Home > Retro Columns, wwe > Retro: WrestleMania X7 (2001) Recap

Retro: WrestleMania X7 (2001) Recap

Friday is going to become my retro column posting day. With WrestleMania coming around the corner, I figured it would be a good idea to re-post the various WM columns I have in my archive. I currently have writeups for WM 17, 19, 21, 22, 23 and 25 in my archives. Why don’t I have all of them? Because at various points in my writing career I wrote less. I’m a pretty random guy in many ways. Anyway, here’s the original writeup for the best PPV in WWF/E history: WrestleMania X7. It’s in its original form. I’m not editing. It was written in 2001, so any predictions about future possibilities can be laughed at if you want. If you’ve never seen the show, find it and watch it. If you have seen it, reminisce with me. And then watch it again. It should be viewed multiple times. Enjoy.

WrestleMania X7 Recap
Originally written April 2, 2001. The show took place in the Houston Astrodome and the announcers were Jim Ross and Paul Heyman.

This was undoubtedly the greatest WrestleMania of all time. After seeing it live I also think that it is the best PPV I have ever seen. Why? Let’s get to it. This is not a full play by play recap of what happened; it is basically just my thoughts on each match. I’ll use the standard five star rating system to rate the matches. Without further Apu, here she blows…

Vintage TJR banner
(That’s an old school TJR banner. Vintage even!)

X-Pac & Justin Credible defeated Steve Blackman & Grandmaster Sexay
How long did this match last? Three minutes? I saw about thirty seconds of it and that was the end. The double superkick is a nice finishing move and I’m guessing that the X-Factor (bad name by the way) team will be getting a tag title shot soon. They need another team in the tag title mix and these guys seem like the next challengers. I didn’t see enough to give it a rating so I’ll just go with the easy choice.
Rating: DUD

IC Title Match: Chris Jericho defeated William Regal
First of all, the crowd shots at the start of the show were just awesome to see. I was a little surprised that this match was chosen as the opener but it made sense because both guys are over fairly well. I thought the work in this match was okay although I expected more. Jericho going over makes little sense to me because he needs to go past this level while Regal would be better suited as the IC champion. I hope Jericho drops the belt on TV in the coming weeks so that he can move up the card somewhere although I’m not sure who he would feud with now. I think the Lionsault is a bad choice for a finisher too. The way he landed it last night was better than usual but the fact that he sits up on his knees, grabs his chest and then covers is not a good way to finish a match. The Walls of Jericho finisher would have worked fine because Regal wouldn’t lose much heat with a tapout. I’m surprised it only got seven minutes too. This was below my expectations.
Rating: **

Tazz & Acolytes defeated Right to Censor
This should have been the main event on Heat rather than a match on WrestleMania. It makes sense though since Vince likes to reward his talent for their work over the year by putting them on the ‘Mania card. Not everybody got to be a part of it but by having this match they got eight people on the show in a four-minute match so it worked out. Bradshaw getting the pin made sense since it was in Texas. Still though, this was a regular TV match that provided nothing for me just like I thought. Oh yeah and Tazz marks, I still haven’t seen him do anything to impress me.
Rating: 1/4*

Hardcore Title: Kane defeated The Big Show and Raven
Kane has the belt now but does anybody really care? This was the usual hardcore match with a few more comedy spots thrown in than normal. Okay, maybe they weren’t comedy spots but they were so bad that they made me laugh. The gimmicked window, Big Show & Kane breaking through the wall and of course the golf carts were just lame. The ending was decent where they fell off the stage although it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. The Hardcore genre is getting so old that I’d be a happy man if I never saw another hardcore match again. Good effort by Raven though and the big guys did a decent job too. Too bad there was no Pete Rose. I guess he was too busy gambling on the Major League Baseball season which started on Sunday. Pete Rose gambling jokes rule! Yeah!
Rating: *1/2

European Title: Eddy Guerrero defeated Test
I missed the first few minutes of this match because I put my friend’s son to bed but I was told that it was nothing extraordinary. It seemed to me that Eddy was not his usual awesome self and was just going through the motions. He is good enough that he can do that every once in a while but this is WrestleMania so I expected more of him. Even though Test lost, they put him over pretty well because it took three guys and a belt shot to give Eddy the win. I guess Eddy’s CHEAT TO WIN days are back so that is great to see. I wonder though, where does Eddy go from here? I think a feud with Raven would be great because it would help Raven get more over as a face as well as get him free of the dying Hardcore division. As for Test, I don’t know where he should go but he is getting better slowly. It would be nice to see him show more emotion though. Usual stuff here.
Rating: **1/2

Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit
“Lose the freaking cowboy hats. You’re not seven years old anymore. Please!” That was a hilarious comment made by Kurt Angle before the match. This match was sheer beauty and it’s the type of wrestling I will never get tired of watching. If I could compare it to anything it would probably be Hart vs. Hart @ WM10 but this was different than that. As Paul Heyman said, the counter wrestling in this match was just brilliant. I loved how they told a story from the opening minutes of freestyle wrestling to the point where Angle decked Benoit because he was frustrated. That’s great booking. I also enjoyed the parts where Benoit put the anklelock on Angle and Angle put the crossface on Benoit. While the ending with the ref bump leading to the crossface was disappointing to see, I can understand now because this feud will probably continue for another month. Angle rolling up Benoit while holding the tights was an old school finish to an old school match. The crowd responded well to it too. We’ll probably see a rematch at Backlash, likely a submission match, and I’m guessing that it will be even better than this one. I love both of these guys and I look forward to seeing this feud continue. Now, if only those Texans would lose the freaking cowboy hats! Haha, I love that line.
Rating: ****1/2

Women’s Title: Chyna vs. Ivory
Yes! One woman’s dream has become a reality! She finally has the Women’s Championship! This is better than sex! WOW! Chyna rules dude! In case you are wondering, I am being VERY sarcastic. If you read the preview you’ll be interested to know that I had pizza for dinner and I spent my time releasing that pizza from my system during this match. In translation, this match was crap so I took a crap. I’d give it a DUD but since Chyna was involved I will penalize it even more. Sorry, I don’t like bad actresses made out of plastic. Sue me, I’m biased.
Rating -**

Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon
Excellent work by everybody involved in this match especially Shane McMahon. Outside of the main event, this match had the most heat and the crowd responded to it perfectly. The booking was beautiful here with Shane annihilating his father leading to the awesome bump off the top rope onto the Spanish announce table. Following that came Trish turning on Vince, a catfight between Trish & Stephanie, Vince’s attack on Foley and then Vince putting Linda in the ring. The setup was perfect and even though you could see it coming a mile away the kick to the groin that Linda did to Vince was awesome. I never thought Linda McMahon could generate such a pop but they did it. Seeing Foley attack Vince was pretty cool and of course the ending was fantastic. When Shane put the trash can in front of Vince I knew the Van Terminator was coming but didn’t know if he could pull it off. He did it though and it was excellent. Once again Shane McMahon proves to me that if he really wanted to be a wrestler full time he could easily become one. I don’t think he will but I know he could be great at it if he ever attempted to. The right man won here. Magnificent storytelling to cap off a very satisfying match.
Rating: ***1/4

Tag Titles: Edge & Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz & The Hardy Boyz
Wow! What else can you say about this match? It lived up to expectations for the third consecutive time. I don’t know how some people can say that it was not better than the original TLC match from Summerslam because I think this topped it. Of course, that was a five star match and I think this one close so when you take that in mind it’s tough to say which is better. The spots in this match were once again awesome as all six guys, plus their three friends, busted their asses to put on a great show. As usual, Jeff Hardy took the most insane bumps with the Swanton onto two people as well as the biggest bump of the night which was the spear he took from Edge while hanging onto the belts. It was one of the sickest bumps I have ever seen and quite frankly I’m surprised he could walk after that one. My favourite wrestler in the match, Christian, took some crazy bumps as well. While all six guys were climbing to get the belts Christian fell all the way to floor when he was pushed. I’m guessing he overjumped the ropes or he just felt insane and decided to go for the sicker bump. Two minutes later when Spike Dudley came down Christian took the Acid Drop through a table in what was a very cool visual. I really like the Acid Drop and it was even better looking because he went from inside the ring all the way to the floor and through the table. Then of course there was the bump by Matt Hardy & Buh Buh Ray Dudley off the giant ladder through the stacked tables on the floor. That was just sick. The only person not to take a really big bump was D’Von Dudley but I read a while ago that he was pretty scared of heights so you can’t blame him for that. He did a good job, I just thought I’d point that out. The ending was not as good as the original TLC match ending but it was still very unique. It was pretty cool seeing Rhyno carrying Christian on his shoulders as they beat D’Von up the ladder. It’s a little surprising that E&C came away with the belts again although I won’t complain to much because I love those guys. I wonder if they’ll feud with some other team now because there really is nobody else out there. I’m not going to give this one the full five stars because I didn’t like all the interference, even though it did make sense, and because the ending could have been better. Still, it was an epic match and one that I will never get tired of viewing.
Rating: ****3/4

The Iron Shiek won the gimmick battle royal
After seeing all the combatants my friend Nate said, “The Iron Shiek will win the battle royal because he’s too fat to take a bump.” Well, it turns out that Nate’s expertise came in handy as The Shiek pulled the win out. It was hilarious seeing Kamala earlier in the show standing on William Regal’s desk. That was gold. The introductions for this match were hilarious especially the Repo Man’s because I love that music. A low voice saying “Repo Man” and then the techno music kicks in. This was everything you could expect from dozens of wrestlers in their 40s, 50s and even 60s. I guess The Iron Shiek won because he was the only guy, to my knowledge at least, in the battle royal that has actually won the world title. Either that or like my buddy Nate said, he was just too fat to go over the top. If the Berzerker had shown up and Kamala attempted to pin somebody I would have felt as though this was heaven but my wish was left unfulfilled. Maybe next year.
Rating: * for the moon and stars on Kamala’s torso. Excellent paint job!

The Undertaker defeated Triple H
The introduction here with Motorhead singing Triple H’s theme song live was great to see. I would like to see that sort of stuff happen more often although in some cases, like with Kane’s music, it would just be with some nerd playing an organ. Okay, so it’s not the greatest idea ever. What do you want from me? Anyway, this match pretty much lived up to my expectations although I have to give credit to the Undertaker for putting in a great effort. You know Triple H will bust his ass for us every time he is in the ring and it was good to see that ‘Taker was up to the challenge. Had this been the Undertaker of three years ago this match could have been even better. Still, I have a lot of respect for the WWF’s locker room leader who does a magnificent job of leading by example. Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash are you taking notes? The only problem with this match was the excessive brawling that took place after the ref bump that lasted for ten minutes. I understand that the refs are about as strong as a piece of grass, and that may be stretching it, but it was far too absurd to have the guy laying face first in the ring for ten minutes without moving. Also, the brawling in the crowd by the technical area was, how do I say this, too contrived for my liking. The chokeslam was obviously onto a padded area and while some people may complain about that, I think it’s better than taking a bump flat on the concrete. I don’t want Triple H going into retirement like HBK & Foley did, do you? All in all, this was a very solid match that, as I said earlier, met my expectations. It was made even better because both guys were over so much and it was nice to see ‘Taker going over in his home state. The finish of the match was awesome with Triple H cracking Taker with the sledgehammer and then Taker gaining advantage with the Last Ride while Hunter was pounding him in the turnbuckle. Imagine if ‘Taker busted out a Liger bomb there? I know I’m dreaming but it would have been sweet. Solid match here and the best effort by the Undertaker since he returned last May.
Rating: ***3/4

World Title: Steve Austin defeated The Rock
The match that I have wanted to see for months finally happened and it did not disappoint. I can easily say that this match was BY FAR the best match that these two ever had against eachother. There is so much that I loved about this match that I am sure I will miss something. First of all, I think this was the best effort The Rock has put into any of his matches. He really has come into his own and he is always getting better. I have said it before and I will say it again, The Rock is everything that is good about the wrestling business. He deserves everything he has earned, yes earned, and one day when it’s all said and done I hope he gets the respect he rightfully deserves.

As for Austin, well, what can I say that I haven’t already said? If he wasn’t at God status before then he is definitely there now. For the second event in a row he participated in a match of the year candidate that captivated its audience for thirty minutes. He is wrestling better now than he has since the summer of ’97 when he originally hurt his neck injury and most importantly, he seems to be having fun again. I could tell he enjoyed this match a whole heck of a lot because he was wrestling as a heel for the first time in a long time. The chokeholds, the unbuckling of the turnbuckle pad, the extra time he put The Rock in the Sharpshooter and all the other little cheapshots were signs of the heel. Plus, he was swearing even more than normal. Gotta like that.

The parts I enjoyed the most were probably obvious to those of you who know what my favourite feud of all time is. First of all, when Austin was in the Sharpshooter with the blood dripping off his face it reminded me of the greatest match ever, Austin/Bret Hart from WM13, so I was marking out there. Then, when he put on the Million Dollar Dream and Rock reversed it ala Bret Hart at Survivor Series ’96 I had a near heart attack when Rock almost got the three. When I saw that stuff I knew Austin was turning heel. I had my intuitions about it before but that behaviour sealed it. Then of course there was the interaction with Vinny Mac that pretty much sealed it. The last ten minutes of this match was beautiful with Rocky nailing the People’s Elbow followed up by Vince stopping the three. Austin hits the Rock Bottom for two, a chair shot for two, a stunner for two and then the end where he lets out his frustration with sixteen (I counted) chairshots to the Rock’s body. As the ref counted to three I smiled because the Austin everybody fell in love with four years ago is back.

I don’t think Austin will have trouble getting over as a heel. He’s a legend and if anybody knows how to stay over with a crowd it is Steve Austin. I look forward to his heel run because it gives us something fresh that the WWF has needed for months now. You may disagree with me but I’m going the full monty on this one. I can watch it a million times and I’ll like it just as much as I did after the first viewing. When you can say that about a match it deserves five stars.
Rating: *****

In Closing…
This was undoubtedly the greatest WrestleMania of all time. Not only did it feature two matches that were close to or at the five star level but it also featured a technical masterpiece with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. The Angle/Benoit match was a workrate fans dream as they did, as Paul Heyman said, some of the best form of mat wrestling he has ever seen. A rematch at Backlash? I’d pay to see that one. The TLC 2 match was even better than the last one which is a credit to the six men who put their bodies on the line for us again. The Shane/Vince match was predictable but what mattered was that they gave us the finish we wanted. When Linda stood up the pop was just insane and Shane-O-Mac impressed me yet again. He is boy wonder indeed. Triple H was awesome as well giving ‘Taker his best match since his feud with HBK. The rest of it was either good or decent but nothing was really unwatchable.

The show ended with the two most popular wrestlers in the business having a match of the year candidate at the biggest show of the year. What more could a wrestling fan hope for? Nothing and that’s why this is the best PPV ever.

9.5/10 – I don’t give out 10s. Not yet anyway.

John C.

Categories: Retro Columns, wwe Tags: , ,
  1. JCITY617
    February 26, 2010 at 3:00 PM


    • Jeremy
      March 1, 2010 at 12:32 AM

      when you type, do you try to be annoying?

  2. Scoot
    February 26, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    I was there that night and it was one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had. The odd thing is that I have never rented Wrestlemania X7 and watched it with commentary . . . I guess I didn’t want to take away from the experience, but enough time has gone by that I think it will be alright ;-)

    • February 27, 2010 at 11:06 AM

      I hate you for being there. And yeah, I’d watch it again. What a show. The commentary was great too. I love Heyman as an announcer.

  3. Aaron
    February 26, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    ” I don’t want Triple H going into retirement like HBK & Foley did, do you?”

    Uhm….. ;)

    In all seriousness, would you give this a 10 out of 10 now? It was th best PPV I ever saw either, and I won’t forget watching it live. What a show.

    • February 27, 2010 at 11:05 AM

      The bump was reckless, I thought. Two months later he tore a quad.

      Nah, I can’t give it 10 out of 10. The bad stuff was kept short, but there was still too much filler with the Chyna shit, the tag titles and other things.

  4. mrken
    February 26, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    lita took a hell of a bump when the back of her head hit the ladder. The sound just makes you wanna rub your own head in pain.

  5. Jaykob
    February 27, 2010 at 3:20 AM

    Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock at X-7. Best match ever, in my honest opinion. I flipped out the first time I watched it.

  6. slickman
    February 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Regarding austin heel turn it was massive shock to me but i was only 11 or 12 years old back then, im guessing the internet wrestling comminuty wasn’t as big back then regarding rumour sites just wondering did anyone know he was turning heel ? Most of the modern day heel turns are ruined by spoilers and stuff and its hard to aviod them!

    • Jaykob
      February 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

      I was 15 at the time I believe and I had no clue Austin was turning heel. Nobody I was watching with had any idea either.

  7. Cravo15
    February 27, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Just watched the Austin / Rock match again for the first time since the nite it was on originally and it was as good as i remembered. I remember calling the heel turn the weeks leading up to it and was spot on. Loved this rivalry and this period in the wrestling world.

  8. Joshua
    February 28, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    To answer slickman’s question, I remember that there were definite rumours about an Austin heel-turn, but nothing was confirmed. In Austin’s own book he mentions having reservations about the idea himself, and almost “calling an audible” and Stunning Vince after the match. Creatively brilliant, but Austin was their top face for so long it was difficult for people to boo him. That’s why it was still up in the air when WM began; no-one knew if they’d actually go through with it, even though it made sense and looked like it was going to happen.

  9. Owen Tebb
    February 28, 2010 at 6:28 AM

    This is the only live event i have been to I flew all the way to Houston,Texas from the UK to watch this event. I knew it had potential to be the best Wrestlemania ever and I wasn’t dissapointed. The crowd was hot all night with some of the pops being insane. I really thought the roof was going to blow off. With so many great matches, it would be hard to to pick just one match of the night but I’ll admit that Austin vs Rock was without doubt AN EPIC EVENT that in my opinion hasn’t been beaten since. Man I really miss these two. Roll on WM26, lets hope we see some epic matches.

  10. Vieira Bhoy
    March 2, 2010 at 6:06 AM

    Wow you really hated Chyna…….me too and her huge grapefruits.

  11. Mike
    March 2, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    This Austin-Rock match is my favorite of all-time for many of the reasons John listed (the spots that paid tribute to past matches), Austin’s heel tendencies coming out, the kicking out of finishers, the “trading” of finishers, Rock continually staying alive at the end–I remember watching that live and how shocked I was to see Rock keep kicking out. Austin was great anytime Rock kicked out–how he would throw a temper tantrum, curse up a storm…that was great…it showed how bad he wanted that title and then teaming with Vince? All the chairshots in the last sequence which finally led to the pin? Showed he would do ANYTHING to be champ again. This match told an amazing story. I think anybody learning the business should watch this match—its the perfect example of how to tell a story in a match.

  12. Mike
    March 2, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    How could I forget the crowd? Austin’s pop when he was introduced was maybe the biggest pop in wrestling history. The crowd heat for this match was amazing–the crowd really never had a “down” period…and if it did, it wasnt long at all. The crowd’s reaction to Rock continually kicking out was great. The mixed reaction at the end was fascinating–they were pissed Austin sided w/Vince but they mostly cheered him anyway cuz he was the hometown hero. Along with Hogan-Rock at WM18, this match had the best crowd heat I’ve ever seen.

  13. Anonymous
    April 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    The rock got thunderous ovation at the last

  14. March 16, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    wrestilmaina 17 review OVER RATED
    chris jericho vs reagle **
    the tag match **
    kane vs raven vs big show ***
    eddie geriro vs test ***
    kurt angel vs chris beonit ****
    chyna vs ivory DUD
    shane vs vince ***
    tlc 2 **** over rated
    battel royal *
    taker vs hhh ***
    austun vs the rock **** more over rated than tlc
    over all 9/10

  15. March 16, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    i just watched undertaker vs shawn michels from wrestilmaina 26 most overated fucking match of all time y do pepole thank its five becuse the storyline was good thats not right to give a match 5 stars becuse of the story line no where near good as there frist match at wm25 i give it **** i have watched this match 6 times and every time i thank **** no changeing my opion i do thank its the most over rated match of all time.

  16. September 29, 2016 at 4:27 AM

    excellent issues altogether, you simply gained a
    new reader. What may you recommend in regards to your submit that
    you made some days ago? Any certain?

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