wrestling / Columns

411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction: 50 Questions for WWE WrestleMania

April 1, 2022 | Posted by Jake Chambers
WWE WrestleMania 38 - Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar Image Credit: WWE

Welcome back to the 411mania Wrestling Fact or Fiction. I’m your host Jake Chambers.

Two months ago, the phenomenal Dino Zee attempted to be the first writer in history to answer 30 straight Fact or Fiction statements on Royal Rumble weekend.

One month later, the great Tony Acero decided he could top that and responded to an historic 40 FoF statements on Elimination Chamber weekend.

Well, Dino said he can top that, and he’s come here today to try the mighty feat of 50 statements! I can’t guarantee he’s going to make it all the way – what human could – you’ll have to read on and see!

Statement #1: You prefer two nights of Wrestlmania over the old one night show.

Dino Zee: FACT – That’s not to say that I think the two night version is INCREDIBLE, but we were getting to the point where WrestleMania was hitting 8-ish hours, including pre-shows and countdowns and all of that extra fluff.  It was a lot for one day.  Breaking it up into two days allows for more to be booked overall, while still giving adequate time (theoretically, of course!) to everyone involved.

Statement #2: For the rest of your life, you intend to watch Wrestlemania every year.

Dino Zee: FACT – Absolutely.  I could stop watching wrestling entirely and still make time for WrestleMania.  This one’s easy.

Statement #3: A Hulk Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper singles match should have main event-ed the first Wrestlemania.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Yeah, I know, it’s the easy switch nearly everyone would make…  eh, I like that Vince set the tone with the initial WrestleMania main event being a celebrity match featuring Mr. T.  I also love “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff getting to main event the show, and there’s no way I’m taking that away from him.  We got Hogan and Piper, just not at WrestleMania.  I’m cool with that.

https://youtu.be/xHtOg_6sRNs

Statement #4: King Kong Bundy was a terrible challenger for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 2.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Bundy was a menace and was hurting people left and right!  There was nowhere for Hogan to run once they closed the cage door!  Unless they pulled the trigger on Macho Man (or even went early on the Orndorff heel turn), I really don’t see many better options.  And even if there *are*, I still wouldn’t call Bundy a “terrible” challenger.  Those Avalanches gave a 4 year old Dino big time nightmares!!  Respect The Walking Condominium!!

Statement #5: Wrestlemania III is the most important event in wrestling history.

Dino Zee: FICTION – It’s gotta be the first one, right?  Sure, III features this monstrous crowd once thought impossible with a blockbuster-as-hell main event, but if WrestleMania flopped, none of that happens.  WrestleMania is, in my opinion, the most important event in wrestling history, and it always will be.  It may not have the records of its successors, but those shows are nothing without the first one.

Statement #6: The Savage/Steamboat Intercontinental Title match at Wrestlemania III is overrated.

Dino Zee: FICTION – So, honestly, if we’re being super nit-picky, I guess I’d say FACT here.  But that’s only because it’s been so hyped up that anyone who hasn’t watched is almost guaranteed to hit it with “Didn’t match the hype / It was good, but not *that* good” feelings. But overall, I feel the match is fairly rated.  It’s fucking great.  It’s one of the best WWF matches of all time, and certainly stands out in an era where the company wasn’t super focused on heavy workrate.  Some people have turned on it because Ricky Steamboat doesn’t love it, but I’ll stand firm.  That match is fun as hell, and that it stood out amongst fans at WRESTLEMANIA III has to freaking mean something.  It’s a classic, and it’s rated correctly as one by nearly anyone.

Statement #7: AEW will never hold an event on Wrestlemania weekend.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Almost just to put it out in the universe officially, because man that’d be the ballsiest stuff.  Most likely not, but you know, never say never and all that good stuff.  Sure, why not?  They love to poke the bear.  I’m here for it.

Statement #8: Wrestlemania IV was boring.

Dino Zee: FACT – It’s been a while since I watched WrestleMania IV, honestly.  But that’s because the last time I watched it, it dragged a bit and I felt like it was boring.  Now, there is fun to be had in there – the battle royal is chaotic and the ending with Bad News Brown and Bret Hart was a good time.  Demolition beating Strike Force was also fun.  But there’s just this giant tournament crammed in there, with most of the matches clocking in around 5 minutes or less.  We also lose Hogan and Andre with a Double Count-Out finish, as well as Jake Roberts and Rick Rude (time limit draw).  Two hot feuds at the time getting no real payoff.  It just feels like a lot of motions until it’s time to crown Savage.  It’s not actively terrible, but I think boring is a fair enough descriptor.  But now I’m probably gonna go watch it again and see how I feel.  Damn it, Chambers…

Statement #9: Macho Man Randy Savage should have retained the WWF Title at Wrestlemania V.

Dino Zee: FICTION – He’d messed around way too much for that.  I never loved that he got the full Hogan Special and that was that, but Hogan winning was, in my opinion, the right call for the show.  Would have been cool for Savage to maybe win it back (SummerSlam?) only to lose it again in another big match (Rumble?), but that’s a separate issue.  WrestleMania V ended correctly.

Statement #10: You have attended a Wrestlemania live.

Dino Zee: FACT – Three, as a matter of fact!  I was at WrestleManias 19, 21, and 31!  I consider all 3 of them to be good-great shows, though each has their own bad marks with me as well.

19’s card was absolutely loaded, and I enjoyed everything about it, except the Triple H vs. Booker T and the Limp Bizkit performance.  Sorry.

21 was another card that was packed with incredible matchups.  Got to see the first Money in the Bank match, the first World Championship victories for John Cena and Batista, as well as my personal favorite match I’ve seen live in Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels.  I could have done without Big Show vs. Akebono, though.

31 had STING!  STING’S HERE!  OH MY — Oh damn it.  Damn it, Triple H.  Rollins’ cash-in to end the show was also pretty freakin’ rad.

Statement #11: The Wrestlemania VI main event is the best match of both Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior’s careers.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I feel like Warrior/Savage at WrestleMania VII is Warrior’s best match, with this one being a solid second place.  And that’s enough to make this Fiction, haha.  It might be Hogan’s (I kinda prefer Hogan/Savage at V myself), but I’d have to do some more real digging here.

Statement #12: Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are the greatest commentary team of all time.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I’d throw Heenan in Ventura’s place and call it a day.  Love Monsoon and Ventura, but Monsoon and Heenan hit another level entirely.  JR and King when they were in a groove deserve serious consideration here as well, but there’s also a lot of muck in there.

Statement #13: You’ve teared up watching the Savage/Elizabeth reunion at Wrestlemania VII. 

Dino Zee: FICTION – I never have.  I love the whole thing, love Liz coming out to beat the shit out of Sherri and help Macho Man back to his feet…  it’s such a dope moment.  But it’s never evoked tears out of me.

Statement #14: Flair/Savage was a better match than Flair/Hogan would have been at Wrestlemania VIII.

Dino Zee: FACT – I can’t even imagine questioning this.  We eventually got like 13851508135610 Hogan/Flair matches in WCW, and not one of them came close to touching the Savage/Flair opus at WrestleMania VIII.  Fuck, I love that match (and that show) so damn much!

Statement #15: Wrestlemania IX was actually on track to being a pretty great show until the Money Inc./Mega-Maniacs match ruined everything.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I don’t know, man.  Too much shenanigans had already made the crowd angry.  You get Tatanka taking the stupid countout win, *then* the double Doinks shit, and *then* add *another* copout finish to a championship match?  “A pretty great show” was, in my estimation, most certainly not unravelling in front of me before Money Inc/Mega-Maniacs started.
Statement #16: Bret/Owen is the greatest Wrestlemania opening match.

Dino Zee: FACT – Yes.  No need to pontificate to sound intelligent.  Yes, I love this match.  Fantastic match.  Yes, fact.

Statement #17: Tito Santana should have gotten a match on the Wrestlemania X card.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I’m pretty sure he was out of the WWF by the time WrestleMania X happened, so that’d make his exclusion from the event a little more sensical.  You’ll find no bigger Tito fan than I (you probably will, but I still loved the guy), but I don’t think a 1994 WrestleMania lacked without him overall.

(Ed: Technically his WM 9 was a dark match, but wouldn’t it have been poetic if the man who was in the first Wrestlemania match, and wrestled on every WM afterwards, could have gotten one last WM match back in MSG?)

Statement #18: You respect Lawrence Taylor’s performance in the main event of Wrestlemania XI.

Dino Zee: FACT – Yes.  I was still a full mark when XI happened and was absolutely awestruck that he beat freaking Bam Bam Bigelow.  Then I smartened up and I’m still shocked at how good he was in that match.  And yeah, it’s the main event.  Some people would choke in those spots.  Even high level performers in other arenas.  LT nailed it.

Statement #19: After the time limit expired in the 60-minute Ironman Match main event of Wrestlemania XII, the match should have been declared a draw with no sudden death overtime.

Dino Zee: FACT – Don’t even get me started on this.  Overtime never mentioned, once, ever, as a possibility.  60 minutes assumed to be enough to settle it.  Then they absolutely screw the champion over because he managed to successfully defend his championship in the stipulated contest.  A disgusting travesty.

Statement #20: Austin/Bret from Wrestlemania 13 is not just the greatest Wrestlemania match ever but it’s simply the best match ever period.

Dino Zee: FACT – Yes, I’m also in this camp.  HBK/Angle is my personal “best match I’ve ever seen live,” but it’s a 2nd place finish to Bret/Austin at 13 as far as my favorite matches ever go.  It’s perfect.

Statement #21: Kane ending the Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania XIV would have been better than ‘taker’s eventual loss to Brock Lesnar years later.

Dino Zee: FACT – “Better” is a little vague, but I think it would have been “better” in that it would have solidified Kane immediately.  I also believe that Orton ending the streak would have been “better” for the same reasons.  But with hindsight, we see that both Kane and Orton did just fine without the win, and would even get wins over Undertaker in subsequent matches.

Lesnar, despite not “needing it,” absolutely benefited from the WrestleMania 30 victory.  He’d been largely treated as a 50/50 guy to that point, losing to John Cena, and trading wins and losses to Triple H.  He was a big deal, but not quite the same thing he’s been since that night.  It’s incredible how someone with his accolades still took so much momentum from that win.

I’ll still stubbornly argue that there were “better” people to go with before ultimately having Brock win it (CM Punk also in this conversation), but I wanted to acknowledge that the way it worked out really was quite nice.

Statement #22: Austin/Rock is the greatest Wrestlemania rivalry of all time. 

Dino Zee: FACT – Two World Championship matches, and then a co-main event for “Stone Cold” and “The People’s Champ.”  The undeniable faces of the Attitude Era.  The first time at 15, it was a cocky young champion Rock falling short to the dominant Austin.  In the rematch at 17, a now desperate Austin would sell his soul to Mr. McMahon in order to take Rock’s championship again, becoming everything he vowed to fight.  But at 19, despite Hollywood Rock being in full effect, we all saw the match for what it truly was – two legends battling once again.  As mentioned above, I was at 19, and seeing that match live (I was a Rock fan always against Austin, so seeing him – *Fiiiinally* – get that WrestleMania win over “Stone Cold” was a big personal moment for me.  

Statement #23: Foley is God.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I uh, think you’re missing an “o”?

(Ed: Am I though?)

Statement #24: Wrestlemania 2000 was a dud.

Dino Zee: FACT – It’s not overall fair (the show’s just fine), but it had huge expectations, and even in hindsight doesn’t deliver in what was a really strong year for the WWF.  You still have the definitely NOT a TLC match between the Dudleyz, Hardyz, and Edge/Christian, the Angle/Jericho/Benoit match was overall good, and there’s a good intergender tag in there as well.  But not everything seemed to land well, and the main event was a weird mess.  Big Show eliminated rather quickly.  Foley’s dive to the announce table.  And then Triple H winning.  It’s not a bad show, but I think calling it a dud considering the expectations is all right.
Statement #25: That Austin/Rock “My Way” video promo is still awesome.

Dino Zee: FACT – Yeah, I’ll geek to that any day.  Don’t like the band, still like the song just because of its connection to this video.

Statement #26: When all is said and done, Omega/Hangman will be AEW’s Austin/Rock.

Dino Zee: FACT – Sure, I like it.  Got a ways to go obviously, but I think it’s a fun comparison to think about at this point.

Statement #27: Austin/Angle should have had a match at Wrestlemania X-8.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I remember pushing for that a little at the time.  And I know that since both Angle/Kane and Austin/Hall didn’t quite live up to hopes, that it’s easy to say “yeah, that should have been the match.”  I still liked Austin feuding with the nWo, and Angle/Austin would have been based off stuff from the Invasion, which we were desperately trying to ignore at that point.  I wouldn’t have been mad, but I don’t necessarily think they should have been booked with each other, either.
Statement #28: Wait… Austin/Hogan should have really been the main event of Wrestlemania X-8, right?

Dino Zee: FACT – This is what I was thinking about the whole time I was answering the last question!  And yes, that means we lose Hogan/Rock, and yes, that really fucking sucks, but the idea that this company blew it with Hogan/Flair *AND* Hogan/Austin for a WrestleMania keeps me up at night.  Yes, Hogan/Austin should have been the main event of WrestleMania 18.  I’m happy it wasn’t because Hogan/Rock was amazing (and watching it with friends was an EXPERIENCE), but it’s still the right call.

Statement #29: Wrestlemania XIX being 19 years ago means something this year.

Dino Zee: FACT – It means that 19 years ago, Brock Lesnar dove onto his head, seemingly seriously injured.  People wondered if he’d wrestle again.  He was back a few weeks later, has held numerous WWE Championships since, and even managed to swing a reign as UFC Heavyweight Champion.  I stayed in the crowd when WM 19 ended for a solid half hour, watching Brock get medical attention.  I was convinced he was done.  19 years later, he’s looking to become the big Unified Champion guy.  Decent little run for the spot monkey that couldn’t even hit a shooting star.

Statement #30: All the Wrestlemanias between 1 and 20 feel distinct and important, while most of the events since 21 blend together in your memory.

Dino Zee: FACT – Sometimes you say things where I literally thought I was the only person that even entertained thoughts like that.  This is one of those times.  I’m sure it’s just because I grew up with 1 – 20, while 21 and on were my “I’m an adult now” shows, and so they just don’t resonate the same way.  But yes, I feel this.  I can still call out different matches from these later shows and all that, but it’s definitely a bit blurrier than the older shows.

Statement #31: You could re-watch the Wrestlemania XX main event today without feeling weird.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I’m sorry, guys.  I tried a lot 15 years ago to do the whole “appreciate the work, etc. etc.” thing.  And sure, if I’m watching a Nitro or some other show and Benoit’s in a match, I don’t think I’m going to go out of my way to skip it.  But WrestleMania XX’s end is certainly a piece I can go without seeing.  It all just sucks.  Eddie Guerrero’s death sucked.  The effects it had on Benoit sucked.  Like, I don’t know…  I can’t sit there and be like “Oh man, this was great, two friends and hard workers enjoying their rewards” while it happens on my screen anymore.  More power to those who can, but yeah, I feel weird when I see that shit.

Statement #32: WWE really thought Batsita was going to be a bigger star than John Cena at Wrestlemania 21.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I’m still unsure of this, so I’ll err to the side of FICTION.  Obviously, based on card position, that’s an easy argument to make.  However, consider the opponents here.  Triple H is getting the main event of WrestleMania 21 over JBL any day of the week.  I argue that WWE pushing Batista harder going into WrestleMania 21 (he got the Royal Rumble win as well, eliminating Cena) was because they knew Cena had the groundswell support from the fans who cheer heels, whereas Batista wasn’t quite on as solid ground.  What happens after Triple H?  Will he still be popular?  It could be the case, they thought Batista would be bigger.  I’m just not totally sold, and can see other things to point that they did not.  So, FICTION.

Statement #33: TNA/IMPACT Wrestling’s Bound for Glory feels as big as a Wrestlemania to you.

Dino Zee: FICTION – You’re just trying to be mean to IMPACT, and I won’t stand for it.  Not, it doesn’t feel that big.  Literally no other wrestling event from any other company on the planet feels as big as a WrestleMania to me.  Well, unless it’s Hoodslam.

Statement #34: Rey Mysterio deserved better at Wrestlemania 22.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Yeah, turning a Royal Rumble win into a World Championship victory over Randy Orton and Kurt Angle is such trash treatment.  I know the match is a sprint, but it’s a *really fun sprint*, and not all great matches have to be 35 minutes with 8 minute headlocks.

(Ed: The audience mildly turning on one of history’s greatest babyfaces for basically one night was pretty lame!)

https://youtu.be/TbR8gC5tnEw

Statement #35: Cena/Michaels at Wrestlemania 23 is an underrated classic.

Dino Zee: FACT – I always dug this match, and really love the whole “Shawn got mad because Cena didn’t sell right” story (or whatever it is) because, you know, #TeamBretHart.  But yes, considering this was an Emergency Exit main event, I always thought it was really good and a bit of a forgotten gem.

Statement #36: That “I’m sorry, I love you” to end the Michaels/Flair match at Wrestlemania 24 is really cheesy.

Dino Zee: FACT – YES.  IT IS.  I swear to Bret I was literally talking to friends earlier today about WM Hot Takes we had, and this was mine.  The match was fine.  We all knew what was going to happen.  There was absolutely zero question.  Fine.  But then we get this nonsense where the wrestling stops so two wrestling legends can stare at each other and cry for like 8 minutes – one hugging a corner, the other punching the air – before we get the quote and the kick.  And then the people who insist that there’s like 107 layers of incredible storytelling going on.  Ric Flair looked right at the guy who was saying “I’m going to hit you now and end your career” and didn’t move, despite insisting he wanted to keep his career going.  Sorry, everyone.  I am not a fan of this particular moment in time.  We’ll live.

(Ed: Cosigned.)

Statement #37: You blame Triple H for his many terrible Wrestlemania main events.

Dino Zee: FACT – But hear me out, haha.  I think that Triple H has a really specific idea as to what constitutes a “great wrestling match”.  Hell, we all do.  And I think that, at certain times, his desire to make said “great wrestling match” has actively ruined his actual matches at WrestleMania.  25 vs. Orton is my easiest go to.  This should have been a no rules brawl, with chaos and blood and both guys doing everything they can to win.  Instead, we got a standard wrestling match.  I’m not trying to throw him under the bus for WM 2000, or 18…  and hell, 20 and 21 were both good/great.  But I’m definitely blaming him for the Sting mess.  Never to be forgiven!
  
Statement #38: The Undertaker/Michaels match at Wrestlemania XXVI was better than their match the previous year.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I tend to lean 25 over 26, honestly.  I think it’s because there was at least a slight bit of “who’s gonna win?!” attached to the first match, whereas we all pretty much knew where the rematch was going to go.  Both great matches, but yeah, I think I prefer WM 25’s HBK/Taker to WM 26’s version.

Statement #39: It’s disappointing that The Miz never main event-ed another Wrestlemania after XXVII.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Not to me, at least.  Miz is a fantastic higher mid-card type who excels in situations where they can incorporate celebrities, and he’s been used in that role just fine, thank you.  There hasn’t even been a real time he could have been put in a WrestleMania main event – unless you just wait to have Lashley thrash him, I guess.  But yeah, I think his position has been perfectly suited to him.

Statement #40: The “Once In A Lifetime” Rock/Cena match at Wrestlemania XXVIII was better than the “Twice In A Lifetime” match they would have the next year.

Dino Zee: FACT – Hell yes it was!  I won actual money on that match after listening to my friends tell me for a year that I was stupid for thinking Rock was going to beat John Cena.  “He’s coming back to put him over” they insisted.  “Don’t you know how wrestling works by now?” they asked incredulously.  Stupid idiot jerks.  They weren’t laughing when Rock got that 1-2-3, baby!  BOOTS TO ASSES!!

Statement #41: CM Punk should have main event-ed Wrestlemania 30.

Dino Zee: FICTION – That was Daniel Bryan’s spot, period.  Versus Orton would have been optimal, but I ain’t mad at what we got.  CM Punk being in that situation was a dreamworld.

(Ed: Didn’t they originally intend to have Bryan face Sheamus again on the pre-show at this event?)

Statement #42: You can remember all five of Roman Reigns’ Wrestlemania main events.

Dino Zee: FACT – Took a second, but I did it!  Brock at 31, Triple H at 32, Undertaker at 33, Brock again at 34, Edge/Bryan at 37, and Brock this year.  Shit, is Brock/Roman the new school Austin/Rock?!  

Statement #43: NXT Stand and Deliver this year, even with the midday start time, will deliver like the Takeovers of old.

Dino Zee: FACT – I think so.  I believe in the strength of the NXT Premium Live Events!!

(Ed: No one should ever go into a Dolph Ziggler headlined show expecting it to deliver.)

Statement #44: The roll-up ending to the Charlotte/Becky/Rousey main event was lame, but you didn’t care because you just wanted that marathon show to end.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Definitely a long show, but I dug the match and was a little bummed that we got the roll up.  Something a little more definitive would have been nice, but it’s a minor quibble.  Either way, no, I wasn’t waiting for the match to just be over with haha.

Statement #45: If Drew McIntyre got his “Wrestlemania Moment” in front of a live audience instead of the empty Performance Center, his career would be different today.

Dino Zee: FICTION – It’s a weird thought, but one I’ve seen mentioned quite a bit in various Wrestlespaces.  Like, I know the vaunted WrestleMania Moment is a big deal, but I don’t feel like his Moment taking place in an empty arena is the reason things are what they are right now.  Obviously the lack of crowds killed a lot of momentum for a lot of acts, but I don’t think that Drew would be a megastar if he had the fans that night.  I should almost say “Fact” just because obviously it’d be “different” in some way, but I don’t know that he’d be in some much, much better spot is all I’m saying.

Statement #46: Night 1 was better than Night 2 at last year’s Wrestlemania 37.

Dino Zee: FACT – I definitely remember feeling that way.  Night 2 was still enjoyable, but I think 1 really got a huge boost from the Bianca/Sasha match.  It just kind of left the whole night with good memories for me.
Statement #47: Pat MacAfee/Austin Theory will steal the show on Wrestlemania weekend.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I don’t know who steal the show, but I don’t think it’s going to be this match.  No shade, I just have a feeling we might see something big from Rick Boogs, so I don’t wanna bet against him.

(Ed: Don’t forget Madcap Moss will be in the building too.)

Statement #48: Cody Rhodes will do something amazing over Wrestlemania weekend.

Dino Zee: FACT – Go to a nice dinner with his wife, or hang out by the pool…  I’m sure whatever it is, it’ll be freakin’ amazing.

Statement #49: Charlotte Flair will make Ronda Rousey tap at Wrestlemania.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I’m rooting Ronda here.  I usually do.
Statement #50: Roman Reigns will walk out with the unified WWE World and Universal championships at Wrestlemania.

Dino Zee: FICTION – I think Brock’s gonna get another weird accolade that he didn’t need but will still only add to his entire allure, and that’s when he ends Roman’s incredible run.  I’m probably dead wrong, but that’s okay, too.  Let’s go, Brock!!

(Ed: I heard a wacky rumour that Stone Cold might get added to that Night 2 main event, walk out with both belts and then right before he retires with them forever on the RAW After ‘Mania, The Rock comes out and challenges him for a retirement, winner takes all match one year later at WM 39 – hey, anything can happen, right?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmbZccDKFHg&ab_channel=WWE

Dino, dear lord, you did! We bow to you oh great one. A truly amazing effort this week and a fitting tribute to what is sure to be an exhausting and entertaining weekend for us all.

Be sure to check out Dino on Twitter: https://twitter.com/biptronic

Enjoy Wrestlemania, mortals!