Whether WWE WrestleMania XXV lived up to the standards set of past WrestleMania shows is debatable. There were the usual WrestleMania celebrities. There were the usual grand entrances by WWE superstars. But overall, the show itself was a toss up among most fans. However there was no debate as to who had the best match on the show. Once again, Shawn Michaels lived up the moniker of “Mr. WrestleMania.”
Shawn Michaels and Undertaker had what will go down as a 31 minute WrestleMania classic. These two hadn’t missed a beat since their exciting series of matches over ten years ago. The match was just simply great and had 70,000 plus going nuts from entrance to finish. The old dogs showed the current class of wrestlers what stealing the show at WrestleMania is all about.
That wasn’t the only glitch of the match. After kicking out of a Tombstone, Michaels reversed another attempt into a DDT. The move didn’t seem to be noticed by the live crowd. Thanks to a genius in the production truck, a replay was shown immediately thereafter of the botch. The director who called for that shot should probably be getting his resume ready today.
Both men traded and hit all of their signature spots. Michaels even pulled out some new tricks which was nice to see. In the end, Undertaker caught Michaels in the midst of a Moonsault Block. Undertaker reversed it into another Tombstone. Unlike the previous Tombstone, Michaels never kicked out of the subsequent pin. Undertaker now goes to 17-0 and the WrestleMania streak continues.
My second favorite match of the night was actually the Elimination Match between Chris Jericho vs. Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat. Well not the match itself, but the moments between Jericho and Steamboat. Snuka and Piper really need to stay away from the ring. I loved these two guys growing up, but it is really painful to watch them in 2009. Ricky Steamboat was another story altogether.
Steamboat had not had a wrestling match in about fifteen years. As one of the greatest of all-time, I really worried that he’d embarrass himself. Steamboat did not embarrass anyone but the guys that had to follow him. Steamboat looked fantastic and held his own with Jericho. I am almost tempted to see a singles match between Steamboat and Jericho at Backlash. Jericho beat Steamboat, but Steamboat looked absolutely fantastic in my opinion.
The second most remembered WrestleMania moment will probably be the return of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin drove an ATV to the ring and drank a ton of beers to the crowd’s delight. I can’t imagine another WWE superstar in our lifetime reaching the kind of popularity he has. Triple H and Randy Orton followed this, which was quite a task for the main-event.
The celebrities were in attendance as usual at WrestleMania. Kid Rock performed a near 15 minute set. This brings up a story of my own from a few months back. I remember seeing a sign for Kid Rock performing in A.C. on the highway. I said to my girlfriend, “Who in their right mind is going to see Kid Rock in 2009?” To me, this just goes to show how completely out of touch with music that the WWE is. Paul Heyman has written about this in his column and this was a perfect example of this. Maybe they can book Limp Bizkit for next year at this rate?
Mickey Rourke from The Wrestler was the show-stealing celebrity. Rourke sat ringside with a few MMA fighters. Jericho challenged Rourke to get in the ring. Rourke did, and cold cocked Jericho with a punch. I wouldn’t call this pathetic, but I wouldn’t call it a great moment either. Ric Flair quickly ended this by pulling Rourke off of him. Thank God they didn’t go with the planned match.
The rest of the show was a mixed bag. I thought the Hardy vs. Hardy match was a bit disappointing. The Extreme Rules really hampered these guys from doing what they do best. The match almost looked like a bad independent hardcore match. The storyline about Matt killing Jeff’s dog is just way too ridiculous at this point. It’s time to move on to another chapter. I also thought it was rather insulting of the announcers (I’m sure at Vince’s request) to categorize this as a more heated brother-rivalry than the Harts.
WWE Champion Triple H def. Randy Orton
John Cena def. Edge & Big Show (New World Heavyweight Champion)
CM Punk wins Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho def. WWE Legends
Matt Hardy def. Jeff Hardy (Extreme Rules Match)
Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
Rey Mysterio def. JBL (New Intercontinental Champion)
“Santina” Marella wins 25-Diva Battle Royal for title of “Miss WrestleMania”
WWE Tag Team Champions def. World Tag Team Champions (New Unified Tag Team Champions)
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