I enjoyed Wrestlemania 23. Going into the show, I wasn’t too sure. I even doubted my long-time loyalty to the WWE. Even though I hyped up the event to the extreme in last week’s column, I wasn’t too sure how the show would eventually shape up. You have got to realize that between WWE, TNA, and that April 2006 Legends event, there have been a total of 26 Pay-Per-Views since last year’s Wrestlemania. That is a far cry from just the handful of PPVs of yesteryear. The fact that there were just so many great events in the past year had surely diminished a certain specialty factor that goes along with the aura of Wrestlemania.
Next thing you know, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, one of the greatest performers of all-time, was left off the card in favour of superstars that can’t hold his jockstrap. These included the ditz herself Ashley Massaro, Milena, Matt Hardy, and even though I am a fan of his, The Great Khali. Vince McMahon decided that, while he respects what Flair has done in the past, he no longer sees him as an over-the-top attraction. Nowadays, he views him as just another performer for his company.
Despite some of the weak undercard, the disrespect toward the 16-time World Champion, some poor booking decisions in previous weeks and the $49.99 price tag, I really did end up thoroughly enjoying the show. The show started off with a bang, as Ken Kennedy undeservingly won the Money in the Bank ladder match, thus earning a title shot at any time of his choosing within the next 365 days. As predicted, the Great Khali did his Khali chops and slams and his match was over fairly quick. Chris Benoit surprisingly retained the United States championship, and will most likely give a rematch to MVP sometime in the near future. Thankfully, the Women’s title match was kept short with Milena coming out on top and the “Jumberjills” scattered around the ring were enough to keep my attention off of Ashley’s poor wrestling skills. Two of my favourite moments of the night had to have been when the 2007 Hall of Fame inductees all came out to be honoured as well as the comedy segment which included the Fabulous Moolah, Johnny Mae Young, Ricky Steamboat, Slick, the Extreme Expos