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WrestleMania 22 was the twenty-second yearly WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on April 2, 2006 at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Rosemont. The event was the third WrestleMania to take place in the Chicago metropolitan area (following WrestleMania 2, and WrestleMania 13). Tickets sold out in under two minutes, grossing $2.5 million for the event, making it the highest grossing one-day event at the Allstate Arena. More than 17,155 people from 16 countries and 43 states attended, with millions more watching in more than 90 countries.
|"Big Time" by Peter Gabriel|
"I Dare You" by Shinedown
"Save Me Sorrow" by Bullets and Octane
"Baby Hates Me" by Danko Jones
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||April 2, 2006|
WrestleMania 22 was a joint-promotion pay-per-view event, featuring performers from the Raw and SmackDown! brands. The tagline for WrestleMania 22 was "Big Time". The official theme song for the event was "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel. Secondary theme songs included "I Dare You" by Shinedown, "Save Me Sorrow" by Bullets and Octane, and "Baby Hates Me" by Danko Jones.
The main match on the Raw brand was John Cena versus Triple H for the WWE Championship, which Cena won via submission after forcing Triple H to submit to the STFU. The predominant match on the SmackDown! brand was Kurt Angle versus Rey Mysterio versus Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Mysterio won by pinfall after executing a 619 and a West Coast Pop on Orton. Other matches on the undercard featured Shawn Michaels versus Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match, The Undertaker versus Mark Henry in a Casket match. and Rob Van Dam versus Shelton Benjamin versus Ric Flair versus Finlay versus Matt Hardy versus Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank ladder match
The main feud heading into WrestlemMania on the Raw brand was between John Cena and Triple H over the WWE Championship. After failing to win the Royal Rumble match, Triple H participated in the 2006 Road to WrestleMania Tournament, where the winner would become the number-one contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. In the final match of the tournament, held on the February 20 edition of Raw, Triple H faced Rob Van Dam and The Big Show in a Triple Threat match. Triple H won the match after pinning Van Dam following a Pedigree.
The predominant feud on the SmackDown! Brand was between Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton over the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio won the 2006 Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Orton, to earn a world championship match at WrestleMania. At No Way Out, Orton defeated Mysterio to win his WrestleMania 22 world championship match. Five day later, on the February 24 edition of SmackDown!, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced that the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 22 would be a Triple Threat match involving Mysterio, Orton, and champion Angle.
Well, Rey,...what happened to you was wrong. At WrestleMania, Randy Orton will be in the main event. I can't change that, Rey. But I damn sure can add to the match. At WrestleMania it will be Randy Orton versus the World Champion versus Rey Mysterio. That match will be a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
On the March 24 edition of SmackDown!, Orton interfered in Mysterio's and Angle's respective match. During Mysterio's match against Finlay, Orton interfered and executed an RKO on Mysterio, allowing Finlay to pin Mysterio for the win. Later that night, during Angle's match against Mark Henry, Orton attempted to execute an RKO on Angle, but Mysterio attacked him. Mysterio then attempted to perform a springboard hurricanrana on Orton, but Orton moved out of the way and caused Mysterio to execute the move on Angle. Henry executed a splash shortly after to gain the pinfall victory. After the match, Mysterio executed a 619 on Angle. The following week, after Angle defeated Mysterio, Orton came out and executed an RKO on Mysterio. Shortly after, Angle executed an Angle Slam Orton and locked him in the ankle lock.
Another primary feud from Raw was between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. At the Royal Rumble, during the Royal Rumble match, Vince distracted Michaels as his music started to play. During that time, Shane McMahon, who was not an official entrant in the match, eliminated Michaels after attacking him from behind. One month later, on the February 27 edition of Raw, Shane hit Michaels with a steel chair and forced him to "kiss" Vince's ass, thus joining Vince's "Kiss My Ass Club." Vince then announced that him and Michaels would face off against each other at WrestleMania. On Raw two weeks later, Vince forced Michaels to take a public drug test. During the test, however, Michaels threw his urine on both Vince and Shane. Later that night, Michaels faced off against The Spirit Squad in a Steel Cage match. The Spirit Squad won the match by pinning Michaels after Shane interfered and slammed the cage door on Michaels. After the match, Shane continued attacking Michaels, causing him to bleed in the process, and executed a corner-to-corner missile dropkick. On the March 18 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Michaels faced off against Shane in a Street Fight. Near the end of the match, Shane locked Michaels in the sharpshooter and Vince ordered the match to end. Vince screwed Michaels, claiming he submitted to the move, and declared Shane the winner via submission. On the March 20 edition of Raw, Vince announced that his match against Michaels at WrestleMania would now be a No Holds Barred match.
One of the featured matches on the undercard was a Casket match between The Undertaker and Mark Henry. On the March 3 edition of SmackDown!, Undertaker challenged Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship. During the match, after Undertaker executed a Tombstone piledriver, Henry came out attacked Undertaker, causing the match the end via disqualification. Undertaker won the match, but since a championship cannot change hands via countout or disqualification, he did not win the title. The following week, on SmackDown!, Undertaker challenged Henry to a Casket match at WrestleMania. On the March 18 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Henry, along with his manager Daivari, called out The Undertaker. Undertaker came out, accompanied by Druids carrying a casket, and the two started attacking each other. Shortly after, Undertaker executed a chokeslam, followed by a Tombstone piledriver, to Daivari on the casket.
Before the event went live on pay-per-view, a dark match was held which was an 18-man interpromotional battle royal. Viscera won the battle royal last eliminating Snitsky. After winning the battle royal, he kissed Lilian Garcia. Michelle Williams sang "America the Beautiful" before the show.
The opening match was for the World Tag Team Championship between champions Kane and The Big Show and Carlito and Chris Masters. Kane hit Masters with a big boot, then chokeslammed Carlito to get the victory and to retain the World Tag Team Championship.
The second match was the Money in the Bank ladder match between, Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Bobby Lashley and Matt Hardy. In the beginning, Benjamin propped a ladder against the ring rope, then ran it up and launched it into a frontflip on the other contestants outside the ring. Later on, Hardy superplexed Flair off the top of the ladder and Flair's leg injury increased. He was then taken away by the referees to backstage. Flair came back but Finlay hit him with the shillelagh. RVD would then stand up on top of the 15-foot ladder and hit Finlay with a Five-Star Frog Splash. RVD climbed the ladder, but was stopped when Benjamin springboarded onto RVD and delivered each other blows back and fourth. Hardy came out with a second ladder and joined the two. RVD pushed Hardy and Benjamin's ladder over with his feet and pushed them sending them both smashing on the floor. RVD grabbed the briefcase and went on to win the 2006 Money in the Bank ladder match.
|Other on-screen talent|
|Commentator||Jerry "The King" Lawler (Raw)|
|Jim Ross (Raw)|
|Michael Cole (SmackDown!)|
|Joey Styles (Foley/Edge match)|
|Spanish commentator||Carlos Cabrera|
|Ring announcer||Tony Chimel (SmackDown!)|
|Lilian Garcia (Raw)|
(WWE Hall of Fame inductees)
|Referee||Mike Chioda (Raw)|
|Jack Doan (Raw)|
|Mickie Henson (Raw)|
|Chad Patton (Raw)|
|Chris Kay (SmackDown!)|
|Jim Korderas (SmackDown!)|
|Nick Patrick (SmackDown!)|
|Charles Robinson (SmackDown!)|
Howard Finkel introduced the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2006. First of all, he announced that Bret Hart would not be coming to attend the event, as he did not feel comfortable. "Mean" Gene Okerlund, "Sensational" Sherri Martel, Tony Atlas, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and The Blackjacks (Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza) attended the class while Eddie Guerrero was represented by his wife Vickie Guerrero who was supported by Eddie's nephew Chavo Guerrero.
The third match was between John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Chris Benoit for WWE United States Championship. During JBL's entrance, the entrance ramp was raised and JBL's limousine drove out from underneath. JBL hit Benoit a Clothesline From Hell but Benoit avoided the move and applied in the Crippler Crossface. JBL flipped Benoit over on his back and used ropes for leverage and then the referee counted to 3 as JBL won the WWE United States Championship.
The fourth match was a hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley. When Edge delivered Foley a Spear, he cut his arm and his blood poured out. Foley removed his clothing and revealed that he was wrapped in a razor wire. Near the end of the match, Foley had Edge in control and pulled out a table. Lita then hit Foley in between the legs with a barbed wire bat, and lit the table which then allowed Edge to hit a Spear to Foley through the ring ropes through the flaming table on the outside, and pinned Foley to get the win.
The fifth match was a handicap match where Booker T and Sharmell faced The Boogeyman. He put the worms into his mouth and chewed them and then kissed Sharmell. Sharmell screamed and immediately left the match running to backstage. Boogeyman hit Booker a Falling Chokebomb and pinned Booker to get the victory.
The sixth match was a divas match between Trish Stratus and Mickie James for the WWE Women's Championship. At the end of the match, Mickie hit a Mick Kick on Trish's head which knocked out Trish and then Mickie pinned Trish to win the match and the WWE Women's Championship.
The seventh match was a Casket match between The Undertaker and Mark Henry. Undertaker took advantage and hit Henry with a Last Ride. While Henry was out of the ring, Undertaker hit him with a suicide dive over the top rope. Undertaker went on to hit Henry with a Tombstone Piledriver and then pushed him into the casket to win the match and keeping his undefeated WrestleMania streak alive improving his WrestleMania record to 14-0.
The eighth match was a No Holds Barred match between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Michaels controlled all the five men, by throing Kenny onto the other four men on the outside. Shawn went to deliver McMahon a Sweet Chin Music but instead he got a trash can and a table. He was going to hit McMahon a diving elbow drop from the top of a ladder until he got a taller ladder. He put McMahon on a table and put a trashcan over McMahon's head. Michaels then climbed on the top of the tall ladder and hit McMahon a diving elbow drop. Michaels then hit McMahon with a Sweet Chin Music. Michaels pinned McMahon to win the match.
The ninth match was a Triple Threat match between Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. During Mysterio's entrance, P.O.D. performed Mysterio's music entrance live. Angle kicked out of an RKO by Orton and a West Coast Pop by Mysterio. At the end, Mysterio went on to hit Orton a 619 followed by a West Coast Pop pinfall victory. As a result, Rey Mysterio became the new World Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Mysterio celebrated with Chavo Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero.
The tenth match was a Playboy Pillow Fight between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. It was a quick match which Torrie had in control. She hit Candice a snap suplex and a backdrop. She pulled Candice's dress and pinned her with a roll-up.
The main event was for the WWE Championship between reigning champion John Cena and Triple H. Both men came in different styles during their entrances. Triple H came out on a throne dressed as Conan the Barbarian-type king while Cena came out with a tommy gun and was accompanied by a group of "gangsters" (one of which was future WWE champion CM Punk) in a 1940s Chicago-era vehicle. The fans were against Cena during the match. Near the end of the match, Triple H hit Cena in the head with a sledgehammer, but Cena kicked out on a 2 count despite the sledghammer shot to the face. Moments later Cena went to deliver Triple H a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but run into a Spinebuster by Triple H. Moments later Triple H tried to hit Cena with a Pedigree but was countered by Cena into an FU. Triple H kicked out of the pinfall attempt despite the FU. Cena would then lock Triple H into the STFU, but Triple H got to the ropes. Triple H took advantage again by trying to deliver Cena another Pedigree but was countered into the STFU again, and as a result, Triple H tapped out and Cena retained the WWE Championship.
The next night on Raw, Triple H came out and said to John Cena that he underestimated the champ, because he lost at WrestleMania 22 to Cena. Edge then came out and said to Triple H that he deserved another WWE Championship match because he defeated Mick Foley in a Hardcore match. Over the next few weeks, all three men faced each other in Handicap matches, which all three men won over the three week period by pinning and making each other submit respectively. It was then announced that the main event at Backlash would be John Cena versus Triple H versus Edge in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. At Backlash, Cena won the match and retained the WWE Championship via pinfall on Triple H with a Jackknife roll-up, but after the match Triple H attacked Cena, Edge and the referee with a sledgehammer and did a couple of DX crotch crops to Cena and Edge.
After WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels would continue to feud with Vince McMahon. At Backlash. Michaels teamed up with "God" to face Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon. At Backlash, Michaels suffered a loss, when the Spirit Squad interfered on behalf of The McMahons (Vince and Shane). On the June 12, 2006 edition of Raw, Vince McMahon announced that Triple H would face the Spirit Squad in a 5 on 1 Handicap Gauntlet match. Vince called Mitch out last, who throughout the match he called all four members one-by-one, instead Mitch was thrown out from the curtain by Shawn Michaels. Michaels run down the ramp and started bashing the Spirit Squad with Triple H, marking the return of D-Generation X. At Vengeance, DX faced the Spirit Squad in a 5 on 2 Handicap match, which DX won after both Michaels and Triple H pinned Kenny and Mikey at the same time.
Rey Mysterio would go on and feud with John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) over the World Heavyweight Championship. On the May 5 edition of SmackDown!, after Rey Mysterio expressed his feelings about being World Heavyweight Champion, John "Bradshaw" Layfield came out and declared himself the number one contender. Mysterio reacted by saying that he'd fight anyone at anytime. In turn, JBL announced that Mysterio would face off against Mark Henry later that night. Henry won the match via pinfall. The next week on SmackDown!, JBL announced that Mysterio would take on The Great Khali later that night. Khali won the match via pinfall. At Judgment Day, Mysterio defeated JBL via pinfall. After the pay-per view, the feud ended between the two.
Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- Dark match: Viscera won an 18-man Interpromotional Battle Royal featuring: Eugene, Goldust, Snitsky, Tyson Tomko, Rob Conway, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Matt Striker from Raw and Super Crazy, Psicosis, Funaki, Steven Richards, Johnny Nitro, Joey Mercury, The Road Warrior, William Regal, Simon Dean from SmackDown! (9:00)
- Viscera eliminated Snitsky last to win after Snitsky missed a Big Boot.
- Kane and The Big Show beat Carlito and Chris Masters to retain the World Tag Team Championship (6:41)
- Kane pinned Carlito after a chokeslam.
- Rob Van Dam beat Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank ladder match (12:21)
- Howard Finkel introduced the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2006:
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund, "Sensational" Sherri Martel, Tony Atlas, Verne Gagne, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and The Blackjacks (Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza). The eighth inductee, Bret Hart, did not attend the event. The ninth inductee, Eddie Guerrero, was represented by his widow Vickie, who was escorted out to the stage by Guerrero's nephew Chavo Guerrero.
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield (w/Jillian Hall) beat Chris Benoit to win the WWE United States Championship (9:44)
- Layfield pinned Benoit after flipping him over on his back during a Crippler Crossface and holding onto the middle rope.
- Edge (w/Lita) beat Mick Foley in a Hardcore match (14:37)
- Edge pinned Foley after a Spear off the apron and through a flaming table on the outside.
- The Boogeyman beat Booker T and Sharmell in a Handicap match (3:52)
- Boogeyman pinned Booker after a Falling Chokebomb.
- Mickie James beat Trish Stratus to win the WWE Women's Championship (8:48)
- James pinned Stratus after a Mick Kick.
- The Undertaker beat Mark Henry in a Casket match (9:26)
- Undertaker rolled Henry into the casket after hitting him with the Tombstone Piledriver.
- Shawn Michaels beat Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match (18:28)
- Rey Mysterio beat Kurt Angle (c) and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship (9:18)
- Torrie Wilson beat Candice Michelle in a Playboy Pillow fight (3:54)
- Wilson pinned Michelle with a roll-up.
- John Cena beat Triple H to retain the WWE Championship (22:02)
- Other celebrity guests in attendance for WrestleMania 22 included Joe Theismann and P.O.D..
- WrestleMania 22 marked the first WrestleMania not to feature the winner of the Royal Rumble in the final match of the night since WrestleMania XV in 1999.
- One of the gangsters in John Cena's entrance was CM Punk, who was wrestling in WWE's "farm territory" Ohio Valley Wrestling at the time.
- There were two alternate logos released for the event before the third and final logo was decided. The first and second logos were similar to that of WrestleMania 21 and were released in promotional videos and advertisements. The third and final logo released is the first since WrestleMania XV to make use of the classic font from the first fifteen WrestleMania events.
- This WrestleMania, along with the two before, would all take place from the three locations that hosted WrestleMania 2, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles (This one from Chicago, WrestleMania XX from New York, and WrestleMania 21 from Los Angeles.)
- WrestleMania 22 marked the last Wrestlemania event not to be hosted in a football stadium, with WrestleMania 23 being hosted in Michigan's Ford Field, Wrestlemania XXIV being hosted in Florida's Citrus Bowl, and Wrestlemania XXV being hosted in Texas's Reliant Stadium. This does not rule out a possible future host at an arena.
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