ARRRGGHHHH! Despite the WWE’s insistence that this is the “25th Anniversary” of WrestleMania, that’s incorrect. It’s the 25th ANNUAL WrestleMania. WrestleMania 1 wasn’t the first ANNIVERSARY of WrestleMania, that would’ve been March 31, 1986. It was the first ANNUAL. Somebody buy the WWE marketing guys a dictionary. Anyways, screw it, let’s roll.
We get our standard WrestleMania hype video, with Mr. McMahon and the superstars talking about what they think the biggest WrestleMania moment in history was.
Nicole Scherzinger warbles her way through “America The Beautiful.”
And now, Army National Guard presents, the 25th Anniversary of the Sports Entertainment spectacular, WrestleMania
Pyro goes off as usual and Houston is set for WrestleMania 25, and JR welcomes us to the show!
“Ladies and gentlemen, our first contest is the Money In The Bank Ladder Match!”
Oh hell yeah! The participants, in order of entry are: CM Punk, Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas), WWE United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), Finlay (with Hornswoggle), Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian, and Kane.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Huge contrast from last year – Christian is the only one who immediately heads outside for a ladder. Soon enough most of the guys spill to the outside and it’s Kane and Mark Henry left in the ring. Benjamin and Christian use a large ladder to take out the two big men, but Kingston leapfrogs it and dropkicks it into Christian and Benjamin, then hits a boom drop on it with both of them under it. Soon enough it comes down to Kane and Henry again, who both try to climb the ladder, but everybody else gets back involved and take them out. Punk, Benjamin, Finlay, and MVP battle on the top of the ladders, until Kane and Mark Henry tip the ladders over. Kane disposes of Henry and starts climbing, but Henry gets back in, and tips Kane off of the ladder. He throws a ladder at Finlay, but Finlay ducks and dropkicks Henry before hitting a suicide dive on Kane and Benjamin. Christian hits a springboard dropkick on Kane and Finlay, and MVP takes out Christian, Finlay, and Kane. Kingston and Punk then take out the four of them with stereo suicide dives. Shelton Benjamin climbs a ladder and dives down on six guys, and we get a “holy shit” chant. Mark Henry climbs to the top rope, but Finlay decks him with the shillelagh. Hornswoggle brings a stepladder into the ring, climbs it, stands on Henry’s back, and hits a Tadpole Splash on everybody except for Finlay and Henry. Finlay grabs a ladder, battles with Kofi Kingston, and Kingston uses some innovative offense with the ladder before getting the stepladder to the face. Finlay uses the stepladder to take out most of his competition, and as he starts climbing, Kingston knocks him down with Trouble in Paradise. Mark Henry prevents Kingston from climbing the ladder, but as he goes to set up the ladder for himself, Kingston runs up it trying to take advantage, but Henry drops the ladder, catches Kingston, and hits the World’s Strongest Slam on the ladder. MVP stops Henry from climbing, and Benjamin stops MVP. MVP makes a little bridge between the ropes and the ladder, and we get more innovation from Benjamin with this setup. MVP takes him out though, and starts to climb, but Punk prevents him from getting to the briefcase. Christian pulls MVP down, and tries to do the same to Punk, but Punk kicks him off. Christian gets Punk down and tries to climb over him, but Punk gets him and goes for a GTS, but Christian reverses it into the Unprettier off of the little bridge setup. MVP starts to climb again, but Benjamin climbs up a crazy contraption of ladders, and goes for a sunset flip powerbomb off of the ladder, but fails, leading to “You F***ed Up” chants from the crowd. Benjamin powerbombs MVP over the top rope and onto Mark Henry and Tony Atlas, but before he can climb, Finlay climbs the other side. Benjamin knocks Finlay down onto the bridged ladder, and Christian pulls Benjamin off of the ladder. Benjamin disassembles the bridge contraption, and sets up that ladder next to the one Christian is climbing. The ladder they both end up on tips over, sending Benjamin crashing to the floor. Christian regains his balance and goes for the briefcase, but Punk gets to the top of the other side and they battle. Christian get Punk in the tree of woe on the ladder, Christian chokeslams Christian from the top of the ladder, and Punk frees himself. Kane goozles Punk, but Punk kicks Kane, quite literally, off the ladder, then unhooks the briefcase, and CM Punk becomes the first man to win back to back Money In The Bank Ladder Matches.
Winner: CM Punk
WrestleMania is brought to us bySlim Jim. We get a highlight package from WrestleMania Axxess.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, all the way from Detroit City, multi-platinum recording artist, the one, the only, Kid Rock
He plays a medley of songs. I like Kid Rock, but his live stuff sucks. Yet, I’ll suffer through this for you. The songs he plays are: Bawitdaba (he stops for the fans to sing a line. They don’t.), Rock N Roll Jesus, Cowboy, All Summer Long, and So Hott. As he’s playing the last song, a horde of nameless Divas make their way to the rings. Two days ago I reviewed WrestleMania 23 and pointed out that all the Lumberjills were named by the ring announcers, and to remember that fact come today when you read this review. The reason is because none of these Divas got an introduction. They just paraded to the ring to a crappy performance by Kid Rock, and started their “Miss WrestleMania” Battle Royal. I will try my best here to tell you who is in this match. Melina, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Maria, the Bellas, Eve, Maryse, Gail Kim, Michelle McCool, Natalya, Katie Lea, Molly Holly, Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Tiffany, and two or three that I missed. I think one was Interchangable Diva Search Contestant #3, but I’m not sure. Anyways, if Kid Rock weren’t enough to drive you to a bathroom break, the battle royal starts. I missed SEVEN Divas, apparently, because there’s supposedly 25 in this match, which starts while Justin Roberts is trying to explain the rules.
“Miss WrestleMania” 25-Diva Battle Royal
One of them is gone before the announcement is over. I can’t tell who, and they don’t show her up close. I think it was Layla. Rosa Mendes was the second one eliminated. Apparently Sunny is in there somewhere. Oh, there she is. She just got eliminated. There goes Torrie Wilson, Maria is gone, thanks to Victoria. Jillian Hall was eliminated by Gail Kim. Tiffany and somebody else were eliminated. I think it was the Interchangable Diva Search girl. Kelly Kelly gone, Molly Holly gone, Maryse gone, Katie Lea gone, Victoria gone, The Bellas gone. Mickie and Michelle battle it out on the top rope, and eliminate each other. It’s down to Melina, Beth Phoenix, and… Santino in drag. Seriously. Santino eliminates both of them. Mae Young, the guest time keeper, rings the bell like it’s going out of style. Or something. Candice Michelle is there to present the tiara to the winner, and the winner says her name is Santina, she’s Santino’s twin sister from Italy.
Winner and Miss WrestleMania: Santina
Why in the hell did I watch that debacle again? Oh yeah, for you, the readers. You’re welcome.
We get a video package for the next match, which is Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, with Ric Flair. This all started because Mickey Rourke was “The Wrestler.” I just saw an ROH logo on WrestleMania!
Jericho is out first. Mickey Rourke is in the audience. Can I watch and review Sin City instead? Ricky Steamboat is out first for his team, followed by Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and then “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Then Ric Flair has to get an entrance too, I guess. There’s kids in the audience with a big “WOOOOOOOOOOO” sign, but the kid with the W part wasn’t holding it up, so it just said “OOOOOOOOOOO.”
Chris Jericho vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Jericho has to pin all three of them to win, but they only have to beat him once. Piper sends Jericho crashing to the floor with a clothesline over the top rope. Piper scores a two count, and then hits Jericho with a dropkick. It’s all Piper early on. He tags in Snuka, who headbutts Jericho. Snuka tags in Ricky Steamboat, and Steamboat hasn’t lost a step. The legends are dominating, but Snuka taps to the Walls of Jericho, and it’s down to two on one. Piper continues to dominate, and he locks in the Sleeper, but Jericho gets out of it and nails Piper with the running enziguri, and we’re down to Steamboat and Jericho. Steamboat hits a cross body from the top, and Jericho kicks out at two before taking Steamboat’s head off with a clothesline. Jericho takes over control of the match, wearing Steamboat down, but the crowd wills Steamboat back into the match. Jericho decks Flair, but Steamboat dumps Jericho over the top rope and hits a slingshot cross body from the ring to the floor. Back in the ring, Steamboat with a chop from the top rope. Steamboat rolls Jericho up but only gets a two. Jericho hits the running bulldog, but Steamboat rolls out of the way of the Lionsault. Steamboat hits a powerslam and gets a two. Jericho manages to lock in the Walls of Jericho, but Steamboat escapes and gets an inside cradle for a two count. Jericho hits a Codebreaker out of nowhere, and Chris Jericho wins the match.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Flair gets in the ring and starts to lay in to Jericho, but Jericho turns the tide, then hits the Codebreaker on Flair. Jericho boots Flair out of the ring, then calls out Mickey Rourke, who gets in the ring and knocks him out.
There’s a National Guard ad. Then the announcers (which are JR, King, and Cole, by the way) start talking about the upcoming match between Matt and Jeff Hardy. They throw it to the video package.
Oh boy, this was the beginning of the “Fatt Lardy” era. And, it’s an Extreme Rules match. Jeff comes out, and we’re set for action.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy: Extreme Rules match
This whole feud was horrible, wasn’t it? Especially when they implied that Matt burned down Jeff’s house. Jeff hit’s Poetry In Motion on Matt on the outside, with assistance from the steel steps, then tries it in the ring jumping off of a chair, but Matt avoids it. Matt uses a Shop-Vac as a weapon, so, points for creativity and originality. Matt hits a Side Effect, sending Jeff crashing into a chair. Matt pulls a table out from under the ring, sets it up, but can’t take advantage of it as Jeff starts to mount a comeback. Jeff uses a crutch and a trash can during this flurry of offense, but Matt moves out of the way of a Swanton, then hits a Twist of Fate for two. Matt says he’s going for a Swanton, but instead he goes for a ride as Jeff hits him with a superplex. Jeff bashes Matt in the skull with a chair. Jeff sets Matt up on a table, puts a chair over him, then another table set up on top of all this. Jeff goes to the top rope, and does a splash right through it to the floor of the stadium. Jeff only gets a two back in the ring as Matt gets his foot over the bottom rope. Jeff pulls out a couple of ladders from underneath the ring. He sets the bigger one up closer to Matt, climbs the smaller one, leapfrogs it, and misses a legdrop as Matt moves. Matt hits the Twist of Fate with Jeff’s neck in a steel chair, and Matt picks up the win.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Randy Orton is with Legacy, getting ready for his WWE Championship match with Triple H. But first, we’re getting some Intercontinental Championship action! JBL is out first, tradition be damned. JBL says it’s the greatest day in his life. He had a WrestleMania vision, that just as Caesar returned to Rome a conquering hero, he’d return to Texas as a Champion. Texas has no Champion, no men. The people of Texas may never improve their lives, but they can be proud of the fact that JBL is their hero. He’s about to have the greatest victory in WrestleMania history. Rey Mysterio gets his entrance, and he’s dressed like The Joker from The Dark Knight. We actually get Championship introductions for this IC title match.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield vs. Rey Mysterio: Intercontinental Championship
JBL assaults Mysterio before the bell. The referee asks Rey if he’s ok to compete, he says yes, the bell rings, Rey hits an enziguri, a 619, and a top rope splash, this one’s over.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio
That didn’t take long. JBL takes the microphone, and declares that he quits, and I spot this year’s “bWo t-shirt at WrestleMania” dude, a tradition that I believe I started the year prior.
NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is at ringside, and we get the video showing how we got to HBK vs. The Undertaker.
Shawn Michaels, dressed in all white, decends from the heavens for his entrance, while The Undertaker, dressed, of course, in all black, rises from the depths of hell for his.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Ready for one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time? I’m fighting to stay awake, so I certainly am. Michaels sticks and moves in the early going, but Undertaker puts a stop to that early, or at least he tries to. Michaels fakes a knee injury and hits a Lou Thesz Press, but it doesn’t phase The Undertaker, who starts to throw hands at HBK. Michaels gets Undertaker in the corner with knife edge chops, but Undertaker launches him across the ring with an Irish whip and backdrops him to the canvas. Undertaker bodyslams HBK, drops an elbow, and gets a two. Undertaker goes for Old School, and hits it. Michaels avoids a charging Undertaker, who crashes into the turnbuckle. HBK goes after Undertaker’s leg. Michaels goes for his reverse Figure Four, and locks it in. Undertaker uses a couple of fists to Michaels’ face to escape, and Shawn stays on the offense with a dropkick to The Phenom’s knee. Undertaker takes control of the match, however. Snake eyes, big boot, legdrop, two count. He goes for a chokeslam, but Michaels turns it into a crossface. Undertaker eventually uses his strength to side slam his way out of the hold. Shawn goes back to the stick and move strategy. Flying forearm, nip up. Inverted atomic drops, chops, flying clotheslines. HBK goes to the top rope, but Undertaker catches him by the throat in mid-air, but HBK avoids the chokeslam, Undertaker avoids Sweet Chin Music, locks in Hell’s Gate, but HBK manages to get to the ropes. HBK rolls to the outside, Undertaker give chase, and sets Michaels up for the guillotine legdrop, but HBK moves out of the way. Michaels with the baseball slide. Michaels goes for the moonsault from the top rope, but Undertaker sidesteps him, sending HBK crashing to the floor. The referee checks on HBK as The Undertaker sits up in the ring. Undertaker goes for the suicide dive, but Michaels pulls the cameraman into harms way (The spot was botched – Undertaker looked to have landed short of his target and essentially landed on his head. They, of course, blamed Sim Snuka, who was playing the role of the cameraman.). Michaels begs and pleads with the referee to count The Undertaker out (really, he’s trying to buy The Undertaker some time). The referee gets to nine before Undertaker rolls back in the ring. Michaels tunes up the band, and The Undertaker sidesteps him and nails a chokeslam, but only scores a two. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music again, Undertaker catches him, but Michaels hits it on a third attempt, but Undertaker kicks out at two. Michaels nips up, then walks into the grip of the deadman, who tries for a Last Ride, but Michaels counters – the first attempt. A second try puts Michaels down for a two count. Undertaker goes to the top rope and tries for an elbow drop of his own, but HBK rolls out of the way. Both men pull themselves up by the ropes, Undertaker sidesteps a charging HBK, Michaels tries to skin the cat, but Undertaker catches him and puts him down with the Tombstone, but Michaels kicks out at two. Undertaker cannot believe it. Undertaker goes for another Tombstone, but Michaels manages to counter into a DDT. Michaels somehow pulls himself up to the top rope and drops the elbow down onto The Undertaker. Michaels tunes up the band, and nails Sweet Chin Music again. One, two – no! The streak is still alive! They trade blows as they manage to get to their feet. Undertaker goes for a Tombstone, HBK fights out of it. Undertaker sends HBK to the corner, and runs into a boot from HBK. Michaels climbs the ropes and tries for a Moonsault, but Undertaker catches him in mid air and plants him with the Tombstone! 17-0!
Winner: The Undertaker (17-0 at WrestleMania)
In 8 days, it’s the WWE Draft. Evander Holyfield is ringside, but I don’t think he’s eligible for the Draft. Edge, Big Show, and John Cena are though, but before we get there, they’re in a Triple Threat Match for Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship. Michael Cole has a video package to prove it.
The Champion comes out first for the Triple Threat match. Tradition be damned. Big Show makes his way out next, then “Basic Thuganomics” plays, and a horde of fake John Cenas come out to the aisle. They start waving their hands in front of their faces, then “The Time Is Now” starts playing and the real
Slim Shady John Cena stands up and comes to the ring. We get our Championship introductions, and we’re underway!
Edge vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show: World Heavyweight Championship
Cena hits the running bulldog on Edge early. He tries to tackle the Big Show, but it’s like jumping into a brick wall. Edge tries to high-five the World’s Largest Athlete, but Big Show’s not here to make friends. Show dominates both of his opponents here in the early going. Show takes himself out though, missing a big boot on Cena, who dumps him over the top rope and to the floor. Cena hits the top rope rocker dropper on Show all the way to the floor. Edge takes control from there. Back in the ring, Cena nearly pulls off an Attitude Adjustment, but Edge escapes. Cena knocks Edge to the floor as the Rated R Superstar tries for a top rope move, but Big Show gets right back in and attacks Cena, regaining control of the match. Chavo Guerrero pulls Cena out of the ring and gets an AA on the floor for his trouble. Cena manages to get Big Show tied up in the ropes, so it’s essentially Cena vs. Edge, and Cena is rolling as he hits the protobomb. He goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Edge and hits it as a helpless Big Show looks on. Vickie distracts Cena, and Edge tries to spear him, but Cena moves and Vickie gets speared instead. Cena takes Edge down, and Big Show gets loose. He starts throwing headbutts, then charges both men in opposite corners, then whips Edge into Cena and charges both of them. Show grabs them both by the throat, but Cena escapes. Edge eats the Chokeslam, but he rolls out of the ring when Cena tries to give Show an AA. Show hits the WMD on Cena, who winds up outside of the ring. Show goes after Edge, who reverses a chokeslam into a DDT as trainers come to pick up the carcass of Vickie Guerrero. Edge sets up the steel steps, and uses them to launch himself into The Big Show with a spear through the barricade. Edge gets up first and rolls the unconscious Cena into the ring, but Cena manages to kick out at two. Edge waits for Cena got get up, but Cena ducks the Spear and locks in the STF. Edge crawls to the ropes but Cena pulls him back, but Show pulls Edge to the ropes and decks Cena again. Show gets in the ring and goes for the Vader Bomb on Edge, but Edge rolls out of the way. Cena is stirring on the outside, and he tries to suplex The Big Show. Edge decides to help, and they get the big man over. They look at each other tentatively, then clothesline Show out of the ring, then Edge decks Cena, scoring a two count. Cena hits Edge with the Throwback, then goes to the top rope. Show launches Cena from the top rope, and Edge Spears Cena out of mid air. Edge drags him back to the middle of the ring, but Big Show pulls Edge out. Edge puts Show in a sleeper, Cena picks them both up for an AA but Edge gets out. Cena nails the AA on Show, then gets Edge up for one, and AA’s Edge on top of Show. Cena covers Show, and we’ve got a new World Heavyweight Champion!
Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena
Fireworks go off, and Cena heads out to the crowd to celebrate.
WrestleMania 26 will be in Phoenix, Arizona, but we’re still hanging out in Houston with one more match to go. But first, Justin Roberts introduces the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2009. They are: Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., “Cowboy” Bill Watts, Howard Finkel, “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware, Kevin Von Erich representing his whole family, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin walks off, then the glass shatters and he rides in on his four wheeler and has himself a little beer bash in the ring.
Tonight’s attendance: 72,744
Finally, a look back at the recent history between Triple H and Randy Orton. The WWE Champion is walking backstage and he runs into his in-laws. He nods at them, and heads off. Randy Orton’s music hits as Lillian explains that if Triple H is disqualified or counted out, Orton will win the WWE Championship. Triple H shatters a mirror with his sledgehammer and makes the long walk to the ring. He spits water, we get our Championship introductions, and we’re set for our main event.
Triple H vs. Randy Orton: WWE Championship
Triple H unloads on Orton to kick off the match. He stomps away at Orton in the corner as referee Scott Armstrong admonishes him. As Triple H backs off, Orton drops him with an RKO out of nowhere, but rather than cover The Game, Orton decides he wants to punt him, but he misses, and The Game nails the Pedigree, but can’t capitalize. The Game bounces The Viper’s head off of the announce table, then pours water on himself to, I guess, wake himself up. Triple H starts pounding away on Orton again, but Orton escapes and rolls into the ring, but Triple H follows him out and bounces his head off of the ringpost. The Game stalks Orton, who begs Triple H to wait, but that doesn’t happen, after everything Orton has put Triple H’s family through. The Game catapults Orton’s throat into the bottom rope, then drops knees into Orton’s skull. The Game with a Rude Awakening style neckbreaker, and Orton again tries to get some breathing room by rolling to the outside. Orton reverses an Irish whip and sends Triple H careening into the steel steps. He then whips The Game into the timekeeper’s area. Orton notices that Triple H may be out and he rolls back into the ring, hoping for the countout win, which, in this case, will give him the title. The WWE Champion gets back in the ring, only to be stomped mercilessly by the challenger. Orton drops a knee to Triple H’s skull, then boots him in the face. He mounts Triple H and starts throwing rights. Orton locks in a rear chinlock, but The Game hits a back suplex to escape. The Game charges at Orton, but The Viper hits a quick powerslam for a two count. Orton puts on the reverse chinlock again. Good ol’ Resthold Randy. Triple H gets up to a knee, then to his feet, but Orton hits him with a right as soon as he gets to his feet. Orton throws right hands, but Triple H keeps firing back, and eventually hits a high knee. Another Irish whip, and a facebuster. He goes for the Pedigree, but Orton counters and catapults Triple H face first into the turnbuckle. The Game shakes it off. He goes for a superplex, but Orton manages to cause The Game to drop face first into the turnbuckle. Orton tries to come off the top rope, but catches a boot to the face. Orton goes for the RKO, but Triple H rolls him up for two. The Game with the spinebuster. He goes again for the Pedigree, but Orton counters into his inverted backbreaker and scores a two count. The Game hits an elbow, then goes for a move from the top rope, but Orton dropkicks him out of the air. Orton sees Triple H is down, and gets that look in his eye again. He backs into the corner, he goes for the punt again, but Triple H catches his leg and dumps him over the top rope and to the floor. The Game dismantles the Spanish announce table, and looks to hit Orton with the monitor, but the referee reminds him that he’d lose his title if he got disqualified, and he thinks better of it. The two of them wind up on the English announce table, and Triple H sets up for the Pedigree, but Orton backdrops Triple H onto the Spanish announce table, which does not break. Triple H lies prone on the announce table, and The Viper grabs him by the hair. Orton delivers the elevated DDT off the announce table and onto the stadium floor! The Game looks to be out. He starts to stir around 7, rolls over at 8, gets an arm up on the apron at 9, and rolls in just before the 10 count. Orton, surprised that Triple H was able to get back in, stomps the hell out of him. Orton shoves Triple H into the corner and starts throwing right hands. He starts choking the life out of The Game in the corner. Triple H moves the referee out of the way and nails Orton. Orton shoves The Game into the referee, then tosses him shoulder first into the referee’s midsection. Orton hits the RKO with the referee down, and goes out to grab The Game’s sledgehammer from under the ring. As he’s getting back into the ring, Triple H punts Orton’s head off! Triple H grabs the sledgehammer, and as both men get to their feet, The Game hits Orton right in the collarbone with it. He hides the sledgehammer under the ring apron, and starts firing fists into Orton’s skull. The referee pulls Triple H off of Orton, and The Game pulls Orton up to his feet, only to put him back down with a Pedigree. One, two, three, it’s over!
Winner and still WWE Champion: Triple H
This was actually a heck of a match. Why can’t both of these guys be this entertaining on a regular basis? The Game stands over a fallen Orton and celebrates with his title as pyro goes off to close the live show. We get our closing video package, and that’s it for WrestleMania 25!
My Thoughts: Seriously, nobody told them that the 25th edition isn’t the 25th anniversary? Nobody corrected this? I have to admit, I stand corrected about what I said yesterday about WrestleMania 24 being the last really good WrestleMania. This definitely had it’s bad points (Kid Rock, Miss WrestleMania, The Hardys), but it had some truly great stuff (both title matches, Money In The Bank, HBK/Taker 1). I’ve already got WrestleMania 26 in the books and scheduled to go up tomorrow night, so my next venture is last year’s WrestleMania, which I’m not just remembering being bad – the whole show was just inducted into WrestleCrap this week. See you tomorrow!
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