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Austin reclaims WWF gold

By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling

 HOUSTON -- Whenever you get 67,925 fans in one place, it's an awesome sight. But when you get 67,925 fans all cheering in unison for 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's victory over The Rock, it's a truly memorable experience.

 Sunday night at Houston's Reliant Astrodome, Austin claimed the WWF World title in an epic, bloody at WrestleMania X-Seven with a little help from WWF owner Vince McMahon, who surprisingly came to the aid of his former enemy Austin.

 But the highlight of the show by far was the Tables-Ladders-and-Chairs match that saw Orangeville, Ontario's Edge & Christian regain the WWF tag team titles over the Dudley Boys and the Hardy Boyz with a boost from WWF newcomer Rhyno.

 Hunter Hearst-Helmsley and The Undertaker beat each other up both inside and outside the ring, with XXX prevailing.

 The saga of the feuding McMahon family woke the crowd from a slumber, halfway into the show as Shane McMahon beat his father Vince in a violent street fight match with a little help from his mother Linda, who awoke from her 'coma', special referee Mick Foley and Toronto's Trish Stratus.

 In one of the marquee matches, Playboy model Chyna 'woman-handled' Ivory to claim her first WWF Women's title.

 The weirdest match of the night by far was the 'gimmick' battle royale with some of the weird characters from the WWF's past, like Kamala, The Goon, Doink the Clown and Repo Man coming back for one last gasp. In the end, The Iron Sheik eliminated Hillybilly Jim and Sgt. Slaughter to prove that sometimes you shouldn't turn back time.

 The WWF is claiming that it is the largest attendance ever at the Astrodome, with a gross of $3,530,905 USD. Next year's WrestleMania will be in Tampa Bay, Florida.

 Other results: Edmonton's Chris Benoit couldn't topple former U.S. Olympic gold medal wrestler Kurt Angle. Eddie Guerrero beat Whitby, Ontario's Test to claim the WWF European belt. Kane took it all over the building in his victory over Raven and The Big Show for the Hardcore title. Tazz and the Acolyte Protection Agency beat the Right To Censor when Bradshaw pinned The Goodfather. In the opening match, Winnipeg's Chris Jericho beat WWF 'Commissioner' William Regal to retain his Intercontinental title. To warm up the crowd on Sunday Night Heat, X-Pac and Justin Credible beat Steve Blackman and Grand Master Sexay.

More coverage of WrestleMania XVII




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