OSR: WWE WrestleMania 17 Review
Back in March 2001, WWE had just come out of the ratings war with WCW. Six days after the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro aired, the WWE marked the occasion with WrestleMania 17. Remarkably, this was the first Stadium-Based WrestleMania since 1992 and the first stadium PPV since Royal Rumble 1997. A landmark event in the history of WWE and WrestleMania, relive the events of April 1 2001 in the WWE WrestleMania 17 Review!
“Houston, we have a problem” was the line for WrestleMania 17. The opening promo looked at various WrestleMania moments, from the perspective of various different cultures throughout the world. This, in honesty has got to be one of the best WrestleMania video packages ever. It truly shown what the show was all about.
The venue for WrestleMania X-Seven was the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The commentary team for the event was JR and Paul Heyman in front of 67,000 in attendance. After JR and Paul have made the introductions, the first match of the event was soon underway.
1. WWE Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. William Regal
As both men went to the ring, the history package was shown for the match. The history package was highly amusing, with Regal as WWE Commissioner and Y2J peeing in his tea. The match began with Y2J quickly going for Regal, throwing various moves towards him.
Regal uses his technical skill throughout the match, with Jericho throwing his style at various points. Between them, they had a brilliantly contested match where no clear winner was apparent. Eventually, Jericho picks up the win to retain the championship.
Winner: Chris Jericho, to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dave: This match truly set the tone for WrestleMania X-Seven, and highlighted what could be expected. It worked very well, and both men complemented one another very well.
Lucas: Regal is a fantastic authority figure, his commissioner role was brilliant. Jericho and Regal played off each other perfectly, with English humor being key to the success. The match is a superb opener to set the scene for Mania.
2. Tazz and The A.P.A (Bradshaw and Faarooq) (w/ Jacqueline) vs. The Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) (w/ Steven Richards)
The RTC made their way out first, with Tazz quickly interrupting an RTC promo. The match began as very much a brawl between the participants before soon settling down. The RTC were relatively dominant over Tazz from the outset.
The match eventually descended into chaos again. Different competitors performed their signature spots. Eventually, Bradshaw picked up the win for his team after pinning The Goodfather.
Winners: Tazz and The A.P.A
Dave: This was a slightly average match, which was made better by the chemistry between the participants. The RTC whether you loved or hated them, always gave you some entertainment.
Lucas: Looking back, there really this was not much to talk about. The match served it’s purpose well and was a great way to finish the RTC storyline.
3. WWE Hardcore Championship – Triple Threat Match: Raven (c) vs. Kane vs. The Big Show
This match was different to many of the time. The 24/7 rule didn’t play a factor – it was just the three participants. The match began before The Big Show even got to the ring. Very little of the match was contested inside of the ring. It quickly spilled to the backstage area.
The match went through various backstage rooms. It included planks of wood, glass windows, a medical room, walls and golf karts. It then goes onto the entrance stage, where Kane picks up the win with a flying leg drop off the stage.
Winner: Kane, to capture the WWE Hardcore Championship
Dave: The way this match played out was brilliant. Each of the competitors played their own unique role. This match would not have being what it was without the presence of The Big Show. Such an entertaining match.
Lucas: I loved this match so much, I echoed Dave’s statement with how vital Big Show was to the match. Raven pretty much played the role of a mouse trying to escape two giants. The golf buggy chase was hilarious. Big Show plowing the wall was superb.
4. WWE European Championship: Test (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/ Perry Saturn)
Both of the competitors made their way to the ring, with Test receiving almost no reaction. The match quickly got underway, with Eddie soon assuming the control. The match slows down briefly, when Test becomes trapped in the top rope but this ultimately gave Eddie a focus.
Saturn soon became involved in the match, but this did not stop Test. He nailed Eddie with the Big Boot, but was halted by Dean Malenko. Eddie then nailed Test with the title belt to pick up the victory.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero, to capture the WWE European Championship
Dave: This was a really enjoyable match, which shown how much of a great heel Eddie could portray. He and Test seemed to click really well with one another in the ring, with the presence of Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko just adding even more to the match.
Lucas: I’m amazed how popular Test was! Must say, the shirt Malenko was wearing was incredible. A fairly enjoyable match to watch and a great use of numbers throughout to really stack the odds against Test.
5. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Both men make their way to the ring, with Kurt cutting a promo which insulted the locals of Houston. The match took a slow and methodical approach in starting off, with Kurt being the one taking his time.
Kurt was then able to keep Benoit grounded with a series of signature moves. Benoit was able to fight back, and gets Angle to tap out to the crossface when the referee was down. The distraction allows Angle to recover and nail the Angle Slam for a near finish.
The finish of the match came when Angle counters an arm bar into a rollup. Simple, but the handful of tights gains the leverage for the victory. Definitely a well contested match between the pair.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Dave: In brutal honesty, that was a bloody decent match. Whilst it may not have being their standout match of all time, it still shown us a snippet of what the pair were capable of. This was the standout “wrestling” match of WrestleMania X-Seven.
Lucas: I remember being rather bored of this match as a kid. However with an increased wrestling knowledge, the match these two pulled off was out of this world. Angle and Benoit redefined the WWE wrestling match with beautiful pure technical wrestling.
6. WWE Women’s Championship: Ivory (c) vs. Chyna
The history package was shown, which looked at Chyna’s injury stemming from the Royal Rumble 2001 and before. This led to Ivory making the challenge. Back in the Astrodome, both ladies made their way to the ring. Chyna obliterated Ivory from the outset, quickly winning the match.
Winner: Chyna, to capture the WWE Women’s Championship
Dave: This match was booked really well from the outset. The style in which it was done disguised the potential weaknesses in the competitors to allow a compelling story to be told within the match – even if Chyna as champion made no sense considering her previous successes.
Lucas: Given the booking of the event, not even Chyna and Ivory could have a bad match. It was played out well, and fitted the dynamic of the storyline they were having brilliantly.
7. Street Fight: Shane McMahon vs. Mr. McMahon (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) with Special Guest Referee Mick Foley
The history package looked at the father and son feud which stemmed from the love affair between Vince and Trish Stratus. However, the feud took a massive U-turn when Shane “purchased” WCW from under his fathers nose. Shane made his way out first, shouting out to WCW Alumni present.
Shane is then joined by the referee Mick Foley, which in itself is quickly followed by Vince and Stephanie. From the outset, Shane brutally pummeled Vince and remained very much in control of the match. An aerial dive allowed Stephanie to pull Vince out of the way, to swing the momentum.
At this point, Trish made her way to the ring with Linda McMahon. After Trish slapped Vince, this led to a cat fight between Stephanie and Trish. As Vince recovered and turned his attention to Linda, he then took out Mick Foley with vicious chair shots. He then placed his wife on a chair in the ring.
As Vince continued to pummel Shane with trashcans, Linda rose from her chair. She then took out Vince with a swift kick between the legs. Following an attack from Foley as well, Shane then nailed the Coast to Coast for the victory.
Winner: Shane McMahon
Dave: Whilst this may not have being a technically supreme contest, it told the great story of a dysfunctional family. It was brilliantly compelling to watch, with the moment Linda attacking Vince being brilliantly executed.
Lucas: This match was all about perfectly planned spots. Shane’s announce table, coast to coast and of course Linda’s “revival” were incredible. A brilliant, fun match with a very compelling story.
8. WWE Tag Team Championship – Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match: The Dudley Boyz (c) (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)
Each of the teams made their way to the ring, with it quickly getting underway with each team using a variety of moves over the others. There were various spots from both teams from the outset, with the first of significant note being the triple ladder spot with all the participants.
Soon enough, the third members from each of the teams have joined the match. This came in the form of Spike Dudley, Rhyno and Lita, each of which take out one of the participants. Lita was taken out with a 3D whereas Spike and Rhyno were taken out with a Swanton Bomb through a table.
Notable spots in the match saw Bubba Ray and Matt sent crashing through four tables at ringside from the top of the ladders along with Edge’s aerial spear from the ladder to Jeff Hardy. Eventually, Edge and Christian reclaim the championship with the aid of Rhyno.
Winner: Edge and Christian, to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship
Dave: This is easily the greatest TLC match which has taken place in WWE history. It was very much a steam train on a roller coaster throughout. You couldn’t predict or anticipate what was going to happen, it was superb to watch again.
Lucas: How many times has this match been watched over the years? This match still had the wow factor today, everything about it was perfect. The spots, Lita, Rhyno and Spike interfering and the ending. Absolutely beautiful.
9. Gimmick Battle Royal: Brother Love vs. Bushwhacker Butch vs. Bushwhacker Luke vs. Doink the Clown vs. Duke Droese vs. Earthquake vs. The Gobbledy Gooker vs. The Goon vs. Hillbilly Jim vs. The Iron Sheik vs. Jim Cornette vs. Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Kim Chee vs. Michael Hayes vs. Nikolai Volkoff vs. One Man Gang vs. Sgt. Slaughter vs. Tugboat vs. Repo Man
Before the participants made their way to the ring, Bobby Heenan and Gene Okerlund are introduced as the commentators. Each of the participants then made their way to the ring. With the entrances having taken a while, the match is quickly underway thereafter.
The eliminations occurred rapidly, being quite close to one another. However, Kamala does quite well in eliminating people before he is eliminated by Slaughter. Eventually, The Iron Sheik picked up the win eliminating Hillbilly Jim. Afterwards, Slaughter takes out The Sheik with the Cobra Clutch.
Winner: The Iron Sheik
Dave: This match suited the show perfectly. Yes, it was slow paced. But it was still really enjoyable to watch, with the idea of the match honestly being quite cool. The final exchange between Slaughter and The Sheik was cool, a great nod to the past. Tip: watch The Iron Sheik in fast forward!
Lucas: Following two highly energetic matches, the pace perfectly slowed into the unique and brilliant concept of the gimmick battle royal. Having Heenan and Mean Gene on commentary was a touch of class, the highlights are really the entrances.
10. The Undertaker vs. Triple H
The history package looked at Triple H bragging about having defeated everyone. This prompted an appearance by The Undertaker, who ultimately uses Stephanie as his bargaining tool to get the match. Both men made their way to the ring, with it getting underway on the outside.
Taker was initially in control of the match with his striker approach, before Triple gained the control through technical prowess. However, a catapult from Taker sees the referee taken out. After a near finish following a chokeslam, Taker takes out the referee properly with a stiff kick and elbow.
This allowed the match to spill into the crowd, with Taker nailing Triple H with a massive chokeslam from the technical area. Nonetheless, the action did return to the ring. Both men exchange near finishes, and despite Triple H’s efforts, Taker is the overall victor.
Winner: The Undertaker
Dave: This match was certainly interesting to watch back after all this time. This match shown very uncharacteristic actions from The Undertaker, but was still nonetheless able to have a pretty decent match with Triple H. One of their more enjoyable matches.
Lucas: At the time Triple H was having a hard time being the top bad guy. His victory at No Way Out against Austin and this match with the Deadman cemented his main event status. A really fun match that literally went everywhere.
11. WWE Championship – No Disqualification Match: The Rock (c) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The history package looked at how the match came together – Austin winning the Royal Rumble and The Rock recapturing the title at No Way Out. The feud then took a very personal turn with Debra being made the manager of The Rock. Back in the Astrodome, Finkel reveals it is now No DQ.
Both men made their way to the ring, receiving tremendous reactions. The match quickly got underway with Austin in control, but is quickly became back and forth between the pair. The match was contested both in and out of the ring, with The Rock being busted open.
However, The Rock soon fired back against Stone Cold as he sends him into the exposed turnbuckle and nailing him with the ring bell, ultimately busting Stone Cold open. As Austin again fired back, he shows great desperation to become champion as does The Rock when he uses the stunner.
At this point, Vince McMahon made his way to the ring and quickly becomes involved when he prevented The Rock from being victorious following The Peoples Elbow. After The Rock got distracted pummeling Vince, Austin nails another stunner for a near finish.
As the allegiance between Austin and McMahon began to unravel, Austin decimated The Rock with a series of brutal chair shots to pick up the win and become the new champion. Afterwards, he and McMahon shake hands in the ring to close the show.
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin, to capture the WWE Championship
Dave: The amount of chemistry and electricity in this match was absolutely insane. There was a clear story told from the outset, with no clear clues as to how the match would pan out making it even more thrilling to watch.
Lucas: It was fitting that the symbolic end of the Attitude Era was Stone Cold vs The Rock at WrestleMania. This was easily the pair’s best match against one other. Great intensity and slow change of desperation in Austin to take the title at any cost.
WWE WrestleMania 17 Review
This was easily one of the greatest WrestleMania events which had occurred. The show progressively built from start to finish, and was exceptionally compelling to watch. Each match on the card truly felt like it had a place, and was perfectly placed. This even included the Gimmick Battle Royal, it would be hard to imagine WrestleMania 17 without this event.
The main event was arguably the best match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock was probably the best match out of their WrestleMania series. But it also marked a significant turn in the WWE. Most definitely have a gander at this on the WWE Network as part of the 9.99 Subscription Fee. The WWE WrestleMania 17 Review is easily one which could be done again and again.