Wrestlemania Count-Up – Wrestlemania XVI: The Worst Show From The Best Year

Wrestlemania XVI
Date: April 2, 2000
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Attendance: 18,034
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

This is also called Wrestlemania 2000 but the purist in me won’t let that happen. This is a step up over last year’s one match show as this year we have a two match show. The main event is a fatal fourway elimination match between HHH, the Rock, Big Show and the one night only returning Mick Foley. The other match is Angle vs. Benoit vs. Jericho in a two fall double title match. You might notice a few multi-man matches there and you’re going to notice a lot of them tonight. There isn’t a single one on one match on the entire card tonight, which might be the only time ever in company history. Let’s get to it.

Lillian Garcia sings the national anthem. I’ve heard her do this live and my goodness can she sing the heck out of that song.

We open with a recap of the previous 15 Wrestlemanias which sounds like it’s narrated by a James Earl Jones impersonator.

Godfather/D’Lo Brown vs. Big Boss Man/Bull Buchanan

Ice-T raps Godfather and Brown to the ring. Apparently it’s pimp or die, which I think might be taking it a bit too far. Buchanan and Brown get things going to prevent us from having a future RTC matchup. D’Lo tries a quick O’Connor Roll but only gets two. Boss Man tries to come in but gets run over by Godfather. Off to Godfather for a clothesline and the spinning legdrop but an elbow misses.

Godfather gets beaten on for a bit but comes back with a hook kick for two. Back to Brown who is almost immediately caught by Buchanan for even more pain. D’Lo pounds on Buchanan in the corner as this is going nowhere so far. Of all people, Bull gets things moving a bit better by climbing the corner for a spinning clothesline. Bull puts him in 619 position and both heels slide under the ropes for a double uppercut.

A clothesline gets two more for Bull and everything breaks down for a few seconds. That goes nowhere so we go back to Buchanan pounding on Brown in the corner. Now we keep the excitement going with a bearhug. Boss Man comes in for some double teaming and does his best to get the fans to care at all.

Brown’s cross body is caught in a backbreaker for two from both guys but as Buchanan goes up, Godfather crotches him down. Brown comes back with a nice top rope rana to put Buchanan down on the mat, allowing for the hot tag to Godfather. House is cleaned and there’s the Ho Train to Boss Man. Bull breaks up the Low Down though, allowing the Boss Man Slam to set up a guillotine legdrop on D’Lo for the pin.

Rating: D+. Who in the world thought this was the right idea for an opening match? They were WAY off base with each other here and the match suffered a lot as a result. This didn’t work on almost any level and on top of all that, the popular team loses. The whole point of an opening is to fire up a crowd, so having one of the most over acts in the company lose was a dumb way to start things off. Just a bad match all around.

HHH and Stephanie talk about how awesome their titles are. She’s Women’s Champion if that wasn’t really clear.

We see a conference with the Hardcore Battle Royal participants. Basically it’s a huge free for all and not a traditional battle royal. There’s a fifteen minute time limit and there can be as many title changes as there needs to be. Basically whoever is the last man standing is champion and the 24/7 rule stops after the last fall.

Hardcore Title: Hardcore Battle Royal

Tazz, Crash Holly, Hardcore Holly, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Thrasher, Mosh, Faarooq, Bradshaw

Crash is defending coming in. He comes in last and we’re ready to go. Remember there’s a fifteen minute time limit. Everyone else fights to the floor and Taz hits a fast suplex on Crash for the pin ad the title in thirty seconds. So now, only Taz can be pinned for the title. A few seconds later, Viscera hits Tazz with a board and gets the title. Now we move into an extended period of hitting people in the head with whatever objects are handy.

We’ve got thirteen and a half minutes or so to go. Someone uses a box fan on someone else and that’s about the most in depth coverage you’ll be getting here. Everyone jumps Viscera and hits him with whatever they can find. Crash appears to be busted open. The Acolytes double team the champion and the beatings continue on everyone for a bit. Hardcore and Mosh beat Viscera down and get two each.

We’re under ten minutes now and it’s fine extinguisher time. There’s so much stuff going on it’s impossible to call. Viscera heads back into the ring and goes up top (for those of you unfamiliar, Viscera is about Big Show’s size), only to be slammed down by the Acolytes. The APA (Acolyte Protection Agency, same team) breaks a board over his back and Bradshaw hits a top rope shoulder to put him down. For no apparent reason they throw Kai En Tai on top of Viscera, giving Funaki the belt.

Funaki, apparently the smartest guy in the match, grabs the belt and runs away. Everyone catches up to him in the back with 7:00 left. Rodney gets a fluke pin out of nowhere for the pin, which I believe is the Posse’s first pinfall. Joey suplexes him down and wins the title but Thrasher gets a clothesline and the title. Everyone beats up Thrasher now because its their job and we come into the arena again. Pete Gas hits Thrasher with a fire extinguisher and wins the title.

Taz gets his hands on the champion and brings him back to ringside for a beating. A t-bone suplex puts the bloody Pete down for the pin and the title with….dang it they took the clock down. Hardcore sends Taz into the steps for two before Mosh takes a shot at him. Taz rolls up Mosh for two on instinct alone. Now it’s the Hollys and Taz in the ring and three minutes to go. Crash gets cracked in the head by Taz for two which again means nothing. Hardcore puts Taz down and the cousins fight over a cover. Two minutes left and both Hollies get two off a powerslam by Hardcore.

We’ve got a minute left as Hardcore hits the dropkick for two. The champion hits a suplex on Hardcore to send him outside as Crash hits Taz with a trashcan lid for the title. The Tazmission goes on Crash but Hardcore blasts Taz in the head with a candy jar and covers Crash. The ending is screwed up though as Hardcore was supposed to get two but be stopped by the time.

Instead the referee had to stop counting…but Hardcore wins anyway. It made no sense, but either way the important thing here is Taz actually. That jar was made of real glass and when it shattered, some of it got in Taz’s eye. Allegedly he was supposed to win the Intercontinental Title but the reign went to Benoit instead.

Rating: B-. What do you want me to say about this? It was exactly what it was supposed to be so I can’t complain about it in that regard. They beat the tar out of each other with some funny spots and it was contained in one match instead of a big goofy show long angle like we had two years later. This rating could be all over the place depending on your taste for this stuff.

We look at Axxess over the weekend. Interestingly enough Undertaker is there in the biker attire.

Al Snow talks to someone in a bathroom stall when Steve Blackman comes in and says don’t do something stupid. This is during the Head Cheese (Snow and Blackman) attempt at finding Blackman a personality.

Trish’s boobs are ready in the back.

Head Cheese vs. T&A

Snow brings out Chester McCheeserton, which is a guy in a cheese suit. Snow: “This is better than Shawn on a zipline.” That would be Test and Albert (Tensai) with the brand new Trish Stratus as their manager. Test and Blackman start as JR’s mic goes out. Test gets kicked down quickly but it’s off to Albert who hits a quick splash in the corner for two. Snow comes in for a few seconds but it’s quickly back to Steve for a running shoulder which takes Albert down.

Snow comes in again sans tag with a slingshot legdrop to the back of Albert’s head. Blackman breaks up a gorilla press attempt from Albert to give Snow two. Head Cheese double teams Albert as the fans are dying faster and faster by the minute here. Chester annoys Trish as Blackman drops a knee on Albert’s crotch. Off to Snow who gets caught in a suplex, allowing for the ice cold tag to Test.

T&A his a double powerbomb on Snow as JR calls it bowling shoe ugly. Snow hits an Asai Moonsault on Test before the modified Trash Compactor (backbreaker by Blackman/guillotine legdrop from Snow) for two on Test. The match breaks down even more as Albert hits a gorilla press on Blackman before a top rope elbow by Test gets the pin.

Rating: D-. Anything with Trish in an outfit that small can’t be a failure, but at the same time this match absolutely sucked. There was NOTHING good going on here and they weren’t just on different pages, but rather in different libraries. This was absolutely horrible and one of the worst Mania matches ever.

Post match Head Cheese beats up Chester. You know, because they’re good guys!

We get a “comedy” bit based off Austin Powers with Kat being naked and Mae Young accidentally covering up the good parts.

The Dudleys say they’re afraid of heights but they’re ready for the triangle ladder match. This is when Bubba still had a stutter.

Tag Titles: Edge and Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz

The Dudleyz are defending and this is a triangle ladder match rather than a TLC match. That would come in September. This is when Edge and Christian still came through the crowd and somehow hadn’t won the tag titles yet. As the Dudleys pose in the aisle on a ladder during their entrance, the Canadians jump the only actual brothers in the match. This is going to be one of those matches that is almost impossible to keep track of. Bubba chops away at Jeff in the ring but gets caught by Whisper in the Wind. A Bubba Bomb puts Jeff right back down and they all head to the floor.

Christian sets up a ladder in the ring but Matt makes a save. Everyone gets back inside and there’s a second ladder. Matt throws one into the corner at Bubba for a sick thud right before D-Von is slammed onto a ladder and hit by a middle rope elbow. Jeff puts Bubba on the ladder but misses a 450, giving us a SICK looking crash. Bubba puts the ladder on top of Jeff and actually hits the middle rope backsplash to crush both of them. Edge rides a ladder out of the corner to crush another ladder onto Matt.

D-Von takes Edge down and all six guys are on the mat or floor now. Bubba is up first and we get the put the ladder around your own neck and spin around in a circle move. Edge and Christian finally dropkick the ladder into Bubba to put him down and there’s a double flapjack into the ladder in the corner on D-Von. Christian climbs a ladder and dives onto Matt and Bubba on the floor. This is all happening with almost no breaks in between. Jeff climbs the ladder in the ring but Edge jumps off the top with a spear. That would be topped by about 1000 next year.

Matt hits a crucifix bomb on Edge before trying to climb, only to be slammed down by D-Von. D-Von goes up, only to have Christian throw the ladder at him to bring him down. There are now three ladders set up in the middle of the ring and it’s Bubba with a Cutter to Christian off two of them. Awesome looking move there. With Bubba down, the Hardys hit a splash/legdrop combination off the top of the ladders. D-Von tries to climb but the Canadians suplex him off the ladder.

Everyone but the Dudleyz climb up but they all come flying down due to a facebuster and a Russian legsweep in another spot that would be topped next year. The Dudleys are back in now and the fans want tables. Now all six guys climb three ladders and as you can guess, they all go flying down. Christian and Jeff get the worst of it, crashing out to the floor. Bubba lands on his feet and shoves the other two ladders over, leaving him alone in the ring. D-Von is back up too but here’s Christian back to his feet, only to get crushed between two ladders.

Edge comes back in and gets caught in the original 3D, with Bubba running for the cutter instead of just standing there. Bubba loads up a table as is his custom and D-Von gets one of his own. There are two ladders set up in the ring and the Dudleys are all alone, but instead of climbing they make a scaffold out of a table between the tops of the ladders. The Hardys get back up to make the save but are easily dispatched. Again the Dudleys screw up though by setting up another table under the scaffold and a third on the floor.

Bubba powerbombs Matt through the one on the floor but D-Von misses a splash through Jeff on one of the tables back in the ring. Jeff tries to run the rail but Bubba pelts him in the face with a ladder. Bubba loads up the super ladder in the aisle before setting up a table in front of it. I can smell wrestling law #1 from here. Jeff comes back and takes Bubba out before putting him on the ladder. In the famous spot from this match, Jeff climbs to the top of the super ladder and hits the Swanton through Bubba through the table to put both of them out.

Back in the ring D-Von suplexes Christian down and goes for a climb but here’s Matt to break it up. The Twist of Fate takes D-Von down and now it’s Matt and Christian climbing the ladders. They both wind up on the scaffolding that was set up earlier but here’s Edge from behind. The brothers throw Matt through the table, allowing Edge and Christian to pull down the belts for their first titles.

Rating: A-. There are two problems with this match. First of all, the match the next year blows it away. Second, and far worse, the last ten minutes were spent setting up spots instead of actually going for the belts. Take the big spot of the match for example. Why in the world would Bubba do that instead of for the sake of doing that spot later? Same with all the other tables set up. There was no logic to doing that, but they did the spots anyway. Still though, excellently fun match.

Mick Foley and Linda McMahon say the main event tonight is the biggest match of all time and thanks to Linda, Mick gets to be in the main event at Wrestlemania. He says fairy tales can come true, one will come true for him.

Terri Runnels vs. The Kat

It’s a Catfight, meaning you have to put your opponent on the floor to win. Val Venis is referee and Moolah and Mae are in the respective corners. The referee compares his penis to Wrestlemania in a promo that would get him chased off by a pitchfork carrying mob in today’s world. Venis is in a referee’s towel too. Early on he picks up Terri and gets kissed in a spot that would have made the Montreal Screwjob completely different.

Kat hits a lame spear but Val has to stop Mae from flashing everyone. Terri is sent to the floor but there’s no referee. The old chicks get in the ring and Mae kisses Val. Kat throws Terri to the floor but Moolah pulls Kat to the outside. Terri is the only one in as Val escapes Mae, giving Terri the win. Total mess but it was a bridge between the big match and the rest of the show.

Terri is stripped post match.

The Radicalz are ready for the six man tag but Eddie is more interested in melting Chyna with the Latino Heat.

Radicalz vs. Too Cool/Chyna

This would be Saturn/Malenko/Guerrero. They’re brand new at this point and Dean is already Light Heavyweight Champion. Too Cool was their first feud and it was a big enough deal that Too Cool rode it to a tag title reign in a few months. Eddie and Scotty start things off and Scott has his hat knocked off almost immediately. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker puts Eddie down and it’s off to Chyna, sending Guerrero running off to Dean.

Malenko loads up a fast powerbomb but Scotty clotheslines him down to break it up. Chyna and the Grandmaster suplex Malenko down and it’s time to dance. Back to Eddie to face Grandmaster with Sexay hitting a quick suplex. Saturn breaks up the top rope legdrop though and the Radicalz take over. Perry comes in legally now and steals Grandmaster’s dew rag, somehow making him look even more ridiculous.

Eddie comes back in and allows Grandmaster to make a tag to Scotty. That goes badly for the non Radicalzas Scotty charges into a hot shot followed by the slingshot hilo for no cover. Grandmaster comes back in sans tag and throws Eddie to the floor as things fall apart. Scotty loads up a double Worm on Saturn and Malenko but an Eddie distraction lets them get back up. There’s no one in the ring at the moment until we get back to Scotty vs. Eddie. Perry comes back in and superkicks Hotty down.

A top rope elbow hits Scotty but again there’s no cover. Instead it’s back to Guerrero who goes up but takes too long, allowing Scotty to crotch him. A superplex puts both guys down and there’s the hot tag to Chyna. She cleans house with handspring elbows and a double low blow to Saturn and Malenko. Eddie decks her though, breaking part of her outfit in the process. Chyna escapes a powerbomb into one of her own, grabs Eddie’s crotch and slams him down before finishing him with a sleeper drop.

Rating: D+. This didn’t work for me for the most part but the main story of Chyna vs. Eddie was advanced which is the right idea. This would wind up meaning nothing (in a way) though as Chyna would fall victim to the Latino Heat the next day, starting a summer long relationship between the two. I guess that crotch grab changed her mind.

The redneckiest rednecks of all time won a contest to go to Wrestlemania.

Big Show and Shane say Show will win.

We get a clip from earlier of Angle beating up his mentor Bob Backlund after finding out that Backlund came up with the idea of Kurt defending both titles.

Angle asks a security guard for extra security for the post match celebration.

Intercontinental Title/European Title: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

This is an interesting idea. Angle holds both titles coming in and there are going to be two falls here. The first is for the Intercontinental Title and the second is for the European Title, so basically we’re getting back to back triple threats. Jericho guarantees to walk out of this match as the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah while the other two will walk out with a shirt that complains about how lousy the shirt is as well as how bad the beating from Jericho was.

Benoit jumps Angle before the bell before heading inside for a clothesline from his fellow Canadian. All three are in now and Benoit chops Jericho, only to have his belly to back suplex escaped. Benoit breaks up a springboard dropkick by Jericho before fighting with Angle on the apron. Jericho hits the previously broken up dropkick to send both guys out to the floor. He joins them immediately, only to be sent into the steps by Kurt. Back in and a belly to belly suplex gets two for Angle on Jericho.

Jericho hits a backbreaker on Angle but Benoit shoves Jericho off the top and into the announce table for good measure. Benoit covers Angle for two before suplexing him down for the same. Jericho is back in for a dropkick to his fellow Canadian but Benoit comes right back with a clothesline for two more. Jericho bulldogs Angle down but Benoit comes back with chops of his own on the other Chris. Angle suplexes Benoit down but Jericho makes the save. Very back and forth action so far.

Jericho camel clutches Benoit but has to break it up to stop a charging Kurt. Angle hits a big suplex on Jericho for two as Benoit makes another save. Benoit rolls up Jericho in the corner but Angle dropkicks his head face first into the middle buckle to break it up. Jericho loads up a double arm suplex on Angle but gets countered into a crossface chickenwing. Benoit comes back in and dropkicks Angle before sending him to the floor and into the barricade. Back in and the Swan Dive to Jericho gives Benoit the first fall and the Intercontinental Title.

Very wisely Benoit immediately covers Jericho for an attempt at the European Title but it only gets two as Kurt dives in for the save. Angle suplexes Benoit down for two but takes too long on the moonsault attempt, allowing Jericho to break it up. Jericho loads up a belly to back superplex but Benoit supelxes Chris down, allowing Angle to miss the moonsault on Benoit. All three guys are down now until Angle covers Benoit for two. Jericho gets back into it with a Walls attempt on Angle, only to have the other Chris break it up.

Everyone gets back up and it’s Jericho with a spinwheel kick to take Benoit to the floor. The double powerbomb puts Angle down but Benoit comes back in for the Rolling Germans on Jericho. Benoit goes old school with a Dragon Supelx on Angle for two. Jericho hits the forearm on the referee by mistake, only to be put in the Crossface by the new IC Champion.

It gets an unseen tapout but Benoit releases, allowing Jericho to put Benoit in the Walls. Angle hits Jericho with a title belt but Benoit makes the save as the referee is awake again. Benoit suplexes Angle down again but misses the Swan Dive. Jericho slides in for the Lionsault on Benoit for the European Title to end things.

Rating: B+. Awesome match here which would have been match of the year when this style dominated in 2003. All three guys were the future generation of the company once we shifted to the technical style over on Smackdown in a few years, but here it’s just awesome instead of a match of the times. This is one of the only things that people remember from this show and with good reason: it was awesome.

Vince says he’ll be a factor in the main event. He’s in Rock’s corner tonight and doesn’t think his family is dysfunctional. Vince promises to make it right tonight. You can smell the screwjob coming from here.

HHH doesn’t like what Vince just said and promises not to lose.

D-Generation X vs. Rikishi/Kane

This would be Road Dogg and X-Pac with Tori as the final surviving members of the team. Kane has the wicked awesome inverted colors on tonight with mainly black trimmed with red. Tori slaps Paul Bearer before the match but gets choked by Kane for his efforts. It’s a brawl to start with Rikishi hitting a quick Stinkface on Road Dogg. The fat man turns his attention to Tori but Pac makes a last minute save. D-X tries to leave to no avail as the big men slowly chase them down.

We finally get started with Pac vs. Rikishi and the smaller man hitting a spinning kick in the corner but no Bronco Buster follows. Off to Roadie for the dancing punches and a forearm to put Rikishi down. The shaky knee gets two and it’s back to Pac for some kicks to the chest which have no effect. A Samoan Drop puts Pac down and there’s the tag to Kane. Kane gets to beat up X-Pac which is the whole point of the match. X-Pac avoids the Stinkface but Bearer throws Tori in to take his place. Kane tombstones Pac to end this.

Rating: D. This was another way to bridge between the two matches while also giving us a nice closure to this feud. Rikishi was a popular guy at the time so giving him a big match on a show like this was the right idea. Tori screwed over Kane months before so seeing her get what was coming to her was a nice feeling. The match sucked though.

Post match Too Cool and the San Diego Chicken come out to celebrate but Kane doesn’t trust the bird. Everyone dances as Kane stares at the chicken. Either Pete is a far better dancer than expected or there’s something afoot. Kane stares down at the bird but here’s Pete Rose with a ball bat. This goes as badly as the other years have gone and it’s a chokeslam and a Stinkface for the Hit King. I’ll give the guy this: he’s willing to do almost whatever the WWF asked of him.

Rock says it’s been twelve months since he was world champion and there have been a lot of bad moments for Rock since then. After ever chokeslam, every Mandible Claw and every Pedigree, he’s back here at Wrestlemania for his world title. If Rock has an ounce of blood and sweat, he’s going to layeth the Smacketh Down tonight for the millions and millions.

Various celebrities are here tonight, including Michael Clarke Duncan and Martin Short.

Here’s a recap of the main event which the company doesn’t think is important enough to explain to you. HHH is defending champion and retired Foley at No Way Out. Rock won the Rumble but Big Show presented HHH with a video showing that Rock’s feet hit first. This got Big Show a match at No Way Out for the #1 contendership where he beat Rock. Rock then earned the shot back by beating Big Show on Raw. Linda McMahon brought Foley back for one night only and if he wins tonight, there’s a tournament leading up to the title match at Backlash.

The real story here is that there’s a McMahon in every corner: Vince with Rock because Vince respect him, Stephanie with her husband HHH, Linda with the feel good story of Foley and Shane with Big Show because he sees Show as his ticket to the top of the company. In other words, the wrestlers are just there as the McMahons are the real show here.

WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. HHH vs. Big Show

There are no tags here, no disqualification and you have to win by pin. Why there are no submissions is beyond me but whatever. Rock and Big Show fight as do the other two with the champion being punched down. Allegedly Foley was told a week before this match that he would be participating so he isn’t in the best of shape. Granted that’s normal for him so maybe it won’t be that big of a deal.

Big Show runs over everyone and gorilla presses HHH and Rock. Foley gets a headbutt but tries to jump on Show’s back, only to have the giant crush him against the mat. Rock comes back with right hands on Big Show but walks into a side slam for no cover. HHH jumps into a chokeslam attempt but Foley breaks it up with a low blow. Everyone triple teams Big Show to a big reaction and a running clothesline from Rock puts him down. They all stomp away at the giant but HHH and Foley just can’t work together that long.

Foley blasts HHH in the ribs with a chair and hits Show in the back with it as well, allowing the Rock Bottom to get rid of the biggest guy in the match. We’re down to three now and Shane is ticked off. HHH offers Foley an alliance against Rock but Foley says no. Instead HHH offers Rock an alliance against Foley but we get a Rock and Sock Connection reunion as HHH gets beaten down. HHH gets punched down and dropped with a double clothesline.

The champion is sent to the floor but the Connection won’t fight each other. Instead they head to the outside and beat up HHH even more to the fans’ delight. Rock picks up the bell but accidentally blasts Foley in the head. Foley gets up quickly and finds a barbed wire 2×4. HHH saves himself with a low blow and a shot to Foley’s ribs with the board. Rock comes back in and is backdropped to the floor, allowing Foley to hit the double arm DDT on HHH. It’s Socko time and Rock adds a belt shot to take HHH down.

Rock loads up the Elbow but Foley puts the Claw on him to break it up. HHH hits them both low to put them both down but Rock gets back up first and pounds away on the champion. Foley gets in a shot to Rock for two and a double arm DDT gets the same. Vince slides in a chair for no apparent reason but Foley gets it first. It gets kicked back into his face by Rock for two as HHH makes the save. Why would he do something like that? A running knee lift gets two on Rock but HHH doesn’t save this time. Interesting.

HHH and Mick start working together for a bit and a knee drop gets two on Rock. They head to the floor with Mick’s knees being sent HARD into the steps. Mick picks up said steps and cracks Rock in the head with them as Stephanie yells at Linda. HHH puts Rock on the table for the Foley elbow through it….but Mick can’t jump that far and crashes ribs first into the edge of the table. HHH hits about three elbows of his own to put Rock through the table as the match continues to drag.

Back inside and HHH Pedigrees Foley for two and a big eruption from the crowd. A BIG chair shot to the head puts Foley down and Linda is panicking. HHH Pedigrees Mick onto the chair and the career is over again. We’re down to two now and HHH is somehow even more hated than he was before. Foley gets a big standing ovation but turns around to come back to the ring. He picks up the barbed wire and blasts HHH in the head to give us one last BANG BANG moment.

We’re finally down to HHH vs. Rock after twenty minutes of glorified preliminary stuff. Rock gets two off the barbed wire stuff and they head up to the stage for the required main event brawling. Rock suplexes HHH down on the concrete and does the same with a clothesline. They head into the crowd for even more “fighting” which means walking with the occasional punching. A backdrop puts HHH back at ringside where Rock picks up the steps, only to have HHH knock them onto Rock with a chair. He pounds on the steps with the chair to crush Rock even further underneath them.

A piledriver on the steps keeps Rock down even longer before we head inside again. The piledriver only gets two and Rock is somehow up again to slug away with right hands. Rock Bottom and Pedigree are both countered with HHH being backdropped out to the floor. Rock hits a kind of spinebuster to put HHH down and there’s a suplex through the table for good measure. Both guys are basically dead now but it’s Rock up first.

Vince can’t handle the lack of the spotlight anymore though and rams HHH into the post. Cue Shane again to take out Vince with a monitor shot to the head but Papa gets up a few seconds later to beat up his son. Shane comes back with a chairshot as we’re ignoring THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA to see Shane and Vince fight. As a bleeding Vince is taken out, we cut to a shot of Stephanie with the most vapid look you’ll ever see on her face.

We’re allowed to return to the match now with right hands from Rocky. A DDT gets two on the champion as does a tilt-a-whirl slam. HHH comes back with a facebuster and a barbed wire shot to the head of Rock. At least he’s nice enough to loudly ask “ARE YOU OK” before being catapulted into Shane. There’s the Rock Bottom but Rock can’t cover. Instead here’s Vince for the 87th time tonight to slap Shane around. Then, as if you would expect anything else, he turns on Rock with a chair shot. Stephanie still fails at acting as HHH chairs Rock down again for the pin to retain and kill the crowd even deader.

Rating: D+. And that’s being VERY generous. This was the definition of McMahon overkill as it was ALL about them with the match literally being ignored at times while they had their repeated drama. On top of that the match sucked with the first 20 minutes being there to get us to the last 20 minutes which doesn’t do anyone any good. The rest of the match was just a big mess with no real story to it as we were all at the mercy of the McMahons. Instead of focusing on HHH vs. Rock, we had to wait 40 minutes for Vince to turn on Rock for no apparent reason. Also Rock would win the title at Backlash, making this entirely pointless.

Post match Vince and Stephanie reunite in the ring. Shane gets back in but before we can get more of McMahon World, Rock comes in with Rock Bottoms for all three McMahons. You might notice that HHH, the FREAKING WORLD CHAMPION, is nowhere in sight for all this. Oh wait he pops up on the apron to get punched down before Rock hits the People’s Elbow on Stephanie (who doesn’t even move an inch when it hits). The last shot of the show: the McMahons recovering of course.

Overall Rating: D. This show is the low point of the best year in the company’s history and it’s because of the McMahon drama. Again, there is zero reason to have them dominate a main event like this other than that’s what they wanted to happen. The stuff that was good though, while limited, was VERY good with the midcard title match and the tag title match blowing away everything else going on with this show. That main event is a BIG blow to it though given how long the thing ran. Check out those two matches and then go pick up the N64 game instead of the show as it’s WAY more entertaining.

Ratings Comparison

Big Boss Man/Bull Buchanan vs. D’Lo Brown/Godfather

Original: D+

Redo: D+

Hardcore Battle Royal

Original: C+

Redo: B-

T&A vs. Head Cheese

Original: F

Redo: D-

Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz

Original: B+

Redo: A-

The Kat vs. Terri Runnels

Original: F

Redo: N/A

Radicalz vs. Too Cool/Chyna

Original: D

Redo: D+

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

Original: A

Redo: B+

Rikishi/Kane vs. D-Generation X

Original: D+

Redo: D

HHH vs. The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley

Original: D+

Redo: D+

Overall Rating

Original: D

Redo: D

Not much changes in a few years.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2011/03/23/history-of-wrestlemania-with-kb-wrestlemania-16-they-thought-this-was-a-good-idea/

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

1 comment

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    Weird show. I still maintain that in terms of featuring all participants who are actually wrestlers (i.e. no celebrities or fringe wrestlers), the Head Cheese/T&A match may be the worst ever at WrestleMania. The story isn’t interesting, the wrestling isn’t interesting, the face/heel dynamic seems to be completely out of whack, and the crowd is dead. And this is a shame because all four of those guys can wrestle.

    I have mixed feelings on the hardcore and ladder matches here. Obviously the hardcore title wasn’t meant to be high art, but it does seem asinine that the point in the match is to pin the person who is currently the champ, so why doesn’t the champions run away more and why do people keep fighting others who are not the champion? Ah, well.

    The ladder match is a great match and in some ways, I think i like it better than the year before (just some, mind you; I kind of like how there is no outside interference, although that may have helped the pacing). I do agree that this is an especially egregious match in terms of people doing dumb or illogical things to set up spots. I know almost every ladder match has a moment where the people don’t climb the ladder/table when they’re all alone, but it’s really blatant here and it took me out of the moment (the one next year does not have that problem, I think).

    I’m more tolerant of the four way main event than you, but it makes little sense.