WWE WrestleMania 20: Top 10 Moments on a Historic Evening in New York City
WWE held the first-ever WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden. The 10th edition was also held in the world's most famous arena. Therefore, it was no surprise to see WWE hold 'Mania there once again in 2004.
Twenty years of history being in New York City? Surely, WWE had a huge evening planned for their great fans. As usual, Vince McMahon came through in a major way...
Remember, this is just my opinion on a WWE show!
10. Tag Team Titles
Booker T and Rob Van Dam defeated the Dudley Boys, Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade and La Resistance to retain the tag titles.
Why were half these men on the show? It seemed it was just a way to throw everybody on the show. If so, congratulations, guys!
Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty defeated the Basham Brothers, APA and World's Greatest Tag Team to retain their tag team titles.
Once again, what was the point? Both matches were about the same length and not many people cared. I try to be as positive as possible, but this was all "filler" here.
Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio had a very entertaining feud to begin the year. With the Cruiserweight title on the line many times, it was sure to be a high-stakes match at WrestleMania, right?
Well, it seemed as if WWE decided to give most of the division some air time.
Once again, I look at this as the company was just trying to get many names on the show. That is fine, but there is overkill.
Chavo Guerrero defeated Rey Mysterio, Akio, Tajiri, Billy Kidman, Nunzio, Funaki, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble and Ultimo Dragon in an elimination match.
The decisions were fast and furious, and I never truly got invested here. Good finishing sequence from Chavo and Rey, but again, the rest of the guys were "filler."
Sable and Torrie Wilson defeated Stacy Kiebler and Miss Jackie. The story was the two Smackdown girls (Sable and Torrie) were in Playboy, and the Raw side wanted the same treatment.
In a rare case, the cover girls actually won. The match was mostly them posing in lingerie, but it served its purpose.
For the Women's title, Victoria retained her title over Molly Holly. Not only that, but Molly promised to shave her head bald if she lost.
Well, she did. It was a nice match with a fun moment afterwards.
7. Opening Match
Big Show was a dominant heel United States Champion.
John Cena was an up-and-coming face on Smackdown.
As usual, the "KISS Method" is used best here.
Let the two feud in the mid-card. Have Cena fight Show at 'Mania. The face overcomes the heel. Fans cheer all over the world.
Simple, yet effective, folks! That is all it takes...
6. Rock and Sock Evolved?
Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Batista had been destroying Mick Foley for weeks. Evolution, as a group, was just too much for the Hardcore Legend to defeat on his own.
He needed help.
Somebody had to have his back...
If only a certain somebody would return to the company and be at his side...
Yes, The Rock returned to WWE just two weeks before WrestleMania to help take out Evolution. A three-on-two match was instantly made, and the excitement was in the air less than two weeks before the major show!
In New York City, all five men put on a nice showing. It wasn't anything amazing, but the match did its job perfectly.
The Rock and Sock reunited one last time. A lot of big names received a match. Finally, a young Orton picked up the biggest win of his career, pinning Foley clean in the middle of the ring.
5. Christian vs. Jericho
This was a great feud. Trish Stratus, Christian and Chris Jericho all did wonderful.
We are seeing a lot of the same components being used now with Zack Ryder and Eve. A lot of words like "just friends" are being used, and friendships are being tested on a weekly basis.
In the end, Christian and Jericho had an excellent match in front of the New York City crowd. The heel, Christian, was about to lose to the face, Jericho, just as Trish made her way down to ringside.
She seemed to be rooting for Jericho but cost him the match by accident.
Moments after the battle, we all saw where her true feelings were...
Trish turned heel and kissed Christian in shocking fashion. It is a shame the couple would not last very long, but we all saw the exact same type of pairing a year later.
Edge and Lita.
4. Eddie vs. Angle
Eddie Guerrero defended his WWE Championship against Kurt Angle. Again, it was a very simple storyline, but it was played out very nicely.
Eddie was the beloved face, while Angle was a heel. Thus, a match between the two had to happen. Angle won the No. 1 Contender's match a few weeks earlier just as Eddie won the title.
Honestly, it didn't matter.
Eddie wasn't losing here. That much was apparent to me. The only discussion point was the quality of the match between the two.
They have had many great matches. Many!
Sadly, I did find this one to be a little bit overrated. It was a very good title match, but nothing about this stood out over others. Sorry, I am a huge fan of both. However, this one never really reached the "classic" level it probably had the potential to.
Oh, how I love that promo video! Those 38 seconds are exactly what I loved about this event. You saw that commercial, and there was no way you were missing the show.
Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the first time ever sold itself. Adding in Stone Cold as the special guest referee gave you a license to print money. Again, nobody was going to miss this match.
As most soon found out, both Goldberg and Lesnar were on their final night in the company. Both men wouldn't be on Raw the next night. Both weren't going to be on Smackdown. They were done.
The same was being talked about with Steve Austin. A month later, he was gone as well.
Being in the great state of New York, there was no way the "too smart" fans were going to let this opportunity slip by. No, no, no. They were going to "be" the show, whether the men inside the ring liked it or not.
I do give the crowd credit for showing off their freedom of speech. They have a right to say as they choose. However, fans also have to know a line not to cross.
They got very close here, as the live audience just never even gave them a chance to perform. If the match was boring, boo. If they didn't give their full effort, by all means, let them hear it!
It is too bad the crowd never let this huge "dream match" even begin. Didn't even give them a chance to prove their final night was going to be a memorable battle...
Goldberg beat Lesnar, and Austin stunned them both right out the door afterwards.
2. Undertaker vs. Kane
Kane had "buried" Undertaker alive in November of 2003.
During the next few months, Taker slowly began tormenting his brother by different means. All of this was driving Kane so crazy that a match between the two had to be made for WrestleMania.
If Taker was even going to show up...
Of course, he would! Along with Paul Bearer, Undertaker was once again a "Deadman." The history between the three men is definitely well documented. Thus, this was already a legendary moment, and the match hadn't even begun yet.
Once the bell rang, the two put on their usual style of match. Undertaker was always going to win, as most feuds should end with the face beating the heel. Plus, his "Streak" wasn't ending.
It was entertaining but nothing special. That didn't matter. The entire feud here was so well done that it had to be recognized as such.
1. Where It All Begins...Again
WWE did it again.
They always come through with a huge event. WrestleMania XX was no different.
Many of the great WWE Hall of Fame talents were there the night before. A lot of them appeared on the actual event Sunday night. It was just a very "celebratory" mood.
The high point came in the middle of the show when Vince McMahon came out. He simply came out to greet the live audience with one simple message.
No, thank you, Vince! WrestleMania XX was truly where it all began...again. Thank you.