Welcome back! This is part two of a three-part series where I, the “Fearless Leader” of BoredWrestlingFan.com ThinkSoJoE, relive my personal WrestleMania experiences.
In my last article, I talked about WrestleMania X-8 and the great time I had that weekend. I had such a great time, in fact, that I didn’t care where WrestleMania XIX was going to be, I was going. Then I found out it was 3,000 miles away in Seattle, WA. Never one to let a lack of money or transportation hold me back, the day tickets went on sale, my buddy Turtle and I bought our tickets. Not the 500 level, but they might as well have been. But, on the bright side, they were only $18 each.
We also bought tickets to WrestleMania Fan Axxess for Saturday Night, and then we finally decided how we were going to get to Seattle. We were going to drive.
In early 2003, I was only 21 years old and most car rental places charge extra for drivers under 25. Well, we happened to find one that didn’t, just over the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. We rented a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, which was brand new. I don’t think the fine people at Hertz knew what they were getting themselves into. We came back home to grab our luggage and everything, then packed up the car. The directions from MapQuest told us to go through Canada, coming back into the States in Chicago, where we’d get on I-90 and drive the rest of the way to Washington. In my infinite wisdom, I said, “screw this – the 90 is right over there, let’s just hop on it and go west!” Little did I realize how much time going north around Lake Michigan would have saved us.
If you ever get a chance to drive from New York to Washington (the states, not the cities), do it. It was awesome to get to see the country, especially for a guy like me that doesn’t travel much. Our boneheaded decision to take I-90 all the way cost us so much time that it took us three days to get to Seattle. Since we’d left on Thursday, we missed Fan Axxess on Saturday, though I hear they really scaled it back from the previous year. We got to Seattle on Sunday morning and arrived at our hotel. I was a Days Inn employee back then, so I got the room for $25 a night with a special voucher. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten the voucher at home. So, rather than pay full price for a room, Turtle and I decided to roam the streets of Seattle.
Seattle’s a beautiful city, though the layout of the streets can be pretty confusing. One place we walked had a life sized statue of Jimi Hendrix right on the sidewalk. By the way, the Space Needle isn’t as prominent in the city’s skyline as you’d expect – at one point it was blocked from our view by a giant Pepsi logo on a local restaurant. We stopped in a store and bought some poster paint, then painted Turtle up like The Hurricane used to paint his face up before he got the leather mask. I threw on my Rey Mysterio mask, we drove to a street near the venue and parked our car, then walked over to SafeCo Field.
I managed to avoid saying anything negative about any of Seattle’s sports teams, and into the venue we went.
Sunday Night Heat
John Cena was supposed to be a part of WrestleMania XIX, but apparently Fabulous was arrested and Jay-Z didn’t show up. So instead, Cena was relegated to Sunday Night Heat, where he did an awesome dis rap about the two. I miss Cena’s rap gimmick.
On the big screen, we saw Nunzio try to steal Nathan Jones’ wallet, which was really a ploy to lure Jones into an attack by The Big Show and A-Train.
Finally, the last item bumped to Sunday Night Heat in favor of wasting time with the Miller Lite Cat Fight Girls – a World Tag Team Championship match!
Chief Morley & Lance Storm def. Rob Van Dam and Kane to retain the World Tag Team Championships
The Dudley Boyz got involved, costing Van Dam and Kane the titles in order to keep Eric Bischoff happy – and themselves employed (if I remember the storyline correctly).
Enough wasting time – the show begins!
WrestleMania XIX – March 30, 2003 – Safeco Field – Seattle, WA
There’s too much crap that I can’t skip through on this DVD. An ad for Limp Bizkit’s new CD which neither came out on the advertised date nor contained the song featured in the ad, a crappy Divas DVD, and of course, the standard “Don’t try this” ad.
Finally, I get to the menu. I click play, and we get the typical “WrestleMania is our Super Bowl” stuff that kicks off WrestleMania every year. In fact, I think Hogan’s line is the exact same one they used at WrestleMania X-8.
The sounds of Limp Bizkit’s unreleased song “Crack Addict” blare through Safeco Field, and WrestleMania kicks off with one of the main reasons I drove 3,000 miles – the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match! The challenger, Rey Mysterio, is curtain jerking the PPV and dressed like DareDevil. This was my first time seeing Rey Mysterio live, and unlike me, it’s Rey’s first WrestleMania. Matt Hardy Version 2.0 is out next, complete with Matt Facts.
Matt is appearing in his 4th WrestleMania.
Matt often wonders how they did WrestleMania without him.
Hardy is accompanied by his MFer, Shannon Moore.
Matt Hardy def. Rey Mysterio to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Moore distracts Mysterio at the beginning of the match, but Mysterio was expecting it. He utilizes his innovative high flying offense, until Moore gets involved again. You know, watching SmackDown every week, I find it hilarious that Matt Hardy was the Cruiserweight Champion back in the day. Hardy controls the match, with help from Moore, but Mysterio uses his quickness to continually stall Hardy’s momentum. Matt hits a side effect for a two count, and I’m very amused by how much Shannon Moore’s look has changed over the years. There’s a great shot here that will allow me to show you exactly where I was for this event.
Yeah. We were pretty far away. Anyways, at this point, Rey scores a two count. Mysterio was so much faster back in 2003 than he is now – and he’s still pretty fast today. Mysterio manages to set up Hardy for the 619, but Moore trips him up. Hardy nails the Twist of Fate, but only scores a two count. Hardy goes for a bottom rope Splash Mountain bomb, but Mysterio manages to reverse it into a Hurricanrana. After dispatching of Moore, Mysterio nails the 619, but Hardy ducks the West Coast Pop. Hardy manages to steal the victory by rolling Mysterio up and grabbing the rope. Matt Hardy retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
The Miller Lite Catfight Girls arrive in a limo, and argue about Mr. McMahon vs Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold vs The Rock.
Earlier in the night, Nathan Jones was taken out by The Big Show and A-Train, which means that this upcoming match is likely a handicap match. Limp Bizkit is introduced as “The WWE’s favorite band in the whole world.” They perform “Rollin'” with Brian “Head” Welch on guitar. Fred Durst sang the song uncensored at the show for what it’s worth. Durst walks down to the ring, flipping the fans off during the second verse. When he gets to the ring, The Undertaker rolls down to the ring on his motorcycle. Big Evil shakes hands with Durst as he gets into the ring, then The Big Show’s music hits. Interesting note, there happens to be a train that runs near Safeco field, and occasionally we could hear the steam whistle, which of course reminded us of A-Train’s theme music. As A-Train and The Big Show get to the ring, A-Train adjusts the mirrors on Undertaker’s motorcycle, then spits on it.
The Undertaker def. The Big Show and A-Train
Show tries to get the jump on ‘Taker, but the Deadman saw it coming. Despite the fact that he’s the 1 in this 2 on 1 handicap match, The Undertaker dominates, until he finds himself hit with the Derailer by A-Train. The action spills to the outside, and The Big Show takes over. He rolls ‘Taker back into the ring, where A-Train hits the Decapitator. He scores a two count, and tags in The Big Show. Show hits ‘Taker with a right hand, but it only serves to wake up Big Evil. Show tries for the chokeslam, but Undertaker reverses it into a Fujiwara armbar. A-Train tries to get involved, but ‘Taker locks him in an armbar as well, until Big Show drops a leg on the Dead Man. Show takes over, locking Undertaker into an abdominal stretch. Show and Train use frequent tags to keep the fresh man in the ring, but The Undertaker reverses A-Train’s abdominal stretch into one of his own. The numbers game continues to catch up with The Undertaker, but A-Train’s cockiness gives The Phenom the opening he needs to turn the tide once again into his favor. Both A-Train and Big Show get in the ring, and Undertaker rolls. He boots A-Train to the mat, then delivers a flying clothesline to The Big Show. A-Train nails a bicycle kick to stop Undertaker’s momentum. Big Show drops him with a chokeslam, then takes off up the ramp, where Nathan Jones is heading down to the ring. Jones knocks Big Show down, then gets in the ring to help his partner The Undertaker. ‘Taker drops Train with the Tombstone, and the Dead Man goes to 11 – 0!
Backstage, the Miller Lite Cat Fight Girls meet Torrie Wilson and Stacy Kiebler. Stacy has a marketing idea for the Cat Fight Girls.
JR and The King implore our troops to kick some ass and come home. Then they remind us of the Dudleys screwing RVD and Kane out of the World Tag Team Championships.
Trish Stratus is out first, and she’s got confetti guns shooting off as she points to the fans. For the second straight year, she’s in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women’s Championship. Come to think of it, so is Jazz – except this year, Jazz is one of the challengers. The third participant is in her first WrestleMania, and she’s coming into it as the Women’s Champion. She’s also coming to ring with Steven Richards to the sound of TaTu’s “All The Things She Said.” She’s Victoria.
Trish Stratus def. Jazz & Victoria in a Triple Threat Match to win the WWE Women’s Championship
Jazz attacks Victoria before the bell, then she and Trish battle back and forth. This is a crazy match and hard to describe, but this is a great Triple Threat match between three women who can actually wrestle. For a moment, Jazz and Victoria team up to take out Trish before turning their attention to each other. Victoria played crazy extremely well back in the day. Trish manages to battle her way back into the match, nailing Jazz with a Chick Kick for two. Stratus fights off both opponents, but after Trish boots Victoria out of the ring, Jazz takes control, working over Trish with various submissions. Victoria distracts the referee, and Richards throws Jazz out of the ring. A couple of near falls between Trish and Victoria, Jazz gets back in. She hits the move that would later become known as either the Implant Buster or the Glam Slam, but Victoria eventually tosses her out of the ring. Richards tries to hit Trish with a chair, but she ducks, causing Richards to hit the ropes and the chair to rebound into his face. Victoria goes for the Widow’s Peak, but Trish escapes, then nails Victoria with the Chick Kick, then pins her to win the Women’s Championship!
Jonathan Coachman is standing by with The Rock, and if this promo is half as epic as last year’s, we’re in for a treat. Coach wonders how excited The Rock is. Over 54,000 people… Rock stops him. People? The same people that booed The Rock last year? The same people that booed The Rock when he gave the concert of a lifetime. The people who call The Rock a sellout? That’s right, The Rock has sold out every WrestleMania he’s ever been in. The people hurt The People’s Champ, so he could care less about the people. The Rock is here to fulfill his destiny – to pin Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania. It consumes him. It’s everything to The Rock. Austin’s beaten The Rock twice, but if there’s one thing Hollywood has taught him, it’s that act 1 and act 2 don’t matter, but everybody remembers act 3. Tonight is it. When The Rock beats Steve Austin tonight, he’ll have done it all. Finally! Finally.
Viva La Raza!
Los Guerreros are in the house! Chavo and Eddie Guerrero have a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships in a triple threat match tonight. Their first set of opponents, first out is The Rabid Wolverine, Chris Benoit. His partner is the ManBeast, Rhyno, who walks to the ring with a picture of Team Angle on the screen for some reason. Probably because the third team involved here are the WWE Tag Team Champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, Team Angle.
Team Angle def. Los Guerreros and Chris Benoit & Rhyno in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships
This one starts as soon as the champs get in the ring. The referee finally gets some control, and Charlie Haas and Chavo Guerrero start things off. Haas tags in Benoit after Guerrero gets the better of him. Chavo tags in Eddie, who goes to work on Benoit. Benoit gets Guerrero in the corner and chops the living hell out of him. The two men collide in the center of the ring, and Benoit makes the tag to Rhyno. Rhyno gets the better of Guerrero in this exchange, so Guerrero tags out to Shelton Benjamin. This match is pretty unique, in that despite the fact it’s not an elimination match, only two guys are in the ring at a time. Benjamin tags Haas, and Team Angle double team Rhyno. The champions use frequent tags to keep a fresh man in the ring, but the experience factor works in Rhyno’s favor. When the action spills to Los Guerrero’s corner, Eddie Guerrero tags himself in, then uses his cunning to outsmart Rhyno. Rhyno gets the tag in to Benoit, and Guerrero maintains control. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash, but Benoit catches him before he can dive off the ropes. Benoit manages to catch Guerrero in the Crossface, but Benjamin breaks it up. Guerrero hits a brainbuster on Benoit, but Haas breaks up the pin. Eddie tags in Chavo, and things get out of control. Benoit tries for the Crossface on Chavo, but Chavo avoids it – so Benoit hits the rolling German suplexes instead. Benjamin tags himself in, then boots Benoit in the face, scoring a two count. Eddie gets involved, and collides with Benoit. Shelton Benjamin takes advantage, but as he covers Benoit, Guerrero nails him with a Frog Splash to break up the pin. Charlie Haas gets hit with a Gore, as does Chavo Guerrero. Eddie pulls Rhyno out, but Benjamin crawls over and pins Chavo, who was tagged in earlier, to pick up the win and retain his WWE Tag Team Championships.
Backstage, the Cat Fight Girls, Torrie Wilson, and Stacy Keibler argue over whether Hulk Hogan or Mr. McMahon created WrestleMania. You’re both wrong. Howard Finkel did. Well, he named it, anyway. Ugh. A tag title match and a John Cena rap got bumped for this. The Cat Fight Girls argue about whether to settle this fight in the ring or in bed. Lame.
Video: Chris Jericho’s feud with Shawn Michaels.
3… 2… 1… BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!
Y2J Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring first for this epic match. HBK heads down the ramp, and he’s got confetti cannons to shoot – though a few of them don’t go off. When he gets to the ring, an awesome visual – he does his pose while his pyro goes off behind him on a deck of the stadium that shows off the Space Needle in the background – though you can’t really see it in the camera shot.
Shawn Michaels def. Chris Jericho
Everybody is chanting HBK – I was chanting Y2J, but that didn’t catch on. This is one of those matches, even 7 years later, that you just have to sit back and watch. Words won’t do it justice. If you were to put a DVD together of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history, this would be one of them. Jericho throws everything in his arsenal at HBK – and on top of that, he throws in some of HBK’s arsenel, but to no avail. HBK nails a Superkick out of nowhere, but Jericho manages to kick out at the last possible moment. HBK finally manages to score a pinfall off of – of all things – a victory roll.
After the match, Y2J hugs HBK – but then knees him in the groin.
Backstage, Sylvan Grenier walks into Mr. McMahon’s office, dressed as a referee.
Video: Goldberg will be in action at Backlash!
The fans chant Goldberg’s name, and Tony Chimel is pleased to announce a new Safeco Field attendance record – 54,097! He then welcomes “The WWE’s favorite band,” Limp Bizkit, performing their new song “Crack Addict” from the new album that’s out this June. How true is it that Limp Bizkit is WWE’s favorite band? Well, they had Tony Chimel announce them twice. I actually kinda liked this song and I was actually kinda disappointed that it wasn’t on “Results May Vary” when it eventually came out.
Coach is rocking a Mariners jersey, and he introduces the Miller Lite Catfight Girls one at a time, but since I don’t give a crap about this, I’m not going to bother posting their names. There’s a bed on the stage, and the rules are that they can’t hit each other with heavy metal objects. Stacy comes out and says we should make this a triple threat. Torrie comes out next and says it’s a fatal four way. Ugh. The punchline is that they hit each other with pillows, then strip Coach down to his underwear. Bo00000000ring.
Speaking of boring…
Video: Booker T’s been to jail. Triple H thinks it’s funny. Ric Flair thinks Booker T doesn’t stand a chance at WrestleMania. Triple H replies that nobody told Booker that.
It’s time to play the game….
I hope it’s not Super Mario Frustration (Link contains NSFW language – be warned!). That game looks hard. The World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H is on the way to the ring, and he’s got his little lap dog Ric Flair tagging along behind him.
Can you dig it, suckaaaaa?!
I used to work in a graveyard, so probably. Booker T is out next. Nevermind that he’s the challenger, who cares about tradition?
Triple H def. Booker T to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H is wearing purple tights for this one. It looks weird. Like that time he wore white boots. Anyways, Booker starts things off by telling Triple H “yo punk ass in trouble.” This match wasn’t as bad as I remember it being, in all honesty. The two exchange chops early on in the match, and Booker T takes over. The Game uses his power game in an attempt to turn the tide in his favor, but Booker’s quickness overwhelms him. Hunter finally causes some separation when he rams him head first into the ringpost. On the outside, Triple H introduces Booker to the steel steps. As Booker tries to crawl back in, the champ puts the boots to him. It’s all Triple H for the next few minutes, but when Booker T DDTs The Game, the momentum could go either way. The former 5 time WCW Champion starts to gain the momentum, but when he wastes too much time going for the scissor kick, The Game takes advantage. Book gains the upperhand again but once again makes that same mistake. As Triple H distracts the referee, Flair drops Booker T knee first on the steel steps. Hunter locks in a superb Indian Deathlock, which is a move he needs to break out more often, because we don’t see it enough in this day and age. Booker fights to get to the ropes, and finally does. The Game continues to go after Booker’s knee. Book falls to the canvas as Triple H tries to Irish Whip him – then Flair yells “Get up, you damned fool!” Triple H sets up for the Pedigree, but Booker reverses. Triple H shoves Booker’s slingshot attempt off – and into the referee. Nick Patrick is apparently the strongest referee in all of pro wrestling, because he manages not to get knocked out for the next five minutes. Booker hits the Scissors Kick, but he’s too exhausted to make the immediate cover and only gets a two count. Book tries to climb the ropes, but Flair provides enough of a distraction to allow Triple H to get up and knock Booker down. Book fights off a superplex attempt, and despite Flair’s attempt at interference, Book hits the Tumbleweed. Yup, he’s stealing moves from 2 Cold Scorpio now, but Flair puts Triple H’s foot on the ropes when Booker tries for the pin. Book goes for the Scissors Kick again, but his bad knee causes him to fall. Triple H nails a Pedigree, then crawls over to pin his challenger by draping an arm over him, retaining the World Heavyweight Championship.
Video: Buy The Hardyz book, “Exist 2 Inspire” – the ad is set to the music that Mike Knox uses today.
Video: Hulkamania, WrestleMania, Hogan, McMahon, a match 20 years in the making! The best part of the buildup to this match? McMahon forcing Hogan to sign the contract in his own blood.
Hogan heads to the ring as the sounds of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return) blare out in Hendrix’ hometown of Seattle. Mr. McMahon makes the long walk down to the ring, and we’re set for this street fight.
Hulk Hogan def. Mr. McMahon in a street fight
McMahon slaps Hogan to kick things off. Hogan spears McMahon to the ground then starts throwing fists at the Chairman. McMahon turns the tide and starts throwing knees into Hogan’s abdomen. He then turns his attention to Hogan’s arm. He wraps the arm around the ringpost – it’s legal, seeing as this is a street fight. It’s all McMahon until the power of the Hulkamaniacs starts to surge through Hogan. Even then, McMahon manages to shut down any comeback attempts by Hogan. The action spills to the outside, where Mr. McMahon grabs a chair. He swings, but Hogan ducks, then punches McMahon in the face. Hogan takes the chair and blasts McMahon across the skull, which busts the Chairman wide open. Hogan takes charge of this match, using the chair again. Hogan swings the chair, but McMahon ducks, causing Hogan to deck Spanish announcer Hugo Savinovich instead – which busts Hugo open as well. McMahon hits a low blow, then uses the chair to blast Hogan, causing Hogan to be the third person busted open in this match. McMahon pulls a ladder out from under the ring and sets it up. He knocks Hogan down behind the Spanish announce table, then moves the ladder in the middle of both announce tables. He uses the monitor from the Spanish announce table to blast Hogan, leaving him lying on the table. Mr. McMahon climbs the ladder and mocks Hogan. He jumps off of the ladder and legdrops Hogan through the Spanish announce table. The fans chant “Holy Shit,” and Tazz agrees with them. Hogan and McMahon are down, and the trainers come out to help Hugo Savinovich. McMahon rolls Hogan back into the ring, then crawls in himself. He drapes his arm across Hogan’s chest, but only scores a two count. He covers Hogan again, this time hooking the leg, but still only gets a two. McMahon heads back to the outside, and he grabs a steel pipe from under the ring, and gets that crazed look in his eyes…
Yeah, that one. McMahon reels back to nail Hogan with the pipe, but Hogan hits a low blow. Both men are down, when suddenly a man in a trench coat gets in the ring. Instead of flashing the entire world, the man takes the trench coat off to reveal that he’s wearing a kilt – it’s “Rowdy” Roddy Piper! Piper kicks McMahon in the ass, spits on Hogan, then picks up the lead pipe. He teases hitting McMahon, but he nails Hogan instead. Piper leaves, and McMahon crawls across the ring, draping his arm over Hogan’s body again, but again Hogan gets the shoulder up. McMahon goes to grab the pipe again, but referee Brian Hebner stops him. McMahon tosses Hebner out of the ring, then calls to the back. Referee Sylvan Grenier comes out, fresh off of screwing Hogan at No Way Out, but referee Mike Sparks tries to stop him. McMahon nails Hogan with the pipe, then hits a legdrop. Grenier makes the count, but McMahon only gets two. Hogan Hulks Up. He knocks McMahon down and tosses Grenier out. He nails the big boot and three legdrops. He makes the cover and referee Mike Sparks counts the pinfall.
After the match, Shane McMahon casually strolls down to the ring. Hogan sees him and threatens him with his belt. Shane signals that he’s not here to fight. Hogan holds the ropes open for Shane, who nods at Hogan, who presents Shane’s unconscious father to him.
Michael Cole has no voice left as he sends us to a video package.
Video: Steve Austin left. Then he came back. Now he’s going to wrestle The Rock at WrestleMania, because The Rock wants a chance to finally beat him on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Ah yes. The Rock’s “Hollywood” entrance video that’s become the promo video for any WWE PPV held in Los Angeles. Jerry Lawler says that The Rock and Steve Austin have a tough act to follow – I agree. The glass shatters, and Stone Cold Steve Austin makes his way to the ring.
The Rock def. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Fists start flying as soon as the bell rings with Austin getting the upperhand. He goes for a Stunner, but The Rock gets away and tries to get the hell out of Dodge. Austin catches up with him and starts slamming Rock’s head off of anything he can. He sends The Rock crashing into the steel steps before rolling him back into the ring. It’s all Austin in the early going. He starts whipping The Rock from pillar to post. Austin chokes The Rock across the ropes, but when he argues with the referee, Rock chop blocks Austin’s leg out from under him. He does it again after Austin rolls to the outside. Rock starts going to work on the injured knee. Back in the ring, The Rock stomps away. He rolls outside and drapes Austin’s leg down across the apron before wrapping it around the ringpost. Austin starts battling back, but he telegraphed a backdrop, allowing The Rock to kick him in the face and regain control. Rock locks in a Sharpshooter. Austin manages to crawl to the ropes. Rock breaks the hold and goes right back after Austin’s leg. He drags him to the corner by the leg brace, then wraps Austin’s leg around the ringpost a few more times. He grabs Austin’s vest and puts it on. He takes a refresher, drinking from a water bottle. When he gets back in, Austin is waiting for him. Austin lands a couple shots on The Rock, then both men clothesline each other. Rock gets up at 8, as does Austin, then the slugfest from the beginning of the contest resumes, with Austin getting the better of it. Austin hits the Lou Thesz press and delivers a few more fists to the skull of The Rock. He drops an elbow and manages to score a two count. Austin stomps a mudhole in The Rock in the corner. Rock ducks a pair of clotheslines, then nails one of his own. He wastes a few moments of time, then Austin nails him with The Rock Bottom for a two count. Austin tries to boot The Rock in the midsection, but The Rock catches him, spins him around, and nails Austin with a Stunner. He makes the cover, but he only scores a two. Back on their feet, this once again devolves into a slugfest, but with The Rock delivering all the shots. Austin ducks a big one, then drops Rock with a Stunner – but only manages a two count. Austin shoves the referee out of the way, and The Rock nails a low blow. Rock stands over Austin, and he sets up for the People’s Elbow, but Austin rolls out of the way. Austin goes for a Stunner, but The Rock escapes, hits a spinebuster on Austin, then delivers the People’s Elbow (tossing Austin’s vest instead of an elbow pad this time), but only manages to score a two count. Rock waits for Austin to get back to his feet and delivers a Rock Bottom – but Austin once again kicks out of the pin attempt. Rock once again waits for Austin to get back to his feet, and tries for another Rock Bottom. Austin fights out of it, but Rock manages to grab him again and drop him a second time. Austin once again kicks out at two. Rock waits for Austin to get up yet again. Austin gets to his feet, and The Rock drops him a third time with the Rock Bottom, and this time Austin stays down for the count.
After the match, The Rock goes out and hugs his family, who are in the front row. After he leaves, Austin gets up and leaves as his music plays.
JR throws it to Michael Cole and Tazz who are going to call tonight’s main event.
Video: Brock Lesnar won the Royal Rumble. Lesnar has tried to get his hands on Angle before ‘Mania – to no avail. He’ll finally get his shot tonight. If Angle tries any shenanigans tonight, he’ll forfeit the title to Lesnar.
The WWE Champion, Kurt Angle, is out first for the main event at Wrestle-Freakin-Mania. Yeah. Tradition? What’s that? Brock Lesnar makes his way out. Here comes the pain! Lesnar’s ribs are taped, which could make for an obvious target. The referee sends both men to their corner, displays the title, and we’re set for our main event!
Brock Lesnar def. Kurt Angle to win the WWE Championship
This is what I paid to see. Kurt Angle was rumored to be so badly injured going into this match that one wrong move could possibly end his career – or worse. This show is called WrestleMania, and it’s fitting that a match between two wrestlers is the main event. The two start things off by, wouldn’t you know it, actually wrestling. Neither man really grabs an early advantage. When it starts to break down into a fight, Lesnar uses his power to grab the upper hand, but Angle nails an awesome German Suplex – but Lesnar got right back up. Angle hightails it, and Lesnar gives chase. Angle gets back in first, then stomps Brock as he tries to follow. Angle hits another German suplex, this time sending Lesnar head first into the turnbuckle. Angle takes control of this one, using a combination of strikes and suplexes to maintain the advantage. Angle locks in a freestyle bow-and-arrow, which will work on Lesnar’s injured ribs. Lesnar tries to break free, but Angle modifies the hold, driving the knee into the spine of Lesnar while pulling back on the chin. Lesnar finally manages to escape, standing up with Angle on his back, then slamming him twice into the corner. Angle doesn’t relent, however, he nails a belly to belly suplex, then rams his knee twice into Lesnar’s back, sending Lesnar to the outside. Angle rolls him back in, but runs straight into a spinebuster. Both men are down, and Mike Chioda’s count gets to seven before Angle gets to his feet. Angle throws a few punches, but Lesnar fires back with knees. Angle tries to keep the advantage by raking Lesnar’s eyes, but that only serves to anger the larger Lesnar. From here, it’s Lesnar tossing Angle around the ring. He scores a two count off of a belly to belly suplex. He tries for another one, but Angle reverses it into the rolling German suplexes – four times instead of three. Angle yells for Lesnar to get to his feet, but Lesnar avoids the Angle Slam. He tries for an F5, but Angle reverses and locks Lesnar into the ankle lock. Lesnar gets to the ropes, but Angle pulls him back to the middle. Lesnar tries to break out, but Angle modifies the hold, this time into a single-leg crab. Lesnar finally makes it to the ropes, and Angle breaks the hold. Angle charges at Lesnar, then finds himself airborne as Lesnar sends him sailing over the top rope and to the floor. Angle tries to charge at Lesnar again, but Lesnar moves. Lesnar starts to work over Angle, but Angle pulls a standing switch, then hits a monster German suplex on Lesnar – sending the big man face first into the canvas! An Angle Slam earns Angle a two count. He tries for another one, but Lesnar rolls him up for two. Lesnar manages to nail Angle with the F5, but by time he manages to crawl over to make the cover, Angle kicks out at two. Lesnar tries to pick Angle back up, but Angle reverses into an ankle lock. He grapevines the leg, but Lesnar manages to drag him over to the ropes. Angle tries to drag Lesnar back toward center, but Lesnar shoves him off. He goes for another F5, but Angle rolls him up in a small package for two. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Lesnar escapes, then nails another F5. Rather than try for the pinfall, Lesnar goes to the top rope. He goes for a Shooting Star Press – but lands flat on his face. Everybody in my section – and probably everybody in the arena – thought Lesnar broke his neck. Angle goes to pick Lesnar up, but Lesnar nails a third F5, getting an arm over Angle to pick up the victory – and his second WWE Championship!
Lesnar can’t even stand up as Mike Chioda tries to hand him the WWE Championship. He finally manages to pick up the title, and when he finally pulls himself up to his feet, Angle walks over and shakes his hand. The two men hug, and pyro goes off in the background.
Video: Highlight package set to Limp Bizkit’s “Crack Addict.”
So, you guys remember how I mentioned we parked a couple streets away from the venue? Well, it took us about an hour or two to find our car. We knew what street we were parked on, we just couldn’t find it for some reason. It’s because the streets are confusing in Seattle.
Anyways, we went to ‘Mania expecting to see Angle’s last match. Angle had minimally invasive surgery and was back within a couple of months. Lesnar suffered a concussion and a hamstring injury and was back in a month or so. We didn’t know it at the time, but his match with The Rock at this WrestleMania would ultimately be Steve Austin’s last. After re-watching this DVD, I’m finding that this WrestleMania had some of the most underrated matches in ‘Mania history, including Hogan-McMahon, Michaels-Jericho, Austin-Rock III, and Angle-Lesnar. It was definitely worth the 6,000 miles we drove, the six days we spent in the car, and all the money it cost us to make the trip. Those of you going to WrestleMania 26 this weekend, have fun! I may be back one more time with a review of WrestleMania XXIV, the last WrestleMania I’ve attended, but I can’t promise anything.
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