WrestleMania 2000 (sequentially known as WrestleMania 16) was the 16th annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on April 2, 2000, at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.
Promotional poster featuring various WWF personnel
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||April 2, 2000|
|Venue||Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim|
|Tagline(s)||A McMahon in Every Corner|
The main event was a four-way elimination match for the WWF Championship involving reigning champion Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley, and The Big Show, which Triple H won after last eliminating The Rock. Main matches on the undercard included a triangle ladder match for the WWF Tag Team Championship involving Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boyz, and The Dudley Boyz, and a two-fall triple threat match for the WWF Intercontinental and European Championships involving Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and Chris Benoit.
The main feud heading into WrestleMania was between Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley, and The Big Show, with the four feuding over the WWF Championship. At the Royal Rumble two months prior, The Rock won the Royal Rumble match to become the number one contender to the WWF Championship at WrestleMania by last eliminating The Big Show, and Triple H defeated Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) in a Street fight to retain the WWF Championship. The proceeding month at No Way Out, The Big Show defeated The Rock to gain entry into the WWF Championship match at WrestleMania. Also at the event, Triple H defeated Foley in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWF Championship. Per the pre-match stipulation, Foley had to retire from professional wrestling. On the March 13 edition of Raw is War, The Rock managed to win back his title shot by defeating The Big Show with help from a returning Vince McMahon, thus making the WWF Championship match a Triple Threat match. The following week, after Triple H retained his title against both The Rock and The Big Show, Linda McMahon added Mick Foley to the match, which thereby became a Four-Way match.
The second main feud heading into the event was between Edge and Christian versus The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) versus The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) for the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Triangle Ladder match. On the edition of January 17 of Raw, Jeff Hardy was scheduled to face Bubba Ray Dudley in a match. The match saw Jeff pinning Bubba Ray after delivering a Swanton Bomb. After the match, the Dudleys attacked the Hardy Boyz, in which they powerbombed Matt on top of a table. On the edition of January 20 of SmackDown!, Matt was placed in a match again D-Von Dudley. The win was given to Matt, after a disqualification took place. Jeff and Bubba Ray made their way to the ring, in which both teams began brawling against one another. Bubba Ray prepared to powerbomb Matt into a table, that was set up by the Dudleys. Bubba Ray, however, was hit by Jeff with a chair, causing him to fall onto the tables. The Hardys then set up a table of their own and put D-Von on it, and Matt proceeded to perform a legdrop on D-Von through the table. At the Royal Rumble, the Hardys defeated the Dudleys in a tag team tables match. The following night after the Royal Rumble, the Dudleys showed respect towards the Hardys in which they would help them defeat the New Age Outlaws for the World Tag Team Championship. In return, the Hardys would have to grant the Dudleys a title shot at the Tag Team Championship. During the tag title match, the Dudleys stopped the three count, after the Hardys had the match in their favor and allowing the Outlaws to retain the titles. After the match, the Dudleys then went on to perform the 3-D on them.
In months leading to the event, Hardcore Champion Crash Holly had been involved in several matches which took place at increasingly unusual places, a situation that the champion had brought on himself. On the edition of February 24 of SmackDown!, Crash defeated Test for the Hardcore Championship with help from his cousin Hardcore Holly and was so excited to be champion that he declared that as long as a referee was present, he would defend the title anytime at any place — a rule that was referred to as the "24/7" rule. Crash's decision backfired on him in a big way, as his title defenses often took place in odd places like a laundromat, an amusement park, and Newark Liberty International Airport to name a few as wrestlers were quick to strike to take the gold. Crash decided that he was tired of being on guard all the time and offered a shot to any wrestler for WrestleMania, provided that the 24/7 rule would be suspended until afterward. Several wrestlers took Crash up on his offer and the match became a battle royal.
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Hugo Savinovich (Spanish)|
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
Before the opening video, Lilian Garcia sang "The Star-Spangled Banner". The first match that aired was a tag team match between the team of The Godfather and D'Lo Brown (who were accompanied to the ring by rapper Ice-T, who also sang their entrance music) against the team of The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan. The Godfather and Brown gained the early advantage over Buchanan and Bossman, as they were able to execute a leg drop and a splash combination. Buchanan and Bossman, yet, retaliated after Bossman delivered a Sidewalk slam and Buchanan delivered a Leg drop from the top turnbuckle into a pinfall and winning the match.
The second match was a hardcore battle royal for the WWF Hardcore Championship involving defending champion Crash Holly. The rules of the match were as follows: the match would go on for fifteen minutes, the championship could exchange hands an unlimited number of times during the time limit, and the final wrestler with the Hardcore Championship would win the match and remain the Hardcore Champion. The first championship exchange occurred after Tazz pinned Crash, which proceeded with Viscera pinning Tazz. The third championship exchange occurred after Funaki pinned Viscera, however, Funaki was then pinned by Rodney. The fifth championship exchange occurred after Joey Abs pinned Rodney, which proceeded with Abs being pinned by Thrasher. The seventh title exchange occurred after Pete Gas pinned Thrasher, though, Gas was then pinned by Tazz. The ninth title exchange occurred after Crash pinned Tazz, which proceeded with the final championship exchange, as Hardcore Holly pinned Crash, thus, Hardcore Holly won the Hardcore Championship.
The next match was a tag team match between the team of Al Snow and Steve Blackman against the team of T & A (Test and Albert). Back and forth action between the two teams towards the end of the match, where Albert delivered a Baldo Bomb on Snow, while Test delivered an Elbow drop from the top rope onto Blackman into a pinfall for the win.
The fourth match was a WWF Tag Team Championship triangle ladder match involving The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, and champions The Dudley Boyz. Edge and Christian first gained the advantage after Edge climbed the top rope and speared Jeff, who was climbing a ladder. Edge and Christian were then given consecutive 3-D's by The Dudley Boyz. The Dudley Boyz then brought tables into the ring and onto ringside, where D-Von splashed Jeff through a table in the ring, while Bubba powerbombed Matt through another at ringside. The Hardy Boyz would then retaliate after Jeff delivered a Swanton bomb off a ladder onto Bubba, through a table. As Jeff did so, Matt climbed a ladder, along with Edge and Christian, who pushed Matt off the ladder through a table. The situation allowed Edge and Christian to reach and grab the championship belts that were hung from the rafters, thus gaining their first Tag Team Championship.
The fifth match was a Catfight between The Kat and Terri with special guest referee, Val Venis; the winner of the match was determined by the diva who threw their opponent out onto ringside. The Kat threw Terri out onto ringside; Venis was however distracted by Mae Young, who was at ringside managing The Kat, and was unable to see the action. Terri was again thrown onto ringside by The Kat, though, the action was not seen by Venis as he was yet again distracted by Young. In retaliation, The Fabulous Moolah, who was at ringside managing Terri, pulled The Kat out of the ring, which was seen by Venis, thus Terri won the match. Whilst celebrating, Mae Young attacked Terri and The Fabulous Moolah before giving Moolah the bronco buster whilst Kat stripped Terri of her clothing.
Next was an Intergender tag team match between the team of Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty) and Chyna against the team of The Radicalz (Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero). Both teams fought back and forth towards the end of the match, where Chyna was tagged into the match and delivered a press slam, powerbomb, and a sleeper slam and pinned Guerrero for the win.
The seventh match was a two-fall triple threat match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and WWF European Championship, involving Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho. The first fall would be for the Intercontinental Championship, while the second fall was for the European Championship. In the beginning of the first fall, all three men exchanged pin attempts towards midway into the match where Benoit broke up a Chicken wing submission by Angle onto Jericho. The situation allowed Benoit to climb to the top turnbuckle and delivered a Diving headbutt on Jericho into a pinfall to win the Intercontinental Championship. During the second fall, Jericho and Benoit delivered a double powerbomb onto Angle, which proceeded into Benoit delivering three German suplexes onto Jericho. Afterwards, Benoit attempted to deliver another diving headbutt onto Angle, however, Angle moved out of the way, resulting in Benoit hitting the ringmat. This situation allowed Jericho to deliver a Lionsault into a pinfall to win the European Championship. Therefore, Kurt Angle lost both titles without conceding to a pinfall.
The final match on the undercard was the tag team encounter between Kane and Rikishi against D-Generation X (X-Pac and Road Dogg). Shortly into the match Rikishi delivered a Diamond cutter onto X-Pac, which proceeded into Kane delivering a Tombstone piledriver into a pinfall for the win. Afterward, an-ring section involving Rikishi, Too Cool, and the San Diego Chicken dancing was interrupted by Kane, who thought the chicken was Pete Rose. Rose then snuck into the ring and tried to hit Kane with a baseball bat, before being chokeslammed by Kane and stinkfaced by Rikishi.
Main event matchEdit
The main event was a WWF Championship four-way elimination match involving The Big Show (with Shane McMahon), Mick Foley (with Linda McMahon), The Rock (with Vince McMahon), and the defending champion, Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon). In the beginning of the match, Show press slammed Triple H and Rock; however, all three competitors then attacked Show. The situation allowed The Rock to eliminate Show, after delivering a Rock Bottom into a pinfall. After the elimination, Foley delivered a double arm DDT on Triple H. However, Triple H retaliated, performing a Pedigree on Foley onto a steel chair; this resulted in a pinfall and Foley's elimination. After Foley was eliminated, he returned to the ring and attacked Triple H with a barbed wire 2x4. The Rock and Triple H brawled in and out of the ring with neither superstar gaining the advantage over one another. Vince attacked Triple H, which led to Shane returning to ringside in which he attacked his father, assaulting him with a steel chair which had led to Vince bleeding from the forehead. Shane, who was preparing to execute a chair shot on The Rock, failed when Vince returned and threw Shane out the ring. Vince had then picked up the steel chair and it had seemed at first that Vince was preparing to attack Triple H with it, but in a shocking and unexpected swerve, Vince had hit The Rock with the steel chair, thus turning heel. After a second chair shot towards The Rock by Vince, with the former being able to kick out of Triple H's first attempted pinfall towards him, Triple H himself had then pinned The Rock for a second time and was able to get a successful pinfall against him, thus retaining the championship. After the match, The Rock, who was badly bruised and being helped out of the ring and towards the backstage by official referees, had angrily returned to the ring and proceeded to execute Rock Bottoms on Vince, Shane, and Stephanie McMahon, before executing a People's Elbow on Stephanie.
After the event, The Rock continued to feud with Triple H over the WWF Championship. The feud continued on the first Raw after WrestleMania, where The Rock pinned Triple H in a non-WWF Championship match. The following week on Raw, the feud intensified, where The Rock defeated The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan in a handicap steel cage match. After the match Triple H, Shane and Vince McMahon attacked The Rock, however, which caused him to lose a great amount of blood. Later that week on SmackDown!, The Rock was scheduled to face Triple H for the WWF Championship at Backlash. At Backlash, The Rock, with help from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Linda McMahon, defeated Triple H to win the WWF Championship.
WrestleMania 2000 was met with mixed critical response. John Powell of Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section called the event "a flop" and opined that "It was supposed to be sports entertainment's greatest event of the year. It was supposed to the best the WWF has to offer. It wasn't. ... WrestleMania 2000 from The Pond in Anaheim, California, will go down as one of the worst WrestleManias the World Wrestling Federation has produced in its 15-year history of broadcasting the flagship spectacle. ... The only one-on-one match being the ludicrous Cat fight between Terri and The Kat, the other congested WrestleMania bouts suffered from constant stalling of one form or another as wrestlers lay prone for extended periods of time or engaged in low-impact brawling on the outside of the ring so that the audience could direct their attention to the other participants. This approach left many WWF superstars looking foolish for selling holds longer than they needed to. ... Ironically, the first-ever All-Day-Long pre-show recapping the history of WrestleMania for eight hours prior to the premiere wrestling event was better than the card itself." He gave the overall event a score of 3 out of 10 stars, which is a considerably lower score than the previous year's event which received a rating of 5 out of 10 stars. The main event between Triple H, Mick Foley, The Big Show and The Rock for the WWF Championship was rated 4 out of 10 stars, and both the Two-fall Triple Threat match for the WWF Intercontinental and European Championships between Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit and the Triangle Ladder match for the WWF Tag Team Championship between The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian both received the highest rating of 8 out of 10 stars and The Cat Fight between Terri and The Kat received the lowest rating of 0 out of 10 stars.
Video ban in IrelandEdit
The Irish Film Classification Office banned the video release of the event, owing to its use of realistic weapons, including metal chairs, timber wrapped with barbed wire, shinai and sledgehammers. Deputy censor Audrey Conlon also cited the "gladitorial bloodlust" of the crowd baying for increasingly extreme violence. Clear Vision Ltd., which released material from the WWF under its Silver Vision imprint, lodged an appeal (the result of which is unknown) and claimed that "our fans love the wild soap opera element", but the IFCO countered this by stating, "This is one of the most dangerous and pernicious aspects of the entire business. The universal distinguishing feature of all soap opera is that the story lines are regularly made more explicit and, in many instances, more violent, simply to keep audience share."
|Hardcore Championship battle royal title changes|
|1||Tazz||Pinned Crash Holly after a Capture Suplex||00:26|
|2||Viscera||Pinned Tazz after a Powerslam||01:00|
|3||Funaki||Pinned Viscera after a flying shoulderblock by Bradshaw||07:51|
|4||Rodney||Pinned Funaki after throwing him into a backstage wall||08:11|
|5||Joey Abs||Pinned Rodney after a Gutwrench Suplex||08:24|
|6||Thrasher||Pinned Joey Abs after a Clothesline||08:46|
|7||Pete Gas||Pinned Thrasher after hitting him with a fire extinguisher||09:29|
|8||Tazz||Pinned Pete Gas after a T-Bone Suplex||10:17|
|9||Crash Holly||Pinned Tazz after hitting him with a cookie sheet||14:20|
|10||Hardcore Holly||Pinned Crash Holly after hitting him with a candy jar||15:00|
|Fatal four-way match eliminations|
|Elimination no.||Wrestler||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||Big Show||The Rock||Pinned after a Rock Bottom||04:50|
|2||Mick Foley||Triple H||Pinned after a Pedigree onto a steel chair||19:40|
|3||The Rock||Triple H||Pinned after two Chair shots to the head by Mr. McMahon||36:24|
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