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Top 5: Worst WrestleMania Moments

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Michael Cole WrestleMania

WrestleMania Moments seem like bigger goals for a WWE Superstar than championships. What was once a saying busted out one time by Jim Ross during Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock has become the backbone of WWE. WrestleMania has become the one show a year that everybody cares about, and every moment is apparently a WrestleMania Moment.

Thing is: not every WrestleMania Moment is great. Some of them are downright stinky. Some moments that are meant to be epic end up coming off as anything but. Some moments are so hideous that you wonder why they were even thought of. The week before WrestleMania seems like as good a time as any to remind everybody of this.

I left off pretty much anything to do with irrelevant celebrities because we all knew those moments were going to stink anyway. The Miller Lite Catfight Girls’ Pillow Fight was never going to take up space in the highlight reel. Snooki wasn’t going to have a five star match. Howard Finkel joining the Hair Club For Men wasn’t meant for anything more than a laugh.

These are the Top 5 Worst WrestleMania Moments.

5. Sting vs. Triple H (WrestleMania XXXI)

I know I’m in a minority on this one. I remember watching this as it unfolded & also watching my Twitter feed explode with positivity & people marking out for all of the random appearances. Everybody from DX came out to help Triple H. Everybody from the NWO came out to help Sting. Eventually Triple H got the win & everybody ended up showing mutual respect.

I had so many problems with all of this. Sting losing his only WrestleMania match doesn’t even make my list, because the winner & loser here didn’t particularly matter. Here’s what I was confused by:

-Why was the NWO helping Sting? Sure, he joined the Wolfpac when they were feuding with NWO Hollywood, but that was because of his unending loyalty to Lex Luger. He never fully forgave Hogan or most of the other NWO guys.

-Why would Sting show Triple H respect after he was beaten by a sledgehammer shot? The whole reason Sting came to WWE to begin with was his disapproval of the Authority & their evil ways. Why would Triple H cheating to beat him magically change his mind on the matter?

-Was this match booked for any other reason than to prove that WWE > WCW? And why were they still obsessed with reiterating that point more than a decade later?

I know a lot of you probably liked it. To me, it was a gigantic waste of time. I can see these guys in their prime on WWE Network. I didn’t need to see them stumbling around here.

4. Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon (WrestleMania XXVI)

This is another one that will probably make people mad. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the fact that Bret finally came back to WWE & made amends with everybody involved with the Montreal Screwjob. It was time to let bygones be bygones & give Bret the historical spotlight that he deserves.

We could have skipped the on-screen feud with Mr. McMahon though. We also could have skipped the “match” at WrestleMania, which was as embarrassing to watch as I feared going in. Bret has obviously never been the same physically since his stroke, and Vince wasn’t exactly an athletic marvel whenever his prime would have been. Watching Vince get heat on Bret & the young Harts coming down to help was sad more than anything else. Harry, TJ & Nattie are all great in their own way, but this didn’t do them any favors.

Bret vs. Vince was very similar to the later Sting vs. HHH match. They both appealed to nostalgia in very flawed ways. Many didn’t care the presentation was flawed & were simply happy to see their old favorites. I would have rather remembered my old favorites the way they were. There’s probably more money to be made the former way, of course.

3. Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler (WrestleMania XXVII)

It was nice that The King finally got to have a match at WrestleMania. That is the only good thing that can be said about this atrocity. After we sat through months of Michael Cole crapping on everybody on the WWE roster & burying the product to the point of no return, Lawler was set to shut him up at WrestleMania. We got a couple of fun matches with Lawler vs. The Miz out of the buildup, so that was pretty cool. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guest referee for some damn reason. I still can’t believe they wasted him on this.

After fourteen minutes of in-ring action that felt like forty due to Cole getting to do most of the offense, Lawler got the win by making Cole submit to an ankle lock. The Anonymous Raw General Manager then reversed the decision due to Austin’s biased officiating. But hey, Austin got to stun some announcers nobody cared about. Just a tremendous waste of time and the exact opposite of a WrestleMania Moment.

2. Hulk Hogan Wins the WWF Championship (WrestleMania IX)

Even as a kid this whole thing didn’t feel right. Bret Hart was about to defeat Yokozuna & retain the WWF Championship when Mr. Fuji threw salt in Bret’s eyes while he was applying the Sharpshooter. Yoko wound up getting the pin in less than legitimate fashion. Hulk Hogan came down due to his outrage, & Fuji issued an open challenge to Hogan right then & there. Bret seemingly approved, and Hulk ran in & beat Yoko in a minute.

It was supposed to pop the crowd, which it did, but it felt a bit off & didn’t show anybody in a positive light. Hogan beat a 500 pound man who had just been through a grueling match & was worn out. Yoko needed Fuji to beat Bret, & couldn’t beat Hulk. Fuji looked like an idiot for issuing a challenge to Hulk Hogan while his champion was sucking so much wind that the first three rows passed out from oxygen deprivation. Bret looked like a gullible fool that was fine with the Hulkster stealing his thunder & spot on top of the mountain.

This could have made sense if it was leading to a full-time Hulk comeback, or even a part-time one. Instead it led to Hogan dropping the title at King of the Ring back to Yokozuna while Bret Hart twiddled his thumbs & waited for his big match with the Hulkster. I think he got one in WCW, but I’m not 100% sure. They gave stuff like that away on Nitro all the time.

Honorable Mention: Big Show vs. Akebono (WrestleMania 21)

Five words: Big Show in a diaper.

Honorable Mention: Sheamus Beats Daniel Bryan In 18 Seconds (WrestleMania XXVIII)

This would be an easy top 5 pick if it didn’t build up a tremendous amount of goodwill for Bryan. I’ve grown to appreciate it for that alone. The only problem is that the guy it was actually supposed to get over, Sheamus, got less than nothing out of it. The assertion that the outcome was WWE’s goal all along doesn’t pass the laugh test.

1. “Santina Marella” Wins Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal (WrestleMania XXV)

This train wreck had a couple of parts. First, we were treated to the musical stylings of future WWE Hall of Famer Kid Rock.

We all have our opinions when it comes to music & politics. I won’t subject you to mine here, other than to say that I am no fan of what Kid Rock brings to the table. The various Divas entered in the battle royal got to walk out during Rock’s final song & if you could identify most of them you’re a better man than I. Let’s run down the list:

Alicia Fox
Beth Phoenix
Brie Bella
Eve Torres
Gail Kim
Jackie Gayda
Jillian Hall
Joy Giovanni
Katie Lea Burchill
Layla
Maria
Maryse
Melina
Michelle McCool
Mickie James
Molly Holly
Natalya
Nikki Bella
Rosa Mendes
Sunny
Tiffany
Torrie Wilson
Victoria

Some of these folks hadn’t been seen in years. Sunny? Joy? Molly Holly dressed in her original Holly cousin persona? They all came back here with little notice from anybody because it was a battle royal with way too many people in it that went 7:25, and nobody got entrances because Kid Rock had to sing. Most of these women would have been a viable winner because it’s a battle royal & who really cares, right?

They managed to choose the worst possible option.

“Santina Marella”. The alleged twin sister of Santino Marella, who emerged during the build-up to this match because…hell, I don’t know why. Somebody was really high that day I guess. Santino’s humor was popular with fans at the time & this gave him something to do. It was simply really stupid at the time. Hindsight makes it look really really stupid.

The tone of women’s wrestling in WWE has flipped 180 degrees in the nine years since somebody thought this was a good idea. Thank God. I guess the real question is if naming the Women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal after Santina Marella would have gone over better than the attempt at naming it after Fabulous Moolah.


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Stop Taking Pro Wrestling So Seriously; The Wrestlers Don’t

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This past Monday, Dolph Ziggler returned to RAW as part of WWE’s roster shakeup. I waited in anticipation for Wrestling Twitter to, once again, hit us over the head with how poorly Dolph’s being used, how he should quit WWE and go work for Ring of Honor or IMPACT Wrestling, etc. Typically, a good many of them didn’t disappoint. Folks, I think Dolph is a supremely talented performer and gifted athlete. I also think he’d be out of his mind to leave WWE for ROH or IMPACT, unless, of course, he’s tired of being showcased to millions of people each week.

The greatest trick pro wrestlers have ever played on fans was convincing us they care about their match as much as we do. Most of them don’t (nor should they), because their paycheck is, ultimately, what matters. Now, before you get all up in arms about this, understand what I’m saying. I’m not telling you professional wrestlers don’t take pride in the product they present to you. I’m not telling you they don’t bust their asses to entertain every last one of us who regularly haunt the VFWs, theaters, and arenas all across this glorious world. Damn near every single last one of them do just that, and it’s greatly appreciated by me, someone who’s been a fan of the genre for close to 35 years. However, when I hear or read someone say something like “Dolph is being wasted; he should go to IMPACT”, the sheer weight of the stupidity of such a statement forces my head onto the nearest table and I have to rest for awhile.

Good people of the internets and beyond, Dolph Ziggler’s accountant disagrees with you, verily. Dolph Ziggler’s agent disagrees with you as well. Hell, Dolph Ziggler disagrees with you, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have re-signed with WWE the last time his contract came up for renegotiation. Dolph has been getting paid handsomely to stare up at the lights in front of fifteen thousand people a night for a large part of the last decade. Sure, I guess “hulkin’ up” and dropping a leg in front of the same fifteen thousand people would be better, but what about being the World Champion of a promotion that bounced checks and couldn’t draw flies (unless “flies” were largely indifferent goofs who wandered into a building after too much butterbeer ice cream and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts)? Is that better, and if so, why? Because he might’ve won more matches? Because he could have “gotten a real run as World Champion”? Why in the world would that matter? It’s not real life. Hulk Hogan never actually beat anyone.

I love that so many fans are still so passionate about Dolph, despite everything WWE has done to make us not care about him, but far too often the passion we have for our favorites is misplaced. Cheer or boo for them (if you want), play fantasy booker, but do your best to stop short of managing their career path. You’re only putting yourself in a poor mood over something they very likely don’t care much about. Pro Wrestling is entertainment for us. It’s a job for them. I’ve always loved when a fan gets angry at a wrestler for not watching their own show. I mean, do you go hang out at your job for free on your days off? If you do, stop reading this article immediately and seek help.

Look, a big part of a wrestler’s job to make us suspend disbelief, not for they themselves to do so. With the amount of (mostly pointless) risks many of them are now taking, most of these men and women aren’t gonna be doing this line of work into their mid-40s. You’d better believe it would behoove every last one of them to maximize their earning potential, sock away as much money as they can, and leave the ‘marking out’ to the fans. I’ve been to WrestleCon, and let’s just say the autograph lines are not the same for everyone.


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Drew McIntyre Can Make Dolph Ziggler Matter Again

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Credit: WWE/YouTube

At one point, it seemed like the entire WWE Universe was behind Dolph Ziggler. But 2012 and 2013 feels like a long time ago to fans, and it probably feels like an even longer time ago for the Showoff himself. The veteran performer hasn’t clicked in any role creative has tried to carve out for him over the last few years.

Ziggler was a lousy gatekeeper, stifling any chance Baron Corbin or Shinsuke Nakamura had at a red-hot start by engaging them in boring, paint-by-numbers feuds upon their respective debuts. Mocking the entrances of some of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the business didn’t generate much of anything besides get-off-my-television heat, and the record scratch is just downright obnoxious.

It seemed like the 37-year-old was on the way out in 2017, but he ended up re-signing what was reportedly a lucrative two-year contract to stick with the WWE this past January. His United States Championship non-reign was baffling, as was his whiff as entrant No. 30 in the most recent Royal Rumble.

All of this is to say that the WWE has been scrapping the bottom of the barrel while trying to find something worthwhile — and more importantly, entertaining — for Ziggler to do on television. His in-ring work has always been top notch; it’s just that he hasn’t been involved in a fun storyline in what feels like forever.

Creative’s latest attempt to make Ziggler relevant again, however, just might be crazy enough to work.

With the superstar shakeup well underway this past Monday night, Ziggler strutted to the ring to cut a promo. We heard a lot of the same material from him as he condescendingly spoke to the crowd about how he always steals the show, and it seemed like this was going to be the same ol’ Ziggler; lacking in self-awareness and aloof to the fact that he hadn’t hijacked a pay-per-view in years.

Then a stick of dynamite went off in the form of Drew McIntyre.

With Titus Worldwide attempting to recruit Ziggler into their ranks, the former NXT Champion hit the ring like gangbusters. A new alliance has seemingly been formed between the Prodigal Son and the Showoff, and there’s plenty of substance in place to make it work.

These two performers have a lot in common, after all.

Ziggler has been fighting for the respect of fans, peers and presumably Vince McMahon since he arrived with the company in 2005. Starting off as a member of the Spirit Squad will set you back a few notches, that’s for sure. He overcame the initial awful gimmick, though, and became a world champion. No one can take that away from him.

McIntyre knows a thing or two about being saddled with a dreadful upon debuting.

He wasn’t able to wash off the stink of 3MB before the WWE decided to release him in the summer of 2014. McIntyre didn’t lose hope and instead reinvented himself on the independent circuit. Within two years of being let go by the largest wrestling company on the planet, the Ayr, Scottland native had turned Drew Galloway into one of the hottest brands in the business.

His promos were incredible, and his purpose was clear: put Scottish wrestling on the map and get back to the WWE in the process.

An unfortunate injury derailed what would have been a memorable run as NXT champion, but the fact that he debuted on the main roster instead of heading back down to developmental should tell you everything you need to know about McIntyre’s stock moving forward. While he isn’t currently positioned as a top guy on Raw, don’t be surprised to see him in the ring with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns within the next year or two.

And it appears that Ziggler will be right there alongside him. McIntyre is magnetic enough to make Dolph Ziggler seem cool again. This is the Prodigal Son who stuck around teaming with the Prodigal Son who had to go elsewhere to make it work, and that could create a remarkably interesting dynamic between the two.

It’s not clear yet if Ziggler will simply be a manager or if the two will be tag-teaming, but this looks like a great gamble by the WWE. Pump some like into Dolph’s career while immediately lending some legitimacy to McIntyre for more casual fans. Instead of being the gatekeeper that Drew has to beat, Ziggler is the Trojan Horse that McIntyre snuck onto Monday Night Raw inside.

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CheapShots: Carmella’s Cash-In Is A Win…Even If You’re Not A Carmella Fan

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Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!

So, by now, everyone’s heard that after several failed attempts, Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella, has successfully cashed in her briefcase on Charlotte and is now the SmackDown Women’s Champion. A lot of fans were perplexed by WWE booking Charlotte to beat Asuka’s streak at WrestleMania, only to lose her title to Carmella on SmackDown, even though it took a beatdown by the debuting Iconics to make her success possible.

Carmella

Carmella’s successful cash-in is important and should be celebrated, even if you’re not a fan of Carmella’s:

  1. It frees Charlotte to go back to RAW. Charlotte has done very well on SmackDown, but I know a lot of fans are anxious for her to go back to RAW.
  2. It keeps Carmella on SmackDown. I know some fans want her to go to RAW, but I think keeping her on SmackDown would be a better idea right now.
  3. It makes the Women’s Money in the Bank Look Legit: After all the BS with how Carmella won the briefcase, WWE needed to have her win or have the Women’s Money in the Bank look like a joke.
  4. It elevates Carmella. Carmella has really suffered from a lack of direction for a few months now and her failed cash-in were starting to hurt her in the eyes of fans. For her to beat Charlotte and have a successful cash-in really helps her over the long run, plus it gives her a chance to shine and show her skills in the spotlight.

I know Carmella isn’t everyone’s favorite, but her getting the title is a breath of fresh air, a nice surprise, and opens up new feud possibilities for SmackDown going forward. Am I guaranteeing that her first run is going to be great? No, but it is a change and Carmella has come a long way from her days as Enzo Amore’s hairdresser on NXT, watching her grow as a champion will be fun to watch.


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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