OSR: WWE WrestleMania 23 Review (2007)

WrestleMania 23

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OSR: WWE WrestleMania 23 Review

“Battle of the Billionaires”

In 2007, the WWE returned to Detroit 20 years after the then magnificent site of the WWE inside the Pontiac Silverdome. With 80,103 filling Ford Field, it was the Battle of the Billionaires for Vince McMahon and Donald Trump. Relive the events of April 1 2007 in the WWE WrestleMania 23 Review.

The show opened with various clips of WrestleMania throughout time, before focusing in on WrestleMania making its return to Detroit. In a very similar opening to 20 years earlier, we were shown the fans at WrestleMania 3, before Vince McMahon then introduced Aretha Franklin as he had done many years earlier to sing “America the Beautiful”.

Inside Ford Field, the commentary teams for the event was Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for RAW, Michael Cole and JBL for SmackDown along with Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW. After the introductions were completed, the show was then underway.

1. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. King Booker (w/ Queen Sharmel) vs. Finlay vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge

All of the participants made their way to the ring, and the match quickly got underway with lots of different spots amongst the participants which saw a variety of risks taken depending on who the particular superstar was.

A unique spot saw Edge put through a ladder following an aerial move from Jeff Hardy but also an RKO off the Ladder to CM Punk. Eventually, after much back and forth action Mr Kennedy was able to scale the Ladder and gained the briefcase to pick up the win in an enjoyable opening match.

Winner: Mr. Kennedy

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

2. Inter-promotional Match: [RAW] The Great Khali (RAW) vs. [SmackDown] Kane

Both men made their way to the ring. It quickly got underway and saw Khali very much in control of the match in the early moments, using a variety of power moves to dominate Kane. There was a nice spot where Kane slammed Khali in a nice nod to Andre and Hogan but eventually Khali used a giant chop to pick up the win over Kane, in what was a horrible match.

Winner: The Great Khali

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

3. WWE United States Championship: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter

Both men made their way to the ring, and this is one which on paper looked quite good but in reality it didn’t really work that well. Whilst they both have very different styles from one another, it was ultimately two styles which did not work well with one another and ultimately didn’t come across well in the slightest.

After a very back and forth match between the two, Benoit used his signature diving headbutt to pick up the win. This was an okay match, but it could have being better. Very bittersweet in some respects, considering this was Benoit’s final match at WrestleMania.

Winner: Chris Benoit, to retain the WWE United States Championship

Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

4. World Heavyweight Championship: Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker

The history package for the feud was shown, going back to Taker winning the Royal Rumble. Both men made their way to the ring, but this was ultimately a typical big man match which didn’t come across that well unfortunately. Whilst Taker was able to maintain some credibility, Batista looked blown up very quickly.

There were several near finishes from both men, but eventually it was Taker who is able to pick up the win in a painfully mediocre match to become the new champion. These two men have most definitely had better matches, this one had a very bitter aftertaste.

Winner: The Undertaker, to capture the World Heavyweight Championship

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

5. The ECW Originals: Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman vs. The New Breed: Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker and Kevin Thorn (w/ Ariel)

Both teams made their way to the ring, but this was easily the most forgettable match on the card (and considering Kane versus Khali, that was saying something). In a match which could have being used to give The New Breed some credibility, rather annoyingly The Originals picked up the win where two of that team looked so out of place in the WWE environment it was ridiculous.

Winners: The ECW Originals

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

6. Battle of the Billionaires: Hair vs. Hair – Umaga (w/ Mr. McMahon and Armando Alejandro Estrada) vs. Bobby Lashley (w/ Donald Trump) with Special Guest Referee Stone Cold Steve Austin

The history package for the match was shown, before each of the competitors and their managers made their way to the ring. As expected this was quickly contested as another big man contest where they didn’t seem to click with one another in the ring. In all honesty, Umaga was improving vastly at this time but Lashley was as green as hell and it didn’t take a lot to expose his weaknesses.

Soon enough, Austin was taken out by Umaga leading to the appearance of Shane McMahon, who attacked Lashley but this was ultimately stopped by Austin which caused Trump to attack Vince. Eventually Lashley picked up the win in a forgettable match, with the only highlight being Vince’s mannerisms after the match as he was shaved bald.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

7. WWE Women’s Championship: Lumberjack Match – Melina (c) vs. Ashley

All of the lumberjacks made their way to the ring first before the competitors made their way to the ring. Thankfully it didn’t last to long because Ashley was pretty diabolical in the ring. Melina was doing her best to get something credible out of her but it was still pretty awful. Melina (thank the lord) was able to retain her championship.

Winner: Melina, to retain the WWE Women’s Championship

Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars

8. WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

The history package was shown for the match, before HBK made his way to the ring first to the DX theme which was rather strange. Cena then received his grand WrestleMania entrance, where he was driving a mustang around the streets of Detroit. Soon enough, they were both in the ring and the match was underway

Both men had an opportunity to dictate the pace of the match with HBK being very technical and tactile in his approach whereas Cena was more in your face with his approach. Both men were ultimately busted open, and there were several near finishes for both men.

The end of the match was a little disappointing though, when HBK tapped out to the most unconvincing STFU in history. The match was very good, but cannot help but feel that the finish let it down. Something slightly more unique and powerful would have gone down better here.

Winner: John Cena, to retain the WWE Championship

Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

WWE WrestleMania 23 Conclusions

This was a very difficult WrestleMania to sum up and give an objective opinion on. There were some very good moments but then there were some diabolical moments. There was generally a feeling that more could have being delivered from the main matches on the card, to the point they were good but ultimately lacking something to make them stand out and enable you the opportunity to remember them. As much as it pains me to say it, the highlight of the night was The Battles of the Billionaires but not for the match quality but the pure expressions by Vince as his head was being shaved bald. This moment in itself makes this card worth watching, which can of course be done as part of your 9.99 subscription fee to the WWE Network.

Image Credit: DailyWrestlingNews.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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