Jamie Lithgow & Craig Wilson
Keeping with the Wrestlemania theme, and following on from last week, we will once again attempt to book the ultimate Wrestlemania card. However, instead of booking the best possible matches we will be looking for the worst bouts from ‘Mania history. Yes folks, this week we are booking the ultimate CRAP Wrestlemania! Same rules and card structure as last week i.e. wrestlers can only be used once and the card should look like this –
*A WWF/E title match
*A World Heavyweight Title match
*An Intercontinental title match
*Tag titles match
*Special stipulation match
Jamie: Just as we were spoiled for choice last week we are once again greeted by a plethora of matches to choose from. I suppose that’s what you get from an event with such a long and storied history. I am going to start with an obvious suggestion that will surely be a lock for the World Heavyweight Championship match – Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus from last year. There are a few outstanding WHC matches with the rest being middle of the road, boring in places but on the whole inoffensive. This bout on the other hand didn’t even get the chance to become middle of the road or boring. It was certainly offensive and insulting to the fans of these two who had looked forward to their encounter only to see it end after 18 seconds.
Moving to the other big title and the WWE Championship has seen a few crackers, but has also brought us some absolute stinkers. It would be controversial and somewhat ironic to suggest Hogan v Andre from WM3, seeing as we booked it to main event our Ultimate Wrestlemania. More than any other, this match embodies the spirit of Wrestlemania. In fact to many casual fans this is the Wrestlemania match. On the other hand, it was a bit shit in terms of actual wrestling action. I will however make my peace with this, and similar matches from the early ‘Manias, because they are the soul of Wrestlemania. What these matches lacked in wrestling skill they made up for in aura surrounding them.
A couple of WWE Championship matches that did not have this aura however are Sid v The Undertaker from WM13 and the nonsense involving Bret Hart, Yokozuna and (of course) Hulk Hogan at WM9. I am also going to put the Iron Man match from WM12 on the table, I thought it was tedious and boring. I wouldn’t have minded this, except it lasted over an hour.
Craig: I really am struggling to think of a better World Heavyweight Title match than that duffer from last year’s ‘mania. The WWF title one is certainly difficult to call. Jamie mentioned Sid v Taker from WM13 but it’s also possible to include Sid’s other Wrestlemania main event – at 8 v Hogan, albeit that’s not for the tile – in the worst Wrestlemania card. Slaughter v Hogan at WM7 was poor also, Slaughter was well past his best by that stage. However, I’d like to put forward Diesel v HBK from Wrestlemania 11. An ok match with completely the wrong result with the very limited Diesel leaving the show with the title.
Of course, only one can go Hogan match can go in so that will be tricky to narrow down. In terms of The Undertaker’s worst that has to be his “match” with Giant Gonzales at WM9. A horror show from a horror card. It is arguably the worst Wrestlemania match in history as well.
HBK v Hart is filled with restholds and is certainly worthy of consideration. Is that worse, though, than his bout against Vince?
In terms of divas match, what about the one from WM24 where Santina Marrello became Miss Wrestlemania?
Other sure fire inclusions are Brock v Goldberg and Cole v Lawler, right?
Jamie: Absolutely. Giant Gonzalez v Taker is a certainty, as is Bret Hart v Vince McMahon. This was just plain awkward to watch, a very odd match indeed. It is also the ideal fit for the grudge match slot. Grudge matches are almost always good at the very least, this being the exception to the rule.
There are a lot of Divas matches to choose from, problem is there has never been a complete disaster to stand out from the generally crap standard that has been set. My vote would go to last year’s effort when some skinny celebrity woman, who was supposedly injured, managed to pin Beth Phoenix in a dire tag match. they could have at least had Eve do the job, awful booking.
I think purely for the mess at the end involving Papa Shango, Hogan v Sid should main event. Could I also suggest Jake Roberts v Rick Martel in the blindfold match from WM7? One man blind folded is OK for a couple of minutes (see Team Hell No from a couple of weeks ago) but both men in a singles match wearing blindfolds? No thanks, not for me.
Goldust vs. Roddy Piper from WM12 was very silly, but was oddly entertaining in a ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ kind of way.
Craig: We were light on multiple men matches last week so can I nominate the six man tag from Wrestlemania 3. Hillbilly Jim and two midgets v Bundy and two midgets that end with all five midgets goin after Bundy. To think Bundy headlined the previous mania.
Any thoughts on tag titles match?
Jamie: Sold on the Bundy match, what a spectacular fall from grace. A tag match is maybe a little harder to find because when the tag scene is bad they tend not to even bother booking a title match. How about the awful Men on a Mission vs The Quebecers from WM10? This ended in a count out too. The same could be said for the IC title too. In recent times the IC and US Champs could be found in a Money in the Bank match, if booked at all.
Craig: Agreed regarding the tag tiles match. Men on a Mission were hopeless. Cannot believe just how long Mabel/Viscera spent with the WWF. To be fair to him, he was only in his early 20s come WM10 but it was still a dreadful match. He’s currently 41, incredible really when you consider he started in the WWF around 20 years ago.
Anyway, the IC title is a tough one. It’s only in fairly recent memory that the belt has ceased having the same significance as once did. The IC titles previously featured high on cards and there have been some classic Wrestlemania IC title bouts. Rocky v Sultan at 13 has to be a contender. Rocky was still very green and The Sultan was just rubbish. Or what about Rey’s 21 second victory over JBL at WM25? Or further back in time the Savage v George Steele match at WM2 was predictably hopeless. Any thoughts on what to go for?
So far we have decided on:
Diesel v HBK, Hogan v Sid, Brock v Goldberg, WM3 six man, MOM v The Quebecers, Daniel Bryan v Sheamus, Cole v Lawler, Vince v Bret, Taker v Gonzales, Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos v Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres and Roberts v Martel.
So just need an IC title match then as the divas one covers the celeb angle. Unless any other dud wrestlemania matches particularly jump out?
Has Lashley v Umaga been mentioned yet? To think that was a high profile match at Wrestlemania 23…
Jamie: I had thought about Rocky v The Sultan and it probably is the worst of the lot. It was a competent, television quality match but lacked any heat or backstory. The angle at the end with Rocky’s Dad should have been run in the build-up because it just came accross as a Raw (or superstars) match. Rey v JBL is probably worse but we already have Sheamus and Daniel Bryan short changing the fans in under a minute. Plus, at least Rey and JBL popped the crowd, something Rocky Maivia couldn’t manage.
I think Umaga/Lashley did get a brief mention. The action may have been awful but this was always a stipulation centred match and in that respect it did not disappoint.
Craig: So, are we justifying Umaga v Lashley because expectations were that it would be shit anyway? Such a justification, whilst apt, makes it tricky not to then include it but happy not to.
Have we finished another sermon in record time?
Jamie: No no, the match had no right to suck. A match involving a celebrity can almost be written off, but when two full time workers are involved (one of which was a very good performer) then there should be no reason to expect a farse. I am just arguing that our expectations of this match were met. Good, bad or indifferent, nobody was bothered about the actual match. The main and only purpose of this bout was to see Vince or Donald Trump get shaved bald, and we got exactly what was advertised.
If we include this match, which was garbage, then we have to include the aftermath, which was absolutely priceless and in no way deserving of a spot on the Ultimate Crap Wrestlemania.
I would say that’s us done. Some real shiters on this card!
Ultimate Worst Wrestlemania Card
*WWF Champion Diesel v Shawn Michaels (WM11)
*Hulk Hogan v Sid Justice (WM8)
*World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan v Sheamus (WM28)
*WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia v The Sultan (WM13)
*Brock Lesnar v Goldberg (WM20)
*The Undertaker v Giant Gonzales (WM9)
*WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers v Men on a Mission (WM10)
*Bret Hart v Vince McMahon (WM26)
*Michael Cole v Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler (WM27)
*Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos v Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres (WM28)
*King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook v Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver (WM3)
*Blindfold match: Jake Roberts v Rick Martel (WM7)