Wrestlemania XXIII


Coming at you a little late (work) from Detroit, Michigan, this is Wrestlmania XXIII. Having not watched much of this since every guy in school loved the WWF in the late-nineties when Stone Cold was smackin around Vince McMahon and the original DX with X-Pac was around, I’m curious to see if any of the old fashioned campy grade-C fun is around. And now, the running diary.

Um, a bunch of old and new wrestlers, including Sgt. friggin Slaughter, just spent five minutes dancing with strippers and grannies-dressed-as-strippers in the hallway while singing the Roof is on Fire. My life will never be the same.

Just finished the United States Championship Fight between Chris Benoit and some guy named MVP. The entire match was completely devoid of any excitement. Absolute throwaway, but hey, the 2006 AL Champion Detroit Tigers are here! Including Pudge Rodriguez!

We are introduced to all the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductees, including Jerry Lawler, the Iron Sheik, Dusty Rhodes and Mr. Fuji. I think the Samoan brothers want to murder me. The whole thing was done to the music you get when you beat one of those old Super Nintendo games.

While we get ready for Batista v. Undertaker im reminded of the great Paul Bearer and the time when the Undertaker died and came back as a Harley-bound Hell’s Angel. While Batista comes down, his entrance really sucks. I remember getting chills whenever I heard the glass shatter for Steve Austin. Fortunately, the Undertaker has yet to come out, and his entrance is great. I wonder why the champ came out first though?

The monks from Monty Python and the Holy Grail bring out the Undertaker. Judging by the elaborateness of ‘Taker’s entrance, Batista is screwed. When exactly did they start calling him the Phenom? Just to get this straight, Taker is the Phenom but Shawn Michaels is the Icon? I’m starting to understand why LeBron is calling himself the Global Icon, he wants to do Summerslam. Hey, Malone wasn’t bad when he was with Diamond Dallas Page. Can you imagine Lebron v. Dwight Howard? Could be fun.

Doing Taker’s “white eye” thing hurts. I don’t recommend it.

This match is so much more fun over that Benoit crapfest, mostly because these two are much better at selling this stuff. The crowd is really getting into every haymaker. Batista gets onto the top rope, apparently he doesn’t do that much…fun. The announcers are suckin off Batista so much he might as well be Joakim Noah. Taker walks along the top rope, he’s got great balance, could’ve been a gymnast. “Today, Batista’s brought it,” says the announcer guy…well, he’s supposed to be the World Champion isn’t he?

Taker almost breaks Tista’s back. “This is the ultimate mind game,” says the announcer. No kiddin. Taker does a swan dive off the ring into Tista, seriously, the guy’s a good athlete.

There’s something to be said for the arguement that NBA referees and WWE referees must be trained at the same place. I bet some even do both. Except for Dick Bavetta. Imagine telling a girl you meet at a bar “Yeah, I’m a fake wrestling referee, wanna come back to my place?”

Undertaker wins after “withstanding” a Batista Bomb and then delivering a Tombstone Piledriver. Taker is now 15-0 at Wrestlemania and take the World Championship. While Taker struts, the ref literally rolls Tista away like a dead body.

McMahon makes creepy baby noises to his grandaughter and taunts tonights guest, Donald Trump. It was a pretty brilliant move when McMahon made himself into a character. David Stern should do a little more of that.

So I still don’t understand the whole ECW inside of WWE thing, but anyways, now there an 8-man tag team of ECW guys, none of whom I know, but Sandman is trying to hard to be either Steve Austin or Cactus Jack…I can’t decide. And these New Breed guys, they are trying way to hard to be…vampires, male strippers?…can’t decided about that either.

Rob Van Damme gets tagged in, game over for the New Breed. Never mess with a Van Damme.

So the theme of Wrestlemania is All Grown Up and all the promos are of the guy’s childhood stories, complete with 7th graders acting like the wrestler. Seeing a 10-year old pounding a beer and ragin like Austin just seems…wrong.

Trump trying to act tough is like Mark Madsen trying to dance…it just doesn’t work, but you can’t look away. Battle of the Billionaires time, McMahon with Umaga v. Trump with Bobby Lashley, and Stone Cold as special ref. My favorite part, Miss USA and Miss Universe are here…are they avaliable for birthday parties?

“Donald Trump is so rich he’s got Persian Rugs made out of real Persians,” says announcer guy. Um, ok.

The glass shatters and Austin struts on down. I can’t help but have a big dumb grin on my face. There will be a Stone Cold Stunner before this night is over. Meanwhile, Trump looks like he’s flirting with Austin. As Austin might say, “the proper guy with the fancy hair just eye fucked the shit outta me.”

Lashley clothelines Umaga and the samoan’s toe comes off. Wait…that’s just a cigar, my bad. Shane McMahon comes down. Austin pulls a fake 10-count and Umaga spikes Austin…oh it’s on now. Snap, now Shane has a ref shirt on while Austin is knocked out. Double Snap, Austin starts layin the smackdown on Shane. Meanwhile, Trump says “What’s goin on over here,” good question. OH SNAP, TRUMP JUST SPEARED MCMAHON!! AND AUSTIN STUNNERS UMAGA!! LASHLEY WINS, LASHLEY WINS.

Austin stunners Shane and Vince sneaks away on his hands and knees, but Lashley chases him down and carries him back to get his head shaved. Austin flips him the double bird and stunners Vince. Trump is flaunting the shaver. Damn, they are really shaving his head. I wonder where shaving a wrestling commisioner’s head ranks on the all-time highlights of Trump’s life – if it’s even in the top-25? The whole time, McMahon sounds like a cross between Eric Cartman and the bad guy from Who Framed Roger Rabbit melting into the cartoon killing ooze. WTF, Austin just stunnered Trump and takes off while Lashley cradles Trump. My god was that a lot of fun.

Women’s belt championship between Ashley and Melina. Awful match until Melina wins and all the LumberJills (the rest of the hot divas) pour into the ring and they go at it. Mildly entertaining, but I switched over to the Cards v. Mets games a couple times, it’s 5-1 Mets at the moment but Glavine got into some trouble, walking Pujols to put two on with two out.

WWE Championship time. My money would be on Shawn Michaels. This whole thing has felt pretty devoid of any HHH action, so I’m expecting him to show up at some point. this would be a good time to note that some chick makes ring announcements now instead of Michael Buffett, that was not a good switch. Always loved the DX titantron song.

They just tried to claim that there are more people here than at SuperBowl 40. Isn’t it illegal to lie about stuff like that?

Show time. Michaels looks like he’s high. His eyes aren’t even open, really. They cut away pretty quick, but some random drunk guy just charged into the ring and opened up a trenchcoat. I love how they are all trying to act like nothing happened.

Michaels just going after Cena’s left knee. They’re selling this well but it hasn’t picked up any steam. Crowd is definently in Michael’s corner. Michael’s misses a spear and busts his head open on the ring post. That blood looks awfully like ketchup, hmmmm.

Michaels Superkicks the ref on accident. It was so much cooler when it was always called Sweet Chin Music. Why does everything have to have like six names now?

Michaels suddenly isn’t bleeding anymore, how bout that, a me
dical miracle. Love how Cena’s moves are called the F U and the STFU, creative. Cena gets Superkicked, nah screw it, I’m not calling it that…Cena get’s SCMed. What the HELL, Cena get’s Michaels into a headlock and Michaels taps out. That was lame. Absolutely horrible ending. That was like the 2002 NBA Finals. Screw you and your fireworks Cena. Now we get a lame Wrestlemania Montage to the sounds of some girly emo rock song.

Well that’s it. I’d give this Wrestlemania about a 4.5 out of 10, just for the Batista-Taker match and Austin being Austin during the billionaire match where Trump made a fool out of himself. Something was lacking throughout the whole show, it just didn’t feel as “big” as Wrestlmania did when I was younger. And yeah I’m older and more mature now, but I swear the matches used to be better than this, not to mention the production values. I guess that’s just part of growing up. Ah well, it was still a little fun, good night everybody.