WWE WrestleMania 19: Top 10 Moments from the Night Stone Cold Retired
WWE has always been about being over the top and larger than life. WrestleMania in 2003 was no different. Vince McMahon took his biggest event of the year to Seattle!
It was certainly an interesting choice, but it was a great move. The location was perfect, and the city represented well at Safeco Field. How did WWE hold up on their end of the bargain?
Let's find out!
10. Undertaker Wins
Undertaker and Nathan Jones vs. Big Show and A-Train seemed like a fine tag team match.
I really didn't care for it but was willing to give it a chance. Sadly, WWE did not even want to give it a chance. Nathan Jones was attacked before the match and did little work during the battle.
Undertaker did most of the work alone. Towards the end, Nathan came out and helped him pick up the victory to extend his undefeated streak at Mania.
Taker did have a great entrance, though.
Victoria was the reigning Women's champion. Jazz was a challenger, as was Trish Stratus.
It was going to be a very interesting triple threat match in the diva's division. I could have seen any of the three winning, but WWE decided to give Seattle some "Stratusfaction."
She picked up the win and added another title to her resume.
8. Opening Match
Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio seemed to be a nice opening match on paper. The Cruiserweight title was being defended by Version 1.0, and Mr. 619 was very popular.
As usual, the face should go over in the end. For WWE, they decided to stall the correct ending for a later date. Matt cheated to win at Mania.
Rey Rey then beat him for the gold on a memorable edition of Smackdown a few months later.
7. Celebrity Appearance
I guess this was WWE's "celebrity" use in 2003.
There really are no words to describe this. These two fought with Torrie Wilson and Stacy Kiebler during the show on a bed. Later on, The Coach got his pants pulled down, and all four girls celebrated.
Yeah, do not ask...
Does anybody remember the "Mania of Wrestle Mania?"
WWE turned the event in 2003 into an entire film. The movie aired a year later, and it was excellent. A behind the scenes look at the wrestling business is always something to watch.
This was probably the best release from the WWE Films division. I highly suggest everybody check it out, as it is a wonderful one-hour show.
Also, I must give major credit to the company for a few stars appearing right after this event.
Bill Goldberg debuted in a WWE ring the next night. The very next Smackdown had Sable return. The following Raw saw Kevin Nash come back. After that, Piper's Pit was back on Smackdown!
Good or bad, it was definitely an interesting time to be a fan.
Also, the theme song by Limp Bizkit was excellent!
Finally, this Mania event drew a lousy buy rate. Wrestle Mania XIX was one of the lowest-bought shows in event history.
The show drew about 550,000 buys. I believe the Royal Rumble in 2003 had more than that! Compare that to the one million mark these days, and it really makes you wonder why this show did so poorly.
5. HBK vs. Y2J
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels was a dream match for many.
Many were expecting a great show. In true WWE fashion, the match was better than anybody thought.
The story was well told. The performers were top notch. The crowd was with them. The announcers sold the match big time.
Shawn Michaels won at Mania, but it was far from over between the two. Chris Jericho showed his true colors after the match...
4. World Title Match
Most would rank this behind the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho match. That is fine. I can definitely understand that.
In my view, this match had a ton to look back at.
1. There was the story. Many thought Triple H was being a racist with Booker T. I never took it that way. When he would say "you people," I always believed he was referring to "WCW mid-card talents." Something along those lines...
2. Many also want to discuss how Triple H should have lost his World Title here. Again, I never saw that as an option. I remember specifically betting $5 with a couple of different friends on this match. They all bought into the story. I didn't.
3. Finally, the match was just not very exciting. I know that contradicts its high ranking, but this list is for memorable moments. Good or bad, I still remember this all. The promos, Jim Ross calling the action, Ric Flair constantly getting involved...all of it!
In the end, Triple H pinned Booker T, and life moved on. With The Game set for a long run as champion, there was no reason to even think of ending it here. Six months later, fans got their title change.
3. 20 Years in the Making
Oh yeah, Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon!
If the Hulkster lost, his career would be over. Contested under street fight rules, you knew this would get intense. It certainly did in a hurry.
Despite their age, both men brought it. This was a major match, and there was a ton of attention surrounding this battle.
By the time the bell sounded for a victor, Roddy Piper had interfered, a referee had been taken out, and Hulkamania was still alive and well!
My only issue with all of this was the aftermath.
Shane McMahon came out after the match to help his father. Then nothing came of it. Vince "fired" Hogan a few days later, and Mr. America was born!
That also went nowhere...
2. Rock Pins Austin
Stone Cold beat The Rock at WrestleMania XV.
Stone Cold beat The Rock at WrestleMania XVII.
The Rock beat Stone Cold at WrestleMania XIX.
Steve Austin competed in his final match on this night. He went out on his back, as most should. He gave Rocky a huge victory and ended his career on a high note.
That won't stop many from "fantasy booking" his return now almost nine years later. Me?
I live in the real world and am perfectly fine with Steve Austin never wrestling again. There is no better way to finish his career than losing to The Rock at the biggest show of the year in front of over 50,000 fans.
1. The Main Event
When I think back to this show, I picture Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar in the main event for the WWE Championship. Thus, it has to get the top spot.
Kurt Angle was the reigning title holder on the Blue Brand, while Lesnar was on a path of destruction to win "his" title back. With Brock having won the Royal Rumble in January, Angle had been on his sights for awhile.
While we did see a little "teaser" between the two on Smackdown a few weeks earlier, this match was going to be the real deal. What we got was a great main and the crowning of a new WWE Champion.
I am sure most will mention the Shooting Star Press by Lesnar, and that is acceptable. However, this match shouldn't be defined by one horrifying moment.
Lesnar vs. Angle was a nice way to close the show, with or without the top rope move. My hat goes off to both men on a fitting end to one of the best "wrestling" Mania shows of all time.
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