March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Best ever?

Wrestlemania X-7 is widely considered to be the best Wrestlemania of all-time.

So is it?

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Wrestlemania X-7 (Results)

Date: April 1, 2001

Arena: Reliant Astrodome (Houston, Texas)

Attendance: 67,925

SUMMARY: The Rock defeated Kurt Angle to win the WWF title at No Way Out, while “Stone Cold” Steve Austin earned his Wrestlemania title match with a victory in the Royal Rumble. The Rock entered the match with a ton of momentum, having won at No Way Out, while Austin was coming off of a loss to Triple H at the same pay-per-view. Austin admitted in the build-up that he needs to defeat The Rock to validate something in his soul. Debra, who was married to Austin at the time, was tossed into the storyline, but it didn’t add anything since everyone was excited to see the match because it featured the biggest stars in the WWF.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: A

FAVORITE MATCH: The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Right from the bat, the pace is set. It’s going to be quick and hard-hitting. The story entering this was how desperate Austin was entering this bout, and you sense it from the get-go. He’s more aggressive, and The Rock plays off of it so well. When I saw Austin use the Million Dollar Dream, it was a great way to show the importance of winning to him. He’s throwing out moves from his early career to beat The Rock, so nothing is out of the question for Austin. The homage to Wrestlemania 13 when Austin is trapped in the sharpshooter and bleeding is a nice touch, as were the false finishes with each man hitting the other’s finishing move. There was a dull moment when they started brawling into the crowd early on and I was worried, but thankfully it was only for a brief period, which was a great thing. Even with the overbooked finish with Vince McMahon helping Austin, it doesn’t taint an awesome match because the story of Austin doing anything to win the title was confirmed in the end. Austin sold his beliefs to win the belt, and nothing confirmed it better than Austin and Vince sharing a beer.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: You know it’s a great card when this section is longer than the next one. Aside from the main event, the Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle match was my second favorite. The two men build toward their submission moves so well, and it’s such a technically sound and well-timed match. The finish was what I expected, as odd as it sounds. I was expecting there to be some type of flash finish, given the story was so heavily focused on Angle and Benoit’s finishing submissions and the key being that Angle hadn’t tapped out during an official match. The TLC match between the Dudleyz, Hardyz and Edge and Christian exceeded their first match. Yes, the tertiary parties of Spike Dudley, Lita and Rhyno don’t do much for the match. They just add more bodies to the carnage, but their role in the bout wrapped the build up into a nice package. The high spots were insane, especially Edge’s spearing Jeff Hardy, who was hanging from the belts, and the finish was set up quite perfectly with the mass bodies flying all over the place. There were also two matches that I noted that I enjoyed that don’t make any sense given the type of wrestling fan I am. I enjoyed the Kane vs. Big Show vs. Raven hardcore match mainly because there were plenty of comedic and “oh goodness” moments. Raven’s spot where he was thrown through a glass pane and Big Show and Kane’s brawl that broke through a wall were two of them, and Kane driving a golf cart and “running over” Raven was pure comedy. The ending came at the right time, and the match didn’t drag which can happen in hardcore matches. Then there’s the gimmick battle royal. I hate battle royals. I’ve made it clear, and this match is terrible, but seeing all of the terrible gimmicks in the ring at the same time was an awesome sight. I also liked Bobby Heenan on commentary again. He dropped a few gems, but my favorite one was, “By the time the Iron Sheik gets to the ring, it’ll be Wrestlemania 38.” I laughed for quite some time. And while I didn’t enjoy the Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon match, I’ll give Shane McMahon a few props for his athleticism and Linda McMahon for having to play a lifeless shell of a human for quite some time.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: There weren’t too many bad moments here. I did wonder why The Rock and Stone Cold released holds on a rope break in a no-disqualification match, but that’s just nitpicking a great match. While Shane and Linda’s individual performances in the McMahon Street Fight were decent, the match itself was awful. The match dragged especially in the moment when Trish wheels out Linda McMahon. Shane is down for a quite some time, and it causes the match to drag during that moment. Also, Shane is athletic. We get it. He hit his version of the Van Terminator to Vince, but the set up is ridiculously contrived as an unconscious Vince conveniently holds the trash can for Shane to hit the move. During this match, we get a glimpse of the WCW skybox, which just looked really sad and pathetic with the lack of big names. The Triple H vs. Undertaker match was also a disappointment. The referee takes a bump, and the two men proceed to brawl around the crowd aimlessly for what seems to be 10 minutes, which added very little to the match. Once the match returned to the ring, it wasn’t bad, but the opening was just too much to enjoy it.

RANDOM THOUGHT: “Once again, it’s highly dangerous to cut electricity in the air with knives, Mean Gene. At least, Bobby Heenan is entertaining.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: Wrestlemania 17 claims the top spot on the Wrestlemania rankings. The card itself was incredibly well done. The main event matches ranged from average to excellent with the only disappointment being the Undertaker vs. Triple H that lacked focus and seemed to rely too much on an aimless, pointless brawl that featured a referee unconscious for nearly 10 minutes. Other than that, the main event delivered, Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle was great and the Tables-Ladders-and-Chairs match exceeded its predecessor from a year before. The gap between Wrestlemania 17 and Wrestlemania 10 isn’t too big – I like how compact Wrestlemania 10 was – but the gap between the top two Wrestlemanias and the field is wide like the Grand Canyon.

  1. Wrestlemania X-7
  2. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 15 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 14 (Review)
  8. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  11. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  14. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  15. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 9 (Worst Ever)
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