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Top 5 ‘Best WrestleManias of All-Time’ #2 – WrestleMania 22



The Best and Worst of WrestleMania

Top 5 Best ‘WrestleManias of All-Time’ #2 

WrestleMania 22 – AllState Arena – Rosemont, Illinois, 2006

The show began with a highlight video of past WrestleMania moments, then a second video that previewed the big matches on the show. And there are good number of them on this show…

The pyro goes off. We see pictures of big stars past and present are hanging from the rafters, the only time I ever seen that.

Big Show and Kane (C) vs. Carlito and Chris Masters for The Raw Tag Team Titles

Masters put Kane down with a shoulder block, but Kane threw a 300-pound dropkick. Show tagged in with a big headbutt and two massive chops, but Master raked the eyes and tagged Carlito, who didn’t look happy. He’s actually over with this crowd. He stupidly goes for a wristlock, and Show lifts him and crotches him on the top. He catches Masters coming to interview with a gorilla press slam, then press slams Carlito to the floor on top of him. Kane then comes on top of both men with a plancha.

As the ref tries to regain control, Carlito dropkicks Show in the knee and his face hits a turnbuckle that somehow got exposed, and the young heels hit a double flapjack for a two count. They go for a double suplex, but Show reverses into his own double suplex and he makes the hot tag to Kane. Kane cleans house leading to a sidewalk slam on Carlito. He goes for a top rope clothesline, but Masters blocks in and locks in the Masterlock. Show broke it up with a sidekick. Carlito laid out Kane with a backstabber. Show went for a chokeslam on Carlito, but Masters hit a chopblock from behind and Carlito hit a DDT. Kane tried to chokeslam both men, but the young heels fought back, and went for a double backdrop, but Kane kicked it away. Kane went for a chokeslam on Carlito, and Masters tried a second rope double ax to break it up, but Kane saw it coming and Carlito took the blow. Kane hit Masters with a big boot, then hit the chokeslam for the win.

Winner: Show and Kane via pinfall, 6:42

Afterwards the faces celebrated, while the young heels teased a break-up, but not tonight.

They went to the Coach, who interviewed Shawn Michaels. He promised that tonite was going to get ugly for Vince McMahon and that he would be going to place that he had never gonna before to punish him. He said that Vince should get down on his knees and pray for mercy from God, because he would get none for Shawn, because tonight would be his personal hell.

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

Van Dam is the clear favorite with the crowd. Of course, there will be too much action to cover here. Lashley mowed everyone down, including a gorilla press slam on Flair, until Benjamin nailed him with a head kick. Matt is the first to go to a ladder, but RVD cuts him off. Benjamin uses a ladder on top of the ropes and hits a springboard tope con hilo on a pile of guys in amazing dive. First Holy Sh*t chant of the night. Flair tried to climb up the ladder, but it wasn’t directly under the briefcase. Matt then came and suplexed Flair off the top of the ladder! Flair sold it like his back had been broken, and the ref threw up the X, and he was taken to the back. The crowd chanted for him. RVD missed a Rolling Thunder on the ladder on Benjamin. It took three men to powerbomb Lashley off the ladder. Finlay put everyone down for moment, until Flair came back and took Finlay out.

Flair fought off Benjamin and Hardy and made his climb up the ladder, but Finlay came back in with his shileli and knocked Flair off the ladder. The crowd was roaring for Flair. Lashley used a ladder to knock Finlay and Benjamin off the ladder, then laid out Benjamin with the Dominator. RVD then used a chair for an unbelievable Van Damnitor to the back of Lashley, knocking him off the ladder. Matt hit Lashley with a flying legdrop off the ladder. Finlay tried to stop Matt, but he took a side effect off the ladder, and then RVD hit a Frog splash off of one onto him. RVD went up top, but Benjamin pulled off an awesome springboard onto the ladder to fight him off. Matt set up another ladder and climbed up. But then RVD managed to kick over Shelton and Matt’s ladder and they tumbled to the floor and RVD grabbed the briefcase for the win!

Winner: Van Dam wins, 12:14

In the back, Josh Mathews introduces Mean Gene Okerlund, the first announcer inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He thanked Josh and talked about his bar tab, until Randy Orton interrupted and made fun of Gene, who said F it and walked off. He talked about how when he made the HOF, it would be because of nights like this. But then he was interrupted by Batista, the former world champion who had to give his belt due to injury. Batista said that it didn’t matter if Randy won anyway, because he would just be holding the belt for him, and said that he was feeling pretty good. He vowed to champ by Wrestlemania 23. (He was.)

Then we get the HOF ceremony, which unfortunately didn’t include the headliner, Bret Hart, who made his return to the company for the first time in nine years the night before, didn’t participate. The Fink then introduced the rest of the class-Mean Gene Okerlund, Sensational Sherri, Tony Atlas, Verne Gagne, William The Fridge Perry, Blackjacks Mulligan and Lanza, and the late Eddie Guerrero, represented by Chavo and Vickie. Shit, it’s hard not to lose it right here.

JBL (with Jillian Hall) vs. Chris Benoit (C) for the WWE United States title

The stage lifted up so JBL could enter in his trademark limo. Damn, I forgot how hot Jillian Hall was. They traded rights to start the match, and JBL grabbed a headlock, but Benoit caught him with a drop toe hold and went for an early Crossface, adopting to throw headbutts to the back of the head when JBL fought out. JBL grabbed a headlock, but Benoit slipped out and went to the leg. Back on the feet, JBL caught him with a boot, but Benoit came back with a Sharpshooter, but JBL kicked him off. JBL took a powder, and then used Jillian as a distraction to go to the eyes. JBL worked him over until he missed a charge and Benoit hit a Triple German suplex. He went up top, but JBL shoved the ref to crotch Benoit, and he hit a superplex for a two count. For whatever reason, JBL did Eddie’s pose, and went for his Three Amigos, but Benoit blocked the third one, only to run into a boot for a two count. JBL used some crazy nervehold/chinlock comno. Benoit managed to work to his feet and hit a back suplex, then came through with the Three Amigos on his own, then smashed him a Flying Headbutt off the top for a near fall. Benoit went for a German, but JBL grabbed the ref, then ropes to break it. He caught benoit with an elbow and went for the Clothesline from Hell, but Benoit caught him in a Crippler Crossface, but JBL managed to roll through with the hold still on and grab the ropes to get the three count!.

Winner: JBL via pinfall, 9:48

Then we get the preview of the Edge-Mick Foley title match, which began when Edge blamed Mick Foley for losing the WWE Title, and unleashed hell. But Foley looked ready to respond with hell, as he was looking to chase that great WM Moment. Edge had called him a muppet, but he had awoken the dark part of Mick Foley that had been sleeping for too long.

Mick Foley vs. Edge (with Lita) in a Hardcore Match

Joey Styles replaced JR on commentary for this match. We didn’t call the whole show and bring in JR for the Vince/Shawn match is something I’ll never understand. Edge and Lita came dressed for battle, carrying a baseball bat. Foley had a black flannel shirt instead of a red one here. Edge started the match by going from some wild swings from the baseball bat, but Foley avoided him and cornered him with the Foley Flurry in the corner. Foley hit a bulldog, then a running elbow while Edge was tied to the tree of woe. Edge came back with a Yakuza Kick and a clothesline, then savaged Foley with a cookie sheet given to him by Lita. Edge sent a street sign into Foley’s face and then hit a big spear, but he came up holding his shoulder. Foley took off the black flannel and revealing he had barbed wire tied to himself underneath! Mick then started whipping him with the barbs, then jamming it into his shoulder. Foley tied Edge up in the ropes and went and grabbed the barbed wire baseball bat from underneath the steps! He came in the ring, nut Lita came and jumped on his back with a sleeper.

Foley then hit Edge with the Cactus clothesline with Lita on his back! Mick gets a two count on the floor. Foley went for his running knee against the steps, but Edge caught him a hiptoss onto the steps, then whipped him hard again into the steps. Edge then nailed him with a baseball slide, then set up a table outside the ring. Mick manages to get off of the table, but Edge slammed his head into the steel rampway for a two count. Edge then went back in the ring and grabbed a bottle of lighter fluid! He then sprayed Mick with the fluid, but Mick caught Edge in the gut and hit a pulling piledriver for a two count. Lita busted up a concharito  attempt and Edge hit a DDT for a two count. Edge then grabbed Barbie and hit Mick with it several times, and then grinded it into face. Foley is busted open. Lita then handed Edge a bag, and he poured out the thumbtacks. Edge looked to throw him in, but Foley backsuplexed Edge barebacked into the tacks!!! Foley then put on Mr. Socko and wrapped him in barbed wire! He applied the mandible claw to Edge. Lita came in, and she got it too!! Mick then grabbed Barbie and nailed Edge with shots, finishing him with a shot to the head that busted him open, then dropped the bat to the face. Edge then used the bat to rake it across the face. Foley then grabbed the lighter fluid and sprayed it on the table. But then Lita came around and hit Mick in the leg with Barbie. She then doused the table with more fluid and lit that SOB up. Edge then speared Foley off the apron through the flaming table!!! The fire somehow went out on impact. Edge crawled and got the three count. Holy Goodness.

Winner: Edge via pinfall, 14:36

Edge looked horrific after this match. He may have actually looked worse than Mick. Lita was bleeding from her mouth. Mick got a huge ovation.

Then we go to Booker T and Sharmell in the back, worrying about the Boogeyman. Booker then cam across the cavalcade of freaks-Paul Burchill as the pirate, The Million Dollar Man having Eugene bounce a basketball and laughing, Snitsky sniffing Mae Young’s feet, and Goldust, in a dress and wing, as OprahDust. He said they were all hear to help Booker access his inner freak, as that’s the only way he would beat the Boogeyman. He told Booker to do something, but Booker recoiled, uttered his line, called then all freaks and left. Snitsky uttered his famous line-“That’s Not My Fault.” And Dibiase laughed. Lol.

Booker T and Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman

Booker made Sharmell start the match, and used at as a chance to jump Boogeyman from behind. He made the tag and started working over the Boogeyman, but then he got into his walk and started no selling shots. Booker recovered with a Bookend for a two count. Boogey fought back and hit a pair of double thrusts to the throat. Booker missed an Axe Kick and got nailed with  a forearm. Boogey then pulled out a handful of worms and threw it in his mouth! Sharmell tried to come behind with the staff, but Boogey caught her and kissed her with a handful of worms and she left screaming to the back. Booker missed a charge and hit a double arm chokeslam for the pin.

Winner: Boogeyman via pinfall, 3:43

They then threw into the Mickie James-Trish Stratus hype, which was pushed forward by Mickie playing the obsessed fan bit to the absolute tilt. The hype culminated when Mickie elaborately revealed that she had beaten and kidnapped Stratus’ friend Ashley Massaro. When Trish tried to save her, Mickie laid her out with a DDT and kissed her unconscious form screaming “Do You Love Me Now?” This wouldn’t fly now, but it awesome at the time.

Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus (C) for the WWE Women’s Title

Goodness Mickie looks incredible here (she still does of course.) They locked up and Mickie took the back and started slapping Trish in the back of the head. Trish was responded with a backelbow and lit her up with forearms and chops. Mickie tried to cut her off with a spinning back kick, but Trish caught it and dropped her into a split in a great looking spot, then nailed her with a kick in the head. Trish hit a baseball slide to knock her to the floor and went for a head kick, but missed and hit the ringpost. Mickie went right after the injured leg, wrapping it around the ringpost. Trish tried to fight back, but Mickie dropkicked the knee and wrenched the leg hard for a two count. The crowd is chanting for Mickie so loud that JR has to call it out. Mickie stays on the knee leading to a half Boston Crab. She added a hair pull, and the ref made her break. Mickie got a two count. Mickie stayed on the leg and soaked in the cheers for the crowd. Trish got a headscissors out of nowhere.

Trish hit a series of clothesline and a spinebuster for a two count. JR seems almost offended that the crowd is cheering Mickie. Trish went for her cartwheel into a top rope rana, but Mickie blocked it and snapped the leg over the top rope in an awesome move. Trish came back with a small package for a two count, then countered Mickie’s out of the corner rana with a running powerbomb for a two count. Trish then went for the Stratusfaction, but Mickie grabbed her by the you know what. Not joking. Mickie laughed about it, but then ran into a forearm. Trish came in, but Mickie kicked her in the injured leg and Stratus went face first into her knee. Mickie then got up and nailed her with the Chick Kick for the three count. Awesome pop for Mickie. Don’t know if its her hotness, Trish overkill, or Mickie Indy cred that causes this reaction, but it’s still fun.

Winner: Mickie via pinfall, 8:48

Then they went to the back for Vince McMahon, who was with Shane, Stephanie, and Linda. Vince then led them in the first ever McMahon Family Prayer, that I don’t want to be struck by lightning so I won’t repeat…

The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry in a Casket Match

These two went right at each other. Taker couldn’t knock him down, but Henry put him down with a clothesline and worked him over on the outside. Henry then stopped Old School and pounded him to the mat. Henry went for the casket first, but Taker fought back. The crowd is solidly behind Taker. Henry missed a charge and fell into the casket, but he pulled Taker and they are fighting inside the damn casket. They both managed get out. Taker is trying to move, but Henry catches him in a World Strongest Slam. Henry kicked him into the casket, but taker got to his feet and fought back. Henry cut him off with a clothesline and started to pound him from the corner mount, but Taker caught him with a powerbomb. Taker then kicked Henry over the casket to the floor and then hit an awesome suicide dive that cleared the casket! Taker then hit somehow hit the Tombstone Piledriver, then put him in the casket and slammed the lid for the win. 14-0, baby!

Winner: Undertaker via pinfall, 9:28

Then we get the Vince-Shawn hype, where Vince was trying to bring back the old, sinful Shawn Michaels. This included Shane and Shawn having a crazy match at SNME.

Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels in a Street Fight

Shawn attacked Vince while he was still out posing on the floor. He lit him up with chops, then threw him over JR and King’s announce table. He choked Vince with the wires of the headsets, then threw him in the ring. He grabbed the giant Muscle and Fitness cover and broke it over Vince’s head mocking his pose. But then The Spirit Squad came out and attacked Shawn. They beat him down and the their quintiple team throw. Kenny missed a top rope legdrop, while the rest of Squad tried to help Vince. Shawn grabbed the mega phone and lit up the Squad with it. Shawn then threw Kenny over the top onto the rest of the Squad, sending him packing. McMahon then hit a clothesline on Shawn. He was bleeding from his eye. Vince choke Shawn, then took off his belt to whip and choke him with it, then clothesline him with it when Shawn tried to mount a comeback.

Vince then mocked the Bret Hart pose. Vince then tried a superkick, but Shawn blocked it and took over. Shawn hit a Flying Forearm and nipped up, then whipped Vince to hell with his own belt. Shawn hit the top rope elbow drop and was tuning up the band, but Shane came out of nowhere with a Singapore cane and nailed Shawn with it. Vince then pulled down his pants and beat over for Shane to make Shawn kiss his ass, but Shawn cut him off and rubbed Shane’s face into Vince’ ass! Shawn then laid them both out with low blows and clotheslined Shane to the floor. He then handcuffed Shane to the second rope on the outside. Shawn then wore Shane out with a good Singapore cane. The crowd was now solidly behind HBK. Shawn then nearly killed Vince with a chair shot. Shawn then went to superkick him, but pulled up. Shawn then pulled out a ladder and nailed him in the head with it. Vince is busted open. Shawn pulled up a kick the second time then pulled out a garbage can and nailed him with it. Shawn then grabbed a table and put Vince on it, then pulled out a supersized ladder. Shawn then put the garbage can on Vince’s head and climbed the supersized ladder and hit a flying elbow drop off the ladder through the table! Third Holy Shit chant of the night. Trainers and EMT came out tried to tend to Vince, but Shawn fought them off. Shane begged for his father, but Shawn gave him a crotch chop, then blew a snot rocket out on him. Shawn then superkicked him finally for the win.

Winner: Shawn via pinfall, 18:20

Then we get the hype for the World Championship Three Way, much of which doesn’t bear remembering.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle (C) for the World Heavyweight Title.

This was the debut of the “Booykah 619” song for Rey, which was played live. Rey had on an Aztec tribute outfit. “Burn In My Light” Orton at his best. This was sadly, Kurt Angle’s last WrestleMania match. Orton grabbed the belt before the bell and smashed Kurt with it. Rey then attacked Orton with leg kicks. Rey went for a skytwister, but Orton caught him with a dropkick. Angle came back in and hit a German on Orton, but when Orton tried to grab Rey to block it, Angle German’ed both of them! Orton came back with a 3.0 for a two count, but Angle hit an overhead Belly to Belly.

This a pro-Angle crowd. Angle threw Rey over his head for a top rope rana on Orton! Angle threw Rey out and covered Orton for a two count. It was all Angle until Rey hit him a head kick for a two count.  Rey went for a 619, but Angle caught him and grabbed an Ankle Lock and he had Rey tapping, but Orton had the ref. Kurt Angle Slammed Rey over the top to the floor and put Orton in the Ankle Lock, but Rey had the ref when Orton tapped out. Angle applied the Ankle Lock with a kneebar added, but Rey hit a springboard leg drop on Angle to break it up. Angle threw Rey shoulder first into the post and went for the Angle Slam on Orton, but Orton slipped out and hit the RKO, but was slow to pin and only got two. Angle hit a running second rope Belly to Belly suplex. Rey hit a messy 619 on Angle, then a springboard senton for a two count. Orton hit an over the shoulder backbreaker into a neckbreaker for a two count. Angle came from nowhere with an Angle Slam on Orton for a two count. Angle went for one on Rey, but Rey turned into an armdrag. Rey then dropkicked Orton to the ropes, hit the 619, and hit the West Coast Pop for the three count! Angle was just late breaking the pin.

Winner: Rey via pinfall, 11:28

They then showed John Cena and Triple H getting prepared for the fans. Cena was booed wildly and H cheered greatly. JR acknowledged that the fans would be cheering for Triple H tonight as they showed him getting worked on before the match. Of course, we have to a damn pillow fight between Candace Michelle and Torrie Wilson. It’s pretty much you expect. Torrie wins the match.

Triple H vs. John Cena (C) for WWE Championship

This was the first time that Triple H used the King of King’s music, which blended into his “All About The Game” theme, both by Motorhead, of course. This is the famous Conan The Barbarian entrance. Meanwhile, Cena did the Chicago Gangster entrance, which of course, featured a young CM Punk, who got plenty of camera time. Lilian did the intros after the entrances in the ring. Love that. This is a pro-Triple H crowd. This was a wrestling match, early as they did chain wrestling and looked to see who could gain the advantage. Triple H was consistently winning the exchanges. This crowd, which has been hot the whole evening, is actually chanting “F**k You, Cena.” Cena went for a quick F-U, but H slipped out and decked him with a right. Cena finally came alive, hitting a series of rights and a backdrop, then hitting a Released Fisherman’s suplex for a two count. This is the first time I remember hearing a “You Can’t Wrestle” chant.

Cena caught Hunter with a big whip that sent him over the top to the floor. Hunter cut him off to the eyes, but Cena came back with a backdrop onto the steel rampway. Back in the ring, Hunter hit a high knee and took over, including whipping Cena hard into the steps. Cena’s next comeback was halted by a facebuster on the knee and a clothesline for a two count, then a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Triple H then used a neck vice, then went to a rear chinlock. Cena fought back to his feet and tried to use some shoulder blocks, but ran into a boot, but Cena came back with a clothesline. Cena roared back with a series of rights, and clothesline, and then hit a powerslam. Cena hit the Protoplex and went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Triple H came back with a spinebuster for a two count. Cena came back with another Protoplex and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena went for the FU, but Hunter escaped, but Cena countered into the STFU. Triple H manages to use all of his strength to get to the ropes. Cena goes for the FU, but Hunter slips out and then rams Cena, and the ref, into the corner. Hunter then low blows both men at the same time. Hunter gives Cena a crotch chop and the crowd roars. Hunter then goes for the sledgehammer, but Cena caught him off with a series of rights, but Hunter managed to hit him with the hammer! The ref managed to wake up, but Cena kicked out! Hunter covered again for a two count. Triple H goes for the Pedigree, but Cena counters into the FU, but Hunter kicks out. Cena misses A Flying Bodypress, but and Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but Cena steps though and locks in the STF again. Hunter’s arm goes down twice, but it comes up the third time. Triple H reaches out and is almost there, but instead he taps out!!!

Winner: Cena via submission, 22:02

Cena celebrates to end the show, and we get a highlight video.

Why Is This the Second Best: This is actually my personal favorite WrestleMania. From MITB to the Women’s Title match, to maybe the best Hardcore match in WWE History between Edge and Mick Foley, to Rey winning the title in an upset and Cena winning a very underrated title match, this show had absolutely everything, in a hot as hell crowd in the last show held in an arena. This show was pretty damn close to perfect where I sit.

"Frank has been a wrestling fan since he was two years old. (Don't worry, he's got proof.) He's also a huge boxing and UFC fan and has a long standing love affair with Popeyes Chicken. He still owns a VHS copy of the first Ring of Honor show ever and was watching NXT before it was cool (or good). Bret Hart > Shawn Michaels. You can follow him on Twitter at @FightFanaticPod and on Tumblr at FrankTheFightFanatic." He's also starting his own podcast soon!

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