Where it all begins again… except that saying didn’t really mean a damn thing lol.
Match 1 – The Big Show Vs John Cena – Cena’s first ever WM! Yey woo exciting right? And his opponent is the US champion The Big Show, someone who Cena would face again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again over and over and over and over and over for the rest of time in a bunch of really fucking shitty, dull, boring predictable matches. BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST I THINK SO YEY. First singles between them anyway. They’d had interactions since Survivor Series when Cena turned face and joined Team Angle (or Benoit? One of the two…) over Team Lesnar which Show was a part of. Some RR stuff too, then a triple threat at No Way Out to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Title (won by Angle). But possibly their first singles match, or at least their first big singles match. Being so early still in his career, Cena IS viewed as the genuine underdog here, so the Giant Vs Puny Man structure works really nice here, especially at the time because you could believe that Cena could just as easily lose the match rather than win no matter what. Plus Cena isn’t the face of the company so he was able to look more vulnerable and he didn’t have his Super Cena comeback yet. Show throws Cena around, slams him down, crushes him with all his weight, while Cena keeps trying to fight back at all costs only to end up getting swatted down again by the giant US champ. COBRA CLUTCH by Big Show! F-U to Big Show… and BIG SHOW KICKS OUT!!! Cena is shocked, what is he going to use now to beat the giant? Deck him with a chain of course! He teases it, but the referee makes him take it off. While the ref is seeing to that, Cena decks Show with… uhhh… word life knucks or something lol, then follows it up with another F-U and Cena becomes the US champ! This was pretty good. ***.
Match 2 – La Resistance Vs Booker T & RVD Vs Jindrak & Cade Vs The Dudley Boys – The first of 2 four way tag title matches… because WWE wanted EVERYONE on the card for WM 20 is seems lol. Urgh, the shitty mashup theme for Booker and RVD is as shitty as they are at wrestling and tag champs. Yeah, Booker and RVD are the tag champs going into this match. 9 years later and Booker T is getting inducted into the HOF in the same arena. I hope Shield attack him on his way out to the stage. INJUSTICE that such a shitty fucking wrestler is being inducted. This match… happens. Guys do moves. Giant NOTHING match if I ever saw one. Booker and RVD retain the titles. Pointless as fuck. 1/4*.
Coach is sent to find The Undertaker, and ends up stumbling across Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan coming out of a room with Mae Young and Moolah. Heenan being dragged in by Mae screaming “not again, not again, I haven’t been well” and his arm trying to keep the door from shutting is hilarious.
Match 3 – Chris Jericho Vs Christian – Fuck yes. FUCK YES. Love the shit out of this match. LOVE IT. Made me a Christian fan too. Build was great. Christian and Jericho making a bet to see who can get laid first by Trish and Lita, then Jericho falling for Trish for real, Trish finding out, Christian getting jealous because Jericho is spending too much time trying to court Trish than concentrating on their tag team. And then we also have Christian acting like a creepy little bastard hitting on Trish. Just awesome stuff. THIS is how you build to a WM match. Tim White is the referee. I thought he got fucked up in that HIAC match in 2002 and couldn’t referee any more so he killed himself. Repeatedly. On camera. For like a month straight. Ah what do I know. So guess what? This match is still sweeeeet as fuck. Jericho is great early on, looking to HURT Christian and managing to use some of his high flying offence into his HATE~! filled offence too, and does it perfectly. Then the transition spot for Christian to gain control involves a back suplex over the ropes to the outside, and the first camera angle makes it look like Jericho’s head smashed on the apron on the way down. Then they showed another angle and completely ruined it lol. Bastards :P. They eventually bump heads and from there Jericho gets the chance to come back, and we go all out into a back and forth match with both guys doing anything they can to win. Despite splitting from Edge in 2001, Christian was still mostly stuck in tag teams for the next few years so he never really got much of a chance to show how good he can be in singles competition. And when he did get a chance he was stuck in shitty feuds with the likes of Booker T (that awful IC title run they had together in 2003). But it’s great to see Christian step up his game at WM against a guy like Jericho and end up looking like the greatest thing ever, and from here on out Christian would be mainly a singles guy and boy did he ever run with that. Shame WWE never gave him a fair shake, though at least when he returned in 2009 he had the opportunity pretty much every week to look awesome. TRISH shows up looking smoking hot, while Jericho and Christian continue to go back and forth, both now desperate to just get the win before they take much more damage. This is also the night we find out that Trish likes it rough! Christian throws her into the corner, Jericho checks on her but she elbows him in the face “by mistake” and Christian rolls him up for the win! And then is happens… SLAP TO JERICHO! She joins Christian because she likes it rough! ARE YOU TELLING MMMM MMMM ARE YOU TELLING ME CLB HAS GOT THIS BEAUTIFUL WOMEN? The hell happened to JR lol? Match is still awesome. Not quite as awesome as before, but maybe I was just throwing a higher rating on it because most of this show was dire and I loved this so much. ****.
Match 4 – Mick Foley & The Rock Vs Ric Flair, Batista & Randy Orton – Well this still sucks. Yeah, I don’t like it. I’m one of about 6 people in the world who doesn’t seem to like this match. You’ve got a very green Batista, Flair in his old age who isn’t into his crazy old man grove yet, Rock who hasn’t wrestled in a year and doesn’t look good (I swear half of his punches completely miss), Foley who isn’t quite in the shape he wanted to be in (would change that for Backlash), and then Orton who is the best guy in the match who is also somewhat green but not as bad as Batista. Best part of this match is Flair mocking the People’s Elbow. Rock tries to mock Flair’s strut a few times but ends up looking like a retarded robot instead. Orton pins Foley clean with an RKO. Foley is disappointed. Helps build to their Backlash match, but honestly I don’t think it was needed. They should have had their singles match here instead. Ah well, we get another month of them feuding still, though I guess they could have fitted that stuff in before WM if they didn’t bother with The Rock crap. *.
Match 5 – Sable & Torrie Wilson Vs Miss Jackie & Stacy Keibler – NO.
Match 6 – Tajiri Vs Shannon Moore Vs Ultimo Dragon Vs Rey Mysterio Vs Nunzio Vs Chavo Guerrero Jr Vs Billy Kidman Vs Jamie Noble Vs Akia – Dammit, they cut out Dragon’s fall during his entrance on the DVD. I still have the unedited version that I taped back in the day though. So this is a Cruiserweight Open for the CW title. 2 guys start (Dragon and Moore), then when someone gets beat, someone takes their place until someone wins the match overall and is champ. Some decent action, couple of nice spots here and there, nothing more. **.
Match 7 – Goldberg Vs Brock Lesnar – A “dream match” at the time, and boy was everybody disappointed! Both guys were leaving the company after this match, everyone knew it, and they both phoned it in BIG TIME which caused some major resentment from the live crowd. Lol, half of this feud seemed to be between Austin and Lesnar (Austin was the guest ref)… which makes no sense since there was never gonna be a pay off. Guess they just wanted to keep Austin looking good as he was actually staying around a little afterwards. They do fuck all for a great deal of the match. Goldberg wins. Austin stuns both of them. DUD.
Match 8 – Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty Vs The Basham Brothers Vs The Self Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team Vs APA – Damn, what it is with the seemingly random tag champs going into this show? Booker & RVD, and now Rikishi & Scotty? Crazy to see Bradshaw here, knowing that he would be the WWE champion in a few months time, and wouldn’t lose it until WM next year! Yet another pointless match at this event, just like the first 4 way tag titles match. Urgh. Best thing about this match is the final minute or so where Bradshaw just fucking murders EVERYONE before Rikishi pins Danny Basham to retain the tag belts. 3/4*.
Match 9 – Molly Holly Vs Victoria – Women’s title on the line, and the loser gets their head shaved (or just if Molly loses she gets shaved? I dunno. I don’t care). NO.
Match 10 – Eddie Guerrero Vs Kurt Angle – WWE Title time, and Eddie Guerrero is defending! Was awesome to see Eddie with the belt back then. Massive, MASSIVE mark out moment to see him win it at NWO the month before against Lesnar. Sadly I never liked this match. Hell I thought these two had pretty bad chemistry overall, with the exception of their super fun and really good 2 out of 3 falls match on SD. LOL, Molly Holly is still getting shaved on the entrance ramp while this match takes place. Might I just say that the MSG crowd are pretty fucking SHIT at this event. However, the early goings of this match are dull as fuck so I don’t blame them for not caring here. Front headlock. Arm bar. Headlock. YAWN. Angle can’t even do a slow paced match right lol. Eddie eventually ends up injuring his mid section after a failed dive, so Angle works that part over but not in any kind of exciting way. LMAO at Cole complaining that Angle is punching Eddie, shouting that it’s a wrestling match, not a boxing match, yet was likely marking out like a little girl when Rock was punching people earlier in the night. Eddie makes some nice come backs, but completely and utterly ignores the mid section that he hurt and had worked over. What is it with guys going all retarded when they face Kurt Angle? Benoit was the same. They just seem to forget about basic wrestling selling and storytelling. Frog Splash from Guerrero doesn’t end the match, and Angle is able to recover nice and quickly to lock in an Ankle Lock. Eddie looks to be in bad shape and realises that with the Frog Splash not working, he has to lie, cheat and steal his way to victory. He unties his boot to try and help the blood flow to his ankle, and from there Kurt goes for another Ankle Lock, Eddie slips out of the boot, and rolls up Angle for the win! Great finish, but fuck the rest of this match was terrible. *.
Match 11 – The Undertaker Vs Kane – WrestleMania X was where “It All Begins… Again”. Part of that was The Undertaker “beginning again” so to speak, by leaving his American Bad Ass/Big Evil gimmick behind and returning to his roots as the Dead Man. At Survivor Series 2003, The Undertaker faced Vince McMahon in a buried alive match. While Vince got destroyed in the match, it was The Undertaker who ended up 6 feet under… thanks to his own brother Kane! For the next couple of months, Kane would constantly take great pleasure in letting people know that he was the one who killed The Undertaker. Then, at the 2004 Royal Rumble, just when Kane was building momentum… the lights went out and the gong went off. For the next couple of months, Kane would receive many “signs” that his brother was alive and well, and ready to return at WrestleMania to get revenge! There is so much about this match that I love. Firstly, the build up was fantastic. The mind games played by The Undertaker without him even appearing was done so damn well. Then we have the entrances. Kane’s was pretty good, with the whole city background on the stage being on fire. The Undertaker’s was just epic though, even more so than WrestleMania 14. It had a similar set up, with the druids coming out holding torches and creating a pathway. However, this time we were greeted with an “Ohhhh YEEES!” by PAUL FUCKING BEARER, who was also making his return since 2000! WWE really knew how to keep people in suspense with this too, making it the second to last match on the card, and also waiting a little while longer before The Undertaker’s music hit. The pop when he does finally come out is great. How I would have loved to have been in attendance that night, to witness the return, and the entrance, of The Undertaker. I remember reading comments the next day about how everyone hated the way The Undertaker looked when he came back, but the people in attendance didn’t care, and neither did I. The fact he was back, and as the Dead Man, regardless of how much he still technically looked like he did when he was the ABA, overshadowed any of the negatives. Unfortunately, one of those negatives happens to be the actual match lol. Once the return and entrance is over… there isn’t too much to this one. Kane’s character had completely changed since their WrestleMania 14 match 5 years ago, and his in ring abilities had gone downhill too. Plus the booking of the match was more of a squash match, so we didn’t get the incredible brawl that we saw all those years ago. They start off with a pretty decent brawl, then transition into the FIP spot (holy crap, 12 matches in and that’s the first time I have mentioned FIP! :p ). A couple of sloppy moments, but for the most part it’s ok, just extremely basic and forgettable. ‘Taker doesn’t take too much offense from Kane though, as this is a squash match for the most part. The biggest moment for Kane in the match is when he counters Old School into a Chokeslam (after Undertaker tries to counter the Chokeslam with a Chokeslam of his own though lol). Kane thinks he has things in control, until The Undertaker sits up and gets another massive pop. Nothing Kane does has any effect on The Undertaker, which causes Kane to become afraid, and eventually leads to his downfall. Tombstone from The Undertaker, which gets another massive pop, and this one is over. This match really isn’t about the match when I look back on it. It’s just a way to bring back The Undertaker in his Dead Man gimmick, and Kane was a perfect opponent to be fed to him. When I look at it as more than just a wrestling match, I really enjoy this one. His return was epic, his entrance was epic, and the fact he used a Tombstone to finish Kane instead of the Last Ride (which I liked, but got bored of during his ABA/Big Evil run towards the end) was epic. Far, far from being a classic, but overall it isn’t bad. **1/2.
Match 12 – Triple H Vs Shawn Michaels Vs Chris Benoit – At the RR at the start of the year, Chris Benoit won the Rumble match, allowing him to challenge for the title in the main event of WM. During the same event, HHH and HBK had a brutal (and I don’t mean violent…) Last Man Standing match for the WHC which ended in a draw. HBK wanted a rematch, but Chris Benoit jumped from SD to Raw in order to challenge for the WHC at WM! HBK desperately wanted in the match, and found a way when he superkicked Benoit before Benoit could sign the WM match contract. Benoit was still getting the title shot due to the RR win, but now HBK was the main who signed the contract to also get a match. And thus the first ever triple threat match for a major title at WM is made! Kinda crazy to think it took WWE 20 years to give us a triple threat for the title at WM. Then they started throwing them at us over the next few years and none of them came close to this one. Mainly because the story’s going in to them sucked (love triangle with Vickie/Edge/Big Show and then randomly Cena thrown in?). Gotta love how this really does feel like a TRIPLE threat match for quite a while, with all 3 guys going at it without having to have one guy taken out, 2 guys left in the ring, guy on the outside comes back in so another guy goes outside and so on. Then when they do switch to having just 2 guys going at it, the third guy is taken out with something that makes you believe he would stay away for a while, for example HHH getting superkicked. Of course the best example of this is when HHH and HBK both suplex Benoit from one announce table through another, allowing Shawn to have Triple H all to himself. A cool moment… until you realise that it’s another chapter in the HHH Vs HBK story and they’ve been having shitty battles for nearly 2 years now lol. Thankfully the action between them is actually really good here. Both HBK and HHH do some nice blade jobs, putting over how much of a WAR this match is. Benoit makes it back to the match eventually, to break up a pin attempt following a Pedigree. Awesome superkick to Benoit while he has HHH in the Sharpshooter. Crowd really get teased at the end, thinking that HHH might pull out the win when Shawn tunes up the band, goes for Sweet Chin Music only to be sent flying over the ropes by Benoit, who turns around to have HHH waiting to Pedigree him! Luckily Benoit counters into a Crossface, and HHH lasts as long as possible before finally tapping about! Benoit is the new World Champion, for the SECOND TIME. Yeah, WWE really played up on this whole “Benoit never won the title in his 15 year career” or whatever… but he won the title in WCW during his last match lol before coming to WWE. Anyway, still a huge moment. Great build to it from the RR, and the MSG crowd go nuts for him finally doing it. Eddie Guerrero, the WWE champion, comes out to celebrate with his friend. Great moment that will forever be tainted in the eyes of many fans because of what Benoit went on to do. Match is great, and while I’ve never loved it as a ***** match like a lot of people, I’ve still always thought very very highly of it. Now? Well I still think it’s pretty fucking great, just not as much as before. ****1/4.