|Posted by Jon Lannen on April 20, 2020 at 6:20 PM|
By Jon Jon
When I think of my favorite Wrestlemanias, X-Seven has to be my downright favorite. Wrestlemania X-Seven, or as some call it, Wrestlemania 17 or XVII, was held in Houston, Texas in April 2001 in arguably, the peak of the Attitude Era. Wrestlemania X-Seven included some of the most iconic matches in World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly known as World Wrestling Federation) history. It was also one the Wrestlemanias I was most immersed in as a pro wrestling fan. Mesmerized at the McMahon family feud, WWF Championship match between icons Stone Cold and The Rock, the countless entertaining title matches and, of course, the historic TLC for the WWF Tag Team Championship, Wrestlemania X-Seven was one for the ages, 'the showcase of the immortals.'
Paul Heyman & Jim Ross
This was a dynamic Wrestlemania with two of my favorites doing commentary. Wrestlemania X-Seven was commentated by Paul Heyman and Jim Ross. The duo made for a deliciously tense team to call the action, often disagreeing. Often? No, always. Always disagreeing, Paul Heyman and Jim Ross made for one of the most entertaining duos in the history of 'the showcase of the immortals.'
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan & Mean Gene Okerlund
The legends Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan entered Wrestlemania X-Seven to take over the commentator table for the Gimmick Battle Royal.
Chris Jericho vs. William Regal - WWF Intercontinental Championship
Not only did Limp Bizkit's "My Way" set the mood as the official theme for Wrestlemania X-Seven, but so did the opening contest. The first match was against challenger William Regal against Y2J, Chris Jericho, the WWF Intercontinental Champion. I've always enjoyed watching both of these wrestlers, Regal and Jericho. This match was both technical and aerial, reffed by Tim White. Despite a Regal effort, Chris Jericho took the match and retained the title with a lionsault finisher, resulting in the 3-count.
Tazz and APA with Jacqueline vs. Right to Censor with Steven Richards
In this match, the Tazz, the Acolytes (better known as APA) Farooq and Bradshaw, accompanied by Jacqueline, takes on the ever-so-annoying Right to Censor. Right to Censor included Bull Buchanan, the Goodfather and Val Venis, escorted to the ring by Steven Richards. The team of the Acolytes Protection Agency and Tazz was badass, no doubt. Bradshaw and Farooq made for a great team; Bradshaw (later rebranded as JBL) was always ready to kick some tail, in and out of the ring. In the end, a clothesline by Bradshaw pummeled The Goodfather for the win. Bradshaw could get it, no doubt.
Raven vs. Kane vs. Big Show - WWF Hardcore Championship
The Hardcore Championship is by far one of the best and most unique titles in WWF/WWE History. In this match, the champion Raven defends his title in a Triple Threat Hardcore Match against the monster Kane and the larger-than-life The Big Show. This unorthodox match starts in the ring and quickly moved to the rest of the Reliant Astrodome; through the crowds, to the backstage area and atop of the Wrestlemania titantron. The match included Big Show slamming Kane through wooden palettes, Kane throwing Raven through a glass window and the Big Show hammering Kane through a metal door, resulting in both giants crashing through dry wall into another arena office. The match takes a Mario Kart turn when all three competitors use golf carts as weapons and to catch up with one another. This match was a visual treat with different environments to make for a legendary Hardcore title match. Kane ultimately timed a perfect boot to Big Show and a legdrop to win the WWF Hardcore Championship at Wrestlemania X-Seven. This was the first title change of the seventeenth Wrestlemania.
Test vs. Eddie Guerrero - WWF European Championship
The WWF European Champion Test takes on Eddie Guerrero in this Wrestlemania X-Seven title match. Eddie Guerrero was accompanied to the ring with fluffy hat fashion model and member of the legendary Radicalz, Perry Saturn. Test proved to be an agile superstar against Latino Heat, Eddie Guerrero. Eddie Guerrero was one of the most entertaining wrestler in history, even for smaller title bouts, like this European Championship match. Radicalz member Dean Malenko distracted the referee, which Latino Heat took advantage of and clobbered Tested with the European title belt, resulting in a win, 1-2-3. Eddie Guererro wins the European Championship, the second title change of hands of the night.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Prior to the match, Kurt Angle was seen backstage with funny guys Edge & Christian watching a clips of himself tapping out, asking if the tapout counts if there was never a ref and if it was never an official match. Edge & Christian ended the scene with an awkward silence.
Kurt Angle's patriotic music hit and the Olympic Gold Medlist and Rabid Wolverine match would be underway. Kurt Angle took the mic midway through his entrance to taunt the Texas crowd at Wrestlemania. Then, Chris Benoit's music rocked the crowd and the Radicalz legend entered the ring, eye-ing down Kurt Angle Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit's traditional mat wrestling skills led to a Wrestlemania X-Seven matchup with intense grapples, throws, holds, as seen in traditional wrestling. The two painted a beautiful picture in their ironically coordinated red, white and blue. Olympic wrestler Kurt Angle caught a quick win in the end against Chris Benoit. Solid specialized match for the 17th 'Mania, riddled in tension and technicality. During an interview following the match, Benoit attacks Angle and locks in the Crippler Crossface submission
Ivory vs. Chyna - WWF Women's Championship
The Right to Censor's own and Women's Champion Ivory took on the ninth wonder of the world, Chyna, in this title matchup for WM17. This may be the peak of Chyna's career. I was mesmerized by Chyna and so was the Wrestlemania X-Seven crowd. The nearly 70K fans erupted when Chyna entered with her iconic purple wrestling look, with matching headband, shooting the canon in her iconic entrance. Chyna exuded power and beauty. Chyna would dominate the legendary Ivory in a physical match at Wrestlemania. Chyna beat Ivory and won the WWF Women's Championship, with confidence and ease. Chyna's victory was the third championship shift at Wrestlemania X-Seven.
Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon - Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley
McMahon Street Fight
The McMahon feud was one of the most epic feuds in the history of pro wrestling. At the top of the show, cameras cut to Shane McMahon, son of Vince McMahon (Vince McMahon is the owner of WWF/WWE) entering the arena in a limo with a red WCW logo on the door. WCW, also known as World Championship Wrestling, was a major competitor against World Wrestling Federation in the epic Monday Night Wars, in the 90s and 00s. The Monday Night Wars ultimately reached a cease-fire when Vincent Kennedy McMahon acquired WCW. In a turn of events, a juicy storyline unveiled that Shane McMahon was the actual new owner WCW, resulting in a rivalry against WWF Chairman Vince McMahon; Shane's father.
This Street Fight was the culmination rivalry of between son Shane McMahon and father Vince McMahon. The guest official for the match was Hardcore Legend Mick Foley. Shane McMahon looked like a baby. I've always been a fan of Shane-O-Mac's guts and ability to drive a story. Shane McMahon wore, one of his now infamous, jerseys for the match. Mr. McMahon was escorted to the ring by daughter Stephanie McMahon. Steph looked incredible in a black jumpsuit with the words "Daddy's Girl" embellished with crystals. The match between Shane and Mr. McMahon was intense, as one can assume with the Street Fight rules.
One of the most memorable moments was when Shane McMahon missed the elbow on the always-unlucky Spanish announcer's table. When Shane was down for the count, the match unraveled. Trish Stratus walked over and slapped Vince across the face. The action continues into the ring, where Vince McMahon sits his drowsy wife, Linda McMahon in the corner on a metal chair. While Mr. McMahon annihilated Shane McMahon in front of his mother, Linda McMahon awoke from her stupor and the crowd erupted. Then, Linda McMahon kicked Vince McMahon in the "family jewels." Shortly after, guest referee Mick Foley lays the smackdown on Mr. McMahon. In the end, Shane McMahon nails Mr. McMahon with a Coast to Coast finishing maneuver and wins the match with a 1-2-3. I've always loved Shane McMahon, inside and outside of the ring. The entire McMahon family storyline was pure magic in the world of pro wrestling and this match drove the story home nicely. The match was entertaining, filled with family drama and more Wrestlemania moments.
The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian - WWF Tag Team Championship
Tables, Ladders and Chairs: TLC II
The second Tables, Ladders and Chairs had much hype to live up for and boy did it deliver. The TLC bouts are among my absolute favorite wrestling matches... ever. The inaugural Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, also known as TLC I, was held in 2000 at the WWE Summerslam Pay-Per-View. That TLC I match changed the landscape of tag team, hardcore and main-stream wrestling. The competitors who fought one another in the initial TLC returned for TLC II at Wrestlemania X-Seven; the Hardy Boyz, the Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian.
Matt & Jeff Hardy, Edge & Christian and D'Von and Bubba Ray Dudley entered the Reliant Astrodome for a match of their lives. Incumbent champs, the Dudley Boyz, competed in the match to retain their WWF Tag Team Championships.
The Tables, Ladders and Chairs rules are fairly simple. Wrestlers are permitted to use all objects surrounding the ring, primarily Tables, Ladders, and Chairs as tools for offense. The Tag Team Championships hang high above the ring. The objective is for one or both members of the tag team to climb a ladder and literally grab the titles. The first person to remove the belts wins the match.
The TLC match became synonymous with these iconic tag teams. The Dudley Boyz were known for their use of tables. The Hardy Boyz were known for their use of ladders. Edge & Christian were known for their use of chairs.
In Tables, Ladders, Chairs II at Wrestlemania 17, all six wrestlers turned into warriors; going through tables, flying off ladders, getting blasted with chairs. Many remember the Wrestlemania moments towards the end of the match, including Spike Dudley-Dog-ing Christian, Rhyno goring the Hardyz and Dudleyz and Lita landing a Hurricanrana on Rhyno. All hell breaks loose and it's pure wrestling gold.
The match continues to reach a peak with Jeff Hardy's delivering his iconic sacrificial Swanton Bomb Swanton bomb from the tallest ladder seen to man. Shortly after, Jeff Hardy ascended a ladder and is removed by Bubba Ray, leaving Jeff dangling, hanging onto the WWF Tag Team Championships. There, Edge delivered a spear onto Hardy, 20. feet. in. the. air. It couldn't get crazier, can it? Oh, it does. Then, Bubba Ray Dudley and Matt Hardy climbed a ladder inside the ring when the ladder was pushed over by Rhyno, crashing Bubba and Matt onto four neatly-stacked wooden tables near the entrance of the ring.
This gave Edge & Christian the chance to win the gold. While everyone was down, Edge distracted D'Von Dudley and Christian was held up by Rhyno, snatching the WWF Tag Team Championships. TLC II is not only one of my favorite Wrestlemania X-Seven matches, but all-time bouts. As Paul Heyman said at the close of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs championship match, these man have "given us a match that we will never forget." This marked the fourth title change of Wrestlemania X-Seven.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs: TLC II
I love this TLC II match so much that I decided to do a special reaction video on my YouTube channel:
Gimmick Battle Royal
Howard Finkel introduced Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Mean Gene Okerlund as the color commentators for the Gimmick Battle Royal. The Battle Royal was a blast from the past with appearances from the most memorable gimmicks, the Bushwhackers (Butch Miller and Luke Williams), Duke The Dumpster Droese, the Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink the Clown, Kamala with Harvey Wippleman and Kimchee, Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nickolai Volkoff, Freebird Michael Hayes, One Man Gang, Gobbly Gooker, Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love and Sgt. Slaughter. "Mean Gene" and "The Brain" were also a breath of fresh past-time air. The winner of the Gimmick Battle Royal was the Iron Sheik. Sgt. Slaughter then enters the ring and takes out the Iron Sheik, like the good old days.
Undertaker vs. Triple H
As if Wrestlemania X-Seven needed any more Wrestlemania moments, the 'Taker/Game match happened. Triple H's entrance music was performed live by the legendary Motorhead. This was the start of Triple H's wicked cool Wrestlemania entrances. Undertaker was in the height of the American Badass character, which brought 'Taker out with a new Kid Rock theme song and riding a Harley down to the ring. Yes, an actual Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was the Attitude Era, okay? Both men wrestled a match riddled in a hatred for one another. Triple H attempted to use a sledgehammer against Undertaker to no avail. referee Mike Chioda was taken out by Undertaker, leading Triple H and Undertaker's brawl to the audience. The move into the fans proved to be a highlight of the match, where the Undertaker delivered a chokeslam to Triple H from a camera tower. The Game's ability was not enough for The American Badass, the Undertaker. This marked Undertaker's 9th consecutive Wrestlemania win, the storied "Undefeated WrestleMania streak."
Hall of Fame Inductees
Believe it or not, there were no WWE Hall of Fame inductees in 2001, during Wrestlemania X-Seven. In fact, there were no Hall of Fame inductees for 8 years, as the WWE put the ceremony on hiatus from 1996 to 2004. Crazy right? After its return in 2004, the World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment, Hall of Fame celebrations coincided with the annual Wrestlemania pay-per-view.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock - WWF Championship
No Disqualification Match
Perhaps the most iconic wrestlers of my generation, Stone Cold and The Rock explode into the seventeenth Wrestlemania main event for the WWF Championship. The build-up promos and montages created the right buzz for the matchup. Prior to the match, Commissioner William Regal deemed the main event a No Disqualification Match. The Texas Rattlesnake was the hometown hero, while WWF Champion The Rock played into the heel gimmick with ease. The two WWE legends took the fight outside the ring for an electric main event. Senior referee Earl Hebner was the official for the WWF Championship match for 'Mania X-Seven. The Rock/Austin match was a delight to watch as a WWF fan. In the final moments of the match, Vince McMahon ripped his ally The Rock off of Austin, after The Rock delivered The People's Elbow. This led to Stone Cold delivering a Rock Bottom.This heel turn was one of the best of all time. Who would have thought Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin ever shake hands? Mind was blown. In the end, The Rattlesnake Steve Austin delivered a multitude of chair shots onto The Rock, winning the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania X-Seven. Stone Cold's main event marked the fifth title change of Wrestlemania 17 (X-Seven). Wrestlemania X-Seven closed with Mr. McMahon and the Texas Rattlesnake drinking beers with one another, insultingly over The Rock's body.
Wrestlemania X-Seven was held in the Reliant Astrodome with close to 70,000 fans packing the 'dome. I love when titles are defended and when they change hands; this Wrestlemania had five championship changes. Iconic matches, including Stone Cold vs. The Rock, the TLC match for the WWF (now, WWE) Tag Team Championship, made for X-Seven being one of the best of the best Wrestlemanias in history.
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The Showcase of the Immortals
World Wrestling Federation
Extreme Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
WWF Tag Team Championship
Tables Ladders Chairs
WWF Tag Teams
WWE Tag Teams
Bubba Ray Dudley
Dudley Death Drop
Edge and Christian
Olympic Gold Medalist
The Big Show
The Right to Censor
America The Beautiful
Star Spangled Banner
The Best In The World
Hell in a Cell
WWF New York
Gimmick Battle Royal
Mean Gene Okerlund
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Duke The Dumpster Droese
The Iron Sheik
Doink the Clown
Freebird Michael Hayes
One Man Gang