After an amazing Mania last year, we head into the 20th annual event.
Venue: Madison Square Garden
John Cena vs Big Show for the United States Championship
This match was perfect for what it needed to be. It was brilliant to see the Dr of Thuganomics again, why hasn’t he ever gone back to this gimmick since? John Cena was the new guy here, and he came out and hit a wicked rap on the Big Show, he was so over with this gimmick!
John Cena picked up his first WrestleMania victory over The Big Show by punching Big Show with with brass knuckles, and then hit him with an FU. This match was solid. It’s not going to go down in history as the best opener, but it more than suited its purpose. John Cena got himself over early in his career, and no better stage to do it on than WrestleMania.
Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair) vs Rock N Sock Connection (The Rock and Mick Foley) in a 3 on 2 handicap match
This one surprisingly bored me a little. Evolution are probably the best faction we’ve ever seen in wrestling, came up against one of the most charismatic tag teams ever with Foley and The Rock. Just like the opening match, it served it’s purpose because it but Evolution and Randy Orton over, but the match just didn’t click that much for me. Randy Orton went on to feud more with Mick Foley, having a fantastic hardcore match together at Backlash a month later.
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg with Steve Austin as the special guest referee
What a bizarre match this was! You’d think that a feud between these two would be fantastic with a final blow off at WrestleMania 20, right? Everyone knew that both of these men would be leaving wrestling after this match, so the crowd we not into this at all. The first few minutes of this was dominated by the two competitors starring each other down, and the crowd chanting some brilliant stuff. “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” and “you sold out” were heavily featured.
When these two finally got physical in the ring, Goldberg hit a Spear and a Jackhammer to pick up the victory. Goldberg exited the ring leaving Lesnar holding up his middle fingers to the crowd, and then Austin. Stone Cold took offence to this, and hit him with a stunner. Goldberg came back into the ring and thought he was on Austin’s good side, having a beer with him, but Austin also hit him with a stunner. I guess wrestling won here!
Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship
Any Kurt Angle match during this time was just a brilliant match. You add one of the greatest wrestlers ever, Guerrero, into this and you have an unbelievable match up. These two went toe to toe in the ring for over 20 minutes, and there was not a second I didn’t like about it. The chemistry these guys had was amazing. I would’ve actually loved to see a german superplex from the ring apron to the outside though!
The finish was perfect I thought. Angle was super pissed that Guerrero still hadn’t given up from the ankle lock. Eddie sold the move amazingly though, as he loosened his boot to make it more comfortable for him. Angle came back in for the ankle lock again, and he managed to pull Eddie’s boot off his foot. The surprise factor increased for Angle when he was rolled up and pinned. Such a fantastic match!
Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels vs Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship
This has to be one of the best booked triple threat matches we’ve seen! Coming into this, Royal Rumble winner Benoit wanted a shot at Tiple H’s World Heavyweight Championship, however Shawn Michaels was having none of it. After weeks of Benoit and Michaels battling, it was announced that both men would get the opportunity for go for the belt. Triple H and Evolution beat down both challengers most weeks, which drove them both to being ‘friends’ because of their mutual hatred for The Game.
This match had blood everywhere! It’s certainly nice to see it back from time to time, because it can be used so effectively! Chris Benoit held in the Crippler Crossface for a good minute, and after bringing Triple H further away from the ropes, the champion was forced to tap out, and hand over the belt to Benoit. The Rabid Wolverine then burst into tears having finally won the World Championship. Eddie Guerrero came out to the ring to celebrate their wins, which was a WrestleMania moment for both the cherish.
Overall, this wasn’t the best of WrestleManias, but the two main events were unforgettable! The lower end of the card seemed a little dull at times for me, including a short Kane vs Taker rematch. There was however a brilliant Christian vs Chris Jericho match that was near the front of the card which was entertaining. Thanks for reading again guys, and I’ll see you tomorrow for WrestleMania 21!