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Why I absolutely HATE WrestleMania 19

From a fan's standpoint, the battle for worst WrestleMania ever is usually a battle between 2 and 11. But for me -- and I know I'm in the minority here -- my absolute least favorite one ever is 19, from 2003 in Seattle.

Here's five reasons why.

TOP STARS HAD NO BUSINESS IN MATCHES. Stone Cold went into his match with The Rock with his neck supposedly in such bad shape that one bad bump could have severely injured him. He also spent the night before the match in the hospital, thinking he was having a heart attack. Kurt Angle went into his match with Brock Lesnar with a similar neck injury, and was thisclose to not even being on the show. In the "Mania of WrestleMania" mini-movie they produced a year later, they tried to paint these feats as heroic. That's not heroic; it's irresponsible and completely reckless. And Brock's injury at the end of the show? Come on.

THEY DROPPED THE BALL ON TOP MATCHES. They had two slam dunks for matches going into the show -- Rock vs. Hogan II and Austin vs. McMahon (after Austin had walked out on McMahon the previous June). Instead, we got Hogan vs. McMahon (a match that meant a lot to people backstage I'm sure, but not a ton to the common fan), and Rock vs. Austin (which is a great match-up, but took all the heat out of Austin's walk-out the year before).

DOWN YEARS FOR HHH AND TAKER. HHH's World Title match against Booker T was downright forgettable, and Taker's "Handicap Match" against A-Train and Big Show (made so because Nathan Jones wasn't in any shape to compete live on PPV) is arguably the most forgettable match of "the streak."

THEY PROMOTED THE WRONG MAIN EVENT. The main event of that show was Brock vs. Angle, six months in the making, a match that was to main-event house shows for months -- maybe years -- to come. Instead, all the posters and promotion was for Hogan/Vince -- a battle of two senior citizens that most mainstream fans didn't even fully understand.

NO CENA. John Cena, who was already well on his way to being a superstar, was left off the card, and did nothing but a lame rap during the preview show.

New York Sports