The Only Review of WrestleMania 25 That You’ll Ever Need

With
WrestleMania coming up, I thought I’d take a look back at my favorites. We’re
starting with what I believe to be the most under-rated of them all:
WrestleMania 25. A misidentified anniversary, a Kid Rock performance and a
lackluster main event later, and this WM is completely forgotten about, with
the exception of one match. Then, when that match is brought up, it’s usually
followed with “but the rest sucked”. I’m here to state that it simply isn’t
true. Not only is WM25 far from terrible, it just so happens to be one of the
greatest WM’s ever.

CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane
vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian – Money In The Bank

I can only hope that Kofi earned himself a job for life with his
performance here. He’s an absolute athletic marvel that really went all-out to
give us multiple replays. Everyone else was bringing their A-game as well, and
as a result gave us what I believe to be the best MiTB match ever. It wasn’t
just a ton of long, contrived spots. It was as hard-hitting and competitive a
match as you will likely to see. Fantastic stuff.

Punk grabs the briefcase at 14:24 | ****1/2

25 Diva
Ms. Wrestlemania Battle Royal

Yeah, this is the big blemish that most people talk about when
mentioning WM 25. We got the super extended Kid Rock concert that was a cool 10
years too late, and then a ton of returning Divas who weren’t even given an
entrance. Sure, it would have taken a lot of time to introduce 25 people, so
make the battle royal out of 10, and give some of the women who’ve actually
made good in this business a moment to shine. It’s not asking too much. At
least the Kid Rock concert isn’t on the DVD. 

“Santina” wins at 3:23 | DUD

Chris
Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, & Ricky Steamboat

Man alive. Piper is seriously lost out there looking like he
hasn’t the slightest idea of how to wrestle. Steamboat is as great here as
Piper is bad. Snuka gives us the first-ever golf-clap tap-out. It seriously
looks like he’s working 10-key, not tapping out. Thankfully, Piper is out soon
after, and we get to the real meat of the match as Jericho and Steamboat
absolutely tear the roof off the place. Sure, Ricky isn’t as smooth as he once
was, but the roughness around the edges doesn’t affect this one bit. It’s great
stuff. Mickey Rourke shows up and lays out Chris. Just think, it could have
been Nic Cage.

Jericho hits Steamboat with the Code Breaker, getting the pin at
9:52 | ***

 Matt
Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy – Extreme Rules

They get right into it, breaking out the weapons. Awesome moment
when Jeff does Whisper In The Wind and Matt clubs the hell out of him mid-air
with a chair. They trade beatings back and forth for a while, using everything
from chairs, trash cans, crutches, tables and ladders. Another great moment
takes place when Matt is sandwiched between two tables, and Jeff hits the
top-rope, leaping though the stack. Back in, Jeff tries to put Matt away for
good, but misses a leg-drop from a 20-foot ladder, which leads to his eventual
loss. Again, this is another under-rated WM match-up. Sure, they didn’t go out
and deliver a 5-star classic, but they gave us a stiff brawl that had a ton of
weapons, some great spots and a hell of a finish.

Matt gives Jeff a Twist of Fate while Jeff’s head is in a chair,
then pins him at 17:19 | ****

JBL [C]
vs. Rey Mysterio – Intercontinental Championship

I’m sure after they saw that even HBK couldn’t get a great match
out of JBL, they felt it best if his last go-round was a total squash. It also
works with JBL’s character, and was the best way for him to go, without a
doubt. Also interesting that until this point, the IC belt hadn’t been defended
at a WM since X8. It’s no wonder the belt no longer means anything. As for the
rating, I just based it on entertainment factor. It was a memorable moment, the
match was quick and JBL retired. What more could you ask for?

Mysterio hits JBL with the 619, getting the pin & the title
in 21 seconds | ****

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

They’re so crisp in the beginning. Love Shawn being defiant and
attempting twice to submit The Undertaker in the first half of the match. The
second half is one of the finer lessons in wrestling-drama. The only real
problem I’ve ever had with Michaels was his penchant for over-acting. This time
however, he was spot on. He seemed so absolutely desperate to defeat The
Undertaker, and didn’t care what he had to do. This is literally my 8th or 9th
viewing of this match, I’ve lost count. When I first saw it, I was blown away
by how average it was. People kept talking about how it was a GOAT, so I kept
going back. Each time the match got better and better, to where I now consider
it a fantastic encounter. 

Undertaker catches Shawn mid-moonsault and turns it into a
Tombstone & pin at 30:44 | ****1/2

Edge [C] vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show – World Heavyweight
Championship

Pretty standard fare in the beginning, but things pick up once
Cena does a ridiculous top rope leg-drop to Big Show, who’s on the outside.
Later, Show is tangled up in the ropes, screaming at the ref to “get me the
hell out of here!” while Cena and Edge battle it out in front of him. Once free,
he starts doing dual damage, until it’s just him and Edge on the outside.
Eventually, Big Show ends up dazed, allowing the the Rated R Superstar to leap
off a set of steel stairs, spearing Big Show through the barrier. Awesome spot.
It’s a shame that Edge slid off Big Show’s back, because that would have been a
hell of a finish. Either way, it’s a great match, one of the most under-rated
matches in WM history.
Big Show receives an FU, followed by being the spot where Edge landed
when he received one of his own, as Cena pins him at 11:22 | ****

Triple H [C] vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship

The video for this shows just how absolutely perfect the build-up
was. One of the greatest of all time, easy. It’s so funny seeing Triple H all
buddy buddy with Vince, considering he once broke a sledge-hammer over the
guy’s skull inside Hell in a Cell. If this was about Triple H getting revenge,
then why the hell didn’t Orton have the title? Then it would make sense for him
to win. The match here isn’t the worst ever, they just had the misfortune of
mis-booking, and having an off-night. They’ve had plenty of matches together
that were anywhere from good to great, so they’re capable of it. This was
supposed to be a blood feud, a feud where the only way things will be settled
is if someone dies. With that in mind, you need to go no-DQ, and they went the
exact opposite, with Triple H able to lose the belt on a count-out or DQ. In
the end, I think this match get’s an unfair wrap due to not delivering the
expectations built by an awesome story, and main event status at a
WrestleMania.

Orton gets the Pedigree, Triple H gets the pin at 23:38 | **3/4
Showcase Showdown: Just take a look at the numbers, not only is
this the most under-rated WM, but it’s in fact one of the best. Almost every
match is very entertaining, and what isn’t is thankfully kept under 5 minutes.
The blunder of the main event aside, you still have two others that brought the
goods, along with an undercard that built a bulletproof foundation. People
fixated on the few missteps this WM had, instead of what it got right, and
hopefully this’ll steer people towards giving it a second look. In the end, we
still have to wonder just what the hell they were thinking by calling this the
25th Anniversary of
WM.
As always, thanks to my editor, Steven Ferrari. I met him while in a rescue & tactical group known as STARS. We were both stationed in Raccoon City. Not a bag gig, until the mansion. But I’ll tell you, WHAT A MANSION.  

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