April 9, 2006
April 2, 2006
Yeah, so I’ve never been known to be “on time” with these things like some people who write their thoughts down and have them posted on the net in “no time”. I really wanted for Wrestlemania to sink in because it’s Wrestlemania. So after watching it several times and debating about it with a couple of my good friends (all two of them…both nerds), here is YOUR WrestleMania 22 review!
Chicago’s own Michelle Williams from “Destiny’s Child” sings us the National Anthem! (fast forward) Sounds like once she finished, the crowd is either chanting “You screwed Bret!” or “USA!” I’m not sure.
After a couple of WrestleMania videos, we kick this baby off with fireworks a plenty!
Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz! Just like last year!
(RAW) World Tag Team Champions Big Show & Kane vs. Carlito & Chris Masters
Masters and Kane start off with Kane shooting Masters into the ropes off a headlock for a dropkick! Show tags in and smacks Masters around for a bit. Masters rakes Show’s eyes to get a break to tag in Carlito. Carlito gets a great reaction! He comes in and goes for a wristlock on Show which proves unwise. Show gives him a look like, “Are you serious?” and lifts him up in the air and crotches Carlito on the top rope. Masters comes in and takes a press slam that sends him rolling to the floor. Then Show presses Carlito and throws him out onto Masters! While the ref is telling Show to calm down, Kane LEAPS off the top and nails both heels with a clothesline! KRAZY KANE! Carlito gets pulled back in by his afro! Show charges at Carlito in the corner and goes face-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Whoa! When did that happen? Double-flapjack to Show! Carlito covers for two. The challengers try a double-suplex on Show, but he ends up delivering a suplex to them! Kane tags in and owns Carlito and Masters for a while. Kane comes off the top for a clothesline, but Masters catches him into the MASTER LOCK! Show breaks that up with a boot to the face. Carlito comes up from behind Kane and delivers the lung blower! Carlito then turns around into a goozle from Show, but Masters clips him from behind before any damage can be done. Show falls out to the floor while Kane does a zombie sit-up. The challengers telegraph the double backdrop, giving Kane the advantage back. As Kane goozles Carlito for the CHOKESLAM, Masters comes off the middle turnbuckle and accidentally nails Carlito with a double axe handle! Masters takes a boot to the face and goes to the floor while Kane CHOKESLAMS Carlito for the pin to retain the titles! (6:43) This squash had everything. I liked it a lot, so you can disagree with my final rating if you want to. That’s your choice. Too bad Show & Kane had to job to F’n Spirit Squad on Raw the next night. Post-match, Carlito and Masters argue in the ring. Nothing happens other than that though. *˝
Coach interviews Shawn Michaels in the back. Shawn says that tonight Vince better be the one who is on his knees praying to the God above because he is going to experience his own personal hell. Oh snap.
Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Ric Flair – “Money In The Bank” Ladder Match
Lashley puts everybody down to start. Shelton stops that with a NASTY spin kick! Hardy goes out to the floor to bring in a ladder, but RVD stops him with a dropkick and then a flying crossbody to knock down Matt and the ladder! Meanwhile, Shelton brings a ladder into the ring and nails Finlay in the FACE with it. With everybody else out on the floor, Shelton makes a ramp out of the ladder by leaning it against the top rope. Shelton comes off the ropes and runs up the ladder to deliver a FLYING SENTON on Lashley, Hardy and RVD! Finlay, who is still in the ring, sets up the ladder to go after the briefcase. Flair comes up from behind him and drives him face-first into the ladder. Flair goes up the ladder, but Matt Hardy is back in and he goes after Flair from the other side. They trade blows but it ends with Matt giving Flair a SUPERPLEX OFF THE LADDER! The refs call for a medic for Flair so he’s going to the back. Shelton & RVD get back in the ring. RVD misses a Rolling Thunder on the ladder to Benjamin. Lashley tries to go up for the briefcase and he looks like he’s either afraid of heights or just WAY too inexperienced for this type of match. Shelton climbs over on the other side to stop him and tries for a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, but Lashley hangs on! Hardy and Finlay come by and help Shelton out by dropping Lashley to the mat. Cole brings up a Raw vs. Smackdown comment like they’re still feuding. “RVD” chants go up. Hardy puts Finlay in the corner with a ladder placed in front of him. Matt charges and gets the ladder slammed back in his face! Finlay nails everybody with a ladder as they try to get back in the ring. We see Flair limping back down to ringside as the crowd erupts! Finlay comes out after him and gets beat down. While everybody is out on the floor, Flair gets back in the ring and goes up the ladder. Shelton and Hardy stop him from going up the ladder, but then they both receive a serious butt-whooping. Flair goes up the ladder again and grabs hold of the briefcase, but Finlay pops up the ladder and nails Flair with his shillelagh, sending Flair crashing to the mat! That makes the briefcase swivel back and forth, making it hard for Finlay to grab it. Shelton shoots up the ladder to trade blows with Finlay. Lashley crashes a ladder into them, sending Finlay, Shelton and the ladder all to the mat. Lashley gives Shelton the DOMINATOR and climbs up the ladder! RVD knocks Lashley off the ladder with a VAN-TERMINATOR! Hardy dumps RVD and sets up a ladder in the corner for the AHHH Leg Drop to Lashley! The crowd boos Matt as he climbs up another ladder to get the briefcase. Finlay comes by to stop him, but ends up taking a SIDE EFFECT off the ladder! I LOVE IT! RVD comes off the top of a ladder for a FROG SPLASH to Finlay! Well, he just kind of splashed him, but it would still hurt! RVD goes up for another attempt at grabbing the briefcase, but Shelton SPRINGBOARDS in like SPIDERMAN onto the ladder! THAT WAS INSANE! Shelton goes medieval on RVD while Matt sets up a ladder beside them. He tries to sneak over and grab the briefcase, so Shelton slams RVD’s face into the ladder and goes after Hardy. They trade blows until RVD pushes their ladder over and then grabs the briefcase! VAN DAM IS GETTING A TITLE SHOT! (12:21) While it lacked actual ring psychology like last year, it was still very good for a spot match. Plus, no matter what you say, the right man went over. ***˝
Josh Matthews’ interview with Gene Okerlund is cut short by Randy Orton. Orton makes fun of Okerlund (and the WWE Hall of Fame) by saying he was inducted for holding a microphone for 35 years. Okerlund leaves offended, so Orton takes this time to bash his opponents. Batista comes up behind him and lets him know that whoever wins tonight is just holding the title until he comes back. By WrestleMania 23, he’ll be World Champion. I didn’t say it, he did!
Back to the ring, Howard Finkel lets us know that Bret Hart was uncomfortable participating in tonight’s event. Hmm. The Class of 2006 WWE HOF inductees make an appearance. Of course, the “Eddie” chants were insane once Vickie came out.
WWE U.S. Champion Chris Benoit vs. JBL (w/Jillian Hall)
They raise the ramp up for JBL’s limo to drive in. That was cool. The numbers of times I’ve heard Cole say “the late, great Eddie Guerrero” since his death are innumerable. Benoit viciously tries to go for the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE early on, but JBL makes it to the ropes. JBL tries to go to the mat with Benoit, which proves to be a dumb idea. They go from the mat to the corner as Benoit lights up JBL’s chest with chops. Benoit eats a boot off a charge but catches JBL and goes for a SHARPSHOOTER. JBL kicks him off and goes to the floor. JBL says because he’s beaten Eddie and soon-to-be-beaten Benoit that it would make him the greatest technical wrestler of all-time. Where’s the logic in that? Back in, Benoit avoids a corner charge and delivers a Hat Trick of Germans! JBL crotches Benoit up top and then mocks Eddie. JBL delivers a superplex for two. “Let’s Go Benoit!” chants. JBL keeps up with the mocking by giving Benoit the THREE AMIGOS! Benoit blocks the third suplex, but then runs into a big boot for two. JBL slaps on a chinlock/nerve hold to Benoit to prove he’s *technical* I guess. Benoit stands up out of it and drops JBL with a back suplex. Now, Benoit delivers the THREE AMIGOS to JBL to a huge reaction for Eddie! Benoit takes back the mocks JBL did earlier and finishes them with the Cut-Throat! Benoit goes up for the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT and connects for a near-fall! Benoit misses a charge in the corner so JBL comes off the ropes for the CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL. Benoit ducks it and goes for a German suplex, but JBL grabs the ref. JBL nails Benoit with a back elbow and tries for another CFH, but Benoit counters it and applies the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! However, JBL rolls him over in a pinning combo and grabs the middle rope to steal the title! (9:46) Not bad. **
Edge (w/Lita) vs. Mick Foley – Hardcore Match
Edge has a baseball bat and you can just guess what he wants to do with it. Foley knocks it away from him and sends Edge down with a faceslam. Joey Styles is “losing his WrestleMania virginity” as he puts it by calling this match. He mentions that Foley is wearing the black flannel showing that he’s gone into a dark place preparing for this match. Foley sets up Edge in the TREEEE OF WOEEE position and follows up with an elbow drop to the face. Edge comes back with a knockdown to Foley. Edge tells Lita to throw in some toys for him to beat Foley with. A cookie sheet is destroyed by Foley’s head! Edge follows up by dropkicking a road sign in Foley’s face! Edge sets up for the spear and he gets it! Edge is obviously more hurt by it as Foley stands up and shows everyone that he has barbed-wire wrapped around his abdomen! Foley yanks out some wire-cutters from his shoe and takes that off of him. CRAZY! Edge’s arm is “busted open”. Foley takes his barbed wire and then starts whipping Edge with it! While Edge gets wrapped up in the ropes, Mick goes to the floor and pulls out his barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat better known as Barbie! Lita comes in and leaps on Mick’s back to try and save Edge, so Mick runs at Edge who is still in the ropes for a CACTUS CLOTHESLINE! That was AWESOME! Mick covers for two! Swinging neckbreaker on the floor gets two. Foley charges Edge with his head up against the steel steps, but Edge jumps up and tosses Foley awkwardly into the steps! Poor Mick. Edge beats on Foley some more before tossing him knees first into the steps again! Edge sets up a table out on the floor and puts Foley on it. Edge goes up top, but Foley simply slides off of the table. Edge comes down and goes after Mick by slamming his head into the steel rampway! That gets two. Back in, Lita hands Edge a bottle of lighter fluid and then Edge squirts it all over Mick! Lawler can’t believe Edge is going to light Foley on fire! Foley comes back with a quick pull-up piledriver for two. Lita saves Edge from a ONE-MAN CONCHAIRTO by getting in the ring, but then Foley turns around into a DDT on a cookie sheet for two. Edge brings Barbie into play and harms Foley with it REAL good. He even bulldogs Foley on it for two. Edge goes back to the floor and pulls out a SACK OF TACKS and pours them all in the ring! Foley counters with a back suplex on the tacks! Edge is all like OWWWW so Foley pulls out MR. SOCKO, and then wraps him up with barbed wire! MANDIBLE CLAW for Edge AND Lita! Lita’s lip is supposedly busted open. Foley grabs Barbie and nails Edge with it a couple times. Both men are busted open pretty bad. Foley goes out onto the apron and pours lighter fluid on that table that was set up on the floor. Lita comes by with Barbie and whacks Foley in the balls with it! HAHAHA! She sets the table on fire as Edge comes THROUGH the ropes and spears Foley THROUGH THE FLAMING TABLE! Joey ~ “OH MY GOD!” That’ll do it as Edge gets the three-count. (14:38) A flaming table and a barbed-wire wrapped Mr. Socko. THAT’s hardcore, folks! Edge does a great mutilated sell-job on his way to the back. ****
Meanwhile, Booker & Sharmell run through the Land of the Freaks on their way to the ring. When I say freaks, I mean Paul “The Pirate” Burchill, Eugene bouncing a basketball with Ted DiBiase (who is laughing it up, evil style), and Snitsky who is licking on Mae Young’s toes. Oh yeah, and Goldust is dressed up like OprahDust. This weirdness brings up a “Tell me you didn’t just say that!” moment. W-E-I-R-D!
Booker T and Sharmell vs. Boogeyman – Handicap Match
Booker tells Sharmell to start the match in order to get Boogeyman to turn his back to him so he can sucker punch Boogey. Booker tags in and punches on Boogeyman for a bit. A Booker T superkick gets two. Once Boogeyman starts no-selling stuff, Booker gives him a BOOK END for a near-fall. Boogeyman fights back and counters an AX KICK from Booker with a throat thrust. Boogeyman pours worms from his crotch in his mouth. Sharmell sneaks in with Boogeyman’s staff once Booker gets softly sent into the steel post. He turns around to catch Sharmell trying to nail him in the back. She freaks out as he comes closer. He takes her and kisses her. Sharmell hurries out of the ring screaming while going up the rampway. Booker misses a charge in the corner and then gets caught in that sloppy double-arm choke slam by Boogeyman for the win. (3:53) As the great Dr. Evil would say, “Riiiiiight.” CRAP
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James
Mickie starts off slapping Trish in the back of the head trying to get a rise out of her. Which is does, and Trish is all over Mickie with forearm shots. A LOUISE THESZ PRESS by Trish! Trish chops her all over the ring and then kicks Mickie out to the floor. Trish tries a CHICK KICK up against the steel ring post, but Mickie ducks it. Hey, Trish’s leg? Meet Steel! Back in, Mickie posts her leg. Could this be the beginning of some ring psychology? They trade blows back in the ring, but Mickie stops it with a low dropkick to the knee. The crowd chants “Let’s go Mickie!” and JR calls them defiant. They should just be happy that the crowd CARES about the Women’s title match! GEEZ! Mickie starts to work on Trish’s leg, including a very vocal half crab. Trish counters a modified legbar with a cool tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Trish hits a spinebuster for two. Trish goes up for the STRATUSPHERE but Mickie blocks it by slamming her knee to the mat from the top! HAHAHA! Then Mickie has the GREATEST reaction ever and the crowd loves it! Trish counters a half crab with an inside cradle for two. Trish charges at Mickie in the corner, but Mickie gets caught for a running powerbomb for two! Trish calls for the STRATUSFACTION, but Mickie goes low! Yes, down THERE! HAHA! First time ever in a Women’s title match! Trish is so freaked out, she lets go of the hold while Mickie licks her fingers. Wow! Put the kids to bed! Mickie turns around and gets dropped with a knockout forearm. Now Mickie tries for STRATUSFACTION, but Trish screw it up by not lifting her up on the middle rope! WTF! Oh well. They recover with a MICK KICK to put an end to Trish’s near 15-month long title reign! (8:49) JR still can’t believe the crowd would pop like that for Mickie. Mild sloppiness aside, I enjoyed the heck out of that match. Mickie is hilarious. ***
In the back, the McMahon family joins together for their first-ever family prayer. I believe it too. These people do EVERYTHING on WWE television. It starts out with Vince uttering, “God. I don’t like You, and You don’t like me.” It continues to be as sacrilegious as you would expect.
Undertaker vs. Mark Henry – Casket Match
Early on, Taker can’t take Henry off his feet with all the force behind his clotheslines so Henry returns the favor. Bossman Straddle by Henry takes both men to the floor. Back in, Taker goes for OLD SKOOL but Henry blocks it. Henry tries to roll Taker into the casket, but Taker fights back. Taker goes for OLD SKOOL again, and this time he gets it! Henry blocks the Flatliner from Taker and takes back control. Taker avoids the Bossman Straddle, allowing Henry to fall into the casket. Taker follows him in and they fight in the casket for a bit before returning to the ring. Henry hits a powerslam and goes for the pin to emphasize the casket match rules. Taker gets rolled into the casket, but he lands on his feet. Back in, Henry goes for the 10-count corner punch, but Taker counters it into the powerbomb. Last Ride, Cole? Yeah right. Taker tosses Henry over the casket and out to the floor. Taker comes off the ropes and hits a NO HANDS TOPE OVER THE CASKET ONTO HENRY! Is Undertaker motivated these days or what?! Back in, Taker TOMBSTONES Henry and rolls him into the casket for the win! (9:28) While not being overly exciting, it served its purpose by making Henry a legit threat to Taker’s undefeated streak by dishing out the majority of the offense. *˝
Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon – No Holds Barred
Vince unveils a huge copy of his Muscle & Fitness cover and then poses in front of it to bring HBK out to beat the crap out of him all around ringside. Shawn brings the framed magazine cover into the ring with him and then cracks it over Vince’s head. Here comes the SPIRIT SQUAD to help out Vince. While the rest of the squad goes over to help McMahon, Kenny goes up top and misses a guillotine leg drop. Mitch slides in the ring with a mega-cone, and misses HBK. HBK takes it and nails everything that BY GOD moves! The Spirit Squad is outta here! Shawn then turns around into a Vince clothesline. After he chokes on HBK in the corner, he takes off his belt and starts whipping and choking Shawn. Shawn fights up but goes right back down to another clothesline. VINCE IS TUNING UP THE BAND! Shawn blocks the superkick and comes back with chops. Vince couldn’t get his leg up that high anyway. JR makes an Otis Campbell reference that probably no one out of the Southeastern U.S. understood. Flying forearm from Shawn is followed by the kip-up. Now Shawn takes the belt and CRACKS it several times across Vince’s back. Shawn goes up and hits the flying elbow to set up SWEET CHIN MUSIC! As Shawn waits in the corner, SHANE MCMAHON comes out from under the ring and decks Shawn in the back with a kendo stick! Shane pulls out some handcuffs while Vince pulls his pants down for Shawn to kiss his rear-end. Shawn elbows Shane in the gut and then forces Shane’s face into Vince’s butt! LOW-BLOW FOR VINCE! Shane gets sent to the floor and then handcuffed to the middle rope from the floor. Shawn taunts Shane with the cuff keys and then kisses them goodbye as he throws them into the crowd! Shawn has the kendo stick in-hand and now does the SHANE SHUFFLE! HAHA! Shawn has some fun with that kendo stick, and then tosses a steel chair in the ring to echo across VINCE’S SKULL. GOOD GOSH! I love a good chair shot! Shawn sets up for SWEET CHIN MUSIC again, but then changes his mind at the last moment. He goes out to the floor and pulls out a ten foot ladder. He takes it in the ring with him and then charges with it into Vince’s skull! Vince is busted open pretty bad now. Shawn goes for SWEET CHIN MUSIC again, but changes his mind once more! Shawn’s got a better idea. He goes out to the floor and tosses in the ring a two trashcans and a table! Trashcan shot for Vince! Shawn sets up the table and then places Vince on it. He goes up the ladder, but then says it’s still not good enough. He gets down and throws the ladder out of the ring. He goes back out again and pulls out the twenty-foot ladder! He sets it up in the ring and then puts Vince in a trashcan and lays Vince on the table! Shawn goes up the ladder, gives Vince a few crotch chops and hits the MOST PERFECT ELBOW DROP EVER! Shane calls for the medic to come down. Shawn finally begins to move and gets rid of the debris in the ring. The medical team tries to get in the ring to take Vince out of there, but Shawn stops them! Shane begs Shawn to stop this, but instead Shawn gives him a crotch chop and then blows snot on him! Shawn is still not finished. He picks Vince up and tells him, “I want you to watch this. I’m going to knock your teeth down your THROAT!” SWEET CHIN MUSIC x999999! Shawn covers and pins Vince for the three-count! (18:26) Shawn vs. Shawn if I’ve ever seen it. This has some very cool spots and great drama. Shawn Michaels is the MAN. Vince is stretchered out, but leaves with the last word; his middle finger. ***
WrestleMania is going back to Detroit next year for #23 on April 1, 2007.
World Champion Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton – Triple Threat Match
POD plays Rey’s theme for him as he comes down to the ring. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. Angle gets more pyro than anybody on this show (so far). Because he is just THAT MUCH MORE AWESOME! Orton knocks Angle in the face with the belt before the bell sounds so that he doesn’t get DQ’ed. Orton stays one step ahead on Rey as he springboards out of the corner by getting caught with a dropkick for two. Angle shoots back in the ring and has Germans for both men AT THE SAME TIME! Rey got the worst of it and gets slung nearly out of the ring. Angle covers Orton for two. Orton hits his reverse backbreaker on Angle for two. Angle comes back with a belly to belly suplex and sets Orton up top. Mysterio runs at Angle and gets launched into Orton for a hurracanrana! Angle throws Rey out of the ring and covers Orton for two. The crowd was actually starting to boo Rey before that went down. Angle goes for the ANKLELOCK on Orton, but Rey comes in to stop it. Rey rolls through a sunset flip and gives Angle a swift kick to the head for two. A headscissors takedown sets up a 619, but Angle catches him on the way around for the ANKLELOCK+LEG GRAPEVINE! Orton distracts the ref while Rey taps out! Angle releases the hold and knocks Orton off the apron. Angle goes back to the ANKLELOCK, but Orton breaks it up. Angle has more Germans for these two before dumping Rey out to the floor. ANKLELOCK for Orton! Now Rey distracts the ref while Orton taps out! Angle kicks Rey out of the ring and applies the ANKLELOCK+LEG GRAPEVINE to Orton so Rey can drop the dime on Angle to break up the hold. The crowd begins to boo as Rey covers Angle for two. Mysterio gets thrown shoulder-first into the ringpost by Angle. Angle tries for an ANGLE SLAM on Orton, but he counters it and hits an RKO for a CLOSE near-fall! Orton goes to the top, but Angle runs up and delivers a superplex to the other side of the ring much to the delight of the Chicago crowd! Rey tries to come around the ring while Angle rests in the ropes with his 619, but he slips at the last second. He kicks Angle in the face anyway and hits a springboard senton and a rollup for two. Orton kicks Angle out of the ring and gives Rey a Canadian neckbreaker for two. He stalks Rey for the RKO, but Angle sneaks in and gives him an ANGLE SLAM for two! Angle goes over to Rey and screams at him to “GET UP!” so he can drop him with an ANGLE SLAM. Rey counters with an armdrag that sends Angle rolling out of the ring. Rey catches Orton with the 619 and the WEST COAST POP for the win and his 1st World Title! (9:19) He actually won the title. I don’t hear anybody booing now! Of course, we can’t enjoy HIS title win without bringing up Eddie! Vicki and Chavo come out and celebrate with Rey on the rampway. Who would’ve thought back at the Great American Bash ’96 when he debuted in WCW that he would be World Champion ten years later. If you said yes, you’re a liar. **˝
In the back, we see Cena getting ready all by his lonesome while Triple H has people who give him massages!
Candice Michelle vs. Torrie Wilson (w/Chloe) – Playboy Pillow Fight
They have an actual bed in the ring with a bunch of Playboy bunny pillows on it. Torrie gives Candice a snap suplex and then backdrops her on the bed. Candice actually SELLS that better than the snap suplex that was on the mat. Torrie turns the bed over on top of her and then jumps up and down on the mattress. While she’s pinned underneath the mat, Torrie brings her dog Chloe in and rubs her butt in her face. Torrie rips off Candice’s evening gown before taking the hanging headscissors in the corner. Candice pulls off Torrie’s dress, but shortly thereafter gets rolled up after missing a charge in the corner for three. (3:55) Entrances included, that was nearly ten minutes that could’ve been added to the Smackdown main event. CRAP
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Triple H
Triple H has a new intro to his entrance theme. Nothing special, just more Motorhead-ness. He comes up from under the entrance ramp on a barbarian-looking throne while dressed up like Conan the Barbarian. Funny how he has the water bottle with him during this whole silly entrance. For Cena, he gets a depression-era Chicago video with them talking Al Capone and the gangsters. To survive in the Chicago mob scene, you needed three things. Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. I didn’t think hustle was a noun. They lift up the entrance ramp again for an old car and “mobsters” hanging on it with tommy guns in hand. Are you serious? Yes, I am. The crowd boos this whole thing. Interesting note: CM Punk is one of the gangsters. They surround the ring as Cena’s music hits and the crowd goes into full anti-Cena mode. He comes out with a ‘30s-style hat, a trenchcoat and a gun inside that he shoots it off for everyone to hate him even more. I would’ve loved it if somebody had jumped the ramp, stole his gun and shot him with it. I don’t care if he’s got blanks in there or not. The crowd shows total LOVE to H, and total HATE to Cena. Oh wait, there’s a six-year old in the front row who still likes Cena! The crowd cheers every move H makes and boos everything Cena does. Literally. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. Cena tries to out-wrestle H to start, but proves to be unsuccessful. That’s got to suck for Cena. H is just messing around with him, giving the crowd more reason to cheer all the louder in H’s favor. “FU Cena” chant goes up as they ride it out. Cena tries to go for the FU, but H slides out of it and drops Cena like he’s HOT! “Triple H!” chant goes up. H tosses Cena out to the floor. Instead of going out after him, H turns his back on Cena and plays to the crowd. Cena comes in behind H and goes to work on him by delivering a backdrop. JR tries to defend Cena not being a bad wrestler during a snap suplex for two. After Cena works a chinlock for a bit before H takes the Harley Race corner bump and flips out to the floor. Cena follows him out where H takes back over. Cena counters a piledriver attempt on the floor with a backdrop onto the steel. Back in, H hits the Harley Race running knee to draw TONS of cheers. H takes Cena out to the floor and throws him into the steel steps. H goes back in the ring to play off the crowd some more. Cena gets back in and H covers him for two. Vertical suplex from H sets up the knee drop for two. Cena telegraphs the facebuster and goes down to a SICK clothesline for two! Reverse neckbreaker by H for two. Cena comes back with punches, but he puts his head down again. This time, H delivers a swinging neckbreaker for two. H applies a neck vice, but Cena fights out of it. However, Cena quickly runs into a sleeper. Cena fights out and takes H down with a clothesline. THIS is what I was talking about earlier. The crowd cheers COMPLETELY in unison! CHEERS for H’s blows! BOOS for Cena’s blows! AWESOME stuff! Cena wins the contest and delivers a bunch of clotheslines on H. Protobomb sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but H pops up just in time to give Cena a spinebuster for a CLOSE near-fall! Cena comes back with shoulderblocks and then gives H a back suplex to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. STFU for H! Will he tap out?! No! H reaches the ropes. Cena tries for the FU, but H slides off him and shoves Cena into the ref. LOW-BLOW for both men! While the ref is down, H goes and grabs the sledgehammer. JR can’t believe the crowd is cheering H for bringing the sledgehammer in the ring. Cena catches H with some right hands, but then comes off the ropes and gets caught in the face with the hammer! H covers and the ref slowly comes over and counts 2.9! H goes for the PEDIGREE, but Cena backdrops out of it. H turns around and falls into an FU! Cena covers, but it gets only 2! Cena can’t believe it! Cena goes up top and whiffs on a crossbody. PEDIGREE? No! Cena counters it into the STFU! H is so close to the ropes, there’s no way he’s going to tap! H is fading! His arm drops twice, but doesn’t on the third time! H makes a last effort to reach the ropes! He can’t get to them so he taps out! The crowd is stunned! (22:00) Average WWE main-event style match made special by the amazing Chicago crowd. **˝
Final Thoughts: While there was a lot of good stuff on here, there was not a whole lot of GREAT stuff. Out of eleven matches and only four of them worth what you paid for, I can’t recommend this show. On top of that, none of them were even MOTYC. Besides that, nothing happened that was really all that special. For the biggest show of the year, that’s extremely disappointing. I’m going with thumbs in the middle leaning down for WrestleMania 22.