The last truly great WrestleMania I remember watching was WrestleMania X-Seven. Vince McMahon’s recent, and shocking, purchase of WCW added intrigue to an already impressive card that included Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon, TLC for the Tag-Team titles, Undertaker vs. Triple H and, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock for what was then the WWF Championship.
The last greatly hyped WrestleMania was the following WrestleMania, number XVIII. That one featured The Rock going against “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. We were all excited to see that match on that magical WrestleMania night that we forgot Hogan hitting Rocky with a hammer and subsequently destroying the ambulance taking the injured Rock to the hospital.
What also is forgotten is that the rest of the card was pretty lame. Edge vs. Booker T over a Japanese shampoo commercial? Triple H limping around like Fred Sanford against an emasculated Y2J, who was coming off of a four-month span as the most disrespected champion of all time, was a real bummer.
I’m not sure which way this WrestleMania will go; great or just hyped. Let’s take a look, in no particular order:
1. I have no idea what is going to happen between John Cena and The Miz. I could see SuperCena prevailing. I could see The Miz slithering his way out of Atlanta with the title. I can envision fans hurling boxes of Fruity Pebbles into the ring. I can see Rocky laying the smack-down on all their monkey asses. The one thing we better not see is The Rock and Cena shaking hands and playing nice with each other at the end of the show.
2. Wasn’t Alex Riley supposed to be fired? They could have at least had a match with him earning the right to be in The Miz’s corner. It’s one thing when SuperCena doesn’t follow the rules, but you can’t have every jabroni ignoring stipulations.
3. Why did Vince McMahon hire Jersey Shore’s resident grenade? And I’m not one of those fans who are angry because that spot could have gone to Kelly Kelly or Eve. My beef is, if Vince absolutely had to pick a shallow knucklehead from Jersey Shore, why not get The Situation? Or if he had to get a female, why not JWoww? I know she already appeared on TNA, but who would you rather see bouncing around the ring this Sunday? And Snooki isn’t even a grenade with a nice personality; at least that would be endearing. Has Vince ever watched Jersey Shore? Snooki is just awful!
4. And couldn’t they have found something else for John Morrison to do? Anything?
5. Shawn Michaels was awesome last Monday and single-handedly injected some excitement into Undertaker vs. Triple H. Because this feud had been boring before Raw and it badly needed a spark. I didn’t even care about this match before Monday but that certainly isn't the case now. I just don’t want my last image of HBK to be an image of him being humbled by Undertaker. The only thing Shawn Michaels didn’t have to do was hold onto the inside of the Undertaker’s pockets and sold for three packs of cigarettes. I believe some Sweet Chin Music is in order for The Last Outlaw, retirement be damned.
6. I’m glad there is no MITB match this Sunday. Not because the matches aren’t enjoyable, because they are, but because I think we are all tired of the “shocking” title changes that are inevitable every year. Edge was brilliant the first time he won MITB and cashed it in to defeat John Cena during New Year’s Revolution in 2006. It was shocking the first time, not the following 500 times. Two of CM Punk’s title reigns have come from cashing in MITB, which almost makes it seem like it’s the only way he can become a champion. Kane cashing it in on Rey Mysterio; really? He really needed a sneak title challenge on Rey Mysterio? But nothing tops Jack Swagger ambushing John Cena then reneging on the title challenge when Cena regained his senses. To top that, Swagger attacked Chris Jericho the following week while Y2J was wearing a suit and finally won the title. Also, if not for “Miz girl”, Miz’s “surprise” win might not have been that memorable.
I think this WrestleMania will go down as a good, but not great, WrestleMania. There are only two matches (8-man tag match and 6-person inter-gender tag match) that I don’t care about, but I say good and not great because the new stars (JBL-Rio, Miz, Bryan, Sheamus) aren’t quite there yet. But whatever happens before the main event will surely be overshadowed by whatever The Rock does in the main event. I hope Bart Scott doesn’t try to sue me but, “Can’t Wait.”
Michael Johnson is a contributor for bleacherreport.com and the author of Shades of Gray: The Introduction of Walter Harrison, available on smashwords.com. Follow him on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/rainyraidon