HomeWrestlingWWE: WrestleMania 19 Vs. Wrestlemania 29 | 10 Years Difference

WWE: WrestleMania 19 Vs. Wrestlemania 29 | 10 Years Difference

It’s ten years since WrestleMania XIX, an event which I had the fortune to be able to attend. Seattle is a fair trek from jolly old England but it was well worth it for that “once in a lifetime” experience. (I also happened to make it to the previous year’s WrestleMania too in Toronto, but if the WWE can bend the truth on “Once In A Lifetime” why can’t I?)

At Axxess I was able to meet my all-time wrestling hero Shawn Michaels, as well as getting the opportunity to pose for pictures with the likes of Tajiri & Funaki (I made sure to no-sell Tajiri’s chicken-wing submission hold), The Dudley Boys and, in a rather bizarre combination, Nidia and Brian “Spanky” Kendrick. Looking back though, there are some interesting comparisons and things to note about that show as compared to this year’s effort.

For instance It’s interesting to note that, as of press time, the five of the six people who wrestled at XIX who will also be on hand for XXIX are all part-timers these days, to different degrees. The Undertaker essentially wrestles once a year these days, Chris Jericho and The Rock have come back short-term, in amongst other semi-regular runs, and Brock Lesnar and Triple H have long-term contracts but effectively pick and choose there few working dates per year. The only person working what you would term a “full-time” deal ten years on is The Big Show. Of course, Booker T is General Manager of Smackdown, Rey Mysterio is currently injured and Kane only wrestled on the Sunday Night Heat dark-match at XIX. Those with a good memory might remember that the then hot prospect John Cena made his ‘Mania “debut” but had to be satisfied with cutting a promo on the event to a cardboard cut out of Jay-Z.

It’s also noticeable that the “secondary” World Title matches have an eerily similar focus in some respects; Triple H was a bit close to the knuckle with some of his comments prior to XIX, which bordered on the racist, whilst the Jack Swagger/Alberto Del Rio feud is also attempting to push similar buttons. Mind you, I’d be surprised if Swagger loses by getting hit by The Pedigree and then having to wait around for three minutes whilst HHH crawls over to pin him…

Although I am biased due to my attendance, XIX remains one of my favourite ‘Mania’s. It was certainly second only to X-7 within the first 20.

Though it started relatively slowly, I still think the first half of the show was underrated at the time. Rey Misterio/Matt Hardy was a fun opener, and whilst The Undertaker’s win over A-Train & The Big Show wasn’t The Streak’s finest moment by any means it was a good effort, especially from The Dead Man. The three-way for the Tag Team Titles was entertaining whilst it lasted too.

The “main events” though all largely delivered. Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho was an awesome match and it was a genuine thrill for me to see Mr. WrestleMania in action on the big stage. Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon had an impossibly entertaining encounter which even my dad (who had taped the show off Sky for me whilst I was away and couldn’t resist watching it before I got back) said was one hell of a spectacle. “They know how to put on a show” were his exact words. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin had their final battle in another hugely entertaining match before Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle ended the show with a titanic battle. That botched Shooting Star Press still makes me wince to this day, but that one mistake shouldn’t detract too much from the excellence that went before it. The only one of the big matches that failed to deliver was HHH against Booker T. But as I’ve already said, that was largely due to the fact that this was HHH’s night to cut-off Booker T. It took him a long time to recover from this night.

A lot has changed over the past decade, even if a number fo the stars of this event will find themselves in the ring at WrestleMania XXIX. And for all the carping about the build up to this year’s event and the match choices, if it can come anywhere near matching the excellence of its predecessor a decade ago we’ll be in for a treat for sure.

– By Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts
Matthew Roberts
"Who's your daddy, Montreal?" - Shawn Michaels
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