Sunday, 9 February 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania 22: Big Time!

AYO! What's popping everybody? It's time to take a look back at 2006 when WrestleMania went Big Time!
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Date: 2nd April, 2006
Venue: Allstate Arena
City: Rosemont, Illinois

The opening contest was for the World Tag Team championship as Kane and the Big Show defended against the young and up-and-coming team of the 'Masterpiece' Chris Masters and Carlito. They weren't up and coming for very much longer as the team of giants would conquer and retain. Chris Masters really had the 'look' that the 'E' loves.

In one of the main annual attractions for the supercard, Rob Van Dam would pick up the victory in a spot loaded Money in the Bank Ladder match. I don't mean that in a negative way at all, it was great fun watching this one again! Was really impressed with the suplex delivered from Matt Hardy to Ric Flair from the top of the ladder - and then for Flair to return to the match after being taken away. There's a reason he's the Nature Boy! You can't talk about Money in the Bank without mentioning the agility and skill of Shelton Benjamin - nothing short of a spectacular performance. Now I'm not sure if Bobby Lashley was actually afraid of heights or it was a work, but he didn't look very comfortable on that ladder when trying to make the climb. Thankfully he was sent crashing to the mat in a Shield style, Triple powerbomb from Shelton Benjamin, Finlay and Matt Hardy /-) After this was all said and done, Van Dam would go on to successfully cash in his MITB against John Cena at ECW: One Night Stand in June, 2006. With a little help from the Rated R Superstar, Edge.

This was followed by a  backstage segment that I found interesting. Randy Orton is interrupted by Batista, who tells Orton something along the lines of - it doesn't matter who's champion, when I return, the belt is coming back to me. And here we are. 2014. 8 Years later and they could copy and paste that same promo and apply it to this year's WrestleMania. Except for I don't think people minded it so much back then. WWE has definitely been taking a page out of the WCW playbook lately if you think about it. Or maybe the Game is being played wrong? Or is the Game playing Vince wrong? We can only speculate. Back to 2006...


Chris Benoit was set to defend his United States championship against JBL. I suppose this was sort of a tribute for Benoit to his friend Guerrero. I enjoyed this match, and the psychology in it. There was a point where JBL would attempt the 3 amigos and the fans in attendance started to boo. I honestly don't think it was meant as an insult to Eddie, I considered that a tribute - but either way Benoit stopped JBL from hitting the 3rd suplex. Later in the match Benoit would attempt the 3 amigos, to the joy of the marks. I guess everything worked out /-) Except Benoit would lose the title to JBL, who would use the ropes for leverage. Very physical match from these two great wrestlers! I recall JBL giving Eddie Guerrero a lot of credit for getting the JBL gimmick over, and Benoit being one of his best friend I think they did Eddie proud.

The most Hardcore Match in WrestleMania history was about to take place: Edge vs. Mick Foley. The build-up being that Edge had called Foley a 'teddy bear' who'd gone soft, with Foley's retort being that Edge has now awoken something inside him that had been sleeping for some time now! Edge took the early advantage in the match, battering the hardcore legend with cookie sheet shots galore, and then drop kicking it across Foley's face. Edge would go for the kill early and signal for a spear. Now what happened next was awesome. Edge would hit the spear on Foley, but rather than make the cover he seemed to roll away as Foley soon revealed that he had wrapped his mid-section in barbwire! BAH GAWD that's nasty! Edge's arm was gushing color. Mick Foley, Edge, thumbtacks, barbwire, lighter fluid, cookie sheets and Lita. Speaking of Lita, there was one spot where she tried to protect Edge (who was tied on the ropes) by getting Foley in a sleeper hold. Foley would run to Edge and clothesline him, sending all 3 of them over the top rope. It looked as though Lita landed really badly on her ass after going over that top rope. There was another spot where he got her in a mandible claw with socko wrapped in barbwire and I just thought to myself, "What is wrong with this dog?" - Yeah I get it's a hardcore match by why would you stick barbwire in Lita's mouth you sack of shit. I got emotional. That's when you know what you're watching is good, because one way or another, it's working. I guess she got a measure of revenge when she hit him with that barbwire baseball bat, which allowed Edge to soon follow up and send them crashing through a flaming table. Iconic moment, you know what I'm talking about! Edge would crawl over and get the pin on Foley. 1.. 2.. 3.. What a match!

On a more freakier note, Booker T and Sharmell would be given some advice by Goldust in the next segment, and also the other "freaks" in the back like Snitsky about how they were going to face the Boogeyman. The match was on next and Boogey made his way to the ring as Booker and Sharmell look on with uncertainty. I found it hilarious that Booker made Sharmell start the match, but his plan became apparent as he would wait for Boogey to turn around so he could get a shot or two in from behind. I was surprised when Boogey actually got the win over Booker, after sending Sharmell away after giving her a kiss with a mouthful of worms. HE'S COMING TO GET CHU!

One of my favourite matches of the entire card had to be this next one. It's one of those gems that you forget about until you go back and watch it. Trish Stratus and Mickie James would have their match for the WWE Women's Championship, and 8 years later it's still awesome! I was glued to the screen. Mickie James was the original crazy chick with an unhealthy obsession for Trish Stratus, which escalated and would eventually result in Trish defending her championship against Mickie in this WrestleMania match. This match told a story, through what they did between their moves, facial expressions and everything else in between! You believed that this was a personal feud. Possibly my favourite Women's match (so far) along the Road to WrestleMania CountDown. This was also the first of five WWE Women's championship reigns for Mickie James. To date she's the only woman to have held the WWE Women's, WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts championship in history.

The Undertaker and Mark Henry would go at it and for the first time in WrestleMania history in a Casket match. Now I don't really understand why it was a casket match. Although it didn't make much of difference in the way the match played out itself if you think about it. After the Dead Man hit the Tombstone Piledriver, instead of going for a cover, he rolled Henry into the casket. Not taking anything away from the match itself, it's just that it could have been a normal singles match and it wouldn't have been much different. The Undertaker's undefeated streak rolls on as Mark Henry became victim number 14 in a long line of wrestlers who all eventually were sent to Rest in Peace.

Shawn Michaels and Mr. McMahon - I actually don't remember what the build up was entirely but the match was great! Michaels would survive the run-ins from the Spirit Squad and Shane McMahon - eventually handcuffing Shane to the ropes. Vince would find himself inside a trash can, on a table - before Michaels would send him crashing through it, with an elbow drop from the top of a ladder. The finish came soon, after as McMahon was picked up by Michaels and hit with a Sweet Chin Music as the exclamation mark. McMahon's streak continued...

Normally when you think of a Triple threat match, there aren't many great examples that come to mind straight away. This is not the case for the World Heavyweight Championship triple threat match at WrestleMania 22. Kurt Angle was set to defend against Randy Orton and the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio. Mysterio was played out to the ring by P.O.D. There were a load of great spots in this match and various contenders for move of the night. The match starts out very fast paced and one of the impressive earlier moves that we got to see was the german suplex by Angle on Orton, who had his arms around Mysterio making it a double german, which sent Mysterio flying! Kurt Angle was definitely in WrestleMania gear for this match. He first got Mysterio to tap out to the Anklelock, but without the referee's knowledge, Orton saved the match for himself and Mysterio. The same would happen again, but this time Orton was the one tapping to the Anklelock as Rey caused the distraction. In the end, it was a 619 and Westcoast pop to Randy Orton that would secure Rey Mysterio his first World Championship which he dedicated to Eddie Guerrero. Vickie and Chavo would join him on the entrance ramp to celebrate. Viva La Raza!

In a decent interlude, Torrie Wilson defeated Candice Michelle in a Playboy pillow fight. This is how a rest hold is applied. Give the crowd time to breathe before the final match of the card...

John Cena, billed as coming from a 'working class' background was set to defend his prestigious WWE Championship against former 10 time world champion, from a 'privileged' upbringing, The King of Kings - Triple H. I love the fact that Jim Ross actually acknowledges the fans reactions here, and noted that it seemed like the crowd would be favouring Triple H tonight (although he was a heel) - unlike how it somewhat works today, where the people can be chanting for Daniel Bryan the whole night and commentators just sit there and pretend it's not happening. Or completely disregard reactions to superstars in general, or cutting out microphones in the audience because 'that's not what they should be doing'. During this match, it was fairly obvious that it was the old school Triple H that was the good guy in their eyes, and John Cena was on the receiving end of "You can't wrestle!" chants. The match itself was great but nothing that stood out in the sea of WrestleMania matches we've covered so far. The finish would come when John Cena would have Triple H locked up in the STFU, and the Game began to fade away. The referee checks Triple H to see if he's still conscious, raising his arm once. It drops to the mat. Twice. It drops again. The third time... and the Game raises his arm, showing there's still some fight left in him! I always loved that spot. Although his arm was up, he couldn't take much more as he tapped out, and Cena retained the coveted WWE Championship. The Champ, was still here.

WrestleMania Moment: Edge spearing Mick Foley through a flaming table

Move of the Night: Shawn Michaels' Elbow Drop from the top of the Ladder

Match of the Night: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio - World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat


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If you watched WrestleMania 22, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time? Join the blog next weekend as we take a look back at WrestleMania 23 from 2007 as a part of the 'WrestleMania CountDown'! You can also tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:



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STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (10/02/14) 00:40
 

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