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Mania wasn't classic
But this year's tussle had plenty to recommend it
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Two new champions. The return of Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Celebrities, including Adam Sandler, galore. It had the makings of a Wrestlemania we'd never forget.

And, for sure, there were moments that will make the all-time highlight reel. But there were also moments we'd rather forget. A few too many.

I don't want to rip Wrestlemania XXI. I can't. Not after watching Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle pour so much sweat into a mat classic. And not after the ladder match where all six competitors shone. And with two new world heavyweight title holders, Batista and John Cena, being crowned.

But you've got to wonder why in the name ofScrap Iron George Gadaski did they throw in the sumo match between The Big Show and Akebono, who tossed his opponent out of the circle for the win? A waste of time and a waste of The Big Show's talent.

And what was the purpose of Christy Hemme vs.Trish Stratus? To set up a Trish-Lita feud? What does this say for Trish? How can WWE give the title any credibility if they're giving Christy, a Playboy Playmate who's done a minimal amount of wrestling training, a title shot? More waste of time and actually a good excuse for a bathroom and refreshment break. Were Victoria or Molly Holly not worthy of facing Trish?

Enough with the bad.

Angle vs. Michaels. A classic. You've got to give Michaels credit for tapping out. He had to agree to that finish and put Angle over.

The Money-in-the-Bank ladder match. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Benoit. Some awesome moments, for sure.

Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker. The Legend is now 13-0 at Wrestlemania, while The Legend Killer couldn't get it done, even with interference by his papa, Cowboy Bob Orton.

Triple H beat on Batista for much of the match, but wound up bloodied and beaten in the night's main event. There seemed to be little reaction from the paralyzed crowd at the Staples Centre -- what did they haul in bodies from the morgue to watch the show?

But there's no question Batista is the people's champ. He's been getting huge reaction week after week on RAW.

Cena vs. JBL. Again, it seemed he was destined to be champ. Great on the microphone, he has become a huge fan favourite and, I would guess, will eventually lose the strap to Angle.

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero. A good opening match with some excellent moves, but too often Mysterio was reaching to keep his mask on.

Hogan? He mopped up the ring with Mohammad Hassan and his sidekick Davairi, who attacked Eugene.

Piper and Austin? The routine has been criticized, but I enjoyed their shtick and the beating up of Carlito Cool, who interrupted.

This show won't go down as one of the Wrestlemania classics, but there'll be enough to remember to give it a place in history.

- It's being reported that a couple of rematches are already set up for pay-per-views. Look for Triple H vs. Batista at Backlash and an I Quit match between Cena and JBL at Judgment Day.


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