It was supposed to be sports entertainment’s greatest event of the year. It was supposed to the best the WWF has to offer. It wasn’t.
WrestleMania 2000 from The Pond in Anaheim, California, will go down as one of the worst WrestleManias the World Wrestling Federation has produced in its 15-year history of broadcasting the flagship spectacle. The only one-on-one match being the ludicrous Cat fight between Terri and The Kat, the other congested WrestleMania bouts suffered from constant stalling of one form or another as wrestlers lay prone for extended periods of time or engaged in low-impact brawling on the outside of the ring so that the audience could direct their attention to the other participants. This approach left many WWF superstars looking foolish for selling holds longer than they needed to.
Ironically, the first-ever All-Day-Long pre-show recapping the history of WrestleMania for eight hours prior to the premiere wrestling event was better than the card itself. Highlights of every WrestleMania were shown and past Mania participants added their insight such as Sgt. Slaughter describing the threats that he and his family received before WrestleMania 7 where he portrayed an Iraqi sympathizer in the ring while the real-life Gulf War was going on. Honourable tributes were paid to former WWF superstars like Andre The Giant and Rick Rude who have passed on. One hopes the WWF plans more All-Day-Long intros for its other annual events like SummerSlam, Survivor Series and The Royal Rumble. Hosts WWF commentator Michael Cole and former WWF Women’s Champion, Ivory, as well as the WWF production staff, deserve congratulations for making the All-Day-Long show the highlight of this year’s WrestleMania experience.
Overshadowed by a hopelessly recycled McMahon family feud, the WrestleMania main event didn’t live up to the WWF’s usual standards. Clocking in at a plodding thirty-six minutes and thirty-one seconds, the convoluted Four Way Elimination bout for the WWF World Heavyweight Title had fans tapping out, pleading for it to conclude some time this century. Mick Foley’s controversial return after “retiring” at the last WWF pay-per-view seemed pointless. An expected storybook ending for the hardcore wrestling legend’s career didn’t materialize. He walked away with cheers from an appreciative crowd but without the World Wrestling Federation title belt. Foley’s last, last match turned out to be a dud compared to his admirable effort in the Hell In A Cell – Retirement Match with Triple H. If this was indeed Foley’s final match, he ended his illustrious professional life in the ring on a very low note.
Accompanied by a supporter from the McMahon family in each of their respective corners, Triple H, The Rock, The Big Show and Mick Foley squared off. The Big Show was first to be sent packing at just under five minutes into the bout when the former Rock And Sock Connection tag team double-teamed the big man. Foley hit The Big Show with a steel chair across the back from outside the ring. The Rock executed the Rock Bottom for the pinfall.
In the corner of The Rock, Vince McMahon mockingly waved goodbye to his son Shane and The Big Show. Show yelled out…”You son of a b-tch! This isn’t over!”, to McMahon as he was escorted away by a phalanx of WWF officials.
Triple H sought to strike an in-ring deal with first Mick Foley and then with The Rock to help him finish off their Rock And Sock partner. Foley declined. The Rock accepted though as soon as Triple H turned his back, The Rock nailed him from behind. Foley and The Rock double-teamed Triple H until a miscue by The People’s Champion saw a ring bell intended for Triple H’s head hit Foley. Foley and The Rock co-operate back in the squared circle. Foley locked on Socco as The Rock used the WWF World Title to bash Triple H in the head. As The Rock went for The People’s Elbow, Foley put the Mandible Claw on The Rock.
It was Foley and Triple H’s turn to double-team The Rock much to the displeasure of the fans. Triple H set The Rock up on the Spanish announce table. Foley dived off the ring apron with a flying elbow smash. He missed The Rock entirely and bounced off the table violently. Foley did bring his barbed wire 2/4 into play though Triple H used on The Rock as well. No one bladed.
Vince McMahon slipped a chair in the ring. Triple H used the chair to Pedigree Foley and to the shock of millions, pinned him. Angry fans, who were quiet as a church congregation for the almost all of the lifeless WrestleMania card, voiced their obvious dislike at the turn of events by letting out deafening boos. They chanted Foley’s name in tribute to him as he left for the dressing room.
Shane McMahon snuck back to the ringside area to attack his father. While The Rock and Triple H laid in the middle of the ring for an unbelievable six minutes or more, Shane and Vince brawled. The focus switched from the match at hand to another public McMahon family fight. Shane chair shot Vince to the head and he bladed. Unstoppable as Hulk Hogan once was, McMahon got up to pound his own son. Vince and Stephanie hugged in the middle of the ring, the assumption being that the WWF President sees much of himself in his daughter and is proud of her. The Rock dove back into the ring dishing out The Rock Bottom to Shane, Vince and Stephanie after she slapped him for hurting her dad.
- The next WWF pay-per-view is BackLash on April 30th.
WWF WrestleMania 2000 Results
- Lilian Garcia sang the national anthem. Her singing is impressive to say the least. She did a great job.
The Godfather, D’Lo Brown Vs The Big Bossman, Bull Buchanan
- No heat for this match at all. Bossman hits the Sidewalk Slam. Buchanan lands a nifty flying leg drop from the top rope to put D’Lo away at 9:02. Bossman and Bull gave chase to the hos. The first of many “who-gives-a-crap” matches.
- Winners: The Big Bossman, Bull Buchanan at 9 minutes and 2 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- Crash Holly and the WWF officials set the rules for the Hardcore Brawl. The match will go on for fifteen minutes and although anyone can be pinned for the title, it doesn’t matter because whoever is still holding the belt at the end of time limit hangs is the official winner. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. A sloppy, uncoordinated riot. The Hardcore belt changes hands a bazillion times making it as valuable as pocket lint and creating headaches for those who maintain official championship lists. At one time or another, Tazz, Viscera, Funaki (Kai En Tai), Rodney (Mean Street Posse), Joey Abs, Thrasher and Pete Gas effectively win the Hardcore Title. Tazz wins the belt twice in one night by defeating Gas. Tazz and Crash battle in the ring. Hardcore Holly bashes Crash in the skull with J.R. candy dish and pins him. So, why did Tazz come to the WWF again?
- Winner: …and new WWF Hardcore Champion…Hardcore Holly at 15:00 minutes even.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Head Cheese Vs T and A
- Al Snow brings a midget in a cheese suit to the ring. Blackman doesn’t like what he sees. Neither does the crowd as they sit on their hands. Head Cheese loses at 7:03. Trish Stratus does nothing to help her men at all except stand around ringside and look pretty. Blackman and Snow beat the crap out of the midget.
- Winners: T and A at 7 minutes and 3 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- The Kat and Moolah shoot a promo in her dressing room. The Kat is naked but Moolah keeps holding up objects blocking key parts of her body from the camera. Cheesy rip-off of the Austin Powers gag.
The Dudley Boyz (champions) Vs The Hardy Boyz (challengers) Vs Edge, Christian (challengers) (WWF World Tag Team Title – Three Way Ladder Match)
- About eight minutes into the match, the satellite feed cuts out. Not that the match matters in the overall rating of WrestleMania 2000. Nothing could save this event. It stays that way until the closing moments though the entire match is broadcast during the replay. Jeff Hardy does an insane moonsault off of a huge ladder onto Buh Buh who is lying on a table. A crude but cool construction of tables and ladders in the middle of the ring turns the bout into a scaffold match. Edge, Christian and Matt Hardy fight to reach the belts. Edge tosses Matt off the construction. He crashes through a table. Edge and Christian unhook the belts to become your new WWF Tag Team Champions at 22 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Winners: …and new WWF World Tag Team Champions…Edge and Christian at 22 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10. (Editor’s Note: The complete match was shown during the replay at 12:30 a.m., so we were able to rate this match unlike the first version of this review. )
Terri Vs The Kat (Cat Fight)
- Both The Kat and Terri are wearing see-through body stocking deals. The winner is the first one to throw the other out of the ring. Both women try to seduce referee Val Venis. Terri is thrown out at 1:14. Val doesn’t see it. He is distracted by a lip lock by Mae Young. Terri is given the heave-ho again at 1:55. Val is still distracted. Moolah pulls The Kat out and Terri wins. An irate Kat pulls off some of the lower portion of Terri’s body suit. We see her butt and nothing else as she is wearing a flesh-coloured thong. The WWF remains the pinnacle of women’s wrestling.
- Winner: Terri at 2 minutes and 26 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
The Radicals Vs Too Cool, Chyna
- Eddie says Chyna is into him. Eddie sells a pinfall to Chyna at 9:37. Why? Eddie? Why?
- Winners: …Too Cool and Chyna at 9 minutes and 37 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Chris Jericho (challenger) Vs Kurt Angle (champion) Vs Chris Benoit (challenger) (WWF Three Way – Intercontinental – European Title Match)
- A kicking technical match by three outstanding performers though the fans in attendance are more concerned with cheering Too Cool’s dance in the next match than appreciating the talents of three of the best wrestlers in the game today. They rise to their feet to greet Scotty Too Hotty’s goofy Worm. They remain as if they were on Prozac while Jericho, Angle and Benoit work hard. What’s up with that? Priorities people! Priorities! This is wrestling not Soul Train. Geesh. Benoit wins the Intercontinental Title at 7:43 with the Swan Dive. Jericho executes the Lionsault to take home the European Title at 13:36.
- Winners: …and new Intercontinental and European Champions…Chris Benoit at 7 minutes and 43 seconds, Chris Jericho at 13 minutes and 36 seconds .
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
The Road Dogg, X-Pac Vs Kane, Rikishi
- X-Pac is Tombstoned by Kane at 4:14. The San Diego Chicken joins Too Cool’s dance routine. Peter Rose tries to cream Kane with a bat. Kane chokeslams Rose. Rikishi rubs his butt in Rose’s face.
- Winners: Kane and Rikishi at 4 minutes and 14 seconds.
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
Triple H (champion) Vs Mick Foley (challenger) Vs Big Show Challenger) Vs The Rock Challenger (WWF World Title – Four Way Elimenation Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion…Triple H at 36 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 3 / 10.