WWE brought their biggest event of the year to California 12 years ago. It was a very interesting location, but I could live with it. The company has yet to regularly visit big stadiums, so this choice was fine.
However, the show was not fine. I am as positive as they come in life, but this may have been one of the worst Mania shows of all time. It certainly was the weakest in the past up to the current era.
Why? Let's find out!
One of the great gems on this show was a catfight between Terri and Kat. In each of their corners was Mae Young and Moolah. Yes, you knew a great segment was coming here.
On top of that, Val Venis was the special guest referee. It was also at this point where his character was finally done to me. After this, I didn't care about his "gimmick" any more.
The match was what it was. The rules were that you had to throw your opponent out or the ring, but it quickly became a huge mess.
Val kissed both girls during the match, but Terri got the victory in the end.
Yeah! Go ahead and watch the video...
Boss Man and Bull Buchanan defeated D'Lo Brown and Godfather in a tag team match.
Yes, that was the "hot" opener 12 years ago. I am sorry, but matches like this are why you see big time matches begin shows these days.
The best part about all of this was Ice T singing Godfather's new theme to the ring live. Outside of that, Bull hit a top-rope leg drop for the win.
Chyna and Too Cool beat Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn in a fun match. It was short, but it served its purpose.
The "Radicalz" were on the losing end of this, and there were a few interesting notes here.
First, Chyna pinned Eddie to gain the victory. Yes, a future WWE Hall of Fame performer lost to the Ninth Wonder of the World clean. I understand why, but it is fun to look back on.
Second, Chyna and Eddie became a couple shortly after this show. It didn't make much sense, but then again, a lot of this era didn't.
Head Cheese was the team name of Al Snow and Steve Blackman. Before the match, they brought out a "mascot" dressed up as a piece of cheese named Chester McCheeserton.
Their opponents on this night were Test and Albert, along with Trish Stratus. Once again, this tag match was fine, but it doesn't look like a Mania match.
Well, it wasn't at all.
Test and Albert won, while the losers beat up Chester McCheeserton after the match.
This is WrestleMania, folks!
Kane and Rikishi defeated X-Pac and Road Dogg in a tag team match. It lasted four minutes, and nothing about this match screamed "WrestleMania."
Tori was at ringside with Pac, so that much helped. Other than that, this was more of the usual from this show. It was fine, but what about this match was to be held at the biggest event of the year?
Now, this is worthy of WrestleMania!
Pete Rose was in the building for yet another great appearance for WWE. This time, Rikishi got a highlight out of him. Kane was right there to watch it all with Paul Bearer, though...
Rikishi gave him a "Stinkface," and it was classic.
Crash Holly defended his Hardcore Title against a group of men. The rules had a 15-minute time limit, with the winner being whoever had the last decision when the clock hit zero.
Well, it was pure chaos with tons of title changes in between. The APA were there. Tazz was there. Even Viscera got some time at Mania.
The ending was the biggest mess of them all. Hardcore Holly looked to pin Crash as time expired. However, the referee just suddenly stops as if he kicked out.
Yet, the decision was that Hardcore Holly had won. Planned or not, it was confusing and didn't work. Even worse, Crash got his title back shortly after this event anyways.
A couple of tag matches on this show only get a few minutes, yet this "division" was given 15 minutes, plus entrances and aftermath. Not very entertaining...
Edge and Christian.
The Hardy Boyz.
The Dudley Boyz.
What more needs to be said?
All three teams know what they are doing, and ladders involved makes it even better. Throw the tag team titles on the line, and you have a classic on your hands.
Edge and Christian ended up getting the gold, and they deserved the moment. Every team showed their skills to the world, and they had officially "arrived."
Outside of the main event, what was this WrestleMania all about?
The triangle ladder match was amazing, but the teams had not yet been treated as major stars. They were close but not entirely there.
Head Cheese vs. Test and Albert? Kat vs. Terri? Kane and Rikishi vs. Pac and Dogg? Boss Man and Bull vs. Godfather and D'Lo Brown? Too Cool and Chyna vs. Eddie, Dean, and Perry?
This card looks like a regular episode of Raw. A bunch of filler tag team matches and a few gimmick battles with no real rhyme or reason were featured here.
There was also not one singles match on this show. Discounting the "cat fight," not a single feud was one on one. That is almost absurd to me.
With many naming this year the best ever in WWE history, it sure doesn't look like it here. From 2000-2011, this may be the worst Mania. Before 2000, that is anybody's guess.
Again, I am as positive as they come in life. This show just didn't do it for me. I am sorry, but it is just my opinion...
The main event was Triple H defending his WWE Championship against Mick Foley, The Rock, and Big Show in a fatal four way elimination match with a "McMahon in Every Corner."
Triple H had Stephanie, Big Show had Shane, Rock had Vince, and Foley had Linda McMahon. Yes, it was destined to be a tainted finish from the beginning. We all knew it was coming somehow.
Not only was Mick Foley's "retirement" a few weeks earlier thrown in the trash, but he acted like a heel in most of this match. That was just ridiculous to see, only for him to turn again minutes later.
Big Show was eliminated first in only a few minutes. Thus, why was he even there? For Shane?
Finally, the ending was not what the world wanted to see. I don't care about being "predictable," "boring," or whatever else you want to use to describe certain events. It isn't a bad thing to be logical.
Batman will beat the enemy in the end. Super Mario will save the Princess. Those are the same conclusions each time, yet they make billions of dollars every release. As long as the story is well told, keeping things simple is the right way to go.
Vince helping Triple H retain over The Rock was "shocking," but not in a good way. It was just simply a way to delay the inevitable title change, and it perfectly summed up a very lackluster WrestleMania.
Just a few weeks later, WWE gave us the correct finish. The Rock beat Triple H for the WWE Title.
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