Does a WrestleMania record matter?

Posted: April 2, 2013 by Kick Out At 2! in Derick B, Wrestlemania Week!
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Every year, the same topic gets brought up: “Who do you think will win/lose at WrestleMania? Is this the year that the streak gets broken?” yada yada yada. And of course I have my predictions (on display later this week, right here at kickoutat2.com), but my answer is universally the same. “To me, it doesn’t really matter. It’s about the show.”

For a wrestler who has been in the WWE for a couple of months to a couple of years, I think their WM record matters.  For an up-and-comer to put a notch in the win column at the “Showcase of the Immortals” , its a great way to end WrestleMania season. That means that the months of hard work, possible extra matches, bigger promos, the hype etc. has all come to a successful end. They can look back to January with satisfaction before it all resets the following night on Raw.

In the same breath however, losing at “The grandest stage of them all” doesn’t hinder a career as much as people think. Great example: WrestleMania 10. The ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. When that match is uttered, everyone remembers Shawn. The remember the ingenuity and introduction of the ladder match. But if you ask who won the match, most will mistakenly say “Oh, it was Shawn. He made the match great.” And obviously they would be incorrect, but not completely. Yes, Shawn did lose that match, but he is also what people remember about it. Technically a loss, but a win in terms of stealing the show.

Take a match from this WrestleMania. Ryback/Mark Henry. Now since this is written before the match takes place, I can only guess who the winner will be. But this is my thinking: Ryback will win. And before the end of the match, he will deliver Shellshocked to Mark Henry. In doing this he gets his own “moment” in a very young career, gets his win at WrestleMania, and sees the success of the massive push he has received so far. But that leaves Mark Henry. Mark has been in the business since 1996. 17 years. What’s his record at WrestleMania you ask? 0-4. Does that define a career that has spanned 17 years? No. So having Mark lose to Ryback hurts no one.

3 other quick records and I’m wrapping this up. First is Shawn Michaels, who I talked about earlier. Shawn is 6-11. In a career that most say is top 3 as the greatest of all time (even more argue as to it being the #1), he hasn’t won half of the matches he was in at WrestleMania. Does that define his legacy? Absolutely not. My view he won most of those matches by either stealing the show, or making his opponent look better than he did before the bell rang.  Not bad considering he IS “Mr. WrestleMania”. Another example is Triple H. Triple H is 7-9 at the “Granddaddy of ’em All”. Still less than .500 at WrestleMania, but, has had moment after moment of spectacle at the event. Which leaves me to Example #3….

The Undertaker. 20-0. What an epic feat. It stands where no measuring stick can reach. It is unrivaled in Professional Wrestling as a streak that will never be matched. Does it define the Undertaker’s career? To me, mostly.  When his name is brought into discussion, the first thought is the streak. Starting in January, talk begins of “Who will be the one to attempt to beat the streak this year?”  20 have shown up, and 20 have fallen. Not all the matches have been great, and Giant Gonzalez knows what I’m talking about. His last 4 matches, in my opinion, have been his best. I’m sure you’ve seen them, so you’re welcome for me pointing that out.

In summary, does the record matter? Yes and no. Fans can only use your last match as a reference to the ability of the performer. The record is only 1 stat. Don’t use it as a reference to someone once their career is over.

And remember, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s who comes out looking the best.

– Derick B.

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