Here’s Part 26 of our WrestleMania Retrospective series, looking back at past WrestleMania events as we march towards WrestleMania 29 on April 7th
WrestleMania 26 (2010)
Tagline: “Get All Fired Up”
Date: March 28, 2010
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
America the Beautiful: Fantasia Barrino
The Undertaker’s Streak: 18-0 (Def. HBK)
Global Spectrum, University of Phoenix Stadium’s operator, had worked in previous years with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to recruit the event to its venue. On January 18, 2008, Global Spectrum publicly announced its intentions to host WrestleMania in 2010. The event gained media attention weeks prior when a photo of Wayne Gretzky, then head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, wearing a shirt promoting the event surfaced in the Swedish newspaper Expressen.A press conference was held on February 24, 2009 at the University of Phoenix Stadium to formally announce the event for Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium; this event marked the first time WrestleMania has been held in the state of Arizona. Tickets for the event went on sale November 7, 2009 at 10:00am MST.
The roof of the University of Phoenix Stadium was opened several times during the event, marking the third time in WrestleMania history after WrestleMania IX and XXIV that the event has been held in an open-air venue.Like the previous open-air events, a steel tarpaulin structure was placed over the ring, which was placed at the 50-yard line. Custom-built from Belgium, the tarpaulin held 30 tons of light and camera equipment, with much of the equipment shipped from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Over 1,000 lights were used, adapting to the decrease in sunlight as the show continued into the night. The entrance stage stood 8 feet (2.4 m) off the stadium floor and measured 120 feet (37 m) wide. In an interview with
The Arizona Republic, production manager Brian Petree described the stage design as a “completely new design that hasn’t been done anywhere and won’t be done again,” while production designer Jason Robinson discussed about basing his stage design themes often on local flavors. The entrance ramp linking to the stage has been lined with cauldrons of fire, each at a temperature of 1,000 °F (538 °C). In addition, 400,000 individual pieces of pyrotechnic product have been launched 200 feet (61 m) into the open air after Robinson promised to introduce new types of pyrotechnics never used in a WWE show before. Pre-planning for the set-up began six months before the event, while the construction structures and equipment inside the stadium began two weeks before the event. It is estimated that 100 trucks were used to deliver equipment, in comparison to the 12 semitrucks used in a regular WWE show.
Money in The Bank
The annual Money in the Bank ladder match took place. The match started off with every superstar trying to incapacitate each other long enough to climb and retrieve the briefcase. In between Jack Swagger was stuck in between a ladder with Christian and Matt Hardy hitting him with two ladders of their own. Another instance was when Evan Bourne performed a shooting star press, known as ‘Air Bourne’ on Christian from a vertically placed ladder wedged between another and the middle rope. The match came to an end when Jack Swagger hit Christian with the Money in the Bank briefcase sending him falling down and giving Swagger enough time to unhook the briefcase and become the new Mr. Money in the Bank.
Triple H Vs Sheamus
The match started with Sheamus taunting Triple H and calling himself the future of the business. He then spent most of the time dominating Triple H with his back breaker and submission moves. Triple H then took back control of the match by performing a Facebreaker knee smash and spinebuster on Sheamus. Sheamus then hit Triple H with a Brouge Kick and then tried to hit him with a High Cross only for Triple H to reverse and hit Sheamus with the Pedigree to win the match.
Vince McMahon VS Bret Hart
As a guest host of the January 4 episode of Raw, Bret Hart made his return to the show, the first time since the Montreal Screwjob incident at the 1997 Survivor Series where Vince McMahon was involved in legitimately double-crossing Hart out of the WWF Championship. On Raw, Hart tried to put all hostilities aside and make peace with McMahon. However, McMahon again betrayed Hart and kicked him in the groin. The rivalry was further fueled during Hart’s second appearance a month later, where McMahon refused to induct Hart’s father, Stu Hart, into the WWE Hall of Fame. On the February 8 episode of Raw, John Cena called out McMahon and told him that Hart wanted to face him at WrestleMania, which McMahon accepted. However, Hart who had been banned from the arena, showed up and attacked McMahon. Hiding behind security guards, McMahon changed his mind canceled the bout. Unable to get his match, Hart addressed the fans a week later and decided to make his goodbye, thanking them. Later on that night, Hart was involved in a car accident when a reversing car smashed the open door from Hart’s limousine onto his leg, sending Hart immediately to hospital. McMahon agreed to feature the March 1 episode of Raw a “proper farewell” from Hart, but the segment ended up as a challenge from McMahon for the WrestleMania bout. Despite initial reluctance from Hart due to his leg, Hart was convinced to accept after McMahon said he had no more “Hart”, called him a coward and kicked his crutches from underneath him. A contract signing was held two weeks later, moderated by guest host Stone Cold Steve Austin, who reversed McMahon’s decision on Stu Hart’s induction into the Hall of Fame. Before the contract was signed, Hart asked for the match to be a No Holds Barred match, which McMahon agreed to. Afterwards, Hart revealed that his leg was perfectly fine and that his car accident was a setup created by Cena and himself to force a match out of McMahon legally. And if Vince tried to back out in any possible way, Bret Hart could sue Vince for all that he’s got.
McMahon entered and informed Hart that he wanted to give him a “Wrestlemania sized” screwing and called out Hart’s family claiming he had paid them to turn on Hart. Hart then informed McMahon that his family had informed him about this before and that they would screw Vince instead. The match featured members of the Hart family including The Hart Dynasty beating on McMahon with Bruce Hart as the referee. Hart then placed McMahon in the Sharpshooter, with McMahon tapping out to end the match.
World Heavyweight Championship
During the match for the World Heavyweight Championship featuring Edge and reigning champion Chris Jericho. Each man tried to get the better of each other only to be countered every time. The match ended when Jericho hit Edge with the championship belt and a Codebreaker to win and retain his title. After the match Jericho attempted to hurt Edge further but was fought off and was speared by Edge through the barricade outside the ring.
One of the predominant rivalries heading into WrestleMania XXVI was between John Cena and Batista for the WWE Championship. The conflict started when Cena sided with Bret Hart over Hart’s hostility with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. When Hart and McMahon confronted each other on the February 1 episode of Raw, Batista saved McMahon from an attack and ambushed Hart from behind. After the show ended, Cena tried to help Hart but was too attacked by Batista. In the opening match of the Elimination Chamber event, Cena won the WWE Championship from Sheamus in an Elimination Chamber match but was shortly interrupted by McMahon, who ordered a title match between Cena and Batista to take place on the spot. With Cena too tired to compete, Batista defeated him and won the title. On the February 22 episode of Raw, Cena asked for a rematch for the title at WrestleMania, which McMahon gave him the opportunity to as long as he defeated Batista that night. Later that night, Batista intentionally got himself disqualified by kicking Cena in the groin to set up their match at WrestleMania.
John Cena and Batista fought for the WWE Championship next. Cena entered the ring after a performance from the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team. Batista dominated the first half of the match. Cena made a return after hitting a suplex. The match started to go evenly after that. An instance included Cena hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle off the top of the turnbuckle. The match came to an end after Cena reversed a Batista Bomb into an STF. Batista eventually tapped out. Cena won the match and the WWE Championship, making him an eight-time World champion.
Streak Vs Career
At WrestleMania XXV, Shawn Michaels was unsuccessful in defeating The Undertaker and ending Undertaker’s undefeated streak at the event. When the match won the 2009 Slammy Award for Match of the Year, Michaels told in his acceptance speech that he could still defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania and challenged him to a rematch. A month later, The Undertaker, then the World Heavyweight Champion, made his reply and refused a rematch. The refusal saw Michaels more obsessed about facing the Undertaker at the event, attacking referee Charles Robinson and SmackDown general manager Theodore Long respectively after failing his title match opportunities in the Royal Rumble match and Elimination Chamber qualifiers. At the Elimination Chamber event, Michaels sneaked into Undertaker’s Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship and performed a Sweet Chin Music on The Undertaker, enabling Chris Jericho to defeat The Undertaker and win the World Heavyweight Championship. On the following night, The Undertaker changed his mind and accepted the rematch but with one condition, that if Michaels loses, he would have to retire. Michaels accepted, noting that if he can’t end the streak, there’s no reason why his career should continue. Two weeks later, Michaels and The Undertaker agreed on another additional stipulation, that the match will have no disqualifications and no count-outs.
The final match featured was the billed “Streak vs Career” match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. The match started out with both men hitting their signature moves early on. The Undertaker injured his leg while performing Old School and Shawn focused on his leg. The action then went outside the ring. An instance included where Undertaker hit the Tombstone Piledriver on the stadium floor, but Michaels kicked out when Undertaker tried to pin him in the ring. Afterwards in the match, Shawn Michaels hit a Sweet Chin Music. Soon after, Undertaker also hit the Chokeslam and the Last Ride successfully, but Michaels kicked out of each. Shawn also applied numerous submission maneuvers on Undertaker’s injured ankle, such as the Ankle Lock, Figure Four Leglock, and Crossface, but The Undertaker was successful in countering all of them. Undertaker also applied the Hell’s Gate, but Michaels reversed it into a pin attempt, with Undertaker kicking for a two count. When the action spilled outside again, Undertaker attempted a Last Ride on the announce table, but Michaels countered it and hit a second Sweet Chin Music, which placed the Undertaker on top of the announce table. Michaels performed a moonsault aiming on the Undertaker’s injured ankle.
After taking The Undertaker back in the ring again, Michaels then hit his third Sweet Chin Music on Undertaker, who kicked out at two yet again. Michaels then attempted Sweet Chin Music again but Undertaker countered into a Chokeslam, and quickly followed up by hitting Michaels with a second Tombstone Piledriver. But Michaels kicked out at the count of two. Undertaker began to signal the end for Michaels, but stopped his cut-throat action and told Michaels to stay down. Michaels, however, taunted Undertaker by completing the action on his own and slapping him in the face. Then Undertaker responded with a third jumping Tombstone Piledriver and pinned the fallen Shawn Michaels for the win, and extended his undefeated streak at WrestleMania to 18–0, ending Michaels’ long career. After the match the two shook hands and embraced. Undertaker soon left and Shawn Michaels interacted with
the fans for the final time as the event came to a close.
WrestleMania 26 Results
Dark Yoshi Tatsu won by last eliminating Zack Ryder 26-man Battle Royal 08:34
• ShoMiz (The Miz and The Big Show) (c) defeated John Morrison and R-Truth Tag Team match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship 03:24
• Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Triple Threat Match 09:01
• Jack Swagger defeated Christian, Matt Hardy, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, Montel Vontavious Porter and Evan Bourne Money in the Bank Ladder Match 13:44
• Triple H defeated Sheamus Singles Match 12:09
• Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk (with Luke Gallows and Serena) Singles match; if Punk had won, Mysterio would have had to join the Straight Edge Society. 06:30
• Bret Hart defeated Mr. McMahon via submission No Holds Barred Lumberjack match with Bruce Hart as the Special Guest Referee 11:09
• Chris Jericho (c) defeated Edge Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship 15:48
• Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Layla and Maryse defeated Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Gail Kim and Eve Torres 10-Diva Tag Team match 03:26
• John Cena defeated Batista (c) via submission Singles match for the WWE Championship 13:31
• The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels No Disqualification Streak vs Career Match 23:59