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WrestleMania XXIII @ Ford Field, Detroit, S 4/1/07
Posted on: 04-02-2007

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>>caption:   BALD BILLIONAIRE<<

      WrestleMania XXIII outdrew Super
Bowl XL, creating an all-time Ford
Field attendance record of 80,103.
      W'Mania XXIII outdrew all
previous WrestleManias, EXCEPT
WrestleMania III at the Pontiac
Silverdome (93,173 in March, 1987).
      W'Mania XXIII was also the highest
grossing event in World Wrestling
Entertainment history with ticket sales
in excess of $5.38-million.
      Fans from 24 different countries, all 50 US states and nine Canadian
provinces pumped an estimated $25-million into the Motor City's economy
over WrestleMania weekend.
      The Hitman was there. No, not Bret Hart. Retired Detroit boxing champ
Thomas "Hitman" Hearns.
        Also ringside were a group of 2006 American League Champion Detroit
Tigers, led by wrestling fan Curtis Granderson and All-Star Pudge Rodriguez.
(Don't they have a curfew the night before Opening Day?)
      And, W'Mania XXIII produced a Bald Billionaire as WWE Chairman Vincent
Kennedy McMahon had his hair cut and head shaved because his monster
Umaga was beaten by Donald Trump-backed ECW Hwt champion Bobby Lashley.
      Here's the way the show went.....

>>>    Ric Flair & Carlito teamed to top Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Gregory Helms
when Carlito countered a 3-Amigos-suplex with his   back-cracker finisher in the
pre-Pay-Per-View "Dark" match, a Lumberjack tag.

>>>    The PPV opened with Mr. Kennedy winning the "Money In The Bank"
8-man Ladder Match to get an on-demand world title shot at any time of
his choosing between now and WrestleMania XXIV next spring at the Citrus
Bowl in Orlando, FLA.
---   Just a minute into the match, Edge made the first Ladder climb try, only to be
thwarted by his nemesis, Matt Hardy.
---   Edge busted-open C.M. Punk with Hornswaggle's step-Ladder.
---   Off a Spin-a-rooni, King Booker got Ladder-sandwiched by the Hardy Boyz.
---    Edge suplexed Matt atop a stack of Ladders.
---   After disposing of other contenders, Matt & Jeff Hardy fought atop the Ladder
until toppled by Finlay.
---   Edge speared just about everybody, but missed Punk.
---   Randy Orton knocked Edge from a BIG Ladder to the floor.
---   Jeff split-legdropped Edge through a Matt-built Ladder-platform and to the floor.
Edge was stretchered-out and Jeff was helped away too.
---   Randy-O RKOed Matt, Finlay and Kennedy.
---   Orton RKOed Punk off the top of side-by-side Ladders.
---   Booker Book-ended Orton off twin Ladders.
---   Queen Sharmell grabbed Matt's leg to prevent his Ladder assent, Matt threatened
to give Sharmell the Twist-of-Fate and Booker had to hop off the top of the near-win
Ladder to save his Mrs.
---   Already bloodied on the top of his head, Finlay Celtic-Crossed Matt on a Ladder,
taking as much punishment as he gave for that move.
---   Kennedy Ken-toned Finlay helper Hornswaggle from the top of a Ladder.
---   Punk dropkicked Finlay off a Ladder.
---   Kennedy then Ladder-bashed Punk off the top and climbed up himself to unhook
the briefcase with the $-In-The-Bank contract as Mr. Kennedy became Mr. Money-In-
The-Bank.
      Lots of fast action and everybody in the match had legit chances to win. A well-
booked curtain-jerker which went about 30-minutes after introductions.
      Also, with all six announcers from the three WWE Brand TV shows involved in
calling the match, the half dozen flapping jaws somehow did a decent job of keeping
the frenzied commentary from degenerating into a clusterfluff (except Taz talking too
much to hog the finish).
  
>>>    Great Kahli Tree-slammed and 1-foot pinned Kane, then choked Kane
with his own chain. (This was not only the worst match in WrestleMania history,
but the worst bout in the history of any pro wrestling pay-per-view. Kahli makes
El Gigante look like Buddy Rogers. In fact, Rogers is long dead and he could still
out-wrestle Kahli in a Casket Match.)   

>>>>>>    A backstage skit had Cryme Tyme, Extreme Expose, Eugene, Mae
Young & Fabulous Moolah, Slick, Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, Jimmy "Mouth of
the South" Hart, IRS, Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson, Mean Gene Okerlund, The
Fink and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat do a "Soul Train" imitation as Ron Simmons
exclaimed his trademark, "Damn!"

>>>>>>    The 2007 WWE Hall-of-Fame Class (inducted the night before) was
introduced by Howard Finkel. Taking Ford Field bows were announcer Jim Ross,
the widow (Lenise Hennig) and father (Larry "The Axe" Hennig) of the late "Mr. Perfect"
Curt Hennig, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Nick Bockwinkel, Mr. Fuji, Wild Samoans Afa & Sika,
The Original Sheik's widow Joyce Farhat and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.   

>>>    US champion Chris Benoit retained his title with a Swan-dive-headbutt pin
on challenger MVP. The contest contained a surprisingly decent amount of counter-
wrestling with Benoit bringing out the best from his inexperienced foe.

>>>    Undertaker Tombstoned Batista to capture the SmDn world title, keeping
the Dead Man's W'Mania record perfect at 15-&-0.
---   Batista clotheslined Undertaker over the top rope early, but Taker landed on
his feet on the floor.
---   Batista threw U'Taker into the steel steps.
---   Batista executed a top-rope, flying shoulderblock on Taker when the match
returned to the ring.
---   Undertaker punched his way back into the bout.
---   Undertaker potato-kicked Batista for a 2-count.
---   Undertaker got a 2-count off a knee-bash.
---   Undertaker launched himself over the top rope to nail Batista on the floor.
---   After Batista almost threw Taker into ring announcer Lillian Garcia, Batista
then running power-slammed Taker through the ECW announce table (the new
substitute for the old breakaway Spanish announce table).
---   Again back in-ring, Undertaker weakly kicked-out of a Batista belly-to-belly
2-count.
---   Undertaker gave Batista the Last-Ride for a 2-count.
---   Batista recovered to spine-buster Taker, then Undertaker sat up and choke-
slammed Batista for a 2-count.
---   Batista speared and Batista-bombed Undertaker for a 2-count.
---   Undertaker then Tombstoned Batista for a clean pin win to end a good
power match.         

>>>    The ECW Originals won an 8-man tag from the New Breed when Rob Van Dam
5-Starred Matt Stryker for the pin. The ring intros were more interesting than this match.
Local cult hero Sabu was almost a non-factor in the bout.      

>>>    Lashley got a Stone-Cold-stunner assist to spear-pin Umaga in the Hair-vs-
Hair match. Lashley and Trump then made Mr. McMahon a cueball before special
referee Steve Austin shared some Steveweisers with The Donald, then stunned
Trump with a Stone-Cold-stunner.
---   Early on Aremando Allejandro Estrada got garbage-tossed.
---   Umaga Samoan-spiked Austin off a Shane McMahon distraction, then Shane-O-Mac
interfered freely.
---   Shane Coast-to-Coast drop-kick-trash-canned Lashley in the corner.
---   Young McMahon then stripped his coat and shirt to reveal a referee's shirt as he
attempted to replace Austin as the in-ring official.
---   Austin pulled Shane out at a 2-count cover for Umaga and rammed Shane-O-Mac
into the ring steps.
---   Austin received a second Samoan-spike upon his return to the ring.
---   Donald Trump got physical and clotheslined Vince McMahon to the floor and gave
Vinnie Mac a few knuckle noogies.
---   Austin returned again, ducked a third S-spike and Stone-Cold-stunnered Umaga to
set up Lashley's spear and cover.
---    As Austin beat up Shane in the aftermath, Vince attempted to sneak away and avoid
the clipping, but Lashley forced Vince's return for a Stone-Cold-stunner into the barber chair.
---   Trump and Lashley double-clippered, then bic-shaved Vince's head bare.
---   Austin drank beers with Trump, then S-C-stunnered The Donald. Trump took such a bad
bump they didn't even show it on video replay. Afterward, Trump didn't sell enough as
Austin exited.

>>>    Ladies champion Melina reverse-rolled-up challenger Ashley to keep her
belt vs the Playboy covergirl. The "Lumberjills" never came into play during the bout,
but a cat-fight, free-for-all broke out afterward.

>>>    In a half-hour, double-juice finale, Raw world champion John Cena STFU-
submissioned challenger Shawn Michaels to retain his title in an unpopular decision.
---   HBK entered first, then gave Cena a stare-down after Cena raced a Ford
Mustang from Greektown into the Ford Field Lions tunnel (which should have automatically
made Cena a loser).
---   Some drunk jumped into the ring prior to the opening bell and was promptly expelled.
---   Michaels declined a handshake from his Raw TT-champion partner and opened the
match punching and slapping Cena.
---   Michaels controlled the early tempo with mat wrestling, then inside-out hip-tossed
Cena to the floor.
---    HBK Enzigurried Cena, then Michaels moonsaulted from the second rope to drape
Cena across the announce table. (Non-ECW issue, so it didn't break.)
---   Michaels posted and then worked on Cena's leg.
---   HBK looked into Cena's eyes and calmly taunted him with talk.
---   Michaels missed a move to post himself and heavy-juice from the forehead to
turn the tide.
---   A chorus of boos rang out from the pro-DX audience as Cena did the "You Can't
See Me" and 5-Knuckle-shuffle.
---   A wobbly Michaels accidentally super-kicked refgeree Mike Keyota.
---   Michaels countered-out of an FU attempt with a DDT.
---   Still during the ref-bump, HBK spike-piledrivered Cena into the half dismantled
steel steps, forcing Cena's top-head juice.
---   Michaels got a 2-count from second referee Jack Doan as JR criticiuzed the
long-count by the new ref.
---   Michaels did a top-rope Macho-Man elbowdrop.
---   Cena clotheslined Michaels in mid-Sweet-Chin-Music-attempt for another
momentum swing.
---   Michaels slid out of an FU try to get a 2-count counter-move.
---   A third FU attempt was successful, but Cena's slow crawlover cover netted
only another long 2-count by Doan.
---   A swift series of reversals led to a Michaels small-package for a 2-count.
---   Michaels missed a roundhouse kick and Cena locked-in an STFU attempt, but
HBK crawled through to reach the ropes.
---   Doan physically pulled Cena off Michaels to force Cena to break the hold.
---   Cena and Doan argued and Michaels snuck-in a super-kick to get a 2-count.
---   Michaels blocked another FU attempt, but in the reversal process Cena was
able to lock-in a mid-ring STFU and Michaels couldn't escape this time. HBK
tapped-out to Cena's submissionhold.
---   Post-match Michaels again declined a handshake, so Cena gave HBK a
movie military salute as Michaels departed up the ramp.         

COACH KURT'S FEARLESS FORECAST:       6-&-3.

                                                                                         ###

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