Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Guest TSMAdmin

The Crossface: Wrestlemania Reactions

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin

The biggest show of the year is in the books and a few of the Smart Marks have some choice words and no shortage of opinions. Before we get started, let’s meet the players…


Byron Vester: Check out Byron’s latest TSM Weekend Newsflash!


Dr. Tom: Make sure you read Dr. Tom’s latest Smackdown Report! Also, be on the lookout for his Wrestlemania recap!


Jared “JHawk” Hawkins: Catch JHawk’s Raw recap every week!


Patrick Spoon: Be on the lookout for a special Spoon DVD review in the near future!


Retro Rob: Catch Rob's latest tape review of Wrestlemania 2


William Hemlick: William moderates the Crossface discussions, including the Wrestlemania Predictions Thread!



Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio


Byron: This was a fun little match that thankfully didn’t go longer than needed. Nothing seemed blown and both guys had their working shoes on. I still thought Rey was going over so imagine my surprise when Matt pinned him.


Dr. Tom: This was a good choice to open the show with, but they simply didn't give these two enough time. It was a good match for Smackdown, but I expect more on the biggest card of the year. **1/2


JHawk: Good opener to pop the crowd, but what the hell was up with the brevity of the match? Some nice wrestling with some nice counters throughout, and the finish can help establish a rematch somewhere down the line.


Patrick: Rey Mysterio v. Matt Hardy -- Rey looked game to put on a good match, as did Matt, but this wasn't given much time at ALL to develop. What some of us was thinking could be a ***1/2 affair or higher was brutally cut off at the knees. Never got a chance to really get any kind of flow. Kinda sad, and with CHEATING TO WIN~ by a non-Hispanic? Viva la Mediocre! *3/4


Retro Rob: As a MF'er, I was happy with the result of the opener, but it was too short.


William: This began as a great cruiser exhibition. Then I blinked and it was over. I know it’s a pipe dream to give the lightweights more than 6 minutes to do their thing but I was hoping the Fed would surprise me with a fifteen-minute opener. The brevity and cheap ending hurt this match a lot.



Undertaker vs. A-Train and Big Show


Byron: I expected it to suck coming in and if their plan for Jones is to have him wait until the last moments of tag matches to come out, then I have no problem with it. The less I see of Nathan trying to wrestle, the better. Still was too hokey to watch Taker almost totally dominate much of the match, but that’s really par for the course with Taker. The match didn’t completely suck.


Dr. Tom: It's nice to see that the recent run of bait-and-switch tactics carries over to the biggest PPV of the year. I know Nathan Jones is supposed to suck the big one in the ring, but don't put the guy on the card if you're going to have him punked out in a silly Heat skit. All of us expected Jones to get involved in the match; we only wondered why it wasn't a DQ when he delivered the boot in the ring. Oh well. It's always nice to see a TOMBSTONE~!, but this wasn't a match to remember. *


JHawk: Here's a thought. If you're not confident enough in the man's in-ring ability to actually have him wrestle, then why book Nathan Jones on the show in the first place? Surprisingly good for a big man match, and I wasn't really bored with it, but about five minutes too long (and that five minutes could have easily gone to the opener.)


Patrick: Undertaker kicks the asses of two men who are three times his weight put together without any real help minus a half-hearted "run-in" by Nathan Jones(who didn't even get to the ring until after the bell), who STILL hasn't wrestled. Wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Still pretty damn bad though. 1/2*


Retro Rob: This was watchable because Jones was nowhere to be found. It is funny though how the WWE screwed us out of seeing his debut twice now. Keep in mind, I'm not complaining.


William: Nathan Jones was nowhere to be found and I can’t say I am disappointed by the decision. Unfortunately, this match was positioned in-between piss breaks so I had no choice but to watch the damn thing. Jones’s appearance killed my good vibe but his stay was short and sweet. Hopefully, this was Taker’s final Wrestlemania match and he’ll be gone for good by the end of the year. I can say the same thing about the other three participants as well.



Trish Stratus vs. Jazz vs. Victoria


Byron: Decent, but heatless. It seemed carved in stone that Trish was winning it since Jazz and Victoria are both heels. If they want to really get serious about this division (HA!) then they better get a few more faces, STAT!


Dr. Tom: Was it just me, or did Trish work her gorgeous booty off during this match? All the girls brought the goods for this one, and it ended up being almost as good as the opener. **


JHawk: I have mixed feelings about this one. It wasn't bad, per se, but it seemed a bit sloppy and it didn't really click. And I understand Trish going over since the face usually goes over at WrestleMania, but it seems the intrigue is actually with Jazz and Victoria, so that should be where the buildup came from. Nothing special, but decent.


Patrick: Trish did a great job of holding this together, since the heel/heel fighting never really materialized in this one. Great women's match, possibly the best since the Trish/Stephanie one back at No Way Out 2001 and definitely the best since before Jazz was taken out by injury last spring. **3/4


Retro Rob: The three-way for the Women's Title was decent. Nothing different than what we see on Raw though. Although I thought Jazz should have won, this way her and Trish could rekindle their feud for the title.


William: This match was way more impressive than I thought. It’s not joshi but I wasn’t embarrasses for them like I have been on so many other occasions. Teasing me with a quick shot of Victoria’s ass wasn’t very nice but I’ll take what I can get.



Los Guerreros vs. Team Angle vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno


Byron: Nice tag match, if a bit disjointed. I don’t understand why Team Angle are keeping the straps since they are soon to be without a leader and a reason for being there. Also, it’s time to end this pathetic Guerreros face run. They work a LOT better as heels, dammit.


Dr. Tom: I tend to dislike matches like this, since they always strike me as a copout. That said, this was good, but I expected better considering the caliber of the performers. The finishing sequence was well-done, and it was good to see Team Angle get a solid win for a change. ***


JHawk: This might be the most surprising result of the night (I think most people thought it was a guaranteed title change). Pretty good, but disappointing for what these guys are capable of. That might have been because it was the second triple threat match of the evening. Nice surprise to see Team Angle go over, and there's a ton of potential for good matches coming out of this.


Patrick: The Benoit/Eddie part of the match seemed to be the only really enjoyable part, although Team Angle held up their end nicely. Rhyno didn't even get tagged in or do anything until the Gores on Eddie and... umm... who else? Geez, he was really forgettable here, much like this match. Disappointing. **1/2


Retro Rob: This was also nothing different than the norm. I was glad to see Team Angle go over because now that Kurt is out, they would have lost most of their heat without the titles.


William: This was one of the most anticipated matches of the evening and it didn’t live up to the hype. Like the cruiser match, this was criminally short and the work wasn’t exactly crisp either. Out of the whole damn bunch, I think Chavo was the most impressive. Hopefully, they turn the Guerreros heel again because warm-loveable-Eddy isn’t the same as rudo Eddy!



Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels


Byron: I’m not going to say one thing about the Kliq or HBK’s old reputation, but Chris should have gone over here since this whole feud was built around him proving he’s better than Michaels and HBK going over makes NO sense whatsoever. Jericho getting his heat back after the match was funny, but it means dick since he still failed.


Dr. Tom: his was the match that woke the crowd up and really kicked the show into gear. Great spots, some fine psychology, and perfect antics from Jericho made this a great one. It was definitely the match of the night until the main event came along. Jericho had better go over at Backlash after this; a Michaels’ win makes no sense here otherwise, and makes questionable sense even looking ahead to that. ****


JHawk: Very good match, and outside of Michaels getting the pinfall, a very smartly booked match. Great wrestling from both guys, each man trying to win with the other person's finisher, and a pretty nice finishing sequence. But why couldn't Jericho go over? Would that really have been a bad thing?


Patrick: Tremendous match that actually told a story within it. Started slow and built so gradually that you didn't realize how it had accelerated. Michaels only really sold the low blow after the match, but the match itself was nothing to complain about except who the victor was. I can only imagine how Raw will survive after Rock leaves and the only credible heel they have is Triple H due to the damage done to Jericho. For all the Michaels defenders, letting someone retire you and letting them get a simple post-match cheap shot in are two totally different things. ****1/2


Retro Rob: Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels put on a TREMENDOUS performance. That match was light years better than what I was expecting. The finish was crap, but it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Not too many matches do that these days. I don't know what the point in putting HBK over was. It most likely ties into Diesel's return. Either way, even though he lost, the crowd was really into Jericho, so he benefited from the match in that way.


William: Going into the show, I felt this was going to be the match of the night. While Brock-Angle has been getting more love, I think this was the better match. The wrong man went over and I think that soured people’s opinions of how good this really was. If Jericho doesn’t win the rematch (if there is one) then what was the point? The post-match antics solidified the fact that Jericho is the best thing going on RAW and his treatment is disturbing.



Booker T vs. Triple H


Byron: The match was coming along quite nicely until Booker took that bump over the ropes. I think everybody could tell he fucked up something bad. Also, I don’t think the Hangover really did the knee any favors, so I really wouldn’t blame HHH for going over here, especially if Book couldn’t go.


Dr. Tom: One word sums this one up: Goddamnithunterareyouevergoingtolosethatfuckingbelt!? This was the perfect chance to elevate Booker before the biggest audience around, and it'll just go down as another missed opportunity. I really think Booker needed this win, but I guess we'll see how elastic his heat really is. Both guys sold a lot and gave a lot of effort, but the match still wasn't great. I expected more crowd heat, too. **3/4


JHawk: This one nearly killed the whole show for me. I hate to say that, because the match was technically pretty good, but let me get this straight. Scissor kick, Booker slow to cover because of the knee, kickout. Fine. Harlem Hangover, Booker slow to cover because of the knee, kickout. Fine. Pedigree, Hunter even slower to cover due to getting his ass kicked, pin? Fuck you! That isn't realistic given what Hunter had already kicked out of at this point. Who's left for Hunter to beat now? Just Rock, Austin, and possibly Goldberg, and I don't really want to see any of them. Good match before the bullshit anti-climatic finish though.


Patrick: The crowd wasn't really into this at all until near the very end when Booker looked like he might win. In the second boneheaded decision of the night, Booker lost to a single pedigree after having a good few seconds to recover from it before the pin. Meanwhile, Triple H kicked out of the scissors-kick and the Houston Hangover. Guess those Nash reports are true. For the awesome selling of the leg by Booker and the good psychology throughout, ***.


Retro Rob: HHH-Booker T was good for a HHH match. It was nice to see Book squash HHH's face with the Harlem Hangover. Too bad Booker didn't win the title, but most of us knew he wouldn't. We were just trying to avoid the inevitable.


William: I was hoping for the best and prepared for the worst. After Monday night, I knew Booker was losing so his loss didn’t deflate me like it did the other guys. They kept it at a slow pace and the crowd responded by sitting on their hands. Both the Harlem Hangover and the Pedigree looked horrible. A horrible ending to a decent match in front of a dead crowd should wake the front office up but it won’t.



Vince McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan


Byron: I didn’t expect it to be any good as a straight up match, so thank GOD it was a streetfight. The crowd was totally into it, which may make some compare it to Rock/Hogan from last year, which was also a pretty crappy match. I have to admit that I marked for the legdrop from the ladder. I didn’t know Vince had it in him. The Hooters crowd gave no love to Piper when he showed up, which made me laugh my ass off. Hell, they couldn’t have broadcasted him turning on Hogan any louder. Hopefully, since Hulk won the match, we won’t see Hogan/Piper, Part 67 at Backlash.


Dr. Tom: For two people who are basically non-wrestlers and who combine for 107 years, this wasn't too bad. Sure, it sucked in terms of quality wrestling, but it told a good story, showed both guys giving it their all, and showcased Vince's ability to play a great heel. The heat wasn't like Rock-Hogan of last year, but what else could be, really? Consider this one good for what it was. **


JHawk: 20 Years in the Making: Roddy F'N Piper = JHawk marking the hell out! Piper was a very nice surprise. The match on the whole was entertaining for what it was. Not technically good, but entertaining. Can't really complain here.


Patrick: Vince's masochism made this watchable, as I expected. Very well-booked and melodramatic, but with good drama like the McMahon street fight at Wrestlemania XVII. Big props to both men for giving it a great go despite their obvious limitations, and for Hugo Savenovich (apologies if I spelled his name incorrectly) taking an unprotected chairshot and even juicing. Piper makes an appearance and actually does something that makes sense in the historical context of the match, and SHANE-O~ appears afterwards in a suit. Doesn't take much else to make me happy. Still a trainwreck of an actual match, but with enough bells and whistles to keep me from remembering that part. **


Retro Rob: Hogan and Vince were able to spend 20 minutes punching, kicking, and chairing each other. All in all, it wasn't half-bad. Especially when you take into account that Hogan is 50 and Vince is just about 60. Piper's return was a HOLY SHIT moment, but he looked to be out of shape. I don't know where they are going with Piper now. Hopefully we don't have AGE IN THE CAGE for the trillionth time at Backlash. Kudos to Hogan for not passing out during the match and kudos to Vince for that FUCKING AWESOME PSYCHOPATH LOOK he had on his face once he found the pipe.


William: THANK GOD they didn’t make this the main event. Hogan lays in a couple of stiff chairshots for jobbing to Yokozuna in ’93. Vince responds with his own manly chairshots because of the steroid trial. While others were in markout city, I really didn’t need the McMahon blade-job, the ladder, Roddy Piper or Shane-O-Mac. This match did nothing for me.



The Rock vs. Steve Austin


Byron: Boy, was this match pretty heatless in the beginning. Thankfully, both guys got in the groove and salvaged something good out of it. The way the story worked here is pretty much the same as HBK/Jericho, but the right guy went over. This match can’t touch Mania 17’s boots, but it was on par with WM 15 and maybe Backlash 99(although I think that one was better).


Dr. Tom: Finally, the Rock has gone over Steve Austin at Mania. While not a classic like their X7 clash, this was still a very good match. There were plenty of false finishes, including Austin kicking out of a Stunner, two Rock Bottoms, AND a Hollywood Elbow. The third Rock Bottom was the charm, though. Very good match, and it will be interesting to see what they do with Austin from here. ***1/2


JHawk: Another rather anti-climatic finish, as Austin made no attempt to get out of the third Rock Bottom. Does anybody know how to change things up if something doesn't work? Damn man. Not bad, and storyline-wise the right guy went over.


Patrick: I kinda zoned out watching this, because it was like watching their other matches put together, with the exception of Rock wearing Austin's vest, which was really weird to watch considering that Rock is bald now also. Not to say that putting their old matches together is a bad thing, but this one lacked the build the other two Wrestlemania encounters got, I feel. Rock doing THREE Rock Bottoms reminded me of the ending of their Wrestlemania XVII match, but with Austin it was much more intense, since, you know, he used a chair instead of a bunch of Stunners. Still, good match and the right man went over. ***1/2


Retro Rob: Austin and the Rock put on a very good match. I'm not quite sure what the point was in jobbing out a guy who will be wrestling for the next several months or even years to someone who wrestles in-between filming movies. I know this is a hot-topic, but that's my take on it.


William: Rock and Austin defy the odds and pull out one more great match. This wasn’t even close to their best but since I was expecting a DUD going in, I was thrilled that they made the most of it. JR called the double clothesline spot “serious ass impact” and I mark-out for the first time all night. Hopefully, Rock can do the same carry job for Goldberg next month because I don’t know if I could really sit through a Goldberg match without the Rock’s presence.



Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar


Byron: Started off pretty heatless like Rock/Austin, but likewise, it picked up near the end. Both guys should get major kudos for going out there and leaving it in the ring. I have to admit that I was scared as hell when Brock botched the SSP and damn near broke his neck. The hug at the end was pretty cool. If this was Kurt’s last hurrah in the WWE, while it wasn’t “blown away” quality, it was still pretty damn good.


Dr. Tom: We knew it had to happen, but damn if the journey wasn't dashed impressive. I winced whenever Angle took a hard bump, especially on the suplexes I thought were supposed to be verboten. The botched Shooting Star Press was ugly (and I think that would have been the finish had Brock hit it), but the rest of the match was gold. Kurt Angle is GOD, and if there's any way he can miss less than a year, I'm all for it. Get well, Kurt, and hurry back. ****1/4


JHawk: If that's indeed the end for Kurt Angle, thank you for giving me one hell of a match to remember you by. We'll never know how much better it could have been, but there was some great mat wrestling with just enough high spots to keep the live crowd from becoming apathetic. Tip for aspiring wrestlers coming off the top rope: Make sure your opponent's close enough to the corner before you leap. A terrific final touch as Angle passed the torch.


Patrick: As much as we try to forget, this match will forever be known for the Shooting Star Press failure after so much internet hype for it and a great deal of anticipation from me personally. Fun Fact: Kurt Angle will now be in the frame of two clips on their "Don't Try This At Home" announcements. Very sound match before that though, but I was disappointed that they didn't go all amateur on each other. Angle's neck needing protection kept them from doing the most insane things, but I feel that it didn't detract too much. Was it worth the months and months of hype since the match was postulated back in the fall? Even with the neck injury and finish being blown, I say yes. Brock's seeming invincibility in the weeks leading up to the event was rendered meaningless in the actual match, with Kurt suplexing Brock all over and even getting the release German on him. Not the match of the night, but a definite second place. ****1/4


Retro Rob: Kurt Angle is one crazy motherfucker and etched his name in wrestling history FOREVER last night. He did the unthinkable. Honestly, I thought the match would be similar to Austin-HBK at XIV, but it was nothing like that. Angle muscled through his injury, pulled out and received a few suplexes. Hell, he even saved the finish of the match by rolling out of the way once he saw Brock wasn't going to hit the SSP. As for the SSP, maybe Brock should have done it at a few recent house shows, considering the last time he hit one was a year ago in OVW. I felt kind of bad for Kurt since he just busted his ass for Brock, who then went on to botch the finish. Nonetheless, excellent match.


William: If this is Angle’s last match then he went out on a high note. This match suffered from the same thing as last year’s main event… bad placement on the card. After the Hogan carnival and rock-Austin, the crowd was deflated and these guys nearly killed themselves trying to get them into it. I think the biggest problem I had with this match is I knew Kurt was losing, thus there was absolutely no suspense. I also had the feeling that the crowd didn’t want to boo Kurt. I feel bad for Brock botching the SSP. If it would have connected, he could have solidified his position. Now, it becomes another reason for people to attack his placement on the card. The pain he was suffering reminded me of Steve Austin after Owen Hart dropped him on his head. Overall, a great match but I don’t think it was the ***** affair Angle was hoping to leave us with.



Final Thoughts


Byron: While not a GREAT show, it was pretty damn good, but I would rather buy a comp of this than pay 40 bucks to see it. The booking decisions of a few matches (Smackdown 3-way, HBK/Jericho, Hardy/Mysterio) still bother me and Booker jobbing (and possibly injured in seemingly a major way) really soured me on the PPV as a whole. The crap was crap and the good was good at times, but not enough for $40. Thumbs in the middle, leaning up.


Dr. Tom: It wasn't the best Mania ever (that distinction still belongs to X7), but this was a pretty damn good show. It really got rolling with the Jericho-Michaels match and never looked back. There were some excellent performances, some great sequences, and some false finishes that had all of us throwing our hands in the air and scooting inevitably closer to the edges of our seats. I'll call this one an easy winner and give it a 7/10 overall.


JHawk: There's something about WrestleMania. I don't know how well the card will hold up on repeat viewings, but it was pretty good live. Nothing actively sucked, but I'm not sure anything is going to be remembered as a bonafide classic either. A fairly solid thumbs up.


Patrick: Very good show, with the garbage kept to a tolerable level and getting what could have been potentially awful (the Hoss-a-Mania tag match and both Limp Bizkit performances) out of the way pretty early on, leaving the final hour and a half to two hours for the wrestling, which, as a whole, wasn't all that bad. This blew away last year's offering. Overall, an easy thumbs up.


Retro Rob: Overall, I was expecting nothing going in and was pleasantly surprised. This wasn't X-7 level or anything, but it was a hell of an improvement over X-8. I believe that XIX will be looked at as one of the better WrestleManias in WWE history.


William: I thought this was a great show! I was never bored, most of the matches were better than I had anticipated, there were no screwjob endings, and JR said “serious ass impact”. What more could you want? Most people are probably disappointed by the booking but I’ve already come to expect bad decisions from Vince and Company so the HBK and HHH wins don’t bother me that much. I think this show deserves a strong thumbs-up and that is the first time I have said that about a WWE PPV in months.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this