WWE WrestleMania XXVI
March 28, 2010
Phoenix, Arizona

The 26th edition of WrestleMania centered around The Undertaker’s undefeated streak once more and also on the career of the great Shawn Michaels aka Mr. WrestleMania.

The rematch of their classic from the year before would be the main event of this show. However, the stipulations were greater because if Michaels lost he would have to retire for good. It was a bittersweet moment for me because Michaels is my favorite wrestler ever. On the one hand, I would be sad knowing this was going to be his last match. On the other hand, I was happy that he was able to retire while being relatively healthy and doing it on the grandest stage of them all in what would likely be a classic.

I wrote this one live in 2010, so if you were reading my work back then you could have read this already. I’ve added more thoughts into the analysis part. The match write-ups are a mix of play by play and my live commentary.

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The singer Fantasia sang America The Beautiful. The video package started up.

The set looks amazing. The announcers are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker. I like that Striker’s there, but I miss Jim Ross already. Tag titles up first.

Unified Tag Titles: The Miz & Big Show vs. John Morrison & R-Truth
Cole noted that the tag titles hadn’t changed hands at WrestleMania in nine years. It won’t happen again. The crowd’s pretty hot early from what I can tell. They really loved the offense of Morrison. Tide turned when Morrison missed Starship Pain, so Showmiz worked him over for a while. Big Show made the blind tag and then KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT~! of Morrison as John was going for the Flying Chuck kick. Show covered for the win at 3:24. Yep, that’s it.
Winners: The Miz & Big Show

Analysis: * Too short to be anything more than that. I was thinking ten minutes, but they didn’t even get half that.

They showed a video package showcasing WM events at Axxess. Shoutout to my man Ed Eastin for rocking a TJR shirt to the event. That video was nearly as long as the opening match.

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase
Orton got a huge pop on his entrance. Rhodes is wearing white boots with red trunks while Dibiase has blue trunks with black boots. I love how the announcers talk about how they treated Orton poorly like Orton was a saint or something. I guess short memories are a requirement. As expected the heels double teamed Orton for the early portion of it. Rhodes hit the Alabama Slam for two with Dibiase breaking it up. Very predictable booking. Orton made his comeback and gave them a dueling DDT off the middle rope. The crowd popped huge for that. Great spot. Realistic? Probably not, but it worked. The crowd went nuts. Huge “RKO” chants for Orton as he was staring at Rhodes in the ring. Instead of the RKO, Orton went into the corner to punt Rhodes. For whatever reason the camera missed it as it was on Dibiase on the floor. Dibiase came back in the ring, went for Dream Street and it was countered into a RKO for Orton. Match went about 9 minutes.
Winner: Randy Orton

Analysis: *3/4 Decent match although nobody believed Rhodes or Dibiase was going to win. The crowd was into it when Orton made his comeback, so that was a good sign for his face turn. He was a new babyface at this point. Two years later he’s still in the role. Two years ago I think most people would have thought Dibiase would have received a bigger push than Rhodes. As it has turned out, Rhodes has proven to be the better of the two.

Backstage, Vickie Guerrero and the heel divas cut a promo that included Jillian Hall singing. Santino showed up, plugged Slim Jims and we got some guest appearances from Gene Okerlund, Mae Young and Melina.

Money in the Bank Match: Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne, MVP and Christian
Ten men in one match. Biggest MITB match ever. Early on the babyfaces teamed up on Drew McIntyre. Matt Hardy was the first guy to touch the briefcase, but he’s not winning. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Christian as Christian was close to getting it. It was OUT OF NOWHERE~! according to Cole. Ten guys in this match is too much. Hey, the three black guys are working together to go after Kane, but he gave Kofi a powerbomb onto a ladder. It’s hard to keep track of all the big spots.

In case you’re wondering, all the ladders are silver rather than the black ones they’ve used in past years. They had Christian, Hardy and Bourne all climb the ladders after setting up a scaffold. Wow, Bourne just hit the Air Bourne SSP off the scaffold ladder onto Christian. Hardy gave Bourne a hiptoss off the ladder. Damn, that was a sick spot. Ouch. Hardy took a back bump off the top of the ladder onto a ladder that was used a scaffold. The ring is empty at the eight minute mark. Dolph goes up, Kane takes him down. Ha, Kane beat Dolph with a ladder and broke it in half. Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise on Kane. Notice that McIntyre’s barely been in the match? Ha, Kofi’s using the broken ladders as stilts and he climbed up until McIntyre cleared him out. They keep calling him “The Chosen One.” Reminds me of Jeff Jarrett in WCW, which is not a good thing. Ouch. Drew took the bump off the ladder where he got crotched on the top rope. We’re at 12 minutes now. Matt and Christian were both close to the briefcase where they fought Kane off. Christian with a reverse DDT off the ladder. Cole called it a Twist of Fate, but it was Christian delivering the move. Swagger climbed up, hit Christian in the head with the briefcase and after 15 seconds of struggling he was able to pull it down at the 13:44 mark.
Winner: Jack Swagger

Analysis: ***1/2 Very solid Money in the Bank match although they had some mistimed moments too. It’s hard with ten guys, which is the most amount of people to ever be in a MITB match. I think six competitors is the perfect amount. I think for the most part they made it work. As for Jack Swagger winning? I was surprised by it. He wasn’t pushed very well in the months leading up to this, but I was happy they were giving him a shot. He won the World Title soon after and had a very forgettable title reign that led to him being pushed back down to the midcard where he’s been for the past two years. My thought was Drew McIntyre or Christian was winning this. Could I ever predict Money in the Bank right? Apparently not.

They showed clips from the Hall of Fame. I still think it’s a joke that Stu Hart’s segment wasn’t even shown on TV. They showed Uecker’s clips because of his jokes. I’d rather see more of Bret Hart’s speech. I guess that’s what the DVD is for. Also, props to Ted Dibiase for his speech. He’s a very gifted speaker.

They showed the Hall of Fame class on the stage. You have to love the faces of Mad Dog Vachon. This is definitely the weakest Hall of Fame class since they brought it back. The full class was Ted Dibiase, Stu Hart, Antonio Inoki, Wendi Richter, Mad Dog Vachon, Bob Uecker and Gorgeous George.

Triple H vs. Sheamus
We got a video package for it. They even had clips of Ultimate Warrior at WM12 in 1996. I love how they keep saying Sheamus had the best first year in WWE history. No he didn’t. It was Angle or Lesnar. Easily. Of course they can’t mention either of them. Got to love WWE’s revisionist history, right? Sheamus came out first with HHH out second. No glowsticks. Only a water bottle. The 14th WrestleMania for HHH. The only one he missed since starting in WWE was WM23 when he had the torn quad (the second one). I don’t see myself doing play by play here. It won’t be as fast paced as Money in the Bank. Triple H busted out the figure four and they even mentioned Ric Flair’s name. I’m sure Dixie Carter will consider that promotion for TNA. Why is Striker calling HHH the “Ace of Spades?” He doesn’t have enough nicknames already? Triple H looks extra tanned here. I guess they wanted to accentuate the color disparity between the two. With Sheamus on offense the crowd was pretty dead, but they are a good crowd that woke up when HHH had his minor comebacks. They worked a power match which, like I said, was dead when Sheamus was on offense. All of HHH’s offense worked well. Some guy in the crowd yelled “Facebuster” and he hit it at that moment because it followed the running high knee. Triple H kept going for the Pedigree, but Sheamus powered out. Ten minutes in, Sheamus hit the pump kick. The cover got two. Great nearfall. Even a “Triple H” chant started up. This crowd’s going to be very hot for the big matches if they’re this hot right now. Why is it a shock that Sheamus kicked out of the Spinebuster when HHH never pins anybody with that? I hate stupid commentating. Nice pump kick on the apron by Sheamus. Sheamus picked him up, HHH looked like dead weight and then hit the Pedigree OUT OF NOWHERE~! That’s it at the 12:09 mark.
Winner: Triple H

Analysis: **1/2 Lawler called it a “classic” even though it clearly wasn’t. That finish did come out of nowhere, so I’m not making fun of it. I liked it. They built it up where the first guy to hit their finisher was going to win and it ended up being HHH. The ovation for HHH was awesome, I have to say. I remember a lot of people online were mad that Hunter went over. I didn’t mind. I could sense the rematch coming and in that rematch Sheamus not only beat Hunter, but took him out for many months. This feud was pretty much the end of Hunter’s run as a full time performer.

Awesome video package for Punk/Mysterio. Punk’s out first with Gallows and Serena. Have to say Serena looks nice in a leather jacket (it has the SES logo on the back) and white pants. Punk cut a promo saying there are 70,000 people throwing their life away. So nobody’s Straight Edge there except him apparently? “I choose to be drug free. I choose to be better than each and every single one of you.” Nice “CM Drunk” sign in the crowd. Ended it with this line: “One Nation under Punk indivisible with integrity and sobriety for all.” Great promo. If you’re into ring gear, Mysterio’s wearing an Avatar like outfit. The story is if Rey loses he has to join the Straight Edge Society.

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
I thought the ponytail on the mask was only for show, but Rey’s wrestling with it on. These two really have great chemistry. Mysterio’s matches are always full of counter moves and this was no exception. Mysterio went for an Eddie Guerrero like Frog Splash…and it misses! That would have been cool to see. The heels interfered. Go to Sleep countered by Mysterio into a headscissors. Wow that was amazing from Rey. Punk went flying into Gallows’ gut, then he took a 619 and Rey finished him off with the springboard splash. It only went 6:30. That’s it?
Winner: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: ** This was my hope for a show stealing match, but it was way too short for it to steal the show. The chemistry was there. The crowd was hot. Nope. Mysterio had another WrestleMania match that was booked to be over way too soon. They would end up having two great matches at the Extreme Rules and Over The Limit PPVs that made this one of the better feuds of 2010, but at a show like WM they should have had a chance to do more.

Vince vs. Bret video package. Well done like usual. Hart’s pop was very good. He’s working in a Hart t-shirt and jean shorts. They close in on a fan sign that says “Brett Beat Vince” People don’t know that it’s spelled Bret after all these years? Come on fan! Hart’s pop was nice. Vince came out to cut a promo saying there’ll be lumberjacks as well as a special referee. The lumberjacks are the Hart Dynasty as well as other members of the Hart family. Cole’s going nuts about it saying it’s disgusting while Striker wondered if Vince paid the Hart family to screw Bret.

No Holds Barred: Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
The guest referee is Bruce Hart, who is wearing a referee shirt as well as shades. Bret cuts a promo saying he can’t believe they all agreed to this. He asked them if they got paid up front. They all nodded yes. He said the one thing he learned from Montreal is that there’s nothing sweeter than a double cross. They told him what they were trying to do, but they’re united. “Tonight, WrestleMania, it’s going to be forever remembered as the night that Bret Screwed Vince.” Bruce hugged Bret and they’re all with Bret now. So it was a swerve on top of the swerve.

They tossed Vince to the floor where all the lumberjacks beat him up. Natalya destroyed him with a slap to the face, which led to Striker wishing her the best in her future endeavors. That was funny. David Hart Smith held him up and Tyson Kidd came off the top rope with the Hart Attack clothesline. Cool spot. I’m happy that the Hart Dynasty is being used. Vince tried to crawl away under the ring and he came out with a crowbar. Hey Vince, call Shane! Oh wait, he quit your company. Bret beat on him with the crowbar (in the back) to the delight of everybody. As soon as Bret grabbed the legs the crowd went wild. Sharpshooter time. Nope. Not yet. More crowbar. The crowd’s having a tough time reacting to this because Vince has had no offense, so there’s no babyface comeback at all. It’s simply a beating. DH gave Bret a chair, so he destroyed Vince in the back with it. He hit him with about a dozen chair shots. None to the head, remember. That’s not allowed anymore, which is fine by me. After the chair beating, the Hart Family started beating on the ring and the crowd went nuts as Bret put on the Sharpshooter. Vince tapped right away. Match is over at 11:09.
Winner: Bret Hart

Analysis: DUD That was what you’d call an 11 minute squash match. They were limited in what they could do because of Bret’s health issues. I don’t think Vince got any offense in. That’s fine, though, because this is what everybody wanted to see. They wanted to see Vince get destroyed. The crowd liked this although I thought they would love it even more than they did. It was hard considering that Vince had no offense. The story was that after 13 years, Bret finally got his revenge on Vince.

They aired the promo for the Georgia Dome in Atlanta hosting WrestleMania 27 on April 3, 2011.

Announced attendance at this show: 72,219. Very impressive number.

The video package aired for the Jericho/Edge match. They were partners the year before. Edge tore his Achilles Tendon. Jericho ripped on him in promos, calling him weak and injury prone. Edge surprisingly returned at the Royal Rumble, won the match and then Jericho reclaimed the World Title at Elimination Chamber to set up this match. Great video package. Two of my favorites currently and all-time. That entrance ramp is so damn long. It’s a cool visual when they zoom up the ramp. Jericho came out first and Edge came out with the red tights this time.

World Heavyweight Title: Chris Jericho vs. Edge
They mentioned that combined they’ve held 55 titles. Each guy started in WWE over a decade ago. Striker said they travelled together before they got to WWE. Not really true because Jericho was in WCW when Edge was starting out. They are very good friends, though. That’s legit. I think they used to be neighbors in Florida. Yes, I’m full of information. Hey, a “Sexton Hardcastle” reference from Striker. That was Edge’s name in the indies, which is when I first saw Edge. The pace was very slow in the first five minutes, which is a sign that it’ll be a longer match. Nice front suplex off the top by Edge. Man, I mark out for the CROSSBODY~! that Edge just did. Old school move. I’m really liking Striker’s commentary for this match. Not surprising since he’s close friends with Edge, which you could see on the Edge DVD. Ten minutes Edge, “Spear” chant. He charges, but Jericho counters with a rollup leading into a Walls of Jericho. Crowd is going nuts as Edge got a nearfall cradle for two. Lionsault misses. Does it ever hit anymore? Edgeomatic gets two. Nice enziguri by Jericho for two. They really did a good job of trading moves. Nobody was in full control. Edge hit his old Edgecution DDT for two. Jericho took him down with a forearm and he set up Edge for the spear! He ran right into a hard kick to the head by Edge. The “spear” chant is definitely over with the fans. Edge charges in and Jericho hits the Codebreaker! Slow cover means a two count. The announcers are really putting over all the counters and nearfalls. Time to work on the left foot. Walls of Jericho time again. I wish he would put some STANK on it rather than the Boston Crab version. Oh, single leg crab on the injured leg! Nice! They went out to the floor. The ref got bumped inadvertently by Edge, Jericho got the belt and hit Edge without the ref seeing. Only two. Codebreaker by Jericho finishes him off after 16 minutes. Yes. I called it in the preview.
Winner: Chris Jericho

Post match, Jericho went for an attack, but Edge was able to fight him off. He set him up on the announce table and cleared the others off. Jericho stood up, Edge charged in and he speared Jericho through the black barricade wall into the crowd. This gave Edge his momentum back and also sets up a rematch next month. They’re playing up that Jericho’s hurt. It made sense since the feud was built up on Jericho not getting hurt, so I can see a worked injury happening.

Analysis: **** I really liked this match. They used counters, nearfalls and submissions to tease the finish. They did a great job of starting slow, picking up the pace and then finishing with a bang. I loved that Edge sold the leg injury while getting up to receive the Codebreaker. Very pleased with this one and I can’t wait for more. My prediction at the time was that Jericho wins here with Edge likely scoring the win in the rematch at Extreme Rules. That’s what happened although Swagger cashed in the briefcase on Jericho, so Edge didn’t win the title from Jericho. He cost him the title, though, because the post match attack is what led to him softening up Jericho for Swagger. Good booking, I thought.

They showed clips of the pre-show battle royal. It was won by Yoshi Tatsu. I guess that’s on the DVD.

Diva Tag Match: Michelle, Vickie, Maryse, Alicia & Layla vs. Beth, Mickie, Kelly, Gail & Eve
The heels come out to Michelle’s music. The faces come out to Eve’s music for some reason. I love how Vickie’s outfit says “Excuse Me” on it and she starts the match. The face divas all took turns beating on Vickie in the corner. Kelly’s outfit is great, I have to say. Of course I liked Mickie’s outfit too. It’s great to see her back after her injury. It’s finishing sequence time about a minute into the match. There were literally eight finishers in a row. Mickie’s DDT on Michelle was nice and Beth ended the sequence by hitting Alicia with her Glam Slam. The crowd is dead for all this. Michelle tossed Beth out of the ring. She helped Vickie to the top rope and she hit a “Hog Splash” as Cole called it. It was cool seeing her point to the sky at Eddie. It was not pretty, though. Kelly’s shoulder went up on the pin, so the ref had her do it again and Vickie pinned Kelly at 3:26.
Winners: Team Vickie

Analysis: 1/2* Not much of a match. They were going into finishers about a minute in and the crowd was dead for it. It was cool to see Vickie saluting Eddie and some of the crowd did pick up on it even though she was a heel.

Cena vs. Batista is next. Long video package to start of course. After Cena won an Elimination Chamber match, Vince McMahon gave Batista (who was a heel after a long babyface run) a title shot when Cena was recovering from injuries. Batista won the WWE Title. The promos centered on how they were the top guys for many years, but Batista was mad that Cena got more publicity than him. I enjoyed heel Batista. His promos leading up to the match were a lot of fun. Batista gets the pyro and then the spotlight entrance. Cena gets his patented elaborate entrance this time with the US Air Force helping him out. That was pretty cool. Cena had the fastest entrance time on the night for sure since he sprinted down there. Hope he’s not winded.

WWE Title: Batista vs. John Cena
They’re pointing out how methodical this is, which is wrestling speak for this is going to be a longer match. Sloppy looking suplex by Cena. Wow, Batista countered the Attitude Adjustment with a DDT that looked nasty. Seven minutes into the match, they did the standing punch exchange where each guy is really tired and the crowd reacted to it. Too early for that spot, no? The story is that Batista’s working on Cena’s surgically repaired neck. By the ten minute mark, Batista was still on offense pretty much the entire time. Batista put him on the top rope and they had a test of strength up there. Cena shoved him off and hit the top rope Five Knuckle Shuffle. Lawler marked out for it like a 13 year old. Batista Bomb and Cena kicks out. Well, now you know Batista’s not winning if he hits that at the 11 minute mark. They get back up and Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment. Now Batista kicks out. Cena goes up top, he leaps and Batista counters into a Spinebuster. Similar spot to their Summerslam 2008 match. Batista goes for the Batista Bomb again, but Cena counters into a rollup. STF time. Batista’s near the ropes, but he eventually taps out at the 15 minute mark.
Winner: John Cena

Analysis: ***1/2 It was very good. They busted out the old Austin/Rock formula of kicking out of finishers at WrestleMania. The crowd was really into it and the last five minutes were very exciting even if you don’t like either guy. What bothered me was the title changed hands when it didn’t need to. Batista won the belt at Elimination Chamber, defended it successfully zero times on television and then it was on Cena again. I hate short title reigns. Props to the “Batista likes fish sticks” sign. South Park reference, people!

I love how the commercial for Extreme Rules on April 25th features Batista about to destroy somebody with a chair shot to the head even though they’ve banned that spot.

Undertaker/Michaels video starts at 10:15pmET. I think in terms of video packages it’s in the top two or three videos ever along with the “My Way” one from Austin/Rock WM17 and the Kid Rock “History of the WWF” video. The story was that Michaels was obsessed with beating Undertaker at WrestleMania. He wanted one more shot. Undertaker didn’t want to give it to him, but Michaels cost Undertaker the World Title at Elimination Chamber and that led to Undertaker giving him one more try. There was a stipulation, though. If Michaels lost he had to retire. Because it’s so awesome, here’s the video package.

No elaborate Michaels entrance this year. He walks out first to a good pop, but I thought it would be louder to be honest. Maybe the crowd is tired? I don’t know. The Undertaker came out through the floor for his entrance. Screw you Gangrel and Rey Mysterio! How many people will throw a Gangrel reference in during Michaels/Taker? Me, that’s who. Cole mentioned that Undertaker’s defeated 10 former World Champions in his streak.

The Streak vs. The Career: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Epic staredown to start. Michaels did the Undertaker throat slash. Five minutes in, we got our first “vintage” of the match with the Undertaker’s legdrop. They’re working the story that Undertaker’s got a bad knee and had Michaels work on it with the figure four. The crowd is pretty quiet for a match like this. It’s been a long show, but if you pay as much as these paid you should be making more noise. Kip up by Michaels, Undertaker catches him, hits a chokeslam and it only gets two. Too early in the match for that. Undertaker went for the Tombstone, Michaels fought out and put him in the Ankle Lock. He drops down. The crowd is not reacting to this at all because nobody thinks it’s ending like this. And they’re right, of course. They worked their way out to the floor and Undertaker hit a Tombstone on the floor to a huge pop. Took a minute to roll Michaels in where he kicked out. Undertaker went for the Last Ride and Michaels was able to counter with what looked like HBK did an X-Factor to counter it by slamming his head into the mat. Michaels goes for the elbow and Undertaker puts up the knees to counter it. Great counter there.

Undertaker slaps on the Hell’s Gate only for Michaels to counter into a cover for two. That was a cool spot too. They both get up, Michaels separates and hits Sweet Chin Music! Only two. Yes, it earned an OUT OF NOWHERE~! from Cole. Crowd is waking up. Michaels went for another superkick, but Undertaker countered with a Last Ride. He hits it…for two! Now it’s time for some outside the ring spots, which is why they added the no DQ stips. He took the monitors off the Spanish announce table. Remember the days when fans chanted “Spanish Table! Spanish Table!” Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music on the floor! Undertaker is laying on the announce table. Michaels crawls up the apron, climbs up to the top and he’s going for the moonsault. Wow! Moonsault off the top rope onto the table. Table broke and Michaels popped to his feet before falling down again! Killer spot.

Back in the ring, Michaels kicks him hard in the head with another Sweet Chin Music. That looked so perfect. Undertaker kicks out at two. That was one of the best superkicks I’ve ever seen. Another Sweet Chin Music is countered to a chokeslam. Tombstone by Undertaker hits. Covers him with the hands on the chest. One, two…no. That spot was similar to last year although it worked once again. Crowd is chanting “This is Awesome” and they are absolutely right. The Undertaker was about to do the cutthroat signal, but he stopped. He told Shawn to stay down, but HBK got back up, crawling up to his chest. He gives the cutthroat signal to Undertaker and then slaps him! Another Tombstone by Undertaker. That’s enough for the win at 23:59. That’s the end of Shawn Michaels’ career. The Undertaker is 18-0 at WrestleMania.
Winner: The Undertaker

Analysis: ***** This was a fantastic match just like the year before. Five stars again. They really pulled out all the stops and told a great story. These are two of the best ever on the biggest stage delivering the goods like only they know how. I loved it. Their chemistry is phenomenal and they built to the finish perfectly. I think the match at WM25 told a different story in that it was a more balanced match. This one was even through a lot of it, but the inevitability of the loss was there too. Don’t get me wrong, of course we know Undertaker is going to win at WrestleMania, but there was less of a surprise factor in this one. Perhaps it’s because it was the rematch. Still, that pop for Michaels kicking out that Tombstone was enormous and Undertaker did a great job of selling it too, wishing that Shawn would just stop. The idea this time around was that Michaels wanted Undertaker to really beat him to earn the win and that’s what happened after Michaels told him to end it. They had the undisputed match of the year (in my opinion) two years in a row. At least they were smart enough to put it on last this time.

Post match, after Undertaker posed in his purple light he picked Michaels up. They shook hands. They hugged eachother while trying to stay on their feet. The final shot of the night was Michaels in the ring getting the standing ovation he deserves for being one of the best ever. I enjoyed that moment of seeing the crowd paying tribute to this man who spent his life entertaining us like few others could.

You could read Shawn’s lips saying: “Thank you for a wonderful life.” No Shawn. Thank you.

The show ended with Michaels walking up the ramp, applauding and waving goodbye.

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FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– What can you say about Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels? I like the WM25 match more, but this one did live up to the incredible hype. I thought they would do more wrestling outside of the ring because of the no DQ stip. All they really did was that insane moonsault off the top rope spot where Shawn went crashing through Undertaker on the table. The finishing sequence matched last year’s. It might have even topped it with all the kickouts they did. Simply put, these guys are two of the best ever on the big stage and their chemistry with one another is tremendous. I doubt any wrestler could have a better match for their retirement than what HBK did here.

– I had high hopes for this show. My thought was that if they gave enough time to all the top matches it would deliver the goods. It was hit and miss in terms of the timing of the matches. I’m greedy. I wanted more. For whatever reason, Vince McMahon hates giving Rey Mysterio a lot of time at WrestleMania. He didn’t have enough time against Eddie @ WM21, he didn’t have enough time when he won the title @ WM22 and he didn’t have enough time here as well.

– I’m not sure if everybody else is going to like the Edge/Jericho match as me. I like what they did. They didn’t have either guy dominate the action. It was spot, counter, nearfall. It’s a formula that worked for them and we got a four star match out of it.

– The Batista/Cena match was a strong second match from the top. Nothing that will blow you away, but it was a passable match between two guys who don’t necessarily have great matches all the time. I’m still not a fan of the one month title reign of Batista that included zero title defenses. That feud isn’t over, though.

– The Bret/Vince match did what it was supposed to. A beating of Vince that ended in the Sharpshooter. If you expected more you were wrong. I did mark out a bit when Bret had him in the Sharpshooter. It was a cool moment.

OPINIONS
Best Match: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – Two years in a row. Only time that’s ever happened.

Worst Match: Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon – The end was fun at least.

Most Memorable Moment: The Undertaker/Michaels hug at the end of the show – Two legends showing respect. Great moment.

Five Stars:
1. Shawn Michaels
2. The Undertaker
3. Chris Jericho
4. Edge
5. John Cena

Show rating (out of 10): 7.5

I liked this show more than the previous year. The right match went on last with another five star performance from Undertaker and Michaels while the major title matches were better than what we got the year before. The rest of the card featured good babyface wins from Orton, Hunter and Mysterio, which is what WrestleMania is usually about.

Previous recaps listed in order with main event and ranking out of 10:

WrestleMania 17 – Steve Austin vs. The Rock (10/10)

WrestleMania 19 – Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (9.5/10)

WrestleMania 21 – Batista vs. Triple H (8.5/10)

WrestleMania 20 – Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (8/10)

WrestleMania 10 – Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna (7.5/10)

WrestleMania 23 – John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (7.5/10)

WrestleMania 24 – The Undertaker vs. Edge (7.5/10)

WrestleMania 26 – The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (7.5/10)

WrestleMania 22 – John Cena vs. Triple H (7/10)

WrestleMania 8 – Hulk Hogan vs. Sid & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (7/10)

WrestleMania 25 – Triple H vs. Randy Orton (7/10)

WrestleMania 3 – Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant (7/10)

WrestleMania 14 – Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (7/10)

WrestleMania 18 – Triple H v. Chris Jericho (6.5/10)

WrestleMania 7 – Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter (6.5)

WrestleMania 6 – Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan (6/10)

WrestleMania 16 – Triple H vs. The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show (5.5/10)

WrestleMania 12 – Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (5.5/10)

WrestleMania 15 – Steve Austin vs. The Rock (5/10)

WrestleMania 11 – Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (5/10)

WrestleMania 1 – Hogan/Mr T vs. Piper/Orndorff (4.5/10)

WrestleMania 4 – Randy Savage vs. Ted Dibiase (4.5/10)

WrestleMania 13 – The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid (4/10)

WrestleMania 5 – Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (4/10)

WrestleMania 2 – Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy (4/10)

WrestleMania 9 – Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna (2/10)

The matches that have received ratings of ****+ on the five star scale:
1. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM25: *****
2. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin @ WM13: *****
3. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM21: *****
4. Steve Austin vs. The Rock @ WM17: *****
5. Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz @ WM17: *****
6. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM26: *****
7. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM10: *****
8. Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart @ WM10: *****
9. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage @ WM3: *****
10. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM20: ****3/4
11. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle @ WM19: ****3/4
12. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart @ WM12: ****1/2
13. Money in the Bank won by Edge @ WM21: ****1/2
14. Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage @ WM7: ****1/2
15. Undertaker vs. Edge @ WM24: ****1/2
16. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho @ WM19: ****1/2
17. Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair @ WM8: ****1/2
18. Edge vs. Mick Foley @ WM22: ****1/4
19. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels @ WM23: ****1/4
20. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit @WM17: ****1/4
21. Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle @ WM20: ****1/4
22. Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz @ WM16: ****1/4
23. Undertaker vs. Batista @ WM23: ****
24. John Cena vs. Triple H @ WM22: ****
25. The Rock vs. Steve Austin @ WM19: ****
26. Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair @ WM24: ****
27. The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan @ WM18: ****
28. Money in the Bank won by Ken Kennedy @WM23: ****
29. Chris Jericho vs. Edge @ WM26: ****
30. Randy Orton, Batista & Ric Flair vs. The Rock & Mick Foley @WM20: ****
31. Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper @ WM8: ****

You can check out all of my WrestleMania Reviews here.

John Canton mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport