Thanks a lot for checking out this edition of The Classic Pay-Per-View Review. The object of this feature is to take an in-depth look at a show from the past. They will usually be WWE shows, but can be from other promotions. They may be very old, or they may only be a few years old. I tend to find random shows that I don’t remember and watch them when I go to bed. If they really entertain me, I’ll write about them on here. They won’t all be considered classics, and they won’t all be that old school, but they all have some value in my eyes. This time I’m going to talk about WWE Wrestlemania 19. Many consider this to be one of, if not the best wrestling shows of all time. Here are my thoughts.
Matt Hardy (c) v Rey Mysterio (for the Cruiser weight Championship) Shannon Moore was at ringside for Matt. That takes me back. This epitomized the old school Rey Mysterio: incredibly exciting spots and pure athleticism! Hardy got the cheap win to retain the title with help from Moore. This was a decent opener, but I’ve seen better.
Then we were “treated” to an agonizing Limp Bizkit performance. The less said about this the better. It was the first of two of these. They were out there to play Taker to the ring. This terrible theme was one of the many reasons why I never really got on board with Taker during this period. I wouldn’t even call it an era.
Undertaker v A-Train & The Big Show This handicap match put the streak in “serious jeopardy” according to Cole. This was when the company first started to push the streak and acknowledge its drawing potential. He was supposed to be tagging with Nathan Jones but Show and Train took him out beforehand. It almost seemed impossible to see Taker running the ropes and actually leapfrogging Train. How he was that athletic only ten years ago I just can’t fathom. In the ring, he is an undisputed legend. Jones made it out in time to lend a hand and Taker got the win with the tombstone.
Victoria (c) v Trish Stratus v Jazz (Triple Threat for the Women’s Championship) Trish won the championship and won a great match. Of the three brilliant ladies, she shone brightest. Stevie Richards must have been missing ECW like crazy though, when he was at ringside accompanying the champion. Matches like this are what the WWE seem to be starting to emulate. Great technical effort from these athletes!
Team Angle (c) v Los Guererros v Chris Benoit & Rhyno (Triple Threat for the World Tag Team Championship) It’s always an interesting dynamic when you get three tag teams in action at once. Anyone can be tagged in at any time, and you know it’s going to break down into chaos at some point. Six top athletes gave an almost flawless performance in terms of timing and execution. Benjamin got the pin victory for Team Angle after a simply great match.
Shawn Michaels v Chris Jericho The pre-match vignette was really awesome. Y2J was at his absolute peak here in my opinion. The entrance from HBK was super cool. As for the in-ring performance, I’d say it was one of the best Wrestlemania matches I’ve ever seen. Michaels got the win. Jericho cried. They embraced. Then he got him with a low blow, just when everyone thought he may be a good sport. Classic storytelling.
Triple H (c) v Booker T (for the World Heavyweight Championship) This was a decent match. Not amazing, but decent. The storyline leading up to the match was piss poor, and that had to hurt the match. Triple H played the heel character to perfection, as he did so well in those days. He won the match with the pedigree, but the highlight was the rare appearance of his Indian deathlock, and the way JR called it to make it seem really special.
Hulk Hogan v Vince McMahon Even watching this back now, I was still praying that Vince would defy my reality and beat this old fool, thus ending his career, and saving me the pain of having to sit through the matches he went on to have. The match itself was pretty decent for what it was. It was a bloody encounter. My personal highlight was Vince dropping the leg on Hogan from the top of the ladder through the announce table. Piper almost cost Hulk the match when he made a shock appearance and hit him with the lead pipe. Unfortunately he recovered, hit three consecutive leg drops and won the match.
Stone Cold v The Rock The psychology and storytelling made this historic match even better than anticipated. The bout opened up with lots of brawling, before The Rock began to systematically target Austin’s leg and try to get the sharpshooter on any chance he got. They both hit each other with their respective finishers. The Rock came out on top, put on Stone Cold’s leather vest and mocked him while he lay on the canvas. He couldn’t beat him with the people’s elbow, and it took three rock bottom’s to finally beat the rattlesnake. They both told a great story. The Rock played a terrific heel. Austin played the traditional face who tried until the very end but didn’t quite have enough.
Kurt Angle (c) v Brock Lesnar (for the WWE Championship) This match was contested without champion’s advantage, meaning Angle could lose the title by DQ or Count Out. As you would expect from these guys, this was a brilliant technical match dominated by good mat work, grappling and a variety of textbook suplexes. There were two particularly amazing spots when Angle reversed an F-5 into an Ankle Lock, and Lesnar reversed an Angle Slam into an F-5.
Instead of covering the guy then, he decided to go to the top rope (for possibly the first time in his WWE career) and attempt a shooting star press, which he botched terribly. It was endearing for the man to go so far out of his comfort zone and try something insane to make the crowd happy and provide a memorable moment. However, he attempted a move that a lot of high flyers can’t even do. Really bad idea. He almost broke his neck and could have injured his opponent badly. Angle tried to make the botch seem less bad by going for a cover. Two count. Lesnar hit the F-5 and won the championship.
I’m sure Kurt Angle doesn’t see it this way, but Lesnar’s botch only made this match more memorable for the fans. The match was extremely good and the ending was something you will never forget. This was the match of the night. It had it all, and should really get more credit, in my opinion.
I’ve heard a lot of people describe this as the best Wrestlemania ever. I hate to sound like Bret Hart, but it wouldn’t get into my top five. I wouldn’t give it 4/10 though. It was solid. Some good performances. Some timeless moments. I just don’t think it had enough overall quality to be considered a truly legendary show. Nonetheless, I would recommend you check it out. It was certainly entertaining.
Thanks for reading this edition of the Classic Pay-Per-View Review. I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to drop a link to this site to any friends who like wrestling. We upload content every day, and it’s usually always about wrestling. Give us a like, comment or follow. And as always, thanks a lot for your support!