Welcome dudes and dudettes to another radical, new edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more dated than your mother’s leather jacket and your father’s love of Status Quo: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews. Times change and with time, people change. Vince Mcmahon is many things, a wrestling promoter, an entrepreneur, a workaholic, a freak of nature, I could go on and on about the many things that the man is but I am focusing on one in particular today and that is his intelligence. Now, I know what you are thinking but trust me, I am not here to rag on about Vince Mcmahon and whether he is a genius or not, I am talking about his intelligence and changing idea towards what Wrestlemania should be for business. You see, I am reviewing Wrestlemania 18 tonight and Wrestlemania 18 marks a change for Wrestlemanias as nostalgia plays a major role in the show as Hulk Hogan is back for his first Wrestlemania in nine years. Vince was using nostalgia as a vehicle for the fans’ interest and it is a trend which would continue with the return of Shawn Michaels at Summerslam in the same year but think of the countless others who were brought out to sell major pay per views. The Rock, Batista, Brock Lesnar and more recently, Goldberg returned to boost ratings and increase pay per views buys. In my opinion, you can see Wrestlemania 18 as the starting point of Vince’s new trend and what a show it was for Hogan.
So, I am here to take you through Wrestlemania 18, the big stories on this night of professional wrestling are as follows: The NWO were brought into the WWF by Vince to destroy his own creation as Mcmahon was dissatisfied with Ric Flair as co-owner of the WWF. The New World Order targeted Austin and Rock so we have Scott Hall vs Austin and Rock vs Hogan on tonight’s card. The Undisputed Championship will also be defended in the main event as Chris Jericho defends against Triple H who returned and won The Royal Rumble. You will remember last time, Angle won the right to face Jericho at Mania but as you can see, that has somehow changed and I hope to find out the reason when it comes to the main event. Regardless, Triple H’s divorced wife Stephanie has vowed revenge on Triple H and aligned herself with Jericho in a bid to thwart Triple H’s ambitions. It is Wrestlemania baby, our superbowl, our Wimbledon and our Champions League Final, this is going to be great or is it? Read on!
The show opens with Saliva performing the theme for Wrestlemania, the vocalist seems to be struggling hitting any of the low notes but he gets through it in the end, I am not big on this type of performances. I like when themes of the wrestlers are performed live but the show theme, I think I can pass on hearing the likes of Saliva and Limp Bizkit (My angst-filled youth is far behind me thanks very much!). The real promo package begins with everyone talking about the legacy of Wrestlemania and how important the event is and it gets to me. WWF/WWE know how to do it when they need to and it is a tremendous promo.
(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) RVD vs William Regal ©
I cannot think of a better person to open up Wrestlemania that Rob Van Dam, the man has been such a fresh addition to the roster and everyone loves the guy. Regal was enjoying a great run being Intercontinental Champion and engaging in a very entertaining feud with Edge. The feud with Edge had ended and now Regal moves onto Van Dam. RVD kicks the head off Regal and pummels the southpaw Regal. Irish whip by RVD, Regal reaches for the knucks early in the match, the referee pulls back RVD. Regal winds up for a punch but RVD kicks away the knucks, thrust kick by RVD. RVD misses The Five Star Frog Splash early, high knee by Regal. Two count for Regal, uppercut by the champion, crossbody by RVD, backslide for a two count. Regal regains control with a legsweep and punches to the back of the head of RVD. Suplex by Regal for a two count, RVD unloads on Regal until Regal reverses an Irish whip into The Regal Cutter.
Two count for Regal, RVD powers out of a submission hold, thrust kick by RVD, RVD looks for The Rolling Thunder but Regal counters with his knees. Beautiful tigerbomb by Regal, two count for the champion. Regal attempts The Regal Stretch but RVD counters into a small package and it is two for RVD. RVD blocks a tigerbomb, dropkick in the corner. Monkey flip by RVD, Regal catches the leg of RVD and Regal drops RVD on his head with a half-nelson plex. RVD rolls to the floor and looks hurt, Regal finds his knuckles from the ringside area. The referee takes the knuckles but Regal has another pair, RVD nails a spinning heel kick and nails The Five Star Frog Splash and we have a winner and new champion. Fun opening match, RVD did all his signature spots while Regal was the heel everyone hated and RVD gets the win in a fun little match.
Winner: RVD over Regal via Five Star Frog Splash!
Christian had been taken under the wing of DDP in a bid to improve Christian’s potential in the ring, DDP was so happy with Christian but Christian would turn on DDP and lay out his mentor. Christian’s imitation of DDP’s smile is beautiful and you people deserve to see it!
(WWF European Championship Match) Christian vs DDP ©
DDP’s only Wrestlemania match and it comes in the form of a European Championship defence against his former protégé Christian. Page’s WWF run was awful but I would like to consider this a bright spot in a dark time for DDP. Christian jumps DDP as the match starts, DDP begins hammering Christian, huge gutwrench gutbuster by Page. Cactus Jack clothesline to the floor by DDP, DDP smacks Christian all around the ring before Christian drops DDP with a low blow to gain control in the match. Rope-hung suplex by Christian and Christian follows it up by shoving Page to the floor and into the barricade. Christian stomps DDP in the corner, DDP tees off on Christian and tries to send Christian groin first into the ringpost but DDP was posturing a little too long and Christian uses his legs to pull DDP into the post. Huge abdominal stretch by Christian on DDP, backbreaker by Christian brings a two.
Christian climbs to the top rope, DDP crotches Christian and throws Christian to the canvas, discuss clothesline by DDP. Spiral Bomb by DDP, cover and a two count! Christian counters a back drop, Unprettier is blocked. Running Diamond Cutter is blocked and Christian nails a reverse falling DDT. Two count for the challenger, small package by DDP. Two count, Christian misses a punch and DDP drops Christian with The Diamond Cutter! Average match, nothing really special about this contest. Afterwards, DDP mocks Christian for losing in front of his fellow Canadians. Christian has a temper tantrum while DDP leaves triumphantly.
Winner: DDP over Christian via Diamond Cutter!
In a moment I will never forget, you can hear boos for The Rock at the start of this promo. The People’s Champion booed due to Toronto’s love of Hulk Hogan. The Rock being booed as a face was unheard of for me at the time so this was bizarre. Rock verbally abuses Coach and tells Coach to say his prayers, Coach talks to God and hilarity ensues as always when these two come in contact with one another. Rock kills it with this promo by putting over the match and Hogan.
(WWF Hardcore Championship Match) Goldust vs Maven ©
Tough Enough’s Maven makes it on to Wrestlemania as The Rock helped Maven win the championship from Undertaker and Maven has held on to Wrestlemania. Goldust begins the match by ramming Maven into the barricade and dropping an elbow on the rookie. Trash can to the back of the head by Goldust, Goldust looked to catapult Maven into a trash can but Maven missed the can completely so Maven throws a can at Goldust and smacks Goldust with a dropkick. Match gets back on track after a neckbreaker and a suplex by Goldust, Goldust now has a golden shovel to add to his collection of gold weaponry. Maven survives another trash can shot, Maven and Goldust smack one another at the same time with a trash can lid. Spike Dudley runs down to the ring and pins Maven. Crash Holly appears to chase Spike!
In the middle of this, Drowning Pool are on stage telling me the story of Triple H vs Jericho & Stephanie. Drowning Pool had been used over and over by the WWF since Summerslam. For the second time in the night, the vocalist of a major group is struggling to hit his notes. This feel uncomfortable and awkward, I might finally see some sense in why The Superbowl has pop acts to play at half-time as opposed to Metallica or Megadeth. They might be two edgy for the audience (I joke, I joke but trust me watch this back and you will feel awkward at the very least). Give me my three minutes back!
Anyways, Crash and Spike are murdering on another by a pile of boxes before Al Snow tries to win the title by crashing through the pile of boxes. Spike thwarts Crash before The Hurricane flies in off a rope and kicks Spike in the face to win the championship. Snow emerges from the boxes and asks where is the champion. That was trash but it made me laugh,hmmmm…. Trash is still trash.
Winner: Hurricane over Spike via Flying Kick!
Kurt Angle vs Kane
As I mentioned previously, Kurt Angle had defeated Triple H at No Way Out to become the number one contender to Jericho’s Undisputed Championship. However, it is Wrestlemania and Angle is facing Kane? Moving on, Angle smacks Kane with a ringbell to start us off, right hands by The Olympian. Kane starts swinging for Angle, Angle dodges a punch and German suplexes Kane. Angle stomped on the head of Kane before Kane decided it was time to decimate Angle. Huge back elbow and a throat toss by The Big Red Machine, Kane attempts The Chokeslam but Angle grabs the ropes. Kane breaks the hold and clotheslines Angle, Kane misses a corner clothesline and Angle nails a belly to belly suplex by Angle. Clothesline by The Olympic Hero, Angle drops Kane with a massive back suplex. Cover and a two count for Angle, Angle grabs a front chancery and wrenches the neck of the massive Kane.
Kane shoves off Angle, sidewalk slam by Kane. Angle slips out of a suplex and German suplexes Kane three times. Kane kicks out at two, Angle climbs to the top rope and nails Kane’s own diving clothesline. Angle is so happy with himself, Angle tries the move again. Kane clotheslines Angle as Angle falls to the mat, slugfest begins with Kane being the victor. Angle drops a knee on Kane but Kane drills Angle with a big boot, back body drop and a corner clothesline. Powerslam by Kane for a two count, Kane Chokeslams Angle and Angle avoids being pinned by putting his hand on the ropes. Kane signals for the end of the match.
Kane lifts up Angle but Angle rips at the mask and nails The Angle Slam but Kane kicks out, Angle pulls down the straps for an Ankle Lock. Kane pushes off Angle, Angle locks in back in, Kane crawls and makes it to the ropes and drills Angle with an enzuigiri. Kane climbs to the top rope but Angle runs up to the top rope and belly to belly suplexes Kane to the canvas. Great stuff so far, Angle looks for The Angle Slam but Kane counters for A Chokeslam. Angle rolls through the Chokeslam for a victory roll and Angle steals the win with his hands on the ropes.
The ending is heavily edited on The Network but it was a good match between the two, the ending does hurt the overall package though. Angle was a machine, have I said that before? Of course, I say it every time that Kurt Angle is in the ring, why? Well, Angle keeps coming for you and Angle is never blown up, Angle produces good to great matches and bad matches do not happen to him, he must think that bad matches are an illness bestowed on the less fortunate. This match is hard-hitting and entertaining, the best match on the card so far.
Winner: Kurt Angle over Kane via Victory Roll!
Undertaker vs Ric Flair
The feud between these two began with Ric Flair screwing Undertaker in his match against The Rock at No Way Out, Ric Flair would distract Undertaker long enough to allow The Rock to recover and drop The Deadman with a huge Rock Bottom. Undertaker would coax Flair into the match by assaulting Arn Anderson and Flair’s son David. Flair decided enough is enough and the match was set for Wrestlemania. Vince was given all the power in the WWF due to Flair’s actions as a co-owner and the match is set to be a no disqualification match. The feud was short, spanning over a month but it sucks you in with its simple story.
Flair comes to the ring with a look that would kill a weaker man, Flair runs in and starts slapping around The Deadman. Taker takes over on the floor but Flair dives on Taker and they are over the announce table. Over and over, Flair wallops Big Evil, straight rights from The Nature Boy. Taker rolls into the ring but Flair will not stop punishing The American Badass. Flair attempts a double axe handle from the apron but Taker catches Flair and slams The Nature Boy into the ringpost. Flair is bounced into the steel steps, Taker takes over with a thumb to the eyes, big punches and elbows by Taker. Flair turnbuckle flip and huge boot by Taker which sends Flair tumbling. Taker places Flair on the chair and starts destroying The Nature Boy. Flair is a bloody mess, getting colour the way only Flair can.
Taker drags Flair to the apron and drops Flair with a hard right, boot to the face by Undertaker. Flair chops Taker but Taker fires back reversing an Irish whip and scoring with a corner clothesline. Another Irish whip and a clothesline by Taker, Flair is propped on the top turnbuckle. Taker headbutts Flair and measures for a suplex. Top rope superplex, Flair is dragged off the mat by Taker, Taker wants to make Flair suffer. Taker drops forearms to the face of Flair, cover and Flair is pulled up by Taker for a second time. Flair eats more rights from the evil, sadistic Deadman. Flair fights from underneath, chops but Taker unloads a combination which would make Mike Tyson jealous. Taker signals for Old School, Taker took too long though. Flair yanks Taker off the top rope, chops by Flair but Taker counters with a sidewalk slam. Flair manages to chop Taker to the floor. Flair rakes the face of Taker and Flair has the lead pipe.
Wham! Flair brutalizes Taker with a barrage of lead pipe shots, Taker tackles Flair to stop the beating, Flair is rammed into the guard rail. Flair has Taker on his knees and Flair hammers Taker with right hands. Flair walks into the grip of Taker, Taker looking for The Chokeslam but Flair low blows The Deadman. Figure four by Flair, Undertaker sits up out of the hold and grabs the throat of Flair. Chokeslam by Taker who cannot capitalize right away, Taker crawls for the cover and gets a two count. Taker knocks down the referee and goes for his lead pipe. Flair stomps the leg and chops Undertaker before Irish whipping Taker and Arn Anderson runs in and drops Taker with a spinebuster. Flair goes for the cover but Taker kicks out of the spinebuster. Taker destroys Anderson, busting open the legend and applying his dragon like sleeper hold. Flair saves Arn with several chair shots but Taker is too strong for Flair and kicks the chair into Flair’s face. Taker signals for The Last Ride, Flair cannot get up for the move so Taker drops Flair with The Tombstone for the win.
Great match, the story was plain and simple, Flair was no match for Taker but Flair give everything in that match, Flair had to fight for his family and his friend Anderson but it was not enough as Taker was too strong for the veteran Flair. A dominating performance from Undertaker who with his heel turn, seemed like a real threat for the first time in quite a while. Taker looked like an absolute menace in this match, brutal and sadistic, a true heel. Flair is Flair, tremendous when it is time to perform and very believable in his role on this night.
Winner: Undertaker over Flair via Tombstone!
Booker T vs Edge
A match over a Japanese Shampoo commercial, I could stop the review of this match there but that would not be fulfilling my journalistic duties and that, I cannot allow. Lock up and Booker pushes back Edge, slugfest with Edge beating Booker to the punch. Shoulder block by Booker, dropkick by Edge. Edge nails his facebuster and looks for the cover, two count for Edge. Hotshot by Booker T and a spinkick for good measure, two count for Booker. Clothesline to the floor by Booker, missile dropkick by Booker. Booker tees off on Edge in the corner, Edge fires up but Booker nails a nasty spinebuster for a two count. Booker goes to the top rope and Edge crotches Booker, botched hurricanrana from Edge. Spinning heel kick by Edge, series of clotheslines before Booker knees Edge.
Booker attempts The Scissors Kick but Edge turns the move into an Edge O Matic, two count for Edge, Edge Irish whips Booker who counters into a roll-up, Edge reverses for a catapult. Edge misses a Spear and Booker scores with a thrust kick and Booker Spinaroonies at Wrestlemania. Scissors Kick and a two for Booker T, Edge blocks The Book-End, Spear by Edge and Booker T kicks out of The Spear. Edge scores with an Edgearoonie, Edgecution on Booker and it is all over. Quick match with not much to it, was find and it was just there, can’t say a whole lot more.
Winner: Edge over Booker T via Edgecution!
The Hurricane/Mighty Molly Promo
Hurricane had won The Hardcore Championship earlier in the night and fell victim to a frying pan attack from his sidekick Molly which leads to Molly winning the championship.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Scott Hall
The NWO would cost Austin the Undisputed Championship at No Way Out, the match was set for Scott Hall to face Austin at Wrestlemania. The NWO had come into the WWF which a lot of buzz but to have Austin not face Hogan was a disappointment for a lot of fans. That being said, to see Austin face off against Scott Hall was exciting and had potential to be a memorable match. Austin jumps right on Hall, Hall has brought Nash with him to ringside. Austin chops Hall before Hall rakes the eyes. Hall tees off before Austin nails The Lou Thesz Press. Austin rams Hall into the turnbuckle multiple times, Hall powders to the floor and Austin rams into Nash. Austin eats a boot from Hall and a nasty clothesline. Nash exposes the top turnbuckle while Hall chops Austin, Austin reverses Hall until Hall sends Austin flying into the exposed turnbuckle.
Nash pummels Austin on the floor, Hall catches Austin with a series of corner clotheslines. Fallaway slam by Hall for a two count, Hall chokes Austin using his leg with Nash nailing Austin with a cheap shot. Spinebuster by Austin, Hall is the quicker of the two though. Hall executes some vicious rights before Austin nails a Stunner out of nowhere, Nash drags out and lays out the referee. Nash is in the ring and knocks down Austin. Hall goes to the floor for a chair, Austin fights off Nash and Hall, Stunners for both men. Austin covers but there is no referee, a new referee slides down and counts to two before Nash kills that referee with an elbow. Hall looks for The Outsider’s Edge but Austin elevates Hall to the floor. Nash is escorted to the back by a league of referees, Austin goes after Hall. Austin is rammed into the exposed turnbuckle, Stunner by Hall and the referee slides into the ring. 1…2.. Austin kicks out, Hall is sent into the exposed turnbuckle.
Two Stunners by Austin and the match is over! That was an average match from these two big stars, I and a lot of people would have expected more for Wrestlemania but knowing the backstory of this match and the struggles that both men were having at the time such as Austin’s career winding down and Hall’s alcohol issues, I feel they did the best they could under the circumstances. Not a great or memorable affair but it is what it is.
Winner: Austin over Hall via Stunner!
(WWF Tag Team Championship Match Four Corner Elimination Match) The APA vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Hardu Boyz vs Billy & Chuck ©
The amount of times I have seen a variation of this match involving the likes of The Dudley Boyz and The Hardys Boyz is staggering, it seems every three pay per views or so, these teams end up in an elimination type match but I guess I will not be seeing anymore as the brand split is on the horizon. Saliva perform The Dudley Boyz Theme as I am reminded of playing Forceable Entry on my father’s Walkman. Times have certainly changed since 2002.
The match begins with Bradshaw roughing up Chuck, Chuck is saved from a fallaway away slam by Billy but Billy is killed with a fallaway slam. Bradshaw chops and chops Chuck until delivering a nasty back suplex. Tag to Faarooq, Irish whip and a clothesline from Chuck. Tag to Billy who pisses off Bradshaw, Faarooq is double teamed by the champions. Billy looks for The FameAsser but Faarooq counters with a powerslam. Tag to Bradshaw, DDT to Chuck. Billy tags D-Von and D-Von is drilled by Bradshaw, the APA are dominating both heels teams. Faarooq spinebusters Chuck on the floor, Bradshaw kills Billy with a Clothesline From Hell but The Dudleys are legal which results in a 3D and Bradshaw’s elimination.
APA have been eliminated via 3D!
The Hardys come in and annihilate The Dudleys and Billy & Chuck, Jeff has Bubba in the ring, Whisper in The Wind. Jeff strips and Stacy is on the apron, Stacy shows her fabulous ass and is smacked and kissed by Jeff. Jeff is on Bubba’s shoulders, doomsday device by Billy and Bubba. Bubba nails The Bubba Bomb on Billy, Bubba chokes Jeff with the remnants of his shirt. Bubba chops poor Jeff and it looks like it sucks, clubbing blows by Bubba. Jeff blocks Bubba with his feet but D-Von takes down Jeff. D-Von receives the tag and begins smacking Jeff like a red-headed stepchild. Suplex by D-Von, tag to Bubba. Jeff is in the tree of woe, Bubba stomps on Jeff’s babymakers and Matt saves his brother by bundling Bubba to the floor.
D-Von stops Matt from receiving the tag with a cheap shot, back elbow by D-Von. Jeff counters Saving Grace into a neckbreaker, Matt gets the tag. Clotheslines and DDT by Matt, Matt nails Billy & Chuck too. Bubba drops Matt with a back suplex but Bubba misses a senton from the second rope. Matt drops Bubba with a leg drop, Bubba and D-Von look for What’s Up but Billy shoves D-Von through a table and Matt Twist of Fates Bubba while Jeff nails a Swanton, The Dudleys are gone!
The Dudley Boyz have been eliminated via Swanton Bomb!
Matt drops an incoming Billy with a side effect, poetry in motion connects on Billy and Chuck. Twist of Fate on Chuck, Jeff nails a Swanton but Billy nails a FameAsser. Matt takes out Billy but Chuck crawls for the cover and Jeff kicks out of The FameAsser. Billy grabs the tag team championship and smacks Jeff, Chuck distracts the referee and Chuck pins Jeff after the belt shot.
Not a great match, crowd was dead throughout. I did like the time between the eliminations, nothing annoys me more than an elimination match that goes about ten minutes without any eliminations and everything happens within the space of a minute. Action was fine, everyone played their part but it was nothing to write home about. Oh and here is what you all came for.....
Winners: Billy & Chuck over The Hardys via Shenanigans!
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs The Rock
Wrestling’s past against wrestling future, Hogan vs The Rock. The promo says it all, Hogan came back to the WWF and The Rock wanted that dream match with Hogan. It was on, Hogan roughed up what he saw as a disrespectful punk in The Rock and The Rock was the hero showing that Hogan was nothing more than a punk like everyone in The NWO. Hogan ran over Rock with an 18-wheeler when The Rock was in an ambulance, looking back on it, it looks so over the top but damn it, it was the match we thought we would never see, Hogan vs The Rock.
The NWO music hits and it is magical, Hulk Hogan is back in the WWF brother and it is not a chorus of boos, oh no it is 1987 all over again and every person in that audience is taking their vitamins and saying their prayers. As someone who did not grow up on Hogan, it does not have the spine-tinkling effect that it may have on many fans looking back on this moment but I can appreciate how much of a big deal this and enjoy the moment nonetheless. Hogan rips his shirt and the crowd goes mental. Hogan seems genuinely touched by the reaction and it warms my heart.
The bell rings and we have a lot of Rock chants but there are more Hogan chants than anyone could have anticipated. They talk trash and stare a whole through one another while looking at the fans and the place is going bananas by this point, they have not even touched and the crowd wants to explode. The lock up and Hogan shoves down The Rock and poses, crowd creams itself. Just Bring It from Hogan, second lock up and a side headlock by Hogan, shoulder block and more posing by Hogan, crowd creams itself for the second time. Third lock up and a knee by Hogan, clubbing blows by Hogan. Hogan tees off on Rock, axe bomber by Hogan. Leaping clothesline from Rock and Hogan is told to bring it, Hogan looks at Rock as if he saw a ghost. Shoving contest between the two, right hands by The Rock. Hogan powders to the floor, the crowd is not happy with Rock. Rock clubs Hogan on the floor and we reset in the ring.
Clothesline by Rock who measures for a Rock Bottom, Hogan blocks and starts pummelling Rock. Elbow to the head of Rock, elbow drop, make it two before Hogan steps on Rock’s face. Corner clothesline by Hogan, Hogan attempts an Irish whip but Rock tackles Hogan. Rock has control before Hogan drills Rock with a back suplex, two count for Hogan. Abdominal stretch by Hogan, roll-up for a two count. Back rake by Hogan, right hands and chops by Hogan. Ten punches in the corner by Hogan, Hogan bites the head of The Rock for good measure. Rock turns the tables and begins chopping Hogan, Chokeslam by Hogan out of nowhere. Hogan chokes The Rock with his wrist tape. Rock fires up but Hogan sidesteps Rock to the floor. Rock and Hogan trade blows by the announce table. Rock tried using the chair but it is Hogan knocking down Rock with a clothesline.
The referee is down, Rock spinebusters Hogan in desperation but Hogan is on his feet first, Rock takes down Hogan and applies the sharpshooter. Hogan taps out in the middle of the ring but there is no referee. Rock tries reviving the referee, Hogan low blows Rock and drops Rock with a Rock Bottom. Cover and the referee crawls over, 1…2.. ROCK KICKS OUT! Hogan takes off the belt and decides its whipping time, Rock is lashed over and over with the belt. Rock DDTs Hogan when Hogan gets cocky, Rock grabs the belt and decides to whip Hogan like a dog. Rock Bottom and 1..2… Hogan is hulking up and the crowd creams itself for the third time. Hogan lays in the punches, the big boot and the leg drop. Cover, 1…2.. Rock powers out at two and Hogan is dumbstruck! Incredible, Rock blocks a second leg drop!
Rock coils and nails The Rock Bottom, Rock is not satisfied and delivers another Rock Bottom. Kip-up and People’s Elbow. 1..2…3 Rock had beaten Hogan. An all-time classic and you cannot say it does not deserve it, Rock worked this match to perfection. Rock sold great for Hogan, Rock reacted with his facials and body language to the crowd who were responding more to Hogan. The cut-offs were great, the spots, Hogan’s hulk up and the series of Rock Bottoms. It was incredible and it overshadowed everything on this show. If you take only one thing from this review, let it be that you must see this match. The story was great and it is capped off with Hogan saying Rock was the better man and the two huge stars shaking hands. I cannot heap enough praise on this match, it over-achieved, it was phenomenal and I would gladly watching again and again. A classis, grade A match!
After the match, Hall and Nash beta up Hogan for his failure to beat The Rock, The Rock comes to save Hogan and everyone in the world is as happy as a child on Christmas as it looks like The Old Hogan was back, cue more posing and the fans creaming themselves for the fourth time alone for this match.
Winner: The Rock over Hulk Hogan via Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow!
(WWF Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus vs Lita vs Jazz ©
The last time we saw Jazz and Trish was at The Rumble where Trish beat Jazz in a clean win which I thought was a foolish decision and it seems the WWF realized their mistake by having the title on Jazz at this pay per view and portraying the former ECW star as a monster in the division. Lita comes to the ring as popular as ever, shame injuries messed up the number of reigns she could have had with the championship. Trish comes to the ring wearing Canadian colours and Lita jumps Jazz without Trish. Trish and Lita decide to take down Jazz, chops and right hands to the monster Jazz. Jazz beats down both women like Raditz vs Goku and Piccolo in DBZ.
Jazz chickenwings Lita and nails a massive leg drop, two count for the champion. Double underhook suplex by Jazz on Lita, Trish is knocked to the floor with a thrust kick by Jazz. Lita nails a headscissors on Jazz, back suplex and pin by Lita for a two count. Jazz rakes the eyes of Lita and hotshots Lita, Jazz measures for a superplex, we have a Trish and Jazz brawling. Trish rolls-ups Jazz for two, Lita nails a crossbody on Trish for a two count. Running bulldog by Trish on Lita, Jazz splashes Lita for a two count. Jazz drops Trish with a Fisherman suplex, Lita saves Trish. Jazz continues wiping the floor with both women. Trish reverses a suplex from Jazz into a reverse DDT, Lita and Trish slug it out. Lita wins the war, back drop by Lita and a Twist of Fate is hit on Jazz. Lita wipes out both women and attempts a Litasault, Trish blocks with her knees.
Trish chops Lita in the corner, head collision between the two women, Jazz mows down Trish and Lita elevates Jazz to the floor. Trish is shoved into the ringpost by Lita and falls to the floor, Lita is on the top rope. Jazz takes advantage, massive Fisherman Suplex by Jazz from the second rope and Jazz is your winner. It may not have been fantastic but as far as women matches went in the WWF at the time, this was great. Trish was slowly finding her feet as the top babyface of the division, Jazz is such a great heel in the sense that she is a bit beefier than the other women, looks like she will kill you and bullies the likes of Lita and Trish. It was fun, quick-paced, some bits were sloppy but things were looking good for women’s wrestling in the WWF.
Winner: Jazz over Everyone Else via Fisherman Buster!
Christian had won the hardcore championship by defeating Mighty Molly after slamming a door in her face, Christian was celebrating and preparing to enter a taxi before Maven sneaks up and rolls-up Christian to reclaim his championship. That was pretty funny, Christian as a whiny bitch always makes me smile.
(WWF Undisputed Championship Match) Triple H vs Chris Jericho © W/ Stephanie Mcmahon
Triple H ‘s redemption was almost complete, standing in his way was his former wife and Chris Jericho. Drowning Pool play The Game to the ring and it is clear they are no Motorhead. Anyways, Triple H returned and won the Royal Rumble, Jericho teamed up with Stephanie after Triple H’s divorce to the billion-dollar princess. In the lead up to the match, Jericho attacked Triple H’s repaired quad. Jericho and Stephanie look so unnatural with one another, it’s as if you mixed your favourite takeaway with a glass of monkey piss, it is wrong on so many levels and you do not want that!
Triple H looks like he was chiselled by the gods, lock up and Jericho shoots for the leg, Triple H looks concerned at his leg and tries to warn off Jericho. Back body drop by Triple H, short-arm clothesline by The Game. Jericho chops Triple H but Triple H drills Jericho with a high knee. Triple H feels his knee and Jericho elevates Triple H to the floor. Triple H suplexes Jericho on the floor, Jericho goes after the leg of Triple H. Chop block by Jericho but Triple H shoots up and goes after Jericho’s leg. Shin breaker by Triple H, figure four by Triple H but Stephanie digs her finger nails into the challenger’s eyes. Triple H pulls Stephanie to the apron, Jericho spears Stephanie by mistake. Triple H looks to Pedigree Stephanie but Jericho makes the save with a missile dropkick. Jericho goes to work on the knee of The Game, Stephanie picks her spots and kicks the leg of the challenger. More elbows to the knee by Jericho.
Stephanie slaps Triple H while Jericho applies a ringpost figure four, Triple H fights from his knees but Jericho goes to the knee and applies a muta lock. Triple H battles back with a big knockdown, Jericho kicks out at two. Facebuster by Triple H, one-armed spinebuster by The Game. Another spinebuster for good measure, two count for the challenger. Jericho reverses and Irish whip and The Game sails over the top rope. Jericho has Triple H on the announce table and attempts a Walls of Jericho, the same move that was done to Triple H when he tore his quad. Triple H battles back and looks for a Pedigree but Jericho elevates Triple H through the Spanish announce table. Lionsault by Y2J, cover and a two count. In the ring, Triple H looks for a Pedigree but Jericho hammers the knee and applies The Walls of Jericho.
Triple H powers his way to the ropes, Jericho breaks the hold. Stephanie is on the apron and Jericho has the steel chair, Triple H blocks with a boot. DDT on the chair by Triple H, Jericho survives by escaping at two and a half. Stephanie is in the ring, referee Earl Hebnar takes the chair from Stephanie and Triple H decides to Pedigree that ungrateful jezebel. Jericho uses the chair to clock Triple H, cover and it is two! Jericho goes for The Pedigree, Triple H blocks for a catapult. Jericho lands on the second rope and dives but Triple H catches Jericho with the boot and Pedigrees Jericho into oblivion for the win.
Poor Triple H as his main event as Wrestlemania is overshadowed by Rock and Hogan, the crowd had peaked during that match but they did their best to rally the fans for this match. Not a fan of the storyline with Jericho being a sidepiece to the bigger picture of Triple H and Stephanie. Match had a good story, Jericho worked the leg throughout the match and Triple H sold well clutching and holding the leg after every move. It was good but certainly not Rock vs Hogan and that hurt the match on this night.
Winner: Triple H over Jericho via Pedigree!
Wrestlemania X8 is a tough rate, it is sandwiched between two great Wrestlemanis in Wrestlemania 17 and 19 and there are no bad matches on this card but the matches did not feel as breath-taking or as exciting as they should have been. Rock vs Hogan and Undertaker vs Flair are two great matches with a lot of heat and reaction from the crowd. There were a lot of matches that were very short so you did not have much time to get invested in and truly appreciate, you also had matches that were just not what you expected like Austin making Hall and Nash look like geeks and Jericho being demoted as opposed to elevated by his feud with Triple H. On a sidenote, I think Angle deserved a bigger match due to his work throughout 2001! Honestly, it is a good show and might be in the conversation for underrated shows but Wrestlemania X8 was just not exactly what the doctor ordered, it was good in small doses and had moments and they made up for the moments which were not as special.