Wrestlemania 21 was a dawn of a new era in Wrestling where stars like Batista, John Cena, and Edge became the big names in the WWE today. From Wrestlemania 21 to 22, they’ve tried to make those new stars to become even bigger by showcasing what they were made of in Wrestlemania 22. Some consider this as one of the most surreal Wrestlemanias of all time, but at least this show felt very different among the rest, and the last thing we need is our Wrestlemanias to look identical. With what the WWE had in it’s roster in the beginning of 2006, they had to use what they had to make a great show. And boy what a fantastic show this Wrestlemania was, and here I am still believing that when one Wrestlemania is good, the next one is bad. It’s a rarity to have two consecutive Wrestlemanias to be good and let’s see whether or not this is just as good as Wrestlemania 21 or not.
Big Show and Kane (c) vs. Carlito and Chris Masters – World Tag Team Championship – I really thought that this match was really one-sided and boy was I right. The team up between Carlito and Master just didn’t have any chemistry and what makes anyone think that they could even take on two 7′ footers like Show and Kane? An certainly, the two giants really dominated these two effortlessly and it just wasn’t a great opener like last year’s Wrestlemania. I think the only thing that’s worth going back to this match is just to see Carlito and Masters man-handled. The right guys won with a double chokeslam, but they should have had a better tag team opponent than what we had.
Match Score: 2/5
Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Bobby Lashley – Money in the Bank Ladder Match – WrestleMania 22 featured the only winner to ever make his match for the case on a designated date ahead of time and keep his promise. Rob Van Dam really is the only Wrestler that actually did flying moves against 5 other opponents who didn’t have any high flying risk. This match was much more exciting than one would expect from the lineup given that many of them are not high flyers that could utilize the ladders properly. Hardy, Van Dam and Benjamin filled in the big spots while Lashley and Finlay laid waste to anyone who tried to get in their way. Ric Flair seemed like the odd man out in this match, but he gave a good effort for a man who had already been in the business for around four decades. Rob Van Dam went on to defeat John Cena to gain the WWE Championship in ECW One Night Stand 2006 by first defeating Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley. This wasn’t better than Money in the Back last year, but for what it was, it sure was better than the opening match of the card.
Match Score: 4/5
John “Bradshaw” Layfield (with Jillian Hall) vs. Chris Benoit (c) – United State Championship – It’s a damn shame to see Chris Benoit to be place so low from a talented individual who worked his ass off to be main event for Wrestlemania 20, to facing no talents like JBL. This was around the time where JBL was just so tiring to watch because even though he lost to John Cena in the last Wrestlemania and ended up to a pointless match like this one. I really am not a fan of this match because it was poorly booked. What’s even worse is that this match having a very dull brawl that was certainly not what Benoit was born for. And the finish having JBL win this match by rolling up the crossface was terrible.
Match Score 1/5
Edge (with Lita) vs. Mick Foley – Hardcore Match – Now this one was certainly a surprise for me because I got a chance to see Mick Foley to what he normally does best but his match with Edge was more than we expected! This was around the time were the WWE had a fantastic show with 2005’s ECW resurrection with One Night Stand 2005 and this match was show ECW-style hardcore wrestling in Wrestlemania. The match started out as a basic brawl until Edge gave Foley as spear, but felt the barbwire wrapped around Foley’s waist. This is where the match got really violent where they brought in barbwire, table taxes, and even a flaming table! I haven’t seen Foley to be in a match this violent since his match against Triple H in Royal Rumble 2000 and Hell in a Cell 2000 in No Way Out! Back in the day, I never though Mick was capable of doing a match like in his early days of a hardcore wrestler because he retired in 2000 with a damaged body. Now he came back fully recovered to risk it all over again. I certainly enjoyed the finish of this match where Lita lit the table on fire and Edge speared Foley through the table. It was a very violent match that caught us all in awe and surprise! I give Mick Foley the out most respect to do this match for the love he has for this company! And I also give Edge the same amount of credit for doing something that he had never done before
Match Score: 5/5
The Boogeyman vs. Booker T and Sharmell – Here’s a real stinker that made it one of the worst match on the card! I hate how they’ve made Booker T into a useless individual who’s low enough to face a disgusting wrestler like Boogeyman. Basically Booker and Sharmell are stalked by this freak that made it a very terrible story. Sharmell didn’t do much in this match so why was this a handicap match? The match was incredibly poor where the in-ring action was incredibly slow and we kept hearing Sharmell screaming for Booker when she never got tagged. Of course she’s just there to get kissed with a mouth full of worms and she ran away from disgust. Then Boogeyman won this match by giving Booker T a double chokeslam. This isn’t really the worst match in Wrestlemania history, but it certainly the most disgusting!
Match Score: 0/5
Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus (c) – Woman’s Championship – Last year’s Wrestlemania, Trish Stratus had an opponent who couldn’t wrestle. Christie Hemme was the most overrated Diva in the history of WWE where they had her win the Raw Diva Search Contest and Playboy Cover Girl. You honestly think she’s worth a title match? However, the next Wrestlemania opponent for Trish was certainly a unique opponent. Enter Mickie James! I love the storyline building up to this match where Mickie was Trish’s biggest psychotic fan but obviously it was because she’s in love with her at the point where she’s obsessed. The fans grew crazy over Mickie James as a character because she was so bizarre but in the attractive level. And what these two offered was THE BEST WOMEN’S MATCH THAT WRESTLEMANIA HAS EVER HAD. This match is so impressive at the point where it was better played than any match in this card! I’m a huge supporter of women’s wrestling and this match certainly stole the show! You heard me right, it even was better than the Foley-Edge match! It’s almost everything that I wanted to see in women’s wrestling where these two delivered technical, high flying, and brawl throughout and it certainly told a wonderful story throughout! The whole stadium chanted for Mickie because she certainly wrestled better than Trish (which is why she’s better as a wrestler). Mickie had the upper hand in this match when Trish missed the chick kick and hit herself in the ring post. Throughout the match Mickie worked, creatively, on her leg while Trish came back with a fight! But each time Trish gets herself back up or hit Mickie back, the whole crowd boo’ed at her. I’m really left surprised to see Mickie controlled the whole crowd like Hogan did at Wrestlemania 18. I remember when Mickie reversed that Stratusfaction move and rammed her damaged leg on the ropes that she screamed with excitement at the crowd as they all cheered for her! That also was a sexual where she felt Trish’s crotch when she tried to reverse that backdrop. Certainly Mickie James deserved the victory and simply stole the whole show! Never again did Wrestlemania ever had a woman’s match as good as this one but for representing what the Diva’s division was all about, it delivered!
Match Score: 6/5
The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry – Casket Match – Meh! That’s all I can say. I am a huge fan of these two wrestlers but I just couldn’t enjoy the match as it was so slow and the stipulation is incredibly one sided. It’s nowhere as good as the Undertaker-Orton match last Wrestlemania and it’s more like the Kane-‘Taker match in Wrestlemania 20. This match was very boring! The only thing that’s worth mentioning about this match was when Undertaker jumped off the top rope and landed on Henry. Then he gave Henry the Tombstone and was sent in the casket for the victory. This was a long and dull match that was neither ‘Taker’s most average in this streak.
Match Score: 1/5
Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. McMahon – No Holds Barred Match – I really don’t like the storyline coming into this match because it was a battle against a man’s religion (HBK’s Christian faith) and a doubter. I know Vince was trying to create heat, but I just despised the many times McMahon mocked HBK’s faith at the point where it offended. It was a personal match, but it was a bit too personal for my taste. As for the match, it was pretty good. It’s nowhere as good as Vince-Shane match in Wrestlemania 17 nor Hogan-Vince match in WM19. For Shawn it doesn’t hold the candle to Angle-Michaels match. All it was is a basic brawl that delivered too much. Out of nowhere, the Spirit Squad (worst faction in Wrestling) had to get involved in this match to save Vince. They were a bunch of push-overs for HBK and it was entirely pointless to have them involved. Even Shane had to get involved that ended up having himself handcuffed to the tops to stay away from the match. The only thing worth noting about this match (despite how cluttered this match was) was to see blood pouring down Vince’s head and that elbow trop Shawn has applied that landed on Vince covered in a trash can on top of the table. The match ended with a Sweat Chin Music and it’s over. Shawn Michaels deserved a better match than this garbage despite how “okay” it was.
Match Score: 3/5
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle (c) – World Heavyweight Championship – Here’s another match that somewhat offended me as much as the last match. We’re talking about Kurt Angle that defeated HBK in last years Wrestlemania that resulted as one of the best Wrestlemania matches and had a better match against the Undertaker to save his World title and was the king of Smackdown. I understand if he needed to defend it against the Royal Rumble winner, but I never thought Rey Mysterio to entitle himself as World [“Heavyweight”] Champion. There’s a reason why they have names for these titles and there’s no way I can imagine an under 5′ footer to even hold that title. Even worse, I hated the story of this match. It went TOO far when Randy Orton said that Eddie Guererro is down in hell that deeply offended me and all the Eddie fans who misses him greatly. With a bad story, how did the match go? I still am not a fan of this match. Even despite the fact that Kurt and Rey really did a fantastic job in the in-ring work by delivering technical wrestling and high flying maneuvers, Randy’s involvement just slowed down the match and I blame everything wrong with this match on him. If anything, it should just be Kurt vs. Rey despite the fact that its for the “Heavyweight” title. When Kurt and Rey were wrestling, it was magical to see two of the best talents on Smackdown wrestle like no tomorrow, but when Randy comes in, the quality of this match diminishes. I know Rey deserved to win this match because he was Eddie’s closest friend before he passed away, but having Kurt lose his title from Orton getting pinned b Mysterio is just a poor booking decision that I’ve ever seen! It’s no wonder why Kurt Angle never came back to WWE after he left for TNA later that year.
Match Score: 3/5
Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle – This is another one of those matches that was made because of promoting the Playboy magazine that has Candice Michelle as the cover girl. And this is another one of those matches that was made for the heterosexual males, and if you weren’t into the hotness of these two, you can really see how poorly worked this match was. Part of it was because they both had to wear dresses turning this match and when they took them off to expose their bras and panties, it still wasn’t that great of a match. The whole crowd was mostly ignoring this match because there was a better (and hotter) match that was set on earlier in this show. This match wasn’t even that sex, despite how poorly worked this match was. Most of the time it felt awkward to see Candice looking for something to hit Torrie and also not knowing what to do next. No way was this match was ever going to be as good or as memorable as Micke-Trish match and it ended with a school-girl by Torrie and nothing was gained or lost in this match. I only like this match to show that models can’t wrestle while there are more talented wrestlers in the women division that puts this match into shame.
Match Score: 1/5
John Cena (c) vs. Triple H – WWE Championship – After Cena’s disappointing performance against JBL the year before, he needed a big rub from a main eventer like Triple H and he got it. However a lot of people in the crowd boo’d off Cena because they already knew that he was a mediocre wrestler and still to this day my opinion hasn’t changed since. Triple H for a strong majority of the match. When Cena finally gained momentum, Triple H used his signature sledgehammer to derail the underdog champion. Triple H threw everything at Cena but couldn’t put him away. After a series of near-falls, Cena caught Triple H in an STF. After much drama, Triple H shockingly submitted. The reaction of the crowd was priceless because they thought it was bullshit, but the fact that The Game was so close to the ropes and tapped seemed a bit odd. I thought that this match as an average match. Nothing surprising came out of this match nor did was it at all memorable. The only positive I can give to this result was Rob Van Dam beat Cena for the WWE Championship in ECW One Night Stand 2006.
Match Score: 2/5
So was this Wrestlemania as good as Wrestlemania 21? Well the Trish-Mickie match totally shits all over the Trish-Christie match, Cena did have a (slightly) better match with HHH than with JBL, Shawn-Vince could not hold the candle to Angle-HBK, MITB this year was not as good as last year’s, Undertaker-Henry had a pace of a slug compared to Undertaker-Orton, and the rest of the mid-card in this Wrestlemania was not much to talk about. To answer the question, Wrestlemania 21 is superior. However, despite how weak the last three matches was, the match that stole the show was Edge-Foley match that caught us off guard and the Mickie-Trish match that had the best crowd reaction and was better performed than all the other matches in the card! I’ was proud that the Mickie-Trish match delivered the best of the women’s matches that we all wanted to see! This Wrestlemania still is the most surreal Wrestlemania show, but (despite the negatives) that’s what makes it a memorable show. The whole crowd of Chicago cheered for whoever they wanted and whoever got boo’d probably deserved it. This is not really a Wrestlemania that I can call the best of all time, but whatever the case, it was memorable for what it was.
The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 22:
- Wrestlemania Reviews
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemanias
- Top 10 Greatest Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Underrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Overrated Wrestlemania Matches
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemanias of All Time
- Top 10 Worst Wrestlemania Matches