WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

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WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:45 pm

Folks it is that time of year again. We have gotten past the Royal Rumble and we have hopped in our cars and are on the Road to WrestleMania. So, I figured I would start going back and looking at past Manias to see how each one holds up, the highs and lows of that particular show, and see all the moments and atmosphere that makes WrestleMania as special as it is. However, I'll only be looking at the Manias from the year 2000-2015. Makes this a little easier for me to get through and these are the Manias with the product that I am most familiar with.

So with that I am preparing to start this off with WrestleMania 2000 a.k.a. the Russo hangover Mania.
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by GooberBM » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:49 pm

God bless you slim, and good luck. And keep tabs so you can see how the main events stack up to the official McNeish Inc. rankings I did last year
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by stigsyv1 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:58 pm

Best match at wm16 for me was Triple threat with Jericho Benoit and Angle
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by meta » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:53 pm

Was that the one that was for both belts Angle had?

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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:04 pm

Yep. I just got to that match. This show is...something.
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by meta » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:29 pm

I remember that being an excellent match. Also, not sure where it was from. But I seem to remember a behind the scenes of that match. All three competitors separately talking about that particular match.

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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:18 pm

WWF WrestleMania (16) 2000

*We kick the show off with Lillian Garcia singing the US National Anthem. As usual, Lillian did a great job, beautiful voice. The venue is the Arrowhead Pond and I have to say it looks so damn small. I know WWF had to scale back on Manias because of the problems of the mid-1990s, but compared to what we see and expect from Manias of today, this just looks so small. It looks just like an episode of Raw, just change the name of the show and some color and add in a tiny bit more seats.

*Next up we get a montage of the previous 15 Manias and a video package highlighting our main event, Linda McMahon vs Shane McMahon vs Stephanie McMahon vs Vince McMahon. I mean Mick Foley vs Big Show vs The Rock vs Triple H for the WWF Title. The reason I mentioned the McMahons is because each one with be in the corner of one of the wrestlers (Shane with Show, Vince with Rock, Steph with HHH, and Linda with Foley) and it is highlighted often, and it kinda makes the title seem secondary to the overall feud of the McMahons. But I'll get to that when that match is up.

*We hear the familiar voices of JR and King and the Fink. Fink welcomes Ice-T to the show who sings "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" from the late 90s WWF Aggression album, which is the theme song for The Godfather, and it is just a lovely tune and T does a great job with the amount of bitches and hos he mentioned during the song and his leading Godfather to the ring. Would def. not be heard nowadays during the PG era, not that it is a bad thing. Our first match of the night is Godfather and D'Lo vs Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan, rocking an outfight similar to what Roman Reigns wore during the days of The Shield. I almost forgot how over Godfather was, people went nuts for him. Bull was not a bad dude in the ring, he could do a little flying, moved well, he just couldn't talk worth a damn. Boss Man and Bull get the win here, the match wasn't a bad match, it's no Bryan vs Triple H or Eddie vs Rey but it wasn't a bad way to kick the show off.

*A quick look to the back with Steph and Trips talking and showing off their WWF Heavyweight and Women's Championships is next follwed by us seeing the rules laid out for the Hardcore Championship battle royal. 13 people are involved and the match is scheduled for 15 mintues. Some people of note I see are Tazz, Crash and Hardcore Holly, the A.P.A., and the greatest group of all time, the Mean Street Posse. This match is pretty much the perfect embodiment of what made Crash and him introducing the 24/7 Rule to the Hardcore title so fun. Nothing but a huge fuster cluck with blood and weapons for everyone. After this huge mess of a match and a botched finish with the pin, Hardcore Holly walks out with the title.

Next up we get a video package of the previous day's WrestleMania Axess. Looked like it was a good time to be had. Quick notes, Coach never needs to shave his mustache, he looks funny without it and a fan was actually happy to call a match with Michael Cole at this little booth they had. Injured Undertaker, Stone Cold, and retired HBK were all there.

*Next we see Al Snow and Steve Blackman goofing around before their match and then we see Trish Stratus' boobs as the next match up is Head Cheese (Snow and Blackman), with their mascot a dude in a cheese wedge outfit vs T &A (Test and Albert) with Trish Stratus. T & A had a cool look as a tag team, its a shame they never worked out or did much. Serving as the ref for this match is none other than future Smackdown GM, Teddy Long, which makes him being the official for a Tag Team match kinda ironic. The crowd was pretty quite doing this one, probably gassed from the battle royal. This was not a good match, it dragged a lot and was plagued by some audio issues with JR's mic. T & A get the win after a Test flying elbow. We then get a post match beatdown of the dude in the cheese outfit by Snow and Blackman.

*Finally we get to something good as the next match up is the Triangle Ladder Match between The Hardy Boyz, the Dudley Boys, and Edge and Christian for the Dudley's WWF Tag Team Championships. We get a pre-match interview with Cole and the Dudleys, I forgot that Bubba used to talk with a bad southern accent. The crowd came alive during this one, with plenty of high impact and memorable spots for all the teams and it deserves the praise it got back then and still gets to this day. After Jeff hits Bubba with a Swanton from a ladder through a table and Edge and Christian throwing Matt through another table, E&C get the win here and become the new Tag Champs. It's cool that they mention Edge being at Mania 6 and now he is not only at Mania, but leaving as a champion. Dude's dream came true.

Following that we get Kevin Kelly interviewing Linda McMahon and Mick Foley. There is a reason Linda is rarely on tv. She isn't as dislikable as Steph or Vince and she can't do bump like Shane (duh), she is serviceable for the right story. Mick is a criminally underrated talker, he brings the emotion needed and the energy to get over whatever he is apart of.

*Time for boobs as the next match up is the special Cat Fight. Val Venis is acting as the special guest referee as Terri with the Fabulous Moolah takes on The Kat with Mae Young. It's funny hearing Lawler talk about The Kat, knowing that a year from now King would be without a job partly due to Kat. As you would expect, this is no Bayley vs Sasha Banks, as we spend time with basic hair throwing and Kat and Terri taking turns kissing Val Venis. As to be expected, the most entertaining person in this match was Mae Young, one funny ass highlight is her kissing Val for what seemed liked ages. After a not so well worked match, Terri gets the win. We then get a post match fight between Mae and Moolah with Mae delivering a Bronco Buster to Moolah and Kat doing everyone a solid and ripping the clothes off Terri, showing off Terri's pretty little behind.

*Next up is a 6 Man Tag Match as The Radicals (Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero) take on the team of Chyna and Too Cool (Scotty Too Hotty and Grand Master Sexay). It's amazing how ok we were with a woman fighting men back then. Fairly entertaining bout, with Eddie's antics with Chyna and Scotty's Worm being the highlights. After Chyna hit a Press Slam on Eddie, she and Too Cool got the win. Again, the match was entertaining, but nothing special. It served it's purpose.

We then see the winner of a contest who got tickets and a trip to WrestleMania. Good for those people, it looked like they enjoyed their limo ride and private flight to the show! Shane and Big Show are seen in the back, with Shane hyping up how Show is a Giant. I expect we'll see a similar one with Vince and Rock later in the show.

*Now it's time for the 2 Fall Triple Threat Match with the first fall being for the IC title and the second fall being for the European Title. Our participants are Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and the 3rd Eurocontinental (after D'Lo Brown and Jeff Jarrett) Champion and Olympic hero, Kurt Angle. Man, I miss how entertaining Kurt was during his rookie year in WWF, dude was a legit joy to watch. Jericho opens up with a nice promo, he was still finding himself in WWF, but he was getting his feet under him and he certainly improved from his August debut. There is some really good action leading up to the first fall. All three guys have pretty good chemistry with each other and it is a testament to how good of workers they are. Chris Benoit gets the first fall, winning his very first Intercontinental Championship. Kurt tears into both Jericho and Benoit, playing defense to keep his European Championship. After a missed flying headbutt by Benoit, Jericho lands a Lionsault on the fallen Benoit and gets the 2nd fall and the European Championship. Angle never got pinned in the match, but it doesn't matter. Fantastic match by these three men.

Next up we get Michael Cole interviewing Vinnie Mac. Vince of course talks up Rock and talks about the insanity that is the McMahon family, and promises to make it right. And I was honestly kidding about Triple H's promo's when he is evil heel champion sounding the same, but damn, they really do all sound similar.

*The match on deck is a tag team match with DX reps Road Dogg and X-Pac with Kane's ex-girlfirend Tori going up against Kane and big Uce, Rikishi. DX comes out to their Run DMC remix and Road Dogg entertains up with some pre-match talking and crowd hyping. RIP to Paul Bearer as I think this and 20 were his final Manias as he accompanies Kane down to the ring. A little backstory on this one, Kane and X-Pac were friends and Tag champs back in 99, but once DX reformed after HHH won the WWF Title, X-Pac turned on Kane. Kane then got himself a girlfriend by the name of Tori, but soon after because Kane lost a WWF Title match to Big Show, Tori had to spend New Year's weekend with X-Pac. She must've loved his Syxx, because she soon turned on Kane and joined Pac in DX. Now that we have that out of the way, on to the match, we open up with some hijinx between Paul and Tori, with Kane and X-Pac brawling. Somebody had to take a stinkface and on this night it was Jesse James. Tori also takes a stinkface, thanks to the efforts of Kane and Paul Bearer, paying for the sin of mistreating Kane and sleeping with X-Pac. This was a fairly quick match, with Kane and Rikishi getting the win after a Kane Tombstone of X-Pac. It was a fun little match, but following the Triple Threat, it was obvious that this was the cool down match before the main event. In fact, my mom ordered this Mania for me and my cousins when we were kids and I think I fell asleep for a bit during this match because when I was remember this show, I couldn't recall this match. Anyway fun but short match here, post match fun happened with Rikishi and Too Cool dancing with the famed San Diego Chicken. Kane's true rival and ultimate nemesis, baseball legend Pete Rose, tried to assault Kane after the match with a baseball bat, but all he got was a chokeslam and a stinkface for his troubles.

Before the main event, we get a little pre-match interview with The Rock and Kevin Kelly. What can I say, dude knows how to cut a promo, got the crowd engaged and hyped up for the match.

*Main event time, a Fatal-Four Way Elimination Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship. Out first for the match is Mick with Linda, then Big Show with Shane, next is The Rock with Vince, and Finally Triple H with Stephanie. We start off with Foley and Trips hammering each other, highlighting the feud they just had over the previous few months leading up to Mick's first retirement, and Rock trading blows with Big Show, continuing the heat they have had as the final two entrants in that year's Royal Rumble, if you saw Raw last night and Rock interaction with show, you'll know the reason for the feud. Logic shows it's ugly head as Rock, Foley, and Triple H gang up on Big Show, it doesn't stay for long as Triple H decks Foley and takes the action to the outside. We get our first taste of McMahon interference as Shane grabs at Rock's leg as he was going for a move. That got him nothing but a right hand shot from Rock. We then see Mick Foley smash a chair into Show's back and Rock hits the big man with a Rock Bottom and Big Show gets eliminated, now making this a Triple Threat. A brief Rock and Sock Connection reunion happens as Rock and Foley start double teaming The Game, then we later get some tag teaming between Foley and HHH on Rock. Two attemps to put the Rock through the Spanish announce table as Foley miss an elbow off the top rope and Triple H couldn't break it when he tried an elbow from the main announce table. Action is back in the ring and Triple H Pedigrees Foley on top of a chair pins him and send Mick into retirement but not before he nails H with a barbed wire wrapped 2x4, I'm sure we'll never see Mick Foley wrestle again. We're now down to just Rock and Triple H with the action going all around ringside, to the stage and back. The match is a well work back and forth between Rock and H, something the natural chemistry that these two have with each other. Vince gets some shots in on Triple H, Shane makes a return to ringside and takes down Vince and cracks a monitor over his head, Vince does make his way back to his feet and begins to pounds on Shane, but before Shane leaves he gets in one last chair shot on Vince. A funny little bit of crowd interaction happens as Shane puffs up to the late Michael Clarke Duncan who was at the show. I liked Mike's chances in that fight. In the closing moments of the match and in a move we all should've seen coming from a country mile away, Vince nails Rock with a chair twice, betrays him and joins up with his baby girl and son-in-law, giving Triple H the win and making him the first heel to ever retain a championship in the main event of WrestleMania. Holy shit, we damn near had this exact scenario play out last night at the Rumble. Anyway garbage begins to fly in the ring as Vince and Steph hug it out. The Rock gets the last laugh of the night as he hits Shane, Vince, and Stephanie all with Rock Bottoms and followed that up with a People's Elbow to Steph. The final images we see are a video recap/montage of the show.

Final Thoughts: This was an up and down show. We had two really well done and excellent matches with the Triple Threat and the Triangle Ladder Match, but too much of the show was either a mess, bland, or forgettable. the 6 person tag and opening tag match were fine, but nothing really special or memorable, same can be said with the DX vs Kane/Kishi match, that one at least had Pete Rose getting beat up so that was something. The cat fight was what you could except from Attitude Era divas, all looks but no skill or substance and it doesn't speak well of either lady that Mae Young stole the spotlight from them. The Head Cheese/T&A match was terrible, Idk if the guys weren't use to a big stage or if they just didn't fit working with each other but that was not a good match and it dragged for way too long. The Hardcore Battle Royal was a complete mess, fun but a mess and we saw much more fun hardcore bouts before this one, so it doesn't stand out among any of the things Crash did that year with the Hardcore Title.

Finally the main event. The McMahons were featured entirely too much in the build for the match and the closing of the match itself. The match isn't bad, it's just that so much of the focus went on the family feud that it took attention away from the title and all the guys involved. I think the 4 Way could've worked if we really focused on the guys involved as each had legit reasons for either wanting the title or to be in the main event itself. I wish Vince and company had more faith in Triple H as a the champion going into Mania as I believe Rock vs Triple H should've been the proper main event and would've made the match better. Again, the work of Show, Foley, Rock, and H isn't bad, it's just that too much attention was paid to the McMahons and that ultimately hurt the match, at least to me.

To close, WrestleMania 2000 had great high points and frustrating low points. It was exciting and boring at the same time. While not at poorly booked as most of 14 and 15, this show holds up poorly, mostly on the work of the Ladder and Triple Threat matches. I called it the Russo hangover Mania because even though dude was gone for a while, you could still see his prints and influence on this show. I'll put it like this, 15 is the wild, party Russo Mania and 16 is the mind numbing day after hangover Mania. Surprisingly, Austin and Taker not being there didn't hurt the show, but they both could've helped.

Next up we get what many people consider the ending of the Attitude Era, WrestleMania X-7!
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:29 pm

WWF WrestleMania (17) X-7- Houston, Texas

*The year is 2001 and we are back for WrestleMania. The wrestling world has changed in the last year, WCW has royally fucked itself and has just been purchased by WWF. ECW, thanks to the brilliant financial moves of one Paul Heyman, has gone out of business as well and also has been purchased by WWF, effectively making the only major American wrestling company. Business is riding high for Vince as we enter into the 17th sports entertainment extravaganza, WrestleMania!

*We open with an opening video showing clips of previous Manias as folks over the world watch the videos. Our location for the show is Houston, Texas and the venue is the famed Houston Astrodome, 60,000 strong are awaiting the start of this year's show. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a WrestleMania! Large scale production, a huge arena, a rabid audience; the World Wrestling Federation has made it through the financial setbacks of the mid-1990s, they have survived the fight with WCW and this venue is the perfect place for this show, the high point of the Attitude Era. Just as a side note, I feel great for someone like Undertaker, somebody who was loyal and committed to the company is now on a stage befitting his character and the work he put in, help WWF survive. WWF New York is also still a thing as we see fans their are ready to get things started as well. We open with the familiar face and voice of Jim Ross, but no Jerry Lawler. By this point King was fired, the details escape me but I know it involved his ex-wife The Kat. Joining JR at the commentary table this year is none other than Paul Heyman, former owner of ECW.

*First match of the night is William Regal facing off with Chris Jericho for Y2J's Intercontinental Championship. Pretty good back and forth in this match, Regal bringing the ground and pound game and Jericho giving it back with a little high flying and his own ground work. Regal, being a pretty dirty player in this game, gets an advantage over Jericho by removing the pad from the turnbuckle and smashing Jericho's shoulder into it. Despite a huge top rope suplex from Regal and being locked in the Regal Stretch, Jericho manages to hit the Lionsault on Regal, get the pin and retains his title. An okay match to start things off, not the greatest work from either Jericho or Regal, but it was still a good match to watch and having the face win is always a nice way to stat the show on.

We then see a limo pull up to the arena with a license plate that reads, WCW 1, and coming out is none other than the new owner of WCW Shane McMahon. For you kids who don't remember, Shane signed the contract that was for the ownership of WCW from right under Vince's nose, making him the boss of WCW. Next we see the "office" of the A.P.A. and they're with Jackie , drinking beers and smoking cigars. Bradshaw opens up with a nice opening speech about what it means for him to wrestle in the Astrodome. I think Greg said this on these forums a couple years ago, but we should've seen his success as JBL coming. Dude could cut a promo. We're all hyped up and ready for the next match.

*We hear the annoyingly familiar warning sirens for the group that says they know what's best for us, Right To Censor. A 6-Man tag match between RTC members Bull Buchanan, Val Venis, and The Goodfather with Steven Richards vs The A.P.A. and Tazz with Jackie. This is going to be a good old fashion, bowling shoe ugly brawl as everyone is getting shots in on everyone, including Jackie taking it to Richards. Once again we see some of Bull's agility with a nice bouncing elbow from the top rope. Tazz manages to withstand a beating by all the RTC and tags Bradshaw in who begins to lay into Goodfather and lands a nice back superplex to Bull Buchanan. Bradshaw then lands a Clothesline from Hell on the Goodfather and scores then win for his team over the RTC.

Oh boy, next we see Trish Stratus wheeling in a drugged up Linda McMahon to the waiting arms Stephanie, who of course is a dick to both Linda and Trish.

*The following match is a Triple Threat hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship, as Raven defends against Kane and The Big Show. Less people than the mess that was the WM 2000 Hardcore Battle Royal, means that the action will be easier to follow. This is the second of six championship matches at this WrestleMania. Raven and Kane get the action started, but Big Show soon makes his way down to the ring and the match officially begins. Kane takes it to both guys with a huge flying clothesline to the outside, and the action, as with most hardcore matches, goes to the outside and all over the arena. Big Show, in a moment of surprising genius, tries to lock himself and Raven in an enclosed area in the back and takes it to Raven, doesn't work as Kane quickly knocks down the door, smashes a 2x4 over the back of Show, chokes out Raven with a garden hose and then throws him through a glass window. Show then throws Kane through and door as the 2 big men fight and crash through a wall. In probably the funniest spot in the match, Raven hops in a golf cart, with Show hopping on the back of it and trying to choke him out, the ride is short as they crash into a wall. Kane, not wanting to miss out on the Mario Kart portion of the match, gets into a cart of his own, along with referee Jimmy Kordeas, and chases after Raven and Show. After some more brawling we finally make our way back to the stage, and Kane and Show are giving each other the business. Raven and Big Show, thanks to Kane, get knocked off the stage and sent crashing into part of the WrestleMania sign. Kane then follows that up with a flying legdrop on Show, gets the 1-2-3 and we've got our first title change of the night as Kane gets the Hardcore Championship! Very entertaining match, fun spots with an enjoyable ending. So far a native Texan has gotten a win and we've seen a title change, could that be a sign of things to come?

In the back we see our once and future Olympic hero, Kurt Angle, seeing some video of Chris Benoit locking in the crossface on him. Edge and Christian come in and try to cheer Kurtie Kurt up, but the man is having none of that. Kurt is focused in on his match and is ready to take on Benoit. We then go back to WWF New York as, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka is hanging out with the fans. Well...this is now really awkward with what came to light last year. Let's move on. The Coach, still no mustache, is hanging out with an Aussie fan at her first WWF event. We of course get an "Aussie Aussie Aussie" chant and then we seen the current WWF Champ, The Rock, arrive to the arena. As he is facing off with a proud native Texan in Steve Austin, you could expect some boos to follow seeing him.

* Next match up is for the European Championship as El Paso, Texas' finest, Eddie Guerrero with Perry Saturn faces off with the champion, Test. Test gets a nice ovation, shame that Test's small push in the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000, never went anywhere. People were behind him after his relationship with Stephanie ended. Latino Heat and Test exchange rights and lefts as we begin the match. Off a missed big boot, Test gets tangled in the ropes; Guerrero distracts the ref as Perry Saturn makes himself a factor in the match for the first time as he gets some cheap shots in on a vulnerable Test. Test gains some momentary leverage with a big tilt-a-whirl slam, but once again Eddie gets a sneaky low blow in and distracts the ref as Perry Saturn again makes himself a factor by getting in the ring and delivering a big neckbreaker to Test and Eddie almost gets the win and steals the title. Test manages to get back to his feet and makes this a contest again, but another of The Radicals, Dean Malenko, makes his way down to the ring and breaks up a Test 3 count, he get a stiff elbow for his troubles. The distraction is enough as Saturn hands Eddie the title and Eddie hit Test over his head and gets the win and steals the European Champion. Hmmm, not only does the heel get the win, a native Texan gets the win, and we have a title change. Is that foreshadowing? The Radicals make their way out of the arena with the title in toe.

Next up Sir Guylights, Michael Cole is interviewing the Special Guest Referee for the big McMahon vs McMahon Street Fight, Mick Foley. Foley, who has had issues with Vinnie Mac, promises that even though he was humiliated and fired, he will call this one right down the middle. We then see Stone Cold Steve Austin arrive to the building, obviously getting a loud ovation from the crowd.

*The familiar tune of our Olympic savior is next as we are getting set for the match, Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit. No titles on the line, just a lot of anger and pride and to determine who is the best technical wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation. Kurt opens up with a promo, saying how little a fan he is of Texas, pokes fun of the fact that their flag is missing stars, and gives them the order to lose the cowboy hats, Heyman admonishes JR for calling Mania with a cowboy hat on, baseball hats are better of course. JR reminds us of last year's Triple Threat Double title match, in which Benoit walked out with Angle's Intercontinental Championship. Match begins with some pretty good ground work by both men, leading to a standstill that the crowd enjoys, plenty of take downs and grapple holds are present in the opening minutes of the match. Both men almost lock the other in their signature submission, the Ankle Lock for Kurt and the Crossface for Benoit, JR and Heyman accurately point out how it could be a prideful mistake to elimination trying to pin from both of their minds. Kurt, saying to hell with it, gives Benoit a nice right hand that sends him to the outside and now we have a brawl on our hands as the action picks up on the outside of the ring, Kurt involves the steel steps and the announcers table as he punishes Benoit. Benoit begins to fight back with some chest chops, but Kurt breaks ground on Suplex City, with two Belly to Belly Suplexes to Benoit. Chop for chop, throw for throw, this is a pretty back and forth contest. Benoit lays a couple of bricks for Suplex City as he delivers to hard German Suplexes to Angle, and after some more back and forth, Benoit manages to put the Ankle Lock on Kurt, kicks to the head allow him to escape and then Kurt manages to lock on the Crossface on Benoit. Benoit had Angle beat, as he tapped out to the Crossface, but the ref was down, giving Kurt time to recover and hit an Angle Slam on Benoit, but only for the 2 count. A missed top rope moonsault costs Kurt as Benoit hits him with a diving headbutt, but it was only for the 2. Angle, thanks hit the ref not seeing, hit Benoit with a low blow and then, while grabbing the tights, gets the roll up and the pinfall win in this match. Very well worked match between Angle and Benoit, plenty of back and forth action and a nice pace. Amazing work.

Cole catches up with Regal heading back to his Commissoner's office, but he has company as Kamala and his handler are in their tearing somethings up as we cut back to JR and Heyman telling us of the upcoming gimmick battle royal. We then see video of the superstars visiting a military base in the area and hanging out and showing love to our men and women in uniform. That weirdo Kevin Kelly is interviewing Kurt Angle about his match with Benoit, asking if he now respect him for the match they just had. Kurt's response was that the better man won and that he didn't have to respect anyone. Benoit, not finding what Kurt said cute, attacked him from behind and forced him to tap out to the Crossface.

*The 4th Title match of the night is for the Women's Championship as the defending champ Ivory takes on the 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna. Before the match we get a video package highlighting the issues between Chyna and Ivory, including Ivory and the RTC breaking Chyna's neck and the match at the Rumble in which Chyna reinjured her neck. That God damn RTC theme sounds over the arena again as Ivory makes her way out to the ring. Chyna comes out in a Wonder Woman-like outfit to a huge pop from the crowd, reconfirming that she was indeed the most over woman of the Attitude Era. Ivory gets the early advantage in the match thanks to a pre-match cheap shot with the title belt, but Chyna regains her ground and takes complete control of Ivory and the match. And this is quickly turning from a match to a squash by Chyna, with a series of hard clotheslines and a ground shaking powerbomb. After a sky high gorilla press, Chyna ends the slaughter and gets the win and the Women's Championship! 3rd title change of the night. Nothing much to write about her, super over Chyna dominates and gets the win. Pretty academic, but I'm sure we'll see plenty of other great matches and Mania moments from Chyna in the future.

In the back Vince is with his drugged out wife, his mistress Trish Stratus (whom earlier in this storyline made her get down on all fours and bark like a dog and then strip down to her bra and panties. That probably won't be on a Trish Stratus career dvd), and his baby girl Stephanie McMahon as he is preparing for his big Street Fight with his son, Shane O'Mac, with Shane defending the honor of his mother. We see the video package of this feud as Vince says he wants a divorce from Linda and then begins to have an affair with Trish, tongue kissing in front of a drugged up Linda, Shane challenging Vince to a Street Fight. The gem of the video, is of course Vince saying he'd never forgive Linda for giving birth to Shane. The night of the final Nitro is shown, with Vince revealing that he bought WCW, not Vince.

*WCW Owner Shane McMahon is out first for the big Street Fight, we then get a quick look at some WCW stars in the building. Shane introduces, the awarding author, former WWF Champion, and tonight's guest referee, Mick Foley. Finally, WWF Chairman Vince McMahon is being accompanied to the ring by his only daughter. Vince gets some cheap shots in on Shane as the bell rings, as Vince takes the fight to Shane, trading taunts and hits between them. Stephanie gets a slap in on Shane, trying to protect her daddy. The slap does no good as Shane nails Vince with a baseball slide, smashes a sign over Vinnie's head, and then drives him into the steel steps, followed by a flying clothesline after running on the barricade. Shane then gets a Kendo stick to go to work on Vince (who will not say thank you, call him sir, and ask for another) and Shane is really beating the shit out of Vince with that stick. Thanks to Stephanie pulling him out of the way, Vince avoid a flying elbow from Shane as Shane crashes through the Spanish announce table (that thing can not catch a break). We then cut to the ramp as Trish, on Vince's earlier orders, brings Linda down to the ring to see her son get beaten. Trish gets some payback on Vince and slaps the hell out of him, Stephanie then slaps Trish and we have a cat fight on our hands. Vince then begins to act like a dick to Linda ( to be on a fly on the wall of that marriage), Vince fakes trying to put his hands on Linda, but Mick was having none of that. Not one for being denied what he wants, Vince smashes a steel chair in the back and head of referee Foley. Vince turns his attention back to Shane for a moment and stomps on him, returns to the ring and sits Linda up in the ring in a chair so she can be present for the climax of the match. He then smashes a trash cans over the head of Shane. Vince looks to be closing in on victory and ensuring that evil wins on this day, but just like the phoenix, Linda rises out of the chair to a huge ovation from the crowd and delivers a sweet low blow to Vince. Foley recovers and then pounds on Vinnie and sets things up for Shane to finish Vince off. Shane places a trash can on Vince, makes his way to the opposite corner, and then we see a flying McMahon as Shane goes Coast to Coast and gets the win. Shane has defended his momma's honor and leaves WrestleMania a victor. This was a surprisingly fun and well done match. The story, while extremely...insane even by Attitude Era WWF standards, was wrapped up to perfection.

WrestleMania Axess footage is shown from the previous day with fan going nuts over The Hardy Boyz. The Stalker, Kevin Kelly, interviews Matt and Jeff in leading up to the night's TLC match. We then see HHH getting ready for his match later in the evening against The Undertaker, with Taker doing the same. Back at ringside and we are setting things up for the big TLC II.

*The World Wrestling Federatioin Tag Team Championships are on the line in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match as The Hardy Boyz face Edge and Christian and (for the 2nd year in a row) the men walking into WrestleMania with the belts, those damn Dudley Boyz. Out first are the Carolina natives, Matt and Jeff Hardy, next are Edge and Christian, finally out are the champs, Bubba and D-Von Dudley. JR lays out the history of the three way rivalry, beginning at No Mercy '99 with the first Tag Team Ladder match between the Hardys and E&C, then raised again at WM 2000 with the addition of the Dudley, taken up another notch yet again at Summerslam 2000 with the first TLC match, and now we are here for the TLC II. The match begins and the action is fast right away as all three teams trade blows between each other, the Hardys gain a brief advantage, landing Poetry in Motion on both Dudleys, but then lose it as Edge and Christian nail them with a ladder. First big spot of the match as the Hardys each climb a ladder and nail Christian with a leg drop (Matt) and a body splash (Jeff). The Dudleys get back in the ring and we get the Wassup from D-Von on Edge, you know back when those Budweiser "Wassup?!" commercials were new and still culturally relevant. A spin from D-Von leads to a familiar battle cry as Bubba says get the tables. Another big spot as Bubba powerbombs Jeff through Edge through a table (in the Stone Cold podcast with Edge and Christian, Edge reveals that Jeff was knocked out for a bit after this move, it was pretty brutal) and Bubba Dudley is standing tall. The Dudleys then stack two tables on top of two tables, possibly for a big spot later. All three teams make their way back in the ring and we get a pretty cool shot of all 6 men climbing the ladders and reaching out for the titles, only for all the ladders to be knocked down and everyone is down. The crowd pops out as LSD, Little Spike Dudley makes his way out to the ring and takes out Edge and Christian, him through a table, both with Dudley Dogs (Acid Drops if you prefer) on behalf of his big brothers; Rhyno then comes out and beats the hell out of the Hardys and the Dudleys on behalf of E&C, taking out Bubba with a Gore and Matt with a Gore through a table in the corner; the final sidekick is her as Lita, in her best WrestleMania thong, comes out and hits Edge's face into the Ladder, hits a Hurricanrana on Rhyno. Bubba and D-Von hit the Dudleyville (Doomsday Death) Device on Rhyno, Lita makes her way back into the ring and nails Spike with a steel chair, removes her top, but then gets a 3D for her troubles. The Dudleys don't have long to celebrate as E&C nail them with chair shots. Jeff in another of the matches big spots, places Spike and Rhyno on tables, climbs a huge ladder, and then gives a Swanton Bomb to them both. In probably the most remembered spot of the match, Jeff Hardy climbs up on a ladder and grabs the titles, Bubba removes the ladder from under Jeff leaving him hanging and dangling in the air, Edge then makes his way to a second ladder and delivers probably the nastiest spear in Mania history, and effectively taking Jeff out of the match. Matt and Bubba then begin climb another ladder in the ring, but Rhyno has recovered and made his way in the ring and pushes them off and through the 4 tables that Bubba and D-Von set up earlier in the match. D-Von tries to climb the ladder and get his titles, but his wounds and Rhyno are too much to overcome as Rhyno helps Christian up the ladder and allows him to secure the tag team titles, the duo 7th championship reign. The damage in and around the ring is tremendous and for the 2nd year in a row and for the 2nd time in TLC, Edge and Christian walk out the winners. Excellent work from all 3 teams, as well as Rhyno, Lita, and Spike. This deserves the reputation it has and why even 15 years later, its still pretty hard to top.

Next up we see some more footage of Fan Axess from the previous day. There was an XFL booth at the event, oh the money that thing cost Vince. Just like in 2000, seemed like a fun time to be had with everyone. You know guys who were there during the down years like JR, Vince, Taker, Kane, and even HHH, really appreciate how the company has recovered and the shape that its in. Attendance record of 67,925 fans was set by this event. Good for the WWF. Time has come for the night's gimmick battle royal and the man to call the action is none other than the legendary Mean Gene Okerlund, making his WrestleMania return and joining him at ringside probably one of the greatest managers and color commentars of all time, Bobby "The Brain" Hennan, also making his Mania return.

* Our participants are The Buschwackers (Luke and Butch), Duke "The Dumpster" Drose, The Iron Sheik, Earthquake (kinda looks like The Shark from the Dungeon of Doom), The Goon, Doink the Clown, Kamala & Kimchee with Harvey Whippleman, The Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nickolai Volkoff, Michael P.S. Hayes rocking a Confederate Flag rope/cape, The One Man Gang, the fucking Gobbly Gooker (Hector Guerrero deserved better), Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love, and easily (aside Sheik and Hayes) the most credible man in this match Sgt. Slaughter. Damn, so much shit in this match, what the actual fuck did WWF smoke for some of this shit. Not the most technical of matches as most of these men are well past whatever prime they were in, but I guess this was just about killing some time and having some fun at Mania and seeing all the various gimmick WWF has had over the years. The entrances combined took longer than this match. Iron Sheik got the win in this match by lastly eliminating Hillbilly Jim. Slaughter got the last laugh as he put the Cobra Clutch on Sheik, to the delight of the fans. That was fun and it was nice to see and hear Mean Gene and The Brain back on WWF tv. A video package hyping up the next match is played highlighting the issues between HHH and Taker and what lead to this match.

* RIP to Lemmy as Motorhead is in the building and is here to play Triple H's theme song, The Game. As usual whenever Motorhead performs at Mania, HHH has a really good entrance. Next the bell tolls and Limp Bizkit plays, The Undertaker is on his way to the ring. No introductions as this fight starts right away on the outside as Taker puts Triple H through the back up Spanish announce table, also of note is that this is the first time that JR mentions the Undertaker's record at Mania, 8-0 at this point. Taker dominates the early portion of the match, but going for Old School allowed Triple H to throw him from the top rope and gain an advantage. History's greatest referee, Mike Chioda is the official here and sets the tone of not being bullied by HHH early, Taker manages a brief comeback but is put down by the Game who makes his way outside to get an old friend, his handy dandy sledgehammer, the ref takes it from him, leading to Taker accidently taking out the ref, after a 2 count chokeslam by Taker he angrily and purposely takes out the ref. Action spills to the outside and we've got a street fight on our hands and H and Taker brawl towards the tech area, with Taker dominating the fight. HHH gets back in the fight by picking up a steel chair and going to work on him, Taker makes a comeback and lands a chokeslam on HHH, sending him to the floor. EMTs try to help Trips, but Taker prevents them and he beats him back to ringside. The ref is still down, so neither man was disqualified or counted out. Taker then sees the sledgehammer as HHH begs him off and not to hit him, but it was a ruse as the Game lands a low blow on him. HHH then goes for another shot with the sledgehammer, but Taker fights him off with a huge big boot. Back and forth, blow for blow, both men are just hammering each other, Triple H tried to Tombstone HHH, but Taker reversed it into his own Tombstone, but since the ref is still out no one can count the pin. As Taker goes for the Last Ride, Trips manages to get the hammer and nails him in the back of the head and nearly got the 3 count, but Taker managed to kick out. HHH goes to work on Taker in the corner, but Taker manages to get him in position for the Last Ride and get the win, moving to 9-0 at WrestleMania. This was a good match, not great, but pretty good. Triple H did good, but on this night he couldn't break the streak, and I'm sure we'll never see Triple H take on Taker and The Streak again.

In the back we see Stone Cold and The Rock get ready as the WWF Title match is next. A fantastic video package is played, highlighting the last few months leading up to this match, with Austin winning the Royal Rumble and The Rock beating Kurt Angle for the championship at No Way Out. WrestleMania 15 rematch, Austin vs Rock is next.

Main Event: World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs the defending champion The Rock. Stone Cold is out first, coming out to the "Disturbed" version of his theme song and as expected, the Texas born and breed Austin gets a massive reception from this crowd. Next out is the current champion, The Rock, and he as well gets a warm reception from the crowd, owning to the great year 2000 that he had when he carried the company as top babyface. Getting started right away, Austin and Rock go at it and the crowd has gone insane. No staredowns and no trash talk, the fight is fast from the get go as both guys try to land their finishers very early in the match, Austin gain an advantage by sending Rock over the top rope and into the announce table and the fight then moves into the crowd. Back in the ring and control keeps going back and forth between Rock and Austin, Rock gains a slight advantage by sending Austin over the top rop and to the outside followed by a hard slam on the announce table. Stone Cold manages to get back in this match as he hits Rock in the head with the ring bell, Earl Hebner has his hands full for this one, Rocky has his head cut open as the brutality of Austin is apparent, Rock trying to buy himself some time climb on the announce table, causing it to collapse. Austin is in complete control back in the ring as he is hammering Rock, who tries to make a comeback, but only gets a neckbreaker for his trouble. He then proceeds to stomp a mudhole in the Rock and walks it dry, dominating the champ. Rock explodes back in the match with a clothesline as Austin was jawjacking with the ref, Rock then returns the favor as he hits Austin across the head with the bell. Both men are bloodied and battered, and they are back on the outside, Austin then catapults the Rock into the ring post, now both guys are down. Back and forth we go as Rock manages to get Austin in the Sharpshooter and Austin manages to get Rock in both the Sharpshooter and he pulls out the Million Dollar Dream (he hasn't used it since his days as the Ringmaster), but neither could get the other to tap out. Rock then out of nowhere hits the Stone Cold Stunner on Austin, but it was no good as Austin kicked out at 2. Suddenly we see Mr. McMahon make his way down to the ring, for what reason, we don't know. Austin and Rock continue to trade blow, until a spinebuster almost gets Austin the win. Rock hits a spinebuster of his own and then we see the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, the People's Elbow. It almost got Rock the win, but Vince pulled Rock off of Austin, to the shock of both commentators and the crowd. After chasing Vince around the ring and through it, Rock walks right into a Rock Bottom by Austin which gets Austin a 2 count. Hebner gets knocked down, Austin hits rock with a low blow, and then tells Vince to get a chair and hit rock with the chair as again to the shock of everyone, Austin and McMahon team up. Even after the chair shoot, Rock manages to kickout at 2, Rock has one last comeback by hitting a Rock Bottom on Austin and tossing Vince in and getting a ton of shots on him, but that was Rock mistake and Austin hits Rock with a Stunner, but again Rock kicks out and kicks out again after another chair shot from Austin. Austin then begins to beat the shit out of Rock, as Vince cheers him on, finally Rock can take no more and with a 1-2-3 Stone Cold becomes the new WWF Champion. A handshake and drink of beer with Mr. McMahon seals it, Stone Cold is now a heel. Paul Heyman and JR sum it up best, Stone Cold sold his soul to the devil for the WWF Championship. One last shot to the head to the Rock puts him down, Vince and Stone Cold walk out of the arena together, with the WWF Championship. A video recap of the night is shown and that ends the 17th WrestleMania Event.

Final thoughts: Many fans, especially those with a close connection to the Attitude Era, regard this as the greatest WrestleMania ever and honestly I see why. The venue gave a sense of epicness that so many of the previous WrestleManias did not give and it truly was a return to form for the WWF. They won the Monday Night Wars and they survived and seeing them at their at was well done. Hearing Howard Finkel announce the matches is always a treat and the team of JR and Heyman was good as well. It offered a different dynamic than King and JR, and it was refreshing to having a different voice cal the action. Mean Gene and The Brain seemed to have fun during the gimmick battle royal, which make it enjoyable for anyone watching from home.

Unlike the previous 3 WrestleManias which had mostly mediocre cards, there was really an awful match on this card. Maybe the gimmick battle royal, but it wasn't meant to be a show stealing contest. All matches ranged from very good to great. The 6 man tag match was fun as hell, the Women's title match showcased the dominance of Chyna, giving the fans a pretty entertaining squash, the Hardcore Triple Threat was as well done as hardcore matches could get. And while Undertaker vs Triple H was nothing to write home about, it was still a fairly entertaining match that kept my attention. Honestly, maybe the weakest matches were Jericho/Regal and Test/Guerrero. Regal and Jericho are both really good workers, but this match was nothing too special, both guys did good, but I've seen better from both. Test, was never the best worker, he still has put on better matches and I love Eddie, but again this is not his best work. Neither match was terrible, but nothing special.

Unsurprising, Angle and Benoit had a great match. The action and mat work was excellent, the brawl that they had was well done, and the pace kept the massive crowd engaged throughout the entire match. Surprisingly, the McMahon vs McMahon Street Fight was a blast as well. The story of Shane coming back to defend his mom's honor and Vince being an out of control dickbag played well and Linda having her huge Mania moment was awesome to see. This McMahon family feud worked better than last year's because they weren't taking attention away from the main event and weren't at center stage. Hardys, Dudleys, and E&C, was excellent. Not much else needs to be said, as always a great TLC match from them.

Onto the main event. Austin vs Rock delivered big here, from the opening bell. You felt the hatred, you felt the rivalry, and you felt the intensity between these two. Austin throughout the match really played up his role as the desperate man fighting to get his championship back and Rock was excellent as the valiant champion, doing everything to hold him off. The brawling was great, the ring work was great, and JR and Heyman on commentary to a great job telling the story to those at home. The ending with Stone Cold taking help from Vince, selling his soul, and turning heel was something nobody saw coming and to really was a shock to see. No matter what happened afterwards, the shots of seeing Vince and Stone Cold shake hands and drink beers together will live on forever. The reason why this is season as the end of the Attitude Era is because the Austin/McMahon feud was what defined it and with Vince and Austin on the same page, the Era came to an end.

Overall, WrestleMania 17 does indeed hold up almost 15 years later and it deserves its high praise that people give it. Greatest Mania of all time? Well as always that is up to your own tastes and I've got a bunch to get through to see if it was even the best of the 2000s, but it is a strong contender. Next Mania we head north to Toronto for WrestleMania 18, the final Mania under the WWF name!
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by eobversion1 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:54 pm

Nearly ten thousand words on two WrestleMania's! That's mighty stuff.
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:59 pm

Might just start doing highlights of each match and not go into too much detail.
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by El Canuck » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:35 pm

X7 is still one of my absolute favourite Mania's. Things just really clicked all around at that Mania.
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:12 am

WWF WrestleMania X8 (18)- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

*2002 has rolled around and the World Wrestling Federation has gone through a bit of a change. The previous year WWF purchased and essentially absorbed both ECW and WCW and with those purchases we ultimately got the underwhelming Invasion storyline (another topic for another time) and with it, wrestling fans got to see some superstars whom they had never got a chance to experience, but we also turned the final page and closed the book on not only the Attitude Era, but the Monday Night Wars. So, one year later, how would WWF put on its show of shows with the new talent that they've gotten? Let's dive in.

We open the show with a performance by the rock group Saliva (the same group I believed performed Batista's "Walk Alone" theme) singing the official song of the show with a video package playing on the stage screens highlighting the folks who'll be wrestling on the show. The song isn't something I'd listen too outside of this wrestling setting, but if you're into metal you'd probably enjoy it. The location of this year's WrestleMania is Toronto and the venue is the famed Skydome, same town and venue where WrestleMania 6, the ultimate challenge match for both the Intercontinental Championship and WWF Championship between Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan took place, also the event that inspired both Edge and Christian to become wrestlers. Just like last year, the big venue and audience is fitting for a WrestleMania and the place looks pretty good, it's not one of my personal favorite Mania setups, but it still looks good.

A beautiful video package is next played, showing clips from previous Manias, with those who are going to be on the show talking over and saying what it means to perform at WrestleMania. Explosions and fireworks are lit up, the crowd is rab and pumped up, and the familiar voice of JR is welcoming us to WrestleMania 18! WWF New York is still a thing. Another familiar voice, Jerry "The King" Lawler is heard, King was hired back at the end of 2001 at the end of the Invasion, replacing Paul Heyman. It's show time!

*First match of the night is Rob Van Dam, making his WrestleMania debut, taking on William Regal for Regal's Intercontinental Championship. Match starts as you would expect, Regal with the strikes and RVD with his educated feet. After a lot of back and forth, RVD gets some sustained advantage with his speed and agility, but a hard body slam gives Regal a the momentum, furthered by a counter of the Rolling Thunder and a huge Powerbomb. Van Dam mounts a brief comeback, but a nasty as hell suplex ends it quickly, almost landing RVD right on his neck. Regal tries to use his brass knuckles, but the ref catches him in the act, RVD takes this moment to get a kick to the head in, which sets things up for the 5-Star Frog Splash. Uno-Dos-Tres and we have a new Intercontinental Champion, Rob Van Dam. Not a bad opening contest here, not great or poorly worked, just an okay match to start the show off.

Following this we get a creep as hell close up of Christian doing his best Diamond Dallas smile, his opponent for this evening. Apparently, DDP took on Christian as his protege for a time, even helping him win a match over Billy Gunn from that week's Raw, but Christian, being a dick, turned his back on him and hit the Unprettier on the unsuspecting Page. Christian explains that he didn't need DDP and he doesn't need his hometown of Toronto, he says he plans on taking back the European Championship, and then scares the children with that creepy smile before he leaves.

*Next match is for the European Championship as Christian faces off with champion, reformed stalker, and yoga guru, Diamond Dallas Page. I loved Christian's old music, his alliance era, opera-esque theme song. It really captured the ego he has. This is the first WrestleMania where Edge and Christian will not be teaming up, as they broke up during the Invasion. DDP is out next and JR brings up that Page drove the Honky Tonk Man to the ring at WM 6, now he returns as a wrestler. Christian gets the jump on DDP to kick the match off, but DDP fights back and we have a nice back and forth to start off with. Page gets the leg up in the match with a sick looking gutwrench-gut buster. Christian fights his way back into the match, eventually gaining full control by slamming Page into the ring post and then locking on an old school abdominal stretch. After some smooth reversals and a more back and forth action, DDP manages to sink in the Diamond Cutter and gets the win to retain his title. Very entertaining stuff here from Page and Christian, with Christian's post match temper tantrum being a funny highlight.

In the back we are ready for a pre-match interview with The Rock and the Coach, who has finally grown a mustache! Rock plays up how big this match is and how important it is to him and we see some of that famous Rock/Coach banter that was famous back in the day, highlight here is Rock making Coach say his prayers, Coach was great here. Rock rips his shirt, yeah he's ready for Hogan.

*The next match is a Shattered Dreams Production as Goldust takes on Tough Enough 1 winner Maven for Maven's Hardcore Championship. Action starts outside as Goldust slams Maven right into the barricade and then land an elbow drop on Maven from ringside. Maven fights himself back into the match for a bit, but Goldust regains control with a suplex and usage of a gold shovel. We get a little dueling trash can lids as both men hit each other and are down, Maven in the ring and Goldy on the outside. Suddenly we see the runt of the litter, Spike Dudley, make his way down to the ring with his own ref as he covers Maven and gets the win and the Hardcore Title, remember the 24/7 rule is still in effect. Spike quickly gets out of dodge, followed closely by Crash Holly, then Goldust, and finally Maven.

Drowning Pool is in the building to play their song, Tear Away, as we get a video package telling the story of our main event of the night, Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho putting his title on the line against Triple H, with H's ex-wife Stephanie McMahon in Jericho's corner. Crash manages to catch up with Spike and fights with him trying to get the win, but Al Snow breaks things up as he tries to run down both men with a golf cart, with Teddy Long as his ref, but he misses and crashes into a wall of boxes. Spike manages to fight off Crash, when suddenly from out of the sky our resident superhero, The Hurricane, swoops in and takes down crash. 1-2-3 and we have a new Hardcore champion, The Hurricane.

*The tune of our olympic savior, Kurt Angle, is played as he makes his way to the ring and it's accompanied by chants of "You Suck". Different crowds from different arenas would chant it, but it wasn't until Edge started it on a Smackdown episode after the first draft that the chant would become main-stream. His opponent is Kane and why are they feuding?...It's a little vague, but Kurt blames Kane for costing him in the Rumble, preventing him from getting to the main event. Kurt gets a cheap shot in on Kane before the match starts, blasting him with the ring bell. Match starts and Kane is clearly effected by the shot, getting taken down with little effort by Kurt. Kane, having the size and strength advantage to comeback, but Kurt regains control with a nice belly to belly suplex, laying the bricks for Suplex City's library. Kane briefly fought back with a side slam, but 3 German Suplexes gave control back to Kurt. Kane fights back into the match and even manages to land a chokeslam, but being near the ropes allows Angle an easy way to kick out. Kange signals for the Tombstone, Kurt finds a way out and tries to unmask Kane, landing an Angle Slam and almost getting the win. The straps came down and Kurt locks in the Ankle Lock. Kane escapes once, but Kurt gets right back on him, Kane reaches the ropes and then lands an enzuguri to finally escape. Kurt manages to roll up Kane and uses the rope for leverage to get the pin and the win. A pretty well worked match between Kane and Kurt, nice action with a sneaky Kurt win makes for a good match to keep the show going.

In the back we see a pretty funny skit with our superhero Hurricane and some of Godfather's ladies. We cut back to No Way Out and we see what lead to Undertaker and Ric Flair's issues, with Natch preventing Taker from using a lead pipe on Rock during their match. Video shows us the entirety of this feud, highlights include Taker beating the shit out of both David Flair and his cousin Arn Anderson and the match being made into a No Disqualification Match.

*The revving of a motorcycle is heard and Limp Bizkit is played, The Undertaker, as of this Mania is 9-0, makes his way to the ring. Ric Flair is out next, making only his 2nd appearance at WrestleMania, in a classic rope and to much fanfare. Taker and Natch are all business and the match starts off right away, Flair is taking it to Taker as the action spills to the outside and Flair dives over the announce table with Taker, pounding the hell out of him. Taker gets control of the match by driving Flair into the ringpost and then slamming him into a set of the ring steps. Big boots and a pounding give Taker firm control of this match, eventually leaving Flair a bloody mess, but not willing to go down easy, Flair chops back for a bit, but a right hand from Big Evil takes him down. Taker is in full control of the match, but a missed elbow allows a brief comeback for Flair, giving Taker some nasty chest chops, Taker regains control and goes for Old School, but cockiness costs Taker as Flair reverses it. Back and forth we go as both men trade momentum. Flair gets an equalizer as he gets a lead pipe from Taker's bike and goes to work on his head. Back in the ring, Taker goes for a chokeslam, but a low blow from Flair prevents that and then locks on the Figure Four, it's to no avail as Taker wraps his hand around his throat and gets him up for a chokeslam and a count of 2, out of anger he takes out the ref, Charles Robinson. Flair gets in a few chops to Taker which sends him right into a spinebuster by Arn Anderson from out of nowhere! Arn is then busted open by Taker and is about to be driven to the canvas, but Flair prevents it with some chair shots, ultimately it's no use as Taker puts him up for a Tombstone, the 3 count ends this whole bloody affair. Taker is now 10-0 at WrestleMania. Highly entertaining brawl between Flair and Taker.

In the back, Michael Cole is conducting an interview with Booker T, making his WrestleMania debut. Good stuff from Book, as he talks about his high school thesis on Einstein's theory of relatives.

* Next match up is Booker T vs Edge. Why are they feuding? While it seems Edge got some endorsement for a Japanese shampoo commercial, and Booker takes that none too lightly. Edge is out 2nd for the match, coming out to his old Rob Zombie made them song, the kid is home for WrestleMania! The referee for this match is our future GM, Teddy Long. Edge gets the early...edge in the match, but not for long as Booker gets a Stun Gun in on him and then take the match to the outside for a moment, back in the ring Book hits a big missile dropkick and proceeds to stomp a mudhole in Edge and almost walks it dry. Edge manages to get back in the match and gets Booker to the top rope and lands a nasty hurricanrana. Booker gets Edge down and we all know what's coming next, for the first time at WrestleMania, Booker T does the world famous Spinaroonie! Booker then lands the Scissor's kick and gets a 2 count. Edge regains control and even does an Edgearoonie, after some crafty dodging Edge lands the Edgecution and gets the win. Another enjoyable match on this show, albeit with a stupid as hell backstory.

In the back we see Hurricane trying to make an escape and has a short, but funny interview with Coach. Mighty Molly makes her way to Hurricane and as they are to go to the Hurricycle, she knocks out Hurricane with a frying pan and gets the win. New Hardcore champ! We then get a video package of Mr. McMahon bringing in the n.W.o., leading to not only Rock vs Hogan, but the show's next match.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Scott Hall is up next and boy how things have changed in a year for Austin. Anyone with an ounce of a brain knows that WWF probably wanted Hogan vs Austin at Mania, but I'm sure egos got in the way of that so instead Austin gets paired with the former Razor Ramon, a midcard match at best for a man who just months ago was fighting to become the first ever Undisputed Champion. Glass breaks and out first is Stone Cold, to a still pretty big ovation from the crowd. Screen goes black and white, a couple of video glitches happen and we hear the familiar song of the New World Order, Scott Hall is out next and is accompanied by Kevin Nash, the only n.W.o. member to not have a Mania match. Austin wastes no time taking the fight to Hall, getting him the corner, stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry. Hall begins to take control, thanks to Nash exposing one of the turnbuckles and sending Austin into it, Nash makes his presence felt twice once when Austin was on the outside and then again when Austin was hung up on the bottom rope. Stone Cold fights is way back and even lands a Stunner, but just as the refs hand was coming down for the 3, Kevin Nash pulls him out of the ring and then decks him. Nash begins to lay into Stone Cold and just Hall is about to finish him off with a chair, Austin gets in a low blow on Nash and lands another Stunner on Hall and one on Nash. Another ref makes his way to the ring and Austin almost gets a 3 count, but Nash again takes him out and is finally tossed from ringside thanks to about 4 other refs. Hall sends Stone Cold into that exposed turnbuckle and hits a Stunner on him, but only gets a 2 count. Austin fights back and quickly lands 2 Stunners on Hall and finally gets the win. A couple of Steveweisers are out as Austin celebrates his win. It's not Austin's best match at Mania or even 2nd best. It's okay at best, we got all the spots we expected and I think that'll send the fans home happy.

WWF Axxess footage is shown and once again a good time was had!

* The follwowing match is a 4 Corners Elimination Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championships. The teams are The Hardy Boyz, the A.P.A., The Dudley Boyz, and the champs, Billy & Chuck. Out first are the Dudleys and Stacy Kiebler (I miss those legs), Saliva is playing their version of the Dudleys theme song, its always fun to have a live band playing people's music. A.P.A. is out next, followed by the Hardys, and last the champs Billy & Chuck. Bradshaw and Chuck start out the match, Bradshaw having the upper hand as he pounds on Chuck. Billy eventually tags D-Von in and the Dudleys attempt a 3D on Bradshaw, they land it and the A.P.A. is eliminated. Jeff Hardy is in next and the Hardys are going to work on both the champs and the Dudleys. Stacy tries to distract with a little wiggly of her ass, it works as Jeff makes his way over to her, likes what he sees, and then smacks her on the ass and then kisses her, Image. This does give Bubba time to recover and with some tag help by Billy, land a Doomsday Death Device on Jeff, and then Bubba gives a couple chops to Jeff. After going for the Wassup, Billy pushes D-Von off the top rope and into a table the Dudleys set up. Matt lands a Twist of Faith on Bubba and Jeff lands a Swanton, 1-2-3, good night Dudleys and we're down to the Hardys and Billy & Chuck. Chuck almost gets the win thanks to a Billy Gunn Fameasser, but Jeff kicks out. Billy takes Matt out with the ring steps and then smashes one of the title belts into Jeff. Chuck gets the cover and the win to retain the titles. Pretty wild action all around, this was going to be a bit of a step down after the Ladder and TLC matches from the previous Manias, but this was still a pretty good match.

Nash and Hall are pissed about what happened to them and promise that they'll take it out on Rock. Hogan asks them not to get involved, wanting to know if he is still the man and still has it, The Outsiders feign that they'll respect his wishes but say they need no excuse to get involved. We then cut to Mighty Molly trying to make her escape with the Hardcore Title, but Christian slams a door into her head and he manages to pin her and get the Hardcore Championship. Next up is a video package hyping up our next match, Icon vs Icon, The Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan!!

*We fade to black and white and we hear the guitars of the n.W.o. theme, making his WrestleMania return after 9 years, out first to a tremendous ovation, is Hollywood Hulk Hogan! Out next and headlining his 4th straight WrestleMania is The Rock, there are some boos but still the crowd loves The Rock. A true WrestleMania moment happens, the staredown between Hogan and Rock. 14 years later and it still feels as special as it did on that night; the environment and atmosphere is perfect, fitting for WrestleMania! The bell rings and the match begins with Hogan and Rock tangling up. Hogan gains the early power advantage and shows off the 24 inch pythons, as the crowd goes nuts, a brief Rocky sucks chant is followed by a huge Hogan chant. Rock fights his way back into the match and lays the smack down on Hogan and follows it up with a clothesline, a Rock Bottom is blocked, and it allows Hogan to regain control. A spinebuster and Sharpshooter swing things in Rock's favor, but the ref is down and didn't see Hogan tapping, and once again we get a Rocky sucks chant from the nostalgia filled Toronto crowd, this distracts Rock long enough for Hogan to recover and hit Rock with a low blow and a Rock bottom, but only for a 2 count. Hogan then goes all Joe Jackson on The Rock and pulls off his heavy leather belt and lays it Rock with it, Rock recovers enough to hit him with a DDT. Rock then gives Hogan a taste of his own belt and beats the hell out of Hulk. Rock lands a Rock bottom, but Hogan kicks out and hulks up, the crowd is going insane! Three shots to the face, a big boot, and leg drop follow, but Rock is able to kick out at 2. Hogan tries for another leg drop but misses, Rock lands a Rock bottom, much to the dismay of the fans. Rock, wanting to put Hogan down for good lands another Rock bottom, nips up, and we see the People's Elbow! 1-2-3 and this one is over. The crowd is back on his side, as The Rock celebrates his great win. Hogan is back on his feet and he's not looking for a fight, he offers his hand to Rock and we get a handshake and Rock exits the ring. Hall and Nash come out and aren't pleased with it and they jump Hogan. Rock returns to help out Hulk and the manage to take out Hall and Nash. Hogan and Rock then pose for the fans, to the delight of everyone! Hogan and Rock leave the ring together to a loud applause from the fans. The match didn't have to be technically sound, this was a phenomenal moment and it created a great memory for everyone. Truly this was a great WrestleMania match, the show could've ended here and the fans would've got their money's worth with this one alone. There is a reason this match has lived on as long as it has.

*Its going to be hard to follow that one, but next we have a Triple Threat Match for the Women's Championship, as the champion Jazz takes on hometown girl Trish Stratus, rocking a Canadian flag themed cape and outfit and Lita. Lita and Trish try to team up on Jazz, but the champ is having none of that and dominates both of them. Lita and Trish do gain some control, and briefly take Jazz out and begin to work on each other. Jazz eventually regains control and lands a fisherman's suplex from the top rope on Lita and gets the win to retain her title. The match itself wasn't bad, Trish was still improving in the ring, but man the crowd was almost completely out of it. Understandable after Hogan vs Rock, just bad luck for the ladies to have their match placed after that one.

Christian is seen making his exit from the arena, with the Hardcore title in toe and makes his way to a cab. Maven comes from out of nowhere and gets a roll up on Christian, wins the match and the title, and then steals Christian's cab. Christian is left an angry and bitter man.

*Main Event: Is for the World Wrestling Federation Undisputed Championship. Out first is Triple H, with Drowning Pool playing their version of The Game, and yes compared to the Motorhead version, it is shit. Lemmy or Triple H should've choked a bitch for letting this be played. Next out is the champion, Chris Jericho with Stephanie McMahon. For the 2nd time in 3 years, the asshole holding the title is secondary to the story of a McMahon family feud, this time between Stephanie and Triple H.. Jericho starts off with some chops, but HHH fights back and lands a Harley Race like high knee, but it hurts is injured left leg for a moment, Game then Jericho flying from the top rope and then slams Jericho into the barricade. Triple H almost hits Stephanie with a Pedigree, but Y2J breaks it up with a top rope dropkick, allowing Jericho to gain full control and he works on reinjuring H's leg. Jericho takes the action to the outside and attempts to lock the Walls of Jericho in on the Game on the announce table, the horror!! H fights back and Jericho in position for the Pedigree, but it's reversed into a back body drop into the other announce table. A Lionsault back in the ring gets a 2 count, but Trips does not stay down, Y2J gets him in the Walls of Jericho, nearly getting H to tap out, but he manages to make it to the ropes and breaks the hold. Stephanie gets in the ring and attempts to hit H with a chair, but referee Earl Hebner stops her, allowing Triple H to recover and hit her with a Pedigree, and she is no longer a factor in the match. Jericho, while the refs back is turned, hits HHH with a chair shot, but it only leads to a 2 count. Jericho in a moment of pure ego, tries to end the Game with a Pedigree, but H reverses it, sending Jericho to the corner, he manages to avoid hitting it by jumping to the top rope and tries to hit an aerial move on HHH, but he flies right into a Pedigree. 1-2-3, and we have a new Undisputed Champion, Triple H! The work in the ring wasn't bad in this match, in fact had this match happened earlier in the night, it'd probably have been better received by the crowd. But just like the Women's Title, going after Rock/Hogan left the crowd pretty tired. They got back into it towards the end, but yeah Rock/Hogan drained them for the most part. Not a bad match though. When then get a video montage going over the night's matches, accompanied by the theme song of the show and that ends the 2002 edition of WrestleMania.

Final Thoughts: This Mania's reputation is built mostly on the back of one match, The Rock vs Hulk Hogan, and it is easy to see why. The match lived up to the hype and it pretty much eclipsed everything that came before and after it, seriously I have a hard time remembering what happened at this Mania because of the Hogan/Rock match. It is a shame though because there are quite a few matches on this card worth going back and watching again. DDP/Christian is fun as hell and pretty underrated, Booker T vs Edge has one of the funnier set ups for a match and the match itself is pretty entertaining, the 4 Corners Tag match was well done, and all of the antics involving the Hardcore Championship, it what turns out to be its final Mania, were really fun too. Taker vs Flair was about as brutal a No DQ match as you could get, really showing the nastiness of heel, Biker Undertaker. The only real duds on the undercard might be RVD/Regal and Jazz/Trish/Lita, with the later only really being a dud because it came immediately after Hogan/Rock, it wasn't bad either just timing and placement to the people out of it.

Austin vs Hall is an interesting one as well, because you really do get the feeling that Austin was no longer "the man". While he was still popular, he wasn't the main focus of a Mania, or 2nd, or even 3rd focus. He was pretty far down the card and that is pretty jarring considering where he was just one year prior and that he would leave the company only a couple months after this.

Onto the main event. Like I said before, if the HHH/Y2J match happened before Hogan/Rock then I think it would had a much more invovled crowd, but it's placement at the end really gave them a worn out crowd. The story and work between the 2 was executed well, and Stephanie's involvement was fun, although having a McMahon for the 4th year in a row be so involved in the main event was a bit of a problem for me. Jericho, as champ, became a side character in the much bigger feud of Stephanie vs HHH, and it really is too bad. The match itself was fine, I just personally would've switched the placement of it with Rock/Hogan.

WrestleMania 18 lives on off of the reputation of one match, but I personally think there are gems on the entire card, making for an overall fun and enjoyable show. Next up we get the first Mania under the new WWE banner, WrestleMania 19!
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:16 pm

WWE WrestleMania XIX (19)- Seattle, Washington

The year is 2003 and we have more change within the World Wrestling Federation. First, it is no longer called the WWF, because of some legal fighting between the Federation and the World Wildlife Fund, so the company is now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. New superstars have emerged such as the man called "The Next Big Thing" Brock Lesnar, as well as former tag wrestler Matt Hardy going on his own and calling himself Matt Hardy, Version 1.0. WCW high flyer Rey Mysterio has made his long awaited WWE debut, Shawn Michaels has made his return to the company, and after controversy and exits that left bad tastes in people's minds, the former #1 and #1-A men in the company, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, have both come home. This is also the first WM of the Brand Split Era, so with that let's get on with the 19th Show of Shows!!

We open with a nicely done video package, highlighting the folks who will be at this year Mania, including Booker T, Kurt Angle, and The Undertaker. Not much else to say, except well done by WWE. Opening fireworks go off and the familiar voice of Jim Ross welcomes us to WrestleMania 19, JR and King will call the action for all Raw matches (moved near the stage by then GM Eric Bischoff to emulate the look of how WCW used to have there announcers), and Michael Cole and Tazz will be calling the action for Smackdown, seated at the usual spot near ringside, WWF New York is also longer a thing. The stage and arena in Seattle looks pretty awesome, different and unique in its own way.

*First match of the night is the WrestleMania debut of Rey Mysterio, rocking a Daredevil style outfit (looks pretty cool), facing off with Matt Hardy being accompanied to the ring by his Mattitude Follower, Shannon Moore (making his singles debut at Mania and his 4th appearance overall) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Matt tries to get the jump on Rey after a failed distraction by Moore, but Rey manages to send him over the top rope and the match begins. Plenty of aerial offense from Mysterio and plenty of distrations by Moore and some good technical moves by Matt Hardy. A wicked Side Effect gives Hardy the upperhand but Rey fights his way to the match, first by sending Hardy into the ringpost, then with a head scissors, and finally and torando DDT, but all of that only gets Rey Rey a 2 count. Rey looks to finish the match with a 619, but once again the MFer, Shannon Moore, gets involved in the match by tripping up Rey, right into a Twist of Fate by Matt Hardy, but Super Mysterio kicks out a 2. The finish sees Mysterio land a 619 on Hardy, miss the West Coast Pop, allowing get Mysterio in a roll up, use the ropes for leverage and get the dirty, dirty win to keep his championship. Fun action in this match, very entertaining and great way to start the show.

A limo pulls up to the arena and see some bad acting by the Catfight Girls (?), who talk about two of the headline matches for the evening, McMahon vs Hogan in a street fight and The Rock vs Stone Cold.

*Next up we hear a complete lie from Tony Chimel, as he introduces "WWE's favorite band in the whole world!", Limp Bizkit (if you forgot who Limp Bizkit is, just imagine the worst elements of Hip Hop and the worst elements of Rock and you them) who are about to perform the intro music "Rollin'" for the American Badass, The Undertaker. The performance isn't bad I guess, live band performances are always fun at Mania. The match was originally supposed to be a Tag Team match between The Undertaker and Nathan Jones (a guy WWE tried to push heavily and make a star, but it did not work out for him) vs Big Show and A-Train a.k.a. Prince Albert a.k.a. Albert a.k.a. The Hip Hop Hippo a.k.a. Giant Bernard a.k.a. Lord Tensai a.k.a. Tensai and finally a.k.a. Funkmaster T. But Train and Show, with some help from the Full Bloodied Italians, took out Jones before the match, so now it is Taker vs Show and Train in a handicap match, the only such match in the history of the Streak. The Streak currently stands at 10-0. Taker's entrance is pretty cool as we get some pyro timed with his fist going in the air. Show and Train are out next, as Show tries to sneak up on Taker, but he had it well scouted and the match starts off a chokeslam from Taker to Train, but Show pulls Taker out of the ring to prevent the 3. Taker is dominating this thing in the early going, beating the hell out of both show and Train, and does an impressive Leapfrom over A-Train and then lands Old School on him, Show finally manages to slow up Taker, allowing Train to land his finisher, the Derailer (Baldo Bomb) on him, Train then feeds Taker to Show who rams Taker into the ringpost on the outside and then tosses him onto the barricade, giving full control to Train and Show. Taker manages to fight his way back into the match, finally getting control with a spinning DDT on A-Train and then multiple corner body splashes and big boots to Train and Show. Show and Train regain control, wearing down Taker with a 2 on 1 assault. Show hits the chokeslam and looks to go in to the win, but Nathan Jones has made his way out to the ring and hits a beautiful spinning heel kick on Show, then heads to the ring and lands a big boot to Train, sending him into a waiting Taker who lands a Tombstone on Train. 1-2-3 and the Streak continues and moves to 11-0. Taker and Jones celebrate with Taker waving the American Flag in honor of his nephew, who was in the Army at the 2 and for the American troops as the War in Iraq had begun a month earlier. The student saved the teacher in what was a fairly entertaining match, unusual for me as I'm not really a fan of handicap matches, but this one was pretty good.

In the back, we again see the Catfight Girls (?) as they meet Torrie Wilson and Stacy Kiebler. Not much to say about this segment except boobs and legs! JR and King are heard as we are preparing for the first Raw match of the night. We see some clips from Heat earlier in the night as we had a World Tag Team Championship match which saw Kane and RVD almost take the titles away from Lance Storm and Sean Morley, Eric Bischoff's Chief of Staff and the former Val Venis. The Dudleys helped both teams, to the confusion of Ross and King.

*A beautiful laugh is heard and the intro music of one Trish Stratus is played as she makes her way out to the ring, with a firing of confetti to accompany her. This is a Triple Threat Match for the Women's Championship as Trish Stratus faces off against Jazz and the champion, Victoria with Steven Richards. Some audio trickery is done as Victoria's theme song at the time, This is Not Enough or All the Things you say or whatever the hell its called by that faux lesbian Russian girl group whose name escapes me and I'm too lazy to Google. Jazz attacks both Trish and Victoria to start the match. Control swings between all women, with Victoria almost getting the win with a sunset legdrop but it's broken up by Jazz. A brief partnership forms between Jazz and Victoria to take Trish out, but it doesn't last long as Jazz slaps Victoria the second Trish is out, but Victoria gains the upper hand for a moment and Jazz then lands an over the shoulder Powerbomb on Trish. Trish fights her way back in the match, landing a Chick Kick on Jazz and a Frankensteiner on Victoria. Jazz almost makes Trish submit to the STF but is prevented thanks to Steven Richards. Jazz, celebrating gets hit with a nice side kick by Victoria, manages to dodges a top rope moonsault, but is then thrown over the top rope by Victoria. Victoria nearly finishes off Trish and has Richards interfere, but it is to no avail as Trish kicks the hell out of Richards and then Victoria, 1-2-3 and we have a new Women's Championship. What a difference a year makes as having this match earlier in the card and not using it as a cool down match made for a very into crowd and a better performed match. Good work from all 3 women, with Trish deserving special praise for how far she has come!

In the back Coach is interviewing The Rock. Rock, in his Hollywood days, is hamming it up, saying how he has sold out every Mania he has been in and that he doesn't give a damn about the people and how all that matters is beating Stone Cold for the first time at Mania. Good work here from Rock, really highlighting the end of the rivalry between him and Austin, even getting the crowd his side towards the end.

*Next match on the card is another from Smackdown as we get a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships as Los Guerrero faces Chris Benoit and Rhyno and the champs Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas). Wild action to start the match, with Benoit eventually the upper hand with chops to Guerrero and then a tag to Rhyno as they further he furthers his control with a powerslam to Eddie. Benjamin tags himself in and then gains the upper hand on Rhyno, giving momentum to Team Angle, a near fall is broken up by Chavo. Benoit and Rhyno swing momentum back in their direction with Benoit chopping up Haas and then giving him a Suplex. Back and forth the action goes, as Benoit eventually gains the upper hand on Chavo, and takes him on a little trip to Suplex City which has opened its first Taco Bell in the recent months. Chavo manages to get a tag to Benjamin, getting him out of the hold, but Benoit not knowing it, walks get into a superkick from Shelton. a leg drop to Benoit almost gets him a 3, but Eddie lands a Frog Splash on both men to break up the cover. Rhyno, sensing trouble gets in the ring and hit Haas with a Gore and then hits another on Chavo, Eddie not wanting Rhyno to get the win, pulls him out of the ring but this allows Shelton to get the cover on Chavo and the win to retain his and Haas' Tag Team Championships. Very good action all around, nice way to keep the flow and momentum of the show going strong!

Once again we are treated with boobs and legs as Torrie Wilson, Stacy Kiebler, and the Catfight Girls (?) are taking some pictures. Torrie and Stacy get into a disagreement over who is responsible for the vision of Mania, Stacy argues for Vince and Torrie argues for Hogan. The Catfight Girls (?), then each take the side of Torrie and Stacy as they argue on where to settle their differences, in the ring or in bed. Bed won and King says JR might have to call the rest of the night by himself.

*Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho is the next match on the card and is the first headline match of the night. A video package highlights the feud between HBK and Y2J. Out first is Y2J, making his 4th appearance at WrestleMania, followed by Shawn Michaels coming out to a huge ovation and making his first appearance at WrestleMania since his first retirement at WrestleMania 14. HBK gains an early advantage and tries to get into Jericho's head by taunting him, some back and forth work leads to Jericho slapping Shawn, who gives is not amused and gives him a right hand. Back in the ring, Jericho regains control with a flying spinning heel kick and some nasty chops in the corner. Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho on the outside after a missed dropkick by HBK, after breaking up the count, Jericho then picks up HBK and rams him several times into the ring post. Getting back into the match with a big DDT, HBK is taken down once again by Y2J, with a flying forearm. Wanting to rub salt in the wound, Jericho nips up and then does the classic HBK pose, this allows HBK to nip up and take down Jericho, fighting his way fully into this match a moonsault from the top almost gets Shawn the win, but Jericho kicks out. We get counter for counter, with Jericho almost locking in the Walls, but HBK reverses it. Frustration builds for Y2J as HBK kicks out after the classic Jericho bulldog/Lionsault combo. Jericho finally gets HBK in the Walls of Jericho, right in the center of the ring, but HBK gets to the rope and breaks the hold. After hitting a reverse elbow from the top, Jericho again mocks HBK and starts to tune up the band and hits Shawn with Sweet Chin Music, but Shawn kicks out at 2. After blocking a superplex and sending Jericho to the canvas, HBK hits the flying elbow and then he begins to tune up the band, but he misses and it allows Jericho to locking in the Walls for the 3rd time in the match and for the 2nd time HBK makes it to the ropes. Arguing with the ref costs Jericho, as HBK lands Sweet Chin Music on Y2J, but again it only gets a 2 count. After plenty of good action from both men, HBK gets the win with a roll up! HBK extends his hand to Jericho and they shake hands, but like a heel does, Jericho hits HBK with a low blow. Another solid match on this card.

Crooked referee Slyvain heads into Mr. McMahon's office for a little prematch conversation. New attendance record is set at Safeco Field, 54,097 is announced by Tony Chimel. He then lies again and reintroduces WWE's favorite band, Limp Bizkit, to the stage as they perform the theme song for WM 19, Crack Addict. Charming. 2 Limp Bizkit live performances are 2 too many as the crowd is going mild, and folks bitched about Kid Rock at WM 25. I'm going to grab a bite to eat until this shit is over.

Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits, that was a nice meal.

*Next up is Coach setting us up for the WrestleMania Catfight, the special guests of the evening the Catfight Girls, who are apparently from some Miller Lite ad campaign. The Miller girls were going to start fighting but Stacy Kiebler makes her way on to the ring and says that 3 girls are better than 2 and makes this a Triple Threat. Torrie Wilson is out next and she says a Playboy Cover girl should join and we now have a Fatal 4 Way. Torrie takes her top off and then does the same to Stacy and we are off to the races. Torrie rolls up Stacy and gives her a nice spanking. The Miller girls then pelt each other with pillows and take off their tops. Coach gets caught up in a dogpile of the ladies, and then gets his pants pulled down, gets rolled up by Stacy Kiebler who gets the win. Its nice to see the divas put back in their place after having a really well done match earlier in the evening, showing that they are there to be gawked at and show some skin. WWE, sending mixed messages for over 50 years!! Nothing much here, let's move on.

*The World Heavyweight Championship is on the line next as Champion Triple H, being accompanied by Ric Flair, takes on Booker T. The video package here in the beginning really tells the story of Booker T well, a true rags to riches story and journey for Booker T. If you haven't seen the WWE 24 special or his Hall of Fame induction by Stevie Ray, please go check them both out, Booker's story and life is pretty damn incredible. We then go to highlights of the feud, with HHH saying that Booker is only there to make him laugh and that people like him don't get to be World Champion, you know not African-Americans like anyone with common sense would think, but former WCW people, like Triple H. Good they didn't show Triple H throwing money in Booker's face and telling him to go fetch him a towel or Ric Flair telling Book he needs to carry his bags. Beautiful. The champ is out first, rocking some purple tights. As HHH is in the ring, King brings up the fact that H has never been arrested and is a good role model and that he is deserving of being World Champion, not some street thug. Booker T is out next to a pretty good reaction, JR tells the story of how Book's mother raised 7 children alone (his father passing away when Book was still a baby) and until she unfortunately died when Booker was 12, making bad choices and paying the price, but turning his life around. King being a dick saying that WCW was a joke, with JR agreeing with him and in a way, with Triple H, basically undercutting what Booker accomplished while he was in WCW. Booker and HHH lock up to start the match, trading control in the early going, Booker gets control with some knife edge chops in the corner and then catches Triple H with a top rope arm drag. King gets a dig in a Booker, saying he should've known he wouldn't amount to any after being born on a pool table, classy. HHH fights back in this by sending Booker into the post and falling on the outside. A Double A spinebuster rocks Booker T, but he kicks out at 2. Triple H then nails a hard clothesline to Booker in the corner, but again only gets the 2. Both men trade control, until H sends Booker back outside, allowing Flair to attack Booker and send his knee into the ringsteps. Booker is locked into an Indian Deathlock for a while, but Booker gets to the ropes and breaks it up. Book fights his way back in with a reverse elbow and then a Scissors Kick, but only gets the 2 count. Flair tries to get involved again while Booker is on the top rop, but Booker decks him. HHH tries to hit a superplex but is knocked off by Book, he hits the Houston Hangover and looks to be getting the win, but Flair puts H's foot on the rope. Booker tries for another Scissor Kick, but his legs gave out, allowing the Game to hit the Pedigree. But he can't get the cover for a while and he finally manages to make it to Booker, whose nervous system must've shut down after the almighty force of the Pedigree stays on the ground while it takes about 30 seconds for H to get the cover and the 1-2-3. Fuck that ending, fuck the King's commentary during the match, and fuck the racist ass way they built up this feud. The match itself wasn't bad, but again, fuck that ending.

Something weird just happened as they played an advertisement for WWEShop.com from like 2 years in the future. Either someone cocked up while they were putting this on the Network, or...idk someone had to have fucked up.

*The Street Fight between Mr. McMahon and Hulk Hogan is next, built up as 20 Years in the making. The video is well done, showing highlights from the past 20 years, the birth of HulkaMania, Hogan going to WCW, the McMahon trail from the 90s in which Hogan testified against Vince, and to the modern day where Vince attacked Hogan with a steel chair and made him sign the contract for the match in Hogan's own blood. Damn, now that is how you build a feud. Again, some WWE audio trickery happens as Hogan makes his way to the ring. His entrance song at this time was "Voodoo Child" by Jimmy Hendrix, and probably not wanting to pay for the rights, they play a guitar heavy instrumental song as Hogan comes out to a great ovation. Mr. McMahon is out next to his usual chorus of boos. This will not be a technical showcase or a ring classic, a bowling shoe ugly fight is about to happen. It is what you expect, Hogan and McMahon beat the hell out of each other, with some surprisingly good ring work by both men, Hogan eventually gets a chair and busts the chairman opening, making him a bloody mess. As Hogan tries to hit Vince with another shot to the head, Vince ducks and hit the spanish announcer, busting him open, a low blow puts Vince back in the fight and he then returns the favor and busts Hogan open. McMahon then pulls out a Ladder, and then goes back on the attack to Hogan. McMahon then sets up the ladder between Tazz/Cole's announce table and the spainish announce table, cracks a monitor over Hogan's head, and then proceeds to climb the ladder, mocks Hogan, and then lands an awesom flying Legdrop on Hogan through the table! As McMahon tries to go to work on Hogan with a steel pipe, Hogan manages to hit a low blow on Vince, buying him some time, but out of nowhere the late great "Rowdy" Roddy Piper comes through the crowd, kicks McMahon in the ass, spits on him, and then crushes Hogan's head with the steel pipe, almost giving the win to McMahon, but kicks out at 2. McMahon then calls his ref Slyvain and then nails him with the pipe, but again Hogan kicks out and begins to Hulk up, takes down Vince the first punch, tosses Slyvain out of the ring, gives Vince 3 more punches, hits the big boot, pumps the crowd up, and hits Vince with 3 Atomic Legdrops! Hogan gets the win and gets to keep wrestling. This was just a ton of fun, a great brawl with lots of good action between Hogan and McMahon, so far this might be the match of the night. After the match, Shane McMahon makes his way down to the ring, Hogan takes the belt off and prepares for a fight, but Shane doesn't want any problems and only comes to check on Vince.

*Next match on the card is the final encounter between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. Great video package is shown, detailing Austin's exit and eventual return to the WWE and Rock restarting their feud and wanting 1 more shot at Austin at WrestleMania. Rock is out first, I really dug his Hollywood theme, and the crowd are giving him some boos. Austin is out next to a huge ovation, the crowd just went nuts when the glass broke! Just like Hogan/Rock last year, a staredown starts the match off, this really does feel special. Austin takes control in the early going with a series of rights and lefts, Rock takes an exit to the ringside and the action has shades of some of their early matches at Backlash '99 and from WrestleMania 17, and the crowd is loving it. The action throughout the match is back and forth, Austin has the upper hand, then Rock does, and then after taking Austin down, Rock puts on Austin's Vest and gets back in the ring, but from out of nowhere, Austin hits the Rock Bottom, but only for a 2 count. As Austin sets him up for a Stunner, The Rock reverses it and hits a Stunner of his own! Only a 2 count comes from it, Austin recovers and Rock lays the smack down on him, but Austin manages to reverse and hit Rock with a Stunner (nobody sold the Stunner like The Rock!), but only for a 2 count. A low blow brings right back into the match and is goes for the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, the People's Elbow, but Austin rolls out of the way, Rock hits him with a spinebuster, takes the vest off and hits the People's Elbow, but again Austin kicks out! Rock gets himself in position and hit Austin with a Rock Bottom, nope Austin kicks out, Rock again hits the Rock Bottom, but Austin again kicks out. Rock can't believe it, and wanting to end this he goes for Rock Bottom #3 and finally Austin stays down. Rock gets the win and finally beats Austin at WrestleMania! After exchanging some heartfelt words, Rock celebrates a bit in the ring and then heads to ringside and celebrates with his mother, grandmother, and then wife. In a pretty good show of class, Rock leaves the arena, shows some love to the fans, and leaves Austin alone to soak in the moment. This is Stone Cold's final match, and I have to say it was incredibly enjoyable. Call backs to previous matches, some good comedy and in ring action, and 2 really cool moments at the end.

*Main Event Time: WWE Championship is on the line as Royal Rumble winner Brock Lesnar takes on the champion, and our olympic savior and hero, Kurt Angle. A video highlights this feud, Team Angle taking out Lesnar, Paul Heyman's attacking Lesnar, Kurt using some twin magic with his brother Eric, and all the exchanges between the 2, with then Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon makes the stipulation that if Angle gets counted out or anyone interferes in the match, Angle will lose the title to Lesnar. Once again, the Champion is out first to loud boos, fireworks, and the "You Suck!" chants. Brock is out next, and Tazz reminds us that here comes the pain, nobody said that like Tazz. Lesnar has his ribs taped up, after weeks of attacks by Team Angle and Kurt himself. A nice mix of brawling and chain wrestling starts off this contest, both men being evenly matched. We make our way to Suplex City again as Angle hits a nice German on Lesnar, but it didn't do jackshit as Lesnar popped right back up and nails Angle with a clothesline. Angle gains control of the match as Angle gives him a German into the turnbuckle and then slams him into the barricade outside. Angle then locks in a combination of submissions on Brock, a Bow and Arrow into a rear naked chokehold, and then finally a chinlock. Brock manages to get to his feet, but Angle keeps the lock on, but a few shots to the turnbuckles finally frees up Lesnar and allows him to briefly go on the offense, but Angle hits a beautiful overhead suplex on Lesnar and then him to ringside. A last ditch spinebuster by Lesnar puts both guys down, and referee Mike Chioda starts the 10 count, but both men make it to their feet and then start trading blows and elbows. Brock hits a series of overhead suplexes, but Angle manages to kick out and stay in the match. Angle breaks ground for Suplex City Hall as he hits 4 straight Germans on Lesnar, Kurt smells blood and sets up him up for the Angle Slam, Brock fights out and puts him up for an F5, but Angle crawls out and locks on the Ankle Lock on Lesnar. Brock makes it to the ropes, but Angle pulls him back in locks in a single leg Boston Crab, further damaging the ribs of Lesnar. Angle then hits a German Suplex throw, flipping Brock over while in the air, Angle then hits the Angle Slam, but it only gets him a 2 count, Brock then manages to hit the F5 on Angle, but Angle kicks out. Brock believes he's in control, but Angle gets him in a grapevine Ankle Lock, Brock drags himself and Angle to the ropes, forcing the hold to break. Brock hits another F5 on Angle, but instead of going for the cover, Brock has a flashback of his Ohio Valley Wrestling days, heads to the top rope, and the most famous spot in the match happens, as Brock, all 6'4 and 295 pounds of him, goes for the Shooting Star Press from halfway across the ring! Lesnar, as we all know, missed and ended up landing on the back of his head and as we later found out, got a concussion. Angle tries to take advantage of Brock's miss, but Brock kicks out. Angle goes for another Angle Slam, but Brock gets him up for the 3rd F5 of the match. 1-2-3 and we have a new WWE Champion. The action in the match was incredible, showcasing probably the greatest amateur wrestlers turned pro-wrestlers, Angle and Lesnar. The missed Star Press was incredible to watch, but him missing it was just as scary as it was incredible, dude is lucky he didn't break his neck. The mat wrestling, the brawl, all of it was well done. After the match, Angle congratulates Lesnar on the win as fireworks go off to close the show. Michael Cole gives us a farewell and see you next year at Madison Square Garden, for WrestleMania 20! A video highlighting all the nights action is played to close out the show.

Final Thoughts: The first Mania under the new WWE banner was a big success. Pretty much all the matches were well built and all were executed really well. Mysterio/Hardy was a fun opener, Y2J/HBK delivered, the 3 Way Women's match was excellent, the Triple Threat Tag Title match was fun, and McMahon and Hogan really delivered a fun and bloody affair.

Not to say that everything was perfect. The Catfight was dumb as hell, I think they were trying to tapped into the old fun of the Attitude Era divas matches, but to me it seemed out of place on this card and it undercut some of what the other women did in the earlier Championship match. And then there is the World Championship match. I made my feelings clear win I went over that match and only have this to add. Booker T didn't have to win, you could've had HHH get some sort of dirty win to continue the feud as, like I said, the match itself wasn't bad. The racial under and overtones from HHH and Flair for most of that build and the King's annoying ass commentary during the match really took away from what could've been a good match and story. JR saying how much a joke WCW was, also took away from what Booker T did during his time their, even though JR was firmly on Booker's side during the match and build. I now see why people refer to HHH's time on Raw as World Champion from 2002-2005 as the reign of terror.

Onto the main events, Angle/Lesnar and Rock/Austin. Rock and Austin gave the fans a fun show and reminded folks why they were the biggest stars during the AE. The call backs to previous matches between the 2, Rock's antics, the trading of finishers, and the commentary work of JR and King was well done in this match. Rock letting Austin have time to say his goodbyes to the fans was a nice touch as well. Angle and Lesnar put on a classic, excellent brawling and well done mat work. Angle and Lesnar always had good chemistry together and this match is a perfect example why. The missed Shooting Star Press is awesomely scary to watch, and while amazing that Brock attempted it, it does take away a bit from the match.

Overall, this for the most part, was a great show, a great crowd, great looking arena, and good action from pretty much the top and bottom of the card. Next time I'll be reviewing the Mania where it all began again, WrestleMania XX (20) from the birthplace of WWE, New York's Madison Square Garden!!
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by SCXiao » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:59 pm

XX was the first one I saw (yep I started watching wrestling later than most here) looking forward to that read
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by GooberBM » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:02 pm

WM XIX was a financial disaster, for as fun a card as it was. Just to put it out there
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:26 pm

WWE WrestleMania XX (20)- New York City

*2004 rolls around and WWE is preparing to celebrate it's 20th WrestleMania. New stars have emerged from Ohio Valley Wrestling as John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista all prepare to make their mark on WWE. Hulk Hogan is no longer with the company, as he had a bit of a bad exit. In the past year, former WCW megastar Bill Goldberg has arrived in WWE, and really aside those few changes, not much else has really had in the WWE. Now, onto the show!

We begin the evening with a performance by the Harlem Boys Choir, singing America The Beautiful as images of various people and things related to the USA are shown, including some footage of the superstars and divas heading overseas to visit the troops. Next up we get the traditional opening video, highlighting the previous 19 Manias, superstars play up the importance of performing at the Garden, and we close the video with a shot of Vince, Shane, and Shane's new baby. This is the night where it all begins, again. Opening pyro coming from the stage and roof of the Garden, even though the Garden is a smaller venue than the previous three, it doesn't feel like it is any less special than them. JR, King, Cole, Tazz, and the Hispanic announcers welcome us to the show. The stage is kinda cool, looking like a model of the New York skyline.

*The first match of the night is brought to us by Smackdown as John Cena, making his Mania debut, faces The Big Show for Show's United States Championship, the first time that title is defended at Mania. John Cena treats us to a little pre-match rap and the crowd loves it. It is weird hearing a smarky, NYC crowd chant wildly for John Cena and have them firmly in his corner, how things have changed over the years. Big Show is out next and he didn't exactly find that amusing, as he tosses around Cena to start the match off. Cena tries a crossbody from the top, but Show catches him for a huge slam, but only for a 2 count. A "let's go Cena" chant is heard, seriously this is some crazy shit. Show is in firm control, using his size to his advantage, landing a big suplex on Cena and almost getting the 3 count, he then takes Cena in a corner and hits him with a nasty chop, a big boot, and then his signature standing leg drop. A combination of rights and lefts turns things around for Cena, Big Show tries to stay in the fight by tossing Cena into the corner, but Cena gets a dropkick to the Giant's legs, and then lifts him up and hits the FU, but Show manages to kick out at 2. Cena gets his chain and threatens to use it, but Jimmy Kordeas prevents him, Cena being the smart monkey he is, tosses the chain aside and as Jimmy goes to remove it from the ring Cena gets his Word Life brass knuckle and nails Big Show with it and then another FU. 1-2-3 and we have a new United States Champion, John Cena! The NYC crowd goes wild as their boy gets the win. Very good way to kick off this show, a young buck gets the win over an established vet and win a championship.

In the back we see The Coach arriving to the arena and daps it up with former referee and future General Manager, Teddy Long. Coach then heads to the office of Raw GM Eric Bischoff, who is with his assistant, Johnny Blaze, the future Johnny Nitro and then John Morrison. Bischoff tasks Coach with finding the Undertaker, as he is rumored to be in the Garden. Eazy-E does not want to be scooped by Smackdown. Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton is shown, talking up WM 20, along with fellow Evolution members Ric Flair and Batista. He calls himself the new Hardcore Legend, mocks Foley and talks about all the beatings they have given to both Foley and Rock, and how Evolution's time is now.

* Next match is a Sudden Death Fatal 4 Way match for the World Tag Team Championships, the first time to get the pin wins the match and titles. The teams in the match are La Resistance (Reene Dupree and Rob Conway), Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade, those damn Dudley Boyz, and the champions Booker T and Rob Van Dam. Dupree and RVD start the match off, and gains full control as he tags in Book who lands a nice kick to Dupree and almost gets a 3. Jindrak and Cade tag in and out, getting control over Booker T. I always wonder how Mark Jindrak's career would've turned out had he been put in Evolution and not Batista. Booker manages a comeback with a spinebuster to Conway and tags in RVD who begins to clean house on everyone, but D-Von stops him cold by pushing him off the top turnbuckle as he was going for a 5 Star, and now all hell breaks loose as everyone is beating the out of everyone! Booker T and RVD get the win as Booker T hits a Scissor Kick on Conway, followed by a 5 Star Frog Splash by RVD. The champs retain afer a wild one. Not a bad tag team match. JR informs us that later in the night the WWE Tag Team Championships will be defended in a match under the same rules as this one.

In the back, Coach continues his search for the Undertaker, investigating some strange noises coming from a closet of some sort, turns out it was Mene Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan having some adult fun with the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Ha, gross.

* Christian vs Chris Jericho is next, with a video showing how this all started, a simple bet for 1 Canadian Dollar between Christian and Y2J over who could bang their respective targets first, Christian with Lita and Y2J with Trish Stratus. Stratus and Lita find out what dicks they've been, Jericho pursues Trish, Stratus and Jericho develop into a relationship, Christian gets pissed and jealous, he hurts Trish, and we end up here. Christian is out first, followed by Y2J who gets a pretty good reaction from this NYC crowd. Some trash talk kicks this thing off and Christian and Jericho lock each other up and this thing is off and running. Jericho gets in firm control with a series of chops and then launching Christian to the outside, leaps to the outside on him, and then finishes that exchange off by tossing Christian into the barricade. Christian gets back into the match by sending Jericho to the outside with a throw over the top rop, and then by standing on Y2J's neck. Both men crack their skulls into each other and are both almost costed out, but they each make it to their feet. Jericho regains the upper hand with a running enzuguri, but it only gets him a 2 count. A bulldog/Lionsault combo fails as Christian gets his knees up and foils Jericho, and then almost gets a 3 with a spinning neckbreaker. Christian furthers his control with a falling crossbody and then locks in a Texas Cloverleaf, almost getting Jericho to tap, Jericho escapes and briefly locks in the Walls of Jericho, Christian gets to the rope and then to the outside, but Jericho follows him and locks it in again on the outside. A double-arm suplelx takes both men down, Jericho gets the cover and a near 2 count on Christian. Trish comes down and looks to be supporting Jericho, cheering him on to get up. Trish gets on the apron, but Christian drags her in the ring and then pushes her down into the corner, Jericho then knocks Christian to the outside and checks on Trish but she inadvertently gives him a back elbow, thinking it was Christian. Christian uses that as a distraction and gets the roll up and the 1-2-3 and a WrestleMania win. Trish goes over to Jericho and tries to apologize for the mess up and checks on Y2J. But it was all a set up as Trish slaps Jericho a couple times and Christian hits the Unprettier on Y2J. Trish and Christian make their exit, but before they do they share a kiss on the stage in front of a hurt and pissed off Jericho. Overall a pretty good match, Jericho and Christian always do good work together.

Lillian Garcia is interviewing Mick Foley, about his first match in 4 years. Foley hypes it up and then The Rock comes in. Both Foley and Rock bring it in this segment. Rock takes us and the camera around a bit as we see The Hurricane, Rosey, Jimmy Snuka, and the "Original Rock" Don Muraco, and finally a brief shot of the people live in the Garden. That was fun.

*Next match up is Evolution (IC Champion Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista) vs The Rock and Sock Connection in a 3 vs 2 handicap match. Out first is Evolution to that sweet Motorhead track. NYC native Mick Foley is out next, followed by his partner, The Rock. Things kick off right away from the RNS and Evolution trading blows. Flair and Rock are fighting on the outside as Rock lands a big back body drop on Flair, followed by Foley landing an elbow on him. Foley and Orton tag in, but Orton wants nothing to do with him, Foley is in hot pursuit and then slams Orton's had into the announce table. Batista and Rock are in and the big man is in full control, Rock tries to lay the smack down, but Batista stops him cold and then tags in the Nature Boy, who continues his control of Rock. Rocky mounts a brief comeback, but Flair stops it and then tags the Animal in, who again dominates the Rock, Rock then finally tags in Foley who takes it to the Animal. Batista gains control and tosses Foley to the outside and Orton tries to get the jump on Foley, he and Flair double team Foley and then send him knees first right into the ringsteps. Orton and Foley are back in the ring and Evolution are clearly in control, as Flair gets tagged in and dominates Foley, and tags Orton back in, dominates some more, and then gets the Animal back in. Foley tries a comeback with the Mandible claw on Batista, but Orton delivers a big boot to stop anything from happening. Foley gives Batista a big swinging neckbreaker and tries to make his way to The Rock, but Batista tags in Flair, Foley takes down Flair and finally is able to tag in Rocky. Rock comes in like a house of fire and hit everyone in Evolution, but a Batista spinebuster ends it. Flair decides to mock the Rock and goes for a People's Elbow, but Rock nips up and gives him a couple right hands. Rock delivers a spinebuster of his own to Flair and then gives the real People's elbow to the Nature Boy, but Natch kicks out a 2. Orton tags in and the two 3rd generation stars go at it for a bit before a Rock Bottom is given to Orton. Before Rock can get the pinfall, Flair pulls him out of the ring, Flair then distracts the referee, which allows Batista to come in and hit a big Batista Bomb on Rock, but Rock kicks out from the Orton cover. Rock tags in a fresh Foley, who then takes it to all of Evolution, and then he hits the double arm DDT on Orton and then goes for a Socko enhanced Mandible Claw, but from literally out of nowhere, Orton hits the RKO and gets the pinfall and the win. Evolution are victorious and leave the arena happily celebrating. The crowd then gives Foley and Rock some love as we get a loud Foley chant from the NYC crowd. Rock and Foley hug it up. Not a bad match her, once again showcasing a young buck getting a big win.

Video from the previous night's Hall of Fame ceremony are shown, the first WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and inductions since 1995. The inductees are Don Muraco, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Big John Studd, Superstar Billy Graham, Sgt. Slaughter, Junkyard Dog, Tito Santana, Harley Race, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, with Pete Rose being the first inductee into the celebrity wing of the Hall of Fame. Mean Gene is out to welcome the entire class of 2004. Overall a good and worthy class.

Same future commercial plays for WWEShop.com after this.

*Time for boobs! The next match is the Playboy Evening Gown match, oddly the winners will be determined by pinfall or submission. Out first representing Smackdown, is Sable followed by her partner for the night Torrie Wilson, next are their opponents from Raw Miss Jackie and Stacy Kiebler. Sable, doing us all a solid, says that she and Torrie Wilson will start this match off with their gowns off. Stacy does the same, but Jackie doesn't. Sable toss her in the ring to begin the match and then removes her gown, giving us a complete set of bra and panty wearing ladies. Not much to say about this one, good eye candy, but not much substance. Torrie and Sable get the win. The kiss on the stage in celebration.

We get to see and hear some folks from all over the world who have come her for WrestleMania. Next we see Guerrero and Benoit, with Eddie and Benoit playing up how big this night is for both of them. Eddie fires up Benoit for the match.

*The Cruiserweight Open is next. The match is elimination style, 2 guys start the match off, you get pinned or submitted you are out, last guy left is the Cruiserweight champion. The participants are the reigning Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero being accompanied by his father Chavo Sr., next is Nunzio, Jamie Noble, Tajiri, Aikio, Funaki, Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon, Billy Kidman, and last but not least, Rey Mysterio, rocking a Flash costume for Mania this year. Ultimo Dragon and Shannon Moore will start the match off. Dragon hits a move that looks a little like Kalisto's finisher and gets the pin and eliminates Shannon Moore. Jamie Noble is in the ring next to face off against Dragon, he hammers him from behind as soon as he gets in the match. 2 quick eliminations as Noble makes Dragon tap out and Funaki hits a flying crossbody on Noble, but Noble counter it with a roll up and gets the pin and eliminates Funaki. Nunzio is in the ring with Noble, Noble is on a roll as he hits a senton on Nunzio while Nunzio is on the outside. That allows Nunzio to get counted out and gives Noble his 3rd elimination. Billy Kidman is in the ring next to try and slow down the Jamie Noble buzzsaw. Nunzio tries to get some payback on Noble and pulls him out of the ring, Kidman then hits an outside Shooting Star Press on both Noble and Nunzio. Kidman hits a BK Bomb from the top rope on Noble and finally eliminates him. Mysterio is up next and enters the match with a huge seated senton on Kidman. Mysterio gets the elimination on Kidman and we are down to 4 with Mysterio, Tajiri, Aikio, and Chavo left. Tajiri is next in the ring and takes it to Mysterio, but Rey manages to hit a 619 on Tajiri, but misses with the West Coast Pop as Tajiri his him with a side kick. Aikio tries to hold Rey in place so Tajiri can use the green mist, but it backfires as Rey dodges the mist, the mist hits Aikio, and then Rey rolls up Tajiri to eliminate him and because of the mist to the eyes, Aikio can no longer participate, leaving us with Mysterio and Chavo. Before Tarjiri leaves he hit Rey with a sneaky kick to the back of the head. Chavon slides in the ring and looks to take advantage and takes it to a weakened Rey. Chavo Classic tries to get involved, but Rey takes him out at the legs before he can. Rey jumps over referee Charles Robinson and hits Classic with a seated Senton. Rey gets back into the ring and looks to end Chavo, Chavo gets him with a roll up and with the help of his father, he steals the victory and keeps his Championship. That was a whole mess of fun, good work from the Cruiserweights.

*The upcoming match on the card is the big Bill Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar match with special guest referee, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The confrontations between Goldberg, Lesnar, and Austin over the last few months are shown. Out first is the ever popular guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin. Next is Brock Lesnar, out to an expect string of boos and finally Goldberg, to a lukewarm response. A loud "You Sold Out" chant is heard, as we all know this was the last night in WWE for Goldberg and Lesnar's last night until 2012, so the crowd was pretty pissed at both guys, it doesn't help them that they have had a slow start to the match and nobody has thrown a damn punch yet. We then follow that up with a singing of "Na Na Na Na, Hey hey hey, Goodbye" as JR does indeed mention that Lesnar is leaving to pursue a football career. And now we get a huge Austin chants as clearly the most over and liked guy in this match is the referee. Finally we get some contact between the 2 with a collar and elbow tie up. King and JR rightly point out that both guys seemed a little reluctant to get it on. Both men try to take each other down with tackles, but it takes a couple times as the each knock each other down. Goldberg takes command of the match with a Military slam and almost lands the spear, but Brock gives him the slip and causes Goldberg to crash into the steel ring post. Now we're getting a "Goldberg Sucks" chant, back in the ring Lesnar blocks a suplex by Goldberg and gives him a suplex of their own. King tries to spin that "Goldberg Sucks" chant by playing up the whole interpromotional rivalry between Raw and Smackdown, not buying it. Back in the ring, Lesnar gets control of Goldberg with a head/neck lock, but Goldberg manages to escape. There is a sloppy knock down between the 2 which prompts the crowd to chant "This Match Sucks", kinda hard not to agree. Goldberg finally gets some momentum and hits the spear, but Lesnar kicks out and Goldberg gets in the face of Austin, but that gives Lesnar time to recover and hit an F5 on Goldberg, Goldberg kicks out and Lesnar gets in the face of Austin. Lesnar then attempts his own spear but misses and hits the ring post, Goldberg then lands another Spear of his own and then the Jackhammer and gets the 1-2-3, the crowd won over a bit as well. Classy act by Lesnar as he gives the middle fingers to the hostile NYC crowd and then to Austin who Stuns him right out of the WWE. As Austin starts the beer bash to celebrate Goldberg joins him back in the ring. Goldberg, not getting a good reaction though. Austin, ends the fun with a Stunner to Goldberg, and hasta luego to Goldberg. What a dull and boring match.

Fireworks are shot out from a building in New York, to celebrate WM 20. Vince McMahon is out now and thanks the fans for the support over the years and says that without the fans, WrestleMania would not exist.

*The second Sudden Death Fatal 4 Way Match of the evening is up and its for the WWE Tag Team Championships. The Teams facing off are The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas), the A.P.A., The Basham Brothers, and the defending champs Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty. Shelton and Bradshaw start things off as Bradshaw hammers him with some clubbing blows. Haas and Benjamin perform their combo on Scotty and nearly get the 3, but he fights them off, Doug Basham tags himself in and almost got the win, but Bradshaw broke in up. Lots of near falls and breaks are happening, mostly on Scotty as he is trying to tag in Big Uce, he finally gets in and he is cleaning house, taking out everyone. A tradition unlike any other happens, as somebody had to take a stinkface at Mania, this year it was Charlie Haas who got one. Bradshaw hits the Clothesline from Hell on Doug Basham, and almost lands one on Kishi, but the big man dodges and hits him with a Samoan Drop. Rikishi sits on Doug to get the 1-2-3 and he and Scotty retain their titles at WrestleMania. We then get a little dancing in as the champs celebrate, too bad Grand Master Sexay was a fuck up because he'd be here too. Anyway, this was another fun match and a nice pallet cleanser after that Lesnar/Goldberg match.

An Edge return promo is played, the guy was on the shelf for over a year so you know the fans were hyped when this was played.

Jesse Ventura is out here for an interview like the old days, the person he is going to interview is none other then Donald Trump, former host of WrestleManias 4 and 5, the future winner of the Battle of the Billionaires, and hope to God not the future President of these here United States. Thankfully the interview was short.

*Coming up next is the Title vs Hair match for the WWE Women's Championship, with the Champion Victoria vs the lovely Molly Holly. Molly starts off the match dominating Victoria, having the urgency of wanting the title and not wanting her head shaved. Victoria fights her way back into the match and gives Molly a nice power slam for a near 3 count. Molly gets back in control with a sunset flip powerbomb and is in firm control of the match, but not for long as she tried to hit the Widow's Peek on Victoria, Victoria counters into a backslide and gets the win, the title, and sealing the haircut for Molly. Ms. Holly, not wanting to lose her hair, tries to make an escape and then puts Victoria in the barber chair. Before she can plug the clippers in and shave her head, Victoria uses some hair spray to escape, slams Molly's head off of the barber's table, and finally puts her in the chair and straps her in the chair. Poor Molly is getting her head shaved and there isn't a damn thing she can do about it.

*Coming up, we have the WWE Championship match between champion Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle. We have the video package playing and detailing the history of the Guerrero/Angle feud. The haircut is finally over, as Molly is completely bald and our olympic champion, Kurt Angle is on his way to the ring. The champ, Eddie Guerrero, is out in a lowrider pick up truck. Kurt and Eddie are fired up and ready to go as we get a lock up and a lot of mat work to start this off. Angle gets a side headlock on Eddie, getting two near falls and wearing down the champ, Eddie wrestles his way back in with a solid key-lock on Angle, Kurt fights back and gets an abdominal stretch in on Eddie, Eddie briefly fights his way out with a vertical suplex, Kurt counters with a German Suplex of his own and tries to give Eddie a German from the ring apron, but Eddie fights him off. Eddie goes for a crossbody on Kurt on the outside, but Kurt moves out of the way and Eddie crashes into the barricade, Kurt gets him back in the ring and really begins to work on Eddie's ribs and back, locking in a backbreaker and snapmare and then locks in a body scissors. Kurt then takes us on a little trip to Suplex City, with a string of Belly to Belly suplexes, and then locks in a Bearhug on Eddie, Eddie gets out for a second, but Angle hits another Belly to Belly on Eddie. Eddie fights back and tries to land a Frog Splash, but Angle rolls out of the way and then begins to stomp on Guerrero. Kurt hits a series of straight right hands, but Eddie eats them and then lands a few of his own, followed by his own suplex, and he gets briefly in control, but Angle hits another German. Eddie tries for a roll up, but Kurt escapes and then hits Eddie with a sick clothesline. Guerrero gets back into the match and he lands a few suplexes of his own, Kurt counters the 3rd attempt with an Ankle Lock, but Eddie escape and goes for the Frog Splash, but Kurt pops up and tosses Eddie from the top rope and almost lands a 3. Straps come down as Kurt means business and he locks the Ankle Lock on again. Eddie fights out and manages to land a Frog Splash, but Kurt barely kicks out at 2, much to Eddie disbelief and disappointment. Angle plays possum and gets another Ankle Lock in on Guerrero, he hangs on and sends Angle out of the ring through the second rope. Eddie starts to untie his boots, taking some pressure off his ankle, Angle smells blood and goes for another Ankle Lock, but Eddie slips out of the lock and his boot, rolls up Angle, used the ropes for leverage, and gets the win. Kurt is livid at the cheating ways of Eddie, and Eddie leaves the Garden a victor and still WWE Champion. Very entertaining stuff from both men. Good show!

*The match between Kane and the returning Undertaker is next. We get a video package highlighting Kane burying Undertaker alive and all the theatrics leading up to Taker's return here tonight. Kane is out for the match first. Anticipation builds as the lights go out, the eerie and familiar voice of Paul Bearer cries out "Oh,Yeah", druids follow Paul out to the ring, and then...the bell tolls and yes, he is here. For the first time since 1999, the Undertaker returns as the Deadman. As much as I enjoyed the American Badass Taker, there is just something special about him as the Deadman. It takes Kane a minute to accept that his brother stands before him, as he keeps shouting "You're Not Real!" to him, but Taker starts things off quickly with a series of rights and lefts and even gives the referee a scare. Taker is in full control with a series of corner splashes and clotheslines, Taker attempts a Last Ride but Kane hangs him up on the ropes and finally mounts an offense. Kane hits the flying clothesline, but it only gets him a 2. Taker goes for Old School, but Kane counters with a choke, Taker then gets a choke of his own, but it is of no use as Kane overpowers him and hits his own chokeslam, but Taker sits up and it scares Kane. Taker hits his own chokeslam and signals that the end is near, Kane stumbles up and stumbles into Taker, Tombstone, 1-2-3, and Taker wins, moving the Streak to 12-0. Yep, Taker is fully back. Taker and Kane did a good job in this, Kane acting being especially good in showing the fear he has for his brother.

*Main Event Time:The final match of the night is for the World Heavyweight Championship, as the Royal Rumble winner Chris Benoit takes on Shawn Michaels and the World Champion, Triple H. The great video tells the tale of how each man got here, Benoit winning the Royal Rumble, HBK getting inserted into the match by HBK, and Triple H being the champion. First out for the match is Shawn Michaels, followed by Chris Benoit (clear fan favorite), and finally the champ rocking the white boots, Triple H. Match begins with HBK laying into H, but Benoit and HBK start going at each other. H gets back into the match with a big clothesline on HBK and then proceeds to take down Benoit. Michaels takes out Benoit and H with a moonsault and then he H take the action back in the ring. HHH almost hit a Pedigree, but Benoit breaks it up and then drive HBK into the ringpost, and hits HHH with a suplex and a couple of chops to the chest. Triple H gets full control by hanging Benoit in the Tree of Woe and then throwing HBK into him, H goes for it again, but Benoit kicks him and then HBK rolls him up. A flying forearm from HBK takes down H, but as he nips up, Benoit throws him out of the ring. Benoit then takes HHH on a trip to Suplex City and goes for the flying headbutt, but HBK prevents it and almost nails Sweet Chin Music on HHH, but he dodges and hits a DDT. H then gets Benoit in position for a superplex and nails it, but only for a 2 count. HBK then hits a German on Benoit, but he prevents more by countering into his own and taking HBK on a trip. He then lands the flying headbutt, but Shawn finds a way to kick out. HBK lands the flying elbow on HHH and begins to tune up the band and hits him with Sweet Chin Music, HBK looked to have the win, but Benoit pulled him out of the ring. HBK gets busted open after Benoit catapulted him into the ringpost, Benoit locks in the Crossface but HHH stops his hand from hitting the mat and H breaks up the Crossface. HHH then removes things from the announce tables, Benoit then tries to German H through on of them but HHH counters and then HBK and HHH give Benoit a double suplex through the announce table, essentially leaving things to HBK and HHH. The match goes back and forth as HHH and HBK beat the hell out of each other. HHH lands a Pedigree on HBK and looks to have the win, but from out of nowhere, Benoit gets in the ring and breaks up the 3 count. HHH has also been busted open and Benoit takes the fight to him with a series of chops, H tries for a Pedigree, but Benoit counters it into a Sharpshooter, H nearly gets to the ropes but Benoit pulls him back, HHH almost taps out but some Sweet Chin Music from Michaels to Benoit breaks it up. HBK crawls over to pin Benoit, but it only gets a 2. Shawn tunes the band up 1 more time, but Benoit sends him over the top. H has a brief time to recover and signals for the Pedigree, Benoit counters and locks in the Crossface in the middle of the ring, H tries to crawl to the ropes, Benoit keeps the hold locked on and rolls him to the middle of the ring, there is nothing left for the champ to do. HHH taps out and we have a new World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Benoit. Excellent match from all three men, Benoit, HBK, and Triple H did an outstanding job here. Eddie makes his way out to the ring and gives a heartfelt embrace to Benoit, tears are being shed by both men and what an image and celebration this is, two men who shouldn't have gotten to the main event, have made it. We get a montage over the evenings matches to close out.

Final Thoughts: Usually we expect some big things to happen at any WrestleMania ending in a 5 or 0, so this one certainly had some hype to live up to, and for the most part it delivered. The Evolution vs Rock and Sock match was pretty good, the Cruiserweight open was about as good as it could be, the Title vs Hair match, while short, was really entertaining. Both Tag Title matches were good, Jericho vs Christian is underrated, not just for ring work but for story, the Evening Gown match was about what you would expect it to be, lots of boobs, no substance. Seeing the return of the Deadman Undertaker was awesome and like I said Kane should get a lot of credit for his acting in this match.

As with every Mania there was going to be a dud, who just would've expected it to be from the Goldberg/Lesnar match. Both guys were on their way out and they did not leave a good impression on the fans. Each guy looked like they would rather be any place else but in the Garden, Lesnar especially. The fans were not really into it and had Austin not been out there they would've completely shat on this more than they did.

Onto the title matches, Guerrero/Angle and Benoit/HBK/HHH. Eddie and Kurt delivered a very fun and well worked match here. The momentum swung back and forth, and both guys looked strong throughout. The tricky ending by Eddie was what you would expect, fun way to end the title match. The Triple Threat was also well done. You felt how badly the crowd wanted Benoit to win the match and how desperate HHH and HBK were to win as well. This match has a lot of similarities to the Bryan/Batista/Orton match from WM 30, not a diss or anything to that match at all. The story and background worked great here and that ending is classic. With what would happen in the following years, Eddie passing away and the Benoit double murder/suicide, it does take a ton away from the ending, and any Benoit match is really hard for me personally to watch. I try my best to seperate the wrestler from the horrible acts he did, but it is really hard. That being said the match does indeed hold up. Is it the greatest WM main event of all time like so many people back then were saying? That is up to you alone to decide, but for my money no. I still have a bunch to get through before I personally make up my mind on that one.

To close, the 20 WrestleMania was an overall successful show. Aside one match, there were no reall bad duds on this one. The venue was beautiful, even though it was in a smaller place Mania itself still had that air of importance. Overall, WM 20 is one that does hold up and is worth going back to. Next I'll go Hollywood swinging as I take a look at the 20th Anniversary of WrestleMania, WrestleMania 21!!
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:46 am

WWE WrestleMania 21- Los Angelas, California

*We are here in the year 2005 and some things have shaken up in the WWE. Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg are no longer apart of the company, neither is The Rock, who is nowhere to be seen after being apart of the last 7 Manias. John Cena has emerged as the hottest star on Smackdown and Batista has come from out of nowhere to be his equal on Raw. Randy Orton has had a botched face turn, Edge has made a full recovery from his devastating neck injury. And probably the biggest surprise of all is the rise of former tag team specialist Bradshaw, now going by John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who has held the WWE Championship for almost a full year on the Smackdown brand. WrestleMania has gone Hollywood and we shall follow it!

The show starts off with Lillian Garcia giving a great performance of America the Beautiful. The venue is the Staple's Center, home to the NBA's L.A. Lakers and Clippers, the WNBA L.A. Sparks, and the NHL L.A. Kings. The look of the stage is like an marque on a movie theater, very cool look and just like last year, the smaller venue doesn't make it have a smaller feel. It has the look and vibe of a big time WrestleMania. During Lillian's singing, we see some images of the superstars with the troops from one of the Tribute to the Troops shows. Next we see the highlights of all those WWE movie parody commercials, Booker T and Eddie in Pulp Fiction, John Cena and JBL in A Few Good Men, Eugene in Forest Gump, Triple H and Ric Flair in Brave Heart, Kurt Angle and Christy Hemme in Sleepless in Seattle, Rey Mysterio, Batista and a couple others in Taxi Driver, Christian, Benoit, and Stacy Kiebler in Basic Instinct, and Undertaker in Dirty Harry and finally Stone Cold in a Gladiator parody. After all of that, we get our opening pyro, and we hear the familiar voices of JR and King calling the action for Raw, the hispanic team of Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera, and calling it for Smackdown, Michael Cole and Tazz.

*First match of the night is Tag Champion vs Tag Champion as Eddie Guerrero faces off with his partner and co-WWE Tag Team Champion, Rey Mysterio. Evenly matched at the beginning, but Eddie gains a little advantage after he launced Rey over the top rope, Rey is able to quickly recover and we're back to square one, with both men bridging out of a cover. Guerrero ground Mysterio with a key-hold, but Mysterio manages to escape, but is again sent to the outside with a forearm smash and then takes control with an over the top rope moonsault. After spending several minutes in a few submissions, Rey escapes and takes control, first with an armdrag that sends Eddie to the outside, and then hits him with an outside plancha. But just as Rey was continuing his comeback in the ring, Eddie gives him a stiff elbow to end his momentum. Eddie twice goes for the Three Amigos, but Rey counters each time, the second time he gets Eddie in position for the 619, but Eddie had it scouted and lands a sick backbreaker on Rey, nearly getting him the 3. Guerrero finally lands the Three Amigos and goes for the Frog Splash, but Mysterio rolls out of the way at the last second. Rey hits the 619 and as he goes for the West Coast Pop, Eddie counters into a powerbomb pin, but only for the 2. Rey recovers and hits Eddie with a Hurricanrana, gets the cover and the win. Great way to open the show up and excellent work from both men.

In the back we see the reigning WWE Champion JBL with his stooges United States Champion Orlando Jordan and The Basham Brothers. JBL and his boys run into the reinging World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and his right hand man, Ric Flair. Just a pissing contest between these two, nothing more. Adam Sandler and his tag along Rob Schneider are at ringside for the show.

*First match of the night for Raw is the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder match, winner gets a World Championship match anytime, anyplace for up to 1 year. The participants are Chris Jericho (the inventor of the Money in the Bank match), Chris Benoit, Christian with Tyson Tomko, Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin, Edge, and lastly Kane whose pyro sets the ladders on stage on fire. Everyone exits the ring to go after Kane, who is fully prepared and takes it to everyone and heads to the ring to get a ladder, but everyone catches up with him. The bell finally rings as Jericho hits Christian in the face with a ladder, Benjamin then takes it to Jericho for a bit, but Jericho gives him a bulldog for his troubles. Jericho does a crossbody to take down Edge and Benoit. Christian does a springboard to take down Jericho, Edge, and Benoit. Benjamin does his own over the top move to take out Y2J, Benoit, Christian, Edge, and even Tomko! Finally Kane gets in on the fun and launches his body taking out everyone except Edge and Christian, both of whom were still down. Kane gets the first ladder in the ring and smashes it into both Edge and Christian, not much time for him to walk tall as Jericho gives him a missile dropkick to take down Kane. Edge and Christian have a brief reunion as the smashes Kane in between 2 ladders, but are taken down by a flying Benjamin. 5 men are all on ladders, climbing up and fighting for the briefcase, and one by one they all fall down, except Edge who gets taken down by a T-bone suplex from Shelton Benjamin. Christian wedges a ladder on the steps of another ladder, but before he can do anything Jericho takes him out and begins to climb the ladder, from out of nowhere Benjamin runs up the wedged ladder and clostheslines Jericho off of it! Benjamin looks to have a clear path to the title, but Christian uses the ladder to hit Benjamin in the chest, Kane then tries to chokeslam him, but lucky for Shelton the ropes broke his fall. Tomko (playing the role of Rhyno from WM 17) then levels Kane with a big boot and sets up a ladder and puts Christian on his shoulders to give Christian a boost, but Kane recovers and clotheslines Tomko to the outside of the ring and then pushes the ladder with Christian on it to the outside, causing him to land on Tomko. Kane is in the driver's seat, but Y2J tries to stop him, but he ends up taking down them both. He lands outside the ring and effectively takes himself out of the match. Benoit is back in the match and sets a ladder up in the corner and then delivers a skyhigh flying headbutt to Kane, busting open his own forehead in the process!! Benoit puts the ladder back up and is climbing up to get the briefcase, Kane sits up and climbs the ladder as well, Kane goes for the chokeslam, but Benoit says fuck that and uses his fists and his head as weapons to take Kane down. Just when it looks like Benoit has the match won, a chair shot from Edge takes him out. Edge makes his way up, unhooks the briefcase, and wins the first ever Money in the Bank. Edge gets the win and earns the name the Ultimate Opportunist! Even after all the different Mitb matches we've seen over the years, this one still holds up rather well. Good work by the 6 participants and Tomko.

For some reason, Eugene makes his was out to the ring, reminding me way this was a bad idea. Muhammad Hassan and Daviari are out to interrupt Eugene. Bad timing and a stupid terroist involvement are what stopped Hassan from being bigger than he was. Shame, this character had potential, because most of what he is saying isn't wrong. Anyway, Hassan is pissed by not being at Mania and says that he will not stand for it and will create his own Mania moment. He and Daviari begin to beat the hell out of Eugene, locking him in the Camel Clutch. Suddenly, America's Hero, Hulk Hogan makes his WrestleMania return and just as he did in the 1980s, he is here to once again protect freedom and justice. Hassan and Daviari try to fight him off, but the power of America and the power of Hulkamania are too much as Hogan beats down on both men and ends it by sending Hassan to the outside. Daviari tries to hit him with a steel, but it does no good as Hogan is immune to steel. Hogan sends Daviari to the outside and the crowd eats it all up. Ripped tank top, poses, and hyping up the crowd ends this segment. Former WCW Champion David Arquette is also at ringside along with Hulk's daughter Brooke, loving all of this. That was fun.

*Coming up is Undertaker vs Randy Orton. This WrestleMania marks the first time that the Streak is not only mentioned heavily, but used as the central point and focus of an Undertaker match. The video package amps this up as well, showing all of Taker's previous victories and the men he has beaten. Nicely done work in the build to this match. Out first are the druids, then The Undertaker. As always, the man has the best entrance in wrestling. Randy Orton is out next, the Legend vs Legend Killer match. Orton starts things off with a slap and Taker doesn't find that amusing, but Orton's youth and speed allow him to gain some early control with an dropkick and back body drop. After some leapfrogging by both men, Taker decks Orton with a right hand, giving him the upper hand, a leg drop on an apron laid Orton furthers the Deadman's dominance, and Old School hammers that point home. Orton avoid a corner big boot, that sends Taker to the apron, a dropkick puts Taker on the ground. Orton avoids a big boot after Snake eyes and lands a big back elbow to Taker, just as he is celebrating, Taker sits up, to his disbelief. Referee Earl Hebner is knocked down as Taker pushes Orton away from him, avoiding an RKO. Orton escapes an attempted Last Ride, when suddenly his father, Bob Orton, comes out and nails Taker in the head with his cast (shame his arm never healed), Taker kicks out to keep the match and Streak alive. Taker sits up, pissed at the antics of both Ortons and lays into Randy with some rights and lefts and then delivers a big boot to Bob. Taker goes for a chokeslam but Orton counters it into an RKO from out of nowhere!! Taker kicks outs somehow and the match continues. Orton, being the dick he is, signals for the Tombstone, but Taker reverses it into a Tombstone of his own! 1-2-3 and that's all she wrote! Undertaker gets the win and moves to 13-0 as the Streak continues! Great match from both Taker and Orton, the involvement by Bob Orton was well done. Excellent match!

*First championship match of the night is here as Trish Stratus defends her Championship against Playboy cover girl and the first Diva search winner, Christy Hemme, who was trained by Lita for this match. Christy is out first, looking lovely in red and with her coach Lita. Out next is the champ, Trish Stratus. Trish, showing no respect to Christy, actually lays down and dares her to try and cover her. Action moves to the outside as she slams Christy into the steps, moves the action back in the ring and then lays a few knife edge chops to Hemme. Trish goes for the Chick Kick to end things, but Hemme counters and as Lita distracts the ref, Christy gets a kick in herself right to Trish's lady parts. Ouch! Trish regains control with some more chops, and goes for a corner spear, but Hemme counters into a roll up. Trish escapes and then lands a spear and almost gets the 3. Trish punishes Hemmer some more and even shoves Lita while they are on the outside, taunting Lita almost costs Trish as Hemme nearly gets the win with a roll up. Hemme then slams Stratus a few times into the turnbuckle and then hits a Twist of Fate, but can't get the 3. Hemme and Trish trade reversals, eventually leading to Trish landing a Chick Kick on Hemme and giving her the win and allowing her to retain her title. No the most technically sound match or even that good, but I think this is symbolic of the faith WWE had in Trish at the time, that she could carry someone with much less experience to at least a watchable match. Really shows how far Trish has grown from her first days with the company.

*Up next is another interpromotional match as Raw's Shawn Michaels takes on Smackdown's Kurt Angle. We see where this feud began, at the Royal Rumble where HBK eliminated Angle via Sweet Chin Music, with Angle coming back in and eliminating Shawn and beating the hell out of him. We also go back to 1996 where Kurt Angle is pissed that while he was winning a gold medal, everyone was talking about HBK and Bret at WM 12. So much bad blood between the two, this should be good. Out first is Shawn Michaels, getting a lot of love from the Hollywood crowd, follwed by our hero, savior, and true olympic champion, Kurt Angle! The match starts with some trash talking and a staredown, then HBK gives Angle a swift slap to the face, Angle doesn't like that and immediately takes down HBK. Lots of mat work to start this off, playing into the still of Angle, but HBK is no stranger to it as well. To the surprise of both JR, King, and especially Angle, HBK is not only trying to out wrestle Angle, but is succeeding in doing it, throwing Kurt off his game a bit. After some fighting back and a brief Ankle Lock by Angle, HBK sends both he and Angle to the outside and then begins to remove the covering from the Smackdown announce table. Angle goes for an Angle Slam through the table, but HBK prevents that, however Kurt instead rams him into the ring post and begins to work on the back of HBK with a suplex and a side body scissors. Back and forth the match goes, until Angle gains full control with a string of Belly to Belly suplexes, he then plants his knee it the back of Michaels and locks in a head lock. HBK fights his way back into the match and gets Angle in position for the flying elbow, but Angle dodges and takes off the straps, business has just picked up. HBK manages to land a crossbody to the outside on Angle, Kurt then tries to give HBK a German suplex through the table, but a low blow prevents that and a kick to the face sends Angle on top of the table. HBK then launches his body at Kurt, landing on but not breaking the table! Both guys barely beat the 10 count and then start to trade blows as both are worn out. HBK nips up,then he goes for another flying elbow, and then starts to tune up the band! Angle catches HBK's foot to block Sweet Chin Music and then puts Shawn in the Ankle Lock, Shawn crawls and crawls to the rope and finally makes it, forces the hold to be broken. Angle goes for the Slam, HBK reverses into a roll up, but Angle reverses and puts the Ankle Lock on HBK once again! Angle manages to hit the Angle Slam, but only for a 2 count, with Angle showing his frustration goes for the moonsault, but Michaels rolls out the way. HBK goes for one more flying elbow, but Kurt in a burst of speed gets to the top and delivers an Angle Slam! 1-2 and HBK still kicks out! Angle is beyond pissed and grabs HBK and screams in his face, that might've been a mistake as HBK hits him with Sweet Chin Music, but is too worn out to go for the cover right away! HBK, is out of it and thinks he's won, but Angle puts in the Ankle Lock one more time, HBK tries to kick him off and break the hold, but it is no use, Kurt is not letting go, eventually getting a grapevine on Shawn's legs! Finally HBK has no choice but to tap out, Kurt Angle was this outstanding match! Amazing from Angle and amazing from Shawn Michaels!

It's time for a special WrestleMania edition of Piper's Pit, with your host the late great 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper! The guest for tonight's Pit is none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin! The two biggest rebels in company history are face to face and the show begins with some not so friendly slaps between the two! Piper is having none of the "What?" chants, dude is handling them like a pro. Piper is reminding Austin that he was pissing off Vince when the red on Austin's neck was diaper rash and that no one has anything on him when it comes to being a rebel! Austin says he isn't impressed or intimidated by Piper. Out to interupt the goings on is none other than Carlito, another example of wasted potential. Carly comes out and says that no one wants to see Piper and Austin, Austin then invites him into the ring. Piper then takes Carlito's apple and then spits it into his face, Carlito then takes some shots at Piper, to Austin's delight. Austin then stomps a mudhole in Carly and walks it dry and with Piper's helps gives him a Stunner! Beers are had in celebration between Austin and Piper, until Austin gives a Stunner to Piper, ending things. That was fun.

*The Sumo match is coming up with The Big Show facing off against Akebono. Big Show in a thong, something I could've died happy never seen. Ceremony and hand slapping start this affair off. Lots of pushing and shoving in this by the big men, Show goes for a lift of Akebono, but Ake quickly reverses it and then gets thrown from the ring, giving the win to Akebono. That one was surprisingly entertaining.

*Follwing that is the WWE Championship Match between the champ JBL and the challenger John Cena. Lots of footage of the build up to this one is shown, with Teddy Long getting an FU and making rule that if Cena hits JBL before the match then Cena forfits his title shot and if JBL hits Cena, Cena can strike back. Out first for the match is the champ, having a police escort out to the ring with his limo, and having JBL dollars poor down from the roof of the building! JBL sends Orlando back in the limo, wanting to do this by himself, putting his 242 day title reign on the line. Cena is out next coming to the ring with his old #54 Chaingang jersey and having his new (now old) song, The Time is Now, play. Crowd still loves Cena, wanting to see the man win the title. Fast pace action from both men to start off, trading some shoulder tackles in the beginning. JBL gets control with some clubbing blows and big boots. Cena has not had a chance to get on the attack, as JBL lands a series of forearm shots and a clothesline, and then locking in the sleeper hold, dominating performance by JBL. A desperation side suplex gives Cena some hope, both men knock each other down with clotheslines, starting the ref's 10 count, Cena makes his way to his feet and lands a few blows, but JBL sends him to the outside and then lands a wicked neckbreaker on the outside floor, JBL gets him back into the ring and then lands a big superplex on Cena, but Cena again kicks out. JBL heads to the top rope and flys, but Cena reverses it into a scoop slam!! Cena finally gets some sustained offense with a series of tackle, hip tosses, and some blows of his own, ending that flurry with his signature side slam. A Five Knuckle Shuffle does further damage to JBL. Cena picks the champ up and tosses him into a corner and makes a sprint towards him, but Bradshaw lands a big boot and goes for a Clothesline from Hell, but Cena ducks and lifts the man up for an FU and lands it. 1-2-3 and John Cena is the new WWE Champion! Pretty good championship match, seemed a little short though. Note that this is the last time for a while that a full crowd would celebrate a John Cena world championship win as the boos birds would be born within the next year. Anyway, good but short match.

Next up we see video from the previous night's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Class of 2005 is Hulk Hogan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, Nikolai Volkoff, Iron Sheik, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, and "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. Ceremony seemed like it was a good time to be had. Mean Gene is out so that the Hall of Famers can have some fun with the live crowd.

*Main Event Time:This match is for the World Heavyweight Championship as the champion Triple H takes on his former student and winner of the 2005 Royal Rumble Batista. We see the build of this match and the implosion of Evolution, highlighting the beat down of Orton, Batista winning the Rumble, the signing of the contract for the match, and all the fall out from it. Well built feud, well made video, can't wait to watch this one! Out first is the champ and once again playing the man's music is the legendary Motorhead, as always great to hear and see these guys play Triple H down to the ring! Triple H appears from the stage that Motorhead is playing on and then makes his way to the ring, followed by Ric Flair. Next to the ring is the challenger, the Animal, Batista! H tries to get in the head of Batista early, doesn't work and the bell rings to start the match, the two men lock up like a couple of bulls and the ref forces the break. HHH and Batista trade knock down and shoulder blocks, each sending the other down, Batista then gains an upper hand with a press slam and then sends HHH into a corner and land some elbow shots and then a back body drop. H gets some breathing room with a high knee that sends Batista to the outside. Flair briefly distracts Batista which allows H to send Batista into the steps. As the Animal tries to get back in the ring, HHH lands an elbow drop, giving him full control of the match. Flair gets him a piece and chokes Batista with his sport's coat as HHH occupies the ref, allowing H to repeatedly slam Batista into the ring side and the barricade. Back in the ring H lands a big suplex, continuing to work on the back of Batista. Batista mounts a small comeback, but a spinebuster by The Game ends that. The Game heads to the top rope and flies right into a Batista clothesline and then lands a sidewalk slam on H, giving him a near fall. HHH comes back with a big boot, but the power of Batista sends him outside of the ring! Batista is sent into the steps shoulder first again and Triple H moves the stairs and looks to be setting up for a Pedigree on the stairs! Batista counters and catapults the Game head first into the ringpost and is busted wide open!! Batista sees and smells blood and then slams the head several times into the ring steps. Batista then gives a few shots to the head to the bloodied champion and ends it with a kick to the head, and sending him back and forth between the corners, following those up with clotheslines! Flair tries to get involved, but Batista takes him down, H tries to get a chair but the ref stops it. Flair tries to get the belt involved but is given a spinebuster, but H does manage to use it, but it does no good as Batista kicks out. A hard spinebuster to the Game, but before the Batista Bomb could be given, H lands a low blow, just as he goes for the Pedigree, Batista powers out of it and then gives him a slam. Batista is feeling it and shakes the rope, thumbs up and thumbs down, Batista Bomb!! 1-2-3 and yes Batista has beaten HHH and won the World Heavyweight Championship!! Well worked and well built story made for an excellent match and main event. A new era for both Raw and Smackdown have been kicked off on this night as Batista is the WHC and Cena is the WWE Champion!! We get a replay of the night's events to end that show and that wraps up the 21st WrestleMania event!

WrestleMania went Hollywood on this night and the show managed to deliver on everything. The first Money in the Bank match is as good now as it was back then, Mysterio/Guerrero had one of the best matches to kick off a Mania ever, Angle/HBK was a classic, and hell even the sumo match was fun for what it was. Piper's Pit delivered big with Piper, Austin, and Carlito. The Hogan and Hassan stuff was good as well.

The one dud match might have been the Stratus/Hemme match, but given how inexperienced Hemme was, it could've been far worse. Like I said, this one to me was symbolic of the progress Trish made and the worker that she had become, that they were now trusting her with carrying a match with a far less experienced worker.

Onto the more marque matches. Taker/Orton was an outstanding match, it really lived up to a young lion challenging the old lion. Orton was great here as the cocky, arrogant, and talented d-bag heel and Taker was great as the dominated and experienced veteran. Bob Orton involvement was well done as well, using his work famous cast to try and get his son the win. Had Orton had the common sense and maturity that he has now back then, I would say Orton would've been the perfect guy to end the Streak. It hadn't yet been established into what it is today, so while there would've been pressure on him to succeed, it wouldn't be as great as it would be in later years. Still, Orton challenging it as the Legend Killer was the perfect way to kick off having the Streak be an attraction at WrestleMania.

Cena/JBL was a little short, but the match was still well done. You saw what would become a staple of John Cena, his ability to comeback from almost any kind of punishment (whether folks like it or not). JBL's run as champion was a fun ride, dude came off as both cowardly and dominate at the same time. He was vulnerable, yet a survivor, dude played a great role as champion. Cena and JBL did a good job in this one.

Batista/HHH is another one where a new buck gets the win over a veteran. HHH dominated Monday night Raw for the better part of 3 years, anyone who stepped up to challenge him was almost immediately brushed aside, and the few who did get the best of him only managed to get it done for a short time. The Game was the man with no end in site, so it is appropriate that a being of his own creation, Batista, would be the one to shut him down. Had Orton and the WWE not botched Orton's first face turn we would've never gotten Batista as champ. Big Dave stepped up to the moment and took his shot at the big time and he and Triple H delivered in this one.

To close, WrestleMania 21 was a show that all around delivered on everything. No real duds were on this show (save the the Women's Title match) and everybody came and stepped up for the big stage. The show holds up well. Next time we head to Chicago for WrestleMania 22!!
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Big slim
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:29 pm

WWE WrestleMania 22- Chicago, Illinois

We begin the show with Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny's Child, singing America the Beautiful. Her voice is alright, I've always preferred Kelly Rowland when it comes to Destiny's Child. As is the new norm, some images from the Tribute to the Troops shows and show more American related pictures are shown. As is also pretty standard, more video highlights from past Manias are shown. What's interesting about Manias 20-22 is that they each took place in one of the cities that WrestleMania 2 took place in, NYC, L.A., and Chicago respectively, can't say that is the smartest idea, as that's spreading your talent and resources pretty thin. Another topic for another day. Opening video has images of Chicago and of all the feuds and matches happening on this night. The set is okay, not really special compared to last year's , but it still is pretty good.

The theme for this year is "Big Time!" what that means, I have could not tell you. Fireworks go off and it's show time, the familiar voice of Jim Ross welcomes us to the show, back to the broadcast booth after being fired for some reason. King and JR are calling the action for Raw and Cole and Tazz are doing the same for Smackdown, and Carlos and Hugo are giving us the action in Espanol!

*First match of the night is for the World Tag Team Championships with Carlito and Chris Masters taking on the champs Kane and The Big Show! First time since WM 15 that the tag titles will be defended in a standard 2 on 2 match, Kane and Masters start the match off with Masters powering Kane down, but the Machine uses some nice agility to dodge and land a drop kick, allowing him to tag in Show, who proceeds to dominate Masters, forcing a tag in of Carlito who doesn't do any better. Kane then does a little flying as Carlito and Masters are on the outside. Thanks to the removal of a turnbuckle, Carlito and Masters do some damage to Big Show, Show get the tag into Kane and the Monster goes to work on both men. Kane goes for another flying clothesline, but Masters counters it into a Master-Lock, a big boot from show prevents the Masterpiece from getting the submisson. After causing Masters to hit Carlito with a top rope axe handler, Kane gives him the big boot out of the ring, lands a chokeslam on Carlito and gets the win for his team and retains the titles. Not a bad opener to the show. Nothing to write home about, but still watchable. After the match we get an argument between Carlito and Masters, showing a possible breakup of the team.

Coach is set to interview Shawn Michaels about his match with Mr. McMahon. HBK simply says tonight will get ugly and Vince will endure his own personal hell.

*Coming up is the 2nd Money in the Bank match, this is the first time that it will be between the 2 brands, with the winner getting a shot at his show's World Championship for up to 1 year. Representing Raw will be Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin, Rob Van Dam, and Ric Flair, and representing Smackdown will be Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley, and Finaly. RVD is the clear favorite of the Chicago crowd, a loud RVD chant to start off with. Matt is the first to try and involve a ladder, but RVD dropkick it into him and then flies over the ropes to take down Matt. Shelton then leans a ladder on the ropes and does a running senton to take out Van Dam, Hardy, and Lashley! The oldest men in the match are left standing, Finlay and Flair, Hardy get to the top of the ladder and gives Flair a skyhigh superplex to Flair, injuring the back of Flair and taking him out of the match. Back to the action, Shelton and Lashley are fighting at the top of a ladder, Shelton attempts a sunset flip into a Powerbomb, Lashely struggles to hang on, Finlay and Matt Hardy then help him and do a triple powerbomb. Flair makes his way back to the ring and is chopping every man that gets in his way and climbs up the ladder, just as Flair gets to the case, Finaly nails him with the Irish walking stick! Lashley is alone and climbs the ladder, RVD dropkicks a chair into the legs of Lashley knocking him off of the ladder. Hardy then lands a legdrop on Lashely and makes his way up the ladder, Finlay gets back in the match once again, but only gets a Side Effect for his trouble. RVD then lands a splash from the top of the ladder on Finlay, effectively taking him out! Benjamin, RVD, and Hardy are all on top of ladders and all fighting, Benjamin then tries to move over to the ladder that Matt Hardy is on, but RVD takes this chance to push the ladder over and put both men outside the ring. RVD unhooks the case and wins the match, earning an opportunity to win the Heavyweight championship of his choice! Also on this night, the nickname for all Mitb winners, Mr. Money in the Bank, is born. Not as good as the previous year's match, but this one was still good.

Josh Matthews is in the back, first giving congrats to RVD and then interviews Mean Gene Okerlund, the first announcer ever put into the Hall of Fame. Randy Orton comes and acts like a dick, Mean Gene doesn't stand for it and leaves. Orton says he will beat Angle and Mysterio to become the rightful WHC, but is interrupted by Batista, the man who never lost the championship. Dave also correctly predicts that he will be World Champion again by WrestleMania 23!

Howard Finkel welcomes out the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2006, sans Bret Hart who was still not comfortable being around certain individuals in the WWE. The class of 2006 is Mean Gene Okerlund, "Sensational" Sherri Martel, Tony Atlas, Vern Gagne, the celebrity inductee for the year William "The Refrigerator" Perry, The Blackjacks, the late Eddie Guerrero with Vickie excepting on his behalf (who gets a ton of love from the fellow inductees and the audience with a loud "Eddie" chant), and lastly the absent Bret Hart. Overall, a damn fine class.

*The United States Championship is on the line, as JBL challenges champion Chris Benoit. JBL has a cool entrance, having the stage and ramp raised so that his limo can be driven out, he's being accompanied by Jillian Hall! Benoit is out next, to a warm reception by the Chicago crowd. Grounding and pounding start this off, as Benoit goes for the Crossface early and get Bradshaw up and delivers chops in the corner. JBL gets the advantage by using Jillian as a shield and then giving a thumb to Benoit's eye, and continues the offense wit some chops of his on and a couple of punches. As JBL irish whips Benoit into another, Benoit dodges and then takes JBL on a little trip to Suplex City, which is recovering nicely after a bad tornado. Heeling it up, JBL does some mockery of Eddie Guerrero, including going for the Three Amigos, but Benoit stops him at Dos. JBL gets back in control with a big boot and then a rear chinlock. Benoit fights his way back in and he does his own Three Amigos and then heads up top for the flying headbutt, delivers it, and nearly gets a 2 count. JBL fights back and goes for the Clothesline from Hell, but Benoit counters it into a Crossface, JBL manages to roll him up and with the use of the ropes gets the win and is the new United States Champion!

The official song of the show is "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel, which is also the theme.

*The next match is the Hardcore Match between Mick Foley and Edge. We see the set up of this feud, dating back to Edge cashing in his Mitb on Cena, Foley being the ref in their rematch and in Edge's eyes, costing him the WWE Championship and then assaulting Foley, Foley challenging him to a Hardcore match and Edge accepting after a brutal beat down, and saying that he isn't a hardcore legend, he's a muppet. Foley says that Edge has awoken the hardcore legend. Joey Styles joins King for commentary for the match, as he has called more Hardcore style matches than anyone in histor. Edge and Lita are out fight, with Edge smartly bringing a bat with him. Mick Foley is out next, rocking a blueish/black flannel shirt. Edge misses with a wild swing of the bat to start things out, but Foley quickly gets the upper hand, hangs Edge in the tree of woe and lands an elbow drop on him. Edge then lands a couple shots with two different sized baking sheets and a road sign, nasty stuff! Edge then sets up Foley for the finish and the Spear, but Edge is bleeding and cut open. Turns out, Foley is wrapped in barbed wire, which is why he wore the darker flannel over his traditional red. Foley then cuts the wire off of him and then digs it into Edge, Edge gets tangled up in the ropes, allowing Foley to head to the outside and get his barbed wired baseball bat. Lita prevents him from using it by jumping on Mick's bat, but Foley delivers his signature clothesline and takes himself, Edge, and Lita to the outside. Foley is in complete control, but Edge does a hip toss to Foley into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Edge covers Foley in lighter fluid, but before anything could become of it, Foley fights back and delivers a spike piledriver, Lita distracts Foley again, allowing Edge to DDT Foley. Edge then goes to work on Foley with the barbed wire bat, busting him open and then grinding the bat onto Mick's face, and the giving him a bulldog on the bat! Edge goes to the outside and then gets the thumbtacks and spreads them on the ringfloor, but Foley ends up giving Edge a side suplex right into the tacks!! Foley gets out Mr. Socko and then wraps it up in barbed wire and puts in into the mouth of both Lita and Edge, gross and painful! Foley finally gets the bat and goes to work on Edge, hitting him twice in the back, once in the face, and then drives it onto his head. Mick is in command and then gets the lighter fluid and covers the table with it, before he can light it Lita smashes the barbed wire bat into Foley's legs and she lights it up, Edge then delivers a Spear sending him and Foley through the table!! Styles gives us his famous call of "Oh My God!", Edge gets the cover and the win in this bloody, bloody match. This was awesome, about as nasty and as brutal as a hardcore match could get, nice work by both men and Lita!

Booker T and Sharmel are seen in the back, with Sharmel not wanting to go through with their match with The Boogeyman. Sharmel wonders why all the freaks are attracted to Booker, who claims he is no freak magnet. We then see Pirate Paul Burchill, Ted DiBiase being a dick to Eugene with his old basketball challenge, Mae Young and Snitzky, and Booker's old partner, Goldust. This was a fun little segment.

* Next match up is a handicap match, Booker T and Sharmel vs The Boogeyman. Booker and Sharmel are out first, and both a scared to death of this match. Boogeyman is out next and up, dude is still creepy as hell! Booker is having Sharmel start the match as a distraction, then attacks Boogeyman from behind and then tags himself in. Booker tries to make quick work of Boogey with a couple quick pins, but it doesn't work. Boogey sends Booker into the ringpost and as Booker is stunned, he goes in his pockets and gets the works! A mouthful for Boogey and as Sharmel tries to attack Boogey with his stick, he turns around and kisses her with a mouth full of worms, extremely gross!! As Sharmel runs off in terror, Booker tries to attack Boogey with a Stinger splash, but misses and Boogey hits a double hand chokeslam and get the win! He slithers out of the ring and leaves the arena. The Boogeyman character, gross and creepy as all get out, but damn dude played it to the fullest. Not much of a match to write about, but damn that shit was nasty to watch! According to JR, not even BBQ sauce could make a worm edible.

*The Women's Championship match is next as defending champion Trish Stratus takes on her pyscho-lesbian(ish) stalker, Mickie James! This feud was as crazy and well built as it was sexy. Mickie is out next and that ultra happy theme song she had does not really match her crazy persona, or maybe she's a Harley Quinn type. Trish is out next for her final WrestleMania as an active competitor. Trish takes control early with some stomps and chops, and then lands a hard kick to Mickie's head. A missed kick into the ringpost by Trish opens things up for Mickie as she begins to take control. The ladies then trade some slaps, before Mickie hits Trish with a low dropkick to the leg of Trish, a half leg Boston Crab does further damage to the leg of Trish. Mickie is in full control, but Trish fights back with a head scissor. Trish gets a near fall, but to the delight of the crowd Mickie kicks out. Mickie regains full control, after reverese an attempted top rope head scissor. To counter the Stratusfaction, Mickie grabs a handful of Trish's vagina, yep. Trish slams her elbow into Mickie and looks to regain control, but another kick to the leg and a Chick Kick of her own gives Mickie the win and we have a new Women's Champion!

The entire McMahon family is in the back with Vince as we get a close up of the man's chest as he is giving us a pec pop, a very pregnant Stephanie compliments her father on his hugeness. Then Vince leads Linda, Shane, and Stephanie in the first ever McMahon prayer, everyone is on their knees and we begin. Vince is up front with the Almighty saying that Vince doesn't like him, and he doesn't like Vince, this is strange, even for Vince McMahon. Not Katie Vick strange, but weird none the less. Vince says that he will send HBK straight to hell, and closes with an amen!

*Next up is the Casket Match between Mark Henry and The Undertaker, the Streak is currently 13-0. The druids are out first, bringing with the the casket in which either the World's Strongest Man or the Deadman will be placed in. Mark Henry is the first combatant out, followed quickly by The Undertaker. The match starts right away with Henry ambushing Taker. Taker then tries several times to knock the big man off of his feet, but to no avail as Henry runs into Taker and knocks him down! The men then take turns slamming each other into the steps with Henry coming out on top. Back in the ring Taker goes for Old School, but a fist to his gut ends that, Henry established full control and calls for the casket to be open, but Taker fights is way out of that predicament and the lid to the casket closes. Taker finds a weakness and then works on the shoulder of Mark Henry, finally landing Old School, but Henry is still on his feet. Henry gets right back in control. Both men were in the casket fighting for a big, before Taker bring the action back into the ring, but Henry lands a World's Strongest Slam and goes for a cover, but no pinfalls are in this match, Henry rolls Taker into the casket, but the Deadman stands up and then gets the legs of Henry and brings the action back in the ring. Henry again gets control and goes for the corner ten punches but Taker uses this to hit a Last Ride on Henry!! Taker then does his signature over the top rope flying clotheslien on Henry!! Undertaker does a Tombstone, calls for the casket to be open and the casket closes! Undertaker gets the win and moves the Streak to 14-0! Hard hitting and very physical match between these two. Tons of fun!

*The action isn't slowing down as Mr. McMahon faces off with Shawn Michaels in a No Holds Barred Match. The entire McMahon/HBK feud is shown, including some of Vince firing people and him putting people in the Kiss My Ass Club, including HBK. Shawn Michaels is out first, with his usual pyro and streamers. Mr. McMahon is out next, looking oiled and jacked like usual, showing off that cover that he did for Muscle & Fitness magazine. HBK says to hell with that and take it to Vince to start the match off, cracking Vince's head off of the announce table and tossing him over it. HBK then chokes Vince a little with one of the cords for the headsets. HBK then smashes the Muscle and Fitness picture upside Vince's head. The entire Spirit Squad, including a young Dolph Ziggler, come out and assault Shawn Michaels, ending with Kenny's legdrop, but it misses and takes him out. HBK then gets the little megahorn and then smashes and takes out all of the Squad. McMahon has had time to recover and nails HBK with a clothesline and then goes to work on HBK in a corner. Vince goes Joe Jackson on HBK and wipes him with his belt and then tries to choke him out with it. McMahon is feeling himself and tries to tune up the band, but it's stopped by HBK who then punches and chops the chairman! HBK then nips up and wipes Vince hard with that belt! Shawn then lands his flying elbow and then he starts to tune up his band, but the first born son of Vince, Shane hits HBK with a kendo stick and then brings out the handcuffs. Vince starts to lower his pants and is going to induct HBK in the KMA club again, but Shawn lands a low blow on Shane and then he forces him to kiss his own father's ass! Yep. Shawn then handcuffs Shane, tosses the key into the audience, mocks Shane, and the destroys him with the kendo stick, gets a chair and then cracks it over the skull of Vince, busting him wide open! HBK almost goes for Sweet Chin Music, but instead of hitting it, he gets a ladder from under the ring and then nails Vince in the head with it. Next he goes for SCM again, but he goes under the ring and then grabs a few trash cans and a table! HBK then slams one of the trash cans over the head of Vince, it's at this point I wonder where the Spirit Squad is and why the hell aren't they out here to help? HBK then lays Vince on the ladder, climbs up and almost goes for the elbow, but he climbs down, not to show compassion but to go and get an even bigger ladder! Shawn sets it up, puts the trash can on Vince's head, climbs up the huge ladder, gives Vince a DX crotch chop, and then an elbow drop from about 30 feet in the air!! HBK fights off the doctors from helping Vince, gives a crotch chop and a snout shot to Shane, and then hits Vince with Sweet Chin Music! HBK gets the 3 count and the win! Just like his street fights with Shane at 17 and Hogan at 19, Mr. McMahon delivered in this brawl. This was a good one to watch as HBK is in better shape than either Hogan or Shane were. Entertaining one that delivered! Vince is not one to give up, he flips off Shawn as he is leaving on a stretcher! HBK kisses his wife and then leaves the arena.

*The World Heavyweight Championship is going to be defended in a Triple Threat Match as 2006 Royal Rumble winner Rey Mysterio takes on Randy Orton and champion Kurt Angle! The background is shown where Rey won the Rumble, Orton was a dick and said Eddie was in hell, Rey put his Mania title shot on the line at No Way Out and lost it to Orton, Teddy Long makes it a Triple Threat by adding Rey into the match because Randy cheated in their No Way Out match. P.O.D. is out first to play Rey Mysterio's theme, "Booyaka 619". Rey does his usual pop out the ground entrance rocking an Aztec inspired chest covering and then appears on the stage with the band, with an Aztec head dress, outfit doesn't look bad. Randy Orton is out next, followed by the World Heavyweight Champion and our olympic hero, savior, and better, Kurt Angle. This has been Kurt Angle's last WrestleMania appearance to this date. Orton gets the jump on Angle and hits him with the title before the bell rings. Orton then focuses his attention on Mysterio and nearly gets the win with a wicked dropkick. Angle is back and takes Orton on a little trip to Suplex City with a string of German suplexes, including a double with Orton getting suplexed by Angle and then Orton suplexing Mysterio. Angle then gives him a Belly to Belly and Kurt is in full control. Orton then gets launched with a Hurricanrana from Mysterio, who then gets slide to the outside by Angle, who nearly gets a near fall on Orton. Mysterio goes for a 619, but Kurt counter it into an Ankle Lock, and as Orton has the ref distracted, Mysterio taps! Kurt then suplexes both Orton and Mysterio, with Tazz even mentioning Suplex City on commentary. Just as Angle had Mysterio tapping, Angle gets Orton tapping but this time Mysterio distracts the ref, and then drops a leg drop on Angle as Orton again puts the Ankle Lock on. Straps are down, but Orton gets Angle with an RKO! Randy can't get the pin right away as his leg is still in pain from the Ankle Lock and when he does get the Angle, he gets up at 2. As Orton goes for a top rope move, Angle runs up and gives him a top rope Belly to Belly!! Mysterio then goes for a 619 as Angle is between the post and ropes, but he slips up, he quickly recovers and manages to hit Angle with one anyway and nearly gets the 3 after the West Coast Pop! Orton nearly gets the win after a reverse neckbreaker on Rey, Orton signals for the RKO but from out of nowhere, Angle hits the Angle Slam, almost getting the win! Mysterio hits the 619 on Orton and then a Hurricanrana into a pin, 1-2-3 and we have a new World Heavyweight Champion, and his name is Rey Mysterio!! We see Rey celebrate with the crowd and then with Chavo and Vickie to end things here! There was some awkward action and a couple missed spots, but overall this was a good match and it was cool seeing Rey have his moment!

*Next up is the Playboy Pillow Fight, which means BOOBS!! There are some rules, but honest to God does anyone care what they are? The participants are Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson, who is coming out to what would one day be the music of Michelle McCool. Some scrapping happens and instead of a pillow fight, we have a catfight! Torrie is actually giving it to Candice as she flips the bed over and then stomps on the bed while Candice is under it and then has her dog bite her. Torrie then removes Candice's dress, thank you Torrie, Candice gets control and then cuts Torrie out of her dress, thank you Candice. Torrie manages to get the win with a roll up. Well, that was a thing and for sure the cool down before the main event for the WWE Championship.

*Main Event Time: The WWE Championship is on the line as champion John Cena faces off with Triple H. You can consider Chicago ground zero for the anti-Cena chants and crowds as they are firmly against him in this match. Video hypes up how Cena is the underdog in this match with HHH. For the first time in the WWE, we hear Motorhead's 2nd song for HHH, "King of Kings". Triple H is coming out, cosplaying as Conan the Barbarian, but instead of giant sword, he has a giant sledgehammer. We switch to "The Game" as H leaves the throne, takes off his fur cape, and makes his way down to the ring. John Cena has a mobster style entrance, and yes one of those gangsters holding those guns and riding on the car is future WWE Champion, CM Punk and another I believe is Colt Cabana. I did not know jean shorts and gym shoes were a popluar look for Depression era mobsters. This is not one of Cena's better WrestleMania entrances. Lillian does the introductions when both guys are in the ring, which I always like and enjoy, it makes the match feel that much bigger. She always says their nicknames, that shit I didn't need. Saying the reaction for Cena was mixed would be putting it nicely. We get a lock up to start this match, with H outwrestling Cena a little. HHH has the crowd on his side and is in full control of Cena, and I think we get a "f*&k you Cena!" chant. Classy Chi-town. HHH counters out of an FU attemp with a straight right hand and later tosses Cena to the outside, just as he hams it up with the fans, Cena gets back into this with some elbows and a big back body drop!! Cena nearly gets the win with a fisherman's suplex, but H kicks out. Now we get a "You Can't wrestle" chant for a brief second as Cena has a headlock on H. A hard throw to the corner sends HHH flying to the outside! The action moves towards the ramp as Cena gives H another back body drop on the steel ramp. H is back in full control after tossing Cena into the stair and then back in the ring H delivers a suplex as we hear that now world famous chant of "Let's go Cena, Cena sucks!". HHH signature facecrusher and a hard clothesline almost give The Game championship #11, but Cena fights out and starts to mount a small comeback, but a swinging neckbreaker ends that. A hard clothesline of his own finally allows Cena some sustained momentum! After trading fists with each other, Cena lands a huge powerslam on The Game, then after another slam, John Cena sets him up for a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but HHH counters with a spinebuster and nearly gets the win!! Cena does land the Knuckle Shuffle eventually, pumps up his shoes, but instead of going for the FU, he puts HHH in the STFU!! HHH is crawling desperately towards the ropes and finally does, to the delight of most of the crowd. Cena goes for an FU, but H counters and pushes Cena and the ref into the corner and gives them both a low blow, tells Cena that he can't see him, and finally a crotch chop (in the 2nd match of the night). HHH goes out and gets his baby, the sledgehammer and looks to go to work on Cena with it, Cena kicks him in the gut and briefly prevents getting hit with it, but the Game does indeed strike him, but because the ref had to recover he could only get a couple of counts of 2!! As the Game goes for a Pedigree Cena counters and hits an FU, but only for the 2, much to the disbelief of Cena! Cena goes for a crossbody and misses, almost allowing HHH to give him the Pedigree, but Cena gets out of it and locks on another STFU!! HHH is struggling to get to the ropes and his arm almost goes down for a third time, but he keeps fighting to stay alive, H barely touches a rope but can't grab it and starts tapping out! Winner and still WWE Champion, John Cena! Reaction is still mixed, but the man holds onto his gold. This was a pretty good match and the one I think that sealed Cena's place as a main event wrestler.

Final thoughts: The 22nd WrestleMania was not a bad show. As usual, this Mania delivered on everything, with no real dud on the entire card. The venue was set up nicely and the environment and crowd were really into everything. Just like at 20 and 21, the arena was a bit smaller, but that didn't take away from the grandness or the magnitude of WrestleMania. The site of WrestleMania 2000, the Arrowhead Pond, was proably similar in size to both these sites, but it just didn't feel like WrestleMania. The vibe of that show felt smaller. This one and the previous 2 had no such feeling.

The tag opener was decent, the 2nd Mitb wasn't as good as the first, but it was still good. JBL/Benoit had a good, physical match, Edge/Foley was a fun and bloody affair, Trish/Mickie was all kinds of good, the Casket match between Taker and Henry was a fun one as well and a good addition to the Streak's history. McMahon/Michaels might be the lowkey match of the night. Fun mess and glorious brawl between these two. Even Booker T and Sharmel vs The Boogeyman was a fairly enjoyable match.

The Pillow Fight was short, so I can't complain about it being a dud.

Onto the title matches. Mysterio/Orton/Angle was a good, high action match. Mysterio missing that 619 takes it down a bit, but still the spots and the work was good by all 3 and the end with seeing Rey with Vickie and Chavo was a nice touch. Had they stopped bringing up Eddie's death there and let Rey run with the title on his on, maybe his time as champion would be remembered more fondly, but you can't deny the positive emotion at the sight of seeing him leave as WHC. Cena/HHH was good as well and its interesting how they handled the negative reaction to Cena, both JR and King played it well. You could tell HHH was having some fun playing to the crowd, even though he was the heel in this match. Cena handled it as well as anyone could and both delivered in this match.

To close, WrestleMania 22 lived up to it's theme, with all the Big Time matches living up to the Big Time stage. Next up is a WrestleMania held in my hometown, Detroit, Michigan! As I'll be reviewing WrestleMania 23!!
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GooberBM
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by GooberBM » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:41 pm

So how are the main event matches lining up for you so far, slim?
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Big slim
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Re: WrestleManias of the 2000s Review

Post by Big slim » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:50 pm

I'd put them in this order.

1. Rock vs Austin- WM 17
2. Benoit vs HBK vs HHH- WM 20
3. Batista vs HHH- WM 21
4. Lesnar vs Angle- WM 19
5. HHH vs Cena- WM 22
6. HHH vs Y2J- WM 18
7. Foley vs Show vs Rock vs HHH- WM 2000.
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