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Charles (Loss)

[1999-03-28-WWF-Wrestlemania XV] Steve Austin vs The Rock

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Jim Ross returns to the booth to call the main event, as they have dropped the heel angle, which was failing miserably. Not sure what happened between here and the main event, but Vince comes out as special referee. I guess Foley was deemed in no condition to ref the match? Shawn comes out right away to put a stop to that. He cites the WWF rulebook once again, and apparently it states only one man can appoint a referee at Wrestlemania - the Commissioner. So Shawn throws him out of the ring and The Corporation is barred from ringside. This is all time filler crap that goes way too long and feels out of place on a pay-per-view.

 

The Rock is finally dressing in wrestling gear again. I thought too much of this match happened outside the ring. It was a good match, but I don't get not staying in the ring really at all. I think all the overbooking actually worked in this case. Even though Rock and Austin could have a great match without it, they'd do that next month. This was more Wrestlemania-like and fit the moment, so I have no problem with it in this case. Not at all in the upper echelon of WM main events, but absolutely not a disappointment either.

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Pretty good match. They kept things moving on the outside and I never really got bored. I didn't think the work in the ring was too good but they had enough bells and whistles to keep it entertaining. Their WM17 match would be much, much, much better. The pop Mankind gets during his entrance really makes me think they should've gone with the triple threat option.

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Nice to see JR back in the booth for the main event. It's just right. Also nice to see Mr. Wrestlemania make an appearance. I thought the match was an overbooked mess. It wasn't awful as they did enough to make the crowd happy. I can't beileve to guys like Austin and Rock insist on brawling into the crowd. That seems like a bad thing to happen. it takes them forever to fight in the ring. The finish is great though with Austin winning and sharing a beer with Earl Hebner.

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I thought this was a great match that was overbooked and had the WWF brawling but it brought an intensity that would be lacking when this would happen for years to come. The finish also was overbooked but a ton of fun and had moments for both guys with the Rock being able to kick out of the stunner even with a delayed count. Mankind coming down and getting his pop was a nice moment and Austin's win followed right by Vince's great facial reaction made for a cluminating and triumphant moment. There arent many of these attitude matches that really hit for me that are worked in this manner but this was one of them. Right off hand, I can think of many last matches on the card Mania matches that are better than this one. 12, 17, 20, 22, 23, 26, and maybe 30. ****

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This held up *way* better than I was expecting. There were unnecessary bells and whistles in the match just like there were in the build-up, but the work was good, the match always kept moving even during the brawling on the floor (I liked how Austin broke up the "I have your head so you have to walk with me" stuff with occasional punches and kicks, just to keep things semi-realistic), and of course the molten crowd always helps. This crowd was so into the match that they were popping for near-falls off Samoan drops and chair shots. This Mania was shit on at the time, and at times it did feel like an episode of Raw that you had to pay for, but on the whole I think this show ended up being better than its rep.

 

Edit: Late edit for posterity...the Observer polls had this at 125 thumbs up, 57 down, 45 middle, so reaction was more positive than I remembered. Online reaction tended to be worse, albeit divided.

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Really enjoyable match. great brawling in the early parts of the match. They took some nasty bumps which helped the match. It was overbooked though with the ref bumps but it did lead to Foley coming back which was a great moment. Good brawl with a great conclusion to a storyline... or so we though. ***1/2

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