OSR: WWE WrestleMania 16 Review
With Stone Cold Steve Austin, the star of WrestleMania 14 and 15 on the shelf with a devastating neck injury. New talent was needed to main event the 16th edition of WrestleMania. Triple H entered WrestleMania 16 as the WWE Champion. He was to defend the championship in a Fatal-4-Way against The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show with a McMahon in every corner.The venue for WWE WrestleMania 16 (or WrestleMania 2000 as it was known at the time) was the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheimm California with 19,776 in attendance. Relive the events of April 2 2000 here in the WWE WrestleMania 16 Review.
This event has being seen many times since its original airing. I can recall purchasing the VHS from WHSmith in Solihull for an astonishing £17. How times have changed in all these years since…
Without the opening video package being shown, Lilian Garcia was seen in the ring, as she sang her rendition of “America the Beautiful”. The opening video package was then show which looked at the moments of the predeceasing WrestleMania events. The main event was then heavily focused on. Back inside The Pond, the commentary team for the event was Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler as the show then got underway.
1. The Godfather and D’Lo Brown (w/ Ice-T and The Godfather’s Ho’s) vs. The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan
Both teams made their way to the ring, and the action got underway. There wasn’t really anything to this match because only one of the competitors in the match was credible. That competitor being D’Lo Brown whereas the rest of them were very forgettable.
Nevertheless, this match was an awful way to open up WrestleMania. The only good thing which can be said about this match is when it finished as Boss Man and Buchanan picked up the win.
Winners: The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan
Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars
2. WWE Hardcore Championship – 15-Minute Battle Royal: Crash Holly (c) vs. Tazz vs. Pete Gas vs. Joey Abs vs. Rodney vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Funaki vs. Taka Michinoku vs. Bradshaw vs. Faarooq vs. Mosh vs. Thrasher
The match quickly got underway with everyone going at it, but a new champion was quickly crowned in Tazz at the 14:28 mark. His success didn’t last long as he was soon defeated by Viscera at the 14:02 marker. Viscera remained champion briefly, whilst various competitors were busted open.
The next champion to be crowned was Funaki at the 7:48 marker, which massively infuriated Taka who chased him out of the arena. Rodney was the next at 6:52, followed by Joey Abs at 6:37, then followed by Thrasher at 6:18. The next champion to be crowned was Pete Gas at the 5:30 marker.
Tazz quickly became the champion again at the 4:45 mark. Crash regained the title at the 37 second mark but ultimately Hardcore Holly became the champion with one second remaining. That match was quite entertaining, it was actually a little bit unique even if it was difficult to follow.
Winner: Hardcore Holly, to capture the WWE Hardcore Championship
Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
3. Steve Blackman and Al Snow (w/ Chester McCheeserton) vs. T & A (Test and Albert) (w/ Trish Stratus)
Both teams made their way to the ring, but unfortunately this was another match which had nothing to it. It really came across as one of those cobbled together at the last minute with very little thought put into the booking process.
The styles of the teams didn’t work well with one another, with much of the match being overshadowed by the technical difficulties for JR on commentary. Thankfully, the highlight of the match was when it ended. Test and Albert were victorious in a truly mediocre match.
Winners: Test and Albert
Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars
4. WWE Tag Team Championship – Triangle Ladder Match: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)
All three teams made their way to the ring, and it quickly got underway with lots of unique and risky moves dominating the match. There wasn’t a clear dominant force in the match, as it was very back and forth. It got to the point it may as well have being regarded as a Tables and Ladders match.
Nevertheless, it was very innovative and really did set the new standard for the style of match. The end of the match came when Edge shoved Matt Hardy from a table perched on top of two ladders, through another table.
This match was absolutely amazing and made the event in itself worth watching. Watching this match back reminded me why it’s still talked about all these years later.
Winners: Edge and Christian, to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship
Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars
5. Catfight: The Kat (w/ Mae Young) vs. Terri Runnels (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) with Special Guest Referee Val Venis
Val made his way to the ring first, and cut a typical, suggestive promo of the time. Terri then made her way to the ring with Moolah, followed by The Kat with Mae as Terri attempted to distract/seduce Val. The Kat joined in which saw both ladies snogging Val in the early moments.
Val was soon enough distracted as Mae tried to undress, which saw The Kat technically eliminate Terri. Interference from Moolah ultimately saw Terri declared the winner as Mae snogged Val. After the match, Mae attacked Moolah with the bronco buster.
This was then followed by her and The Kat attempting to undress Terri, but were dragged off by Moolah and Val. This match should been on the card, it was abysmal on nearly every level. Even a tag match with Mae and The Kat versus Terri and Moolah would have be proportionally better than this.
Winner: Terri Runnels
Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars
6. Chyna and Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay) vs. The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko)
Both teams made their way to the ring, but the background to this was that Eddie fancied Chyna. However, she was continually rejecting his advances. The match quickly got underway, but was basically contested with Chyna trying to get her hands on Eddie.
This ultimately took the shine off the other participants in the match and made them loiter in the background almost. The end of the match came when Chyna was finally able to get her hands on Eddie, picked up the win for her team. This match was very forgettable, and last minute material.
Winners: Chyna and Too Cool
Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars
7. 1st Fall for the WWE Intercontinental Championship; 2nd Fall for the WWE European Championship – Two Fall Triple Threat Match: Kurt Angle (Dual Champion) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
Y2J made his way to the ring first, and cut a promo on his opponents. Both Benoit and Angle then made their way to the ring, with the action quickly got underway. The first part of the match was really well contested, which saw Benoit become the new IC Champion after he pinned Y2J.
This gave us the amusing sight of a distraught Angle. The second fall of the match saw Angle attempt various methods in order to retain his only remaining championship. Ultimately, he was unsuccessful as Y2J nailed Benoit with the lionsault to become the European Champion.
Angle was distraught at losing both titles without being pinned, but this did wonders for his character. This is because it didn’t damage the momentum he was gaining. This match was really good, but with slightly more time then it could have being superb.
Winner: 1st Fall: Chris Benoit, to capture the WWE Intercontinental Champion; 2nd Fall: Chris Jericho, to capture the WWE European Championship
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
8. D-Generation X (Road Dogg and X-Pac) (w/ Tori) vs. Rikishi and Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)
Given the history between Kane/X-Pac/Tori, it was surprising there wasn’t a history package for this match. X-Pac and Road Dogg made their way to the ring first with Road Dogg cutting what was actually a really good promo because it was different to what you would have usually expected.
Rikishi then made his way to the ring, and was soon enough followed by Kane…this was a really weird combination. The match was really quick, but it had a lot of energy to it which made it entertaining to watch. Rikishi and Kane were the very much dominant force in this match.
Following a stink face to Tori from Rikishi, Kane was able to pick up the win following a Tombstone to X-Pac. Soon enough, Pete Rose made an appearance for his annual WrestleMania beating. Enjoyable match, but could have easily being conceived as filler material.
Winners: Rikishi and Kane
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
9. WWE Championship – Four Corners Elimination Match: Triple H (c) (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. The Rock (w/ Vince McMahon) vs. Mick Foley (w/ Linda McMahon) vs. The Big Show (w/ Shane McMahon)
Each of the participants made their way to the ring, and it quickly got underway with The Big Show actually being quite dominant. It therefore came as a surprise when Show was the first eliminated in under 5 minutes thanks to a chair shot from Foley and a Rock Bottom from The Rock.
He was seemingly irate by this, but in all honesty this actually made him look quite weak. The match then saw Foley and The Rock double teaming Triple H. This didn’t last long, as we saw various double teaming combinations.
Ultimately the next elimination saw Triple H take out Foley with a pedigree onto a chair, in what would be his last match for four years. He received an incredible ovation as he left the arena, but settled the score one final time with Triple H by nailing him with “Barbie”.
With The Rock and Triple H left, they exchanged blows back and forth for the next few minutes. They used a whole variety of moves in an effort to keep the other down and pick up the victory. Ultimately, it came down to the quarrels of the McMahon family which dictated the outcome.
The conclusion to the match saw Vince turn on The Rock as he nailed him with the chair, which initially saw Triple H unsuccessful in gaining the pinfall. The victory came following another chair shot, which allowed Triple H to regain the WWE Championship. Vince then embraced Stephanie.
The Rock then attacked Shane, Vince and Stephanie (who gave him a cracking slap) with Rock Bottom’s but Stephanie ultimately received a Peoples Elbow to end the show. The match was really enjoyable, and had a whole new electricity to it which made it really enjoyable to watch.
Winner: Triple H, to retain the WWE Championship
Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE WrestleMania 16 Conclusions
There was genuinely something very weird about this show, because it featured some very bad and some very good matches. The majority of the matches on the first half of the show were awful. This was to the extent they should have never made the main show like Terri versus The Kat…even a tag match with Moolah and Mae would have being better. The Ladder match was absolutely incredible, and certainly raised the standard for any matches within this genre going forward.
The main event was very enjoyable, even if made The Big Show look weak after being eliminated within a couple of minutes. But nonetheless, the majority of the event was still very enjoyable and would certainly recommend watching at least the later half…Triple H and The Rock set the standard for their rivalry throughout the summer of 2000. If you would like to view the event yourself, then you can of course do so as part of your 9.99 subscription fee to the WWE Network!