Many claimed that history would be made at WrestleMania 25, most were not disappointed.
A Lumberjack Tag Team Match began the event, though if you weren’t there, you didn’t get to see it. The match was for the “Unified Tag Team Titles”, between Carlito & Primo Colon and The Miz & John Morrison; the winners would walk out with both the WWE Tag Team and the World Tag Team Titles. With members of the Smackdown and RAW rosters lining the outside of the ring waiting to attack anyone thrown from the ring, the battle was on. As I didn’t see it, I can’t say too much about what happened…only Carlito & Primo were able to defeat The Miz & Morrison to become the very first Unified Tag Team Champions. This was the first of a long list of historical happenings at WrestleMania 25.
The fifth annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match started off the televised event. In this match, eight participants from all three WWE brands compete to retrieve a briefcase (using a ladder) that is suspended above the ring with a cable. The briefcase contains a contract which the holder can exchange any time any where for a WWE, World Heavyweight, or ECW Championship match. Entrants gained participation by winning qualifying matches. CM Punk entered the ring first, followed by Mark Henry, MVP, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Kane. The 8-Man battle was exciting from the beginning, with entrants using ladders as weapons as well as a way to the briefcase. Kane was the first able to climb the ladder, but was defied by Mark Henry. At one point, Kofi Kingston used his monkey like antics to attempt getting to the case by climbing a ladder being held upright by Mark Henry. He got to the top of the ladder before Henry dropped it to the ropes, foiling Kofi’s attempt. CM Punk was able to knock Kane off the ladder, taking down the last of the competition long enough to capture the “Golden Briefcase”. This match took just under 15 minutes. The second WM 25 historical happenings, CM Punk became the first wrestler to win two Money in the Bank ladder matches as well as the first man to win two consecutive Money in the Bank ladder matches. What title will Punk set his sights on this year??
Taking a break from the action, the crown enjoyed a live performance by Kid Rock. Kid performed a melody of three songs, his hit “All Summer Long”, keeping the crowd rocking. To end his performance, Kid performed “So Hot”, the official song for the 25 Diva Battle Royal, as the WWE Divas (past and present) entered the ring for the battle. The 25 Diva Battle Royal was set up to name one WWE Diva “Miss WrestleMania”. Participants in the battle included the 18 current Divas on the Roster, 6 former Divas, and 1 surprise entrant…Santino Marella’s “twin sister” SANTINA!!! Santina was able to hide in various areas of the ring, avoiding battle until the very end, where she helped Melina take Beth Phoenix over the top rope with her. Santina was the last ‘Diva” standing in the ring!! Beth Phoenix looked appalled as she watched from ringside as they crowned her boyfriend “MISS WrestleMania”!! Not only was this history as the first Miss Wrestle Mania, but to make matters worse, it was a man in drag who was crowned!
Videos of Chris Jericho talking trash (what is new here?) began to light up the screens in the arena. Among the videos was Jericho putting down Mickey Rourke and his movie “The Wrestler”, as well as the Legends of the WWE. This lead into the Three-On-One Match of Jericho VS Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat. Rules of the match dictated that Jericho must defeat all three ‘Legends’ to win the match. Ric Flair cheered on the other Legends from ringside, while Mickey Rourke watched the action from the front row. While the Legends are close to 20 years his senior, they were able to hold their own and put quite a beating on Jericho, before falling one by one to the Loudmouth. Snuka was the first to fall when Jericho put him in the Walls of Jericho and forced him to tap out. Second was Piper when he was hit with a Cross Body and Jericho pinned him. Steamboat was impressive in putting up the biggest fight against Jericho, only being pinned after Jericho was able to hit him with a Codebreaker. An angry Ric Flair got in the ring and attacked Jericho, only to be downed by a Codebreaker himself. Jericho then began calling himself the BEST and saying he has taken out the Legends forever (is anyone truly going to be impressed by Jericho fighting men twenty years his senior?). He then called out Rourke, blaming him for starting the whole battle with the Legends and demanding an apology…calling him a coward and a hypocrite “just like everyone else in the arena”. Rourke stood up, removing his jewelry, hat and jacket, and slowly entered the ring to a roaring crowd. Jericho continued mocking the star who is a former professional boxer, only to be startled when Rourke swung at him. After more ’dancing around’, Jericho stepped into a left hook thrown by Rourke and was dropped to the mat instantly. Flair raised Rourke’s hand in victory as Jericho slunk away from the ring holding his head. Maybe Piper’s saying ‘Old School is Cooling” was proven after all.
The rivalry between Matt and Jeff Hardy came to a head at WrestleMania 25 as the brothers met up in an Extreme Rules Match. Basically in this match, ANYTHING GOES. Matt’s jealousy over his brother’s success of recent months has been a thorn in his side, keeping him from thinking clearly. Any fan of the Hardy Boyz dreaded this night. Watching these loving brothers/partners who had worked so hard together toward achieving their dreams in the WWE is heartbreaking to say the least (storyline or not). Breaking out an arsenal of weapons, including trash cans, kendo sticks, crutches, a vacuum cleaner (YES…a vacuum cleaner), chairs, tables and ladders; the brutal assault continued. Between Matt being crushed between two tables, and having his head slammed inside a trash can, and Jeff getting a Side Slam onto a steel chair, and hit in the head with a vacuum cleaner…the battle was on. When Jeff missed a butt drop onto his brother from a 20+ ft ladder, Matt capitalized by putting Jeff’s neck into a folding chair and hitting him with a Twist of Fate, followed by a pin for a three count. I think this battle between the Hardy’s has just begun. It is the first of its kind since the untimely death of Owen Hart during his battle with brother Bret.
To start out the Intercontinental Championship bout between JBL and Rey Mysterio, JBL came out claiming to be a HERO to Texas…a place that has “NO MEN” anymore, and claiming a victory before Rey Mysterio even entered. BooyakaBooyaka starts, and Mysterio enters the arena wearing a ‘Joker” mask, and playing to an ecstatic crowd. Once the introductions started, JBL attacked Mysterio before the match ever began. However, once the bell rang, if you blinked you would have missed the whole match. With an Insuguri, Mysterio immediately set JBL up for a 619, following that with a Frog Splash. In a mere 21 seconds, Mysterio was able to pin JBL and win the Intercontinental Championship for the first time in his career. JBL sat in the middle of the ring looking like he lost his best friend, and then grabbed a microphone stating “I have something to say!!” He got quiet for a moment, then made history by yelling the words “I QUIT” before walking out of the ring.
Who will win-- the Showstopper or the Streak?? This question has been asked ever since the match was set up. Shawn Michaels (HBK) dropped from the rafters on a lift, bathed in white light and donning a white hat and trench coat (much like the black ones worn by his opponent). Undertaker ascended from the depths below the stage to begin his slow walk to the ring. In the beginning, HBK used his speed to take quick control of this match. Undertaker retaliated using his strength to toss HBK around like a rag doll. HBK locked in an early Figure 4 Leg lock, only to be forced to release by a series of right blows from Undertaker. Control of the match went back and forth between the two throughout this 37 minute match. HBK reversed a Chokeslam and turned it around into a Crossface. Haymakers and Chest slaps ensued. Breaking free of another attempted Chokeslam, HBK missed a Sweet Chin Music, and then attempted to lock in another Figure 4, only to have it reversed and find himself in the Hell’s Gate. HBK actually picked up Undertaker to get to the ropes to break the hold. Undertaker took to the air to jump on HBK outside the ring, only to strike a cameraman, taking him out. HBK anxiously awaited the count out, but Undertaker beat it by getting back in the ring at the count of 9. Followed by a series of attempted and connecting finishing moves, the superstars continue to defy the odds by kicking out repeatedly. After a total of two Chokeslams, one Last Ride, one Old School and one Tombstone by the Undertaker, and one Elbow Drop, one DDT, and three Sweet Chin Music from HBK…and a lot of blows back and forth, Undertaker caught HBK in the air, and landed a final Tombstone to seal the win and continue his streak to 17-0. Even though the Streak lives on, Michaels proved once again why he is known as Mr. WrestleMania.
The Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship was between Edge, the Big Show, and John Cena. Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero entered first to watch from ringside as the superstars entered one by one. With Edge and Big Show in the ring, John Cena’s entrance once again was one for the record books. His Word Life entrance music started, and more Cena look-alikes than anyone could count began pouring from the entrance, lining the ramp, followed by Cena himself. The match was electrifying from the beginning. Edge attempted to get Big Show to team up with him against Cena, but Show had ideas of his own. Edge found himself straddling the top rope only to get bounced several times by Show before falling to the mat. The battle continued back and forth. Chavo interfered, pulling Cena from the ring, only to find himself the victim on an Attitude Adjustment (FU) outside the ring. Show got tangled in the ropes and was defenseless, but Edge and Cena took the opportunity to beat on one another. Vickie climbed to the ring apron at one point, only to have Cena thrown her way by Edge. Cena was able to stop before hitting her, but turned out of the way just in time to avoid a Spear from Edge…unfortunately for her, the Spear struck Vickie. Cena attempted a Suplex on Show, and Edge jumped in with a little unexpected help to get it done. The two followed it up with a Double Clothesline to throw Show from the ring. Edge then turned on Cena with a swift kick. I could go on and on about this, but it could take forever. The battle between the three continued on back and forth. In the end, Cena managed to lift both his opponents on his shoulders intent on landing an FU on them both. Edge managed to slip off, saving himself if only for a moment. Cena planted the Attitude Adjustment on Show, then grabbed Edge and followed up by doing the same to him…only with Edge landing on top of Show. Cena pinned Show for the win, regaining the World Heavyweight Championship.
Taking another break from the action, WWE took a moment to recognize the WWE Hall Of Fame Class of 2009. Stone Cold Steve Austin slipped from the stage, and reappeared on a 4 wheeler. He rode up and down the ramp and around the ring before parking and climbing into the ring. Gracing the audience with a final “Stevewiser” and sharing a beer with JR Ross, Austin bid farewell to the WWE Universe.
The main event….settling a VERY personal grudge, Randy Orton and Triple H are set on the total destruction of one another. Leading up to this match, in past weeks Orton systematically began hurting every member of Triple H’s family. The last straw being just a few days prior when he hit a DDT on Stephanie McMahon and sealed it with a kiss, with Triple H handcuffed to the ropes just inches away. Orton’s music started and he emerged from backstage to a mostly silent crowd. Jerry Lawler made a very good point speaking of Orton when he said “Evil should not look that good”. Triple H’s music began; the crowd erupted in cheers, only to get quiet as he made his way to the ring. Standing on the ring ropes, glaring at Orton, you could see the hatred in Triple H’s face. Before the match begins, Triple H is reminded if he is disqualified or counted out, Orton will win the title. When the bell rings, Triple H exploded on Orton-pounding on him, intent on revenge. When the ref separated the two, Orton was able to hit a quick RKO followed by an attempted Punt, but is surprised when Triple H moved and turned it around into a Pedigree. The match continued back and forth, each superstar having the upper hand at times. The ref continually had to remind Triple H of the match stipulations. The anger and hatred between these two is evident. After a brutal assault by Orton, Triple H came back with an arsenal of blows to Orton. After causing Triple H to stumble into the ref, Orton used an Irish Whip to throw him full force into the ref, putting the ref down momentarily. After dropping Triple H with an RKO, Orton took advantage of the incapacitated ref by pulling a sledge hammer from beneath the ring. On trying to reenter the ring, he was greeted by a surprise Punt from Triple H, followed by a jaw rattling hit with the sledge hammer. Crawling to the edge of the ring, Triple H slid the hammer back beneath the ring unobserved by the ref. Triple H began pounding on Orton, only to be pulled away by a once again coherent ref. He then picked up Orton and used a Pedigree to finish him off. With a 3 count, it was over. Triple H remained the WWE Champion, and avenged his family.
As expected, history in one form or another was made at WrestleMania 25.