Welcome to your weekly dose of The Shoot. Before I get to the meat and potatoes of the column for this week, I would like to introduce a new feature. Last week I mentioned that I would be introducing features of this column over time as to not overload the readers on all the goods at once. Last time it was just a mere ?get to know me? column and I think I accomplished that without giving you my home address and/or telephone number. This week will be more wrestling event(s) related. While I don?t really like to devote an entire column to current events, I do like to comment on them which brings me to something that I like to call ?Quick Shots?. Basically, Quick Shots are just random thoughts about things that I find interesting in the wrestling world so with that in mind, here we go!
Last week on Monday Night Raw, they built up the Randy Orton vs Shane McMahon match by having Shane perform the Van Terminator. I?m sure we can all agree that this angle would have worked just a tad bit better had Shane McMahon not given us the biggest ?deer in headlights? look since David Flair made his WCW debut! Was it me or did Shane look like he had the wind completely knocked out of him upon landing? It was a little hard to watch, to be honest. Also, my apologies if my text seems antiquated, but I did type this column before No Way Out.
Then we have Chris Jericho. I don?t think there is anything much else that can be said about this. Personally, I think Mr. Irvine was in the right by protecting himself from some fans who just took it a little too far. According to some live reports of the incident, it took security a while to even get there and it didn?t look like your normal arena security, either. They kind of look like the B Crew for when a mall cop calls out sick. They practically just stood there in the YouTube videos that I saw of the incident and really didn?t do much. Jericho was more proactive about the situation than any of the layaway security guards and that’s kind of scary.
While the Titan Towers Massacre saw the WWE population dwindle, TNA held their own over the past week. While the WWE laid off over 80 employees, TNA did so comparatively by laying off 3. More deals are expected to expire soon and it?ll be interesting to see where they end up. Personally, I?m hoping the best for Petey Williams and I wouldn?t mind seeing him return to ROH soon. If the Motor (or Murder) City Machine Guns do get let go, I?m also hoping Cary and Co. can snag them up. While TNA isn?t as big as the WWE, those three already have national TV exposure and with ROH venturing in that direction with HDNet, the familiar faces would give them a nice exposure boost.
And as a final quick ?Quick Shot?, on a related note.. . I sure am going to miss The Final Countdown.
Now onto the meat and potatoes of the column! It’s February once again and that means it is time for No Way Out: the final WWE Pay-Per-View before the big one known as Wrestlemania. On Sunday, April 5, 2009, the WWE will be holding The 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania, or Wrestlemania 25 for short. One thing that has been a tradition of sorts at Wrestlemania has been the Undertaker’s winning streak.
It all started back in 1991 at Wrestlemania VII where The Undertaker defeated ?Superfly? Jimmy Snuka. From that day forward, many have tried and all have failed at defeating The Undertaker on the biggest show of the year. People from Jake Roberts to Diesel to Kane to Ric Flair all the way to Edge and Randy Orton have all had their chance at dethroning The Undertaker and all have failed. It kind of sounds like an episode of Ninja Warrior.
I made an obscure reference there to Ninja Warrior (or Sasuke in Japan) because Undertaker is like Ninja Warrior’s Mt. Midoriyama with the exception that two people have beaten the Ninja Warrior course: Kazuhiko Akiyama and Makoto Nagano. So what does this have to do with Wrestlemania? Well, in Ninja Warrior, two men did the impossible, but it didn?t happen on their first try. That means that Edge and Randy Orton could possibly accomplish the impossible and become to the WWE what Akiyama and Nagano have become to Ninja Warrior.
Let’s play the hypothetical game here for a minute and look at each of their respective careers. Randy Orton came into the WWE from Ohio Valley Wrestling. Right away he caught the eye of WWE officials and he soon found himself in the Evolution stable alongside Batista, Triple H, and Ric Flair. Since then, Randy Orton had come into his own as the Legend Killer and he made a big name for himself by taking out some of wrestling’s biggest legends, including his most notable feud with Mick Foley. He became the youngest WWE Champion in history and now he leads, what could be, the future of the WWE in Legacy. Randy Orton is at the top of his game and is a venomous heel. Gaining a win over the Undertaker at Wrestlemania would be the biggest shot in the arm to his career and solidify him as a mainstay main event player in the WWE for years to come.
The same could be said for Adam Copeland. Edge was first noticed as Sable’s mystery opponent for Marc Mero. He was then brought into The Brood after Gangrel introduced him to his kayfabe brother, Christian. Soon after the Brood got merged into The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness, Edge and Christian split and went out on their own and became one of the most successful and entertaining tag teams in WWE history. After a good run, that came to an end and the two of them were split. Edge went on to hold numerous singles championships and eventually the WWE Championship in 2006. He then teamed with Randy Orton as Rated RKO and was even surrounded in controversy due to his relationship with Amy Dumas. He then migrated to Smackdown and has been heavily involved with Vickie and Chavo Guerrero as La Familia. Like Randy Orton, Edge is also a fantastic heel and a main event mainstay and a win over the Undertaker at Wrestlemania would also launch his career even further.
The problem here is that only one of these men would benefit from The Undertaker’s defeat. To have Orton or Edge beat The Undertaker initially would be the greatest shining star. A second defeat at Wrestlemania would hold absolutely zero meaning and wouldn?t do much for either man’s career. It has to be that initial defeat to gain the biggest benefit, but who would it go to? Randy Orton or Edge?
My personal answer is: neither. Yes, I know that I built up this column to favor one over the other, but the simple fact is that I believe that Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania should remain intact until the day that he retires. It would be a nice little note to always see in the books that there has only been one man in wrestling history to go undefeated at Wrestlemania for such a long time. The Undertaker is one of the biggest icons in the wrestling business and he has spent an insurmountable amount of time building that legacy. While having a defeat to the right person would be a selfless and graceful way to retire because it would really be seen as a ?passing of the torch?, I think an exception is called for just this one time.
However, that is just my opinion and I am only one man. If I were to go against my own wishes and had to pick one or the other, I would have to go with Randy Orton. As far as a heel personality is concerned, Randy Orton’s star is shining a smidge bit brighter than Edge’s. He is a little bit hotter than Edge is right now as far as his forward momentum is concerned and that kind of shot in the arm would really capitalize on all of Randy Orton’s hard work of getting to where he is today.
With that being said, that brings me to this week’s feedback question. If you had to choose between Randy Orton or Edge, who would you have pin The Undertaker’s shoulders to the canvas on the grandest stage of them all?
I look forward to your feedback on that one. As always if you want to drop me a line about the feedback question, wrestling in general, or anything else you feel like talking about including the weather, why Nicholas Cage still gets work, or your position on FOIA, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time…
Because I can.