Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS: ELITE 8!

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On the surface, it appears there weren't many surprises in the Sweet 16 round. Only one lower-seeded participant advanced, and that was the #9 WrestleMania XXVIII over #8 WrestleMania XXV. However, there was actually a bit of wrangling with the judges behind the scenes (and maybe even a backdoor deal or two). #10-seed WrestleMania XIV had its proponents, and the #4-seeded WrestleMania X was an Owen Hart-schoolboy away from being upset by its younger brother, #13-seeded WrestleMania XXIV.

Now that the stage is set for the Elite 8, will we finally see some of these surprises rear their ugly heads? One of them's gotta be due for a win at this point, right?

#1 #9

Looks like another easy-breezy matchup for #1-overall WrestleMania X-Seven. We're sure WrestleMania XXVIII has its fans, and heck, may even be a little better in the match-quality category (even if the Observer has them in a dead-heat), but it lags behind its opponent in nearly every other category. The crowd was bigger for XXVIII, but bigger doesn't always mean "hotter", which X-Seven had in spades. There's also not a lot of history packed into the #9-seed here: Rock vs. Cena had a "rewarmed in the microwave" feeling, and, while they tore the house (and Cell) down, we'd seen Taker & Trips battle twice before at Mania, too. The only thing that comes close to history at XXVIII was Daniel Bryan's 18-second loss...and that's not necessarily a good thing.

#4 #5

Quite the intriguing match-up here. X and XX represent milestones for WrestleMania, and as such are rather easy to compare head-to-head. Both took place where it all began: Madison Square Garden. Their Observer ratings are identical. Both are missing a good Undertaker match. And both would be laid to waste by nearly any other opponent in the field, despite their historical significance, due to a sagging middle portion. The main event of XX is tainted for obvious reasons, while the main event of X was only marginally better than the rotten one from a year earlier by virtue of The Hitman winning this time. As a result, it's time to go to the X-Factor: Which one had Doink and Dink the Clown fighting Bam Bam Bigelow?

#2 #7

It's been 3 years now, and the buzz from WrestleMania XXX still hasn't worn off. It's the event the other 10-year anniversary shows wished they could've been. And that's why it's a strong #2-seed here. Some might say it's still to early to crown this show from the SilverDome SuperDome, but even in an objective light it's hard to deny its historical impact. Hot crowd, Daniel Bryan's "unlikely" double-win, and a Taker loss that's still driving storylines to this day, and you have a tentpole show that's hard to top...especially for a big underdog like WrestleMania X-8, which barely survived the Sweet 16. Can Hogan/Rock turn the judges around like they did to the crowd in Toronto?

#3 #6

Nostalgia and a long-held fondness has carried the relatively mediocre WrestleMania III this far, and with a favorable match-up here it seems poised for the biggest upset in the Elite 8 round. WrestleMania XIX comes in with a high-seed thanks to having one of the best Observer ratings in the field (3.1), but it may finally have met its match in an opponent that bests it in every other conceivable way. Historical impact isn't exaggerated with III, whether it's the (disputed) crowd size or the main event feel of Hogan/Andre, and no one match on XIX really stacks up against Macho/Steamboat. Of course III had King Kong Bundy vs. The Midgets, but that was just harmless fun. That XIX match with Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train, on the other hand, was just plain insulting.

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