WWE Wrestlemania slams 25 years on the mat

By Jake Verterano
April 16, 2009

Patrick McGowan

“What’s your favorite Wrestlemania moment?”

The question rang through the ears of every fan of World Wrestling Entertainment on the weekend of April 3. The reason? The 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania rocked the foundation of sports entertainment on April 5.

Wrestlemania XXV was held at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Over 72,000 fans filled the sold out venue to capacity.

The WWE superstars, divas and crew were in Houston the entire week. The wrestling celebrities took part in readings, art exhibits and fundraisers to promote the event.

“When WWE comes to a town for Wrestlemania, they don’t just put on an incredible show,” Vince McMahon, chairman of WWE, said in a promotional video for Wrestlemania. “They better the community and help the economy of the area. Wrestlemania is expected to generate up to $50 million into Houston’s economy alone.”

“Wrestling is the fun part,” Jack Swagger, ECW Champion, said. “Signing all of these autographs is where the real work comes in.”

Championships and pride were on the line throughout the evening when nine historic matches took place.

A tag team match to unify the WWE Tag Team and World Tag Team Championships kicked off the evening. The Miz and John Morrison faced off with their long-time rivals, brothers Carlito and Primo. Primo managed to pin Morrison to make himself and Carlito the first ever unified Tag Team Champions.

The actual Wrestlemania festivities began with Pussycat Doll, Nicole Schreizeneger performing “America, The Beautiful.”

The “Money In The Bank” ladder match was the first official match to take place on the Wrestlemania pay-per-view. Last year’s “Money In The Bank” winner, CM Punk, battled Mark Henry, Montel Vontavious Porter, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Kane for the coveted “Money In The Bank” briefcase.

The briefcase contains a contract guaranteeing the match winner a World Championship match at any time they choose. Punk was able to capture his second “Money In The Bank” victory by scaling the 15-foot high ladder and retrieving the briefcase.

Kid Rock played a medly of some of his greatest hits including “All Summer Long” and “Cowboy” following the ladder match. He then performed his newest single, “So Hott,” as the WWE Divas made their way to the ring for the next bout.

A 25-Diva Battle Royal was held including Divas from RAW, Smackdown, ECW and the past. The match was won by Santino Marella, who wore a dress and pretended to be a woman in order to win the match and be crowned Miss Wrestlemania.

“I am Santina, Santino Marella’s twin sister from Italy,” Marella said to the audience after being crowned Miss Wrestlemania.

“I have never been more ready in my life,” Eve Torres, WWE Diva and participant in the battle royal, said before her match.

Chris Jericho faced WWE Legends Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in a three-on-one elimination match. Jericho easily defeated the three legends and then took out some more frustration on 16 time World Champion Ric Flair, who accompanied the legends.

Jericho then called out Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke, who was seated in the front row.

Rourke entered the ring and knocked out Jericho with one punch.

“It was good to be in the ring again,” Jimmy Snuka said. Snuka is the oldest competitor at a Wrestlemania ever, being 64 years old.

The Hardy brothers faced off in an Extreme Rules match.

These two pulled out all the stops with tables, ladders and chairs. Matt got the better of his younger brother after delivering a Twist of Fate with a steel chair wrapped around Jeff’s neck to win.

John Bradshaw Layfield defended his Intercontinental Championship against Rey Mysterio, who came dressed as the Joker. Layfield had promised to do something historic at Wrestlemania XXV, but ended up losing to Mysterio in under a minute.

A stunned JBL then quit his job out of sheer embarrassment.

Mr. Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels, challenged The Undertaker in a one-on-one confrontation. The Undertaker has never lost at a Wrestlemania event with a 16-0 winning streak. Michaels and Undertaker went back and forth for over a half hour, countering each maneuver the best they could.

In the end, The Undertaker caught Michaels in mid-air and drove him into the mat with a Tombstone Piledriver to pick up his 17th Wrestlemania victory.

World Heavyweight Champion Edge was forced to defend his title in a triple threat match with the world’s largest athlete, The Big Show and John Cena.

Edge’s wife, Vickie Guerrero, sat ringside to observe the match.

Cena managed to show an incredible amount of strength by picking up the nearly 450 pound Big Show and 250 pound Edge onto his shoulders at the end of the match. Cena left his sixth Wrestlemania as the World Heavyweight Champion.

The main event of the evening was so personal that only a stage like Wrestlemania could contain it. WWE Champion Triple H defended his gold against Randy Orton.

Orton had targeted Triple H and his family for months, even assaulting Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon. Triple H overcame the odds and Orton’s mindgames by defeating him at Wrestlemania XXV.

Triple H ended the show by raising his title proudly over his head.

With Wrestlemania XXV over, the WWE Universe has already begun preparing for Wrestlemania XXVI in Arizona.

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Jake Verterano

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