Brett Mix’s WWF Wrestlemania X7 Review:
“You want SHOCKING? Tonight,… you’ll get…SHOCKING…I GUARAN-TEE it…” -Vince McMahon
-WWF Wrestlemania X7 took place on Sunday, April 1st, 2001 at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The event was the first WrestleMania held in the state of Texas. A record-breaking attendance for the Reliant Astrodome of 67,925 resulted in gross receipts of $3.5 million for the company.
-This was the 17th Annual WWF Wrestlemania event.
-This Mania had a successful WWF Fan Axess in Houston the day before. Clips were shown at Mania.
-Jim Ross and Paul Heyman did commentary for the first and only time together at Wrestlemania. Jerry Lawler had a dispute with the WWF over the firing of his wife and left the company the month before, but he’d return the night after Survivor Series this same year.
-Limp Bizkit’s “My Way” was used as the theme for the event, but on the Anthology it was changed to “Adrenaline Rush” which was one of the most irritating things you could ever imagine. “My Way” was perhaps the best theme ever for an event.
-Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, a Sunday Night Heat match was aired with Steve Blackman and Grand Master Sexay squaring off against X-Factor members Justin Credible and X-Pac. Near the end of the match, fellow X-Factor member Albert distracted Blackman and Sexay from the apron. With Albert pulling Sexay out of the ring, Credible and X-Pac hit their X Marks the Spot finisher on Blackman enabling X-Pac to score the pinfall at 2:46.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Y2J Chris Jericho (c) vs William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Jericho brought a spot of “PEE” in Regal’s beverage says the recap from past shows and here we go! The IC title is on the line.
The Reliant Astrodome was hot for Jericho’s entrance as the show began after “My Way” hit and a bunch of pyro’s went off. Excellent opening by the way.
Both guys were ready when the bell rang and it was on inside this unique atmosphere at the Dome.
William Regal with quick strikes to get things going, some righthands and forearm shots to Jericho before sending Y2J to the corner, Jericho lands a chop and a flying forearm off the ropes in his defense to fight back, Jericho with a fews shots on Regal now, and then a spinning heel kick to Regal.
Some nice quick offense by Chris Jericho getting back. A high crossbody on Regal to the floor, followed by a chop and a drop of Regal onto the barricade. Y2J now lands a high elbow shot off the top and got a two count off of it. Regal countered out of a pinning combination and in went Jericho to the walls but the WWF commish got out of it and then sent Jericho shoulder first hard into the corner, as it exposes Y2J’s arm.
Regal once more tossed Jericho into the ringpost as the crowd boo.
Fast match up until Regal getting in control.
William Regal trying to get a methodical pace to this opener now. Regal remanining on the bad shoulder trying the bad arm in numerous offensive onslaught maneuver’s. Regal sticking to the region of Jericho’s bad shoulder and hitting a unique suplex. More follow up as Regal lands on top of Y2J with a quick arm-drag takedown, into an arm-ringer.
An overhead wristlock by Regal and then off the ropes Jericho out of desperation found a reverse elbow. The lionsault scouted by Regal as he lifted the knees and now Regal is back up and he drops Chris Jericho with a gutwrench suplex.
Awesome offense here, just what you want in an opening match.
Astrodome chant Y2J as Regal has control, William Regal sent Jericho and his left bruised shoulder hard into the steel yet again, not once but twice! Regal at his best lands tough kicks and then an enziguri. A spin kick by Jericho out of it and both men fall back.
Both men down, Chris Jericho has a moment to breathe. Jericho climbs to the top and drops Regal with a missle dropkick and then hard itno the corner Regal moves and Chris plants himself in the corner. Regal spots this and delivered brutal forearms to Jericho some more, a left hander is Regal of course. Regal from up top has ahold of Jericho and hits a Superplex from the top hooking the legs of Jericho! Awesome it had the form of a gut-wrench as Jericho’s legs were locked during that move.
Regal got a two. Regal went for a suplex and Chris Jericho landed on his feet. The Walls are teased and now Regal gets Jericho into his own Regal Stretch, spme great counter wrestling! Fans encourage Chris to kick out and he gets to the ropes just in time. Jericho chops Regal now mid-ring over and over till he lands a righthand, and off the ropes looking for a forearm is caught by a thrustkick from Regal. Jericho then shoved Regal into the corner and ran with his head dropping him on the mat with a running bulldog. Jericho with one arm gets Regal with a suplex and then a Lionsault.
In the end at 7:08, Jericho retained the title to the delight of the crowd.
This match did what it needed to do. Chris Jericho was a huge fan favourite and getting into one of his matches is always an easy thing to do, especially if it opens the show. It goes to show how stacked the card to this event was. Fans were very lively throughout.
I loved Jericho’s selling of the arm after he exposed it to the ringpost twice, hitting shoulder first.
Regal was awesome following his offense up on the injured part of Jericho. Just a great wrestling match worthy of any show, let alone Wrestlemania.
2) Tazz and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) (with Jacqueline) vs The Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) (with Steven Richards) in a 6-man tag team match
Bradshaw cuts an inspiring promo that pumps the crowd up for this one, and he was becoming more and more over as time went on, especially in his home state of Texas.
Before things get going, we get some good old fashioned brawling, before the bell rings.
Dull Buchanan with big agility hitting a crossbody on Farooq but in runs Tazz. It is weird spelling Tazz with two W’s, I wish I didn’t have to do so. Tazz is forced to the RTC corner and they beat on him some more. Venis buried the knee to Tazz’s abodmen which got him a two.
Tazz isolated by the RTC and now in comes the Goodfather dropping the reverse elbow to Tazz. Goodfather slams him and drops a leg. Tazz in a bad way as he runs off the ropes and backs into yet another reverse elbow. Not enough punishment to get the fall. Goodfather goes for his ho train.
Now Goodfather followed it up and splashed to the mat as Tazz moved. Bradshaw in and he irishwhipped Tazz dropping him with a reverse elbow shot then a back bodydrop. Bradshaw cleaning house on RTC members. Bradshaw scooped up Venis and fell back with a reverse slam. Farooq and Bradshaw send Venis to the ropes and hit them with a spinebuster.
Bradshaw from the corner had Val Venis up and he suplexed him from the back. Both Buchanan and the Goodfather double team Farooq. Bradshaw clotheslines Godfather from hell out of the corner and we have a winner.
In the end at 3:53, The APA and Tazz won the match after Bradshaw clotheslined Goodfather to Hell after he missed the ho train, if you could still call it that in this time period. Maybe it’s called the Hope train…or maybe not…
This match was kept short which is just how it should of been quite frankly. Frequent tags to make sure it never got dull as on paper it doesen’t look exactly appealing.
It was kept to the point and it delivered rather nicely, this was quick fun to help get the show rolling.
3) Kane vs Raven (c) vs The Big Show in a Triple Threat Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship
To say the Champion, Raven was an underdog here would be a massive understatement, obviously.
Raven brings down weapons to the ring in a cart.
Kane comes out next and the two begin to brawl without Show who was yet to arrive.
Raven has said during shoot interviews that the parts of this match backstage didn’t go down as originally planned which makes it humerous looking at it back. The Karts and all.
Without Show’s pyro having gone off the two battle it out as the bell rings. Kane and Raven begin with weapons inside the ring, Kane drops Raven.
Finally it hits and Show takes his time coming down the long entrance way. Meanwhile Kane is handling the defending Champion rather easy with heavy shots. Kane sent Raven to Show so he could hold him but Kane leaped off the top turnbuckle and landed on Show instead.
Good early swerve.
Now the three begin to brawl into the crowd area where the REAL fun is going to take place. Raven thrown into the wall making a dent. Show bodyslams Kane onto stacks of wood. Show goes after Raven who he throws in a fence and locks the door. Kane comes by and wants in and he throws the locked door open.
Kane finally gets Raven out choking him out and tossing him through the GLASS. Ouch. Show throws Kane through a door!
Show grabs Kane by the throat until he grabs him back to a loud roar and Kane Drives Show to the wall twice. Show and Kane but grabbing one another by the throat both fall through the wall and out to the floor. Raven now the only man up hits a guy by a Golf Kart and goes driving with Show on his backside, he crashed into the fence which was not supposed to happen.
Kane with an official go to chase them and Kane runs over Raven’s leg a bit with his Kart. I could just see the new video game, WWE Kart, choose which wrestler is your driver today! We’d all be Sparkplug of course. Sorry, just a bad Bob Holly joke for us smarks to laugh or cringe at.
Raven, Show and Kane out of the predicament by Kart’s, Glass, and room and now its time for the three to brawl some more by the beverages.
Kane, The Big Show and Raven up the steps to the stage and Houston pops because they could see them.
Big Show had a hold of Raven on the rampway.
with a clothesline and he lands on the ramp.
The Big Show now with elevation goes to throw Raven away but from behind is Kane who threw both guys into the area by the ring.
Kane jumps off himself into this area with a legdrop Raven and Show, covering them for the victory!
In the end at 9:18, Kane won the Hardcore Championship after leaping off the Ramp onto Big Show and covering him for the three to a good pop.
I still laugh to this day where the official counted the three during the end, at the side of the area the pinfall took place.
This match was unique, it consisted of a little of everything and was definitely a fun ride.
4) Eddie Guerrero (with Perry Saturn) vs Test (c) for the WWF European Championship
It’s strange both these men have passed on, at the time of the event if you would of told me that in less then ten years both would be gone I would have never believed it.
In this match on the Anthology they edit, Guerrero tripping off the apron to the floor in mid-match to which the fans had a good laugh at. I always found it amusing.
They show Superfly Jimmy Snuka before the match at WWF New York. He should be in prison but that’s another story for another day.
We also see an Aussie who flew over with a bunch of other proud Australian’s before this one, as well as The Rock arriving to the building to a mixed reaction from a Texas crowd.
Anyway Eddie comes out with Saturn who is wearing a ridiculous hat. Test gets a good pop.
Test the challenger going after Eddie’s title here.
Eddie Guerrero and Test don’t wait and Test drops Guerrero looking up high, as Eddie Guerrero drops face first. A great powerbomb scores a nearfall. Test to the outside caught a shot from Eddie but then delivered one right back. Both guys gun fire one another until Eddie Guerrero rolls back in the ring as he didn’t want anymore of Test’s brawling.
Which was only logical. Eddie Guerrero wants to keep things in the ring being the technician he is. Eddie Guerrero knew Test was more of a brawler. Test has size and is a brawler, Guerrero needed to get a bigger man back in the ring where he could then use his skill to break apart the bigger guy. Eddie Guerrero knew this and got back inside the squared circle. Eddie slams Test’s head into the corner and unleashes a few shots.
Test though reverses an irishwhip and Eddie lands in the corner hard, Test gives him snake eyes and then a clothesline for a two count. Test irishwhipped Eddie again and landed a big reverse elbow. Test scoopslams Eddie and climbs up high. Eddie Guerrero catches him up there and goes for a hurricanrana on Test but he stays still and Eddie falls off the top after a shove by Test which the crowd loves, as he held onto the top rope for leverage countering the hurricanrana which Ross calls a unique counter. Test then up top lands a flying elbow shot hitting Eddie Guerrero, but Eddie had to shoot his right shoulder up to get out. More shots and this time Eddie Guerrero pulls the top rope down as Test’s legs get caught in the middle of the rope.
This is the spot that no longer can be seen where Eddie has fallen off the apron. Crowd sarcastically pop when Test is finally released. Good edit job. Test continued to have damage done to his legs from Eddie Guerrero in the entrance way, Eddie slams Test’s legs to the mat before dropping extra blows. Inside Test a taller man has difficulty standing on his feet while Guerrero yells to the crowd. Eddie Guerrero still on the bad leg of Test follows it up and drops his bodyweight onto Test who drops down, his leverage advantage he had over Eddie has been temporary destroyed. A sleeperhold by Eddie to weardown the bigger man on Test.
Test begins to slow down in the middle of the ring with Eddie taking a considerable amount of air out as a result with the sleeperhold. Guerrero gets out and off the ropes he is caught by Test who hits a resourceful slam to Eddie Guerrero out of desperation. Eddie off the ropes gets turned around into a sitdown powerbomb by the challenger, but Eddie kicks out yet again!
Good stuff here.
Test back up sent Eddie to the corner but Eddie Guerrero lifted the elbow. Test with a Full Nelson slapped on and Eddie hit the lowblow, while the official was distracted with Eddie, Saturn dropped Test but still Eddie Guerrero got just a two. Eddie Guerrero lands a standing vertical suplex. Guerrero goes up to fly and off the top misses a moonsault. Test kicks him in the mid-section and goes for the Pumphandle Slam, Test knocks him off the apron which costs him in a big way as Test would of had the three if not for Saturn.
This time Test calls in Saturn and drops him with a boot. Now Test drops Eddie Guerrero with a boot. All of the sudden Dean Malenko interupted the count. Eddie got the belt behind the ref from Saturn and he nailed Test with it.
Eddie gets on top and steals the European title with help from the Radicalz at 8:30. We’ve got a new Champion!
This match was among Test’s greatest ever matches (alongside vs Shane at Summerslam or RVD in ECW or perhaps against Edge at Survivor Series 2001) and Eddie really brought the best out of him here.
I always enjoyed this great little bout here, the fact this match took place during this show is a Bonus.
Solid wrestling, great booking. No sympathy grading here since both men are deceased, the match was just THAT good.
5) Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle
Before the match we see Austin arrive, and a Foley promo so the crowd are hot before we get ready for a technical showdown.
Some matches don’t need much build to come off great. A purist’s dream.
Just 6 Days before the big show both Benoit and Angle were match-less, and it was shocking as Angle was WWF Champion for five months before this, I remember it being hilarious as he said the Freakin Gooker has a match, but not him.
Angle is obsessed with NOT tapping out to Benoit. Angle cuts an anti-texas promo before coming out.
Some consider this the “original” in there long series of great matches together.
This one was special as it was both a Wrestling Match, a brawl, and a ton of mat work.
I paticularly love how Houston reacts to the mat exchange at the beginning giving both men a huge ovation just as they deserved at the beginning of the match.
See, what’s most unique about THAT is the fact that this was the Attitude Era. We didn’t see mat work back here.
To see it not only was refreshing, but the reaction from the crowd gave me a good feeling since I’m all about the technical material, and it’s like they wanted to see it back even in an era not so much about this type of wrestling.
And sure enough when the Attitude started to die, the mat work was brought back almost full force by the likes of Angle, Lesnar, Benoit, Eddie, and others in the next few years.
A wrestling purist wants this one in the bad way, here we go. It’s like Heyman says on commentary “This is as excited as a man can get, with clothes on.”
Benoit gets a great pop as he wasn’t babyface for long but had just turned recently and again, going up against Angle was reason enough to cheer you.
Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle engage in a beautiful sequence of chain wrestling, sound reversals and counter-holds are seen in this stage of the match which the crowd can’t help but appreciate. I love it. A fireman’s carry takeover into a single leg-takedown and Benoit and Angle roll around the mat with counter after counter.
Angle with a waistlock go-behind, Benoit with a standing switch into a waistlock of his own, Angle doesen’t want that and then goes for the single-leg takedown countering a front facelock and then both men roll over and to there feet they go as Texas is loud appreciating this mat-work. I love it.
Benoit and Angle staredown one another yet again. Angle takes Benoit down and he reaches to the ropes, this instance has the two roll over one another waiting for the other to make a mistake. Both men neither gaining something major, a feeling out stage.
Benoit pressing Angle to the corner and backs up at four. Kurt Angle ties up with Chris Benoit yet again and this time Kurt Angle lifts up Benoit and drops him on his back with a suplex and remains on top of him but Benoit rolled out of it. Benoit into a vicious front facelock, Angle counters it somehow and is able to hook the leg of Benoit. Benoit tries a cradle as does Angle. Heyman keeps repeating it’s all about leverage and how true those words were.
Neither men can out-do the other, it’s just THAT back and forth.
Awesome amateur wrestling, brilliant chain wrestling and counters.
“Angle Sucks” is chanted while Benoit quickly goes for an armbar and from there goes for the Crossface to a loud pop. Kurt Angle realized this and takes a quick breath outside the ring and comes back in to meet Benoit as he had it well scouted. Angle fears the Crossface is the story during this portion of the match.
Benoit finds himself back into it as Chris could only find a way but Angle backed to the ropes and got a boot on the bottom rope. Crowd booed Angle as he went for a walk now that Benoit was the one starting to dictate the pace at Wrestling almost slapping on those nearfalls.
Another tie-up and Angle takes him down but Benoit being as brilliant as he is found a way into the Crossface but Angle grabbed the rope.
Kurt Angle had enough. Angle threw a punch as he was being out-wrestled by Benoit, this is where he had to turn.
Angle takes the mat-game to the floor and drives Benoit into the announce table.
This was picture perfect storytelling as you’d want your Heel to ruin the back and forth mat game, Angle throws Benoit to the steps catching him a moment.
Angle on the inside has Benoit down enough for him to drop Benoit with a basic suplex getting him a two.
Heyman says “Kurt Angle can WRESTLE, Kurt can Brawl, Kurt ANGLE, Can do it all!”
Angle lands another suplex on Benoit with Kurt in control.
Angle had Benoit down on the mat where he wanted him, forcing him into a defensive position.
Kurt Angle got Chris in the corner and he dropped boot shots to Chris who had sustained step shots, as well as other blows on the abdomen. Kurt Angle drops en elbow to Chris’s throat region as his head hung over the apron.
Angle rolls back inside.
Kurt Angle getting some heat in control stand there but Benoit out of desperation chops back now and here we go.
Chris Benoit is caught in the center of the ring with a belly to belly suplex shot by Kurt Angle. Fans boo loud but Angle seems to love how much he is in control. Kurt Angle then with an overhead belly to belly to Benoit grounding him with yet another suplex.
Kurt Angle in absolute control until Benoit off the ropes drops him with a clothesline catching himself a breather, both men down.
Benoit first man up has shots thrown at him by Kurt Angle, Benoit returns the tide and throws some at him. A war breaks out as Kurt Angle counters but runs into a knee into the abdomen by Benoit. A slugest in mid-ring.
Benoit irishwhipped Angle into a reverse elbow shot getting Chris a two after Kurt Angle’s left shoulder flies up. Benoit with a snapshot vertical suplex into another two. Benoit perhaps looking a bit frustrated and then he slaps Angle by the tights setting him on top of the ring.
Chris Benoit drops Angle with a Superplex from the top! Great stuff. Chris Benoit’s got the eyes and hits a German, tries a second but Angle catches Benoit by the boot and drags the Cripper mid-ring, all of the sudden Benoit counters and has the Ankle Lock on Angle!
Angle is shocked!
Angle out and now walks into the dreaded crossface! Benoit off by Angle as he countered it into a pinning predicament, Angle is resourceful always finding a way out. Even Angle now has the crossface slapped on. Angle dragged Benoit and as Chris kicks off the ref is knocked down. Benoit slaps the Crossface on Angle and the official is still down.
Angle tried to turn this thing into a brawl whenever he couldn’t out-wrestle Chris Benoit inside the ring.
I love when Benoit does this, cracks me up. “Come on Ref. What the hell is the matter with you?” Whenever the official is out…
Angle hits the Olmypic Slam now on Benoit and covers him as Benoit had turned around. Just a two! Benoit lives! No irony or PUN intended there.
This awesome match must continue.
Benoit slammed hard to the mat by Angle. Angle goes for a big moonsault and Benoit moves out of the way. Benoit now signals for the end seeing Angle down on the mat. Benoit flies from the other side of the ring and uses his own head to drive Angle down but he still manages to kickout.
Benoit hit with a lowblow attempting a waistlock, but now Benoit is down. Angle rolled Benoit over from his side in unique fashion and got the three, Ross claims he may of pulled the tights. Either way it was impressive. And yes he does pull them, a typical heel move to do.
In the end at 14:02, Angle defeated Benoit when rolled him over by holding the tights.
This match is just simply, awesome.
As said it was so refreshing to see mat wrestling back in the WWF, and if it wasn’t for the significance of THIS paticular bout, we may have never seen the others which only tells how important or significant this match in paticular really was.
This Classic is appreciated with more and more viewings as I pick up something new each time. I paticularly love the story of how Benoit kept out-wrestling Angle forcing him to brawl to stay in there with Benoit, even though he ends up getting the victory due to his allignment and striking gameplan.
Booking protected both guys big time and everyone was a winner here, even the fans!
I LOVE this match.
6) Chyna vs Ivory (c) for the WWF Women’s Championship
While a ridiculous feud, it was still personal and people just couldn’t stand the RTC in general and wanted the title off of Ivory, so there was definitely build-up and some anticipation of Chyna winning the big one here which helps this match’s cause.
The best moment of this match was without a doubt when Chyna clotheslined Ivory and Ross claims it should be called a “Chyna Line, or maybe not.” Heyman hilariously replies with “Lets stick with MAYBE NOT.” Golden broadcasting material there, reminded me of Heenan and Monsoon for a moment.
Chyna with all that she’s been through has her back dropped at with shots from Ivory. Ivory poses then to a chorus of boo’s, uh-oh Chyna looks to have had enough here. Chyna caught a leg and grabbed her by the throat. Chyna tossed her to the side of the ring. Chyna drops hard clotheslines and then a backslam, now Chyna just drops Ivory on her back and she could have her victory but she pulls Ivory off.
Heyman screams about how this is the biggest mistake of her life, and in no time she drops Ivory and wins the title. Settle down Heyman…
In the end at 2:39 Chyna became the new Women’s Champion after she
Ross screams out she did it at WRESTLEMANIA! Thanks for the reminder.
This match wasn’t much of anything, but since it was a lot better then the Rumble match, and Chyna got her big win, it was a feel good moment and that’s the only reason it isn’t a DUD. Nothing more.
7) Shane McMahon vs Vince McMahon (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) in a Street Fight with Mick Foley as special guest referee
This feud was made more personal then it already was (due to the whole Trish storyline, and the treatment of Shane’s Mother Linda, by Vince) by adding the whole WCW storyline into this.
This was now even MORE personal, an all-out war at Mania between the two. Shane “bought” WCW 6 days before this event and Vinnie Mac was obviously irate.
So many memorable spots in this special ride of a match.
Vince McMahon was to have Trish wheel Linda down to ringside in her sedated state, when the “time was right.”
We’ll keep that in mind. Vince also guaranteed something “Shocking” tonight…
Vince came out with Daddy’s little girl, Shane came out to a good pop as did Foley, Shane said hello to some WCW Wrestler’s in the skybox, among them were the likes of Chavo, Stacy and Lance Storm.
Vince McMahon has Shane down in the corner with a few shots, Foley is there behind him.
Shane impressed us all the previous year with X-Pac, then again with Test at Summerslam 1999.
Going up against his dad would be a tougher task to carry out a better match. Booking is the key here.
Shane spears the Vin Man twice and drops blows on top of him. Shane McMahon with his best elbows to the spine on Vince. Stephanie comes in for a word with Shane and instead slaps him.
The crowd is beyond loud for this which helps things.
Shane now in the entrance way drops Vince with a pan. Shane choked out Vince with an electrical cord. Shane scores with a clothesline to Vince McMahon off a security wall. Shane then grabs a kendo stick and goes to work on his old man, not before hopping around and landing jabs at ringside to his paps. Who else could say they do that for a living? Beat up there dad in front of millions of people.
Vince turns around and Shane finally lands the final forearm shot that drops him.
You know what takes place now, Foley knows this situation/environment all to well as Shane removes tv monitior’s. Shane drives a tv set into the head of Vince.
Now Shane goes to the sky and flies for an elbow drop as Vince moves thanks to Steph. Shane McMahon has crashed and burned in a major way! Wow.
Great bump and now this gives time for Trish to bring down the sedated Linda McMahon in a Wheel Chair.
Now, all action would break loose and not stop till the nights end.
Here we go, this match had already been a run ride and now we get BOOKING MANIA, with a red hot crowd!
Stratus who had a thing with Vince ends it here and now!
Trish slaps Vince! Stephanie McMahon doesen’t take to this and now Stephanie takes down Trish with a slap. Trish fights back.
It’s Wrestlemania baby.
In the ring Trish pulls Steph back inside and gives her shots, Steph rolls over Trish and vice versa.
Foley grabs Steph and then Foley gets slapped as everybody think that was a bit much. Foley chases Steph around the ring and up the ramp as Trish and Steph run as well!
What action everywhere.
Vince looks at Linda in the chair and lips the word “BI*CH.” Gold.
Vince goes after Linda and Thankfully Mick Foley comes back in time before Vince could do something to his wife. Vince McMahon drops Foley with a chair twice after he was trying to get Linda out of harms way. Vince McMahon now wheels her in the ring to see what he was about to do first hand.
Sounds logical, well it would end up delivering one of the loudest roars of any era so I’m all for it.
Vince beat on Shane with Linda in the ring, saying she should watch their son get some more. Vince drops a can on Shane. Vince tells Linda to “Watch this!” which is a signal for her to get up.
All of the sudden Linda McMahon who had been sedated for weeks stood up and that stand made everyone in the dome lose there mind.
That collective pop ranks up there as one of the highest in the history of any Wrestling Event. Linda knows just what to do as Vince widens his legs so Linda can kick him square in the grapefruits and the place loves it.
A tremendous Wrestlemania moment!
Foley to keep going lands rights to McMahon and then Socko into the corner, everyone has there revenge and the audience love it. Pop after pop.
Popcorn fun and tremendous entertainment.
Foley drives a running knee into the head of Vince in the corner. One of his signature moves.
Shane sets up a Trashcan in front of Vince and goes to the opposite side of the ring, surely he can’t do this!? He had never done it before until now so this move made everything else come together better even more! Shane McMahon with originality and that factor made it more special. Linda’s face says it all.
Just awesome as an aerial Shane O Mac flies all the way across the ring dropkicking the can into his father, Linda looks on worried while Houston loved it.
In the end at 14:12 Shane-O-Mac won the match after Foley counts the fall.
This match was MILES better then anyone thought it’d be due to the booking, and hot crowd. Every spot was appropriately placed and this was just amazing to see a father and son of the WWF go at it at Mania, in such a unique environment.
Trish’s face turn, Stephanie’s involvment with Shane, Linda rising to her feet to one of the biggest pops in Wrestling history to get revenge on Vince, along with Shane’s insane coast to coast spot, among other brutality made this match GREAT.
Appropriate for this show. Probably Vince McMahon’s greatest match.
8 ) The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) vs Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Championship
Bubba and D-Von were the reigning champs going in…
With so many successful matches like this, this one was a no-brainer from a booking perspective.
This is a bit quicker then the others like it but there is a ton of quality to enjoy, plus there’s always the fact that it happened at a Wrestlemania.
All three teams with a rich history in this environment.
And now we have TLC #2 tonight here with these three teams. As you will be able to see at the end I loved it perhaps the very most, not just from the big spots but from every little other aspect needed for this type of environment.
You can overuse this idea or do it just right and that’s what the WWE had been doing RIGHT during these days.
Off to this one.
Action will be early and everywhere with six men, three teams and objects flying everywhere at Wrestlemania.
Makes it hard on the guy reviewing it to keep up with all the action, but then again I’d rather look into something deep then try and scratch the surface on something I wouldn’t remotely be interested in.
All three teams begin brawling with on another and Dudleyz drop Christian with a flapjack off the ropes. Righthands hitting hard and often by all three teams inside and out of the ring to begin the match. Jeff and Matt throw themselves into one another using good tandem tag team offense. Matt took down Bubba Ray Dudley but Edge and Chris dropped Matt with a ladder they picked up already.
Christian hammers away on Matt in a corner. Edge sets up a basic chair in the middle of the ring. Edge and Christian both stretch Jeff’s groin. A drop toehold face-first into the chair sat up goes Matt Hardy flying in. Edge begins to climb but Matt stops him and throws him in the corner.
Matt climbng up is stopped by Edge. Both Hardy Boyz do a double dropkick/baseball slide out of the ring to Edge and Christian.
Matt slams Christian down between both Ladders Matt and Jeff get up high on.
Hardyz do there Wrestlemania 2000 move dropping off with the leg from each ladder onto there opposition.
Dudleys back in isolating Edge dropping him to the mat. D-Von Dudley from the corner is ready and drops the What’s Up on Edge.
D-Von Dudley and Bubba are feeling it, Tables are of course asked for them now. Bubba powerbombed Jeff Hardy through Edge and through a table inside the ring! Matt clearing house around the ring with Ladder in hand and everybody has set up the big spots with four tables set by the ring.
Several other ladders and tables with chairs are around ringside.
Three ladders set up in the center of the ring, all teams begin the climb, the race is on for the titles. Christian’s ladder flies and he goes over the top rope to the floor. Everyone else is pushed off but no one took a more violent fall then Christian who dropped over the ropes to the floor off the top of the Ladder.
Christian from the floor slid in a table. Bubba took out a Ladder to set up beside the ring.
Spike Dudley ran to the ring and did his move but took Christian out with him through a table.
rhYno out and speared Bubba! Rhyno speared Matt through a table in the corner and then set up a Ladder in the center again for Edge to climb.
All of the sudden a third party, Lita showing her black thong and all getting a good pop.
Classic line “Lita Jerkin Edge OFF” the Ladder.
Lita hit a hurricanrana to Rhyno and hen Spike drops Rhyno with a DDT. Edge gets pushed off the Ladder to the ropes dropping groin first. Dudleyz have Rhyno up for the Doomsday Device by the Duds.
Lita drops Spike with a chair and undresses, she turns into a 3D from the Dudley Boyz. Edge tosses Bubba a chair and Christian takes him out because of it. Action everywhere.
Now Jeff Hardy drags a Ladder to where he wants it.
Jeff Hardy from the outside, just like the year before put his body on the line as he performed a painful looking Swanton Bomb from the top of the ladder!
Jeff Hardy poses and then drops off a twenty foot ladder hitting a Swanton onto the bodies of Spike and Rhyno.
Christian and Edge seemed to be at an advantage placed the Ladders where they wanted them inside the ring.
Christian hung on with D-Von Dudley by one arm and then dropped.
What happened now was Jeff who had already had a lot taken out of him thus far tried to walk the Ladders but couldn’t hold his balance. Jeff then gets to the seperate title belt as he hangs in the air.
Jeff was hanging by the belts at the top with no Ladder, Edge then goes to the top of the other Ladder and somehow, amazingly dives off, hitting Jeff extremely high in mid-air with a Spear taking them both down.
AMAZING. Probably one of the best bumps of all time.
Crowd ate it up, but the brutality wasn’t over just yet.
Unbelievable spot to a great match.
Bubba and Matt arguing over the title’s but Rhyno pushed them now!
Matt and Bubba on top of the big Ladder both went for a ride and both fell over the top rope, way to the outside through four tables thanks to Rhyno.
Unbelievable bump, and more “Holy Shi*” chants.
Rhyno helps Edge and Christian Climb, can they make it!?
They climb the Ladder!
Edge and Christian get the title’s and win!
In the end at 15:53, RhYno helped Edge and Christian become tag team champions once again in a TLC Match as they both climbed to the top to grab the title’s.
Perhaps the fastest fifteen minutes in Wrestling History since Savage vs Steamboat from Wrestlemania 3.
This match deserves praise, because it was a spotfest done to absolute perfection.
From Lita, Spike Dudley, and Rhyno interfering to these three teams awesome chemistry, they continued to find ways to shock the hell out of people and deliver an entertaining war.
Nothing, but pure Gold here to add just a little bit of everything to a fantastic show.
9) Luke Williams vs Butch Miller vs Duke Droese vs Doink the Clown vs Nikolai Volkoff vs Tugboat vs The Goon vs Earthquake vs The Gobbledy Gooker vs Brother Love vs Michael Hayes vs One Man Gang vs Kamala vs Kim Chee vs Jim Cornette vs Repo Man vs Sgt. Slaughter vs Hillbilly Jim vs The Iron Sheik in a Gimmick Battle Royal
What’s great is that Bobby Heenan made his return to the Mania announce booth for this match, and Mean Gene Okerlund made his Mania return as well and joined him for commentary. Good stuff.
This was going to be fun, and everyone knew it. Infact some thought it might not happen at all and was an April Fool’s joke from the company.
Thank god it wasn’t.
The Gooker came back, they had to make the suit again seeing as they destroyed the other one after the idea originally bombed. Poor Hector Guerrero, first having to dress in that and now having to be on TNA Impact in 2009!
The Iron Sheik came out last.
Punches and Kicks is the “ring action” you’ll be able to view here and again but the action is slow and the camera work is harder to follow. Cornette and Duke are eliminated. Volkoff and Goon are gone as are the Bushwhackers.
Doink is eliminated which gets the biggest boo’s.
Repo Man goes out!
Hayes and everyone else follow the order. Brother Love is tossed out by SGt. Slaughter who has Hilbilly Jim with him, then The Iron Sheik is declared the winner.
In the end at 3:05 The Iron Sheik won.
The Iron Sheik was caught in a camel clutch by Sgt. Slaughter after the match.
This is rated on FUN levels and not so much by the star.
This match was one giant Nostalgia rush, of course the match was nothing short of unwatchable at times, but it was short and to the point. The entrances and such were better then the actual match.
10) The Undertaker vs Triple H
Stephanie isn’t out with Hunter, no one is with Taker, this one is just going to be an all-out brawl in the Reliant Astrodome with two all time greats.
Sounds like a good time just before the Main Event
Motorhead played down The Game.
This would be one of the better Taker matches at Wrestlemania. Undertaker drove fast down the entrance way.
Triple H and Taker brawl to begin the match outside the ring goes everywhere. The tables bump just from Helmsley sitting near them.
The Undertaker has NEVER lost at Mania, it is finally announced by them from this point on.
This would be Taker’s toughest challenge yet, Triple H in his prime.
Hunter lands a knee to the head of the Deadman but he cornered HHH and delivered him righthands. The Undertaker with a hard powerful backslam to Hunter. The Undertaker clotheslines Triple H in the corner until Undertaker repeats the same scenario in both ends of the ring. The Undertaker slams Hemlsley on his back but HHH moves out of the way.
The Same starts to zero in on The Undertaker but off the ropes Taker flies landing a clothesline regaining the momentum. The Undertaker drops to the mat putting extra tork on the elbow of the Game. The Undertaker shouting out Old School and now he goes to walk the top rope with agility but he must of taken his sweet time seeing as Hunter tossed him aside.
The Undertaker down and HHH bought himself enough time breaking up old school to drop The Undertaker with a swinging neckbreaker. Hunter with vicious rights and then as Takers leg was on the apron Hunter kicked at it, then drove an elbow into the Esaphagus region of The Deadman.
Helmsley loves being in control comes in with another neckbreaker and again the Game would not be satisfied with official Keota as the two get in a shoving war buying The Undertaker time to re-group. The Undertaker fights back from his knees.
Picture perfect timing.
The Game sensing The Undertaker was about to fight back to Hunter drops The Undertaker with a facebuster. Hunter leaves the ring and grabs his Sledgehammer.
Hunter feels at home with it as this was what would get him though. Referee Mike Keota takes it away and as The Undertaker sees HHH he ducked and Hunter went for the Pediree but The Undertaker catapolted HHH into the referee in the corner and he fell down.
The Undertaker signalled for a Chokeslam and he lifts HHH up and down, one, two and Helmsley kicks out. The Undertaker kicked at Keota and dropped an elbow on him.
The Undertaker tossed Trips with velocity over the top rope to the floor. Triple H in a bad way by The Undertaker who delivered a hard right and then HHH drives Taker headfirst into the steps. HHH charged after The Undertaker but he backbody dropped Hunter backfirst onto the concrete in the first few rows. The Undertaker chased Hunter around the ring as they began to fight through a huge crowd.
The hometown BadAss throws Hunter into the tower area way back where the camera and crew are. Helmsley showing that he is the celebral assasin drops Taker with chairshots.
Hunter again to the legs of the Deadman ruthulessly and viciously batters the Deadman. Hunter posed with the chair but he took a bit long as The Undertaker was of course waiting from behind him.
Taker had Trips in the air by the throat which got a rise out of everyone involved, literally.
Triple H was chokeslammed to hell by The Undertaker.
Crowd loved this, and the back and forth war between the two had come all the way around now.
Back in the ring The Undertaker picks up a Sledgehammer as he contemplated using it or not. Triple H says he shouldn’t. Hunter kicks The Undertaker as he was about to hit him with the Hammer.
Now its back to a slugfest between two veterans slugging it out after a war. Hunter goes downstairs and builds some righthand momentum Hunter scooped up The Undertaker and perhaps went for a Tombstone but The Undertaker hits the tombstone.
This red could of been dead obviously.
He finally wakes up.
Taker signalled for Last Ride.
The Undertaker going to hit Triple H with the Last Ride but the Game got the Sledge Hammer and he hit Taker with it.
Will this be it? Will this be the streak? NO. Everyone pops.
Taker kicks out, Hunter is fuming. Hunter explodes with rights to the corner where The Undertaker lifts him up in mid-ring with the Last Ride and he gets the three!
In the end at 18:17 The Undertaker ultimately countered the corner shots and then hit with the last ride powerbomb for the pinfall to a huge pop. I don’t buy into Taker losing at Mania anymore with his recent opponents but this one at the time kid of scared me because Taker’s streak while big, was never talked about a lot until around this point so I wasn’t sure if they were going to put HHH over more as the man to beat the streak, but I think everyone was relieved he wasn’t, as he really didn’t need to be.
This match did have the ridiculous ref bump, but not everything can be perfect and this match was one hell of a ride.
It certainly holds up well and is always good to look back on in that popcorn fun, sort of way where you let your mind go and just enjoy the action.
Speaking again quickly on that ref bump, so many things in Pro-Wrestling make you scratch your head, something like this is definitely nothing to worry about. I shrug it off, without the bump the match wouldn’t of been half as good!
Taker’s best Wrestlemania match to this point in time and it just added to this PPV as a whole.
An Attitude Era “Classic.”
11) Main Event- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock (c) in a NO DQ Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
Easily one of the, if not the very greatest pre-match promo’s ever done by the company with the use of the song “My Way”.
We had the two biggest names, the industry has ever seen going one on one to headline a show like this, and after Austin’s year long injury this match was hugely anticipated to find out who “The man” was. It was a split crowd everywhere else but here in Texas the Rattlesnake likely has a 3:1 ratio with the crowd in his favor.
“I need to beat you Rock. I need it more then anything you could ever imagine. There can be only ONE…World Wrestling Federation Champion, and it will be Rock…Stone Cold Steve Austin…with all DUE RESPECT.”
We are told by the Fink that this match is now NO DQ, Ross wonders why and how this happened. We’d know at the end of the match, but even from the opening moments just there it created suspense, and when everyone was more then ready for the Main Event, after the video package, the build-up, this great Mania, the staredown’s, Rock walking to the ring, Austin looking in the mirror, you name it, the crowd was ready to explode when Austin’s glass hit in the Astrodome.
And they did. One of the biggest pops in Pro-Wrestling History.
This has got to be my favourite entrance in Wrestling history.
You might think, “But why? It’s pretty normal.” Sure, it’s very normal but not only is Austin my all time favourite, this is my favourite theme ever (The disturbed version) and his BMF Walk out in Texas in the main event of the best event ever was so bad ass from these eyes. Not only that but it seemed like he was foreshadowing his heel turn with the expressions on his face both in the ring and on the way down the long entrance way before the match in Houston. Just, excellent body/facial expressions by the Bionic Red Neck in this one! Even the numbers 101 on the back of his vest of course.
So as said the Texas crowd was for Austin at least 70-30 here, which is no surprise. The Rock had his share of fans as a heel at Wrestlemania 15 and 19 in the bouts with Steve. Any time you get two popular mega stars like this the crowd is bound to be split. But in this case it was very noteable when The Rock applied his first offensive maneuver of the match (A swinging neck breaker)
The build up to this match was absolutely phenominal and it added to the matches rating overall, it’s absolutely academic here. The look of Austin into the mirror was unreal before the match and you just had to get butterflies for this one. A truly historical match if there was ever one.
The My Way Video package even added to the match more then any other match I’ve ever seen for any ppv.
The story where Austin needed to do everything in his power to get back on top of the WWF and surpass The Rock was so evident in the match. He did things like pulling out his HEEL Million Dollar Dream move in this match that he hadn’t used in years. His desperation to win became more and more clear each time he performed a big move. The Blade job by The Rock wasn’t very great but both men were busted open like crazy for most of the match.
I’ve never heard a crowd that loud from the beginning of the match to the end maybe to this day, perhaps only Canadian Stampede’s match can rival it from that perspective. I can’t even put into words how big of a match this was and how fun it is to go back and watch it, I do so every couple of months at least. This is about as fun as Pro-Wrestling gets, at least for me and many others I know.
Both men did a sharpshooter in this match which was pretty interestng. Good flashback spot when The Rock had it on and Austin’s face looked very similar to when he was suffering to Hart’s at Wrestlemania 13. Always good to see a nostalgia flash which added to the story telling of this match even more because Austin did not want to find himself in similar circumstances in this one.
I get a sick feeling when I see Vince walk to the ring as I know for me at that very moment the Attitude Era was over.
From Wrestlemania 13 to when I saw Vince walk down that long entrance way that it was all over. It had it’s positives and negatives in the long run, no doubt but I still wish something different had happened as Stone Cold was a mega hero to me for all those years but I guess that’s what it was meant to be. It was meant for Austin to turn his back on his fans (Which is basically what a heel turn is all about), it’s no lie but I was actually wearing a Austin 3:16 shirt while watching this event in my home.
After the match I felt betrayed and that was probably the last time in my life I was a mark, and treated the storylines like they actually were REAL. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a little kid but I was still hurt. I knew Wrestling and the storylines were “fake” since the late 80’s but in 2001 I was genuinely hurt because I just loved that 97-99 character so much. That just proves to me that they told a brilliant story. Whether the booking and storylines were great after that is irrelevant, on this night at Wrestlemania 17 the story they told was maginificent. An absolute classic both storyline wise and in the ring by two of the greatest to ever set foot in the ring, with the greatest wrestling promoter of all time involved in the whole act. All this in the MAIN EVENT of Wrestlemania, The Greatest Wrestlemania ever…..wow, just wow. That’s all that can really be said.
Before I begin, I’ve got to give props to Heyman and JR who did a brilliant job in this match, especially without TV monitor’s halfway through. The commentary from the entrances to the ending make this so memorable and I’ve seen this over 50 times for sure by now. That’s how much I personally love it, I know that I’m not alone.
Stone Cold Steve Austin watched Rock pose and got the early advantage by attacking Rock from the get go. Heyman pointed out the challenger was in control, Austin needed to bring his A game, his best to get back on top of the WWF mountain. The Texas crowd was ready. There was no WM main event stare down, just beatings all around. The crowd from this point did not remain silent throughout the entire duration of the match and as mentioned it just helped it overall.
Stone Cold Steve Austin’s cold blue eyes stared into Rock posing as the top man in the company on the turnbuckle.
Austin attacked him with a series of right hands as he scored with a bunch, Austin ducked but Rock got few as well, Rock ducked a clothesline but Austin got the Lou Thesz press! Austin was hitting two elbow drops to Rock on his sternum as Texas loved it, but they didn’t love Rock’s reverse neck breaker. Austin sent Rock over the top after the two men reversed each others finishing moves.
Austin beat on Rock outside the ring after taking him to the outside and he had boughten himself a bit of time to fix his kneebrace of course.
“Rocky Sucks” was chanted by some of the crowd.
As a play to some of there previous matches Stone Cold went to the outside with Rock and the two had been very familar with brawling on the outside in matches, like IYH D-X, Wrestlemania 15, Backlash 99, among other Raw matches and the like. The Rock then adapting to his new environment as this was now a NO DQ match and slammed Austin’s head on the table. Austin reversed a clothesline attempt by Rock and hit him with one of his own. Austin viciously choked out Rock on the middle rope. Austin wanted the title badly and it was evident with every move. Austin rushed off the side ropes and dropped the leg onto Rock’s back. Austin then cornered Rock and speared him and then set him up top on the turnbuckle. Austin then got Rock up on the top and then locked on a vertical suplex and slammed his back to the mat.
Rock in pain as his lower back crashed to the canvas. Austin got a nearfall as he was in the driver’s seat so far in this match. Austin took off the top turnbuckle padding and then it evidentally became exposed. Austin and Rock slapping back and forth with hard right hands between the two of them as some of the crowd booed Rock’s offense. Rock then provided a hard forearm shot and then a hiptoss. A roman throw by Rock to Austin and he got a nearfall out of it, a desperate early attempt to retain the title.
Austin then got clotheslined over the top rope to the outside by The Rock.
I’ve seen this match, many times but each time I am blown away by how well everything was executed.
So much on the line here as these two were indeed the biggest stars of the era. Rock slammed Austin’s head into the table now and then Austin hit The Rock with a ring bell to retaliate! Austin then flipped off Hebner as Rock became bloodied. Austin scored with some righthands to the busted open Champion and drove his face head first into the top of the steel steps. Rock limping around with blood around his face was pacing around the table and somehow JR and Heyman’s table went out. Austin then got Rock in the ring and scouted him and he was poised to deliver pain to Rock, right hand after right hand sent Rock into the corner and Austin scored with a hard forearm shot and then ruthlessly threw rights to Rock. I really can’t stress how hot the crowd was for EVERYTHING in this match, just everything.
Austin choking him out with everything he had to beat the life out of him, again, it’s what he felt had HAD TO DO. Austin then grabbed Rock’s head and measured him up to his vertical base, but Rock fought back. The top turnbuckle pad had been exposed and then Austin scored with a neckbreaker as that pleases his home state!
Austin then hit an offensive move and the fans erupted. Austin was one second away from becoming Champion! Steve back on top of Rock and gave him a succession of hard right hand’s! This is intense, this is Wrestlemania was screamed by JR at an appropriate time! Defenseless was the champion according to JR as Austin was not letting up on the People`s Champion, and at this time the challenger delivered with kicks to the head and choking him out with his knee to the throat of a bloodied Champion. The Rock in a NO DQ match had been choked out by Austin.
Stone Cold then pushed Hebner away which bought Rock time and he exploded out of the corner with a big clothesline to Austin. Rock then with another clothesline and then grabbed on to the top rope and glared at the Texas fans booing him. Austin then kneed Rock in the abdomen until Rocky flipped Austin off and sent him face first into the turnbuckle. Rock outside the ring got the ring bell, this is what Rock got busted open with. Rock in the ring with the ring bell was stalking the challenger. Rock then hit Austin with the ring bell which busted Austin open as he retaliated from before as the fans booed. Rock went for a three count but Austin kicked out.
One of the reasons this match is so great is because there is absolutely no time, to stop and think about what you`ve seen, it`s just fast, fast, and more fast action at its absolute “enthralling” best.
Austin with everything he had got up but he sprung towards the side of the ropes after each hard shot by Rock (usually right hands). Rock then layed the Smackdown! on Austin as he limped towards the side of each ropes. The Rattlesnake would not quit, his journey ends here. Austin got beaten on to the corner until Austin`s head hung off the apron and Rock drove the elbow into Austin`s head. Steve Austin then outside the ring was about to get his head slammed face first into the barricade but Austin fougth back. A bloodied and battered challenger kept beating on Rock and by this point in his career, Ausin has been “ressurected“ due to the 3 SOH Match at NWO 01 with Triple H. Austin catapolted Rock head first into the ring post and the fans cheer.
This is beyond intense by this point. An all-out war between two all-time greats who bring the best out of one another, they really know how to brawl and it was nice to see some Wrestling involved as well, more-so then more of there other matches.
Austin had the TV monitor outside the ring and the chaos continues as Steve hit Rock with the TV screen right to The Rock.
Austin stalked Rock in the middle of the ring then flipped him off and went for the Stunner until Rock turned him over due to Austin waiting a lot of time and not capitalizing on everything, the Rock used this to his advantage and out of desperation The Rock was able to slap on a Sharpshooter. Austin in familiar territory with that move.
Austin all bloodied, Shades of Bret-Austin at WM 13 in the Classic Submission match with Austin bloodied screaming on in pain with blood rushing down his face. Rock bloodied himself screaming on in pain as he locked the Sharpshooter to Austin. Great Drama. Stone Cold tried to bridge out but he eventually made it to the ropes. Austin caught the ropes to break the hold. Heyman hilariously poked Fun at JR`s bias to Austin.
Rock then went for a Sharpshooter to Austin and Stone Cold then retaliated by swinging Rock down, stepping through and locking a Sharpshooter of his own!
Austin slapped on a Sharpshooter and a bloodied Rock was in pain!
The title hangs in the balance here! Rock bridging out, and make no mistake about it, the Champion was a bloody mess. The Challenger WAS ALSO one as well.
Classic story telling all throughout.
Rock with little strength he had left in his legs was able to free himself and kicked out of it and then Austin worked over Rock`s knees. Austin stomped on Rock`s sternum and then began to act more and more heel like in this match. Austin with yet another Sharpshooter locked onto Rock!
Austin with a sharp kick to the face and then got behind Rock and stalked him until he locked on the Million Dollar Dream to a decent pop, I know I marked. He presented a sadistic look on his face, he had classic facial expressions and body language throughout the entire duration.
Steve was smart here.
Again, it really can’t be stressed how great the story telling was here and again I just loved Steve’s bloodied facial expressions when slapping on vicious holds like the Millon Dollar Dream. Heyman brilliantly said what wont Austin do!? Foreshadowing he’d go to great lengths to win here, maybe even..selling his soul to Satan himself?
Rock was fading but he kicked off the turnbuckle and rolled Austin up but only got a two count, this was similar to Hart-Piper WM 8 and Hart-Austin Survivor Series 96. This was also playing with flashback’s in Austin’s career seeing as he lost that very same way in the all-time classic with Bret and Austin in the Garden at the 1996 Survivor Series.
Austin then got up and levelled Rock with a big time right hand. Another one, then another one, what’s it going to take? Austin scored with right hands but Rock scored all of the sudden OUT OF NO WHERE with a Stunner on Austin!
Some of the place popped as it was a big, unexpected move out of no where and then Rock went to follow up that with a pinfall, he went to cover Austin in Texas with the Stone Cold Stunner but Austin kicked out with everything he had at two, to keep this Classic going strong.
Intense action all over the place in this match.
All of the sudden Vince comes towards the ring and the fans boo. This was the moment. McMahon comes near ringside and JR points how he has no love loss for either men in the ring. Obviously referring to McMahon’s legendary, notorious feud with Steve Austin, and of course him screwing The Rock over at the Mania before and all of the problems those two have had.
Austin with a spinebuster to Rock but got a nearfall. Austin at this point in the match became frustrated and slammed his hands on the mat showing more and more that he was pissed off.
Here comes the swerve in one of the biggest matches of all time.
Austin irishwhipped by Rock and then he hit a spinebuster. Rock then kicked at Austin’s shoulder as he set up for the people’s elbow. Rock went from one side to the other and hit the People’s Elbow.
Rock covered Austin but McMahon broke up the count at two and some of the place cheered. Some thought Vince was turning babyface even as of right now it was unclear, but it wouldn’t be for long. The Rock then all of the sudden had the look to Vince like “You’re not going to screw me out of the title two years in a row at Mania.” Rock chased McMahon around the ringside area.
Right into a Rock Bottom by Austin! Stone Cold then covered Rock and was inches away from becoming Champion. Rock got to his feet and and then Austin went for a Stunner and Rock pushed Austin into Hebner. Hebner down.
Both Rock and Austin inside the ring again and now Steve Austin hit Rock with a lowblow.
Austin then ordered Vince to get him a chair as JR says “Wait a minute!?”
The fans were a bit choked and shocked as Austin was telling Vince to knock out The Rock. Vince hit The Rock down with a steel chair shot and Austin went for the cover. Austin then pinned Rock and Vince shoved Earl Hebner in the ring but he got a long two count and Austin was furious with the slow count and proceeded to pound his palms on the ring canvas. Austin was beyond frustrated. Why did Austin tell his biggest rival to help him!? Swerve 101.
Heyman said we’re witnessing something that will be talked about for years to come. How true was that.
The Rock scored with a Rock Bottom out of desperation now to stay alive, on Steve Austin! McMahon was maintaining the referee and Rock tried to bring himself up and then he dragged McMahon in the ring. Rock levelled him with right hands until turning around into a Stone Cold Stunner but he only got a two! Austin’s face looked like he saw a ghost. Vince handed a chair to Austin.
Austin then destroyed The Rock with a big time head shot. Vince signalled to his waist like we’d see a new champion but The Rock kicked out. Austin was pissed off as Rock wouldn’t stay down and Austin didn’t know what he had to do to become Champion. The look here between Austin and Vince was priceless, as Vince wanted Stone Cold to keep his cool.
Austin then went apeshit on Rock with the chair! No DQ match, Austin beat the living hell out of him in the chair! With McMahon’s blessing! Austin hit Rock ruthlessly about a dozen times with vicious chair shots, all sorts of ways, the crowd was electrifying throughout the whole match but during this Climax it felt beyond Euphoric to be watching something so entertaining.
JR: “What the hell is this!? What the hell is this!?”
Heyman: “It’s a NEW Champion!”
In the end Stone Cold Steve Austin pinned Rock after hitting him sixteen times with a steel chair at 28:06 to become the WWF Champion.
A Texas crowd still popped not seeming to care he turned heel. That and the fact they had to change Austin’s character around (A complete 180) in order for him to get booed was part of the reason business would do bad following this and that the Heel Turn was considered a failure from a business point of view. Steve though, would still go on perhaps the best run of his career as Champion in 2001, despite being in constant pain. On his DVD they released last year this is the last match on it, which is a shame as they show none if that legendary year.
Stone Cold is shaking hands with Satan himself!
Certainly an Epic moment in history at the end of arguably the greatest event ever.
Steve Austin himself even said though, if he could go back and change things (in his book) regarding this situation, then he probably would. But he also said that without the heel turn there would have been a lot of great moments that wouldn’t of been able to happen. And I’d agree.
So for that reason alone this heel turn is not only historic it is great to see two guys that absolutely hated each other shake hands after the main event of the biggest Mania ever. Hardly anyone saw it coming, and for it to happen with two significant people, at the most sigificant event, made it that much more historic. I also love how Vince teased there’d be a shock but no one knew it’d be like this.
Even on episodes from Raw and Smackdown! in early 01, they tease Austin and McMahon’s oncoming alliance, which is just brilliant writing.
But, What a match here!
Not only one of the biggest matches of all time, but also one of the greatest matches of all time, all around, no questions asked.
Final Rating for WWF Wrestlemania X7 = 10/10
This Mania was without question, the single greatest PPV let alone Wrestlemania I have ever seen. There have been some early NWA and WCW shows which rival this in match quality, even WM X9 has arguably a better card. HOWEVER, it was the presentation that mattered. The theme-song that fit perfect, the astrodome, the fact it happened in the Attitude Era, and the fact that this just felt like the ultimate event for Pro-Wrestling since Wrestlemania 3.
This one delivered and while not every match as top-notch, it ended on a big high and if any show can get a 10/10, it’s this one. It really goes without saying, that it’s a “Must-Own.” It should be the first DVD you ever purchase if you only had to pick one.