WWE and WrestleMania XVIII : Finally We Have an Event of WrestleMania Standards

Chris O ConnallCorrespondent IIIFebruary 21, 2012

Hell on Earth....will it be an Attitude Era HIAC or a PG one?
Hell on Earth....will it be an Attitude Era HIAC or a PG one?

It's a strong statement, I know, but stick with me.

Firstly, we need to look back at the last few WrestleManias—XXVII, XXVI, XXV and XXIV.

WrestleMania XXVII had Undertaker vs. Triple H, 'Mania XXVI and XXV had Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels and WrestleMania XXIV had Michaels vs. Flair.

All classic, memorable—or whatever superlative you choose to describe them—matches. Bottom line, all of the above matches were equally great in their own right and all had different drawing points.

But think back to those WrestleManias—what other matches really stood out on the card?

Sure, there were a few big matches that had serious potential—Orton vs. Triple H, Edge vs. Chris Jericho, Undertaker vs. Edge and the involvement of Dwayne Johnson at last year's event.

But let's call a spade a spade, with the exception of the Money in the Bank and matches from the above WrestleManias, who can remember anything else from the shows?

Basically, all of the aforementioned WrestleManias are each remembered for one great match, or in certain cases, two great matches.

Dwayne vs Cena is sure to electrify...
Dwayne vs Cena is sure to electrify...Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

But this year...this year has something special about it.

I can't put my finger on it, but I just have a feeling that this WrestleMania will be up there with WrestleMania 17, maybe even surpass it.

With six weeks to go till the event, we have four blockbuster matches set:

  • Undertaker vs. Triple H in Hell in a Cell
  • Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship
  • Dwayne Johnson vs. John Cena
  • Shaq vs. Big Show
  • Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

While the last two may not have the same drawing ability or "it" factor as the first three, they are still pretty big matches.

On top of that, Orton, Barrett, Rhodes, Ziggler and Del Rio have yet to be given a match.

Enter Money in the Bank. Another huge match for the card. Add to that the rumours that Trish Stratus wants Beth Phoenix and you even have a solid divas match. Personally, I want to see Phoenix vs. Natalya vs. Stratus vs. Tamina vs. Kharma, but once it's a good match, I don't care.

Dwayne Johnson vs. John Cena sells itself (but Cena's promo last night certainly helped), as does Punk vs. Jericho and Shaq vs. Big Show.

Undertaker vs. Triple H is a special case. You've got arguably the two biggest stars of the Attitude Era and the epitome of the Attitude Era, Hell in a Cell. Add Shawn Michaels to the mix and you've got one hell of a match.

Personally, I can see WWE abandoning the "PG" Hell in a Cell that we've grown accustomed to. It wouldn't surprise me if WWE allowed blading in this match, especially if they're selling this as the death of the Attitude Era.

Why not go the whole hog and allow Undertaker and Triple H to book the match themselves with no restrictions?

They temporarily lifted the ban on chair shots to the head for last year's encounter, so why not this year?

So there you have it, already we have five huge WrestleMania matches confirmed, with another possible two big matches in the pipeline.

With an event that finally appears to be living up to WrestleMania standards, is it time for WrestleMania 17 to be knocked off its perch as the greatest WrestleMania ever?