This year’s celebrity inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame is Donald Trump. WrestleMania 4 and 5 were hosted by the Trump Plaza, but Trump’s biggest WrestleMania moment happened at WrestleMania 23. When Trump was announced as a WWE Hall of Fame inductee, I knew which Trump match I was going to review. Trump didn’t wrestle in the Battle of the Billionaires match at WrestleMania 23, but he was the most important person in the match. The Battle of the Billionaires match wasn’t the main event of WrestleMania 23, but if I asked people to name a match from WrestleMania 23, I think many people would name this match.

The Facts:

  • This match happened at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on April 1, 2007. The attendance at Ford Field for WrestleMania 23 was 80,103.
  • Donald Trump was with Bobby Lashley. Vince McMahon and Armando Alejandro Estrada were with Umaga.
  • Lashley was the ECW Champion and Umaga was the Intercontinental Champion. Neither title was on the line in this match.
  • This was a Hair vs. Hair match. If Umaga won, Trump would lose his hair. If Lashley won, McMahon would lose his hair.
  • The McMahon-Trump feud started on January 27, 2007 on RAW when thousands of dollars dropped from the ceiling of the arena. The money came from Trump. It was fan appreciation night and McMahon didn’t like that the fans appreciated Trump more than they appreciated McMahon.
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special guest referee for this match. It was announced on RAW on March 5 that the Board of Directors voted for Austin to be the referee.
  • Lashley was released from WWE on February 4, 2008. He became a mixed martial arts fighter and made his MMA debut on December 13, 2008.
  • Umaga died on December 4, 2009 after suffering two heart attacks. He was 36 years old. Umaga had recently returned from Australia where he had wrestled on the Hulk Hogan tour. The cause of death was acute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam. According to author Irvin Muchnick, “Hydrocone is a painkiller. Carisoprodol, commonly called soma, is a muscle relaxer. Diazepam, commonly called Valium, is an anti-anxiety medication.”
  • Jim “JR” Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were the announcers for this match.
  • The time length of this match was 13:04.

The Match:

Bobby Lashley gets Umaga to the corner and clothslines Umaga. Austin pulls Lashley away from corner. Lashley is whipped in the corner. Umaga tries to attack Lashley in corner, but Lashley gets out of the way. Lashley hits Umaga with a flying shoulder block. Pin attempt and Armando Alejandro Estrada puts Umaga’s foot on the rope to break the count. Lashley brings Estrada in the ring and slams him. Lashley throws Estrada out of the ring. Umaga runs at Lashley and Lashley avoids him. Umaga falls out of the ring and gets back in the ring. Lashley runs at Umaga, Umaga avoids him, and Lashley dives out of the ring. Umaga throws Lashley back in the ring. Splash by Umaga gets a two count. Umaga chokes Lashley by the ropes. Austin breaks it up. Umaga goes back to choking Lashley and Austin breaks it up by grabbing Umaga’s hair. Umaga clotheslines Lashley. Umaga sits on Lashley after jumping off the middle rope. Lashley fights back and Umaga stops the comeback with a Samoan Drop. Lashley lifts Umaga but he can’t slam him and Umaga falls onto him. Lashley kicks out of a pin. Umaga is on the top rope and Lashley slams him off the top.  Lashley clotheslines Umaga. Both men are down. Austin counts them. The count gets to 9 and he stops the count. Austin will not end the match on a countout. Shane comes down to the ring and distracts Austin. Umaga hits Austin and Austin is out of the ring. Shane gets involved in the match. Umaga and Shane double team Lashley. Vince gets a trash can and Shane goes for his Coast to Coast move. Shane flies from one turnbuckle to the other and kicks the trash can in Lashley’s face. Shane takes off his jacket and reveals that he’s wearing a referee’s shirt. Umaga goes to the top rope. Big splash by Umaga. Shane counts the pin, but Austin pulls Shane out of the ring. Austin throws Shane into the ring steps. Austin enters the ring and Umaga hits Austin again. This isn’t a no disqualification match so I don’t know why Austin didn’t disqualify Umaga and announce that Lashley is the winner. Vince talks to Austin at ringside while Austin is down on the mat and Trump takes down Vince. Umaga gets Austin to his feet. Austin ducks Umaga’s attack. Austin hits the stunner on Umaga! Lashley spears Umaga! Lashley pins Umaga and Austin counts to three.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Rating: **3/4

Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga looks like a bad match-up, but McMahon, Trump, and Austin made the match better. I don’t think it mattered who the two wrestlers in this match were. The main focus of the match was who was going to lose his hair after the match. I think it’s a good thing WWE used Lashley and Umaga for this match. This match didn’t need one or two great wrestlers in the match because the fans cared more about what was going to happen after the match. It would have been a waste to use John Cena or Shawn Michaels in this match because they weren’t needed. McMahon, Trump, and Austin made people want to see the match and it didn’t need another big name. The first time I saw this match was on the WrestleMania 23 DVD and it did not bother me that it was a Lashley vs. Umaga match. I watched the match to see what Trump and McMahon were going to do during the match. I watched the match to see what Stone Cold Steve Austin would do as the special guest referee. This wasn’t a great match, but because of Trump and McMahon, I think this is the match Lashley and Umaga are both best known for. It’s the only time either of them were in a main event match at WrestleMania.  Another thing that I should mention is that this Pay-Per-View had 1.2 million buys. That is a huge number and the highest until it was beaten by WrestleMania 28. A lot of the people who bought the PPV might have bought it only to see this match. Those people may have been casual fans or people who cared more about Trump than wrestling. It makes sense to use two strong looking guys like Lashley and Umaga for this match because they look like guys you would want wrestling for you if your hair was on the line and the fans can see that even if they had never heard of Lashley or Umaga.

I re-watched this match for this review and I didn’t think this was a very entertaining match to watch. The wrestling in the match wasn’t great which I was expecting, but the entertainment wasn’t great either. I knew Lashley was going to win when I first saw this match, but if I had seen this match live, I think I would expect Lashley to win because I wouldn’t think Trump would agree to have his head shaven. Trump attacked McMahon during the match, but other than that, Trump didn’t do much. And Austin didn’t do much other than the stunner at the end. The stuff that happened after the match is more famous and entertaining than what happened during the match. This review isn’t focusing on what happened after the match. I’m only reviewing the match and it wasn’t entertaining enough for me to give it three stars or more. If someone hadn’t seen this match yet, I would say to that person that it’s not a great match, but it’s not a terrible match. The match is watchable and 13 minutes is just short enough that it’s not a huge waste of time. It’s a match you only need to see once, but this match isn’t that bad that people should avoid watching it. But if the person wants to skip to the end of the match, I would say that’s okay because there isn’t anything in this match that you must see.

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