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WWE WrestleMania XXV
April 5th 2009
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Announcers: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole
A landmark night for the WWE as they reached the 25th edition of WrestleMania. The Silver Anniversary of the show emulated from the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas and the stadium was so frikkin huge! When you see the stadium, it’s no surprise why WrestleMania 30 isn’t going to be held at Madison Square Garden. The WWE title was on the line as champion, Randy Orton was going up against his former Evolution boss, Triple H. Fun fact, this was supposed to be the main event for WrestleMania 21 but the Orton face run just didn’t work out and elsewhere, a triple threat match was set for the World Heavyweight Championship between the Champion Edge, Big Show and John Cena. The biggest talking point about this show was Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. This would be the first time they faced each other since Royal Rumble ’98 and it felt as if everyone was ready for another Taker/HBK match.
The opening video package shows various Superstars talking about the “greatest WrestleMania moment” of all time. I loved this video. Seeing all the classic moments and with this being the 25th edition of the show it was pretty emotional, I admit.
Nicole Scherzinger sings America the Beautiful. It was very well done.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Kane
The clear, cut crowd favourite with the live crowd was Christian as he received a huge reaction. Obviously that comes across very well on screen. Once Kane makes his entrance a brawl breaks out. Christian and Benjamin hit the floor to retrieve a ladder immediately while the others get destroyed by Kane and Henry. The two big men do battle in the ring as the crowd immediately starts chanting for Christian. A ladder gets brought in by Christian and Shelton as they take out the two big men. They try to take out Kofi, but he leaps over the ladder and dropkicks it back onto Christian and Shelton. He follows that up with his leg drop, but that hurts him just as much. Henry and Kane climb the ladder, but everyone else in the match make sure they can’t retrieve the case. Two ladders get set up and 4 men climb, but they crash and burn when Henry and Kane tip them. Nice! Kane is the last man standing and he starts to climb, but Henry returns to tip the ladder and send Kane crashing onto the top rope. Finlay comes back and hits a suicide dive onto Kane and MVP. That sets off a series where everyone hits a move to the floor: Christian hits the springboard crossbody, MVP comes off the apron with a senton, and Punk/Kofi hit stereo suicide dives onto the pile. Shelton tops everyone with a senton off a huge ladder onto everyone the floor. Henry wants to get in on the action, but Finlay stops the fun before Henry could climb to the top rope. Hornswoggle enters and uses a step ladder to climb Henry’s lifeless carcass laying on the top rope, and he dives off with a Tadpole Splash.
Everyone regroups and Kofi swings through an open ladder to dropkick Finlay. Kofi’s trying to steal this show from Shelton it seems. Kofi starts to climb, but Henry tips the ladder. As Henry looks to set up the ladder, Kofi runs up the ladder to steal the case. Sweet! Great try, but Henry casually drops Kofi, catches him, and drops him onto a ladder with the World’s Strongest Slam. Ouch! Ladders start to get bridged off other ladders and that sets up a lot of crazy shit. Shelton comes off the bridged ladder, but MVP catches him with a sit down powerbomb. He climbs, but now Punk returns to stop that. Christian and Punk do battle on the bridged ladder and it ends with Punk eating an Unprettier! Thank God Punk didn’t take that well, or he would have broken his neck. Shelton scales a ladder on the floor, runs across the bridged ladder, and climbs the in ring ladder to stop MVP. He looks for the sunset flip powerbomb from the ladder, but the spot gets fucked up. Shelton is undaunted though as he power bombs MVP from the ring to the floor where he lands on Tony Atlas. Shelton and Christian do battle on two ladders and as it tips, Christian uses the top rope to balance himself while Shelton crashes to the floor. The crowd pops huge as they think Christian is about to win the match, but Punk makes the save. Big boos from the crowd for that. In a call back to the previous year, Punk gets hung upside down from the ladder and again, Christian looks poised to win. This time Kane is the bad guy as he brings Christian down with a chokeslam. That gave Punk a chance to get free and he starts firing off kicks to escape a goozle. He finally knocks Kane off and Punk retrieves the briefcase.
Winner: CM Punk
Rating: *** ½
It was a good match with Shelton putting in another hard shift as always. Christian and Kofi were also great. The crowd clearly wanted Christian to win and I honestly thought he was going to win it so seeing Punk get back to back wins in this match was a surprise but it turned out to be the right call after he turned heel on Jeff Hardy and cashed in his contract.
Recap from the Fan Axcess. Looks like everyone was having so much fun. Lucky bastards!
25 Divas Battle Royal
On the live show, Kid Rock preformed a melody of his hits whiles the Divas danced around him. It was a waste of time and thankful this was not on the DVD. The crowd quickly picks up on it though. Layla is the first diva tossed out as she hits the floor before the ring instructions were complete. Others get tossed shortly after and it’s just a mess at this point. Lawler is sure enjoying himself though. Sunny gets tossed somewhere in the chaos and its a few moments later when the crowd starts a loud “Santino” chant. Why? Because he was dressed up in drag for this match. Beth Phoenix is the dominant one in the ring as she’s tossed about half a dozen women within 30 seconds. Now Lawler and JR pick up on a rather ugly looking diva in the ring that’s just standing around instead of fighting. The mystery Diva watches as McCool and Mickie fight on the top rope and end up falling to the floor. That leaves Santino, Beth, and Melina as your final three in the match. Beth hooks the double arm chicken wing, but gets tangled in the rooms and Santino shoves them both out to pick up the win. Candice Michelle presents Santina with “her” crown and sash after the match. The crowd eats up Santino and his dancing after the match. My God that was hilarious. I was in stiches at this point. Check it out.
A complete mess. Trish Stratus & Lita were offered a place in the match but turned it down. I don’t blame them. The only good thing was “Santina’s” post match celebration.
We get a video package for the Chris Jericho vs. The Legends match. Micky Rourke also got involved too after his performance in the movie The Wrestler. If memory serves me right, the original plan was for Chris Jericho to face Rourke but Rourke’s people didn’t want that to happen. I was intrigued about Ricky Steamboat’s involvement in the match. He had been out of action for 14 years so it be interesting to see what he could do after such a long layoff.
Handicap Elimination match
Chris Jericho vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka/ “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat /w/ Ric Flair
Piper gets the start as he orders Steamboat and Snuka out of the ring. Jericho has to get a decision over each member of the legend’s team in order to win the match. Piper jumps Jericho before the bell and takes him to the floor. Jericho eats the announce table and then gets fired back into the ring. It’s a special night as Piper has the balls to break out a dropkick. Wow! Snuka gets the tag and he most definitely looks in the worst shape out of everyone. Seriously the poor man looks like he was unearthed and thankfully he tags out to Steamboat. The crowd comes to life as the Dragon flies off the top with a chop. He sinks in his patented arm drags as JR drools. Don’t worry, Jim, me too. Snuka gets the tag back and Jericho locks him the Wall to send him packing. Piper becomes the legal man and he uses a thumb to the eye to get the advantage. Classic! He locks in the sleeper, but Jericho breaks and hits an enziguiri to eliminate Piper.
That leaves us with Jericho vs. Steamboat. The Dragon comes off the top with a crossbody, but Jericho gets the shoulder up at two. Jericho hits a vicious clothesline to kill Ricky’s momentum. He tries to trade chops and that’s really fucking stupid on his part. The Dragon lights up his chest, so Jericho uses his own thumb to the eye. He grounds Steamboat with a headlock, and the crowd erupts as they cheer Ricky to his feet. Jericho tries to dump him to the floor, but the world marks out as he skins the cat. Jericho takes a shot at Flair before turning around and getting sent to the floor by Steamboat. Ricky is a crazy bastard as he hits a slingshot plancha to Jericho on the floor. God Bless the Dragon! Steamboat stays on the offensive back inside and gets a roll-up for two. The chops start flowing again, but this time Jericho gets the advantage. He hits a running bulldog, but misses the Lionsault. A blind charge gets the advantage back for Jericho, but he runs into a powerslam for two. Jericho scoops the legs and looks for the Walls, but Steamboat counters to a cradle for two. Jericho tries a suplex, but Steamboat flips out, but Jericho is prepared and hits the code breaker for the victory. Post match, Jericho beat up Flair just for fun. That led to the showdown with Mickey Rourke. Jericho called him a coward. Rourke went into the ring. Crowd liked that. They had an impromptu boxing match. Rourke knocked him down with a left hook. Flair raised his hand and Flair’s music played, so the babyfaces were triumphant even though Jericho dominated the match.
Winner: Chris Jericho via pinfall
Rating: * ½
It wasn’t a bad match. Steamboat was incredible. You wouldn’t believe that he last wrestled 14 years prior to this. Those “you’ve still got it” chants were very much warrant. With that being said, Piper and Snuka were terrible and had no business being in the ring at their age. I also thought Jericho deserved a bigger role at this show since he was the best wrestler of 2008.
A video package is playing covering the Matt Hardy/ Jeff Hardy feud. The feud began at the Royal Rumble where Matt cost Jeff the WWE title against Edge. The original plan was to reintroduce Christian to the WWE but it got leaked onto the internet hence the change in plan. I’m guessing that if plans weren’t change then this would have been a tag team ladder match between Edge & Christian against the Hardy Boys.
Extreme Rules Match
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff is super over as one would expect and I kind of feel for Matt for some reason. Jeff starts things off with a slap to the face and starts reigning down blows. They immediately hit the floor and Matt gets a WrestleMania poster wrapped around his head. Not sure how much damage that would do, but it made for a cool sound and visual. Jeff uses the stairs to assist him with Poetry in Motion as it sends Matt crashing into the barrier. Back in the ring and Jeff goes for Poetry in Motion again, but Matt’s not falling for it again as moves. Jeff tries to hit Whisper in the Wind, but Matt swats him out of the air with a chair. Sweet! Matt looks under the ring and pulls out a shop vac. Wait, seriously? Thankfully he doesn’t use the hose in any form and opts to just blast Jeff in the head with it. That works I guess. Matt hits the side effect onto a chair, but Jeff gets out the back door at two. Matt shows a vicious side as he wraps Jeff’s body around the steel post and stretches the hell out of his brother. Cool! A table gets prepped on the floor and Matt looks for a suplex from the apron. Jeff turns the tide and hits a clothesline from the apron. He sends Matt into the steps and then starts looking under the ring for more plunder. This time he finds a kendo stick and a crutch. They keep some crazy shit under that ring, huh.
A garbage can gets placed on Matt’s head and Jeff cleans his clock with the crutch. He heads up and looks for the Swanton, but Matt rolls out of the way. He quickly hits the Twist of Fate, but Jeff gets the shoulder up at two. Matt starts to mock Jeff and calls for a Swanton of his own, but Jeff meets him on the top rope. Matt gets brought down the hard way with a superplex, and Jeff blasts him with a chair to send him to the floor. They finally get back to the table that was set up earlier and Matt gets placed on said table. That’s not enough for Jeff those as he stacks another table onto the lifeless body of Matt. Jeff heads up top and hits a splash that breaks Matt and both tables. Damn! A replay shows that Jeff may have taken the worst of the move as he went through the first table and Matt barely got touched. Jeff looks for the win back in the ring, but Matt gets a foot on the bottom rope. Jeff goes back under the ring and grabs something he is familiar with: ladders. Jeff connects with a chair assisted leg drop. A medium sized ladder gets set up next to a big ass ladder and the crowd knows what is coming next. Jeff attempts the leap frog leg drop, but Matt rolls out of the way. Matt capitalised by using a folding chair, putting it around Jeff’s neck and giving him a Twist of Fate. Ouch. That was a pretty sick spot right there. Matt covered for the win.
Winner: Matt Hardy via pinfall
Rating: *** ½
Good brawl with some pretty good spots as you would expect in a Hardy Boyz match (Leg drop off the Ladder/ Twist of Fate on the chair). The problem was that some of them took so long to set up. The ending was very well done with Jeff missing the big leg drop and Matt capitalising with the Twist of Fate for the win. Jeff got his win back at Backlash a month later. Then he went on to have great main event feuds with Edge and later CM Punk, which my personal favourite feud of 2009. Having Matt go over was the right call, but in the long run it did nothing to elevate him.
The camera cuts to the locker room area where they showed Randy Orton getting ready for his WWE title match later tonight.
Up next, the Intercontinental Championship after a seven year absents from the event. JBL was the title holder. He said even though he was a proud Texan, he runs down the state before promising to put on the most dominate victory in WrestleMania history before returning home to New York. Instant heat. Rey Mysterio made his entrance dressed as Heath Ledger’s Joker. JR caused some controversy by saying “at least Rey’s career is alive and well” (he would apologise for it later).
WWE Intercontinental Championship
John Bradshaw Layfield © vs. Rey Mysterio
JBL attacked with a boot to the face before the match even started. The bell rang and Rey hit him with an enziguiri right off the bat. Dropkick to the ribs, 619 and then a top rope splash finished off the big Texan. After the match, JBL quit the WWE. This was his retirement match. The crowd wasn’t sad to see him leave.
Winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio via pinfall
It was nothing more than an angle to put over JBL’s retirement. Currently, JBL is one third of the RAW announce team and doing a pretty good job as a heel commentator but I feel he’ll be a whole lot better as a heel GM instead.
Up next it’s Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. This would be the first time since 1998 that these guys have faced each other. The match was set up after Shawn Michaels ended his feud with JBL. He was very happy, so he decided to challenge Undertaker at WrestleMania and try to be the first person to get a win after Undertaker was 16-0. It was the man with The Streak versus the man known as Mr. WrestleMania. Since it was the 25th WrestleMania, it was fitting that this was the matchup. They mixed religion with the match a bit as Michaels talked about having eternal life and Undertaker telling him that sometimes it was hell trying to get to heaven.
Michaels made his entrance in a white coat, descending on a platform. When he reached the stage, his music started up. He said a prayer and walked to the ring with a purpose. The crowd gave him a big ovation. Michaels looked towards the entrance as Undertaker arrived on the scene. He rose from under the stage. I guess he rose from hell while Michaels descended from heaven? The announcers put over the light vs. dark idea too which I liked. What’s cool is that they were both guys from Texas and this match took place in their home state, so it likely meant a lot for them to have this match in Texas. On a personal note, this match means so much to me and I hope the passion in my write up comes across to you guys.
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
The story was that Michaels wasn’t intimidated by Undertaker. He was ready for him. Michaels used his speed to get some shots in early, hitting in a few hard chops to the chest. Undertaker overpowered him in the corner, Michaels faked a knee injury and then recovered quickly to attack Undertaker with punches to the head. Undertaker hit him in the head with punches of his own. Michaels was whipped into the corner, which flipped him upside down and then Undertaker gave him a back body drop. Undertaker gave him a Gorilla Press Slam followed by an elbow drop. Undertaker hit the Old School clothesline to a standing ovation. A running boot in the corner by Undertaker was avoided in the corner. Undertaker sold the right knee so Michaels focused on it with an attack to the back of the knee. Michaels put Undertaker in his inverted Figure Four Leg Lock submission. Undertaker fought out of it with punches to the head. Michaels dropkicked the knee. Undertaker was able to catch him and drove Michaels back to the corner. Running clothesline for Undertaker in the corner. Two of them. Snake Eyes into the corner turnbuckle followed by the big boot to the face and a leg drop to Michaels. That was an Undertaker sequence of moves that we would get used to over the years. Undertaker went for the Chokeslam, but Michaels countered it with a Crossface. That was an awesome counter. Undertaker countered it into a side slam for two. Crowd was popping for that. They were loud for much of the match, chanting the name of each man at various times. Michaels hit Undertaker with a flying forearm to the face. Kip up. Michaels hit two inverted atomic drops and then a clothesline. Michaels went to the top, Undertaker caught him with a Chokeslam, Michaels countered that, went for the Superkick, Undertaker dropped to his back to avoid that and Michaels went for the Figure Four. Undertaker countered that with Hell’s Gate to a huge ovation! Michaels was able to get his feet on the ropes. Ref made Undertaker break it. That was an outstanding sequence of moves right there. With Michaels body hanging off the apron, Undertaker hit a boot to the face and then his leg drop on the apron missed because Michaels was able to avoid it. Baseball slide dropkick by Michaels. Michaels went to the top rope and he jumped off the top with a moonsault. Undertaker moved out of the way. Michaels went crashing to the floor. His knee went smashing into the floor. The ref Marty Elias was checking on him. Undertaker got to his feet. He ran the ropes, he jumped over the top rope and Michaels put a camera man in front of him. JR: “Oh my God!” The camera man was Deuce from the Deuce & Domino tag team aka Sim Snuka, the son of Jimmy Snuka. He failed to get in the right spot to catch Undertaker for that spot. Soon after, he was released from his contract. It was a very scary landing for Undertaker. I remember thinking he was legit hurt because he dove all the way over the top rope and landed right on his head. What a tough man he is to be able to continue. The ref was also down because Michaels pushed him out of the way, so everybody was out on the floor. On the replay, you could see that Deuce should have been up about a foot to break Undertaker’s fall.
Back in the ring, Michaels was the first one to recover as he pulled himself into the ring. He grabbed the ref while another ref Chad Patton checked on Undertaker. Then Chad ran to the back. That was likely done to check on Undertaker’s health. Michaels stood the ref up in the corner, telling the ref to count Undertaker out. The crowd wasn’t a fan of the countout win, but Michaels was hoping it would be good enough. Undertaker got back to his knees and then rolled in after a count of nine to a standing ovation from the crowd. How many times do you see a standing ovation from a guy getting back into the ring to break a countout? Special match. Michaels went for the Sweet Chin Music. Undertaker caught him, gave him a Chokeslam and Michaels kicked out at two. It wasn’t just a Chokeslam, but it was one of the most impressive ones you will ever see because of how Michaels took the move. Great nearfall. Undertaker went for Tombstone, Michaels slipped out, Taker choked him, Michaels broke it and hit Sweet Chin Music out nowhere. Michaels was slow to cover, so Undertaker got his shoulder up at two with the crowd cheering loudly. Michaels kipped up again. Undertaker choked him and went for the Last Ride powerbomb. Michaels slipped out, attempting to get a sunset flip. Undertaker countered that, booted him in the gut and hit the Last Ride powerbomb for one…two…no. Another amazing nearfall. Crowd popped HUGE for that. Undertaker sold it great by selling his frustration at the move. Undertaker went to the top rope. He went for a Michaels-like Flying Elbow out of desperation. Michaels moved. Undertaker whipped him in the ropes, Michaels did his skin the cat move, Undertaker caught him off of that and gave him a Tombstone in the centre of the ring. Wow that was such a great spot to do. Undertaker folded his hands on his chest for the one…two…no. Michaels got his shoulder up. Best nearfall ever? Everybody thought that was it including me! Crowd was popping loud for everything in this match as they should have been. The camera shot immediately after the move was perfect because it focused on Undertaker’s “what the hell?” face because he was shocked that Michaels had kicked out. The replay showed how great Michaels was at selling that sequence because he was shaking trying to get out of the hold. Undertaker did his throat slash gesture. He tried to pick Michaels up for another Tombstone, but Michaels countered it into a DDT, which was a very unique counter. It didn’t connect perfectly. It got the job done, though. Michaels found the strength to get to his feet and he climbed to the top rope. Flying Elbow for Michaels. He pulled himself to the corner where he tuned up the band for the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels connected with Sweet Chin Music right on the jaw to a huge pop. One…two…no! JR: “Good God almighty the match continues! This classic is continuing! The world is watching a classic!” If the Tombstone spot was the best nearfall in wrestling history, that one might have been the second best. Amazing. They were on their knees, and then made it to their feet as Michaels threw chops while Undertaker threw punches. The crowd responded to every blow. Then Undertaker decided that was enough, so he just booted him in the face. Michaels slipped out of a Tombstone attempt. Undertaker’s charge into the corner was countered with a Michaels boot to the face. Michaels went to the top. Moonsault is caught by Undertaker. Tombstone. One…two…three. The Undertaker is 17-0 at WrestleMania.
Winner: The Undertaker via pinfall
The greatest match in wrestling history! I remember watching this live with a group of mates and we were all on the edge of our seats. The nearfalls were as believable as any Undertaker match I’ve seen so far. Undertaker selling his frustration was great. It was rare for him to show any sort of frustration in any match so that was pretty cool to see. I loved some of the spots in there and there’s no point in going over the big ones because everybody knows why they work. To me, the things that stand out were moments like when they were slugging it out at the end and Undertaker just booted him down forcing Shawn to collapse in a heap. That’s great. That’s how you properly do big man/little man spots. I thought Undertaker broke his neck when he jumped over the top rope and landed violently on the floor. I’m not sure what others felt when they saw it, but I thought he was done. I loved Shawn’s performance in this match. Like Undertaker, you could see him getting frustrated about not being able to put Taker away and even went as far as trying to get a countout victory over him. I loved this match so much because it was all about the win. It was all about who was the better man and how far they would go to get it. That’s what wrestling should be about. JR: “As a wrestling fan how can you ask for anything more?” He said it best right there. Greatest match ever!
How the hell are you going to follow that? The answer was a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship. They had a video package to accompany it but according to people who were actually at the show, the crowd were dead and that obviously came across on TV.
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge © vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
Cena gets his super special WrestleMania entrance. I will admit that I marked out like a little girl when “Basic Thuganomics” started playing. I thought we may be getting old school Cena, but instead we got a shit load of Cena clones lining the aisle. The real deal Cena comes out to “My Time is Now. Cool entrance, but all it did for me was confirm that “Basic Thuganomics” is a hell of a lot better than “My Time is Now.” Cena was not very popular in Houston. There were a few people in the front row wearing “We Hate Cena” shirts. Big Show dominates early as Edge and Cena pinball off of him. Edge wants to negotiate a truce, but Show’s not down with that. He abuses Edge in the corner and Cena comes charging in, but he eats a boot. Yeah, that was stupid of Cena. Edge gets sent to the floor and Cena gets walked on while Chavo wheels Vickie around the ring. Show gets caught groin first in the top rope and Cena sends him to the floor. Edge dropkicks the steps into Show’s knee and Cena comes off the top rope to the floor with the rocker dropper. That takes Show out of the match and now Cena and Edge go at it back inside the ring. Edge heads up top, but Cena knocks him to the floor. That brings Show back into the ring and he drops Cena with a sidewalk slam for two. Cena fights back to his feet and builds some momentum, but Chavo grabs his leg. He eats Attitude Adjustment on the floor and once back in the ring a shoulder block leaves Show tied up in the ropes. Edge tries to intervene, but Cena controls him and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Vickie is miraculously healed and screams at Cena to stop the Attitude Adjustment. Edge tries a spear, but Cena moves and Vickie takes the move. That sends her crashing to the floor and onto Chavo.
Show yells at the ref to untie him and the ref listens. Smart man! Show dominates both men again as Cole and JR exchange metaphors about the size of Show’s hands. Cena lifts Show for the Attitude Adjustment, but can’t get the move as Show slides off his back and hits the knockout punch. Show heads to the floor and focuses on Edge. He looks for a chokeslam to the Spanish announce table, but Edge counters to a DDT on the floor. He arranges the steps to his liking and leaps off them with a spear that sends both men through the security wall. That looked kind of cool, but the crowd is still coming down of the Shawn/Taker high, so it doesn’t get the reaction one would expect. Edge realizes Show is too damn fat to get back to the ring, so he turns his attention to the KO’d Cena. He salivates in the corner as he preps for the spear, but Cena counters to the STF. I guess they told the U to get the F out. Show reappears and pulls Edge to the ropes to break the hold. He goozles Cena for good measure and delivers a head butt to leave him out on the floor. He tries a Vader Bomb, but Edge rolls out of the way. Edge and Cena team up to suplex Show. They realize they need to team together to take out Show and send him to the floor with a double clothesline. The partnership doesn’t last long though as Edge immediately turns on Cena. Edge locks in a sleeper, but Cena breaks and hits the Throwback. He heads to the top, but Show shoves him off and right into a spear for Edge. Nice! Edge gets the cover, but Show pulls him out of the ring and delivers a big ass chop. For the finish, Cena gave Big Show an Attitude Adjustment while Edge was on Show’s shoulders giving him a sleeper. The move was longer known as the FU since WWE went PG in 2008. Then Cena gave Edge an AA onto Show. He covered Show for the win
Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena via pinfall
Rating: ** ½
It was an okay match but nothing great. Credit to these three for keeping the crowd invested in the match after the awesomeness of the Undertaker/ Shawn Michaels match. They had the benefit of having three men in the match to keep things moving, and they used that to their advantage. There were some innovative spots in the match, but it was your standard 3 way match. I remember when Cena got the pin on Show I immediately called a re-match between Cena/Edge at Backlash, and we did too!
The 2009 Hall of Fame class was introduced to the crowd. This year’s class included “Cowboy” Bill Watts, The Von Erich Family, The Funk Brothers, Howard Finkel, Koko B.Ware, Ricky Steamboat and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin took off his suit and went to the ring for a beer celebration, much to the delight of the crowd. After this, it was announced that the attendance was 72,744
The build for the Triple H/Orton feud was up next. I always thought this was a silly feud. Hunter was the WWE Champion. Orton went after Hunter’s family, which led to moments like Orton giving the punt to Vince & Shane McMahon, giving Stephanie McMahon a RKO and also a DDT off the ropes followed by a kiss while she was unconscious.
Randy Orton vs. Triple H ©
The stipulation was that if Hunter got disqualified or counted out he would lose his title. What the hell is that? Sure it may help with the psychology and story of the match, but it hampers the chances of them having a good match. HHH gets a super special entrance as he tosses a sledge hammer through a glass window. I don’t actually remember seeing that live and now I realize that it was something taped before hand and spliced in with the live feed. What the hell is that about? JR and the King immediately put over that HHH will have to decide if it is more important to keep the title or destroy HHH. Orton gets a strong reaction for a guy that just assaulted a woman. Perhaps Chris Brown should try to get on RAW as a guest host. HHH takes Orton down to start and fires away with right hands. He pounds Orton in the corner and the ref pulls him back. He tells HHH that he doesn’t want to DQ, but he will if he has to. Orton uses the distraction to hit a RKO, but doesn’t go for a cover. Idiot! Instead he stalls and decides to hit the punt kick, but HHH moves and Orton ends up eating a pedigree. Well, they’re back to square one. Both men roll to the floor and HHH attacks Orton from behind. They brawl by the announce table, and Orton bails back to the ring. HHH gets a bottle of water from a fan and uses it to revive himself following the RKO. Ok then. Orton gets his head bounced off the ring post and then tries to beg off, but HHH is not having any of that. He catapults Orton throat first into the bottom rope and starts dropping some knees. The crowd is scary quiet for a WrestleMania Main Event. Orton takes some abuse and keeps trying to create separation. Finally Orton gets the advantage after sending HHH into the stairs. HHH gets fired into the security wall and ends up in the front row as a result. Orton is more than happy to take a count-out and HHH staggers back in the ring at the count of 7. The crowd shows some life, but it has nothing to do with the match. The attention of the crowd turns from the match and towards a certain section of the stadium. That’s not a good sign for this match. Orton stomps away as he takes control. He looks for his patented chin lock and that’s the last thing this match needs. Perhaps HHH is aware of that as well as he hits a belly to back to break the hold. HHH charges and gets caught with a pretty nice powerslam. Now that gives Orton the opportunity to hook the chin lock. JR mentions that Orton has a disturbing way of applying this hold.. HHH fights back to his fight and the crowd shows signs of life as they trade blows. See, this is what we wanted. HHH hits the Harley Race high knee, and a face buster sets up the Pedigree. Orton counters however and catapults HHH into the top turnbuckle. He no-sells however and rips off Orton’s head with a clothesline. They head up top and fight on the top rope. Orton drops HHH face first on the turnbuckle, and looks to come off the middle rope, but HHH gets a boot up. He looks for the Pedigree again, but Orton turns it into a jackknife cover for two. Orton charges and gets caught with a spinebuster. Another attempt at the Pedigree and Orton counters with an inverted backbreaker for two. He looks for follow up, but HHH sends him down with a back elbow. HHH heads up top and gets caught with a dropkick from Orton on the way down. The crowd actually appreciated that one. Orton preps for the Punt Kick, but HHH catches the boot. He flips Orton over the top rope and to the floor where they brawl some more. HHH sends Orton into the announce table HHH wants to use the TV monitor and the crowd wants him to as well, but the ref talks him out of it. Boo! They fight on the announce table and HHH looks for the pedigree, but Orton backdrops him to the Spanish Announce Table. The table didn’t break, much to the surprise of everybody involved. Orton gave him a DDT on the floor, which was a really good spot that I liked. Orton threw Hunter into the ribs of the referee Scott Armstrong in the corner of the ring. It was intentional. Then he gave Hunter the RKO. He grabbed the sledgehammer, which was the weapon of choice in this feud of course. As Orton went back into the ring, Hunter booted him in the head with a punt. The crowd barely popped for it. They should have reacted to it louder, but they were tired of the match. Hunter hit him in the head with the sledgehammer, which was okay because the ref didn’t see it. Hunter finished him off with the Pedigree for the win.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Triple H via pinfall Rating: ** ½
Well, that was a very underwhelming main event wasn’t it? A match that gets over 20 minutes featuring wrestlers as good as these two should have been better. It wasn’t constructed well. The fans didn’t care too much. There were moments when a lot of them were cheering for Orton, which could have been why he went babyface a year after this. At the Backlash PPV after this, Orton won back the WWE Title in a six man tag match. I hated that idea. It was the feud ender, though, because he beat Hunter with a punt to the face.
Hunter celebrated with the title as we end this show with a highlights video package.
Best match: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – Greatest match ever.
Worst match: Divas Battle Royal – Terrible match.
WrestleMania Moment: Undertaker’s face when Michaels kicked out of a Tombstone – I could have picked many moments. That one stands out the most.
Top 5 Superstars:
1. Shawn Michaels – Did everything he could to try and put the Deadman away. This is the reason why they call him Mr WrestleMania!
2. Undertaker – His face when HBK kicked out of the Tombstone was awesome. Very rare to see Undertaker selling frustration like that!
3. Jeff Hardy – Leg drop off the Ladder was awesome. Must have hurt like hell though.
4. CM Punk – Surprised at the time that he won but it paid off in the long run.
5. Ricky Steamboat – Impressive performance for someone who’d hadn’t wrestled in 14 years.
Updated rankings chart:
Shawn Michaels – 45pts
Hulk Hogan – 30pts
Macho Man Randy Savage – 29pts
Bret Hart – 25pts
Stone Cold – 24pts
The Rock/ Undertaker – 17pts
Kurt Angle/ Edge – 14pts
Triple H – 12pts
Ricky Steamboat – 11pts
Mick Foley/ Jeff Hardy– 10pts
Owen Hart/ Ric Flair – 8pts
Ultimate Warrior/ Roddy Piper– 7pts
Chris Benoit– 6pts
Dynamite Kid/Rick Rude/ Ted Dibiase/ John Cena– 5pts
Terry Funk/ Bam Bam Bigelow/ Diesel/ Eddie Guerrero- 4pts
Tito Santana/Andre the Giant/ Mr Perfect/ Lawrence Taylor/ X-Pac/ CM Punk- 3pts
Greg Valentine/ Scott Steiner/ Razor Ramon/Shane McMahon/ Christian/Brock Lesnar/Shelton Benjamin/ Batista-2pts
Sgt Slaughter/ Gorilla Monsoon/ Bobby Heenan/ Jim Ross/ Bubba Ray Dudley/ Chris Jericho– 1pt
Overall Show Rating (Out of 10): 7
The 25th edition of WrestleMania that is, in my honest opinion, the greatest match in the sport’s history. Undertaker and Shawn Michaels gave us a classic that will live forever. The two major title matches failed to live up to expectations but we have other decent matches in Hardy v Hardy and the MITB match. I do wish that Jericho had a bigger role to play here. He deserved it after an incredible run in 2008.
WrestleMania Rankings so far:
WrestleMania 17 – 10
WrestleMania 19 – 9.5
WrestleMania 21 – 9
WrestleMania 14 – 8.5
WrestleMania 20 – 8.5
WrestleMania 24 – 8
WrestleMania 10 – 8
WrestleMania 23 – 8
WrestleMania 22 – 8
WrestleMania 25 – 7
WrestleMania 8 – 7
WrestleMania 3 – 7
WrestleMania 18 – 6.5
WrestleMania 7 – 6.5
WrestleMania 6 – 6
WrestleMania16 – 5.5
WrestleMania 12 – 5.5
WrestleMania 15 – 5
WrestleMania 1 – 4.5
WrestleMania 13 – 4
WrestleMania 5 – 4
WrestleMania 11 – 4
WrestleMania 4 – 3.5
WrestleMania 2 – 3
WrestleMania 9 – 0.5
Up Next: We welcome back a legend but also say farewell to another at WrestleMania XXVI