Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: March 30, 2008
Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, Joey Styles, Tazz
This is one of those shows that doesn’t get as much attention as it should so it was time for a fresh look. It’s from one of the forgotten periods of the company’s history as things were mostly good, but this era really runs together for me. This show is well received and kind of a hidden gem though so let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Battle Royal
Jim Duggan, Shannon Moore, Jimmy Wang Yang, Val Venis, Cody Rhodes, Hardcore Holly, Jesse, Festus, Stevie Richards, Jamie Noble, Tommy Dreamer, Kofi Kingston, Brian Kendrick, Kane, Great Khali, Miz, Mark Henry, Deuce, Domino, Elijah Burke, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Chuck Palumbo, Snitsky
This show is so old it pre-dates Kickoff Shows. This is your usual get everyone on the card match, which would go completely off the rails years later. There is actually a prize as the winner gets an ECW Title shot later tonight. The brawl is on to start (as it should be) with Festus (Luke Gallows) throwing out Deuce N Domino without much trouble. Khali gets rid of Duggan (to a lot of booing) and Burke knocks out Richards.
Burke makes the eternal mistake of celebrating too much though and gets shoved out by Kane. You would think people would learn at some point. It’s Miz out next and the announcers talk about how cool it would be for young Kofi Kingston to get a title shot at Wrestlemania. Henry eliminates Moore and Yang and it’s Jesse following them out.
Festus is put out, meaning I don’t have to get him confused with Snitsky anymore. Kofi gets rid of Cade and Kendrick as the ring is clearing out a lot. Henry tosses Kofi onto the pile and Palumbo (He made it to 2008?) kicks Noble out. Actually Noble hangs on so Palumbo throws him out again, though this time Noble climbs onto the pile and stays on. I’m sure Kofi Kingston was watching that one.
Not that it matters as Khali gets rid of Noble and Palumbo but everyone gangs up to get rid of Khali. Snitsky gets rid of Holly and we’re down to Kane, Snitsky and Henry, meaning there were quite a few eliminations off camera. Henry eliminates Snitsky and we’re down to two. Kane has to escape a gorilla press and a big boot gets rid of Henry to give Kane the win.
Rating: D. They got in, they did their thing, they had the right winner and they got out in less than seven minutes. It’s not a good match or anything more than what it was supposed to be and that’s fine. Believe it or not you don’t need three matches before the show starts to warm the fans up. Something like this is a perfect choice and it worked just fine.
We get the big airplane flyover, which will nearly knock you off your feet in person.
John Legend sings America the Beautiful.
The opening video features wrestlers talking about how big Wrestlemania is and how much they want to steal the show. Remember when wrestling was about how you didn’t like someone or wanted the title and not to just get on a show or steal said show? It shifts into a talk about everything that can happen in a year, including title changes, injuries, or your boss saying your career was over the next time you lost. Tonight, everyone is going to steal the show.
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Finlay
This is a Belfast Brawl, meaning street fight. It’s also part of a VERY long and complicated story as Vince McMahon was told that Hornswoggle was his son, which didn’t sit well with Finlay. JBL beat Hornswoggle up one night until it was eventually revealed that Finlay was really Hornswoggle’s dad. This is Finlay’s chance for revenge. Hornswoggle is here with Finlay because….well why wouldn’t he be?
Some forearms knock Finlay off the apron to start but he whips JBL into the steps and takes it inside for the opening bell. Finlay throws in the standard assortment of weapons, with JBL getting in a trashcan to the head. The alternating trashcan lid/cookie sheet shots to the head keep Finlay in trouble and it’s time for some steps. The piledriver onto said steps is blocked and this time it’s JBL taking the metal sheet shots. Hornswoggle comes in for a kendo stick shot, allowing Finlay to grab the club for a few swings to the jaw.
Since Finlay would rather have revenge (makes sense), he puts a trashcan on JBL’s face and grabs a table. You know, because we need tables. JBL gets back up so it’s a hard clothesline to knock him right back down. Since Finlay isn’t working so well for him, JBL goes outside and slaps Hornswoggle around, earning himself a beating from Finlay.
For some reason Finlay tries a suicide dive, which is knocked out of the air with a trashcan lid shot. JBL PELTS a trashcan at Hornswoggle but the Clothesline is broken up with another can. There’s the Regal Roll and JBL gets thrown through the table in the corner for two. Finlay takes a little too long picking up the steps though and gets them sent into his head. The Clothesline From JBL is good for the pin at 8:37.
Rating: C+. This was a perfectly watchable brawl and that’s all it needed to be. There was no need to put this on later in the night either as JBL winning was a bit deflating and you don’t want to kill the crowd off later in the show. Get it out of the way and let the fans have a fun garbage match. Smart opener and a good little warmup.
We go to host Kim Kardashian (just go with it) for an explanation about Money in the Bank. Mr. Kennedy comes in and gets in her face, which I’m sure is completely beneath her stellar career.
John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP
Money in the Bank with Kennedy technically defending, though that’s not really a thing in a match like this. Morrison is a Smackdown Tag Team Champion (with Miz), Shelton is in his awful Gold Rush period, MVP is US Champion and Jericho is Intercontinental Champion because of course he is.
Everyone but MVP goes to the floor for an early ladder with MVP being smart enough for one to be thrown in and then kick Morrison off the apron. MVP picks up the ladder and starts using it as a weapon but Jericho brings in his own and knocks MVP’s away. Morrison throws a smaller ladder at Jericho’s before taking it up top for a moonsault with the ladder to the floor. It’s rather early for something that insane but it looked great. Everyone but Jericho is down on the floor until Kennedy runs back in and sets a ladder up.
That’s broken up by Jericho, who for some reason catapults Kennedy onto the ladder so Morrison has to ride a ladder out of the corner to get up top for a save. Benjamin is back in with his own ladder and it’s a superplex from Kennedy to Morrison with Benjamin adding a sunset bomb for your second crazy spot of the match. Carlito shoves Shelton’s ladder over….so Shelton lands on the top rope and jumps right back, though the ladder breaks. Punk goes up with Kennedy making another save so Punk gives Shelton a GTS.
Carlito cleans house next and crushes MVP’s leg in a ladder. That earns Carlito a Dragon Whip so Shelton can climb but Carlito and Kennedy turn the ladder over, sending Shelton down through a ladder bridged between the apron and the ring. The stunned looks on Carlito and Kennedy’s faces make up for the clearly wooden ladder being broken. MVP shoves Kennedy, Carlito and Jericho down and it’s Morrison going up, with Jericho being right there for the Walls on top of the ladder (that always looks cool).
Jericho has to let go to stop Kennedy though, allowing Punk and Carlito to springboard in from either side. Punk and Kennedy go down so Carlito hits the Backstabber off the ladder to bring Jericho down. JR: “A WRESTLEMANIA BACKSTABBER!” MVP is all alone so he goes up, only to have Matt Hardy run in as a surprise for a Twist of Fate off the ladder. Jericho gets back up and knocks Morrison into the corner where he interlocks two ladders upside down into a V shape.
Carlito gets sent into one side, meaning a ladder is instantly stood up. Morrison climbs up but gets it shoved back down, crotching Morrison on the top with Punk taking a ladder to the head. Jericho climbs up and gets Carlito’s apple spit in his face. Kennedy shoves Carlito into a ladder in the corner with Punk making another save. There’s a Codebreaker with a ladder to Punk, who is up fast enough to shove Jericho off the ladder and pull down the briefcase for the win at 13:54.
Rating: A-. They didn’t go with drama here and instead went with the wild series of spots, one after another. One very smart thing they did here was to get rid of someone so they only had six. That seems to be the magic number for these things and it worked well here. Punk winning the briefcase was the smart move as he’s hot at the moment and someone who could use this as a springboard to the main event scene. Heck of a match and the spectacle that belongs on Wrestlemania.
Video on the Hall of Fame ceremony. This is way better than having everyone come out and get a big presentation. If nothing else for the sake of time.
Here’s Howard Finkel to introduce the Hall of Fame class:
Jack and Gerry Brisco (Jack should have been in years ago)
Gordon Solie (perfect choice in Florida)
Eddie Graham (represented by Mike Graham, who probably invented Wrestlemania)
Mae Young (who has to be kept from stripping)
Ric Flair (Charlotte has short hair here and it’s REALLY weird to see her like that)
And yes, there were just seven inductees and no one lame. It’s like this can be well done without any jokes.
Snoop Dogg, the emcee of the Playboy match tonight, is a big Festus fan. Santino Marella comes in to interrupt and doesn’t like the idea of the Playboy match. Snoop rings a bell and sends Festus running after Santino. Mick Foley shows up and apparently is cool with Snoop.
Batista vs. Umaga
Smackdown vs. Raw with Teddy Long and William Regal (show bosses) at ringside. No story here other than a battle of brand supremacy and a few brawls. Some right hands to the head have little effect on Umaga so Batista shoulders him out to the floor for some more success. Back in and Umaga goes kind of aerial with a spinwheel kick and Batista is knocked outside this time. Some hard whips into the corner have Batista in trouble and an uppercut makes things worse.
The nerve hold goes on as the fans certainly seem to approve of Umaga. The middle rope headbutt misses but Batista’s back gives out on a slam attempt. We’re right back to the nerve hold before a Samoan drop gets two. Batista fights back with right hands and is loudly booed. He’s fine enough to block the Samoan Spike and Umaga’s charge goes into the post. The spinebuster sets up a Batista Bomb (with Batista falling down) for the pin at 7:07.
Rating: D. Well that certainly clears up which show is better. This was a lame power match that didn’t get much time, which might be the best solution in this case. Batista was in need of a freshening up at this point and Umaga was just the resident monster. It’s this year’s version of “get them on the show somehow” and they didn’t exactly click.
Tale of the Tape for Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Big Show.
ECW Title: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero
ECW GM Armando Alejandro Estrada handles the introductions. Kane won a battle royal on the pre-show to earn this shot and comes in from the crowd to win here with a chokeslam in twelve seconds. Exactly what it needed to be, but please tell me Joey Styles and Tazz didn’t have to sit at ringside for everything before or after this match.
And now, Maria and Carlito with an ad about…..Wrestlemania?
Raven Symone is here because of a disabled kids’ charity.
We recap Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels with Flair’s career on the line. Late last year, Vince McMahon decided that Flair would have to retire the next time he lost (partially because Vince is Vince and partially because Flair said that he would never retire). Flair went on a long winning streak but asked to face Shawn at Wrestlemania. Shawn made it clear that he didn’t want to finish Flair’s career but would do what he had to do, even if it meant putting Flair down like Old Yeller. There was little hiding the fact that this was going to be Flair’s last match, but it was his chance to go out with one more classic.
Ric’s plan for tonight: to be the man.
Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels
Flair has the blue robe one more time and while I’m still a fan of the black and white one, I can’t help but smile at seeing the classic look again. Shawn shoulders him down to start and it’s clear that they’re going to have all the time they want here. They trade some hammerlocks with Shawn getting the better of it on the mat. That’s broken up as well and we get the first WOO.
The chops in the corner let Flair yell about Old Yeller but Shawn slaps him in the face and asks if that’s all he has. An exchange of chops in the corner goes to Flair (as it should) but Shawn elbows him in the jaw and goes up. This time Flair slams him off the top and goes up…..for a crossbody into a near fall! You would think that would get more of a reaction but he has to fail at an early Figure Four attempt.
Shawn kicks him to the floor and tries an Asai moonsault, which only hits the announcers’ table, with his ribs landing on the edge which doesn’t break (I’ve seen that many times and it draws a very real cringe). That’s only good for a nine count and Shawn can barely move because of the ribs. A belly to back suplex gives Flair two and he manages a delayed vertical for the same. Note: Charles Robinson (Little Naitch) is referee here and for some reason he’s in a Smackdown shirt. Yeah he’s a Smackdown referee, but you can’t just throw him in a Raw shirt for the occasion?
Flair’s neckbreaker gets two more but Shawn sends him outside. That means a moonsault to the floor which takes Flair out and bangs up the ribs even more. They chop it out back inside and it’s Shawn’s forearm into the nipup as the pace picks up a bit. A slam drops Flair and Shawn’s top rope elbow connects, meaning it’s time to Tune of the Band. Shawn can’t bring himself to do it though and Flair grabs the legs and slaps on the Figure Four in the middle of the ring.
The hold is turned over and they load up the bridge into the backslide….but Flair just can’t do it anymore so they go into a rollup instead. It’s time for the chop block and NOW the Figure Four is on for real. Shawn crawls to the rope so Flair stomps away some more until the referee drags him away. That’s enough of a delay for Shawn to hit Sweet Chin Music for a very close two and the fans go nuts on the kickout.
Shawn loads it up again but stops to tell Flair to get up. That means a low blow (again, you knew he was getting that in somehow) for two more and the fans really bought the near fall. To mix things up a bit, Shawn sweeps the legs and tries a reverse Figure Four (thank goodness it wasn’t a Sharpshooter) to send Flair bailing to the ropes this time.
A rollup with tights gets two and they chop it out from their knees. The chops bring them to their feet and Shawn hits another superkick to put Flair down. There’s no cover though as Shawn goes into the corner and Flair slowly gets up. Shawn says the now legendary I’m Sorry, I Love You and superkicks Flair one more time, this time for the pin at 20:34.
Rating: B+. I don’t remember truly liking this one before and that’s because there are different ways to look at it. It’s hard not to look at a match like this through the emotional lens but if you take that away (which you kind of have to given that Flair wound up wrestling again), it’s actually a heck of a match with all of the old Flair tropes thrown in. Those worked for so long because it’s a great formula that can work against anyone. When you add in Shawn’s second to none abilities, there was no way this wouldn’t be outstanding.
The problem though is that Flair just can’t do a lot of this stuff anymore. He’s trying as hard as he can and what he could still do was good, but seeing him not be able to bridge up anymore was rather sad because it’s something he’s done for so many years before. I don’t remember liking this match that much but it really is a strong one, even ignoring all the other things added to it.
Post match Shawn leaves the ring and a crying Flair gets to his feet for one of the best standing ovations you’ll ever see. This is more than deserved and while he should have retired a long time ago (you could argue all the way back in the 90s), he was far from embarrassing himself and someone as influential, successful and downright talented as he was should absolutely get this kind of a sendoff. And for those who are wondering why, this was originally going to close the show but Flair refused and insisted it go in the middle.
Smackdown World Champion Edge talks about sitting in the crowd at Wrestlemania VI as the biggest Hulkamaniac in Canada. Then Hulk Hogan lost, and Edge lost his innocence with it. Undertaker has been the conscience of WWE for years but tonight Edge is bringing a cold hard dose of reality to the fans. There’s probably a kid in the audience who believes that anything can happen, even 16-0. Tonight, Edge is taking that kid’s innocence and walking out as the new Phenom and still World Heavyweight Champion.
Pyro signals the start of the second half of the show.
Beth Phoenix/Melina vs. Maria/Ashley Massaro
This is the Playboy match with the rest of the women’s division as lumberjacks. Snoop Dogg is the master of ceremonies and of course he comes to the ring in a leopard print Mercedes golf cart. Snoop handles the introductions, but first throws in a couple of WOO’s in Flair’s honor. Santino is here with Beth and Melina as he doesn’t like Maria posing.
Ashley hurricanranas Beth to start and the fans are rather quiet. Some double teaming has Beth in more trouble but it’s off to Melina, who gets kneed by Maria. A lot of spinning around and screaming sets up a Bronco Buster (without the running start) to Melina. Ashley hits a middle rope X Factor but gets sent outside for a beating from the lumberjacks. We settle down to a bearhug from Beth before she puts Melina in an electric chair and flips her backwards into a moonsault.
Ashley kicks out at two and Maria dives in for the save a full second later, making things look even worse. And then the lights go out because everyone is sick of this match. A spotlight lets us see Maria kicking Beth in the head and reversing the Glam Slam into a bulldog for two. Everything breaks down and Maria dives onto Beth for two with Santino making the save. That brings Lawler to his feet to knock Santino down, leaving Beth to hit a fisherman’s buster to pin Maria at 5:59.
Rating: D-. Yeah what else were you expecting here? The wrestling was terrible and the villains had to tone it WAY down for this not to be a disaster. The fans didn’t care and they couldn’t even see parts of the match, though I don’t think they particularly cared. It just wasn’t good but it served its purposes of eye candy and a breather from the emotional moment.
Post match Santino poses with Melina and Beth but gets laid out by Snoop.
We recap the Raw World Title match. Randy Orton is champion, HHH is feuding with him for the title, and John Cena, who never lost the title, won the Royal Rumble in a shocking return after being stripped of the title due to injury.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. HHH
Orton is defending. Cena’s big introduction this year is via a high school marching band, which is a pretty cool idea. After Cena’s entrance, we get a poll on who will win with Cena getting 52% and Orton finishing dead last at 8%. HHH gets a regular entrance, though it includes one of my favorite Wrestlemania shots: the closeup and the camera swinging around to show the sheer size of the stadium with all the people. Orton belts HHH in the face to start so Cena bulldogs the champ and grabs a release fisherman’s suplex.
HHH is right back in with a sleeper to Orton, allowing Cena to try a double FU, though it’s way too early and they both slip off. Orton takes both of them down and alternates with the stomping a they’re certainly starting fast. A jumping knee to each gets two each for the sake of symmetry as the fans are actually into this, meaning they are in fact alive after the women’s match. Cena is up and puts Orton on top but gets caught in a Doomsday crossbody…which he rolls through anyway with HHH having to break up an FU.
A pair of clotheslines leave Orton as the only one on his feet so he grabs a hanging DDT to both of them at once for another pair of twos. The RKO to Cena is countered with Orton being knocked onto HHH and it’s a top rope Fameasser to the champ. It’s too early for the STFU (yes U) though as Orton bails to the floor and posts Cena to take over again. That’s enough for HHH to start in on Orton’s leg but he has to deal with Cena, allowing Orton to nail a quick RKO.
Cena is back up with the STFU and Orton has the hand up to tap, only to have HHH guide the hand down onto the rope instead. HHH sends Cena into the steps and continues the torture of Orton continues with an Indian Deathlock. Cena makes the save and sends HHH outside this time, setting up another STFU on Orton.
Back in and HHH can’t pull Cena off of Orton so he puts Cena in a Crossface for the break instead. That’s broken up as well and it’s a big time slugout between HHH and Cena. HHH walks into the flying shoulder and the Shuffle but the STFU is kicked away. The spinebuster plants Cena and HHH cuts Orton off before hitting the Pedigree on Cena….but Orton Punts HHH and pins Cena to retain at 14:09.
Rating: B. This was a tale of two matches with HHH and Cena having a Wrestlemania match and Orton running in and out as much as he could to mess with things. Orton just does not feel like he’s on this level (which has often been the case) and it was the case again here.
You could feel the crowd deflate when he won the match, which makes sense as a heel and it does make him feel more definitive as a champion, but it came off like we were waiting on some big moment and instead got Orton. Again. These title matches and reigns completely run together over the years and this is just another (good) match in a very long series.
Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Big Show returned at No Way Out after over a year off. Mayweather was at No Way Out as well and came over the barricade to hit some crazy fast punches to a kneeling Show, one of which broke his nose. Now we’re having the freakshow match, which could be highly entertaining. However, with that out of the way, eleven years after the angle, I still have no earthly idea who I’m supposed to cheer for. Is it the wrestler? Is is the loudmouthed guy who is in way over his head from a physical standpoint? Is it the guy who was attacked and wants revenge? Is it the guy who is one of the best fighters of all time? Why is this so complicated?
Anything goes here and you can win by pinfall, submission or knockout. Money rains down for Mayweather’s entrance and he has seven people with him. Mayweather is smart enough to dodge around to start and he peppers Show with some fast shows to the ribs. A right to the jaw makes Show mad and Mayweather punches him a few more times to make it even worse. Hang on though as we need to stop so Mayweather can have a drink from…..a jewel chalice?
Show beats on the entourage as the smoke and mirrors begin. Mayweather looks on as Show chops a bodyguard and starts dancing around again. A right hand is caught and Mayweather slips away before Show can stomp on it. Show sits him on top but that just lets Mayweather get in a much better right hand, setting up the required sleeper/choke on the back. Show finally realizes that Mayweather is the size of a teenager and throws him off, setting up the stomp on the hand. Mayweather’s manager: “YOU CAN’T BE DOING THAT!”
Mayweather takes the SHH chop in the corner and the pain is intense. Apparently Show can’t do that either and a side slam (which brings the fans to their feet) probably isn’t approved either. Show legdrops the arm and stands on the stomach and it’s time for the entourage to pull Mayweather out, saying they’re done because this isn’t what they signed up for.
They head back to the ring where one of the bodyguards chairs Show in the back. Mayweather gets in a few more shots and a low blow, followed by more chair shots to the head. One of the gloves comes off and Mayweather steals some brass knuckles from the down handler for the knockout win at 11:34.
Rating: B. Yeah this is still a blast. Confusing as I have no idea who to cheer for (seriously, try to figure that out), but it’s so much fun with all the wackiness that only makes sense in wrestling. Mayweather would be a much bigger heel today (and someone that WWE couldn’t afford) but what we got here was all kinds of entertaining and one of the most fun things on the show.
Wrestlemania ad, featuring Batista.
Kim Kardashian announces the attendance and sounds miserable again.
We recap Edge vs. Undertaker. The video starts with a look at the Streak, which morphs into a video of Edge costing Undertaker the title multiple times, including by cashing in Money in the Bank. Edge is going to make it 15-1 and it turns into the standard “I’ll break the Streak/the Streak will live on” video. In other words, another well done package.
Smackdown World Title: Undertaker vs. Edge
Undertaker is challenging and we’ve got druids with torches. Teddy Long wheels out Edge’s fiance Vickie Guerrero, who kisses him for luck in a story that felt like it would never die. Some early clotheslines put Edge on the floor and Undertaker gets in his Stunner over the top rope. The jumping clothesline (more like a shove here) gets two and it’s time for Old School, with Edge pulling him down, only to have Undertaker armdrag Edge down instead. I’ve never seen that otherwise and it’s rather out of place for Undertaker.
Edge avoids a charge though and Undertaker goes outside, with Edge knocking him into the barricade for a bonus. A swinging neckbreaker across the top rope has Undertaker in more trouble and a running shoulder in the corner makes it even worse. Edge goes up and gets knocked off the top, setting up a Taker Dive that doesn’t get as much of a reaction as you would expect.
There’s the apron legdrop (Coach calls it a dropkick) but Undertaker’s back is bothering him. It’s bad enough that he can’t hit the Last Ride, allowing Edge to boot him back to the floor. Back in and it’s a half crab to work on the weakened back, followed by Edge laying next to Undertaker and pulling on both legs at once. A rope is grabbed and that means it’s time to slug it out, which you don’t do against undertaker. Snake Eyes connects but the big boot is cut off by a dropkick for another near fall.
The chokeslam is countered into the Edgecution for two but another chokeslam connects just fine. Old School is broken up again with a crotching and it’s a top rope superplex for a delayed two. For some reason Edge hammers away in the corner so it’s the Last Ride…with Edge slipping out because he’s still several steps ahead of Undertaker. Another Last Ride attempt works this time (with Edge almost landing on his head) for two more as they’re trading bombs now.
The Tombstone is broken up and the Edge-O-Matic drops Undertaker. He’s fine enough to pop back up and FINALLY connect with Old School but Undertaker kicks the referee down by mistake. That means a spear to put Undertaker down but, like many great ones before him, Edge takes too long running his mouth and gets grabbed by the throat. Unlike many other great ones before him, Edge gets in a low blow and steals a camera (which he used at Survivor Series).
The running shot to the head connects but the referee falls to the floor. The camera cuts away from the situp for no apparent reason, followed by the Tombstone to Edge. Charles Robinson sprints down the crazy long ramp to count two after a funny sprint. Cue the Edgeheads (Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins) for a distraction but Undertaker gets rid of them, only to walk into a spear for two. The second spear connects but this time Undertaker pulls him into Hell’s Gate for the tap at 23:49.
Rating: A-. This is a forgotten classic that almost never gets the respect it deserves. Edge having all of the counters and making you believe that he could have just enough tricks up his sleeves to pull off the upset was a great story and the action more than lived up to the hype. This match never gets old, but it also never gets remembered, which is quite the shame as it’s awesome.
Undertaker poses and the long highlight package ends the show.
Overall Rating: A. Why don’t more people talk about this one? The only two bad matches are Batista vs. Umaga and the women’s tag and those don’t even combine for fifteen minutes. This is another well paced show (clocking in at less than three hours and fifty minutes) with one great match after another. I always have a good time with this one and if you tweak it just a bit, it’s on the all time list. Excellent show and worth another look if you haven’t checked it out lately.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!