As many of you are no doubt aware, there's a new wrestling game coming to us in October, and the information for the title is slowly starting to trickle out like pay-per-view results on reddit 20 minutes before show time. The big news, of course, is the new single player mode, 30 Years of WrestleMania, which will let players relive WrestleMania's biggest moments (probably best not to mention that it's only been 29 years of WrestleMania, but 30 does sound better on the box). Thanks to a newly released trailer, it seems clear that all the big moments are there: Hogan slamming Andre, the Shawn Michaels -Razor Ramon ladder match, The Rock Vs. Austin at X-Seven, even Edge Vs. Foley at WrestleMania XXII made the cut. In fact, at this point, it wouldn't be that hard to figure what all 45 matches in the mode will be, based just off of knowledge of the card and the fully announced roster for the mode.
Well, that's no fun.
So instead of going the predictable route and writing up the matches that should be absolutely-no-doubt-about-it-cannot-be-argued included in the mode (which I'm sure has already been done on a certain lesser sports site about twenty times now), I'm going to take the low road. What about what won't be included?
Now, there are some ground rules here: first off, The Chris Benoit matches are obvious. I'm not going to waste time on such a universal truth. Also, just because a match was bad doesn't mean it won't be showcased. If that was the approach, WrestleMania XI wouldn't even appear in the game and it's pretty clear that Hogan's title win over Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX will be included, if for no other reason than it was, at the time, a big deal (regardless of how rage-inducing that whole event actually was). I've also avoided anything involving celebrities (save for one, which I'll explain when we get there), because we already know the full roster anyway, and there are no celebrities listed. Having pointed that out, I'm not going to let the fact that certain stars weren't even listed on the official roster for the mode to stop me from having my fun (just like professionalism doesn't stop Ric Flair from having fun at a press conference).
Having gotten all the boring stuff out of the way (which I'm sure will be mostly ignored by someone in the comments screaming that I didn't include some match or the other because IT WAS AWFUL AND YOU'RE A HACK and so on, or by someone else calling me an idiot for including a match by competitors who aren't on the roster), it's time to get to the good stuff. In honor of some of the worst WrestleMania has to offer, I'll be looking at 11 matches, in no particular order.
Let's get to it:
Melina Vs. Ashley - Lumberjill Match for the Women's Championship (WrestleMania 23)
Why You Won't See It: Good God. Let me just start by apologizing for reminding everyone that Ashley Massaro was a thing. This WrestleMania 23 bout showcases just about everything WWE had ever gotten wrong with their women's division. The whole rivalry was based around jealousy, Ashley Massaro was dressed in a pleather corset with a belt that had been tricked into thinking it was a skirt, and the entire ring was surrounded by whichever Divas happened to be hanging around the back at the time. Whenever you find yourself lamenting how awful the Divas division is now, just remember that it could always be worse. This match ended with all of the Lumberjills (it's almost painful to type that word) storming the ring and JBL doing the worst impression of The King I've ever heard.
Gameplay: Players take control of Ashley Massaro in a nail-biting segment that sees them trying to convince WWE executives that she's not only deserving of a title shot, but also of appearing at WrestleMania to do it.
Achievement Unlocked: You Should Probably Get Checked - 10G
Lawrence Taylor Vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (WrestleMania XI)
Why You Won't See It: This is the one exception to the "no celebrity matches" rule, and the reason why is that this was the main event of WrestleMania 11. Occurring at the height of the post-steroids era, Vince and company were clearly grasping at straws with this card. Bam Bam, at the time, was hardly a big star (but arguably could have been had this match never happened), and LT hadn't been relevant since the late eighties, and at this time was known more for his drug issues than for being a football player (as a side note, who the hell thought it would be a good idea in the wake of a massive drug scandal to bring in a known drug abuser for the main event of Mania? That's like having a manager who's just returned from a wellness violation teaming up with a wrestler who was stripped of a world title for drug use-wait...). Considering that this was the main event, and considering what was on the undercard, maybe the developers could just skim over this ‘mania all together.
Gameplay: Players will be placed in the shoes of Bam Bam Bigelow as they attempt to make a washed-up LT look competent in the ring, while also fighting off the nagging realization that their career will never recover from this match.
Achievement Unlocked: See Trips, That's How You Bury Someone - 15G
Lex Luger Vs. Yokozuna - WWE Championship (WrestleMania X)
Why You Won't See It: This one is pretty simple. If your name is Lex Luger and you're in a card that features the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon ladder match and the Bret Hart/Owen Hart grudge match, you've already been outdone before the event even begins. Have fun in WCW.
Gameplay: Players will spend the entirety of the match trying not to punch in their TV screens every time Luger's face shows up.
Achievement Unlocked: Yaaaawn - 5G
Roddy Piper Vs. Goldust - Hollywood Backlot Brawl (WrestleMania XII)
Why You Won't See It: Go find a clip of this match. I'll wait. Did you watch it? Yes? Do I need to bother explaining why you won't see it? No? Excellent! A couple of easy entries. I like it.
Gameplay: In a unique gameplay twist, players will experience a Be A Star conference through the eyes of HHH as he desperately hopes no one brings up this match while Darren Young is speaking.
Achievement Unlocked: Still Not Our Most Homophobic Moment - 10G
Terri Runnels Vs. The Cat - Catfight (WrestleMania 2000)
Why You Won't See It: What's that? You don't know the rules of a Catfight? Well, it's simple: to win, you just throw your opponent out of the ring. It doesn't even have to be over the top rope. Just push them right on out of there. These women weren't even trusted to get a pinfall correctly. They were so bad that to win one of them just needed to fall down. The intro to this match, from the announcement of the match to the bell ringing, was almost double the length of the actual match. That's not even the surprising part: Terri Runnels' wasn't the sluttiest looking one in the match. The Cat came down in a full body fishnet with a thong. Stuff like this is why the WWE struggle with complaints about the current Divas division. I'm convinced almost all of Vince's responses to those complaints are "You kidding me? Did you see what we used to have them do?"
Gameplay: Players will control a fan in the front row as they try to keep down their overpriced hot dog down every time Mae Young walks past.
Achievement Unlocked: What's That Spinning Noise Coming From Susan B. Anthony's Grave? - 15G
Demolition vs. Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao (WrestleMania VII)
Why You Won't See It: How the hell did this match even happen? Who came up with this? So many things were working against this match that it's incredible anyone could have thought it was a good idea. This wasn't even real Demolition, this was New Demolition, which looked the same on the outside, but everything you knew and loved about the original was gone, replaced with an empty and bitter facsimile that seemed to exist only to make you hate the present. Tenryu was a bona-fide legend in Japan, and Kitao went on to beat the ever-loving crap out of John "Earthquake" Tenta. If you've ever been curious what people mean by bad in-ring chemistry, check this match out. The only highlight from the whole thing is Alex Trebek doing the pre-match interview with Demolition. Be sure to also check out Bobby Heenan's commentary if you ever need some racist Asian jokes that were barely funny in the 40's.
Gameplay: Players take control of Demolition in a standard tag team match, with an added twist: Each time a player inputs a command for a grapple, the AI won't understand them.
Achievement Unlocked: We Need To Kill Ten Minutes So Hogan Can Get Ready - 5G
Uncle Elmer vs. Adrian Adonis (WrestleMania II)
Why You Won't See It: "Man, I love being able to play as Randy Savage and Steve Austin and all the other greats, but you know what I really want? I really want to play as Uncle Elmer or Adrian Adonis."
Gameplay: I don't even have a thing for this one. There's just nothing to this match. I don't know, players run a comb through Adonis' flowing mane? Or maybe they play as Jesse Ventura and try not to stare at Elvira's chest for the whole match?
Achievement Unlocked: Hey, Remember Lord Alfred Hayes? Anyone? - 5G
The Red Rooster Vs. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan (WrestleMania V)
Why You Won't See It: Because it was The Red Rooster Vs. Bobby Heenan. Thankfully, for all parties involved, this match was all of half a minute before it ended, and was probably the Rooster's only win in WWE. Hey, at least he got a win at ‘Mania. That's more than the Big Show can say.
Gameplay: Players will try and help The Red Rooster remember that he's actually a talented wrestler and that this will all be over soon.
Achievement Unlocked: There's Always NXT - 5G
Bobby Lashley Vs. Umaga - Hair Vs. Hair Match (WrestleMania XXIII)
Why You Won't See It: For one, it involved Donald Trump. For two, it involved Bobby Lashley. Yes, yes, I know, Trump played a big part in WrestleMania being able to continue in the early 90's, but this was six years ago. His relevance was over and done with long before then. And has there ever been a more ridiculous statement than "WrestleMania Main Eventer Bobby Lashley"? Of all the people Trump could have picked from the WWE roster to take on Umaga, he went with Lashley? That's the kind of thinking that drives a man to bankruptcy. At least Stone Cold was there.
Gameplay: Players control Bobby Lashley and attempt to ignore everyone who says he doesn't deserve his push.
Achievement Unlocked: How Come The ECW Revival Didn't Work Out? - 20G
Jake Roberts Vs. Rick Martel - Blindfold Match (WrestleMania VII)
Why You Won't See It: This is the match that inspired this article in the first place. I'm sure you're all pretty familiar with this one. It is widely regard as one of the worst WrestleMania matches in history, and with good reason. The blindfold match is right up there with the "Thing on a Pole" match in terms of stupid gimmicks. And they didn't even stick with the gimmick! The match ends when Roberts removes his blindfold, finds Martel, and DDT's the hell out of him. Because that's more entertaining than actually watching a real wrestling match.
Gameplay (Match exclusive to the Xbox 360 version): This exciting mode utilizes all the wonderful functionality of the Xbox Kinect to fully immerse players in the experience of the match. While staring at a black screen, players control Rick Martel as they hold their arms out in front of them and grope around until they hear the sound of Jake Roberts dropping them with a DDT.
Achievement Unlocked: What If We Put The Blindfolds On A Pole? - 15G
Big Boss Man Vs. the Undertaker - Hell In A Cell (WrestleMania XV)
Why You Won't See It: One of only two Hell in A Cell matches to ever occur at The Grandest Stage of Them All, this match may easily be the most boring of its kind. Boss Man was never the greatest worker, and there was no way he was going to pull out any crazy spots like Mick Foley had less than a year before. The match itself was also incredibly short for what it was, clocking in at just under ten minutes. While we all know the ‘Taker streak is one of the big current WrestleMania attractions, at the time of this match, the Dead Man had come nowhere close to that stature yet.
I think that's all the reasons this match won't appear in the game. Nothing else is really coming to mind.
Gameplay: Just a standard Hell in a Cell match. Players will control Undertaker and try to pin the big Boss Man. Absolutely nothing else of note occurs.
Achievement Unlocked: Ok, Maybe There Should Be Some Boundaries - 35G
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Any other moments you all can think of that probably won't (shouldn't) make it into the game? Want to just call me an idiot? Well then comment below!