We’re a mere 16 days away from the “Showcase of Immortals”, WrestleMania 36. With that, I’ll be reviewing WrestleMania 20 through 35, one per day, from today (March 20th) through the day before WrestleMania 36 (April 4th).
Without further ado, let’s get into the action…
Date – March 14th, 2004
Location – Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance – 18,500
- United States Championship – John Cena defeats Big Show (C)
Headline – In what would become the first WrestleMania moment of one of the greatest of all-time’s career, John Cena shined under the brightest of lights by winning the United States championship from “World’s Largest Athlete”, the Big Show.
Rating – 2.3 out of 5
- Fatal 4-Way Match, World Tag-Tag Championships – Booker T and Rob Van Dam (C) defeat The Dudley Boyz, Garrison Cade/Mark Jindrak and La Resistance
Headline – A Match that involved 8 men, only last about 7 minutes but it was filled with pretty decent action for as long as it lasted. The match ended when RVD hit his patented Five-Star Frog Splash on Rob Conway of La Resistance to retain the titles.
Rating – 2 out of 5
- Singles Match – Christian defeats Chris Jericho
Headline – After a battle over Trish Stratus, Christian would end up on top after nailing Jericho with the Unprettier with assistance from the aforementioned Stratus.
Rating – 3.8 out of 5
- 3-on-2 Handicap Match – Evolution (Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Batista) defeat The Rock N’ Sock Connection (The Rock and Mick Foley)
Headline – In a match with some of the biggest names in WWE history involved, it was a pretty under-the-radar match. It was a solid effort from all 5 men, as would be expected with the names in the match. Evolution would come out on top against the odd couple after Orton hit an RKO on Foley.
Rating – 3.2 out of 5
- Evening Gown Match – Torrie Wilson and Sable defeat Miss Jackie and Stacy Keibler
Headline – This was a match that personified how under-utilized the women’s roster truly was in the early part of the 2000’s.
Rating – 0.5 out of 5
- Cruiserweight Open, Cruiserweight Championship – Chavo Guerrero (C) defeats Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, Akio, Funaki, Nunzio, Jamie Knoble, Tajiri, Shannon Moore and Ultimo Dragon
Headline – Shannon Moore and Ultimo Dragon began the match, Dragon eliminated Moore, Jamie Knoble was out next who eliminated Dragon, Funaki was next but Knoble also eliminated him. Nunzio would be the next to join the fray but was eliminated after being counted out by the referee. Next up, wss Billy Kidman who eliminated Knoble. Rey Mysterio was up next and eliminated Kidman as well as the next participant, Tajiri. Akio was supposed to be next, but in a fit of rage, Tajiri blinded him with his vintage green mist & Akio was deemed unable to compete. Chavo Guerrero would be the final participant to enter and eliminated Mysterio to retain his title.
Rating – 2.4 out of 5
- Singles Match (Stone Cold Steve Austin as Special Guest Referee) – Goldberg defeats Brock Lesnar
Headline – The 2 behemoths stood face-to-face for several minutes before Austin forced them to lock-up & once they did, it was a mediocre effort from both men. Goldberg was retiring and Lesnar was on his way to the UFC and everyone knew it. The crowd showered the 2 men with “you sold out” and “na na na na hey hey hey goodbye” chants throughout the close to 15 minutes affair. Goldberg would finally end things with his Jackhammer finisher after drilling Lesnar with a spear. After the match, Lesnar flipped off the crowd & walked out.
Rating – 2 out of 5
- Fatal 4-Way Tag-Team Match, WWE Tag-Team Championships – Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty (C) defeats APA (Farooq and Bradshaw), Basham Brothers (Danny and Doug) and The World’s Greatest Tag-Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas)
Headline – Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty retained their titles after Rikishi planted Danny Basham with his patented Bonzai Drop finisher.
Rating – 2.3 out of 5
- Hair vs Title Match, Women’s Championship – Victoria (C) defeats Molly Holly
Headline – Victoria would retain her title in this match by rolling up Molly out of a Widow’s Peak attempt into a pin for the 3-count. After the match, Molly tried to run to the backstage area to get out of having to shave her head, but Victoria caught up to her, knocked her unconscious and shaved Molly’s head.
Rating – 2 out of 5
- WWE Championship – Eddie Guerrero (C) defeats Kurt Angle
Headline – Eddie Guerrero would follow his own catchphrase and lied, cheated and stole his way to retaining his WWE Championship after loosening his boot so it would slide off while Angle applied an ankle lock, pushed him off with his other foot and rolled him up to retain his title.
Rating – 4.1 out of 5
- Singles Match – Undertaker defeats Kane
Headline – This was brother vs brother (kayfabe, of course) with their estranged father, Paul Bearer (again, kayfabe) in the middle. Kane just buried Undertaker alive (you guessed it, kayfabe) but Bearer would summon Taker from his urn and it shook Kane to the core when Taker made his way to the ring surrounded by druids. Undertaker would improve his WrestleMania undefeated streak to 12-0 after hitting his brother, Kane (kayfabe) with a choke-slam and followed it up with a tombstone pile-driver for the win.
Rating – 2.6 out of 5
- Triple-Threat Match, World Heavyweight Championship – Chris Benoit defeats Triple H (C) and Shawn Michaels
Headline – Chris Benoit, one of the most beloved Professional Wrestlers in the world and nobody deserved the spotlight of winning the promotion’s biggest title in the main event of WrestleMania more then him. It was an unbelievable match between the face of the company (HHH), the best WrestleMania performer of all-time (Michaels) and the best technical Wrestler in the world (Benoit) and Benoit would win the title after countering Triple H’s pedigree attempt into a crippler cross-face submission which would make the now former champion, tap out. After the match, Benoit’s life-long best-friend and WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero came out to celebrate with Benoit and the 2 held their titles high in the air with confetti raining down in what would be one of the most iconic moments in WrestleMania history.
Rating – 5 out of 5
WrestleMania 20 Rating – 3 out of 5
Summary – WrestleMania 20 was an overall slightly sub-average show, but it was saved by 2 amazing title matches with the WWE Championship match and the World Heavyweight Championship main event. Chris Jericho and Christian’s match also helped the rating, for me. One solid match and two incredible matches.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on my new Twitter (@CJ_PSE) for tomorrow’s (March 21st) installment of WrestleMania Rewind where I will review WrestleMania 21, when WWE brought the show of shows to Hollywood, California in 2005!