Day three of WrestleMania week, and we’re rolling on here at!  Throughout this week I will relive the past 7 WrestleMania events, starting with WrestleManias XX (which was posted Sunday) and continuing through WrestleMania XXVII (which will be posted this coming Sunday).  So we’re heading to the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, heading to the Big Time for WrestleMania 22!

Here to sing “America The Beautiful,” from Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams!

We get our obligatory opening video, showing highlights of WrestleManias past.  It’s set to the tune of “I Dare You” by Shinedown.  It’s pretty cool, actually.  Oh hell, you should check it out for yourself!


Then we get the hype video for the matches – Undertaker/Henry, Michaels/McMahon, Angle/Mysterio/Orton, and Cena/HHH, set to “Save Me Sorrow” by Bullets and Octane.

And now, RAW, SmackDown, and Snickers present, WrestleMania!

Opening pyro signifies that we’re done with video packages for now as Good Ol’ JR, Jim Ross welcomes us to the show!

I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool.

Yep, Carlito is curtain jerking in a tag team match.  JR is back together with Jerry “The King” Lawler for RAW, Michael Cole and Tazz represent SmackDown, and “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters represents the other half of Carlito’s tag team.  Ah, there’s the Spanish announcers!  Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera are the guys whose table is going to be obliterated by the end of the night.  Hell, it might be in this first match, because Carlito and Chris Masters opponents are the World Tag Team Champions, Kane and The Big Show!  I mentioned on BWF Radio a few weeks ago that Kane consistently has my favorite entrance at WrestleMania, and this is no exception – the buildings that make up the set are on fire!

Kane & The Big Show vs. Carlito & Chris Masters:  World Tag Team Championship

JR tells us that this is the first time since WrestleMania XV (read:  7 years prior) that the World Tag Team Championships are being defended in a traditional 2-on-2 tag team match at WrestleMania.  Show still had hair here.  He must be Samson, because he’s dominating in the early going.  Even a thumb to the eye couldn’t stop him.  He takes down both challengers by himself.  Kane gets a double clothesline from the top rope in after Show sends Carlito and Masters to the floor.  Show brings Carlito back in by the hair, but the challengers finally manage to put down The Big Show, with a little help from an exposed turnbuckle.  They try for a double suplex, but Show suplexes both of them at once and then tags in Kane, who continues his team’s domination.  Masters ducks a top rope clothesline from Kane and locks in the Master Lock, but Big Show breaks the Master Lock with his boot.  Carlito hits a backstabber on Kane, and Masters saves him from a chokeslam.  Kane sits up, and goes for a double chokeslam, but the challengers fight out of it.  Masters inadvertently hits Carlito, and Kane manages to finally chokeslam Carlito, picking up the victory for his team.

Winners and still World Tag Team Champions:  Kane & The Big Show

After the match, Carlito and Chris Masters argue with each other.

Backstage, The Coach, Jonathan Coachman, is standing by with The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels.  Last year, HBK told Mr. McMahon to grow up and move on, which sparked a wave of vindictiveness from Mr. McMahon.  Does HBK regret saying that?  No, because it was the truth.  Life is funny.  Last year, HBK and Kurt Angle stole the show.  The year before that, himself, Triple H, and Chris Benoit did the same, but he doesn’t expect that tonight.  It’ll be violent and brutal.  It will get ugly.  Tonight, Vince McMahon isn’t going to get the Heartbreak Kid, he’ll get a Shawn Michaels we’ve never seen before.  He’s going to make Mr. McMahon live his own personal hell.

MONEY IN THE BANK!  The participants in this year’s match are, in order of entrance:  Matt Hardy, Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Rob Van Dam, Bobby Lashley, and Ric Flair.  Yes, that Ric Flair.

Money in The Bank Ladder Match

How am I supposed to keep up with this?  I’ll try my best.  RVD is friggin’ insane – he does a slingshot cross body over the top rope to the floor onto Matt Hardy and the ladder he’s holding.  Shelton Benjamin, crazier.  He sets up a ladder over the ropes, runs up it, and dives to the floor, taking out Lashley, Hardy, and RVD.  Finlay sets up the ladder, but he’s taken out by Flair, who climbs the ladder, but he’s too far away from the briefcase when Matt Hardy comes up after him.  Hardy superplexes Flair off the top of the ladder.  The referees throw up the X sign, so it looks like the Nature Boy is done for the night.  Back in the ring, RVD sets up Shelton Benjamin on a ladder, but Benjamin moves and RVD hits a rolling thunder on a ladder.  Lashley sets up the ladder and starts climbing, but Shelton Benjamin comes up after him.  The two battle it out on the top of the ladder, and Benjamin tries a sunset flip powerbomb.  Matt Hardy and Finlay help Benjamin pull him off the ladder.  Hardy tries to sandwich Finlay between a ladder and the corner, but Finlay tosses the ladder right back into his face.  Soon, Finlay is the only guy in the ring and goes to set up a ladder, but he notices Ric Flair hobbling back down the aisle.  Flair takes out Finlay, sets up the ladder in the ring, and starts climbing, but Hardy stops him.  Soon, all three Carolinians in the match start to battle, with Flair getting the better of it.  Flair gets to the top of the ladder, hand on the briefcase, but Finlay cracks him in the skull with his shilelagh (which is a word I thought I was done having to remember how to spell).  Lashley starts to dominate the competition – literally.  He hits Shelton Benajamin with the Dominator. Lashley sets up and starts climbing the ladder, but catches a Van Daminator to the spine from Rob Fan Dam.  Hardy sets up a ladder in the corner, climbs it, and drops a leg on Lashley from the top of the ladder.  Hardy grabs another ladder and sets it up mid ring.  He gets to the top, gets his hand on the briefcase, but Finlay catches him.  Hardy hits the side effect from halfway up the ladder!  RVD climbs the ladder in the corner and nails a Five Star Frog Splash from the very very very top of the ladder on Finlay!  RVD sets up the ladder in the center of the ring and climbs.  He gets his hand on the briefcase, but Shelton Benjamin does his best Spiderman impersonation and lands on the ladder.  Hardy gets up on top of his own ladder, and the three men brawl.  Benjamin moves over to Hardy’s ladder, and they’re both shoved down by Van Dam, who climbs up and unhooks the briefcase!  RVD has a guaranteed title shot whenever he wants!

Winner:  Rob Van Dam

Josh Matthews is standing by backstage with “Mean Gene” Okerlund, who is the first announcer to ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  He’s interrupted by Randy Orton, who can’t believe that Mean Gene was inducted for holding a microphone for 35 years.  Orton says it’ll be because of nights like this that he’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday.  He’s interrupted by Batista.  Batista reminds Orton that whoever wins tonight’s World Heavyweight Championship match is only holding the title until he’s back from his injury.  By WrestleMania 23, he’ll be World Champion again.

Howard Finkel tells us that Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart was uncomfortable participating in this evening’s event.  He introduces the rest of the 2006 class of the WWE Hall of Fame:  “Mean Gene” Okerlund (accompanied by Kristal Marshall), Sensational Sherri (“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase), Tony Atlas (Victoria), Verne Gange (Kristal Marshall again), William “The Refrigerator” Perry (Melina), The Blackjacks (Maria Kanellis), and Eddie Guerrero, accepted by Vickie Guerrero (Chavo Guerrero).  The Blackjacks and Sensational Sherri hug Vickie.

Speaking of Eddie Guerrero, one of his best friends is in action in the following United States Championship match.  The rap lifts up, and JBL’s limo drives in right under it.  He’s flanked by his image consultant, Jillian Hall.  His opponent, the United States Champion, Chris Benoit!

Chris Benoit vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield:  United States Championship

This is only the second time that the United States Championship is being defended at WrestleMania.  John Cena won it from The Big Show at WrestleMania 20, with Chris Benoit in the main event.  Now Benoit’s defending it with Cena in the main event.  My how times change.  Benoit goes for the crossface early, and he headbutts the hell out of JBL in an attempt to get JBL to let him do so.  JBL gets Benoit in a headlock, Benoit gets out of it and locks in a submission of his own.  Benoit tries for a Sharpshooter, but JBL shoves him off.  He tries to get a breather but Benoit comes out after him.  He uses Jillian as a shield and thumbs Benoit in the eye. Back in the ring it’s all JBL.  Benoit manages to recover, and he hits the triple German suplexes.  He gives his throat cut signal and goes to the tope, but JBL knocks Benoit off the top rope.  He does Eddie Guerrero’s shimmy, then goes up after Benoit, superplexing him from the top rope.  JBL does Benoit’s throat cut taunt, then goes for… Three Amigos?!?  Benoit escapes before the third one, but can’t take advantage as JBL continues the offense.  Benoit finally escapes a rear chinlock with a back suplex and Nick Patrick starts to count both men down.  They both get up at six and Benoit starts getting into gear, and hits Three Amigos of his own.  He signals that he’s going for his finisher, and nails a spectacular diving headbutt, but JBL kicks out at two.  Benoit goes for the German Suplexes, but JBL grabs onto the referee, grabs onto the ropes, anything he can.  JBL goes for a Clothesline from Hell, but Benoit ducks and turns it into a Crossface.  JBL rolls through, getting Benoit’s shoulders on the mat (and grabbing the ropes for leverage), and pinning him to win the US Title.

Winner and NEW United States Champion:  John “Bradshaw” Layfield

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss reasons why JR may have been invited back for WrestleMania, and then throw it to the video package detailing the issues between Edge and Mick Foley.

I want to preface this section of the review by stating that, despite being a huge fan of the original ECW and the Hardcore Championship era of the WWE, this match is my favorite hardcore match of all time.  Believe me, I’ve seen the King of the Deathmatch stuff Foley did with Terry Funk in Japan, the barbed wire ropes matches in ECW, but this is by far the best one, in my opinion.

Anywho, JR throws it to Joey Styles, who is losing his WrestleMania virginity.  Edge and Lita make their way to the ring.  Edge has a baseball bat in hand and looks determined, and why shouldn’t he?  He blames Mick for losing him the WWE Championship.  Foley comes out in a dark gray flannel shirt, but no weapon in hand.

Edge vs. Mick Foley: Hardcore Match

Edge tries to hit Foley early with the baseball bat, but Foley ducks it and gets Edge to drop the bat as he goes on the offense.  He ties Edge to the Tree of Woe, and Foley drops and elbow on him.  Edge goes after Foley, who had turned his back to Edge, then Lita tosses Edge some weapons.  He uses a cookie sheet and a baking pan on Foley, then kicks a road sign in his face.  Edge calls for the Spear, and he connects, but he goes down, writhing in pain.  Foley takes off the black flannel to reveal that he’s wrapped his torso in barbed wire, which has ripped a hole into Edge’s arm.  Foley starts to whip Edge with the barbed wire before digging it into the hole in Edge’s arm.  Foley manages to get Edge tied up in the ropes, and then goes to the steel steps, where he’s got Barbie, his barbed wire baseball bat, hidden.  Before he can use it, Lita jumps on his back, but Foley clotheslines Edge over the top rope, sending all three crashing to the floor.  Mick scores a two count on the floor, followed by another off of a swinging neckbreaker.  He charges at Edge, but Edge armdrags him legs first into the steel steps.  Edge takes advantage, whipping Foley again into the steps.  Edge grabs a chair as Foley is back in the ring, but Foley rolls to the apron and Edge baseball slides him off of it.  Edge grabs a table from underneath the ring and sets it up.  He lays Foley out on it, then climbs to the top rope, but Foley moves, so Edge drops down and goes back to work, slamming Mick’s skull off of the steel ramp for a two count.  Edge tosses Foley back in the ring, and Lita hands him lighter fluid, which he douses Foley in.  It serves to wake Mick up, as he drops Edge with a piledriver for a two. Foley lays Edge’s head on a chair, and grabs another one, but before he can do any damage, Lita distracts him long enough for Edge to take advantage with a chairshot of his own.  Edge grabs the barbed wire baseball bat, and starts using it on Foley, opening up his forehead with it, then bulldogging him into it, which scores Edge a two count.  Edge opens up the steel steps on the outside and brings a bag that was under there into the ring – it’s filled with thumbtacks.  Edge tries to put Foley into them, but winds up getting backdropped directly into the pile.  Foley produces Mr. Socko, then wraps Socko in barbed wire, giving a mandible claw to Edge, and for a moment, Lita for good measure.  He uses Barbie again on Edge, grinding the barbs into Edge’s face.  Foley grabs the lighter fluid and starts spraying it on the table Edge set up earlier.  Lita nails him in the knee with Barbie, then lights the table on fire.  Edge proceeds to spear Foley from the apron and through the flaming table, then scores with the pinfall for the victory!

Winner:  Edge

After the match, Edge and Lita celebrate at the top of the ramp, and Edge looks terrified.  The fans chant Foley’s name as he walks away under his own power.

Backstage, Sharmell is terrified of The Boogeyman.  Only in WWE will you find a 30-something woman terrified of The Boogeyman.  She asks why all the freaks are always drawn to Booker T.  He says, “I ain’t no freak magnet,” before running into the pirate, Paul Burchill.  Further down the hall, Ted DiBiase is with Eugene, who is trying to bounce a basketball 100 times for money until DiBiase kicks it away at 99, denying Eugene the money.  He offers Booker a chance to make $1,000.  Booker declines.  Further still, he runs into Mae Young, who is getting her feet licked by Gene Snitsky while The Fabulous Moolah watches.  Snitsky asks if Book wants to join.  Sharmell says it ain’t right.  Booker goes to ask a lady something, but it turns out it’s Goldust dressed as Oprah.  Or, Oprahdust as he calls himself.  Goldust says they’re all here to help him realize that to beat The Boogeyman, he has to let his inner freak out.  He advises Booker and Sharmell to take the worms and put them in his…  “Tell me you didn’t just say that!”  He calls Goldust a freak and leaves.  Snitsky says it’s not his fault, and DiBiase cackles.

Backlash ad airs.

Todd Grisham stands by with two women who ate a lot of Snickers and won tickets to the show.  Joe Theismann is also there, as is Michelle Williams.  Booker T is here too, along with Sharmell, who is terrified.  Booker’s pyro scares both of them.  Booker checks under the ring for The Boogeyman.  Again, only in the WWE.  The Boogeyman, like all Boogeymen, appears in a cloud of smoke when his entrance music hits.

Booker T & Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman

Sharmell starts things off for her team, which only serves as a distraction for Booker T to attack Boogeyman from behind.  Sharmell tags out quickly, and I can’t see a damned thing because the entire Allstate Arena is filled with red smoke.  Book tries underhanded tactics to keep the advantage, then scores a two count off of a Book-End.  Boogeyman starts to battle back, ducking the scissors kick, and sending Booker shoulder first into the steel post.  He pulls out a pocket full of worms – WrestleMania Snack Time!  Sharmell tries to attack Boogeyman with his staff dealie, but he catches her and spits the worms down her throat.  Boogeyman hits a double chokeslam on Booker (Sharmell ran off), and picks up the victory.

Winner:  The Boogeyman

I forgot all about The Boogeyman until I just watched this.  He used to gross my wife out big time.

JR and The King have their own crazy person to deal with on RAW, the crazy Mickie James, who has been stalking Trish Stratus, the WWE Womens Champion.  We get the standard video package detailing all of that.  Holy crap, I forgot how crazy Mickie’s character was in the WWE.

Anyways, Mickie is out first, skipping down to the ring.  JR says, “she might be a little old for you, she’s in her early twenties,” to which The King responds, “Can she cook?”  Classic JR & King.  Trish makes her way out, as we get more witty banter between the second greatest commentary team of all time.  (The first is Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, if you’re wondering).

Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus:  WWE Women’s Championship

Trish goes on the early offense, using the Lou Thesz Press a la Steve Austin, then starts chopping Mickie a la Ric Flair in the corner.  Mickie tries to kick Trish, but Trish catches her and pulls her down in a split position – ouch.  Trish misses a Chick Kick outside of the ring and hits the ring post instead.  Mickie takes advantage by wrapping Trish’s injured knee around the ringpost.  The two Divas trade rights, but Mickie gets the better of it when she dropkicks Trish’s knee out from under her.  The fans are solidly behind Mickie James as she continues to work over Trish’s leg.  She locks in a single leg crab, and Trish screams out in pain.  Mickie breaks it, after she slams Trish’s face into the canvas, and then continues working over the leg.  Trish finally gets Mickie off of her with a spinning headscissors, and she starts to build momentum, catching Mickie with a pair of clotheslines and a spinebuster, scoring a two count.  She whips Mickie into the corner and charges in, but Mickie gets her feet up.  Mickie goes to the top rope, and Trish tries for the hurricanrana, but Mickie drapes Trish’s leg over the top rope, then scores a two count.  Trish rolls up Mickie for two, then scores with a powerbomb, scoring a two count again.  Trish Matrix’s under a kick attempt by Mickie, then goes for Stratusfaction, but Mickie… well…  I guess there’s no other way to put this – she escapes by grabbing Trish’s crotch.  While Trish is all weirded out, Mickie gives the international sign for cunnilingus.  I can’t make this stuff up, folks, this actually happened.  Trish connects with a solid right hand, but before she can capitalize, Mickie kicks her in the face, then tries Stratusfaction of her own, but fails to connect.  She hits Trish with a Mick Kick, and that’s enough to put Trish away.

Winner and NEW WWE Women’s Champion:  Mickie James

Backstage, the McMahons are all gathered.  Vince decides to take Shawn Michaels up on his advice and have a McMahon family prayer.  “God, let’s face it.  I don’t like you, you don’t like me.  I’ve defied every law you’ve ever had, and yet been tremendously successful.  And I’m sure, God, you never intended for a 60 year old to have a Herculean physique such as I do.  I know, God, that you and I aren’t close, but I know that you and Shawn Michaels are very, very close.  So tonight, God, I’d like to tell you what I’m going to do to your favorite wrestler.  I’m gonna send Shawn Michaels down to the fiery depths of hell.  Amen!  Hallelujah!”

Apparently, the casket match between The Undertaker and Mark Henry doesn’t need a video package.  The druids wheel the casket to ringside.  Oh wait, there’s the video package!  Man, Mark Henry has some generic ass music back in 2006.  I guess nobody’s gonna get they ass kicked.  Undertaker makes his hour long walk to the ring, and I decide that means…  IT’S BAGEL TIME!

The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry:  Casket Match

I have to put my bagel down to start typing because Mark Henry decided he didn’t want to wait for the bell.  I’d interrupt Mark Henry when he’s eating a bagel, except for the fact that he’s the World’s Strongest Man and could probably tear me in half like a phone book if he wanted to.  Henry pretty much dominates the early going as I finish my damned bagel and take a sip of my iced tea.  He calls for the casket to be opened, but he can’t get Undertaker into it.  This is a slow, plodding match, and Mark Henry went for a damn pin in the middle of a casket match.  I am really not into this match.  Undertaker launches himself over the top rope and the casket to nail Henry, which was the first entertaining thing in the match.  He tombstones Henry, and calls for the lid to be open.  he dumps Henry in, closes the lid, and this match is thankfully over.

Winner:  The Undertaker

Ad for some Diva PPV thing they’re trying to sell.

And now it’s time for Shawn Michaels!  After that casket match, I need an HBK match to salvage this show.  Too bad he’s wrestling Vince McMahon.  But first, it’s the obligatory video package.  Shawn Michaels makes his way out first.  Gotta be an ego thing for Vince, huh?  Streamers fall from the ceiling as HBK makes his way to the ring, and I made the ROH joke yesterday so I’m not going to use it again here.  Mr. McMahon makes his way down and we’re set for a no holds barred match, which is different from the Hardcore match we had earlier in the sense that pinfalls do not count anywhere except in the ring.  At ringside, Vince has a large copy of his Muscle & Fitness cover.

Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. McMahon:  No Holds Barred match

Dammit, this is two matches in a row where somebody attacks before the bell.  Thank you HBK, I wasn’t finished typing my previous paragraph yet.  Anyway, HBK starts beating the hell out of McMahon almost immediately, chopping him, tossing him over announce tables, choking him with cables.  He rolls him into the ring and grabs the Muscle & Fitness cover, smashing it over the head of Mr. McMahon.  The Spirit Squad run in to attack .  Man, that Nicky dude looks really familiar.  I wonder why.  One of them goes to the top rope, according to the back of his shirt it’s Kenny, but he misses with the legdrop.  Mitch tries to attack with the bullhorn, but HBK gets it and chases off the entire Spirit Squad.  He spits at them for good measure but eats a clothesline from Mr. McMahon.  McMahon gets some solid offense in, and starts whipping HBK with his belt, then chokes him with it.  Michaels fights out of the choke but gets clotheslined back down with the belt.  McMahon tries to amp up  the crowd, and… tunes up the band?!?  HBK catches him, then fires at him with right hands and chops, then a flying forearm.  HBK nips up and grabs Mr. McMahon’s belt, whipping Vince with it across the back and the chest.  A bodyslam from HBK is the setup for a flying elbow, which connects.  HBK tunes up the band, but Shane thwacks him with a kendo stick.  He’s got handcuffs.  Vince pulls his pants down.  Shane tries to make HBK kiss Vince’s ass, but HBK reverses it and plants Shane’s face into Vince’s ass, then hits a low blow on Vince.  Michaels handcuffs Shane to the middle rope and steals the key, which he tosses into the crowd.  HBK mocks Shane and starts blasting him with the kendo stick.  HBK digs under the ring and grabs a steel chair, which he blasts Vince over the skull with. HBK tunes up the band again – but doesn’t pull the trigger on Sweet Chin Music.  Instead, he goes outside to grab a ladder.  He bashes Vince’s skull in with the ladder.  He tunes up the band again, and again doesn’t pull the trigger.  This time he grabs a table and several trash cans.  He cracks Vince over the head with a trash can then lays him on the table before climbing to the top of the ladder.  HBK thinks better of it and climbs down, much to the dismay of the crowd.  He heads outside of the ring, decks Shane McMahon, and grabs a bigger ladder!  JR says it’s the biggest ladder he’s ever seen – and I’m hard pressed to disagree.  It’s huge.  He picks Vince up, puts a trash can over his head, then climbs up to the top of this gigantic ladder.  He gives a few DX crotch chops before diving from the top of the ladder and through Vince McMahon, trash can, table and all.  Trainers and officials come out to the ring with a stretcher, but HBK keeps them at bay.  He tosses a few crotch chops in Shane McMahon’s direction before pulling Vince up to his feet.  He tells Vince “I want you to watch this,” then connects with Sweet Chin Music, finally putting McMahon out of his misery.

Winner:  Shawn Michaels

As he’s being carted off, Mr. McMahon still manages to flip the bird to HBK, who is smiling about it in the ring.

On April 1, 2007, WrestleMania will be at Ford Field in Detroit.  You can read about that tomorrow.

Michael Cole and Tazz thank Shinedown for “I Dare You,” the theme song for WrestleMania before throwing it to the video package for the World Heavyweight Championship.

P.O.D. are up on top of one of the buildings that makes up the set, performing “Booyakah 619” as Rey pops up from under the stage.  He heads backstage as soon as he pops up, and next thing you know he’s in what can be described as an Aztec headdress on top of the building with P.O.D. and more streamers come down from the ceiling as Mysterio makes it to the ring.  Mercy Drive doesn’t show up to play Randy Orton to the ring (didn’t I say the same thing about Saliva and Batista yesterday in the WrestleMania 21 review?), but he shows up anyway.  And in a tradition that the WWE has seemed to get away from in recent years, the World Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle comes out last, complete with “You Suck” chants.

Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

Orton decks Angle with the title belt to start the match, then nails a dropkick on Mysterio for a two count.  Angle gets back in and goes for the rolling Germans on Orton, but Orton blocks the second one.  Mysterio tries one of his little flippy moves, and we wind up with Angle hitting a German suplex on BOTH guys at once.  Man, this is Kurt Angle in his prime right here – and right now he’s still one of the very best wrestlers on the planet.  I can’t even keep pace with this match, it’s a really fast paced match – and highly entertaining.  Mysterio goes for the 619 but gets caught in Angle’s ankle lock.  Mysterio is tapping out, but the referee doesn’t know because Orton is distracting him.  Angle gets Mysterio in the hold again but Orton breaks it up.  With Taz retired, Angle is the new human suplex machine, and I honestly don’t think Taz would mind me saying that or argue with it.  Angle’s tossing everybody around the ring like it’s nothing.  He gets Orton in the ankle lock, but Mysterio pulls the referee away as Orton taps out.  By rights, Angle should’ve won this match twice by now.  Angle gets Orton in the ankle lock a second time but Rey drops the dime on Angle to get him to break the hold.  Angle throws Mysterio shoulder first into the ringpost and goes for an Angle Slam on Orton, who drops him with an RKO out of nowhere, but Angle kicks out at two.  Orton can barely walk, but he’s still trying to climb to the top rope, but Angle springs up and drops him with a belly-to-belly from the top.  Mysterio scores a two count off of some innovative offense on Angle.  Orton sets up for an RKO on Mysterio but gets hit with an Angle Slam instead, allowing Angle to get a two count. Mysterio doesn’t suffer the same fate, he armdrags Angle out of the ring, then connects with a 619 and a West Coast Pop on Orton to become the new World Champion!

Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion:  Rey Mysterio

Chavo and Vickie Guerrero come out to greet Mysterio on his way to the back.  Meanwhile, Triple H and John Cena are backstage getting ready.  JR and The King discuss Triple H vs. John Cena for a good 5 minutes, and then we’re subject to the first ever “Playboy Pillow Fight.”  Candice Michelle is out first.  Her opponent is Torrie Wilson, who brings her dog with her.  I can’t remember the name of the dog.  In any event…

Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle:  Playboy Pillow Fight

Two ugly skanks wrestling in dresses with a bed set up in the ring.  It’s just as bad as you’d expect folks.  Torrie wins with a rollup.  By the way, the dog’s name is Chloe.

Now that the bathroom break match is over, it’s time to throw it to the video package for the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Triple H.  Then we get highlights of the press conference that was held in Chicago earlier in the week with Triple H and John Cena trash talking each other.

Behold the King.  The King of Kings.

Triple H rises up on a throne, looking his Conan The Barbarianist.  Then his other theme song plays, and it’s Time to Play The Game as the challenger makes his way to the ring first.  As it should be.  Then we get a lesson on The Great Depression and Chicago gangsters.  To survive, you apparently needed Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.  The stage rises up again like it did for JBL’s entrance, and CM Punk is hanging off of an old car with a Tommy gun in his hand.  You didn’t think a review of a WrestleMania in Chicago would get done without a reference to the current WWE Champion, did you?  Cena comes out with a trench coat over his jorts, looking for all the world like he’s going to flash everybody on live Pay Per View.  He takes out a Tommy gun of his own and fires off a round, then heads to the ring.  The odd thing is, unlike the World Heavyweight Championship match earlier, we get Championship introductions for this one.

John Cena vs. Triple H:  WWE Championship

The fans are ready for this one, and the competitors are taking a moment to soak up the atmosphere.  Finally, they lock up.  Triple H gets in a headlock, then into a hammerlock, and a drop toehold when Cena tries to reverse.  Triple H gets a wristlock in, and another hammerlock, which he tosses Cena down from.  He’s just toying with Cena, showing that he’s the better wrestler at this point.  Cena tries to pick the pace  up, and even goes for an early F.U., but Triple H gets out quickly and decks Cena in the jaw.  The fans cheer The Game as he tosses Cena to the floor.  H-Cubed turns his back for a brief second, and it’s enough for Cena to start taking over the flow of the match.  Cena floats over a fisherman’s suplex for a two count, before locking in a reverse chinlock.  The Game gets to his feet and forces Cena to break in the corner, but the momentum stays with the WWE Champion.  The action spills to the outside and Cena backdrops the challenger onto the steel ramp before tossing him back in and only getting a two count.  Triple H kills Cena’s momentum with a high knee.  The action winds up outside again and Triple H sends Cena careening into the steel steps.  Back in the ring, The Game suplexes Cena, then drops a knee to the skull, covering Cena for a two count.  Cena tries to fight back, but gets dropped with a Triple H facebuster, followed by a brutal clothesline.  JBL is jealous of that clothesline.  Triple H witha  neckbreaker, but he can still only get two.  Every time Cena seems to get a small flurry of offense going, The Game shuts it down.  Triple H looks to put Cena down with a sleeper hold.  Cena starts to come back to life, ramming Triple H into the turnbuckle to break out of the hold.  Cena nails a huge clothesline of his own, and both men are down.  Cena starts to build momentum with a powerslam and the Protobomb.  He holds the Allstate Arena in the palm of his hand and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but apparently Triple H can see John Cena because he caught him with a spinebuster and nabbed a two count.  Cena puts The Game down with a side suplex, then ducks an incoming Triple H, taking him down with a drop toehold and locking in the STFU.  Triple H crawls to the ropes, finally making it.  Cena tries for the F.U., but instead, Triple H gets out of it, runs Cena into referee Mike Chioda in the corner, and then hits both  of them with a low blow.  The Game gives his own little DX crotch chop before he goes out to grab his weapon of choice from under the ring, the sledgehammer.  Cena prevents him from using it right away, but eventually, Triple H connects.  Cena only stays down for two though.  The Game goes for the Pedigree, but Cena backdrops him out of it, then connects with the F.U., but The Game kicks out at two, much to the surprise of the Champ.  Cena goes to the top and misses a cross body from the top rope.  Triple H goes for the Pedigree but Cena reverses it into another STFU.  He grabs Triple H’s arm so that he can’t reach the rope.  The referee checks the arm – it drops once… it drops twice…. it doesn’t drop a third time.  As much as Triple H tries to fight it off, he finally has to tap out.

Winner and still WWE Champion:  John Cena

Cena holds the belt and looks constipated as the show fades to a highlight package, set once again to “I Dare You.”

My Thoughts:  I got through this one quicker than I got through WrestleMania 21, so I guess that’s  a good thing.  The one thing that really bugged me was the Playboy Pillow Fight.  You have two of these women who are supposed to be “Smart, Sexy, and Powerful,” and they’re essentially fighting over who the bigger skank is.  It’s stupid.  Also, I wasn’t thrilled about the casket match.  I’m not a fan of the match type in general, so that’s probably why.  Alright.  Time to get started on another review.  WrestleMania 23 review will be up tomorrow!

Post by thinksojoe

The founder of and it’s parent company, Fropac Entertainment, ThinkSoJoE has been a wrestling fan since he first saw WWF television in 1986 at the age of four. His first wrestling memory was Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event talking about getting King Kong Bundy in a cage at WrestleMania 2. Sixteen years later, he met Hulk Hogan on the eve of WrestleMania X-8. On December 9, 2013, he legitimately won a Slammy Award (Best Crowd of the Year). ThinkSoJoE currently hosts the weekly BWF Radio podcast.

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