| Date: April 3, 2005
| Venue: Staples Center | City: Los Angeles, California
| Attendance: 20, 193 | Buys: 980, 000
| tweet me: @BastionBlogger
Wrestlemania goes Hollywood! This years event comes from LA and has the second highest amount of buys for any PPV up to now (behind Wrestlemania 17). There’s a double main event as both world championships are set to be defended. Royal Rumble winner Batista turned his back on Evolution and chose to go after the World Heavyweight Championship held by Triple H. Triple H had tried to do everything in his power to convince Batista to go after the WWE Championship held by John “Bradshaw” Layfield but Batista didn’t take the bait. John Cena won the tournament to become number one contender to the WWE Championship and Layfield has taken offence to somebody “like” John Cena thinking he is in the same calibre as the champion. Cena was told he couldn’t lay a hand on Layfield unless provoked and despite vandalising Bradshaw’s limo and hat, JBL would not give Cena the opportunity. Tonight though, the two go one on one with the WWE Championship on the line.
There are two cross-brand matches tonight. Two legends in Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels will go toe to toe in one of those. Michaels eliminated Kurt Angle from the Royal Rumble back in January and Angle would then return the favour. Michaels would challenge Kurt to a match at Wrestlemania, a challenge Angle accepted. Since then, Angle has imitated Michaels by pulling Marty Jannetty out of retirement and beating him and even attacking Michaels’ once managed Sensational Sherri. The other inter-promotional match is between The Undertaker and Randy Orton dubbed “The Legend vs. Legend Killer match”. The two would have a contract signing on Smackdown and since then Orton attacked his girlfriend Stacy Keibler and would find an ally in his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton who is scheduled to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Last week on Smackdown, Cowboy Bob goaded The Undertaker to the ring before Randy hit him with the RKO. Undertakers Wrestlemania streak is on the line tonight as he goes one on one with Randy Orton.
Wrestlemania will see the first ever Money In The Bank ladder match. An idea devised by Chris Jericho, he will be joined by Chris Benoit, Edge, Shelton Benjamin, Kane and Christian. It is a 6 man ladder match with the prize being a briefcase with a contract inside that allows the winner a shot at the world title whenever they choose. Shelton goes into the match as Intercontinental Champion and so his title will not be defended tonight. But a title that will be defended is the Women’s Championship. Trish Stratus has taken exception to Christy Hemme and her getting into the WWE by way of the diva search. Hemme has also bagged herself a Playboy shoot and Trish has been quick to call Christy a slut. Following humiliation from Stratus, Christy has been coached by Lita for her Women’s title match.
For the first time ever tag team champions will go one on one against each other as Eddie Guerrero takes on Rey Mysterio. Mysterio has had Eddie’s number in the past and Chavo Guerrero has been stirring the pot, creating trouble between the WWE Tag Team Champions. Guerrero has challenged Mysterio to a “friendly” singles match at the biggest show of the year and following some miscommunication between the two in recent weeks, Mysterio has accepted. Also tonight, The Big Show will be fighting in a sumo match against Japanese sumo superstar Akebono. Big Show had some words for Akebono when the WWE were in Japan a few weeks ago and it was Akebono that challenged Show to this huge match. It should be interesting to say the least.
In a dark match prior to Wrestlemania, Booker T won a battle royal against Paul London, Heidenreich, Spike Dudley, Nunzio, Funaki, Doug Basham, Danny Basham, Orlando Jordan, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns, Scotty 2 Hotty, Hardcore Holly, Charlie Haas, Billy Kidman, Akio, Simon Dean, William Regal, Tajiri, Rob Conway, Sylvain Grenier, Snitsky, The Hurricane, Rosey, Viscera, Rhyno, Val Venis, Tyson Tomko, and Maven.
The show begins with Lilian Garcia singing the American national anthem. As a British person, I couldn’t care less for this. A video package then plays, starting with edits from the various film commercials that have been promoting this show. A new commercial then plays with Stone Cold Steve Austin as Gladiator. There’s no hype video for tonights matches which is slightly odd but I’m sure we’ll get plenty of those throughout the night. Jim Ross is the man to welcome us to Wrestlemania, he’s joined at ringside by Jerry Lawler. They throw to the Spanish announcers who in turn throw to Michael Cole and Tazz.
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is a first time WWE PPV singles match between the two WWE Tag Team Champions. Eddie going into this match with a 2-2 record at Wrestlemania PPV’s but his two wins have come in singles matches whilst his losses have been tag team matches. Mysterio is looking for his first Wrestlemania victory having lost his two previous matches, both as a challenger for the Cruiserweight Championship. The chants pre-match are for Eddie. Guerrero takes Mysterio down with a side headlock and there’s some fast paced action from the two. Guerrero executes a deep armdrag and applies an armbar. Mysterio hits a sunset flip but Guerrero counters it and sends Mysterio over the top rope. There’s a bit of a stalemate between the two.
Back in the ring and Mysterio hits a monkey flip. These two could just steal the show. Eddie left Wrestlemania last year with the WWE Championship following a victory over Kurt Angle. More fast paced action resulting in Mysterio sending Eddie across the ring. Guerrero hits a back body drop and then hits a plancha on Mysterio to the outside. WWE Tag Team Championships obviously not on the line tonight. Back in the ring and Eddie gets a one count. Guerrero hits a side suplex for a near fall and then applies a surfboard stretch but Eddie nearly pins himself lying on the canvas. Eddie then applies an STF but Mysterio gets out of it with an arm drag sending Guerrero all the way out of the ring. Mysterio then hits a baseball slide and a corkscrew plancha to the outside. Back in the ring and Mysterio hits a springboard seated senton but can’t capitalise as Guerrero takes his partner down with a reverse elbow.
Eddie hits a suplex and looks to go for three but Mysterio rolls him up for a two count. Guerrero hits a backbreaker for a near fall of his own. These two men are the first to have wrestled on three pay per views so far in 2005. They’ve been in the same match for all three of those pay per views too. Eddie goes for the three amigos again but Mysterio counters it into a leg scissors before attempting the 619 but Eddie sees him coming and hits him with a backbreaker for a near fall. Eddie hits three vertical suplexes and then heads to the top but Rey gets out of the way of the frog splash. Rey rolls Eddie up but Eddie reverses it and gets a two count. Mysterio hits a couple of kicks and then a drop toe hold and the 619! Mysterio looks to hit the west coast pop but Eddie catches him and powerbombs Mysterio into the mat! Rey kicks out of the pinfall at 2 and Eddie can’t believe it. Some big “Eddie” chants break out.
Mysterio hits a hurricanrana from nowhere and hooks the leg for the three! Mysterio wins from nowhere! I think this win was designed to look a bit like a fluke but it is a big win for Rey Mysterio none the less. The two men shake hands after the bell but Eddie still looks devastated. Big win for Mysterio in a good match between the two.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield is backstage with Orlando Jordan and The Basham Brothers when they bump into Triple H and Ric Flair. Triple H calls JBL a joke and refers to himself as a wrestling god. Layfield says that he is the only champion in the history of this sport who hasn’t lost. Layfields tells Triple H to worry about Batista. Triple H tells him that if he says it enough times then maybe someone will believe JBL is good. We’ll find out at the end of the night who is still champion. Ric Flair ends it with a “woo”.
Adam Sandler is on the front row.
Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Christian – Money In The Bank Ladder Match
This is the first ever 6 man ladder match in which the winner will receive a title match whenever they choose. Some Wrestlemania records for you, Jericho is 2-3, Christian is 3-1, Kane is 3-3, Chris Benoit is 2-2, Shelton Benjamin is 1-1 and Edge is 3-0. Kane is the last man to make his entrance and the other 5 competitors go after him. Tyson Tomko is out with Christian. Chris Benoit and Shelton Benjamin hit a double suplex on Kane on the outside. Christian pulls a ladder into the ring but Jericho makes him eat it. Benjamin and Jericho then go at it in the ring with Jericho hitting a bulldog. Jericho then dropkicks Edge and Benoit off the apron before hitting a high cross body to the outside on Edge. Christian then flies to the outside, landing on Jericho, Edge and Benoit. Shelton then flies to the outside taking everybody out, including Tomko. Kane then goes up to the top and takes out anybody on their feet!
Kane is the most experienced Wrestlemania competitor out of these 6 and he grabs a ladder and takes it into the ring before swinging it at Edge and Christian. Jericho then dives off the top with a dropkick taking Kane out. Jericho grabs the ladder and smashes it into Benjamin and then Edge. Benoit grabs Jericho from behind and takes him down with a German suplex. Chris Benoit grabs the ladder and sets it up before climbing it but Kane grabs him. Benoit applies a crippler crossface to Kane and when Edge comes over to break it up, Benoit applies the crippler crossface to Edge! Kane breaks that up with the ladder and then smashes Benoits arm with the ladder! Edge hits Kane with a spear too boo’s from the crowd. Christian and Edge both grab a ladder and sandwich Kane with them! Benjamin springboards into the ring and takes both Edge and Christian down.
Edge Irish whips Benjamin into a ladder and then sets up for a spear but Shelton flapjacks Edge into the ladder. Benjamin is the reigning Intercontinental Champion so that title won’t be defended tonight. He hits a stinger splash on Edge in the corner. Edge rolls out of the ring leaving Benjamin alone in the ring. Every man in this match has won at a Wrestlemania before but only Christian and Chris Benoit won at last years event. Benjamin and Jericho slug it out at the top of a ladder and then Christian sets up another ladder and climbs it. Benoit climbs up the other side whilst Edge sets up another ladder and climbs it. All 5 men slug it out but Benoit and Christian fall from the top before Jericho does the same. Edge and Benjamin then slug it out until Shelton hits a t-bone suplex on Edge off the top! that was impressive.
Christian and Jericho go at it. Those two men battled at last years Wrestlemania. Jericho then climbs a ladder but Benjamin runs up another ladder and dives up, clotheslining Jericho off the top. Benjamin, Edge and Christian have never been a World/WWE Champion so you’d like to think one of those three men will be winning tonight. Kane gets in the ring and takes out anyone that moves until Tyson Tomko gets in the ring and boots Kane down to the mat. Tyson then sets up a ladder and helps Christian to climb up it, putting Captain Charisma on his shoulders! Kane then disposes of Tomko and pushes the ladder over, sending Christian flying over the top into the arms of his problem solver. Kane climbs to the top of the ladder but Jericho meets him up at the top before Jericho forces the ladder to fall over.
Chris Benoit slides a ladder into the ring and is selling an injury to his left arm. Benoit sets up a ladder and climbs to the top of it before diving off with a huge headbutt to Kane. Both men are affected but both men get up a climb a ladder before Benoit headbutts Kane to the mat below. Edge then nails Benoit with a ladder sending him off the ladder and then climbs it himself, unhooks the briefcase and wins the match! It’s a huge win for Edge who is more than deserving. An awesome match between the 6 men.
Eugene heads out from the back. It takes a while until his music hits but I think that was done on purpose. Eugene can’t believe that he’s at Wrestlemania. Eugene’s favourite Wrestlemania moment was when King Kong Bundy powerslammed a midget and all the other midgets went after Bundy. Brilliant. Eugene is interrupted by Muhammad Hussan and Daivari. Hassan isn’t happy that he’s excluded from the biggest show of the year. Hassan says that he will create a Wrestlemania moment himself and then he and Daivari attack Eugene. Hassan applies a camel clutch to Eugene but out comes Hulk Hogan! The crowd go nuts as Hogan makes his classic entrance. He fights off both Hussan and Daivari, hitting Hussan with the big boot and then disposing of him. Daivari swings a chair into Hogan who no-sells it and then nails Daivari with a big boot and disposes of him. Hogan poses to Hogans Real American music. Really nice segment with these men. Would have liked to see Hogan pose with Eugene though.
There’s a video package next for The Undertaker and Randy Orton.
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
This is a first pay per view match between these two men. Undertaker goes into this one with an 12-0 unblemished Wrestlemania record. Orton also has an unblemished record but his isn’t quite as impressive, he’s just 1-0 following his victory last year. Undertaker floats to the ring which is a bit weird and unnecessary. Orton is out on his own, no sign of his father who has been involved on Raw and Smackdown in the past week. Michael Cole names Rob Van Dam in a list of legends that Orton has taken out. Not quite sure RVD is in the same bracket as Ric Flair, Jake Roberts and Sgt Slaughter. Randy slaps Undertaker in the early going before taking Undertaker down with a dropkick. Orton hits a back body drop but then gets caught with a big right hand. Undertaker then hits some big right hands and reverse elbows.
Orton hits a schoolboy for the first near fall of the match. He then attempts an RKO but Undertaker throws him out of the ring. Undertaker sets Orton up on the apron before hitting a legdrop. Undertaker then hits his old school sledge from the top rope. Undertaker misses with a boot in the corner and then Orton dropkicks him out of the ring. Back in the ring and Undertaker hits a DDT for a near fall and then a sidewalk slam for another near fall. Undertaker hits snake eyes and then bounces off the ropes for a clothesline but Orton sees him coming and hits a reverse elbow for a near fall. Orton hits some clubbing forearms to the chest of The Undertaker as the crowd chant for the dead man. Undertaker is unbeaten on PPV in 2005 so far following victories over Heidenreich and Luther Reigns. Orton looks for his first victory on PPV in 2005 tonight.
Undertaker hits a big clothesline on Orton for a near fall as a “Randy sucks” chant breaks out. Both men were victorious last year at Wrestlemania. Undertaker applies a dragon sleeper which Orton counters into a DDT for a two count. Orton applies a sleeper which Undertaker gets out of with a side suplex. Orton runs into a big boot but manages to hit a powerslam for a near fall. Randy hits some big right hands in the corner but Undertaker lifts him up and tries for a last ride but Orton nips down and tries for an RKO but Undertaker pushes him into the referee. Undertaker then goes for another last ride but Undertaker just collapses. “Cowboy” Bob Orton then runs in from nowhere and smashes Undertaker with his cast! Classic Bob Orton! He wakes up the referee as Orton has Undertaker covered but Undertaker kicks out.
Undertaker and Orton get to their feet and Undertaker boots Bob Orton off the apron before attempting a chokeslam on Randy but Orton nips down and hits Undertaker with an RKO! Orton slowly makes the cover but Undertaker kicks out! Orton mimics The Undertaker and then scoops him up for a tombstone but Undertaker reverses it and hits Orton with a tombstone! And that is all she wrote. Undertaker beats Randy Orton tonight and goes 13-0 at Wrestlemania. Good match between these two.
There’s a video package next for Trish Stratus and Christy Hemme.
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Christy Hemme – WWE Women’s Championship Match
This is a first PPV match between these two ladies. Trish has a 1-1 record at Wrestlemania events whilst Christy makes her Wrestlemania debut tonight. Christy is joined at ringside by Lita who has been training her. Trish lays down in the ring and dares Christy to come and pin her. Christy doesn’t so Trish goes after her and pushes Christy out of the ring before throwing her into the steps. Christy is actually undefeated on PPV going into this match following her victory over Candice at Taboo Tuesday. Trish hits some big chops in the corner and then a right hand before mocking her opponent. Trish then goes for the chick kick but Christy catches her leg and then kicks Trish in the nether regions. Christy hits some stomps and then covers Trish for a two count. Trish is up and hits some more chops before taunting Lita.
Christy hits a sunset flip which jarred a little but Trish is first up and takes Hemme down with a spear. Trish then goes after Lita as she sees to Christy, shoving Lita into the barricade. Back in the ring and Christy rolls Trish up for a two and then hits some kicks on the champion before smashing her head off the top turnbuckle multiple times. Christy hits a swinging neckbreaker but Stratus kicks out at two. Hemme then lays into Trish with some big right hands. Trish rolls Christy up and then Christy reverses it and it looks like a three count but apparently just a two. Trish then hits Christy with a chick kick and it’s all over! Stratus wins the match and retains her Women’s Championship. This was ok. Maybe it felt special because it’s at Wrestlemania. There were a couple of botches though.
There’s a video package next for Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle.
There’s a few celebrities at ringside, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top is shown.
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
This is a first PPV match between these two men. Kurt has a 2-3 Wrestlemania record whilst Michaels has a 4-7 record. Jim Ross wrongly claims that this is Shawn Michaels 11th Wrestlemania. There is no Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns with Kurt, it looks like he may have got away from them over the past few weeks. Both of these men lost in world title matches at last years Wrestlemania. Kurt Angle didn’t wrestle between last years Wrestlemania and Summerslam, he returned to beat Eddie Guerrero at Summerslam but hasn’t won a PPV match since then. Michaels slaps Angle to kick off this match and Angle takes down Shawn and tries to apply a submission hold but Shawn fights him off. A “you screwed Bret” chant breaks out aimed at Michaels. Michaels takes down Kurt with a headlock and even by hitting a side suplex Kurt can’t get out of it. Angle forces Michaels into the corner to finally break the hold. Shawn then goes back to the headlock which Angle gets out of and knocks down Michaels.
Shawn hits a hiptoss and then applies a short arm scissors. There’s a few near falls but the hold is kept on throughout. Angle lifts up Michaels, Backlund style but Michaels rolls Kurt up a couple of times for near falls. Shawn then goes back to the headlock but Kurt gets out of it and the two men slug it out with right hands. The referee tries to break things up which allows Angle to hit a cheap shot and then tries to apply the ankle lock but Michaels quickly gets out of it and the two men go flying to the outside. Michaels takes the Smackdown announce table apart but rolls back into the ring to break up the count. Angle tries to suplex Michaels through the announce table but Michaels nips down and Kurt then hits an Angle slam on Shawn into the ringpost. Since returning to the WWE in 2002, Michaels has had Wrestlemania matches with some of the best technical wrestlers of all time, guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle.
Back in the ring and Kurt hits a suplex for a near fall. Angle then applies a body scissors Angle then applies somewhat of a camel clutch and then a headlock which HBK fights out of. Kurt hits a clothesline for a near fall and then pops Michaels on the top rope before trying for a belly to belly suplex off the top. Michaels counters it and hammers Angle to the canvas before diving off with an elbow drop but Angle rolls out of the way! Kurt tries for an Angle slam but Michaels counters it into an arm drag before back body dropping Kurt out of the ring. Shawn then goes up top and dives off with a cross body to the outside. Michaels gets up to the apron and Kurt goes up with him and tries to German suplex him off it but Michaels hangs on and then hits him with a low blow. That got some boo’s from the crowd.
Michaels then kicks Angle onto the announce table before springboarding off the ropes and hitting Kurt with a splash. The announce table doesn’t break though so it’s a hard landing for both men. If you were t ask me then these two men are in the top 7 of all time up to now. They both get back into the ring and up to their feet where they slug it out. Michaels hits a flying forearm and then nips up to his feet. There’s a very mixed reaction for that. Shawn hits some right hands, an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline to take Kurt down. Michaels slams Angle in the middle of the ring and then heads to the top where he nails an elbow drop. Shawn motions for sweet chin music but Kurt grabs his foot and applies an ankle lock! Michaels tries to get out of the hold but struggles for a long time until getting to the bottom rope.
Kurt pulls down the straps and tries for an ankle lock but Michaels counters it but Kurt tries for the ankle lock again only for Michaels to counter that! Both men get to their feet and Shawn tries for sweet chin music but Kurt counters that into an Angle slam for a near fall! Kurt pulls the straps back up and then pulls them back down and heads for the top before leaping off with a moonsault but Michaels gets out of the way! Shawn then climbs to the top slowly but Kurt sprints up to the top with him and hits an Angle slam off the top! Kurt hooks the leg but Michaels kicks out again! Kurt screams at Michaels to tap out but Shawn takes a step back and nails Angle with sweet chin music! Both men are down now. Michaels slowly crawls over and pins Angle but Angle kicks out! Michaels is first up to his feet but Kurt from nowhere takes him right back down with an ankle lock!
Michaels tries to fight Kurt off him but Angle keep the hold applied. Angle drags Michaels away from the ropes and then sits down and grapevines the legs. Eventually Michaels has no choice but to tap out! Kurt Angle wins the match by submission and what a match it was. A true Wrestlemania classic.
Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young are shown at ringside.
Pipers Pit with Stone Cold Steve Austin
Hot Rods music hits and it’s time for Piper’s Pit! Piper is out and talks up Stone Cold Steve Austin before claiming bullshit and that he needs to meet this guy. Piper introduces Austin and then slaps him in the middle of the ring. Austin calls him a son of a bitch and slaps him back. Piper tries talking but gets pissed off by the “what” chants. Piper has a lot of respect for Austin but was pissing off Vince McMahon when Wrestlemania didn’t have a number and the red on the back of Austins neck was diaper rash. Austin doesn’t trust Piper, he’s not impressed by him and isn’t scared by him either. The two men are then interrupted by Carlito! Carlito says neither men are cool.
Austin and Piper both insult Carlito’s hair and then Carlito says that he’s taking over and he’d appreciate it if both men would head to the back. Piper takes Carlito’s apple off him and spits it in his face. Carlito then takes a shot at Piper and lays into him with some right hands. Austin grabs Carlito and stomps a mudhole in him before Piper pokes Carlito in the eye and Austin hits him with a stunner! Austin and Piper celebrate with a couple of beers and then of course Austin stuns Piper!
Big Show vs. Akebono – Sumo Wrestling Match
Well, this should be interesting. Big Show goes into his 6th Wrestlemania looking for his first victory at the event. Big Show, like Akebono, is in the traditional sumo wrestling gear. Akebono looks like he’s carrying a lot more weight than Big Show. He’s almost as tall though. The two men eventually get into it with both men slapping and trying to budge one another. Big Show manages to lift Akebono by his belt but Akebono uses the momentum to throw Big Show out of the circle and out of the ring to win the match. The two men shake hands after the bell in a show of respect.
There’s a video package next for John “Bradshaw” Layfield and John Cena.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship Match
Like every match tonight, this is a first time PPV meeting between these two men. Interesting that this match goes on before Triple H and Batista but I guess Batista was the Royal Rumble winner. Cena goes into his second Wrestlemania with a 1-0 record at the event following his win over The Big Show last year to win the United States Championship. Bradshaw goes into this one with a 0-5 Wrestlemania record. The champion makes his entrance with a police escort. Layfield has had a hell of a reign and is the longest reigning champion in ten years, since Diesel was champion. JBL 100 dollar bills fly from the ceiling. Layfield comes out alone for this match, sending Orlando Jordan to the back.
The crowd are definitely behind John Cena as this one gets under way but Cena finds himself in a headlock in the early going. Cena gets out of it and hits a shoulder knockdown before running into a big boot. Layfield hits some big right hands and a clubbing blow to the back of the challenger. Bradshaw hits a couple of swinging neckbreakers for a two count before using the ropes to choke Cena. The two men exchange forearms and then Cena hits a big boot but runs into a spinebuster. Bradshaw hits another neckbreaker for a two count. Bradshaw was involved in a WWE Tag Team Championship match at last years Wrestlemania, a match won by Rikishi and Scotty Too Hotty. Bradshaw hits a clothesline in the corner and then a short arm clothesline for a near fall. JBL locks on a sleeper which won’t help the odd “boring” chant that springs up. Cena gets out of it with a side suplex but can’t follow it up.
Both men get to their feet and then knock each other down with clotheslines. Both men get back up to their feet and JBL pops Cena on the top rope. Layfield hits a superplex but both men feel the effects and it takes JBL a long time to cover Cena who kicks out at 2. JBL goes to the top but Cena sees him coming and catches him before powerslamming him into the mat. It’s advantage Cena now as he hits clotheslines, a big back body drop and a shoulder tackle. Cena hits a big hip toss and a side slam before hitting the 5 knuckle shuffle. Cena is getting a few boo’s in this match which is surprising. Layfield hits a boot and then tries for the clothesline from hell but John Cena ducks it, scoops Layfield up for the FU and hits it for the 3! John Cena wins the match and the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania! This match fell a bit flat for me.
There’s a VT next showing some highlights from the Hall Of Fame ceremony. Mene Gene is then in the ring to introduce all of the Hall Of Fame class. Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, Jimmy Hart, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan. All of which played a huge part in the first Wrestlemania.
Video package next for Triple H and Batista.
Triple H (c) vs. Batista – World Heavyweight Championship Match
Again, a first time PPV match between these two men. Triple H has a 5-4 Wrestlemania record going into this one whilst Batista has a 1-0 record following his victory last year. Motorhead are live to play Triple H in. The recorded version definitely sounds better. I’m a big fan of Batista’s music. His entrance definitely needed pyro though. Batista, Randy Orton and John Cena are the three full time male wrestlers who came into this show with the least Wrestlemania experience. All three came in having wrestled one Wrestlemania before and winning their previous contest. This is Triple H’s 10th Wrestlemania match.
The two men lock up and neither man can take the advantage. Batista takes Triple H down with a shoulder charge but Triple H returns the favour with a shoulder charge of his own. Triple H then quickly goes for a pedigree but Batista gets out of it and hits Triple H with a military press. Batista lays into Triple H in the corner and then a big back body drop. Triple H ducks a clothesline and then hits Batista with a knee, sending him to the outside. Ric Flair, who is ringside for Triple H distracts Batista which allows Triple H to slam him into the ring steps. Helmsley then elbows Batista as he tries to get back into the ring. Triple H distracts the referee which allows Ric Flair to choke Batista with his jacket. Triple H exits the ring and rams Batista into the security rail. Back in the ring and Triple H drops some elbows on the back of his challenger.
Triple H hits a suplex and covers Batista for a near fall. Flair gets involved again and then Triple H drops Batista on the top rope. Back in the ring and Triple H hits some big right hands and an Arn Anderson style spinebuster for a near fall. The champion hits a neckbreaker and hooks the leg for another two count. Triple H then sets up for the pedigree again but Batista back drops his way out of it. Triple H hits a facebuster for another two count. Triple H then heads to the top but Batista sees him coming and takes the champion down with a clothesline. Batista has the momentum now and hits a sidewalk slam for a two count. Batista runs into a big boot which slows the match down again. Triple H then tries for an Irish whip but Batista reverses it and sends Triple H all the way out of the ring.
Triple H throws Batista into the ring steps and then sets Batista up for a pedigree on the steps but Batista counters it and slingshots Triple H into the ringpost. Triple H is busted wide open now and Batista smashes his face into the ring steps a couple of times. Triple H is looking to follow in the footsteps of The Undertaker and become the second man to have won matches on all 3 PPV’s they have wrestled on in 2005. Back in the ring and Batista clubs away at the face of Triple H before booting him in the face. Batista hits a couple of clotheslines in the corners and then a powerslam for a near fall. Triple H rolls out of the ring and Batista follows. Flair then gets involved but Batista takes him out. Triple H then grabs a chair but the referee takes it off him. I’ve no idea where the referee has gone but Triple H and Batista get back into the ring and Flair tries to attack Batista with the World Heavyweight Championship but Batista hits Flair with a spinebuster.
Triple H grabs the title belt as the referee tries to get Flair out of the ring and Helmsley nails Batista with the belt. Triple H covers Batista but Batista kicks out. The challenger then nails champion with a spinebuster before setting up for a Batista bomb but Triple H hits him with a low blow behind the referees back. Triple H sets up for a pedigree but Batista puts the brakes on and back drops Triple H. Batista motions for the Batista bomb and he hits it! Batista hooks the leg and gets the three! Batista beats Triple H tonight and wins the World Heavyweight Championship!
And that was the twenty-first Wrestlemania event. It’s a very rare show where the was a lot of quality until the main events. There were 4 exceptional matches on this show if you ask me and one of those was the opener between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. The two tag team partners put on a fantastic match and I like that Rey Mysterio won. These past few months with Eddie have really helped to solidify Mysterio as a top talent. I think the only other finish for this match could have been a win for Guerrero by cheating. But it’s good that Mysterio continues to have Guerrero’s number and I think this could be the beginning of the end of this team as Eddie starts to show signs of turning heel.
The Money In The Bank was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. Shelton Benjamin was the star of the show and did some crazy spots but there wasn’t a man in this match that didn’t go above and beyond. It was a crazy match but in the end it was Edge that won and I think that was the right result. I would have been happy with Edge or Christian as it makes sense for somebody to win the match that hasn’t been world champion before. Edge is now 4-0 at Wrestlemania, starting his own streak. Undertaker continued his streak with a win over Randy Orton. There were 3 cross-promotional matches including the battle royal on the pre show and Smackdown won all 3 which wasn’t mentioned. I’ll take this moment to say it was a real shame not to see Booker T on the main card, he must’ve been disappointed. Undertaker beats Orton and due to them being on different shows, you would think that this is the end of this rivalry.
Trish Stratus beat Christy Hemme in a pretty average match. Christy looked quite green and the match wasn’t always the most smooth but it certainly wasn’t the worst match I’ve ever seen. Trish retained her title and she really has established herself as the best female wrestler of the last 20 years. Christy will bounce back but I don’t know if she needs to be in the title picture anytime soon. The main rivalry is between Stratus and Lita so I’m sure that’ll pick up again at some point. Kurt Angle beat Shawn Michaels in an absolute classic. This match could’ve gone either way but it was Angle with the win in a very special match. This loss won’t hurt Michaels at all but it does show that he is still the showstopper and capable of great matches. From here the show took a bit of a dip. The Big Show and Akebono sumo match was different. I have no idea if this was shoot or not but Akebono won the match and he is a big bloke. Big Show continues his streak of Wrestlemania matches without a win and I think this will be a match Big Show will want to forget.
The John Cena and John “Bradshaw” Layfield match was probably the biggest disappointment of the night. It just did not click. Both men are capable of much better matches. John Cena won the match and became WWE Champion which has been coming for a long time but what is interesting is there were a few boo’s for Cena. I like the guy, he’s a great promo and has been a great babyface over the past year. I’m sure there will be re-match(es) between the two going forward and I hope they are much better than this one. The match between Triple H and Batista was better that the previous match but still not Wrestlemania main- event quality. Batista won, crowning a new World Heavyweight Champion and he is definitely popular. I like both new champions and this show really begins the next era for the WWE with guys like Batista, John Cena and Randy Orton in starring roles.
Overall Rating: 67.85/100 (ranked 13th out of 177)
Match Of The Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
Worst Match Of The Night: John “Bradshaw” Layfield vs. John Cena
Surprise Of The Night: The appearance from Hulk Hogan
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Batista
Wrestlemania XXI Will Be Remembered For: A new era beginning with Batista and John Cena as world champions