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WrestleMania XV

March 28, 1999

Venue: First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA

Attendance: 20,276

Tagline: The Ragin’ Climax

Runtime: 2 hours, 47 minutes

TH: In March of 1999 I was getting ready to leave Shippensburg University (Pennsylvania) with an undergraduate degree in English. The Attitude Era was in full swing and we watched Raw every Monday night on our thrift store furniture in a shitty house on Queen Street, across from a bar called Wib’s where mostly underage college kids and sorority girls went to drink. My bedroom overlooked the parking lot so I got to be awakened at 2am most nights by drunken “woohoo’ing.” Occasionally I would open the window and shout at them to shut the fuck up, but after a while I got used to the noise and slept right through it. At that time there was a weird resurgence of swing music and swing dancing (look it up kids) with bands like the Brian Setzer Orchestra and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies turning out, um, “hits”(?). A slab of fatty brisket by the name of Butterbean was “boxing,” Britney Spears dropped her first album but Carlos Santana was everywhere at the same time, and everyone I knew shopped at Old Navy. It was a weird time. So let’s get into the weirdness that was WrestleMania XV, live and in color from Trashtown USA, aka Philadelphia.

RS: I was a freshman at UMBC and I was not adapting well to college life, with a 0.8 GPA after the first semester. UMBC was in the town where I grew up, so I went over a friends grandma’s house, ordered a ton of pizza, and settled in on the couch to watch a special, but not so special, WrestleMania 15. When I look back upon it now, that’s a pretty fitting period to the end of the sentence that was the 1990’s. And like the 90’s it’s mostly forgettable except for the end. God, I hate Michael Cole.

TH: Michael Cole (boo!) and Jerry Lawler (yay!) are on the announcers’ table, Philly’s own modern doowop group Boyz II Men sing the National Anthem and don’t even get booed, and it’s time to light this candle!


  • Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow vs. Billy Gunn – Triple Threat Hardcore match

RS: Take Sparky Plug, give him some creatine, he’ll put on 100lbs of pure muscle and become Hardcore Holly. Give a cowboy the same combo and you get Mr. Ass, Billy Gunn. The first Hardcore Championship match of WrestleMania history is kicking off the show. I am pretty sure someone is going to die. The camera missed a spot of Al Snow throwing himself into the corner and I’m sure McMahon fired that producer immediately. Nobody has hit the table, yet it appears to already have blood on it. Billy Gunn just put Holly back into 2nd grade with a chair shot to the face then puts Snow through the table. Holly somehow recovers, and pins Snow on the back of Gunn’s “famouser” finishing move. A real bang-bang ending.

Al Snow and his mannequin, Head
Ladies and gentlemen, the Year of Our Lord 1999.

TH:  Our first Al Snow sighting for a WrestleMania! I always liked him, but what a weird phenomenon his push was. A man carrying around a mannequin head and receiving instructions from it, while taking every opportunity to throw himself into tables, get smacked with steel chairs and foreign objects, or have trash cans smashed over his head. I’m glad he’s still with us, even saved a kid from a rip current in Florida recently. Good guy, that Al Snow. These three are reliable workers and this is a solid match, though hardcore is not my favorite genre. Everybody goes to the floor. Billy Gunn takes a shot into the steel steps that looks like it could have broken both his legs, but somehow recovers. The camera has schmutz on it and I’m not willing to guess what it is. Before it’s over the guys have involved a broomstick, a hockey stick, and of course a table. The finish seems a little rushed to me, but otherwise a pretty entertaining start to WrestleMania XV! Wonder if it’ll hold up?

  • D’Lo Brown and Test, with Debra vs. Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett, with Ivory- WWF Tag Team Championship match

TH: D’Lo and Test are having relationship troubles before this match even begins. Will their tenuous partnership survive the encounter with Double J and Owen Hart? Seems unlikely. When tagging D’Lo in early, Test yells at him, “Get your ass in there!” Rude. If D’Lo and Test can’t get along, what hope do the rest of us have for racial unity?

A photo of internet famous pug, Lil Pickles da Pug.
This match is for shit, so here’s a picture of Lil Pickles da Pug, the best pug on the Internet. (Fight me, Doug the Pug.) Photo (c) Lil Pickles da Pug

RS:  RIP Test. Is this before his fake relationship with Stephanie Mc Mahon and having the storyline hijacked because she started dating HHH in real life? I have zero memory of Owen and JJ being a tag team, let alone the tag champs. WWF’s disrespect to tag matches continues as they just put anyone together. Test is basically Diesel Jr. Michael Cole claims Owen has said Jarrett is the best partner he’s had. I guess he has forgotten about Bret, Yokozuna, British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, etc. I will say they have a pretty sweet team finisher and Owen lands a fantastic dropkick from the top rope for a great finish. These matches are going by fast. 

  • Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn – Brawl For All final, with special guest referee Vinny Pazienza and guest judges Kevin Rooney, Chuck Wepner, and Gorilla Monsoon

RS: Pretty sure this is the end of Bart Gunn’s career. And also the end of the Brawl for All idea. We got a Gorilla Monsoon comeback as a ringside judge. He’s looking a little frail but it is still nice to have him there. Butterbean looks like he’s ready to murder someone. I don’t understand why WWF decided to get into this stuff. Bart clearly is outclassed immediately. Butterbean is controlling the ring. Butterbean put a right hand on the jaw of Bart and out he went. Bart wishes he was still a cowboy. The dude shining a laser pointer on Bart’s face probably helped Butterbean target him.

GIF of boxer Butterbean knocking out Bart Gunn
That went about as expected.

TH: Isaac Hayes is in the crowd, looking cool as hell. I agree it’s great to see Gorilla Monsoon, but man he is looking rough here. He died in October of that same year. RIP Gino, truly one of the greats. Butterbean looks like Michael Chiklis on a diet of bacon fat and Velveeta milkshakes and an exercise regimen of watching the Director’s Cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Bart Gunn is billed from “western Kentucky.” Umm, does he not have a town or city? Even an unincorporated ZIP code he could claim? (Spoiler alert, he’s actually from Florida. #kayfabe) So I guess this is a legit (“shoot”) fight between these guys, with points for knockdowns, takedowns, and the like. They don’t really get that far, though – Bart takes one to the back of the head and needs a five count to recover; almost immediately after he takes one on the jaw and goes over like a felled tree. Must have been booked by Don King. If you were hoping the pace of these matches was going to slow down, you’re outta luck. It took longer for them to introduce the guest judges than for Butterbean to scramble Bart’s eggs.

  • Big Show vs. Mankind – winner to be the special guest referee for the main event between The Rock and Stone Cold

TH: Big Show comes out to the McMahon theme song, “No chance in hell;” I guess he’s a McMahon goon at this point. What kind of “reward” is getting to be a special guest referee? Sounds like more work to me. This was boring and I tuned out, even though I love Mick Foley. Sorry, fans, you won’t get my sparkling commentary on the action here. When it’s all finally over there’s some BS with McMahon that takes longer than the three previous matches combined. It ends with Big Show grabbing him by the throat, then knocking him out. Sounds like someone’s trying to replay the Montreal ScrewJob, though much less interesting. Bret Hart, we hardly knew ye.

GIF of Big Show crying and falling to his knees
TFW you lose a WrestleMania match and don’t get to be a Special Guest Referee

RS: I forgot Big Show jumped to WWF so early. Mankind has turned face, and is no longer with Paul Bearer. WWF has totally relaxed the rules:  instead of the ref counting in the ring, he follows them out of the ring. Mankind now has Socko that he uses for the mandible claw. Sign Alert: “We want the Hitman back.” (TH: Me too, sad emoji.) The Big Show uses a chair on Mankind with no consequences from the ref. Michael Cole says if he’s not careful, he could be disqualified. Wow. Oh, now that Big Show brought in two chairs and choke slammed Mankind through them, he gets disqualified. Sign Alert: “I Toss Salad.” Me too, ladies.

  • Road Dogg vs. Val Venis vs. Golddust (with the Blue Meanie & Ryan Shamrock) vs. Ken Shamrock – Four Corners Elimination Match for WWF Intercontinental Championship

RS: Another fighter with an extra consonant at the end of their name. I have no memory of Golddust partnering with The Blue Meanie. With Ken Shamrock in this match, someone is definitely going to leave hurt, if not dead. I love the guy in the floral shirt in the third row giving Shamrock the Italian/Philly salute. In WrestleMania tradition, Ken and Val get double countout, and in a fast ending, Road Dogg retains the belt.

RS: I bent over to tend to the baby and suddenly Big Show was in a cop car. I dunno.

TH: You missed that at the end of the previous match. Mr. McMahon asks his henchmen to get him a cell phone so he can call the cops because, “I want that big son of a bitch in jail!” Seems size-ist and unnecessarily cruel to me, VM.

Promotional still of Val Venis holding the intercontinental championship belt
Hello, Ladies! Ladies? Where ya going, ladies? Aw c’mon you don’t have to call the cops. I’ll just go back to my seat at the bar.

TH: This match is a weird combo, with some of the stranger characters from this era thrown together. I remember Val Venis being a big deal, and news show anchors clutching their pearls about the “porn star wrestler.” Lol. I forgot about his “Hell-loooo ladies” entrance and how damn gravelly his voice was. He sounds like Tom Waits gargling with broken glass. Val refers to himself as “The Big Valbowski,” which is definitely a normal thing to do. I still love Ken Shamrock even though I’m pretty sure he’s a complete maniac and wanted to kill everyone he was ever in the ring with. Ken’s sister Ryan comes to the ring with Golddust and she is smokin’ hot. I’m not sure why she’s hanging out with weirdos like Golddust and the Blue Meanie – she must be like that one pretty girl in high school who hung out with the art kids. Anyway, there’s a crotch shot or two, Road Dogg keeps the belt, Venis goes back to shooting pornos in the Valley, and Ken Shamrock goes off to plot his next homicide. Next match, please.

  • Kane vs. HHH

RS: Kane comes to the ring to his match, only to find Pete Rose in the chicken costume. Pete gets treated to a second tombstone. Philly fans go nuts even though he played there… Got it.

TH: McMahon announces he will now be the referee for the main event, even though Mankind won the earlier match to claim that “prize.” Sounds like some shenanigans are in store. My God, laser pointers were everywhere in the 90s. Kane looks like he’s lit up by LAPD SWAT team snipers, and anytime the lights go out there’s 101 red dots on everything, like a dalmatian with measles. Only 90s kids remember! Anyway, this is a decent match – two strong workers, no crazy shenanigans. I don’t have much to say about it but it didn’t make me want to fast forward.

GIF of Kane pulling the head off the San Diego Chicken suit to reveal Pete Rose
We swear to God this actually happened on a nationally televised pay per view

RS: HHH gets a fast jump on Kane with a sneak attack from the crowd. We have Teddy Long as the ref here – I love that guy. Kane and HHH are putting together a solid, logical match. It has a very old school feel to it. Well, until Chyna comes to the ring and slides the steel steps into the ring. What was a really great match gets ruined by devolving into useless violence. Kane takes a chair shot that most likely took a few years off his life. 

  • Sable vs. Tori – WWF Women’s Championship match

RS: They resurrected the women’s belt. Sable can’t wrestle for shit yet she’s the champion. Tori is wearing some body suit that looks like a mashup of Giant Gonzales and Ultimate Warrior. And immediately there’s moves that make no sense and terrible selling. This match could be a whole episode of botchamania. Oh man, Nicole Bass just showed up, a member of Howard Stern’s wack pack.

Wrestler Sable with palms up, looking confused
Sable agrees, this match sucks

TH: Who cares about this shit? Thank God the Internet came around in the 90s so teenage boys could look at actual porn and not have to settle for women with fake breasts in bathing suits “wrestling” on TV.

RS: This is clearly replacing the 15 minute arena intermission that on broadcast was always filled with 15 minutes of psychotic Ultimate Warrior promos and Hulk Hogan workout montages.

  • Shane McMahon vs. X-Pac – WWF European Championship match
GIF of actors from Saturday Night live portraying Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Text reads, "Wanna play with your fidget spinner, buddy?"
If you don’t keep him busy, Shane/Eric is gonna try to get in the ring and jump around

TH: From the entrances, it seems like X-Pac is the heel and the boss’s shitheel son is the face? WTAF? Shane McMahon is the Eric Trump of the WWF. McMahon goons Brisco and Patterson attack X-Pac on the ramp, like the corporate stooges that they are.

Shane attempts the Rock’s finisher, The People’s Elbow, but misses. Sir, I know Dwayne Johnson, and you are no Dwayne Johnson. Shane has the charisma of a discarded can of Dwayne’s ZOA energy drink (ZOA! “Energy Drinks for a Healthy, Positive Life” ®) The crowd turns in X-Pac’s favor once HHH and Chyna come out and people think they might be there to help their teammate against Shane-o-Mac & Cheese, but then he loses ‘em again once the Degeneration-X power couple turn on him. Sign Alert: “You Suck.” I concur. Road Dogg & Billy Gunn try to help out X-Pac from the post-match beating, but are also cut down before Kane comes out to assist. (More darkness = time for more laser pointers!) This match is kind of a mess, though maybe it made more sense in context at the time?

RS: 1-2-3 Kid, I mean X-Pac, is back from his NWO run to be part of DX, the WWF wing of the Kliq. Shane can bump, but that’s about it. Shane is whipping X-Pac with a belt, in the ring, yet is not disqualified so far. Shane has done the People’s Elbow and Bret Hart’s elbow from the second rope, but X-Pac stops him from doing Macho Man’s flying elbow. X-Pac cracks the belt across Shane’s face, which would have made me cry. This is literally the worst referee job I’ve ever seen. DX comes running down but they turn on X-Pac and cost him the match. Tragic. HHH and Chyna have abandoned DX. Kane comes out and stops the carnage at last.

  • Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man – Hell in a Cell match
Photo of the Undertaker inside the Hell in a Cell
The Undertaker ready to take on the racist prison industrial complex, as personified by Big Boss Man, in a Hell in a Cell match. Layers, man!

RS: Big Sweat has come back from his weird WCW run. In a video montage, Undertaker burns a cross thing in Vince’s yard and plans to steal Stephanie. Big Boss Man then comes out to a modified version of Stone Cold’s music. The Undertaker has new music, which I don’t remember. It sounds like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and even has him speaking in Latin. ‘Taker has gone full emo. While Big Sweat is now in all black, he has also tattooed the Confederate flag on his arm. In the cell, the handcuffs broke as ‘Taker fell. I’m sure that wasn’t intentional and probably hurt like hell. ‘Taker got some color when he went down too. Damn. ‘Taker picks up Boss Man and throws him like a dart into the side of the cell. Looks like they’ve both got color now. This match comes to a pretty sudden ending, then Undertaker summons Gangrel, Christian, and Edge from the ceiling. I get so uncomfortable whenever I see wrestlers lowered from the ceiling like that after what happened to Owen. He’s put a noose on Boss Man and Paul Bearer hangs Boss Man as the cell is raised back to the ceiling. Wow, holy fuck. This is some dark shit. And Michael Cole segues us to clips of a pre-show party while we watch a man get lynched.

TH: Lord, the video recap of this feud is nuts. We see Undertaker full on terrorizing the McMahon family like Michael Myers on Halloween, and crucifying Big Racist on that x-shaped cross. I don’t know what they did to piss off the Dead Man, but it must have been baaaad. Legit question:  How much cocaine did the WWF writers do in the Attitude Era? My guess is, “all of it.” I’m surprised there wasn’t a global shortage of the Bolivian Marching Powder directly caused by the writer’s room in Stamford. Anyway let’s get to this match so they can finally put this blood feud / reign of terror / pattern of illegal activity to rest. Boss Man was apparently wearing body armor before Roman Reigns made it cool, but I’m still not in favor. Seems not entirely in the spirit of fair competition. I agree with Rich that Undertaker’s new music is weird; I think he might be reading from the Necronomicon on that voiceover. “Klaatu Barada Nikto!” ‘Taker’s goth look is spoiled a bit by laser pointers bouncing off his forehead. (WrestleMania history sidebar:  Is this the first Hell in a Cell match at a WrestleMania? Wikipedia confirms it is! WrestleMania history, ladies and gentlemen. Plus this is only the fifth Hell in a Cell the WWF ever had. You can tell your kids about this.) There’s lots of brutality in the ring involving nightsticks, handcuffs, and both guys bleeding from the forehead.

GIF of Undertaker hanging Big Boss Man with a rope from the cell at WrestleMania 15
We hope this goes without saying, but for the love of God please don’t try this at home.

Man this crowd is COLD and there’s a fair amount of booing that’s not related to disapproval of the heel; honestly I’ve never seen such a lackluster reaction to Undertaker, who was always about as over as they came. Even a flying clothesline and a nut shot from ‘Taker fail to pop this Philly crowd. I think after the epic Hell in a Cell with Mankind (at King of the Ring the previous June) they are expecting someone to get thrown off the cage to their death, and they are disappointed. I get it. There’s a really sudden, unceremonious Tombstone Piledriver and a 1,2,3 – almost seems like the guys realized the crowd was bored to death and just decided to wrap it up. The lynching at the end is super inappropriate, but I do find it moderately satisfying to see a guy with a traitor’s flag tattoo executed, even if it’s pretend. (You can clearly see that Big Racist is held up by a harness and the noose is just draped around his neck.) The lights go out, so it’s laser pointer time!

TH: Interlude from the WrestleMania pre-party, featuring The Cherry Poppin Daddies! (Hey, remember what I said about the bizarre swing revival in the 90s?) Also, Isaac Hayes! All the big wrestling stars shouting their catchphrases! Oh and the Undertaker intoning that the Boss Man will be sent straight to hell. Goddamn that guy is a buzzkill.

  • The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship, with special guest referee Mankind
GIF of a cartoon Yeti waving hello
Praise Him

TH: Finally, the main event is here. Thank God, because the rest of this show has been largely, as they say in the business, the drizzling shits. We start with some shenanigans between Shawn Michaels and Vince, which ends with Vince being exiled from ringside. Sign Alert: “Yeti 3:16.” Sign me up for that religion. 

I forgot all about The Rock’s entrance music – “The Rock says / The Rock says / The Rock says know your damn role.” Legendary. Nothing beats Stone Cold’s glass break entrance, though; I don’t think anyone has equaled it since, and probably only Hogan’s “Real American” or Flair’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra” come close before it. They start off before Austin can even get his t-shirt off. Whenever I see a wrestler in trunks and a t-shirt like that it reminds me of a toddler. It’s not a good look. Anyway, they take it into the crowd and it looks like a scene from Pamplona, except if the bulls were throwing punches. Rock chokes Austin with a tv cable, Austin slams Rock into a barrier and clotheslines him viciously on the rebound, and Rock back body drops Austin and smashes Stone Cold’s left leg (aka the one with the knee brace) directly into a light fixture. Damn that looked painful, even if it was planned. Rock smacks into a camera boom, which I’ve legit never seen before in a match. These guys are all over the place and it looks like they’re actually killing each other. Please for the love of God take this back to the ring before someone dies. Nope, we’re going behind the WrestleMania logo sign instead.

Picture of 4 referee figures with the caption "ghost referee"
L to R: Referees before, during, and after this match

Austin shoots the double birds before dropping an elbow onto the Rock on the Spanish announcer’s table. Vamonos, muchachos. It takes a second elbow drop for them to break through the table. Austin takes a chair to the referee’s head and I audibly gasped – RIP Mike Chioda. He holds his head and legit falls out of the ring to the floor. Austin almost gets his Stunner but gets knocked down instead and Rock takes a chair to his knee. Dastardly! Goddamn, a chair shot to the head and a super close 2-count pops the crow – I thought The Rock had that one. They replay the ref’s chair shot twice more in slo-mo and you can see the damn chair bend. Seriously, RIP Mike Chioda. That gets us Timmy White, one of my favorite refs, as a substitute. “The Rattlesnake will never quit, as long as he’s breathing.” You’re goddamn right. JR tells us, “What a WrestleMania this has been.” Well, JR, that’s because you’ve only had to watch this match, and it’s amazing. The rest has been hot garbage. I’m not one to contradict Good ‘Ol JR, though. Oh shit, Timmy White gets a Rock Bottom – we’re killing all the refs this evening. Then the Rock is on the receiving end of a Stunner that he sells the everloving hell out of, flopping around like an electrocuted fish having an Ecstasy-induced seizure. Another kick out from the Stunner, and the crowd is shitting its pants! I might have peed a little, too. McMahon provides a distraction and the Rock uses it to attack Stone Cold’s knee, the jerk. Special Guest Referee Mankind comes out to take out McMahon, Rock misses a People’s Elbow, and Austin finally gets the Stunner, “Aaand new!” Mankind presents the belt to Stone Cold, who calls for the beers and even shares one with Earl Hebner, who jumps up on the rope and gives us an “Oh hell yeah.” Sign Alert: “I have to poop.” Me too fan, me too. I gotta towel off first, though. “The Ragin’ Climax,” indeed.

Stone Cold gives The Rock a stunner to end the match
Hot damn these guys are good

RS: I think this is JR’s return after his first bout of Bell’s Palsy. Sign Alert: three friends, each with a letter to spell “ASS.” Great job, guys. Shawn Michaels comes out after Vince to tell him he needs to read the rules, that only one person can appoint an official at WrestleMania, and that’s the commissioner, HBK. He tells Vince he’s not the ref and that the Corporation is banned from ringside. I like that Big Show choke slamming Mankind put him in the hospital, mere months after we witnessed Mankind drop 20 feet from the top of a cage and through a table by the Undertaker and he kept fighting. Kayfabe indeed. 

The crowd EXPLODES when they hear that glass break. They get to a fast break start which is standard for Austin. He makes you really think he’s angry and short tempered. Austin isn’t looking as fit as he had previously, but it’s hard to maintain that if you are drowning yourself in beer in front of a crowd every night. He’s still in better shape than me, so if you ever read this, Steve, please don’t hurt me. This match has a similar feel as Bret vs Austin from WrestleMania 13. There’s a crazy spot where Austin gets back dropped on the set. That light was probably 10 grand. This is a no DQ match, yet the ref counts as Austin chokes the Rock outside of the ring…

Stone Cold holds the title belt aloft after winning his match at Wrestlemania 15

The Rock fills his mouth with water then spits it in Austin’s face. Austin drops an elbow on the Rock laid out on the Spanish table but it doesn’t break. So, they climb up again, and the table breaks the second time. Austin kicks out of the Rock Bottom. JR is such a better announcer than Michael Cole; I still say that 20 years later. The ref just took a chair shot that will have him eating through a straw for the next 6 months. Sign Alert: “Pork is kosher.” So am I, ladies. Rock plants Austin with an amazingly well done chair shot. We got a new ref because they broke the other one. This is why we can’t have nice things. The Rock has now Rock Bottom’ed the ref. We’ve broken 2 refs now, but I guess only one is really broken. But we still get a third ref, and Vince punches him. Mankind is coming out to be ref #4. What a great finish. Top notch. Double Sign Alert: “KC” and “KC is fat.” Me too, ladies.

Best Match

Photo portrait of Stone Cold Steve Austin in a gray polo shirt, arms crossed
My future adopted father, everyone. Steve, call me please. I promise I won’t make it weird.

TH: If we’re all watching the same show, it has to be Stone Cold vs. The Rock. Two all timers for the WWF/WWE. In one corner, it’s my main main Steve Austin – aka the Texas Rattlesnake, the host of both Broken Skull Sessions and Straight Up Steve Austin, the man who drinks like my dead alcoholic grandfather and whom I’d want to be my actual father. In the other corner, it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – the World’s Most Charismatic Individual, star of Young Rock and all your favorite Disney movies, the savior of the Fast & Furious franchise, and founder of ZOA! “Energy Drinks for a Healthy, Positive Life.”® These guys go all out for nearly 17 minutes, kill 2.5 referees, destroy the Spanish announcer’s table, and probably take 10 years off their own lives. #blessed

RS: Get out of my face with this. Of course it’s Rock vs. Stone Cold. Why even bother asking me this.

Worst Match

RS: I’m going with Big Show vs Mankind. The premise made no sense, the booking made no sense, and then the refereeing made this make no sense. And this isn’t to be critical of either wrestler but, Big Show is still pretty green and Mankind does his best to put him over, but, nah.

Promotional photo for the "Brawl for All," with pictures of Bart Gunn and Butterbean
#neverforget but actually, #pleaseforget. Bart Gunn certainly has

TH: It seems too easy to pick on the women’s match, so I’m taking the “Brawl for All” “boxing” “match” wherein poor Bart Gunn sustained the initial onset of CTE.

Oh Sh!t Moment

TH: There was a lot of “Oh shit” here, but mostly it was not for good things. Big Racist being lynched by the Undertaker must be near the top, but I think it’s beaten out by Austin’s chair shot on our dear, departed referee Mike Chioda. Hold on, my producer is telling me that Mike Chioda is still alive. This is going to require more research as I just watched Steve Austin murder him on video.

RS: The chair shot Kane took made me flinch. It also made me understand why he’s now a Republican mayor. #braindamage

Overall Rating

RS: Without the main event, this one may be on the level of WrestleMania II. It’s junk. This doesn’t even feel like a WrestleMania. There’s like, no glitz or glamour. The matches aren’t special. There’s now a very clear hierarchy of talent – there’s all the middling midcard guys, and then two top dogs. HHH is finally working his way up, recovering from the “Curtain Call” incident and having a feud with Kane, the gatekeeper to the higher echelons. Even if this had just been an episode of Raw, it would have sucked. I almost wish Rock vs Stone Cold wasn’t on this program so I could totally take a shit on it. But, I have to judge what is in front of me. I think I still need to keep this one under 3, so I’m at a 2.5 for this show. Maybe could have been a 3 if Rock v. Stone Cold was not a hardcore match and they really worked it in-ring.

TH: Oof, this was a rough one. If not for that main event match, it’d be a 1 or 2 star show for sure, maybe down in WrestleMania IX or WrestleMania XI territory. Thanks to the Rock and Stone Cold’s heroics, though, and the sacrifice of three brave referees, this one gets dragged up a half star to a 2.5 like Rich. The opening hardcore match and the presence of Al Snow and Mick Foley help a bit, but not much. Watch with caution, and with copious use of the fast forward button. If you want to pretend it’s still 1999 (and who doesn’t) make sure you also watch with your laser pointer.

RS: I think it might be fun to remind our reader and ourselves that over on TBS, WCW still has these people on their roster:

  • “Mr Perfect” Curt Hennig
  • Hulk Hogan
  • “Macho Man” Randy Savage
  • Dusty Rhodes
  • Bam Bam Bigelow
  • Bret Hart
  • Ric Flair
  • The Steiners
  • Lex Luger
  • Alundra Blayze/Madusa 
  • Sting
  • Scott Hall
  • Kevin Nash
VHS video box for Starrcade 1999, including photos of Bret Hart and Goldberg
The Battle to End the Millennium… and also Bret Hart’s career (Sad reaccs only) 😦

And the game changer, Goldberg. At this point, WCW’s nWo storyline is running out of control, but they had tied up so many of the big, recognizable names in wrestling that they are still edging out WWF in ratings and it’s no wonder when we see WWF putting this card on WrestleMania, their flagship Pay-Per-View. That December, WCW put on its Starrcade with a card including:

  • Jeff Jarrett vs. Dustin Rhodes (two more WWF refugees)
  • Sting vs. Lex Luger
  • Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
  • Bret Hart vs. Goldberg

I would have traded the undercard of WrestleMania for the undercard of Starrcade, but that main event? Boy that’s tough. Especially knowing that Bret vs. Goldberg is the match that hurt Bret, leading to his eventual retirement. 

In Memoriam

  • Paul Bearer, d. 2013
  • Big Boss Man, d. 2004
  • Chyna, d. 2016
  • Howard Finkel, d. 2020
  • Owen Hart, d. 1999
  • Gorilla Monsoon, d. 1999
  • Pat Patterson, d. 2020
  • Test, d. 2009
Head and shoulders photo of Test
Andrew “Test” Martin, March 17, 1975 to March 13, 2009

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