This is one of the earliest PPV’s I remember watching live. As a kid, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. From the tag-team ladder match to the main event, it just seemed impossible that no one died from the brutality of these matches. I remember telling my friend, “This is the best PPV of all time!” Coming back and watching this with those memories in the back of my mind, I couldn’t be more ashamed of 12-year-old Kevin. Not that it’s horrible; it just doesn’t even compare to the epic memory I have.
He’s right. All I remember from this is the three-way tag-team ladder match, which was fantastic. More on that later. Otherwise…ugh. It’s like everyone, including the arena, was told that this was Backlash and afterwards they were like “Oh shit, that was supposed to be Wrestlemania.” But you know what? If we can give credit to Vince for anything, it’s his recognition that numbers 16-18 look stupid as Roman numerals, so they were just called 2000, X7 and X8. Smart.
Not smart: Using Keith David for your intro package and then not using him every year afterwards.
Oh god, we’re going to vehemently disagree about everything this PPV has to offer, right? The thing is, WrestleMania 2000 fell in my sweet-spot. I genuinely cared about every guy on the roster back then, going out of my way to pay close attention to every match on every card. This was the pinnacle of my wrestling-existence. If Stone Cold had been around at that time, I would nearly consider this a work of art.
Also, Michael stole my bit of pointing out dumb shit. The careful transition from roman numerals to actual numbers was a huge play, even if it did go rather unnoticed.
We start the card off with Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan vs. The Godfather and D’Lo Brown (with Ice-T and The Godfather’s hos.)
He’s not making that up.
Honestly, I could care less about this match. Ice-T and the ho’s are the most entertaining part, and I don’t even like Ice-T (Cue the theme of Law and Order.)
If anything on this card said “Things were different back then…”, it’s Ice-T rapping about “bitches”, and the Godfather essentially telling the crowd to do drugs. Sadly, this is one of the most Wrestlemania-esque things to happen throughout the night.
The hardcore battle-royal-of-craziness (unofficial title) was a complete mess. I’d never heard of half the people in this match, nor did I care. It was great seeing Taz throw everyone around, but that’s about it. As a kid, I remember loving the random pinfalls and infinite head shots. Now, it seems like an awkward mess.
At first, I was pumped. But ten minutes into this fifteen minute match, I was bored. I think the momentum died when Viscera got the second pin of the match 2 minutes in, and then there were no pins until about the last five minutes. Maybe if I cared about anyone beyond Taz, I would have enjoyed the match more. I mean, I love the APA, but they were pretty much a no-show.
Also, how did The Headbangers still exist in 2000?
T & A (Test and Albert with Trish Stratus) vs Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman with Chester McCheeserton) was next up.
And now that I think about it, we should probably go ahead and rename WrestleMania 200o to “No, that really happened…”.
I dislike Test so much that at one point when I was watching old Raws, I googled his exact death so I knew when he wouldn’t be on anymore.
(slowly backs away from keyboard…)
I honestly think Albert had some real solid matches back in the day (the one with Kane comes to mind), but got screwed with bad gimmicks. Also, if the Raw after Wrestlemania was just Steve Blackman’s music for three hours, it would be one of the best Raws ever.
I pretty much picked this PPV to re-watch the ladder match between Edge and Christian, the Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz. This is the match that single-handedly melted 12-year-old Kevin’s brain. Fourteen-years later… this match holds up. Finally, I can say something positive. The series of ladder matches these three teams had is the definition of hardcore wrestling. There are just too many high spots to count. It’s not surprising that all of these men went on to have decade-plus careers after this match.
Hey, the six guys who got the memo that this was Wrestlemania and not fucking-Unforgiven: If you’re going to play along and watch, this is really all you need to see. Fantastic match – about 30 minutes long – and certainly the thing that made the price of admission worthwhile, despite it being surrounded by the shit-show this Wrestlemania was. I wish oh-so-badly that the Dudley’s and Edge and Christian could stay young forever. Fuck the Hardys. Oh, and JR line of the match: “God have mercy on this kid’s soul!”
There were four matches held after this. Four.
It’s unfortunate, but revisiting this match alone, I get the feeling it’s still overshadowed by the second-time these three ran into each other only a few months later. Of course, the company was only trying to reap the benefits of what it previously was (the Office producers are nodding their heads somewhere), but forget that part. This match will still live in infamy as one of the greatest of all-time.
Having said that, their second bout was definitely worth revisiting at a later date. If this one was Metallica’s Unforgiven, then the second ladder match is clearly Unforgiven II; sure, it’s existence is acknowledged, but dammit, just listen (or in this case, watch) and tell me it isn’t better than the first.
And before I forget, we need to start reviewing the Dudley’s HOF resume. If Hardcore Holly helped create the hardcore presence in WWE, the Dudley Boyz swooped in and perfected it.
Did I mention there were still four matches after this?
Terri Runnels (with The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (with Mae Young) happened. And that’s all I got to say about that…
Not only did it happen, but Val Venus was the ref, wearing a shirt which had text on it that may have been written in semen.
I’ll take “Things that wouldn’t happen in 2014” for $800, Alex.
The next match was Too Cool and Chyna vs. The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko). The most interesting part of this match is seeing how the WWE treated Chyna’s in-ring skills with men. She was taking bumps and hits as good as anyone. It made me wonder if Chyna would have worked in the modern PG-era. The guys don’t beat up on the girls too much these days, even if that girl is a foot taller than them. Eddie Guerrero looked great in this match, although much less pumped-up than later in his life.
I’m a semi-supporter of Chyna, however she didn’t seem great in this match. Like there were moments where you could tell thinking of the next spot on the fly was not happening for her and she was just like “uh, should I do this next? Or this?” Honestly it looked like there were maybe a few pre-planned spots, and maybe that just wasn’t her thing, but this is certainly not her best match. Also, I felt really bad for her as her pants were falling down the entire time after getting ripped.
Anytime I see Chyna, I immediately think back to unfolding that Playboy. Anytime…
Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle vs Jericho is the best “wrestling match” of the night. These guys tell a great story and put on a hell of a match… well, two matches to be precise. The first fall is for the Intercontinental belt and the second fall is for the European title. Kurt Angle needs to come back. There, I said it.
100% agree this was the best “story” match of the entire show. Kurt gets convinced to put up both titles in a triple threat and at the end, he’s the only one without a title. And he wasn’t even involved in a single decision. Wonderful.
In terms of the best wrestling match of the night, they certainly were three of the best wrestlers on this card, and possibly the only match with everyone in it being solid technical-performers. However, because of that, I had higher expectations that were not met.
Rikishi and Kane vs. D-Generation X (X-Pac and Road Dogg) was alright. It’s weird thinking that Road Dogg was a tag-team champion only a couple months ago. What year is it?!
Ugh, the last scraps of DX… From start to finish, I had no idea why any of this was happening. But hey, it ended with Paul Bearer crotch-chopping freshly choke-slammed Pete Rose.
Oh, it’s still on me? Sorry, Alex. Let’s go ahead and finish off “Things that wouldn’t happen in 2014″…
Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. The Rock (with Vince McMahon) vs. Mick Foley (with Linda McMahon) vs. Big Show (with Shane McMahon) was a good main event. This match was originally pitched as a McMahon family-feud with all the family members having a wrestler as their proxy. The match itself is slightly awkward. Foley takes a brutal dive and botches an elbow drop that makes you think he broke a rib.
Honestly, I didn’t have to think anything…
The ending is drawn out a little but not bad enough to call it a bad match. The thing that I kept thinking throughout this match is how nearly 15-years later, Steph and Triple H are still doing the same “power couple” gimmick. But, they’re still doing it because they’re great at it. It works and I hope they never stop.
The highlights of this match were the last ten-ish minutes that morphed into The Rock v. Triple H. It’s hard to explain what I was feeling during this match, but I’ll try: The amazing parts would be amazing today, but in 2000, this could have been better. Watching older matches like this, I sort of expect more.
Eh, I guess hindsight is 20/20, and I’m certainly not putting down today’s product. There have been matches in the last few years better than this one, but when looking at a classic PPV like this – especially a classic Wrestlemania – I want a little more. You know, like the ladder match.
Overall, while this PPV is slightly awkward and most of the card is very underwhelming, there are still some great highlights. There’s only one singles match that you can’t consider a match and there is a constant stream of boobs that gets a little ridiculous at times. However, there are some stellar matches and great insights into the earlier careers of some of the bigger stars over the past decade.
It didn’t even occur to me until now that there was only one “singles match,” and it was a cat fight. That is really crazy. Anyways, I think the whole PPV was summed up nicely during the main event. There was a spot where the Rock put Triple H through a table and, very delayed, one guy in the crowd attempted to get a “holy shit” chant going. Needless to say, no one cared.
Ridiculous, over-the-top, an enigmatic heel-turn during the championship match and vintage moments that helped vault particular wrestlers towards the prime of their careers.
You didn’t need Pete or life-size chickens and cheese, WrestleMania 2000. You had me from the start.
Kevin Bowden’s Grade: B-
Michael Edward’s Grade: C-
John Daigle’s Grade: A
Average Grade: B-
Next Week: Money In the Bank 2011