Now In Color!
Wrestlemania 18 will always be famous for a number of reasons. It marked only the second time in Wrestlemania history that a venue held two Wrestlemanias(this one being Sky Dome in Toronto Canada, the other being Madison Square Garden in New York City). It was also the first time I can vividly recall commentators referring to a crowd that did not react the way they wanted to as bizarro land(which they attributed to being in Canada, however the same thing also happens later on in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and several other American cities). The main event of this show was Chris Jericho taking on Triple H, who had recently returned to hype videos backed by U2 song Beautiful day, that just thinking about them makes me want to puke. That match went on last, but the real main event was Hollywood Hulk Hogan taking on the Rock, with the crowd siding with Hogan, who twelve years earlier had dropped the world title to the Ultimate Warrior in that very building. The Hogan Rock match is perhaps the greatest match of Hogan’s career, and an all time great confrontation of two different generations clashing on the grandest stage of them all. However, I’m much more interested in the fact that only one other wrestler made an appearance at both Wrestlemania 6 and 18: Diamond Dallas Page.
Diamond Dallas was a huge wrestling fan who came to prominence when next door neighbor Eric Bischoff pushed him huge in the heyday of WCW. Page was the people’s champion(I know the Rock is the people’s champion, but Page often referred to himself as such) always wrestling despite being be-ridden by tons of injury. I can recall Page coming to the ring with taped up ribs for what seemed like three years. He had some great matches too, and some not so great ones, but Page always gave it his all, and you could tell that he was having fun the entire time. His love of pro wrestling was pretty evident when he drove Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, and Jimmy Hart to the ring in his pink Cadillac at Wrestlemania 6. The story was that Dallas agreed to let WWF/WWE use his car, but only if he got to drive it out. He just wanted to be part of the show, and this before he ever became a wrestler.
Years later, Diamond Dallas Page(or DDP) had became a pretty big star in WCW. Since its closing, Page took a buyout of his time Warner contract(something he did not need to do) so that he could come into the WWF as soon as possible. He was quickly put in a stupid role as the stalker of Undertaker’s wife, and squashed by Undertaker several times before becoming a second tier guy in the Invasion angle(which still to this day boggles my mind how they squandered such a great thing as WCW coming into WWF). By the time Wrestlemania rolled around, Page was European Champion, and had a gimmick of being a very positive guy(not unlike Stewart Smalley on Saturday Night Live in the mid nineties).
At Wrestlemania 18 Page took on Christian, who had recently broken up with tag partner Edge, and was now getting a half assed singles push. It was pretty obvious that WWE thought that Edge was the Shawn Michaels and that Christian was the Marty Jannetty of the Edge and Christian duo. Still, Christian had cool pyro, and awesome opera music. Unfortunately he was given the temper tantrum gimmick, something that was making it abundantly obvious that we the audience were not to take this guy seriously. That’s too bad, because Christian is one of the best wrestlers out there today, and I think he could have meant a lot more had his initial singles push been handled batter.
The match itself is your typical Wrestlemania under-card match. They were given less than ten minutes, and I am sure were told not to do anything too crazy. The entire match seemed to revolve around the idea that Page would win and then cause Christian to have a temper tantrum. Christian was announced as residing in Tampa Florida, despite the fact that it is well known that he was from Toronto, as a way to get people to boo him. It didn’t really work. People were into Page though, and his goofy catchphrase. Its hard to fault the performance, there was a little hesitation on the finish, but nothing too bad. Later on in the show Edge would botch a spinarooni way worse so this pales in comparison. Its just a nice little moment that Dallas Page got to wrestle in the Sky Dome at Wrestlemania, twelve years after he made his on-air debut as a Cadillac driver.