The silver anniversary – the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania comes to you live from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas in front of a sold out crowd of more than 72,744. A quarter-century in the making. Wow.
Here’s some other info: WWE set a new record tonight at Reliant Stadium, grossing $6.9M in revenue. This is the highest grossing live event in WWE history. With 72,744 in attendance, the WMXXV surpassed SuperBowl XLIII in Tampa (70,774 attendance). WWE fans from all 50 states, 24 countries and 7 Canadian Provinces attended the pop culture extravaganza.
WrestleMania XXVI will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Ticket information will be announced later this year.
Carlito and Primo Colon defeat MizMo
They’ve now unified the titles, so it’ll be cool to see what they look like now, assuming they don’t just drop one or the other. For some reason, this match was pulled from the broadcast and moved to a dark match prior to the show, so for those of you who missed it, tough. It’s only available on DVD, which is stupid, since they should have just done a regular match. The match was said to be very good with some fun spots. The ending came when Morrison went for the Moonlight Drive on Primo, who reversed it and turned it into a Back Cracker to score the pin.
Speaking of stupid, Vince has already lost faith in ECW Champion Jack Swagger since his lackluster match with Finlay at No Way Out. He still wants to push him, but doesn’t think he’s ready for TV. If that’s the case, why didn’t he drop the belt to Christian without losing, maybe like getting DQ’d with that stipulation? And everyone wonders why championships aren’t worth anything anymore – that don’t get better if they’re not defended at PPV’s, and there’s no bigger PPV than the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania.
In unrelated WMXXV news, Dolph Ziggler was injured during a match with Sim Snuka (you read that right) during the WM Access Tour. He was seen holding his shoulder, so the early belief is that he’s broken his collarbone. I’ll keep you up to date.
America the Beautiful
Performed by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Sherzinger. Great crowd pop for the song. Jets fly over Reliant Stadium, and the set and crowd look astonishing. Opening pyro was awesome.
CM Punk wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Very good match with some great spots. Shelton Benjamin’s swanton off the 20-foot ladder was incredible. Kofi Kingston had about a half-dozen spots too, he’s really shown how athletic he is. Climbing the folded ladder up the briefcase and performing some signature moves on the ladder was outstanding. Christian’s unprettier on CM Punk from the top of the ladder was a great idea, but the landing was botched. Hornswaggle even had a good spot. A lot of ladder shots in the match, which was a good thing. A great teased finish with Christian pushing the ladder over with himself on it, but bouncing off the ropes and regaining his vertical positioning was incredible – the crowd erupted when this happened. As for the finish…
Realistically, let’s go through the possible outcomes. Mark Henry and Kane can’t win – they’re not over enough, and neither one of them can climb a ladder. Finlay, realistically, won’t win because he too is just not over enough. MVP and Shelton Benjamin are possibilities, but neither one are ready for a championship match. That leaves CM Punk and Christian. Punk won last year, cashed in Money in the Bank to beat Edge, then lost the belt, and quietly went back down to midcard status on RAW. Christian, on the other hand, is a fresh talent who could use the MITB win to get a title shot on RAW or SD!, and once again push him back to main event status, which is where he was before he left for TNA. For some reason, beyond my comprehension, Punk wins again. He’s now the first ever to win back-to-back MITB matches. What for? All he’s going to do is cash in and quickly lose the belt and fall back down to tag matches with Kofi – again. What a waste.
Kid Rock Concert
So the Buddy Holly glasses are back in style? Kid Rock rocked out to Bawitdaba, All Summer Long, Rock N’ Roll Jesus, Cowboy and So Hott, among others. Great stuff, but very long – roughly 6 songs melted into one performance. Good pyro for him, too. Some people have been telling me about him lip-synching, but I was too busy rocking out to notice. Bawitdaba and All Summer Long are some sweet tunes. Too bad American Bad Ass wasn’t played.
Santina wins the 25-Diva Battle Royal
Mae Young was timekeeper at the announce table. Gross. Sunny and Torrie Wilson were eliminated quickly, unfortunately, and the majority of the match was dominated by Beth Phoenix. A mystery diva (Santino dressed like a woman) was hiding in the corners, and for the finish, pulled a lopsided Beth and Melina over the top rope for the win. He starts crying after announcing that he’s Santina, Santino’s twin sister from Italy. He starts dancing afterwards.
Chris Jericho defeats The Legends
Actually a passable match. Superfly was just awful, and he was eliminated first with the nice Walls of Jericho that was done for real – it actually looked like the original Lion Tamer. Poor attempt at tapping out by Superfly. Piper was the next to go, quickly thereafter. Thank goodness for Steamboat who can still move – he’s jumping off the top rope, out of the ring, everywhere. Jericho wins via Codebreaker. Flair comes in and gets beaten down, and Y2J calls out Rourke, who looks like a homeless Johnny Depp in the future. After some hesitance, Rourke comes in, and they box. Jericho backing away, and he eventually gets “hit” with a left hook. The Flair celebrates with Rourke.
Stupid segment. At least Floyd Mayweather is a real boxer, and he actually hit the Big Show. So, Jericho can beat four past-wrestlers down, but can’t beat up an untrained actor? Either way, Jericho came out looking like a tool because of that shot from Rourke. What kind of a guys name is Mickey? Wasn’t he a mouse? Anyways, the result and aftermatch were predictable.
Matt Hardy defeats Jeff Hardy
This match was awesome. So many spots from Jeff – the top rope, the chairshot on the Whisper in the Wind, the double table jump, the Twist of Fate with Jeff’s head wedged through the chair, the missed Swanton, the double ladder leg drop – he missed that one and landed straight on his tailbone. Great match overall, but Matt winning was a given I think.
Rey Mysterio defeats JBL to win the Intercontinental Championship
Rey comes out looking like Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Pretty cool. JBL beats Rey down prior to the match, but the match itself was only 12 seconds long with Rey winning the belt for the first time. JBL’s historic thing is quitting, as it takes him a minute to spit it out. JBL is most likely taking Tazz’ spot on the SmackDown! announce table – him and JR should work well together. Anyways, waste of a match. I’d easily take the tag title unification match over this.
The Undertaker defeats Shawn Michaels
Oh. My. God. First and foremost, the entrances. HBK comes down from over the titantron with all white lights, almost like he’s descending from the heavens on clouds as he floats down to the stage. Taker rises from hell from underneath the stage, ala Rey Mysterio, with all darkness surrounding. Amazing. The match itself was incredible, with HBK getting two Sweet Chin Music’s and Taker kicking out, while Taker hit a Tombstone Piledriver and for the tease finish with HBK kicking out. Taker did a running Senton out of the ring and landed on a camera guy who landed on his camera, which was awesome. The crowd was hot throughout the match. There were about a dozen close finishes in what I can only describe as godly.
There are a few matches that come to mind when you think of the greatest matches in WWE history – Hogan vs. Andre at WMIII, Hogan vs. Warrior, HBK vs. Razor Ramon in the first ever ladder match, Stone Cold vs. Bret Hart in the ironman match, etc. This match could very well surpass them all. If anyone was to break Undertaker’s 16-0 streak, it would be HBK, and the fact of not knowing who was going to win added to the suspense. This match was so beyond 5 stars.
John Cena defeats Big Show & Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship
Big Show didn’t need to be in this match to begin with. Anyways, not much to say here – some good spots with Edge going through the barricade with Show, and Cena almost FU’ing Show AND Edge on top of him. Cena winning means that Triple H retains to keep a belt on SmackDown!. Following up Taker/HBK was impossible.
WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009
Some great names being inducted, with Stone Cold being the best. He comes back out with his Austin 3:16 shirt and an ATV, does some laps and drinks some beers for what could be his last hoorah ever. Arguably the best superstar in WWE history – soak it in while you can.
Triple H defeats Randy Orton
The crowd was dead for this match – Taker/HBK was so nuts, I think the crowd was exhausted. An RKO and Pedigree led off the show immediately, like 30 seconds in, and Triple H punted RKO and won with the sledgehammer shot and Pedigree while the ref was down. Not much else to say here, just a wrestling match. It was alright at best, but nothing to jump out of your seat about. Poor execution for the most part.
A lot of people are having mixed reactions about the PPV, as do I. The MITB match was terrific, but with the wrong finish. The Divas match was a total waste, and the Legends/Y2J match, although passable, was poor use of Chris Jericho’s skills. The Hardy match was great, but Cena and RKO were just average matches. The true main event was Undertaker and HBK, but after watching RKO/HHH, they had to put it third-last, since the crowd would be dead from cheering all night. Essentially, ‘Mania was a one-match show. Was the one match worth the fee? I’d say so, since it is likely the greatest match ever, but that’s just one guy’s opinion. Outside of that match, not really a memorable WrestleMania.
High Point: HBK/Taker
Low Point: Divas match
Final Score: 7