Thursday, March 12, 2009

Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Jerry Lawler or Mickey Rourke?

As of right now, Wrestlemania looks like a very good card with the potential to be great depending on how the matches go. But it could be launched into the category of being special if the W.W.E. delivers something big in the Chris Jericho-legends-Mickey Rourke angle.

This Monday’s Raw will be in San Antonio and Jericho has invited Ric Flair to step back inside the ring and fight him. Now we all know that Flair retired at last year’s Wrestlemania, however, we also know that retirements are rarely final. I doubt Flair will fight Jericho at ‘mania and am absolutely certain that even if he does get back in the ring, it won’t be at Monday Night Raw.

So on Monday night will Flair introduce Jericho’s WM opponent? Who will it be? Here are the names being bandied about and my thoughts on each:

Wrestlemania is in Texas this year which also happens to be the birthplace of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Fans have clamored for Austin to have one more match. Jericho loves to brag about how he beat Austin and The Rock on the same night some years back and Austin was the special ref in a match a few months ago in which Chris dropped the World Title. But Austin retired more than five years ago due to neck and knee injuries and until recently said he would never step back into the ring. He hedged in one interview when Austin said that he probably has one more match in him. Steve Austin will go into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame the night before the big card, will he cap off his career with one final “stone cold stunner” on Jericho?

When you talk about Wrestlemania, you think of the early years with Hogan and his matches with Andre The Giant and The Ultimate Warrior. You get the feeling that Hogan wants that last great sendoff and word is that he could use the money to pay his legal team. But then recently there was a rumor that Hogan had undergone back surgery. However, let’s add to this mystery that Vince McMahon is allegedly planting false stories in the media to throw everyone off. Hogan's name has been mentioned a few times on W.W.E. television recently and his matches at past Wrestlemanias have been highlighted. Coincidence?

I’ve heard Jerry Lawler-Chris Jericho is a distinct possibility at Wrestlemania and Jim Ross even said that at some point Lawler will probably get in the ring with Jericho – let’s just hope it is not on a big night like Wrestlemania. If it is indeed Lawler, that tells me that all of the other angles blew up.

He and the movie, The Wrestler is the reason why this angle is being done. Jericho has been cutting down wrestling legends that still work indy shows in high school gymnasiums and even challenged Rourke on Larry King Live. Rourke said he would not wrestle Jericho, but he didn’t say anything about boxing or a street fight. We know Rourke will be at Wrestlemania in some capacity, but will he do battle with Jericho?

This Monday’s Raw is undoubtedly the most compelling show W.W.E. has had in a long time.

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