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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 X9

March 30, 2003

Location:Seattle, Washington
Arena: Safeco Field
Announced Attendance: 54,097

Results:

*WWE Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy pinned Rey Mysterio.

*The Undertaker beat The Big Show & A-Train (9:45) in a Handicap match when he pinned A-Train. Nathan Jones was scheduled to be Taker's partner but was "laid out" in the back by Show and Train while chasing Nunzio who "stole his wallet." Jones would soon be gone from the company.

*In a good match, Trish Stratus beat Victoria and Jazz in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE Women's Title when she pinned Victoria.

*WWE Tag Champs Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (Mania debuts) defeated Chris Benoit & Rhyno and Eddie & Chavo Guerrero when Benjamin pinned Chavo. They ended up being given the sign to go five more minutes during the bout, so they ended up changing gears midway, which you can see watching the show. This was Benoit and Rhyno's return to Wrestlemania after their neck injuries and the debut of Haas, who did his late brother Russ proud. Haas even flew out his mentor Jim Kettner to the show as a show of thanks, which was a classy thing to do.

*In the return of the "Showstopper" to Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels pinned Chris Jericho in his first Mania bout since Wrestlemania 14. This was a tremendous back and forth match with tons of near falls.

*WWE World Champ Triple H pinned Booker T with a pedigree.

*Hulk Hogan pinned Vince McMahon in a Streetfight. Roddy Piper showed up and teased hitting Vince with a pipe but laid out Hogan instead. McMahon bled a gusher here. Hogan pinned Vince with a legdrop and then stood over him as Shane McMahon came out to check on his father.

*The Rock pinned Steve Austin with a rock bottom in what turned out to be Austin's retirement match.

*Brock Lesnar pinned Kurt Angle to win the WWE championship with a F-5. Lesnar had missed a shooting star press attempt and crashed down face first on the mat, nearly knocking himself out. Angle called an audible to finish the match. As it stood, Angle was working with a broken neck. When it was all said and done, both men ended up in the hospital but it was a tremendous match given the circumstances.

Celebrities: Ashanti was brought in to sing "America the Beautiful"….Limp Bizkit performed two songs, the Wrestlemania theme and the Undertaker's old "Rollin'" theme song to bring him to the ring….The Miller Lite Catfight Girls of commercial fame were brought in for several campy segments with Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson culminating in a lame catfight on a couch on the stage of the building, ending with Jonathan Coachman being pinned.

Notes: This was the first Wrestlemania after the "brand split"….They set a new Safeco Field attendance record with the show….WWE World Tag Champs Lance Storm & Chief Morley (Val Venis) beat Kane & Rob Van Dam when Storm pinned Van Dam in a Sunday Night Heat match. The Dudleys were listed as Kane and RVD's opponents in the program to the show, but were actually in the corner of the champions….Austin ended up in the hospital due to stress and other issues the night before the show….Much of the PPV was filmed and ended up being used as part of the excellent "Mania before the Mania" documentary voicedover by Jesse Ventura that was aired to build to Wrestlemania XX.

Booker T on Wrestlemania X9: "WrestleMania is something I'd worked all year for, never knowing if it was going to happen. When I finally found out I was going to be in the main event portion for Raw against Triple H for the world title at Mania, it meant everything. That was one of my final goals in the wrestling business – to headline WrestleMania. And that night we had a great bout and left everything we had right in the middle of the ring. The fans got everything that they could out of that match – except me walking out with the world title! Losing the match wasn't a disappointment at all because I don't look at my career in terms of wins and losses. I look it at that as long as I gave the fans something that they can remember for a long time, then that is the only thing that really matters to me." (London Sun Interview, May 2003)

Trish Stratus on Wrestlemania X9: "....at WrestleMania XIX you had 54,000 people cheering us. I won the title back that night and it was amazing. I'd wrestled in front of that many people before – the year before at Mania in my hometown of Toronto – but I'd never won in front of that many people before, and all those people wanted me to win. Me, Jazz and Victoria really worked our butts off and I think it was as good as the men's bouts. I am proud to say that most of the time our matches are on a par with the men's, and I think we work as hard as they do." (London Sun article, 2004)

Mike Johnson: Production-wise I loved this show. There were some great stuff here just from a visual standpoint including the exploding pyro for Shawn Michaels' entrance. Kurt Angle proved he was the man once and for all having an excellent match with Brock Lesnar, working with a broken neck. Lesnar nearly ending up with one of his own was one of the more frightening things I've ever seen live at a show. There was an awesome Jericho vs. Michaels match on here that ranks as my favorite matches of 2003. Rock vs. Austin didn't touch their previous two Wrestlemania matches but was such a fun bout given the circumstances. It was a fitting last match to Austin who did the right thing with a clean loss to his greatest rival. Hogan vs. McMahon was fun, especially the appearance of Roddy Piper. Although Piper's run here afterwards was poor (Sean O'Haire? Why?), this was a true Wrestlemania moment. There was misuse of talent here as well though. Brian Kendrick's push was killed after building to his Wrestlemania debut and they shifted gears to Rey Mysterio. Kendrick would quit the company within a year. The Dudley Boyz didn't have a match on the show and they were workhorses for the tag division. Rob Van Dam worked on Heat. It was mind boggling then and now how some of the talent was used. Still, this was a great PPV.

Jess McGrath: I would say Mania 19 was better than 18 but not as good as 17. They had several good matches on this show, including Angle-Lesnar, Rock-Austin, Hogan-Vince, and Michaels-Jericho. I was not as big a fan of Angle-Lesnar as some others were. They were working a mat wrestling match in a domed stadium at Wrestlemania. That made no sense to me. Of course, Angle was limited by what some suspected at the time might be a career ending neck injury, and the fact that he went in there and still had a great match does speak volumes for his ability and his guts. Same with Austin, who still had an excellent bout with Rock despite it being what was (so far) his last career match. I admire tremendously the way he put Rock over clean, which was smart business since Rock was headlining next month's PPV with Goldberg.

Buck Woodward: I remember being annoyed with a lot of things early in the show. ... I was annoyed that the World Tag Team Champions were relegated to Heat, and had a commercial taken during their bout. ... I was annoyed that Hardy-Mysterio got less than six minutes. ... I was annoyed that Nathan Jones was on the card, but I was overjoyed that he got beat up and didn't do much. ... It was nice to see the women's title match get more time than they traditionally do at Mania. ... Benjamin, Haas, Benoit, Rhyno, Eddie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in one match, and you give them less than nine minutes? That should be illegal. ... Michaels vs. Jericho was arguably the second best WWE match of the year (behind Benoit-Angle at the Rumble). ... Triple H vs. Booker T was good, but not great. ... As much as I was disturbed by the hype over McMahon vs. Hogan overshadowing everything else, I'd be lying if I didn't say the Roddy Piper run-in didn't pop me. ... The Miller Lite Catfight Girls crap was just that. ... Limp Bizkit made me wish Men On A Mission were back rapping. ... It was interesting to see Austin put over Rock, even though Rock was going to be spending less time wrestling. After two Mania wins over him in the past, Austin returned the favor to The Rock. ... If not for the botched Shooting Star Press, Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle would probably be considered one of the best Wrestlemania main events ever. The ironic part of it is, from the time Brock Lesnar debuted, I said he should save the Shooting Star Press for a really important match. When Wrestlemania approached, I said that he should use the Shooting Star to beat Kurt Angle, never do it again, and let that move stay in the highlight reels forever. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't been so right with my prediction. 

Dave Scherer: This was a lot better show than the previous year's, and I remember enjoying it a lot. If gives me a lot of hope for tonight's show. There were a lot of good bouts last year as well as seeing what has been Steve Austin's last match and Brock Lesnar surviving a truly scary landing on his Shooting Star Press.


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