Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mania Memories: Sweet 16

Triple H & Stephanie (WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I kind of ragged on the WWE and the Attitude Era in yesterday's post about Wrestlemania 15.  When Wrestlemania 16 rolled around in 2000, the company had a pretty tight choke hold on the competition and was less than a year away from a wrestling monopoly.

The event featured the first ever Fatal Fourway elimination main event for the world heavyweight title.  The combatants featured champion Triple H defending against the Rock, Mick Foley, and the Big Show.  Certainly not a bad lineup for a Wrestlemania main event.  My problem with this show was the involvement of all four members of the McMahon family.  Stephanie of course was in the corner of Triple H.  Shane supported the Big Show, Linda was with Mick, and Vince got behind the Rock as the chairman had recently turned face.

But it seems that anytime a McMahon is involved in a storyline the focus leaves the wrestlers and goes onto the family.  This was the case at Wrestlemania 16, as we saw Vince McMahon once again screwing someone out of a title opportunity.  He turned on the Rock, setting up a feud between the Great One and the father son and soon to be son-in-law.  I believe this is the first Wrestlemania (and until last year, the only Wrestlemania) to see the heel win the main event.

Edge & Christian (WWE)
There were plenty of bright spots on the show too.  This Mania featured the first triple threat tag team ladder match.  Edge and Christian won the tag team titles by defeating the Dudley Boyz and the Hardys.  All three teams helped give the tag team division a much needed boost.  The match was filled with plenty of crazy spots and I have to say I respect the fact that these guys would put their bodies on the line in such a way for the entertainment of the fans.  And this wasn't the last time they'd do this style of matchup.

Before his match
Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Kurt Angle put on a great a exhibition in a two fall, triple threat match.  The interesting thing about this match was that Angle entered it as the Intercontinental and European champion.  By the time the night was over, he was belt less, and fans got a chance to see an incredible match between three of the best competitors in all of wrestling as far as I'm concerned.

T & A beat Head Cheese, Kane & Rikishi teamed up to beat DX members Road Dogg and X Pac, and Bull Buchanon & the Big Bossman beat D'Lo Brown & the Godfather.  Four tag team matches on the card, not a bad showing at all.  There was also a six person tag match as Chyna joined forces with Too Cool to beat the Radicalz of Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn.  Hardcore Holly recaptured the Hardcore title in a battle royal, and in the card's only singles match,  Terri Runnels beat the Kat in a Catfight with Val Venis as the special guest referee.  Moolah supported Terri in the match and Mae Young was in Kat's corner.  I'm pretty sure the Undertaker was hurt this year as well and missed 2000.

Sixteen had a different approach for sure with all the speciality and tag team matches.  I don't necessarily think it hurt the show as the matches were pretty good.  But it wasn't like the traditional Wrestlemania either, which is something I missed. What are your thoughts?  Post them here or on our Facebook wall.

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