Brett Mix’s WWF Wrestlemania 15 Review:
“The Rattlesnake rules again! He has climbed the mountain and overcame all the odds, Stone Cold…is the MAN! Long live the Rattlesnake! Long Live, Stone Cold Steve Auuuuuuuustin!” -Jim Ross
-WWF Wrestlemania 15 took place on Sunday, March 28th, 1999 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in front of 20,276 fans.
-This was the 15th Annual WWF Wrestlemania event.
-On the undercard was a Brawl for All match, an unscripted type of shootfight between wrestler Bart Gunn and boxer/mixed martial artist Butterbean.
-This was the first time there was a Hell in a Cell match at Wrestlemania.
-This Mania was the last one Gorilla Monsoon would ever see, and he is shown not looking very healthy just before the boxing match as a guest judge, he recieves a tremendous ovation.
-Micheal Cole and Jerry Lawler did commentary for the first time together at Wrestlemania. Jim Ross thankfully replaced Cole for the Main Event as this was his big return to the booth after personal problems.
-Shawn Michaels made a special appearance and did a promo with Vince McMahon on the event. Vince also cut a promo himself earlier in the night.
-The ticket sales of 20,276 drew a gross of $1,437,050 for the company from just the live crowd alone.
-This was unfortunately the last Wrestlemania appearance of Owen Hart as he died shortly after this event, this was his second last PPV. (not counting the show he died on) His first Wrestlemania was ten years earlier when he took on the late Curt Hennig as the same persona he died as, the Blue Blazer at Wrestlemania 5.
-Boys 2 Men sang “America The Beautiful” before the show.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, on Heat, two matches aired:
1) Jacqueline (with Terri Runnels) defeated Ivory (with D’Lo Brown) in a Singles match at 1:24
2) D’Lo Brown and Test won by last eliminating Droz and the Godfather in a Twenty-one man Battle royal to determine who would face the tag champions on the show at 4:16.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Hardcore Holly vs Bad Ass Billy Gunn (c) vs Al Snow in a Triple Threat Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship
What maybe is most remarkable about matches like this, in this era the crowd reacted to every wrestler’s entrance.
Guys like Al Snow and Billy Gunn got a better pop from a hot Philly crowd ready for Mania then perhaps a main event babyface would get today in 2009. The excitement was just always there back in the glory days of the Attitude Era, but as you could probably guess just from seeing this review, not everything was perfect back then.
Here we go, some hardcore action to get things going, must be 1999!
What does everybody Want? HEAD.
This is the first theme we hear and out comes Snow with Head in hand.
Hardcore Holly comes out next and he looks as cocky as ever.
Billy Gunn’s theme gets a huge ovation and everyone in Union chant “You’re ass better CALL SOMEBODYYYYY” even though “Oh you didn’t know” wasn’t even said. This was that over at the time.
So there seemed to be some controversy with the placement of both Billy Gunn and ROad Dogg on this night for a very basic reason.
The reason being Billy Gunn had spent the last few months feuding with the likes of Val Venis and Ken Shamrock for the IC title. All of the sudden he leaves that division and for no reason finds himself feuding for the Hardcore title. That would be an okay idea to grasp if the Road Dogg himself wasn’t ALSO feuding the last few months with the likes of Al Snow, Hardcore Holly, and the Big Bossman in the hardcore division.
Now on this night we have Road Dogg with the IC contenders and Billy Gunn with the Hardcore competitor’s as he is the defending Hardcore Champion. Maybe to keep things relatively fresh they made the switch on both Outlaws but either way it was confusing, even when you look back on it today.
Billy Gunn asks if people are ready for a little Hardcore, hilariously he is then jumped by Al Snow as Gunn drops the mic, Wrestlemania 15 is underway as the opening bell rings.
Three way action, should be all over the place with one guy taking a moment to breathe while the other two beat on each other, if not all three guys going at it at the same time. Al Snow now dropping rights to Gunn but Holly comes and beats on him. Holly and Gunn send Snow into the ropes and both him with a double reverse-elbow shot.
Hardcore Holly clotheslines Billy Gunn off the ropes spinning him inside out. Snow slams Holly headfirst into the Spanish announce table and then smacks his back with an electrical cord. Gunn outside the ring reverse irishwhipped into the steel steps by Al Snow. Holly continued to beat on Snow around the ring. Holly slammed Snow into the barricade. Holly then by the concrete and the mat beside the ring snaps Al Snow back and lands a vertical suplex on the floor. Billy Gunn grabs Snow and slams him head first into the steps. Billy Gunn sets up a piledriver on Holly but Snow breaks that up, Holly pushed him back. Snow grabs a Hockey Stick and drops it on Holly’s back.
The fans then chanted “Lets go Flyers” when a hockey stick was used, as this was obviously the home of the Flyers in the First Union Center. (Now the Wachovia Center)
Gunn broke a Hockey Stick on the back of Holly. Al Snow brings a Broom inside the ring. Gunn breaks the Broom Stick on the back of Gunn and then drops it on Holly a couple of times. Billy Gunn takes a walk while Snow drops the weapon on Holly. Billy Gunn comes back in and Snow with a piece of a broom stick continuing to drop it on Bad Ass Billy Gunn. Al Snow with a chair drops it in the mid-section of Gunn in the corner, then again on Holly in the opposite corner.
Al Snow sets up the chair in mid-ring and springboards off of it to drop the legs up high on Holly in the corner. Hardcore Holly reversed the punishment and tossed Snow into the corner. Gunn elevated Holly outside the ring and dropped him sternum first on the barricade. In comes Snow with Head and he drops both guys with head in hand.
Al Snow gives both man head if you will.
Al Snow now brings a wooden table inside the ring, Philly pops accordingly. Snow sets the tape up at a 45 degree angle in the corner. Snow irishwhipped hard to the corner without the table and then clotheslined by Holly. Billy Gunn drops Holly with a hard chair shot. Gunn then with a hiplock to Snow into the table and it breaks, Billy Gunn tells them to suck it and everyone pops. Billy Gunn now with Snow drops the Fameasser to Snow but Holly interupts the count with a chairshot to Gunn, Holly covers Snow and gets the win.
So in the end Hardcore Holly became the new Hardcore Champion at 7:06 after pinning Al Snow. This was of course in a time when the Hardcore title was not under 24/7 rules.
Now a two time Hardcore Champion.
This hardcore opener was a lot of fun, got the crowd going just the way you should in the Attitude Era.
2) Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (c) (with Debra) vs Test and D’Lo Brown (with Ivory) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
As said above, D-Lo and Test got the shot at the titles by winning a battle royal on Heat.
This seemed like filler here, and it was, a basic short tag match for the straps, not something you like to see at an event like Wrestlemania.
Debra and Ivory were the side-story here, but to the casual fan perhaps the whole story. What is Debra wearing, or what isn’t she wearing?
The bell rings.
Jeff Jarrett and D-Lo begin and off the ropes Brown drops him with a hiplock because Jeff Jarrett apprently should of recognized. A flying forearm by D-Lo, one of the most underrated Wrestlers of his era. Owen and Test are tagged in and Owen dropped with a Pumphandle slam by Test and he gets a two.
Owen then again was about to be hit with another Pumphandle slam and he countered it into an inziguri. D-Lo off the ropes gives Owen a shot as he was about to slap a Sharpshooter on Test. D-Lo Brown drops a leg on Owen and then off the ropes he leaped over Hart and turned around into a spinning heel kick. Owen Hart dropped D-Lo with a gutwrench suplex. Owen and Jeff send D-Lo to the ropes and drop him with a double clothesline. Jarrett choked out D_Lo on the middle rope dropping his weight onto D-Lo.
Owen comes back in and with Jeff Jarrett throw D-Lo to the ropes but he bounces off with a double clothesline, D-Lo scoopslams both men and hits a dropkick on Owen. D-Lo whipped to the side by Jeff Jarrett but D-Lo lands a running powerbomb, Owen interupts the count. Test knocks Owen down and now on the outside Ivory and Debra have words. In the ring meanwhile D-Lo went for a powerbomb on Jeff Jarrett but Owen hits a dropkick off the top to D-Lo and Jeff Jarrett pinned him as the official turned around. Jeff Jarrett and Owen retain the tag straps.
In the end Owen and Jarrett retained the titles at 3:58.
This match as noted was just filler, but for the time it got was pretty decent for these four, and nothing more.
Unfortunately THIS was Owen Hart’s 8th and last appearance at Wrestlemania, as he was in the last days of his life here.
3) Butterbean vs Bart Gunn in a Brawl for All match
As some of you may know, in 1998 the WWF had shoot boxing matches on Raw Is War and Bart Gunn won the tournament, and as a result the company thought it’d be a good idea to see how there best could go against the likes of Butterbean at the grandest stage of them all.
Sounds good…on paper maybe.
The 1998 Brawl for All (Shoot Boxing Tournament) Winner Bart Gunn is talked up in the pre-match video as Gunn’s trainers predict he will beat Butterbean in the first, and second and the like.
Gorilla Monsoon is then introduced as a judge, making his final Mania apperance and he doesen’t look very healthy at all which is sad. Monsoon gets a tremendous ovation which is nice.
The fight begins…and it’s over.
In the end Butterbean wins by knockout at 0:35. I think the WWF learned there lesson here. And Bart Gunn was no more.
The lowest of grades, if only for the knockout alone.
4) Mankind vs The Big Show in a Referee Match
So basically, the two had been feuding over who was going to be the official in the main event. Because that is such an honor, of course…
I wonder if that what Big Show left WCW for, to get the chance at being the OFFICIAL during the main event of Wrestlemania.
The Big Show apart of the Corporate team at the time while Mankind was just your sympathetic babyface and former World Wrestling Federation Champion.
Mankind and Big Show begin brawling inside the ring and quickly that is taken to the outside. Big Sbow back in the ring hammers Mankind with a big righthand followed by a chop. The Big Show hits a side russian legsweep to Mankind. Show goes for a big right and Mankind ducks at the side ropes and this takes Show to the floor. Mankind gets Mr. Socko on his hand, and as The Big Show walks back in the ring he gets it planted in his mouth until Show landed a headbutt. Off the ropes again Mankind kept the Sock in his mouth, Show kept getting out but a third time Mankind slaps Socko in on Show. Mankind with it slapped on hits a lowblow onto The Big Show.
Big Show in a bad way with Mr. Socko slapped on needed to do something and quick to get out as he started to pass out, fans chanted for Foley. The Big Show with his strength carried Mankind and drove him back first into the mat with a ton of power obviously landing back on top of him. The Big Show kicks Mankind at the side of the ropes and begins to stomp some more on him and Foley rolls out of the ring. Big Show lands a hard chairshot to Mankind out of the ring. Big Show tosses Foley back inside due to instructions from referee Hebner. The Big Show with two chairs in the ring begins to set the folding chairs upright in the middle of the ring face to face.
The Big Show proceeds on Chokeslamming Foley through both chairs. Show then with the lightest chairshots ever follow this to the back of Foley.
In the end Mankind won by DQ at 6:50 after the Chokeslam through the chairs.
This match was terrible. If it was kept shorter it might of been at least tolerable.
It was kind of a waste to use Big Show like this, the whole storyline here was kind of strange.
Vince McMahon comes out with a mic attatched so we can hear him, Vince says he is Vince McMahon and The Big Show is a nobody. Show gabbed Vince by the throat and let go. Vince slaps Show and then The Big Show drops him with a righthand to a loud roar.
Vince was furiour with The Big Show as his masterplan of The Big Show officiating the Main Event had backfired and The Big Show snaps.
5) Road Dogg (c) vs Ken Shamrock vs Goldust (with The Blue Meanie and Ryan Shamrock) vs Val Venis in a Four Corners Elimination match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Ryan Shamrock was certainly a looker.
Here’s the deal, as said earlier Road Dogg spends the majority of the last few months in late 98 and early 99 in the hardcore division, yet not only is he in THIS match with former IC Champions, but he is the Champion going in. Okay, that would be all fine and everything if Billy Gunn wasn’t the one in the Hardcore match, but he was. It made absolutely no sense to place Dogg here and Gunn in the Hardcore match, at the time it should of been the other way around.
Either way, here we go.
Single Elimination here in this Four Corner’s match where two guys go at it at once and tags can be made to anyone.
Despite it being one on one as the rules imply the action begins everywhere with all four who brawl for a half a minute until Shamrock begins with Road Dogg. Road Dogg sent hard backfirst to the corner of the ring by Ken Shamrock who meant business. Shamrock venting the frustration’s out on his opponents here that he had due to the whole situation with his “Sister.”
Road Dogg delivered Shamrock with some shots and tagged in Goldust. Goldust dropped the elbow to Shamrock and took it to him for a bit landing a charging clothesline to Shamrock. Venis now tagged in by Shamrock. Val and Goldust about to go at it but Venis stomps on Shamrock coming in since the two had a nice feud going. Goldust hits Venis with a belly to back suplex then goes for the Curtain Call but Val lands on his feet picks up Goldust and drops him with a Spinebuster slam. Val off the ropes picked up by Goldust who hit a jawbreaker followed by a clothesline to Val. Goldust picks up Venis and placed him up on the top turnbuckle. Goldust falls when attempting a Superplex and Val counters with some shots to the head of Goldust and then Venis applied a running bulldog from the corner and a nearfall. Val then hits a Perfect Plex and just a two on the Golden one. Val Venis sends Val hard into the corner then hits him with a big clothesline. Shamrock hits Goldust with a ddt coming in. Road Dogg lands a ddt to Venis and then escapes ringside. Val and Goldust are both down from the punishment and Tim White begins to count.
With Val Venis and Goldust down, Goldust gets up at the nine count and covers Venis and gets a long two count. Road Dogg clobbers Goldust coming in. Road Dogg lands a chop on Val in the corner and this one feels all over the place now. Val dropped Road Dogg with a clothesline in the corner, Val with another hard clothesline to Road Dogg. Venis slaps on a bearhug but Road Dogg fights back landing a hard righthand. Road Dogg drops Val with a hard forearm shot to the temple, he told Goldust to suck it and now Road Dogg goes crazy dropping everyone including Shamrock with a shake, rattle and roll. Venis clobbers him and lands a belly to back suplex to Road Dogg off the top, Road Dogg just able to kick out. Val Venis then mocked as Road Dogg humps him in the Pumphandle Slam and drops him on his back. Val then finds himself in the Ankle Lock and Shamrock wants to make Venis tap but he just barely reached the ringropes to break the hold. Val backdrops Shamrock over the side of the ring. Ryan Shamrock walks over to Ken on the outside. Venis with a baseball slide catching Shamrock. Both guys brawl in the entrance way since the hatred one another had for each other at the time was that high, both guys are counted out.
Now down to Road Dogg and Goldust. Shamrock leaves in a rage though as he hits Road Dogg and Goldust both with a belly to belly suplex before leaving for good measure.
Road Dogg and Goldust both grounded with the IC title on the line now.
Goldust with a tremendous oppurtunity covered Road Dogg and got a two.
Back up Ryan Shmrock accidentally distracted Goldust on the ring apron. Road Dogg comes at Goldust and reverses a powerslam attempt into a hiplock and covered Road Dogg in strange fashion near the ropes. Goldust obviously distracted at the time.
In the end Road Dogg retained the title at 9:47 after he last eliminated Goldust.
Ryan Shamrock and Goldust argue after the match. Anything else Russo?
6) Kane vs Triple H
These two could of done much better then they did here, they had a Cage match on Raw that was even better then this the month before.
They got some time to work here as well.
Kane attacks Pete Rose for the second straight year.
Triple H delivers rights to Kane but he gets the big red boot up in the corner, slaps Hunter with an uppercut outside the ring but HHH pushed him into the post arm first, then headfirst. Triple H irishwhipped Kane hard into the steel steps.
Hunter gets in the ring and does the DX taunt as do the crowd. Hunter lands a high running knee at Kane on the outside apron driving him into the barricade by the floor.
It’s quite amazing to see how Kane has dropped in just one year from a Monster who feels no pain to getting his ass handed to him by Helmsley here. Hunter drops more right’s to Kane and inside the ring is reverse irishwhipped to the ropes and Kane lands a boot square in the jaw of Helmsley. Kane tosses Triple H to the floor through the ropes. Kane boots Hunter to the barricade and follows him onto the floor.
Kane then with an atomic drop to Helmsley as he lands on the barricade groin first. Hunter is thrown onto the Mean Streat Posse in the front row. Kane picked up Triple H and drove his lower back into the ringpost. Kane taking it out of Helmsley in attitude era fashion, which is of course outside the ring.
Back inside Kane lands a hard uppercut to the face of Helmsley dropping him to the mat. Hunter irishwhipped backfirst, the same lowerback which was driven into the ringpost, hard back first to the buckle. Kane lands uppercuts on Helmsley. Kane chokes him out in the corner of the ring. Kane continues to drop Triple H any chance he got with additional shots at every side of the ropes. Kane with a big legdrop to Hunter in the middle of the ring and he gets a nearfall. Hunter kicks Kane off the ropes but Kane followed it right back up with another shot taking Triple H down.
Kane drives his head hard into the corner of the ring. Kane irishwhipped Hunter again but this time he gets the boot up on Kane and attempts a comeback. Kane though lands a clothesline to Triple H taking him outside the ring to the floor. Kane then off the ropes fies over the top out to the floor landing on Triple H with a flying crossbody. Kane showing some good athleticism there. Kane tosses Triple H back inside and Kane goes to fly again on the top but Triple H this time out of desperation tosses Kane off the top down onto the canvas with a hiplock. Kane sits up and goes for a splash on Triple H in the corner but he dodged it and dropped Kane with a few hard righthands.
Triple H with a series of rights has Kane at the side ropes, is reversed into the ropes, Triple H ducks two clothesline and then plants Kane with a facebuster, now a high knee to the head of Kane which drops him.
Chyna who had recently turned on Triple H comes down to the ring. Triple H goes for a kick, Kane spins him around and then Triple H lands on his feet. Triple H counters into a Pedigree attempt but Kane drops him on his back. Both men out and Chyna throws the steel steps under the bottom rope. Lawler questions Chyna’s intentions. Triple H blocks Kane coming at him in the corner with steel steps using his boot. Kane now in the corner hit with a droptoe hold from Hunter sending Kane crashing headfirst into the steps inside the ring.
Triple H clotheslined Kane over the top rope to the floor and he drives Kane’s head into the top of the barricade. Hunter with Kane outside the ring goes for a Pedigree on the lowerhalf of the steps, Kane countered the move into a back bodydrop to Triple H as he drops high over Kane onto the floor.
Kane coming back in over the top rope catches Triple H by the throat. Kane drops him with a Chokeslam. Chyna with a Chair comes into the ring saying She wants to be the one to put Helmsley out.
Chyna with a Chair in hand pulls the swerve and hits Kane in the back with the Chair.
In the end Kane won by DQ at 11:33 after Chyna struck him with a Chair.
This match would of been better if it was about half as long, as a result it became painful to watch during the slower moments, Philly almost fell asleep.
Thankfully we had another Russo swerve at the end to make things seem semi-worthwhile. Russo is far from done pulling the DX dwerves, “Break it Down” hits as Triple H and Chyna celebrate to a loud pop.
Pretty shocking at the time to say the least, but as said, we weren’t done from that standpoint on the night, the follow-up takes place at the end of Shane McMahon vs X-Pac.
7) Sable (c) vs Tori for the WWF Women’s Championship
Good god what is Tori wearing?
Who cares, you can always just look at Sable!
She was very attractive at the time as a bad girl.
She took on this cocky persona as the “better then everyone else, I’m hot and I know it” Playboy cover girl/Women’s Champion on top of the wrestling world, Diva.
Ten years later she is still one of the most searched people on the internet due to her relationship with UFC Champion Brock Lesnar.
The match is underway.
Tori kicked at by Sable. Sable then hit with a clothesline by Tori. Tori in control clotheslines Sable in the corner of the ring and then once more in the opposite corner. Sable irishwhips her this time, Tori rills out with a sunset flip pinning attempt, and a two. Sable rolls over with a unique pinning attempt, Tori bridges out.
Tori with a backside on Sable and a two count.
Tori back up and ducks a clothesline, Sable then ducks one herself and Tori collides into the official knocking him down. Sable goes for a Sable Bomb. The move is insanely botched and Cole said Tori counters.
Tori goes for a Sable Bomb herself and then Nicole Bass comes out and lifts up Tori dropping her on the mat. Sable grinds some more.
Sable hits her bomb and gets the win.
So Nicole Bass makes her debut by helping Sable win. She was known for looking like a man, and her appearances on the Howard Stern show where she showed them her privates to confirm where was infact, actually a Women. Neat
In the end Sable retained the title at 5:09 (About five minutes longer then it should of been) after she hit her Sable Bomb on Tori.
This is one of the worst matches of all time.
8) Shane McMahon (c) (with Test) vs X-Pac for the WWF European Championship
Shane had his boys, the Posse at ringside.
Shane-O-Mac with his “cocky and cool” strut coming to the ring with the late Andrew Martin, who he considered his “other” boy at the time, as he had a bodyguard by his side and his other boys by the ring giving him a big ovation.
Shane McMahon had been calling X-Pac, X-Punk for months and this feud was actually quite big, Shane was majorly over as a heel and this was before X-Pac had any bad heat, he got nothing but loud ovations here.
X-Pac was actually likeable, imagine that? Then again this was before he spent that night in Chyna.
Shane McMahon was the big question mark coming into this one here. Shane McMahon has surprised us all on more then one occasion but this was the first time he showed he could work going up against X-Pac here.
This came off way better then it should of which is refreshing considering the amount of average material we had seen to this point.
I don’t know whats funnier, the fact Brisco and Patterson jump X-Pac from behind during his entrance, or the fact they attack X-Pac while his D-X music is playing making Brisco and Patterson look as if they’re attempting to be badasses themselves.
It’s all rather hysterical.
X-Pac quickly drops both of them with some shots and then comes in the ring signalling he wanted to finally get it on with Shane-O-Mac.
X-Pac goes for a kick but Shane dodges it and runs to the other side of the ring and takes his sweet time getting in the ring. Shane does a martial arts taunt and then runs around the ring, Shane leapfrogged X-Pac until he hit him in mid-ring with a Spinning heel kick. The fans love this and X-Pac beat on him in the corner until Test pulls him away from a near Bronco Buster. Shane goes for a walk as the Posse look on concerened. Shane walks away but X-Pac beats him down in the entrance way, behind the official Test drives X-Pac into the steel ring post giving Shane a realistic shot to begin the match.
Some nice storytelling at the beginning, Shane is hilarious in mid-ring counting out X-Pac himself using his hands as the official counts along. Shane McMahon drops a double axehandle on X-Pac who slides back in and deliveres high knee shots to X-Pac. Shane follows it up with more followed by a slap across his face. Shane scoops up X-Pac and slams him to the mat. X-Pac down and Shane throws off an elbow pad. Shane goes to drop the elbow but X-Pac sits up in time. X-Pac hit with a lowblow as Test distracted the official. X-Pac down and Shane grabs a belt and starts whipping at the back of X-Pac. Shane O Mac lands the straps on X-Pac until he back bodydrops Shane to the outside floor over the top rope. Shane crashes down in front of the Posse who give him words of encouragment from the front row.
X-Pac flies over the top rope landing on Shane with a crossbody. The Posse take a swing on X-Pac and he then delivered shots to all of them until Test does his job and takes out X-Pac sliding him in the ring giving Shane a moment to recover.
Some fine booking here.
X-Pac down and Shane McMahon drags him to the middle of the ring and now Shane from up top drives an elbow into X-Pac. Shane McMahon is then hit with a dropkick by X-Pac on the top rope. X-Pac goes up and delivers a Superplex from the top to Shane O Mac. Test drags X-Pac off of Shane and sets him up near the steps, Test charged in but X-Pac moved just in time and he crashed into the steps. X-Pac now with a strap levels Shane across the back for some retaliation. X-Pac continues with kicks to Shane in the corner and now finally he hits The Bronco Buster to Shane.
From behind Test nails X-Pac with the European title. Shane slowly crawls towards X-Pac but he just gets the shoulder up in dramatic fashion and the crowd are happy. Shane McMahon chokes out X-Pac in the corner with his boot. X-Pac is in the corner and Shane goes for his version of the Bronco Buster and crashed and burned. X-Pac had moved, Test comes in and X-Pac drops him with a Spinning Heel Kick quite high. X-Pac drops a Bronco Buster on Test in the corner.
Shane goes for X-Pac but he is nailed with the X-Factor.
Hunter then in a swerve with Chyna distracting the official hits X-Pac with a Pedigree.
In the end Shane retained the title at 8:41 after he covered X-Pac after Triple H’s Pedigree. So Chyna didn’t join DX, Triple H actually joins the Corporate team. After the match Triple H and Test take it to X-Pac while Shane O Mac celebrated with his European title in the corner with Chyna as “No Chance” plays on the pa.
This match came off miles better then anyone would of predicted. For one the booking was spot on.
Secondly, no one knew Shane’s capabilities in the ring. His impressive performances had yet to come, this was the first of many in his career.
Overall it was just what this night needed, a refreshing change.
9) The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs The Big Boss Man in a Hell in a Cell Match
What a booking disaster.
Taker and Bossman were both heels.
Taker had been feuding with Vince at the time, who was also Heel. Taker wanted to sacrifice one of McMahon’s guns in the Corporate team so he went after Bossman.
The Big Bossman drops some shots on Undertaker in the corner until he is grabbed by the throat and the Demon of Death Valler drops some of his own. Undertaker irishwhipped Bossman hard to the corner but Bossman lands a reverse elbow. Undertaker clotheslines The Big Bossman. Undertaker goes for a back bodydrop but The Big Bossman drops Undertaker with a swinging neckbreaker which got him a two. A kick to Undertaker by The Big Bossman and he sat up twice after a series of them. Undertaker blocks a kick from Bossman and takes out both legs before delivering a ton of shots to the kidney region of The Big Bossman. Bossman drags Taker from outside the ring but he lands on his feet once on the floor and he drives The Big Bossman backfirst into the Steel.
The Undertaker again throws Bossman`s back into the Cage. Undertaker after a reversal is sent face first into the side of the Cage this time out on the floor. The Big Bossman has handcuffs. Bossman starts to beat on Taker with the cuffs, all of the sudden The Big Bossman places Taker`s hand in a cuff, and goes to lock it on the Cell. Undertaker locked and now Bossman takes his sweet time as he grabs the Night Stick finally. The Big Bossman dodged a boot attempt from Undertaker and then nails him in the abdomen with the stick, then the head. Undertaker falling to the floor breaks the handcuffs. Bossman with additional shots to the Deadman on the floor. Bossman choked out The Undertaker outside the ring with the stick now and the crowd start to get on this slower match by this point as The Big Bossman drops another right to Taker. The Big Bossman grabbed by Taker who is now bleeding. Undertaker drops Bossman as he throws him into the Steel. The Undertaker now with Chair in hand after grabbing it from beneath the ring drives it into the back of Bossman.
The Undertaker scooped up Bossman and drives him head first into the side of the Cell.
Undertaker with slow shots to Bossman and then a headbutt. Bossman is being rolled back into the ring now and the crowd are not enjoying this one. Off the ropes The Big Bossman is nailed by a high flying clothesline from the Deadman.
The Undertaker with an arm-ringer and then goes for Old School but Bossman kicks his leg out and the Deadman loses balance. Bossman kicks Taker to the floor. Undertaker and Bossman engage in a slugfest in mid-ring, the match is not entertaining in any way as the Camera cuts to a crowd of the audience.
Fans boo the match to hell now as Taker hits a lowblow on The Big Bossman. Undertaker scooped up The Big Bossman but he lands on his feet and sends Taker to the corner. Taker ducks a clothesline from Bossman and scoops him up dropping him with a Tombstone.
In the end at 9:48 Taker finally put Bossman away after a Tombstone. That`s that.
Undertaker remains undefeated at Mania, but by this point everybody was just happy this was over.
Clearly the worst Hell in a Cell ever. It even missed the cut as the only Cell match to not be shown on the Hell in a Cell DVD for good reason, and the fact it happened at Mania made it more of a disgrace.
This one speaks for itself, obviously we all wanted to be hung like Ray Traylor at the end of this one.
10) Main Event- The Rock (c) vs Stone Cold Steve Austin in a No disqualification Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
Part one of three Mania blockbuster’s between The Rock and Steve Austin.
This one is clearly the weakest of the three, however when looking back on it the match, in 1999 it was still very special.
The two most entertaining wrestler’s in the world at the time (EASILY) were battling it out for the World title at Mania for the first time, what could be better?
Amazing things were happening such as the Beer Truck moment, among other things that helped build this feud.
The Rock was more then established as a big name, and a big time player in the Wrestling World by this point.
Infact many found his character more fresh during this time then Steve Austin’s and just a month later he turned Babyface for good.
He got some cheers during this match, but Austin was still Mega-Over so he still got the majority of the cheers which turned out better as a result for how the match played off.
Fun Fact: Steve Austin had personal problems around this time and was so distracted he forgot his vest on the biggest night of the year, and was forced to wear one of his t-shirts instead during the match.
So many people wanted to see Stone Cold as Champion as he was the top start in the entire Wresting World and hadn’t been Champion in about half a year, so this was long overdue for him, plus the build for Austin’s quest to the gold taking down everything in McMahon’s path was booked wonderfully.
A hilarious instance happened before the match, Jerry Lawler from the booth speculated on who (after all the build-up) was going to be the special guest referee for this match.
Ross claims it’s going to be Mike Keota, and Lawler uses his hilarious catchphrase “WHAAAT!?” in his squeeky voice like only he can, and he claims he is just a regular referee. Words can’t really do this moment justice, you need to see it yourself, it’s quite funny to say the least as it is true.
We know this after Shawn Michaels has an in-ring segment with Vince McMahon telling Vince he wont be the referee, Shawn leaves to a good ovation.
Jim Ross replaced Michael Cole on commentary for this match making his big return to the main event of Mania.
Now we`re underway and Rock`s best version of his theme music ever hits the pa, the “Do you Smell what the Rock is Cookin“ version. Philly gives The Great One a mixed reaction.
Austin goes to pose on the turnbuckle`s, he gets by with two but Rock cuts him off from his usual other ones as he lips to Austin “Where do you think you`re going Mother Fu****.“:
Obviously, the Rattlesnake doesen`t take to that kind of talk too kindly, and he unleashes a series of righthands to the Great One.
Like the great battle it is, the match starts off as a fight as both Superstars slug it out mid-ring. The Rock and Austin together in this attitude era main event only feels right. The Great One back bodydrops Steve to the floor. Outside the ring Rocky doesen`t give Steve a moment and is relentless in his attack to then choke Austin out with his own shirt. Back inside The Rock drops kicks on Austin but Steve fights back until Rock rakes his face.
Austin reverses Rocks irishwhip and elevated Rocky to the floor over the top rope. Stone Cold runs at Rock now and the two brawl into the crowd like most Main Events during this era.
These two would brawl even better in this kind of environment the following month at Backlash.
Stone Cold drops a double axehandle onto Rock from the crowd, Austin drops an elbow to Rocky`s back stepping over the barricade. When back in front of the announcers the two continue to brawl to the other side of the crowd as Austin throws Rock over the barricade again. The Rock catches Austin with a clothesline over the barricade this time. Rock chokes out Austin with some black electrical cord now until Keota tells him to break it off. Rock drags Austin towards the Wrestlemania entrance sign now. Rock is reversed hard into the steel fencing and Austin then drops Rock with a clothesline to the concrete after Rock bumps off the steel.
More bumping off the steel as Austin sends Rock crashing in hard. Rock then back bodydrops Austin onto some steel equipment which attaches the stage, Austin`s bad knee lands violently over the steel which must of hurt.
This has surely turned into a wild brawl, but it is afterall a NO DQ match in an Attitude Era main event. Austin fights back sending Rock into a camera, both men go for another shot and drop each other. Stone Cold up now pulls a piece of red cord by the Camera`s still near the entrance sign and begins to choke out Rocky. The Rock rakes the eyes of Austin and then Austin irishwhipped The Rock into the Wrestlemania sign now! Austin with Rock gives him a kneeshot to the head and then another hard righthand. Austin drags Rock back towards ringside now. Stone Cold looks into the crowd for approval and then snaps The Rock in an attempt to deliver a vertical suplex to Rocky on the floor, Rock hooks the leg and reverses it into a suplex himself.
Austin bad neck and all bumps hard to the concrete floor. Respect.
The Rock the cruel Heel he is takes Austin by the head and then drives him hard into the steel steps. By the booth he takes a sip of water from the bottle and spits it out on Austin before spraying the official with some for good measure. Austin mad then fights back and drops chest first across the barricade. Stone Cold flips off the official and then dropped a knee onto Rock over the table and it failed to break. Austin says he`ll try it again. Stone Cold flies off the barricade yet again driving the elbow into The Rock and this time the table breaks appropriately. Stone Cold with Rock by the head throws him back in the ring, finally.
Rock slides back out under the other side and grabs Austin by his bad knee and proceeds to slam it directly into the steel ringpost. The Rock kicked off by Austin over the barricade again, just what they needed to fight back into the crowd. Thankfully Stone Cold pulls Rock back on the inside of the barricade back towards the ring and throws Rocky right into the steel steps. Stone Cold Steve Austin ruthlessly stomps outside the ring on The Rock. Austin throws Rock back inside the squared circle in a match that has been anything but a WRESTLING match.
The WWF Champion hits a Rock Bottom to Austin but Stone Cold Steve Austin kicks out! Ross can`t believe it and neither can The Rock who now wonders what he has to do. He has Austin down so he goes outside the ring and brings back a Chair. Austin kicks Rock in the mid-section and with chair in hand levels the referee by a mistake. Rock kicks back at Austin and off the ropes lands a swinging neckbreaker to the Texas Rattlesnake. The Rock now with the chair goes for Austin, Steve kicks him and goes for the Stunner but is pushed back to the ropes and Rock levels Steve with a reverse elbow. The Rock now drops the Chair onto Austin`s bad knee, very smart by the Champ. The Rock then drops Austin on his back smacking him directly in the face with the chair.
Still though it was not enough to put away Stone Cold Steve Austin as he kicks out yet again to a loud pop. The Rock now more frustrated then he was before stalks Austin and takes him down with a clothesline and gets another nearfall. Rock in mid-ring goes to weardown Austin slapping on a headlock. The Rock has Austin send him to the ropes as Austin didn`t quit but Rock comes off with a clothesline and goes right back into the reverse chinlock on Austin once again continuing to wear him down some more. Rock goes stomach first on the mat for additional leverage holding Austin in the reverse chinlock. Fans chant Austin`s name now and he eventually starts to feel a bit more strength coming back to him as he gets up.
This is what the later Austin-Rock didn`t have, dull parts. Austin lands a succession of right`s though once up but off the ropes is caught by Rocky who hits a textbook Samoan Drop which gets him another two count. Rock inches away from victory is frustrated with the official`s count and he Rock Bottom`s Tim White. That`s the second official knocked out.
Austin hits the Stunner now!
As Rock turns around Stone Cold Steve Austin drops him with the Stunner, Hebner comes from the back and counts just to a long two count. Austin is shocked now as the fans boo. Stone Cold Steve Austin up to his feet has a word with Hebner and with Rock down he sees Vince coming towards the ring. Stone Cold Steve Austin grabbed a chair and Austin flipped off McMahon. Stone Cold went to drop a Chair on Rock but he caught Steve with a lowblow and he drops to the canvas. Rock up stomps on Austin, Vince comes in the ring for a closer look. The Rock and McMahon stomp on Stone Cold Steve Austin in the corner after Vince levelled Hebner down.
Out runs Mankind holding his ribs from earlier in the night! Mankind turns Vince around and drops him with a righthand. Austin rolled up Rock and got an inside cradle two count. Austin sends Rock to the ropes he ducks a clothesline and then recieves a Lou Thesz press. Austin with an elbow and then off the ropes The Rock kicks Austin and dropped him back down with a hard clothesline. Rock goes for a second Rock Bottom and hits it. The Rock now not taking any chances goes for additional punishment and now Rock goes for the Corporate Elbow, Austin missed and Vince looks concerned. Austin goes for the Stunner, Rock flips him off and turns him around, Austin reverses it and flips him off and then lands the Stunner again!
Austin wins! Vince`s face was priceless.
In the end at 16:52 Austin put the Rock away and became the NEW WWF Champion after he hit him with a second Stunner.
Jim Ross says (as stated in the Rock’s book) this was his favourite match he had ever called up to this point in his entire career.
This one as said was much better in 1999, but looking back it holds up well as a significant, remarkable brawl between two Attitude Era icons that would help build one of the biggest and best feuds in the history of the industry.
This match’s rating is perhaps a bit high when looking at it from the surface, and the two would definitely put on a better brawl at Backlash the next month, (even Austin admits this on his own DVD) however the significance and how well the storyline played off can’t be ignored.
It is what it is, and it is the original which is usually always special and unique which it was. This one match here made a bad show feel like a success at the end of the day, which ultimately makes it Special.
Final Rating for WWF Wrestlemania 15 = 3/10
This Mania was pretty horrid as far as they go, especially given the fact it took place during one of the company’s hottest boom periods.
It did end on a good note and the crowd was about as lively as they could of been most of the night, given the mediocre card for the show, so it is at least watchable in parts.
It’s funny how some shows don’t make very much money and feature nothing but quality but others such as this make McMahon and company soak in the cash. It just doesen’t seem quite right.