This Sunday, the focus of the entire wrestling world will be Phoenix, AZ as the city hosts WWE WrestleMania XXVI. While I will unfortunately not be in attendance this year, I have three WrestleManias under my belt – and with them, a place as part of the attendance records at three different venues. With the biggest show of the year looming on the horizon, I’ve decided to relive the experiences I had in Toronto, Seattle, and Orlando as I attended WrestleMania’s X-8, XIX, and XXIV. Join me, if you will, as I break out my DVDs review all three of those events, beginning right now with WrestleMania X-8.
In 1990, I was 8 years old, and I’d been a wrestling fan for a year or so. I was a huge fan of Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, so when the main event of WrestleMania VI was announced, you’d think that I’d have begged my parents to take me on the two hour drive to the SkyDome in Toronto to see my two favorite wrestlers square off. Well, I don’t recall why I didn’t. Maybe back when I was 8 I didn’t realize how close Toronto actually is to Niagara Falls, NY. Maybe I didn’t think anybody would want to shell out the money for tickets to the show. I couldn’t tell you.
I remained a wrestling fan, and a dozen years later, WrestleMania was back at the SkyDome. The moment tickets went on sale, I bought mine. Nosebleed seats way in the upper deck, the 500 level. I had no idea how I was going to get there, since neither myself nor any of the friends I was traveling with had cars. Eventually deciding on taking the train, we were on our way to WrestleMania!
I got tickets for the Axxess event. Back then, you’d buy tickets for one of six or seven times. Mine were for Saturday afternoon. Got to meet some cool people and see some cool stuff, some of which you can see in the extra features of the WrestleMania X-8 DVD. This also happened to be where one of my fondest memories took place. I was standing in line to get an autograph. It was an extremely long line, and Spike Dudley was at the table. I turn to leave, and the security guard says “no, wait. Stay in line, it will be worth it – trust me.” So we stood in line. Spike got up, and X-Pac sat down. The line kept moving along. We’re about 30th in line by the time X-Pac gets up. We wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, emerging from behind the curtain is none other than Hulk Hogan himself. When I got up to him, he pointed at my shirt (which was a work shirt that says “Playboy” on one patch and “Talent Scout” on the other), and he says “I have that shirt at home, dude!” So, I did what any proud wrestling fan would do – I marked out like a little bitch, saying things like “I have a Hulk Hogan garbage can at home!” and “You’re going to kick The Rock’s ass tomorrow!” I’d love to be able to post pictures of my meeting with the Hulkster, but unfortunately, my camera chose that moment to stop working, no doubt crushed by the immortal power of Hulkamania.
Later on, The Rock cut a promo, which is also in the bonus features of the DVD, talking about how much of a jerk Hogan was to him when he was little and hanging out with his dad in the locker room.
The next day was WrestleMania. It was a beautiful day for mid-march in southern Ontario, so we walked from the hotel to the SkyDome. The hotel was on Yonge street in Toronto, where the St. Patrick’s Day parade happened to be going through. We stopped at the Hockey Hall of Fame, and then made our way to the SkyDome. I don’t know if you’ve ever stood in a mass of 68,000 people before, but it was an awesome feeling to be surrounded by so many people with a common interest. I made a negative comment about the Toronto Raptors, but avoided being lynched when the doors opened.
We hit the merch booth, and I picked up a WrestleMania X-8 nWo shirt (which is long gone by now). We got up to our seats, and while they weren’t the best seats in the house, the atmosphere was indescribable. We were treated to a dark match, which saw Scotty 2 Hotty, Albert, & Rikishi defeat Mr. Perfect, Lance Storm, & Test, despite the fact that it was Test’s birthday and his hometown.
Finally, the show began…
WrestleMania X-8 PPV review
Wow – it’s weird to see the old WWF logo…
Anyways, Saliva kicked off the show with a live performance of one of the themes to WrestleMania X-8, “Superstar,” set to a video of all the Superstars who would be participating in the night’s event. One thing that still bugs me to this day about the performance – how does one go about getting “your ass up off your shoulders?”
Interesting side note, I met Saliva a year or so later, and I told them that “the last time I saw you guys, you were performing in front of 68,000 screaming wrestling fans who had no idea who Saliva was.” Their response? “Yeah! WrestleMania!”
Video: WrestleMania is the SuperBowl of professional wrestling.
JR and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the Showcase of the Immortals, WrestleMania X-8.
Rob Van Dam is the first superstar out for the event, and his theme song, “One Of A Kind” is promoted as being available on the WWF Forceable Entry CD as he heads to the ring. He’s got a shot at the WWF Intercontinental Championship as he takes on champion William Regal.
Rob Van Dam def. William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship
It’s worth noting that this was the last WrestleMania to be presented under the WWF banner. The story here is that Regal wants to use “the power of the punch,” a brass-knuckle assisted right hand to the face. RVD kicks the knucks out of Regal’s hand early, so this turns into – of all things – a wrestling match. Regal tries to use his wrestling skill to combat RVD’s quickness, and is relatively successful in doing so, scoring several near falls. Regal’s lip gets busted open in this one. RVD goes for a rolling thunder, but Regal gets his knees up. Regal goes for the Regal Stretch, but RVD rolls him up for a two count. Regal takes Van Dam back down and waves to the crowd to a chorus of boos louder than any I’ve heard in recent memory. This match really showcases Regal’s wrestling skills. Unfortunately, wrestling skills aren’t enough these days to be a big star. When the match spills to the outside, Regal grabs the knucks off the floor. The referee catches him and takes the knucks away. Regal pulls out another set, but they get kicked back into his face by Van Dam, who then nails the Five Star Frog Splash for the victory – and the Intercontinental Championship.
I noticed a sign in the crowd that says “Kevin Nash Is Super Shredder.” It’s funny because it’s true.
Lillian Garcia is standing by with Christian, which is where I got the following screen shot that totally reeks of awesomeness:
Lillian ponders whether or not title-change lightning can strike twice as Christian will face DDP in a European Championship match. This past Monday on RAW, DDP helped Christian beat “The One” Billy Gunn, then Christian attacked Page. Lillian wants to know why Christian turned on DDP. Christian says he used DDP to get back to his winning ways, and he doesn’t need him anymore. Just like after he became a huge star, he didn’t need this second rate city and he moved to Florida. He’s a winner and he’s ready to take his place as the Champion of Europe, and for DDP, that’s not a good thing – that’s a bad thing.
Christian – Christian – At last, you’re on your owwwwwwwwwwnn…
Christian is out first for his match. He’s introduced as “now hailing from Tampa, Florida.”
Yo – it’s me, it’s me, it’s D-D-P
The European Champion makes his entrance, and we’re reminded that he was the one who drove Rhythm and Blues to the ring in a pink Cadillac at WrestleMania VI
Diamond Dallas Page def. Christian to retain the European Championship
Christian attacks Page as soon as he gets into the ring, and maintains the offense in the early going. Page finally mounts a comeback, or at least starts to, but he takes too long trying to crotch Christian into the ringpost, and Christian pulls back, causing DDP to hit the post face first. As a note, the WrestleMania X-8 signs you see in the arena are actually the back of large screens that are used to help the further away fans to see the action. The one on our side went out at one point. Page finally does get a comeback in, nailing Christian with a powerbomb. Christian goes for the Unprettier, but Page reverses it into a Diamond Cutter attempt, which is reversed. Page goes for another Diamond Cutter, but Christian battles out of that one as well. A few near falls later, and DDP finally nails the Diamond Cutter, picking up the victory and retaining his European Championship.
After the match, DDP says he’s proud of Christian. Not only did he lose, but he didn’t lose his temper. He controlled his anger even though he lost in front of 67,000 fans in the SkyDome and the bazillions of fans watching at home. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Christian then throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the ring. Page leaves through the crowd.
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman is standing by with The Rock. He starts talking about how big tonight is for The Rock. Rock silences him, and says “Finally, The Rock has come back to Toronto!” He says the stage is set for the biggest matchup as all time. It will determine the greatest ever. Last week, Hulk Hogan asked The Rock what he’s going to do when Hulkamania runs wild on him? The Rock wants Hulkamania to run wild on him. He asks Coach if he took his vitamins. Coach did. Rock asks if Coach said his prayers. Coach says he got kind of busy. The Rock yells at Coach, saying we all give thanks every day, so what is Coach waiting for. The Rock asks the crowd if they want to see Coach say his prayers. The fans respond positively, and Coach gets on his knees and starts to pray – “What up, G?” Rock asks Coach, “What in the blue hell is wrong with you?” He then boots Coach out of the scene. Rock wants Hulkamania. What’s Hogan going to do when he has butterflies in his Hulka-stomach, and he reaches down to feel if he’s still got a Hulka-strudel. What’s he gonna do when The Rock runs wild on him. Rock knows. Hogan will feel the electricity. He’ll hear 70,000 chanting his name, and The Rock’s name, he’ll see the People’s Elbow crashing down on his chest, and he will – he will he will he will smell what The Rock is cookin’!
We’re set for our third match of the night – and our third title match, at that. This one is for the WWF Hardcore Championship, and as tradition dictates, the challenger, Goldust, is out first. The 24/7 rule is in effect. Goldust goes under the ring and pulls out a couple of gold trash cans as the WWF Hardcore Champion, Maven, makes his way to the ring. For what it’s worth, I still to this day love Maven’s theme music.
WWF Hardcore Championship: Maven vs. Goldust
Maven can’t even get into the ring before Goldust nails him. The Golden One takes the early advantage in this hardcore match. He nails Maven with a cookie sheet before finally tossing him into the ring. He tries to slingshot Maven into a trashcan, but the first Tough Enough winner manages to avoid the impact. Maven rolls Goldust up for a two with an inside cradle. Goldust hits a neckbreaker for two. He pulls a gold shovel out from under the ring, and he uses it as a lever to nail Maven in the midsection with the handle. Goldust sets up one of the trashcans in the corner and whips Maven into it, scoring a two count. He grabs a gold trashcan lid, but so does Maven, and both men nail each other with the lids…
Spike Dudley def. Maven to win the WWF Hardcore Championship
Spike Dudley runs in and pins Maven, winning the Hardcore Championship under the 24/7 rule!
Still to come, Triple H challenges Chris Jericho for the WWF Undisputed Championship. Here to tell the story via their song “Tear Away” is Drowning Pool. This is an awesome song, and I’m really glad I got to see DP before their singer Dave Williams passed away. The video playing during the song illustrates the storyline with Triple H’s quad injury, his return, his (on-screen) divorce from Stephanie McMahon, and her subsequent alliance with Jericho. The chorus of the song, “I don’t care about anyone else but me,” is appropriate for this one, and the video during each chorus features one of the three of them.
Backstage, Crash Holly has caught up with Spike Dudley and is trying to wrest away the Hardcore Championship. Al Snow drives after them on a golf cart with referee Teddy Long in tow, but crashes into some boxes. Spike manages to escape Crash, but then…
The Hurricane def. Spike Dudley to win the WWF Hardcore Championship
The Hurricane flies in and kicks Spike out of nowhere, then pins him to take the title.
Video: Don’t try this at home.
Break out the “You Suck” chants, Kurt Angle is here (with hair!)! I tried to get the fans to chant “U.S.” instead, but that didn’t go over too well. I wonder why? BTW, I just typed in the website that they showed on screen during Kurt’s entrance, and yeah, WWFKurtAngle.com may be for sale. Maybe when I save up enough money, I can buy it. Kurt takes the microphone from Howard Finkel, and he’s got one thing to say. If he’d won his gold medal the way Canada’s figure skaters won theirs, he’d want to shoot himself in the freakin’ head. Unlike Canada’s medalists, he didn’t win his by whining and complaining until somebody gave it to him, he won it the old fashioned way – he earned it, because he’s the big red white and blue machine. He hopes Kane is listening, because after tonight…
Kane (in full mask!) makes his entrance. This is our first non-title match of the night. Angle nails Kane from behind with the ring bell.
Kurt Angle def. Kane
Kane apparently has “head trauma” from attacks by Angle over the previous few weeks. Angle uses that to his advantage, but Kane manages to use his power to take control of the match. Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Angle grabs the ropes. Angle finally turns the tide back into his favor with a German Suplex. He nails a couple of clotheslines on the Big Red Machine, then proceeds to stomp away on him. Angle continues to dominate as a sign that says “Where’s Pete Rose?” pops up in the crowd. Kane begins to mount a comeback, but Angle doesn’t let it last long, flipping behind Kane and delivering a trifecta of rolling German Suplexes. Angle nails a top rope clothesline, a page out of Kane’s playbook. He heads back to the top rope, but he gets clotheslined out of the air on his second attempt. Angle and Kane start trading right hands. Kane gains the upperhand, and the momentum in this one swings once again into the favor of Kane. Kane manages to nail the chokeslam, but Angle gets his hand across the bottom rope to break the count. He calls for the Tombstone, but Angle flips behind him and pulls Kane’s mask up. Kane fixes the mask but gets nailed with an Angle Slam, which scores Angle a two count. The straps come down, and Kurt locks in the Ankle Lock. Kane screams in pain, but manages to escape – momentarily. Angle locks the hold right back in, but Kane gets to the ropes. Kane manages to nail an enziguri. Both men are down, and Kane gets back to his feet first. He heads to the top rope, but Angle notices him up there and manages to take him down from the top rope. Angle goes for an Angle Slam, but Kane escapes, going for a chokeslam, which Angle escapes, rolling Kane up and pinning him (with his feet on the ropes) for the victory.
Backstage, The Hurricane is watching his step. He walks into the Godfather’s Ho’s dressing room, and grabs a broom as he hides behind a screen. The girls are changing, and one is wondering if her implants are too big. Behind the screen, the Hurriane holds the broom in a suggestive manner. The girls scream, and the Godfather comes in and chases him away.
Video: The Undertaker convinces Ric Flair to face him in a match after Flair cost him a match against The Rock at No Way Out. Methods used by the American Badass to convince Flair include assaulting and bloodying Arn Anderson, and assaulting and bloodying David Flair. The WWF Board of Directors decided to suspend Flair’s power as co-owner until after WrestleMania. Mr. McMahon has decided to make this a no disqualification match.
Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’…
The American Badass, The Undertaker, rides his motorcycle out to the ring for this no disqualification match. Deadman Inc. has a decade of destruction under his belt and he’s 9-0 at WrestleMania.
The Nature Boy Ric Flair styles and profiles his way down to the ring. He takes his robe off halfway down the aisle, and he and his man boobs sprint the rest of the way.
The Undertaker def. Ric Flair
The action spills outside right off the bat, with Flair clotheslining Undertaker over the announce table. Flair wails away on the Deadman as a fan at ringside urges him on – “Get ’em, Ric, get ’em Ric, get ’em Ric!” The Undertaker turns the tide, but he takes too long to get back in the ring after he tosses Flair in, and The Nature Boy turns things around for a moment. Taker whips Flair to the buckle, and Flair botches the corner flip spot. Undertaker takes him back to the opposite corner and starts throwing elbows and fists. He whips Flair to the buckle again, and this time, Flair flips over the ropes and lands on the apron. Undertaker boots Flair to the floor. He says “now we go to school.” Taker starts throwing fists again, and he busts Flair wide open. ‘Taker continues to dominate as Lawler makes cheesy jokes (JR: “What was he going to do, continue to let his family be exposed to whatever this unconscionable…” King: “JR, you know that’s illegal, when your family is exposed.”). Flair finally manages to connect with a few knife edge chops, but Undertaker whips him right back into the turnbuckle and resumes the beatdown. ‘Taker nails a top rope superplex and Flair screams out in pain. Undertaker covers Flair, but picks him up after two. Flair tries to throw chops but manages only one before The Undertaker resumes his domination of this match. He nails a guillotine legdrop, then covers Flair again – but again pulls him up at two. Undertaker goes for Old School, but in his cockiness, Flair pulls him down from the top rope, but his comeback is short lived as the Deadman hits a sidewalk slam for a two count. Undertaker misses a big boot, and Flair throws a few chops, sending ‘Taker to the outside. Underatker crawls over to his bike, but Flair gets to it first, grabbing a lead pipe and nailing The Undertaker with it several times. Taker charges at Flair and sandwiches the Nature Boy between the himself and the ring. Flair grabs a sign that says “KEEP OFF” from the guardrail on the aisle and nails ‘Taker with it. Flair finally takes control of the match, at least until he walks throat first into The Undertaker’s hand. Flair nails a low blow, and then locks in the Figure Four Leglock. Undertaker screams in pain, but then sits up and grabs Flair by the throat. He squeezes until Flair releases the hold, and then chokeslams Flair to the canvas. He crawls over and makes the cover, but Flair kicks out. ‘Taker starts to wail away on Flair, scoring another two count. He then takes out referee Charles Robinson, then goes out to grab his lead pipe. Flair kicks Undertaker’s knee, then chops him a few times. He whips Undertaker to the ropes, and when Undertaker rebounds, Arn Anderson steps in and nails the Double A Spinebuster, allowing Flair to grab a two count. Undertaker attacks Anderson, busting him open and locking him in the Dragon Sleeper. Flair comes in and nails Undertaker with a chair to break the hold. Flair continues to hit The Undertaker with the chair, but Undertaker boots Flair in the face. He sets up for the Last Ride, but Flair fights it, so The Undertaker drops him and opts for the Tombstone instead. The Undertaker makes the cover and he’s now 10 – 0 at WrestleMania!
Undertaker nails Charles Robinson after the match for good measure. He steps out onto the apron and counts to ten on his fingers before he leaves.
Vintage Michael Cole is standing by with Booker T, who is wearing glasses. Cole wants to know if Booker T is going to start his own winning streak, starting with the man who not only stole his spot in a Japanese shampoo commercial, but has also been questioning his intelligence, Edge. Booker T says he’s highly intelligent. He’s got glasses, doesn’t he? He was ranked number one in his class and he aced the SAT. He even won an award on his thesis on Einstein’s Theory of Relatives. Cole laughs and says that it’s the Theory of Relativity. Booker says that Einstein had two theories. Cole thinks he’s so smart. Edge isn’t smarter than Booker, he’s not better than him, and he’s not as good looking as him. After tonight, Edge will be the spokesman for a new product – a book called “I just got my ass kicked at WrestleMania by the 5 time WCW Champion.” Now can you dig that, sucka?
JR asks for a cheeseburger from the Hard Rock Cafe inside the SkyDome.
Can you dig it, Sucka!?!
Booker T and his WCW theme song make their way to the ring. A sign behind him says “Booker T stole my wallet.”
You think you know me…
The hometown boy, Edge, comes to the ring to the sounds of Rob Zombie’s “Never Gonna Stop,” which is promoted as being available on the Forceable Entry CD. We’re reminded that the last time SkyDome hosted WrestleMania, Edge was in the sixth row wearing a “Hulk Rules” T-Shirt.
Edge def. Booker T
A sign in the audience tells us what this one is really all about – “They are fighting over shampoo.” Teddy Long is the referee for this one. They start off with a collar-and-elbow tieup, and it’s a back and forth affair. Booker T drops Edge over the top rope and takes the momentum. He clotheslines Edge over the top rope and goes out after him as Long shouts out instructions. Back inside, Booker hits a missile dropkick. Booker keeps up the offense, nailing a wicked spinebuster for a two count. Booker goes back to the top rope, but Edge hits the ropes and crotches Booker on the top rope. Edge nails a hurricanrana from the top rope. Edge manages to take control of the match. Booker stops the momentum momentarily, booting Edge in the gut but missing with the scissor kick. Booker tries to roll up Edge, but Edge rolls through. Edge goes for a spear, but Booker moves out of the way then boots Edge to the canvas before performing the Spinaroonie. He nails the scissor kick, but he only manages to get a two count. He goes for the Book End, but Edge fights out of it, then nails the Spear for a two count. Edge looks at his fallen opponent then performs an Edgeroonie. He nails Booker with the Edgecution for the victory!
Backstage, The Hurricane is still trying to get out of the building when Coach comes in and asks him if what he did in the Godfather’s dressing room is really becoming of a SuperHero. Hurricane says “Holy insinuations, Coach!” He questions the integrity of The Hurricane? Whassupwitdat? He’s not a Hurri-perv, he’s the Hurri-Hardcore Champion. Mighty Molly flies in and…
Mighty Molly def. The Hurricane to win the WWF Hardcore Championship
Molly nails The Hurricane in the back of the head with a frying pan, then pins him to win the Hardcore Championship!
Video: Mr. McMahon decided to inject a lethal dose of poison into the WWF – the poison of the nWo. They attacked Austin at No Way Out. Austin got the best of Scott Hall a couple weeks later. Hall smashed a cinder block into Austin’s ankle. Austin says he’ll drop Hall with a Stunner. Hall tells Austin to prove he’s the toughest SOB in the WWF.
The Rattlesnake is here, and he’s ready for action. It says “StoneCold.com” on the screen – that’ll take you to WWE.com if you try it today. There’s a series of signs that say “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Why?” “How?” “Eh?” I met the guys who brought those signs before the show at Planet Hollywood. Or was it the day before at Axxess? I can’t remember. Anyways, everything goes all black and white (on the TV. Everything went all yellowish and strobe lighty in the arena), and Scott Hall comes out. He’s not alone, however. He’s got the big man, Kevin Nash, tagging along with him. Austin doesn’t seem too concerned.
Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Scott Hall
Referee Tim White doesn’t like the fact that Nash is out there. Austin attacks Hall before he can even get his vest off. Austin beats Hall literally from pillar to post. Hall finally manages to cause some separation, sliding out of the ring and taking his vest off. Nash goes to check on him, but he gets hit from behind by Austin, who goes right back after Scott Hall. Back in the ring, Hall manages to turn the tide. While the referee is watching the action in one corner, Nash takes the turnbuckle pad off of the opposie corner. Austin finds himself whipped into it, then Hall nudges Austin out of the ring. Hall distracts the referee and allows Nash to get a few shots in of his own on Austin. When the action ends up back inside, Hall continues the offense. Nash gets a few cheap shots in while the referee admonishes Hall. Hall goes for a big punch, but Austin kicks him in the gut and nails a Stunner. As the referee goes to count the pin, Nash pulls him out of the ring and knocks him out. The Outsiders double team Austin, but when Hall grabs a chair. Austin manages to hit the Stunner on both of them. He covers Hall, but there’s no referee. Jack Doan runs down to the ring to make the count, but Nash drops an elbow on him. Hall goes for an Outsiders Edge, but he gets backdropped over the top rope and to the floor. Several referees head to ringside and tell Nash to leave the ringside area. Meanwhile, Austin takes over on Scott Hall. He goes for a Stunner, but Hall shoves him off. Hall nails a Stunner of his own, and referee Tim White crawls back into the ring to count the pinfall – but Austin kicks out. Hall tries for another Stunner, but Austin reverses it into a Stunner of his own. Hall doesn’t fall to the ground right away, so Austin nails him with a third Stunner, then pins him for the victory!
Austin celebrates his win with a few Steveweisers.
Video: WrestleMania Fan Axxess. Hogan signing autographs is shown, but sadly I didn’t make it on camera.
The following contest is a four corner match for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Out first, being accompanied by Stacy Kiebler and played to the ring by Saliva, it’s The Dudley Boyz. Their theme by Saliva, “Turn The Tables” is promoted as being available on Forceable Entry. The second team out for this one is the team of Faarooq and Bradshaw, the A.P.A.! WWFAPA.com took me to a search for beauty salons in my area. Is the WWF trying to tell me I’m ugly? The Hardy Boyz, minus Lita, are out next. Lita will be taking on Trish Stratus and Jazz later on tonight. Finally, we get the entrance of the WWF Tag Team Champions…
You look soooooo… Good to me.
Billy and Chuck head to the ring as Jerry Lawler jokes that he was in a boy band called The Backseat Boys.
Billy & Chuck win a Four Corner Tag Team Elimination Match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
The APA waste no time attacking Billy and Chuck to start the match. The two teams battle back and forth, but when the action gets into Billy and Chuck’s corner, they double team Faarooq – probably not in the way they’re used to. Faarooq powerslams Billy Gunn thent ags in Bradshaw. Billy tags in D-Von Dudley, and things devolve. Bradshaw nails a Clothesline From Hell on Billy, but gets a 3D and pinned for his trouble. The APA have been eliminated. The Hardyz get in and the referee essentially loses control. The Dudleys break out a table, but The Hardyz attack before they can use it. Stacey gets up on the apron and shows her ass to Jeff Hardy, who smacks her ass, kisses her, then tosses her to the floor. Jeff gets attacked by Bubba Ray, who yells that “It’s time to die, Jeff Hardy!” before choking Jeff with his own shirt. Apparently, Bubba Ray Dudley and Jeff Hardy are legal here. Bubba takes control of the match, and the control continues when Bubba tags in D-Von. The Dudleys keep Hardy trapped in their corner. Finally, Matt sees enough and knocks Bubba Ray to the outside. Bubba yells up at D-Von to not let Jeff tag, and obligingly, D-Von runs across and nails Matt. Jeff finally gets some separation, dropping D-Von with a neckbreaker and tagging in Matt, who nails everybody involved other than his brother. Bubba Ray tries to hit a seated senton on Matt, but Hardy moves and hits a legdrop from the middle rope on Bubba. The Dudleys go for the “What’s Up,” Billy shoves D-Von off the top rope and through the table. Bubba knocks Gunn off the apron, but then eats a Twist of Fate from Matt Hardy and a Swanton from Jeff, allowing the Hardyz to pin Bubba. The Dudleys are eliminated. The remaining two teams continue to battle. Matt hits a pre-name Side Effect on Chuck. The Hardyz hit poetry on motion on both Billy and Chuck. Matt nails chuck with the Twist of Fate, Jeff hits the Swanton. Billy hits the Fame-asser on Jeff, and Chuck crawls over but only gets a two count. Chuck distracts the referee, and Billy nails Jeff with the title, allowing Chuck to grab the pinfall – and the victory.
Backstage, Hall is complaining that Austin got lucky. Nash said what happened to them, they take out on The Rock. Hulk Hogan comes in and he asks them to let him beat The Rock on his own. He needs to find out if he’s the man. When he proves it, he wants to make sure The Rock doesn’t have an excuse. They agree, but after Hogan leaves, Nash says there’s no way they’re not getting involved.
Elsewhere, Mighty Molly is running around when suddenly…
Christian def. Mighty Molly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship
Molly runs into a catering door that was half closed by Christian. He covers her and gets the three count – and the WWF Hardcore Championship!
Video: Hulk Hogan’s feud with The Rock, including Hogan crashing a semi into an ambulance with The Rock in it. That ambulance, by the way, was a part of an exhibit at Axxess that featured historic WWF vehicles – that ambulance, Mr. McMahon’s cement filled Corvette, and The Undertaker’s hearse.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan is out first for this match. The fans in the SkyDome cheer loudly and chant his name when he gets to the ring.
If ya smeeeellllllllll – what The Rock – is cookin’!
The Rock makes his way out for this match. The fans in the SkyDome cheer loudly and chant his name when he gets to the ring.
The Rock def. Hollywood Hogan
Hogan takes a step back before the match to enjoy the sounds of 67,000 + fans screaming at once. The flashbulbs are obvious and are flashing from every corner of the arena. Hogan gets the upperhand in the early going, and the fans go nuts, chanting Hogan’s name. The Rock turns the tables, and the fans boo. Hogan shoves The Rock – they cheer. Rock shoves Hogan – they boo. The fans cheer when The Rock knocks Hogan down. Yeah, we didn’t know what the hell we wanted. The Rock sets up for The Rock Bottom, the fans boo. Hogan takes down The Rock. He nails an elbow, and the fans cheer. Hogan controls the match – he locks in an abdominal stretch, and the fans chant Hogan’s name. Hogan rakes his nails down The Rock’s back, and the fans cheer. It’s all Hogan, both in the ring and in the fans hearts. When The Rock finally mounts some offense, he’s booed. Hogan hits a chokeslam on The Rock and then chokes him until Mike Chioda’s count gets to four. He then takes off his wrist tape and chokes The Rock with it. Hogan tosses The Rock over the top and to the floor and then begins dismantling the announce table. Back in the ring, Hogan sidesteps a charging Rock, who inadvertently knocks out the referee. Rock hits a spinebuster and manages to lock in a Sharpshooter, much to the dismay of the SkyDome fans. Hogan gets to the ropes but there’s no referee to break the hold, so The Rock drags Hogan back away from the ropes. Hogan taps out, but there’s still no referee. The fans chant “Rocky Sucks” as he tries to revive the referee. Hogan hits a low blow and nails a Rock Bottom. Chioda manages to get over to make the count, but he only gets to two. Hogan takes off his belt and starts to whip The Rock. Rock manages to nail a DDT, and he starts to whip Hogan with his own belt, and the crowd boos. He nails the Rock Bottom, but Hogan kicks out and Hulks up. Hogan nails the big boot, then drops the leg. He covers, but The Rock kicks out at two! He hits another big boot, but The Rock moves out of the way of the legdrop. He nails Hogan with another Rock Bottom. Instead of covering Hogan, he picks him up and hits a third Rock Bottom. This time, Rock springs back up and drops the People’s Elbow on Hogan, then pins him for the victory!
After the match, Hogan offers his hand to The Rock as a sign of respect. Rock hesitates, but eventually chooses to accept the handshake. Hogan presents the floor to The Rock, essentially passing the torch. Hall and Nash hit the ring. Hall tosses his toothpick into Hogan’s face, and Nash decks Hogan. The Rock returns and fights off the nWo. Hogan helps The Rock fight them off. Hogan goes to leave, but The Rock stops him – he wants Hogan to pose for the fans! Hogan and The Rock pose, then leave the ring together.
Big Show is hanging out with the fans at WWF New York.
Howard Finkel says that the sponsor of WrestleMania X-8, Pizza Pizza, is proud to announce that we’ve set a new SkyDome attendance record, 68,237!
Tradition be damned, the WWF Women’s Champion, Jazz, is out first for this triple threat match for her title. Lita makes her way out next, and her theme music, “LoveFuryPassionEnergy” by Boy Hits Car is available on the WWF Forceable Entry CD. Trish Stratus is the final competitor in this Triple Threat match, and of course the reason she’s out last is because she’s in her hometown.
Jazz def. Lita & Trish Stratus in a Triple Threat Match for the WWF Women’s Championship
Jazz attacks Lita before Trish can even get to the ring. Jazz’s MO seems to be to take out Trish and deal with Lita, but Lita is no slouch in the ring either, and in fact holds her own against the Women’s Champion. Trish finally gets back in the ring, and she and Lita go after Jazz. Their alliance doesn’t last long, as Trish kicks Lita in the head. Jazz takes advantage and attacks both women. Trish and Lita take out Jazz and then brawl with one another, and Trish lands awkwardly off of a back body drop. Lita hits the Twist of Fate on Jazz, slams Trish, then almost has a wardrobe malfunction as she tries to take her shirt off like Jeff Hardy did earlier. Wait, am I supposed to be doing this in the style of 2002? “Wardrobe Malfunction” became a widely used phrase in 2004, so um… Ah whatever. Anyways, in the end, Jazz hits a Fisherwoman Suplex off the top rope on Lita and pins her to retain her title.
Outside, Christian escapes the SkyDome. He’s showing off his title to his cab driver, but…
Maven def. Christian to regain the WWF Hardcore Championship
Maven comes outside, sneaks up on Christian, rolls him up, pins him, and escapes from the arena in Christian’s taxi!
The following contest is for the Undisputed WWF Championship. Triple H is introduced first, and he’s played to the ring by Drowning Pool, who’s rendition of “The Game” is available on Forceable Entry. Chris Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Stephanie McMahon, Triple H’s (on screen) ex wife.
Triple H def. Chris Jericho to win the Undisputed WWF Championship
The story here is that Triple H’s quad is hanging on by a thread. It’s taped up and Jericho attacks it early. Triple H goes after Jericho’s leg when he manages to get the advantage, likely an attempt to even the odds. Stephanie gets herself involved, and she gets manhandled by Triple H for her trouble. While The Game is preoccupied with trying to Pedigree his soon to be ex wife, Jericho regains his composure and attacks. Back on offense, Jericho ruthlessly attacks the injured leg. At one point, he even locks in the ringpost Figure Four that Bret Hart came up with a few years back. Jericho gets cocky, and The Game starts to battle back, but Y2J doesn’t allow that to last very long. When Triple H finally does turn the tables, he uses his power to his advantage. Jericho escapes and sends Triple H sailing over the top rope, landing on his injured leg. Jericho dismantles the announce table, much like Hogan did earlier. He tries to lock in the Walls of Jericho on top of the table, but Triple H escapes. He tries for a Pedigree, but Jericho backdrops Triple H through the Spanish announce table. Jericho rolls Triple H back into the ring then nails the Lionsault. He tries for the Walls again, but Triple H fights him off. He sets up for the Pedigree, but Jericho hits him in the injured leg, then locks him in the Walls of Jericho. The Game screams in pain, but nearly makes it to the ropes. When he gets there, Jericho pulls him back to the center of the ring. Earl Hebner raises Triple H’s hand once – it drops. Twice – it drops. A third time, but The Game keeps his arm from dropping a third time then gets to the ropes. Jericho thinks he’s won, but Hebner informs him that he didn’t. Stephanie distracts Hebner, and Jericho grabs a chair. That plan backfires – Triple H manages to DDT Jericho onto the chair. Triple H scores a two count, then Stephanie gets in the ring and grabs the chair. Earl Hebner takes it from her and screams for her to get out. Triple H gets up, and Stephanie walks right into him. He sets up, and this time he nails her with the Pedigree! Triple H turns around as Hebner is rolling Stephanie out of the ring, and Jericho blasts him with the chair, but only manages to score a two count. Jericho goes for a Pedigree of his own, but The Game reverses, slingshotting Jericho into the corner. Jericho lands on his feet and tries to attack from the middle rope, but instead he jumps right in to a kick to the midsection, which leads to a Pedigree – Triple H has won the Undisputed Championship!
After the match, The Game celebrates his victory, and we’re treated to a highlight package set to Saliva’s “Superstar” performance from earlier in the night.
After the show went off the air, Triple H walked to the top of the ramp, grabbed a microphone, and informed all the boys in the back that if they want to be the Undisputed Champion, it’s time to play The Game.
That’s it for this special review of WrestleMania X-8. Stick around to BWF this week – I’ll be reviewing WrestleMania XIX in the next couple of days.
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