Wrestlemania I-XXX Series (25/30)

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–Edited on November 30th, 2019 – Removed broken pics/vids etc.–

The Colóns vs. John Morrison and The Miz

This was the pre-show Unification Lumberjack match for both the WWE World, and WWE Tag Team Championships. When I saw this PPV live in 2009, I didn’t see the pre-show, so it annoyed me when JR told us The Colons had won. They didn’t show the highlights during the event, so I missed out. Luckily I managed to find it .. and yeah, it should have been on the main card. Fast-paced action, the lumberjacks got involved, and a decisive winner with a feel-good moment. This was also The Miz’s Wrestlemania debut. I’m going to leave the video below. Should it have been on the main card instead of Kid Rock or the Divas?

Money In The Bank Ladder Match

As WMXXV began, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls sang a rendition of America the Beautiful. Not as good as Lillian’s, but still good enough.

The Money In The Bank Ladder match included: CM Punk, Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas), MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Finlay (with Hornswoggle). The match began with Henry and Kane standing tall; the first time two super-heavyweights were involved in MITB at the same time. Christian & Shelton teamed up to take the big men down with a ladder. Kofi made his Wrestlemania debut taking Benjamin and Christian out by dropkicking the ladder they were holding. Then Kofi delivered a boom drop to the same ladder.


All the smaller guys formed a temporary alliance to take Henry and Kane out; the commentary labelled it a smart move. After the monsters were ejected to the outside, the rest of them climbed the ladder for the briefcase. The big men recovered and knocked them all down. Finlay managed a suicide dive to Kane and Benjamin on the outside, which sparked further dives. MVP soaked in the fan support before his dive. Punk & Kofi delivered suicide dives in stereo as well. Shelton managed to slip away from the highspots long enough to deliver one of his own; a 15-foot high dive off the top of the ladder on to everyone! Sick! Holy Shit chant from the crowd.


The fans went crazy as Henry climbed to the top, knowing if he had delivered a dive of his own, someone was going to die; luckily Finlay stopped him. Hornswoggle introduced his own mini-ladder to the match. Finlay set it up so he could climb up to the top on to Henry, and then deliver a TADPOLE SPLASH on to everyone. They appreciated that one. Finlay set a ladder up, then beat up on Kofi. Kofi leapfrogged through the ladder to kick Finlay in the face, and then dropped the ladder on his head. Really good stuff Kofi! Didn’t last long though, Finlay took everyone out with the mini-ladder.

After Kofi took Finlay out with a springboard dropkick, Henry entered and took the advantage. Henry stood a ladder up in the air, (about to set it up) then Kofi ran and climbed the ladder while Henry was holding it, almost grabbing the briefcase before Henry dropped him straight into the Worlds Strongest Slam .. on the ladder! MVP lifted a ladder up on the outside and placed it on the top rope, jabbing Henry off the ladder in the ring; he made a bridged ladder from the ring ropes to the ladder in the middle of the ring. MVP tried climbing the ladder but Shelton interrupted.

The two fought around the bridged ladder, til Shelton jumped in to a powerbomb. The crowd really got behind MVP as he climbed, but then Punk and Christian intervened. MVP was knocked down, leaving Punk and Christian to fight on the ladders. Christian got on the bridge with Punk, and delivered an ugly Unprettier off the ladder, not the best move to use off a ladder. For no reason, Kane placed a third ladder on the outside, facing up in to the bridged ladder. This was to set a spot up for later.


The fans cheered as MVP climbed the ladder again. Shelton noticed and climbed the ladder Kane had set up, ran across the bridge, and jumped on to the ladder in the middle of the ring, stopping MVP in the process. Visually awesome. But not for long, as Shelton tried to do a sunset flip powerbomb to MVP .. but they BOTCHED it so damn hard MVP’s face fell on the ladder. Looked more like MVP’s fault than Shelton’s. The match was flawless up til that point.


Christian got the advantage, and the fans were behind him. It seemed they either wanted MVP or Christian to win, but no one else. This became more evident as they booed wrestlers who stopped MVP or Christian, especially CM Punk, who had won it the previous year. Punk got his foot stuck in the ladder like Jericho. Kane climbed to stop Christian, and knocked him off. Punk recovered and almost took the briefcase down, but Kane choked him out. He reversed by kicking him in the head, and then shoving him off with his boot. Punk stood tall and claimed Money in the Bank for the second year in a row.

What was shocking about this was there had never been a back-to-back winner, so the fans assumed either someone like MVP or Christian was guaranteed to win it. They wanted to see these guys in the main event scene, and yet it was not to be, as MVP never got out of limbo, and Christian stayed in the mid-card for a little while longer. Not the best MITB ladder match, it started really well, picked up in the middle, but the botch killed it for me, and the ending wasn’t great either. Regardless, a solid way to start the main show, and it really cemented Punk as a main event guy,

Kid Rock vs My Patience, & “Miss Wrestlemania” Battle Royal

It’s 2009, not 2001. Kid Rock at Wrestlemania 25 was an odd choice, but I guess he was the biggest name to contribute a theme, so they allowed him a 15-20 minute mini-concert. I could handle Bawitdaba and Cowboy, but I think he played four or five songs, and by the time the Divas came out I was happy it was coming to an end. Several critics stated they would have preferred the tag team match. Not that Kid Rock’s performance sucked .. it just dragged on longer than needed.

So moving on, we got a Battle Royal including Divas returning, like Sunny, Molly Holly and Torrie Wilson, but we didn’t get any announcements, so there was no way of knowing til they were eliminated. Even Jim Ross was shocked when Molly Holly was eliminated, like even he didn’t know who was participating. Through the sea of Divas, it was really hard to point anyone out, except Santina, he stood out like a sore thumb as he avoided all contact. You remember this match now don’t you?

After six minutes of this rubbish, wrestlers like Gail Kim, Mickie James, Victoria, Molly Holly, Natalya, Melina and Beth Phoenix were all treat like nothing as Santina won by eliminating Melina and Beth at the six minute mark. Despite the clear insult to the entire Divas Division, the crowd loved it and cheered Santina as he/she was crowned “Miss Wrestlemania”. Hard to look back on, but the fans in attendance responded to it, so it will be remembered for Santina, whether you loved it or hated it.


Chris Jericho vs Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat (with Ric Flair)

“Damn Jericho! you have heat son!” Is what I thought when I watched the video package for this feud. 2009 Jericho was super evil, and it’s hard to remember anyone as callous, stubborn, cocky, and downright merciless in recent times. The Hall Of Famers were looking to take him to school, and it was going to take at least three of them to get it done. My only complaint with this is Jericho could easily have been in the main event of the show considering his heat; instead he’s reduced to a nostalgia act, luckily one which didn’t suck.

The feud was odd, because it saw Jericho verbally attack Mickey Rourke over his character in the film “The Wrestler”, and told him he had no idea what it took to be a real wrestler. Despite Jericho seeming to stick up for professional wrestling, and its hardships, he was going against it by humiliating the legends Rourke represented; you got to love hypocrites.

Piper and Jericho started, with Piper getting intense and beating him down. He barely managed to deliver a dropkick, probably the first dropkick he’s done in decades (hard to watch Piper, still can’t believe he’s gone). Piper tagged in Snuka, who’s probably wrestling his last match (I don’t know for 100% fact), with his vintage chops.


Boom! The Dragon got the hot tag and we finally got some action! Wow, look at Ricky go! “You still got it!” chant. Seriously, Ricky had not lost a step, it was like he had gone back in time, taken all the athleticism from his younger self, and brought it with him to Wrestlemania XXV. Jericho must have been in awe of Steamboat as they went back-and-forth.

Snuka got a tag, and shortly after, was placed in the Walls of Jericho. Snuka tapped out, leaving it 2-on-1. Piper jumped in and continued his ugly offense. A poke to the eyes was so blatant, it was hilariously blatant. Piper got a big pop as he went for the Sleeper. Jericho countered with an Enzuiguri, and a pin, eliminating Piper and making it 1-on-1. Jericho vs Steamboat equals epic.

After some exchange, Jericho tried locking in the Walls, but then Steamboat countered to a small package, as the fans popped LOUD. Only a 2-count though. Sadly, that was enough, as the Codebreaker ended The Dragon. Jericho gloated afterwards, til Flair saw red and entered the ring. Jericho soon got the upper hand on Flair as well. His attention turned to Micky.


Reluctantly, Micky stood up out of his chair. Got to give it to him, he sure knows how to make the crowd anticipate. He slowly made his way in the ring, as JR informed us he’s a former boxer. That’s telegraphing JR! Anyways, Micky got in the ring and put his fists up, and lunged in with a few jabs. Jericho looked worried as he held his arms up like a boxer. Just like Mike Tyson or Floyd Mayweather, boxing was always going to triumph, and Micky managed to do what four Hall of Famers couldn’t; lay Jericho out with one punch.

I have to be honest, you could have taken everyone out of this equation and just had Jericho vs Streamboat for ten minutes. That would have been enough. Jericho looked really confident after beating the three legends, but then he was made to look weak compared to an actor/former boxer. It’s stuff like this which hurts the image of wrestling. Still, a rather entertaining and unique match.

Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy in an Extreme Rules Match

Nice to see Matt finally getting a serious shot at being a jealous heel. I like to believe this match was to get Matt over, possibly to upper mid-card/main event status, but sadly it wasn’t to be .. as Jeff let his contract run out in August, and Matt was fired the following year.

There were some random spots in this TLC match disguised as Extreme Rules. Like the cardboard poster to the head. And the hoover (vacuum to you Americans) to the face. Also Matt swinging a chair at Jeff as he attempted Whisper in the Wind. Jeff put a trashcan on Matt and swung a crutch at it; quite weak. He also tried a springboard off the turnbuckle to get a dropkick on Matt, but he appeared to miss, either that or he barely grazed it.

Further in, the tables were introduced. Jeff managed to lay Matt out with a superplex and a chair shot, and placed him on a table on the outside. He put a chair on Matt and set up another table standing on the table Matt was on. Jeff went to the top and crashed through both tables. Another crazy spot!

Back in the ring, Jeff thought about killing his brother, so he got two ladders, one bigger than the other, and decided to leapfrog leg drop down to the mat … missing his brother, as he rolled out of the way. A great ending with wicked intentions as Matt wrapped Jeff’s head up in a chair, followed by a Twist Of Fate. Matt won the match, and grinned as he left Jeff a broken heap in the ring. Really entertaining, a bit clunky in places, and considering their chemistry you would expect a little more, but it was enough to stay engaged.

Rey Mysterio vs JBL (c)

This was for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and according to JR, the first time the title had been defended at Wrestlemania for seven years. Seriously couldn’t remember what happened, so as I watched again on Tuesday, I was trying to figure it out. JBL got on the mic and told everyone he was going to deliver the most dominant Wrestlemania performance ever. Rey came out wearing a Heath Ledger-inspired Joker mask.

Bang! 619! Splash by Rey! New Intercontinental Champion in 21 seconds. There you go JBL, there’s a dominant performance. JBL got on the mic, looking like he could cry. He told the fans he had something to say, but he had so much heat the fans wouldn’t let him talk. JBL tried to say something, but couldn’t, drawing more jeers from the crowd.

Eventually, JBL angrily blurted out “I QUIT!”, which got a pop. JBL officially announced his retirement with just two words, and the fans appreciated it so much they ridiculed him as he left. Such a great heel when you can announce your retirement and get ZERO respect from the fans. Of course, JBL was such an effective heel you could never believe he was telling the truth, so ya can’t blame the fans for their response.

The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels

Excellence personified. Match of the year. 5-star match. Great build-up of Heaven vs Hell, with Shawn adopting white attire, and an entrance which saw him descend from the heavens. Eeverything was spot on. So much so I’m going to post the match. If there’s any match to revisit today, it’s this classic. It should have been the main event, as nothing could follow it. It’s probably the best match in the entire Wrestlemania series (so far).

Watch The Undertaker kill the cameraman halfway through. Oh sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, will someone please think of the cameraman!

Edge (c) vs Big Show vs John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship

Cue the typical mid-card feel to the secondary World Championship. Cena managed to manufacture an army of Cena clones for his entrance, and despite the valiant effort, the fans still booed. And you know what? After that epic 5-star match, I couldn’t give two stools about this triple-threat. I suppose I’ll look back over it to find the highlights.

Seriously, there’s nothing overly dramatic here. Edge speared Show through the barricade, Vickie and Chavo were involved briefly. Near the end, Cena tried to FU both men, but Edge managed to escape. As is tradition, Super Cena won the match with two FU’s. Edge vs Cena would have been better. Big Show did nothing for me. Neither did Chavo or Vickie.

Moving on, the WWE Hall Of Famers were showcased before the main event, with Stone Cold Steve Austin receiving the biggest ovation by a country mile. Also a rare occasion as Austin was forced to wear a SUIT! Luckily it didn’t last long as he went to the back after his pop, changed into something more comfortable, and returned with his quad bike so he could celebrate in the ring with some beers. That’s how you toast Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Triple H (c) vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship

Felt the same again. How do you follow Undertaker vs HBK? You can’t. These guys worked a match for 23-minutes, and there were some spots with sledgehammers, and RKO attempts and the like, but nothing different. Also a failed table spot just added to the misery of this main event. Once again, Triple H did the typical anti-climactic finish of ending the match with a Pedigree. I really feel like this should have been a Last Man Standing, or an I Quit match, anything to add to the cat-and-mouse game of both men cheating behind the referee’s back. And where’s the blood? We want blood I tells ya! They really should have bumped this down the card in favour of Taker & Michaels.

Conclusion

A really entertaining PPV up to the real main event of HBK and Taker. It was so great it killed the two main events, which are as forgettable as a John Morrison promo. It’s difficult to rate the PPV, because you also had a really good tag team match bumped to the pre-show in favour of Kid Rock and The Divas/Santina. I guess WWE didn’t anticipate how great Taker vs HBK would be? The Money in the Bank was good, but not great compared to previous years. Jericho vs Steamboat was a definite highlight, but I also feel like Jericho could have been used in one of the main events; just to spice it up. Hardy vs Hardy was alright, could have been better, but it established Matt as a credible heel, and it ended well.

Overall, if you take the Kid Rock concert, the Divas, and the two main events out of the equation, the PPV was excellent. We all know the 25th anniversary (despite it being the 24th anniversary of Wrestlemania if you think about it) will be remembered for Taker vs HBK, so you may want to save your time and just watch that. I’m done here, I’m going to finish up and thank you for checking in one more time. What did you think of Wrestlemania XXV? Let me know in the comments below. See you again soon.

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