This is a Wal-Mart exclusive that they’ve had around for a while now that you can always find for $5. Hell, even if there’s one match that’s great that you don’t have then it’s a worthwhile endeavor. So, how did the set turn out for the Caliber man? Let’s find out together, no?
Sgt. Slaughter [C] vs Hulk Hogan – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 7
Hulk controls the opening of the match with his shows of power & shoulder-blocks, but Slaughter turns it around with some good ol’ fashion eye poking. Our first pin-attempt of the evening comes following an Atomic Drop. Man, that’d be awesome to beat someone because you hurt their ass too badly. Slaughter works Hogan’s back before splitting him open with a chair. You know, Hogan is one of the better bladers of all time, deserving to be up their with Flair. Sarge keeps the beating on Hogan, unfortunately it’s not with anything exciting. Soon the Hulkster does the Hogan-Comeback&Win, giving us a new WWE Champion. Really, it’s not that bad of a match, but it doesn’t really belong on a set like this. There’s not too much outside of punching & throwing your opponent head-first into the turnbuckle here, so I wouldn’t consider it required viewing. Brother.
Hulkster wins with the Legdrop at 20:25 | **1/2
Triple H [C] vs Batista – World Heavyweight Championship – WrestleMania 21
It needs to be said that Motorhead’s performance of Triple H’s theme is God-awful. Hunter tries to over-power Batista at first, but it’s a no go. He soon earns the momentum when Ric Flair lends a hand a time or two, and he doesn’t let up on Dave in the ring. Things begin to sway in Batista’s favor when he nails Hunter with a clothesline in mid-air, followed by a sweet catapult into the ring-post that busts open Triple H’s head. Soon after, he nails Dave with the title belt and goes for the pin. The crowd senses it’s it, since a lot of Triple H’s matches end like this, and boo the absolute shit out of him. Dave was over like crazy. Great spot where Hunter set Dave up for the Pedigree and locked his hands together, only for Dave to power out and force his hands apart, it really helped him look like a monster. Immediately after, he nailed Triple H with one of the hardest powerbombs I’ve ever seen. Not a fantastic match, but it’s damn good, a more than passable WM main-event, and a great example in making someone.
Batista hits Triple H with the Demon Bomb for the pin at 21:34 | ***1/4
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Micheals – WrestleMania 19
The match starts off with some of the ‘evenly matched chain-wrestling’ that some have grown to hate. I don’t watch indy wrestling, so it’s still cool to me. Great spot that soon follows is Jericho going for the bulldog, and Shawn launching him crotch first into a turnbuckle. Later, Jericho works the back by applying The Walls outside the ring, then smashing Shawn’s back into the ring-post twice before discarding him like so much trash. Awesome. I absolutely love it when Jericho kips up and does the Shawn-Flex, great taunt. There’s a million great spots to mention here, but honestly I was just all sorts of sucked in to the match. It’s incredible. Easily one of the best ‘new guy vs established star’ match. And Jericho kicking him in the junk afterwards is GOLD.
Shawn gets the roll up and the pin at 22:34 | ****3/4
The Undertaker vs Randy Orton – WrestleMania 21
Match starts off right as Orton doesn’t show much fear, instead showing his ability to not only keep up, but go beyond The Undertaker’s speed & agility. From that point on, Randy gets flashes of momentum, but can never really keep a lead on ‘Taker, continually making brash mistakes instead of taking his time, which works perfectly here. Near the end however, it really gets going with the reversals and near-falls. Earning this match the title of Undertaker’s most underrated match at WM. Chokeslam reversal to RKO was brilliant.
Undertaker reverses Randy’s Tombstone into one of his own for the pin at 14:14 | ***1/2
Edge w/ Lita vs Mick Foley – Hardcore Match – WrestleMania 22
Right from the get go this match showcases how things of this nature should be done. Edge crushes Mick with a few vicious head-shots via cookie-sheets & baseball slides into street-signs. When he tries a spear, he suffers from a Bret Hart inspiration, as Mick had wrapped barbwire around his stomach. This is soon followed by the awesome whipping with the barbwire, and the Cactus-Clothesline on Edge with Lita on his back. After a hell of a bulldog onto the barbwire bat, Edge goes out and gets the thumbtacks, which are always a favorite. He ends up back first in the pile, forever earning a his place in the Kingdom of Manliness. After driving the barbwire bat into Edge’s head, we get a fantastic shot of Mick smiling through the blood that’s pouring down his face. Soon after we get one of the greater WM moments when Edge spears Mick through a flaming table, something the WWE audience had never seen, and something perfect for the level of WM. Right after he pins Mick, putting a cap on one of the greatest WM matches of all time, as well as a Top 10 for both Edge & Mick’s careers. It’s so crisp, so well done, delivering perfectly in every aspect. The match only gets better every time I see it. Also, the way Edge looks afterwards is something that has to be seen. You’d think he was about to pass out.
Edge pins Mick after spearing him through a flaming table at 14:36 | ****3/4
Yokozuna [C] w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette vs Bret Hart – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 10
Bret’s got a busted wheel, thanks to Owen earlier, which Yoko goes right after as soon as he limps into the ring. There isn’t really anything too exciting to report, its a Yokozuna match. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen’em all, baby. Bret gets the pin after Yoko loses hi balance while setting up for the Banzai Drop. I’d also like to note how obnoxious Roddy’s counts are, counting as fast as he possibly can for whatever reason.
Bret pins Yoko after a failed Bonzai Drop at 10:38 | **
The Rock vs Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania 18
This bad-boy right here is a Top 5 of All-Time for me. While from a technical stand-point it was no masterpiece, it’s in the category of sheer entertainment that this match shines. I get the chills every time I see how the crowd reacts to Hogan, turning him babyface and getting him the WWE Championship all in one match. It’s absolutely incredible as they cheer everything he does, and remain on their feet for the entire match. The Rock was great too, as you can tell he certainly didn’t expect such a strong reaction, but played along with it like a pro. They didn’t simply rest on crowd reactions either, as the match was hard-hitting and delivered a bevy of false-finishes.
The Rock pins Hogan after 2 back-to-back Rock Bottoms & The People’s Elbow at 16:23 | *****
JBL [C] vs John Cena – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 21
Bradshaw mauls Cena for the beginning of the match. A lot of haymakers, neckbreakers, shoulder-blocks and spinebusters. He pretty much continues this the entire length of the match until Cena finally starts getting some offense in, and then all of a sudden he gets the FU and that’s it. No false finishes, no multiple pin attempts, nothing. It feels so anticlimatic, & so un-important. The crowd barely pops because of how sudden it all was. Thankfully the rematch they’d have the next month at Judgment Day is one of the greatest matches of all time, as well as one of the bloodiest.
Cena hits the FU on JBL for the pin at 11:26 | **
Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton vs Kurt Angle [C] – World Heavyweight Championship – WrestleMania 22
They start off with a hell of a double german-suplex that sent Mysterio flying, without exaggeration, at least 30,000ft in the air. From that point on that the go on to have one of the crispest triple threats I’ve ever seen. There’s zero down-time, with everything being inventive, having a purpose, and hitting hard. Well, until Rey fucks up his 619 and slips off the ring-post, but it’s forgivable. Soon after, he hits Orton with the 619 & Westcoast Pop, winning the WHC, leaving my only complaint to be that I wish this was longer.
Rey gets the pin on Orton after the Westcoast Pop at 9:19 | ***3/4
Triple H vs Stephanie McMahon w/ Chris Jericho [C] – Undisputed Championship – WrestleMania 18
Cripes, Triple H is ORANGE. Did he put tanning bulbs in his car? Geez, it’s washing off on Jericho. What the fuck does he use for a self-tanner, deck-stainer? Regardless, he’s got Jericho’s number in the beginning, going after his left-leg, but loses site of things when he goes after Stephanie. Soon after, they both trade leverage, with neither able to hold on to it for long. It’s a tough, old-school fight that reminds me of 1980’s NWA title matches. After a pretty sweet series of reversals & near-falls, Triple H catches Jericho coming off the ropes with a Pedigree, and wins the Undisputed title. Unfortunately for this match, almost every other time they’ve wrestled together they’ve had a classic, so this one remains the neglected of the group, especially since it had to follow Rock & Hogan. However, they went out there and delivered a hell of a match that deserves more recognition.
Triple H hits Jericho with the Pedigree for the pin at 18:41 | ****
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock [C] – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 15
I know this match doesn’t get a lot of fan fare, but I think it’s great. Sure, Rock hadn’t completely hit his stride yet, but as close as you could get without being there. The reason Stone Cold comes out in a t-shirt, and not his vest, is because he forgot back home. It’s not a big deal, but does make it seem like less of a an event without the vest. To me, they just seem to be throwing all they have at each other, and it truly feels like a war.
Stunner. Pin. 16:52 | ****1/4
I think the review speaks for itself. There’s a ton of great stuff on here, plus a piece
on the wrestlers & the match before each one begins, which I always dig because it brings you up to speed. So for $5 you’re doing rather well for this one.