Dunn’s Countdown To WrestleMania: WrestleMania XIX
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Matt tries to attack from behind, but Rey backdrops him over the top and corkscrews out on top of him. A headscissors and spin kick send Matt to the apron. Mysterio tries to sunset flip into a powerbomb, but Shannon breaks it up. Matt with a side suplex into an elbowdrop. Shannon chokes Rey against the ropes behind the ref’s back. Matt misses a charge. Mysterio counters the Twist of Fate to a Flying Leg Rollup for two. Matt catches him with a side effect for two. Mysterio fights out of a surfboard stretch. Matt posts himself on a charge. Rey springboards into a vertical splash. A springboard crossbody gets two. The swirling headscissors sets up a Tornado DDT for two. Shannon breaks up the 619, setting up the Twist of Fate. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Matt can’t believe it. Matt goes for Splash Mountain, but Rey reverses to a rana. ONE, TWO, THR-Shannon puts Matt’s leg on the bottom rope. Rey hits Matt with the 619, but Matt ducks the huracanrana. Mysterio springboards into a Victory Roll, but Matt drops down and grabs the ropes for the win at 5:39. They didn’t have time to do anything other than hit their usual spots and go home. *3/4
Big Show and A-Train had an advantage because they weren’t afraid of the Undertaker. I guess because there were two of them. Nathan Jones, of course,
sucks too much is too injured to wrestle. Cole says Taker’s WrestleMania streak is in serious jeopardy. **ding** What is bullshit, Alex?” Cole then shifts gears to say that A-Train shouldn’t be messing with Taker’s bike because he’ll incur the wrath of the Undertaker. Well, if Show and A-Train winning is a likelihood as Cole just said, then why would he be worried? Show charges from behind, but Taker and his catlike reflexes pull the ropes down, spilling Show to the outside. Taker hits A-Train with a chokeslam and nearly wins. Show makes the save. A-Train decides his best strategy will be to stand in the corner and yell, “Kick his ass!” at Show. Taker shrugs off Show. He hiptosses A-Train and hits the Old School Ropewalk forearm. Show distracts Taker long enough for A-Train to recover and hit the Derailer. Show press slams Taker into the railing. Back in, A-Train for two. Taker counters a chokeslam to a wakigatame on Show. A-Train tries to make the save, but Taker sees him coming and locks in the jujigatame. Show and A-Train team up on an abdominal stretch. Taker comes back with a running DDT. Taker with the flying clothesline on Show. A-Train catches him with the bicycle kick. Show gets the chokeslam, but Nathan Jones makes the save to wake up the crowd. Taker finishes with the Tombstone at 9:46. Horrible match, but the fans dug the Taker. Undertaker is now 11-0. 3/4*
Jazz hits Trish with a dropkick and forearms her face. She busts out the bridging neckvise. Victoria pulls Trish out. Jazz charges, but Victoria throws her out too. Back in, Vicky gets two off a slingshot legdrop. Victoria and Jazz team up for a double shoulderbreaker. They turn on each other. Victoria gets two off a powerslam. Trish sneaks up on Victoria and gets a Flying Leg Rollup for two. Jazz with a Michinoku Driver on Trish. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Victoria and Jazz try to team up again, but it backfires. Trish gets two off a Victory Roll. Victoria counters a charge with a knee. Trish kicks Victoria to the floor. She turns and runs right into a single leg crab by Jazz. That segues to an STF. Stevie breaks it up as the ref reprimands Victoria for trying to bring in a foreign object. Jazz with the double chickenwing on Trish. Victoria boots Jazz in the face and goes up for the moonsault. It misses. Stevie takes himself out with a chairshot. Victoria tries to capitalize but runs into the Chick Kick. ONE, TWO, THREE. Trish becomes the new champ at 7:18. *1/2
Big brawl to start. It finally settles down to Chavo and Haas. Chavo gets a dropkick. Haas tags Benoit. Chavo suplexes him, setting up a slingshot Senton from Eddy. Benoit CHOPS HIS NIPPLE OFF! They collide for a double KO. Rhyno tags in and powerslams Eddy for two. Eddy tags to Shelton. Team Angle double dropkicks Rhyno for two. Benoit snap suplexes Haas. Backdrop suplex on Haas. Rhyno delivers the running shoulderblock to the corner on Benjamin. Eddy tags in and dropkicks Rhyno. Eddy goes for the Frogsplash on Benoit, but Benoit catches him and superplexes him for two. Benoit presses him into a Crippler Crossface. Haas breaks it up. Eddy with a brainbuster. Chavo tags in and takes out both Angle members. Benoit catches him in the Rolling Germans. He blind tags Benjamin who comes in and superkicks Benoit. Eddy and Benoit collide once more for a double KO. Benjamin with a legdrop on Benoit for two before Eddy breaks it up with the Frogsplash. Haas comes in with a belly-to-belly on Chavo. Rhyno nails Haas with the gore, knocking him out of the ring. Chavo recovers, so Rhyno hits him with another one. Eddy pulls Rhyno out for a brawl on the outside. Meanwhile, Shelton recovers and crawls into the cover to retain at 8:46. **1/4
From a match with two future world champs to a match with two former world champs. A little mat wrestling starts. Jericho stops short on a leapfrog and slaps Michaels in the face. Shawn tosses him over the top and baseball slides into him. Back in, Jericho rolls through a crossbody for two. A spinning heel kick gets two for Jericho. Michaels counters a bulldog by crotching Jericho in the corner. Michaels locks in a figure-four. Jericho rolls it over, though. Jericho sends him into the ringpost. Shawn skins-the-cat and headscissors Jericho to the outside. He follows him with the plancha. Jericho counters a dropkick to the Walls of Jericho and leaves Shawn to die. Jericho rams Shawn into the ringpost and plays to the crowd. Jericho with the springboard dropkick, sending Shawn off the apron. A backbreaker works the back even further. Arrogant cover for two. Jericho kills time with a chinlock. HBK comes back with a flying DDT. Jericho with the flying forearm into a kip up. He poses, allowing Michaels to get the real thing. Jericho runs into an atomic drop. A moonsault gets two for Shawn. They go through a sunset flip pinfall sequence. Jericho ends that with a Walls attempt. Shawn kicks away from it. Jericho with the Northern Lights for two. Michaels bridges up but gets clotheslined back down. LIONSAULT! One, two, thr-no! Jericho counters a huracanrana to the Walls of Jericho. Michaels makes the ropes and reverses another Walls attempt to a small package. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Jericho with another backbreaker. A reverse elbow sets up Michaels for…SWEET CHIN MUSIC. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Michaels springboards into a crossbody on Jericho. He slingshots Jericho all the way into the post. Michaels misses a swing, and Jericho targets the back once more. Jericho sets him on top for a backdrop suplex. Michaels counters with a crossbody! Michaels goes up, but Jericho kicks the ref into the ropes, crotching Michaels. Jericho tries to capitalize, but Michaels pushes him off and drops an elbow. He’s tuning up the band! SWEET CHIN MU-Jericho ducks! THE WALLS OF JERICHO! Michaels scrapes to the bottom rope. Jericho begs the ref to tell him Michaels tapped. He turns and runs right into SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Jericho kicks out. Jericho goes for a backdrop suplex, but Michaels flips out of it and counters to a Flying Leg Roll for the win at 22:30. It was lacking something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, though. **** Jericho hugs Michaels and kicks him in the nuts.
It’s Saturday night at Lawler’s pad as a bunch of girls trade pillow shots and strip each other. Jonathon Coachman gets stripped. 1/4*
They fight over a lock up and exchange chops in the corner. Triple H goes up and gets armdragged off the top. Booker sends Triple H into the ringpost. Booker blocks a hiptoss and levels him with a clothesline. Booker gets sent to the apron, and Triple H slams his head into the turnbuckle. Back in, Triple H gets a reverse neckbreaker. A spinebuster gets two for Triple H. Triple H delivers a corner clothesline. Booker slips out of a suplex and drops him with a DDT. They slug it out and Booker delivers a spinning kick. Booker with a sideslam and a flying forearm for two. Triple H avoids the scissors kick with a sleeper. A facebuster stuns Booker T, but he catches Hunter with a spinebuster. Booker charges into a boot. Hunter goes up but gets caught on the way down with a jumping side kick. Booker misses a scissors kick. Triple H crotches him on the ropes and knocks him to the floor. Flair kneebreakers Booker on the ring steps. Back in, Hunter busts out the Indian Deathlock. That’s kind of a funny little dig at WCW, considering that was his finisher while he was there. Triple H drapes Booker’s knee on the rope and drives his knee into it. Booker can’t even run across the ring on a corner whip. Hunter goes for a kneebreaker, countered to a sunset flip for two. Triple H nearly takes out Nick Patrick on a charge. Booker rolls him up for two. SCISSORS KICK! Booker is too injured to capitalize, however. It only gets two. Booker goes up, but Flair distracts him long enough for Triple H to recover. Booker shoves Triple H off and delivers the Harlem Hangover. ONE, TWO, THR-Flair puts Triple H’s foot on the ropes. Booker tries to capitalize, but his knee gives way. Hunter gets the Pedigree and gets the pin at 18:47. This left a bitter taste in people’s mouths at the time, but it had good psychology and was well-worked. ***
McMahon slaps him to start. Hogan takes him down. They do some pretty weak playground brawling. Cole: I don’t like to use the word “hatred” much. Does he think we just started watching? McMahon clotheslines him. Tazz notes that Hogan and McMahon used to train together. Yeah, that’s what the trial was about. McMahon with a hammerlock. Test of strength. Hogan powers up, but McMahon tosses him to the outside. McMahon misses a chairshot. Hogan gets one of his own. Hogan never really did learn how to give a chairshot, did he? Actually, he does get a few good ones in on the other side of the ring. Unfortunately, one of them is on Hugo Savinovich. McMahon is busted open but grabs a ladder. Cole notes that this is about two people who hate each other. But he doesn’t like to use the word much. McMahon puts Hogan on SAT and legdrops him off the ladder. Back in, McMahon covers. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! McMahon pulls a pipe out from under the ring and gets that Old Greedy Bastard look in his eye. Hogan lowblows him to prevent brainage. Suddenly, some guy dressed as a flasher climbs in the ring. IT’S RODDY PIPER! He teases attacking McMahon before hitting Hogan with the pipe. Piper walks out. Well, that was different. McMahon crawls to a cover. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Brian Hebner won’t let McMahon use the pipe, so McMahon knocks him out of the ring and calls for Grenier. Grenier and Mike Sparks get into an argument over who is going to referee the match. McMahon. In the ring. With the lead pipe. McMahon drops the Hogan Legdrop, but it only gets two. He’s Hulking up! Hogan tosses Grenier. McMahon attacks from behind, but Hulk no-sells. Big Boot. Legdrop. Another! A third! Hebner recovers and counts three at 20:37. Awful match and awfully entertaining. ***
Rock vs. Austin III. Austin lays into him with punches to start. Rock ducks out of the ring to avoid a Stunner. Austin chases him down and chops his tattoo off him. They fight near the announce table. Rock goes into the ringsteps. Back in, Austin chokes him on the ropes. Backdrop suplex by Austin. Austin confronts the referee for having the nerve to enforce the rules. Rock takes the opportunity to chop Austin’s knee out from under him. Austin heads to the outside to recover, but Rock follows him out and clips him again. Back in, Rock kicks away at the leg and wraps it around the ringpost. Austin tries to come back, but the Rock goes to the knee to end that. Sharpshooter, but Austin makes the ropes. Rock puts on Austin’s vest and has a drink of Aquafina. Back in, Rock reverses a whip and they clothesline one another for a double KO. Austin with the Thesz Press. FU elbow! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Austin stomps a mudhole. Rock comes back with a flying clothesline but walks into the Rock Bottom by Austin. That get two. Austin measures him for the Stunner, but the Rock blocks and hits one of his own. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Punch. Punch. Punch. Rock misses a final swing and takes a STUNNER! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Austin shoves the ref aside, so Rock lowblows him. He asks the crowd to applaud his brilliance. People’s Elbow? No! Stunner? No! Spinebuster by the Rock! PEOPLE’S ELBOW! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO!!! Austin staggers around into another ROCK BOTTOM! ONE, TWO, THRE—NO!!! Still no! Austin elbows out of a Rock Bottom but runs into another. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Rock gets pissed and delivers a third Rock Bottom for the win at 17:53. Rock finally gets a WrestleMania win over Austin. It was nothing but finisher after finisher, but that can be a story in itself. Rock was awesome as usual, in style if not substance. ***3/4
Cole has lost his voice, making him sound like Brian Doyle Murray. They work around on the mat to start. Unlike Jericho-Michaels earlier in the night, they actually make it seem meaningful. Angel charges into an armdrag. Angle reverses a whip but runs into a powerslam for two. Brock misses a swing and takes a German Suplex. Brock no-sells. Brock press slams Angle but charges into a kick. Angle German Suplexes him into the turnbuckle! Back in, Angle delivers a backdrop suplex for two. A vertical suplex gets two. Angle with the bow-and-arrow chinlock. That segues to a sort of Crippler Crossface. Brock powers out and rams Angle to the corner to get him to break. Angle with a belly-to-belly. Brock gets a desperation spinebuster. Angle goes to the eyes. Brock comes back with a flying forearm and shoulderblocks him in the corner. Lesnar with a belly-to-belly now. Another. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Angle pops up with the Rolling Germans. Angle sets up for the Angleslam, but Lesnar counters to the F5. Angle then counters THAT to the anklelock. That segues to a single leg crab. Brock makes the ropes and backdrops Angle to the floor. Brock shoulderblocks him in the corner again. Angle ducks a swing and catches him with an All Japan-ish German suplex. HOLY SHIT! Angle with the ANGLESLAM! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Cole says that’s the first time anyone’s ever kicked out of the Angleslam. Benoit did it at Mania X-7 and again at the Royal Rumble in ’03 just a few months before this…in a match Cole was calling. Brock cradles him for two and hits the F5. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Angle scoops him into an anklelock. Lesnar crawls to the ropes and kicks him away. Angle snaps him over into a cradle for two. Brock slips out of another Angleslam and delivers an F5. Lesnar decides to go up for the Shooting Star Press. How can that not be a good idea! Lesnar buckles and nearly breaks his own neck on a botched SSP. HOLY SHIT! He would be okay, though. He’s a wrestler. Angle covers nicely by rolling out of the way. Brock has the wherewithal to and hit the F5 for the pin and his second world title at 21:07. ****1/2
Final Thoughts: Here’s another case of a show being less than the sum of its parts. That’s not a knock on it, though, because the parts are really great. Five matches are ***+ and those matches took up nearly an hour and a half of the show. Many people have a bitter taste about Booker losing (and the angle that set it up), but it was a solid match. The other big matches are either great or really entertaining crap. This PPV serves as a sort of antithesis to WrestleMania V. If you can remove yourself from the time period and look at the matches in a non-gestalt sort of way, you have one of the best WrestleManias they’ve ever done.