NoDQ.com > Columns > The X-Factor: My WrestleMania moments - Vol. 2
Posted by Victor Mariscal on 03/15/2017 at 02:48 PM

WrestleMania XIX
The Attitude Era had been over for two years. The WWE no longer had that same aura of invincibility it did when it was kicking WCW’s ass.

What’s more the landscape had changed, and in some ways for the worse.

Amazing that people want Triple H taking over for Vince McMahon. That asshole’s racist comments all but guaranteed that Booker T would shut him the f*** up and take the World Heavyweight title, but Triple H hits the damn Pedigree, took his sweet time covering Booker T and won the damn match.

XIX also marked Shawn Michaels’ return to WrestleMania, giving Chris Jericho perhaps his greatest match at the event and helping him wipe away the stink of X8. Y2J lost, but low-blowed Michaels and left Seattle with a ton of heat.

Stone Cold Steve Austin infamously walked out nine months before XIX. He made amends, but his career just wasn’t the same anymore and WWE moved on without him. Austin decided he still had one more ‘Mania match left and would go out in style against The Rock.

Deep down, I knew it was his goodbye due to how Jim Ross spoke of him after the match ended. I learned a few years later that Rock told him he loved him after it was over.

WrestleMania XX
The emotion behind the end of WM XX cannot be overstated. Seeing new World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit with Eddie Guerrero – the WWE Champion – got me emotional each time. The two best friends had arrived.

10 years and I still won't watch it again.

It can be said that this is where John Cena’s rise began when he defeated the Big Show for the US Championship. Trish Stratus turned heel and cost Chris Jericho his match against Christian. It was part of an angle where the two made a bet about sleeping with Trish and Lita. They only bet one Canadian dollar. Hmm.

Saw it coming.

My personal favorite match was The Rock and Mick Foley against Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair. A decent battle with an abrupt finish, but the people gave Foley a standing ovation. He was no loser that night.

Except for Eddie vs. Kurt Angle, the rest of the card doesn’t really hold up. Plus it didn’t help that the New York crowd was so hostile towards Brock Lesnar and Goldberg which threw them off their game. The Undertaker’s return as the Dead Man was huge selling point. The buildup was just so damn good. Too bad his match with Kane sucked.

WrestleMania 21
It was here that Edge’s rise to the top began when he won the first Money in the Bank ladder match, a game-changing concept to be sure.

Randy Orton had lost some of his mojo after his feud with Triple H. Big shock. So he defiantly stated that he would hand the Undertaker his first loss at a WrestleMania, even dropping Stacy Keibler with an RKO to ensure he would have heat going in. The Streak became a focal point from that point on.

They went on to be main eventers, but John Cena and Batista’s world title wins felt anticlimactic. They just didn’t have the emotional punch of the WrestleMania XX ending. JBL was an underserving champion and Triple H just didn’t have in-ring chemistry with Batista.

The “WrestleMania goes Hollywood” buildup did a bit more harm than good. The faux movie trailers took away from the majesty of the “Showcase of the Immortals.” Don’t get me wrong, they were entertaining, but it wasn’t the way to hype ‘Mania.

The match of the night: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle.

WrestleMania 22
“I want you, to watch this! I’m gonna knock your teeth, DOWN, YOUR, THROAT!”

Was there anyone watching Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. McMahon who didn’t get a good kick out of it (pun intended)? With a ladder, HBK elbows Vinnie Mac through a trash can and a table, throwing in a DX chop – and some foreshadowing – beforehand. The Sweet Chin Music that followed was probably my favorite.

The other best part was Jim Ross having the time of his life calling the match.

Even now, I look at Rey Mysterio winning the World title and I can’t help but get emotional. It’s my favorite mark out moment of all time, and probably Michael Cole's too judging by his reaction. It helped that Vinnie Mac wasn't on the other end of his headset.

Yes the build-up made me a little uncomfortable, but once the match happened I didn’t care.

Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus ranks pretty high among women’s matches at WrestleMania, even with that horrible botch at the end. If you’ve only watched it on the WWE Network, here’s what else they cut out: right after Mickie grabs Trish crotch, she forms a ‘V’ with her hand and licks it. Probably lives as a clip on YouTube.

Looking back, it’s kinda funny sometimes. John Cena’s rise was a natural one. A year had passed and the word ‘polarizing’ was getting increasingly tossed around. After 22, it didn’t improve much. Plus it didn’t help that he had to defend against an insecure egomaniac who ran him down and treated him like an also-ran. Triple H played the Chicago crowd enough that they booed the hell out of Cena. Thanks again Hunter.

The match of the night was Mick Foley vs. Edge. A barbed-wire bat, thumbtacks, a spear through a flaming table, and this all happened AFTER the Attitude Era.

Don’t mess with the X.

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