Starts off with a quick look at the history of WrestleMania and how 20 years later we’re back at Ford Field for WrestleMania 23! They even used back the classic footage of Vince McMahon 20-years ago introducing Aretha Franklin to sing the national anthem this year! We than get the “All Grown Up” promo to start off the show and we are LIVE!
It should also be noted this arena is HUGE! We’re talking Tokyo Dome level here! And the house is definitely SOLD OUT! I hope none of the wrestlers get tired out just making that LONG walk down the isle to get to the ring!Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy VS King Booker with Queen Sharmell VS Finlay VS CM Punk VS Ken Kennedy VS Matt Hardy VS Randy Orton VS Edge
Mr. Kennedy gets his mic intro from the entrance ramp! All 3 announce teams called this match.
Eight-way stare off before the action gets started. Every fights to the outside, and Finlay does a dive off the top rope onto everyone! Edge quickly takes advantage and gets a ladder in the ring to go for the briefcase, but Matt cuts him off. Orton & Finlay race up the ladder and slug it out before falling off the ladder and continuing to brawl out to the floor. Jeff goesd up the ladder, and Kennedy knocks the ladder down but Jeff lands on his feet and they continue to brawl. Booker grabs a mini step ladder from under the ring and gets attacked by Punk who whacks him with it, before Edge takes control and attacks everyone with the mini step ladder.
Back in the ring Booker goes wild and gives spine busters to everyone before giving us a WresleMania Spinaroonie before he gets sandwiched by both Hardy’s using ladders! They take out Edge and set up the teeter-totter ladder to smash Edge’s face, but Finlay knocks Jeff off the top and Edge suplexes Matt onto the ladder! Kennedy sets up Matt on a ladder and goes for the Ken-ton bomb, but MISSES and his head smacks the ladder! Jeff instantly comes in and hits the Swanton on a prone Kennedy! The Hardys take out everyone and go up the ladder for the briedcase before slugging it out and Finlay knocks the ladder over and they both hit the ropes. Finlay takes out everyone and pick up the ladder, but gets speared by Edge, who continues to spear everyone else, but Punk avoids it and Edge hits the corner.
Punk picks up the ladder and goes to work whacking everyone, but Edge spears Punk holding the ladder and the ladder hits Finlay and Orton! Edge goes out for the BIG ladder at entrance-way. Edge sets up the ladder and goes for the contract, but Orton knocks the ladder ver and Eddge falls out of the ring. Jeff Hardy hits a gordbuster on Orton and goes up the ladder as Matt sets up Edge on a ladder positioned between the ring and the guard-rail! Jeff hits a leg drop on Edge off the ladder and breaks the ladder in half! Medics come out to tend to Edge and Jeff and the match continues with Orton giving RKOs to Matt, Finlay and Kennedy.
Orton goes up the ladder, but Punk cuts him off hitting him with a second ladder before setting it up and going up top. Orton cuts off Punk and gives him an RKO off the ladder! Booker goes up top and Orton tries to RKO him off the ladder, but Booker counters it and gives Orton a Book-End off the ladder! Booker back up the ladder and Matt goes after him, but Sharmell pulls Matt off the ladder and King goes for the contract, but Matt threatens to Twist of Fate Sharmell, so Booker has no choice but to go after Matt, who gives him the Twist of Fate! Matt goes up the ladder, but Finlay knocks the ladder over before picking up Matt and giving him the Celtic Cross on the ladder! Finlay is bleeding, but he sets up the ladder and Hornswaggle the Little Bastard comes out and tries to go up the ladder to get the briefcase before Kennedy comes in and takes out Finlay. Hornswaggle punches Finlay several times, but Kennedy gets pissed and gives Hornswaggle a rolling Samoan drop off the ladder! Finlay smacks the ladder into Kennedy’s face and Punk takes out Finlay before going up the ladder himself. Kennedy cuts off Punk and almist reaches the briefcase, but Punks knocks him off the ladder! Kennedy quickly picks up another ladder and smacks it into Punk’s gut, knocking him off the ladder and Kennedy goes up and retrieves the briefcase to win Money in the Bank!!!
That was just awesome and given good time to work out. Looks like they’ll give Edge an excuse here since he was taken out of the match due to Jeff’s big leg drop.Match Rating: ****1/2
A video of the premier of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s movie, The Condemned is shown with all the fans and wrestlers attending giving it a thumbs up.
Kennedy interviewed backstage and he puts everyone with a championship belt on notice, and points out that nice guys finish last, so luckily he’s not a nice guy!
An “All Grown Up” promo video for Batista is shown, and it’s time for the next match.Inter-Promotional Match: The Great Khali [RAW] VS Kane [Smackdown!]
They lock up and Khali shoves Kane down. Kane tries a shoulder block, but Khalli knocks him down. Khali misses a chop, and Kane hits several shots before Kahli tosses him out fo the ring. Kane drops Khali’s throat across the ropes and hits a big clothesline on Khali which doesn’t budge him before Khali hits a clothesline of his own taking down Kane. Khali easily picks up and bodyslams Kane before locking on nerve-hold, but Kane manages to get out of it. Khali pounds and chokes Kane in the corner. Khali misses a bis shot and Kane starts pounding away on Khali, but Khali shoves him off. Kane goes up top and hits the Big Red Clothesline which staggers Khali. Kane hits Khali hard and Khali does the classic “giant stuck on the ropes” spot. Kane exits the ring and gests his hook ‘n’ chain out from under, but Khali catches him coming back in and gives hu the big chop! Khali rips off the turnbuckle, but Kane pulls the chain between Khali’s legs as the referee checks the turnbuckle! KANE BODYSLAMS KHALI! He only gets a near fall, so Kane tries for the chokeslam, but Khali fights back and manages to hit his doule-arm chokeslam and pins Kane with one foot on his chest to get the win! Khali chokes out Kane with his own chain for a bit before finally leaving.
Definitely lived up to MY expectations anyway, and Khali did more in this match than I can recall in any of his other matches.Match Rating: ***
An “All Grown Up” video for the Divas is shown.
Backstage, Cryme Tyme tries to cheer up Eugene from losing his hair, and they show him several dancing girls. Moolah and Mae Young show up and join in! THE DOCTOR OF STYLE, SLICK JOINS IN! Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes joins in! Jimmy Hart and IRS join! RICKY “THE FRIGGIN’ DRAGON” STEAMBOAT JOINS IN! Ron Simmons shows up and gives us a signature “DAMN!” before the party continues with a host of other legends!WWE US Championship: Montell Vontamious Porter VS Chris Benoit [C]
Cheerleaders cheer MVP as he makes his intro.
Starts off with some good mat wrestling. MVP takes down Benoit, and Benoit comes back but MVP is able to escape a German suplex and Crippler Crossface attempt before sending Benoit out of the ring. Benoit back in and tries for the Sharpshooter, and transitions into the Crossface again, but MVP is too close to the ropes. They continue to mat wrestle and MVP is able to go hold for hold with the Wolverine. Benoit catches MVP with a back elbow charging into the corner and sets up MVP for a superplex, but MVP counters it with an arm-wringer, draping Benoit’s arm across the ropes!
MVP starts attacking Benoit’s arm and shoulder. MVP misses a big kick and Benoit hits the trifecta German suplex! Benoit goes up top, but MVP cuts him off and hits a big superplex, but Benoit holds on and cradles him for a near fall! MVP back to work on Benoit’s arm and rams it into the corner post for a near fall. MVP with a back suplex dropping Benoit on his arm for a near fall. MVP with a modified arm-lock, and Benoit manages to escape, but Benoit runs into a big boot for another near fall for MVP. Benoit gets MVP in the Crossface, but his arm is hurting and he can’t get the hold on properly and MVP escapes. MVP slams Benoit on his arm andhits an elbow drop for a near fall. MVP misses a running corner kick and Benoit slams him out with a pair of German suplexes before MVP manages to break free, but Benoit manages to catch him again and delivers 3 more Germans! Benoit goes up top and hits the Swandive Headbutt to get the 3-count and retain his US title!
Wow. Definitely the technical match of the night and MVP looked his best ever here. Good to see Benoit retain, though the ending felt a bit anti-climatic since he didn’t use the Crossface.Match Rating: ***1/2
Undertaker promo vid, not an “All Grown Up” video.
Donald Trump backstage with the former Ms. America complaining on the phone about the lack of respect Vince is showing him by not having any kind of catering for him. The Boogeyman shows up and scares off Ms. America, but The Donald orders him to get him a sandwich!
Video of the Hall of Fame Class of 2007 ceremony.
Back live in the arena, Lilian announces that they’ve made a new attendance record Ford Field of 80,103 before the Fink is introduced and he introduces the Hall of Fame Class of 2007: “Good Old J.R” Jim Ross, Curt Hennig (represented by his family), Jerry “The King” Lawler, Nick Bockwinkle, Mr. Fuji (wheeled out on a wheel chair by Don Muraco), The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika), The Original Sheik (represented by his wife Joyce Farhat) and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
Air the results of an online vote and Batista has a landslide 82% of the vote against Batista! We than get a quick look back at the road to WrestleMania of the Undertaker and his rivalry with Batista.World Heavyweight Championship: Batista [C] VS the Undertaker
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? THEY ARE PUTTING THIS ONE UP NOW THIS EARLY ON THE CARD?!? Smackdown! GM Theodore Long does the ring introductions, and the Dead Man gets his classic intro with the druids, but that’s still no excuse for having the match this early on the card! It just screams that how Smackdown! Is the “B” Brand when the Undertaker wins the Royal Rumble to get his title shot, but his title match is still middle of the card on WrestleMania!
The bell rings and Batista immediately takes down ‘Taker with a spear and they brawl it out in the corner. Batista gets booed as he takes down ‘Taker with a big clothesline. They fight to the outside of the ring and Batista whips ‘Taker knees first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Batista goes up top and hits a big diving shoulder block. ‘Taker catches Batista with a big boot, but Big Dave no sells it and takes down the Dead Man with a big clothesline. The world champion continues the assault and bodyslams the ‘Taker. ‘Taker comes back and the two slug it out, Undertaker winning out backing Batista into the corner and hits a pair of splashes into the corner before hitting Snake Eyes, a big running boot and a leg drop for a near fall.
Undertaker hits Old School and sets up Batista for the chokeslam, but Batista muscles out of it. Batista misses a clothesline and ‘Taker hits the big flying clothesline. They slug it out again and Batista gets knocked out of the ring. ‘Taker smashes Batista’s face into the steps and lays several big elbow shots to Batista as he lays on the apron before giving him a big leg drop. Batsita struggles to get to his feet outside the ring, and the Undertaker hits his trademark HUGE running dive over the top rope on Big Dave! They brawl outside the ring some more, and Batista sends ‘Taker into the time-keeper/ring announcer’s corner. They brawl into the announcers area and Batista sets up ‘Taker on the RAW announce table. He picks up the Dead Man and slams him off the RAW announce table onto the ECW announce table!
Back into the ring and Batista gets a near fall. Batista sets up ‘Taker for the Batista-bomb, but ‘Taker backs him into the corner. Batista counters an Irish whip with a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Batista mounts and pounds away on ‘Taker in the corner, but ‘Taker carries him out and drops him with the Last Ride! Cover but only a near fall! The champion rebounds and catches ‘Taker with a spine buster, but ‘Taker sits up! Batista misses a clothesline and gets chokeslammed for a near fall! ‘Taker signals for the Tombstone, but Batista slips over and hits a big spear. Batista hits the Batista-bomb, but ‘Taker kicks out at 2.9! Batista sets up for another, but ‘Taker flips him over. Batista tries for a Tombstone, but ‘Taker flips out and shoves Big Dave into the corner, and catches him on the rebound with a Tombstone of his own and pins him for the 3-count to win the world heavyweight title! 15-0!
A great match as both men worked on all cylinders. Interesting to see ‘Taker get dominated like he did here, but the reasonable doubt added to the drama of the match. The fans were clearly behind the Dead Man all the way, just too bad this match had to be so early on the card. I loved the visual of ‘Taker walking off into the smoke and darkness when he left the ring before the Hellfire and brimstone broke out.Match Rating: ****
A Bobby Lashley “All Grow Up” video is aired.
Vince backstage all full of himself. Stephanie walks in with her new born, though we don’t see it, but we do get a crib-cam point of view as Vince talks smack about Donald Trump to the baby. Yeah…The ECW Originals (Sabu, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer & Rob Van Dam) VS The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker & Kevin Thorn with Ariel)
The ECW Originals come out through the audience to the old ECW theme.
Sabu and Striker start off and Sabu hits several big diving moves on the former school teacher. He straddles Striker on the top rope and tags Sandman who hits a bit diving leg drop on Striker. Burke tags in and Sandman hits a hip-toss and tags in Dreamer. They hit a double elbow drop and Cor Von catches Dreamer with a kick to the back, giving Burke the chance to make the tag. Dreamer gets worked over by Cor Von and Burke tags in and hits the Elijah Express on Dreamer in the corner. Thorn tags in and powers down Dreamer with a short clothesline and clamps on a chin lock. Thorn runs into a boot in the corner, but catches Dreamer with a big sit-out spinebuster for a near fall. Cor Von back in and continues attacking Tommy’s neck.
Burke tags in, but Tommy slips out of a powerslam from Cor Von and gives him a reverse DDT and a neckbreaker on Burke! Both men tag out and RVD goes to workon Striker. He hits a big kick into Striker’s face followed by a big diving kick on Thorn. RVD hits a big moneky fluip on Striker followed by rolling thunder. Cor Von pulls RVD out of the ring and gioves him a bit clothesline. Sabu dives out on Cor Von and takes him out! Dreamer hits the DDT on Striker but is taken out by Burke! Sandman clotheslines Burke from the ring! RVD hits the Five Star Frog Splash on Striker and covers him for the win! ECW WINS AT WRESTLEMANIA!!!
Definitely a bit on the short side, but good to see the ECW originals standing tall at WrestleMania after all the Hell they’ve been through in the past weeks.Match Rating: ***
A Stone Cold Steve Austin “All Grown Up” video is played.
A look back at the build up of the Battle of the Billionaires, the feud between Umaga and Lashley, and Steve Austin being brought in as the special guest referee.Battle of the Billionaires Hair VS Hair Match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Umaga with Armando Alejandro Estrada representing Vince McMahon VS ECW Champion Bobby Lashley representing Donald Trump
Special Guest Referee: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Rather hilarious to see the mobile barber shop get it’s own entrance! Umaga comes out with using some of the Wild Samoan’s old props. Money drops from the rafters as Donald Trump makes his entrance with the ex-Miss America. Interestingly, the new Miss America is sitting at ringside, along with Ms. Teen USA and Ms. Universe. Austin is actually wearing a referee shirt, and has a bit of a beer gut showing. We’re just under two and a half hours into this pay per view, and this is the semi-main event, so I think we’re going to be in for a long match was a lot of shenanigans.
Both men charge at each other and slug it out. Lashley backs Umaga into the corner and beat him down. Austin physically pulls Lashley off Umaga and warsn him to respect his authority. Umaga catches Lashley with a big foot to the face, but misses a corner charge. Lashley hits a bit shoulder tackle off the second rope for a near fall. Armando gets on the apron, so Lashley drags him in and gives him the big powerslam! Umaga charges at Lashley, who ducks and Umaga smashes back first out on the floor! They get back in the ring and continue to brawl. Umaga sidesteps a spear and now Lashley takes a big crash out to the floor. Back in the ring, Umaga splashes Lashlaey for a near fall. Umaga chokes Lashley on the ropes and Austin pulls him off! Umaga stares him down for a bit before going back after Ausitn, so Austin pulls him off again! Umaga again stares at Austin. Lashley tries to rebound, but is taken down by a big clothesline.
Umaga drives his 300+lbs frame onto Lashley several times. Lashley battles back, but gets caught off the ropes with a Samoan drop! Should be noted that the fans boo Lashley every time he gests offense going, so I guess the people really do want to see Donald bald. Lashley tries to bodyslam Umaga, but his legs give out. Umaga tries to slam Lashley, but he flips over and rebounds off the ropes, knocking McMahon off the apron. Umaga with a Complete Shot on Lashley and he goes up top, but Lashley recovers and tosses him off the top before turning the big man inside out with a big clothesline! Austin lays the count on both men and reaches 9, but stops the count and orders them both to get up! He tells the time-keeper they’ll be no count outs here! Shane comes out to check on Vince as Umaga goes to work on Lashley again.
Austin pulls Umaga off Lashley again, and Shane distracts Austin, givingUmaga the chance to hit him with the Samoan Spike! Shane goes to work on Lashley! Lashley catches Shane and tries for a belly-to-belly, but Umaga makes the save! Umaga hits the running crner attack on Umaga, and Vince gets a thrash can out from under the ring. They set it up and Shane hits the Coast To Coast on Lashley with the thrash can in his face! Shane reveals he’s got a referee’s shirt on under his shirt! He sets up Lashley, and Umaga hits a big diving body press off the top! Shane makes the count, but Austin recovers and pulls him out of the ring before beating him up a bit! Austin back in the ring, but Umaga takes him out! Donald Trump has had enough and takes down Vince at ringside and lays several shots into him! Umaga sets up Austin for the Samoan Spike, but Austin ducks and gives Umaga the Stone Cold Stunner! Spear by Lashley! He covers the Samoan Bulldozer and gets the 3-count! Vince is in shock!
Vince brings Vince into the ring, but gets attacked by Shane! Austin reverses an Irish whip and hits the Thez Press followed by the big elbow drop and another Stunner! Vince tries to sneak away as everyone celebrates in the ring, but Lashley quickly dashes out after him and carries him back to the ring! Austin gives Vince a Stunner and they strap him to the barber chair. Vince begs for his life as Donald and Lashley grab a pair of electric razors and go to work on the chairman of WWE! It’s the real deal folks! Vince is getting shaved BALD as the “Bald Headed Blues” plays on the PA and Austin enjoys a beer watching it all! McMahon flips out of the barber chair at the sight of himself when Lashey shows him the mirror and is a broken man as he walks back down the isle as the babyfaces celebrate in the ring.
OUT OF NOWHERE, AUSTIN STUNS DONALD TRUMP!!! Lashley is in shock and checks on the billionaire as Austin lets out a big laugh with a million dollar smile on his face as he leaves!
Not the greatest match by any means, since it was all about the drama. Still quite entertaining though.Match Rating: ***1/2
A John Cena “All Grown Up” video is shown followed by a Backlash promo.
The Smackdown! announce team bring us back to earlier in the evening for a quick look at the dark match of the show, an inter-promotional lumberjack tag match between Ric Flair & Carlito against Cruiserweight champion Chavo Guerrero & Gregory Helms. Carlito picked up the win with the Back Cracker on Carlito.WWE Women’s Championship – Lumberjill Match: Ashley VS Melina [C]
Ariel is noticeably absent from the lumberjills.
Ashley tries several quick near falls as Melina gets distracted by the lumberjills. Melina chokes Ashley on the ropes and gives her a Giant Swing and gets a near fall. Melina with a surfboard stretch on Ashley. Ashley manages to take down Melina with a head scissors off the ropes. She lays several elbow strikes and flips Melina out of the corner with the monkey flip. She goes for her Star Struck elbow drop finisher but misses. Melina manages to counter a roll-up with one of her own to retain her title. “Lumberjill Pandemonium” breaks out after the match and Melina escapes with her title.
As expected, the weakest match of the night. Ashley was nowhere near ready for a big match like this and Melina did all she could to carry her. If you need a toilet break, this was it.Match Rating: *
A Shawn Michaels “All Grown Up” video is played, and we get a look at the history between HBK and John Cena leading up to tonight.WWE Championship: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels VS John Cena [C]
HBK uses the DX entrance. We than see a Ford Mustang racing and drifting to the arena and smashes it’s way into the arena. John Cena steps out and makes his way to the ring! The crowd still heavily boos him though. We’ve got almost a full hour left in this 4-hour PPV, so I guess you can expect this one to last a while compared to everything else!
They mouth off a bit, and HBK slaps Cena! Cena misses several big punches and gets dropped by a big punch from HBK! HBK taunts him as Cena knows this isn’t going to be easy. They trade armlocks and HBK again uses his quickness to duck Cena’s strikes and lays several of his own in and drops him with a big chop. Arm wringer by HBK, and he takes down Cena with a headlock. HBK locks Cena’s arm to add pressure. They fight to their feet and HBK rebounds off the ropes and ducks two big clotheslines, but the third one finds it’s mark and almost takes his head off! Cena hits a shouldblock and tries for another, but Shawn counters with a Thez Press. HBK sent over the top, but lands on the apron. Cena goes after him, but HBK fights him off and hiptosses him out of the ring to the floor! HBK hits an enzuguiri on Cena, than hits a springboard moonsault off the ring ropes to Cena, almost breaking Cena’s back on the announce table!
Back in the ring, HBK measures Cena with chops and strikes. HBK starts working on Cena’s knee. HBK rams Cena’s knee into the ring post and continues to stomp and kick away on it. Cena has trouble standing and HBK continues to taunt him and attack his knee. Cena tries to fight back with punches out of the corner, but HBK breaks his momentum with a shoulder charge into the corner. HBK finally makes a mistake and misses a corner charge, hitting his head into the corner post and busting himself open!
Cena takes advantage and takes down HBK with a big clothesline followed by a series of right hands and a pair of diving shoulder blocks. Cena hits the spin-out backdrop and delivers the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena salutes HBK and sets him up for the FU, but HBK slips out and lays in a chop. Cena whips HBK into the corner. HBK ducks a clothesline from Cena, and tries for Sweet Chin Music but hits the refeee! Cena tries for the FU again, but HBK counters it into a DDT! A bloodied HBK sets up Cena outside the ring and piledrives him on the steel ring steps!
HBK struggles to get Cena’s limp body back into the ring and makes the cover as a second referee rushes to the ring. HBK only gets a 2 count though. Cena reverses an Irish whip and HBK hits the flying forearm off the ropes and does the kip up! HBK goes up top and diving elbow drop! HBK tunes up the band for Sweet Chin Music! He goes for it, but Cena explodes with a big clothesline! They fight to their feet and exchange strikes. Cena catches HBK off the ropes and tries for the FU, but HBK slips out into a sunset flip for a near fall! HBK tries for a Thez Press, but Cena counters it into the FU and hits it! Cena struggles over to make the pin, but HBK kicks out at 2! Cena sets up HBK on the top rope and tries for a super FU! HBK fights it off and knocks Cena off the top. HBK with a diving cross body, but Cena catches him and rolls through, picking him up for the FU! He tries for it, but HBK lands on his feet! HBK tries for Sweet Chin Music, but Cena ducks and leg trips him, trying for the STFU! HBK kicks it off several times and even cradles Cena for a near fall! Back to their feet and HBK tries an enzuguiri, but Cena ducks and turns it into the STFU! HBK fights and reaches the ropes to break the hold.
The referee pulls Cena off HBK and warns him to respect his authority. Cena turns around and eats Sweet Chin Music! HBK struggles over and makes the cover, but Cena kicks out at 2! The referee counts both men down! Both men struggle to their feet. Cena again tries for the FU, but HBK struggles out of it only to get locked in the STFU in the middle of the ring! HBK fights for all his worth, but eventually taps out! Cena retains at WrestleMania!!!
Honestly, I thought the match seemed to drag on in places with a lot of inactivity. I actually jumped out of my seat when HBK cradled Cena out of the STFU for a near fall, thinking he would have won it there, but alas, WWE continues to shove immortal Cena down our throats.Match Rating: ****
The show closes with a great video recap of the PPV, mixed in with clips from 20 years ago of WrestleMania III, comparing Kane slamming Khali to Hogan slamming Andre, and Ricky Steamboat holding the IC title to Benoit holding the US title.Overall:
Despite the fact that it’s a total travesty for the Undertaker to win the Royal Rumble by eliminating HBK last, but HBK STILL gets THE MAIN EVENT SPOT of the PPV, and ‘Taker only gets the brand main event spot on the show. Despite the fan voting showing Cena was the fan favorite to win, he was still heavily booed here, and it should have been ‘Taker’s title win to send the fans home happy for this big show. The only disappointing match was the Women’s Title match, but everything else was all good from the get go.