WWF WrestleMania X8 Results – 3/17/02 (The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan, Triple H vs. Chris Jericho)

WWF WrestleMania X8 Results

WWF WrestleMania X8 Results
March 17, 2002
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (SkyDome)
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

The WWF video plays us into the show.

We go into the SkyDome. Lilian Garcia introduces the band Saliva. They play their song, “Superstar,” the theme song for this year’s WrestleMania. The crowd gives them a great ovation.

A video puts over the importance of WrestleMania according to the current WWF Superstars.

We go back live into the SkyDome to see a big pyrotechnics display. “Good Ol’ JR” Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show. The WrestleMania set is this incredible and enormous scaffold. 60,000+ are in Toronto going crazy and holding up signs. We also see fans at WWF New York in Times Square getting ready for the biggest event of the year.

“One of a Kind” from the WWF Forcible Entry album plays. They make sure to plug that. Rob Van Dam makes his way to the ring for his WrestleMania debut. He will be facing William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Rob Van Dam vs. William Regal (c)

As William Regal makes his way to the ring, RVD feigns a plancha. Regal avoids it and gets in the ring. The bell rings, and RVD ducks a left hand. RVD punches him, but Regal quickly reverses a whip to the ropes. RVD avoids a strike and hits a spin kick. RVD clubs him down and hits a standing moonsault. RVD punches away at Regal until Regal throws him off. RVD kicks him and sends him to the corner. Regal quickly elbows him back and begins adjusting his tights. Regal takes a moment and fumbles around to look for his brass knuckles for the Power of the Punch. Regal finally gets them on, but RVD just as quickly kicks them off his hand. RVD spin kicks him down, and Regal immediately begs him off. RVD this a basement dropkick and punches him to the corner. RVD sends him to the opposite corner and goes for a kick, but Regal ducks it. RVD quickly springboards off the second rope with a back kick. RVD gets to the top rope for a Five Star Frog Splash, but Regal moves. Regal then hits a running knee to the head for a two-count. Regal covers again for the same result. A third attempt yields the same.

Regal hits a European Uppercut and sends RVD to the ropes. RVD ducks an elbow and hits a running cross-body block for a two-count. RVD gets a backslide pin for another two-count. Regal turns him over and elbows him in the back of the head a few times. Regal hits a vertical suplex for a near fall. Regal is bleeding from the mouth. Regal uppercuts him in the corner. RVD reverses a whip and hits a back body drop. RVD kicks and punches him against the ropes. Regal quickly fights back and hits a Regal Cutter for a near fall. Regal applies a straitjacket stretch. RVD fights up and flips him off before hitting a superkick. RVD hits the ropes and goes for Rolling Thunder, but Regal gets the knees up. Regal connects with a Standing Tiger Bomb for another near fall. Regal immediately goes for a Regal Stretch, but RVD counters into an inside cradle for a two-count. Regal immediately forearms him and waves to the crowd. Regal goes for another tiger bomb, but RVD powers him to the corner. RVD shoulders and punches him before whipping him to the corner. RVD waits like Regal was supposed to come out of the corner, but he didn’t. RVD then approaches and gives a half-hearted dropkick. RVD whips him to the opposite corner and hits a monkey flip. RVD gets the crowd going and punches Regal to the corner. RVD hits some shoulders and backflips. Regal goes for a running forearm, but RVD avoids it. RVD blocks a kick and goes for a stepover kick, but Regal counters into a half nelson suplex onto RVD’s head! RVD rolls out of the ring to recover. RVD’s mouth is also busted open.

Regal slowly rolls out of the ring to retrieve RVD. Regal puts RVD into the ring and retrieves his brass knuckles from ringside. Referee Brian Hebner catches Regal and takes them away! As Hebner throws the brass knuckles out of the ring, Regal reaches into his tights and grabs another pair. RVD drops Regal with a spin kick and pulls himself to the top rope. RVD crushes Regal with a Five Star Frog Splash and crawls over for the victory!

Winner by Pinfall and new WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rob Van Dam

Rob Van Dam takes the WWF Intercontinental Championship and holds it up in the air. RVD celebrates on the turnbuckles. Replays show what happened at the end of the match.

Mike’s Thoughts: This is William Regal’s second year in a row opening WrestleMania in the WWF Intercontinental Championship match. This time he came in as the champion and dropped the title to Rob Van Dam. For a Regal vs. RVD match, I have to say this was a little disappointing. There were a few miscues (early on, Regal couldn’t dig the brass knuckles out of his tights, an omen of what was to come). The match was really short and things just kind of happened. Regal had been using the classic Power of the Punch in the lead-up to this, so RVD was able to thwart that. RVD was a little sloppy in this. At times, he stiffed Regal and busted his mouth, leading to Regal giving him a receipt by dumping him on his head. At other times, he was trying to work safely (as safely as RVD could ever work with his strikes, that is) and looked terrible trying to pull things. I remember watching this on PPV in 2002, and it didn’t hold up.

Lilian Garcia is backstage with Christian, who is doing a goofy smile. Garcia asks if lightning can strike twice and we can see another title change hands. Christian is going for the WWF European Championship in his hometown of Toronto.

A replay is shown from this past Monday’s RAW. DDP hit Billy Gunn with a Diamond Cutter to help Christian defeat “The One” Billy Gunn. Christian attacked DDP after the match.

Garcia asks why Christian turned on him after everything DDP did for him. Christian said he won that match on his own. Once he got back to his winning ways, he didn’t need DDP. After he became a huge international star, he got out of this second-rate city and moved to Florida. Christian is over his temper tantrums and is ready to become the Champion of Europe. Christian is a winner. For DDP, that’s not a good thing… that’s a bad thing. Christian mocks DDP’s smile again and walks off.

We take a look high above the SkyDome in Toronto.

“CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIAN! At last, you’re on your own…”

Christian makes his way to the ring to one of the most underrated theme songs in WWF history. Howard Finkel says Christian is “now hailing from Tampa, Florida.”

WWF European Championship
Christian vs. Diamond Dallas Page (c)

As DDP slides into the ring, Christian attacks him. The bell rings to start the match, even though DDP is down. Christian holds up the European Championship. DDP punches Christian, but he has a whip reversed on him. They trade punches before DDP hits a gutwrench gutbuster. DDP then clotheslines him over the top rope. DDP removes his ring vest before sending Christian into the barricade. DDP bounces him off the apron and gets him back in the ring. Christian stumbles to the corner, so DDP starts the 10 punches. Christian gets a low blow, but the referee doesn’t catch it. Christian then gives DDP snake eyes on the top turnbuckle. Christian connects with a front suplex on the top rope before hitting the ropes and knocking him off the apron into the barricade. Christian mocks DDP’s smile and puts him back in the ring. Christian stomps away at DDP and chokes him with his boot. Christian punches away at him in the corner and mocks the Diamond Cutter taunt. DDP turns Christian around and punches away at him. DDP slides under a boot and sweeps the feet. DDP goes to drive him crotch-first into the ring post, but Christian counters by pulling him into the ring post. Christian gets DDP back in the ring, but DDP starts fighting back. Christian cuts him off and applies an abdominal stretch. DDP fights out and goes for a discus clothesline, but Christian counters into a reverse DDT backbreaker. Christian covers for a two-count. Christian argues the count with the referee.

Christian attacks DDP, but DDP reverses a whip. Christian elbows DDP back and heads to the top rope. DDP cuts him off and slams him off the top rope. Both men are down. DDP pulls himself up to his feet and hits a discus clothesline. Christian reverses a whip into the ropes, but he ducks to avoid a punch from DDP. DDP catches him with a spinning sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Christian fights back and flips through a back suplex. Christian goes for the Un-Prettier, but DDP counters into a Diamond Cutter attempt. Christian fights it and hits a reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian is starting to lose his temper, but he manages to calm himself down using the technique DDP taught him. Christian goes over to DDP, but DDP catches him with an inside cradle for a near fall. DDP blocks a kick and spins him around. They forget what comes next for a split second, which looked awkward. DDP then hits a Diamond Cutter for the victory.

Winner by Pinfall and still WWF European Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

DDP grabs a microphone and says he’s proud of Christian. Not only did he lose tonight, but he didn’t lose his temper. That’s impressive. Christian controlled his anger even though he lost in front of 67,000 fans in the SkyDome and the gazillions watching at home. That’s not a bad thing… that’s a good thing. Christian flips out and throws a temper tantrum as DDP celebrates in the crowd.

Mike’s Thoughts: Maybe slightly better than a WWF RAW TV match for that time period, but not much more. It’s just nice that this is Diamond Dallas Page’s one WrestleMania match. What a great person he is. I’m glad he had his moment on a WrestleMania card. The gimmick was goofy, but he made it work. Christian’s theme song in this was so awesome. His overall look… it was a good thing he cut his hair.

The Rock is backstage with Jonathan Coachman. The crowd gives The Rock a big ovation before the booing sets in. Coach says this is the biggest night of The Rock’s career and the biggest match in the history of this business. The Rock silences Coach, and you can really hear the boos. A “Rocky” chant slightly breaks through. “Finally, The Rock has come back to Toronto!” The stage is set for the biggest match-up of all time. This will determine who will go down as the greatest ever. Last week, Hulk Hogan asked him, “What’cha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?” What Hogan fails to realize is that The Rock wants Hulkamania to run wild on him and have it in all its glory.

The Rock looks at Coach. The Rock asks if Coach took his vitamins this morning. Coach says he did, which leads to The Rock mocking him. The Rock asks if Coach did his prayers. Coach says he got busy. The Rock says he always gives thanks. The Rock asks if the people want to see The Coach say his prayers. The crowd cheers. The people believe in The Coach, as does The Rock. The Rock makes Coach get on his knees to say his prayers like he’s never said them before. Coach says, “What up, G? Coach here…” The Rock is shocked and asks what in the blue hell is wrong with him. Rock kicks him away and calls him a “sick freak.” You don’t give thanks like that.

The Rock goes back to Hulk Hogan. What is Hulk Hogan going to do when he faces The Rock tonight and has butterflies in his Hulka-stomach, and he reaches down to see if he still has a Hulka-strudel. What’cha gonna do when The Rock runs wild on YOU? The Rock will tell Hogan what he’ll do. He’ll feel the electricity like he’s never felt before. Hogan will hear 70,000 strong chanting their names. Hogan will see The People’s Elbow come crashing down on his chest. Above all else, Hogan will smell what The Rock is cookin’.

The WWE Network cut something out here.

WWF Hardcore Championship
Goldust vs. Maven (c)

Before the match, Goldust threw some gold-painted garbage cans in the ring. The winner of the first-ever Tough Enough competition comes into the match as the Hardcore Champion.

Goldust attacks Maven getting in the ring and knocks him to the floor. Goldust clubs the back and whips him hard into the barricade. The two WWF superfans the used to wear bright pink and green jackets (look like husband and wife) nearly got hit by Maven’s boots. Goldust knocks him off the barricade and smacks him in the back with a cookie sheet. Goldust gets Maven in the ring and hits a catapult that is supposed to send Maven into a garbage can, but it’s mistimed and off. Maven throws the garbage can, but Goldust catches it. Maven dropkicks it in his face, but he way overshoots and nearly misses the garbage can completely. That looked horrific. Maven covers for a two-count. Goldust punches and goes for a suplex, but Maven counters into an inside cradle for a two-count. Goldust hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Goldust hits a front suplex and goes under the ring for a golden shovel. Goldust puts it under Maven and steps on it to snap it into his ribs. Goldust kicks him and wedges the garbage can in the corner of the ring. Goldust punches Maven and whips him into the garbage can for a two-count. Goldust goes under the ring and grabs a gold trash can lid. Maven also grabs a lid, and they take each other out with dual lid shots.

Spike Dudley runs down to the ring with his own referee and covers Maven to win the Hardcore Championship.

Winner by Pinfall and new WWF Hardcore Champion: Spike Dudley

Spike Dudley grabs the Hardcore Championship before running away as Crash Holly runs down and chases him through the crowd. Goldust also runs after them, as does Maven.

Mike’s Thoughts: This was terrible. There have been worse WrestleMania matches, but not many. The excitement over Maven following the Royal Rumble shocker of eliminating The Undertaker had all but worn off. The same can be said for the other people that came back at the Rumble, like Goldust, Mr. Perfect, and The Godfather.

Later tonight, Chris Jericho will defend the WWF Undisputed Championship against Triple H. The screen blacks out again. It looks like there’s a sponsor for the show that was in the graphic that they don’t have permission to use, so they have to continually cut at odd times.

Drowning Pool performs “Tear Away” as a video of the WWF Undisputed Championship match story plays.

Mike’s Thoughts: Wow, I remember what an awesome band Drowning Pool was. It bums me out that Dave Williams, the lead singer of the band, would be dead a few months later from a heart muscle disease. At the time when he died so suddenly at 30, everyone thought it was another rocker gone from drugs. It was actually an undiagnosed heart defect. Music lives on forever. May he rest in peace.

We go backstage to see Crash Holly attacking the new Hardcore Champion Spike Dudley. Holly sends Dudley into the concrete wall and covers him for a two-count. Al Snow drives up in a golf cart with Referee Teddy Long, but they crash into a wall of cardboard boxes that are there for some reason. Holly sends Dudley into a steel garage door, but Dudley escapes. The Hurricane swings in on a rope and just ever so slightly grazes Dudley with a kick, but it’s enough to render him unconscious. The Hurricane covers Dudley to win the WWF Hardcore Championship before running away. Al Snow emerges from the wreckage and wonders what happened.

Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler discuss what just happened with the WWF Hardcore Championship. They show replays of The Hurricane beating Spike Dudley for the title.

Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring and does not look happy as the crowd chants, “You suck” to the tune of his theme song. Angle takes the microphone from Howard Finkel. Angle has something to say. If he’d have won his Olympic Gold Medal the way this country’s figure skaters won their gold medals, he’d want to shoot himself in the freakin’ head. Unlike how their medalists won, he didn’t win his Gold Medal by whining and complaining. Angle won it the old-fashioned way by earning it because he is the Big Red, White, and Blue Machine.

Kane’s pyrotechnics interrupt him.

Kurt Angle vs. Kane

Right after Kane makes the ring posts explode with fire, Kurt Angle smashes Kane in the head with the ring bell. The referee admonishes Angle and gets the bell out of the ring. Without even checking on Kane to see if he’s able to compete, the match begins.

Angle punches away at Kane. Kane stumbles around the ring before answering with some right hands. Angle ducks a right hand and hits a German Suplex. Angle stomps him in the face and drags him to the corner before stomping him some more. Kane pulls himself up to his feet and punches away at Angle before hitting an uppercut. Kane sends him into the ropes and connects with a back elbow. Kane stomps and punches Angle in the corner. Kane whips Angle hard into the corner and hits a tree slam. Angle gets to his feet. Kane grabs him by the throat, but Angle grabs the top rope. Kane then takes him down with a clothesline. Kane punches Angle in the corner and whips him to the opposite corner. Angle avoids a running clothesline, but Kane elbows him back. Angle ducks a clothesline and hits the giant Kane with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle sizes him up and takes Kane down with a clothesline as he gets to his feet. Kane tries to get to his feet again, but Angle drops him with a stiff lariat. Angle stomps away at Kane and kicks him in the ribs. Angle chokes Kane on the middle rope before punching him. Kane fights back, but Angle sends him sternum-first into the turnbuckles and hits a back suplex for a two-count.

Angle grabs Kane and applies a front facelock. Kane soon fights up and throws Angle off. Angle gets to his feet holding his ribs and continues punching away at Kane. Angle hits the ropes, but Kane connects with a sidewalk slam. Kane goes for a vertical suplex, but Angle slides out and hits a trio of German Suplexes. Angle covers for a near fall. Angle goes to the top rope and hits Kane with a diving lariat, one of Kane’s signature moves. Angle taunts the crowd. Angle heads back to the top rope for another diving lariat, but Kane clotheslines him out of midair.

Both men are down. They get up at the count of five and exchange punches. Angle knees Kane in the ribs and punches away at him. Kane reverses a whip and hits a big boot. Kane takes Angle down with a clothesline followed by a back body drop. Kane hits a corner clothesline before whipping him to the opposite corner and hitting a powerslam for a near fall. Kane whips Angle to the corner, but Angle elbows him back. Angle charges, but Kane hits him with a Chokeslam. Kane covers, but Angle grabs the bottom rope to break the pin. Kane signals for the end. Kane goes for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Angle pulls on Kane’s mask and hits an Olympic Slam for a near fall. Angle cannot believe Kane kicked out. Angle pulls the straps down and applies an Ankle Lock. Kane screams in pain and rolls out of it. Angle quickly grabs the ankle and puts the Ankle Lock back on. Kane crawls and grabs the bottom rope. Angle won’t let go, so Kane (sort of) hits an enzuigiri. Kane heads to the top rope. Angle stumbles to his feet and charges to hit Kane with a belly-to-belly superplex. Angle waits for Kane to get up and goes for an Olympic Slam. Kane gets out and tries for a Chokeslam, but Angle gets out. Angle takes him down, but they’re out of position for the finish. There’s a lot of fumbling, and Angle finally gets a foot on the bottom rope to pin Kane.

Winner by Pinfall: Kurt Angle

Mike’s Thoughts: I’m cycling through in my head all of the matches Kurt Angle has had at WrestleMania… this one may be the worst. There was nothing overtly bad about it, but there was nothing good either. This is one of many matches on this card that were just thrown together to get people on the card. Come to think of it, this is the second year in a row Kurt Angle had a match on the card that was created just to get him on the card. For WrestleMania X-Seven, his match with Chris Benoit was made that week. Surprising that they didn’t really factor Kurt Angle into WrestleMania plans more convincingly considering how great he was early on for the company.

WWF Hardcore Champion The Hurricane is sneaking around backstage. The Hurricane grabs a broomstick and hides behind a see-through screen. Some of The Godfather’s ladies walk in and begin taking off their shirts. Behind the screen, The Hurricane begins raising up the broomstick in a suggestive manner. The girls scream, prompting The Godfather to run in and chase The Hurricane off.

Mike’s Thoughts: This is the typical WWF comedy that would make Vince McMahon laugh and no one else.

Video Package: The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair

No Disqualification Match
The Undertaker vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair

As “The Nature Boy” makes his way to the ring, he takes off his iconic robe halfway down the aisle and charges to the ring. Flair gets in the ring and immediately begins attacking The Undertaker. The bell rings to start the match. “Little Naitch” Charles Robinson is the referee for this match. Flair punches Undertaker out of the ring and tackles him over the commentary table. Flair wildly punches Undertaker in the face a bunch of times. Undertaker stumbles around ringside and punches Flair back, but Flair continues to attack him. Undertaker knocks him back and gets in the ring. Flair follows Undertaker into the ring and punches him out of the ring again before letting out a “WOO!” Flair jumps off the apron, but Undertaker catches him and drives him into the ring post spine-first.

Undertaker punches Flair down before bouncing him off the commentary table. Undertaker gets Flair in the ring. Flair punches away at the Undertaker as he gets in the ring. Undertaker throws Flair into the corner and punches him down. Undertaker head-butts Flair and whips him hard to the opposite corner. Flair attempts to do the spot where he rolls up the turnbuckles, but he essentially lawn-darts himself into the turnbuckles instead. Undertaker grabs him and puts him in the opposite corner. Undertaker elbows him in the face and punches him down. Undertaker whips him to the opposite corner again. This time, Flair successfully rolls up the turnbuckles and lands on the apron, only for The Undertaker to big boot him down to ringside. Undertaker is bleeding from the cheek.

Undertaker gets out of the ring and says, “Now we go to school.” Undertaker punches Flair and sits him in a chair at ringside. Undertaker punches away at Flair before sauntering around. Flair gets to his feet and is busted wide open from the punches. Undertaker punches away at the cut and gets him in the ring. Undertaker punches away at Flair in the corner. Flair does a Flair flop. His face is a crimson mask. Flair chops away at Undertaker before having a whip to the corner reversed. Undertaker immediately follows up with a corner clothesline before booting him in the head. Undertaker punches away at Flair’s head. Drops of Flair’s blood are on the camera lens. Undertaker sends Flair to the corner and hits another corner clothesline. Undertaker puts Flair on the top rope and punches him. Undertaker slowly climbs the ropes and punches him. Undertaker then stands on the top rope and gives Flair an enormous superplex! Undertaker crawls over and covers, but he pulls Flair up at two to continue the punishment.

Undertaker digs a forearm into Flair’s face. Flair chops him, but Undertaker takes him down. Undertaker lays him over the apron and elbows him in the throat. Undertaker climbs onto the apron and hits Flair with a guillotine leg drop. Undertaker gets in the ring and covers Flair, but he pulls him up once again at two. Undertaker gets him to his feet and easily punches him down. Undertaker goes for an elbow drop, but Flair rolls out of the way. Flair punches and chops him back. Undertaker punches him down and goes for Old School, but Flair slams him off the top rope. Flair chops the chest and hits the ropes, but Undertaker drops him with a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Undertaker goes for a big boot, but Flair ducks. Undertaker is hung up on the top rope. Flair chops the chest and punches him out of the ring. Flair gets out of the ring and rakes the eyes before grabbing a lead pipe from The Undertaker’s motorcycle. Flair cracks Undertaker in the head with the pipe. Undertaker is busted open. Flair continues to hit Undertaker with the lead pipe before Undertaker tackles him into the ring apron. Undertaker attacks Flair on the ramp, but Flair grabs a metal sign and hits him a few times with it. Undertaker retreats to the ring.

Flair gets in the ring and punches away at the cut in the Undertaker’s head. Flair punches him in the face and hits the ropes, but Undertaker grabs him by the throat. Flair gets out of the chokeslam with a low blow! Flair takes him down and applies the Figure Four Leglock! Flair cinches it in, and Undertaker screams in pain. Undertaker appears to pass out from the pain and gives Flair a two-count, but he quickly sits up and grabs him by the throat. Undertaker then connects with a Chokeslam. Undertaker’s leg gives out during the move. Undertaker covers, but Flair kicks out. Undertaker is shocked. Undertaker punches away at him and picks up another two-count.

An irate Undertaker grabs referee Charles Robinson and drives him into the turnbuckles. Undertaker grabs the lead pipe, but Flair kicks him in the knee and chops the chest. Flair sends him into the ropes. Arn Anderson gets in the ring and hits Undertaker with a Double A Spinebuster! Flair covers, but Undertaker kicks out and sends Flair out of the ring. Undertaker attacks Anderson and busts him open. Undertaker gets Anderson in the ring and big boots him down. Undertaker locks Anderson in the Dragon Sleeper. Flair attacks Undertaker with a steel chair and lays in some shots to the spine. Undertaker quickly takes Flair down with a big boot. Undertaker goes for a Last Ride Powerbomb, but he can’t get Flair up all the way. Undertaker drops Flair and instead hits him with the Tombstone Piledriver for the victory.

Winner by Pinfall: The Undertaker

Charles Robinson raises up The Undertaker’s arm, so The Undertaker viciously clotheslines him down. Undertaker heads to the apron and holds up ten fingers for his 10th WrestleMania victory. The Undertaker is 10-0 at WrestleMania.

Mike’s Thoughts: This is a strange match. On one hand, it’s the best thing on the show so far. On the other, it’s a glorified squash match on Ric Flair. Flair fondly remembers this match as giving him his confidence back. That one spot that Flair botched trying to roll up the turnbuckles was embarrassing, but Undertaker grabbed him and let him redo the spot. Still, they really booked Flair like quite a chump in this. Twice the Undertaker had him dead to rights and lifted his shoulders like a basic job guy. The stuff with Arn Anderson was fun. Great to see that Double A Spinebuster. It was good… just weird. Flair bled a lot in this. Flair’s last WrestleMania match was against Randy Savage at WrestleMania 8. Flair bladed himself and got fined by Vince McMahon for doing so. I doubt the same thing happened on this night.

Michael Cole is backstage with Booker T, who is wearing glasses and looking pumped up. Cole says Undertaker just got his tenth WrestleMania victory. Booker T is looking for his first WrestleMania victory. Edge got an endorsement deal on a shampoo commercial in Japan and has questioned Booker T’s intelligence. Booker T says he’s a highly intelligent man and points out his glasses. Booker T says he was ranked number one in his class and aced the SATs. Now can you dig that? Booker T won an award in his high school for Einstein’s Theory of Relatives. Cole corrects him and says it’s the Theory of Relativity. Booker T tells him to shut up and says Einstein had two theories. Booker T says Edge isn’t smarter or better than him, nor as good-looking. After tonight, Edge will be a spokesman for a new product. It’ll be a new book about how he got his ass kicked by the 5-time WCW Champion. Now can you dig that, sucka?

We take a look outside the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada once again.

Booker T vs. Edge

There’s a sign in the front row that says, “They are fighting over shampoo.” They are. That’s a shoot.

The bell rings, and this match begins. They lock up and tussle around the ring for position. They trade punches with Edge coming out on top. Booker T hooks a side headlock, but Edge whips him off. Booker T shoulder tackles him down. Booker T hits the ropes again, but Edge leapfrogs him and hits a dropkick. Edge hits a facebuster for a one-count. Edge clubs the spine and punches him. Booker T reverses a whip and hotshots him on the top rope. Booker T hits a nice spin kick for a two-count. Booker T then clotheslines Edge over the top rope. Booker T gets on the apron and dives off with a club to Edge’s spine.

Booker T sends Edge into the ring and goes to the top rope for a missile dropkick. Booker T covers for a two-count. Booker T punches away at him in the corner and stomps him down. Edge fights back and punches him before chopping the chest. Booker T reverses a whip and hits a nasty snap spinebuster for a near fall. Booker T goes back to the top rope, but Edge crotches him up there. Edge punches away at him and climbs to the top rope. They astonishingly botch a top rope hurricanrana that sees Booker T land on top of Edge. I’ve never seen that move botched like that. Edge hits Booker T with a wheel kick and a pair of clotheslines. Booker T quickly knees him in the midsection and goes for a Scissors Kick, but Edge avoids it. Edge hits the Edge-O-Matic for a two-count. Edge goes to the top rope and hits a diving wheel kick for another near fall. Edge sends Booker T to the corner, but Booker T catches him with an Oklahoma Roll for a two-count. Edge quickly grabs him and catapults him to the corner. Edge goes for a Spear, but Booker T leapfrogs him. Booker T then superkicks him down.

The crowd comes to their feet as Booker T is overcome and hits the Spinaroonie. Booker T drops Edge with a Scissors Kick for a near fall. Booker T hilariously shouts, “WHAAT?” Booker T shouts for Edge to get up. Edge elbows him in the head and hits an arm drag. Edge connects with a Spear for a near fall. Edge gets fired up and does his own version of a spinaroonie. Edge ducks a kick and goes for the Edgecution. Booker T gets out, but Edge soon ducks a kick and hits the Edgecution for the victory.

Winner by Pinfall: Edge

Mike’s Thoughts: Well, one positive about this is it’s the first match on the card that didn’t feature an attack during the entrances. WWF started really building up Edge in 2001, starting with making him the King of the Ring and splitting him from Christian. Edge had a few runs with the Intercontinental Championship and was shaping up to become a player. It was well known that Edge had gone to WrestleMania 6, which was also held in the SkyDome in 1990, and decided he wanted to be a WWF Superstar at that event. There’s a beautiful ready-made storyline right here as he returns to the SkyDome having fulfilled his dream. Naturally, the WWF booked him in an incredible storyline to play off this real-life history… a gift from the wrestling gods. Wrong. Instead, they have nothing for him and fabricate a fake Japanese shampoo commercial endorsement angle with Booker T just to get them on the card. Edge and Booker T fought over a fake shampoo commercial. Now can you dig that, sucka?

We go backstage to see WWF Hardcore Champion The Hurricane sneaking around. The Coach catches up with him and asks about his interactions with The Godfather’s escorts. Hurricane says he’s not a Hurri-perv. Mighty Molly comes up and hits him in the head. Molly covers for the victory and becomes the new WWF Hardcore Champion. Mighty Molly runs off.

Video Package: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall w/ Kevin Nash

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin watched Scott Hall’s entrance for as long as he could before finally just attacking him. The match begins. Austin stomps a mudhole into Hall before sending him into the ropes for a back elbow. Austin bounces him off the turnbuckle and chops the chest a few times. Hall is still wearing his ring vest. Hall fights back with some right hands. Austin reverses a whip. Hall ducks a clothesline, but Austin quickly catches him with a Lou Thesz Press followed by some punches. Austin drops an elbow and bounces him a bunch of times off the top turnbuckle. Austin sends Hall into the ropes, but Hall grabs the ropes and pulls himself out of the ring to recover. Hall finally removes his ring vest. Austin goes outside the ring and attacks Kevin Nash from behind, sending him into the ring post. Austin bounces Hall off the commentary table and chops the chest before bouncing him off the steel steps. Austin gets Hall into the ring and sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Hall then takes Austin down with a lariat for a two-count.

Hall stomps Austin, who is dazed right now. Hall pushes Austin to the corner and chops the chest. On the other side of the ring, Nash removes the top turnbuckle pad. Austin turns Hall around and punches away at him in the corner. Hall reverses a whip to the opposite corner, and Austin hits the exposed turnbuckle. Hall chokes Austin before pushing him out of the ring. Nash takes Austin down at ringside with a pair of right hands. Hall goes outside and gets Austin to his feet before rocking him with a right hand. Hall stomps Austin and whips him to the corner. Hall follows him in for a corner clothesline. Hall sends Austin to the opposite corner and hits another corner clothesline. Hall hits his trademark fallaway slam for a near fall. Hall sends Austin into the ropes. Austin tries for a hip toss, but Hall counters into an arm-trap clothesline for a two-count. Hall chokes Austin on the ropes. As Referee Tim White admonishes Hall, Nash gets a cheap shot on Austin. Hall stomps away at Austin before Nash gets another cheap shot in. Hall has a whip reversed on him, and Austin catches him with a snap spinebuster.

Both men are down. Nash looks ominously into the ring. Hall gets to his feet and punches Austin down. Hall waits for Austin to get up and lays in some more right hands. Hall hits the ropes, but Austin catches him with a Stone Cold Stunner! Austin covers, but Nash pulls Tim White out of the ring and punches him down before the count of three. Nash gets in the ring and punches Austin down. Hall goes outside and grabs a steel chair. Nash holds Austin up. Austin kicks Hall away and low blows Nash. Austin catches Hall with a Stone Cold Stunner before hitting Kevin Nash with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin covers Hall, but there’s no referee. All of a sudden, Jack Doane slides into the ring and starts to count, but Nash crushes him with an elbow drop. Austin punches away at Nash and clotheslines him out of the ring. Hall quickly kicks Austin and goes for an Outsider’s Edge, but Austin gives him a back body drop over the top rope.

Austin pulls himself to the apron to recover. A bunch of WWF referees come out and manage to eject Kevin Nash from ringside. Austin punches away at Hall at ringside and puts him back in the ring. Austin goes for a Stone Cold Stunner, but Hall pushes Austin into the exposed turnbuckle. Hall hits Austin with a Stone Cold Stunner and covers. The original referee Tim White crawls into the ring and starts to count, but Austin kicks out at two. Austin gets to his feet and sends Hall into the exposed turnbuckle. Austin hits Hall with a Stone Cold Stunner, but Hall doesn’t go down. Austin then sends Hall FLYING with a second Stone Cold Stunner for the victory!

Winner by Pinfall: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin celebrates his victory with a WrestleMania beer bash.

Mike’s Thoughts: Even though they went and had a decent match, you can tell the nWo was not long for the world in the WWF. Their debut at No Way Out 2002 was quite lame, and backstage drama and paranoia from the roster had really cut their legs out. Steve Austin, who was really going through a lot around this time, did not want to work with Scott Hall whatsoever. He had to be convinced to do so and then promptly no-showed for the next two weeks after this match. Austin had been speaking out against things happening in the company, which would ultimately lead to him walking out of the company in June 2002. On this night, Austin didn’t look to be in great shape, and his misery showed. I doubt he enjoyed a single moment of this event. Though it was great to see Scott Hall have one final WrestleMania match (his first since 1995), this match ultimately was just there on the card. So unusual for a “Stone Cold” match. It really didn’t mean much.

Video Package: WWF WrestleMania Axxess

Saliva performs the theme song of The Dudley Boyz. The Dudley Boyz and Stacy Keibler dance with them.

WWF Tag Team Championship
4-Corner Elimination Tag Team Match

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) w/ Stacy Keibler vs. The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) vs. Billy and Chuck (c’s)

As Billy and Check get into the ring, The APA attacks them. Bradshaw sends Chuck into the ropes and hits a back elbow. Chuck ducks a clothesline, but Bradshaw catches him in a fallaway slam attempt. Billy runs in and takes Bradshaw down before he can hit his partner with the maneuver. Bradshaw soon catches Billy with the fallaway slam. Bradshaw boots Chuck in the head and viciously clubs the back. Bradshaw lays in a chop and spikes him with a back suplex. Bradshaw kicks and punches Chuck before tagging Faarooq in. Faarooq punches Chuck down before whipping him to the corner. Chuck comes back with a clothesline and a spinning right hand. Billy tags in. Billy and Chuck double-stomp Faarooq before Billy chokes him. Billy punches Faarooq down for a two-count. Billy goes for a Famouser, but Faarooq hits a powerslam. Bradshaw tags in and runs over Billy and Chuck. Bradshaw hits Billy with a DDT for a near fall. Faarooq punched Chuck down during that. Billy desperately tags in D-Von Dudley. D-Von is quickly taken down. Faarooq crushes Bubba Ray with his patented spinebuster. Faarooq then annihilates Chuck with that patented spinebuster at ringside! In the ring, Bradshaw avoids an avalanche from Billy and hits the ropes. Bradshaw crushes Billy with the Clothesline from Hell! D-Von, the legal competitor, sneaks up behind Bradshaw. The Dudley Boyz hit Bradshaw with the 3D for the elimination.

The APA has been eliminated from the match.

The Hardy Boyz immediately run in and attack The Dudley Boyz. The Hardy Boyz send Bubby Ray into the ropes and hit a double-team back body drop. They then take D-Von down with a double back elbow and some tandem offense for a two-count. Chuck runs in, but they attack him and hits a double-team DDT. Chuck’s head didn’t come close to the mat. The Dudley Boyz set up a table at ringside. The Hardy Boyz quickly wipe them out. Matt sends D-Von into the barricade. In the ring, Jeff attacks Bubba Ray and hits the Whisper in the Wind. Jeff takes off his shirt before being distracted by Stacy Keibler. She hikes up her shorts to reveal her backside. Jeff slaps her on her rump and kisses her. She falls off the apron. Jeff attacks Bubby Ray and gets on his shoulders. Billy Gunn comes off the top rope and does a Doomsday Device on Jeff with Bubby Ray’s assistance. Bubba Ray hits Billy with a Bubba Bomb. Bubba Ray chokes Jeff. It appears they are the legal competitors. Bubba Ray chops the chest before punching him in the face. Bubba Ray sends Jeff into the corner and attacks him with a club to the back. Bubba Ray sends him to the corner, but Jeff boots him back. D-Von grabs Jeff and whips him into the ropes. Bubba Ray hits a huge back body drop for a near fall. Bubba Ray applies a chin lock. Jeff fights up and sends Bubba Ray into the ropes. D-Von blind tags in and runs over Jeff with a clothesline. D-Von covers for a two-count. D-Von punches him down in the corner before stomping him. Referee Nick Patrick admonishes D-Von. D-Von hits a textbook vertical suplex for another two-count. Bubba Ray tags back in and punches away at Jeff. Bubba Ray gets him trapped in the tree of woe and stomps away at him. Bubba Ray then climbs the ropes and stands on his crotch. Matt runs in and knocks Bubba Ray out of the ring. D-Von runs in and knocks Matt off the apron. D-Von tags in and chokes Jeff. D-Von sends Jeff into the ropes and hits a twisting back elbow. Jeff reverses a whip and hits a reverse DDT.

Bubba Ray and Matt tag in. Matt hits a pair of clotheslines and a DDT. D-Von runs in, but Matt hits him with a back body drop and sends him out of the ring. Matt also knocks Billy and Chuck off the apron. Bubba Ray takes Matt down and goes to the second rope for a diving senton splash, but Matt moves. Matt hits a diving leg drop for a two-count. Bubba Ray slams Matt down and tells D-Von to get up. D-Von goes to the top rope, but Billy pushes D-Von off the top rope through the table at ringside. Matt hits Bubba Ray with a Twist of Fate, and Jeff follows up with a Swanton Bomb. Matt covers to eliminate him.

The Dudley Boyz have been eliminated from the match.

It’s down to the Hardy Boyz and the WWF Tag Team Champions Billy and Chuck. Chuck runs over Jeff with a clothesline before hitting Matt with a superkick. Chuck covers for a two-count. Jeff takes Chuck down and hits a double leg drop to the midsection. Billy throws Jeff out of the ring and goes for the One and Only, but Matt reverses into a Side Effect. Matt tags Jeff in. They hit Billy with Poetry in Motion. Matt punches Chuck back, and they hit him with Poetry in Motion. Matt hits Chuck with a Twist of Fate. Jeff then hits Chuck with a Swanton Bomb. Billy hits Jeff with a Famouser. Matt clotheslines Billy out of the ring. Chuck crawls over and covers Jeff for a near fall. Chuck cannot believe it. Billy runs in with a title belt and hits Jeff in the head with it. Chuck covers and this match is over.

Winners by Pinfall and still WWF Tag Team Champions: Billy and Chuck

Mike’s Thoughts: I remember not liking this match when I saw it in 2002. Probably some of it came from having seen the majority of these teams doing the same schtick for years, and it was just the same old, same old. The Hardy Boyz also just came off an ill-advised tag team breakup only for that storyline to just go away because it was so awful. Still, this was much better than I remembered. The crowd really didn’t seem to care, but they all worked super hard. Billy and Chuck were such a fun tag team in 2002. I forgot just how brutal the APA could be. They were laying in some nasty shots throughout this.

We go backstage to see Scott Hall talking with Kevin Nash about how “Stone Cold” Steve Austin got lucky. Hall says he’s better than Austin. Everyone knows it. Kevin Nash says it won’t happen twice. They’ll take it out on The Rock. Hollywood Hulk Hogan walks up and asks for a favor. Hogan says he needs to do this by himself. In his heart, he needs to find out if he’s the man. When he proves that he’s the man all alone nWo style for life, then that jabroni will have no excuses. It’ll be just like he did to Rocky Balboa. Hogan walks off. Nash and Hall say they’ll still get involved.

Elsewhere backstage, WWF Hardcore Champion Mighty Molly is frantically running backstage. She continues running until someone slams a door in her face. It’s revealed to be Christian. Christian says, “Stand back, there’s a new Hardcore Champion coming through.” Christian covers her to win the WWF Hardcore Championship and runs off.

Video Package: The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock

The energy level of the crowd at the start of this match is unreal. The crowd is really on Hollywood Hulk Hogan’s side in this. There is a smattering of “Rocky” chants. They go face-to-face in the center of the ring. Jim Ross calls this a WrestleMania moment before they even touch. Flashbulbs from all the cameras reflect off them. They each turn back and forth and look at the crowd.

The bell rings, and the crowd loudly applauds. They lock up, and Hogan powers him away before posing to ENORMOUS applause. Hogan tells The Rock to “just bring it.” Hogan applies a side headlock. A “Rocky sucks” chant picks up. Rock whips him off, but Hogan turns him inside out with a shoulder tackle before posing to an unreal ovation once again. Hogan tells Rock to bring it again. They lock up, and Hogan knees him in the ribs before clubbing him down. Hogan punches him and says, “You ain’t nothing, meatball!” Hogan sends him into the ropes and hits a clothesline. Hogan clubs Rock and sends him into the ropes. The Rock ducks a clothesline and drops Hogan with a diving clothesline. The Rock tells Hogan to “just bring it,” and the crowd loudly boos him. Hogan, who has removed his bandana, looks shocked. Hogan shoves Rock, so Rock shoves him back. Rock blocks a right hand and punches away at him. Rock tries to punch him over the top rope, but Hogan doesn’t go over. Hogan drops under the bottom rope instead.

Hogan walks around ringside to recover. The Rock attacks him at ringside and gets him back in the ring. The Rock lays some right hands in. Hogan reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. The Rock clotheslines him down, and the crowd is loudly booing him. The Rock stalks Hogan and goes for a Rock Bottom, but Hogan elbows out. Hogan punches The Rock down. Hogan sends him into the ropes and drives his elbow into his face. Hogan drops two elbows before raking the eyes with his foot. Hogan attacks Rock in the corner before whipping him across the ring and hitting a corner clothesline. Hogan sends him to the corner and attacks him with some punches. Hogan sends Rock into the ropes, but Rock spears him down and punches away at him. Rock gets to his feet and approaches him, but Hogan drops him with a back suplex for a two-count. Hogan argues the count with the referee.

Hogan applies an abdominal stretch to The Rock. Hogan school boys Rock for a two-count. Hogan rakes the back three times to a loud ovation. Hogan punches away at Rock in the corner before climbing the ropes and starting the 10 punches. Hogan then bites The Rock on the forehead. Rock turns Hogan and chops the chest to loud boos. Hogan reverses a whip to the opposite corner, but Rock elbows him back. Rock charges, but Hogan hits him with a chokeslam. Hogan continues to choke The Rock. Hogan takes off his wrist tape and chokes Rock with it. Hogan gets Rock to his feet. Rock blocks some punches and punches Hogan back. The Rock hits the ropes and charges, but Hogan sends him over the top rope. Hogan bounces Rock off the steel steps and drops him on the barricade. Hogan clears off the commentary table, but The Rock attacks him and bounces him off the table. The Rock grabs a steel chair, but the referee takes it away from him. Hogan then clotheslines Rock down on the floor. Hogan gets The Rock in the ring, but The Rock catches him with some punches. Hogan sends Rock into the ropes and into the referee. Hogan punches away at The Rock, but The Rock drops him with a spinebuster. Hogan slowly gets up, but Rock takes him down and applies a Sharpshooter. The crowd is not happy with this. Hogan crawls to the bottom rope and grabs it, but Rock drags him to the center of the ring. Hogan taps out, but the referee is down. The Rock releases the hold and tries to shake life into the referee. Hogan low blows The Rock and hits him with the Rock Bottom to a huge pop. The referee revives and counts, but The Rock kicks out at two and a half!

Hogan takes off his weightlifting belt and smacks The Rock on the back a few times. Hogan sends him into the ropes and tries to punch him with the belt, but Rock ducks it and hits a DDT. The Rock grabs the belt and whips Hogan with it for some revenge. The crowd loudly boos The Rock. The Rock hits Hogan with the Rock Bottom, but Hogan kicks out at two! Hogan begins to Hulk Up! The crowd is going absolutely wild. Hogan wags a finger at The Rock. Hogan hits three punches to the head, sends him into the ropes, and hits a big boot. Hogan hits the ropes and drops his Atomic Leg Drop! Jim Ross shouts, “He beat Andre the Giant with that move!” Hogan covers 1… 2… THE ROCK KICKS OUT! The crowd goes ballistic. Hogan cannot believe it.

Hogan grabs The Rock and punches him back against the ropes. Hogan big boots him down again. Hogan tries for another Atomic Leg Drop, but The Rock moves. The Rock hits Hogan with the Rock Bottom. The crowd loudly boos him. The Rock pulls Hogan to his feet and hits a second Rock Bottom. The Rock kips up and stands over Hogan. The Rock throws his elbow pad into the crowd and hits the ropes. The Rock connects with the People’s Elbow for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: The Rock

The Rock poses after this career-defining victory. After a few moments, Hogan turns The Rock around. They face off for a moment before Hogan extends a hand. Hogan is clutching his ribs with his other arm. The Rock thinks about it for a moment and shakes hands with Hogan. Hogan then turns away and signals to The Rock to pose on the turnbuckles. Hogan is passing the torch. The Rock checks on Hogan and smacks him on the shoulder before posing and leaving the ring.

An irate Scott Hall and Kevin Nash charge for the ring. They turn Hogan around and ask what he’s doing. Nash attacks Hogan from behind. Hall and Nash double-team Hogan until The Rock returns to the ring. The Rock clotheslines Nash out of the ring while Hogan punches away at Hall. Hogan then sends Hall over the top rope. The Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan stand tall in the ring. Hall and Nash are furious. Hogan is not happy.

Hogan goes to leave the ring, but The Rock stops him. The Rock asks the crowd if they want to see Hogan pose. Hogan declines, but The Rock insists. The crowd chants for Hogan. Hogan poses for all four sides of the ring to great applause. The Rock can only smile at watching the old legend do his thing. The Rock holds the ropes open for Hogan, and they go up the ramp together. Hogan gives The Rock his seal of approval at the top of the stage and holds his arm up while pointing to him. The Rock looks incredibly humbled.

Mike’s Thoughts: To me, that’s what professional wrestling is all about. It’s not about how many incredible moves someone can do at a dizzying speed. It’s not about star ratings. It’s about the ability to create moments and make you feel something. There’s nothing better than a hot match where the fans are just going insane over it. This match had all of that and then some. Was the action great? Not really. If you watch this on mute, it’s probably nothing to write home about, but with the crowd, holy good lord. To their credit, they worked the match the way the storyline was built with Hogan doing all the heel tactics, including tapping out while the referee was down. It didn’t matter. The fans didn’t buy a ticket to boo Hulk Hogan on this night.

I’ve seen Hogan get a lot of guff through the years for stealing the spotlight in this match, but The Rock really didn’t lose much. This was not a repeat of The Ultimate Warrior situation from 1990 in the same building. Hogan was ready then. Hogan was playing by the rules in this one. You can say a lot about Hulk Hogan, and I’ve said my fair share about him through the years, particularly with his scandals and pathological lying, but he was perfect here tonight. The Rock, still just a young guy (I don’t even think he was 30 yet), lived up to his hype and solidified himself as a legend in this one, too.

You think about how different things could have gone for this WrestleMania if Steve Austin wasn’t so burned out and decided that he would work with Hulk Hogan. Does this match get the same heat if it’s Austin vs. Hogan? I’m not sure. This was a perfect moment in time.

Also, as a side note, probably my favorite single fan reaction is in this match. There’s a guy in the front row, dead center, who was taking pictures all night with a new fangled digital camera at the time. He was so into this match. When Hogan hit that Atomic Leg Drop, this guy was coming out of his skin. Gleefully counting with the referee, he thought it was over. When The Rock kicked out, he basically melted. The pure energy from that dude and his total suspension of disbelief always makes me smile. If anyone knows this legend (and has access to the amazing photos he was taking all night), salute this fan.

We go over to WWF New York. The Big Show is there and is posing with some fans.

Howard Finkel says their proud Canadian sponsor Pizza Pizza is pleased to announce they have set a new SkyDome record with 68,237 people in attendance.

WWF Women’s Championship
Jazz (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

Before Trish Stratus even gets to the ring, Lita and Jazz begin fighting. For whatever reason, the bell rings to start the match before all the competitors are in the ring. Trish and Lita double-team Jazz. Jazz fights them off. Jazz applies a single-leg crab to Trish before letting go and attacking Lita. Jazz hits Lita with a Chickenwing Slam before dropping a leg for a near fall. Jazz hits Lita with a double-arm suplex. Jazz head-butts Trish out of the ring. Lita takes Jazz down and punches away at her. Jazz reverses a whip, but Lita takes her down with a head-scissor takeover. Lita sends Jazz into the corner and hits a slam for a two-count. Jazz quickly rakes Lita’s eyes and snaps her off the top rope. Jazz puts Lita on the top rope and slaps her. Trish runs in and gets Jazz in the electric chair. Jazz easily punches out. Trish rolls her up for a two-count. Lita hits Trish with a cross-body block, but Trish rolls through for a two-count. Jazz attacks them, but they fight her off. Trish hits Lita with a bulldog, but Jazz breaks up the pin. Jazz hits Lita with a big splash for a two-count. Jazz hits Trish with a fisherman’s suplex, but Lita breaks it up. Jazz clubs Lita down. Jazz grabs Trish, but Trish slides off and hits a reverse DDT. Lita breaks up the pin. Trish gets in Lita’s face. They then turn and attack Jazz. Trish and Lita then attack each other. Lita goes for a back body drop. Trish looks like she’s supposed to land on her feet, but she falls. Lita goes for a Twist of Fate on Trish, but she releases her and hits Jazz with a Twist of Fate. Lita then slams Trish onto Jazz. Lita goes to the top rope for a Moonsault on them both, but Trish gets the knees up. Trish rolls Lita up for a two-count. Trish chops away at Lita. Lita reverses a whip to the corner, and they clunk heads. Jazz grabs Trish, but Trish catches her with a backslide pin for a two-count. Lita sends Jazz out of the ring. Lita goes for a back suplex on Trish, but she flips through. Trish goes for a bulldog, but Lita sends her into the turnbuckles. Lita goes to the top rope and sizes up Jazz. Trish sweeps the feet. Jazz knocks Lita off the apron. Jazz then crushes Lita with a fisherman’s superplex for the win.

Winner by Pinfall and still WWF Women’s Champion: Jazz

Mike’s Thoughts:  They definitely had their time cut in this one. It’s like they had a 12-minute match planned and only got 6 minutes to do it. By the end, they were just doing spots with no real meaning. Terrible, but up to this point, this was the best women’s match that’s ever been on WrestleMania.

We go to the backstage area to see WWF Hardcore Champion Christian getting into a taxi. Christian gloats to the driver before looking at the title and saying he can almost see himself in the reflection. Maven sneaks up and rolls Christian up to win back the WWF Hardcore Championship. Maven gets in the taxi and drives off with Christian’s luggage still in the trunk. Christian flips out and throws a tantrum.

Drowning Pool plays “The Game” as Triple H makes his way to the ring for the main event of the evening.

WWF Undisputed Championship
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (c) w/ Stephanie McMahon

The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Jericho goes after Triple H’s leg, which is heavily taped, but he avoids it. They lock up, and Triple H powers him to the corner. Jericho turns him around and grabs at the leg, but Triple H clubs him off and backs away. Triple H punches Jericho against the ropes, executes an Irish whip, and connects with a back body drop. Triple H gets Jericho to his feet and hits a pair of short-arm clotheslines. Jericho fights back with some chops. Triple H reverses a whip, but Jericho ducks a clothesline. Triple H catches him on the rebound with a Harley Race-style high knee to the face, but he quickly begins to hobble as that hurts his already injured leg. Triple H charges, but Jericho catches him with a back body drop over the top rope. Jericho goes to the second rope and taunts the crowd. Triple H jumps up to the apron and grabs Jericho before launching him off the top rope and into the barricade. Jericho falls over the barricade and lands in the crowd. Triple H grabs him and suplexes him back to the ringside area. Jericho’s body bounces off the floor with a nasty thud.

Triple H goes over to the Spanish commentary table and clears it off. Jericho quickly attacks the injured leg of Triple H and gets back in the ring. Stephanie McMahon shouts encouragement to Jericho. Jericho hits Triple H with a chop block in the ring and kicks away at the leg. Jericho backs up, and Triple H spears him down before punching away at him. Triple H begins dropping elbows on Jericho’s leg. Jericho is hobbling around now. Triple H kicks Jericho’s legs out from under him a few times. Jericho quickly rakes the eyes, but Triple H comes back with a kneebuster. Triple H then applies a Figure Four Leglock. The referee checks on Jericho, and Stephanie gets on the apron and gouges Triple H’s eyes to get him to release the hold. Triple H pulls Stephanie up to the apron and sidesteps Jericho, allowing him to spear Stephanie off the apron! Triple H gets Stephanie in the ring and grabs her by the hair. Triple H sets up for a Pedigree on the Billion Dollar Princess, but Jericho quickly takes him out with a missile dropkick. Jericho drags Triple H to the ring post and bounces his injured leg off the steel pole. Jericho gets Triple H in the ring and punches away at him before attacking the injured leg. Jericho applies a stretch muffler before bouncing the knee off the mat. Jericho taunts the crowd, but the crowd is largely quiet so far. Jericho pulls Triple H to the ring post and bounces the leg off it again. Stephanie walks up and slaps Triple H in the face. Jericho then applies a Figure Four around the ring post. The referee admonishes Jericho. Triple H attacks Jericho in the ring and snaps the leg. Jericho applies a toe hold and grabs the top rope for leverage. The crowd appears distracted by something else. Triple H kicks Jericho away and into the ring post.

Triple H ducks a clothesline and connects with a neckbreaker. Jericho gets up and kicks the leg, but Triple H takes him down with a clothesline for a two-count. Triple H has a whip reversed, but he quickly comes back with his trademark facebuster. Triple H landed on his bad knee and hobbles around. Jericho charges, but Triple H (sort of) sidesteps him. That looked terrible. Jericho gets up and hits the ropes, but Triple H hits a Double A Spinebuster for a near fall. Triple H has a whip reversed on him, and he flies over the top rope. Triple H screams in pain at ringside. Jericho clears off the English commentary table. JR asks what Jericho is doing. Jericho stomps Triple H and punches him onto the table. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho on the table, but Triple H kicks him in the face. Triple H sets up for a Pedigree on the table, but Jericho counters with a back body drop through the Spanish commentary table! Stephanie happily claps at ringside. Jericho gets Triple H in the ring and hits a Lionsault for a near fall. Jericho covers again, but Triple H kicks out at two.

Jericho is frustrated with the count. Jericho takes him down and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Triple H fights it and knocks Jericho back. Triple H counters a bulldog and goes for a Pedigree, but Jericho attacks the leg. Jericho then takes him down and applies the Walls of Jericho. The crowd slightly comes to life for this. Triple H screams in pain and claws for the bottom rope. Jericho quickly pulls him back to the center of the ring. Jericho is bleeding from the mouth. Referee Earl Hebner grabs Triple H’s arm, but it doesn’t drop a third time. Triple H then gets a head of steam and gets to the bottom rope to break the hold. Jericho flips out.

Jericho goes outside and throws timekeeper Mark Yeaton out of the way before grabbing a steel chair. Jericho gets in the ring. Stephanie is distracting the referee. Triple H kicks the chair in Jericho’s face and DDTs him on it, but Jericho kicks out at two. Stephanie gets in the ring and grabs the steel chair. She woefully telegraphs the move and goes in slow motion so Earl Hebner can rip the chair out of her hands. Triple H grabs his ex-wife by the hair and hits her with a Pedigree! Triple H shouts at Stephanie as Hebner gets her out of the ring. Jericho cracks Triple H in the head with the chair and picks up a near fall.

Jericho kicks Triple H in the midsection and goes for a Pedigree. Triple H counters by hitting a catapult, but Jericho lands on the second rope. Jericho goes for a springboard cross-body, but Triple H kicks him out of midair and hits a Pedigree for the victory!

Winner by Pinfall and new WWF Undisputed Champion: Triple H

Triple H celebrates with the WWF Undisputed Championship and poses on the turnbuckles.

Video Package: WrestleMania X8 highlights

Mike’s Thoughts: I remember being supremely bored watching this main event back in 2002. I thought after nearly 21 years, it might age well, but it didn’t. I even took a day off and waited to recap this main event to clear the feelings of Hogan and The Rock away, but it still wasn’t that great. It’s a typical Triple H WrestleMania main event that’s slow, plodding, and goes on too long. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it just didn’t work. The crowd was totally dead after losing their minds for half an hour with The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan. Hindsight being 20/20, this match should not have been in the main event, but no one could have possibly known that Hogan vs. Rock would be that hot. I can’t say that I’d have done anything different with the match order ahead of time. WWF isn’t much on tradition, but they mostly stick with the tradition of the World Championship going on last at WrestleMania.

Overall, aside from The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan, which was a true WrestleMania moment and a legendary match that I can still transport back 21 years and remember the feeling of watching it live, this wasn’t a great WrestleMania. The company was listless in its storytelling after botching the WWF vs. Alliance storyline, which could have gone on for at least a year or two, but instead, it lasted four months. The nWo storyline was a dead duck because of their goofy presentation on-screen (seriously, The Rock comes back from being hit with a semi with no damage?) and very real backstage politics working against them. Nearly everything felt like a mismatch or not fully fleshed out. It’s hard to say that I’m disappointed with this WrestleMania because it contained one of the more legendary matches in wrestling history, but it felt like a dud for the most part and ended with a whimper.

On an interesting side note, there have been a lot of complaints about this company using long video packages that draw out the time on their PPVs, but for this WrestleMania, they opted not to do video packages for many of their big matches. A few matches did, but the main event’s video package happened during a performance by Saliva, so all these years later you’re watching some of these matches with no context. I really was utterly confused as to why Kurt Angle was facing Kane and had to go to Wikipedia to refresh myself on the storyline. The video packages can be tedious but look at them in the context of history when some poor schlub decides to do a retro recap of some of today’s events 20 years from now.

This WrestleMania is followed by one of my favorite WrestleMania events of all time. I’m really looking forward to recapping WrestleMania 19 next week. I hope you’ll join me then.

Quick Match Results

— Rob Van Dam def. William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship
— Diamond Dallas Page def. Christian to retain the WWF European Championship
— Maven vs. Goldust ended when Spike Dudley pinned Maven to win the WWF Hardcore Championship
— Kurt Angle def. Kane
— The Undertaker def. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair in a No Disqualification Match
— Edge def. Booker T
— “Stone Cold” Steve Austin def. Scott Hall
— Billy and Chuck def. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley), and The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) in a 4-Corner Elimination Tag Team Match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship
— The Rock def. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
— Jazz def. Lita and Trish Stratus in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWF Women’s Championship
— Triple H def. Chris Jericho to win the WWF Undisputed Championship

E-Mail – mike@wrestleview.com
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV

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