OSR: WWE WrestleMania 25 Review (2009)
Back in 2009, the WWE celebrated the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania from the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. With 72,744 in attendance, The Undertaker collided with Shawn Michaels in one of the greatest WrestleMania matches ever. Relive the events of April 5 2009 in the WWE WrestleMania 25 Review…
The opening promo looks at various superstars memories of WrestleMania throughout the ages, and what stands out for them. Notable moments from WrestleMania III, WrestleMania X and WrestleMania X8 are among them shown. We then go inside the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for the events with Nicole Scherzinger opening the show with “America the Beautiful”. Our commentary team for the event is Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole before we go to the ring for the first match.
1. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (w/ Tony Atlas) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Finlay (w/ Hornswoggle) vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston vs, Christian vs. Kane
With each of the participants in the ring, it soon gets underway as a mass brawl. There are quickly some spots from various superstars, including Kane and Mark Henry climbing the same ladder at the same time. Shelton soon takes out everyone with an aerial dive from the ladder.
This is quickly followed by a Tadpole Splash from Hornswoggle taking everyone down again. Mark Henry is fairly dominant, but other superstars get their moments. This includes Christian nailing CM Punk with an unprettier off the ladder. But the use of ladders is fairly cool.
A slight botch occurs when Shelton attempts to powerbomb MVP off the ladder, but slips and the both end up flat on their faces. The final exchange comes to CM Punk and Kane. Punk is able to send Kane off the ladder with a swift kick to pick up the win in a great opening match.
Winner: CM Punk
Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars
2. Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal with Special Guest Timekeeper Mae Young: Layla vs. Joy Giovanni vs. Rosa Mendes vs. Alicia Fox vs. Sunny vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Jackie Gayda vs. Maria vs. Gail Kim vs. Jillian Hall vs. Eve Torres vs. Tiffany vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Molly Holly vs. Maryse vs. Katie Lea Burchill vs. Natalya vs. Victoria vs. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Santina Marella
The ladies make their way to the ring throughout the musical performance, before it gets underway. Sadly, from the outset it is a complete mess with far to many in the ring at one time to keep track of. There is absolutely nothing throughout which is able to stand out in memory.
The eventual winner is Santina Marella, which is completely ridiculous. It ultimately shows how much disregard the WWE has for their female division. Completely abysmal match.
Winner: Santina Marella
Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars
3. Handicap Elimination Match: Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper (w/ Ric Flair)
The video package looks at the problem Jericho has established with the WWE legends, stemming from Mickey Rourke appearing in the film “The Wrestler”. Each of the participants make their way to the ring, with Piper and Flair receiving tremendous reactions.
The match gets underway with Piper and Jericho. Piper literally lunges for Jericho from the outset. Piper uses various moves (some rather surprising) before Snuka enters the match slowing it down drastically. Snuka is the first eliminated in a very unconvincing fashion.
Piper is the next eliminated, again in an unconvincing way but entertaining exchange. Steamboat enters the match, and lightens up the crowd as he bounced around like it is the 1980s. The exchange with Steamboat and Jericho is one of the most surprising seen but enjoyable.
Jericho eventually wins this match, in what should have being terrible but was really entertaining with some nice spots. Afterwards, Jericho brawls with Flair briefly before being taken out by Mickey Rourke.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
4. Extreme Rules Match: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
The history package shown looks at Jeff being cost the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2009. This was followed by a series of events which were seemingly masterminded by Matt. The entire promo is dictated through the voice and perspective of Matt which is really cool.
With both men in the ring, Jeff quickly went for Matt with the action soon spiraling to the outside. Matt does regain some momentum, with a variety of weapons and spots coming into play. Jeff sends Matt through two tables, before ultimately making a big mistake.
Jeff attempts to nail a massive leg drop from the top of a humongous ladder, but misses when Matt moves. This allows Matt to nail a Twist of Fate through a chair for the win, in a match which could have delivered massively more. In the end, it was underwhelming and disappointing.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars
5. WWE Intercontinental Championship: John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
JBL made his way to the ring first, with no history or video clips shown. JBL thrown out a promo about being a Texas Hero, but returning to New York as a champion. He is then joined by Mysterio, who resembles The Joker from The Dark Knight.
The match got underway with JBL quickly pummeling Mysterio, who quickly fired back. Mysterio quickly nailed a 619 and a splash to pick up the win in 21 seconds. That, was a complete waste of time and degrading to the credibility of the championship. After, JBL to the microphone and quit.
Winner: Rey Mysterio, to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Match Rating: 0.5 out of 5.0 Stars
6. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
The history package looked at the coming together of their feud, with notable mention to the streak. It in essence came from the desire of HBK to have that WrestleMania moment. Slightly strange promo, which shows it coming together in an unusual way whilst focusing on HBK’s religion.
HBK is out first in a really weird entrance, very spiritual and unlike HBK. This is followed by Taker, which is normal but feels like a lifetime to take place. The match quickly got underway, with Taker using the striker approach whereas HBK used the speed and aerial agility.
Both men have periods of control throughout the match, with great resilience shown by both men. After a failed moonsault by HBK, The Undertaker nailed a massive aerial dive which almost killed himself and a camera man in the process.
Taker regained the control of the match, but almost everything he did is countered in some way by HBK. This gave us a thrilling showdown between the pair, with a whole entourage of near finishes. HBK regained some momentary control, with his own series of near finishes.
Ultimately, another failed moonsault sees Taker counter into a Tombstone Piledriver for the victory. Technically stunning, brilliant chemistry shown throughout. This was easily one of the best matches of The Undertaker’s career. Absolutely incredible.
Winner: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars
7. World Heavyweight Championship – Triple Threat Match: Edge (c) vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show
The history package shown looks at the opportunistic Edge reclaiming the championship, with the love triangle of Edge-Vickie-Show being the focal point (don’t dwell on that too much). But Cena is in it to re-establish the championships credibility – little bit of a desperate way to bring it together.
The match was painfully slow getting underway, with much of the efforts being focused on keeping The Big Show down. The match is a complete washout with nothing of significant note happening to make it interesting. It doesn’t last long with Cena being the victor and recapturing the title.
Winner: John Cena, to capture the World Heavyweight Championship
Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars
8. WWE Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton
The history package shown looks at the long and volatile history between the duo, which Randy made personal with the involvement of the McMahon family, taking out Stephanie with the signature DDT. Both men made their way to the ring after, with Randy literally getting no reaction.
Triple H initially pummels Orton from the outset, but is quickly halted with an RKO. After several moments, Orton himself is then nailed with a Pedigree evening the playing field again. The match was very technically sound, but contains nothing of memorable note.
Orton was the fairly dominant competitor throughout the match, but in a style which does not engage the fans. Eventually, Triple H picked up the win in a very mediocre match to remain champion. This was a very typical match between the two, they were simply rehashing the same old thing.
Winner: Triple H, to retain the WWE Championship
Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE WrestleMania 25 Conclusions
It is really difficult to sum up and ascertain what to make of WWE WrestleMania 25. Whilst on one hand, there were some diabolical matches, The other hand delivered some superb and cracking matches. The opening MITB was very enjoyable, and one of the easiest matches of that genre to watch. The other enjoyable match was the handicap between Chris Jericho and WWE Legends. In theory, this match should have being horrendous but whilst the in-ring quality was a bit poor, the charisma and energy made up for it. However, the match of the night (and decade) was between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. The match was superbly contested from a wrestling standpoint but also the charisma shared.
But this was unfortunately dwindled with some pretty piss poor matches. The main event matches were exceptionally disappointing, and unfortunately spoiled the enjoyment of those matches. The WWE WrestleMania 25 Review proved one thing, it was a particularly average show which is only memorable due to the efforts of The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. This can be watched yourself as part of the WWE Network. There are definitely worse to watch.