Joel: Let me say up front that the title X-Seven for seventeen is dumb. It has that feel of doing it cause the kids will think it looks cool. It was strange back then, and it’s just as bad now a decade and a half later. Also, the intro video felt off. The past few video packages that started off WrestleMania have been about the history and the prestige of the event itself, and have made the show feel like a big deal. The “Celebration of Life” video package that goes with this WrestleMania feels strangely disconnected from the rest of the show. But other than those two, very small complaints, this WrestleMania is a pretty perfect example of what WrestleMania can be when it reaches its full potential.
This is a moment in wrestling history where the stars aligned just perfectly, and one of the greatest events of all time was pulled off. Rock and Stone Cold, two of the most successful men to ever wrestle were both at the top of their game. TLC had just been introduced as a concept. Paul Heyman was on commentary. The undercard was crammed full of talent, including Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian, and Eddie Guerrero. The purchase of WCW by Shane McMahon had just taken place and the seeds for the invasion angle were just beginning. The WWF was flying high and the future was looking bright. WrestleMania X-Seven was the perfect storm of circumstances to create this card.
Rock and Stone Cold put on their best match together here, and one of the best WrestleMania main events so far. The TLC II match is pretty much a repeat setup of a match from the previous WrestleMania, but this time around all six men have perfected the concept and put on one of the most incredible matches ever seen. TLC II is one of the matches I use when trying to introduce wrestling to someone new, the back and forth, the chaos throughout the whole match, the high spots, it all comes together to pull off an incredible match through and through.
I even had no real issue with matches like the Gimmick Battle Royale or the Hardcore match, which would have been cited as an embarrassment on another WrestleMania card. But when a card is as strong as this one is, it’s easy to enjoy the oddball matches for what they are rather than bemoan what great potential matches were being missed because of this. (It doesn’t hurt that the Gimmick Battle Royale was barely over three minutes long)
A WrestleMania this good doesn’t come along very often, once an era if we’re lucky, and this is that WrestleMania for this era of wrestling
Best WrestleMania so far: This one.
Kue: Remember X-Factor? Me neither. What a waste of Justin Credible. And whoever thought the gimmick battle royal would be a good idea needs both kneecaps to meet the business end of Trips’ sledgehammer.
Those are pretty much the only real complaints I can muster about this event. The card was thoroughly entertaining. Even the not-so-great matches were fun to watch. Jericho/Regal and Angle/Benoit were great technical bouts. Shane/Vince had a pretty bloody battle. The TLC match was a flurry of amazing spots, with the three teams involved continuing their innovative legacy. One of my personal favorite streak matches, Trips/Taker was a stellar match. The two knew their strengths and weaknesses as performers, and utilizing their unique chemistry, they put on an intensely physical match that I believe to be easily the best of their Mania matches.
Speaking of best of threes, the main event is certainly a contender for the best in the Austin/Rock Mania series. The psychology was phenomenal, as both wrestled exactly how their characters were evolving throughout this storyline. And it was capped with an ending that, albeit did have its long term issues, was still impactful.
One of my fave Manias for sure.
Sanders: It’s difficult to watch this entire show and not enjoy it from beginning to end. The high points are pretty astronomical and the low points really aren’t that low when you think about it. The lower points were probably the gimmick battle royal and Eddie vs Test but both seemed to go by pretty quickly. I do have a theory that Iron Sheik won only because he’s was the one that would’ve had the most physical problems getting thrown over the top rope. Either way, it was a fun idea that didn’t overstay it’s welcome and it was a treat to hear Heenan on commentary, the mother-in-law line still gets me to this day. I groan anytime I see that Vince has a match but this one is way more tolerable because of Shane. Seriously, how amazing was Shane in the ring knowing he has the McMahon genetics? And then TLC, as mentioned in the #2000 review, is remembered as the best TLC match ever and some would argue it was the best ladder match period. The TLC tag team match was a forgotten art for a while because it allowed a rotation of spots while everyone else could rest and set up while the focus was elsewhere. The issue with one-on-one TLC matches, it’s crash, burn, rest, awkward setup so the reasoning is beyond my understanding as to why it took WWE so many years before they finally had another TLC tag team match late last year (which was incredible, by the way). Taker vs HHH I was incredible and often gets forgotten because it was before the streak was made a bigger deal and WWE is more quick to focus on their match-ups in Wrestlemanias 27 and 28 which is a shame because this match blows the other two out of the water, especially 27.
As for the main event, a lot of people agree that Stone Cold turning at the end was a mistake and it seems kinda weird to have a heel win at the end of Wrestlemania but that does help it stand it out. Regardless of your feelings about the end, it’s Rock vs Stone Cold and it almost doesn’t matter who’s a heel or face because just the names put together will spark an interest from the world to tune in. I tend to favor their match at Wrestlemania 19 but not by much, I assure you.
BD: I’m writing this as I’m stuck in a traffic jam and Wikipedia is unavailable, but this was the best WrestleMania in a LONG time, probably since 8. It had the best main and semi-main event matches in Rock Austin and HHH Undertaker since Flair Savage and Hogan Sid – and these matches were both good while Hogan Sid was garbage.
The Austin heel turn was just a bad idea, but aside from that it was still an awesome match, personally my favorite Austin Rock match. This was the only (yes, the ONLY) good HHH Undertaker match.
There was another TLC match which was better than the first one, a surprisingly good match with Vince and Shane, a bunch of fuckers way too old to wrestle (but in the funny way) in a battle royal, Kurt and Benoit which was always amazingly solid, and Jericho and William Regal which was a great opener. Even a hardcore match with Big Show and Kane was good… even if it was only because Raven saved it, as he does everything he’s in.
Eddie and Test was bad (and it had Eddie in it) and so was Chyna Ivory, but 2 out of 11 bad matches? In WrestleMania terms, this show blows almost all other WrestleMania’s out of the water.
Tags: Christian, clashy ring attire, Edge, Shane McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, VInce McMahon, WrestleMania