WrestleMania 22 was the twenty-second annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by Snickers and took place on April 2, 2006 at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois.
The event was a joint-promotion pay-per-view (PPV) featuring performers from the Raw and SmackDown! brands. There were two main events which were the main matches for each brand. The main match on the Raw brand was John Cena versus Triple H for the WWE Championship, which Cena won after forcing Triple H to submit to the STF. The predominant match on the SmackDown! brand was a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship between champion Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton. Mysterio won the match and the World Heavyweight Championship after pinning Orton following a 619 and a West Coast Pop. Featured matches on the undercard included a No Holds Barred match between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon, a Casket match between The Undertaker and Mark Henry, a WWE Women's Championship match between Mickie James and Trish Stratus and an interpromotional Money in the Bank ladder match featuring six participants.
WrestleMania 22 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 US$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.
The main feud heading into WrestleMania 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 (RVD) and The Big Show in a Triple Threat match. Triple H won the match after pinning RVD following a Pedigree.
The Road to WrestleMania tournament to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 22 was held between February 6 and February 20, 2006. The tournament brackets were:
|The Big Show||Pin|
|The Big Show||DCO|
|Rob Van Dam & The Big Show|
|Rob Van Dam||Pin|
|Rob Van Dam||Pin|
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 days 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.
Another primary feud from Raw was between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. On the December 26th edition of Raw, McMahon and Michaels had words ending with McMahon threatening that he could screw HBK just like he did Bret Hart anytime he wanted. During the following couple of weeks on Raw, Vince has inflicted some humiliation on Shawn Michaels esp.on the January 23rd edition of WWE Raw when it was between Shawn Michaels and Shelton Benjamin with Mr. McMahon declaring that if Shawn Michaels were to lose, he would also lose his spot in the Royal Rumble match. Shawn Michaels won the match and kept his spot in the Rumble but a few moments later, Vince met Shawn backstage then stated that lady luck was on his side. He also said that he wanted to turn back the clock to the days of sex, drugs, & rock n' roll then he asked Shawn to join him but got turned down, however, and Vince last stated that HBK's luck would run out at the Royal Rumble. 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 he and Michaels would face off against each other at WrestleMania. On Raw two weeks later, Vince forced Michaels to take a public drug test all due to Michaels being deceived and drugged by Vince's daughter, Stephanie McMahon on the March 6th edition of Raw. 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 Coast 2 Coast. At 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 Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship. During the match, after Undertaker executed a Tombstone piledriver, Henry came out and 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 performed a chokeslam, followed by a Tombstone piledriver, on Daivari on the casket.
One of the main matches on the undercard was a singles match between Mickie James and Trish Stratus for the WWE Women's Championship. James debuted in WWE on the October 10, 2005 episode of Raw coming to the aid of then Women's Champion Trish Stratus from an attack from Victoria. She wrestled under the gimmick of Trish Stratus' biggest fan. The two competed in tag team action together frequently where James was becoming extremely obsessed with Trish. James became the #1 Contender for the Women's Chammpionship on December 12 by defeating Victoria in a match to determine who would face Stratus at New Year's Revolution. James was unable to win the title at the PPV. The storyline between James and Stratus developed into a lesbian angle after James initiated an intimate kiss with Stratus under the mistletoe and complemented on the size of her breasts. At the Royal Rumble PPV, James confessed to Stratus that she loved her. It finally became too much for Stratus as she then told James that they needed time apart. The two teamed each other at Saturday Night's Main Event to defeat the team of Victoria and Candice Michelle. After the match, James honored Stratus' wishes to have time apart, but she again attempted to kiss her. After Stratus refused, James turned heel by attacking Stratus and vowed to destroy her.
The secondary Divas feud was between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. Torrie and Candice became villains when they were traded to the Raw roster on August 22, 2005, and later aligned with Victoria to form the stable known as Vince's Devils. On the February 27, 2006 edition of Raw, Candice was defeated by Trish Stratus in a match for the latter's WWE Women's Championship, and slapped Torrie in a backstage segment after the match; showing signs of tension between the two. The following week on Raw, Candice unveiled her Playboy cover and then attempted to force Torrie to admit that her cover was hotter than both of Torrie's. When Torrie refused, Candice and Victoria both attacked her in the ring. In the process, Torrie became a babyface and began a feud with Candice, which led to the announcement that Torrie and Candice would face each other in a Playboy Pillow Fight at WrestleMania 22.
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 the annual rendition of "America the Beautiful" before the show.
The opening match was for the World Tag Team Championship between champions Big Show and Kane 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 (RVD), Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Bobby Lashley and Matt Hardy. RVD climbed the ladder, but was stopped when Benjamin springboarded onto RVD and delivered each other blows back and forth. 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 won the match.
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 because he did not feel comfortable. "Mean" Gene Okerlund, "Sensational" Sherri Martel, Tony Atlas, Verne Gagne, 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 the WWE United States Championship. During JBL's entrance, the entrance ramp was raised and JBL's limousine drove out from underneath. JBL performed a Clothesline From Hell on Benoit, who avoided the move and applied in the Crippler Crossface. JBL flipped Benoit over on his back and used ropes for leverage to get the pinfall and the victory.
The fourth match was a hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley. 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 perform a spear on Foley through the ring ropes through the flaming table on the outside. He then pinned Foley for the victory. The fifth match was a handicap match where Booker T and Sharmell faced The Boogeyman. Boogeyman executed a Falling Chokebomb on Booker and pinned him 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, allowing Mickie 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 the 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 then performed a Tombstone Piledriver on Henry and pushed him into the casket to win the match and improve his WrestleMania record to 14–0.
The eighth match was a No Holds Barred match between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Shawn was about to perform Sweet Chin Music on McMahon, but instead he got a trash can and a table. He put McMahon on a table and put a trashcan over McMahon's head. Michaels then climbed on the top of the ladder and executed a diving elbow drop. Michaels then hit McMahon with Sweet Chin Music and pinned McMahon to win the match.
The match that followed was the 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. At the end, Mysterio performed a 619 on Orton followed by a West Coast Pop for a successful pinfall victory. As a result, Mysterio became the new World Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Mysterio celebrated with Chavo and Vickie Guerrero. The tenth match was a Playboy pillow fight between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. Wilson pulled Candice's dress and pinned her with a roll-up to get the victory.
The main event was for the WWE Championship between champion John Cena and Triple H. Triple H came out to the ring on a throne dressed as a Conan the Barbarian-type king, while Cena came out with a tommy gun and was accompanied by a group of "gangsters" (one of whom was future WWE Superstar, and future WWE Champion CM Punk in a 1940s Chicago-era vehicle. The match was evenly matched with both men getting the advantage over each other. Triple H tried to perform a Pedigree, but it was countered by Cena into an FU. After Triple H kicked out of a two-count, Cena locked him into the STF. Triple H got to the ropes and went for another Pedigree, but was countered into the STF again by Cena. Triple H tapped out, and as a result, Cena retained the WWE Championship.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into 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)
- Kane and The Big Show defeated Carlito and Chris Masters to retain the World Tag Team Championship (6:41)
- Rob Van Dam defeated Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank ladder match (12:21)
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield (w/Jillian Hall) defeated Chris Benoit to win the WWE United States Championship (9:44)
- Edge (w/Lita) defeated Mick Foley in a Hardcore match (14:37)
- The Boogeyman defeated Booker T and Sharmell in a Handicap match (3:52)
- Mickie James defeated Trish Stratus to win the WWE Women's Championship (8:48)
- The Undertaker defeated Mark Henry in a Casket match (9:26)
- Shawn Michaels defeated Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match (18:28)
- Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle (c) and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship (9:18)
- Torrie Wilson defeated Candice Michelle in a Playboy Pillow fight (3:54)
- John Cena defeated 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 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 preceding two, 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.
Other on-screen talent
- WrestleMania 22 Offical Website
- WrestleMania 22 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WrestleMania 22 at Online World of Wrestling
- WrestleMania 22 on WWE Network
|2006 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
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