After all is said and done with Wrestlemania 18, subtitled “and all that it could have been,” people will remember Hulk Hogan’s return to the WWF’s biggest stage; Hogan defying logic and pulling off his best match in years; Hogan’s passing of the torch to the Rock; Hogan’s face turn and his overwhelming popularity in Toronto. People will remember Triple H’s return from career-threatening knee surgery to become victorious over the home country-hero, Chris Jericho. They may even remember Ric Flair lacing up the boots, wearing the “Crimson Mask” and “stylin’ and profilin'” one last time to battle the Undertaker, but they will remember little else. Because despite the amount of “names” on this year’s Wrestlemania, the fact of the matter is that we have seen many of these matches, some even done better, on Raw or Smackdown, which is not the WWF’s fault, it’s just the state of things. No big stars, no big surprises (save Hogan’s face turn) and no breakthrough performances makes Wrestlemania 18 just another Wrestlemania that failed to live up to its own legacy.
Some pre-Wrestlemania thoughts: 1) Krispy Kreme donuts are good, in a white trash sort of way. 2) Calling Roger’s Cable to order wrestling makes you feel like an idiot. 3) Krispy Kreme’s secret is to glaze everything, no matter the style of donut. 4) To answer the tech guy’s question, “If I knew how to order off the digital cable box, I wouldn’t be calling, now would I?”. 5) Lastly, just how long did John Molinaro spend making those “I Love Nash!!!” and “Rock Is The Real Living Legend” signs? Now that that’s out of the way…
WrestleMania X8 Results
- Wrestlemania starts off with a live performance of Saliva doing their very cerebral “Superstar.” Horrendous nu-metal with bad stadium sound, I’d say this horse is stumbling out of the gate. Toronto shows its poor taste by not booing; over four minutes of my life I’m never getting back.Next up is a melange of video and audio clips selling us on a PPV we’ve already bought. I guess they have to fill that extra hour somehow.
JR welcomes us to the “greatest sports event,” since the last “greatest sports event,” of all time. John Molinaro is spotted in the crowd wearing a Rocky “Just Bring It!” T-shirt.
Rob Van Dam versus William Regal (Champion) (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)
- RVD hits early and often, kicking the brass knuckles away from Regal but missing an early Five Star Frog Splash. Regal counters; couple of near falls. William’s hits a nice neckbreaker and RVD kicks out. The crowd chants for RVD; Regal is bleeding from the mouth, as he seems to do every match. Regal counters Rolling Thunder; near fall. Regal waves and the crowd boos; funny. RVD attacks but Regal hits an awesome suplex while countering RVD’s step-over spin-kick. Regal gets the knucks but fights with the ref, who takes them away. Regal goes for another set of knucks, RVD hits the spin-kick then the Five Star for the victory.
- Winner: and new IC champ, R, V, D!. .
- Match Rating: 6.5 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: an acceptable match.
- Christian promo. Clips are shown from Monday’s Raw. Christian talks trash about how he used DDP; runs down the T-dot; claims he’s over the tantrums, blah, blah. Gramlich waits for his supper to cook.
- CN Tower shot, JR praises the T-dot. Damn right!
Christian versus DDP (Champion) (European Title)
- Christian now hails from Florida, but his music and entrance still suck. An indifferent reaction for Page, I guess they don’t remember that he drove the Honky Tonk man in T.O. all those years ago. Christian punks DDP but DDP punks back, DDP gets a low blow and dropped on the turnbuckle. DDP is hung out to dry and knocked to the rail. Christian starts kicking ass. DDP rebounds, punks Christian but he reverses and continues to dominate. Christian gets caught on the top rope and power-slammed off in a very nice spot. DDP hits an awesome sit-out power-bomb. Christian goes for his finisher but DDP reverses twice, Christian finally hits but DDP kicks out. No tantrum but Christian is rolled up for a two-count, takes some deep breaths and then gets diamond cut. Page runs down Christian, who throws a tantrum, sigh.
- Winner: DDP.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Rocky promo where he references himself a whopping 20 times while referencing Hulk, Hulkamania or Hulka 16 times. Rocky talks trash, makes Coach say his prayers but kicks Coach for being a freak. Coach’s prayer was pretty funny.
Goldust versus Maven (Champion) (Hardcore title)
- The 24/7 rule is the stupidest thing ever, even dumber than Maven’s prison tattoos. The Gramlich’s head is starting to hurt and he’s starting to rethink this whole PPV report thing. Goldust punks Maven, going to the floor and giving him a sweet ECW-style hip-toss into the barrier, then lays him on it and hits Maven with a flying elbow. Goldust then waffles Maven with a cookie sheet. Maven blows a dropkick into a trashcan spot. Maven with the inside cradle; Goldust hits a neckbreaker. Goldust with a nice face-first suplex. Goldust goes for the golden shovel hidden beneath the ring, which is better that the golden shower. The “Dust” smacks Maven with it; kick ass! Maven is thrown into a trashcan. Goldust and Maven both grab a lid for a double lid shot. Spike Dudley runs in and pins Maven, winning the Hardcore title. Crash Holly runs out and gives chase through the crowd, as does Goldust and Maven.
- Winner: Spike Dudley .
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: a lacklustre hardcore match, to say the least.
- Commercials for WWF events and merchandise.
- Drowningpool play while footage from the Triple H/Chris Jericho feud is shown. Gramlich is in hell!!! Nu metal is bad, John Powell is in nu-metal heaven. Gramlich gets supper.
- Crash Holly and Spike Dudley fight in back. Al Snow and a ref drive by in a golf cart and crash into a mountain of boxes, whose sole purpose was to be crashed into. Hurricane swings in and kicks Spike, pins him and wins the Hardcore title. Al Snow emerges from the boxes and curses.
- A “Don’t Try This At Home” commercial is shown.
- JR and King show the Hurri-win and hawk Backlash.
Kurt Angle versus Kane (Battle of the Machines)
- A hardy “you suck” chant for Angle. Angle runs down the Canadian figure skaters for complaining and winning their medal that way. Kane comes out mid-promo. Angle punks out Kane with the ring-bell. Kane and Angle battle. Angle hits a nice belly-to-back suplex and he kicks a lot. Kane fights back, Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle clotheslines Kane, beats one him. Angle stalls a Kane rally with another suplex; two count. Kane with a sidewalk slam. Angle hits back to back to back belly-to-back suplexs; two count. They continue to go back and forth. Kane hits the chokeslam but Angle gets to the ropes. Kane goes for the tombstone and Angle rips at his mask. Angle with the Olympic Slam; two count. Angle Lock, Kane fights out. Kane gets caught and belly-to-belly suplexed off the top rope. Kane counters the Olympic Slam, Angle counters and rolls up Kane. Angle flubs the “foot on the rope” finish but eventually gets it.
- Winner: Kurt Angle .
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: A middle of the road match and the ending screwed it.
- Hurricane is shown in the Godfather’s locker room. A bunch of escorts come in and start undressing, they see Hurricane and freak. The Godfather runs in and the Hurricane runs off.
- Only three hours left. Please make the pain stop, I’ve heard move calls in every match so far.
- Recap of the Ric Flair/Undertaker feud.
The Undertaker versus Ric Flair (No DQ)
- The Raptors’ JYD is seen at ringside. Flair charges the ring and beats on Taker. Flair tackles Taker over the announce table. Taker fights back and posts Flair. Flair gets whipped into the corner but can’t pull the flip. Second time is the charm, Flair nails the flip and is knocked to the outside. Flair bleeds. Flair pulls his face-first flop. Flair chops; “wooo.” Massive superplex on Flair. Flair continues to bleed, Taker pulls up on a number of two counts. I forgot about Flair’s kneepads. Taker gets caught walking the ropes. Flair gets the pipe and waps Taker. Taker bleeds. Flair wears Taker out with a pipe and a sign. Taker goes for the chokeslam, Flair hits the low blow and puts on the Figure Four; two count. Taker grabs Flair and chokeslams him; two count. Taker punks the ref. Arn Anderson runs in and delivers a flawless spinebuster to the deadman; two count. Anderson bleeds as Taker pummels him. Flair chairs Taker four times. Taker goes for the last ride but can’t get it. Goes for the tombstone instead and nails it.
- Winner: The Undertaker .
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: a somewhat nostalgic match that was way better than it could have been.
- Commercial for “Before They Were Superstars.”
- Booker T promo where he talks smack about being smart and runs down Edge.
Booker T versus Edge
- Good pop for Edge. Edge hits a nice face-first flapjack. Booker T hits a nice missile dropkick and eventually a wicked spinebuster-type slam on Edge. Edge goes for a hurricanranna but Booker messes it up and lands on Edge. Nice combo where Booker misses a scissors kick and Edge hits a reverse face-buster. Some good counters and a spinarooni. A couple nice reversals. Booker kicks out of a spear. Edge does the spinarooni. More actual counter wrestling and Edge hits his version of Raven’s DDT.
- Winner: Edge.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: A good match with actual wrestling and counter wrestling; neat!
- Hurricane is in the back being interviewed. Molly hits him with a frying pan, pins him and runs off with the Hardcore title. What’s up wit’ that?
- History of the WWF/NWO and Austin/Hall.
- Gramlich has another Krispy Kreme donut and develops diabetes. We are almost halfway there.
Austin versus Hall (King of Beers Match)
- Austin gets a good pop. Hall comes out with Nash (who’s dressed to wrestle). Austin jumps Hall; many punches. Austin punks Nash. Hall gets punked until he gets his vest off, then it’s payback. Nash exposes a turnbuckle and Austin goes into it. Hall hits a number of his patented moves. Nash punks Austin throughout. Austin hits a passably spinebuster. More punching. Austin hits a stunner and Nash nails the ref and jumps Austin. Austin fights on and stuns everyone. Nash punks the next ref. Hall goes for “the edge” but gets back body dropped to the floor. A pack of refs drive off Nash. Austin goes for the stunner but Hall hits one instead; two count. Hall goes for another but goes into the exposed turnbuckle and takes not one but two stunners and gets pinned. Austin drinks some Molson.
- Winner: Austin .
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: Started slow and plodding but finished strong.
- Halfway there, be strong, Gramlich, be strong.
- Highlights of Axxess.
- Dudley Boys come out while Saliva plays their new theme. The Dudley’s and Stacy dance with Saliva. I hope that this doesn’t mean that Drowningpool will be playing their version of Triple H’s “The Game.” Why D-Von/Bubba, why?
Dudley Boys/APA/Hardy Boys/Chuck and Billy (Champions) (Tag-title match)
- Bradshaw beats on Chuck then Billy. Nice suplex by Bradshaw. APA double-team. Billy goes for his finisher but gets powerbombed. Bradshaw hits an awesome Clothesline From Hell on Billy but gets 3D from the Dudleys; APA is eliminated. Hardy’s double-team while D-Von sets up a table. Whisper in the Wind on Bubba. Jeff takes off his shirt, exposing his very pasty skin. Stacy shows her butt but gets it smacked by Jeff. Doomsday Device by Billy and Bubba on Jeff. Bubbabomb on Billy. Bubba beats on Jeff. Jeff does the Shawn Michael’s flip into the turnbuckle; Bubba to the outside. Jeff counters D-Von’s reverse DDT. Hot tags to Billy and Matt. Matt cleans house. Dudley’s go for “What’s Up?” but D-Von gets thrown off the top rope and goes through a table. The Hardy’s hit their finishers on Bubba, thus eliminating the Dudley’s, then again on Chuck, but Billy nails his fameasser. Jeff kicks out but gets nailed with the belt. Chuck and Billy win!
- Winner: Chuck and Billy.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: Started strong but became muddled, some nice spots, all have been in better.
- Hall and Nash in back, bitchin’. Hogan says to let him fight Rock alone.
- Molly in back. Christian door prize’s her to become the new hardcore champ.
- The Rock/Hogan recap.
- Gramlich is tired.
Hogan versus the Rock (Battle of the Egomaniacs)
- Hogan gets some decent cheers when he comes out, there’s even a “Hogan” chant. A loud mix of boos with some cheers for the Rock. Hogan looks really old. More “Hogan” chants. A stare down then a lock-up. Hogan powers off the Rock; the crowd explodes and Hogan mocks the Rock. Hogan beats on the Rock and talks trash; Rocky sells well. Finally Rock fights back and the crowd boos loudly. Hogan is knocked outside and beat on. Good clothesline from the Rock. Hogan counters a Rockbottom and the crowd erupts. Hogan continues to beat on the Rock and looks good, so far. The Rock tackles Hogan and the crowd boos. Hogan with a suplex, everyone cheers; two count. Hogan stretches Rock. Hogan with a cradle; two count. Hogan rakes Rock and beats him down. Rock with some chops; more boos. Hogan hits a chokeslam; cheers. Hogan stairs the Rock and drops him on the barrier. Rock fights back and eventually there’s a ref bump. Rock hits a spinebuster on Hogan and puts him in the sharpshooter; mad boos. Hogan gets to the ropes but there is no ref so Rock doesn’t break. Hogan taps but there is no ref. The Rock finally lets go to a “Rocky Sucks” chant mixed with boos. Low blow by Hogan followed by a Rockbottom on the Rock; two count. Hogan whips Rocky with his belt, Rocky fights back. Hogan “Hulks” up, big foot, leg drop; two count. The crowd is shocked, Another big boot, but Hogan misses the leg-drop. Rockbottom by the Rock, another, Rock nips up and hits the People’s Elbow for the three count.
- Winner: The Rock.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: An old school-feel to a match that actually had meaning, a couple of missed spots but the back and forth and the fans made it good.
- The Rock and Hogan shake. Hall and Nash come out and punk Hogan. The Rock makes the save. Hogan does his old Hulk poses and fan stuff at the Rock’s request, they leave together.
- WWF sell their new CD.
- The Big Show is in WWF New York, picking up chicks.
- The attendance is announced at the Skydome as 68,237. A number the Raptors will never see after this season.
Jazz (Champion) versus Lita versus Trish (Women’s Championship)
Why in the hell is this match so late in the card? Lita’s new theme music sucks, as does Boy Hits Car, the band responsible for it. Lita and Jazz battle, then Lita and Trish beat on Jazz. Jazz puts Trish in a half-crab; hits a double-arm chicken-wing on Lita. Trish is down. Lita beats on Jazz. Nice headscissors by Lita. Jazz dominates. Trish is down again. Too much chaos to call but it’s the stiffest match of the night, no joke! Back and forth action, a couple of near falls and a nice perfect-plex by Jazz. Trish hits a nice reverse DDT. Lita misses a moonsault. Trish beats on Lita while Jazz is down. Another near-fall. Trish is thrown hard into the corner and gets plastered. Jazz hits a top-rope Perfect Plex for the win.
- Winner: Jazz.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: Started better than anticipated but got sloppy, stiffest match of the night.
- Christian is in back. Maven rolls him up while Christian is getting into a cab. Maven is the new champ, what the hell was the point of all of this?
- Tough Enough 2 commercial.
Chris Jericho (Champion) versus Triple H (WWF Heavyweight title)
- Drowning Pool performs Hunter’s theme, Lemmy just rolled over in his grave. Gramlich considers suicide to end the pain. Hunter looks pissed, probably because some horrible nu-metal band is playing his theme. Y2J enters, he is only slightly taller than Stephanie. Y2J’s colour scheme of pink and green makes me want to eat Fruit Loops. Y2J immediately goes for the leg but Hunter fends him off. Y2J goes for the leg again but gets back body dropped then clotheslined twice. Y2J with the chops, then takes a knee, but Hunter hurts his leg in the process and goes to the outside. Y2J is thrown from the top rope to the barrier and is suplexed on the floor. Hunter sets up the Spanish Announce table; Y2J goes for Hunter’s bad leg and beats on it. Hunter spears Y2J but Y2J continues to work on the leg. Hunter puts Y2J in the Figure Four but Stephanie breaks it up. Hunter grabs her and Y2J crashes into her as Hunter side-steps him. Hunter and Stephanie in the ring, Hunter goes for the pedigree. Y2J dropkicks him then posts his leg, twice. Stephanie kicks Hunter’s leg and Y2J continues the assault with a figure four on the ring post. Hunter fights back but Y2J goes to the leg with a spinning toehold. Y2J goes shoulder-first into the post. Hunter with a neckbreaker. Y2J again to the leg, Hunter hits a clothesline; two count. Y2J goes to be spinebustered but is missed by Hunter, second time is the charm. They go outside. Y2J sets up the English Announce table and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Hunter counters and goes for the pedigree but in a great spot is back body dropped through the Spanish Announce table. Back in the ring and Y2J hits the Lionsault; two count, then another. Hunter fights off another Walls of Jericho and goes for the Pedigree. Y2J goes again to the leg and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Hunter makes his way to the ropes but Jericho pulls him back. Hunter is out and Y2J is bleeding from the mouth. Hunter comes out of it and makes it to the ropes. Y2J gets a chair but Hunter kicks it in his face and then DDT’s Y2J onto it; two count. Stephanie gets the chair but gets Pedigreed for her troubles. Y2J waffles Hunter with the chair; two count. Y2J goes for the Pedigree but gets caught and then Pedigreed instead.
- Winner: …and new WWF Undisputed Champion of the World, Triple H.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Gramlich “one line” summary: a solid match but nothing that hasn’t been seen on Raw or Smackdown.