WrestleMania Diary: Part 2, Know Your Role
WrestleMania II is definitely not one of the better showings in the event’s long history, but I do respect what Vince McMahon was trying to do with it. WrestleMania I, while not a technical masterpiece, was a huge success, and I’m sure the idea of topping the “greatest event in wrestling history” was slightly intimidating. The only way to bring in more viewers is to get bigger and more creative, and there’s no denying that with three separate venues in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles the WWF did just that! They also expanded their product to live PPV and brought in even more celebrity managers than the previous year’s WrestleMania (I feat I wasn’t sure was possible…). Unfortunately the final product came out disjointed. Three different cities, three different crews, and three different main events was just too much to take in. The talent in every department was stretched thin, and some of the matches were just unimportant and thrown together to fill a card.
Still, the all-time greats like Randy Savage, George Steel, and Ricky Steamboat performed excellently and in some ways set the bar higher for the actual matches on a WrestleMania card. Where the first Mania was all about show and popularity (don’t get me wrong, Mania II was just as flashy, if not more) the second event excelled more in the ring than it’s predecessor.
One thing that I liked in particular was Chicago’s event. Not only did Chicago host a Women’s Championship match (that used to be a bigger deal, I promise), but they played up the crowd with a huge Battle Royal involving several players from the Chicago Bears. And to top it all off the Tag Team titles were on the line in a really solid main event! This would be the second Wrestlemania tag team main event in as many years. I’ll be hitting this harder when we get to WrestleMania 20, but where have all the tag teams gone!?! Here we have the biggest events in wrestling history, and they are showcased by tag team action! Tag team wrestling is fun, unpredictable, and fast-paced…so where did it go? In 2011 we’ll be lucky to see a tag team match on the WrestleMania card that doesn’t involve a team of comedy jobbers and a pack of wolves rapidly losing their dominance. Less than ten years ago we had 8 well-developed tag teams that had a backstory, relevance, and were showcased all at the same time, every single week on either Raw or Smackdown. WrestleMania II had the British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team! And WrestleMania 27 is going to feature Santino & Koslov…?
As I said, WrestleMania II isn’t that great of an event, but it was creative and different. They tried to go in new direction in order to see what works and what doesn’t. They figured it out pretty quickly, and I’m sure the wrestling industry has greatly benefited from that experience. Not all things are successful, but it’s refreshing to see them taking a chance on something. Today’s product desperately needs to take a chance on something new. It may fall flat, but then they’ll know which direction not to go in. Bringing back Bret Hart and Steve Austin every now and again is great, but it really just masks a boring and stale product with memories of excitement.
Read Mike’s Thoughts On The Rock’s Return On Page 2>>>
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?