February 23, 2011
This was the first time for me watching this show, and much like the year before the crowd was very hot and was just a sea of signs. Lillian Garcia made her Mania debut singing America the beautiful. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary but there were sound issues on my DVD and the announce team volume was very low. I’m not sure if that was the case with everyone but I had a commercial DVD so I would imagine so. I often heard random screaming fans much louder than any of the commentary.
My DDV must have been produced post Benoit Tragedy because the 3-Way match between Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit was edited right off the show. Oddly enough however the production people forgot there was a post show video recap of the event on the DVD, which showed the finishes to all the matches so they didn’t cut out the clip of Benoit hitting Jericho with the top rope head butt to win what ever title he won that night.
God Father & D-Lo vs. Bossman and Bull Buchannan:
God Father had a bunch of HOs with him as well as Ice T out rapping live for his ring entrance. The HOs and the whole God Father gimmick was very over but this wasn’t all that much. It was just a bunch of moves early on and the heels eventually won. Match was okay, and the crowd popped like crazy for the Ho Train. Buchannan was a very agile man for his size.
Hardcore Title Battle Royal:
This was called a Battle Royal but it wasn’t. They showed a deal back stage where the ref explained the rules. The match was a 15 minute free for all with everyone involved and the title changed hands whenever anyone pinned the current champ. Whoever was champ at the end of the 15 minutes would leave as champ. Oddly enough Ref Tim White actually used the term “Belt Changes” in the speech, which would get him huge heat today (Vince hates the term BELT). Crash Holly was the champ going in. This was just one big Cluster F—K; just a ton of guys hitting each other in the head with stuff for 15 minutes. This was not the fault of the boys, I’m not sure what else they were expected to do but my God. The Title changed 9 or 10 times depending on if the botched finished ended up standing or not. Tazz was in this match and super over. WWE could have done so much more with this guy. Like I said the finished seemed botched in that Crash was again the champ as the clock ran down and Bob Holly made the cover with 3 seconds left and I believe the time was to run out because the ref stopped his count but the clock still had 1 second on it and the bell did not ring until well after the 3 count could have happened. Crash rolled out of the ring and started leaving with the title when the announcer announced that Bob was the winner, and Crash ended up having to bring the belt back for him. Good for what it was but it was, just a bunch of guys hitting each other with stuff for 15 minutes.
Head Cheese vs. Test and Albert:
Trish was out with T&A and if you are into looking at hot chicks she was the only highlight of this match. This match was just a bunch of stuff going no where, and I’m not too sure why. This was so bad JR started subtly burying it on commentary with such comment as, “This match is suffering from Style Conflicts”, “This match has Bowling Shoe Tendencies” (meaning it’s UGLY), and at the end with, “This was two teams that never got on track”. Test and Albert won, and then Snow and Blackman did a horrible bit where they beat up a guy in a cheese costume (their Mascot).
Next up was an backstage bit with The Cat and Mae Young where Cat was completely naked and she would keep turning around and Mae would be holding things which blocked your view of her… shall we say, special areas. Welcome to the Attitude Era.
Dudleys vs. Edge &Christian vs. The Hardys (Tag Title Ladder match):
Duds were the champs going in and I’m not sure what to say about this match, other than I’m glad I wasn’t in it. Just an amazing spectacle of bumps, stunts, and high spots. The crowd loved it and you have to tip your hats to the guys for killing themselves out there. For me it was just a little too much. There was a point near the end where I thought this match was amazing and the Duds were in a position to win but instead they spent several minutes setting stuff up for the finally. Even Lawler was screaming “I’m begging someone to set a ladder up underneath the belts and try to win this thing” (not an exact quote). That one nit pick aside just amazing, you have to give it a monstrous thumbs up, the crowd loved every second of it. E and C won in the end to become new champs.
Terri Runnels vs. The Cat:
Mae was out with Cat and Moolah was out with Terri. This was called a cat fight and to win you had to throw your opponent out of the ring to the floor. Val Venis was the ref and what a disastrous match this was. No one came to see wrestling in this one so and it likely delivered what was expected but good grief this was horrible. The Cat won clean twice behind the refs back before Moolah pulled Cat from the ring and Terri climbed back in for the win. Just awful, Mae ended up giving Moolah the bronco buster and Cat tore most of Terri’s outfit off, giving everyone a good shot of Terri’s ass in a thong. Neither lady was wearing much to begin with. Horny teenagers rejoice it was the Attitude Era.
Malenko, Saturn, and Guerrero vs. Too Cool & Chyna:
This was a fun match, the Radicals were quite good, Too Cool was very over, and Chyna had the story going with Eddie so they had a lot to work with. All three Radicals busted their asses to both get and put Chyna over, which was absurd, but they sure did it well. Crowd went wild at the finish and made this a fun exciting match. Chyna should have bought all three of these guys dinner for a month after this one.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho:
This was a three way match with both the European and IC Titles on the line in two separate falls (I think). Kurt held both title going in and as I said earlier this match was edited off my DVD. Benoit won one of the Titles, Jericho the other and neither guy pinned Kurt to win their respective Titles. UGH. Sound horrible but with these three guys no doubt it was awesome.
X Pac & Road Dogg vs. Rikishi & Kane:
The actual match almost had nothing to do with this segment. There as just a whole bunch of stuff going on around a 4 minute match with no purpose that Kane & Rikishi won. There was a bunch of stuff with Paul Bearer and Tori (out with DX) on the outside. At one point Pete Rose came down to attack Kane only to get killed again this time with the choke slam. He also took a stink face (A very kind one). Too Cool came back at the end to dance with Rikishi. The crowd liked the post match stuff, but this whole segment I could have lived without. I doubt the match made up half of this segment.
HHH vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show vs. The Rock (WWE Title):
This was the 4-Way elimination match where each participant had a McMahon family member in their corner. The match went 36 minutes and on the whole was bloody fantastic. HHH was the champ going in. Mick had his career on the line in this match too, but with the commentary issues I’m not entirely sure what the exact deal was. Show got pinned first, by Rock. Foley got pinned next by HHH, leaving Rock and HHH to battle it out for the gold. This match was really, really awesome. At the end there was some huge McMahon stuff between Shane and Vince that really hurt that match looking back. At the time knowing what all the angles were and where the heat was this might have been great but as a stand alone match, this was a big draw back. Eventually Vince turned on Rock and HHH scored the pin to retain the title. Crowd was into everything here especially near falls, the title seemed to mean way more here, than it does now. There was a post match McMahon family reunion, which Rock crashed laying out Shane, Vince and eventually Steph to a thunderous pop from the crowd to end the show on a happy note. Great match, these guys worked so freakin hard.
I’d give this show a pretty strong thumbs up. With the exception of a couple flat matches, I assume the Angle, Benoit, Jericho match was great, the main event was awesome, the ladder match was incredible, the 6 person was solid, the hardcore thing was violent, and the girls were almost naked. So you certainly got what you paid for in this one.
On to Mania X7 next, where I make my WCW sitting in the luxury box WrestleMania cameo.