Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?


Wrestlemania XVI
Date: April 2, 2000
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Attendance: 19,776
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This was one of the shows that tied for the most votes for a redo but I’ve seen Wrestlemania X, the other option, more times than I really need to and this sounded more interesting. It’s kind of an infamous Wrestlemania as there are no singles matches on the entire show but it is the biggest show of the year in the best year WWE has ever seen. Let’s get to it.

Lilian Garcia sings the Star Spangled Banner. Sweet goodness she can knock that out of the park.

The opening video is a quick “hey it’s Wrestlemania” before looking at the four way main event with a McMahon in each corner. That’s all that really matters here, but it’s quite the big deal.

Godfather/D’Lo Brown vs. Big Boss Man/Bull Buchanan

Ice T. raps Godfather and Brown to the floor with an original song, including telling the fans to “GRAB YOUR B******!” Brown slugs away at Buchanan to start and it’s off to Godfather in a hurry. That means a slam into the spinning legdrop, only to miss the big elbow (which would have missed by three feet anyway). Boss Man comes in and the fans aren’t pleased, mainly because this is their opener.

It’s back to Buchanan, who hits that perfect top rope spinning clothesline so Boss Man can come in for the running crotch attack to the back. A big boot into the ax kick gets two as Lawler can’t help but freak out over Godfather’s ladies. Buchanan whips Brown into the steps and it’s back inside for the bearhug.

The fans get on Boss Man again as Brown fights out, only to get caught with a backbreaker as JR makes XFL references. Buchanan goes up so Godfather shakes the rope for the crotching. A hurricanrana allows the hot tag to Godfather and there’s the Ho Train to Boss Man. Everything breaks down and it’s a Boss Man Slam to Brown, followed by the great looking guillotine legdrop for the pin at 9:05.

Rating: D+. What a completely bizarre opener. This would have been a filler match on any given episode of Raw and it’s the first thing you see on Wrestlemania? With the heels winning? It’s a really weird choice here and serves no major purpose, so why go this way? The crowd was surprised and a bit deflated, which is a rather stupid choice to open the show. Totally weird one here.

HHH and Stephanie, the Women’s Champion, are rather chill before the huge main event.

We see Crash handing over the Hardcore Title so it can be defended in the Hardcore Battle Royal.

Hardcore Title: Hardcore Battle Royal

Crash, Tazz, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Hardcore Holly, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Mosh, Thrasher, Faarooq, Bradshaw

Crash is defending and this is a big free for all with falls counting anywhere. Whoever gets the final fall leaves as champion, with no limit on the title changes allowed. It’s a brawl to start and Tazz suplexes Crash for the pin at 24 seconds. Viscera grabs Tazz for a posting and a World’s Strongest Slam gives him the title at 56 seconds.

A bunch of people brawl around the ring but another bunch go after Viscera. The Acolytes can’t put him down, though Hardcore can bust Crash open with a shot to the head. The weapons shots continue with no one getting any serious advantage until Hardcore hits Viscera with a cookie sheet for two. More violence ensues as we hit five minutes, though Viscera is starting to slow down.

Back in and Viscera hits various people with the cookie sheet….before going up top. The Acolytes slam him down and Faarooq breaks a 2×4 over his back. A top rope shoulder drops Viscera and the Acolytes put Kai En Tai on top so….Funaki can win the title with 7:37 to go. Taka immediately turns on Funaki, who sprints to the back in a smart move indeed. The Mean Street Posse catches him in the back and Rodney whips Funaki into a barricade to win the title with 6:51 to go.

Abs suplexes him for the title at 6:37 to go but gets sent into a door so Thrasher can pin him with 6:18 to go. Back in the arena and the bloody Pete Gas sprays Thrasher with a fire extinguisher for the title with 5:32 to go. They go back to ringside and Tazz suplexes Pete for the title with 4:44 to go. In the confusion, Tazz even rolls Thrasher up for one, with the referee counting out of insanity. The Hollys double team Tazz inside until he trashcan lids his way to freedom, including a shot to Crash’s head for two.

We have two minutes left as the Hollys fight over who gets to pin Tazz, as you might have seen coming. Hardcore’s dropkick gets two with a minute left but he gets suplexed out, leaving him alone in the ring. Crash comes back in for a cookie sheet shot for the title at 37 seconds left.

Tazz grabs the Tazmission but Hardcore busts a jar of candy over Tazz’s head for the pin and the title at 1 second left to win the thing at 15:00. That was a botched ending as the referee stopped counting at 2 because Hardcore came in too early and shouldn’t have gotten the pin. Also, allegedly, Tazz was supposed to get a run as Intercontinental Champion (possibly in the role that went to Chris Benoit) but the glass got in his eye and he was out of action for a few months as a result.

Rating: C-. I’m not sure what to say about this one, but the biggest problem is it goes on a bit too long. Cut this down to ten minutes and it’s better, as what they have loses its charm a bit near the end. The ending being botched didn’t help things either and there is no big moment that makes you chuckle. It’s not a disaster or anything, but it’s nothing memorable either.

We look at Axxess, which was still a new thing back then. Chris Jericho thinks everyone is here to him, and he might be right. It’s so weird seeing it still be what looks to be a smaller function, compared to the insanity that it is today. This goes on for a good while, likely to clean up the arena.

We look at the battle royal ending again, because it was that much of a mess.

Al Snow talks to someone in a bathroom stall because he has some idea. Steve Blackman comes in and tells him to be serious.

We cut to a closeup of Trish Stratus’ chest, just in case you thought the next match meant a thing.

Al Snow/Steve Blackman vs. T&A

Hold on though as Snow, who has dubbed his team Head Cheese, brings out……CHESTER MCCHEESETON, a man in a cheese suit, as a mascot. Blackman slides between Test’s legs to start as JR’s microphone has gone out, much to Lawler’s delight. Snow comes in and gets kicked in the face in the corner as Lawler isn’t even trying to do play by play (makes sense).

An enziguri takes Albert down so it’s back to Blackman, who gets shouldered down. Everything breaks down in a hurry and Test gets sent outside. That leaves Albert to get suplexed and Snow slowly hammers away as the match somehow grinds to more of a halt. Blackman’s middle rope headbutt gets two as Chester starts hitting on Trish. Lawler: “It’s like Chester the Molester.”

Albert knocks Blackman away and brings in Test to pick up the pace in a weird near hot tag from the heels. A powerbomb gets two on Snow because this needs to keep going, including the bowling shoe line from JR. Snow is back up with a backbreaker/guillotine legdrop combination for two on Test. Albert gorilla presses Test onto Blackman for two with Snow making the save. He gets knocked down, leaving Blackman to get press slammed again, setting up Test’s top rope elbow for the pin at 7:00.

Rating: F. Other than Trish, this is one of the most irredeemable matches I’ve seen in years. There was no heat, there was no good action and there was no reason to keep this going. I’m not sure what the thinking was going into this but it was a disaster in every sense of the word. This is up there with some of the worst Wrestlemania matches ever and the only reason it’s not higher is the stakes are so low.

Post match, Snow and Blackman beat up Chester because the loss was his fault. Somehow, this made things even worse, if that’s possible.

Kat is naked in the back with Mae Young and we get an Austin Powers style gag with Mae holding up various objects at rather opportune times to cover various things.

The Dudley Boyz aren’t happy with being in a ladder match but they’re ready to walk out as champions. This is when Bubba still had the southern accent and it’s bizarre to see these days.

Tag Team Titles: Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz

The Dudleys are defending in the first ever triangle ladder match. There isn’t exactly a story here, because that would be missing the point in a match like this. Edge and Christian jump the Hardys before the bell and the fight is on with the champs still in the aisle. As usual, the three brawls break out at the same time and they wind up all around the arena. Bubba gives Jeff a Bubba Bomb and Christian throws in the first ladder.

Everyone winds up inside with ladders crushing the Dudleys in the corner. Edge gets laddered down as well and Jeff hits a DDT on Bubba. Jeff’s 450 hits ladder though, leaving Bubba to put the ladder on him and Bubba Bomb said ladder. Another ladder is put on top of Matt so Edge rides a ladder down, Shawn Michaels style, to crush him again. Back up and Bubba puts the ladder on his head for the Terry Funk helicopter spot until the Canadians dropkick him down.

The double flapjack puts D-Von into the ladder in the corner, followed by Christian climbing a ladder and diving down onto Bubba and Matt. Jeff climbs up so Edge spears him off the top rope in a big crash. Multiple ladders are set up in the middle and it’s Bubba cuttering Christian off for the next double knockdown. The Hardys are back up with the splash/legdrop combination to Bubba, followed by a superplex to bring D-Von off the ladder.

Edge and Christian and the Hardys climb but take each other back down and it’s a huge double crash. A third ladder is set up and all six climb, with the Hardys taking a crazy bump over the top to the floor, with Christian and Edge being shoved onto the ropes for a nice crash of their own. Back in and Christian gets crushed with the ladder, leaving Edge to take 3D (the old version, with Bubba getting a running start). Some tables are thrown in and the Dudleys bridge one up on top of a pair of ladders like a scaffold.

The Hardys make the save because that took a long time but the Dudleys are right back up too. Bubba sets up a table at ringside and climbs onto a table (JR: “Not the Spanish announce table!”) and powerbombs Matt through it. D-Von’s splash misses Jeff and only hits table so Jeff runs the barricade at Bubba, who throws a ladder at him for the nasty crash.

Just to make it worse, Bubba sets up the huge ladder in the aisle with a table for a bonus. Christian pops back up and saves Jeff with a bell shot though, leaving Bubba on the table. You know what that means, as Jeff goes up and hits the CRAZY Swanton to crush Bubba (who sells it like death). Back in and Matt goes up, only to get shoved off the platform and through the table, leaving Edge and Christian to win their first (of a freaking ton) Tag Team Titles at 22:31.

Rating: A. I could watch these every day, but egads they are some violent matches. They beat the heck out of each other and it’s some of the most exciting things you’ll see. One of them was once told that they weren’t supposed to be telling stories in these matches but they were managing to pull it off. That’s absolutely the case, as the series of matches that started here would just get better. It’s almost impossible to believe they would wind up being so amazing, but this was quite awesome in its own right, with the ending being a pretty cool visual. Check this out if you haven’t in awhile.

Linda McMahon tells Mick Foley to go get it tonight. Foley talks about how this is the biggest show of the year and it’s the biggest match ever, so it’s the biggest match of all time. Tonight, he’s proving that fairy tales come true for him. I’ve watched a lot of Foley over the years and you can hear it in his voice: this means the world to him.

The Kat vs. Terri

Mae Young and Moolah are the respective seconds, Val Venis is refereeing and you win by throwing the other woman to the floor. Val gets in his usual jokes about how this is the big show and only comes once a year, but…..yeah you get the joke here. The catfight is on in a hurry but Kat stops to kiss Val. A few hair tosses let Terri pose but Kat nails a spear. Mae gets on the apron and tries to take off her clothes, meaning Val misses Kat throwing Terri out. Moolah goes after Terri so Mae can kiss Val, allowing Moolah to pull Kat to the floor, giving Terri the win at 2:23. This was somehow worse than the usual women’s match of the day.

Post match Mae hits Moolah and gives her the Bronco Buster. Kat strips off Terri’s pants for a bonus.

The Radicalz are ready for their six man match but Eddie Guerrero is more worried about his hair. And Chyna.

Chyna is disgusted.

Radicalz vs. Too Cool/Chyna

The Radicalz (minus Benoit here) have only been around about two and a half months here. Eddie and Scotty circle each other to start until Eddie’s headlock makes Scotty lose his hat. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker plants Eddie so Scotty dances over to Chyna, meaning Eddie needs to crawl to the corner in a hurry. As JR talks about Chyna looking great, it’s a double suplex to drop Dean, allowing Chyna and Grandmaster to dance a bit.

Grandmaster slams Malenko and makes that weird noise of his, followed by a belly to back suplex to Guerrero. Saturn breaks up the Hip Hop Drop though and it’s the Radicalz taking over for the first time. Just to make it personal, Saturn STEALS GRANDMASTER’S HEAD THING and stomps away even more. Grandmaster doesn’t like the hat stealing and gets over for the tag a few seconds later, only to have Scotty get dropped ribs first onto the top rope. Lawler: “Chyna starting to feel the heat. She’s starting to perspire and get moist!”

Eddie gyrates at her a bit before sending her into the turnbuckle, earning himself a Grandmaster suplex to the floor. Everything breaks down and it’s a double Worm (JR: “Not the double Worm! Well it is Wrestlemania!”) to Saturn and Malenko. The referee grabs Chyna to keep her from killing Eddie and Saturn superkicks Scotty.

The always great looking top rope elbow mostly misses so Scotty can superplex Eddie down. Chyna comes in off the hot tag and cleans house, including a double low blow to Saturn and Malenko. Eddie tries to powerbomb Chyna but she slips out into one of her own (with almost no elevation), setting up the gorilla press for the big spot. A sleeper drop finishes Guerrero at 9:39.

Rating: B-. The wrestling wasn’t anything great but they did an awesome job of firing up the crowd. The people wanted to see what they were doing here and it was a lot of fun as a result. They pulled me into this and I was having a good time with the whole thing. Chyna wasn’t what she used to be but the stuff with Eddie was awesome and would get better the next night when they got together.

Some fans won a contest and were flown to Wrestlemania on the day of the show.

Shane McMahon is ready for Big Show to win the WWF Title.

We see Kurt Angle laying out Bob Backlund for getting him in a two fall triple threat match. Angle didn’t need him anymore and never really did in the first place so good job on splitting them up.

Kurt Angle tries to get extra security after he retains his titles tonight. He’s willing to sign autographs for the guard’s kids! Maybe. Goofy, delusional Kurt is one of my all time favorites and always has been.

Intercontinental Title/European Title: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle

Angle is defending and this is a two fall match, with the Intercontinental Title on the line first and the European Title second. Jericho can’t guarantee walking out as a champion but he’ll walk out as the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah. As for Kirk Angel and Mr. Roboto, they can have a shirt remind them of their trip to Anaheim and a Y2J beating. Jericho was still finding his footing with the signature promos in the WWF but they would get way better in a hurry.

They start fast with Benoit getting the better of it until Jericho triangle dropkicks the two of them to the floor. Jericho goes up but gets shoved down onto the announcers’ table, leaving Benoit to suplex Angle for two. Back in and Jericho dropkicks Angle down for two more but has to break up Angle’s cover on Benoit for the same. Angle suplexes Jericho for another two and a dropkick puts Benoit on the floor. The crossface chickenwing has Jericho in trouble but Benoit makes the save. A Swan Dive finishes Jericho for the first fall and the Intercontinental Title at 7:54.

Benoit gets smart by going for the cover on Jericho again but Angle comes in with a suplex for his own two. Jericho catches Angle on top but Benoit belly to back superplexes Jericho, leaving Angle to miss the moonsault. Everyone is down until Benoit has to save Angle from the Walls. The spinwheel kick puts Benoit on the floor and it’s the double powerbomb to Angle. Benoit is right back in with the rolling German suplexes for two on Jericho as Angle makes another save.

There’s a dragon suplex for two on Angle, with the most ridiculous count I’ve seen in a long time as Angle’s shoulder is on top of Benoit’s. The ref gets bumped (maybe it can fix his eyes), meaning Benoit making Jericho tap to the Crossface doesn’t mean anything. A belt shot drops Jericho as the referee is back up, just as Benoit misses the Swan Dive. Jericho gets back in and Lionsaults Benoit for the European Title at 13:47.

Rating: B. This is always a weird one as it’s some pretty intricate booking (with Angle being very protected in losing both titles) but it didn’t feel urgent for a lot of the match. They were just going from move to move a lot of the time, but it’s still one of the best things on the show. It’s not like these three could ever do badly, so the match was entertaining and almost non-stop action, so it’s a lot more good than bad.

Vince McMahon promises to be a factor and guarantees to make it right.

HHH doesn’t care about what Vince says because tonight he’s going to show everyone who the man is.

X-Pac/Road Dogg vs. Kane/Rikishi

X-Pac and Dogg have Tori with them, along with the awesome Run-DMC theme. Kane on the other hand has Paul Bearer and the always cool inverted red and black attire. Tori slaps Bearer to start so Kane grabs her by the throat as Rikishi gives Road Dogg the Stinkface. X-Pac and Dogg fail to run away and we settle down to X-Pac kicking hitting the Bronco Buster on Rikishi.

Dogg’s dancing punches set up the shaky knee for two but Rikishi grabs a pop up cutter (that’s an awesome move and someone should use it as a finisher). It’s back to Kane and the pain begins in a hurry. X-Pac gets away from the threat of a Stinkface so Tori takes it instead, giving the fans what they had been waiting on. The Tombstone finishes X-Pac at 4:16.

Rating: D. The match was just a means to an end here as you needed a way to get to Tori taking the Stinkface and X-Pac getting dropped on his head. That’s fine from a storyline perspective, though I’m not sure I would have had it second from the top of Wrestlemania. Not a good match, but what were you expecting given this lineup?

Post match Too Cools out, meaning it’s time to dance. Hold on though as the San Diego Chicken, as in the disguise that Pete Rose wore last year, is here as well. Dancing ensues and the Chicken is far too good of a dancer to be Pete Rose. Kane grabs the chicken (there has to be a joke there somehow) but Rose runs in with the baseball bat. Rikishi takes that away so Kane chokeslams Rose, setting up the Stinkface to end the Rose saga for a good many years.

Rock is ready for the final battle and of course he would do it all over again. This is Wrestlemania and it’s not about the McMahons (oh please) because it’s all about the WWF Championship and tonight is the night.

Some celebrities are here.

WWF Title: The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show vs. HHH

HHH is defending, elimination rules, and there’s a McMahon in every corner, with Vince, Linda, Shane and Stephanie here respectively. They might as well have just had the McMahons working the match as they’re the only things that matter here. JR: “Not Mankind, not Dude Love, not Mankind, but Mick Foley is in the main event of Wrestlemania!” That made me smile so much. Foley and HHH pair off as Rock punches Show in the corner to start in a hurry. HHH gets hammered down to start up the running knee but Show runs them both over with a double clothesline.

Rock gets gorilla pressed and there’s one for HHH as well. Foley tries choking Show, who drops down hard onto him to cut that off in a hurry. There’s a side slam to Rock but Foley kicks Show low to break up a chokeslam to HHH. It’s time to triple team Show, including a series of clotheslines to finally knock him down. The Cactus Clothesline takes HHH to the floor, meaning Foley can beat on HHH with a chair. Shane gets knocked off the apron and a chair shot to Show lets the Rock Bottom get the first pin at 4:48.

Show and Shane both leave, meaning ringside is a little less crowded. HHH gets smart by offering a deal with Foley and that’s a big negative. Rock on the other hand says sure, before punching HHH in the face as you might have seen coming. They head outside with HHH getting double teamed even more as Stephanie tries to learn how to emote. Foley whips HHH into a Rock clothesline but a bell shot knocks Foley silly. HHH sends Rock into a few things, but the delay lets Foley find the barbed wire 2×4.

It winds up going into Foley’s ribs though, meaning Rock had to make a save from even more violence. A double arm DDT sets up the Mandible Claw and Rock adds a belt shot. That means the People’s Elbow, but Foley grabs the Claw on the Rock in a smart move. HHH low blows both of them (maybe not the brightest move) and everyone is down for a bit. Foley hammers Rock a bit and gets two off the DDT, with the fans being rather relieved by the kickout.

Rock kicks the chair into Foley’s face and a DDT gets two, with HHH making a rather illogical save. NOW Foley is willing to team up on Rock and the fans really aren’t sure what to think of this one. The running knee gets two on Rock and this time HHH doesn’t make a save. There’s a double suplex for two more and the ROCKY chants start up again.

A steps shot puts Rock down and Foley loads up the middle rope elbow, only to slam HARD ribs first into the side of the announcers’ table (it’s sad seeing that he just can’t do it here). HHH drives Foley through the table and Pedigrees Foley for two, with a big reaction from the crowd. A chair to the head sets up a Pedigree onto the chair to get rid of Foley (for good I’m sure) at 19:40.

Foley gets the hero’s sendoff…..but he’s not done yet. He comes back and hits HHH with the barbed wire 2×4 before leaving with a BANG BANG. Rock gets two and it’s time for the big slugout, followed by the clothesline to send HHH outside again. They fight up the aisle and Rock suplexes him on the stage. HHH is sent into the set and they fight through the crowd to get back to ringside. Rock grabs the steps but HHH chairs them into his face and then unloads on the steps with the chair for a bonus.

A hard piledriver onto the steps has JR demanding/begging that the match be stopped and gives HHH a rather delayed two back inside. The Pedigree attempt is countered into a backdrop over the top so they fight into the crowd again. After knocking Rock over the barricade, HHH knocks a fan’s hat off to be extra nasty. Rock gets in a shot of his own and they’re both down at ringside again. A suplex sends HHH through the announcers’ table and it’s another double knockdown.

HHH sends Rock inside so Vince posts HHH, drawing Shane back out to jump Vince (you knew this stuff was coming). A monitor shot to the head knocks Vince silly and gives us one of the funniest stunned expressions I’ve ever seen from Stephanie (look that one up if you get the chance). Vince fights up and beats on Shane, because the main event of Wrestlemania can be ignored for the sake of more drama between these two. A chair to the head drops Vince and Shane even threatens the massive Michael Clarke Duncan at ringside.

Cue Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco to get the busted open Vince out of here so we can go back to the actual match. Rock DDTs HHH for two but a shot to the face puts Rock right back down. The Pedigree is countered into a catapult to cut off an interfering Shane and the Rock Bottom connects. There’s no cover due to exhaustion so here’s Vince again (a full two minutes after he left) to go after Shane yet again. Vince grabs the chair….and of course turns on Rock with a shot to the head for two. Another chair shot from Vince retains the title at 36:26.

Rating: C-. It’s too much. There were so many instances here where I kept wondering how many more times we were going to have the McMahons get involved or have the guys fight into the crowd. Storyline wise, this would have been WAY better as a run of the mill singles match, but I can go with having Foley in there for the sentimental moment. Show….well they had an extra McMahon. At the end of the day though, it was all about the McMahons instead of Rock winning the title like he should have, with the family stuff being more of the same stuff we had seen for years. It’s not terrible, but cut out the nonsense and it’s better.

Post match Vince and Stephanie hug because all is well in part of the McMahon Family again. Shane comes in to look at Vince but gets Rock Bottomed. Vince gets one as well and Stephanie takes the third in a row, followed by the People’s Elbow.

A long highlight package ends the show.

Overall Rating: D+. I’m not sure what they were going for here but it missed pretty badly. The problem here comes down to the fact that most of the matches just aren’t very good. TLC Beta and the triple threat are both great to rather good, but no one cared about the ladder match after TLC debuted five months later and the trio would have one great match against each other after another on higher levels. This doesn’t really feel like a Wrestlemania as there is way too much stuff that serves as little more than filler. It’s not the worst Wrestlemania ever, but it’s rather close to the bottom of the pile.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books

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