Another Wrestlemania in the windy city and WWE tried to make this one feel "big time." Ladder matches, hardcore wrestling, and a legend finally stealing the show.
22 years of Wrestlemania, and it is quite clear here that we are entering the "John Cena Era." The entire PPV is centered around him taking on Triple H, and the crowd was simply not having it. "Let's go Cena, Cena sucks" was in full force and it made for a rather strange main-event. More than 17,000 fans were determined to see Triple H come out on top. And if you look closely, you'll see a young CM Punk in gangster garb on the side of the car during Cena's entrance. Add the storyline of Rey Mysterio capturing the World Heavyweight Championship finally, and you've got a lot of awesome storylines here. That was all fine and dandy. However, after years of seeking the spotlight, I will honestly say that Mick Foley stole the show with the Rated R superstar, Edge.
Favorite Match: Mick Foley vs. Edge: This match was fantastic, and as much as I hate to say it: the right wrestler won. Just looking back to Wrestlemania 2000, Mick Foley was supposed to have retired! Obviously, he didn't. After a fantastic match with Randy Orton the year prior, Edge and Mick Foley stole the show at Wrestlemania 22. Money in the Bank was solid as well, but this match had so many twists and turns. The barbed wire wrapped around Foley's waste. Mr. Socko wrapped in barbed wire and hitting Edge and Lita. Thumbtacks, baseball bats, and that burning table spot? From top to bottom this match was simply exciting. By far one of the best matches Mick Foley ever had in the company.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match was downright stellar
How many spots were in this match that were absolutely amazing? Even throwing in a Matt Hardy appearance after his injury was intriguing. It also helps that Battle Creek's own RVD won, leading the way for him to capture the WWE Championship.
Vickie Guerrero getting the spotlight after Eddie's death
Still gets to me. Eddie Guerrero died on my birthday, and watching the RAW the next night still eats at me. Seeing that crowd give Vickie a standing ovation gives me chills.
Freaks interview backstage with Booker T
Some solid promo work by all parties involved. Goldust. Snitsky. Booker. Sharmell. Funny set up for a gimmick match and it worked beautifully.
Undertaker tombstoning Mark Henry
I legitimately was worried he wasn't going to be able to do it. However, I remembered this is a much younger Undertaker.
Shawn Michaels taking Mr. McMahon to task
I always call back to the promo Triple H said about McMahon. "He'll take a beating because it's right for business." He certainly did that.
Rey Mysterio capturing the championship finally
Once again, calling back to the Eddie Guerrero storyline. Was it tasteless? Maybe. At the time, I was fully involved. I wanted Rey to get that championship in Eddie's honor. Then you add the fact that Vickie and Chavo came out to celebrate with him afterwords? Love it.
Worst Match: Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle
Once again, what a strange thing to go back and watch in 2018. Both of these women are decent in-ring performers (Candice won the Divas championship after improving her in-ring ability). This entire match is predicated on stripping the other women to their bra and panties. And this was the match before the WWE Championship? I want to remind you that the women's royal rumble ended Royal Rumble 2018. I know, different time and place in 2006, but what a weird sight to see considering where we are now.
JBL taunting Eddie Guerrero during his match
Listen. I know it's storyline. I know they intended on drawing heat from this, and I from everything I've heard about Eddie Guerrero since his passing, he would have been behind the move. But I still am not a big fan of this. Same when Randy Orton said Eddie was in hell. Just seems like it's in poor taste.
Final Thoughts: There isn't a lot to complain about in this year's installment of Wrestlemania. There is a lot to like, and aside from Candice vs. Torrie, I enjoyed most of the show. The Money in the Bank ladder match is almost always thrilling, regardless of who wins. Rey, Angle, and Orton put on one hell of a triple-threat match (who can forget that triple german?!). Triple H and Cena was solid, albeit strange to hear them chant the heel the whole time. And then you add the Foley vs. Edge hardcore match, which was truly that, and you have yourself a solid staple of wrestling and entertainment.
Would it hold up in 2018?
Absolutely. In fact, this feels a lot like 2018 aside from the Playboy Bed match or whatever they sold it as. A very solid slew of mid card matches, some entertainment goofiness, and then solid championship matches. Per usual, a match that was not the main-event stole the show, which seems to be a growing trend for Wrestlemania's (in my opinion at least).