the rundown continues in Seattle.......no McDreamy's here
1) Matt Hardy v. Rey Mysterio - 6
2) Undertaker/ Nathan Jones v. Big Show/ A-Train- 4
3) Victoria v. Jazz v. Trish Stratus- 5
4) Team Angle v. Los Guerreros v. Chris Benoit/ Rhyno- 5
5) Shawn Michaels v. Chris Jericho- 7
6) HHH v. Booker T- 6
7) Hulk Hogan v. Vince McMahon (Street Fight)- 4
8) Steve Austin v. The Rock- 6
9) Kurt Angle v. Brock Lesnar- 6
For a 6 minute match, you really couldn't ask for much more than this. Really creative and fluid spots using both guys signature moves, abbreviated version of much better paced match later on in the year. Matt hurts his shoulder but forgets to sell it 3 seconds later, much like promises to fans at an autograph signing of showing up to a high school party later that night. A nasty twist of Fate blows me off my couch and Matt's crazy face afterwards shows way more depth than Skeet Ulrich ever has. It sucks it was so quick, but I can't not recommend this one for a fun spot fest.
This in actuality is a handicap match as Jones was taken out earlier in the locker room......hmm, will he be back? Train takes a huge chokeslam right off the bat but is okay again after 20 seconds. Cool leapfrog from Taker but follow up hiptoss was unsightly, much like Show's physique and naughty one piece slipping down his shoulder. He looked like a buffoon in this one, waiting for moves and punches constantly, falling awkwardly over the top rope like a blind rhino careening down a ravine. He sells pain very well, with loud brutish screams. Show's best contribution was an abdominal stretch but Train does one seconds later and gets it more over with the crowd. Taker playing around with some armbars is a fun visual, especially since he's wearing leather pants. Jones Does come back, oh my, I"m shocked and throws a spin kick not seen since "Double Impact" that ko's Show in the aisle. Good riddance, someone throw a giant diaper around that turd. Ref also allows Jones to freely interfere in the match, not sure why. Think Taker v. Train singles would have been much better.
Jazz has an elegant float on her dropkick, much like the Princess did on her jump in Mario 2. Trish's punches have missed the mark, but she takes a lovely apron bump. Victoria kind of a non-factor here, except for the ocasional big move (slingshot legdrop, super kick). Jazz is running this match, loved her intensity leading up to a slap to the champ. Highly skilled backbridge by Trish, so many thoughts running through my head at that point. Jazz's double chicken wing was Steamboat-esque and that's high regards. Match finished well and the slop was left in the locker room along with the Miller Lite Catfight girls and their shitty acting in promos.
I loved the death stares Team Angle were giving to their opponents on the way to the ring, with the hoods over their heads, looked like evil Jedi warriors. Benoit and Eddie dominate all the portions of this that worked, no surprise. Benoit, as he was known for, brings the sickening chops and constant covers after his crisp moves. Saw little to no teamwork with him and Rhyno though, whose only pop of the match was 2 gore's. Whole match had an issue with using sloppy punching and brawling as transitions to their planned moves, resembled a local show with overweight hacks in Tulsa. Huge Germans to Chavo but hated how he didn't sell them instead made a timely tag on one of the travels back. Eddie hit a Frog splash uglier than Melissa Rivers at the end, elbows first, as if trying to avoid a belly flop into a community swimming pool.
Jericho, character wise, is totally in the zone here, way so more than Shawn, who's laughing to himself and making silly jokes. Opening is easy going stuff, but at least they didn't wait for applause, ECW style after a simple headlock routine. Both guys very vocal in everything they do, helps connect the match to the large crowd, but not a fan of either man's strikes, be it Shawn's wussy punches or Jericho's lazy forearms. The spot with the Walls of Jericho (and before hand, Michaels trying a suicide dropkick in the aisle) are mind-numbingly stupid. The match stays technical instead of degenerating into a brawl, which is refreshing. I like Shawn's spit sell, albeit hygenically disgusting, it just looks real unless he does it too much in one match. I'm not a fan of the "copying moves" routine but it works for the story here, Announcers are really hitting a stride with being excited as the match builds up. Shawn is off and on with selling, showing the cumulative pain on his face is here and there. They do a good job of coming up with nearfalls that don't kill all their top shelf stuff too, common atrocity most wrestlers commit. The superplex reversal looked painful but fans don't buy it as a finish. Whole place comes unglued for the superkick, good close out to quite a unusual WM match: clean wrestling.
I liked this match because it was different, but I could see how it wouldn't click with the general audience. Tremendous job building Booker as a worthy challenger and cool backstory. Both men come in bringing the heat, Trips with solid straight punches and Booker with wild streetfighting swipes. Armdrag off the top rope for no reason 2 mins. in? That's a Dealbreaker! The Game's kicks look flimsy, as if he was going to stick a rock on the ground, but his spinebuster must have made Arn do a slow clap in the back. Booker hits an awesome kick as Trips comes off the top rope, really great timing and his selling is personal, very vocal, and sympathetic, he plays underdog well. Here is HHH's famous Indian Deathlock that Jim Ross blows him for, as if he was the greatest technical wrestler of all time. It's basically an upside down Trailer Hitch that Knoble used for years, it comes off like it's a secret weapon that helps him win. Flair didn't do much here, but was good in his role. Insert classic JR line here, as Lawler notes Flair was trying to "help" Booker back in the ring when he dropped him knee first on the steel stairs: "Help him back in the ring? That excuse hasn't worked since 1982!" The finish is unique because there's no Finisher 2.9 section the finisher just works, which helps the move (which needs no help) but hurts the loser.
20 years in the making, brotha- So was the new Star Wars trilogy, but does that mean it still should have been attempted? I'll let you be the judge of that one. Onto the work, Vince can barely run the ropes, so they quickly avoid that pothole. Hogan actually made Vince's lariat look credible, and that alone is enough of a reward coming out of this. I liked Vince driving his knees into Hogan's arm, you need no skill to pull it off, but it's vile, very Dick Slater, although not in execution. Hulk looks more worn than an old armchair, but can connect with a crowd like no other. God, Vince is a nasty looking freak, he pulls an obvious bladespot as Hogan creams his yellow and red jeans blasting Vince's overblown back and shoulders with a chair. Vince is better on D than Hogan, a ridiculous ladder spot that was nauseating in it's overindulgence but came off well. I was just waiting for the garbage can lids because if you're in a blood feud in wrestling, that's what you want to tear your rival's head off with! Nope, it's a generic looking pipe this time. Creepy Camera shot of bloody freak Vince coming up from outside and I"m even scared. Piper gets a massive, no I mean Massive, fuck that, MASSIVE, pop for his surprise appearance. I liked the 3 legdrop finish, not a lot of meat to this, no surprise, but fun nonetheless, Shane O Mac gets a payday by walking out and doing nothing, was he planning on leaving the company here or was he waiting for Dad to croak? Only his bruised and mentally raped pysche will ever know. I have a feeling Shane knows exactly how the Balloon Boy feels.....
Opening of this titanic struggle is a throwback to the old "Attitude" days with the sloppy ringside brawl, it's pretty passe by this point, but I guess revamping it was part of the nostalgia in this match. It is Austin's last professional match and for that reason there's some sentimentality here, even though he doesn't have the same intensity he once did and moves more sluggish than ever before. Rock is on, antagonizing the crowd, overselling like a mother fucker and just being this charismatic beacon of attention. He attacks the knee, which he's not known for, and it shows because it all leads to a sharpshooter, which in actuality is more back based. Double clothesline worked, even though that's from a different era. When they start hitting finishers, you see a real magic between them, because it's all about hitting their big spots and involving the crowd and what they're doing. No one past the 3rd row could see Austin's weak swipes in that opening brawl so no one could connect to what they were doing but the finishing stuff is gold. I loved Rocks' reaction after the 2nd kickout of the Rock Bottom, better than anything he did in Doom.
Tazz mentions Tito Ortiz is watching this match, why and who cares? Lesnar having a hard time towing the line between when to use pro wrestling holds and amateur ones in the opening sequence, which is fun because when would you ever have two wrestlers of their caliber allowed to do work like this, esp. in WWE at Wrestlemania. Both guys have great explosion on their moves, duh. Brock takes a German in the buckle and bounces off of it like he was Super Dave, gave the move some impact. Kurt's bow and arrow hold, while experly applied, seemed like it only made Brock uncomfortable, like he was sitting on the remote control on his loveseat at home, no real pain displayed on his face. He gets such huge air on taking Germans, he had a wild uncontrollable and untrained aspect that was fun to watch. Finish is just so unbelievably flat after missing that Shooting Star and killing half his brain cells, no risk, no reward but man that was a total crash and burn. Still guy has balls for trying that. Angle led him through the new finish but a lot of steam was gone after that.
Overall this was a pretty good show, it had a very cinematic quality to it, the arena was lit perfectly and the setup was grandiose. The whole 2nd half of the card was treated as main events themselves, all getting over 20 minutes and pulled off reasonably well.