Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Billy & Chuck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billy & Chuck. Show all posts

Thursday, 29 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE Judgement Day 2002

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Event poster
May 19, 2002
Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee

In some ways, WWE Judgement Day 2002 was a night of firsts. 

It was, of course, the company's first PPV since they switched from being the WWF to WWE.

It was also the first PPV appearance of future main eventer, world champion, and movie star, Dave Batista. 

Yet it was also a night of lasts. 

This was the last time we would see Stone Cold Steve Austin competing before he "took his ball and went home" for a while, and it was the last time Brock Lesnar would be stuck around the undercard before his King of the Ring 2002 victory catapulted him to main event status. 

With all that being said then, let's head on down to Nashville and check out the show.






Judgement Day is Upon Us

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler called the event
Tonight’s show began with a rather sinister video package that spliced clips of the company’s biggest stars talking about their rivals with ominous footage of a noose and, eventually, somebody hanging from said noose.

As morose as that was, it eventually gave way to the standard pyro, crowd shots from the audience and the newly re-christened The World restaurant (formerly WWF New York), and our greeting from Jim Ross.

Tonight, he and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler would be calling all of the action, including this, our opening contest: 

WWE Intercontinental Championship 
WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam 

This was as solid an opening match as you were going to get.
WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Eddie Guerrero defended the IC title against Rob Van Dam

Miles better than their match at Insurrexion 2002 and at least on a par with their battle at Backlash 2002, it was a tremendous back-and-forth encounter that engaged the crowd from bell to bell.

After a very enjoyable match, Eddie Guerrero got the backslide on RVD and scored the fall thanks to rope-assisted shenanigans.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero 

Out in the back, Batista made his WWE PPV debut as Deacon Batista, Reverend Devon’s muscle-bound briefcase carrier.

The two were joined by Vince McMahon and his assistant, Stacy Kiebler, who was set to challenge Trish Stratus for the women’s Championship.

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Batista, D'Von, Stacy Kiebler and Vince McMahon
The Reverend called for a prayer to ask  The Good Lord to keep Stacy safe, but when he, Keibler and Batista had their eyes closed in prayer, Vince opened his and used the moment to do a sly bit of perving on Stacy’s boobs and bum.

I get that this wasn’t very PC, but McMahon’s facial expressions throughout this whole segment were at William Regal levels of funny, and I couldn’t help but find this whole segment hilarious.

It was followed by a quick video in which an old woman trimmed her bush and set fire to it as a means of telling us to Get the ‘F’ Out.

WWE Women’s Championship 
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus (w/ Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Stacy Keibler (w/ Reverend Devon & Deacon Batista) 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Bubba Dudley mocks Stacy Kiebler
Since being split up in the draft, Devon had been a heel and was Vince’s ‘Spiritual Advisor’ which put him in Stacy’s corner while Bubba Ray Dudley had turned face and formed a loose alliance with Trish Stratus which meant that he was in her corner.

I mention this, because even though both women worked hard in this match, it was clear that the only reason for this taking place was to give The Dudley Boyz an excuse to be back in the ring together.

The match was as good as you were going to get out of Trish and Stacy, but it was more of a plot device than anything.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus 

Indeed, we got our obligatory Dudleyz reunion after the match followed by Devon and Deacon beating up Big Bad Bubba and dumping him through a table.

Let’s Be Friends

Backstage, Ric Flair and Vince McMahon decided that since they were both now heels they should shake hands and pretend to like each other despite having hated one another’s guys for months on end.

OK, so it was heavily implied that neither man really liked the other, but why even bother having this segment at all?

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Paul Heyman teamed with Brock Lesnar against The Hardy Boyz
For all that Brock Lesnar did in his career, it’s mad to think that his first few months in the WWE were limited to beating up The Hardy Boyz every week.

This was just another in a long series of matches that the three had were the challenge was to make Brock look like a total monster without making Matt and Jeff look like total jobbers.

To that end, they were mostly successful. The brothers took the fight to The Next Big Thing in an entertaining contest but ultimately fell short.

Following a fun bit of action, Brock destroyed Jeff Hardy before finally tagging in Paul Heyman who got the three count.
Your Winners: Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman 

Out in the back, Mark Lloyd interviewed Booker T

The Booker Man had been hand-selected by Ric Flair to be the newest member of the New World Order which was apparently how that worked now.

It was dumb, but not as dumb as the way the promo ended.

After boasting about being a five time (five time, FIVE TIME!) Dubya See Dubya champion and not really addressing Lloyd’s comments at all, Booker noticed a woman in an evening gown randomly standing by herself and looking completely out of place.

Wanting himself a piece, Mr. Five Time approached her and accepted her hotel key so that they could apparently go and have some sexy times later on.

It was very silly and made no sense whatsoever.

Who was the woman?

Why was she dressed all fancy yet randomly hanging around next to some dirty production equipment backstage at a wrestling show? 

After a quick look at the rivalry between Steve Austin and Ric Flair, it was onto our next match.

Handicap Match
Nature Boy Ric Flair & The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin
This was famously Steve Austin’s last PPV match until No Way Out 2003 and, honestly, with a match like this, it’s hard to blame The Texas Rattlesnake for ‘taking his ball and going home.’

This was Stone Cold Steve Austin, main event superstar and certified legend competing in what was basically a midcard match.

Some of the action was fairly decent, and the chop-offs between Austin and Flair was fun stuff, with the crowd chanting ‘WOO!’ Every time Flair landed a chop and ‘WHAT?’ Each time Austin did.

Yet despite that, this really felt like a demotion for Stone Cold.

In the end, X-Pac came down and accidentally kicked his nWo team mate Big Show in the face, Austin delivered stunners all round and won what was a pretty entertaining but still questionable contest.
Your Winner:  Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin drank a couple of beers and hobbled to the back, probably feeling annoyed that he’d gone from main eventing to being done within the first hour of the show.

Hair vs. Hair Match
Kurt Angle vs. Edge

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Edge vs. Kurt Angle
These two had a cracker of a match back at Backlash which this fan enjoyed immensely.

Since then, Kurt Angle had meant to reveal a new t-shirt boasting all of his accomplishments but Edge had switched it to one that said ‘You Suck’ on it.

By some twist of logic, that low meant the two were set to meet again in a hair vs. hair match which turned out to be arguably even better than the aforementioned Backlash encounter. 

A thrilling contest that only got better the longer it went on, this one saw Edge and Angle really up their game as they built to a dramatic finale with Edge battling out of the Ankle Lock and scoring the win with a roll up. 
Your Winner: Edge

Post-match, Angle attacked Edge but the future Rated R Superstar made a quick comeback and dragged his rival to the entrance where a barber was stationed with all of his tools.

Before the Olympic Gold Medalist could get his head shaved, however, he managed to escape and run off. Edge gave chase, leaving the bemused barber to stand around aimlessly.

Earlier, I was going to say they really should have brought Brutus Beefcake in for this segment, but now I see why they didn’t.

Booker T’s Naked Bum

Down the street, we went inside a room at the Marriott Hotel where Booker T was about to get it on with the random woman from earlier.

You’d have to imagine that it was only due to Booker’s inflated ego that he was perfectly OK having a cameraman in the room while he was about to get it on.

Anyway, the girl wanted the lights off which was the obvious cue for something to happen.

Sure enough, Booker’s estranged tag team partner Goldust emerged, and when the light came back on he was under the covers with Booker and his girl. 

The reason? Booker hadn’t been returning any of his phone calls and he wanted to get the proverbial band back together.

In the only entertaining moment, Booker fled from the bed and left the room where his bare bum on full display.

Honestly, I can’t explain why, but that part was funny whereas the whole rest of this skit was just plain dumb.

Hell in a Cell is a Cell in Which There Will be Hell

Before the next match, we went to Smackdown commentators Michael Cole and Tazz to put over their show’s big match.

“Hell in a cell is simply a cell,” said Michael Cole. “And Triple H and Chris Jericho will go through hell in that cell.”

Well, thanks for that original and creative explanation, Michael. 

A video package then followed which did a better job of explaining the feud than Michael ‘State the Bloody Obvious’ Cole had just done, and with that it was on to the cell where the hell would be.

Hell in a Cell
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Hell in a Cell
This was the first Hell in a Cell match since the multi-man match at Armageddon 2000.

It was also excellent, way better than said match and even better than HHH and Chris Jericho’s meeting at Wrestlemania 18.

It didn’t necessarily start out that way, however. The early part of the match was slow and sluggish as The Game and The Larger Than Life Living Legend cranked up the violence factor and tried to inflict as much damage as possible.

Then, referee Tim White absolutely stole the show by getting knocked off the apron and taking a wicked bump into the steel mesh.

Honestly, it was an insane bump that was more impressive than any individual spot that the actual wrestlers pulled off. Sadly, it was also the spot that ended White’s career as a referee and eventually led to those awfully distasteful segments a few years later where White would repeatedly try to off himself.

The moment Tim landed on the floor, JR started yelling. 

“But Tim White has the key! Tim White has the key!”

Not “OMG, Tim White just went flying and got knocked the F out.” Or “holy crap Tim White must be hurt!” But “Tim White has the key!”

Jim Ross, ladies and gentlemen, master of subtlety.

Sure enough, White’s bump would lead to the cage being opened so that a gaggle of officials could rescue him, but not before Chris Jericho kicked his ass for costing him the match.

The cage opening was the real turning point.

We got some brawling, a cool spot where HHH DDT’d Jericho on top of the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, and then The Game making a call back to his No Way Out 2000 match against Cactus Jack by producing a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat.

The two inevitably made their way to the top of the cage where some excellent action culminated in a match-winning pedigree.

I loved this match.
Your Winner: Triple H

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to hide from Edge by pretending to be a woman getting her hair cut.

Edge caught up to the Olympic Gold Medalist and the chase continued.

We then saw a video in which a couple had sex in the back of a car while Mark Henry’s old ‘Sexual Chocolate’ music played. The window went down with a WWF logo on it and came up again the WWE logo on it.

Get it? 

Because GET THE ‘F’ OUT!

Meanwhile, at The World, Maven and Torrie Wilson were on a date where Torrie talked about how much she liked to take her clothes off.

WWE Tag Team Championship 
WWE Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Billy & Chuck vs. Rico
No, I didn’t make a mistake there.

Rico was still Billy & Chuck’s stylist but Vince McMahon had decided to screw with Rikishi by making Rico his partner for tonight’s match.

Ultimately, the plan backfired because when Rico went to kick his partner in the face, ‘Kishi ducked and Chuck ate a face full of boot. 

Chuck also ate some big ol’ booty as Rikishi squashed him and one three count later we had new tag team champions.

The match was nothing. 

It lasted about three minutes and wasn’t very exciting, but at least it served it’s purpose in putting some space between the Hell in a Cell match and the main event. 
Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Kurt Angle got shaved bald
Out in the back, Edge continued to pursue Kurt Angle, only for Angle to sneak attack his enemy and whack him over the noggin with a trash can lid.

The former champion then led Edge to the arena and the barbershop area, aiming to chop off his long, blonde locks.

Instead, Edge kicked his foe in the gut and knocked him out with a sleeper hold and shaved Angle’s head to create the look that Angle would maintain for the rest of his active career.

Finally, Edge encouraged the crowd to sing along to Angle’s theme, replacing their usual ‘you suck’ chants with ‘you’re bald’ ones.

Then, we got a video for the main event before the bell rang snd the match itself got under way.

WWE Undisputed Championship 
WWE Undisputed Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan for the Undisputed Title
In another ‘first’ for this PPV, it was the first PPV to see Undertaker using his Dead Man Walking theme song.

Tonight, he and Hogan met in their first PPV match since This Tuesday in Texas, and it was probably about on a par with that match in terms of quality.

That’s not to say it was bad or anything, but after several solid matches on this show, Hogan/Taker wasn’t exactly going to end things on a high note.

After some decent but unspectacular action, Vince McMahon came down and got himself beat up by the Hulkster.

The distraction allowed ‘Taker to waffle the champion with a chair and pin him for the title much like he’d done back at Survivor Series 1991.
Your Winner and NEW Undisputed Champion: The Undertaker

Afterwards, the new champion destroyed Hogan with a chair before walking to the back with the belt proudly around his waste.








In a way, it was entirely fitting that the first WWE-branded PPV should end with the man synonymous with the WWF being taken out and destroyed once and for all.

It was a poignant moment on which to end what had been an all-round good show.

Though not every match was amazing, the opening Intercontinental Championship match was very entertaining , the Hell in a Cell match was really enjoyable, and the Hair vs. Hair match was an awesome Match of the Night winner.

Skip the women’s match, the handicap match, and the main event, and this is a good show to watch.


Thursday, 1 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 2002

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Event poster
April 21, 2002, 
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri. 

Much had changed in the World Wrestling Federation in  the month between Wrestlemania X8 and Backlash 2002.

Following his iconic performance against The Rock, Hulk Hogan had fully severed ties with the New World Order and resurrected the Red and Yellow.

Yes, Hulkamania was well and truly running wild towards a nostalgia-fueled main event run for Hogan, leading to him challenging Triple H for the Undisputed title on tonight's show.

In the meantime, the company had also executed their first draft, telling us that Superstars and owners would be exclusive to either Raw or Smackdown and then completely disregarding that rule.

Literally on the very first show of the Brand Extension era, Smackdown boss Vince McMahon turned up on Raw and basically said "I know I'm not supposed to be here, but F**k it, I am anyway."

This made the show the first PPV since the first draft, as well as the first show at the Kemper Arena since the tragedy of Over the Edge 1999






Yet as much as it was a show of firsts, it was also a show of lasts, being the last PPV to take place in North America before the WWF became the WWE. It wasn't technically the last PPV of the brand era as the company would run a UK PPV a few weeks later, but since I'm not entirely show how much anyone actually gave a damn about those events, this was essentially the last hoorah for WWF PPV in America.

Anyway, with that long and winding intro out of the way, let's get on and review the show. 

The Game vs. The Icon 

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the event
Backlash 2002 show started with a dramatic opening video for tonight’s main event, an all-babyface clash between WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H and Hulk Hogan.

A compelling video, this one saw Hogan talking about how desperately he needed to become the champion to prove that the legacy of Hulkamania wasn’t all a dream while Triple H talked about how he would go to any lengths to retain the title.

It was good stuff as these videos usually always were.

Moving to the live show, crowd shots from the arena and WWF New York followed as Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to the show and Tajiri’s music hit in readiness for our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation Cruiserweight Championship 
WWF Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman vs. Tajiri (w/ Torrie Wilson)

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Torrie Wilson
Tajiri
had recently turned heel, placing Torrie in the role of ‘reluctant girlfriend who puts up with her evil boyfriend’s crap but will predictably get sick of it and leave him.’

Almost immediately, this seemed like a way to realign her with Kidman, and honestly, if that meant we got more matches like this one, that’s not a bad thing at all.

This was a stormer of an opening match in which the highlight wasn’t any fancy move or special high spot, but simply the sheer ferocity with which the challenger tried to kick the champion’s head off.

Seriously, these were the kind of kicks that make you wince and go “ooof” even though you know full well that pro wrestling is a work.

It was good stuff, and only part of what made this the best PPV openers of the year so far.

In the end, Tajiri won thanks to Evil Mist and a roll up. 
Your Winner and new Cruiserweight Champion: Tajiri

Post-match, Michael Cole tried to get a word with the new champion but Tajiri gave his whole promo in Japanese so who knows what he said?

An APA Reunion 

Farooq and Bradshaw had been split up in the draft. In the last Smackdown before said draft took effect, the two had closed the APA office for good in what had, surprisingly, been a genuinely touching moment.

The following week on Raw, the New World Order had taken over the office and graffitied the door, leading to a feud of sorts between Bradshaw and Scott Hall.

Those two would meet next, but first, Farooq and Bradshaw reunited backstage with the latter clearly calling his partner “Ron” despite the announcers still exclusively using the name Farooq.

Scott Hall (w/ X-Pac) vs. Bradshaw (w/ Farooq)

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Farooq & Bradshaw reunited after being split by the draft
A year shy of a decade since the 123 Kid upset Razor Ramon, X-Pac accompanied Scott Hall to the ring and proceeded to give the nWo the numbers advantage against a solo Bradshaw until the APA’s music hit again and Farooq stormed to ringside to even the score.

It was a cool moment, sure, but surely it would have been even cooler if they’d made it a surprise and kept the reunion until after the match, rather than before it.

Speaking of the match, all I’m going to say is this:

Jim Ross spent most of the latter part of the bout repeatedly telling us that the match was “bowling shoe ugly,” which as we all know was JR’s way of saying “this is awful.”

Scott Hall won with a bowling shoe ugly roll-up.
Your Winner: Scott Hall 

Backstage, Ric Flair was in his office talking with his assistant/lackey/buddy/whatever-he-was Arn Anderson when Vince McMahon barged in with no other agenda than to basically troll the Nature Boy for a bit.

After spending some time winding up Flair, Vince gave him a sly nod and wink while hinting that Flair may not be the upstanding babyface he was pretending to be.

“I will NEVER be like Vince McMahon,” insisted Flair, adamantly.

“No,” replied Vince. “But you can try.”

OK, I laughed at that.

World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship 
WWF Women’s Champion Jazz vs. Trish Stratus

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Trish Stratus challenged Jazz for the women's title
Before this one got underway, Molly Holly marched to ringside to have a word with Trish Stratus.

Molly had recently turned heel, first by waffling Hurricane with a frying pan back at Wrestlemania X8, then by kicking his arse on the first post-Mania Smackdown, and then taking the stance that all of the other divas were sluts with low morals.

Holly had tried to beat Trish with a handful of tights to win a shot at Jazz’s title but Stratus had reversed the pin attempt, grabbed a handful of tights of her own and earned the win.

Tonight, Holly confronted Trish about her cheating ways and the two got into it for a bit before Jazz came down to get this short match underway.

Although it wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful either, and it was pretty clear that both women tried to do the best they could with what they had.

After a few minutes or so-so action, Jazz put the STF on her opponent to retain her title.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Jazz

Post match, some interviewer called Mr. Michael WhoTFAmI RandomDude tried to get a word with Jazz and pointed a microphone in her face but the women’s champion said nothing, probably because she had no idea who this stranger was.

Seriously, who was this dude? For a split second I thought it was Kevin Kelly, but there’s two problems with that theory:

The guy was too young to be Kevin Kelly
The guy looked nothing like Kevin Kelly.

He sounded like Chris Jericho and looked kinda like a British ventriloquist called Paul Zerdin and...never mind, I just found out his name is Marc Lloyd, though personally, I think Michael WhoTFAmI is a way better name.

Paul Heyman - Panty Sniffer

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Brock Lesnar wrestled his debut match against Jeff Hardy
The night after Wrestlemania 18, Brock Lesnar had made his debut by interfering in a Hardcore match between Maven and Al Snow and killing everybody involved dead.

For the next few weeks, the future Mr. Sable went around destroying people at random while his agent, Paul Heyman soaked it up. 

Recently, Heyman had tried to use having Lesnar in his camp to his advantage by playing with Lita’s underwear and insinuating that if she didn’t give him sexy times, he’d have Lesnar take out her boyfriend, Matt Hardy.

Lita didn’t give him sexy times, so Lesnar made good on the promise to beat Hardy up while Heyman frolicked around in a bag of Lita’s panties like a kid rustling through a haul of Halloween candy.

With Matt out of action, it was up to Jeff Hardy to avenge his brother in what would be Lesnar’s first official match.

First though, it was promo time.

In that promo, the sleazy panty sniffer put over Lesnar as The Next Big Thing.

To his credit, Heyman was at least correct on that one.

Jeff Hardy (w/ Lita) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Paul Heyman leads Brock Lesnar into battle
And so, Big Brock’s debut match saw him demolish Jeff Hardy from pillar to post in an utterly sadistic fashion.

An elevated squash, this was made all the more entertaining by the last-minute hope spot Jeff pulled out of his pocket, electrifying the crowd with a comeback that made him look -if only for a fleeting moment- that he might actually prevail.

Alas, it wasn’t to be Hardy’s night. 

Lesnar took great pleasure in pulverizing his opponent until Teddy Long was forced to stop the match to stop Jeff Hardy’s organs from literally being splattered all over the ring.
Your Winner via Referee Stoppage: Brock Lesnar  

After a quick look at the rivalry between Edge and Kurt Angle, the two locked up in our next match.

Kurt Angle vs. Edge 

And what a match it was.

This was very good indeed. It was one of those matches that looks like it might be a little underwhelming at first but then builds and builds into an all-out, balls-to-the-wall classic that has you on the edge of your seat.

Though it was definitely Edge’s finest hour as a solo star at this point in his career, that didn’t mean he was to walk away with a victory.

After a scorcher of a match, the Olympic Gold Medalist hit the Angle Slam for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Jerry Lawler had enjoyed the match so much that he gave Kurt a standing ovation.

Chris Jericho’s Got Hurt Feelings

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Chris Jericho had nothing to do on the show
After a weird edit that it made it seem like they cut something out of the show, we jumped to Chris Jericho marching down to ringside.

The first-ever Undisputed Champion was out to bemoan the fact that he’d gone from main eventing Wrestlemania to not having a match on tonight’s card, all within the space of a month.

If you think about it, that’s a fairly legitimate complaint.

Still, despite not being booked, Jericho didn’t want all of that bouncing on a trampoline in his underoos to go to waste, so he lambasted the crowd, talked about his feelings being hurt, and then went home.

Taker Warns Flair

Well, he didn’t really warn him as much as he did walk into the Raw boss’s office, stare him down a bit and point a finger at him as if to say ‘just you watch yourself, mister.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship 
WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Eddie Guerrero

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Eddie Guerrero battled Rob Van Dam
After recently returning to the company, Eddie Guerrero made his first PPV appearance since WWA - The Revolution earlier that year and his first WWF PPV appearance since facing Brian Christopher WWF Insurrection 2001, all in the name of dethroning Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship.

To that end, he was successful. A quick smack upside his opponent’s head with the title belt and a beautiful frog splash gave Latino Heat the win, but that wasn’t what was really important here.

What was really important was that this match was awesome. Like, just non-stop solid wrestling that was a joy to watch. 

It even produced a chuckle at one point, though that was due to Jim Ross.

Giving the match a notable backstory, he and King talked about how both men used the frog splash as a finisher.

“Well, let me ask you, JR. Who was the first person in the WWF you saw using the frog splash?” Asked Lawler, insinuating that RVD had stolen the move.

“D’Lo Brown,” answered Ross, bluntly.

“Well, OK then,” replied King. “Who was the second?”

Everything about this match was a lot of fun.
Your Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero

After Jim Ross spent time shilling The Rock’s movie, The Scorpion King as though his life depended on it, we got a video package looking at how Steve Austin and The Undertaker had come to face off to earn a title shot.

That match was next.

Number One Contender’s Match for a shot at the Undisputed Championship 
The Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 

Special Referee: Ric Flair

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Undertaker wrestled Steve Austin
Steve Austin
and The Undertaker had a weird of history of sometimes having excellent matches and sometimes being dull and tedious. 

Their matches at WWF Rock Bottom and WWF In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell didn’t do it for me at all whereas their their bouts at Summerslam 1998 and Judgement Day 2001 absolutely delivered. 

This one somehow managed to be the best and worst of Austin/Taker all rolled into one match. 

The first half was a very fun, engaging match with a lot to enjoy, but then the second half of a match that went nigh-on half an hour really started to drag.

The first part saw Austin bust out some technical wrestling and both match bringing their A-Game, but as time went on it gradually deteriorated.

At one point, Hall and X-Pac came and stood in the entranceway and watched the match.

They didn’t interfere or get involved in any way, they just stood there. By the time the match was over they were nowhere to be seen, making their presence entirely pointless.

Later, Flair got ref-bumped and spent ten days knocked out. I know Naitch was getting on a bit, but let’s not forget that he just wrestled a whole match with ‘Taker a month before and now we’re supposed to believe that one little bump could knock him out for ages?

Was there really something about putting on a referee shirt that made people absolute weaklings?

Anyway, after a long effort, Undertaker kicked a chair in Austin’s face and pinned him.

Stone Cold got his foot on the ropes but Flair didn’t see it and gave the fall to Booger Red.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Afterwards, Austin gave his rival a stunner and drank a beer while Jonathan Coachman showed Flair footage of the finish.

“Mr. Flair, what do you have to say about that?” Asked Coach.

“Aw, shit,” replied Flair.

Weird that they didn’t beep that.

World Wrestling World Tag Championship 
WWF Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. Maven & Al Snow

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Billy, Chuck, and Rico
I don’t care what anyone says, Billy & Chuck were an entertaining tag team. Adding Rico, their stylist, into the mix only made them more so.

Maven & Al Snow?

Not so much.

Maven’s whole gimmick was that he won Tough Enough yet wasn’t quite good enough to hang with the main roster, which doesn’t really say much about Tough Enough, does it?

Anyway, the match was fine and had some fun spots which elevated it above and beyond the ‘ cool down the crowd before the main event’ role it was so obviously meant to fulfil.

Unsurprisingly given that nobody cared about Maven & Al Snow, Billy & Chuck retained their titles.

Finally, it was time for our main event.

Undisputed World Wrestling Federation Championship 
Undisputed WWF Champion Triple H vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan 

WWE / WWF Backlash 2002 - Hulk Hogan vs. Triple H
Earlier in the show, a fan’s sign pointed out that Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan was essentially Triple H vs. Triple H and that’s all I’ve been able to think about for the whole show.

Obviously, this wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but if you’re watching a Hulk Hogan match for technical wrestling then you’re probably the same person that watches hardcore nudey films for the romance.

Besides, it was still very good, and probably the best actual wrestling match Hogan had been involved in for years. OK, so it didn’t have the same kind of Once in a Lifetime feel as his ‘Mania match, but Hogan vs. Rock was a spectacle first and a wrestling match second.

Hogan vs. Triple H was all about Hogan putting in some decent effort to prove he could hang with The Game...

...At least it was until the whole story boiled down to the champion wearing down the challenger with a figure four, a sleeper, and other “let’s lie on the mat and do nothing” holds which nearly sent this writer to sleep.

Eventually, things picked up and we got cameos from Chris Jericho and The Undertaker.

Y2J tried to help Hunter to win while ‘Taker apparently had his eye on using his title shot to face Hogan for the gold.

Neither were successful as both HHH and HHH saw off the invaders and proved that they wanted to do this without anyone’s help.

Eventually, after a good bit of Hulking Up, Hogan dropped the leg on Helmsley to win his first WWF title since Wrestlemania 9.
Your Winner and New Undisputed Champion: Hulk Hogan

Afterwards, a battered and bloody Triple H stared down Hogan with a vengeful look in his eye but then shook his hand before leaving the new champion to celebrate as this enjoyable show went off the air.








And yes, it really was an enjoyable show.

The main event may not have been the best match on the card, but it certainly exceeded expectations given the kind of stinkers Hogan had been putting on in WCW for the last few years of that company’s existence.

Elsewhere, Tajiri/Kidman, Edge/Angle and Guerrero/RVD were all great matches and even Austin/Taker had its moments.

All in all, Backlash 2002 was a fun show that you probably won’t regret watching.



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Thursday, 10 June 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Wrestlemania X8

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 - Event poster
March 17, 2002
Toronto SkyDome, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The event poster for Wrestlemania 18 declares the event to be "The Best Ever." 

Or maybe that hyperbolic tag line simply refers to the Icon vs. Icon match between Hulk Hogan and The Rock. 

If it's the former, then it's perhaps fair to say that this was one event that didn't necessarily live up to the hype. 

As we'll discuss later in this Wrestlemania X8 review, the event was good, but rarely comes up in conversations regarding the greatest 'Mania of all time. 

If it's the latter, then it may also be fair to say that the poster has a good point.

Nigh on 20 years later, Rock vs. Hogan remains an iconic match that is still talked about and revered to this day. 

Was it an all-time classic technical masterpiece? No, of course, but then...well..why don't we quit this intro right here and dive into the review?







Make Me a Superstar 

We began tonight’s show with a cold open, going straight to a live performance by Saliva of the Wrestlemania theme, Superstar.


I won’t lie, I do enjoy some of Saliva’s songs. Though they might have been lumped into the whole nu-metal thing, they do have a good energy about them that still gets my blood pumping but sadly most of that energy was completely lost in the vast space of the Toronto Skydome.

Though I’m sure they performed the best they could (all with shots of tonight’s superstars playing out on a screen behind them), the atmosphere just wasn’t there for this one.

When the band had finished playing, we got the usual Wrestlemania opening video emphasizing the historic nature of the event.

As we got shots of classic moments like the Shawn Michaels zip line entrance from Wrestlemania 12, Ultimate Warrior charging to the ring at Wrestlemania 6, and Hulk Hogan body slamming 8,000 lbs Andre The Giant in front of 35 million people at Wrestlemania 3, the likes of Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Hogan himself all told us that this was an event at least on par with -if not superior to- the Super Bowl.

Crowd shots followed, both live in the arena and back in WWF New York as Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to what he called a ‘global phenomenon.’

Ladies and gentlemen, Wrestlemania X8 was underway.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship 
WWF Intercontinental Champion William Regal vs. Rob Van Dam 

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 - William Regal begs off from RVD
Up first, Rob Van Dam made his Wrestlemania debut in a decent effort against defending Intercontinental Champion William Regal.

There’s a part of me that feels bad that RVD was one of the most popular stars during the Invasion yet had been swiftly bumped back down to the midcard rather than being given a more prominent role, and yet another part of me that’s just glad we got to see The Whole F’N Show do his thing on the big stage.

Of course, it helped that he had a credible opponent here.

Regal was as good as he always was and together the two opened the show not with a scorcher exactly, but with a fun little match which served its purpose well.

In the end, Regal went to use his patented brass knuckles on the challenger only for referee Brian Hebner to wrest them from him.

The distraction allowed Van Dam to deck his opponent and polish him off with the Five Star Frog Splash.
Your Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Rob Van Dam

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 - Christian makes fun of Diamond Dallas Page
Backstage, we were taken back to Raw, where Diamond Dallas Page had helped Christian beat Billy Gunn, only for the former tag team champion to turn on DDP.

That set us up with a match for tonight, but only after Christian got done bragging to Lillian Garcia about using Page to get back on winning form and then dumping him.

Ensuring he’d get a heel reaction tonight, Christian also bragged about ditching Toronto and moving to Florida as soon as he could.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship 
WWF European Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Christian

You have to admire Diamond Dallas Page. He first appeared at a Wrestlemania in this very arena driving Rhythm & Blues to the ring in his pink Cadillac. 
 
Years later, the ever-positive performer had gone from chauffeur to champion and was now defending a title on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

As a side note, I always wonder why the story WWE pushes is that Page drove Honky Tonk Man to the ring when it was Honky and Greg Valentine.

Anyway, for his part, Christian had Howard Finkel introduce him as ‘now hailing from Tampa, Florida’ to further raise the ire of his hometown audience.

The match itself was OK. Not great, sure, and certainly not a Wrestlemania classic by any stretch, but certainly the kind of thing you’d enjoy watching to kill time on Raw, with a couple of close near falls making for a pretty exciting finish.

Speaking of which, Page blasted his challenger with the Diamond Cutter to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

Post-match, DDP congratulated Christian on not losing his temper in front of 67,000 people and the ‘gazillions’ watching at home. 

Naturally, that spurrred the Canadian on to have a temper tantrum of epic proportions.

Page then left through the crowd to bask in their adulation.

Finally, The Rock Has Come Back... To Toronto!  

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 -  The Rock makes Coach say his prayers
Backstage, The Rock was on fine form as he told Jonathan Coachman that he couldn’t wait for Hulkamania to run wild on him.

Turning his attention to Coach, Rock asked the interviewer whether he’d taken vitamins and said his prayers then lambasted him for not checking in with The Almighty.

Shocked by Coach’s lack of prayers, Rock forced him onto his knees to pray and was even more flabbergasted when Coach's prayer started with the words “What up, G?

Kicking Coach aside, Rock returned his attentions to Hogan and built up tonight’s match like only The Great One could.

The Coachman stuff was incredibly funny, the rest of the promo was just incredible.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship 
WWF Hardcore Champion Maven vs. Goldust

This wasn’t much of a match.

Sure, it started off well enough with your usual trash can shots (trash cans painted gold, obviously) and mindless brawling. 

Then, about two minutes in, both men nailed each other with trash can lids. Seizing the opportunity, Spike Dudley ran down and pinned Maven to become the new champion and that was that.
Your Winner and New Hardcore Champion: Spike Dudley

A second later, Crash Holly came running down and he and Goldust both chased the new champion off through the crowd.

It was all over in about three minutes.

Story Time With Drowning Pool

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 -  Drowning Pool performed
Up next, we were informed that ‘red hot rock band’ Drowning Pool were going to tell us the story of the rivalry between Chris Jericho and Triple H.

Of course, they didn’t tell us why such story. Instead, they played their song Tear Away while clips of The Game, The Undisputed Champion, and Stephanie McMahon played out on the screen behind him.

Again, this was a decent song and a decent performance, but it was simply lost in the vastness of the Skydome.

It was such an ill-placed idea that when singer Dave Williams implored the crowd to scream, he was met by what sounded like total silence.

Of course, the sad thing here is that Williams would pass away due to heart failure just five months after this event.

The Hurricane is Your New Hardcore Champion

On a brighter note, we next went backstage where Spike Dudley and Crash Holly continued to brawl over the Hardcore title.

Al Snow put in a cameo, driving a golf truck with Teddy Long as a passenger and ploughing it straight into a stack of cardboard boxes in a pretty funny moment.

Spike managed to escape, but seconds later was KO’d by The Hurricane who made the pin and became the new champion.

Kurt Angle vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 -  Kane vs. Kurt Angle
Before the bell, Kurt Angle took to the microphone to get some heat by ragging on the Canadian Figure Skating couple of Jamie SalĂ© and David Pelletier after the two had been involved in a scandal at that year’s Winter Olympics.

He then went on to face Kane in a match that was decent but very unremarkable.

OK, so Kane was a spectacle and a competent performer, but this felt like a waste of someone with Angle’s talent and star power and felt very much like it had been thrown together just to ensure the two would have a ‘Mania match.

The actual action was OK, but I doubt this was a match anyone other than those involved really cared about.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle 

Out in the back, Hurricane ran away to avoid anyone fighting him for the hardcore title.

Unfortunately for the World Wrestling Federation’s resident super hero, he ran straight into the women’s changing room and had to hide behind a screen when The Godfather’s hos came in.

When one such lady of the night removed her top, Hurricane raised a broom which made his silhouette look like he had a huge, odd-shaped erection.

At that point, The Godfather himself showed up and chased off The Hurricane.

This was nowhere near as funny as it was meant to be.

‘Taker Wants Flair...’Taker Gets Flair

Up next, we were shown a video that highlighted the rivalry between The Undertaker and Nature Boy Ric Flair.

Flair had interfered in ‘Taker’s match back at No Way Out 2002, prompting The Phenom to challenge him to a match.

When the WWF co-owner had refused a match, ‘Taker had beaten up Arn Anderson and David Flair to get Nature Boy to finally step in the ring.

As a result, Nature Boy had temporarily relinquished all authority, leading to Vince McMahon making the match a No DQ.

No Disqualification 
The Undertaker vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair 

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 - The Undertaker went 10-0 against Ric Flair
Competing in his first ‘Mania match since Wrestlemania 8, The Nature Boy went at it with The Dead Man in a wild, bloody, and brilliant brawl.

Two thirds of the match saw Undertaker battering Flair from pillar to post and backing again, busting his opponent up and prompting JR to pay tribute to Gordon Sollie by referencing the proverbial crimson mask.

In the last third, Flair made a valiant comeback and even managed to get his nemesis into the Figure Four, only for ‘Taker to slap a hand around Naitch’s throat and muscle out.

Moments later, Arn Anderson put in a cameo with a crowd-popping spine buster but even that wasn’t enough to lay The Dead Man to rest.

‘Taker battled back, hit Flair with the Tombstone piledriver and went 10-0 at Wrestlemania.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Post match, ‘Taker took out Little Naitch Charles Robinson too.

Booker T Went to a Highly Educated University 

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 - Michael Cole interviews Booker T
Out in the back, Michael Cole reminded Booker T that Edge had not only taken an endorsement deal that Booker believed was his, but had also questioned the former Harlem Heat member’s intellect.

I’m a highly intelligent man. I got glasses don’t I?,” scoffed the five time, five time, five time WCW champion with a seriousness that was pretty funny.

Proving just how smart he was, Booker boasted about how good he’d done on his thesis about Einstein’s theory of relatives.

Now can you dig that, sucka?

Booker T vs. Edge 

Much was made of Edge being in the crowd back at Wrestlemania 6 and this being his big homecoming, so it’s a shame that the actual match was fairly disappointing.

That’s not to say that they didn’t try. Both men worked hard and even did something different by making this the first match on the show that didn’t start with one wrestler attacking the other before the bell.

It was fine, and even had a hot little finish in which Edge did his own Edge-a-Roonie and went through a series of reversals before hitting the Edgecution for the win, but it also felt very flat.
Your Winner: Edge 

Backstage, Mighty Molly betrayed Hurricane by knocking him out with a frying pan to become the third hardcore champion of the evening.

That was followed by a video for the upcoming Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall match.

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall (w/ Kevin Nash)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 -  Kevin Nash accompanies Scott Hall for his match with Steve Austin
This would be the first time since Wrestlemania 13 that Austin had appeared on a Wrestlemania card but wasn’t in the main event.

Meanwhile, this was Scott Hall’s first Wrestlemania match since he defeated Jeff Jarrett Wrestlemania 11.

The match was fun for what it was.

Going back to the same formula as almost every match on the card, Austin attacked before the bell because you know, why bother doing anything different.

From there, things descended into what was pretty much a handicap match, with Kevin Nash continually running interference until a gaggle of referees made him leave.

Nash’s appearance, though it made complete sense, seemed out of place. He wore his full wrestling attire and made the whole thing look like when you’re playing a wrestling video game and choose your own manager.

That left us open to some more brawling until Austin hit the stunner and Hall flew a good five feet in the air.

It was a glorious end to a match that had been entertaining without being exceptional.

Indeed, while this was a far cry from Austin’s usual main event level match, it was still good for what it was.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin 

Post match, Austin had himself a beer bash as if to get over the fact that his ‘Mania match mattered so little this year.

Welcome to Axxess

Up next, we were shown highlights from the WWF Axxess event.

The weirdest part was that the thought crossed somebody’s mind that what the event needed was a statue of Stacy Kiebler’s legs and ass that fans could touch and have their photo taken with.

The best part, however, was Booker T being mad about not being included in a video game that was released before he joined the company and then choosing to play as Krispin Wah and delighting in whooping some little kid’s butt.

Get the Tables!

Hey, you know what this Wrestlemania really needs?

More nu-metal!

As we got ready for the four team title match, Saliva came out to sing The Dudley Boyz theme from Forceable Entry while Stacy danced with the singer and Bubba Ray and D’Von rocked out.

It was a decent performance and all, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at the idea of a band singing a really angry song about a piece of furniture.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship Four-Team Elimination Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley w/ Stacy Kiebler) vs. The APA (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 -  Stacy Keibler dances with Saliva
Billy
& Chuck had been enjoying a sizeable push as of late which sort of took the element of unpredictability out of what was otherwise a decent tag team match.

Farooq and Bradshaw got eliminated early on as they almost always did in these situations, and from there the match started to get better the longer it went on.

Things really hit a climax when Billy Gunn pushed D’Von off the top rope through a table. In the ring, Matt and Jeff Hardy took out Bubba Ray with a Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combo.

That led us to a fun -if short- announcers change between the reigning champions and their remaining challengers, culminating in Billy clocking Jeff with a title belt so that Chuck Palumbo could cover him for the predictable three count.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Billy & Chuck

Post-match, the champions stood over Stacy Kiebler as she checked on a destroyed D’Von Dudley.

Hogan Needs to Face The Rock on His Own

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 -  Hulk Hogan tells Hall and Nash to stay out of his match
Backstage, Hall complained to Nash that his loss to Austin had been a fluke. Nash agreed and promised that the two of them would take out The Rock when The Great One faced Hulk Hogan next.

As if on cue, Hollywood himself then turned up and insisted that he had to face The Rock on his own and beat him up in exactly the same way that he had beaten up Rocky Balboa in Rocky 3.

The Outsiders agreed, but when Hogan left, Nash insisted that he and Hall would still make their presence felt.

Elsewhere in the building, Christian slammed a door in Molly Holly’s face and became our new Hardcore Champion.

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania X8 - The Rock and Hulk Hogan face off
Given that I’d stopped watching wrestling altogether back in 2002, I’d never actually seen this match until now.

Of course, I’ve read about it hundreds of times, but even that couldn’t stop this long-time fan from getting chills as Hogan and Austin came nose to nose in the center of the ring.

The crowds were firmly behind Hulk, and that seemed at first to not only surprise Hulk Hogan the wrestler but also to genuinely delight Terry Bollea the man.

The actual in-ring action may not have been a technical masterpiece but was an absolute joy to watch because of the insane ovation that Rock and Hogan receive for every single move.

After an incredible performance that was more about the experience than moves, The Great One pinned the Immortal One but only after three Rock Bottoms and a People’s Elbow.
Your Winner: The Rock. 

Afterwards, a gracious Hogan shook The Rock’s hand, but this brought out Hall & Nash. 

The duo attacked their former leader, only for Rock to turn to ring and aid his one-time nemesis in seeing off The Outsiders.

Bringing this segment to a close, Rock urged Hogan to do his famous post-match pose down routine. The Hulkster obliged, and this fan sat watching the whole thing with the kind of beaming smile the Cheshire Cat would be proud of.

I watch a lot of wrestling to keep this blog going week after week, but moments like Hogan vs. Rock at Wrestlemania 18 remind me why I love it.

Setting Records

After a brief clip of The Big Show hoisting some young fan onto his arm over at WWF New York, Howard Finkel told us that Wrestlemania X8 had set a new Toronto Skydome record of 68,237.

Nice.

World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match
WWF Women’s Champion Jazz vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus 

Jazz may have been the champion, but she was easily the least over of the three women in this short women’s championship match, especially when Trish Stratus came out doing a whole Canadian Patriot deal.

So it was a surprise to see her retain her title after a few minutes of solid but forgettable action.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Jazz

Out in the parking lot, Maven caught Christian with the same roll-up that would later prove to be the only move anyone fighting for the 24/7 championship would be capable of doing.

He got the three count and escaped with the same title he had started the night with.

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

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 18 - Chris Jericho & Stephanie McMahon
HHH came down to Drowning Pool playing their version of his theme music from Forceable Entry.

It wasn’t the greatest song in the world, but at least Dave Williams remembered the lyrics much better than Lemmy had the year before at Wrestlemania 17.

The actual match was much better then I’ve seen people give it credit for, but I absolutely get that trying to stay invested in this one after a long three-plus hour show was not easy task.

The story was basically Jericho going after The Game’s leg and Hunter continually fighting back until landing the Pedigree for the predictable ending.

As obvious as the outcome might have been, most of the actual action here was solid.
Your Winner and new Undisputed Champion: Triple H

Post-match, the new champion posed with his titles before we cut to an excellent video package recapping all of the highlights from the 18th edition of Wrestlemania.









Wrestlemania X8 is never going to go down as one of the greatest ‘Manias of all time.

Most of the action never got past being “decent” and the show suffered from a weird booking trend in which eight out of the 11 matches on the card started in exactly the same way:

With the first person to make their entrance attacking their opponent prior to the bell.

Still, that aside, there were a few stand out moments.

The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair was a good match and Rock vs. Hogan was on a whole different level.

Much like Hogan’s last ‘Mania match in the same venue, this wasn’t so much about pure wrestling moves, it was about the spectacle, the crowd participation and the overall joy of seeing two larger than life characters collide.

Though Hogan technically lost, he was undeniably the star of the match. So,  it was entirely fitting that a man who’s name had long been synonymous with the World Wrestling Federation, and whose stardom was largely responsible for Wrestlemania’s early success, should be the same man to take the spotlight in the last Wrestlemania before the WWF became WWE.



Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.