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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

WWF WrestleMania X8 2002


The SkyDome,
Toronto , Ontario
Sunday, Mar. 17th, 2002


WWF World Heavyweight Title Match

Chris Jericho
WWF World Heavyweight
Champion


versus




Triple H
Challenger



Hollywood Hogan
versus

The Rock

Scott Hall
versus

Steve Austin


SLAM! Predictions

RON HUTCHISON, Wrestling legend, trainer (Edge, Christian, others), guru, owner of The Apocalypse Wrestling Federation, Ron Hutchison's Pro Wrestling Gym:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

As much as I would like to go with the Canadian in this one I must caution him about the dastardly Stephanie McMahon Helmsley! Steph and Hunter are not yet divorced are they? LOL. My heart is with Jericho but my mind is made up. I will take Triple H in this one with the assist to Stephanie McMahon.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

The two biggest icons in sports entertainment meet at wrestling's biggest showcase. Got to go with the Rock on this one, as the legendary Hogan, much the same way in which Andre did with him at WrestleMania III in Michigan, get's ready to pass the torch to the next generation of pro-wrestling superstars.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

This one is a tough one to call. The NWO hasn't been back long enough to extinguish their flame at WrestleMania. I think they have a lot of legs left with the whole NWO angle. I expect total chaos in this one with interference from at least one member of the NWO. That being said I am going to go against logic and give this one, in very controversial fashion to Scott Hall. Especially if my prediction for the Rock/ Hogan match is on the money!




JOHN POWELL SLAM! Wrestling Co-Editor:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Like the Hogan - Rock bout, it will be curious to be in SkyDome and be able to hear how the live crowd reacts. It could be split like it was many years ago when Hulk tussled with Warrior. I can't see Jericho making it out of SkyDome with the belt. I believe solidly in the rumour that Triple H will turn heel and along with Stephanie, steal the belt away from Jericho. Y2J will be the heel going in but the face coming out.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

A clash of the legends? Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Don't make me laugh. With The Rock being pinned cleanly recently and being on the short end of most of his encounters with Hogan, I expect Rock to defeat Hogan in the main event. It certainly won't be a classic but it will be fun. Shades of The Warrior and Hogan at WrestleMania 6. What I am really looking forward to though is how the live crowd will react. Traditionally, Canadian fans have cheered on Hogan (even when he turned and became "Hollywood") and have no qualms about booing The Rock even when he is a face. No matter how good or bad the bout is, the crowd will play a large role.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

The rumour mill has Austin grumping a lot backstage recently. That tells me that he might not be too thrilled with the upcoming plans for his feud with the nWo. It makes sense that this ends in foggy fashion with either a DQ or Hall getting a disputed win. Whatever the case, I assume that in the next few months Austin will be making his way through the nWo ranks until he starts a feud with Hogan.




JOHN MOLINARO, SLAM! Wrestling Co-Editor:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Triple H will win, which is too bad because I think Jericho has had a nice run on top and should be given more time with it. But going with Triple H as the new champ makes sense because they're been building to it the past few months and he'll make a good champion.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

The Rock Versus "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan - Icon vs. Icon? Whatever? This should be so funny to watch because Hogan, of course, sucks and can't even move in the ring. It'll be a pleasure to watch him embarrass himself. Look for Rock to get the win to make up for doing the job on Monday.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Versus Scott Hall. - I think Austin'll go over but I wouldn't be surprised if they give the win to Hall to keep the feud alive and give it more legs.




BOB KAPUR, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

I like the build-up for this match, though the whole "Lucy" thing was pretty lame. I'm hoping they remove Stephanie from ringside early, so the match plays itself out, but I know that's only wishful thinking. She'll interfere, it will backfire, and Triple H picks up the win.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

I didn't think they could come up with a match more monumental than Hogan vs. Warrior at the last WM in Toronto. Two of the most recognizable icons of wrestling in history fighting for the status of legend. It won't be a great match technically, but Hogan-Warrior wasn't either, and it's still one people talk about. I can't see Hogan passing the torch as long as he's got a long-term contract, though. So pick Hollywood with the upset, thanks to interference from Nash.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

Survey time... does it make sense for the nWo "poison" to come in, hurt a few guys for a couple of weeks, and then do the job, thereby losing any credibility as a major threat? I don't think so, which is why I'm picking Hall to win via screwjob.




NICK TYLWALK, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Two months ago I probably would have told you that nothing would dampen my enthusiasm for this match at WrestleMania. Then we got a heavy dose of Stephanie, Jericho was reduced to an errand boy, a dog pooped and the rest is history. If Triple H reunites with Steph and turns heel (actually a double turn since the sympathy Jericho would get would turn him face in the process), I'm going to be mad. I might even yell. Regardless, I expect the undisputed champ to job in front of his home fans.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

A match for the ages? A match for the aged is more like it. The big question, the only one that really matters, is whether or not Hogan still has anything left in the tank. If he does, this could be fun. If not ... well, let's not think about that. Hogan got his win on Raw so logic dictates Rocky should win. I'm almost hoping there's not a clean finish and that something unexpected happens.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

Hey yo! As regular readers know, Hall's return is my favorite part of the nWo redux. Everyone suspects he can still go, but this will be the true test. I can't see him winning though.




MIKE ALTAMURA, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

When these two fine athletes come together, you're guaranteed a first-class match. However, the only problem I see with this clash for the WWF/WCW unified strap is that Jericho is the 'heel' and 'Tripper is the 'face'. Wrestlemania being staged in Canada could very well mean that the wrestlers' roles are reversed. I guess it's Survivor Series '97 over again! Triple H will come out the victor, most likely after one of Steph's devious plans backfires. Prediction: Winner and new WWF/WCW unified champ Triple H

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

This year's main event at Wrestlemania is of a rare substance when put into context. Amazingly, these two have never met in the squared circle,AeP the same couldn't be said for the top of the bill encounters at 'Mania in recent years (i.e. Rock vs. Austin). Furthermore, this match sees the coming together of two eras- the 'old school' ala Hogan and the 'new generation' ala The Rock. The public will predict The Rock, I say let 'em. Hogan goes 'over' after some little help from his fellow black & white compatriots. Prediction: Hogan via pinfall

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

A battle which would've been best served taking place about 3 years back. Nevertheless, this bout captures your attention on so many levels. Many questions still linger: can Austin continue his Wrestlemania hot-streak? Will Hall come mentally prepared? What affect, if any will the nWo members have? All pointers leading in suggest Austin will come out victorious. I tend to agree. Prediction: Austin via pinfall




AARON HENRY, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

There is much buzz around the Internet about the possible conspiracy in ousting Y2J from the Undisputed Champion pedestal. Triple H will take this match no matter which way you slice, but I gander there being some funny business happening at ringside from the woman with the most lethal scream in the world. One thing is for certain, I am 100% sure Bobby "The Brain" Heenan won't be getting involved.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

It's the battle of who is the most entertaining man in sports entertainment history. It's the People's champ versus the vitamin advocate. It's one on one, as long as Hogan doesn't ride a semi or use his nWo resources, thus giving The Rock the upper hand in this match. The Leg Bomb will be no match for the People's Elbow with The Rock winning in an entertaining style.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Versus Scott Hall - Austin got in Hall's head when he hog tied him to the chair a couple weeks back. But I am sure this Outsider will not go at it alone, which can only mean Nash will use all avenues to help his brother. However, the beer drinking bad boy, Asutin, will easily win this match. Hall's most powerful attack is the Razor's Edge, but it's no match for the Stone Cold Stunner.




TIM WOOD, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Three short words : new World champion. Despite being away for many, many months, Triple-H has returned with more heat than Jericho has managed to attain in his entire time as champion. In fact, HHH's absence from the sport has only served to make the hearts of the fans grow fonder. It's difficult to say which is the greater factor here - Jericho's failure to retain any shadow of popularity since becoming champ, or the popularity infused into Triple-H since his return as the strongest face I've seen in awhile. Triple-H to score the pinfall after the "Pedigree" somewhere around the thirty-five minute mark.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

Despite The Rock's less-than-admirable Wrestlemania showing over the years, I cannot for the life of me imagine why the WWF would choose to put Hogan over. Still, it remains a tough call, simply because they might. The NWO's popularity since they've regrouped is pretty good, but to put them over the number one guy in the company with Hogan seems downright silly. In the end, this is your changing of the guard match, with the star of the 80's against the star of today. In a close one -- and a very bad match -- I'm going to actually go with Hogan in a screwjob finish. May God have mercy upon my soul, and I hope I'm wrong.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

Why has Scott Hall failed to impress the fans since his return? Out of the original NWO members, he was always my favourite. Nevertheless, Austin's popularity as the biggest badass in the company will carry him over Hall, despite interference from Nash, and I look for Austin to knock Hall out with the Stunner sometime early -- say ten minutes. And I'm giving 5-1 odds there'll be beer drinking, a Lou Thesz press, and at least one "bird" flipped.




DONNIE ABREU, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

I know that most everyone has jumped on the Jericho band wagon, but I'm sorry n I still don't see it. Transition champion. Plain and simple. Granted he's had it longer than most others who have been handed that label, but that's part of the WWF's desperate attempt to get him over as a believable heavyweight. Heis NOT larger than life - he's barely larger than Michael Cole. I think Jericho could be there eventually, but he needs to crank up the intensity and concentrate on wrestling like a heel. Lose Stephanie and lose the Disco Inferno pants. Triple H will win this round and win over the crowd who will likely be split 50/50 going in. This could be the match of the night. WINNER: Triple H

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

I have had various thoughts about this match. First of all, Hogan WILL be cheered like it's nobody's business, as he ALWAYS is in Toronto. Not to mention the fact that Diamond Dallas Page once said 'Toronto LOVES heels - HATES faces'. That was Page's comment after the Toronto episode of Nitro where he faced Hogan. Page the face, was booed and dismissed while Hogan received cheers he hadnit heard since Wrestlemania 6. That being said - I doubt the WWF took Hogan's popularity into consideration when booking this match. The truck incident, the pinfall loss on RAW n everything indicates that The Rock will hand Hogan his second Wrestlemania loss (both coming in Toronto). WINNER: The Rock

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Versus Scott Hall. I really really want Scott Hall to win this match - but it's not going to happen. Why would you have Austin drop a match to guy who is a ticking time bomb, and may not even be in your company by the time the next pay per view rolls around. WINNER: Austin




CHRIS GRAMLICH, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Like it or not (and how can you not love it?), this is the real main event. Two excellent wrestlers (students of the game, if you will) at the top of their "game," going head to head. After a rather slow start, Chris Jericho has made the transition to top-flight heeldom (something he showed unequivocally he could do in WCW and with his entrance to the WWF) and Triple H is so over since his return that it seems like a lifetime ago that he was hitting people with sledgehammers and running down the fans. Still, there's no question that the build-up for this match has suffered from both the NWO's emergence and the nonsensical angles; who's H3 going after again, Jericho or Stephanie? Anyway, despite a rather sluggish build up, there is no doubt that this has the potential to be a great match, possibly one for the ages, as both H3 and Jericho are two of the best wrestlers in the "game" today. When Jericho won the undisputed title, many pegged him as a transition champion, but the WWF did a smart thing and left the belt on him, despite the temptation to hotshot it to Rock or Austin. And while many figure that H3 will get the belt at Wrestlemania, it would be much more compelling for Jericho to retain and actually have H3 chase him, not Stephanie. However, if I know the WWF, they will probably give the belt to H3, which isn't a bad thing, but it just could have been built up so much more and the payoff so much bigger. Regardless, I believe, and you must believe something, that this will be the best match on the card and that it might possibly be one of the best Wrestlemania matches in years, look for H3 to win the title.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

The marketing of this match is just a little insulting, to put it mildly. I know selling any product is based upon exaggeration and hyperbole, but saying that the outcome of this match will determine the greatest of all time is ludicrous. The fact is that neither of these two would be considered the greatest of their era, let alone of all time, by any knowledgeable wrestling fan. However, there is no arguing that both these stars are massively influential and popular, and the fact remains that Hogan did more to popularise wrestling in the '80s and usher in the sports entertainment aesthetic (as Hogan never could wrestle) than Rock has, at least so far, "Scorpion King" be damned. Still, saying that a match between an athlete in the dark, dark twilight years of his career and an athlete in his prime can determine anything is stretching it and the quality of the match will surely support this notion. If Hogan's wrestling appearance on Raw was any indication, it seems unlikely that the Rock (and probably anyone, save maybe Flair, Michaels or Hart, in their primes) can have a good match with Hogan, and even if the Rock was capable of carrying an opponent to a good match (which he hasn't demonstrated an ability to do), Hogan looks to be long past being carried by anyone. So yeah, this match will probably huff mad donkey dongs, and there's no doubt that their verbal confrontations will surely surpass the actually match, but call it nostalgia, there's something about Hogan and Wrestlemania that seems somehow magical and timeless (or I could be getting old). Maybe, just maybe, if the stars align just right, maybe the Rock and Hogan can put together something halfway decent for old time's sake, at least before the run-in NWO ending.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

It seems criminal to me that Hall has never been a heavyweight champ, never wins the really big matches and yet is one of the best big men around, when he wants to be. His rather public personal problems aside, if you remember the initial NWO angle in WCW, Hall was the catalyst, and was matched against WCW's upper echelon, but would never win clean (neither would Nash, for that matter), if at all. It always seems that as good as Hall was, and is (being the best of the NWO currently), that the "powers that be" don't think it is believable for him to win the big match on his own. And remember, when Hall beat Michaels in that ladder match, both were relatively at the same level. Still, with Hogan barely able to stand without help and Nash needing an opponent who works well with a big man to have a decent match, Hall will be the workhorse for the NWO, at least until the defections from the WWF start, hopefully at Wrestlemania. That being said, his current feud with Austin may be a case of too much too soon, sure Hall can have a good match with Austin, even if Austin is looking more and more broke down each month, but there is no way in hell Hall gets a clean victory, if a victory at all. A more likely scenario is a run-in NWO ending with Austin getting the beatdown. your company by the time the next pay per view rolls around. WINNER: Austin




ROSS WILLIAMS, SLAM! Wrestling Guest Columnist:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

The last time a feud involved a dog, it led to the Big Bossman vs Al Snow in Mick Foley's favourite match ever, the Kennel from Hell bout. This feud is different - it has two dogs involved. Everyone seems to be expecting Triple H to pick up the win and the belts when Steph double crosses Jericho and, since Steph *is* head of the writing team and since she *is* knocking off Tripper and since that *would* put the two of them back on top together (and knock Jericho back into the mid-card), I suspect that it is exactly what will happen. Winner: Triple H.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

As chronicled in my recent article, what I think will happen and what I think should happen are two completely different things. The match will be moderate at best, of this, there can be no doubt. However, strong crowd reaction should make it an extremely interesting bout. Since the WWF has heavily promoted Hogan's return to action in the press and mentioned that "the event will be built around Hogan", you would think that he'll go over, but I'll buck the trend and say that the Rock will be picking up the win (after an interference-fest). Why? Sadly, good promotion for The Scorpion King. Winner: The Rock

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

Sense would dictate that Austin should hand Hall his ass but that would make the nWo look like absolute pansies should the Rock drop Hogan, so I think I shall have to pick "Stone Cold Sober" Scott Hall here. At the very least, they'll probably use the "you haven't jobbed at WM since '97" excuse on Austin... Winner: Scott Hall




JON WALDMAN, SLAM! Wrestling Reporter:

CHRIS JERICHO versus TRIPLE H

Chris who? Oh right, he's the champion. Seems Jericho is becoming more and more forgettable in this match, as Stephanie "Triple D" McMahon is becoming the main opposer to Triple H. Jericho is simply her henchman, but not in the old-fashioned, Heenan-gets-wrestler X-to-destroy-Hogan henchmen style. This is about Stephanie giving herself as much airtime as possible, while at the same time downplaying Jericho's abilities to actually defeat Helmsley. The match will be good, no question. The two have put together classics in their past battles, but Stephanie will interject too much. Expect Triple H to finally pedigree Steph, but I look for Jericho to go over in this one, after abandoning Steph.

"HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN versus THE ROCK

The battle of legends! The Hollywood Brawl! Call it whatever you want, but this match is the single most over-hyped match since Hogan/Warrior a couple years back (coincidence that Hogan was involved in each; or conspiracy...). I don't like this match at all. First off, we have Hogan, a guy who is a good 10 years past his prime, against The Rock, who has been in and out of ring action for a few months now. Methinks we will not see a Steamboat/Savage classic from these two, especially considering the fact that Hogan is not likely to take several of the bumps required to work a Rocky match (belly to belly throw, spinebuster etc.). Second, if you are having a match between the two most-influential, legendary wrestlers of the modern era, then it should be Hogan against Austin, or if you want the rock involved, have it be a 4 way with those 3 and Flair. The match, inevitably, will be a terrible one, with The Rock going over after much outside shenanigans.

SCOTT HALL versus STEVE AUSTIN

Shouldn't there be a drinking game attached to this one? This one has been pretty-well hyped, but as previously mentioned, Austin should be in the top bout. Hall is third-in-line in terms of the nWo pecking order, and truly beneath Austin. That being said, the two will put on a semi-decent match. While the fans will want Austin to go over, Hall will likely get the duke with Nash's help. If the nWo goes 0 for 2, then the faction will look incredibly weak.




Undercard Matches and Predictions

Match
Ron
Hutchison
John Molinaro
Bob Kapur
Nick Tylwalk
Mike Altamura
Aaron Henry
Tim Wood
Donnie Abreu
Chris Gramlich
Ross Williams
Jon Waldman
John Powell
RVD Versus William Regal
RVD
RVD
Regal
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
RVD
Ric Flair Versus UT
UT
Flair
UT
UT
UT
Flair
UT
UT
Flair
UT
UT
Flair
Billy, Chuck Versus APA Versus Hardy Boys Versus Dudley Boys
APA
APA
APA
Dudley Boys
Dudley Boys
Dudley Boys
Hardy Boys
Hardy Boys
Dudley Boys
Dudley Boys
Dudley Boys
Hardy Boys
Jazz Versus Lita Versus Trish
Did you have any doubt that I was going to pick... TRISH!
Who cares?
Lita
Lita
Trish
Lita
Jazz
Trish
Lita
Trish
Trish
Trish
Kane Versus Kurt Angle
Angle
Angle
Kane
Angle
Angle
Kane
Angle
Angle
Angle
Angle
Angle
Angle
Edge Versus Booker T.
In my totally unbiased opinion
...EDGE!
Edge
Edge
Edge
Edge
Booker T.
Booker T.
Edge
Edge
Edge
Edge
Edge





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WWF WrestleMania X8 will be broadcast live on pay-per-view and home satellite and is available in Canada on Viewer's Choice. Check with your local cable company for availability.


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