WrestleMania's Worst Matches, Jericho-GOAT and More from the Kings of Sport
Episode three of The Kings of Sport podcast is live and doused with more WrestleMania flavor than a New Jersey discotheque.
John Pollock from LAW radio joined hosts Marcus Vanderberg of Yahoo.com, Alfred "Big Nasty" Konuwa and Nate Milton in a spirited interview previewing the WWE's biggest show.
The hosts also gave their takes on Chris Jericho's controversial victory in the Greatest of All Time tournament and weighed in with their picks for worst all-time WrestleMania matches. Expect a Big Show mention. Or two.
Podcast after the jump.
1. LAW Radio's John Pollock Previews WrestleMania XXIX with the Hosts (15:50)
John Pollock (Live Audio Wrestling, The Fight Network) joined the hosts to talk WrestleMania. The podcasting extraordinaire weighed in on a host of topics relating to WrestleMania XXIX.
The Rock's Impact on WrestleMania: "I think when you look up and down, if you were to take out The Rock from this show, I think that it loses quite a lot.
"You can certainly question a lot of the building blocks of this show but at the end of the day I think a lot of people are simply buying this because it's WrestleMania, because the Rock is on this show and to a lesser extent I think Brock Lesnar is also bringing in people.
"There was more of an interest in [Rock vs. Cena] last year and that resulted in the biggest money show in WWE history. So the rematch—some people are cold on it, I think the build has been fine—it hasn't been a home run at this point. But one that I feel that if you take The Rock out of the equation I don't really know where you necessarily could be slotting WrestleMania.
Thoughts on Triple H-Brock as a top match at WrestleMania: "Doing the rematch with Brock Lesnar, you have to ask yourself, 'Are there that many more people that are buying this show because Triple H is on this pay-per-view as opposed to people already buying for The Rock and for The Undertaker?'
"You want to be able to do the most business as you possibly can, and The Rock is representative of that. But you also have to be positioning your own talent and looking five years from now when there is no Rock and there's no Undertaker and there's no Triple H."
On a possible swerve: "It wouldn't surprise me, the WWE often will look at that and, come the day of the show, will maybe make a last-minute decision.
"I think it would be a lock that you would put The Undertaker over [CM Punk]. I think the right plan is to put the title on John Cena, and that leaves the Triple H-Brock Lesnar match which I find is not necessarily the lock that everyone thinks it is."
On the weak midcard: "There used to be this old theory that 20 percent of the card is going to generate 80 percent of the business for the show, and I think that's certainly the case when you look at this card. Really, the business is being done here on the top three matches and the fact that this is WrestleMania.
"It's great we're going to see, for instance, Chris Jericho and Fandango. If you're negative on that match—maybe people want to see Chris Jericho in a different match—is it going to turn people off of buying this show or is that match going to add any buys? Very unlikely."
Listen to The Kings of Sport podcast for more from John Pollock, including more on the Fandango character, WrestleMania's projected buyrate and the WWE's babyface problem.
2. Big Show vs. Akebono and WrestleMania's Worst Wrestling Matches
WrestleMania has become so big, it can get buy with 500,000 buys on brand name only. Even if Hornswoggle was in the main event.
But part of that expert branding was due in no part to its charted history of bad matches. Bad WrestleMania matches aren't just bad matches, they're pop failure. Relics of ridicule for jaded professional wrestling fans to salivate over.
Each host selected three of their least favorite matches for this week's list segment. Match length, quality of wrestling, gimmicks and booking were all strongly considered for each triplet of doom.
3. WrestleMania's 3 Worst Matches: Nate Milton's Picks (34:47)
Nate Milton watches TNA every week, so he knows a thing or two about bad wrestling. Half-joking aside, Nate led off the panel with three matches WrestleMania could have done without.
Big Show vs. Akebono, WrestleMania 21: Who is Akebono? Why is he in the WWE? Why hasn't he wrestled anybody before? Why is he in a mud wrestling match against The Big Show? Where's all the mud? Is he gone yet?
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, WrestleMania XXVIII: Nate Milton showed up 19-seconds late to a WrestleMania XXVIII viewing party at a local bar. He missed this opening match.
Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez, WrestleMania IX: Ether and professional wrestling have always been a bad mix. As have air-brushed body suits with chest hair. Now, the Undertaker with a pet vulture? That's more like it.
4. WrestleMania's 3 Worst Matches: Marcus Vanderberg's Picks (39:00)
Marcus Vanderberg's trio of worst WrestleMania matches all featured current or future WWE Hall of Famers. These were not the matches that will eventually land them in the Hall.
Big Show vs. Akebono, WrestleMania 21: See Slide 2.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Rick Martel, WrestleMania VII: Jake "The Snake" Roberts is one of the most intriguing characters in WWE history. His psychology both in and out of the ring is second to no one. These talents were wasted in a blindfold match against "The Model" Rick Martel.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Triple H, WrestleMania XII: One night in New York City, Triple H participated in the most costly group hug of his professional career.
Part of the fall out did not include losing to The Ultimate Warrior in less than two minutes. A testament to his patience.
5. WrestleMania's 3 Worst Matches: Big Nasty's Picks (42:00)
Thank god for Hulk Hogan. His immense star power, box office prowess and red-and-yellow heroics carried the WrestleMania brand through a slew of bad matches. Even when he was participating in the bat matches.
In-ring flops at WrestleMania weren't limited to the '80s however. Just ask Big Nasty.
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, WrestleMania XX: It was match ruined by the leaked news of both Lesnar and Goldberg's impending departure. Despite the promise of a clash of the titans, this was more like a clunk of the quitters. Goldberg-Lesnar was cut mercifully short as the savvy New York crowd ate both wrestlers alive with chants of "this match sucks!"
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler, WrestleMania XXVII: The buildup was fine. It was excellent, in fact, as Michael Cole drew the right kind of heel heat with even the most jaded fans.
The execution, however, was brutal. Instead of a brief squash match over a non-wrestling heel, this match was competitive. Cole even dominated at some points, rendering the contest clumsy and painstakingly boring. Thanks Dean.
The Undertaker vs. The Big Boss Man, WrestleMania XV: It was The Undertaker at his devil-worshiping worst. The darkest that The Undertaker's character has ever been was also the character's darkest hour.
The last time The Undertaker had been locked in the cell on pay-per-view, he was making history with Mick Foley. This time, he was making a mess. The match would become infamous for Undertaker hanging Big Boss Man from the top of the cell following his 8th-consecutive Mania victory.