PWInsider.com will have full coverage of Wrestlemania, as it happens, here on the site, so check back for updates throughout the evening.
24-Man Battle Royale
The Battle Royale is being broadcast on WWE.com, but is not being shown as the pre-show for the PPV. They had all the wrestlers come out to the same generic music, and had their names read off as they came down the aisle. Joey Styles and Tazz called the action. I am sure I will miss a few eliminations, as they are using a pretty small screen on WWE.com to show the action.
As soon as the bell rang, Festus went nuts and attacked everyone. Deuce was eliminated by a Festus kick, then Domino was tossed out by Festus with a hiptoss. Great Khali tossed out Hacksaw Duggan, to a chorus of boos. Stevie Richards was eliminated by a double jumping knee by Elijah Burke. Kane grabbed Burke and tossed him over the top rope. Miz was eliminated by a Jamie Noble head scissors.
Mark Henry backdropped Shannon Moore and Jimmy Yang at the same time. Trevor Murdoch eliminated Jesse Festus tossed out Murdoch by dodging a charge. Festus was eliminated by Lance Cade. Brian Kendrick used a flying bodypress and took himself and Lance Cade over the top and out of the match.
Mark Henry launched Kofi Kingston over the top rope to eliminate him. Chuck Palumbo tossed out Jamie Noble, who stood on the bodies of wrestlers on the floor to avoid elimination, only to be kicked back down (and out) by Palumbo. Khali then eliminated Palumbo. Everyone remaining in the ring teamed up to eliminate Khali.
Snitsky tossed out Hardcore Holly, and I believe Mark Henry tossed out Tommy Dreamer, although it was hard to tell from the angle they were using. It came down to Kane, Mark Henry and Snistky. Henry eliminated Snitsky, and we were down to two. Henry pressed Kane over his head, but Kane floated over and hit a kick to the head to send Henry over the top rope. Kane is the winner.
Wrestlemania 24 opened with a military flyover (which was actually taped shortly before the show went live). John Legend sang "America, The Beautiful" While the upper decks don't look totally full, there are definitely a lot of people there. It's also very cloudy, and when they used one of the wide shots, you could see water on the camera lens.
They showed a video package focusing on the events of the past year surrounding the WWE Title, the World Title, Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels and Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show, and they went to the ring for the first match.
Belfast Brawl: Fit Finlay vs. JBL.
Lilian Garcia is wearing a really great dress. Sorry, I'll try to focus on wrestling. As JBL made his entrance, a video package recapped the Vince McMahon-Hornswoggle storyline. Finlay walked out on the stage, then waved out Hornswoggle, to a big pop. Finlay sprinted to the ring and JBL kicked him as he tried to climb in. They brawled on the floor, with JBL throwing right hands. Finlay reversed a whip and sent JBL into the ring steps, then into the ring, and the bell ran to officially start the match. Finlay hit a sit-down splash and a series of rights. Finlay went under the ring and pulled out trash cans, lids and kendo sticks. JBL grabbed a can and blasted Finlay with it. JBL then used a trash can lid and a cookie sheet to blast Finlay. JBL hit a short-arm clothesline, then threw a section of ring steps into the ring. JBL kicked Finlay in the head, then went for a piledriver on the ring steps, but Finlay backdropped him off.
Finlay hit a kick to the head, then blasted JBL with the cookie sheet twice. Finlay then held the metal pan against JBL's head and punched it. Finlay went for the first cover of the match and got a two count. Finlay hit a right hand, but JBL responded with a boot to the face, then stomped Finlay's hand. JBL threw a series of punches in the corner, then kicked Finlay in the head. JBL grabbed the shillelagh, but Hornswoggle ran in and hit JBL with a kendo stick. JBL was distracted by the shot, and that allowed Finlay to pick up the shillelagh and blast JBL with it. JBL fell to the floor, but Finlay rolled him back in. Finlay put the trash can on JBL's head, then stomped it. Finlay went under the ring and pulled out a table. Finlay propped the table in a corner, then went to whip JBL into it. JBL reversed the whip, and Finlay got thrown into a corner without a table. Finlay charged out and blasted JBL with a clothesline. JBL rolled to the floor, and grabbed Hornswoggle. Finlay jumped out of the ring and bounced JBL's head off the Raw announce table over and over. They went back into the ring, but JBL rolled out the other side.
Finlay dove through the ropes for a tope, but JBL blasted him with a trash can lid. JBL rolled Finlay into the ring for a two count. JBL picked up a trash can and threw it out of the ring, nailing Hornswoggle on the floor with it. JBL picked up another can and blasted Finlay with it. JBL went for a Clothesline From Hell, but Finlay picked up a can and blasted him with it. Finlay hit a rolling Samoan Drop for a two count, then threw JBL into the table in the corner. Finlay picked up the ringsteps to hit JBL, but JBL grabbed a kendo stick and blasted Finlay in the leg with it. JBL then hit a Clothesline From Hell to get the win at the ten minute mark.
Kim Kardashian was backstage, telling us about the Money In The Bank Ladder match. Kennedy interrupted, saying he would be the first man to win Money In The Bank two years in a row. Her mic sounded low.
Money In The Bank: Ken Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison.
All announce teams are in on this one. John Morrison entered first, then Carlito, then Shelton Benjamin, then CM Punk, then Ken Kennedy, then MVP, then Chris Jericho, with the last two getting big pyro displays. Then again, I guess all pyro will be big tonight. I will do my best to keep up with this one.
At the bell, everyone ran out of the ring for ladders, except MVP. As guys tried to get back in with ladders, MVP would knock them out of the ring. Finally, Jericho got in, and both men had ladders in their hands. Jericho and MVP jousted, with Jericho getting the better of it. MVP rolled out, and Morrison came in and hit Jericho with it. Morrison then took a ladder and moonsaulted off the top rope, hitting Punk, Carlito, MVP and Benjamin with the ladder on the floor. Kennedy and Jericho squared off in the ring, and Jericho catapulted Kennedy into a ladder. Kennedy jumped onto the ladder and climbed up for the briefcase. Morrison came off the top rope onto the ladder, throwing another ladder at Jericho. Morrison and Kennedy slugged it out on the ladder. Benjamin set up another ladder and climbed up next to them, but was knocked down. Kennedy went to superplex Morrison off the ladder, and Benjamin climbed up his ladder and gave Kennedy a sunset flip powerbomb, sending both men to the mat.
Benjamin climbed the ladder, but Carlito tipped it over. Benjamin landed on the top rope on his feet and tipped the ladder into Carlito. Benjamin then tried to jump onto the ladder, but it collapsed. Punk climbed a ladder, but Kennedy pulled him down. Punk knocked him out of the ring, then tried to climb again. Benjamin tried to stop him, but Punk gave him a GTS. Kennedy gave Punk a rolling Samoan Drop onto a ladder. Carlito tried to climb up, but MVP knocked him down, then gave Kennedy a running kick. MVP missed a running kick on Carlito, and Carlito hit MVP with a ladder shot to the leg. Carlito went to climb a ladder, but Benjamin pulled him down. Benjamin hit Carlito with a spinkick. Benjamin went to climb the ladder, but Kennedy and Carlito tipped the ladder. Benjamin went head over heels off the ladder, crashing through a ladder that was bridged at ringside.
Jericho, Carlito and Kennedy all climbed the ladder, but MVP knocked it over. Morrison then blasted MVP out of the ring, then climbed a ladder. Jericho climbed up to fight him, then applied a Walls Of Jericho across the top of the ladder. Kennedy set up another ladder and climbed up. Jericho dumped Morrison, then fought Kennedy on top of the ladders. Punk and Carlito both springboarded from opposite sides of the ring and onto the ladders. Punk and Kennedy came crashing off one ladder. Carlito pulled Jericho off the other ladder with a Backstabber, and both men rolled to the floor.
MVP got into the ring and realized everyone was laid out by him. MVP climbed up the ladder, and went for the briefcase. Matt Hardy emerged from the crowd, to a monster pop. Hardy climbed up the ladder and blasted MVP with punches. Hardy gave MVP a Twist of Fate off the ladder to the mat. The place as going nuts for Hardy. Hardy ran back out through the crowd. Jericho and Carlito started fighting, and two ladders got tangled together. Morrison tried to climb the tangled ladder, but Jericho and Carlito tipped him off it and he fell to the floor. Jericho climbed the ladder, but Carlito sit apple in his face. Kennedy knocked Carlito off the ladder and he landed back first on a ladder that was propped in a corner. Kennedy went to climb up, but Punk knocked him down with a ladder. Jericho gave Punk a Codebreaker with a ladder.
Jericho climbed the ladder, but Punk struggled up it, shaking the ladder. Jericho kicked Punk in the head, yelling "stay down". Punk climbed up and punched it out with Jericho. Punk tripped Jericho and tied him in a Tree of Woe in the ladder. Punk climbed up and grabbed the briefcase at the 15 minute mark.
Winner: CM Punk.
CM Punk now has a guaranteed WWE Title shot against the championship of his choice, good for one year.
Coverage continued on next page.