It’s been a busy week. Sorry for the lack of ‘Mania posts. Guess I shouldn’t have started the countdown more than a month in advance!
For the second straight year, fellow newsroom wrestling nerd Rodney Hart and I took some time out of our busy schedules to preview WrestleMania 27. If you missed last year’s, head here.
Make sure you check back to DOBservations on Sunday night as Hart and I will be live blogging from my basement. We’re using CoverItLive, so you’ll be able to join in the fun, too. Here’s what the Hitman did last year during WM 26.
Here’s how the Hitman and I see things going down in Atlanta on Sunday night:
Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend. Had family in town celebrating our oldest son’s 12th birthday. Derek turns 12 today. He was born on the night of WrestleMania 15. Sadly, they didn’t have Pay-Per-View available in the Blessing Hospital maternity ward.
I’ll continue my look at tag teams today with two oldies but goodies. When I first saw the Road Warriors on an old NWA broadcast on TBS, I was mesmerized. These dudes looked bad. Hawk and Animal wore shoulder pads with spikes and the meanest face paint around. The also had a good mouthpiece in manager Paul Ellering and an awesome theme song in “Iron Man.”
The Road Warriors were considered one of the best tag teams around. Animal’s son, James Laurinaitis, can be seen playing linebacker for the St. Louis Rams these days.
But the duo was never utilized very well in the WWF, where they were known as the Legion of Doom. Here’s a look at the LOD’s appearance in WrestleMania XIV. You’ll notice the valet Sunny, who’s being included into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, lead the pair into the ring for this tag team battle royal.
Two of the better talkers are Edge and Christian. A decade ago, they were tag team partners who were as entertaining on the mike as they were in the ring.
This year, Edge is in one of the main event matches against one of my new favorites, Albert Del Rio. Christian may also find himself in that match at some point as the WWE has recently reunited the pair for this storyline.
Here’s a look at the high-flying duo from WrestleMania 17 going up against the Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match.
We’ll change gears for the next couple of days and take a look at some of my favorite tag teams in action. It’s too bad the WWE doesn’t care about tag teams any more because those teams used to have some pretty good story lines.
One of my favorite teams when I was younger was the duo of Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. They started out as heels, but eventually became faces (or good guys). Even when they were good guys it was hard to hate them because they still did some heel-type moves, like the one you see here from their match against the Bolsheviks in WrestleMania VI.
In our continuing look at wrestlers first WM appearances, we take a look at a somewhat local product.
At one time, Glenn Jacobs was a hopeful for the Quincy College men’s basketball team. He played sparingly as a freshman during the 1985-86 season and as you can see from the attached bio from the 1986-87 team program, the Hawks were hoping for big things from their big man from Paris, Mo. However, the Bowling Green (Mo.) High School graduate didn’t quite pan out at QU and wound up transferring to Northeast Missouri State University.
He may have never made it as a baller, but Jacobs has fared quite well for himself in the squared circle.
You might now him as Dr. Issac Yankem DDS. But you probably better know him as Kane, the deranged brother of the Undertaker. After his Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS gimmick had no teeth, the WWF repackaged him as Kane and he’s been a headliner ever since.
Here’s a highlight package of his first WrestleMania appearance. He took on his brother and, of course, lost:
At one time, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was a prim and proper gentleman. He entered the WWF 15 years ago to try to teach us all some manners. He eventually evolved into Triple H, a guy who had no manners at all and wound up racking up title belt after title belt.
Triple H, as he’s known these days, is living the good life. He works about half the year, is married to Vince McMahon’s daughter, and seems to be set for life with the WWE. He’ll try to break the Undertaker’s winning streak — not gonna happen — at this year’s Super Bowl of sports entertainment.
As much power as he has in the company now, it’s apparent that HHH had very little back at WrestleMania XII when he made his WM debut against the Ultimate Warrior. HHH did the job to the Warrior, getting squashed in the process.
Here’s a highlight reel from WM 12. You have to fast forward to about the 1:06 mark to get to Hunter Hearst Helmsely and the Warrior. It wasn’t pretty for old Triple H either. Notice how much smaller HHH is then to now.
These days, the Miz is the most must-see WWE champion in the history of the company. He’s the future of the WWE.
Two years ago, he was being held back by the WWE as part of a doubles team with John Morrision. The team was thought of so little by the WWE that their WrestleMania match in 2009 was what’s called a dark match, which means it wasn’t on TV. It was exclusively on WWE.com.
Morrison and the Miz faced the Colon brothers with a slew of lumberjacks outside the ropes. Guess that was the WWE’s way to get everyone in the locker room in WrestleMania. The Miz you’ll see here is much different from the Awesome champion that struts his stuff every Monday night on Raw:
As I noted earlier during the countdown, Hulk Hogan is the guy who brought pro wrestling back into the mainstream.
Obviously, his first WrestleMania was the very first one. He teamed with Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Here’s the entrance to that first main event at WrestleMania. Things have changed a bit since then:
One of my current favorites is Chris Jericho. I’ve been a Jerichoholic since I first watched his work in WCW in the late 1990s. Many more people will become Jericholics next week when he makes his debut on “Dancing With The Stars.”
Jericho came over to the WWF in 1999 and made an immediate impact thanks to his gift for gab. He made his WrestleMania debut with two other WrestleMania rookies at WM 16, battling with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit.
Jericho cuts an OK promo at the beginning of the match. He’s gotten much better since then. He’s currently in hiatus from the WWE. He needs to come back soon.
Let’s go to Anaheim, Calif., future home of your NBA Anaheim Royals:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ll look at the guy known as Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels.
More widely known as the Heartbreak Kid, Michaels started his WWF career in the late 1980s as a member of a tag team called “The Rockers.” They were good guys through and through, loved by all the women and children. I couldn’t stand them. Even though Michaels is seen as one of the best in the business during his career, I never warmed to him, probably because he started as a good guy.
Michaels is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Sadly, there is no building that houses all of the WWE Hall of Famers. If there was such a building, I would have visited it by now.
I couldn’t find The Rockers’ first WM match, so this one from their second WM appearance against the Orient Express at WrestleMania VI will have to do. Enjoy: