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Wrestlemania 24: Money over Quality?

Posted in Xtremeview by Jack at 05:34, Mar 17 2008

by Jason ?xtremefalls? Simmons

Two weeks from now we should be all watching Wrestlemania 24 live from the Citrus Bowl. So usually around this part of the year wrestling is at a buzz discussing the possibilities of the great matches we have all come to expect. However this year it?s not like that. In fact that ?buzz? is more of a whimper thanks to the WWE?s downright laziness with the build up to this show. In fact it seems WWE is going for money instead of quality!

Let?s start off at the beginning which was the WWE Royal Rumble Pay Per View. Heading into the show the strong Jeff Hardy push led to a great financial success and match. While Jeff lost the match it was pretty obvious he was extremely over and on that Main Event level finally. Later in the night in the Royal Rumble Match we saw the surprise return of one John Cena who we all thought wouldn?t be back till September 2008. Cena won the Rumble match after eliminating Triple H which led us all to believe it be John Cena vs. Randy Orton in the Wrestlemania 24 Main Event.

Cena vs. Orton was the ideal situation for the WWE here. It was Orton who attacked John Cena?s father in the summer of 2007 and Orton who injured John Cena in the first place. So figuring that after 2 months of a great build the Main Event of Mania should have easily been on of the better build up showdowns in Wrestlemania history.However that part didn?t happen because Cena challenge Orton for No Way Out which ended in a Disqualification. Then later that night Triple H won an Elimination Chamber match and was now going to Wrestlemania to face Randy Orton for the Championship.

Triple H vs. Orton would have been exactly the wrong thing to considering these two have wrestled time and time again with little to no interest. The fact that Orton always looks like a full against Triple H didn?t help interest either. Finally Triple H vs. Orton would be yet another Triple H Main Event at Wrestlemania which by this point is becoming stale.

Again plans changed when John Cena beat Orton to gain a spot in the match again. Confused yet? It got better now all 3 Wrestlers got to choose the other 2?s matches for a week. What did any of this accomplish? Absolutely nothing! Throughout all of these confusing storylines and angles all three wrestlers have gotten progressively less over. Triple H in fact was booed at No Way Out and hasn?t gotten a big pop ever sense. Randy Orton just seems to be the odd man out and John Cena?s reaction is still mostly negative. So besides wasting what easily could have been feud of the year between Cena and Orton who had a hand wrapped gift for the creative team they shoved Triple H where he once again didn?t belong. In fact many could argue that this match if anything should involve Jeff Hardy as he is still the most over of all 3 wrestlers yet was shoved into the Money in the Bank to appease Triple H?s ego.

Many could blame and rightly blame this how convoluted mess on Triple H since he?s been literally shoved into this storyline after confusing angles involving the Rumble and Chamber matches. They could also blame the Wrestlemania build up problems on this match since quiet frankly it?s the example of flat writing. Everything about this seems done before or a weak storyline.

Also at No Way Out another huge moment happened when we saw the return of the Big Show. The man who was missing since pretty much December to Dismember finally returned to wrestling and he made a big impact. Big Show and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather had the wrestling, boxing, and sports industry talking after Floyd and Show had a standoff that saw Show get his nose broke. What seemed like the can?t miss celebrity angle for Mania has turned into a nightmare for WWE Creative.

The booking for this angle has been also confusing as almost every week we sit here and wonder who are we supposed to cheer and who are we supposed to hate? First you have Mayweather bragging that he?s being paid 20 Million Dollars to wrestle at Wrestlemania which makes me wonder, am I supposed to like this guy? First off no one likes anyone who brags about something and in this world of over paid and egotistical athletes why would I cheer him over Big Show? As if that?s not the only problem almost every segment since No Way Out has been at times boring and other times terribly produced with Show and Mayweather talking over each other and just showing little chemistry that they had the first night.

In what should have been the cherry on the top of Wrestlemania has really just turned into a strange booked angle that easily could have been avoided. Case in point WWE knew Big Show was coming back after a long period of time off so why bring him back as a heel? Considering that almost every time in history a big star returns after a long period he gets cheered WWE should have expected him to be cheered. Next they should know Mayweather was not going to be cheered after saying he got paid 20 Million for one match considering most will never even see that money. After Monday?s segment there is some hope but WWE better have a plan for the next 2 weeks or this match is going to go down as one of the all time flops.

In another terribly run angle we have the retirement of the Legendary Ric Flair. Now I think we all know this angle has been the drizzle shits since the beginning however the Wrestlemania build up to his final match has been even worst. You have Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair in a match at the biggest show of the year. How is this so damn hard to book? The fact that this will likely be Flair?s final match the hype and buzz just isn?t there. Reason being is the fact that Flair and Shawn Michaels seem more ready to have some gay love then actually wrestle a match.

The whole build of this match is just Flair and Michaels repeatedly putting the other over and Michaels saying he doesn?t want to end Flair?s career. Missing is the Flair hype videos, that classic Ric Flair promo, and a Michaels heel turn. Having face verse face for the most part never works because someone will end up being heel. So why not run with it and turn Michael?s heel? He?s becoming stale as a face anyway so turning will not hurt him in my opinion. I really just hope for the many Flair fans out there this match will at least live up to one last great ride for the Nature Boy.

Speaking of making something important seem like nothing we have the embarrassing announcement of the ECW Championship being defended against the winner of the in show?s battle royal with over 24 Superstars from Raw, ECW, and Smackdown Rosters. We can officially call this the whore match of the night so every wrestler without a match gets a turn on the show. All this match does is shorten other matches, waste the ECW Championship, and makes the ECW Championship look even less important then usual. Hopefully since their doing this match they pick someone who deserves a chance like a Tommy Dreamer and not a Big Daddy V or Great Kahli.

While the 24 Superstar battle royal is a lame idea the Money in the Bank is down right lazy at this point. Over the years I?ve come to enjoy the match however now it just seems to be a way to shove 8 guys into a match without coming up with a good storyline for all of them. Also it doesn?t help that almost every qualification match was either predictable or confusing. I think this match should be used to elevate wrestlers to the next level not to shove Mr. Kennedy and Chris Jericho into a match because you have nothing better going on. At the end of the day they should be building the importance of the shot not just being lazy and shoving 8 guys into this match to make a quick buck.

Another thing that bugs me about this show is the lack of title matches. Over the years Wrestlemania was the event where all titles were defended. While they title count has raised over the years the fact that only 3 belts are being defended this year is down right pathetic. There is no excuse to have only 3 championship bouts on the card, especially when you shove most of upper guys in the Money in the Bank Match. That should leave time and space to have a Tag Team Title Match or use the other championships.

While there is a lot wrong with Wrestlemania this year I do want to finish off this column with some of the positives. I am extremely looking forward to the Smackdown main event of Undertaker vs. Edge. Not only is the build being done right but the match should be stellar. Undertaker?s 15 and 0 streak is being played correctly and Edge?s character is being used correctly. That?s how you build up your main event fans.. You correctly use the guy?s strengths and create heat. Not force heat like many of the other matches have been trying to do for the last month cause trust me if its not there its never going to be there with no real legit reason.

Also I?m looking forward to Finlay vs. JBL while the storyline is god awful this match should be very physical. Which should lead to a violent and bloody fight which I think should help cap off the show. Another match I?m looking forward too is Batista vs. Umaga in a inter promotional war. This build up hasn?t been horrible but the match should be a classic big man match up. It should easily add to the card if done right and Batista brings his A-Game.

While I look forward to 3 matches it?s still hard to hide the fact that the WWE?s effort for Wrestlemania 24 has been lazy. It seems like the money factor was played over the quality factor and that?s pretty sad. The worst part is many are seeing through it and I find it hard to believe that the WWE?s goal of getting a higher buyrate then 1.2 Million last year is going to be possible. Hopefully over the next 2 weeks WWE will create some much needed heat and buzz for this event because if they don?t they are going to have to kiss a couple thousand buys around.

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