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WrestleMania Rewind: From 2000 to XX
By JOHN POWELL - SLAM! Wrestling


Triple H holds up the gold at WrestleMania X8. Photo by Mark O'Neill, Toronto Sun


If you are like me, you get all old school each year around WrestleMania time. You raid your disk library and watch some classic Mania cards, moments just to fuel your enthusiasm for the annual event. With 28 events to choose from, the desire to zero in on the most pivotal matches can be a daunting task.

This is where SLAM! Wrestling comes in.

WrestleMania Rewind is a series detailing the very best and very worst matches from each and every WrestleMania. Check out our guide and take the guess work out of scanning through all those disks.


WrestleMania 16 (2000)


Date: April 2, 2000.
Location: Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.

A massive disappointment in every sense of the word. The eight hour pre-show which detailed the history of WrestleMania, featured special interviews and segments was better than the WrestleMania event itself. It's full of time-waster matches that drag on and on. Nothing more than a showcase for all the McMahons to bask in the spotlight. The mind-blowing ladder match between Edge, Christian, The Dudleys and The Hardys stole the show. One of the worst WrestleManias in history.

Must See Matches
Edge and Christian versus The Dudley Boyz versus The Hardy Boyz
Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle versus Chris Jericho
Must Skip Matches
Everything else.
Event MVPs: Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz.
Overall Event Rating: 3 / 10

WrestleMania 17


Date: April 1, 2001.
Location: Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

A definite must-see as it is still rated as perhaps the greatest WrestleManias events ever produced, based on its consistency alone. If you feel like watching one WrestleMania from start to finish, this would be a stellar choice as there isn't much dead time here. Give the WWE credit for portraying Stone Cold as a baddie in his home state of Texas and putting on another mind-blowing, classic TLC match.

Must See Matches
Chris Jericho versus William Regal
Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle
Vince McMahon versus Shane McMahon
The Undertaker versus HHH
Steve Austin versus The Rock
The Hardy Boys versus Edge, Christian versus The Dudley Boys
Must Skip Matches
Tazz, Acolytes versus Right to Censor
Eddie Guerrero versus Test
Ivory versus Chyna
Event MVPs: Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz , Hardy Boyz, Steve Austin, The Rock.
Overall Event Rating: 9 / 10

WrestleMania 18


Date: March 17, 2002.
Location: SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario.

The second WrestleMania held in my hometown as cause for personal celebration. There are many times in our lives when we hear the words, "You had to be there." As far as The Rock versus Hulk Hogan is concerned, those who attended the event live that day will never forget the outrageous atmosphere for the battle of the titans. Video tape or DVD cannot capture the emotion felt in SkyDome that day. Whether you like The Rock or Hogan, didn't matter. It was a brilliant example of how pro wrestling, more than any other medium, interacts with its fans; drawing them into the experience. Fans and the WWE had much to be proud of that day.

Must See Matches
Kurt Angle versus Kane
The Undertaker versus Ric Flair
Scott Hall versus Steve Austin
Hulk Hogan versus The Rock
Chris Jericho versus HHH
Must Skip Matches
Goldust versus Maven
Jazz versus Trish Stratus
Event MVPs: The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Chris Jericho.
Overall Event Rating: 8/ 10

WrestleMania 19


Date: March 30, 2003.
Location: Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington.

On a WrestleMania roll, the WWE presents a near perfect show, if you can ignore some of the undercard matches. With the focus on technical wrestling, the event spotlighted the skills of the solid WWE roster at the time. You will be hard pressed to find too many WrestleManias which can top this one.

Must See Matches
Matt Hardy versus Rey Mysterio
Trish Stratus versus Jazz
Team Angle versus Los Guerreros, versus Chris Benoit and Rhyno
Shawn Michaels versus Chris Jericho
Booker T versus Triple H
Vince McMahon versus Hulk Hogan
The Rock versus Steve Austin
Brock Lesnar versus Kurt Angle
Must Skip Matches
The Undertaker versus A-Train, Big Show
Event MVPs: Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Booker T., Triple H.
Overall Event Rating: 10 / 10

WrestleMania 20


Date: March 14, 2004.
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.

Like Zach Ryder's haircut, this show is nothing short of an abomination. The WWE's return to Madison Square Garden ends up being an utter bomb rather than a celebration of WrestleMania's storied history. As I said in my review, "One of the most awful and dullest WrestleManias in recent memory, the anniversary show was a celebration of everything that has led to the wrestling promotion's tailspin in popularity. From the cookie-cutter matches to the lack of storyline continuity, WrestleMania XX did nothing to satisfy long-time fans or to bring new ones into the fold. In fact, it probably served to turn more people off their embarrassingly inferior product which shows no signs of improving in the near future as many of their top superstars are leaving or taking time off from the organization."

Must See Matches
Christian versus Chris Jericho
Eddie Guerrero versus Kurt Angle
Shawn Michaels versus Chris Benoit
Must Skip Matches
La Resistance versus Booker T., Rob Van Dam versus Garrison Cade, Mark Jindrak versus The Dudley Boys
Sable, Torrie versus Stacy, Jackie
Cruiserweight Invitational
Bill Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar
WGTT versus Scotty 2 Hotty, Rikishi versus The APA versus The Basham Brothers
Molly Holly versus Victoria
The Undertaker versus Kane
Event MVPs: Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit.
Overall Event Rating: 4 / 10


RELATED LINKS
  • WrestleMania Rewind: The first five
  • WrestleMania Rewind: From The Ultimate Challenge to the 10th anniversary
  • WrestleMania Rewind: From an 11th stinker to the Attitude Era
  • WrestleMania Rewind: From Hollywood to Rock-Cena (the first time)
  • WrestleMania 29 section

    John Powell is a founding member of SLAM! Wrestling. Currently, you can follow his gaming coverage at G4 Canada and his take on Big Brother Canada and Survivor.