They call it the “granddaddy of them all”. WrestleMania, it’s the Super Bowl of the sports-entertainment biz. Most years it lives up to the pomp and circumstance. Not so in 1999. Throwing all their eggs in one basket, the World Wrestling Federation casually whipped through the under card to arrive at the main event of WrestleMania 15 and the fateful conclusion of the “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – Vince McMahon storyline.
Shoved to the backburner, most of the other matches ended so quickly that almost half the card was over before the first hour had gone by. A poorly orchestrated WWF Women’s World Title match and a rather brisk Brawl For It All bout armed the torpedo that eventually sunk the event.
Nothing else seemed to matter much but Austin’s impending revenge on WWF owner McMahon for a year’s worth of meddling. The goliath Paul Wight blew his chance as well as McMahon’s plans to skew the main event by ChokeSlamming Mankind through two steel chairs. The referee disqualified Wight. Enraged, McMahon confronted Wight in the middle of the ring. Wight teased a Chokeslam then gently put the WWF owner down. McMahon persisted on dressing down The Big Show so Wight punched him in the chops. McMahon had Wight charged with assault and arrested. Mankind was loaded onto a gurney and “transported” to the local hospital.
Rehashing a recent WWF angle, McMahon appointed himself the special guest referee and took his place in the squared circle. This didn’t sit too well with WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Michaels entered the First Union Center Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a huge pop reminding McMahon that the WWF rule book states that only the commissioner can select a new referee.
“Start da stepping and hit the bricks, McMahon,” said Michaels barring The Corporation from ringside. On the way to the dressing room McMahon argued his case getting nowhere as Michaels assigned a regular WWF ref to work the crucial match.
Wrestling in trunks and boots not athletic wear, The Rock traded insults with Austin. Punches flew. Austin reversed an Irish whip into the ropes clotheslining the WWF champion over the top rope and to the floor. They brawled in the crowd twice then The Rock walked Austin to the entrance way. Austin shot Rock into a metal barrier following up with a clothesline. Backdropping Stone Cold onto a light stand The Rock stomped on Austin’s heavily-braced knee.
Whipping The Corporate Champion into more production equipment Austin choked him with an electrical cable. The WrestleMania sign hovering over the entrance way swayed dangerously after Austin threw The Rock into it. Clutching the champ in a headlock, Stone Cold prepared to walk him back to the ring. Austin’s suplex on the concrete floor was countered and Stone Cold cracked the hard cement floor. Blowing his nose on the challenger, The Rock flung Austin into a set of steel steps. Taking a bottle of water off the announcer’s desk the champ guzzled it spitting the contents into Austin’s face. This awoke the WWF rattlesnake. He slammed Rock’s head into the announce desk, climbed the ringside barricade and dropped an elbow. The Spanish announce team’s table didn’t break as planned so Austin repeated the move which finally shattered the announce position. Austin spat on a bewildered Rock.
The champ hit The Rock Bottom but Austin amazingly kicked out at two. Stone Cold inadvertently creamed the ref with a steel chair. A spinning neckbreaker by The Rock took Austin down momentarily. Stone Cold attempted a Stunner. Rock reversed the move casting Austin into the ropes and landing a back-elbow to the jaw. The Corporate Champ took the steel chair to Stone Cold’s knee also hitting him in the head for a two-and-a-half count. A reverse chinlock zapped Austin’s energy. Stone Cold punched his way out only to be Somoan-dropped. Another two-and-a-half count for The Rock.
Taking out his frustrations out on the official, the Corporate Champion Rock Bottomed him. Austin spiked Rock with The Stunner. A new official slapped two. McMahon came down to ringside distracting Austin who hefted the steel chair once again. The Rock low-blowed Austin as he turned around. McMahon punched the official and joined The Rock in stomping Austin in the corner.
Out of nowhere, Mankind reappeared. He first order of business was to punch out McMahon. The Rock missed The Corporate Elbow and another Rock Bottom. Austin performed The Stunner for the win.
The new WWF World Heavyweight Champion shared a beer with ref Earl Hebner. As Austin exited the ring a distraught McMahon met him.
“That’s MY belt!,” shouted McMahon threatening Austin. Stone Cold leveled him with one punch, rolled him into the ring and put him out with a Stunner. McMahon rolled around the canvass as Austin poured beer on him.
- The next WWF pay-per-view is INYH: Backlash on April 25th.
WWF WrestleMania 15 Results
- “Classy” Freddie Blassie did the voice-over introduction describing WrestleMania as a “showcase of the immortals”.
- Boyz To Men sang America The Beautiful.
Al Snow (challenger) Vs Billy Gunn (champion) Vs Bob Holly (challenger) (WWF Hardcore Title Match)
- The fans are on Holly’s case.
- Hockey sticks, chairs, tables and broom come into play. The bout doesn’t leave the ring or the area surrounding it. ECW chants can be heard.
- Gunn gives Snow a Rocker-Dropper on a steel chair. Holly sneaks up from behind and decks Gunn with a chair.
- Winner: …and new WWF Hardcore Champion…Hardcore Holly at 7 minutes and 7 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
D’ Lo and Test (challengers) Vs Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (champions) (WWF Tag Team Title Match)
- D’Lo and Test were the last two men remaining in the Sunday Night Heat battle royal so they are partnered up. D’Lo and Test argue with each other throughout the bout. At one point, Test says “You ain’t s–t!” to D’Lo.
- PMS does a run-in. Ivory and Debra cat fight some. Owen’s drop-kick from the top rope secures the pin for Jarrett.
- Winners: …and still WWF Tag Team Champions…Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett at 3 minutes and 57 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Butterbean Vs Billy Gunn (Brawl For It All Match)
- Gorilla Monsoon is one of the special guest judges. His appearance has changed immensely. He is quite thin and pale-looking.
- Gunn is introduced as “The Hammer” and gets hammered 38 seconds into the first round by a wicked Butternbean haymaker.
- A crazy chicken mascot makes light of the guest official (some professional boxer). He decks the chicken twice.
- Winner: Butterbean at 38 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Paul Wight Vs Mankind
- Winner to officiate the main event.
- Foley toughs it out even when Wight drops the full force of his body weight onto him.
- Wight ChokeSlams Mankind through two steel chairs. The ref DQ’s Wight. McMahon questions Wight calling him a “nobody”. Wight picks up McMahon in a ChokeSlam. The crowd cheers. A change of heart and Wight puts McMahon down. The crowd boos. McMahon continues the verbal onslaught. Wight punches McMahon knocking him for a loop.
- “Nobody owns me,” says Wight as he heads backstage. Mankind is whisked away to the hospital.
- The Corporation Stooges (Brisco and Patterson) escort McMahon to the back. McMahon says he wants Wight arrested for assault.
- Winner: Mankind by DQ at 6 minutes and 52 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Road Dog (champion) Vs Val Venis (challenger) Vs Goldust (challenger) Vs Ken Shamrock (challenger) (Four Way – Intercontinental Title Match)
- At 8:23, Shamrock and Venis brawl up the entrance way. They are both counted out. Shamrock returns to the ring suplexing Goldust and Road Dog. Ryan accidentally trips-up Goldust allowing Road Dog to score the pinfall. The Blue Meanie and Goldust send Ryan packing.
- Winner: … and still WWF Intercontinental Champion…The Road Dog at 9 minutes and 46 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- Wight is shown being stuffed into a car and driven off to a police station.
Triple H Vs Kane
- The chicken mascot attacks Kane from behind. Kane rips the mask off. It’s Pete Rose! Kane Tombstones him like he did last year.
- At 8:23, Chyna makes her presence known. She clobbers Kane with a steel chair and so does Triple H. Hunter Pedigrees Kane on the chair for the 1-2-3. Chyna and Triple H fall into each other’s arms. The crowd goes absolutely bonkers.
- Winner: Triple H at 11 minutes and 35 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- McMahon announces that with Mankind and Paul Wight indisposed, he has appointed himself the guest referee.
Sable (champion) Vs Tori (challenger) (WWF Women’s Heavyweight Title Match)
- Tori’s “cat suit” rocks.
- Full of serious miscues. Showcases Sable’s second-rate wrestling ability.
- Nicole Bass slams Tori and tells Sable to cover her. She does after a Sable Bomb.
- Winner: …and still WWF Women’s Heavyweight Champion…Sable at 4 minutes and 51 seconds .
- Match Rating: 1 / 10.
Shane McMahon (champion) Vs X-Pac (challenger) (WWF European Title Match)
- X-Pac cuts a promo with the newly-unified DX including Hunter and Chyna.
- The Greenich Posse is sitting at ringside.
- Shane is accompanied by Test. Test interferes often.
- X-Pac is thrown into the Greenich Posse. He punks them all one by one.
- X-Pac and Shane whip each other using Test’s belt.
- Chyna gets the ref’s attention. Triple H Pedigrees X-Pac! Shane pins X-Pac easily.
- The Outlaws and Kane do separate run-ins. Chyna, Triple H, Test and Shane leave arm in arm.
- Road Dog says “That j–k-off (Hunter) is finished”.
- Kudos to Shane for absorbing some vicious bumps and doing a fine job wrestling. The training sure paid off. Yeah. Shane’s much better than Sable.
- Winner: …and still WWF European Champion…Shane McMahon at 8 minutes and 38 seconds .
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
The Undertaker Vs The Big Boss Man (Hell In A Cell Match)
- The Undertaker has a new samurai-like look.
- Taker chokeslams Boss Man into the cage.
- Boss Man handcuffs Taker to the cage and beats him with his nightstick. The handcuffs break and Taker bleeds.
- Taker ramrods Boss Man into the cage. Boss Man bleeds. Taker lifts Boss Man up with one arm (!!) into a Tombstone Piledriver. Gangrel, Christian and Edge drop down from the ceiling onto the top of the cage. They lower a noose to Taker. Paul Bearer raises the cage and The Big Boss Man is hung.
- Winner: The Undertaker at 9 minutes and 46 seconds .
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (challenger) Vs The Rock (champion) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and new WWF World Heavyweight Champion…”Stone Cold” Steve Austin at 16 minutes and 55 seconds .
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 5 / 10.