Wrestlemania I-XXX Series. (16/30)

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**Edited As Of 29th July 2018. Deleted broken pics/vids**

Wrestlemania 2000 (tagline: A McMahon in Every Corner) drew 19,776 fans to the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California on April 2nd 2000. The card featured nine matches, with four dedicated to deciding championships, and the commentary team consisted of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

For the first time in Wrestlemania history, the WWF Championship would be contested in a four-way elimination match. Also featured was the first Triangle Ladder match for the tag team championships, a Triple Threat match for the Intercontinental and European Championship, and the first Hardcore Battle Royal to include the stipulation with the title changing hands during the 15-minute time limit.

The event had some noticeable absentees, as Stone Cold Steve Austin was out after neck surgery for the injury he picked up from Owen Hart’s piledriver a few years earlier, and The Undertaker who was out with a groin injury. Wrestlemania 2000 was the debut for many wrestlers including: Tazz, Funaki, Crash Holly, Bull Buchanan, Trish Stratus, Albert, The Dudley Boyz, The Kat, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho.


The national anthem sang by Lillian Garcia on her Wrestlemania debut was nothing short of spectacular. Even I was feeling patriotic for America (I’m English) as Lillian blew past renditions out of the water with heat-seeking missiles. Easily the best performance of the national anthem in the series (so far), better than any celebrity, wrestler, or Mean Gene Okerlund; their attempts were futile, and Lillian should never be replaced.



Match #1 – Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan vs. The Godfather and D’Lo Brown (with Ice-T)

The Godfather had a large following, as he received a warm reception. Sadly, the reception died when Ice-T got on the microphone and performed a rap version of Godfather’s theme. Ice-T got into a dreaded loop-of-doom, as he repeated “PIMPIN AIN’T, PIMPIN AIN’t EASY MAN!” over, and over, and over, and over (Cesaro reference), and over, and over again (the same tone every time), to the point I wanted some gangster to do a drive-by.

King was loving all the ho’s at ringside. What struck me the most was how all the ho’s ended up standing right in front of the fans sitting at ringside so they couldn’t see the match despite paying through the nose for the seats.

So the match started, and it was a typical “filler” tag team match. Despite some no-selling on Buchanan’s part, he was the most lively, as the others went through the motions and kept the pace average. Buchanan performed some sweet aerial moves, showing his athleticism. The crowd was dead throughout, until The Godfather attempted the HOOOO Train and missed.


The crowd popped loud when he eventually pulled it off. Just as it appeared Godfather and D’Lo were going to win, Bossman countered D’Lo into a Bossman Slam and picked up the win. A sad booking decision, considering the obvious popularity for the Godfather.



Match #2 15-Minute Time Limit Hardcore Battle Royal for the WWF Hardcore Championship.

Before the match began, we were treated to a familiar sight, as Triple H and Stephanie talked among themselves backstage with the WWF Championship and the Women’s Championship. Fifteen years later and not much has changed in that regard.

So the stipulation given was 1) Get a pin-fall or submission to claim the championship, and 2) whoever held the title at the end of the time limit would remain champion. Never heard anyone say you had to pin the current champion, but that’s how it turned out.

Crash Holly claimed he would remain champion after the match was over. Tazz (still in ECW mode), caught Crash with a suplex and pinned him for the title. The match psychology was completely off, as no one wanted to gang up on the champion, and instead brawled with each other on the outside with weak offense … so the action in the ring would be more appealing.

In typical WWF/E fashion, Tazz claimed the championship, only to lose it after two weak moves from Viscera, and then no wanted to attack Viscera, so the brawling fell to the outside and the uncoordinated offense continued. Then Bradshaw got annoyed, as he picked up a cookie tray and DESTROYED everyone in sight by smashing it over their heads, which the fans loved.

The APA teamed up on Viscera, and just as it appeared one of them would pin Viscera, Funaki came outta’ nowhere and stole the pin-fall victory. KAIENTAI celebrated, until Taka turned on Funaki to take the title. Funaki ran to the backstage area, quickly followed by Taka and other wrestlers.


Rodney pinned Funaki for the title, only to eat suplex from his stablemate Joey Abs and lost the title to him. Thrasher sent Abs into a door to pick up the title, who was then chased down by Viscera. Pete Gas smacked Thrasher with the fire extinguisher to become champion. Tazz delivered a nice suplex on Gas to get the championship again, after Gas decided to do a Ric Flair-esque blade job.

Crash & Hardcore Holly decided to team together on Tazz, but the alliance didn’t last long. Suddenly Tazz was invincible and any pin-fall attempts resulted in two. Tazz didn’t understand the stipulation of the match, as he repeatedly attempted pin-fall covers despite being champion, which was noticed by JR and Lawler. After much offense on Tazz (and no one else wanting to get involved), Crash smashed him with the cookie tray to claim the championship back.

Tazz locked in the Tazmission on Crash (to a loud pop), and as it appeared Crash would submit, Hardcore Holly appeared with a glass jar of candy and smashed it over Crash’s head. And then a super botch appeared! Hardcore Holly went for the pin on Crash, and it’s unknown whether Crash was supposed to kick out, or the time was meant to have ran out, but Hardcore pinned Crash, and the referee simulated a late two count, and never counted the three, as the time limit expired.


Crash grabbed the title and started walking off with it, but then it was announced (rather reluctantly) the winner of the match was Hardcore Holly. After some confusion, the belt was retrieved and handed to Hardcore Holly, who didn’t seem pleased like the previous Wrestlemania. Overall the match was a complete shambles, and the ending explains itself.


Match #3 – T & A (Test and Albert) (with Trish Stratus) vs. Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman) (with Chester McCheeserton)

So yeah, Al Snow and Blackman accompanied by a piece of cheese, and on the other side you have a smoking hot Trish Stratus. This was her Wrestlemania debut, which almost gave Lawler an early heart attack, as the first shot of Trish Stratus can be seen below. PUPPIES!


Aside from the pretty sight of Trish Stratus, the match was dreadful and buried by commentary. T & A won, and then Headcheese turned heel as they attacked the guy in the cheese outfit. Yep, seriously.


Match #4 Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (c) vs. The Hardy Boyz in a Triangle Ladder Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship.

The match to start it all between three of the most accomplished tag teams in WWE history. At this point it was a fresh match which no one had seen before, Edge & Christian had never been tag team champions, and Bubba Ray still had a southern accent.

Honestly, this match was nothing like any other I have seen in the Wrestlemania series so far, it was well ahead of its time. It was better than most TLC matches you see today, matches which try to capture the magic, but always end up coming short. There were some nasty bumps, like Jeff Hardy missing a 450 splash into a ladder, how is the guy still alive? Bubba Ray managed to HIT the senton on Jeff who was on the ladder, a very rare occurrence. You also see Edge spearing someone off a ladder for the first time.

The audience repeatedly chanted “We Want Tables”, as the match continued. Eventually, the Dudley Boyz noticed their plea and tables were introduced (this was before the “D-Von!! GET THE TABLES! stuff began), and then they did something I have never seen in the WWE … Bubba made a bridge from one ladder to the other, using a table, which gave the wrestlers somewhere to stand on in mid-air below the title belts.

And then the worst part … Bubba Ray took FOREVER setting up ladders and tables in various positions. With all the time he had setting the spots up, he could have climbed the ladder and won the match several times. He went back-and-forth as the camera followed him (as no other wrestlers were active), ensuring all the spots they had planned were going to work. An issue for Bubba was getting all the tables and ladders from under the ring, as they were not set up on the outside prior to the match like they do today.

He found a large ladder and set it up halfway down the entrance ramp with a table, which was clearly going to be Jeff Hardy’s Swanton spot, but as you can understand, the fans in attendance didn’t know what to expect here. Christian decked Bubba with the title belt, and Hardy took advantage by placing him on the table and hitting the Swanton Bomb off the ladder.

D-Von was taken out by Matt Hardy, and as Matt climbed on to the table (balanced on top of two ladders) with Christian, the two brawled until Edge climbed up behind him, and pushed Matt into a roll off the table .. into another table on the ring mat! That was spectacular! Edge & Christian claimed the titles to win their first tag team championships .. and damn (!), what an amazing match. Match of the night for sure … if you like carnage and high spots.


Match #5 Terri Runnels (with The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (with Mae Young) in a Catfight with Val Venis as Special Referee

A blatant comedy match to make use of Venis, Moolah and Mae Young. I don’t think anyone really cared for the only singles match on the card, but it did have its fair share of comic relief after such a brutal ladder match. Venis was getting kisses from everyone, Terri, Kat, and even Mae Young, who had him in a liplock for a very long time. Terri won because The Kat was on the outside of the ring after Venis was no longer distracted. Terrible match, but it was never going to be anything but terrible. The Kat tried stripping Terri afterwards, so we got a really nice view of Terri’s backside, which got the cameras snapping.


Match #6 Too Cool & Chyna vs. The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko)

Eddie’s charisma is just oozing out at this point, so much so it filled the arena as they booed him for continuously hitting on Chyna; this was shortly before the “Latino Heat” pairing. The story of the match was simple, Chyna wanted to destroy Eddie, and Eddie wanted to hide like a cowardly heel until he could get an advantage, while also giving Chyna “the look” at every moment.

Too Cool were major fan favourites here, as the moonwalk and the DOUBLE worm got major pops. It appeared Chyna was stronger than all the Radicalz combined, she was unstoppable. When Chyna finally got her hands on Eddie, she literally grabbed his balls, and finished him with a drop sleeper. It’s funny, only Chyna ever got to a point in her career where wrestling veterans like Eddie, Malenko and Saturn all did the job for her. The match wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a disaster either, so somewhere in the middle.


Match #7 Kurt Angle (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit in a two-fall triple threat match for the Intercontinental and European Championships.

Simple stipulation here, the first fall decided the Intercontinental Champion, and the second fall decided the European Champion, Kurt Angle went into the match holding both titles. All three men were making Wrestlemania debuts, as Angle recently signed, and Jericho and Benoit jumped over from WCW.

The match, much like the ladder match earlier, was way ahead of its time. Benoit was coming off his WCW World Championship win, Jericho was looking to prove himself on a grand stage, and Angle was essentially the rookie out of the three, despite being an Olympic gold medallist, he had not been wrestling professionally for long. Jericho and Benoit were still using moves they did in WCW and Japan. I can’t say much more about it to be honest, it’s better to watch it.

Angle was bound for the main event scene sooner than later, so the belts had to be passed on. Benoit won the first fall for the Intercontinental Championship, and Jericho won the European championship; not a bad Wrestlemania debut for the former WCW guys. Sadly, I cannot find any decent pictures of the match, and we probably know why.


Match #8 Rikishi & Kane (with Paul Bearer) vs. D-Generation X (X-Pac & Road Dogg) (with Tori)

All about the stinkface. Road Dogg eat one early on, and Tori played the scared murder victim in a B-movie as Rikishi’s rear end slowly crept up on her .. until X-Pac pulled her out of the ring. After some no-selling from Rikishi, he hit a RKO outta’ nowhere (Cutter) and tagged Kane in. Kane cleaned house and tombstoned X-Pac to hell, and Tori joined him shortly after eating what was left over from Rikishi’s lunch.

Deliciously one-sided, and it only got better when Too Cool came out to dance with Rikishi … and a guy in a chicken suit! For the third year in a row, Pete Rose had a plan to ambush Kane, as Kane stood in the corner staring a hole into the chicken. As Kane grabbed the chicken to chokeslam him, Pete Rose came out with a baseball bat! Can you feel the epicness! Kane chokeslammed Rose, who then entered the WWE Hall of Fame by loving some stinkface.


Match #9 Triple H (c) (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. The Rock (with Mr. McMahon) vs. Mick Foley (with Linda McMahon) vs. Big Show (with Shane McMahon) in a Four-Way Elimination match for the WWF Championship

As many of you are aware (or can guess) the match was largely about which McMahon would reign supreme at the end. Sadly, they decided to go with a four-way elimination match instead of a straight singles match between Triple H and The Rock, which would have gone over better if it didn’t include all the McMahons at ringside.

I had seen far too many tag team matches and battle royals at this point, so I wasn’t expecting a classic, and I already knew the match tanked for a number of reasons. I started watching WWF shortly after (when I was a teenager), so this was the last Wrestlemania match I had not seen in its entirety.

Big Show was dominant in the early stages, but he would inevitably end up in a handicap match and taken out with a Rock Bottom. The pace of the match slowed afterwards, as Rock n’ Sock Connection joined forces against Triple H. The alliance lasted a little while, until Foley decided Rocky was too strong, and suddenly aligned himself with his long time nemesis Triple H, which got boos from the crowd.

As Foley’s “retirement” match, his lack of mobility was obvious, and even more apparent when he climbed a turnbuckle to do a table spot on The Rock. Sadly, Foley missed the table by a mile and winded himself. Triple H tried to elbow Rocky through the table, but it didn’t break, so he tried again and finally put the table through. In the ring, Triple H delivered a pedigree on Foley on to a steel chair, and eliminated him. You could hear the disappointment in the crowd, until Foley got up and raised his arm out of pride. Foley decided he wasn’t done, and introduced his 2×4 with barbed wire to Triple H’s face before leaving.

The match continued with The Rock and Triple H, the obvious two choices. The match picked up again, as they brawled into the crowd. And then Vince got involved by attacking Triple H, Shane came down to stop Vince, but no-sold the hell out of a monitor shot and then chased Shane down the aisle into a chair shot, laying Vince out.

The match continued, and as Shane came down to interfere, was bumped by Triple H into a Rock Bottom. Vince entered the ring with a chair to save the day for The Rock, only to smack The Rock in the head with the chair, signalling his true intentions. Triple H delivered another chair shot on Rocky and pinned him to retain the WWF Championship, the first heel champion to retain the title in a Wrestlemania main event.

Such a overbooked match with unnecessary interference in the main event of a Wrestlemania. Fair enough, do this on a Monday Night Raw, or a lesser PPV, but not Wrestlemania. You could tell the McMahons were in the match in an attempt to make themselves stars at the expense of the wrestlers involved. I wouldn’t say it was the worst main event in the series so far, but it definitely was a mess.


Conclusion

More enjoyable than Wrestlemania XV, and only because of the Ladder and Triple Threat matches. The rest was forgettable, and nothing they weren’t already doing on Raw or Smackdown. I feel they added the McMahons to the equation to make the main event feel like more was at stake than the WWF Championship, and to fill the void left by Steve Austin and The Undertaker.

Also the booking was questionable, as there was only one singles match, and the rest were battle royals, tag team contests, and matches with multiple falls. There were no serious feuds between any two individuals, and the PPV felt slapped together with the aim of featuring as many wrestlers on the card as possible.

Overall, the PPV was enjoyable, even with the low points. The ending sucked, but the ladder and triple threat matches set the bar high. You can see many current and future Hall of Famers making their Wrestlemania debuts, which is another plus. I would recommend the PPV, but it’s not a classic. It’s not the worst Wrestlemania of all time like some claim, but it’s down there considering the talent pool.

Shoddy booking, and the absence of Steve Austin and The Undertaker, killed any potential Wrestlemania 2000 had before the wrestlers got in the ring. The bright side of it was the Wrestlemania 2000 game for the N64 which I played as a kid. it wasn’t as good as No Mercy, but it was still an enjoyable game despite the blocky graphics.

And that’s all from me today! The next edition in the series will include one of my favourite PPVs ever … Wrestlemania XVII!

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