History of Wrestlemania with KB – Wrestlemania 16 – They thought this was a good idea?
Date: April 2, 2000
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Star Spangled Banner: Lillian Garcia
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This whole show is an interesting one, and this is primarily for two reasons. Number one: there is not a standard one on one match on the whole card. That’s just odd for any show. The other thing: Steve Austin and Undertaker were out with injuries here. This show is also important though because it’s the first show where all your big names are just that: big names.
HHH is the reigning WWF Champion, Rock is the #1 face in the company, Big Show is there for some reason, and Foley is “retired”, but getting one more shot as he finally gets to main event a Wrestlemania, which is a nice thing to let him do, despite the fact that he really had no business there at all. He was added less than two weeks before the show after the original main event, a three way match with HHH, Rock and Big Show happened on Raw for no apparent reasons at the time.
Also at this show, we have the WM debuts of Benoit, Angle, the Hardyz and the Dudleyz, as well as Edge and Christian being actual wrestlers here for the first time. This is the first show with the new generation being around, and it showed really well. It’s also the first show where the company more or less knew that WCW and any real threat to WWF’s survival was dead, so they didn’t have to nail it to ensure where their next paycheck was coming from. However, the important question is obvious: is the show with all these new stars better than last year’s? Let’s get to it.
Sweet goodness Lillian looks different here. She aged very well and actually looks better older than she does here. She can still sing though.
After a video highlighting the previous Manias either narrated by James Earl Jones (Darth Vader in an explanation I can’t believe I had to make) or the greatest imitation of his voice ever recorded, for the first time in Mania history, we get the MASSIVE pyro display that has become a standard in WWF. So with all this new talent, what’s our first great match?
Godfather/D’Lo Brown vs. Big Bossman/Bull Buchanan
Eh? We’re opening the show that’s supposed to lead the WWF and therefore the wrestling business into the new millennium and this is what you give us? And people wonder why wrestling went downhill in a hurry once WCW died. Godfather and Brown are rapped to the ring by Ice T, who I try to block out as most of the time these live intros are awful. Brown is a co-pimp here.
Remember the catchy Godfather entrance? This isn’t close to it. Ice T does some song that includes the lyric Pimp Or Die. Something sound bad about that? This intro goes on WAY too long and sums up what I hate about rap: this whole thing is just loud and stupid sounding. It was built to market a CD called Aggression which was a rap album of WWF entrance themes. In case you can’t guess, it bombed.
After that completely pointless intro, Godfather decides he has to do his awful intro, saying for everyone to smoke a blunt and say it ain’t easy. FINALLY Bossman’s terribly bland theme music plays and the pain in my head goes away a little bit. Godfather has really stupid looking dreadlocks here and is somehow dumber looking than usual.
There’s really no reason as to why these two are feuding in case you thought there was. Is it possible that D’Lo Brown is the most successful of these four men? I do believe he is and that’s a scary thought. Anyway let’s get to this. Brown vs. Buchanan to start us off with Brown controlling so far. Godfather takes Boss Man’s interfering head off while Brown is on offense.
Off to the pimp now as the fans want puppies. Big elbow misses as we talk about JR wearing some of Godfather’s clothes for some reason. Basically Boss Man dominates when he’s in and Buchanan can do one move, that running up the corner into a spinning clothesline. Blind tag brings in the Boss Man who gets two on Brown as Godfather saves.
Axe kick by Buchanan gets two. Brown and Boss Man on the floor now and Godfather accidentally clotheslines the referee. I say accidentally as the referee doesn’t even go down so it wasn’t the point obviously. Boss Man gets two on Brown who is the face in peril here. Buchanan with a bearhug now as the fans chant for D’lo.
Naturally that doesn’t do it but an elbow takes down Brown. Double teaming by the guys in black as Godfather just looks stupid. Boss Man sucks chant starts up. The beating goes on for awhile with Buchanan hitting a double axe off the top. We talk about Pete Rose for a bit and apparently he’s got a ball bat with him just in case.
Godfather shakes the ropes to crotch Godfather and Brown busts out a rana to break the momentum. Here’s Godfather who cleans some house. Ho Train hits Boss Man in the corner sets up the Lo Down from Brown. Bull pushes him off the top though but Brown lands on his feet. Boss Man Slam kills D’lo though and a guillotine leg drop from Buchanan ends this.
Rating: D+. This wasn’t terrible but at the same time it’s Godfather/Brown vs. Boss Man/Buchanan. It’s not a terrible match but is this really what you want to open Mania? Also, a heel team winning the opener? Just not a great idea especially after the crowd got fired up for the rapping. Not bad but just odd.
Steph and HHH are in their office talking about how great their lives are.
The referees explain the rules of the Hardcore Battle Royal tonight. It’s a 15 minute time limit. There’s no limit to the amount of title changes in that period. Apparently the 24/7 rule is waved after tonight. I think Crash has to be pinned to get the title off of him.
Hardcore Title: Battle Royal
Hardcore Holly, Crash Holly, Tazz, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Thrasher, Mosh, Farrooq, Bradshaw
The idea here was that the Hardcore Title was defended 24/7, as long as the challenger had a referee with him. This led to some interesting situations such as pin falls as amusement parks, hotels, etc. You have 13 guys here and whoever gets the last pinfall leaves with the belt, which would be kind of pointless as the 24/7 rule would be in effect so he could get attacked seconds after it ended right? It’s not really a battle royal but rather a 13 man match.
There are weapons at ringside and thankfully a lot of the guys come out in groups or teams to save some time. The Posse gets a small pop. The APA gets the biggest pop by far. Here we go. Remember there are 15 minutes to this period. Everyone but Crash and Taz go to the floor almost immediately and Tazz gets a suplex on Crash to win the title in maybe a minute. Now they have to pin him to get the title, which Viscera does with a splash. We’re not even at 13 minutes left yet.
Everyone is on the floor now and someone has a box fan. There’s a flag in there. The Posse of all people jump Viscera and they actually work for a bit. Lots of weapon shots to Viscera, mainly from the APA. Crash is busted open. They’ve taken the clock off the screen now because they want us to have to think I guess. Crash, ever the lunkhead, tries to jump the future Big Daddy V.
The crowd is kind of dead as they’re just hitting each other with weapons here. Bradshaw is like screw it and starts beating the tar out of people. Hardcore gets two on Viscera after a shot with a trashcan lid. Ten minutes left as JR says these guys won’t forget their first Wrestlemania. I’m not sure how many this is their first for. Taz is I think and that might be it. Funaki maybe?
We haven’t had a fall in like four minutes. 2/3 of the Posse and Viscera are in the ring now with Thrasher. Viscera beats everyone up with a cookie sheet. Farrooq comes in as Viscera climbs the ropes for no apparent reason. The APA get a double slam which doesn’t really keep him down. They throw Kai En Tai on top of Viscera and Funaki is called the new champion.
Taka immediately smacks him upside his head and the chase is on! Funaki proves to be the most intelligent guy here as he’s trying to run. With a little under seven minutes left some of the Posse catches him in the back and Rodney steals the title. Abs gets a suplex and gets the title. That was a 24 second title reign for those keeping count. Thrasher rams Joey into a wall and gets the title.
Thrasher then runs through a line of people who all hit him with weapons and we’re back in the arena now. Pete Gas finds a fire extinguisher and the third member of the Posse has the title now. Then Tazz grabs him and I think Pete is busted. Oh yeah he’s busted good. A T-Bone Suplex gives Taz his second reign of the night with a little over 4 minutes left.
Hardcore gets two after ramming him into the steps. Crash is busted BAD. Taz tries to pin Mosh as I guess instincts took over or something. Taz keeps kicking out. Both Hollies fight Taz in the ring with Crash not being able to do much at all. ECW chant starts up and we’re under three minutes. Taz stands alone and covers Crash with two and a half minutes to go. Eh it’s not a big deal. As a wrestler I guess you’re trained to go for covers.
The Hollies beat Crash down and both guys try for the pin. Naturally they end up fighting which is what they do in that family I guess. With two minutes left Taz suplexes Crash and Hardcore gets a powerslam on Taz for two. I love how no one else has seemed to care about trying to win the title and is just fighting. Taz suplexes Hardcore and he hits the floor, stealing JR’s candy jar.
Now we get to the weird part of this. Crash gets a weapon shot in on Taz and wins the title with about 20 seconds to go. Taz grabs the Tazmission but Hardcore comes in with the candy jar and busts it over Taz’s head (legitimately injuring Taz’s eye and costing him the push that would ultimately go to Chris Benoit). He covers Crash and the referee just doesn’t slap the mat for three.
What was supposed to happen was the clock was supposed to go out with Hardcore having a 2.99999 count. They messed up the timing though and the referee had to stop. They further messed things up by having Fink say Hardcore won the title while JR screams that there was a shoulder up. Totally not the planned ending but you have to do what you have to do.
Rating: C+. What were you expecting here? The idea makes sense and given what’s going on, the mistake at the end is very excusable in my mind, and since this is my review of the show, it’s excusable. It was wild and stupid, and that’s just fine. The match was fun and that’s all that really matters.
Video on Axxess. That still looks awesome. They have a small arena with matches going on, a commentary booth where you can sit down with Michael Cole and call a match, race cars, autograph booths, a Hall of Fame exhibit. Austin and HBK, two guys that weren’t active at this time, are there too. I’d love to go to something like that.
Al Snow is in the bathroom talking to someone in a stall but Steve Blackman is worried about what he’s planning.
We go from that to an extreme closeup of Trish’s ample chest as she says WM is going to see some T & A.
Test/Albert vs. Al Snow/Steve Blackman
This was a really weird angle in the tag division as Snow and Blackman were doing the odd pairing that won almost every match they had, but Snow insisted that they needed a name which didn’t go that well. Test and Albert were guys that Trish had handpicked to be her team. What you have to remember here about Trish is at the time, she wasn’t a wrestler and was nothing more than the hot manager. It wasn’t for about two more years before she and Lita took the division to new heights.
As for the match, before it we get Al Snow talking. One of the names he was pitching was Head Cheese, going along with his Head gimmick. Out comes Chester McCheesyton, a walking piece of cheese. Sadly enough, I’m not making that up. Trish leads their opponents down, but is WAY more muscular than when she started wrestling. If this is believable, she let herself go physically before she started wrestling.
Lawler messes up the headsets and JR is gone for a bit. Blackman and Test start but it’s off to Snow soon thereafter. Blackman tries to keep the Head Cheese chants down as this filler match goes on. This is a good show later on but these opening matches are pretty freaking bad all things considered. I’m watching Al Snow and Steve Blackman at Wrestlemania. Let that sink in for a bit.
Oh and JR is back now. It breaks down quickly as you can tell JR has nothing to work with here at all. There’s no point in talking about the match as it’s just about getting us to the end and that’s all there is to it. The cheese hits on Trish and is named Chester the Molester. Albert gets beaten down for awhile as this is one of the least interesting matches I’ve ever seen. This is what Raw and Smackdown are for.
Did I mention that this match is terribly boring? It’s one of those matches where stuff is happening in the ring but nothing matters at all. Crowd is DEAD here. It doesn’t help that the wrestling is boring. Double powerbomb to Snow gets two. There’s the boring chant. Bowling shoe tendency line by Ross. Head Cheese’s finishing move, the move that the Smoking Guns called the Sidewinder, gets two. FINALLY Albert gets a press slam on Blackman and the elbow from Test ends it.
Rating: F. Thank goodness it’s over. This was one of the least interesting matches I’ve ever seen and somehow it’s nearly an hour into the show. Just a terrible match all around and everyone knew it. Get on to whatever is next please.
The “good guys” beat up the cheese dude post match.
We get a horrible segment of Kat and Mae Young where Kat is sitting in a chair with nothing on and Mae keeps handing her things that cover up certain parts. Austin Powers was very big at this time and it’s supposed to be like that I think.
The Dudleys, still in their original AWESOME mode, say they’ll win and even though the odds are against them they’ll take things to a new level. These two more or less saved the division.
Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boys vs. Dudley Boys
This was before the name TLC was coined, but it’s the same thing with a bigger emphasis on the ladders. Edge and Christian were still chasing the belts at this point and the Dudleyz are the defending champions. At this time, the Dudleyz were so over it’s mind blowing and they were easily the biggest tag team in the world. There’s no backstory here other than they’ve been feuding over the belts and E/C and the Hardys have had ladder matches before. These matches never have much backstory but they don’t need to.
The Dudleys climb a ladder and pose during their entrance so the other two teams start fighting without them. All six guys brawl in the aisle until Matt and Christian hit the ring. Matt and Jeff look A LOT alike here so I’ll likely get them mixed up at least once or twice. These matches are very hard to call so it’s likely that I’ll miss something.
Bubba beats on Jeff in the ring until Jeff gets what would become known as Whisper in the Wind to reverse. Bubba Bomb and Bubba rules the ring. That may never be said again forever. The fans want tables as Christian goes up the ladder early. Matt saves as the ladders are brought in quickly. Crowd is surprisingly quiet here but after the first three matches they had to sit through I can understand that.
We start the violence though and the fans wake up a good bit. Ladders are rammed into people and pain is caused. Matt gets the screaming…elbow onto D-Von onto the ladder. Jeff tries a 450 onto Bubba onto the ladder but the fat country boy moves and Jeff nearly kills himself again. In other news, the sun came up today. Bubba actually hits the backsplash off the middle rope but hits his head on the ladder. FREAKING OW MAN!
Matt’s entire body is crushed by a ladder and then the same thing happens to Edge. They’re doing a lot more with the ladders here. Bubba does the Terry Funk spot as he spins around with the ladder around his neck. Edge/Christian beat on D-Von for awhile and then sit up a ladder in front of the ropes. Christian dives off and takes out Matt and Bubba. Nice dive indeed.
Jeff goes up but Edge dives off the top rope to spear him down. Oh man would that be topped by about a thousand next year. Edge takes a Crucifix Bomb from Matt off the ladder. Christian throws a ladder at D-Von. Why do stuff that is too complicated I guess? Three ladders set up now but Bubba takes Christian down with the Cutter off the ladder. SWEET spot.
The Hardys kill Bubba with the legdrop/splash combo off ladders. D-Von and Christian in the ring now but here’s Edge. The Canadians get a double suplex off the ladder in a great spot. Everyone but the Dudleys go up and everyone but the Dudleys crash down. And here comes Bubba! Here they go again, this time with all six of them.
Christian and Jeff go flying over the top rope to the floor as do Matt and Edge. The Dudleys wind up in the ring somehow but they’re a bit dead at the moment. Christian staggers to his feet and is sandwiched between two ladders. The look on his face in short says “That hurt a LOT!” Old school 3D to Edge, which is where Bubba runs parallel to him and then crosses over to catch Edge in the cutter in stride. It’s an awesome move when done right.
The Dudleys don’t have their catchphrase yet so they just get the tables. With two ladders already in the ring the ring, the Dudleys set up a table on top of them like a bridge/platform between them. The Hardys are back now to surprising booing. To the floor we go and Matt is slammed into the steps and HARD. This has been an incredibly physical match to say the least.
There’s a table in the ring in front of a ladder with D-Von on said ladder and a table in front of the announce table. Matt goes on the one in the ring and Jeff is in a powerbomb position in Bubba’s hands on the announce table. In stereo, D-Von dives onto Matt and Bubba powerbombs Jeff in a cool sequence. Jeff somehow gets up soon thereafter and tries his barrier run but Bubba PELTS the ladder at him to stop Jeff in midair which looked sweet again. Jeff has taken a man’s beating in this.
And now it’s time to set up the big spot in this match as Bubba debuts the super ladder in the aisle. There’s a table set up in front of it and Jeff gets laid out on it. Christian comes up with the bell to clock Bubba. Jeff gets off the table as Bubba is laid on it. And he begins to climb. In the HOLY CRAP spot of the match, Jeff jumps off the ladder and half kills himself with a Swanton Bomb through Bubba through the table. That was the top of Jeff’s highlight reel for a long time.
Back in the ring with D-Von kind of alive. Matt and Christian are in there too and are trying to stand. Twist of Fate takes D-Von down and Matt and Christian both start climbing. They get up on the platform but Edge is climbing up behind Matt. Edge throws him off and through a table which explodes on impact. The Canadians grab the belts and win their first tag titles to finally end this.
Rating: B+. This was a great match but there are a lot of dead spots in there. Jeff is easily the star of this match as he took one of the best beatings you’ll ever see with huge bump after huge bump. Somehow this would be topped the next year and this match would be blown out of the water. Great match and definitely picked up a bad show so far. I liked it quite a bit but somehow next year’s was that much better.
In the back we have Linda McMahon with Mick Foley. I forgot to mention, the idea behind the main event is that there’s a McMahon in every corner. Stephanie and HHH, Vince is backing Rock, Linda brought Mick back in, and Shane was Big Show’s manager for lack of a better term. Foley, with washed hair, says his fairy tale will come true, not his opponents.
JR and King talk about how great the ladder match was and they’re right. Considering that almost nothing like this had ever been done with so many people, this was beyond great.
Terri vs. The Kat
Val Venis is the guest referee here. To cover up the fact that neither can wrestle, the only thing you have to do here is throw the other girl out of the ring. Val’s pre match promos are always great. Apparently he and WM have things in common: they’re large extravaganzas, they get blood pumping, but unlike Val, Mania only comes once a year. And people have the nerve to wonder why the Attitude Era scared away parents.
Terri has Moolah with her and Kat has Mae Young. This is one of the major problems with great matches: after them, you get stuff like this. Terri truly was ugly to me. Val makes out with both in the middle of the match as this continues to cry out for someone to save the division. Terri gets thrown out but Mae is kissing Val. She comes back in and Terri wins. Afterwards, Kat strips Terri of her pants.
Rating: F. Didn’t care at all and it was terrible. A complete waste of time and an insult to my intelligence. It was like two minutes long and awful to say the least.
In the back we see Eddie, Saturn and Malenko getting ready to face Too Cool and Chyna. Eddie has a crush on Chyna but can’t get her attention.
Chyna/Too Cool vs. The Radicalz
This feud went on forever and no one cared. Let’s get this over with. All I have to remember is that the triple threat is next. That should get me through this. Oh well at least Chyna looks pretty good here. I’ll give Too Cool this: their music is downright catchy. Scotty vs. Eddie starts us off here. Eddie gets beaten down a bit and we get some dancing.
Chyna is tagged in and Eddie literally runs away on his knees. Dean, the Light Heavyweight Champion is here now. JR thinks Chyna looks hot. That’s just wrong on so many levels. Grandmaster and Chyna hit a double suplex on Malenko. Hey look: more dancing. Is that all Too Cool could do? Back to Eddie who avoids the top rope legdrop. Ok so it was more like Saturn shoved Grandmaster off but work for me here.
Grandmaster vs. Saturn at the moment. Saturn steals Grandmaster’s head gear complete with dreadlocks or whatever that is. Back to Eddie who takes over for a bit and it’s cold tag to Scotty. Eddie keeps trying to get Chyna’s attention which fails completely. Since she isn’t paying enough attention she gets her head rammed into the post. Good. Witch deserved it.
Saturn and Malenko get beaten up by Scotty and it’s time for the Worm. Oh but since it’s Mania it’s a double Worm to both Radicalz not named Eddie. Everything breaks down a bit as we’re still waiting on Eddie vs. Chyna. Nice superkick by Saturn to Scotty as we’re in a bit more of a standard match now. Elbow hits Scotty from the top for no cover.
Off to Eddie but he can’t get the Frog Splash off. Scotty drills him and it’s a superplex to put both guys down. There’s the hot tag to Chyna and Eddie can’t run away fast enough. Handspring elbow to Saturn as Chyna is cleaning house. Double low blow and Eddie drills Chyna. Chyna counters a powerbomb and gets a bad one of her own. She grabs Eddie’s balls and then gets a sleeper drop for the pin. They would be together the following night.
Rating: D. Well Chyna looked good and she got to beat on Eddie. That’s the extent of the good stuff about this match. It’s nothing special to say the slightest and is yet again another pointless match on this show in a long streak of them. Again though, the triple threat is next. Keep repeating that.
That day there was a thing called All Day Long which was an 8 hour countdown of WM history that cost an extra 50 dollars. Our cable company screwed up and we got It for free. Anyway the point of this is there was a contest with the winner getting front row seats and the winner is shown. She and her husband are the definition of white trash but it’s kind of a cool idea. They’re from Allentown, Pennsylvania, hometoiwn of the Nasty Boys as I show my nerdiness.
Shane tells us how awesome Big Show is. Show says he’s awesome and will take apart the other three.
Bob Backlund who is kind of Angle’s mentor made the match with both titles being defended in the same match/back to back. Kurt kind of goes insane and puts Backlund in the crossface chickenwing even though you can tell there’s no pressure on the arm. One of the medals breaks during this scuffle.
Angle talks to a security guard to try to get some extra security, offering autographs as payment. Much funnier than it sounds.
Intercontinental Title/European Title: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
This is the match that everyone remembers from this show as well as being a very cool concept. Angle has both the European and Intercontinental titles and is defending both in back to back triple threat matches. The first fall is for the IC title and immediately thereafter the European Title match starts. With these three, are you expecting less than greatness?
The brilliance behind this is that even if one has a bad night, the other two are there to cover for them. Jericho is clearly having a blast on the mic here and says he’ll win something and be the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah no matter what. Angle is still the goofball heel which is some of the best stuff I can ever remember. Him being less than a year into his pro career is insane.
Speaking of insane, Benoit jumps him on the floor and the fight is on. They seem to be attacking Angle together for the most part but he fights them off somewhat. Benoit vs. Jericho now as this is rather fast paced. With Benoit and Angle on the apron, Jericho hits his springboard dropkick to take them both out to the floor. There’s a really annoying kid in the audience that is shouting about everything that’s said. Granted that’s not a terrible thing as that’s what fans are supposed to do.
Ross says Angle is great but talks about himself too much. Lawler: “So does Jericho.” Ross: “That’s a good point King. Maybe later you’ll make another.” No one ever accused JR of being the nicest guy in the world. Jericho is knocked off the top out to the floor where he slams into the table in a painful looking bump. Angle gets a snap suplex on Benoit for two.
Jericho knocks Angle to the floor and locks in a camel clutch to Benoit. This is too fast paced to call everything and they keep going back and forth. Jericho suplexes Angle and Benoit almost steals a pin. Then he does something stupid and tries to suplex Kurt. I think you get what winds up happening to Jericho. Benoit is sent to the floor and in some slick counters Angle gets a crossface chicken wing on Jericho.
Benoit manages to get a dropkick to Angle to break it up at the last second. He throws Angle into the crowd and hits the swan dive to Jericho for the pin and the Intercontinental Title. In a smart move Benoit tries to immediately cover Jericho but Angle breaks it up. All three are back in there now and Angle’s moonsault is crotched.
Angle is up top and Jericho tries a belly to back suplex. Benoit drills Jericho and suplexes him instead. Angle tries the moonsault to Benoit but crashes and everyone is down for a count. After some covers Jericho grabs the Walls on Angle but Benoit breaks it up. Angle wakes up and hammers away but Jericho takes him and Benoit down with relative ease. Double powerbomb to Angle but Benoit saves again. Rolling Germans by Benoit to Jericho get two as well.
Benoit goes old school with a Dragon Suplex to Kurt. Angle’s shoulder might have been up on the bridge so Jerry screams conspiracy. Jericho misses the forearm and drills the referee with it. Crossface goes on and Jericho taps but there’s no referee. Walls of Jericho to Benoit but still no ref. Angle drills Jericho with a belt to break it up which only gets two. Benoit misses the Swan Dive to Angle so Jericho hits his fellow Canadian with the Lionsalt for the European Title to end this.
Rating: A. This was great stuff indeed with all three guys working incredibly hard the entire time. It’s also a good way to get the titles off of Kurt without hurting his reputation. He would be world champion in the fall so he doesn’t have much to complain about. Excellent match and probably their best matches up to this point.
Vince is in the back with Cole as apparently the four way can only have eliminations via pinfall and it’s No DQ. For a multi-man match, that’s the best way to go. Vince says the McMahons won’t be a factor. That’s why they were the focal point of the match right? Vince says he’ll “make it right.”
HHH says he will not lose.
Kane/Rikishi vs. X-Pac/Road Dogg
This is pure filler before the title match, but there’s a story to it at least. DX is accompanied by Tori who is Kane’s ex. She was his first relationship and left X-Pac, allegedly because Kane wasn’t big enough for her. She’s pure sexuality and while she’s not the most famous or attractive diva, she’s one of the sexiest. The name Pete Rose is thrown around here as he might want a piece of Kane after two years of getting beaten up. Kane has been chasing X-Pac for months and this is about the best shot he ever got at him.
Well if nothing else we get the awesome Kings of Rock theme for DX. The more I see of Jesse James, the more I’m impressed. We now get Rikishi. Oh yay, it’s Rikishi. GOOD GRIEF I HATED THIS GUY. People, you want to complain about JBL being useless? This is the epitome of useless. If you remember earlier on I said there was no Austin. He was out getting neck surgery so the reason given was that he was run over by a car at the Survivor Series. No one knew who was driving it or who was behind it.
Austin comes back in the fall from being out nearly a year and the man hunt begins. Who was it? HHH, Rock, Vince, maybe even one of the new guys like Jericho or Benoit, looking to make a name for themselves? Nope. It’s Rikishi, the 400lb, thong wearing, dancing sumo wrestler. He debuted about a week after Austin was run over and while Austin was out, Rikishi rose to the IC title in a decent run and hit amazing popularity.
Then in the worst move I can ever remember, he’s revealed as the mastermind of the plot to attack Austin. They have a match and finally everyone realizes the massive problem: Austin can’t beat Rikishi up the way he usually does others because he’s too fat.
No one buys into Rikishi as the big bad he was supposed to be, so WWF pulled the blug at the last minute and said Rikishi was working for HHH, making him the true evil one. Rikishi was gone soon thereafter, thank goodness. Anyway, Kane comes out to end my hate filled rant. Paul Bearer in the red suit is just sweet looking for some reason.
Bearer and Tori get into an argument so DX double teams Rikishi. Kane has the inverted colors tonight which is awesome. Stinkface to Road Dogg as I think we have a comedy match on our hands. Stinkface to Tori is avoided to big booing. DX tries to run which doesn’t work at all. Kane finally gets his hands on X-Pac.
We finally get back in the ring and Pac kicks Rikishi’s head off. Pac vs. Rikishi is how we finally start it up. Bronco Buster by Pac and it’s off to Roadie. Pac in again and he can’t do a thing. Rikishi hits a one man 3D and it’s off to Kane. Road Dogg gets his head kicked off and Tori is thrown in. Stinkface for her and a Tombstone for X-Pac ends it quickly.
Rating: D+. Well for what it was supposed to be this was fine. Keeping it short was a great thing as this barely broke four minutes. Kane gets his revenge, we get the comedy stuff, Tori looked good, and then we get what the whole point of this is about: the post match stuff.
Too Cool comes out to dance but the San Diego Chicken comes out like last year. Rikishi comes in to kill the chicken but is intercepted by some yellow sunglasses. Somehow the dancing gets the best pop of the night. The chicken can move and it’s pretty clear that’s not Rose. Kane goes after the chicken but Pete Rose comes in.
Chokeslam to Rose and Paul Bearer does the crotch chop to him. Rose gets a Stinkface to FINALLY end this. I know it’s stupid, I know it’s childish, I know it’s idiotic, but I absolutely love these Pete Rose segments. The guy is having fun and gets beaten up three straight years and it’s still awesome. I loved these things and they still make me smile. Kane’s pyro is louder than usual and it made me jump a bit.
Rock says his time is now and he’s taking the title back. This is serious Rock and it works very well.
Some celebrities are here.
Quick recap of the title match. HHH was WWF Champion so he’s explained. He was feuding with Cactus Jake and retired him at No Way Out. As a favor to him in real life, WWF brought him back in for one final match so he could live out his dream of main eventing a Wrestlemania. Since he was officially retired, if he wins here he vacates the title and a tournament starts that ends at next month’s Backlash.
Rock was the last man out of the Rumble, eliminating Big Show. However, Big Show produces a video showing that Rock’s feet hit the ground before Show’s, so Show officially won. Rock had signed the contracts though, so he couldn’t be taken out but Show could be added, leading to all four being in here. Also remember the McMahon in every corner aspect (Linda – Mick, Stephanie – HHH, Vince – Rock, Shane – Big Show).
WWF World Title: Rock vs. HHH vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show
Foley comes out first and you can tell he’s choked up. This was classy of WWF to let him have one last time and to let him accomplish his dream like this. It’s clear that the McMahons are the focal point here and is anyone really surprised by that? Big ovation for Rock here as this totally should have been Rock vs. HHH. I get the Foley addition, but did anyone want to see Big Show in there? I miss HHH’s My Time music. That was awesome.
HHH was at the absolute peak of evil here and he looks like awesome. If Stephanie’s hair didn’t look absurd, that bareback pink top and leather pants would work a lot better. HHH doesn’t quite have the water spit down yet. Here we go. Foley vs. HHH and Rock vs. Big Show to start. No tagging here of course. They say fatal fourway but it’s elimination. Foley is out of shape here as he more or less stopped training after No Way Out but to be fair he thought he was done.
Show beats down Rock and takes down the other guys with a double clothesline. Press slam to Rock which is incredibly impressive. Same to HHH. Foley jumps on his back so Show just drops backwards with him. Well why do something other than what works? Rock gets up and hammers away but a side slam takes care of that.
Show tries a chokeslam on HHH but Foley kicks him low. Foley and HHH hammer away on the Giant as does Rock. A trio of clotheslines put him down and they do a Horsemen stomp. Foley drills HHH out of instinct and they hit the floor via a Cactus Clothesline. Chair to the ribs of HHH as Shane trips Rock. Foley blasts Show in the back with a chair and a Rock Bottom puts Show out less than five minutes in. Was there ANY point to him being there? He would be a face in like a week which was good for him and us as we got THE SHOWSTER.
HHH tries to ally himself with Foley to get rid of Rock. That fails so HHH tries to ally himself with Rock to get rid of Foley. Take a guess as to what happens next. The double teaming of HHH goes on for awhile and we go out to the floor. Foley hands Rock the bell but HHH ducks and the bell hits Foley in the head instead. Out of nowhere Mick finds the 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire, drawing a big pop from the crowd.
HHH gets a low blow to save himself and gets the 2×4 for a shot to Foley’s ribs. Rock back in now and the 2×4 is dropped to the floor. Rock is sent to the floor and Foley gets a double arm DDT on HHH. It’s Mr. Socko time and the Claw goes on. Rock grabs the belt and blasts HHH so he can set for the People’s Elbow. Surprisingly though Foley grabs the Claw on Rock, only for the Rock N Sock Connection to take a double low blow to put all three down.
Rock vs. Foley for a bit now as Foley gets some near falls with the double arm DDT getting the closest one. Vince slid a chair in earlier but Foley gets it. Rock kicks it into his face though and then hammers away. He gets a DDT on Foley but HHH breaks it up, causing confusion from the announcers. Foley makes a deal with HHH to get rid of the Rock and the double team is on to huge booing.
Out to the floor where the double teaming continues. Mick gets reversed and his knees crash into the stairs. Those same stairs are rammed into the head of the Rock by Foley to keep Rock down. Rock is put on the Spanish Announce Table so Foley can go to the middle rope for the elbow. The problem is that he couldn’t jump that well and slams chest first into the side of the table, legitimately injuring his sternum.
HHH gets all mad and drops two jumping elbows onto Rock to break him through the table. Back in the ring Foley takes the Pedigree for a long two and a big pop. HHH shoves the referee down and then kills Foley with a chair to the head. Pedigree on the chair and Foley didn’t wrestle again for four years. Rock vs. HHH now for the title, but do you really think Foley is leaving that easily? He comes back and blasts HHH in the head with the barbed wire so that Rock can get two.
Rock clotheslines HHH to the floor and remember it has to end by pinfall. Out to the floor now and we go up the aisle. Rock gets a suplex up by the entrance in a cool looking crash landing. All Rock here. Into the crowd they go and then it’s back to ringside. Rock grabs the steps but HHH pops him with a chair so that the steps hit Rock in the head and fall on his chest. HHH hammers the steps with the chair. A Piledriver on the steps kills Rock but only gets two back in the ring. Big pop for that kickout.
Both finishers are countered with the Pedigree being backdropped to the floor. We go into the crowd again as it’s pretty clear they’re killing time before the finish. Back to the ring area and HHH smacks the hat off the head of an annoying fan. Spinebuster (called a takedown by Ross) on the floor by Rock puts both guys down.
We head to the announce table with Rock suplexing HHH onto the English announce table. You can tell it’s a big match when the American table is busted too. HHH gets a drop toehold to the steps to put Rock down. For some reason he gets in HHH’s face and Vince kicks some Game. Shane is back now and beats down Vince a bit.
Shane hits Vince in the head with a monitor and the look on Stephanie’s face that we cut to is perhaps the most unintentionally funny things you will ever see on WWE television. Stephanie is a lot of things. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s gorgeous, she’s sexy, she’s a great TV character, but she cannot act to save her life and this is one of those instances. She looks like the guy from Troll 2 if that gives you any indication of how stupid she looks here.
Anyway, Vince somehow pops up from a monitor shot to the head within 20 seconds and goes after Shane. Keep in mind that this sequence, which has gone on for like two minutes now, is happening during THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA. Yes, The Rock vs. HHH, perhaps the greatest feud of the Attitude Era other than Vince vs. Austin and the feud that would carry the comfpany to unthought of levels in 2000 isn’t enough as we need to focus on the McMahons and their drama. This is why this match and show are considered weak: it was about the McMahons and that’s it.
Shane manages to crack Vince’s head with the chair to put him down. They’ve literally not had the camera on HHH or Rock or the ring for three minutes now. They’re in the ring salsa dancing for all I know. Vince is busted open and taken to the back. There’s a trickle of blood which JR is saying is flowing by the quart.
HOLY CRAP IT’S WRESTLING TIME! Rock hammers on HHH and gets a DDT for two. Rock gets a slam for two as Shane has a chair on the floor. HHH gets a facebuster and drills Rock in the head with the 2×4. Shane in now but the reversed Pedigree sends HHH flying into Shane. Rock Bottom but Rock is spent. Shane is up with the chair now but here’s Vince as AGAIN it’s all about the McMahons. Shane goes down, Vince gets the chair, turns on Rock (SHOCKING!), chair to Rock, kick out, HHH gets the chair and drills Rock with it for the pin.
Rating: D+. Well let’s see. First of all, WAY too much focus on the McMahons. Second, this should have been Rock vs. HHH. That’s all there is to it. Also, a fatal fourway elimination match in the main event of Wrestlemania? That sounds like something from a video game. Also, when does a heel win in the main event of Wrestlemania? It’s supposed to be a feel good moment and that simply didn’t happen here. No clue what they were thinking here but it didn’t work like at all.
Vince and Stephanie reunite post match. Rock gets up and all three McMahons take Rock Bottoms. Stephanie gets a People’s Elbow after hers and it looked like Rock grabbed a bit of something when he was getting up for it.
Overall Rating: D. This was….bad. The show itself is mostly watch, but THIS IS WRESTLEMANIA. This isn’t Judgment Day….scratch that as Judgment Day in 2000 was great. This isn’t some WCW show where watchable is a good night. WWF was incredible in 2000 and this is probably the weakest show of the year by far.
I have no idea what the thought process was here but it certainly didn’t work at all. There are two good matches here and more importantly, not one singles match. What the heck were they thinking here? That’s a very good question that I don’t think has ever gotten an answer. Terrible show overall and it just didn’t work, especially for Mania.