February 22, 2009
Wrestlemania 2000, April 2, 2000, Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
You may recall that there was quite a bit of hoopla surrounding the year 2000 (or Y2K as some people called it) and the WWF was no exception to that. So to celebrate, this show becomes the only Wrestlemania thus far to be named for the year in which it took place instead of a number. Of course that raises the issue of what they’re going to do in 3984 when the actual Wrestlemania 2000 comes along, but I guess that’s just yet another example of failing to plan for the future. Hell, maybe we could ask HHH what they’ll do. Something tells me that his preserved head in a jar (a la Futurama) will probably be main eventing that show. Anyways, on with the sixteenth edition of Wrestlemania.
Opening Match: The Godfather & D-Lo Brown (w/Ho’s & Ice-T) vs. The Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan
Ice-T raps Godfather and D-Lo to the ring, and then Godfather hits the catchphrases. Say what you will about the Godfather character, he was great in the role of an opening match guy to get the crowd fired up even if it was a total cheap heat gimmick. D-Lo and Bull start out with D-Lo using speed to avoid some shots and nailing a few of his own. Irish whip is reversed, and then D-Lo tries a rollup, but no go. He duck another shot by Bull and hits a dropkick as the partners come in, but Godfather clears Boss Man out pretty quickly. D-Lo whips Bull off and nails an elbow. Tag to Godfather who gets a slam and drops a leg. Irish whip leads to an elbow, but he misses in dropping one and Bull makes the tag. Boss Man works Godfather over, but his corner whip is reversed and he takes a couple of clotheslines. Crescent kick gets 2 for Godfather and he tags D-Lo who is quickly nailed and caught in the heel corner. Tag to Bull, who has the momentum turned right back against him. D-Lo gets the mounted punches in the corner and sends Bull to the opposite corner, but Bull does his patented leap to the top and comes back off with a clothesline from there. Tag to Boss Man, with Bull setting D-Lo on the ropes with a drop toe hold and then they use a double sliding punch on him. Boss Man gets 2 from that and then keeps control with a headbutt and a big boot. Tag to Bull with Boss Man setting up D-Lo with a kick to the gut and Bull then nailing a standing legdrop for 2. D-Lo gets tossed where Boss Man drops him on the barrier as Godfather tries to attack Bull to no effect. Back in, Bull sends D-Lo to the corner and tags. Double whip sets up a double elbow which gets 2 for Boss Man. He draws Godfather in and they do the illegal switch with Bull then hooking a bearhug. It makes me sad that the announcers don’t even acknowledge the cheating, let alone feign outrage at it. It just sends the message that we shouldn’t care about the match, because clearly they don’t. The arm drops twice on that bearhug before D-Lo fights out, but he soon runs into an elbow. Tag to Boss Man and they hit D-Lo with a double boot. D-Lo fights back against Boss Man, but gets caught on an attempted bodypress and hit with a backbreaker for 2. Tag to Bull, who comes in with a double ax from the top and then nails his own backbreaker. He goes up, but Godfather shakes the ropes and crotches him. D-Lo nails him with a rana from there and makes the hot tag to Godfather. He’s in with a backdrop for Bull, followed by a clothesline for Boss Man. Corner whip on Boss Man is reversed, but Boss Man misses the charge and sets himself up for the Ho Train, which hits. Tag back to D-Lo, who goes up. Bull is back to try and shove him off, but D-Lo lands on his feet and nails him. He hits a dropkick on the Boss Man, but when he comes of the ropes, Boss Man catches him with the Boss Man Slam. Bull connects with a legdrop off the top rope and that finishes D-Lo off at 9:07. Not much of a match here. The crowd was in to the Godfather’s shtick, but not much else. Also, considering how this is a totally meaningless match, I don’t understand why you don’t put the faces over. ½*
Hardcore Championship Match: Crash Holly vs. Tazz vs. Viscera vs. Pete Gas vs. Rodney vs. Joey Abs vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Taka Michinoku vs. Sho Funaki vs. Mosh vs. Thrasher vs. Faarooq vs. Bradshaw
In the spirit of the 24/7 rule for Hardcore Title defenses that was in effect during this time period, but had been temporarily suspended in the weeks leading up to the show, this match has a fifteen minute time limit and the Title can change hands an unlimited number of times in that span. Crash Holly is the champ going in, but he immediately takes a suplex from Tazz and loses the belt. Everyone is just brawling aimlessly around ringside. Viscera powerslams Tazz on the floor for a 3 count to win it. He actually holds it for a few minutes. Crash has been busted open, as has Pete Gas. JR has an interesting quote: “All these young pups taking these head shots will never forget their first Wrestlemania”. In the long run, many of them probably will forget it, quite possibly due to some of these head shots they’ve been taking. Viscera goes up to the top rope for no apparent reason, and gets slammed off by the APA. They work him over and then toss Kaientai on top for the cover with Funaki being declared the new champion. Taka attacks him now, so he runs all the way backstage. The Mean Street Posse catches up with him and Rodney gets the pin to become new champ. It then goes quickly from Rodney to Joey Abs to Thrasher and then to Pete Gas as the match gets back into the arena. Tazz suplexes Pete on the floor to win it back again. He then actually holds on for a bit, kicking out of a few pinning attempts. With about three minutes left, Tazz and the Hollys end up in the ring while everyone else is content to brawl mindlessly on the floor. They all trade some nearfalls, but Tazz holds on until Crash gets him with a tray shot with :30 to go and gets the 3 count. Tazz gets up and hooks the Tazzmission, but Hardcore comes back and nails Crash with a jar. He covers and we get a confusing finish as the 15:00 time limit expires at 15:00. The ref holds up the count at 2 with :02 to go. Crash doesn’t kick out, even though the announcers are trying to convince us that he did. This seems to suggest that time was supposed to expire before Hardcore could win the belt, but they were too quick in getting to that point. Crash tries to leave with the belt, but the ref chases him down, grabs it and gives it to Hardcore who is declared the winner and new champion. It makes zero difference though given the million times or so this belt changed hands during its existence, this just meant they had to do one more to get it back to Crash. This match was a pretty bad concept to begin with, and for the most part the hardcore crap from this era has not aged well. ½*
Al Snow & Steve Blackman (w/Chester McCheeserton) vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)
Snow and Blackman had recently begun teaming up with the story being that Snow was going to help him get over with the crowd and develop a personality. One brilliant idea here was to name the team “Head Cheese” and debut Chester McCheeserton who is a guy dressed up as a wedge of cheese as a mascot for them. I can’t believe that didn’t work. Trish Stratus was pretty new to the company at this point and they were only using her as a manager while she trained to wrestle. She starts off here by managing the tag team of Test and Albert, or T & A. Test attacks Blackman to start. He avoids an ensiguiri, but ends up taking a crescent kick. Tag to Snow who hits some stomps, but his Irish whip is reversed and he gets hit with a clothesline. Tag to Albert and they hit a double corner whip followed by Test whipping Albert into Snow. Test then nails a big boot and Albert covers for 2 before Blackman saves. Corner whip by Snow is reversed, but Snow comes out with a clothesline and an ensiguiri for 2. Tag to Blackman who gets sent off the ropes, but he comes of with a shoulderblock. Now his Irish whip is reversed and Albert hits him with a shoulderblock. Blackman trips him and tags Snow who slingshots in with a legdrop. All four guys are in now with Test getting backdropped out. Albert with a press slam on Snow, but Blackman clips the leg and Snow covers for 1. There has been no heat whatsoever for this match so far. Snow dropkicks Test back to the floor and then he and Blackman hit Albert with a double clothesline. Snow gets 2, and then hits a suplex and some stomps before tagging Blackman. They nail a double standing elbow and then Blackman drops a headbutt from the 2nd rope for 2. He hits another headbutt to the groin and then tags Snow who comes in with a forearm off the top. Albert fights back with a double underhook suplex and both guys tag. Test plays the house afire (I could have sworn he was on the heel team though) beating up both Snow and Blackman to zero reaction from the crowd. I think I may have heard one person get excited there, but the evidence is inconclusive. Side slam on Snow gets 2 and then Albert comes back and takes Blackman out. They hit a double powerbomb on Snow for 2 as Blackman makes the save. I was just hoping that would be the finish so we could move on. Blackman nails both T and A sending Albert to the floor as JR discreetly apologizes for the match on commentary. Snow gets Albert with an Asai moonsault on the floor and that is literally the first time since the bell rang that there’s been a noticeable pop from the crowd, albeit a barely noticeable one. Test had Blackman in the ring and sets him on his knee for Snow to come off the top with a legdrop (their finisher) and it hits, but only gets 2 as Albert makes it back to save. He hits the Baldo Bomb on Snow and clotheslines him to the floor. Albert with a slam on Blackman and then he presses Test on to him, but it only gets 2 as Snow saves. Just end it already. Snow and Test go on the floor, and from there Snow trips up Albert. Blackman nails a kick, but then walks into a press slam. Test connects with an elbow off the top and that gets 3 at what may be the longest 7:01 of my life. Post match sees Snow admit that hiring Mr. McCheeserton was a mistake, so he and Blackman beat the poor guy up even though he didn’t actually do anything other than attempt to molest Trish Stratus. Wow was that a brutal match. Not only did these teams not have any chemistry together whatsoever, but they also had an abundance of whatever the opposite of chemistry is. I was flirting with the idea of negative stars but a couple of highspots near the end drag it back up to a DUD. This show badly needs something to kick it into gear.
WWF Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz
This match should do the trick. Here’s the first, but definitely not the last time these teams would meet in this type of match. Six way brawl in the aisle kicks things off. Christian gets Matt with a dropkick in the ring, followed by Edge hitting a spin kick on D-Von and Jeff using Whisper in the Wind on Bubba. Bubba comes back against Jeff with a backdrop and the Bubba Bomb. Christian gets the first ladder in the ring but Matt stops him from doing anything with it. A second one gets brought in and the Hardyz set it against Bubba in the corner and hit him with Poetry in Motion. D-Von nails Christian with a ladder and then the Hardyz nail edge with another one. Matt slams D-Von on a ladder and then with Jeff holding him down he drops an elbow on D-Von from the 2nd rope. Jeff DDT’s Bubba and sets him on a ladder, but his 450 splash misses. Bubba then puts a ladder on Jeff and connects with the senton splash. Edge goes up and drops down with a ladder on Matt, but he in turn gets slammed by D-Von and placed under a ladder which he with D-Von then hitting a legdrop. Bubba picks a ladder up and does the helicopter spot, but ends up taking a double dropkick from Edge and Christian. They then flapjack D-Von into a ladder in the corner. Christian sets one up and dives out onto Bubba and Matt on the floor. Jeff makes the first attempt at climbing for the belts, but Edge spears him off the ladder. He then climbs, but Matt pulls him down and drops him with Splash Mountain. Matt takes his turn at climbing, but D-Von slams him off and then when he tries climbing, Christian nails him with a ladder. 3 ladders end up getting set in the ring and Christian climbs, but Bubba joins him and takes him down with his portion of 3D. Matt and Jeff climb ladders set in the corner and come off onto Bubba with the legdrop/splash combo. Edge takes out both the Hardyz afterwards. Christian and D-Von are climbing together, so Edge helps his partner out and they take D-Von down with a double suplex. Matt, Jeff, Edge, and Christian all climb now, but end up taking each other down before anyone gets close to the belts. The ladders get set up again under the guise of a six way brawl and now they all climb up. Jeff and Christian’s ladder gets tipped oven and they go crashing out to the floor with the same thing then happening to Edge and Matt. The Dudleyz can’t capitalize though before Edge and Christian make it back in. Christian gets sandwiched between two ladders and then Edge gets hit with 3D. Instead of going for the belts, they go for the tables. One gets straddled between two ladders in the ring, and then a few more get set up around the ring and on the floor. Bubba takes Matt and powerbombs him through a table on the floor, while D-Von’s attempted splash on Jeff sees Jeff move and D-Von go crashing through the table instead. Jeff tries the barrier run on Bubba, but gets nailed with a ladder in the process. Bubba then sets up the giant ladder in the aisle and a table to go with it. He puts Jeff on the table but gets attacked by Christian. Jeff recovers and fights Christian off, but now he finds Bubba on the table with a ladder conveniently in position. He climbs and comes down on Bubba with the Swanton in a spot that would be replayed many times for years to come. That finishes them off. In the ring, D-Von gets an Electric Chair Drop on Christian and climbs, but Matt spoils that with a Twist of Fate. Matt climbs now with Christian joining him up on the table that was previously set up by the Dudleyz. Edge gets up there too and he and Christian are able to toss Matt off through a table, and grab the belts to win it at 22:29. Great job by everyone. As a match it’s since been topped, but it was the first one and it really made the concept of a multiway spotfest ladder match, which has now become an annual tradition for Wrestlemania. It also took these guys from being future stars with potential, to just being stars. ****
Terri Runnels (w/Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (w/Mae Young)
And it’s right back to the crap again. This is the only one on one match on the entire show, and damn did they ever make it a doozy. Val Venis is the special guest referee of this match which will end when one of them throws the other one to the floor. JR suggests that people like me using the star ratings system should just skip this match, but it really would be irresponsible of me not to include it, now wouldn’t it? Shoving match leads to Terri tacking Kat. Val pulls her off and they end up making out. Remember the angle where Terri pretended to be pregnant with Val’s child? Yeah, no one else does either. Kat is not willing to let Terri be the only one getting some lovin’, so she takes her turn making out with Val as well. Terri gets a couple of hairtosses, but Kat comes back with a tackle of her own. Mae gets on the apron and threatens to remove her shirt which Val tries to prevent, but he ends up missing Kat tossing Terri to the floor. Moolah helps Terri back in, so now this leads to both Mae and Moolah getting in the ring. Mae wants a piece of Val, and gets it, but that means he misses it again when Kat tosses Terri outside. Moolah drags Kat out, and helps Terri back in just in time for Val to escape Mae’s clutches and see Kat on the floor. Terri is declared the winner at 2:25, but Mae and Kat get their heat back when Mae hits a Bronco Buster on Moolah and Kat rips part of Terri’s outfit off. Just because JR was polite enough to warn us in advance about how bad this was gonna be, I’m gonna give it a bonus star which makes the final rating for the match only -***.
Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, & Dean Malenko vs. Too Cool & Chyna
Eddie was looking to give Chyna a taste of his Latino Heat and indeed he’s making eyes at her during the introductions. Also, Malenko was the Light Heavyweight Champion at this point if anyone happens to care. Scotty and Eddie start out with Eddie getting fired off and monkey flipped. Scotty gets him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then moonwalks to the corner and tags Chyna. Eddie runs from her and tags Malenko. Chyna nails him with a clothesline, but then her Irish whip is reverses and Malenko nails a boot. He sets something up, but Scotty nails him from the apron to break it. She tags Sexay so they can hit a double suplex and then he even encourages her to dance. Sexay nails a slam, but Malenko makes the tag to Eddie. He takes a back suplex which looks to set up the Hip Hop Drop, but Malenko distracts the ref and Saturn shoves him off the top rope. Tag to Saturn who stomps him a bit before tagging Malenko. They hit a double clothesline and then he tags back to Eddie. Eddie with a suplex, but then he puts his head down on an Irish whip and gets kicked. Tag to Scotty who charges right into a stungun and then takes a back suplex. Eddie hits a slingshot senton and then dances for Chyna, but then attacks her on the apron and runs her to the post. Scotty nails him and then Sexay grabs him from the apron and suplexes him to the floor. Malenko and Saturn attack Scotty but he fights back and takes down both. He sets them up for a double Worm, which hits. Eddie, who’s still the legal man, gets back in, but cowers behind the referee. This lets Malenko and Saturn pull Scotty to the floor and send him to the barrier. Chyna charges in at Eddie, but he manages to get away again. Scotty is back, so Eddie tags Saturn who hits a crescent kick and then drops an elbow off the top. Tag back to Eddie, who goes up, but Scotty hits the ropes and crotches him. Superplex hits and Scotty makes the hot tag to Chyna. Eddie still runs away though, so Malenko and Saturn run in, but get nailed with a double clothesline. Slams for both Malenko and Saturn and then she gets them both with handspring elbows and low blows. Eddie attacks from behind, and tries a powerbomb, but Chyna reverses and hits one of her own. Testicular Claw sets up a press slam followed by a sleeper from which she drops him down to the mat and that gets the 3 count at 9:39. Chyna must have been impressed with how that Claw felt though as the next night on Raw she sided with Eddie and helped him win the European Title. By the standards of what we’ve seen so far, this was a pretty good one. **
Intercontinental Championship Match: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
Going into the show, Angle was both the Intercontinental and European Champions, or the “Eurocontinental” Champion as he referred to himself, but that put him in a spot where he had to defend both belts here tonight. Furthermore, he will defend them both in Triple Threat matches against the same opponents, in what is essentially two separate matches. So our first fall here has only the IC belt on the line, and immediately following this we will have a second fall with the European Title up for grabs. Benoit jumps Angle on the floor, but when he gets him in Jericho attacks both. Clothesline for Benoit, but now he gets attacked by Angle who nails him with an elbow. Benoit chops Jericho and tries a back suplex, but Jericho slips out and sends Benoit to the post. Angle comes form behind, but Jericho soon gets him with a dropkick. Angle is on the apron, so Jericho now goes for the springboard dropkick, but Benoit trips him up. Now Benoit goes for Angle on the apron, so Jericho simply recovers and hits the springboard dropkick on both of them. Baseball slide on Benoit hits, but then Angle takes him to the stairs with a flapjack. In the ring, belly to belly suplex by Angle gets 2 on Jericho. Benoit then gets Angle with a clothesline for 2. Jericho hits a double underhook backbreaker on Angle and goes up, but Benoit nails him and he goes flying down into the announce table. Benoit gets a snap suplex on Angle for 2, and then a back suplex for 2 before Jericho comes back with a dropkick on Benoit. Angle sends Jericho to the corner, but Jericho gets the boot up and then nails Angle with a dropkick for 2. Benoit hits a backbreaker on Jericho followed by Angle hitting a suplex on Benoit for 2. Jericho sends Angle off the ropes and hits the bulldog for 2. Benoit gets Jericho with some chops, but then Angle hits Benoit with a back suplex for 2. Angle sends Jericho to the corner, but Jericho gets the boot up. Angle counters a suplex attempt and hits a belly to belly on Jericho for 2. Angle then tries to whip Benoit into Jericho, which Jericho avoids, but Benoit gets him with a rollup for 2. Angle gets Jericho in the crossface chicken wing (which he was using after a brief period where he was mentored by Bob Backlund) and the arm drops twice, but Benoit breaks the hold. He tosses Angle to the floor, then goes up and drops the headbutt on Jericho. That gets 3 and gives Benoit the Intercontinental Championship at 7:56. I’ll rate the whole thing when we get through the second fall.
European Championship Match: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
Continuing right along with the second half of our double feature, Benoit immediately goes for another cover on Jericho, but Angle gets back to make the save at 2. Angle suplexes Benoit and slams him. He goes up, but Jericho gets there and crotches him. Benoit in turn crotches Jericho and takes him down with a back suplex. Angle recovers and goes for a moonsault, but misses and the ref starts counting all three guys down. Angle covers Benoit and gets 2, then Jericho covers angle and also gets 2. Jericho tries the Walls now, but Benoit breaks it up and nails Jericho with a kneelift. Angle slams Benoit and then sends Jericho to the corner. Benoit misses a charge at Jericho who comes out of the corner with a clothesline on Angle. Jericho hits a spin kick on Benoit, and then uses the double powerbomb on Angle. Benoit is back and gets the rolling triple German suplexes on Jericho for 2. He then hits Angle with a dragon suplex but ends up pinning himself for 2. He sends Jericho off the ropes with Jericho coming off with a flying forearm, but Benoit moves and the ref takes it instead. This lets Benoit and Jericho tap out to each other’s submission finishers with no one to see it, but Angle then nails Jericho with the belt and gets 2 from a now recovered referee as Benoit has to pull Jericho out of the ring to save. Benoit gets a back suplex on Angle, but the diving headbutt misses. Jericho sneaks in and hits the Lionsault on Benoit and gets the 3 count at 13:48 (total) to win the European Championship. Angle loses both his Titles without ever getting pinned. This was too short for what they were trying to accomplish, but what they did do was pretty good. Angle was only a few months in to his WWF run and certainly didn’t look out of place with the more experienced guys, but still it comes across as disappointing considering that they would go on to do much greater things against each other. ***
X-Pac & Road Dogg Jesse James (w/Tori) vs. Kane & Rikishi (w/Paul Bearer)
This is mainly here to be the final blowoff for the X-Pac/Kane feud which saw Kane’s girlfriend Tori turn on him and go with X-Pac instead as part of it. Tori starts by getting in Bearer’s face and smacking him. He stalks her down while DX attacks Rikishi in the ring. Kane grabs a hold of Tori, but X-Pac saves her. Rikishi gets the butt splash and Stinkface on Dogg and then when Tori tries to hide from Kane in the ring she gets set up for it too, but X-Pac pulls her to safety again. DX looks to walk out, but they get chased down and brought back. They get in the ring where X-Pac nails Rikishi with a spin kick in the corner and the Bronco Buster. Tag to Dogg who connects with the funky punches and kneedrop for 2. He tags back to X-Pac, who works Rikishi over with some kicks, but then charges and runs into a sort of Diamond Cutter. Tag to Kane now who beats up both X-Pac and Dogg. Big boot on Dogg, followed by a backdrop on X-Pac. He clotheslines Dogg to the floor and sends X-Pac to the corner where he gets setup for the Stinkface, but Tori repays the favour from earlier and saves her man. But then Paul Bearer shoves her in the ring, and finally she takes the Stinkface from Rikishi. Moments later, a Tombstone finishes X-Pac off at 4:16. ½* Too Cool and the San Diego Chicken join us for a post match dance off. In a bit of continuity almost unheard of in the WWF of this period, Kane recalls that last year, Pete Rose (who was established as being here in an interview earlier tonight on Heat) was in the costume and attacked him. He goes for the Chicken, but that was just a diversion so the real Pete Rose could attack. Poor Pete ends up taking a choke slam and a Stinkface in what would be the final chapter of the Kane/Rose Trilogy.
Main Event, WWF Championship Match: Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Mick Foley (w/Linda McMahon) vs. The Big Show (w/Shane McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/Vince McMahon)
As you can see, each participant has a member of the McMahon family in their corner, and you’d better believe that aspect of it was played up just as much in the buildup as the match itself was. HHH and Stephanie were in the early stages of their storyline marriage that eventually turned into a real one. Linda had brought Foley back after his retirement match at No Way Out so that he could live his dream of being in the main event of Wrestlemania. That would have been fine if during the buildup to NWO Foley hadn’t made a big deal about how all wrestling retirements were fake, but he was the one guy you could trust when he said he was retiring. Rock originally won the Royal Rumble to earn the shot here, but ended up losing it to Show at No Way Out thanks to an interfering Shane McMahon. Rock successfully jumped through all the necessary hoops to get back in the match though with help from Vince in the final step and that’s the quick and dirty version of how we’ve gotten to this point. The match is elimination style, which is always preferable in a multiway match, will have no disqualifications or count outs and be fought under tornado rules. Here we go. Rock and Show go at it on one side, while HHH and Foley go on the other. Foley hits the running knee, while Show chokes Rock with his boot. He then clotheslines both HHH and Foley. Slam for Foley and hiptoss on HHH as they establish Show as the dominant man early on. He gets press slams on both Rock and HHH. Foley gets him from behind with a sleeper, but Show falls back to break it. He gets a side slam on Rock and then catches HHH coming off the 2nd rope, but Foley prevents the choke slam. Now the others gang up on Show. A clothesline from each takes him down and they all work him over until HHH nails Foley. Foley comes back and takes HHH over and out with a Cactus Clothesline. He nails HHH with a chair in the midsection and then nails Show in the back. Rock takes a shot at Shane who tries interfering then nails Show with the Rock Bottom which gets 3 to eliminate him at 4:50. He and Shane are none too pleased about that result. So we’re down to three. HHH looks to make an alliance with Foley and then with Rock. He seemingly has a deal with Rock, but Rock was just kidding so the Rock & Sock Connection beatdown is on. They hit a double clothesline and then toss HHH to the floor for more double teaming. Foley whips him into a Rock clothesline and then holds him for a shot with the bell, but HHH moves and Foley gets hit. HHH sends Rock to the stairs and then drops him on the barrier. Meanwhile, Foley had found a barbed wire 2X4 which he threatens HHH with, but HHH avoids it and hits a low blow. Now he gives Foley a shot with the bat. Rock attacks, but ends up getting tossed right back out. Foley gets the double arm DDT on HHH, pulls out Socko and hooks the Mandible Claw. Rock comes back with the belt and nails HHH for good measure. People’s Elbow gets setup, but now Foley hooks the claw on Rock. HHH ends that with low blows on both while Vince has grabbed a chair and placed it in the ring. Corner whip on Rock by HHH, but Rock comes out with a clothesline. Foley then clotheslines Rock for 2. Double arm DDT also gets 2 and then he grabs the chair and charges at Rock but gets it kicked back in his face. Rock hits a DDT of his own on Foley and covers, but HHH makes the save. The announcers try to sell that HHH wants Foley for himself, but that’s just bad strategy. Now Foley and HHH seem to have made a deal and start to double team Rock. Irish whip by HHH into a Foley kneelift gets 2. Double suplex, followed by a HHH kneedrop also get 2. They take Rock outside and continue the double teaming, but Foley’s whip to the stairs is reversed and Foley hits instead. Rock rams HHH to the barrier, but Foley comes back with the stairs and nails Rock. They set Rock on the announce table so Foley can drop the big elbow, but he doesn’t quite get enough distance and kind of slams himself into the front of the table. HHH improvises a bit and drops an elbow on Rock from the other table to break it. He then gets Foley back in the ring and hits a Pedigree, but Foley kicks out at 2 to a big reaction. Now HHH is pissed, so he grabs a chair and nails him with it. Second Pedigree on the chair gets the 3 count this time and eliminates Foley at 19:42. Foley had to spend four years thinking about how the last move he tried in a match was that botched elbow. He leaves to a big ovation that gets even bigger when he runs back and nails HHH with the barbed wire 2X4. Now we’re one on one with the match they should have just gone with in the first place. Rock covers HHH, but only gets 2. He clotheslines HHH to the floor and they brawl up the aisle where he then nails HHH with a suplex. HHH gets sent to the set and then they brawl back to ringside through the crowd. Rock backdrops him over the barrier and then rams him to the table. He grabs the stairs, but HHH has a chair and nails the stairs repeatedly with Rock underneath them. He piledrives Rock on the stairs and gets him back in for a cover, but only gets 2. Rock fires back and goes for Rock Bottom, but HHH elbows out. Pedigree is tried, but Rock backdrops him out to the floor. In to the crowd again, where we can’t really see what’s going on. HHH knocks him back to ringside, but his whip to the barrier is reversed and he hits hit. Rock then gets a spinebuster on the floor. Rock then preps the other announce table and suplexes HHH through it. After selling that for a bit, HHH drop toes Rock to the stairs. He then nails Vince, who retaliates and sends HHH to the post. But now Shane has made his way back to ringside and he attacks Vince, even nailing him with a monitor. Vince recovers from that pretty quickly and goes after Shane until he gets hit with a low blow and a chairshot from his son. Vince has to be helped back to the dressing room by Brisco and Patterson. Meanwhile, Rock and HHH who have been down in the ring for so long while the McMahon family soap opera was carrying on that they probably could have been declared legally dead, finally get back to the match. DDT by Rock gets 2, as does a powerslam. He puts his head down on a Irish whip though and takes a facebuster. Now HHH grabs that 2X4 and nails Rock with it. Shane comes in the ring as Rock blocks the Pedigree and he catapults HHH right into Shane. Rock Bottom hits, but he can’t crawl over for the cover. The Immortal Vince McMahon charges back out as Shane looks at using a chair on someone and takes Shane right back out. Now Vince has the chair, but for no particular reason he nails Rock. HHH covers, but Rock kicks out at 2. Vince nails him with the chair again, and this time Rock stays down for 3 at 36:27. To say the crowd hates the finish would be a pretty big understatement. Vince, Steph, and Shane reveal the whole thing was a setup to begin with before Rock closes the show by hitting Rock Bottoms on all three and a People’s Elbow on Steph as well. Match was kinda all over the place, and at times felt like it was less important than the McMahon saga. It was heated, but really the best thing I can say about it was that it was a decently good match, with a terrible finish. I mean that wouldn’t even be a good finish for a B show let alone the biggest show of the year. It actually feels like it belongs on an episode of Raw more than anything. Not only does the wrong guy win, but he does it on yet another stupid turn in the McMahon family soap opera. *** for the match, which is probably even being generous.
I remember the shock that we were in at the time this show happened. This is Wrestlemania after all. It’s supposed to be the night the babyface always stands triumphant in the end. Using the biggest show of the year as a setup show for future matches and angles instead of finishing them up pissed a lot of people off. Even watching it now, nine years later, I still got the bad taste in my mouth from that groan inducing ending. That just totally overshadows the value that the main event has even as a *** match. The ladder match was groundbreaking, but they ended up topping themselves both at Summerslam, and at next year’s show, thus diluting the replay value of this one. Only other thing close to a highlight is Angle/Benoit/Jericho, and like the ladder match it’s also overshadowed by better things they did together later on. All in all, it’s a pretty easy thumbs down for Wrestlemania 2000 and if you never saw it again, you really wouldn’t be missing much.