With WrestleMania 29 coming to East Rutherford, N.J. on April 7, WrestleNewz will be counting down and ranking all the WrestleManias of yore. Remember when Mr. T had a boxing match with Rowdy Roddy Piper? Remember when Hulk Hogan took on Randy “Macho Man” Savage while Elizabeth looked on? We do. So it’s time for a stroll down memory lane.
Event: WrestleMania XXII
Location: Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Date: April 2, 2006
- World Tag Team Championship: Champs Kane & The Big Show beat Carlito & Chris Masters
- Money in the Bank Match: Rob Van Dam beat Matt Hardy. Lashley. Finlay. Ric Flair & Shelton Benjamin
- U.S. Title: John Layfield beat Chris Benoit to win the title
- Hardcore Match: Edge beat Mick Foley
- The Boogey Man beat Booker T & Sharmell
- Women’s Title: Mickie James beat Trish Stratus to win the title
- Casket Match: The Undertaker beat Mark Henry
- No Holds Barred: Shawn Michaels beat Vince McMahon
- World Heavyweight Championship: Rey Mysterio beat Champ Kurt Angle and Randy Orton to become the new champion
- Playboy Pillow Fight: Torrie Wilson beat Candice Michelle
-WWE Championship: Champ John Cena beat Triple H by submission
Summary: On April 2, 2006 the WWE held their first WrestleMania event ever at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, I.L. The event itself grossed 2.5 million in ticket sales, making it the highest grossing event ever held at the Allstate Arena. It was another co-promotion between the Raw and Smackdown! brands. The Smackdown! main event pitted Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle against each other in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. The main event for the Raw brand featured a match between Triple H and John Cena for the WWE Championship.
Highlights: The Edge took on Mick Foley in a Hardcore match that was fantastic. It included Foley wrapping Socko in barbed wire. At one point, the Lita, who was assisting Edge, took a bat wrapped in barbed wire and wailed on Foley in the groin. Edge rubbed the wire across Foley’s forehead and opened up a gaping hole.
The match culminated with Edge tackling Foley out of the ring and onto a flaming table. Foley had had enough and Edge was able to win by pin in an amazingly fun match.
The Triple Threat Match was chaos the entire time. Midway through the match, Angle started getting angry and just hitting suplex after suplex on Mysterio and Orton. He picked up Mysterio and slammed him to the floor with an Angle Slam. Later, Orton was setting up for and RKO on Mysterio, but Angle rushed in from outside the ring and hit an Angle Slam. Mysterio then hit an arm drag on Angle that removed him from the ring. Orton was alone in the ring and Mysterio hit a 6-1-9 to take the heavyweight championship.
Cena and Triple H put on a great title fight with amazing crowd interaction. Triple H started out by beating the crap out of Cena and downright embarrassing him, as if he didn’t belong in the ring with him. You really felt as if Triple H might be right.
We also saw the beginning of the “boo” and “yay” chants. Soon after, Cena told him he couldn’t see him. Triple H didn’t care and hit a spinebuster anyway, which ignited the crowd further. The finish was the icing on the cake for the crowd; Cena hit a STFU after countering a pedigree. No one thought Triple H would actually tap and there were screams begging him not to do so. However, for the second time in three years, Triple tapped at WrestleMania. The crowd was in shock and the room was very quiet after the defeat.
Lowlights: The opening match of the night was pretty terrible. Kane and the Big Show took on Carlito and Chris Masters in a terrible affair. After WrestleMania XXI had started so strongly, this one started with a dud. It was basically a squash match that took way too long and dragged on forever. Kane and the Big Show would go on to lose the Tag Team Championship the very next day.
Greatest Moment: The Triple Threat Match was a nine-minute long action-packed match. This match was short, but held amazing action. You can always count on Rey Mysterio to bring the fun and he certainly did that night.
What Was Accomplished: Cena’s star was built officially when he defeated Triple H in a very solid match. Rey Mysterio became the world champion in a bout that was probably better than Cena’s. But ultimately, Cena was the star of the night and he continued to grow fan support.
Ranking: Tied- 5th. This was a great event all around. Because WrestleMania 22, 23 and 24 are very similar in terms of star power and quality, it’s a tie for fifth. The crowd interaction in the Cena bout against Triple H was particularly memorable and the reactions at his loss were my favorite part.
Do you remember WrestleMania 22? What did you think?
Bonus question for extra credit: Who was the winner of the Playboy Pillow Fight between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. Ha, that’s a trick question. The real winner was the fans.