Brett Mix’s- WWE “Wrestlemania 22” Review:
“Bow down to the King…The King of Kings…”
-WWE Wrestlemania 22 took place on Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois in front of 17,159 fans.
-This was the 22nd Annual Wrestlemania event.
-This Mania had the tagline of “Big Time”.
-Micheal Cole and Tazz did commentary for the Smackdown! action while Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler did so for Raw.
-WrestleMania 22 Is Highest Grossing One-Day Event Ever At The Allstate Arena.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, Viscera won an 18-man Interpromotional battle royal by last eliminating Snitsky at 9:00.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Kane and The Big Show (c) vs Carlito and Chris Masters for the World Tag Team Championship
Wrestlemania 22 opens with the entrance of Carlito as he does a roll down the ramp before picking himself up again.
Chris Masters’s entrance is quite long as you’d expect with him showing off what he has for the camera in typical heel fashion.
Kane and Show come out to a mixed version of their theme music and with the straps as they are the defending Champion’s.
Wrestlemania is in Chicago which means all night it’s going to be interesting hearing the reactions for both Heels and Babyfaces.
Wrestlemania 22 is underway when the bell rings and it’s the Masterpiece one on one with Kane. The guy who lacks serious credibility, although looked alright in a pair with The Big Show as a dominant tag team.
Chris Masters ties up with Kane puts him in a side headlock and then a shoulder block to Kane off the apron, Kane with a leapfrog and then a dropkick to Masters. The Big Show gives him a headbutt from the apron and then tags in. Show chops the hell out of Masters in the corner of the ring, he told Chicago to be quiet while he chopped at Masters.
The Big Show scooped up Masters and he slammed to the canvas, Show stood on him while Masters tagged in Carlito which got a big pop. The Big Show and Carlito were in a wristlock together and Carlito couldn’t gain any power, Chicago loved him and The Big Show dropped him groin first on the top rope. The Big Show scooped up both Carlito and Masters and dropped them, he elevated Carlito onto Masters outside on the floor.
Now Kane goes flying from the top onto Masters and Carlito on the floor. A nice high risk move by Kane keeping things entertaining. The Big Show pulls Carlito by the hair back into the ring and drops a clothesline to Msters. Carlito with a dropkick to the knee of The Big Show charging in. Carlito and Masters both hit a Flapjack on The Big Show, Carlito covered Show and got a nearfall. Carlito stayed on Show viciously in the corner of the ring. Carlito and Masters both suplexed back by Show when they attempted a doubleteam vertical suplex.
Kane gets the tag and he is well rested, Kane lands shots including a backdrop to Carlito and a scoop slam to Masters. Kane goes up high and drops rights and lefts to Carlito in the corner, before charging at Masters in the corner with a clothesline. Kane runs into a boot from Carlito in the corner but he still lands a sidewalk slam on Carlito. Kane comes flying off the top rope in a clothesline attempt but he gets caught in the Masterlock Full nelson. The Big Show comes in and breaks it up with a big boot. Carlito hit Kane with a backstabber until The Big Show picked up Carlito by the throat, Masters chopped down The Big Show’s legs. Masters and Carlito get rid of Show then Kane grabbed them both by the throats, Carlito and Masters though took Kane and beat on him sending him to the ropes but Kane comes off with a big boot.
Kane awaits Carlito to turn around and then Masters jumped from the top and came crashing into Carlito by accident. Carlito again turns into a chokeslam from Kane and that will do it.
In the end at 6:41 Kane and The Big Show retained the straps after Chris Masters accidentally crashed into Carlito from the top, then Kane put away Carlito.
After the match Carlito the fan favourite in Chicago argued with Chris Masters who may of ended up costing him the match.
This match is a very good opening tag match, never a dull moment. Solid opener here.
2) Rob Van Dam vs Shelton Benjamin vs Ric Flair vs Finlay vs Matt Hardy vs Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Following tradition, and the success from the year previous they continued this gimmick match as an annual match at Mania, placing it second on the card the same as the year before.
Shelton Benjamin was the star of the Money in the Bank from the year before despite Edge winning and cashing it in.
So the opportunity was huge here for these guys.
Everyone came to the ring and the match was on.
Rob Van Dam or Bobby Lashley seemed to be the favourites here around this time. Nature Boy Ric Flair looked a little out of place but Chicago still treated him right. This was only his second Ladder match in his thirty year career, he competed with Edge on Raw not long before this for the WWE title.
Everyone brawls to begin, RVD chants heard. Bobby Lashley with a huge clothesline to Finlay and then a slam on Flair. Shelton Benjamin with a thrust kick to Lashley. Shelton Benjamin smiled while Matt brought a Ladder into the ring. Van Dam hit a baseball slide into Matt and the Ladder. Van Dam then springboarded out to the floor over the top rope with a crossbody right into the Ladder taking Matt down.
Awesome bump by Van Dam into Matt.
Back in the ring Shelton Benjamin dropped a Ladder into the head of Finlay and set it up at a 45 degree angle on Finlay. Shelton Benjamin then charged up the Ladder and hit a running senton over the top rope onto all competitor’s outside the ring with a huge flip. Unreal.
Flair chops Finlay down and the old man climbs the Ladder. Matt climbs the other side.
Matt Hardy then set up Flair for a Superplex off the top of the Ladder and Flair looked so out of place, still Naitch took the bump. I respect that. I don’t respect the officials doing the “X” sign pretending he was legit hurt just to make him get an ovation when he returned. I think that’s cheap.
Regardless the fans chant “Flair”…
A droptoe hold by Van Dam driving Shelton Benjamin into the Ladder. RVD tried a rolling thunder and crashed and burned into the Ladder as Shelton Benjamin moved just in time. Lashley now sets up a Ladder in the center of the ring. Lashley climbs ever so slowly and it almost looked ridiculous as he was waiting for Shelton to come up.
Shelton with an amazing Sunset flip attempt to drive Lashley off but it took three men to slam him down, with the help of Finlay and Matt.
Shelton Benjamin with a hard right hand to Finlay in the corner, fans still chanting “RVD”…
Finlay drives Shelton Benjamin into the Ladder, for some reason Matt elects to attack Finlay instead of climb a Ladder and as a result Finlay throws a Ladder directly into Matt as he falls down. Finlay starts to clean house with the Ladder hitting Lashley and then RVD. Finlay now sets up a Ladder and the cheap pop when Flair returns back to the ring. Flair chops Finlay outside the ring and sends him into the barricade.
Ric Flair loves the spotlight and he climbs the ladder, Matt brought him down but Flair gave him a chop. Flair chopped Shelton Benjamin and then Matt once more, then Shelton over the ropes to the floor. Flair was close to the case.
Finlay with his weapon knocked Flair off the Ladder and he did a hilarious flop from off the top to the canvas floor. Finlay still up high, Shelton Benjamin began to climb the other side with head shots to Finlay as the two slug it out at the top, Lashley then with a Ladder knocked them both off. Lashley picked up Shelton Benjamin from a gutwrench into an overhead slam, a dominator by Lashley.
Bobby began to climb the Ladder in the center of the ring. Lashley up high and RVD from behind hit a Van Daminator using a chair jumping from the top turnbuckle hitting the back of Lashley as he fals off the Ladder. Matt set up a Ladder in the corner of the ring and now Matt Hardy goes for his signature move from up high, Matt drops the leg on Lashley from the corner. Matt now tries to climb to the top but Finlay stops him. Matt drops Finlay from the top of the Ladder with a Side Effect taking them both seemingly out of it.
Now this was an opportunity for Van Dam to climb to the top of the Ladder and from up high he goes for the five star frog splash to Finlay off the top of the Ladder. Great spot.
Intense action throughout, fans in Chicago chant ECW. Rob Van Dam sets up a Ladder in mid-ring and climbs to the top, all of the sudden Shelton Benjamin leaped off the ropes landing on the Ladder with incredible agility, what a leapfrog. Fans couldn’t believe it. Matt set up a Ladder and all three men battled with right hands up top on the Ladder. RVD simply kicked the Ladder to the left and Shelton crashed and burned falling from the top of the Ladder out to the floor, Matt went with him.
Van Dam was all alone now, and he grabbed the case!
Ross screams “Van Dam! Van Dam! Mr. Money in the Bank can now be called Rob Van Dam!” Chicago pops.
So in the end at 12:21, Rob Van Dam captured the briefcase to a nice pop after knocking Shelton who springboarded up landing on the Ladder off of it, outside to the floor.
Josh Matthews calls it a five star ladder match, it’s a good thing he doesen’t rate my reviews.
This match is not one of the worst Money in the Bank’s but it’s not one of the best either, it’s somewhere in the middle.
It’s an entertaining, well structured match with a ton of great bumps.
3) John “Bradshaw” Layfield (with Jillian Hall) vs Chris Benoit (c) for the WWE United States Championship
Benoit defending his US title here against Bradshaw.
Chris Benoit obviously at the time a well respected veteran and arguably the finest Wrestler to ever have stepped foot inside a ring could carry a match with anyone, so here with JBL we were in for potentially a good US title match.
Only the second time in Mania history where this Championship was defended the other was Wrestlemania 20 when Cena beat the Big Show.
Bell rings and JBL corners Benoit and he fights back with hard shots. Fans chant “Lets go Benoit” but JBL applies a side headlock in mid-ring. Off the ropes goes JBL but he lands a shoulder block, off the ropes again Benoit hits a nice droptoe hold on JBL and Benoit tried to reach a crossface on JBL but couldn’t do it.
Benoit dropped a headbutt on JBL in tenacious fashion. JBL tackled Benoit down and went back into the headlock on the mat. Chris Benoit countered the headlock into a single leglock on JBL continuing shots to the lowerback of Bradshaw. A high knee by Chris Benoit to the abdomen of JBL followed by two hard chops taking him to his knees.
Benoit with a hard forearm shot and an irishwhip to JBL into the buckle. Chris Benoit with an armdrag takedown and now attempting a Sharpshooter. JBL kicked Benoit off of him. Bret was just inducted which was extra reason for Chris Benoit to attempt that hold. JBL with a hard righthand to Benoit by the barricade outside the ring on Chris. Back inside the ring JBL delivered a big boot to the face of Benoit after recieving a hard chop.
JBL with hard shots right to Benoit and a boot to the skull. JBL with Benoit irishwhips him back first to the buckle, JBL landed sternum first. Benoit released two German’s, then a third as he gets the hattrick. The Wolverine then signalled for the flying headbutt. Chris Benoit from up high was about to fly but JBL knocked him off the top rope making him lose his balance. JBL then mocked Eddie Guerrero in front of Benoit.
Nice taste WWE, more forms of Cheap Heat.
JBL landed a Superplex on Chris Benoit from the top rope hard to the canvas floor. Fans chant “Lets go Benoit” some more as JBL scored a two count. JBL mocked Eddie again and smiled, pathetic stuff right there.
To follow up JBL went for the three amigo’s, it would of been okay if it was a tribute to him but it wasn’t. Benoit got fired up and landed rights until he runs into the boot of JBL off the ropes. Chris Benoit kicked out. JBL with a hard forearm shot into the back of Benoit. JBL now slaps on a side headlock to Chris Benoit, he breaks the hold as Benoit starts to fight back with right hands. Benoit hits a vertical suplex.
Now Benoit goes for the triple vertical’s, the three amigo’s as a tribute to Eddie this time Benoit hits them. Benoit up high flies for a headbutt and connects to JBL. Chris Benoit only got a two count. JBL sent Benoit into the corner and now JBL held onto the ref, the ropes, anything to get out of a German Suplex from Benoit. Chris Benoit now locked on a Crossface to JBL, but JBL rolled him over and held onto the ropes for leverage.
In the end at 9:44 John “Bradshaw” Layfield became the NEW United States Champion after putting away with Crippler after holding onto the ropes.
Cole does his usual “JBL stole the damn match!”
This was a good wrestling match, a bit slow in parts but Chris Benoit was Benoit and it was watchable.
4) Mick Foley vs Edge (W/Lita) in a Hardcore Match
Mick Foley proved in 2004 he was still capable of putting on a GREAT match when he did so with Randy Orton at Backlash.
He did it again here.
Edge went into Mick’s environment here and no one really knew what to expect.
What we got was a borderline Classic.
Edge began the match with a baseball bat swinging at Mick but he sent him into the corner and drove Edge face first into the canvas.
Mick set up Edge upside down in the corner while the crowd chanted “Foley.” Mick Foley then ran to the corner and dropped his elbow to the head of Edge. Edge then charged towards
Mick Foley and hit him with a high boot and then a hard forearm off the ropes.
Edge picked up a pan thrown in the ring by Lita and smashed it over Mick’s head in violent fashion, quite a few times. Road signs now entered the ring area. Edge picked it up and smashed it over Foley, then directly placed it in front of his head and off the ropes hit Mick Foley with a baseball slide into the sign, into his face.
Edge signalled for a Spear and hit it directly in mid-ring. Edge seemed to be hurt worse then Mick Foley though as he had some weapons hidden. Foley had wrapped himself in barbedwire.
Edge’s arm was all bloody and Foley took off some of his wire and began whipping at Edge. Mick then ripped some of the flesh of Edge’s bloodied arm and proceeded to wrap it around his fist before giving him some striking blows. Edge tied up in the ropes in a vulnerable position waited there as Foley went out of the ring, in between the steps grabbed his barbedwire bat.
Edge looked on in fear and Lita then hopped on Foley inside the ring.
Despite this Mick Foley charged towards Edge with Lita on his back and clotheslined Edge over the top rope to the floor sending Lita along for the ride with them. Foley got a two count on the floor before hitting Edge with a swinging neckbreaker and scoring yet another close call.
Mick Foley landed a few hard shots on Edge and proceeded to yell “Bang Bang”. Mick Foley ran towards Edge to drive his knee but Edge regrouped and in mid-air hit a hiplock to Foley sending him back first, hard into the steel steps.
Edge with a righthand and then sent Foley hard into the barricade. Edge irishwhipped Mick hard into the steel steps, and Foley bumps insanely hard, like only he can.
Words don’t do those paticular bumps justice.
Edge grabs a chair and places it in the ring, and then baseball slides into Foley sending him back outside of it buying himself some more time. Edge goes under the apron and grabs a table as the place cheers. Edge sets it up outside the ring right beside the entrance apron. Edge puts Foley on top of it and then climbs to the top turnbuckle but Foley moves out of the way.
Edge climbs down and levels Foley with a hard forearm shot. Edge then swings Mick Foley’s head backwards hard onto the ramp. Foley’s head had sustained enough punishment over the years and he just kept taking more and more bumps here. Edge tossed Mick Foley back inside the ring. Edge then with lighter fluid sprayed Foley but he struck back at him. Mick Foley hit a piledriver on Edge, and he kicked out. Edge down and Foley grabbed the frying pan and placed it directly under Edge’s skull, then he rammed Edge’s skull into it and grabbed a chair with the intent to hit Edge but Lita distracted him on the outside.
Foley turned around and Edge dropped Mick on his head right on the pan which gets him a two count.
Edge grabs the barbedwire bat and swings it at the abdomen of Mick, then the back, then right in the face. Three hard shots.
Now Edge started to rip up Foley’s bloodied face with the barbedwire bat. Edge then hit a running bulldog onto Mick’s face on top of the bat. Edge still only got a two count and then began to rip out his hair in frustration.
Edge underneath the ring got a giant bag of thumbtacks and dropped them on the canvas. Edge landed righthands on Mick in the corner of the ring.
Edge went to place Mick on the tacks but he hit a sidewalk slam on Edge right on top of the tacks, and you could feel the pain by the look on Edge’s face.
Foley then wrapped the wire around his sock and placed a Mandible claw with the wire on Edge, then Lita afterwards who ran in the ring and both of them were bloodied. Foley grabbed the bat and got a roar from the crowd. Foley smacked Edge in the ribcage with the bat a couple of times and Edge still had the tacks in his back. Foley again charged into Edge driving the bat into his skull.
Foley rammed the barbedwire bat into the bloodied skull of Edge once more by driving it downwards on the canvas.
Mick Foley then ripped open Edge’s face some more on the middle rope bringing the barbedwire onto his face.
Foley then with fluid placed it in top of the Wooden Table.
Lita then hit Foley with the bat and she continued to place the fluid on the table.
A bloodied Mick stayed outside the ring apron, and Lita placed the table on fire.
Edge speared Mick Foley off the apron!
Edge speared Foley onto a flaming table.
Styles lets out his ECW style “OH MY GOD!” and the fans let out your typical “Holy Shit!” both of them worthy after a bump like this.
Edge defeated Foley at 14:37 in the end when he covered Foley on the ground after the spear through the fire.
Both men were a bloody mess. But this was loads of fun, a Hardcore Classic for its time!
5) The Boogeyman vs Booker T and Sharmell Handicap match
The only good thing about this whole concept was the backstage segment with Booker, DiBiase, Goldust and Snitsky.
Booker jumped Boogey but his smoke was still visible in the air, Booker with a thrust kick to The Boogeyman. Booker dropped more blows to his back. T choked out The Boogeyman on the bottom rope some more.
Boring chants are heard.
Booker then hits the Book End, Sharmell says “Come on Baby that’s enough”, apparently it wasn’t as The Boogeyman kicked out. The Boogeyman fought back with shots to Booker T. Booker choved to his back. The Boogeyman was not getting a positive response from Chicago, he ducked a scissors kick and dropped Booker with a forearm.
The Boogeyman sent Booker shoulder first into the post and now grabbed worms. The Boogeyman put them all in his mouth.
Sharmell came from behind with a stick and went to hit The Boogeyman but he turned around. He kissed Sharmell with worms in his mouth. Sharmell runs and screams up the ramp, which is beyond annoying. The Boogeyman caught Booker who bounced off the corner and The Boogeyman hit a double chokeslam to Booker to the canvas.
The Boogeyman ate more worms.
In the end at 3:52 Boogeyman actually went over Booker (Ya know, the guy who didn’t make the card the year before and had just competed for the World title a few years ago at this very event) after Boogeyman put him away with a chokeslam remaining undefeated.
Embarassing to Booker T as a Pro-Wrestler. How fast he fell. Fortunately for him he would go on to get a big push after this but by that point could you even take him seriously was the real question.
This match was what they call “rubbish.” There is no excuse to have this on the biggest show of the year, let alone having it at all.
6) Mickie James vs Trish Stratus (c) for the WWE Women’s Championship
Usually feuds in the Women’s division aren’t very compelling but thankfully this was a rare exception.
These two had a long feud going and Mickie played a psycho to perfection. Perhaps even better then Victoria did in 2002.
Catching everyone off guard including both Mickie and Trish I assume was the Chicago crowd just filled with Smarks, often rooting for the bad guys.
Chicago loved Mickie James and it showed during this match.
Out came Mickie running to the ring like all was right in the world, Trish looked like she was prepared for business as the defending Champion.
Ross calls Trish Stratus the greatest Champ in WWE history for the Ladies.
Mickie smiled at Trish sadistically while Stratus posed with the title.
The bell rings and we’re underway.
Mickie James and Trish tie-up and Mickie just slaps the back of her head. Trish fired back with two righthands. Trish Stratus with a Lou Thesz press and some more rights gain some boo’s from the smarks in attendance. Trish stomps on Mickie in the corner and drops a chop on her at the side ropes. Mickie recieved another hard chop, Trish licked her hands and then chopped her again.
Mickie went for a spinning heel kick and Trish dropped her flat down with her legs stretched. Trish Stratus elevated Mickie to the outside. Trish went for a chick kick on Mickie outside the ring and hit the ringpost.
Now Mickie with an opportunity as she kicked at Trish and placed her inside the ring. Mickie focused on the injured leg and some of Chi Town loved it. Mickie knew what she was doing and she slammed Trish Stratus’s leg hard into the ring post.
Back inside Mickie lands slaps. A “Lets go Mickie” chant breaks out as Mickie dropkicked Trish where she was hurting on her injured leg. Trish Stratus in the corner had her leg stretched up by Mickie James, Mickie did everything she could to the leg. Mickie then charged at Trish and kicked her leg in the corner.
Now Mickie James focusing on the leg some more slamming it hard to the mat. Mickie then slapped on a half boston crab to the injured leg of Trish Stratus. Nice work by Mickie James. Mickie James had to break the hold and then slammed Trish headfirst into the mat. Mickie couldn’t cover and she stomped on Trish. Mickie hooked the bad leg of Trish on the middle rope, and Mickie in unique fashion dropped down on Trish’s leg.
Mickie poses and Chicago loved it as Mickie loved being in the spotlight. Again I don’t think anyone expected this reaction. Mickie puts the tork on Trish’s injured leg some more. Chicago was heavily behind Mickie but Trish Stratus showed some strength with a head scissors on one good leg as the fans boo. Ross tried to back Stratus up.
Ross and Lawler had no clue what to do. Trish Stratus dropped Mickie with clotheslines and then a Spinebuster into a nearfall. I think Ross felt sorry for Trish Stratus getting booed, he justified it as the crowd being defiant and nothing more. Trish Stratus irishwhipped Mickie back first into the corner but the fans love as Mickie lifts her boots and as Trish drives into
Mickie she got caught with a boot.
Trish Stratus caught Mickie up high in a headscissors attempt from upside down in the turnbuckle, and in the spot of the match, Mickie turns it around and grabs the bad leg of Trish and drops it over the top rope in innovative fashion. What a counter.
Mickie celebrates loud outside the ring as Chicago loves it. Mickie pins Trish in the ring and gets a two.
Mickie back to the leg again but Trish hit an inside cradle and gets a nearfall.
Mickie went for a ddt but Trish Stratus pusher her to the corner and Trish hit a high impact running powerbomb, Mickie kicked out. Trish Stratus landed hard shots on Mickie, Trish selling the leg limped over. Trish ducked a kick from Mickie and then landed one. Trish went for Stratusfaction and then Mickie grabbed her rather inappropriately and Trish knocked her down.
Trish went down and Mickie hit her with a knee shot to the head.
Mickie Jamies delivered Trish with a high kick of her own, Mickie’s version of a chick kick nice and high.
In the end at 8:48 Mickie James became the NEW Women’s Champion after she put away Trish with a high kick.
Ross says “The Nut Job, has won the title!” The fans loved it.
This match was the best Women’s match in Wrestlemania history and up there for company history as well. The crowd definitely helped but the action and chemistry both these fine looking ladie/worker’s brought to the table helped as well.
This was Trish Stratus’s last Mania unfortunately.
Terrific material. Perhaps the greatest Ladies match in the history of the event.
7) The Undertaker vs Mark Henry Casket match
Undertaker was going to try and become 14-0, and I don’t think there was anyone in there right mind who would believed Henry would win this.
The druids came out for Taker making his Mania entrance rather special yet again. Either way its a Casket match and we’re underway.
The first time in Mania history, a Casket Match.
Mark Henry attacked the Deadman from behind to get things going quickly.
Henry lands a headbutt this was his obvious strategy to strike early and often. Taker lifts a boot up in the corner on a charging Henry, and a third time Taker went to nail Mark off his feet but Henry levelled The Undertaker with a thunderous clothesline.
Henry chokes him down on the mat. Obviously no pinfalls can work so Henry eyes the Casket.
Mark Henry outside the ring grabbed The Deadman by the head but he blocked the head shot into the steps but Henry eventually dropped him.
Fans chanted “Under-Ta-Ker” but Henry continued the onslaught of offensive moves. The Undertaker off the ropes lands some strikes followed by an uppercut and an arm-ringer. The Undertaker going for Old School but Henry breaks the agility of the deadman. Henry with an elbow to the gut and another hard kick to Taker. Henry called for the Casket to be opened now and he choked the Deadman out a bit more before he drives his boot into the sternum of Taker trying to force him into the Casket.
Apparently the Deadman didn’t want in and stayed out.
A bit slow here as Henry works over The Undertaker throwing him back first to the turnbuckle. The Undertaker fights back with an arm-ringer on Henry and attempts Old School once more. The Undertaker walking the top rope lands the blow to the shoulder. Henry still doesen’t go down, The Undertaker stil hasn’t put him down. Henry slam The Undertaker down to the mat back first by Henry.
They were trying to re-build Henry as a legit force here as it was quite clear. Fans chanted “Henry Sucks.”
Mark Henry had The Undertaker on the middle rope and went to drop his bodyweight on the back of The Undertaker but he moved, Henry fell feet first into the Casket still standing. The Undertaker goes into the Casket and the slugfest continues. Mark Henry wears down the Deadman in the Casket but The Undertaker caught Henry with a big shot, back inside The Undertaker tried to build momentum but Henry caught him in the air and drove him to the mat.
Henry went for a pin and the crowd laughed at him. I’m not sure if he legitimately forgot or not. Cole says it’s natural instinct for anyone to go for a move like that. The Undertaker rolled into the casket grabs Henry by the head and drops it over the second rope sending Henry back. The Undertaker drops a shot on Henry, Mark then clotheslines Taker down.
This here (Henry’s domination) was supposed to make us believe he could break the streak with how dominant he has been. Henry goes up top and tries to hit Taker but The Undertaker picks up all that weight and delivers a HUGE last ride.
Heavy lifting by the Deadman gets a great pop. Taker threw Henry over the Casket to the floor.
The Undertaker suddenly in the Driver’s Seat and he flies over the ropes onto Henry from the other side landing a clothesline. Unbelievable.
Awesome move. Taker comes back in limping and The Undertaker scooped up all the weight of Henry and hit him with a Tombstone.
Taker rolled Henry into the Casket.
In the end at 9:26, The Deadman remained unbeaten at Wrestlemania after closing the Casket Door on the Giant Mark Henry after he hit a Tombstone.
The Undertaker is 14-0 at Wrestlemania.
This match was slower due to Henry dominating the majority of the contest, still The Undertaker deserves credit for some of the moves he performed in this with a bigger man such as Henry.
For that it’s very decent.
8) Shawn Michaels vs Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match
I’ll be the first one to admit, I cringed when seeing this on paper. I had no idea why these two would feud and when I found out it made sense even less.
Regardless, this can sometimes turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as it lowers expectations for the match.
Jim Ross is beyond hilarious as Vince walks to the ring. Ross says he is a Son of a Bitch that is going straight to hell. If you can hold in your laughter, you win.
Vince and Shawn are going to get it on, Michaels is Mr. Wrestlemania so lets see if he can pull off something good with the Boss here!
Vince shows the Muscle Magazine cover and Ross says “For god sakes” to continue the comedy.
Shawn Michaels had seen enough as Shawn chops Vince outside the ring. Shawn tossed McMahon inbetween Ross and King as Shawn dropped hard rights to his head. Michaels choked him out with the headset.
The fans wanted BRET but they got these two instead.
Want to blame someone for that, blame the two men wrestling.
Anyway Shawn throws Vince back in the ring, HBK with the Fitness Cover has it and then drops it on Vince’s head. Ross suggests he should shove it up his ass, hilarious.
Shawn Michaels mocks Vince then. Out comes the Spirit Squad who all attack Shawn Michaels, this was apart of McMahon’s plan. All members of the Squad elevate Michaels up and drop him back first to the mat.
Jim Ross’s commentary is just golden here, I can’t seem to stress that point enough. This makes him sick and its a bloody good time. Ross just doesen’t stop.
Giving McMahon some recovery time, Michaels is clearing house on the Squad with weapons in hand.
Some might like watching Shawn Michaels dominate the Spirit Squad, I think its about as entertaining as watching a dog piss. Thankfully Vince comes back in the match and drops an elbow on Michaels.
Vince McMahon spears Shawn in the corner a series of times then chokes him out some more.
Vince takes off his belt and beats the hell out of Michaels and his back. McMahon choked Michaels and Ross calls Vince Satan like which is even more hilarious.
Ross is killing me, saying McMahon has broken every command of the good lord. Where does he come up with this?
McMahon clotheslines Shawn with the leather belt and poses like the Hitman now.
Now Vince tunes up the band from the corner and Shawn blocked the attempted superkick and chopped at Vince come more. Shawn irishwhipped to the ropes but comes off with a flying forearm to McMahon and he kicks up.
Michaels with a belt went to work on McMahon’s back and chest while Ross cheered Shawn on.
Shawn Michaels scooped up Vince and slammed him back first to the mat. Shawn Michaels drops an elbow to Vince, and Ross says to the black heart. This is killing me.
A huge “You screwed Bret” chant breaks out, directed at both men apparently.
Shawn tuned up the band on Vince but from behind Shane-O-Mac hits Michaels in the head with a Kendo stick.
Shane has handcuff’s in hand. Vince pulls down his pants and shows his ass before sending Shane’s face into Vince’s ass. Shawn clotheslines the Boy Wonder, the Demon Seed says Ross.
This is beyond funny now.
Shawn handcuff’s Shane to the middle ropes. Shawn grabbed the key and Shane looks like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon all nervous in a suit.
Shawn Michaels unleashed a ton of shots on Shane with the stick. Shawn Michaels grabbed a Chair and now when Vince turned around he dropped Vince head first with the chair, cracking McMahon’s skull blading him open.
Shawn tuned up the band again and this time he hesitates to put away Vince, as McMahon falls Shawn says No. Shawn goes under the ring and grabs a Ladder.
Shawn then teased another superkick. Shawn this time grabbed a trash can and threw two in the ring. Shane was forced to watch all this from ringside. Michaels now threw in a wooden table.
Shawn Michaels with a trashcan went over to a bloodied McMahon and knocked him in the skull with it. Shawn set Vince up on a table and climbed the Ladder. Michaels stepped down as Ross suggests he is showing compassion and Chi Town boo’s.
Michaels grabs an even bigger Ladder and the look on Shane’s face was priceless. Michaels sets up the Giant Ladder, puts a trashcan over Vince’s head, climbs to the top, does the DX crotch chop which got a huge ovation. (Uh Oh) Now Shawn Michaels flies off with an elbow into Vince.
King says Vince is dead, the Windy City chant “Holy Shi*”!
Shawn delivered his superkick to the head of his boss and the delight of the crowd.
In the end at 18:28 Michaels put away McMahon after he finished a bloodied McMahon with the Sweet Chin Music.
This match was way better than anyone would have thought, but ultimately it was longer then one would of liked, and a tad overbooked as well. I’m not a fan of all the outside distractions like the Spirit Squad getting involved but the material between Shawn and Vince themselves was rather good.
9) Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle (c) and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Here we had a Triple Threat match after Rey Mysterio won the 2006 Royal Rumble, Orton had a controversial win at No Way out over Rey and now both guys get to challenge the World Champion, Kurt Angle who had won his title by winning a battle royal on Smackdown! for the vacant strap.
This is a fast paced triple threat full of non-stop action, it is an entertaining ride.
Fans in Chicago cheer for all three guys, Angle is a tweener and despite that, he still seems like the biggest fan favourite at the time.
Kurt Angle was the defending Champion so he had obviously the potential to lose the most here against a determined Rey Mysterio who was dedicating the match to Eddie and Orton who is always a threat.
This triple-threat is on from the Windy City! Everyone is ready.
God knows what Rey was wearing on his head, we all know he likes to dress up for Mania though, at least this time he wont be constantly adjusting his mask.
Orton looked cocky, arrogant and ready as he poses. Angle comes out determined as well and the bell rings, we’re now underway.
Before the bell rang, Mysterio kicked at Orton but Orton kicked at Rey and sent him to the corner, Rey flew with a crossbody but the Legend Killer adapted in mid-air hitting a dropkick to Rey Mysterio scoring a nearfall. Angle ran behind Orton and delivered a German suplex.
Angle then was blocked by Orton’s elbow, Rey Mysterio swung onto Orton and this time Angle hit a double german to both men as they go back! Huge move, awesome.
A neckbreaker by Orton to the repaired neck of Angle. Tazz is unintentionally hilarious saying he doesen’t care when Cole talks about Angle’s neck.
The action is furious, and the action is often. Orton got a nearfall. Randy Orton irishwhipped by Angle and he hit him with an elbow. Angle then hit a suplex on Orton. Rey caught
Angle with shots and Chicago booed him, Angle sent Rey Mysterio into the groin of Orton parked on top.
Now Angle elevated Rey Mysterio who charged at him onto Orton and as he launched up top he hit a hurricanrana to Orton from the top to the canvas. Unreal spots. Crowd chant for Angle. Kurt Angle suplexed Orton from the outside apron back into the ring and Angle gets a two. Angle goes for the Ankle lock but in came Rey Mysterio and Angle just drops him with a clothesline.
Angle off the ropes hits a sunset flip to Rey Mysterio but he counters with a kick to the head, Chi Town boo’s. Rey Mysterio got a two. Back up Rey send Angle but he reversed the irishwhip and Rey hit a headscissors on Angle. Angle hit with the 619 but he catches Rey Mysterio in mid-air and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Awesome counter.
Orton grabbed a chair distracting Angle and he let go, Angle re-applied the Ankle Lock and Orton interupted it again. Angle and Orton engage in a slugfest until Kurt levelled Orton with a German.
Angle then drops Rey Mysterio with an overhead belly first suplex. Another suplex to Orton. Angle then hits an Angle Slam to Mysterio over the top rope to the floor.
Angle slaps an Ankle Lock on Orton in mid-ring trying desperately to retain the title. Orton tapped out but Rey Mysterio distracted the official. Angle hit a baseball slide on Rey then re-applied the Ankle Lock on Orton. Rey Mysterio springboards in over the top breaking up the Ankle Lock.
Angle kicks out of Rey’s offense. Rey delivered forearms to Angle and and leaped behind him until Angle forced Rey Mysterio into the corner shoulder first. Angle went for the Angle Slam on Orton but he countered it into an RKO. Angle kicked out and Orton couldn’t believe it. Orton limping with a bad ankle goes up top, Angle met him up top with a belly to belly superplex.
Mysterio went for the 619 on Angle and botched it, he still hit it anyway to make up for it followed by a Senton from the top rope and a nearfall.
Angle kicks out, amazing action from all three men going at an incredible pace.
That was the match’s biggest advantage clearly. Orton tosses Angle out of the ring and eyes Rey Mysterio.
Orton thinking its time for Destiny picks up Rey and slams him down with a gutwrench into a reverse neckbreaker, somehow Rey kicked out. Orton now from his stomach on the canvas signalled he wanted Rey up, he stalked Rey Mysterio with an RKO in mind. Angle came from no where and hit an Angle Slam on Orton but just a two.
Angle spots Rey as Angle yells “Get up!” Angle goes for the Angle Slam on Rey but he hits an armdrag counter that takes Angle out of the action, through the ropes to the outside floor. Now Rey Mysterio all alone with Orton with momentum, Rey dropkicked Orton to the ropes, runs off the ropes and connects with the 619.
Rey springboards into a hurricanrana pinning combo and he put away Orton!
Cole yells “Rey has won the title! Ladies and Gentlemen, Dreams do come true!”
In the end at 9:18 Rey won the big one after he put away Orton.
This match was just a spot-filled portion of fun. Nothing but entertainment and big moves, absolutely no story but just an entertaining triple-threat.
I only imagine what they could of done with ten more minutes.
10) Torrie Wilson vs Candice Michelle Playboy Pillow Fight
In tradition of “The Red Rooster vs Bobby Heenan” at Wrestlemania 5, we get a stinker before the Main Event to build up anticipation.
Candice Michelle wastes little time throwing Torrie onto the bed. Wouldn’t we all?
Torrie gets on top of Candice and then the two just grab at one another as Chicago boo’s and doesen’t take to it very lightly. Torrie suplexes Candice Michelle surprisingly.
Torrie with a backdrop to Candice on the bed, must hurt. Candice Michelle turned over inside the bed by Torrie and she stomped on the bed on top of Candice Michelle using the ropes for leverage.
Torrie Wilson then used her dog’s ass over Candice Michelle’s face for some reason. It goes without saying that the action here is god awful.
Candice Michelle showed great leg strength trying up Torrie near the ropes. She does her Go Daddy Dance. Basically Candice Michelle was the flavor of the month since she was the 06 Playboy girl.
It seems every year whoever is on the cover gets to be in the terrible Ladies match at Mania. It’s like an embarassing tradition.
Fans chant HLA by this point.
As the action got slow a “Hogan-Austin” chant broke out. Golden.
In the end at 3:54 Torrie wins after she won with a roll-up.
The second DUD of the night isn’t good, especially since this show is great.
I’d like to say the WWE learns from their errors in the past. I’d like to say that.
11) Main Event- John Cena (c) vs “The King of Kings” Triple H for the WWE Championship
The entrance’s to this match were pretty spectacular and helped build that “Main Event” feel that Mania should always have in this slot of the show. Something that it seemed to lack the year before at Wrestlemania 21 with those Main Events.
It’s worth pointing out by this time John Cena was a hated man.
Triple H would get most of the crowd in Chicago on his side. Chicago has always been like this, they even cheered Flair over Steamboat at Spring Stampede 94, or Austin over Bret at WM 13 although that transition was arguably coming for Austin anyway. Still the point remains Chicago went for the Bad guy.
It didn’t help matters that Cena wasn’t getting warm receptions from most crowd’s let alone this one.
Cena came out in grand style, as the WWE Champion. Interesting to note that one of Cena’s guys with a hat riding to the ring is none other then CM Punk.
John Cena needed credibility, and a win over The Game in the main event of Wrestlemania would be just that for Cena.
The bell rings, the atmosphere is great in the Windy City and the two stand toe to toe about to get it on.
Triple H had the fans in the palm of his hand yelling “Yeaaaah” whenever he hit an offensive move, and the crowd would then “Booo” as a result whenever Cena hit an offensive move.
The crowd told Cena he couldn’t wrestle but John shrugged it off. HHH with a side headlock into a hammerlock, Cena reverses the hammerlock into a droptoe hold then a front facelock and a little slap.
Hunter teaching Cena a little lesson in Chain Wrestling and Chicago loved it.
Hunter with a wristlock into an arm-brar, Helmsley into a hammerlock and as Ross said he continued to school the Champion.
By this pont Triple H was just embarassing the Champion John Cena and I’m not sure how smart that was from a booking standpoint. Cena shakes off a brutual chant and they tie up yet again Cena gets cornered. Hunter irishwhipped into the corner but lands an elbow from the corner, Cena went for the FU but the Game landed on his feet and he scored with a big righthand.
Triple H went for a walk and the fans chanted his name. Hunter stared down Cena once more and both men tie-up again, Hunter drives his knee into the ribcage of John Cena and then he elevated Cena over the ropes to the floor. Cena fights back with righthands to a chorus of boo’s as he got back in the ring. Cena sent Hunter crashing into the corner then he landed a backdrop to Triple H.
Cena sends Hunter to both corners and hits a Fisherman Suplex to Helmsley and a close call. Cena grips the neck in a reverse chinlock. Right after Ross claims Cena can wrestle, the crowd tell him he can’t.
Cena maintains the headlock until Triple H fights out of it in the corner. Cena blocks some shots from the game and lands strikes of his own, John Cena irishwhipped Triple H with great impact over the ropes and into the barricade. Cena on the outside brawled with the Game who hit a thumb to Cena’s eye buying the game a moment.
Near the entrance way Cena backdropped HHH on his kidneys on the steel ramp. Cena tossed Hunter back in the ring and almost got a nearfall. It would be logical to now work the lowerback of Triple H, instead Cena elects to go for rights, and off the ropes this time Hunter hits a high knee.
Chicago pops when Helmsley hits the high knee, and relentless in his attack was Triple H with right hands after right hands. Helmsley then irishwhipped the Champ shoulder first into the steel steps.
Cena is bleeding from the mouth it seems while Triple H awaits him from inside the ring, The Game is playing to the crowd as he is sure he is the better wrestler, that is the story, he feels he is going to be Champion. Hunter unloaded with more shots outside the ring, tossed John Cena inside and scored a nearfall.
Hunter with a snapshot vertical suplex to John Cena.
Hunter with a knee drop to the forehead of Cena and another nearfall.
Half the crowd chant “Lets go Cena” the other half chant “Cena Sucks”. Cena fights back with lower abdomen shots to Triple H, but off the ropes Hunter scores with a facebuster on John Cena. John Cena then hit with a clothesline from Triple H hitting high impact moves on the Champ.
Ross calls it a Slobberknocker of a clothesline.
The Game hits a picture perfect neckbreaker to Cena and got a two. John Cena kicked from the corner at Triple H and he fought back with an extra shot at Triple H. A swinging neckbreaker by The Game working on Cena’s neck again. A nearfall, Hunter then gets Cena in a vulnerable position in a neck vice.
Hunter working over the neck in the neck vice, Cena fought out but the Game catches him once more in the Sleeperhold in mid-ring. Cena tried desperately to get out but Triple H was so good at disecting a body-part, with a methodical approach. Cena eventually backed HHH to the corner, and off the ropes John Cena bought himself a bit of time as he landed a hard clothesline to Triple H.
Both men down now.
The referee Mike Keota counted with both men down, crowd chanted for Triple H and he is up first. Hunter lands a right, and here comes the “boo”, “yeah” exchange in mid-ring.
Hunter off the ropes lands another hard forearm shot does Cena. Cena keeps levelling Hunter and then nails him with a hard bodyslam. Fans boo Cena as he ignored them hitting a modified powerbomb.
Now Cena stands in front of Triple H and goes for the five knuckle shuffle, instead Hunter countered by getting up and hit a Double A Spinebuster!
Somehow Cena kicks out, but the pop for H’s spinebuster was huge.
Shoulder block by John Cena, high impact twice levelling Hunter. Hunter gets a side headlock on Cena and he hits a side suplex.
John Cena now with the five knuckle shuffle. Cena pumps up and ducks a clothesline from Triple H and gets him in an STFU. Will the Game submit.
Hunter eventually gets to the ropes and the crowd are relieved.
This seems like a war by now.
John Cena stalks Triple H as he slowly gets up, Cena goes for the FU but Hunter drops to his feet and slams Cena into the official in the corner then hitting him with a lowblow. Keota both went down as well.
Hunter then looked at Cena down on the mat and mocked him with his “you can’t see me” taunt and did the DX crotch chop which got a huge roar.
Hunter goes under the ring and grabs his trusty Sledgehammer. Cena kicks at HHH blocking a possible hammer shot, but off the ropes Triple H drove the head of the Hammer directly into Cena.
HHH covered Cena but the official Mike Keota didn’t count to three because HHH took a long time covering Cena.
Cena was Superman kicking out twice after a sledgehammer shot to the head. HHH went for the Pedigree and Cena hit a backbody drop. John Cena hit the FU. John Cena went for the three but now Triple H kicked out.
The crowd loves this Climax. John Cena couldn’t believe Triple H kicked out of his FU. So now Cena was lost but he improvised and went up to the top missing with a crossbody. Hunter then goes for the Pedigree.
Cena out-wrestles the Game surprisingly by countering the Pedigree into a drop toehold, into the STFU!
John Cena had it held for a long time and Triple H still fought through it. Cena kept it locked on and out of no where Triple H tapped. The zoom in on one of the fan’s faces was priceless after Cena made Hunter tap.
This was a surprise at the time to put over John Cena as the Champion still winning via submission.
So in the end at 22:02, Cena made Triple H submit to the STFU and he retained his title.
Some cheered Cena’s victory, others didn’t.
I hold this match a little higher then the re-match they’d have in 2008 at Night of Champions but both are given the same grade. After all, they accomplished what they meant to in the main event of Wrestlemania.
This match was one hell of a performance by both. Some of the audience could perhaps speculate that it was themselves who made it as great as it came off, (the match) but the truth is, everyone was responsible to how it went down overall.
This was a fantastic way to end the show.
Final Rating for WWE Wrestlemania 22 = 7.5/10
This Mania was very good overall. It was booked extremely well from top to bottom but unfortunately there had to be the usual Mania DUD’s that poked out every now and again. It would of been logical to get rid of a few matches and make both Main Events Ten minutes longer. Even in saying all this, it was a fun Mania and definitely a top ten in history which really says something. You should own this.
One thing remarkable about this event was it had so much variety in it. One of the best Mania’s out there as far as variety is concerned.