I've never agreed with Shocky's opinion on Mania 22. I think it's a solid card from top to bottom. The tag match is worthless, there's no denying that, as is the Booker/Sharmell/Boogeyman match. But at least they were both short and didn't take up too much time. People would have bitched more if Big Show, Kane & Booker had been left off the card.
HBK vs. Vince isn't the great match WWE claim it to be. But it's still hugely enjoyable, if a little long. Edge vs. Foley is awesome, the MITB match is good, Benoit vs. JBL is solid and Mickie vs. Trish is good for a WWE Women's match.
Cena vs. HHH went on far too long for my liking, just like every HHH Mania match. And given an extra 5 minutes the WHC could have been something special.
Undertaker vs. Henry wasn't great. But the streak has never been about the match quality. It's about having impressive looking victories on a list. In that respect I think Mark Henry was a success.
Overall it's a good show, not great by any means. But this is WrestleMania, only in the past 8 years have the shows been any good. People forget how much shit other than the main events there was at the first 15 or so.
How can KB not rate the 'Taker vs Batista match at least an A? Its the best match that Batista has certainly had and it was alll action packed and fast-paced. Was definately the match of the night.
Destruction In The Desert
To me, the ending hurt it. It just kind of happened. The rest of the match was great but the last little bit messed a lot up for me. Taker just scooped Batista up, dropped him on his head and pinned him. Tehre was nothing special at all about that. Just could have been done better.
Wrestlemania 23, another card that was just a victim of terrible booking, and terrible match order.
First of all, the Money In the Bank jumps the shark in this match. Besides the fact that Kennedy won, what the hell were both Hardys, Booker T, and Edge and Orton invovled in this match. Edge vs. Randy Orton should have been on this card, but instead both guys get the screwjob y getting put into this cluster fuck of a match. More on King Bookah Later.
Khali vs. Kane was just god awful, all around. There really is nothing good about this match in the slightest.
The card picks up with Benoit and MVP, and it was a damn good match for the US championship. This match for me signified that without a doubt, the US title had passed the IC title in terms of importance within the company. This match is a clinic, and I was shocked to see MVP lose it.
Then we get to the match that should have ended the damn night, Undertaker and Batista. Watch this match, and watch it closely, because you'll never see a good match out of Batista again (even though Summerslam last year was pretty damn good). Good Batista matches are few and far between, and this is one of them.
Then the ECW Originals vs. the New Breed, in a regular match? What, they gave thi smatch away for free two nights later on ECW, in an extreme rules match. It's freaking ECW, let that show be what it was supposed to be. Again, just an ackward match. It's a feel good moment for guys like Dreamer, Sandman and Sabu to be in front of 80,000 plus, considering where they came from.
Ashley vs. Melina, was just god awful, but that's usually the theme for womens' matches at Mania. Ashley is just god awful in every way, shape and form.
Then we get to Lashley vs. umaga, ECW Champ vs. IC Champ, McMahon, Trump and Austin are all added to this match to keep it from being a complete disaster, and they failed miserably. This match is atrocious, and had 45 minutes of air time at Mania fucking dedicated to it. Just awful.
Michaels vs. Cena was a good match, but not the greatest thing Eva as some people would say. John Cena is still green at this point, and him no selling the work that Shawn Michaels did on his knee was flat out just wrong. It really took away from this match. John Cena's entrance at Wrestlemania are just freaking lame.
All in all, another forgettable card. If you take the first four matches, and put them beind the last four matches, then you might have a good card.
This is another card about, what could have been, and it all falls on Triple H busting his quad, again.
Call it Karma, and we know that Karma is a bitch. Triple H was supposed to put himself into the main event again against John Cena, but this Time he would be Uber-Cool DX Triple H, and like, totally awesome. The thing though, Triple H would have been making his twelve consecutive appearance at Wrestlemania, tying Bret Hart for the all time record. Oh No, Quad Snap, looks like the Game can't have that record, boo hoo. Kharma's a bitch ain't it.
So the domino's fall from there. What was supposed to be the Game vs. Cena....again, we get Michaels and Cena. This hurt the Hair vs. Hair match, why? Shawn Michaels was supposed to represent Mr. Trump, and Booker T. was supposed to represent Mr. McMahon. Instead, we get stuck with two green midcarders that were completely over shadowed by everyone else involved in that match. The prospect of Booker T vs. Shawn Michaels not happening pisses me off to this day. Instead, King Bookah gets thrown into MITB, along with edge and Orton who were feuding at the time and had no business bein gin that match either.
The all grown up theme was possibly the dumbest them ever at Mania. I don't need a damn hour of programming dedicated to dumb little kids pretending to be a wrestler and terrible monologues on when I was a kid crap. This is Wrestlemania, it's four hours, with only 8 matches. Freaking awful, and I'm pissed again taht I wasted money on it.
The Reigning, Defending, Undisputed, Uncrowned Wrestlezone Tournament Champion, Brock Lesnar
I just started reading this thread and I have to say what a great job you've done KB. I'm not all too familiar with some of the Wrestlemania's, so this thread was awesome for someone like me. After reading this, I'm even more excited for this year's Wrestlemania.
Date: March 30, 2008
Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, Joey Styles, Taz
America The Beautiful: John Legend
Since this Mania is just over a year old, I’m going to assume that most of you already know the main ideas behind it. Your truly big match here was Ric Flair in what was known would be his last match vs. Shawn Michaels. Without a doubt to me, this should have closed the show. World Titles aside, neither match is going to be as emotional as this. Flair was offered the chance to close the show and said absolutely not which I can admire.
Your other big feuds coming into this were Orton vs. HHH vs. Cena and Edge vs. Undertaker. There was also a match between boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Big Show which still boggles my mind to this day. I’ve heard some great and some bad reviews for this, so I guess we’ll have to see how well it holds up a year later.
We get a recap kind of telling us how the entire year has gone which is kind of a cool thing that would help a lot if it was a permanent thing. The open stadium concept is truly awesome and looks great. They have kind of a dome over the ring to keep the rain out which is also smart of them. After America The Beautiful, it’s time for our first match.
JBL vs. Finlay
This is a Belfast Brawl, meaning no DQ I suppose. This match/feud stems from the most absurd storyline I can ever recall as Vince had his illegitimate son Hornswoggle face him in a cage match. Vince beat him up with a belt as Finlay came in for the save. JBL then cuffed Finlay to the cage and beat up Horny.
I remember this buildup being quite good but looking back at it now, I can’t believe I actually thought this was good. Seriously, they’re fighting over a damn midget. Then we get the DRAMATIC reveal that Horny was Finlay’s song all along. REALLY??? The tiny leprechaun that hangs out with the Irishman who is the only person on the planet that gives a damn about him is his father? I’m stunned.
They start on the floor and the bell hasn’t actually rung yet. Ok so it’s one of those kind of fights. JBL gets a big shot with a trashcan and Finlay is in trouble early on. JBL had lost a ton of weight and actually looked fairly lean by this point. After he takes forever to get some stairs into the ring his Piledriver on them fails though and here comes the older dude.
Nothing all that special here as it’s back and forth but intense for the most part. Well as intense as this match could be that is. Both guys control for awhile and then get hit by something to break the momentum. Is it bad that seeing Horny all scared and nervous makes me laugh and smile?
Finlay busts out a table as JR tries to make this seem all serious and such. It’s set up in the corner as I’m getting into this far more than I should. DOWN GOES THE MIDGET! Finlay goes the hell off on him with trashcan lids and JBL is more or less done on the floor. A suicide dive eats lid though and Finlay is in trouble all over again.
More going off follows as the crowd is into this. I’m not sure why but this is actually working pretty freaking well. It’s not a great match or anything but it’s very fun. JBL finally goes through the table for a LONG two. Finlay comes at him with stairs but JBL gets a kendo stick shot into the knee. The Clothesline From Hell ends it though. Fun match.
Rating: C+. If there has ever been a match where the term “fine for what it was” is appropriate, this is it. This match was designed to get the crowd going a bit and not be anything serious and that’s exactly what they went out and did. Nothing bad here at all but nothing to go out of your way to see. Run of the mill hardcore match but rather fun, and that’s all fine and good.
Kennedy says he’s going to repeat as MITB. Kim Kardashian did the interviews at this show so at least we have something nice to look at.
Money in the Bank: Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy
You know the drill by now I’m sure. It’s weird to see Morrison as a heel. Morrison is a tag champion, MVP is US Champion and Jericho is IC Champion here. Nice to see the titles being treated so well here. I wouldn’t expect to see much in the area of play by play here as it’s way too much to call move for move.
Everyone not named MVP runs out to grab a ladder so he steals Kennedy’s when it comes into the ring. He and Jericho have a joust with them with the Canadian winning. Morrison grabs a ladder and puts it perpendicular to himself. He then climbs to the top and moonsaults while still holding the ladder to take out just about everyone! Sweet looking stuff!
Kennedy and Jericho are left in the ring with Jericho launching Kennedy into a ladder. Kennedy is like screw that and holds on before scurrying up. Morrison rides a ladder from the corner onto the middle ladder to stop Kennedy in an awesome spot. Kennedy sets for a suplex but Shelton jumps over Kennedy in a sunset powerbomb which pulls Morrison over too in a Tower of Doom spot. This is all in less than four minutes mind you.
With everyone more or less dead Punk goes up but just kind of stops so Shelton can make the save. GTS to Shelton and Punk goes up again. Carlito makes the save as I forgot he was even in this at all. There’s a ladder between the ring and the railing which makes me think nothing is going to go well for the ladder.
And I’m right as Shelton almost makes it up there but gets the whole ladder shoved over and flips onto the bridged ladder, breaking it in the middle. Morrison almost makes it but gets caught in the Walls by Jericho in a spot he and Benoit did at the 01 Rumble. Now Kennedy comes up so Punk has to springboard up. Carlito enacts Puerto Rican Affirmative Action and gets up as well, giving us five guys on two ladders.
Naturally they all fall down and leave Jericho there but Carlito saves it. Total spotfest so far. Backstabber off the ladder to Jericho and everyone is dead until MVP gets his wits about him. With no one in sight, Matt Freaking Hardy runs through the crowd and gets a Twist of Fate off the top to save the match. MVP had hurt Matt a few months ago.
Morrison is under a ladder in the corner and Jericho wedges the top of another into the rungs of the one in the corner, kind of making a big V shape. Morrison shoves the original one forward which allows him to be able to climb the ladder without having to have it open due to the wedge design. This is awesome stuff. Naturally Morrison gets crotched on the top but it’s still cool looking.
Jericho goes up again but Carlito spits apple at him instead. Kennedy drills him and shoves him off but Punk drills Kennedy. Jericho pops up again and hits the Codebreaker with a ladder to take out Punk. Punk more or less no sells it though and climbs up to stop Jericho as everyone else is pretty much dead. Punk knocks Jericho down into the Tree of Woe and grabs the case to win it. Total war the whole way through.
Rating: B. It was a wild brawl, but we just got done with a wild brawl. This was solid and the backflip ladder spot was sweet looking. Other than Matt returning though, there’s not much to hate. This was Jeff Hardy’s to win before he got wellnessed out of it. Another fun match and one of the best MITB matches ever as it was a total spotfest the whole way, which it’s supposed to be.
Hall of Fame Ceremony. This is Flair’s class, but he’s in the back getting ready so his kids accept it. The only ones that truly belong in to me are Flair, Solie, and the Briscos.
HHH is ready.
Snoop Dog is here. He sends Festus after Santino in a dumb segment.
Batista vs. Umaga
This is the Brand Supremacy match that was thrown together because there was nothing for either of these guys. I really wouldn’t expect this to be anything resembling good. Power match to start us off as you would of course expect. The GMs, Teddy and Regal, are here also. Umaga gets a spinwheel kick to take down Batista and take over.
A big boot sends the Animal to the floor. There’s the nerve hold as it’s all Umaga here. Middle rope headbutt misses though and here comes the Animal again. And so much for that as we hit the nerve hold again. This is rivetingly bad if that wasn’t clear. Samoan Drop mostly ends Batista so of course it only gets two.
Batista gets a quick comeback and so much for that as it’s over already. Samoan Spike is blocked though and Umaga’s head eats post. Spinebuster puts him down and the Batista Bomb ends it clean. WOW. That might be the least interesting match I have ever seen, which is saying a lot.
Rating: F+. These two had no chemistry together at all and it showed badly. This match was a waste as you had a multi-time world champion against a top mid carder. These brand supremacy things are rarely good and this was no exception. The other stupid part was Batista went to Raw a few weeks later. Totally bad match and I have no idea what they were going for here, but it didn’t work at all.
Mayweather vs. Show is anything goes and you can win by knockout.
Mayweather and company are here.
ECW Title: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero
Kane won a battle royal before the show started to get this shot. By the time I was done typing that previous sentence the match ends. Here’s your match: bell rings, Kane chokeslams Chavo, pinfall.
Rating: N/A. There’s no match here so I can’t rate it, but this was exactly what was needed. Kane absolutely dominated here and it made him look like a monster. Well done actually.
Painfully bad Mania promo for the show that is already on.
Raven Simone does something for Make-A-Wish. Can’t stand her but it’s a cool charity.
Note: the following was written BEFORE Flair signed in TNA and before he came back to WWE in 2009.
And here it is. This is the match that defines this Wrestlemania. Many people, including myself, feel that this should have been the final match of the night. We knew that Flair was going to lose, but it’s the pure symbolism of the match that’s important. Many people have this match because it’s “an old man that should have retired 10 years ago.”
To them I have one thing to say: get the fucking hell over yourselves. Ric Flair was the man that drove the NWA and WCW through the roof in the 1980s. Without him, Sting, Luger and the Horsemen, and therefore DX, the NWO and the Monday Night Wars don’t happen.
Ric Flair means more to this business than all but a very few and if he wants to wrestle until his tits hang lower than Terri Runnels then so be it. When anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can last in the business at a high level for as long as he has, let me know. I’ll be at my wedding to Trish Stratus.
Some people like to talk about how Flair needed to hang it up. Maybe those people need to SHUT it up and let the man do what he wants. Vince didn’t let him go did he? I’m willing to go out on a short limb and say Vince has forgotten more about wrestling than any of us will ever know, so get off your high smarky horses.
As for the other participant in this match, Shawn Michaels may not have been the perfect choice here, but I don’t have a problem with it being him at all. So what if he and Flair are friends in real life? It’s Flair’s last match and if he wants to go out to Shawn, then damn it he should be able to go out to Shawn. Shawn puts on his best this time of year so why should this be any different?
Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels
The intros for both guys are of course great. You can tell the fans and the entire world knows that Flair is losing here but that’s fine here much like it can be at other times. We exchange hammerlocks to start and no one can get an extended advantage. They shove each other and Flair shouts OLD YELLER HUH?
Flair might have bitten his lip or something as it’s busted open a tiny bit. Shawn goes up but gets slammed off in a nice little touch. Flair goes up and GETS A CROSS BODY for two. That was kind of awesome. Old men flying through the air is cool for some reason. Baseball slide takes down Flair again though Shawn misses an Asai Moonsault and slams into the table, possibly legitimately injuring his ribs.
A nearly perfect suplex gets two for Flair as he’s hitting everything perfectly here. Remember if he loses he has to retire so they’re playing up the fight for survival deal here and it’s working for the most part I think. Shawn gets a neckbreaker to come back and hits a moonsault off the top to the floor to leave both guys laying. When I say hits I mean Flair sticks an arm out which slows Shawn down a bit mind you.
Forearm sets up the nipup and here comes Shawn despite not really being in trouble for the most part. There’s the elbow and Shawn sets for the superkick but can’t do it. Flair is like ok then and double scoops the legs to throw on the Figure Four. Flair has aged about ten years in this match so far. The rope is grabbed soon and we go to the backslide sequence that Flair has done a million times. That being said, Flair can’t really do it due to his age. That’s rather sad.
Flair goes back to the knee and now we get the REAL Figure Four. I guess the other was just a preview edition. Shawn reverses though into a cradle for two. Enziguri misses and THERE is the Figure Four. A rope is grabbed again but this time more damage is done here. However Flair does one WOO too many and gets drilled by the kick for two as Shawn couldn’t cover immediately.
Shawn sets for the kick again but Flair gets a low blow which brings a nice little smile to my face. That only gets two though as this is fairly solid stuff. Shawn gets his disfigured figure four on but like Flair is going to lose to that. He’s Shawn Michaels, not Jay Lethal. A rollup get two for Flair and they chop it out. Shawn is like screw it and kicks his head off. Flair gets up again, and although Shawn is sorry and he loves Flair, the third superkick ends Flair’s career. Well for about a year or so at least.
Rating: A. As I said, this wasn’t about the match. This was about saying goodbye to one of the greatest performers of all time. That night, the titles weren’t important, the atmosphere wasn’t important, and the show wasn’t important. This night was about Ric Flair saying goodbye to being an in ring competitor.
Should this match have gone on last? Yes I think that it should have. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was as important to the industry as the moment when his final match ended. It was a sad day, as Flair didn’t get to go out on his own terms completely, but at least he went out on the biggest stage in the world.
As for the match, it’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, some spots are blown. Yes, we knew what was going to happen. Some find “I’m sorry, I love you” to be corny. That’s fine that you think that way, but this match almost had me in tears all over again.
It’s so sad to see Ric Flair having reached the point where he can’t bridge up for a backslide anymore. This man was once the greatest performer in the entire world and now he can’t do a simple reversal spot. He broke out all of his old classics including the cross body block that made him famous by giving him the world title at the first ever Starrcade. This match isn’t great from a wrestling perspective but it’s more than that. This match is about the end of an era.
Flair gets a big sad moment but the real one would come tomorrow.
Edge says the Streak ends tonight.
So who gets to follow that match? I hate to say it but whoever they are, their match is going to go down a letter grade or so as it’s simply not going to be easy to touch what just happened.
Beth Phoenix/Melina vs. Maria/Ashley
Oh fuck it. I was going to try to be nice to whatever came next and I get “bunnymania”? Well fuck. This is a lumberjill match, hosted by Snoop Dog in a pitiful attempt to bring celebrity status to this show. He’s driving something that looks like a golf cart that looks stupid. Santino is here to annoy all of us again as he helps the heels cheat to win.
Well at least Maria looks good. Actually only Ashley doesn’t here. Beth has to sell for this Ashley pest which makes my head hurt quite a bit. Snoop is so stoned he can’t stop smiling. Sweet merciful crap make this end already. Total time in before my head hurts: 34 seconds. Well I lasted longer than I thought I could.
The girls on the floor waste their usual time and no one cares at all. Maria saves Ashley. You can see the issue here with her being the better worker of the team. And there go the lights. Yeah you can’t see anything at all for about a minute or so. Ah there’s a spotlight. Well that helps a little I guess.
Glam Slam is blocked and we get some heel miscommunication. The lumberjacks get involved again and Maria gets two on Beth. Here’s Santino but Lawler attacks him which led to nothing of note. Beth pins Maria after Musclebuster. Snoop attacks Santino and kisses Maria, somehow making me less interested than I was when this started. This led to Glamarella if you’re interested for some reason.
Rating: F. Another waste of time in a bad match. How long is it going to take for the WWE to realize something: someone that is willing to be naked in a magazine doesn’t mean they can wrestle. The teams should have been switched so Melina can face Beth, as both can actually work. The lights went out during this match, as God himself is showing that he doesn’t care, and neither did I. Such a waste of time.
Recap of the Raw World Title match. Orton was champion, Cena got in by winning the Rumble and challenging Orton at No Way Out but Orton got intentionally DQed, and HHH is in because he won the Elimination Chamber that same night. I have never once liked three way matches for world titles at Mania.
The idea is supposed to be one on one for the heavyweight championship of the world, not three guys with false finish after false finish. I am however glad that this isn’t the main event of the night. It wasn’t the biggest match of the night and it wasn’t billed as such.
Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. HHH
Cena gets a full marching band entrance here. That’s rather awesome. Everyone goes after each other to start and we’re on the floor already. FU attempt on Orton almost immediately but he gets nowhere with it as HHH apparently fears Cena as he’d rather save Orton than get rid of him. You can tell Cena isn’t taking this seriously: he isn’t in his black jeans.
Orton gets both guys down and covers both of them multiple times which gets him nowhere. He keeps up the advantage though by slowly, and I do mean SLOWLY stomping both guys. Wouldn’t he give them more time to recover by taking so much time like that? Couldn’t he do better by stomping their heads the whole time? Double elevated DDT and our heroes are in trouble!
Cena comes back and hits the Throwback to HHH and the Fameasser to Orton but Orton manages to send Cena into the post on the floor to buy himself some time. Back to Hunter vs. Randall now. HHH works the knee but Cena comes in to distract him. Once John goes down the RKO takes down HHH.
Cena saves of course and the STFU to Orton has him in trouble. This is going by FAST. Cena tells him to tap but Orton doesn’t listen. I guess Cena isn’t one of the voices in his head. Back with HHH now as he hooks a freaking Indian Deathlock on Orton. WOW he’s busting out the way old stuff here. HHH back to the floor thanks to Cena and there’s the STFU again.
HHH literally comes in to pull Cena’s arms off of Cena. I guess HHH wants to cuddle him. He throws a Crossface on Cena for fun. I know he wants the title but I didn’t think he wanted to kill him. The fans are all over Cena here and it’s kind of funny to see. Boo/Yay thing with the punches and here comes Cena.
He initiates the ending sequence on HHH and sets for the FU but gets taken down by a clothesline. Pedigree and STFU are reversed but a facebuster and clothesline set up the spinebuster which sets up the Pedigree. Orton Punts HHH out of nowhere and climbs on Cena for the pin to retain. Nice little ending there.
Rating: C+. It’s ok and that’s all. Like I said, there’s nothing special here whatsoever. It’s not a bad match but it’s just ok. There was nothing Mania-like here at all. It was three men in a standard formula match. Why should I get emotionally invested into this match? There was no reason for me to and simply put, I didn’t.
We recap the boxer vs. wrestler thing. Okay, this feud has been over and done with for a solid year and there’s one thing I’d still like to know: WHO IN THE HELL WAS THE FACE SUPPOSED TO BE??? This feud was ridiculous.
In case you don’t know, Big Show returned at No Way Out and got in the face of a really good boxer named Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who legitimately broke his nose with a punch. This led to a feud between the two, culminating in this match.
Over the course of the 5-6 weeks, we got terrible promos from Mayweather and Show and it was never once made clear who the face was. Should we cheer for the underdog that is an outsider or for the monster that looks like a bully? That was never answered which is a problem.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show
Mayweather does the whole raining money deal. Naturally Floyd has gloves on. Mayweather dodges a lot and that gets him nowhere as we’re more or less just killing time for awhile. Floyd throws punches which don’t do much. This is going NOWHERE. Out of boredom, Show beats up one of Floyd’s posse.
Show grabs Mayweather’s hand and tries to step on it which doesn’t work. This is about 85% standing around and “jockeying for position”. Show almost gets a chokeslam but Floyd gets on his back for a choke. After nearly a minute and a half of this, Show flips him over and steps on his hands to send Floyd’s posse into a frenzy.
Big chop by Show in the corner as the posse shouts that Show can’t do various things, such as stand on his chest. I hate this match very deeply at the moment. Them shouting THIS IS FOR YOUR KIDS when Mayweather has like 50 million dollars makes me sick. He has money. I don’t want to hear about how he’s doing this for his kids. If they can’t survive off the paychecks he makes already, there’s a major problem.
Show hurts him a lot and drops an elbow. This is AWFUL. The posse pulls him out, Show goes to get him, he beats up the posse, the posse tries to give Floyd a chair, Show beats that guy up again, Mayweather pops Show with the chair and a shot with brass knuckles ends this via knockout, FINALLY.
Rating: D-. This was a mess. These things rarely work and this was following the norm of not working. Mayweather is simply too small to get this to work. He stands 5’8 and while he’s a great boxer, no one honestly believed that he could beat Show.
There’s no way to make this work: if Mayweather wins, Big Show looks weak. If Show wins, he beat a tiny man at Show’s own game on his turf. Either way there’s no way to make this work and they didn’t have one.
The other thing that’s a problem is that Mayweather has no business wrestling. He’s a puncher, but even with that there’s no way to believe that he has a chance here. They tried to make this look competitive, but the crowd was completely behind Mayweather for the simple reason of he’s average sized and Big Show is……well he’s BIG. This did not do it for me at all.
There’s a new attendance record.
Taker gets this title shot from winning the Rumble. That’s all you need to know.
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Undertaker
Edge brings out Vickie in the wheelchair. Taker’s entrance remains completely awesome. He came out first which is odd yet traditional. What an odd thing to see. Edge is a four time champion here, meaning he’s won a world title every six months since then. Keeping in mind that he hasn’t had one since April of 2009, that says a lot.
Very basic stuff to start as we’re not going anywhere so far. Old School is countered but Taker shifts around in mid air into an arm drag. It gets NO reaction. That’s saying a lot as no one cares after something I don’t remember seeing before. Taker gets a running knee to the head and goes over the top in a nice looking move. Taker may have hurt his arm though.
Edge takes over and almost gets a countout. He goes up and gets caught like any good heel and here comes the Deadman. VERY slow pace so far as each short sequence they’re doing is taking 2-3 minutes each. Lash Ride won’t work as Taker’s back is messed up from various attacks by the evil Canadian. Edge drops Taker’s back over the railing and the Deadman is in trouble.
In the ring again and Edge throws on a half crab as a joke I suppose. Much like everything else in this match, that goes on for two minutes. They slug it out and take a guess who wins that. They FINALLY speed things up a bit as the chokeslam is countered into the Edgecution for two. Spear is avoided and the chokeslam gets two.
Old School is blocked AGAIN for two as Edge pounds away in the corner like an IDIOT. Last Ride is countered into a neckbreaker for two. Taker calls for the Tombstone but Edge counters AGAIN into the Edge-O-Matic for two. The third Old School hits and Edge is in trouble again. And there goes the referee to a big boot. Ok where are the cronies?
Low blow takes down the Deadman as does a camera shot but there’s still no referee. Like an idiot, Edge goes for a Tombstone and is reversed but there’s no referee. Charles Robinson runs down to count two. I don’t think you can count that as Edge doing the same as Batista and Shawn kicking out of all the finishers though so we won’t do it.
Ah I was right. Here are Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder (shut up about him being in the Mania main event) and never mind as a double chokeslam gets rid of them. Spear from nowhere gets two and the fans are into it now. Edge sets for another spear but runs into the whatever that thing is called for the chokeout and submission.
Rating: A-. There’s just something missing from this match and I just can’t place it. All the elements are there as Edge and Taker are both well established main event players, the Streak is on the line and Taker gets a world title at Mania like he should, but there’s just something missing from it. Maybe it’s that these matches were done better later in the year. Either way, it’s certainly good, but not a masterpiece.
Overall Rating: C-. There’s a lot of good stuff here, but there’s only one truly good match. Yet again the tradition of messing things up with the Brand Split comes into play as the best match doesn’t go on last. This show should have been about Ric Flair, not a world title. Not many people can get that honor but it should have happened here.
At the end of the day, no one cared about what happened in the two title matches, or any other match for that matter. Flair going on in the middle of the show hurts it a lot. Other than him, there’s nothing noteworthy here to me at all. The show isn’t bad, but it’s hardly memorable. Mild recommendation but don’t go out of your way for it.
As a bonus, here is the only scene in wrestling that’s ever made me cry. This is from the next night on Raw, in what should have happened at Mania.
That was the conclusion of Raw. This was after the show went off the air and wasn’t released until Ric Flair’s latest DVD as an exclusive.
KB I have to disagree the HBK vs Flair match was where it was supposed to be and the match really was shit it didn't deserve an A maybe a C what happened the next night was an A. Big Show in a real fight vs Floyd wouldn't land a clean punch the beginning of the match when Show punching and missing is what it would look like in real life I'm a boxing fanatic I say the match deserved a B I was entertained. Undertaker vs Edge was by far the best match like you it was times I thought Edge was going to win it was pretty close to being a classic.
KB Just wanted to say thank you for doing this thread. Its always the first one I check out when I sign on. Its brought back some great memories and some douche chilling moments. And although you I disagreed with some of your match ratings from time to time you did an awesome and detailed job. I look forward to hearing your review of WM25
I agree that Flair v HBK probably should have been last. I read that Flair didn't want to go on last because he thinks that World Title matches should always go on last.
Date: April, 5 2009
Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
America The Beautiful: Some Pussycat Doll
Since this show literally is happening tonight, I won’t bother with any kind of a recap. We start with your standard history package that somehow never gets old to me at all.
Money In The Bank: CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Shelton Benjamin
Finlay is breaking out the old school Fit Finlay shoulder pads. I’m digging it. After ten minutes of entrances, we’re underway. As usual I’m not even going to bother trying to keep track of everything that’s going on in this as it’s going to be all over the place like it always is.
Henry and Kane clear the ring almost immediately and the fans chant for Christian. Christian and Shelton take care of them as it’s back and forth already. Kofi may have hurt his knee on a big jump over the ladder and a dropkick. Henry and Kane go up but can’t get anywhere as we’re three minutes in. An army of midcarers takes care of Henry.
Four guys go up the ladder and the big guys take them down again. Finlay clears the ring and dives out on Kane. Christian takes out Kane and Finlay as this is kind of all of the place. What a shock indeed. Henry takes out all three of them to continue the tradition. Punk and Kofi hit stereo suicide dives. Shelton dives off the ladder and more or less lands on his head.
Shelton may have killed himself with that damn flip. That scared the hell out of me. Also for those interested, I just found out that the tag titles was the preshow match with the Colons winning. It’s your general spotfest so far and that’s what it’s supposed to be. Crowd is fairly hot too.
Horny busts out a stepladder which gets him nowhere at all. Naturally a jumping midget can take out six guys. Finlay brings out the big ladder which is required viewing anymore. Kofi takes a good shot and is down already. He’s taking a big beating and it’s working pretty well.
Kofi is bumping like a bitch in this match. I’m loving him so far as he’s the highlight of the show. Kane and Henry were dominant early on but here come the smaller people. Henry is back and is setting up a ladder. While he holds it up, Kofi runs up the side of it but falls and is caught in the World’s Strongest Slam in a sweet spot.
MVP comes in to pound of Henry which gets him nowhere again. MVP stops Shelton, Punk stops MVP, Christian stops Punk. Punk and Christian do a cool spot on a ladder that’s balanced from one ladder to the top rope and even though the Unprettier was botched as hell, that’s hard to blame them for.
MVP almost makes it again but Shelton makes an incredible save. He runs up a ladder leaning against the ring then across a ladder between the rope and a ladder in the ring and then up the other ladder that MVP is on to make the last second save. That was incredible and as usual Shelton gets the spot of the match.
The botches in this match are killing it. These matches are really hard to call. Kane, Christian and Punk are fighting on the ladders and all but Punk fall, making him the first two time MITB winner!
Rating: C+. The problem here is the botches. There were a ton this year and the winner was kind of a letdown, and remember Punk is my favorite wrestler. It was a great opener, but not a great match if that makes sense. Too many people and really just a lot of one on ones for about twenty minutes. Not bad.
Axxess recap. Would be funner to be there to watch it.
Kid Rock performs. We don’t care as this is a food break for me. He’s on his third song and the reaction is priceless. There is absolute silence here as the fans simply could not care less. He does two old songs and his new one. My lord this is a waste of time. We don’t get the tag title match but we get this? Waste of time.
He is on his fourth song now. At least All Summer Long is a decent song, but do we need to hear this now? My goodness, he’s doing another one. The divas come out to dance with him. My headache is now at the grab a hatchet level, as this is at ten minutes now. After a big pyro display, it’s time for the battle royal. Holy fuck I’m bored.
25 Diva Battle Royal
Not even going to try to call this as we don’t even get the intros here. This is a freaking joke, thank you Kid fucking Rock. No Trish or Lita means this isn’t a legit battle royal. We don’t even have a list or a face shot of all the divas. It’s a standard battle royal and I literally couldn’t be more bored. The commentators are licking Kid Rock’s ass and I’m about to mute this. Literally people are being eliminated and it’s the first we hear of them. This is pathetic.
Santino is in drag as this is somehow even dumber every second. Never in my life have I seen a worse Mania match, period. Final there are Melina, Beth and Santino. I knew it. Fucking Santino wins. The commentators apparently don’t realize the massive tattoo on his chest. Has wrestling really fallen this far? The SFAC is going to be proud of this, and that is completely sickening to me.
Rating: N/A. This is the worst Mania match of all time. It was designed to get a stupid comedy guy on the show, we don’t know who was in it, they got no face time, and Kid Rock is the fucking cause of it. I am officially angry about this fucking show. Such a waste of time. I’m not rating it because there isn’t a rating low enough for it.
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat/Roddy Piper/Jimmy Snuka
Jericho has to beat all three to win. Massive recap as we’re somehow led to believe that Rourke won’t be at the show. Yeah right. Rourke actually is here. I’m surprised. They kind of get their own intros as their musics play but they stand on the ramp instead of going to the ring. Piper gets a decent pop. He looks decent too. Considering he had cancer less than two years ago, this is amazing. Flair accompanies them.
Piper is wearing a shirt which is likely a good thing. PIPER THROWS A DROPKICK!!! Off to Snuka who does his usual offense that gets him nowhere at all. And there’s the Liontamer to end him. He looked awful out there. Piper is mind blowing here. He looks as good as he did in WCW. Now is that a compliment or not?
As I type that, he’s eliminated via Codebreaker. This is literally 5 minutes in and it’s 1 on 1. I know this didn’t seem like it was five minutes but that’s how slowly these guys are moving. The old guys are getting to throw out some basic offense but it’s just leading to them being eliminated. Steamboat skins the cat in his 50s and of course we don’t see it. HE JUMPS OVER THE TOP ROPE! This is making up for everything.
Ross talks about how Jericho is staying with the Legends like it’s surprising. Steamboat is tearing this up and I’m wanting to stop the review to look at him go. This is incredible stuff considering no one expected a single thing out of him. He gets the cross body for two as Jericho is reeling. And then he walks into the Codebreaker to end it. That was amazing while it lasted.
Steamboat had me freaking out. Flair runs in and gets beaten up too. Of course Rourke gets in the ring and they have an impromptu boxing match. Rourke knocks him down as this is somehow dumber than it was before.
Rating: C+. Considering their ages and level of rust, this was mind blowing. Jericho had to win though. Steamboat had me on the edge of my chair. How he’s not called one of the best ever is beyond me. We’re three matches in and Steamboat has carried this. That’s a very bad sign. Let me make sure I have this straight: four hall of famers can’t beat up Jericho, but a 56 year old guy that boxed almost 15 years ago can beat him up?
In something funny, when they said go into the storm, it thundered at my house.
We get the recap talking about how Matt more or less tried to kill Jeff about three times. Of course he doesn’t prosecute him. He wrestles him. You have to love WWE.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
I miss Matt’s old heel attire. He looked like a legit monster. Naturally they got rid of them and made him an overrated face again. This has happened before but they made it big this time. I don’t think people are interested in this but whatever. Matt takes a shot with a WWE poster. How EXTREME! Matt takes Jeff down but Jeff gets up first. Well of course he does.
Crowd is waking up a tad here which might be exactly what this show needs. Matt has a bit of a gut which surprises me. Poetry in Motion with the assistance of a chair misses and here comes Matt. He takes out Jeff’s knee and just cracks him with the chair for two. Matt grabs a dry-vac from under the ring. Why a dry vac is under there is beyond me but it’s WWE so I’ll just kind of go with it.
Side effect on a chair gets two. Matt is dominating here as he bends Jeff’s back around the post. It’s table time but there’s no D-Von around to get it. What are we going to do??? They slug it out and neither guy goes through it. This is intense but kind of dull at the same time if that makes sense.
Jeff gets a kendo stick to crack away at him and here come the required trashcans. Slingshot dropkick into the can into Matt has him in big trouble. Swanton misses and Jeff is in trouble. Twist of Fate connect and only gets two. Almost zero heat on the kickout either. Matt goes for a Swanton which is blocked. The people of Houston just avoided a huge earthquake.
Matt gets CRACKED over the head with a chair in a sick looking and sounding shot. Jeff sets Matt on a table and then another table on top of that and splashes it and damn if he didn’t almost hit him! Back in the ring it only gets two. This needs to end like now.
The more successful one goes to the floor and pulls out some ladders. Well of course he does. Jeff misses a huge bump by setting up a huge ladder and then climbing up a regular one and jumping over the big one. He crashes down in pain and I’m slightly entertained. Matt does a sick looking Twist of Fate on a chair to close this out.
Rating: C. This wasn’t terrible and the ending was perfect. Matt’s finisher, not Jeff’s mistake ended it. There was no way Jeff could win this and he didn’t. It wasn’t great, but it could have been far worse. Not terrible. I just don’t think they had the intensity they wanted with this and it kind of showed through.
Legends of Mania commercial.
Orton is getting ready.
IC Title: JBL vs. Rey Mysterio
I miss the intros as I heat up my tacos. Mysterio looks like Doink the fucking Clown. How does he manage to come up with a dumber outfit every Mania? Rey looks fucking ridiculous as apparently he’s the Joker. He’s also wearing bright green suspenders. Holy fuck it’s a 10 second match! WHAT ARE THEY DOING??? Rey hits the 619 and a splash and wins it?
Rating: N/A. This is officially the dumbest Mania of all time. There has to be like 40 minutes each for the last three matches.
JBL’s big announcement is that he quits, getting the pop of the night.
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
If this match isn’t a 5 star classic, this is officially the worst Mania of all time, end of argument. Massive recap to start of course. The entrances are of course mind blowingly sweet with Taker coming up out of darkness and Shawn coming down from the ceiling in a white chariot like an angel. Ok that was awesome.
This just feels epic on all levels which is how it’s supposed to feel. And here we go. The fans pop for the bell. Think they’re excited? Sign a few rows back: It’s still real to me damn it! OH YES! Shawn scores a few points with some chops and then runs. Taker blocks a punch and throws Shawn over the top but Shawn catches himself.
HBK fakes a knee injury. Now that’s just brilliant. You know he’s never done that for Wrestlemania before! Basically an extended feeling out process here as neither guy can get an advantage going here. Big back drop by Taker and Shawn is in some trouble. Elbow gets one only. Old School gets a big ovation and Shawn is in trouble.
And so much for that as Taker misses a kick in the corner and Shawn goes for the knee. There go the dueling chants. Sharpshooter is blocked so Shawn uses a reverse figure four and Taker is in little trouble because he’s not going to tap. Taker’s solution to get out of this? Punch Shawn in the face. You can’t beat simplicity at times.
Taker unloads on him in the corner and gets the Snake Eyes and big boot combination. Shawn gets a bad crossface out of nowhere which sees Taker laying on his side. Taker stands up and gets a side slam to break up the hold. Nicely done. Shawn kicks him in the face and Taker glares at him. Forearm puts Taker down and we get a nip up at the same time Taker sits up.
Shawn sets for the elbow from the top but Taker sits up and Shawn is in trouble again. He counters that but walks into Hell’s Gate as he goes for the Figure Four again. A rope is grabbed and we head the to floor. Apron legdrop misses and Shawn avoids trouble. Baseball slide puts Taker down again. Moonsault to the floor misses though and Shawn is in big trouble again.
The momentum is changing every few seconds here and it’s great stuff. Taker hits the ropes and OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS! Taker dove over the ropes but overrotated and slammed his freaking head into the floor! He more or less killed a cameraman and there was a loud cracking sound. Luckily the replay shows that it was just the camera hitting the ground which is a nice break I guess.
Wow that was insane looking though. I was legitimately thinking they were going to have to stop it there. That was as scary as any bump I’ve ever seen. SOMEHOW, and I mean that literally, Taker isn’t dead. Shawn does a semi-heel turn and tries to get the count out win. To be fair though that might be better for Taker’s health at this point.
Taker BARELY makes it back in at nine and a half. I was actually thinking it was over there. There are those dueling chants again. Superkick is caught by a BIG old chokeslam for two as the crowd explodes. Tombstone, superkick, chokeslam. All of those were countered in a row but Shawn gets a BIG superkick for two. Sweet damn I’d have bet on that one.
Shawn’s ticked off face is great. Taker grabs him by the throat and goes for the Last Ride but Shawn gets a sunset flip. Taker grabs him again and is like boy you’re getting drilled and hits a HUGE Last Ride for TWO. Wow these kickouts are incredible. Taker goes up and misses an elbow as both guys are down again.
Shawn is sent over the top but Skins the Cat. Taker catches him AGAIN in the Tombstone and Shawn is DEAD. Apparently DEAD doesn’t mean three though as Shawn kicks out AGAIN. This is incredible. Taker’s face is like NO FREAKING WAY. Shawn counters another Tombstone attempt with a spinning DDT of all things.
Michaels somehow gets up to the top rope and hits the big elbow but both guys are down again. Sweet Chin Music out of NOWHERE gets two. Well of course it did. With nothing else left from either guy they slug it out from their knees. Shawn chops away but Taker kicks him in the face to put him down.
Tombstone is countered AGAIN and Shawn gets a boot into the jaw of Taker in the corner to buy himself some time. Shawn goes up for a moonsault press but Taker somehow catches him and Tombstones him to death to FINALLY end this. In-freaking-credible. Absolutely amazing stuff and it WINS.
Rating: A+. Wrestlemania has been saved. Future edit: no it hasn't. Go watch this match right now as it’s the best match I have ever seen.
Draft is coming in 8 days. I’m shaking after watching that. Never before have I been on the edge of my seat for a match.
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Standard recap leading to Edge and Show coming out first. Cena’s old rap song comes on and an army of John Cenas come out. There must be 80 or so of them. They all do You Can’t See Me and then Cena’s music hits. Pretty cool visual. We get the big match indroduction which I always love. Cena gets a decent pop with boos mixed in.
Edge is champion coming in here. We head into the triple threat formula almost immediately with various people being knocked out for awhile each. That’s fine but it gets rather repetitive. About five minutes pass with nothing but various one on one combinations. That’s not terribly interesting but it’s what we’ve come to expect in these things.
Cena hits his top rope Fameasser off the top rope and down goes Show. Off to Edge vs. Cena as I doubt Show will be in there for awhile. Edgecution gets two. More weak stuff here as Show is in faster than I expected him to be here. Chavo of all people runs out to save Show and takes an FU for his troubles.
Show gets tied up in the ropes and loudly shouts GET ME OUT OF HERE! Cena goes off on Edge as the fans aren’t really liking him. Five Knuckle Shuffle to Edge. Vickie gets up to save Edge but winds up getting speared onto Chavo. Both guys go down and Show is still stuck. Ah there he’s out.
Show goes off on them and manages to chokeslam Edge. FU attempt on Show but he gets out and drills Cena with the punch. Loud THANK YOU BIG SHOW chant from that. Edge gets a running spear through Show through the barricade. Back in the ring Cena counters the spear into the STFU.
Finally Show comes in for the save as this is actually pretty good. Back to Show vs. Edge for awhile as JR runs through Show’s measurements again. Show misses a Vader Bomb and here comes Cena again. The two non-monsters suplex Show in an always cool looking spot.
Everyone trades some more finishers and Edge gets a spear for two on Cena. Here’s your HOLY FREAKING CRAP spot of the match as Edge jumps on Show’s back with a sleeper so Cena is like screw it and picks up BOTH OF THEM AT ONCE IN THE FU! Edge falls off and Show takes the FU. Cena hits one on Edge onto Show for the pin and the title. Freaking sweetness.
Rating: B-. This was better than people gave it credit for. This wasn’t supposed to be the great and mighty be all end all title match and it wasn’t. It was a way to get the title onto Cena and make him look strong. It wasn’t bad and it accomplished its purpose. I liked it, but damn this would have been better if it was three matches earlier.
WM 26 is in Phoenix.
HOF Ceremony. Austin drives his ATV around and has a mini beer bash to kill time. I have no problem with this at all. It was needed to give the fans a breather and it’s not like Austin doesn’t deserve it.
Attendance is announced, but not called a record as we kill off even more time.
Massive recap video beforehand which kills the time so dead it’s scary. They’ve hated each other since Evolution, Orton is nuts and kissed Stephanie, HHH snapped, Orton faked being insane, HHH can’t disqualified or he loses the title.
WWE Title: Randy Orton vs. HHH
In the back, HHH passes both McMahons. Orton’s entrance literally goes on nearly two and a half minutes. There’s no special ordeal or anything. He’s just walking really, really slowly. HHH’s intro is long but not as long. We get BMI. Orton gets an RKO inside of two minutes but goes for the Punt and misses. HHH is up in about a minute and hits the Pedigree. What in the hell is going on here?
And remember, HHH can’t get disqualified in a match based on hate. This is going so slow that it’s painful. They’re moving like molasses out there for crying out loud (as I quote my inner Hayden Panitierre from Remember the Titans). HHH has a bad shoulder now. Orton takes over for a good while as he works on the arm.
I like the pace of this match as it’s very slow but more violent. That’s what this is supposed to be. You’re supposed to have a guy that’s completely insane and a guy that’s desperate to defend his wife’s honor. Would you expect guys to be using Greco-Roman style here?
I like the brawling stuff. Wait for it…wait for it…YES! We get an Orton chinlock! All is right with the world! This is a more physical style and while it’s not great, it’s also not awful. This match isn’t really building to anything though. Ok I’m thinking I’m changing my mind on the pacing thing. This needs to be FAR more brutal given the story backing it up. It’s similar to Kane/Undertaker at Mania 14 where they were supposed to be in a war and just weren’t at all.
Orton takes him down with the backbreaker for two. I love that dropkick that Orton has. HHH FINALLY sends Orton to the floor to break the very long stretch of momentum he’s had. On the floor HHH keeps teasing various weapons shots but won’t do them because of the title thing. He sets for the Pedigree but Orton backdrops him through the announce table.
Elevated DDT hits on the floor and HHH is more or less done. He beats the count of course and Orton mixes up his offense with various types of stomps. Orton catches HHH coming of the top rope (WTF???) with a sick dropkick. Ref goes down and Orton hits an RKO. He gets the sledge but gets kicked leading to him getting punched beyond all reasonable measure. Pedigree and Orton is dead. Fireworks and we’re out. Well, that sums up the whole show.
Rating: F+. The ending was just a total letdown. Fuck a good pace. This was a complete waste of time and had nothing good to offer at all. The ending is HHH’s revenge for his recent losses. Terrible way to close it out, absolutely terrible. Never in my life have I seen someone with a bigger ego. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever here for HHH to go over. Not a damn one.
Orton was pushed to the fucking moon recently and he gets nothing for it? Likely he’ll get the belt at Backlash or something, but this was a waste. Any credibility he has is killed. That was awful and I don’t want to see even the letter that comes after G for a long, long time. Horrible.
It’s the same issue that many recent Mania main events have had: it’s not a bad match, but there’s nothing mind blowing. It’s like they’re in safe mode or something. Orton catches HHH coming of the top rope (WTF???) with a sick dropkick. Ref goes down and Orton hits an RKO. He gets the sledge but gets kicked leading to him getting punched beyond all reasonable measure. Pedigree and Orton is dead. Fireworks and we’re out. Well, that sums up the whole show.
Overall Rating: D. This show had one good match in it. That’s all. You have a decent opener so that was ok. Then the Women’s match was absolutely a disgrace. Never in my life have I seen a dumber thing. Seriously, we get a ten minute concert of all things and then you don’t even see the older divas, in a match for NOSTALGIA get introduced? My goodness that’s a joke. Plain and simple, that was pathetic.
That was to get a weak comedy act in when it could have been something very cool. Austin could come out at the end but not come out to beat up Jericho? That would have saved that whole thing. Hardys match was just ok. Not great but could have been worse by far. IC Title was to get to JBL quitting so I don’t even call that a match. Then we have the one match: Taker and HBK was an absolute classic, hands down.
Maybe not the best ever as Steamboat and Savage was almost too incredible to ever be passed, but this was by far the best match in many years. After that, the three way was ok and the main event was just a waste.
Overall, watch Taker and HBK and if you’re out of other good matches to watch, check out MITB and the Triple Threat. Other than that, avoid this show. Is it the worst Mania of all time? It’s not due to HBK/Taker, but that’s literally the only thing keeping it ahead of 2 and 9. Terrible show.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|