Note: The below column is all in fun – relax!
Wrestlemania season is such a treat. I just love this time of year. I love the people, the wrestlers, just everything about life in general. This year, I really wanted to do something special for Wrestlemania. I made hundreds of phone calls and utilized every single resource I had to put together a special conference. I managed to gather the greatest stars of Wrestlemania in one room. It was fantastic. I managed to record the conversation and wanted to share the transcript here with all of you. Before I get started, it should be noted that not all of these guys get along. A few of these guys have some personal issues with each other, so we had to gather on neutral ground. Of all the great Wrestlemania stars, there was only one man everyone would say they liked: The Undertaker. So our only choice was to meet at Undertaker’s layer. This was no easy journey. We had to meet in a parking lot in the middle of the night where a carriage, driven by Paul Bearer, took us deep into the woods, and then underground. Despite his high-pitched voice, Paul is a pretty deep guy when you really talk to him, especially on the subject of Nietzsche’s Übermensch. We gathered into a dark room with a long table in the center. To the side was a buffet with all kinds of goodies. Not everyone was okay with the food provided, but we were able to resolve those differences and get down to business. It was time to talk about Wrestlemania. This is the conversation that took place in that room. I hope you enjoy.
Me: Thank you to everyone for coming, and a special thanks to The Undertaker for hosting us all.
Me: So let’s start off with the first show. What does everyone remember about the first Wrestlemania?
Hulk Hogan: Well let me tell you something, brother. The first Mania was all about creating a show that was big enough to showcase Hulk Hogan. At that time, nobody had even heard of professional wrestling. The goal was to create a show so big that Hulk Hogan could show himself to the world.
Me: I don’t know if that was necessarily the case, but we can go with that. John Cena, you were just a kid at the time, what did you think?
John Cena: You know he’s Hulk Hogan. If that is what he said happened then that is how it went down. Who are we to disagree with a legend?
Me: Let’s move on. Ultimate Warrior, you were there to face Hulk Hogan in Toronto at Wrestlemania VI. That was one of the biggest matches ever. What are your memories of that match?
Ultimate Warrior: Your question is useless in the grand scheme of the universe. Memories are just ideas in the mind we believe to have happened. Whatever they are, they’re in the past. But then again, the past is only a memory.
Hulk Hogan: I remember that match, brother. Warrior was gassed out after twenty seconds and wanted to end the match. I carried him to a sixty minute classic before letting him get the pin. Vince wanted to go in a new direction, but when it was all said and done, the fans were looking at me as I left the ring.
Me: Isn’t that because the fans were following Warrior’s move in saluting you as you left the ring?
Hulk Hogan: Nope. That ain’t the way it went down, dude. Warrior didn’t have faith in himself. Even he was looking at me, begging me to come back and reclaim my title.
Me: Steve Austin, you had a career-making match with Bret Hart in 1997. Do you believe those moments can be booked or do they need to be organic?
Steve Austin: Give me a Hell Yeah!
At this point, Austin began stunning other guests. He took out Triple H, The Rock and Ric Flair. For some reason, Flair got right back up, bladed, then fell back down again.
Me: Batista, you had a huge match with Triple H in 2005 and were a huge star. How do you handle the pressure of a Wrestlemania main event?
Batista: Well I’ll tell you how you don’t handle it: By going PG. Wrestlemania used to be cool, then wrestling got all PG. Ever since then, there is no reason to watch it. Why don’t I just watch Disney on Ice?
Me: You always bring that up, but the Attitude Era was only a few years in the deep history of wrestling. Wrestlemania started out in a PG era. In fact, you never wrestled for WWE in the Attitude Era. They were toned down a long time before you left.
John Cena: Hey, if Batista says that Wrestlemania sucks, then it does. Who are we to tell him different? Rise above.
I was beginning to lose respect for John Cena
Me: Undertaker, you and Kane have been with the company a long time. How has Wrestlemania changed for you over time?
Me: Why don’t I just ask your brother? Where is he?
Me: You guys live together?
Hulk Hogan: Times are tough, brother. You don’t have a Hulk Hogan there to put food on the table by selling out arenas every night and making money for the boys. Instead, you have a bunch of nobodies incapable of drawing.
At this point, the few lights we had in the room went out. A red light slowly came up. Kane, with a bad case of bed head, marched into the room. He raised his arms up over his head. I covered my ears, fearing a loud boom was coming. When he brought his arms down, two pop-tarts popped up out of a toaster on the buffet table. He grabs his pop-tarts, strawberry with sprinkles, and leaves the room.
Me: Okay, so now I want to get thought from Mr. Wrestlemania himself-Shawn Michaels. Shawn, how did you manage to steal the show at most of those shows?
HBK: It is such a huge compliment that people feel…
HBK couldn’t finish his sentence. He was just with a Stunner by Austin.
Me: Okay that’s enough!
I stood up and began taking these idiots to task.
Me: Wrestlemania is the greatest show on earth! All of you have had the privilege to be a part of it, to entertain millions of people and have your names etched in the stones of history like Greek gods. Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan are two of the all-time great draws, and they have become parodies of themselves.
Hulk Hogan: Three million people were crammed into the Pontiac Silverdome when I slammed Andre!
Me: Shut up! John Cena, you are the top guy in the business today. You just sit there and take all of this?
John Cena: Hey, you got a point. If I a pushover then who am I to argue with you. You and all the other people pay money to boo or cheer me. You can say whatever you want.
Me: Shut up and take what it yours!
Austin: You do the same! DTA!
I turned to see two middle fingers. That was the last thing I remember as I was a victim of the Stunner. I woke up several hours later in a casket. The Undertaker was there to give me a drink of water, and then invited me into his living room. I walked in to find everyone from the meeting now sitting on a large sectional couch watching Wrestlemania I. The Rock was enjoying himself like a little kid. HBK and Triple H were sitting on the floor with their eyes glued to the TV. Batista had left because he found the show to primitive. Warrior and Hogan were sharing ships and salsa. Undertaker invited me to take a seat next to Kane, who, still in his pajamas, offered me a pop-tart. Steve Austin would stand on the couch and chug a beer every time any of the matches had any move whatsoever. It was a fun night. I realized then and there that even though my heroes have their flaws, we all have one thing in common, and that is our love for professional wrestling.
Ric Flair then entered the room completely naked, still bleeding from his forehead, and began dropping elbows on the ground. Hulk Hogan then tore off his shirt, Warrior began shaking and breaking anything he could find. It was madness. Kane and I sat back and kept watching Wrestlemania I.
Austin: Hell Yeah!