Connect with us


Top 5 ‘Best WrestleManias of All-Time’ #4 – WrestleMania XX



The Best and Worst of WrestleMania

Top 5 ‘Best WrestleManias of All-Time’ Number Four

WrestleMania XX – Madison Square Garden -New York, New York, 2004

The show began with the Harlem Boys Choir singing America The Beautiful, set to a video full of patriotic images, ending with the New York Skyline with the just planned at the time Freedom Tower.

Then came a video with the preface “Twenty years ago, one man had a vision.” The video showed the Superstars talking about the importance of WrestleMania and Madison Square Garden and ended with the tagline “WrestleMania XX, where it all begins…again” and ended with a shot of Vince, Shane, and the newly born first McMahon grandson.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler called the Raw matches and Michael Cole and Tazz called the Smackdown matches.

John Cena vs Big Show (C) for the WWE United States Title

This is the middle of the Doctor of Thuganomics era and Cena may be at the height of his popularity with the Smart fans. It’s weird to hear him cheered in NYC. He is wearing a Patrick Ewing jersey and is still rapping. Most of his lines make fun of Show’s weight. Cena taunted Show, but Show backed him into the corner. Cena tried to back him up some right hands, but Show grabbed by the head and threw him to the floor, then caught him with a knee when he tried to get back in. Cena snapped Show’s neck on the top and went for a Flying Bodypress, but Show caught him and body slammed him for a two count.

Hearing grown men chant “Let’s Go Cena” in New York is weird. Cena fed off it and tried to go to work with strikes, but Show cut him off with a clothesline. Show choked him with the bottom rope, then lifted him up for a vertical suplex for a two count, then nailed him with a huge chop in the corner. Cena tried to make another run, but Show cut him off with a sidekick. Show hit a leg drop to a standing Cena for a near fall. One of the first time I remember the crowd yelling “two!” after every near fall. Show went for a slam, but Cena floated over into a rear naked choke, but Show backed him into the corner and nailed him with a clothesline. Show then locked in a cobra clutch. Cena tried to go to the gut, but Show just threw him to the mat. Show went back to the clutch. Cena rallied with some body shots, a clothesline and a series of rights, and finally got him into the corner. Cena caught Show charing with a boot, then hit a chopblock to finally take Show down. Cena then hit the FU (now the Attitude Adjustment), but Show kicked out. Cena then went and wrapped his chain around his hand. The ref did take away the chain, but while he was doing that, Cena grabbed his custom knucks and nailed Show with them, then hit a second FU for the three count! Cena wins his first singles title!

Winner: Cena via pinfall

Then we see the Coach, Jonathan Coachman, walking down the hall, he runs into Dr. Tom Prichard, Johnny Stamboli, and Teddy Long along the way before he enters Raw GM Eric Bischoff’s office, who is there with his assistant, a young John Morrison. Bischoff then talks about all the weird noises and phenomena people have been hearing about all day, and asked Coach to go find the Undertaker. Coach points out that Taker is on Smackdown, but Bischoff says he doesn’t wanna be scooped by them and to go do it.

Then we get a promo from Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair in a stairwell. Orton recaps his long feud with Mick Foley, which began a year earlier when Orton kicked Foley down that very stairwell. They then show the memorial segment where Foley challenged Orton to a match, but when Orton spit in his face, he almost literally ran away from the fight. Orton said he could appreciate that Foley was trying to hold on to his legacy, but time-and Evolution had passed him by. Orton said that they had almost grown tired of beating him by the time that Foley had brought in the Rock, and they beat him up too. Orton said that they would prove that the legendary Rock N Sock Connection were just two has-beens whose time had passed. He promised tonight it would all end-and begin again.

Rob Van Dam and Booker T (C) vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance vs. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak in a Fatal 4 Way for the Raw tag team titles

Van Dam starts out with Rene Dupree, but when he was a hot young prospect. RVD gets up on with a big monkey flip out of the corner, then slingshots him into a Booker T Harlem Sidekick for a near fall. Dupree goes to the gut, but Booker hits Dupree with a clothesline and a hiptoss on Ron Conway. Dupree wandered into the Dudley corner, and got ping ponged for a moment, but then decided to tag Bubba Ray. Bubba got the better of Booker and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Booker tried to fight back with some chops, but Bubba went to cut him off, but Booker hit a Harlem Sidekick. Cade and Jindrak distracted the ref, and D-Von hit a reverse Bloody Sunday on Booker, but RVD took him out with a leaping sidekick. Jindrak then taged himself in and covered Booker, but Bubba broke up the pin. Jindrak corner Booker and tagged in Cade.

Booker tried to resist the onslaught, but Cade kicked away a backdrop hard. Dupree tagged himself in and covered Booker for a two count. Conway tagged in, and he locked Booker in a surfboard. Booker manged to fight out, but Conway hit a backelbow for a two count. Conway back to the surfboard. Booker managed to hit a big spinebuster and finally make the tag. RVD cleaned house on both of the heels team, with kicks of all of kinds, then went after the Dudleys for good measure. RVD laid out Dupree with a spinning heel kick and went up top, but D-von pushed him off the top in a huge numb. It’s a melee now. The Dudleys went for the 3D, but Cade tackled Bubba out of the ring. Conway hit a DDT on D-Von, but Booker T caught him with a scissor kick, and RVD came out of nowhere with the Five Star Frog Splash for the pin. The champs retain.

Winner: Booker and RVD get the W

Coach is in the back, looking for the Taker, and he asks a stagehand about the weird noises, and points out where they are coming from. Coach goes to investigate, but it turns out to be Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby The Brain Heenan making out with the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Okerlund and Heenan trying to explain themselves is hilarious. They eventually get dragged back in the room, and Coach runs for it! The crowd is rolling.

Next they showed a great video package of the feud between Chris Jericho and Christian, whom began as partners, but were split up because a bet for one Canadian dollar and Jericho’s on again/off again romance with Trish Stratus. The feud escalated when Christian destroyed Trish in an intergender match and said he did for Chris. Really serious stuff that you don’t see anymore.  But they would collide for the first time tonight.

Chris Jericho vs. Christian

Tim White was the ref here. This may have been his final match. The two started out with a stare down and a lock up. Christian shoved him on the break and Jericho clocked him with a right. Jericho went right at Christian with a series of strikes, before whipping him into a backelbow and hitting a suplex. Christian tried to throw Jericho over the top, but he landed on the apron and yelled “C’mon, CLB” and backdropped him over the top rope, then hit him with a springboard cross body block. Jericho threw him hard into the rails, then went into brake the count. Christian went for a sunset flip, but Jericho fell on top for a two count, and then rolled through looking for the Walls, but Christian got the ropes, and finally went to the eyes, then backsuplexed him over the top rope to the floor. Christian threw Jericho back in the ring after taking time to recover and went to work. Jericho tried to fight back, but Christian cut him off with a knee to the gut for a two count. Christian went to a neck crank. Jericho went to fight out, but Christian threw Jericho down by the hair, even pulling a little out for a two count. Christian then went to a rear chinlock. Jericho fought out and tried to go to the Walls, but Christian went to the eyes this time and hit a spinkick for a two count. Both men collided heads and both were down, only to come up trading rights.

Jericho made a comeback hitting a flying forearm, sitdown splash in the corner, and a running enzugiri for a two count. They traded rollup for near falls, with Christian trying to grab the ropes. Jericho came back with a Norther Lights suplex for a two count, only to have Christian bridge out and look for a backslide, but Jericho escaped and hit a bulldog. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Christain got the knees up. Christian caught Jericho charging into a an elbow and hit a tornado reverse DDT for a great near fall. Jericho came with a sleeping neckbreaker and both men are down again. Christian caught a charging Jericho and hit a reverse DDT backbreaker and tried to go up top, but Jericho cut him off looking for a superplex, but Christian released gordbustered him off the ropes. Christian went for a Flying Bodypress, but Jericho rolled through for a two count. Jericho was throwing rights in the corner, but Christian kicked him in the knee, and locked him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Jericho fought the move and managed to roll under his leg and roll Christian up and tried to turn it into the Walls, but Christian got the ropes. Jericho held the move until the last second. Jericho then brought Jericho into the corner and hit a double arm superplex, but hesitated on the cover and Christian kicked out.

Trish Stratus then ran down to the ring. They came up trading rights, but Christian ducked one and hit an awesome elevated DDT, but Jericho kicked out for a great false finish. Christian went to leave the ring, but Trish jumped on the apron. Christian then pulled him into the ring by her hair. Jericho attacked Christian and threw him to the floor. Jericho went to help Trish, but she nailed him with an accidental elbow in the eye, and Christian jumped in and rolled him up for behind for thrre count in an awesome match.

Winner: Christian via pinfall

After the match, Trish went over and tried to apologize to Jericho. He seemed to tell her it was okay. Christian came back, and Trish tried to hold back Jericho, but then nailed him two giant slaps to the face and Christian laid him out with the Unprettier. Christian and Trish then walked up the ramp arm and arm and when they got up to the ramp, they engaged in some serious tonsil hockey! The fans groaned and JR and the King went nuts.

Then, Lilian Garcia did a promo with Mick Foley. He talked about how it was New York, MSG, WrestleMania, and he was having a hard time dealing with all the emotions. But then Rock came into the picture and said that it was Mick Foley’s night. The Rock knew it, Lilian, the Hamburgerlar and Grimace (Hurricane and Rosey) knew it, Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco knew it, and the people knew it. Rock then went out the door and into the crowd and felt the people, who roared. He said it was their time to electrify and slap the lips of off Evolution, If You Smelt with the Rock, and Sock is cooking.

Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair) vs. The Rock N Sock Connection (The Rock and Mick Foley)

The crowd is in love with Flair here. The first Ric Flair DVD had come out a year earlier and revolutionized that industry. This was Mick’s first match in four years and was Rock’s last match for seven. It started out with a melee, with Rock N Sock getting the advantage. It broke down into Rock vs Flair. Rock hit a shoulderblock, then did the Flair strut. He came a little incensed. Rock went at him with a series of rights and a backdrop, and it split to the floor. Flair poked Rock in the eye, but Rock caught him with big backdrop on the floor, and Foley hit the famous Foley elbow to a huge reaction. Rock tossed Flair back in the ring, but he got the tag to Orton. Foley begged to tag in. Orton took a powder as soon as he did, but Foley came out after him and pounded him, slamming his head into the announce table and clotheslining him. Foley tossed him in the ring and hit an elbow, then tied him in the tree of woe for a running elbow. Rock tagged in and followed up with a punch to the groin. Orton kicked away a backdrop, but Rock bounced back with a clothesline. Rock was taking on all of Evolution at one point, until Batista pulled the top rope down.

He slammed rock on the rails and Orton came out and pounded him. Orton tossed him back in and tagged Batista. He and Rock went at it, but Batista cut him off and hit a backelbow for a two count. Flair tagged in and lit Rock up with a series of chops. The crowd went crazy for the strut, but Rock hit Flair with a clothesline. Flair went up top, but well, you know. Flair managed to tag Batista. Batista pounded Rock in the corner briefly, only to have Rock bounce back with a clothesline and get the tag. Foley lit Batista up with a series of rights and a running knee hit, then dropped Flair and Orton. He went for a double arm DDT, but Batista backed him into the corner. Foley fought back and lit him up with a flurry in the corner, but Batista came back with a hard lariat. He tossed Foley to the floor and Orton went after him, but Foley grabbed him by the throat. Flair attacked from behind, and Orton threw him hard into the steps. Orton covered Foley for a two count. Orton worked him over a bit, then tagged Flair, who dropped Foley with a chop. They traded shots, but Flair took him down by the leg and tagged Orton. Orton applied a reverse chinlock. Foley tried to fight out, but Orton threw him down by the hair and tagged Batista. Batista clothslined Foley and pounded him from the mount, Foley grabbed a mandible claw out of nowhere, but Orton broke it up. Flair tagged in and traded rights with Foley before going to the eyes and tagging out. Foley caught Batista with swinging neckbreaker out of nowhere. The two collided on clotheslines. Batista tagged in Flair, who tried to cut Foley off, but Foley decked him and finally tagged Rock, who cleaned house on all three men until Batista laid him out with a spinebuster.

Man, this version of Batista is awesome. Flair then went for the People’s Elbow, but took much time and Rock nipped up and lit him up with a series of rights. He hit a DDT on Batista, then a spinebuster and People’s Elbow on Flair, adding a strut in between. Flair barely kicked out. Orton tagged in and Rock hit the Rock Bottom, but Flair pulled him out of the ring. Flair was going crazy outside of the ring, and Batista went in and hit a Batista Bomb on Rock. Orton covered, but Rock kicked out. Rock managed to somehow tag Foley. Foley fought off all three men, then laid out Orton with a double arm DDT. Foley put on Socko and went for the claw, but Orton hit an RKO that came literally out of nowhere for the three count.

Winner: Evolution via pinfall

After the match, Rock did his best to console Foley and the crowd gave him an incredible ovation.

They reviewed the previous night’s Hall of Fame ceremony, which had been done for the first time in eight years and with Bobby Heenan, Harley Race, Billy Graham, Sgt Slaughter, Tito Santana, Don Muraco, Jesse Ventura, Pete Rose, Greg Valentine, Junkyard Dog, and Big John Studd, may go down as the very best HOF Class Ever. They did the ceremony in the arena with Mean Gene Okerlund, and it was just awesome. Everyone got a great reaction.

Torrie Wilson and Sable vs. Stacy Keibler and Jackie Gayda in a Playboy Evening Gown Match

Good lord, do we live in a different world now. Torrie had recently been on the cover of Playboy, then done a second cover with Sable as well. When are four women got in the ring, Sable got on the mic and said that she felt rather uncomfortable, and that she and Torrie decided they wanted to start the match with their evening gowns off, if it was okay with the crowd. Sable, Torrie, and Stacy all took their gows off (takes longer then the match.) Jackie refuses, so Sable and Torrie deck her and take it off themselves. Imagine if Twitter had been around back then…Sable started out with a series of kicks on Jackie, then tagged in Torrie who hit flying bodypress for a two count. Jackie raked the eyes and tagged Stacy, who makes getting the ring a spectator sport. She also busted out a cart-wheel. Stacy choked Torrie with her foot, showing off that awesome leg. They then did the sexy rollup series. Cole and Tazz are total hounds on commentary. Jackie tagged and got speared by Torrie, leading to the rolling catfight spot where the ref gets rolled on. Jackie slapped Torrie and went for a rollup, but Torrie reverse it for a three count. God bless us, every one.

Winner: Torrie and Sable via pinfall in under three minutes

They did find out where the hell everyone came from to see the show segment that is now standard.

We get a segment from Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. This is hard to watch without crying. Guerrero hyped up Chris by saying that no one believed him and no one believed he could win. Chris responded saying that tonight was his night. Yeah, I can’t do it.

The First Ever Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Title

Ulitmo Dragon and Shannon Moore. They jockey for position, and trade roll ups for near falls. Moore hit a back suplex for a two count. Moore went for another one, but Dragon rolled out, only to run into an elbow. Moore went for a corkscrew moonsault, but Dragon moved out-of-the-way. Dragon hit a spinning back kick and hit the Dragon Cutter for the three count.

Jamie Noble is next. Noble jumps him from behind and puts the boots to him. Noble hit a short clothsline for a two count. Dragon flipped over a backdrop and hit a spinkick for a near fall. Dragon hit a backbreaker and went for a moonsault. Noble moved, but Dragon landed on his feet and hit a spinning back kick. He went for the Dragon Cutter, but Noble countered into the neckbreaker and locked in the gullitone choke and Dragon tapped out.

Funaki is next. Funaki went up top for a Flying Bodypress, but Noble rolled through for the pin!

Nunzio was next. He tried from come behind, but Noble came from behind. The fans chanted Where My Pizza at him. They jockeyed for position. Nunzio rolled him up for a two count, then hit a second rope dropkick for a two count. Noble tossed Nunzio to the floor and hit a somersault plancha on him. Both men tried hard to get back in the ring to beat the count, but Noble pulled Nunzio hard to the mat and got in before the ten. Nunzio is out.

Billy Kidman is next. They went right at it, and Kidman tried to send Noble to the floor. Noble blocked it, but Nunzio pulled him down. Kidman went for the Shooting Star press off the top, but didn’t fully rotate and almost killed himself. The first Holy Shit of the night rings up. Kidman somehow got in the ring for a two count. Noble came back with the guillotine choke, but Kidman escaped with a backdrop and hit an enzugiri. Kidman went for the shooting star again, but Noble cut him off. Kidman came back with a second rope rydeem bomb for the three count.

Rey Mysterio, in a Flash outfit, is next. He comes right in with a springboard senton, but Kidman came right back with a dropkick for a two count. Kidman tried a pop up powerbomb, but Rey dropkicked out. Chavo Jr, the champion, distracted the ref, and Akio (Jimmy Wang Yang) snapped Rey’s neck on the top rope. Kidman hit a spinebuster for a two count. Kidman went for a top rope gutwrench suplex, but Rey fought out and hit a top rope Code Red powerbomb for the three count.

Tajiri is next. Rey faces him down, and they trade leg kicks, but Tajiri lures him into the tarantula. Tajiri went for the handspring elbow, but Rey dropkicked him in the back. Rey hit the 619 and went for the West Coast Pop, but Tajiri ducked and hit him a kick to the gut and Akio went to grab him from behind and Tajiri sprayed the mist, but Rey moved and it hit Akio, who ran away from the ring in pain, taking him out of the match. Rey then rolled Tajiri for a three count.

Chavo is last. Meanwhile, Tajiri kicked Rey from behind. Chavo came in and covered, but Rey kicked out. Rey came back with a drop toe hold into the ropes and a springboard hurricanrana. Rey dropped Chavo Classic. He tried to throw him out, but Rey took him out anyway with a tope con hilo. Rey went for a sunset flip, but Chavo dropped down and hooked a leg, and clasped hands with Classic to get the three count.

Winner: Chavo via pinfall

The Goldberg-Lesnar feud (what year is this again?) is recapped, as Stone Cold Steve Austin’s entry into it somehow…

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – Special Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Austin came down on his ATV, of course. This was the last match on Goldberg’s WWE contract, and he didn’t make an appearance for weeks before the show. Meanwhile, word had broken on the net that Lesnar would be leaving to go and try out for the Minnesota Vikings. The crowd knew of this and they were amped. They left Goldberg alone for the most part and chanted for him. But Lesnar got abused by the fans. They chanted “You Sold Out” at him.

They went at least a few minutes without touching, with Austin urging them to fight. The fans than chanted the Goodbye song at Lesnar. Ross was forced to acknowledge the rumor. The crowd then chanted loudly for Austin, the one guy they actually like here. They finally engaged in a long lockup, but no one got the advantage. The fans booed during another long lockup. The fans chanted “This Match Sucks” as Lesnar grabbed a headlock and hit a shoulder block, but Goldberg stood tall. They went nose to nose, then collided on a shoulder block and went down. The crowd chant for Austin again. Brock finally went on the attack with a series of strikes, but Goldberg caught with a gorilla press into a spinebuster. He went for the spear, but Brock moved and Goldberg hit the post and went out to the floor. “Goldberg Sucks” chants happened again. Brock worked him over the floor and threw him back in the ring. Goldberg tried to block a suplex, but Brock finally got him over for a two count. Lesnar hit a vertical suplex and slapped on a standing arm triangle.

A fan was apparently impersonating Hulk Hogan in the crowd, which got a chant from the crowd. Goldberg fought out and hiptossed out, but Brock put him down with a shoulder block and went back to the hold. Goldberg hiptossed out again, but Brock put him down with a clothesline for a two count. “This Match Sucks” went up again. This is the first time I remember a crowd hijacking the match like this. Brock pounded Goldberg, but he finally made a run, hitting a pair of clothesline and a spinning neckbreaker, then hit a big spear, but Brock kicked out. Goldberg got in Austin’s face about, but Brock recovered and hit the F-5, but Goldberg kicked out. Lesnar went for his own spear, but Goldberg moved and hit his own spear. He then hit the jackhammer for the three count.

Winner: Goldberg via pinfall in just under fourteen minutes

After the match, the crowd was singing Goodbye to Brock again, who gave them a double middle finger. Austin then responded with a stunner that sent him flying out of the ring, not to return for eight years. Goldberg came back in the ring and Austin threw him a a few beers. Goldberg’s turned to get boos. They shared a beer, and then Austin finally hit the stunner on Goldberg, sending him out of the ring for twelve years.

The Fink then announced Vince, for the first time on camera tonite. He gave a nice, sincere thank you to the fans.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs The A.P.A vs. The Basham Brothers vs. Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi (C) for the Smackdown tag team championship.

Shelton and Bradshaw, who both ironically became breakout stars after this Mania, started the match. Bradshaw hit a shoulder block and an elbow, on Shelton, but Doug Basham tagged himself in, negating a Shelton roll up on Bradshaw. The Bashams tried to isolate Shelton and Danny hit a back suplex on him for a two count. Haas kneed Danny from behind and tagged in and they hit a double backbreaker for a two count. Danny caught him with a jawbreaker, but Scotty tagged himself in. Scotty hit a shoulder block and a back suplex on Haas, then busted out a Moonwalk. Haas tried to throw him over the top and he went to skin the cat, but he caught in the saw horse straddle. Haas locked in a bearhug. Scotty fought out, and Danny made a blind tag, and we got a cluster.

The Bashams end up hitting a double suplex on Scotty, but Shelton broke up the pin. Scotty hit an enzugiri on Doug, but he got the tag to Danny, and he finally slipped through his legs to tag Rikishi, who cleaned house. He hit a DDT on Danny, but Ron broke the pin. Rikishi butt butted out of a German suplex, then hit the running butt on Haas, who then got a stinkface! Bradshaw came and hit a boot on Rikishi and a fallaway slam over the top on Doug, then a clothesline from hell on Danny. But Rikishi hit a Samoan Drop on Bradshaw, and then sat on Danny for the win.

Winner: Scotty and Rikishi by pin in six minutes

Post-match, Scotty did the Worm and they celebrated with a dance.

Then we get a promo for the returning Edge. I’d say he did alright for himself.

Jesse Ventura then came out to do an interview with, well, the current POTUS, who was hot off the first season of the Apprentice. Ironically, they are talking about Jesse running for President. Donald pledges his emotional and financial support. 

Victoria (C) vs Molly Holly in a Hair vs, Title Match for the WWE Women’s Title

King hasn’t to make the tasteless shaved comment. Cue the Punk head kick gif. Man, I forgot how hot Victoria was/is. They traded shots to start the match, but Molly got the advantage, hitting a running butt in the corner. Molly tried to work the arm, but Victoria rolled her up for a two count, and Molly went to the floor. Victoria missed a baseball slide, and Molly hit a clothesline. Molly threw her in for a two count. Molly snapmared her over and hit a basement dropkick for a two count. Molly locked on a cravate, Victoria went to fight out, but Molly yanked down by her hair and missed an elbow. Victoria made a comeback, getting a jackknife pin for a two count, then hit a pair of right hands and a powerslam for a two count. King somehow lured JR into a talk about panties. I shit you not. Meanwhile, Victoria went for a superplex, but molly blocked it and hit a sunset flip into a powerbomb for a two count. Molly then went for Victoria’s own finisher, the Widows Peak, but Victoria rolled through and grabbed a backslide for the three count. Uh oh.

Winner: Victoria via pinfall

Post-match, Molly tried to escape, but then lured Victoria in and slammed her face into the floor. Molly went to shave Victoria’s head, but she sprayed her with hairspray. Victoria then tied her to the barber’s chair and started to shave her head. It’s an eye-popping segment to be sure.

Next we get the Eddie Guerrero-Kurt Angle hype video, Aw yeah. When they come back from it, Victoria is still shaving Molly’s head and her hair is gone!

Eddie Guerrero (C) vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship

Guerrero came out in a orange truck lowrider. The fans are firmly behind Eddie. They started out with a lot of wrestling on the mat, with Angle predictably getting the better of it until Eddie fought with a trio of shoulder blocks that had Angle taking a powder. They went back to the mat, as Angle managed to control with a front facelock. Eddie finally managed to backdrop out and hit a pair of armdrags. Eddie stayed on the arm , until Kurt got him with a knee to the gut and locked in an abdominal stretch. Eddie fought out and hit a suplex, and went for the Triple Vertical, but Angle slipped out and hit a German suplex, but Eddie blocked another, they jockeyed for position and Angle went for a German suplex off the apron, but Eddie fought him off. Eddie caught him with a dropkick when he tried to get back in, but he missed a plancha and hit the guard rail. Angle tossed him in for a two count. Angle hit a backbreaker for a two count, then went to a body scissors, adding a chinlock. Eddie managed to fight to his feet and counter with a jawbreaker, but missed a charge and hit the top rope with his ribs and Angle got another two count. Angle then hit a pair of Belly to Belly overheads for a two count, then locked in a waist lock.

Eddie went to the eyes to break out, but ran into another Belly to Belly for a near fall. Angle was looking for a Belly to Belly off the top and Eddie blocked it twice, and went for a Frog Splash, but Angle got out of dodge! Angle then began working Eddie over straight right hands, taunting Eddie in between. Eddie called for more and got fired up! Eddie came out with a series of clotheslines and a back suplex for a two count. Angle came back with a German, but Eddie countered the second one into a roll up for a near fall but Angle came back with a clothesline. Angle went for the Angle Slam, but Eddie countered with an armdrag, then went at him with a clothesline, a spinning head scissors, and two of the Three Amigos, but Angle countered the third one into the Ankle Lock! Eddie managed to roll out of the hold and caught him with a dropkick. Eddie went up top, but Angle came alive and hit the running top rope belly to belly for a false finish. Angle went back to the Ankle Lock, but Eddie countered with a rollup for a two count. But Angle came back with a German. Angle went for the Angle Slam, but Eddie countered into a big DDT and hit the Frog Splash, but Angle kicked out! Eddie couldn’t believe it, and hesitated following up, and Angle caught him in the Ankle Lock again. Eddie somehow managed to roll out, sending Kurt to the floor. Eddie then frantically started to take off his boot. Angle caught him doing it and rolled back in the ring and locked in the hold again, but when he yanked back, the boot came off. Angle charged, but Eddie caught him with a small package and managed to used some leverage to get the three count.

Winner: Guerrero via pinfall

Post-match, Angle is of course incensed. Eddie’s celebration in just classic.

Then we get the Undertaker-Kane hype, which centers around all the signs that we will be getting back the Deadman, not the American Bad Ass that we have gotten for the past few years.

The Undertaker vs. Kane

Kane makes his entrance, and we see the city burning behind in a hella cool graphic. Then the lights go out, but before anything else, we hear “Oh YES!” The voice of Paul Bearer, which was a complete surprise, leads the druids calming flaming torches down the aisle, the urn in hand. Then the gong hit and the old music played, and Taker made his way down. It is, more or less, the current incarnation. Leather pants over a singlet, with the black hat and duster, black hair and eye makeup, and MMA gloves. Kane sold it as the most terrifying thing ever, shouting “you are not real.” The crowd was besides themselves for the return of the Deadman. Kane reached out with eyes closed, as if he was approach a phantom, but Taker then let go with a series of rights to the head and body. Kane avoided an early chokeslam and took a powder, but Taker followed. Kane tried to fight back with big rights, but Taker reversed him into the apron.

Taker drilled him with an elbow to the throat and his trademark legdrop on the apron. Taker threw him back in and hit a pair of splashes in the corner. Taker set for the Last Ride, but Kane countered with an awkward backdrop and hit a boot to the face. Kane choked him and yelled “I killed you, go back.” Taker cut him off, but ran into a sidewalk slam and Kane hit a top rope clothesline for a two count. They came up trading rights, but taker got going with a Yakuza Kick and a legdrop, then grabbed a wrist and went Old School, but Kane caught him by the throat. Taker grabbed the throat of Kane. Taker got the advantage and went for the chokeslam, but Kane fought him off and hit a big chokeslam. Kane started celebrating like crazy, but then Taker sat up. Kane’s facials in this match are amazing. Taker unloaded with a series of rights and a flying clothesline, then picked him for his own chokeslam. The fans begged for a Tombstone and they got one, as Taker drilled Kane with a Tombstone Piledriver for the three count.

Winner: Taker via pinfall

Then we get the hype package for the Triple Threat Match, with Benoit winning the Royal Rumble and getting in the middle of the Shawn-Triple H feud.

Triple H (C) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title

The ref made a big deal about checking each men, one of those old school lost arts. The match started, with Michaels and Benoit trying to decide who would beat H up, until they decided to go at each other. Michaels fought off an early crossface and they exchanged chops. Benoit whipped Michaels into H and he fell to the floor and Michaels and Benoit started exchanging holds. Michaels reversed a crossface into a cradle for a two count. Benoit hit a norther lights suplex for a two count, but Shawn came back with a clothesline but H came in and hit him with a clothesline. Benoit was thrown to the floor, and it became Shawn vs Hunter. Shawn hit a backdrop, but H came back with a high knee for atwo count. H then went after Benoit on the floor, but Shawn hit a baseball slide sending them crashing into each other, then came off the top with an incredible moonsault to the floor. Shawn got H in the ring, but Benoit came back in and went after Shawn, throwing him shoulder first into the post. Benoit hit a snap suplex, then worked over H with chops, but H whipped him hard into the buckle, before crotching him on the tope and putting him in the tree of woe. H then whipped Shawn into benoit where he was still in the tree of woe for a near fall. Awesome sequence. H tried it again, but Shawn reversed and Benoit got a boot in his face and Shawn got a near fall. Shawn hit Hunter with a flying forearm, but Benoit clotheslined him to the floor and then hit a German on Hunter.

Hunter tried to fight them off, but Benoit hit two more. Benoit went up top, but Shawn ran in and crotched him. Shawn went for a superkick on Hunter, but he ducked and hit a DDT, sending him to the floor. Hunter and Benoit had a hell of a battle in the corner, and Hunter finally hit the superplex for a trio of near falls. Benoit tried to fight back, but H cut him off and went for the Pedigree, but Benoit countered into the Cripper Crossface. H fought it, but when benoit finally got the hold in, Shawn broke it up. Shawn hit a German on Benoit, but he reversed it and hit three German suplexes and then hit the big Flying Headbutt, but Shawn kicked out of two covers. Shawn came back with a Flying Forearm that knocked Benoit to the floor. Shawn then went after Hunter, hitting a reverse atomic drop, a pair of clothesline, then slamming him to hit the top rope elbow drop. Shawn then nailed Hunter with the superkick, but benoit pulled Hunter out from under him. This is a Benoit crowd, with even some “You screwed Bret” chants occasionally directed at Shawn. Benoit then whipped Shawn into an upside down bump and went for the Sharpshooter, but he switched and catapulted him into the ringpost. Shawn came up busted open, and then he locked in the crossface. Shawn was about to tap, but Hunter came out of nowhere to stop his hand, then he nailed Benoit. I still love that spot. Benoit came out and was working over Hunter on the outside, but H threw him into the steps. Shawn is bleeding like hell in the ring. Hunter then started stripping the Smackdown announce table.

Benoit cut Hunter off and started stripping that table. Benoit teased a German, but H fought out. He went for a Pedigree, but Benoit fought back. Shawn emerged, and then he and Hunter teamed up to release double suplex Benoit through a table in an amazing boot. Second Holy Shit chant of the night. It became a battle between Shawn and Hunter. Shawn whipped him into a crazy bump on the outside that took out the camera man. JR was calling for help in the way that only he can, as Shawn threw him into the ringpost.. he was busted open, but H somehow managed to cut off Shawn and hit a Pedigree. He struggled through the blood and got a cover, but benoit somehow mid in back in to break up the count! H came at with chops and went for a Peidgree, but Benoit countered with a Sharpshooter! The crowd was going nuts. H almost got to the ropes, but Benoit came out and pulled him into the center of the ring. H raised his hand to tap, but Shawn came from nowhere to superkick the hell out of Benoit. Shawn crawled through blood and hair to get the cover, but Benoit kicked out! Shawn got up and started tuning up the band, and he went to superkick Benoit, but he got under him and dumped him over the top. Hunter was up and he booted Benoit and went for the Pedigree, but Benoit locked in the Crossface! Hunter tried to crawl to the rope. His arm went down by once. He tried to reach but he couldn’t. Hunter then tried to roll over, but Benoit held the hold. Hunter reached in vain, and finally, finally he tapped out.

Winner: Benoit via submission in just under twenty-five minutes

After the match, Benoit celebrated as JR put it over like only he could. God, I miss this man calling WWE. Then Eddie Guerrero came in and the two men celebrated, and I can’t take it. The confetti goes off and then we get a highlight video to cap the show.

Why This Show Is Number Four: This was in the era of the great WrestleManias from 2003-2008, when WWE’s talent bench was deeper than ever, and there was a near perfect mix of in ring work, storytelling, spectacle, and star power. While the main event is still a little hard to watch, it still may be the best Triple Threat Match in WWE History. It’s a classic, as is Guerrero-Angle. Jericho-Christian and the six man tag are unsung classics. And for history-this show is had to beat. Cena’s first singles title, the last Goldberg-Lesnar match, Molly getting her head shaved, the first HOF in nearly ten years. Honestly, if not for what the Benoit Tragedy, this may be the best WrestleMania Ever, because just about everything here was on point. Also…this may be the first modern Smark crowd in WrestleMania history.

"Frank has been a wrestling fan since he was two years old. (Don't worry, he's got proof.) He's also a huge boxing and UFC fan and has a long standing love affair with Popeyes Chicken. He still owns a VHS copy of the first Ring of Honor show ever and was watching NXT before it was cool (or good). Bret Hart > Shawn Michaels. You can follow him on Twitter at @FightFanaticPod and on Tumblr at FrankTheFightFanatic." He's also starting his own podcast soon!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.