Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Road to Wrestlemania Silver - Part 2

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

In Part One, the Double Main Event for Wrestlemania Silver in Houston was set up:

WWF Title: Chris Jericho v. The Messiah Shawn Michaels (w/Harry Smith & Tyson Kidd)

Montreal Match: Edge v. Christian v. Matt Hardy v. Jeff Hardy

Also, Part One has the links to each of the first 24 Wrestlemanias - so, when I do the historical recaps of the IC, Tag, Legends Matches and the Mania careers of Rey Mysterio and the Undertaker - you can go to Part One to click right to those matches. I don't know if I'd recommend, for any of you who are new readers - just reading each Wrestlemania as a shorthand way to catch up - but there are worse ideas. Sometimes, in thinking about real world WWE it strikes me that if I ever stopped watching, I'd use Manias to get a sense of the throughline, but I don't know how effective that would be.

Here - we'll set up the 2 additional title matches - the IC and the Tag, also our quarter century long Mania tradition - the Legends Match. That will leave the 4 singles matches in the middle of the card for Part 3, probably 2 weeks from now. We'll set up one of the other singles matches to, just to do.

Okay - here are the new matches:

IC: Mask v. Title: MVP v. Rey Mysterio

Tag Titles: DMW v. LWO v. HHH-M/Miz

Legends Match: Fluorescent Light Tube Death Match: Undertaker (w/ Cody and Dustin Rhodes) v. Bradshaw (w/Yakuza/Henry/Khali)

John Cena (w/AA) v. Ka$h Kingston

Porter is on one of the great title runs in WWF history - IC champ for a year and a half - the longest IC run in two decades. He calls himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all Time and the announce does not disagree. He's been in a feud with Mysterio now since August when he eliminated Rey from the Number One Contender Battle Royal. In fact - it was back in the summer of 2007 that MVP attacked a returning Mysterio before Rey's WWF Title match against Booker T - that led to MVP turning on Book and Elijah Burke, which would lead to both of them leaving the company - and that would propel MVP into this historic title run.

MVP beat Rey at both the Survivor Series and then again in a 2 of 3 falls match at the Royal Rumble - a match that saw Rey's mask get jarred nearly from his head in a tide turning spot.

That's the impetus for this - the first Mask match in WWF history. It's Porter who ups the ante - Porter says he has taken Mysterio's spot as the Ace of the WWF - and now he wants to take his identity - he wants to take the mask of the Legendary Triple Crown Winning Mysterio.

Rey is hesitant to accept - it goes for a few weeks - MVP goading Mysterio - it really is true, Rey's injuries, Rey's surgeries - have finally taken a toll from which he can't recover - Rey's missed the past 2 Manias, and here he is with a chance to win his 3rd IC Title - at Silver - at the biggest show ever - the biggest stage of them all - a spot that others would kill for - MVP does a spot where he asks who in the back would be willing to give up anything for a chance to wrestle for the IC Title at Silver - and the entire back unloads into the arena - Rey is shamed - it's pushed as far as it can go.

The design is to push the importance of the mask - which the babyface announcers stress - and eventually there are videotaped packaged from Mexico to get over the idea of the mask being at the heart of the identity of lucha libre - that to lose a Mask match for Mysterio would be even worse than losing a retirement match - that it would undo all of his accomplishments - that what the WWF is asking Rey to put up is an enormous risk.

The acceptance comes when MVP unmasks Dos Caras, Jr. Caras, nephew of Mil Mascaras, is positioned as a star when GDI goes on the road to Mexico, Caras beats Yakuza - and then is able to fight off Mark Henry who tries to bear hug him postmatch.

That leads to Caras coming unannounced to Fight Night to aid Cody and Dustin in a tag match against Yakuza and Henry - and the masked Caras then joins the Fight Night roster in that program. Caras is a masked wrestler - and without any provocation - there's a spot where he is coming to the ring for a match and he is attacked in the aisle by Porter, who smashes Caras up and takes his mask. In humiliation - Caras leaves the company.

That pushes Rey's buttons - he furiously accepts MVP's challenge on the following RAW. Porter starts wearing Caras's mask around his neck from a chain - and that's our match. Mask v. Title.

The tag titles are vacant - that happened in the set up for the Montreal Match back in Part One.

On a subsequent RAW, Steamboat says at Silver there will only be one tag team match, for the first time in Mania history - it will be for the vacant tag team titles and it will be a three way elimination match.

The first contenders are the men who won the right to challenge for the title at the Rumble - a challenge that never took place - Santino and the Miz.

The Miz, full of awesomeness, enters - Santino - timid as he walks down the ramp - then full of swagger once he gets inside the ring, follows. Steamboat says, to be fair - this title shot doesn't belong to both of only belongs to the Miz.

And they show the clip from the Rumble - Matt Hardy telling Santino and the Miz to get out of the ring - Santino running away in terror and the Miz standing firm and eating a Twist of Fate. Steamboat says Santino gave up the shot - so it solely belongs to the Miz and a partner of his choo----

And that's when Hunter's music hits.

Hunter comes to the ring - kicks Santino in the stomach and pedigrees him flat.

Hunter tells the Miz that he just found a new partner. Miz says hell yeah - and they shake hands.
Steamboat then says their opponents will be two former tag team titleholders - who both made an impact at the Rumble - Dead Men Walking and the Latino World Order!

Kane and PAUL, who attacked Cody and Dustin at the Rumble, earning a long staredown from their longtime ally and a member of DNW himself, the Undertaker - come to the ring. They go nose to nose with Hunter and the Miz - PAUL laughing at the size disparity with the former Real Worlder who has been positioned as a comedy job guy. On the Road to Silver, Hunter and the Miz will do some comedy spots as mismatched partners - but with the eye on giving the Miz some legimacy - as in the go home Fight Night he and Hunter waffle DMW with chairs - just brutally beating them down in a way that draws out the Undertaker for a babyface save - but he's cut off by a light tube shot by Bradshaw - Rhodes, BIG, and the LWO all wind up entering for the full on go home brawl.

That Taker save will be a surprise - as part of the build is the split between DMW and the Taker - Undertaker's pissed that they doublechokeslammed young Cody - DMW says they'll chokeslam the dead man too if he gets in their way - they are about to become two time tag champs at Silver - they'll do what they have to do and he needs to respect that - he says maybe down the road - they'll have to settle this in the ring, but he has Bradshaw to prepare for. So it's left as tense.

Before that though is the spot being discussed where the tag title match is made - the LWO, now Carlito and Primo Colon, come to the ring. The LWO turned heel at the Rumble with an attack on Young Money that injured Truth Killings. Primo took Chavo's place in the LWO prior to the Rumble when Jericho told Chavo that there would be a title shot for him if he could get his singles legs back. Primo is the half crazy younger brother, the Baby Faced Assassin - and he pushes Carlito to return to his heelish roots. So, the LWO hits the ring - vicious and angry - and Steamboat says this is the Tag Team Title match for Silver - Hunter and the Miz, DMW, and the LWO.

But that brings out an angry Ka$h Kingston - the normally happy go lucky babyface, with the autotune - is hot at the LWO and at Steamboat - he says his partner, Truth Killings, is out - injured at the hands of the LWO - and they wind up with a spot at Silver and Kingston will be staying home.

And before Steamboat can answer, John Cena and his manager, Arn Anderson, enter. Cena says HHH-M took out his partner, Leviathan - and now Hunter's maneuvered his way into a new tag team and Cena will be at home for Silver. Cena says no offense to Young Money - but WMD were tag team champs - and keeping Cena out of Silver is a bigger crime. Kingston says no offense to WMD - but they're yesterday - Young Money rolls with the new - Young Money is the choice of the people - and if John Cena thinks his punk white boy ass can hang with Ka$h Kingston - then maybe they oughta find out.

So, Steamboat makes that match.

Leaving just the Legends Match for Part 2 - the Undertaker and Bradshaw have been feuding since summer - BIG took out Dusty Rhodes, who was the head of the NWA, then kept on to briefly run Fight Night - that prompted a response from the extra green but gutty Cody - Cody got beaten up pretty good until being saved by the Undertaker - and that kicked off a feud with culminates here at Mania - it's a fluorescent light tube death match; that's been Bradshaw's weapon of choice since BIG elminated the ECW crew in the immediate aftermatch of 24. They've been used very judiciously in the program - with one light tube shot being played up as a big deal.

But at Mania - at Mania it's a Death Match - two sides of the ring ropes covered in fluorescent tubes. It's the Legends Match - the Undertaker's specialty - and it's gonna be a bloodbath.

That's 6 matches set up now - the three big singles matches will be set up in Part 3 - below is the history of the IC Title, the tag title, the legend's match - and the career Mania histories of Mysterio and the Undertaker. No links - you can find all the links to the first 24 Manias in Part One.

I: IC Title: Dog Collar Match: Roddy Piper d. Greg Valentine
-both men heels, Piper was also in Orndorff's corner in his win over Hogan - here, Piper took Valentine's IC title in a match that borrowed liberally from Starrcade '83.

Tag Title: Tito Santana/Brutus Beefcake d. Nikolai Volkoff/Iron Sheik
-Tito and Brutus were white meat babyface, they too the straps at I.

Legends: Andre the Giant d. David Sammartino
-Bruno was given an award at War to Settle the Score as the "WWF Legend" - Andre took exception, and that led to the creation of this annual Legends match. Bruno and Andre went nose to nose postmatch.

II. IC Title: Randy Savage d. Roddy Piper
 -the fans turned Piper face over the course of the year, Savage did his full heel act with Liz and went over at II to take the strap
Tag Title: Hart Foundation (Bret Hart/Davey Boy Smith w/Anvil) d. Tito/Brutus
-with Dynamite as the world champ - that freed Davey Boy to be Bret's tag partner with Neidhart as their manager - their heel act wins the straps at II.

  Legends: Andre the Giant d. Bruno Sammartino
-an all time match, really why the legends match exists - just for the fans to see it happen, Andre goes over for his second legends win in Bruno's final match.

III. IC Title: Randy Savage d. Jake Roberts
-Randy turned face during the year, Jake was pure evil heel tormenting Liz with his giant snake - but Savage keeps here and his IC run continues
Tag Title: Hart Foundation d. Rougeau Brothers
-the Harts also turned babyface in the run up to Mania, and they also kept their belts in the Silverdome

   Legends: Andre the Giant d. Harley Race
-Race was a 7 time NWA Champion, and this match became babyface Andre v. the NWA man Race - Andre won his 3rd Legends match.

IV. IC Title: Bret Hart d. Randy Savage
 -full babyface match, with Bret taking on the person he most respected (other than Dynamite and Stu)

   Tag Title: Rougeau Brothers d. Strike Force (Martel/Santana)
-the Rougeaus had taken from the Harts over the course of the year when Neidhart turned and became their manager - they keep the belts over the babyface Strike Force here

     Legends: Andre the Giant d. Hulk Hogan
-Hogan had ended the WWF runs of Orndorff and Piper and now, in a babyface match, took on Andre - but the Giant won his 4th Legends match.

V. IC Title: Rick Rude d. Curt Hennig
    -friends since high school, Rude and Hennig were half of the Heenan Family, both heels - Bobby desperately tried to keep the faction together when Rude challenged Perfect for his IC strap - and beat him - at V.

 Tag Title: Brainbusters (Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard) d. Rockers (Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty)
-20 years ago, Shawn Michaels was bleeding buckets as his babyface team was on the losing end of their challenge to the Busters tag belts - at Silver, Michaels is in the main event, wrestling Jericho for the strap - and Arn is managing Cena against Kingston (and maybe doing something else as well...that's a tease..)

   Legends: Hulk Hogan d. Ultimate Warrior
-Hogan had beaten Andre in the year after IV, giving him this slot in the Legends Match - the Warrior was a bizarre heel with an out of control ego doing a white power gimmick, and he got that legdrop here.

VI. IC Title: Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels
-Bret and Shawn in Toronto 19 years ago - it was Bret's belt, Shawn had tossed Marty through a plate glass window and turned heel - Neidhart returned postmatch in a babyface role.
 Tags: Rick Rude/Marty Jannetty d. Roddy Piper/Jake Roberts
-Piper and Roberts were the veteran heel dirty tricks tag team, they took the strap from the Rockers which resulted in Shawn giving up on Marty - Marty, with a Mania rematch in his pocket was able to get Rude, now a babyface, to team with him - and that led to this switch.

     Legends: Hulk Hogan d. Dusty Rhodes
-Dusty and Hulk were a veteran tag team during the year, but Dusty turned on Hogan, like Race, making the case for the NWA - and Hogan got his second straight legends win.

VII. IC Title: Bret Hart d. Genichiro Tenryu
-18 years ago it was Bret with a year and a half long run as IC Champ, he went over Tenryu here, and Piper turned face in a postmatch angle.

   Tags: Road Warriors d. Demolition
-Which was the real monster no selling tag team was the angle - and Hawk and Animal got the nod

       Legends: Hulk Hogan/Jimmy Snuka d. Sgt. Slaughter/Ultimate Warrior
                     Undertaker d. Jake Roberts
-Two legends matches at VII, which was probably error, Hogan wins his 3rd, with his partner the Superfly - it was Jake claiming he was the real WWF legend and would prove it against the unbeaten phenom - it didn't go his way; 18 years later the Undertaker is still the WWF Legend.

VIII. IC Title Streetfight: Randy Savage d. Roddy Piper
-Fight goes into the crowd, into the parking lot - Piper was in a bloody IC brawl at I and 7 years later has one that matches it.
    Tags: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase/Mike Rotundo) d. Strike Force
-Strike Force had been broken up for years, Martel turning heel on Tito - but they reunited as babyfaces and climbed the ladder for this storybook Mania title shot - but they fell short. 17 years later, Ted, Jr. will be in the corner of Randy Orton in a match yet to be made - and Mike Rotundo, as we will find out in Part 3, is the new head trainer for WWFU - the Underground.

        Legends: Hulk Hogan d. Jake Roberts
-Hogan gets his 4th legends win, matching Andre's total.

 The Undertaker won again in his second Mania - beating Sid Vicious.

IX: IC Title: Shawn Michaels d. Mr. Perfect
-Shawn was the heel IC Champ and kept here

  Tags: Steiner Brothers d. Money Inc
-Rick and Scott were the babyface champs and kept here

     Legends: Bob Backlund d. Hulk Hogan
-Hogan failed in his attempt to pass Andre - Backlund, in his heel, near crazy Mr. Backlund character, got the win.

    Undertaker won his 3rd Mania match, going over Yokozuna

X: IC Title Ladder Match: Razor Ramon d. Shawn Michaels
-We take the IC title match up a couple of levels at Mania - this was the match you remember

   Tags: Lex Luger/Bam Bam Bigelow d. Rougeaus
-Luger and Bam Bam were a babyface team - and they took their only WWF straps here.

   Legends Texas Death Match: Randy Savage d. Crush
-Savage was one of the few guys who didn't leave the company on his back - this was the match you remember.

XI IC: Razor Ramon d. Owen Hart (Piper as guest ref)
-Razor/Owen do their part in the Hart v. Clique Mania, Piper goes heel again

     Tags: Smoking Gunns (Billy/Bart) d. British Empire (Davey Boy/Backlund)
-Backlund turned crazy babyface, he and Davey were a mismatched comedy tag team, they came in as the champs, but Diesel interference, furthering the Clique/Harts storyline, cost them the straps.  14 years later, Davey's son Harry joined Michaels in the go home RAW before Silver.

    Legends: Undertaker d. Lawrence Taylor
-LT claimed that no wrestlers could ever be legends, certainly not in his backyard (Hartford, a bit of a stretch) the Dead Man won his second Legends and went to 4-0 at Mania.

XII  IC: Vader (w/Hennig) d. Undertaker
-Undertaker's first loss at Mania was his challenge to Vader's IC Title - but the man from the Rockies proved too much.  No streak for the Dead Man. 

        Tags: Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes d. Chris Candido/Savio Vega
-Austin/Dustin were a swaggering NWA tag act, Dustin essentially filling Pillman's slot in a Blonds'ish tag - Candido/Savio were a white meat team unable to take the straps.

        Legends Parking Lot Brawl: Jake Roberts d. Roddy Piper
-Former tag team champs now past their primes - they do that backlot brawl Piper did in real world XII, save for the car chase. 

XIII IC: Cactus Jack d. Vader (guest ref - Ken Shamrock)
-this was a no garbage match, when it came to Foley, I sometimes did that to blow off feuds, I'm not sure why, really. 

       Tags: Hart Foundation 2.0 (Owen/Davey Boy) d. Furnas/LaFon
-just cause I wanted to see it. 

       Legends: Chicago Street Fight: Undertaker d. Ron Simmons d. Ahmed Johnson
-The Taker wins his 3rd Legends Match in the first 3 way dance in Mania history - Simmons and Ahmed were feuding over leadership of the Nation of Domination - and they both wound up getting taken out postmatch by Rock/DLo/Mark Henry who would become the new NOD.

XIV IC: Octagon Match: Ken Shamrock draw Steve Austin (special ref - Mike Tyson)
-Shamrock was positioned entirely as an MMA wrestler, he worked in whatever contraption could stand in for the Octagon without violating intellectual property (or a deal would have been worked out).  It was a hot angle - Shamrock the shoot style specialist, Tyson was Tyson - and Austin was Stone Cold - full on chaos postmatch with everyone taking Stunners.

       Tag: Falls Count Anywhere: New Age Outlaws (Billy/Dogg) d. Cactus Jack/Terry Funk
-Funk and Foley were champs - but broke down during the match and went to war against each other, the Outlaws were part of the Clique at this time (with Hunter and Waltman).

      Legends: Undertaker d. Kane (w/Don Callis)
-Dead Man won his 4th Legends Match to tie Andre and Hogan.

XV IC: Falls Count Anywhere: Al Snow (w/Head) d. Steve Austin
-It was Philly; Al's entire WWF goal was to one day be IC Champ and he achieved it at Mania (with a little help from Foley, who was feuding with Austin)

      Tags: Ladder Match: Hardys d. Nation of Domination (Rock/DLo)
-This was covered in Part One - it's the Hardys first title win and their friends Edge and Christian turn on them postmatch to join the Clique - it's one of the biggest moments in WWF history and has propelled much of the past ten years. 

      Legends: Octagon: Undertaker draw Ken Shamrock
-No 5th win for the Dead Man, PAUL debuted postmatch as a heel managed by Skip (Shane) McMahon.

XVI IC: Eddy Guerrero (w/Malenko and Saturn) d. Chris Jericho
-9 years ago, Jericho walked into Mania a babyface champion and left without gold - will it happen again at Silver? 

       Tags: TLC: Hardys (w/Lita) d. Dudleys (w/Richards) d. Edge/Christian (w/Trish)
-Hardys win their second tag belt here - that Montreal Match at Silver will find one man submitting away his WWF career and one man with a full year to claim a WWF title shot. 

      Legends: Rock d. DLo
-Sometimes I call it a legends match, sometimes not - but now, forever and in perpetuity - we'll consider this a firm historical rewrite - the NOD explodes in a Legends Match. 

XVII: IC: Falls Count Anywhere: Steve Austin d. Steve Regal
-Austin was all babyface now; Regal was all heel - this was the proverbial all over the building brawl. 

         Tags: Dudleys d. Raven/Taz d. Hardys d. Edge/Christian
-Dudleys, now babyfaces, retook the tag straps in an elimination match.

         Legends: Rock d. Undertaker (w/PAUL and Kane)
-Taker again thwarted in his bid for number five, this time giving the Rock his second legends win - Dead Men Walking were heels - and they readied a triple chokeslam for the Rock postmatch, but he was saved by Mick Foley.

XVIII IC: ECW Rules: Rob Van Dam (w/Heyman) d. Steve Austin
-RVD was a heel, all of his matches were ECW rules and he went over in Toronto.

         Tags: TLC: Hart Foundation 4.0 Chris Jericho/Lance Storm (w/Stacy...mmmmm) d. Hardys d. Dudleys (Bubba and Spike).
-Jericho won a strap 7 years ago, and he's in the main at Silver

         Legends: Ric Flair (w/Leviathan) d. Hulk Hogan d. Undertaker (w/DMW)
-Hogan and the Taker go for their 5th win against each other - but it's Flair, with young Batista in his corner, who gets the win - Hogan eats a triple chokeslam postmatch. 

XIX IC: Rey Mysterio d. Chavo Guerrero (w/Horsemen)
-Rey is challenging for the IC, putting his mask on the line, at Silver - 6 years ago, he was the champ, defending against Chavo who was a Horseman (w/ Eddy, Flair, Leviathan).  Eddy beat Benoit, incidentally, earlier in the evening.  Rey's first Mania goes into the win column.

      Tags: Shawn Michaels/Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Diesel) d. Team Lesnar (Benjamin and Haas)
-The Clique were the babyface challengers - this was Shawn's 3rd tag win and Hunter's first - Hunter is challenging again for the tags 6 years later with the Miz as his partner, while Shawn is challenging for the big strap.  Shelton is now a babyface and will also be working Mania, in a match to be announced in Part 3 (but you could probably guess, based on every other match he's wrestled all year).

      Legends: Dead Men Walking d. Hulk Hogan
                    Rock d. Steve Austin
2 legends matches at 19 - the first was the Taker and Hogan, once again, each trying for that 5th legends win - all 3 members of DMW wrestled here - Hogan's tag partner was scheduled to be Piper - but he turned heel and refused to wrestle with him - so Hogan got squashed and the Taker won #5.  In the second legends match, it was the Rock getting his 3rd legends win.

XX IC: 2 out of 3 Belt Ladder Match: Eddy Guerrero d. Chavo Guerrero
-It all began again 5 years ago at MSG, Eddy was a babyface, Chavo a Horseman heel - this ladder match explicitly referenced (and looked to top) Shawn/Razor from a decade earlier.  The IC was part of the Worldwide Titles then, meaning there were 3 belts up for grabs - hence the 2 of 3 belt stip, for maximum madness. 

     Tags: Horsemen (Flair/Leviathan) d. Haas/Benjamin
-Benjamin was half of the babyface tag champs 5 years ago - but they lost the straps to Flair and Big Dave.

    Legends: Weapons Match: Rock/Mick Foley d. Brock Lesnar/Bill Goldberg (special ref - Steve Austin)
-Rock's 4th legends win ties him with Hogan and Andre, it ends the WWF runs for the heels on the losing side here. 

The Taker didn't work XX, but Rey did, winning a midcard 3 way over Tajiri and Ultimo Dragon.

XXI IC: Edge d. Steve Regal
-Edge was a babyface member of the Clique - and he kept his strap here; will he lose his career at Silver?

       Tags: Orton/Cena d. Haas/Benjamin d. Spreekillers (Helms/Rhyno)
-4 years later, Orton, Cena, and Benjamin are each in singles matches at Silver (two of them yet to be announced) and Shane Helms, who has just started to appear via satellite on TV, after a couple of years shut down with injury, may never walk again. 

       Legends: Rey Mysterio d. Undertaker d. PAUL
-Rey and the Taker, whose careers we are recapping here, met 4 years ago - it was Rey who got the Legends win - which saw Hulk Hogan turn heel postmatch for the first time in his career - coming from the back to spit on the Dead Man. 

That wasn't Rey's only match - in a Mania first, he wrestled twice - also defeating Paul London.  Rey moving to 4-0 in his Mania career.

XXII IC: Fit Finlay (w/Malenko) d. Steve Regal
               Hunter Hearst Helmsley-McMahon d. Fit Finlay
-Fit came in with the strap - went over his frenemy Regal in a brutal match - but then had to immediately put it up in an unnanounced match against HHH-M using his newly found stroke as a part owner of the company.

        Tags: DMW (Kane/Paul w/Undertaker) d. Bradshaw/Booker (w/Conway) d. LWO (Crazy/Psychosys w/ Carlito)
-3 years ago Kane and Paul wrestled what was then the LWO for the tag belts in a 3 way and will be doing it again at Silver - Bradshaw and Undertaker were each involved in that match - and will meet in the Legends at Silver. 

       Hardcore Legends Match: Cactus Jack (w/Heyman) d. RVD
-Foley, now a heel, got his second legends win with the full ECW contingent behind him - Sabu debuted postmatch, bringing with him the debut of the fluorescent tube - 3 years later the ropes will be filled with them at Silver. 

Rey went to 5-0 at Mania, the last one he's worked until Silver - when he kept the WWF Title in the Main Event over Benoit.

XXIII IC: Randy Orton d. Shane Helms d. Jeff Hardy
-Jeff's had many chances to win a singles belt - all failed - this was Helms's last match, he has not appeared in a WWF ring since. 

         Tags Weapons Match: LWO (Carlito and Chavo w/Crazy) d. Sandman/Tommy Dreamer
-Carlito won the straps 2 years ago and is challenging for them again - glass tubes all over the place in this match. 

        Legends: Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels (special ref - Austin)
It's the match they'd do in real world Mania at 25 - we did it at 23, Shawn, a babyface since his return from back surgery, turns heel during the match but still can't overcome the Taker, winning his 6th legends match.

XXIV IC: MVP d. Brian Kendrick d. Jamie Noble
-Porter walked into Mania with the IC - and walked out with the IC - he defends that title a year later once again, this time against Mysterio in the Mask v Title match.

          Tags: WMD (Cena/Leviathan) d. Clique (HBK/HHH-M) (special ref - Flair)
-Cena and Batista each were repeat tag winners a year ago, going over Hunter and Shawn when Flair hit Michaels low. 

         Legends: Undertaker d. Sean Morley
-The Dead Man won his 7th Legends title a year ago.

That's 24 years - we have 6 matches set up:

Jericho v. Michaels
Edge v. Christian v. Matt v. Jeff
MVP v. Rey
DMW v. LWO v. Hunter/Miz
Undertaker v. Bradshaw
Cena v. Kingston

That's 6 matches - 3 singles left to set up in Part 3 on the Road to WM Silver...

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