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WWF Wrestlemania X-7
Posted by Peter Kostka on Feb 28, 2003, 00:27
Welcome to part two of the Wrestlemania Trifecta. Last week I looked at 2000, this week we look at what many regard as the greatest Wrestlemania of all time: Wrestlemania X-7. Next week: Wrestlemania X-8 and Rock/Hogan I, which was better than the crap we got Sunday (although Rock is back to his awesome heelish ways).
Just a few points to hit:
- Yet another death in showbiz as Fred Rogers, known to everyone as “Mr. Rogers” died of stomach cancer Thursday. Any parent tired of the crap that’s passed off as “educational television” nowadays should tune into the reruns of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” on PBS.
- Correction from last week (happens a lot, no?): TSM’s own Bookerman, The Dames, wrote to me saying that the complete “Wrestlemania All Day Long is NOT on the WM2000 DVD, but is the same as the DVD that comes with the book.
- After seeing the debacle at the Ruiz/Jones weigh-in, can we NOW say that boxing is as much scripted as wrestling is?
With that done, on with the show!
WWF Wrestlemania X-7
We are LIVE from the Astrodome in Houston, Texas with a HUGE crowd of 67,000 strong. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman will call the action.
- Opening match: Chris Jericho (C) vs. William Regal (IC Title match)
Background: William Regal became the new WWF commissioner after No Way Out and started a long winded acceptance speech on RAW, only to be interrupted by Chris Jericho, who politely asked him to shut his pie hole. Regal, understandably miffed, used his power to make Jericho’s life a living hell, making him fight the entire Right to Censor and the Dudleys in a table match. Jericho, ever the jesting type, urinated in Regal’s teapot as revenge, leading to a classic Regal face: the “Did I accidentally boil X-Pac’s bong water for my tea?” face. Naturally, he challenged Jericho to a title match, and then wrecked his left shoulder on Smackdown.
They go back and forth to start and Jericho lays in some chops. Regal bails after a spinkick and Jericho follows with a dive that nearly rams his head into the barrier. Jericho drops him throat first onto it and, back in, hits a reverse elbow off the top for 2. He lays in some more chops and Regal’s chest is already getting pretty red. A rollup reversal leads to a Walls attempt, but Regal forearms out of it. Regal goes to work on Jericho’s shoulder, ramming it into the post a few times. He locks in a hammerlock, but Jericho fights out it and knocks Regal down. A Lionsault attempt hits the knees and Regal rolls him up for 2, then hits a release German suplex for another 2. Regal removes a turnbuckle pad and rams Jericho’s shoulder into the exposed steel. Jericho fights back with an enziguri and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Regal avoids a charge and puts Jericho on top. He goes up and hits a double underhook superplex. Jericho recovers and tries to lock in the Walls, but his left arm gives and Regal reverses that into the Regal Stretch. Jericho gets to the ropes and hits more chops with his good arm. Regal goes to ram his gead into the exposed corner but Jericho reverses and bulldogs him. A suplex sets up the Lionsault, and Jericho retains.
A pretty disappointing opener. Regal may be good on the stick, but he just can’t click with his opponent in the ring. 6/10
- Shane arrives in his "WCW1" limo while Bradshaw fires up his pardners by talking about the legends that have graced the Astrodome. Don’t forget those “legendary” Astros uniforms.
- The Right to Censor (w/Steven Richards) vs. APA and Tazz (w/Jacqueline)
Background: The whole RTC gimmick (with the most ANNOYING theme music ever) was wearing thin by this time. They were essentially Vince’s parody of the parents groups and critics of the WWF, most notably, the Parent’s Television Council. That Vince, always ready to take the high road (see Ted, Billionaire). Bradshaw and Jackie are Texans, so they had to be involved in this event somehow.
Steven gets laid out by Jacqueline and all six men brawl before the match starts. Faarooq and Bull start and Bull hits his turnbuckle-walk clothesline. Faarooq gets a powerslam and tags in Tazz, who immediately gets caught in the heel corner. Goodfather tags in and works him over, hitting the Ho Train (oh, excuse me, the “Hoe” Train). He goes up for a Vaderbomb, but Tazz moves and tags Bradshaw, who is a LONGHORN AFIRE! He hits a fall away slam on Val and the APA get a double team front slam. Bradshaw puts him on top and hits a back suplex but Bull and Goodfather jump him and hit a spike powerbomb. Tazz? Where’d he go? Faarooq dumps Bull and Goodfather misses another Train and falls victim to the Clothesline from Hades for the 3.
Well, it was short. I think Jaqueline got more offense in this match than Tazz did. 3/10
- Steph bosses around Trish, telling her how to prepare Vince’s postmatch celebration; while Linda acts zombie-like in her wheelchair (you can add your own joke here.)
- Raven (C) vs. Kane vs. The Big Show (Triangle match for the Hardcore title)
Background: Don’t think there was one. They wanted a hardcore match for Wrestlemania and had three slugs doing nothing, so here you go (I’ll bet I’m getting hate mail from Raven fans for that).
Raven and Kane brawl before Show can even make his entrance (might as well get SOMETHING good out of this before he waddles down and ruins things). When Show finally gets his ass down there, Kane gives him Raven as a peace offering and Show sets him up for the Final Cut (think Eye of the Hurricane), but Kane decides to go up and clothesline Show. Raven gets a quick 2 and all three head out into the crowd, and the crack WWF camera crew promptly loses them in the Sea of Humanity (© Gorilla Monsoon). They finally get to the back and Show rams Raven into a wall and slams Kane onto some pallets. Show stalks Raven into a fenced in storage room and puts a padlock on the door. Of course, he forgets to actually LOCK IT and Kane rips the door open. They hit each other with some stuff some more and Raven tries to choke Kane with a piece of garden hose, but Kane drives him through the fence wall. He drags him by the neck with the hose and tosses him through a window (ouchie). Show shoves Kane through a door and tries a chokeslam, but Kane grabs his throat and they stumble around the room looking for the gimmicked wall and finally crash through it. Raven throws a table on them and tries to flee on a golf cart, but Show hitches a ride and Kane gives chase on another (with the ref in tow). He runs Raven over and they give each other more shots with packing peanuts, some Snapple, and a salad (?) and they head back onto the stage. Kane slugs away on Show in front of the video wall, but Show low blows him. He tries a press slam on Raven but Kane boots them both off the side and through a platform. Kane dives in onto Show and gets the pin for the title.
Hardcore matches usually suck a lot, but this one wasn’t too terrible. 4/10
- Angle watches a video of him tapping to the Crossface on Smackdown and asks a very intriguing philosophical question (If one taps out to the Crossface, but there wasn’t a match or referee, did one REALLY tap out?) and Edge and Christian promise victory in TLC II. Hey, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is at WWF New York, I must get together my friends to watch XIX there...oh, wait.
- Eddie Guerrero (w/Perry Saturn) vs. Test (C) (European title match)
Background: Again, not much here. Eddie was a guest ref and screwed Test out of a victory on RAW to build heat for the match.
Slugfest to start and Eddie bails after a spinout powerbomb. Back in, Test drops him facefirst into the corner and gets 2 off a clothesline. Eddie comes back and puts Test on top, but Test grabs the ropes on a top rope hurricanrana attempt and hits a reverse elbow for 2. Eddie ducks a clothesline and Test gets his foot caught in the ropes, but can’t seem to get it free. Eddie improvises by stomping on him and falling out of the ring. It takes the ref, Eddie, and Saturn to finally get him loose (getting a round of applause from the crowd) and Eddie works on the knee back in. Eddie puts on a sleeper, but Test fights out and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam and gutwrench powerbomb for 2. Eddie misses a blind charge but hits a low blow out of the ref’s view. Eddie distracts the ref, which allows Perry to slide in and hit a Moss-Covered 3 Handled Family Gredenza (that’s what Paul called it), but Test kicks out at 2. Eddie hits a brainbuster, and goes up but misses the frog splash and Test gets a pumphandle slam for 2. Big Boot to Eddie and one for Saturn as he tries to come in. He covers, but Dean Malenko comes down and breaks up the count. Test goes after him, which allows Eddie to get the belt and hit Test for the pin.
Well, once they got Test free, it turned into a pretty decent contest. Eddie should have cheated more, though. 6/10
- Cole talks to Mick Foley about his role as special ref in the Shane-Vince match. Foley promises a fair call, and adds a cheap pop to boot.
- Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle
Background: Well, they did mix it up at WM 2000, so there is some history, but the only setup was that Angle didn’t have a match for Wrestlemania after losing the WWF title at No Way Out, so Benoit, also having nothing to do, challenged him. I THINK this was the first PPV singles match between the two.
Kurt cuts an anti-Texas promo, telling them to “lose the freakin’ cowboy hats, will ya?” They roll around with some amateur wrestling to start and Benoit gets the upper hand More mat stuff, and Benoit escapes again and gets more applause from the crowd. They go down again and Benoit tries for the Crossface, but Angle makes the ropes. He tries a few more times and Angle keeps making the ropes. Frustrated at being schooled on the mat, Angle decks Benoit and sends him to the outside. He slams Benoit’s head into the Spanish table and tosses him into the steps. Back in, a vertical suplex gets 2 and a backdrop suplex gets another 2. Benoit gets some chops in, but Angle puts him down with a few belly-to-belly suplexes. They go back and forth in the corner, and Benoit knees Angle in the gut and knocks him down for 2. He hits a snap suplex for another 2 and hits a superplex for 2. He goes for the ROLLING GERMANS~!, but Angle trips him up and goes for the Anglelock, which Benoit reverses into an Anglelock of his own. Angle breaks out and Benoit tries a Crossface, but Angle gets his hand up to block it like Curly blocking a Moe eye poke and reverses into a Crossface of his own! Awesome sequence there. Benoit makes the ropes and Benoit accidentally shoves Angle into the ref. Benoit hooks in another Crossface, and Angle is tapping. Benoit releases it to check on the ref and Angle puts him down with an Angle Slam for 2. He goes up for an Anglesault, but Benoit lifts hits knees. He goes up and connects with the Swandive for 2. Angle low blows Benoit and a pinning sequence leads to Angle grabbing the tights for the 3.
A dumb finish to a fantastic match. And so the smarks' favorite feud began.9/10.
- Regal talks to Cole about his loss but has to chase Kamala out of his office. We take a look at a WWF rally at Fort Hood, and Angle relishes in his win until Benoit attacks and applies the Crossface again.
- Ivory (C) vs. Chyna (Woman’s title match)
Background: At the Royal Rumble, Chyna “re-injured” her neck in a match against Ivory. She took some time off to pose for Playboy and came back for Wrestlemania. JR tells us that Chyna signed an agreement removing any blame from the WWF if she “injures” herself again.
Ivory gets the upper hand for about 4 seconds until Chyna squashes her, finishing with a press slam for the pin and the title.
Yeah, THAT was worth 4 or so months of buildup. I think she defended the thing three times before leaving. DUD
- Coach finds Moises Alou + Jeff Bagwell in the crowd. Vince promises something “shocking” tonight and we get a recap of the McMahon soap opera.
- Vince McMahon (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Shane McMahon (Mick Foley special referee)
Background: Vince (in reality and storyline terms) bought WCW in early March. In the storyline, Vince didn’t sign the agreement, wanting Ted Turner himself to come to Wrestlemania and make things official. He made this announcement the Monday before on both RAW and the final Nitro in Florida (it was absolutely surreal to see Vince open up Nitro at the time.) Unbeknownst to Vince, Shane was at Nitro and made an appearance, saying that he signed the agreement instead and now owns WCW. This would kick off the Invasion angle, and we all know how THAT turned out.
Shane gives a “shout out” to some WCW wrestlers (aka, “future WWF jobbers”) seated in a skybox. Of the ones I can make out, only Lance Storm, Stacy Kiebler, and Chavo Guerrero have any steady work in the WWE nowadays.
Vince slaps around Shane to start and kicks and chokes him in the corner. Shane comes back with a spear and elbows to the back. Steph comes in and slaps Shane. Both she and Vince bail to the outside and Shane puts Vince down with a baseball slide. He goes out and hits Vince with a sign and chokes him with a camera cable. They head out to the announce tables and Shane gets a kendo stick from under the ring and hits Vince a few times with that, followed by some juking and jiving. Shane clears the Spanish table and puts Vince onto it, hitting him with a monitor to make sure he stays put. Shane goes to the top, but Steph pulls Vince out of the way and Shane goes flying through the table instead. While they show the replay, Trish wheels out Linda (Vince had told her to when Shane was immobilized and to double her medication to make sure she doesn’t do anything). Trish consoles Vince, and then slaps him. Steph slaps her and they catfight into the ring, where Mick breaks it up (to a heel reaction). Steph slaps him, and takes off up the ramp. Trish pushes Mick aside and follows. Vince glares at Linda, but Mick stops him from doing anything rash and starts to wheel her away, but Vince grabs a chair and lays Mick out. Vince picks Linda up and rolls her into the ring. He seats her on the chair and retrieves Shane. He tosses 4 trashcans into the ring and proceeds to smash two over Shane’s head, badmouthing Linda after each shot. When he readies a third shot, Linda rises out of the chair (Trish had not given her ANY medication) and boots Vince in the jimmies. Mick rolls in and shows his impartiality, wailing on Vince as well. Shane lays Vince in the corner with a trash can against him. He goes up and hits a VAN TERMINATOR, driving it into Vince’s face and getting the pin. Shane and Linda reconcile afterwards.
Crappy match, but that’s just some great drama (Linda’s rising is still a pretty cool moment). Plus, anytime Vince gets his ass kicked, an angel gets its wings (or so I’m told). 6/10
- We see tape of Kevin Kelly talking to the Hardyz during an Axcess autograph session about TLC II while HHH and Taker warm up for their match. The ring crew sets up for our next match: TLC II.
- TLC II: Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (C) (WWF Tag title match)
Background: These three teams got it on at WM 2000 in a three team ladder match, then upped the stakes at Summerslam with TLC I. Wanting to make Wrestlemania that much more special, TLC II was set up.
The three teams brawl to start, and the Hardys hit Poetry in Motion on the Dudleys. E&C bring a ladder in and clear house, tying Matt up in the corner and stepping on his groin for good measure. Jeff goes headfirst into a chair as Matt tries to climb, but is knocked down by an Edge clothesline. Edge tries to climb, but Jeff jumps off Matt’s back and dropkicks him down. The Hardys flatten Christian with a leg and splash combo off the ladders and the Dudleys hit the Whassup?! on Edge. Tables are retrieved and Jeff is powerbombed by Buh Buh onto Edge through one, while another is set up in the corner. The Dudleys do some more redecorating, stacking four tables in the aisle.
Back in the ring, 3 ladders are set up and all six men climb and, naturally, fall off (with Christian clearing the ropes and splatting on the floor). Edge tries to climb, but Spike runs in and Dudley Dogs him off the ladder and does the same to Christian through a table on the outside. Jeff climbs, but now Rhyno (working for E&C) pulls him off, takes the Dudleys out and GORE, GORE, GORES Matt through the table in the corner. Edge tries to climb, but now Lita runs in and J.R. gets the line of the night (“It’s Lita! Jerking Edge off……the ladder!”). Lita hits a rana on Rhyno and the Dudleys hit a Dudley Device. Lita wraps a chair around Spike’s head and removes her top (must be the female equivalent to taking down the straps), but gets 3Ded. E&C swing some steel and they set up a ladder, but it doesn’t reach the belts so Edge tells Christian to get the Superladder. Jeff jumps him and sets it up himself, then hits a Super Swanton off it onto Spike and Rhyno through tables! That gets a “Holy Shit!” chant and is replayed a few times (rightfully so). Superladder is brought in and Christian and D’Von climb, but Matt pulls it away, leaving them hanging from the ring that holds the belts a la TLC I. Christian knocks D’Von off but falls off himself. Jeff tries to walk across three ladders, but falls off the third one. He climbs again but slips and hangs, trying to get a hold of the ladder with his feet. Buh Buh grabs it and pulls it back as Edge climbs the Superladder in the corner. Buh Buh slingshots Jeff towards Edge, who spears Jeff to the mat, drawing another “Holy Shit!” chant. Buh Buh and Matt climb, but Rhyno pushes the ladder over and they fall through the stack of tables in the aisle, completing the Big Bumps in the match. Edge holds D’Von at bay while Rhyno helps Christian climb and grab the belts.
I must say, this one had a little less flow than the other two matches, but there were some major bumps taken, so I can appreciate that. 9/10
- A recap of Axxcess allows everyone to catch their breath after THAT exhibition.
- Gimmick Battle Royal
Participants: The Bushwhackers, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, The Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink the Clown (who gets the biggest pop since Jericho dressed as him on the RAW before), Kamala and Kim Chee (with Harvey Whippleman, who looks even thinner as ever, if that is at all possible), Repo Man, James E. Cornette, Nickolai Volkoff, Michael P.S. Hayes (Dok Hendrix in the WWF), One Man Gang, The GobblyGooker, Tugboat (oh come on Fred, don the Shockmaster getup ONE LAST TIME), Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love and Sgt. Slaughter.
This was perfect for the fans to take a rest and fill the dead time after a big match (like the women’s triple threat did after Rock/Hogan.). It’s the fastest battle royal in history as everyone goes flying in two minutes (crowd didn’t like Doink’s elimination) until it’s down to Sheik, Jim and Slaughter. Slaughter eliminates Jim and Sheik sneaks behind and dumps Slaughter too for the win. They do an 80’s style “brawl” and Slaughter locks in the cobra clutch. Man,
The entrances were fun, but what else would you expect from a bunch of 50 year olds fighting? Oh yeah, Vince and Hogan are pretty much set for XIX. 3/10
- The Undertaker vs. HHH
Background: HHH ran his mouth on Smackdown a few weeks previous saying that he’s beaten the best the WWF had to offer, to which Taker interjected, saying HHH had never beaten him (he did say best, though).
Motorhead plays The Game in. At least the musical guests had a purpose here, unlike X-8. It would have been that much cooler if Limp Bizkit played Taker out, but you can’t have them all.
Brawl on the outside to start and Taker slugs HHH through the temporary Spanish table (those poor guys). Into the ring with more punching and HHH hits the high knee but is powerslammed and clotheslined in the corner. Taker misses an elbow but connects with a flying clothesline. Taker goes for the ropewalk, but HHH pulls him down and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Another gets a few more 2 counts and HHH argues with the ref, allowing Taker to comeback, but a HHH face buster stops that. HHH retrieves his Sledge, but the ref takes it away. Pedigree attempt is reversed and HHH is slingshot into the ref. Chokeslam gets a slow 2 and Taker drops an elbow on the ref, which must have hit the temple or something because he stays down for a while. They fight into the crowd and up to a tech area. HHH pounds on Taker’s knee with a chair. Taker recovers and chokeslams HHH off the scaffold (which looks cool, but on replay we see he landed on about 15 inches of padding). Taker follows with an elbow and they brawl back to the ring.
Back in, Taker grabs the Sledge, but HHH kicks him in the Rest in Pieces. HHH winds up with it, but he’s booted down. HHH tries a Tombstone, but YOU CANT TOMBSTONE TAKER! and he reverses into one of his own, but the ref is STILL down. He tries the Last Ride, but HHH grabs the sledge on the way up and bops him with it, getting a 2 count. HHH pounds away in the corner, but Taker simply hits the Last Ride for the pin (that finish was used for Taker/Booker T at No Mercy later in the year.)
Nice little brawl, but nothing of real substance. I don’t think HHH has gotten that job back, either. 5/10
- Rock and Austin head out for the main event and we get a great video package of their feud. I don’t care for Limp too much, by “My Way” was great for the event.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (C) (WWF Title match)
Background: Austin won the 2001 Rumble to get the title shot and Rock beat Angle for the title at No Way Out. Vince, to put a little more spice in the matchup, made Austin’s wife Debra Rock’s manager. Austin told Rock that if she was hurt, it was the Rock’s ass. In a match on RAW, Angle put the Anglelock on Debra, drawing Steve down. He took out Angle, and then kept his promise by Stunning Rock. Rock tried to get his revenge on Smackdown by hitting a Rock Bottom, but Angle broke it up and Rock wound up getting a Stunner again. They had a sit down with JR and Austin made clear that he wanted the title and would do anything for it.
This match is made no DQ by some unknown person. Austin gets a mega babyface pop with his entrance; the Rock gets a mixed reaction. Austin pounds away to start and hits the Lou Thesz Press and a few FU elbows. Rock comes back with a neckbreaker and they fight over a Stunner. Rock gets thrown out and they brawl into the crowd. Rock slams Austin’s head into the only remaining announce table and Austin retaliates with a clothesline. Back in, Austin stomps and chokes away, getting a 2 count. A superplex gets 2, and Austin removes a turnbuckle pad. Rock gets a clothesline and a belly-to-belly for 2 and clotheslines Austin out. Rock stalks Hebner on the outside but he trips and drops his blade (oopsy). Austin hits him with the bell and, indeed, Rock blades. Rock goes into the table and it collapses.
Back in, Austin pounds away and hits a neckbreaker for 2 and hammers away on the Rock some more. Mudhole is stomped and walked dry. Rock blasts out of the corner with a clothesline, drawing boos from the crowd. Austin goes into the unforgiving exposed steel and blades. Rock hits him with the bell for good measure. To the outside again and Rock works the neck. Austin throws him to the barrier and slingshots him into the post. A shot with a monitor follows. Austin rolls him back in for a 2 count. A Stunner is blocked and Rock locks in the Sharpshooter and I get WM 13 flashbacks, but this time Bret is bleeding too. Austin makes the ropes and he rakes the eyes to break another attempt and hooks in a Sharpshooter of his own. Rock breaks it and then makes the ropes after another Sharpshooter try. Austin slaps on the Million Dollar Dream (his finisher as the Ringmaster), but Rock walks the ropes (a la Bret at WM 8) and gets 2. Rock reverses a whip and hits a Stunner for 2 and HEEEEEERES Mr. McMahon.
Slugfest and Austin hits a spinebuster for 2. Rock hits one of his own and gets the People’s Elbow, but Vince yanks him off at 2 (to a mixed reaction). Rock chases him around….right into an Austin Rock Bottom for 2. Stunner blocked again, and the ref is bumped (in a no DQ match?) Austin low blows and tells Vince to get a chair. Austin holds Rock and Vince whaps him for a 2 count. Austin is more frustrated now, so he goes for another chairshot, but is Rock Bottomed. Rock goes after Vince, but falls prey to a Stunner, for 2. Austin is royally pissed and beats the holy hell out of Rock with the chair for 3 and a MEGA POP. Austin and McMahon shake hands as J.R. proclaims he “sold his soul to Satan himself for the WWF title”. They share beers and Austin hits Rock with the belt as the crowd doesn’t seem what to think about this. We end the show with Austin and McMahon walking up the ramp together.
Damn, that was quite a little emotional rollercoaster there. Great brawl and match. They would totally blow the Austin heel turn by not going with heel Austin vs. face HHH while Rock was filming the Mummy Returns and instead joining them in the “Two Man Power Trip” all the while ignoring that these two hated each other and HHH masterminded Austin getting run over in 1999. HHH would tear his quad in May and Austin would lead the ill-fated Alliance for the rest of the year. What might have been. 10/10
The Verdict: Awesome, awesome show. Nothing (except the Women’s title match, I guess) was un-watchable and there are some very sweet matches on this card. A definite winner.
Final Score: 9/10 (Not an average)
Next week: Last year’s show, Wrestlemania X-8.
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