The Best and Worst Moment of WrestleMania 18
WrestleMania 18 saw WWE a full year removed from the Monday Night War. In the interim, the InVasion angle and any hopes of relaunching the WCW brand under WWE’s auspices had fizzled. A small handful of WCW talent had made it to the other side to become meaningful parts of the roster, and though the New World Order hadn’t exactly recaptured their original magic, it was good to see Hulk Hogan back in a WWE ring.
Meanwhile, Triple H had returned triumphantly in January to a huge reaction from the fans to kickstart his march toward his first face run as a world champion.
While it’s hard to ultimately call WrestleMania 18 an all-time great ‘Mania, a card that included The Rock vs. Hogan, Triple H vs. Chris Jericho, and Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall certainly had a dream match-heavy feel. This article takes a look back at the best and worst moments from the show.
Best Moment: The crowd reacts to The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan
The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan was never going to be a five star classic in any traditional sense. Even at his best, Hogan didn’t put on technical marvels, and by 2002 he was decisively past his prime. The Rock was an all-time great entertainer, but not the ring general to carry an old warhorse to a purist’s favorite.
For all of these limitations, the names on the marquee and the ability of these two icons to control a crowd offered more than enough firepower to get them to an unforgettable WrestleMania moment.
The palpable electricity upon Rock and Hogan’s initial staredown made this confrontation unforgettable from the opening bell. Rock was shrewd enough to shift gears and work in a subtly more heel fashion from there, setting up the stadium crowd to positively explode when Hogan ultimately Hulked up, and all the more so when he turned full-fledged face after the match to join the Brahma Bull in clearing the ring of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.
Worst Moment: Christian throws a tantrum
While WrestleMania 18 wasn’t all great it also didn’t offer much that could objectively be called bad. The weakest point was probably the aftermath of Diamond Dallas Page defeating Christian, after which point Captain Charisma, in fitting with his gimmick at the time threw a temper tantrum about losing, while Page cheesily mugged for the camera.
Both men did a fine enough job with the material they were given to work with, and this was less a blown segment than two top-shelf talents getting miscast and underutilized at the biggest show of the year.