Which WWE Superstar will have their WrestleMania Moment this year? Keep in mind that not every WrestleMania Moment is a good one for everyone involved.
Take the lord of the newly christened “Reality Area”, HHH for example; at WrestleMania 12 the Ultimate Warrior made quick work of Hunter Hearst Helmsley in about two minutes. Helmsley would go on to bigger and better things but when you think of WrestleMania and HHH, some think of that time he got his butt handed to him by Warrior. In fact HHH’s WrestleMania win/loss record isn’t very good at all when you look at it. He has headlined the “Showcase of the Immortals” against Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista, John Cena, Booker T, Brock Lesnar, a Triple Threat with Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit, another with Orton and Cena and a Fatal 4 Way with The Rock, Mick Foley and Big Show . Hunter has also faced The Undertaker three times. All tolled, HHH won only 5 of the aforementioned 12 matches (not including when Warrior used him as a doormat). So out of all of those matches which one is The Game’s WrestleMania Moment? Not his win over Jericho, that was overshadowed by Hulk Hogan Vs The Rock, definitely not his WrestleMania 25 main event vs Orton, that was in the shadow of the first Undertaker vs HBK classic. Oddly enough HHH actually won both of those matches but nobody cared. Some would argue that HHH’s last match with Undertaker was his “Moment”. It definitely had the biggest crowd response. I think Helmsley’s biggest moment is yet to come, I predict he’ll find a way into the main event of WrestleMania XXX and tap out to Daniel Bryan. Speaking of Daniel Bryan….
Daniel Bryan does not have a lot of experience at WrestleMania, but he may have already had at least one WrestleMania Moment. Unfortunately it involved Bryan having his teeth kicked half way down his throat by Sheamus and being pinned in 18 seconds, losing the World Heavyweight Championship in the process. The goal of this glorified squash match was to make Sheamus into a big star at the expense of a former Indy darling. A funny thing happened on the way to the burial though, fans rejected the concept and Daniel Bryan became more popular than ever. What would later become The Yes! Movement was born on that day. Now Mr. Bryan has a chance to wrestle in the main event of WrestleMania XXX on Sunday against Batista (less said about him the better) and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion of The Universe. The Legend Killing, Apex Predator-umm-ing, Viper: Randy Orton. Speaking of Randy Orton….
Randy Orton, son of Cowboy Bob Orton and owner of the most nicknames in WWE history, has had a checkered WrestleMania career. Orton has been in undercard matches against his former Legacy stablemates Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. and against Kane and CM Punk. Randy Orton was even in a Money In The Bank match, a Triple Threat WWE Championship match (which Orton won) with John Cena and HHH, and another 3 way (which Orton lost) with Rey Misterio and Kurt Angle. The Viper has also main evented WrestleMania 25 against HHH, but the match was overshadowed by Undertaker and HBK as mentioned earlier. Last year Orton was in a six man tag against the Shield and I had to Google that because I couldn’t even recall it. I don’t anticipate another Moment for Randy this year due to his character being neutered in the current storyline, playing 3rd fiddle to Batista and HHH. As of today, Orton’s greatest WrestleMania moment is his match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 21. The match had a great build, and Orton was young enough and popular enough at the time that some thought he had a real chance of ending The Streak by pinning The Undertaker. Speaking of The Undertaker….
The Undertaker, and more importantly The Streak, have become the highlight of WrestleMania. The Undertaker has become a WrestleMania Moment making machine in and of himself. An immense feat considering the guy is not getting any younger and has to find a way to top himself every year. Granted his matches did not become show stopping spectacles until he faced HBK at WrestleMania 25. Not to say he didn’t have great matches before then, but that match was a classic and the audience legitimately believed that Shawn Michaels had a chance to win. This year The Deadman is starting to show some chinks in his armor, not wrestling as often if at all. In a perfectly booked world. Undertaker’s opponent this year; Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrock Lesnar! would have everyone thinking that The Streak was about to end due to Brock’s sheer ferocity and the fact that he has already beaten Undertaker cleanly in a Hell In A Cell match of all things. But instead WWE did not focus on any of that, opting to have ‘Taker stab Brock with a pen and then play the old spooky casket switcheroo , making The Beast Incarnate look like he belonged in the recent Scooby Doo WWE cartoon running next to Shaggy. Speaking of Shaggy……..just kidding.
This year will launch the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, also known as the “Creative Has Nothing For You” battle royal. But just because Creative has nothing doesn’t mean that a Superstar can’t create a moment for himself. The WWE has a healthy crop of young talent that is waiting for their chance to shine on the big stage. Will The Shield manage to pull a good match out of Kane and The Old Age Outlaws? Will Bray Wyatt get a clean pin over John Cena? Cementing Wyatt as a main event player? Will Antonio Cesaro Giant Swing Zeb Colter right over the top rope? That would be worth the price of admission alone. Will Cody Rhodes turn on Goldust, finally getting revenge for having to endure that terrible new entrance theme music? Who knows? But the opportunity is there and the world will be watching.