Atomic Drops: THE WRESTLING CLASSIC: That Ain’t No Good Draw

Originally posted on Atomic Anxiety:

The Wrestling Classic

The Wrestling Classic (WWF) – November 7, 1985 – Rosemont Horizon (Rosemont, IL) – Main Event: Hulk Hogan (c) vs Rowdy Roddy Piper (WWF Championship) – Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Vince McMahon, Lord Alfred Hayes, and “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

I really don’t like one-event wrestling tournaments like KING OF THE RING, and THE WRESTLING CLASSIC is almost entirely taken up by a large tournament featuring 16 wrestlers. The problem with these tournaments is that either the matches are long, and the wrestlers get burnt out, or they’re short and the fans might not be properly entertained. The more matches you have, the more downtime there is between matches.

That said, THE WRESTLING CLASSIC is surprisingly enjoyable. Things move fast and there’s a wide variety of matches (short, technical, brawls), and the sheer old schoolness of much of the event (the Rosemont Horizon looks, feels, and sounds like…

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Atomic Drops: WRESTLEMANIA XII: The Giants Are Squaring Off

Originally posted on Atomic Anxiety:

WrestleMania 12

WrestleMania XII (March 31, 1996) – Arrowhead Pond (Anaheim, CA) – Main Event: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Iron Man Match for WWF Championship) – Announcers: Vince McMahon, Jerry “the King” Lawler, Mr. Perfect, Todd Pettengill, and Dok Hendrix (aka Michael Hayes).

After the celebrity indulgence of WRESTLEMANIA XI, WRESTLEMANIA XII puts the big spotlight back on the wrestlers, featuring a 60-minute Iron Man Match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship. It’s a smart move – if you really want people to keep coming back for the product, you have to hook them on the product instead of the accoutrements, and there’s no better way to figure out if someone is a wrestling fan than sitting them down and having them watch the Heartbreak Kid and the Hitman wrestle in their prime.

I kinda love WRESTLEMANIA XII – it’s far from the best WrestleMania of all…

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Life During Wartime: Raw vs. Nitro 1996 (Week 1)

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If you’ve ever taken even a cursory glance through the history of the WWE and pro wrestling in general, you’re probably aware of something which has become known as the Monday Night Wars. For those of you that don’t know, and can’t look it up on Wikipedia or anything like that, the Monday Night Wars was a period of time (I’d personally say 1995-2001, but it could be argued that tensions were pushed even earlier) when Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation was in direct competition with World Championship Wrestling, which was owned by Ted Turner but operated by Eric Bischoff, while promotions like ECW and Smokey Mountain Wrestling went on in the background.

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Atomic Drops: SUMMERSLAM (2014): The One in 21 and 1

Originally posted on Atomic Anxiety:

Summer Slam 2014

SummerSlam (2014) – Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA) – August 17, 2014 – Main Event: WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) – Announcers: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry “the King” Lawler; Pre-Show: Renee Young, Booker T, Alex Riley, and Ric Flair.

I never thought I’d see a night like SUMMERSLAM 2014.

I am not surprised that Brock Lesnar defeated John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to the simple fact that I could not see the WWE devaluing Lesnar’s victory over the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. What I am surprised about is how it happened, which was a near total and absolute beat down.

The WWE turned the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match into a squash match.

And it was terrible.

And it was incredible.

And it helped make their match into one of the most memorable Championship…

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Promos By Hyphen: How The Brock Lesnar Plan Worked

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I spend a lot of time in these columns groveling at the Creative team’s feet when something I’ve hated for months (years?) makes me a do a 180. But yet again, they’ve managed to do it.

They’ve made me care about Brock Lesnar.

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Atomic Drops: WRESTLEMANIA XI: All Your Dreams Have Now Become Your Tonightmares

Originally posted on Atomic Anxiety:

WrestleMania 11

WrestleMania XI (April 2, 1995) – Hartford Civic Center (Hartford, CT) – Main Event: Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – Announcers: Vince McMahon, Jerry “the King” Lawler, Jim Ross, and Todd Pettengill.

WRESTLEMANIA XI might very well be the easiest WrestleMania to hate, and not just for the preponderance of mullets. It represents not only the height of Vince McMahon’s starfucking, but sees the company in a decided downturn. Instead of being an assured, confident production, WRESTLEMANIA XI feels much closer to an amateur night at your local high school than it does the “greatest spectacle in sports entertainment” as Jerry “the King” Lawler decrees before he starts rambling incoherently about Hollywood and Broadway.

It should be remembered, though, that if you’re watching WrestleMania as a fan of wrestling, you’re only part of the intended audience. Much like the NFL knows the Super Bowl attracts more people than the…

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Atomic Drops: WRESTLEMANIA X: He Who Made Kittens, Put Snakes in the Grass

Originally posted on Atomic Anxiety:

WrestleMania X

WrestleMania X (March 20, 1994) – Madison Square Garden (New York NY) – Main Event: Yokozuna (c) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart (WWF Championship) – Announcers: Vince McMahon, Jerry “the King” Lawler, and Todd Pettengill.

For better and for worse, WRESTLEMANIA X sets the fallback blueprint for how the WWF/WWE runs WrestleMania. There is a mix of phenomenal matches and ridiculous cartoons and “celebrities” and an attempt to get newer wrestlers over with the crowd. At ten years of age, WRESTLEMANIA X is less an event that has come into its own as it is an example of wrestlers who are finally outpacing the company. Vince-esque favorites are still here: the Quebecers, Man on a Mission, Crush, Doink the Clown, and Yokozuna are all here to fulfill Vince’s need for cultural stereotypes and physical oddities, but not even Vince and Jerry “the King” Lawler’s cartoonish, end of the world announcing can…

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Slater’s Signature Finisher: Sting makes first official WWE appearance

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For nearly 20 years, Sting had been unofficially known as the biggest wrestling superstar to never sign a WWE contract. Earlier this year, rumors started making the rounds that Sting and WWE were finally in negotiations. At 55-years-old, I guess Sting realized that the time is now or never to make any kind of serious impact in a WWE ring.

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