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A Mania match a day


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Inspired by Liam O'Rourke's ranking of the WrestleManias from worst to best, I thought after reading his first write-up on it, wouldn't it be good to watch a WrestleMania a day in the 30 days leading up to this year's one? That'd give me my Network money's worth.


Then I realised there was no way I'd have enough time to do that. But what I could do is watch one match from each Mania, one a day until we get to April the wheneverth.


I have now completed the project and you'll find my thoughts on each match I watched in the links below.



The matches:

WrestleMania - Hulk Hogan & Mr T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff

WrestleMania 2 - British Bulldogs vs. Dream Team

WrestleMania III - Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race

WrestleMania IV - Bad News Battle Royal

WrestleMania V - Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan

WrestleMania VI - Colossal Connection vs. Demolition

WrestleMania VII - Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage

WrestleMania VIII - Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice

WrestleMania 9 - Doink The Clown vs. Crush

WrestleMania X - Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon

WrestleMania 11 - Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. Smokin' Gunns

WrestleMania 12 - Ultimate Warrior vs. Triple H

WrestleMania 13 - Legion Of Doom & Ahmed Johnson vs. Nation Of Domination

WrestleMania 14 - Undertaker vs. Kane

WrestleMania XV - Road Dogg vs. Goldust vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Val Venis

WrestleMania 2000 - Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

WrestleMania X-Seven - Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz

WrestleMania X-8 - Trish Stratus vs. Lita vs. Jazz

WrestleMania XIX - Team Angle vs. Los Guerreros vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno

WrestleMania XX - John Cena vs. Big Show

WrestleMania 21 - Batista vs. Triple H

WrestleMania 22 - Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James

WrestleMania 23 - John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

WrestleMania XXIV - Undertaker vs. Edge

WrestleMania 25 - Money In The Bank Ladder Match

WrestleMania 26 - Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon

WrestleMania XXVII - Undertaker vs. Triple H

WrestleMania XXVIII - Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

WrestleMania 29 - Shield vs. Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show

WrestleMania XXX - Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton




And no, I can't remember which ones had Roman numerals and which ones didn't. 

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I've compiled a list.


1. Hogan & T/Piper & Orndorff

2. Tito & JYD/Funks

III. Piper/Adonis

IV. Savage/DiBiasi

V. Savage/Hogan

VI. Demolition/Haku & Andre

VII. Savage/Warrior

VIII. Bret/Pipet

IX. Luger/Perfect

X. Bret/Owen

XI. LT/Bigelow

XII. Backlot Brawl

13. Chicago Street Fight

XIV. Dumpster Match

XV. Shane/X-Pac

2000. Triangle Ladder Match

X7. Raven/Kane/Show

X8. Hogan/Rock

XIX. Austin/Rock

XX. Angle/Eddie

21. MITB

22. Cena/HHH

23. Lashley/Umaga

XXIV. JBL/Finlay

25. Cena/Edge/Show

XXVI. Bret/Vince

XXVII. King/Cole

XXVIII. Sheamus/Bryan

NY/NJ. Punk/Taker

XXX. Wyatt/Cena

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To make it less of a potential Michaels love-in, you should impose a rule: no more than one match per wrestler. That'd be harder to put together, plus you'll end up having to watch something you normally wouldn't.

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Was it yourself who wrote those brilliant Triple H vs Undertaker reviews, HG? Either way, there's no way they're getting topped so I'd avoid those matches.




That was ShortOrderCook - I just link to it a lot because I think it's brilliant.


Since Wrestlemania is only 27 days away, including today, you might as well start from Wrestlemania 4 or only do from 1 to 27.


I'll do two matches some days. Sorted :) .


Though by the looks of it at the moment, I'll mostly be watching Chilli's list for him!

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This should give you a bit of variety for the most recent Wrestlemanias. Stuck to the use-each-wrestlers once rule. 


17 - Rock vs Austin

18 - Undertaker vs Ric Flair

19 - Lesnar vs Angle

20 - Benoit vs Triple H vs Michaels

21 - Cena vs JBL

22 - Edge vs Foley

23 - Lashley vs Umaga

24 - MITB: Punk vs Benjamin vs Jericho vs MVP vs Kennedy vs Morrison

25 - Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy

26 - Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon

27 - Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler

28 - Team Johnny vs Team Teddy

29 - Fandango vs Jericho

30 - Daniel Bryan vs Batista vs Orton

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Thanks for the suggestions Chilli, Steak. I'll take them on board - but don't be offended if I end up watching something different!


If anyone else wants to suggest any matches please do.


So, I'll kick off with WrestleMania I, and I've chosen to watch the main event, Hulk Hogan & Mr T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff.




The match


We begin with a troupe of bagpipers playing Piper to the ring. The first big-time 'WrestleMania entrance'? the crowd are not impressed, anyway - Piper and Orndorff get police accompanying them to the ring as well, and there are projectiles being chucked. This should be a spectacle even if the match isn't up to much.


Also, the crowd are much closer to the ring than I remember seeing at a WWE show before.


Hogan and Mr T come in. Hogan's an absolute megastar, he really is.


Ha! There's a bloke whose job it is to sweep the rubbish out of the ring that angry fans have thrown in. Bring him back! Orndorff's nicked his broom, the bastard, how is he meant to do his job now?


Meanwhile, Pat Patterson's sent Muhammad Ali to be 'the outside referee', and Liberace is at ringside looking like he's got no idea what's going on. The bell is rung and the lights go down on the crowd - that's quite a nice effect, actually; show the crowd going nuts, then focus on the wrestlers for the match itself.


Orndorff and Hogan start off, but Piper is tagged in before anything can happen. We get a Piper-Hogan staredown, which is magnificent and makes me want to see them have a massive brawl, but Hogan tags Mr T in and he and Piper do the nose-to-nose thing I remember from the Desire videos. 


The match starts proper at this point. Few moves from Piper, a couple from T, including a Wasteland before Wade Barrett was presumably born, and then we get a brawl. Excellent. But it spills to the outside quite quickly and Piper and co decide they've had enough and leave. Muhammad Ali's doing bugger all to stop them, which I guess is okay because they come back anyway.


Noggin knocker! Piper clotheslined in the corner by Hogan! Noggin knocker again! Then an atomic drop, a sort of choke, and we're getting full-on Hogan and Piper here. It's great. Mr T comes in and body slams Piper, then hits a cracking hip toss on Orndorff. The good guys absolutely have the upper hand and I'm pleasantly surprised by how involved Mr T has been. Big boot from Hogan knocks Piper to the outside, and I thought we might have a bit of breathing space but no! Orndorff's knocked Hogan out of the ring and Piper's hit Hogan with a chair to the back! Muhammad Ali, again, not really fussed. Some referee.


As the heels get the upper hand back, I've just been on Wikipedia and Barrett was actually four years old when this match happened, so my original unwritten theory that he was inspired by Mr T to use the Wasteland remains valid. A double team attack on Hogan and Orndorff's beating him up, a suplex later and Hogan's in real trouble.


Piper back in again, and I'm really enjoying this match. It's full of action, spectacle, it's clear cut good vs evil, everyone's putting the effort in. It absolutely has the feel of a 'WrestleMania match' before such a concept existed. Certainly, it's a template that could easily be used again.


Hogan got the tag, and it's now Mr T and Orndorff. It's actually got a bit sloppy at this point - but perhaps that's natural, you can't expect Mr T to sell as well as Hogan had been doing. Heels absolutely in control, but Hogan gets a tag, and he's recovered because we got a third noggin knocker!


Piper distracts the referee, and Cowboy Bob Orton and Jimmy Snuka get involved. Orton accidentally smacks Orndorff with his cast off the top rope, Hogan pins him, and he gets the 3 count! That… that was surprising. I guess it makes sense if Orton had been doing a lot of cheating on behalf of Piper beforehand, but I'm shocked Hogan didn't get a leg drop and a convincing win there. That finish would have made more sense with Mr T, but then if you don't have your champion get the pin in the main event… yeah, I'm not sure about that.


Post-match, Orton and Piper clear out, leaving a dazed Orndorff in the ring, who's mightily pissed off once he realises Hogan won. He's off as well now, and Muhammad Ali (who did nothing except be there, but to be honest, I don't suppose he had to be) gets in the ring with Liberace as Hogan does some poses.


My thoughts


I enjoyed that a lot. It's not a long match but it's basically action-packed from start to finish, there's not a point where it drags other than a very brief time when Orndorff and Mr T are the legal men. I liked that it didn't strictly follow the tag rules, with partners coming in to help out whenever they felt like it, and stuff going on on the outside too. I'll be honest, I was expecting a very clear cut, rule-abiding kind of match, and I like that I didn't get that. The entrances felt big-time, as did any moment where Hogan and Piper were interacting. Overall, a really fun main-event sports-entertainment style match, with only an (arguably) slightly disappointing finish to let it down. On the one hand, cheaters never prosper, so they lost, but on the other, I'd have liked a clean Hogan/T win from a leg drop. But it's a good start to the project. Bring on WrestleMania 2!

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Sticking to post-2000s as it's what I know better:


WrestleMania X-Seven - Vince vs. Shane

WrestleMania X-8 - Taker vs. Flair

WrestleMania XIX - Lesnar vs. Angle

WrestleMania XX - Rock/Foley vs. Evolution

WrestleMania 21 - MITB

WrestleMania 22 - Cena vs. Triple H

WrestleMania 23 - Taker vs. Batista

WrestleMania XXIV - HBK vs. Flair

WrestleMania 25 - Undertaker vs HBK

WrestleMania 26 - Bret vs Vince

WrestleMania XXVII - Orton vs Punk

WrestleMania XXVIII - Rock vs. Cena

WrestleMania 29 - Punk vs Taker

WrestleMania XXX - Bryan vs. Triple H


Was going to try and avoid using a wrestler more than once, but it's more effort than I feel like mustering after a day at work. Plus, all I could think of besides HBK vs. Taker at WM25 was HHH vs. Orton and the Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal.

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I've done the first five so far. I fucked off my self-imposed 'only one match per wrestler' rule in favour of watching Haku twice. There was pretty much no logic to my choosing, I just avoided the obvious ones.


I) Ricky Steamboat VS Matt Borne - decent little match to be honest, a lot better and longer than I expected. Something you'd expect from an episode of the old early 80s WWE Classics they used to put on TV years ago.


The promo before was weird though- Borne cuts a promo into the camera telling Ricky what he's going to do to him, exits right, Ricky comes in from the left as Borne is walking off camera and cuts a promo in response. He might as well have told Steamboat to his face what he was going to do as he was clearly next to him! They should've had the Steamboat promo somewhere else.


II) Battle Royal. Absolute shit, but worth it for The Refrigerator. Man, he was over as fuck and why not? He'd just won the Superbowl and was probably the most popular NFL player at the time. Imagine Ronaldo in a battle royal today, that would be insane. Not really much else to add, these matches are usually crap.


III) Bulldogs & Chico Santana VS Hart Foundation & Dangerous Danny Davies - fantastic story here. I didn't know the reasoning behind Davies being in this match (he 'screwed' Bulldogs and Chico out of their respective titles when he was a ref) until I watched this, and he played the smug, pussy role perfectly. He'd come in occasionally when the faces were on their arses, get in a couple of shots and quickly tag out- which riled the crowd up big time. Great heat. When they eventually got him in, the faces absolutely gave him a pasting to get the crowd mental. After many big moves, including a jumping tombstone from Davey Boy, Davies picked up the win via Jimmy Hart's megaphone, which got even more heat. Very well worked match.



IV) Valentine VS Steamboat - really enjoyed this, and definitely need to watch some more old Valentine. My memories of him as a kid were either as part of Rhythm & Blues or his match with Ronnie Garvin, which bored me at the time. Solid match on what is a pretty shit event.


V) Haku VS Hercules. I only watched this as I saw Haku making his way to the ring on his boss royal litter, I couldn't possibly stop watching unless I wanted an eye removed. Then I heard Herc's music and thought 'fuck sake'...but man, what a surprising little gem. I've never liked Hercules, but he put in a shift here and Haku was Haku (which in other words means great as standard). A fine opener that far exceeded my expectations, Herc was over but Christ how pale was he? If he was around now they'd tag him with Sheamus and call them The White Stuff or something.


So far, so good. Apart from the battle royal, but 'Fridge made it watchable. VI next, which I've always considered a disappointment- some truly exciting matches on paper that didn't come close to delivering (Dibiase/Roberts, Rhodes/Savage tag, Rude/Snuka, Perfect/Beefcake). Somebody pick a match from it for me.

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