Florida hosts WWE Wrestlemania 24

By Jake Verterano
April 10, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

A lot has changed in a year, well, at least in the world of professional wrestling. Champions have fallen, opportunists have capitalized, the unforeseen has happened and the unexpected came to life. All of these twists over the least year culminate into one event, Wrestlemania.

The 24th installment of World Wrestling Entertainment’s annual event happened on Sunday, March 30 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Over 74,000 fans packed the sold-out stadium to witness their favorite superstars make history.

“Wrestlemania is the be all, end all of what we do,” WWE Superstar, Triple H, said in an interview with the Orlando Sentenial. “We work our entire careers to steal the show at Wrestlemania.”

Triple H was involved in a triple threat match for the WWE championship at Wrestlemania against defending champion, Randy Orton and John Cena. HHH managed to hit his finishing maneuver, the Pedigree, on Cena but Orton nailed HHH with a kick during the pinfall and capitalized. Surprisingly, Orton walked out of Wrestlemania with the championship.

“I was shocked that Orton retained,” Gerard Verterano, a law student at the Southern New England Institute of Law and fan at Wrestlemania, said. “I think everyone thought Cena or HHH would walk out with the belt.”

One of the featured attractions of the show was a historic confrontation between boxer Floyd Mayweather and the seven foot tall, Big Show. The match featured a lot of cheating on Mayweather’s part. He defeated the giant via knockout when he nailed him with a gold chain.

The main event of the show featured World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, putting his title on the line against The Undertaker. Neither of these superstars have ever been defeated at Wrestlemania. The battle was very back and forth and had fans attention at all times. Undertaker managed to pick up a submission victory over Edge.

“I really thought that Undertaker’s Wrestlemania winning streak would end when Edge hit a second spear,” Joe Valencia, a fan in attendance at Wrestlemania, said. “It was awesome to see Undertaker make it 16-0 at Wrestlemania!”

Current Playboy covergirl and WWE Diva, Maria, teamed up with fellow Diva and former Playboy covergirl, Ashley, in the Bunnymania tag team match. Ashley filled in for the injured Candice Michelle.

“It sucks to be missing ‘Mania this year,” Michelle said at WWE Fan Axcess earlier in the day.

Maria and Ashley were defeated by Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix and Melina in their match. Santino Marella, Maria’s ex-boyfriend, harassed her after the match. Luckily, guest MC for the match, Snoop Dogg nailed a clothesline on Marella and then kissed the Playboy covergirl.

Other matches on the snhw included the dangerous Money In The Bank ladder match featuring Chris Jericho, CM Punk, MVP, Carlito, John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin and Mr. Kennedy. Punk won the match and earned the right to face any champion over the next year at any time he chooses.

Kane also won a 24-man battle royal and had the opportunity to face ECW Champion, Chavo Guerrero, later in the show. Kane won with a Chokeslam in about eight seconds and captured the ECW Championship.

JBL also defeated Finlay in a violent Bellfast Brawl after a Clothesline onto a trash can. Batista won a battle for brand supremecy by powerbombing the 350 pound, Umaga, for the pin.

In the match of the night, Ric Flair wrestled Shawn Michaels. The rules of the match were that if Flair lost, he would have to retire after a momentous 36 year career. The match stole the show and had many near falls.

At the end of the match Michaels mouthed “I’m sorry. I love you.”

He then nailed Flair with a superkick for the pinfall ending the Nature Boy’s career. An emotional Flair kissed each of his children who were seated ringside before making his final walk up the ramp. The audience chanted his name and applauded the legend. Flair turned and looked into the crowd through his tear drenched eyes before taking his final bow.

Wrestlemania 24 was an event to remember. Whether you were watching at home, sitting in the audience, or even part of the show, it meant something to every wrestling fan. The countdown to Wrestlemania 25 begins, and the memories made at 24 have been etched into the hearts of WWE fans forever.

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Jake Verterano

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