The X-Factor: My WrestleMania stories - Part 1
Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 03/06/2018 at 05:21 PM

These last three years, I get on the WWE Network during WrestleMania season and watch my favorite WrestleMania matches. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I go in order, kind of.

What are my favorite moments and thoughts? What didn’t I like? Read on people.

I’m only focusing on the ‘Manias I’ve seen in full.

WrestleMania XV
I always start with this. That opening video with Freddie Blassie’s narration is just so damn good. Everything else that came before just doesn’t measure up. In fact, watch the opening vid to ‘Mania XIV and it’s easy to see the divide in production quality.

It was also billed as “The Ragin’ Climax”. That’s what it was meant to be since the Austin vs. McMahon rivalry ended here, until it picked up again two months later.

A one-match show indeed. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock gave us a very entertaining match which had up to four referees involved – including Mankind – and ended with Austin regaining the WWF Championship.

During the Attitude Era, twists and turns were common during PPVs. Mankind got a DQ win against the Big Show to referee the main event, but was hurt afterwards. Vince inserted himself as the ref, but Shawn Michaels showed up, reversed his decision, and barred the rest of the Corporation from ringside. Very entertaining segment, but when is HBK not entertaining?

However, Shawn was a dickhead even then. You see, there’s been talk that Vince Russo – yeah, I know – pitched for a 3 way match with Austin, Rock, and Foley. Russo felt that Mankind deserved to have that spot after all the hard work he put in. McMahon liked the idea, but for some reason HBK got Austin to reject it. One might call bullshit, but Michaels hadn’t been born-again at that point so I’m inclined to believe it. Plus, another story has made the rounds.

Both Shawn and Triple H saw The Rock as a rival, due in no small part to The Rock’s immense talent, plus Bret Hart took a shine to him. Those two made a big play to Vince McMahon that Stone Cold should battle Triple H in Philadelphia but that was rejected. I wish it happened sometimes. Maybe we would’ve been spared the “Reign of Terror”.

The Game still made waves when he betrayed X-Pac, the very friend he’d brought home a year before. Just like XIV, XV signaled the end of a DX era.

Give credit where it’s due. Shane McMahon handled himself well in that match.

WrestleMania 2000
If you were watching during this time, you probably didn’t think that it was bad. The WCW product was so lousy and an overbooked, overcrowded WrestleMania with no traditional one-on-one match sounded good at the time.

The Tag Team Championship bout at the 2000 Royal Rumble only lasted under three minutes. Why? Because the two teams involved – The New Age Outlaws and Acolytes – looked like shit compared to the three tag teams that went through hell for the titles in Anaheim.

The Tag Team ladder match with Edge & Christian, The Hardys and The Dudleys tore the house down and kept the show from being labeled bad. Given what happened at the end of the show, that’s saying something.

It had been a year since The Rock held the gold and fans were dying to see the malicious heel champion Triple H finally get the ass-kicking he deserved. Sadly, we got Vince dropping the Great One with two chair shots, Triple H retained, and a little garbage was thrown into the ring. Some fans were happy at the sight of Vince, Shane and Stephanie getting taken out by The Rock, but it wasn’t the happy ending people wanted.

You ever notice that nothing good comes out of Triple H winning at a WrestleMania?

WrestleMania X-Seven
It’s the greatest of all time. No question. It was the only ‘Mania to have Paul Heyman on commentary. Just sayin’.

Steve Austin had kick-started the Attitude Era. The Rock’s star had also risen during that time and when Austin needed surgery, Rock carried the WWF on his back. The both of them were alpha dogs. Their main event match practically wrote itself.

Austin said he needed to be the champion. That should’ve been a dead giveaway, but the idea of Austin “[selling] his soul to Satan himself” was unthinkable.

It was still an amazing main event.

It followed a Street Fight between the McMahon’s, the greatest TLC match of all time, and a pseudo-brawl between The Undertaker and Triple H. How did the crowd have any energy left?

You ever wonder why Trish Stratus retired with such grace? She was subjected to abject humiliation during her angle with the McMahons: by Stephanie of course but especially by Vince. Trish, Shane and Linda got their revenge.

What I miss about the Attitude Era is how much Stephanie got hers.

The majority see this as the end of that Era, but for me, it ended when Chris Jericho defeated its two biggest stars in the same night to become the first Undisputed Champion.

Too bad that reign didn't end well.

WrestleMania X8
Thanks to the stupid cable company, I couldn’t start watching until just before Austin vs. Hall. Good thing they have encores.

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock is the spiritual sequel to one of the greatest 'Mania matches ever: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan. So, I watch the two back-to-back.

Seeing the Icon vs. Icon showdown was a sight to behold. I was expecting the nostalgia to seep in but I was not expecting Toronto to turn on The Rock that hard. This forced the two to adapt on the fly.

Yet, that’s the only match from X8 I have any real desire to see again.

Yep, Stephanie McMahon was pulling her egotistical bullshit even then. She made the WWF Champion the third most important man in his title defense. Then there’s Triple H insisting they go on last, after the crowd was exhausted.

Chris Jericho deserved better. The Undertaker deserves respect for going out of his way to lift his spirits afterwards.

It could’ve been Steve Austin facing Triple H. It didn’t happen because Austin was sick of his heel run which resulted in his mediocre bout with Scott Hall. Little did anyone realize it was just the tip of the iceberg.

All the adoration that Austin gets, but it gets glossed over how unprofessional he was. He took two weeks off without permission the night after X8.

That’s all for now.

Don’t mess with the X.

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