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Larry "Bocepheus" Evans

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Ford Field, Detroit, MI
"There is no way in hell that Trump is getting his head shaved bald so you know Lashley is going to win."  
"Remember if you haven't seen this Pay Per View then this review is jam pack full of SPOILERS! I don't want to hear any howling or gnashing of teeth, you have been warned!
 Proceed at your own risk."
WrestleMania 23 is in the books and set a new attendance record at Ford Field in Detroit with 81,103 in attendance (extra tickets became available after the ring was installed). That may be a worked number but I doubt it since the place was packed to the rafters and they got a pretty good show. There was supposedly some controversy before the show because at one point Shane McMahon was to introduce the show as his father did years back but Stephanie had a problem with that so as a compromise Vince announced the opening from the back. As to what problem Stephanie had you need to consider who she is married to and connect the dots. Aretha Franklin sang America the Beautiful at a piano with a choir in the back and man, she is huge. There were many of the Detroit Tigers there as well as Thomas “Hitman’ Hearns.

In an attempt to get everyone on the card so that they can cash in on the revenue (and the fact that the entire roster is there with their families anyway so why not use them) before the show starts we got a tag team Battle Royal that will be on the 3 disc DVD that comes out with the entire HOF ceremony on it (more on the HOF ceremony at the bottom of the page).

Bo's prediction's below were posted mid-afternoon Saturday (033107), more than 24 hours before the event began.


BO'S PREDICTION:  The match that will have the audience buzzing after each spectacular move. Booker and Finlay will do very little with the ladder and amazing moves but be solid contributors. Edge won this already and Orton is going to get him eliminated to keep their feud going until the two go one on one. Kennedy is likely to win but he isn’t going to do any crazy moves off the ladder. Those moves will come from the Hardys and Punk. It would be great if Matt won and smashed the glass ceiling he has been slamming his head into but that isn’t likely to happen.
BO'S REVIEW: The tendency is to start the show out with a hot match to get the crowd into it so they had to throw this match out first just to make the other matches come up to their level. A lot of the match was the designed spot fest it needed to be and we saw: Finley lead from the top rope onto everyone, Punk use the small ladder seen on Smackdown as a weapon, Booker doing a spin-a-roonie, Matt suplexed into a ladder, Edge spearing everyone, Orton RKO-ing anyone in sight, Jeff doing the most insane stunt I have ever seen by leg dropping Edge from the big ladder as Edge was prone on a ladder between the barricade and the ring, Edge getting stretchered out (he was fine), the Hardys fighting each other, Orton taking a bookend from the top of a ladder, Orton RKO-ing punk from the top of the ladder, Matt threatening to twist of fate Sharmell unless Booker came off the ladder, Hornswoggle and Kennedy on the ladder before taking an Oklahoma roll (the move Kennedy first used as a finisher), Kennedy trying a Kenton bomb on Jeff and taking a Swanton from Jeff (who invented the move), Finley getting dropkicked from the top of the ladder by Punk and Kennedy, as expected winning the match. An incredible opener.

AND THEN...We got a segment pimping The Condemned and footage of the premiere in Detroit at the Fox Theater.

BO'S PREDICTION: JR used the term ‘bowling shoe ugly’ to describe this match and there may not be a definition of how bad this match will suck. Kane is a passable worker and Khali is so far below passable that he would have to stand on a 75 foot ladder just to see that level. Expect the match to have blood just to keep it interesting and Kane’s chain and hook will play a huge part on the finish.

BO'S REVIEW: The bowling shoe ugly match was short and placed here because the opener created such a buzz that it couldn’t kill it. There was a guy in the front row with a loud hot pink shirt that was more entertaining than the match. Kane choke slammed Khali but Khali won with the hanging tree slam then after the match was over choked Kane with his own chain.

AND THEN...We got a funny as hell segment with Eugene and Cryme Time. They were trying to entertain Eugene since he was still depressed over his hair loss and had the Extreme Expose girls dance for him. He didn’t like it but then we saw Mae Young and Moolah start dancing and he loved that. Slick returned from the dead and started dancing and then we saw IRS, Jimmy Hart, Sgt. Slaughter, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Gene Okerlund, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat (in a gi and karate posed before he started dancing) and Ron Simmons who ended it all with “Damn” before the folks started dancing again. We got the news that WrestleMania 24 is at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando which is the first outdoor WM in a while.


BO'S PREDICTION: Benoit is rumored to be heading to Raw so he may lose here to make MVP into a major player. He will do all the work here and somehow MVP will find a way to cheat to a victory. If Benoit goes over then he isn’t leaving Smackdown and may get a shot at the big belt soon.

BO'S REVIEW: There are rumors that Benoit is moving over to Raw so it was possible he was going to lose the belt here but that wasn’t the case. He actually made you believe that MVP had a shot and the two had a good match. MVP is up way too early but he seems to be picking things up and working with Benoit can do that for you. Benoit gave him about 10 German suplexes and won with the flying head butt.

AND THEN...We saw Donald Trump in his locker room with former drunk beauty pageant winner Tara Connor. He was bitching to her that the accommodations weren’t the greatest and he wanted a sandwich. Suddenly the room got red and the Boogeyman came from behind the couch. Trump totally no sold the strangeness of Boogeyman and asked him if he could get him a sandwich in exchange for some worms. This was followed by the Hall of Fame recap and Howard Finkel introduced them. Don Muraco wheeled out Mr. Fuji and the former Don ‘The Tub” Muraco has lost a lot of weight. Lillian Garcia announced the attendance here.


BO'S PREDICTION: This was built up better than most main events and pits the belt against Taker’s unbeaten WM streak. The finish is probably still being debated and when the match was first proposed Batista was going to end the streak. If that does happen then that would mean that Batista is going heel since the fans will boo the hell out of him if he wins. The big problem with Taker winning is that he doesn’t do house shows so he wouldn’t be defending the belt except on PPV events. You can’t do a no decision here so flip a coin on what can/will happen.

BO'S REVIEW:  Neither man was happy that they weren’t the main event so they decided to beat the living hell out of each other and see if they could steal the show. When the angle was first proposed Batista was to have won clean and ended Taker’s 14-0 WM streak. Teddy Long got his PPV slice by introducing the two and Taker brought the Druids back out to escort him into the ring. In the match we saw Batista do a top rope move and then we knew the two of them were going to go all out. Taker did his top rope tope and jumped over the ropes onto Batista on the floor. The two destroyed the ECW table and Batista bombed Taker thru it. Batista took a Last Ride, a spine buster and a tombstone to lose the strap in a very physical match that may have made the folks in the back who bitch that Batista doesn’t care to shut up. Taker did the slow walk back to the entrance (framed nicely by the big screen that was showing lightning bolts) and looked back before raising his fist. The two will have a rematch at Backlash at the end of the month. 15-0.

AND THEN...We saw Vince for the first time in his locker room and Stephanie brought in his granddaughter in a stroller. It was actually a camera and Vince was telling the baby what he was going to do to Trump as Stephanie protested. Vince did some of his facial stuff and told Stephanie that the baby had done a ‘trump’.

BO'S PREDICTION: New head writer David Lagana has hit with a great idea here even though WCW did this with the Millionaires Club during the company’s death throes. The build up has been well handled and we have seen that Burke is the company’s next big star. Sandman, Dreamer and Sabu are reaching the end of their careers while the long term prospects for Striker and Thorn suggest mid card status. The former Monty Brown has a lot of potential but the company hasn’t even let him call his finishing move the ‘pounce period’ yet even though it pops the hell out of the crowd. This is a feud that really doesn’t need a finish and could have a surprise appearance by Mick Foley. Expect this to go on for a while especially with the tease of CM Punk joining up with the New Breed.

BO'S REVIEW: The Originals came to the ring from the crowd and none of the New Breed looked panicked in front of the massive crowd. Sabu got to start and he used a lot of flying moves as did Sandman who did a leg drop off the top rope. Everyone got a chance to get their offense in but Stryker got the short straw to take the loss from a frog splash from RVD. RVD’s contract is coming up soon so his getting the win suggests he is staying around.


BO'S PREDICTION: There is no way in hell that Trump is getting his head shaved bald so you know Lashley is going to win. Expect some major league brawling and blood with Austin stunning a few people before it’s all over. Expect Eugene to get his PPV money by coming out and shaving Vince’s head some. Lashley is getting the monster push so after this is over he becomes a mainstream name in the papers and on the internet.
BO'S REVIEW:  Vince came out first and Trump’s beauty pageant girls booed him. Trump came out with Tara Connor and once again money fell from the sky. Austin came out to a huge pop. Armando Estrada interfered and took a Lashley Oklahoma Stampede for his troubles. Umaga dove out of the ring into Lashley and for a guy his size that’s an impressive move. He and Austin got into it when Umaga wouldn’t listen. Vince got up on the apron and Lashley knocked him off. When both men were on the canvas Austin got to a nine count then stopped counting and said there would be no count outs. Shane came out. Umaga spiked Austin out of the ring. Shane started beating on Lashley and he and Umaga double teamed him so that Shane could do a Van Terminator on Lashley before revealing a referee shirt. Austin drags Shane out of the ring and then in a major shock Trump attacked Vince. Austin stuns Umaga and then Lashley speared Umaga for the pin. Shane gets stunned by Austin as Vince tries to sneak out and gets dragged back by Lashley to be stunned by Austin. The barber chair gets set up inside the ring and as Austin holds his neck Lashley and Trump shave Vince’s head. We get a post match beer bash with the winners then Trump actually takes a stunner (not well, but he takes it).

AND THEN...We see that before the show hit the air Ric Flair and Carlito beat Shane Helms and Chavo Guerrero in a tag match with the rest of the roster.


BO'S PREDICTION: The rest of the divas will surround the ring here to get their PPV share and this is a match that will try hard to be just okay. Melina has tons of backstage heat and Ashley is naked on newsstands right now so expect Ashley to win the belt. The woman’s division needs some new divas to keep the need for the belt to exist.

BO'S REVIEW:  The rest of the divas on the roster come out and surround the ring but actually do little in the match. Ashley isn’t a good wrestler yet but Melina did a way cool variation on the bow and arrow that had Ashley standing up. Melina won with a roll up and after the match we got a catfight.


BO'S PREDICTION: WWE Champion John Cena vs.Shawn Michaels. Cena is going over because he sells more merchandise than anyone else on the roster. Michaels will carry him and the match will look great but Shawn doesn’t need the belt and if he gets it then he would have to carry it past SummerSlam when HHH comes back. He also does few house shows so Cena keeps the strap.

BO'S REVIEW:  Reports had Cena and Michaels talking every chance they could get to lay out the match and it showed here. Cena got the showy entrance by driving thru the streets of Detroit in a cool Mustang and smashing thru a glass WM sign. The initial storyline was that Cena wasn’t as experienced as Shawn and couldn’t get any offense in. That meant he had to do all the selling as Shawn worked on his knee. Shawn dove out of the ring and landed on Cena and the announce table. He was the first to bleed here as he took a dive into the ring apron. The ref (Mike Quioda) took a super kick from HBK. HBK turned an FU into a DDT. He then pile drove Cena into the ring steps and Cena got a cut on the top of his head. The crowd had made HBK the face here so whenever he landed a punch or chop they cheered and booed when Cena returned the offense. Ref Jack Doan came out to finish the match. HBK tried sweet chin music but Cena cut him off with a clothesline. HBK ticked out of an FU and when Cena puts the STFU on him he gets to the ropes. Cena takes sweet chin music but kicks out. HBK comes off the ropes and gets caught by Cena who puts him in the STFU again but in the middle of the ring. HBK taps out and Cena keeps the belt. He celebrates quietly and dedicates the win to his dad. He tries to shake HBK’s hand on the entrance but HBK refuses to take it and walks away. One of the best matches Cena has been in.

And that’s it. The matches were overall good with the Kane match living up to suck. None of the matches were rushed and it was one of the better WrestleMania’s. The video package that closed the show was outstanding. Next up-Backlash.

 Most of the WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony was shown on USA at 11 PM Saturday night. I say most because unless you looked really hard you wouldn't have known that Nick Bockwinkel (inducted by Bobby Heenan), Mr. Fuji (inducted by Don Muraco), The Sheik (inducted by Sabu), The Wild Samoans (inducted by Samu & Rosey) were even on the same stage as Dusty Rhodes (inducted by Dustin Rhodes & Cody Runnels), Curt Hennig's family (Mr.Perfect was inducted by Wade Boggs), Jerry Lawler (inducted by William Shatner) and Jim Ross (inducted by Steve Austin). As in the past the ceremony was heavily edited for time and content.
"Want to read some upcoming comics now? We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

Photo © 2007 WWE/World Wrestling Entertainment
Article © 2007 Alternate Reality, Inc.



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