WWE WRESTLEMANIA 23
PPV PREDICTIONS/REVIEW BY:
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).
EDITOR'S NOTE: Bo's prediction's below were posted mid-afternoon Saturday (033107),
more than 24 hours before the event began.
MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH:
EDGE v CM PUNK v KING BOOKER v JEFF HARDY v KEN KENNEDY v MATT HARDY v FIT
FINLAY v RANDY ORTON
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.
KANE v the GREAT KHALI
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
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.
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
CHRIS BENOIT(c) v MVP
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
WORLD CHAMPION TITLE MATCH:
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’.
ECW ORIGINALS (the SANDMAN, TOMMY DREAMER, SABU, ROB
VAN DAM) vs. NEW BREED (ELIJAH BURKE, KEVIN THORN, MARCUS COR VON & MATT
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.
BATTLE OF THE BILLIONAIRES
BOBBY LASHLEY (for DONALD TRUMP) v
UMAGA (for VINCE MCMAHON) with SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE STEVE AUSTIN
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.
WOMAN'S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
MELINA(c) v ASHLEY
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
WWE TITLE MATCH:
JOHN CENA(c) v
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
FINALLY: 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
2007 WWE/World Wrestling Entertainment
Article © 2007 Alternate Reality, Inc.
YOUR HEADS UP
100's of new
comics ship every week, we give you a HEADS UP on them!
Dozen's of kid
friendly titles arrive every week and we review the one that
AT THE MOVIES
Every week we
give you our opinion on what's playing at the cinema.