|Promotional poster featuring Booker T and John Cena|
|Theme(s)||"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|
|No Way Out (2006)||WrestleMania 22||Backlash (2006)|
|WrestleMania 21||WrestleMania 22||WrestleMania 23|
WrestleMania 22 was the twenty-second annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It 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 STFU. 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. On the February 13 edition of RAW, Cena retained the WWE title by defeating Edge with Mick Foley serving as the special guest referee. 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. On the March 6 edition of RAW, both the WWE Champion John Cena and challenger Triple H won their WrestleMania Rewind Matches. First, Triple H dropped his WrestleMania XV opponent Kane with a Pedigree with the help from Carlito and Chris Masters. Later, with Triple H watching at ringside, Cena defeated his WrestleMania XX opponent Big Show after nailing him with an FU for the win.
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||DCO1|
|Rob Van Dam & The Big Show|
|Rob Van Dam||Pin|
|Rob Van Dam||Pin|
^ Due to their double countout in the second round, a triple threat match with The Big Show, Rob Van Dam, and Triple H was booked for the final.
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. On the March 18 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Orton, Mysterio and Angle (SmackDown!'s WrestleMania main event) lost to WWE Champion John Cena and Triple H (RAW's WrestleMania main event) in a Handicap tag team match when Orton turned on Angle by nailing him with an RKO. He then was looking to give Cena an RKO, but Cena somehow countered the maneuver into a roll-up and scored the win for himself and Triple H. On the March 24 edition of SmackDown!, Orton interfered in Mysterio's and Angle's respective matches. 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, who moved out of the way, causing Mysterio to execute the move on Angle. Henry performed 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 performed an RKO on Mysterio. Shortly after, Angle executed an Angle Slam on Orton and locked him in the ankle lock.
Another primary feud from RAW was between Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. On the December 26 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 inflicted some humiliation on Shawn Michaels, especially on the January 23 edition of RAW when a match took place between Michaels and Shelton Benjamin with Vince declaring that if Michaels were to lose, he would also lose his spot in the Royal Rumble match. When Michaels won the match and kept his spot in the Rumble, a few moments later, Vince met Michaels 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 Michaels refused, 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. The following week on RAW, McMahon involved himself in Michaels’ match against Triple H — ensuring that Michaels wouldn’t get a win or any momentum heading into their match at WrestleMania 22. Eventually McMahon’s distractions led to Triple H performing a Pedigree, but WWE Champion John Cena intervened before Triple H use his sledgehammer. Later that night, Vince McMahon forced Cena into facing him in a match, but he added an important cavert: Triple H would be handcuffed to the ropes by his corner, while Shawn Michaels would be handcuffed near Cena’s corner. McMahon impressed Cena with his massive physique, but Cena still managed to get the upper hand in a test of strength. McMahon ended the match by kicking Cena to the groin, which resulted in an immediate disqualification. McMahon then unveiled a second set of keys and freed Triple H. Moments later, Triple H leveled and bloodied Cena with a sledgehammer. McMahon and Triple H then set their sights on Michaels, and nailed him with both the sledgehammer shot and a steel chair blast. In an ominous sight, McMahon and Triple H stood over their WrestleMania opposition as RAW went off the air.
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 in a No Way Out rematch. 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. On the March 31 edition of SmackDown!, Henry addressed the SmackDown fans in a mock funeral for the Undertaker’s streak. He chronicled all 13 of the previous Superstars, but he then stated that those Superstars were not the World’s Strongest Man. Henry said that he took out Batista (which caused Batista to vacate his first World title due to triceps injury), pinned World Champion Kurt Angle, and at WrestleMania 22, he would end Undertaker’s undefeated streak.
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 number one contender for the Women's Title on December 12 by defeating Victoria in a match to determine who would face Stratus at New Year's Revolution. She was unable to win the title at the Pay Per View. 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 Royal Rumble 2006, after James defeated Ashley Massaro, she 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. However James attempted to kiss her. After Stratus refused James made a heel turn by attacking Stratus and vowed to destroy her.
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 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 (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, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and The Blackjacks (Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza) attended the class.
|Commentator||Michael Cole (SmackDown!)|
|Jerry Lawler (RAW)|
|Jim Ross (RAW)|
|Joey Styles (Foley/Edge match)|
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Hugo Savinovich (Spanish|
|Ring announcer||Tony Chimel (SmackDown!)|
|Lilian Garcia (RAW)|
|Howard Finkel (WWE Hall of Fame)|
|Referee||Chris Kay (SmackDown!)|
|Jim Korderas (SmackDown!)|
|Nick Patrick (SmackDown!)|
|Charles Robinson (SmackDown!)|
|Mike Chioda (RAW)|
|Jack Doan (RAW)|
|Mickie Henson (RAW)|
|Chad Patton (RAW)|
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 Eddie, Chavo and Vickie Guerrero.
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 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 STFU. Triple H got to the ropes and went for another Pedigree, but was countered into the STFU again by Cena. Triple H tapped out, and as a result, Cena retained the WWE Championship.
At the close of the event, Mr. McMahon would come out announce the beginning of the For Extreme era. He immediately vacated all championships, as well as announced the opening of a third brand, the ECW brand, to be run by Paul Heyman.
The next night on RAW, Triple H put Cena behind him and reunited with Shawn Michaels to reform D-Generation X. He would go on to defeat the Undertaker at Backlash. Cena, on the other hand, would attempt to regain the WWE Championship, which had been won by Randy Orton after Cena was stripped of it. Edge would lay claim to the belt as well, leading to a Triple Threat match at Backlash between the three, which Orton won to retain the championship.
Rey Mysterio went on to become the General Manager of SmackDown!, leaving the World Heavyweight Championship to be picked up by newcomer John Paul Vonhamel. Kurt Angle would try to regain the championship, but lost to Vonhamel at Judgment Day.
|0Dark||Viscera won by last eliminating SnitskyThe other participants were: Eugene, Goldust, Tyson Tomko, Rob Conway, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Matt Striker, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Funaki, Steven Richards, Johnny Nitro, Joey Mercury, The Road Warrior, William Regal, and Simon Dean.||18-man Interpromotional battle royal||09:00|
|1||Kane and The Big Show (c) defeated Carlito and Chris Masters||Tag team match for the World Tag Team Championship||06:41|
|2||Rob Van Dam defeated Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley||Money in the Bank ladder match||12:21|
|3||John Bradshaw Layfield (with Jillian Hall) defeated Chris Benoit (c)||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship||09:44|
|4||Edge (with Lita) defeated Mick Foley||Hardcore match||14:37|
|5||The Boogeyman defeated Booker T and Sharmell||Handicap match||03:52|
|6||Mickie James defeated Trish Stratus (c)||Singles match for the WWE Women's Championship||08:48|
|7||The Undertaker defeated Mark Henry||Casket match||09:26|
|8||Shawn Michaels defeated Vince McMahon||No Holds Barred match||18:28|
|9||Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle (c) and Randy Orton||Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship||09:18|
|10||Torrie Wilson defeated Candice Michelle||Playboy pillow fight||03:54|
|11||John Cena (c) defeated Triple H||Singles match for the WWE Championship||22:02|