- Includes WrestleMania XVI-XX
WWE WrestleMania: The Complete Anthology - Volume 4 (WrestleMania XVI-XX)
DVD | Box Set
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WrestleMania reaches greater heights as WWE enters the new millennium. Witness the historic, Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 2000. Watch as Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock blow the roof off the Houston Astrodome at WrestleMania X-7. Relive the amazing moment when two generations met at Wrestlemania X8, the night The Rock took on Hulk Hogan. See two of the finest athletes in WWE history, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar; go one-on-one for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XIX. Watch as WWE returns to where it all began, Madison Square Garden, for WrestleMania XX, perhaps the biggest night in WWE history. All these moments and more are here as WrestleMania closes out its second decade.
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For this review, I will only use WWE for when the change actually happened! They were still WWF at the time of three of these WM's so I will refer to the titles as such for those events. I won't go into every match for these events either. Well, here we go:
WRESTLEMANIA 2000 AKA WRESTLEMANIA 16
This is the first and only WM ever where every match was either a tag team bout or a multiple persons match. Not one one on one contest here and that really drug it down here. For this one, I won't go into every match but rather here are the ones that are worth seeing on this one:
The Hardy Boyz Vs. The Dudley Boyz Vs. Edge & Christian (Triangle Ladder Match for the WWF World Tag Team Titles) - In a predecessor to the TLC match, these three pioneers of that contest really brought their A-game to this one! Look for one of Edge's legendary spears from the ladder and Jeff Hardy's swanton from the top of a ladder! Of course, the Dudleyz brought their legendary ECW style to this match too.
Chris Benoit Vs. Chris Jericho Vs. Kurt Angle (Two Fall Triple Threat Match for the WWF Intercontinental & European Championships) - When you say the name Chris Benoit now, you don't think of a great wrestler. I won't go into what you think of now but at this time, he was a highly respect grappler with an intensity and dedication that only few could match. Chris Jericho was almost a year into his first tour with WWF/WWE and had already been an I-C champion. Kurt Angle had just started pro wrestling and was only six months into his career and was already holding the I-C and European titles and was the champion going into this match.
The favorite going in had to be Benoit just because of his reputation and the fact that he had came off of a hot streak in WCW prior to him leaving. All three men turned in a great performance with Angle losing both titles WITHOUT ever being defeated! Benoit left with the I-C title while Jericho left with the European strap.
Too Cool & Chyna Vs. The Radicalz - The Radicalz for this match were the late Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn. This turned out to be a very entertaining match as both teams put on a show. Chyna was the star of this bout she was at the height of her "powers" so to speak and worked very well against the three veterans. Ends when she uses a unique sleeper slam on Eddie to get the pin. This would eventually lead to the two getting together to form the original "Latino Heat" duo. That name would stay with Eddie until the end of his life in 2005.
The main event was HHH Vs. The Rock Vs. The Big Show Vs. Mick Foley with a McMahon family member in each corner. While not a bad match in itself, it wasn't WM worthy! I think the main event should be no worse than a Triple Threat Match and should always be one on one if possible.
This one was from Houston, TX and it is one of the best WM's ever! This also came on the heels of both the original ECW and WCW folding so many fans were wondering if WWF (at this time) would actually lax in their performance because their two rivals were gone? The answer would be a resounding NO!
Chris Jericho Vs. William Regal (WWF Intercontinental Title Match) - A good opener but short of what these two men are capable off. Still, the usually pro-American Texas crowd was behind the Canadian born Jericho against Regal in this one. Ends with Jericho's "Lionsault" after falling to lock in the Walls Of Jericho submission for the win. Jericho retains.
Tazz & APA Vs. The Right To Censor - The Right To Censor was a group spoofing the PTC who were vigorous opponnents of WWF/WWE programming at the time. They consisted of Stevie Richards, The Goodfather and Bull Buchanan. A short but good six man that was more of a showfest for Bradshaw (who would later become JBL). Ends with an awesome "clothesline form hell" on The Goodfather for the win!
Raven Vs. The Big Show Vs. Kane (WWF Hardcore Title Triple Threat Match) -I'll be honest, I expected Raven to get destroyed here but he surprised me! While he did take some nasty spots, he hung in their with the two giants. It does end when Kane knocks both TBS and Raven off of the stage ramp and follows it with an elbow/legdrop on both of his opponents. Kane wins the Hardcore title.
Eddie Guerrero Vs. Test (WWF European Title Match) - This is definitely one of the late Andrew "Test" Martin's best bouts as he took on the late Eddie Guerrero for his European belt. Except for a slow spot where Test got hung up on the ropes by his foot, this was actually a good contest. Ends when Eddie, being his "lying, cheating and stealing" self, gets helps from Radical mates Saturn and Malenko for the win and the European strap.
Kurt Angle Vs. Chris Benoit - Their first one on one bout and the beginning of one of the best pure wrestling feuds ever! While the two would go on to have better matches against each other, this one doesn't suck at all! I mean, how many guys can get the crowd to cheer actually chain/mat wrestling?!
Anyway, the match soon changes to straight pro wrestling but even then, rather than cheating they would revert back to counterwrestling to gain the advantage. It ends when Angle counters Benoit's crossface into a rollup for the pin (with the help of some trunks of course *wink*).
Ivory Vs. Chyna (WWF Women's Championship) - The definition of SQUASH! As good as Ivory was and maybe still is, did anyone think she was going to beat Chyna at this point?! Think Beth Phoenix or, even better, Awesome Kong in TNA if you want an idea of how dominant Chyna was in this division! Anyway, a short a**-kicking as Chyna takes the title.
Vince McMahon Vs. Shane McMahon (Streetfight Match) - With special referee Mick Foley and with Linda McMahon at ringside along with Stephanie McMahon and Trish Stratus, this one had action and drama done right! Twists include Trish turning on Vince during the match in revenge for her now infamous "lingere/bark like a dog" skit on RAW and Linda (who was supposed to be catonic) rising up from her chair and kicking Vince in his "grapefruits."
The match itself wasn't bad but Shane was definitely the star here as he did his version of the Van Terminator on Vince for the win!
The Hardyz w/Lita Vs. The Dudleyz w/Spike Vs. Edge & Christian w/Rhyno (TLC II for the WWF World Tag Team Titles) - In this one, it was a rematch of sorts from last years WM. While I actually like the Triangle Match better, this one had more high spots and was definitely a highlight of WM. The seconds for each team also got their spots in too. Ends when Christian gets the belts for his team with the help of Rhyno.
The Undertaker Vs. HHH - At this point, UT is in his "American Bada**" mode though make no mistake, there are still elements of his "Deadman" persona if you look close.
As for the match itself, it turned out better than I thought it would going in. I think they began using it back at WM 13 and has used it as an angle for UT since. The match really picks up when it breaks down into a brawl with the referee out for most of it! We even see a near fall as "The Game" came so close to ending "The Streak." Ends when 'Taker countered into his "Last Ride" powerbomb for the win.
Personally, I find it ironic that UT has defeated all the memebers of Evolution AND (with his WM 25 win over Shawn Michaels) has defeated the two charter members of DX as well!
Back to the match, definitely a MUST VIEW!
Gimmick Battle Royal - This actually happened before Taker/HHH as guys from WWF/WWE's past such as Doink, Tugboat, the late Earthquake and Sgt. Slaughter came out for this one. They even let Michael Hayes participate in this as his "Freebird" persona rather than his Doc Hendricks persona. Good call on that one, especially since they were in TX!
Ends when The Iron Sheik wins but ends up on the wrong end of a Sgt. Slaughter "Cobra Clutch."
The Rock Vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (No DQ for the WWF World Title) - This is what a main event should be like! Of the three Austin/Rock WM battles, this one was definitely the best! Even the swerve job at the end can't take away what a classic this was. MUST VIEW!
Overall, this WM was one of the strongest from beginning to end. Certainly the best one on this volume.
This one was from the Skydome in Toronto Canada and was the first since 1990's WrestleMania 6. While not as good as X-7, it too was a strong WM with an historic feature match in The Rock Vs. Hulk Hogan.
Rob Van Damn Vs. William Regal (WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) - In his first WM appearance ever, RVD took on the brutal technician in Regal for his I-C title. "Mr. Monday Night" was definitely working on all cylinders this night as he took his first I-C title from Regal in arguably his hottest year other than 2006 when he won the WWE Title from John Cena. Worth a look.
Christian Vs. DDP (WWF European Title Match) - While not a classic, it was certainly better than I thought it would be. It would be DDP's last PPV appearance for WWF/WWE as he was forced to retire for short time due to neck problems.
Back to the match, it was (as I said) surprisingly better than I thought it would be. Ends when DDP slips in his diamond cutter for the win.
Goldust Vs. Maven (WWF Hardcore Championship Match) - This one pretty much breaks down and has other people like Al Snow, The Hurricane, Molly Holly and Spike Dudley showing up as well. The "match" pretty much runs throughout the rest of the PPV as cats were getting pins and becoming Hardcore champion! Ends when Christian, who got his title beating Molly Holly, tries to sneak out of the building but Maven surprises him with a rollup and gets his title back! He quickly leaves the arena in the limo that was waiting for Christian! LOL!
Kane Vs. Kurt Angle - At this point, Angle is a performer that is regarded as one of the best. This match with Kane proves that point as they actually have a pretty good bout. There is a botched pin spot at the end but even that can't take away from the fact that they had a pretty good bout.
The Undertaker Vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (No DQ match) - In a match that's often forgotten until WM time, The Undertaker had one of his best "streak" bouts against the legendary Ric Flair! If not for Hogan/Rock, this would've been the match of the night by far! Also has an appearance from former Horsemen Arn Anderson but that would not be enough as 'Taker would add to "The Streak."
Edge Vs. Booker T. - While the angle was ridiculous (fighting over a shampoo endorsment), the match itself was pretty good. Seems Edge has a talent of making a good match out of a stupid storyline (see WM 25).
This has Booker T. really trying to show that he belongs on a major stage in WWF. He, in my eyes, proved that during his stay there but this night would belong to Edge as he picked up the win in front of the hometown crowd.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Vs. Scott Hall - In this one, the backstage story was actually more interesting than the match itself as it is rumored that Austin was originally slated to job to Hall but refused to do so. After a bit of drama, the nWo finally agreed to job to Austin.
As for the match itself, it wasn't bad but it won't go down as either man's best. It was entertaining nonetheless.
The Hardy Boyz Vs. The Dudley Boyz Vs. APA Vs. Billy & Chuck (WWF World Tag Team Title Four Corners Match) - This was more of a filler match than anything important. Still, its not bad for what it is. Billy & Chuck retain their gold.
The Rock Vs. Hulk Hogan - THE REAL MAIN EVENT of this WM! With due respect to HHH and Chris Jericho, this is the match most of that crowd came to see! While not the best match from a pure performance standpoint, it certainly got the loudest reaction! Ends when The Rock puts Hogan away with his "People's Elbow" after three Rock Bottoms on Hogan. There is even a surprise after that as Rock survived a "Hulk up" and a legdrop prior to winning the match. Afterwards, we see a classic WM moment as Hogan and The Rock shook hands and even battled nWo members Hall & Nash afterwards.
Lita Vs. Trish Stratus Vs. Jazz (WWF Women's Championship Match) - I kind of felt sorry for these ladies to follow Hogan/Rock because they did put on a good performance and this is when the ladies division was at its strongest in my view! Plus, this was a homecoming for Trish as she returned to Canada on PPV as an actual performer.
Anyway, ends when Jazz gets a fisherman's buster suplex from the top rope on Lita! Jazz retains her gold.
HHH Vs. Chris Jericho (WWF World Title Match) - Two things really hurt this bout. 1. It followed Rock/Hogan and the crowd was pretty much dead and 2. despite the fact that fellow countryman Jericho was the champion, the match centered around HHH/Stephanie McMahon and made Jericho look kind of weak!
As for the match itself, it wasn't bad but these two have had better bouts. The three count was more like a relief rather than euphoria here! Anyway, HHH wins and becomes WWE Champion!
In this one, we see the unofficial end of a career, the return of another career and the short-lived brilliance of another career that almost ended tragically. I'll tell you along the way:
Rey Mysterio Vs. Matt Hardy w/Shannon Moore (WWE Cruiserweight Title Match) - This was the first WM under the WWE banner and this opening bout was a bit too short but was also good for the time it was given! Ends when Matt uses the tights and ropes to get the pin on Mysterio to retain his Cruiserweight gold.
The Undertaker Vs. The Big Show & A-Train - In a handicap match, The Undertaker took on two of the biggest men in the business at that time. With a little help from now action actor Nathan Jones, UT kept his "streak" alive in this one. A rockin' performance from Limp Bizkit prior to the match puts it in high gear.
Trish Stratus Vs. Victoria Vs. Jazz (WWE Women's Title Triple Threat Match) - In my opinion, this was Trish's best WM appearance as a wrestler and not just because she won but by this point, she was really a pretty good wrestler. Kudos to Jazz and Victoria as well as they put on a good show too. Trish wins when she hits her "chick kick" on Victoria for the pin.
Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo) Vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno Vs. Team Angle (Shelton Benjammin & Charlie Haas)(WWE Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match) - In this one, nearly everyone got to show their wears but this is one that could've gone a bit longer. Ends when Rhyno gets in a gore on Chavo BUT Team Angle quickly gets him out of the ring and gets the pin to retain their belts.
Shawn Michaels Vs. Chris Jericho - A MUST VIEW in my book as this one was a classic. It was Michaels' first WM match since 1998 and he couldn't have had a better opponent for it. Jericho, when given the right opponent, can have a 5 star match and that's what this one was. Ends with Michaels getting a surprise rollup for the win but Jericho gets the last laugh by kneeing Michaels in the "manhood" after the match.
HHH Vs. Booker T. (World Heavyweight Title Match) - I'll be fair here, this was a good contest if you can ignore the terrible storyline which (thank goodness) was dropped before WM and if you could ignore the backstage politics (which I understand was just as much Booker's fault as it was HHH if not more), you could actually enjoy this bout. It does end with a HHH victory over Booker BUT he does give a great accounting of himself.
Hulk Hogan Vs. Vince McMahon (Street Fight) - This turned out better than I would've gave it credit for. If you've ever seen "The Mania Of WrestleMania" special, then you know that there was some real concern that these two would actually go at it for real since there was some real animosity between them. Thankfully, professional heads prevailed but that didn't stop them from using that to create a good matchup! Add the stipulation that if Hogan lost, his career was over made the drama even moreso! It ends, of course, with a Hogan win.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Vs. The Rock - For their final encounter, the two actually used more wrestling than in their previous WM matches. Still, it eventually broke down into a brawl the two using each others' moves on the other man! It ends with The Rock finally getting that one on one victory over Austin. I know they hyped it for WM but I believe that's the first time The Rock had ever beaten Austin in a one on one match at any PPV! The story behind this bout is even more compelling as it was also covered in "The Mania Behind WrestleMania." Austin almost didn't even make this match as he was in the hospital the night before. Add the drama of his personal life with Debra (think Chris Brown/Rihanna) and its a wonder he had his head on straight to do the bout! Anyway, this was Austin finally official bout as an active competitor.
Anyway, the match itself was good but definitely the weakest of their three matches. Still, it was WM worthy.
Kurt Angle Vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Title Match) - Much like HHH/Orton at the 25th WM, the stipulation was added that if Kurt tried to get himself DQ'ed or counted out, he would lose the title to Lesnar. Unlike HHH/Orton, it didn't hurt the matchup at all as two of the purest wrestlers ever in WWE history put on a clinic! It almost ended in tragedy as Brock did a shooting star press that not only missed Angle but saw him fall on his head face first! Amazingly, Brock finished the match and won the WWE title. Both men, however, had to be hospitalized afterwards.
Overall, a pretty good WM!
This one, for an anniversary WM, was kind of weak! BUT, it did have some must views:
John Cena Vs. The Big Show (WWE U.S. Title Match) - That's right! This one's a must view simply because you get to see John Cena back when he was truly "The Doctor Of Thuganomics." He was more like a "Stone Cold" character than the superhero he portrays now. Ends when he gets his FU on TBS not once but twice!
Chris Jericho Vs. Christian - An often forgotten match that was a very good bout and really a jumping off point for Christian'solo career. Add the unexpected heel turn of Trish Stratus to help give Christian the win and you have a great WM moment.
The Rock & Mick Foley Vs. Evolution - In this 2 on 3 handicap match, this was more of a showcase for Evolution's Batista and Randy Orton. Ric Flair, The Rock and Foley do have their moments in this one though! Ends when Randy gets in a surprise RKO on Foley for a clean win!
Eddie Guerrero Vs. Kurt Angle (WWE Title Match) - In his first PPV title defense, Guerrero went against former champion Angle. While these two would have better encounters after this one, this was a good stamp on Eddie's career to show that his reign was for real and not just a transition champion. Ends when Eddie pulls a dirty trick by untieing his boot and using it to escape Angle's anklelock submission for a roll up for the pin!
The Undertaker Vs. Kane - The match itself wasn't that good. It wasn't anywhere near their classic at WM 14 but the entrances of both is what makes this bout worth looking at. Anyway, the "streak" continues.
Chris Benoit Vs. HHH Vs. Shawn Michaels (World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Match) - A classic WM match in every sense of the word. While this probably won't be brought up again due to Benoit's actions, anyone that has ever seen this bout will agree it was the defining moment of Chris' career before his murder/suicide in June 2007. The ending with long time friend Eddie Guerrero coming out and sharing the spotlight with him also makes this one both touching and now very haunting.
Despite my own bad feelings towards Benoit for what he did, I will not take away that moment because it was his crowning moment at that time. The ending of the match still makes my heart warm and I only wish that his end (Chris') could've been better. But it is what it is. Still, it was his moment in 2004 and no amount of erasing will change that.
Overall, this volume has two strong WM's (X-7 & X-8) and several moments that makes it worth purchasing.