March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Money making appearance

Ten years after Mike Tyson appeared at Wrestlemania 14, Floyd Mayweather took it a step further by competing in an actual match.

With Lawrence Taylor setting the bar for first-time workers, Mayweather had a pretty big bar to reach. Did he match it?

Here’s a look back at Wrestlemania 24.

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Wrestlemania 24 (Results)

Date: March 30, 2008

Arena: Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)

Attendance: 74,635

SUMMARY: John Cena returned from a serious shoulder injury to win the Royal Rumble. Standard stuff for the build to Wrestlemania, but instead of waiting until Wrestlemania to battle for the belt, he opted to use his title shot against Randy Orton at No Way Out. Cena won the match via disqualification, but didn’t win the title. Triple H, meanwhile, wins an Elimination Chamber match to earn a shot at Orton at Wrestlemania. Cena is reinserted into the match after beating Orton on Raw, setting up another triple threat match for the WWE title. As for the World Heavyweight title, Edge and Undertaker engaged in a lengthy feud that started with Edge cashing the Money in the Bank title he won from Ken Kennedy on the Undertaker, taking the World Heavyweight title from the Deadman. Undertaker earned his shot at revenge by surviving the Elimination Chamber at No Way Out. The third main event was a special attraction where megastar Floyd Mayweather agreed to step into the ring to take on the Big Show.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: A-minus

FAVORITE MATCH: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair. “I’m sorry. I love you.”  In two sentences, Shawn Michaels summed up the story of his match with Ric Flair. Shawn Michaels’ streak of amazing performances continue here with another stellar match. Michaels and Flair tell a simple tale: a desperate, aging wrestler fighting for his career in the industry he loves against one of the top performers of the era. Michaels and Flair deliver a match for the ages, jam packed with emotion that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s truly a difficult spot for fans. On one side, you have Ric Flair who, despite his age, is someone you want to see retire on their own terms, and the other is Shawn Michaels, one of the top workers in the promotion, loved by all fans on all levels. Flair keep pace with Michaels. Those are all great elements of the match, but what captures the conundrum is when Michaels teases Sweet Chin Music, pulls up and gets locked into the figure-four leglock. At that point, you relate with Michaels. You don’t want to see Ric Flair go. You sympathize with him, but the internal struggle reaches its boiling point and Michaels comes to the conclusion on what he must do, he says the two sentences and puts a satisfying period on an amazing match.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: It was still a spotfest, but you really can’t deviate away from the formula Money in the Bank has created. That said, I liked this version of Money in the Bank. I loved the ending with Chris Jericho hanging from the ladder, allowing CM Punk to climb the ladder and earn his first MITB victory. Edge vs. Undertaker was another well-done match. If Michaels vs. Flair didn’t happen, this would have been match of the night. The triple threat match between John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H had a good story surrounding it with both Cena and Triple H looking to complete “Road to Recovery” storylines in one match was a nice touch. The ending where Triple H hit Cena with the Pedigree, followed by Orton hitting the punt was a nice finish. I will say that Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show was mildly entertaining. The posse on the outside of the ring added an element of realism, and Mayweather going over isn’t surprising in the least. Lastly, John Legend singing “America the Beautiful” was something I approved of.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: We had an 11-second title match between Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Kane. Yup. Nothing says this belt means a ton to people like losing it in 11 seconds. There was also this awful lumberjill match that was centered around Snoop Dogg. I just didn’t understand Snoop Dogg making out with Maria. I don’t think there was a point really. While there was nothing wrong with the Mayweather vs. Big Show match, the idea that Big Show vs. Mayweather happening just made lower my head in shame. At least it didn’t go on last. Also, the “Battle for Brand Supremacy” story behind Umaga vs. Batista was stupid. Couldn’t they come up with another way to get these two men to work a match together other than some nebulous title?

RANDOM THOUGHT: “The WWE really got into this submissions kick. First Triple H, then HBK and now Edge all losing main event matches via tap out. So tell me why people have issues with tapping out again?”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: It seems like Wrestlemania cards go in cycles. On one hand, you’ll have a set of good to great Wrestlemania cards, and on the other, you’ll get a set of average to crappy ones. Wrestlemania 24 fits the description of the earlier sets. Wrestlemania 24 is a good card, following a pair of solid Wrestlemania showings. It was better in terms of match quality than some of the older Wrestlemanias, but lacks something something that I can’t really place my finger on. I liked 24, but it isn’t better than the 17-18-19 set and Wrestlemania 10.

  1. Wrestlemania XIX (Review)
  2. Wrestlemania X-7 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania X-8 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 24
  6. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  8. Wrestlemania 23 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 22 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 15 (Review)
  11. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 14 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 20 (Review)
  14. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  15. Wrestlemania 21 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  18. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  19. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  20. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  21. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  22. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  23. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  24. Wrestlemania 9 (It’s hard to pass this as the worst)
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