Here’s Part 25 of our WrestleMania Retrospective series, looking back at past WrestleMania events as we march towards WrestleMania 29 on April 7th
WrestleMania 25 (2009)
Tagline: “The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania”
Date: April 5, 2009
Venue: Reliant Stadium, Houston TX
America the Beautiful: Nicole Scherzinger
The Undertaker’s Streak: 17-0 (Def. HBK)
WrestleMania XXV (also marketed as “The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania”) was the twenty-fifth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by the National Guard and took place on April 5, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The event featured talent from all three WWE brands: Raw, SmackDown, and ECW. It was the second WrestleMania to be held in Houston, with the first being WrestleMania X-Seven at the Reliant Astrodome, which was held in 2001.
Eight matches were held on the event’s card, which featured a supercard, a scheduling of more than one main bout. The first of these matches was a singles match for the WWE Championship that featured the champion, Triple H, defeating Randy Orton to retain the title. The second was a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship, which saw John Cena defeat the champion, Edge, and the third participant in the match, The Big Show, to win the championship. The third main event was The Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels. Featured matches on the undercard included, Jeff Hardy versus Matt Hardy in an Extreme Rules match, Chris Jericho versus the team of Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Snuka, and the annual Money in the Bank ladder match.
Tickets for the event commenced sale to the public on November 8, 2008. For the third consecutive year, WrestleMania broke the record for the highest-grossing pay-per-view in WWE history, grossing US$6.9 million in ticket sales, which included fans from all 50 U.S. states, 24 countries, and seven Canadian provinces. WrestleMania XXV generated approximately 960,000 PPV buys, grossing $21.0 million in revenue.The event pumped an estimated $49.8 million into the local economy and generated $5.7 million in local tax revenue, equating to 600 full-time jobs for the area.
Money in The Bank
The Money in the Bank ladder match was the start of the event as the participants: CM Punk, Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian, and Finlay, fought for the briefcase that was suspended. The match was littered with many notable moments, including a series of the match’s combatants performing dives onto the floor of the arena onto each other, as well as Benjamin diving off of the top of a ladder with a senton bomb onto his opponents. The ladder was also used as a weapon by the competitors, which saw it being thrown at each other or, in the case of Kingston, to be used as extra force dropped on their chest as Kofi would incapacitate them, draping the collapsed ladder over their bodies and Lep dropps onto the ladder. The finish came with Punk and Kane on top of the ladder, which saw Punk hit Kane with a series of kicks from atop the ladder, knocking him off. Punk went on to win the match after he grabbed the hanging briefcase. Punk’s victory marks the second time he has won the match and his second consecutive victory, having won the first at the previous year’s event.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
A singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship was next, in which Rey Mysterio faced defending champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield. Before the match started, JBL kicked Mysterio and punched him down to the ground for a few seconds. But once the referee started the match, Mysterio surprised JBL by quickly hitting the 619 before pinning him for a win via pinfall in twenty-one seconds. Following the match, a frustrated JBL grabbed a microphone and proclaimed, “I quit!” This has been JBL’s last match to date. The match marked the first time since WrestleMania X8 that the Intercontinental Championship has been defended at a WrestleMania event.
HBK vs The Undertaker
The next match pitted The Undertaker against Shawn Michaels. Michaels made his entrance descending on a platform to symbolize the light; in sharp contrast, The Undertaker entered second ascending from the floor with fire shooting up from the stage. The match started out with a fast pace by both men going for strikes to have them countered before Michaels feigned a knee injury to gain the advantage, and the pace slowed. This led to an exchange of signature moves and submission holds, which saw Michaels able to escape The Undertaker’s Hell’s Gate and dodge multiple attempts at the chokeslam while his adversary blocked attempts at Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music. The action went to the outside of the ring with Michaels attempting a moonsault, only to have The Undertaker stop the attempt this was followed by The Undertaker doing a suicide dive over the top rope, only to have Michaels dodge the attack and pull the nearby cameraman into harms way with The Undertaker hitting the cameraman and nearly landing on his own head. He remained on the floor of the arena with the referee checking to see if he was alright before he headed into the ring and proceeded to count; if The Undertaker were to have not gotten in the ring by the referee’s count of ten, he would have lost the match (referred to as a countout), but he managed to return to the ring by a count of nine. The match continued with both men performing all of their respective finishing moves. The Undertaker hit The Last Ride and Chokeslam, and Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music at two points in the match. Both men were unable to win through these moves. The Undertaker even hit Michaels with a massive Tombstone Piledriver, but Shawn kicked out. Undertaker finally won the match after Michaels ascended the top rope, attempting to perform another moonsault only to be caught in mid-air by The Undertaker and hit another Tombstone Piledriver and pinning him. As a result of this victory, The Undertaker remained undefeated at WrestleMania, extending his record to 17–0. Throughout the match, fans were split, chanting for both Undertaker and Michaels, and at one point chanted “This is awesome”, referring to the match itself. This match won the Match of the Year Award at the 2009 WWE Slammy Awards which took place live on WWE Raw. It also won the Match of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
World Heavyweight Championship
The World Heavyweight Championship was contested for in a Triple Threat match between the champion, Edge, The Big Show, and John Cena, who entered through an aisle of look-alikes to get the match underway; Vickie Guerrero was brought out to ringside in a wheelchair by Chavo Guerrero due to her emotional investment in both Edge and Big Show. The action started with some brawling and some early teamwork from Big Show and Edge before their alliance crumbled. The match spilled to the outside seeing Edge tackling Big Show through the guardrail with a Spear. Cena returned Edge to the ring before applying the STF before Big Show came to his senses, and broke up the action, leading to Cena and Edge teaming up to remove Big Show from the equation before turning on each other. Cena won the match by lifting both The Big Show and Edge at the same exact time and set up the Attitude Adjustment on the big show, then dropping Edge onto Big Show with the same move before pinning The Big Show to win his second World Heavyweight Championship.
The last match of the event was for the WWE Championship; the match was contested between the champion, Triple H, and Randy Orton. As per a pre-match stipulation by Vickie Guerrero, if Triple H had been disqualified or had been counted out during the match, he would have lost the title to Orton. The champion had his signature weapon, the sledgehammer, in hand only to relinquish it prior to entering the ring by throwing it through a glass wall. Early in the match both men hit their respective finishers to try and end the match quickly with both leading to only two-counts; the action continued immediately between the two with Triple H doing everything in his power to hurt Orton without being disqualified in the process. Some highlights of the match would include the challenger delivering a suplex to the champion on the English announce table onto the Spanish announce table that did not break at all from Triple H landing on it. At a point, Orton threw Triple H to a turnbuckle where the referee was standing, causing him to collide, and knocked out the referee. Orton tried to gain more advantage went out of the ring to pick up Triple H’s signature weapon, the sledgehammer. As Orton made his way back to the ring, Triple H ran to Orton, and delivered a punt kick across Orton’s face similar to how the latter performs the move, possibly as revenge for Orton’s similar attacks on both Triple H’s brother-in-law and father-in-law. The champion would defeat Orton after he took his sledgehammer from Orton, hit him with it and the Pedigree to retain the WWE Championship.
WrestleMania 25 Results
Dark The Colóns (Carlito and Primo) defeated John Morrison and The Miz[a] Lumberjack match to unify the WWE Tag Team Championship and World Tag Team Championship into the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship 08:20
• CM Punk defeated Kane, Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas), Montel Vontavious Porter, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Finlay (with Hornswoggle) Money in the Bank ladder match 14:24
• Santina Marella won by last eliminating Beth Phoenix and Melina. 25-Diva battle royal to crown Miss WrestleMania 03:23
• Chris Jericho defeated Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Snuka (with Ric Flair) Handicap elimination match 09:52
• Matt Hardy defeated Jeff Hardy Extreme rules match 17:19
• Rey Mysterio defeated John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship 00:21
• The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels Singles Match
• John Cena defeated Edge (c) and The Big Show Triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship 14:21
• Triple H (c) defeated Randy Orton Singles match for the WWE Championship. If Triple H had been disqualifed or counted out, Randy Orton would have won the WWE Championship. 23:34