The Battle of the billionaires! Two huge title matches without a single heel! One of the most star-filled Money in the Bank ladder matches in WWE history! This show was certainly stacked.
With a huge crowd in Detroit expecting a memorable night of WWE action, they would definitely not be disappointed. Many moments were made for fans all over the world on a night where everybody was "all grown up."
Who doesn't love the theme music of Khali?
Anyways, The Great Khali was still a dominant heel in 2007. During the summer, he even got a nice run as World Champion. On this night, his opponent was Kane.
The match was only there to try and re-create the "body slam" from WrestleMania III (also in Detroit). Outside of that, Khali won the match.
This was yet another loss for the current Playboy cover girl. They really do not have a good record at 'Mania when they pose...
Melina was defending her title against Ashley. Of course, the rest of the diva roster was ringside in a "Lumberjill" stipulation.
The match went as expected, with Melina retaining after a few minutes.
The ECW Originals consisted of Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer and Sabu.
The ECW New Breed consisted of Marcus Cor Von, Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker and Elijah Burke.
At WrestleMania XXIII, they were set to face each other in a "normal" eight-man tag team match. It was a major moment for all the men involved, and I enjoyed the match.
On the grandest stage of them all, the ECW Originals picked up the victory. However, I fondly remember their rematch on Tuesday night television—where there were no rules.
That match was better, and it was also where the New Breed picked up the win.
This was a huge Money in the Bank ladder match.
The participants were Edge, CM Punk, King Booker, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay and Randy Orton.
As you can see, there was a ton of big names involved in 2007. Like most years, you could take away a few potential winners.
Edge, Booker and Orton weren't going to win. They didn't need a briefcase at this point in their career. Very ironic how Edge became involved weeks later...
Matt and Jeff Hardy were a tag team. They had no chance. One night later, they won the tag gold.
Finlay wasn't in the company to win matches, thus it came down to Punk and Kennedy.
Both had a nice career ahead, but this was time to strike on Kennedy. He was set to become a huge name in this business; he had to win this one. As we see now in 2012, some things just don't always go as planned.
John Cena and Shawn Michaels closed the show with a great WWE Championship match.
In a little-known fact, they were also the current tag team champions. Yes, the main event of WrestleMania in 2007 featured the tag champs going against each other for the WWE title.
It reminded me of Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero in 2005, except this was on a whole new level.
That is why I find it strange when people talk about the "dying" tag team division in this industry in 2012. The division has been all but dead for many, many years now.
This isn't anything new...
Who can forget this excellent promo from February of 2007?
Ric Flair just rants on Carlito and (to him) other "guys like you." It was a very real message to many of the WWE talents in the business. The same can be seen today as well.
WWE had almost eight weeks to turn that memorable promo into a program between Flair and Carlito. The company had nearly two months to do something. Anything!
Ric Flair and Carlito teamed together to defeat Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero on the pre-show match for the live crowd. One of the greatest of all time doing a dark match for 'Mania?
Yes, how disappointing!
The two eventually did have a feud a few weeks later, but it was definitely not as big as it could have been. Once again, just watch the promo I posted...
John Cena was the reigning WWE Champion.
Shawn Michaels earned a title match by defeating Randy Orton and Edge in a triple threat match.
The two were set to clash in front of 80,000 fans, and it was sure to be a classic. While I never had a doubt Cena would leave as champion, you had to wonder what "stops" these two would pull out.
With HBK back in a main event spotlight, there was no way he wouldn't want to close the show. He did just that and put over Cena in a huge, huge way.
The World Title vs. The Undefeated Streak!
Only at WrestleMania could you see Batista take on The Undertaker in a match with huge stakes. Both men had plenty to lose, but you couldn't see how this match would end.
Once again, Taker was going to win. That much was certain, but how was the match going to end? Could these two have a memorable match? What would happen here?
In the end, it didn't matter. Batista and Undertaker proved the world exactly what they were capable of doing, as they had match of the night. It is just my opinion, but this topped HBK and Cena.
Vince McMahon and Donald Trump were having a war of words at the time. Their feud also included a parody match between Trump and Rosie O'Donnell on Raw.
Yes, that was terrible, but it all led to a battle of the billionaires between Vince and Donald at WrestleMania. With each man picking a wrestler to fight for them, it was sure to be an interesting situation.
Trump picked the ECW Champion Bobby Lashley. Vince picked Intercontinental Champion Umaga. In between the two would be Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee.
The ultimate stipulation? Whoever lost would have his billionaire shaved bald! Either Vince or Trump would leave Detroit with no hair...
Well, after a lengthy battle with tons of interference, Lashley pinned Umaga.
Vince got his head shaved bald, and Trump got a stunner from Stone Cold. Everybody won!
What comes to mind when I think of Wrestle Mania XXIII?
That is very simple. I remember the fact that it was the most purchased WWE PPV of all time. Second place went to last year's event in Atlanta.
Nothing from the 1980s. Nothing from the beloved Attitude Era when television ratings ruled. No, the two highest buy rates in WWE history were from the past couple of years.
Last year was undoubtedly driven by The Rock returning, Undertaker vs. Triple H, Snooki, Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler and other huge spectacles on the show.
However, what made the 2007 show the highest-selling pay-per-view ever?
Was it really all the attention Donald Trump brought? Or Batista challenging the streak? Maybe even a classic match waiting from Michaels and Cena? I often wondered.
No matter what drove fans to order this show, it doesn't change the success of this event. As Vince McMahon says, "It's all about the money!"