March 1, 2002
It's been an exhausting few weeks. My search for the head WWF booker lead me to a fortune cookie plant in Harlem, NY. The place was run by three auspicious Asian fellows who seemed a little two into soul music. After thwarting my first few attempts to enter the warehouse, I cleverly disguised myself as a pizza delivery boy from a local pizza place by the name of "Daddy Green's Pizza". I almost got in, but when I wouldn't smoke "herb" with them, they became suspicious and kicked me out. Luckily for me, I have a black belt. It's made of fine Italian leather, perfect for grappling and climbing. I took the belt and tossed the buckle up to the second story window and began my climb. Suddenly the clip lost it's grip and I swung into the front door, crashing it down. "OOOOOWWWWAAAAHHH!!!" I screamed in pain. It seemed to terrify the owners into showing me the head booker. I was shocked by what I saw. A computer was churning out one slip of paper after another. "So this is how they come up with their matches?" I asked. "No" one of them replied. "Next room." In the next room I saw something that would forever shake my confidence in professional wrestling.. In the room were 12 monkeys typing on 12 typewriters. Dejected and scared, I began my journey home.
I just got through watching Wrestlemania. I wasn't expecting much coming in, and WM definitely exceeded my expectations. Overall, I'd have to say I wasn't happy with the show. I'm kinda having a hard time deciding where to place it and what to think of it. The show is very fresh in my mind, and I am still marking out for the Hogan-Rock match. I feel so dirty!!! I really felt that this was the worst built Wrestlemania of all time. It really DID feel like most of the matches were either randomly generated or put together by monkeys. The match order of the show definitely puzzled me as well. Anyway, I figured the best way to analyze the show was to break it down match by match and happening by happening and evaluating it's dollar worth vs. what I actually paid for it. The values are not only for matches but their storylines and interview segments/moments. Here goes nuttin':
Opening segment: Saliva sings the Wrestlemania song.
Binging in a live band always gives an event a special feel, and I guess the bands could be counted as "celebrities".
However, the bands and the songs sucked. Drowning Pool's song sounded better the first time I heard it.. when it was called "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor".
Value: $0.10 for all the performances- crappy music + crappy bands=3D crap
RVD vs. Regal
RVD won the match and the title in his first ever WM appearance. This should propel him to near main event status. Regal is no longer the champion, which is another good thing. This was a decent little match for what it was, and a good opener.
On the con side, this could have been much better and longer. It also should have been placed higher on the card. This match really could have been used to propel RVD into the stratosphere, instead it was just a little bump up.
Value:$1.50- Good opening quality match, no interviews or anything else to add value to it.
DDP vs. Christian
This match was surprisingly good. DDP solidified his place as a big game player. He always seems to put on his best performances on the big shows. This match had the best build of all the last second matches thrown onto the card. The opening interview by Christian was hilarious. DDP's ending interview was ok. DDP is at least being given a chance to work now. This match had it all, good (or at least entertaining) story, good psychology and good action. Only in the WWF can someone be called a mentor after just 2 weeks of "mentoring". Christian is a future megastar but DDP deserved to retain.
Value: $2.00- Nice, entertaining match, and some comedy to boot.
Hardcore Title Match: Maven vs. GolDust.
If you are one to live through the eyes of others, then Maven's entrance must have given you goose bumps. Maven took some pretty nice bumps in the beginning of the match. The match itself was pretty entertaining, and the decision to carry the Hardcore title switches throughout the night was a pretty nifty idea. I felt the hardcore segments were both entertaining and provided a nice transition between matches.
Value:$2.00- This is the match that kept on giving. The price is for the match and ALL segments included.
Kurt Angle vs. Kane.
This was really a match with nothing behind it. Honestly, what was our reason to care about this match? The match itself seemed a little off, and the ending wasn't even that great.
Value:$0.50- Honestly, this match can and probably will be done better on any given RAW or Smackdown!. Without the proper build, this just wasn't a WM quality match.
Flair vs. Under "Booger Red" Taker.
This match was highly entertaining. Flair bled all over the place, and they really did a good job at making you feel a little queasy and nervous for Flair. Not only was the story well told, but we got to see what quite possibly could be Arn Anderson's last spine buster!
Value: $5.00- 3 dollars for the match, 2 for the spine buster.
Edge vs. Booker T
I don't know.. Edge the singles wrestler isn't really doing it for me right now. In fact, I find him kind of annoying at times. He was better as a nerdy heel. This match was over a shampoo commercial contract. 'Nuff said. Overall, the quality was ok, but nothing special. Actually, the match was kind of sloppy at times, and the botched hurracuranna was just the exclamation point on that. Maybe they could have made it a "head and shoulders on a pole match". Then again, Head and Shoulders was already used in a match by the WWF.. oh my GOD!!
Value: $1.00- With nothing on the line, this match was basically flat, unlike Edge's hair, thanks to that great Japanese shampoo!
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott "Alco" Hall
This match sucked the big one. I felt bad for Austin before this match, just for being booked in what I thought was the #3 match on the card. This is especially since being, by far, the WWF's best and most consistent performer since last Wrestlemania. After this match, I felt like sending him a card or something. Not only did the match suck (thanks to the crappy work of Hall and Nash, who cant even interfere in a match well) but also, it was shoved half way down the card!! This match really could have made sense if they had booked the New World Order in a series of matches, best 2 out of 3, against Rock, Austin, and a third (either HHH or RVD) with the winning side getting some stipulation of their choosing or whatever. Instead, we get Austin fighting the weakest member of the group in a nothing match with nothing on the line and no gimmick or anything. It was good that Austin went over, but I'm sorry.. this match had RAW main event written all over it. I don't see why we couldn't get at least a tag match with the Outsiders vs. Austin and whoever instead of this drivel. Smashing a fake cinderblock against someone's knee only to have him come back the NEXT SHOW is nothing to base a grudge match on. If it was the first blow in a series of attacks, or some weeks of one-upsmanship, fine. Unfortunately, that was the worst thing our evil heels could do to our hero. The result was a lack of fan interest and a flat match. Poor Austin. He won the damn title last year, now he's in a match that will probably be completely forgotten by Summerslam.
Value: $1.50- only because I am a huge Austin mark.
4 way tag match
This match was brought to us live, via satellite from the fortress of sucktitude. At this point my middle brother had fallen asleep, my youngest brother went into another room to play Diablo, and my brother's two friends left after the APA got eliminated to grab some food. The only bright spot was seeing Stacy Keibler dance with the generic metal band (Saliva?) and then seeing her ass again when Jeff slapped it. I was sure Jeff would turn on Matt here and join Billy and Chuck as an ambiguously gay(er) version of the old Freebirds, a three man team that defends the tag titles with whatever combination works best. They should have went with a texas tornado style match for this one, where all 4 teams were just going at it until 1 was left standing, not the generic RAW formula. Here's some material for Hot Newz guys.. Billy and Chuck are the fag team champs..hahahahaha. I'm sure he'll do it better.
Value: $1.00- for Stacy's unreal hotness.
The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
I'm pretty sure everyone expected Hogan to get a face reaction here. Honestly, all athletes, once they hit a certain age, become defacto faces, if only because they look funny when they move. However, I was 100% shocked to see that the crowd was 95% Hogan at the start, and 100% Hogan once the match was underway. Not only that, but the crowd was BOOING Rock!!! I was shocked! Rock actually got the most heel heat of any wrestler all night!!! As for the match, I will forever be grateful to these two for giving me my first pure mark out match in far too long. When Hogan Hulked up, every person in my living room was standing and jumping around like 7 year olds. Everyone in the arena and everyone in my home marked out for 15 glorious minutes as these masters of working a crowd worked this one to absolute perfection. THIS is why we are fans. It was almost like a scripted movie, only the crowd reaction was 100% real. Turn the volume down on your TV and the match is nothing special. With the volume up, its one for the ages. The fans made this one what it was, which was one of the greatest matches, sports-entertainment wise in WrestleMania history.
Value: $30.00-Almost worth the price of the PPV itself. This is from a guy who hasn't cheered for Hogan since 88 and Rock since 99. $25.00 for the match, $5.00 for the pose down afterwards.
Lita vs. Trish vs. Jazz
Well, nothing could top the last match, so nothing is what we got! I'm actually a huge Jazz fan, and thought that this match was entertaining enough. Poor girls, HHH vs. Jericho would have gotten no reaction after that last match, so you can imagine how quiet it was for this match. Good ladies match however, and Trish looked REALLY hot tonight and Lita almost flashed us!!! The right wrestler went over.
Value: $1.00- the perfect match to follow Hogan-Rock, and give the crowd a chance to catch its breath(lower its expectations).
HHH vs. Stephanie McMahon (with Chris Jericho)
I think there are some titles on the line here or something... but that's not important. It's the ultimate grudge match as HHH defends the honor of his dog Lucy, while Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned by gimmicked body lotion. I think the outcome was pretty much known by everyone in the arena, and the lack of heat for the match proved it. If this match had happened the day after Royal Rumble, the match would have had heat. Unfortunately, since the Rumble, HHH and Steph have done a pretty good job at destroying all the momentum Jericho had built for himself since winning the Unified strap 3 months ago. I'll be honest, I was expecting Stephanie to turn on Jericho and join HHH, explaining that it was a ruse all along. That would have at least given Jericho some face to save. However, Jericho was beaten clean.. AND he had help the whole match. Why didn't they just make this a buried alive match and make it that much more obvious? After the pedigree on Steph, the crowd started filing out, as the only real issue here was resolved. This spot could have been used so much better on an Angle vs. Jericho match, especially with a "quadruple" main event. Steph could have accompanied Angle, turned on him and joined Jericho, and then you have a built in title feud to last you through King of the Ring with HHH and Jericho. Oh well, I guess the split makes things like that hard.
Value:$2.00-put in nothing you get nothing I guess. It WAS a world title match, so that's why it's worth a little more than a normal match of that quality.
Overall Value: $47.60- What does this say about the sad state of the WWF? If it wasn't for 2 50 year olds(Flair and Hogan) this card would have been worth about $12.00. I guess if you paid $39.95 you got your money's worth. Hogan and Flair saved the show from being the worst Wrestlemania of all time. In the words of Good Ol' JR: That's just not right.