Wrestlemania 23 Review

This Wrestlemania has broke records of being one of the all time most sold-out wrestling PPV shows of all time, thanks for the hype of famous billionaire Donald Trump who was featured as the highlight attraction. His purpose was to have his pick of a wrestler against Vince McMahon’s pick of a wrestler and the winner of the match loses their hair. Donald Trump in the mid 2000’s was huge because of his (overrated) reality show called the Apprentice that once was the highest rated show in American television. Even despite how much this show sold, it doesn’t really mean anything to me, like Titanic. If anything, just like Titanic, this Wrestlemania has got to be one of the most overrated Wrestlemanias of all time! The card here is really out of placed and it’s one of those Wrestlemanias where it’s all hyped up for just one match. Of course there were a couple of good matches in this show, but I’m here to show you why this Wrestlemania is incredibly overrated.

Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. King Booker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge – Money in the Bank Ladder Match – The one thing that pissed me off about the booking of the match is that Edge did everything to establish himself as a top heel and who’s idea was it to push him down to the opening show to once again fight for the Money in the Bank even despite the fact that he won the first ever Money in the Bank in Wrestlemania 21! Of course, it was great to see the Hardy Boys back together but it wasn’t the same if they’re not in a tag team and every man was for themselves. Everyone pulled their weight in this match, even Finlay, who is certainly not known for his ability to dive from the highest of heights. This match made every one of these superstars look like a major contender, which is probably due to the fact that every participant, with the exception of Kennedy at the time, was a seasoned veteran. The one thing I’ll remember about this MITB is that Jeff Hardy gave a leg drop to Edge on top of a ladder outside of the match that bent the ladder. That was the only thing that surprised me about this match. Former WWE superstar Mr. Kennedy won the match at WrestleMania 23 when he squared off against CM Punk, Edge, Finlay, both Hardys, King Booker and Randy Orton. However, even despite this victory, Kennedy ended up being the one and only person to ever lose his case before cashing it in, allowing Edge to be the first person to use two cases to win the WWE Championship.
Match Score: 3/5

The Great Khali vs. Kane – This match was incredibly ridiculous! It’s one of those matches where Vince is obsessed with big sized wrestlers and they had to get Khali to totally win this match without selling any of the moves applied on him. This was an incredibly awkward, slow, dull, and poorly worked match. And I especially hated the fact that Khali double chokeslammed Kane while standing on one foot on his chest to claim the three count while Kane is staring up (looking like he’s not even hurt or knocked out) just waiting for this match to be over with. I still despite the Great Khali and never consider any of his matches at all good! The fact  that the WWE tried so desperately to push Khali like an unstoppable giant not selling moves or giving real hard hit makes me hate him even more! Match Score: 0/5

Chris Benoit (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter – United States Championship – This is a sad, sad match, not because this is Benoit’s last Wrestlemania match (of course the situation later on is even more tragic) but the fact that Benoit for the second Wrestlemania in a row has to wrestle for the US title. Sure, this match was nicely worked in terms of in-ring work, but this was at the point where nobody care anymore for the talent that the mid-card had to offer. The match just didn’t have a good story building up to this match nor did the chemistry between MVP and Benoit even clicked for me.  Nevertheless, Benoit vindicated himself this year by pinning MVP after a piercing headbutt from the top rope after last year’s flop with JBL, the very same man who was now singing his praises behind the announcers’ booth. MVP fights the Crippler but to no avail, although this will be the first of a slew of many great ‘Mania fights for the up-and-comer Montel Vontavious Porter.
Match Score: 3/5

The Undertaker vs. Batista (c) – World Heavyweight Championship – It’s pretty interesting that all of the members of Evolution got a chance to wrestle Undertaker in Wrestlemania (Triple H in Wrestlemania 17, Ric Flair in Wrestlemania 18, Randy Orton in Wrestlemania 21) and now Batista is next. Out of all the Evolution members, Batista was the one who gave Undertaker a hell of a match. I’m so glad that at this point in time, ‘Taker started to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship because not only was he going to be bigger of star than he already was but we got a chance to see him wrestle more than he normally did. He won the Royal Rumble in 2006 and was out to challenge the World champ. Batista was a hell of a steroided beast and he used all he use to end the Undertaker’s streak. However, ‘Taker was able to fight back in this fierce matchup. Complete non-stop action—that is a perfect description for this match. The chemistry between them was incredible. This was indeed a back-and-forth kind of match match but no match was over the other. It felt as if you did not want this match to end. Both of them gave it their all and it showed because it was all power moves. They both took the beatings of their careers in this match and it one of their best matches ever. I still consider the Kane-Taker match at Wrestlemania 14 to be superior but how long has it been since we seen someone with superior strength that can put Undertaker to the limits? Even Undertaker was able to kick out of the Batista-bomb and struck back with a satisfying Tombstone to not only save the Streak but become the new World Heavyweight Champion! This was an exciting well performed match that the rivalry continued after this show. But here’s one problem! This is not even a fucking main event!! Who’s the booker of this shit?  This is like Wrestlemania 8 all over again where the best storyline and rivalry in this show is not main event. With that fact in mind, when it was all over, Batista reportedly went into the back and screamed “Top that!” I am sure he was talking to the main event, but for this list, there is one more that does top this match.
Match Score: 5/5

The ECW Originals (Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman) vs. The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker and Kevin Thorn) (with Ariel) – This is the match that went ahead of Undertaker-Batista match?! How stupid was it that this over-booked tag match managed to go on ahead of a World Heavyweight Championship? This was at the point where the WWE tried to make the ECW brand popular but for the fact that it’s nowhere near as good as the old-ECW and the new stars felt are treated like garbage is not helping. I can’t tell you how cluttered and poorly worked this match was. It’s a complete miss opportunity to not have New Breed (new talents) to win and establish themselves as top contenders, but for the fact that these old fart had nowhere to go, how was having the originals win and save the future of wrestling? Exactly! It’s no wonder why WWE’s ECW was a terrible brand! Considering how brief and basic this match is, it didn’t even want to make anyone to jump to the ECW brand.
Match Score: 1/5

Bobby Lashley (with Donald Trump) vs. Umaga (with Vince McMahon) – Billionaire Hair vs. Hair Match – Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the most overhyped and most overrated Wrestlemania match of all time! Sure this match was made to sell tickets to non-wrestling fans, but it was totally predictable, there was no in ring-story whatsoever, and no surprises! If you bought this show just to see if Donald Trump is going to get his head shaved bald, I’m sorry to say this but you are an idiot! No way Donald was ever going to humiliate himself like that because he has too much pride to do something this ridiculous. Of course Vince had to be the one to loose his hair because it’s his show and he’s the most impassive out of the two. As for the match, Lashley and Umaga are some of the most mediocre wrestlers that WWE has ever had. And here’s the sad part, this match didn’t make Lashley or Umaga a bigger name after this match, instead Trump and McMahon overshadowed the whole match. Even despite the fact that Shane had to come interfering to drop kick Lashley with a trash can didn’t amuse me. I know they’ve tried to bring a nostalgic moment with the Attitude Era with Stone Cold Steve Austin whooping ass as special guest and Donald Trump had to beat Vince to save his own hair. Lashley speared Umaga after Austin stunnered Umaga to win the victory. And of course we had to see Vince’s head shaved bald and if you were looking forward to see Donald saved bald, prepared to be disappointed. I’m just made at the fact that this is not what Wrestlemania is about, instead they used this waste of space to fill up the time and earn all of those PPV buys. Even worse was the fact that the shaving Vince’s head too a long ass time! Pathetic!
Match Score: 1/5

Melina (c) vs. Ashley – Women’s Championship Lumberjill Match – Last year’s Woman’s match stole the whole show, and now WWE has came back to that stupid tradition that if you’r a Playboy Cover Girl you earned your rights to be number 1 contender. Here’s another match in this card that I truly hate because Melina is a hell of a talent and this Wrestlemania isn’t establishing the magic of women’s wrestling, only worsen it! Ashley was just as bad if not worse than Christie Hemme because she had no wrestling skill but all sex appeal (if you can even call it that). Her moves where sloppy and had no impact as she lands or gets hit. The crowd was not amused and neither was I.
Match Score: 1/5

John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Championship – Though I certainly think that this match is better than the Donald Trump-Vince McMahon match, I still did not like this match. I can easily say that this is the most overrated main event that a Wrestlemania has had. I can’t even believe that wrestling fans today are considering this as a classic when it was after all just as basic as you can get! John Cena was already hogging up the spotlight and puts no effort in making any of his matches different. And as for Shawn Michaels, this was least favorite time of being a HBK fan because of the stupid resurrection of D-Generation-X with just him and HHH. I hated DX 2006 and wanted it to end as soon as possible. This match didn’t deserve the main event spot because the story between the two wasn’t that well told and the in-ring action was seen better in Undertaker-Batista match. I mean, Shawn did give out his best efforts to a dance partner who has very limited move sets, but because HBK’s opponent couldn’t give much of anything special.  Maybe this is just my Cena “Hatred” coming out, but he didn’t add a damn thing to the match. What’s more disappointing is that the WWE had a great Wrestlemania moment ready, but they opted not to go for it. The fans wanted Michaels to win. They were clamoring for it. I can just imagine Michaels celebrating with the title to a packed Ford Field going crazy while fireworks are going off. That would have been an awesome moment. Instead, Cena forces Michaels to tap out while the crowd remain quiet. This is part of the reason why some hates Cena so strongly. You rob the fans of those special moments they’re dying for. Michaels should have won. Great performance by Michaels, but Taker/Batista should have been in the main event.
Match Score: 2/5

The WWE and its fans can tell you how much of a great show this was, but it really isn’t! It not the worst Wrestlemania ever, but I can certainly say that it’s the most overrated. Many of the matches were really underwhelming, all the talk about the matches (outside of Undertaker-Batista match) was any where good are just hype, and even the delivery from this card is just nothing to add. The biggest sin of the booking has always been Undertaker vs. Batista because that deserved a main event, the story was well told, and the Undertaker (WWE’s best wrestler) won the freaking Royal Rumble! For the fact that that match was in the middle of the card is a bigger sin than having Savage-Flair match in the middle of the card at Wrestlemania 8 and Rock-Hogan match not main event in Wrestlemania 18. This is the stupid booking decision made by the WWE that only wanted to suck up to the Trump-Vince match that was getting this show all of the attention! For the sake that we had three consecutive 1 out of 5 scored matches after Wrestlemania 23 shows how terrible this whole card really is! I cringe each time some fool calls this a good show but it is after all the most poorly booked Wrestlemania match that I’ve ever seen. This show might have had one of the best WWE PPV buy rates in the company’s history, but that’s just as credible as saying Titanic is the greatest movie of all time because of it sold the most tickets in theaters. But just like when Titanic was released in 3D, Wrestlemania 23 is a show that many of us doesn’t want to go back and see. Nothing new was added, there was not much that was gained, and it’s just a show that is all spectacle and no substance!

The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 23:


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