I continue my look back at every WrestleMania in SoCal with a look back at WrestleMania 2000 on April 2nd, 2000 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. Featuring a main event where the McMahon family was the focal point and an epic ladder match. Plus a lot of filler.
On the weekend of WrestleMania 2000, the WWF held Axxess at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a big waste of time that I’ll talk more about later.
On the day of WrestleMania 2000, the WWF presented “WrestleMania: All Day Long.” Fans who paid extra money for the pay-per-view got an entire day of WrestleMania clips and highlights, as well as pre-show and post-show interviews. Since YouTube wasn’t a thing, this was a great chance for people to catch old WrestleMania highlights they might not have seen before.
WrestleMania 2000 began with Lilian Garcia singing the national anthem. Then we got a video package highlighting past WrestleMania moments, followed by a video package to hype the main event. After that, fireworks went off and we got shots of the crowd as the theme song for the show played. I have to say, the theme song for the event was pretty awesome. It really fit the vibe of California culture at the time.
The Godfather & D’Lo Brown w/ Ice-T & Godfather’s Hoes vs. Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan
Before the next match, Godfather and D’Lo Brown with a stable of Godfather’s finest working ladies made their entrance. Ice-T performed Godfather’s entrance song from the WWF Aggression album. Look that up on YouTube if you’ve never heard it. It will be totally worth it. Godfather got on the mic and cut a promo with his usual lines. There’s nothing funnier than seeing a crowd full of kids watching a dude talking about pimping hoes and smoking blunts.
Godfather and D’Lo got a good amount of offense to start the match. They did some fun double team work for a few moments before Bull Buchanan mounted a comeback for his team. He and Boss Man began to work over D’Lo for some heat. When I was watching this, I thought “man, I never realized how good Bull Buchanan was.” He had some nice spots in this and was pretty athletic for a guy his size. Buchanan and Boss Man got the win after a Boss Man Slam from Boss Man, followed by a Top Rope Legdrop from Buchanan. This wasn’t a bad match, but it wasn’t the most exciting either. The crowd was into it though.
After the match, Buchanan and Boss Man chased Godfather’s hoes out of the arena.
Backstage, WWF Heavyweight Champion Triple H was with WWF Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon. She really is the pioneer and leader of the Women’s Revolution. Triple H talked about them being champions and putting on the biggest WrestleMania ever. Yeah, whatever.
At ringside, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross talked about the main event. Then they showed a rules meeting with the referees and the participants in the Hardcore Battle Royal for Crash Holly’s WWF Hardcore Championship. The 24/7 Rule was suspended for this match.
Hardcore Battle Royal for the WWF Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly (c) vs. Tazz vs. Viscera vs. The Mean Street Posse (Pete Gas, Rodney, and Joey Abs) vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Kaientai (Taka Michinoku & Funaki) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) vs. The A.P.A. (Farooq & Bradshaw)
The rules for the match were as follows:
- 15-minute time limit
- The title could change hands at any time during the 15 Minutes
- After the time expires, the match is over and the person with the title walks out as champion.
The story for the match was Crash Holly kept escaping with the WWF Hardcore Championship despite constant sneak attacks. There were a lot of weapons at ringside. Tazz was the first person to win the title during the match. The match ended up having 10 title changes. Tazz won the title twice. This thing was an extremely entertaining clusterfuck. It was mostly just dudes walking around and hitting each other with plunder.
I’m glad this match took place in 2000 instead of now. Kevin Dunn would’ve ended up giving everyone seizures from all the zooming and camera cuts he’d make. One of the funnier moments of the match saw Funaki become champion, leading to Taka turning on him and chasing him backstage. Others would follow. Taka had his Japanese flag for some reason when he went backstage. Pete Gas got some really good color in this. Hardcore Holly ended up being the winner of this comedy classic. I had so much fun re-watching this. This was pure, unadulterated cartoon violence. If you’ve never seen this match, check it out.
After the match, a video package showing highlight from WWF Axess was shown. I went to this thing when I was a kid. It was such a waste of time. The lines for autographs were ridiculous.
One moment I vividly remember was being one of a dozen kids trying to get an autograph from Al Snow and Steve Blackman because the line for their session was closed early. We kept asking Snow and Blackman for autographs, but they gave us the cold shoulder. When they left, we followed them in hopes of getting something, but they snubbed us like massive jerks. Sure, we didn’t make it in time for the line, but it wasn’t like we were adult stalkers at an airport or hotel bothering them. We were just kids at a fan convention!
After they walked off, I saw Steve Blackman behind a curtain and made eye contact with him for a few moments. I had a disappointed look on my face. He just looked back at me with a blank gaze on his face. Part of me felt like he seemed upset that he let some kids down. If that were the case, good! I hope he felt really guilty about it when he was going to bed that night. I mean, kids suck and always ruin everyone’s fun, but if you’re a pro wrestler you can’t just snub a kid who is asking for a photo and autograph! So yeah, Steve Blackman was a jerk for that. Al Snow too, but to a lesser extent. We were just kids!
I did get to meet X-Pac though, which I guess was sorta cool.
Speaking of Al Snow and Steve Blackman, we get a segment with them after the highlight package. Al was is in the bathroom talking to someone in a stall. Steve Blackman showed up and told him to knockoff his antics. Then we got some vintage Vince McMahon toilet humor from Al Snow. Now that I look back on this, I’m glad I didn’t get their autographs.
After that, we saw a closeup of Trish Stratus’ breasts as she’s walking backstage with Test & Albert. Five stars.
Head Cheese (Al Snow & Steve Blackman w/ Chester McCheeserton) vs. T&A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus)
Before the match, Snow got on the mic and introduced Chester McCheeserton. Chester was a dwarf in a cheese costume. He ended up harassing Trish at ringside throughout the match. The match itself was pretty boring and was a bit of a mess at times. Test and Albert had some good showcases, but the layout and structure were really disjointed. Al Snow busted out a nice Asai Moonsault, but that wasn’t enough to save this from being a snoozer. T&A got the win in a match that was a total waste of time.
After the match, Al Snow got on the mic and apologized to Steve Blackman for Chester. He brought Chester into the ring and hit him in the head with a microphone. Then he held up Chester so Steve Blackman could give him a bicycle kick. They closed this segment by delivering their double team move.
Backstage, Mae Young was with The Kat. The Kat was nude with her back to the camera. There was a purse strategically placed in front of her ass to cover it. They did the gag from Austin Powers where they hid Kat’s nude body when she moved around. There were also a bunch of sexual innuendos. This was so bad. After the segment, we see the WWF Tag Team Championship belts above the ring. Michael Cole interviewed The Dudley Boyz. They cut a promo about taking WrestleMania and ladder matches to a new level of violence.
Ladder Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley) (c) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy)
I saw this when it happened and was blown away. As cliche as it might seem, this was a very innovative match that really raised the standard for years to come when it comes to ladder matches. There were so many creative spots in this. I’ve re-watched this match a few times before and always found myself entertained by it. It has been a few years since I last saw this, so I was looking forward to watching it again.
When I watched this match again in 2019, it held up. The action was plentiful, the layout and structure were great, the fans were hot for it, and everyone had great chemistry. There was a lot of cool stuff in this as well. One of the more memorable spots of the match was Jeff Hardy’s Swanton Bomb off a ladder onto Bubba Ray Dudley, putting him through a table. The way it was filmed was really cool, as it looked like Jeff Hardy was about to fly into you at one point. Edge and Christian got the win after pushing Matt off a makeshift scaffold made out of two ladders and a table, allowing them to grab the titles.
After the match, Edge and Christian sat on top of the makeshift scaffold and celebrated their win.
If you’ve never seen this match, check it out. As I said above, this set the standard for ladder matches. There was a lot of action and cool stuff in this. It is also one of the most important tag team matches in WWF/WWE history, so that should also be a motivation for checking this match out.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly interviewed Mick Foley and Linda McMahon about the main event. Linda made a brief statement about bringing him back, and Foley talked about how important this match was for him. He also put over the ladder match. At ringside, Ross and Lawler put over the teams in the ladder match and showed the finish of the match.
Catfight (Special Guest Referee: Val Venis): Terri Runnels w/ The Fabulous Moolah vs. The Kat w/ Mae Young
The stipulation for the match was in order to win, one of the women had to be thrown out of the ring. Before the match, Val Venis was introduced as the special guest referee. He cut a promo about his penis and WrestleMania having things in common. Sexual innuendos galore here. Who would’ve thought that Val Venis would turn into an idiotic, right-wing lunatic, cannabis advocate, and self-described “anarchist” in the future? I honestly think that years in the pro wrestling business have really damaged his brain. Want proof? Check out his Twitter feed.
As for the match, it was what it was. If you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, you’ll absolutely LOVE this. Terri won by disqualification after Mae Young made out with Val, and Moolah pulled Kat out of the ring. After the match, Mae hit a Bronco Buster on Moolah. The Kat then began to rip off Terri’s pants. Yup. This was the Attitude Era. You want it back? This is what you’d get if you did. But hey, it was more entertaining than Nia Jax or Bayley matches.
Backstage, The Radicalz (Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn) were backstage talking about their match. Eddie was busy talking about how Chyna was into him. Chyna was with Too Cool watching the promo. She was disgusted by it.
The Radicalz (Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn) vs. Chyna and Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty)
The story of the match was about how Eddie was infatuated with Chyna, while Chyna was disgusted by his advances. I honestly have no memory of seeing this match despite having watched this show live and on tape. When I was watching this match now, I realized why. It was pretty uneventful and boring for the most part. The match itself wasn’t bad, and it had some good heat from the crowd. But for the most part, it felt like a filler match. Too Cool and Chyna got the win after Chyna pinned Eddie.
After the match, we see footage of a fan who won a contest to go to WrestleMania 2000. WWE cameras pulled up to her home and flew her out to Anaheim. She got a flight on a private jet, ringside seats, all that.
We then got a promo featuring Shane McMahon and The Big Show. Big Show’s shirt said “BIG NASTY BASTARD.” I don’t know what’s worse, that or the “I Bleed For Priscilla Kelly” shirt.
Footage is played of an angle that took place on Sunday Night Heat before the show with Kurt Angle putting Bob Backlund in a Crossface Chickenwing for giving WWF officials the idea to have Kurt defend both his titles in the next match. Kurt Angle is then shown backstage talking to a security guard named Tommy. He asked him if he could get some extra security and offered him autographs for his kids. Kurt Angle was really funny back in the day.
Before the next match, Chris Jericho cut a promo inside the ring.
Two-fall Triple threat match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and WWF European Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
The first fall of the match was for the Intercontinental title, while the second was for the European title. All three men were such great workers at the time. When I was a kid, I was really looking forward to this but ended up being disappointed by it. I was curious to see if this got better with age. While there were some good moments in this, the match was pretty sloppy overall and disjointed at times. The structure of the match seemed fine, but it didn’t seem like everyone was on the same page at times.
Benoit ended up winning the Intercontinental title after pinning Jericho during the first fall. Jericho then won the European title after pinning Benoit with a Lionsault. This was a pretty skippable match, but the concept was cool. After the match, Kurt Angle complained inside the ring about losing without being pinned or submitted.
Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Vince McMahon. He asked him if he’d be a factor in the main event and about being in The Rock’s corner. Cole also asked about the other McMahon family members being at ringside. We then see Triple H reacting to the promo with Stephanie in their dressing room.
D-Generation X (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Tori) vs. Rikishi & Kane w/ Paul Bearer
Since WrestleMania 14, there had been a running gag involving baseball legend Pete Rose being attacked by Kane. It all started when the disgraced baseball star insulted the city of Boston at WrestleMania 14. This led to Kane giving him a Tombstone. The next year, Pete Rose dressed up as the San Diego Chicken and attacked Kane from behind. This led to Kane giving him a Tombstone.
Before the match, Road Dogg got on the mic and did his usual opening mic work. After Kane made his way to the ring, Tori slapped Paul Bearer, causing Kane to go after her. The match then turned into a brawl with all four men. Rikishi gave Road Dogg a Stink Face in the opening minute of the match. They also teased Tori receiving one early in the match. She ended up receiving one in the finishing sequence of the match. Kane got the win for his team after hitting X-Pac with a Tombstone Piledriver. This wasn’t anything special, but the crowd was into it.
After the match, Too Cool ran out to try to dance. Then the San Diego Chicken ran out, leading everyone to believe it was Pete Rose inside the costume. Too Cool and Rikishi began to dance with the San Diego Chicken. Kane stood around and watched, thinking the chicken was Pete Rose again. After the dance, Kane grabbed the San Diego Chicken, but let go when Pete Rose attempted to attack him with a baseball bat. This led to Kane giving him a Chokeslam. Paul Bearer gave him crotch chops after. Then Rikishi gave Pete Rose a Stink Face. I miss this tradition and wish WWE would bring Pete Rose back every year to get squashed by someone.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly interviewed The Rock. The Rock then cut a great promo that the crowd was really into. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were then shown at ringside. They began to talk about various actors and celebrities in attendance.
Fatal Four-Way Elimination match for the WWF Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) w/ Stephanie McMahon vs. Mick Foley w/ Linda McMahon vs. The Big Show w/ Shane McMahon vs. The Rock w/ Vince McMahon
There were two moments from this match that always stood out to me. The first was Mick Foley’s attempt at hitting an elbow drop onto The Rock from the ring through an announce table, only to miss. The other was the finish of the match being extremely stupid. Besides that, nothing in this match ever really stood out to me. It also didn’t help that the story and build up for the match centered around the McMahon family being at ringside. The stuff involving the actual workers, like this being Mick Foley’s last match, were just subplots.
As I was re-watching this, I found myself getting really bored by this. This entire match was pretty much the Triple H show. He kept overcoming the odds and outsmarting all the babyfaces. The most memorable part of the match was Foley’s botch and Triple H trying to break an announce table several times while The Rock was on it. Rock and Triple H ended up being the final two in the match. They had a boring brawl that went outside the ring and into the crowd. The highlight of their segment came when The Rock hit a suplex on Triple H through an announce table. Vince and Shane also got into a brawl at ringside during this portion of the match.
Even though Vince McMahon attacked Triple H earlier on, the match ended with him HELPING him and turning on The Rock. He would crack The Rock in the head with several chair shots, leading to Triple H getting the win. Fans began to throw trash into the ring after the match. Vince and Stephanie embraced, and it looked like Shane was about to join them. The Rock would end up hitting the ring and hit Rock Bottoms on Vince, Shane, and Stephanie. The Rock then hit the People’s Elbow on Stephanie while the McMahon family was laid out at ringside. God this was so stupid. The show closes with a video recap of the event.
WrestleMania 2000 was such a weird show. It had a great ladder match, the Hardcore Battle Royal was fun, and there were some cool moments. But overall, this wasn’t really a good show. The two matches I just mentioned are the only ones on this show worth watching. Without “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Undertaker, this show really suffered from a lack of star power. In the end, WrestleMania 2000 is worth skipping if you haven’t seen it. The ladder match was great though.
Up next: WrestleMania 21: WrestleMania Goes Hollywood!