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Wrestlemania 22

Our road to Wrestlemania stops here for now with last year's installment.  Over the past year we saw the return of ECW in the form of the "One Night Stand" PPV (which was very good, by the way), Monday Night Raw's big move back over to the USA network, Joey Styles debut as the new announcer for Raw (after the 50th time Jim Ross was "fired"), and the shocking death of Eddie Guerrero.  Vince McMahon became a regular TV character once again as well, as anytime the ratings dip their answer is always "more McMahons!"

Wrestlemania 22 (April 2, 2006)

We're live in Chicago at the Allstate Arena, making this the third WM to take place from the ol' windy city.  Our hosts are JR, Lawler, Cole & Tazz.  Michelle Williams kicks things off with "America the Beautiful."  Whoa, I didn't know the chick from Dawson's Creek could sing!  And she looks...blacker for some reason.  Oh wait, never mind, it's one of the girls from Destiny's Child.  My bad.

Match 1: Tag Team Championship: Big Show & Kane vs Carlito & Chris Masters

It's only been a little over a year and I can't remember how Show & Kane ended up tag champions.  I don't really care either, I'd just like to know if it's because of the WWE's "book everything on a napkin two hours before each show" approach to their shows, or if it's my early alzheimer's kicking in.  Probably a little of both sadly.  Anyway, Show and Kane demolish Carlito and Captain HGH with Kane chokeslamming Carlito.

Match 2: Money in the Bank Ladder Match: RVD vs Ric Flair vs Matt Hardy vs Finlay vs Shelton Benjamin vs Bobby Lashley 

Heck yeah, this is the 2nd MIB match and like last year this one steals the show with some cool offense involving the ladder.  Once again, Shelton Benjamin steals the show by running up a tipped over ladder and diving outside the ring onto all the participants, and using the top rope as a springboard, jumping across the ring onto a set-up ladder!  Damn that was cool.  Why isn't Benjamin in this year's MIB match, damnit?  Another star of the match is Flair, who takes a suplex off the top of the ladder...57-year-old guys should not be able to do that sort of thing.  RVD of course works in the 5-star from the top of a ladder and ends up winning after knocking Hardy and Benjamin off.  RVD cashed in the title shot at the 2nd ECW ppv and beat Cena to win his first world title.  He then got in a car with Sabu and...alright, let's not dwell on the negatives.

Time for the introductions of the 2006 HOF class...including Tony Atlas, Sensational Sherry, the Blackjacks, Mean Gene Okerlund, Refridgerator Perry, the late Eddie Guerrero (his wife Vickie got a 5-minute standing ovation from the crowd which was a nice moment) and...Bret Hart.  It was pretty shocking to hear Bret made nice with Vince and was included in the HOF, but he only made an appearance at the banquet thingie the night before and didn't appear in front of the live crowd.  Ah well, it was nice to see him back anyway.

Match 3: US Championship: Chris Benoit vs JBL

JBL at this point has Jillian Hall with him, so at least his entrance was nice.  He then raises my ire by mocking Eddie Guerrero during the match...what's the matter Bradshaw?  You can't draw heel heat so you gotta mock a beloved dead wrestler who they just put into the hall of fame and had his teary-eyed widow there?  Alright, maybe it wasn't that big of a deal, I just got nothing else to write about here.  Shocking, I know for a JBL match.  Anyway, Benoit gets the crossface but JBL rolls him over, grabs the ropes and wins the title.  I again watch Jillian Hall more than what Bradshaw's doing.

Match 4: Hardcore Match: Mick Foley vs Edge

There actually wasn't much of a buildup for this one, as Foley simply was the guest ref for a title match Edge ended up losing, so Edge was pissed and we have a nice hardcore match as a result.  Not complaining though, as these two steal the show here, doing all kinds of sick shit to each other, including Edge taking a no-shirt drop into a pile of thumbtacks (Foley wasn't even crazy enough to do that shit...Edge and Randy Orton were the only ones I can remember to take that bump without wearing a shirt.)  And of course the big spot of the match sees Lita lighting a table on fire outside the ring, and Edge SPEARS Foley through the ropes outside through the table!  Foley going through fire was one thing, but Edge did that shit FACE FIRST!  Wow.  Edge gets the win.  This led to Foley's heel turn and the 2nd ECW ppv where he and Edge took on Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer's fatter creepier uncle.

Match 5: The Boogeyman vs Booker T & Sharmell

Yeah I'm ready to fast foward...if you don't know Boogey your life is in a better place than mine.  Boogeyman pins Booker after some choke move he was doing.  Luckily better things were ahead for Booker T, as he won a king of the ring tournament on Smackdown and then won the world title.

Match 6:Women's Championship: Trish Stratus vs Mickie James

Mickie was brought in as a big fan of Trish but was a little unstable and had touches of good old American lesbianism too!  At this point in the show the crowd apparently thinks they're in Philadelphia, as they turn on Trish and start cheering Mickie like crazy.  I guess in this context I get it, as I think they were applauding the fact that Mickie worked so hard to get this character over and was fresh and exciting compared to Trish.  And Mickie eats it up too, pausing to smile and scream like a maniac after every move; soaking up the fans' cheers.  She even goes so far as grabbing Trish's crotch while trying to reverse a move and does the "licking the slit" motion with her hand that they had to edit off of the DVD!  That's my girl!  They screw up the finish, where Mickie tried to give Trish her own stratusfaction move but they messed up the timing and fell over.  They covered up nicely though because Mickie was working on Trish's leg the whole match so JR just explained that Trish's knee buckled.  Works for me.  Mickie wins with a kick to a huge pop.  Poor Trish, she didn't deserve that.  But it was nice to see Mickie so into it.

Match 7: Casket Match: Undertaker vs Mark Henry

Ugh...Mark Henry...let's just say Undertaker keeps his WM winning streak alive by throwing the tub of goo in the casket.  You don't need to know anything else.

Match 8: Shawn Micheals vs Vince McMahon

Well, I guess HBK's string of stealing the show at Wrestlemania ends here.  But I tell you what, they set this match up exactly the way it should've been set up, with HBK beating the piss out of McMahon, fighting off the Spirit Squad, handcuffing Shane-O-Mac to the outside of the ring and wacking him with a kendo stick 20 times, and then proceeding to give McMahon the most brutal, one-sided ass-whoopin's I've ever seen on a major show like this.  He ends up putting McMahon (with a garbage can over his head) on a table and climbs to the top of the huge ladder, and after some CROTCH CHOPS, nails a flying elbow off the top driving Vince through the table.  Then a superkick and it's over.  Good God, if Vince didn't own the company I would've bet he was on his way out after this show judging by that burial.

Match 9: World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs Randy Orton vs Rey Mysterio

Just in case you're confused, earlier in the year they held another draft lottey, with Cena and Batista switching shows and with them their respective world titles.  Angle was also switched over to Raw.  Then Batista went down to injury, so they brought Angle back over to Smackdown and he won the world title.  Rey won the Royal Rumble to get the shot, and Randy also got the shot because he made fun of Eddie and I guess that's a good enough reason for them.  I also have to mention Rey Rey's entrance, as they got POD to perform his song live (when did they become Mexican, anyway?) and Rey for some reason wears a giant chicken on his head.  Must mean something, don't care what.  These guys only get around 10 minutes to work with but man do they make the most of it.  Angle, espcially, as he throws the two guys around like my ex-girlfriend at a frat party.  The crowd again gives me a reason to study basic human emotions as they start booing Rey for some reason!?  God, what do they want?  Rey eventually nails Orton with the 619 and the west coast pop and shockingly wins the world title.  And Eddie is avenged.

Match 10: Pillow Fight: Torrie Wilson vs Candice Michelle

Some of my friends give me shit about this but I actually like Candice.  She's not the greatest worker or talker but it always looks like she's trying her heart out and she's...well she looks alright too.  Wilson wins the match after a roll-up.  Well, the crowd needed a break between the two title matches and some T&A never hurt, as long as it didn't have to do with Test & Albert.

Main Event: WWE Championship: John Cena vs Triple H

This is a pretty famous match, for two wrong reasons...first, the entrances...oh my God.  Seriously, I watched it again and I have no idea what the frick they were thinking here.  Triple H sits on a throne and looks like Conan the Barbarian, and Cena comes out with a machine gun and has several "gangsters" with him for some unknown reason.  GOD!  And of course, during the match the crowd REALLY comes to life, giving the babyface champion Cena the most negative reaction I've ever heard a face champion receive.  Anytime Triple H punches Cena we hear "Yay!" and anytime Cena punches back we hear "Boo!"  Then there's the dueling "Let's Go Cena!"/"Cena Sucks!" chants, as some of the fans tried to get behind John but no go.  Triple H even works in a few CROTCH CHOPS himself.  I wonder what that could possibly set up?  The actual match is alright, and Cena gets Triple H to tap to the STFU and remains the champ.  I was thinking the WWE would do the logical thing and make Cena a heel again after this match (something he was really good at) but apparently they instead decided to shove Cena down our throats until the fans either cheered him or stopped caring.

Match of the night: Foley/Edge

Mark-out moment of the night: Foley & Edge going through the flaming table/listening to the fans during the main event

Summary:  Like the previous show, this one was pretty much a two-match show, as the Foley/Edge and the MIB matches were awesome, and there were a couple of other decent matches, but there was definately some crap too. 

***1/2

And that wraps it up for now.  Hopefully this upcoming WM will be good, I know just going there and being among the 75,000 people will be awesome itself.  Hope you enjoyed reading this crap; I'm kinda ashamed that I actually sat down and did this!  But it's not like I had anything else to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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