| Date: March 14, 2004
| Venue: Madison Square Garden | City: New York City, New York
| Attendance: 18, 500 | Buys: 885, 000
| tweet me: @BastionBlogger
Where it all begins again. That’s the tagline for tonight and it all begins where it all began…Madison Square Garden. There’s a sense of nostalgia surrounding this pay per view as we enter the twentieth year since the WWE began again. There’s going to be 12 big matches tonight as Raw and Smackdown present four and a half hours of pay per view. The two main events will feature the two biggest titles in the company. Chris Benoit reaps the reward of his Royal Rumble win as he gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. However it won’t be a singles match as Shawn Michaels hit sweet chin music on Chris Benoit during the contract signing and signed his own name on the contract! Therefore the World Heavyweight Championship will pit champion Triple H defending against both Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match.
The WWE Championship will also be on the line tonight as Eddie Guerrero, the man that won the title at No Way Out last month defends against the winner of the triple threat match at the same event, Kurt Angle. Kurt has shown his true colours over the past month, attacking Eddie and claiming that a man with prior addiction problems shouldn’t be holding such a prestigious title. Also from Smackdown, the United States Championship will be on the line as The Big Show finally goes one on one with the man that challenged him to a title match, John Cena. Cena is one of the most popular superstars in the company at the moment and Big Show hasn’t had the best reign, he’s not even defended it on pay per view despite holding the title for months. Time for a change if you ask me!
There are three inter-promotional matches on this show. The biggest one is between Raw’s Goldberg and Smackdown’s Brock Lesnar. This rivalry has got very personal, with Brock Lesnar firing the first shot by attacking Goldberg during the Royal Rumble match leading to Goldbergs elimination. Goldberg would get revenge by attacking Lesnar at No Way Out, costing him the WWE Championship. Brock begged for a match with Goldberg at Wrestlemania and Vince McMahon granted it. Stone Cold Steve Austin was named the special guest referee for the match and since then Austin and Lesnar have had their issues with Brock stealing Austins quadbike and Austin hitting Brock with the Stone Cold Stunner. With both Lesnar and Goldberg heading out of the company, it all ends tonight. The Undertaker has been haunting Kane since Kane buried Undertaker alive back at Survivor Series. At Wrestlemania the two brother will meet one on one with the return of the dead man. In the third inter-promotional match playboy playmates Sable and Torrie Wilson take on the wannabe-playmates Stacy Keibler and Jackie Gayda.
Both sets of tag team titles will be on the line in fatal four way matches, showcasing both brands tag team divisions. Raw tag team champions Rob Van Dam and Booker T take on La Resistance, The Dudley Boyz and Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade. The WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi and Scotty Too Hotty defend their belts against The APA, The World’s Greatest Tag Team and The Basham Brothers. The Women’s Championship will be on the line as Victoria defends her newly won title against the former champion Molly Holly. Molly was willing to do anything to get her title shot so the stipulation has been added that if Molly loses, she will have her head shaved bald. The Cruiserweight Championship will also be defended as Chavo Guerrero Jr defends in the first ever Cruiserweight open. He will be defending against nine other men in a gauntlet style match and his list of opponents reads as Rey Mysterio, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble, Funaki, Tajiri, Akio, Billy Kidman, Ultimo Dragon and Nunzio.
Two other big matches tonight are represented by the Raw brand. Christian and Chris Jericho will go one on one. These two former best friends have had their issues recently, mostly over the treatment of Trish Stratus. Chris Jericho has been besotted by Trish but she over-heard him talking with Christian over a bet. Christian has since treated Stratus like dirt, hitting her with clotheslines and such when he could have gone easy on her. This comes to a head tonight. Also tonight the issues between Randy Orton and Mick Foley come to a head as Randy Orton teams with Evolution teammates Ric Flair and Batista to take on Foley and The Rock in a 3 on 2 handicap match.
Let’s get to it.
The Boys Choir Of Harlem kick off the show with their rendition of America the beautiful. They sound great to be fair.
There is an awesome video package hyping Wrestlemania. Firstly showing some of the classic moments from Wrestlemania’s gone by and then shots of the current superstars with voiceovers of how important Wrestlemania and Madison Square Garden is. The package begins with Vince McMahon and ends with Vince, Shane and Shane’s son.
Jim Ross welcomes us to Wrestlemania 20 at Madison Square Garden. Jim Ross is of course joined by Jerry Lawler. They throw to the Spanish announcers who in turn throw to Michael Cole and Tazz.
The Big Show (c) vs. John Cena – United States Championship Match
This is a first time singles match between these two men on pay per view. There’s no doubting the popularity of John Cena who makes his Wrestlemania debut tonight. Big Show goes into his 5th Wrestlemania looking for his first victory at the grandest stage of them all. Cena cuts one of his awesome raps before the bell and the crowd love it. Big Show has been a disappointing United States Champion. I can barely think of a single defence of the title he’s had. Big Show uses his strength in the early going, throwing Cena around the ring and then out of it. Cena hangs Big Show on the top rope and then goes to the top for a cross body but Big Show catches him and slams him into the mat for the first near fall of Wrestlemania 20.
The crowd chant “Let’s go Cena” but Big Show lays into his challenger with chops. Cena tries to fight back but gets hit with a clothesline. Show hits another slam and then chokes Cena with his boot. This time last year The Big Show was teaming up with A-Train in a losing effort against The Undertaker. Big Show hits a suplex for a near fall and then hits a big headbutt. This match has all been Big Show so far, he hits another chop and then stomps on Cenas back. I’d like to see Cena win this match. He did get an opportunity at Eddie Guerrero when he was United States champion but couldn’t win the gold that night. Big Show hits a big boot and then a legdrop for a two count. Big Show scoops John up for a slam but Cena nips down his back and applies a sleeper which Big Show is quick to get out of.
Big Show hits a clothesline and has so far been dominant in this match. Show applies a cobra clutch which Cena gets out of with some big right hands but immediately gets tossed to the mat. Big Show goes back to the cobra clutch. Big Show has previously lost to Mankind, Triple H, Kane and Undertaker at Wrestlemania events. All of those on the card tonight. This is actually Big Shows first singles one on one match at a Wrestlemania since his very first back at Wrestlemania 15. Cena gets out of the cobra clutch and then hits the FU on Cena! Cena hooks the leg but Big show kicks out! I thought it was over there. Cena picks up his chain from the corner and wraps it round his knuckles. The referee takes it off him but behind the referees back Cena nails Big Show with some brass knucks! He scoops Big Show up and hits him with the FU! And that’s all she wrote! John Cena wins the United States Championship tonight!
Coach is backstage and walks into Dr Tom Prichard, Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli and Teddy Long before entering Eric Bischoffs office. Bischoff says he’s heard that Undertaker is in the building and wants Coach to go and find him. Coach is not happy.
Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair are all backstage. Randy takes us through the history between he and Mick Foley. Orton says Evolution has passed Foley by. Not a word from Flair or Batista in this one, you can tell who the star is.
Rob Van Dam & Booker T (c) vs. La Resistance (Rene Dupree & Rob Conway) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) vs. Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade – World Tag Team Championship Sudden Death match
The rules for this one is that the first team to get a fall wins the match. Wrestlemania debuts for La Resistance and Jindrak & Cade in this one. Booker T has a 0-2 record at Wrestlemania events, Rob Van Dam has a 1-0 record and The Dudley Boyz have a 0-3 record and this is their fourth multi-man tag team match at the event. Booker T has previously lose to Edge and Triple H in singles matches. Rob Van Dam beat William Regal two years ago. Rene Dupree and Rob Van Dam start the match and RVD monkey flips Dupree across the ring and tags in Booker T. There’s a nice double team by the champions and Booker T gets a near fall. Booker hits a flying forearm on Dupree and then hiptosses Rob Conway before chucking him out of the ring. Dupree tags in Bubba Ray Dudley who hits some big right hands on Booker T.
Bubba hits a neckbreaker on Bubba Ray for a near fall. Booker T fires back with some chops and right hands. Booker T wrestled Triple H for the World Heavyweight title at last years event. D-Von gets in the ring and hits a reverse DDT on Booker T but RVD flies off the top with a kick on D-Von. Mark Jindrak tags in. It’s a shame The Hurricane and Rosey aren’t in this match instead of Jindrak and Cade. Jindrak tags in Garrison Cade who lays into Booker T. Dupree tags himself in and pins Booker T for a two count. Dupree tags in Conway who applies an armbar to Booker T but Booker gets out of it and knocked back down with an elbow. Conway gets back to the armbars. Booker gets out of it again and this time hits a big spinebuster on Conway. Booker T tags in Rob Van Dam who takes down anyone that moves.
Van Dam clears the ring and hits a big spinning heel kick on Conway. He goes up top but D-Von pushes him down to the outside. D-Von and Booker T go at it in the ring as all hell breaks loose. The Dudley Boyz double team Booker T and aim to hit him with the 3D but Cade saves Booker T. Booker T hits his scissors kick on Rob Conway and then RVD comes off the top with the 5 star from splash! Van Dam hooks the leg and gets the 3! Booker T and Rob Van Dam win the match and retain their World Tag Team Championships!
Coach is backstage and asks a stage hand what the weird noises are backstage. This is going to be The Basham Brothers. It’s not! Coach stumbles across Mene Gene Okerland and Bobby Heenan. Mene Gene says that he’s here for the Hall Of Fame ceremony tonight which means this must have been taped on the Saturday. Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young then emerge from the room and drag the boys back in!
Video package next for Chris Jericho and Christian. It’s all about the love triangle between those two best friends and Trish Stratus.
Chris Jericho vs. Christian
This is a first singles match between these two Canadians on pay per view. This is Chris Jericho’s fifth Wrestlemania match, he goes into this one with a 2-2 record at the event. Christian has a 2-1 record. The two men almost have an identical record in terms of PPV matches and wins. Tim White is the referee for this one, we haven’t seen him for a while. You can guarantee he’ll be taking a bump. Jericho takes Christian down in the early going and lays into his former best friend. Jericho hits a side suplex and a clothesline. Jericho spent last Wrestlemania losing to Shawn Michaels whilst Christian wasn’t on the card despite being Intercontinental Champion. Jericho back body drops Christian out of the ring and then flies out on top of him with a plancha.
Back in the ring and Jericho gets a near fall before attempting to lock on the walls of Jericho but Christian quickly gets to the ropes. Christian hits Jericho with a thumb to the eye and then throws him out of the ring. Back in the ring and it’s advantage Christian now as he chokes Jericho with his boot. Christian is now 9th of all time in terms of most PPVs wrestled on, only one behind Bret Hart. Jericho is 10th of all time in terms of most PPV matches, one behind Owen Hart. Christian chokes Jericho on the ropes and then snapmares Jericho to the mat before applying a chinlock. Jericho gets out of it and tries to lock on the walls of Jericho but against Christian rakes the eyes and then hits a spinning heel kick for a near fall. The two men collide heads and hit the deck.
Both men get to their feet and Jericho hits a flying forearm, and an enzeguri for a two count. The two men exchange pinfalls and Christian nearly steals one with his hands on the ropes. Jericho hits a northern lights suplex for a very tight two count. Jericho hits a bulldog like only he (and Scotty 2 Hotty) does. He then goes for the lionsault but Christian gets his knees up. Christian goes for the unprettier but Jericho counters it. Christian then hits a reverse DDT off the second rope for a near fall. Christian hits a backbreaker and then heads to the top but Jericho meets him up there and tries for a superplex but Christian counters it and comes off the top with a cross body! Jericho rolls through for a two count. Christian takes a cheap shot to the knee and then locks Jericho up in a Texas cloverleaf! Jericho counters it into a walls of Jericho but Christian immediately gets to the ropes.
The two men fall to the outside where Jericho applies the walls of Jericho on the outside! Jericho hits a double armed suplex off the top and both men are down. Jericho gets a near fall. Trish Stratus then comes running out from the back. She cheers on Jericho as the two men slug it out. Christian hits a big implant DDT for a two count. Trish gets up on the apron and Christian drags her into the ring and throws her to the mat. Jericho throws Christian out of the ring and then sees to Trish but Trish elbows Jericho thinking it was Christian! Christian rolls up Jericho and gets the 3! Christian wins the match thanks to Trish Stratus! After the match Trish slaps Jericho repeatedly and Christian takes Jericho down with the Unprettier! Christian and Trish leave together before making out the aisle! Holy heel turn Batman!
Lilian Garcia is backstage with Mick Foley and The Rock. The Rock gives a high energy promo showing The Hurricane and Rosey, Superfly Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco backstage and then going out to the audience. Hell of a promo, nobody does it like The Rock.
The Rock & Sock Connection (The Rock & Mick Foley) vs. Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista & Ric Flair)
This match marks Wrestlemania debuts for Randy Orton and Batista. The Rock has a 4-3 record at Wrestlemania PPVs, Mick Foley has a 2-1 record at Wrestlemania events and Ric Flair has a 0-2 record having previously lose to The Undertaker and Randy Savage. Foley and The Rock clear the ring of Evolution as the bell rings. The Rock and Ric Flair start the match, two of the biggest names in the history of wrestling here. The Rock takes Flair down early and struts across the ring. This is the first time these two men have been in the same ring together. Rocky hits a big back body drop and then gets suckered to the outside where Flair hits a poke to the eye. The Rock then back body drops Flair on the outside and Mick Foley hits his trademark elbow off the apron.
Ric Flair tags Randy Orton, the current Intercontinental Champion. The Rock tags in Mick Foley who wants a piece of Orton. Orton exits the ring and so Foley lays into Orton on the outside. Back in the ring and Foley drops and elbow for a near fall. Mick ties Orton up in a tree of woe and then tags in The Rock before he drops an elbow on Orton. The Rock then hits a low blow on Randy before taking him down with a big clothesline. Ric Flair hits a cheap shot on The Rock before Rocky takes everyone down with big right hands. Orton throws Rock out of the ring before Batista drops him on the barricade. Back in the ring and Batista is tagged in. Batista takes The Rock down with a reverse elbow for a near fall. Batista tags in Flair who hits some big chops on The Rock. Flair struts around the ring but then gets nailed with a big clothesline courtesy of The Rock.
Flair is up first and goes to the top but like Lawler says, this never works and The Rock is up to throw him off the top. Flair tags in Batista but he too gets hit with a clothesline. The Rock tags in Mick Foley who hits a running knee on Batista and then goes for the double armed DDT but Batista powers him into the corner. Batista then hits a big clothesline to take Foley down. Batista throws Foley out of the ring where Orton and Flair double team him. Orton throws Foley hard into the ring steps and then back into the ring. Orton is apparently the legal man now and he lays into Foley with right hands before tagging in Flair. Flair takes Mick down with a chop. The two men slug it out and then Flair tags in Orton. Orton applies somewhat of a camel clutch. Orton tags in Batista who hits some right hands but Foley applies the mandible claw until Randy breaks it up.
Batista tags in Flair and then there’s plenty of quick tags between Evolution. Foley hits a swinging neckbreaker to Batista and both men are down. They both get up and then both knock each other down with clotheslines. Batista tags in Flair but Foley takes him down with a right hands and tags in The Rock! Rocky takes down Flair and then takes down Orton and Batista too! He throws Orton out of the ring but gets caught with a spinebuster from Batista. Ric Flair then sets up for the People’s Elbow! Flair struts as he does so but that allows The Rock to get up and take him down! The Rock hits a DDT on Batista and then a spinebuster on Flair before hitting him with a very special strutting People’s Elbow! That earns him a two count.
Ric Flair pokes The Rock in the eye and then tags in Randy Orton who gets caught with a Rock Bottom! Flair breaks up the pinfall attempt and then grabs a chair! Inside the ring Batista hits The Rock with a sit-down powerbomb! Orton covers The Rock but The Rock kicks out! The Rock tags Mick Foley who hits anyone that moves with right hands. Foley then hits the double armed DDT on Randy Orton before pulling out Mr Socko! Foley lines it up but out of nowhere Randy Orton hits him with the RKO! Orton hooks the leg and it’s over! Evolution win the match! A big win with Orton beating Foley! I’m still hoping for a singles match between the two though!
There’s a VT for the Hall Of Hame ceremony from the previous night. Mene Gene is then introduced and he comes out to introduce all of the Hall Of Fame inductees, class of 2004. Greg Valentine, Tito Santana, Bobby Heenan, Sgt Slaughter, Jesse Ventura, Harley Race, Big John Studds son is there to represent his father, Pete Rose is in the celebrity wing and gets a few boos, Don Muraco, Junkyard Dog is represented by his daughter Latoya and finally “Superstar” Billy Graham.
Torrie Wilson & Sable vs. Stacy Keibler & Miss Jackie – Playboy Evening Gown Match
This tag team match is one fall to the finish. It’s Wrestlemania debuts all round, except for Sable who actually has a 2-0 record at the event. Miss Jackie makes her PPV debut tonight. Torrie Wilson goes into this match with an 83% PPV win percentage, the 8th best of all time. Sable has a 77% PPV win record which is the 11th best of all time. Sable gets on the mic before the bell and says that she feels a bit restricted so her and Torrie would like to start the match with their gowns off. Sable, Torrie and Stacy take their gowns off and Miss Jackie refuses, so Sable and Torrie take it off for her. Jackie places a shoe outside the ring so I won’t be surprised to see that come in use later. Sable lays into Jackie now the match has officially started. Torrie comes in off the top with a cross body. Jackie tags in Stacy who chokes Torrie with her foot. Torrie hits a sunset flip and we get multiple pinfalls between Torrie and Stacy. Stacy kicks Torrie to the mat for a two count.
Stacy tags in Jackie who gets caught with a spear. The two girls then roll all over the referee! Torrie rolls up Jackie and gets the 3! Torrie and Sable win a terrible match. Stacy isn’t happy with Jackie.
There’s a VT with plenty of British people from Liverpool, Birmingham and Wales, talking about how excited they are for Wrestlemania tonight.
Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are backstage and Eddie tells Benoit that nobody expects him to win. Benoit believes in himself to win and says that Eddie has never turned his back on him before (he definitely has, at least twice before). Eddie fires Benoit up and Benoit says that they will both be leaving with titles tonight.
Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
This match works like a tag team turmoil match, two men start the match and when one person is eliminated, the next person enters the match. Chavo Guerrero will be last into the match.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Shannon Moore
Ultimo Dragon makes his PPV debut tonight. Plenty of chain wrestling between these two men in the early going. Moore takes down Dragon for the first pinfall of the match. Shannon Moore hits a side suplex for a two count. Shannon Moore misses with a corkscrew moonsault from the top and Dragon hits his finisher to eliminate Shannon Moore.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Jamie Noble
Noble attacks Ultimo Dragon from behind but Dragon hits some big kicks. Ultimo Dragon hits a backbreaker and then goes up top but Noble moves out of the way of the moonsault. Dragon lands on his feet but Noble hits him with a neckbreaker and then applies a dragon sleeper and Ultimo taps out!
Jamie Noble vs. Funaki
Funaki comes in off the top but Noble rolls through the cross body to eliminate Funaki!
Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio
Two cousins against one another here. Nunzio hits a kick from the middle rope but when he pins Noble, Noble gets his foot on the rope. Noble sends Nunzio to the outside and then goes up top and flies out at the leader of the FBI. Noble gets back into the ring but Nunzio is counted out!
Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman
Nunzio gets involved dragging Noble to the outside so Kidman dropkicks Nunzio and hits a shooting star press to the outside on both men! Kidman did not land well there. He went head first into Nunzio. Back in the ring and Noble applies the dragon sleeper on Kidman but Kidman gets out of it and hits a back body drop and an enzeguri. Kidman then sets up Noble for the shooting star press but Noble gets up and meets him at the top. Kidman hits a powerbomb type move off the top which eliminates Noble!
Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio
The pace quickens as Mysterio enters the match dressed as The Flash. Akio gets involved on the outside, attacking Mysterio and then Kidman hits Rey with a powerbomb for a near fall. Mysterio looking for only his second PPV victory in 18 months. Mysterio hits Kidman with a senset powerbomb from the top for the three!
Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri
Tajiri comes in and applies the tarantula. Tajiri goes for the back elbow but Mysterio hits him with a dropkick and then the 619! Rey goes for the west coast pop but Tajiri ducks it! Akio then grabs Rey and Tajiri spits the green mist at him but Mysterio ducks and Tajiri sprays Akio! Rey rolls up Tajiri and gets the 3!
Rey Mysterio vs. Akio
Tajiri attacks Mysterio from behind with a big kick. We’re told Akio can’t participate because of the green mist so it’s actually Chavo Guerrero in next.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr (c)
Chavo slides in and pins Mysterio after Tajiri’s cheap shot but Mysterio kicks out. Mysterio hits a drop toe hold and then a hurricanrana before dropkicking Chavo Guerrero Sr off the apron. The referee stops Rey from diving out at Chavo Guerrero Sr but Rey hops over the referee and takes out the old man anyway. Rey hits a sunset flip on Chavo but Chavo sits down and grabs the arm of his father for the three! Chavo Guerrero Jr retains his Cruiserweight title! Plenty of quick action but hard to keep up with a lot of it.
There’s a video package next for Brock Lesnar and Goldberg.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee
This is a first time PPV match between these two men. It’s a Wrestlemania debut for Goldberg whereas Brock goes into this one with a 1-0 record having beaten Kurt Angle at last years event. Both men are scheduled to leave the WWE after this event. I’m definitely more disappointed that Lesnar is going. A big “you sold out” chant breaks out, presumably at Lesnar. The two men take a long time to lock up. A big “goodbye” chant breaks out, this one could be aimed at both men. An “Austin” chant breaks out causing both Lesnar and Goldberg to stare at the special guest referee. Lesnar and Goldberg finally lock up and the crowd boo. There’s a bit of a “Goldberg” chant. The two men don’t get anywhere with the lock up and the crowd boo some more.
The two men lock up again and again get nowhere. The two men shoulder charge and both men go down. Goldberg hits a big military press into a spinebuster and then lines up for the spear but Lesnar moves out of the way and Goldberg fall to the outside. Back in the ring and Lesnar hits a suplex for a near fall. Lesnar locks on a sleeper but Goldberg hiptosses Lesnar away from him. Brock hits a sloppy clothesline for a near fall. Goldberg hits a clothesline of his own and then a spinning neckbreaker. Goldberg sets up for a spear again and this time nails it. I love Goldbergs spear. Lesnar kicks out of the pinfall attempt and Goldberg is not happy with Austin. Goldberg turns around into Lesnar who scoops him up and hits him with the F5! Lesnar hooks the leg but Goldberg kicks out! Both men get to their feet and Goldberg hits a spear and then the jackhammer which is enough for the three.
After the bell Lesnar gives Austin the two finger salute so Austin gives him a stunner. Austin and Goldberg share a beer after the bell and then Austins stunners Goldberg too! Austins music hits, he’ll be the only one still with the WWE next week. Terrible match.
Vince McMahon comes out and thanks everyone for making Wrestlemania for what it is today.
Rikishi & Scotty Too Hotty (c) vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) vs. The APA (Bradshaw & Faarooq) vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny) – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Like the Raw tag team title match, this one is one fall to a finish. It’s a Wrestlemania debut for The Basham Brothers, Haas & Benjamin retained their WWE Tag Team titles at last years event, Faarooq and Bradshaw have lost at all 4 of their previous Wrestlemania matches, Scotty Hotty is 1-0 at Wrestlemania whilst Rikishi is 1-2 down as Rikishi, The Sultan and Fatu. Shelton Benjamin and Bradshaw kick off the match and it’s all Bradshaw as he hits right hands and a shoulder charge. Doug Basham tags himself in and hits Benjamin with an inverted atomic drop before tagging in Danny Basham. Danny hits a side suplex for a two count. Charlie Haas takes a cheap shot on Danny and so Shelton tags in Haas. They hit a double backbreaker for a near fall.
Danny hits a jawbreaker on Haas and tags in Scotty Too Hotty. Scotty hits a side suplex on Haas and nips up. Haas sends Scotty over the top rope but Scotty skins the cat, Haas catches him and The World’s Greatest Tag Team hit their trademark backbreaker move for a near fall. Haas applies a bear hug to Scotty but Scotty fights out of it. Doug tags in off Haas and The Bashams make quick tags, hitting a double suplex on Scotty. Faarooq and Rikishi yet to get in the match. Saying that, Scotty tags in Rikishi who takes everyone down! He takes Haas and Benjamin down with a double clothesline and then hits Danny Basham with a DDT. Benjamin attempts a German suplex on Rikishi and fails. Rikishi then crushes Haas in the corner and hits him with the stink face!
All hell has broken loose. Bradshaw hits the last call on Danny Basham over the top and out of the ring. Bradshaw then hits Doug Basham with the clothesline from hell! Bradshaw tries for the same on Rikishi but Rikishi sees him coming and hits him with the Samoan Drop. Rikishi sits down on Doug Basham and the referee counts the 3! Rikishi and Scotty Too Hotty retain their WWE Tag Team Championships! Scotty has a celebratory worm and the two then give an old school dance!
There’s a VT hyping the impending return of Edge. He’ll be back on Smackdown soon.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura is out, fresh from going in the hall of fame, and he’s out to interview somebody. Ventura finds Donald Trump in the crowd and compliments his hair. Trump praises Vince McMahon and says he’s having a good time. Ventura asks Trump that if he gets back into politics will he have Trumps financial support? Trump says 100%. Maybe Trump will get in the white house one day? Nah.
Victoria (c) vs. Molly Holly – WWE Women’s Championship match
If Molly Holly loses this match then she will get her head shaved bald. There’s a barber chair set up so there’s a good chance that’ll be happening. It’s a first time PPV meeting between these two ladies, Victoria has a 0-1 record at Wrestlemania events whilst this is the first time Molly has fought at the grandest stage of them all. Molly lays into Victoria in the early going and we get some nice chain wrestling between the two until Molly exits the ring. Victoria follows and Molly takes her down with clothesline. Back in the ring and Molly hits a suplex for a near fall. I still can’t see Victoria as a face. Molly applies a brutal looking neckvice. Victoria gets out of it but Molly takes her down to the mat by her hair before missing an elbow drop.
Victoria hits a couple of big right hands and a powerslam for a two count. Molly drops Victoria on the bottom rope and the crowd are dead for this one. Molly heads to the top but Victoria meets her up there and tries for a superplex but Molly counters it into a sunset flip powerbomb for a near fall. Molly tries for a shoulderbreaker or something but Victoria slides down the back and rolls Molly up for a three count! Victoria puts an end to a pretty bad match which means Molly has to have her head shaved. Molly runs away and then attacks Victoria and tries to shave her head but she can’t get the clippers working. Victoria sprays something in Molly’s eyes and then straps her to the chair. Victoria shaves Molly’s head!
There’s a video package next for Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle. The WWE Championship match is next.
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Championship Match
Amazingly this is a first time PPV meeting between these two men. Kurt has a 2-2 record at Wrestlemania’s whilst Eddie has a 1-2 record. I’m expecting this match to steal the show. Good stat from Michael Cole, only 4 of the previous 19 defences of the WWE title have resulted in the champion retaining. Off the top of my head they would have been Triple H, Hulk Hogan (twice) and Diesel. There’s a bit of chain wrestling in the early going as you would expect. Kurt applies a headlock and Eddie gets out of it. Plenty of chain wrestling as the two exchange headlocks, hammerlocks and wristlocks. Eddie hits a few shoulder charges, taking Angle off his feet. Kurt rolls out of the ring to regain his composure until rolling back in. Plenty more chain wrestling holds between the two.
Eddie counters a suplex and hits a couple of arm drags before applying an arm bar. Kurt gets out of it and applies an abdominal stretch but Eddie gets out of it and counters it into a suplex. Eddie goes for a second suplex for Angle counters it and German suplexes Eddie onto the apron. Angle then tries to German suplex Guerrero off the apron but Eddie fights him off. Eddie dropkicks Angle off the apron and then heads to the top before flying off and missing as Angle rolls out of the way. Back in the ring and Kurt lays into Eddie with some shoulders to the gut, a snapmare and then a body scissors. Eddie gets out of it but Kurt hotshots him onto the top rope. Near fall for Angle followed by a belly to belly suplex. Kurt hits another belly to belly for a near fall and then applies a gut wrench.
Kurt pops Eddie on the top rope and sets him up for a belly to belly but Eddie headbutts him off and tries for the frog splash but Kurt got out of the way. Kurt hits Eddie with some big right hands to Guerrero but Eddie fights back with some right hands of his own, clotheslines and elbows. Eddie hits a side suplex for a near fall. Kurt counters a suplex into a German suplex of his own and tries for a second but Eddie rolls him up for a near fall. Kurt is then first up and takes Eddie down with clothesline. Kurt goes for an Angle slam but Eddie hits him with an arm drag and then a head scissors. Guerrero then hits two vertical suplexes but Kurt counters a third and locks on the ankle lock! Eddie gets out of it and takes Angle down with a dropkick before heading to the top but Kurt meets him up there and throws him down to the mat for a near fall.
Kurt locks on the ankle lock and drags Eddie to the center of the ring. Eddie counters it by rolling Angle up and gets a near fall. Kurt hits a German suplex and then tries for the Angle slam but this time Eddie counters it into a DDT. Eddie heads to the top and dives off with a frog splash! He hooks the leg but Kurt kicks out at 2! From nowhere then Angle locks on the ankle lock! Eddie manages to kick Kurt out of the ring but Eddie is hurt and he unties his boot. Kurt gets back into the ring and goes straight after the ankle, applying the ankle lock again! Kurt tries to tighten the hold but the boot comes off in his hand! Eddie rolls up Angle from nowhere and hangs on to the ropes getting the 3! Eddie Guerrero out-smarts Kurt and gets the win! This match did not disappoint!
There’s a video package next for Undertaker and Kane. The dead man returns tonight!
The Undertaker vs. Kane
This is the seventh PPV singles match between these two men. The Undertaker has won 6 and they’ve drawn 2. Kane has never beat Undertaker in a big match. Undertaker is 11-0 at Wrestlemania whilst Kane is 3-2. Kane is out first and awaits The Undertaker in the ring but there’s the familiar voice of Paul Bearer! Bearer walks out first with a dozen torch bearing druids. And then The Undertaker comes out and it looks like it’s the return of the dead man! Not a motorcylce in sight! Undertaker walks through the fire and Kane can’t believe what he’s seeing. Undertaker goes right for Kane, hitting him with big right hands before intimidating the referee. Kane escapes the ring but Undertaker is in pursuit. Undertaker whips Kane into the ring apron before setting Kane up on the apron and hitting him with an elbow and a legdrop.
Back in the ring and Undertaker hits a couple of big splashes in the corner. Undertaker sets up for the last ride but Kane hits him with a back body drop. Kane hits a boot and lays into his brother with right hands. Kane hits Undertaker with a sidewalk slam and then goes up to the top and comes off with a big clothesline for a near fall. The two men exchange right hands and Undertaker hits a running boot and a legdrop. Undertaker then attempts his old school clothesline off the top rope but Kane counters it, grabbing Undertaker by the throat. Kane hits a big chokeslam on The Undertaker. Undertaker sits right back up and hits some big right hands and a flying clothesline. Undertaker motions for a chokeslam and hits it. Undertaker motions for the Tombstone and he hits it! The referee counts the three and it’s Undertaker with the win! Undertaker goes 12-0 at Wrestlemania.
There’s a video package next for the World Heavyweight Championship match.
Triple H (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels – World Heavyweight Championship Match
Shawn Michaels goes into this match with a 4-6 record at Wrestlemania, Chris Benoit has a 1-2 record and Triple H has a 5-3 record. This is the first time a triple threat match has main evented Wrestlemania. Last time Benoit was involved in a triple threat at Wrestlemania, he left with the Intercontinental Championship. Benoit and Michaels literally fight over battling Triple H in the early going. Benoit then goes for the Crossface on Michaels but Shawn quickly gets out of it. Benoit hits some loud chops on Shawn and then Irish whips Michaels into Triple H, knocking him out of the ring. Michaels gets the first near fall of the match on Benoit who bridges out of it. Benoit hits a northern lights suplex for a near fall but Michaels is first up and takes Benoit down with a clothesline.
Triple H, who is wearing some horrendous white boots, knocks Michaels down with a clothesline. Michaels then throws Benoit out of the ring and hits a back body drop on Triple H. Triple H hits a high knee to Michaels for a near fall. Outside the ring Triple H rams Chris Benoit into the apron a couple of times. Michaels then baseball slides, taking out both men. Michaels then hits a big moonsault off the top rope to the outside. Triple H then hits Michaels with a facebuster before sending up his former best friend for a Pedigree. Benoit stops the Pedigree from happening and then rams Shawn Michaels into the ringpost. Benoit hits a snap suplex on Triple H and then lays into him with some chops. Triple H ties Benoit up in the corner and then Irish whips Shawn Michaels into the Canadian before pinning Michaels for a near fall. Triple H tries to Irish whip Michaels again but Shawn reverses it and Benoit sticks out his boot.
Michaels hits Triple H with his trademark flying forearm before nipping up. Benoit knocks Michaels out of the ring and then hits three German suplexes on Triple H. Benoit heads to the top but Shawn Michaels crotches him on the top rope. Michaels then attempts sweet chin music on Triple H but Helmsley ducks and hits Michaels with a DDT. Triple H then hits Benoit with right hands as he sits straddled on the top rope before hitting him with a superplex for a near fall. Triple H then sets Benoit up for a Pedigree but Benoit reverses it into a crippler crossface which Shawn Michaels breaks up. Michaels then hits Benoit with a German suplex before Benoit counters it and hits Michaels with three Germans of his own! Benoit heads to the top and hits Shawn Michaels with a diving headbutt! He hooks the leg but Benoit kicks out at 2.
Michaels hits Benoit with a flying forearm, sending him out of the ring. HBK nips up and knocks down Triple H with clotheslines and a powerslam. Michaels then goes up top and drops and elbow on Triple H before motioning for sweet chin music and nailing Triple H with it! Michaels hooks the leg but Benoit drags Triple H out of the ring. Michaels goes out and rolls Benoit back into the ring before hitting him with some chops. Benoit Irish whips Shawn Michaels and then slingshots HBK into the top turnbuckle. Michaels is busted open now and Benoit hits him with big right hands. Benoit then wrestles him to the mat and locks on the crippler crossface! Triple H stops Michaels from tapping out and then breaks the hold. Triple H and Benoit battle to the outside where Helmsley whips Benoit into the ring steps. Triple H then takes apart the Smackdown announce desk before Michaels and Triple H double suplex Benoit right through it!
Shawn Michaels gets into the ring and challenges Triple H. Triple H hits Michaels with a Pedigree in the middle of the ring but both men go down. Triple H slowly crawls over but Benoit breaks up the fall! Triple H tries to Pedigree Benoit but Benoit reverses it and locks a Sharpshooter on Triple H! The fans are begging for the champion to tap out but he crawls to the ropes only for Benoit to drag him back to the middle of the ring. Shawn Michaels then comes out of nowhere and hits Benoit with sweet chin music! Michaels covers Benoit but Benoit gets his shoulder up! Michaels goes for sweet chin music again but Benoit ducks it and back body drops Michaels out of the ring. Triple H then tries to Pedigree Benoit but Benoit counters it into a crippler crossface! Triple H tries to get out of it but Benoit rolls into the middle of the ring and Triple H finally taps out!
Chris Benoit becomes the World Heavyweight Champion! Eddie Guerrero then appears in the ring and embraces Chris Benoit as both men stand with the World Heavyweight titles. Confetti falls from the ceiling as the two men celebrate.
And that was Wrestlemania 20, where it all began again. And the night began with a title change as John Cena beat The Big Show for the United States Championship. This was definitely the right call, I’m a big fan of this title change. The match itself was ok, nothing special but it was all designed to get the belt on Cena whilst showing Big Shows dominance. Smackdown goes in a new direction, I look forward to this reign. The World Tag Team Championships were then on the line and Rob Van Dam and Booker T retained their titles. This is an interesting partnership of two babyfaces that haven’t got anything better to do (see Kane & Rob Van Dam this time last year). Rob Conway took the fall which shows the companies opinion on Conway. To be honest, I’m kind of glad The Dudley Boyz and Garrison and Cade didn’t win the belts but I do quite like La Resistance and wouldn’t mind seeing them get another run with the championships.
Next up was Chris Jericho and Christian who put on a good match. Best match of the night so far but this one was all about the twist at the end. I didn’t see this coming, Trish turning her back on Jericho and joining up with Christian. I’m not sure about this relationship as I like Christian as the creepy little bastard. It could work though. Good match as you’d expect between these two. Then was the three on two handicap match between five big names. Randy Orton pins Mick Foley for the win which was the absolute right decision. I feel like this could have been a 3 on 3 match but I don’t know who would’ve teamed with the Rock n Sock Connection. This finish extends the rivalry between Foley and Orton and surely the two will meet in a one on one contest at Backlash. Good rub for Orton and a great match. The evening gown match that followed was pretty terrible. There isn’t much to say here but Sable and Torrie got the win and the exposure for their Playboy magazine photoshoot that in all good newsstands. I’m sure Stacy and Jackie will feud over the next few weeks.
Next up was the Cruiserweight open which I found to be a lot of fun. There was a lot of talent in this match and not a lot of time to showcase it. I feel like Ultimo Dragon is getting a raw deal, he’s a hell of a talent and didn’t last long at all in this match. Jamie Noble was the stand out performer, eliminating Ultimo Dragon, Funaki and Nunzio before being eliminated himself by Billy Kidman. Chavo won the match, last beating rival Rey Mysterio and actually I don’t mind Chavo as champion. He’s bringing something a bit different to the division and I don’t mean his father who provides some decent entertainment. I can only see Chavo and Rey Mysterio continuing to feud over the coming months. Goldberg beat Brock Lesnar in a terrible match. I have never seen a crowd turn against a match so much in all my life. It was really slow though and almost looked like they wanted the crowd to turn against them. Neither man cared. Austin was the star of the show and him delivering stone cold stunners to both men was the highlight of this match. Both men are heading out of the company, which is a real shame in the case of Brock Lesnar who the WWE have made a superstar.
The WWE Tag Team Championships were on the line next and Rikishi and Scotty Too Hotty retained their belts. They were up against three proper tag teams in The APA, The World’s Greatest Tag Team and The Basham Brothers. I don’t know if this was the right decision but I don’t see a lot out of the other teams at the moment. Maybe it’s time for a draft and to mix up the teams a bit. I don’t think it’s long until Rikishi and Scotty lose their belts but to who I do not know. Not as good as the Raw tag team title match. Victoria beat Molly Holly in a match that did not showcase the skills these two ladies have. It wasn’t the smoothest match and in the end Molly got her head shaved. I think this could actually do her career some good, I definitely see her in a prominent role on Raw whilst she has no hair.
Eddie Guerrero beats Kurt Angle in a great match between these two. These two are the best wrestlers in the company, along with Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho so the match did not disappoint. The ending was different, with Guerrero’s boot coming off and if you ask me it was a pretty weak ending. This match should have been made more about the wrestling and not Eddie trying to out-smart Angle. I like Guerrero as champion and fee like he should have a nice long reign. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a re-match down the line. Undertaker and Kane were up next and this was pretty short bell to bell. Undertakers entrance was probably longer than the match itself. Undertaker won but most importantly, the dead man is back! I hope evil ministry Undertaker comes back at some point, The two are on different brands and with no cross-brand PPV until Summerslam I think it’s fair to say that this rivalry is over for the time being,
In the main event, Chris Benoit finally reached the pinnacle and won the World Heavyweight Championship. Sadly, I see this as a second rate title. But Benoit did win and becomes the man on Raw. The moment with Benoit and Guerrero hugging it out at the end of the show was epic, with all the confetti. This was a really good triple threat match between the three and I’m sure Benoit isn’t done with either man. Overall Wrestlemania 20 felt like a good show. It had a bit of everything but if I was to criticise then it was a bit long at four and a half hours and some of the match quality was poor. There was a real lull between match 5 and 9 before the show picked up against at the end.
Overall Rating: 50.6/100 (ranked 131st out of 162)
Match Of The Night: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle
Worst Match Of The Night: Sable & Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Keibler & Miss Jackie
Surprise Of The Night: Trish turns heel on Jericho
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Chris Benoit
Wrestlemania XX Will Be Remembered For: That embrace between Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero