I give current wrestling a hard time. It’s not even a comparative issue between now and the good old days. It’s a look at a product that is not as good as the potential suggests and goes down weird alleys of storytelling that aren’t doing any good for any of the characters involved.
In as much as I’m down on areas of the product, I acknowledge what’s good about it. I think Big Show and The Miz as unified tag champs is almost as good as Big Show and Chris Jericho as the Miz really is a quality heel in the ring and on the mic. I’m a big fan of CM Punk and believe he’s already at a great position in terms of his character and in-ring story-telling ability. I’m loving the possibility of Edge taking on Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania and the story they can tell on the way there. I even think the current McMahon/Hart, Batista/Cena story is proving interesting.
One particular story that will dominate this year’s event though is the WrestleMania rematch of Shawn Michaels against Undertaker in a match that will pit Undertaker’s unbeaten streak against the career of Shawn Michaels. When I heard that was going to be the case again, I thought to myself – isn’t this a match-up we’ve had since 1997? How can one match-up still be of any interest 13 years after it first got going? Isn’t there some other big deal WWE could invest in?
Then I looked at this promo and reassessed again just how you can tell a gripping story if you have the right characters. The one who’s carrying this story, though, is Michaels. Undertaker’s role is relatively laid-back and straightforward, it is the obsession of Michaels that makes the story compelling and now with the stakes as high as they have made it, the final ingredient has been added to make wrestling fans wonder to themselves what will give. This is potentially the show they will headline as the main event at the biggest deal in the wrestling calendar. What’s on their side is the wealth of experience in storytelling both in the build-up to the match and the match itself. Indeed if any two can pull off the hype that this match will surely attract, you would think these two would be the wrestlers over any other two characters in the profession.
So we wait with baited breath until Sunday 28 March to see how they will ratchet up the tension, what they will put in the way to build anticipation to the match. The Showstopper with a Hall of Fame career, putting his career on the line against the most outstanding streak at the biggest stage of them all as held by the proclaimed Phenom – The Undertaker. For what it’s worth, I’d be very disappointed if it was the Undertaker who finished Michaels’ career. I’d also be disappointed (though not surprised) if they never went through with the stipulation involved. Ironically, however, I would also be disappointed if of all the wrestlers to end the streak it was a veteran like HBK. I enjoy the whole passing-the-torch on aspect of wrestling and ending the career or finishing the streak should be a momentous occasion used for that purpose of passing on the torch.
Still, whatever happens, it should be an interesting wait ahead to see what the turn out will be. Enjoy