The Monster Jam World Finals is a yearly event held at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will begin a new rotating host location schedule in 2019.
World Finals 1
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The first Monster Jam World Finals was held on March 25th, 2000. The event featured 16 trucks even though only 14 trucks came out for freestyle. Tom Meents in Goldberg won Racing over Scott Hartsock in Gunslinger, and Dennis Anderson won Freestyle with a score of 40.
World Finals 2
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World Finals 2 was held on March 24th, 2001. Tom Meents, driving Goldberg, doubled down, winning in Racing over Blue Thunder and winning Freestyle with a score of 38. Only 13 trucks came out for freestyle.
World Finals 3
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World Finals 3 was held on March 23rd, 2002. Meents doubled down again, this time in Team Meents, winning in Racing over Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter and winning Freestyle with a score of 37. All 16 trucks came out for freestyle.
World Finals 4
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World Finals 4 was held on March 22nd, 2003. Two surprise winners were found this year, with Brian Barthel, driving Wolverine, winning Racing over Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter and Jim Koehler winning Freestyle with a 37. This was the first World Finals not to have Dennis Anderson, due to an injury. Only 15 trucks came out for freestyle.
World Finals 5
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World Finals 5 was held on March 20th, 2004. Dennis Anderson, driving Grave Digger, won Racing over Pablo Huffaker in Blacksmith, and three winners were crowned in Freestyle; Lupe Soza in El Toro Loco, Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction, and Debra Miceli in Madusa, all with a 31. All 16 trucks came out for freestyle.
World Finals 6
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World Finals 6 was held on March 19th, 2005. Debra Miceli, driving Madusa, won Racing over Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger, and Jimmy Creten, driving Bounty Hunter, won Freestyle with a 31 in a tiebreaker over Tony Farrell in Blue Thunder. This was the only World Finals to have a 20 truck line up. Only 19 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 7
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World Finals 7 was held on March 25th, 2006. Dennis Anderson, driving Grave Digger, won Racing over Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter, and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction won Freestyle with a 37. This was the first World Finals to have a 24 truck line up. Only 23 trucks came out to freestyle
World Finals 8
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World Finals 8 was held on March 24th, 2007. John Seasock, driving Batman, won Racing over Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger, and Pablo Huffaker in Captain's Curse won Freestyle with a 34. Only 22 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 9
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World Finals 9 was held on March 29th, 2008. John Seasock, driving Batman, won Racing over Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter, and Adam Anderson in Taz won Freestyle with a 37. All 24 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 10
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World Finals 10 was held on March 28th, 2009. Tom Meents, driving Maximum Destruction, won Racing over Alex Blackwell in Captain's Curse, and Damon Bradshaw in the Air Force Afterburner won Freestyle with a 36. Only 23 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 11
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World Finals 11 was held on March 27th, 2010. Dennis Anderson, driving Grave Digger, won Racing over Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction, and Charlie Pauken in Monster Mutt won Freestyle with a 39. Only 22 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 12
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World Finals 12 was held on March 24th, 2011. Tom Meents, driving Maximum Destruction, won Racing over Jim Creten in Bounty Hunter, and Jim Koehler in Avenger won Freestyle with a 32 in a tiebreaker with Cam McQueen in Nitro Circus. All 24 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 13
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World Finals 13 was held on March 23rd, 2012. Tom Meents, driving Maximum Destruction, won Racing over Damon Bradshaw in Monster Energy, and Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare won Freestyle with a 38. All 24 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 14
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World Finals 14 was held on March 22nd, 2013. Adam Anderson, driving Grave Digger the Legend, won Racing over Marc McDonald in El Toro Loco, and Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction won Freestyle with a 34. This was the only World Finals to have 28 trucks. Only 27 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 15
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World Finals 15 was held on March 20th, 2014. Adam Anderson, driving Grave Digger the Legend, won Racing over Tom Meents in Max-D, and Todd LeDuc in Metal Mulisha won Freestyle with a 37.5. This was the first World Finals to have 32 trucks. All 32 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 16
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World Finals 16 was held on March 26, 2015. Todd LeDuc, driving Metal Mulisha, won Racing over Ryan Anderson in Son-Uva Digger, and Mikey Vaters in Overkill Evolution won Freestyle with a 33.5. All 32 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 17
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World Finals 17 was held on March 17, 2016. Morgan Kane, driving Grave Digger, won Racing over Todd LeDuc in Metal Mulisha, and Adam Anderson in Grave Digger won Freestyle with a 33. All 32 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 18
see main article: Monster Jam World Finals 18
World Finals 18 was held on March 23-25, 2017. This was the first World Finals that does not feature Tom Meents, and the second World Finals not to include Dennis Anderson, as both are out due to injury. Ryan Anderson won racing in Son-Uva Digger over Tyler Menninga in Grave Digger, and Lee O'Donnell won freestyle in VP Racing Fuels Mad Scientist with a score of 9.355. All 32 trucks came out to freestyle.
World Finals 19
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World Finals 19 is currently being held on March 23-24, 2018. Adam Anderson won racing in Grave Digger over Tyler Menninga in Grave Digger
World Finals 20
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World Finals 20 will be held in 2019, beginning the new rotating host location schedule. This marks the first time the World Finals will be held outside of Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
Re-location of the World Finals
On March 27th 2017, just days after World Finals 18, The Oakland Raiders were approved by the NFL to move from Oakland to Las Vegas by no later than 2020. The current plan is for the UNLV Rebels, the college football team that currently plays at Sam Boyd Stadium, to join the Raiders in their new stadium currently under the working title "Las Vegas Stadium". When this happens, there is a possibility that Sam Boyd Stadium will be demolished, which would therefore require the World Finals to move to another location However, Sam Boyd Stadium's future is presently unclear, as the Raiders are also considering selling Sam Boyd Stadium or turning it into a Raider's practice facility.
This move has been criticized by the Monster Jam community, primarily because Sam Boyd Stadium is the only stadium in the country that has dimensions that allow for the "Vegas Style" racing format.
It was announced on February 15, 2018, that beginning with World Finals 20, the host stadium of the World Finals would be a rotating schedule, beginning with MetLife Stadium in May 2019. Meanwhile, Sam Boyd Stadium will be getting a new event, Monster Jam All-Star Challenge, "a new event that will be held annually in Las Vegas. Top drivers from across the country will compete in a new format to celebrate the best of the sport."
World Finals 1-5 have been fairly well received: they are especially popular among more old-school Monster Jam fans who favor crushing cars over dirt ramps. At the same time, they have been slightly criticized for a lack of major air-time obstacles, although there have been famous instances of large air, such as Gunslinger's 50 foot high jump at the World Finals 3. World Finals 5 was also somewhat controversial due to its large size, particularly a shipping container in the middle of the track that caused three trucks to crash.
World Finals 6-7 have been seen as improvements over 1-5, with improved ramps for great air time, while still keeping relatively the same format. It was also round this time when water fountains came into use for World Finals tracks.
World Finals 8-12 is considered to be the golden age of the Monster Jam World Finals, which many fans consider to be the perfect blend between large, challenging dirt ramp obstacles, as well as its uses of cars/vans either next to them, or even on top of them. Despite this, World Finals 11 was somewhat controversial due to its large size, but the next year's track would be designed by the drivers instead, in response to this.
World Finals 13-15 were a bit less well received. By this point, dirt was becoming the norm, but regardless, crush cars were still not uncommon to see out on these tracks.
World Finals 16-17 have been heavily criticized for their nearly dirt-only setups, which have been seen as boring due to their lack of crush cars as well as a major, challenging obstacle which was essentially a tradition throughout the history of the World Finals.
World Finals 18, surprisingly, exploded with approval, as it brought back the fountain, more cars, a bus, and a much less challenging course, allowing for more drivers to freestyle longer. On top of that, many drivers attempted new stunts like the Corkscrew, and succeeded in creating new stunts, like the Reverse Backflip, and Front Flip.
Following the World Finals peak of success in 2011, The World Finals tracks, particularly since 2015, have become criticized for lack of crush cars or vans in the freestyle tracks: instead, these tracks have used near-sole usage of dirt ramps. These tracks have been seen as boring, compared to older tracks that used more cars. The tracks have also been disdained for their large sizes and complexity, causing many trucks to break or crash early in freestyle. This was especially disdained in World Finals 17, as only 5 of the 32 trucks completed bonus time, as the other had broken or crashed before they could do so. This began taking place since the World Finals switched to a two day format beginning with World Finals 15 in 2014, with racing on day one and freestyle on day two: therefore, the freestyle tracks do not need to take racing lanes into account.
The World Finals' use of fan judges has also been sharply criticized. Many fans argue that, because the event is considered to be the "Superbowl" of Monster Jam, such an event should therefore be judged by officials, rather than randomly selected fans. This controversy reached its peak at World Finals 16 and 17, when the winners, Mike Vaters II/Overkill Evolution and Adam Anderson/Grave Digger respectively, were seen as relatively mediocre freestyles, despite winning.
The following is a list of winners, sorted by amount of titles.
- Avenger is the only truck to compete in every single World Finals while being driven by the same driver.
- Out of 34 total championships so far, only 4 have been won by independent teams. (Avenger (Team Scream) 2003 & 2011 freestyle, Bounty Hunter (2Xtreme Racing) 2005 freestyle and Overkill Evolution (Vaters Motorsports) 2015 freestyle)
- Jim Koehler is also the only independent monster truck driver to win more than one world title.
- To date, no independent trucks or drivers have yet won a world racing title.
- In the week leading up to the World Finals there is a special day held exclusively for the Wounded Warriors and Make a Wish Foundation's. All the competing drivers the display drivers who have arrived are on hand to spend the day with these special fans, aswell as the wheelchair accessible ride truck Wheels of Freedom.
- So far every Young Guns Shootout Champion has returned the following year driving the truck they won with, and every one so far has wrecked in freestyle that year as well.
- Only five drivers have won both a world racing championship and a world freestyle championship at least once:
- Tom Meents
- Dennis Anderson
- Adam Anderson
- Debra Miceli
- Todd Leduc