Joel: It took twenty years, but it seems like WWE has finally figured out how to make a good WrestleMania. Not that this is the first good Mania or even the best one so far. The three before this one all all probably better quality than XX was itself, but up until this point WrestleMania quality seemed to vary wildly from year to year. If we take WrestleMania X7 as an example (which at this point is still the best WrestleMania we’ve seen so far) watching that show, it feels like all the stars had to align just so and everything had to happen exactly when it did for the show to come out as good as it was. It’s finally starting to feel like WWE has figured out what makes a good and a bad WrestleMania as a whole and aren’t relying so much on hoping things work out. WrestleMania has been good for a few shows now and that streak of WrestleManias are more good than bad is going to run till about WrestleMania 27.
The incredibly long runtime on this particular WrestleMania can make it a bit of a struggle. I would recommend watching the show in several smaller segments. There’s not much that’s really bad on the show but that much wrestling in one sitting can really wear you down. The Evolution vs Rock and Sock match was fine but knowing that Orton’s match with Mick Foley is just a month away, I kind of wish that we had gotten that match instead. The highlights are what you’d expect them to be, namely the two title matches, and the Brock and Goldberg match is really just an interesting to observe all these years later especially with the crowd during the show.
:Kue: Not sure what all was supposed to begin again. However, the event was a solid one. Even without any real story involving these titles going into Mania, both tag team fatal four ways and the cruiserweight open were fun matches. Jericho/Christian was great. Cena/Show and Taker/Kane weren’t good matches at all, but definitely player to the crowd and established (or re-established) the legitimacy of the winners. And Lesner/Goldberg was so bad, it was a fantastic spectacle, thanks to the NYC crowd.
The top title matches were incredibly special. Not only were they exceptional matches in their own right, they brilliantly legitimized two new main eventers. Guerrero’s wile and cunning and Benoit’s tenacity were really shining, and the fans responded with well-deserved support and emotion, all the way to the timeless moment of the two celebrating at the close.
It may not break my top five Manias of all time, but the two title matches certainly are in my top five Mania matches.
Sanders: Holy balls this one felt like a marathon. If you watched on the WWE Network, like I did, the show clocked in at just over 4 ½ hours and that’s what you get when you put 12 matches on a card but even beyond that, it felt like just about every match ran a little too long. Hell, I felt like the pay per view could’ve cut half the time if they just avoided Brock vs Goldberg. Wikipedia listed the match at only 13 minutes but it feels like an eternity with the seemingly endless amount of time they spent literally just standing and looking at each other. Even if the backstage situations didn’t exist around these two beforehand, they were justifiably boo’d because this was the definition of “phoned-in.” The most interesting part of that match was the package, it’s weird to see Brock Lesnar with a, you know, personality and I’m left to wonder what ever happened to that? Did Brock get his personality punched out of him in the UFC?
And I’m confused as to why they just didn’t pick up the barber’s chair setup once they cut to the next segment. Watching Kurt Angle make his entrance while Victoria is still going at Molly’s scalp is the dopiest thing I’ve seen and will be until we get to Santina in a few more Wrestlemanias. What, did they not want to interrupt and compromise the integrity of that quality haircut Molly was getting? THIS is why the show is 4 ½ freaking hours long!
Of course, the show did have it’s strong points. Angle vs Eddie was about as good as you’d expect. It was cool to see Phenom Undertaker make his return even if they match against Kane wasn’t exactly stellar. And the Voldemort match at the end was pretty incredible full of great moments and nothing will ever happen that will tarnish those memories, right?!
BD: WrestleMania 20 had an amazing video package to start. The event itself was okay, a few good matches – Jericho Christian, Angle Guererro, and HHH HBK Benoit are all worth watching.
Bizarre that they let 2 WCW guys take the 2 titles in what was, at that point, the biggest event the company ever had. The scene at the end with Benoit and Guererro was one of the most emotional things I’ve seen in wrestling.
… you know, if you don’t count what came later.
Nothing against Taker Kane, but like all their matches together, it’s a waste of time. Skip it.
I really do have to recommend Brock Goldberg. Both guys were leaving, neither wanted to be there, the match was horrible, the crowd shit all over it, and it got so bad that the only option was to have Austin stun both guys for no reason.
Tags: Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, clashy ring attire, Eddie Guerrero, goldberg, HHH, Shawn Michaels