March 31, 2008
Mayweather, Orton survive Mania; Edge, Flair don't
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling

Floyd Mayweather clocks The Big Show with a chair. Courtesy WWE

Instead of trying to push a catchy Wrestlemania theme, “Wish you were here” really didn’t pull it off for the show from Orlando, Florida, WWE let the mainstream media hype over Floyd Mayweather facing The Big Show sell the annual Pay-Per-View. And the Sunshine State failed to deliver as a cloud cover hung over the Citrus Bowl for most of the night.

Even though the focus was on Show versus Mayweather, real wrestling fans were thinking about The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. The Dead Man faced off against Edge for the World Heavyweight Title in the Main Event.

Edge countered an early attempt at Old-School, and countering would be a running theme in this match. Edge sent Taker to floor by deflecting a corner splash. Edge then hit a neckbreaker with Taker on the apron.

The Rated R Superstar climbed to the top turnbuckle, but was sent crashing to the floor. Undertaker dug down and connected with a suicide dive over the top rope. The Dead Man continued the assault with a guillotine leg drop. Taker set up the last ride, but Edge countered and sent him to the floor. Edge then dropped Undertaker into the front row.

Edge rolled Undertaker back into the ring, and got a two count. Edge then locked in a single leg crab. Taker countered into a roll-up and scored a two count. Edge then countered a big boot with a drop kick.

Edge climbed the turnbuckle, but jumped into a chokeslam. Edge countered with an implant DDT. Undertaker blocked a spear, and finally connected with a chokeslam. Edge crotched Taker on the ropes, as he went for Old School. Edge nailed a superplex, but only for two.


The Dead Man finally connected with the Last Ride, and then signaled for the Tombstone. Edge countered with a reverse facebuster. Undertaker connected with the Big Boot, and Old School finally paid off. Taker went back to the Big Boot, but Edge ducked it, and the ref Jim Korderas took the shot.

Edge dropped Taker with a reverse DDT. Taker grabbed Edge by the throat as he lay on the mat, but Edge hit him with a low blow. The Rated R superstar left the ring to grab a camera, and clocked Taker in the head. Edge accidentally knocked the ref to the floor, as Taker sat up. Edge went for a Tombstone, but Undertaker reversed it into one of his own. Taker covered, and Charles Robinson made a long run from the back to make the count. Edge kicked out at two, as the Edgeheads hit the ring. Taker fought them off the apron, only to get speared. Taker kicked out at two. Edge went back to the spear, but Undertaker caught him in a shin choke. Edge tapped shortly thereafter.

In the match that everyone from ESPN to Larry King focused on, Floyd “Money” Mayweather took on the The Big Show, who was being booked as the world’s largest athlete.

Mayweather used his speed and small stature early to avoid Show. Mayweather connected with some body shots, and even tagged Show on the jaw. Mayweather, getting cocky, stopped for a drink. Show charged the corner, knocking on of the entourage to the floor, and pulling another member into the ring. Mayweather just looked on as one of his boys was roughed up at Show’s hands.

Mayweather punched at Show, but the big man caught it. Show tried to stomp on Mayweather’s money maker, but Floyd was able to escape. Show lifted up Mayweather, who connected with a few more punches, and was then able to get on Show’s back and lock in a sleeper hold.

Show nearly dumped Floyd over the top rope to break the hold, but Mayweather held on. Show eventually broke free, after dropping to one knee. Show held Mayweather down, stomping on his hand. Show then backed Mayweather in the corner, and sent him to the mat with one chop to the chest. Show dominated Mayweather, stepping on him repeatedly, until Mayweather’s handlers had seen enough.

Floyd was pulled from the ring by his handlers, and escorted back up the ramp. Show took off after him, knocking members of the entourage to the floor like ragdolls. Show grabbed hold of Mayweather, dragging him back to the ring.

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of WrestleMania 24?
It was great - 43%
It was okay - 22%
It sucked - 8%
Didn't see it - 27%
Show looked for the chokeslam, but was cut off by one of Floyd’s boys, who stalled him with a chairshot. Mayweather’s boy took a chokeslam, but Floyd finally realized that this was no ordinary fight, and hammered Show with a chair shot. Show blocked the second shot, but he didn’t block the low blow. Mayweather connected with three more chair shots, before taking a gold chain from his boy that had a pair of brass (or gold) knucks. Mayweather armed himself, and nailed show with a right, that sent the big man to the mat. Show tried to get up with help from ropes, but he couldn’t pull himself off the mat before the ten count. The crowd was less than enthused with the result.

The RAW main event was the first triple threat WWE Title match in a few years at Wrestlemania. John Cena’s entrance was played by a college marching band. Triple H and Randy Orton just used their normal entrances.

Orton started off fast, taking Triple H out with a shot from the belt. Hunter climbed back in the ring to toss Cena, and then locked in a sleeper on Orton. Cena slid back him, and picked up both men for the F-U. Trips slid off, kicking Cena in the gut. Orton hit a side backbreaker, and then stomped away at both his opponents.

Orton climbed the turnbuckle, but was met by Cena. Triple H joined the party, getting Cena on his shoulders, where Orton took out Cena with a flying body press. Cena rolled through and into an F-U, but Orton escaped and scored a near fall with a sunset flip.


A victorious andy Orton.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
Orton set up Cena and Hunter in the ropes, nailing a double DDT. Cena blocked an RKO, with Orton landing on a prone Triple H. Cena followed with a flying leg drop on Orton, who slid to the outside after the move. Cena gave chase, only to be slammed into the ring post. Orton returned to the ring, and connected with an RKO on Trips, who rolled to the outside. Cena locked in the STF-U, but Triple H pulled Orton to safety.

Hunter climbed in the ring, slapping a modified Indian deathlock on Orton. The champ broke the hold by flipping Triple H from the ring. Cena locked in another STF-U, only to have Hunter break it, and place Cena in a crossface. Cena broke the hold by getting to the ropes.

Cena and Hunter exchanged blows with Cena gaining the advantage. Hunter was hit with the “You can’t see me”, but Hunter countered the F-U into the Pedigree, which Cena countered into the STF-U, which Hunter rolled out of.

Triple H chop blocked Orton off the apron, but Cena seized the opportunity for another F-U. Once again HHH countered into the Pedigree and connected with it. Trips covered for the pin, but Orton kicked him in the head, and covered Cena to get the three count to retain his WWE title.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Backlash on April 27th.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Finlay – Belfast Brawl

Hornswoggle walks out with his “real” dad in an anti-climatic move. JBL attacks Finlay before he can even get in the ring, so the match has yet to officially under way. The bell rings, and Finlay pulls everything out from under the ring, only to get clocked with a trashcan. Hornswoggle gets involved with a kendo shot to JBL; it is only a distraction, but Finlay connects with a shillelagh shot. JBL gets his revenge on Horny, but Finlay cracks him into the announce table. Finlay attempts a suicide dive, but JBL cuts him down with a trash can lid. Finlay blocks a clothesline from hell with a trash can, and hits a rolling Samoan drop, getting a near fall. JBL fights back, connecting with the Clothesline from Hell and gets the pin.

Winner ... JBL at 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

Match Rating: 8/10

Kim Kardashian chimes in with her first report. Kennedy interrupts her, telling her he will be the first to win back-to-back Money in the Bank matches.

Kennedy vs. John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho vs. MVP vs. Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. CM Punk – Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Morrison hits a moonsault, with ladder in hand, taking out four opponents with one shot. Benjamin hits a sunset flip off the ladder taking Morrison and Kennedy to the mat. Benjamin is knocked from the ladder in the ring, and breaks a ladder outside the ring. Carlito hits a backstabber on Jericho off the top of the ladder, and everyone is down, but for MVP. Matt Hardy jumps in from the crowd and hits a Twist of Fate of the top of the ladder on MVP. Hardy then runs back through the crowd. Jericho hits a code breaker as Punk was holding a ladder. CM Punk fights off Jericho, who gets tangled in the ladder, and Punk grabs the briefcase.

Winner ... CM Punk at 15 minutes 12 seconds

Match Rating: 9/10

The WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony is recapped. The Hall of Fame class is then honored by the Citrus Bowl crowd.

The Grish has Snoop Dogg backstage. Snoop pimps his upcoming match, and says he has found someone he sees eye to eye with. And it is Festus of all people. Santino tells Snoop not to try any funny business; Snoop just pulls out a bell and rings it. Festus snaps and chases Santino off. Snoop then calls on his boy Mick Foley, who drops some street lingo.

Batista vs. Umaga – Brand Supremacy Match

Umaga hits a spinning heel kick to start the match. (There are three guys dressed up like the Spirit Squad in the third row. On closer inspection, they may be the Spirit Squad.) Umaga locks in the nerve pinch. Umaga shoots Umaga off the ropes and nails a Samoan drop. Batista blocks the Samoan Spike and then drive Umaga into the ring post. Batista hits the Batista Bomb.

Winner ... Batista at 7 minutes and three seconds

Match Rating: 3.5/10

“Money” Mayweather is getting ready in the back with his boys.

Joey Styles and Tazz recap the 24 man battle royal for a shot at the ECW Title. Kane won.

Chavo Guerrero (champion) vs. Kane (challenger) – ECW Title Match

Chavo freaks out for some reason and Kane grabs him, choke slams him, covers him, and wins the ECW Title.

Winner ... and new ECW Heavyweight champion ... Kane at 10 seconds

Match Rating: Not applicable

Why are we watching promos for Wrestlemania during Wrestlemania?

Raven Symone from the Disney Channel tells the crowd about WWE’s involvement with the Make-a-Wish foundation. This year WWE has granted 50 wishes, bringing a child from every state to Wrestlemania.

Mike Adamle interviews Ric Flair. The Nature Boy says his game plan is to be the man. Woooooooo!


Whooo! One last Ric Flair match.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair – Career Threatening Match

Flair and Michaels start off with mat wrestling moves. Flair and Michaels trade slaps, and the two stare each other down. Flair chops away at Michaels in the corner. Michaels climbs the top rope, but is cut off by Flair. Flair takes to the top, and hits a cross body off the turnbuckle. The Nature Boy goes for the figure four, but Michaels kicks him to the outside. HBK attempts a springboard moonsault off the middle rope, but misses Flair, and lands awkwardly on the announce table. Back in the ring, Flair hits a back suplex, and gets a two count. Naitch follows with a double underhook suplex. Flair follows with a delayed vertical suplex, but still only gets a two count. HBK fights back, hitting a neck breaker, and then drops Flair over the top rope to the outside. HBK climbs the top rope, and this time connects with the moonsault. Back in the ring, Michaels connects with a flying forearm, and then a flying elbow drop. HBK warms up the band, but pulls up short on Sweet Chin Music. Flair locks in the figure four after the hesitation by Michaels. HBK reverses the hold, and Flair grabs the ropes to break the hold. Flair and Michaels exchange pinfall attempts. HBK corners Flair, but Naitch explodes out of the corner with a chop block. Flair goes for another figure four, but Michaels counters with cradle. Michaels attempts an enziguri, but Flair blocks it and locks in the figure four. Flair rolls through a counter, but HBK grabs the ropes to break the hold. Flair continues to work on the knee, and struts around the ring, only to walk right into a superkick. Flair gets the shoulder up at two. Michaels sells the knee injury, as Flair stays on the mat. The band is ready to play, but Shawn has to help Flair to his feet. Flair hits a low blow with mule kick, but Michaels kicks out. HBK locks in an inverted figure four in the middle of the ring. Flair gets to the ropes, and then hits a thumb to the eye. Flair goes back to the chops, but HBK hits another superkick. HBK drags himself to his feet, but doesn’t look like he has the heart to finish off Flair, who is begging for it. HBK apologizes to Flair before hitting Sweet Chin Music and covering for the win.

Winner... Shawn Michaels at 20 minutes 34 seconds

Match Rating: 10/10

After the bell, Flair is given a standing ovation, and then walks over to his family in the front row. Ric then makes the long walk back to the locker room. Flair stops at the top of the ramp and thanks the crowd on last time.

The Grish talks to Edge about his upcoming match with the Undertaker. Edge says we will see more history made tonight. Edge takes us back to Wrestlemania 6, where Hogan lost, and Edge lost his innocence. Edge says after tonight the fans will get a hard dose of reality.

Maria and Ashley vs. Melina and Beth Phoenix w/ Santino – BunnyMania Lumberjill Match with Snoop Dogg

And now we go to the other end of the wrestling spectrum with this spectacle. All the Divas are at ringside for this match. Mid match all the lights go out, but WWE recovers with spot lights to light the ring, giving the match an old school ECW feel. Santino pulls Maria off of Phoenix, and The King knocks down Santino with one punch. Phoenix hits Maria with the fisherman’s suplex and gets the pin.

Winner... Beth Phoenix and Melina at 5 minutes

Match Rating: 5/10

After the bell, Santino gloats over Maria’s loss. Snoop Dogg chases him from the ring, and then plants a kiss on Maria.

Randy Orton (champion) vs. John Cena (challenger) vs. Triple H (challenger) – WWE Title Triple Threat Match

Winner ... and still WWE Champion ... Orton 14 minutes and 10 seconds

Match Rating: 6.5/10

Floyd Mayweather vs. The Big Show

Winner ... Floyd Mayweather at 11 minutes and 40 seconds

Match Rating: 7/10

Wrestlemania 25 will take place in Houston, Texas at Reliant Stadium.

Kim Kardashian announces that 74,635 people are in attendance at this year’s Wrestlemania, setting the attendance record at the Citrus Bowl.

Edge (champion) vs. The Undertaker (challenger) – World Heavyweight Championship Match

Winner ... and new World Heavyweight Champion ... The Undertaker at 24 minutes and 3 seconds

Match Rating: 9.5/10

Total Event Time: 3 hours and 50 minutes

Event Rating: 9/10

RELATED LINKS

  • Live report: Wrestlers were stars of the live show
  • Photo Gallery: Edge-Taker; Orton-Cena-HHH
  • Photo Gallery: Big Show-Floyd Mayweather
  • Photo Gallery: Flair-Michaels
  • Photo Gallery: Finlay-JBL; Women's match; Misc.
  • More on WrestleMania 24

    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is looking to avenge his loss to Nick Tylwalk in their “Winner goes to Wresltemania” match next year and go onto Houston.

  • CANOE.CA SLAM!