31 Manias in 31 Days: Rewriting Wrestlemania XXV
In today's installment of my "Rewriting WrestleMania" series, we'll revisit the silver anniversary of the greatest sports entertainment event in history, WrestleMania XXV from Houston, TX. In many people's opinion, The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match that took place here was the greatest match of all-time. Whether or not that is true, I think it was one of the few bright spots of an otherwise mediocre WrestleMania that should have been an unforgettable one, befitting the landmark 25th year of the event. I personally loved the Triple H/Randy Orton feud and the MITB match as usual. However, other than these 3 matches, the rest of this WrestleMania left a lot to be desired in my opinion. Here are the results.
April 5, 2009
Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)
1. (Dark) Unified Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match:
WWE Tag Team Champions The Colons (Primo and Carlito) def. World Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison to become WWE Unified Tag Team Champions.
2. Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
CM Punk defeated Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Finlay
3. "Miss WrestleMania" Battle Royal:
"Santina" Marella won by last eliminating Beth Phoenix and Melina
4. 3-on-1 Handicap Match:
Chris Jericho def. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka w/ Ric Flair
5. Extreme Rules Match:
Matt Hardy def. Jeff Hardy
6. Intercontinental Championship:
Rey Mysterio def. JBL to become new champion
7. The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
8. WWE Championship Triple Threat:
John Cena def. Edge (c) and Big Show to become new champion
9. World Heavyweight Championship:
Triple H (c) def. Randy Orton to retain
*Rewriting WrestleMania XXV*
1. Unified Tag Team Championship: The Colons def. The Miz & John Morrison
I'd keep this the same. I liked both teams and thought it was the best possible match for the division at the time.
2. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: CM Punk def. MVP, Kane, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, and Big Show
Other than switching up some of the participants, I'd keep this the same as well. CM Punk winning it back to back was the right call in my opinion, especially considering the feud it helped set up between he and Jeff Hardy.
3. Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase) def. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat w/ Ric Flair
There are several ways I thought about rebooking this. I thought maybe Steamboat alone against Jericho, since Steamboat was clearly the only one who could still go. Then I thought maybe Steamboat against JBL, a guy who could have done just as well of a job insulting the legends as Jericho did. However, I finally decided that Piper (though his best days had clearly passed him by) was still an attraction worth putting in the ring with Steamboat and that Snuka wasn't, and that in my opinion Rhodes and DiBiase would have made even more sense for their opponents seeing how their gimmick was all about being the future of the WWE. I thought they deserved their own match instead of just the backstage segment with Orton. Showcase 2 of your youngest talents and put them over 2 legends of the business.
4. Intercontinental Championship: Rey Mysterio def. JBL (c)
Half of me would have liked to see a real match here considering the IC Title hadn't been defended at Mania in 8 years. But the other half wouldn't change it, since JBL had to endure an embarrassing 21 second loss in order to retire on the spot after the match. I'd keep this the same. Plus Mysterio had never been IC Champ up to this point, which honestly surprised me.
5. John Cena def. Chris Jericho
Cena being involved in the championship match for the 5th straight Mania was a redundant move in my eyes. That's not even something they did for Hulk Hogan. Cena, Edge, and Big Show bored me quite frankly. Jericho and Cena is a WrestleMania feud that should have happened at some point in my opinion, and this was probably the best time and place for it.
6. World Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4-Way TLC Match: Edge (c) def. Jeff Hardy, Christian, and Matt Hardy
With all the history revolving around these 4 in the tag team division, I'm surprised it didn't ever cross over into a TLC match for a singles championship. I'd have personally loved to see this. Even Edge and Jeff Hardy could have been the way to go, however I decided to make it a fatal 4-way since I liked the feud between the Hardys at the time and the addition of Christian would have brought it full circle.
7. Women's Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) def. Natalya
Forget the joke of a divas battle royal that Santino won. Beth Phoenix should have been afforded the opportunity to defend her championship against Natalya, who proved she was for real as well.
8. WWE Championship: Randy Orton def. Triple H (c)
I absolutely loved this feud and think it's a lost art in wrestling these days to make it feel as personal as this one got. Orton was such a great villain at the time, attacking all the McMahons including Stephanie. The only thing I would have changed is the winner.
9. The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
Hindsight is the name of the game in this "Rewriting WrestleMania" series, and I don't think anyone would argue that in hindsight, this match should have clearly closed the show. It was an absolute masterpiece that could never be duplicated, though they did their best at WM26. It began a trend where finishers lose their power at WrestleMania, but it was great to see the fans shocked to see the match continue at least a handful of times.
Feel free to comment and/or post your rewritten WMXXV.
The first change for me would to change the ridiculous branding, calling Wrestlemania XXV the '25th anniversary of Wrestlemania' (it was actually the 24th anniversary, but the 25th event.)
Semantics aside, this was a card that disappointed me at the time, but when I later rewatched it on DVD I appreciated it more.
The major change people will suggest is that Undertaker v Michaels (which in my opinion is the greatest match ever, just edging out Steamboat & Flair's 54-minute 2/3 falls match in 1989) should have gone on last. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say - even with two of the best, no one could have predicted that this would be 31 minutes of pure drama and as close to perfection as I've seen in a wrestling ring in all the years I've watched. So I *wouldnt* have had this as the main event - BUT I'm very glad they had the rematch a year later be the main event of WM26.
That said, even if the match exceeded even the strongest expectations, it would still have been a great match, as all 3 major 'Taker v HBK matches in 1997-98 were, so to put it on with no buffer between this and the two title matches was asking for trouble.
On to the changes:
2009 was the year where Vince got really stupid in regards to the 'IWC' and flat-out changed a storyline completely just because the internet foresaw it: instead of Christian costing Jeff Hardy the WWE title at the Royal Rumble (in what would have been his return), Vince got angry and switched it to Matt Hardy's turning heel on his brother. Whilst I enjoyed the Hardy Boys' match, it was, let's be honest, underwhelming. I feel Vince should have stuck to what I'm sure the original idea was: the Jeff Hardy v Edge rematch for the title to take place at Wrestlemania, with Jeff becoming 'the man' again.
Possibly therefore I would have Christian v Matt a Hardy in an undercard match (and one last Hardys v E&C match at Backlash.
Orton v HHH was a terrific build, despite being a key component of one of the 4 most predictable Royal Rumble matches in history (along with 1995, 2000 and this year), but with the WWE title rematch set, this match would instead be for the World Heavyweight Title, HHH winning that belt at No Way Out.
This unfortunately leaves the problem of what to do with John Cena. I guess a match with Big Show isn't an unfortunate by-product so I'll leave it at that.
Money in the Bank would have a couple of competitor changes - have DiBiase and Rhodes instead of Christian and Mark Henry - and the divas battle Royal (and Kid Rock mini-concert) would immediately follow the Taker v HBK match to give the crowd a 15 minute breather before the title matches.
Rey Mysterio vs Matt Hardy
Loved their match from mania 19 and I would love this rematch with more time
I would completely get rid of the divas battle royal and the kid rock concert. I would give that time to the other matches
Jeff Hardy vs Christian #1 contenders ladder match
Have Christian be the one who cost Jeff the title to edge
Big Show vs JBL
Big Show can retire JBL in a squash match
Money in the bank
Kept the same
Whc Edge vs Jericho Vs Cena
Just replace big show with Jericho. I'd have Jericho win
WWE TITLE No Holds Barred Triple H vs Randy Orton
Why was this match not a no Dq match?! I would have Orton win this
Undertaker vs HBK
Kept exactly the same. Just main event
Shut the fuck up! "vintage" anyone talking to Michael Cole
A lot of things went wrong with this show. It had enormous potential. The build up for the show was epic and they COULD have still delivered in the end if they changed up some things, but it failed to live up to expectations in nearly every match. On a positive note I attended this show and it was one of the best nights of my life. That doesn't change the fact that I would change many things about this show. Let's start with my biggest issue with this show. KID ROCK. That useless concert of his cost us the Tag Team Championship Unification match and the Divas' entrances. In my version, Kid Rock and his idiotic concert are the pre-show. This frees up the Tag Team Unification match to open up the show, Miz and Morrison win the match. Money In The Bank was fine as it was and it is next. Punk still wins.
Now then there's Jericho VS the legends. It should have been Jericho VS Steamboat who had Snuka, Piper, and Flair in his corner. Steamboat is the only one who should have been wrestling that night on the legends' team so a one on one match would have been better, but there was still no saving this angle. Jericho still wins. Rourke also should not have taken an eternity to get into the ring. Matt Hardy still wins the Hardy VS Hardy match. Then we have JBL VS Mysterio, I'm fine with Rey winning and JBL quitting afterwards but they should have gotten an actual match out of it. Either have the match or don't!
Michaels VS Undertaker is next. Yes, you read that correctly. As brilliant as this match was, it would not have made sense for it to main event within kayfabe. NOTHING about it changes as it was absolutely perfect. The 25 Divas Battle Royal would be next so that the fans get a chance to relax before the two World Championship matches. Here is my other massive change to this show. Santino dressed up like a girl would NEVER have happened. AT ALL. Him winning this was an insult to female wrestlers everywhere. Michelle McCool wins this in my version, it would have fit perfectly with her list of things to brag about while in the LayCool angle later on. Next is the Cena VS Edge VS Big Show triple threat. It stays just as it was.
Last but not least.... Randy Orton VS Triple H for the WWE Championship. MAN did they ever fail to live up to the hype on this one. They put a stupid stipulation on the match that ruined it. Why was this not a No DQ match!? Vince, Shane, and Stephanie should have been in Trips' corner. Legacy should have been in Randy's corner. Triple H winning is fine, but with the awesome build up this match had, the lack of involvement from The McMahons or Legacy was a bad idea. The McMahons and Legacy getting involved along with making it be under No DQ rules would have made the match so much better and given us a main event worthy of the great storyline it had going into the actual match.
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I'm not a huge fan of rebooking. Partially because I don't feel it's worth the time thinking about what can't change, and partially because I forgot most of what was going on in WWE at these times in the past, so I can't come up with concrete rebooking ideas. But, I do realize that a show with this type of potential could have been better with some tweaking. So I have a few ideas.
1) Carlito & Primo def. Miz & Morrison- Unified WWE Tag Team Championship
This match was a great idea. It should have been on the main card and not the pre-show. Eliminate the Kid Rock concert (Although I'm a fan of Kid Rock) and let these guys get on the actual PPV. And get rid of the lumberjacks. They can all have a pre-show battle royal.
4) Mickie James def. Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool and Melina (c)- Woman's Championship
Speaking of Battle Royals, get rid of the Divas one. McCool had just turned heel (which she became really good at), so I think she would have been deserving of a Mania match with Mickie, Melina, and Beth, three of the best in the company at that point. Mickie wins because when in doubt, put the face over.
3) Jeff Hardy def. John Cena and Edge (c)- World Heavyweight Championship
Jeff was hot at this point. White hot. He deserved a high profile Mania match. And a Mania win to cement him as the #1 guy on SmackDown. And a win over Edge and Cena would have been huge for Hardy. So switch him out with Big Show.
4) Triple H (c) def. Randy Orton- WWE Championship No Holds Barred
One of the biggest problems with this match was the stipulation that if Triple H got DQ'd, he would lose the title. Make this an absolute brawl, and Triple H can retain with his trusty sledgehammer.
Those are really the changes I would make. You could put Matt Hardy in the MiTB match, maybe. I almost rebooked Mickey Rourke to face Jericho (which he was supposed to before that went haywire) but I felt Ricky Steamboat did such a good job I would leave it. Everything else, like Punk winning and Rey beating JBL in 21 seconds you leave. Of course in retrospect, Michaels Taker, maybe the greatest match ever, should have been last. But if I was booking WWE in 09, I never would have known exactly how good it was going to be. So I would leave it where it is. Maybe move it up and put one of the less important matches in so the crowd could recover properly. Besides, I feel Mania should always end with the Rumble winner. Always.
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Last edited by MC_Live : 03-23-2015 at 10:58 PM.
WWE Championship Match- Triple H (c) vs Edge
A matchup and feud that the WWE never truly explored outside of one or two matches here and there. This would've been the perfect place for this match to take place. They were both on Smackdown at this time and they were the top 2 or 3 stars on that brand. I'd substitute Orton for Edge and carry out the same storyline with Edge taking out various members of the McMahon family. Edge's greasy slime ball character would've fit perfectly in that angle. There is history too considering that HHH exposed Edge in the summer of '08 having an "affair" with Alicia Foxx, then they had the returning Edge interjected in the Kozlov/H match at Survivor Series. There were things in place that they could've built off of but they decided to go away from it.
World Heavyweight Championship Match- John Cena (c) vs Randy Orton
The two biggest new stars of the decade and yet they never faced each other at a WM. I'd rectify that decision here. Orton was the hottest guy in the company around this time and he needed this win at WM so he goes over here.
Intercontinental Championship Match- Rey Mysterio (c) vs Chris Jericho
I'd scrap that 3-1 handicap match. This would be a better match for both men involved plus this would be a fresh matchup because these guys never feuded or wrestled each other in the WWE up to this point.
Grudge Match- Big Show vs JBL
This could be a decent feud and match for WM.
I'd have Rouke do a segment and you could have a jobber/low card guy call out Rouke for weeks leading to this segment.
Tag title match gets on the actual show.
I'd scrap that pointless Kid Rock concert.
Everything else stays the same.
Last edited by Mac : 03-24-2015 at 02:22 PM.
25 man Wrestlemania Legends Battle Royal
Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and more
Pick whatever 25 legends you want from the past 25 years of wrestlemania and put them in a battle royal to start the show. The ones I listed were involved in the Jericho match, but I would rather see them in a match like this, along with several more of their peers from the past.
WINNER: Randy Orton. Have Orton take Jericho's spot in his battle with the legends leading up to Mania. The legend killer is baited into the match and wins. He and Legacy attack the legends after the match, including attacking their own fathers.
WWE/World Tag Team Championship Four Corners Match
Jeri-show def MVP & Mark Henry, Legacy: Rhodes & Dibiase, The Miz & Morrison
Jericho and Big Show formed a team in the summer of 2009, but I would have had them form a little earlier in time for Mania.
Money in the Bank:
CM Punk def Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Christian, Shelton Benjamin
I had Jeff vs Matt a few Mania's earlier. I feel that's a feud that should have taken a place a few years earlier. Felt a bit forced in 2009.
Dolph Ziggler def Rey Mysterio
Have Rey go in as champion and drop the title to the upstart Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler relatively new here so too early for him to be going for the MITB which is essentially a shot at the WWE or World title, but an IC title shot suits him well.
John Cena def Edge (c) and Triple H
Triple H and Edge never had a major ppv feud as far as I can remember. And as much as it pains me to say it, seeing as how he is the face of the company, I feel Cena should walk out champion at the 25th anniversary of Mania. Either that or a special attraction match with Rock, Austin, or Hogan. But none of those were available.
World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
This should have been the main event. The streak itself should have been enough to make it the main event, not to mention the fact that Shawn was the opponent and the history between the two. But since it wasn't, maybe making it be for the World Title would be enough to vault it to the main event. Have Shawn go in as champion and then it's streak vs championship with both men putting something on the line. The idea that anyone was more interested in seeing Triple H vs Orton in the main event is insane. We saw the same situation at WMX8 when Triple H vs Jericho main evented when it obviously should have been Hulk/Rock. Not sure who's decision that was, but I have a feeling Triple H's ego is even bigger than his nose.
As for Kane and JBL, I simply have no use for them at this point. It's 2009, time to retire.
1) Money in the Bank
Punk def Kane, Henry, MVP, Benjamin, Kingston, Swagger, and Big Show
Swagger was ECW champ at the time. ECW champs had already been in Royal Rumbles so I see no reason not to book him here considering there wasn't really room on the card for an ECW title match.
2) Match to Unify the Tag Team Championships
Colons (c) def Miz and Morrison (c) and The Legacy. Keep this the same but move it to the main card and add Legacy. Miz and Morrison were the best thing going on in the tag division at the time. Legacy should have been on this card.
3)Women's Champion VS Diva's Champion - non title lumberjill match
Melina def Maryse.
This way WWE can have their Santina Marella crap but still have an actual women's contest. The brand extension would go on for a few years while it's slowly phased out, I don't see the titles being amalgamated at this time.
4) Extreme Rules
Edge and Christian def The Hardys
Christian should have returned as the one causing problems in Jeff's life instead of returning on ECW. Christian should have aligned with Edge, but maintained their roles as singles competitors. Have Christian screw both Hardys at Royal Rumble then have it all culminate with the two reunited teams in what could have been a classic.
I would make this a TLC decided by pinfall but WWE likely wouldn't have gone that way with MITB being on the card.
5) Intercontinental Championship
Mysterio def JBL(c) in an actual match.
Keep it under ten minutes but longer than 21 seconds, there's enough time on this version of the card . JBL can use his rematch clause immediately or on Raw and lose at ludicrous speed then quit.
John Cena w/ Steamboat, Piper, Snuka, and Flair def Chris Jericho (c).
Combine Cena and the World title with Jericho and the legends angle. Have Jericho steal Cena's title in the chamber. Jericho cheats and the legends are down, Mickey Rourke knocks out Jericho and Cena recaptures the title.
7) Undertaker def Shawn Michaels
Randy Orton def Triple H (c).
Orton was extremely over at this time despite being a heel. The meta-narrative of the face defeating the heel at mania seemed to point to Orton face turn but instead Triple H beat Edge for the WWE title and set up former protégé vs mentor.
I would not have booked Orton quite as villainous as he was in the build up here. I don't think it was necessary to sell the match. I think considering how over Orton was and the fact that Triple H would leave the title scene to reunite DX once again, Triple H should have played more of the heel here. Orton's eventual face turn the following year lost a lot of its steam by that point.
The Money In The Bank Ladder match, Divas Battle Royal and the classic HBK vs Undertaker stay as it is.
The Tag Team Unification match gets on the main card, no questions asked.
The rest of the card:
Mask vs Career match
Rey Mysterio def. JBL
This is not 21 seconds. JBL also does not beat CM Punk for the Intercontinental Championship on RAW, only to lose it 27 days later to Mysterio. This is simply Mysterio's mask on the line vs JBL's WWE career.
Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena (w/ Ricky Steamboat) def. Chris Jericho(C)
Cena returns after Survivor Series. He does not immediately become Champ. He hunts the Championship until he wins it from Y2J at Wrestlemania.
Extreme Rules Tag Team match
Jeff & Matt Hardy def. Edge & Christian
WWE sticks to the original idea.
No Disqualifications match for the WWE Championship
Triple H(C) def. Randy Orton
This should have been a fucking war. Legacy vs McMahons. Blood. Sledgehammer. Punt kick. Batista's big return to give Triple H the victory.
Cena vs Edge vs Big Show was the worst title match at Mania I've ever seen on paper, and the match sucked too. I hate triple threat title matches...same with Angle vs Orton vs Mysterio at 22. I've always been a fan of the traditional 1 on 1 Mania match. So I'd start there. Plus Cena vs Edge was incredibly over done...I mean every time I tuned in to Raw they were fueding over the course of like almost 2 years...and I rarely watched from 2002-2011...just peaked in now n then, especially Mania season.
When I think of re-booking Mania cards, I think you have to go back further and use your own storylines when needed...can't just use what they had only. Therefore, I'd book this card in advance...
HBK vs Undertaker
Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal
Orton vs HHH (c) - No DQ (No Legacy or McMahons in the corner...way too many people at ringside for a hardcore match...they'd get in the way)
Chris Jericho vs John Cena (c)
#1 Contender Match (title shot next Smackdown)
Jeff Hardy vs Edge
JBL vs Big Show vs Kane vs Mark Henry (attitude era giants)
Punk vs Mysterio vs Shelton vs Kofi vs Christian vs Matt Hardy vs MVP
Morrison & Miz vs The Colons
Last edited by Rocky84 : 12-23-2015 at 12:29 PM.
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