Worth It? 3 Historical WWE Matches Rated Against Their Own Promos | Smark Out Moment

Worth It? 3 Historical WWE Matches Rated Against Their Own Promos

Posted by Outside Interference Monday, October 16, 2017
Promos are the very cornerstone of sports entertainment. From the vein-bursting, face-to-camera rants of The Ultimate Warrior to The Rock's eyebrow-raising, elaborate in-ring speeches, they can enthrall and entertain in equal measure. Here we take a look at three promos that are fondly remembered by most WWE fans.

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels (2002)



By 2002, the character of Triple H had become completely self-focused and ruthless, adopting 'The Game' as an additional alias. Little more than a disruptive 'frat boy' when the DX stable was at its peak, his character turn was an excellent precursor to the fast-approaching 'Ruthless Aggression' era. The match that followed the above promo got almost twice the screen time of the main title event between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Returning to the stage for the first time since 1998, Michaels was a huge underdog but succeeded in beating his rival in one of the most violent matches in memory.

VERDICT:

There can be no denying that the 'unlicensed' street brawl was very much in keeping with the rebellious spirit of DX, and (by extension) how the stable aided WWE's resurgence in the late 1990s. However, this was about determining the better wrestler (or 'showstopper'), which a street brawl cannot possibly do to the same extent as a regular match. For many purists, the emergence of 'The Game' should also have been a watershed event, and a point of no return for the former DX leaders.

OVERALL RATING: 3/5

Randy Orton vs Cactus Jack (2004)



The idea of a young upstart destroying more experienced opposition is age-old, and extends to all forms of combat sport. Recently, in the boxing world, talented 26-year-old upstart Anthony Joshua defeated the legendary Wladimir Klitschko to put the Ukrainian's career to bed. Joshua will have to deal with the opposite pressure in his next fight, however, as he takes on Kubrat Pulev as short as 3/25 in the latest boxing odds. Thirteen years ago, in WWE, the same thing happened between the legendary Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack) and Randy Orton. Back in 2004, Orton was presented as a legend killer, with the young upstart dispatching old favorites in what was a blatant 'new broom' for WWE.

VERDICT

It was as straight to the point as it could get, which was very much in keeping with the nature of the fight, which was seen as a battle between hardcore wrestlers old and new. In keeping with his ruthless persona, Orton had organized an invasion against Mick Foley, and the match became a farcical three-on-one affair.

Mick Foley, in his various guises, was always a fan favorite in his heyday. Thus, for those who expected at least an honorable 'passing' of the torch – in which Orton would win fairly and decisively – the match thoroughly failed to live up to the hype.

OVERALL RATING: 2/5

Undertaker vs Kane (2004)



To mark WrestleMania's twentieth edition, WWE bosses introduced a very meaningful element of nostalgia. The Undertaker, a foil to the exuberant stars of yesteryear such as Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, had always been a welcome inclusion at any PPV event. Though the adoption of a pseudo-Hell's Angel persona in 2001 did little to disrupt his popularity, the restoration of his undead persona proved to be a huge hit.

VERDICT

With WWE about to undergo something of a 'reboot' – hence the tagline "Where it all begins again" – the match between Undertaker and Kane would be the climactic one in a long-running feud. As expected, it was a back-and-forth encounter, with the Undertaker winning to cement his reinstatement as the feared 'phenom' of the franchise.

Outside the ring, WrestleMania XX itself caused huge ripples of economic positivity, generating $13.5m of activity. Built on a strong foundation of rivalry and nostalgia, it could be argued that the Undertaker's climactic match with Kane was the main player in that respect.

OVERALL RATING: 5/5

Tell us your thoughts on these matches and any examples you'd like to bring up comparing promos and the matches that followed in the comments below and stay tuned for more Outside Interference articles in the future!
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