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WrestleMania XIX

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WrestleMania XIX was the nineteenth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on March 30, 2003 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The event was the first WrestleMania held in the state of Washington, and the first Wrestlemania to use the WWE name. A record-breaking 54,097 fans from all fifty states and numerous countries from around the world at Safeco Field resulted in a gate attendance generating more than USD$2.76 million.

WrestleMania XIX was the first WrestleMania to be promoted under the WWE name and the first to have taken place after the WWE Brand Extension. It was a joint-promotion pay-per-view event, featuring performers from the Raw and SmackDown! brands. The tagline for WrestleMania XIX was "Dare To Dream". The official theme song for the event was "Crack Addict" by Limp Bizkit. Limp Bizkit performed the theme song live, as well as "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" during The Undertaker's entrance.

The main match on the SmackDown! brand was Kurt Angle versus Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, which Lesnar won by pinfall after executing an F5. The predominant match on the Raw brand was for the World Heavyweight Championship between Triple H and Booker T, which Triple H won by pinfall after performing a Pedigree. Other matches on the undercard included Shawn Michaels versus Chris Jericho, Hulk Hogan versus Vince McMahon in a Street Fight, and The Rock versus Steve Austin, in what would be the latter's last ever match.

Background

The main feud heading into WrestleMania on the SmackDown! brand was between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar, with the two feuding over the WWE Championship. Angle won the title three months prior at Armageddon by defeating then-champion The Big Show with Lesnar's help. At the Royal Rumble in January, Angle defeated Chris Benoit to retain the WWE Championship, and Lesnar won the Royal Rumble match to become number one contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania when he last eliminated The Undertaker. The following month at No Way Out, Lesnar and Benoit defeated Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas) in a Handicap match. During that Pay Per View, Edge was supposed to team up with Lesnar & Benoit to wrestle Team Angle in the scheduled Six Man Tag team match but Edge was attacked backstage and it was announced he could not participate in the match. On the March 6 edition of SmackDown!, Lesnar defeated Paul Heyman in a Steel cage match to earn a championship match against Angle the next week. The next week on SmackDown!, Angle defeated Lesnar to retain the WWE Championship. Before the match began, Kurt, who was "praying" in the corner, switched with his brother Eric. Lesnar then came out and the match began. Shortly after the match began, Benjamin and Haas came to the ring and distracted Lesnar, which gave Eric time to switch back with Kurt. As Lesnar regained his focus, Kurt was able to pin him with a small package for the win. The following week on the March 20 edition of SmackDown!, SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon told Angle that if he tries to get himself disqualified or if his brother, Benjamin, or Haas try to interfere in their match at WrestleMania, he would lose the title.

The main feud on the Raw brand was between The Rock and Steve Austin. On the February 20 edition of Smackdown!, The Rock returned to WWE after a six-month hiatus from wrestling (since SummerSlam). On that evening, he was in a confrontation with Hulk Hogan before their WrestleMania X8 rematch at No Way Out. At the No Way Out event, The Rock defeated Hogan with the help of Vince McMahon. On the following night's edition of Raw, The Rock returned to the Raw brand in a 20-man Battle royal that would determine the opponent for the World Heavyweight Championship. Rock however, was unable to win after he was eliminated by Booker T; after the match, Rock criticized Steve Austin for being chosen as the Superstar of the Decade by the WWE fans in January, beginning the feud between Rock and Austin. The following week on Raw, Austin, who was on a long hiatus before returning that previous Sunday at No Way Out, made his WWE television return, as he cut a promo about the WWE fans, before he was interrupted by Rock, who challenged him to a match at WrestleMania because The Rock, himself, was obsessed of not beating Austin at a WrestleMania event by the time they fought at WrestleMania XV and X-Seven during a four-year span. As soon as the challenge was made, Raw General manager, Eric Bischoff, announced that the following week on Raw, Rock would face Booker T in a match, and if he won, he would have the choice to face either Austin or Triple H at WrestleMania. On the March 10 edition of Raw, Rock, with Bischoff's approval, announced that he would pick his own opponent for later that night, which turned out to be The Hurricane, in hopes for Rock to gain an easy victory. However, Austin made his way down the entrance ramp, which distracted Rock and allowed Hurricane to Roll up Rock into a successful pinfall, which made the Austin-Rock match at WrestleMania official. On the March 24, and final edition of Raw leading into WrestleMania, Austin was banned from entering the arena that night. He managed to enter the arena and attack Rock, however, before Rock fled the ring.

The secondary feud on the SmackDown! brand was between Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon. One month prior at No Way Out, during a match between Hogan and The Rock, McMahon got involved and distracted Hogan came down to the ring, only to distract Hogan, which allowed the referee, Sylvan Grenier to give The Rock a chair, which Rock used to hit Hogan and pin him for the win. After No Way Out, McMahon proclaimed that Hulkamania was dead and proclaiming a new 'mania; McMahonamania. On the March 6 edition of SmackDown!, Hogan informed McMahon that Hulkamania was not dead and that McMahon had nothing to do with creating it. McMahon informed Hogan that he did not hate Hulkamaniacs or Hulkamania, but he hated Hogan. He then told Hogan that he hated him for leaving WWE (then known as the WWF) for Ted Turner's WCW and for testifying against him in the steroid trial in the 1990s. McMahon proceeded by challenging Hogan to a match at WrestleMania where if Hogan lost, he would have to retire from professional wrestling. Hogan accepted his challenge later that night. Two weeks later on the March 20 edition of SmackDown!, McMahon and Hogan had a contract signing for their match at WrestleMania. As Hogan was preparing to sign the contract, McMahon attacked with a steel chair from behind. Shortly afterwards, McMahon hit Hogan several times with the chair in the head, causing him to bleed. McMahon then signed the contract and forced Hogan to sign with his blood.

Another feud on the Raw brand was between Triple H and Booker T, with the two feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H won the title three months prior at Armageddon by defeating then-champion Shawn Michaels in a 3 Stages of Hell match. Since that event, Triple H had fought Scott Steiner during the following two pay per view events for the World's title. First was at the Royal Rumble, where Triple H got himself disqualified when he nailed Steiner with the Sledgehammer but retained the title. Then at No Way Out, he defeated Steiner by Pinfall to retain the title. On the February 24 edition of Raw, Booker won a 20-man Battle royal by last eliminating The Rock to become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. On the March 3 episode of Raw, World Champion, Triple H, cut a controversial promo on Booker T. Triple H downplayed Booker T's WCW success, pointing out that the WCW Championship had been held by non-wrestlers like Vince Russo and actor David Arquette calling WCW and its title "a joke". He implied that Booker T, as a convicted criminal, would never win a world championship in WWE, although this is often misconstrued, as a racist promo, as he claimed "people like you" were not championship material. However this misunderstanding may have been intentional by Triple H knowing the heat he would generate. In the Wrestlemania XIX press conference Michael Cole questioned Triple H as to whether he had cut a racist promo, Triple H confirmed this was not the case and was indeed referring to Booker's criminal past. A week later, Booker got revenge by attacking Triple H in the bathroom, laying him out. On the March 24 episode of Raw, Booker T & Goldust defeated Triple H & Ric Flair in a Tag team match.

Another feud from the Raw brand was the squabble over the WWE Women's Championship; the champion Victoria had captured the title from Trish Stratus back in November at Survivor Series. Then a month later at Armageddon, Victoria defeated Stratus and Jacqueline in a Triple threat match to retain the Women's title. Stratus and the returning Jazz had a match on Raw to determine who would challenge Victoria for the Championship at WrestleMania. During the match, Victoria entered the ring and hit both women with the title belt, earning a double disqualification. It was then announced that Victoria would defend the title against both Stratus and Jazz in a Triple Threat match at the pay-per-view.

A smaller feud, also from the Raw brand was between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels. When Michaels was a guest on Jericho's in-ring show The Highlight Reel, Jericho claimed he had idolised Michaels from a young age and that he had been his inspiration to become a wrestler. The feud had been ongoing for some time with Jericho sabotaging Michaels in the Royal Rumble after Michaels received the #1 entry which Jericho wanted to enter. The feud would be settled as the two would face each other in a match at the pay-per-view.

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

Notes

  • Ashanti performed America The Beautiful to open the event.
  • This is the only WrestleMania to feature a curved ramp for some reason, possibly because of the way the arena was made.

See also

DVD release

External links

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History of WrestleMania
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I (1985)II (1986)III (1987)IV (1988)V (1989)VI (1990)VII (1991)VIII (1992)IX (1993)X (1994)XI (1995)XII (1996)XIII (1997)XIV (1998)XV (1999)XVI (2000)XVII (2001)XVIII (2002)XIX (2003)XX (2004)XXI (2005)XXII (2006)XXIII (2007)XXIV (2008)XXV (2009)XXVI (2010)XXVII (2011)XXVIII (2012)XXIX (2013)XXX (2014)XXXI (2015)XXXII (2016)XXXIII (2017)
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WrestleMania
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I (1985)II (1986)III (1987)IV (1988)V (1989)VI (1990)VII (1991)VIII (1992)IX (1993)X (1994)XI (1995)XII (1996)XIII (1997)XIV (1998)XV (1999)XVI (2000)XVII (2001)XVIII (2002)XIX (2003)XX (2004)XXI (2005)XXII (2006)XXIII (2007)XXIV (2008)XXV (2009)XXVI (2010)XXVII (2011)XXVIII (2012)XXIX (2013)XXX (2014)XXXI (2015)32 (2016)33 (2017)
2003 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views
Royal RumbleNo Way OutWrestleManiaBacklashJudgment DayInsurrextionBad BloodVengeanceSummerSlamUnforgivenNo MercySurvivor SeriesArmageddon

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