Alright non-wreslting fans, this is the moment that you have all been waiting for. My LAST word on Wrestlemania 23.
On Sunday, I went to the theatre in North Bay with my friend Josh to watch the show. As you can all probably imagine, I was very excited to watch the big event. Sure some of the matches looked bad, I didn't care about anyone getting their head shaved, but all in all it looked like a great card.
It started out with the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. While I wondered why they were putting a big match with three former world champions at the top of the card, I understand that they wanted to get the crowd going from the beginning, so I understand the decision. The match started out crazy enough as you would expect any match with 8 wrestlers and a ton of ladders. I loved the opening bit when everyone tried to climb the ladder only to get pushed off by someone else. It really made a lot of sense since that is the whole point of the match, but usually never happens in ladder matches.
An early contender for Moment of the Night came when Jeff Hardy jumped off a giant ladder in the ring onto Edge who was lying on a ladder that was suspended between the ring and the barricade. I found this poor quality video to share, it will blow your mind...
Crazy eh? Note how Edge does not move at all after that. He stayed perfectly still while the stretcher came and took him out of the ring. I was seriously scared for him, but it turns out that his injury was planned (thank GOD!!).
Not long after that Finlay's leprauchan Hornswoggle came out and tried to grab the briefcase for Finlay only to have Mr. Kennedy (....KENNEDDDYYYY) climb the ladder and give the midget the Green Bay Plunge off of the ladder in an homage to King Kong Bundy attacking Little Beaver at Wrestelmania III (pay attention because there are a lot of those throughout the show!!!). Soon after that, CM Punk and Kennedy would compete over (...KENNEDY!!!) the case only for Kennedy to smoke Punk in the face with a ladder and grab the briefcase to end the match (KENNEDY!!!!).
While I wanted my Rated RKO co-winners, I thought that this match was seriously spectacular and a great way to start the show. Kennedy will do awesome with the brief case (....KENNEDY!!!!) and his post-match promo about being Mr. Money in the Bank....Bank was aweomse. I give it a solid 5 broken vertabrates of awesomness!!!
Glen's Mania Predictions: 0-1
Next up we had the first of many "All Grown Up" moments that have been playing over the past several weeks...ugggh. But the moment was saved when they did an incredibly pointless, but incredibly awesome dance party with the Extreme Expose, Cryme Tyme, Eugene, Slick, Dusty Rhodes, I.R.S., and Ricky F'n Steamboat (in the site of his greatest WWF Victory at you guessed it...Mania III).
The next match was Khali-Kane, which as expect was bad. They had a cool bit where Kane struggled to bodyslam the Great Khali in a tribute to, wait for it...Wrestlemania III. I wish that he had tried for a leg drop right after, that would have been pretty awesome. Anyway, Khali wins with his choke bomb finisher and I get a much needed bathroom break. I give it two steel hooks of boredom.
Glen's Mania Predictions: 1-1
Next up we have the US Title Match, which I really think should have oppend the show. Just as I said, this match was surprisingly very good, with MVP (Who got an awesome entrance with cheerleaders and such!!!) working over Benoit's shoulder which prevented him from locking on the crossface. Benoit pulled out some nice roll up counters as a nice tribute to Steamboat-Savage from...Mania III. The match was short but the guys packed a lot into it and Benoit won with the diving headbutt, something that he hasn't won with in a long time. My only concern with this match was that it wasn't quite long enough, and the fact that most people kick out of the diving headbutt made MVP look a little week. A roll up finish would have been more effective I think. Still, I give it a solid 6 German Suplexes of technical mastery!
Glen's Mania Predictions: 1-2
Then we get a wee bit of a surprise as the World Title Match comes out in the middle of the show. I understand that they wanted to space out the three Main Events, but it surprised me that this one went before the Hair vs. Hair match...although it probably shouldn't have. Anyway, this match went well beyong my expectations as both men pulled out all of the stops. While I have seen him do it every year, I am always in awe of the Undertaker pulling out a no hand suicide dive over the top rope...I mean the dude is damn near 7 feet tall and over 40 years old. Also the running powerslam from one announce table to another one by Batista was really creative and actually had me wonder if the streak would get snapped. In the end though, Undertaker became the first person to kick out of a Batista Bomb and went on to hit a tombstone for the win and the title.
Great match, with the right winner. Batista didn't snap like I thought, but it could still happen in the coming weeks to build to a rematch. I give it three powerbombs of big man goodness!!!
Glen's Mania Predictions: 2-2
Next up we have the ECW 8 man match. I've got to say that I had really high hopes for this one and was rather disappointed by the fact that it only got 6 minutes. Still it was nice to see the right team go over in a pleasant surprise. Dreamer looked genuinely touched to perform at Wrestlemania throughout the match.
Glen's Mania Predictions: 2-3
Then we got the very anticipated and over hyped Hair vs. Hair match. This was a really fun match to watch due to the people involved. Austin played his part of ref perfectly and Umaga looked extra crazy going after Austin, especially after his handler was injured (I wonder why none of the announcers mentioned that part...). Shane McMahon ran some great interference hitting the Van Terminator on Lashley to try and cost him the match. Trump then attacked Vince to a huge pop, even though they may have been the worst punches ever. Austin then recovered, hit a stunner on Umaga, allowing Lashley to get the spear and the win. McMahon's reaction to getting his head shaved was priceless and seeing Donald Trump take a stunner was perversely entertaining.
I'll give this one two razors of head shaving good times.
Glen's Mania Predictions: 3-3
We then have the Women's Match...uggh. Now I am normally a huge supporter of the Women's Division, I loved the match last year of Trish and Mickie James. But Ashley and Melina are no Trish and Mickie that's for sure. This match was really short and really bad. And what's with the clean heel win? There were a ton of Lumberjills out there who could have easily interfered on her behalf or at least done something other that stand there and giggle. I'll give this one five aprons of pointless objectification.
Glen's Mania Predictions: 3-4
My hopes of salvaging a .500 record was all hinged on the main event. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels. While I had predicted Cena I was really hoping for Michaels. I predicted that this match would be great, and I was not disappointed. These two really brought their game. It started out a little slow, but that's ok, it helped the build to the finish. Cena had his knee worked over for an extended period of time, but then like the Superman that he is he just shook it off (which is really my only real complaint here). The fast and furious ending to the match was simply amazing. HBK went for a crossbody but Cena rolled through to set up an FU, only for Michaels to flip out and go for a superkick. The two went at it hard at the end only for Cena to lock Shawn in the STFU for the submission victory in a really epic match. I do wish that they had played off the knee psychology a bit more especially if Cena wasn't going to win with the FU (he could have tried but collapsed under the pressure on his injured knee...that woudl have been awesome). But I don't want to knit pick, this was a really great match which I highly recomend that you go out and watch!!! I give it 8 Ricky Steamboats of excitment!!!!
Glen's Mania Predictions: 4-4
All in all I felt that this was a good show. I wouldn't call it great since the huge crowd was pretty quiet (especially after the Taker match) and there was no big "Moment" to speak of. But on the other hand, 7 out of the 8 matches ended cleanly, which really gives the event a certain finality that most events lack. If you see this event pop up on-line I recomend that you give it a watch. At least see the Ladder Match, The US Title Match, and both World Title Matches. The Hair vs. Hair is fun so you may want to give it a view as well.
I'm going to make a bold (and perhaps stupid) prediction for a couple of the matches at Wrestlemania 24:
Triple H vs. John Cena
Edge vs. The Undertaker
Batista vs. Lashley
Ric Flair in a retirment match of some sort
Hmmm that's shaping up to be an alright card already...
Until next time,