Wrestlemania 23

|Date: April 1, 2007
|Venue: Fort Field |City: Detroit, Michigan
|Attendance: 80,103 |Buys: 1,188,000
|Brand: Raw, Smackdown & ECW

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

All Grown Up. Wrestlemania has come a long way in 23 years but this event draws comparisons to Wrestlemania 3. This event has the highest number of buys of any WWE PPV ever up to now and officially has the second highest amount of buys of all time (as I write this in 2018). The high amount of buys is mostly down to one of tonights main events when ECW Champion Bobby Lashley takes on Intercontinental Champion Umaga in a non title match. Instead, on the line is something more important. If Lashley wins then the man in Umaga’s corner Vince McMahon will have his head shaved bald but if Umaga wins then Donald Trump (who will be in Lashley’s corner) will have his head shaved bald. It’s the battle of the billionaires and their hand-picked representatives have been at each others throats for weeks. The “board of directors” also announced a special guest referee for the match and it is none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

As you would expect, the WWE Championship is set to be defended as John Cena defends against Shawn Michaels. Cena and Michaels are actually the current reigning World Tag Team Champions after they defeated Randy Orton and Edge. Orton and Edge also wanted a shot at the WWE title and so a triple threat match was made that Shawn Michaels won. Since then Shawn Michaels has had plenty of opportunities to hit John Cena with sweet chin music but until last week he decided against it. Michaels eventually hit the move but tonight the reigning world tag team champions will battle for the biggest prize in the business. The Undertaker had a choice of which title he would challenge for after he won the 2007 Royal Rumble match and The Undertaker chose Batista and the World Heavyweight title. Both men have attacked the other since then and Batista has told Undertaker that he does not respect him. It’ll be a first time meeting between these two men and it’ll be Batista’s World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak.

There are two other title matches tonight. M.V.P asked for a shot at Chris Benoit’s United States title at Wrestlemania and Smackdown general manager Teddy Long granted him his wish. Since then, MVP has fought against champions such as the Ethiopian Champion and Luxembourg (jobbers) and beaten them all. Tonight he has his biggest challenge yet against Chris Benoit. Melina will also be defending the WWE Women’s Championship after she beat Mickie James for the gold. Melina has been jealous of the attention Ashley has been getting since Ashley was announces as the Playboy cover-girl for this month. Ashley has got herself a shot at Melina’s title after Melina has attacked Ashley again and again.  It has also been announced that all of WWE’s divas will be stood around the ring as lumberjills.

Money In The Bank returns for a third year and this time it’ll be the biggest MITB ladder match ever as instead of 6 competitors there will be 8. Edge was the first man to qualify when it was previous will vs. previous winner and he beat Rob Van Dam. CM Punk then beat Johnny Nitro to qualify, King Booker beat Kane, Jeff Hardy beat Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy beat Joey Mercury, Finlay beat MVP and Chris Benoit in a triple threat match, Mr Kennedy defeated Sabu and Randy Orton beat Carlito and Ric Flair in a triple threat match. Edge nearly lost his spot after upsetting Randy Orton but the Rated-R superstar won his spot back in a last chance battle royal. Also tonight, a turf war has broken out in ECW with the ECW Originals (Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu & The Sandman) going to war with The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Marquis Cor Von & Kevin Thorn) and tonight there will be an 8 man tag team match.

In a dark match prior to the event Carlito and Ric Flair defeated Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero.

The show kicks off with a video package giving some highlights from Wrestlemania’s gone by. So much history to this show. It’s cool to see all the old logos too.

Aretha Franklin sings the American national anthem much like she did at Wrestlemania III.

There’s another video package about Wrestlemania being all grown up. Shots of the wrestlers involved and younger versions of themselves. A pretty cool video.

Jim Ross welcomes us to Wrestlemania, he’s joined by Jerry “The King” Lawler. The Smackdown commentary team are here, Michael Cole and John “Bradshaw” Layfield. The lights are on bright Michael. Joey Styles and Tazz are also here.

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk vs. Mr Kennedy vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. King Booker vs. Finlay – Money In The Bank Ladder Match

It’s a big match to kick off the show! Wrestlemania records then, Jeff Hardy is 0-3, Matt Hardy is 1-4, CM Punk and Mr Kennedy make their Wrestlemania debut, Randy Orton is 1-2, Edge is undefeated at 5-0, Booker is 1-3 and Finlay is 0-1 having lost in last years Money In The bank ladder match. It’s the biggest ever MITB ladder match as it has 8 participants rather than 6. All 8 men pair off as the bell rings. Mr Kennedy and Randy Orton take their fight up the aisle. Finlay goes up to the top and dives to the outside on about 5 men wiping them out. Edge then dives into the ring and climbs a ladder but Matt Hardy makes sure he doesn’t win this one early. Finlay and Orton then climb the ladder and slug it out at the top. They then take their fight to the outside. Jeff Hardy climbs the ladder but Mr Kennedy pushes it over. Booker pulls a ladder from under the ring but it’s a step ladder! CM Punk takes it off him and beats him with it before Edge throws it at Punk.

Edge then pulls another ladder out from under the ring and it’s a big one. He lays it across the barricade before CM Punk suplexes Edge on the outside. King Booker lays into Matt Hardy in the ring before Booker disposes of Hardy. King Booker then hits spinebusters on Orton, Kennedy and Finlay before performing a spin-a-roonie! The Hardy Boyz then sandwich Booker with ladders. Matt hits a side affect on Edge and the Hardyz stand tall. They then set up the ladders in the same way that they broke Joey Mercury’s nose. Jeff climbs to the top but Finlay knocks him to the outside. Edge then suplexes Matt Hardy onto the ladders. Mr Kennedy throws Edge out of the ring and lays Matt Hardy down on a ladder before going up top but missing with the Kenton bomb! Jeff Hardy then heads to the top and hits Kennedy with the swanton bomb! Matt and Jeff both climb a ladder in the middle of the ring before laying into one another! Finlay pushes the ladder over before hitting clothesline son Orton, Punk and Kennedy. Finlay picks up a ladder but Edge lays him out with a spear. Edge then hits spears on Booker T, Randy Orton, Mr Kennedy, Matt and Jeff Hardy!

CM Punk avoids a spear and then puts a ladder around his head and lays out anyone standing. Edge hits him with a spear and the ladder took out Finlay and Orton. Edge is probably the favourite for this match, he’s the only two time WWE World Champion in this match. Edge grabs a huge ladder and sets it up in the middle of the ring. He climbs it but it’s his tag team partner Randy Orton that pushes it over, sending Edge all the way out of the ring. Jeff Hardy then takes Randy out. Matt Hardy lats Edge across a ladder on the outside and Jeff climbs up the huge ladder before diving out at Edge, snapping the ladder in half! Edge is then taken away on a stretcher. Matt Hardy throws the high ladder out of the ring but then talks into an RKO! Orton takes out Finlay and Mr Kennedy with RKO’s and then climbs up a ladder that looks off centre. CM Punk smashes Randy with a ladder to put a stop to that. CM Punk climbs a ladder and Randy climbs up a ladder next to him. Orton then hits an RKO off the top of the ladders!

King Booker climbs up a ladder and Orton once again attempts an RKO off the top of the ladder but Booker counters it and hits a Book end! Booker climbs the ladder again but it’s Matt Hardy who meets him up there. Queen Sharmell then gets in the ring and pulls Hardy down! Matt sets Sharmell up for a twist of fate and Booker decides to help her. He would have won but instead he gets hit with a twist of fate. Matt Hardy climbs the ladder but Finlay tips it over. Finlay is bleeding from the top of the head now which always looks more affective on a blonde haired guy. Finlay hits the Celtic cross on Matt Hardy onto a ladder. Finlay struggles to climb a ladder but in comes Hornswoggle! Hornswoggle climbs a ladder but he can’t reach the briefcase. Mr Kennedy climbs a ladder and Hornswoggle hits him with a right hand! Kennedy gets Hornswoggle on his shoulders and hits him with a plunge form the top of the ladder! Kennedy gets to his feet but Finlay throws a ladder at him.

Finlay climbs a ladder slowly but CM Punk dropkicks the ladder sending Finlay to the mat. CM Punk making his Wrestlemania debut tonight. Punk climbs the ladder but MR Kennedy gets up there with him. The two men slug it out and CM Punk shoves him off! Kennedy then grabs another ladder and jabs it into CM Punk’s face! Kennedy climbs the ladder and unhooks the Money In The Bank briefcase! Mr Kennedy wins the match! A great match to kick off the show. And a great winner, I’m a big Mr Kennedy mark. Kennedy was quiet for a lot of the match leaving a lot of the action to the Hardy Boyz, Finlay and Randy Orton. But he wins and can cash it in anytime over the next year.

Rating: 8.5/10

There’s a video package for the premiere of The Condemned featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Todd Grisham is backstage with Mr Kennedy who congratulates himself. Kennedy says he’s coming for the champions, any time, any place.

There’s a piece about Batista being all grown up.

Kane vs. The Great Khali

This should be interesting. It’s a Raw vs. Smackdown match. Kane is 4-4 at Wrestlemania, The Great Khali makes his Wrestlemania debut. Khali out-powers Kane in the early going. Kane hits some big right hands but Khali tosses him out of the ring. Kane drops Khali on the top rope but he still can’t take Khali down. Khali can take Kane down though with a clothesline and then a powerslam. The Great Khali applies a nervehold which Kane gets out of but Khali takes him right back down. Khali chokes Kane and hits him with reverse elbows. Kane hits some right hands and then heads to the top but the clothesline from the top still doesn’t take Khali down. Kane boots Khali into the ropes where Khali gets tied up. Kane hits some big right hands and then rummages under the ring where he grabs a hook on a chain that he has been carrying around. He hooks it onto the top rope and then slug it out with Khali. Khali hits him trademark chop and then rips off one of the top turnbuckles.

The referee clears up the turnbuckle mess which allows Kane to hit a low blow with the chain! Kane then powerslams Khali which looked pretty impressive for a near fall. Kane motions for a chokeslam and wraps his hand around Khali’s throat but Khali does the same to Kane and then hits him with the double armed chokeslam! Khali takes his time but he puts his foot on Kane and the referee counts the three! The Great Khali beats Kane tonight in a match more entertaining than I thought it would be. The duration was right and it felt ok for these two guys. After the match Khali chokes Kane with the chain.

Rating: 4/10

There’s a VT about the divas being all grown up.

Cryme Tyme are backstage with Eugene who got his head shaved last week. Cryme Tyme have a surprise for Eugene and it’s the Extreme Expose! Kelly Kelly, Layla and Brooke give a bit of a dance for Eugene which cheers him up. The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young then show up and Eugene dances with them. Slick randomly turns up and gets involved. Dusty Rhodes says they can’t have a party without him and they are all joined by fellow WWE legends Sgt Slaughter, Jimmy Hart and I.R.S who all get to dancing. Mene Gene is in there too as is Pat Patterson. Ricky Steamboat turns up, Gerald Briscoe is there and The Fink. Ron Simmons shows up and gives it the “Damn” before leaving.

Chris Benoit (c) vs. M.V.P. – United States Championship match

Chris Benoit is 2-4 at Wrestlemania whilst MVP makes his Wrestlemania debut. So far tonight the matches have been won by two men making their Wrestlemania debuts. MVP has a cool entrance with a load of cheerleaders. There’s some chain wrestling in the early going with Benoit locking on a head scissors but MVP counters it into a leglock and then a headlock. MVP knocks Benoit down and then after a few counters MVP knocks Benoit out of the ring. Benoit gets back into the ring and takes MVP down, attempting a sharpshooter but MVP counters it. Benoit applies an arm bar but MVP gets to the ropes. Benoit’s li pis bleeding. MVP hits a firemans carry and applies a headlock but Benoit counters it again. Some nice wrestling form MVP in this one. MVP hits some right hands and then runs into an elbow. Benoit pops MVP on the top rope and attempts a superplex but MVP counters it and drops Benoits arm on the top rope. MVP works on Benoits left arm and covers Benoit for the first near fall of the night.

MVP continues to work on the left arm of Chris Benoit but then misses with a kick. Benoit hits three consecutive German suplexes and then heads to the top but MVP crotches him up there and then hits a superplex. Benoit quickly catches MVP with a roll-up for a near fall. MVP rams Benoit into the ringpost and then rolls up the champion for a near fall. Benoit has spent much of his title reign feuding with Chavo Guerrero. MVP hits a back suplex for a two count and then applies a hammerlock. Benoit gets out of it but MVP takes him down with a big boot for another near fall. MVP attempts a slam but Benoit slips down and tries to lock on the crippler crossface but MVP fights him off. MVP hits a hammerlock powerslam and then his ballin’ elbow drop for a near fall. Two wins for two heels so far tonight. Benoit gets out of the way of a running boot in the corner and then hits two consecutive German suplexes. MVP counters the third but Benoit eventually hits another three German suplexes. Benoit heads to the top and hits the diving headbutt for the three! Chris Benoit retains his United States Championship tonight! The finish came from nowhere but it was a good match from these two. I think they could’ve been given more time though.

Rating: 6.75/10

There’s a video package for The Undertaker.

Donald Trump is backstage complaining on the phone about his hospitality. The Boogeyman then shows up but Trump completely no-sells it. He asks Boogeyman to get him some food.

Next up is a video package for the hall of fame ceremony. The likes of Afa and Sika, Jim Ross, The Sheik, Mr Perfect, Jerry Lawler, Mr Fuji, Nick Bockwinkel and Dusty Rhodes were all inducted.

Lilian Garcia announces the attendance of 80,103. She then introduces Howard Finkel. He introduces the 2007 Hall Of Fame Class to the stage. Jim Ross, Larry “The Axe” Hennig and potentially Mr Perfects widow representing him. Jerry Lawler, Nick Bockwinkel, Mr Fuji who is accompanied by Don Muraco, Afa and Sika the Wild Samoans, the wife of The Sheik and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.

There’s poll result showing that 82% think that The Undertaker will defeat Batista tonight.

There’s a video package next for The Undertaker and Batista.

Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker – World Heavyweight Championship match

I’m surprised this match is on so early. I guess that shows how much they value the World Heavyweight Championship. Both men are undefeated at Wrestlemania, Batista has a 2-0 record compared to The Undertakers 14-0 record. Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long is the ring announcer for this match. Like every match on the card tonight, this is a first time PPV meeting between these two men. Batista starts the match with a spear, taking Undertaker down. Batista hits some right hand sin the corner and Undertaker replies with some of his own. The crowd boo Batista as he hits some shoulder charges and a clothesline before clotheslining Undertaker out of the ring. Batista lays into Undertaker on the outside, smashing him into the barricade and then the apron. Batista then throws Undertaker into the ring steps before rolling back into the ring. Batista then rolls Undertaker back into the ring before climbing to the top and hitting a shoulder charge from the top for a near fall.

Batista hits some right hands but runs into a big boot. Batista bounces off the ropes and knocks Undertaker down with a clothesline. The two men slug it out and Batista hits a powerslam. Undertaker hits lefts and rights and an uppercut but Batista fights back rights of his own. Undertaker hits more right hands to the enjoyment of the crowd and then a splash in the corner. Undertaker hits a clothesline and then snake eyes before knocking Batista down with a running boot. The challenger hits a legdrop for a near fall and then hits old school as the crowd rise to their feet. Undertaker motions for a chokeslam but Batista releases the grip around his throat. Batista hits right hands but Undertaker takes him down with a big flying clothesline for a near fall. Undertaker knocks Batista out of the ring with some right hands and then lays Batista on the apron before hitting him with a legdrop. Undertaker then dives to the outside with a huge plancha, taking Batista out. Batista reverses an Irish whip sending Undertaker crashing into the timekeepers table.

Batista hits Undertaker with big right hands before laying him across the Raw announce table, picking him up and powerslamming him through the ECW announce table! Back in the ring and Batista gets a near fall. Batista then sets up for a Batista bomb but Undertaker fights him off. Batista hits a belly to belly suplex for a two count and then lays into Undertaker with right hands and kicks. Undertaker hits a last ride for a near fall. Batista hits a spinebuster and motions for the Batista bomb which gets a mixed reaction. Undertaker ducks a clothesline and takes Batista down with a chokeslam for a two count. Undertaker motions for a tombstone but Batista nips down and spears the challenger. Batista sets up for the Batista bomb and he hits it but Undertaker kicks out of the pinfall! Batista sets up for a second Batista bomb but Undertaker hits a back drop. Batista attempts a slam but Undertaker shoves him into the corner and then scoops him up for a tombstone, hitting it in the middle of the ring and pinning him for the three! Undertaker wins the match and the World Heavyweight Championship! He’s the 7th Royal Rumble in a row to win his chosen title and he also goes 15-0 at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 7/10

Next up is an All Grown Up VT for Bobby Lashley.

Vince McMahon is backstage admiring himself when Stephanie McMahon arrives with her daughter. Vince tells his grand-daughter what he’s going to do to Donald Trump later.

The ECW Originals (Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, The Sandman & Sabu) vs. The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn & Marquis Cor Von)

This is the only ECW branded match tonight. Most of which make their Wrestlemania debut tonight but Rob Van Dam has a 3-0 record at the event. Ariel is in the corner for her man Kevin Thorn. Sabu starts the match against Matt Striker who hits a cheap shot. Sabu hits a springboard legdrop and then two more springboard moves for a one count. Sabu tags in Sandman who enters the match with a legdrop off the top for a two count. Striker tags in Elijah Burke but Sandman hits him with a hiptoss and then tags in Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer and Sandman double team Burke but Cor Von hits Dreamer with a cheap shot. Burke tags in Cor Von who lays into Dreamer with kicks and right hands. Cor Von hits a double underhook suplex and then tags Elijah Burke back in. They hit a double back drop on Dreamer and Burke hits the Elijah Express in the corner. Burke tags in Kevin Thorn who hits Dreamer with a splash in the corner and then a clothesline before applying a chinlock.

Thorn forces Dreamer into the corner but then runs into a big boot. Thorn then hits a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Thorn tags in Marquis Cor Von who is making his PPV debut tonight. He hits a suplex for a near fall. Cor Von applies a chinlock which Dreamer gets out of. Cor Von then takes a cheap shot at Sandman and tags in Elijah Burke but Dreamer takes both Cor Von and Burke down. Dreamer tags in Rob Van Dam and Burke tags Matt Striker. Van Dam takes down Striker with kicks and then heads to the top and takes Kevin Thorn down with a kick. RVD hits a monkey flip on Striker and you can’t help but think Van Dam is better than this match. He hits rolling thunder on Striker but cor Von pulls Van Dam out of the ring. Sabu dives out at Cor von and Dreamer then spikes Striker with the Dreamer DDT. Burke knocks Dreamer down and Sandman clotheslines Burke out of the ring. Van Dam then hits the 5 star frog splash on Matt Striker and hooks the leg for the three! The ECW Originals win the match! A quick but fun match. They weren’t given a lot of time but there were a few good spots.

Rating: 5/10

There’s an All Grown Up VT for Stone Cole Steve Austin.

There’s a package to shot that Wrestlemania 24 will be at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

There’s a video package for the battle of the billionaires.

Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga – Battle Of The Billionaires with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as the special guest referee

Another first time PPV match. Lashley goes into this with a 0-1 record at Wrestlemania following his loss in the Money In the Bank ladder match last year. Umaga makes his Wrestlemania debut tonight. If Lashley wins then Vince McMahon will get his head shaved tonight but if Umaga wins then Donald Trump will be getting his head shaved. Lashley is the current ECW Champion whilst Umaga is the Intercontinental Champion but neither of those belts are on the line tonight. This has a big fight feel to it, both men have been portrayed as monsters with a lot of potential. The two men slug it out to start the match and Lashley hits a clothesline in the corner. Steve Austin drags Lashley away from the corner by his head. Umaga hits a kick and an Irish whip but misses with a splash in the corner. Lashley goes up to the middle rope and hits a shoulder block for a near fall. Armando Estrada put Umaga’s foot on the bottom rope there. Lashley then drags Estrada into the ring and hits him with a running powerslam before disposing of him.

Umaga runs at Lashley who pulls down the top rope sending Umaga to the outside. Umaga gets back in the ring and Lashley attempts a spear but Umaga sidesteps it and Lashley falls to the outside. Back in the ring and Umaga hits a splash for a near fall. Umaga chokes Bobby and Austin pulls Umaga off Lashley to break it. Umaga hits a big clothesline on Lashley to take him down. Lots of shots of Vince McMahon and Donald Trump in this one, they’re the main focus of this match. Umaga hits a seated splash on Lashley and then a second. Lashley tries to fight back but Umaga takes him down with a Samoan drop. In Samoa that’s just known as a drop. Lashley hits a right hand and then attempts a powerslam but he can’t get Umaga up and falls back. Vince McMahon gets up on the apron but Lashley knocks him off. Umaga hits a facebuster and then heads to the top but Lashley gets up and throws him down to the mat. Lashley then hits a clothesline which Umaga sells like a pro, similar to his brother Rikishi. Austin counts both men down to 9 and then decides to stop.

Shane McMahon comes out from the back to check on his father. In the ring both men get to their feet briefly until Umaga knocks Lashley back down. Umaga lays into Lashley and once again Austin forces him off. Umaga then takes Austin out with a Samoan spike! Shane McMahon gets in the ring and motivates Umaga before laying in some jabs to Bobby Lashley! Umaga and Shane then double team Lashley and Umaga hits Bobby with the running arse splash. Vince throws Shane a trash can and Shane sets Lashley up for the coast to coast. Umaga holds the trash can in place and Shane heads to the opposite side of the ring before hitting the coast to coast, smashing the trash can into Lashley’s face! Shane then takes off his shirt to reveal a referee’s shirt! He sets Lashley up and Umaga climbs to the top where he hits a big splash! Umaga makes the pin and Shane counts to two and Austin drags him out of the ring! Austin throws Shane into the ring steps but then gets back into the ring and Umaga takes him back out.

Vince McMahon berates Austin from the outside but Donald Trump takes Vince down with a spear and then right hands! Umaga attempts another Samoan spike on Austin but Stone Cold ducks it and hits a Stone Cold Stunner! Lashley follows it up with a spear and hooks the leg for the three! Bobby Lashley beats Umaga which means Vince McMahon will get his head shaved bald! The bell ring after the two count there. That was a fun match. Austin drags Vince McMahon into the ring to get his head shaved but Shane tries to intervene only to get hit with a stunner. Vince McMahon manages to crawl away but Lashley goes after him and throws him into the ring. Austin hits Vince with a stunner and Lashley pops his boss into the barber chair and straps him in. Austin holds Vince’s head in place and both Donald Trump and Bobby Lashley shave Vince McMahon’s head! Wow, they really did shave it all off. McMahon attempts to do his flip back over the chair in shock gimmick but he botches it so they tip him over. Austin celebrates with a few beers before Stone Cold Stunning Donald Trump!

Rating: 7.25/10

There’s an All Grown Up VT for John Cena next.

There’s footage from the lumberjack tag team match prior to the show with Carlito and Ric Flair defeated Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms.

Melina (c) vs. Ashley – Lumberjill match for the WWE Women’s Championship

This is a first time PPV meeting between these two ladies. It also marks Wrestlemania debuts for both women. This is the third and final cross-brand match tonight. Ashley can only be in this spot because she’s this months Playboy cover girl. Ashley smashes Melina into the mat in the early going and Melina tries to escape the ring but the lumberjills throw her back in. Ashley rolls Melina up for a near fall. Melina takes the advantage and chokes Ashley with her boot. Ashley then returns the favour. Melina chokes Ashley on the top rope and then spins her challenger around by her legs before getting a near fall. Melina applies a surfboard stretch which Ashley gets out of. Ashley hits a tilt-a-whirl leg scissors and then a monkey flip. Ashley heads up to the second rope but Melina avoids an elbow drop. Ashley rolls Melina up out of nowhere but Melina reverses it and gets the three. Melina wins what was a pretty terrible match. After the match all of the lumberjills break into a fight in the ring.

Rating: 2.25/10

There’s an All Grown Up package for Shawn Michaels.

There is a hype video for Shawn Michaels and John Cena that might go down as my favourite hype video of all time. It is so good.

John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Championship match

This is the first ever singles PPV match between these two men. Shawn Michaels comes out to his DX music. Shawn Michaels has a 5-8 record at Wrestlemania, John Cena has a 3-0 record following victories over The Big Show, John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Triple H. Michaels and Cena are the current World Tag Team Champions together. Michaels offers a handshake to start the match but Cena rejects it so Michaels slaps him! Michaels takes Cena down and Shawn does not look happy about something. Michaels hits some jabs and a big chop to take Cena down. Michaels hits a headlock takedown but Cena gets out of it and knocks Michaels down with a clothesline to boo’s from the crowd. Michaels takes Cena down with a Lou Thesz press and follows it up with some lefts and rights. Michaels drops Cena on the top rope and then hiptosses Cena to the outside. Michaels then hits a springboard moonsault to Cena on the outside. The crowd are behind HBK in this one.

Back in the ring and Michaels hits Cena with a big forearm and then follows it up with a chop. Shawn then blocks a boot and hammers away at the knee. Michaels works the left knee of Cena laying into it with stomps and then swinging it into the ringpost. Cena tries to fight back but Michaels is relentless in his attack of Cena’s left knee. The two men slug it out and Michaels then misses with a shoulder charge in the corner. Michaels went head first into the ring post and is now bleeding. Cena takes Shawn down and lays into him with big right hands. Cena hits a side suplex and then the five knuckle shuffle. Cena then attempts the FU but Michaels nips down and tries for sweet chin music but Cena ducks it and Michaels takes out the referee. With the referee down Cena tries for the FU again but Michaels counters it with a DDT. Shawn then pulls Cena out of the ring and piledrives him on the ring steps. We don’t see a piledriver very often, it’s a banned move so is super effective when it is used. Cena is now bleeding from the top of the head. Michaels rolls him back into the ring and pins the champion but referee Jack Doan isn’t quick enough getting to the ring from the back so Cena kicks out at 2.

Michaels hits a flying forearm and nips up before climbing to the top rope and nailing an elbow drop. Michaels attempts sweet chin music but Cena ducks it and takes Michaels down with a clothesline. The two men slug it out which results with Michaels up on Cena’s shoulders but Michaels counters the FU into a sunset flip for a near fall. Michaels attempts to leap-frog Cena but the WWE Champion catches him and hits the challenger with the FU! Cena is slow to cover Michaels who kicks out at 2 much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Cena pops Michaels on the top rope for a superplex but Michaels fights Cena off and hits a crossbody but Cena rolls through it, puts Michaels on his shoulders and tries for another FU but Michaels lands on his feet, tries for sweet chin music but Cena ducks that and attempts to lock on the STFU! Michaels counters it into an inside cradle for a near fall.

Michaels attempts an enzeguri but Cena ducks it and locks on the STFU. Michaels is very close to the ropes and grabs them. The referee man-handles Cena to break the hold. Cena then turns around into sweet chin music! Michaels is slow to cover Cena and so Cena gets his shoulder up at 2. Both men slowly get to their feet, using each other to get to their feet. Cena attempts the FU again but Michaels counters but Cena then takes Michaels down with the STFU in the middle of the ring. Michaels taps out! John Cena wins the match and retains his WWE Championship. After the match Cena approached Michaels to shake his hand but Michaels just walked away. Michaels was annoyed with how the match had gone and how Cena didn’t sell the leg.

Rating: 7/10

And that was Wrestlemania 23. Firstly I want to say how disappointed I would be as Johnny Nitro for not getting booked on this show. He has worked so hard over the past 6 months, wrestling on every Raw, Smackdown, PPV and some ECW shows too. He should’ve been in the Money In The Bank ladder match that kicked off the show. It was a hell of a match to kick off the night and one of my favourites Mr Kennedy won that one. It was an absolute spotfest but man was it good fun. What a bump from Jeff Hardy putting Edge through a ladder. That took Edge out of the match but you half expect him to come back. Mr Kennedy nearly killed Hornswoggle at the end there. King Booker was forced into saving his wife over winning the match. But when it came down to it, CM Punk had his hands on the briefcase only for Mr Kennedy to take him out and grab the case for himself. I like Mr Kennedy as the briefcase holder. It should be another fun ride. He’s been great as a heel on Smackdown and is well deserving of the briefcase. He’ll just need some big wins on his road to the top.

Kane and The Great Khali had a match that was better than I thought it would be but my expectations were extremely low. Khali is pretty terrible but does have an intimidating presence. Kane tried something new with his hook gimmick but he came up short. Khali continues to be pushed and would be a good opponent for Cena in the future but I think they’d have to gimmick match. Kane goes back to Smackdown where there are plenty of opponents for him such as Finlay, MVP, Mr Kennedy and King Booker. Speaking of MVP, he came up short against Chris Benoit. This was a solid match but with more time it could have been something really special. MVP has come on leaps and bounds since his debut and is a definite candidate for the United States Championship. Chris Benoit is stuck in the upper-midcard spot where he’s not really moving anywhere. I wouldn’t actually mind seeing a Chris Benoit heel turn, he could be a great opponent for Batista in the future.

The Batista/Undertaker match felt like it went on too early. I can see their thinking for the layout of the show though and they obviously considered the Battle Of The Billionaires a bigger match and they’re probably right. Batista and Undertaker put on a good match though and Undertaker continues his streak and wins the World Heavyweight Championship. I don’t mind Undertaker as champion but it isn’t a fresh direction. I think this is just the beginning of this feud and they’ll get a few PPV’s out of it. Not sure I can see either man turning heel though. The ECW match was quite short but enjoyable enough. All 8 men rushed to get their stuff in but it was a nice break between two longer matches. The ECW Originals won the match which was probably the right decision. Rob Van Dam is by far the biggest star in this match but I do like Kevin Thorn. This was a nice way to showcase some of the best stars on ECW.

The Battle Of The Billionaires was a lot of fun. Lashley and Umaga are two stars on the rise and although they weren’t the main focus of the match, they still put on a decent show. In a lot of ways this was the main focus of the show and it would have been hard to believe that Donald Trump was getting his head shaved. Vince McMahon did though and it wasn’t just a bit of the sides and back, it was full on hair removed. I guess this feud ends now but with Donald Trump and Steve Austin presumably gone it’ll be Bobby Lashley in Vince McMahons crosshairs. Melina beat Ashley in the lumberjills match which was pretty poor. Melina isn’t bad but Ashley isn’t very good. Melina retaining the title was the right move and maybe she can go back to feuding with Mickie James. The Women’s division isn’t the strongest at the moment despite being bigger than I can remember. In the main event John Cena beat Shawn Michaels to retain the WWE Championship. That’s three Wrestlemania’s in a row that John Cena has walked out with the WWE Championship. This was another good match but Shawn Michaels was disappointed with it. No heel turn from either man makes me think that this feud is over but they are world tag team champions together so who knows. Overall this felt like a good show with quality from top to bottom and a couple of matches that let it down. It’s worth checking out though.

Overall Rating: 59.68/100 (ranked joint 77th out of 208)

Match Of The Night: The Money In The Bank ladder match
Worst Match Of The Night: Melina vs. Ashley
Surprise Of The Night: Vince McMahon gets his head completely shaved bald
Worst Booking Of The Night: No Johnny Nitro in MITB
Superstar Of The Night: The Undertaker
Wrestlemania 23 Will Be Remembered For: The Battle Of The Billionaires

One thought on “Wrestlemania 23

  1. Here are three more fun facts:

    1.Shelton Benjamin didn’t participate in the 2007 MITB match, because he was a lumberjack for the DVD-exclusive dark tag match pitting Carlito and Flair against Helms and Chavo.

    2.On the ECW after this PPV, the ECW Originals and the New Breed would have a superior rematch in the form of an Extreme Rules match:

    3.Ashley Massaro’s Playboy push had the exact same effect as Lex Luger’s mega push from 1993-1994, and I’m not just talking about cheesy music videos, crying children, botched wrestling matches, and empty bottles of baby oil.

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