Monday 25 December 2023

WWE Backlash 2009 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that continues to decline in popularity more than your favourite Youtuber from 2006! It is time for WWE’s Backlash 2009! We have a six man-tag match for the WWE Championship? Legacy will be taking on Triple H, Batista & Shane Mcmahon. We also have Edge vs John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. Jeff Hardy will take on Matt Hardy in an I Quit Match and Chris Jericho will take on Ricky Steamboat! That’s not all of the card but the big matches, I have mentioned before but this was the time where I started to fall off the WWE so a lot of this era will be new to me which is both terrifying and exciting considering how many categorize this era as horrific. Let’s get it on!


(ECW World Haevyweight Championship) Jack Swagger © vs Christian

So what is striking me at the moment is that each show does not have their commentators for their respective brand matches, We have JR, Jerry The King Lawler and Michael Cole which is quite the team for sure, I am guessing JR would have been with Mick Foley on Smackdown? Maybe Foley is in TNA by this point. Anyways, Christian is here and everyone loves Captain Charisma, they mention a contract signing which is just wonderful to hear.


Swagger shoots for the legs and takes the front chancery, some nice wrestling rolls from the champion. Christian is back in the corner, clean break from Swagger but a slap rocks the champion. Christian nails a very nice spinning heel kick and a middle rope elbow for two. Side headlock from Christian, Swagger answers with a shoulder block. Make it two, military press to the floor by Swagger. Back in the ring, Swagger lands a knee and clamps on a body-scissors. More rolls with a gut-wrench like hold, Swagger does not want to let go of the waist-lock. Christian tries his corner dodge into the kick but Swagger catches the legs and smashes Christian into the mat.


Swagger has a great bearhug, Swagger tries pinning off the bearhug which looks cool. Swagger continues squeezing, crowd fires up for babyface Christian who lands haymakers. Swagger goes for the military press, Christian slips out but Swagger counters with a beautiful gut-buster. Another waist-lock on the mat, would like to see some variety from the big man but it fits his amateur wrestling background. Swagger whips Christian to the buckle, the dodge works for Christian this time. A knee to the ribs cuts off Christian, Swagger’s running splash misses as Christian puts up his knees. Christian cannot nail the tornado DDT but a diving sunset flip gets two, Swagger goes low and scoops up Christian for a slam.


Both men are feeling it now, both men are down. Gut-wrench is blocked by Christian who holds onto the legs, Swagger is persistent but has to change plan. Christian is lifted to the corner, Christian kicks away Swagger and nails his tornado DDT. Two count for Christian, Swagger lands a great belly to belly out of nowhere. Swagger gets caught and sent to the floor off an arm-drag, Christian is almost suplexed into the barricade. Elbows by Christian, Swagger is dumped into the ring. Christian is slowly climbing the top rope, back-drop by Swagger and Swagger Bomb connects for a close two. Christian slaps Swagger, Swagger looks for an Oklahoma Slam but Christian slides out for an O’Connor roll, two for Christian. Oklahoma Stampede connects for a close two.


Swagger is frustrated now, Swagger needs to stay composed. Swagger is exposing the turnbuckle, Christian exposes the turnbuckle on his side. Swagger runs right into the exposed turnbuckle, Killswitch and Christian is your new ECW World Heavyweight Champion!


Christian is often considered underrated and that is on full display here as Christian puts together a match that plays to Swagger’s strengths. Swagger gets to toss around Christian, great work on the ribs of Christian and the way they got to the big moves in the match was great, some really nice creativity from Christian. Christian never looked dominant, always playing to Swagger’s power, building all his crowd reactions from close pin-falls before a very satisfying finish with Swagger getting caught for his attempts of cheating, really great opening match.


Winner: Christian over Jack Swagger via Kill-Switch!


Ricky The Dragon Steamboat vs Chris Jericho

At Wrestlemania, Steamboat was unbelievably good. Too good for his age so WWE said fuck it let’s have him in there with Jericho again. Steamboat being Jericho’s idol adds so much to the match.


They lock-up and Steamboat trips Jericho, Jericho scrambles to the ropes. Jericho shoves Steamboat, Steamboat shows his speed and frustrates Jericho, baseball slide and a plancha from The Dragon. Chop by Steamboat and deep motherfucking arm-drags boy, Jericho screams out in pain. Steamboat works the arm but Jericho elbows his way out, shoulder block by Jericho. Deep arm-drag into an arm-bar from The Dragon, some joint manipulation from Steamboat. Forearms from Jericho, chop by Steamboat. Shoulder block, Steamboat skins the cat but Jericho clotheslines Steamboat to the floor. Springboard dropkick by Jericho, belly to back suplex and stiff kicks to the spine. Jericho calls Steamboat washed up, Jericho applies a modified cobra clutch.


Steamboat escapes but Jericho clotheslines him down, Jericho has a side headlock. Belly to back by Steamboat but Jericho holds onto the headlock, Steamboat throws forearms but Jericho sends Steamboat to the buckle. Steamboat avoids the bulldog and Jericho is caught on the top rope, Steamboat works the lower back of Jericho. Belly to back from the middle rope seems like the plan for Steamboat, Jericho fights hard but Steamboat is persistent and super belly to back suplex. Jericho is selling it like death, 1…2… Jericho kicks out at the last second. We have a slug-fest, Irish whip by Steamboat and chops for two. Steamboat runs into a corner elbow, Steamboat counters for a powerslam, two for Steamboat.


Chops again, Irish whip but Steamboat ducks the head. Kick to the head and an enzuigiri for two, modified bulldog. Jericho went for the lionsault but Steamboat has Jericho on his shoulders, Steamboat gets caught though as Jericho rolls through for the Walls of Jericho. Steamboat escapes the hold and applies the figure four in the ugliest manner possible. Steamboat back-drops Jericho into the ring as both men were on the apron, Jericho tries a splash and headbutts the ring-post, Diving Crossbody by Steamboat for a very close two. Irish whip to the buckle by Jericho, Steamboat kicks away Jericho. Steamboat dives into the Code-breaker, 1…2… Steamboat places his foot on the bottom rope.


Jericho is irate with this call, Jericho argues with the official. Jericho slaps Steamboat, back-breaker is countered for a small package for two. Jericho trips up Steamboat in the middle of the ring and Steamboat has to tap this time around, Jericho refuses to break the hold to add emphasis to his point.


Considering Steamboat’s age, this is a very good match. Jericho is obviously a huge fan of Steamboat so you know Jericho is going to bump like crazy but this is not a one-sided affair, Steamboat uses all his expertise in this one and the near-falls are tremendous throughout the match. Love the crossbody and the small packages, fantastic send-off for The Dragon. Jericho was able to take a terrible angle and have a fantastic match with Steamboat.


Winner: Chris Jericho over Ricky Steamboat via Walls of Jericho!


Kane vs CM Punk

Kane holds grudges, Kane does not like CM Punk. Punk uses his speed to pepper Kane with kicks, Kane shakes that off. Punk cannot escape this time, knees and throat thrusts by Kane. Irish whip to the buckle, Punk attacks Kane with his knees. Minoro Suzuki style arm-bar spot by Punk, Punk drops his knees on the arm. Forearms by Punk, Kane shoves away Punk. Punk lands a dropkick, Punk tries a plancha but Kane grabs Punk by the neck. Punk uses the ropes to avoid being slammed and lands an apron diving clothesline, key-lock from Punk. Kane sends Punk into the ring-post, Kane dropkicks Punk into the ring-post. Punk is shoved into the ring-post, Kane slaps on a body-scissors. Punk uses elbows to escape the hold but Kane drills Punk with a clothesline, Kane lands a kick and a throat thrust before a back-breaker stretch. Punk escapes the hold again, Punk is looking to take away Kane’s chokeslam arm. Punk does his variation of the tarantula spot, Punk lands a springboard clothesline. Kane avoids the running knee/bulldog combo with a massive boot to the face.


Punk stops Kane from flying with a massive kick, Punk uses the ropes to pick up Kane. Kane fights out of the GTS, Punk lands his running knee/bulldog combination for a close two. Punk’s springboard goes wrong as Kane lands a massive uppercut, two for Kane. Punk avoids the sidewalk slam and goes for a tilt-a-whirl Fujiwara arm-bar but Kane lands a massive sidewalk slam counter. Punk avoids a chokeslam with big kicks, muay thai like strikes but Kane counters it and drills Punk with a Chokeslam for the win.


Interesting to see the crowd be indifferent to Punk, Punk had a similar reaction at Wrestlemania so the heel turn that we all know is coming is definitely a welcome one. Having Kane win on the other hand I am not sure it helps at all, Punk as a delusional babyface might have been better than having the Money In The Bank winner lose right after Mania but you know Vince loves beating the champion like a drum after winning the big one. Anyways, I don’t think they have any sort of plan for Kane so it just strikes me as an odd choice. Their chemistry is not great either, some cool moments but the fans are sitting on their hands for most of it, I felt much the same way.


Winner: Kane over CM Punk via Chokeslam!


(I Quit Match) Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy

Matt defeated Jeff, Matt wants to erase Jeff from the WWE. Considering it has been implied that Matt tried to burn down Jeff’s house with Jeff inside of it, you can only go down from there.


The bell rings and both men are tentative, Jeff goes to work with massive right hands and stomps the life out of Matt. Jeff brings Matt to the corner, more stomps with Matt trying to get away. Jeff drops the leg-drop low and hits a low dropkick to his face. Matt scrambles to the floor, slingshot dropkick and plancha. Poetry in Motion against the barricade by Jeff, hot-shot by Jeff. Corner clothesline by Jeff, Hardy’s corner dropkick by The Charismatic Enigma. Leg-drop after leg-drop by Jeff but Matt refuses to quit, sleeper from Jeff. Matt has had no offence in this one at all, Matt is carrying all the weight of Jeff on his back but Matt manages to bounce Jeff’s head off the turnbuckle. Matt drops an elbow, forearms to the head.


Jeff wants a whisper in the wind but Matt manages to shove Jeff to the floor, Jeff sells his ankle from the fall. Fans are chanting for tables, this is not good. Matt begins working the ankle, Jeff’s right leg is sent into the ring-post again and again. Matt is looking for a figure four, Matt applies the figure four in the middle of the ring. Jeff does not give up but Matt continues kicking the leg of Jeff, another figure four from Matt. Jeff pushes and pushes, reversing the pressure. Matt rolls back and breaks the hold, some guy is wiped out by security or something as the fans do not care about the action in the ring at all. Jeff misses his mule kick and Matt applies a single leg Boston crab. Jeff refuses to submit, Matt places Jeff on the top rope. Jeff is placed in the tree of woe but refuses to submit so Matt wants a belly to back superplex, Jeff elbows away Matt and nails a Whisper In The Wind.


Both men are swinging wildly, Jeff lands his mule kick. Texas Cloverleaf from Jeff, shocking to see such a move from Jeff. Matt’s tapping but Matt will not say I Quit, Matt uses the ropes to shove off Jeff. Matt avoids the Twist of Fate but gets a leg-drop to the back of the head, Twist of Fate by Jeff. Jeff begins climbing high, Swanton Bomb connects. Jeff climbs high again, second Swanton Bomb. Jeff decides to pull out a table, the crowd are happy to see mister table. Matt is rolling around the ring, Matt rolls to the floor to avoid his fate of being put through the table. Matt almost landed a Twist of Fate but Jeff counters and drills Matt with his own Twist of Fate.


Matt is thrown in the ring and placed on the table, Matt is lying prone on the table not moving. Jeff decides to pull out some duct-tape, Jeff is tying Matt to the table. Matt has now been tied to the table, unable to move. Jeff has pulled out a ladder, it is not a twenty-foot ladder but a regular ladder. However, it is a nice callback to the missed leg-drop at Wrestlemania 25. Matt is begging but not saying I Quit, Matt tries appealing to Jeff’s emotions but Jeff does not want to hear that shit. Matt brings their mother into it, scumbag move from Matt. Matt quits, Jeff Hardy wins but Jeff decides to Leg-Drop Matt through the table.


I think the fans never wanted to see The Hardys fight one another, I think that is the fundamental problem of this feud, fans just wanted to see The Hardys together and Jeff get the bigger push. As for this match itself, the fans reaction throughout reflect this sentiment, it’s hard to believe they could be this quiet for a Jeff Hardy match considering Jeff was one of the most over people on the roster mere months ago. The leg-work was interesting from Jeff but this was just Jeff killing Matt for the last couple of minutes and Jeff is just not that great on offence, Jeff does not have killer moves in his arsenal. It’s the high-risk spots, the hope-spots that make Jeff Hardy so great. Jeff Hardy being in control and pulling off submissions is just not the Jeff Hardy people want to see. A Jeff Hardy I Quit match sounds like a dream match where Jeff would be putting his body through all sorts of shit to get the win but this really was a tame effort.


Winner: Jeff Hardy over Matt Hardy via I Quit!


(WWE Championship Six-Man Tag Match) Triple H ©/Batista/Shane Mcmahon vs Legacy

Batista is back! Batista had beaten Orton at Armageddon 2008 which was a huge match as it was the first time they had fought on PPV since both men’s dominant runs on their respective brands. The deck is stacked against Triple H and I have no idea how considering Randy Orton has zero leverage against The Mcmahons. The big problem on the babyface team is that they all want to kill Orton so can they co-exist and not get disqualified.


A strength of the match is that Batista, Shane and Triple H all have valid reasons for wanting to destroy Orton, another part that I should mention considering it kind of has flown under the radar is that Ted Dibiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes at their young ages have been a huge part of storylines on RAW. This is the first time we will see them in a big match on PPV together though, they worked well in a Rumble but that match was one of the worst rumbles I watched so who knows.


Triple H dives on Orton to begin, Shane & Batista hold off Dibiase & Rhodes. Triple H chases away Orton, Legacy are not happy with this change. Maybe they want to win the championship? Why are they risking being counted out? Batista and Rhodes start, Batista clotheslines and sends Rhodes into the corner, Cole states that if Rhodes or Dibiase win, Orton is champion? Excuse me? Whatever, Batista boots down Rhodes. Tag to Shane, Demolition Decapitation by Shane & Batista. Continued elbow drops by Shane, Shane works the arm and tag to Triple H. Triple H stomps the life out of Rhodes, hard Irish whip to the opposite buckle. Suck it by Triple H and another stomp, Rhodes manages to kick Triple H and tag Dibiase.


Dibiase eats a clothesline by Triple H, Shane & Triple H nail a Hart Attack. Shane throws elbows to the spine, tag to Batista. Batista ducks and lands a massive suplex, Batista gets caught though. Not for long, Batista lands a flying shoulder block. Spine-buster on Dibiase, Dibiase avoids the bomb. Dibiase and Batista are up the ramp, Rhodes distracts the referee. Here comes Orton and Batista is sent into the ring-post, Orton gets the hot-tag sort of I guess. Orton stomps the life out of Batista, Batista is isolated in Legacy’s corner. Orton & Dibiase choke the life out of Batista, Rhodes tags in Orton. Orton lands that rope-hung DDT with Triple H showing worry on his face, Triple H has been in this situation before with The Mcmahons at King of The Ring 2000. Tag to Dibiase, elbow drops from Dibiase. Batista fights in the corner but a drop toehold from Dibiase stops that attack, side headlock by Dibiase. Belly to back suplex counter by Batista, Orton gets the tag. Orton stands over Batista and begins stomping the ribs of The Animal. Knee across the face by Orton, reverse chin-lock by Orton. Elbows by Batista, Orton is whipped across the ropes and eats a Spear.


Rhodes comes in but Shane gets the tag, right hands from Mcmahon. Shane elbows Dibiase down, neck-breaker on Rhodes for two. Dibiase is with Shane, Shane takes down Rhodes & Dibiase. Shane is on the top rope, Diving Elbow Drop by Shane. Dibiase pulls out Shane, Orton is here and sends Shane over the steel steps. Orton gets the tag and pulls Shane onto the apron, suplex into the ring for two. Shane scrambles for a tag but Orton cuts that off, kicks to the ribs. Orton drags Shane to the corner, Dibiase comes in and nails a boot to the ribs. Shane is kicked to the floor, Dibiase comes to the floor and slams Shane off the ring apron. Two in the ring, Dibiase tags in Rhodes.


Rhodes gets a two, more kicks to the ribs. Shane fights back from his ribs, Rhodes holds Shane in a full-nelson. Orton measures and lands a boot to the ribs, standing dropkick by Orton. Two for Orton, tag to Dibiase. The ring has been cut in half well here by Legacy, really good tag team strategy. Diving foot stomp on Shane for two, reverse chin-lock. Shane fights back but Dibiase cuts off Shane again, tag to Rhodes. Rhodes kicks the head of Shane, nice knee-drop. Two for Rhodes, front chancery. Shane manages to back-drop Rhodes, Dibiase cuts off Shane again with an elbow drop. Fist Drop by Dibiase, Million Dollar Dream is countered with a DDT.


Crowd can feel it is time for that hot-tag! Triple H gets the tag, right hands to Orton. Shot after shot in the corner, Irish whip but the champion fires back with a clothesline. Face-buster, Dibiase and Rhodes tossed to the floor. Orton boots Triple H, spine-buster for two as Dibiase makes the save. In comes Batista who decks Dibiase, Batista is sent into the barricade. Triple H wants a Pedigree, Rhodes spikes Triple H with a DDT. Shane crossbodies Rhodes to the floor, Shane clotheslines Rhodes into the timekeeper’s area. Rhodes has a chair though damn it, Shane does not see it. Shane is waffled into the crowd, Batista is smacked with the chair too. Batista kicks Rhodes low, Orton’s RKO is blocked. Batista has the chair, Triple H stops his Pedigree to stop Batista using the chair. Triple H walks into an RKO, 1…2.. Triple H kicks out but one Punt Kick later, it’s over!


Well they botched the finish but that is not Orton’s fault, timekeeper messed up on this one. An interesting finish with Triple H trying to stop Batista making a mistake and Batista costing Triple H. I don’t have any memory of this time so the idea of Batista vs Triple H occurring is not something I think would happen at this time. Perhaps Triple H will be taking time off with The Punt Kick being the reason for that? The finish also reminds me that we could have just don’t this for Wrestlemania, why would Triple H need to hang on for one extra month? They do the stretcher gimmick so I am guessing Batista will want to avenge Triple H and be the big dumb babyface that keeps coming up short which is what Batista was to Edge and Booker T on Smackdown. Such a shame for Batista, the match here itself was not that great. The tag team work from Legacy was solid but it didn’t live up to the hype and when the crowd is cheering Orton and singing nah nah nah hey hey goodbye when a babyface is injured, we have made a mistake somewhere along the line.


Winners: Legacy over Team Triple H via Punt Kick!


(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match) John Cena © vs Edge

The idea of Cena on Smackdown is insane, it did not last very long but still the fact there was a period in 2009 where Cena was on the blue brand is pure madness. Video package does a great job of showcasing how much Edge hates John Cena. Cena is coming in hurt as Edge played a little con-chair-to on his head on Monday Night Raw, the bell rings with both men staring one another down. Intense lock-up which is good to see, Edge swings and misses. Cena whips Edge to the buckle, Edge avoids the bulldog. Edge is on the floor, Cena gives chase. Edge wanted a spear, Cena teased an AA. Both men are feeling one another out.


Side headlock by Edge, Cena shoves him off. Shoulder block by Edge who clubs down Cena. Irish whip reversed to the buckle, Cena lands a massive fisherman suplex on Edge. AA tease with Edge nailing an Edge-O-Matic. Cena sells his head, Edge is watching on and lands a vicious clothesline. Make it two, Edge seems surprised that Cena is popping up. The referee starts counting, Cena makes it up around the count of six. Cena fights back, Irish whip reversed by Edge and a beautiful spinning heel kick. Cena is up, flapjack by Edge. Sleeper by Edge, Cena scrambles to the ropes but Edge does not have to break the hold. Cena begins fading before backing Edge into the corner, Cena lets go briefly and clamps the hold back on with tenacity.


Cena fires back, shoulder blocks and a five knuckle shuffle is on the menu. Edge kicks Cena square in the head, sharpshooter from the challenger. Cena does not tap but struggles to get on his feet, Edge knocks Cena off the apron and onto the announce table. Cena makes it up at the count of seven, Edge starts messing with the steel steps. Edge takes a run-up, Cena dodges and Edge Spears the steel steps. Edge survives the ten count and sends Cena into the steel steps. Cena has enough in him again to rise before the ten count, Cena whips Edge into the steel steps this time. Edge makes the count, Cena decides to bring the steel steps into the ring. Cena manages to lift the steel steps into the ring but eats a big boot to the face.


Edge smashes the steel steps into Cena’s head, running dropkick with the steel steps kicked right into John Cena. Cena clutches his shoulder, I think the intent was his neck due to the con-chair-to but I am not sure Edge is really playing into that gameplan. Cena is against the ropes, Edge runs at Cena and is elevated to the floor. Cena picks up the steel steps, Edge is on the floor. Cena lawn-darts the steel steps at the head of Edge, Edge is wiped out at ringside. Back into the ring, Cena looks worn out already. Edge and Cena are trading bombs, both men are using the other to standup before both men collapse in the middle of the ring. Both men make the count around eight, Cena has Edge but both men counter one another. Third time is the charm? No it’s Edge who drills Cena with a belly to back suplex, Edge hates Cena so much that Edge is going to do a five-knuckle-shuffle. Edge tries it and Cena responds with a vicious STF. Edge survives the count, AA is blocked as Edge holds onto the ropes and Edge delivers a sickening Spear onto Cena. Edge is climbing to the top rope, Cena pulls himself up and looks for something big here. Cena has Edge on his shoulders, Super AA from Cena in the middle of the ring. Edge is moving, unbelievable from Edge. Motivated by pure hatred? Cena cannot believe it as Edge crawls towards Cena. Cena goes high, his top rope leg drop does not work as Edge Spears Cena in mid-air!


Edge clears the announce table, Edge wants to do something bad here. Cena avoids an impaler DDT and Cena AAs Edge into the crowd. Great spot that nobody would have predicted, all the plants did a great job of catching Edge’s body. Edge makes it up at nine, Edge will not be denied on this night. Edge and Cena are in the crowd among the fans, the cameras do their best to keep up with the madness. Edge & Cena go from one part of the arena to the next, Cena continues punching Edge. Bulldog onto the equipment by the stage, Edge is crushed at the moment, Cena has a tired look on his face. Edge survives and cracks Cena with a hard-hat, Edge nails Cena with an Impaler DDT on the stage. Edge is in shock, Edge looks backstage for something. Edge waffles Cena in the back, con-chair-to from Edge. Cena is up at the count of nine, Cena lifts up Edge for an AA but Big Show interferes and grabs Cena. Chokeslam through a stage light! It exploded and Edge makes the ten count while Cena does not move!


A brutal brawl between two men who hate one another, they waste no time in throwing out massive spots, Edge trying to choke out Cena was a great little moment because you could see how much Edge utterly hates Cena. Some big bumps here, the mid-air Spear and Super AA were huge spots, also the AA into the crowd came off great. They brawled everywhere and you could feel the hatred that the two had for one another, fantastic stuff here really. The finish is a shock and a perfect way to protect your golden goose with Edge not being able to put down Cena. A readymade feud with Big Show for Cena to continue with when he’s good and healthy again which is great. Sadly, the hot potato of the championship continues and it really hurts me here because Edge has done this throughout the years at this point. Edge took down Taker’s reign, Triple H’s reign as WWE Champion, Jeff Hardy’s reign and Cena’s previous reign. That’s three or four reigns with diminishing returns as things would just end up back with Edge. How am I meant to buy into Edge losing the championship and it meaning something when it continuously makes it way back to him before I even get to appreciate it leaving him?


Winner: Edge over John Cena via Survival of Ten-Count!


That was WWE’s Backlash 2009, a very solid PPV coming out of Wrestlemania. Could things be better? Of course they could but there are some positive developments here when we take a step back from this PPV, also some bad ones of course so let’s break it down. We kick things off with Christian vs Swagger, Christian leads Swagger to his best match on PPV and best match by this point. Night and day between this and the rumble match with Matt Hardy, Christian lets Swagger dominate throughout with various power moves and cool looking throws, Christian has flickers of hope and it all builds to a satisfying finish. Considering Christian was TNA World Champion, ECW was a disappointment for many but having someone like Christian as the top babyface is great for those on the roster because Christian will continue to make them shine throughout the year. Very good opening match, things take a turn with Punk vs Kane. Chemistry is just not great between the two, Punk’s offence is hit and miss while the crowd don’t seem too heavily invested in Mr. Money in The Bank. Kane is over like always but the good matches have been gone for a long time by this point, nothing to keep me invested here and like I mentioned, the trope of the money in the bank winner instantly becoming the biggest loser on the roster was never a good one in my book.


Steamboat vs Jericho is fun, Steamboat rolls back the years and gives a performance that shouldn’t be possible at his age. Jericho puts in the work too to make this a very exciting match, it is an extended version of their Wrestlemania match and we all wanted Steamboat to squeeze out the victory here. The Hardys I Quit Match is a step-down from The Mania match, the fans just do not want to see them fight and Jeff’s offence has always been one of his weaknesses so long sections of Jeff torturing Matt seem to just drag on and while the emotional manipulation from Matt is cool towards the end, it’s not going to save this match for me. Jeff actually seemed to be quite lenient for a guy who lost his dog and almost his life thanks to his brother. Not a great feud for someone who seemed to be on par with John Cena in terms of reaction from the audience only a few months ago. The six man tag for the WWE Championship corrects the wrong of Wrestlemania and adds an interesting element into the mix with Batista being the reason Triple H lost the championship. I don’t think it will be played into too much as Triple H was basically a babyface for the next two years but it adds to the probably Batista vs Orton feud. As for the action, Orton was getting a very strong response from the crowd and Legacy as a unit are a great watch because they just hammer everyone in their way. Again sympathy for the all-destroying and conquering Game is a difficult task especially when the crowd feels the wrong man won last year so the injury angle is not coming off great here, hoping Big Dave can get some good reactions. The main event is a good brawl between two men with very good chemistry, some awesome spots mixed in with some pretty great facials. Not a fan of the championship moving around so much but we have a good feud for Cena ready with Big Show and hopefully, we can have Jeff Hardy back on track against Edge. Another easy pay per view to watch, would love to have the tag team championships and other mid-card championships be featured but we are fresh off Mania so only the biggest matches will be getting time. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Sunday 24 December 2023

WWE Wrestlemania 25 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more boring than a Road Dogg singles match! It’s time after another long hiatus to watch some WWE and today I will be checking out WWE Wrestlemania 25! The show of shows, the showcase of the immortals! The big matches on the card tonight include Big Show vs Edge vs John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship, Randy Orton challenges Triple H for the WWE Championship, Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker, two huge stars who always bring their A game for Wrestlemania and Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy. We have other matches that are attractive, it’s a massive card but will it be a home-run? Let’s see!


(Money In The Bank Ladder Match) CM Punk vs Christian vs Mark Henry vs MVP vs Finlay vs Shelton Benjamin vs Kofi Kingston vs Kane

Big names in this match, ECW gets some good representation in this one too. A lot of eyes on Christian who is making his first appearance on PPV since rejoining the WWE. It starts off hot with two monsters Kane and Henry clearing the ring, Benjamin and Christian use the ladder to take down the giants before Kofi leapfrogs the ladder, dropkicks the duo and lands a Boom Drop. Kane & Henry begin climbing the ladder before being knocked down by a dogpile of bodies. Two ladders in the ring, five men climbing all the ladders. Kane and Henry shove the ladders apart and everyone falls to the mat. Kane uppercuts and boots Henry, Henry is back up and throws Kane off who hits his face off the ropes.


Henry decides it is time to climb but no, Henry throws the ladder towards Finlay but Finlay manages to dodge, Finlay lands a suicide dive onto Kane & Benjamin. Christian lands a leapfrog to the floor, MVP decides to land a senton from the apron. Kofi & Punk are in the ring, they do not fight as they prefer to land stereo suicide dives onto everyone on the floor. Shelton Benjamin has climbed a ladder and lands a diving senton to the floor from a twenty foot ladder. Henry begins climbing the ropes but Finlay smashes Henry with his weapon. Hornswoggle appears with a mini-ladder and dives onto everyone using Henry’s back.


Finlay is alone at the moment, Finlay sets-up a ladder. Finlay has Kofi in the ring, Kofi is whipped to the corner. Kofi kicks Finlay through the rungs of the ladder, Finlay tosses the mini-ladder at Kofi. Finlay takes down Punk and Kane, Kofi knocks Finlay off the ladder with a Trouble In Paradise. Kofi begins climbing but Henry shoves down the ladder onto Kofi, headbutt from Henry. Henry is holding the ladder directly straight and Kofi runs up it in a great spot before Henry drops Kofi with a World’s Strongest Slam on the ladder. MVP stabs Henry with a ladder in the spine, Benjamin and MVP are brawling now. MVP eats a dropkick from Benjamin, Benjamin looks for a hurricanrana but MVP counters with a powerbomb.


MVP is climbing for the briefcase, Punk kicks and chops at MVP. Christian clotheslines MVP down, Punk kicks away Christian. Christian is in pursuit, shots to the back. Punk grabs Christian for a GTS, Christian escapes and drills Punk with The Unprettier! Benjamin nails Kane with a Dragon Whip, MVP begins climbing again, Benjamin climbs up the ladders with great speed, sunset flip powerbomb goes wrong as both men slip. MVP is powerbombed onto Henry and Kofi at ringside, Benjmain and Finlay are climbing for the briefcase. Finlay is smashed off with a huge right, Christian and Benjamin are brawling. Benjamin knees down Christian, we have two ladders in the ring. Christian and Benjamin are on top of the two ladders, Benjamin falls to the floor but Christian uses the top rope to remain on the ladder. Christian almost wins it, Punk and Christian are so close to the briefcase.


Punk is upside down caught on the ladder, Kane is here and Kane chokeslams Christian off the ladder and all the way to hell. Punk kicks down Kane, both men are brawling for the briefcase. Kane wants a chokeslam, Punk kicks Kane over and over before Punk grabs the briefcase and takes it for the second year in a row.


A chaotic match as always, one that fires up the crowd and never fails to amaze. The standout star of this one was Kofi Kingston, every time this young man came near a ladder, he stole the show. Kofi is a fantastic babyface for the company and one to watch for the future here, it is so clear. Hindsight is a terrible thing really because in this match, Kofi looked like future world champion material. A subdued performance from the likes of Christian, Kane and Henry. I suppose Christian didn’t want to mess himself up so early into his run in the company while the other two big men aren’t well suited to a match such as this but I expected a little more, Finlay impressed me considering his age and what he was willing to do to his body in this one and Benjamin took every opportunity to show why he shouldn’t be slept on when it comes to himself. Punk winning two in a row when the crowd was dying for a Christian win is an interesting choice, Punk never lost the World Championship the first time around but I would be lying if I said Punk was an important piece of the puzzle at any time following his return. Tag team title and Intercontinental championship reigns are good signs but I wouldn’t have thought Punk was winning on this night. All in all, a great spotfest to get the crowd cooking.


Miss Wrestlemania Divas Battle Royal

Some great returns in this match but blink and you would miss it, Sunny is in there as well as Torrie Wilson, Joy Giovanni too. Santina is in there too,  Candice Michelle is watching on at ringside. Molly Holly is here too, I didn’t even see her the first time around. Lots of kicking and pairing off in the corner, Jackie Gayda is in there, I thought it was Katie Lea Burchill. Torrie Wilson is thrown out, very sad there is no reaction for anyone or anything. More and more Divas are thrown out before we have just five. We have Santina, Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Melina and Beth Phoenix. Michelle and Mickie are on the top rope, they are both wrapped up in one another. Santina is watching on, not sure to do, Mickie & Michelle eliminate one another. Melina is on Beth’s back, Beth wants a Glam Slam but Melina counters before Santina Marella eliminates both.


Shite match, shite way to celebrate such a great moment for women who had worked hard for WWE. Horrific and a slap in the face to anyone who trained and got in shape for this match.


Winner: Santina Marella!


Chris Jericho vs Legends & Mickey Rourke

Chris Jericho wanted a big money match for Wrestlemania, Jericho had the run of his life in 2008 so Jericho wanted to continue this momentum in 2009. By all accounts, this match was meant to be absolute garbage and you can tell by the caliber of opponent in the beginning because we have Snuka and Piper who couldn’t work a lick anymore. Wow look at Flair getting a paid day, not that much of a shock I suppose, Flair would have been a great special referee had he not gone to TNA for the next couple of years. Mickey Rourke looks horrific, man is super old. Piper spits on Jericho and tackles him, kind of shocked that Piper would agree to do a job. Piper tries a sunset flip but Jericho kicks out, a horrific dropkick from Piper.


Piper slaps Jericho over and over, Piper punches in the corner. Jericho is rammed into the corner. Snuka is in the ring now, headbutt for Jericho. Snuka lands a rush, Steamboat gets the tag. Diving chop and two arm-drags, knees to the spine. Crowd comes alive because Steamboat can actually move and not look like a grandad. Snuka gets the tag, chop by Snuka. Headbutt by Snuka, Jericho counters Snuka and applies The Walls of Jericho. Snuka taps, Snuka has been eliminated. Jericho smashes Steamboat to the floor, Piper kicks Jericho in the ribs hard. Jericho is in the corner, big boot by Piper. Eye-poke by Piper, Sleeper by Piper. Piper is sent into the top rope, Jericho lands an enzuigiri for the elimination. Steamboat lands his Diving Crossbody for a close two, clothesline by Jericho.


Jericho kicks Steamboat but Steamboat chops back, boot by Jericho. Snap-mare and a kick to the spine, reverse chin-lock by Jericho. Steamboat escapes the hold and skins the cat, Steamboat sends Jericho to the floor. Plancha by Steamboat, Steamboat lands another diving chop. More chops by Steamboat, O’Connor roll for a close two. Jericho boots Steamboat, running bulldog and it’s Lionsault time. Steamboat dodges, Jericho gets caught with a powerslam for two. Walls of Jericho is locked in on Steamboat, Steamboat rolls through with a small package for a close two, Steamboat had the fans on that one. Steamboat flips out of the back suplex but a Code-Breaker puts down Steamboat.


Had no right to be anywhere near as good as that, credit to Ricky Steamboat who came in there and kicked all sorts of ass here. The dives and the near-falls were tremendous, so good that we would get a rematch the next month. Flair comes into the ring after, Jericho gets chopped to shit before a Code-breaker wipes out The Nature Boy. Jericho smiles in the ring and asks for the microphone, Frank Shamrock is beside Mickey Rourke. Mickey Rourke is called out and decides to come into the ring, after a lot of posing Rourke decks Jericho and it is not Tyson knocking out Michaels sadly. Best part was Jericho vs Steamboat, everything else was dogshite.


Winner: Chris Jericho over The Legends via Code-breaker!


(Extreme Rules Match) Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy

The impossible dream but it happened, Jeff Hardy became WWE Champion. Nobody expected, nobody could be happier than Jeff but Matt Hardy was not happy for his brother, Matt was jealous of his brother’s success and it ate away at Matt Hardy. Matt would cost his brother his WWE Championship, Jeff has revenge on his mind and this will be one hell of a match. I forgot about the minor detail that they did imply that Matt burned down Jeff’s house with his dog inside, pretty brutal stuff.


Jeff slaps the taste out of Matt’s mouth and they spill to the floor, Jeff breaks a framed Wrestlemania poster across Matt’s face. Jeff keeps looking for weapons, Matt blocks the trash can. Jeff smacks Matt off the steel steps, poetry in motion lands by Jeff. Jeff has a chair, poetry in motion in the ring misses for Jeff. Jeff wants a Whisper in The Wind but Matt blocks with a chairshot to the spine, Matt gets two. Matt chokes Jeff using the middle rope, Matt pulls out a vacuum and wallops Jeff in the head for a close two. Side Effect on the chair by Matt for a close two, Matt chokes Jeff with his boot. Matt stretches Jeff across the ring-post, Matt pulls out a table. Matt wants a suplex through the table but Jeff batters Matt away. Diving apron clothesline and spinning mule kick by Jeff, Matt has a cut on his head from the steel steps that doctors clean up quick.


Jeff smashes two crutches over the back of Matt, a trash-can is placed on Matt’s head. A crutch to the head and a slingshot drop-kick from Jeff, two count for Jeff. Sit-out suplex by Jeff, Jeff wants a Swanton Bomb but Matt dodges the move. Twist of Fate by Matt Hardy for two, Matt mocks Jeff. Jeff stops Matt on the top rope, Jeff waffles Matt in the face with the chair. Jeff places Matt on the table. Jeff places a chair on top of Matt, Jeff pulls out another table and places on top of Matt so there are now two tables stacked with Matt Hardy sandwiched between the two. Jeff climbs to the top rope and lands a diving splash through the two tables. In the ring, Jeff pins Matt but Matt places a foot on the ropes, always curious why they have rope breaks in hardcore matches.


Naturally, Jeff brings out the ladders. The weapon is associated with both brothers, it is natural that they will play a part in this match. Jeff uses a chair for a little springboard leg-drop on Matt, it seems Jeff has a twenty-foot ladder, I think Jeff wants his leapfrog leg-drop, Jeff crashes and burns as Matt dodges at the last second, Matt is using the ropes to pull himself up, that is one hell of a bump. Matt Hardy places Jeff’s head in between the seat of the chair and lands a vicious Twist of Fate for the win.


A brutal affair, brief and very violent, not a dull moment to be found in this one which is good because I cannot buy Matt as a top-level heel. Those tights look cool but Matt’s gut spilling out of the tights is not so great. Regardless, Jeff and Matt bring the violence, they batter one another with the table spot and the finish both great visuals and great depictions of the hatred the two have for one another, that Twist of Fate for the finish should have been something they get over as it’s a great looking bump. Speaking of bumps, that Jeff Hardy leg drop looked horrific, I have no idea how he survived that without shattering everything he has below. Really good stuff here though, they didn’t waste time they just went from spot to spot filled with violence.


Winner: Matt Hardy over Jeff Hardy via Twist of Fate!


(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) JBL © vs Rey Mysterio

Speaking earlier about Punk, Punk would win the Intercontinental Championship but here we are at Wrestlemania with JBL as Intercontinental Champion, perhaps a reward for how good the Rumble angle with HBK was? Maybe but JBL cuts a great heel promo before Mysterio comes down to the ring. The match starts with a big boot by JBL, clubbing blows in the corner by JBL. JBL asks for the referee to start the match officially, Mysterio slowly recovers. JBL gets caught with an enzuigiri and a dropkick, 619 and a Tadpole Splash and we have a new champion!


JBL away for the world championship is one of my favourite wrestlers because he’s a bully and works stiff and then gets embarrassed like that, fun stuff for the fans who probably wouldn’t have enjoyed a match between these two.


Winner: Rey Mysterio over JBL via Splash!


Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker

After Shawn Michaels freed himself from the clutches of JBL, there was only one goal in mind for Shawn Michaels and that was facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania. The undefeated streak against Mr. Wrestlemania, two men who have been kept separate for years on different brands. Forgot about the religious side to this with Michaels quoting bible passages, bold of Michaels to mock Taker. However, Michaels did tag with God one time so God is definitely down with HBK. What’s great about this too is Michaels is going to play up that heelish side of him that we see far too rarely during his second run in the company.


Great promo package and I am hyped, two of the greatest entrances I have ever seen here for this match. I rarely make mention of entrances but these are spectacular, Michaels descending from heaven dressed in white. Undertaker rises from hell to confront the man who says he does not fear The Deadman. Taker looks irate, Michaels is calm. Bell rings and neither man moves, both men showing immense respect to the other and not rushing in. Michaels has to use his speed, Michaels ducks the blows and lands chops. Michaels backs away again, Michaels is giving up ground constantly but right hands find their mark. Elbows and chops find the mark, Taker reverses and Irish whip but blocks the right hand. Taker grabs HBK by the throat, Michaels fires back and tells Taker to suck it before leapfrogging Taker. HBK feigns a knee injury before landing a Thesz Press and right hands, Taker decides to fire up and nail right hands.


Measured right hands and elbows by The Phenom, HBK blocks the whip. Michaels chops and chops Taker, Taker reverses the Irish whip. HBK bump into a back body-drop, military press slam and an elbow drop for two. Shoulder thrusts by Taker, Old School is the plan. It connects, Taker misses a big boot in the corner. Michaels goes after the knee, shin-breaker and a chop-block. Enzuigiri to the head by HBK, Michaels fights and fights before landing the figure-four leg-lock. Taker lands right hands to break the hold, low dropkick by Michaels. Taker catches Michaels and sends Michaels into the corner, right hands by Taker. Corner clotheslines by Taker, snake-eyes and a big boot connects. Leg drop for two, Taker calls for a Chokeslam. Michaels counters for a crossface. Michaels pulls and pulls, Taker struggles to wriggle free. Taker gets to his feet and lands a side-walk slam, both men exchange blows. HBK kicks Taker in the face but it has no effect, Michaels continues to chop Taker. Irish whip, Taker reverses but eats a flying forearm. Michaels kips up, Taker is knocked loopy. Inverted atomic drop, chop and another inverted atomic drop. HBK lands a big flying clothesline. HBK climbs to the top rope, Taker sets-up and Michaels dives into a choke-hold. Chokeslam is blocked, Sweet Chin Music is blocked, Michaels’ figure four is blocked while Taker succeeds with Hell’s Gate. Michaels scrambles and scrambles before reaching the ropes, both men are now on the floor.


Taker has Michaels on the apron, boot to the head by Taker. Apron leg-drop misses, Taker is down with a sore backside. Michaels lands a baseball slide, Michaels wants a moonsault to the floor and Taker swats away Michaels like a fly. Michaels teases being unable to continue, Taker sits up and decides it is time for something big. Taker runs the ropes and goes for his suicide dive and lands directly on the cameraman but as we see replays, Taker dives right onto his head in one of the most sickening dives we have ever seen in a wrestling ring. Michaels looks on at the damage, Michaels pulls up the referee. Michaels wants the count-out victory, Taker comes in at nine in a great dramatic spot considering how horrific that bump was to the floor.


Michaels looks distraught but also has sick grin on his face, Michaels wants to put down The Deadman. Taker cannot stand on his own, Michaels is caught though and a Chokeslam by Taker. 1….2….. Michaels kicks out! Taker looks at Michaels as if to say: “You want more”? Tombstone is blocked, Sweet Chin Music is blocked, Chokeslam is blocked and Sweet Chin Music connects! 1…..2… Taker kicks out! Michaels kips-up, Michaels is pissed off. Michaels looks down at Taker, Taker was playing possum. Chokeslam? No Taker kicks Michaels and wants The Last Ride, Michaels slips out for a sunset flip but Taker does not go down, The Last Ride. 1…..2… Michaels kicks out! Taker is climbing top rope?


Taker misses a diving elbow, both men are up to their feet. Taker side-steps Michaels, Michaels wants to skin the cat. Taker catches Michaels for the Tombstone Piledriver, 1…2… Michaels kicks out! Undertaker is in shock, how can this be? It is impossible! How can Michaels still be alive after all of that punishment? Is it Michaels’ night? Taker has a determined look on his face, Taker is calling for the end. Taker looks down at the broken body of HBK, Taker wanted a tombstone but HBK nails one hell of a DDT. Michaels crawls to the ropes, pulling himself up for an elbow. HBK fakes almost falling off before delivering a diving elbow drop into the heart of The Deadman. HBK has one more shot in him, one more tune to play. Sweet Chin Music to the point of the jaw, 1….2… Taker kicks out!


Crowd has been losing their mind for about ten minutes now, this is insanity. Both men are on their knees, chop by Michaels. Right hand by Taker, chop again by Michaels. Taker answers, HBK throws a bomb of his own. Taker wins that war of right hands, HBK chops back at Taker. Big boot by Taker, tombstone is escaped by Michaels. Taker reverses an Irish whip to the corner, Michaels boots Taker away. Both men collapse to the mat, Michaels climbs high and looks for a moonsault but Taker catches Michaels and Tombstones him for the win. 1…2…3!


What can you say about a match that is considered one of the greatest of all-time? I can’t really add much but I will let you know how incredible it is to see Taker blossom into someone who puts on fantastic matches because haven’t watched Taker from beginning to the end, it is shocking watching Taker go from some of the most boring matches I had to sit through to Mania classics, it’s almost like it is too different people while Michaels has been a pillar of excellence since about 1994, being a top-tier seller and dramatic moment making machine. Up there with Survivor Series 2003 and Summerslam 2002, this might be my favourite HBK performance. I am so sad knowing I won’t have much longer watching HBK as I go back through these years in WWE. If you haven’t seen this match, go out of your way to see it. It is incredible, one of the most edge of your seat matches of all-time.


Winner: Undertaker over Shawn Michaels via Tombstone Piledriver!


(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Edge © vs John Cena vs The Big Show

Ah I do love triple threats involving Big Show because the man always delivers when it comes to triple threat matches. Why is The Big Show challenging for the championship? What gave Big Show the right to do so? Is it purely because Big Show was having an affair with Vickie? Anyways, John Cena blackmailed his way into this match because that’s what good guys do? It is so weird to me because I mean I really feel like Big Show is a non-factor for the last few months too but it is what it is at this point, they changed around the champions and not for the better as we will soon see as the night ends.


Hmm I wonder who could be winning? Could it be the two shlubs with no special entrances or the challenger with his own special entrance? Hmm decisions, decisions. We start with Cena going after Show & Edge, Cena shows his speed and nails a bulldog. Show smacks Cena away with a shoulder block, Edge wants to work with Show. Show drops Edge onto the top rope and damages his special parts, massive chest chop from Show. Cena wants an FU but Show boots down Cena with Edge falling to the floor. Show clubs Cena and steps all over Cena, Vickie is in a wheelchair with Chavo at ringside. Well done Chavo on that payday, Show continues stepping all over Cena. Cena fights back but Show sends Cena into the air. Show misses a boot and crotches himself on the top rope. Edge dropkicks the steel steps into the knees of Show, Cena lands his Kobashi-style leg-drop on Show to the floor.


Cena wants the AA but Edge counters for an Impaler DDT for two, Edge decides to climb high. Cena is too quick, Edge is knocked to the floor. Show lands a sidewalk slam on Cena for two, Cena fights back against Show before Chavo pulls Cena. Cena lands an AA on Chavo, shoulder block on Show. Show is caught in the ropes, Cena lands shoulder blocks to Edge. Spinning side slam, Five Knuckle Shuffle by Cena. Vickie is on her feet, a miracle. Edge Spears Vickie into Chavo, Cena rolls-up Edge for two. Cena & Edge land clotheslines on one another, Show is freed from the ropes by the referee. Show lands a double shoulder block, headbutt on Cena. Headbutts to Edge, corner chest slaps. Hip splash in the corner, Show wants a double chokeslam. Edge gets planted, Cena countered but Show lands his Knock-out Punch. Cena rolls to the floor wisely, Edge counters a chokeslam with a DDT. Edge is pulling steel steps closer to Show, Edge takes a massive run-up and Spears Show through the barricade. Edge tries dragging Show but that doesn’t work at all, Edge rolls Cena into the ring for two.


Edge measures for a Spear, Cena counters with an STF. Edge is in the middle of the ring, Edge is dragged into the middle of the ring. Show is on his feet, Show saves Edge and headbutts Cena. Show wants a Vader Splash but Edge dodges, Cena is back up and wants a suplex. Edge & Cena work together and suplex Show, Edge & Cena are shocked that they worked together. Double clothesline, Show is on the floor. Edge lands a big boot on Cena for two, Edge O Matic is blocked by Cena. Throwback, Show shoves Cena into a Spear by Edge. Show pulls out Edge, chop to Edge. Whip to the buckle, Edge boots Show and applies a sleeper. Show has Edge on his back, Cena lifts up the two briefly before AAing Show. Cena AAs Edge onto Show and pins Show for the win.


Little anti-climatic considering what I saw especially when the announcers act like Cena carried both for ages when it was simply not the case. Not sure about the hot potato of the championship either. It’s great for Cena and a moment for the fans but I can’t help but feel Jeff Hardy could have had his moment in the sun. I think they were in a difficult spot anyways, nobody could follow that Taker vs HBK match but I just felt it never kicked into high gear for me. Great for Cena who came back so fast from a serious injury and continues to be the man in WWE.


Winner: John Cena over Everyone Else via AA!


(WWE Championship Match) Triple H © vs Randy Orton

Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble, Orton had taken out Vince Mcmahon. Orton was as hot as anyone could have been in WWE at that time, Orton took out Shane Mcmahon too. Orton reached another level when Orton would wipe out Stephanie Mcmahon, Triple H would attack Dibiase & Rhodes and things would hit another level when Stephanie put herself in Orton’s path a second time. Orton would kiss the unconscious wife of Triple H too. Orton had hit ungodly levels of bastard in this era.


There is no way Orton can lose right? Jokes aside, it was great to feel something for babyface Triple H because it is a rare time where The King of Kings actually looked vulnerable. Mr. Sledgehammer was never really a fan of appearing weak, the WWE Championship of Cena’s design looks so weird in other wrestlers’ hands. Both men stare one another down, Triple H starts with a tackle. Right hands but the fans seem silent in a way, Triple H punches down Orton. Triple H pushes the referee and stomps Orton in the corner, an RKO drops Triple H. The fans aren’t so sure how to react seeing a finisher this early into the match. Orton misses a punt and Triple H lands a Pedigree and both men are down.


Orton has such a funny way of selling during this time, fans really do not know how to react to finishers five seconds into a match. Fans seem a little confused sadly, Triple H has Orton on the announce table. Triple H uses water at ringside to wake himself up, nice logical part there. We are back to Triple H pummeling Orton, Orton is on the floor. Orton is on his knees asking for mercy, Orton is stomped. Why would Triple H wait anyways? Triple H knees Orton in the head over and over, clothesline to the back of the head. Neck-breaker, Orton manages to turn the tide and beats the crap out of Triple H with right hands. Kicks to the ribs and right hands by Orton, reverse chin-lock but Triple H counters with a belly to back suplex.


Orton counters with a powerslam for two, reverse chin-lock. Orton continues to nail right hands in the corner, Triple H fights back from the right hands. High knee from Triple H, corner clothesline. Face-buster by Triple H, Orton counters with a catapult. Triple H answers with a clothesline, Orton manages to flapjack Triple H. Pedigree is countered with a jackknife cover for two, RKO is blocked and Triple H goes for a schoolboy for two. Orton kicks Triple H in the face, Triple H answers with a spine-buster. Pedigree is blocked again as Orton lands an inverted back-breaker, two for Orton. Dropkick floors Triple H, Orton measures for the punt. Triple H counters, Orton is caught. Triple H walks forward through punches and flips Orton to the floor.


Triple H has a monitor an thinks about it but decides ultimately not to do so, Triple H boots Orton in the head. Triple H wants a Pedigree, Orton back-drops Triple H onto the second announce table. Orton looks on, devious look in his eyes. Orton DDT on the floor, Triple H looks unconscious. Triple H makes it in at nine but does not have the same effect as Taker coming in at nine earlier in the night. Orton does his best Garvin stomp, Triple H is barely conscious at this point. Measured right hands from Orton, Orton sends Triple H into the referee. RKO but there is no referee now, Orton wants to do something dastardly. Orton grabs the sledgehammer, Orton was slow entering the ring so Triple H Punts Orton’s head.


Triple H has the sledgehammer, Orton is waffled in the face with the sledgehammer. Fans are reacting to something, maybe they thought there would be a run-in but nope, nothing is coming here. Triple H throws massive right hands at a prone Orton who cannot defend himself at this point. Orton cannot defend himself, a Pedigree ends the match.


Yeah not a big fan of this match at all, Taker vs Michaels should have ended the night for sure, it was an incredible affair but this match is just so disappointing. Orton was white-hot, it was time for Orton to triumph over everyone, let Orton continue the dominance he began before his injury and allow Orton to carve out just what he spoke about: his Legacy. Triple H could have lost the championship if he was disqualified, it’s talked about in the beginning and never really brought up again after that. Why would Orton not try to get Triple H disqualified? Orton’s pride? But we know Orton has no pride so why not go there? The sledgehammer to the face should have been the exclamation point on this feud, Triple H avenging Stephanie by striking Orton with the very weapon that Orton had tortured Triple H but Triple H just keeps punching him after, I get the intention of him wanting to pulverize Orton but the crowd just are not responding. A happy ending to Mania is always appealing but could you have had Orton win here and Taker vs HBK be the match that steals the show and main events? Yes you could have and it’s hard to look at this match as nothing more than getting a decision completely and utterly wrong.


Winner: Triple H over Randy Orton via Pedigree!


That was WWE’s Wrestlemania 25, a very watchable Wrestlemania that you can fly through with minimal suffering, the Money In The Bank has a few subdued performances but the big and bright spots shine through when needed, Benjamin doing his insane dives and Kofi Kingston stealing the show with some crazy athleticism come to mind, Punk wins which is a good way to rehab him after never officially losing his world championship and never having the chance to recapture said championship. Fans wanted Christian but Captain Charisma is being left on ECW for now. The Divas battle royal is insulting to every female who participates it, you don’t get full entrances for anyone so nobody gets a good pop, some people are dumped out in seconds and the match is won by a man in drag. Trish was right to not come back for it, very smart woman. From a match quality standpoint, things do not improve as Jericho takes on three WWE legends with two of the legends Piper and Snuka barely able to move. Very sad to watch really, Steamboat comes in and rolls back the clock with some beautiful highlights, it was good when Steamboat was in there but everything else was horrific.


We move onto Hardy vs Hardy, it is a spotfest and brutal. I love the intensity considering Matt tried to burn down Jeff’s house in story-line, they beat the piss out of one another and as usual, Jeff takes some insane risks. That missed leg-drop looked horrific for the spine and the finish is brutal looking, really worthy of the feud. I am not sure how much they can get out of heel Matt Hardy though, something magical happened with that ECW championship run where the fans just went all in on Matt but as a heel, I don’t think he’s capable of getting the same type of reaction. I still think Jeff got shafted on his way to Mania and didn’t have a standout recovery moment like Edge who was in a similar situation but had the win over Mick Foley and the table spot to ease the pain, interesting to see where Jeff continues to go following Mania. Mysterio vs JBL is too brief to rate but having watched JBL outside of the title picture for many years now, I do find his work fun to watch and the way he retired was perfect for him. Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels is one of the greatest matches of all-time, I cannot do it justice it is the blueprint for excellent WWE matches. Two titans of the sport, two men who steal the show at Mania, multiple kick-outs, timing is perfect. Nobody could follow it and it eats the two championship matches alive. The World Heavyweight Championship triple threat doesn’t find the mark for me, Big Show in triple threats is my thing but it never gets going. I don’t think Edge or Cena went out with the mindset of making something amazing, the biggest reaction is for a spot that doesn’t even take place. It just seemed like your average PPV match and wasn’t fitting at Mania, could have had time issues considering the monster length of HBK vs Taker but I would still prefer Wrestlemania 22’s triple threat over this one. The WWE Championship match is just odd, Orton was super over and was pushed as the guy, tremendous heat on the guy for what he did to The Mcmahons. Triple H is the champion, Orton should be winning this match and carrying it at least to Summerslam with revenge taking place there but no, Orton loses the match that he needs to win. Did it destroy Orton’s career? No of course not it is not that dramatic but how could Triple H not learn from 5 years previous? Why is Orton’s momentum being cut again? Stupidly long match with two men who love the word methodical and it’s just the wrong winner end of the day. All in all, a very easily digestible Wrestlemania with plenty of good and plenty of bad, the quality of the shows is quite good and I would say apart from the weird world championship swapping and hot-shotting, I think WWE is looking healthy entering 2009, a lot of young talent and new talent coming to the front in WWE. Thanks for taking the time to read like always and remember: there’s always another night!