Reliving Wrestlemania: Wrestlemania 22

Wrestlemania was held at the Allstate Arena in Illinois in 2006.

Just the facts, ma’am:

  • Cena was the WWE Champion for the rest of the year until Edge cashed in that Money in the Bank contract right after Cena BARELY won his Elimination Chamber match and got the title. Cena, however, would win it right back at the Royal Rumble a few weeks later because, though he’s decent on the mic, he’s big and dumb and knows five moves like Hogan and is over with the crowd. Kinda. Triple H, having failed to win the Royal Rumble match, got a second chance for a title shot. You know, because he hasn’t been champion enough times, right? So, he entered a tourney to decide who would go to face John Cena at Wrestlemania. This tourney contained Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, and Kane — all deserving of the champio–fuck it. Triple H won the tournament. I might add that he won, BEATING TWO MEN – The Big Show and Rob Van Dam. Cena would defend against Triple H.
  • Batista was the World Champ for the rest of the year, just like Cena but suffered a legit injury and had to take time off. The belt was vacated and won by Kurt Angle. At the Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio eliminated Randy Orton to get his World Title shot. Orton wasn’t pleased and a match was made for Rey to face Orton with the Title Shot on the line. Orton won the match and Rey was out of Wrestlemania…however, this didn’t sit well with Teddy Long or the fans and, thus, the World Heavyweight Championship would be on the line in a Triple Threat Match.
  • A really silly feud saw Shawn Michaels taking on Vince McMahon in a Street Fight. This, after Vince told Michaels that he could screw Michaels, just like he did Bret Hart. There’s not much more to say here.
  • Aaaaaand the obligatory Undertaker match saw The Undertaker face off against Mark Henry in a fucking casket match because Mark Henry randomly interfered in the Championship match he had against Kurt Angle.

Everybody got that?

Let’s go!

Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child destroys sings the National Anthem. This is tough to listen to. Footage of “America” includes the following:

  • Ric Flair strutting with troops.
  • A Diva diving into the middle of a bunch of horny troops.
  • An eagle flying away from the American flag.
  • John Cena, shirtless, leaning WAY into a hug with a female troop.
  • Lillian Garcia in a sexy Santa outfit with a bunch of troops.
  • A harrier jet flying.

The obligatory “Wrestlemania-Is-Old-and-a-Tradition-So-Let’s-Take-a-Moment-to-Fuck-Your-Eyeballs-With-Inspiring-Slow-Motion-Video-Clips-From-the-Vault” video package. Thankfully, there’s no hackneyed, gravelly speech by Freddie Blassie.

Instead, we get a quick video package of all the main feuds.

We are LIVE from Allstate Arena in “HOLLYWOOD”!!! Chicago, Illinois!!!

JR and King are back for RAW. Tazz and Cole for Smackdown.

MATCH #1: Carlito & Chris Masters (challengers) vs. The Big Show & Kane (champions) for the World Tag Team Championship
Carlito comes out first. His theme song literally has the sound of somebody spitting. It’s, possibly, the worst bit of audio you could have in a theme song next to, maybe, the sound of somebody scratching their nuts, brushing their teeth, or having massive diarrheah. Chris Masters comes out to massive pyro sparks like he’s Goldberg. The champs are out next. There’s one amusing moment, during the match, where Masters tags in Carlito who CLEARLY doesn’t wanna take on Big Show. He steps in and puts a handlock on Big Show who doesn’t even notice because he’s busy clearing his eyes from an eyerake. When he finally realizes what’s going on, he looks at his hand, looks back at Carlito and the two do that a few times before Big Show gets this “WTF are you doing” look and press slams his goofy ass out of the ring. Kane also hits a nice high-risk move to the outside. Kane gets tagged in and just destroys the challengers. This is a mis-match of epic proportions. Kane hits Carlito about 180 times in 5 seconds like he’s Agent Smith from The Matrix. The crowd, to their credit, attempts to count along with the punches, but only gets to “five”, mumbles the rest and gives up. Masters hits the Masterlock on Kane but Big Show busts him out of it. Then Carlito hits his move on Kane but Big Show goes for a Chokeslam. Doesn’t happen. Kane comes to and nearly hits a Double Chokeslam. He goes for one on Carlito. Masters tries to bust Carlito out of it but Kane turns Carlito around and uses him as a human shield and Masters hits him instead. Kane hits the Chokeslam From Hell and wins the match. Big Show and Kane retain.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Kane and Big Show
GRADE: B- match, at best.

Post-match, the champs celebrate. Then Carlito argues with Masters. Carlito leaves. Masters scoffs.

  • Masters had issues with the WWE’s new Wellness Program (put in place after McMahon took heat for how many steroids/drug-related deaths there were in the WWE) and was released in 2007. After wrestling independently, he would return in 2009 but had even more problems. He was released in 2011 after he couldn’t find a story or an interesting gimmick. He currently wrestles independently.

Coach is backstage. He has HBK backstage. HBK has a bandage on his head and looks like he just witnessed a zombie eating Bambi. He tells McMahon that, tonight, he will endure his own personal hell.

MATCH #2: Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy, and Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank Match
Are we fucking serious? Ric Flair? Anyhow, there are a SHITLOAD of awesome moves. Matt Hardy, at one point, hits a fucking Superplex on Flair because fuck the elderly. Flair is taken out of the match because he probably broke every bone in his near 60-year-old body and didn’t belong anyhow. Benji hits a BEAUTIFUL Senton at one point. RVD tries his somersault thingee on Lashley but misses. Benji goes for a flipping Powerbomb off the ladder but fails and Finlay and Hardy have to help him hit his move. Flair comes hobbling back about a couple minutes later and chops Finlay. Money in the Bank matches are fun as hell but I’m getting sick of guys just using the ladder as their turnbuckle when they have a chance to go for the briefcase just so the match can extend out. Flair goes for the case but Finlay knocks him off. Then Finlay and Benji fight but Lashley knocks ’em both off and hits The Dominator on Benji. Lashley climbs the ladder and RVD hits a leaping chair shot out of fucking nowhere using his FEET. Lashley doesn’t even know what the hell it was and no-sells for a moment, then realizes, “Shit, I just got a chair tossed at me…I better fall.” Hardy legdrops Lashley and goes for the case. Finlay stops him…but Hardy hits the Side Effect on Finlay. RVD climbs a ladder in the corner and leaps…hitting the Five Star Splash on Finlay. RVD grabs the ladder and begins the climb. He grabs it but Benji FUCKING SWOOPS IN LIKE FUCKING SPIDER-MAN AND JUST STARTS DECKING RVD.

Benji-man, Benji-man…does whatever Benji can…

TAZZ: “What the HELL…???”
JR: “JESUS…HELL…!”
KING: “THAT WAS LIKE FREAKIN’ SPIDER-MAN!!!”

Greatest. Leap. Ever. Anyhow, RVD knocks Hardy and Benji off the ladder and grabs the case.
WINNER: RVD
GRADE: That MITB was good, not as great, as the last one…but, I tell you right now – that Spider-Man leap saved it. B+ match, all the way.

Post-match, replays and, for some reason, Benji’s Spider-Man leap is omitted. But it’s immortalized here. RVD celebrates.

Josh Matthews is backstage with Mean Gene Okerlund. Okerlund practically admits he’s an alcoholic, saying he “had a bar tab that would have knocked you down.” Orton interrupts and says he’s “The Legend Killer”, totally forgetting how The Undertaker beat him last year. Batista interrupts and says that the winner of the Championship match tonight will just be holding the belt for when Batista comes back.

Wrestlemania is apparently brought to us by Snickers, with the slogan, “It’s only satisfying if you eat it.” Well, yeah. As opposed to what, looking at it? Feeding it to your cat? I don’t understand that line.

Mean Gene introduces this year’s Hall of Fame inductees: Sensational Sherri, Tony Atlas,Verne Gagne, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, The Blackjacks, and Eddie Guerrero. Vickie, who actually LOOKS GOOD HERE, accepts. There is a HUGE pop from the crowd. Louder than Hogan’s applause last year. I’m surprised that he hasn’t complained about it and demanded more money.

  • Like most of the WWE exports, Sherri went to WCW and manage Harlem Heat. After that, she would wrestle independently and, then, make a short return the WWE in 2005. After her induction into the Hall of Fame, Sherri would pass away in 2007 of a prescription drug overdose. She was only 49 years old.

MATCH #3: John “Bradshaw” Layfield (challenger) (w/ Jillian Hall) vs. Chris Benoit (champion) for the WWE United States Championship
Benoit is out in his limo. Hall has basketballs for boobs. At this point, I swear Vince had a closet full of bimbos willing to serve the WWE. Batterer Benoit is out. Hall is outside, yelling at him. I’m surprised Benoit hasn’t killed her kids and murdered her yet. (Wow…just…wow. I was mean here. It’s still warranted anger, IMO. But we’ll get to that later.) Benoit had fallen pretty far. From World Champ to United States Champ? Bradshaw is about the same. Benoit tries to hit a Sharpshooter but JBL kicks him off. After some fighting outside, JBL is back “in control” until Benoit hits his triple German Suplex. He calls for the Headbutt off the top rope. JBL pulls the ref in front of him and then uses the ropes to topple Benoit. Then JBL imitates Eddie Guerrero which is just tasteless…but what do you expect? This is the same man who was proud of the anti-Mexican “hunting” spot he was part of a year ago. JBL goes for some Hogan-like offense and nearly gets a pin. Then he puts Benoit into a Sleeper. Benoit, after eight years of that, hits a Side Suplex. JBL tries to punch Benoit but Benoit counters and hits The Three Amigos Suplex Set from Eddie Guerrero. Benoit goes to the top and hits his Headbutt. He covers but JBL kicks. Benoit gets to his feet and misses a splash in the corner. JBL grabs on to the ref, then the ropes. JBL goes for the Clothesline From Hell but Benoit counters into the Crossface but JBL rolls Benoit over, covering him and grabbing the ropes. JBL is the new champion.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: JBL via cheat pin.
GRADE: Boring match. C-.

Post-match, JBL celebrates. Then JBL kisses the belt and hugs it.

JR and King talk about the recent match and then plug “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel, which is this year’s theme song – “in stores now”. Yeah, that song was in stores 20 fucking years ago.

Lead-up promo of Foley/Edge.

Jerry and JR introduce announcer Joey Styles.

MATCH #4: Edge (w/ Lita) vs. Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match
Using the first weapon against Foley didn’t work so Edge uses a COOKIE SHEET to smack Foley. Seriously – a cookie sheet…what, was the road crew having a bake day before assembling the ring? Edge goes for an early Spear…but gets ripped up by barbed wire that Mick Foley wrapped around his own body, pre-match…crazy son of a bitch. Edge is oozing blood from the middle of the tattoo on his shoulder. Fucking ouch. Then he gets a baseball bat covered in barb. Edge is tangled in the ropes. Lita interferes and all three people drop outside. Foley gets a two-count outside. Foley hits the Swinging Neckbreaker and gets two. He rushes Edge but Edge hip-tosses him into the steel steps. He beats Foley on the outside with the steps, then grabs a chair. He goes underneath the mat and looks for something. I recommend the Flour Sifter, Edge. I’m sure they’re right next to the cookie sheets. Edge pulls a table and puts Foley on it but Foley rolls off like, “fuck that”. Holy shit. Edge pours lighter fluid on Foley! What the holy hell? But Foley gets some offense and hits a piledriver. Foley picks up THE COOKIE SHEET OF DOOM but then opts for the chair. He chases Lita away with it and Edge DDT’s him into the Cookie Sheet. Edge picks up the barb wire bat and hits Foley with it, then hits Foley in the face with it…THEN SCRAPES IT SLOWLY ON FOLEY’S FACE…oh shit…then he drops Foley on the bat and only gets two. Edge goes for thumbtacks and pours them all over the corner of the ring. He goes to put Foley into them but Foley drops Edge on them! OOOOOOOWWWW…Foley goes for Mr. Socko AND THEN WRAPS HIM IN FUCKING BARB WIRE!!! HE HITS THE CLAW ON EDGE AND THEN LITA!!! Both escape and Foley uses the barb wire bat on Edge! Then he clubs Edge in the face with it and Edge is cut DEEP. OMG…he’s bleeding profusely…then Foley SLOOOOOWLY scrapes it across Edge’s cut…yum. Then he gets the lighter fluid and pours it on the table. The crowd is ready for this, holy shit. Lita picks up the barb bat and clubs Foley in the knee…then she pours more fluid and lights the table…oh shit…EDGE HITS A SPEAR AND SENDS FOLEY INTO THE FLAMING TABLE!!! HOLY SHIT!!! Lita looks like she’s gonna throw up. Edge gets a three-count. Seriously, Lita has the dry heaves. But, then, she controls it and tends to Edge.
WINNER: Edge
GRADE: A+. One HELL of a Hardcore Match. And you know me. I hate Hardcore matches. Foley is near dead. Edge is either a great actor or those are real shakes he’s having. He looks like he has a bloody eye. What a match.

Post-match, Foley salutes the crowd.

    • Lita retired in 2006 and has made only a few appearances in the WWE since then. She is also a rock musician who has also made several TV appearances and an avid animal lover. She has been romantically involved with Edge, Matt Hardy and CM Punk. She will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

  • Foley would wrestle until 2008 when he would go to TNA. He returned to the WWE and works behind the scenes as well as making sporadic appearances.

Backstage, Booker is talking with Mrs. T who is afraid of The Bogeyman. There’s a Depp-esque pirate backstage along with Ted DiBiase and Eugene. Then some wrestler I don’t know is licking Mae Young’s feet. Goldust appears, rubbing his body. All the Face Freak Wrestlers offer to help Booker T win his match tonight.

We get a Backlash promo.

Todd is with the Snickers Wrestlemania Sweepstakes winners.

Joe Theismann is at ringside, too, as is Michelle Williams who sung America the Beautiful earlier.

MATCH #5: Booker T & Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman in the Handicap Match
Yes, we’re having this match because it wouldn’t be Wrestlemania without some ludicrous match that nobody cares about. Sharmell is really overselling this her fear. I mean, honestly, this guy looks like Goldust in a Vegas Male Revue. He is not and NEVER was that scary. Booker hits a Crescent Kick and only gets two. I cannot believe that. Seriously. We should be done by now. He pounds on BM but Boogey no-sells. He goes for a Clothesline and hits The Rock Bottom Booker Slam and STILL only gets two. Booker misses the Scissors Kick. You know, when even the fucking Boogeyman gets away from the Scissors Kick, it’s time to reassess your finisher. Then he pulls LIVE FUCKING WORMS out of his pocket and eats it. Sharmelle tries to hit him with a stick but freaks. With worms STILL in his mouth, he kisses Sharmell. She runs like hell. Boogey hits the Boogey Chokeslam or whatever. He wins. Thank god that’s fucking over with.
WINNER: Boogeyman
GRADE: F+. Let me just repeat what happened: this guy just beat Booker T. Booker T jobbed to THE BOOGEYMAN. BOOKER FUCKING T.

  • Marty Wright, AKA “The Boogeyman”, was released by the WWE in 2009 after several minor feuds. He wrestles independently.

Wow…we actually get a recap of Trish and Mickie James and the psycho SWF storyline.

MATCH #6: Mickie James (challenger) vs. Trish Stratus (champion)
If only Trish would have been a lesbian, I’d be seeing none of this. The two lock up. Trish hits a few good punches, then an Austin Tackle-and-Punch. After some offense, Mickie takes over. She hits a drop-kick and gets a two-count. Then she twists Trish’s knee on the ropes. Then she kicks Trish and hits a half Boston Crab. Mickie continues to kick the tar out of Trish and poses, much to the delight of the crowd. She tries a leg submission but Trish hits a Spinning Hurricarana. Mickie goes after her but Trish retaliates. She clotheslines Mickie. Trish goes for a splash in the corner but Mickie kicks her. She goes to the top rope and Trish reverses it but Mickie counters the reversal by slinging Trish to the mat. Holy shit. She pins Trish like she wants to fuck her brains out but there’s a kick out. Trish rolls her up. Two. Trish hits a Powerbomb and gets two. It gets personal. Mickie misses a kick and looks confused. Trish goes for Stratusfaction but I have no idea what happens and Mickie licks between her fingers. Even King is confused. Trish tries something else but the finish is botched. Mickie kicks her in the face and pins her and holy fuck, what the hell? Mickie is the new champ.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Mickie James
GRADE: C+ all the way. Would have been higher if three moves weren’t botched.

Backstage, Vince flexes much to the delight of his wife and family. This is kinda weird. Vince says they’re gonna have a family prayer. Steph is so preggers here, it’s not even funny. Vince says that he doesn’t like God and he knows God hates him. Vince says that he knows that God and Michaels are close. He says he’s sending Michaels to hell. Shane looks like he’s on the verge of laughing the entire time.

MATCH #7: The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry in a Casket Match
Monks are out for a Casket Match?! Against Mark Henry?! Here comes Mark. Out is Taker. Mark Henry looks like he’s in denial. ‘Taker’s entrance is the usual pomp and circumstances. Why does nobody take out the Undertaker while he does his three-year entrance? This match is, easily, the Undertaker’s worst. He’s a fan favorite, I totally get that, but Mark Henry? The WWE obviously had an issue here: Undertaker was a much-beloved character so they couldn’t bury him and Undertaker seemed willing to fight minor matches while waiting for his next major push (which is why I respect him) so we got this. But Henry is clueless in the ring. All he knows how to do is punch people and slam them. The match feels lazy at times. At one point, Henry seems to forget that the match is a CASKET MATCH and actually goes for a pin. Next time, Undertaker hits a Last Ride in the corner and pushes Mark Henry toward the casket…and he rolls over the Casket and to the floor because the referees went for a smoke break or something and forgot to lift the lid. The match finally hits a Tombstone and gets Henry into the casket to win the match.
WINNER: The Undertaker
GRADE: Meh. C-. Undertaker was now 14-0 at Wrestlemania.

Post-match, Undertaker celebrates. Then he walks toward the aisle and addresses his monks who bow in silence. Another reason I like him: theatricality.

Promo about Divas in lingerie. Because they’re either wrestling or hanging out in lingerie. One of the Divas makes the following claim: “I’ve never been in lingerie on top of a bus.” Yeah, honey, I don’t think many have unless they’re shooting porn.

Lead-up promo for Vince and Michaels. I forgot that Vince, at this point, had this fucking lame “Kiss My Ass Club” where he made all these wrestlers, producers and divas kiss his ass, which was just disgusting.

MATCH #8: Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels in a No Holds Barred Match
Michaels is out first. He still looks good. Vince out next and I have to say, he has NEVER looked better. He is ripped. JR gets a bit weird. Shawn Michaels takes the framed photo of McMahon and bashes it over his head. JR says, “Yeah! Shove it up his ASS!” Uh…ok. So, then, outta fuckin’ nowhere, a group of heel wrestlers dressed as male cheerleaders hit the ring and stomp a mudhole in Shawn Michaels. They’re called, “The Spirit Squad” and, no, I’m NOT fucking high. It’s a heel faction of male cheerleaders. This is from the same group of writers who would later give us the Nexus. Between this, the Boogeyman, and the Cookie Sheet of Doom, I’m starting to wonder about Vince’s mental health. So, they toss Michaels into the air and let him fall, then they dance. OMG…do they EVER dance…anyhow, they beat on Michaels until one of them tries a legdrop and misses. Another swings his manual megaphone at Michaels but misses and Michaels uses it to kick the crap at them. Then Michaels throws one of them out of the ring on top of his friends and spits in their direction. Vince wakes and the match continues with the Squad leaving. I really expected somebody to get on the mic and go, “Sorry about that folks…really sorry…don’t know where they came from…” Anyhow, Vince tries a Superkick and Michaels catches it, Flair-chopping Vince and using Vince’s belt to whip his back just like McMahon did to him earlier. Further displaying his tendencies toward sado-masochistic activities, Ross says, “HIT HIM HARDER!!!” Michaels hits a Flying Elbow. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music but Shane comes in and whacks Michaels with a Kendo Stick…then pulls handcuffs out of nowhere…nothing from Jim Ross yet. McMahon pulls down his pants so that Michaels can kiss his ass and Shane lifts Michaels up but Michaels makes Shane do it instead. McMahon doesn’t know it. Then he finds out, Michaels kicks his ass and goes after Shane, clotheslining him out of the ring. Then he gets the cuffs and cuffs Shane to the ropes. Shane goes for a key but Michaels takes it away and tosses it. He gets the Kendo Stick, dances like Shane, then whacks Shane. He goes under the ring, gets a chair, goes in the ring, absolutely DESTROYS McMahon’s head with it, then goes for Sweet Chin Music…but stops. He goes back outside, gets a ladder, dings McMahon with it and, WOW…OMG…McMahon has a HUGE head wound…I mean, HUGE. It’s actually POOLING blood under his head…Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music and stops again…now he gets a trash can and table. He trash cans Vince and sets up the table. He puts Vince on the table and climbs the ladder…but stops. He goes to Shane, hits him again, then gets a BIGGER ladder. Jesus, do they have a Home Depot under there? Michaels sets up the ladder and climbs it. He punches Vince, then puts a trash can over him. Shane shouts at Michaels and says, “That’s ENOUGH! KNOCK IT OFF!” Michaels climbs the Big Fucking Ladder, DX Crotch Chops, then hits a HUGE Flying Elbow on Vince. An EMT comes over and is consulting with the ref. Another Medical guy comes out wiht a stretcher. Michaels ditches the ladder and threatens the medical staff. Shane begs Shane to stop. Michaels crotch chops at him. Michaels goes to pick up Vince and yells in his face. Then he hits Sweet Chin Music to win.
WINNER: Shawn Michaels via SCM
GRADE: C+, at best. This was less of a match and more of an episode of Jackass.

Post-match, Vince is carted off on a stretcher. Vince gives the middle finger as he’s rolled off. Michaels celebrates.

    • And now…the further adventures of the Spirit Squad…they would break up later in the year…and…

 

      • Kenny would wrestle for two more years before being released from the WWE. He now wrestles independently.

 

      • Johnny left the WWE in 2006 and went to OVW, their developmental territory before being released, altogether, in 2008. He did make a sort return but has not done anything.

 

      • Mitch left in 2007. After his release, he began training as an MMA fighter and made his MMA debut in 2010. He lost his first match and was scheduled for another but went into retirement due to several worsening injuries incurred throughout his life.

 

      • Nicky Nemeth came back with Mike and had a short-lived tag team called, “The Frat Pack”. The two would wrestle in Florida before the team disbanded and Nicky returned as…Dolph Ziggler, who currently wrestles for the WWE.

 

    • Mikey left the WWE in 2008 and has split his time between wrestling independently and working for Ring of Honor.

We get a teaser for Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

Cole and Tazz are blown away at the carnage they just saw.

We get a lead-up promo for the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Champion. Awwwsyeah.

MATCH #9: Rey Mysterio (challenger) vs. Randy Orton (challenger) vs. Kurt Angle (champion) in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
P.O.D. is out to rap Rey’s theme live because my eyes and ears haven’t been sufficiently raped from the Boogeyman. Rey Mysterio comes out dressed like an Indian with full Indian garb including feather headdress, leather and beaded chest decoration. If Rey’s trying to be Mexican, he’s doing it wrong. Randy is out next and I have to say – I love his old theme song. Kurt comes out next to a rousing ovation. The action starts with Orton attacking Rey and Angle hitting a German Suplex. He goes for another but Randy won’t let him. Instead, Rey attacks Randy. Randy holds him and Angle goes for a German Suplex and DOES IT TO BOTH MEN! HOLY SHIT! He nearly gets a three-count on Orton after tossing Rey from the ring. Angle tries and Ankle Lock but Rey attacks to break it up. Angle beats on Rey and Rey tries a move that ends in a Sunset Flip that ends up with Rey flipping out of it. Then a nice Hurricarana by Rey! Rey for a 619! He hits it…but Angle catches the feet and hits an Ankle Lock! This is broken by Randy and Angle and Randy fight. German Suplex to Randy and then to Rey and another one to Randy. An Angle Slam to Rey to the outside. Ankle Lock to Orton and Angle weighs down Orton. Orton taps…but Rey holds onto the ref who doesn’t see it. Another Ankle Lock to Orton but Rey hits a Flying Legdrop and Rey nearly gets the three-count. Finally, the match slows down for a few seconds. The crowd boos, obviously disenchanted with Rey. Rey is taken out again, Angle goes for Angle Slam on Orton but Orton hits the RKO and NEARLY gets a fall! Orton to the top rope and Angle hits a Belly to Belly off the top. Rey in and hits his Senton and a flip pin and NEARLY gets a three-count! Angle is outside now and Randy hits a Neckbreaker and gets a near-fall. Orton waits for Rey to get up and pounds the mat but Angle hits the Angle Slam out of nowhere! Two-count! Angle waits for Rey to get up and goes for the Angle Slam but Rey counters and boots him out! Rey hits the 619 and the Flying Hurricarana! Rey pins and is the new champion!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Rey Mysterio via Flying Hurricarana
GRADE: What a match!!! I don’t care if it was short…this was an A- to me. What a match. WHAT. A. MATCH.

  • Regrettably, Angle had picked up so many injuries that he FINALLY needed time off to rest…but the WWE wouldn’t allow it. They didn’t want their popularity and ratings to suffer. Angle then asked for his release and the WWE, much to my confusion, actually granted it. What a shame. Angle would sign, the same year, with TNA Wrestling and still wrestles there. This was one of the WWE’s biggest mistakes and, if they had a brain in their head, they would have let Angle heal and come back.

Post-match, Rey goes to the back and Vickie and Chavo come out to congratulate him.

Backstage, Triple H and Cena are in the back. Cena is an “underdog”, according to Jim Ross. He tries to put Cena over, saying that Cena is a controversial champion. He says he’s “different”. Then he pumps up Triple H.

Are we ready???

You are???

Fuck that. We’re going to the Playboy Pillow Fight Match next.

MATCH #10: Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle in a Playboy Pillow Fight
Candice arrives fist in a piss-yellow gown that shows her gigantic melons. Crowd doesn’t care. Torrie out next in black gown complete with tiny Bichon wearing a tux. Crowd is dead. They occasionally whistle and holler when a Diva bends over or shows some tit but the match is shit. It’s just an excuse for the girls to rip each other’s clothes off and fight. And what this has to do with Playboy is beyond me. This is less entertaining than it actually sounds. The crowd, at one point, chats “BORING”. For the record, Torrie gets a pin to win the match.
WINNER: Torrie
GRADE: F+.

    • Torrie would compete until 2008 when she would be released from her contract. She returned, for one night, in 2009.

 

  • Candice Michelle was a Go Daddy girl and would compete until 2009 when she was badly injured and required surgery. She hasn’t seen or done anything since leaving. She just had a child two years ago and has done television, modeling, and music.

We get a lead-up promo for Cena/HHH.

MAIN EVENT: Triple H (challenger) vs. John Cena (champion) for the WWE Championship
Motorhead’s “Bow Down to the King” plays as Triple H is shown in his “throne”. His entrance costume is beyond ridiculous. He’s going for a Conan theme, which is complete with crown, giant Sheamus-chain and a Triple H Championship Belt because he’s not used to not wearing something around his waist. If you thought that was bad, John Cena has a 30’s-style news propaganda reel, pumping himself up. Then a getaway car complete with getaway drivers armed with Tommy guns. One of them is CM Punk(!) before he was famous. Cena, however, is not in the car, and comes out of the back in hat and trench. If you’re gonna use theatricality, John, wouldn’t you wanna be PART of your crew? Triple H is out-wrestling Cena here which is no surprise since a box turtle and a piece of lint can outwrestle Cena. The crowd is fucking with Cena big-time with a “FUCK YOU CENA” chant. Then one fan completely de-legitimizes the whole movement by getting up and underlining the word, “HULKAMANIA” on his shirt with his hands. Either that, or he was comparing Hogan to Cena. Anyhow, after some posturing, Cena FINALLY takes over. Jim Ross is trying his best to push Cena, selling him as a good wrestler. He sends HHH out of the ring. An amusing thing happens outside the ring. HHH punches Cena and goes to lead him by the hair…except Cena doesn’t have hair. So, he grabs at Cena’s head and his hand just completely slips off his head like Teflon. HHH gives his hand a quick look and then grabs by the head. The match is pretty even for the first 8 minutes but isn’t particularly wrestled well. A lot of it as comprised of HHH or Cena tossing each other out of the ring to make themselves look incredibly strong and impressive. A “LET’S GO CENA…CENA SUCKS” chant has begun. HHH hits a Facebuster and a huge clothesline. Two count. Rude Awakening Reverse Neckbreaker by HHH. Two-count. Back suplex. Two-count. Ross says “neckbreaker followed by a neck vise…how cerebral is THAT???” It’s common, Ross. Every single wrestler does it. Sleeper by HHH. This feels like HHH/Batista from last year. An attempt at a shoulderblock by HHH and Cena counters with a huge clothesline/forearm. HHH gets to his feet and the two men trade punches. Now the fans are saying “YAY” with each punch HHH hits and “BOO” to every punch Cena hits. Modified Cena Bomb and the Five Kunckle Shuffle up next. U Can’t See Me…but HHH counters with a Spinebuster. Two-count. Shoulderblock by Cena x2 but HHH counters with a Sleeper. Cena counters with a side suplex and THEN hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Cena goes for the FU but HHH gets up and tries to counter. Cena, instead, hits the STF. Ross, randomly, calls it “the STFU” because if anybody knows how to pull stuff out of their ass, it’s Jim Ross. HHH gets to the ropes. Cena waits for the FU but HHH counters and rams Cena into the corner, taking out the ref. HHH hits a low blow on both men. HHH mocks Cena with a “U Can’t See Me” motion, then retaliates with a DX Crotch Chop. HHH gets a sledgehammer. Cena up and kicks HHH, then punches him and goes off the ropes but runs into the sledgehammer. He covers and the ref counts. 1…2…kick-out. Gee. That wasn’t telegraphed. HHH tries again because pinning him the first time worked so well the first time. Two-count. HHH goes for a Pedigree. Cena counters and hits a body drop, then the FU. 1…2…kick-out. Cena goes off the top rope for a body splash but misses. HHH goes for a Pedigree again because he’s out of the other four moves he knows. He puts Triple H into the STF. The ref counts arm drops and gets two. Finally, HHH taps and Cena retains.
WINNER: Cena via STF
GRADE: C+. Most of it was HHH no-selling and looking good just like last year and Cena fighting through it.

To recap this main event – rather than put a newbie over, Triple H, before Wrestlemania, loses to two men who haven’t had a title shot like this at Wrestlemania…and then loses in the main event.

Triple H is like Hulk Hogan if Hulk Hogan wore black and came from Hell.

Rather than seeing Cena, I dunno, CELEBRATE FOR MINUTES LIKE ALL THE OTHER WINNERS, they cut out just one minute after Cena has won.

Overall, a decent Wrestlemania. B+.
(More like a C+. This show had some of the worst moments I’ve ever seen. Remember when the WWE used to push matches that, as bad as they ended up being, actually made sense and you could get behind them? I don’t know what happened but the Attitude Era’s beginning and end really did a number on this business.)

‘Til next time!

— Matt

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