- on Friday, April 10 2009 and posted in Features
Find out exactly what, in this man's opinion, WWE should have done to make Randy Orton vs. Triple H come off as the main event that we expected.
So here we are, almost a week removed from Wrestlemania 25. For the most part, it was a relatively decent show, though maybe not quite up to Wrestlemania standards. Some matches, such as Undertaker/Shawn Michaels and the match between the Hardy brothers were full of the intensity and big match feel that we wrestling fans have come to expect from the yearly event. Other matches such as the outing between young Christopher Jericho and the WWE Hall of Famers, and the Intercontinental Title bout seemed to be more about getting to the outcome of the match rather than the match itself. Obviously the IC title match was shortened for a reason, but it was still a rather lackluster way for the career of John "Bradshaw" Layfield to end.
However, we're not here to discuss any of those matches. We're here to discuss the main event: the WWE Championship Match between the talented individuals Randall Keith Orton, and Terra Ryzing....I mean, Hunter-Hearst Helmsley. You see folks, THIS was the perfect example of how you build up a Wrestlemania feud. It had intensity, it had huge personal stakes attached to it. Triple H had to defend his families' honor, right? What better way to do this than to absolutely tear down the man responsible for physically abusing them? None! This is professional wrestling, of course.
So one would figure, "Hey, this is great! Let's really build off the personal aspect of the feud. These two men really seem to want to tear each other to bits, and the crowd is eating it up!" But of course, this was not the case. We got nothing short of a sub-par match barely fitting the criteria of decent main event on a normal pay-per-view, let alone Wrestlemania, the grand-daddy of them all. Who is to blame here? I'm under the impression the answer to this is purely based on your own personal opinions. The three options are generally: Randy Orton, Triple H, or the writing/booking staff. I'm going to blame option #3.
Now many people may not particularly care for my viewpoint, but many people didn't care for "Date Movie" either, but that happened. So deal with it. I believe that the smartest thing for the writing staff to do was book this as at least a No-DQ match. Instead, they went in the complete opposite direction and made it so that if Triple H got DQ'd, he would lose the WWE Championship. This may have been a decent stipulation at any other pay-per-view, but this is WRESTLEMANIA. Feuds generally come here to die (or they're supposed to anyways).
The general WWE audience wanted to see Orton get his comeuppance, and what better way to give them this than in a No-DQ match, or better yet, a Last Man Standing match. Hell, even a cage match would have been better. They could have built it up around "Legacy can't help you now." Think about that: the only time in this feud that Orton got the upper hand on Aitch was when he had Legacy backing him up. This junk practically writes itself. Unfortunately, this was not the direction they went in, and it led to a very disappointed fan base from what I have observed in my internet travels.
I've caught a lot of flack from my friends about blaming the writing staff, because mainly, the wrestlers should be able to put on a decent match without any stipulations. I totally agree with this sentiment. In that respect, Orton and Triple H are both to blame. I can understand the view points of the people who see the match this way. The ending seemed to come out of nowhere, but not in a positive way. Most people watching at home and in the arena were left with an almost empty feeling following the match. There seemed to be no dramatic build-up to the finish as seen in the previous two matches. There was a table spot that hardly came off as "hardcore", a ref bump, a sledgehammer shot, and chinlock after chinlock. And how in the world did WWE not find a way to make the McMahons and Legacy make run-ins? It may be clichéd at this point, but it just makes damn sense. It wasn't even necessary to have them play a major part in the finish, but given both groups involvement in the storyline (and the previous week's Raw finish), it made less sense to keep them out than to make them perform a quick run-in.
That is ultimately how the title of this article came to be. The match just left me and my comrades watching it saying "That's It?", which is something no Wrestlemania main event before has ever made any of us say. It was quite a sad moment to be a wrestling fan. A Wrestlemania main event should never make you feel unfulfilled. Even matches like Jim Hellwig vs. Terry Bollea at Wrestlemania VI, while not a technical match by any means, were entertaining and intense in their own way.
Well, that's really all I have to say on this subject. This is the first column I have ever written, so if it's a bit shaky, that's the reason. I'll be attempting to improve my writing style consistently over time, so hopefully you guys and gals begin to see some difference soon. I'll be back sometime next week with an article focusing on the WWE Draft scheduled to take place on this coming week's edition of Monday Night Raw.
For now, grab me a bag of dog food, a silverback gorilla, and a copy of Twilight and meet me on top of the Empire State Building. Come along now Spanky!
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