March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Third time is a charm for Windy City

Wrestlemania 22 marked Chicago’s third Wrestlemania at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. The other two weren’t necessarily great cards, so did this card buck the trend of average Wrestlemanias in the Second City?

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Wrestlemania 22 (Results)

Date: April 2, 2006

Arena: Allstate Arena (Rosemont, Ill.)

Attendance: 17,159

SUMMARY: Rey Mysterio dedicated his Royal Rumble victory to Eddie Guerrero, who died in November of the previous year. Randy Orton taunted Rey Mysterio about his good friend, prompting Mysterio to put up his title shot against Kurt Angle in a match at No Way Out. Mysterio lost, but Teddy Long gave Mysterio his spot back, making the World Heavyweight title match a triple threat match. On Raw, Triple H earned his title shot by winning a single-elimination tournament to fight John Cena for the WWE title.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: B-plus

FAVORITE MATCH: Edge vs. Mick Foley. The whole thing about this match was that Foley lacked his Wrestlemania moment. He sure as hell got one and a whole lot more. This was hardcore at its finest. There was blood and moments where you said, “Oh goodness!” I loved the early tease of Edge dominance, until you realized that the crazy Mick Foley tied barbed wire around himself to protect himself from the spear. I thought that spot should have been saved for later when a finish was more plausible, but that’s a really minor gripe to the best match from the card. The addition of Lita to the match doesn’t hamper or make the match feel cheap by any means. In fact, her involvement added another layer of drama to it. The big spots were built up to well, especially the final scene that saw Edge spear Mick Foley through a flaming table. The aftermath of the match where Edge looks like he’d just been through some horrific experience, blood all over his face and into his eyes and trembling just a little bit shows how intense and passionate this match was. It also gave Mick Foley a defining Wrestlemania match.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: My second favorite match was the Triple Threat World Heavyweight title match. This was a sprint, clocking in under 10 minutes, but through the match we got nonstop action up until Mysterio hits the West Coast Pop to win the title. The John Cena vs. Triple H match was also entertaining. The whole storyline about Cena not being able to wrestle was crippling, but the two played off of it during the match. Cena’s attacks weren’t as clean as Triple H’s, but that was the storyline right? Truth be told, Cena can wrestle and showed it in glimpses, and it was refreshing to see Triple H tap out again at a Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels had another masterful performance, going into a dark place mentally to beat Vince McMahon pillar to post. While Shawn was great in this role, I’ll explain why it wasn’t even in my top 5 matches in the next portion. Trish Stratus and Mickie James put on a great match by Diva’s standards. It was a good match regardless of who was in the ring, but the fans took it to the next level with their passion toward the storyline. The ending was botched, but all in all it was a good match. The Money in the Bank ladder match was your typical spotfest with Ric Flair being the guy you wouldn’t expect to take the bumps he did. Lashley provided a stabilizing force in the ring, being the hulking power guy to all of the speedy workers. This was Shelton Benjamin’s show again, as his athletic ability was breathtaking. It wasn’t as good as the first MITB, but given the quality of workers in the first one, it had a tough task.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: Anytime Vince McMahon works a match, I tend to tune it out. It’s never going to be pretty with McMahon, but props to Shawn Michaels for making it the best McMahon match of all-time, but that’s more indicative to Shawn Michaels than it is to Vince. The Booker T and Sharmell match against the Boogeyman was a nice buffer between big matches, but it just felt out of place and having Booker T drop a fall to the Boogeyman was upsetting, considering where Booker T was a year ago. I’m upset that we didn’t see more of the Rey Mysterio celebration. The moment was built up so well with Rey getting back into the match, but it all goes to waste because they had to hurry the show along to get ready for the Playboy pillow fight. Seriously?

RANDOM THOUGHT: “Poor Kurt Angle. Guy just can’t catch a break at Wrestlemania in Triple Threat title matches. He never gets pinned.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: Wrestlemania 22 is a fun card. The minor matches felt minor, while the big matches were built up to a degree. All of this left me in a difficult position: What is a fitting ranking for this Wrestlemania? I had to go up the list and check off each respective Wrestlemania and find a right spot for it. The moment I got to Wrestlemania 5, I realized that was the cutoff. But it’s really close to surpassing the card, and I think on some days, I can see myself enjoying Wrestlemania 22 more than Wrestlemania 5. It guess it all just depends on if I like feel like powering through some of the worst matches in Wrestlemania history in favor of high-quality production, but I’ll lead Wrestlemania 5 over 22 because the Mega Powers exploding remains an iconic moment in the WWF/WWE’s history.

  1. Wrestlemania XIX (Review)
  2. Wrestlemania X-7 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania X-8 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 22
  8. Wrestlemania 15 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 14 (Review)
  11. Wrestlemania 20 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 21 (Review)
  14. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  15. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  18. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  19. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  20. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  21. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  22. Wrestlemania 9 (Holding strong as the worst)
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