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WED. UPDATE: UFC NY lawsuit dismissed, Total Divas renewed, 25th anniversary of The Ultimate Challenge, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.com

TV tonight:

NXT at 8:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network has Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze in a best 2/3 falls match, tag team champions Blake & Murphy vs. Lucha Dragons in a non-title match, and Emma vs. Bayley.

Lucha Underground on El Rey at 8:00 p.m. ET is titled "Uno! Dos! Tres!" and features Johnny Mundo vs. Angelico, Aerostar vs. Drago in the latest installment of their best of 5 series, and a Big Ryck confrontation with Dario Cueto and Willie Mack. El Rey has a teaser and preview on YouTube. Full description from El Rey: Uno! Dos! Tres! Tonight, Lucha Underground's very own Dario Cueto will make a game changing announcement! Johnny Mundo and Angelico go to extremes to prove who is better in the ring, while Drago will fight Aero Star and the stakes are at an extreme high. Will the pressure be too much for Pentagon and Mack? This is an action packed can't-miss episode fill will surprises only Dario Cueto can offer. The first match takes place in the Temple Wednesday, April 1st at 8:00PM ET/PT on El Rey Network.

On Fox Sports 1, we've got:

7:00 p.m. ET - Best of WEC: Submissions. This premiered a few days ago and features four full fights with submission finishes, including Brad Pickett's Peruvian Necktie win.

8:00 p.m. ET - New episode of UFC Tonight.

9:00 p.m. ET - UFC Main Event: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz. This apparently debuted under the radar (just about any non-Wednsday/Saturday UFC programming on FS1 is) last week.

9:30 p.m. ET - UFC Ultimate Knockouts: Knockouts from 2014. New episode, exactly what is says on the tin.

10:00 p.m. ET - UFC Unleashed: Debuts. Rerun of an episode that premiered last Summer, including the UFC debuts of Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, and Alexander Gustafsson.

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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with an extensive Perro Aguayo Jr. bio by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims, a look at the economic impact of WrestleMania, and all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 

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One of the year's biggest issues of the Observer is out this week, looking at WrestleMania, plus an extensive look at the life and death of Perro Aguayo Jr., the Brock Lesnar decision in depth, a look at the build to WrestleMania, Kevin Nash biography and more.

The new issue of the Observer: Mar. 30, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Perro Aguayo Jr. bio & AAA’s nightmare week, Brock Lesnar re-signs with WWE, WrestleMania weekend preview

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You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com">dave@wrestlingobserver.com

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For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com  For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52.
 
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 

One of the year's biggest issues of the Observer is out this week, looking at WrestleMania, plus an extensive look at the life and death of Perro Aguayo Jr., the Brock Lesnar decision in depth, a look at the build to WrestleMania, Kevin Nash biography and more.

The new issue of the Observer: Mar. 30, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Perro Aguayo Jr. bio & AAA’s nightmare week, Brock Lesnar re-signs with WWE, WrestleMania weekend preview

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com">dave@wrestlingobserver.com

You can also order at www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com 
 
Rates are:
 
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com  For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52.
 
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
The tragic death of Perro Aguayo Jr. is looked at in the current issue.  We look at his first match, the family, the famous T-shirt, his career title history, the night of his death, exactly what happened in the match, with comments from the doctor, the commission, what happened at the hospital, the coverage,, the public reaction, and a look at his career and his biggest matches, as well as the Mistico vs. Aguayo boom period, the Perros Del Mal promotion, the cancer story, Hector Garza and the return to AAA.

We also look at Brock Lesnar's WWE deal including details of his new contract, details of UFC's offer, why he said  he made the choice he did, why WWE was so adamant about him signing on Monday and how did the impasse get broken, plus tons of comments by Lesnar from ESPN and about his offers, as well as the reaction from Dana White, and how that affects WWE booking.

We also have a look at WrestleMania and all of the events taking place during the week.

We also have notes on Dwayne Johnson and him answering about a Brock Lesnar bout, can such a bout set the all-time WWE attendance record, Roman Reigns talks a match with The Rock and his thoughts on it, the WWE's new tie-in with NBC Universal and promotional ideas and more WrestleMania news.

We also look at the Tapout deal with WWE, Kevin Owens in NXT, a fifth generation McMahon in pro wrestling, what is planned after WrestleMania, does Bill Goldberg want to wrestle in WWE and the answer may surprise you, Dolph Ziggler talks his fate, Chael Sonnen and WWE, Smackdown sound changing, as well as business notes from the last week an highlights of all the weekend live events.     

We also have an article on the career of Kevin Nash, including where the name Diesel came from, how he got into WWF, how he started in WCW, the masters Blasters, Oz, the status of WCW when Nash first started and Jim Herd, the move to WWF, his rise to the to and title run, the NWO, his money, his WWF return, his injuries and his legacy.

We also look at this year's NCAA Division I wrestling tournament, including the record attendance, ratings and the major highlights.

We also look at the latest UFC show, including the controversial referee call and the possible end to Josh Koscheck.

We've got coverage of the return of Rey Mysterio and AAA's Rey de Reyes show.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:

--A look at CMLL"s Dos Leyendas show

--A booking decision that may have to be changed as far as a major stipulation loser for reasons probably never involved before in a decision in history

--What happened to the TNA/Wrestle-1 tie up

--Two All Japan title changes

--Pro Wrestling NOAH tag team tournament details

--New Americans coming to NOAH

--Update on Invasion Attack this year

--Notes on what is coming up on New Japan World

--Angle for Styles vs. Ibushi

--Notes on New Japan title matches and a look at the company's two big shows this week

--Yoji Anjo retirement show and what he's most known for

--Fujinami vs. Funaki teacher vs. student match

--Samoa Joe talks his past and future

--Business notes on Alberto El Patron

--More on Jeff Jarrett opening up a promotion

--Jim Duggan honored

--Inaccuracies in Foxcatcher movie

--Latest from Puerto Rico

--Son of major 80s star makes debut

--Lots of notes on upcoming angles on Lucha Underground

--Kurt Angle contract notes

--Angle talks Brock Lesnar

--Notes on Jeremy Borash starting on the Howard Stern show

--TNA injury and contract signing updates

--Details behind the Rousey vs. Correia fight

--Why the fight is so interesting

--UFC injury notes

--More on UFC coming to New York

--Fine and suspension of Hector Lombard

--UFC's crazy week for Fight week

--Injuries to both Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos after their fight

--New Invicta show

--Reality show on a major show in UFC starts airing

--Lots of new UFC fights under consideration

--Update on Bellator's Shamrock vs. Kimbo fight

--The incredible money behind Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

--Bill Goldberg talks his next project as well as why he turned down a kickboxing match with Alberto El Patron

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
 
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
 
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
 
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
 
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
 
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
 
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
 
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
 
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
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*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
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*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
 
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
 
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 

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Wednesday Daily Update

  • WWE has issued this statement to sites that have inquited about whether or not Brock Lesnar bladed in his WrestleMania main event against Roman Reigns:

WWE programming is TV-PG and we don't permit intentional bleeding. The communication or contact between our performers and referees is part of our safety protocol. That said, unintentional blood sometimes occurs, and we do our best to minimize.
 
Speculation about the nature of Lesnar's cut increased when a GIF animation surfaced showing referee Mike Chioda possibly handing something to Reigns...or just checking on him by grabbing his hand. The points being argued towards it being a blade have generally been that clip, that it seemingly happened at the perfect time in the match, and that Choda didn't try to stop the cut even though h had put gloves on. However, the match was almost over, and Lesnar appared to clot pretty quickly, so it would be understandable if they just decided not to have Chioda step in.and grind the WrestleMania main event to a halt.

  • Judge Kimba Wood dismissed UFC's lawsuit against New York state, which was designed to try to get professional mixed martial arts legalizd and sanctioned the the state. NY is the last holdout in the country due to a 1997 law that outright banned it. UFC.com has UFC's press release about the decision. Probably the most detailed takes are from Paul Gift at Bloody Elbow and veteran NY-based MMA journalist Jim Genia on his blog. UFC and the other plaintiffs are considering an appeal.
  • Meanwhile, we find out tomorrow if Bellator will succeed in getting an injucntion to stop Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from fighting at UFC 186 in Montreal later this month. Luke Thomas has an overviw of both sides' claims at MMA Fighting. If Bellator wins, that knocks a major marquee fight off a card that already lost its main event, T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao II, due to an injury to Dillashaw. Canadian PPVs cards have, for whatever reason, have generally had some of the worst luck when it comes to losing fights to injuries and other issues, including a Calgary date that couldn't be moved from the Summer because the Saddledome roof can't handle UFC's lighting rig if it's snowing outside.
  • E! announced in a press release that Total Divas has been renewed for a fourth season premiering this Summer. From the press release:

Returning in its fourth season, E!, WWE®and Bunim-Murray Productions continue their look inside the lives of the women of the sports entertainment giant. Cameras once again showcase the professional and personal lives of the WWE Divas: The Bella Twins™(Nikki and Brie Bella), Natalya™ (Nattie), Naomi™, Alicia Fox™, Paige™, and Eva Marie™.  Between balancing family, maintaining romantic relationships and constantly fighting for the spotlight, the Divas are up against the odds. However, their unique lifestyles bring them together in a bond of sisterhood like no other. “Total Divas” is produced by WWE and Bunim/Murray Productions. Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim/Murray Productions.  Kevin Dunn is Executive Producer for WWE.

Waiting to hear back from WWE to see if that cast list is complete, which would mean that we've seen the end of Cameron/Ariane (and thus Vinny).

Today is the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania 6, best known for the main event where WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeated WWF Champion Hulk hogan to conquer "The Ultimate Challenge" and leave with both titles. He quickly vacated the Intercontinental Title, of course, setting up Mr. Perfect's tournament win. The Warrior-Hogan match is one of the best individual performances of Hogan's career, if not the best. While famously laid out by Pat Patterson and heavily rehearsed, Hogan did a tremendous job pacing the match to make sure Warrior was never too blown up after sprinting to the ring in a building where everyone else used a motorized cart.

WrestleMania 17 (billed as "X-7"), widely considered the best WrestleMania, was 14 years ago today. A strong top to bottom card was capped off by the most legendary of the Steve Austin vs. The Rock matches, which culminated in Austin's heel turn. 

WrestleMania 23, a personal favorite, was 8 years ago today. The first of the modern WrestleManias where the host city (in this case,Detroit) bid for the event, I'd arguable the best of the era, with a candidate for best WrestleMania main event ever (John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels), a surprisingly great Undertaker vs. Batista match, the Vince McMahon vs. Donald Trump hair match with Umaga and Bobby Lashley as their respective proxies, and more.