Wednesday, 5 February 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania 21: WrestleMania Goes Hollywood

AYO! What's popping everyboby? What a bizarre time it has been on the Road to WrestleMania so far this year. With all the antics and up-in-airy-fairyness we know that we are in wrestling season. I found it interesting though, that after their Super Bowl victory this past week, the Seattle Seahawks would tweet out an image with Daniel Bryan's "YES!" chant on it - and then the next night on RAW, the authority think that they might have to reconsider who the face of the WWE is. I said it right after the Super Bowl - The Seahawks just made it that much harder to bury Daniel Bryan. I found Triple H starting a "Yes!" chant really transparent. I loved Triple H throughout his career and although during his in-ring career he may have been one of my favourites, at the moment I really don't think that he and Stephanie need as much time on the mic or even on TV. Wouldn't that time be better spent on the younger talent? Or even developing current talent? They [WWE] always mock WCW for their own demise on how they pushed the older talent, guys who had already had their initial run. Now it seems that the Authority (or the WWE, or whoever makes these decisions) are choosing to take a page out of WCW's book. Let's take you back now, to a year where Batista was about to have his first run as World Heavyweight Champion. The same can be said for John Cena and the WWE Championship. It was the year that WrestleMania went Hollywood!


Date: 3rd April, 2005
Venue: Staples Center
City: Los Angeles, California

In my opinion, the opening contest was one of the best matches of the night. For the first time in WrestleMania history, the WWE Tag Team champions were set to face each other in singles competition. Eddie Guerrero would roll into the Staples Center to take on his tag team partner, Rey Mysterio. The build-up for this match had to do with Chavo Guerrero stirring the pot between these two and claiming that Eddie could not beat Rey. The jinx continued on this night as Rey picked up the win again, against Eddie. The two shook hands after the match as a sign of respect and the 21st Annual WrestleMaina was underway.

Ever since the "Money in the Bank" PPV debuted I always thought that it took away from the WrestleMania card. Now, since there is only one major championship in the company, is it a good idea to move the Money in the Bank ladder match back to it's roots at WrestleMania? There have been so many WrestleMania moments to come out of the MITB match at WrestleMania, and the first time it took place was in 2005 at WrestleMania 21. Jericho invented Money in the Bank! Unfortunately for him, this would become the launching pad for the Rated R Superstar, Edge. Edge would win the match and then eventually go on to win the WWE championship from John Cena, 9 months later. When I hear "Money in the Bank" there's two things I think of. In regards to WrestleMania, I think of Shelton Benjamin.

In somewhat of an interlude, Eugene made his way to the ring and started to share his excitement for being at WrestleMania. Sometimes I think to myself, "How on Earth did WWE get away with this handicap gimmick?" He would be interrupted by Muhammed Hassan and Daivari who would try a make their 'WrestleMania' moment by putting the boots to Eugene. But BAH GAWD they were in a new WrestleMania Moment when Hulk Hogan hit the ring and cleaned house! Special little moment there when Hulk turned up, I especially liked when he made his way back up the ramp and posed with the American flag dropped down behind him on the tron. Very cool. Stuff of legends.

Speaking of legends, Randy Orton was on the rise, and now with his father 'Cowboy' Bob Orton by his side, the Legend Killer had his sites set on becoming the man who would defeat the Dead Man at the Showcase of the Immortals. I really enjoyed this portion of Orton's career. Going through legends, spitting in their faces, and RKO'ing Hulk Hogan on the bonnet of a car. After watching Orton's match on RAW this past week with Daniel Bryan it's amazing to see how far Orton has come as a performer. He definitely took it to The Undertaker in this match and I loved the finish where he does the cut throat taunt and attempts to finish the match with a Tombstone, only to have the Undertaker reverse into a Tombstone Piledriver of his own and make Randy Orton victim number 13 in the infamous WrestleMania undefeated streak.

The next match was for the WWE Women's Championship when Trish Stratus (who was a heel at the time) would defend her title against the up and coming spitfire known as Christy Hemme. Hemme was accompanied to ringside by Lita. Hemme put in a decent effort, but as expected came up short to the Canadian native.

One of the greatest technical matches at WrestleMania of all time! A match that clearly doesn't get as much recognition as it should! Possibly because one of these two at the moment is working for TNA. Almost 9 years later this match still blew our mind! YES! I'm talking about The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels vs. The Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle! This is a piece of wrestling gold. I loved the way they did the build up and everything, from Angle's perspective of winning the Olympic Gold in 1996 and having to keep hearing about Shawn Michaels from the world of professional wrestling to Angle being eliminated in the 2005 Royal Rumble by Michaels. To use one of Tazz's old phrases, this match was a rocketbuster and kept us on the edge of our seats the whole time, gossebumping! These 2 pushed it to the limit, and Angle would claim the victory after Shawn Michaels was left with no choice but to tap out the the anklelock. There is no way that this match won't be on the "Shawn Michaels: Mr WrestleMania" DVD coming out next week.. just no way...

In a special attraction match, The Big Show would answer the challenge of Akebono in a Sumo Wrestling match. Although this was only a short segment, it's special attractions like these that have been missing in recent WrestleMania's - and I hope that they can put together something special, and out of the ordinary this year for WrestleMania XXX. Akebono and the Big Show would bash and bumo into each other with the goal to try and throw your opponent out of the circle. Akebono caught Show behind the head and rolled him out and picked up the win.

Now this night will always be remembered in my mind as the beginning of two careers, that were thrust into the main event limelight this night. The guard was changing. The first of which, was John Cena. John Cena was to take on JBL, who at this point was the longest reigning champion in SmackDown history. The promo was actually pretty good and had a lot of elements that I don't think we'd see in today's WWE climate. It was the story of a street hustler vs. a privileged aristocrat. Classic formula and what could go wrong? This was also the debut of John Cena's new theme music which he still has to this very day. This would also mark the end of the WWE (Undisputed) title design. John Cena was REALLY pushed into the forefront around this time. He would soon after this win debut his new spinner WWE Championship, which would also be the cover of his new album (featuring Trademarc), "You Can't See Me". It actually debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200 charts in the United States according to Wikipedia. Cena was fast becoming a global brand and a household name. The match itself took place before the era of "false finish after false finish" and Cena was able to cover, and pin, and win against JBL after a single and decisive FU. Yes. The Attitude, before it's adjustment was the FU. The Champ was here.

The second of the two men who were being made this night was Dave Batista. The build-up was that Batista had won the 2005 Royal Rumble and now had to make a decision on which champion he would pursue. Triple H had suggested that it was time now, for the Animal to make the jump to SmackDown and challenge JBL for the WWE Championship. But the Animal, had other plans. This would lead up to this point where Triple H was set to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against former friend and Evolution member, Batista. Triple H would be played to the ring by Motorhead - and this was when Batista didn't even have pyro in his entrance so it just looked like he was driving a car at the top of the ramp, if you know what I mean. The match itself was really well done, with Nature Boy in Triple H's corner and making use of every time the referee had his back turned to him. In a move that would tip the scale in favour of the Animal, Batista would slingshot Triple H into the ring post which resulted in blood pouring down the face and chest of the game. Batista would then attempt a Batista Bomb in the middle of the ring, but the Game would take advantage of the fact that the referee was out cold and hit the Animal with a low blow. Triple H would then try set up Batista for a pedigree but the Animal powered out and saved himself. The Batista Bomb was soon to follow and since I've already told you that this was the pre-"false finish after false finish" era - the rest is pretty academic. Batista had for the first time become the World Heavyweight Champion. The guard was changing and John Cena and Batista were on the rise. Two new 'Made Men' were born coming out of WrestleMania 21...

WrestleMania Moment: Hulk Hogan gives Muhammad Hassan & Daivari their 'WrestleMania Moment'

Move of the Night: Undertaker's reversal of Orton's Tombstone Piledriver into a Tombstone Piledriver of his own

Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle


If you watched WrestleMania 21, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time? Join the blog next weekend as we take a look back at WrestleMania 22 from 2006 as a part of the 'WrestleMania CountDown'! You can also tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:

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Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (05/02/14) 23:05

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