PPV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE WRESTLEMANIA 23 REPORT (Hour 2): Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event
Apr 1, 2007 - 7:57:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torchh editor
WWE WRESTLEMANIA 23 REPORT
APRIL 1, 2007
DETROIT, MICH. AT FORD FIELD
3 -- CHRIS BENOIT vs. MVP -- U.S. Title Match
After some nice early wrestling exchanges with Benoit, Cole said he didn't know MVP had that in him. Benoit hit three German suplexes at 4:00. MVP executed a superplex off the top rope at 5:00, but Benoit turned it into a small package for a near fall. MVP then threw Benoit shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cole said that could limit Benoit being able to apply his submission holds later. Benoit slipped on a Crossface, but couldn't get a solid grip because of his shoulder being damaged. MVP then danced and dropped an elbow and cradled Benoit for a near fall. Benoit came back with a series of unreleased back suplexes. Then he connected with a top rope headbutt and scored the clean pin.
WINNER: Benoit in 9:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Good match. MVP showed he can look "in place" in a serious match against someone of Benoit's caliber.
-A commercial aired for WWE Shop Zone.
-Backstage, Donald Trump was on a cell phone and he said Vince McMahon is a bad man because he wasn't catered to. He was sitting next to a former Miss USA. Boogeyman's music played and the lights turned red. Boogeyman showed up behind Trump. The Miss USA lady ran away. Trump no-sold it, like he sees that sort of thing every day. He ordered a sandwich. Boogeyman laughed and said he would. He said if Boogeyman brings him a sandwich, he'll bring him some worms. Now if Trump wanted to prove he was really game, he'd have bitten into a worm sandwich.
-Hall of Fame ceremony highlights aired. Jerry Lawler said he was backstage with William Shatner and the no. 1 topic of conversation was Viagra.
-Lilian Garcia announced the official attendance was 80,103, which if accurate, beats the real attendance (78,000) for WrestleMania 3. She then introduced Howard Finkle, who then introduced the 2007 Hall of Fame Class. It would have been really funny if Mr. Fuji threw salt in the eyes of the person pushing his wheelchair.
4 -- BATISTA vs. UNDERTAKER -- World Hvt. Title Match
Teddy Long was ring announcer for this match. Batista came out first, even though he's the champion. Undertaker's ring entrance was among the most spectacular ever in WWE. The set was cool. They showed one fan holding up a "15-0" sign and another fan held up "14-1." Batista speared Taker tot he mat to open the match. There were audible boos immediately. Taker fired away with a barrage of punches. Batista switched positions and drove his shoulder into his mid-section. More boos. JBL said Batista's title reign was fed off of the energy of the fans, but tonight he wouldn't have them. Taker yanked Batista out of the ring and rammed his face into the ring barrier. He whipped him into the ringside steps. Taker was as cut and defined as ever, without looking bulky (like Batista always does). Batista climbed to the top rope and shoulder-tackled Taker. He followed up with a clothesline and some punches, then a bodyslam. More boos. At 3:00 they exchanged punches. Every time Taker threw a punch, they cheered. Every time Batista threw a punch, they booed. Taker then hit a big boot and a legdrop for a two count. Taker walked the top rope and came off with a forearm. When Taker went for a chokeslam, Batista blocked it. Taker followed with a flying shoulder and almost overshot Batista. Taker gave Batista guillotine legdrop on the ring apron. Taker then hit a running shoulder tackle over the top rope onto Batista on the floor. Nice spot. The replay made it seem like Taker had wings. Taker punched away at Batista. Batista reversed Taker into a bunch of chairs at ringside. Lilian barely got out of his way. More boos. Batista tore apart an annouce desk and gave Taker a running powerslam off of one table through another at 10:00. Back in the ring, Batista scored a near fall. A minute later he scored another two count. Batista punched away at Taker in the corner, but Taker turned it into a Last Ride. Cole declared that there would be a new champion, so of course Batista kicked out at two. JBL said this type of action is why you wait all year for WrestleMania. Batista made a comeback and shook the ropes. Taker came back with a sudden chokeslam for another two count. Batista powered out. batista slipped out of Taker's grip and hit a spear, prompting crowd boos. Batista gave Taker the Batista Bomb. Cole declared that Taker's streak was over, giving away Taker's kickout. Taker did kick out. Batista got up with a look of disbelief. Batista set up a second Batista Bomb. Taker backdropped out of it for a huge pop. Batista kicked Taker in the gut and lifted Taker. Taker slipped out and lifted Batista for a Tombstone. He dropped Batista. Cole didn't declare the match over, so of course that was the pin. Taker celebrated and made a long, slow walk to the entrance stage where flames and pyro marked his departure in dramatic fashion.
WINNER: Undertaker in 16:00 to capture the World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: **** -- Really good. They included moves they were capable of without any down time, filler, or overambitious spots that could lead to embarassment or disaster. Taker carried the vast majority of the action of course, but Batista gets credit for not screwing anything up and looking decent throughout. The big spots were designed well and managed to not seem anticlimactic despite the wild spots in the opener. A very well designed match.
-A "All Grown Up" video aired on Bobby Lashley.
-Stephanie McMahon rolled her baby up to grandpa Vince, who made some funny faces and noises. Steph seemed concerned when he reached out to touch the baby. There was a camera inside the baby carriage, which was entertaining and stupid at the same time. Why does everything Stephanie touch destroy any chance of suspending disbelief. Steph told Vince he was going to scare the baby as Vince began getting really intense as he talked about his battle with Trump. Vince then began noticing a bad smell. He said the baby just "took a Trump."
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