Which Is The Greatest Post Monday Night Wars Wrestlemania Match Of All Time?
Debate Rounds (3)
To clarify, the Monday Night Wars is the period when the then WWF (now WWE) was in competition with WCW in terms of getting the higher ratings on television, and the period after is when WCW went out of business and got purchased by the WWF/E. This therefore means that we have all the matches between Wrestlemania X-7 and Wrestlemania 28 to choose from. The reason I am choosing this period is because I only got into watching wrestling around the period just before Backlash 2000, which means that I missed Wrestlemania 2000 and "X-Seven" was thus the first Wrestlemania PPV I ever watched.
This debate will be conducted over three rounds:
Round 1 - Acceptance and the choice of match each side will vouch for only.
Round 2 - Arguments and Clash
Round 3 - Clash and Conclusion.
For the purposes of this debate, I have decided to be daring and have decided that I will vouch for the Hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley at Wrestlemania 22. I would like to advise Con that we are not just judging the match on what happened in the ring, but also the nature of the build up to the match and how these two elements combined to make such a great match.
I look forward to our debate.
At Wrestlemania 21, the first ever Money In The Bank match in the WWE's history was held. The brain child of Chris Jericho, it consisted of six wrestlers fighting in the ring with ladders in an attempt to win a briefcase with the then unique stipulation that the winner could get a #1 Contender's Match for any World Title they wanted at "any time, anywhere". On a day that would mark the start of a very successful main event career, it was Edge who gained the honour of being the very first guy to win the briefcase. His push was accelerated by the fact that it soon became very public knowledge that he and Lita - the then-girlfriend of Matt Hardy - were having an affair. This translated into Edge getting mega heel heat during intense feuds with Kane and especially Hardy. It was after this period that Edge then began his "The Cutting Edge" talk show, which turned out to be an excellent vessel for Edge to cut particularly scathing and effective heel promos on anyone he was feuding with.
Then came New Year's Revolution 2006.
After John Cena had managed to come out of the Elimination Chamber a bloodied mess but nonetheless still champion, Vince McMahon made the shock announcement that Edge was going to cash in his briefcase on Cena right there and then. Edge promptly did so, and won his first ever WWE Championship.
Fast forward a month, Edge had lost his title after a thrilling feud back to Cena at the Royal Rumble, but the key part to what happened next was the rematch on RAW. Mick Foley was assigned to referee the match that would decide who would go into Wrestlemania as WWE Champion, and at the moment that John Cena managed to win the match, Edge flew into a rage and physically assaulted Foley, proceeding to then challenge him to a match at Wrestlemania.
Now part of why I'm nominating this feud and match is because initially, I didn't buy into this match at all. I thought that after all the feuds Edge had been in throughout the past year while still holding his MITB briefcase and after his very entertaining run as WWE Champion, I thought at the time that the WWE should have changed their plans and have Edge in the main event of Wrestlemania (indeed, Edge would later play a part in the Backlash 2006 WWE Championship Triple Threat Match that was a significant improvement over the match for the same title that happened at WM22). But the reason I'm nominating the overall build-up and the end product for Edge vs Mick Foley is that it completely changed my mind. Case in point, Exhibit A: the promo for the match - http://www.dailymotion.com... .
Over the coming weeks, Mick Foley altered the match into a match more fitting of his legendary style: that of hardcore. After Edge accepted, he proceeded to thoroughly mock the kiddy-friendly image that Mick Foley had ended up adapting. This, combined with the beat-downs Edge had been giving him, ended up channelling the psychotic "Cactus Jack" style side of Foley that saw him get every bit as vicious and brutal against the Rated R Superstar, even to the point where Foley was practically shrugging off landing face first on freakin' THUMBTACKS.
Then we get to the match itself as Exhibit B. (1) The first thing that speaks for how epically awesome this match was? Joey Styles, on commentary. The former ECW guy was a perfect choice to lend even greater atmosphere to what was sure to be an absolutely brutal match.
In the ring, Edge and Foley wasted absolutely no time showing just how personal their feud was by bringing out some pretty damn amazing and innovative moments with the weapons. Those shots to Foley's head with the road signs looked and sounded absolutely BRUTAL. We had Foley managing to counter Edge's first spear by having barbed wire secretly wrapped around his chest under his jacket. There's the pretty damn cool spot where Foley catapulted Edge, Lita and himself over the top rope with a clothesline. The way Foley was rammed onto the steel stops as well as the metal part of the entrance ramp were excellently well worked. The entire parts with the barbed wire baseball bat was fantastically vicious. The part where Edge lands on the thumb tacks and has them all over his body was one hell of an amazing moment, and Edge deserves enormous props for his commitment in agreeing to do that spot. The part with Mr Socko turning into EXTREME Mr Socko with barbed wire wrapped around it was fantastic. Add in the very well worked role Lita had as the unfair distraction and the psychology of Edge's desperation to find a way of putting the Hardcore Legend away, and we're nearly there in describing a purely awesome match.
But now I present the Wrestlemania Moment (TM) that to me catapults this match to being the greatest Wrestlemania match since the end of the Monday Night Wars. Ladies and Gents: Exhibit C - http://stream1.gifsoup.com...
At the close of the match, Foley went outside the ring and started covering the outside table in lighter fluid. However, he was attacked by Lita with the barbed wire baseball bat, and she took that time to cover the table with more lighting fluid, and then proceeded to light the table. It was at this point, members of the jury, that Edge speared Mick Foley through the middle ropes to the outside of the ring through a FLAMING TABLE. This was truly one hell of a "Holy Sh*t!" moment and one that permanently carved this match into the Wrestlemania Hall of Fame for some of the greatest matches ever. Edge would promptly win the match, and would be able to stagger out of the match having proved he could hang in a Hardcore environment.
This match deserves to win here, because it was a brilliant pay off to a brilliant feud with significantly more intense promo work than Taker vs Michaels II. The match was perfectly timed, flow well, and didn't drag at 15 minutes, while Taker vs Michaels II was arguably inferior to the first Mania match between the two a year earlier. There's also the fact that Edge vs Foley is awesome even while being on a Wrestlemania card that produced some other pretty damn spectacular matches (see HBK vs Vince McMahon, or the MITB match or even the Cena vs Triple H match). In contrast, Taker vs Michaels II has the tendency to be overrated due to its position on a card full of matches that were at best okay (Cena/Batista, Jericho/Edge, the MITB match, Rey/Punk) and at worst absolutely mediocre (Hart/McMahon and the Divas match). Finally, there's the fact that there was some positive pay-off from this match, for Edge would go on to be entertaining in the main event again and would soon engage in a brilliant follow-up match where he teamed with Foley against Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk at One Night Stand 2006. Taker/Michaels ended up depriving us of one of the best workers in the company from wrestling action forever, and Taker would meanwhile disappear from the company for another few months before engaging in a mediocre feud with Kane, and he then promptly did yet another disappearing act.
In all aspects, Edge/Foley simply must win this debate. No contest.
(1) The Match Itself: http://www.dailymotion.com...
Wrestlemania 25 began the with the Undertaker vs. Mr. Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels. It was a match for the ages, the two traded blows like prized fighters and Shawn Michaels made the fatal mistake of doing a moonsalt off the top ropes in an attempt to hit the Undertaker, but he caught him! HBK's (Heart Break Kid, also a nickname for Shawn Michaels) moonsault turned into a tombstone and the match was over and Undertaker retained his World Heavyweight Championship and the rivalry was over, or so we thought. At the 2009 Slammy Awards when the award for the greatest match was the Undertaker defeating Shawn Michaels at Wreatlemania 25, Shawn lost it and challanged the Undertaker. The Undertaker responds to the challange by saying he can have a rematch if Shawn wins the Royal Rumble and he lost! Shawn then reached a nerve when the Undertaker appeared on the jumbotron and distracked Shawn and DX (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) lost their Unified Tag Team Champoinship to ShowMiz (team of Big Show and the Miz). Undertaker then went into the Elimination Chamber to defend his title and he had just given the Last Ride to Chris Jerico and Shawn Michaels appeared in the Chamber and delievered the Sweat Chin Music to the Undertaker costing him the World Heavyweight Championship. Undertaker would then appear then next weak and accepted Shawn's match at Wrestlmania. During Smackdown a weak before Wrestlemania 26 Undertaker had defeated Shawn Michaels and had made his way down the ramp and almosted got tombstonded by the Undertaker but escaped.
Here's the match (see video)
5 star Match
This match was ultamately the best all time and the closest Undertaker has been to loosing his streak especialy when Shawn put the Undertaker through a table and the Undertaker had troubled standing up and Shawn went for the Sweat Chin Music but the Undertaker blocked it and gave him a tombstone. The Undertaker gave him one more after that and the match as well as Shawn Michaels carear was over.
(note I'm against the wall in time so there will be more clash next round) As for the match my opponent brings up is that his match is a money in the bank ladder fight, but the thing on why the Undertaker vs. HBK, Streak vs. Carear was better was that a. it had a better back story, b. was a better match, and c. the Money in the Bank no longer is at Wrestlmania!
Con's Faux Pas
It seems quite evidently the case that Con did not read the entirety of my argument from Round 2. If he had, he would have known that my referencing of the Money In The Bank Match from Wrestlemania 21 was actually clearly portrayed as a background story for how Edge's career rose and rose until he ended up in the situation where, as a result of everything that had happened to him in the space of a year between Wrestlemanias 21 and 22, to the point where he ended up facing Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match at Wrestlemania 22. By virtue of not having paid clear attention to which match I was vouching for, it of course negates my opponent's argument against my match.
Con's Case For Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels
Con makes a very good case where he alludes to the frustrations felt by Shawn Michaels in the build up to his match with the Undertaker. Certainly his obsessive quest to break the Streak was highly compelling, and that if any one guy can be said to be truly amazing when it comes to delivering promos, it was and is indeed the Heartbreak Kid.
But while the psychology of this match is pretty amazing, a great big issue here is predictability Because of the way that Shawn Michaels repeatedly went on about not having a career if he could not defeat the Undertaker, it provided a little too much foreshadowing that HBK's career was going to end. Don't get me wrong, foreshadowing isn't necessarily a BAD thing, but generally a wrestling match is better if you genuinely do not know who is going to win it. Case in point, the fact that during the Edge vs Foley feud, it was constantly emphasised that Foley had never truly gotten "that Wrestlemania Moment". That could have ended up translating into either Foley winning a hard-fought brutal match, or taking one hell of a bump in the spirit of the legendary Hell in a Cell match Foley had with the Undertaker in 1998. Either way, the goal of the match was to be "spectacular" and "memorable", which for Foley would be one hell of a feat considering the forgettable nature of his past Wrestlemania matches (1).
Then we get to the Taker vs Michaels match itself. While I was certainly admit it was more emotionally charged than their encounter a year before, on the technical aspects a lot of wrestling reviewers rank their first Mania match above their second, especially since the course of the second match, there's incidents like the part where the trainer comes out to check on Shawn Michaels even though all that happened was just a plain old piledriver. There's also the not-so-smooth sequence where the Undertaker puts his knees up a little too late when HBK tries the top rope elbow drop. And ultimately, the match just didn't seem as smooth as their previous encounter, as there seemed to be more rest periods in between spots.
Ultimately, you certainly can't call the Taker vs Michaels match at WM26 the "best", especially as within the "Streak Matches" alone you have Taker's matches with Edge and his second and third matches with Triple H. Taker vs HBK II is great, but flawed. Edge vs Foley though, both for build up and match delivery, is borderline perfection. In conclusion, the people's votes quite simply must go to the Rated R Superstar and the Hardcore Legend.
Edge vs. Mick Folley
Sorry for the mistake, like I said I was pressed against time and my company had to get inspected by the regional director Lt. Col. Keruth. But as we can see the actual match between the two it was alright but the facts state for themselves. http://prowrestling.about.com... source here shows that the Undertaker vs. HBK match is 3rd best Wrestlemania matches all time and the Mick Folley vs. Edge fight is nowhere to be found upon the list. You might say that that website is just one source, but here is yet another that rates Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at 6 and the Folley vs. Edge match is not ranked. http://bleacherreport.com... you can see here that I have already won this arguement.
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
This match wasn't predictable ( http://answers.yahoo.com...) based on the fact of that the two superstars are aging and retirement seems possible. My opponent has already concluded that the match was amazing, so that takes carear of that point. You see that the Tombstone to end the match the Undertaker jumped for it! He litterly jumped when he did this and we all know the affects of the Tombstone, but if you add more altitude to something then it hurts more, that's just common sense.
So in conclusion with the facts of the Undertaker vs. HBK is a better match with evidense showing the match was better and the other half the Pro agrees with me. So vote Con.
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