Lest We Forget: WWE Wrestlemania XX Review by Maxwell Baumbach
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2004 Pay-Per-View Required Viewing Matches
-Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
-WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Eddie Guerrero (No Way Out)
-World Heavyweight Championship, Last Man Standing: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (Royal Rumble)
-WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero (No Way Out)
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
March 14, 2004
The show opens with “America the Beautiful” being sung by the Boys Choir of Harlem.
We then jump to a montage, starting with Vince McMahon, showcasing the creation of Wrestlemania and seeing classic moments throughout the event’s history. The video cuts to various WWE Superstars, talking about tonight’s event. It ends with the tagline, “Tonight is where it all begins…AGAIN” and shows Vince with Shane McMahon and his grandchild. Shane is no longer with the company. No word on his child.
BUTTLOADS OF PYRO, YEAH!
John Cena is out to start the show. He gets a huge pop, and Michael Cole calls him Smackdown’s fastest rising star. Huge “Cena!” chants. Cena ends with, “I’m fixing to get a belt to match these custom knucks, MADSION SQUARE GARDEN CHANT IT LOUD, BIG SHOW SUCKS!” The crowd, completely in the palm of his hand, follows along.
United States Championship Match: Big Show © vs. John Cena
Big Show gets out to an early advantage before Cena drops him throat first on the top rope. Cena went up to for a cross body but got caught with a powerslam for two. Big “Let’s Go Cena!” chants as Big Show slaps him across the chest in the corner. Cena builds some momentum but then takes a clothesline. The commentators put over Big Show’s size advantage as he hits a suplex and covers for two. Big Show follows that up with a huge frying-pan like hand to the chest and then he puts all of his weight on the kidneys of Cena. Cena firest back momentarily, but then takes a sick big boot to the face. Big Show gets the Log Drop, but Cena is out at two. Big Show goes for a scoop slam, but Cena slips behind and sinks in a sleeper until Show drives him into the corner. Show then locks in a standing Cobra Clutch. Cena starts to punch his way free before being unceremoniously dumped to the mat. Show goes back to the same hold on the mat. Cena punches out again, and stops a charging Big Show with a dropkick to the legs that sends him into the turnbuckle, just like last month at No Way Out. CENA GETS BIG SHOW UP- F-U! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Cena can’t believe it! Cena is at a loss as he tries to plot his next move. Cena grabs his chain, but the referee stops him. As the referee goes to discard the chain, Cena grabs one of his knucks. CENA HITS SHOW WITH THE KNUCKS! F-U BY CENA! ONE, TWO, THREE! CENA WINS THE U.S. TITLE AT 9:12.
Winner: John Cena
While it may not have been in the most babyface of fashion, John Cena got his first Wrestlemania moment, and the crowd exploded for his victory. I don’t mind the finish, as it fit Cena’s character at the time, which was more rebellious than today. They told a simple but effective story with Big Show being too much for Cena to overcome. Finisher-kickout sequences are not one of my favorite things, but it made sense for Big Show to kick out of the first F-U, since he had essentially taken no other damage the entire match. Though they may not have had the stereotypical “opening match style,” this was the right choice to kick off the show, and the audience was into it the whole way. 1 for 1.
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman walks into Eric Bischoff’s office, where THE BISCH is talking to Johnny Nitro (who would later become John Morrison). Bischoff says he heard a rumor that The Undertaker is here, and he wants Coachman to find him. Bischoff says he needs Coach to find him because he does not want to get scooped by Smackdown. Coach says that he is not comfortable doing so, but Bischoff tells him to get comfortable.
We then cut to Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, who gets a pop despite being a heel. The camera pans back and he is with Ric Flair and Batista. Orton says MSG is where he became a hardcore legend by kicking Foley down the stairs behind him. They show the clip of Orton spitting in Foley’s face. Orton says he gets that Foley is trying to hang on, but that his time has passed him by. Orton says, “It’s just Evolution.” Orton says Foley called Hollywood for help to bring in The Rock, but that Evolution beat him down too. Orton says it’s Evolution’s time now, and that nothing can stop them. Orton says it began here in June, and it all begins again tonight. They tried hard with this promo, but it really didn’t connect.
Fatal Four Way World Tag Team Championship Match: Rob Van Dam and Booker T © vs. The Dudley Boys vs. La Resistance (Rob Conway and Rene Dupree) vs. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak
RVD and Dupree start off, with RVD gaining the advantage and tagging in Booker. Booker then bests Dupree, who tags in Bubba Ray. The crowd chants for tables, which are not legal, and would be a questionable strategy. Bubba gets a neckbreaker and goes for his punch sequence, but Booker cuts him off. D-Von is in, and he hits an elevated inverted DDT. RVD then flies in and takes out D-Von with a flying side kick. Jindrak tags in and tries to pick up the scraps of Booker to no avail. Garrison Cade comes in and does some damage to Booker, but Dupree blind-tags Cade to enter the match. Conway tags Dupree and wears down Booker, zeroing in on his back. Booker powers out of a rest hold and scores a spinebuster. “R-V-D!” chants from the crowd. Booker tags RVD, and Conway tags Dupree. RVD comes in like a house of fire and takes out everyone except with his usual offense. RVD goes up top to Frog Splash Conway, but D-VON SHOVES HIM OFF OF THE TOP AND INTO THE BARRICADE! Nasty landing there by RVD. Booker and D-Von exchange in the ring, and all hell breaks loose. Booker and D-Von manage to toss everyone out before Bubba comes in to give the Dudley Boys the advantage. They go for a 3-D, but Cade shoves Bubba out of the way. Conway then plants D-Von with a DDT. Booker T gets the best of Conway and hits a SCISSORS KICK. RVD up top- FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH! That does it at 7:52.
Winners: Rob Van Dam and Booker T
There wasn’t a whole lot of substance to this one, and it felt like they really just wanted to throw all of these on the card. I remember thinking at the time that Cade and Jindrak should have gone over because it would have been great for their careers. While that may have been true, they were unbelievably bland, and the crowd couldn’t have cared less about them, so it’s probably best that they didn’t win. If you’ve seen one match like this, you’ve seen them all. 1 for 2.
Backstage, Coach is wandering around on his quest for The Undertaker. Coach asks a crew worker if he’s heard any noises, and the worker points him to a door. The door opens, and Mean Gene comes out look disheveled. Coach asks what he’s doing, and Gene says he is here for the Hall of Fame ceremony. Bobby Heenan comes out with his shirt open and his face is covered in lipstick. They claim they were playing cards. The door opens, and The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young come out! They drag Mean Gene and Heenan back in the room. A lot of people hate stuff like this, but when it’s at Wrestlemania and it involves someone who can pull off comedy as well as Heenan, it doesn’t bother me one bit.
J.R. and Lawler set up the match between Chris Jericho and Christian, centering around their storyline with Trish Stratus. A video package shows that Jericho wanted to be more than just friends with Trish, but Christian advised him against it. Their friendship then tore at the seams when Christian beat up Trish in an inter-gender match.
Chris Jericho vs. Christian
Jericho hadn’t become a full-fledged babyface yet, so the crowd wasn’t really sure how to react to him. We get some aggressive lockups to start before Jericho throws a punch to the face of Christian. Jericho then ruthlessly goes after his best friend. Christian manages to fend of Jericho and throw him to the apron. Christian charges, but Jericho stops him and back body drops him over the top rope to the floor. “Y2J” chants fill the arena, and Jericho has now won them over. Jericho springboards off of the opposite second rope and flies over the top rope onto Christian! Back inside, Jericho gets the best of Christian and looks for a Walls of Jericho, but Christian gets the ropes. Christian then goes to the eyes and gives Jericho a back suplex that sends him over the top to the floor! Christian takes in back in and lays the boots to Jericho. Christian applies a neck crank as the crowd rallies behind Jericho. Jericho gets up but is sent to the mat by his hair. Christian then goes back to work with a chinlock. Jericho fights out and trips up Christian’s legs. Jericho goes for the walls yet again, but Christian goes to the eyes to stop him, and then tacks on a spinning heel kick for two. Christian tries to send Jericho into the buckles, but Jericho blocks as Christian charges and both men clunk heads. Both competitors get to their feet and exchange with Jericho coming out the better. A running enzugiri by Jericho gets two. A roll up sequence ends with Jericho kicking out while Christian had the ropes and Jericho’s trunks. Jericho hits his bulldog variation and goes for a Lionsault, but he takes Christian’s knees to the ribs. Christian then gets a Tornado Inverted DDT for a nearfall. Christian follows up with strikes, but Jericho catches him with a clothesline coming off the ropes. Christian goes up top, but Jericho stops him. Jericho looks for a superplex, but Christian throws Jericho down to the mat face-first with a release Gordbuster. Christian gets a top rope cross body, but Jericho rolls through! ONE, TWO, NO! Jericho then takes it to Christian with strikes in the corner. Christian kicks out Jericho’s knee, and then applies a Cloverleaf! Jericho rolls out, and he goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Christian gets to the ropes. Jericho won’t let go as Christian crawls to the floor, BUT JERICHO GOES TO THE FLOOR WITH HIM AND KEEPS THE HOLD LOCKED IN! Jericho lets go and rolls back in. Jericho pulls Christian up the turnbuckles, and JERICHO HITS A BUTTERFLY SUPERPLEX OUT OF THE CORNER! One, two, no! Trish Stratus comes out to the ring as both men are down. Both men get to their feet and trade punches, and Christian scores with a kick. VICIOUS IMPLANT DDT BY CHRISTIAN! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Christian covers again but only gets two. Trish gets on the apron, and Christian drags her into the ring by her hair. The referee pulls him off, and Jericho knocks Christian to the outside. Jericho goes to check on Trish, but she elbows him right in the mouth! Christian slips inside and school boys Jericho with a handful of trunks! ONE, TWO, THREE! Christian steals one at 14:43!
For whatever reason, I didn’t remember this match being all that great, but I appreciate it a lot more now. Jericho seemed hell-bent on beating Christian to a pulp, and his intensity took this to another level. 2 for 3.
After the match, Christian exits the ring immediately. Trish goes to console Jericho. Christian comes back to the ring, and Trish tries to go after him, but Jericho holds her back. TRISH SLAPS THE TASTE OUT OF JERICHO’S MOUTH! UNPRETTIER BY CHRISTIAN! It was all a ruse. Jericho is disgusted as he comes to. Christian and Trish then make out at the top of the ramp.
Backstage, Lillian Garcia is with Mick Foley. Tonight marks his first match in four years. The Rock comes in and does his usual shtick. The Rock takes the camera around to find The Hurricane and Rosey, then Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco. The Rock then tells Foley to get ready, and tells the people to get ready for what The Rock (and Sock) is cooking.
Handicap Match: Evoluton (Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista) vs. The Rock And Sock Connection (Mick Foley and The Rock)
Everyone brawls to kick it off with Foley and Rock getting the edge. Rock and Flair officially start off, and Rock gains the advantage. They go out to the floor, where Rock hits a back body drop and Foley tacks on a diving elbow off of the apron. Orton and Foley are in, but Orton wants nothing to do with it, fleeing to the outside. Foley takes it to Orton on the floor and brings him back in. Foley sticks Orton in the Tree of Woe, and tags in Rock, who punches Orton in the dick. Classy. Orton sends Rock into the ropes, and Batista low bridges him to the floor. Orton brings Rock back inside and takes the advantage. Batista tags in and continues to wear down The People’s Champion. Flair comes in and hits some of his signature chops. Flair does his signature strut, which allows The Rock to recover and hits a clothesline. Flair tries to go up top, but Rock throws him to the mat. Flair tags in Batista, who works over The Rock some more. Batista sends Rock into the buckles, but Rock fires out with a clothesline. Rock tags Foley! Foley brings it to Batista and hits a knee lift, then knocks both members of Evolution off the ring apron. Foley tries for his Double-Arm DDT, but Batista shoves him into the buckles. Both man exchange punches, and Foley comes out on top. Foley taunts, and Batista mauls him with a clothesline. Batista sends Foley to the outside, but Orton gets caught with a Mandible Claw. Flair breaks it up, and Orton sends Foley flying into and over the steel steps! Orton takes it inside and covers for two. Flair tags in and continues the Evolution assault. Foley fights off Flair, but The Nature Boy tags in Orton, who regains control. Orton works a chinlock, and Foley starts to get free, but Orton dumps him to the mat and tags in Batista. Foley gets a Mandible Claw out of nowhere, but Orton comes in to stop in. Batista tags Flair back in. Flair works over Foley, and tags Batista in short order. Foley gets a swinging neckbreaker out of desperation. Both men get to their feet and clothesline each other at the same time. Both competitors are down and need to make a tag. Batista tags Flair, but Foley fights him off and makes the HOT TAG TO THE ROCK! Rock drops Flair with a running elbow, takes Orton out with a DDT, and throws Batista into the ring. Rock throws Orton outside, but Batista plants him with a spinebuster. Flair goes for a People’s Elbow but takes way to long, allowing The Rock to kip up and score with a series of punches. Batista comes in but he eats a DDT. Spinebuster to Flair- PEOPLE’S ELBOW CONNECTS! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Flair scores with a thumb to the eye and tags Orton. Orton goes for the RKO, but Rock shoves him into the ropes and hits the ROCK BOTTOM! Rock covers, but Flair drags him to the floor. Clothesline to Flair. Batista sneaks in while Flair grabs a chair to distract the referee, and delivers a BATISTA BOMB TO THE ROCK! Orton crawls over and covers, but The Rock kicks out! The Rock inches toward his corner and tags in Foley! Foley fights off all of Evolution, and PLANTS ORTON WITH THE DOUBLE-ARM DDT! Mr. Socko Time! Foley taunts as Orton gets up, and ORTON HITS THE RKO OUT OF NOWHERE! ONE, TWO, THREE! Evolution wins at 17 minutes on the dot.
This was highly entertaining, and did a lot for Randy Orton’s career. This match prolonged his story with Foley, and also showed off how dangerous the RKO is. Foley and The Rock coming in to put over Orton and Batista was a great move that helped elevate them to the main-event level. 3 for 4.
After the match, Foley is in disbelief. The crowd chants for Foley and gives him a nice ovation.
They recap the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Mean Gene then comes out. Gene summons all of the Hall of Famers, who come out to the ramp. Okerlund announces them one by one.
Playboy Evening Gown Match: Torrie Wilson and Sable vs. Miss Jackie and Stacy Keibler
Sable and Torrie have decided to start the match with their gowns off, so everyone disrobes except Miss Jackie, who then is stripped by her opponents. YAY, FEMINISM! Cole and Tazz make jokes about their boners. Wilson and Keibler exchange provocative roll ups. Roundhouse kick by Stacy gets two. Jackie comes in, and her and Torrie roll around the mat (and the referee). Jackie goes for an O’Conner Roll, but Torrie counters for three to end it at 2:34. Torrie then exposes part of Jackie’s butt.
Winners: Torrie Wilson and Sable.
I love looking at attractive women, but I can’t recommend anything about this from a wrestling standpoint. 3 for 5.
We see a vignette showing how fans have come from all over the world to attend Wrestlemania.
Backstage, Eddie Guerrero walks into Chris Benoit’s locker room. Eddie is calm and relaxed, while Benoit is intense. Eddie says he is proud of Benoit, win or lose. Benoit says he won’t lose. Eddie calls this the biggest match of Benoit’s career and says no one believe in him. Benoit says he believes in himself, and that’s all that matters. Benoit claims that he will make tonight his night. Eddie says he wanted to ignite this fire in Chris Benoit, because this is the Chris Benoit he believes in and will walk out as world champion. Benoit says both men will walk out as champions.
Cruiserweight Open: Chavo Guerrero © (w/ Chavo Sr) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri vs. Kidman vs. Jamie Noble vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Nunzio vs. Shannon Moore vs. Akio vs. Funaki
Ultimo Dragon and Shannon Moor e start off with quick exchanges. More tries a Whisper in the Wind to no avail, and Ultimo hits the Asai DDT to eliminate Moore. Noble is in next, and he jumps Dragon. Dragon eventually hits a kick to the gut and goes for another Asai DDT, but Noble counters and hits a neckbreaker. Noble then locks on a seated guillotine choke, and Ultimo taps out. Funaki enters with a flying cross body, but Noble rolls through and gets three. Nunzio charges in, but the two go into a standoff, since they are storyline relatives. Nunzio eventually gets a sick dropkick off of the second rope, but Noble gets his foot on the rope at two. Noble manages to toss Nunzio to the floor. Noble goes up top, and wipes out Nunzio with a flipping senton the floor. Both men try to get back inside, but Noble pulls Nunzio off the apron and slides in, causing Nunzio to be counted out. Kidman is the next entrant, and he takes it right to Noble. Noble goes to the apron, but Nunzio pulls him off for revenge. Kidman baseball slides Nunzio into Noble. While Noble and Nunzio get to their feet, Kidman climbs up to the middle of the top rope, and TAKES OUT BOTH MEN WITH A SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE FLOOR! “Holy shit!” chants pour in after that one. Back inside, Kidman covers for two. Kidman scores with an enzugiri and goes up top, but Noble stops him. Both men are on the turnbuckle now, and KIDMAN HITS A SUPER B-K BOMB! ONE, TWO, THREE! Noble is out. Mysterio flies in and hits a springboard seated senton. Mysterio then charges the ropes, but KIDMAN KILLS HIM WITH A DROPKICK! Mysterio regains control, but Akio drops him throat first on the top rope. Kidman follows up with a spinebuster for two. Kidman takes Mysterio up top, but Rey scores with a series of strike. SUPER YOSHI TONIC BY MYSTERIO! ONE, TWO, THREE! Tajiri is in, and he catches Mysterio with a tarantula. Tajiri then goes for his handspring elbow, but Mysterio dropkicks him in the back. Mysterio then dropkicks him in the back again, causing Tajiri to land throat-first on the second rope. 6-1-9 CONNECTS! Mysterio tries to follow up, but Tajiri dodges his springboard attempt. Akio hops onto the apron for a second time and grabs Rey. Tajiri tries to spray his green mist, but Rey moves and Akio gets sprayed instead! Rolling prawn hold by Mysterio- one, two, three! Akio presumably can’t compete, so it’s down to Mysterio and Chavo. However, Tajiri isn’t done, so he kicks Mysterio in the back of the head! Chavo comes in and cover- one, two, NO! Rey catches Chavo charging and sends him into the middle turnbuckle. Rey goes out to the apron and hits a springboard headscissors! Chavo Sr gets up on the apron but Rey knocks him off. Rey tries to dive on Chavo Sr, but the referee stops him. MYSTERIO THEN LEAPS OVER THE REFEREE TO TAKE OUT CHAVO SR WITH A FRONTFLIP SENTON TO THE FLOOR! Mysterio tries to fly in with a sunset flip, but Chavo sits down and his dad grabs his hands for leverage! ONE, TWO, THREE! Chavo retains at 10:30.
Winner: Chavo Guerrero
Did it feel like they threw a bunch of guys into this match for the sake of doing it? Yes. Was this a spotfest? Yes. Could Chavo and Rey have continued their feud here with another great singles match? Probably. However, this did manage to continue their feud, and yet again, Chavo looks like a complete chicken while coming out on top. On top of that, WWE rarely showcased their cruiserweight division, so this match was pretty much uncharted territory for them, and some of the spots were really great. It wasn’t Harley Race and Ric Flair, but it wasn’t supposed to be. This match served its purpose and delivered. 4 for 6.
Ross and Lawler set up Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, and throw it to a video package.
Special Guest Referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
“You sold out!” chants directed toward Lesnar. Both men circle without making any contact. “Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye!” song from the fans. The crowd chants for Austin, who can’t help but to smirk. A lengthy collar and elbow tie up goes nowhere and ends with both men breaking it off. “This match sucks” chants as Lesnar grabs a headlock. The boos are deafening. A double shoulder tackle sees both men go down. Goldberg hits a big military press. Goldberg goes for a spear but Lesnar moves, causing Goldberg to hit the ring post. “Goldberg sucks” chants. Lesnar applies a weird chinlock. Goldberg fights up and either both guys clunked heads or Brock hit a clothesline. More “This match sucks!” chants, which are even louder this time. Goldberg fights back and actually hits a cool swinging neckbreaker. SPEAR BY GOLDBERG! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Fans are pissed that the match isn’t over. Goldberg argues with Austin, and Lesnar recovers. F-5! Cover-ONE, TWO, NO! The fans are pissed that the match will continue. They don’t care who wins. Lesnar tries a spear, but Goldberg moves and hits a spear of his own. Taunt, jackhammer, over at 13:42.
The short amount of text I typed out over the timespan of the match should show you how little actually happened. Both guys phoned it in, and the crowd let them have it. What makes this match even more disappointing was how well it was built up. 4 for 7.
More “Hey hey goodbye” action for Lesnar after the match. Lesnar flips off the crowd, and then Stone Cold. AUSTIN WITH A STUNNER TO LESNAR! Goldberg comes back into the ring to drink beers with Austin. The fans mercilessly boo Goldberg as he drinks beer in the corner. Austin and Goldberg toast, but AUSTIN KICKS HIM IN THE GUT- STUNNER TO GOLDBERG! The crowd goes wild for Stone Cold, who was unfortunately dragged onto this train that went careening off the tracks.
The following Wrestlemania is announced for Los Angeles.
Vince McMahon comes out to say that without the fans, Wrestlemania may have never began. Vince thanks them for making Wrestlemania and WWE what it is today.
Fatal Four Way WWE Tag Team Titles Match: Too Cool (Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty) © vs. The A.P.A. vs. The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Basham Brothers
Bradshaw and Shelton start, with Bradshaw delivering a nasty big boot to Shelton. Bradshaw hits the ropes and Doug Basham tags him. Basham hits Shelton with an atomic drop. Danny Basham comes in and hits Shelton with a nice twisting back suplex. Benjamin fights back into it and tags in Haas. Shelton scoop slams Danny onto Haas’ knee! That was awesome. Doug saves his brother from being pinned. Danny fights off Haas and gets a chinbreaker, but Scotty tags him out. Haas throws Scotty over the top, and Scotty tries to skin the cat to get back in, but Shelton jumps over Haas and crashes down on Scotty’s back. Doug Basham tags Haas out and then tags in his brother, and the Bashams hit a double suplex onto Scotty. Doug tags back in, and Scotty has to make a tag. Scotty hits an enzugiri on Doug, but Danny tags Doug as he falls out of the ring and prevents Scotty from making the tag. Scotty slips out of a back suplex and tags in Rikishi, who cleans house on everybody. Danny Basham takes a DDT, but Farooq breaks it up right away. Shelton tries to hit a German Suplex on Rikishi, but Rikishi shucks him off and the squashes Haas in the corner. STINK FACE FOR CHARLIE HAAS! Bradshaw hits Rikishi with a big boot. Doug Basham ducks the Clothesline From Hell but his cross body attempt is caught by Bradshaw. LAST CALL OVER THE TOP ROPE ONTO HAAS AND BENJAMIN ON THE OUTSIDE! Inside the ring, Danny Basham takes a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Bradshaw charges Rikishi but takes a Samoan Drop. Rikishi then goes over to Danny Basham, and drops himself ass-first onto Danny’s chest for the finish at 6:02.
Winners: Too Cool
While this match was brief, it was action packed. This had a lot more energy than the first tag team fatal four way match and also featured some really creative spots. In short, it felt like these guys actually gave a crap. 5 for 8.
Rikishi and Scotty dance after the match.
A quick video message tells us that Edge is coming.
Jesse Ventura comes out for some reason. He wants to interview Donald Trump, who gets a mixed reaction. Ventura asks for Trump’s moral and financial support if he gets back into politics. Ventura says we need a wrestler in the white house in 2008.
WWE Women’s Championship Match, Title vs. Hair: Victoria © vs. Molly Holly
Molly comes out rather aggressively to gain an early advantage. Victoria finds a roll up for two and Molly retreats to the outside. Molly takes back over once inside and follows up a snapmare with a nice dropkick. Molly applies a cravat variation while Victoria rallies up the fans. Victoria gets up but Molly pulls her back down to the mat by her hair. Molly misses an elbow drop, and Victoria finds a jackknife cradle for two. Victoria then catches Molly with a powerslam coming off of the ropes for two. Victoria tries to press the advantage, but Molly drops her throat first onto the bottom rope. Molly goes up top, but Victoria stops her and scales the turnbuckles herself. Victoria tries for something, but Molly fires out and gets a SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB WITH A FOLDING PRESS! ONE, TWO, NO! Molly goes for the Widow’s Peak, but VICTORIA SLIPS OUT AND GETS A BACKSLIDE! ONE, TWO, THREE! That does it at 4:54.
Hey, what do you know, a respectable divas match! This was well-worked, and the story of Molly’s ego running wild, putting her hair on the line, and going for Victoria’s finisher only to be outsmarted, was great. It’s short, but it told a good story and was a fun watch. 6 for 9.
Molly is stunned and tries to flee to the back. Victoria chases her, but Molly stops her and throws her face-first onto the ramp. Molly puts Victoria in the barber’s chair! Molly tries to shave Victoria’s hair, but the clippers won’t turn on. Victoria “sprays” Molly in the face with hair product, and throws her face-first onto the barber’s table. Victoria puts Molly in the chair now, and straps her into it. Victoria shaves Molly’s head. Molly puts up a fight, but nothing can be done. Molly actually donated her chair to children with cancer, so props to her there.
Tazz and Cole hype the Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle match, and a highlight package shows Angle’s recent attitude change. Angle says a former drug addict shouldn’t represent WWE.
WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Kurt Angle
“Eddie!” chants filter in after the opening bell. We get a stalemate after the first mat exchange. Angle controls a headlock but Eddie gets out. Dueling chants of “Let’s Go Angle” and “Angle sucks” fill the arena. Eddie gets the upper hand with a series of shoulder blocks. Angle hits an awesome lift with a front chancery, but Eddie counters out and gets an armdrag into an arm bar. Angle catches Eddie coming off of the ropes with a knee to the gut and then cinches in an abdominal stretch. Angle tries to back suplex Eddie to the floor, but he lands on the apron. Angle slides to the outside and joins Eddie on the apron. Angle teases a German suplex to the floor, but Eddie fights him off. Eddie goes up top and goes for a dive to the floor, but ANGLE MOVES AND EDDIE LANDS CHEST FIRST ON THE BARRICADE! Angle covers inside but only gets two. Angle targets the ribs and applies a body scissors. Eddie fights out and gets a jawbreaker, but gets caught charging and is hot-shotted gut first onto the top rope. Angle hits a series of belly-to-belly suplexes for two. Angle hits a third and covers yet again for two. Angle puts Eddie up top and goes for a Super Belly-to-Belly, but is shoved off. Angle goes for it again with the same result. EDDIE WITH A FROG SPLASH, BUT NO ONE IS HOME! Angle pounds away with kicks and punches. Eddie builds some momentum and hits a back suplex for two. Eddie tries for the Three Amigos, but Angle counters out and hits a German suplex. Angle tries for a second, but Eddie rolls him up! One, two, no. Angle immediately pops up and hits a clothesline to cut Eddie off. Eddie counters the Angle Slam with an arm drag and gets a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Eddie taunts and fires up. Three Amigos by Eddie Guerrero, but Angle picks his ankle before the third suplex. ANKLE LOCK! Eddie rolls over and pushes out in short order. Eddie hits a dropkick and goes up top. ANGLE GETS TO HIS FEET, SPRINTS UP THE BUCKLES, AND HITS A BUTTERFLY SUPERPLEX! ONE, TWO, NO! Angle pulls down his straps and puts in the ANKLE LOCK! Eddie counters with a roll up! ONE, TWO, NO! Angle gets a German suplex. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Eddie counters with a tornado DDT! Eddie goes up top- FROG SPLASH! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Eddie can’t believe it. Angle picks Eddie’s ankle! ANKLE LOCK! Eddie considers tapping, but rolls through and sends Angle flying out to the floor! Eddie sells the ankle in the ring and starts to untie his boot. Angle gets up on the outside and sees Eddie loosening his boot. Angle slides inside and Eddie tries to scoot away, but ANGLE GOES BACK TO THE ANKLE LOCK! ANGLE WRENCHES BACK, BUT HE PULLS OFF EDDIE’S BOOT! Angle is briefly thrown off, and EDDIE GETS A SMALL PACKAGE! ONE, TWO, THREE! Eddie does it at 21:32!
Winner: Eddie Guerrero
Great match. Eddie came prepared, and despite the rib work in the early going, he had the Angle Slam scouted. He also had an answer every time Angle tried to go for the Ankle Lock, especially with the finish. Both men came out good here. Angle looked ruthless, and strong in defeat- he was merely outsmarted by Eddie Guerrero, who always had a loaded bag of tricks. 7 for 10.
Up next, Undertaker returns from the grave!
The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer vs. Kane
Undertaker gets the druid entrance. “Undertaker” chants fill Madison Square Garden. At first, Kane does not think that The Undertaker is real. He changes his opinion when Taker beats the hell out of him with punches. Kane goes to the floor and is followed out. Kane momentarily takes control before being whipped into the apron. Taker brings Kane inside and hits his ring apron leg drop. Undertaker tries for the last ride, and Kane tries to back body drop him out of it, except they were too close to the ropes. Undertaker tries to take it like a stun-gun, but he was way too far away, so he landed chest-first on the mat. I don’t think that was what they had in mind. Kane follows up with a big boot and fires away with right hands. Undertaker rolls Kane over and fires away with punches of his own. Kane manages to get a sidewalk slam after the referee pulled Undertaker off. Kane heads up top and hits a flying clothesline for two. The two big men exchange punches with Kane keeping the advantage. Kane charges Undertaker in corner but meets only the buckles, and Undertaker comes off the ropes, scoring with a big boot. Taker adds on a leg drop. Undertaker wrenches the arm and tries to hit Old School, but lands in Kane’s GOOZLE! Undertaker goozles back! Kane fights free. CHOKESLAM BY KANE. Kane yells at Paul Bearer and taunts, but Undertaker sits up! Undertaker hits some right hands and a leaping clothesline. CHOKESLAM by The Undertaker. The crowd asks for a Tombstone. TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! ONE, TWO, THREE! The Undertaker moves to 12-0 at Wrestlemania at 7:47.
Winner: The Undertaker
I actually like both of these guys. The buildup was cool, and The Undertaker’s entrance was a great moment. The crowd enjoyed themselves, but this doesn’t exactly hold up as compelling. 7 for 11.
It’s main-event time! A vignette shows everything that has commenced between Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chris Benoit from Royal Rumble until tonight.
Triple Threat World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H © vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit
“Let’s Go Benoit” chants from the crowd before the bell. Michaels and Benoit fight over who gets to beat up Triple H before Benoit tries to apply the Crossface to Michaels. Benoit and Michaels exchange on the mat with Triple H on the floor. Benoit tries for another Crossface but Michaels rolls him up for two. Northern Lights suplex from Benoit gets two, but Michaels fires up with a clothesline. Triple H slides back inside and follows up by clotheslining Michaels. Benoit gets thrown to the floor and Michaels gives Triple H a back body drop. Harley Race knee by Triple H gets two. Triple H prevents Benoit from coming back in with a knee. Triple H goes to the floor and rams Benoit’s back into the ring apron. Triple H does it a second time, and Michaels baseball slides Benoit right away, knocking both men down. Michaels scales the turnbuckles- MOONSAULT TO BOTH MEN ON THE FLOOR! Everyone is down. Triple H and Michaels are back in, and Triple H gets a knee to the face. Triple H tries for the Pedigree, but Benoit slides in and breaks it up with a clothesline. Benoit throws Michaels shoulder-first into the ring post. Triple H sends Benoit chest-first into the buckles, and seats Benoit on the top rope back suplex style. HHH drapes Benoit in the tree of woe, and whips Michaels into him. HHH covers HBK for two. HHH tries to whips Michaels into Benoit again, but Michaels counters and HH eats Benoit’s boot. HBK with a school boy for two. HBK hits a flying forearm on Triple H and kips up, but Benoit clotheslines him to the floor. Benoit gets a hat trick of German suplexes on Triple H. Benoit heads up top, but HBK crotches him. Michaels tries for Sweet Chin Music, but Triple H ducks and hits a DDT. Michaels rolls to the floor as Triple H and Benoit on the second rope. SUPERPLEX BY TRIPLE H! That gets a two count. Triple H covers two more times with the same result. Triple H goes for a Pedigree, but BENOIT COUNTERS WITH THE CROSSFACE! Michaels breaks it up. HBK hits Benoit with a German suplex and tries for another, but Benoit fights out. Benoit hits a trifecta of German suplexes on HBK! DIVING HEADBUTT ONTO HBK! ONE, TWO, NO! Benoit covers again for two. Michaels catches Benoit with a flying forearm off the ropes and knocks Benoit to the floor. Michaels hits an inverted atomic drop on Triple and fires off with clotheslines. Michaels hits a scoop slam and then a top rope elbow drop! HBK tunes up the band. SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON TRIPLE H! ONE, TWO, BENOIT PULLS TRIPLE H TO THE FLOOR! “Benoit” chants yet again. Benoit and Michaels go at it in the ring. Benoit whips Michaels into the buckles and looks for a sharpshooter, but he can’t find it. Benoit hits Michaels with a slingshot into the ring post, and HBK comes up bleeding. Like, a lot. BENOIT WITH THE CROSSFACE! HBK tries to tap out, but Triple H catches his hand and stops him. Triple H then punches Benoit until he releases the hold. Benoit slams Triple H’s head on the steel steps outside the ring. Triple H then counters an Irish whip and sends Benoit into the stairs! Triple H tears apart the Smackdown announcers table. He starts to take apart the Spanish table, but Benoit disrupts him. Both men are on top of the Spanish announcers table. Benoit looks for a German suplex, but Triple H fights free. Triple H tries for a Pedigree, but Benoit battles out. Michaels is now on the table as well. TRIPLE H AND MICHAELS DOUBLE SUPLEX BENOIT OFF OF THE SPANISH ANNOUNCER’S TABLE THROUGH THE SMACKDOWN TABLE! “Holy Shit!” chants from the crowd as HBK gets in the ring and begs Triple H to join him. Michaels is covered in blood as he exchanges punches with Triple H. Michaels whips Triple H over the turnbuckles to the outside, knocking down a camera man! HBK follows him out, and he whips Triple H into the ring posts! HHH is now busted open as well. Back inside, Triple H hits a Pedigree! Everyone is down. Triple H crawls over to Michaels and covers! ONE, TWO, BENOIT BREAKS IT UP OUT OF NOWHERE! Triple H tries to Pedigree Benoit, but Benoit trips him up! SHARPSHOOTER! Triple H reaches for the bottom rope, but BENOIT DRAGS HIM TO THE CENTER OF THE RING! MICHAELS BREAKS IT UP WITH SWEET CHIN MUSIC! MICHAELS COVERS BENOIT! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! The loudest “Benoit” chants yet fill Madison Square Garden as Michaels tunes up the band. Michaels tries for Sweet Chin Music, but Benoit ducks and dumps him to the floor! Benoit turns around and is greeted with a kick to the gut by Triple H. HHH tries for the PEDIGREE, BUT BENOIT COUNTERS INTO THE CROSSFACE! Triple H inches toward the ropes but can’t get them! TRIPLE H USES HIS LAST BIT OF EFFORT TO COUNTER, BUT BENOIT ROLLS THROUGH AND HAS THE HOLD LOCKED IN THE CENTER OF THE RING! TRIPLE H TAPS OUT! Chris Benoit’s 18 year odyssey has become complete in a grueling 24:46!
Winner: Chris Benoit
This match is about as close to perfect as you can get. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single thing I would change. Michaels bled like crazy, the crowd was wildly behind Chris Benoit, and Triple H did the right thing by tapping out clean in the center of the ring. The drama built as the match progressed, and all of the big spots meant something. 8 for 12.
Benoit cries as he raises the belt. Eddie Guerrero comes out to the ring, and the two best friends hug, celebrating as world champions. Eddie bursts into tears as well. Both men raise their titles as confetti fills the stadium.
A highlight reel of everything we have just witnessed closes out the show.
The 411: While not everything here was a home run, particularly Goldberg/Lesnar, this show was laid out perfectly with peaks and valleys. Though there were some train wrecks and a few lulls, the good far outweighs the bad. Both Guerrero/Angle and the main-event were classics, and the undercard has gems such as Evolution/Rock And Sock and Jericho/Christian. This DVD falls into the “Must-Own” category.
|Final Score: 9.0 [ Amazing ] legend|