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Dolfan Watches Every Wrestlemania On Lockdown


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For the first time in TEN YEARS, The Undertaker is going on last at WrestleMania. This the second time he's fighting for the World Championship and of course is 15-0.  So, like I said in the previous STREAK~ matches, the problem with this (and frankly all) winning streaks is you book yourself into a corner with who should be the one to end it.  And, on paper, Edge is about as ideal a candidate as you can get in the late 2000's.  

Edge is the 4 time world champion at this point.  He's young enough to still have more than a decade of his career to go (😬), he's over with the crowd, he's fantastic in the ring, he's great on the stick, and he's been booked strongly for his time as champ.  And while these are all valid points... does the audience buy any of this?   Absolutely the fuck not. 

So, Undertaker enters with his relatively standard druid entrance.  And though I say standard, there's clearly a fuck up because he looks like he's supposed to rise through the fog onstage and be super cool... But someone has set the fog machine on too high, and the fog is way too thick for any of this to be seen.  The crowd is still super into it, so eh.   

Edge is out now, and kisses his wife Vickie Guerrero (also Smackdown GM) for luck.  Aw!   The reaction to Edge is... well, I'll be generous and say, nonchalant. The announcers are trying to put over a Streak vs. Streak story (in addition to the title), but they seem to just forget the part about Edge losing the previous year's Money in the Bank. 

Well the match begins and Taker is on offense to start.  It takes a bit to get going, but they're clearly going for a "Edge knows all of Taker's tricks" story here.  Again, the crowd was not buying it.  So while Edge is doing everything he can to get himself over, for example countering Old School twice! He's just not making that final connection where they think he's actually going to win.  

Edge is wrestling a smart match, working Taker's old man back... neutralizing The Last Ride AND the Tombstone.  Both of which fail at various points during the match. However, Edge does make a couple of mistakes, and DOES get the Last Ride and a successful Old School (now 8 for 16!) and Edge kicks out of both.  The announcers are apoplectic that Edge is kicking out of these... but really, all Undertaker is doing is selling Edge's offense.   The Last Ride was literally like the 5th offensive move he'd done the whole match. 

So the ref gets kicked in the face by Taker in a miscommunication, which leads to Edge... going South for the winter?  He runs out, grabs a (fake) camera and cracks Taker over the head (call back to his return at Survivor Series where he cost Taker the title). Edge does the dumbest thing you can do in an Undertaker match and goes to tombstone him... which of course gets reversed to a Tombstone for Taker.   Now Charles Robinson has to *SPRINT* from the stage to the ring.... and the tombstone gets 2.  

Again, the announcers are like "WTF".  And so am I because again, it's Taker's like 6th move, AND Lil' Naitch had to literally run 60 yards to get to the ring before he could count.  Oh hey, it's recent AEW signee Zach Ryder and recent free agent Curtis Hawkins.  They get beat up by Taker, who then turns around to eat a spear from Edge. 

Well god damn... the crowd FINALLY woke up and thought Edge *might* win.  The spear only gets 2 though. 

Edge decides, fuck it, let's go again.  And gets a clean spear in the middle of the ring.  It's hitting him now.... the gravity of what he's about to do... he's going to beat the Undertaker, end the streak, and become the unquestioned top guy in W...

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Taker grabs the arm that Edge has put on his chest (which frankly should have started the count) and triangle chokes Edge.   And yes, this was the beginning of the most annoying version of Undertaker, "MMA Taker".  Edge is doing his best to get out of Hell's Gate, but he comes up just short of the ropes. He taps out to send Undertaker to 16-0 and give him his 6th world championship. 

Oh that final sequence annoyed the fuck out of me.   If that's the finish you want to go with, have Taker counter the spear mid-move. Because that finish was just like Taker saying "nah", and completely changing the ending to the story they were telling.  The match itself was good as Edge built himself up from nothing to having the crowd actually believe he had a shot.  But man... 

---

Well, that's all she wrote for Mania 24. The whole thing was suitably epic.   Flair/Michaels especially hit its target and Show/Mayweather was better than it had absolutely any right to be. The rest (with a couple of exceptions) was fine to good.  Overall, I feel this is an underrated Mania, but at the same time, not.  It's odd. 

So that is it for my second ride of the day.  Next up... Houston and the silver anniversary of Mania.  

End of Day 75.  For real this time.

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Edge/Taker is such an unbelievably great match. Either the best or second best main event in WrestleMania history, and for over 12 years now I've been baffled by anyone who doesn't think it was the best match of the night.

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Hated the Edge/Taker matches. I like both, but I always thought Edge got too much offense in all of them. No one wants to see Edge dominate a match against Taker.

Floyd/Show was such a fun match. It was amusing seeing the two switch heel/face roles as that feud went on because they realized Floyd was such a unlikable prick. Fun fact I found out several years later Mayweather is actually related to me via his grandmother. I'd like to meet him once just to ask about the Big Show feud.

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I can't begin to tell you how much we lost our goddamn minds seeing Lil' Naitch haul ass to get to the ring!  There's epic Wrestlermania moments and then there's stuff like this where you can't possibly forget it.

Okay, this one with Ultimate Warrior's music over it is pretty amazing as well.  EDIT:  Spoilers failed me so fuck it here you go.

 

Edited by NikoBaltimore
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15 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Edge/Taker is such an unbelievably great match. Either the best or second best main event in WrestleMania history, and for over 12 years now I've been baffled by anyone who doesn't think it was the best match of the night.

 

4 hours ago, Eivion said:

Hated the Edge/Taker matches. I like both, but I always thought Edge got too much offense in all of them. No one wants to see Edge dominate a match against Taker.

Eivion's response is exactly why I don't like Edge/Taker. Edge in control with his couldn't-squash-a-grape offense is fucking awful viewing. 

Edge has got to be one of the worst ME workers the WWE's ever had, at least IMO. Just unwatchable unless he was diving off of something.

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EDIT:  Someday I'll remember where the Edit button is so I don't accidentally quote something.  This wasn't that day unfortunately.

Edited by NikoBaltimore
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DAY 76

WrestleMania XXV (or The Twenty-fifth Anniversary of WrestleMania)

What a ride the '00's have been.  The likes of The Rock, Steve Austin, and HHH have been replaced on the top of the card by John Cena, Randy Orton..., and HHH.   A new crop of guys are coming up (Punk, Kingston) along with a few guys who just never took that next step (Hardy, J., Hardy, M.).  The women's division is now the Divas division, and it... exists. 

Well, we're at Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.  Hey, did you know in NYC, we'll know instantly if you're from out of town if you say "Houston" wrong?   True story.  

Alright, let's get started with Money in the Bank.  This year, we have a lineup of defending champ CM Punk, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry (oooh... Mark in The Hurt Business...), Kane, Finlay, Kofi Kingston, and the clear crowd favorite Christian.  So it's a bit of a change with two monsters in there this year, well, Finlay's scarier than anyone else in there, but still.  

They start this year's spotfest with a cute bit where the other 6 guys teaming up on Kane and Henry, but when all of them fight on the ladders, Kane and Mark team up to knock over all of them.  They then do a series of spots that's...  well, it's too cute by half.  Because one guy dives on another, then one on two, then on three, etc... until Shelton earns his paycheck for the night by jumping off the big ass ladder nearby onto everyone.   And then MARK teases a dive... but Finlay stops him, because he hates fun. 

The spots continue, and I'm guessing Shelton knew his time was coming up soon, because he is basically replaced in all of his nutso spots by Kofi.  I'ts actually kind of wild to see how young Kofi looks here.  The industry has definitely aged the guy.  

The end basically boils down to Christian, Kane, and Punk.   It's Christian and Punk fighting on top, and Punk, playing the role of 2008 Chris Jericho, slips and gets caught up in the ladder.  Christian looks like he's about to do it, but Kane chokeslams him off.  Punk rights himself, knocks Kane off, and repeats as Mr. Money in the Bank.  And though he's nominally a face, the crowd was less than enthused with his victory.  

He'd famously turn heel in his cash in, surprisingly the first to do so, by GTS'ing Jeff Hardy into oblivion only minutes after he'd won the World Championship.  Which then led to the feud that pretty much made him a top guy.  

The match was fine... the MitB's are getting repetitive at this point (and I think there's only one more to go at Mania).  However, that said, this is far and away the best part of this day's ride. 

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Kid Rock is out to perform.  I do not care for his music, so my mind wanders while I pedal.  

There was a time in 2000 WCW when Jeff Jarrett came out to a knock-off of "Cowboy".  I thought that was actually okay, but "Bawitiba" would probably have been better.  

This is deceptively evil placement on Vince's part.  Literally any place else on the card, this would have signalled the masses to head for the concession stands or bathroom.  But it came after the first match ended, meaning everyone has all their drinks/food, they've settled in, and now they just have sit there and watch.  I guess they could have gone to merch.  

Oh my god, he's three songs in and still going.  

I have an air conditioner in my living room window that stays there year round, mainly because installing/uninstalling for the season is a royal pain in the ass. The drawback is, the people above me also have their AC's in all year too, so whenever they run their AC the water condensation drips down only my unit and it sounds like someone is trying to practice "Y Y Z".  So, to compensate, I've got an old towel, weighed down by a rock, on top of the unit to dampen the sound. Well, towels are soft, and squirrels around my apartment building are plentiful and, more importantly, bold.  

Rock is starting his 4th song.  

I'm letting you know this, because since March, a squirrel has adopted my AC as a second home, or a crash pad or something.  The squirrel, who I call Tua Tagosquirrelova, has been gone for a week or so.  During whatever song Kid Rock played 4th, the squirrel came back.  He has been over the past months moving the rock and towel around to his satisfaction.  Well, he's apparently satisfied, because this time.... he was not alone.  

Christ, FIVE songs?  What the actual fuck Vince. 

Tua has brought his girlfriend to his bachelor pad.  He is moving the towel around for her and apparently showing her how strong he is by pushing the rock.  (The rock is about the size of  a softball (~30cm) and weighs probably about 2-3 lbs.)  

The Divas are now finally on their way to the ring.  This is the Miss WrestleMania Battle Royale.  Elimination comes when a diva reaches the floor.  Not over the top rope because 3/4 of the 2009 roster does not know how to do that bump.  

Tua's girlfriend seems a little incredulous as she nudges the rock herself and moves around the towel.  

The battle royale is atrocious.  Nothing coherent is happening, and there's one person who is actively avoiding conflict.  

Tua leaves the AC leaving her alone for a minute, and I get a little sad because my buddy just wants what we all want. 

We're down to Beth Phoenix, the current champion Melina, and the mystery person.  Beth and Melina lock up and the mystery person demures.  

Tua is back!  And he's brought her a beautiful present of leaves. She is impressed and takes the leaves. 

Satina Marella wins the Miss WrestleMania title by tossing both Melina and Beth at the same time.  This was easily the worst moment for women's wrestling in 30 years. 

Success!  She has accepted Tua as a mate.  They celebrate in the French fashion.  

I didn't expect the concert and subsequent match to be bested by two squirrels fucking on my air conditioner.  But, that's 2020. 

End of Day 76. 

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14 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Mark Henry (oooh... Mark in The Hurt Business...)

You just had to say this didn't you. Now I'm sad it can't be a thing.

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On 9/18/2020 at 11:55 AM, Dolfan in NYC said:

Tua leaves the AC leaving her alone for a minute, and I get a little sad because my buddy just wants what we all want. 

 

Better sleep?

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DAY 77

Chris Jericho stole Randy Orton's legend killer gimmick and had been beating up Hall of Famers for a month or two.  The point was to goad Ric Flair into a match, Flair said no, and a three on one handicap match was done instead. The video recap isn't really clear, and since this was like the 6th feud down the card from 11 years ago, I honestly don't remember if they were actually trying to get Flair to come back or just get him involved and get him a paycheck.  Anyway, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat are here to provide the competition for Jericho.  

As you may or may not remember, this was when everyone realized that Steamboat (in a very limited match and against a very good opponent) could still go. And frankly, he looks like the only one interested in being here.  Snuka honestly doesn't look like he knows where he is.  Piper is looking...  not great.  Jericho's just looking like he's ready to cash his paycheck.  And basically all the match is, is Jericho modifying his offense so Snuka and Piper can actually realistically take a bump.  And Steamboat doing a couple of moves, then eating a Codebreaker for the victory for Jericho.  

Flair then comes in and gets his ass handed to him.  

And then we turn our attention to Mickey Rourke, star of The Wrestler, a movie loosely based on Terry Funk's life I believe.  But I'm sure you can insert like 90% of the WWF & NWA's roster in for his name and the movie would match up pretty well.  Anyway, it's been a while since I've seen The Wrestler and it's probably due for a re-watch... but Jericho decides to call in Rourke for whatever reason, and gets punched out.  

Flair & Mickey celebrate and share stories about which 80's starlets they banged. 

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I think the original idea was to do Jericho vs. Rourke, but Rourke backed out after he was told it would be bad for his career.  That was the story going around at the time, anyway.  So, that’s how we ended up with the Geezer Gauntlet instead and Rourke just knocking Jericho out afterwards.

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3 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

DAY 77

(...)

And then we turn our attention to Mickey Rourke, star of The Wrestler, a movie loosely based on Terry Funk's life I believe.  But I'm sure you can insert like 90% of the WWF & NWA's roster in for his name and the movie would match up pretty well.  Anyway, it's been a while since I've seen The Wrestler and it's probably due for a re-watch... but Jericho decides to call in Rourke for whatever reason, and gets punched out.  

(...)

Jericho's tells a funny story about this: Apparently Rourke was not too happy with Jericho trying to build up a confrontation with Rourke in the media before Mania. Rourke brought a big entourage full of tough guys with him thinking we would need that. After they worked out the spot to do, Jericho told Vince "You know, Rourke hired those guys to kick my ass if I tried to double-cross him." and Vince's reaction was: "Are you kidding me? Those guys?!" He laughed. He motioned at Dean Malenko and Fit Finlay, who were talking at ringside. "You, me, Finlay, and Malenko would've beat the shit out of them. I mean look at that one guy. . . . He's a midget!". Jericho got Vince's promise that in case of a riot, Vince would take on the midget. The midget was Frank Shamrock, by the way.

The full story:

https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/10/17/6994427/wwe-chris-jericho-book-best-in-the-world-story-vince-mcmahon-fought-frank-shamrock-wrestling-news

Edited by Robert s
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Steamboat and Jericho also had a good match just one on one at the next ppv (I think it was still called Backlash then, but, 11 years) and The Dragon looked really smoove for a guy who had been retired for 15 years and put on 25 lbs around the middle (not a criticism, cause he was still in a lot better shape than I am)

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Jeff Hardy challenged Edge for the World Championship at Rumble '09, which was thwarted by Matt.  So the years long will they or won't they fight in a match that has consequences has come to this.  And the answer to that question, is of course no, because this match has/had no consequences.  I seem to recall that Christian was the original idea to fight Jeff (for the title?) but Vince changed his mind. 

I'll say, the video production team deserves a gold star for making this match seem like a career for career match with like every title in WWE on the line. I remember at the time coming out of this match a bit disappointed, since this had been built up.  Let's see if that holds up at all. 

It was weird hearing the announcers trying to put over that Jeff didn't want to fight his brother (this seems to always be a clue that this person is losing), and then like the 3rd thing he does is clobber Matt with a 50 lb. vacuum cleaner.  So, is this a blood feud, or a reluctant acceptance of a challenge?  

And I think that's ultimately the problem here.  Jeff's offense is almost all weapons based which would make sense if they're going for a street fight/extreme rules feel AND he's the aggressor.  And Matt, who should be the aggressor as the heel, is just getting smashed left and right, and occasionally making a comeback. 

The match seems to built around a big spot where Matt needs to lay on a table for like a minute where Jeff has to drag himself up, set up a second table on top, THEN climb, and then splash through both.  And while that spot is pretty impressive, it's like, where do you go from there?  Jeff does another LONG set up for an unsuccessful Carolina Jam leg drop from a huge ladder.    Matt gets  a nasty Twist of Fate with Jeff's head in a chair and that's enough to end it.  

So, yeah, the match was decent, but never really told a story and stalled hard in the set up for the two big spots I mentioned.  I mean it wasn't bad, but certainly not the blow off that these two guys needed to do.  

(OH GOD....  are Matt & Jeff both horrifically overrated?)   

Rey Mysterio, in a FUCKING SWEET Joker costume, sends JBL into retirement in one minute. 

End of Day 76. 

Next time... The return of ONE RIDE, ONE MATCH~! 

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Are the Hardys all that highly regarded as workers, really?

All-time greats so stunt-show/car crash matches (Jeff in particular) and Jeff has an enormous charisma and Matt has a great mind for characters and booking if you are okay with it being a little (lot) on the goofy side. But I don't think either of them have a long list of great straight wrestling matches, especially in singles. A few here and there maybe, but I've never thought of them as great in-ring performers in the traditional sense.

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I think Matt is a great TV match guy and was the glue that held together a lot of the car crash matches the Hardy's helped make famous, his few bigger singles PPV matches never really hit and I think that's why he never got to the top level of WWE. But he's a great mid to upper card worker, his time on the top of  ECW was a great run.

  I don't know if anyone thought Jeff was a top level worker but he is charismatic as heck and can hold his end in matches, and his body held up better than Matt's (possibly cause he seems more flexible) and he's a really good face cause he can bump like crazy, sell and gain sympathy so his got higher up the card than his brother who I think most see as the better worker of the two.

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I thought Jeff's 2008-2009 was incredible, full of great matches with a wide variety of guys. Could probably include 06-07 in that with the IC title series of matches against Morrison and Umaga. Agreed on Matt being a great TV match guy, his 06-08 is full of 'em especially the mentioned ECW title run. 

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I think Jeff is a fantastic worker as a face precisely because of his ragdoll bumping and facial/bodily expressions to gain sympathy. That's what working is all about. 

Matt's a good worker, too, but he's more of a solid TV hand who just happens to have an excellent creative mind that extended his popularity. 

I don't think that their strengths match up, though, at least in a match like the one Dolfan describes. Matt as typical jealous heel bully on top isn't at all his strength. Now, Matt as deluded heel shithead with drones and a dilapidated boat, yes, that's his strength.

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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DAY 77

So we're 16 matches into THE STREAK~ and, realistically, no one has been a legit threat to end it.  Maybe Batista... MAYBE Hunter... but that is absolutely it, and even saying HHH is pushing it. So, when Undertaker was looking around for an opponent for the "TWENTYFIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF WRESTLEMANIA"... a suitably epic opponent was needed.  The call came to the guy who was the first to ever win the WWF/E Grand Slam... the four time world champion... the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels.  And for the first time, a guy who was absolutely  a legitimate threat to end the streak. 

As he puts it, he respects Taker, but he does not fear him.  And they build based on both guys being at the absolute top of their games, S-Tier level talent, as I'd put it before. And it all but becomes a proxy fight for good and evil. And the best part is, you can assign either axiom to either guy, based solely on who you liked more.  That's a good build. 

Shawn comes in with his absolute best entrance of any Mania.  Descending from the heavens with pillowy clouds surrounding him, arms outstretched, and dressed from head to toe in solid white.  Taker, just does his standard Mania entrance, which means a giant fog machine and pyro going on behind him as he slowly makes his way to the ring.  Shawn looked thoroughly unimpressed. 

So let's move along to the match.  They decide to work this as a pretty standard big vs. small match.  Shawn is lighting up Taker with quick in and out shots, doing his damnedest to stay away from him, but also pepper him with some nasty shots here and there. Eventually though, Taker does catch him and clubs him down.  Old School is back above .500! (9 for 17)

As with most big/little matches, the little guy eventually finds a weak spot and goes to town.  Taker's right knee provides this, and Shawn unmercifully does damage there and works on it for a lot of the match.  Good psychology as Taker would have to put a lot of weight on that knee if he tries for a chokeslam or power bomb or tombstone. 

They work from there into a sequence of god damned awesome counters.   Chokeslam into a crossface.  Sweet Chin Music, dodged, then into a Figure 4, THEN countered into Hell's Gate.  After another sequence, HBK is outside with the ref and the cameraman... And it's Air Deadman time.   

But HBK pulls the cameraman in front of him to take the bump instead!  Well, at least he tried to.  Taker was a couple of feet short and the cameraman (Sim Snuka a/k/a Deuce) was not in the right place to catch him.   As a result, it looked like Taker just fucking paralyzed himself because he landed on his damned head.   Yikes, that was scary.  Shawn, being  a dick, gets back in the ring and ORDERS the ref to count.  

Taker in at 9...  just barely.  Standing ovation for that.  

They're trading finishers now.  Taker gets a chokeslam, but it only gets 2.  The crowd bought it.  And Taker's confused and pissed. Well, let's just finish this with a Tombstone.  Shawn slips out and CRUSHES Taker with a lightning Sweet Chin Music.  The crowd gets NOTABLY worried. That only gets 2.  Well damn...  Okay, so some more reversals and it's Shawn Michaels' Last Ride.   But Shawn kicks out AGAIN at 2.  Jesus.   Taker goes to the top rope (!) and misses a flying elbow.  A series of reversals leads to Shawn skinning the cat on the top rope...  Only to end up in a tombstone.  

1, 2... NO!

I'd forgotten what the final sequence was for this match, and they'd drawn me in so much, that even *I* believed that was it. The crowd is losing their collective shit. Taker's got that famous "WTF" look. 

Taker finally gets back up and has Shawn ready for a final tombstone.  And of course Shawn struggles out, and hits a second Sweet Chin Music.  Again, it only gets 2. 

This match is fucking ridiculous. 

Shawn eventually tunes up the band and hits a THIRD Sweet Chin Music.  THAT only gets 2.   JR is now in "Losing His Shit"-sville.   

End comes as HBK is going for a final, epic move to end this streak nonsense once and for all.  He gets a *tiny* bit too cute and goes for a Moonsault when Taker isn't completely out.  Undertaker catches him, tombstone.

1, 2, 3.  

Fuck.  What a god damn match.   Undertaker is 17-0 in what was easily the best of the streak matches and one of the best matches ever at WrestleMania.   

Drama, athleticism, intrigue.  The match could have literally gone either way several times in 30+ minutes they had. And frankly, that's all you can ever really ask for.  

End of Day 77. 

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