Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only internet wrestling review series with lower viewership than 205 Live. Wrestlemania XX, where it all begins again. On this night, we will see what could be the crowning achievement in Chris Benoit’s career as he challenges Triple H and Shawn Michaels for The World Heavyweight Championship. Kurt Angle had turned heel and is gunning for The WWE Championship held by Latino Heat Eddie Guerrero. We also have a stacked car featuring Chris Jericho vs Christian, Rock “N” Sock Connection vs Evolution and the first Wrestlemania appearance of one John Cena. It’s WWE’s biggest show of the year, it gets no better than this, it’s Wrestlemania and let’s do this!
Twenty years of history are shown while every wrestler on the roster speaks about Wrestlemania. It is fantastic in its simplicity, just epic stuff. The narrator fills us in on this spectacular event, highlights of all the big matches. We also have Vince holding one of his grandchildren, I assume it is Shane’s child. Nice moment, we are in Madison Square Garden, the spiritual home of The WWE.
(WWE United States Championship Match) John Cena vs The Big Show ©
That poor championship had not been defended on pay per view since No Mercy, Show had been a thorn in Cena’s side since Smackdown’s new rising star had turned face. Cena had beaten Show in the Survivor Series match while Show had thrown Cena out of The Royal Rumble. In many ways, this was the rubber match and a stepping stone for Cena, Cena needs a home-run.
Face-off, lock-up with Show shoving back Cena. Show corners Cena, Cena dodges a right hand and pummels Show before Show knees Cena and tosses Cena to the floor. Knee to the head by Show, Cena climbs to the apron and hotshots Show. Cena tries a crossbody, Show catches Cena and plants the challenger for two. Club across the back by Show, Show chokes Cena using the ropes. Chest slap by Show, Cena fires up before Show clotheslines The Doctor of Thuganomics. Cena is on the defensive, Show looks down at this prey. Scoop slam by Show, foot choke by Show. Headbutt by Show, more chest slaps by Show.
Show steps on Cena’s back, Cena fires up but Show cuts off the challenger with a boot. Leg drop across the chest by Show for two, Show tries a slam but Cena counters for a sleeper. Show shakes off Cena, short-arm clothesline by Show. Cobra clutch by Show, Cena wriggles free to be slammed to the canvas. Cobra clutch is applied again, Cena breaks free to throw bombs at Show. Show misses a corner splash, FU by Cena and Show kicks out! Cena picks up his chain, the referee is distracted by Cena throwing the chain away, Cena picks up the brass knuckles and clock Show before nailing Show with The FU for the win.
What an odd match, it was like an extended squash for Show up until the last few moments. The crowd was big into Cena but not the match, Show’s heat segment was more than plodding and dull while Cena was not as well rounded as he would be today which is understandable, Cena had not been in the company for even three years yet. Show kicking out of The FU was strange too, thought it was unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, save it for a big match or angle, you could have done the finish without having Show kick out of The FU.
Winner: John Cena over The Big Show via FU!
Eric Bischoff/Evolution Promo
Bischoff wants The Coach to find Undertaker, no idea why as Undertaker is on Smackdown but we get a cameo from Jonny Nitro. Orton cuts a promo, talking about Mick Foley and that Foley has not got the guts to face Orton. Flair and Batista look dapper in their suits.
(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) Booker T & Rob Van Dam © vs La Resistance vs The Dudley Boyz vs Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade
The champions do not have to be pinned, it is sudden death as the first pin-fall or submission ends the match. The match reeks of let’s get everyone on the card, no idea why RVD and Booker T are a team, both men deserved more but booking had slowed them tremendously. They also have their themes mixed together, it sucks so much. No reaction for Cade and Jindrak, that is a bummer.
RVD starts with Dupree, knees by Dupree. Shoulder thrusts by RVD, monkey flip by RVD. Tag to Booker, catapult into a superkick and a two for Booker, Dupree fires back before eating a forearm. Hiptoss to Grenier, Dupree tags Bubba. Lock-up, knee by Bubba. Bubba pummels Booker, neckbreaker for two. Bubba jabs Booker but Booker counters for a Harlem Sidekick, Cade distracts the referee and in comes D-Von with Saving Grace on Booker. RVD takes out D-Von with a diving thrust kick, Jindrak tags in off Bubba. Jindrak stomps Booker, shots to the back by Jindrak. Cade tags in, Booker fires up but Cade boots Booker in the face.
Dupree blind tags into the match, right hands by Dupree. Tag to Conway, snapmare and reverse chinlock by Conway. Back elbow by Conway for two, another resthold from Conway. Booker knees Conway, spinebuster by Booker. RVD is legal, kicks to everyone in sight. Step-through spinning heel kick to Dupree and Cade, shots to Bubba. Conway is floored, setting up a Five Star Frog Splash. D-Von pushes RVD to the floor, Booker and D-Von clear out the heels. The Dudleys measure Booker for a 3D, Cade knocks down Bubba. Conway has Booker, Scissors Kick by Booker and RVD lands The Five Star Frog Splash on Conway for the win.
Crowd seemed dead for this match and I cannot blame them. A lot of teams and they are all trying to get their stuff into the match and it does not work, nobody gets over, nobody looks good and I feel like I wasted my time watching this match.
Winners: RVD & Booker T over Everyone Else via Five Star Frog Splash!
Coach searches for Undertaker
Coach hears noises and finds Bobby Heenan and Mean Gene Okerlund covered in kisses and their clothes all messy, Coach wants to find out and Coach finds Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah. Quite a funny gag, Coach sells this brilliantly.
Christian vs Chris Jericho
This feud began over a bet for one Canadian Dollar. Jericho wanted Trish, Christian wanted Lita. However, Jericho developed feelings for Trish which led to jealousy and tension from Christian, Christian and Jericho were friends, the best of friends and tag team partners but Christian had enough. Christian would deck Trish in an intergender match, injuring the poor woman. Chris Jericho is out for revenge at Wrestlemania, this was quite a good storyline in terms of a romantic angle done WWE Style (There is something far worse around the corner involving Kane and Lita).
Stare-down, Jericho and Christian lock-up with Christian backing Jericho into the corner. Huge right from Jericho, knees to the ribs and a back elbow. Back suplex and stomps by Y2J, clothesline by Jericho. Christian sidesteps Jericho but Jericho lands on the apron, Jericho elevates Christian to the floor. Springboard plancha by Jericho, Christian is hurled into the barricade. Sunset flip by Christian is countered, Jericho rolls through for his submission hold. Christian reaches the ropes and thumbs Jericho in the eye, back suplex to the floor by Christian. Christian stomps all over Jericho, Christian chokes Jericho.
Jericho fires back with chops but Christian reverses with a knee to the ribs. Two for Christian, Christian rips at the face of Jericho. Jericho mounts a comeback before Christian pulls down Jericho by the hair. Christian jokes Jericho with his legs, snapmare into a reverse chinlock. Jericho tries for The Walls, Christian rakes the eyes and nails a spinning heel kick for two. Christian whips Jericho into the corner and the two bang heads, slugfest between the two. Forearm by Y2J, drop toehold by Jericho. Leg across the back and a huge enzuigiri for two, Christian is reeling. Rolling prawn hold by Jericho, Christian rolls through and grabs the ropes for a close two count.
Reverse DDT is countered by Jericho for a northern lights suplex, two for Jericho. Modified bulldog by Jericho, Lionsault is blocked by Christian’s knees. Jericho blocks The Unprettier, Jericho runs into a tornado reverse DDT out of the corner by Christian for two. Christian walks into the flashback neckbreaker by Jericho, backbreaker by Christian cuts off Jericho. Christian is on the top rope, Jericho crotches Christian. Top rope Superplex by Jericho is blocked, crossbody by Christian but Jericho rolls through for two. Right hands by Jericho in the corner, Christian goes to the leg of Jericho, Texas Cloverleaf by Christian, applying the pressure to the tweaked knee of Y2J.
Jericho wriggles free to apply The Walls of Jericho to Christian, Christian escapes by grabbing the ropes but Jericho does not break the hold. Christian lays on the outside, Jericho brings Christian to the top rope. Double underhook suplex by Jericho, two count for Jericho. Trish comes running to the ring, Trish cheers on Jericho. Slugfest, Christian drops Jericho with The Edgecution, two count for Christian. Christian has a confrontation with Trish, Trish is shoved to the floor. Jericho checks on Trish, Trish elbows Jericho and Christian rolls-up Jericho due to Trish’s interference. Trish slaps Jericho after the match and Christian drops Jericho with The Unprettier.
What a lovely match this turned out to be, there was a lot of little things I liked about this match. Jericho being a babyface for the first time since 2001, I always loved babyface Jericho, Christian’s antics like running away to begin the match and using Edge’s finishing move. And that swerve at the end, just pure gold. Nobody saw it coming, another layer to the story, a fresh heel in Trish and Christian picks up more momentum while we have more of a reason to cheer Jericho on in his pursuit of taking down Christian. It truly is an underrated gem, good wrestling, good psychology and a finish that leaves me wanting more.
Winner: Christian over Chris Jericho via Handful of Tights!
The Rock/Mick Foley Promo
The Rock cuts a promo like only he can, Rock pumps up the crowd and his partner Mick Foley for the match with Evolution. In typical Rock fashion, Rock kills it and shows that everyone is miles behind the man in terms of promo skills.
Evolution vs The Rock “N” Sock Connection
This feud goes back to September of 2003, Randy Orton proclaimed himself The Legend Killer and began taking out WWE legends. Legends like Jake Roberts, Fabulous Moolah and Shawn Michaels fell prey to Orton, Foley had been on the end of a beating from Orton. Orton berated, bullied and assaulted Foley but Foley would not retort, Orton pushed Foley too far one night and Foley came back with a vengeance and his friend The Rock. Now, Foley looks to punish Orton with the help of The People’s Champion.
Rock and Foley sprint to the ring, Rock wallops Orton and Batista. Flair is knocked down by Foley, Batista is pin-balled by Foley & Rock. Flair vs Rock to begin the match, side headlock and shoulder block by Rock who struts like The Nature Boy. Lock-up, chops by Flair. Right hands by Rock, back body drop. Flair powders, eye poke by Flair. Rock backdrops Flair on the floor, Cactus Jack elbow from the apron by Foley. Flair begs for mercy, tag to Orton. Orton is legal, tag to Foley. Orton powders, Foley pummels Orton on the floor. Elbow by Foley for two, Orton is placed in the tree of woe. Running elbow drop by Foley, tag to The Rock.
Clothesline by Rock, Irish whip by Orton and Flair cheap shots Rock before Batista lowbridges Rock. Batista drops Rock across the barricade, tag to Batista. Batista knees Rock in the corner, right hands by The Rock but Batista elbows Rock. Tag to Flair, chops by The Nature Boy, followed by a strut. Rock beheads Flair with a clothesline, Flair is yanked off the top rope. Tag to Batista, clubbing blows by Batista, shoulder thrusts from The Animal. Irish whip by Batista, Rock clotheslines out of the corner, tag to Foley. High knee to Batista, Batista counters the double arm DDT. Right hands by Foley, Batista clobbers Foley with a clothesline.
Foley is thrown to the floor, Flair chops Foley while Orton stomps The Hardcore Legend. Foley is whipped knees first into the steel steps, Orton stomps Foley in the corner. Uppercut by Orton, tag to Flair. A chop decks Foley, more strutting from Flair. Foley waffles Flair but holds onto Foley’s leg, preventing the tag. Orton is the legal man, reverse chinlock by Orton. Foley elbows Orton but Orton drags Foley to the mat. Tag to Batista, short-arm clotheslines by Batista for two. Batista clubs Foley on the ground, Foley applies The Mandible Claw.
Orton illegally enters booting Foley, Flair is legal. Eye poke by Flair, tag to Batista. Batista Irish whips Foley, Foley counters with a neckbreaker. Double clothesline before a tag to Flair, Foley back elbows Flair. Tag to Rock, flying forearm to Flair, DDT to Orton. Batista is dragged into the ring, Orton is knocked to the floor. Batista spinebusters Rock, Flair calls for The People’s Elbow on Rock. Rock kips-up and pummels Flair. DDT to Batista, spinebuster to Flair.
People’s Elbow to Flair, Rock goes to cover and Flair kicks out! Eye poke by Flair, tag to Orton. Rock blocks The RKO, Rock Bottom to Orton but Flair drags out Rock. Rock clotheslines Flair, Flair grabs a chair. Batista clotheslines Rock and delivers The Batista Bomb. Orton crawls for the cover 1…2. Rock kick out of The Batista Bomb. Tag to Foley, right hands to Evolution. Double Arm DDT to Orton, Mr. Socko is out but Orton counters The Mandible Claw for The RKO.
Another good match, Flair and Rock were on fire in terms of entertainment. Batista showed a bit of nerves with a few sloppy moments here and there but to see The Rock again in the ring, mixing it up with Evolution was great. I was happy to see that, I thought the crowd was a little quiet for the match, the wrestlers in the ring deserved more as they all did their best to make this match as entertaining as possible. Rock’s last match until Survivor Series 2011, a good way to go out putting over young talent like Batista and Randy Orton. The finish was great too, putting over The RKO with the tagline out of nowhere, good stuff all around from WWE.
Winners: Evolution over The Rock N Sock Connection via RKO!
Torrie Wilson & Sable vis Miss Jackie & Stacy Keibler (Playboy Lingerie Match)
Torrie Wilson & Sable were featured on the cover of Playboy, the other two girls were not featured on Playboy and were not happy about this so we have this match. Originally, everyone is in evening gowns but Sable prefers everyone in their underwear so every man in the audience is happy about this change to the match.
They take more time stripping before the match that the actual match. Miss Jackie is a spoiled sport and does not strip, the crowd boos Jackie for being sensible. Sable drags in Jackie and Jackie is stripped, Sable and Jackie begin the “match”. Sable throws Jackie across the ring, crossbody by Torrie for two. Jackie tags Stacy, cue the cartwheel spot. Stacy chokes Torrie with her long legs, sunset flip sexual spot. Spinning heel kick by Stacy for two, tag to Jackie. Spear by Torrie, roll over the referee spot. Slap by Jackie, Torrie rolls through for the win and spanks Jackie. Yeah mindless T&A, DUD.
Winners: Torrie Wilson and Sable over Stacy Keblier & Miss Jackie via Roll-Up!
Eddie Guerrero/Chris Benoit Promo
Eddie says he will be proud of Benoit either way, win or lose. Benoit is not happy, Benoit says shut your mouth Eddie and tells Eddie that Benoit will walk out with the championship.
(WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match) Chavo Guerrero © vs Rey Mysterio vs Shannon Moore vs Ultimo Dragon vs Funaki vs Jamie Noble vs Nunzio vs Tajiri vs Akio vs Billy Kidman
Another match where we are trying to fit everyone on the card, Ultimo Dragon and Shannon Moore begin the match. Hammerlock and side headlock by Shannon Moore, shoulder block for two. Dragon backslides Moore for two, back suplex by Moore for two. Dragon slides out of a back suplex, Moore misses a corkscrew splash and Dragon eliminates Moore with an Asai DDT.
Shannon Moore has been eliminated!
Noble is in, Noble jumps Dragon but Dragon kicks the crap out of Noble. Noble manages to counter a moonsault for a neckbreaker. Guillotine choke by Noble and Dragon taps out, Funaki enters the ring and tries a crossbody. Noble eliminates Funaki after reversing the crossbody.
Ultimo Dragon/Funaki have been eliminated!
Nunzio is in, missile dropkick by Nunzio for two. Noble hurls Nunzio to the floor, somersault senton by Noble to the floor. Noble and Nunzio fight on the outside and Nunzio is eliminated by count-out. Lame elimination right there.
Nunzio has been eliminated!
Springboard shooting star press by Kidman on Noble and Nunzio, Noble counters a powerbomb for a guillotine choke, Kidman counters with an enzuigiri. Kidman climbs to the top rope, Noble crotches Kidman. They fight atop the turnbuckle, tope rope Sky High by Kidman and Noble is gone.
Jamie Noble has been eliminated!
Seated senton by Mysterio, Kidman powders. Akio interferes, spinebuster by Kidman. Kidman places Mysterio on the top rope, Mysterio blocks the gutwrench for a sunset flip powerbomb and the elimination.
Billy Kidman has been eliminated!
Tajiri is in, Tarantual by Tajiri. Mysterio blocks the handspring elbow with a dropkick. 619 by Mysterio, Tajiri dodges The West Coast Pop. Akio grabs Mysterio, Tajiri mists Akio by mistake. Roll-up by Mysterio and Tajiri has been eliminated.
Tajiri has been eliminated!
Akio cannot compete, Tajiri kicks Mysterio before leving. Chavo tries stealing the pin, two for Chavo. Mysterio springboard hurricanranas Chavo, tope con hilo to Chavo Sr. Mysterio springboards sunset flips Chavo but Chavo Sr. holds onto his son’s hand and with the extra leverage, Chavo escapes with his championship.
That was so rushed, hardly anything had a chance to stick with me. There was some nice spots here and there but you can hardly tell any decent story with such a short amount of time. Did WWE ever capitalize on having Ultimo Dragon? Seems like such a joke in the grand scheme of things, a waste of a run. I think things could have been much better with Mysterio vs Chavo.
Winner: Chavo Guerrero over Rey Mysterio via Shenaigans!
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg (Stone Cold Steve Austin is The Special Guest Referee)
Brock Lesnar and Goldberg had crossed paths at Survivor Series, Lesnar would cost Goldberg a chance at headlining at Wrestlemania when The Next Big Thing would F-5 Goldberg and distract Goldberg, allowing Kurt Angle to eliminate him. Goldberg gained revenge at No Way Out when Goldberg cost Lesnar his WWE Championship. The stage was set for these two titans, these two badasses to clash at the biggest stage of them all. However, this was not the epic you would expect, why? Well, both men were leaving at Wrestlemania, Goldberg’s one year contract was up while Lesnar had decided he wanted a career in Football.
You sold out chants fill the arena, we are getting a lot of awkward staring from the two behemoths. Goodbye chants from the crowd, Austin looks amused by all the chants. More staring and awkwardness, Austin chants with raises a smile from The Rattlesnake. Lock-up that goes on and on and on and on, break. Another lock-up, another break. Side headlock by Lesnar, shoulder block does not faze Goldberg. Goldberg’s shoulder block does not faze Lesnar, more trash-talking. Both collide after shoulder blocks, Lesnar stomps Goldberg. Hard Irish whip by Goldberg, military press slam by Goldberg. Spear is side-stepped by Lesnar, Goldberg crashes into the ringpost.
Lesnar suplexes Goldberg for two, another suplex by Lesnar. Standing crossface by Lesnar, Goldberg wriggles free but Lesnar shoulder blocks Goldberg and re-applies the standing crossface. Goldberg escapes but Lesnar nails a clothesline for two. Goldberg nails a series of clotheslines, spinning neckbreaker by Goldberg. Spear by Goldberg for two, Goldberg is in Austin’s face. F-5 by Lesnar, two for Lesnar. Lesnar misses a Spear, Spear by Goldberg and a Jackhammer for the win. After the match, Austin Stunners both men.
Destined to fail, both men were leaving the company and they decided to do the bare minimum in this match. Half of it was staring and lock-ups that went on forever. Goldberg misses a Spear and sells his arm like always, Lesnar applies a crossface for another five minutes and then hits his finish. The crowd crapped on the match, the wrestlers involved did nothing to help change their minds. A sad end to both men WWE’s careers but they would be back and thirteen years later, they would appear at Wrestlemania being cheered by those in attendance.
Winner: Goldberg over Brock Lesnar via Jackhammer!
(WWE Tag Team Championship Match) Rikishi & Scotty Too Hotty © vs The APA vs The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs The Basham Brothers
Same as the Raw match with everyone on the card for the sake of being nice and giving them a good pay day. Sudden death rules so first pin-fall or submission ends the match. Benjamin jumps Bradshaw, big boot and clubbing blows by Bradshaw. Shoulder block by Bradshaw, elbow for two. Doug blind tags in off Bradshaw, inverted atomic drop by Doug. Tag to Danny, back suplex for two. Haas cheap shots Danny, tag to Haas.
Jawbreaker by Danny, Scotty blind tags into the match. Side headlock by Scotty, shoulder block by Scotty. Back suplex by Scotty, kip-up and moonwalk by Scotty. Haas throws Scotty to the apron, Scotty tries skinning the cat but Benjamin comes in for a slingshot on Scotty. Bearhug by Haas, blind tag by Doug. Doug boots Scotty for two, double suplex by The Basham Brothers. Scotty enzuigiris Doug but Danny tags in, scoop slam by Danny is blocked and Scotty tags in Rikishi. Right hands and DDTs all around, Rikishi bumps off Benjamin. Stinkface to Haas, Doug and Bradsahw brawl. Bradshaw Last Calls Doug onto everyone on the floor, Clothesline From Hell on Danny. Rikishi Samoan drops Bradshaw and Rikishi drops his big ass on Danny to retain the championships.
On par with The Raw match, little substance to the match as everyone had little time to make an impact. Faarooq barely featured too which was a little odd I thought but yes, it was ok. Nothing memorable, nothing that I am going to remember five minutes from now. Just a match on this card which is way too long, you could have axed a lot of these matches.
Winners: Rikishi & Scotty Too Hotty over Everyone Else via Hip Drop!
(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Victoria © vs Molly Holly
Before the match, we have Jesse Ventura interview Donald Trump. This is relevant now so I shall cover it because I can. There is also an Edge promo, Edge has been out of action since No Way Out 2003, it will be nice to see Edge back in action. Anyways, Molly fought tooth and nail to just have a women’s championship match on this card. Molly was prepared to lose her hair to get a spot on the card, the respect I have for this woman is unmeasurable. A saint in a business full of backstabbers and politicians. So, if Molly loses, she loses her hair.
Lock-up, knee by Molly. Knee in the corner by Molly, illegal choke by Molly. Arm-wringer, Victoria kips-up for a roll-up. Two for Victoria, Molly powders. Victoria misses a baseball slide, hard clothesline by Molly. Two for Molly, snap suplex for two. Molly keeps Victoria down with elbows, low dropkick by Molly for two. Reverse chinlock by Molly, Victoria breaks free only for Molly to drag her down to the mat. Jacknife cover by Victoria for two, right hands by Victoria. Powerslam for Victoria for two, Molly hurls Victoria into the bottom rope.
Victoria meets Molly on the top rope, sunset flip powerbomb by Molly for two. Molly looks for The Widow’s Peak and Victoria counters her own move. Victoria retains her championship, Molly looks on in shock and tries to escape. They tease that Victoria might lose her hair but Molly ends up getting what she deserves, the stipulation is fulfilled.
It was ok, they weren’t giving a lot of time as was the tradition with the divas at this point. What I will say is fair play to Molly for agreeing to lose her hair just to appear at Wrestlemania. I also believe that Victoria could have been a great counter to the new bitchy and heel Trish Stratus but they never went all the way with Victoria, preferring to go with Lita vs Trish.
Winner: Victoria over Molly Holly via Backslide!
(WWE Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs Kurt Angle
The irony of Kurt Angle calling Eddie a drug addict, this feud began over morals. Angle was not happy with Eddie being champion, Eddie was a disgrace so Angle took exception to Latino Heat and Angle wished to defeat Eddie to restore honour and glory to the WWE Championship and Smackdown Brand. That’s a very juicy storyline and I am hooked even before I think about that this is a match between two of the very best wrestlers in the company at the time, this could steal the show.
Lock-up, clean break from Angle. Hammerlock and front chancery from Angle, Eddie takes down Angle. Angle grabs a headlock on the ground, stand-off from the two as Eddie breaks free. Angle takes the back, standing switch from Eddie. Headlock from Angle, side headlock from Eddie. Shoulder block by Angle, another lock-up. Eddie takes down Angle, side headlock from Eddie. Shoulder blocks from Eddie, Angle powders to the floor. Firemen’s carry from Eddie, front chancery from Angle. Eddie counters with a back body drop, series of armdrags before slapping on an armbar.
Top wristlock from Eddie, Angle escapes and knees Eddie in the ribs. Abodinal stretch by Angle, Eddie wriggles free for The Three Amigos. Angle blocks for German suplexes, Angle and Eddie are on the apron. Angle tries a German suplex from the apron, Eddie shakes off Angle. Baseball slide by Eddie, Eddie misses a crossbody from the top. Eddie lands on the barricade, two for Angle in the ring. Backbreaker by Angle for two, shoulder thrusts in the corner by The Olympic Hero. Snapmare into the bodyscissors, Angle is working the ribs of the champion. Eddie breaks free to eat a stungun from Angle, two for the challenger.
Belly to belly suplex by Angle, make it two. Eddie kicks out but the pain is etched on his face. Bodyscissors by Angle, Eddie is thrown across the ring again as Angle is getting frustrated. Eddie is placed on the top rope, Eddie shoves off Angle but Eddie eats canvas as Angle dodges The Frog Splash. Right hands by Angle, stomps by the challenger. Angle looks down at Eddie, right hands deck Latino Heat. Eddie shows fighting spirit, taking Angle’s punches and asking for more. Right hands by Eddie, Angle misses a corner splash. Back suplex by Eddie for two, Angle blocks a suplex for more German suplexes.
Eddie counters for a roll through, two for Eddie. Eddie counters an Angle Slam for an armdrag, headscissors takedown by Eddie. Three Amigos by Eddie, Angle sweeps Eddie’s leg for an Ankle Lock. Eddie kicks off Angle, dropkick by Eddie. Eddie climbs to the top rope, Angle runs up for a belly to belly suplex, two for Angle. The straps are down, Angle applies The Ankle Lock. Eddie rolls through for two, German suplex by Angle. Angle Slam is countered for a beautiful DDT, Frog Splash by Eddie for two and a half. Eddie picks up Angle, Angle was playing possum for an Ankle Lock. Eddie kicks off Angle to the floor, Eddie unties his boot, leaving it very loose. Angle sees Eddie holding his ankle, Ankle Lock but Eddie’s foot comes off and Eddie rolls-up Angle.
A great match from Eddie and Angle, I thought the story going into the match was quite dramatic and gripping, Angle thought he was morally in the right while Eddie was everything wrong with being a champion. Angle and Eddie start out mat wrestling with some fun stuff, Angle is frustrated by Eddie holding his own which leads to Angle taking shortcuts and busting Eddie’s ribs. Eddie gets sympathy as the beating continues until Latino Heat turns the tide, Angle shoots for The Ankle and just when you think Angle has Eddie’s number, Eddie outsmarts Angle, cheating in the process and defeating Angle, it was a fun match, the finish was clever for Eddie’s character and the story as Angle had complained Eddie was a cheater and Eddie cheated to win.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Kurt Angle via Roll-up!
Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer vs Kane
Kane had buried Undertaker alive at Survivor Series, Undertaker had haunted Kane ever since with mind games. With the gong and the effects, the fans were happy to see the return of a more sinister Deadman character as opposed to American Badass Undertaker. Paul Bearer is back with druids carrying torches, you knew something different was in the air and this was a big return for Undertaker. Paul Bearer raises the urn to the sky and the gong sounds off, the crowd explodes in anticipation. A modern take on the original character, The Deadman himself appears like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western film, hat and trench-coat on with a look on his face that would kill a weaker man.
Kane looks at his big brother in shock, you cannot be real mutters The Big Red Machine. Kane touches Taker, Taker annihilates Kane with rights and lefts, Kane powders to the floor. Kane catches Taker with a right hand on the floor, Taker Irish whips Kane into the ring apron. Apron leg drop by Taker, hard Irish whip by The Deadman. Corner clotheslines by Taker, Last Ride attempt by Taker is blocked by Kane. Big boot by Kane, Kane chokes and hammers Taker. Sidewalk slam by Kane, Kane climbs to the top rope. Diving clothesline by Kane, two for The Big Red Machine.
Taker fires back at Kane, huge right hands. Hard Irish whip by Kane, big boot by Taker and a nice leg drop. Kane counters Old School for a Chokeslam, Taker says no and both men choke one another. Taker eats elbows, Chokeslam by Kane. Kane laughs, Taker sits up to the shock of Kane. Right hands by Taker, leaping clothesline. Chokeslam by Taker, Taker calls for the end and Taker lays out his baby brother with a Tombstone Piledriver. Revenge has been served.
Not crazy about this match, it was rather slow and boring. However, the entrance, the appearance of Paul Bearer and a return to The Deadman persona for The Undertaker earn this match a huge thumbs up for me. Taker would maintain this gimmick until his retirement, great to see the fans happy to see The Undertaker and a pay-off to the angle.
Winner: The Undertaker over Kane via Tombstone Piledriver!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Triple H © vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit
With Triple H and Shawn Michaels battling it out to a draw at Royal Rumble, Chris Benoit won The Royal Rumble and changed his allegiance to the Raw brand. Benoit challenged Triple H, this did not set well with HBK. Michaels wanted to be in the match as Triple H did not beat Michaels, Michaels believed he deserved that rematch. So, the triple threat match was made, Benoit worked his whole life for this moment, will the fairytale come true?
Benoit and Michaels want to murder Triple H, they fight for the right to beat up Triple H. Benoit and Michaels chop one another hard, Triple H is bumped to the floor. Michaels takes down Benoit, Benoit bridges out of a jacknife pin for a backslide, Michaels avoids The Crossface with a cradle, two for Michaels. Northern lights suplex by Benoit for two, Triple H clotheslines Michaels. Benoit chops Triple H, Michaels sidesteps Benoit as The Crippler falls to the floor. Back body drop by Michaels on Triple H, chops in the corner. Triple H explodes out of the corner with a clothesline, Triple H turns his attention to Benoit on the floor. Benoit is rammed into the ring apron, Michaels baseball slides both Triple H & Benoit. Michaels moonsaults onto Triple H & Benoit.
In the ring, Triple H facebusters Michaels. Benoit saves Michaels from a Pedigree, Benoit hurls Michaels into the ringpost. Snap suplex by Benoit on The Game, Triple H whips Benoit into the turnbuckle. Triple H props Benoit on the top rope before placing The Rabid Wolverine in the tree of woe. Triple H whips Michaels into Benoit for a two count. Michaels reverses an Irish whip and sends Triple H into Benoit, roll-up by Michaels for two. Flying forearm by Michaels, kip-up but Benoit clotheslines Michaels to the floor. German suplex by Benoit, Triple H tries blocking the suplex but it does not work, tenacious is Benoit. Three German suplexes, Benoit gets crotched on the top rope.
Triple H dodges Sweet Chin Music and scores with a DDT, Triple H and Benoit battle on the top rope. Superplex by Triple H for two, Benoit counters The Pedigree for The Crossface, Triple H is caught but Michaels saves Triple H. Michaels gets too cute trying to German suplex Benoit, Benoit teaches Michaels how to German suplex. Diving Headbutt by Benoit, Michaels kicks out. Flying forearm by Michaels, Benoit falls to the floor. Kip-up inverted atomic drop on Triple H. Scoop slam and Michaels climbs high for The Elbow Drop, Michaels connects to the black heart of The Game. Sweet Chin Music by Michaels, Benoit drags out Triple H to save the match.
Chops by Michaels, Benoit reverses Michaels for a Michaels flip out of the corner. Catapult by Benoit into the ringpost, Michaels is a bloody mess. Benoit brings down Michaels, looking for the Crossface. Benoit slaps it on, Triple H holds onto Michaels’ hand and prevents the tap. Triple H Irish whips Benoit into the steel steps, Triple H clears away the announce table. Benoit has Triple H on the table, Benoit looks for a German suplex. Benoit and Triple H brawl until Michaels is on the table too. Michaels and Triple H combine to double suplex Benoit through the table. Michaels wants Triple H in the ring now that Benoit is out of the equation.
Triple H batters Michaels in the corner, Michaels turns the tide with chops of his own. Triple H tumbles to the floor, Michaels sends Triple H into the ringpost. Pedigree by Triple H, both men are down. Triple H crawls and drapes an arm over before Benoit makes the save. Chops by Benoit, Triple H attempts The Pedigree. Benoit counters for a Sharpshooter, Triple H struggles towards the ropes. Benoit drags back The Game, Sweet Chin Music by Michaels on Benoit. Michaels covers Benoit, Benoit kicks out at two. Michaels calls for another Sweet Chin Music, Benoit elevates Michaels to the floor. Triple H calls for The Pedigree, Benoit counters for The Crippler Crossface. Triple H cannot reach the ropes, Triple H is inches away but the champion fades. Triple H tries one more roll but Benoit does not let go, Triple H taps and Benoit is your new champion. Benoit celebrates with Eddie Guerrero, his best friend in one of the most emotional moments in wrestling history.
An excellent match, quite possibly the best triple threat match I have ever seen. So much drama, so much excitement, great wrestling all around. You have Benoit and Michaels wanting to destroy Triple H, they come to blows, Triple H is the opportunist sneaking in to try and retain his championship. Some fantastic spots with the sharpshooter, the double suplex through the announce table and The Crossface with Benoit at the end of the match. It was perfect, the crowd were all in on Benoit, the match was designed to have you all in on Benoit, I loved Michaels playing babyface but walking the line with stealing the German suplexes and superkicking the crowd’s favourite. A fitting end to Wrestlemania and two best friends celebrating in the ring, crying tears of joy as they were both on top of the wrestling world. Benoit may have blackened his name and tarnished his legacy but on this night, there was not one fan in that audience who was not chanting his name.
Winner: Chris Benoit over Triple H & Shawn Michaels via Crippler Crossface!
That was Wrestlemania XX, a good Wrestlemania by my standards. There were dull moments, I thought Cena vs Show could have been handled better and there was what felt like nothing matches in the middle of the card. The tag team title matches were nothing much, just a way of getting everyone on the card while the first women’s match was a joke while the second may have received less time overall I am not sure. And you cannot forget the awkward encounter of Lesnar vs Goldberg, the less said about that, the better.
A lot of good though, Evolution vs Foley & Rock was a lot of fun even I think the crowd was quiet for parts of the match. Christian vs Jericho was heated with a clever twist at the end that would provide more for everyone involved, Guerrero vs Angle was great from a wrestling point of view with a finish that played perfectly into the narrative being portrayed on television while the main event was all around dram and excitement, edge of your seat stuff as the crowd willed on Benoit to his championship win. I would rank this on par with Wrestlemania XIX, both had their ups and downs but there were a lot of memorable moments on this card that sadly, is not mention often due to the circumstances around Benoit’s death.