What's the best WWE PPV ever
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho © vs. William Regal
Maik: An opener that was solid, but from which one should have expected a little more. Unfortunately with a big botch at the end when Jericho had to reposition Regal for the Lionsault with a suplex. Not least because of this, the finish seemed a bit very abrupt.
Jon Cross: With the prerequisites, the actors and the previous storyline, it was actually a sure-fire success - unfortunately the result did not match that. The simple reason: behind the scenes there was obviously someone with the stopwatch. Incomprehensible to me, both had to press the tube and rewind their program in seven and a half minutes. One reason for this is that this did not go off completely without errors. One would have preferred to branch off for a few minutes elsewhere or cancel a match altogether. A few weeks later they showed what both can do. Too bad.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis & Bull Buchanan, w / Steven Richards) vs. Tazz & The APA (Bradshaw & Farooq, w / Jacqueline)
Maik: The APA is teaming up with Tazz? So the WWE already threw up random teams for WrestleMania 15 years ago. The entrance to Right to Censor is the most annoying ever - why does the way to the ring at WrestleMania always have to be so long? The match was then short and irrelevant. Bradshaw with a nice clothesline from Hell at the end. I liked the backstage segment with APA and Jacqueline better than Match. As you can see: Bradshaw was a great talker even before JBL.
Jon Cross: The typical filler match for a large event - but with a plot and a certain entertainment value. For me, however, this was in the segment directly before that, in which Pre-JBL was allowed to indulge in the most beautiful patriotic features. The match itself was irrelevant, the RTC trio a sparring partner and Tazz an exchangeable variable. What remains is an APA show to heat up the fans.
WWF Hardcore Championship
Raven © vs. Kane vs. Big Show
Maik: Nice change for in between. Sure, it's pretty trashy, but fits into the WWF hardcore championship tradition. Therefore, as a contemporary document, quite ok. One or the other insert and especially the finish with Kane's awkward crack and the unrecognizable cover looked a bit stupid.
Jon Cross: The raven in the land of the giants - but with the power of brawling at eye level with the giants. The title fits perfectly with the limited capabilities of the Giants, who, however, have had one or the other pretty good feud in the past. Raven becomes the plaything of both and can be approached, worked on or thrown through discs with pleasure. The whole thing in Russo-esque stunt choreography - just without Russo. Pretty nice, but predictable - even if the winner wasn't that obvious.
WWF European Championship
Eddie Guerrero vs. Test ©
Maik: The match started very well, but unfortunately I found it to be very interchangeable overall. As an advocate of clean finishes at WrestleMania, unfortunately not a particularly satisfactory ending. All in all, nothing that will be remembered.
Jon Cross: The match came a little out of the cold pants - I think Eddie was sitting in "The World" when the fight was just about to start. Not a bad idea, because Eddie delivered one of his best matches with Test. It's sad that both of them are no longer with us today. Good chemistry and good entertainment, but towards the end the rest of the Radicalz screw the so far clean fight and ensure the title change. The big flaw in this otherwise solid fight.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Maik: Good match! I found the beginning with the Ringer inlays particularly excellent, you don't see anything like that with today's roster. Benoit and Angle were simply experts in the ring. Angle is also a heel that I could boo as a smart viewer. The finishers and the mutual stealing of the finishers are incorporated as a nice match story. Unfortunately, the finish with the roller and the trouser handle was also sacrificed in this match for a story update. Overall, however, a very fine match.
Jon Cross: Alone the start was to click the tongue - and the match confirmed this more than clearly. At the beginning, many of them would have looked surly at the mat wrestling sequences, but it was a bit different from the usual. They both did very well, which is why we can once again state that this duel was the starting signal for their later fights, which were all great. In addition ... Angle at his best, how he skillfully turns the audience against him - and not to forget: his monologue with Edge & Christian. One of the three best matches of the evening.
WWF Women's Championship
Ivory © vs. Chyna
Maik: Here they finished what the APA and Tazz had already started: the funeral of Right to Censor. Chyna was visually a very creepy mix of Katy Perry and King Kong. Luckily the match was quick and painless and Chyna got her little WrestleMania moment by winning the title. Go on quick.
Jon Cross: The cooler after the big fight. One-way wrestling for the ninth wonder of the world, which Ivory had nothing to do with it. Chyna's entry was one of the best. Otherwise: lady squash. Off for that.
Special Referee: Mick Foley
Shane McMahon vs. Mr. McMahon
Maik: We can't avoid a lot of trashy soap elements here, but overall it was quite entertaining, I thought. Vince's facial expressions in particular are simply unbeatable. : D The match was of course mainly carried out by Shane and his stunts. I still love to see his elbow through the table and the coast-to-coast, it looks really good. Therefore, of course, a finish made for highlight videos.
Jon Cross: Chapter one of the great soap opera. And I didn't have anything else in mind when scheduling it. There was a lot of theater - and surprisingly good hard-fought wrestling, which was sometimes better than some professional matches. Father and son played hard against each other, with Shane (and hopefully soon again) earning the lion's share once again. Rounded off with the other family ladies, Trish Stratus and Mick Foley "in Houston, Texas", the company's best non-wrestler match up to that point emerged.
WWF Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley) ©
Maik: Even today: Wow, wow, wow! A match that rightly became legendary. An unbelievable non-stop action fireworks display. I am extremely impressed not only by the spectacular spots themselves, but also by how the individual elements interlocked so seamlessly. That was really great skill. But I have two small hairs in the soup: It's a shame that Jeff Hardy didn't have an accident-free walk over the ladders, that would have been cool. And I found the finish a little unfortunate. Rhyno helps Christian up and Edge holds D-Von? In view of the fat tables spot shortly before, the replays and the camera work afterwards, you couldn't notice that so quickly. By the way, I'm still wondering why Edge and Christian were actually allowed to win all of these big matches. In retrospect, it's a bit of a shame for the careers of others. But this is definitely a history book match that will be talked about for decades to come.
Jon Cross: All good things come in threes - even if the debut is still run as a triple threat ladder match. The six players plus team titles are / were a guarantee for a super match. The anxious question: How should it go halfway accident-free in the face of "higher, faster, harder" on the bump scale? Once again, the writers and actors proved that they have not yet told and shown everything. Falls, moves and stunts like you had never seen before, and Rhyno, Lita and Spike Dudley were also involved in the respective third parties - in the end the match was crucial. The second among the best matches of the evening and one of the best tag team title matches of the WWE so far.
Gimmick Battle Royal
Maik: A cool guy between the big matches may not be bad sometimes, but this was really superfluous. Just the entrances with the supposed legends (?) Showed why 80s and 90s wrestling was and is mostly too cheesy and trashy for me. If you want to show someone the best show ever with WrestleMania 17, you better skip this match. After all, the Battle Royal went very quickly and because someone is always thrown out, it wasn't boring either. Good wasn't much, though.
Jon Cross: And again something to cool off - and urinal dehydration. It was nice to see the old warhorses in a ring again: sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening, the condition in which some were. But even the moment when everyone was allowed to come into the ring had something - after all, it lasted longer than the match itself, in which the warriors threw themselves over the ropes at lightning speed or, better, wrestled to prevent injuries. The winner was Iron Sheik, not surprisingly: on the one hand, because his entrance - as Bobby Heenan aptly stated - was so slow that he would probably not be in the ring until WrestleMania 38, and on the other hand, that he would not have survived an elimination. Wrestling zero, pure show results in a great interlude. On the side: For years I was wondering what was going on in the match - until I realized that it was Lemmy's soundcheck ...
Triple H vs. The Undertaker
Maik: With this match at the latest, WrestleMania 17 was really, really good. An underappreciated pearl in the public eye (and in the WWE perception of the feud that was poured out ten years later). Triple H and the biker undertaker with a great big man brawl. Just the action on the camera frame and the chokeslam down - that was really awesome. Over the course of the match, we've probably seen the longest WWE referee bump of all time.How long was it out of action after the taker's elbow drop? Ten minutes? Logic? No matter! At the end of the match there was a really big false finish by Triple H on the Undertaker and then the only victory after a last ride for the taker at a WrestleMania. Very, very good match.
Jon Cross: After the sensational main event of the previous month, it was an ideal starting point for Hunter to face the Deadman. Awesome match, which unfortunately lacked that certain little something in addition to the super-superlative. Hunter and the taker showed a tough and high quality match that was expected to have its weaknesses. The brawl and bump on the camera tower was worth seeing, but a bit overused in a normal match when it comes to being outside the ropes. Otherwise more than solid. I just don't know to this day whether Hunter's clean defeat was good or bad. A clean finish is one thing - the unrealized option of a screw job by Shawn Michaels is another. We'll never find out - all that remains is a great fight.
No disqualification match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock ©
Maik: An absolute hit at the end. The mega-stars The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin at the height of their work, both over the top and with their best match against each other. Everything just seemed huge. The match was not only really good, really intense and really entertaining, it was also a main event at times far from the typical match schemes of shine, heat, comeback and finish. The double turn, which crept in wonderfully during the match and could no longer be overlooked later, made the match even more important and special. Great in this context was Sharpshooter's reference to WrestleMania 13 when Austin and Bret Hart pulled off their famous double turn. In this match the sharpshooter on a bleeding Austin - shortly afterwards, the postponed role with the sharpshooter from Austin to Rock. After all, Austin Heel was doing gymnastics now. Some consider the Austin alliance with Mr. McMahon to be the funeral of the Attitute Era, but it was definitely a great moment. And in 2001 I found Austin strong as a heel. He, too, was someone to hate as a smart fan. Overall, one of the best WrestleMania main events ever, maybe the best. And the crowning glory of what is probably the best WWE show ever.
Jon Cross: The culmination of the evening of the fight and the feud. Didn't think at the time that anything could have been gained from what felt like a more than short setup. But that ... ran secretly in the background, but only marginally. Both deliver an epic battle at eye level in full severity and with a lot of drama for their skills and their status. Blood flowed relatively early and formed a style element of the fight, which ran non-stop for a good 30 minutes at a high speed - and that is saying something. Maivia promised he would give Austin the best of him - and kept his word. Then there was the double turn, which was completed by Vince McMahon and the handshake with Austin (Chapter 2 of the great soap opera). I still have the SOB calls from JR in my ear - and in fact in front of the home crowd it worked a bit more extreme. Conclusion: the absolute highlight of this mania and one of the best main events ever at the "Grandaddy of them all".
Maik: The card was unfortunately too full and the first half with the undercard / midcard matches was quite tough and unimportant and with a number of stupid finishes - so simply not really good. After all, there were different things for many tastes. The second half of the card was absolutely amazing: Rock vs. Austin, TLC II and Taker vs. Triple H were simply great. Benoit vs. Angle and the McMahons match were also worth seeing. In addition, the fantastic commentary by Jim Ross with Paul Heyman. It's a shame that the duo didn't even exist for a whole year. The two were a wonder duo, perhaps the best for me. Overall: yes! This WrestleMania is rightly considered an absolute milestone in WWE history!
Jon Cross: For me it is still the best WrestleMania so far. Sure, not everything was good and not all matches could do what was possible. But just the well-known fact that it makes the mix explains a lot about the charm that makes up this seventeenth mania. After all ... we're not just talking about matches. Even the intro, which captivates with its simplicity, music and class of Freddie's smoky voice, gives me goosebumps today. In addition, the small backstage incidents over the gigantic backdrop to the limp bizkit video of the main feud - that was well to perfectly coordinated. There are days when a lot or almost everything is right - April 1st 2001 was one of those ...
(Cover photo: By StormyXXX (StormyXXX) - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1955523)
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