March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Wrestlemania 20 – The lost main event

You probably won’t hear about the real main event from Wrestlemania 20 in the lead up to Wrestlemania 30. If you ask the WWE why, the moment never happened. Chris Benoit is a pariah who murdered his wife and child and should never be referenced ever again. True. His actions out of the ring were inexcusable, but for purposes of this card, we’re going to strictly focus on the Chris Benoit we want to remember: the high-level performer finally getting his chance to be at the top of the mountain.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at Wrestlemania XX.

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Wrestlemania XX (Results)

Date: March 14, 2004

Arena: Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.)

Attendance: 18,000

SUMMARY: Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit had worked all around the world, seeking to be considered among the best of the wrestling world. Guerrero won the WWE title from Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, putting him on top of his respective brand, while Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble winner meaning he was a victory away from standing side by side with his good friend atop of the WWE. Benoit, however found himself in the middle of a blood feud between Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Michaels interrupted Benoit’s contract signing, delivering Sweet Chin Music to Benoit and signing the contract before Benoit did. Because Benoit couldn’t lose his title shot, Wrestlemania, for the first time ever, was going to have a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight title in main event. Guerrero, on the other hand, had to defend his title against a motivated Kurt Angle.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: B-minus

FAVORITE MATCH: Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero. There’s something about these two guys working that is something special. I’m sure they had better matches on other cards, but on this card they produced a solid match that was the easily best of the card. Their mat work was entertaining. The “lying, cheating, stealing” Eddie Guerrero was such a fun character. His creativity with the character was amazing. It was refreshing to see well-done comedy work into the main event scene, and Angle is perfect the guy to play off of in that spot. The match started off slow, but once it got into a groove, it was easily the best match of the card with a fun finish.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: The Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight title was good too. Like the Angle vs. Guerrero match, the match started slow, but once the match picked up steam it was great. The drama at the end was heightened when Triple H was close to the ropes and looked like a rope break was coming. But then Benoit executed a roll back to the center of the ring. You wondered if Shawn Michaels would come in and break up the hold, but when Triple H began tapping out, the crowd exploded, giving us a great Wrestlemania moment that the WWE will likely scrub from its history. Another key moment from Wrestlemania 20 was John Cena’s victory in the opening match. Cena is significantly smaller than he is now, and was far more a fan favorite with his cheesy raps and rough-around-the-edges gimmick. The match itself wasn’t great, but it’s always nice to see where John Cena started from before becoming a main event staple over the next decade.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: This card was brutally long. There was a lot of moments that didn’t feel like they belonged at Wrestlemania. In fact, the longer the show went the worst it felt. By having it go four hours, the show was cheapened. There were also too many multiple-man matches. There were two sudden-death, fatal-four way tag team title matches, which was just boring and dragged the show down. Then there was the Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg match. To get an idea of how bad this match was, we have to go back to the build-up. The story leading into the match felt like Lesnar and the guest referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin were going to have a match, and Goldberg was just Austin’s bald, goatee-owning proxy. The match was terrible, and was the first true example of show hijacking with the crowd more focused on entertaining themselves during a God-awful match.

RANDOM THOUGHT: “‘Let’s go Cena’ chants aren’t the same without the following action.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: This card was just too long. It clocked in at more than four hours, and the length was the show could be felt during this show. Many parts of the show just dragged on, and there was way too much filler. While Wrestlemania is supposed to be something special, and this show didn’t feel that way. It felt like an extra long version of a normal pay-per-view. There weren’t any gimmick matches to add spectacle. The closest was the Crusierweight title battle royal, which wasn’t great. There wasn’t a lot of great matches.  The main event matches – Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H – were plagued with the same problem. They started slow before finding footing late. The Rock N Sock Connection’s return produced a good match, but it wasn’t Wrestlemania caliber outside of having The Rock as an attraction. In all, Wrestlemania XX isn’t by any means a bad Wrestlemania, but given the good its predecessors were, Wrestlemania XX was a letdown.

  1. Wrestlemania XIX (Review)
  2. Wrestlemania X-7 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania X-8 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 15 (Review)
  8. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 14 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 20
  11. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  14. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  15. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  18. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  19. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  20. Wrestlemania 9 (Imagine a card full of Brock vs. Goldbergs)
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