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Friday, 30 March 2007

The Number 23........

Sod the Jim Carrey film, for a Wrestling and Football blog, we have to look at the Number 23 this week.

Take one David Beckham, famous wearer of the jersey emblazoned with the number preferred by the legendary Michael Jordan, wasn't exactly flavour of the month a few months back. "Taxi for Beckham" they cried.

Taxi for Beckham? Try a big yellow one, if I may refer to Joni Mitchell. "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till its gone." And to hear the England fans singing "There's only one David Beckham" over in Barcelona for the 3-0 win over Andorra. Will McClaren make a point and bring back - or maybe his successor will, sooner or later?

The fans give Beckham chants - Mac, give Becks a chance.


The number 23 is applicable in the Wrestling World this week - Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field is puzzling me - I'm pretty excited about it, as I always seem to be as Mania approaches, but it's got me confused.

Basically, the matches in prospect leave me with very little anticipation, but the build up has been tremendous. As someone who appreciates both creative and aesthetic qualities in wrestling, its got me in a state of apprehension.

Wrestlemania holds a special place in Vince McMahon and the WWE hierarchy's hearts because it was the first event of its kind, and the one where they finally broke into the mainstream, much to the consternation of old-school 'Rasslin fans.

And it has to be said, they do a fine job of marketing it, as it really does feel like the biggest show of the year. But think back to all previous Wrestlemanias (I've been watching all the anthology DVDs of late) and to be fair, there aren't many standout shows. Sure, there are some classic matches, but as a whole show, for example, Wrestlemanias 8, 9 and 11 were pretty awful, with 10 being a bright spot, and since then quite a lot of them have been medicore.

Mania has seen some career truning moments though. The Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels ladder match, the face/heel turns of Bret Hart and Steve Austin at WM13. TLC. All great moments, but where do you see that here?

There is some unispiring stuff in prospect - Chris Benoit is a legend in my mind, but you can't get too psyched for his match with MVP. Although it'll be fascinating to see who comes away with the strap, Batista v Taker might be the worst main event since, well, the last one Taker was in. Ashley might be in Playboy and high(ish)profile, but she can't wrestle. And how bad will Kane vs Khali be?

Stop bad over the weekend, and I'll run through the card with my predictions.