WWE WrestleMania XX Results
March 14, 2004
New York City, New York (Madison Square Garden)
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
We go live into Madison Square Garden. Howard Finkel introduces the Boys Choir of Harlem. They sing “America the Beautiful.” The crowd gives them a great ovation.
A video shows Vince McMahon walking out. The narrator talks about how he came up with this WrestleMania concept 20 years ago, which has filled many with awe. Current WWE Superstars talk about what WrestleMania XX being at Madison Square Garden means to them. The video concludes with Shane McMahon standing with his father while holding his newborn son. The family business continues.
We go back to Madison Square Garden to see a big pyrotechnics display. “Good Ol’ JR” Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show before throwing it to the Spanish Announce Team of Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. The SmackDown Commentary Team of Michael Cole and Tazz then takes over the broadcast.
John Cena makes his way to the ring to a big reaction. Cena gets the crowd fired up. A loud “Cena” chant picks up. You’ve got the franchise player on the Super Bowl stage, so get that gorilla Big Show out of his cage. “Ain’t no way that I’m gonna lose to that King Kong rip-off. That’s like Gary Coleman beating Patrick Ewing in a tipoff. Big Show is really an ape with opposable thumbs, and he stuffs his singlet. It looks like he’s smuggling plums. Yo, everybody knows that he can’t see me. I’m itching to beat him like a penis with an STD. I’m not even wrestling The Big Show. This whole thing’s a charade. I’m wrestling the hippo float from the Macy’s Day Parade. So it’s time to get a championship to match these custom knucks. Madison Square, chant it loud: Big Show sucks!”
United States Championship
John Cena vs. The Big Show (c)
The bell rings, and the crowd loudly chants for John Cena. Cena taunts Big Show with the “You Can’t See Me” motion. They lock up, and Big Show powers Cena to the corner. Cena charges, but Big Show pushes him away. Cena gets around him and throws some right hands, but Big Show knees him and throws him out of the ring. Cena gets on the apron and shoulders Big Show in the midsection. Cena goes for a second shoulder, but Big Show knees him in the face. Big Show tries to drive him into the ring post, but Cena blocks it and snaps him off the top rope. Cena goes to the top rope for a cross-body block, but Big Show catches him and hits a powerslam for a two-count. Big Show viciously clubs him on the back before choking him on the ropes. The crowd chants, “Let’s go Cena.” Big Show chops the chest. Cena fights back with some right hands and hits the ropes, but Big Show clotheslines him down.
The crowd chants, “Big Show sucks.” Big Show grabs Cena and connects with a big scoop slam. Big Show steps on his throat and chokes him. Cena struggles to take a deep breath. Big Show gets Cena to his feet and hits a textbook vertical suplex for a two-count. Cena pulls himself up to his feet, but Big Show head-butts him back down. Big Show gets him in the corner and viciously chops the chest. Cena collapses in pain, so Big Show stands on his lower back. Cena soon gets up and starts punching back at Big Show. Cena hits the ropes, but Big Show boots him down. Big Show jumps on the lower back. Big Show connects with a falling leg drop for a near fall. Big Show looks angered that Cena kicked out. The crowd chants, “Let’s go, Cena,” again. Big Show tries to pick Cena up, but Cena counters into a sleeper hold. Big Show quickly drives him into the corner to break the hold. Big Show then floors him with a clothesline. Big Show pulls Cena to his feet and applies a cobra clutch. Cena tries to fight out, but Big Show slams him down. Big Show then goes back to the cobra clutch with Cena down on the mat. Cena fights up and punches out. Cena begins to stun him with some hard right hands. Cena punches Big Show to the corner. Big Show reverses a whip to the opposite corner, but he runs into Cena’s boots. Cena hits a drop-toe-hold into the corner before lifting up the 500-pound athlete for an FU! Cena covers, but Big Show kicks out at two! Big Show is the first person to kick out of the FU. Cena looks stunned.
Cena gets to his feet and gets a determined look on his face. Cena picks up his chain link necklace. The referee warns him that he’ll lose the match if he hits Big Show with it. Cena taunts the referee before throwing the chain away. As the referee gets the chain, Cena picks up one of his knucks and punches Big Show in the head. Cena connects with an FU for the win!
Winner by Pinfall and new United States Champion: John Cena
Mike’s Thoughts: John Cena’s first WrestleMania match sees him come away with the United States Championship. Ironically, Cena is opening the 2023 WrestleMania in a match for the United States Championship. It’s interesting to go back and see Cena just starting out. All those criticisms of him were on display in the match. He did look super green at times, particularly with his punches, but the potential for superstardom was all there. He always had the look, the power to showcase some impressive feats, and great mic skills. This was one of his weaker raps of his entire run, but it still got over. I remember being in the crowd and being disappointed with the burns he was dishing out. The match was fine – they kept it short and sweet. Cena was playing a tweener, so he cheated to win. I guess they figured it was working for Eddie Guerrero, so it should work here.
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman is walking backstage. Along the way, he greets some people (one of them being Dr. Tom Prichard) and the other being Theodore R. Long. Coachman walks into the RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff’s office. Johnny Nitro is in the office with him. Bischoff says he’s heard that the Undertaker is in the building and wants Coachman to find him. Bischoff is worried about SmackDown scooping him. Coachman is worried about this assignment, but Bischoff tells him to get comfortable. Coachman walks off.
We go backstage to a stairwell where WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, Batista, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair are standing. This is the same stairwell that Orton kicked Mick Foley down in June 2003. Orton says we’re here at WrestleMania XX where it all begins again. Isn’t it ironic to Mick Foley where it all begins again? This is the spot where he established himself as the new Hardcore Legend when he took Foley out and kicked him down these stairs. A replay shows Orton kicking Foley in the face and knocking him down the stairs. Foley couldn’t let it end there. Foley had to come and challenge him for the Intercontinental Championship only to realize that he was overmatched. Foley walked away. A replay is shown from December 2003 of Foley walking away from a match with Orton without getting in the ring.
Then Foley decided to challenge him again, only for Orton to spit in his face. A replay is shown from two months ago of Orton spitting on Foley. Orton says he appreciates that Foley is trying to hang on to some shreds of what he once was. Foley doesn’t want to acknowledge that his time has passed, but it has. It’s just life. It’s just Evolution. They’ve passed him by time after time, beating after beating. Replays are shown of the vicious beatings that Evolution has levied on Foley. They were getting bored of beating Foley, so Foley enlisted someone from Hollywood to help. Foley got The Rock, and they beat him down too. A replay is shown from last Monday on Raw of Evolution beating The Rock down.
Orton says we have the great Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection against Evolution at WrestleMania XX. How fitting that on the biggest stage of them all they can prove that Mick Foley and The Rock are a couple of washed-up has-beens whose time has passed. It’s their time now. It’s Randy Orton’s time. It’s Evolution’s time. Nothing will stop them from making history tonight. It all began last June here in Madison Square Garden. Tonight, at WrestleMania XX, it all begins again. They all shake hands.
Mike’s Thoughts: You can tell they thought a ton of Randy Orton at this time, and he showed up in a big way for this promo. Orton has had an incredible career, but it seems like they were expecting him to break out and be what John Cena and Batista would eventually become. This was a tremendous feud and a tremendous promo to tie it all together. It’s kind of ironic that Orton was referring to Mick Foley and The Rock as washed-up has-beens when Ric Flair, who was significantly older than Rock and Foley, was standing right next to him.
World Tag Team Championship – Fatal 4-Way Match
La Résistance (René Duprée and Rob Conway) vs. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubby Ray and D-Von Dudley) vs. Rob Van Dam and Booker T (c’s)
Rob Van Dam will start against Rene Duprée. They lock up, and Duprée powers RVD to the corner. Duprée knees him, but RVD whips him to the corner and hits some shoulder thrusts. RVD connects with a monkey flip. Booker T tags in. RVD catapults Duprée into a superkick from Booker T for a two-count. Duprée punches back at Booker T, but Booker T reverses a whip and hits a diving clothesline. Rob Conway runs in, but Booker T takes him down and sends him out of the ring. Bubby Ray Dudley tags in and squares off against Booker T. Bubby Ray knees Booker T in the midsection and punches away at him. Booker T misses a kick, and Bubba Ray hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. Booker T fights back and whips him to the corner. Bubba Ray elbows him back and hits some left jabs. Booker T quickly takes him out with a sidekick. Mark Jindrak distracts the referee, so D-Von Dudley runs in and hits Booker T with the Saving Grace. RVD then springboards off the top rope with a thrust kick to D-Von. Mark Jindrak tags in off Bubba Ray and takes Booker T down. Jindrak covers, but Bubba Ray breaks it up. Garrison Cade tags in. Cade clubs Booker T on the back. Cade kicks Booker T in the face, but Duprée blind tags in. Duprée punches away at Booker T and tags Conway in. Conway, a French sympathizer, takes it to Booker T and hits a snapmare. Conway applies a surfboard stretch. Booker T manages to fight up, but Conway knees him. Conway sends him into the ropes for a back elbow to pick up a two-count. Conway goes back to the surfboard stretch. Booker T fights up again and twists out. Booker T knees Conway and drops him with a big spinebuster.
RVD tags in and clotheslines Conway. RVD kicks Duprée down before hitting Cade with a back heel trip. Jindrak takes a back body drop. Duprée takes a step-over kick, and Cade eats a jumping spin kick. Jindrak is sent out of the ring. RVD knocks Bubba Ray off the apron and hits Conway with a spin kick. RVD goes to the top rope, but D-Von pushes him off to the floor. Booker T and D-Von go at it. Cade runs in, but D-Von disposes of him. Booker T fights off La Résistance. Bubba Ray takes Booker T out, but Cade breaks up the 3D. Conway DDTs D-Von and punches Booker T. Booker T hits Conway with a Scissor Kick. RVD then crushes Conway with a Five Star Frog Splash for the victory!
Winners by Pinfall and still World Tag Team Champions: Rob Van Dam and Booker T
Rob Van Dam and Booker T celebrate in the ring with the World Tag Team Championship.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was your classic “let’s get everyone on the WrestleMania card” type match. It was just there. I remember feeling very “meh” about it at MSG, and I still feel that way about it now.
We go backstage to see Jonathan Coachman cautiously walking around, still looking for The Undertaker. Coachman asks a stagehand about freakish noises he heard. Coach walks down the hallway and approaches a door. Coach opens the door, and a disheveled “Mean” Gene Okerlund comes out with lipstick on his head. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan then comes out covered in lipstick. Coach asks what they were doing. Heenan says they were just playing cards. It’s not what you think. All of a sudden, The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young come out. They reapply their lipstick and start kissing Heenan and Okerlund again. Heenan struggles to escape, but he succumbs.
Video Package: Chris Jericho vs. Christian
Christian vs. Chris Jericho
Tim White is the official for this match. The bell rings, and it is officially on. Christian is still outside the ring and gets in. Jericho and Christian go nose-to-nose in the ring before locking up. Christian pushes him off, so they lock up again. Jericho powers him to the corner, but Christian turns him around. Christian gets a hard shove in there, so Jericho jacks his jack with a right hand. Jericho punches away at Christian and knees him. Jericho sends him into the ropes for a stiff back elbow. Jericho connects with a back suplex. Jericho chops the chest, but Christian soon reverses a whip. Jericho holds onto the ropes and takes him down. Jericho gets Christian in the corner and boots him. Christian reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Christian quickly puts Jericho on the apron. Jericho quickly shoulders him and hits a back body drop over the top rope to the floor!
A ”Y2J” chant picks up. Jericho knocks Christian off the apron and hits a springboard plancha to the floor. Jericho whips Christian into the barricade and gets in the ring. Jericho gets Christian in the ring and kicks him in the ribs. Jericho sends him into the ropes. Christian goes for a sunset flip, but Jericho sits on his shoulders for a two-count. Jericho quickly attempts the Walls of Jericho, but Christian grabs the bottom rope. Christian hits a thumb to the eye and flips him over the top rope with a modified back suplex! Wow!
Christian bounces Jericho off the steel ring steps and gets him in the ring. Christian stomps the head a few times and chokes him on the ropes. Christian punches away at his former best friend and chokes him. Jericho fights back with some right hands and a chop. Christian reverses a whip and hits a kitchen sink knee to the midsection for a two-count. Christian grabs Jericho by the hair and applies a neck vice. Jericho quickly fights up and elbows him, but Christian pulls him down by the hair. Christian shows that he has a handful of Jericho’s hair in his hands and covers for a two-count. Christian chokes Jericho on the ropes and hits a snapmare. Christian applies a rear chin lock with his knee as a post. Jericho fights up and tries to elbow out, but Christian fights back. Jericho takes him down for the Walls of Jericho, but Christian rakes the eyes. Christian connects with a spinning wheel kick for a two-count. Christian slaps Jericho in the head and kicks him. They then charge each other and clunk heads.
They get up and exchange blows. Jericho takes him down with a running forearm. Jericho calls Christian a “CLB (Creepy Little Bastard, a name given by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin)” and drops him into the ropes before splashing him. Jericho takes him down with a step-up enzuigiri for a two-count. Christian reverses a whip, but Jericho slingshots over him and rolls him up for a two-count. Christian rolls Jericho up and grabs the top rope for a two-count. Jericho fights out of a reverse DDT and hits a northern lights suplex for a two-count. Christian bridges up, but Jericho knees him. Jericho hits a running bulldog and goes for a Lionsault, but Christian gets the knees up. Christian sets up for an Unprettier, but Jericho gets out. Christian gets Jericho in the corner and comes off the second rope with a tornado reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian punches away at Jericho and hits the ropes, but Jericho counters with a sleeper slam. Christian soon fights back with a reverse backbreaker. Christian goes to the top rope, but Jericho cuts him off. Jericho goes for a top rope superplex, but Christian counters into a front superplex. Jericho grabs his knee in pain. Christian takes him out with a cross-body block, but Jericho rolls through for a two-count.
Jericho chops Christian in the corner, but Christian attacks the knee. Christian then locks Jericho in the Texas Cloverleaf. Jericho manages to get out and applies a Walls of Jericho to Christian! Christian gets to the bottom rope and pulls himself out of the ring, but Jericho won’t release the hold. Jericho locks Christian in the Walls of Jericho at ringside. Jericho pulls Christian to the top rope and hits a double-arm superplex. Both men are down again. Jericho rolls over and picks up a near fall.
Trish Stratus runs down to ringside and bangs on the mat. Jericho and Christian get to their feet exchanging blows. Christian smashes Jericho with an Impaler DDT for a near fall. Christian is furious and covers again for the same result. Stratus gets on the apron, so Christian grabs her by the hair and pulls her into the ring before throwing her down. Jericho knocks Christian out of the ring and checks on Stratus. She doesn’t see who it is and elbows Jericho in the face, who has been her storyline pseudo-boyfriend. Christian rolls Jericho up for the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Jericho cannot believe it and approaches Stratus. She checks on Jericho. Christian runs up to the apron, but Stratus holds him back. Stratus then turns Jericho around and viciously slaps him in the face twice! Christian runs into the ring and hits Jericho with the Unprettier! Christian and Stratus walk off and turn back to the ring. They then passionately kiss. Jericho is furious.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was actually one hell of a back-and-forth match. They were really laying into each other with the offense. Despite the story being quite lame (I’m not a huge fan of love triangles in pro wrestling), it didn’t take away from the match… until the end, that is. After watching the video at the start of the match and seeing Christian manhandle Trish Stratus during the match, I have no idea why she would be aligned with him at the end. It felt like a Vince Russo swerve that surprises people because they didn’t see it coming, but they only didn’t see it coming because it makes the least amount of sense for the story and ultimately kills it.
Lilian Garcia is backstage with Mick Foley, who is preparing for his first match back since WrestleMania 2000. She asks what is going through his mind. Foley says this is more than his first match in four years. It’s WrestleMania. It’s Madison Square Garden. It’s the biggest night in the history of their sport. People from all over the world are here. Foley hopes that the hatred he has for Evolution doesn’t overcome him. The Rock walks up and tells Foley to let the emotion go. Finally, The Rock has come back to New York City! Also, finally, Mick Foley has come home. The Rock tells Lilian Garcia that the buffet is closed, so she shouldn’t be looking at the People’s Package. Everyone knows this is Foley’s night. The Rock looks around the corner and says the Hamburglar and Grimace know it (The Hurricane and Rosey). The Rock tells Rosey to try the Chicken McNuggets and calls him a “fat sumbitch.” Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Don Muraco are talking backstage. The Rock says they know it’s Foley’s night. The people know it. The Rock says it’s not enough to hear them. We’re going to see the people. The Rock opens a door and shows the arena. The Rock says this is their night. They’re going to smack the lips off Evolution. If you smell what The Rock – and Sock – is cookin’.
3-on-2 Handicap Match
Evolution (WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, Batista, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (Mick Foley and The Rock)
The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection charges the ring and takes it to Evolution. The Rock punches Randy Orton down and clotheslines Batista out of the ring. Foley then punches Orton down. Foley starts punching away at Batista when he gets in the ring. Rock punches Batista off his feet. Evolution quickly retreats to recover.
The Rock and Flair will be officially starting the match. They circle the ring, and Rock hooks a side headlock. Flair whips him off, but Rock shoulder tackles him down and does a Nature Boy Strut. Flair pops up and doesn’t look happy. Flair gets Rock in the corner and chops him. Rock turns Flair around and punches him before whipping him to the opposite corner and hitting a back body drop. Flair rolls out of the ring. Rock follows him out of the ring, but Flair thumbs the eye. The Rock immediately fights back with a back body drop on the floor… and Foley CRUSHES Flair with a diving elbow drop off the apron! Foley lets out a big “Bang, Bang!”
Foley throws Flair into the ring, and a “Foley” chant picks up. Flair quickly tags in Randy Orton, so The Rock tags Mick Foley in. Foley approaches The Legend Killer, but Orton rolls out of the ring. Foley follows him out and punches him before bouncing him off the commentary table and clotheslining him on the floor. Foley gets Orton in the ring and drops an elbow for a two-count. Foley scoops Orton up and puts him in the tree of woe. Foley tags Rock in. Foley hits Orton’s chin with a flying elbow before Rock smacks him in the groin. Rock punches Orton and sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Rock quickly rebounds with a clothesline. Rock bounces Orton in the corner. Orton reverses a whip, and Flair clubs Rock in the back of the neck. Rock punches Flair and Batista down. Orton quickly grabs him and sends him into the ropes. Batista pulls the top rope down to get The Rock out of the ring. Batista then drops The Rock on the barricade. Orton gets Rock in the ring and tags Batista in. Batista takes it to The Rock in the corner with vicious knees. Rock answers back with some right hands and hits the ropes, but Batista connects with a reverse elbow for a two-count. Flair tags in and punches Rock in the midsection. Flair gets Rock in the corner and chops the chest before letting out a “WOO!” Flair chops the chest again and does a Flair Strut. Rock then explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and the crowd boos. Flair quickly goes to the top rope, but Rock slams him down to the mat. Batista tags back in and shoulders Rock in the corner. Batista whips Rock to the opposite corner, but Rock pops out with a clothesline.
Foley tags in to a good pop. Foley punches away at Batista before sending him into the ropes. Foley kicks Batista in the midsection before hitting a million-dollar knee lift. Foley punches Flair and Orton off the apron before unloading with some forearms on Batista in the corner. The crowd loudly cheers for Mick Foley. Batista pops out of the corner and connects with a stiff lariat. Batista sends Foley out of the ring and distracts the referee. Orton grabs Foley at ringside, but Foley grabs him by the throat. Flair knees Foley from behind, and Orton whips Foley knees-first into the steel ring steps. Orton tags in, puts Foley in the ring, and covers for a two-count. Orton knees Foley in the face and pulls him out over the apron. Orton uppercuts him and tags Flair in. Flair kicks Foley in the knee and takes him down with a chop. Flair points at Rock and does his full strut. Flair punches and chops Foley. Foley fights back, but Flair trips him and tags Orton in. Orton comes in and pulls Foley by the hair before applying a modified camel clutch. Orton jumps on the back and rips at the face. Foley fights up and tries to elbow out, but Orton takes him down. Batista tags in and stomps Foley. Batista pulls him up to his feet and hits a pair of short-arm clotheslines. The second one looks like it caught Foley flush in the throat. Batista punches away at Foley, but Foley fights back by applying the Mandible Claw! Orton runs in and boots Foley down. Flair tags back in and stomps Foley. Flair chops Foley and stops a short punching comeback. Batista tags back in and sends Foley into the ropes, but Foley comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Foley and Batista slowly get up and take each other out with a double clothesline. Batista crawls to his corner and tags Flair in. Flair sends Foley into the ropes, but Foley ducks a back elbow and knocks Flair down.
The Rock tags in. Rock takes it to Flair. Flair quickly reverses a whip, but Rock hits a flying clothesline. Orton runs in, but Rock DDTs him down. Rock brings Batista into the ring the hard way. Rock punches Orton and throws him over the top rope. Batista then floors Rock with a spinebuster. Flair begs Batista to let him follow up. Flair stands at the shoulders of The Great One and starts doing The People’s Elbow with his trademark strutting! Rock kips up, punches away at Flair, struts, and floors him with a right hand. Batista runs in, but Rock punches away at him and hits a DDT. Flair charges Rock, but Rock hits him with a spinebuster. Rock connects with a full People’s Elbow (complete with Flair strutting) for a near fall! The Rock has a cut on the side of his cheek.
Flair quickly thumbs the eye and tags Orton in. Orton goes for an RKO, but Rock pushes him off and hits a Rock Bottom! Flair quickly pulls Rock off the Intercontinental Champion. Rock clotheslines Flair on the floor, but Flair quickly pops up and grabs a steel chair. In the ring, Batista clotheslines Rock down and hits a Batista Bomb! Orton crawls over to The Rock and covers him for a near fall!
Foley finally tags back in and takes it to Orton. Foley punches Flair and Batista down before going back to Orton. Foley catches Orton with a Double Arm DDT. Foley takes out Mr. Socko and puts him on. Batista runs in, but Foley punches him down. Foley sets up for the Mandible Claw on Orton, but Orton catches him with an RKO from out of nowhere for the win! Foley kicks out just after three.
Winners by Pinfall: Evolution
Mick Foley looks devastated in the ring. The Rock gets in the ring and looks down at his tag team partner. Foley gets to his feet, and the crowd gives him a great ovation. A loud “Foley” chant picks up. The Rock then claps for Foley. They shake hands and embrace. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection stands tall one final time.
Mike’s Thoughts: Great match. Everyone worked super hard in this one. Mick Foley looked great in his first real match in four years. He had dropped weight and was moving pretty free and easy. He came across as such a sympathetic babyface. His facial expression when he lost was fantastic. That’s one of Foley’s specialties. The Rock really was there as a supporting character. Even in the end, the focus was put squarely on Foley. However, when The Rock was in the ring with Ric Flair, a childhood dream, I’m sure, it was wild. Flair looked to be in the best shape of his entire WWE run post-WCW and had a ton of fun with The Rock. Randy Orton and Batista showed a lot of the major league potential that would eventually morph them into the legends they became. I don’t know if anyone saw that for Batista (just a year later, he’d be in the main event), but they definitely had Randy Orton pegged. Orton would be taken down a few notches as his personal demons plagued him early in his career, but he would make the comeback. I also couldn’t help but think about how much money both Batista and The Rock have generated at the box office combined when they were in the ring with each other.
I truly loved this match. As a kid (I was a month away from turning 17 at the time of this event), I had my heart set on being a professional wrestler. I should have known that a 5’9 kid with no real muscle mass at all would have a tough time, but at the time that was my dream. The three wrestlers I looked up to and wanted to incorporate into my own style were Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, and, above all, Mick Foley (two out of three ain’t bad, as Meat Loaf said). When it was clear Foley was having a return match at this WrestleMania, I was beside myself. The vision of The Rock giving Flair the back body drop on the floor followed by Foley’s elbow drop off the apron is burned in my mind forever. I remember that vision from my seat in Madison Square Garden. The camera work never matched up to how I remember it from that angle. I remember thinking how badly I wanted to have wrestling in my life forever. That’s probably what drives me to continue doing this 20 years later. I may never become a professional wrestler, but I like knowing that I contribute to the fans of the genre through recapping. Recapping has opened me up to so many amazing things. I’ve been backstage at WWE events, met wrestlers who knew me, been on conference calls, been in rings, etc. Seeing Foley hitting that elbow drop and that vision from my seat reminds me of that thought I had as a 16-year-old and what drives me to this day.
Video Package: The WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2004 Induction Ceremony
Howard Finkel introduces “Mean” Gene Okerlund to the stage. Okerlund says this weekend has been filled with terrific events, including the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony last night in New York City. Okerlund introduces the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2004.
— Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
— Tito Santana
— “Big John Studd” John Minton 1949-1995 (represented by his son, John Minton, Jr.)
— “The King” Harley Race
— Pete Rose (Celebrity induction)
— Magnificent Don Muraco
— Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
— “Junkyard Dog” Sylvester Ritter 1953-1998 (represented by his daughter, Latoya Ritter)
— “Superstar” Billy Graham
— Sgt. Slaughter
— Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Playboy Evening Gown Match
Sable and Torrie Wilson vs. Miss Jackie and Stacy Keibler
Sable gets on the microphone and says this is supposed to be an Evening Gown Match, but she’s feeling uncomfortable and restricted. Sable and Torrie decided they want to start the match with the gowns off if that’s ok with the crowd. The crowd roars in the affirmative. Referee Jack Doan unzips Sable’s dress, and she’s wearing some black lingerie. Miss Jackie then unzips Stacy Keibler, who is wearing some pink and black frilly lingerie. Torrie Wilson is wearing white lingerie. Miss Jackie refuses to disrobe.
Sable pulls Miss Jackie into the ring the hard way and disrobes her. The bell rings, and Sable takes it to Jackie before hitting a hairmare. Sable hits a weak kick to the back. Torrie tags in and hits a cross-body block on Jackie for a two-count. Stacy tags in, and she takes her time doing her trademark ring entrance over the middle rope with her long legs. Torrie takes it to Stacy, but Stacy cartwheels away. Torrie kicks her and sends her to the corner. Stacy grapevines the neck and knocks her back. Stacy then chokes her with her foot in the corner. They trade roll-ups for two-counts. Stacy hits a nice spin kick for a near fall. Jackie tags in, but Torrie spears her down. They get into a catfight and roll over Jack Doan. Doan smiles at his good fortune. Jackie slaps Torrie in the face and rolls her up, but Torrie rolls through for the win. Torrie pulls back Jackie’s underwear to expose her posterior.
Winners by Pinfall: Sable and Torrie Wilson
Mike’s Thoughts: I’m not going to pretend that 16-year-old me wasn’t thrilled to be in Madison Square Garden for this match. Watching it 20 years later is a little embarrassing.
Video: Fans from around the world are at WrestleMania XX
WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero is backstage with Chris Benoit. Guerrero says Benoit is like family to him. No matter what happens tonight, he’s proud of himself. Win or lose, he’ll be proud. Benoit says there is no “lose” and not to talk to him like that. Guerrero says Benoit is taking on HBK and Triple H. No one expects him to believe. Benoit says he believes in himself. Benoit makes Guerrero look at him. Benoit has known Guerrero for 12 years. He’s never turned his back on him. Tonight belongs to Benoit because he believes in himself. Guerrero won his WWE Title, and Benoit is proud. Tonight is his night. Guerrero laughs and says he wanted to see this fire. This fire is the Wolverine he took on every night in Japan. This is the Wolverine that will tear HBK and Triple H apart. Benoit says Guerrero will be leaving WrestleMania with the WWE Championship, and he’ll be leaving with the World Heavyweight Championship. Guerrero says he believes!
Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The rules: two superstars start in the ring. A superstar is eliminated by pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. The order of appearance was determined through a random drawing, except for the Cruiserweight Champion, who is last. The last superstar remaining will be the WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero, accompanied by his father, Chavo Guerrero, Sr., is coming to the ringside area to watch the match before he must enter it.
Nunzio, Jamie Noble, Tajiri, Akio, Funaki, Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon (who tripped on his cape coming out), Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio all come out.
Shannon Moore vs. Ultimo Dragon
They lock up, and Dragon applies a waistlock. Moore turns it on him and wrenches the arm. Dragon twists out and applies a hammerlock. Moore hits the ropes and hits a shoulder tackle. They trade pins for one-counts. Moore kicks Dragon and hits a back suplex for a two-count. Moore sends Dragon sternum-first into the corner and goes to the top rope for a corkscrew moonsault, but Dragon moves. Dragon connects with an Asai DDT to eliminate Moore.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Jamie Noble
Jamie Noble attacks Dragon from behind and hits a short-arm clothesline for a one-count. Dragon flips over Noble and kicks him down for a two-count. Dragon puts Noble in the corner and hits a backbreaker. Dragon goes to the top rope for a moonsault but lands on his feet when Noble moves. Noble quickly hits a neckbreaker and makes Dragon submit with a modified dragon sleeper. Wow.
Jamie Noble vs. Funaki
Funaki comes off the top rope with a cross-body block, but Noble rolls through to pin him in seconds. The commentators think that’s the new WrestleMania record to beat King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones (which really wasn’t 9 seconds).
Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio
Noble punches away at Nunzio. Nunzio takes him down, but Noble kicks him away and goes for a backslide. Nunzio fights it and rolls him up for a two-count. Nunzio punches Noble, but Noble reverses a whip to the corner. Noble knocks him back and hits a missile dropkick. Nunzio covers, but Noble gets a foot on the bottom rope. Nunzio tries again for the same result. Noble quickly gets Nunzio out of the ring, and he lands on the floor hard. Noble then wipes Nunzio out with a flipping senton off the top rope to the floor! Noble pulls Nunzio off the apron and gets in the ring before being counted out. Nunzio is eliminated.
Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman
Kidman immediately goes after Noble. Kidman drops Noble on the apron, and Nunzio pulls Noble off. Kidman baseball slides Nunzio down. Kidman then hits a springboard Shooting Star Press off the top rope onto Nunzio and Noble at ringside! Kidman nearly landed on his head! Wow! Kidman gets Noble in the ring for a two-count. Noble gets out of a powerbomb and goes for his dragon sleeper, but Kidman backs him into the corner and hits a back body drop. Kidman connects with an enzuigiri. Kidman goes to the top rope, but Noble cuts him off. Kidman hits a BK Bomb off the middle rope for the elimination!
Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio floors Kidman with a springboard seated senton. Mysterio hits the ropes, but Kidman dropkicks him for a two-count. Mysterio dropkicks Kidman out of the ring. Akio snaps Mysterio off the top rope. Kidman hits Mysterio with a spinebuster for a near fall. Kidman puts Mysterio on the top rope and punches him. Mysterio fights Kidman off and hits Code Red off the middle rope for the elimination!
Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri
Tajiri goes after Mysterio. Mysterio springboards off the ropes and lands on his feet. Tajiri quickly applies a Tarantula on the ropes. Tajiri goes for a handspring back elbow, but Mysterio dropkicks him. Mysterio hits Tajiri with a 619. Tajiri avoids a springboard and knocks him back. Akio grabs Mysterio from the apron, but Mysterio avoids the Green Mist from Tajiri. Instead, Akio gets it! Mysterio rolls up Tajiri for the elimination.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Due to being blinded by the Green Mist, Akio will not compete in this match. Tajiri kicks Mysterio in the back of the head from behind. Guerrero gets in the ring and covers Mysterio for a two-count. Guerrero flips out. Guerrero clubs Mysterio and whips him to the corner. Mysterio drops Guerrero into the second turnbuckle. Mysterio hits a springboard flying hurricanrana before knocking Chavo Sr. off the apron. Mysterio goes for a dive on senior, but Charles Robinson stops him. Mysterio then flips over Robinson to hit a flipping seated senton! Mysterio goes for a sunset flip, but Guerrero sits on Mysterio’s shoulders and grabs his father’s hand for leverage to retain the title.
Winner by Pinfall and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero
Mike’s Thoughts: Totally disappointing match, especially with the level of talent that was in this. Each match got about a minute (or less) and was completely rushed. No one could have been happy with the time given. They did some impressive stuff, but nothing really mattered.
Video Package: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
Special Guest Referee: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
The bell rings, and the crowd is buzzing. A “You Sold Out” chant picks up, and it is DEAFENING! Lesnar stares at Austin. Austin tells him to go after Goldberg. The crowd begins to sing, “Kiss Him Goodbye” at both men. Jim Ross has to acknowledge that it is rumored that Brock Lesnar will be leaving WWE. Lesnar is fired up. The crowd begins chanting for Austin, which makes the Texas Rattlesnake smirk.
After a long while, they lock up, and the crowd boos them. A “Boring” chant picks up. Both push against each other before releasing in a stalemate. Lesnar taunts Goldberg. A “Lesnar sucks” chant is heard. They lock up again, and the crowd is loudly booing. They release the lock up in another stalemate. The crowd chants, “This match sucks.” Lesnar hooks a side headlock, but Goldberg whips him off and absorbs a shoulder tackle. The crowd boos that no one has left their feet. Goldberg hits the ropes, and Lesnar absorbs a shoulder tackle. The crowd chants, “You Sold Out,” as they go nose-to-nose. Both men hit the ropes and wipe each other out with a double shoulder tackle. They really take their time before getting to their feet. Goldberg laughs at Lesnar.
Lesnar kicks Goldberg back to the corner. Goldberg reverses a whip to the corner and military presses Lesnar up before hitting a vicious powerslam. Goldberg charges for a Spear, but Lesnar sidesteps him. Goldberg hits the turnbuckles and falls out of the ring. Lesnar grabs Goldberg at ringside and drives him into the ring post. A “Goldberg sucks” chant picks up. Lesnar clubs Goldberg’s back and puts him back in the ring. Lesnar attacks Goldberg’s shoulder and goes for a suplex, but Goldberg blocks it. Lesnar hammers away at the back and hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. Lesnar hits another vertical suplex and applies a head and arm choke. Lesnar knees Goldberg down as he tries to fight up. Goldberg fights out with a hip toss, but Lesnar quickly takes him back down before reapplying the hold. Goldberg again fights out with a hip toss. Lesnar hits the ropes, and they take each other out with a double clothesline to boos from the crowd. Lesnar covers for a two-count. Lesnar clubs the back, and the crowd chants, “This match sucks.” Goldberg reverses a whip to the corner and hits a pair of clotheslines. Goldberg then drops Lesnar with a swinging neckbreaker.
Some fans in the crowd, one dressed like Hulk Hogan, gets a big ovation. Goldberg connects with a Spear for a near fall. Goldberg gets in Austin’s face to argue the count. Lesnar lifts Goldberg and connects with an F-5. Austin counts, but Goldberg kicks out. Lesnar also argues the count with Austin. Lesnar sizes Goldberg up and charges for a Spear, but Goldberg moves. Goldberg hits a Spear and signals for the end. Goldberg connects with a Jackhammer for the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Goldberg
Brock Lesnar gets to his feet, and the crowd sings, “Kiss Him Goodbye.” Lesnar flips off the crowd before flipping off “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin then gives Lesnar a Stone Cold Stunner and kicks him out of the ring. Jim Ross says Austin just stunned Lesnar right out of the WWE. Goldberg gets in the ring, and Austin throws him some beers. Austin celebrates, but the crowd is booing Goldberg. Austin and Goldberg toast in the center of the ring. Austin then drops Goldberg with a Stone Cold Stunner, which gets a HUGE ovation! Austin celebrates in the ring.
Mike’s Thoughts: What a complete and total disaster. There were absolutely chants that were edited out of the video that is on the WWE Network, as there were some VICIOUS and vulgar chants happening that night. I’ll never forget being in the crowd for this match. It was absolutely wild. It had leaked out just days earlier (maybe less) that Brock Lesnar would be leaving WWE after WrestleMania XX to go to the NFL. Goldberg, who was notoriously cranky throughout his entire year-long WWE run, was also leaving. As a result, to the fans, it was like neither guy cared about the company, so screw them. They dumped on this match in a huge way. I’ve seen every WrestleMania, and I can’t recall a main event-level match so loudly rejected by the fans. Maybe Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar I and II, but even those weren’t at this level. It didn’t help at all that the plan they had for this match was to lull everyone to sleep by doing absolutely nothing. This match, if you watch it on mute, was dull as dishwater and a bad idea for a layout to begin with. Combined with the vitriol of the crowd, this was a legendarily bad match. Luckily, these two would have a reprieve at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, which I was also live in attendance for.
Fireworks go off outside of Madison Square Garden to celebrate WrestleMania XX.
WrestleMania goes Hollywood for WrestleMania 21 in 2005.
Howard Finkel introduces Vince McMahon to the stage. McMahon says the theme of this year’s WrestleMania is where it all begins again. Without all the fans, WrestleMania very well may never have begun. McMahon thanks the crowd on behalf of the WWE Superstars past and present, as well as on behalf of the WWE organization and the McMahon family. McMahon proudly thanks the crowd.
WWE Tag Team Championship – Fatal 4-Way Match
World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny Basham) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi (c’s)
Shelton Benjamin will start against Bradshaw. Benjamin punches Bradshaw, but Bradshaw quickly big boots him down. Bradshaw clubs the back and punches him. Bradshaw connects with a shoulder tackle and drops an elbow for a two-count. Benjamin gets out of a scoop slam. Doug Basham tags in off Bradshaw. Doug hits Benjamin with an inverted atomic drop. Danny Basham tags in. Danny hits a back suplex for a two-count. Danny knees Benjamin and hits the ropes, but Charlie Haas gets a cheap shot in. Haas tags in. Benjamin hits Danny with a scoop slam onto Haas’s knee, but Doug breaks the pin. Scotty 2 Hotty tags in off Danny and shoulder tackles Haas. Scotty hits Haas with a back suplex and kips up. Scotty does a dance and punches Benjamin off the apron. Haas throws Scotty over the top rope, but Scotty skins the cat. Unfortunately, he skins the cat right onto Haas’s shoulders, allowing Benjamin to leapfrog his partner and land on Scotty’s lower back. Haas picks up a two-count. Haas applies a bear hug to Scotty. Scotty punches out of it, gets out of a scoop slam, and rolls Haas up, but Doug Basham blind tags in. Doug rolls Scotty up, but Bradshaw breaks it up. Danny tags in, and The Basham Brothers hit a double-team suplex, but Benjamin immediately breaks up the pin. Doug tags back in and grabs Scotty’s ankles. Scotty knocks him out with an enzuigiri, but Danny quickly tags in to stop Scotty from tagging Rikishi. Scotty flips through a back suplex and shoves Danny.
Rikishi tags in and runs wild on everyone, even hitting Faarooq with a clothesline. Rikishi hits Danny with a DDT, but Faarooq immediately breaks up the pin. Scotty takes Faarooq out. Benjamin goes for a German Suplex on Rikishi, but Rikishi knocks him away with his enormous posterior. Rikishi avalanches Haas in the corner and hits a Stink Face. Bradshaw immediately big boots Rikishi down. Doug attacks Bradshaw and goes for a running cross-body block, but Bradshaw catches him. Bradshaw then hits Doug with a Last Call over the top rope onto Haas and Benjamin! Danny attacks Bradshaw, but Bradshaw absolutely takes his head off with a Clothesline from Hell. My goodness! Bradshaw sizes Rikishi up, but Rikishi counters with a Samoan Drop. Rikishi then walks over to an unconscious Danny Basham, who is the legal competitor and sits on him for the victory.
Winners by Pinfall and still WWE Tag Team Champions: Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi
Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi celebrate in the ring. Scotty does the Worm before dancing with Rikishi as the fireworks go off.
Mike’s Thoughts: Quick and easy tag team match, definitely better than the first fatal 4-way tag on the card. This would be the second to last time the APA would team. Faarooq was being written off (he was the only one not tagged into this match) and Bradshaw would soon begin the transition into a Hall of Fame singles star named JBL. Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi were doing an act that was past its prime at this point, but this was another “let’s get everyone on the card” match. Good action. Great to see Shelton Benjamin still looking better than ever on the roster today.
Edge is coming back soon.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura, the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, makes his way to the ring with a microphone. Ventura wonders what WrestleMania would be without Jesse “The Body” coming out to do an interview with somebody, just like 20 years ago. Where is his man? Ventura sees someone. He’s the star of the #1 TV Show “The Apprentice,” as well as the host of WrestleMania IV and V, Donald Trump. Ventura approaches Trump, who gets a lukewarm reaction from the crowd. Ventura says Trump’s hair looks great, which pleases the future President of the United States. Ventura asks what WrestleMania means to Trump. Trump says it means a lot. Trump has been involved with Vince McMahon for a long time and is an incredible guy. Trump says he’s with his sons tonight and is having an incredible time. Ventura asks if he can expect Trump’s moral and financial support if he gets back into politics. Trump says, “100%.” Ventura says it may be time for a wrestler to be in the White House in 2008. Ventura thanks Trump and shakes his hand.
Mike’s Thoughts: So interesting to think that Donald Trump, who for a long time was thought to just be some rich dude in the tabloids who would slap his name on some buildings, would be the one who becomes the President of the United States following this exchange. Ventura at one point had a burgeoning political career, having served time as a mayor and then Governor of Minnesota, but the last decade hasn’t been friendly to him.
A barber shop is set up on the stage for this Title vs. Hair match.
Hair vs. WWE Women’s Championship Match
Molly Holly vs. Victoria (c)
If Molly Holly wins, she will become the WWE Women’s Champion. If she loses, her head will be shaved bald.
The bell rings, and they lock up. Holly pushes Victoria against the ropes before giving her a break. Holly knees Victoria in the midsection and clubs the back before kneeing her in the face. Holly sends Victoria to the corner and hits a running knee. Holly hits a modified arm drag, but Victoria kips up and rolls her up for a no-count. Holly gets out of the ring and brushes her hair back. Holly’s hair is on the line. Holly avoids a baseball slide and clotheslines her on the floor. Holly gets Victoria in the ring and covers for a one-count. Holly connects with a vertical suplex for a two-count. Holly hits a snapmare and a low dropkick for a two-count. Holly applies a neck vice and wears Victoria down. Victoria eventually fights up, but Holly takes her down by the hair. Victoria avoids an elbow drop and kicks her in the head. Victoria gets a jackknife pin for a near fall. Victoria hits a pair of clotheslines. Holly quickly kicks her and hits the ropes, but Victoria hits a snap powerslam for a near fall. Holly pulls her throat-first into the ropes. Holly goes to the top rope, but Victoria cuts her off. Holly hits a slow-motion sunset flip powerbomb off the ropes for a two-count. Holly goes for a Widow’s Peak, but Victoria counters into a backslide pin for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and still WWE Women’s Champion: Victoria
Molly Holly is in a state of shock! Holly elbows Victoria back and runs away. Victoria chases her up the ramp and to the back. Holly punches her back and puts Victoria in the barber’s chair. Holly tries to cut Victoria’s hair, but the clippers aren’t on. Victoria sprays hairspray in her face and knocks her out on the table. Victoria straps her down in the chair and begins buzzing Holly’s hair off! Holly comes to and screams in horror at the sight of her hair coming off.
Mike’s Thoughts: No one really cared about this match. They just wanted to see Molly Holly get her head shaved. They didn’t have to wait long. After a basic match, it ended out of nowhere. Molly Holly went all in on this one. She was completely bald by the end of this, so they made good on the stipulation.
Video Package: WWE Championship
After the video package, we see that Molly Holly is almost completely bald. The crowd gasps at the sight.
Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)
The bell rings, and Kurt Angle stares a hole into the WWE Champion. They circle the ring, and an “Eddie” chant picks up. Guerrero looks up to the sky and looks moved. They lock up, and Angle powers Guerrero to the corner. They separate before locking up again. Angle applies a front facelock, but Guerrero twists out and picks the leg. Angle hits a short arm drag and applies a side headlock. Guerrero fights out, and we’re at a stalemate. The crowd gives them an ovation. They cautiously approach each other, and Angle applies a waistlock. Angle takes Guerrero down and cinches in a side headlock. Guerrero fights up, but Angle takes him down. Guerrero quickly escapes.
The crowd chants, “Let’s go Angle/Angle sucks.” They lock up, and Guerrero applies a wristlock. Angle fights out and shoulder tackles the WWE Champion down. Guerrero gets to his feet and stares at the Olympic Gold Medalist. They lock up, and Guerrero hooks the arm before applying a side headlock. Angle whips him off, but Guerrero shoulder tackles him down. Guerrero hits the ropes and hits a second shoulder tackle. Guerrero hits the ropes and sends Angle out of the ring with a third shoulder tackle. Angle looks frustrated and regroups at ringside. Angle stares at Guerrero and gets back in the ring. Angle goes after Guerrero, but Guerrero is game and takes him down. Angle quickly regains control with a front facelock. Angle powers Guerrero down for a two-count. Angle tries again for another two-count. Angle powers Guerrero up for a front facelock suplex, but Guerrero counters into a back body drop. Guerrero hits a pair of arm drags into an armbar. Guerrero transitions into a key lock. Angle fights up, pushes Guerrero off, and turns him inside out with a knee to the midsection. Angle then goes to an abdominal stretch. Guerrero fights out and hits a suplex. Angle gets out of a second one and hits a German Suplex. Angle flips Guerrero onto the apron, and Guerrero leapfrogs a baseball slide. Angle goes for a German Suplex off the apron, but Guerrero holds the ropes and elbows him down to the floor. Guerrero heads to the ropes but sees Angle out of position. Guerrero hits a baseball slide and goes to the top rope. Guerrero dives off, but he crashes into the barricade when Angle moves. Angle quickly gets Guerrero into the ring for a near fall.
Angle connects with a backbreaker for a two-count. Angle shoulders Guerrero before taking him down and applying a body scissor while ripping at the face. Angle then hooks the chin. Guerrero elbows Angle in the quads to get out of the body scissor. Guerrero then rocks Angle with a jawbreaker. Guerrero charges, but Angle hits a flapjack onto the top rope. Guerrero hits with his injured midsection, and Angle picks up a near fall. Angle connects with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle connects with a second one for another near fall. Angle then applies a bearhug to the injured ribs. Guerrero fights up and thumbs Angle in the eyes before punching him. Guerrero hits the ropes, but Angle catches him with the third overhead belly-to-belly suplex of the match for a near fall. Angle cannot believe he hasn’t put Latino Heat away. Angle puts Guerrero on the top rope and punches him. Guerrero fights Angle off twice and goes for a Frog Splash, but Angle gets out of the way!
Angle gets to his feet and viciously punches Guerrero down in the corner before stomping him. Angle tells Guerrero to get up and punches him down with a straight right hand. The referee is giving Angle a lot of leeway here. Angle rocks Guerrero with a vicious right hand and stands over him. Angle punches him again, but Guerrero gets up and challenges Angle to hit him harder. Angle obliges, but Guerrero gets up. Guerrero takes it to Angle and hits a back elbow. Guerrero hits a trio of clotheslines. Angle reverses a whip to the corner and charges, but Guerrero moves. Guerrero connects with a back suplex for a near fall. Guerrero tells Angle to get up and goes for a suplex, but Angle slides through and hits a German Suplex. Guerrero counters a second into a roll-up for a near fall. Angle then takes Guerrero’s head off with a clothesline, and both men are down.
Angle is first to his feet, and he waits for Guerrero to get up. Guerrero counters an Angle Slam into an arm drag. Guerrero hits a clothesline followed by a head-scissor takeover. Guerrero shimmies and starts the Three Amigos, but Angle gets out of the third and applies an Ankle Lock! Guerrero turns over and kicks Angle away. Guerrero then wipes the Olympian out with a dropkick. Guerrero goes to the top rope, but Angle pops up, scales the ropes, and hits a belly-to-belly superplex for a near fall! Angle pulls the straps down and applies another Ankle Lock. Angle drags the WWE Champion to the center of the ring. Guerrero rolls through and rolls him up for a near fall. Angle quickly plants him with a German Suplex. Angle stalks his prey and goes for an Angle Slam, but Guerrero counters into a spike DDT! Guerrero goes to the top rope and hits his trademark Frog Splash, which he has used since the death of his tag team partner Art Barr in 1994 as a tribute! Guerrero covers, but Angle kicks out! Wow! Guerrero is in disbelief.
Guerrero pulls a seemingly unconscious Kurt Angle up, but Angle was playing possum and applies the Ankle Lock! Guerrero screams in pain and teases tapping out, but he instead rolls through and pulls Angle out of the ring. Guerrero’s ankle is in so much pain that he begins to untie his boot. Guerrero holds his ankle in pain. Angle gets to his feet and is furious. Angle applies another Ankle Lock, but Guerrero slips out of his boot! Angle is shocked and charges, but Guerrero catches him with a snap roll-up for the victory!
Winner by Pinfall and still WWE Champion: Eddie Guerrero
Kurt Angle is irate in the ring and throws the boot at Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero laughs and holds up his boot and WWE Championship.
Mike’s Thoughts: Great match between two future WWE Hall of Fame performers. The crowd was giving a respectful silence at the start of the match with the mat wrestling going on, but they built this match up beautifully. By the end, they pulled the crowd, which was no doubt still exhausted from screaming their heads off at Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, back to life. To me, this is one of Eddie Guerrero’s signature WWE moments. He had his great WrestleMania match as champion and retained the title. It still stuns me while watching this to think that in just a little over a year and a half, he would be gone forever. That loss is still felt to this day. Great to see Eddie Guerrero on WrestleMania at the level of a main-event star. It’s a far cry from the career forecast Kevin Nash levied on him in WCW.
Video Package: Undertaker vs. Kane
Kane makes his entrance. The WrestleMania set, which is set up in the style of the New York City skyline, shows all the buildings on fire. Kane looks pumped up.
The lights in Madison Square Garden go out.
Gregorian Chant is heard, and out walks the legendary manager of the Undertaker, Paul Bearer! Bearer is holding the urn and looking somber. Bearer sneers and shouts to Kane, “My son… you’re no son of mine!” Bearer turns his back on him. Druids follow behind Bearer carrying lit torches. The torches are poorly made, and the fire keeps dripping off, setting one of their robes on fire. WWE stagehands are busy with their fire extinguishers to put out the little fires that keep springing up.
The bell tolls and thunder raps inside Madison Square Garden. The Dead Man walks out onto the stage! The Undertaker makes his return for the first time since Survivor Series 2003. Paul Bearer is beside himself with glee. Undertaker walks past the druids, who hold the torches over his head. Undertaker climbs the ring steps and turns the lights on in Madison Square Garden by simply raising his arms. Kane cannot believe his eyes. Kane shouts that his brother is dead.
Kane vs. The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Kane shouts that Undertaker is not real. Madison Square Garden chants for the Undertaker. The Dead Man stares intently at his brother. Kane closes his eyes and reaches out to touch Undertaker to see if he’s real. Undertaker unloads on Kane with a flurry of strikes before scaring the referee out of the ring. Undertaker sends Kane into the ropes, but Kane holds on and pulls himself out of the ring. Kane sends Undertaker back with some right hands. Undertaker reverses a whip into the apron. Undertaker lays Kane out on the apron and elbows him. Undertaker gets on the apron and hits a guillotine leg drop.
Undertaker gets in the ring and whips Kane hard into the corner before hitting an avalanche. Undertaker takes him down with a second avalanche. Kane stumbles around, so Undertaker kicks him and sets him up for a Last Ride. Kane counters with a (sort of) back body drop. It looks like it was supposed to be a flapjack, but Undertaker was too far away. Undertaker was nearly spiked on his head. Kane punches away at his brother, but Undertaker turns him over and punches him. Undertaker scares the referee away again. Kane connects with a sidewalk slam and goes to the top rope. Kane connects with his trademark flying lariat for a near fall.
Paul Bearer clutches the urn at ringside. Undertaker begins to punch back at Kane, but Kane stuns him with an uppercut. Kane sends Undertaker to the corner, but Undertaker sidesteps an avalanche and hits a running big boot. Undertaker drops a leg. Undertaker wrenches the arm and heads to the top rope. Undertaker walks on the top rope and leaps for a club, but Kane grabs him by the throat. Undertaker grabs Kane by the throat and powers him down. Kane fights out of a Chokeslam attempt and drops Undertaker with a Chokeslam! Kane laughs and shouts, “I told you!” Kane shouts at Paul Bearer. Undertaker sits up all of a sudden, and Kane looks like he’s seen a ghost. Undertaker punches away at his half-brother, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Undertaker absorbs the kick and stands straight up. Undertaker hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and hits a flipping lariat. Undertaker hits a hideous Chokeslam on Kane that they tried to edit to look better. Undertaker signals for the end. Undertaker waits for Kane to get up and plants him with a Tombstone Piledriver for the victory!
Winner by Pinfall: The Undertaker
The Undertaker is now 12-0 at WrestleMania. Undertaker kneels and salutes the WrestleMania crowd at Madison Square Garden. Paul Bearer looks pleased at ringside.
Mike’s Thoughts: Great return to the Dead Man character. It was something to be there live and experience this, particularly with the return of Paul Bearer. The chills were something else. What a moment. I’ve always liked this version of the Dead Man best because it incorporated all the different characters from his career into this kind of last outlaw Undertaker. He would continue to tinker with the look and the character, but the return to the Dead Man character would pay dividends for the Undertaker. The match itself was nothing special, but it didn’t have to be. It was a return to the character. The entrance was enough.
Video Package: World Heavyweight Championship
World Heavyweight Championship – Triple Threat
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H (c)
Referee Earl Hebner shows all three men the World Heavyweight Championship and holds it up for the crowd to see. Hebner then checks each competitor’s boots and wrist tape for any weapons. Hebner then explains the rules and calls for the bell to start the main event of WrestleMania XX.
Shawn Michaels approaches Triple H, but Chris Benoit stops him. Michaels sidesteps Benoit and punches away at Triple H. Benoit pulls Michaels off and punches away at Triple H. Michaels pulls Benoit away and peppers the World Heavyweight Champion with more punches. Benoit grabs Michaels, sidesteps a punch, and goes for a Crippler Crossface. Michaels quickly gets out, and they trade chops. Benoit reverses a whip and sends Michaels into Triple H, knocking him out of the ring. Michaels gets out of a scoop slam from Benoit and takes him down with a headlock. Benoit bridges up and goes for a backslide, but Michaels fights it. Benoit takes Michaels down for a Crippler Crossface, but Michaels counters into a roll-up for a two-count. Benoit comes back with a northern lights suplex for a two-count. Michaels then floors Benoit with a clothesline. Triple H quickly gets into the ring and takes Benoit down with a clothesline. Triple H kicks Benoit and punches him in the head. Triple H sends Michaels over the top rope, but he skins the cat and gets in the ring. Triple H reverses a whip on Benoit, and Michaels sends Benoit over the top rope to the floor.
Michaels punches Triple H and hits a back body drop. Michaels chops and punches him before having a whip reversed. Triple H misses a clothesline but catches Michaels on the rebound with a high knee for a two-count. Benoit gets on the apron and shoulders Triple H back, but Triple H quickly knees him in the face to send him to ringside. Triple H leaves the ring and drives Benoit’s lower back into the ring apron twice. Michaels then baseball slides Benoit into Triple H. Michaels goes to the top rope and hits a moonsault block to the floor on Benoit and Triple H!
Michaels gets Triple H in the ring and picks up a near fall. Michaels chops Triple H back and sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and takes a facebuster. Triple H sets up for a Pedigree, but Benoit runs into the ring and clotheslines the champion down. Benoit attacks Michaels and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Benoit punches away at Triple H and hits a snap suplex. Benoit viciously chops Triple H’s chest a few times and punches him in the face. Triple H reverses a whip, and Benoit hits the turnbuckles sternum-first. Triple H puts Benoit on the top rope, but Benoit fights him off. Triple H pulls him down into the tree of woe and stomps him. Triple H then whips Michaels hard into Benoit for a near fall. Triple H grabs Michaels and goes to whip him into Benoit again, but Michaels reverses it, and Benoit boots Triple H in the face. Michaels rolls Triple H up for a two-count. Michaels and Triple H trade punches in the center of the ring. Triple H reverses a whip, but Michaels ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm. Michaels kips up, but Benoit immediately clotheslines him over the top rope! Benoit then starts the Rolling German Suplexes on Triple H. Benoit hits Triple H with three of them. Benoit signals for the end and heads to the top rope. Michaels runs into the ring and crotches Benoit up there. Michaels sizes Triple H up, but Triple H ducks Sweet Chin Music. Triple H floors Michaels with a DDT, and Michaels falls out of the ring. Triple H attacks Benoit on the top rope, but Benoit fights back. Benoit eventually fights him down, but Triple H comes right back. Triple H connects with a superplex for a near fall. Triple H covers again for the same result. A third time yields the same result again.
A frustrated Triple H punches Benoit in the face a few times. The crowd chants, “Let’s go, Benoit.” Benoit fights back and sends Triple H into the ropes. Triple H quickly goes for a Pedigree, but Benoit counters with a Crippler Crossface attempt. Triple H fights it, but Benoit does lock it in. Michaels quickly breaks up the submission. Michaels ducks a right hand from Benoit and hits Benoit with a German Suplex. Benoit fights back and hits Michaels with three German Suplexes. Benoit signals that something bad is in store for Michaels. Benoit goes to the top rope and connects with a Flying Head-Butt for a near fall! Benoit covers again for another two-count. Benoit punches Michaels back and sends him into the ropes, but Michaels sends Benoit out of the ring with a flying forearm. Michaels kips up and hits Triple H with an inverted atomic drop followed by two clotheslines. Michaels connects with a scoop slam and goes to the top rope. Michaels hits his trademark flying elbow drop off the top rope and gets the crowd fired up. Michaels tunes up the band and hits Triple H with Sweet Chin Music. Michaels covers, but Benoit pulls Triple H out of the ring just in the nick of time! An irate Michaels attacks Benoit at ringside and gets him in the ring. Michaels puts Benoit in the corner and chops the chest. Benoit reverses a whip and turns Michaels inside out in the corner. Benoit takes Michaels down and goes for a Sharpshooter, but Michaels fights it. Benoit instead grabs him by the legs and catapults him into the corner.
Michaels’s head connects with the ring post, and he is gushing blood. The crowd lets out an audible sound of disgust as the dark red plasma quickly turns HBK’s face into a crimson mask. Benoit punches Michaels back and takes him down for a Crippler Crossface. Benoit locks it in and pulls back. Michaels goes to tap out, but Triple H holds his arm up to save the match! Triple H then breaks up the submission.
Triple H pulls Benoit out of the ring, but Benoit bounces him off the steel ring steps. Benoit punches away at Triple H and chops the massive chest of the champion. Triple H soon reverses a whip into the ring steps. Michaels is bleeding profusely in the ring. Triple H clears off the SmackDown commentary table. Benoit kicks Triple H and bounces him off the Spanish commentary table. Benoit goes for a German Suplex on the table, but Triple H fights out of it. Triple H clubs the spine and goes for a Pedigree, but Benoit fights out. Michaels, who is a complete bloody mess, attacks Benoit. Triple H and Michaels, who are mortal enemies, CRUSH Benoit with a double-team release suplex through the SmackDown commentary table! Wow!
Michaels gets in the ring and points at the World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H looks at him and gets in the ring. Triple H seethes in fury and gets in the ring. They exchange punches before Michaels chops him to the corner. Triple H turns him around and punches away at him. Michaels turns the champion around and viciously chops the chest. Michaels then whips him into the corner, and Triple H goes over a la the old Harley Race spot. Triple H wipes out a cameraman on his landing. Michaels drives Triple H into the ring post. Michaels is truly wearing the much-vaunted crimson mask. Triple H is bleeding now. Michaels gets him in the ring and peppers him with punches. Triple H quickly kicks Michaels and hits a Pedigree! Triple H is too injured to cover him. Triple H is now wearing a crimson mask as well. Triple H finally rolls over and covers Michaels, but Benoit breaks up the pin just in time!
Triple H slowly gets to his feet and grabs Benoit. Benoit viciously chops him back, but Triple H knees him. Triple H goes for a Pedigree, but Benoit sweeps the feet and applies a Sharpshooter to a HUGE ovation! Somewhere in Calgary, Bret “Hit Man” Hart is smiling. Triple H screams in pain and claws at the bottom rope. Triple H gets a fingertip on the bottom rope, but Benoit pulls him back to the center of the ring. Triple H is fading when Michaels breaks up the Sharpshooter with Sweet Chin Music on Benoit! Michaels absolutely annihilated him. Michaels crawls over to Benoit and covers for a near fall.
The crowd chants for Benoit. Michaels sizes Benoit up and tunes up the band. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Benoit ducks it and dumps Michaels over the top rope! Benoit turns into Triple H, who kicks him in the midsection and goes for a Pedigree. Benoit twists out and counters into the Crippler Crossface! Triple H screams in pain and reaches for the bottom rope. Triple H starts to fade away before getting a head of steam and trying to roll Benoit off. Benoit won’t release the hold! The Crippler Crossface is still applied! The crowd is reaching a fever pitch! Benoit pulls back on The Game’s neck, and Triple H has no choice but to submit!
Winner by Submission and new World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit is sobbing in the ring as Earl Hebner hands him the World Heavyweight Championship. After years of being told he could never be the champion because of his size and labeled a “vanilla midget” in WCW, years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off by winning the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden.
WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero gets in the ring, and he has tears in his eyes. Confetti pours from the rafters as the longtime friends embrace in the ring, tears flowing freely from their eyes. World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero celebrate in the ring as the show comes to an end!
Video Package: WrestleMania XX highlights
Mike’s Thoughts: That is one of the greatest WrestleMania main event matches of all time. It’s up there as the best match in all three men’s careers. For Michaels, it’s absolutely one of them. For Triple H, this was his greatest WrestleMania main event match. For Benoit, it’s the crown jewel of his career. Unfortunately, it’s left to be forgotten in the annals of wrestling history because of the horrendous acts a deranged Chris Benoit, riddled with CTE (not an excuse, just a fact), would perpetrate on that fateful day in June 2007. Due to those actions, it is my firm opinion that he is rightly forgotten by the company that made him a star with matches like this one. You don’t have to pretend that he didn’t exist, but you don’t go out of your way to celebrate the man either.
Being in the crowd was a special moment for me. I was a huge fan of Chris Benoit and was totally into his chase for the World Heavyweight Championship. I wanted to be a wrestler like Benoit. It’s hard for me to watch this match and not think of the end. I generally avoid Benoit matches like the plague. It is especially hard because one of the things that weren’t shown on the broadcast of this WrestleMania was Nancy Benoit getting into the ring and embracing her husband, along with their child, a little boy named Daniel. It was something to be there live for what was probably one of the greatest moments for the Benoit family. It felt special, but those images of their happiness would haunt me three years later, and they still do to this day if I really think about it. They’ve become even more intensified since becoming a parent. It’s a sad ending to what was a beautiful career and a seemingly great guy.
Because of what the main event was, WWE rarely ever mentions this WrestleMania, but from a completely objective standpoint, it should be regarded as one of the best. It dragged at times, particularly during and after the Goldberg vs. Lesnar match, but it contains some of the best wrestling that had happened on WrestleMania at least up to that point. It was also the first WrestleMania I ever went to live, so I’ll always remember it fondly for that.
I’m looking forward to my final Retro WrestleMania Recap of the year coming up when we look at the first time WrestleMania went Hollywood ahead of their return to Hollywood for WrestleMania 39. See you then!
Quick Match Results
— John Cena def. The Big Show to win the United States Championship
— Rob Van Dam and Booker T def. La Résistance (René Duprée and Rob Conway), Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak, and The Dudley Boyz (Bubby Ray and D-Von Dudley)
— Christian def. Chris Jericho
— Evolution (WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, Batista, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair) def. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (Mick Foley and The Rock) in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
— Sable and Torrie Wilson def. Miss Jackie and Stacy Keibler in a Playboy Evening Gown Match
— Chavo Guerrero def. Rey Mysterio, Akio, Tajiri, Billy Kidman, Jamie Noble, Nunzio, Funaki, Ultimo Dragon, and Shannon Moore in a Cruiserweight Open to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
— Goldberg def. Brock Lesnar
— Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi def. World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin), APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw), and The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny Basham)
— Victoria def. Molly Holly to retain the WWE Women’s Championship in a Hair vs. Title Match
— Eddie Guerrero def. Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Championship
— The Undertaker def. Kane
— Chris Benoit def. Shawn Michaels and Triple H via Submission in a Triple Threat Match to win the World Heavyweight Championship
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