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Wrestlemania X8

Over the past year, the WWF tried to go forward with the biggest angle in the history of wrestling (WWF vs WCW) but ended up failing miserably.  Instead of going off on a long rant about why it sucked, here are a few short examples of why it didn't work:

1. They failed to bring over a lot of the top guys (Goldberg, Hogan, Nash, Hall, Steiner, Flair, Sting, etc.) right away, because they had guaranteed contracts that they would've had to cash in, at the WWF's cost.  Never mind the fact that if they brought everyone over and had a few big ppvs with all of them, they would've made enough money to sign every guy to like a ten year deal if they wanted.

2. The few guys they did bring over were constantly made to look weak, espcially Diamond Dallas Page, as they turned him into a weird stalker bothering the Undertaker's wife.  She then repeatedly either beat the crap out of him or pinned him in the ring.  Sometimes both.  This caused one of our friends to snap and leave without even putting his shoes on.

3. All the damn titles they brought over; we now had five more titles that pretty much meant nothing, since they kept changing hands every damn week. 

4. They constantly had WWF guys turn and join WCW, which meant that most of the time when they set up a "WWF vs WCW" match it was a bunch of WWF guys fighting each other.  When they had the big 5 on 5 blowoff match at Survivor Series the only guy on the WCW side that was actually from WCW was Booker T. 

5.  Shane McMahon ran WCW and Stephanie McMahon ran a returning ECW.  Enough said.  Instead of a war between the two (and then three) companies, it was more damn McMahon nonsense.

When they finally got around to getting guys like Hogan, Hall, Nash and Flair the angle was over and it meant less.  Goldberg and Steiner also eventually came in but that was like a year later.  Ah well, maybe if TNA gets real big in five years the WWF can buy that company too and destroy the idea again; they could make Samoa Joe lose to Maria a bunch of times or something.  I swear I'm not bitter or anything.

Wrestlemania X8 (March 17, 2002)

We're live from Toronto, Canada at the Skydome, where we got another big crowd (around 68,000) Our hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.  Some band named Saliva performed some shitty song to open things up.  For this show we traveled out to the mean streets of Gwinn, MI at the creepy half-deserted army base where our friends Jason and Brandon were staying.  Of course me and Eric had a place out there at the time too, but our place was used for Smackdown and board game weekends.

Match 1: IC Championship:  William Regal vs Rob Van Dam

RVD came over when ECW folded, and Regal was currently IC champ and had been blessed with "the power of the punch," which meant he used brass knucks a lot.  Regal drops RVD right on his head in a sick move, but remarkably RVD's alright and eventually wins the title after the 5-star frog splash.  The fans popped huge for RVD here, so of course he was buried throughout the next year.

Match 2: European Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs Christian

Christian, at last, was on his own here after splitting apart from Edge and he now had his own cool entrance theme.  This was pretty much DDP's last hurrah, as he suffered an injury after the show and was never seen again, outside of a few TNA appearances.  DDP was also in the middle of his motivational speaker character, and he pins Christian with the diamond cutter.  But that's not a bad thing, that's...a good thing.  Christian throws a temper tantrum after the match, as was his speciality at the time.

Match 3: Hardcore Championship: Maven vs Goldust

Well, at least it wasn't Darryl in this one.  Of course if it was it would've been ten times funnier.  Maven was the first Tough Enough winner, so they put the hardcore title on him (once again now a 24/7 belt that REALLY got old after awhile) and put him in there with the returning Goldust.  Spike Dudley runs into the ring and pins Maven to win the title, then Crash Holly runs into the ring to get Spike, etc.  Over the course of the show a bunch of people win the title until Maven won it back from Christian and ran out of the building.  Maven's now probably working at a truck stop someplace.

Match 4: Kane vs Kurt Angle

No backstory here, just had nothing else to do with them for the biggest show of the year.  But planning ahead would've been too hard I guess.  Angle tries to get a good match out of Kane and it ends up alright, with Angle winning after a botched roll-up attempt with Angle's feet on the ropes.  This was the last WM that Kurt had hair.  That's about the only noteworthy thing about this that I can think of.

Match 5: Ric Flair vs The Undertaker

The Undertaker turned heel for no real reason (he suddenly defended Vince McMahon and made JR kiss his ass) and Flair was the co-owner of the WWF but 'Taker wanted a piece of him for some reason I can't remember.  The fact that Flair fought the Undertaker was the reason for the upcoming "brand extension" that the WWF developed a few weeks after this show.  Flair and 'Taker have a decent match back and forth, featuring a cool interferrence spot from Flair's buddy Arn Anderson, before Undertaker won after a tombstone.

Match 6: Edge vs Booker T

Another match thrown together for no reason.  They actually had the gall to write a quicky storyline for this one, but it was so stupid I won't even comment on it.  Alright, they were fighting over a Japanese shampoo commericial!  You can't make this stuff up.  Edge wins with...some move he was doing at the time that had the work "Edge" in it (Edgicator, Edgecution, etc?)

Match 7: Steve Austin vs Scott Hall

This was during the two weeks the nWo meant something when they brought them back.  But with Hogan fighting the Rock later, poor Austin had to settle for fighting ol' Razor Ramon here.  Kevin Nash is at ringside with Hall but does nothing of note.  The coolest thing about the match was the way Hall sold the stunner at the end, as he jumped up like two feet in the air!  Austin wins and then skips Raw the next night protesting the current product's general shittyness.

Match 8: Tag Team Championship, 4-Way Elimination Match:  Billy & Chuck vs The APA vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Hardy Boyz

Oh terrific, I get to watch Billy & Chuck in action.  The tag division was rapidly declining, as the Dudleyz, Hardyz and APA were all getting stale and Billy & Chuck was giving a run with the tag title depsite NO ONE wanting them to.  This was the infamous match where Jeff Hardy took his shirt off and was so pale and white and had that creepy paint crap all over that it seriously looked like he was dying before our eyes.  Ah well, B&C win after pinning one of the Hardys.  I don't remember or care how.

Match 9: The Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Well, I'm sure this will wake the crowd up a bit.  This was one of the last big dream matches for fans and man did it live up to the hype.  The Toronto crowd suprisingly boos the babyface Rock out of the building and cheers for Hogan, even though he was nWo and tried to kill the Rock with a semi a month before.  He avoided jail time because he didn't kill him I guess.  Hogan actually "hulks up" to the delight of the crowd and nails Rock with the big boot & leg drop, but Rock kicks out, nails a couple of rock bottoms and a people's elbow and it's over.  Technically this match wasn't that great but as a fan it was really cool, even though the fans' reaction led Hogan to rise back up to the top and engage in a series of horrible matches with Triple H & The Undertaker.  Ah well, what can you do?

Match 10: Women's Championship, 3-Threat Match: Jazz vs Trish Stratus vs Lita

Jazz was the champion, and this was after Trish started wrestling full-time and improving every damn year.  Lita on the other hand kept getting worse every year she wrestled it seemed.  Trish is dressed in maple leaf colors to celebrate being Canadian, but Jazz kicks her ass along with Lita, who she pins with a superplex.

Main Event: Undisputed Championship: Chris Jericho vs Triple H

The one and only time the "undisputed" title (WWF & WCW titles combined, even though WCW didn't exist anymore but they wanted to keep the big gold belt for no reason) was defended at a Wrestlemania.  Jericho shockingly won the titles and kept them for like three months before he met up with HHH here, who is returning from a severe quad injury.  It's a good thing he got it fixed so it would never happen again.  Jericho, of course, has Stephanie McMahon as his mouthpiece here, as Triple H was a face now but the fans hated Steph so much they had to break them apart.  Instead of having Jericho do the talking (which you know he was quite good at) they made him look like Steph's lackey.  They flirted with the idea of creating a stable of horsemen-like Canadians to protect Jericho's back (Christian, Lance Storm & Test) ala Ric Flair but that was abandoned because it made too much sense and would've given Jericho credibility.  Instead, the main focus of the feud was Triple H vs STEPHANIE so everyone here knew Jericho would lose so it wasn't that climatic or anything.  Triple H wins the titles with the pedigree.  Also of note and for the second year in a row he had a band play is theme song during his ring entrance.  I think it was Drowning Pool.  Didn't the lead singer drown himself?

Match of the night: Rock/Hogan

Mark-out moment of the night: Hogan "hulking up"

Summary:  This was pretty much a one match show, as when you think of this one you think of Hogan/Rock and pretty much nothing else.  And there's a reason, most everything else sucked. 

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


comments (2) 03-20-2007

The People's Comments:

haas:
Yeah, I might have to change that. I keep forgetting what I gave every other show so it makes it hard for comparison. I'm a bit of an idiot.

crashnet:
haas, you have a low bar this got three stars??

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