For the last 25 years WrestleMania has provided fans with memorable matches and moments that have earned their place in wrestling history. Every year this is the one event that every wrestling fan looks forward to. It is the Super Bowl and World Series of Wrestling, and each year it seems to get bigger. In just 1 week's time the wrestling world will descend on the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Arizona for the 26th installment of WrestleMania, but one question remains, can WWE deliver on their biggest night, or is WrestleMania just not the show that it once was?
Over the past few weeks WWE has put together a stacked card from top to bottom. As of now there are 9 matches set to take place, which is the most that 'Mania has seen in a while. Personally I think they should have at least 10 matches on the show every year. On paper the show looks great. A Ladder Match featuring 9 young superstars who can ultimately steal the show, the return of a WWE Hall of Famer who no one ever thought would ever step foot in a WWE ring again to take on the man who "screwed" him 12 years ago, 2 technical wrestlers squaring off for the World Title in what many fans believe will be a wrestling classic, and perhaps one of the greatest rematches in WWE history featuring 2 WWE Legends. For 1 man it will be his first loss at WrestleMania or for the other his legendary Hall of Fame career will come to an end. These are the things that make this night so special but over the last few years it has not seemed as special as it used to be.
Last year WrestleMania celebrated its 25th Anniversary. What should have been one of the greatest shows of all time turned out to be one of the worst I have ever seen in my 20 years of watching WrestleMania. From beginning to end the show was a disaster (with the exception of 1 match that I will talk about later) and it got me thinking that WrestleMania is not just the same as it once was. I always anticipate WrestleMania each year. It's my favorite event. No matter how the show looks I will always shell out the $55 to order it because it is the biggest show of the year. I have so many fond memories of watching it with my friends and family over the years, but lately I think that it has lost its feel. Aside from last years show the past couple of WrestleMania's have just been ok. The last time I feel that WrestleMania was a 5 star show was back in 2003 at WrestleMania XIX. This is what I feel WWE needs to do this year to bring WrestleMania back to the show it once was.
First off they need to have the right Superstars win. That was a major issue last year; the wrong guys were winning matches. Second give the fans what they want to see. We don't want to see the same guys winning matches and titles year after year (now who could I be talking about here). Most importantly have the right matches go on at the right time. This is the one issue that I feel has been holding WrestleMania down over the last couple of years and here's why. If you put a certain match on at a certain point in the show and it happens to be really good it will take so much out of the crowd that by the time the Main Event comes on the crowd is dead. That is a big mistake at WrestleMania. WWE has made this mistake a couple of times in the past. At WrestleMania X8 in 2002 Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE after a 9 year absence to take on The Rock. It was a dream match that no one thought they would ever see. Many fans, including myself, thought that this match would go on last and close out the show but it did not. It went on late in the show and it was so good that it drained all of the energy out of the crowd. By the time Triple H and Chris Jericho came out 2 matches later for the Main Event the crowd was silent. The same thing happened last year with Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. They came out, stole the show and put on one of the greatest matches I have ever seen and the main event was just horrible. This is why I feel WWE needs to put the right matches on at the right time.
Out of all the matches this year the one I am most excited to see is the rematch between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Last year they stole the show at WrestleMania and this year they have the potential to do it again. For 17 years The Undertaker has been undefeated at 'Mania. This year he will put his 17-0 streak on the line against Shawn Michael’s legendary career. Every year the WWE seems to build up "the streak" more and more and every year it’s the same result. Taker adds another victory to the streak. This year it seems to have been built up more than ever. I do believe that if anyone can end the Undertaker's streak it is HBK himself. In fact over the years many have come close but I feel that no one has come closer than Shawn Michaels. Getting back to what I talked about in the previous paragraph, I feel this match needs to go on last and close out the show. I want it to. I know many will argue that the title match should go last at WrestleMania, but if they are thinking of not putting Edge and Chris Jericho on last for the World Title than I feel this match is the only other option. I mean who wants to see Cena close out another 'Mania by winning another title. I sure as hell don't.
In conclusion it’s WrestleMania. It's a night where anything can happen and it creates new moments and memories each year. If WWE does things right I feel they have a spectacular show on their hands. If they fail yet again then who knows what WrestleMania will become in the years that follow. The one thing we do know is that this is the one event where wrestling fans of the past, present and future witness the greatest show put on by the greatest wrestling company in the world. Can WrestleMania XXVI live up to the hype and be a spectacular show? We will find out on March 28th.