Wrestlemania X-Seven - Wrestling Wednesday Ep. 3

Because I'm on a plane to San Francisco for the week, it was easier to pre-record an evergreen episode this week where I sat down and watched what is widely lauded as the best Wrestlemania ever: 2001's Wrestlemania X-Seven.

I'll throw together predictions for Extreme Rules and tweet them out later in the week.

And here is effectively my own live-blog of Wrestlemania X-Seven - i.e. all the notes I took as the show progressed.

  • That hot Limp Bizkit theme song (My Way) and the event sponsored by Snickers Cruncher.
  • Jim Ross and Paul Heyman on commentary.
  • Intercontinental Match: Chris Jericho (Champion) vs. The Commissioner William Regal
    • Jericho enters first as the Champ?
    • Hype package reminding me that Y2J making Regal drinking his pee was a thing that happened.
    • It would appear the closed captioning just did a find and replace of phrase World Wrestling Federation with Entertainment.
    • “I’d rather be in Chyna” sign. Stay classy WWF fans.
    • Great story-telling with Regal isolating Jericho’s shoulder
    • Jericho can’t lock-in the Walls of Jericho w/ the bad shoulder but he wins with a Lionsault into a pin.
  • Bradshaw of the Acolytes singing the praises of the Houston Astrodome.
  • 6-Man Tag Match: Right to Censor (Val Venis, Bull Buchanan, and the Goodfather) vs. Tazz and the Acolytes Protection Agency (Farooq and Bradshaw)
    • I completely forgot the Right to Censor was a thing that happened. So weird to see Val Venus and the Godfather in this set up.
    • Bradshaw being the Texas hometown boy, this was from a time where WWE gave the hometown heroes the win.
    • Bradshaw wins with a Clothesline from Hell.
  • SNICKER CRUNCHER: HUNGRY?! CRUNCH THIS!!!
  • Holy crap I forgot this had the whole drugging Linda McMahon thing. And Stephanie McMahon’s perm.
  • Hardcore Championship Triple Threat Match: Raven (Champion) vs. Kane vs. Big Show
    • Awww. The Hardcore title...
    • Another Champion coming down first. Raven brings a shopping cart filled with random shit. Also, I have completely forgotten Raven.
    • Raven starts the match before the Big Show entrance even starts.
    • As the fight runs through the crowd, the audience on the floor chases after it.
    • Then the audience had to sit through watching the rest of the match on the Titantron.
    • Awww. The Titantron.
    • The tech theatre kid in me now loves and appreciates the faux-locker room they built in the backstage area.
    • “And there goes a Snapple.” “My favorite kind: Diet Peach.” Hahaha!
    • Awww. Snapple.
    • Fight comes back out front.
    • Kane wins by kicking Big Show and Raven through part of the stage.
  • Kurt Angle interstitial with Edge and Christian.
  • RIP WWF New York restaurant (and the weird thing where potential murderer Jimmy Snuka gets a moment in the spotlight)
  • WWF also found and replaced with WWE in closed captioning.
  • European Championship: Eddie Guerrero vs. Test (Champion)
    • Eddie comes down with Perry Saturn (and I don’t remember at all why).
    • Finally the champ comes down last.
    • Eddie Guerrero was really good. RIP Latino Heat.
    • More nice storytelling with Guerrero focusing on the ankle, including a nice spot of Test getting stuck in the ropes.
    • Commentary is all about the size difference between the two.
    • Dean Malenko comes out for a second interference (and reminds me that Saturn, Guerrero, and Malenko were the Radicalz).
    • Guerrero wins with the title with a cheap shot with the belt.
  • Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
    • It’s really weird hearing Kurt Angle’s music without the crowd chanting “You Suck” along with the music.
    • Match is definitely tainted by knowing what Benoit would later do.
    • Lot of ground game. Very technically-driven. Much more “amateur” wrestling than “professional” wrestling in terms of style.
    • All about the grappling, submission holds, and the positioning around the ring.
    • Storytelling in this match: Angle can’t win the match on the grappling alone so he starts throwing punches and slams Benoit against the announce table and steps.
    • Great third act to this fight where Angle taps but the ref had been knocked away. Into a near fall. Angle moonsaults into Benoit’s knees. Benoit gives the flying headbutt into Angle. Angle ultimately gets the win rolling up Benoit and grabbing the tights.
  • Rare segment of Undertaker in a bit of kayfabe-breaking interview talking about an appearance with the troops.
  • Women’s Championship: Ivory (Champ) vs. Chyna.
    • Again, champion comes down first.
    • Right to Censor “banned” from ringside. Pretty sure the real reason RTC was a heel faction was their entrance “music.”
    • Chyna gets to shoot a firework cannon for her entrance.
    • Total squash match with Chyna dominant.
    • Chyna even withdraws a pin in order to do more damage.
    • Chyna takes the title though. RIP Chyna.
  • Vince McMahon is real gross. Making his employees like Trish Stratus make out with him. We get a slight bit of WWF vs. WCW as the buyout just happened in a pre-Invasion angle.
  • Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon w/ Special Guest Referee Mick Foley
    • Street fight.
    • Shane getting to exorcise a lot of demons beating the crap out of his dad.
    • Goodbye Spanish announce table.
    • Mini-fight between Steph and Trish in the middle of the fight.
    • Knowing how this match will end, it’s amusing how all of the camera men on staff are just flocking ringside to capture the iconic moments that end this fight.
    • Linda standing up gets an incredibly huge pop.
    • Foley attacking Vince gets a huge pop.
    • Shane’s Coast to Coast into the garbage can.
    • Match was way better than it ever had any right to be. But the audience got the catharsis of seeing Vince beaten.
  • Tag-Team Championship Match: TLC 2. Dudley Boyz (Champions) vs. Hardy Boyz, vs. Edge and Christian.
    • Crazy seeing how young the Hardy Boyz look. And their North Carolina accents were so much thicker sixteen years ago.
    • So many “Boyz” from the 90s/early 2000s.
    • So many great spots in here.
    • Hardy Boyz double jump off the ladders.
    • Dudley Boyz “Wazzzzzupppp” doesn’t age as well.
    • Bubba Ray powerbombing Jeff through Edge and a table.
    • All six men up on the ladders at the same time.
    • Spike Dudley running in and taking out Christian on a table.
    • Rhyno coming out and spearing Matt through a table.
    • Lita running in and hurricanerana-ing Rhyno.
    • Spike chair shots Rhyno into ladder knocking Edge off a ladder.
    • 3Ds on Rhyno and Lita.
    • Jeff’s Swanton into Rhyno/Spike on the tables.
    • D-Von and Christian dangling.
    • Jeff trying to walk across three ladders to the belts (but one of them falls so he has to pick it back up and climb up.
    • Jeff hanging and Edge with the spear.
    • Rhyno tips the big ladder with Bubba Ray and Matt from the ladder through the double stack of tables on the outside of the ring.
    • Rhyno putting Christian on his shoulders to get him up the ladder faster than D-Von to get the belts, for the win.
  • More padding with Fan Axxess highlight reel.
  • Astrodome Attendance record 67,925
  • Gimmick Battle Royal: The Bushwhackers, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, The Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink the Clown, Kamala & Kimchee (super racist with a guy in black black?), Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nikolai Volkoff, “Freebird” Michael Hayes, One Man Gang, Gobbly Gooker, Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love, Sgt. Slaughter
    • “Mene Gene” Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan coming down to call the match. I.e. tell all the jokes.
    • The entrances are easily going to run longer than the actual event, right?
    • Just a nonsensical slugfest of throwing people over the ropes.
    • Iron Sheik wins it. Sgt. Slaughter comes back in to put a Cobra Clutch on the Sheik.
  • Triple H vs. Undertaker
    • Motorhead plays The Game’s theme live. It’s weird seeing the lyrics since I always just go: “It’s all the game <incoherent grumbling>”
    • More Limp Bizkit. Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’.
    • Fight out into the production area. Makes me surprised they’ve never “taken out the feed accidentally” by fighting in one of these areas.
    • Undertaker chokeslamming and then elbow dropping Triple H onto a crash mat...er...I mean a totally sturdy camera platform.
    • J.R. routinely letting the audience at home know that the referee has still been unconscious in the ring for like 10 minutes.
    • Last Ride into a sledgehammer to the face.
    • But the bloodied Undertaker hits a Last Ride to keep his streak going.
  • WWF Championship: The Rock (Championship) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
    • Hype package: Sooooooo much beer foam.
    • No DQ stipulation added by the ring announcer...a sure fire sign there will be shenanigans.
    • Exploding right out of the gate.
    • Fight spills to the outside and I’m left feeling bad for the Spanish announce team who have been sitting without a table for the last hour-plus.
    • Rock breaks through a table, maybe a little early. Pretty sure I also saw Earl Hebner pulling a blade out of his pocket to open the Rock up more or maybe it was a handoff and Rock cut himself when the table collapsed...
    • Austin blades himself after the hit into the exposed turnbuckle (while the Rock grabs the bell)
    • Sharpshooter to echo the Austin/Bret Hart fight. But in a no DQ match why break the hold even Austin grabs the ropes.
    • Austin returns the favor with a Sharpshooter of his own. And see, Austin gets it. No need to really break the hold in a no DQ match so he flips him off (but he still breaks the hold anyway).
    • I miss the sleeper hold near falls, where the wrestler has to keep his hand up. You get two limp arms and then the third one comes back to life.
    • Rock landing a Stone Cold Stunner on Austin.
    • And the Stunner cues Vince McMahon to make his way down to the ring.
    • People’s Elbow with the pin stopped by Vince.
    • Austin Rock Bottoms The Rock.
    • McMahon nails Rock with a chair. But this match isn’t gonna end without Austin hitting a Stunner or the Rock hitting a Rock Bottom.
    • So the Rock hits the Rock Bottom. But then goes after McMahon.
    • Austin hits the Stunner and the Rock still kicks out.
    • Chair shot to the skull. Rock won’t stay down.
    • Chair assault finally keeps The Rock down and the handshake and beers with Vince cement the heel turn heard around the world to end the show.