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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

WrestleMania Rewind: The Greatest Matches Ever

Episode 73 - With host Craig Norris, cohost Taylor Lidstone, and special guest MC Dent.
First Broadcast on Edge Radio, 17th May 2024.


Join special guest MC Dent as we cover Australian pro wrestlers Rhea Ripley and Grayson Waller’s triumphant return home for the WWE’s major event. We also discuss the upcoming WWE King and Queen of the Ring tournament, Netflix’s groundbreaking $5 billion deal to stream WWE Raw, and a nostalgic exploration of the best WrestleMania matches of all time. Tune in for insights, predictions, and wrestling history! 🎙️🤼‍♂️


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TRANSCRIPT

This is an AI-generated transcript of the audio and it may contain errors. We may update or correct this transcript in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this transcript. The audio is the official record of this episode.


CRAIG NORRIS

Hello. Hi. You're listening to media mothership here on Edge Radio, 99.3 FM broadcasting. As always, out of ******. Lunar Hobart TAS's Wonderful Edge Radio studios here. Join us as we journey through the fascinating origins. And now it is the drive and shape various media and pop culture phenomena. We're going to dive deep. With media mothership as we uncover stories that have captivated audiences and influenced the entertainment landscape, I'm your host. Doctor Craig joined as always by Lord Taylor.

Speaker 4

Hello.

CRAIG NORRIS

And now joined by special guest MC Dent.

MC DENT

Hello.

CRAIG NORRIS

Excellent. So today's show, we're exploring the role of wrestling E wrestling and as always, we're streaming over edgeradio.org dot AU as well as YouTube and Twitch. And you can find us by just searching media, mother. Chip, we're also contactable through the chat there or on the SMS line 04888888, OK 04888117 O seven. I'll try keep an eye on that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So welcome. Gosh, you know, I feel like I can never give myself enough time to prepare. It's like, you know, 40 minutes goes by just like that. And. And I believe we've got audio filings listening on the stream do. Let me know if we don't have audio. Let's jump straight in now. I'll play a well, actually. Let's let's do a little bit of of news in the world of wrestling. So the first story I want to go over because I did a search of current stories or interesting things which are occurring.

Speaker 4

Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, so this one Australian pro wrestlers Ria Ripley and Grayson Walla return home for our biggest biggest WWE event in years. This was back in 24. Well, this story was back in 21st February 2024 ABC News. And it's highlighting 2 WWE Women Champions Rio Ripley. And and and Grayson will.

MC DENT

Grayson Waller is another women's champion. Grayson Waller is a. Man, OK, great.

Speaker 4

This there's this same person here. Ohh right? Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Point.

Speaker 4

He's the same person, yes, the before.

MC DENT

Before and after she discovered the cure.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yes, it's very cure esque in terms of the Robert.

MC DENT

The makeup. Robert. Myth yes, with the the the lipstick, the makeup and the wild black hair.

Speaker

Wow.

CRAIG NORRIS

All right, so he's one of like, pro wrestlers area. Ripley and Grayson Wall. So who are these two?

MC DENT

People real Ripley is from Adelaide originally so I immediately assume you'd be a fan. She was the I can't remember if she was the WWE Women's champion or the.

Speaker

What?

MC DENT

Women's heavyweight champion cause those are two different titles. I believe she was the heavyweight champ. And and she held the belt for roughly a year, and she got the she's a member of the Judgement Day, which is a.

CRAIG NORRIS

Heel faction heels are feelings back? Yeah. Yep.

MC DENT

Kills the villains, so here you you you cheer for faces or baby faces and you Boo for heels.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh really so. The good guys are baby faces. Wow. Yeah.

MC DENT

Baby faces or faces.

Speaker 4

And even if you like the person you. Boo.

CRAIG NORRIS

For them, right, the the kind of theatrics.

Speaker 4

Thank you.

CRAIG NORRIS

Of audience engagement. Requires that participation where you. Do you often find yourself in that similar? Like where you like do the the heel.

MC DENT

Not really, because people, people generally tend to. It's the same with movies and TV shows. We always like villains. We always like heels as well, so it's pretty rare to be actually, you know, actively cheering a heel. Cause I I watch.

Speaker

I watch so you will Boo.

MC DENT

The heel. Yeah. You, you, you. You know, I I watch person with with friends in as in a group setting and. We always cheer. We never really Boo we'll we'll say. Ohh. Come on. If if if a pinfall gets broken when we thought that the match was over. But Rita Ripley, she's very like this really Gothic sort of mental routine. And although she was here for a while, she sort of someone who is, who acts like a heel, but people cheer for them because she does have a very she had a very huge following. That's they're called a tweener because they go between face and heel. So she was honestly more of a tweener. And a heel.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Is there a narrative that helps pull the wrestlers in those directions in terms? Of you know, she was redeemed by another wrestler.

MC DENT

Ohh no, she wasn't. It's not. It's not so much that she was redeemed. It's. I mean, she has a friendship with Dominic Mysterio. Who everyone absolutely despises. He is one of the greatest hills because everyone just hates him. His dad, Ray Mysterio, is one of the greatest faces ever, but essentially he was her morality pet, if you will. But people just just cheer for her because just because she's really tough pulls off really cool moves and just completely unrepentant. She just really enjoys what she's doing.

CRAIG NORRIS

Morality pets. What's?

MC DENT

Yes, base. So. So basically it's it's from TV. Sorry, I I don't know if it's actually a real expression or. But the idea is that it's it's someone who the man who, who the character looks after and in looking after them the character becomes, you know, more likeable.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. So we'll be an example. It's it's not really everyone, Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker is not everyone's canobie's morality pet, but.

MC DENT

Probably the most famous instance if we're talking about pop culture, it would be. Halo and Gohan in Dragon Ball Z.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right, because people is a kind of bad guy.

MC DENT

Yes, he's initially still evil when he gets word that the Saints are going to invade, and so he kidnaps Gohan, who is at that .4 years old and trains him.

Speaker

Yeah.

MC DENT

Every year, and in doing so, it gets redeemed and he becomes a good guy. And if we're going, if we're going by wrestling parlance, he has a heel face turn because he's a bad guy and then he becomes, he turns into being a face, he becomes a good guy. So. He has his. Heel, face, turn, heel, face turns because of his friendship with with Gohan.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. Can you apply like? Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? These kind of ways of decoding narrative structures you're in. There's. Any real world? Experience like I guess it doesn't really happen in workplaces where you can see to a colleague you know you're. I think sometimes our relationship as a Co host to a host gravitate between heels and baby faces, so this is there. Australian Ness played up is the fact that she's Australian like does she wear a Cooper?

MC DENT

No, she doesn't. She doesn't. Look, she doesn't look like an Australian. She she has.

CRAIG NORRIS

It's not.

MC DENT

Has that kind of like I guess that that Australian bravado, but she's not OCA.

CRAIG NORRIS

Is there any Australian occa stereotype?

MC DENT

Not at the moment. There probably has been at some point in the past is some awful gimmick, probably from the the early to mid 90s. No, not not at this stage, not at this stage.

CRAIG NORRIS

Dundee.

MC DENT

But the event that they're talking about, elimination chamber, is one of the one of the major paper premium live events. They're called now, used to be called pay per views. But now everything's a pay-per-view because you have, you know, sorry, it's it's not a paper because you don't pay an individual fee to see that one on closed circuit broadcast. You just watch it on a streaming service. So they're now.

Speaker

Yes.

CRAIG NORRIS

1/8.

MC DENT

They're now called premium live events.

CRAIG NORRIS

Because Netflix, the big news I guess was was a Netflix picking up or is it Netflix will stream WWE Raw in $5 billion deal this was announced. Back in January and in January 2024, and that's the kind of thing we're talking about, where a streamer like Netflix, yeah, will have matches or specific things. Do you know much about the Netflix WWE Raw deal? Was that big news in the?

MC DENT

Wrestling the thing that surprised me is that raw and smack down. So they're they're both the the the weekly TV series that the WWE have has, they're going to different streaming services, I believe, right. Everything is on binge right now, which makes it very.

CRAIG NORRIS

Simple to watch. OK. Alright. So binge really is. One of the core. Taylor, what do you feel about the Australian pro wrestlers Ripley and Greece and Walla Walla?

Speaker 4

Well, I don't know who Grayson is. I've only. I've only watched a couple of ones. And the ones that I have watched have been free. Ones on YouTube. Usually released by the WWE channel, but sometimes. Not. I I saw a couple of her matches. She. Yeah, she's good. Good wrestler.

MC DENT

One of the really unique things about the whole heel and face phenomenon is that is that often. Wrestlers who are not from the US, even if they are a heel in the US, they'll. Be a face elsewhere. Yes. So she was definitely treated as a face during elimination chamber when she wrestled against Naya Jacks. Who is? I think she's. She's also sort of. Between her but it. It for for me, there was absolutely no tension because it was a month out from WrestleMania. And it was so obvious that Rio Ripley was not going to lose the match in her home country. When she could be built up and the winner of because the elimination chamber, the purpose of that paper view is to see who's going to challenge for the the title, and Becky Lynch is one of the very biggest stars, one of the biggest women stars ever. One that I thought I just thought they're not gonna throw away. Rear Ripley versus Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 40 and Rear Ripley is not going to lose in her home country.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really. Does the Australian demographic have much or market have much of a significance in the global WWE fan base? Is Australia seen as a? A kind of emerging audience, kind of entrenched or.

MC DENT

I'd say emerging is probably a really good way to describe it, because I think five or six years ago they had Super showdown at the MCG, which is the first time they had a really major pay-per-view in Australia and this was the second time they've had, you know, a premium live event and that was this was in WA at Optus Stadium. So hopefully there's some scope for them to keep on coming back because it would be great to be able to. See these events live actually at the venue because about 15 years ago, sort of 2009 around the tail after.

Speaker

Yes.

MC DENT

After Ric Flair had had quote unquote retired, he retired in the WWE. Ric Flair, one of the biggest wrestlers of the 80s at that point. In his 60s I believe, cause he's he's about 74 hours, sorry, late 50s, early 60s, he and Hulk Hogan did a tour called The Hulk Hogan Tour, Cause Hogan at that point was not affiliated to any, you know, specific company. So he he basically. And a tour around major Australian cities called the Hulk Hogan Tour, where he essentially just talked to. Yeah, it was only in Australia and it was just him beating up Rick Flair every every night.

CRAIG NORRIS

Australian cities. Wow.

MC DENT

I think there are four times and Rick Flair did the job every night. Rick Flair didn't win once. Like, what's the? I guess I get that people are going to see Hogan, but at the same time have some have.

CRAIG NORRIS

Some variety and yeah, why wouldn't there be variety? You think? What would the benefit be just that it does play into heavily the brand recognition of Hulk Hogan as a. Baby face.

MC DENT

But there is a rumour that Hulk Hogan doesn't sleep with bed sheets cause he's so scared of being covered by any. Thing he he does he like Hogan, is extremely reluctant to take a loss. Right. And and the he has creative control written into all of his contracts and his catch phrase that gets bandied around. It's I don't think it's ever been spoken on an actual show, but everyone everyone knows it from backstage discussions is where if if someone wants him to lose he doesn't want to. He says he says.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah.

MC DENT

That doesn't work for me, brother. But but this this. This tour ended up being a complete and total fizzer.

CRAIG NORRIS

Like the Ripley and well, one or the sorry, the Hogan, right?

MC DENT

The whole hone the. Hulk Hogan, one in in 2009, was a fist and no one went to see it. They I think the the venues were at best like 50% capacity. He had the option to make a do a release DVD of it, but because no one would see it, he actually refused to. So they recorded these matches. They they professionally recorded these matches that cannot be legally released cause Hogan doesn't want to do it because he's so upset that they did so badly.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, really. 2009. Oh my gosh.

MC DENT

But Rio Ripley versus Naya Jacks at elimination chamber in February. That was an absolute. That was people loved that they were 110% behind Ripley.

Speaker

Love.

MC DENT

And making so.

CRAIG NORRIS

Much noise. Wow. So there there definitely. Is an audience. But why did the Hogan thing not succeed? Why was it only 50% attended?

MC DENT

Probably because it was a bunch of past their prime wrestlers who people were not interested.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, right.

MC DENT

At that point, but I think you know we, we we transition from that to super showdown around 2018, which I think packed out the MCJ actually it did because that that's actually got the record for the most people seeing a WWE match. Event. Yeah, because the MCG just holds a bigger capacity than most of the venues they normally perform in.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. So even though, yeah, you, you you'd you'd have a a huge audience base of course in the states. However, typically they're not performing in these huge stadiums of large capacity. It just so happened, yeah, at the MCG, big capacity. So it could fill everyone in, wow, what a clean to theme Australia's WW because there's not really much very local. I mean, there is a local wrestling scene, obviously did really work your way through the local Australian scene. Probably. And then.

MC DENT

She would have. I don't know what her story is, but she certainly would have trained as a wrestler in Australia before making the jump to go and, you know, seek greener pastures because it's it's it's next to impossible to make a living as a, as a it's almost impossible to make a professional a living as a pro wrestler in America, let alone in Australia where we don't have, you know, major companies.

CRAIG NORRIS

Facet. Yeah. So again that was. Earlier this year, that event happened. And yeah, I guess one of the the more recent bits of news as well as the fact that in Australia now it's you can pay to watch wrestling on a stream service like Binge or YouTube is quite freely available. I know before we start getting into some of the granularity of wrestling. With a couple of. Tests counting the best and most interesting wrestling. There are spaces if you're interested in wrestling to engage with these days on YouTube that are kind of curated which give people nice introductions into the world of professional wrestling as well. Do you guys listen to any particular watch, any particular YouTube channels that are? Portals into the world of wrestling. Ohh.

MC DENT

Far and away my favourite wrestling YouTube channel is called Wrestling BIOS, where it's it's done by a guy from Northern Ireland and it essentially started because for anyone familiar between 1995 and 2001. WWF, which is now WWE they started Monday night Raw in the early 1990s. Their main competitor was WCW World Championship Wrestling, which was run by Ted Turner and Turner basically said to his head of booking, Eric Bischoff. How do we beat WWF? And Bishop said give me prime. Time Monday night and that became the Monday night Wars, where WCW and WWF would air their shows at the same time every single week and often they that included taking shots at each other. There's one very unique because normally when a wrestler wants to call out another wrestler, they do what's called a promo where they basically do this piece of. Camera and during the Monday Night Wars, Bischoff and another arrest called X Park. So X Park was on WWF and he would call out Eric Bishop on. On another channel, who was another, another corporation altogether who was with WCW and Eric Bishop was calling out Vince McMahon, the head of WWF, to come and and fight him while he was on the WCW show. It was absolute madness, but basically what this guy doesn't bias.

CRAIG NORRIS

Because I'd be like like Superman. From DC directly talking to in in. In my head, like Captain America from Marvel. Yeah, just.

Speaker

Right.

MC DENT

That so imagine so.

CRAIG NORRIS

They're different companies. They're competitors. They're hostile S each other. But yeah, here we have the creators wanting to.

MC DENT

So yeah, imagine imagine Superman calling out Captain America in a DC comic, and Spiderman calling out Superman in a Marvel comic and people think maybe there will be some crossover and so they keep on buying and getting invested. But there, there was never any crossover. Until the very end of 2001, well, the start of 2001, where there was never any crossover because eventually WCW went out of business and McMahon.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really.

MC DENT

In charge of WWF, he just bought the company and imported a bunch of wrestlers over and then proceeded to completely demolish them because he hated them.

CRAIG NORRIS

So much. Well, I guess that's the other bit of news that's come out recently. The backlash against is it McMahon, who was caught up now in legal case regarding sex?

MC DENT

Sex trafficking, essentially running a sex trafficking ring within WWE and also he was a serial predator.

CRAIG NORRIS

Contact 60. Yeah, right. Wow. And those allegations are going to court.

MC DENT

Ohh then I'll just finish that first thought quickly. So I watched basically what this guy does resting by us is every week he watches and he watches an episode of WWF in the corresponding episode of WCW and he compares with each other but to answer. Your question about. McMahon. So what they did was absolutely brilliant damage control because they wanted to take as much heat off of that as they could. So McMahon is a workaholic. Employed as children to be really higher ups. He or he'd never see them. So Stephanie McMahon, his daughter, is married to a long time wrestler called Triple H, who is now in he. He basically ran the developmental division of WWE called NXT. Everyone thought it was terrific. It was better than the main product. So Triple H since McMahon has been sort of down, he's been.

Speaker

Right.

MC DENT

Elevated to doing the main booking for the main roster of. WWE and then one of the very first things that happened was that the rock Dwayne Johnson Wow bought Major shares and became a member of the board. So they essentially brought the rock back in and around the time all this while I was in the man to do everything they could to divert attention away.

CRAIG NORRIS

From McMahon and the Rock, of course, we're talking his. Enormous kind of pop culture celebrity status today. Has been brought in with his roots, of course, in wrestling. And would you say he succeeded in terms?

MC DENT

Of this is another story in and of itself. It's brilliant because OK, so the end of WrestleMania. So WrestleMania 40 was this year 2024, WrestleMania 39 was last year 2023 that. Had Cody Rhodes, who is the essentially the man, he was the he's been the main face of the company for about 18 months now. He challenged Roman Reigns, the main heel who at that point had held the belt for three years and he lost. And so there was a. Lot of the the face lost, so the good guy lost. The bad guy won. But that was to set up their rematch at WrestleMania 40.

CRAIG NORRIS

He lost. Facebook, right?

MC DENT

And Roman Reigns, the top heel. Who was at that point was the champion, is the Rock's cousin. And so there was all this build up to Cody Rhodes coming back and redeeming himself and avenging his loss and beating Roman Reigns and ending Roman Reigns as reign of terror. And then, after Cody Rhodes had won an event called the Royal Rumble, which guarantees you were shot at the title. He for some reason just randomly on the following rule forfeits that and gives the rock the opportunity to challenge when rock when the rock hadn't wrestled a match in something like 12 years. And the rock is so the rock is so tone deaf and so wrapped up in his own ego. In real.

CRAIG NORRIS

Oh wow, right.

MC DENT

Life in real life, he thought that he could just waltz in and everyone would love him, interrupting the story that they've been building for the last 18 months.

CRAIG NORRIS

So you feel behind the scenes this was a call by the Rock and team to say, you know and because?

MC DENT

Yes.

CRAIG NORRIS

Obviously, yeah, the. At that point, they wanted rock on the the board and it provides, as you're saying, damage management for the. Grand scandal and court case. That, it seems, yeah, very clearly. But then the Rock insists on inserting himself back into wrestling, as you saying after 12. Years. So people got.

MC DENT

Hashtag we want Cody as the number one tweet trending on X. They had a they had a a a press conference about a month or so before.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Really.

MC DENT

Kenya, where the rock came out and everyone was booing him and chanting. So Jimmy's a member of the bloodline, is a bad guy, Jay, who, so he's a good guy. He splintered off. So Jimmy here said, as a run in and then you hear Jays music, he runs in and he just tosses Jimmy into the audience, solves that problem, then another member of the bloodline comes in Solo, sakoa. He's got history with. John Cena, who was everyone like. He's got the man about how he's invisible. He's in a whole bunch of high profile things these days. Like peacemaker and Suicide Squad, and he was the biggest wrestler of the 22 thousands rather and he's got history of the South Coast. So his music kids after absolutely no hint he was going to be there, everyone lost their mind he throws in.

CRAIG NORRIS

Hi.

MC DENT

The yeast cells accelerates, he appeared and he basically knocked out. So actually it was. It was hilarious.

CRAIG NORRIS

Sir John Cena does appear ohh wow.

MC DENT

This because one of the biggest cliches in a WWE match is someone getting put through the Spanish announcers desk.

CRAIG NORRIS

Spanish. That's that's this guy's a Spanish announcer for the Spanish audience.

MC DENT

Yes. And so in every major event someone gets put through that table. So my friend, my friends and I, when we were watching it, as soon as they introduced the Spanish announcer at the start of the at the start of the whole night when it's still light outside. We're like, so when someone going through the Spanish announces dead.

Speaker

Ohh really?

MC DENT

And there were there were buildups to it, and they teased it. And so the, like the actual moment was near the very end. John Cena does a run in on Cody Rhodes's match with Roman Reigns and put solar to coat through the Spanish announcer desk. We were on our feet and cheering when he was knocking all the. Stuff we were like, someone's finally going.

Speaker 4

Through the Spanish and else's desk.

CRAIG NORRIS

Spanish and that I love.

MC DENT

And then it was so overbooked. And then the rock came in. He squares up with John Cena because they got his they've they've may have entered 2 wrestlemanias back to back as rivals the the audience starts chanting holy poop only they don't say poop and they start chanting holy poop, holy poop rock hit scene with a with a with a with a rock bottom one shots him and he takes off his belt and he's and there's a runner from Seth Rollins. He just gets completely smacked away by Roman Reigns and everyone is just waiting for something to happen. Cody Rhodes is on his knees. The rock is about to whack him with his weight belt. There's a gong, the lights go out, everyone loses their minds, the lights come up, and then there's the.

Speaker 4

Undertaker.

MC DENT

Taker The Undertaker who's been one of the major, one of the major faces in the company for about 30 years, is standing right behind the rock. The rock turns around, gets hit with a choke slam. There's a gong, the lights go out, the lights come back up and rock and undertaker are both gone. It was such a cool moment because we absolutely lost our minds.

CRAIG NORRIS

No.

Speaker

Or.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow.

MC DENT

Because everyone had been expecting that the rocks like main rival from the early 2000s, Stone Cold Steve Austin was going to be there. So we were waiting for cause. His entrance music starts with breaking glass. Us we were expecting the the the glass to shatter and stone cold to come in and hit the rock with his finishing move. And no, it's the undertaker. Actually I was like well this is.

CRAIG NORRIS

So much better. We were expecting this. Yeah. Yes. Wow. So they must have incredible secrecy control. Absolutely. Like, the ability to keep all that quiet and have the talent somehow.

MC DENT

Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

I guess close by.

MC DENT

But it was actually brilliant because I'd had the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the same city the night before, so all the talent who who were part timers or retired, they were in the area. Anyway.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, what?

MC DENT

So it was very easy for them to just rock up and and and do. A cameo like the I wish the making.

CRAIG NORRIS

Of we are the world and that came together. We have the world right. That's the. One that the. Fundraiser for Africa. We are the one we are. Yeah. And the reason why that got pulled off was because it was held at the Grammys the night of the Grammys. So they had all the talent together in that place, and then they could.

MC DENT

Yeah, that was for to feed the starving. Kids in Africa.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, get them to just let it. Yeah. Sorry, we we have an allergy.

Speaker 4

Yeah, well, let's go to to to to the YouTuber that I watch. Yes. So so the one, the one that I watch is called. Maven, maven, maven. He's a I don't know anything about him in. The actual scene. Do you? Do you?

MC DENT

Know Marcus, I don't watch maven.

Speaker 4

No. Is that what politically, Marvin?

Speaker

Yeah.

MC DENT

Is just no, I've just never.

Speaker 4

Heard of him? OK. Yes, St Marvin maven maven. And he's he's got a really good YouTube show and basically he talks about all of the secrets that he knows and.

Speaker

Oh.

CRAIG NORRIS

Have lunch.

Speaker 4

All of that stuff that happened when he was part of it and he. He said that basically in every single event, everyone that's signed currently signed with the company, everyone goes to that event no matter what because they always get paid no matter what as well.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Yeah, yeah. So again, yeah, that that idea of the theatrics almost like, yeah, actors being in part of a studio. Being able to be brought in. All right, so we have some video to play. So if we go to the best WrestleMania matches of all time. So we're talking a little bit WrestleMania, what is?

MC DENT

Mania. So Russell Mania is the main premium leather vent, formerly called a pay-per-view, where basically you have a whole bunch of matches that normally TV matches only go for a few minutes, and they tend to they usually like. They're not that special. They end in in a, in a a disqualification with surprising frequency. And generally you don't see many title changes. A premium live event happens every couple of months. At a major. Event so people pay money to see it at home and in person. And WrestleMania was the first really big one that they had the very first big preview in the in the mid 1980s. There's something like there's something like eight major recurring premium live events these days, but that's that's the really big one usually where major feuds get resolved and that was the, that that which is exactly what happened when Roman Reigns.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MC DENT

He lost the belt. Cody Rhodes, he Cody Rhodes beat in the middle of the ring. After all that interference, they've set up the rock coming back next year most likely cause he's still a main villain and everyone. Everyone appreciates me, villain, even though his best work ever. But yeah, WrestleMania is where the really big feuds come to an end, and it's the most watched premium live event every year.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. So this is a list from Den of Geek talking about the best WrestleMania matches of all time. Celebrate WrestleMania 40. So this was the one this year we take a look back at the very best matches, the biggest wrestling event on the planet has ever produced. So we'll go through this list and I'm keen to know if there's ones that you want you guys want to discuss. So the first one.

MC DENT

I'm just gonna preface this by saying my my knowledge of the 10s is very weak because that was when man could do whatever he wanted. So.

CRAIG NORRIS

#15.

MC DENT

I I just don't. So we might 7 and we'll skip the ones in there that are in the 30s unless Taylor. Let's talk about them.

Speaker 4

No, I don't know anything.

MC DENT

That was easy.

CRAIG NORRIS

The first one number. 15 is Brett Hart versus Roddy Piper, WrestleMania.

MC DENT

Eight, that one is that one's a. Classic. That one right. So.

CRAIG NORRIS

We'll play. We'll, we'll. We'll queue up the little snippet of the the match. That. That should work.

Speaker 4

I like the lack of sound. It's really. Good.

CRAIG NORRIS

Well, it doesn't work for.

MC DENT

All. So for those at home, it's an interview where we've got meme Gene Oakland, who was probably the most accomplished wrestling broadcaster of all time, interviewing Rowdy Roddy Piper, who at that point was intercontinental champion and had been one of the major villains in the 1980s. Was Hulk Hogan Dutch enemy for a while and he's also interviewing Brett, the hitman Hart, who at that point was a major rising star in the company, and his thing was he was a really stoic face who was just an exceptionally gifted technical wrestler. And he's a member of the Illustrious heart family. Which is a real family, a real wrestling family of Stew. Hot and his sons and his uncles and nephews.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yes. And if if if I could. Get that to.

MC DENT

They're really polar opposite wrestlers because heart is it was a it was a superb technician who was also really good at. Rolling, whereas right, but he was not just average on the microphone, whereas Roddy Roddy Piper could cut in May amazing promos. He was terrific at getting you to hate him, but his actual in ring abilities were not that.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Yes. So that's Bret Hart versus Roddy Piper. I'll. I'll prove over to Taylor to figure out if we. Can get so the.

MC DENT

The story there was basically Roddy Piper at that point. He was getting on in years where as Bret Hart was rising up the up the ranks and Roddy Piper had been a heel for many years, and now he's a good guy. Knows a face, so it's a face versus face. Match and it starts out very respectful, but the more that that it goes on, the old Roddy Piper starts coming back cause it's getting really frustrated because Bret Hart is clearly superior to him. And so he starts doing the old school already, Piper cheating manoeuvres. And initially people like, oh, yeah, he's getting one up and then he's just smacks, smacks heart within with a bunch of illegal moves and people are getting more and more.

Speaker 4

Yes.

MC DENT

Upset and it basically they they had a conversation before the match because they they were, they very close and they were very close in real life. Your cousins and Roddy Piper said to Bret Hart. You need to get colour for this to be a really special match, so getting getting colour means that they will, that they will hide A razor blade on themselves and cut their forward, OK, they, they cut their foreheads, it's called blading. They they cut their foreheads to bleed during a match and make it look more dramatic. So Bret Hart.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

Speaker

Oh really? Right.

MC DENT

Bladed and did it very stealthily because this was around this was the height of the AIDS epidemic. So bleeding was banned.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh wow. Wow really.

MC DENT

And it would come with a major fine. So they had to act like it was real, and he'd actually been injured and cut out. And by Roddy Piper when they came off stage.

Speaker

Hmm.

CRAIG NORRIS

So and it was only later on. That the truth came out.

MC DENT

Yes. So they had to pretend for ages. It was a real injury. Yeah, because Rick Rick Flair had a match at that same event. And Rick Flair was notorious for being unsubtle with his bleeding, and he got fined. But essentially, yeah. So.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. Because and there would be pressure placed on the wrestlers to do that, yes, right. And even if they know to ban. There'd be people arguing that this would be still good for your career if you.

MC DENT

Yes.

CRAIG NORRIS

Can pull it off if it's. Written down. Yeah, right.

MC DENT

There's there's an old. There's an old adage red equals. Green. If you bleed, you make money.

Speaker 4

Ohh, right. Press twist. Squeeze. That's what they said.

MC DENT

So basically in in the match hot gets bloodied up, he's bleeding, he's on the floor and Piper knocks the ref down and he decides that he wants to end. So he goes. One of the cliches is you get the ring bell, really big, heavy iron belt to to belt the other guy over the head and he stands there and he very deliberately takes his time with it because wrestling is not a sport, it's a. On with theatre. So he's walking towards heart and he's raising over his head very slowly and deliberately and everyone starts booing him and then he stops and he looks around at everyone and you just see all this emotion on his face. When he realises what he's about to do and how people are so disappointed with him. So he goes alright and he throws the bell away and everyone cheers.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yes.

Speaker

France.

MC DENT

Yep, he grabs hard, tries to win it fair and square heart pins him, and he obviously heart wins. Younger guy wins cause usually the younger guy will win. Because they're the future of the company. So you've got to build up your younger wrestlers and he gets the intercontinental belt off Roddy Piper. And it's it's very it's very rare. It was very rare for Roddy Piper to lose cleanly in a. Match because he. Was extremely protective of his image. Usually he'd win by getting disqualified for doing something illegal.

CRAIG NORRIS

So Roddy Piper at this point? Is is a huge?

MC DENT

He was a face. He was a good. Guy going in, he. He teased a heel turn in the ring, but people booed him so much they managed to waking up to his senses and he stayed her face and they actually leave the. Ring arm in arm. It's really cute.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. Wow.

Speaker 4

Is he the one that like? I know there was a wrestler who used to like get a a chair, smack it on the ground and then pass it to the other person and then act like. That they've been hit with it.

MC DENT

No, that's Eddie Guerrero. Ah, yeah. So yeah, it's a really good and the intercontinental match was essentially it was a a belt that you'd have in the middle of the show because obviously the the the main event would almost always be for the. The heavyweight championship, so the intercontinental was about you have on in the. Middle of the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Show all right, and the next one we've got at #14 is Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar.

Speaker

Hmm.

MC DENT

Ohh, that one's that one's not so much known for the matches in the ending of.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Because the there's.

MC DENT

A thing called money in the bank, where if you basically win a ladder match to get a briefcase, you're allowed to challenge someone for their title. Absolutely whenever you feel like it. So that ends with that match. Has Roman Reigns beating Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar is really huge dude who was a legitimate UFC competitor. If many years was built up as being the ultimate villain, who would just roll over everyone, so Roman Reigns beating was a really. Deal. And The thing is that Roman Reigns was did really well as a heel. He was a great, bad guy, but Vince McMahon decided he wanted Roman Reigns to be the main good guy of his company and the audience hated him. Yeah, great. He they hate cause he was a member of a trio called the Shield, of which Seth Rollins was a member. The guy who ends up. We'll get to that in a moment, but everyone.

Speaker 4

Here.

MC DENT

People hated John Cena. Kids love John Cena, but the the the fans who are paying money to see events in. Stadiums hated John Cena. They hated Roman Reigns even more. Yeah, reigns as music hits, everyone starts booing. People despised him. They hated his wrestling ability, and so they hated his personality. They this carry the character that he played, the character that he was told to play by Vince McMahon because pens wrestling fans are strange they they're always like, we don't hate him as a person.

Speaker

Oh.

MC DENT

We don't even hate him as a performer, cause we think it'd be a really good heel, but we hate the way that you're getting. Him to act. That's what we do. Like and and essentially Roman Reigns beats Brock Lesnar, which is meant to be this really great crowning moment and everyone hates him because they like, we really don't like this guy. And then Seth. Rollins, who's previously won money. The bank? Yeah, he cashes in money. The bank storms in pins, rain rains in seconds. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns in seconds and.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Seth Rollins, right?

MC DENT

People like Seth Rollins, so they were very happy. With that outcome.

CRAIG NORRIS

So then we go down to #13 John Cena versus the. Paint.

MC DENT

Now that was on. That's a. That's a match that was on during COVID. So that was a match that didn't have anyone attending.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right, right. Yeah. So what? Happened during COVID and wrestling they.

MC DENT

They'd they'd still have matches, but they just they were just wouldn't be an audience.

CRAIG NORRIS

Did you? Was there a difference in terms of watching it at home in terms of how that performed? Like how important is a live audience? Ohh.

MC DENT

Almost essential. A good audience can elevate a mediocre. Event. A bad audience can sink a really good event. So they.

CRAIG NORRIS

OK. Ones in Australia, for example, so they, they.

Speaker

Yeah.

MC DENT

They experimented with cinematic messages around cinematic matches around that time, so there was the The Undertaker had a really well received one against AJ Styles because take her that point. Been trying to retire for about 10 years and he was never happy with his last match.

CRAIG NORRIS

Franks.

MC DENT

So they've fallen. Did a cinematic. Match with people love. I believe that the scene of us fiend when it's similar, but I've not seen it, so I can't comment on.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right, right. So it's syniverse C then they go into Gunther, verse Jew, McIntyre versus Sheamus.

MC DENT

Again, I haven't seen WrestleMania 39. I will say that Drew McIntyre is both really huge Scottish dude. Gunther I believe is Austrian and he's enormous and Seamus is a is a is a Celtic warrior.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah.

MC DENT

And it's a triple triple threat match gun. This match at WrestleMania 4, he was just him and him and Sammy Zane hitting each other in the chest with knife edge chops.

CRAIG NORRIS

By knife edged.

MC DENT

That and a knife edge chop. It's it's it's it's an open pond strike where you basically just like it's essentially an A backhand but it's open but it's not a backhand. It's open pond where you slap you slap him in the chest and it makes a really loud noise and it's one of those things that they used to do back in the old days to go look guys wrestling is actually real and it's one of the things that survive and no one quite knows what survive because it's like obviously doesn't cause long term injuries but it's still.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Thanks. Yes.

MC DENT

Getting slapped in the chest.

CRAIG NORRIS

Hurts. Yes, right. 11 Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat.

MC DENT

Ohh that one that so Randy Savage, macho man Randy Savage was a a major wrestler from from the mid the mid 80s to sort of the late 90s and he was a bit of an odd duck but was really well known for planning his matches out in advance. I've heard Steamboat talk about this cause savage passed away. Many. Years ago, where Steamboat goes, they they sat down with a a legal pad so they could write stuff down and cause the graphite you'd be able to see it on the other page. They each have a copy of it and they wrote every single step of the match out because that was in an era where most of the time you'd call matches on the fly. Every time you see guys locking up and like getting into a clinch, they're whispering directions in each other's ears. Right. But Steamboat talks about he sits and he says, OK, so we sit down and Randy says. Step one, walk.

Speaker

Up.

MC DENT

Well, Randy, obviously we're. Gonna do that? Write it down. Dragon. So Ricky, they they they plan out the whole match. They rehearsed it at savages house several times. They commit the whole thing to memory, so the savage will randomly walk up to Steamboat and just say number point number X and they will quote the entire match from there.

Speaker

Wow. No.

MC DENT

So this they it's basically the match itself is it's it's odd because there's no bells and whistles like it's not a fancy match, but it's like grease lightning. It's so smooth.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MC DENT

It is just a beautiful match to watch. It's poetry. Wow. And that was. Yeah, that was Ricky. Steinberg gets full for many years. That was, that was actually a lot of the matches you watched today. Take.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow.

MC DENT

Influence from. That because it's no longer like that was the era of Hulk Hogan and Andre the giant, just big beefy dudes having bodybuilder pose, pose downs and body slamming and doing very basic limited stuff.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really.

MC DENT

But that was all about speed and athletics. Prism and it was just it was absolutely terrific, it's.

CRAIG NORRIS

A brilliant match, the article says. Early wrestlemanias can be hard to sit through after the ambitious stinker of a show in WrestleMania 2. We had WrestleMania 3 deliver a gigantic show worthy of the name outside of Hogan versus Andre the Giant. In the main event, the match everyone remembers as Randy Savage defying defending. Sorry. The international championship against Ricky Stein, but in the classic in ring storytelling, as you're saying that storytelling heavily choreographed. How even the story going into the match is arguably better than everything else. On the card. Story going into the.

MC DENT

Match well because no. It's very, very rare to have a.

CRAIG NORRIS

Few to have a throat injury. Yeah, it's on Steamboat.

MC DENT

Wrestle. Yeah, cause normally normally you don't just have two guys randomly fighting at.

CRAIG NORRIS

A match right?

MC DENT

You you build. It up for many, many weeks or even months on the weekly TV shows and at house shows, so they spent a lot of time building this up. They previously wrestled where in storyline savaged the heel injured Steamboat, the faces throat, and so Steamboat was all about getting revenge. And.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Yeah. So that was this kind of tree in the article, they say treated like a borderline death. The throat injury inflicted the two had amazing chemistry and kept a constant pace, making it a real shame that this would be the last major clash between the two due to their diverging careers.

MC DENT

Yeah, Steamboat ended up going back to the National Wrestling alliance, but he did extremely well for himself there. He had a trilogy of very acclaimed matches. With Rick Flair and he ended up being a very young Steve Austin's first major arch enemy in the early 1990s.

CRAIG NORRIS

Moving to number 10, Shawn Michaels versus Ric Flair.

MC DENT

That one. That's a sad match. So Rick Flair again, biggest wrestler, one of the biggest wrestlers of the 80s, probably second only to Hulk Hogan and maybe Randy Savage. He was he was there version in the N.W.A, the National Wrestling Alliance. And he at that point, he was in his late 50s. He was very over the hill. He he's had a lot. He had a lot of problems with with alcohol following the death of his son. So he was sort of. Very prematurely.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MC DENT

And he basically had been getting people were saying he's lost it, he's passed it. He's got nothing left to give. And so he was basically being he he in storyline in real life. He wanted to retire in storyline, he based said, I'll wager my entire career on beating Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels is seen as being one of, if not the greatest in ring talents ever in terms of his ability to really high flying manoeuvres. He's really good at. Controlling a crowd. He's a terrific heel and a great face. He can do anything, basically.

CRAIG NORRIS

And in this match, he was a heel or.

MC DENT

And this was face versus face like it was basically Shawn Michaels was talking about how Ric Flair was Old Yeller. He'd enjoy putting him down and then they have this match.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really, right. All right.

MC DENT

Where people have said that Shawn Michaels can get a match out of a broom, one of the later matches on this one is is Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramone having the first ever ladder match people have at W at WrestleMania. Sorry, everyone has said that. That is Sean has a 5 star match with the ladder and Razor Ramon is also in the ring. So Shawn Michaels is really good at carrying a another performer through a match, but Ric Flair basically people think that he basically wound the clock back two decades and it was like a classic flair. There were a bunch of moments where he put like Michaels in his classic submission, moved the figure four leg lock times where the he they thought he actually might be able to pull through.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. Really.

MC DENT

And this is really brilliant. Move the the ending is really beautiful because Sean Michaels's finishing move, super sweet chin music. It's a really high kick to the chin. It's one of the most guarded finishes ever. Like, usually you get hit with that and it's that's that's the match over. He'll. Pin you and it's over. He hit. Flare with one. Pinned him. Flare kicked out. OK, everyone starts getting behind it and he and there's actually this moment where Sean knows he's gonna win. Ric Flair knows he's about to lose and Sean does the thing where he, he quote unquote, chains at the band. He grabs the, he grabs the ring ropes and he starts stomping and everyone in the. Audience goes 1234. And he just has this moment where he just sort of looks over and he looks devastated, kicks flare again, pins in flare, kicks out, and the very last one he's looking at flare. And he looks absolutely distraught and flares grasping his best. And he goes, come on, pull the trigger and. It's beautiful cause you can't hear it, but Sean Michaels so clearly says I'm sorry I love. You ohh wow. Kicks him, pins him, retires him in the ring, and they have this moment of like, just like commiseration together. And it's just. It's so emotional. And the following night, Ric Flair had this really beautiful farewell retirement where all of his old rivals from the 80s and 90s.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MC DENT

Come out and it's so heartwarming. And then he completely ruined it by coming out of retirement and working for another company.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow, that's so sad, but I I.

MC DENT

Guess, and there's a lot of ex wives and a. Lot of alimony to pay, right?

CRAIG NORRIS

OK. Well, we'll do. The last one, #9, is The Ultimate Warrior versus Randy Savage.

MC DENT

Yeah, macho man Randy Savage again. And this is another one that he lost. He was. Randy said it was an interesting character because his dad was also a wrestler and his brother was wrestler who was from a wrestling family and he was extremely talented. But he also understood the importance of of, of letting other guys win so that you could elevate the business. And the ultimate Oreo, he was a strange guy. So basically, his entire thing was that he was a complete lunatic, macho man. Would say strange things, but warrior would act like he was being possessed by the spirits of great deceased warriors. He he would he refused. When you get hit. And you act like it hurts. It's called selling ultimate. Warrior refused to sell to people. He would. He would often Sprint to the ring, and by the time he got there, he'd already be out of breath. So he.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really.

MC DENT

Have a really hard time getting. He was mostly hired for his bodybuilders physique. Cause he he.

Speaker

Yeah, right.

MC DENT

Had a very impressive physique. He was just a terrible wrestler and just had had an awful attitude towards the business. But basically he and savage, because Savage planned everything out ahead of time. They managed to plan it out and they had all the swaps worked out. He actually walks to the ring so he can serve his.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh man.

MC DENT

Energy doesn't doesn't run out of breath in the 1st 10 seconds.

Speaker

OK.

MC DENT

And it's all. It's a retirement match where basically whoever whoever loses has to retire. Retirements are usually very short. Professional wrestling much man lost. He was wrestling again in the next few months. Yeah. And it's brilliant because there's one point where macho man, his signature elbow drop where he jumps off the top rope and hits the other guy lands the other lands on the other guy with his elbow. But this was. That actually ended up causing huge injuries in his knees and elbows because to do it safely, to do it safely, you land on your knees and your elbow and your the the other guy's head is between your knees and elbow.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right now.

MC DENT

So. You don't need to. You you. You don't injure them. But it looks like. You're dream them. That. Yeah, he hits warrior with five elbow drops in a row. He does that five times, jumps off the top rope, and then warrior kicks out and he he keeps on fighting and he ends up pinning much him and and but the the the match itself is great because the, the, the athleticism. They have in the moves they have supposedly were great. Wow, but the actual epilogue is. What is why that matches? I've only remembered because macho Man had had a he'd had a valet for many years called Miss Elizabeth, who in real life was Randy Savage's real life wife, Elizabeth Hewlett. Right. And they'd they'd gone their separate ways two years ago because he turned heel and. Gotten together with another ballet called Queen Sherry. And so at the end of the match, after he's been retired and warriors gone off, Queen Sherry runs into the ring and starts whacking her starts. Starts trying to beat him up, and there have been all these shots of Miss Elizabeth in the audience looking concerned, and so she comes in and smacks Sherry chases her off. And then.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. Ah.

MC DENT

Me and watch a man get reunited in the ring in the ring and he picks her up and puts her on his shoulder. And there were fans in attendance who were literally crying because they've been waiting.

CRAIG NORRIS

Hi.

MC DENT

Two years for.

CRAIG NORRIS

Them to get back so really turned soapy.

Speaker

Why not?

MC DENT

Wrestling Wrestling is a soap opera. Wrestling is not a sport. Wrestling is is. So is a soap opera that has.

CRAIG NORRIS

That's fascinating.

MC DENT

Some stage combat in it, that's.

CRAIG NORRIS

A look sadly. We'll, we'll we'll end on this wonderful point. We're only up to #9. So we might. Yeah. In the future, revisit this. I'll try to get audio working. I'll I don't know. But you all fantastic energy, I think made more than that for it. So do check that out on Den of Geek. The top WrestleMania matches of all time any any thoughts coming up in WrestleMania 2?

MC DENT

Well, WrestleMania was like about a about a month and a half ago. So that's not gonna come up till next year, but the next premium event. I believe is King and queen of.

CRAIG NORRIS

The ring. Yes, right. Yeah.

MC DENT

I know that Logan Paul is challenging because Logan. Paul. Yeah. The. He's he's. Been a member of the WWE for about a couple of. Years now. He's.

Speaker 4

Actually quite good.

MC DENT

He's the heavyweight champion and he is terrific in the ring. He's a natural heel. He knows people hate him and he plays it up so much and he's a really good at.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really. Really.

MC DENT

Right. So he's challenging Cody Rhodes for in a title unification match. So he because, you know, he's the US champion and Cody Rhodes is the undisputed champion. And it's gonna be.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. All right. It's and wow, he's a Logan. Paul's also done like boxing as well is, but that that's meant to be, not theatrical.

Speaker

Yep. Cool.

MC DENT

Well, boxing's boxing's actually a sport, but there's a lot of a lot of ex boxers and ex UFC fighters, ex MMA fighters actually go on to become wrestle wrestlers because. One, it's safer. 2 You can do more of it. And three, the the pay is in a. Lot of the pay is.

CRAIG NORRIS

Acceptable. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Alright, so yes. Keep your eyes open on that. We might. We might come back to discuss the impact of that, that match in the future. This be media mothership. A wonderful deep dive. Thank you. Well, Taylor and MC dance. And incident you were saying the test got quizzes tomorrow night. So if you're local in Hobart. And you're keen to test your popular culture knowledge. Come along are. The tickets at. The door? Yep.

MC DENT

7:00 PM at the Republic Bar and cafe upstairs.

CRAIG NORRIS

7:00 PM, Republic Bank Cafe test pop quiz if you want to know more about it, you can. Go onto Facebook. Yep. Just search for Taz pop quiz.

MC DENT

Yep, the Republic at the Republic.

CRAIG NORRIS

Great. Well, excellent to have you on again, all the best with the quiz tomorrow coming up next we've got. Keep unlimited any hooks to. Get people into keep unlimited for external.

Speaker 4

We're playing illegal North Korean songs.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh great. Yeah, yes. And I'm. Yep. We're gonna unpack propaganda. Yes. Yeah, yeah. OK. I'll keep listening to Edge Radio. 99.3 FM.

 

 

 

 



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