Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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April 4, 2003

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As many of you know, I love my wrestling -- and yes, I know it's fake. But hey, as soap operas go wrestling is far better than Days of our Lives and Passions -- even at its worst.

Unfortunately, wrestling pay-per-views are not available this year to Australian viewers and this pisses me off. However, Village cinemas, in their infinite wisdom, decided to get a satellite feed of the pay-per-views this year and are showing them in their cinemas. This also means that they can then charge $25 per patron for a ticket and hence make a nice profit ta boot.

Anyway, Wrestlemania is the biggest wrestling pay-per-view of the year. It’s a massive four hours long and usually has the most exciting matches, interesting plot twists, a whole bunch of celebrities, semi-famous commercial stars and often old retired wrestlers turn up. This year's nineteenth Wrestlemania was no different. Here’s my quick rundown.

Live from Seattle, Washington, Wrestlemania started with its “We support our country" shit by having Ashanti sing “America the Beautiful”. Now I wouldn’t necessarily mind this, as usually they have someone sing this song every now and then on the show, but when the pictures of the troops started flashing on the screen I almost went mental. I don’t care if you're pro- or anti-war: I don’t want it in my wrestling.

First up was the Cruiserweight title match: Matt Hardy Version 1(Champion) vs Rey Mysterio. The Cruiserweight division of wrestling is by far the most exciting division as all the wrestlers are below 220 pounds and are usually very acrobatic in their style. Rey Mysterio being the best of this lot as he is a Mexican wrestler and the Mexican wrestlers are considered to be the most acrobatic in the world. Rey had his outfit designed as a cross between his usual outfit with mask and the suit Affleck wears in the "Daredevil" film. Matt Hardy’s entrance was like a media player style with interesting facts about Matt like “this was his fourth Wrestlemania” and “he wonders how they did Wrestlemania without him” This got a huge laugh from the crowd. Unfortunately, as wrestling is a soap opera Rey was “screwed” out of his victory and Matt Hardy Version 1.

For some reason lately the WWE has been going through this lesbian angle or insinuating lesbian behaviour. This was probably why the Miller Light Cat Fight Girls were shown arriving between this match and the next.

The next match involved The Undertaker vs A-Train (the hairiest man in wrestling) and the Big Show (the slowest man in wrestling). Australia’s own Nathan Jones was meant to be involved in this match but what I’ve seen of him sucks so no wonder they had him “knocked out” before the show. This match was boring as hell as those who know wrestling know that The Undertaker is never defeated at Wrestlemania and I doubt he will before he retires. What I did like was that they had Limp Bizkit on hand to play their song “Rollin” which is also one of The Undertaker’s entrance themes while he came in. Nathan Jones did eventually turn up and spin kick Big Show but hey, there was no real surprise there.

Now back to the Miller Light Cat Fight girls, who run into two of the WWE’s Divas -- Torrie Wilson who is in this month’s playboy and Stacy Keibler. Quick banter that promotes the playboy and the wrestler’s then onto the next match

Known to many as the piss break match, the Women’s Title match started. Tradition held at the Village Cinema, as many people went to the toilet or went to get food while the match was on, but I stayed to see what would happen: after all, I had paid $25 to watch. In a triple threat match, we get three competitor going for the title and by pinning either of your opponents you can win the belt. The match was as expected and Trish Stratus, the very lovely blonde, won. Quick sidebar: that Tatu song “All the things she said” is the entrance music for the ex-Women’s Champion, Victoria. (Lesbians again!)

Now a quick promo from The Rock (who happens to be a heel currently). He is one of the best people at doing these promos, and sometimes you can see the throw back to the Hulk Hogan/Mean Gene days of pre-match interviews in them. Anyway, usual "I’m gonna beat Stone Cold Steve Austin tonight" stuff.

Another Triple Threat match, but this time for the WWE Tag Titles. A very good match to watch, but pure time-filler, as no real plot points happen. All three teams – Team Angle (Charlie Hass and Shelton Benjamin), Chavo and Eddie Guerros and Rhyno and Chris Benoit all doing their best to put on a good show.

Next – back in the locker room with the Cat Fight Girls and the Divas who end up in a cat fight, which they decide to settle in the ring/bed. (now, I was pissed at this as they removed the World Tag Team Title match for this – hello, priorities people).

Now we go into the best matches of the night: Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho. This feud has been going on since December and finally came to a head. This was by far one of the best matches of the event. Both men giving their all, especially Shawn who has a very bad back problem but still willing to put it all on the line for the fans, this was proven by his win and the mutual acknowledgment between opponents.

We then have another piss break by having Limp Bizkit come back and play the theme song for the event. It is after all a four hour show. And to make sure everyone can go they have the Catfight where all four ladies rip each others tops off until they decide to gang up on the ref. What a load of shit this was.

Ahh Match #7 -- The Raw Brand Title Defence, between Triple H (Champion) and Booker T. Now I’m a huge fan of Booker T, he’s funny he’s quite athletic and would make a great champion. However, I guess because Triple H is engaged to the boss's daughter he can get whatever he wants. Since being given the belt Triple H has lost it just once and that was to Shawn Michaels for one month and most likely for sentimental reasons alone. Since he won it back, he’s fought Scott Steiner -- who should rightfully be the title holder -- twice, and Booker T at Wrestlemania. Booker T so looked like he was gonna be given a shot at being the top dog in the yard, but bullshit politics once again see Triple H walking out of another pay-per-view with the title. Sometimes I really hate watching wrestling.

On to the old timer match. This match was dubbed the "twenty years in the making" match and for some reason I knew it was gonna be bad. Hulk Hogan doesn’t realise he’s old and still thinks he should wrestle. I think Vince McMahon does as well. The Hulkster is fifty years old this year and when he wrestles he looks it. Vince is almost sixty. I think these two need to see the light and retire. However, that being said, this match was a streetfight (no rules, basically) and was not too painful to watch. The highlight was seeing Rowdy Roddy Piper turn up and clock Hogan, only for Hogan to “Hulk” up and win the match.

The match we had been waiting for: Austin vs The Rock. We’ve seen this match happen at two previous Wrestlemanias. These two superstars perform brilliantly, and this year was no exception, with the winner being The Rock, only to set up a new feud which began the next night where The Rock claimed he had done it all in the WWE and beaten everyone, only to have Bill Goldberg (ex-WCW superstar) turn up and challenge him.

Our main event for this Wrestlemania was Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle. Now I read a lot of the backstage gossip and reports on wrestling so I knew that this match was gonna be good for two reasons. 1) Both of these guys are company men and really do step up when needed and 2) Kurt Angle has majorly damaged his neck and if he’s gonna go out for a while he’s gonna go out on a great match. This match did not disappoint, except when Brock Lesnar who is 6 foot 3 inches [the SmackDown! website says 6'4", Jake! -- a friend], tried to do a high flying move and almost killed himself in the process. He did win in the end but I presume someone had to tell him about what happened after he recovered.

Wrestlemania is one of those pay per views where the wrestlers always go hard and perform their best. There’s too much history for them not to. So to you people who say wrestling is fake, I ask you to watch this event and then make up your mind. Wrestling is not fake: only scripted, like ballet and "Popstars".

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HEY, KIDS! Hit the WWE website to find out what Sgt. Slaughter has to say to our troops in the Gulf!


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