Wrestlemania 23

Jun 12, 2010 - by Steve Gerweck


Sunday, April 1st in Detroit, MI

– The WWE promo hits.
– A video package then opens showing images of past WrestleMania events featuring Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, The Undertaker and others. A deep voice notes, “And now, WrestleMania returns to Detroit 20 years later…all grown up.”
– We go to video footage from WrestleMania 3 in 1987 with Vince McMahon welcoming the crowd. This fades into a live shot of the Ford Field in Detroit. Vince McMahon then introduces Aretha Franklin. Franklin sings “America The Beautfil” sitting at a piano while images are shown of American soldiers.

– A video then runs with the “All Grown Up” theme showcasing various WWE stars and the importance of WrestleMania to them. Very good video package.
– A graphic opening then hits welcoming us to WrestleMania 23. We go live where a HUGE display of pyro goes off inside Ford Field. The pyro was displayed above the entrance area over the crowd and among the huge stage. Very impressive.
– Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler first welcome us to the 23rd WrestleMania. They pass it on to Michael Cole and JBL. And finally, it gets passed on to Joey Styles and Tazz.

– Lilian Garcia announces that the opening contest tonight will be the “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match. Jeff Hardy is out first.

– Mr. Kennedy won the “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match over Edge, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, King Booker, Finlay & CM Punk. The Raw, Smackdown and ECW announcers are all talking during the matches and look to be doing so throughout the night. One big spot early on saw Finlay go up to the top rope and take out a majority of the competitors on the outside. Edge setup a ladder quickly and everyone took shots at trying to go up. Everytime it would get knocked down, someone else would come in to break it up. King Booker went for a ladder, but pulled out a small step ladder instead. Edge launched the step ladder at CM Punk’s face. Punk came back with a snap suplex on the outside on Edge. Booker with lots of offense on Kennedy, Punk and Finlay. Booker even pulled out a spinarooni. The Hardy’s then came in and took out Booker with two ladders. The Hardy’s setup two ladders as they did at Armageddon to take out Edge, but Finlay broke it up and Edge suplexed Matt onto the two ladders. Kennedy went for a Kenton Bomb on Matt over a ladder, but Matt moved and Kennedy smacked the back of his neck on the ladder. Jeff followed that up with a Swanton Bomb. The Hardy’s worked together more taking out Finlay and Orton with a ladder. The Hardy’s then setup a ladder, climb up and exchange lefts and rights. Finlay pushes both off. Finlay with tons of offense on Booker, Punk and others. Edge with a Spear on Finlay, Orton, Booker, Kennedy, Matt, Jeff and misses a final attempt on Punk when Punk jumped out of the way. Punk puts the ladder over his head and spins it around picking everyone off. Edge then takes down Punk with a big Spear, taking out Finlay and Orton in the process. Edge then brings in a taller ladder and sets it up. Orton comes in and pushes Edge off. Jeff sets up the big ladder again and Matt drapes Edge across a ladder from the ring apron to the ring barricade. Jeff goes up to the top, jumps and crashes on Edge cracking the ladder holding Edge in half! JBL said that was 20 feet. Just an amazing spot. Stretchers are brought out and Edge is put on one. Inside the ring, Orton hits an RKO on Matt, Finlay and Kennedy. Orton gets another ladder up, but Punk breaks it up with another ladder. We see a shot of Edge being taken away on a stretcher. Orton and Punk get up on two ladders and Orton jumps off with Punk hitting an RKO! Orton and Booker then get up on the ladders and Booker brings Orton off hitting a Book End! Booker gets up a ladder, Matt Hardy goes up as well, Sharmell comes in, Matt grabs Sharmell and threatens to hit her with a Twist of Fate. Booker jumps off and Matt takes him out. Finlay tosses Matt off a ladder after this. Finlay is busted open on his face and head. Finlay hits a Celtic Cross on Matt over a ladder on the mat. Hornswoggle (The Little Bastard) appears and starts to climb up a ladder with Finlay slightly injured. Kennedy takes out Finlay and sees Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle punches Kennedy at the top of another ladder. Kennedy then grabs Hornswoggle, puts him on his shoulders and does his flip dive! Finlay then starts to climb and Punk takes out the ladder with a dropkick. Punk gets the top and touches the briefcase. Kennedy comes up and both exchange punches. Punk kicks Kennedy off, reaches, but Kennedy hits Punk in the face with a ladder. Kennedy then sets up the ladder better, goes up to the top and gets the “Money in the Bank” briefcase. Kennedy has now secured a World Title shot of his choosing for a year.

– Highlights are shown from the premiere of WWE Films’ “The Condemned” in Detroit, MI this past Friday night.
– Backstage, Todd Grisham was with Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy congratulates himself for winning “Money in the Bank” tonight. He added that he would like to send a message to anyone in the back with championship gold in that they should have eyes in the back of their heads because he is coming after that.
– An “All Grown Up” promo about Batista airs.

– The Great Khali defeated Kane. The match starts with both men locking up and Khali pushing down Kane with ease. Khali then takes down Kane again with a big shoulder block. Khali then tosses Kane through the ropes to the outside. Kane responds by dropping Khali’s head off the top rope from the ring apron. Khali responds with a big clothesline. Khali continues his offense on Kane with plenty of kicks and elbow strikes in the corner. Kane fights back with a clothesline in a corner. Kane comes off the top with a flying clothesline, but Khali wouldn’t go down. Kane then kicks Khali back against the ropes and Khali gets tied up. Kane then left the ring and brought out his hook on a chain. Khali took out Kane with a big chop to the head. Khali then exposed a top turnbuckle. With the referee distracted, Kane low blowed Khali with the chain and then took out Khali with a big scoop slam! JR puts over how this was the first time we had ever seen The Great Khali slammed in WWE. Kane and Khali both choke each other, it gets broken up, Khali then grabs Kane and connects with his double-handed chokeslam. Khali puts his foot on Kane’s chest and gets the pinfall. After the match, Khali grabbed the chain and started choking Kane with it. The referees eventually broke it up.

– An “All Grown Up” promo airs about the WWE Divas.
– A promo for AT&T Mobile airs.
– Backstage, Cryme Tyme is with Eugene. They understand he is upset about being shaven bald. They try to cheer him up when we see “Extreme Expose” dancing. It gets worse with The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young appearing. Slick, Dusty Rhodes, Jimmy Hart and I.R.S. all show up. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat then shows up quickly followed by Ron Simmons stopping everything with our “DAMN” moment of the evening.
– A shot of the Detroit Tigers are shown in the crowd.

– Chris Benoit defeated MVP to retain the WWE United States Championship. The match starts with Benoit taking MVP to the mat, but MVP is able to counter Benoit and get back to his feet. MVP blocks a german suplex attempt by Benoit and sends Benoit to the outside. The announcers are really trying to put MVP over as an equal to Benoit. JBL said only people like Bret Hart and Eddie Guerrero could go toe-to-toe with Benoit and said he was impressed by MVP tonight. Benoit takes down MVP again in an armbar and MVP gets the ropes. Benoit gets MVP up on the top rope, gets in a few chops, MVP breaks up a superplex attempt and jumps off allowing Benoit to bounce off the top rope back to the mat. MVP continues his offense in on Benoit and the crowd is dead. Crowd gets back into it when Benoit hits three german suplexes on MVP. MVP then hits a big superplex on Benoit off the top rope, but Benoit hooks MVP’s leg and nearly gets a three count. MVP responds with a rollup from the corner, but Benoit kicks out. MVP levels Benoit with a boot to the face, covers and Benoit kicks out again. Benoit then dropped MVP attempting a Crossface, but MVP counters and stands up saying, “Hell no!” MVP drops an elbow on Benoit, but Benoit responds with two german suplexes, blocks a third, but Benoit is able to hit three more after coming off the ropes. Benoit goes up to the top rope, jumps and connects with a flying headbutt. Benoit covers MVP and retains the WWE United States Title. After the match, Benoit celebrates with the U.S. Title as JBL puts this over as another WrestleMania Moment for Benoit.

– A promo centering around The Undertaker for WrestleMania 23 airs.
– Backstage, we see Donald Trump on a cell phone. Trump calls McMahon bad news and mentions he has the former Miss USA with him. Trump said he might leave when we hear The Boogeyman’s music hit. The former Miss USA runs away. Trump isn’t scared of Boogeyman and asks him for a sandwich. Boogeyman asks what about a worm sandwich? Another bad backstage promo for the night.
– Michael Cole & JBL plug the WWE Backlash PPV on April 29.

– We then go to a highlight video from last night’s WWE Hall of Fame – Class of 2007 induction ceremony in Detroit at Fox Theatre.

– Lilian Garcia plugs tonight’s attendance: 80,103. It is a new record for Ford Field in Detroit. Garcia then introduces legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel. Finkel introduces the WWE Hall of Fame – Class of 2007 to the stage: Jim Ross, Curt Hennig’s family, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Nick Bockwinkel, Mr. Fuji, The Wild Samoans, Joyce Farhat – the wife of The Original Sheik and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
– AT&T Mobile Poll: 82% to 18% feel The Undertaker will win the World Title tonight.
– A video package airs highlighting Batista vs. The Undertaker tonight for the World Heavyweight Title.

– The Undertaker defeated Batista to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. Batista walked to both ends of the stage as a small display of pyro went off (well, we could hear it and couldn’t see it). The stage is massive. Batista did his normal display of huge pyro soon after. For The Undertaker’s entrance, they had druids with fire standing in all areas of the stage. A quick display of pyro then went off above the entrance area as everything went dark. The gong hit as the fans in Detroit cheered. The middle of the set then opened to reveal The Undertaker who had a giant spotlight on him from behind. Huge flames lit up the Ford Field as Undertaker made his way down the ramp. Very impressive entrance. The match kicked off right away with Batista hitting Undertaker with a big spear. Taker fought back sending Batista to the corner and hitting some big strikes. Batista then tosses Taker to the corner and gets in some shoulder charges. Batista takes out Taker with a big clothesline over the top rope. JBL points out how the fans in Detroit are not behind Batista tonight as they have been in the past. Both brawl to the outside and Batista sends Taker right into the steel steps. Taker gets back into the ring and Batista goes up to the top, jumps and takes out Taker with a big shoulder charge. Michael Cole screams that he has never seen The Animal go up to the top rope before. Taker sends Batista into the ropes with a big boot, but Batista explodes off the ropes with a clothesline on Taker. Taker blocks a big boot from Batista and comes back with strikes and an uppercut. The fans boo with Batista offense and cheer with Taker offense. Taker with a big charge in the corner on Batista followed by a snake eyes and big boot combo. Taker drops a leg on Batista, covers, but only gets a two count. Taker hits the Old School walking across the ropes, with JBL noting that 80,000 people came to their feet to see it. Taker goes to choke Batista, but Batista holds Taker’s hand back. Taker takes out Batista with a flying clothesline. Taker pulls Batista under the bottom rope near the ring apron, gets in a few punches and elbow drops and then drops a leg across the throat of Batista. As Batista gets to his feet, Taker goes off the ropes and leaps over the top taking out Batista on the outside! Batista then launches Taker into the ring bell area. Batista clears two of the announce tables off. Batista picks up Taker on an announce table, puts him on his shoulder and slams him through the other announce table with force in a huge spot! Batista throws Taker back in the ring and hits him with numerous lefts and rights. Batista looks to go for the Batista Bomb, but Taker counters sending Batista into the corner. Batista with a belly-to-belly suplex. Batista backs up Taker in the corner and hits a few rights. Taker then grabs Batista, lifts him up and hits a big powerbomb! Taker covers, but only gets a two count. Batista with a spinebuster on Taker to the boos of the crowd. Taker gets right up though and connects with a chokeslam. Taker covers, but Batista powers out. Batista with a Spear on Taker after countering a Tombstone attempt. Batista then connects with a Batista Bomb on Taker, covers and Taker kicks out! Taker counters a second Batista Bomb attempt. Taker sends Batista into the corner, Batista bounces off and Taker throws Batista up on his shoulder. Taker then hits the Tombstone Piledriver, covers and gets the pinfall to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. The Undertaker is 15-0 at WrestleMania. After the match, Undertaker takes a knee and holds the World Title high in the air. When he stands up, a series of pyro goes off above the ring. Undertaker slowly walked up the ramp, stopped, held the World Title high and a big display of fire went off.

– An “All Grown Up” promo airs about Bobby Lashley.
– Backstage, Vince McMahon is looking at himself in the mirror when Stephanie McMahon comes in with her baby. McMahon talks to his granddaughter and describes what he will do to Donald Trump tonight. They are on a roll tonight for bad backstage promos.

– The ECW Originals (Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman & Sabu) defeated The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker & Marcus Cor Von). It was all New Breed in the beginning on the ECW Originals. Marcus Cor Von got some big power offense in on Tommy Dreamer. Elijah Burke got the tag and took out Dreamer in the corner. Kevin Thorn got involved and took out Dreamer with some big right hands across the head and chest. Thorn with a big sitdown powerbomb on Dreamer. Lots of quick tags with The New Breed not allowing Dreamer to tag in any of the ECW Originals. Dreamer finally tags in Van Dam and RVD goes after all of the New Breed. Good spot with a monkey flip in the corner on Matt Striker. Sabu took out Cor Von on the outside with a dive over the top rope. Dreamer took out Striker with a big DDT. Dreamer got tossed out by Burke and Sandman took out Burke going over the top. RVD then goes up and connects with a Five Star Frog Splash on Striker. RVD covers and gets the win for the ECW Originals.

– An “All Grown Up” promo airs about Steve Austin.
– A promo for WrestleMania 24 in Orlando, FL next year airs.
– Boxing legend Thomas Hearns is shown in the crowd.
– A video package hyping the “Battle of the Billionaires” between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump airs.

– ECW Champion Bobby Lashley (representing Donald Trump) defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion Umaga (representing Vince McMahon) in a “Hair vs. Hair” Match. They rolled a barbers chair with razors and shaving cream down the ramp to the ringside area. All five people involved had separate entrances (McMahon, Umaga, Trump, Lashley and Austin). They dropped money again during Trump’s entrance. The match starts with both men colliding in the middle of the ring and neither going down. Lashley then went after Umaga in the corner and Austin pulled him away for staying on him too long. Lashley with a big shoulderblock on Umaga off the top rope. Lashley tossed brought Armando Alejandro Estrada into the ring and gave him a running powerslam. Lashley threw him out and when Umaga charged at Lashley, Lashley pulled the top rope down allowing Umaga to go over the top flipping to the ground. Lashley attempted a Spear on Umaga, but Umaga side-stepped it and Lashley crashed on the outside. Umaga with a quick splash on Lashley that results in a two count. Umaga chokes Lashley against the ropes and refuses to break it after a 5 count, so Austin drops an elbow across his back. Umaga gets in Austin’s face. Umaga then does this again and Austin pulls Umaga back by his hair. Umaga again gets in Austin’s face. McMahon tries to get involved getting up on the ring apron. Lashley bounces off the ropes to knock McMahon off. Umaga then catches Lashley dropping him face first into the mat. Umaga then attempts a jump off the top rope, but Lashley grabs him and throws him off. Lashley comes back with a big clothesline on Umaga. Both men are down. Austin gets to a 9 count, but then stops. He yells that this match will have No Count Out rules. Shane McMahon comes out to check on Vince. Shane then tries to get involved and Austin sees to it that it doesn’t happen. Umaga then takes out Austin with a Samoan Spike to the throat. Shane and Umaga team up to take out Lashley. Umaga connects with his charge to the corner on Lashley’s head. Vince throws a trash can into the ring and Umaga holds it in the face of Lashley. Shane goes up to the top, jumps and connects with a Van Terminator across the ring into Lashley’s face. Shane then takes off his shirt and reveals a referee shirt underneath with Austin still knocked out. Umaga then connects with a splash from the top, covers, Shane counts, but Austin pulls him out after two. Austin tosses Shane into the steel steps and returns to the ring. Umaga takes out Austin with another Samoan Spike to the throat. On the outside, Trump took out McMahon and started punching him. In the ring, Umaga picked up Austin looking to hit another spike when Austin ducked and connected with a Stunner! Umaga bounced back up, Lashley connected with a Spear, covered, Austin counted and Lashley got the pinfall (although they started ringing the bell before Austin counted the 3 unless my signal was off).

After the match, Vince McMahon had a shocked look on his face. Austin then grabbed McMahon and threw him back in the ring. Shane attacked Austin from behind, but Austin was able to overcome it and take out Shane with a Stunner. We then see a shot of McMahon crawling on his knees around the ring towards the ramp. Austin raises the hands of Trump and Lashley in the ring. McMahon then smiles as he has escaped up the ramp. Lashley then leaves the ring and grabs McMahon. Lashley puts McMahon on his shoulder and throws him back in the ring. Austin gives McMahon a Stunner and they put McMahon in the barbers chair. McMahon screamed he didn’t deserve this as they tied him down. Trump and Lashley then started shaving McMahon’s head as Austin held him back. After they shaved a good portion of it off, Trump and Lashley put shaving cream on his head and shaved it even more with razors. Austin stayed in the background drinking a beer watching the shaving go down. McMahon cried out that they would all pay for this. Lashley then got a mirror and showed McMahon his new bald head. McMahon then fell off the chair in disgust. McMahon left the ring and walked up the ramp upset as Austin drank beer with Trump and Lashley. Austin then gave Trump a Stunner! Austin smiled after he did this to the delight of the crowd in Detroit.

– An “All Grown Up” promo aired about John Cena.
– A promo for WWE Backlash on April 29 airs.
– We see footage of Carlito & Ric Flair defeating Chavo Guerrero & Gregory Helms earlier in the evening in a Tag Team Lumberjack Match with stars from Raw, Smackdown and ECW around the ring.

– Melina defeated Ashley to retain the WWE Women’s Championship in a Lumberjill Match. All the “Lumberjills” came out first Raw, Smackdown and ECW. The match started with Ashley tackling Melina. Melina tried to escape, but she got thrown back in by the Divas at ringside. Melina grabbed Ashley by her legs and twirled her around the ring. Ashley with a monkey flip on Melina, but misses an elbow drop off the top rope. Ashley rolls up Melina, but Melina counters that and rolls up Ashley to get the pinfall. After the match, Melina holds up the WWE Women’s Title and celebrates her win. Ashley then kicks Melina down. Melina falls into the Divas at ringside. Melina gets thrown back in and all the “Lumberjills” start brawling.

– AT&T Mobile Poll: 59% to 41% feel John Cena will retain the WWE Title tonight.
– A video package airs highlighting John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels tonight for the WWE Title.

– John Cena defeated Shawn Michaels to retain the WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels had a huge entrance with plenty of emphasis on DX. John Cena had unquestionably the biggest entrance of the night. It started with footage of a Ford Mustang racing through the streets of Detroit and then arriving at Ford Field. We then saw the car crash through a glass wall with the WrestleMania 23 logo on it. Cena’s music started and he got out of the car for his entrance. They went to a good shot of Michaels looking unimpressed with the entrance. JR mentioned an impressive figure in that Cena has been champion in 20 of the last 24 months in WWE. A fan in the crowd hit the ring while the refree was checking on Michaels and the referee took him down quickly. HBK went up on the top rope and waved the fan goodbye who hit the ring. They went to a shot of Cena smiling at this. The bell rang as HBK jumped off the top rope to get the match started. HBK called for Cena to walk towards him. When Cena approached, HBK put out his hand. Cena refused to shake hands and HBK slapped him. HBK gave Cena a crotch chop as Cena looked on from the corner. HBK repeatedly dodges rights and lefts from Cena and takes down Cena with a big chest chop. Cena comes back with a big clothesline on HBK and the fans in Detroit booed. When HBK jumped back up from the corner, Cena took him down with a shoulder block to the booing of fans. HBK jumped on Cena and got a few rights and lefts in. HBK then lifted Cena over the top rope to the outside. HBK takes out Cena with a kick to the back of the head and then goes back up to the ring apron. HBK then takes out Cena with an impressive springboard moonsault from the ropes over Cena landing on the announcers table. HBK tosses Cena back in and gets in a stiff chest chop. HBK gets in some more chops and then drops an elbow across the left knee of Cena. HBK continues to work on the knee in the corner and then leaves the ring, throwing it off the ring post kneecap first. HBK continues to work on the bad knee of Cena for a while. Cena then uses the ropes to hold himself up to get in some right hands on HBK. HBK fights off the right hands and goes after Cena’s bad leg along with some chest chops. HBK missed a charge on Cena and hit his head on the ring post, while Cena fell to the mat and favored his left knee. Cena, no longer favoring his leg, took out HBK with a big clothesline and then mounted him hitting some big rights and lefts. HBK was busted open at this point. Cena with a twisting powerbomb on HBK. Cena then hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on HBK and waited for HBK to get to his feet. Cena grabs HBK, gets him ready for the FU, but HBK jumps off. HBK then goes for some Sweet Chin Music, Cena ducks and HBK takes out the referee instead. Cena then grabs HBK, goes for the FU, but HBK counters into a DDT. On the outside, HBK knocks the top part of the steel steps off, grabs Cena and gives him a spike piledriver on the steel! Cena has a gash on the back of his head after the spot. HBK picks Cena up and throws him back into the ring. HBK calls for another referee, another runs down, HBK covers, but Cena somehow kicks out. HBK then takes out Cena in the middle of the ring, nips up, goes up to the top, jumps and connects with a flying elbow. HBK then gets pumped up as well as the crowd in Detroit. HBK starts tuning up the band in the corner, Cena gets up, HBK charges and Cena takes him out with a big clothesline. Cena and HBK exchange right hands. Cena has HBK up for an FU, but HBK counters into a quick pinfall that results in a close two count. The two go off the ropes, Cena catches HBK in mid-air, throws him up on his shoulders and connects with the FU. Both men stay down. Cena is the first to roll over, covers, but HBK kicks out as the fans in Detroit cheer loudly. Cena puts HBK up on the top rope. Cena puts HBK on his shoulders at the top, but HBK fights off. HBK knocks Cena off, HBK stands up on the top, jumps and connects with a cross-body. Cena rolls through the cross-body, picks HBK up, throws him on his shoulders and throws him for the FU but HBK lands on his feet. HBK counters out of STFU attempts by Cena. HBK rolls up Cena, but another two count as Cena powers out. HBK misses a kick to the head and Cena locks in the STFU. HBK tries to fight out of it and get to the ropes. HBK eventually gets the bottom rope. The referee pulls HBK off when Cena didn’t break the hold right away. HBK then takes out Cena with Sweet Chin Music with the referee in Cena’s face. HBK covers Cena, but Cena gets a shoulder up after two. Both men get back to their feet. HBK dodges an FU, but Cena finds a way to lock in the STFU again. HBK tries to fight out of the STFU, but gives up and taps out in the middle of the ring. John Cena has retained the WWE Championship.

After the match, a physically drained John Cena falls to his knees and takes in his victory over Shawn Michaels. Cena then stands up and the referee holds his arm high. The PPV comes to a conclusion with Cena holding the WWE Championship high in the air as pyro goes off in the entrance area. Cena then sits on the ropes and begins to cry as he takes in the win. We then go to highlights from the match. We come back live as Cena and Michaels run into each other. HBK doesn’t want to shake hands and walks away. HBK walks away and then turns around again looking at Cena. Cena salutes HBK and then goes back into the ring holding the WWE Title high in the air. WrestleMania 23 comes to a close with confetti filling Ford Field.

– A video airs showing highlights from WrestleMania 23 earlier tonight.

Source: Adam Martin, Wrestleview.com

What did you think of Wrestlemania?

thumbs up – 53%

in the middle – 24%

thumbs down – 11%

didn’t see it – 12%

Gerweck Poll

Best match at Wrestlemania?

Ashley-Melina – 3%

Lashley-Umaga – 3%

Benoit-MVP – 2%

Kane-Khali – 1%

Money in the Bank – 40%

Undertaker-Batista – 30%

Cena-HBK – 19%

8 Man Tag Match – 2%

Gerweck Poll

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