On Sunday, April 5, 2009, World Wrestling Entertainment presented Wrestlemania 25, at Reliant Stadium, in Houston Texas. Over 72,000 fans witnessed the event. Deafening, but colorful and beautiful pyrotechnics brought fans to their feet, and they went crazy. There were eight matches on the card, but I will talk about the matches that captured my interest, and which had unbelievable, sometimes startling moments.

For the second consecutive year, Wrestlemania opened with the “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match. The first wrestler to climb a ladder and retrieve the briefcase suspended from the ceiling was declared the winner. The briefcase contained a contract that entitled the winner to challenge any Heavyweight Champion, at any time, during the course of the year. There were several participants, and the entire match was nail-biting, and nerve wracking. One of the most exciting parts of the match was when six of the competitors were battling outside of the ring. Two of the combatants, C.M. Punk and Kofi Kingston, worked as a team, for a short period, and positioned themselves on the other side of the ring, ran across and dived onto the other competitors. As the match was drawing to a close, Punk and Kane were fighting at the top of the ladder. Punk kicked his opponent off the ladder and quickly retrieved the briefcase. He became the first-ever repeat “Money in the Bank” winner. This match was packed with so much action and different moves.

I enjoyed the match, but, wasn’t happy with the outcome. I would have preferred someone else to claim the briefcase. Shelton Benjamin would have been a better choice. He has been in many of these matches, he’s agile, possesses great techniques, and has been a long standing member with the W.W.E. If he had won, it would have guaranteed him a title shot, and likely elevate him to main-event status.

An elimination match was on the card, in which Chris Jericho, challenged three legends: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. The spectators saw Jericho emerge victorious, eliminating Steamboat with his signature move “The Codebreaker.” It was a spectacular match, in which the skills and determination of each wrestler were evident and exciting.

The Intercontinental Championship was defended at Wrestlemania, for the first time in years. The Champion, John “Bradshaw” Layfield battled Rey Mysterio. The minute the bell rang, Rey attacked JBL. He was aggressive and determined. As Layfield was draped across the second rope, Rey ran across the ring, and utilized his “6-1-9″ move, and JBL landed on the mat. Rey emerged as the new Intercontinental Champion. JBL was furious and asked for a microphone. He angrily and convincingly belted out two words:” I Quit.” Spectators were stunned. That decision may prove to be short-lived, and was made to create some discussion among fans. So, John Bradshaw Layfield’s wrestling career is apparently over, for now.

I truly believe that while we think we may know who is going to emerge victorious, it’s more about how the winner gets there, that matters the most. The match between the Undertaker and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, was an example of how great a match could be, and no one could complain how the match ended.

The Undertaker attempted to hit Shawn with his fists to open the match, but HBK kept evading the blow. Each competitor executed their finishing move a few times, but each one kicked out of the other’s signature move. Frustration was evident on the faces of both these superstars, especially the Undertaker’s. At one point during the match, Shawn was on the outside of the ring. Undertaker was about to dive, but HBK pulled a camera man in front of him, and Undertaker accidently jumped on the camera man. The end came when Shawn was climbing the ropes to do a moonsault. The Undertaker caught him in mid-air, and nailed his “Tombstone” reverse piledriver for the pinfall victory.

The match lasted a little over half-an-hour and was one of the greatest matches I have ever seen. The fans were into it – half were chanting “Let’s go Taker”, while the other half were chanting “HBK”. At one point, the fans were also chanting “This is awesome.” The Undertaker is now 17-0 at Wrestlemania. What a record! In my opinion, this was his best match ever, at a Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels brought out the best in his opponent, and showed why he is also known as “Mr. Wrestlemania.” This should have been the main event of the night, but the grand finale, had to match up the Heavyweight Champion.

The Main Event of Wrestlemania 25, was a very personal battle for the WWE championship. The Champion, Triple H, defended his title against Randy Orton. Now, championships only change hands via a pinfall or submission. But, a ruling was made that if Triple H was disqualified or counted out, he would lose his Championship. As soon as the bell rang, Triple H punched Orton, with lots of aggression. The referee had to control Triple H and reminded him of the stipulation. It was a back and forth match. At one point, Orton attempted to get up from the mat, but the Champion made sure it didn’t happen. He punted (hard kick) the challenger in the head. That led to Triple H hitting his “Pedigree” finishing move for the win, thus retaining the WWE title.

I thought Orton would have won, only because I believed Triple H would have been distracted, and focusing instead on, revenge on Orton for what he did to the McMahon family (Triple H’s in-laws), in the weeks leading up to the match. But, the champion kept his anger in check long enough to retain his gold.

The 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania delivered much entertainment and showmanship. It was a great show. The Undertaker-Shawn Michaels match was the match of the night. Their long tenure with the WWE, had fans divided on which of these two phenomenal wrestlers should emerge as the winner. The battle was intense throughout, there were many close pinfalls, and the crowd involved throughout.

The roars, the screams, the disbelief, the tension, the surprises, all created the atmosphere for Wrestling’s greatest event of the year. What a spectacular show! Congratulations, World Wrestling Entertainment, for a night packed with excitement.

Azeem Kayum

Be Sociable, Share!