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From the Bowery: WrestleMania 2000

July 31, 2009 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
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From the Bowery: WrestleMania 2000  

From the Bowery: WrestleMania 2000
-Anaheim, CA
-April 2, 2000

-This was an interesting time for the WWF because they were relying on someone other than Steve Austin to carry the company. Austin was gone due to injury, and the Rock was left as the #1 face in the company. HHH was pushed down the throats of the fans all summer, and was even given a run with the WWF Title, but the crowd still didn’t really but him as a Main Event star. That all changed when he married a drugged-out Stephanie McMahon, who was really on HHH’s side the entire time in order to get back at her father because he was working with The Undertaker in his attempt to kidnap Steph to make her his bride. Got all that? Good! HHH was finally getting some heat as the man who got to the top by screwing the boss’s daughter. He was cemented as a star with his feud with Cactus Jack, and it seemed inevitable that we would get super dick heel, HHH defending the title against mega face, Rock. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. Outside the Main Event scene the WWF was flooded with young talent in the tag division, and in the mid card with defections from WCW. Now, the WWF had the mid/upper card talent to tear the house down that they were lacking in previous years.

Commentators:Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

-Lillian Garcia kicks things off with her rendition of America the Beautiful. Always a treat!

The Godfather and D-Lo Brown (w/ Ice T) vs. The Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan

-Ice T raps “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” (from the WWF Aggression CD, which I own) as he leads Team Pimp to the ring. The crowd loves the Godfather and his opening spiel, but they aren’t buying the match that follows. D-Lo and Bull kick things off, and D-Lo uses his speed to fluster Bull. A heel kick drops the big man, and the Bossman enters to break things up, but Godfather cuts him off with a clothesline. D-Lo lets Bull know that he sucks. I guess D-Lo is a member of the IWC. Bossman and the Godfather have an exchange as the crowd starts a massive “Bossman sucks” chant. D-Lo and Bull enter again, and Bull shows off his one notable spot as he leaps to the top rope off a whip and delivers a flying clothesline. D-Lo is now your pimp in peril. On the floor the Bossman abuses D-Lo with the barrier before sending him back in the ring. A hard whip to the buckles kills Brown, and a double elbow gets a two count for the Bossman. The Ho Train on the floor gets the crowd behind D-Lo as he suffers from a bearhug from Bull. He is able to break, but the Bossman keeps him from making the tag. He tries a crossbody, but Bossman catches him and drops him with a backbreaker. Bull comes off the top rope with a double axe, and heads up once more, but the Godfather shakes the ropes. That gives D-Lo his chance as he heads up to send Bull off with a hurricanrana. The hot tag is finally made to the Godfather as he is a pimp of fire. The Ho Train in the corner gets a massive pop. All four men brawl, and inside the ring Bossman catches D-Lo with the side slam. Bull disposes of the Godfather on the floor before heading up top. He flies off and drops a pretty damn impressive legdrop to get the pin at 9:05.

Winners: The Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan via Bull pinning D-Lo at 9:05
-This was better than I remembered. They stuck to the standard tag formula and it worked well. Bull looked impressive at times, and that seemed to be the goal. **

WWF Hardcore Title: Hardcore Battle Royal

-Our participants include: Crash Holly ©, Tazz, Viscera, Pete Gas, Rodney, Joey Abs, Hardcore Holly, Funaki, Taka, Mosh, Thrasher, Bradshaw, and Faarooq. This match will be fifteen minutes long, and whoever is the champ at the end of the fifteen minutes will be the champion. The key is that you do have to pin the champion to win the title. Tazz suplexes the shit out of Crash and becomes the new champ at the 24 second mark. Tazz becomes the new target and Viscera pins him to become the new champion at the one minute mark after sending Tazz back first into the ring post. This is just mindless chaos as they trade weapon shots. The Posse team up to take on Viscera, but they can’t get the big man off his feet. Crash gets his head split open at some point, and it’s quite the blade job. For those who catch this on WWE 24/7 or whatever it is called now, you should be watching parts of this match in black and white. Bradshaw wakes the crowd up as he kills any person moving with a baking sheet. Hardcore and Mosh each get near falls, but Viscera is able to kick out each time. Pete Gas has been split open now as Taka uses a tennis racket on Viscera. The strategy in this one is all over the place as nobody is really going after Viscera and instead just beating on everyone who isn’t the champion. Viscera stands tall in the ring with a baking sheet and heads to the top rope. He gets caught though by the APA and they toss him off. The APA puts Funaki on top of Viscera and he gets the pin and the title at the 7:30 mark. Funaki smartly runs for his life, but gets caught in the back. Rodney sends him into a guard rail and he becomes the champ at around 8:00. Joey Abs quickly pins him and becomes the champ at 8:20. He doesn’t last long though as Thrasher pins him to become the new champ at 8:45. A fire extinguisher gets Pete Gas the title at 9:35. Tazz pounds away on Gas, who is bleeding all over the place. Tazz suplexes him on the floor and wins the title for a second time tonight at 10:24. Holly sends Tazz into the stairs, but it only nets him a two count. For some reason Tazz reverses a pin attempt on Mosh and gets his own pin attempt and the ref actually counts. What the hell was that about? The Holly’s double team Tazz in the ring as the crowd starts an “ECW” chant. Tazz goes for another cover, and again the ref counts as I wonder if Tazz is suffering from a concussion at this point. The crowd is really into to Tazz I should mention. Hardcore snaps off a powerslam, but Crash breaks the count. JR is now covering for Tazz as he once again goes from another pin attempt. Crash lays out Tazz with a baking sheet and wins the title with 30 seconds on the clock. Tazz bounces back up and locks in the Tazzmission to a huge pop. Hardcore breaks things up with a candy jar, and goes for the pin as the clock expires. The ending gets fucked up badly as the ref stops counting even though Crash doesn’t kick out. Crash walks off with the title, but Hardcore is announced as the winner even though there was no three count.
Winner and New WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly

-Not really sure what to think of this one as the ending really fucked things up. The match certainly wasn’t boring, but at times was just way too chaotic. Still, it was a fun waste of fifteen minutes. **1/4

Al Snow and Steve Blackman vs. T&A (w/ Trish Stratus)

-Al Snow introduces us to a midget wearing a block of cheese with his ass exposed. Yeah! The biggest star in the bunch here ended up being Trish who was making her WrestleMania debut. She was still very much in her toned, tanned, fitness model days here. Not to say she isn’t hot here, but I prefer what she looked like towards the end of her run in the WWE. Oh, as for the match, well, JR warns everyone this match could be bowling shoe ugly, so that’s never a good sign. Test jumps Blackman to start, but he fires off a back kick to get Head Cheese the advantage. Snow gets the tag, but runs into a clothesline. A big boot gets a two count for Albert as JR has problems with his headset. Snow snaps off an enziguiri to get a cover that is broken up by Test. Blackman gets the tag, but he gets mowed down by a shoulder from Albert. Things get disjointed as all 4 men brawl in the ring. Blackman comes off the middle rope with a headbutt to get a two count. The crowd is completely dead, and don’t even pop for any of the high impact moves from Test or Albert. Snow gets the crowd to wake up with an Asai moonsault. Snow comes off the turnbuckle with a legdrop, but the cover is broken up by Albert. All four men brawl once again as JR starts shitting all over the match. The cheese midget goes after Trish, which may be an upgrade considering she had to mess around with Vince a year later. Mercifully, the match ends as Test drops the top rope elbow on Blackman to get the pin at 7:02. Snow apologizes for the midget after the match and brings him in the ring. Snow makes a joke about cutting the cheese and they abuse the midget.

Winners: T&A via Test pin on Blackman at 7:02
-Pretty damn horrible here. Thankfully, it was pretty short. 1/2*

-Mae Young does an Austin Powers sequence with the Cat backstage. You know the one where well placed objects keep us from seeing any of the exciting parts of the Cat.

WWF Tag Title: Triangle Ladder Match: The Dudley Boyz © vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian

-Yeah, this should wake up the crowd! All six of these men are making their in ring WrestleMania debuts. As I mentioned earlier these six along with Jericho, Angle, and the Radicalz gave the WWF a solid upper mid card that could actually go in the ring, and that punted a lot of the Russo crash TV upper/midcarders out of their spots. The action in this one will be frenetic and I’ll try my best to keep up with the chaos. Edge and Christian jump the Hardys before the bell while the Dudleys pose on the ladders. The six men pair off and brawl on the outside of the ring. Bubba Ray and Jeff have a go in the ring, and Bubba eats the Whisper in the Wind. He gets the advantage back with a Bubba-bomb as the crowd starts chanting for tables. The ladders finally get brought into the ring, but don’t get used yet. All six men brawl in the ring and the Dudleys each eat a shot from a ladder. Christian tries a splash in the corner, but D-Von tosses the ladder at him. Yeah, that’s pretty damn effective. Matt drops an elbow onto D-Von who was lying on the ladder. Jeff lays Bubba on a ladder and goes for a 450 splash, but Bubba moves and Jeff kills himself. That was pretty damn insane, and really, what would possess him to take that bump? Edge rides a ladder down onto Matt Hardy alas Shawn Michaels at WM X. Bubba goes Terry Funk and wears the ladder around his neck to take everyone out as he spins. He gets too cute though, so Edge and Christian drop kick the ladder back in his face. Next they kill D-Von with a flap jack into a ladder leaning against the ropes. Christian climbs the ladder and flies off the top to the floor and takes out Bubba and Matt with a crossbody. That would be your first Holy Shit chant. Jeff starts to climb, so Edge comes off the top rope with a spear to pop the crowd. That would be a spot that repeated and countered in ladder matches to come. Edge climbs now, but he gets powerbombed for his troubles. Now Matt starts to head up, and D-Von slams him off the ladder. Next is D-Von to climb and Christian stops him by simply throwing a ladder at him. Tremendous! Now we have 3 ladders set up, and Christian starts to climb. Bubba catches him though and takes him down with a Bubba-cutter. Damn! That would be your second Holy shit chant for this match. Matt and Jeff each climb a ladder and hit the splash/leg drop combo onto Bubba. D-Von tries to climb in the corner, but he gets double suplexed by Edge and Christian. That would be Holy shit chant #3 from the crowd. The Hardys and E/C all climb, and all crash and burn. The Dudleys are the only ones left and the crowd chants again from tables. Now all 6 men start to climb, and yeah, this should be epic. Christian and Jeff are the first to go flying as they both completely clear the top rope to the floor in an insane spot. Matt and Edge (they always seemed linked) go next as they take the safer (I guess) bump of straddling the top rope. The Dudleys sandwich Christian between two ladders, and then drop Edge with 3-D. Bubba tells D-Von to get the tables, and the crowd loses their mind. Things slow down a bit here though as the Dudleys grab the tables and set up the ladders in ways for future spots. Case in point they set a table across the top of two ladders to make a platform. The Hardys keep them from climbing however. Bubba sets up another table before getting tossed to the floor by Matt. D-Von lays Jeff across a table and goes for a splash off the ladder, but only hits table as Jeff moved. A few second ladder Bubba absolutely murder Matt with a powerbomb off the Spanish announce table through a table. JR is great here as he screams, “God, all mighty, have mercy on this kid’s soul.” Jeff is steal breathing and runs the rail, but Bubba sees him coming and tosses a ladder. Good Lord! Bubba breaks out the super sized ladder in the aisle, and that really can’t be good. Bubba sets up a table in front of that ladder, and yeah, it’s really not going to be healthy for someone. Christian blasts Bubba with the ring bell, and that leaves him out cold on the ladder. Then we get one of the most famous images in WrestleMania history as Jeff Hardy hits a Swanton off the ladder through Bubba and the table. Naturally, that leads to your 4th Holy shit chant in this match. Jeff actually over shot a bit and landed squarely on his tailbone after glancing off Bubba. He would learn in future matches as he had 2 tables set up below the ladder. Back inside the ring Matt takes out D-Von with the Twist of Fate, and he starts climbing one side of the platform and Christian heads up the other. They fight on top, and Edge comes from behind to shove Matt off the platform to crash through a table below. Edge and Christian grab the titles to become your New Tag Champs at 22:29.

Winners and New WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge and Christian via retrieving the titles at 22:29

-Revolutionary, insane, and a forerunner to what TLC matches would become. The scary thing is that they would improve on this match just a few months ladder, and then do it again a year later. There were a few slow spots where the TLC matches were non-stop action from the opening bell, but that takes nothing away from this match. Much like Shawn/Razor newer fans may think this looks a little tame compared to what came later, but what these six men did here was steal the show at WrestleMania. ****1/2

Terri (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (w/ Mae Young)

-Val Venis is the special ref, and the rules here are that the winner will be the lady to throw her opponent to the floor. JR tells everyone at home not to grade this on a star system, and this match has nothing to do with star ratings. I actually think this is perfect because nothing was going to follow that last match, so why not through some T&A out there. They did the same thing at SummerSlam later that year when a stinkface match between these two followed TLC I. Both women try to seduce Val, but no go. Terri takes the Kat down, and she kisses Val. The Kat responds by kissing Val also. The Kat takes Terri down with a spear, and Mae Young tries to show off her puppies. Val is distracted and misses Terri getting tossed to the floor. Mae and Moolah get in the ring, and Moolah lays a kiss on Val. Terri gets tossed to the floor again, but Val is too busy getting Mae’s tongue out of his mouth. Moolah pulls the Kat out of the ring, and Val sees this and calls for the bell at 2:26. Mae gives Moolah a bronco buster after the match, and the Kat rips Terri’s pants off to reveal her ass/thong. I remember Mae claiming she put anchovies in her pants when she had to give the bronco buster to Eric Bischoff. Good times!

Winner: Terri at 2:26
-Don’t worry JR, no stars will be used. However, it did what it was supposed to and that’s keep the crowd entertained while they cooled down from the ladder match. DUD

The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn) vs. Too Cool and Chyna

-The story going into this match is Chyna shaking off the advances of Eddie’s Latino Heat. For those keeping track at home, Dean is the reigning Cruiserweight Champion at this time. Eddie flirts with Chyna as the bell rings and tosses his shirt at her feet. Scotty and Eddie start things for their respective teams. It only takes about a minute before the crowd starts a loud “Eddie sucks” chant. Scotty makes the tag to Chyna, and Eddie immediately tags out to Dean. He has no problems fighting a woman though as his feud with Lita later in the year would show. Chyna gets schooled for a bit and makes a tag to Brian Christopher. He dances for a bit as he gets the best of Dean before Eddie gets a tag back in the ring. Christopher heads up top for the Hip Hop Drop, but Saturn pushes him off to the mat. Saturn puts on the doo-rag and stomps away. Christopher takes some punishment from Eddie before getting the tag to Scotty. He has no luck though and eats a belly to back suplex. Eddie heads to the outside and hits a slingshot back splash on the way back in the ring. He flexes for Chyna and she doesn’t want any part so Eddie rams her into the buckle from the apron. Serves her right I’d say. Scotty comes from behind and suplexes Eddie to the floor. Dean and Saturn get dropped and Scotty gives the fans the double Worm to a massive pop. It’s strange the moves that get over in a pro-wrestling environment. Chyna goes after Eddie, but the ref keeps him from doing anything as she is not the legal man, err, woman. Scotty becomes your wanna-be in peril as Saturn delivers a superkick to drop Scotty and follows with the elbow drop from the top rope. Eddie gets the tag and heads up, but gets crotched to extinguish Latino Heat. The hot tag is made to Chyna and she dominates all 3 men. She hits a double low blow on Saturn and Dean, and then hits Eddie with a sloppy powerbomb. She locks in the testicular claw and finishes Eddie with the drop sleeper at 9:38. Yes, a future WWF Champion and Hall of Fame member was pinned clean as a whistle by Chyna at WrestleMania.

Winners: Too Cool and Chyna via Chyna pinning Eddie at 9:38
-I guess the Radicalz had to pay some dues before getting anywhere in the first few months in the WWF. The match itself was pretty basic, but the crowd was more than entertained, and it kept me entertained. **1/4

WWF Intercontinental and European Title Match: Kurt Angle © vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit

-This is a 2 falls match where the winner of the first fall gets the IC Title and the winner of the second falls gets the European Title. All 3 men are making their WrestleMania debuts, and for Angle he had only been on the scene for less than five months. Lawler takes a cheap shot at the city of Pittsburgh, but I won’t reply because he is being punished enough as a Brown’s fan. Benoit jumps on the floor, and takes him out of the picture. Jericho and Benoit do their normal awesome stuff before Benoit gets sent to the floor. Angle has a go with Jericho, but Benoit quickly intervenes. He does battle with Angle on the apron, and Jericho knocks them both off with the springboard dropkick from the middle rope. On the floor Angle sends Jericho in the steps, and snaps off a belly to belly suplex when they get back in the ring. Benoit breaks the count, and then gets in a chopping contest with Jericho in the corner. Jericho loses that battle. Jericho heads up top, but Benoit knocks him off, and Jericho goes flying into the announce table. He doesn’t stay down long though as he quickly returns to drop Kurt with a top rope dropkick. Benoit gets a backbreaker for a two count of Jericho. Angle gets a suplex on Benoit for his own two count. Jericho works in the running bulldog to get a two count on Angle. Benoit goes back to chopping the shit out of Jericho, but Angle interrupts once again. Jericho goes for a camel clutch on Benoit, but again, Angle is there to keep a decision from being rendered. Angle whips Jericho into the corner, but a blind charge misses. He does reverse a suplex into a belly to back of his own. Benoit gets a cradle on Jericho, but Angle breaks that up with a dropkick to the back of Benoit’s head. Nasty! Angle locks Jericho in the cross face chicken wing (he was a prodigy of Backlund at the time). Benoit breaks the hold and sends Angle to the floor. He heads up top and the flying headbutt gets the pin on Jericho and the IC Title at 7:55. That’s one title Kurt has lost without being involved in the decision. Angle is a little pissed and heads up top for what one would assume is the moonsault, but Jericho meets him up there. Benoit heads up too, and hits Jericho with a belly to back suplex. With both men down, Angle now tries the moonsault, but Benoit is able to roll out of the way. The ref starts a ten count, and JR assumes Angle would retain if that happened. Jericho ducks a clothesline and starts to get the Walls on Angle, but a clothesline by Benoit stops that. This match has technically been very good, but for some reason the crowd is just gone. Jericho shows some strength by giving Angle the double powerbomb. That was pretty damn sweet right there. Benoit rips off a dragon suplex that Kurt took kind of awkward. The ref gets bumped, and Jericho taps as he is locked in the crippler cross face. Benoit breaks to get the ref, and Jericho locks him in the walls. Angle grabs a title belt to blast Jericho in the face. The ref finally gets to his feet just in time to see Angle get suplexed by Benoit. He heads up for the flying headbutt, but Angle rolls out of the way. Jericho is right there to hit Benoit with the Lion-Sault to get the pin and European title at 13:49 (total time). Angle is rightly pissed in the ring as it dawns on him that he lost both titles without being pinned or forced to submit.

Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit via pin on Jericho at 7:55
Winner and New European Champion: Chris Jericho via pin on Benoit at 13:49

-Again, these three put on a good show, but for reason there just wasn’t any heat from the crowd. They relied on the toss one man out so the other two can fight a little too much, but what they did was pretty sweet. For a two fall match it was a little short, but in the end they accomplished a lot as they set up Jericho vs. Benoit for the summer, and got Angle to another level on his way to the Main Event. ***1/4

-Vince McMahon promises to make things right tonight. Yeah, just tell everyone the screwjob is coming.

X-Pac (w/ Tori) and Road Dogg vs. Rikishi and Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

-This is really just an excuse to get DX on the show, so the Roadie can do his spiel, and so we can get Rose/Kane III. Tori slaps Bearer on the floor, and Kane goes after her. This was near the end of the Kane/X-Pac feud. Dogg eats a stinkface in the corner, and Tori looks to get the same treatment, but X-Pac pulls her out of the ring. DX starts walking, but they get chased down and we have a brawl in the aisle. Back in the ring, Rikishi eats a spin kick from X-Pac. The crowd lets him know that he sucks, so he decides to give Rikishi the broncobuster. Dogg gets the tag and hits the shake, rattle, knee drop. Pac gets the tag back in, and fires away with chops, but Rikishi Hulk’s up. He smothers Pac with a Samoan cutter, and makes the hot tag to Kane. He dominates DX by himself, and sets X-Pac up for the stinkface. Tori pulls him out now, so Paul throws her into the ring. Kane slams her into the corner, and Rikishi gives her the stinkface. X-Pac eats a tombstone shortly after and that’s pretty emphatic win at 4:15. After the match Too Cool head to the ring so everyone can dance. The San Diego Chicken heads down to cheer on Too Cool. Kane is very wary of the chicken, and even JR and Lawler swear Pete Rose is in the suit. The crowd chants for Rikishi and everyone but Kane and Bearer dance. Kane has seen enough and starts stalking the chicken. He backs the chicken into the corner, and Pete Rose comes from behind with a ball bat. Rikishi cuts him off though, and Rose gets choke slammed. Rikishi ends things by giving Rose the stinkface. Did Rose really need money that badly?

Winners: Rikishi and Kane via Kane pin on X-Pac at 4:15

-Again, the match was a mere excuse to have Rose/Kane III. DX basically get squashed and the crowd got what they wanted to see with multiple stink faces, Kane getting his revenge, and we can’t forget about the dancing. **

-The Rock gives his normal, awesome interview to hype the Main Event.

WWF Title: HHH © (w/ Stephanie McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/ Vince McMahon) vs. The Big Show (w/ Shane McMahon) vs. Mick Foley (w/ Linda McMahon)

-This looked to be HHH vs. The Rock as everyone had hoped. Then they threw us a curve at No Way Out with Show beating the Rock to earn the spot. Things got even crazier when Vince McMahon threw the Rock back in the match, and Linda brought Foley out of his forced retirement for this one night to live out his dream. The build to this put more focus on the McMahon’s being in each corner than the 4 men in the match. Show is sporting his Big Nasty Bastard shirt, which I thought was always great as it played off his feud with the Bossman. The Rock gets a monster reaction from the crowd as one would expect. It’s a big brawl to start as Foley/HHH and Rock/Show pair off with each other. Foley pounds HHH down in the corner and follows up with the running knee. Show begins to dominate as he drops HHH and Rock with a double clothesline. He breaks out a gorilla press slam on both men. Foley is the only one standing and he eats a headbutt. Foley climbs on Show’s big and they repeat the spot from last year’s Mania as Show drops straight back. The Rock fires off some shots, but gets caught in a sidewalk slam. HHH tries to come off top, but Show goozles him. Foley breaks up the chokeslam attempt. Finally the other three gang up on Show and unload with clotheslines to finally drop the giant. With him finally off his feet all three stomp away before turning on each other. A Cactus clothesline sends HHH and Foley to the floor. Rock is no match for Show on his own and eats a big boot. Shane tries to get involved and gets punched in the mouth. Foley enters the ring to crack Show and he stumbles into the Rock Bottom. That’s enough to eliminate Show at 4:49. Damn, he doesn’t even get 5 minutes? HHH realizes he is the odd man out now and tries to get Foley on his side. That doesn’t go well, so he tries to sell the Rock on the idea. The Rock seems to agree, but he was just messing with HHH and fires off a right hand. The Rock N Sock Connection reunites to pinball HHH with some right hands. They team up to deliver a double clothesline, and HHH gets sent to the floor. HHH tries to send Foley into the steps, but he reverses and Rock drops HHH with a clothesline. Foley tosses the ring bell to the Rock, but HHH moves and Foley ends up getting blasted. Well, Mick looked pretty stupid there. The Rock eats the steps, and HHH goes after Foley, but he has the barbed wire 2×4. HHH shits his pants as he crawls back into the ring. A low blow stops Foley and he catches a shot with the 2×4. The Rock returns only to get back dropped over the top to the floor. A double arm DDT lays HHH out, and Mr. Socko makes an appearance at WrestleMania. The Rock uses the title belt to take down HHH and he prepares for the People’s Elbow. Foley turns on the Rock and puts him in the mandible claw to a split reaction. I think most were just pissed they didn’t get to see the People’s Elbow. HHH stops both men with a double low blow. The Rock lays the smack down on HHH in the corner, and follows with a clothesline. He forgot Foley was still around and walks right into a clothesline for a two count. JR swears this is Foley’s last night in a wrestling match, and I snicker because behind me Impact is playing with Foley inside a ring some 9 years later. Really, 9 years? Foley finally agrees to HHH’s deal and they beat the piss out of the Rock. They head to the floor where Foley eats some stairs, but he is a resilient bastard as he hits the Rock in the head with those same steps. The Rock gets sprawled out on the announce table, and Foley heads up to the middle rope. In probably the most fucked up spot in Mania history until Brock came along, Foley comes up well short on the leap and hits sternum first on the edge of the table. HHH has to improvise and he just calmly puts the Rock through the table. The agreement is over it seems as HHH delivers a pedigree to Foley, but it only gets two. A chair shot followed by a pedigree on the chair takes care of Foley’s dream at 19:41. JR is rightly pissed, and the crowd isn’t very happy either. He certainly was the sentimental choice, and gets a standing ovation as he leaves the arena. Foley comes back again (he just can’t stay retired can he?) and splits HHH open with the 2×4. The Rock crawls for a cover, but it only gets two as the real WrestleMania 2000 Main Event starts. A clothesline sends HHH back to the floor and the brawl heads down the aisle. HHH attempts a suplex, but the Rock counters to one of his own on the floor. The Rock tosses HHH into the steel structure by the entrance, and lands a clothesline on the rebound. They brawl through the crowd as they make their way back to ringside. The Rock tries to use the steps, but HHH counters with a chair. With the Rock trapped under the stairs, HHH pounds away with the chair. In a nasty spot (which I approve), the Rock takes a piledriver on the steps. JR is ready to write the Rock’s obituary as he screams the man is only 26 and the match needs stopped, so he can fight another day. Rock shakes it off though, and counters a pedigree with a backdrop to the floor. They brawl through the people again as I think they are running out of things to do. Thankfully, they wouldn’t have the same problem in the Iron Man match at Judgment Day. More brawling on the floor and with one table down, they head to the main announce table. The Rock snaps off a suplex to destroy that table. The crowd doesn’t even really pop as everyone just seems spent. Did Foley really injury himself and it caused this match to get off track? Vince pops HHH, but Shane returns to blasts his father with a monitor. That leaves Vince down and the crowd chants for Foley, but he’s not coming back. The action in the ring has stopped as the focus is on Shane vs. Vince. A chair shot splits Vince open, and the Stooges take him to the back. Seriously, we have had no action between Rock and HHH in over 3 minutes. We get back to the actual Main Event and the Rock quickens the pace. He gets multiple two counts off a tilt-a-whirl slam and spinebuster. HHH stops the momentum with a knee and goes back to the 2×4 to split the Rock. Shane enters the ring to blast the Rock with a chair, but HHH gets catapulted into Shane to kill that noise. A Rock Bottom gets a massive pop, but the Rock can’t cover. Vince runs back to the ring and punches his son in the balls. The swerve comes now as Vince creams the Rock with the chair. The crowd popped a little, but now they are just pissed. The Rock is able to kick out, so Vince cracks the Rock again. That is enough for HHH to get the pin at 36:27. The crowd is severely pissed as for the first time a heel is walking out of the WrestleMania with the Title. Vince and Steph reunite in the ring as garbage starts pelting the ring. It’s not Hogan in 96 levels of garbage, but it’s still a weird site seeing this kind of reaction in the WWF. The Rock returns and drops Vince and Shane with a Rock Bottom. Stephanie is up next, and she decides to slap the Rock. Wrong move as the Rock drops her too. He looks for the People’s Elbow and after disposing of HHH one last time, he drops the elbow to Steph. I guess that’s one way to send the crowd home happy.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: HHH via final pin on the Rock at 36:27

-The most enjoyable portion of this match was after Show was eliminated and before Foley killed himself on the announce table. The Rock/HHH ending sequence looked to be just wasting time before the swerve. This was a really hot portion for the WWF Main Event scene at the time, and it’s a shame things kind of fell flat at WrestleMania. The one benefit of having two World Titles today though, is they can get away with having a heel win without pissing off the fan base. ***

Top 5 WrestleMania Matches (To this Point):

1) IC Title: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat *****
2) Submission Match: Bret Hart vs Steve Austin *****
3) Career vs Career: Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior *****
4) IC Title: Ladder Match: Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels *****
5) WWF Title: Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage ****3/4

The 411: This was a marathon of a show at the time as the WWF started abandoning the standard 2:45 time frame. The problem is they were topping themselves on every other PPV in 2000, so this just kind of felt there. Even the Triangle Ladder match would be topped at SummerSlam 2000. Still some good matches on the undercard, and an ok Main Event make this a good WrestleMania. A year later though it would all come together!
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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Robert Leighty Jr.

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