WWE WrestleMania XIX: Return of the Roman Numerals!
by Scrooge McSuck
- Please God, I can't make it through anymore reviews! STOP THE PAIN! AAHHHHHHHHHH! At this point in this looooooooong run of reviews, I can't think of anything to say, other than why the hell did I do all of these reviews?! GAH! GAH! GAH! Anyway, since this is the Brand Split Era of WWE (yup, no longer WWF), Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler do the Raw matches, while Michael Cole and Tazz do Smackdown.
- WWE (RAW) Tag Team Championship Match:
Lance Storm & Chief Morley © vs. Kane & Rob Van Dam:
Time for me to bitch about stuff just for the sake of bitching. Kane and Rob Van Dam, two of the more important wrestlers on the Raw Roster, are pushed into the Sunday Night Heat spot. Why am I bitching? BECAUSE IT WAS FOR THE GOD DAMN MILLER LIGHT GIRLS DOING SHIT FOR NO REASON FOR 5 GOD DAMN MINUTES! THATS WHY! Anyway, with that out of my system (for now), we get to the match. Your standard tag team affair, but the Commercial break (GRR!) kills the pace of whatever the hell they were going for. All four men look game since it's kinda WrestleMania for them, but it's too short and we get a shitty finish, with the Dudley Boyz (during their 57th heel run) not knowing wether or not to help the heels retain. Bubba Ray makes the decision to help, dropping an elbow on RVD, and THAT is enough to pin RVD at the 10:00 mark. Wow, that was lame. Kane and RVD went on to win the Tag Titles the next night on Raw. (*1/2)
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match:
Matt Hardy (w/ Shannon Moore) vs. Rey Misterio Jr.:
No idea on backstory for this one. I wasn't exactly following Smackdown as much during this time, thanks to working every thursday night, and I was too lazy to actually tape the shows 99% of the time. I do remember the smark community creaming themselves over this match, trying to pretend it will be a great match that goes 20:00 minutes. HA! FOOLISH MORTALS! People need to learn to listen to me when it comes to stupid booking by WWE. As I expected, this is a disappointing match, only for the fact that it was given five minutes. Let me say that again: THIS WAS GIVEN FIVE MINUTES. ON A FOUR HOUR PAY PER VIEW! WITH ONLY EIGHT OTHER MATCHES!!! Misterio has some super hero costume on, a tradition that lasted all of two years, but the hell if I can remember what character it is. Obviously I'm no comic book nerd. Hardy retains by using the ropes for leverage at 5:39. And that's that. Mysterio ended up winning the title a few weeks later in the Main Event of Smackdown. To no ones surprise, the Cruiserweight main event drew pretty poor ratings. (*)
- The Undertaker & Nathan Jones vs. Big Show & A-Train:
I know, I know... before the PPV, the FBI (then Nunzio, Johnny Stamboli and Chuck Palumbo) did a number on Jones in the bathroom and probably stole his wallet, so Undertaker comes out on his own, while Limp Dick performs "Rollin" live, and probably forgot about half of the lyrics, which is funny, since half of the lyrics include the word "Rollin". Big Show and A-Train (or was he still Albert?) shouldn't have much trouble winning here... but they're facing the Undertaker, who sells and jobs for no one! AHAHAHAHA! Crappy match, but I've seen crappier. Undertaker holds his own pretty well for a guy wrestling 2 guys over 6'7" and between 350-500 pounds. Then out of nowhere, Nathan Jones returns to attack the heels, and keeps falling over in doing so. The pain finally ends when the Undertaker finishes A-Train off with the Tombstone Piledriver at 9:45, improving his WrestleMania record to 11-0. I'm sure some 'Taker fanboys will try and call this a great match because of the participants, but I'm not that generous. (1/2*)
- WWE Womens Championship Match:
Victoria © (w/ Steven Richards) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jazz:
No one cares, it's the WWE Womens Wrestling Division. Although it's technically a good match by their standards, I won't bore anyone with trying to make it sound like it's worth watching. After some back and forth action, Trish Stratus wins her whatever of whatever total Women Championships by pinning Victoria following the Chick Kick (then unnamed, I think). If anyone can remember when and who Trish lost the title to, you're a much smarter person than me, because I can't remember jack shit. (*3/4)
- WWE (Smackdown!) Tag Team Championship Match:
Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas © vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero:
Holy jesus, look at the talent in this match! And Rhyno. This goes to show how wasted pretty much everyone in the company was, especially Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Benjamin and Haas were still under the employ of Kurt Angle at this point, and it's another match that I can't come up with a reason for happening... maybe the Guerreros stole something from everyone, and that's why they're involved? Decent but unspectacular match, mainly (again) because it's super rushed. 5 of the best workers on the Smackdown roster are pushed into one match, so you expected them to get more time. HA! HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED ANYTHING YET?!? Sloppy finish with Shelton Benjamin pinning Chavo to retain at 8:46, after Chavo got KO'ed with the GORE! GORE! GORE! Thankfully Benoit and Eddie were pushed in the singles ranks again a few months later, which lead to both men winning World Titles. (**)
- Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho:
If my memory serves correctly, they were doing a "I used to respect you but now I hate your guts" angle. Michaels is making his first WrestleMania (match) appearence since losing the World Title to Steve Austin back at WrestleMania XIV. I hate being nice to Michaels, but this is a pretty good match, although a bit long in the tooth at times, since Michaels clearly can't hang with guys like Jericho anymore. At least not as well as he used to, when he apparently was the greatest worker alive (side note: I call bullshit on that comment and find him to be the most overrated glorified bump machine in the history of wrestling.) Totally bad finish, with Shawn going over Jericho clean with a funky-looking roll-up at 22:32. I heard that it was Jericho's idea for him to job here, but I don't care. I still hate Shawn Michaels anyway, and can't wait to go to hell so I can see him getting ass-raped by a spiked dildo while Hitler cuts off his ears. After the match Jericho offers a handshake, but decides to kick Michaels in the balls afterwards. That's the Jericho we all know and love! Jericho would go on to win the "rematch" on Raw a few months later, but at that point, it was a worthless win cloudest with interference. Michaels continued his Jesus Run to this day, barely putting anyone clean over other than his lover-boy and probably Vince Mcmahon at WM 22. (****)
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Triple H © (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Booker T:
I must have a lot in my hate system, or maybe this show pisses me off that much I can't help but explode with rage. Booker T won a 20-Man Battle Royale on Raw to win this match, which was supposed to lead to the Rock putting Booker over on Raw before this PPV. However, the Rock veto'ed the idea, claiming that Triple H would just bury Booker T because of their backstage rivalry, and instead put the Hurricane over. The storyline hate between Booker and Trips was that Booker T's "people" weren't "at his level." Then to top it off, Trips offered Booker a buck to fetch him a towel. Ouch... Booker pinned Trips a few times leading up to this show. BEWARE BABYFACE! Painfully dull match, thanks to Triple H working like it was 1975 and Booker T never being that good enough to begin with. At times it appears Booker has the match won, but HAHA AGAIN! TRIPLE H WON'T JOB TO NO BLACK PEOPLE AT WRESTLEMANIA! THEY AREN'T IN HIS LEAGUE! Time for the finish: Triple H hits the Push Killer. And lies on the canvas. And stays there. And keeps lying around. Finally, nearly a MINUTE later, Trips puts on arm over Booker's chest, and STILL wins the match at 18:47. I guess Booker T's people AREN'T championship material. RACIST UNDERTONES RULE! No wonder Triple H hated the Nation of Domination. No good black people trying to make an honest living. NOT IN THE WWF!!! Oh yeah, the next night, Triple H went over the Hurricane for no reason other than prove the Rock's point. (**)
- Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon:
It's Age in the... uh... WrestleMania Street Fight! Hogan and Vince hate each other, Vince wants Hulk to retire, and Bob Costas insulted this (indirectly) by calling it the old-timers game of baseball. How that is supposed to make little kids want to see the match is beyond me. LOOOOOOOOONG and boring match with a few cute spots. The first 10 minutes really fucking bad. However, there's a high spot... Vince McMahon doing a leg drop off a ladder through Hogan on an announcers table! LUCHA-VINCE IS RUNNING WILD, BROTHER! In one of the funniest moments of the match, Vince, bleeding like a stuck pig, starts peeping over the ring apron like some villain in a 1920's silent film. It's just that funny! Another high moment is the surprise return of Roddy Piper, sporting a big belly. He attacks both men a bit, but bashes Hogan with a lead pipe for good measure. Then out comes Sylvain Grenier, the evil referee, but Hogan WON'T STAY DOWN! Hogan hulks up, cleans house, and finishes Vince off with not one, not two, but THREE leg drops! That's more than it took to pin Zeus! And that's all she wrote at 20:48. WHO THE HELL BOOKED THIS TO GO THAT LONG?! JESUS CHRIST! After the match, Shane McMahon comes out to check on pops, ignoring the bad blood they had in 2001. Nothing happens though. Fucking pussy. Incredibly bad wrestling, and even on the fun scale, this is a very generous rating. (**)
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Rock:
I'm running out of things to say, so fuck it. Rock was complaining about never beating Austin at WrestleMania, something he's never been able to do in two previous attempts. Austin had a pretty severe health issue the weekend of this show, and his participation was questionable. Austin managed to make the show to put over the Rock, showing he can be a true company man. Just because a character is booked to beat up women (and she deserved it!) and he had a minor problem in real life doesn't make him a bad person. Everyone has their share of problems and no one is Mr. Innocent. Anyway, another good match in their series of them, but Austin clearly isn't able to go like he used to. The last 5 minutes is basically all finishing moves being kicked out of until the Rock finally puts Austin away with the Rock Bottom at 17:53. This marked Austin's last wrestling match as of this typing, although that was almost broken at Taboo Tuesday 2005, when Austin walked out on even more booking retardedness than in 2002. The Rock went on to put over Goldberg before pretty much retiring for good, and making a random appearence here and there since. (***1/4)
- WWE World Championship Match:
Kurt Angle © vs. Brock Lesnar:
Lesnar won the 2003 Rumble to earn this title shot. In one of those awesome booking decisions to fuck with everyone, it was planned that Lesnar might've pinned Angle in a squash on Smackdown because Angle's neck was really fucked up, and stupid rumors were stating he could suffer career and LIFE ending injuries if he went through with it. Then the booking comes into play... on that Smackdown, Angle retained, thanks to the reappearence of a bald ERIC Angle being used as a dummy. Yup, a rehash of Survivor Series 2000. For a match featuring a good who was "near death", it's pretty good, but I can't really get into this one. Both men having great amatuer backgrounds should mean they're really compatable in the ring, but I disagree. Scary moment of the match: Lesnar tries to pull off a shooting star press, but fucks up, landing on his head! Comical note: I guess now we know why he was stupid enough to sign a 10 year no-compete clause at the next WrestleMania. Anyway, Lesnar ends up winning in anti-climatic fashion with the Browser Refresh at 21:04. After the match, both men hug, which lead to them being "friends" when Angle returned, doing questionable stuff like chugging "milk" and kissing until Lesnar turned heel again. (***1/2)
Final Thoughts: Disappointing WrestleMania in the long run, but HBK/Jericho, Austin/Rock, and Angle/Lesnar are good enough to get a Recommendation. There's other stuff that isn't too bad either, but these are the only three matches worth watching. Just skip over the rest, unless you want to see Triple H become the biggest babyface in Ku Klux Klan land.
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