  Which is damned impressive.

After the plancha (or "Air Deadman" as Taz called it), Taker throws Henry back into the ring.  Tombstone and into the casket he goes.  Taker moves to 14-0.  Very, very good things are ahead for the Streak...

One more match?  Sure why not. 

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As I said before, HBK is in the middle of his second career as having crazy good matches with everyone on the roster and being the gatekeeper for guys headed to the top of the card. I'm really not recalling what precise event caused the start of the Vince-HBK feud, but there is a pretty long intro video for this.  I'm guessing this was Vince showing that he was back in shape after tearing his quads last year. 

So, the match is never, ever in question really.  The crowd wants to see Vince get his ass kicked and knows that he probably will.  But it's also No DQ, which means shenanigans can and will abound.  And as the match progresses the shenanigans are named Nicky, Kenny, Mitch, Johnny, and Mikey.  Ah, the Spirit Squad, who all look like they stepped out of a Sean Cody video.  (Don't Google that.  Well, not at work anyway.)  Anyway, they save Vince from an angry HBK, until they get their asses kicked.  Our second set of shenanigans are provided by Shane McMahon who attempts to do the Kiss My Ass club bit with HBK, but ends up having his face shoved in.   Hardy har har.  

So, the match is basically over and done by about 10 minutes in.  Vince is basically dead and Shawn can end it whenever he likes.  So, I'm wondering why when I checked, this match was almost 20 minutes long.  

Well, my friends, HBK is never one to not have an overly long, masturbatory celebration of himself.  So I'm sitting there, riding along, while he takes for-goddamned-ever setting up a table, putting Mr. McMahon in a garbage can, setting up a 15' (4-5m) ladder, climbing, and then doing a flying elbow off it, through McMahon. THEN Vince is about to carted off by paramedics, but Shawn stops them, trash talks him, and gives him Sweet Chin Music for a WAY too long match.  

Cute bit of inside baseball, on the replay, you very clearly see the ref telling Vince exactly what's happening when he's in the can, and then signalling when HBK is about to jump. 

Well, like I said, that was 20 minutes long, which was about 15 too many.   Which coincidentally is what I think about this hour plus ride.

End of Day 68. 

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On 8/24/2020 at 10:21 AM, Dolfan in NYC said:

[[[SCENE MISSING]]]

 

On 8/24/2020 at 1:17 PM, NikoBaltimore said:

Boy was that quite a thing to see live. 

oh, man, was it ever. the crowd was super into the match but fucking exploded when the V-Claw happened. the fact that it was edited out of the dvd release (and apparently the Network too) is/was a huge bummer. shame to lose such a crowd reaction.

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DAY 69 (nice)

We begin the main event portion of our program with a Triple Threat for the WWE Championship.  As I said, I was very lucky and got to go to Royal Rumble '06 and watched the WWE kill two birds with one stone with Rey Mysterio winning, in paying tribute to Eddie and passing Benoit as the longest participant (Phew dodged a bul...  you know, I'll just not make that joke). I remember the crowd was very much expecting HHH to win, but was happily shocked when Rey threw him out, and went ballistic when he won. Of course, Rey isn't exactly the brightest bulb, so he got manipulated into giving Randy Orton the title shot opportunity... which he promptly lost. I know this angle was supposed to build sympathy around Rey, but it really just made him look like a moron. And speaking of Angles....  your Olympic hero Kurt Angle has returned as a babyface, and won the World Heavyweight Championship at a Smackdown after Batista got a legit injury.  

So, I guess out of pity, GM Teddy Long adds Rey to the Orton-Angle title match.  So, that's the set up. 

Christian & nu metal are words that should never go together.  So here's P.O.D. to play Rey Rey to the ring.  The entrance is weird because he pops out of the floor, THEN goes backstage as the band is performing, adds an eagle element to his outfit, and then comes back down. Chicago's alright with this entrance. Randy's out to a quite sizeable face pop (with an apparent sizeable STL hometown section).  And of course, Kurt gets a gigantic ovation in his WrestleMania debut as a face.  (It's also the debut of that weird remix of his theme song that they thought would prevent the crowd from chanting "You Suck", but didn't work, at all.)

In a cute spot, while ref Charles Robinson is holding the belt doing the presentation to the crowd, Orton stands between him and the hard cam.  When Lil' Naitch protests, Randy just takes the belt and decks Angle with it, which is a simple and yet great heel spot.  Speaking of heels, Chicago is very much treating REY as the heel in this match.  And you know, I did make my hot take in the last Rey match, but man, I'd forgotten how completely hostile this crowd was to him. Basically anything he did was met with a chorus of boos.  To the point where JR and King get grumpy again and acknowledge it. Doesn't help that Rey is fucking up on a few spots either...  

The match is actually *really* short for a title match, which is weird, it's like other things went long and this is the match they cut time from.  Eh, whatever.   It's basically too fast-paced to tell a coherent story beyond, these guys want Angle's title.  In fact, it really gets messy as one guy just interrupts the other's momentum, and none of them really seem to be on the same page here.  But it ends with Rey dumping out angle after an attempted Angle Slam.  Orton gets a 619 and WCP and we're out.  

The crowd is not thrilled about this.  And judging by JR and King's reaction to the crowd, I can only guess Vince isn't happy either.   

Oh well. 

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I'm guessing the WWE's deal with Playboy got Vince free grotto access for life, because having a pillow fight on next to last at WrestleMania is... an interesting decision. 

Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle are wearing evening gowns that are probably two sizes too small for themselves.  To the point that I believe Torrie's dress ripped on the way in.  

And I don't know why they're actually trying to work a match, but as soon as the Chicago crowd gets over their "you're hot" phase, they start with boring chants, and are generally displeased.  'Torrie wins on the most dreaded WWE finish, the roll up.  

JR had fully turned on the match by the end too.  Lawler, I believe, had a stroke about 2 minutes in.  

Yes that pun is intended.  

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WWE seems to put a very light segment right before the Wrestlemania main event a lot, and I actually don't think it's a bad idea at all. Breaking up a run of Very Serious Big Time Matches with something that lets people recharge the batteries has probably helped crowd reactions more often than it has hurt.

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John Cena has now had a year on top as "The" guy.  And the crowds are... mixed.  A lot of the crowds have been booing him heavily, seeing him as the embodiment of the new "TV-PG" era when they all want "Attitude" back.  The problem there is, those Attitude guys have all left to do other things or retired...  except Triple H.  

HHH is very much entering the final phase of his everyday wrestler career, coasting on his past achievements and one of the gatekeepers to the top of the card, and the guy you have to beat to be the new top guy.  And the story they've built around is Cena's been champ (off and on) for the last year, but he's never beat HHH, and HHH thinks he's a paper champ.  And that's basically the set up, which really is fine.  

HHH does Cody Rhodes 's favorite entrance ever, as he rises from the stage on the Conan the Destroyer throne to the sounds of "King of Kings".  I decided that since it's Motorhead, I will sprint.  The music changes to "Play the Game" and I'm tempting death as my Fitbit is getting very angry at me.  He finally gets to the ring about 3 minutes later, and damn, I can tell how much work I've put in because I keep going though my legs are on fire by the time he does his water spit.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to do this at the beginning of my rides.

Thankfully, Vince thinks things are too long too as we cut to the Prohibition Era Chicago tribute, as John Cena compares himself to Al Capone.  Out comes the (anachronistic?) 1930's era car with gang members hanging off it. @Fat Spanish Waiter makes his WrestleMania debut, and I'm *positive* I've seen the other guys too... was that Kevin Thorne?  Well, anyway, none of this sucking up to the crowd helps... at all.  Cena is viciously booed as he enters.  I keep expecting the sing along "John Cena sucks... John Ceeeena suuuuuuucks..." but it doesn't happen.  

So, yeah, HHH notices the crowd reaction too. So after a few minutes of locking up, he basically changes on the spot and starts playing face, as they are easily 80/20 on his side. He's still playing the arrogant heel, who does not respect the champ at all, but is playing to the crowd while doing so.  Ooh, "Fuck you Cena" crowd chant is barely drowned out.  The match is pretty much your standard John Cena main event match although the crowd is taking it to another level.  

So, I'll just step out of this to say, yeah, crowd reactions became very bad in the decade following this.  The empowered crowd in a lot of cases were simply trying to get themselves over. It had been building since the Attitude Era, but the ECW ONS crowds were definitely the spark that lit the fuse. Chicago is absolutely not buying anything of what Cena is selling and becoming more and more hostile as the match progresses.  

The crowd's hackles REALLY get up when Cena slaps on the STFU, which had been getting built up as Cena's super finisher over the last few months. HHH barely gets out of it by getting to the ropes.  In an impressively cute spot, he low blows Cena AND ref Mike Chioda at the same time and goes for his sledgehammer.  They trade finishers and two counts, until Cena goes up to the top rope for a cross body that misses.  HHH goes for the Pedigree, and that gets countered into a second STFU... this time with Hunter's free arm hooked, so he can't crawl.  Hunter does one more false hope spot as he gets very close to the ropes, but it's not enough and it's tappa, tappa, tappa for HHH.  

The crowd is... not thrilled.  Vince is not thrilled with them either, as Cena's music is BLARING loud and is drowning them out.  It was a fun match, as a lot of Cena's matches tend to be. HHH is doing his damnedest to play to the crowd and put Cena over as the absolute peak of the mountain.  The crowd wasn't buying it... or maybe they were and that's the problem.  

---

Mania 22 was over an alright show, history hasn't been the kindest to it though.  The Edge/Foley match is probably the best one of the evening, though Trish/Mickie would have a lot to say about that. It seems this show was more built around "Moments" than "Matches", as JR and the other announcers definitely interjected "WrestleMania moment" more than any time in the past. This is also the first time that the crowd actively went against what was presented on multiple occasions, maybe even the majority.  This is also is and is not a great development.  

Well, that's it for the Big Time.  Up next, Wrestlemania is All Grown Up!  (ugh)

End of Day 69. 

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:10 PM, Dolfan in NYC said:

I'm pretty sure I saw Mox as one of the druids, but I could be completely wrong about that.  Eh. It's not worth rewinding.  

He was notoriously spotted as a druid at the '06 Rumble. No idea about Mania in '06.

Edited by Andy in Kansas
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DAY 70

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII (All Grown Up)

It's 2007.  The WWE has been inundated by all Vince all the time.  ECW was relaunched and given its own show. The top of the card is now Batista, Randy Orton, and John Cena.  HHH, The Undertaker, and HBK are the A-Tier level "Living Legends".  Also Bobby Lashley is there for some reason!   Well, it's back to Detroit, but since the Silverdome is basically a Superfund site... we are at Ford Field. 

They do an opener where kids are pretending to be wrestlers and wrestlers are pretending to be kids.  I know it's supposed to be heartwarming, but this is the WWE and knowing what I know, this is just creepy.  But anyway, now the WWE is "all grown up" because WrestleMania is 23 years old.  Again... creepy.  Let's get started.  

I will say, even though it's very dated, I do like "Ladies and Gentlemen" by Saliva.  And it works perfectly for this show. 

We look around and there are ladders everywhere, so that means, it's Money in the Bank III to start us out.  This year's line up:  CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Finlay vs. His Royal Highness Booker, of House Huffman, Master of the Heat of Harlem, Sovereign of the Spinarooni, Six Time Conqueror of the World Championship, First of his Name.  I adored King Booker.  Even to this day, my brain is so broken by the character, whenever I see Senator Cory Booker speak, in any capacity, my head screams, "ALL HAIL... KING.... BOOKER!!!" over and over and over...

This is Punk's first Mania as an active competitor and he's being heavily pushed as ECW's first wrestler in a Mania. Which, the Dudleys, but okay sure.  Also being pushed is a new streak~ happening as Edge is 6-0 going into this match...  which means would become important next year. And then there's Ken Kennedy...  boy I do not know of anyone who so openly and viciously got run out of town by the other boys than he did... but that's not for a couple of years. 

Well, the match itself has turned into a spotfest.  Now, that's not saying much considering it's fucking Money in the Bank, and the spots are kind of the point, but... there's little flow this time. It's more of a barely organized chaos, and that's not the best of things. There's a lot of noticeable laying around by the guys waiting for their cues to do their next thing after about 5-10 minutes of the initial action.  

Actually, I do want to mention Punk's stepladder spot.  Since Hornswoggle was now a thing... of course there's going to be a mini ladder because comedy?   Anyway, Punk pulls out the small stepladder and proceeds to wail on a bunch of guys with it, in what may have been the second most "Ouchie" spot.  Mainly because there's basically no place to hide or fake the sound of that thing hitting you.  First prize in the "Ouchies" definitely, of course, goes to Jeff Hardy for doing a Top of the Ladder seated senton to Edge from a damned 15'+ ladder to the outside.  Both guys are fucking bananas for doing that spot.  Of course, Edge had been thrown off the top of a 10' ladder to the floor earlier, so... yeah, he's bumping for 2 tonight.  

Also, of note during that spot, is JBL being the lone voice of reason among the announcers.  Jeff is literally alone in the ring.  He's AT BRIEFCASE LEVEL, he literally just had to turn around and he wins.  But as JBL said, he's more interested in "moments" than "titles", and that sort of sums up Jeff Hardy as a character better than most other ways.  Oh, and the announcing is also a fucking chaotic mess, as they've got 6 (!) announcers, two from each brand, doing this match. JR is definitely the alpha dog in this situation, while Taz and JBL are fighting for best color guy.  I think I heard Joey Styles speak once, lol. 

It appears the main point of the match, ultimately, is to get over the new guys... to wit...  Kennedy has pretty much cleared the field after hitting his finisher on Hornswoggle from the ladder. (Good for him for taking that spot, it looked devastating.)  Ken's last obstacle to overcome is CM Punk.  Punk knocks him off, but Kennedy essentially lands upright.  That's bad news for Punk, as Kennedy finds an unused ladder and blasts Punk in the face with it.  That's all she wrote, as Mr. Kennedy becomes Mr. Money in the Bank. 

He'd go on to lose the briefcase a month later.  Whoops!  

The match was a brutal spotfest, but decent nonetheless.  The crowd was into it, but went mild applause when the heel took the case.  And we move on. 

 

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You gotta tell me the Kennedy story, as to them running him out. All I remember about the dude is hating his gimmick (if you can even call it that) and him being another reason not to watch back then. 

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10 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

You gotta tell me the Kennedy story, as to them running him out. All I remember about the dude is hating his gimmick (if you can even call it that) and him being another reason not to watch back then. 

Kennedy was supposedly a massive attitude problem and not well liked backstage. In 2009, he came SUPER close to injuring Randy and Cena in separate matches. (And I recall he'd injured someone else in a match.) Orton and Cena had both independently gone to senior management multiple times about Kennedy being dangerous to work with.  Then this happened:

He got released after Orton and Cena refused to work with him after this. 

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Re: Cena/HHH

I feel like its worth pointing out that a big reason the crowd was so overtly hostile to Cena was because HHH was actively encouraging the anti-Cena sentiment in the promos during the lead up.  At that point, “Cena can’t wrestle” was a burgeoning sentiment, but HHH basically codified it by saying, “John...you can’t wrestle” to his face in a promo prior to Mania.  That was all she wrote.  To a certain (large) segment of fans, that would be treated as gospel for the next decade, no matter how often he proved otherwise.

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2 hours ago, EVA said:

Re: Cena/HHH

I feel like its worth pointing out that a big reason the crowd was so overtly hostile to Cena was because HHH was actively encouraging the anti-Cena sentiment in the promos during the lead up.  At that point, “Cena can’t wrestle” was a burgeoning sentiment, but HHH basically codified it by saying, “John...you can’t wrestle” to his face in a promo prior to Mania.  That was all she wrote.  To a certain (large) segment of fans, that would be treated as gospel for the next decade, no matter how often he proved otherwise.

There are a few moments that encapsulate Triple H and why people loathe him in the 2000’s, and him pushing the “you can’t wrestle” narrative while Cena basically wasn’t allowed to counter that point in any real way is pretty high on the list. Also amusing as Cena was a significantly better wrestler then Hunter was. 
 

It’s still not my number one on my “fuck this guy” scale (Number one being London and Kendrick saving him from a 3 on 1 beat down, and Hunter Pedigreeing both for no reason, a move in which basically was the final burial of my favorite tag team of that era), but it’s high on the list.

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I wish we got that Kennedy suplex from another angle. It looks almost like Orton took it wrong, and then you look again and it looks like Kennedy raised him too high and he had no choice. Yet from the front, it doesn't look like he's gonna Steve Williams him at all. 

Can't you just imagine Orton storming back steaming hot after that match and what he said to Vince? Woof.

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Wasn't that Kennedy's comeback match after he had been gone awhile with an injury? All just to get immediately fired.

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11 hours ago, EVA said:

Re: Cena/HHH

I feel like its worth pointing out that a big reason the crowd was so overtly hostile to Cena was because HHH was actively encouraging the anti-Cena sentiment in the promos during the lead up.  At that point, “Cena can’t wrestle” was a burgeoning sentiment, but HHH basically codified it by saying, “John...you can’t wrestle” to his face in a promo prior to Mania.  That was all she wrote.  To a certain (large) segment of fans, that would be treated as gospel for the next decade, no matter how often he proved otherwise.

Yup.  And think about all the "John Cena sucks" stuff that followed his entire run as a top guy when "SuperCena" was never anything Hogan hadn't already been (and if you think Cena "can't wrestle" I invite you to go back and watch Hogan getting away with just punching and kicking guys in the head for 10 years.  Cena was never the problem, and Roman Reigns ain't either, the philosophy of the Northeast Territory turned (W)WW(F)E that the top babyface should be Superman is the problem.)

9 hours ago, The Man Known as Dan said:

There are a few moments that encapsulate Triple H and why people loathe him in the 2000’s, and him pushing the “you can’t wrestle” narrative while Cena basically wasn’t allowed to counter that point in any real way is pretty high on the list. Also amusing as Cena was a significantly better wrestler then Hunter was. 
 

It’s still not my number one on my “fuck this guy” scale (Number one being London and Kendrick saving him from a 3 on 1 beat down, and Hunter Pedigreeing both for no reason, a move in which basically was the final burial of my favorite tag team of that era), but it’s high on the list.

I cannot in good conscience put anything above the build to and burial at Wrestlemania 19, but given the polarized reaction that plagued Cena's entire time on top, and given from literally John Cena's first segment on Smackdown in 2002 you could absolutely tell that This Was Going To Be The Guy And Totally Should Be, HHH really should have faced more severe consequences for what very easily could be seen as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the next top babyface with the whole "you can't wrestle" thing. I'll quite happily put this at #2.

It's one thing to have the smark backlash against any top guy being constrained by the Ethnic Superman formula that The Northeast Territory/[W]WW[F]E has always had.  It's another matter to have the top heel come out and tell them they're right.  No wonder they never stopped kvetching about Cena with such encouragement from the company itself.

[Never Accentuate Your Top Babyface's Legitimate Shortcomings, etc.]

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4 minutes ago, zendragon said:

Cena around this time reminds me of mid 90's HBK always over with women and kids but had trouble winning over the guys

I personally latched on to Cena big time, especially after the Benoit tragedy. He seemed like a safe choice not to get burned as badly again. So far so good, despite the cracks in his glass-house as well. Us being the same age, was an added bonus as well.

As far as Cena "can't wrestle" is ridiculous, no matter how you want to describe "being able to wrestle"! The matches with Umaga, Great Khali, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles show in how many different ways he CAN infact "wrestle".

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I really wish I remembered what was up with this weird-ass post-WM booking.

45 21.04.2006 World Wrestling Entertainment Five On Three Handicap: Edge, John Cena & Triple H vs. The Spirit Squad (Johnny, Kenny, Mikey, Mitch & Nicky) - No Contest (11:52)
WWE Monday Night RAW #674 - TV-Show @ Wembley Arena in London, England, UK
46 17.04.2006 World Wrestling Entertainment Two On One Handicap: Edge & John Cena defeat Triple H (4:52)
WWE Monday Night RAW #673 - TV-Show @ Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
47 10.04.2006 World Wrestling Entertainment Two On One Handicap: John Cena & Triple H defeat Edge (7:49)
WWE Monday Night RAW #672 - TV-Show @ Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
48 03.04.2006 World Wrestling Entertainment Two On One Handicap: Edge & Triple H defeat John Cena (5:03)
WWE Monday Night RAW #671 - TV-Show @ Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, USA


Whatever it was, congrats to them for coming up with a story and sticking with it for four fucking weeks.  Would be quite an accomplishment by today’s standards.

Edited by EVA
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(Lordy I'm behind...  okay let's knock some of these out.)

Sometime near the year 2000, India passed the 1 billion mark in population. Vince's reaction to this when he found out this news 5 years later or so, was to hire any wrestler he could who was Indian to appeal to this population and thus would be able to exploit for money, no matter how terrible they are (cf. Mahal, Jinder).  They found a guy with some buzz on the independent circuit who'd had a big match in 2001 versus a kid named Brian Ong.  The guy was tall and scary looking, so fuck it, they signed him.  

Kane's duties here are to show everyone what The Great Khali could do, in front of the biggest crowd imaginable.  Now, of course, that buzz I mentioned earlier was because Brian Ong died in the ring after injuries sustained in his match against Khali... so to say Kane looks... concerned... is a bit of an understatement.  

Kane is straight up squashed in these 5 minutes.  He maybe gets 30 seconds of offense in, but otherwise it's all Khali.  And in any match where Khali is involved, all I can say is, thank god he didn't kill Kane.  Though I'm sure the Knoxville city budget might look a little different now if he had.  (Politics!)

 

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Montel Vontavious Porter definitely sounds like something Vince came up with during one of his more creative coke binges. (Though I honestly have no idea what the actual origin of the name was.) But when MVP was brought to the main roster from Deep South, a very big deal was made about him being "the most expensive free agent in history." He was brash and arrogant, and probably could have been a huge babyface if he'd been booked that way.  However, his skills made him a natural fit for a heel character and that's what we got.  His feud here was basically, Chris Benoit has a title I want, and I'm a better athlete than he is, so I'll take it. Benoit is unimpressed, but accepts the challenge.  

MVP's entrance is one of the more underrated ones in Mania history.  He has about a dozen MVP cheerleaders come out and line the entrance way as he comes out to pyro, in a scene that I know I've seen as a gif as someone on this board's sig. My main thought was, they needed about 2 dozen more girls to line the entire entrance ramp  all the way to the ring (and form a natural barrier for him).  Benoit comes out to a very nice pop.  

Since this is the beginning of their feud, they don't really have history, so it's very much a feel out match... which is part of the reason why I hate starting feuds at Mania.  Eventually, MVP's plan is revealed as he works on the shoulder of the Crippler and thus takes away two of Benoit's best moves: the rolling germans and the crossface.  (JBL is actually great in commentary in getting over this story.)  Benoit for his part does an amazing sell job for everything MVP is throwing and makes him look like a million bucks... which is pretty much his job at this phase in his career.  

The end comes as Benoit is desperately searching for ideas because the rolling germans are not working or aren't effective and he cannot get the crossface on as MVP is countering everything.  The one thing he's got left?  The flying headbutt.  MVP is prone, and Benoit hits Air Canada, for an out of nowhere three count.   Like seriously, the match could have gone another 5-8 minutes no problem.  

Of course, they were in the first chapter of a longer story here.  MVP challenged again at the next PPV, and lost on another counter out of nowhere.  And then when MVP challenged Benoit to a 2 out of 3 falls match after that, he'd studied and experienced everything Chris had, and that time had answers for everything.  He won in an exceptionally rare 2-0 match, proving he had learned and was every bit as good as he said.  

Chris Benoit would be dead by his own hand 3 months later.  As would his wife and son.  Fuck you Chris.  Nothing more needs to be said.  

End of Day 70. 

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