The Way Too Long Review of Wrestlemania 25

Man, I’ve really been dreading doing this show.  Watching live earlier this year, I kind of knew that this was going to be the worst Wrestlemania since at least 2002 and was not shocked when it proved to be even worse.  I wasn’t even a big fan of Undertaker vs. Michaels and was kind of befuddled when people were throwing it high scores like roses to a bull fighter.  I might be off on that, like I was with the 2004 Royal Rumble match, but everything else I’m fairly sure was bad.  Well, time to eat shit.

April 5, 2009 from Houston, TX.  No President ever got shot under their watch.  Suck on that, Dallas!

-Cool opening promo talking about what Wrestlemania means to everyone on the roster.

-America the Beautiful is sung by Nicole Scherizinger.  Given that I *hate* the Star Spangled Banner, big kudos to the WWE for having the balls to actually to be the only organization that agrees with that and goes with what SHOULD be the national anthem.  But that’s typical of the United States.  Choice A: A song that talks about how beautiful our country is.  Choice B: A song about blowing shit up.  Naturally Americans choice B.  We love to see shit get fucked up.  Which is why Michael Bay movies gross millions and we have an entire holiday dedicated to seeing how many fingers you can remove from your body using explosives.  Anyway, Nicole Scherizinger sucks at singing but successfully eats up four minutes or so.

Theme to this year’s stage: Suck.

Match #1: Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian

Mark Henry gets a spot but not Jack Swagger?  I’m sure this is an instance of the WWE trying to teach rookies a lesson about respect and patience or some such bullshit.  And hey, yet another Wrestlemania veteran has entered this match: The unventilated smoke from the pyro.  I heard they have big plans to push it to the main event by next year.  Big eight-way brawl start.  Kane and Henry end up alone in the ring.  Henry hits his slow-motion body-boxer splash in the corner, but Shelton and Christian come in with a ladder and wipe them both out.  Kingston comes in and kicks the ladder to wipe out both guys.  Floating legdrop on the ladder which does more damage to Kofi then it does the guys he’s attacking.  He gets up and preps the ladder to go for the case, but Finlay dumps him.  Kane then boots Finlay and climbs.  Henry climbs as well.  Everyone gets in the ring to stop them and takes them down with some brawling.  All six dump Kane, then Henry, but Shelton sneaks away to climb.  Then Punk climbs, and somewhere in this a second ladder was prepped below the case.  Everyone climbs, but Kane and Henry are pissed at being teamed up on and dump everyone off the ladders.  They clear the ring, then Kane boots Henry out of the ring.  Kane picks up a ladder and throws it at someone on the outside, then climbs.  Henry is still alive pushes the ladder over, killing Kane in the process.  Henry goes to set up the ladder, but Finlay gets in the ring.  Henry throws the Ladder at Finlay, who ducks and it nearly kills the announcers.  Finlay clears Henry out of the ring, then hits a suicida on Kane and Finlay.  Springboard plancha by Christian on everyone on the floor, then MVP hits a flipping senton on everyone there as well.  Kofi and Punk then both hit suicidas on everyone not in the ring.  Then Shelton Benjamin climbs to the top of a twenty foot ladder and hits a flipping plancha on EVERYONE on the floor.  Holy shit!  Fans agree with that.  Thank god the ladder didn’t fall over there, or the rest of the show would have been his funeral.  Everyone is dead on the floor, except Mark Henry.  He wants a piece of the high-risk pie (then again, he wants a piece of every pie) so he starts to climb the ropes.  Finlay cuts him off by hitting him with the shillelagh to huge heel heat.  I guess Finlay is retarded.  Let’s assume Henry actually hits whatever he was going for.  Given his size and the fact that EVERYONE ELSE was there but Finlay, he would have been left in a great spot to get the briefcase.  Wrestling logic, gotta love it.  Meanwhile, Hornswaggle grabs a stepladder.  He climbs up it and hits a tadpole splash on everyone on the floor, and despite him weighing like fifty pounds, it somehow kills everyone.  Finlay grabs the twenty foot ladder and preps it to climb, but Kofi cuts him off.  Shoulderblock to Kofi by Fit, but Kofi jumps over the ladder brace and kicks Finlay, then throws the ladder down on him.  Kofi goes to splash Finlay in the corner but gets the stepladder tossed at him.  Finlay takes out CM Punk, then whacks everyone with the stepladder.  He preps the big ladder again and climbs but Kingston hits the tornado kick to knock him off of it.  Kofi climbs but Henry quickly pushes him off.  Henry starts to prep the ladder but Kingston runs up it, without Henry even opening it, and nearly gets the case.  Henry shakes him down, then catches him and gives him the world’s strongest slam on the ladder.  Cool spot.  Henry starts to climb but MVP hits him with a ladder and then preps it between the standing ladder and the ropes.  Benjamin to trade reversals with him, leading to him springing off of the horizontal ladder at MVP and getting caught in a powerbomb as a result.  CM Punk in to climb, along with Christian.  Christian takes out MVP, then catches Punk.  Christian climbs but Punk goes for the GTS.  This leads to Christian hitting the Killswitch off the ladder and to the floor.  Sick bump.  MVP climbs and the fans buzz big.  Shelton runs up a ladder against the apron, across the ladder bridge that MVP built earlier, then catches MVP.  He goes for a murder-death-kill bomb off the top of the ladder but MVP fucks up his end of it, nearly ruining the entire match.  I can see why they aborted his main event push.  Because he flat out fucking sucks, and he proves that he sucks every time they give him a chance.  Last year all the smart marks were crying foul when he had heat with Johnny Ace.  Um hey… maybe he deserved it?  Shelton, to his credit, picks up MVP and powerbombs him over the top rope and into a punch of guys on the floor.  Awesome.  Shelton climbs, then stiffs the fuck out of Finlay on top of the ladder to wipe out Finlay.  Shelton preps a second ladder while Christian climbs.  They fight and the ladder tips over.  Shelton spills to the ground, but Christian lands on the ropes and pushes the ladder back into position to climb.  Fans buzz as they think he has it, but CM Punk springs off the ropes and onto the ladder and they slug it out.  Punk gets wiped out and hung up on the ladder, which is a call-back to how he won the match last year with Chris Jericho getting stuck in the ladder.  This year, Kane saves before Christian can get the case.  He almost has it but CM Punk frees himself and grabs the case.  Kane goes for the chokeslam but Punk fights him off and grabs the case to win for the second straight year.
****1/2 I seem to recall a few more blown spots, so maybe the WWE censored some of it for the DVD.  Either way, this was the best of all the money in the bank matches with some really great spots and much fewer “let’s set up a dozen ladders for a spot that will happen fifteen minutes from now” crap.  Good transitions from spot to spot helped.  And this Wrestlemania is already 100% better then what I remembered it.

You know, I’m having trouble remembering why I hated this show so much?

Ah yes… now I remember.

*We now interrupt this wrestling event to bring you a twenty minute long…*

BUT WAIT~!!
because the DVD thankfully cuts out the whole shitty Kid Rock concert.  By gawd, this set might earn a thumbs up!

Match #2: “Miss Wrestlemania” Diva Battle Royal

We don’t even get to see any of the entrees, which sucks because there was a few ‘blasts from the past’ returning.  Well one… Sunny, plus some meaningless scrubs.  Random brawling and everyone gets eliminated until it’s down to Beth and Santina Marella.  He eliminates her and wins the match and gets turned face in the process.  Hilarious victory celebration aside, this was such a waste.
DUD Possibly the worst battle royal ever.

Match #3: Handicap Elimination Match
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka

The WWE really should have opened up the purse strings and did everything in it’s power to get Mickey Rourke on board for a match.  Or maybe they did but Rourke backed out so he could get the Academy Award.  Someone should have reminded Rourke that he was playing a wrestler, not a homosexual or even a homosexual wrestler and thus had no chance of winning the Oscar.

As for the legends, Steamboat is roughly fourteen years removed from his last match.  Snuka is roughly thirty years removed from his last good match.  Piper is roughly two hips removed from qualifying as a biped.  Piper starts and brawls with Jericho.  Jim Ross basically warns people that the legends will suck.  Piper knocks Jericho to the floor, then slams him onto the announce table.  Sunset flip by Piper gets two.  WORST DROPKICK EVER by Piper that even Michael Cole laughs, then more random brawling.  Ram into the corner by Piper, then a tag to Snuka.  Headbutt from Jimmy, then a shoot off and a chop.  Tag to Steamboat, who climbs and hits his flying chop.  Armdrag, then another into an armbar.  Fans are hot for Steamboat.  Someone should talk him into coming back full time.  He’s still better then half the guys on the roster.  He hooks in an armbar and works it, then tags Snuka.  Double chop by the legends, then some headbuttery by Snuka.  Jericho snatches him up in the Walls of Jericho and Snuka taps.  Jericho dumps Steamboat, then Piper brawls Jericho around.  Blatant eye poke by Piper and his sleeper hold, but Jericho uses momentum to ram him into the ropes, then hits a running enziguri for the pin.  It’s down to Jericho and Steamboat.  Steamer hits a crossbody for two, but Jericho kicks him around.  Steamboat lays in some stiff chops, then snapmares him over and kicks him.  Chinlock by Jericho, but Steamboat fights out with some chops.  Shoulderblock, then Steamboat gets chopped but skins the cat and backdrops Jericho over the top and to the floor.  Plancha by Steamboat and the fans are going apeshit for Steamboat.  Chop off the top by Steamboat and a couple throat-thrusts.  Rollup by Steamboat gets two.  Chops by Jericho, then Steamboat lowers his head into a kick and the bulldog.  Lionsault by Jericho misses and he charges into a powerslam for two.  Walls of Jericho is turned into a cradle by Steamboat for two.  Back suplex attempt by Jericho, but Steamboat wiggles out of it, only to eat the Code Breaker for the pin.
*** Entertaining for what it was, and man, the heat for Steamboat was well deserved.

After the match, Ric Flair comes in and chops away, only to get shot off and backdropped.  Flair eats the codebreaker and Jericho casually kicks him out of the ring.  He calls for a microphone and taunts Mickey Rourke to get into the ring.  Rourke has Frank Shamrock sitting next to him.  Oh yeah, that’s who you want to be taunting, the guy who’s sitting next to someone who can rip your arm off and shove it up your ass.  Rourke does end up getting into the ring and dances around like a boxer.  Rourke goes for some jabs, and Jericho bails to the corner.  Rourke ends up getting a left hook to drop Jericho.

Match #4: Extreme Rules Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy

To set up this match, Matt attempted three acts of murder.  They even worked in the real life fire that destroyed Jeff’s house and killed his dog.  “Come on people, he killed his dog!  Boo him please!  PLEASE!”  Anyway, it’s wrestling so Matt’s felonies will be dealt with in the ring.  Brawl to start, where Jeff plasters Matt with a Wrestlemania poster.  Jeff grabs a trash can, gets stopped by Matt, but still smacks Matt into the stairs.  Poetry in Motion off the stairs and into Matt against the guardrail.  Back in the ring, Jeff preps a chair and goes for another poetry in motion, but Matt avoids it and Jeff wipes out.  Jeff recovers and goes for the whisper in the wind but Matt chairs him in mid-air, then one more shot and a cover for two.  So a chair shot is enough to put Jeff down for the three count when the WWE title is on the line, but not when he’s wrestling his brother at Wrestlemania.  All prospective wrestlers out there, make a note of that.  Chairs are okay as long as your name isn’t Matt Hardy and it’s not Wrestlemania.  Let’s make this match as comically shitty as possible by having Matt grab a dry-vac and hit Jeff over the head with it for two.  There was a fucking chair right next to Jeff.  Why bail out of the ring to grab something as awkward to handle as a vacuum cleaner?  Side effect on the chair gets two.  Matt drags Jeff to the post and tugs on his arm and leg, then preps a table.  Jeff fights him off and flings himself at Matt with a flying clothesline.  Mule kick sends Matt to the table, where the referee checks him for a cut.  Jeff grabs a kendo stick and whacks Matt with it.  He places the trash can on Matt and whacks it with the stick, then gives him the momentum kick into the trash can lid.  Pancake suplex by Jeff and he climbs for the swanton but misses.  Twist of Fate by Matt gets two.  Nobody bought it as the finish, which tells you how shitty this match is structured.  Matt climbs, claiming he’s going for the swanton, but Jeff superplexes him down.  Fans aren’t reacting to anything because they know the finish will be overly complicated and are waiting for it and nothing else.  Jeff chairs Matt in the head to knock him out of the ring.  Jeff sets Matt up on the table, then bails under the ring to grab another table and prep it on top of Matt.  He climbs the ropes and hits a splash onto the stack of tables on the outside.  Jeff clearly overshot the stack and Matt’s table barely broke, so I don’t know how he ended up more hurt then Jeff did.  Nevertheless, Jeff tosses Matt in the ring and covers for two.  Jeff bails to grab a couple ladders.  He decides to keep Matt in his coma by leg-dropping him off a chair.  He then decides to set up the Dr. Evil Memorial Overly Elaborate and Exotic Death by placing two ladders, one about three feet shorter then the other, side by side.  Leapfrog legdrop off the ladder misses and the announcers start talking in their “someone fell from the rafters” voice.  Not because they’re sad for Jeff, but because this match is so boring and they don’t know the difference between a sad voice and a ‘meh’ voice.  In what I must concede is a cool ending, Matt places Jeff’s head inside a chair and gives him the twist of fate from that position for the pin.  Not that it saves the match or even rises it above DUD level, but it was neato.
DUD You know, I just plain hate any ‘let us whack each other with various objects’ type matches.  Yeah, Kayfabe might be dead, but why not have a little continuity?  In 9 out of 10 matches the chair is the weapon that ends the match.  Here it might as well be made out of cotton candy because you can hit person with it, drop their head on it, or shove it up their ass and it doesn’t seem to do any damage at all.  It’s stupid, it’s annoying, and it’s not effective at all at getting the match over.  Listen to the crowd.  Nobody is reacting to this shit, because they know it doesn’t mean anything.  Of course, they have to do this kind of stuff because Matt Hardy couldn’t wrestle his way out of a paper bag.  Sorry smarks, but he sucks.  He’s been in the company with limited interruptions for well over a decade now and he’s yet to have a good match all on his own.  He’s a charismatic bore who is very limited in the ring.  But worst of all is he has yet to show one ounce of improvement on any aspect important to professional wrestling over the last decade.  Not one.  His brother, despite all his substance abuse, has gotten better and can carry his end of a singles match.  That’s why he gets the push and Matt is the midcarder.  The WWE should have cut their losses with him years ago and just fired him but at this point I don’t know if Jeff would leave the company out of loyalty or something.   If that’s the case, Matt should count his blessings, because the only thing he has going for him is that his brother happens to be the top babyface in the company at this time.  If not for the undeserved love smarks toss Christian, I would call Matt Hardy the most overrated wrestler in the industry.

-Meanwhile, Randy Orton acts all focused and stuff.

Match #5: Intercontinental Championship
(c) John “Bradshaw” Layfield vs. Rey Mysterio

JBL has a microphone and talks about coming home to Texas a conquering hero.  He mocks the lack of champions, men, and employment in Texas.  He then promises the most dominate victory in Wrestlemania history.  Mysterio makes his entrance dressed like the Joker.  At this point, that might be technically ripping off Edge’s gimmick.  Jerry Lawler says that he’s paying tribute to Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker.  Jim Ross says “I’m think Mysterio’s career is alive and well, King.”  I guess Jim Ross got tons of hate mail for that one.  I told him not to let me write his material, but he wanted to be ‘hip’ and insisted.  Well, not too hip.  The original version of the joke also featured Chris Benoit and the cast of Rent.  I would repeat it here but I think Inside Pulse would end up being placed under federal investigation.  Ahem…

JBL boots Mysterio in the face to start, then brawls him in the corner.  They haven’t even officially started the match yet.  Bell finally rings, leading to Mysterio hitting an enziguri, a dropkick, the 619, and the splash off the top for the pin and the title.  Match time: twenty-one seconds.
No Rating for this title change angle.

-JBL sits around in shock.  He then gets handed a microphone and announces he has something to say: he quits.  And thus the career of John “Bradshaw” Layfield comes to an end.  Let’s take a moment to reflect on all the great moments he gave us over the years okay that was long enough.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the back Joey Styles is like “pssh, twenty-one seconds.  I did better then that.”

Match #6
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

I honest to god don’t remember this being as good as everyone swore it was.  Scott Keith I think immediately listed it as the third or forth best match ever at a Wrestlemania, while I was like “um, I don’t think it was even in the top ten.”  Maybe it the combination of myself being hyped beyond belief mixed with being forced to order the show at my mother’s house because a large tree branch had fallen on my porch and knocked my dish out of place.  Or maybe I actually got it right and everyone else is off their nut.  Let’s find out.

Shawn and Undertaker’s entrances are both pretty cool, with Shawn descending from the heavens while Undertaker rises up from hell.  Just like the movie Repossessed, it’s the Bell from Hell vs. the Dove from Above.  I still think Taker’s ‘Twilight Zone’ entry from Wrestlemania 23 was better, but this was a close second.  This should have been the main event, because this was the only match that was built properly and had any chance of not sucking.  Taker misses a punch and gets chopped to start.  Another punch misses and Shawn chops away again.  Jim Ross points out that’s likely more annoying then it is painful.  Shawn gets Taker to the corner and elbows away, then throws a pretty sick chop.  Lawler points guesses that one wasn’t just annoying.  Taker slings Shawn over the top turnbuckle, but Shawn sticks the landing.  He comes off the ropes but fakes a knee injury.  He gets a Thesz Press and some mounted punches, but they just piss Taker off and he gets tossed into the corner for some punches that sends Shawn to the canvas.  To a different corner where Taker brawls him some more and goes for a whip, but Shawn stops it and chops away.  Whip is reversed and Shawn is sent up and down in the corner, then gets backdropped.  Fans are hot for this one.  Press-slam and an elbowdrop gets one for Taker.  Rope walk by Taker hits, but a running boot in the corner misses and Taker hurts his leg.  Half-atomic drop and a chopblock by Shawn, then a dropkick to his face.  Shawn goes for a figure-four, then stops Taker from blocking it and slaps it on.  Taker has too much reach and is able to slug his way out of it, but the leg is still injured and Shawn dropkicks the knees.  Shawn charges but Taker catches him… then actually takes the time to sell the leg injury before ramming Shawn into the corner.  It’s the little touches that count.  Whip to the corner and a few body-boxer splashes to Shawn, then a snake eyes and a running big boot.  Legdrop gets two.  Taker goes for a chokeslam but Shawn turns it into the Jesus Christ on the Cross…face.  He’s not quite able to nail it and thus Taker is able to turn him over for a two count.   Shawn holds onto it but Taker muscles out of it and gets a sidewalk slam for two.  Shoot off and Taker lowers his head into a kick, which only manages to piss him off.  Shawn chops away, then goes into the FOUR AND A HALF MOVES OF DOOM~!  Flying forearm, nip-up, atomic drop, then another atomic drop for good measure, but Taker sits-up.  Shawn opts an axehandle instead of the flying elbow, but still gets caught.  Chokeslam but Shawn wiggles out and teases the superkick, which Taker dives down to avoid, so Shawn goes for the figure four again but Taker hooks in the Hell’s Gate.  Shawn struggles like crazy and ends up in the ropes, then rolls out to the floor.  Taker gives chase and slams him into the stairs.  He sets up for the legdrop on the apron but Shawn avoids it and Taker wipes out.  Baseball slide by Shawn, who then climbs and MISSES a twisting senton on the floor and wipes out completely.  Taker rolls back into the ring to sell the injury of the… uh… baseball slide?  He sucks some air down, then zombie sits-up.  He goes for his no-hands plancha and does it at way too sharp an angle.  Shawn tosses a cameraman (really Sim Snuka) in front of Taker, but it doesn’t help as Taker ends up flying like a lawn dart and lands right on his fucking head.  He actually dented padded floor doing it.  Jesus fucking Christ!  Fans go silent as I’m sure it looked like Undertaker broke his neck if you were sitting at a certain angle.  Snuka got blamed for it, but it sure looked like Taker botched his end of it simply by the angle he went at.  And god bless him for it, because that might be the best bump ever taken at Wrestlemania.  If it was a botch, it didn’t *look* like one, it just looked like the Undertaker had decided to kill himself and hopefully take Shawn with him, live on pay per view.  Long stall follows, presumably buying Taker time to grow a new brain, since I’m pretty sure the old one is now broken beyond repair.  Shawn grabs a ref and instructs him to start counting Taker out.  Shawn will take it, but Taker barely makes it back in at ten.  Huge pop for that, and one of the most effective, not to mention realistic, nine counts ever given.  I remember hating it live, but maybe that had to do with being incredibly impatient following the twenty minute Kid Cock concrete earlier in the show.  Anyway, Shawn tunes up the band for Sweet Chin Music, but Taker catches him and hits the biggest chokeslam he’s ever done for two.  Fans totally bought that as the finish.  Hell, I’m sure after the bump Taker just took they expect any move to be the finish, since it sure looked like he broke his neck and they should really be going home.  Taker goes for the tombstone, Shawn wiggles out and goes for the superkick, Taker catches that and goes for another chokeslam, and Shawn wiggles out of that and hits the superkick.  He takes too long to cover and only gets two.  Shawn’s just a little too fond of that ‘hit the move, then be too pooped to cover’ spot.  Shawn nips up and now he’s pissed.  But Taker catches him and goes for the Wedgie Bomb.  Shawn wiggles out of it and tries a sunset flip, but Taker stops that and loads up the wedgie bomb again.  This time it hits… for two.  Again, fans are buying EVERYTHING as the finish now.  Taker climbs but misses an elbow off the top rope and it’s a double KO.  Shawn charges at Taker and gets dumped, but he skins the cat… right into the tombstone piledriver… for two.  During the live airing, this ended my personal streak of nineteen years without marking out for a kickout.  I went between Wrestlemania VI and this show without popping for a single two count.  I, along with everyone watching, totally bought that as the finish, and if you claim you didn’t, you are a liar.  Taker sells this with that same, bug-eyed John McClane in Die Hard look that he used when he turned heel in 2002.  He loads up another tombstone but this time Shawn turns it into a tornado DDT.  He struggles to climb to the top rope and this time he hits the flying elbow.  Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sweet Chin Music, and this time he covers somewhat quickly, but it only gets two.  Fans bought THAT as the finish.  Both guys have nothing left and sort of claw at each-other’s faces.  They have an epic slug out, in the same style that Triple H and Shawn used a bunch of times, only this time it actually makes sense and thus doesn’t suck.  Taker finishes it with a boot to the face.  He goes for the Tombstone but Shawn wiggles out of it and chops away.  Shawn gets slung into the corner but gets a foot up on a charge.  Shawn climbs and goes for a diving moonsault but Taker catches him perfectly for the tombstone to finish.
***** Yep, I was wrong.  Epic match that will be talked about long after we’re all dead and gone.  If I’m correct and Scott ranked this forth on his Wrestlemania list, he was spot on, as I would still rank Bret/Austin, Bret/Owen, and Benoit/Michaels/Trips, higher, but this was close.

Match #7: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show

In what I’m sure is the biggest nightmare the IWC has ever seen… yeah, even bigger then THAT… the WWE has used advanced cloning techniques to create hundreds of replicas of John Cena.  They’re all in Florida right now to brush up on their skills, but within a couple years they will replace Wrestlemania with…

Cenacenia!*

John Cena vs. John Cena

Money in the Bank: John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena vs. John Cena

John Cena vs. John Cena

Tag Team Championship: (c) John Cena & John Cena vs. John Cena & John Cena

Women’s Championship: (c) Joan Cena vs. Joan Cena

Undercena vs. Johntaker

World Championship: (c) John Cena vs. John Cena

WWE Championship: (c) John Cena vs. John Cena.
*card subject to change

Five hours and $50 well spent there.

Ease up smarks, that was all a big joke.  No need to strap dynamite to yourselves.

To the match, where Cena slugs it out with both guys, then Show clotheslines Edge when he was aiming for Cena.  Bulldog to Edge but a shoulderblock to Show doesn’t work and Cena bounces off him.  Edge offers a high-five to Show only to get picked up and crotched on the ropes.  Show whips Edge into Cena who sets up for the FU, but Show uses the side kick of rampant stupidity to make the save.  Show steps on the back of Cena, then a body-press.  Show misses a kick and crotches himself on the ropes, leading to him getting dumped.  Edge dropkicks the ring steps into Show’s knees, then Cena does the legdrop to the neck on Show on the outside.  Pretty sick bump to take by John.  In the ring, Edge brawls with Cena, but Cena snatches him up in the FU, which is countered into the impact DDT for two.  Edge climbs but gets dumped off the top by Cena.  Show in with a sidewalk slam to Cena for two.  Cena fights back and bounces off the ropes but gets tripped up by Chavo Guerrero on the outside.  He eats the FU on the floor, then Cena back into the shoulderblock Show.  Show gets tied up in the ropes like Andre the Giant.  Edge in only to eat a couple shoulderblocks and the protoplex.  Five knuckle shuffle by Cena and the fans are giving him holy hell for it.  He snatches Edge up for the FU, leading to Vickie Guerrero getting on the ring apron.  Edge pushes off Cena, who nearly wipes out Vickie.  Edge goes for the spear but Cena side-steps it and Vickie eats it off the apron and into Chavo.  School Boy by Cena gets two.  Double clothesline leads to a double knockout.  Show yells at the referee to free him from the ropes, and it happens.  Show bulldozes through both guys, then splashes both guys in the corner and peck slaps them.  Butt splash in the corner to both guys at the same time, then he sets up  a chokeslam on both.  Edge eats it, but Cena escapes.  Cena loads up Show for the FU, but Show wiggles out and hits the knockout punch on Cena to send him flying out of the ring.  Show and Edge to the outside now where Show loads up Edge for the chokeslam through the announce table, but Edge turns it into a DDT on the floor.  Edge preps the steel stairs, then hits the spear off the stairs and into Big Show, knocking over a barricade and sending both guys into the seating area.  Edge recovers and picks the limp Cena into the ring and covers him for two.  Edge calls for the spear but Cena catches him in the STFU.  Edge almost gets to the ropes so Cena pulls him back in the center and slaps it back on.  Show makes the save and yanks Cena out of the ring, then gets rid of him with a headbutt.  Pump splash by Show misses and he wipes out.  Double suplex by Edge and Cena to Show and they have the “can we trust each other” stare down.  Both guys dump Show over the top with a clothesline, then Edge boots Cena in the face.  Cena recovers with the blockbuster.  He goes for the legdrop off the top, but Show shoves him off the top rope and straight into an Edge spear for two as Show gets pissed at Edge and pulls him out of the ring.  Peck slap to him, then a big headbutt.  Edge grabs a sleeper on Show, then Cena comes in and loads up the FU on both guys.  Edge wiggles out but Show eats it.  Then Edge gets FUed onto Show and Cena covers Big Show for the pin and the title.
**** Way better then I remember it being.  Triple threat matches can be a disaster, but this was actually well-paced and well structured.  And Show actually carried his end of it, which goes to prove my point that there’s a real star in there somewhere.

-The Hall of Famers come out.  Steve Austin takes one final lap around in his ATV, toasts the fans, and rides off into the sunset.  Everyone says he’ll never show up again, but never is a long time and he’s only in his forties.  One of these days he’ll be itching to stunner McMahon and he’ll show up to do it.  I must admit, it’s kind of neat to say that I saw his last match live and in person.
-Wrestlemania 26 is coming to Arizona in 2010.  It’s too bad Mick Foley is in TNA and Steve Austin is retired, because I’m guessing the Rattlesnake vs. Cactus Jack would play well there.

Yep, that’s the lamest shit I ever wrote.

Match #8: WWE Championship
(c) Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Special Match-Killing Stipulation: If Triple H gets disqualified or counted out, he loses the championship.

Kill me.  They should have saved this one for Arizona.  At least then it might have had some form of heat.  Orton gets no reaction on his entrance.  Even Lillian Garcia looks like she’s ready to fall asleep while Orton slllloooowwwwlly makes his way to the ring so they can set up for Triple H’s elaborate entrance.  Trips doesn’t get a much bigger reaction, although his mirror-breaking entrance thing was kind of neato.  Even the announcers are bored and this shit hasn’t even started yet.

Slow circle to start.  Fans are not buzzing for this.  Takedown by Trips and mounted punches to zero reaction.  Punches and stuff to the corner.  70,000+ fans, and barely any heat.  Trips stomps a mudhole in Orton, but the referee breaks him off and threatens to DQ him.  Orton hits the RKO already to no reaction as well.  Orton sets up the punt and only about 25% of the fans actually bought it.  Trips avoids it and hits the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! and this leads to a double knockout, only a minute or so into the match.  Christ this shit is fucking awesome.  Not.  Both guys roll to the outside where Trips brawls Orton around, then grabs a bottle of water and pores it on his face.  Back in, another takedown and mounted punches, which leads to Orton bailing.  Orton is sent into the post, then back in he begs off.  Trips doesn’t care and kicks him in the face, then mounts even more punches.  Catapult into the bottom rope by Trips and then some knees to the back of the head.  Kneedrop hits as the fans die.  Neckbreaker by Trips and Orton bails again.  On the outside, Orton reverses a whip and sends Trips into the stairs.  Trips is then whipped over the guardrail and into the stands.  The referee starts counting, and if Trips gets counted out Orton wins the championship as well.  Of course, this same spot was done way better by Undertaker and Shawn Michaels earlier, and the fans aren’t buying it (or anything else) here.  Trips beats the count in and gets stomped on.  Stomp between the legs while the fans seem to be looking at some kind of altercation in the crowd, which at least gives the match some kind of heat.  Kneedrop to the back of Trips’ head, then a straight kick for two.  Mounted punches by Orton, then a chinlock.  Trips counters into a back suplex.  Trips charges into a powerslam for two.  And back to the chinlock.  This match sucks.  To their feet where Trips gets free and they slug it out.  Flying knee by Trips and the fans are starting to act like they’re getting into it.  Facebuster and the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! but Orton counters with a catapult into the turnbuckle.  He charges but runs into a clothesline from Trips for two.  Heat died again and it got no reaction.  Trips loads up a superplex but Orton counters by dropping him on the turnbuckle.  Orton comes off the ropes but eats a foot.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! is turned into a jack-knife cover by Orton for two.  Orton goes for the RKO but Trips school-boys him for two.  Spinebuster by Trips and he goes for the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! again but this time Orton counters with the wrap-around neckbreaker for two.  Both guys seem like they’re at a loss for what to do next, so we get a brief stand around moment.  Trips climbs and eats a dropkick to the face.  Orton goes for the punt but Trips catches the foot and 360s Orton over the top rope and to the floor, where he bounces off the guardrail.  They’re actually saving the match here and I’m guessing Sycho Sid isn’t off the hook for having the worst Wrestlemania main event ever.  Trips picks up a monitor and threatens to kill Orton with it, but gets reminded that he loses the championship.  Horrible stipulation.  So Trips preps an announce table and loads up the pedigree, which is somehow not a DQ, but it doesn’t matter as Orton backdrops him onto another announce table, and it doesn’t break.  Orton then DDTs Trips off the announce table and onto the floor in a pretty cool spot.  The referee starts to count.  The fans still don’t really buzz over it.  Orton fires off the Garvin Stomp and still doesn’t get any reaction from the fans.  Stomps into the turnbuckle by Orton and a choke with the foot.  Trips fights back only to get pushed into the referee.  Orton then slings Trips into the referee and hits the RKO.  Of course, he should have not knocked the referee out there because he would have won the match.  Orton bails and grabs a sledge hammer from under the ring.  He then seems to orgasm while holding, which gives Trips enough time to recover and hit a punt on Orton as he gets back into the ring.  The ref is still out so Trips hits Orton in the face with the sledge hammer.  He disposes of the weapon and mounts some more punches, nearly getting DQed.  This was supposed to draw heat, but it doesn’t at all.  He then hits the pedigree for the pin and mercy-killing of this match.
** Horrible main event with one or two decent spots, but zero heat.  This should have NEVER been the main event.  Terrible structure to the match, in part the fault of the stipulations and way too many dead spots.  Not the worst main event in Wrestlemania history, but very close.  But let the record show that I’m not blaming Orton or Trips for killing the crowd, as they were in a no-win situation right out of the starting gate.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Match #9: Tag Team Championship Unification Lumberjack Match
(World Tag Team Champions) The Miz & John Morrison vs. (WWE Tag Team Champions) Carlito & Primo

Also known as the “Sorry guys, but we have to give twenty minutes to Kid Rock to go out and half-ass it” dark match to the show.  Morrison starts with Primo.  Morrison gets a backelbow but gets dumped to the apron.  Morrison recovers and gets back in, but gets head scissored to the lumberjacks.  Morrison gets back in as fast as he can, only to get dumped back to the floor with a clothesline and beat on.  It gets two.  Tag to Carlito and the brothers hits tandem splashes for two.  Morrison gets a backdrop on Carlito and tags Miz who covers for two.  Miz dumps him to the lumberjacks, but Carlito fights them off.  Carlito almost botches his double springboard but still hits it, then dropkicks Morrison.  Cover to Miz gets two.  Shoot to the corner by Miz but Carlito gets his foot up on a charge.  Carlito gets tossed off the top and to the floor.  He gets tossed in and Miz covers for two.  Tag to Morrison and a hotshot for two.  Mounted punches by Morrison.  Tag to Miz and a double gut-buster for two.  Now to a chinlock by Miz.  Kneelifts by Miz and a tag to Morrison.  Carlito springs off the ropes at them but gets caught in a pancake.  Stomp between the legs by Morrison and a running kick gets two.  Chinlock by Morrison, with Carlito trying to fight out.  Morrison gets caught in an electric chair for a double KO.  Tag to Miz, hot tag to Primo.  Punches and a tornado elbow.  Armbar takedown and a dropkick by Primo.  Springboard dropkick gets two.  Blind tag by Morrison who hits the chopkick on Primo for two.  Fans bought that as the finish.  Morrison goes for the moonlight drive but Primo rolls him up for two.  Brawling by Morrison but he misses a charge.  Primo climbs while Carlito spears Miz off the apron.  Crossbody off the top by Primo is rolled-through by Morrison for two.  Morrison sets up for a reverse suplex but Primo flips out of it and straight into the backstabber for the pin and the titles.
**3/4 Some missing… maybe motivation?

-You also get highlights of all 24 previous Wrestlemanias, and the Hall of Fame ceremony.  Quick Hall of Fame thoughts:

The Funks: Long overdo.

Koko B. Ware: What, was Iron Mike Sharpe not available?

The Von Erichs: Vastly underrated despite all their drug problems.

Howard Finkel: Why on Earth do they not use him more?

Bill Watts: Despite the bullshit that went down in WCW, I still think he’s one of the five-best minds the business has ever seen.

Ricky Steamboat: Still better then 75% of the active roster.

Steve Austin: It’s too bad Hollywood came calling because he should have retired into a creative position.  He came up with the Flair retirement stuff and the Jericho/Michaels feud from 2008.  So all the best stuff from 2008 came from his brain.  Booking might be his second calling.

BOTTOM LINE: Well I was *way* off about this Wrestlemania and it actually doesn’t rank anywhere near the bottom.  Three ****+ matches (although I might have gone a little overboard on Cena/Edge/Show) and some really fun moments make this an easy thumbs up.  Just skip the main event and let us never speak of it again.

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