WrestleMania 25: The Anniversary that No One Will Forget
Tonight marks an historic evening in the world of professional wrestling. A simple idea that started back in 1985 has evolved into The Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment.
For those of us who know the sport and the industry, and follow it with a passion, then tonight promises not to disappoint as we all are alive to be a witness to the most monumental moment in the history of professional wrestling.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania!
Tonight was about business. Tonight was personal. Tonight was about the Ultimate Showcase of the Immortals.
This was their Super Bowl. Their Stanley Cup. Their World Series. Their National Championship. Their Olympics.
Tonight, this was their moment...and they did not disappoint.
As the show begins, superstars sit in a chair to discuss what they feel is the biggest and best WrestleMania of all time. In the end, though, they all focus on tonight’s monumental event.
Following the intro, the fun officially begins for the sellout crowd at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Unified? That's Cool: The Colons vs. The Dirt Sheet for the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships
Though not shown on the actual pay per view, we do know that this match happened right before the fireworks went off.
Apparently, this started one hell of a trend for the evening as the war between The Colons and The Dirt Sheet would come full circle and end tonight in Houston.
As expected The Lumberjacks did their job by either giving a team an advantage...or in Kozlov's fashion, launching a superstar back into the ring.
But in the end, it was the younger Colon, Primo, that had the last laugh.
Thanks to a modified Backstabber (which was called the Colon Cleanser by Michael Cole), Primo got the pinfall victory over John Morrison.
In the end, The Colons were the ones who would go on to make history at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania as they became the first Undisputed World Tag Team Champions in WWE History!
Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun: Money In The Bank Ladder Match
As the bell rings, Christian and Shelton go for the ladders, and the fight begins to spill to the outside. While six men battle outside, Mark Henry shows early dominance to the Big Red Monster.
But thanks to Christian, Shelton and a ladder, things start getting even more interesting. As the World’s Strongest Man and Big Red Monster start their decent up top, the remaining six come in to stop them from scaling.
But as the six men make the climb, the two monsters arrive and take them out of contention. After taking out Kane, Mark Henry focuses on whoever gets in his way.
Following that anarchy, the six smaller men show their aerial skills by taking out each other. But Shelton has the biggest stunner of them all when he climbs a 15-foot high ladder and swantons on the other superstars as well.
After his son hits the Tadpole Splash on the very same superstars, Finlay starts to set up a ladder to make his climb, but Kofi uses the ladder to his advantage. CM Punk gets taken out by the step ladder as does Christian and Kane.
As Finlay starts climbing the ladder, Kofi hits the Trouble In Paradise to take him out. But Mark Henry comes back into the ring and drops Kingston with the World’s Strongest Slam on the ladder. MVP manages to recover and heads to the ladder, but Shelton returns to get dropped with a power bomb.
MVP starts making the climb up the ladder, but CM Punk and Christian start making their climb. But Christian nails the Unprettier from one of the ladders onto Punk. MVP regains his composure and is fingertips away, but Shelton jumps in and stops him from victory.
Benjamin then launches the United States Champion to the outside onto an unsuspecting Mark Henry.
After Finlay gets decimated, Shelton tries to regain his composure as well as scale the ladder. As Christian and Shelton fight at the top of two ladders before the Instant Classic jumps in and takes him out. Now Punk and Christian are battling on the ladder.
As Christian reaches the case, Kane drops Christian before getting dropped by Punk. Punk finally makes the final climb and makes history once again by retrieving the Money In The Bank Briefcase and being the first to win the MITB Ladder Match for the second straight time.
"Glamarellous" Ending?: First Annual Miss WrestleMania 25 Diva Battle Royal
Musical Performance by Kid Rock:
Simply put, this show was better than the Super Bowl Halftime Show. With all due respect to The Boss, Kid Rock tore it up in Houston. As Kid Rock begins to perform his smash hit, “So Hott,” he gets flanked from left to right by WWE Divas, both past and present.
As the bell rings, the Divas start going after each other. The ring is filled with tons of Divas. As Mae Young and Candice Michelle look on, Rosa Mendes and Layla get eliminated. Maria gets eliminated by a returning Victoria.
Gail Kim overshoots a hurracanrana and takes out herself as well as Jillian. Molly Holly and Kelly Kelly get tossed as well as Maryse by Beth Phoenix. The Bella Twins get tossed…but the biggest shocker is the arrival of an unknown Diva (who looks oddly like Santino).
Michelle and Mickie battle so violently, they fly over the turnbuckle and drop to the floor. We are officially down to Melina, Beth Phoenix and Santina. But Santina sends both women over the top to win the Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal.
Following the bell, Santina gets her crown and sash from Candice Michelle while Beth looks on in irate disgust. After receiving the award, Santina starts strutting her stuff for the sellout crowd.
Deja Vu...all over again: JBL vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship
Before the bell, JBL comes out expecting a warm and great reception from the home state crowd. After a long winded speech, Rey Mysterio arrives to the ring…dressed as Heath Ledger's Dark Knight character, The Joker.
Before the bell, JBL nails a huge boot and a series of punches on his challenger. As the ref rings the bell, Mysterio hits an enzugiri followed by the 619! Mysterio goes up top and lands the West Coast Splash and gets the pinfall to become the new
Intercontinental Champion…in 21 seconds!!!
After the bell, JBL picks up the mic and tries to explain what just happened. He decides to make excuses for losing the Intercontinental Championship. JBL then announces two words for the Houston crowd: “I QUIT!”
He then drops the mic, and the crowd begins chanting a familiar song: “Na Na Na Na! Na Na Na Na! Hey Hey Hey! Goodbye!”
Ticket Punched: (Legends Brawl) Chris Jericho vs. The Hall of Famers
As the show returns to live action, we get a shot at Mickey Rourke, who is sitting ringside for this huge matchup.
Piper starts the match and takes the fight straight to Jericho. Hot Rod sends Jericho to the outside, and after getting freed to the ropes, he continues to take the fight to Piper.
After getting some retribution, Piper tags in an old rival in “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka.
After a few quick shots, Ricky Steamboat gets the tag from Snuka. After a series of vintage arm drags, Steamboat tags in Snuka, but Jericho gets the advantage and applies the Walls of Jericho to force the tap out.
Following the elimination, Piper comes in firing on all cylinders.
But thanks to a little assist from the ropes, Jericho lands an enzugiri to get the pinfall and elimination. It is now down to Jericho and Steamboat.
Jericho tries his best to humiliate his opponent, but The Dragon continues to fight back. Thanks to a quick glance from Flair, Steamboat manages to get control of the match.
Steamboat goes up top and lands a the chop. But Jericho starts fighting back and lands the face buster.
Jericho misses the Lionsault, and Steamboat recovers and hits a power slam. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Steamboat counters into a small package. Jericho holds it off and delivers a Codebreaker to get the win over the Legends.
After the bell, Flair goes into the ring and takes the fight to Jericho. But Jericho recovers and delivers another Codebreaker, this time to Nature Boy. Afterwards, Jericho grabs the mic and calls out Mickey Rourke. He then demands an apology from Rourke.
After an arsenal of insults, Rourke has heard enough and begins to head towards the ring. Rourke begins to walk into the ring, but takes a few minutes to think about his decision. Rourke then steps into the ring and goes face to face with Jericho.
Rourke and Jericho dance around for a minute, but Rourke lands a devastating left hook that drops Jericho like a bad habit. Flair recovers and raises the hand of his friend, Mickey Rourke.
Following a quick look at the National Guard, JR, King and Michael Cole take a look at the next match: Brother vs. Brother.
Blood Runneth Over: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy (Brother vs. Brother)
As the bell rings, Jeff unleashes the fury by slapping and beating down his brother with punches and WrestleMania posters.
Hardy takes the fight outside and hits Poetry in Motion in the process. Back in the ring, Matt gets a chance at control after Jeff misses the second Poetry in Motion.
Matt capitalizes with a chairshot to the knee. Matt grabs a vacuum cleaner from under the ring and nails it on his brother’s skull followed by a Side Effect on a steel chair.
Matt applies a surfboard via the steel ring post before grabbing a table from under the ring. Jeff recovers and lands a senton on the apron followed by a mule kick on the steel steps. Jeff plays home run derby and swings for the fences with a Singapore cane and crutch. After placing his brother in a trash can, Jeff delivers a mule kick on the can and lands a reverse suplex.
Jeff goes for the Swanton Bomb, but misses the money shot. Matt jumps up and lands the Twist of Fate, but is unable to finish the job as Jeff kicks out at two. Jeff recovers and delivers a Superplex from the top rope. He then grabs a steel chair and swings for the fences on his brother.
On the outside, Jeff places Matt on the table and slams the chair on his brother again. But before going to the top, Jeff goes under the ring and grabs another table. After setting the table up, Jeff delivers a huge Splash on the Mattitude Sandwich on the outside.
Back in the ring, Jeff goes for the cover, but his brother puts his leg on the ropes. Jeff goes back outside and brings in a pair of ladders to the ring.
After delivering a leg drop, the younger Hardy sets up the ladders and launches himself off the top, but comes up short of his goal (in this case, his brother). Matt recovers and lands another Twist of Fate (this time in a steel chair) to get the pinfall victory over his brother.
I got a real bad feeling that this war between Matt and Jeff Hardy...is far from over. But that's a story for another time. Let's get back to WrestleMania.
After the bell, we get our first look at Randy Orton, who is getting ready for his match with Triple H.
Sometimes It's Heaven; Sometimes It's Hell: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
As we return live, Shawn Michaels begins his descent to the ground below in the form of Day. Following his descent, his usual music hits and the Showstopper returns to his prime form.
But following a simple gong sound, the lights go out, and Undertaker rises from under the ring as if to symbol Hell and Night. Following a barrage of fire, the Deadman makes that long walk to the ring.
Shawn gets early control with a set of chops. Taker tries to get some control back, but Michaels stays one step ahead of his opponent. Taker blocks a quick punch and launches HBK over the ring ropes.
Michaels goes up top, delivers a quick DX Chop to the Deadman and proceeds to land a series of punches after feigning another knee injury. But Undertaker bounces back and throws the soupbones.
Taker continues the pressure when he launches Michaels to the turnbuckle…and then launches him over his head.
Taker regains control thanks to Old School, but jumps too soon and catches his leg in the corner. Following a chop block, Michaels gains the advantage and locks in the Alamo Leg Lock.
But Taker breaks out of it with a set of right hands before getting dropped again with a dropkick to the knee. Taker regains control with Snake Eyes and the Big Boot. As Undertaker goes for the Chokeslam, Shawn counters into a Crossface. But Taker manages to counter into a back suplex to break the submission.
Shawn begins to fight back with a series of chops followed by the Flying Forearm. Shawn hits a couple of inverted Atomic Drops, but as he goes up top, Taker sits up and grabs HBK. Taker locks in Hell’s Gates, but HBK manages to reach the ropes (the first guy to ever do the feat).
The fight spills outside of the ring, but Taker manages to get control out there. But Shawn rolls out of the leg drop and lands a huge baseball slide to keep the Deadman out of the ring.
Shawn goes up top and misses the moonsault off the top rope to the outside. Both men are outside the ring, and Taker is the first guy up. As the ref focuses on HBK, Taker sits up, launches himself over the top rope (but not before HBK pulls a camera man into his path) and hits a Swanton Bomb.
Now the ref, Shawn and Undertaker all are down. Shawn is the first to get up and immediately goes for the ref to get him in the ring to make the count-out. As Shawn continues to coach the ref, Undertaker is still down on the ground.
But Taker manages to roll into the ring before the ref reaches 10. Shawn begins to show a cold stare in his eyes and preps for Sweet Chin Music. But Taker delivers a huge chokeslam, but is unable to get the pinfall.
Taker signals that the End is Near and goes for it. As Taker goes for the choke slam, he changes into a Last Ride…but Shawn again kicks out. Taker then goes up top (something he rarely does) and misses the Flying Elbow. Both men begin to stagger to their feet. Shawn swings back to the ring, only to get caught with the Tombstone Piledriver.
1...2...KICKOUT!! The look on Taker’s face is priceless as his eyes look to bulge out of his head.
Taker stands up and goes toward Shawn, but somehow Shawn manages to land a DDT out of the Tombstone attempt.
Michaels crawls to the top rope once more to try to deliver another Elbow Drop. Michaels lands the Elbow Drop and once again, begins to tune up the band. Shawn delivers the biggest Sweet Chin Music in his entire WWE career!
1...2...KICKOUT!! The match rolls on!
The two men stagger around the ring and exchange haymakers before Taker gets control with consistent punches. But Shawn nails another chop before getting dropped with a big boot to the side of his face. Shawn wiggles out of the Tombstone and staves off defeat for now. Both men are back on the ground.
Shawn goes up top for another moonsault. But Taker catches him in mid air, lands another Tombstone Piledriver, gets the victory….and goes 17-0 at WrestleMania! Both men lie in the middle of the ring after the bell as the crowd shows their respect to Mr. WrestleMania and the Phenom.
As Taker gives his final salute, the screen in the background reads simply put: 17-0.
We also see the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009 as they take Center Stage. They are introduced at the entrance ramp as each takes a star. But Austin gives a quick wave before heading backstage.
As the remaining HOF Alumni bask in the glow of this moment, we hear a familiar sound as the glass breaks and the vintage guitar riff begins!
Austin returns to the entrance ramp on his vintage Austin 3:16 ATV and heads down to the ring.
This may be WrestleMania...but this is also Texas, Austin's home state.
Austin comes out and drenches the ring with beer, salutes his old friend and fellow Hall of Famer, JR before he cheers the crowd and gives them one last salute before leaving Houston.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for our main events of the evening!
The Champ IS BACK!: Triple Threat Match for World Heavyweight Championship
Before the bell, several John Cenas come out to grace the entrance way, throw their arms in the air signal a “U CAN’T SEE ME” to each other before the real John Cena comes sprinting down to the ring.
As the bell rings, Cena takes the fight to his two SmackDown opponents. But Big Show shows his dominance by being nothing more than a brick wall to Cena and tosses Edge onto the top rope and straddling the top rope.
As Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, Show drops him with a big boot.
As Show continues to punish Cena, Vickie goes over and checks on her fallen husband. After Edge dropkicks the steps into Show’s knees, Cena drops him with the Beantown Leg Drop.
Edge recovers and brings in the lighter Cena. After dropping Edge, Cena gets caught with a Sidewalk Slam from the Big Show. As Cena tries to go for a shoulder tackle, Chavo snags him out of the ring.
After delivering the Attitude Adjustment to Chavo, Cena hits the Boston Bomb and 5-Knuckle Shuffle to Edge.
As Cena prepars for the Adjustment, Vickie blocks his path, only to get speared by the World Champion. After getting freed from the ropes, Big Show unleashes a huge fury that ends with a Chokeslam and Showstopper.
On the outside, Edge counters another chokeslam into a DDT before sliding the steel steps towards Big Show. He then delivers a diving slash on the near-500 pounder through the ring barrier.
With Show out, Edge focuses his attention on Cena. After bringing him back into the ring, Edge prepares to land a Spear on an unsuspecting Cena.
Cena counters the Spear into the STF, and then drags him from the ropes back to the center of the ring. The Ultimate Opportunist gets the save from Big Show, who comes in and launches Cena out of the ring.
Show misses the Big Splash, and now all three men are back in the ring. Edge and Cena team up for a double suplex on the Big Show before locking eyes on each other. The two then decide to join up and take out the Big Show. But Edge capitalizes and lands a huge boot.
Cena recovers and delivers a Throwback. But Show recovers as well and pushes Cena off the ropes into an awaiting Edge, who delivers a spear.
As Edge goes for the cover, Show pulls him off of Cena, and the two begin beating the hell out of each other.
Cena recovers and does the unthinkable by lifting over 700 pounds on his shoulders and delivering an Attitude Adjustment to both Edge and Big Show before covering the World’s Largest Athlete to get the victory and regain the World Heavyweight Championship.
After the bell, Cena goes into the crowd and celebrates with the WWE Universe, including NASCAR favorite, Carl Edwards.
Revenge & Redemption Personified: Randy Orton vs. Triple H for the WWE Championship
Back live, Triple H has one final word for his father and brother-in-law, Vince and Shane McMahon. With that, we return to the ring, where Randy Orton is making his entrance. As Triple H makes his entrance, he carries a sledgehammer.
But instead of heading to the ring, he turns to the ‘Mania Tron and launches it to the screen. The screen breaks revealing “The Game” in the background.
As the bell rings, Triple H goes on the offensive with a huge spear followed a set of punches. The ref pulls The Game off of him and reiterates the rules: If Triple H is disqualified, he will lose the WWE Title. Orton gets a cheap shot and takes control of the match.
The Game gets caught with an RKO, but Triple H recovers, blocks The Punt and lands The Pedigree. Neither man manages to get the pinfall, but they do manage to take the fight to the outside.
As Orton tries to beg for mercy, The Game shows him none with a guillotine as well as a set of kicks to the upper body. The fight goes to the ground with Triple H having control after a neck breaker. Orton once again goes to the outside to regain his composure. Orton takes control and launches Triple H into the barricade opened by the Big Show.
Back in the ring, Orton takes full control of the match with a leaping knee on the back of the champion’s neck. He then focuses on the neck and head area with a tight headlock before getting dropped with a back suplex. But he manages to keep control with a power slam but is unable to get the pinfall.
Orton goes back on the offensive with a reverse chin lock before throwing some punches in the corner. The two start exchanging shots in the corner before Triple H lands the Harley Race High Knee to break Orton’s momentum.
After nailing the face buster, Triple H goes for his second Pedigree. The two gladiators battle on the top rope with Orton getting the advantage with another cheap tactic. Orton flies off the top and gets some Sole Soup for his troubles. Triple H recovers and lands the Spinebuster.
But Orton counters a top rope maneuver into a dropkick.
Orton prepares for another punt, but Triple H blocks the kick and tosses him outside the ring to the steps on the outside. Triple H stands over Orton with a tv monitor, but the ref again reminds him of what’s at stake if he hits him with it.
The Game tosses Orton on the announcers table. As Triple H goes for the Pedigree, Orton counters into a back toss on the second announcers table. He then drags Triple H halfway off the table and lands a DDT on the ground.
Back in the ring, Orton continues the punishment as an obviously broken Triple H is brought back to his feet. Orton launches Triple H into the official, and as the ref goes down, Orton lands a huge RKO. But unfortunately, he got his plans crossed on this one. Orton tries to figure out what to do next.
Orton goes outside and grabs The Game’s sledgehammer. The Game grabs the hammer and drives it into the skull of the Legend Killer. He then staggers back to his feet and begins laying haymakers on Orton. After the ref regains conscience, he pulls Triple H off of Orton.
Finally, The Game delivers another Pedigree and gets the pinfall to retain the gold and get his revenge on the man who turned his personal life upside down.
After one last look at The King of Kings, we get a recap of the night’s festivities…and the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania is officially in the books.
WrestleMania Hits The Desert!
Following the match, we are informed of what we already knew: WrestleMania 26 will be March 28, 2010 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Will next year's WrestleMania in Glendale be as fufilling as the 25th Anniversary? Only time will tell. But here's what we do know.
Next week on RAW, it's a live 3-Hour Special Event as it's time...once again...for everybody...to come aboard the....Draft Train!
Next Monday is Draft Night...and no one is safe from the Draft.
Thanks for reading and watching this year’s WrestleMania. See you all in Glendale for WrestleMania XXVI and tomorrow for a surprising RAW.