Greetings, guys. Since WrestleMania XXX is here in a week, I thought we’d take a break from WCW and take a look at my favorite WrestleMania, number 24. There are a few WM’s that have contended for my favorite, such as 19 and 26, but 24 is always my baby.
Next week we’re gonna take a look at the greatest WrestleMania rumors of all time, then it’s back to business as usual, as we start off the new year of 1996 in WCW.
Fit Finaly vs JBL – Belfast Brawl
At the beginning the match is all Finlay, but once the international objects come into play, JBL turns the tide. He keeps it with a barrage of trash-can shots, until he tries a piledriver on the ring-steps only to receive a back-drop for his troubles. At this point, neither is able to hold the momentum for very long as they trade blows with weapons ranging from trash-cans, metal sheets, ring-steps, kendo sticks, and tables. It’s a great match, and a hell of an opener that the crowd was really into.
Finlay takes a Clothesline From Hell and eats the pin at 8:35 | ***1/2
John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. CM Punk vs. Ken Anderson vs. MVP vs. Jericho – Money In The Bank
The first ‘holy shit’ spot of the night is Shelton on a ladder and dumped outside via a front flip through a ladder that’s placed between the barrier and ring. After a series of brutal spots, such as CM Punk giving Mr. Kennedy a Diamond Cutter off the ladder, and Carlito following suit on Jericho, only with a Backstabber, MVP stands up in the ring, and looks like Steve Buscemi at the end of Reservoir Dogs. There’s no such thing as a bad MiTB. 6 years later, no one in this match is still with the company.
Punk grabs the briefcase to win his first MiTB at 17:55 | ****
Umaga vs Batista – FOR BRAND SUPREMACY!
This match is all sorts of boring and terrible. Which is shocking, considering this is for the good of Smackdown & Raw! Umaga basically works over Batista the entire match until the end, where Batista delivers a spinebuster and perhaps the worst looking powerbomb ever. Even worse than the one Shawn took from Nash at WM11. So, here I am backing Smackdown now, and Batista switches the next night! What was I to think?! Thankfully they started having the Bragging Rights PPVs so I knew what to back, as to avoid looking the fool.
Umaga eats a Demonbomb & pin at 7:06 | ½ *
Chavo Guerrero [C] vs Kane – ECW Championship
Kane surprises Chavo by appearing from behind him. The match starts, Chavo catches a chokeslam and that’s it. I think this was the best choice for everyone involved.
Kane chokeslams & pins Chavo at .11 | **
Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair – Retirement Match
Really, this should have gone on last. It’s Ric Flair’s final match, at WM, against Michaels. What more could you ask for in a main event? The first great moment is Shawn & Ric trading places in the corner while they chop the bloody hell out of each other. It’s soon followed by Flair actually leaping off the top-turnbuckle, which I think he’s been able to do successfully about 3 times. Afterward, Shawn makes me cringe as he lands ribs first on the edge of the announcer’s table after missing a moonsault From then the match keeps it’s high pace & drama that has earned it not only 5 stars, but a place among my all time favorite matches. Wrestling fans were split with this one, some saying it was only average, while others thought it went above & beyond. Hell, I think the ending alone should keep it from being average, as it stands today as one of wrestling’s greatest moments.
Ric Flair receives Sweet Chin Music followed by a pin at 20:33 | *****
Beth Phoenix & Melina vs Maria & Ashley – PlaboyBunnyManiaLumberjill Match
I know there are some types out there who say Beth Phoenix isn’t attractive, but if you prefer a tanned skeleton like Ashley, you are wrong. None of this opinion junk. You’re flat out wrong. Thankfully though, Ashley can wrestle like crap. Nothing to really make note of, other than Snoop hitting a clothesline. Which I imagine with his massive biceps feels like getting hit with a wiffle ball bat.
Beth hits Maria with a fishermen’s suplex at 5:58 | 1/2*
Randy Orton [C] vs John Cena vs Triple H – WWE Championship
It appears that Triple H & Randy Orton use the same self-tanner, which seems to be deck stainer. Love that Randy nails HHH with the belt before the bell, it’s a perfect heel action. It also reminds me of how much more interesting he is when he’s not the incredibly boring face. Cena goes for the double FU, but Hunter slips off at the last moment. He’ll get it one of these days. Hell, The Rock is pumped with so much juice & HGH that it’s like two people, so give credit where credit is due. The greatest compliment I can pay a match is being afraid of it ending, and this is one of those matches. The action is non-stop the entire time, and it flows seamlessly. Near the end it really starts to pick up with Orton holding out from 3 different submissions, then recouping while Triple H & Cena do their best to snag the win while Randy gets his win back. It’s great stuff, and I feel a match that was completely underrated. Some had grief with the fact it was so short, but had it been longer we would have had rest-holds, and moments where everyone is down. So what we got was all the killer and none of the filler. People need to dust off their WrestleMania 24’s and give this one a second look.
Triple H delivers a Pedigree to Cena, but catches a punt to the head from Orton, who then steals the pin on John at 14:09 | ****
Floyd Mayweather vs Big Show
I don’t like it when people from other venues come into wrestling and get a win, unless they have a proven track-recorded and respect it. I don’t like people who flaunt their wealth. I REALLY don’t like Mayweather. They tried to book Big Show like a heel, but Mayweather was such a little bitch that Show was being cheered for everything. I mean, how on Earth are we suppose to root for a guy who takes photos with all the money he got from the WWE, runs away mid-match, and has some obnoxious cock in a white suit screaming at the ref “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” [in reference to stomping on a hand and giving a chop. You can’t do that. Bodyslam? Unheard of in wrestling. You can’t do that]. At least Big Show wasn’t pinned. Any stars I give this match are purely for me enjoying the site of Floyd getting hurt.
Big Show doesn’t answer the count of 10 at 11:36 | **
The Undertaker vs. Edge [C] – World Heavyweight Championship
Edge starts off by shoving The Undertaker, to blatantly show he doesn’t fear him. That was something I always liked about Edge within this feud, he wasn’t afraid. It was different. ‘Taker gets a bit of a lead, but being over-zealous sends him crashing to the outside, at which point Edge takes complete advantage and dominates for a while until he aims to leap off the top rope but ‘Taker sends him crashing to the outside as he previously had, hell of a bump. Once he’s back in, neither of them can hold on to momentum for long, as they go on to give one of the best wrestling matches ever. Edge went full tilt, countering everything from chokelsams to the Old-School, giving The Dead Man a receipt for all of it. Undertaker himself had an answer for everything Edge had as well, from submissions to spears. One of the best matches I’ve ever seen.
Edge taps out to Hell’s Gate at 23:50 | *****
The setting is absolutely gorgeous with the tropical colors and open arena. Everything you expect to deliver does so and then some. The opening match keeps great company as one of the best WM openers of all time. The dreck, as in the traditional divas & celebrity match are thankfully kept short. The main event matches deliver with the best of them, with 2 earning 5 stars from me. Ric & Shawn created WM history, while Edge & Taker had a match for the ages. Amongst these incredible bouts are solid 4 star matches in the MiTB and WWE championship. One of the greatest PPVs of all time that unfortunately doesn’t get it’s due. Here’s to you.