So I guess the back story here is that I went to Texas for WrestleMania last year and I’m going to Phoenix for WrestleMania this year. I got a bunch of days off work before the trip because work is shitty and I have trip stuff to do. THEN I realized, well, I don’t have much to do except for throw some clothes in a bag. That will take me five minutes. So I more or less have a week to do nothing, and for whatever reason I’ve decided that I’m going to take all of the (legitimate WWE release) WrestleMania DVDs that I have and write about them. This is pretty much the past nine years. Bryan has decided I should start with X-Seven because he is a 2001 WWF nerd. Fair enough.
WRESTLEMANIA X-SEVEN MOTHERFUCKERS
Apparently in the 90s you could watch WrestleMania with a bunny eared TV in the barn. Okay then.
Jim Ross tells me that we have eleven matches tonight. ELEVEN. Jesus Christ.
You can tell this is an older TV because sometimes the picture looks amazing and other times it starts looking blurry. Then again this could just be because I’ve insisted on stretching the screen. Watch with side bars? LOL
Chris Jericho v William Regal
In 2001 you were allowed to just take the turnbuckle padding off? This wasn’t an issue for the referees then? My oh my.
This match starts off fairly fancy but Regal isn’t having any of that shit and very quickly this turns into “William Regal beating a bitch” which is always super fun. Jericho is kind of inexplicably over, everything he does gets a pop, but I don’t think he really looks at the crowd even once or anything like that, he just kind of does his shit and goes home. The bulk of the match is Regal just kicking the shit out of Jericho. To his credit, Jericho hits Regal pretty hard back. The finish was pretty stupid, don’t think anyone in the crowd thought that the Lionsault was the finish. Pretty sure everyone was expecting a kickout and for Jericho to go back to the Walls. Oh well. Fun while it lasted even if the finish sucked.
Bradshaw is playing cards and drinking and smoking and ranting and I love Bradshaw so sure, why not?
Right To Censor comes out and I am prepared to shit on this and say ‘well fuck me Dave another terrible idea this was’ and then OH SHIT Bradshaw comes out. I love Bradshaw so sure, why not?
RTC v Tazz & the APA
What the fuck was this? God damn this sucked. Anything that didn’t look downright bad looked really awkward and weird or it was Bradshaw’s clothesline, which was awesome (as always). And I don’t mean like, ‘real fight’ awkward. Because that’s a good awkward. No this was more like ‘why in the fuck is this match even happening’ awkward. I was really hoping for this to be Bradshaw beating up Stevie Richards. Richards wasn’t even in the match. What a waste of time.
Who let Stephanie go on pay-per-view with her hair crimped like that? You are the daughter of the owner of the company, show some respect. Was she trying to be Raven?
Speaking of Raven! If you watch 1996 ECW and then you watch 2003 ROH, you can see how 1996 Raven became 2003 Raven. I have no idea where the fuck 2001 Raven came from. He looks like an only casually related human being. Did Raven blow off the show and send a third cousin?
Raven v Big Show v Kane
Someone as a MY COLON HURTS sign. Did they not have sign checks in 2001 either?
Don’t ever show this match to someone with epilepsy. For whatever reason the decision was made to make this a ‘big dudes chase Raven’s third cousin’ match, and so not only do you get the shaky cam as someone is running behind everyone, but you have everyone in the crowd taking a million pictures and the flash bulbs go off CONSTANTLY. The backstage destruction fest is fun at first because you’ve got a couple of spots that look pretty neat (Raven going through a window, for example), but the spots very quickly become more about breaking the surroundings than breaking the opponents and that’s kind of a boring match to watch. The actual brawling they do with each other looks really shitty, a match that’s only interesting when they’re breaking random stuff in the arena isn’t especially interesting at all. The best part of this match was either the window spot or me getting a plate of dinner that included corn. I’ve decided I’m a very big corn fan. In fact I decided that while watching this match. All in all I’d say this was a success.
Perry Saturn’s hat. Fantastic.
Perry Saturn’s LUGZ shirt. Takes me back to being threatened with beatings by thugged out Afghan kids when I was 14. Less fantastic than his hat.
Eddie Guerrero v Test
Somehow Perry Saturn is the only one here who isn’t dead. He must be in with the Afghans.
Why is the second move of this match a powerbomb? That gets kicked out of? I should have gotten a knife for this ham. I had no idea Eddie was the heel until about halfway through the match. Way to go Test. Man, Test is bad. Really bad. This match isn’t the shittiest I’ve ever seen but it’s entirely an Eddie show. Eddie more or less throws himself into Test’s offense and does it for him. Another kickout? How fucking weak is Test’s powerbomb? I kind of liked this match. Again, entirely because of Eddie. He wouldn’t forget his knife.
Kurt Angle v Chris Benoit
Is… is Kurt going to die? :(
Hahahahahaha mat wrestling with no one gaining an advantage and then a standoff, this is every bad indy match I have ever watched.
AND AGAIN! Fantastic.
I guess it says a lot about what kind of fucked up person I am when Benoit puts Angle in the crossface and I start going NO KURT GET OUT OF IT HE’LL DO YOU LIKE HE DID DANIEL and then Angle has Benoit in the crossface and I start yelling KURT WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU’RE NOT A MURDERER STOP IT and then Benoit has Angle in the crossface (again!) but the ref is gone and Angle is tapping and Benoit doesn’t let go and I turn to my cat (MY CAT) and say “don’t you dare look, this is how he did Daniel, I don’t want you to see it” and just in general make a lot of jokes about a really horrible thing.
Also why the grab the tights finish? Two guys equally matched doing everything they can to win and one guy who wants it more resorts to cheating because he can’t win otherwise is a fine match story. But that’s your main event. So why do it here?
Pretty good match though.
Undertaker’s SARA tattoo. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Sluts.
Trish Stratus’ breasts. Fuck yes. Lita actually looks super girly and attractive as well. Well. For Lita. Take what you can get I guess.
A Kurt Angle interview ends with Benoit coming out of nowhere and putting poor Kurt in the crossface again. GOD DAMMIT STOP TRYING TO KILL KURT
Ivory v Chyna
If this match lasts more than two minutes I’m going to be so pissed off. Chyna looks, facially, like the walking dead. Why is her ass hanging out? Where’s Chris Benoit with his crossface? We need it here, now more than ever. I think Ivory has just won the ‘award’ for worst wrestler I’ve ever seen. That said I kind of enjoyed this. I actually kind of dig Chyna’s offense. Her exposed ass is offensive, though.
Holy shit, that fucking crimp again. Like. Trish’s tits are right there. RIGHT THERE. Hanging out. And there’s a comatose, wheelchair bound Linda. And Michael Cole looking twenty pounds lighter and younger with a goatee and frosted tips. And all I can look at is that fucking crimp. Ugh.
“I will never, ever forgive your mother for giving birth to you”. What a great asshole line.
Mr. McMahon v Shane McMahon
I really love this match. It’s total storyline bullshit but I am not yet so jaded that I can’t still get sucked in by something like this. To his credit Shane doesn’t hold back on his whole ‘untrained stiffness’ bit and more or less punches his dad right in the face over and over again. Foley looked awesome in his run of offense at the end. Shane’s bump through the table looked huge and they managed to fill the match with enough stuff that you don’t notice Shane just laying around (but you also don’t have to have Shane blow off the table bump). Trish attacking Stephanie looked pretty bad, but it was a nice payoff, and Linda rising out of the chair is really a chill inducing moment of greatness. This is what you really need on your big show of the year, a match where several storylines come together and actually get blown off.
And got DAMN, Trish in that cowboy hat. Shitty slaps or not, 2001 Trish is always welcome in my home.
Edge & Christian v The Hardy Boyz v The Dudley Boyz
I’ve never really liked this match before but it was a pretty spectacular car wreck. The final few bumps were fucking ridiculous. Saying anything more would incriminate myself. Moving on.
Gimmick Battle Royal
Undertaker v Triple H
Man, you know, when ‘Taker comes out on his bike with Limp Bizkit blaring, I am expecting the best match of all time. I don’t even give a fuck. It’s a fantastic entrance. Sadly it isn’t milked nearly as long as Triple H’s, but then I guess you’re not gonna shell out for Motorhead and then not let them play. This is supposed to be this epic, wild, out of control brawl or whatever. The entire match is just them punching each other in the face, punching each other in the face as they walk through the crowd, punching each other in the face as they climb a tower, taking a break from punching each other in a face to throw each other off the tower. But like, and I know I’ve said this already (with the remark about the Angle/Benoit finish being duplicated in the main event), but this stuff is getting redundant on the show. You had the Raven’s third cousin match going through the crowd and throwing each other into stuff, except in that match you had Raven’s third cousin going through a window. In this match you get Triple H being chokeslammed onto three feet of foam padding. Not really the same. For a ‘slugfest’, these guys are getting outslugged by Regal and Jericho in the first match, and hell, even Shane and Foley are pounding on Vince more than these guys are pounding on each other. And THAT match had a big ‘guy goes through something’ bump with Shane going through the table. Not to mention the fucking ladder match. And then the main event, which is… no shit… another wild and crazy brawl! This kind of redundancy booking works if you’re continually topping yourself. The majority of this match is duplicating stuff that came earlier in the show without topping it. A bump onto a crash pad does not top a bump through a window or a table or through multiple tables. Loose brawling does not top a man punching his father square in the face or William Regal doing anything at all. So the vast majority of this match is pretty unspectacular. What these guys are good at is dramatic finisher kickouts, which you get when Hunter counters the Last Ride with a sledgehammer. Sadly that’s really the only thing worthwhile about this entire match.
Stone Cold Steve Fucking Austin v The Rock
I know I just went on a big rant against booking redundancy but that was in a semi-main underwhelming match. This is the main event and it kicks the shit out of everything. Wild, crazy, fast-paced brawl, brutal weapons shots, intense 2.9 wrestling, two huge blade jobs, and the story twist of Austin siding with Vince because it’s the only way he can beat Rock. Honestly I love everything about this match and it’s maybe my favorite match ever. As is usually the case with the matches I really really like, I can’t even be bothered to type anything out because it all just makes so much sense in my head that I don’t know where to begin. Fuck me.
This show was really really great, everything built from the opening match to the main event without too many low points. Since I’m obsessed with lists I’ll try to rank the matches I guess…
9. Raven/Big Show/Kane
10. RTC/Tazz & APA
11. Gimmick Battle Royal
That seems right. I could put the Chyna match as high as fifth, believe it or not. Anyway.