PPV REVIEW: WWE Wrestlemania XX

WWE Wrestlemania 20 Review - Event poster

March 14, 2004
Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Wrestlemania 20 was a landmark moment for WWE .

With their flagship event now in its second decade, the company we’re bringing it back home to where it all began, Madison Square Garden.

Host of the first ‘Mania back in ‘85 and it’s tenth anniversary in 1984, no other arena in the world has been more synonymous with WWE, and yet this would be the last time Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment empire presented its most recognizable show from the  hallowed grounds of MSG.

The 20th Wrestlemania also happened to be the company’s highest grossing event at Madison Square Garden to that point, a record it retained until the July 7th, 2023 episode of Smackdown.

If you’re curious, that’s the one where Jey Uso officially challenged Roman Reigns for a title match, the same match that is set to take place at Summerslam on the very same day I’m starting this review).

Speaking of reviews, Wrestlemania XX also marks something of a milestone for this blog. By the time I’ve completed this review, I’ll be two thirds of the way through my goal to review every WWE PPV (or PLE, if you prefer) from ‘Mania 1 - 30.

I’m eager to get there, so without further ado, let’s kick off the show!=

America The Beautiful 

Kicking things off with all the pageantry that you’d expect from the occasion, Wrestlemania 20 opened with Howard Finkle introducing the Boys Choir of Harlem, who were here to sing America The Beautiful

The boys were clearly delighted to be there, singing their hearts out in front of XX thousand people while the screen cut to shots of various people holding flags, shots from the company’s Tribute to the Troops shows, and all things Murica.

Where it All Begins, Again

The show then faded to black, with Vince McMahon stepping into the darkness, a solitary figure whose wrinkled and weathered face was awash with an obvious pride.

Our voice over man then paid tribute to the meteoric rise of Wrestlemania and its importance in the pro wrestling landscape, a fact further reinforced by sound bites from tonight’s star performers.

Here, the story was simple: 

Vince McMahon was responsible for creating this monstrously successful event, an event that was so important to every wrestler, and yet an event whose story was only just getting started.
WWE Wrestlemania XX Review - Vince and Shane McMahon


To emphasize that last point, clips of the wrestlers gradually faded back to black, the show coming up on a new shot on Vince with his son, Shane McMahon and McMahon’s child as the announcer told us that this was where it all began, again.

It was a poignant clip, meant to put over the idea that this event would go on from generation to generation, though it does seem funny now that we know what happened to Vince and his company 19 years later.

Anyway, we then cut to the obligatory pyro, sweeping shots of an excited crowd, and the familiar voice of Jim Ross welcoming us to this historic night. 

WWE Wrestlemania XX Review - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler

Dressing for the occasion, JR and his Raw broadcast partner, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler were both adorned in sharp suits, as were their Smackdown colleagues, Michael Cole and New York’s own, Tazz.

It was the latter duo who would call our opening contest.

WWE United States Championship
WWE US Champion The Big Show vs. John Cena 

As Michael Cole labeled him ‘Smackdown’s fastest rising superstar,’ John Cena made his Wrestlemania debut to a load ovation from a New York crowd who only got louder once the Doctor of Thuganomics took to the microphone for some pre-match hype.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - John Cena Word Life

Waxing lyrical, Cena dissed his opponent as a small-endowed ape and promised to beat him “like a penis with an STD.”

I’m not quite sure what he meant by that. Did Cena spend his spare time giving handles to infected dudes?

Who knows. 

What I do know, is that he ended his spiel by leading the MSG faithful in a chant of “Big Show Sucks,” just in time for the US Champ’s arrival.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - John Cena vs. The Big Show


The Big Show took control early on, thwarting his opponent’s fist-and-fire attack by tossing him to the outside then pummeling him from pillar to the post as the crowd got firmly behind the challenger.

Hindsight being what it is, it sounds absolutely bizarre to hear the crowds chanting “let’s go Cena!” without it being instantly followed by a second chant of “Cena sucks!

In fact, it was the crowd’s love of the former Prototype that largely saved this match from
tedium, rooting for the underdog as Show spent the majority of the contest in 100% control. 

Finally, after getting his ass beat for the better part of 10 minutes, Cena pulled an FU out of nowhere but only managed a two-count.

Frustrated, he grabbed his chain and wrapped it around his fist, only to be admonished and threatened with disqualification by referee Jimmy Korderas.

Cena finally relented and hurled the chain across the ring, but when Korderas ran after the offending International Object, the challenger put his Thuganomics degree to work, slipping on his ‘Word Life’ brass knuckles  and popping Show in the face with them.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - John Cena wins the US title

From there, he hit another FU, this one proving more successful, giving him not only the three count, but his first of many WWE titles.
Your Winner and New US Champion: John Cena 

That may not have been the greatest match, but John’s post-match celebration kicked off the 20th Wrestlemania in grand style.

Coach Arrives 

Cutting to the back, Jonathan Coachman cruised through the halls, taking the time to say hi to Bruce Pritchard, some dude I didn’t recognize at all, and Teddy Long, before finally heading into the office of Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff.
Wrestlemania 20 review - Coach meets Eric Bischoff and Johnny Nitro

With a fresh-faced Johnny Nitro lingering in the background, Bischoff revealed that rumors were circulating of ominous noises deep in the bowels of the building, said to be coming from a returning Undertaker, who was last seen at Survivor Series 2003 getting buried alive by Kane. 

Bischoff tasked Coach with finding The Undertaker, ignoring Coachman’s reminder that The Dead Man was a Raw superstar.

Let’s see how that goes.

Evolution Has Mick Foley’s Number

Up next, we cut to a close up of Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton.
WWE Wrestlemania XX - Randy Orton and Evolution

As Orton began his most convincing and compelling promo to date, the camera cut away to reveal him flanked by Evolution cohorts Ric Flair and Batista, the three men stood at the top of the very same flight of steps The Legend Killer had thrown Mick Foley down the previous June, igniting a rivalry which Randy recapped in detail.

At every turn, he and his team mates had battered, beaten and destroyed The Hardcore Legend, forcing Foley to call for back up in the form of Hollywood Superstar, The Rock.

At Wrestlemania, The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection would reunite for one night only in an effort to bring down Evolution once and for all, though according to Orton, it was never going to happen.

We wouldn’t see that match until a little later in the show, but damn, that was an excellent promo.

7-Man Fatal Fourway Match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE World Tag Team Champions Booker T & Rob Van Adam vs. La Resistance (Rob Conway & Renee Dupree) vs. Mark Jindrak & Garrisson Cade vs. The Dudley Boyz (D’Von & Bubba Ray Dudley)

Challengers The Dudley Boyz had been in a number of memorable and incredible  multi-team Wrestlemania matches.

This was not one of them.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - Rob Conway gets a bow-and-arrow on Booker T


Prior to the bell, Jim Ross informed us that this was ‘sudden death rules, I.e; no eliminations, first team to score a fall wins.

What transpired from there was relatively fun -especially with champs Booker T and Rob Van Dam doing most of the heavy lifting- but it never really seemed to kick into high gear, and ultimately became one of those matches that was just kind of “there.” 

A big ol’ schmoz broke out towards the finish, and with the ring cleared, Booker T planted Rob Conway with his patented scissor kick. RVD followed up with the frog splash and this one was done.
Your Winners and Still World Tag Team Champions: RVD & Booker T

Out in the back, Coach began his search for The Undertaker by following up on those “weird noise,” rumors.

A hapless production worker pointed him in the direction of a nearby door, behind which something clearly weird was going on.

Was it The Phenom?

No, of course not, it was Mean Gene Okerlund, who had been getting frisky with…Bobby Heenan.

Of course, that wasn’t it either. 

The Brain emerged from behind the door with his shirt ripped open and lipstick smeared all over his neck, but both he and Okerlund it wasn’t what it looked like.

They were telling the truth, because what it actually was, was the one most predictable thing you could imagine it being:

A hookup with The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young.

Get it?

Because they were old.

And they were having sexy times.

And that’s funny.



A Canadian Love Triangle

Anyway, as Mae dragged Heenan kicking and screaming for more hanky panky, we next went back to King & JR who, in turn, presented a video package for our next contest.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 Review - Chris Jericho vs. Christian match graphic

To sum up, it all started with a bet between Chris Jericho and Christian over who could get laid first.

Jericho bet Christian $1 that he (Jericho) could sleep with Trish Stratus before Christian slept with Lita.

Obviously, the girls found out, but by this time, Y2J had developed genuine feelings for Trish, leading to the kind of inner-conflict on display during their mixed tag match at Armageddon 2003.

As Jericho and Trish tried to repair their relationship, Christian set about sabotaging it, and best ultimately beat the crap out of Stratus in an inter gender match Booker by Eric Bischoff before bragging about it the following week.

Cue Jericho rushing down to attack him, and, ultimately, the signing of this match:

Christian vs. Chris Jericho

Before the two men could lock up, JR pointed out that our official was none other than Tim White.

If you recall, White had been out of commission since Jericho’s Hell in a Cell match with HHH back at Judgement Day 2002, and was finally back in action for this contest.
Wrestlemania XX - Chris Jericho and Christian face off
And what a contest it was.

Neither man held anything back here, going back and forth with an intensity that was matched only by the quality of the actual wrestling.

Christian thwarted Jericho’s aggression with a handful of submissions, Jericho pulled out all his signature spots, and the two waged a war on each other that was as electric as it was enthralling.
Towards the finish, we got the inevitable appearance from Trish Stratus herself.

The Canadian beauty soon got involved but was hurled into the corner by the dastardly Christian.

Jericho revived himself and went to check on her, but Stratus accidentally clocked him
In the face, allowing Christian to roll-up his adversary for the three count.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho 

I’ve never seen this show before today, but surely that has to stand as one of the best matches on this card.

Not that it was over yet.
WWE Wrestlemania XX - Christian and Trish StratusWWE Wrestlemania XX - Christian and Trish Stratus

Trish tried apologizing to a hurt and confused Chris Jericho, but when a victorious Christian returned to the ring, she decked him, turning heel and clearly aligning herself with Christian.

Making their way to the back, Trish and Christian stopped at the stage for a snog, much to the dismay and confusion of Y2J.

Apparently, this story wasn’t over yet, though one person’s story certainly was.

In counting the match-winning fall, Tim White re-injured his shoulder, forcing him to retire for good and making this the last match he would officiate in his career.

Finally, The Rock Has Come Back to Wrestlemania

Backstage, Lillian Garcia began to interview Mick Foley, noting that this was Mick’s first match in four years.
WWE Wrestlemania XX - Christian and Trish StratusWWE Wrestlemania XX - The Rock, Lillian Garcia, and Mick Foley

Apprehensive, Foley was concerned that his pure hatred for Randy Orton and Evolution may get in the way of the plans he and The Rock had so carefully laid out.

On cue, The Great One himself appeared, stealing the microphone and, in turn, the entire segment.

Pumped full of adrenaline, The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment raves about what a big night this was, taking us for a glimpse around the backstage area.

As he did so, The People’s Champion pointed out that the night was so big even The Hamburgular and Grimmace were in town. Sure, it was only The Hurricane & Rosey, but that slight, coupled with the duo’s “WTF” reaction made it hilarious.

Moving on, The Rock also showed us legends Jimmy Snuka and Don Murraco, ordered the camera to scan the millions and millions of his fans in the audience, and finally wrapped up by promising that he and Foley would lay the Smackdown on Evolution if ya smell what The Rock…and sock..is cooking.

3 vs. 2 Handicap Match
Evolution (WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (The Rock & Mick Foley)

The good stuff continued with this exciting handicap match that started off with a flury of violence before Evolution settled onto a groove and used the numbers game to their advantage.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - Mick Foley signals for a tag from The Rock

After teaming up on The Rock for a while, Flair, Batista, and Orton turned their attention to the systematic destruction of Mick Foley, methodically picking apart the Hardcore Legend while his partner watched helplessly from the apron.

Finally, The Rock got the tag, but even The Great One couldn’t overcome Evolution opponents by himself.

As clock ticked on towards the 17-minute mark, Rocky was taken down by Batista. Flair begged for the tag, looking to humiliate his opponent as well as hurting him by setting him up for the People’s Elbow.

However, The Nature Boy spent so long goofing about in an effort to mock The Rock that The People’s Champ was able to spring to his feet and take Flair down, landing a People’s  Elbow of his own.

Despite earning a two-count, The Rock once again found himself on the receiving end of Evolution’s assault, making another quick tag to his partner.

Foley returned, taking down Randy Orton with his trademark DDT and clocking Batista for good measure.

However, as he pulled out his trusty sock, Foley was taken out by an RKO and The Intercontinental Champion won this very good match for his team.
Your Winners: Evolution 

As the victors began their triumphant walk to the back, Foley sat in the middle of the ring, utterly rejected.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - Mick Foley looks dejected


Bordering on tears, Mick’s face told a thousand stories.

Perhaps this comeback hadn’t been worth it after all.

Perhaps he really was past it, and it was time to let the new guard have their day in the sun.

Perhaps most importantly, he’d let The Rock down, let the fans down, and maybe let himself down.

Gradually, the former WWF Champion clambered to his feet, looking across the ring at his frustrated partner who, after a moment of hesitation, led the New York audience in a round of applause for his fallen comrade.

It was an excellent end to what had been a great match with a brilliant build up.

Your 2004 Hall of Fame Inductees

Sticking with the theme of legends, we next cut away to highlights of the 2004 Hall of Fame
Ceremony, featuring the likes of Superstar Billy Graham, Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter, and others.
WWE Wrestlemania XX Review - Bobby Heenan


I’m really hoping the whole event is on Peacock somewhere, I’d love to review it. 

Back live in the arena, Mean Gene Okerlund made his way to the stage to introduce the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2004.

Along with the aforementioned inductees, this class also included Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, Tito Santana, Bobby Heenan, Don Murraco, Big John Studd (represented by his son), Harley Race, Junkyard Dog (represented by his daughter), and celebrity wing inductee, Pete Rose.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that this was the first time we’d had the Hall of Fame class on the Wrestlemania stage, mainly because the event had been on hiatus since the weekend of Survivor Series 1996.

Playboy Evening Gown Match
Sable & Torrie Wilson vs. Miss Jackie & Stacy Kiebler

Sable and Torrie Wilson were still riding high after their appearance on the cover of Playboy magazine, making Stacy Keibler and Miss Jackie jealous and ultimately leading us to this match.
WWE Wrestlemania XX - Torrie Wilson


Although it was supposed to be an evening gown match, Sable’s whole gimmick revolved around her getting her kit off. So, naturally, she took to the mic and declared that she and Torrie Wilson had decided to take the evening gowns off and wrestle in their knickers.

Stacy joined them, but Miss Jackie was reluctant, so Sable and Torrie hurled her over the ropes and pulled her out of her clothes, leading us into a short, basic, and decent match.

Sure, there wasn’t an awful lot going on here, but all four girls made the best of their limited skillset, and although this was never going to be up for Match of the Night honors, it certainly wasn’t horrible.

As the four girls did what they could with what they had, Michael Cole & Tazz snickered and guffawed their way through the entire match like a couple of horny teenage boys.

After a little over two and a half minutes, Jackie rolled up Torrie, who reversed the pin attempt for the match-winning fall.
Your Winners: Sable & Torrie Wilson

Post-match, the girls celebrated in their knickers. When they reached the top of the stage, the two exchanged the lightest of kisses, which Cole and Tazz sold as if we’d just seen them sixty nine each other for our viewing pleasure.

Benoit & Guerrero

After a brief pre-tape of some British and Irish fans expressing their enthusiasm for the show, we cut to the locker room, where Chris Benoit paced anxiously. 

Benoit’s buddy and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero was also there, feigning doubt in his long-time friend and claiming that nobody actually believed The Rabid Wolverine could actually win.

Naturally, this got Benoit all fired up. He grabbed Eddie by the shoulders and began screaming about how much he believed in himself, a tactic that only made Guerrero smile as he insisted this is what he wanted all along:

To get Benoit fired up and ready to battle for glory in tonight’s main event.

Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr (w/  Chavo Guerrero Sr) vs. Nunzio vs. Jamie Noble vs. Tajiri vs. Akio vs. Funaki vs. Shannon Moore vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio

The rules here were fairly simple: 

WWE Wrestlemania 20 Cruiserweight title match rules

Two men would start, and whenever a wrestler was eliminated, another would enter the fray, and so on until all 10 men had been involved.

With the exception of Chavo Guerrero, who had the champion’s advantage of being the last man in the ring, the remaining entry order had apparently been selected at random.

The first two out of the gate were Shannon Moore and one of my all-time favorites, Ultimo Dragon, the latter of whom almost went flying ass over tit as he made his one and only Wrestlemania entrance.

The two enjoyed a brief but exciting exchange which saw Dragon get the better of his opponent, only to succumb moments later to a Jamie Noble submission hold.

Funaki was next, diving off the top rope and right into the waiting arms of Noble, who promptly slammed and pinned Smackdown’s Number One announcer quicker than you could say boo.

More enjoyable wrestling followed as Nunzio stepped up to the plate, duking it out with Noble until they spilled to the outside.

The Italian got counted out, at which point Billy Kidman stepped up and almost immediately died courtesy of a botched shooting star press to the outside.

Back in the ring, Kidman disposed of Noble with a tiger bomb from the ropes, after which he and Rey Mysterio gave us a solid little back and forth.

Rey emerged victorious from that one, but soon found himself in the clutches of Tajiri’s dreaded tarantula.
Wrestlemania 20 - Rey Mysterio is annoyed after losing to Chavo Guerrero

When that wasn’t enough to put the future Hall Of Famer away, Tajiri attempted to blind him with Green Mist, only for Mysterio to duck and Tajiri’s partner, Akio, taking a blast of the mysterious powder to the face.

Rey rolled up Tajiri, and with Akio apparently unable to compete due to the aforementioned mist-based shenanigans, it was onto Rey’s eventual final boss battle against the champion.

Dressed as superhero, The Flash, Mysterio looked set to vanquish the villainous champion, only for Chavo Guerrero Sr. to get involved, holding the challenger’s leg down to prevent him kicking out of Chavo Jr.‘s pin fall.

This was a fun idea in theory. In execution, it was far too rushed to merit much acclaim.
While the “get everyone on the card” booking philosophy may sound like a good idea on paper, in reality, it led to matches like this in which nothing -and nobody- really had time to breath.

Honestly, this would’ve been better stripped down to a fatal fourway between the division’s biggest players, Mysterio, Guerrero, Kidman and Noble. Possibly throw Ultimo Dragon in there too, just because he was so cool.

Up next, a video package for one of the most infamous matches in Wrestlemania history.

Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg

Special referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin 

This story doesn’t need much introduction, but let’s recap anyway.
Wrestlemania 20 - Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg

Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg had first interacted back at Survivor Series when both were champs, with Lesnar costing Goldberg the title to Triple H. 

At No Way Out, Goldberg returned the favor, interfering in Brock’s title match against Eddie Guerrero.

Now both titleless, the stage was set for what should have been a dream match but was actually a nightmare for our competitors.

Both men were set to leave the company after this event, something which the fans in attendance were all too aware of and not too happy about, erupting into a chorus of “you sold out” before the two had even locked up.

Rattled by the hostile environment, Lesnar and Goldberg stalked each other around the ring, yet the more they did nothing, the louder the angry mob became.

Eventually, the two heavyweights locked up and jockied for position in a lengthy collar-and-elbow that only served to raise the ire of the crowd even further.

As the two finally began to wrestle, it became obvious that the frosty reception had soured their enthusiasm, resulting in both men doing the bare minimum while the crowd chanted “this match sucks!” over and over.

They weren’t wrong.

This could have been one for the ages. 

Instead, it was a lackluster affair that ended with a Jackhammer from Goldberg, who got the three count and popped the crowds for the first time all match.
Your Winner: Goldberg 

As the crowd chanted the Familiar chorus to Bananarama’s “Na Na Hey Hey” and bid Lesnar fairwell, he turned to them with two middle fingers raised in the air.
Wrestlemania XX Review - Brock Lesnar and Steve Austin

He then made the critical mistake of flipping those same birds at Steve Austin, who promptly responded with a Stone Cold Stunner that popped the audience out of their seat.

Moments later, Goldberg returned, seemingly to join the Texas Rattlesnake for a post-match bevy.

Naturally, Stone Cold hit him with a stunner too, and that was pretty much that.

The show faded to an exterior shot of Madison Square Garden as fireworks lit up the New York Sky.

Neither Lesnar nor Goldberg would be seen in WWE again for years.

Vince Gives Thanks

Back in the arena, Vince McMahon appeared on stage to acknowledge the WWE fans, thanking them on behalf of himself, the company, and his family in a brief but well-received speech.

Fatal Fourway for the WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) vs. The APA (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham)

The Basham Brothers were on their own here, with their erstwhile manager, Shaniqua, now back in Ohio Valley Wrestling for the final few months of a contract that wouldn’t be renewed when it expired in November of that year.

Wrestlemania XX Review - The Basham Brothers

I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed about that as I genuinely thought Shaniqua was cool.

I’m also disappointed by Michael Cole, who repeated the same claim he’d made at No Way Out that Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty had been a tag team for “five years.”

Obviously, that just wasn’t true. 

Even if you consider Rikishi’s pairing with Too Cool, that had ended back in 2001.

Back to the match in question, this was another sudden-death, first fall wins encounter that was kept relatively short.

Although the action was decent, you got the distinct impression that this one was designed to simmer the crowd following their verbal massacre of Lesnar and Goldberg.

While it worked to that effect, nothing any of these teams did really captured the attention, and before anyone knew it, Rikishi won the match for his team by sitting on one of the Bashams.
Your Winners: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty

I won’t lie, even once the match was over I was unnecessarily bothered by Michael Cole’s comments about the champs.

If he’d said the two had been a tag team five years ago, I could buy into that, but to claim they’d been a cohesive unit for half a decade was just insulting to regular fans who knew damn well that wasn’t true.

That aside, it was kind of fun to see Scotty do a post-match worm, making up for the fact that he didn’t get to squeeze his signature spot into the bout.

He and Rikishi then broke out the Too Cool dance as pyro burst from the buckles.

Jesse Ventura Interviews Donald Trump

After a dramatic vignette hyping the return of Edge, Howard Finkle introduced Retro Pro Wrestling favorite, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - Jesse Ventura interviews Donald Trump

The newly-awarded Hall of Famer proved he hadn’t lost a step in the past 20 years as he conducted a ringside interview with ‘The Apprentice’ star, Donald Trump.

Trump received a mixed reaction from the New York crowd as he briefly reminisced on the time he hosted two Wrestlemanias at Trump Plaza, one which happened to be the only other time the then-WWF had ran a four-hour ‘Mania, the horrible debacle that was Wrestlemania 4.

As an aside, I’ve been thinking about that show a lot while reviewing this one. 

Wrestlemania 20 surely was a long show, longer in fact than Mania IX, but my goodness, it’s a thousand times better.

Vince had clearly learned a thing or two since then, and Trump must have thought so too as he next turned his attention to commending the WWE Chairman for doing a tremendous job.

Wrapping things up, former Minnesota Governor Ventura asked Trump if he could count on him for “moral and financial support” if he decided to run for president in 2008.

Hair vs. Title Match for the WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Victoria  vs. Molly Holly

The story goes that the original plans for Wrestlemania 20 only had one scheduled women’s match (the earlier evening gown match), with nothing set for the women’s title.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 - Molly Holly vs. Victoria

That was until Molly Holly volunteered to have her head shaved as a means of guaranteeing that the championship would be represented on the show.

Making the most of their opportunity, she and Victoria worked hard to deliver the best sub-five-minute bout possible. 

For the time, this was as strong and solid a women’s title match as you were going to get from WWE, showcasing both women well yet never  letting them show what they were really capable of.

After all, we couldn’t have them upstaging any of the menfolk, could we?

With all that said, this one ended when the champion slipped out of her opponent’s back breaker into a successful pin attempt.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Victoria

Her face flush with fear, Holly promptly legged it to the back. Victoria gave chase, only for her rival to reappear with a vicious assault.

Next, Molly dumped Victoria in the barber’s chair that had been set up on the stage, and art about in a failed attempt to cut her hair.

The champion recovered, knocking Holly goofy by slamming her head into the barber’s table, then strapping her into the chair and hacking away at her hair with a pair of clippers as the “barber” stood by, laughing gleefully.

The process was taking so long that we cut back to Tazz & Cole, who introduced a video package for our upcoming WWE title fight.

Once the video was over, we went back to the stage, where Victoria was still shaving Molly’s head even as Kurt Angle (himself no stranger to losing his hair in a wrestling match) made his way out for our next contest.

WWE Championship
WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle

Take two world-class talents like Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle, give them plenty of time to do their thing, and you’re not going to get anything less than a stellar match, which is precisely what this was.
WWE Wrestlemania 20 Review - Eddie Guerrero - WWE Champion

After an initial feeling out process, both men went for it in fine fashion, trading hold after counter-hold after counter-hold in a tremendous display of pro wrestling.

Although this match has since been overshadowed by Wrestlemania XX’s famous (should that be infamous?) main event, it was still excellent in its own right.

Towards the finish, Angle had done such a number on Guerrero’s ankle that the champion was forced to loosen his boot laces to relieve the pressure.

After being knocked out of the ring, Angle returned and went for the ankle lock, only for his opponent’s boot to come off in his hand.

Taking advantage of his confused opponent, Guerrero quickly rolled him up and scored the fall.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Eddie Guerrero

By the way, remember when Eric Bischoff sent Coach looking for The Undertaker?

Yeah, neither did anybody else.

That whole thing had either been completely forgotten about, or was simply a way to set up that whole “old people having sex” comedy bit with Moolah and Mae Young.

Anyway, we’d see the return of The Dead Man next, though not before a video recapped his recent history with his brother Kane, stemming from the latter burying the former alive back at Survivor Series.

Kane vs. The Undertaker

Kane marched to the ring, pacing with intensity, convinced that there was no way his brother could return from the dead.

Then, it happened.

A bell tolled.

A ghostly cry of “ohhh yessss,” echoed through   the hallowed grounds of Madison Square Garden, instantly familiar to fans as the voice of Paul Bearer.

Sure enough, The Undertaker’s long time manager led a procession of druids out into the arena, each one carrying a torch which they held aloft as they positioned themselves in rows at either side of the entrance.

The sinister music accompanying them gave way to the familiar tones of an organ, signaling the arrival of The Phenom himself.

Combining The Dead Man aesthetic of old with a modern feel that nodded to his American Bad Ass gimmick, the cornerstone of WWE marched slowly to the ring in leather pants, a trench coat, and his trusty hat.

It wasn’t the most impressive ‘Taker had ever looked, nor was this the grandest entrance he would ever make, but it nonetheless was a spectacle the likes of which had become synonymous with this unique character.

A second bell tolled. This one, the ring bell.

Consumed with disbelief, Kane ranted.

“It’s not real!” he cried, an undeniable air of anguish in his tone. “I killed you! I killed you!”

All the while, The Undertaker remained stoic, staring down the man who had buried him before finally going in for the kill, furiously clobbering his brother into the corner.

The match was on.

The Brothers of Destruction waged an unholy war on one another for the better part of 10 minutes, trading the advtantage in a match that would always be remembered more for the spectacle than the quality of the action.

Unsurprisingly, it was the returning Phenom who emerged victorious, planting his brother with a tombstone for the fall.
Your Winner: The Undertakee (12 and 0 at Wrestlemania)

Finally, we got a video package for our main event and with that, it was on.

Triple Threat for the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit

This was a tremendous main event from start to finish, relying as much on drama and emotion as it did on pure balls-to-the-wall wrestling.
WWE Wrestlemania XX - World Heavyweight Championship Match


Although it may have followed the two-guys-wrestle-one-guy-naps formula to a certain extent, the story was strong and compelling enough to make it barely noticeable, with all three men going back and forth with one another in a bloody and intense battle.

Shawn Michaels and Triple H may have been the most experienced main eventers in the match, but it was Chris Benoit who was the real star, absorbing whatever punishment his opponents could throw at him yet always returning to the attack.

After one of the best Wrestlemania events in ages, Benoit finally locked champion Triple H in a Crippler Crossface and, after a dramatic struggle, The Game tapped out.
Your Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Benoit 

Afterwards, an emotional Benoit wept as he was handed the championship belt. He was then congratulated by Eddie Guerrero, their genuine embrace accompanied by more tears from both men in what still plays out today as a genuinely moving moment despite the terrible events that would occur three years later.

It would be unfair and inaccurate to call Wrestlemania 20 one of the best Wrestlemanias of all time, but it was still a mostly solid show.

Unlike the last four-hour ‘Mania (Wrestlemania 4), which was more of an endurance test than a pro wrestling show, the 20th edition of WWE’s flagship event flew by, with dull moments and groan-inducing booking decisions kept to a minimum.

The likes of Guerrero/Angle and Jericho/Christian stood out as highlights of the undercard while the spectacle of Lesnar and Goldberg being booed out of the building is worth seeing, even if the actual match was nothing special.

Ultimately though, it was the thrilling main event which stole the show, even if the benefit of hindsight does make Benoit’s emotional celebration somewhat difficult to watch.

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