February 28, 2004
'Mania lineup deeperGreat across board
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
With just two weeks until the biggest wrestling pay-per-view of the year, WWE is going full steam ahead towards Madison Square Garden and Wrestlemania XX. The lineup is as close to finalized as it's going to get, with 10 matches ready to roll and almost every major star tied up in the program.
On paper, the show seems to be missing that must-see main event, a match for the ages such as a Hogan vs. Warrior or a Rock vs. Austin. But what it lacks in marquee appeal, it more than makes up for in solid, well-developed storylines.
WWE has been building most of these feuds since the start of the year (and longer, in some cases), meaning even the mid-card matches have reason for fans to care.
The closest thing to a money match is the collision between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg.
Steve Austin will be the guest referee for what's expected to be Goldberg's final match with WWE, which will more than likely end with Lesnar going over.
The Undertaker will make his first appearance since he was 'buried alive' last December, coming back from the dead to face his storyline brother, Kane. Expect some hokey special effects, as 'Taker will be returning as his old demonic character, rather than the biker he recently portrayed.
The world championship will be on the line in a triple-threat ladder match between champion Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit. There's talk of finally giving Benoit the big win, which means he'd go on to defend against Michaels at Backlash in Edmonton. It could work but I still think it'd make more sense to have Benoit narrowly lose at 'Mania, then win the strap in front of his hometown crowd, where he'd get a far better star-making reaction.
Mick Foley and Randy Orton have set up the most intense match on the card, which is causing some people to have second thoughts about turning it into a tag, as originally planned.
Still, with The Rock scheduled to do a surprise run-in to save Foley from a beat-down on Monday's Raw, it looks like the Rock and Sock connection will be reforming at 'Mania to take on an Evolution team, most likely Orton, Batista and Ric Flair.
The WWE championship will be decided in what's almost certain to be the technical match of the night with newly-turned heel Kurt Angle challenging Eddie Guerrero for the strap. Guerrero is being groomed as a long-term title-holder, so he's the odds-on favourite to win.
Wrestlemania will air live from MSG on March 14.
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