I already kind of talked about this show, but this show is a massively formative one for me and one I have one complaint about. As a young mark, watching X8 as one of my first shows ever (alongside Judgment Day 2004, both on DVD) was an amazing experience. Judgment Day was a show I liked, but from the opening video to the opening match of RVD/Regal to - yeah, even the music - I loved this show.
It’s impossible to pick a favourite. The opener was the perfect opener for the show, I thought the hardcore segments were funny and spontaneous, Angle and Kane was a match I enjoyed a lot - being introduced to Kane was really visually impressive. I know there’s a massive botch in this match, but at the time it just kind of looked like, well, a fight. I bought into it, hook, line and sinker. Really even got into Edge too, his look and his moves (and, again, also very much his music) attracted me to him immediately. Taker/Flair and Hall/Stone Cold were both matches that really got me invested into their stories and I marked out hard for all of it, especially the savage Taker/Flair match. They absolutely had me in the palm of their hands as an entire organization with this show. I was genuinely afraid of Jazz too, she was awesome - Trish as the sort of damsel in distress character really worked out well for that match, and despite it being in the popcorn match spot I really enjoyed it a lot.
Of course, if you wanna talk about matches with great stories but not much actual ring work, jesus fucking christ Rock/Hogan. The Rock and Hogan were maybe the only two people I really knew going into this show, and seeing them fight was absolutely electric. From The Rock’s promo (of which I’m decently sure I could recite by heart) to the entrances, to the reaction of the crowd, I was sitting up, completely alert, so invested in this match, so much so that this whole card imprinted on me and whenever I rewatch it, it puts me right back in that mindset.
I try to ignore the fact that HHH/Jericho happened. I thought HHH looked like a jerk from the first time I watched it and that is not an opinion that has changed. I get, in hindsight, that the babyface is supposed to win at Wrestlemania, but, uh, I didn’t like this match. Not then, not now. This match and the big the tag match are the only ones that I never got into. But those are two very small low points when compared to something as fucking incredible as Rock/Hogan.
10/10. It’d be 11/10 if HHH/Jericho had not been what it was.