WrestleMania Recall, Match #22: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian, WrestleMania 2000
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Here on WrestleMania Recall, I will be ranking my top 31 favorite matches in WWE WrestleMania history. A new installment will be posted every day in the month of March, culminating with my No. 1 favorite match on Thursday, March 31st, mere days before WrestleMania 32. Each article will offer an in-depth look at each match and an analysis of why it is among my favorites.
I don't think I would go so far as to say that WrestleMania 2000 is one of the worst installments of all-time, but I'd be lying if I said it was even close to being among the greatest or my personal favorites. And it's strange, too, because the year of 2000 on the whole was actually exceptional for WWE, especially in the absence of the injured Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock and Triple H dominated the main event scene for the better part of the year and were constantly trading the WWE Championship back and forth, but somehow it never grew tiresome.
Kurt Angle also rose to prominence in 2000, but the exhilarating tag team division was what really took the year by storm. By WrestleMania 2000, Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz had already been feuding for months on end, a rivalry that included an incredible Ladder match for the services of Terri Runnels in late 1999. It can be argued it was that match that put all four men on the map, but in my opinion, it was this iconic contest that marked a new and more exciting age of tag team wrestling in WWE.
By and large, the WrestleMania 2000 card was a complete mess. The Fatal 4-Way Elimination main event for the WWE Championship was absolutely atrocious up until the final few minutes, the Hardcore Battle Royal was a total train wreck, and worst of all, there wasn't one standard singles match on the entire show! There were far too many multi-man matches for any of them to have real meaning, and consequently, WrestleMania 2000 suffered. Thankfully, not everything at the event was terrible, as this Triangle Tag Team Ladder match undoubtedly stole the show and was the only bout worth watching for.
Tag team wrestling was a major focal point of WWE throughout the 1980s and '90s, but fans had never seen anything quite like this before. It was the first unofficial Tables, Ladders and Chairs match of its kind, otherwise known as TLC. Although it was billed as a Triangle Tag Team Ladder match, tables and steel steps were added into the equation as well, going to show just how desperate each of the six competitors were to reign supreme with the World Tag Team Championship in tow.
Following a dull first hour of the event, the three tandems had their work cut out for them. When I watched this match back on the WWE Network, I was surprised by how quiet the crowd was when the bell rang. Perhaps they didn't know what to think of this new concept, but they soon learned to love it. As the match progressed, they were 100 percent immersed into the action, popping for every insane risk taken by the six competitors and applauding their amazing efforts.
The rematch at WrestleMania 17 played host to the breathtaking mid-air Spear to Jeff Hardy from Edge as he was dangling from the title belts, but what some fans may not know is that something similar happened in this contest as well. While the Charismatic Enigma ascended the ladder, he was met with a Spear from Edge off the turnbuckle. Not quite as crazy, but awesome all the same. Bubba Ray Dudley's Bubba Cutter off the top of the ladder was also a sight to see. Take that, Randy Orton!
For me, the most remarkable part of the match came toward the end when Jeff leaped off the top of what easily could have been a 20 foot ladder and executed a Swanton Bomb to Bubba through a table. If any move epitomized the overused "Holy shit!" chant, that was it. Before The Hardy Boyz could capture the gold, though, Edge and Christian resurfaced and sent Matt spiraling through a table below them, kicking off their first of many reigns as World Tag Team Champions.
SEE ALSO: "WrestleMania Recall, Match #23: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit, WrestleMania 20"