Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 25 - WWE Wrestlemania 25 (2009)

Date: April 5, 2009
Venue: Reliant Stadium - Houston, TX
Attendance: 72,744

The 25th iteration of Wrestlemania... often called the 25th anniversary of the Wrestlemania... which means there's a Wrestlemania Zero that took place in 1984 that nobody knows about.

It probably goes without saying, but Shawn Michaels and Undertaker truly stole the show here and even in their advanced ages, they still managed to produce a truly fucking awesome match that holds up rather well years later. See, I'm not always fed up with old guys hogging the spotlight and stealing the show - only old guys who can't go and have no reason to do so (hello, Terry). And if the show ended there, it would have been fine... but then you have the two World title matches. Surprisingly, Cena was in the better match, whereas HHH/Orton, not surprisingly, stunk up the joint. Seriously, leave it to Triple H to kill any good will left in the show on the final match of the evening. In either case, a massive let down in regards to the championship bouts.

The whole show in general is rather... meh. Better than I had originally thought of it, but still well below standards. Jericho vs. the Old Timers was surprisingly watchable thanks to Ricky Steamboat, who could still go at the time (don't get any ideas), but Money In The Bank was above-average at best and botchworthy at worst, the Divas Battle Royal was an affair best forgotten (and you wonder why Trish Stratus and Lita opted not to participate), and the rest of it didn't really stick out in my mind. In fact, the only other thing that really made this show special was Stone Cold Steve Austin's last hurrah where he just saluted the crowd and drank beer... that, to me, was more exciting and entertaining (not to mention a fitting closure to a great career) was better than anything the McSon-In-Law could crap out of his anus on this "meh" show.

CM Punk won the Money In The Bank ladder match... the annual spotfest match also featuring  Christian, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Kofi Kingston, Fit Finlay, Hornswoggle, Mark Henry, Tony Atlas, Kane, three studio techies, and HOW MANY FUCKING PEOPLE DID THEY BOOK IN THIS FUCKING MATCH?! YOU DON'T NEED THIS MANY PEOPLE BOOKED IN A GLORIFIED SPOTFEST THAT'S MOSTLY FOR THE SMALL GUYS THAT YOU'D ONLY NEED FIVE OR SIX TOPS!

Er, I mean, if you like MOVEZ and SPOTZ, this match is for you... and yes, they gave Punk the win for the second year in a row... but at least his eventual World title win would turn out better than the first time around or something.

Santino Marella - dressed in drag as his "sister" Santina Marella - won the 25-Diva Battle Royal. Yes, they brought back a number of classic Divas for a quick spot in a pointless battle royal - not even getting individual entrances because we need to dedicate almost half an hour to an out-of-nowhere Kid Rock concert... I mean, imagine being an old school Diva from years past, being invited to participate in a battle royal, only to get there and realize that not only are you not getting an entrance so half the people watching have no fucking clue who you are unless you're mentioned on commentary, but the last woman standing isn't even a woman. It's a dude in drag. All to tickle the fancy of a crazy old man who turned out to be much more of a sick bastard than initially thought. If you want to know why people shit on the Divas era of WWE from around this time, it's because of shit like this. That and the angles for some of that stuff was FUCKING WRETCHED! There's a reason why a lot of this stuff became designated piss breaks over the years until WWE started treating the women like competitors instead of fucking eye candy. I feel sorry for every woman who participated in this farce - not because of some moral high ground or anything like that. I feel sorry for their participating in something that FUCKING SUCKED SO GODDAMNED HARD!

Holy FUCK, that was shit!

Chris Jericho defeated Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat in a 3-on-1 handicap match whose only highlight is that Ricky Steamboat, at the spry age of 56, held his own against the younger Jericho, while Piper and Snuka... had this been a different time, I'd be much harsher, but nowadays... well, at least they got paid. Oh, and after the match, Jericho gawks actor Mickey Rourke sitting at ringside, who promptly punches Jericho out. If I recall correctly, Rourke had just done The Wrestler and the idea was to book him in a match with Jericho, but for reasons I don't recall, that didn't happen and we got the three old timers instead. This wasn't good, but at least Steamboat looked fine for what little he did.

Matt Hardy defeated Jeff Hardy in an Extreme Rules match that saw Matt finish Jeff off with a Twist Of Fate on Jeff's head wrapped around a chair. So this was Matt's 23th heel turn on Jeff because sure, why not? The match was a fine bit of high spots and violence, though that finish did make me cringe a bit.

Rey Mysterio defeated Intercontinental champion JBL in roughly twenty seconds to win the title. JBL then proceeded to quit and walked off... oh well, that was something. And then JBL would do commentary on Smackdown, one of the few color guys to make Michael Cole listenable.

The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels in one of their all-time classic matches. See, they teased a bit of this at the 2007 Rumble and teased it at the following year's Rumble and someone figured, "Let's just give them the damn match at Mania." The end result is perhaps the only truly great match on this Wrestlemania card and that's not giving it enough due.

John Cena defeated World Heavyweight Champion Edge and Big Show in a Triple Threat match to win the title. This is the comedown match after that awesome spectacle between two legendary Superstars and in hindsight, maybe this should have been the main event. I mean, yeah, Cena got booed again, but really, if not for this following what should've been the main event for this show, this match felt more like a main event caliber match, even if it was a pointless three-way. That's my only real sticking point; this should've been a straight one-on-one title bout between Edge and Cena, because Big Show felt like the odd man out who's just there to fill a spot or collect the big Mania pay day or something. Maybe he could've punched out JBL or something.

WWE Champion Triple H defeated Randy Orton to retain the title in a 23+ minute borefest of a match. Alone in a vacuum, this match was a slow, plodding bore, but within the context of the backstory that preceded this match, it's even worse. See, HHH and Randy Orton were in the midst of a feud where Orton punted the McMahons and Hunter has to defend his family-in-law. Thing is that rather than make this an all-out street fight or anything where these two could just lay into each other, we get a straight wrestling match with the added provision where if HHH gets counted out or disqualified, he loses the title. A straightforward wrestling match is not something you want to have as part of a deeply personal bloodfeud, much less one that is methodically paced to bore the audience to tears. Wherein Taker/Shawn exceed expectations and excited the crowd, this match killed it dead and when HHH finally got the win, the few smattering of cheers is not for the babyface champ emerging victorious, but rather because this far of a match is over and we can get the fuck out of here.

The wrong match closed out the show. If you weren't going to do with it with Taker/Shawn, you'd better do with a match that could either match or come close to matching that level of excitement. This match fell WAY below the mark, it's embarrassing. And it just becomes another Shitty HHH Mania Main Event That Sucked. And sadly, this wouldn't be the last time where McSon-In-Law would stink up the Mania Main Event scene.

Here's the deal. Wrestlemania 25 is definitely a one-match show and that match definitely holds out. The problem is that match is stuck in the middle of the show, sandwiched between a slice of moldy shit bread and another slice of less-moldy but still quite stale bread. You could probably find that match on their Youtube page if you wanted to check it out, meaning you don't need to see the rest of this show.  And that's probably for the best.

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