In comparison to the Ring of Honor shows, well there really isn't any. The only negative is the production problems they had with the streaming, but when watching the replays of those shows they are awesome. The Michael Elgin/Davey Richards match was easily the match of the weekend, and most likely the year. Also both Dragon Gate USA shows were very good, though I did feel that they weren't at the level of the Ring of Honor shows. The production values were better, but the overall shows weren't as good from top to bottom. After watching four awesome shows Friday and Saturday, it really hit home how WWE just doesn't care about putting on a wrestling show, they really are a clueless entertainment company. I can't say this was the worst Wrestlemania, not with the Hell in a Cell and Punk matches, but it was easily the most disappointed I've ever been in a major show. This was a huge downer for me at the end of what had been a great weekend of pro wrestling.
Thumbs Up Best Match Triple H vs Undertaker Worst Match Womens match. Good show, not amongst the best, but still a very strong show with three fantastic matches. This show was definitely booked to do the opposite of what was expected, particularly with the finish of Orton vs Kane, Cena vs Rock, and no Lesnar. Triple H vs Undertaker was much better than last years match, and a strong match of the year candidate. Sheamus vs Bryan going 18 seconds was a travesty, WWE should be ashamed of themselves. In fact the entire first hour was a complete downer, and could have easily been cut. It definitely picked up with Hour 2. Jericho vs Punk was great, but took a while to get going. Rock vs Cena was about what I expected, although I feel Rock going over was the wrong move. I'm more excited to see where they are going from this point on. Good show.
Thumbs up, somewhat reluctantly.
The show was what it was - a two match show. I guess you could make a case that Jericho/Punk was promoted well, as well. But those two matches delivered, which was important. Jericho/Punk was very good as well, but the crowd wasn't into it because it was a two match show. Those two matches and the opener were the only spots where the crowd was going to be hot. The WWE title match should have opened that show for that reason.
At the end of the day, this 'Mania was a success because the fans bought it for those two matches and it delivered. I don't like that strategy too much, since it's safe, but it worked to an extent. It could have been much more, though.
Lesnar not showing up makes perfect sense, although it would have been badass after both Trips/Taker and the main event. It makes more sense to have him debut tomorrow to a bigger audience, if he does debut.
My only hope is that Raw will open with a giant "April Fools" banner
and a complete Wrestlemania re-do. Wrestlemania VIII looks that much
Doug "DiRT" Turner
Best Match: Undertaker vs. HHH
Worst Match: Divas Tag Match
First show I've bought since the Rumble (and third overall in the past year, following Money in the Bank).
Really enjoyed the show. My girlfriend LOVED the Undertaker/HHH match and it was easily the best thing on the show.
Some of the pacing of the show fell off a cliff near the end, particularly the amount of padding they had around Cena/Rock.
That said, easy thumbs-up show. Four hours that didn't drag much until the last hour, then only dragged a little bit.
Show: Thumbs up.
Best match: Undertaker vs. HHH
Worst match: Divas tag.
In the end, I wanted to see Rock win, so I ended up pretty happy with things. Undertaker vs. HHH was really good, though I'm not sure what the point of a HITC gimmick was, since it didn't really come into play.
I thought Punk vs. Jericho was a very good match, but the lack of crowd heat really hurt it. Not the guys fault; I just think the crowd was ready to see the Rock, and it would have been tough on anyone put in that spot.
Rock vs. Cena was about as good as it could have been, given that Rock hasn't had a singles match since '03 and Cena, while a great performer, isn't Ric Flair 1989.
I thought everything else was just kind of there. It was practically criminal to give Daniel Bryan 18 seconds and then give the women's tag about seven minutes, not to mention Brodus Clay, the two music performances, and everything else.
Is there a reason we didn't get a Ric Flair closeup when the HOFers were introduced?
But overall, it was a good show.
Since I broke down and finally bought a damn ppv (because of the book and edits/adds, just to see it all for myself) a couple quick thoughts.
4 hours is too damn long. First hour was torture.
HHH-Taker was excellent...I'd compare it to Bruiser-Von Erich and Von Erich-Kiniski in mid-60s, but these guys used many more weapons, 60s actually more moves..good psychology both, better drama obviously today because they had a different story to tell...sorry, but the old school guys certainly are comparable in what they did too but this one was a dandy
Punk-Jericho..liked it, but a little ragged in spots...they ain't Brisco and Funk but they're okay
Rock-Cena...Brisco-Funk still safe, for they (Jack & Dory) had more tools to work with...but these guys, as you noted, for what today's audience is educated in and using signature moves, it was perfectly fine...and they told the story they wanted to tell...it was fine
Lots of bumps..lots of long selling spots too up and down in the long bouts...nothing wrong with it, just replaces a rest period between falls or being in a hold .... sometimes I think down deep it hasn't changed as much as people think
And a last thought, just shooting from the hip and no real thought...in any era, when you get to the BIG matches, whether it is Mania today or certain key matches in the 90-100 years earlier...the great ones all know or knew how to deliver what the fans want or wanted based on their abilities and what the business is at the time
Name withheld by request
After following the week's festivities, the Hall of Fame last night, and this incredible spectacle on PPV tonight, TNA mays well just pack their bags and call it a day. There is only one dog in the fight, and that dog is the WWE.
As much as people are pissed about the Sheamus-Bryan match, I loved it....the unpredictability of the quick win makes me want to see what happens next.
Randy Orton vs. Kane was what it was, but the surprising clean win over Orton was great.
Cody Rhodes dropping the belt to The Big Show also surprised me, and that's a good thing! Nothing worse than watching a PPV and knowing all the outcomes, so this was another pleasant surprise.
The Divas match was a divas match.
The Undertaker-Triple H match was exhausting, but in a good way....a VERY good way! What drama! What story telling!! EPIC match and Match of The Year candidate for sure! This had everything and is why I am a pro wrestling fan. Just epic.
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny was a mess, but it had it's moments. Dolph Ziggler, of course, was the star of the match.
Jericho vs. Punk was another great match and I look forward to seeing where this feud goes next.
And finally, The Rock beats John Cena in a fantastic match that had the feeling of big fight...just awesome to watch the stadium during the intros and opening minutes...the outdoor atmosphere, all those fans, and the camera angles were just great.
A HUGE thumbs up and ranks this Wrestlemanias as one of the best ever.
Thumbs in the middle. Best: Undertaker vs. HHH. Worst: Divas match. Everyone I was watching was really disappointed that the Bryan vs. Sheamus match was so short. It was really bad considering the mini-concerns, backstage bullshit, divas match, and videos we've already seen added up to 15-20 minutes they could have given them. There was some good stuff, though, and Taker-HHH was so good that you can't complain too much.
Thumbs Slightly Up
Best Match: Undertaker vs. Triple H
Worst Match: Divas Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus:
This completely killed Daniel Bryan as a future star and main eventer. Really sad with the crowd chanting YES YES YES and booing Sheamus. And WWE wonders why nobody is over anymore.
DUD star rating
Randy Orton vs. Kane
This was nothing but a Smackdown main event match. Crowd didn't care and chanted Daniel Bryan's name throughout the match. Judging by the finish they'll have a gimmick match at Extreme Rules
Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show
Again this was nothing but a Smackdown match. Crowd still didn't care and chanting for Daniel Bryan.
Beth Phoenix and Eve vs. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos
Credit to Maria for working with injuries but this was bad. This got more time than both title matches and was horrible. What's the purpose of Maria winning? Is she going to challenge Beth for the Butterfly Belt? Crowd was loudly chanting Daniel Bryan during the match
Undertaker vs. Triple H
This match saved the show. Excellent story telling. Many near falls where you thought that was the finish. Afterwards the End of an Era curtain call was a fitting end. A definite Match of the Year contender
**** 3/4 stars
Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy
After Hell in a Cell nobody cared about this match. Neither of the Bellas should be around a mic ever again. The last few minutes were pretty good with Eve screwing Zack to lead to the finish.
** 1/2 stars
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Good job by WWE to throw in the Red Herring of Jericho winning the belt by DQ. This match also told a good story. Great wrestling match.
Brodus Clay segment.....Daniel Bryan got squashed in record time so we can get this segment. No Buys
MGK and Flo Rida concerts......again Daniel Bryan got squashed in record time so everyone who came to see wrestling got to see these "musical acts" get time. This went so long I got flashbacks of KISS on Nitro. No Buys
John Cena vs. The Rock
Much better than I expected. It seemed Rock starting blowing up near the end but still good. They both worked the crowd well and was surprised Rock wins. Either they are doing a rematch at Summerslam or Brock shows up and challenges Rock.
*** 1/4 stars