When I do these wrestling posts, one of the things I hear from readers is that the amount of content and embedded video in the post will typically derail them for an entire day at work. Well, the last thing I want to do, as I pay tribute to Wrestlemania 29 on Sunday, is be yet one more reason the economy is in the shitter.
Therefore, this year's Wrestlemania's post will have a built-in "fail safe" to ensure that the amount of time wasted consuming is minimized.
This year, in honor of Sunday's showcase of the immortals in New York City and in honor of Rick Pitino's appearance in the Final Four in Atlanta, I give you the Ten Shortest Matches in Wrestlemania History!
(Just kidding on the Pitino part. But admit it -- if you know the inside joke, you laughed.)
Why would a pay-per-view like Wrestlemania, the genre's biggest event of the year, ever contain a match that lasts less than a minute? Well, the reasons can be one of many -- the match length plays into a storyline, or maybe a match is being used to push one guy as a monster. Hell, sometimes a match is cut shorter than usual just because WWE is running short on pay-per-view time to get in the rest of the matches that matter.
Whatever the reasons, we are left with the matches below as the cream of the crop when it comes to microscopic durations on the sport's biggest stage. Enjoy these! And bosses everywhere worried about time-wasting by employees, don't worry. This won't take long. You're welcome.
KANE vs CHAVO GUERRERO (ECW Title Match) Wrestlemania XXIV (March 30, 2008) In 2008, WWE had reprised the former ECW brand (which, like WCW, it by then owned the intellectual rights to) as a weekly specialty show, complete with its own world title. If having career journey-jabroni Chavo Guerrero as the world champion of ECW wasn't a clear enough metaphor for Vince McMahon's feeling about that brand, Kane's squashing Guerrero in record time at Wrestlemania XXIV should have brought it into focus.
(Side bar: I'm guessing that for ECW legend Tazz, having to announce this hiccup of a match which was an overt slap at a brand he helped build for about five years was somewhat painful...until his check for the night cleared, then it was probably not so bad.)
(Side bar II: I was actually at this match in Orlando and have zero recollection of it. And I was sober. I probably blinked and missed it.)
SHEAMUS vs DANIEL BRYAN (World Heavyweight Title Match) Wrestlemania XXVIII (April 1, 2012) Conventional wisdom says that you want to open any big pay per view event (especially a four hour event like Wrestlemania has become) with a hot match that gets the crowd engaged and emotionally invested, and most importantly, sets the tone for the evening. Well, last year at Wrestlemania XXVIII in Miami, WWE decided to open the show by trolling the entire internet "smark" community and jobbing out their hero, diminutive cult hero "worker" Daniel Bryan, in a title match in less than 20 seconds. Sadly, this match did kind of set the tone for an event (in a bad way) that, outside of two or three matches, was largely panned by critics and money paying customers. Time: 0:18
HART FOUNDATION vs THE BOLSHEVIKS Wrestlemania VI (April 1, 1990) This match took place in 1990, about the time when we as a nation were transitioning from hating Russia over to hating the Middle East. (Point of reference: Sgt. Slaghter's "Iraqi sympathizer" gimmick would begin a few months after this.) But I guess this was one final reminder to Russia -- we are better than you, bitches. (Even if one of the wrestlers on the winning team was from Canada. And one of the "Bolsheviks" was actually from Roanoke, Virginia.) Time: 0:19
S.D. JONES vs KING KONG BUNDY Wrestlemana I (March 31, 1985) This match was on the undercard of the very first Wrestlemania. Yes, the first Wrestlemania's undercard actually contained throwaway semi-squash matches, including a match involving Matt Borne and a match with Buddy Rose wearing a mask. This match between Bundy and Jones was designed to push Bundy as a monster heel, as at the time, Jones' specialty was hanging around in a match with big stars for around five or six minutes before literally running head first into the turnbuckle. Here, it only took 21 seconds and Jones got zero offense in. The best part is ring announcer Howard Finkel announcing that the time of the fall was NINE seconds. In other words, not only was the match scripted, so was the "record time" of the fall. Time: 0:21
REY MYSTERIO vs JBL (Intercontinental Title Match) Wrestlemania 25 (April 5, 2009) This was JBL's send-off match. After a career of multiple gimmicks, JBL had found his stride as the "wealthy, Texan oil baron, captain of industry" heel, kind of a Million Dollar Man meets J.R. Ewing deal. This took place right here in Houston at Reliant Stadium and took only 21 seconds, which back in early 2009 didn't even make it the biggest blowout in the building that year. (Yes, the Texans still kind of blew back in the 2008/2009-ish timeframe.) At any rate, amidst cackles of ridicule, JBL "quit" on the spot right after this match, and in a "life imitates art" transition, moved on to Fox to host his own political/finance talk show. Time: 0:21
HULK HOGAN vs YOKOZUNA (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match) Wrestlemania IX (April 4, 1993) Wrestlemania IX is best known for four things: 1) the WWF debut of Hall of Fame announcer (and all around good guy) Jim Ross, 2) being the first Wrestlemania held outdoors (Las Vegas!), 3) a shitload of togas, and 4) the fastest negotiation and execution of a title match in sports history. Shortly after helping the mammoth Yokozuna defeat champion Bret Hart by deploying the ol' "salt in the eyes" trick, Yokozuna's manager Mr. Fuji decided it was a good idea for Yokozuna to give Hulk Hogan an unsolicited title shot right then and there, for no real reason. Hogan hadn't done anything to earn the number one contender's spot, was well rested, or at least better rested than Yokozuna who had just finished a grueling title match and weighed more than a pregnant elephant. Seriously, Fuji's challenge was the worst case of career mismanagement since Shelley Long's people told her Cheers needed her more than she needed Cheers. Naturally, Hogan accepted (at the inexplicable, mind boggling encouragement of former champion Bret Hart -- seriously, this match needs its own post), and thanks to dodging Fuji's telegraphed salt throw with cat like quickness, was able to drop a big leg on Yoko and come away with the title. When people point to Wrestlemania (and WWE, in general) low points, this match is often brought up. Time: 0:22
How forgettable was this "match"? Well, bad enough that I can't find an embeddable copy on YouTube anywhere. (And let's face it, if it happened on a television screen, there's an embeddable copy of it on YouTube.) So you'll have to usethis link to WWE.com
. Just know that this was a "pupil versus former mentor" match, andfallout from a managerial relationship
that was centered around the Red Rooster (WORST. GIMMICK. EVER.) aligning himself with Heenan because he wastoo small, too slow, and too dumb to get it done on his own
. And somehow, this stint in the WWF wasbad
for Terry Taylor's career. Go figure.Time:
BUTTERBEAN vs BART GUNN (Boxing Match) Wrestlemania XV (March 28, 1999) Back in 1999, WWE staged an actual unscripted "tough man" tournament of WWE superstars, ostensibly designed to get Steve "Dr. Death" Williams over as a legitimate tough guy (which, in real life, he was). Well, ultra vanilla tag team specialist Bart Gunn wound up defeating Williams in a match where Williams tore a hamstring, so stuck with Gunn as the winner of the "Brawl for All," management decided to put him in the ring with gimmick boxer Butterbean, who promptly knocked Gunn out for real in less than a minute. So if you're keeping track at home, the "Brawl for All" resulted in the centerpiece star of the event being sidelined with a catastrophic injury, and the winner getting knocked out cold to a miniature version of King Kong Bundy on the biggest pay per view of the year. Yep, bad idea. Time: 0:34
Wrestleman!a XV [4/19] by halfcrazie20
EARTHQUAKE vs ADAM BOMB Wrestlemania X (March 20, 1994 How big an afterthought were Adam Bomb and Earthquake at the time of this match? Well, so much so that their match was essentially a mechanism to help further a bizarre feud between Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel and middling manager Harvey Whippleman. Earthquake came out of the locker room unannounced and pinned Bomb in 35 seconds. Apparently, feeling like they deprived the fans of something, the WWF decided to schedule a rematch the following night on RAW. Time: 0:35
LEGION OF DOOM vs POWER & GLORY Wrestemania VII (March 24, 1991) Back in 1991, with nothing for either guy as a singles competitor, the WWF decided to turn Paul Roma heel and re-turn Hercules heel and stick them together with Slick as their manager. It was about as inspired a decision as PIzza Hut offering pasta dishes -- "Well, hell, we have this leftover sauce...and this leftover cheese...let's stick it with some pasta and sell it. What the hell." Meanwhile, the Legion of Doom was the next big thing in the WWF's tag team ranks. The result of this match reflected the respective spots in the company for each team. Time: 0:59
BONUS MATCH!!! BIG SHOW vs AKEBONO (Sumo Match) Wrestlemania 21 (April 3, 2005) This match lasted 63 seconds, or one second for every dimple on the Big Show's left butt cheek. Also, my apologies if you're reading (and viewing) this "match" over lunch. Just a reminder that even the biggest and best card of the year can contain the occasional dud. Time: 1:03
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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