20 years after Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant, WrestleMania 23 was “All Grown Up” as we witnessed the “Battle of the Billionaires”, with either Mr McMahon or Donald Trump leaving Detroit with their head shaved bald.
Date: April 1 2007
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
1. Mr Kennedy df CM Punk, King Booker, Edge, Randy Orton, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy in the Money in the Bank Ladder match
2. The Great Khali df Kane
3. Chris Benoit df MVP to retain United States Championship
4. Undertaker df Batista to become new World Heavyweight Champion
5. Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu & Rob Van Dam df Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker & Kevin Thorn in an Eight-man Tag Team match
6. Bobby Lashley w/Donald Trump df Umaga w/Mr McMahon in the “Battle of the Billionaires” Hair vs Hair match, with Stone Cold as special guest referee
7. Melina df Ashley in a Lumberjill match to retain WWE Women’s Championship
8. John Cena df Shawn Michaels to retain WWE Championship
Gallery (all images credited to wwe.com)
5 Facts about WrestleMania 23
1. John Cena became just the second man after Hulk Hogan to successfully retain his WWE Championship in back-to-back WrestleMania’s when he defeated Shawn Michaels in the main event. The victory also made him the first and only man to win in three consecutive WWE Championship matches at WrestleMania. The original plan was to have a repeat of the WrestleMania 22 main event with Cena against Triple H but when The Game suffered a serious knee injury at New Year’s Revolution, Shawn Michaels was drafted in as his replacement.
2. Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship for just the second time at the showcase of immortals, when he defeated Batista to go 15-0 at WrestleMania. His last championship triumph came ten years prior at WrestleMania 13 but he would not have to wait that long for a third, as he also won the World title a year later against Edge at WrestleMania XXIV.
3. WrestleMania 23 is probably best known for the “Battle of the Billionaires” when Donald Trump’s ECW Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Mr McMahon’s Intercontinental Champion Umaga leading. Lashley picked up the win which led to him, Trump and guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin to shave Mr McMahon’s head bald. The original plan was for Hulk Hogan to take on Big Show but after Show decided to take time off in a bid to lose weight, The Great Khali was then considered to take on Hogan as they wanted to recreate Hogan slamming a giant just like he did to Andre at WrestleMania III. However, they went with Lashley vs Umaga after Hogan and Vince had a backstage bust-up over Hogan’s pay.
4. Mr Kennedy won the Money in the Bank Ladder match, but he would never get the chance to cash in. He originally announced that he would cash in at WrestleMania XXIV but after he suffered an injury, Edge beat him for the briefcase and successfully cashed in on The Undertaker in May. Mr Kennedy’s victory meant it was a first WrestleMania defeat for Edge who previously had a 5-0 record at the showcase of immortals. It was also Jeff Hardy’s first WrestleMania appearance in five years.
5. After the brand’s revival in 2006, ECW took part at WrestleMania for the first time. ECW Champion Bobby Lashley represented Donald Trump in the Battle of the Billionaires, while CM Punk made his WrestleMania as the only ECW representative in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. In an eight-man Tag Team match, the ECW Originals defeated The New Breed. RVD scored the win for the originals bringing his WrestleMania record to 4-0.