Rebooking WrestleMania 25: Randy Orton vs. HHH

by Bad Booking


If there was ever an edition of Wrestlemania whose overall success would hinge on its main event, it was the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania.

The main event in question was a WWE Championship Match featuring Randy Orton, that year’s Royal Rumble winner, versus WWE Champion HHH, whose family had been assaulted/humiliated at the hands of Orton.

This hot angle leading into Wrestlemania depicted an unstoppable Orton, whom along with Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) was taking out the juggernaut aka the McMahon family. It started with Vince the week before the Royal Rumble, then Shane McMahon at No Way Out, then just a short time later on Raw, Stephanie McMahon.

All of this carnage brought out newly-crowned champion HHH. Sure Vince was his father-in-law and Shane was his brother-in-law, but Stephanie was his wife. No one ever should raise their hand to another man’s wife, especially in this case.

If that wasn’t bad enough, HHH got beat up leading into Wrestlemania with The Viper even sealing a kiss onto Stephanie’s lips. This match should have been the damnedest slobber knocker that the WWE should have had in years. A perfectly sound main event for Wrestlemania.

Instead, the match was a dull and boring affair. The cause of reason was a “championship changes hands on a disqualification” stipulation. That rule took out any sense of Orton reasonably either walking out champion or losing in a way that would not lose his heat with the fans. No matter the outcome, Randy should have walked out looking like a million dollars, but instead looked like a whiny bitch. To add insult to injury, Batista made a surprise return…THE NEXT NIGHT ON RAW!

In this rebooking, we’ll look at the main event of what should have been a grand Wrestlemania. People would discuss the event as a whole more fondly if the main event had been better, and here’s proof:

The 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania, April 5th, 2009: The WWE Universe has just witnessed a triple threat match with John Cena, The Big Show and Edge that defied expectations. With the unenviable task of following Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, this unfortunate triumvirate held the attention of the crowd. Since John Cena is the new World Heavyweight Champion, the throng of over seventy thousand knew there was only one match left: the WWE Championship contest between HHH and Randy Orton, a match whose build-up had been absolute money to this point.

Vickie Guerrero, just the mere mention of her name, draws boos that could drown out a Motorhead concert. Standing on stage in an outfit that must have enticed a breeze, Vickie noted the World Heavyweight Championship match from Smackdown was indeed impressive, but it was not the main event of the show. As General Manager, Vickie declared that the WWE Championship match would now be a no disqualification, no countout match to a huge roar from the crowd. Also, to the knowledge of no one in the arena or in the locker-room (storyline-wise), a superstar has come to return to Wrestlemania, a man whose revenge made him rehab harder than he ever has.

Randy Orton comes out first to mostly indifference from the crowd. He slithers out with a minimum balance of emotion externally but has to have significant butterflies internally.

HHH sledges a CGI glass screen for his champion’s arrival. This would awaken the crowd some, as the jacked up Game looks intense as ever.

Lillian Garcia did the ring introductions. Yes, she did botch: she accidentally called Randy Orton, Randy Dorton. For those who don’t know, Randy Dorton is a real person. Dorton was an engine builder for Rick Hendrick in NASCAR. Dorton’s life tragically came to an end when he and several other Hendrick personnel crashed in Virginia heading to the race in Martinsville. Very few got the message, but the few hybrid NASCAR/WWE fans would tear this apart the next morning.

When the bell rings, the two share a stare colder than Hades.

For the next 20 minutes, they scratch and claw into each other with hatred.

Both announcer tables were destroyed. Orton was struck  in the cranium with a chair several times. Hell, HHH even bladed slightly, which would draw the ire of Vincent Kennedy McMahon backstage.

The turning point of the match occurred when HHH hit a spinebuster on Orton. Noting that he has momentum on his side, Hunter goes for a pedigree. He positions Orton, but Orton quickly gives Helmsley a low blow.

Suddenly Orton has control.

Randy set-up HHH for that DDT on the ropes he does so well, and was able to drive it hard into the mat. Like a slithering snake, Orton has either the RKO, or that devastating punt in mind for the win. Instead, he does a hand motion that summons his two thugs to the ring. Rhodes and DiBiase walk slowly for the maximum heel heat reaction, and they go to work on ‘The Game’.

Rhodes hit his Crossrhodes and DiBiase hit Dreamstreets. With both of the younger Legacy members holding Hunter into a corner of the ring, Orton slides out of the ring to grab a sledgehammer. Orton comes back in, sledgie in tow. The referee tries to stop it, but is shoved out of the ring for his efforts. While a mic doesn’t pick it up clearly, Orton does manage to yell, “You’re the last one!” Orton prepares to swing…

…But then a familiar guitar riff hits the Houston air.


The Animal is coming down that ramp with a purpose. He had been taken out of action months prior because of an attack by Orton.

Decked in jeans and a shirt that was no doubt made by WWE clothing employees, Batista walks down to an epic reaction. Before Batista can hit the ring though, Orton tells his little boys to go attack Batista.

They were no match for The Animal.

After demolishing them in short order, he then enters the ring and stands in the ring nose to nose with Orton. Orton tries to hit The Animal with the sledgehammer, but Batista grabs the sledge and breaks it in half over his basketball-shaped thigh. A kick to the gut later, Batista made his ultimate presence known with a HUGE Batista bomb!

With Bats shoving the ref back in from the outside, HHH was able to hit the pedigree he looked for several minutes before. With the three count, HHH successfully retained the championship belt. Batista came back in, looked at the title belt, and then gave the champ a congratulatory handshake. Trips stood atop the second turnbuckle with title belt high as the show faded into a recap video package.

Categories: Smooth Runs

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