Sunday, 30 March 2003

WWE Wrestlemania XIX - TV Review

Over the past couple of years many fans have said that Wrestlemania isn't that special any more, that because we now have a pay-per view, a big show, every four weeks, that Wrestlemania is just another big show. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's wrong.

Despite some disappointments, the WWE showed that they can still pull out all the stops as far as the big one is concerned. Wrestlemania showed that it is indeed the grand-daddy of them all.

However, there were some low spots on the card. The first involved the moving of the Raw tag-team title match to Sunday Night Heat. The WWE seems to go through fazes where the tag-team division isn't up to much, and the match pitting the "recognised" champions, Sean Morley and Lance Storm, against the mongrel team of Kane and Rob Van Dam proved this. It also proved that there is perhaps something wrong with the career direction of both Kane and RVD at the moment. Just a few months ago they were headlining pay-per-views with World title shots. Now they can't even get onto the pay-per-view card itself.

The Smackdown tag-team title match, as well as the Cruiserweight title match, were also slightly disappointing, mainly because they were a tad too short. Matt Hardy v Rey Mysterio was a good way of opening the show, but it would have been nice if the match had been twice as long as it was. As for Team Angle's victory, Haas and Benjamin are two fine wrestlers, but you have to wonder what's next in the career of Chris Benoit.

The Raw World Title match was a foregone conclusion. The world and his wife know all about the backstage political machinations of Triple H, so it wasn't surprising that he beat Booker T. But the fact that one fan was seen reading a newspaper during this bout says it all about the Raw title right now.

One is also left to wonder just why Nathan Jones was hired in the first place, and just when he is actually going to compete in a proper match?

The Women's title match, pitting the three best female grapplers in the company against each other was highly entertaining, and showed that as far as women go, the WWE doesn't have to resort to HLA to entertain it's fans. Mind you, they kind of spoiled things with those cat fight girls not long afterwards!

Steve Austin v The Rock, chapter three, was a good match, but I couldn't help but have the "been there, done that" kind of feeling while I was watching the match.

The definite highlights for me were the three matches that received the best build-up. Shawn Michaels' effort against Chris Jericho was by far his best match since his in-ring return at Summerslam last August, and was Jericho's best match in quite a while.

The Vince McMahon/Hulk Hogan match was better than I thought it would be. Despite having a combined age of over 100, and the fact that McMahon isn't really a wrestler, they both turned it up a notch in this bloodfest. Nice to see the return of Rowdy Roddy Piper as well.

The final match pitting Brock Lesnar against Kurt Angle may have been a let down to some, but considering that Angle was suffering from a severe neck injury, and of course Lesnar's botched shooting star press, they pulled it off, putting on a match worthy of it's status.

Even though the only new-ish star to receive elevation was Brock Lesnar, Wrestlemania could still be considered a success.