Wrestling in the 2000s was a new era in wrestling where the World Wrestling Federation bought their competition WCW and ECW, changed their name to “World Wrestling Entertainment,” and the Attitude era ended so soon. This was a really up and down time in wrestling where new faces can never be as good as the old stars of Attitude (mainly blame Cena, Orton, Batista) and many of those wrestling fans stopped watching wrestling all together because of bad storytelling, predictable outcomes seen in so many matches, and backstage politics destroying the inevitable throughout the decade. Hell if the resurrection of ECW even made old ECW fans turn away from wrestling it should tell you how much wrestling has fallen having nothing but WWE and no real competition. But on the plus side, we did had old faces of yesteryear giving their best matches in this decade with Shawn Michaels having the best comeback of any wrestler, Undertaker back as the deadman, and Kurt Angle having the best matches of the decade. Mainly those three individuals saved this decade of wrestling from being so awful. While WCW and ECW has faced their demise, new wrestling companies rose to be number 2 wrestling organizations in America like Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor offering new faces and show the world a brand new style of indie wrestling. Stuff like TNA’s X-Division and ROH’s code made us appreciate in-ring work more than storytelling, which is missing in wrestling today. I have a lot of mixed feeling about this decade of wrestling, but I must say that 2002-2003, or the Ruthless Aggression era, was the best era since Attitude and quite possibly the last good wrestling era.
There was never a better time to be a pro wrestling fan than during the period from 1996-2002, when WWF was in the midst of its legendary Attitude Era. This era of wrestling made it in number 4 of the best things of the 1990s and still to this day I can go back and watch any episode, segment, or match from the Attitude Era and remind myself why I am a wrestling fan. Though I do have a very soft spot for the New Generation Era, it was important for the company to change from the family-friendly image to keep up with the times. TV ratings were at an all-time high, it was cool to be a fan and you could find a good wrestling product on TV just about any time you wanted to. Sit through one three-hour episode of Monday Night Raw, and you’ll be longing for the old days, even if you weren’t a wrestling fan in the old days. This era captures everything that I truly miss about wrestling; proper storytelling, amazing in-ring work, varied match stipulations, and outrageous character that definitely felt bigger than life. Outlandish things were happening, but there was always a reason behind them, and the stories were most often very interesting. These are not just story lines, these were epic sagas that was happening in wrestling and never again did we ever felt the same with the media again. If that’s not enough, the matches in this era took risks. In the Attitude Era, WWE climbed back to the top of the wrestling world by taking chances. People got hit with chairs, set on fire, thrown off the top of gigantic structures and run over by cars on a weekly basis. All of these things kept my interest and mixed that up with a good story, you’re presented with the most awesome moments in life! Sure, The Attitude Era ripped off Extreme Championship Wrestling’s hardcore wrestling phenomenon, but for the fact that this single era brought the highest ratings that the WWE has ever had should tell you about the success and reception it deserved. And who do we have to thank for all that was given to us in the Attitude Era? None other than Vince McMahon. Sure, the man has done some of the most questionable decisions in the business, but starting this trend in wrestling was the best thing he’s ever done for the company and wrestling itself. This was an era of wrestling that was so innovative, captivating, and so entertaining, that it’s always worth coming back to. Wrestling fans to this day are still waiting for another era like this but unfortunately since WWE went back to the times of PG, not giving two shits about telling good stories, and over enthuses on pointless in-ring work more-so than anything else. As a result of seeing wrestling getting worse and worse, it makes going back to the Attitude Era a lot better than we remembered. And these are the ten wrestlers that are responsible for making the Attitude Era so great!
Number 10. – Ken Shamrock
UFC legend Ken Shamrock came to the WWE in 1997, debuting on Monday Night Raw in February of that year to referee a submission match between Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13. Afterward, he began to wrestle full-time, engaged in various feuds, won the 1998 King of the Ring tournament and captured the Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships. It’s not just his accomplishments that made him in the list, it was his ruthless attitude that’s aways entertaining to watch whenever he snaps and goes berserk. There really no wilder character than “The Most Dangerous Man in the World.” I really dug the Ken Shamrock character because he was the wildest babyface of all time! With a character like that, you would of’ve think that he gone far in his wrestling career. Unfortunately, that was not the case because the bookers didn’t really give him a whole lot of TV time, he was shoved in too many mid-card feuds, and we never really had an Austin vs. Ken Shamrock match, that would have been a chaotic fight! After he left the WWE in 1999, Shamrock returned to MMA and UFC. He also made appearances in Ring of Honor, TNA and Juggalo Championship Wrestling. Today, he still has the occasional fight, with his last bout being in 2010. Would Ken Shamrock been a big wrestling star? He would have because nobody had the temper like he did and whenever he snaps, get ready for the ride of your life!
Number 9. – The Dudley Boys
This the best Tag Team of this era. This is the only Tag Team that won the WWF Tag Team Championship, World Tag Team Championship, WCW Tag Team Championship, ECW Tag Team Championship, and TNA Tag Team Championship. The two “brothers” from Dudleyville are the most decorated tag team within recent years, having won 23 tag team championships within every organization they’ve been in. Anything that you want to see in Hardcore wrestling in the Tag Team division, the Dudley Boys always deliver! The Dudleys are the most famous wrestlers to make use of tables during their matches as part of their gimmick and being part of the historic double TLC matches for the WWF Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam 2001 and Wrestlemania X-7 against the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian. Let’s not forget that they’ve created the created Tag Team finishing maneuver called the Dudley Death Drop (3D) that still can’t be matched. The Dudley Boys are completely impulsive but we love them for being responsible for brining life back to the Tag Team division and no other tag team has lasted long together as these two!
Number 8. – The Undertaker
One of the best things of the Attitude era was that they took the dead man gimmick and update him to a much darker and more demonic direction before the gimmick became an outdated Halloween spook. It all made the tables turn when Undertaker faced Shawn Michaels in the first Hell in a Cell at Bad Blood ’97 and his brother Kane debuts and cost him his match. The back story of the Kane character is that Undertaker set his family house on fire as child leaving all of his family members to burn, except that Kane survived and wanted nothing more than revenge. Throughout 1998, Kane and Undertaker had a fierce rivalry together at Wrestlemania 14, having two Hell in a Cell matches, an Inferno match, and so many wars together that went on and off as brothers. It was the second biggest rivalry of the company in 1998 only right behind Austin vs. McMahon. Hell, he even threw Mankind off the Hell in a Cell twice and made history! Of course the darkest part of the Undertaker character was when he began his own faction called the Ministry of Darkness. In 1999, Undertaker was the biggest heel of the WWF and wanted to destroy McMahon and Austin. Part of the reason why I can’t put Undertaker higher on the list is because that Ministry of Darkness storyline went too far by having him to be in a weak Hell in a Cell match with Big Boss Man at Wrestlemania 15 and having Vince McMahon as the higher power of the Ministry of Darkness into the Corporate Ministry was bar-non-stupid. It pushed him into mid card status and became tag team champion with Big Show. And yet the worst part of all is…
…(sigh) his American Badass Biker gimmick. I’m not at all a fan of Biker Undertaker because all of the mystique of a deadly character made tremendous storytelling and as a biker, why keep the name “Undertaker” who buries his victims, not become a member of a Harley Davidson bike gang. It would take four years after this immediate change to bring back the “Dead Man” because I did no like this character trying to compete against Stone Cold Steve Austin’s badass character.
Number 7. – Chris Jericho
One of WCW’s most talented stars never made it outside of the mid-card zone, but when Y2J made it to the WWF, the bookers pushed him as far as they could. After Shawn Michaels retire, we never could imagine another wrestler could match up to his stature, but Jericho delivered everything that we’ve waited from WCW. Jericho just had the attitude, charisma, and flying-technical skills that made him one for the millions. The moment when he made his WWF debut during the millennium countdown was some of the best debuts ever in company. Jericho didn’t disappoint his potential. He kept giving off some of the hardest hitting matches, craziest technicality, and cut the wildest promos. He was a despicable heel (reminiscing to Rowdy Roddy Piper) but was a lovable babyface. He knew how to control people’s emotions and almost every impact he delivers causes a huge reaction. I especially love it when he constantly mocks Stephanie McMahon making it a fierce rivalry between rebel and spoiled brat. Chris Jericho’s rebellious behavior and undying ego got his popularity rising to the top faster than any mid-carder in this era. And to even add more credibility to Chris Jericho’s resume, he was the first ever WWF Undesputed Champion (winning the WWF Championship and WCW World Heavyweight Championship) from The Rock and Austin. I can’t imagine a harder working wrestler than Chris Jericho. He started as the lion heart into Raw is Jericho that ran rampant throughout the years!
Number 6. – Kane
Kane, back when he used to have mystique, was some of the most fierce and feared competitors of the whole roster. At one point in time, he really was scarier than the Undertaker reminiscing to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When Kane wore his mask and hides his burned face, you know something terrible is going to happen. At one point in time (1997-2001) Kane was just an unstoppable monster that had only very little wrestlers could take down. Scariest part is that he’s the brother of the Undertaker (kayfabe). It’s the scariest backstory that any wrestler in the history of wrestling where the two brothers had a rough childhood, and Kane was horribly burnt in a fire. He had to wear a mask and a full bodysuit because of the scars that covered his body. No wrestler in their right mind would want to face him. At Wrestlemania 14 he was the very first opponent that was this close to end the Undertaker’s streak. Hell, he had an undying hatred for Undertaker that they would go far as to burning each other in an Inferno Match. He was the devil’s favorite demon, and capable of annihilating his opponents while showing no sign of remorse… and then they became tag team partners more times than not. Kane, even though he was incredibly mysterious and disturbing, had a lot of memorable moments such as teaming with X-Pac as a tag team and ended up in betrayal, taking Stone Cold’s WWF Championship (for a single day), and so many more. I would love to put Kane higher, but Kane today lost a lot of credibility since he took off his mask and did an awful miscarriage storyline with Lita, Matt Hardy, and Gene Snitsky. It’s because we really miss the mystery of Kane so much that it made going back to attitude era so worth it all.
Number 5. – Kurt Angle
It’s not every day that we get an athlete from different sport enter the wrestling world and make it his new profession. After winning a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics — with a broken neck, no less — celebrated amateur wrestler Kurt Angle would find his way to WWE in late 1999. Clad all in red, white and blue, Angle attributed his success to his “Three I’s” (intensity, integrity and intelligence), all the while lambasting members of the WWF who did not live by his example. Remember, this was the era where wrestling is filled with so many tough guys and hardcore wrestlers willing to bash anyone’s heads, and then Kurt Angle came along and made himself an idiotic character who thinks America still wants their hero to be patriotic, standards, and believe in the American dream. He’s one of the most lovable wrestling characters I’ve ever seen in wrestling where it just made himself look gullible and laughable. Angle was frequently responsible for some of the most humorous moments of the era, including his association with Edge & Christian (as a member of “Team ECK”), strumming the ol’ guitar with Austin, getting annoyed when the crowd chants “What?,” and his Texas Rattlesnake–esque milk truck assault on The Alliance in 2001. But as much as you like to laugh at his character, remember we’re dealing with an olympic gold medalist here. Kurt Angle reintroduced the technicality that once was lost in the WWF since they departed their ways from the New Generation Era. Even though Kurt Angle stole the moves from the likes of Ken Shamrock, he delivered physical moves that no other wrestler in the roster was doing; suplexes, german suplex, choke holds, dynamic slams, and so many more that categorize to the technical side of wrestling. Because he was so damn talented it pushed him a lot faster than any other wrestler at the time winning the Intercontinental Championship & European Championship (as EuroContinental Champion), King of the Ring, and even the WWF Championship within just a year since his wrestling debut. Not that many rookie was went as far as Kurt did and he still stands as one of the top stars in the wrestling world. There is no individual that deserved as much as he did and still to this day he put a good name in professional wrestling.
Number 4. – D-Generation-X
I simply couldn’t choose just one of these wrestlers in this faction to be in the list so I decided to just place all of the members into one list… except for Shawn Michaels. A lot of people considers D-Generation X as rip-offs of the WCW’s New World World, but what DX has over NWO is the right amount of members that all are stars in their own right. In a matter of fact, each of these members were big stars instead of being overshadowed by rank. Admittedly, this faction started just to save Shawn Michael’s ass from losing since the Kliq were no longer around. But after Shawn Michaels retired after Wrestlemania 14, Triple H was left bringing back X-Pac from WCW and made the New Age Outlaws a big deal. Meanwhile, Chyna became a bigger star instead of just being Hunter’s bodyguard and made history of becoming the first Woman to be Intercontinental Champion. DX ever some of the best parts of watch Monday Night Raw because of their over the top segments and shoots that were perverted, surprising, and extreme. In a matter of fact, let’s take a look at each of the members.
Triple H – No longer was he that stupid Hunter Hearsh Helmsley high clansman character, he was a top notch badass who done a better job as leader than Shawn Michaels ever did. What became a faction for Shawn’s ego turned into an iconic stable of Attitude where he lead and kept the groups strong and united. Being the master genius that he always is, he not only made DX popular in the ring, but also outside of the ring as well! Who can ever forget their trip to New York City, Invading WCW, and shouting “Leeets Get Ready To Suck It!” It’s crazy that he wasn’t just living in the times, the times was living with him. He made this sexual revolution a reality by starting small when Shawn Michaels left into a pop culture phenomenon and there’s a reason why he’s the CEO of the WWE today!
Chyna – The 9th Wonder of the World isn’t just a nickname, it’s a reputation earn by the hardest working woman in the wrestling world. She did what no other woman wrestler accomplished since and after. First woman ever to win Intercontinental Champion twice, enter the Royal Rumble, and wrestle so many men and beating them. She was extremely reminiscent to Xena and once she broke out that persona of just being Triple H’s bodyguard and lover, she became an unstoppable force. Not only that, she made muscular women accepted to the public where she can be jacked-up while looking sexual at the same time. It’s definitely hard for male wrestlers and audiences alike to not focus on the garments that she wore, but it was part of her feminine dominance that ran full force in her wrestling career. It’s funny that she’s still continues the D-Generation X ways today by becoming a pornstar… If you ain’t down with that! We got two words for ya! SUCK IT!!!
X-Pac – If there’s any member of D-Generation X that was not only as loyal, but the spirit of this entity, it has to be X-Pac. This character change was so much better than his 123 Kid gimmick and his Syxx character in the NWO. Even when DX broke up in Wrestlemania 15, he still continues the cross chops and kept the intro music with New Age Outlaws and Kane. Even today, since he hasn’t came back to the WWE roster, he still carries the essence of DX and I never seen anyone that is reluctant to the changes in the wrestling world today like Shawn Waltman. He does more cross chops, shouts “Suck It”, and even X-Factor & Bronco Buster his opponents more than anyone in the faction and without him, DX would have faded away and never have a reunion.
New Age Outlaws – These are are arguably the best tag team in the WWF and are suitable for this team than anyone else in the roster. As stated, D-Generation X made the mid-card a special attraction in the Attitude Era and these guys are responsible for it. Their “oh you didn’t know?” catchphrase popped crowds across the country, and fans chanted along with the pre-match spiel of “Road Dogg” Jesse James each and every night.
D-Generation-X was the sexual revolution of professional wrestling doing that iconic DX-chop and broken so many rules that television refuses to air. Even when Triple H disbanded the faction at Wrestlemania 15, X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn continued the DX tradition; keeping fans aware that the faction’s popularity is still alive and well. And we finally got D-Generation-X back when Triple H married Stephanie McMahon and begun the McMahon-Hemsley Era (just without Chyna around). D-Generation-X was the biggest thing in Attitude Era, and it wouldn’t’ the same without them. They’ve made mid-card and main events special whenever they’re involved in these shows. If you ain’t down with that we got two words for ya! SUCK IT!!!
Number 3. – Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon
I just can’t separate these two because they were really made for each other than any other rivalry in wrestling history. These two are responsible for bringing back the WWF from being defeated by WCW in the Monday Night Wars by simply putting the most intense rivalry ever seen in television. Ever since Vince McMahon screwed Bret in the Montreal Screwjob, the whole world knew how big his ego is. It was genius for him to face the consequences and exploit that ego to create controversy. And for an individual that could push that ego into full force was the new face of the WWF, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin did what Bret Hart should have done, and that’s break every rules that McMahon created and Austin not only did that, but he made it extremely personal. Stone Cold is the polar opposite of Vince where he swears, fights dirty, and drinks constantly making Vince lose all of his temper to wage war on Stone Cold since he was incapable of putting him caged up from being so reckless. Austin always foiled Vince’s plans and rarely does Vince reign supreme. They are the most important feud in WWF history because it was everything we hate about our bosses and have Stone Cold to represent the common man who stands up against the higher ranks. These two have so many damn memorable moments that it’s worth going back to watching them grind each other’s gears from 1997 all the way to 2000. Austin’s rebellious behavior is what made the Crash TV movement so popular, not just WWF. And night after night after night Vince would just love to piss off fans and Austin comes back to get even. Sometimes a feud is not just about the matches they have, but the segments and events that they’ve done together. The chemistry between the two is the ultimate measuring stick of what makes a wrestling feud great. Sure you can place Austin as his own spot on the list as the greatest of all time, but all of his other feuds didn’t make him an all time great, his hatred and battles with Vince McMahon did! That’s why they’ both made it in the list together. For two consecutive years these two were recognized as the best rivalry of the professional wrestling world and still to this day we get a chance to see Austin to continue to ruin Vince’s life. People still pay money to see it and it never get old! No other rivalry can ever say the same thing.
Number 2. – Mankind
I’m so much of a Mankind fan that I just went crazy for this character. It was genius to make what once an extremely dark character into a gullible hardcore nut that had so much brain damage. Wether if you like Mankind, Dude Love, or Cactus Jack, Mick Foley brought ECW hardcore wrestling style to the New Generation Era that lowly evolved into Attitude. He became a huge attraction of the WWF when he took the hardest bumps and faced the most violent matches. Without him, this Crash TV image that the Attitude Era needed wouldn’t’ get so many audiences tune in and bring out their vicarious behavior. Part of what made Attitude work is that it showed that anyone can be a star and Mankind accomplished that dream. The reason why I put Mankind over all of Mick Foley’s characters is because the Mankind persona was iconic, gullible, and lovable all at once. We all feel sorry for Mankind who had a heart of gold to damage his body but we love him for doing it for our own entertainment. Who can ever forget all the times he knocked people out with Mr. Socko, being the first ever Hardcore Champion, tossed off the Hell in a Cell with Undertaker twice, Rock This is Your Life (highest rated episode of Raw), and taking more high risk moves and crash landed harder than any one else in the ring? He was the happy-go getter of a roster filled with badasses. He was the most different of all the wrestlers, appearing like a human Crash Test Dummy! Sure Austin vs. McMahon got people tuning into the product and Austin started the Attitude Era in King of the Ring 1996, but the night that Mankind won the WWF Championship was when WWF started beating WCW in the ratings! Without that historic episode of Raw is War, who knows how would WWF beat WCW in the Monday Night Wars. And yet, he didn’t even stop the gaining ratings when he did the Rock This Is Your Life segment that still stands as the highest rated episode of Raw history! Not even Stone Cold Steve Austin drew as much money as Foley did! Mankind is one of the most important figures of the whole WWE product and WCW would probably destroy WWF without his involvement of the company. We sympathized, we laughed, we were in awe, and we amazed with almost everything Mick Foley succeeded and it’s a darn shame people forgot about that. Nobody has ever took as many stunts and bumps as Mankind and for that we honor Foley as God for never giving up after all the beatings that he has received for the WWE!
Number 1. – The Rock
There was no doubt in my mind that The Rock had to be number 1 on this list. Sure a lot of fans would have argued that Stone Cold Steve Austin is a better wrestler, but Steve Austin wasn’t the best of his time. There were too many big fishes in the pond and The Rock did a lot more for the Attitude Era as whole than Austin ever did. Austin’s whole purpose was to fight Vince and he went absent in mid 1999 leaving the Rock to carry the company. And The Rock not only had the Attitude era right behind him, but also became the biggest star that the WWE has ever had. The Rock started out as an outdated smiling babyface that was behind the times, became a member of the hated Nation of Domination, became the corporate champion when he won The Survivor Series 1998 tournament, teamed up with Mankind as Rock n’ Sock Connection, and broke free as the greatest single wrestler since Hulk Hogan. You simply can’t argue with all of the iconic aspects of the Rock’s character like him raising his eye brows, raising his right fist in the air as he stand on the mid rope, mocking his opponents, and shouting “If You Smell What The Rock… Is Cookin’!” That is single handedly the best catch phrase in all of wrestling and none after it could even come close. And whenever he cuts promos, he makes it like he’s the resurrection of Muhammad Ali. He’s not all talk, he’s also brutal in the ring. The Rock had some of the best move sets as well like his iconic Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow that still continues to raise people off their seats and yell for Rocky! The way The Rock moves is incredibly where he keeps jumping back to his feet and sometimes when he gives someone a pump, he poses out with reaction. While a lot of the characters in the Attitude Era look like trash hardcore wrestlers, The Rock dressed with class while still with the crash tv times. Everything that the Rock does is purely entertaining and very little wrestlers out there could ever match up to him. Even though Vince McMahon brought the best out of Stone Cold, The Rock brought the best out of everybody else and still managed to beat many of them. The Rock also has a talent for everything that can keep everyone interested no matter what, that’s why he’s a big Hollywood movie star today. Not only that, but almost everything he does creates as significance to the WWF product. If you disagree, how about the term Smackdown he used a lot that became a word in the webster’s dictionary and a secondary weekly show to compete against WCW’s Thunder? Almost everything that the Rock did is memorable and it’s the reason why he’s so famous around the world. If anything The Rock deserves all the credibility given to him and he deserves nothing more than to be the best wrestler of the attitude era and possibly the best WWE wrestler of all time!
2004 has got to be some of the most boring times of being a wrestling fan because Chris Benoit’s World title reign should have been longer, JBL’s WWE title went too long, Smackdown (once was WWE’s best show) became a dull show, and Triple H continues to bury more talents, except for Evolution. The brand extension became very boring as both Smackdown and Raw just didn’t tell at all a good story and had a miss opportunity to make even more new stars besides Randy Orton, John Cena, and Batista. 2005 wasn’t a different year anyway, but Wrestlemania 21 was headed to Hollywood of all places. This is the place where movies are made and stars are located. It’s wonderful to have a high classy setting for the whole show that really riches the props. The marketing for this show was insane by having commercials of the Wrestlers parodying classic movies just to promote the show set in Hollywood! Even better was the night before Wrestlemania, they’ve had Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, Jimmy Hart, Cowboy Bob Orton, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Hulk Hogan rewarded for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2005; making it the best Hall of Fame class that the WWE has ever had. But as we all know that just because you have all great quality setting, build-up, and nice props, doesn’t mean that the matches are going to be better. So let’s take a look at what this Wrestlemania has in store for us.
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero – How long has it been since we had a great opening match? Well, over a decade ago with Owen vs. Bret in Wrestlemania X and I still say that that opening match is still superior over Mysterio and Guerrero, but it was nice to see it come as a close second. Both of these guys were WWE Tag Team Champions (Smackdown’s tag champs) and they had no grudges, no story, and no build up towards this opening card, but they certainly surprised the hell out of me by delivering lucha libre technical wrestling that we don’t see anymore. Of course the only thing I find a flaw with this match was that Rey Mysterio kept fixing his mask almost throughout the match whenever he moved around too much but at least it didn’t fall off. We were offered with a lot of flips, flying moves, amazing submissions (like the Surf Board submission), suplexes, hurricanerattas, roll-ups, slams, power bombs, plenty of reversals and almost everything that was a clean wrestling move. I remember when Eddie was about to apply the Frog Splash, Rey moved out of the way in a split second which was fastest speed I’ve ever seen in Wrestling. The best part of this kind of match is that you know that the match was going to end in a quick roll-up and Rey won this match out of a hurricaneratta. It was a surprise to see Rey won this match because it looked like Eddie deserved the win, but it was certainly nice to see a babyface vs. babyface match like this one and ended with a surprise. Certainly one of the most underrated Wrestlemania matches of all time and it’s a memorable moment for Eddie’s last Wrestlemania appearance.
Match Score: 5/5
Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Benoit vs. Christian (with Tyson Tomko) vs. Kane – Money In The Bank Ladder Match – This is the first Money in the Bank Ladder Match (not the first Ladder Match) and for some odd reason, I still find this one of the best MITB matches ever. For those who don’t know Money in the Bank, this is where six men would fight over a contract inside a steel briefcase hung high above the ring. All of these six men gave some of the best efforts that I’ve seen in a Ladder match since Wrestlemania X7’s TLC 2. Hell even the entrances were fucking awesome before the match even started when Kane came in and all of the Ladders of the Ramp was casted on fire and had to start the fight without hesitation. All of Raw’s talented mid-carders gave us the best of the best. Everyone used the Ladder in the most creative way in order to take each other out. This is what all Ladder matches needs to do and the first ever MITB had to be some of the best Ladder matches offered from the WWE. One of my highlights of this match was when Christian and Edge (former partners) are reunited and worked together to take out guys like Kane. It was a nostalgic feeling that many of us really miss today. Kane may not have been climbing the ladder as much as everyone else in this match, but he helped catch plenty of people as they dove off the top of one. Shelton Benjamin was certainly the most talented in the match where he was the most agile and the most daring out of the six men in this match. I think the one thing that was a bit too hard to watch this match was when Chris Benoit had to climb on top of the ladder just to apply a diving headbutt to Kane. It was a nasty sight to see his stitches open and broke his nose. What’s even harder to watch that moment was that it’s one of the many stunts that damaged Benoit’s brain and… I’m not going to what later happened to his personal life. The match ended with a Chairshot to Benoit’s arm and Edge added yet another accolade to his history-making career by having the honor of winning the first Money in the Bank match. Certainly this is the match that made the beginning of Wrestlemania 21 great as it is.
Match Score: 5/5
Well this is one of those Wrestlemanias where the segments where very part of the show as the matches and… sigh… Eugene had to come in an have him with a mic and talk about past Wrestlemanias. Then he had to be interrupted with Muhammad Hassan and Daivari interrupted him with Hassan expressing his outrage for not being included in a match for the event. Hassan concluded that since he wasn’t scheduled to compete at the event and was therefore denied the opportunity to experience his own WrestleMania “moment”, he would have to create a “moment” of his own. Following this remark, Hassan and Daivari began to assault Eugene. With Eugene placed into a Camel clutch hold while Daivari verbally attacked him, Hulk Hogan came down to the ring to save Eugene from the assault, knocking Hassan and Daivari out of the ring. Hogan celebrated posing in the ring for the crowd. Having Hogan came in this segment was some of the most surprising moment of the entire show, even though he earned that Hall of Fame 2005 the night before.
Segment Score: 4/5
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton (with Bob Orton) – Admittedly, I am not a fan of Randy Orton, but he was the first Evolution member the broke apart of the group and became the big star that he is know known today. Somehow he became a heel once again and wanted to challenge the Undertaker. This was a Raw star vs. Smackdown star moment of the Brand extension, but the stipulation was Legend vs. Legend Killer (I miss that gimmick). The build up for this match was going really good where Randy started attacking as many WWE Legends as he could to prove a statement, RKO’d Stacy Kiebler, and even had Bob Orton coming back to help his son’s hype for the match. For a guy who was a little smaller than the Undertaker, Orton really delivered by giving really smart tactics, surprising reversals, and even had Bob Orton coming down the ring to save his son by hitting ‘Taker with a casket. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Undertaker feel like he’s about to lose the streak but all of the ruse that Orton had, ‘Taker survived and does his best to backfire. I can really say that we haven’t seen a good Wrestlemania match since his match against Kane in Wrestlemania 14, NOT Wrestlemania 20. The best part of the match was when Undertaker kicked Bob Orton with a big boot and tried for a chokeslam on Randy, Randy reversed it to an RKO. That was some o the most surprising reversals of the whole show that almost look like the streak was going to end, but thankfully the match ended with Undertaker hitting Orton with a Tombstone and kept the streak alive.
Match Score: 5/5
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Christy Hemme (with Lita) – Women’s Championship – Sigh, after 3 really fantastic match, we had to reach the inevitable by having a really bad match, and this certainly was a stinker. Why in the world is Christiy Hemme had to be number one contender for the Women’s Championship?… Oh, because she posed for Playboy… I wished Lita fully recovered from that neck injury during this match because if Wrestlemania really needed a great woman’s match, it had to be Lita vs. Trish. But we only had that later in 2005 after Lita fully recovered. Christy Hemme was simply pathetic! She couldn’t even fight or take a pinch. That post where she’s posing like a boxer was embarrassing to watch. Obviously this should have been a one sided match, but cringe each time Trish had to oversell Hemme’s moves (like she ever was that powerful). Trish’s dance partner was not even a “wrestler” just an overrated pretty face that won Raw Diva Search contest in 2005, posed for Playboy, and was pushed a lot faster than any female rookie in the history of Wrestling, it never delivered any good matches with her. Hemme couldn’t even handle a simple Chick Kick that let Trish retain her title. This is another Wrestlemania where it explains why Women’s matches is at the shape that it is today!
Match Score: 1/5
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels – This match’s story was really well-told and the build up was insane! Angle is facing his least favorite wrestler. He was angered at the fact that Shawn eliminated him at the Royal Rumble 2005 match and made it personal. The build up got really personal when he claims that on the day that Kurt Angle won his Olympic Gold Metal in 1996, everybody was talking about Shawn beating Bret in Wrestlemania 12 instead of his victory. Shawn Michaels versus Kurt Angle was nothing more than a fantasy match-up for a number of years. This match is the best match on the card! It began with a pure mat-wrestling, which was a surprise because HBK never done this before, but he kept up Angle’s pace perfectly! Then the two start to show their grudges against each other by making this match more physical and violent. A slow build to fiery end as the two technicians give fans everything, and that’s what storytelling really means in the wrestling world. I still remember Kurt tried so desperately to German Suplex Shawn to the announcer’s table, but after HBK knock back Kurt to lie on the table, Shawn applied a moonsault from the apron to the table. That was one of the most insane moments of the entire match. From submission holds to high-flying action to an breathtaking ending that saw both men receive standing ovations. Angle hits the Angle Slam off the top rope, HBK hits Sweet Chin Music, then after kicking out at two, nothing could put either man down. That is until, Angle applied his final the ankle lock, that really damaged HBK’s leg. After a fierce fight, Michaels taps. This is Shawn Michael’s third best Wrestlemania match and it is hands down Kurt Angle’s best Wrestelmania match ever! This was a Dream Match that had been discussed for years amongst hardcore wrestling fans. Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels were at their best and the fans began demanding to see this great match. The build, the anticipation, and the payoff couldn’t have been better.
Match Score: 6/5
Piper’s Pit – How long has it been since we seen a Piper’s Pit in Wrestlemania and it made me happy to see Rowdy Roddy Piper earn his WWE Hall of Fame 2005 the night before and came back with Stone Cold Steve Austin as his special guest. These two really were their equals as they were the rebels of their time. It was amazing to see them slapping and talking smack at each other, it was magic! It’s a shame that these two are not in a good shape to wrestle each other, for what we have, it was wonderful to see them on screen doing what they do best (especially when Piper mocked the fans who said “What?”)… then Carlito had come in and interrupted and began to insult them. This resulted in Carlito receiving a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin and Piper throwing him out of the ring. Both ended the segment celebrating with beer until Austin gave Piper a Stone Cold Stunner as well. I don’t know if the segment would be betters with or without Carlito but it was fun to see Stone Cold & Piper going at it in this show. I can’t recall if there are any better Piper’s Pit but this sure was a fun moment of the show.
Segment Score: 4/5
Akebono vs. Big Show – Sumo Match – Well, after a great match, we had to start catching our breaths from a wonderful match with a mid-card match… but we didn’t ask for anything this ridiculous!! This match isn’t just bad (not as bad as the Lesnar-Goldberg match) but it was offensive. It offends me that anyone think that a Sumo match is a joke, it isn’t! It’s Japan’s most traditional, physical, and most important sport that lasted for over a century. Americans doesn’t even know the importance of Sumo but I’ll give WWE credit, they’ve tried to introduce the North American audience what Sumo wrestling is by featuring the greatest Yokozuna (Sumo Champion) Akebono. It’s too bad that no American knows who Akebono is because he was the best at his time and the first American that won the Yokozuna title. But was it Sumo is, it’s a real physical sport and this match was phony baloney! If this was actually real, then we would have had these men toss out within seconds. It was too slow and all it did was test my patience to just have Big Show to be toss off of the ring for Akebono to win. What a disgrace to the Sumo sport!
Match Score: 0/5
John Cena vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) – WWE Championship – Of course, this match was to have Cena win the title because we all grew sick of JBL holding the WWE championship for almost a year which is the reason why Smackdown in 2004 sucked! You can certainly see this kind of match in an episode of Smackdown! The main problem with this match, is that it was almost too high up on the card. You had an Undertaker vs. Randy Orton match that was pretty special—given the whole “Legend Killer” hype Orton had. Even a stunning Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels match was below Cena’s attempt in 2005. Like many of both of Cena’s and JBL’s matches that are so tiresome to watch because of the a lack of technical superiority combined with poor placing on the card send this one toward the bottom. Obvious Cena had to win to become a big name that he is today, but for him to become a big name because of this match show why Cena’s a mediocre wrestler.
Match Score: 2/5
Batista vs. Triple H (c) (with Ric Flair) – World Heavyweight Championship – The build up for this match was really well told for the sake that not only Randy Orton got kicked out of Evolution, but Evolution’s muscle is against the leader. Ever since he won the Royal Rumble 2005, and he had doubts of Triple H’s loyalty to the team. Instantly, he chose to compete against HHH instead of JBL, and it was great to see them go at it together. I’ll admit that Batista is no Brock Lesnar, but he sure had enough steroids to take the Game down. The match definitely was no wrestling classic because there were no memorable moments except for the part where Batista catapult Triple H to the ring post and he started bleeding like a stuffed Pig. Triple H basically dominated the first half of the match with Batista dominating the second. The only thing that mattered was to have Batista kick out of the Pedigree and win it with a Batista-bomb. At least in the end the animal was unleashed and Batista finally left the World Heavyweight Champion!
Match Score: 3/5
Wrestlemania 21 was one of the most important Wrestlemania’s in WWE history. It saw the rise to success of Edge, Batista and John Cena (for better or for worse). Though two main events were average at best, the beginning and middle of the show was what I really want to see in a Wrestlemania! The match that certainly stole the show was the Angle-Michaels match that was perfectly performed (despite the fact that the announcer’s table didn’t break) that it became the best WWE match of 2005 (The AJ Style-Samoa Joe-Christopher Daniels match in TNA is the best match of 2005). Sure there was a lot of drawback like the Women’s match, the Sumo Match, and the average main events, but it was historic to have our first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, a solid opener since Bret vs. Owen, an Undertaker match that wasn’t this well performed since Wrestlemania 14, and dream match between Angle and Michaels. Hell, even the segments were just as good as the show having Hulk Hogan return pose to the crowd like in the Hogan-era and a memorable Piper’s Pit! “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” fit the part of a huge entertainment gala, as the show was preceded by entertaining parodies of classic films, starring the roster. Wrestlemania 21 was a spectacle that offered the highest of qualities that WWE is capable of!
The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 21
On March 31, 1985, Vince McMahon and his Wrestling organization start to what is to become the biggest wrestling event of all time. Twenty years later, the Wrestlemania name kept getting bigger and it draws wrestling fans everywhere and non-wrestling fans alike to see what is considered to be the grand daddy of them all. We’re back in the Madison Square Garden where it all started and you couldn’t place a show perfectly than in here. A lot has changed since Wrestlemania 20, but to have this once in a year show to draw a big crowd and keep so many of us entertained throughout all of these years should really tell you the star power of Wrestlemania. Coming into Wrestlemania 20, this really is a show that was twenty years in the making and when you go back to this show, it once was one of the most important shows of 2004, if not the most important show of all time, and now it’s looked as a tragedy. And if you know anything about this main event, you will know why.
John Cena vs. Big Show (c) – United States Championship – When you take a look at John Cena today and look at him in this match, you can really see how much of a badass superstar he once was when he used to freestyle on the mic and even talk smack at his opponents. It was a way to build Cena up to recognition before this match because he was a nobody around this period of time. Coming to this match Cena and Show just duked it out but it wasn’t as entertaining as I hoped. It was a dull opening match that went near the 10 minute mark and I thought to myself that Cena (at this point in time) didn’t deserve to have this much of screen time. I honestly don’t remember anything happening in this match other than Cena giving the F-U to a 7-footer, 500-pounder that was impressive. But the match was what is was but it didn’t keep me amused.
Match Score: 3/5
Booker T and Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) vs. La Résistance (René Duprée and Rob Conway) – World Tag Team Championships – dThe once thing about the brand extension at this point in time is that both Raw and Smackdown had equal Championships where each had 2 minor championships, a top championship to represent at the top star of the brand, and tag team championships. Now the World Tag Team Championships is not much to talk about because their Tag Team Division is almost meaningless. I’m still a little upset that the Dudley’s never won a Wrestlemania match and they clearly deserved it for all the sacrifices and representation of what tag team really is. The match overall is just there. There were no serious bumps, nothing memorable, and the match just left us with a underwhelming note. Sure Booker T and RVD won the championships, but it was overall a pointless booking that didn’t add anything of anyone’s careers or the show itself.
Match Score: 2/5
Christian vs. Chris Jericho – After two meh, matches we finally got ourselves a very well done match. Coming into this match Christian and Jericho were tied into a tell told storyline where they both got in a love affair with Trish Stratus and Lita. Because of one nasty talk behind Trish’s back by gambling which one was going to bang their girl for 1 Canadian dollar ruined the double date. Eventually, Christian assaulted both Trish and Jericho leading into WrestleMania XX, and a match between the former friends was booked for the show. Jericho and Christian, two of the best in-ring workers of the Raw brand, delivered a very good match that lasted just under 15 minutes. Jericho showed great fire and intensity early, as he unleashed his anger on the former Intercontinental champion. Captain Charisma slowed things down a bit and took control, but the former partners knew each other so well that they were able to escape by countering signature moves. Late in the match, Trish made her way to the ring and almost instantly became a target for Christian. He brought her into the ring by her hair, then shoved her down in the corner. When Jericho attempted to check on her, she caught him with what appeared to be an inadvertent elbow, allowing Christian to roll him up and score a cheap win. After the match, Trish slapped Jericho and revealed her relationship with Christian to the shock of the Madison Square Garden crowd. The match ended so dramatically in a soap opera-ish finish that left all of us in shock that such a heel turn has blew right in our faces! This is really an underrated Wrestlemania match and you can see Christian’s potential as you watch this match that still makes you wonder why wasn’t he as big as Jericho.
Match Score: 4/5
Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair) vs. Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (The Rock and Mick Foley) – When Evolution first started as a faction, I thought it was Triple H’s attempt to create a modern D-Generation-X but used as henchmen for Hunter’s burying. Eventually, it was there to creat new stars with the members of Batista and Orton, but I think that they were a bit too pushed to early because I still don’t think that they’re qualified enough to face the likes of Rock n’ Sock Connection, one of my favorite Tag Team of all Time! We’re talking about Rock n’ Sock Connection! One of the most important figures of the Tag Team division in the Attitude Era that represented an unusual pairing that really worked together like opposites attract. It was fantastic to see the Rock and Mick Foley come back to the ring one more time that brings out the warm nostalgic feeling out of me. Looking back at it now, it was really well placed for a great wrestlemania match and it was so fun to watch. Mainly it’s because Rock, Foley, and Flair that took control of the show while Batistia and Orton still had no personality was just there. What makes this match so fun to watch is to see Rock, Flair, and Foley do their iconic moves seen in many of their matches once again like People’s Elbow, Mr. Socko, Figure Four, Turning on the turn buckle, Rock Bottom, and more. My favorite part of this match was when Ric was doing his version of the People’s Elbow that was funny was hell and then The Rock got back on his feet and did one on Flair. It was so much fun seeing these guys again in action. However just left us in a sour note when Foley brought out Mr. Socko just to get RKO’d by Randy Orton for the win. After that, it just made me say to myself “That was it?” I still feel that this match could have done so much more for us Rock and Foley fans, but for what we got, I couldn’t image it being held anywhere else but in this show.
Match Score: 4/5
Torrie Wilson and Sable vs. Stacy Keibler and Miss Jackie – Playboy Evening Gown Match – This is one of those matches where it was a Raw vs. Smackdown matchup but this time both brands use their sexiest women in their brands to go in a tag team match. This match was to promote Torrie and Sable’s duo Playboy Magazine. We haven’t seen Sable since Wrestlemania 15 and to see year 5 years later and still have the look, wooh. This match had a lot of promise and it surely did deliver to us heterosexual men. All four of these women never looked better as they wore their gowns for us and applied very “flexible” moves. My favorite part of the match was when Torrie Wilson did a roll up to Miss Jackie while sitting with her two butt cheek on top of both of Jackie’s breasts. That was so hot when Torrie was pulling up her panties to show her crack. I admit that there’s very little effort in this match, but never was there a sexier Wrestlemania match than this one!
Match Score: 3/5
Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Último Dragón vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki vs. Nunzio vs. Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri vs. Akio – Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship – The Cruiserweight Open is a bit of a unique but an awkward match when you think about it. All of these men drew a number and must go one on one. If any of the wrestlers wins by pinfall or submission then the next wrestler with the next number until the last man standing. The Champion, Chavo Guerrero comes out and gets #10. He also has Chavo Sr. in his corner. Chavo Sr. actually worked on the first WWF super card, the August 9, 1980 Shea Stadium show headlined by Bruno vs. Zbyszko. He worked with Tatsumi Fujinami underneath. All the guys come out and stay around the ring, rather than come from the back for the surprise factor. Shannon Moore and Ultimo Dragon start. Dragon came to the WWE specifically so he could fulfill the goal of working in MSG. Dragon pins Moore with the DDT and Jamie Noble is in. Noble takes out Dragon and then Funaki in short order. Little Guido is in next. Nunzio is counted out and Kidman is in. Kidman pins Noble and Rey is in. He’s also wearing Flash inspired ring attire and I do mean the superhero and not the OVW guy. They should have teamed him up with Hurricane. Rey takes out Kidman and Tajiri comes in. Tajiri goes to use the mist, misses and hits Akio and then gets rolled up. A pissed off Tajiri sucker kicks Rey. Jimmy Wang Akio is deemed unable to perform and Chavo is in. Chavo Sr. takes a bump off the apron. Chavo rolls him up and Sr. grabs his hands for the pin. Way too rushed and as a result was nowhere as good as it should have been.
Match Score: 3/5
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – Now I’ve been reviewing a lot of Wrestlemanias up to this point and I’ve seen a lot of horrible matches. This one here, is perhaps THE most disappointing Wrestlemania match I’ve ever seen in my life. Here we are having two of the biggest and strongest wrestlers in the WWE that they need to have Stone Cold Steve Austin to be special guest referee to control this match. We’ve expected a monstrous match between two physique wrestlers. But we never got that. We were betrayed because Brock Lesnar was leaving after this Wrestlemania where he wants to join the NFL Vikings and Goldberg despised what WWE booking did to his credentials. It’s no wonder why Sting never came to WWE because what they’ve done to WCW’s top stars like Goldberg having Triple H burying him for no apparent reason than to make himself look better than anyone else. Goldberg vs. Lesnar is sickens me each time I go back to this match. This was some of the most unprofessional matches I’ve ever seen where the majority of the match, these two idiots just stood there, grappled each other then stood there some more. The whole crowd hijacked the match chanting “Goldberg sucks!” “Lesnar Sucks!” “You Sold Out!” and “Boring!!” throughout this match. Here we are having Stone Cold Steve Austin standing there just waiting for them to finally go at it. Then grapple some more, then the brawl was taken out at ringside, slowly. Then they comeback in the ring to finally do their finishers. At this point I really want this to be over. Lesnar gives Goldberg an F-5, but (fuck!) he kicked out. Then Goldberg gave Lesnar a Spear and Jackhammer for the win. But that didn’t end there, Lesnar had to get back up on his feet and flip off at the fans then at Stone Cold. Then later Stone Cold gave him a stunner and it’s a miracle that Brock sold it otherwise he would of made this match much worse than it already is. Then Goldberg celebrated with Austin with a beer. It was cool to see what was WCW’s top star drinking with Stone Cold who both look similar and were the toughest players of their sport even though we’ll never see them wrestle each other. The crowd booed at Goldberg’s victory, so Austin had to stunner Bill and take the spotlight away from both of them… man this was a disastrous match! It went beyond disappointment but turned out to be a soulless, passionless, and most dried out match that I’ve ever seen. The match as a whole just could not be saved due to the intense hate the crowd was spewing all throughout it. The slow start was embarrassing and they didn’t seem to have chemistry in the ring. But what’s worse is the attitude between both men that made this one of the worst matches that I’ve ever seen in my life. Sure Brock Lesnar became a bigger name in the MMA world years later, but it’s because of this very match is why I’m not much of a fan of Brock and Goldberg as I used to be. I really looked forward to this match back in 2004 and this match becomes more shitty as the years go by. It ultimately became an embarrassment for all three of those men, the whole company, and even the wrestling fans who supported WWE throughout all of these years! It was supposed to be the best physique match since Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan, but it was just to have Bill Goldberg winning the match, let Lesnar go, just to have Stone Cold give the stunner on the both of them. This is the biggest abortion that has ever happened to wrestling. At least all the bad wrestlemania matches, you can see some patin for the wrestlers to give a good show, but these two did not even gave a shit!
Match Score: -1/5 (lowest score that I can give to any match)
Too Cool (Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty) (c) vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. The Basham Brothers vs. The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) – WWE Tag Team Championships – We’ve already had Raw doing their four-way tag team match for their Tag Team Championship, so what made this made any different. It’s not; it’s nearly identical. I know that I should feel appreciative that Rikishi is making his last Wrestlemania appearance before he had to leave the company, but this really is a weak stipulation with no story and nothing really memorable happening in this match. I really don’t understand why the booking decision feel the need that we should have two identical tag team championship matches with the same results of the champions retaining their championships. What a forgettable match. Yes, this match gets a lower score than the first tag team match because a repeat of a similar match seen earlier is a crime to me.
Match Score: 1/5
Victoria (c) vs. Molly Holly – Hair vs. Hair match for the Women’s Championship – Here’s a match that really pisses me off. I’m a wrestling fan that really cares for the women’s wrestling match and we have two of the best wrestlers in the women’s division having a joke match. They had their opportunity to have a pure wrestling match between two women and make a better match than the women’s match last year. But instead the WWF had to humiliate Molly Holly because she’s a heel that’s despised for protesting against the sex appeal of women’s wrestling. Whether or not if it’s a kayfabe or real feeling from Molly Holly, she’s right! The women’s division has suffered quality because of their focus on appealing to the heterosexuals by making them sex symbols instead of delivering qualitative matches that they are more than capable of. If you really want to know how I feel about Molly Holly, I still consider her as one of the most underrated wrestlers (not just women wrestlers) of all time and booking ruined her wrestling career. Of course she had to loose and had her head shaved bald. I don’t find this once funny, instead I just look at it as the death of Molly’s career and there’s no recovery from here. You had an opportunity to actually give us a great story, show what these two women are capable of in the ring, and establish what women’s wrestling is all about. But instead you just had to humiliate the least attractive woman in the roster and the women’s division in the WWE still suffers because stunts like this one!
Match Score: 0/5
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Championship – I remember that around 2004, this was finally Eddie’s big break after wrestling as a talented mid-card who wrestled for ECW, WCW, and the WWE. As soon as he defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, it was his time to shine. But could he kept the spotlight the likes of Kurt Angle? We’re talking about Smackdown’s top star who brought in-ring athleticism in the Attitude Era and then made it a standard in the Brand Extension. He truly was the master of the ring, so how was Eddie going to win this one? The master mat-wrestler Angle was in control for much of the beginning. He wore down Guerrero with headlocks, grinding his arm around Guerrero’s neck. The slow pace built the foundation that the climax would later be placed upon. Both men seemed patient, cautious, both respectful and somewhat fearful of each other. Guerrero injured his ribs when he missed a dive, colliding with the barricade outside the ring. Angle then attacked that injured torso with vigor. He delivered a backbreaker and a leg scissors and hung Guerrero on the top rope. This made Angle look like the strategist and Guerrero the survivor. The gutsiness Guerrero showed as Angle punched him to the ground again and again is a way to highlight Del Rio’s resilience. Swagger’s aggression would be best focused on an injured body part, helping him dominate the match. Angle and Guerrero’s patient approach to their in-ring story made the ending far more satisfying. After a grueling match, after failed frog splash attempts and several wrenches of Guerrero’s ankle, their story came to a close. In pain from several ankle locks, Guerrero writhed in the center of the ring. He loosened his boot and soon Angle came charging at him. Angle once again tried to clamp on his ankle lock, but Guerrero’s boot came loose. In the resulting confusion, Guerrero rolled up his foe, grabbed the ropes for extra leverage and remained champion. It was a unique ending to a good technical match. I still consider Kurt Angle’s match with Brock Lesnar last year as his best, but Eddie deserved to win this match for a special moment at the end of the show.
Match Score: 4/5
The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs. Kane – I’m going to straight out and tell you that I am not at all a fan of the biker-American badass Undertaker. I thought it was the most incompetent change that I’ve ever seen from a single wrestler. I still consider that gimmick to be the worst aspect in Wrestlemania 19 when he had to have Limp Biscuit to sing in his intro. Really, nobody cared for the Undertaker biker character anymore. That’s why it was the perfect time for Kane bury Undertaker alive in Survivor Series 2003 because this was the return of something that we all truly missed. We were getting back the deadman Undertaker; the best wrestling gimmick that scared all of us (even his opponents) and delivered great sportsmanship. Nothing was more exciting to me than to see “The Deadman” character to comeback and reign supreme. As soon as the toll bell rung and he walked across the ramp to the ring, it was pure nostalgia and atmosphere that we all know and loved. This is the first time ever that Undertaker had a Wrestlemania rematch with an opponent and it’s his brother Kane. Things just couldn’t be perfectly booked. However, Kane has lost so much mystique since he became less of a monster since he no longer wore the mask and shave his head bald. That lost all appeal and love for the Kane character and this match really suffered because of it. Undertaker vs. Kane was my favorite match of Wrestlemania 14 because it was ‘Taker’s first Wrestlemania opponent that made ‘Taker vulnerable, it drove ‘Taker psychologically, and it brought him to his limits. This match on the other hand didn’t even had balls. Instead, Kane for the second time had to be the most vulnerable opponent that ‘Taker had to face and it as certainly a one match show. I know that back in 2004 there was no other way than to make Undertaker supreme by having do all his classic moves before he changed to the biker character, but this match was so one sided that it was a complete bore. Undertaker had so many better matches before and after this match. The only thing that this match accomplished was to bring back that old Undertaker character, but everything else was extremely predictable. If anything, watch the Kane vs. Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 14 because it told a much better story, the stipulations were much more higher, and the rivalry really meant something back then.
Match Score: 1/5
Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit – World Heavyweight Championship – There were just so many horrible matches in this Wrestlemania card that we really needed this main event to be good. And thankfully, all the build up for Chris Benoit to have his break and show why he’s the most talented individual in the business meant something. He had to deal with being the mid-carder for ECW and WCW and WWE was his opportunity to make his recognized. He had to face the best of the best throughout 2003 and had to win the Royal Rumble 2004 Match to have this shot. He had to get involved in the rivalry between Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud (that started back in Summer 2002) because all three men wanted the World Heavyweight Championship. And they showed. It was the first triple threat main event in a Wrestlemania and I’m normally am not a fan of Triple Threat matches, but this very main event is the best triple threat match that I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s because this one didn’t end up like all Triple Threats that wind up with segments of one-on-one action while the third wheel is off-screen recovering from a beating. The trick is making that segue as unforced as possible. Here, each one is smooth and, at times, spectacular. It was in-ring work that was passionate and eruptive where all three men were so desperate to win this very match. Each of them gave all they got by delivering so many grappling technical moves and less brawls than we normally expected when it comes to anything with Triple H involved. Chris Benoit fought so hard against the two best Raw stars that both of them ended up bleeding like a stuffed pig. One of the most memorable moments of the match was when HHH and Michaels’ suplex Benoit from one announce table through another. It really looked like it was going to put Benoit for good, but for some reason he pushed himself back to the fight to take HBK out of the ring and put HHH in the cross face. This was the perfect finish to one of the best Wrestlemania main events of all time and I didn’t not want it any other way than to have Benoit to make “God” tap out. At first, when he made a rope break, it was going to turn out to be bad like having Evolution interfering, but Benoit rolled over to the middle of the ring while still holding on The Game with the cross face. Nothing to me felt so relieving than to finally see HHH (with all the burying he did to his opponents and shoving himself down on our throats from 2002-2003) tapped out and put Benoit over to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. If you’re a wrestling fan, seeing Benoit win the championship after a lifetime in the business, after the critics called him too small, too one dimensional, this is a moment that still brings chills. And to put icing on the cake, Eddie came back to the ring just to have these two celebrate their victories together. It that very moment that I’ve cried because of the triumph that they both accomplished together from ECW, WCW, and now the WWE. Now looking at that moment in time right now, it’s now a tragedy because both of these two gifted athletes are no longer with us…
Match Score: 6/5
Sigh, Wrestlemania 20 is the very definition of a show that’s a real mixed bag. This was supposed to be 20 years in the making but this show is filled with so many pointless matches and and extremely disappointing match up that we were all anticipating for. This show should have one of the best Wrestlemania of all time, but because of the tiresome tag team matches, horrid Lesnar-Goldberg match, a mediocre Kane-Undertaker match, the humiliating of my one of my favorite female wrestlers Molly Holly, and a dull mid-card that took forever to get good at the end. The only thing that saved itself from making this match a complete disaster was the main event. It’s funny because the Goldberg-Lesnar match is the worst Wrestlemania match of all time, while on the same night, the HHH-HBK-Benoit match was the best main event I’ve ever seen in my life. But just like any bad Wrestlemania, one match can’t really save an entire show. Now, this show is really hard to look back at because what was supposed to be the best and most magical finish towards the end, which was the only saving grace of the show, now is a tragedy. The image of having Benoit and Eddie holding their WWE and World Heavyweight belts together used to represent triumph but now is turned into a tragedy because both of these men are no longer with us. I will not defend or justify what these two did that caused their deaths (Eddie died of heart failure from drugs/steroids and Benoit caused a double murder suicide on his family) it really breaks my heart that it has to be this way. I still will appreciate everything that they’ve done in the wrestling world, but I still can’t overlook what ruined the business’s reputation. Because I can’t see the show the same as I used to all those many years ago and it gets worse and worse as the years go by, I really think it holds the ranks of being some of the most disastrous Wrestlemanias of all time. Almost everything about this show was good on paper, but it barely deliver on anything that they hyped up to. This show went on way too long, the crowd just barely made it to the main event, and even though the props, the design, and the atmosphere, and even the main event was all magic, the magic is now lost because what has happened since then. It was certainly 20 years in the making, but sadly, it did could not even hold up ten years after this very show…
The Top Lister’s score of Wrestlemania 20:
This is actually the first Wrestlemania in the Brand Extension Era and also the first Wrestlemania where the whole company changed their name from WWF to WWE because of the lawsuit dispute from the World Wild Federation. What’s done is done, and now this is the World Wrestling Entertainment that’s headed to a whole new direction of dividing the product into Smackdown and Monday Night Raw. This is great because there’s enough room for a bigger roster on two separate organizations, more opportunities for rising stars, and more screen time for a bigger roster instead of cramming everything in. Since the era has begun, each of the Brands had their own Pay-per-view every two months and when it comes to the big four (Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and Wrestlemania) both brands collide. Personally, Smackdown was the best show in 2002-2003 because it was a new direction of pure wrestling and story lines were more well written than anything Raw was offering. Despite my feelings towards Smackdown and Raw, I can easily say that both brands put in one hell of a show called Wrestlemania 19. This was one of the most ambitious Wrestlemanias since Wrestlemania 14 because of the hype surrounding it and the success that WWE was getting. At the same time, there was a lot of problems happening in many of the wrestler’s personal lives. Kurt Angle is having serious neck problems that has been there since his Olympic Gold Medal victory, Brock Lesnar, a rookie, is coming in as a main event, Hulk Hogan is having serous back problems, and Stone Cold Steve Austin had faced a divorce, had a dangerous amount of caffeine & stress, and he was in the hospital the night before the show begun. This show could have been disastrous, but somehow, the magic within the audience, the wrestlers, and everyone watching remained strong and they pulled it together to make a hell of a Wrestlemania. This is a Wrestlemania where new stars rises and old ones comes to an end. Dare to dream?
Matt Hardy (c) (with Shannon Moore) vs. Rey Mysterio – Cruiserweight Championship – One reason why Smackdown was so much better is the fact that they had a great focus on wrestling weight divisions like the Cruiserweights. Suddenly all of those high fliers and smaller wrestlers seen in WCW are very often see in Smackdown. To be honest, we haven’t had a match like this in a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 14 with Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila. Now I have to admit that Matt Hardy’s new gimmick with “Matt Hardy Version 2.0/Mattitude” was incredibly weak where he’s teamed up with Shannon Moore as a small faction. The gimmick for Matt Hardy’s solo career was not a very good one and it’s a downgrade from what he’s known for before he broke up with Lita and Jeff with Team Xtreame. However, his greatest opponent at this point of his career was Rey Mysterio and we’ve got a chance to see it all in this opening match for the show. This opening show was fast paced and explosive where we were seeing Mysterio doing his flying moves that we all love. I really miss old-school Rey where he was incredibly fast and had the stamina like no other wrestler in the WWF at the time. I really don’t think we had much of lucha libre in Wrestlemania and thanks to Mysterio for really made some of the sickest moves in this whole show. He was able to do those amazing reversals and tricks that really amazed the whole audience. I remember he reversed that top rope Razor’s Edge to a hurricanrana. He would have won with a 619, but Matt reversed it with a cheap roll up to retain his Cruiserweight Championship. It was in deed a fun match, but still Bret vs. Owen still holds the rank for the best opening match ever in a Wrestlemania.
Match Score: 4/5
The Undertaker vs. The Big Show and A-Train – Before anyone calls this pointless, just remember that this match could have been much much worse if it were a tag team with Nathan Jones as ‘Taker’s partner. Thank goodness that Nathan Jones fool got cut out of this match before this would have been hailed as Undertaker’s most miss-booked match, if not his worse. At this point in time, everyone was not into the biker-American-badass Undertaker because there was no personality or charm. The opening band Limp Biscuit really threw in the cheese all over Taker’s credibility coming in this wrestlemania. As for the match… it was bad. Big Show and A-Train were too big of slobs to make this match anywhere exciting. Instead, we just see Taker getting ganged up by the two and we just had to see him strike out his opponents in slow fashion. The match was getting more and more dull into bullshit where Nathan Jones came into the Undertaker’s rescue. Jones had no business being in anywhere in Taker’s spotlight and still to this day the WWE tries their best to make us forget about that ex-prisoner. Sure, Undertaker won this match (deservedly) but having the inclusion of Nathan Jones in this match and have little to no story for this match, this is without a doubt the worst match on the card.
Match Score: 1/5
Trish Stratus vs. Victoria (c) (with Steven Richards) vs. Jazz – Women’s Championship – It has been a year too late fore Trish to win in Wrestlemania (especially in her home country), but after that awful women’s match last year, all three of these women justified it all in this match. Wrestlemania has had a bad history with women’s matches and after 19 years, they finally delivered a really great woman’s match! This actually the first time that I wasn’t in the need for a bathroom break, but instead was engaged with all the action going on. Trish had to prove herself as not just a pretty face by trying to go toe-to-toe with some of the strongest women in the WWE at the time. Sure, this is some of the material that we can see in a normal Divas match in Raw/Smackdown but all three of these women display great athleticism, even despite the fact that the match was all Trish. By making it fair and square, Trish gave Victoria a chick kick for the victory and declared herself the new Women’s Champion. This is the time where WWE fans recognize Trish more of a competitor and years after this Wrestlemania she delivered great matches onward. For once we had a great women’s match in a Wrestlemania event and it was a step for the female wrestlers in the WWE.
Match Score: 4/5
Team Angle (c) vs. Los Guerreros vs. Chris Benoit and Rhyno – WWE Tag Team Championships – The problem with many of the Tag Team Wrestlemania matches is that they all feel the middle of the road and it’s incredibly slow-paced. THis one however is not at all boring, instead it was pure technical wrestling from all three of these teams. I really don’t think that there were any heels in this match, if there was then it’s a miracle that not one team have to keep other from tagging. This was a non-stop tag team match where each wrestler in the match displayed a great performance. It was so much better than the dark match tag team match before Wrestlemania 19. I think the best part of this match was when Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero was wrestling together because they knew each other very well; performing much better than all the other guys in this match. In a matter of fact, they probably had more screen time together in this match than all the rest. Of course, like other Tag matches, there has to be a point where there’s no point of focusing on the legal man and just let all the teams go on out. Rhyno gave the Gore to Charlie Hass and Chavo, but Eddie had to pull Rhyno out, but Chano who was still down got pinned by Shelton Benjamin to retain the Tag Team championships. I’m still a little bitter about the results of the match, but this mid-card suited very well to this Wrestlemania and it even riches the quality of this show
Match Score: 4/5
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – Wow! HBK finally made a Wrestlemania appliance since Wrestlemania 14. I may have been harsh on Shawn’s involvement on the Montreal Screwjob, but after his five year retirement, Shawn got his life straight and became a born-again Chirstian. Since Michaels returned, he actually wrestled better than he did in the 90’s when he was the WWF’s top star! This mach really showed here where Shawn has an opponent who’s his equal. This is a match that feels like a two guys in a similar size and skills, but at the same time it felt like a fight between teacher and student. This is the type of match that every great Wrestlemania show needs to have where it’s not about anything but to sow who’s really the better man in the mid-card. Though the build-up for this match was a little over dramatic, however the storytelling in this match was very well executed. These two patterns each other in a lot of ways where Shawn does what he does best and Chris Jericho tries to out perform Shawn using his tactics and style. This match is technical showmanship at its finest. I was impressed to see how well done the grappling holds, flying moves, and using various signature moves were used throughout the match and you can see the frustration Jericho was having as the matchup continued. I this in-ring psychology of a jealous opponent against a egotistical showman. It was such an electrifying match and it ended perfectly with a roll up for the victory. Towards the aftermath, both of these men hugged each other then Jericho gave HBK a low blow, marking his “Wrestlemania moment.” Though it told a great story and had all of us hate Jericho even more, it was fantastic from beginning to end and arguably the best match of the night.
Match Score: 5/5
Triple H (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Booker T – World Heavyweight Championship – dNow this is the reason why I wasn’t a fan of Raw at the time. Basically, on Raw, Triple H has been burying all of his opponents making it look like he’s God of the wrestling world. The WWE tried to pound Triple H down our throats and I just didn’t like the choice of having Booker T being the number 1 contender because he won a battle royal on Raw instead of winning it in an actual match. This match is a missed opportunity were they should have had the first black wrestler (a 5 time WCW champion) that deserved this victory for the World Heavyweight Championship. The two had really great chemistry were Booker took Triple H to the limit by striking back at his ruse and tactics in the beginning of the match, but when Hunter takes control of the match it’s all burying from here on out. Most of Triple H’s matches were a bit slow, but with Booker as his dance partner, he was able to deliver a more fast-paced match up. I’ll give Triple H credit, he made Booker T look very good in this match… till Triple H worked on Booker’s legs that started to drag. This was some of the best matches I’ve seen from Booker and I wished that he would kept on with this pace throughout his career after this match, but unfortunately, Triple H just had to beat Brooker with a Pedigree and nothing significant has happened in this match. This is Triple H’s burying at its finest and it’s no wonder why people forgot that this match was even in the card. The one thing I can say is that thank God that this is not another Triple H main event or this would have been a disastrous Wrestlemania finish like last year.
Match Score: 3/5
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon – Street Fight – You know, Stone Cold ruined his chances to recover his career if only he didn’t leave the WWE in short notice. Because he left the company for that long period in time, it’s his own fault that we’re never going to have a Hogan vs. Austin match. I still say that Hogan vs. McMahon should have been set in Wrestlemania 20 but this was a decade in the making. The story here was personal where McMahon is pissed off that Hogan testified him on court when the company was in serious shit with usage of steroids. Since then, Hogan and McMahon never see eye to eye. Now here we are many years later to settle the score. McMahon argues that he created Hulkamania and wanted to destroy it, but Hogan denied it all and said that he made it possible so because of the heat with each other, they wanted to make a hell of a fight. And what a hell of a fight it was. Sure it was just two old men duking it all out because they despised each other, but it had phenomenal storytelling in it. Pretty much, this match told the best story in the whole card. It was a battle of egos where they just used any weapon they can find and beat each other to a bloody pulp. I’m just relieved that nobody got seriously hurt in this match where even Vince jumped off the ladder and leg dropped Hogan through the announcer’s table. I couldn’t imagine this match being at all good without the Street Fight stipulation otherwise it would have been far less dramatic that what we got in this very match. This was a very believable fight all thanks to Vince’s evil facial expressions that told all of it. You can just feel the animosity by the way he looks at the cameras and at Hogan. This match felt very real, until you threw in Rowdy Roddy Piper interfering this match to attack Hogan. That was a big time surprise that wet all of our nostalgic beaks in a swoop! Shocking that this match ended up being so awesome, and credit belongs to McMahon just as much as Hogan, but I really enjoyed this. It told a great story, and both men really gave it all they had, and Hogan went outside of his normal routine to show that this match “meant something more.” This is a match that almost stole the show and because of it’s nostalgia power and amazing story going on it made it a really wonderful match to watch. After Hogan gave Vince multiple Leg Drops and won the match, it’s easy to say that it’s one of the biggest surprises of the whole show.
Match Score: 5/5
The Rock vs. Steve Austin – Thank goodness Stone Cold Steve Austin fully recovered from what had happened to him on the night before. Rumors had it that they pushed this show before the main event because they weren’t too sure if Austin was able to wrestle, but load and behold, here he is coming down to the ring wrestling like no one’s business. The rivalry between Rock and Stone Cold have always been some of the most iconic and legendary that it had three rematches at Wrestlemania. Though I still say that their first match at Wrestlemania 15 was their best, this one here was so much better than their last encounter at Wrestlemania 17. There were no interferences, no weapons involved, and no ridiculous stipulation; it was all fair game to see who really is the best wrestler because Rock never heated Austin at ‘Mania and it has been his goal to accomplish that victory before he officially leaves to Hollywood. It is so sad to see that this is Austin’s last wrestling match (the one against Eric Bishof doesn’t count) because he has had serious health problems, gone through a divorce, and the stress he’s been getting was hurting him personally. I can’t blame him for making this match his last, but there’s so much more he could have done to improve his career like have Austin vs. Hogan that we all still craved for. With that being said, how was the match? Well, it had pure nostalgia power where they were able to use all of their iconic moves and delivered their finishing maneuvers back and forth on each other and stole their opponents moves as well. I’m not too fond for matches like this where it’s all finishers and kicking out of the pitfalls, but I can make this one an accept ion because it really is part of their character and they are almost invincible when they brawl each other. But as you heard about the story of Austin’s trip to the hospital before this show, you just can’t help but to see The Texas Rattlesnake suffering in this match leaving only the Rock to carry this match and sometimes over sold the moves. His taunts, gestures, and cockiness kept all of us from noticing and thankfully he kept all of us from feeling too sorry for Austin. At the same time, Austin tried his damnedest to deliver the goods and give The Rock one hell of a fight. It was purely magical to see the third chapter of these two in Wrestlemania because they deserved those three rematches unlike any other feud in wrestling. But the one thing that I will always remember about this match was when Rock gave those final three Rock Bottoms. Each one he made brought in so much emotion out of the whole audience and when Rock made that third Rock Bottom for the win, just took our breath away. Finally, the Rock beaten Stone Cold at Wrestlemania at the last time they ever faced each other, but it was really an end of an era. All those moments that felt like Attitude Era within the WWE is forever gone because it ended in this match. It hit us with that feeling that we’re never going to have that feeling anymore because the times has changed. Because there was so much heart and passion going throughout this match, it left me in full appreciation for what they both had done for us wrestling fans. I have to face the fact the the times has moved on but we’re never ever again going to have moments like this one.
Match Score: 5/5
Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (c) – WWE Championship – And here we come to our most unique Wrestlemania main events of all time. We have the every so credible Olympic Gold Medalist going toe-to-toe with a rookie with the highest potential. It’s not Brock’s first WWE Championship match, but it’s sure one hell of a Wrestlemania debut to start at the main event that no one has ever had. Sure they were shoving Brock Lesnar down our throats, but be honest here, he had the “it” factor. The physique, the move set, the talent; he had everything to be main event material. Angle risked a lot in this match, competing despite the fact he was in need of neck surgery. He was facing a rookie who didn’t know his own strength. However, he couldn’t pass up getting his chance to star in the main event at WrestleMania. Unlike any ‘Mania main event, this very match was all about the purity of Wrestling. If you thought that his match with Chris Benoit was art in terms of athleticism, this one here is gold. It was pure wrestling; there’s no heel or babyface, no dirty wrestling involved, and no “formulaic” iconic moves that are taken place to entertain the fans. As I was watching this match, I just can’t help but get that special feeling of what Smackdown used to be; the magic of technical wrestling. The crowd got hotter and hotter as the match went on. Lesnar displayed tremendous athleticism to go with his brute strength and Angle showed how much he had truly mastered professional wrestling. It was a very competitive match that worked tremendously well! I was about to consider this the best match of the night until the botched finish that could have ended either one of their careers. After a couple of F-5 that Angle kicked out, Lesnar decided to go up top and apply the shooting star press. It was a nasty fall as he landed on his neck and bumped on Kurt Angle. Immediately, this match needed to end after that because both men were really hurt after that stunt, so after a final F-5, you can see Brock was out of his senses and didn’t know where he was at. Despite that botch, Brock deserved to become the new WWE Champion because he was the key to a new era for the Brand Extension. I remember how it just ended perfectly when Kurt and Brock shook hands and raise hands for ending a really fantastic show. Both men made full recoveries in what proved to be a physically grueling match. Later in 2003, their rivalry continued; providing better matches than this one. Despite all the risk involved, they both made it out alive from a career ending situation. I really don’t think we’re ever going to have a main event to be similar to this one when it comes to stipulation and in-ring ability. Honestly, this match is the most unique main event above all!
Match Score: 5/5
With all the things that was about to make this show a disaster (Stone Cold’s hospital situation, Angle’s neck problems, Hogan’s back problems, the botch that Lesnar made) but with the heart and passion put into this very show, it pulled off into making a wonderful show. It’s no wonder why so many people considers this the best Wrestlemania of all time. This was where dreams began and ended here in this show. As for me, there are a couple of negatives that puts from calling it the “best Wrestlemania of all time” and that’s because it had one of Undertaker’s worst matches, John Cena’s technical microphone difficulties during his segment, and Limp Biscuit’s obnoxious performance. Limp Biscuit’s involvement in the show was really the worst Wrestlemania band performances of all time (worse than Chris Warren and Saliva) and the whole crowd booed the band off of stage. Other than that, this show was incredible. I really don’t think that there was ever a Wrestlemania where it really felt so much bigger than life itself. This card had some of the most qualitative wrestling that anyone could ever asked for. This new focus on Technical and showmanship within these matches and less “hardcore” appeal represents what the Brand Extension once was. There was nothing wrong with the hardcore wrestling appeal that has gone throughout the Attitude Era (I miss it as much as the next guy), but it’s time to learn that wrestling had to mature once again because it was really loosing its appeal. This is were in-ring work started to matter once again and this show represents the essence of that style of wrestling. The main reason it was I because a lot of the matches had that big, special WrestleMania feel to them. And that’s what really matters. The roster delivered one of the best in-ring WrestleManias ever. Angle-Lesnar, Jericho-Michaels, and Austin-Rock (in Austin’s curtain call) put up match-of-the-year level performances. Vince-Hogan, HHH-Booker (outside of the booking), Hardy-Rey, and the Tag 3 Way were all just as magical. I’m just as happy to see that this show was so damn epic that I can’t think of a Wrestlemania that was bigger than life itself than this one! It’s interesting that Wrestlemania 9 is still considered the worst Wrestlemania of all time, then ten years later Wrestlemania 19 turned out to be one of the best.