| Date: March 17, 2002
| Venue: SkyDome | City: Toronto Ontario, Canada
| Attendance: 68, 237 | Buyrate: 840, 000
| Tweet me: @BastionBlogger
The One And Only. Wrestlemania is the number one pay per view of the year and with the second biggest buyrate of all time up to now, it’s all eyes on the SkyDome. Chris Jericho enters the biggest show of the year as the Undisputed WWF Champion and tonight he defends against Triple H. Triple H won the Royal Rumble back in January only to lose his spot in the Wrestlemania main event to Kurt Angle at No Way Out. Triple H then won his spot back from Kurt Angle the night after No Way Out and so the main event for Wrestlemania was confirmed. Since then, Jericho has begun a business relationship with Triple H’s wife, Stephanie. It’s been a so-so rivalry and at one point Jericho was involved in running over Triple H’s dog. I think that says it all!
At No Way Out the nWo returned to the WWF and on that night they targeted Stone Cold Steve Austin. The next night on Raw there was an epic showdown between Hulk Hogan and The Rock before the nWo put The Rock in an ambulance and rammed a huge truck into it. Austin has had some revenge since No Way Out and kidnapped Scott Hall at one point before spray paining 3:16 on his back. The Rock got his revenge on the nWo with a steel chair. Last week on Raw the nWo beat Austin and The Rock in a 3 on 2 handicap when Hogan pinned The Rock. At Wrestlemania Hulk Hogan goes one on one with The Rock and Scott Hall takes on Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Intercontinental title will be defended tonight when William Regal defends against Rob Van Dam. Van Dam won a triple threat match to become number one contender, seeing off Lance Storm and The Big Show in a reasonably predictable contest. The European Championship won by Diamond Dallas Page before hs struck up a mentor like relationship with Christian. Last week on Raw DDP helped Christian to a win over Billy Gunn but after the match Christian attacked Page. The two go one on one tonight with the European title at stake. The Women’s title will also be defended as champion Jazz, who beat Trish Stratus for the title, defends against both Trish Stratus and Lita in a triple threat match.
The Hardcore title has been passed around recently from the likes of Rob Van Dam, The Undertaker, Maven, Goldust, Al Snow and most recently, Maven beat his old mentor Al Snow for the title. The 24/7 rule is back in full flow now but tonight Maven will be defending the title against Goldust. The other title set to be defended tonight will be the Tag Team Championships. Billy and Chuck defeated Tazz and Spike Dudley for the belts on the Smackdown after No Way Out and knew that they would be headed to Wrestlemania against number one contenders The APA but since then The Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz have been added to the match, setting up a fatal four way tag team title match. The main rivalry has been between Billy & Chuck and The APA heading into this which featured a bar fight between the two in the Friendly Tap on what seemed like a gay night.
The Undertaker had been challenging Ric Flair to a match at Wrestlemania but Flair refused to get back into the ring. It took The Undertaker weeks of attacking those close to Flair, those such as Flairs best friend Arn Anderson and son David Flair for Ric to finally accept The Undertakers challenge. Two legends go toe to toe tonight. Booker T was a man set to get a lucrative contract offer from a Shampoo company. But at the very last minute Edge swooped in and got the offer. This has been the basis for the rivalry between Booker T and Edge in a rivalry that culminates at Wrestlemania. Also tonight, Kurt Angle takes on Kane.
On Heat prior to Wrestlemania, Rikishi, Scotty Too Hotty and Albert defeated Test, Mr Perfect and Lance Storm.
Let’s get to Wrestlemania.
The show opens up with Saliva performing “Superstar”. The lead singer is pretty bad live except when shouting. It’s unusual not to have the national anthem open the show. They’re up on the stage with clips of the various wrestlers in action tonight behind them. There’s a VT then with different wrestlers voicing over old pictures of Wrestlemania talking about how important Wrestlemania is. Jim Ross then welcomes us to Wrestlemania 18, he’s joined by Jerry Lawler and we’re straight into the action.
William Regal (c) vs. Rob Van Dam – Intercontinental Championship Match
This is a first time PPV meeting between these two men. It’s Van Dam’s Wrestlemania debut whereas Regal is looking for his first win at the biggest show of the year, he lost to Jericho for the Intercontinental title is last years opener. Regal comes out wearing the IC title upside down. The two men get into it before the bell and Van Dam hits some big kicks and a standing moonsault. Both men are coming off big wins at No Way Out, Regal over Edge and Van Dam over Goldust. Regal is quick to get the brass knucks out of his trunks but RVD kicks them out of his hand. Van Dam hits a karate kick off the middle rope and then attempts the five star frog splash but Regal gets out of the way. Regal then follows that up with a knee to the face for the first near fall of the night.
Van Dam hits a cross body for a near fall and then Regal takes RVD down with a drop toe hold and hits some big right hands to the fallen challenger. Van Dam hits a back body drop but Regal gets back into it with a neckbreaker for a two count. Regal looks like he’s bleeding from the mouth and Van Dam hits him with a kick and tries for rolling thunder but Regal gets his knees up. The champion then hits a double underhook powerbomb for a two count. Van Dam hits a monkey flip, the crowd are well behind him. Regal hits a full nelson suplex which looked pretty brutal and that sends Van Dam to the outside. Regal goes outside and rolls Van Dam back in the ring before picking up his brass knucks! The referee takes the brass knucks off him but Regal looks like he gets a second pair out of his trunks. Van Dam kicks it into Regals face and then goes up and hits the five star frog splash which is enough for the three! Van Dam wins the match and the Intercontinental title!
Lilian Garcia is backstage with Christian who gives off a goofy smile. They show some footage of DDP helping Christian beat Billy last week on Raw and then Christian attacking DDP after the match. Christian says he used DDP to get back to winning ways before saying he did the same to Toronto before he moved to Florida.
Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Christian – European Championship
It’s a first PPV meeting between these two men, a first Wrestlemania match for Page and a third for Christian. Christian has won is his previous two Wrestlemania matches. Christian attacks DDP as he gets into the ring but Page hits him with a gutbuster before clotheslining him out of the ring. Page has been in this arena before at Wrestlemania 6 when he drove the Honky Tonk Man down to the ring in his own Cadillac. Back in the ring and DDP hits some big right hands before Christian hits him with a low blow and sends him out of the ring. Christian spends too much time showboating allowing DDP to take the advantage but that doesn’t last long as Christian sends him into the ringpost.
Back in the ring and Christian applies an abdominal stretch. Christian then hits a backbreaker for a two count. Christian goes up top by Page throws him back into the ring. Both men get up and DDP hits a discus clothesline and a sitout powerbomb for a two count. DDP attempts something for Christian flips over his back and attempts the Unprettier but DDP spins him round and tries for the Diamond Cutter but Christian pushes him away. Christian hits a reverse DDT for a two count and then DDP hits the Diamond Cutter which is enough for the three! DDP wins the match and retains his European Championship! DDP get on the mic and says he’s proud of Christian for not throwing a temper, rubbing it in his face which inevitably leads to Christian losing his temper.
The Coach is backstage with The Rock who wants Hulkamania to run wild tonight. The Rock then asks Coach if he took his vitamins this morning which he did, Rock then asks him if he said he prayers which he didn’t. The Rock then asks Coach to say his prayers which Coach starts by saying “What up G”. The Rock kicks Coach out of the picture before finishing the promo in an epic way. He gets a few boo’s though.
Maven (c) vs. Goldust – Hardcore Championship Match
This is Goldust’s 5th Wrestlemania match, he’s lost his previous 4, the last of which was at Wrestlemania 15, 3 years ago. It’s the first time he’s fought Maven on PPV who is only making his second PPV appearance. He eliminated The Undertaker in the Royal Rumble in his only other PPV match. Goldust finds a load of gold painted chairs and trash cans under the ring and puts them in the ring. He then attacks Mavan as he tries to get into the ring. Goldust nails Maven with a baking tray before putting him in the ring. Maven gets back into it dropkicking a trash can into Goldusts face for a two count. Goldust hits a neckbreaker for his first near fall of the match. Goldust hits a face first suplex and then grabs a golden shovel from under the ring. He kicks that into Mavens face before setting a trash can up in the corner.
Goldust Irish whips Maven into the trash can for another near fall. Both men then hit one another with trash can lids! The Hardcore title has changed hands every Wrestlemania since it’s inception. Spike Dudley then appears and pins Maven to win the Hardcore title! It is 25/7! Crash Holly then appears and chases Spike into the crowd. Maven and Goldust follow them!
Drowning Pool then do a performance of their song “Tear Away”.
Backstage Crash Holly is laying into Spike Dudley when Al Snow appears in a golf cart and they go into some boxes. Spike throws Crash into some shutters. The Hurricane then flies in from nowhere and dropkicks Spike in the face, pins him and gets the three! The Hurricane is now the Hardcore Champion!
Kurt Angle vs. Kane
This is a first time meeting on PPV between Kurt Angle and Kane. This is Kane’s 5th Wrestlemania, he’s won 3 of his previous 4 matches. It’s Kurt’s third and he’s won one and lost one before. There’s a rumour that it was supposed to be Sting in Kane’s spot for this match. Angle gets on the mic before the bell and calls himself the red, white and blue machine. Jim Ross tells us that Kane has been suffering with head trauma and right on cue, Angle smashes him in the head with the bell. The match officially begins then and Angle hits Kane with a German suplex. Kane hits some right hands, a back elbow and a double armed chokeslam. Kane then goes for a single armed chokeslam but Kurt holds onto the ropes. Angle hits a belly to belly suplex and a clothesline.
This feels like a bit of a step down for Angle who has been involved in big programmes for a long time. He lays into Kane with kicks and chokes him on the ropes. Kane comes back with some right hands but Kurt hits a belly to back suplex. Kurt has wrestled on 33 PPVs consecutively now, a record he holds with Chris Jericho. Kurt hasn’t missed a PPV since he debuted at Survivor Series 99. That is some record. He locks on a front face lock but Kane throws him across the ring. Kane then hits a sidewalk slam and tries for a suplex for Kurt nips down and hits three German suplexes for a two count. Angle then goes up top and hits a clothesline before going up top again and trying for the same but Kane levels him with a big right hand. Both men are slow to get up but when they do they slug it out until Kane hits a big boot, a clothesline and a back body drop. Kane then hits a powerslam for a two count.
Kane hits a chokeslam but Angle reaches out and gets his hand on the bottom rope. Kane then scoops Kurt up for a Tombstone but Angle grabs the mask of Kane and then hits the Angle Slam but Kane kicks out! Kurt then locks on the Ankle Lock! Kane kicks Kurt off but Angle goes back to the Ankle Lock! This time Kane gets to the bottom rope. Kane gets up to his feet and hits an enzeguri and both men are down. Kane goes up top but Angle runs up top with him and hits a suplex from off the top. Angle tried for an Angle Slam but Kane nips down, Kurt then rolls Kane up and gets the three with his feet on the ropes! The ending looked like a bit of a botch. Kanes shoulders didn’t look like they were down but it’s a win for Angle none the less. Decent enough match between these two.
The Hurricane is sneaking around backstage and he hides when he hears some women coming. He hides behind a screen with a broom in a comedy segment. The Godfathers Hoes arrive and they scream when they seem him before the Godfather chases him off.
There’s some background for The Undertaker and Ric Flair. Flair cost Undertaker his match against The Rock at No Way Out and Undertaker challenged him to a match at Wrestlemania. Eventually Flair accepted.
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – No Disqualification Match
This is a first time pay per view match between these two legends. Undertaker has won his previous 9 matches at Wrestlemania, beating the likes of Jake Roberts, Diesel, Sycho Sid, Kane and Triple H. Ric Flair has had one Wrestlemania match and that was a losing effort to Randy Savage at Wrestlemania 8, ten years ago. Ric Flair rushes to the ring and goes right to work on The Undertaker. The two battle out of the ring and over the announce table where Flair hits big right hands. Flair then jumps off the apron but Undertaker catches him and rams him into the ring post. Back in the ring and Flair hits some jabs until Undertaker switches it round and hits some big lefts and rights of his own. Flair actually has more PPV wins than Undertaker so far in 2002. Flair beat Vince McMahon at Royal Rumble.
Undertaker Irish whips Flair who flies over the top and is helped down to the floor by Undertakers boot. Undertaker hits some massive right hands on Flair who is seated at the timekeepers table. Flair is bleeding unsurprisingly. I don’t think he’s ever had a match without bleeding. Back in the ring and Undertaker hits a big clothesline in the corner. There’s blood on the camera lens. Undertaker hits another clothesline and then pops Flair up top before hitting a picture perfect superplex. Undertaker covers Flair but picks him back up before the 3. These two were heavily involved in the WWF Title picture at the back end of 1991 along with Hulk Hogan who returns to the ring tonight. Undertaker is bleeding from the cheek as well. He hits a leg drop on the apron on Flair and covers him before once again picking him up.
Undertaker attempts an elbow drop but Flair rolls out of the way. Flair can’t take the advantage though as Undertaker nails him with a right hand. Undertaker then goes for old school but Flair pulls him down from the top! He still can’t take control though as Undertaker hits a sidewalk slam for a two count. Flair avoids a big boot and then hits Undertaker with knife edge chops. The two go to the outside where Undertaker reaches for his lead pipe but Flair gets it before Undertaker can and he smashes it into the dead mans face. Flair uses it a couple more times until Undertaker rams him into the ring apron. The two then fight up the entrance ramp where Flair nails Undertaker with a sign. The two get back into the ring where Flair hits big right hands on Undertaker. Undertaker grabs Flair by the throat but Flair hits him with a low blow! Ric then locks on the figure four!
Undertaker gets out of the figure four and hits Flair with a big chokeslam. He lays an arm over Flair but the Nature Boy kicks out! Undertaker then rams the referee into the corner! Undertaker goes out and grabs the lead pipe but Arn Anderson appears from nowhere and hits Undertaker with the Double A Spinebuster! Flair covers Undertaker but only for a two count. Undertaker then lays into Anderson, busting him open. Flair attacks Undertaker from behind with a chair but Undertaker eventually hits him with a boot and then tries for the Last Ride but he can’t get Flair up. Flair looked like he struggled to get himself up there. Instead Undertaker hits him with the Tombstone which is good enough for the three. Undertaker beats Ric Flair tonight and he lays out the referee for good measure. A slow paced match but one I enjoyed.
Michael Cole is backstage with Booker T who has glasses on to look more intelligent. Booker says he has been reading into Einsteins theory of relatives. He says he’ll be beating Edge tonight.
Booker T vs. Edge
Like every match so far tonight, this is a first time PPV meeting. Edge has won in his previous two Wrestlemania matches, it’s a Mania debut for Booker T. Edge gets a huge ovation in his home city. Booker starts well, taking Edge down but Edge soon hits a dropkick and bulldog for the first near fall of the match. Booker hits a hotshot and a big kick for his first near fall. Booker T is one of the most charismatic stars on the roster. He clotheslines Edge out of the ring and jumps off the apron with a single axe handle. Booker then throws Edge back into the ring and comes off the top with a missile dropkick for a two count. This match could be the coming of Edge in the upper mid-card. Edge hits some right hands and a chop but Booker catches him with an Alabama Slam for a two count. Booker goes up top but Edge crotches him and then hits him with a hurricanrana off the top rope.
Both men are looking for their first PPV victory of 2002. Edge hits a spinning heel kick and a couple of clotheslines. Booker then goes for his trademark scissors kick but Edge gets out of the way. Edge goes up top and hits a spinning heel kick from up there for a two count. Edge catapults Booker T into the top turnbuckle and then goes for a Spear but Booker leapfrogs it and hits a big kick. Booker then does the Spineroonie! He follows it up with the scissors kick but only gets a two count. Booker can’t believe it! Booker goes for the Book End but Edge fights him off and hits the Spear which earns him a near fall. Edge then does a Spineroonie of his own and the Edge-o-cution which is enough for the three! Edge wins on the grandest stage of them all!
The Hurricane is backstage and The Coach turns up and asks him about the Godfathers Hoes. Mighty Molly then shows up and smashes Hurricane with a frying pan and pins him to win the Hardcore title!
There’s a VT for Steve Austin and Scott Hall.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall
It’s a first time PPV match between these two. Austin has won 4 of his previous 5 Wrestlemania matches. Hall has won all 3 of his previous Wrestlemania matches, beating Shawn Michaels, Bob Backlund and Jeff Jarrett. Scott Hall is joined by Kevin Nash who is also in his wrestling gear. Austin goes right to work on Hall, stomping a mudhole on him in the corner. Hall comes back with some right hands of his own until Austin hits the Lou Thesz Press and trademark elbow drop. Austin wrestled on every PPV in 2001 and every PPV so far in 2002. Hall exits the ring to catch his breath and remove his waistcoat. Austin then cheap shots Kevin Nash before chopping Hall on the outside. Back in the ring and Hall hits a clothesline for the first near fall of the match.
Kevin Nash takes off one of the top turnbuckles as Austin lays into Hall. Hall Irish whips Austin into the corner, hitting the exposed steel. Stone Cold exits the ring where Nash lays into him. Back in the ring and Scott hits a couple of clotheslines and a fallaway slam. This is Halls first PPV match since losing to Vader at In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies nearly 6 years ago. Nash takes more opportunities to lay into Austin as Hall distracts the referee. Austin buys himself some time by hitting a spinebuster on Hall but he can’t keep the advantage. Hall goes for a clothesline but Austin hits the Stunner from nowhere. He hooks the leg but Nash pulls out the referee and hits him with a right hand. Nash then gets in the ring and lays into Austin! Hall gets a steel chair and Nash holds Austin but Austin fights them both off and hits both Outsiders with Stunners! Austin pins Hall but there’s no referee.
Another referee comes out but Kevin Nash drops an elbow on him. Austin then gets rid of Nash and body body drops Hall out of the ring. More referees come out to escort Nash away. Back in the ring and Austin tries for another Stunner but Hall pushes him away and hits Austin with a Stunner of his own! Referee Tim White slowly crawls back into the ring to count the cover but Austin kicks out! Hall tries for another Stunner but Austin pushes him away and hits him with not one but two Stunners! Great sell job from Hall who flies up in the air. That’s all she wrote. Austin beats Scott Hall in a bit of a step down from last year but another win none the less.
VT for Access which looks pretty awesome. Plenty of blokes grabbing the arse of a Stacy Keibler statue!
Bully & Chuck (c) vs. The APA (Bradshaw & Faarooq) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) – 4 Corner Elimination Match for the WWF Tag Team Championships
Saliva sing The Dudley Boyz to the ring, they are joined by Stacy Keibler. There is no Lita with the Hardy Boyz are she gets ready for her match later. These 8 men have 17 Wrestlemania matches between them and there is no one victory in there. Bradshaw, Faarooq and Billy Gunn have all fought three Wrestlemania matches, The Dudleyz and Hardyz 2. The APA attack Billy and Chuck as they make their way into the ring and this one gets underway with Bradshaw and Chuck Palumbo. Bradshaw lays into Chuck despite Billy get involved, hitting him with fallaway slams and suplexes. Bradshaw tags Faarooq who hits some big right hands on Chuck. Chuck manages a clothesline on Faarooq and tags in Billy. Billy gets the first near fall of the match and then gets hit with a big powerslam. Faarooq tags Bradshaw who lays into both Billy and Chuck. No sign of the Hardyz and Dudleyz yet. Bradshaw gets a near fall on Billy.
Billy tags in D-Von but they don’t have nay luck with the APA either. All hell seems to have broken loose with The Hardy Boyz watching on. Bradshaw hits a massive Clothesline from Hell on Billy Gunn but he’s not the main man. The Dudley Boyz hit 3D on Bradshaw eliminating The APA from the match.
Jeff Hardy comes in and lays into D-Von and it seems like everyone is going to get involved. The Dudley Boyz set up a table outside the ring and The Hardy Boyz go after them. All three of the Hardyz and Dudleyz Wrestlemania matches have been against each other. Jeff hits whisper in the wind on Bubba Ray and Stacy gets up on the apron and pulls her arse out! Jeff enjoys that and kisses her before shoving her down. Bubba Ray then gets Jeff up on his shoulders and Billy Gunn flies off the top at Jeff with a clothesline. Bubba then hits a Bubba Bomb on Billy Gunn. It seems as though the legal men are Bubba Ray Dudley and Jeff Hardy. Bubba Ray hits some chops on Jeff and a big back body drop. The APA were the team that won number one contendership at No Way Out so it’s surprising that they have been eliminated first.
Bubba Ray applies a sleeper to Jeff Hardy. Bubba Ray tags D-Von who lays in some bots to Jeff. D-Von hits a suplex and tags in Bubba Ray. Plenty of quick tags between the Dudley Boyz with lots of double teaming on Jeff Hardy. D-Von hits his trademark spinning elbow but Jeff gets back into it with a reverse DDT. D-Von tags Bubba Ray and Jeff tags Matt! Matt goes to work on both Dudley Boyz and Billy & Chuck! Bubba hits a suplex on Matt and a flying senton but Matt gets out of the way and hits a legdrop from the second rope for a two count. Bubba sets Matt up for the diving headbutt but Billy Gunn shoves D-Von off the top and through the table! Matt then hits twist of fate on Bubba Ray and Jeff hits him with the Senton Bomb for the three count! The Dudley Boyz have been eliminated.
It comes down to the Hardy Boyz and Billy & Chuck. Chuck making his Wrestlemania debut tonight. Matt hits Gunn with the side effect and tags in Jeff after shouting at him. Jeff hits poetry in motion on Billy Gunn and then do the same to Palumbo. Matt hits twist of fate on Chuck and then Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb! But Billy comes from nowhere and hits the Fameasser on Jeff Hardy! Chuck pins him but Jeff kicks out! Billy throws Matt into the ring steps and then nails Jeff with the tag team title belt behind the referees back. Chuck pins Jeff and gets the three! Billy and Chuck retain their tag team titles tonight! Billy Gunn might be one of the best tag team wrestlers of all time.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are backstage. Hall is telling Nash that Austin got lucky. Nash then says they take it out on The Rock tonight. Hogan shows up and says he wants to go out there on his own. Hogan leaves and Nash says they’ll be getting involved.
Hardcore Champion Molly Holly is backstage when Christian slams a door in her face. Christian pins her and gets the three! Christian is now the Hardcore Champion!
Video package for The Rock and Hogan, brother.
The Rock vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
This is the biggest match of the night. It’s debatable whether it should be going on last, I’m a big believer in the WWF Title match going on last but this match is definitely bigger. The Rock has had 5 Wrestlemania matches before and he’s won two of them. Hogan has had 10 Wrestlemania matches before and he’s won 7, drawn 1 and lost 2. It’s his first PPV match since King Of The Ring 1993 nearly 9 years ago. The crowd go nuts when Hulk rips off his t-shirt. The Rock gets a bit of a mixed reaction. More cheers than boo’s I’d say. Hogan and The Rock go nose to nose, just listening to the crowd noise. It’s a mix of Hogan and Rock fans but I’m inclined to say more Hogan fans. Hogan gets the first offence in, pushing The Rock to the mat. The crowd is hot for this one. Hulk applies a headlock and a “Rocky sucks” chant breaks out. The crowd love it when Hogan poses.
Hogan goes back to work on The Rock, hitting him with right hands and a clothesline. The Rock hits a big clothesline to get back into it and the crowd do not like it. Rocky lays in some right hands sending Hogan out of the ring. Hogan couldn’t get himself over the top so rolls under the bottom rope. Rocky throws Hogan back into the ring and hits him with a clothesline. Rock goes for Rock Bottom but Hogan fights him off. Hulk hits a clothesline in the corner and more right hands. Hogans only clean loss at Wrestlemania came at this very stadium to The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6. Hogan hits a side suplex for a two count. Hulk locks on an abdominal stretch, using his right hand to lay into Rocks abdomen. He then rolls The Rock up from nowhere for a two count.
Hogan rakes the back of The Rock and lays into him with right hands. The Rock then hits some chops of his own but Hulk hits a chokeslam from nowhere! The Rock probably had about 40% of the crowd going into this but now it is a lot less. Hogan chokes The Rock with some wrist tape. The Rock comes back with some right hands but Hogan sends him flying out of the ring. Hulk then goes out with him and takes apart the announce table. The Rock fights him off and grabs a chair but the referee takes it off him. Rocky turns around into a clothesline and the two men get back into the ring. Hogan sidesteps a clothesline and The Rock hits a big clothesline on the referee. The Rock hits a spinebuster and both men take a while to get back up. The Rock takes Hogan down and locks on the Sharpshooter. Hogan gets to the ropes but there’s no referee anyway. Hogan taps out but referee Mike Chioda is down and out.
The Rock breaks the hold to wake up the referee and a “Rocky sucks” chant breaks out. Hogan hits a low blow and then hits Rock Bottom on The Rock. The referee is up and counts two as The Rock counts out. Hogan then whips The Rock with his belt until The Rock hits a DDT. The Rock then whips Hogan with the weight lifting belt before hitting Rock Bottom. Rock covers Hogan but Hogan kicks out! Hogan then Hulks up! And the crowd absolutely love it! Hogan hits a big boot and the legdrop! But The Rock kicks out! Hogan hits another big boot but misses with the legdrop this time. The Rock then hits Rock Bottom to boo’s from the crowd. Rock pulls Hogan to his feet and hits another Rock Bottom! Rocky nips up which actually gets a cheer and hits Hogan with the People’s Elbow! And that’s enough for the 3! The Rock beats Hulk Hogan in an excellent match. The Rock got a decent cheer when he won.
After the match Hogan extends his hand and The Rock shakes it. Rock leaves and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash arrive and attack Hogan! The Rock flies back into the ring and he and Hogan fight off Hall and Nash! Rock and Hogan then pose together, brother.
Big Show is at WWF New York. Mainly seems to be lifting up kids.
The Fink then tells us that the attendance for tonight is 68, 237. Skydome record.
Jazz (c) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Lita – WWF Women’s Championship Match
It’s Wrestlemania in-ring debuts for all three of these women. Lita looks a little awkward during her entrance, zero rhythm. Trish is decked out in Canadian gear. Lita and Jazz go at it before Trish has even made it to the ring. Trish eventually gets there and she and Lita double team Jazz. Jazz fights them off and locks a Boston Crab on Trish. She then hits a chickenwing throw on Lita for the first near fall of the match. Jazz throws Lita across the ring before kicking Trish out of the ring. Lita hits some right hands on Jazz and a flying head scissors. Lita then hits a spinning suplex on Jazz. Jazz pops Lita on the top turnbuckle and sets her up for a superplex but Trish comes from behind and puts Jazz on her shoulders. Jazz fights Trish off and then Lita hits a cross body on Lita.
Lita clotheslines Jazz and then Trish kicks Lita in the face before hitting her with a bulldog for a two count. Jazz then splashes Lita for a two count before hitting a fishermans suplex on Trish for a two. This has been a good Women’s match so far. Trish hits a reverse DDT on Jazz for a two count. Trish and Lita then go face to face but instead knock Jazz down before slugging it out themselves. Lita hits a rough looking back body drop on Trish and then twist of fate on Jazz. Lita powerslams Trish next to Jazz and then tries for a moonsault but Trish gets her knees up and rolls up Lita for a two count. Trish hits some brutal chops on Lita and the two girls then run into one another. A “we want puppies” chant breaks out as Jazz takes Trish down. Lita then body drops Jazz out of the ring.
Trish attempts her springboard bulldog on Lita but Lita sends her crashing into the ring post and out of the ring. Lita then goes up top but Trish crotches her. Jazz knocks Trish out of the ring and hits a fishermans suplex on Jazz from the top for the three count! That’s all she wrote! Jazz retains her Women’s title in a really good match between these three.
Christian is backstage celebrating with his Hardcore title. But Maven comes from behind and rolls him up for the three! Maven regains the title and steals Christians cab out of the arena! Christian can’t believe it!
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Triple H – Undisputed WWF Championship Match
This is the second PPV match between these two men. It’s the only match tonight to have been on PPV before and Triple H won the last one which was fought at Fully Loaded 2000. Jericho has fought at Wrestlemania twice before, he retained his Intercontinental title against william Regal last year and walked out with the European title the year before. This is Triple H’s 7th Wrestlemania match, he’s previously won 3 and lost 3 at the event before. He’s never lost in a title match at Wrestlemania though and nor has Jericho. Stephanie McMahon accompanies Jericho. Jericho goes right after Triple H’s injured leg but Helmsley fights him off. Triple H hits a back body drop as a small “you screwed Bret” chant breaks out aimed at referee Earl Hebner. Jericho hits some chops but Triple H sends him into the ropes and nails Y2J with a high knee.
Jericho back body drops Triple H out of the ring and goes up top but Triple H throws Jericho onto the barricade. Triple H suplexes Jericho back over the barricade. Jericho is added to Triple H’s Wrestlemania opponents that includes the likes of Goldust, Owen Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Kane and Undertaker. Jericho takes the advantage, kicking away at Triple H’s injured leg. Triple H then goes to work on Jericho’s leg, kicking it and then locking on a figure four. It’s Stephanie McMahon that breaks it up though, raking Triple H’s eyes. Helmsley then pulls Stephanie up onto the apron but Jericho accidentally smashes her back down to the floor. Stephanie is the first McMahon we’ve seen tonight. Triple H sets Stephanie up for a Pedigree in the middle of the ring but Jericho flies off the top with a missile dropkick. Jericho then wraps Triple H’s knee around the ringpost. Stephanie takes a shot of her own.
Back in the ring and Jericho continues to work the knee and thigh of Triple H. So far William Regal and the APA are the only men to have won matches at No Way Out and lost tonight. Jericho could join them but he’s in full control at the moment. Jericho is wrestling on his 33rd PPV consecutively, going all the way back to Survivor Series 1999. Triple H pushes Jericho into the ring post and follows that up with a neckbreaker. Jericho goes right back to the leg but Triple H knocks him down with a clothesline for a two count. Triple H hits a big spinebuster for another near fall. Jericho then Irish whips Triple H all the way out of the ring. Jericho then attempts to lock a walls of Jericho on the announce table but Triple H fights him off and attempts a Pedigree but Chris back body drops him through the Spanish announce table behind him.
Jericho rolls Triple H back into the ring and hits the Lionsault but Triple H kicks out of the pinfall. Triple H goes for a Pedigree but Jericho blocks it and spins Triple H into a Walls Of Jericho! Triple H hasn’t been WWF Champion since he lost it to The Rock at King Of The Ring 2000, nearly two years ago. Jericho introduces a chair into the match but Triple H DDTs him on it and gets a 2 count. Stephanie gets in the ring with the chair but referee Earl Hebner takes the chair off her. She then turns around into Triple H who Pedigree’s her in the middle of the ring! Jericho then nails him with a chair behind the referees back but when Earl turns around, Jericho can only get a two count. Jericho then goes for a Pedigree but Triple H slingshots Jericho into the corner. Jericho jumps to the second rope but jumps back down and gets caught with a kick and a Pedigree from Triple H! Triple H hooks the leg and gets the 3! Triple H wins the Undisputed WWF Championship tonight!
After 3 hours and 45 minutes and 11 matches, that was Wrestlemania 18 and it felt like a very good show. RVD and Regal were the perfect guys to kick off the show and I like Van Dam winning. Van Dam winning the Intercontinental Champion takes me back to the old school mentality of having the best wrestler hold that belt. I was a little surprised to see DDP retain the European Championship. He looked a little slugging but I do like him and Christian. I don’t see this feud being over and wouldn’t be surprised to see a rematch at Backlash. The Hardcore title stuff was fun throughout the night. Maven and Goldust kicked things off in an ok match but it was an entertaining break to see the likes of Al Snow, The Hurricane, Mighty Molly and Christian get involved. Maven leaves with the belt he arrives with and there could be some legs in having Maven as the lucky underdog.
Kurt Angle beat Kane in probably the most meaningless match of the night. It had to be an Angle win though, he’s been phenomenal since his debut whilst Kane hasn’t been up to much recently. It was a good match between the two though as were the two matches that followed. The Undertaker beat Ric Flair in a match between two legends. It had quite a slow pace but it didn’t make the match dull by any stretch. Undertaker is a top heel at the moment and I can definitely see him being one of Triple H’s first contenders. Edge then beat Booker T in an entertaining enough match. You can see that Edge is getting a really big push at the moment. He’s had the IC title and it seems as though he’s above that now and starting to cement himself as an upper midcard guy, soon to be knocking on the door of the main event. Booker T hasn’t scored a PPV victory since Invasion last July but he has had matches with the likes of The Rock and The Undertaker.
Steve Austin beat Scott Hall in a bit of a mis-match. I’m all for the nWo but Hall seems to be behind Hogan and Nash in the pecking order. Stone Cold gets the win though in an ok match. I’d love to see Austin and Hogan at some point. Billy and Chuck successfully defended the tag team titles and this time is really doing it for me right now. They’ve been given a lot of air time and they’ve deserved it having been very entertaining. Tonight they beat the three best and most experienced teams in the company which gives the champs a great rub. The Rock beat Hulk Hogan in the match that some would argue should’ve gone on last. This match just felt epic. Two of the greatest superstars of all time in a match that will go down in the ages. I did expect to see Hogan win so I was a little surprised to see The Rock win but I don’t mind that. The crowd turned on The Rock during this match so it’d be interesting to see if The Rock turns heel down the line. After the match the nWo turned on Hogan, so maybe a tag team match at Backlash?
Jazz retains her Women’s title against Trish Stratus and Lita in one of the best Women’s matches I’ve seen. Jazz is a bit of a beast, I don’t mind her as champion. It’s a bit of a three woman division at the moment with the likes of Molly being treated as a jobber. In the main event Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to become the new Undisputed Champion. Again, a decent enough match but it’s sad to see the end of Jericho’s reign. I think there might be a rematch between the two men at Backlash to end the rivalry for good. Overall Wrestlemania felt like a really good show from top to bottom.
Overall Rating: 67.5/100 (ranked 9th out of 135)
Match Of The Night: Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock
Worst Match Of The Night: Maven vs. Goldust
Surprise Of The Night: The Rock beats Hogan
Worst Booking Of The Night: DDP beats Christian
Superstar Of The Night: Triple H/Hulk Hogan
Wrestlemania 18 Will Be Remembered For: Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock
One thought on “Wrestlemania 18”
Five fun facts:
1.The song “Superstar” would make its way into Legends of Wrestling 2 for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube later that year.
2.Maven was both the Erik Watts and Roman Reigns of 2002.
3.I would’ve preferred Edge vs. Christian: The Final Encounter, as well as DDP vs. Booker for the European Title.
4.The only champion who didn’t get on this PPV was the Cruiserweight Champion Yoshihiro Tajiri.
5.The basic idea of Jericho and Stephanie burying the hatchet and teaming up to take out HHH isn’t too bad; it was all in the execution.
If they would have had Jericho be the dominating force in the relationship, using Steph to get to HHH, it could have worked.
Instead, they made Jericho into Steph’s bitch and totally ruined all the progress he had made as a legit main event star.