WWE // 2009 // 540 Minutes // Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // June 11th, 2009
For twenty-five years, it has been the biggest event of the WWE year, a global pop culture phenomenon.
Welcome to wrestling's biggest party of the year! Welcome to WrestleMania 25. A total of 72,744 fans attended this year's WWE extravaganza in Houston, Texas, and here is what the PPV has to offer:
* CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark
Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Having eight popular WWE wrestlers battle each other in an exciting ladder match sounds quite intriguing for a WrestleMania opener, and that's exactly what it is. Clocking in at 15 fast-paced minutes, this Money in the Bank matchup certainly delivers the goods, with every athlete bringing something special to the action inside and around the ring. Not one minute of this big fight is boring, and Kofi Kingston and Shelton Benjamin in particular pull off a whole series of impressive dives and other high-risk maneuvers that leave the crowd chanting for more. As far as ladder matches go, this one hits all the right notes.
* 25-Diva Battle Royal to determine the first-ever Miss WrestleMania
While a Battle Royal between twenty-five WWE divas sure sounds interesting at first, this 6-minute battle is unfortunately quite uneventful. The ring is simply too crowded for the women to deliver bold moves and big dives, and consequently, they spend half of the matchup delivering quick kicks and punches. Once the ring clears the action drags on instead of increasing, and a ridiculous finale eventually kills every chance for this one to end on a high note.
* Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat with Ric Flair vs.
Chris Jericho in an 3-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match
Chris Jericho's recent feud with these four wrestling legends has been quite ridiculous, and so is this 3-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match. Steamboat is the only one to deliver a couple of impressive moves, but other than that, it's pretty obvious from the start how this eight-minute fight turns out. Is it nice to see these legends all dressed up in the ring again? Sure. Is it exciting to watch them wrestle Jericho? Not really. After the match, Jericho also challenges Mickey Rourke, but that segment as well drags on and fails to entertain. Too bad.
* Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in an Extreme Rules Match
Jeff and Matt Hardy are dab hands at extreme matches, and this 13-minute hardcore battle is undoubtedly great fun. Neither Matt nor Jeff is afraid to use tables, ladders, chairs and plenty of other tools to offer fans an intense, entertaining matchup, and their performance here at WrestleMania 25 is incredibly amusing to watch. If you're dying to see crazy stunts, well-coordinated high-risk maneuvers, and fast-paced wrestling action inside and around the ring, look no further.
* JBL vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. in an Intercontinental Championship Match
There's really not much to say about this matchup, because believe or not, it only lasts for half a minute. Enough said.
* Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Fans of clean, well-coordinated wrestling should be pleased with this one, because the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels deliver a solid show. At 30 minutes, their battle runs a little too long, but in return, we get to see a series of powerful moves balanced with softer kicks, punches, and submission maneuvers. The matchup between these two legendary athletes is a little predictable in the end, but it won't disappoint.
* Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show in a Triple Threat Match for the World
Even though I was looking forward to a Triple Threat between these three wrestlers, I admit this title match is not necessarily that exciting. Each of the three competitors tries his best to make the whole thing work, but in the end, something's still missing. Cena and Edge deliver some impressive stunts, but they fail to offer a memorable show. Clocking in at 16 minutes, this is a short battle, but it's not as energetic as I expected. It's not a waste of time, but it could have turned out a whole lot better.
* Triple H vs. Randy Orton in a WWE Championship Match (you'll find this
match on Disc Two)
The main event of WrestleMania 25 has arrived, and Triple H goes head to head with Randy Orton. Both wrestlers have been involved in a silly feud for months, and now the time has come to give their fans a great show. Now, is this title match a memorable main event? Yes. Even though I wouldn't exactly call it a surprising matchup, the final battle of the night is quite entertaining, with both Triple H and Orton succeeding to work the crowd and keep the high-risk maneuvers coming. Much like the match between Michaels and the Undertaker, this one's well-coordinated and free of interruptions. That's a good thing for a change. A WrestleMania main event is the one match everybody's been waiting for, and HHH and Orton offer a solid show.
As I mentioned earlier, WWE sells WrestleMania 25th Anniversary as a three-disc set. Besides the showdown between Triple H and Randy Orton, Disc Two offers a loaded bonus section that kicks off with a Lumberjack Match for the Unified Tag Team Championship between Carlito and Primo and The Miz and John Morrison. Clocking in at 8 minutes, this is an incredibly fast-paced battle filled with impressive dives and other dangerous stunts. All four wrestlers competing in this match know how to use their flexibility to put on a superb show, and that's exactly what they're doing. Also included in the special features is a collection of 2-minute clips highlighting the greatest moments of each WrestleMania.
Finally, the third disc includes the entire 2009 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which took place on the evening before WrestleMania 25. The class of 2009 includes Terry & Dory Jr. Funk, Koko B. Ware, The Von Erichs, Howard Finkel, Bill Watts, Ricky Steamboat, and Steve Austin. If you enjoy a lengthy ceremony with plenty of speeches from wrestling legends, this extra is definitely worth it.
As usual, I have no complaints whatsoever when it comes to the technical aspects of this WWE release. The show is presented in full frame, and both the picture quality and audio transfer work just fine. A Spanish commentary for the main show is also provided.
In the end, WrestleMania 25 goes down in WWE history as a decent pay-per-view with some good and some bad matches. The opening match, the Hardys battle, the match between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, and the main event really deliver the goods, and the remaining battles work halfway. This is by far not the best WrestleMania, but it's also not the worst. Is this three-disc edition a nice addition to your WWE collection? Most definitely.
Review content copyright © 2009 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 540 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated
* Bonus Match
* Hall of Fame
* Official Site