Brett Mix’s- WWE “Wrestlemania 23” Review:
“And you will get your head shaved bald, Vince….” –Dwayne Johnson
-WWE Wrestlemania 23 took place on Sunday, April 1st, 2007 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan in front of 80,103 fans.
-This was the 23rd Annual Wrestlemania event.
-Tickets for the event went on sale on November 11, 2006. The all-time attendance record at Ford Field of 80,103 that consisted of people from twenty-four countries, all fifty states, and nine Canadian provinces, pumped an estimated $25 million into the local economy and made this event the highest grossing one-day live event in WWE history, grossing more than $5.38 million in ticket sales.
-WrestleMania 23 was the highest-grossing pay-per-view in WWE history and the highest-grossing event in professional wrestling history in North America.
-With 1.2 million buys, the event had the highest WrestleMania buyrate in history
-Micheal Cole and JBL did commentary for the Smackdown! action, Tazz and Joey Styles did it for ECW and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler carried the Raw matches.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, Ric Flair and Carlito defeated Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero Tag team lumberjack match at 5:13.
-The event officially began with Aretha Franklin singing a rendition of “America the Beautiful”, reprising her role from twenty years earlier at WrestleMania III.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Mr. Kennedy vs Edge vs CM Punk vs King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs Finlay vs Randy Orton in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Wrestlemania OPENS with the Money in the Bank match this time around. I guess it’s not going to be the Can Am Connection.
You’ve got to love the atmosphere of this event because it was 20 years after the biggest Mania of all time from the same city.
Vince’s voiceover from 1987 was used when Aretha Franklin was being introduced.
Everyone was ready for the opener now. This the third Money in the Bank had a tough act to follow as the first two matches at the previous two Mania’s were great.
Detroit pops when they announce the Money in the Bank would open the show.
There was a lot of comedy in the match, revolving around King Booker.
Mr. Kennedy is called the future of Sports Entertainment by JBL. JBL also said Chris Benoit was a lock for the Hall of Fame. Perhaps Bradshaw should stop lying to us.
Anyways here we go. It was interesting adding more people to the Money in the Bank this time around, including two Main Event stars in Orton and Edge who may or may not co-exist because of their team, “Rated RKO”.
Everybody leaves the ring going after a Ladder, Orton gives Kennedy some shots. Finlay drops Matt Hardy in the ring.
A lot of brawling at the side of the ring until Finlay hit a crossbody off the top to the floor taking out everyone. Edge climbed the Ladder but Matt took him off. Orton and Finlay now both climbed incredibally fast for wrestlers and a Ladder given the history of things.
Orton and Finlay fall to the side, Jeff climbs and now Mr. Kennedy pushed the Ladder.
A hilarious spot when Booker T grabs under the apron and found a mini-size Ladder and says “Tell me I didn’t just Se”..and he was cut off by a shot from the back. A ton of brawling continues all over ringside, Matt throws Booker in the corner. Punk hits Edge with a suplex outside the ring. Now Booker drops Orton with a Spinebuster in the middle of the ring, then King Booker landed a thrust kick to Mr. Kennedy, and a Spinebuster to Finlay, as Booker is rolling.
Booker T cleaning house then poses with a Spinnerooni on top. Hardyz both took Booker out with a Ladder each, Edge charged at Matt and he hit the side effect. Jeff and Matt set up Ladder’s and were about to “JOEY MERCURY” Edge’s face but Finlay broke it up.
Edge hits a vertical suplex onto the Ladder to Matt Hardy, that’s got to hurt bad. Matt landing Spine first on the Ladder. Mr. Kennedy then went for a moonsault on top of Matt on the Ladder but he moved out of the way, Kennedy crashed and burned, landing on his neck on top of the Ladder. Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Mr. Kennedy. Hardyz cleaned house with the Ladder, knocking Orton to the outside.
Now with a ladder set up both Matt and Jeff climb, the two guys are now slugging it out until Finlay shoves the Ladder away. Mr. Kennedy, Punk and Orton are dropped by shots from Finlay, even Booker is dominated by the Irish fellow. Edge lands a spear on everyone in the ring now, over and over. Edge goes for Punk but he leaps over Edge and Edge crashed and burned on the very last one. Punk picks up the Ladder and swings it around knocking everyone in the head as he spinned around.
Edge is back up and pulls out his hair, Detroit boo’s him. Edge is undefeated at Wrestlemania and has a ton of Ladder experience. Edge now set up the Giant Ladder and climbed to the top.
Orton pushed Edge off the Ladder to the floor, Randy Orton had been waiting a long time to do that.
Now Jeff lands a facefirst suplex to Orton taking him out. Jeff spots Edge on the outside and while Matt puts Edge across the horizontal Ladder set up on the apron and barricade, Jeff climbs to the top of the Giant Ladder for the spot of this match!
Jeff then did his crazy and expected big spot on Edge dropping a leg on top of Edge who was placed on another Ladder, off his original Ladder.
The Ladder broke in half, a big “Holy Sh**” moment and chant. There goes Edge’s undefeated streak at Mania. Jeff took himself out as well no doubt with that brutal landing. Matt checking on things on the outside and talks to his brother, and not Edge. I wonder why.
There are a lot of superstars in this match but we’re supposed to believe it all just stopped because Edge and Jeff have this big spot? I’m not buying it.
Orton drops Hardy with an RKO. Edge being taken to the back after the spot. Punk and Orton climbed two Ladder’s and slugged it out at the top, and with Orton up high he hit an RKO from the top of the Ladder to Punk hitting straight on the mat, obviously now taking these two guys out.
King Booker spots an opening and takes it. The fans boo as Booker climbs ever so slowly, Orton stops him though as he gets back up. Orton now tries to RKO Booker off the ladder but this time Booker hit the Book End to Orton from the top of the ladder to the mat. Orton has slammed twice to the canvas back to back so he’s got to be feeling it.
Sharmell cheered on Booker, Matt climbed on the other side. Sharmell grabbed Matt’s leg and Matt grabbed Sharmell and he held the Queen hostage, Booker’s face was priceless. Booker went to his Wife’s aid and Matt dropped him. Pretty hilarious stuff.
Matt climbs and Finlay tips the Ladder over. Finlay bleeding from the top of his head sets the Ladder up in the middle of the ring, he is smiling when he picks up Matt Hardy and this time he drops him on the Ladder along with his own body, taking both guys out.
Finlay set up two Ladders now and nobody was in sight. Finlay had to sell the pain as an excuse not to climb and the fans read right throught his and booed. Hornswoggle climbed into the ring and tried to greab the case for Finlay. Mr. Kennedy kicks Finlay and now Kennedy has a talk with the Midget on top of the ladder, Mr. Kennedy is hit with a shot. He is provoked, so Kennedy elects to react in violent fashion dropping Hornswoggle from the top of the ladder, holding him on his shoulders doing a full front flip.
Finlay knocks him down with a Ladder now. Finlay began to climb and CM Punk came back in and dropkicked the Ladder elevating Finlay out. CM Punk climbed to the top and Kennedy struck back with extra shots. Mr. Kennedy is pushed off by Punk, CM Punk was about to grab the Case and Kennedy uses a Ladder to knock him in the face and off the Ladder.
Mr. Kennedy has done it!
Mr. Kennedy to the top, he gets the case. Detroit loves it. Unfortunately he got injured and late Edge cashed it in but this was still a great win for him.
In the end at 19:05 Kennedy won the case after being the one to climb to the top and grab it.
This match was pretty spotty (obviously) and is one Money in the Bank I’m not very fond of. It was still ultimately a fun way to open the event though.
I didn’t like how it was structured and how the match just seemed to stop after the Jeff/Edge spot. Unrealistic and you had to suspend your belief systems way, way out there for this match.
Another sloppy moment was when Finlay waited for Hornswoggle to come in, he had to pretend to be hurt for almost twenty seconds, and we’re supposed to buy he couldn’t just climb the Ladder and ya know, grab the case?
2) The Great Khali vs Kane
This at a Wrestlemania so it is pretty embarassing but it seems every year they have at least one or two of these.
Khali meets Kane with righthands and it sends Kane to the floor. Kane drops Khali’s head over the top rope swinging him back from the floor.
Once Kane ran back in Khali levelled him with a devistating clothesline.
The Great Khali chops Kane in the corner, Ross calls it bowling shoe ugly, he couldn’t of been more right. Khali choked Kali in the corner until The Great Khali had to back off. Kane ducked a clothesline and he scores righthands to Khali. The Great Khali with one hand still managed to shove Kane down. Kane gets back up and charges at Khali.
Kane up top hits a flying clothesline to The Great Khali but he doesen’t budge, now Kane hits him with a boot.
Kane had Khali where he wanted him at the moment and delivered a shot to him while he was tied up in the ropes.
Kane took advantage.
The Great Khali eventually got out and dropped Kane with a hard chop. Khali took off the turnbuckle padding int he corner. Kane lands an uppercut and pulls on a chain to lowblow Khali.
Kane then slams Khali with shades of Wrestlemania 3. Nice touch, the only real good moment of the match.
Kane grabs The Great Khali by the throat and lands a shot. Off the ropes The Great Khali grabbed Kane and hit a modified double-hand chokeslam to Kane.
In the end at 5:31 Khali defeated Kane.
This match if nothing else proved why Kane had been treated like a joke for just about a decade. A minor point for the Wrestlemania 3 reference.
3) Chris Benoit (c) vs Montel Vontavious Porter for the WWE United States Championship
The final Wrestlemania appearance of one Chris Benoit who was unfortunately just a couple of months short of losing it in more ways then one.
Anyway, there’s MVP.
Let us focus on that, he looks calm and cool with a nice little entrance here and pyro.
Chris helped make MVP look good here in 07 for this little period of time, which was Benoit’s last real feud.
Bell rings and Benoit’s US title defence begins. A tie-up and then a side headlock by MVP into a side headlock takeover, Benoit counters into a headscissors on the mat, MVP rolls around and counters into a half crab putting Benoit in a tough place.
MVP turns the halfcrab into a headlock on Benoit. MVP with a shoulder block, Benoit went for a hiplock, and then a crossface but MVP countered and dragged Benoit to the outside floor. Benoit was then taken down by a single leg sweep, but Benoit grabbed the rope.
Benoit goes for a German into a go-behind waistlock, some nice chain wrestling here, MVP with a fireman’s carry into a side headlock, Benoit counters down on the mat and MVP grabs the ropes.
Awesome Wrestling here.
MVP fooled Chris Benoit with a fake test of strength and kicked Benoit. MVP ran into a reverse elbow shot from Chris Benoit in the corner. Chris Benoit set MVP up on the top turnbuckle and landed chops.
Chris Benoit all the way from the top goes to hit a Superplex on MVP and he falls to the outside on the floor, clearly they messed up a spot here. Benoit’s arm was being lifted and he kicked at it, MVP was aware it was in a bad way. MVP drops Benoit with a snapmare and a nearfall. MVP with more chops to Chris Benoit in the corner. In mid-ring MVP tackles down Benoit with a shoulder block.
MVP has been more then impressive so far.
All of the sudden Benoit gets up and lands the triple german suplexes. Chris Benoit goes up top and MVP had it scouted. From the top MVP hooks the tights on Benoit and drops him with a Superplex, upon landing MVP tied the legs and got a nearfall. MVP stomped on Benoit while the crowd chanted for Chris.
MVP still targetting the shoulder of Benoit throwing him into the ring post, great stuff. MVP with a roll-up and a two, then a side suplex and MVP gets two nearfalls. MVP wearing down the best wrestler in the business and he has an overhead wristlock slapped on. Benoit gets out of it and runs off the ropes but MVP came ready and landed a big boot which got him a nearfall.
MVP went to lift Benoit but he countered it into the Crossface.
Following up on the story Benoit didn’t have enough arm strength to make MVP submit, due to MVP’s arm-work the whole match. MVP goes Ballin’ and gets another two.
MVP irishwhipped Chris Benoit hard to the corner and now MVP misses with a high kick. Chris Benoit again catches MVP with two German’s, looking for a third and MVP turns around with a standing switch. Benoit ducks a clothesline and this time he hits two more German’s, then a fifth in total just in this sequence alone.
Chris Benoit gets a great ovation.
Benoit goes up to the top rope and lands a nice headbutt to MVP and he got the three count.
In the end at 9:19 Benoit retained the title after defeating MVP with a diving headbutt.
This match was great, MVP really impressed people here with his offense and strategy. I also like how Benoit got the win not using the Crossface to further sell the injured shoulder, so they made him win via pinfall. That’s just smart booking.
4) The Undertaker vs Batista (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship
Like Wrestlemania 8, we get a World Title match half-way through Mania. Then it was Flair and Savage, now it is Taker and Batista.
The Undertaker either was going to get his first loss at Mania, or he’d become the NEW World Champion.
Batista came out to a great ovation despite the fact everyone and their mother was going for The Undertaker here.
Batista from the opening bell planted rights into the Deadman but he turned it around throwing the Animal in the corner, Taker backed off for a second and once again Batista speared The
Undertaker hard twice and then irishwhipped Taker to the buckle landing a clothesline. Batista drops Taker over the top to the floor and brawls with him outside the ring now.
Batista really bringing it to The Undertaker in the early stages, perhaps catching everyone offguard. Then Batista irishwhipped The Undertaker and he went flying over the steel steps and landed rough on his back down on the floor.
Dave goes to the top rope and hits a shoulder block on The Undertaker from the top. Cole swears to god that he’s never seen Batista do that. That was beyond hilarious how that came off. Batista off the ropes lands a vicious clothesline to Taker and another nearfall. The Undertaker and Dave Batista engage in a slugfest now in mid-ring, but again Dave one step ahead of The
Undertaker landing a slam.
The Undertaker from his knees delivers back striking blows.
Fans heavily behind The Undertaker as he irishwhipped Batista to the corner and then hit a splash on him. The Undertaker lands a hard clothesline in the corner and then drops Batista off the turnbuckle for Snake Eyes, and at the same time The Undertaker charged at Batista with a big boot to the face. The Undertaker lands a legdrop and the Champion, Dave Batista kicked out. Undertaker then showed some good agility as he walks the top rope going for Old School on Batista. The Undertaker then signalled for a chokeslam as Batista turned around, however Batista with great strength took The Undertaker’s arm away from him and he levelled a knee into Taker’s gut.
JBL puts over Batista as if he is the second coming on commentary, that is a serious flaw of JBL, he talks up whoever he is talking up way, way too much. Batista lands a shoulder block and got another nearfall. Fans chant for Taker as he now throws Batista outside of the ring, and slams his head into the steel steps.
Taker then had big Dave Batista on the mat and his head hanging over the apron, he proceeded to deliver a hard elbow shot to the throat of Big Dave.
Undertaker then kicks at the head of Batista and kept him on the apron. The Undertaker now goes up and drops a single leg on the neck of Batista and he falls out of the ring as that blow took it all out of the Champion.
Momentum on the side of the Deadman now.
The Undertaker then ran off the ropes and flew over the other side of the ring to the floor landing a flying clothesline to Batista in mid-air. Wow.
The Undertaker is putting on a show. This high risk move takes a lot out of Taker as well so Batista gets some time to re-group. The Undertaker is up first and hits him with a knee then shoves Tista into the barricade. The Undertaker lands a hard right and then breaks the count. The Undertaker goes back to Batista and he reverses an irishwhip sending The Undertaker into the timekeeper’s table.
Batista broke the count then went back to work on Taker by the announce table as this had turned into one crazy brawl. Fans boo as Batista scooped up the Deadman and powerslammed The Undertaker through the Spanish Announce Table. Huge blow to the Deadman.
Batista does the logical thing and covers The Undertaker but he kicks out. The Undertaker gets a ton of righthands from Batista and now he signals for the Batista Bomb but The Undertaker charged him into the buckle. The Phenom digged down deep and threw an elbow at Batista. Bringing in the Deadman closer, Batista hit a huge belly to belly suplex on The Undertaker.
The pace to this match is incredible.
Batista drops more shots to The Undertaker in the corner and then goes up top and drops righthands on the Deadman. The Undertaker counters just before Batista hits the tenth blow and picks him up for the Last Ride and slams him to the canvas, and Batista kicked out. Undertaker off the ropes gets hit by a Spinebuster and Dave shakes the ropes.
Taker irishwhipped and ducks a clothesline and lands a chokeslam on Batista which gets him a two. The Undertaker can’t believe it. The Undertaker signalled for the Tombstone Piledriver, he scooped him up, Batista lands behind him and spears The Undertaker off the ropes. Batista then sets up Taker for the Batista Bomb and he hits it. Batista pins The Undertaker but he manages to kickout still and Detroit pops.
Batista sets up Taker for a second Batista Bomb but he hits a back bodydrop. The Undertaker scooped up by Batista though, Taker lands behind him shoved him into the buckle and now picked up Batista dropping him with the Tombstone.
The Undertaker went 15-0 at the moment and became the new World Champion.
So in the end at The Undertaker put Batista away at 15:47 after he beat him with a Tombstone.
This match is clearly the best match in both men’s career at a Wrestlemania as far as I’m concerned. This Classic was non-stop and one of the most entertaining matches I’ve seen. I drew the comparison to Wrestlemania 8’s “halfway” match between Savage and Flair, and it was paced almost exactly that very same way.
5) The ECW Originals (Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, The Sandman and Rob Van Dam) vs The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker and Kevin Thorn) (with Ariel) in an 8-man tag team match
I don’t know if its because of what they had to follow, but this match didn’t click with me at all.
You’ve still got to love Joey Style’s enthusiasm for this match, treating it as if it is the Main Event of the show.
Sabu and Striker start it out. Sabu takes out Striker with high kicks springboarding off the ropes three times. Sabu with a dropkick and then drops Striker on the outside apron. Sandman from up top drops a leg on top of Striker.
Tommy Dreamer tagged in and he and Sandman both drop an elbow to Elijah Burke. Burke throws Tommy Dreamer to the ropes and Cor Von hit him from the apron, a little cheapshot. Cor Von came in now and kicked at Tommy Dreamer int he corner before irishwhipping him hard to the buckle and then landing a snapshot vertical suplex. Back in comes Burke and he lands a backdrop on Tommy Dreamer who needed a tag in a bad way.
The new breed isolating the innovator of silence. Thorn comes in and attacks Dreamer applying a reverse chinlock. Tommy Dreamer runs into a sidown powerbomb by Thorn and he got a nearfall as Sabu broke up the pinning attempt. Quick tags made by the New Breed continuing to isolate Tommy Dreamer, as Cor Von comes back in.
Marcus then slaps on another revers chinlock on Dreamer in mid-ring, Tommy Dreamer elbows out but Cor Von went to suplex him and Tommy Dreamer got ahold of Burke and Cor Von and hit a double neckbreaker. Tommy Dreamer needed to make the hot tag now in the worst way. Tommy Dreamer crawled and he finally made the tag to Rob Van Dam. RVD with clotheslines and spinning heel kicks to the New Breed. Van Dam knocks Striker out with a kick and Van Dam lands a high kick to Thorn in the face. Rolling thunder to Striker followed by a Monkey Flip throwing Matt up, incredible elevation by Van Dam who hits rolling thunder. Cor Von pulls him to the outside, Sabu then flies on top of them.
Tommy Dreamer ddt’s Striker in the middle of the ring, Burke attacks him, then Sandman clotheslines him outside the ring.
RVD spots Striker down on the mat and he hits the five star frog splash for the victory.
In the end at 6:25 The Original’s won the match.
Some fine action here with a simple story, very solid choice to follow a Championship match in mid-show.
6) Bobby Lashley (with Donald Trump) vs Umaga (with Vince McMahon and Armando Alejandro Estrada) in a Hair vs Hair Match with Special Guest Referee- Stone Cold Steve Austin
So this event drew a lot of money.
It couldn’t be because of those three guys, could it?
Here we go.
We all know the stipulations here and the crazy build-up due to the WWE promoting the hell out of this match.
Austin gets an amazing ovation (Never saw that coming) and the bell rings, we’re underway.
Bobby Lashley starts out running into Umaga colliding with shoulder blocks. Lashley pounds on Umaga in the corner and Austin tells Bobby Lashley to get off of him and Steve gets right in his face.
Umaga throws Lashley into the corner, Bobby Lashley flies in the air with a shoulderblock but Umaga’s foot is put on the bottom rope to break the pin.
Austin lets Bobby Lashley beat the hell out of Estrada and then Bobby Lashley tosses him to the outside. Umaga ran at Bobby Lashley and he side-stepped Umaga and he fell over the top doing a front flip to the outside floor, McMahon looks concerned.
Lashley with a suicide dive through the middle ropes landing on the floor as Umaga moved. Back in the ring Umaga dropped a blow to Bobby Lashley and Trump is cheering Lashley on.
Austin gets in Umaga’s face and he looks pissed off. Umaga had a trap hold on Bobby Lashley and he wasn’t listening to Austin’s instructions so Steve grabbed him by the hair.
Bobby Lashley landed rights to Umaga but Umaga drops Bobby Lashley with a big clothesline. Umaga dropped his bodyweight onto Lashley using the ropes for leverage twice. Vince told Trump on the outside he’d soon be bald.
Umaga with a Samoan Drop to Bobby Lashley off the ropes. Umaga kicks at Lashley and picks him up, Lashley went to powerslam Umaga but Umaga’s weight crashed on top of him. Vince got on the apron, Austin told him to get down, Bobby Lashley got pushed into vince and he went flying off. Umaga dropped Bobby Lashley back into the canvas. Lashley out of the corner ran over Umaga with a clothesline that sent Umaga in a 360 direction.
Austin counted and then got tired of counting so he wen’t for a walk and the crowd loves it. Shane McMahon runs down to check on his Dad. Bobby Lashley back up runs into a hard uppercut by Umaga. Umaga pounds away on a defenseless Bobby Lashley in the corner. Austin grabbed Umaga by the hair again. Shane came in to distract Austin, Umaga then hit a
Samoan Spike on Stone Cold Steve Austin and the crowd booed. You don’t touch Austin.
A Rattlesnake will strike, that’s guaranteed. Shane then drops a bunch of jabs to Bobby Lashley and Umaga charged into Bobby Lashley in the corner landing the knee to the face, Austin still down on the outside.
Shane O Mac has a trashcan and sets it up in front of the face of Bobby Lashley. Shane points at Trump and climbs up and goes coast to coast levelling Lashley with a dropkick from the side of the ring to the other side into the trashcan.
Shane reveals a referee shirt under his jacket. Is this 1999 all of the sudden I am left wondering.
Umaga comes back up top and goes for a splash and hits it. Shane counts but Austin pulls him out of the ring and drops Shane with right hands before throwing him into the steps, and the crowd is going wild. Umaga dropped another Spike on Austin when he came in.
Donald Trump then charged at Vince and clotheslined him down and landed a few shots. Austin ducked a Samoan Spike and landed the Stunner. Bobby Lashley spears Umaga and he gets the three.
In the end at 13:04 Lashley won the match.
Vince is shaved bald, just like The Ro…I mean Dwayne Johnson predicted he would be!
This match was booked very well, and was more entertaining then it had any right to be which is a good thing, considering on paper it looked as if it could CURE Insomnia.
Unfortunately Umaga would pass away just a couple of years later.
7) Melina (c) vs Ashley in a Lumberjill match for the WWE Women’s Championship
I wish I could say the WWE learns there lesson, but clearly they don’t.
Not just with a Diva’s match at Mania, but with Ashley. She was without a doubt one of the worst Pro-Wrestler’s of all time, if not the very worst. She made Harvey Wippleman look like Nick Bockwinkel.
At least there was eye candy surrounding the ring. Ashley gave Melina some shots and the diva’s threw Melina the only wrestler here back inside the ring. Melina choked her out with her boot in the corner. Ashley choked out Melina with a boot to the throat. Melina swung Ashley back.
Now Melina goes for a spin and drops Ashley on her back. Melina then drove her boots into the spine of Ashley while stretching her arms, Ashley drops chin first to the mat.
Fans get on this match now as Ashley hits a headscissors on Melina. Ashley with forearms and then an irishwhip and a monkey flip. Ashley went to drop an elbow and Melina rolled out of the way. Melina covered her and only got a two.
An inside cradle by Ashley off the ropes is countered by Melina and she rolls Ashley up and stretches back to the mat for more pressure getting the three count.
In the end at 3:13 Melina retained her title.
This match blows more than every Diva in the match combined. Do the math.
8) Main Event- John Cena (c) vs Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship
It’s the Main Event, it’s Wrestlemania, obviously the crowd is split.
Michaels still thinks he’s in DX in 2007, god knows why. However, considering it is 2009 as of this writing and Shawn still comes out in DX material I guess it’s not a big deal.
This also took place during Cena’s long and sometimes painful title reign so a lot of fans were itching for him to drop the belt, it didn’t matter to who, just so he’d lose it.
Cena entered in style, again…
The anticipation was still there even if this Main Event wasn’t exactly the most hyped in recent Mania history…
Both guys go toe to toe for your annual Wrestlemania staredown.
Shawn Michaels going for his fifth WWE title reign, and his first in nine years, he last wore the title at this very event when he lost it to Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14.
John Cena is waved over by Shawn as the bell rings.
Michaels landed a slap on Cena and then ducked a strike from John, Michaels then chopped Cena down to the mat. Cena got up knowing full well Shawn wanted to play this kind of game so Cena agreed as he circled around him again. Shawn with a side headlock into a hammerlock.
Cena gets out into a hammerlock and then a back suplex attempt but Shawn lands on his feet and drops Cena with punches all landing on there mark.
Michaels applies an arm-ringer then runs into Cena with two shoulder blocks, Michaels twists the arm and then goes back into a side headlock before a takedown which ground Cena to the mat, Michaels gets pinning combination’s while keeping Cena in the headlock. Cena tried to get up and Shawn Michaels again hit a side headlock takedown.
Cena pushes Shawn to the ropes and after a criss-cross Cena drops Michaels with a clothesline, his first real offensive move of the match, this gains a ton of boo’s. Michaels stares at Cena as if he shouldn’t of hit that move and I’m not sure why. Cena runs off the ropes and lands a shoulder block, Michaels then retaliated with a Thesz Press, Michaels dropped onto the outside apron then clotheslines Cena backwards hanging his neck over the rope. Shawn with a hiplock to Cena and he lands on the floor. Shawn Michaels hits a chop to Cena on the floor, then by the announce table Michaels hit an Inziguri,
Shawn then leaped off the ropes with a springboard moonsault catching John Cena on the table.
Fans chant HBK.
Shawn Michaels likes throwing caution to the wind at this event, it’s an annual thing for him. John Cena down and Shawn Michaels favors his back as well, Shawn Michaels tosses him back inside and he lands a chop.
Shawn Michaels lands a forearm and then a chop to Cena who holds his chest. Shawn Michaels irishwhipped Cena hard to the corner and then when Cena put a leg up Michaels kicked the leg out of Cena.
Now Shawn Michaels gameplan was to target the leg of Cena. All if Michaels’s offense was against the leg, he then slammed Cena’s leg into the ringpost.
John Cena down now and Michaels relentless in his attack stomps on the leg of Cena, then drops a knee onto it. Shawn Michaels lands a chopblock now. Michaels using the top rope to elevate himself up in the air then drops down on the leg of Cena with his full bodyweight applying more pressure. Shawn lands more vicious chops to Cena and he limps to the other corner away from Shawn Michaels. Shawn keeps on him torking his leg up on the middle rope and twisting it until Keota backs him off before the count of five. Shawn Michaels goes in again and kicks at Cena’s leg. Cena lands a hard right takes
Michaels down for a moment.
Cena had Michaels grounded in the corner.
Shawn Michaels then got up knowing he had to act soon and speared Cena in the corner.
Shawn Michaels knew he had to keep focus on the injured left leg of the Champ, and in the meantime kept landing hard chops to the bruised and battered chest of Cena. Cena fought back from the corner with desperation righthands but Michaels kept landing chops. Shawn was pushed off and as he charged into Cena in the corner Michaels crashed into the ringpost shoulder first.
Cena stil selling the leg sitting in the corner trying to get up, Shawn is down on one knee bloodied. Cena runs over Shawn with a clothesline and now Cena smashes him in the face despite the blood. Cena lands a shoulderblock off the ropes. Cena does so again. Cena lands a back suplex after ducking a clothesline from Shawn Michaels. Cena now goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and as ridiculous as it looks, he lands it. Cena waits behind and a bloodied Shawn Michaels slowly turns around.
Cena goes for the FU but Shawn lands on his feet and chops Cena, Cena reverses an irishwhip and flips Michaels upside down into the corner, Shawn rolls back to his feet and goes for a superkick on Cena but drops the official. John Cena taking his time moving towards a bloody Shawn Michaels because of the bad leg.
Once Shawn Michaels moved towards Cena he lifted him up for the FU, Shawn countered it into a ddt. Both men are down. John Cena rolls to the outside and Shawn Michaels goes for a piledriver on the steel steps, this was a dangerous move and Shawn Michaels lands it effectively.
Shawn rolls Cena back in the ring and it looked to be over. Shawn dragged Cena to the middle of the ring and covered him as a referee runs into the ring and Cena kicked out. Shawn Michaels puts Cena in a front facelock and then Cena reverses an irishwhip but Shawn Michaels flies at Cena with a flying forearm then kicks back up.
Shawn Michaels with a face full of blood goes to the outside to land his elbow. Michaels takes his time getting up and once he’s up he flies off and lands it to Cena. Shawn Michaels could sense the WWE title coming back to him now as he dances around and tuned up the band in the corner.
Cena’s head all bloodied from the piledriver on the steps slowly gets up and turns around. Cena takes Michaels down with a clothesline that he doesen’t see coming. This buys Cena a little bit of time to regroup as both men are down on the canvas now for the count. Cena and Shawn Michaels get up at the same time and Shawn lands a chop, Michaels hit with a big fist from Cena as the pain the picture of a war in mid-ring.
Shawn Michaels hit a sunsetflip out of a FU attempt from Cena and he kicks out. Cena leaps over Shawn and then scoops up Shawn and drops him with an FU. Cena lifts up Shawn and puts him on the top turnbuckle. Cena scoops up Shawn from the top and teased an FU from the turnbuckle but Shawn lands headbutts to Cena and he falls back to the mat. Michaels from the top hits a crossbody on Cena and
Cena lifts Shawn up from the canvas and scoops him above his head, Cena goes for another FU and Michaels lands again on his feet, Shawn quickly goes for a Superkick, Cena ducks and tries to lock in the STFU now, what a climax.
Shawn rolls out and kicks Cena off. Cena relentless going for the STFU, Michaels hits an inside cradle and Cena kicks out. Good material here.
John Cena grabs Michaels leg as he was about to hit an Inziguri and then he locked on the STFU, Michaels was close to the rope. Shawn then reached out and made it there. Cena gets yelled at by the official and this distracts him as Shawn drops Cena with Sweet Chin Music. Both guys are down though as the damage had already been done to Michaels from the previous STFU. Shawn down and slowly rolls over to Cena to cover him, once he does Cena lifts the shoulder because Shawn Michaels took his time covering him.
Both guys get up at the nine count just barely. Once up Cena goes for the FU and Michaels drops again but Cena counters with a droptoe hold into the STFU again and now Shawn Michaels is forced to tap out.
In the end at 28:20 John Cena retained the WWE title after beating Shawn Michaels with the STFU submission hold.
Now this could be a borderline Classic, but I’d still rank about 500 matches in front of it.
The match is definitely awesome, and was a great way to end the show. It’s not quite on par with there lengthy Raw gem, but this still holds up real well and perfectly acceptable for a Wrestlemania Main Event.
Final Rating for WWE Wrestlemania 23 = 7/10
This Mania was actually very good looking back. On paper it looks just decent but almost every match delivered for the most part. A solid Mania that’s worth owning.