WM PPV Countdown: #21 – WrestleMania 2000

While the year 2000 was arguably one of the WWF’s best in overall creative direction, storytelling, talent roster and in ring matches, this show was an uncharacteristic bump in the road along the great year. Royal Rumble and No Way Out that proceeded it and Backlash and Judgment Day that followed after it were all great show, but as a WrestleMania supercard, WrestleMania 2000 (WrestleMania XIV) fell flat.

WrestleMania is built on ending long-term storylines and creating new stars, yet WrestleMania 2000 didn’t feature one singles match between two male wrestlers, rather a series of mid-card tag team matches and an overbooked main event.

The main event was four-way elimination match featuring Triple H defend the WWF Championship against The Rock, The Big Show and un-retired Mick Foley. Each man was represented a McMahon family member with Stephanie in Triple H’s corner, Shane in Big Show’s corner, Vince backing The Rock and Linda behind Mick Foley. Rock and Show had been feuding over the number one contendership since their disputed finish in the Royal Rumble match and Foley was quizzically inserted only six weeks after losing a retirement Hell in a Cell match at No Way Out. The match ended when Vince McMahon turned on The Rock and allowed Triple H to retain the WWF Championship. It was the first time in the history of WrestleMania when a villain ended the event celebrating as WWF Champion. In hindsight the night’s main event should have been an epic one-on-one match between Rock and Triple H, two men had feuded off and on since 1997. Considering the two men met in singles matches at the next two pay per views it seemed illogical not to do it at the biggest stage of them all.

Easily the best match of the night was the triangle Ladder Match between Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz to determine the WWF World Tag Team Champions. It was precursor to the iconic TLC matches the three teams would have later on that year and built upon the Edge & Christian-Hardy Boyz Ladder match from the fall of 1999. This match brought the concept of ladder matches to a new height and set the stage for the crazy antics that would happen in the upcoming decade regarding ladders.

Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit had a fun two-fall triple threat that saw Angle lose both his Intercontinental and European Championships without being pinned, and showed the depth of the company’s mid-card. The Hardcore Championship battle royal was a fun brawl that got some the undercard boys on the card but unfortunately the finish was messed up.

As for the rest of the show it was wholly and completely forgettable. The opening tag match, the T & A-Snow/Blackman match and the six person tag were all mid-card filler that wouldn’t have looked out of place on RAW or SmackDown. The Kane and Rikishi tag match against DeGeneration X was a weak blow off to the longstanding Kane-X-Pac match and served as a fun excuse to get Pete Rose on the card and get attacked by Kane for the third year in a row.

Match Results:
– The Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan beat The Godfather & D-Lo Brown.
– Hardcore Holly won a fifteen-minute Hardcore Championship battle royal. Other participants included Crash Holly, Tazz, The APA (Bradshaw & Faarooq), The Mean Street Posse (Pete Gas, Rodney & Joey Abs), Viscera, The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) and Kaientai (Taka Michinoku & Funaki).
– T & A (Test & Albert) beat Steve Blackman & Al Snow.
– Edge & Christian beat Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley (c) and Jeff & Matt Hardy in a triple threat Ladder Match for the WWF World Tag Team Championships.
– Terri Runnels beat The Kat in a catfight.
– Chyna and Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) beat The Radicals (Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn) in a six person tag match.
– Chris Benoit pinned Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship in the first fall of a two-fall triple threat match for both the Intercontinental and European Championships that also included Kurt Angle, who was the reigning European Champion and Intercontinental Champion entering the match. Chris Jericho pinned Chris Jericho to win the European Championship in the second fall of the two-fall triple threat match.
– Rikishi & Kane beat The Road Dogg & X-Pac.
– Triple H (c) retained his WWF World Championship in a Fatal Four Way elimination match. Also included in the match were The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show.

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