Wrestling History – WrestleMania XIX

The nineteenth showcase of the immortals took place on March 30th, 2003, at Safeco Field, in Seattle, Washington. It boasted an attendance of 54, 097, including fans from all 50 states, and various countries around the world. All in all, there was a reported $2.76 million dollar gate.

Put that together with PPV sales, and you’ve got yourself a monster hit.

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

FIRST MATCH

MATT HARDY vs REY MYSTERIO

Rey takes the fight to Matt (Courtesy of WWE.com)
Rey takes the fight to Matt (Courtesy of WWE.com)

These are two very dependable performers. This is also when Matt Hardy was doing his version one gimmick, and that is my favorite version of him. Right behind that is super angry Matt. The one who wanted to murder Edge for banging Lita behind his back.

The match itself isn’t barn-burning, but Matt and Rey would have to really blow it, in order to put on a bad match. Even nowadays, they’re too talented for that.

SECOND MATCH

UNDERTAKER vs A-TRAIN & BIG SHOW

Old school! (Courtesy of WWE.com)
Old school! (Courtesy of WWE.com)

This is undoubtedly one of the worst matches in the entirety of Undertaker’s undefeated streak. It was supposed to be a straight up tag team match – Big Show and A-Train versus Taker and this other guy named Nathan Jones. The problem was that Nathan was awful.

He was far too green to put alongside Undertaker at ‘Mania, so his role was reduced to a run-in during the match. He shows up, throws some kicks, and then Taker gets the win.

Moving on –

THIRD MATCH – TRIPLE THREAT

TRISH STRATUS vs VICTORIA vs JAZZ

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

It was nice to see those three women put on a solid match in an era dominated by bra and panties matches, as well as HLA (hot lesbian action). They were great. There was a physical back and forth, and they were even given almost ten minutes.

I know that doesn’t sound like much, but some of the Diva matches at the more recent WrestleManias have been as short as 3 minutes.

FOURTH MATCH – TAG TEAM

TEAM ANGLE (CHARLIE HAAS & SHELTON BENJAMIN) vs LOS GUERREROS (EDDIE and CHAVO GUERRERO)

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

How could I possibly have anything bad to say about this match? It’s Eddie and Chavo vs The World’s Greatest Tag Team. I was psyched when I saw that this match was next, because I knew the wrestling would be tight, given the men involved.

They did not disappoint.

FIFTH MATCH

SHAWN MICHAELS vs CHRIS JERICHO

HBK drops a picture perfect elbow on Y2J (Courtesy of WWE.com)
HBK drops a picture perfect elbow on Y2J (Courtesy of WWE.com)

This match is so good. The backstory is dynamite. Chris Jericho took his real life love of Shawn Michaels, and molded it to fit his character. The big line in the promo comes from Y2J –

“I grew out of wanting to be the next Shawn Michaels, and I concentrated on becoming the first Chris Jericho.”

Perfect. That tells us everything we need to know. Y2J is an insecure little bitch. This is the character I’m talking about, not the man. Once HBK came back to the WWE, Y2J had to deal with all the comparisons again. He couldn’t handle it. Catching a superkick from Shawn certainly didn’t help, either.

Now, in reality – I’m sure Chris Jericho was (and still is) over the moon about this match. He wrestled his childhood idol on the biggest stage available to men who ply their particular trade. On top of that, the match was unbelievable.

How could it get any better?

SIXTH MATCH

TRIPLE H vs BOOKER T for the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

Honestly – this was okay. I wish it was better, but it could have been a lot worse, too. It’s awesome that Booker got to wrestle for such an important prize at WrestleMania XIX. He deserved it. He was the only guy from WCW to come over and actually do something with the incredible opportunity he was given.

SEVENTH MATCH

HULK HOGAN vs VINCE MCMAHON

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

I’m going to be as blunt as possible – if you want to watch two old men beat each other up, and bleed all over the place, then this is what you’re looking for. If not, then you can definitely skip this. The best thing to come from this match is the gif of Vince peeking his eyes over the ring apron.

Unfortunately, I can’t find it. All I can find is this picture.

(nickgraffis.wordpress.com)
(nickgraffis.wordpress.com)

However, I did find this gif, which is amazing. It was great of Stephanie to pull off such an awesome homage to her pops.

(Cagesideseats.com)
(Cagesideseats.com)

EIGHTH MATCH

THE ROCK vs STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

This match will live forever in the hearts of wrestling fans as the final bout of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s career. This was it. As expected, Austin went out in style. Rock and him stole the show. The only reason it wasn’t the actual main event, is because Stone Cold wasn’t sure how well he was going to do.

He spent the night before in the hospital, and it freaked him out. Yet, he still went out there and gave us his all.

The Rock versus Stone Cold III is a classic on the same level as their other two matches at WrestleMania 15 and 17.

MAIN EVENT

BROCK LESNAR vs KURT ANGLE for the WWE Championship

Finally, we’ve reached the main event.┬áIt was a predictably awesome match, worked by two of the best in the history of the business.

Wait until you see Brock botch that Shooting Star Press. He lands right on his head. It should have killed him, but his neck was so damn muscular, that he survived it.

Crazy, right?

Joseph Finnegan
finnegan.joseph@yahoo.com