|Guest columnist: Ian Challis
WRASSLEMANIA X-7 RANT
Ohkaaaaaaay, let's get underway with the BIGGEST SHOW OF ALL TIME, Wrestlemania X, er, I mean X-7. Hopes obviously are high going into this one, so let's just see if they can deliver...
Regal rips off a turnbuckle pad to reveal the TINY STEEL RING OF DEATH and throws Jericho into it shoulder-first, but Jericho bounces right out and hits an enzuiguri. Missile dropkick gets two, and Regal sends Jericho shoulder-first into the ringpost. Butterfly superplex gets two for Regal, and Jericho tries the Walls. Regal reverses into the Regal Stretch, but Jericho makes the ropes and chops the Hell out of him. Bulldog, LionSault, and it's over at 7:08. Disappointing. **3/4, and 0 for 1 on my predictions. Not a great start...
European Title Match: Eddie Guerrero w/Funny Hat Man Vs. Test:Test's third match at Wrestlemania, Eddie's second. Great new gimmick, Perry. Test gets quick gutwrench powerbomb for two, and they brawl to the floor. Back inside and a press slam onto the top turnbuckle gets two. Eddie fights back and goes for the level three rana, but Test shoves him off. Big boot attempt, but Eddie ducks and Test gets his ankle caught in the ropes. Ooops. Eddie and Saturn improvise and beat on Test, then Eddie aids the ref in freeing him. Eddie goes to work on the leg and gets a sleeper, but Test and hits a tilt-o-whirl into a powerbomb for two. Eddie blocks the full-nelson slam with a donkey low blow, then distracts the ref so Saturn interfere. Eddie nails the brainbuster and goes up top, but the senton misses. Meltdown by Test, and he sets up for the FacePunt, but Saturn comes in and takes it instead. He nails Eddie with it and covers, but-hey, that's Chavo Guerrero, Jr! Oh, wait, it's Dean Malenko, here to pull Test out. Eddie nails Test with the title belt, and the ref turns around to count the three at 8:30. Natty little match, that. ***, and 3 for 1 on my predictions. Man, Psychic Hotline, I am NOT...
Winner Gets To Job To Austin: Kurt Angle Vs. Chris Benoit: Both guy's second WrestleMania. Angle rags on the Texans pre-match, natch. The first four minutes of the maath is them trading amateur techniques, to moderate heat. No offence to anyone out there who thought this was great, but I thought this was as boring as Hell, considering how intense and exciting these two guys can be. I was literally screaming at the Tv to kick it into action, but hey, I guess they can't all be gems.
Benoit gets in the ref's face and Angle finally kicks it up a notch with a cheapshot, then they fight outside. Benoit gets tossed into the steps, and Angle fires off a coupla suplexes back in the ring for two. He beats Benoit down in the corner, but Benoit fights out and chops some meat. Angle hits a pair of overhead belly-to-belly suplexes to regain the advantage, buut Benoit clotheslines him, then sits Angle up top and nails a superduperplex for two. Irish whip, and Benoit gets two of the German Trifecta, but Angle reverses the third to the ankle lock. Benoit makes the ropes, then reverses to an ankle lock of his own! Cool. Angle kicks his way out of it, so Benoit tries the Crossface, but Angle counters that and turns it into his own crossface. Benoit makes the ropes, and the ref gets bumped. Benoit crossface and Angle taps, but the ref is out. Benoit breaks, and Angle nails the Right Angle for two. Hollybuster hits knees, and Benoit nails Air Canada, for two. Benoit rolls him up, but Angle reverses and holds the tights for the pin at 14:03. Major disapointment, but I don't think it's over here. ***1/4, and 4 for 1 in my predictions.
Streetfight: Vince McMahon w/Steph Vs. Shane MacMahon-Special Referee: Mick Foley:Vince's big debut, and Shane's second appearance. It is also Foley's second refereeing job at WrassleMania. Shane's shirt du jour: "WrestleMania X7-Vince, We Have A Problem". He gives a shoutout to the WCW wrestlers in attendance, who are sitting in the "Skybox(cheap seats). Vince kicks Shane's ass to start, but Shane gets a lariat. Simba Spear and elbow drop, and Vince bails. Steph comes in and slaps Shane, but nothing comes off it. Baseball slide for Vince, and he beats the crap out of him with a sign. Clothesline from the guardrail! Shane finds a kendostick under the ring and he whomps Vince with it. King Of Sting jabs, then he sets him up on the Spaniard's table. Top-rope elbow-but Steph pulls Vince out of the way and Shane is DEAD.
And heeeeeeeere's Trish, with Linda in tow. She helps Vince up, and BELTS him one around the face. Steph makes the save and they bitch-fight into the ring, where Foley breaks them up. He chases them off down the aisle...and Vince begins to menace Linda. Mick stops him and tries to take Linda to the back, but Vince wipes him out with a chair and goes back to being evil. He puts Linda in the ring and sits her in the corner. He tosses Shane back, then throws in some trash cans and beats the tar out of Shane with them. He goes for the death shot, but Linda stands up, and punts him right in the jewels. Foley helps Shane up then kicks Vince's, and Shane sets Vince up and finishes him with the Van FREAKING Terminator (the Mac Daddy?) For the pin at 14:12. Super end to the sometimes fucking annoying story arc. ***1/4, and 4 for 3 on my predictions. I'm coming back, baby...
Two tables get thrown in and Edge is spread-eagled out on one of them. Jeff goes for a rana on Buh Buh and gets powerbombed through the table, AND Edge. Ouch. The other table is, of course, propped up in the corner. Obviously a Tazz run-in should be expected. The Duds go outside and stack two tables on two tables, but get ambushed by the Hardys. All six guys get back in the ring, and all six guys climb three ladders. And, of course, all six guys go flying, each bump looking more deadly than the last.
Edge makes it up first, but Li'l Spike Dudley (Don't Call Him LSD) with an Acid Drop off the ladder. Christian pulls himself onto the apron, so Spike Acid Drops him from the apron, to the floor, THROUGH A TABLE. Oooh daddy-and it's just getting started. The refs check on them as the Hardys work on Buh Buh in the ring-and Rhyno runs in. Gore for Buh Buh, and Matt, being the complete IDIOT that he is, steps in front of the set-up table. You can guess what follows that. It's a nasty one, too. Edge tries to climb the ladder and grab the titles, but to complete the trifecta Lita runs in. Rhyno scoops her up but she breaks free and hits a Scarycanrana on him, knocking Edge off the ladder in the process. The Duds hit 2D on him as Lita cleans Spike's clock with a chair, then those DAMN Duds 3D her. E&C take them out with chairs and begin making a stepping stone system of chairs, as Jeff sets up the BIG ONE on the outside. Spike and Rhyno are laid out on two tables below, and, sure enough, Jeff nails the swanton, from the huge ladder, onto BOTH men.
Christian and D-Von climb another big'un in the ring, and both grab onto the fixture-and Matt takes the ladder from under them. They kick at each other a bit, then drop off-and Jeff uses the stepping stone ladders to get to the belts. Buh Buh drags the ladder out from under him as Edge sets up the big one and climbs. Jeff dangles in mid-air-and Edge spears him down, from the ladder! HO-LEE SHIT. Buh Buh and Matt set up the big one and begin climbing, but Rhyno is back in and he shoves it down, sending both men through the quadruple table stack on the floor! D-Von and Christian climb another ladder, and Rhyno boosts Christian up the ladder, allowing him to grab the belts and give E&C a record-setting seventh title reign at 15:41. Awesome, but I got a major gripe with E&C going over. But that's another rant. ****Ž½, but I'm trailing once more at 5 for 3 in my predictions.
Hilariously bad three minutes battle royal follows, as everyone looks incredibly bad before bowing out and Gene and Heenan embarrass themselves at the announce table. It comes down to Brother Love, Slaughter, Hillbilly Jim and the Sheik, and Jim tosses Slaughter and Love, then gets sort of lightly brushed by Sheik and goes over the top. Sheik wins at 3:04-but the Sarge ain't done, and locks in the Cobra Clutch. Sheik is physically incapable of dropping to his knees, so Slaughter just lets him go and waves at the crowd. Priceless. Including the entrances, I'd rate this thing as *** on entertainment value alone, even if it was an incredibly bad match. Unfortunately, the Sheik's hard-earned win puts me at 6 for 3 in the predictions, meaning the dream is over.
a)Help him up and pat him on the back for carrying on in such awful conditions,
b)Pull him to his feet and order him to get on with his job,
c)Beat the crap out of him, ENSURING he won't be able to count your pins.
I think we know what option the Undertaker took.
Taker throws Trip to the floor and a-brawling we will go, as they fight into the crowd, all the way over to the technical support area. Trip uses a chair to gain the advantage, but takes too long on a swing and gets chokeslammed from the sound stage to the floor. Which looked pretty cool. JR sells the ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING move and shows us a replay-which helpfully shows the nice springy foam mat Trip landed on. Good work there, production guys.
The EMTs try to help Trip so Taker beats them up and drags Trip back to the ring. He throws him in and threatens a sledgehammer shot, but Trip begs off then kicks him in the nuts. Trip grabs the sledge but chews on a big boot. Brawl and Trip goes for a Tombstone(?!?), but Taker reverses to one of his own(!). Of course, the ref is still dead from Taker's devastating elbowdrop. Taker motions for the Last Ride but Trip sneaks in a hammer shot while hoisted in the air. Cover, and the ref miraculously recovers to count two. Taker's bladed for the hammer, BTW. Trip goes the (Heel) ten punch count-along, but Taker ducks under him and nails the Last Ride out of the corner for the pin at 18:18. Damn enjoyable match. ***Ž½, and 6 for 4 in the predictions. -Champ and challenger wander around backstage, to huge heel and face pops respectively.
More stomping in the corner and Austin drives his knee into Rock's face, stepping up the bladejob somewhat. He jaws a bit as Rocky gets up-and the champ explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. BOOOOOO! He pounds Austin in the corner then grabs the ringbell from outside and PASTES Austin, who blades nicely for it. That gets two. More fisticuffs from Rocky, and they hit the floor and brawl a bit. Austin comes back and sends Rock FLYING into the ringpost with a catapult. Monitor shot, which gets two back in the ring. Austin pulls Rock up and flips him the double finger, but Rocky knocks him down-and applies the Sharpshooter. KEWL! JR brings up Bret/Austin from WM13, and they even manage to get a replication of the blood visual from the same match.
Austin makes the ropes after a minute or so, and Rocky goes for it again, but Austin kicks out and slaps on his own Sharpshooter! He breaks free, so Austin drags him back into the centre of the ring and applies it again. Rock finally makes the ropes and Austin stomps him a bit, then Austin busts out ~THE MILLION DOLLAR DREAM~! Hebner tests the arm pretty quick, and Rocky fights up and does the Bret Hart reversal for two. Austin punches him some more, and Rock hits the Stunner out of nowhere! He crawls over for a two-count, and the crowd boos some more as Vince strolls down the aisle. Austin hits a spinebuster on Rocky for two, and Rock gets one of his own, then the People's Elbow...and Vince pulls him off Austin at two. Rocky gives chase, but walks right into a Rock Bottom for two. Ref bump sends Earl to the floor and Austin gets a low blow, then calls for a chair from Vince. Austin holds Rock for a chair shot form Vince, and much to my shock Rocky does NOT duck. Vince pushes Earl back in the ring, and it gets two. Rock Bottom, and Vince distracts Earl, so Rock pulls him in the ring and beats on him. This, of course, leaves him wide open for the Stunner, which gets...two. Wow. Austin goes absolutely apeshit and beats the living crap out of Rocky with the chair, then pins him at 28:07. An amazing, awesome, scintillating, rivetting, show-stealing main event. I love this match. *****. Best WrestleMania Main Event EVER.
Final Thought:Wow. Wow. Wow. What a damn fucking excellent, cosmic show. You don't need me to tell you this, it speaks for itself. Two absolutely awesome matches, five damn entertaining ones, and the mediocre stuff was kept short. Just spectacular. I think we have a new Best WrestleMania, folks.
To be fair, the lack of surprise in the Gimmick Battle Royal and the disappointment of Benoit/Angle did put me off somewhat, but not enough to stop this being one of the best fucking shows EVER. See it NOW if you haven't already.
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