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Wrestlemania 22 Review

Posted in In My Head by Jack at 06:03, Apr 03 2006

By Slartibardfast

Big Time. That?s the theme of tonight?s show, and the WWE certainly has a chance to live up to it. They have assembled their biggest starts into one four hour show, they have put all of the major titles up for grabs, brought back a legend in Mick Folley, and even the boss himself Satan McMahon, will climb into the ring. With so much fire power brought to bear, can the WWE possibly miss it?s target? We will know four hours from now.

The show kicked off with Michelle Williams from Destiny?s Child singing America The Beautiful, followed by a montage of WrestleMania moments of the past, and then a montage of clips that lead up to tonight?s matches.

Match 1 ? Carlito & Masters vs. Big Show and Kane
There was a lot of speculation as to what would happen in this match. Would we see Carlito and Masters break up and start a feud? Would we see The Big Show and Kane do the same? WrestleMania is where major events are supposed to occur, so I was rather disappointed that no major storyline changes occurred in this match. The match itself was good with all the participants working well together. The length of the match was well timed, not long, but not short either. Miscommunication between Masters and Carlito lead to Kane getting pin on Carlito. The show is off to a good start, though the opportunity for a significant change in story line has been missed.

We then go backstage to the Coach for an interview with Shawn Michaels. Michaels gives the standard ?I?m gonna gitcha? promo with a little ?I?m gonna take it to the next level? thrown in as well.

Match 2 ? Money In The Bank Match Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs. RVD vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Rick Flair
The only thing that could have made this match better was if someone remembered to wake up the camera crew. This match had several major high spots in it, and the camera crew never failed to somehow miss them. Time and time again we were switched to a new camera angle a second or two too late. Some of the spots weren?t even available on replay. Despite this hindrance, this was an excellent match. Shelton Benjamin wowed the crowd with three amazing athletic ladder spots, (two of which were partially missed by the camera crew), and RVD seemed to have hit the Van Terminator off of the top rope, and onto a ladder scaling opponent, (I say seemed, because again the camera crew blew the shot). Hardy and Flair did a sick ladder suplex, which ?injured? Flair who was taken from ring side, only to return a short while later. In the end RVD secured the briefcase and got the win in what was an excellent match. You want Big Time? This match was Big Time!

We are then taken back stage where Josh Mathews is interviewing Mean Gene Okerlund. Unfortunately, Gene is cut off by Randy Orton who begins to tell us of his impending victory. Fortunately he is cut off by Batista who reminds Orton that his return is immanent, and the title will once again be his.
Next we go to the ring where Howard ?The Fink? Finkel introduces the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame inductees, but not before taking a slight shot at Bret Heart by saying that Bret declined to appear at the show. Gene Okerlund, Sensational Sherri, Tony Atlas, Verne Gagne, William Perry, The BlackJacks, and Vicky Guerrero, (representing Eddie) were all then brought out and introduced to the crowd.

Match 3 ? Chris Benoit vs. JBL
This may have taken place at WrestleMania, but make no mistake, it was a strictly Friday night match. It?s not that this was a bad match, but there was nothing here to distinguish the match from any other you might see on free TV. JBL did use a nice counter of the cross face to get the win and title, but other than that, nothing here belonged on a PPV.

We then go ring side where we are presented with a video package documenting the feud between Edge and Mick Foley. Joey Styles then joins the King and J.R. to call the match.

Match 4 ? Edge vs. Mick Foley
Solid workmanship best describes this match. There were no legendary spots here, but both men delivered what one expects in this style of match at the biggest PPV of the year. There were baseball bats, barbed wire, road signs, thumb tacks and even a flaming table. Both men bled, not enough to make one worry, but enough to make the in-ring carnage believable. The end of the match came when Edge speared Foley out of the ring and into a burning table. This was a solid match, and the flaming table ending did make it PPV worthy.

Once again we go backstage where Booker and Sharmell are preparing for their match with the Boogeyman. They are greeted by all the ?freaks? of the WWE including: Burchill, (fresh from his sword practice), Eugene and Ted Dibiase, (who where doing the bounce the ball 100 times and win $1000 skit), Snitsky, (who was licking May Young?s foot), and Goldust, (who was wearing a dress and referred to himself as OpraDust). They all encouraged Booker to ?find the freak within?, as that would be the only way Booker could beat the Boogeyman.

Match 5 ? Booker T and Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman
Well if it isn?t going to be good, at least keep it short. That seems to have been the idea here. This match was over fairly quickly, Boogey gave Sharmell a kiss with a mouth full of worms and then pinned Booker T with a two handed choke slam. The match was too short to complain about, so I?ll give the WWE a pass on this one.

Match 6 ? Trish Stratus vs. Mickey James
Well it was bound to happen. No matter how hard they tried, eventually the WWE had to put two women in the ring who are actual wrestlers, and what do you know, a very good match occurred! This may have been the second best match on the card. Trish and Mickey worked very well together and as a result the crowd sided with Mickey and really got into the match. In addition to some very well worked out spots, his match may also mark the first use of the ?Vaginal Claw? hold in wrestling. Unfortunately, the final spot of the match, (Mickey doing Trish?s Stratusfaction), was completely blown and Mickey had to use the Chick Kick to get the pin instead. Despite the blown finish this was a very entertaining match and shows what women?s wrestling can be if you actually use women wrestlers, and not strippers and fashion models.

It?s backstage time again and we are treated to a McMahon family prayer in which Vince promises God that he will destroy his friend Shawn Michaels.

Match 7 ? Undertaker vs. Mark Henry
This match went as most had suspected, two big men hitting each other with power moves, and big punches. The length of the match seemed short and perhaps that?s what seemed to give it a good pace. The majority of the match was typical fair until the Undertaker decided to do a suicide dive over the top rope, over the casket and onto Mark Henry. It was truly impressive to see the big man cover that much ground with a single move. He followed it up with the Tombstone Pile Driver for the win. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Undertakers dive, there was nothing special about this match.

Match 8 ? Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels
I must admit this match was not as bad as I though it would be. In fact it turned out to be a good match with some room for improvement towards the end. As one might expect, Vince had a series of run-ins planned to help him get the upper hand. Michaels controlled the match from the beginning until interference from the Spirit Squad and later Shane helped turn the tables. Michaels however was able to eliminate both the Spirit Squad and Shane from the match, leaving him free to brutalize McMahon. Shawn busted Vince open with chair, and ladder shots, and then selling the ?I?m going to revert back to my old evil self? promo he gave at the top of the show, he delivered an elbow from the tallest ladder I have ever seen to a prone, defenseless and table bound Vince McMahon, before getting the pin. This match did slow down towards the end as Shawn was setting up the props, but I think seeing Vince get his just deserts makes this a PPV worthy effort.

Match 9 ? Curt Angle vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey hits the ring in full Aztec garb and to a live performance of this theme song by P.O.D, perhaps foreshadowing things to come. The outfit didn?t seem to sway the crowd however as they were solidly behind Angle for the entire match. This match was good, but seemed rather short. There were a few nice spots but the match itself seemed a little rushed. In the end Rey hit a beautiful hurincanrana on Orton to get the pin, and the belt.

Match 10 - Candice Michell vs. Torrie Wilson
Why? No really I want to know why. Why waste time at the biggest show of the year with this crap? The girls ran around the ring in their bra and panties until Torrie got the pin fall. They took time out of Angle/Orton/Mysterio for this?

Match 11 ? HHH vs. John Cena
Whoever is in charge of the entrances for this match should be fired. First HHH comes out in a bad King Conan outfit. It?s the biggest match he?s had in a year and he has time to play Halloween dress up? Don?t worry though, as John Cena also hit the costume shop before arriving at the area. He followed a car full of ?mobsters?, dressed as ?Don Cena?, complete with hat and coat and Tommy Gun. Fortunately the goofiness ended when the outfits came off. The crowd was totally into this match with Pro and Anti Cena chants echoing throughout the building. HHH used various wrestling holds to get an advantage while Cena relied on power moves to take control. The match featured a constant back and forth battle for control and several false finishes. In the end Cena was able to lock in the STFU and forced HHH to tap out.

Big Time. Some of tonight?s participants know what that phrase means. Shelton Benjamin, RVD, Trish Stratus, Mickey James and Shawn Michaels know. They all raised the bar in their performances tonight, and though no one had a bad outing, no one else seemed to go the extra mile either. The Money In The Bank, and Women?s Championship matches stand out in this show, but I don?t think they alone are worth the $50 price of admission. Tonight may have been Big Time, but it wasn?t big enough.

P.S. Is it just me or does the WrestleMania 22 logo look like a pair of panties?

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