WWE: The Attitude Era Wrestlemania Collection (Cert 18) – PART 2
5 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 759 minutes approx.
Release Date: September 27th
Disc 2: Wrestlemania XV
The first true Russo-booked ‘Mania took place on March 28, 1999 at the First Union Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I make a point of name checking Vince Russo as his and Ed Ferrara’s fingerprints are all over this show, more than McMahon’s. This is noticeable from the innuendo subtitle of The Raging Climax to the short match times, over booked finishes, and being angle heavy throughout the show in the backstage skits.
It was also the first true Attitude Era ‘Mania, complete with the scratch logo (intact in this release) which had been adopted in mid ‘98. WCW was now but a distant memory, having dropped a real clanger on January 4th by spoiling the main event of RAW where Mick Foley on the WWF Title, which caused 600,000 viewers to abandon the live Nitro, headlined by the infamous “Fingerpoint of Doom” main event!
A less remembered commentary gaff from this PPV came from Michael Cole in his first Mania as Jim Ross was struck with Bells Palsy, and only did the main event. About 40 minutes before the main event, Cole plugged a post-PPV TV appearance of the wrestlers featuring “the new WWF champion”. Naturally, this was cut from all subsequent versions of the show.
The full card was:
WWF Hardcore Title Triple Threat Match – Hardcore Holly def. Billy Gunn (c) and Al Snow This was Russo swapping the outlaws over, putting the wrestler (Gunn) where the brawler (Road Dogg) should have been.
WWF Tag Title Match – Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett def. Test & D’Lo Brown The challengers were the last two in a pre-show Battler Royale to earn this match, and of course didn’t get along. This was Owen’s last Mania match.
Brawl For All – Butterbean def. Bart Gunn The Brawl For All was a supposed shoot fight tournament designed to let wrestlers legit beat up JBL as he was a weapons grade arsehole (still is). It was also devised to set up Dr. Death Steve Williams as a challenger for Austin after he won the WW title back, but Williams was injured and had to pull out. Bart Gunn shocked everyone by winning, setting up this match with pro-tough guy Butterbean. It lasted 34 seconds.
Mankind def. Big Show The winner went on to be the special ref in the main event. Big Show broke Foley’s ribs during this match for real, despite the angle being he would be injured.
WWF IC Title Four Corners Elimination Match – Road Dogg (c) def. Goldust, Ken Shamrock & Val Venis Yes, Road Dogg is a former IC champion. This is the match where Shamrock tells his estranged “sister” Ryan Shamrock (Alicia Webb) “Slap me! right in front of the camera!
Kane def. Triple H by DQ In the build up, Chyna, who turned on Triple H to join Kane and The Corporation, was accidentally blinded by a fireball thrown by Kane. So of course she turned on Kane and reunited with Triple H.
WWF Woman’s Title Match – Sable (c) def. Tori Not Torrie Wilson but Terri Poch, a bodybuilder turned wrestler who worked Japan and the indies. She started off as Sable’s stalker before Sable turned on her, in typical Russo bad timing as Sable’s Playboy issue was breaking sales records! This botchfest feature the debut of Nicole Bass who even botched her cue for her interference. Be thankful for the women wrestlers of today.
WWF European Title Match – Shane McMahon (c) def. X-Pac Remember how Chyna turned face two matches ago? She and Triple H turned heel on X-Pac here. Russo booking in a nutshell.
Hell In A Cell Match – The Undertaker def. Big Boss Man One of the worst Cell matches ever as both men were heels at this point. The hanging sequence at the end has been left intact but is still dumb.
WWF Title No DQ Match – The Rock (c) vs. Stone cold Steve Austin The template for just about every main event match for the next few years can be found here as Austin became the first man to win the WWF title in two consecutive Mania’s.
Does this show still hold up today? Nope. It was peak Russo Attitude Era, which would get sillier as the year went on until he and Ferrera jumped ship to “save” WCW in October (and promptly lost them $80 million in a year). Uninspired wrestling, over-stuffed booking, and too many filler matches, anyone watching this show will wonder why this era is so fondly remembered.
Pick A Fight
Give Me The History
Rating – **
Man In Black