WWF WrestleMania XV 3/28/1999

March 28, 1999
First Union Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 18,274
Buy Rate: 2.32
Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler (Jim Ross comes out for the main event)

Sunday Night Heat Matches:

Jacquelyn (Moore) defeats Ivory (Lisa Moretti) (1:24)
D-Lo Brown (AC Conner) and Test (Andrew Martin) win a battle royal to get a Tag Team Title shot during the show (4:16)

Pay Per View

Fun Fact: This was the first commercial DVD that the WWF had pressed. It is out of print and very difficult to find except on Amazon or E-Bay.

Fun Fact II: This will be the final Wrestlemania that uses the old school logo.

1) Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) defeats Al Snow (Sarven) and Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) in a Triple Threat match to win WWF Hardcore Title after a Fame-Asser at 7:08

Fun Fact: Billy Gunn defeated Bob Holly for the Hardcore Title on March 15 and was inserted into the match in place of Road Dogg the week before the show.

Scott: The opener of the most anticipated Wrestlemania since, well the year before, is a Hardcore match. Even though the concept was pretty much stolen from ECW, it definitely helped the careers of a couple of guys. Who knows what Al Snow and Bob Holly would have been doing had there not been a Hardcore division. The truly stupid thing was swapping the Outlaws. Road Dogg had been battling in the Hardcore division, and Billy Gunn was feuding with Val Venis and Ken Shamrock over the Intercontinental Title. So, in Vince Russo’s infinite wisdom, he flip-flops them. It made absolutely no sense. In the long run it didn’t matter historically, but at the time you were scratching your head. What was also scratching my head was Michael Cole saying that Billy Gunn was the best pure athlete in the WWF. Ugh. That solo run was on the horizon. The match was OK, and Hardcore regained the title. Grade: 2

Justin: A decent Hardcore battle, but the fact that it takes place just around ringside hinders it a little bit. The genre was still fresh, so fighting all around the arena would have still been a good choice, but the simple weapon shots took a little away from the match. Also, Gunn wasn’t really suited for this match anymore, as his character was seen as more of finesse worker than a straight up brawler, so that also took away from the match. Holly gets the title here, but he and Snow would continue their war into the summer, with Snow still chasing after that first taste of Hardcore gold. Grade: 2

2) Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart defeat D-Lo Brown (AC Connor) & Test (Andrew Martin) to retain WWF Tag Team Titles

Fun Fact: As noted above, D-Lo and Test won a battle royal on Sunday Night Heat to earn this tag team title shot.

Fun Fact II: Michael Cole was still slightly over his head as he said this was Owen’s 10th Wrestlemania, when in reality it was his 8th Wrestlemania.

Scott: What was this? Two guys who have never teamed together before face the champs in a 4 minute title match? I know the show focused on the main event, but we could have had some logic in this undercard. The match wasn’t good, and the champs, who I liked together more and more, win easily. One thing Owen Hart did well over his career was legitimize tag partners. In 1995 he took a floundering Yokozuna and made him a motherfucker again. In late 1996 it was the British Bulldog, fresh off of a hot feud with Shawn Michaels, who hooked up with the Rocket, and they were a solid tag team. Now, the former joke Jeff Jarrett is with Owen, and they are solid tag team champs. Many thought over his career Owen Hart didn’t have an identity. That’s absolutely false. He made everyone around him better, and thus he was better. This match couldn’t be saved, but you can’t win them all. Grade: 1.5

Justin: As Scott said, this booking made no sense what-so-ever and was really quite lazy. Even if you wanted to throw D-Lo and Test together for a quick shot, do it on Raw so you can build the match up a little bit instead of 45 minutes before the match happens. I’m sure the ending was supposed to lead to some sort of feud between the two, but as is typical for Vince Russo, that never really went anywhere, as Test got involved in a higher profile feud and D-Lo was given a solid role in the upper-mid-card over the next couple of months. Jarrett and Owen were the best in-ring champions since Owen held the straps with Bulldog 2 years earlier, so they were finally adding some legitimacy to the straps, but their brief run would end the next night on Raw, when they lost their well-earned titles to the makeshift team of Kane and X-Pac. They would continue to team, but wouldn’t see Tag Team gold again. Grade: 1.5

3) Butterbean (Eric Esch) defeats Bart Gunn (Mike Plotcheck) in a Brawl For All match when Gunn is knocked out at :36 of the 1st round

Fun Fact: Bart Gunn had won the Brawl for All tournament in July of 1998 by defeating Bob Holly, Steve Williams, Godfather and Bradshaw. Williams had been brought in at the urging of his friend, Jim Ross and was set for a very big Main Event run, but when Gunn landed his knockout punch, he managed to give Williams a concussion and aided in him tearing his hamstring. Williams was out of action for a while and Gunn was now a legit bad ass. Instead of taking advantage of this newfound strength, Vince shipped Bart to All Japan to get some seasoning.

Fun Fact II: Let us jump ahead to February, as JR was just about ready to start commentating again, Vince Russo decided to turn him heel and manage his old protégé, Dr. Death. So, in a Hardcore match between Bart Gunn, who had just returned that night, and Bob Holly on the 2/15 Raw, a rather large man in a Japanese Kabuki costume attacked Bart and threw him off of the stage through a table. A week or so later, JR came out and cut a scathing promo on Bart Gunn for “cheap shotting” Williams, Michael Cole for backstabbing him and stealing his job and Vince McMahon for saying he was too ugly to commentate due to his Bells Palsy. He then showed the Kabuki costume and tore into the creative team for saddling such a wrestling great as Williams with a retarded gimmick. So, it was on, JR was a pissed off heel and was bringing in Dr. Death to unleash some violence. JR went as far as to build his own commentating table at ringside, directly in front of Michael Cole’s seat at ringside. Well, Cole was upset, but Williams stood by JR, ensuring nothing would happen to his man, as he contributed third party commentary during the matches. The best exchange of this whole quasi-feud went as follows: Cole: “I have a big cowboy hat in my face and I can’t see a damn thing;” Ross: “You’re gonna have a cowboy boot in your ass if you don’t shut up.” JR’s table was destroyed by Holly during a Hardcore match later in the show, which caused him to flip out and leave ringside. Once again, because of Russo’s 10-year old attention span, the whole story was dropped, and JR returned to his chair during the Main Event of this show, Dr. Death disappeared, despite many rumors of various Main Events and shooter factions, and Bart Gunn was sent back to Japan and has barely been seen since.

Fun Fact III: Rhode Island legend Vinny Pazienza was the guest referee. Gorilla Monsoon, Kevin Rooney and Chuck Wepner were the guest judges. This would be Gorilla’s final PPV appearance, as he would pass away on October 6 from heart failure brought on by diabetes. The man who called so many of these PPVs along our journey will never be forgotten for setting the standard for Play-by-Play men who double as straight men for the witty heel commentator. Our memories will always be of Gorilla and Jesse Ventura jousting over Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage during the main event of Wrestlemania V as well as the hysterical commentary during the Rhodes & Sapphire vs. Savage & Sherri match at Wrestlemania VI. His co-hosting of “Prime Time Wrestling” with famed partner and real life best friend Bobby Heenan was the cornerstone of WWF programming for all our childhoods. The Gorilla will be missed in the PPV world and the famed “Gorilla Position”, the spot just behind the curtain at the entranceway where all the superstars come out to, will be always dedicated to him.

Scott: All I’ll say is that Butterbean had a 2-appearance deal with the WWF, and he was just fulfilling it. The first time was against Marc Mero at the D-Generation X PPV in December 1997. That lasted about 9 minutes longer than this. Bart Gunn went to Japan after this, probably to find his brains after Butterbean knocked them out of his skull. Grade: N/A

Justin: The only highlight of this match was the ridiculous hook that Butterbean dislodges Gunn’s head with. I always enjoyed the collective “oooh” of the live crowd as the showed the replay on the monitors in the arena. Butterbean’s contract was up, so he was done, and as we talked about earlier, Bart Gunn was sent back East. After the match, Vinny Paz duels with the San Diego Chicken, which sets up a minor plot point for later in the show. Grade: N/A

4) Mankind (Mick Foley) defeated the Big Show (Paul Wight) by disqualification at 6:49 to become referee for the World Title main event match

Fun Fact: It was always Mick Foley’s dream to partake in the Main Event of Wrestlemania, and he saw an opportunity and tried to take advantage of it. When Vince announced that Big Show would be the special ref at Wrestlemania, Mankind showed up on the scene to let Vince know he was petitioning Commissioner Michaels to let him be the ref at the big show. It was then decided that there would be two referees at WM: Wight and Foley. Well, this changed 10 times over 4 weeks, as the two kept having various matches to determine who would ref, and finally it was decided that they would battle here, with the winner refereeing later in the night.

Fun Fact II: A little background on our very large debut in this match. Paul Wight was introduced to wrestling, after a failed attempt by some to play pro football, by Hulk Hogan, who was introduced to Wight by Danny Bonaduce. After training in the Power Plant, he debuted in WCW in 1995 and instantly feuded with then-champion Hogan as “Andre’s Son”. He was a multi-time WCW World Champion and a US Champion, and was also in and out of the New World Order. By the end of 1998 the writing was on the wall for Wight that WCW was starting to lose its grip, and that the WWF was catching up in the Monday Night War. So when his contract was up he signed a 10-year deal with the WWF. He debuted at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre when he climbed through the canvas and attempted to help Mr. McMahon in the cage match against Steve Austin.

Scott: This match was to determine who would be the referee in the World Title match later in the night. Wight makes his official PPV debut here, and is very trim and motivated. He never had a diverse cache of moves, but he was a big guy with big guy offense. The DQ happens when Show chokeslams Mankind on two open folding chairs. Vince McMahon comes out to scold Show for blowing the shot for the Corporation, and gets whacked with a shot about 7 inches from his head. Not the best debut for the Big Nasty Bastard. Mankind is the referee for the main event, but he’s being sent to the hospital. Grade: 2

Justin: A sluggish match, as Show was in great shape, but Mick wasn’t as his knee was a mess, so he wasn’t really in a position to help the big guy out. There had been rumors swirling of a huge KOTR 98-esque bump heading into the show, but, while the Chokeslam on the chairs was neat, they really didn’t deliver a Holy Shit moment. Foley has said that he was in immense pain when Big Show dropped his full weight on him during the match as Mick had the Claw on from behind, and to break it, Wight flew back on top of him, so I guess that counts as a nasty bump. Anyway, not much else here, but we do get some good storyline movement. Grade: 1.5

5) Road Dogg (Brian Armstrong) defeats Ken Shamrock, Goldust (Dustin Runnels), and Val Venis (Sean Morley) in a Fatal Four-Way match to retain WWF Intercontinental Title when he rolled up Goldust at 9:46

Eliminations
Ken Shamrock & Val Venis are counted out
Road Dogg pins Goldust with a roll up

Fun Fact: Road Dogg defeated Val Venis for the I-C strap on the 2/15 Raw.

Fun Fact II: After being dumped by Val and cut loose by her brother, Ryan Shamrock turned to Goldust for comfort. Well, this didn’t go well with Blue Meanie, who had now become Goldust’s protégé. The two would constantly compete for Goldust’s affection, but both would eventually be kicked to the curb following this loss. Ryan Shamrock would hang around until July as part of the PMS with Jackie and Terri, then would head to WCW and become Symphony, valet of the Maestro.

Scott: The other half of the Vince Russo switcheroo has Road Dogg defending the IC Title in a four-way against 3 men involved in the “Who slept with Ken Shamrock’s sister?” storyline. It first was Val Venis who was boinking Ryan Shamrock, now Goldust and the Meanie have her around, for….no reason. Road Dogg has no interaction with this storyline at all, except that he’s the champ. The match itself was uneventful, and Doggie gets the roll up on Goldie for the pin. Ryan trips Goldust by accident, which leads to the roll-up. Not much comes from this, as the New Age Outlaws get back together temporarily to go after the tag straps. Grade: 2

Justin: Another clusterfuck of a match on a show filled with them. From the bizarre double title switch, to the convoluted Ryan Shamrock angle, to the inexplicable double countout eliminations of Val and Shamrock, this match was a mess from beginning to end. Goldust is screwed by some miscalculation by his entourage at the end and Road Dogg retains a title that he probably had no business even holding. This definitely ranks quite low on the Wrestlemania totem poll as far as I-C Title matches go and is a far, far cry from Savage-Steamboat. Grade: 2

6) Kane (Glen Jacobs)defeats Triple H (Paul Levesque) by disqualification at 11:32

Fun Fact: On the 3/8 Raw, Triple H and Chyna were engaged in a confrontation in the middle of the ring, when Kane stormed to ringside to protect his lady. Well, Trips charged at Kane, who shot a fireball out of his glove at HHH, who ducked just in time to see the fireball hit Chyna squarely in the face. She would be off TV until the PPV. Then, on the 3/22 Raw and in a cool homage to a previous angle, Kane was set for a match against Goldust, and awaited him in the ring. Goldust made his usual entrance, but when he hit the ring, he whipped out a flamethrower and blasted Kane in the face with it. He then ripped his robe and wig off, and voila, it wasn’t Dustin Runnels, but Triple H instead. The visual looked really cool, and was played off intensely. The homage here is that, 1 year earlier, Triple H had Goldust dress as him to defend his European Title against Owen Hart, and now Triple H dressed as Goldust for another master plan. Thus, the blow-off was set. Kane was burnt, Triple H wanted revenge and Chyna was MIA.

Scott: This was the culmination of the Hunter/Chyna split storyline. Chyna joined the Corporation in mid-January, and hooked up with Kane, who was blackmailed to join the Corporation, or be sent away in a strait jacket. So, they worked together, even winning a great tag match against X-Pac/Hunter last month at the Massacre. Here, Chyna faces out, and hits Kane with the chair for the DQ. Triple H and Chyna hug in the end, and all is well in DX land. Or is it? Wait a couple of matches and see. The match was average, like every match so far, and ends with a schmozz. Grade: 1.5

Justin: If only the workrate of this match equaled the intense build up of the feud that started in January, it would have been an instant classic, but alas, things don’t always work out so ideally, and these two just didn’t mesh well on this night. Triple H played his face-selling role well, but Kane’s plodding offense was not enough to keep this match interesting. But, even though it takes nearly 12 minutes to get there, the well crafted Chyna face turn makes the wait well worth it. D-X is reunited and ready to wreak havoc on the Corporation once again and Kane is left alone and heartbroken once again. Grade: 1.5

*** At this point, Vince McMahon announces he will be Special Referee for the Main Event, since Paul Wight is fired from the Corporation and Mankind is in the hospital. ***

7) Sable (Rena Lesnar) defeats Tori (Terri Poch) to retain WWF Women’s Title with a Sable Bomb at 5:12

Fun Fact: This is Sable’s final PPV appearance until 2003. She was starting to get a very inflated ego and was causing some havoc behind the scenes. This combined with a crazy Vince Russo storyline involving a lesbian affair and in-ring kiss with another woman and some backstage antics by the boys against her caused Sable to finally walk out the Federation with the title, just like Alundra Blayze so many years ago. Unfortunately for Sable, her name was all she had, but that was copyrighted and she also had a no-compete clause, which would keep her out of WCW. The whole thing seemed hasty, and led to Sable pretty much disappearing from wrestling for 4 years, outside of one appearance in the crowd on an episode of Nitro.

Scott: This storyline began the heeling out of Sable, as she went from sympathetic siren, to unreasonable Playboy bitch. Meanwhile this sexy, but creepy-acting woman was slinking around the crowd. It was Tori, a secret admirer of Sable’s. This was the first of some strange lesbian-type storylines Vince would try over the next few years. Sable says piss off, smacks her around, and we come to this. The match sucked on many levels, but it includes the debut of Nicole Bass, this hideous looking jacked-up woman that made Chyna look petite. She smacks Tori around, and Sable finishes with the bomb. Then she does the “Grind” which did nothing for me, frankly. She would only be around for a couple more months before heading out of town. Grade: 1.5

Justin: A really bad match here, as Sable was always OK in the ring, but wasn’t one to carry a match, which definitely sealed her fate as a heel as soon as she turned. Nicole Bass is pretty disgusting, and would only last a couple of months before being driven out due to some backstage issues. She could have been an interesting person to feud with Chyna, but by this point Chyna was involved with fighting men and past the women’s division, so there wasn’t too much for her to do. Tori would pick up some steam and actually become one of the better women in the division, but she doesn’t make a great first impression. Grade: .5

8) Shane McMahon defeats X-Pac (Sean Waltman) to retain WWF European Title after a Triple H Pedigree at 8:41

Fun Fact: Shane McMahon won the European Title on the 2/15 Raw in a special tag match where whoever pinned X-Pac would be the new champion. Shane teamed with Kane against X-Pac and Triple H. Shane leveled X-Pac with the belt and pinned him four minutes in to win the title in his first official match.

Fun Fact II: In the weeks leading up to this show, we got various testimonials from several of Shane’s friends from Greenwich, CT. We got to meet Rodney, Pete Gas, Willie Green and a couple of others that went nameless. They would eventually be affectionately known as the “Mean Street Posse”. The Posse would be at ringside and were sure to torture X-Pac throughout the match.

Scott: Yes, you read it right. Shane-O-Mac retains the title everyone and their mother thought he was going to lose. X-Pac was chasing it since losing to Shane in February. The match, which was fairly solid and had a very frenetic pace, seemed to be going his way, until the moment that changed things forever, and completely changed a character in one fell swoop. Whether he was a heel or face, Triple H was a solid mid-carder, but one whose character was never taken seriously. That is, until now. He comes in, turns on his DX buddy, and officially joins the Corporation. That’s right, earlier in the night, when he and Chyna re-united, it wasn’t Chyna coming back to DX, it was Trips going to the Corporation. Thus, the Game is born. This is the type of heel he would be for the next solid 2-plus years. He would stay in the mid-card for the next few months, but he is the future, at least on the heel side. Triple H wouldn’t be a face at a PPV again until the Royal Rumble in 2002. Grade: 2.5

Justin: Well, this is only one of two matches on this show where the payoff matches the intense build-up. Triple H was still pretty hot as a face, but definitely was in line for an attitude change, and he gets one in a big way here. So, within one match, Shane looks like a great pussyfoot heel, X-Pac becomes the biggest sympathetic face in the Federation, Chyna and Triple become evil manipulators who are just out for themselves and, one person who is always forgotten in this equation, Kane indirectly turns face, since he was hung out to dry by Chyna and the Corporation. Not bad storytelling for an 8 minute match. The match itself, by the way, was really good and Shane was starting to show flashes of his in-ring greatness. He may not be the most polished wrestler, but he is very athletic and even more fearless and always entertaining. I also love seeing the debut of the Posse, who will go on to provide a few memorable moments over the next couple of years. This was good match and a great story, which makes this one of the top two moments of the night. Grade: 3

9) The Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeats Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) in a Hell in a Cell match with a Tombstone at 9:46

Fun Fact: As Wrestlemania drew near, Undertaker began making overtones that he wanted to usurp control of the WWF from Vince McMahon in order to further the plans of his Ministry. Well, on the 2/22 Raw, Undertaker faced Kane in an inferno match, but before the match, he handed a mysterious box to Vince, who was doing commentary. Halfway through the match, Vince opened the box and it was a teddy bear. Vince was placed into a trance as he stared at the bear and started walking towards the back. After the match, Taker confronted Vince, who kept yelling “Why?” Taker then grabbed the bear, lit it in fire and threw it down on the ramp, and the show ended with Vince crawling towards it, nearly in tears screaming “NO.” Then, the following happened on the 3/8 Raw (courtesy the perfect CRZ at slashwrestling.com): The lights go out for yet another segment – BONG….BONG….it’s – yes – it’s the Ministry! They’ve got the Big Boss Man in tow and – whoops, there’s that “symbol” we’ve heard so much about – and he’s getting lashed. “You understand, McMahon that one by one Your Corporation will fall until there is only one – and then, she, too, will be mine. Boss Man, you can never rest in peace now. You have been sacrificed before the Lord of Darkness.” Boss Man manages to break one of the bonds, and then the other – but the Ministry is quickly on him – now the Corporation is out to rescue their own. Paul Wight is having little trouble getting through the Brood. Patterson & Brisco wave to off camera – now some cops arrive and advance on Undertaker – Undertaker takes out about four cops and then – everything stops. The Corporation runs off and the Ministry stands behind Undertaker. He motions to Paul Bearer, who takes a cell phone and makes a call – Undertaker raises his arms – and when the lower, the symbol lights on fire. Undertaker has also left his arms in position to be cuffed. So he’s under arrest – I guess for beating up cops? He turns to the Ministry and shakes his head. He’s walked off alone – the Ministry won’t fight – and Bearer continues with his call. Finally, on the 3/15 Raw, Undertaker was missing from the arena, but began sending disturbing video images of he and the Ministry camped out on the McMahons’ lawn in Greenwich. Vince and Shane frantically called police, as Taker made veiled threats about the lady McMahons. The police assured Vince that everything was OK and that nothing seemed abnormal there. The story leading into this show ended with this (courtesy CRZ once again): Patterson & Brisco attempt to convince McMahon that if the cops saw nothing and that it must be over. McMahon’s not buying it – now the Undertaker’s voice comes over the monitor. “Listen up McMahon. Law enforcement’s finest – I could see where we couldn’t be found – it’s not like we stand out or anything, is it Vince. And now that that annoying little interruption is done with, it’s time to get back to business. I know what time she’s expected home, Vince, and I WILL be here to greet her. Maybe I can be that father figure she never had – or, maybe I can just torture her. But, no worries. In due time, you will be witness to my madness.” We pull back on the shot of Vince’s home to see a flaming Undertaker symbol on the lawn. Wow, it’s a good thing that ISN’T a cross!

Scott: Ugh. Taker has his first match in his new, new persona: heel cult leader or something similar. His hairline is receding; he shaved his mustache, and now leads a small clan of followers, mostly made up of jobbers. Here, he faces Vince McMahon’s right hand man, as the Ministry/Corporation storyline gets going. In other words, it’s heel vs. heel in a cell. The only Hell in a Cell in Wrestlemania history, and it’s a forgettable pile of shit. The match is an unwatchable series of punches, kicks, and stalling. Taker’s streak reaches 8-0, but the fun really starts after. The Brood is hiding in the rafters, and when the match ends, they hang Boss Man from the ceiling of the cell. This was crap, pure and simple. Undertaker has had many great Wrestlemania moments. This was not one of them. Grade: 1.5

Justin: Well, once again we find ourselves in Vince Russo Bizzaro world, where there is elaborate storytelling and very good buildup, but the in-ring product just can’t deliver. Taker was barely able to take a shit without pain, let alone wrestle a ten minute Hell in a Cell against a man in no position to carry him to a watchable match. Boss Man was a solid character and perfect for the security role, but he shouldn’t be put into 10 minute matches with handicapped men on the biggest show of the year. The idea and intention was good, but the execution failed and stalled the progression of this angle a little bit. The hanging bit was kind of cool, but it never really went anywhere, per Vince Russo rule of booking. Taker stays undefeated, but this probably isn’t on his list of favorites. Grade: 1

10) Steve Austin defeats the Rock in a No Disqualification match to win WWF World Title with a Stunner at 16:52

Fun Fact: We all know the story here: Austin was screwed, Rock had the title and Vince tries his best to keep screwing Austin. Before the match, Shawn Michaels made his monthly appearance and kicked Vince out as ref, replacing him with a plain old ref as, after all that nonsense with Big Show and Mankind, it was all for naught to start the match off.

Scott: The one match that made this entire show, the one match millions of fans were waiting for was finally here. Predictable or not, it’s what everyone wanted. This long, torturous saga for Stone Cold started back in September, when he lost the title in the Triple Threat match to Undertaker and Kane. Since then, the PPVs have mostly focused on McMahon dangling the “carrot” in front of Austin, and him chasing it. This was a pretty good match, more importantly for Rock’s legitimacy as a player more than Austin’s victory. Rock even kicked out of a Stunner, the first time that’s happened in a match in quite a while. Since it was a No DQ match, referees were getting killed. Austin accidentally hit the first ref with a chair, and then Rock hits the Rock Bottom on the second ref. At that point, Vince McMahon came out. He had named himself ref after Mankind was taken to the hospital, but Commissioner Shawn Michaels, one year removed from his last match, told Vinnie Mac not quite. Vince and Rock start stomping on Austin in the corner. Well out comes the original ref, Mankind, who pitches Vince out of the ring, and eventually after another Stunner, counts the 1-2-3, and Austin wins the title for the 3rd time in his career. A great, storytelling main event that served its purpose: Make Rock a bona-fide star, and place Austin back on his throne as King of the WWF Kingdom. Grade: 3.5

Justin: A really good match, as is usual for these two, especially on the big stage. I always appreciated this match for what it was, but I always felt like it lacked a certain something. I think the predictability hurt it a bit, but as Scott said, the people were rabid for Austin to win so it probably didn’t matter. Maybe since the allure of winning his first title is gone, it just seems so ordinary. That coupled with Mick’s fat ass counting the three just made the whole affair seem so convoluted and un-Wrestlemania like. I may be crazy, but I just never equated this moment as one of my favorites, and I really can’t explain it. It is a really good match with a really good storyline, and it caps off Rock’s build to a major headliner, as his status is solidified with this show. When this whole angle started, Rock was a heel mid-carder who was starting to get some face pops. Seven months later, and he is on top of the wrestling world, in the Main Event of the biggest show of the year. Austin regains the strap and enters his third reign on a roll, but he would encounter some controversy over the next two months. Grade: 3.5

Final Analysis:

Scott: This Wrestlemania is reminiscent of the first 8 Wrestlemanias. A show totally anchored by the main event. Triple H will emerge as one of sports entertainment’s most intense characters. Steve Austin regains his spot at the top, but the Rock has come away as one to be reckoned with also. Unfortunately with a number of undercard matches graded under 2, it almost should be graded a D. However the main event and the Triple H turn has enough weight to keep it average, but top to bottom this isn’t a Wrestlemania you’ll throw in anytime to watch. 1999 continues to be a great year for the main events and title picture, but the mid-card is sorely lacking in ability, not characters. Final Grade: C-

Justin: This was a weird Wrestlemania, as it definitely had a big event feel, a huge buy rate, a great crowd but really failed to deliver in the in-ring quality, with the exception of the Main Event and European Title match. The show did what it was supposed to: be the climax of many great angles. The problem is that it found some weird mixture of anti-climactic and not climactic enough. With the exception of the D-X swerve, a lot of the finishes were fairly predictable, yet many of the storylines that should have ended were carried on another month into Backlash. The aftermath was interesting, as there were many major changes after show with many wrestlers switching allegiances such as Vince, Rock, Triple H, Kane and Shamrock. The show itself had the right build, but the action just didn’t deliver as it should have, making this a very underwhelming Wrestlemania. Final Grade: C-

MVP: Triple H, X-Pac & Shane McMahon
Runner Up: The Main Event
Non MVP: Vince Russo
Runner Up: Undertaker & Big Boss Man
Honorary Mention: Gorilla Monsoon

All Time PPV Active-Wrestler Roster

Tito Santana
Buddy Rose
“Special Delivery” Jones
King Kong Bundy
Ricky Steamboat
Matt Borne
Brutus Beefcake
David Sammartino
Greg Valentine
Junkyard Dog
Barry Windham
Mike Rotundo
Iron Sheik
Nikolai Volkoff
Andre the Giant
Big John Studd
Leilani Kai
Wendi Richter
Paul Orndorff
Roddy Piper
Mr. T
Hulk Hogan
Corporal Kirschner
Adrian Adonis
Dynamite Kid
Randy Savage
Ivan Putski
Davey Boy Smith
Moondog Spot
Terry Funk
Don Muraco
Bob Orton
George Steele
George Wells
Jake Roberts
Fabulous Moolah
Velvet McIntyre
Ted Arcidi
Tony Atlas
Brian Blair
Jim Brunzell
Bret Hart
Jim Neidhart
Hillbilly Jim
King Tonga (Haku)
Pedro Morales
Bruno Sammartino
Danny Spivey
Jim Covert
Russ Francis
Bill Fralic
Ernie Holmes
Harvey Martin
William Perry
Hercules
Uncle Elmer
Dory Funk, Jr.
Rick Martel
Tom Zenk
Billy Jack Haynes
Hillbilly Jim
Haiti Kid
Little Beaver
Lord Littlebrook
Little Tokyo
Harley Race
Jacques Rougeau
Raymond Rougeau
Danny Davis
Butch Reed
Koko B. Ware
Honky Tonk Man
Jim Duggan
Ron Bass
Judy Martin
Dawn Marie
Donna Christanello
Sherri Martel
Noriyoi Tateno
Itsuki Yamazaki
Rockin’ Robin
Ax
Smash
Tama
Boris Zhukov
Jim Powers
Paul Roma
One Man Gang
Rick Rude
Ken Patera
Bam Bam Bigelow
Ultimate Warrior
Sam Houston
Sika
Bobby Heenan
Barbarian
Warlord
Big Boss Man
Marty Jannetty
Shawn Michaels
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Conquistador Uno
Conquistador Dos
Blue Blazer
Mr. Perfect
Scott Casey
Akeem
Red Rooster
Ronnie Garvin
Bushwhacker Butch
Bushwhacker Luke
Mr. Fuji
Dusty Rhodes
Jimmy Snuka
Zeus
Earthquake
The Genius
Sapphire
Sato
Tanaka
Kerry Von Erich
Crush
Hawk
Animal
Undertaker
Tugboat/Typhoon
Sgt. Slaughter
Kato
Mountie
Virgil
Dustin Rhodes
Shane Douglas
Brian Knobbs
Jerry Sags
Genichiro Tenryu
Koji Kitao
General Adnan
Irwin R. Schyster
Ric Flair
Berzerker
Skinner
Blake Beverly
Beau Beverly
Repo-Man
Owen Hart
Tatanka
Nailz
Kamala
Samu
Fatu
Razor Ramon
Yokozuna
Rick Steiner
Scott Steiner
Bob Backlund
Papa Shango
Jerry Lawler
Max Moon
Carlos Colon
Doink
Lex Luger
Giant Gonzalez
Mr. Hughes
Billy Gunn
Bart Gunn
Jimmy Del Ray
Tom Pritchard
1-2-3 Kid
Ludvig Borga
Diesel
Adam Bomb
Keith Hart
Bruce Hart
Black Knight
Blue Knight
Red Knight
Robert Gibson
Ricky Morton
Mabel
Mo
Bastion Booger
Pierre
Kwang
Great Kabuki
Bob Holly
Luna Vachon
Dink
Alundra Blayze
Bull Nakano
Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker
Wink
Pink
Queasy
Sleazy
Cheesy
Eli Blu
Jacob Blu
Duke Droese
Timothy Well
Stephen Dunn
Mantaur
Aldo Montoya
Henry Godwin
Dick Murdoch
Lawrence Taylor
Hakushi
Roadie Jesse Jammes
Savio Vega
Kama
Hunter Hearst-Helmsley
Barry Horowitz
Skip
Bertha Faye
Isaac Yankem
Waylon Mercy
Dean Douglas
Goldust
Rad Radford
Aja Kong
Tomoko Watanabe
Lioness Azuka
Sakie Hasegawa
Kyoko Inoue
Chaparrita Asari
Ahmed Johnson
Buddy Landel
Takao Omori
Doug Gilbert
Squat Team #1
Squat Team #2
Vader
Steve Austin
Phineas Godwinn
Marc Mero
Mankind
Leif Cassidy (Al Snow)
Bradshaw
Jose Lothario
Jim Cornette
Mark Henry
Doug Furnas
Phil Lafon
Rocky Maivia
“Diesel”
“Razor Ramon”
Flash Funk
Executioner
Perro Aguayo
Canek
Hector Garza
Jerry Estrada
Fuerza Guererra
Heavy Metal
Pierroth
Sultan
Mil Mascaras
Cybernetico
Latin Lover
Mosh
Thrasher
Ken Shamrock
Great Sasuke
Taka Michinoku
Chainz
Miguel Perez
Jose Estrada
Jesus Castillo
Brian Christopher
Scott Putski
Max Mini
El Torito
Patriot
D-Lo Brown
Nova
Mosaic
Tarantula
Kurrgan
Sniper
Recon
Jackyl
Steve Blackman
Kane
Butterbean
Battalion
Tom Brandi
Pantera
Ricky Morton
Robert Gibson
Scott Taylor
Aguila
Sable
Sho Funaki
Dick Togo
Mens Teioh
Dan Severn
Head
Val Venis
Golga
Giant Silva
Jacqueline
Edge
Gangrel
Paul Ellering
Christian
Duane Gill
Steven Regal
Vince McMahon
Tiger Ali Singh
Blue Meanie
Test
Chyna
Vince McMahon
Big Show
Tori
Shane McMahon

PPV Rest in Peace List

“Playboy” Buddy Rose (Wrestlemania I)
“Special Delivery” Jones (Wrestlemania I)
Uncle Elmer (Wrestlemania II)
Adrian Adonis (Wrestlemania III)
Haiti Kid (Wrestlemania III)
Little Beaver (Wrestlemania III)
Junkyard Dog (Summerslam 1988)
Big John Studd (Wrestlemania V)
Sapphire (Summerslam 1990)
Bad News Brown (Summerslam 1990)
Dino Bravo (Wrestlemania VII)
Andre the Giant (Summerslam 1991)
Texas Tornado (Royal Rumble 1992)
Hercules (Royal Rumble 1992)
Elizabeth (Wrestlemania VIII)
Sensational Sherri (Wrestlemania IX)
Ludvig Borga (Survivor Series 1993)
Captain Lou Albano (Royal Rumble 1995)
Dick Murdoch (Royal Rumble 1995)
Rad Radford (Survivor Series 1995)
Bertha Faye (Survivor Series 1995)
Bam Bam Bigelow (Survivor Series 1995)
Chris “Skip” Candido (Summerslam 1996)
Yokozuna (Survivor Series 1996)
Terry “Executioner” Gordy (IYH: It’s Time)
Brian Pillman (IYH: Ground Zero)
Rick Rude (IYH: Bad Blood)
Hawk (Judgment Day 1998)
Gorilla Monsoon (Wrestlemania XV)

Next Review: Backlash 1999

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