What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes, and do you Bleachers know what today is?
Today is Austin 3/16 Day, which means that to celebrate you need to find someone, flash your middle fingers, hit a Stunner, spill beer on them (or root beer if you're under 21), and if you're not in prison by that time, you should come back here and vote for Round 2 of the Austin Bracket.
Seriously though, wouldn't that make for one hell of a national holiday?
Which matches from Round 1 made it to Round 2? Let's find out:
1. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 25) (95.2 percent)
8. Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 24) (4.8 percent)
2. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WM 10) (76.7 percent)
7. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy (WM 25) (23.3 percent)
3. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit (WM 20) (62.8 percent)
6. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 10) (37.2 percent)
4. John Cena vs. Batista (WM 26) (19 percent)
5. Batista vs. Undertaker (WM 23) (81 percent)
Since this is the first round, none of these outcomes come as a surprise. Triple H/Michaels/Benoit and Razor/HBK was the closest match and that was expected, although Razor/HBK was dominating in the first 24 hours.
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels blowing out Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels was expected considering Undertaker's streak was legitimately on the line while the retirement stipulation was turned into a joke when Flair started accepted indy bookings within a week.
That is not to mention that Taker/Michaels was the much better match any way you look at it.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy being blown out by Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart was expected as well considering that the Owen/Bret feud had much better build-up and the match was a lot more technically sound while Hardy/Hardy was more of a spot-fest.
However, (at least in my eyes) the one thing I was not expecting was for Batista vs. Undertaker against John Cena vs. Batista to be the second biggest blow-out.
In my opinion, John Cena vs. Batista had much better build-up and the matches were almost at the same level. I thought it'd come close to 50/50 but I guess the IWC Cena hate came into play here.
Anyway, that's Round 1 of the Austin Bracket. On to Round 2.
The 2009 Match of the Year saw the two longest-tenured performers in WWE face off at the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania.
The result was a show-stealing match thanks to some of the best nearfall sequences ever and that one awesome facial expression from the Undertaker where he was like, "What the hell?"
This was a classic in every sense of the word, and this turned out to be one of the greatest matches in wrestling history—not just WrestleMania history.
This match had a great story behind it with Bret Hart not wanting to fight his younger brother, but having to if he wanted a title match later on in the night.
In retrospect, this was also perfect booking. Bret could afford the loss because he was booked to win the title later on in the night, and now, they had a feud to carry them through the summer.
This is as good a technical match as there's ever been at a WrestleMania, and it still holds up 17 years later. I'll also go on record and say that this had to be the best WrestleMania opener in history.
The best triple threat match ever? A lot of people would say yes.
This was Benoit's best shot at winning the world title, and he'd have to do it against two main-event regulars.
This was Benoit's big breakthrough after many years as a midcarder, and he had a hot New York crowd behind him every step of the way.
Just like with the Cena-Batista match, there was some doubt about whether these two guys could put on a decent match but lo and behold and four years later, this match is (personally) considered to be one of the top 32 WrestleMania matches of all time.
The Batista powerslam through the announce table was the spot of the match and was certainly an awesome visual.
The ending sequence with the chokeslam, Batista Bomb and Tombstone was predictable yet still awesome with lots of near falls.
On a night with a stacked card involving matches such as John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit vs. MVP and the most star-studded Money in the Bank match to date, this is the match that stole the show.
Props to both of these guys for putting on a **** 16-minute match that did not have any slow-down spots.
In case you missed it, here is the final Round 2 Austin Bracket:
1. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 25)
2. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WM 10)
3. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit (WM 20)
5. Batista vs. Undertaker (WM 23)
And that shall conclude the second-round Austin Bracket.
Note: These are not the only four matches. This is only the first of four Round 2 brackets. There are 24 hours left to vote on the Round 1 Michaels Bracket so make sure to vote here.
The Rock Bracket, which has an extremely heated match-up going on, has 48 hours left. You can vote on it right here.
Finally, the Henry Bracket has 72 hours left. Make sure to cast your votes here.
I will be right back here tomorrow with the Round 2 Michaels Bracket and more results from Round 1, but until then, I'm out!