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Wrestlemania 23

I was thinking about waiting to do this one until after I get the DVD so I can see the show again, but what the hell...it's slow at work and everyone who'll probably read this was at the damn show too so it doesn't have to be some in-depth study or anything.

Of course this was the show that we (most of the LWJ crew) attended.  For some of us this was our first Wrestlemania live and I gotta say what everyone else says about these things...the spectacle was un-freaking-believable.  The whole weekend was pretty legendary in its own right, as we crammed like 8-9 guys in our crappy apartment at various times.  Some guys went to the Ring of Honor shows during the weekend in Detroit, while others like myself spent the weekend crying myself to sleep and getting drunk during the epic Monopoly drinking game.

Wrestlemania 23 (April 1st, 2007)

We're live from Ford Field in the D.  What do they use that stadium for when they don't have huge wrestling shows or Superbowls or the MAC Championship?  Seems like a waste to only have that place for a few things.  I was sitting with four others in the upper deck right in the middle of the ring, while the other 5 guys were down in the lower deck on the opposite side of the entrance stage.  Before the show Mr. Excitement (through a contact at WWE Magazine) got invited to a pre-show cocktail party featuring Linda McMahon.  The fact that the story doesn't end involving pepper spray is disappointing.

Our hosts were the usual 25 people representing the 12 different WWE shows they have these days.  Aretha Franklin and her creepy blond wig kick us off with "America the Beautiful."  In a nice touch, they play the clip from WM3 where Vince introduces Aretha. 

The crowd for this thing looked awesome by the way, as they crammed over 80,000 people in there.  And if I had a nickel for everytime I heard some idiot scream Ric Flair's "WHOOOO!" while we were waiting in line and in the arena walking to our seats I'd have so many nickels women would HAVE to respect me.

The dark match to open the show was Flair and Carlito vs Gregory Helms and Chavito...with everyone else on the roster not on the show as lumberjacks.  The match was thrown together for no real reason other than to give Flair a match, and the lumberjacks didn't really do anything, but it was nice to see Flair live, as well as current WWE Raw Superstar "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Match 1: Money in the Bank 3: Edge vs Randy Orton vs Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy vs Finlay vs Mr. Kennedy vs King Booker vs CM Punk

So they decided to start off the show with the potential show-stealer...that takes balls, I'll give them that.  Of course this was a great match in the tradition of the other two.  Highlights included Jeff Hardy legdropping Edge from the top of a ladder inside the ring THROUGH a ladder (and Edge) outside the ring!  First time they ever did that.  Matt also does something innovative...as Booker climbs to get the briefcase, Hardy threatens Sharmell in order to get him down!  Good move there by Matt, but a true heel wouldn't give two craps about his lady in that situation, Book.  And Kennedy steals the show by plunging Finlay's little buddy off the top of the ladder and then claiming the briefcase.  Great match.

Match 2: Kane vs The Great Khali

Well, now I know why they opened with that match...as expected these two don't have the greatest match or anything, but they kept it short and from where we were sitting we really couldn't tell how bad it actually was.  So that's something.  Khali wins with that double-handed chokeslam thing he does and pins Kane with a boot in the chest.  Terrific, another Khali push.

Match 3: US Championship: Chris Benoit vs MVP

Good to see Benoit still gets the mighty pop from the crowd.  I wasn't expecting much from this one since I heard MVP sucks but it was suprisingly solid.  Benoit carries MVP to a decent little match and he shockingly wins after the diving headbutt off the top.  I would've bet money MVP was taking that one.

Hall of Fame time, as we're introduced to the class of 2007, including Dusty Rhodes, The Wild Samoans, Mr. Fuji, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Nick Hornswagle, the late Original Shiek and the late Curt Henning.  This led some people around us to wonder "Mr. Perfect's dead?"

Match 4: World Heavyweight Championship:  Batista vs The Undertaker

We get of course the grand ellaborate entrance for the Undertaker, complete with fire carrying druids.  Batista gets booed out of the damn building.  Or it could've just been Mr. Excitement sounding like 80,000 people.  Seriously, did Batista turn heel before this or was the crowd just pro-Undertaker?  I probably should've watched a few episodes of Smackdown before going to the show but you know, shit happens.  And holy crap did these two put on a suprisingly great match.  Everytime Batista reversed something and did one of his trademark moves (powerslam, spinebuster, etc.) the crowd shit all over him!  Undertaker ended up winning the title after the tombstone...first time in several years I think where everyone wanted to see him get another run with the title.

Match 5: Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman & Sabu vs Marcus Striker, Elijah Thorn, Kevin Cor Von & Matt Burke

Oops, did I get some of those names wrong?  Haven't really been paying much attention to ECW lately.  This match wasn't too bad, but it was a suprisingly basic 8-man tag which the ECW Originalz win after an RVD frog splash.  I would've figured that this being an ECW match it would've been a little more wild and out of control, with crazy spots and no rules.  But apparently ECW doesn't do that stuff anymore.  At least Mr. Excitement's prediction of "Matt Striker pinning RVD with no interference" didn't come true.

Match 6: Battle of the Billionaires: Bobby Lashley vs Umaga

Whoa, I didn't know Lashley and Umaga were both billionaires already...I gotta find out about their choices of investment plans.  Of course this was the match where Donald Trump was with Lashley, and Vince was with Umaga, and the loser had to shave their head.  Steve Austin was brought in to be the guest referee just to stir things up a little more.  And give them credit, even though this was kinda dumb, the mainstream media bit on it and this was all anyone could talk about the next day was if Trump or McMahon got his head shaved.  Lashley and Umaga have an okay-ish match, but the real fun begins when Umaga starts messing with Austin and Shane-o-Mac enters the ring.  Shane nails the van-terminator on Lashley as everything appears hopeless, but then Trump decides to go on the offensive and takes Vince down and fires some weird looking elbows at him!  The crowd popped huge for that.  And it's just enough time for Austin to come back, take Shane and Umaga out with stunners and Lashley nails a spear and wins the match.  And yes, Vince gets his head shaved.  I was hoping someone would come out in grand-Wrestlemania fashion as Vince tried to escape but sadly no one did.  (It would've made sense for Mick Foley to appear)  Austin then stuns Trump for no reason, besides the fact that he's a damn jerk.

Match 7: Women's Championship, Lumberjill Match: Melina vs Ashley

I miss Trish Stratus. 

Main Event: WWE Championship: John Cena vs Shawn Micheals

Melina won that last match, sorry for the inconvenience.  I really miss Trish Stratus.  Anyhoo, our main event features another bizarre entrance by Cena.  This time he "drives" a car around Detroit towards Ford Field, arrives at the arena and crashes through the stage.  And predictably the crowd is anti-Cena and pro-HBK, although it wasn't as bad as other recent Cena matches.  Here's the thing I don't get with the WWE...I don't think Cena's a bad wrestler or character or anything, but when the supposed #1 babyface in the company gets booed out of the building in every match where he's not facing Edge, don't you think the company would recognize what the fans want and make the turn?  We all know he can be an awesome heel and the story is RIGHT THERE.  Cena gets pissed the fans keep hating him so he snaps and the rest writes itself.  Anyway, these two work well together and have an awesome 30 minute match which Cena wins by making HBK tap to the STFU.  He did that to Triple H last year and most fans still don't buy into him.  HBK refused to shake Cena's hand afterward.  My friend Jason suggested HBK shake his hand, and then kick him in the nuts like Jericho did to him a few years ago.  THAT would've been sweet.  Match was great of course.

Match of the night: Tough call but I'm gonna go with Money in the Bank 3

Mark-out moment of the night: Jeff Hardy putting Edge through a ladder

Summary:  As far as the matches go, the ones we thought were gonna be good were great, and the ones we thought would suck...pretty much did but were a little better in some cases.  So by that rationale it was a good show.  But we were all there live so I'm not judging this one by normal standards.  It was great to finally experience a Wrestlemania live and this was one great show. 

I'm really disappointed that Timbaland and Ludacris didn't show up like we heard they were going to though.  And by "disappointed" I really mean "couldn't give two craps."









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