PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE

 
 

WRESTLEMANIA RETRO LOOKS BACK AT TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF WRESTLEMANIA HISTORY

By PWInsider.com Staff on 2011-04-03 09:13:00
Wrestlemania 25

Wrestlemania 25 opened with a montage of Wrestlemania clips, and Vince McMahon's voice talking about how he is asked all the time what the greatest Wrestlemania moment ever is, followed by clips of current stars talking about what they feel the greatest Wrestlemania moment is.  This was followed by the performers talking about their desire to perform on the Wrestlemania stage, and a montage of clips leading to this event. 

WWE Hall Of Famer Howard Finkel opened the show, and introduced Nicole Scherzinger  of the Pussycat Dolls, who sang America The Beautiful.

WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross welcomed us to the show, and they went right to the introductions for the opening match. WWE Hall Of Famer Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole will be joining him for the broadcast.

Money In The Bank - CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian vs. Fit Finlay vs. Mark Henry.

They have a bunch of ladders in the aisle, and stacks of them at ringside.  CM Punk entered first, and there are a lot of Pepsi logos in the crowd.  Mark Henry was next, then MVP, then Finlay (wearing his old armored leather jacket). Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Kane finished off the entrances.  

The match started with everyone brawling, and some jumping to the floor for ladders.  Kane and Mark Henry cleared the ring and went at it, with Henry hitting an avalanche in the corner.  Christian and Benjamin brought in a ladder and hit Kane and Henry with it.  Kofi jumped over the ladder, dropkicked it into Shelton and Christian, then legdropped it on both men.  Kofi went to climb a ladder, but Finlay tossed him from the ring.  Kane gave Finlay a big boot.  Kane and Henry climbed the ladder, but everyone else pulled them down. Henry and Kane were sent out of the ring.  A group of the participants climbed two ladders (all but Christian, Kane and Henry), but Kane and Henry came back in and toppled the ladders.  Kane knocked Henry out of the ring, and dumped one of the ladders to the floor.  Kane climbed a ladder, but Henry knocked him into the ropes. 

Henry was alone in the ring, and Finlay came in, ducking a ladder thrown by Henry.  Finlay dropkicked Henry from the ring, then hit Kane and Shelton with a tope.  Christian hit a springboard on Kane and Finlay on the outside.  MVP then hit a somersault off the apron onto everyone on the floor.  Punk and Kofi then hit stereo topes onto the pile.  Shelton, on the floor, climbed an extra tall ladder and jumped off the top onto the growing pile. There was a "Holy S***" chant.  Mark Henry climbed to the top rope, but Finlay hit him with a Shillelagh. Hornswoggle came in with a short ladder, which Finlay put in the corner.  Hornswoggle climbed it, then got on Henry's back, as he was slumped over the top rope, and jumped off into a tadpole splash on the pile on the floor. 

Finlay set up a ladder, then shoulderblocked Kofi in a corner.  Kofi jumped between the sides of the ladder and swung into a kick on Finlay.  Kofi went for a splash, but Finlay hit him with the short ladder.  Punk ran in but Finlay gave him a rolling fireman's carry slam on the ladder.  Finlay used the small ladder to knock people off the apron.  Finlay climbed up the ladder, but Kofi used a spin kick to knock him down.  Kofi climbed the ladder, but Henry knocked it over. Henry headbutted Kofi, but as Henry grabbed a ladder, Kofi tried to climb it while Henry was holding it, and almost reached the case.  Henry grabbed Kofi and powerslammed him on the ladder.  Henry went to climb the ladder, but MVP hit him with another ladder.  A ladder was now bridged between one set up in the ring and the ring ropes.  MVP tried to suplex Shelton onto the bridged ladder, but Shelton dodged it.  Shelton jumped off the ladder onto MVP, but MVP powerbombed him.  MVP climbed the ladder but CM Punk stopped him.  Christian pulled MVP down and clotheslined him.  Punk went up the ladder, but Christian climbed up onto the bridged ladder to stop him.  Punk teased a GTS off the ladder, but Christian gave Punk an Unprettier off the ladder and to the mat. 

On the floor, Shelton superkicked Kane.  MVP climbed the ladderin the ring, but Shelton climbed a ladder on the floor, onto the bridged ladder, then went to sunset flip MVP off the set up ladder (yes, three ladders), but they collapsed to the mat.  Shelton grabbed MVP and powerbombed him over the top rope, onto Henry, Kofi and Tony Atlas.  Shelton and Finlay fought atop the ladder, and Finlay fell hard onto the bridged ladder.  Christian pulled Shelton off the ladder, and soon the two were racing up side-by-side ladders.  They slugged it out on one ladder, and Christian tipped one of the ladders, sending Shelton to the floor, while Christian landed on the top rope and spring the ladder back into standing position.  Christian went for the briefcase, but Punk springboarded onto the ladder.  They fought it out, but Punk got hung upside down on the ladder.  Kane climbed the ladder, and chokeslammed Christian to the mat.  Punk sat up in the ladder and slugged it out with Kane.  Kane went for a chokeslam, but Punk kicked Kane in the head, sending Kane to the mat.  Punk then grabbed the briefcase for the win at the 16 minute mark. 

Winner: CM Punk.

CM Punk now has the right to challenge for any WWE championship at any time in the next year.

A video package on all of the WWE Wrestlemania events in Houston this past week was shown. 

Lilian Garcia introduced Kid Rock.  During the end of his ten minute performance, which was a medley of songs, the Divas danced to the ring for the Miss Wrestlemania battle royal. 

25 Diva Battle Royal to determine the first Miss Wrestlemania.

None of the Divas were introduced by name.  The Divas started fighting before the bell even rang.  Santino Marella is in the ring in drag.  Mae Young and Candice Michelle were at ringside as guest timekeepers.  Layla was out first, before the bell rang, then Rosa Mendes was tossed out.  The announcers weren't even bothering to name which Divas were eliminated. Sunny and Torrie Wilson were eliminated.  The Bella Twins were working together.  Victoria eliminated Maria.  The announcers didn't note Santino was in the ring.  Gail Kim eliminated Jillian Hall and herself with a rana over the top rope.  Beth Phoenix tossed out Tiffany and Eve Torres. Kelly Kelly and Molly Holly were tossed out, then Maryse.  Phoenix was on a tear.  They finally noticed Santino was in the ring, but didn't come out and name him.  Victoria and the Bella Twins were eliminated, as was Natalya.  It came down to Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Melina, Beth Phoenix and Santino.  James gave McCool a rana, then went to the top rope.  Michelle crotched her and went for a superplex, but Mickie fought her on the ropes.  They tumbled to the floor and both were eliminated.  Melina was working on Phoenix's back, but the Glamazon hit some elbows and went to toss out Melina.  Santino came up behind Phoenix and Melina and pushed them over the top rope to win the match at the seven minute mark. There was a "Santino" chant.

Winner: Santina.

Santina took the mic and said "she" was Santino's twin sister from Italy.  Santina cried as Candice Michelle gave her the Miss Wrestlemania crown and sash.  Santina then danced in the ring, while Phoenix was fuming on the floor.

A video package on the Chris Jericho-Mickey Rourke-Legends storyline was shown. 

Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat in an handicap elimination match, with Ric Flair at ringside. 

Mickey Rourke was seated at ringside in the front row.  Chris Jericho made his entrance, then Steamboat, Snuka, Piper and Flair were all introduced, coming out on the stage and then walking to the ring together. Flair hugged Rourke at ringside. Apparently it will be tag team rules for the Legends.  The Legends argued over who would start the match.  

Piper spat at Jericho and charged him to start the match. Piper tackled Jericho to the mat and hit some punches.  Piper tackled Jericho over the top rope and to the floor, catching his hand in the ropes.  As they got back in the ring, Jericho kicked Piper, but Piper came back with a sunset flip for a two count, and a ugly dropkick.  Piper slapped Jericho and punched him in a corner.  Piper rammed Jericho into a corner.  Snuka called for Piper to ram Jericho into his head, and he did.  Piper tagged Snuka, who hit some chops against the ropes.  Snuka hit some chops and tagged Steamboat, who came off the top rope with a chop, then a pair of trademark armdrags.  There was a chant for "Steamboat" as he worked over Jericho's arm.  Steamboat tagged Snuka and they hit a double chop.  Snuka headbutted Jericho, but Jericho tripped Snuka and grabbed the Walls Of Jericho.  Snuka tapped out at the four minute mark. 

Jericho didn't release the hold right away, and Steamboat and Piper came in to try and break it.  Jericho let go, then shoved Steamboat out of the ring as he turned to exit.  Piper went at it with Jericho, hitting the eye poke, and then applying a sleeper.  Jericho thrust forward, sending Piper throat first into the top rope.  Jericho hit an enzugiri for the pin at the five minute mark. 

Steamboat immediate came off the top with a flying bodypress for a two count.  Jericho and Steamboat traded chops.  Jericho hit a snap mare and a kick to the back.  Jericho put Steamboat in a chinlock, Steamboat fought up and hit some shots, then a shoulderblock.  Jericho tossed Steamboat from the ring, but Steamboat skinned the cat (which the camera missed) while Jericho knocked Flair off the apron.  Steamboat hit a pescado on Jericho, tossed him into the ring and hit a top rope chop.  Steamboat hit some chops, leapfrogged Jericho in a corner and rolled him up for two.  Jericho threw punches and chops, then kicked away a backdrop attempt by Steamboat and hit a bulldog. Jericho missed a Lionsault, but ran into an elbow.  Jericho kicked Steamboat to the mat, but ran into a Steamboat powerslam.  Jericho tripped Steamboat and grabbed the Walls Of Jericho, but Steamboat rolled out of it into a small package for a two count.  The crowd is going nuts for Steamboat.  Steamboat flipped out of a suplex attempt, but Jericho grabbed him with a Codebreaker for the pin at the nine minute mark. 

Winner: Chris Jericho. 

Flair ran into the ring and went at it with Jericho.  Flair hit some shots, but Jericho backdropped him.  Jericho then gave Flair a Codebreaker.  Jericho kicked Flair's body out of the ring and called for the microphone.  Jericho began bragging about his win, then called out Rourke.  Rourke gestured that Jericho was all talk.  Jericho called him a coward, and said if he doesn't get in the ring, he'd jump the rail and slap him.  Rourke talked to the people with him (one of whom looks like Frank Shamrock), then stepped into the ring, taking off his jacket as he did so. Rourke played up to the crowd, then took off his hat and stepped onto the apron.  Rourke finally got in the ring, and he certainly doesn't have his "Randy The Ram" body anymore. Rourke threw a few jabs at Jericho, and Jericho backed up.  Rourke decked Jericho with a left hook.  Flair got in the ring and raised Rourke's arm. 

A video package on the events leading to Hardy vs. Hardy was shown. 

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in an Extreme Rules match.

Matt Hardy has new, long tights.  Jeff had full face paint on, and Matt was trash talking him as soon as he got in the ring.  Jeff slapped Matt and the bell rang.  Jeff hit some punches and Matt fell to the floor.  Jeff reached under the ring for a Wrestlemania sign and broke it over Matt's head.  Jeff pulled out a trash can, but Matt kicked Jeff in the gut and he dropped it.  Jeff blocked a shot into the steps and rammed Matt head first into them.  Jeff then launched himself off the steps into Matt with a leg lariat.  Jeff grabbed a chair as Matt rolled into the ring.  Jeff went for a chair launch, but Matt moved and Jeff crashed in the corner.  Jeff hit a back elbow and went for a Whisper In The Wind, but Matt grabbed the chair and blasted Jeff with it.  Matt hit a chairshot, then bent Jeff over the top rope.  Matt grabbed a Shopvac from under the ring and blasted Jeff with it, then covered him for a two count.  Matt rammed Jeff in a corner, but Jeff kicked him. Jeff walked into a Side Effect on a chair from Matt for a two count. 

Matt kicked Jeff in the gut, then punched him in a corner and stood on his throat.  Matt stretched Jeff around the ringpost, pulling on his arm and leg. Matt set up a table at ringside.  Matt went for a suplex off the apron, but Jeff blocked it.  Jeff knocked Matt to the floor, then jumped off the apron and clotheslined Matt on the floor. Jeff hit a mule kick to send Matt backwards into the steep steps.  Jeff pulled out a kendo stick and a crutch, hitting Matt with the stick as Matt rolled into the ring.  Jeff tossed in a trash can, put it over Matt's head, then bashed it with a metal crutch.  Matt slumped in the corner, and Jeff hit the elevated kick into the trash can.  Jeff covered Matt for a two count.  Jeff hit a gourdbuster, then went to the top rope for a swanton, but missed.  Matt kicked Jeff in the gut and hit the Twist Of Fate for a two count.  Matt went to the top rope, calling for a swanton, but Jeff met him there and hit a superplex.  Jeff blasted Matt with a chairshot, and Matt rolled to the floor.

Jeff laid Matt on the table at ringside, then put a chair on top of him.  Jeff went under the ring, and pulled out another table. Jeff opened the other table and placed it on top of the first, with Matt and the chair stuck between them.  Jeff went to the top rope, and jumped off with a splash, crashing through both tables and driving Matt into the floor.  Jeff rolled Matt into the ring for a cover, but Matt put his foot on the bottom rope.  Jeff tossed a chair into the ring, then went for a pair of ladders under the ring and tossed them in.  Jeff set up the chair, then jumped off it into a legdrop on Matt.  Jeff set up one of the ladders, which was huge, then set up a slightly smaller one next to it. Jeff climbed the small ladder, then boosted himself over the larger one and went for a legdrop, but Matt rolled out of the way and Jeff crashed into the mat. Matt put Jeff's head through the opening of a unfolded steel chair and gave him a Twist of Fate, crushing his head in the chair, for the pin at the fourteen minute mark.

Backstage, Randy Orton was getting ready for his match.  Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes were with him, although no one spoke. 

Intercontinental Champion JBL vs. Rey Mysterio. 

JBL walked out with a microphone in his hand. JBL said this would be the "greatest day" in his life.  JBL said he was like Ceasar, returning to Rome a conquering hero, saying he was returning to Texas, a champion.  JBL said the Houston fans needed "hope" and "along comes your hero, JBL."  JBL said he was going to have the most dominant victory in Wrestlemania history, then return to New York City on his private jet, still their hero.  Rey Mysterio came out in an outfit derived from The Joker.  Rey's comic book themed outfits at Wrestlemania returns. Rey gave out playing cards to fans as he came to the ring.  They did the "big fight" style introductions for the match. 

JBL kicked Rey in the head as the referee was giving instructions, then pounded Rey down in a corner.  JBL screamed to ring the bell, but the referee made sure Rey could continue first.  The bell rang, JBL swung a right hand, Rey ducked and hit an enzugiri.  JBL fell in 619 position.  Rey hit the 619, then a splash off the top rope and got the pin in under a minute, easily. 

Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio.

They announced the time of the match as 21 seconds.  I guess that's the fastest Intercontinental title change in Wrestlemania history. 

Rey left, and JBL slowly got up, shocked.  JBL got on the mic and announced he had something to say.  He screamed "I Quit" to an ovation.  The fans sang "Nah Nah Hey Hey Goodbye" as JBL left.  

Carl Edwards of NASCAR was shown in the crowd. 

A video package on The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels was shown. 

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels.

Shawn had an "Undertaker-like" entrance in all white, coming in on a giant lift, which lowered him to the stage, where he emerged from a cloud of smoke in his HBK gear, with his usual theme music.  Undertaker came up on a lift through the stage (get it, Taker came up from hell, Shawn down from heaven) and made his entrance.  No druids this year.

The crowd was buzzing before the bell rang.  They circled each other and Taker swung and missed.  Shawn hit a chop, then a few of them in a corner, then moved away.  Taker kept stalking Michaels, who dodged a punch and hit a series of shots in a corner.  Michaels went for a whip, but Taker reversed and Michaels dodged a clothesline.  Taker caught a Michaels punch and threw him over the top rope, but Michaels landed on the apron.  Michaels got on the middle rope and gave Taker a DX crotch chop.  Michaels leapfrogged Taker, pretended his knee hurt, then jumped on Taker and delivered punched.  Taker threw Shawn into a corner and began pounding him.  They traded shots, and the crowd is really loud.  Taker threw Shawn into a corner, and he flipped upside down.  Undertaker backdropped Michaels, then pressed him over his head and slammed him to the mat. Undertaker hit an elbowdrop for a two count.  Undertaker grabbed Michaels' arm and hit a short arm shoulderblock, then a second. 

Undertaker went for Old School, walking the ropes and hitting a forearm.  Undertaker missed a boot in the corner and crashed into the buckles.  Shawn hit a shinbreaker and then a chopblock to the leg.  Michaels hit Taker with an enzugiri and he knelt on the mat.  Michaels went for a reverse figure four, but Undertaker blocked it.  Michaels stomped Undertaker and locked in the hold.  Undertaker struggled in the hold, then sat up and punched Michaels in the head to break out of it. Michaels dropkicked Taker's leg out from under him, but then ran into an Undertaker bearhug.  Taker rammed Michaels into a corner and worked him over with punches.  Undertaker whipped Michaels across the ring, then hit a splash.  Taker was limping, but hit another splash, then delivered Snake Eyes and a running boot to the face.  Undertaker hit a legdrop for a two count.

Undertaker called for a chokeslam, but Michaels blocked it and locked in a Crossface.  Taker rolled it into a pinning position for a two count, but Michaels rolled back and maintained the hold.  Undertaker stood up in the Crossface and delivered a side slam to break it and get a two count.  Undertaker and Michaels punched it out, then Michaels kicked away a backdrop attempt and Undertaker just glared at Michaels.  Michaels delivered a flurry of chops, then a flying forearm.  Michaels kipped up, then gave Taker a reverse atomic drop and a chop.  Another reverse atomic drop, another chop and a clothesline brought Undertaker down. Michaels went to the top rope, but Undertaker sat up and caught Michaels by the throat as he came off.  Undertaker went for the chokeslam, Michaels floated out and went for a superkick.  Taker dropped down to avoid the kick, and Michaels grabbed his legs for a figure four.  As Michaels bent over to complete the move, Taker grabbed his head and applied Devil's Gate.  Michaels reached the ropes with his feet to force a break, then rolled to the floor.

Undertaker rammed Michaels into the ringsteps, then placed him on the apron and kicked him in the head.  Undertaker went for the ring apron legdrop, but Michaels moved out of the way and Taker crashed on the apron.  Michaels hit a baseball slide kick, then went to the top rope and moonsaulted to the floor.  Undertaker sidestepped it and Michaels crashed to the floor. Undertaker rolled into the ring, then sat up, while the referee was checking on Michaels.  Undertaker went for a dive over the top rope, but Michaels shoved the referee and pulled a camera man in front of him, and Taker crashed into the camera man.  Undertaker, Michaels, the camera man and the referee are all down mat ringside.  Taker's landing on the floor was scary.

Michaels crawled into the ring and surveyed the scene.  A second referee came out to check on Undertaker as Shawn revived the referee and called for him to end the match.  The referee began to count Undertaker out.  The second referee disappeared.  Undertaker slowly got up, and Shawn seemed to be hoping for the countout.  Undertaker rolled in just before ten.  Michaels looked angry, and got ready for a superkick.  Undertaker got to his feet, and Michaels went for the kick, but Undertaker dodged it and hit a chokeslam for a two count.  Undertaker went for a tombstone, but Michaels floated out of it.  Michaels went for the superkick, but Undertaker caught it.  Undertaker went for his throat, but Michaels knocked his hands away and nailed the superkick for a two count.

Both men were down, and Michaels kipped up.  Michaels went to pick Undertaker up off the mat, and Taker reached up and grabbed him by the throat.  Taker kicked him in the gut and went for the Last Ride, but Michaels went over him into a sunset flip.  Taker reached down, picked up Michaels by the throat to block the sunset flip, and planted Michaels with a Last Ride powerbomb for a two count.  Undertaker went to the top rope and went for a flying elbowsmash, but Michaels rolled out of the way. Both men were slow to get up, and when they did, Michaels charged Undertaker.  Undertaker threw Michaels over the top rope.  Michaels held on and went to skin the cat.  Undertaker was near the ropes and Michaels tried to grab a headscissors, but Undertaker pulled Michaels off the ropes and hit a tombstone.  Michaels got his shoulder up at the two count, and a wide-eyed Undertaker was stunned.

Undertaker got to his feet and pulled down the straps on his outfit.  Undertaker made the throat slashing gesture.  Undertaker lifted Shawn Michaels for another tombstone, but Michaels floated around him and hit a DDT. Michaels pulled himself up on the ropes and climbed to the top.  Michaels hit a top rope elbow, then pulled himself up in a corner.  Undertaker slowly started to get up.  Michaels started to stomp.  Michaels nailed the superkick and crawled onto the Undertaker.  Undertaker got his shoulder up before the three.

Shawn and Undertaker crawled towards each other and got to their feet scrapping.  Shawn hit a chop, and Taker responded with a punch.  They went back and forth with shots, barely standing.  Taker threw a standing kick right to Shawn's face.  Undertaker went for a tombstone, but Michaels elbowed out of it.  Michaels hit a series of chops, then went for a whip.  Undertaker reversed it, but ran into a Michaels boot to the face.  Michaels climbed to the top rope for a moonsault onto a standing Undertaker.  Undertaker caught it and hit a tombstone for the pin at the 31 minute mark.  17-0.

Winner: The Undertaker. 

They showed a ton of replays from the match, then Undertaker posed in the ring.  I normally refrain from commentary in these reports, and save my thoughts for columns.  However, this was an incredible match, that more than lived up to the hype.

A commercial for the upcoming WWE Draft was shown. 

Evander Holyfield was shown in the crowd. 

The events leading to the World Championship match was shown. No, they didn't show any of Edge's great promo from Smackdown this past Friday.

Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero was wheeled down to ringside by Chavo Guerrero. 

World Champion Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show.

Edge entered first, then Big Show.  Then Cena's old "Word Life" theme played, and an army of people in John Cena hats and shirts entered and lined the aisle.  Wow.  Cena invited everyone who went to see 12 Rounds to Wrestlemania and gave them shirts and hats. They all did the "You Can't See Me" gesture, then Cena entered to his current theme, to a mixed reaction. They did the "big match" introductions for the bout. 

Cena punched Show at the bell then went at Edge.  Show charged for a clothesline, but Cena ducked and Show clotheslined Edge.  Cena shoulderblocked Edge, then went for one on Show and bounced off him.  Edge offered Show a high five, but Show lifted him by the arm and crotched him on the top rope.  Show bounced Edge on the top rope, then chopped him in the corner.  Show threw Edge into Cena, then booted Cena to the mat.  Edge rolled to the floor.  Show stood on Cena's chest.  Show pounded Cena, then stood on his back.  Cena battled back with punches, but Show gave him a flapjack.  Show missed a kick, and Cena crotched him on the ropes.  Cena dumped Show to the floor.  Edge kicked the ringsteps into Show's legs.  Cena came off the top rope and gave Show a Rocker Dropper on the floor, hurting himself as well. 

Edge picked up Cena on the floor and tossed him into the ring, then stomped him.  Cena grabbed Edge for an Attitude Adjustment, but Edge floated out and hit an Implant DDT for two.  Edge went to the top rope, but Cena punched him off and sent Edge to the floor.  Big Show was back in the ring, and gave Cena a side slam.  Cena battled back on Show, but Chavo Guerrero pulled him to the floor.  Cena gave Chavo the Attitude Adjustment.  Back in the ring, Cena gave Show a shoulderblock and Show got tied up in the ropes.  Edge got in and Cena gave him a back suplex into a powerbomb.  Cena gave Edge the Five Knuckle Shuffle.  Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment on Edge, and Vickie got on the apron.  Edge floated out and went for a spear, but Cena moved and Edge knocked Vickie into Chavo on the floor. Big Show screamed at the referee to get him out of the ropes, while Edge and Cena clotheslined each other.  Vickie Guerrero was helped from ringside.

Show shoulderblocked both opponents, then went back and forth chopping and headbutting them.  Big Show avalanched them both in a corner.  Show went for a double chokeslam, hitting it on Edge, but Cena escaped.  Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment on Show, but Show blocked it and punched Cena out of the ring with a right hand.  Show went to the floor, where Edge had rolled, and went for a chokeslam on the outside.  Edge blocked it and DDT'd Show on the floor. Edge set up the ring steps at ringside and launched himself into Show, knocking down the security barrier.  Edge tried to pick Big Show up, but he couldn't.  Edge instead went for Cena, still down from the punch, and rolled him into the ring for a two count. 

Edge measured Cena for a spear.  Edge went for it, but Cena hit a drop toe hold and applied the STF. Edge got near the ropes, but Cena pulled him back in and reapplied the hold.  Edge went for the ropes, and Big Show was there.  He grabbed Cena by the throat, pulled him to the floor and headbutted him.  Show got in the ring and went for a V Bomb on Edge, but Edge rolled out of the way.  Cena got in and went for a vertical suplex on Show.  Edge joined Cena and they hit a double suplex on Show.  Edge and Cena stared at each other.  Show got to his feet.  Edge and Cena double clotheslined Show from the ring, then Edge kicked Cena in the head and covered him for a two count.  Edge went for a reverse facesmasher, but Cena broke out and hit the Throwback.  

Cena went to the top rope, but Show got behind him and shoved him off, into a spear by Edge.  Edge went for the cover on Cena, but Show pulled Edge to the floor and chopped him.  Show threw Edge back in the ring, then re-entered himself.  Show headbutted Edge, then ran into a boot by Edge.  Edge got on Show's back with a sleeper. Cena lifted Show, with Edge still on his back, although Edge quickly fell off, and gave Show the Attitude Adjustment.  Cena then gave Edge the Attitude Adjustment onto Show.  Edge rolled off, and Cena covered Show for the three count at the sixteen minute mark. 

Winner and new World Champion: John Cena.  

Pyro went off and Cena went into the crowd to celebrate. 

A commercial for next year's Wrestlemania in Arizona was shown. 

The 2009 Hall Of Fame class came out and was introduced.  After Steve Austin was introduced, he waved to the crowd and walked to the back.  They called for one more round of applause for the legends, and Stone Cold's music hit.  He came back out on an ATV, wearing an Austin 3:16 shirt.  He drove around the ring and up the aisle, then back down it in reverse.  Austin got in the ring and had a beer bash. Austin went to ringside and gave Jim Ross a beer.  Austin put on JR's hat and toasted his friend. Austin threw the rest of his cooler of beer into the ring and waved goodbye to the fans. The announcers stressed that this was his "final time" in a WWE ring. Austin rode out on his ATV, his arm raised.  Jim Ross said "We'll never forget the night the Austin era began, and we'll never forget the night it ended".  Austin had one more beer on the stage, and walked off. 

They announced the attendance for the show was 72,744.

A video package for the WWE Title match was shown. 

Triple H was shown walking in the back.  Vince and Shane McMahon approached him.  They all nodded at each other, and Triple H walked off. 

We were reminded that if Triple H gets disqualified or counted out, he will lose the title. 

WWE Champion Triple H vs. Randy Orton.

Randy Orton entered first, alone.  Triple H entered, with a sledgehammer, and threw it into a glass wall that shattered.  Unfortunately, the camera shot was a bit too tight, and I think it hurt the effect on television.  They did the "big fight" intros again. 

Triple H tackled Orton at the start and pounded him, backing him into a corner and stomping him.  The referee reminded him that if he is disqualified he loses the title.  Triple H advanced on Orton and Orton nailed him with an RKO.  Orton got to his feet, went for a punt, but Triple H moved, then hit Orton with a Pedigree.  Both men were laid out, less than two minutes in. They rolled to the floor, and Triple H rammed Orton into the announce table.  Triple H tossed Orton into the ring, then grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and poured it on himself to revive him.  Triple H rolled in and pounded Orton, who rolled to the floor.  Triple H followed and rammed Orton into the ringpost.  They got back into the ring, and Triple H stalked Orton, kicking him in the chest and pounding him.  Triple H catapulted Orton into the bottom rope. 

Triple H drove his knee into the back of Orton's neck twice, then backed up and delivered a kneedrop.  Triple H hit Orton in the neck, then delivered a flying forearm to the neck.  Triple H hit a neckbreaker, and Orton rolled to the floor again. Orton reversed a whip and sent Triple H into the ringsteps.  Orton then tossed Triple H over the security wall and into the crowd.  Orton returned to the ring, and Triple H crawled back in at the seven count. Orton stomped Triple H in the lower abdominal area.  Orton delivered a kneedrop to the back of the head, then a kick to the head for a two count.  Orton hit Triple H with a series of punches, then kicked him in the gut.  Orton applied a chinlock, but Triple H escaped with a back suplex.  Orton gave Triple H a powerslam for a two count, then applied his chinlock. 

Triple H fought to his feet, but Orton pounded him with punches in a corner.  Triple H battled back with shots, and Orton returned fire.  Triple H hit a jumping knee after reversing a whip, then hit a avalanche in the corner.  Triple H hit a facebuster on the knee, then went for a Pedigree, but Orton tripped him and catapulted him into the corner.  Orton charged, but Triple H threw a clothesline to take Orton down for a two count.  Triple H put Orton on the top rope for a superplex, but Orton battled out and dropped Triple H Hot Shot style on the top turnbuckle.  Orton went to the second rope and jumped into a boot by Triple H.  Triple H went for a Pedigree, but Orton swept his legs and rolled him up for two.  Orton went for an RKO, but Triple H shoved him in a corner and rolled him up for two.  Orton kicked away a backdrop attempt, but ran into a Triple H spinebuster.  Triple H went for a Pedigree, but Orton reversed it and his a side neckbreaker for two. 

Triple H rolled to the apron and elbowed Orton.  He went to the top rope and jumped off, but Orton dropkicked him in the face as he came off. Orton measured Triple H for the punt, but Triple H caught it.  Orton threw a punch, but Triple H absorbed it, then flipped Orton by the leg over the top rope and to the floor.  Triple H pounded Orton on the floor and grabbed a TV monitor.  However, the referee reminded him of the DQ rule, and Triple H dropped it.  Triple H put Orton on the announcers table.  Triple H set up for a Pedigree, but Orton backdropped him onto the Spanish announcers table.  The table didn't break.  Orton grabbed Triple H, hanging off the table, and DDT'd him on the floor. Triple H slowly crawled into the ring.  Orton stomped Triple H repeatedly.  

Orton pounded Triple H in a corner, then stomped him down. Triple H got to his feet and threw a punch at Orton.  Orton hit Triple H into the referee, then hit Triple H and threw him into the referee, taking him down.  Orton hit Triple H with the RKO.  Randy Orton went under the ring a pulled out a sledgehammer.  As Orton got into the ring, Triple H punted Orton in the head with a kick.  Triple H grabbed the hammer and hit Orton with it.  The referee didn't see it.  Triple H slid the hammer out of the ring.  Triple H picked Orton up off the mat and punched him, over and over. Triple H kept punching him, and the referee went to stop him.  Triple H stopped hitting him, gave Orton a Pedigree and pinned him at the 23-minute mark. 

Winner: Triple H. 

Triple H stood over Orton's lifeless body as the show ended. 

A video package of Wrestlemania highlights ended the broadcast. 

WWE TOUTS MANIA 25

World Wrestling Entertainment issued the following press release this morning:

WrestleMania(R) Record Sellout

HOUSTON, Apr 05, 2009 -- World Wrestling Entertainment(R) set a new record tonight at Reliant Stadium in Houston for the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, grossing $6.9 million in revenue. This is the highest grossing live event in WWE history. With 72,744 in attendance, the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania surpassed SuperBowl XLIII in Tampa (70,774 attendance). WWE(R) fans from all 50 states, 24 countries and 7 Canadian Provinces attended the pop culture extravaganza.

"The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania proved that everything is indeed bigger in Texas," said John Saboor, Senior Vice President, Special Events, World Wrestling Entertainment. "The great city of Houston welcomed WWE fans from around the world and helped make WWE history as the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania was our biggest ever."

WrestleMania XXVI will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Ticket information will be announced later this year.

WWE HALL OF FAME 2009 NOTES
by Mitch M.

Just got back from the Hall of Fame ceremony, and wanted to pass on a few observations.

 Security was checking all cameras coming into the arena and was not allowing anyone in with lenses over 4 inches.  The person ahead of us was told they could not bring their camera in. I attended a Raw last fall, and did not see them checking cameras then.
 
There were a lot of empty seats in the arena in the lower level around the sides.  The seats directly facing the stage seemed to be full.

The wrestlers and their families started coming out around around 5:30 or so. It looked like they had tickets to let them know where to sit.  They were coming out in a trickle, but about 5 minutes before the show started, they started pouring out in one huge group.

Several wrestlers received boos as they came out, including Chris Jericho, Edge, Randy Orton, and Cody Rhodes.  Surprisingly, Vladimir Kozov received a decent amount of applause as he came out.

During their induction speech, Doy Funk referred to the WWE as the WWF, and also called this year's event Wrestlemania 26.

They had a countdown timer on the wall for the presenters and inductees. There were quite a bit of people that went past their time, including Bill Watts, who went way past his allotted time.

John Cena received boos every time that they showed him on the big screen.  There  were a lot of people in the arena who obviously did not understand the direction about being respectful during the ceremony.

They had a huge applause sign above the stage that they flashed as they came back from commercial, as well as two people holding applause signs off each side of the stage.

The pop for Stone Cold was easily the biggest of the night.  Ricky Steamboat received a huge applause as well when he came out.

Overall, it was a very fun evening.  The crowd was loud all night and all of the presenters and inductees were great.

MANIA 25 Notes:

The general feeling backstage after the PPV was that everyone knew that The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels tore down the house.  There was a lot of talk about how great Ricky Steamboat looked for his age.  And, the other big topic was about how poorly the Triple H vs. Randy Orton match came off, both in the ring and with how it was booked....John Cena's entrance last night was a take off of an entrance that Eminem did at the MTV Music Awards a few years ago....The original plan for the show was Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena, but that was pulled when Hogan needed to undergo back surgery.  Hogan signed with TNA later in the year...."Wrestler" star Mickey Rourke vs. Chris Jericho was also penciled in at one point but Rourke pulled out.  He later told The Baltimore Sun, "After I got done with the movie, I really started liking this sport a lot.  And I believe it was through Vince [McMahon's] people who said, 'Would you like to come and do WrestleMania and wrestle?' And Jericho’s name came up and I said, 'Yeah, I want to do it.' To be real honest with you, because I had left acting for six years to go back to professional fighting, my agents said it would be detrimental to my career. If I took time off at this point in my career and did the wrestling, I wouldn’t be taken seriously in the acting world again.  I’ve always enjoyed sports a lot more than I have acting, but they just advised me not to do it. I was kind of disappointed."...There were some who felt the tease for the Wrestlemania appearance may have cost Rourke his Academy Award....In one of his first public appearances after reconstructive surgery on his jaw, Bobby Heenan attended the Hall of Fame....Bill Watts' acceptance speech was considered the highlight of the Hall of Fame ceremony, with fans levying criticism at WWE's production team for only allowing 2-4 minute speeches for most of the honorees.  WWE actually had a countdown clock running so no one ran over time....WWE posted the following sign at all entrances leading into the 2009 WWE Hall Of Fame festivities: Please Respect the WWE Hall of Famers!!! Catcalls and yelling out to the Stars who are on stage, is strictly not allowed.  There will be no warnings for this behavior.  Violators will be immediately removed from the Toyota Center....Joy Giovanni was in and out of the Battle Royal so fast, she was never acknowledged...Carlito and Primo's WWE Unified Tag Team championship win over John Morrison & The Miz in a Lumberjack Match was pulled the day of the PPV due to timing issues.  It was released via the Mania 25 DVD...MMA star Frank Shamrock was at ringside with Mickey Rourke, reportedly as a precaution in case Chris Jericho tried to shoot....The Wrestlemania set featured a giant star as the backdrop, with a long ramp running from it through the stadium and to the ring....WWE set up HD TV screens in the corners of the barricades live in the venue, facing out to the audience, so fans in the first rows on the floor can see the broadcast due to sightline issues...Comcast Cable had issues with their HD feed, preventing fans from ordering the show live in that format....The Lumberjacks in the dark match were Great Khali, Jamie Noble, Shad, JTG, Hurricane Helms, Paul Burchill, Goldust, Charlie Haas, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Mike Knox, Vladimir Kozlov, R-Truth, Evan Bourne, Jimmy Wang Yang, Tommy Dreamer, William Regal, Jack Swagger, Ezekiel Jackson, Brian Kendrick, Charlie Haas, and Dolph Ziggler....The JBL appearance turned out to be the final match of his wrestling career.  He commented afterwards that he purposely chose to put Mysterio over in his last bout, and regretted that it couldn't have been the late Eddie Guerrero....WWE quietly added an edict that anyone busted open would be treated at ringside and have the blood stopped with this show....WWE was unhappy with TNA star Booker T promoting a convention in Houston that weekend and went out of their way to book talents originally set for that convention who had "Legends" deals, including Tito Santana, Nick Bockwinkel and others....Tazz, who was leaving the company, offered to call the PPV for free but WWE declined his services.

DAVE SCHERER'S WRESTLEMANIA THOUGHTS

I figured I would blog thoughts as the show went on. I apologize for any typos or stupidity but I am typing as I watch. I will be eating at some time and they are opening with MITB. Hopefully it's during a comedown.

It pissed me off that Miz's match was pulled off of the show. Pure BS. Last minute changes suck. And it's wrong to those folks to miss the show because not-so-creative couldn't time it out in advance. 

I think that America The Beautiful was good but I am not sure due to Comcast sucking ass. Once again, I bought the PPV in HD and it didn't show up. Comcast can't seem to figure out how to deliver PPVs in HD on their PPV HD channel. Should that be so hard to do? So, it's standard definition for me. Damn.

If you heard No Name this week, I was one for one with them opening with MITB. I think it will be a good match and a great way to start the show. ... How about RoadWarrior Finlay with the half shoulder pad? ... Nice leap by Kofi over the ladder. That is athletic. ... I loved that the ladder came into the ring early. Then another one came in, leading to the huge power spot by the big guys. Awesome. ... Then they set up the very cool double tope spot, followed by Shelton InsanJamin cannonballing off of the top. My God! ... The Tadpole Splash didn't suck for once. It was cool. ... Kofi did a cool kick through the ladder on Finlay. I started wondering "Could it be his night?" ... Mark Henry scares the crap out me. Picking Kofi off of the ladder was very cool. ... It was a great idea to do the UnPrettier off of the ladders but it didn't really work out. ... Shelton scaling the ladders to get to MVP was cool. Too bad The Sunset Flip didn't work. He made up for it killing MVP by throwing him to the floor. ... People were freaking for Christian going up. Hey Vince, were you listening? ... Punk wins, two years in a row! They fooled me and I love it. I never thought Punk would get the win two years in a row. Great match to start the show!

Cool Kid Rock, I can eat! .. What was with his glasses? He looked like a goober. ...I really liked his performance. Yeah, it shocked me too. ... Buck and I said we wished we could have seen the tag match but hey I got to eat. I wish they would have skipped Miss WrestleMania if something had to get cut. Hey, here come the divas.

Thank God Mae Young was not in the match. ... How did they announcers not see Santino? Yeah, that was totally unbelievable. ... Gail Kim almost killed herself with that spot to the floor. Damn. ... Why were the Bellas working together? What happened to their heat with each other? ... It was so obvious that they were going to have Santino win, even if the announcers "had no idea who she was". I would have rather seen the tag match. ... Shouldn't Santina's sash been Orange, in honor of Buck? ... I ate during this but it was totally nothing special.

Wasn't it nice that they mentioned Tazz? NOT. When you are gone in WWE, you are gone folks!

Now it's time for the Legends vs. Chris Jericho.  Roddy Piper started out for the HOF'ers.  He kept his shirt on.  I don't have problem with that. ... Piper tagged in Snuka, wearing the tiger stripes no less.  Wow, for long time fans seeing these guys team is surreal.  Then Steamboat came in with a chop from the top rope and some armdrags.  How cool was that? ... Piper was the first top go but at least he got his spots in. ... I was typing.  I missed Snuka tap out.  That had to be quick.  It's down to Steamboat, which I figured would happen since Ricky is God. ... Steamboat with the splash to the floor was very cool. It was obvious he was having fun in there. ... I liked the finish.  I didn't want to see a young guy lose to three old guys.  Getting his ass kicked after the bell by Ric Flair was exactly how I would have booked it.    Except Flair got killed the Code Breaker.  Ouch.  Where is Mickey Rourke to the rescue?  Oh wait, Jericho has a microphone.  He is crapping on Rourke, something has to happen.  Rourke is going to the ring.  He took off his watch but not his jacket.  Hello, you got it backward there Mick! There goes the jacket, he smartened up.  He still has his hat on though.  There it goes.  He's on the apron, pondering whether he should get in.  There he goes.  I told my wife that Rourke was a pro boxer right before JR told the crowd.  I feel proud.  Jericho threw a few jabs at Jericho.  Jericho backed up.  Rourke tagged Jericho with a left and down he went.  Flair raised his hand.  So, Jericho can be KO'd by an actor, but not three Hall of Famers.  Got ya. ... It wasn't a great match, but it was fun.  And, Ricky Steamboat was great!  The Rourke deal wasn't worth doing though.

Matt vs. Jeff, cool!  How great must it be for two brothers that who grew up loving the business to be able to work against each other at Mania? ... Does a poster to the head really hurt? ... Cole proved he is a dope by saying "There was a great article on WWE.com", like such a thing is possible. ... Matt has been dominating this sucker, with Jeff getting a few shots in here and there.  His time is coming.  Chair to the head by Jeff, the time might be now. ... Damn, the double table spot was awesome.  Great stuff!  I wonder if Jeff put the chair on Matt to protect him in case the table ... It HAS to hurt your tailbone and ass to miss that spot from the ladders.  Ouch.  It led to the finish.  Matt gets the win so this feud ain't over yet folks.  It was a stiff, good match.  The Extreme element kept them from doing more of an actual wrestling match.

Jeez, the first time Cole sees Orton he calls him "The Viper".  What is the over/under on how many times the putz will say "Vintage Viper" during the main event?

Wow, JBL didn't get the limo entrance.  That doesn't bode well. ... JBL said something.  It didn't interest me.  He is from Texas but he hates Texans I think. ... Rey came out in a one bizarre ass mask.  He looked like was going to play foil to Batman or something.  It looked like Rey McHeathLedger. ... Man, JBL is a real heel, cheapshotting a midget! ... And then JBL made history by losing the title in like 10 seconds.  OK, it was 21.  So, a guy with green suspenders is the champ.  That has to mean retirement for JBL doesn't it?  Wait, JBL has a mic (and what looked like a booger hanging out of his nose).  He has something to say!  Well, say it already.  He is waiting forever to do it.  He quit!  I figured that was what it would be.  What a letdown.  Really, they had to cut the tag match for stuff like this?

At this point, the opener is still the best thing on the show.  Easily.

There was a NASCAR superstar there but I have no idea who the guy is.  Sue me, I don't watch NASCAR!

Shawn prayed before the match with Undertaker.  It was true to who he is. ... The dueling chants at the beginning were cool.  When two faces go at it, or anyone and John Cena, you get those. ... You could tell early on that they were going to go a while because they were doing cool stuff on the mat.  They were definitely setting the table for a lot of good stuff later on. ... Taker just missed the leg drop on the apron and Shawn hit the slide.  It looks like we are about to go up a gear.  Michael misses the moonsault to the floor when Taker stepped aside and pushed him to the floor.  Ouch.  They are selling this one for effect.  Taker just popped up in the ring as Cole said the match might be over.  Yeah right.  Taker did a tope over the top, missing Michael and the cameraman.  It is amazing to me that Taker didn't break his neck.  That looked brutal.  How guys don't get really hurt more often on spots like that is beyond me.  Damn, even on the replay it looked like Taker landed head first.  It played into the drama of the match when Taker looked left for dead during the nine count. ... Taker hits the Chokeslam, I yelled "Kick out Shawn!"  I don't want this to end yet. ... Then, Michaels hit the superkick.  Can he cover?  No way, not like that pal. ... But Shawn still has a kip up in him, so it ain't over yet.  Taker has a hand on his throat so maybe it is.  Last Ride?  Michaels gets out.  Another attempt, let's call it a day. BUT NO, Michaels KICKED OUT!  This is great!!!  It is still going. ... What does Taker do now?  Well, climb up to the top for the big Shawn Michaels elbow, which misses. ... The both struggled to get to their feet.  Taker tosses Shawn out.  He skins the cat but Taker catches him and goes into the Tombstone, TWO COUNT ONLY.  What a frickin' near fall!  No matter who takes the pin, there is no loser tonight folks. ... OK, Taker is pissed now, he pulled down the straps and just did the throat slit gesture.  Shawn is still down, but Taker is pulling him up.  Does he have anything left?  Yep, a Tornado DDT!  They are both down again!  Shawn is dragging himself to the top rope.  Can he even stand?  And will it be seconds until Taker pops up?  Shawn's up on the top turnbuckle and hits the big elbow!  Instead of going for the pin, he drags himself to the corner tune up the band.  Taker is dragging himself up and BAM, Sweet Chin Music to Taker's face.  Time for Taker to kick out of Shawn's big spot right?  YES!  The match continues! ... The crowd is chanting "This is awesome!"  And damn, they are right. ... They are back up and throwing bombs at each other. Finally, Taker plasters Shawn with a boot to the face and he appeared to be falling down. ... They are back up.  Taker charges the corner but eats a boot.  Both men go down but Michaels is up first and he goes to the top.  He does the moonsault but Taker caught him for the tombstone, game over.  Finally.  Wow.  However you grade matches, this was as good as it gets.  If anything can make a show worth 55 bucks, this was it.  The company will really miss these guys when they are gone.  I sure will too.

Lucky Edge, Show and Cena, they get to follow that.  You know that HHH and Randy Orton sure didn't want to.

Cena's "that's my army" entrance was different.  Of course, he got some boos when he came out.  They will never get those fans that hate him to ever do anything but hate him. ... Cena and Edge worked hard in the beginning.  Big Show got caught into the ropes and apparently no matter how big his Johnson is, his brain is tiny because he couldn't figure out how to get out of the ropes. ... Vickie got up on the apron and Edge speared her when Cena moved.  Show was still in the ropes watching.  Talk about an easy pay day for the big guy! ... Show found his way free and started beating on his two opponents.  They wobbled towards him and he had them set up for the double choke slam.  Edge took it while Cena slipped away.  He tried to FU the big guy.  Not a good idea.  He buckled and hit the floor. ... Down on the floor, Edge came flying off of the apron onto Show and they broke the barricade.  Edge got up and brought Cena in for the pin but he kicked out at two. ... Cena then caught the STF out of nowhere, but Edge went for the ropes.  Cena pulled him back and put it back on again, to noticeable boos from the crowd.  Big Show got up and grabbed Edge, pulling him to the ropes.  He tossed Cena on the floor then went back into the ring to drop an elbow on Edge off of the second ropes.  Luckily for Edge, he moved.  Cena came in and went to suplex Show.  Uh, no.  Edge joined him and and they laid the big man out.  They clotheslines Show to the floor and Edge took advantage to nail Cena.  Cena went to the top turnbuckle but Show pushed him and Edge hit a spear.  Edge went for the pin but Show pulled him out of the ring to break it up.  The beat goes on. ... Back in the ring, Edge jumped on Show's back and locked in a sleeper.  Cena listed both of them up and went to do the Attitude Adjustment.  Edge rolled off, but he got Show.  That was a truly awesome feat of strength.  He then hit the AA on Edge, covered Show and got the pin.  Your new World Champion, John Cena.  I didn't really need to see him with the belt, but such is life. ... It was a good match and the finishing sequence was really impressive.

After the match ended, Cena took his life in his own hands and exited through the crowd.

They announced next year's Mania.  We already knew that!

Here comes the Hall of Famers.  Steve Austin got to wear his tux again.  Two days in a row! ... Wait a second, Austin got introduced and went to the back.  He has to be getting beer!  Yep, here he comes in a T-Shirt and a four wheeler.  So much for the tix.  He's ripping that sucker around ringside.  Into the ring he goes.  The fans are going nuts.  It's beer bash time.  Predictable?  Sure but sometimes you gotta do what the people expect to see. ... He just went down to ringside and had a beer with his buddy JR.  There goes the cooler into the ring.  Beer cans are a flyin' and the ring is a mess.  I am sure that HHH and Randy Orton can wait to get in there now.  It's a tad moist folks. Austin drives back to the stage where he had one more beer.  Fade to black and the promo for Backlash on 4/26, if you still have any money left after buying this one.

Attendance is announced at 72,744.  That's a healthy gate.  They have time to clean up the ring while they show us the HHH-Orton video.  One more match to go.

Triple H was in the back walking to the ring and who does he see?  Dad and brother-in-law.  They are both in suits.  He shows them love and the H heads to the ring.  Surely we haven't seen the last of them, right?  Orton comes out first.  He hears voices in his head.  They talk to him.  At least it's not an IUD.  And now, it's time for the Game.  He has a sledgehammer and he threw it through glass that was in his way.  I was checking on the site so I have no idea what that was about. ... I liked that HHH came out wanting to kill Orton.  After that has gone down, he should.  Then, Scott Armstrong told H he could get DQ'd and lose the belt and Orton hit the RKO out of nowhere.  HHH countered with a Pedigree when Orton went for the punt and the H moved. ... They went to the floor, where HHH got a bottle of water from a fan and poured it on himself to "revive". ... They went back to the mat, where HHH worked over the challenger.  The crowd was quiet at this point, which in a way I understood but in another I was wondering why they weren't live for the main event. ... Orton threw HHH over the barricade and was hoping for a count out, but only got a 7.  Given that this is the main event and it's 10:39, it's time for these two to pick it up.  Taker-Michaels should have gone on last. ...  Back in the ring, Orton was in command until The H hit a suplex.  HHH ran into a powerslam but no way he gets pinned by that.  Orton does his "take a leak folks" chinlock.  Jim Ross tried to put it over as effective.  Uh, no.  It's boring, especially this deep into the match.  Orton needs to watch Taker-Michaels if he truly wants to be the future of the biz.  Anyway, Orton was in command until HHH hit the high knee.  HHH went for the Pedigree Orton monkeyflipped him into the corner.  They went back and forth and frankly, it was not overly entertaining.  HHH missed another Pedigree.  Orton made a weak cover.  The crowd was dead, which didn't help the match either. ... HHH went to the top and as he came off, Orton hit a nice standing dropkick.  The crowd seemed to perk up a bit.  Orton preened in the ring, getting a reaction from the fans.  He went for the punt but HHH caught the leg and flipped Orton over the top rope, to the floor.  He went down after him and started pounding again.  The crowd toned down again. ... HHH was about to clock Orton with a TV monitor when he was told, again, that it would mean he was DQ'd.  So, he didn't. ... They ended up on the announce table and went for the Pedigree, but Orton backflipped him.  Why is it OK for H to use a table but not a monitor?  Anyway, HHH was laid out on a table but Orton was bright enough to go into the ring and get a countout victory.  Instead, he did a nice DDT on the floor.  Yes, it was a padded floor but I will take something good where I can get it at this point.  Orton went back in the ring.  Only because Armstrong is the slowest counter in the world, HHH got in at 9.  Mad, Orton laid the boots to the prone HHH.  Man, this is long.  After a ref bump that he initiated, Orton hit the RKO.  Since no one could count it, Orton went under the ring and got a sledgehammer.  As Orton came into the ring, HHH came out of nowhere and hit him with a punt.  They were both down again.  HHH picked up the hammer.  He hit Orton with it and got rid of the hammer.  The crowd is still dead.  HHH starts punching Orton.  Just end this already, it's 10:54.  HHH is punching Orton when the ref stops him.  HHH hits The Pedigree and H retains the title.  Wow, that was a dull match and really, really anti-climatic.  That should have been third from the top at best.  It was a very average match that wasn't put together well and had a head scratching finish.  While I get that HHH should get revenge for what Orton did to his family, Orton didn't score any good wins to get to this point and has now lost.  Orton'd again!

MIKE JOHNSON'S LIVE WRESTLEMANIA THOUGHTS

Triple H vs. Randy Orton - What the f*** was that?  I can't think of another match on a Wrestlemania main event platform that had a decent premise, two performers who have had good matches with each other and decent expectations going in on paper only to fall squarely on its face.  I suspect some will make excuses that they ran out of time and had to rush to the finish, but if so, WWE could have yanked the extended video package or the nearly 10 minutes of ring entrances by calling an audible and having Triple H attack Orton backstage or something...anything but my word, this was just brutal to watch.  WWE laid out the show and even yanked the Lumberjack match from the PPV, so they should have done a better job timing.  I love Kid Rock and hot women, but the performance and the Divas Battle Royal were a waste of time if they meant that time had to be shaved off this match.  I suspect that another excuse will be that they couldn't follow Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker, but the reality is that no one short of Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat in 1989 could have accomplished that feat and that's WWE's fault for not just doing the right thing for the overall quality of the show and closing with a "dream match".  This was poorly laid out, went nowhere and then ended abruptly.  The clean pinfall loss of Randy Orton also signaled an even scarier realization - that once again, WWE had brought Orton to a position where he was just about to break out and get to the next level, only to slap him back down.  The company will have a lot of work to do to repair this one.  Unless someone was injured during the bout, there was no excuse for this dreck at all. 

John Cena vs. Edge vs. Big Show - I had no real expectations for this going in and was pleasantly surprised.  There were some cool spots, a cool Cena entrance and Big Show worked really hard.  A lot of fans rag on Cena and give him grief, but the reality is that from a work ethic standpoint, I don't think any of this generation's talents work as hard as he does.  That said, I don't think Cena winning the belt was a needed twist, especially since he's planning to start work on a comedy film in late May.  I am really curious to see where the storyline goes from here with Guerrero, Edge and Show.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - Perfection.  This may have been the best Wrestlemania performance from either man and think about the ground that covers.  The near falls and the pacing were absolutely perfect.  I think everyone in the world thought Undertaker broke his neck doing the tope onto the "camera man."  The fact that he wasn't shaken up and was still able to put together the body of work that he did tonight is nothing short of amazing.  If either of these guys need time off, WWE should give it to them plus an extra two weeks.  They carried Wrestlemania on their backs and the success of the replays and DVD will be entirely on the strength of their work.  In a world where everything is hyped as a great moment and fans chant "This is awesome" for the most rudimentary highspot, this match was the rarest of creatures - a legitimate piece of history being crafted before our eyes.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy - A good start to their program but I felt it wasn't intense enough.  When you compare it to say, Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett a few months ago in TNA, there was this underlying intensity that really made one believe they hated each other and wanted death and doom upon them.  While Matt Hardy was whacking his little brother hard with the Shopvac and Jeff was busting open Matt with a nasty chairshot, I still felt like we were watching two talents doing what was asked of them, not two brothers who were out for blood.  I loved the finish of Jeff missing the leapfrog over the ladder and then being nailed with the Twist of Fate while trapped in a chair.  I would have even had him do a stretcher job to really get that finish over, but WWE opted not to do it.  So, while this wasn't off the charts, it was decent and I am hopeful for what's to come.

JBL vs. Rey Mysterio - As a match, it was just a backdrop for John Layfield to say goodbye to WWE and his hometown fans in Texas his way.  In that regard, it was awesome and I loved it.  Say what you will about JBL, but he's one of the last old guard within WWE so it was a good moment to see him leave on his own terms.  Rey's Joker costume left a lot to be desired.  I think WWE has about 12 Triple Crown champions running around now - remember when the idea of Pedro Morales holding all three belts meant he was beyond respected for that accomplishment??  Now everyone gets to do it and CM Punk was able to do it in under a year.

Divas Battle Royal - We know this sucked.  My only comment is it was extremely disrespectful to bring back Molly Holly and Victoria and use them in this manner.  The company could have thrown anyone in there and instead wasted potentially cool cameos and "one night returns" that might not have sold tickets but would have been nice "extras" for TV or PPV if done right.  A wasted segment.  WWE got way more out of the Snoop Dogg segment last year.  It also made no sense that Beth didn't just pound Santino, who by the way, should have come out dressed like Kloudy.  Two points if you get that reference.

Money in the Bank - Great opener.  I was legitimately surprised to see the company go back to CM Punk as they've already been that route and chose to squander whatever ground he gained after winning the World title.  Everyone worked really hard and for everyone who groaned about Kane and Mark Henry being in the match, they more then held their own and had their best PPV showings in some time.  Shelton Benjamin and MVP were great here and I hope management heard that huge pop when everyone thought Christian was about to get his hands on the briefcase.  It really was a great ladder match, to the point that the Hardys' ladder spots couldn't follow this and think about how strange that statement reads.  I'd love to see WWE promote this bout as a "career making" match for Kofi Kingston, who was far and away the most impressive of anyone in the match.  If you are seeking out WM25 today, its due to this or Shawn vs. Taker.

Other Notes: Per usual, the production crew did an amazing job...I love Kid Rock but that performance wasn't needed....No McMahons?  Really?....Steve Austin's final beer bash was awesome.  You could see that he was over with the crowd in a way that none of the talents on the current roster, and I mean NONE, are over.  Austin was a special talent but man, last night showed how badly the business needs that next special talent to arrive on the scene.  Let's hope its sooner than later and like Austin before them, it's someone completely new and fresh...I gave thoughts on the Lumberjack Match last night but wow, if you weren't out there as a Lumberjack in a DARK match, you really shouldn't be doing anything but putting all of your WWE pay into savings.  You have to be really low on the roster not to be used on the one night of the year where EVERYONE gets a cameo....I was surprised no silly cameo vignette this year....None of the Legends beyond Austin got a great reaction, not even the Funks, Watts or the Von Erichs.  Sort of sad.

My flight finally got called, so my thoughts on Chris Jericho vs. The Legends will have to wait for later!

BUCK WOODWARD'S PPV ELEVATOR FOR WRESTLEMANIA 25

CM Punk - Going into Money In The Bank, Punk was seen as having a better chance of winning than some, but since he had won the previous year, many figured a repeat wouldn't happen.  Well, he did repeat, and in doing so came out the victor in arguably the second best match of the show.  Punk now has a big boost of momentum and a chance to get back into the top mix again.  Another major title reign, or will Punk be the first MITB winner to cash in and not grab the gold?  Only time will tell.  Elevator: Up several floors. 

Kane, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Fit Finlay, Mark Henry - In an eight-man match, it is almost a given that certain wrestlers will end up being "background players" to others in the bout.  However, Money In The Bank was so well planned, everyone got time in the spotlight.  Whether it was suicidal spots (Benjamin), cool ladder offense (MVP, Finlay, Kofi) impressive power displays (Kane, Henry) or just getting an incredible pop when it appeared victory was at hand (Christian), everyone had a moment in the sun during the match.  Elevator: Up a floor all around.

Santina Marella - Is it all worth it?  Is it worth being a total buffoon to get a few minutes of the Wrestlemania spotlight?  Actually, I'm willing to wager that most wrestlers would say "yes" and would be willing to do something even more ridiculous than Santina did in order to get on the show.  Still, this isn't going to be seen as any kind of classic moment, and Santina, despite having a crown, isn't any better off than she.... er, he, was before the show.  Elevator: On the same floor.

Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Melina, Beth Phoenix - If nothing else, at least WWE thought enough of these four performers to allow them to be the final combatants in the battle royal with Santina, allowing them to have a spot or two, rather than just the aimless brawling that dominated much of the short match.  Sure, all of them would have preferred a more traditional match, and they certainly earned that opportunity to impress on the big stage.  Too bad that wasn't in WWE's plans this year.  Elevator: At least they're riding in the elevator. 

All the other Divas - When the announcers don't care enough to acknowledge you, why should the fans care about you.  Unless you almost brained yourself on the ring apron (Gail Kim) or fell out right in front of the commentators, your appearance in the Battle Royal might very well have gone unnoticed.  Hell, I didn't even know Joy Giovanni was in the match until this morning!  For many the current Divas, just getting to walk out was more than they expected. For the former Divas, well, it was a payday. Elevator: Sorry, take the stairs.

Chris Jericho -  Like Randy Savage with Buster Douglas, Piper & Orndorff with Mr. T, Bam Bam Bigelow with Lawrence Taylor, and many others, Chris Jericho "took one for the team" and got knocked out by a celebrity in order to get WWE some mainstream press. He's a company man, for sure.  However, in addition to a Wrestlemania payday, Jericho also got to wrestle Ricky Steamboat for a few minutes, and wipe out Ric Flair on an international stage.  Not a bad tradeoff, and Jericho will have the memory of working with two of the greatest ever long after the rest of us forget about Rourke's punching skills.  Elevator: He got to work with Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair in the same night.  He can float up floors right now.

Ricky Steamboat - For 70,000 fans in Houston and hundreds of thousands watching on PPV, Ricky Steamboat was the one legend who looked like he belonged in the ring.  For us older fans, it was like a quick time machine trip to 1989.  The armdrags, the leaps off the top rope, the swiftness in the ring.  It is cliché to say, but the Dragon breathed fire one more time.  I'm still angry with the camera man for missing Steamboat skinning the cat back into the ring.  Also in true Steamboat fashion, he did what was right for business and put over Jericho too.  Elevator: Up to the penthouse.

Roddy Piper - I'll be honest, Hot Rod will always get a pass on me for anything he does.  It's not because he is one of my all time favorites either.  Simply for kicking the crap out of cancer two years ago, if the Rowdy One wants to get in the ring and poke someone in the eyes, it is okay with me.  To be objective though, watching Roddy in the ring last night was a case of the mind being willing, but the flesh being weak.  He tried though, and I'll give him credit for that. Elevator: On the same floor. 

Jimmy Snuka - The Superfly looked really old, probably because he is really old.  Unlike his partners, Snuka didn't have the fire of Piper or the ability of Steamboat, and it was just sad to see him in the ring.  Mercifully, he wasn't in there long, and thankfully, he didn't attempt to climb to the top rope during the match.  Elevator: Doesn't go up anymore.

Mickey Rourke - Whenever I see hair like Mickey Rourke's, I realize that losing mine isn't such a bad thing after all.  I don't know how much money WWE paid Rourke to show up and do that angle, but whatever it was, it was money wasted.  Elevator: He got a lapdance from Marisa Tomei, so I respect him, but he's not getting on the Elevator. 

Matt Hardy - While it wasn't the incredible showdown some were hoping for, Matt Hardy's win over Jeff was a nice kickoff to a feud that should help carry WWE through the spring and summer months.  Matt got his opportunity to be in a high profile singles match at Wrestlemania, something that didn't seem likely a few years ago.  The win gives him bragging rights over his brother, and I'm looking forward to a promo from him about how Jeff's "recklessness" cost him again.  Elevator: Up a floor.

Jeff Hardy - Jeff Hardy is always looking to create that insane spot that will everyone will remember at Wrestlemania, and while his double table splash and high ladder hurdle were amazing, they will most likely rank second behind Undertaker and Shelton Benjamin's insane dives on the program.  That said, Jeff brought out the big spots and his loss to Matt sets up what should be a really fun series of matches.  The only downside is that Jeff now sees himself pretty far away from the title picture and main event status.  Elevator: On the same floor. 

JBL- Well, they say that all wrestlers should go out on their back, and JBL certainly did that.  My only question is, if JBL planned this match a long time ago, why was the build so rushed? Elevator: No longer in operation.

Rey Mysterio - Mysterio got to play the role of Kane this year.  A win, a championship, and a match that was so short, most people won't remember it happened.  On the bright side, Mysterio is so popular he could help reestablish the Intercontinental Title as something fans should care about.  Elevator: Up a floor.

The Undertaker & Shawn Michaels - History, ultimately, will be the judge of their match on Sunday.  It is always hard to judge how a match will be seen so soon after it is completed.  However, I feel fairly confident in saying that when people discuss the "greatest" Wrestlemania matches ever, this one will come up in discussion with Hart vs. Hart, Michaels vs. Ramon, Steamboat vs. Savage and TLC.  For thirty minutes, two of the best ever delivered an incredible performance that was so much better than anything else on the show, I almost felt silly putting up a "Best Match" poll for the event.  The Streak stayed alive, and Michaels was once again "Mr. Wrestlemania."  Elevator: Both men go right to the top. 

Edge - For the second straight year, Edge entered Wrestlemania a champion and walked out without a title.  At least he is finally in the main event picture, where he belongs.  He wasn't actually pinned in losing the championship, so there is a ready made storyline for him to face John Cena in singles matches down the road.  Also, given the storyline lowered expectations for the match, Edge and Co. did a good job of at least giving us a fun bout to watch. Elevator: No more title, but on the same floor.

John Cena - Poor guy.  First his movie doesn't do as well as hoped, then he gets booed at Wrestlemania again.  Still, to his credit, Cena continues to try hard in the ring, and did his part in making the Triple Threat match better than expected. Also, never say the guy isn't strong, as my back was hurting watching him heft Big Show (and for a short time, Edge) around the way he did.  Cena's got the belt back, which had a "here we go again" vibe to it.  It's up to WWE to put Cena in a position where his hard work can turn people's opinions around.  Elevator: Got the belt back, but on the same floor. 

Big Show - The big guy looked a little goofy doing the old Andre "tied in the ropes" spot, since Show's body shape is very different, and he should have been able to get his legs under him and get out.  However, I will forgive that, as Show obviously had his working shoes on for the match and contributed to a good bout.  Was it as good as some of his Undertaker matches over the past few months?  No, but at the same time, those were cases where Show was working with another "big man", which upped the believability factor: Elevator: Up a floor. Elevator: On the same floor, but pressing the button to go up.

Randy Orton & Triple H - Much like Undertaker & Shawn Michaels, I am putting these two together, but for the opposite reason.  This time, instead of sharing the praise, they share the criticism.  The "main event" of Wrestlemania was a huge letdown.  Please, Orton and HHH defenders, don't bother with emails about how "no one could follow Taker vs. Michaels" and succeed.  No one is asking them to have a better match than that.  However, Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna followed Razor vs. Shawn, Hulk vs. Andre followed Steamboat vs. Savage and Chris Jericho vs. Triple H followed Rock vs. Hogan, and the crowd didn't fall asleep during those matches.  Whether it was the fact that we've seen the match on PPV a half-dozen times before, or the physical effort in the ring, or whatever, this match didn't click and was a weak ending to Wrestlemania.  They know it, we know it, end of story.  Elevator: Down several floors.


Page # [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

If you enjoy PWInsider.com you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more, right now for THREE DAYS free by clicking here!