The following countdown is created solely by yours truly (Mark Allen) as part of my work done at Examiner.com. The ensuing 25 entries were done solely by me and me only, and not written or voted on by any other of the Pulse Wrestling staff. So send your hate mail to me. I worked out a nice deal with Pulse Wrestling to feature this countdown concurrently as I run it on Examiner.com as well.
WrestleMania XXV is just over thirty days away. It is without legitimate argument or hyperbole that each year WrestleMania is the biggest (in terms of fans, money, recognition, notoriety and variety of other things) wrestling event of any given calendar year. Other hardoore wrestling fanatics may argue that other wrestling events are â€œbetterâ€ based on match quality or their own personal entertainment value, but no other event carries more gravitas.
This is displayed by the fact that each year other wrestling companies flock to wherever WrestleMania is held to promote their own events. Ring of Honor has been doing it for years now and will once again promote two shows during WrestleMania weekend, despite the company never promoting in Houston before this. TNA Wrestlingâ€™s Booker T. will also promote his own charity show for the "Fight for Kids Foundation" with a fundraiser called the "Legends of Wrestling Fanfest."
So in an effort to promote and celebrate twenty-five years of WrestleMania, over the next month yours truly will be presenting my own personal â€œWrestleMania Top 25.â€ Over twenty-five years, WWE has produced many memorable matches, events, moments and overall concepts that has made the company so incredibly popular and profitable.
It was incredibly hard to narrow the list down to just twenty-five moments, as my initial list was well over seventy items long. So in an effort to make the list a little easier on myself, the ensuing list will not just be a capsule of just twenty-five individual moments, but rather a combination of moments, matches, concepts and overall recurring themes that helped shape the event they call â€œThe Showcase of the Immortals.â€
I donâ€™t want to further cheat the list by including a series of â€œHonorable Mentions,â€ but I do want to make mention of one event that I did omit from the list, and that is the main event of WrestleMania XX.
For years Chris Benoit was a big hero to legions of wrestling fans for his incredible in-ring skills and ability to not only make it look â€œrealâ€ inside the ring, but also make it look easy. But because he was fairly small by wrestlingâ€™s main event star standards (under 6 foot tall and about 220 lbs.) he never really broke out in the industry. WrestleMania XX in March 2004 was his shining moment as he beat two of WWEâ€™s biggest stars ever (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) to win his one and only World Heavyweight Championship. With that victory he joined his real-life best friend and fellow â€œlittle guyâ€ Eddie Guerrero as the two reigning World Champions in WWE at the time. The end of WrestleMania XX was a great image of Benoit and Guerrero celebrating mid-ring amidst a confetti shower, validating the plight of a lot of smaller stature wrestlers who never thought they would catch a main event break in the industry. It was a moment for the fans and for many of the wrestlers themselves.
Flash forward five years later, Guerrero is dead due to heart failure and Benoit is dead after murdering his wife and son and then taking his own life in June 2007. Guerrero is looked upon fondly in the industry and revered for his accomplishments, while Benoit has all but been stricken from World Wrestling Entertainment records and is considered a big black eye on the industry. His accomplishments and past history is debated to this day by wrestling fans on whether he should be honored, disgraced or even remembered at all. For that reason I chose not to include that moment in my list at all, as personally I donâ€™t think Benoit should be stricken from records completely. I just now find it trivial to watch any match that he is in, which is really too bad as during his time he was one of the most entertaining wrestlers and was a part of many entertaining and revered matches that will no longer see the light of day for a long time, if ever again.
If things had turned out differently, Benoitâ€™s victory and subsequent celebration with Guerrero would probably be a top 10 or maybe a top 5 moment.
If you want to read more of my pro wrestling work outside of Pulse Wrestling, please check out my work as the Pro Wrestling Examiner for Examiner.com.
Tags: countdown to WrestleMania XXV, wrestlemania, WrestleMania 25