Sunday, 9 March 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XXV - The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania

AYO! What's popping everybody? We are 31 days away from the Show of Shows, and RAW this past week from Chicago was off the charts! What an awesome crowd in the Allstate arena, and 'what a maneuver' sending out Paul Heyman to CM Punk's theme to start the show off. Could you imagine how ignorant the WWE would have appeared if they completed disregarded the "See Them Jump" chants?

The USOs FINALLY winning the Tag Team championships was an all-round feel good moment! Seems as though they've been chasing the gold by performing well for over a year now, thank god WWE 2K14 has Community Creations, because 2K Games really have dropped the ball by not having them in the game this year! Or the New Age Outlaws... but if I sit here complaining about what's wrong with WWE 2K14 we could be here all post... I might just have to do that some day.

The Shield and the Wyatts delivered a blockbuster match once again on RAW, but the plot seems to thicken now as Seth Rollins, the proverbial glue of the Shield walked out on his brethren, allowing the Wyatts to once again, knock off the hounds of justice. I was talking to Rihan about this, on the way to finding Fandango (post to soon follow) that I don't want to see the Shield split up just yet. They're nearly ready, but just not yet. Roman Reigns has been on fire since the Survivor Series, when he tied the record (or was it broke the record?) for most eliminations in the match - then being the 2nd last man in the Royal Rumble match. Reigns has been built up significantly. The crowd were behind the muscle of the Shield numerous times since the Survivor Series. As has Rollins in his performances as of late, he's elevating himself to that higher plateau through his in-ring performances, gaining that recognition from the WWE Universe. Dean Ambrose needs something now, to elevate him and push him into the next gear, like his partners, to help him stand out - and I feel as though once that's established, the stage is set for the 3 to break out on their own, and have a strong foundation to start with. You following me?

Bray Wyatt and John Cena is brewing and I'm liking the idea of Cena acknowledging that he is the guy, that the next generation have to go through, and essentially who Cena will have to put over to allow the business to have new stars built. The amount of time that the WWE have spent, criticizing WCW about using older guys who've already had their original run, and not making new stars - it would be a shame if they started doing the same thing now wouldn't it?

Speaking of old stars, Batista vs. Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship isn't half as over as Daniel Bryan's involvement in... well anything. I wasn't too happy with the way RAW went off the air with Daniel Bryan being on the receiving end of a Batista Bomb and a Pedigree. I honestly, like everyone in Chicago that night, would have marked out if CM Punk had turned up in that last segment.

Anyone else curious about what Hulk Hogan's WrestleMania announcement will be next week? How awesome would it be if he entered a third man into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture? Or maybe even announced the return of the Money in the Bank ladder match to WrestleMania? I can see it now: Daniel Bryan wins Money in the Bank. Randy Orton successfully retains the championship against Batista. Daniel Bryan turns up at the conclusion of the title match and cashes in his Money in the Bank. Hit's Orton with the Knee-Plus (Running Knee finisher) and pins Orton to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.... Can you imagine the scene of poetic Justice and YES! chants ringing all through the Big Easy in New Orleans. Hey... It could happen.

Without further ado, let's take a step back into the DeLorean and time travel back to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania in 2009 as we continue the CountDown...

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Date: 5th April, 2009
Venue: Reliant Stadium
City: Houston, Texas

The Money in the Bank ladder match would be the opening contest on this card, and I remember this one as being the 'one that Christian should have won' right after returning to the WWE. I remember being surprised that his return was on ECW, but I also remember the amount of people that were behind him, not only in his return, but to win the MITB this year. However, it was CM Punk who would make history by becoming  the only Superstar in history to date, to win this match back to back - defeating Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Finlay and of course Christian in the process.

25 Diva Battle Royal to crown the inaugural (and only) Miss WrestleMania - I was watching this shocked to see the number of Divas that they had under contract at the time. And a fair few of them knew how to wrestle. Funny how 5 years can change so much. It was Santino Marella's sister, Santina who would be the last 'woman' standing in the ring, after last eliminating Melina and Beth Phoenix. That Summa-Ma-Gun!

Chris Jericho was able to defeat 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Ricky 'The Dragon who's still got it' Steamboat - but was knocked down by a single blow from 'The Wrestler' Mickey Rourke. Now that's show business! I loved the entire build-up for this feud, and the amount of mainstream press that the WWE got going into this angle was awesome, with all the clips from talk shows and tv shows asking Mickey Rourke if he thought that he had bitten off more than he could chew, and with Jericho saying that it was one thing to portray a wrestler in a movie, and something completely different to be a wrestler in the ring. I loved the angle, and Jericho and Steamboat put on a great show!

Who doesn't like a brother vs. brother storyline? Especially after Matt Hardy cracked Jeff Hardy over the head with a steel chair, costing him a chance to win his championship match at Royal Rumble, as well as screwing with Jeff's entrance pyro, and suggestively burning down Jeff's house with his dog still in it! WWE know how to turn a shoot into a work /-) I guess the build-up for this one was pretty intense also. The match had some great spots too, with Jeff leap frogging from one ladder, over another, only to land on his ass while Matt saved himself from being leg dropped. The finish was pretty brutal too, in a good way, with Matt Hardy hitting the Twist of Fate on Jeff who had a steel chair around his neck. Good Stuff. Matt Hardy picked up the win.

Now the next match was for the Intercontinental Championship. JBL had said after this match that he knew that he had wrestled his last match a long while before this one, where he dropped the IC title to Rey Mysterio (dressed as the Joker, from Batman) in 21 seconds. JBL would grab the mic after the match and officially tell the world that he had quit.

I'm not sure how this match came about, but thank god it did. I remember watching live and after Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker thinking that this match had just made the card worth watching. Now as I said, I'm not sure how it came about, but the quote, "Sometimes it's hell, getting to heaven" rings a bell. The entrances for both Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were phenomenal and I think connoted exactly how opposite these two forces were. Need I say anything about the match? If you haven't already seen it, I suggest you go do that right about now. And if you have seen it, which match did you prefer? This one, or the one from WrestleMania XXVI? Also, I couldn't figure out who the referee was in this match to save my life. Absolutely loved this match, and how could you not? The finish was perfect with Shawn Michaels going for a moonsault off the top rope, only to be caught and dropped on his head with a Tombstone Piledriver. The Undertaker was 17-0. I believe that this was the match that brought more attraction to the Undertaker's streak. It was this match and the one that followed the next year that really put the streak into it's own element - and made it appear to be that holy grail that superstars wanted to chase and defeat.

The World Heavyweight Championship would be defended by Edge, against John Cena and The Big Show in a Triple Threat match. There was some kind of love triangle going on between Vickie Guerrero, her 'husband' Edge and The Bigshow. And for some reason Cena was in the mix and would up winning the match and and the World Championship at WrestleMania. This wasn't a bad match, but at the same time it's a match that didn't do much to make it memorable.

The main event however, I remembered because it wasn't very good. Watching it back however, it was pretty damn epic! I think at the time, because it was on after Taker and Shawn, who had already stolen the show, it wasn't received as well at the time. Some even say it was the worst WrestleMania main event in history. After watching it back I can say that I disagree. The build-up with Orton punt kicking Shane and Vince, eventually DDT'ing Stephanie, and the handcuffing Triple H to the ropes while he kissed her, leading to Triple H breaking into Orton's house - was pretty personal. The match was physical itself and told a story about Triple H having to keep his composure, or risk losing the championship if he were to get disqualified or counted out. Now we have to ignore the fact that it's his father-in-law's company, and suspend disbelief for it to be plausible but nonetheless, a great story was told! Even the finish where he's just hammering Orton with fists to the face before delivering the final Pedigree was fitting, unleashing his frustration and putting Orton down with something that you can believe he won't get up from. The Game retained. The match was definitely more enjoyable this time around. 5 Years down the line... and Orton will once again be locking up with a former Evolution member, for the grandest prize in the business.

WrestleMania Moment: The Undertaker's Outside Dive straight into a camera man, with a devastating landing.

Move of the Night: Shelton Benjamin's Senton Bomb off the Ladder

Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker


If you watched WrestleMania XXV, 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 XXVI from 2010 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 (09/03/14)

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