So as we get closer to the next Wrestlemania I wanted to try and review some past Wrestlemanias here and I decided to go from X8 upwards this is mainly because I want to watch the final stretch of Raw and Smackdown’s that lead up to these Wrestlemanias and 2002- 2010 are the only build ups I’ve never seen fully, because I only started watching Raw and Smackdown on a weekly basis from mid 2010 onwards. Now I orignally was going to review the Raw and Smackdowns I’ll be watching as well but it would take too much time for me, so I’ve decided to just purely watch them and stick to reviewing just the Wrestlemania’s themselves, so we’ll see how far I manage to get.
So to kick things off we’ve got Wrestlemania X8, the one with Rock/Hogan and…umm..other stuff.
Shows starts with a live performance of Saliva’s song Superstar which was one of the theme songs for the event, back when nu-metal and wrestling seemed like the perfect blend. Makes a change from hearing the U.S national anthem but they are in Canada so of course they’d change it up , even if Saliva’s performance is a little tepid. Also entrance way looks like a big messy scaffold.
The Opening promo for this was great as everyone in involved hypes how special Wrestlemania is, with Trailblazing by Steve Jablonsky being used as the music which just makes it sound all epic. Great stuff.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: William Regal(c) vs RVD
RVD won a triple threat to be no1 contender a few weeks back and it’s his Wrestlemania debut.
Solid match here, pretty much back and forth throughout with some nice counters. Also this was the time that regal always used brass knuckles to win match, and they integrated that well here. He puts the Brass knucks on in the beginning of the match to try and stop RVD’s constant assault but RVD kicks them out of his hand to the outside, later on he picks them up but they get taken out his hand again, so he goes for another pair in his trunks but as he trying to pull them out and put them on, he gets kicked down and hit with the 5 star frog splash for the 3 count, which mean Regal’s reliance on his brass knucks is what lead to his downfall and I like that alot. Winner: RVD (via 5 star Frog Splash)***1/4
WWF European Championship match: Christian vs DDP(c)
Christian interviewed beforehand, says he doesn’t need DDP and no more tantrums.
Now this feud came about cause DDP wanted to inject Christian with some positivity, since he had been on a losing streak and having temper tantrums and was threatening to quit.He reluctantly accepts DDP’s offer which leads to DDP helping Christian win a match by interfering with a diamond cutter and the post-match Christian taking him out, the whole thing was only like a couple of weeks, so its just a quick easy feud really.
It was Decent match. short to the point, nothing special, some good action though and included Christian trying to keep his cool when DDP was kicking out of pinfalls.
When Christian finally loses, DDP grabs the mic and says hes proud Christian didn’t lose his temper in front of all the people watching, which of course makes Christian have a tantrum.
Winner: DDP(via Diamond Cutter)
Rock interviewed backstage by Coachman. It a fun little promo with Rocks usual energetic self and includes him making Coachman get on his knees and say his prayers.
WWF Hardcore Championship: Maven vs Goldust(c)
This goes alright, Goldust got a nice bit of offence on Maven to begin, before they started using all the gold weapons like the trash can and shovel. They end up knocking each other out with gold trashcan lids and then Spike Dudley runs down and takes the win because of the 24/7 rules. Crash Holly runs after him into the crowd and so do the other two and thus the whole thing becomes an ongoing segment throughout the show.Winner: Spike Dudley NR
Now here to help tell the story of the Triple H/Jericho feud. Drowning Pool!. They perform their new song Tear Away as clips from the Jericho/HHH feud play in the background. Again its a little tepid. not sure it says anything about the feud though. Singers also a bit off. The sound on these live recordings just don’t seem to have enough oomph behind them.
Crash and spike are brawling backstage, Al Snow comes through in a cart and crashes into some boxes, then Hurricane swings into Spike out of nowhere and gets the pinfall for the Hardcore title.
Kurt Angle vs Kane
This feud started a few weeks back when Angle went mental on Kane as he was pissed about losing his no1 contenders match with Triple H.
Angle gets on the mic beforehand, makes comments about how to really win medals compared to Canada’s figure skaters, drumming up some cheap heat.
Good match except the finish went a little shite, Angle tried reversing a chokeslam to a victory roll and landed weirdly so he tried to roll up the legs and put his feet on the ropes for the 3 count, but it looked shoddy as fuck. Ah well like I said rest was good, Angle focused on Kane’s head alot after giving him ‘head trauma’ a couple weeks back, even hitting him in the head with a ring bell before the match started. Kane fought back with his power whenever he could, they did well enough shame about the finish though Winner: Kurt Angle(via Shit pin)***
Hurricane pervs on Godfather’s ‘escorts’ in a locker room hiding behind changing veil. Their stripping to their bras and talking breasts and we get the phallic image of a silhoutte of a mop rising between Hurricanes legs, Godfather runs in to make the save in his jazzy tiger print clothing and runs Hurricane out the locker room.
No DQ match: Ric Flair vs Undertaker
This feud was the best built one this show , Undertaker looked super intimidating and menacing especially when taking out David Flair, just a man willing to do whatever it takes. Also side note, I noticed that part of the music used in the hype video for this would end up being the theme song for La Resistance, so that’s interesting.
Match itself is pretty good, very strike heavy and little sluggish. Flair had a good assault to begin but ‘Taker quickly gained control and flair then struggled to overcome trying to use a variety of tactics including weapons, low blows, the figure 4 and even a AA Spinebuster from the Arn Anderson who does a run in, but none of it worked and it lead to him taking a tombstone and losing. The finish was a little odd as it looked as though it was supposed to have been a last ride, but ‘Taker struggled getting him up for it, so he hit just the tombstone instead, so I don’t know whether he was meant to just give Flair the Last ride and pin or whether it was meant to be both moves. Ah well still pretty good stuff.
Winner: Undertaker(via Tombstone Piledriver)***
Edge vs Booker T
This feud was caused Edge taking Booker T’s Japanese commercial deal. So pretty throaway feud really.
Michael Cole actually interviews Booker T backstage before match, Booker has glasses on and tries to sounds intelligent, even mentioning ‘Einsteins relatives’ before turning more serious.
Decent match, just some enjoyable back and forth action nothing else much to it, they do mess up a rana off the top rope though.Winner: Edge(via Edgecution)***
Coach interviews Hurricane. Says he’s not a hurriperv. Might Molly then shows up says ‘to the Hurricycle’, but then knocks out hurricane with a frying pan to win hardcore belt.
Scott Hall vs Steve Austin
Whole thing started at No Way Out last month when NWO made a return and attacked Austin in the main event which includedHall hitting a stunner.
The match is alright, standard stuff really and a little overbooked. Austin comes in with an all out assault, Hall gains control via an exposed buckle, Nash keeps hitting Austin when refs back turned, Austin hits a stunner out of nowhere, which makes Nash get involved and take out the ref, they beat on Austin but he stunners them both and second ref runs out and Nash also takes him out, Nash then gets escorted out back by bunch of refs, Hall hits his own stunner but its not enough and Ausitn hits two stunners in a row for the win. Not much to it at all really, kinda made Hall & Nash look like geeks, but I think it was Vinces plan to just ridicule whole NWO thing.Winner: Steve Austin(via two stone cold stunners)**1/2
Tag Team Championship 4 corner elimination match: Dudleyz vs Hardys vs Billy/Chuck(c) vs APA
Saliva play Dudleyz theme song live.
Solid match, kept a good pace for most part though it understandably slows a little when Dudleyz in control of Hardyz. but they filled it with good action including a few double team moves and a table spot. Not much else to say really, all teams looked good.
Winners: Billy/Chuck (via belt shot to the head)***1/2
Backstage Hogan tells NWO he wants to win his match on his own and doesn’t want them at ringside.
Backstage, Molly takes a door to the face and Christian wins the hardcore title.
Hulk Hogan vs The Rock
Its Icon vs Icon and the match itself is decent, its a basic back and forth affair that’s really elevated by the crowd. They were fired up and the more lively here than any other match. They were also really behind hogan and booing the rock and just went wild for many different moments. Match does include a ref knock down which probably wasn’t needed but I guess was done to add tension to Hogan getting a near fall with his own Rock bottom. Overall its an enjoyable spectacle remembered more for its historic placement than its match quality Winner: The Rock(via Peoples elbow)***
Post-match Rock & Hogan shake hands and as Rock leaves Nash & hall come down to beat up Hogan. Rock runs back in to make the save and him and Hogan team up to take them out the ring. Thus NWO Hollywood Hogan is officially dead.
Womens Championship Match: Jazz(c) vs Trish Stratus vs Lita
Not bad match between these three, bit all over the place and sloppy but it has its moments. Crowd don’t care much and chant ‘we want puppies’ because who cares about women’s wrestling am i right?*sigh*. Winner: Jazz(Via Super fisherman Suplex)**1/2
Backstage, Christian gets rolled up by Maven for the Hardcore title as hes about to enter his Taxi, Maven then proceeds to take Christians Taxi instead. That’s the last of the Hardcore title segments which were a nice bit of fun and really enjoyable.
WWF Undisputed Championship match: Chris Jericho(c) vs Triple H
Drowning Pool play their trashy Nu Metal version of Triple H’s Theme song for his entrance, cause they gotta get their moneys worth
Now This feud was mainly built around Stephanie and Triple H’s divorce, it was really only the last week or so, that they made the focus more on the championship and also had Jericho taking out HHH’s leg to try and renew the quadricep injury that originally took Triple H out of action. It was all a bit of an odd and weak build up really, so it’s no surprise that the crowd don’t end up caring much apart from a couple moments(they also probably used most their energy on Rock/Hogan).
Now the match itself is good certainly nothing outstanding though. Obviously Jericho throughout keeps his focus on Triple H’s leg and Triple H even tries a little to take out Jericho’s leg as payback. Steph also gets involved a few times of course before finally getting taken out by a pedigree that has been teased for weeks and had more build up then this actual match.
It was overall a good match but was hurt alot by the uncaring crowd. Triple H of course gets the win to finish his big return from injury, shame its a little overshadowed by the hokey relationship stuff. Babyface ‘The Game’ Triple H just didn’t seem to work that well I find.
Winner: Triple H(via Pedigree)***1/4
This show is decent but lacks anything outstanding, take out the Hogan/Rock match and you’ve got a Wrestlemania that’s largely forgettable and just feels like another event. Its still all enjoyable and there’s nothing bad here, but it’s easily skippable aside the historic spectacle of Rock/hogan but even that is less special now, since they had the re-match less than a year later at No way Out 2003. I’d really only recommend watching the whole event for completionist sake, its definitely an easy enough watch and the Regal/RVD, Rock/Hogan, Tag team Turmoil and main event are worth checking out if you really want to see some of the matches. Certainly one of the weaker manias of the 2000’s. **3/4