Bret Hart is arguably the best storyteller to ever don a pair of wrestling boots. His exquisite technical prowess and pink and black in-ring attire are a hallmark of his legendary career. However, despite Hart’s intense portrayal of an anti-American heel in 1997, it wouldn’t have cut the mustard in 1998.
If the Montreal Screw job had never happened (November 1997) and Hart never went to WCW, WWE’s Attitude Era would have still been the most famous period in modern professional wrestling. The anti-establishment bravado spearheaded by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made the era a time of reinvention.
Austin was already tailor-made for the highly volatile TV-14 product. Everyone else, however, charged their stripes to match the contemporary look of the times. If Bret Hart had stayed on, he would undoubtedly have to change as well.
Another WrestleMania is in the books, and Roman Reigns is the unified WWE Universal Champion. The question of who will dethrone “The Tribal Chief” is a hot-button topic. The issue has intensified even more now that Roman holds the WWE Championship and Universal Championship, allowing him to appear on Raw and SmackDown for the foreseeable future. However, Roman won’t hold both belts forever.
Elevation requires separation, and with the brand split staying the course, the company will only go for so long without a champion on each of its flagship shows. Eventually, the titles will be separated, and Reigns will remain the Universal Champion because it is the title that encompasses his historic run. The title itself is only five years old, and while it’s front and center on the championship spectrum, it lacks a legendary reign that Roman can obtain.
What I’m about to say I’ve only uttered to a handful of people, but now it’s time to unleash my bold prediction. Roman Reigns will be Universal Champion until WrestleMania 40. Yep, that’s right, two years from now, eclipsing Pedro Morales on the all-time list as the 5th longest title reign.
Some of the year’s biggest matches will occur this weekend at WrestleMania 38. It’s a fun time to reminisce on past Mania matches and think about those that never occurred. The Ultimate Show on the WWE Network booked the Ultimate WrestleMania Card.
The rules are you can pick any wrestler from any era who competed at a WrestleMania. Also, you can only use a wrestler once. So, I put my promoter’s cap on and created what I believe would be the Ultimate WrestleMania.
Since WrestleMania has been a two-night event for the last three years, I’m going to treat this card the same. Two nights, six matches each, and headlined by a blockbuster main event.
Dwayne Johnson, who am I kidding, The Rock – is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet today. His movies draw bookoo money at the box office and generate more buzz and media attention than most. The Great One’s role as Luke Hobbs in Fast Five reinvigorated the Fast and the Furious franchise by turning it into an action movie phenomena.
The Rock is riding high in tinsel town as the definitive contemporary action star who probably had more charisma coming out of the womb than most people will ever have. The professional wrestling icon has had his ups and downs… cough “Tooth Fairy” cough…. but has finally become the star that people pegged him to be since his days as the Scorpion King.
What about the other goliaths of the squared circle who have graced the silver screen? While The Rock isn’t the first pro wrest…. sorry Mr. McMachon, I mean, sports entertainer to star in feature films, why did the former 8-time WWE champion succeed where his peers failed?
Sorry for the late WrestleMania review. I was a little under the weather this past week. I also needed time to process this event. It wasn’t a bad show by any means, however, it also wasn’t the grand slam event that it could have been. Besides the super-hyped and unexpected return of Shane McMahon, the show had a lackluster build up over the past five weeks. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas was the setting for this year’s lineup of 11 matches, all with the design to break WWE’s all-time attendance record.
Another SummerSlam is in the books, and overall, it was a good show. One of the matches featured Ryback defeating The Miz and Big Show to retain the Intercontinental title. However, it was a far cry from the classics of yesteryear.
Just like WrestleMania is known for its world title matches, a hallmark of SummerSlam was the stellar Intercontinental Title bouts. They weren’t just great in-ring spectacles, but they often served as a defining moment for a wrestler’s career.
Bret Hart’s impressive back-to-back performances for the coveted title played a prominent role in ascension to the main event scene.
Many long for the days when “the biggest party of the summer” produced unforgettable IC Title matches.
My neck of the woods here in Massachusetts is in for a historic blizzard where a statewide travel ban has been issued and heavy power outages are expected. WWE announced that this evening’s episode of Raw and tomorrows Smackdown taping in Boston have been postponed.
I can’t remember the last time that WWE had to cancel a TV show due to the weather. The pending storm is bringing back memories of the time where I foolishly braved the elements to watch a particular wrestling match.
It was my sophomore year of high school and the April Fools Storm of 1997 was in full swing. I was counting down the minutes with baited breath until Monday Night Raw came on the air. The reason I was so excited is because The Rock, known at the time as rookie upstart Rocky Maivia, was defending the Intercontinental Championship against Bret “Hitman” Hart. Continue reading “Braving The Storm For Bret Hart”→
WWE served up another episode of Monday Night Raw that spun its wheels before it was saved with a surprise appearance by The Rock. While the great one’s appearance is just what the doctor ordered, it also highlighted some of the glaring holes in the company’s current creative direction and talent roster. Continue reading “Raw is Rock But Not Solid: Thoughts on the WWE Product”→
WrestleMania 30 was a celebration of wrestling’s past and present that has plotted the course to an exciting and prosperous future. With new blood rising, the fall of a legend, and a hero’s conquest, this years “showcase of the immortals” is something we won’t soon forget.
The show kicked off with the familiar sound of Rick Derringer’s “Real American” as Hulk Hogan, this year’s host, welcomed everyone to the Silverdome and was quickly corrected by over 75,000 fans inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Hulkster took it in stride and talked about some of his greatest moments until he was cut off by the ominous breaking of glass and Stone Cold Steve Austin making his way to the ring. Austin and Hogan stare each other down in a surreal moment. This will always be considered the wrestling dream match that got away. Plus, their personal problems with each other are well documented. It was nice to see them be able to work together in such a capacity.
Austin pumped up the crowd with his verbal “Hell Yeah” hijinks until The Rock made his way to the ring. This was a true WrestleMania moment unfolding before our eyes as the three biggest names in the history of the business were in the same ring at the same time. Rock hugged both of them and gave them props for their contributions to the industry. He also put over John Cena, which unleashed some boo birds from the crowd, and quickly mentioned Daniel Bryan, which turned the jeers to cheers. Hogan closed it out with “Whatcha gonna do when Hogan, Austin, Rock, and the Super Dome run wild on you?” Hogan’s music hits, and the three icons share a beer in the ringContinue reading “WrestleMania 30: “The Greatest WrestleMania of All Time””→
Last weeks episode of Monday Night Raw ended with a frenzy of “YES” chants when Daniel Bryan turned babyface, after two weeks of being a heel, he laid out Bray Wyatt in the middle of the ring. It was the perfect scenario as Bryan had his nemesis all to himself and locked in a steel cage. The live crowd can make or break a match because they provide that intangible “thing” that makes a moment so special. However, in general, crowd reactions aren’t as vociferous as they once were.