They show a wide shot of the crowd as they welcome Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child (and Chicago) to sing America the Beautiful. She did a great job. Then they play a video package highlighting WrestleMania moments through the years. Then the song changes as they go into videos for the big matches in the order of Undertaker/Henry, McMahon/Michaels, Mysterio/Angle/Orton and Cena/HHH is last.
First voice we hear is Jim Ross welcoming us to the show as they pan the crowd to show that it’s a true sellout. As Carlito comes out for the first match, JR is sitting with Lawler and he throws it to Cole and Tazz. Then we get Masters’ entrance. No Coachman or Styles.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Big Show & Kane vs. Carlito & Chris Masters
Carlito and Masters come out first individually. There’s a ramp in the aisle for those wondering. Kane and Big Show come out together. The challengers are making their WrestleMania debuts. Masters and Kane start out with Masters getting a shoulderblock, then Kane hits a dropkick after another exchange. Yes, a dropkick from Kane. Must be WrestleMania. Show tags in, hits the “shhh chop” a couple times. Slam by Show. Carlito gets tagged in to a big pop surprisingly. Crowd starts a “Carlito” chant. Show picks him up and crotches him on the top ropes, then boots Masters down. Press slam on Masters, then one on Carlito although out to the floor onto Masters. Kane comes off the top with a punch/clothesline onto both heels on the floor. Ref gets distracted, they Show goes face first into the exposed turnbuckle and then they nail him with a double flapjack. Tag into Masters, they go for a double suplex, but Show counters and suplexes both at once. Crowd is hot for everything, which is great. Kane in, backdrop to Carlito, slam to Masters He puts Carlito down again, clothesline attempt by Kane, but Masters has the masterlock on him. Show boots him in the face to break it as the crowd boos. A crowd that likes the heels. That should be interesting later on. Double knee backbreaker by Carlito on Kane. Show goes to chokeslam Carlito, Masters takes out his knee. They double team Kane, whip in, Kane boots Masters and a bunch to Carlito. Masters hits Carlito after a jump off the top. Kane hits Carlito with a chokeslam for the three count. I forgot to time it, but I think it was 7 or 8 minutes.
Winners: Kane and Big Show
Analysis: *1/4 Just a basic tag that was pretty good for an opener in terms of getting the crowd excited because the crowd was really hot for everything in it. Interesting to hear the cheers for Carlito too. Not like they booed Kane and Show, though. It was mostly a case of cheering everybody.
Post match, Masters and Carlito argue like usual. Crowd chants for Carlito as he goes out to the floor.
Backstage, Coach interviews Shawn Michaels. He doesn’t regret telling Vince to grow up back in December. He said don’t expect a five star match like against Angle or Benoit/HHH. He says tonight Vince is going to endure his own personal hell.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Ric Flair
They came out in the order that I wrote them. Announcers for this one are all four main announcers. The Smackdown guys talked when their guys walked down to the ring while the Raw guys talked when the Raw men walked to the ring. Biggest pops went to Flair and RVD, I’d say. Lashley’s pop was pretty good. Should be a crazy match with six wrestlers and four announcers at once. Also, should point out three ladders are stationed on the ramp.
Lashley clotheslines Finlay in the corner, then a press slam on Flair. Benjamin hits a huge kick on Lashley surprisingly. Hardy gets a ladder already. RVD baseball slides into the ladder crashing Hardy. Then a plancha onto Hardy as he’s holding the ladder. Benjamin beats on Finlay with the ladder a bit. He puts the ladder vertically on the top rope, climbs it like last year and hits a somersault plancha onto RVD, Lashley and Hardy. What a great move. Flair knocks down Finlay, then makes a climb. Hardy catches up to him and hits a superplex on Flair off the ladder. The refs check on Flair, then make the “X” sign meaning he’s hurt. Crowd starts a huge “Flair” chant as he holds his leg. Probably just a work and everybody seems to know it, I think. In ring, Benjamin takes a drop toe hold on the ladder by RVD. Then RVD’s rolling thunder misses as Benjamin moves meaning RVD crashes into the ladder. Lashley slowly climbs up, Benjamin catches up and they throw punches. Benjamin goes for a flipping powerbomb on him, but Lashley holds on, so Finlay and Hardy help powerbomb him down. Crowd with a huge RVD chant now. Finlay rams Benjamin face first into a ladder. Finlay counters a Hardy charge, but throwing a ladder in his face. Then he throws it at Lashley and knocks RVD down with a gut shot. Not surprisingly, here comes Flair limping back to the ring. Finlay meets Flair, Ric chucks him into the barrier. Flair battles with Benjamin and Hardy sending Benjamin to the floor with a chop. Benjamin’s awesome. Flair’s a step away from getting the briefcase when Finlay comes in to crack him in the head with the shillelagh. Crowd was ready for Flair to win there.
Benjamin and Finlay exchange punches on top when Lashley uses the ladder to knock both down. Dominator by Lashley on Benjamin. Another RVD chant as Lashley climbs and there’s Rob dropkicking a ladder into Lashley’s back when he’s on top of the ladder. Another great spot. Hardy takes out RVD, then hits a legdrop on Lashley from the top of the ladder. Again, the announcers reference his history in ladder matches. Hardy’s close, but Finlay catches up and Hardy Ends up giving the Side Effect on him from on top of the ladder. Damn. RVD climbs a ladder in the corner and hits a splash on Finlay. Not a five star frog splash because Finlay was too close to him, but still effective. “ECW” chant starts up. Crowd definitely likes Flair and RVD best. RVD’s close, Benjamin springboards off the ropes onto the ladder face to face with RVD. They slug away, Hardy climbs another one and now Benjamin slugs with him. RVD shoves them both off and Hardy and Benjamin go all the way to the floor. That leaves RVD on top to grab the briefcase! He wins! Cool. Match was 14 minutes.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Analysis: ***1/2 Not as good as last year due to some of the participants, but still a match with some awesome spots in it. I think the two stars were Benjamin and Van Dam who both showed just how awesome they are athletically. I guess the rumor of RVD winning to use the title shot at the ECW PPV might be a reality now. Good for him. He deserves it.
Backstage, Josh Matthews talks with Gene Okerlund. Randy Orton interrupts, then insults him saying he shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame for just being an announcer. Behind him, Batista taps him on the shoulder. Shaved head. Says it doesn’t matter who wins the title because he’s going to win it when he comes back. By WrestleMania 23, he’ll be the World Champion again.
In ring, Howard Finkel says Bret Hart was uncomfortable with coming out tonight so he’s not there. Then we meet the inductees. Gene Okerlund accompanied by Kristal, Sherri Martel accompanied by Ted Dibiase, Tony Atlas accompanied by Victoria, Verne Gagne accompanied by Kristal, William “The Fridge” Perry with my girl Melina, the Blackjacks accompanied by Maria and then Eddie Guerrero with his wife Vickie and Chavo standing on the ramp. Huge “Eddie” chants by the crowd. Really touching, great moment. That’s it for the Hall of Famers.
United States Title: Chris Benoit vs. John Bradshaw Layfield w/Jillian Hall
Ha, cool spot as the ramp rises up and JBL’s limo comes down the aisle. Jillian’s looking nice in a cowgirl type of outfit. Thank God they got that stupid mole crap off her face. Massive pop for Benoit.
They throw hard punches right away as a quick “Let’s Go Benoit” chant begins. Benoit goes for a crossface rather quickly, but can’t get it on good and JBL gets ropes. JBL with a rough headlock on Benoit, then Benoit works on the legs. Huge chops by Benoit in the corner. Whip in, boot by JBL, arm drag by Benoit and a Sharpshooter is avoided by JBL by pushing him off with his legs. Out on the floor, he puts Jillian in front of him and then eyepokes Benoit. JBL clubs him in the back with a forearm, then works him over with some hard punches in the corner. Definitely a stiff match so far. Hard whip in, JBL’s charge misses and Benoit hits the three German suplexes with the third one being a release. Headbutt signal for Benoit, he goes up and JBL pulls the ref in front of him, then grabs the top rope to prevent Benoit from jumping. JBL does the Eddie Guerrero dance to huge boos, goes to get Benoit and he hits a nice superplex leaving both men down on the mat. JBL crawls over for the two count as another “Let’s Go Benoit” chant begins. More JBL taunting of Eddie, then he hits the three vertical suplexes that Eddie would do. He gets two of them, Benoit knees out of it before the third and then Benoit runs into a boot for a two count. Benoit forearm to the back, then he grabs a headlock on Benoit. Back to a vertical base, Benoit hits a back suplex. To their feet, Benoit hits the Three Amigos vertical suplex spot as the crowd goes nuts for all of it. That’s cool. Another headbutt attempt for Da Crippler and he hits it like 3/4 of the way across the ring. Maybe like 3/5ths. Still awesome. That gets two. He charges in the corner, JBL moves, he goes for the clothesline, Benoit grabs him with a waistlock and goes for a German. JBL uses the ref avoid it. Benoit with a Crossface, JBL rolls over so Benoit’s on his back and holds the ropes while the ref counts the three for the JBL victory after 11 minutes.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: JBL
Analysis: ** Pretty good match that needed some more time, I think. I’m sure some are gonna complain about JBL doing the Eddie stuff to taunt him, but he’s a heel and we know he was a genuine friend of Guerrero, so I’m alright with it. Crowd was really hot for this one as well, which is another great sign for the bigger matches later on. Not that surprised with the cheap JBL win even though I picked Benoit. That should lead to some rematches.
Hardcore Match: Edge vs. Mick Foley
Long video package to start. JR welcomes Styles to the booth to call this match due to his experience in hardcore matches. That’s a nice gesture, actually. No countouts, no DQs and falls count anywhere. Edge is out first. Foley’s out in the darker flannel shirt and what looks to be a Cactus Jack shirt underneath.
Edge attacks with the bat. Foley counters, hits a bulldog and hits the Tree of Woe elbow to the head of Edge. Edge gets a forearm on Foley as Lita hands him a cookie sheet. He kills Foley with it twice. Now another larger cookie sheet to the head of Foley. Baseball slide dropkick into a side crashing into Foley’s face. Edge goes for the spear and he hits it only two minutes into the match. Edge starts yelling like he hurt his arm, which proves to be a work as Foley takes off the dark flannel to reveal the red flannel and shirt. Then we learn why Edge is hurt because Foley’s got the barb wire wrapped around his stomach. Edge’s arm is bleeding as Mick attacks him with the wire. Edge gets tied up in the ropes while Mick goes under the ring steps to find Barbie the barbed wire baseball bat. Lita jumps on his back and he charges at Edge with Lita on his back while hitting the Cactus clothesline sending all three to the floor. What a crazy bump by Lita there. Neckbreaker on the floor by Foley. Punches on the floor, then a charge but Edge hiptosses him into the steel steps with Foley’s legs and hip hitting the steps. Ouch. This just in: Mick Foley is still insane. I guess that’s why we love him so much, huh? Here’s more proof as Edge chucks him legs first into the steps sending him crashing over those knee first.
Back in the ring, Edge with a baseball slide dropkick that sends him out to the floor. Edge pulls a table out from under the ring. Edge rams the back of his head into the steel ramp. Ouch. Again. Edge pulls out some lighter fluid and sprays it all over Foley’s flannel shirt. Foley comes back with punches, then hits the pulling piledriver for two. Foley places Edge’s face headfirst on the cookie sheet, then grabs a chair for the conchairto. Lita comes in, Edge gets up and hits the DDT on the cookie sheet (or close to it anyway) for two. Edge picks up the barb wire bat, Barbie, and cracks Foley with it in the stomach, the back and then in the forehead as Foley bleeds. Edge sticks it into Foley’s forehead in a gruesome spot. Facecrusher into Barbie gets two for Edge. Edge looks under a different set of steps, then gets a back of thumbtacks and puts them in the corner of the ring. Edge punches him down in the corner, then Foley drops him with a backdrop suplex into the thumbtacks leaving Edge’s bare back full with tacks. Crowd liked that. Mr. Socko comes out, then he wraps it in wire and puts it in Edge’s mouth and then Lita’s. They show Lita’s mouth bleeding on the floor outside. Ewww. Now Foley with Barbie in his possession he smashes Edge in the stomach, back and then face leaving Edge bloody. Then a Barbie smash to the face. They’re both bleeding huge. Big “Foley” chant as Mick now grates the wire into Edge’s face. Foley gets the lighter fluid, then sprays it all over the table that’s right by the ring. He poses on the apron with it, Lita grabs the Barbie bat into Foley’s knee and she lights it with fire. Foley’s on the apron, Edge charges in and spears him through the ropes and into the flaming table! Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Wow. Edge pins him on the floor after 15 minutes of hellacious action. What a finish. That visual is something I’ll never forget. That’s for damn sure. Amazing, one of a kind finish. Never seen anything like that before.
Post match, they both sell the beating as Edge shakes in shock while Foley just lays there knocked out. Damn. That was nuts. Huge standing ovation for Foley.
Analysis: ***3/4 I loved it. Great action in this match. The risks they took were amazing with both guys doing unbelievable bumps. It was similar to Orton/Foley from two years ago although I liked that match just a bit more. This was still pretty damn great though.
Backstage, Sharmell wants to get out of the Boogeyman match. Paul Birchill shows up out of nowhere. Don’t know what he said because my feed cut out for a bit. All the freaks are back there, though, with Birchill, Eugene, Mae, Moolah, Snitsky and then Goldust tells Booker some advice in his ear that we never hear. Ted Dibiase does his laugh too. I’m not sure why he was there. Like I said, my feed went out for a bit. It’s a comedy segment basically.
They show Todd Grisham in the crowd talking to some fans that won the Snickers Mania sweepstakes. Joe Theismann is in the crowd. Then they show Michelle Williams sticking around too.
Boogeyman vs. Booker T. and Sharmell
Booker and wife come out first. He looks under the ring for worms, doesn’t find any and gets in the ring with his wife. Boogeyman comes out with his usual freaky entrance to a pretty good pop from what I can tell. Booker sands on the apron, telling Sharmell to start.
Booker attacks him from behind with a forearm, then beats him down with fists and kicks. Boogeyman grabs him, Sharmell distracts the ref, Booker with a lowblow and a sidekick gets two for Booker. Booker chokes him on the ropes, then with forearms that Boogeyman no-sells Ultimate Warrior style. He stares Booker down, goes for something, Booker catches him with the Book End for two. Crowd is pretty quiet at this point. They exchang blows, Boogeyman with double chops send him down. Booker goes for the a scissors kick and Boogeyman hits some sort of forearm. Then he whips him into the pole. It wasn’t that good of a whip. Boogeyman puts warms in his mouth that he got from his pocket. Sharmell goes to hit him, so he kisses her with a mouth full of worms. Booker charges, double choke by Boogeyman and he does a double choke into a power slam for the pinfall after 4 minutes.
Analysis: DUD Not much a match. The most popular part of the match were the worms. Boogeyman’s offense was weak, he can’t bump very much and the crowd knows it because they were very quiet for this one. Hopefully management takes note to end this gimmick soon.
Tazz with the line of the night comparing Sharmell’s reaction to Cole’s wife’s reaction when he makes out with her.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James
Fantastic video package highlighting the feud with great music emphasizing Mickie’s craziness. Mickie’s out first looking as exhuberant as ever. Or should I say bouncy? Yes, I like bouncy. Here’s my girl Trish in a leather outfit that’s pretty damn cool.
Trish works her over with chops, then a hard kick and then a dropkick type move using the ropes to send Mickie out to the floor. Trish goes for a left footed chick kick on the floor that misses, so her left leg/foot hits steel. Of course it does, it’s easier to sell the left leg. Mickie rams her leg first into the post. They slug it out and Mickie hits a low dropkick to the left knee, then some more moves on the knee. “Let’s Go Mickie” emerges from the crowd. JR calls it a defiant crowd. Well, that’s a word for it. James slams the knee into the mat. Single leg crab on the left knee. Mickie drapes the knee on the ropes and comes down on it with a foot. The crowd starts another chant for James as the crowd gives her a big ovation. Standing legbar on Trish as another chant for Mickie begins. Trish hit’s a spinning leg scissors on Mickie as the crowd boos that. Trish wins a slulgfest with forearms and a couple clotheslines that looked okay. Spinebuster, Mickie kicks out at two. JR again calls the crowd defiant. Trish charges her in the corner, Mickie gets the foot up and Trish goes down. To the top, Trish’s headscissors is reversed into a move that slams Trish hard in the middle of the ring while Mickie lands on her feet on the floor. Great counter. Another huge pop for Mickie as she gets two. Inside cradle for Trish for two. Hurricanrana attempt by Mickie countered into a running powerbomb by Stratus. Trish throws punches at her head. Crossbody charge by Mickie, Trish ducks it with the Matrix Move. Stratusfaction attempt, Mickie touched her down there. Down where? Down there? Mickie goes for a Stratusfaction, the crowd starts a “You Fucked Up” chant and Mickie hits a Chick Kick for the win after 9 minutes to a huge ovation.
Winner and NEW Women’s Champion: Mickie James
Analysis: *3/4 You could tell they HATED the crowd reactions because JR was basically calling the crowd psycho by the end of it. I’m surprised by the reaction, but I think they just appreciate the good job Mickie’s been doing. I thought they’d get more time than this. Hopefully they do at Backlash. Good to see the psychology they pulled out in this match.
Backstage, Vince in his muscle shirt is with Shane, Linda and a very pregnant Stephanie as he calls for a 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 been tremendously successful.” I can’t go word for word, but he calls HBK God’s favorite wrestler. He says he’s going to send Shawn to the fiery depths of hell. “Amen. Hallelujah.”
Casket Match: Undertaker vs. Mark Henry
The druids come out with the casket. They show a video of when Henry put Undertaker through the table. Henry is out first, no Daivari because he’s selling the piledriver from Saturday Night’s Main Event two weeks ago. Cole compares Undertaker’s Mania streak to Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, the Celtics eight titles in a row and something else that I missed. That’s about as funny as when they called Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon a classic when they were in Baltimore for No Way Out.
Henry attacks Undertaker before he was ready for him with some clubs to the back. Big clothesline from Henry. Not from hell, apparently. Henry rams him head first into the top of the steel steps. “Un-der-taker” chants start up. Taker wants to go for the old school clothesline, but Henry blocks that and kicks him in the gut. Henry wants the casket open, Undertaker fights back with a boot to the face, then an arm wringer and he goes for the old school clothesline. This time he hits it. Undertaker powers Undertaker down and drapes him over the middle rope. “Henry Sucks” chant from this very truthful crowd. Henry goes to splash him, but he slides through and lands in the casket. They start fighting in the casket. Undertaker with an elbow, then right hands. Undertaker with right hands, Henry catches him with a powerslam and then pins him? Crowd laughs as Henry realizes no pins allowed. Knowing how much Henry screws up, that was probably legit. He tries to put Undertaker in, but the Deadman fights out. Henry with punches in the corner. He goes for the ten count thing that NEVER works on the Undertaker, so of course he does the Last Ride powerbomb out of it. There’s the most contrived spot in wrestling. Henry gets thrown on top of the casket. Undertaker charges and hits the no hands plancha over the casket onto Henry on the floor! Wow! That was impressive as hell. Back in the ring, Tombstone for Undertaker. Crowd loved that. Undertaker rolls him over, puts him in the casket and closes the lid after like 9 minutes. He’s now 14-0 at WrestleMania.
Winner: The Undertaker
Analysis: *1/2 Nice plancha by Taker. That was one of the highlights of the night so far. He’s done that move before, but wow, I didn’t expect it to be over the casket. Air Deadman as Tazz said correctly. Undertaker had his working boots on. Henry just isn’t very good.
No Holds Barred: Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels
As expected, very long video package. HBK is out first. Vince is next looking as roided up as ever. He does his strut down to the ring. How are the quads, Vinny? HBK attacks him out on the floor, then throws him over to the top of the announce table, choking him with the cords. Crowd chants “We Want Bret” pretty loudly. Back in ring, he takes the framed photo of Vince’s magazine cover and smashes Vince over the head with it as JR tells Shawn to shove it up Vince’s ass. JR doesn’t want to be objective. Spirit Squad time. They do a 5 on 1 beatdown on HBK with each guy grabbing a limb and ramming Shawn down powerbomb style. Kenny goes to the top for a legdrop, Michaels moves and HBK uses the megaphone on all of the guys. They sell it like a giant plastic megaphone would hurt. Michaels chucks Kenny out and he takes the bump like a somersault plancha landing on all the other members of the group. Vince is back in with a clothesline, then some knees to the gut and shoulders in the corner. He chokes him in the corner, then throws him out to the middle of the ring. The belt comes off and he whips him in the back with it a few times. He chokes him with it. Michaels fights back with a chop, but Vince uses the belt as a clothesline to take down Michaels. Vince works himself into a frenzy, setting up for the superkick. Michaels catches his foot on the kick, then chops him back a few times. Whip in, Vince counters, but HBK hits the forearm and the kip up. Belt to the back a few times. Then he uses it chop style across the throat. Bodyslam, to the top and he hits the big elbow off the top rope. “If he has a heart, I swear to God it’s black.” Michaels tunes up the band as Shane McMahon expectedly pops out from under the ring to crack Michaels in the back with a Kendo Stick. He pulls out some handcuffs. Vince says no and unzips his pants for the Kiss My Ass Club spot. HBK fights Shane off and puts Shane’s face into Vince’s ass. Vince is smiling all the while. Lowblow to Vince by HBK, then a clothesline to Shane to send him out to the floor. Shawn handcuffs Shane to the ropes while Shane is on the floor. Shawn grabs the keys, then chucks them to the crowd. He does the Shane dance in a funny spot and beats the hell out of Shane with the stick.
Big HBK chant starts up as he goes back in the ring to smack Vince HARD in the head with the steel chair. Ouch. That one had to hurt. Vince is bloody, as expected. HBK goes for the superkick, but then he stop mid-move. HBK goes out to the floor, then grabs a ladder from under the ring. He smacks him in the head with the top of the ladder. Now HBK goes for a superkick, but he stops mid-move again. Trash cans get tossed in the ring by HBK as well as a table. Vince turns around, trash can to the head by Shawn. Michaels sets up the table, then lays Vince on top of it. He sets the ladder up, climbs it and then he comes back down. He goes back out to the floor, punching Shane in the head. He gets another ladder out. This one’s huge. Lawler says it’s 30 feet long, which is a lot of an exaggeration. Ladder is like 12-15 feet I’m guessing. Michaels sets up the ladder, punches Vince a bunch of times and puts the trash can on his head. Crowd is going nuts as Michaels climbs up to the top. Shane, as well as the ref, hold onto it for balance I guess. Michaels comes off the top and hits the elbow through Vince! Wow! He did the DX crotch chop when he was on the top. Awesome spot. Doctors come out to tend to Vince, but Shawn tells the doctors to get out of there. Shane tells Shawn he’s sorry, Shawn does the DX chop to him. He picks Vince up, tells him he’s going to knock his teeth down his throat and he hits the Superkick to get the pinfall after 19 minutes.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Post mach, when Vince is being carted out on the ambulance he gives the middle finger. Crowd laughs. That’s funny. Also post match, HBK kisses his wife in her seat in the aisle way.
Analysis: *** Hard to rate this match because while it was entertaining, it obviously doesn’t rate on the traditional scale. So I’ll just say this was the kind of thing that we expected it to be. There was a lot of laying around, a lot of entertainment spots in there, but obviously they suited the match well. Entertaining match, though. Very memorable. Kinda like Shane/Vince at WMX7.
April 1, 2007 – WrestleMania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit. Close to home for me. I like that.
World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
Great video package to start it off. I would have liked to have seen this go on last, but it’s no big deal. We start it with the band POD singing Rey’s “Booyaka 619” theme song. Rey pops up on the ramp, then goes over to the band and comes out wearing this weird feathery headgear for some strange reason. It’s weird, but Rey rules and can do what he wants as far as I’m concerned. Orton is out next. He gets a nice pop upon entrance. Angle is out last to a HUGE pop. To quote Drew Rosenhaus, I LOVE THIS MAN!
Before the bell rings, Orton grabs the belt and smacks Angle in the head with it. Springboard by Rey, Orton gets a dropkick. Angle back in, hits a German. Rey jumps again, Orton catches him and it’s a double German suplex as Mysterio gets launched! Wow! Orton gets his side neckbreaker move for two. Angle whips in him, back elbow, belly to belly by Angle followed up by a forearm. He puts Orton up on the top. Angle rams Kurt head first into the corner with Orton on top. Angle charges into Kurt, Angle lifts him up and he hits a hurricanrana on Orton off the top. Wow. Angle chucks Rey out, gets two. Suplex on Orton for two. Angle clothesline on Rey gets two. Mysterio rolls through a sunset flip, kick to the head gets two. Headscissors by Rey, 619 time, Rey is about to tap. He does tap, but the ref is distracted by Orton with a steel chair while he’s on the apron. Angle knocks Orton off, puts the hold on again and Orton comes in to knock Kurt down. Those two exchange punches that Angle wins with a German on Orton. There’s one for Rey with Rey taking it moonsault style on his gut. German on Orton, then an Angle Slam on Rey over the top. Ankle lock on Orton. Angle goes down with the hold, Rey distracts the ref now and Orton taps out. So there’s been two tap outs that the ref has missed. With another ankle lock on Orton, Mysterio hits a springboard legdrop on Angle for two. They boo Rey again. Now this crowd is disappointing me. Angle chucks him shoulder first into the ring post. Orton gets up selling the ankle, Angle Slam countered into the RKO, but Angle kicks out at the very end.
Orton, with the bad ankle, goes up top. Angle pops up with the overhead belly to belly suplex off the top. Mysterio charges on the apron, slips on the 619 and misses. He kicks Angle as the crowd stupidly chants “You Fucked Up” at him. Springboard plancha for Rey gets two. Orton is up, kicks Angle out of the ring and hits that beautiful reverse neckbreaker from his shoulder on Mysterio. That gets two. I’m very perplexed as to why the crowd is booing Mysterio. Some of the other ones I understand, but not Rey. Orton wants to RKO Rey, but Angle comes in and hits an Angle Slam out of nowhere for one…two…no, shoulder up. Rey’s up, Angle slam countered into an armdrag. Dropkick to Orton, 619, West Coast Pop! One…two…three! Mysterio wins! Woo! The crowd is mostly cheering now. Thank you Chicago. Match was like 10 minutes. Awesome moment right here with Rey holding the belt up as the crowd gives him a standing ovation. Now the crowd is behind him. They show his family at ringside cheering him on.
Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/4 Awesome stuff here although my biggest complaint is it was way too short. A world title match at WrestleMania deserves to be longer than this match was. Still, it was a great match for all the spots they crammed into the time they were given.
At the top of the ramp, Rey is greeted by Chavo Guerrero and Eddie’s wife Vickie. Mysterio’s crying on the ramp. Awesome visual there. Good for him. Very well deserved.
Backstage, they show Cena and HHH warming up. JR and Lawler basically say the fans are going to chant for HHH because he’s traditional while Cena is not. Pillow fighting is next.
Pillow Fight: Candice Michelle vs. Torrie Wilson
Candice is out first and Torrie is last. They’re in dresses. Torrie’s in a black dress, Candice is in a yellow one. They “brawl” on the mat. There’s a bed in the ring with Playboy logos all over it. Whip into the ropes, backdrop onto the bed. She dumps the mattress on Candice. Torrie gets her dog and puts the dog’s ass in Candice’s face. The ref urges them to get back in the ring, so Torrie yanks off Candice’s dress. Torrie charges. It slows down, Candice gets some scissors and cuts her dress off of her. Crowd chanted “Boring” a couple of times here. Announcers did not mention that at all. “Think these girls will have a smoke after this is over?” asks Ross. Candice takes out her Playboy and puts it in Torrie’s face. Um…okay. Torrie then hits some rollup for the pin. JR even rips the match saying put out the bowling shoes, this match is over. That means it was ugly.
Winner: Torrie Wilson
Analysis: No rating for this. Not really a match. Crowd obviously hated it and I think it’s a shame that Rey/Angle/Orton only got ten minutes while they gave this thing like a total of eight minutes counting intros. It’s called priorities, WWE. They need to be in order.
WWE Title: John Cena vs. Triple H
New theme song for HHH, which I guess is called “Bow Down to the King” and it’s sung by Motorhead. He rises up onto the stage in a thrown as well as headgear with his logo and a furry coat. It’s bizarre, but pretty cool in a cheesy wrestling entrance kind of way. Then his real theme song kicks up as he gets off the throne and marches down to the ring. Honestly as this is about to start, I have no idea how it’s going to end. I just know HHH is the face to these fans while Cena is HATED by them. Cena gets an intro video of his own talking about the depression and they showed Chicago gangsters in a video clip. They say to survive you needed hustle, loyalty and respect. Cue Cena. He comes out in a car like he’s some gangster while some dudes in suits and hats stand ringside with fake guns in their hands. Um…okay. I don’t know if it’s good or bad yet. I’m leaning towards very good though. There’s Cena with his music starting up wearing a black top hat and a black overcoat as well as a toy gun that he shoots in the air. It’s 10:28pm as Cena poses with the belt. Boxing style intros for them as they are both in the ring. Lillian Garcia announces HHH first to a huge pop while Cena is next to huge boos. They show a kid at ringside with the Cena replica belt looking totally confused.
The crowd is rabid. Really rabid. HHH outwrestles him at first, then a little slap to the back of his head as the crowd approves. Now Lawler loves the reaction of the fans. But he’s right in saying they’re really into the match. He outwrestles Cena with a hammerlock as the crowd cheers again. A “Fuck You Cena” chant for Cena. Very classy. Cena whips him in, HHH counters an FU attempt and knocks him down with a hard chop. Three minutes in, not much action. “Triple H” chant starts up now. Knee to the gut by HHH, then he tosses Cena to the floor. HHH celebrates, Cena comes in with big punches to huge boos from the crowd. Cena whip in to the corner, back body drop for two. Whip into two turnbuckles and then a twisting Fisherman’s Suplex gets two. “You Can’t Wrestle” chant. Ouch. More punching in the corner, then Cena whips him into the corner and HHH takes his bump over the top, then lands face first into the barrier on the floor. Cena comes out after him, thumb to the eye. HHH takes him to the ramp, goes for a Pedigree, but Cena counters with a backdrop on the steel ramp. I think there was a “Let’s Go Cena/Fuck You Cena” dueling chant in there. Back in the ring, whip in, duck by HHH and a high knee to Cena. Out on the floor, HHH whips him into the steps. Crowd was doing a “Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” chant to Cena once HHH was on offense. We’re about ten minutes into the match now.
HHH is playing to the crowd. Thumb to the eye, he rolls Cena back and gets a two. Suplex by HHH. “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants now. HHH hits the knee to the face with Cena on his back. That gets two. This crowd has not been quiet the entire match. Punch by Cena, whip in, HHH counters with a face buster on the knee and then a hard clothesline that’s apparently not from hell because that only got two. Neckbreaker by HHH for two. Cena fights back, more dueling chants, whip into the ropes, lowers his head and HHH hits a swinging neckbreaker for just two. Neck vice by HHH as more dueling chants begin. Cena tries to fight out, but doesn’t make it and HHH applies the sleeper. This quiets the crowd down a bit for like thirty seconds. Cena fights out with shoulder blocks while the audience boos some more. Boot to the face by HHH. He charges the ropes, but gets caught with a big clothesline by Cena out of nowhere. They get up at the same time, punches are exchanged and the crowd goes along with all of it reacting to punches! Hilarious. Cena with a couple clotheslines. Whip into the ropes, big powerslam for Cena. Spinning back suplex by Cena. Crowd is standing all around the building. What a great sight.
Five Knuckle Shuffle countered into the spinebuster by HHH for a long two. Cena’s up, shoulderblocks and this time he counters Cena’s sleeper to a back suplex again. Now he hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle as most fans boo. Pump up the shoes, drop toe hold, STFU for Cena. HHH fights out of it after like a minute until he finally makes it to the ropes as the majority cheer that. FU attempt on HHH. HHH counters, shoves Cena into the ref and gives both Cena as well as the ref a lowblow. He does the “You Can’t See Me” thing to Cena as well as a DX chop. That’s two DX references tonight. Sledgehammer time. Cena beats him to the punch, but then he bounces off the ropes and HHH smacks him in the face with the hammer shot. The ref, Mike Chioda, holds his nuts as he comes over for the one…two…no. And another. No. Both were VERY close. Pedigree countered into a backdrop by Cena. FU to HHH. Kickout at 2! Nobody kicks out of that. Now Cena goes up top, which makes no sense since he never goes high. Crossbody misses, HHH goes for the Pedigree. Cena steps through into the STFU again. He’s grabbing HHH’s right arm so he can’t crawl. The ref raises HHH’s left arm once, twice and HHH fights it off. He holds the move on some more and HHH taps! Holy shit! Wow. I didn’t see that finish coming. It was 20 minutes. A clean tapout by HHH. I thought maybe a pinfall, but a tap? Damn. The crowd isn’t too thrilled with it, but the music playing drowning them out.
Winner: John Cena
Analysis: ***3/4 Really slow start to it, but the last seven minutes or so were really strong. It picked up big time. To be honest though, the biggest story to me was the crowd in this match. It was surreal. They were into EVERY single hold in the match. Every punch. It was so refreshing to see, to be honest. I thought both guys did really well and I look forward to the rematch probably coming at Backlash.
After all the video packages highlighting the show, they show HHH walking up the ramp with his sledgehammer as the crowd chants his name. Pretty cool visual with him posing at the top of the ramp to a MASSIVE pop. The show went off at 10:57pm.