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WrestleMania X-Seven

WrestleMania X-Seven was the seventeenth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on April 1, 2001 at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The event was the first WrestleMania held in the state of Texas. A record-breaking attendance for the Reliant Astrodome of 67,925 resulted in gross receipts of $3.5 million.

The main event was a No Disqualification match between Steve Austin and The Rock for the WWF Championship. The main matches on the undercard featured Triple H vs. The Undertaker, the second Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Champíonship, and Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon in a Street Fight.

Background

The main feud leading into WrestleMania X-Seven consisted of Stone Cold Steve Austin challenging The Rock for the WWF Championship. This event marked the second time that the WrestleMania main event featured The Rock and Steve Austin for the WWF Championship, the first one being WrestleMania XV. Steve Austin earned his opportunity to compete for the WWF Championship in the main event at WrestleMania by winning the 2001 Royal Rumble match, while The Rock became the first ever six-time WWF Champion when he defeated Kurt Angle at No Way Out. During their feud, Austin's wife Debra, who was trying to get back into managing, was ordered by WWF chairman, Vince McMahon, to be The Rock's manager against her wishes as well as both Rock and Austin's. As a result, Austin would hold The Rock and McMahon responsible if any harm came to her. On the March 12 edition of Raw is War, The Rock was placed in an overlong Ankle Lock hold during his rematch with Kurt Angle. When Debra went to check on The Rock, Angle also placed her into an Ankle Lock hold. Austin soon ran in to save her and knocked Angle out of the ring. Keeping to his word, he immediately gave The Rock a Stone Cold Stunner as punishment. On the March 29 edition of SmackDown!, Debra was relieved from her managerial role by Mr. McMahon after failing to prevent a brawl between Rock and Austin.

The secondary feud leading into the event pitted the Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) against Triple H and The Big Show. After defeating Steve Austin in a Three Stages of Hell match at No Way Out, Triple H felt that he deserved to be in the WrestleMania main event having defeated everyone in the WWF, including The Rock and Austin. The Undertaker took exception to that and told him that Triple H had never defeated him. Before WrestleMania X-Seven, the two had never faced each other in a one-on-one match on a pay-per-view event. During his entrance for a Hardcore Championship match against The Big Show, Triple H ambushed Undertaker. Kane ran in and saved the Undertaker from a further attack but was met with his own ambush by The Big Show. On the following episode of SmackDown!, Undertaker tried to break into the limousine of Triple H and his wife, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, on arrival but ended up being arrested by the police. As a result, Kane requested a match against Triple H later that night but lost when The Big Show interfered on behalf of Triple H. In retaliation, Kane interfered in The Big Show's Hardcore Championship match against Raven on Raw is War, helping Raven pin Big Show to become the new Hardcore Champion. Undertaker's arrest led to a restraining order from Stephanie. To circumvent this, the Brothers of Destruction interfered in Triple H's match against Test, with Kane ordered to run after Stephanie. With Stephanie held at ransom on a balcony in the arena, WWF commissioner William Regal gave Undertaker and Kane matches at WrestleMania against Triple H and The Big Show respectively. After being attacked during a Hardcore Championship title defense, Regal would later include Raven into Kane and Big Show's match, making it a Triple Threat Hardcore match for the Hardcore Championship.

Another major feud that was built up in the lead to WrestleMania was the one involving Vince McMahon and his son Shane McMahon. The feud started with Vince's disapproval of Mick Foley's job as then-WWF commissioner as well as Foley's decision of holding a six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000, taking into consideration about the well-being of the wrestlers involved in the match. Despite his attempts Foley was given full support by Linda McMahon, Vince's wife and the WWF's CEO. Not pleased with this result, Vince immediately demanded a divorce from Linda. Shortly after Armageddon, to secretly Vince's delight, it was revealed Linda was rushed to hospital suffering with a nervous breakdown. With Linda hospitalised, the Board of Directors appointed Vince as the new CEO of the WWF, allowing him to fire Foley as commissioner. With Linda in a comatose-like state, Vince started to have a public affair with Trish Stratus. Vince's daughter, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, was at first far from pleased about the turn of events. However on the February 26 edition of Raw is War, during a match that placed Vince and Trish against Stephanie and William Regal, Stratus was turned on by the other participants in the match and had sewage dumped over her. In the following shows, Vince continued to demean Trish by having her do such actions as bark like a dog around the ring and striping down to her lingerie. Despite this, Trish remained loyal to Vince and begged for his forgiveness. On the March 12 episode of Raw is War, Shane McMahon made his return to the WWF. Angry with his father's actions, Shane started to throw punches at Vince only to be stopped by William Regal. Shane explained his actions on the following episode of SmackDown! as a result of frustrations over the manipulation of his sister, his mother's state and Vince's treatment of Trish. On March 23, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. purchased their long time rival promotion, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. With it, the purchase brought in an extra twist to the storyline. On the March 26 edition of Raw is War, Vince McMahon made a live speech that was also simulcast on the series finale of WCW Monday Nitro. In the speech, Vince announced that the signing was not final and that he wanted Ted Turner to come to WrestleMania to hand-deliver the contract for signing. He then promised that with the purchase he was going to bury his rival forever. However, Shane who was at the venue for Nitro, interrupted the speech and made an announcement:

To make matters worse for Vince, Mick Foley appeared shortly afterwards that night and announced that prior to his firing, Linda had made multiple contracts for him to sign, one of them was for Foley to referee a match of his choice at WrestleMania. Foley then announced that Vince and Shane's match would be a street fight with himself as special guest referee.

Event

Other on-screen talent
Role: Name:
Commentator Bobby Heenan
Paul Heyman
Gene Okerlund
Jim Ross
Spanish commentator Carlos Cabrera
Hugo Savinovich
Referee Mike Chioda
Jack Doan
Earl Hebner
Theodore Long
Chad Patton
Mike Sparks
Tim White
Interviewer Jonathan Coachman
Michael Cole
Kevin Kelly
Ring announcer Howard Finkel
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, a Sunday Night HEAT match was aired with Steve Blackman and Grand Master Sexay squaring off against X-Factor members Justin Credible and X-Pac. Near the end of the match, fellow X-Factor member Albert distracts Blackman and Sexay from the apron. With Albert pulling Sexay out of the ring, Credible and X-Pac hit their X Marks the Spot finisher on Blackman enabling X-Pac to score the pinfall.

The first match of the event had Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho defending his title against the WWF commissioner William Regal. During the match, Regal exposed one of the top turbuckles to throw Jericho into it. Shortly afterwards, Regal executed a double underhook superplex on Jericho. Jericho attempted a Walls of Jericho submission hold but was reversed into a Regal Stretch. After Jericho managed to grab a ring rope to break the hold, he retaliated with numerous chops and also threw Regal into the exposed turnbuckle. Jericho eventually pinned Regal after a successful Lionsault maneuver on Regal. With his victory, Jericho retained the Intercontinental Championship.

Tazz and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) took on Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) next in a short match that ended with Bradshaw pinning the Goodfather after a Clothesline From Hell. The following match was a Triple Threat Hardcore match between The Big Show, Kane and Raven for Raven's Hardcore Championship. During the match, the three wrestlers fought their way out of the ring and into the backstage area. Big Show tried to lock himself, Raven and the referee into a security cage but Kane breaks the padlock and afterwards throws Raven into a glass window. Big Show and Kane continued to brawl ending with the two throwing each other through a wall. Raven tries to escape by driving off a golf cart, but Big Show stopped him. Kane shortly followed with another golf cart, accompanied by the referee, and runs over Raven. The fight headed back into the stadium with Big Show attempting to press slam Raven off the entrance stage but both were kicked off it by Kane. Kane followed this with a diving leg drop off the stage and pinned Big Show to become the new Hardcore Champion.

The fourth match was the European Championship match between the champion Test and Eddie Guerrero. In the middle of the match, Guerrero ducked an attack from Test, sending him over the top rope. But as Test went over, his foot was caught between the top two ropes, leaving with Guerrero and the referee having to pull Test out. With the help of his fellow Radicalz members Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko, Guerrero pinned Test to become the new champion after hitting him with the European title belt.

The fifth match featured Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. The match started with mat wrestling between the two but soon after, Angle gets tired of it and punches Benoit and throws him out of the ring. Outside, Angle throws Benoit onto the announcers' table and then onto the steel steps. Back in the ring, the wrestlers try to make each other submit with Benoit trying an Ankle Lock, Angle's signature hold, on Angle followed by Angle using Benoit's signature hold, the Crippler Crossface, on Benoit. Benoit eventually succeeded in forcing Angle to tap out to the Crippler Crossface but with the referee knocked out, Benoit was unable to attain victory. Near the end of the match, Benoit tried to pin Angle after a Diving Headbutt but was met with a two-count. Angle rolled-up Benoit with the help of his opponent's tights for leverage to win the match. The following match saw Chyna quickly defeat Ivory for the Women's Championship after a Gorilla Press Drop.

The Street Fight between Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon was next. Shane dominated against his father during the start of the match with attacks involving a Kendo stick and monitors from the Spanish announcers' table. Lying Vince on the table, Shane climbs back into the ring and tries to hit a diving elbow drop off the top rope. However, his sister Stephanie moves Vince off the table, leaving Shane crashing into it. Trish Stratus came towards the ring, pushing Linda McMahon out on a wheelchair. Vince tries to embrace Trish but ends up getting slapped. In retaliation, Stephanie gets into a fight with Trish that led them out of the stadium. With Linda alone, Vince approaches her to the detestment of guest referee Mick Foley but the owner replies with a few chair shots. Dragging Linda into the ring and placing her on a chair, Vince forces her to watch him beat his son down a couple of times with a trash can. However as he goes for a third shot with the can, Linda stands up and kicks Vince in the testicles. With Vince in the corner, Shane placed a garbage can in front of Vince's face and hit a Coast-to-Coast dropkick through it, before pinning his father to win the match.

The eighth match, dubbed "TLC II", was a Tag Team Championship match pitting the champions, the Dudley Boyz, against Edge and Christian and the Hardy Boyz in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. The match contained many dangerous spots involving the weapons involved. Respective associates of each tag team, Spike Dudley on behalf of the Dudley Boyz, Rhyno on behalf of Edge and Christian and Lita on behalf of the Hardy Boyz, interfered during the match. With Spike and Rhyno both laying on two tables outside the ring, Jeff Hardy set up a huge ladder beside them and performed a Swanton Bomb onto them through the tables. Jeff tried to go for the belts but has his ladder pulled off his feet by Bubba Ray Dudley, leaving Jeff hanging onto the belts in the air. Climbing onto a bigger ladder, Edge jumps off it and Spears Jeff onto the ground. Bubba Ray and Matt Hardy start to climb the same ladder but are met by Rhyno who pushes them off the ladder and through some more tables outside the ring. With a boost from Rhyno, Christian managed to unhook the belts, making him and Edge the new Tag Team Champions.

The ninth match was a gimmick battle royal, featuring nineteen WWF alumni famous for their outlandish gimmicks. To further increase the nostalgia, former announcers "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan took over the commentary booth for the match. The match was a short one with the Iron Sheik throwing Hillbilly Jim out of the ring to win the match. In revenge for being eliminated, Sgt. Slaughter locked the cobra clutch hold on the Sheik.

The penultimate match was between The Undertaker and Triple H. For his entrance, Triple H had British heavy metal band Motörhead perform his theme song, "The Game", live. The match started with the two fighting outside of the ring with Triple H ending being put through the replacement Spanish announcers' table. Later on, the referee Mike Chioda ended up being attacked with first by accident through Undertaker's Catapult and later on by The Undertaker's dissatisfaction over a two-count. With Chioda knocked out, the two brawled outside the ring without any risk of a countout and into the technical area. Over there, Triple H gave Undertaker several shots in the head with a steel chair but was eventually reversed into a Chokeslam off the scaffolding followed by an diving elbow drop. Back in the ring as Chioda regained consciousness, Triple H tried to pin The Undertaker after preventing Undertaker's Last Ride maneuver with a sledgehammer shot in the head but only gained a two-count. Continuing the match, Triple H sent The Undertaker's towards the corner with shots to the head but Undertaker reversed them with the Last Ride, allowing him to pin Triple H and increase his WrestleMania winning streak to 9-0.

The final match of the night was the WWF Championship match between The Rock and Steve Austin. Before the ring entrances for the main event, it was announced that the match would be a No Disqualification match. During the match, the two took the fight outside of the ring and into the crowd. When the wrestlers returned to the ring, blood was shed after both had hit each other with the ring bell. The Rock attempted to place Austin into a Sharpshooter hold, but Austin reversed it and placed The Rock into his own Sharpshooter. After releasing the hold following the referee's request he held The Rock by use of the Million Dollar Dream, a submission hold best known from his former gimmick, The Ringmaster. Shortly after, The Rock used Austin's own finishing maneuver on Austin by executing a Stunner. Vince McMahon came to ringside to observe the match. When The Rock tried to pin Austin after the People's Elbow, McMahon pulled The Rock away. He then handed Austin a steel chair to hit The Rock with, revealing that Austin had sided with McMahon, a man he once considered his arch-nemesis. With this, Austin turned heel. Eventually, after multiple chair shots, Austin pinned The Rock and became the new WWF Champion. The show ended with the chairman and the new champion shaking hands and sharing beers.

Aftermath

The following night on Raw is War, Austin and The Rock faced each other in a rematch held inside steel cage which Triple H entered the cage and teased a fight with Austin before turning on The Rock. For several minutes Austin, Triple H, and Vince McMahon triple teamed the outnumbered Rock forging an alliance with Triple H and McMahon called The Two-Man Power Trip. The Rock was written out of the WWF's storylines with McMahon giving him a suspension. This allowed The Rock to begin filming The Scorpion King. Rock and Austin would face each other again at WrestleMania XIX in a rematch that would also be known as Austin's last match to date.

Following The Rock's suspension, Triple H's feud with the Brothers of Destruction continued with Austin now on his side. Shortly after WrestleMania, Triple H defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship while the Brothers of Destruction defeated Edge and Christian to become the new WWF Tag Team Champions. With all four wrestlers holding a championship, a tag team match was booked for Backlash with all of their titles on the line. The feud came to a climax at Judgment Day when Austin defeated Undertaker to retain the WWF Championship while Kane defeated Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship.

Due to the acquisition of WCW, Vince's feud with Shane would later spiral into The Invasion storyline that dominated the WWF in the latter half of the year. It consisted of WCW wrestlers "invading" the WWF's televised shows in an attempt to "take over" the WWF. The Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion would also be involved with Stephanie as its new owner, merging WCW and ECW into The Alliance. Despite giving her own demands for a divorce shortly after WrestleMania, Linda would reconcile with Vince in the wake of the Alliance's threat to the WWF.

Results

# Results Stipulations Times
X-Factor (Justin Credible and X-Pac) (with Albert) defeated Steve Blackman and Grand Master Sexay. Tag team match 02:46
1 Chris Jericho (c) defeated William Regal. Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship 07:08
2 Tazz and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) (with Jacqueline) defeated Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) (with Steven Richards). Tag team match 03:53
3 Kane defeated Raven (c) and The Big Show. Triple Threat Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship. 09:18
4 Eddie Guerrero (with Perry Saturn) defeated Test (c). Singles match for the WWF European Championship 08:30
5 Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit. Singles match 14:02
6 Chyna defeated Ivory (c). Singles match for the WWF Women's Championship 02:39
7 Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley). Street Fight with Mick Foley as special guest referee. 14:12
8 Edge and Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Championship 15:40
9 The Iron Sheik won by last eliminating Hillbilly Jim. Gimmick battle royal 03:05
10 The Undertaker defeated Triple H. No Holds Barred Match 18:17
11 Steve Austin defeated The Rock (c). No disqualification match for the WWF Championship 28:06

References

External links

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