OSR: WWE WrestleMania 22 Review (2006)

WrestleMania 22

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OSR: WWE WrestleMania 22 Review

Back in 2006, the WWE return to Chicago for the third time, for the 22nd edition of WrestleMania. Historically, as of 2017 this remains to date the final WrestleMania to be held inside a conventional size arena. Relieve the events of April 2 2006 here in the WWE WrestleMania 22 Review.

Inside the Allstate Arena, Michelle Williams sang her rendition of “America the Beautiful” before the opening promo was then shown. It looked at multiple WrestleMania moments throughout time but also looked at the evolution of WWE superstars. With what was a cracking theme song, various feuds and matches were showcased.

Inside the arena, the commentary team for the event was Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for the RAW Brand alongside Michael Cole and Tazz representing the SmackDown Brand. After the introductions were completed, the show went to the ring for the first match.

1. World Tag Team Championship: The Big Show and Kane (c) vs. Chris Masters and Carlito

Both teams made their way to the ring with no history package being shown for the match, and it got underway with The Big Show exerting his dominance and power over his opponents. This was essentially the practice that was continued throughout this match, even though Masters did get brief attempts at taking down Kane.

After a very one-sided match in honesty, Kane and The Big Show were able to pick up the win and retain the championship. In all honesty, that match had nothing to it and was a bit mediocre. Both teams styles didn’t work well with one another. After the match, Carlito and Masters argued over the decision.

Winners: Kane and The Big Show, to retain the World Tag Team Championship

Match Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

2. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Ric Flair 

We returned to the arena, Lilian Garcia went through the rules for the match before the participants made their way to the ring. Annoyance is already setting in as the  IC Champion Shelton Benjamin being in the match…he should be defending the thing! The match quickly got underway, and before long Flair was injured following a suplex off the ladder.

The match did feature several nice spots and moments, with Flair soon rejoining the match but was quickly taken out by Finlay. There were further nice spots in the match, before RVD was eventually successful in capturing the briefcase. The match was good, but it was nowhere near as good as other. Tree of the competitors shouldn’t have been in the match, it limited options massively.

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

We then returned to the arena, where Howard Finkel announced that Bret Hart wouldn’t be appearing this evening which achieved a chorus of boos. We were then introduced to the Hall of Fame Class of 2006 who were: Mean Gene Okerlund, Sensational Sherri, Tony Atlas, Verne Gagne, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, The Blackjacks and Eddie Guerrero (represented by Chavo and Vickie Guerrero). The crowd gave Eddie an outstanding reaction, which got Vickie emotional and she was consoled by the other inductees.

3. WWE United States Championship: Chris Benoit (c) vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield (w/ Jillian Hall)

JBL made his way to the ring first, followed by Benoit to a cracking reaction but there was no history package for this match. The match got underway, and was a very technical contest between both men. JBL took the opportunity to mock Eddie in the match, performing some of his signature moves.

This provoked a response from Benoit who fought back until he was swerved by JBL who picked up the win in controversy to become the new WWE US Champion. This match was okay, but in all honesty it is probably the first example of the evening where more time was needed.

Winner: John “Bradshaw” Layfield, to capture the WWE United States Championship

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

4. Hardcore Match: Edge (w/ Lita) vs. Mick Foley

The history package was shown for the match, which intensified when Foley seemingly cost Edge the WWE Championship against John Cena. Anyhow, we returned to the arena where Joey Styles had replaced JR for this match. Both competitors made their way to the ring, and the match quickly got underway with both men taking it very intensively to one another.

In a nasty spot, Foley began whipping Edge with the barbed wire. The match was very brutal and intense, with several signature Foley spots and both men were busted open. The end of the match came when Foley was speared through a burning table, which allowed Edge to gain the pinfall victory.

This was a very intense and enjoyable fight as the match did wonders to elevate Edge to the next level of the main event picture which was something he really needed. He was pretty much there, but needed that extra push.

Winner: Edge

Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

5. Handicap Match: Booker T and Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman

Sharmell and Booker made their way to the ring first, and did really well at portraying two people who were genuinely terrified, followed by The Boogeyman. This match, was truly awful because The Boogeyman was not ready to be in that position and Booker deserved a lot better than what he was forced to put up with.

It reminded me though how crap the gimmick of The Boogeyman was. Eventually, after snogging Sharmell and eating some worms, The Boogeyman picked up the win…it would have being so much better had it not happened.

Winner: The Boogeyman

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

6. WWE Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus (c) vs. Mickie James

A history package was shown for the match, which to its credit was given a great deal of time to establish itself but more importantly Mickie as a reputable psycho in the WWE. Both women made their way to the ring, with Trish being more of the heel and Mickie being more like an excitable school girl.

The match itself does feature some really well contested and paced moves from both women. There was even a hint of lesbianism for Mickie in the match with some interesting spots including a “lady area” grab. Mickie received an incredible reaction throughout the match, despite technically being the heel.

Eventually, Mickie picked up the win when she used a Trish Kick on Stratus to become the new WWE Women’s Championship. Nice enjoyable match which had credibility and depth invested into it which allowed it to flourish.

Winner: Mickie James, to capture the WWE Women’s Championship

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

7. Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry

We go back to the arena as the druids were wheeling the casket to the ring, before an exceptionally brief history package was shown for the match. It looked at where Henry costs Taker his championship opportunity. Now either they couldn’t think of anything else to add to it or time limitations…I know which I suspect.

We returned to the arena as Henry makes his way to the ring, to zilch reaction. Taker made his way to the ring, but was quickly ambushed by Henry as the match gets underway. Henry remains in control for much of the match, but it truly was a match at a snails pace with little crowd interaction or response.

Eventually, Taker was able to mount a comeback after he nailed Henry with a Last Ride and over-the-top rope suicide dive. This allowed him to nail a final Tombstone , to role Henry into the Casket to be victorious. Pretty mediocre match in all honesty, Taker did get a raw deal here considering his match with Kurt Angle a month earlier at No Way Out.

Winner: The Undertaker

Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

8. N0 Holds Barred: Mr. McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels

The history package was shown for the feud, which was depicted heavily around the events of Survivor Series 1997 and the Montreal Screwjob. Both men made their way to the ring, with McMahon being exceptionally cocky. HBK quickly took it to McMahon, but was soon stopped in his momentum through the interference of The Spirit Squad.

Despite initially being kept down, he was able to fight back until he was taken down by McMahon with a powerful clothesline. Eventually, Shane McMahon made an appearance, but he ended up having his head shoved into his dads backside for his troubles and handcuffed to the top rope.

HBK then took it to Vince with a variety of weapons, busting him open. After an elbow from the top of the ladder, taking him through a table in the process, HBK nailed Vince with an exceptionally stiff Sweet Chin Music to pick up the win. Not a great match technically, but story and characterization was great which made up for it.

Winner: Shawn Michaels

Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

9. World Heavyweight Championship: Triple Threat Match – Kurt Angle (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio

The history package was shown for the match, which was depicted around Rey Mysterio’s battle to be in the main event and dedicating it to the memory of Eddie Guerrero. In all honesty, Mysterio does come across as receiving the pity story in this. Anyhow, we returned to the arena and each of the competitors made their way to the ring – Mysterio looked ridiculous in what he is wearing.

The match got underway at a really quick pace, and was really enjoyable to watch. There were several nice spots and the match was really good, there was no faffing about and they get straight to it. In no time whatsoever, Mysterio pinned Orton to capture the championship. This match needed another 10 minutes, it was offensively short that with more time could have being so much better.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, to capture the World Heavyweight Championship

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

10. Playboy Pillow Fight: Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle

This is going to be short…this match was thoroughly pointless and about as basic as you would expect. Torrie eventually picked up the win. Two things to note from this match: 1) both women were incredibly hot and looked stunning; 2) this match should not have taken place, with the time given to the triple threat. End of story.

Winner: Torrie Wilson

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

11. WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Triple H

The history package for this match was quite brief, based around the WrestleMania Press Conference but it was easy to pick up on the over-confidence of Triple H. We returned to the arena for the traditional “special” entrances for WrestleMania. Triple H was depicted around being the king of the throne but actually looked like someone from the stone age.

Cena’s however, can be seen as a little bit controversial as it is based around The Great Depression and gang issues in the Chicago area. This generated a lot of heat against Cena, who was allegedly supposed to be a baby face. The match got underway, with those in attendance being very pro-Triple H.

The match was really well contested by both men, with indications it could have gone either way. After a really well paced out match, with the audience being very pro-Triple H and anti-Cena. Eventually, Cena was able to retain the championship after Triple H tapped out to the STFU, which at the time looked like the most pathetic submission finisher in the business.

Winner: John Cena, to retain the WWE Championship

Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

WWE WrestleMania 22 Conclusions

Overall, WrestleMania 22 was a very good one to watch and enjoy. Granted, there were some moments which made you wonder what they were thinking but it also featured some very good moments and matches. In all honesty, there were at least two matches which could have easily being cut. By doing this, it would have allowed the Triple Threat match to be proportionally longer as it was unnecessarily short. Another thing, in all honesty this event probably housed the worst MITB match since its conception…there wasn’t really anything about it which made it stand out in your memory.

Nevertheless, there were several good spots which make this show worthwhile watching, so this is certainly an event which comes with a recommendation to watch. This can of course be done as part of your 9.99 Subscription fee to the WWE Network…just be prepared for the continual Eddie Guerrero references. RIP Eddie!

Image Credit: 411Mania.com & Pinterest.com

About Dave Harper 849 Articles
Dave Harper is a writer for Wrestling's Dirty Deeds. Born a Brummie, and proud of it...passionate about wrestling, family, friends, good cider and the railway (no I'm not a train spotter)

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