Tuesday, March 30, 1999
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Does PPV + HBK = WM15?
As a pay-per-view, WrestleMania was a great show.
Certainly the main event was a battle royal - in the immortal words of Jim Ross, a slobberknocker. (Or - in the current words of J.R. - a flobbernoffer!)
Stone Cold and The Rock showed hard work and immaculate timing.
And just by walking into the room, Shawn Michaels proved that HBK still rules.
Yeah. It was a great PPV.
But - was it a great Wrestlemania?
Of that, I'm not sure.
The matches were mostly strong with the obvious exception of the brutal Sable match. That's not brutal as in blood'n'guts. She's much better on paper. You can't hear her.
The Bossman tried hard to create sparks with the Undertaker in the Cell, but it really was nothing more than a set-up, to bring the whole 'Ministry' thing to the front as the Next Big Angle.
The Triple H turn was the showstopper among story twists (where I was, the disappointment among DX die-hards was audible!), but credit has to be given to X-Pac and Shane - yes, Shane! - for putting on a show leading up to it. Yet, somehow, something seemed to be missing.
That's what HBK's walk-on illustrated. And what Pete Rose's pointless appearance did, too. There wasn't enough outside star power. Where were the Motley Crues? Then again, be careful what you ask for - at least there were no Jay Lenos!
It wasn't the meat in the sandwich that was missing. It was the special spices. WWF serves up a great burger just about every week. Wrestlemania is supposed to be the 'gourmet' offering.
If Vinnie's purpose was to hold back on the showbiz in order to let his own stars shine it's even more curious that there was a shortage of mic time. That was an especially curious omission when it comes to The Rock.
So where do they go from here?
They are facing a dilemma. Stone Cold-mania still rages. And it doesn't look to be cooling off anytime soon, either. But they seem anxious - or unsure - of whether putting the Rock over. I say, why bother? Rock's young, and a brilliant bad-guy.
And what of DX? Does HBK come back home? Certainly we need to see Shawn more often. The roar for Pac, Ass and Road-Doggy-Dogg hasn't lessened either, so Vinnie can't let DX fade off into Nation-0f-Domination land. Or Road Warrior-ville.
Maybe they had to turn Helmsley over. He did seem stuck in a rut. And Triple H/Test could make a heck of a tag-team. It would be a reason to get the Outlaws together again. And a reason to dispense with the can't-get-over-even-with-a-bodacious-babe Jeff Jarrett and Owen "Barely Beating" Hart. (Owen's still a good worker, though.)
In fact, having just watched the post-Mania Raw, I can see part of the problem. As entertaining as it was, the big show (as in the show - not Wight) was just another step in the current storyline.
April's "In Your House"? Put Austin in a sideshow with Shamrock or somebody, and set up the Rock against The Big Show.
And this time, let Road Dog get the shot at Shane.
P.S. So Goldberg wants to take on Stone Cold? It's simple, Bill - when does your contract expire?
Dave Cameron is the automotive editor at the Edmonton Sun be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has written two other columns for us: March 19's Another justified kick at WCW and January's Ipso facto lame-o.