I wonder what Triple H will do for a wacky WrestleMania entrance this year?
Looking back on it WRESTLEMANIA 22 was easily one of my favorites as far as how much I enjoyed it while watching it live. It was the first 4 hour Mania, had a great crowd in Chicago, a pretty packed card and a lot of memorable moments. This is one I should probably watch again to see how I’d feel about it 6 years later.
WRESTLEMANIA 19 is a good show but it is also a strange show to look back on.
Here is a card that features Stone Cold, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Triple H yet none of them are in the main event. In fact this was the final match-up in the incredible Rock/Austin rivalry and it didn’t get top billing. There are a lot of good moments and matches from this show and it probably ranks pretty highly quality wise in Mania history.
WRESTLEMANIA 17 might be my favorite Mania.
The WWF was dominating the world of pro-wrestling at this point, having just bought ECW and WCW to use as storyline fodder and DVD bonus features. The undercard was great with most matches having some sort of actual feud and not just tossed together like a lot of Manias. The TLC match was a thing now and making stars out of 3 tag-teams and making the tag-titles meaningful. Plus Triple H and the Undertaker teamed up to give Taker his only good Wrestlemania match to this point.
But even with such a big card, the main event stood apart as something special. You had the Rock and Stone Cold putting another chapter on their now storied rivalry but adding new twists. This match would feature them both as hugely over babyfaces, both undeniably the biggest stars in the sport at this time and still in their primes. And on the horizon for them, Rocky’s first shot at being a movie star and Austin’s first heel turn since he became one of the biggest draw in WWE/WWF history. We might never get another Wrestlemania match-up like that main event again.
Wrestlemania 16 is forgettable and over-looked for a lot of valid reasons.
There are however two really memorable things about this show, the first being the 3 way ladder match for the tag-titles that would later evolve beyond just a ladder match and become a WWE staple known as the “TLC match”. The second is a bit more subtle but showed how “business” had changed in the WWF and that is for the first time a heel went home victorious from the main event of a Wrestlemania.