“Houston…we have a problem.” –WrestleMania X-Seven Tagline
Everyone remembers their first. Their first car. The first time they had sex. Hell, some people even remember the first time they had cookies and milk. Well, I do. It’s fucking delicious! But for wrestling fans, everyone remembers their first WrestleMania. And for me, that was WrestleMania X-Seven (17) on April 1, 2001.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have seen all the classic WrestleMania moments. Hulk beating Andre at WrestleMania III. Hogan versus Warrior at WrestleMania VI. The whole fiasco between Austin versus Michaels at WrestleMania XIV. But when it comes to the first WrestleMania that I saw fully, it was X-Seven back in 2001. See, being a wrestling fan with a family that had no cable box and no ability to watch pay-per-view events completely sucked balls. So I was able to get a friend to record it on tape and give it to me to watch (Suck it, WWE). I can still remember watching it the Saturday afternoon after it aired, full of excitement that I was actually watching a full WrestleMania for the first time!
And it certainly wasn’t one to disappoint. Great matches featuring wrestlers in their prime including Jericho versus Regal and Benoit versus Angle. One of the greatest TLC matches in history. The Gimmick Battle Royal. The first installment of Triple H trying to end the Undertaker’s streak. And, of course, another Rock versus Austin match that was nothing short of amazing. So when it came to my article, I wanted to go back to that day I sat in excitement and amazement and watch WrestleMania X-Seven again! During the pay-per-view, I will be jotting down all my thoughts Retro Diary style. Joining me on this journey will be Mullet and Rich. So you know this is going to be good.
Um, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mullet lost his tape of WrestleMania X-Seven. So now we are going to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and do a Retro Diary on perhaps the worst WrestleMania of all, WrestleMania IX. We’re not going to do an article on April 1, so consider this April Fools. So now, let’s go live to Las Vegas where it is hot as shit.
0:00:11– As we start off with Gorilla Monsoon in a toga, I never noticed the gap in Gorilla Monsoon’s teeth. And man, was Jim Ross slim.
00:00:39– Mullet screams out that this is the first time Vince McMahon fucked his hopes and dreams. Rich calls our attention to all the joyful yet sweaty expressions in the crowd.
0:01:22– “Finkus Maximus.” Enough said.
0:02:01– Mullet notices the foam Undertaker urns in the crowd and instantly has a new item to look for on EBay.
0:03:16– Rich pops for the llama that leads the Macho Man out.
0:05:08– Macho Man expresses his love for the grapes. Also, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan riding a camel out backwards is just classic.
0:06:41– And as Bobby Heenan gets off the camel, he flashes the crowd his fat ass. Macho Man compliments it with a thumbs up like he does with everything.
0:08:10– So that’s what Shawn Michaels looks like BC: Before Christian. Oh man, I forgot about Luna. She looks like the witch in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Rich is troubled with the thought that we are probably supposed to believe that Michaels went from being with Sensational Sherri to fucking Luna.
0:09:30– Rich wonders why Tatanka never used his tomahawk. He probably would have won more matches.
0:11:42– During one key point, Jim Ross screams, “Feel the momentum for Tatanka!” Did he ever have any momentum?
0:13:19– On a side note, we are talking about Kerwin White’s entrance music. I’ll take my coffee by the pool. Thanks.
0:14:04– Dolph Ziggler may still have some work to do if he wants to reach Shawn Michaels’ bump status. Every time he gets whipped into a corner and does the flip thing, my heart jumps into my throat.
0:14:48– Great commentary: Macho Man screams, “Tatanka doing the thing!”
0:15:58– And we have a sunset flip botch! Drink! Are those ropes covered in Crisco or something? Also, with circa 1993 Shawn Michaels being in Vegas that time, how high was he? Mullet thinks he makes the guys from "The Hangover" look like nuns.
0:19:00– Bobby Heenan says Luna is a dreamboat. Somebody should really check his eyesight.
0:20:20– Great commentary: Bobby Heenan has his first racist comment of the match with, “Sign the treaty!”
0:23:27– Great commentary: Macho Man: “You’re right, weasel.” Jim Ross: “You are right, weasel.” Bobby Heenan: “I am right, wea-…Knock it off.”
0:25:22– Great commentary: Macho Man screams out, “That was two and 99/100ths!” Apparently, he is better at math than Scott Steiner.
0:25:48– When Tatanka starts to hulk up, Mullet screams, “He Injunin up!”
0:28:19– Great commentary: Bobby Heenan racist comment No. 2 of the match with, “This match should have been over 30 moons ago!”
0:29:14- Tatanka won by count out? It wasn’t a count out! Michaels hit the ref! I guess back then, when you don’t enter the ring after a 10-count, it’s called a DQ.
0:31:11– While Luna is beating up Sherri, Jim Ross screams out that she needs help. Heenan comes back with, “She always has.” Also, Rich brings up that Sherri’s nipple is almost out. Shouldn’t I have noticed that?
0:32:34– Mullet is totally marking out for a Scott Steiner promo. And it sounds like Rick Steiner says that the Steiner brothers have a “gay plan” for the Headshrinkers. OK…
0:33:32– Ah, the Headshrinkers. One of these guys birthed the Usos. And the other one might be dead. We don’t know.
0:34:14– So much neon on the Steiner’s gear. And Rick Steiner is wearing two different boots. Also, we have started counting the Steiner Stiff/Botch Tally. Count along and see if you match our total at the end of the match.
0:35:15– So Fatu was Rikishi BC: Before Cheeseburgers. So many cheeseburgers.
0:37:41– Awesome double top rope jump from the Steiners. However, they couldn’t do that now. On the ground.
0:38:50– We started to wonder what Vegas act the WWF could get to perform. We only came up with Tom Jones.
0:39:25– And that's what happened to Scott Steiner. That flail over the top rope was definitely a botch.
0:40:58– Is Macho Man from Minnesota? He keeps saying, “Don’t ya know?”
0:43:06– Great commentary: After Heenan asks if the Headshrinkers are bulletproof, Jim Ross responds with, “I don’t know. Their craniums must be…bulletproof.”
0:46:13– Rich mentions that today, this match would have been over 15 minutes ago. The match has only lasted 10 minutes.
0:46:58- Rick Steiner hot tag! STIFFNESS! This is confirmed by a Doomsday Device attempt getting countered into a stiff power bomb. And I mean STIFF.
0:48:49– The match is finally over. The Steiner Stiff/Botch Count ends at…PLENTY. Hopefully you had the same as well.
0:49:33– They had a WrestleMania HOTLINE? Wow. However, it was only for people in the USA. Sorry world. It’s probably a sex line now.
0:52:14– Here comes Crush. And the show coming to a SCREECHING halt. Even though he is from Hawaii, the sunset on the back of his tights look stupid. Also, Crush versus Doink is Rich’s favorite match on the card.
0:55:19– Great commentary: Macho Man states that, “Crush is all over Doink like melted butter!” Also, with this being heel Doink, this is obviously Doink BC: Before Cartoony.
0:57:31– Top rope Doink! Then second rope Doink! What about first rope Doink? Awww.
0:58:03– Stiff pile driver by Doink. Stone Cold must watch this and cringe.
1:00:23– I just learned there have been four different Doinks. MIND...BLOWN.
1:01:15– Crush with a roundhouse kick? Leave those to RVD, please.
1:01:57- THE INFAMOUS DOINK SPOT! SEEING DOUBLE VISION! FORESHADOWING!
1:04:44– TODD PETTENGILL SIGHTING! And so much discrimination against Japanese photographers. “Yokozuna number one!”
1:05:50– So that’s Razor Ramon BC: Before Crank. Wait. I can’t do a BC joke, but I can’t even do an AD joke. 'Cause he will never die.
1:07:38– Oh, Bob Backlund. I have missed you.
1:09:58– I learned that Bret Hart got hurt at WrestleMania brunch. There was a BRUNCH?! Apparently, it was called Bacon, Bagels, and Biceps.
1:11:02– For some reason, this match just broke Rich’s spine. And Razor Ramon wins with a small package. Like Heenan said, “He beat the wrestler with wrestling.”
1:11:43– A King of the Ring advertisement. Remember when that used to be a big thing?
1:12:21– IRS has got a golden briefcase. He must have won Money in the Bank. It was a Halliburton, I hear. Also, this is Ted DiBiase BC: Before Cupcakes. Have you seen how fat he has gotten? It’s like that scene in “The Santa Clause” when Tim Allen keeps gaining weight and goes to the doctor.
1:17:41– Hulk Hogan and Beefcake come out. Hogan is like New Jack now. His music is going to play throughout the whole match.
1:19:14– Damn, Hogan’s eye is messed up. Rumors are that it was a parasailing accident, Macho Man punched him, or he farted too hard. Jury is still out.
1:20:05– Beefcake strokes the rope like he wishes he could stroke Hogan.
1:25:21– Money, Inc. tries to leave, but they are forced by the referee to come back and wrestle or lose your titles. Why can’t they do that every time?
1:29:19– Great commentary: Jim Ross says that people are hanging from the rafters. There are no rafters. It is outside.
1:30:15– Earl Hebner’s trip over DiBiase made me bust out laughing.
1:30:51– Hogan just sat up after a big move. Man, Undertaker must be pissed that Hogan stole his move.
1:32:50– Great commentary: Bobby Heenan enjoys Beefcake’s mask getting pulled off by saying, “Get the mask off. We’re playing hockey. Face off!” Plus, nothing is wrong with Beefcake’s face. How shocking.
1:34:52– Third ref bump of the show. It’s WRESTLEMANIA!
1:36:22– Jimmy Hart turned his jacket inside out and counted the pin! Mega Maniacs win! Everybody is cheering! Man, there are a lot of dumb people in the crowd.
1:37:07– Put it in the books, people! Mike Rotundo beat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania!
1:37:54– Great commentary: Macho Man says loud and clear, “The Mega Maniacs are the… Mega Maniacs!” Man, Hogan and Beefcake are like Ron Burgundy and Champ Kind in "Anchorman."
1:41:49- Hogan gives money out into the crowd. Must be suffrage pay for watching this. Apparently, the Million Dollar Man was also given petty cash by WWF to fly first class, pay for everyone’s meals, and live extravagantly. Man, I wish I had that gimmick.
1:46:09– Mullet sure loves the Narcissist gimmick Lex Luger first had. Sparklers on the mirrors and so many whores! Who knew years later, he would have bad luck with women? I mean, Lex Luger is also BC: Before Christian. But I think God would rather be on Shawn Michaels’ side.
1:49:13– Ah, Mr. Perfect. Is it just me who tries to do the gum toss every time I spit it out?
1:51:03– Rich notices the Narcissist’s fringe on his tights and says they must have tickled. First Augie with Cody Rhodes’s kneepads, and now Rich with Lex Luger’s tights. WHAT ABOUT THE WRESTLING?!
1:54:11– Great commentary: Macho Man stating that Mr. Perfect “is not just perfect. He’s poifect.”
1:57:30– There have been a lot of two things at this event: Sleeper holds and mullets.
1:59:39– And Rich has fallen asleep for the first time. So if you had this time in the pool, congrats.
2:00:15– Backslide pin win for Luger with Perfect’s legs into the ropes. So many fucked up endings! It’s WRESTLEMANIA!
2:04:39– Ladies and gentlemen, Giant Gonzalez. Someone makes the comment that he is “taller than the Roman Coliseum.” Not true. He is as tall as the ring standing outside, though. And Harvey Wippleman!
2:05:58– Here comes the Undertaker. Unfortunately, the arena can’t be made dark cause it’s hard to block out the SUN. Vince McMahon couldn’t plan an eclipse or anything? The vulture is a nice touch, though.
2:09:31– So who is a better wrestler: Giant Gonzalez or The Great Khali? We’ll let you debate that for yourself. But keep this in mind: Giant Gonzalez is one BC that Great Khali is not: Before Champion. And he always will be. Awww.
2:10:01– Old School Undertaker move jumping off the middle of the top rope. Wait, was it called School back then? Or Class Is In Session?
2:12:00– Great commentary: Heenan says that, when it comes to Giant Gonzalez, "Some man can palm a basketball. He can palm a Buick.” Macho Man joins in by shouting, “He can palm the ring!”
2:15:05– Chloroform rag! Giant Gonzalez is going to date rape Undertaker! This is the third disqualification of the show! Jim Ross states, “You can kill a guy with that.” He’s the Undertaker! He’s already dead!
2:16:54– Giant Gonzalez busts out Nixon peace sign. I am not a crook!
2:17:59– Undertaker is wheeled out on a stretcher! So HHH isn’t the only one to send him out on a stretcher! Oh…wait…nevermind. He’s coming back.
2:20:27– 3-0!!! The best is yet to come.
2:24:23– Backstage segment with Hogan. HOGAN CALLED BEEFCAKE HIS BUTT BROTHER!!! Maybe…
2:25:23– Hogan just called Yokozuna a “Jap brother!” Man oh man…
2:26:28– Nothing like Motel 6 togas. Todd Pettengill chimes in with, “Careful guys, you’re spilling the beer.”
2:29:11– Here comes the Hitman! Am I the only one who pretended he was Hart when I got those roll up sunglasses at the eye doctor’s office when my pupils were dilated? Maybe that was how Bret Hart got the idea. When he was BC: Before Contacts.
2:30:32– R-E-S-P-E-C-T sign in the crowd? Did I miss Aretha Franklin? I mean, Natalie Cole was in the audience.
2:34:41– Bobby Heenan chimes in with, “The Sun is slowly setting on Hart.” It looks like Vince McMahon planned the Undertaker match at the wrong spot.
2:36:54– Great commentary: Jim Ross chimes in with Yokozuna putting a hold on Bret Hart’s trapezius. Jim Ross had to be the only commentator ever to reference anatomy correctly. Can WWE please bring him back? He can replace Booker T. Or Michael Cole. Or both. Yeah, both is better.
2:39:37– Mr. Fuji with sand in the eyes! Yokozuna wins! A handful of sand takes out someone enough for a pin for the first time in…EVER!
2:41:04– Hogan comes out to help Hart, but Yokozuna puts the title on the line against him? Hogan had to be thinking, “Title on the line? Well, I was going to help my friend, but fuck it.”
2:41:42– So Hogan wins! Of course! But the question is, did anyone hear the opening bell ring? We didn’t.
2:42:47– Hogan can’t really do the good looking face motion with his eye fucked up like that.
2:43:59– Great commentary: The last thing you hear before the pay-per-view goes dark is Bobby Heenan screaming, “Who’s the champion?!”
So sorry to fool you, but you still had fun, didn’t you? Rich fell asleep a total of four times. Mullet provided the great insight that he usually does. And now I have seen the greatest and worst WrestleManias ever. Where will WrestleMania 28 rank? We’ll have to see. But I am so happy that I get to express my thoughts while watching it LIVE. And not on a near 20-year old tape. So much tracking.