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WRESTLEMANIA RETRO LOOKS BACK AT TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF WRESTLEMANIA HISTORY

By PWInsider.com Staff on 2011-04-03 09:13:00

WRESTLEMANIA X7

April 1, 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Arena: The Astrodome
Announced Attendance: 67,925

RESULTS

*WWF Intercontinental champion Chris Jericho pinned William Regal

*The APA & Tazz defeated The RTC (Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather & Val Venis when Bradshaw pinned Goodfather with a clothesline from hell.

*Kane beat Raven and Big Show to win the WWF Hardcore championship when he pinned Big Show.

*Eddie Guerrero pinned Test to win the WWF European championship.

*Kurt Angle pinned Chris Benoit, hooking the tights in an awesome match that Angle later commented was as close to Olympic wrestling as it would ever get in the WWF.

*Chyna pinned Ivory to win the WWF Women's championship in a virtual squash.

*Shane McMahon pinned Vince McMahon in a Streetfight with Mick Foley as the special referee after McMahon hit the Van Terminator with a trash can on Vince for the pin. An early sign of problems with the WCW Invasion were seen when Shane gave a shout-out to the WCW stars sitting in a luxury box to no reaction from the crowd. A catatonic Linda McMahon came out of her trance to help her son with after a low blow to Vince. Trish Stratus turned babyface here as well and got into it with Stephanie McMahon. A fun brawl!

*Edge & Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz in a TLC match to win the WWF Tag Team championship. This excellent match featured run-ins by Lita, Spike Dudley, and Rhyno. This was the ultimate TLC style match and the last time the three teams who pioneered the idea would face each other.

*The Iron Sheik won a Gimmick Battle Royal which featured Brother Love, Bushwhackers, Jim Cornette, Doink, Duke Droese, Earthquake, Gobbledy Gooker, Goon, Michael Hayes, Hillbilly Jim, Kimala, Kim Chee, One Man Gang, Repo Man, Sgt. Slaughter, Tugboat, and Nikolia Volkoff. Bobby Heenan and Gene Okerlund were brought out for commentary. The entire thing was played for laughs and nostalgia and gave the crowd a chance to calm down.

*The Undertaker pinned Triple H with a tombstone in a good brawl including Hunter being tossed off some production scaffolding.

*Steve Austin pinned The Rock in a No DQ match to win the WWF World Title after Austin obliterated The Rock with several stone cold stunners and a chair. Austin aligned himself with Vince McMahon after the bout. The best Wrestlemania main event ever.

Notes: The peak of WWF's business....The crowd was announced as a new Astrodome record....Before the PPV went on the air, Justin Credible (Wrestlemania debut) & X-Pac beat Steve Blackman & Grandmaster Sexay when X-Pac pinned Blackman during Sunday Night Heat....Paul Heyman (Wrestlemania debut) and Jim Ross hosted the event....The promotion held another AXXESS during the weekend.

Kevin Kelly on Wrestlemania X-7: I am crying as I type this. Russ and Charlie Haas and I stood on the floor of the Astrodome, talking about goals for the next year, making Mania in 2001. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. It was also the Mania where Michael Cole, Coach and I became good friends. The road became a much better place after that. I also will never forget a couple of the girls who work in production for the WWE coming out of the TV truck to stand in awe of the size of the crowd and the magnitude of the production they were a part of. They put their arms around each other, practically holding one another up. Who knew that the next night it would all end? Rock goes to Hollywood, Austin turns heel, and business goes into the toilet.

Mike Johnson: I attended Wrestlemania X7 live at the Astrodome in Houston. I remember liking the show, although from my sightlines (the 200 level, which was priced at $75) it was a little hard to get into some of the matches because of the distance of the ring. Nothing, however could match the atmosphere of being inside the Dome, which I still consider to be one of the best live events I've attended. From the second you walked out from the tunnel into the building, one could not just feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of everything: the crowd size, the production, everything. The roar of the crowd when the show began was unlike anything I had ever seen in any event, be it a wrestling show, a concert, a theatrical production or a sporting event. It truly was WWF's peak and in my eyes, they have yet to surpass this 2001 day in that regard. While the crowd roared for the superstars of the promotion all night, the World Wrestling Federation's production was the true star of the event. The staging of the show, particularly 16 spotlights with changing colors added a great sense of magic to the look of the building, while the graphics and Titantron screens made everything seem important. Every match had it's own identity based upon the graphical designs of the WWF staff. They were second to none anywhere in the entertainment business. The main event between Steve Austin and the Rock was nothing less than spectacular, although live whatever the storyline was for the alliance with Vince McMahon was completely lost on the crowd and eventually was a factor that helped put WWF business into a downward spiral. The dichotomy of the audience was really interesting to follow in the main event. The crowd cheered Austin completely, while factions were cheering for the Rock, most of the majority booed his offense and comebacks on Austin. When McMahon got involved, the crowd wasn't happy, but if turning Austin was the point, the crowd didn't seem to know whether to react or not. They booed at the doubleteaming but when Austin scored the pinfall after pummeling the Rock with multiple chairs, the crowd exploded. The crowd was really strong for the opening matches and quieted down as the show went on. They came alive again for the TLC match, were brought down by the gimmick Battle Royal and were completely electric for the two main events. It was quite an experience as the Texan fans were something else. Live, Triple H vs The Undertaker was really great with the crowd totally behind the Undertaker. The roar when Helmsley was thrown off the scaffolding was tremendous. The crowd swarmed to the stage that Motorhead was playing from and popped huge for Triple H's entrance like he was a true star. At the time with Austin's turn, it would have made sense to turn Triple H face, but the idea was discarded. The TLC match was a really fun match to watch, although one couldn't help to wonder at the times how in the world they could even try to top themselves. You could see they were working really hard and well beyond the point of sanity and logic and one can only respect what everyone involved went through. The scariest moments of the match were easily Jeff Hardy slipping as he crossed the top of three ladders and D-Von nearly killing himself on a ladder as he fell when hanging from the belts. Hardy's penchant for crazy stunts eventually burnt him right out of a full time wrestling career. When one thinks about this show, they have to think of the gimmick battle royal. What can one say other than it was there? It was fun in a nostalgic sense to hear all the old theme songs. Live, the crowd didn't seem to know who most of the performers were, although Michael Hayes, Jim Cornette and Doink received great ovations live. It was a great idea to bring the crowd down so they weren't burnt out for the main event, too. The Vince McMahon-Shane McMahon match was a lot of fun to follow live with great twists and turns. The crowd came alive for the match, chanting "Linda" through the entire match while waiting for the then-catatonic Linda McMahon to attack her husband. It was really fun to see Mick Foley returning to old form for a few brief moments while pummeling Vince. The debut of the Van Terminator by Shane McMahon was a surprising move, and with all the turns, the catfight, and the great finisher, Paul Heyman's fingerprints were all over the match. While Rob Van Dam would eventually do the move in WWE, it would be Shane McMahon would be credited with doing it first on a huge national scale. The undercard of Mania 17 had it's moments as well. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle gave us a nice taste of what to come. It was cool to see the crowd popping live for the matwork in the opening moments of the show. Chris Jericho vs William Regal and Test vs Eddy Guerrero were fine live, although I found the earlier portion of the show odd at first because I couldn't hear the bumps in the ring. The crowd popped huge for Bradshaw hitting the lariat and the big boot like he was Stan Hansen in the Tokyo Dome during the six man tag team bout, which was a little too fast to follow live. Tazz got a nice pop coming out when he prevented the RTC from speaking on the mic.

Buck Woodward:: I remember this being one of the few Wrestlemania's with a strong undercard. Jericho-Regal, the six-man tag, the Hardcore match and Guerrero vs. Test were all perfectly fine matches. ... Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit was fantastic. Their on-again, off-again rivalry has been one of the bright spots of the last five years of WWE shows. ... Poor Ivory. She and every other female had to be thrilled when Chyna the Diva-Squasher finally left two years later. ... Shane vs. Vince had no right to be that good. They put it all on the line, and really worked hard to put on a believeable fight. ... The TLC match was amazing, and E&C picked up their second consecutive Wrestlemania win over the Dudleys and Hardys. ... If you didn't like the Gimmick Battle Royal, then you need to stop taking yourself so seriously. Tons of funny one-liners from Bobby Heenan, surprisingly loud reactions to Hillbilly Jim and Duke Drose, and Freebird Michael Hayes comes home to Texas. Plus we finally got the conclusion to the Iron Sheik-Sgt. Slaughter feud. ... Undertaker vs. Triple H was incredible. You really got the sense that Taker might finally lose at Mania here, but Taker pulled it out in a legitimately exciting match. Plus you had Motorhead, so how could it not be cool? If only they had played Overkill or Ace Of Spades. ... Note to WWF/E: You CANNOT turn Steve Austin heel in Texas. I don't care if Austin took out a machine gun and riddled Rock with bullets, the fans in Houston are still going to cheer him. A great match, but if Vince McMahon really thought the fans hatred of him would overcome Austin's hometown popularity, he was insane.

Jess McGrath: BEST. WRESTLEMANIA. EVER. What more needs to be said? It will be a very long time before you see a show this good from WWE. Everything clicked on all cylinders, topped by one of the best WWF title matches ever with Austin vs. Rock. On a scale of 1 to 10, this show was a 9.9. The only small thing that still bothers me to this day is turning Austin heel. People didn't want to see it, and certainly the people in Houston that day didn't. There were a lot of good arguments for it on paper, and they had a lot of success ending Wrestlemania with a heat finish the previous year rather than the big babyface winning. But it just didn't work. That said, I don't want to dwell too much on a small blight on an otherwise awesome show. Definitely the best of the Wrestlemanias, and the one against which future Manias will be judged.

Dave Scherer: You could read my thoughts from Mania 2000 and put them here on this show at all. All of the same thing applies. This was the WWF at its very best.


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