Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Yeah I really didn't enjoy Mania 2000.
Apart from the Triple Threat Tag Ladder match the entire card was either a disappointment or just flat out sucked. I haven't watched every Wrestlemania so I have no issue calling it the worst Mania of all time (yes even worse than 15).
2004 is such a strange year. It's just a constant mix of good and bad things. It really started well and the first 4 months is basically everything you want to see in wrestling. Mania was stacked with highly anticipated matches & the feuds were built strongly. The biggest criticisms one could make would be mere nit-picks (eg. Why didn't Benoit get his revenge against Lesnar?).
But then Goldberg, Lesnar & Austin all left after Mania 20 and Angle would resume a GM role while he rehabbed his injured freakin' neck & I believe Show took some time off as well. Smackdown was already reeling after the loss of Benoit & Edge but they really suffered when those aforementioned guys left and things were so bad they had to have the Dudley Boyz main event PPVs and put Haas in the title picture at one point.
I think the big problem was that the WWE played it way too safe that year on Smackdown - the plan seemed very transparent, groom John Cena to defeat an established JBL. Now, there's nothing wrong with predictability - if you thought the Rock was going to main event Mania 2000 that's great but where's the fun in a feud without twists along the way? For example, have Cena face JBL at a prior PPV (preferably Survivor Series because Booker didn't deserve a shot) and have him just fall short but book it such a way that we want Cena to get a rematch but JBL is going to hold out and jeopardise it by teasing other match ups. That's simple but exciting booking and would have worked wonders in getting everyone on board with Cena from the out-set.
Another issue I had with 04 is the quality of PPVs. I'm not sure if it's because the TV product was so good but I found most of the PPVs pretty disappointing that year and very few really stand out as good. TV on the other hand seemed to give away PPV calibre matches every 2 weeks. HBK/Benoit, HHH/Benoit Iron Man, Benoit & Edge/Evolution, Edge/Orton, Jericho/Christian Steel Cage, JBL/Eddie Steel Cage, Angle/Eddie III, Cena/Taker etc. were all quality matches that could have drawn money if they weren't whored out on tv so often.
And a lot of storylines sucked. Benoit was booked as a mid-carder as champion and the WWE had no problems telling you the real stars of the show were Hunter & Michaels in a sickeningly indulgent feud that lead to one of the wankiest HiaC matches of all time. A retard dominated the bulk of Raw, the diva search was in full swing, Kane/Lita was crap & a lot of things just flat out tanked. Edge was warming as one of the bigger faces in the company back in '03 but by the time he came back they booked him way too strong, too early and made him a bland angry face. Orton flat out sucked as a babyface and nobody sympathised with him & I thought a lot of guys (Tajiri, Rhyno, Hurricane etc.) got lost in the shuffle.
TL;DR - Great start, some great TV matches but plenty of things that ruin what could have been a great year.