Fightful Select Retro Ratings: WWE WrestleMania 20

Opening Notes

  • This was the first WrestleMania that felt like they wanted to get everyone on the card.
The Way Granted Another Shot At NXT Women's Tag Team Titles

WWE United States Championship
John Cena defeated The Big Show (c) to win the title in 9:14
5.25/10

  • I could tell going in, this was a crowning moment for Cena. He does a rap on Big Show on his way to the ring.
  • Show is really out of shape here. He was huge. he'd also have his head shaved soon after.
  • Cena is selling like crazy for a Show powerslam, when Cena is caught coming off the top rope.
  • Enormous "Let's go Cena" chants. He gets cut off trying to make a comeback. I also forgot about the Hoglock because Big Show hasn't done it in so long!
  • Cena comes back and hits an amazing AA, but Big Show kicks out. I get the feeling a lot of people didn't see the one he did at Tribute To The Troops based on the reaction.
  • Cena distracts the ref, and hits Show with his chain for the win!

Backstage Crappenings

  • Coach runs into Dr. Tom Prichard, Johnny Stamboli, Teddy Long, before getting into Bischoff's office, where Johnny Nitro is. Bischoff wants Coach to find Undertaker.
  • Coach hears noises from a closet and sees Mean Gene stumble out. Bobby Heenan fumbles out, too. They were playing "poker." Moolah and Mae Young scamper out. LMAO.

World Tag Team Titles
RVD & Booker T (c) defeated La Resistance, Dudley Boyz and Cade & Jindrak in 7:51
5.25/10

  • These guys are going a million miles an hour. Rob Van Dam and Booker T were an interesting "we have nothing for you" tag team that became great friends. Imagine not having anything for RVD, Booker and the Dudley Boyz.
  • Jindrak looks like a million bucks. He and Cade could have been great, but they were so bland for that era.
  • Bubba Ray grabs his wiener and gets kicked by Booker. D-Von comes in and does the Saving Grace.
  • Booker is taking the most offense in this match. He's really getting worked over. He finally gets a high angle spinebuster on Conway.
  • RVD gets the hot tag and kicks everyone, but D-Von pushes him onto the barricade from the top rope.
  • Scissors Kick and Five Star Frog Splash get the win on Conway.

Christian defeated Chris Jericho in 15:03
5.5/10

  • Knowing what we know, the build didn't make much sense, considering Christian beat the shit out of Trish Stratus. Also, there's no way this feud could happen this way in 2018.
  • Jericho slingshots himself outside the ring onto Christian, and back in the ring, Christian back suplexes Jericho over the top rope to the outside of the ring.
  • Christian is mocking Jericho and using dirty tactics whenever he can. This includes Christian cheating to get out of the Walls Of Jericho.
  • I forgot the CLB was Christian's nickname. I also forgot that Jericho used to do that senton against the ropes. That and an enziguri get two.
  • Jericho's facebuster bulldog hits hard, but he eats knees on a Lionsault. Christian follows up with the tornado reverse DDT.
  • Christian applies a Sharpshooter in the ring, then Y2J transitions into a Walls of Jericho, which goes to the outside.
  • Trish comes to the ring as Christian hits an insane Impaler DDT.
  • Christian grabs Trish by the hair and Jericho helps her. She accidentally hits him, allowing Christian to win via roll up. This was a very average match.
  • Trish is checking on Jericho, then slaps him HARD twice. Christian gets the Unprettier. Christian and Trish kiss on the ramp. All three of these people were married. Hilarious.

Handicap Match
Evolution defeated The Rock N' Sock Connection in 17:00
6/10

  • Randy Orton cuts a promo with Batista and Ric Flair about his feud with Mick Foley, with videos spliced in.
  • Mick Foley is in the middle of a good promo, but he's interrupted by the Rock. He finds The Hamburglar and Grimace, Jimmy Snuka & Don Muraco.
  • This was Foley's first match in four years, and The Rock's last in over seven.
  • The ring clears to the point it's The Rock and Ric Flair in the ring, and The Rock mocks Flair.
  • Unfathomable that despite the star power in this match, it wasn't as big as it should have been.
  • Back body drop on Flair to the floor from Rock, then Foley follows with the Cactus Jack Elbow.
  • Deadly Drive on Ric Flair, which Lawler says "Ric, this never works."
  • It's cool to see Batista vs. The Rock in the ring at Mania, because it could be a huge Hollywood vs. Hollywood WrestleMania match, and Batisa was the least famous person in the match then.
  • Nobody hit stairs quite as violently as Mick Foley. After being worked over for a few minutes, he gets a neckbreaker that Jim Ross says is quite uncharacteristic.
  • The Rock gets a hot tag and walks into a spinebuster from Batista -- one of the best in the business.
  • Flair begs Batista to let him do the People's Elbow. The Rock catches him and throws spinebusters all around. A strut People's Elbow hits from The Rock, but he sells a little too much for what all just happened. Flair kicks out.
  • RKO countered into a Rock Bottom, but Flair distracts the ref, allowing a Batista Bomb to flatten The Rock. The Rock kicks out, but 15 years later I bought this finish.
  • Foley gets the tag and his working punches still look rough, as does the double arm DDT -- a signature move I don't think really clicked.
  • Orton gets the win with an RKO clean while avoiding Socko. Foley gets up and practically no-sells it.
  • The Rock raises Foley's hand after the match.

Torrie Wilson & Sable defeated Jackie Gayda & Stacy Kiebler in 2:41
3.75/10 (short)

  • I'm pretty sure this was an interpromotional match. Michael Cole and Tazz fall all over themselves.
  • Sable says she and Torrie want to start the match with their gowns off. They all take turns stripping.
  • Tazz and Cole are having a good time. Jackie Gayda doesn't wanna strip, but gets dragged in and stripped anyway.
  • Sable actually has some good offense, as does Torrie with a huge flying body press on Jackie.
  • Kiebler cartwheels out of an Irish whip. She and Torrie go for a bunch of pins, but Wilson kicks out after a kick.
  • There's some fumbling about and Torrie pins Jackie.
  • This was a hundred times better than I thought it was going to be.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Gauntlet Match
Chavo Guerrero Jr (c) (w/ Chavo Classic) wins in 11:31
5.25/10

  • This was not a great way to display the Cruiserweight division, and a pretty badly built one. "THE GREATEST CRUISERWEIGHTS IN THE WORLD!" Kid Kash, Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Sonjay Dutt, AJ Styles, Elix Skipper, Chris Sabin.
  • Ultimo Dragon slipped on his way out.
  • Billy Kidman a "real dark horse." Compared to WHO?! This really is the start of the "get everyone on the show" era.
  • Dragon and Shannon Moore start out. Dragon wins with an Asai DDT.
  • Noble is next, but gets kicked a lot by Dragon. He avoids a moonsault and Dragon anticlimactically taps to a guillotine.
  • Funaki is next and is rolled up off a cross body attempt. The crowd sees what is going on and aren't happy.
  • Nunzio is in and has some great chain wrestling. Nunzio is a real, good shooter with UWFi experience. He's also the first of the leg slappers.
  • Nunzio is sent through the ropes on a waistlock, and Noble does a somersault senton, and gets Nunzio counted out.
  • Kidman is in next and almost kills himself, Nunzio and Noble with a springboard Shooting Star Press. For some reason Noble kicks out of it.
  • For once, Kidman has a powerbomb reversed and is almost choked out. He gets a second rope BK Bomb for the pin, though.
  • Rey Mysterio flies in and sentons his former partner en route to eating a big ass dropkick. A big dropkick, not one to his ass.
  • Mysterio pins Kidman with an Infrared off the top rope.
  • Tajiri is next, and he gets the Tarantula. Mysterio quickly gets a 619, and Akio gets a face full of mist and Tajiri is rolled up.
  • Chavo Guerrero remains, and Chavo Sr. eats a top con hilo. He was 55 years old. He helps his son pin Rey.
  • This was lame.

Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar in 13:43
Special Guest Ref: Stone Cold Steve Austin
3.5/10

  • I remember being so excited for this match leading up to it. It was a real dream match. Then you heard that Goldberg is leaving and Brock Lesnar wants to head to the NFL.
  • This situation was a big reason why WWE hesitated to give big pushes right out of the gate.
  • A lock up, and the two just stand around and stare at each other. This happens for several minutes until a shoulder block takes both guys out.
  • Goldberg gets a nice press spinebuster, but eats turnbuckle on a spear attempt.
  • After beating down Goldberg a little, a head and arm hold is applied by Lesnar, and the crowd doesn't give a shit.
  • The crowd is chanting "Hogan" and looking high up into the arena.
  • Goldberg hits a spear and isn't happy with Austin after he only gets a 2 count. The same for Lesnar after an F5 doesn't end it.
  • Another big spear, Jackhammer, win.
  • This match sucked ass. Steve Austin stuns both of them on their way out to a big pop.

WWE Tag Team Titles
2 Cool (c) (Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty) defeated Basham Brothers, World's Greatest Tag Team and APA in 6:08
4.75/10

  • Shelton and Bradshaw start out, and the latter gets some stiff offense. It's weird to see Bradshaw looking like JBL as a member of the APA.
  • The Basham Brothers are in, and I can't believe they had a four year run. No disrespect to them, but WWE made them so generic.
  • Scotty Too Hotty tags in and dances, then punches Shelton Benjamin, which should TECHNICALLY be a tag in this match. Either way, WGTT hit their finish, but Scotty kicks out.
  • This is fast paced and a mess. You can tell these guys are trying to fit ten pounds of shit into a five pound sack.
  • Rikishi was far out of his prime here. Such a weird fall to see -- had been around forever, but never this out of shape, had already peaked, but still got a reaction for playing the hits.
  • Doug Basham BARELY ducked under a Bradshaw Clothesline from Hell, but Danny ate one.
  • Rikishi and Scotty retain when Rikishi Samoan drops JBL and sits on Danny for the win.

Trump

  • Man, it's amazing how bad Jesse Ventura got on the mic. He's looking for someone to interview.
  • He finds Donald Trump and interviews him. Trump says he'd financially support Jesse Ventura for a Presidential run.

Hair vs. Title Match
WWE Women's Championship
Victoria (c) defeated Molly Holly in 6:49
5.75/10

  • I hate that the crowd isn't into this, because it's one of the best worked matches so far.
  • Victoria rolls and cartwheels out of an arm ringer. Holly follows up with a great suplex and a reverse cravate.
  • For some reason, all Lawler can talk about is fucking panties while these two have an excellent match with no heat.
  • Victoria scores a great powerslam, but is pulled into the bottom rope.
  • A sunset flip powerbomb from Molly Holly hits, but she falls to her knees. Victoria gets a backslide for the win.
  • Molly Holly vs. Victoria at WrestleMania 20 was exceptional for the time it got and deserved more than the silent crowd and the embarrassing commentary shit-show that it received
  • Molly gets her head shaved after the match.

WWE Championship
Eddie Guerrero (c) defeated Kurt Angle in 21:36
6.75/10

  • Angle has his way with Eddie early on, out wrestling Guerrero with nice overhook throws and amateur takedowns.
  • Guerrero gets some nice deep arm drags, but eats barricade as he dives outside the ring.
  • You can tell almost all of this is being called in the ring. A beautiful thing for the age, and people care about it.
  • Angle whiplashes Eddie in the ropes and goes to work with belly-to-belly suplexes. They end up on the top rope and Eddie misses a Frog Splash.
  • Eddie lands suplexes of his own, but Angle locks his hands and starts on the rolling Germans. Eddie is able to roll him up, but eats a nasty clothesline.
  • The story being told is that Angle can't put away Guerrero with wrestling, and has to resort to brawling.
  • Guerrero counters an Angle Slam with an arm drag and goes into Three Amigos. Angle is able to recover with a belly-to-belly superplex for two.
  • Man, Nick Patrick was not a good ref. He'd lie on his back, not swing his arm around when counting, get in the way, all kinds of stuff.
  • Angle is planted with a big DDT and gets Frog Splashed, but he's able to kick out at 2.
  • Angle applies an Ankle Lock, but is kicked out of the ring by Eddie, who unties his own boot. Angle comes in to apply the Ankle Lock, but Eddie rolls out of his boot and pins Angle for the win.
  • Eddie holds the ropes for the win, too. Tazz is livid. Hilarious.

Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated Kane in 7:47
4.5/10

  • I got chills when I heard Paul Bearer's voice.
  • Undertaker for sure had only been growing his hair for about four months here.
  • Kane's facial expressions were great, and goes on the offense early before getting attacked.
  • This was the best Taker had looked in a long time. He hits the apron leg drop.
  • They botch a whiplash spot and a big boot spot. Undertaker had to hold on to the top rope because he was too far away, and bumped too early on the boot. Ugly.
  • No heat to this match as Kane hits a side slam. Undertaker fires back with a nice running boot.
  • The crowd finally comes alive for Old School, but Kane catches him by the throat. Undertaker tries to prevent it, but gets Chokeslammed.
  • Taker sits up and Kane freaks out. A bad chokeslam lands for Undertaker. Tombstone and win.
  • Undertaker looked like a guy who hadn't wrestled in four months.

World Heavyweight Championship
Chris Benoit defeated Triple H (c) and Shawn Michaels to become champion in 24:51
8/10

  • I love Triple H's boots in this match.
  • Benoit kind of oversells being sent into the apron, but both he and Triple H are there to be moonsaulted outside the ring by Shawn Michaels, following a baseball slide.
  • Benoit gains control inside and lands his German suplex combo on HHH, but Michaels knocks him off the top rope.
  • Michaels misses a Sweet Chin Music on Triple H and gets DDT'd and falls outside the ring. This allows Triple H the time to superplex Benoit, but three pin attempts don't work.
  • Benoit gets the three Germans on Michaels, and his diving headbutt gets a two count.
  • Triple H is back in and is victim of a flying elbow drop from Michaels, then Sweet Chin Music, but Benoit pulls Triple H out before a three count.
  • This crowd sucks ass.
  • Michaels gets catapulted into the ring post and he's busted open. Benoit applies the Crippler Crossface and almost taps out before Triple H prevents it.
  • Triple H then eats steel steps, which motivates him to get on the same page as Michaels. They end up suplex front slamming Benoit through an announce table for a magnificent THUD.
  • Michaels is bleeding so bad, and now so is Triple H. Michaels and HHH battle in the ring, but Benoit stops another pin.
  • The finish looks close during a Benoit Sharpshooter on Triple H. Shawn Michaels superkicks Benoit out of nowhere, and Benoit kicks out to a great cheer.
  • Michaels attempts a Sweet Chin Music, but gets dumped over the top rope by Benoit. Benoit counters a Pedigree with a Crippler Crossface. Triple H tries to reverse and counter, but can't and is forced to tap out.
  • After the match, we see the classic moment of Eddie Guerrero coming out to celebrate with Benoit.
  • Jim Ross really paints it up here. He's thrilled.
  • 100 percent of the Benoit matches I've watched since he passed are for retro reviews. It's still not easy considering how everything went down. He was a wrestler that I looked up to as an athlete, and all of it is thrown away to me.

Aftermath

  • I miss the highlight videos that WWE used to run at the end of these shows. It starts out with a Godsmack song, then goes into Drowning Pool's "Step Up."
  • WrestleMania 20 did an attendance of 18,500 for a $2.4M gate. It generated $13.5M of economic activity and created an equivalent of 96 full-year jobs.


Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
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