Widely regarded as THE greatest WM event ever. I’m not one of those people who think that though. However, it IS a good (great even) event and a ton of fun to watch still. And with my original version of the show (ebay + people who don’t know how rare something is = happy Cal) allows me to watch it completely unedited and WITH the My Way song.
Match 1 – Chris Jericho Vs William Regal – IC title match. Jericho pissed in Regal’s tea, so Regal got pissed and is now trying to murder Jericho. Regal is also the commissioner. He was awesome back then as a character but wasn’t quite into his grove as the deadly gritty bastard that he used to be and would be again soon enough. I WILL MAKE CHRIS JERICHO FEEL HE’S BEEN HACKED UP WITH A BLOODY HATCHET. Gotta throw that line in their from a Regal promo that is part of the video package for this match. Regal hits some fucking awesome and unique throws/suplexes here. One of my fav things about the guy, along with his disregard for other people allowing him to just murder them with awesome uppercuts and forearms. Shame he was watered down for the first year in WWF. Regal reversing the Walls of Jericho into the Regal Stretch is sweeeet. Regal really is the best thing in this match, but that isn’t saying Jericho is useless or bad, just that Regal is awesome as fuck. Finish kinda feels flat, with Jericho getting the Lionsault and the win out of nowhere essentially. But aside from that, this is a good and fun opener. Regal rocks. **3/4.
Match 2 – APA & Tazz Vs Right to Censor – God I fucking hate the RTC. They were awesome heels lol. Their entrance music makes me want to strangle them. LMAO Tazz is so small he almost falls through the ropes instead of bouncing off the top rope! Tazz takes a bit of a beating, tag to Bradshaw and then this one turns into a nice chaotic brawl with everyone getting involved. Some BIG fucking bumps from big guys like Goodfather and Bradshaw, then a nice big Clothesline from Hell and this is over. Short and sweet, RTC lose at WM, people are happy. *3/4.
Match 3 – Raven Vs The Big Show Vs Kane – Triple threat match for the hardcore title! Absolute destruction in this one. Awesome. ONE MIGHT SAY THAT RAVEN WANTS TO CRACK KANE’S CRANIUM. ONE MIGHT SAY THAT I JUST SAW RAVEN’S HEAD GO THROUGH A WALL! Raven’s head literally puts a hole in a wall. Awesome. LMAO at Show trying to padlock off an area to keep Raven to himself. Kane breaks the lock in about 2 seconds. Should have saved a spare one for Mark Henry all those years later in that cage match. RAVEN THROUGH A GLASS WINDOW. KANE AND BIG SHOW THROUGH A DOOR. KANE AND SHOW THROUGH THE WALL. Then Raven just shows up through a door and attacks them both lol. GOLF CART CHASE! They crash and nearly take out the power to the arena. LMAO Kane driving a Golf Cart with a referee in the back. A billion stars just for that. Raven gets run over too. Awesome. Nice big spot from the stage to end this one, and Kane becomes the new Hardcore champion! Boat loads of fun and awesome spots. FUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUN. ***.
Match 4 – Eddie Guerrero Vs Test – European championship match time! Saturn has the most awesome hat ever. Match starts off fast, Eddie trying to use his speed but Test just bounces him around and looks to be in firm control, until he gets his leg caught up in the ropes. Eddie targets the leg, but Test doesn’t give a fuck and even holds all of Eddie’s weight on his back while also IN A SLEEPER and somehow his leg doesn’t bother him. Sweet tilt-a-whirl into a POWERBOMB by Test though. That’ll redeem his shitty selling. Low blow behind the ref’s back, then Saturn comes in for a swinging neck breaker, but Test ain’t giving up that prestigious European title so easily! Malenko comes down to get involved, and Eddie decks Test with the title belt for the win! This was ok. Short match, nothing much to it, but fun enough. **.
Match 5 – Kurt Angle Vs Chris Benoit – Big fan of the opening part of this match. Both guys are absolutely determined to lock in their submission hold, and end up exchanging holds on the mat as both men are desperate for control and trying to make their opponent tap. Despite being the Olympic Gold Medallist, Angle is unable to out-wrestle Benoit, so BAM. Right hand decks the Crippler, and this one turns into a fight. Benoit wasn’t expecting it, allowing Angle to really work over Benoit. But Benoit is a tough bastard and won’t stay down for long, so this match soon becomes and back and forth affair with both men again going for a submission victory, and I quite liked a lot of the counters both men came up with for them too. Angle taps out, but the ref is hurt and doesn’t see it. Since he now knows he can indeed lose this match via submission, he decides to go for a pin win instead, as that might be safer. Some finisher kick outs… then a boring roll up and Angle wins. You know I liked a lot about this match. It was good, it really was… but I didn’t get that “epic” feeling from it that I used to back in the day. Felt like it was missing something and I have no idea what it is. Still good and I still like it, but nothing more. ***1/4.
Match 6 – Ivory Vs Chyna – NO.
Match 7 – Vince McMahon Vs Shane McMahon – Father Vs Son Street Fight. Owner of WWF Vs Owner of WCW. Mick Foley as special guest referee. Foley was originally supposed to be Vince’s opponent, but personal issues between them prevented them from getting it done. Real shame, especially since they never had a true end to their angle in December when Vince fired him. But ah well, this was a ton of fun on last watch. Apparently WCW guys were supposed to get involved too, but one of them (Stasiak?) leaked it in an interview and they ended up watching the show instead (not a bad punishment, but of course the others would no doubt have preferred to have been involved in the show rather than just watching it). This match really has a bunch of angles all thrown together. Foley and Vince. WCW and WWF. Shane and Vince. Stephanie and Trish. Vince and Linda. And to WWF’s credit, they all get some sort of conclusion here, except for the WWF vs WCW one as that was obviously only just beginning with this match. So here we have 2 non wrestlers, the owner and son of the owner of the company, beating the hell out of each other and taking risk after risk after risk. Must be great for the boys in the back to watch their boss and his son do all this shit when they really, REALLY don’t have to do anything. Then again some of the boys might hate it because they are outshining them in every bloody way lol. TRISH SLAPS VINCE! TRISH TURNS FACE! TRISH AND STEPHANIE CAT FIGHT! Vince after being slapped looking up and seeing his wife is awesome. He looks absolutely fucking disgusted and mouths “you BITCH” to her lol. Foley makes sure Vince doesn’t do anything, but then gets cracked in the head by a steel chair and Vince throws his sedated wife (long story lol) into the ring to watch him beat the hell out of their son. Man, what a fucking pop for Linda STANDING UP. Low blow ever to Vince, then Foley gets back involved. Awesome coast to coast to Vince with a trash can in his face, and Shane picks up the big win in a superawesomemegafun match. ***.
Match 8 – The Hardy Boys Vs The Dudley Boys Vs Edge & Christian – This one is TLC II! Triangle Ladder match at WM last year involved tables. Then E&C began making chairs their signature weapon, so we got the first ever TLC match at SummerSlam. Rematch-a-Mania right here! In fact, a few rematches her. This happened last year at WM and again at SS. Ivory Vs Chyna happened at the RR. Austin Vs Rock was the main event of WM 15. BOOO THIS EVENT SUCKS! LOL. LMAO at when D-Von goes for a table. He goes outside, looks at a table that’s already set up. Grabs it. Lets go of it. Goes under the ring. Doesn’t see any so he grabs the original table and decides to use that. And then FOR NO REASON AT ALL HONEST they set up 4 tables on the outside. Oh man, Christian takes on hell of a bump off a ladder to the outside. I think like everyone else, he was supposed to get caught on the ropes… but he cleared then completely and… nope, the replay shows he was clearly always aiming for the floor. NOT AS IMPRESSIVE NOW. Spike, Rhyno and LITA LITA LITA LITA LITA all get involved for their respective teams. Cool to see D-Von and Christian both handing from the belts and battling after the ladder got taken out from under them. LOL at Jeff trying to use the ladders as stepping stones, only for them to fall. We get the big Spear from Edge off the ladder to Jeff who ends up hanging from the titles. Looked impressive, but we’d seen it before (the often forgotten tag ladder match between E&C and the Hardy Boys on Raw in 2000. I think it made it to the second ladder match set though, so there are no excuses people!). Remember those 4 tables from earlier? Well they actually were set up for a reason OMG! Only good thing about that spot is that they used the giant ladder for it, so they could set the ladder up in the middle of the ring rather than the stupidly obvious (and utterly retarded) placement of the ladder near the ropes. With the help of Rhyno, E&C win the tag titles at WM 2 years in a row! This is good, but not great tbh. Last year’s triangle ladder match blows it away imo, and the first TLC is a big step above this too. And we’d get an even better TLC match on SD in a month too. ***1/2.
Match 9 – Gimmick Battle Royal – Heenan and Mean Gene commentating on this one! LOL, they take up 10 minutes just with introductions for this one. Though half of that is waiting for the Iron Sheik to actually make it down the ramp. Haha, Heenan calls Mean Gene Tony. Best part of this match tbh is the commentary between Heenan and Mean Gene as everyone makes their entrances. Match is garbage, but dammit, some great nostalgia watching these guys. Pretty funny that Jim Cornette is probably in better shape than 90% of the wrestlers involved in this. ONE MAN GANG. Actually just watched a WCW match of his earlier today. Against the SUPER GIANT NINJA. It was terrible. And OMG was the US champion. In 1996. I wonder why they had Tugboat as… Tugboat rather than Typhoon. I WANTED A NATURAL DISASTERS REUINION DAMMIT. Lol, the entrances last twice as long as the match. Rumour has it that the Sheik only won because he wasn’t physically able to take a bump over the ropes lol. I enjoy this, screw the haters! *.
Match 10 – The Undertaker Vs Triple H – Poor Undertaker. His WrestleMania match in 1999 was so bad, he had to take some time off, and even considered retirement… Ok, so that’s not exactly true, but for a man like The Undertaker, having a match as bad as the HIAC with Boss Man can’t be good for him :p. In late 1999, The Undertaker took some time off to heal from an injury (I want to say elbow… but I’m not sure). I’ve read rumours that he was supposed to be back in time for WrestleMania 2000, but in February that year, he suffered a groin injury and his return was postponed. I don’t know if any of that is true, since it came from the internet :p. In The Undertaker’s absence, Triple H had emerged as a huge star, and was the top heel in the company at this point. ‘Taker had always claimed the ring as “his yard”, and HHH was now claiming that The Undertaker’s “yard” was right in the middle of HIS world. Naturally, they would want to find out who really ruled the ring, so we got a WrestleMania match out of it. I really enjoyed the whole build up for this match, with Stephanie getting a restraining order on The Undertaker, Kane helping out, and HHH just being his awesome 00-01 badass self. Even though this WrestleMania was in Houston Texas, the home town of The Undertaker, Triple H (the HEEL), got his entrance music played live by Motorhead. No idea why they decided on that, other than HHH probably wanted it to happen because he is a huge fan of Motorhead lol. Doesn’t bother me though, I like Motorhead too :p. WrestleMania 17 is often considered to be the best WrestleMania, and even the best PPV of all time. I disagree with that, but I will agree with the people who say this is the defining Attitude Era PPV. Everything on this PPV, aside from the Gimmick Battle Royal (LOL), just screams Attitude Era, and this match is right up there as one of the biggest Attitude Era style matches of the night. The match starts, and it begins as nothing more than a brawl, which is all this match would turn out to be. However, in this case it is FAR from being a bad thing. The feud had become personal, so it made sense for them to brawl, especially The Undertaker as that was his main style during this time period. The Undertaker dominates the early minutes of the match, until HHH slows things down with simple but effective wrestling moves. Triple H has ‘Taker down, and as soon as he does, he goes out for the sledgehammer! Just as he is about to level the Dead Man with it, the referee takes it away! Pedigree attempt is reversed, and the referee takes his first bump of the night. Huge Chokeslam from The Undertaker, but Triple H kicks out! ‘Taker is pissed off, and attacks the referee (who would not move for about 10 minutes now :p )! Now the match starts to heat up, and we get one of the better Attitude Era brawls. They end up in the crowd, and work their way to a structure set up by WWE to hold technical equipment and cameras. It has multiple levels, and they keep climbing to the top level, where The Undertaker Chokeslams Triple H to hell! Well, if hell was a nice soft mat, then he was indeed Chokeslammed to hell :p. The angle we saw on the PPV looked cool though, until they started to show replays where you could see how soft his landing was :p. We then see how soft it is again, when The Undertaker launches himself off the structure with an elbow drop! Sure, the landing was soft as fuck, but this is wrestling, so I didn’t really expect them to land on concrete from that height lol. They eventually find their way back to the ring, and the referee is still down. The Undertaker is in firm control, and notices the sledgehammer in the ring. He picks it up, looks at HHH, feels the scar on his head from the sledgehammer shot he received a few weeks earlier, and decided it was payback time! Triple H does what he can to avoid the sledgehammer shot, and we end up with a back and forth slugfest in the middle of the ring! Triple H goes for a Tombstone, but The Undertaker reverses and lands his signature move! However, the referee is still out of it, so The Undertaker decides to land the Last Ride too! He elevates the Game up, and crashes down to the mat himself! Triple H grabbed the sledgehammer on his way up, and nailed ‘Taker in the head! Very smart move by Triple H! The referee is awake now, and makes the count, but The Undertaker kicks out! ‘Taker is busted open, so HHH targets the wound with numerous rights to the head in the corner. The Undertaker reverses this into a Last Ride out of the corner, and gets the win at WrestleMania, and in his home town! This is far from a wrestling classic, but it’s still a damn classic! Like I mentioned earlier, it is one of the better brawls of the Attitude Era, between two of the top starts in the WORLD. I’m not usually a big fan of all out brawls, but when they are done right, like it was here, they can be awesome. Definitely a great WrestleMania moment for The Undertaker, defeating the top superstar of 2000 at the biggest show of the year in his home town! ****1/4.
Match 11 – The Rock Vs Steve Austin – Yeah, the build up video for this complete with My Way is AWESOME. AWESOME I TELLS YA. No DQ stip is seemingly randomly added at the beginning of the match, but as we all know, there was a reason in the end. Somewhat of a unique stare down between these two before the match, when Rock is posing on the ropes and Austin is stood at the other corner not taking his eyes of The Rock and has a little smirk on his face. With that out of the way, Austin takes the fight right to the Rock and this one is ON bitches! Big brawl here as you would expect, and Rock is a total cunt when he bullies the referee and scares him so much he falls over the steel steps. THAT’S YOUR PEOPLE’S CHAMPION! Austin gets revenge for poor Hebner by smashing the ring bell into Rock’s face and busting him open. AUSTIN IS THE REAL HERO DAMMIT! LMFAO, how did I never see this before? Austin is smashing Rock’s head on the table, then the referee tells him to stop and we just see The Rock in the background fall through the table, breaking it. So tables have been hating Rock since 2001? Despite Austin getting revenge for the steps stuff, he’s a bit of an annoying prick by constantly getting in Austin’s face for doing illegal shit (IT’S NO DQ, FUCK OFF EARL). But Austin is pretty relentless, just mauling The Rock until the ref distracts him long enough for Rock to make a comeback, and now Rock wants revenge for being busted open. Smashes Austin’s head into an exposed turnbuckle, then BAM, ring bell into his face too. Crowd boo The Rock. I cheer the crowd. Austin is busted open too, but keeps fighting. Rock is just the same, fighting through the pain and the blood, even managing to lock in a… uhhh… leg submission hold thingamabob. Austin does the same, and JR calls it a Sharpshooter, but trust me, it ain’t no Sharpshooter lol. Neither of them can do it right, however I do appreciate what they were trying to do, with both men bleeding while sat in the hold, just like WM 13 with Bret and Austin. Rock keeps getting to the ropes after numerous Sharpshooters, so Austin pays homage to his Ring Master days and locks in a Million Dollar Dream! THIS is how much the title means to Austin. He had to leave wrestling for a year to get neck surgery, and he’s come back from that, won the RR and now main eventing WM in his home state. He NEEDS this win, and it becomes more and more clear the longer this match goes on. Rock however just keeps coming back, forcing Austin to get more vicious. Busting Rock open, using the Sharpshooter, going back to the Million Dollar Dream… and still The Rock fights back, even landing a Stunner of his own. Then, Mr McMahon of all people shows up ringside! People’s Elbow… and McMahon pulls The Rock off of Austin! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? ROCK BOTTOM BY AUSTIN! Not even that gets the job done! McMahon grabs a chair, and Austin holds The Rock up! Are Austin and McMahon working together? SAY IT AIN’T SO! Rock STILL won’t stay down and Austin is PISSED. He NEEDS to win this match dammit! ROCK BOTTOM! Vince causes a distraction, so Austin can recover and nail the Stunner! KICK OUT! Austin absolutely cannot believe it, so he grabs the chair again and absolutely MURDERS The Rock with it. Chair shot after chair shot after chair shot after chair shot until finally The Rock can’t go on any more, and Steve Austin is once again the WWF Champion! And then it happens… Austin and McMahon shake hands! STONE COLD IS SHAKING HANDS WITH SATAN HIMSELF! So this is still awesome. Finishing stretch has to be up there as one of the best too. The devolution of Austin in this match is awesome as he gets more and more angry and paranoid that he can’t keep The Rock down, and aligning with McMahon in order to finally get the one thing he wants the most is just icing on the cake. ****1/2.