And we're LIVE from Houston, Texas on April 1, 2001 (yes, April Trolls Day). Your hosts are Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. The live crowd is HUGE, in excess of 68,000 fans.
Match 1: Chris Jericho v. William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Might as well start it off with some style, eh? Decent match, although considering the two involved I was expecting **** instead of the **½ affair it ended up being. Jericho, after being forced by Regal into handicap matches for months, wins cleanly with the Lionsault to retain his IC belt.
Match 2: Right to Censor v. Tazz & The APA. Eh, standard RTC match. The faces win with the Clothesline from Hell from Bradshaw on the Goodfather.
Match 3: Raven v. The Big Show v. Kane for the WWF Hardcore Championship. Mediocre hardcore match, although it's ten times more than what you'd expect out of any match with Big Show and Kane in it. Kane wins the title after about ten minutes by diving off a platform onto Big Show.
—Jimmy Snuka makes a Token Celebrity Appearance at WWF New York.
Match 4: Test v. Eddy Guerrero for the WWF European Championship. So Test is all like, "Hey I'm TALL and BLONDE and stuff" and Eddie is all like, "Shut up, FOOL, I'm gonna carry you to a good match whether you like it or not." Guerrero wins the Euro strap with a Greco-Roman beltshot to the head.
Match 5: Kurt Angle v. Chris Benoit. To start, they do a really neat five minute mat wrestling sequence that the crowd actually digs. This is a terrific technical match that actually tells a story—Benoit is beating Angle at his own game, so Kurt gets more and more desperate as the contest goes on. In the end, Angle hits Benoit below the belt and rolls him up for the pin.
—In a funny bit, Kamala trashes William Regal’s office.
Match 6: Ivory v. Chyna for the WWF Women's Championship. Chyna gets the squash win in under three minutes. At least it was short...
Match 7: Vince McMahon v. Shane McMahon in a Street Fight. This is pretty much the best match between two non-wrestlers you'll ever see. Linda is in her wheelchair at ringside, unable to move, and Mick Foley is the guest referee. In the end, while Vince is absolutely demolishing Shane with garbage cans in the ring, Linda GETS UP after being drugged up by Vince for months and hits him right in the balls. Shane gets the victory shortly thereafter. This crowd was WAY into this and so was I.
Match 8: The Dudley Boyz v. Edge & Christian v. The Hardy Boyz in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Yet another awesome TLC match for these guys. I get sympathy aches just watching it. E&C win their seventh tag titles with some help from Rhyno.
Match 9: Gimmick Battle Royale (The Bushwhackers, Duke "The Dumpster", The Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink the Clown, Kamala, Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nikolai Volkoff, Michael Hayes, The One Man Gang, the Gobbledygooker, Tugboat (WOOWOO!), Hillbilly Jim,
Brother Love (I LOOOOOOVE YOU!), and Sgt. Slaughter): And, in a great surprise, Mean Gene Okerlund and BOBBY F'N HEENAN do guest commentary for the match! All the participants (and the commentators) are former WWF stars, in case you didn't know. This is pretty much Vince McMahon's way of poking fun at himself about all the lame gimmicks they tried back in the 1980's. Shortest battle royale you'll ever see, as the Iron Sheik is the last one left in under three minutes. He was booked to win because he would probably break a hip if he got thrown over the top rope. Sgt. Slaughter attacks him after the match. USA! USA! Was crap, of course, but trés entertaining. I laughed my ass off.
Match 10: Undertaker v. HHH. "HEY UNDERTAKER, come over here and let me carry you on my back to a decent match." HHH doesn't do a good job of it, but at least it's watchable. Undertaker
wins cleanly with a powerbomb.
Match 11: The Rock v. Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship. Although this match is theoretically between two babyfaces, Austin is the clear favorite of his hometown Texas crowd. His RABID hometown Texas crowd, I might add. This is a great match on just about every level there is—it's even a good technical match. Stop laughing, I'm serious. They do EVERYTHING, with both guys pulling out moves they haven't done in YEARS—most notably Austin pulling out the Million Dollar Dream, which was his finisher before the Stone Cold Stunner. He hadn't done the move since Survivor Series '96. Vince McMahon wanders out and... starts helping out Austin? He saves Austin after Rock gets The People's Elbow. Rocky blocks a chairshot and hits
the Rock Bottom... for two. Austin hits the Stunner... for two. Austin can't believe it. Vince hands Austin a chair and Steve wallops the Rock with it... FOR TWO. Austin is incensed. He absolutely
DESTROYS The Rock with the chair for what has to be 90 straight seconds of chairshot after chairshot and then FINALLY gets the pinfall to regain the WWF Championship. Austin and Vince celebrate in the ring together after the match as Jim Ross declares that Austin has sold his soul to the Devil. His heel turn would be solidified the next night on RAW, but for now the fans cheer anyway.
Best... PPV... ever.