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Wrestlemania 21

We're into the home stretch now, with only two more shows to go through (plus the upcoming one which I'll probably write about unless I'm too drunk to remember any of it.)  We turn now to the 21st edition of the big show, with nothing of note happening over the last year, besides Benoit and Guerrero hanging on to their respective titles as long as they could but eventually losing (to Randy Orton and JBL of all people.)  So instead of building the company around Benoit and Eddie, they apparently saw dollar signs in Bradshaw and a face Randy Orton after Evolution turned on him.  Yeah I wonder how that turned out?

Wrestlemania 21 (April 3, 2005)

We're live from Los Angeles, CA at the Staples Center.  Our hosts of course are JR, Lawler, Cole & Tazz for their respective shows.  The theme of this one was "Wrestlemania Goes Hollywood" where they filmed a series of movie spoofs to promote the event.  Yeah, none of them were very good.  The Basic Instinct one with Jericho, Christian and Stacy Keibler was alright I guess, but the ending with Mae Young ruined it like everything she does.  Our buddies CW and White Lightning were present at this show for those wondering.  Lillian Garcia kicks things off with "America the Beautiful."  I tune out the song and concentrate on those ripped abs of hers...I got nothing.

Match 1: Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio

Eddie went from world champ to opening match here, but he got to work with his buddy Rey Rey so it's no biggie I guess.  These two were tag champs at the time and were put in a match as a mutual respect-type deal, where Eddie just never seemed to be able to get a pin over Rey.  The match is alright, but my suspension of disbelief is taken away by the fact that Rey was having problems keeping his mask on the whole damn match, so after every move Rey would adjust the friggin' thing.  Jesus Rey, at least act like you're hurt and then try to fix your mask.  Anyhoo, Rey pulls out a hurricanrana to get the win over Eddie, who shockingly doesn't turn on him after the match.  He eventually did however, leading to the stupid "Dominic is really my kid" angle that set the world on fire.

Match 2: Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Chris Benoit vs Edge vs Chris Jericho vs Christian vs Shelton Benjamin vs Kane 

This was actually Jericho's idea, as they held a briefcase over the ring with a contract for a world championship match for anytime over a year for the winner.  At the time it was just an excuse to put all the good workers (and Kane) in a ladder match and have them kill each other just to get a decent match on the card, but the fact that they're still doing the match every Wrestlemania tells you what a good idea it was.  And this one is pretty sweet, with everyone on their game (including Kane) doing sick shit to themselves with the ladder.  The real star of the match though is Shelton Benjamin, as he invents new spots for these ladder matches, including an awesome one where he RAN UP a closed ladder stacked next to an open one and clotheslines Jericho off the top!  Benoit sells a shoulder injury with so much gusto it made me think he was seriously fucked up here, but no, he's just that damn good.  Edge eventually wins the thing by knocking Benoit off the ladder with a chairshot to his injured shoulder and rips the briefcase down.  He eventually cashed in the match AFTER a Hell In A Cell match and pinned John Cena in a minute to win his first title.

Oh great, we're joined by Eugene, and then eventually by Muhammad Hassan.  Goodie.  Luckily before this can get too stupid Hulk Hogan comes out and takes care of Hassan.  Wait, did I just say Hogan made a segment LESS stupid?  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame that year so we knew he would make an appearance here for something.

Match 3: The Undertaker vs Randy Orton

Orton dropped the title back to Triple H when the fans didn't get behind his face run, so they did the logical thing and turned him back into a cocky heel and he actually had the balls to challenge the Undertaker for a match here.  I actually thought this would be the night where the Undertaker's undefeated streak at WM would end, but it didn't.  Orton does a cool move where he gets an RKO out of an attempted chokeslam by Undertaker!  But he gets cocky and tries a tombstone, which 'Taker reverses for the win.

Match 4: Women's Championship: Trish Stratus vs Christy Hemme

YES!  MORE EVIL TRISH!  Wow, is she good at playing a conceited bitch.  Hemme was the first Diva Search winner and recently posed for Playboy, so logically they gave her a shot at the title at the biggest show of the year, dispite having no skill or training for such a match in that kind of spotlight.  And the match blows, but Trish tries to save it by mocking Christy's stupid dance and generally acting like a jerk.  Trish gets the win after a kick.  Hemme tried but she just wasn't that good.

Match 5: Shawn Micheals vs Kurt Angle

Yes it's another "interpromotional" match between Raw & Smackdown, as at this point they were seriously running out of fresh matchups for the biggest show of the year.  But that brand extension sure worked though, eh?  I mean, sure you get the same matches every week on both shows but by having split brands talents like Gene Snitsky and Heidenreich could get the chance to shine!  Anyway, this match is of course the classic they promised it would be, as Angle and HBK go all out, including an awesome Angle Slam on HBK from the top rope!  Angle eventually gets the ankle lock, HBK tries to fight through it and make it to the ropes, but Angle locks in the dreaded heel hook and HBK shockingly taps out.  Great match.

Another HOF inductee Roddy Piper comes out for a Piper's Pit, featuring Steve Austin.  Carlito comes down and interrupts, making fun of both guys until he gets his ass kicked.  Austin then stuns Piper.  Let's move on.

Match 6: Sumo Match: Big Show vs Akebono

Okay never mind, I'm not ready to move on yet.  Please don't make me watch Big Show in a thong again.  What the hell was the point of this anyway?  They bump guts for a minute or so and Show gets thrown out of the ring to lose whatever the hell this was supposed to be. 

Match 7: WWE Championship: JBL vs John Cena

JBL's title reign was the one of the strangest things I can remember from that year.  When he won the title from Eddie I couldn't believe it (you know, since it was Bradshaw and all) and then when he kept holding onto the damn thing over the next year it became even weirder.  But the strangest thing is after the last 8-9 months of JBL unbelievably keeping the title, Cena ends up pinning him with the FU in like 10 minutes.  That's it.  No run-in's from JBL's crew, no back and forth kick-outs or desperate attmempts by JBL to get counted out or DQ'd like he usually did, Cena simply beat him out of nowhere and won his first world title.  The crowd's even caught off guard by this; they're like "that's it?"  I wasn't the biggest JBL fan or anything, but after all that they should've done something a little more extravagent than that.  That's alls I'm sayin'.

Mean Gene brings out the HOF class of 2005, including Hogan, Piper, Paul Orndorff's dad, Jimmy Hart, Cowboy Bob Orton, the Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volcoff.  If you want to hear a funny story, have CW tell you about the Shiek's acceptance speech at the HOF show the night before.

Main Event: World Heavyweight Championship:  Triple H vs Batista

Motorhead plays Triple H to the ring AGAIN.  Jesus, he's banging the boss's daughter and he's the top man in the company, WE GET IT.  This was Batista's suprising run to the top, as the crowd seriously got into the guy when they were in Evolution beating up Randy Orton every week, and this was one of the rare cases where the WWE listened to its fans and put Batista in this spot here.  The match is alright, Triple H tries to get a good one out of Batista at least.  He bleeds all over the place and bumps around the ring like my ex-girlfriend at "buck 'em bronco night" at the Alpha house.  Batista wins the title after a Batista bomb. 

Match of the night: Angle/HBK

Mark-out moment of the night: Shelton Benjamin running up the ladder to knock Jericho off

Summary:  Well after watching it again, this was pretty much a two-match show.  Angle/HBK and the Money in the Bank matches were awesome and the Orton/'Taker match was pretty good, but the two title matches sucked and everything else wasn't much better.  Still, two classics on one show, can't beat that.

***1/2  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


comments (1) 03-25-2007

The People's Comments:

williamdaniels:
I was at this one with Clint, and I can say that it was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. Going to a Wrestlemania will take even the most jaded, cynical wrestling fan that is pissed off at the product back to when they were six and someone took them to a show for the first time.

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