Friday, May 30, 2008

#172. WrestleMania XXIV

To warm up for WrestleMania XXIV last week, I watched IX and X, and came away thinking how much Shawn Michaels stole both shows, obviously the latter with Scott Hall and the ladder, but even the former working with Tatanka, the WWE star who got the worst break of the past two decades (pushed like mad, had all the tools he needed, and then he got pushed out of the picture for a few months, only to return, get a bad gimmick, and never recover, even when he made a comeback a few years back). That's how he became the Showstopper, not when he had his first main event (XI) or even when he got to steal the show officially (XII). Everything he did after that, HBK has those two to thank for it.

Anyway, he did an excellent job at XXIV, too. You might have heard about it. His match with Ric Flair was the only pure wrestling match of the evening, and he pulled it off. The Money in the Bank match, although packed with talented stars, came off worse than some of the previous editions, because the participants have become so convinced that there are only a few things you can do in a match like that. Chris Jericho was probably the worst of them, even though he's arguably one of the best wrestlers of our time. He'll never win one of these, because he'll be the first one to do everything you don't need to do to win. Shelton Benjamin has actually started taking after him, even though he was te star of the first two.

Randy Orton made his case for legend status in the Raw main event, dominating in his own way John Cena and Triple H, only to eventually steal the victory. Edge and Undertaker in the Smackdown main event sort of squandered most of their match, only to end on a classic note. And that was pretty much all there was to talk about concerning WrestleMania this year. I'm convinced that for the next one, they either have to ditch MitB or let the wrestlers actually wrestle in it again, because for now it's holding back the quality of the show. They packed the best, most innovative stars in this one, which is nice, because at least they were on the card, but they could've made better impacts getting to actually wrestle. Some of them should be in the main event, no question about it. Next year, they really should be. I don't care which brand. The MitB competitors this year are WWE's future. Please let them be.

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