And yet more WrestleMania feedback



Wrestlemania 29

Thumbs down

Best match: Punk vs Undertaker

Worst match: HHH vs Lesnar

Okay something is really wrong here....its like this show didn't have a soul or something. There were 80000 people in that building and its like they were unable to emotionally connect with anything....like every aspect of the show - its TV build up, promotion, the matches, outcomes and every move and match timing - were finely tuned by a corporate creative committee, (a) racked with politics and job security fear, and (b) greatly out of step with their audience, until any semblance of emotion and excitement and innovation and drama had been completely removed from both the build and what the script of the show could be. Matches that could were good were too short (Bryan/Kane/Ziggler/Langston, The Shield), matches that were bad went too long (Henry/Ryback, HHH/Lesnar). People who were hot were given no time or material to shine with. We are given no reason or hook to tune in tomorrow night....

This company is phenomenally professional....they are obsessed with it: the promotion of events, the production, how they work media and PR etc - they are literally world class and all that....but the problem for a number of years is that they can put together the machinations and aesthetic appearance of something world class, but they have trouble with presenting substance: characters, angles and matches that really get over. This show is the perfect example of this: on paper it was a great card - 3 main events that could really be dream matches that had marquee value, an exciting enough undercard featuring a bunch of guys making their mania debuts that people are into etc. But its like, say that internally they had their full card seven weeks out....so on paper they are fine, they just have to make it work on the 7 weeks of TV....but whatever their process is: too much second-guessing? Politics? Too many rewrites? Scared of fucking up a good card as they've done this before?....whatever it was, the promotion was just blah....like nothing got over in the build to this event, no real attempt to get heat or emotion or even perceivable storylines for any of the matches. Rock vs Cena II on paper makes perfect sense....but the build up on tv seemed to decrease interest with every week....they hesitated and confused, like they had those promos where they just came across like they were confused about what they were supposed to be saying, and were trying too hard to not come across as boring or confused....they had to do SOMETHING to promote these matches, but couldn't decide what so they did too little of everything. Probably the most effective build for its position on the card was Fandango vs Jericho

And this extends to the matches: Undertaker vs CM Punk occurred in an alternate universe where the rivers run green and purple....the whole segment: video package, Living Colour, ring entrances, match....was just phenomenal, as good as it could've been

Everything else it was like every move of every match, the speed and rhythm, the timings etc were scripted and performed in some aircraft hangar 5 weeks ago, completely arbitrarily, and like the writing the matches were boiled down through so much politics and rewrites and second-guessing that it all ended up a meaningless cookie-cutter lump, ill-fitting to the event and out of step with the crowd....

The Lesnar/HHH match may be the most glaring embarrassment in modern Mania history....are you really telling me that no one involved could work out in the 25 mins they were dying out there that this crowd didn't want what they were given them....it was the scariest rejection of a major heavily-promoted main event match I've seen....literally the second the music stopped and the bell rang you could tell the crowd was fundamentally not buying this match and its style in a way that you never see matches shit on....even really really bad Great Khali matches

The most telling thing was the end of the show: they were so out of step with this crowd that they couldn't work out Rock raising Cena's hand and doing the marine salute WAS NOT WHAT THIS CROWD WANTED TO SEE IN A MILLION YEARS and was going to be completely flat

But....this was the biggest money event in history, so I guess I'm wrong. The bottom line is while you can't have every match a home run, have everything get over etc this company really should be better at doing this kind of thing by now, be able to put on a more solid show for its biggest show of the year. All the company has to do is to get over wrestlers and feuds, and promote wrestling matches and wrestlers....everything else is marketing and merchandising that product. It seems that core product is the thing this company is least able or willing to do....   

Best Wishes

Michael Parsons
Oxford, UK              

Thumbs in the Middle - for the most part it felt like a 1 or 2 match PPV and the crowd just didn't come across as excited most of the time.

Best Match: Punk/Taker
Worst Match: Rock/Cena

Shield vs. Orton/Sheamus/Show - OK match, Shield won as they should and we got a turn!  Too bad it was Show instead of Orton because nobody cared about his quasi-face turn in the first place.

Ryback vs. Henry - Meh.  Surprising Henry was put over unless they are continuing this series.

Hell No vs. Ziggler/Langston - Pretty good match, probably the second best.  Langston had some moments where he showed how green he was, but he wasn't awful.

Jericho vs. Fandango - Not the match Fandango needed to get to the next level, although how can that be expected in his first match.  What he needs are dancing lessons, as he's a complete oaf out there.  His wrestling is fair, the only really good thing is the Van Dam leap to the top rope.

Del Rio vs. Swagger - Another nothing special match which could have been on any other PPV.  Disappointed that Ziggler didn't get to cash here.

Undertaker vs. Punk - Match of the night and really good, but is probably behind Taker/Michaels I on the Undertaker best Mania matches list.  It built well and for once it felt like it ended 5 minutes too soon instead of 5 minutes too long.  I hope Punk isn't hurt too badly from the Spanish announce table not breaking.  Definitely the only match that felt like a Mania caliber match.

Brock vs. HHH - Another good, not great, match.  The Heyman/Michaels superkick spot was predictable but well executed.

Rock vs. Cena - Horrible.  It wasn't a match I wanted to see in the first place and to basically copy last year's match with the order of moves changed around just made it worse.  It seemed like the crowd hated Cena (no surprise) to the point they didn't even bother to boo him, which is just a bad sign.  They didn't really cheer Rock all that much either, which tells me a lot of the crowd didn't care about the match either.  It didn't help that Cena is so limited in what he can do and doesn't do any of it very well.  There was a pop for the title change (like pretty much all title changes), but two minutes later, nobody cared again.

Dan Graulich
Shapleigh, ME

Wrestlemania 29 Feedback
Thumbs Way Up
Best Match: Rock vs John Cena
Worst Match: None
 
I enjoyed this Wrestlemania more than any in years. Every match delivered for me and the only big disappointment is Ziggler not cashing in but I really like Del Rio as champion. I would have liked to see Lesnar win as well but I guess it isn't HHH's time to retire. The Shield match was off the charts and would probably have been my other consideration for match of the night. Everything seemed to get the right amount of time and it was a pleasure to see Daniel Bryan actually get his match and get to go over. Undertaker vs Punk was a match I enjoyed more than the Taker-HHH matches and Punk's performance was great. The final match was better than last year's Rock vs Cena match and a great way to end the show.
 
Dave Musgrave
Oshawa, Ontario

Best Match: Punk vs. Undertaker

Worst Match: Ryback vs. Mark Henry

We had 6 people total at my house for Wrestlemania and enjoyed the show.

The highlight of the night for our group was Paul Heyman, especially his reactions ringside and using the urn during the Punk match. We wished they had a separate screen for the entire match just for Heyman. He was also very much enjoyed during the Lesnar match.

We expected Cena to win the main event, but it was a pretty big letdown for our group on the execution of the finish.

Also disappointment that Ziggler didn't come back out to cash in MITB, especially after taking the fall in the tag match.

Matt Holmes
Greenwod, IN

I give this a 7/10 for a Wrestlemania. Not a real thumbs up.
Best match was the Taker/Punk match. Loved the live intro for Punk. 

Worst match... they were all fine. Nothing really bad. Swagger/Del Rio I guess since I really wanted Ziggler involved. 

We had 30 people together to watch the show. We went to wwe.com and paid to watch the show and we ended up getting the error message and had to find an illegal feed online. Frustrating start to the night.

I was disappointed with the lack of huge moments on the show. The entire show just felt very "okay, that makes sense". Our group hated HHH winning, felt like just a huge ego stroke.  The Rock/Cena finish was the right finish but the after-match celebration was bizarre.  Also don't understand why Ryback would lose just to then pull of his finisher... to me that doesn't make sense. Just give him the victory! That finish made me feel like neither big man looked invincible. 
Thanks
Nick Carter
(follow me on twitter, I'm great @ComedyCarter)


Hi Dave:
 
I was a TV watcher tonight, but attended Wrestlemania 24 in Orlando and noticed numerous obstructed view issues at that card after arriving early and walking around a bit. I surprised me at the time that it wasn't a bigger deal during and immediately after that show. The canopy over the ring, just like tonight, had four support posts that cut off numerous diagonal views on the floor and higher up too.
 
Max Levy

Hi, Dave.

Thumbs down.

Best match:  Undertaker vs. Punk.
Worst:  Mark Henry vs. Ryback.

The undercard was lackluster, the crowd was surprisingly dead and the lack of heat reminded me of Wrestlemania IV in the "Trump Tomb."  There were no significant unexpected developments on the show, with the exception of the supposed Big Show "heel turn," which really wasn't a turn since he was never really a babyface to begin with.  There was nothing compelling about the show that makes me feel the need to tune into Raw tomorrow night.

Jon Karesh
San Mateo, CA

Hi Dave,
   Just wanted to share some feedback regarding WrestleMania 29. I would have to give the show a thumbs in the middle, with the best match being Taker-Punk by default since nothing else really stood out for me and the worst match being Ryback and Henry. Usually I enjoy Wrestlemania but the flow of the show seemed really off. I don't know if it was because lack of crowd reactions, bad matches, the $70.00 bucks I paid to watch in HD, or maybe it was Snooki sitting in the front row? But something was off!
Shield VS Orton, Sheamus, Show - A very good tag match in my opinion, The Shield is really talented and they did well as the opening match on the PPV. Things seemed to be off to a good start with a good opening match and great visuals of the stadium, but quickly got stagnate after that point.
Ryback VS Henry - God awful match that made no sense. Why is Ryback losing to Mark Henry? I thought Ryback was the next big thing? Mark Henry has been the same wrestler since he started over a decade ago, result made no sense.
Bryan & Kane VS Ziggler & Langston - Decent match and good to see the champs retain the tag titles since they have title changes way too often in my opinion. Why is Ziggler still carrying around the briefcase? I thought there was a time limit in which to cash in? Seem's like Ziggler has had the briefcase since Backlund was champion.
Jericho VS Fandango - Somebody need's to change Fandango's gimmick quick! I don't see his gimmick lasting very long. But decent match and good to see someone new getting over for once.
Alberto VS Swagger - Restroom break during this match since I'm not really a fan of either one of these guys. I don't really like the Swagger gimmick with Zeb, and Alberto as a face just does not work, the guy is a natural heel and need's to be pushed as a heel. I'm just looking for my $70.00 bucks back at this point that I paid for this mess.
Taker VS Punk - Best match of the show in my opinion, I'm a big fan of the streak, along with being a fan of Taker and Punk. Good to see Taker matched up with a good opponent in Punk since Taker is getting really limited in what he can do, Punk made the match exciting and Taker is great with facials and adding drama. Thought for sure that Punk broke something when he flew on the table and it did not break, but somehow made it back in the ring. Crowd seemed to perk up for this match.
HHH VS Lesnar - Not sure what to make of this match. Very physical, but just seemed strange. Lesnar came out with a big welt already on his cheek, and not sure why Sean Michaels was even there. Wrong finish in my opinion, Lesnar should have won. Or maybe HHH winning was the right choice? I don't know, dang match had me confused! Maybe I'm still distraught over the 70 bucks that flew out the window for this PPV?
Cena VS Rock - This match really had nowhere to go without Cena winning. Rock is going back to Hollywood to promote his movies, he does not have time to be the champion right now. Of course this leaves us with Cena as champion, again... I guess the last decade with Cena as champ was just not enough, we are now forced to sit through another Cena title run. At least there is a new title belt, and we don't have to see that god awful spinner belt. And what exactly where Cena and Rock yapping about after the match in the middle of the ring? They seemed to be having a lengthy conversation. For a minute I was waiting (and hoping) for a swerve, but no luck. Maybe they were talking about why the 8 person tag match with Brodus was canceled?
   Anyway, as I previously mentioned, something just seemed a little off the whole night. I don't know if it was the timing and flow of the matches, maybe the outdoor stadium took something away since most outdoor shows seem to do that, but just a strange Wrestlemania. The only reason I gave the show a thumbs in the middle was because it was Wrestlemania, otherwise it would have probably been a thumbs down. Maybe I'm still stinging from the 70 bucks that I flushed?
Thanks,
Jon Southerland
Clovis, Ca.

Thumbs Down
Best Match: Undertaker vs. CM Punk
Worst Match: Henry vs. Ryback
Show was horrible live.  Crowd did not care about a single thing other than 'Taker/ Punk and the last 3 minutes of Rock and Cena.  Matches were short and underwhelming for the most part, nothing stood out.  Extremely boring, subpar show with a phenomenally dead crowd, but in this case it was understandable.  I left the building really wishing I hadn't spent money on tickets.
- Dan Marsiglia, NJ

Hi Dave,

Thumbs WAY down!
Best Match:Punk/Taker
Worst Match:Rock/Cena & Ryback/Henry

I can't believe what a dreadful boring by the numbers show this was. Terrible announcing, dead crowd, completely predictable plodding in many cases sloppy matches. And also wasting an insane amount of ppv time patting themselves on the back with videos of what a wonderful company they are. There were no special moments I'll remember years from just hideous boredom.

Ray Timpson


best match=Taker/Punk-HHH/Brock
 
Worst match:Ryback/Henry
 
The first 2 hours were dull.
 
Glad the Shield won but could have been 6-7 minutes longer would have been good. Time to establish the individual personalities of that group.
 
I didnt expect miracles with Ryback/Henry,but goddamn.
 
Taker/Punk was very good. Not the last 4 years of Taker matches,but still very good.
 
HHH/Brock was very stiff. Brock should have gone over,but it is what it is.
 
Rock/Cena was better than last years match. Hoping for a Cena heel turn,but i understand why they didnt. You cant show a Cena Make-a-Wish Foundation and have him turn heel.
 
personal notes: the theatre i watched it in was not sold out for the first time in 4 years.
 
Not sure how that will translate in buys. but despite the first 2 hours a good show.

Josh Marino


Anyone sitting anywhere near the corners had their view obstructed by the set. I basicly watched the show on the video boards because my view of the ring was almost completely blocked. Heard they had these issues in the past and apparently they werent addressed by the company.

Mike Carroll

I watched 3 IPPV and WrestleMania this weekend and by far even with the problems with the Evolve IPPV , WrestleMania was the worst.  Thumbs down all the way.

Rich Balsomico


Overall Thoughts: Thumbs basically up
Best Match: Rock vs Cena
Worth Match: Henry vs The Ryback
 
Barrett v. Miz:
Didn't see, was trying to finish cooking dinner.  Miz is now 4-0 at WM, maybe he can win a few more no point matches to reach 8-0, and then lose in mostly no point match. I really wish Barrett was treated better, he is most likely mid-card for life now.
Rating: ?
 
The Shield vs Sheamus/Show/Orton:
Something was missing in this match. I don't know if the crowd wanted Orton to turn on his team. Especially when he was super obnoxiously cheering whilst Dean was get slapped by Show. Due to the lack of reaction from the crowd, I had a sense of doom for the rest of the card.  I'm glad The Shield won, though what is next for Punk's former hired hands?  Freebird style tag-team belt run, help Punk get the belt back, destroy Ziggler's crew: I hope for the last one.
Rating: 2 stars
 
Mark Henry vs The Ryback
I bet Vince Russo is smiling right now, really with the 'Get Your Heat Back' post match nonsense.  This match should have lasted less than a minute, involved Ryback trying and failing to lift up Henry; then Henry 'World's Strongest Slammin' Ryback for the pin.  Instead we got Henry winning without doing his move, then Ryback being a sore loser doing his move afterwards.  And this Ryback fella is supposed to be a big time star, I'd rather see Nathan Jones.  Also, this match was incredibly slow and boring, though I'm sure everybody could guess such things.
Rating: - 2 stars
 
Team Hell No vs Ziggler and Big E
Daniel Bryan is a great wrestler, shocking I know, and Ziggler is a great bump taker, also shocking.  Dragon proved that this crowd was capable of caring about a match, which made my sense of doom for this card disappear.  Though magically when Dragon wasn't in the match nobody cared again.  Maybe this guy should only be in single's matches, when he would be in the match the whole time, novel right? Team Ziggy is basically Job Squad 2.0; none of its three members are in a good position right now, please break this worthless team up.
Rating: 2.5 stars, just for Bryan getting the crowd into it for a minute

Jericho vs Fandango
Decent debut, the entrance was fantastic.  Probably most people just assumed Jericho was jobbing here, so they really didn't get into it. t thought the finish was almost too complicated with Jericho realizing his move was being countered, so he changed his move midair, which in turn caused him to tweak his knee, which wasn't evident till Jericho tried tried his finishing submission on Fandango. So Johnny just got lucky Chris was so clumsy? Oh well, Jericho probably brought the best out of this kid.
Rating: 2.5 stars
 
Del Rio vs Swagger
Zeb wearing a tie was the highlight of this match. Nothing wrong with the match, Del Rio is a nice fiery baby face, but this feud is about 20 years past its time to receive any reaction. Unfortunately for Dutch, his time might be up soon.  Maybe Del Rio vs evil Randy Orton might have worked better, and maybe if Del Rio had a good reason to turn face the people would be behind him. I did find Ricardo's fake crutch walk hilarious, like every other fake crutch walk in WWE history.
Rating: 2 stars
 
Punk vs Taker
At this point I wasn't very high on the show, nothing really seemed special, wasn't blown away by any great mid-card match.  I just hoped Punk could save the show, and he mostly did. Beyond commenting on all the moves Taker couldn't do anymore with my buddy, and sensing major doom as Punk tried the Savage elbow to the Spanish announce table, I enjoyed this match. Punk and Taker got the people to care for more than one minute: they chanted things, they somewhat bought the urn shot near-fall, they enjoyed Punk's reversal of the Hell's Gate.  This match was still good, the second best of the card, but I had a feeling that each year we see a more and more limited version of Taker. I hope next year he finally faces Cena, and they decide if he is allowed to retire with one lose or none on his WM record.  If Taker keeps it up for another few years, it might turn into something sad.  All that negativity being said, I thought that Mr. Punk did his best to work with Taker under all the
  circums
tances.
Rating: 3.5 stars
 
Lesnar vs HHH
This was weird, weird, weird match.  I really had no idea why nobody cared at all until the very end.  Oh yeah, people have been sick of HHH for years with his 'I was hurt but now I'm back and better than ever' nonsense.  Nobody sees him as a sympathetic baby face, and they never will.  Putting submission moves on forever is comical in this UFC-is-almost-20-years-old era.  The Cena match last year was special, mainly due to Cena and Lesnar doing the most non-wrestling wrestling match possible.  The two Triple H matches have been too much about submissions which should break people's arms in five seconds.  I was just dumbfounded with the Lesnar's power bomb on the steps to break up the Kimura three times and it wasn't the finish, the only word is really just dumbfounded.  Heyman and HBK took the co-bump of the night honors with their interference.  Trips, if you are reading, which is extremely doubtful due to the amount of people probably giving feedback, please just spend you
r time h
elping the younger guys in the back and making Bruno like deals.  Nobody really wants to see you wrestle anymore.
Rating: 1.5 stars, due to strangeness
 
Rock vs Cena
I have heard a few times that playing to the crowd is discouraged in the WWE, and this match is a example of how idiotic that discouragement is.  Playing to the crowd was the reason the crowd got more into the match. Was the match slow at times, yes; was the sleeper hold put on too long, yes; did we need every AA and Rock Bottom kick-out, probably not; was I intrigued by Cena giving heel facial expressions, of course; did the match tell a great story, yes. I really liked the stealing each other moves shtick at the end, especially when Cena baited The Rock, unsuccessfully, but still, when he tried his second People's elbow.  I believed this match was much better than last year, because of how they hinted at last year in this match.  With a crowd that was only hot for one match, which had been sitting there for almost four hours at that point, they really got them to care about this match. When I find myself wondering if they changed the result of the match, that is usually a g
ood sign
. But, I don't want to see a rubber match, mainly I couldn't handle the build, and I almost got a sense Rock isn't coming back with the amount of time he spent in the ring by himself. (Also why on earth would he need to face Lesnar now?)  Did the fans boo when Rock did the handshake and hug, of course; does everybody want Cena to go heel, most people; but #1 baby faces don't grow on #1 baby face trees; and until they find one, no black U Can't See Me shirt for Cena.  Still great job by these guys, and Rock did the right thing for business putting the guy over.
Rating: 4 stars
 
-John Pinkus

I haven't been keeping up much with the Japanese scene as of late, but decided to give the iPPV a try.
Holy crap...what an awesome show!
From the opening match to the final main event it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Nothing to complain about at all.
Everyone seemed to bring their "A" game and the Tanahashi/Okada match was fantastic and a legit MOTY candidate.
Thumbs WAY up for this one!!
Michael Mensik

Dave from St. Louis, MO...WrestleMania was a thumbs up overall. BEST MATCH - TAKER/PUNK WORST MATCH - RYBACK/HENRY....WWE like always did awesome with the production of the show, and you can tell they were shoving tons of family-friendly commercials on so they can change the general public's perception of wrestling. The Sheild vs. Show/Shemus/Orton match was good I thought, however, they could have aired the TLC 6-man with the Shield and that match would have exploded Metlife Stadium. Just shocked that WWE has stronger more energy filled matches on PPVs that aren't called WrestleMania. Ryback and Henry was what you'd expect. Looks like the start push for Ryback is over and now is the stop push with Vince putting over Mark Henry 100 more times. Fandango didn't deserve to be on this PPV when Kofi Kingston is being a freakin Grammy Awards announcer guy. Match was ok. Swagger and Del Rio was average. Big E and Ziggler job to Kane and Daniel Bryan? Big E is a beast on the way to stardom and Ziggler should have been World champion months ago, and they just lose like jobbers on the biggest show of the year? No one cares that Ziggler has the MITB anymore because he's booked to lose so often. Yes I get the whole well it'l be a surprise when he finally win sthe big one, but if no one beleives he's good anymore, what will it mean? Taker and Punk blew the arena up, nothing short of the awesomeness everyone expected. And special attraction entrances too, Manias need to have a lot more special artistic entrances I don't know why they don't do more for more guys as far as crazy animated entrances go. The walking dead Undertaker entrance was great. Brock and HHH was what I thought it'd be, very slow and plodding cuz HHH likes his matches like that. Yes being slower prolongs your career, but come on, have the opinion of CM Punk, go harder and crazier for a show like Mania!! As great as HHH is, Im just shocked no one tells him to speed it up for WrestleMania. The Summerslam match was slow and plodding too, I think the fans wanted more crazy fast-paced action and they didn't get it. The submission sequences however were cool. It just came across as they didn't really want to kill each other, they just wanted to "kinda" win the match. Rock/Cena delivered what it was supposed to. Good match. Can't complain too much, but WrestleMania always tells you the state of WWE every year. Ryback being a babyface but gets booed and ZIggler being a heel who gets cheered tells you how much HHH & Vince dont really listen to the fans even though they say they do. I know Rock being back drives business, but hopefully next year, we finally get to the point where the full-timers are the top matches and the "occational not even part timers" are just there to get their asses kicked or to do a Hall of Fame. But we'll see. Again, can't complain because Mania every year has its very cool parts, and hats off to WWE for another big show.

David Zimmerman

Matt, Ohio
Hey Dave, after reading all the feed back I'm glad I saved my 65 dollars. The card just did nothing for me besides Punk and Undertaker, Rock and Cena was good last year and lame this year. I'm surprised that for how successful and great Rock is he would just pretty much do a disappointing repeat, Cena should of won but no one wanted to see Rock endorse him. The guy who really showed he is the man and best in the world CM PUNK. Thanks for all you and Bryan do, you guys are awesome.

Matthew Saws

Dave - Had 3 seats on the back floor, tickets were $450 each inclusive of fees.  We couldn't see the right third of the ring because of the column holding up the ceiling over the ring.  There were a group of people about 10 seats over from us who could not a single solitary inch of the ring because of the column.  Just astonishing that this would happen.  This problem was an issue for that entire batch of seats for the whole section running from the first row to the back.
Keep up the amazing work as always!  Ken James says hello (he was our wedding singer and is a longtime subscriber).
Steve


Quick notes - I was there live and had a great time, so as least ad that goes, thumbs up. Best was Punk/Taker, worst was Ryback/Henry.
 
No view problems in 235 and everyone seemed lively and cheering for everything, except HHH/Lesnar (which really seemed to under deliver but the spots with Shawn were good and got reactions). People in that section seemed dead set on hating Punk/Cena - I thought the Mania XXVIII call backs and reversal sequences were very good.
 
Even if it didn't come off great on TV I had a great weekend and lots of fun. Legends at AXXESS are very nice and much more accessible than today's roster. I was quite happy to meet Larry Z, ask him how the human game of chess was going, and sign "New World Odour" on the Mania X8 page of the program.
 
Take care,
 
Stephen Gray

Overall: Thumbs down
Best Match: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
Worst Match: Ryback vs. Mark Henry

Overall Thoughts:
After watching the show and contemplating its entirety after letting the dust settle for a couple of hours, I have to say that this show was a disappointment, if only for the fact that it feels as if WWE is stuck in a rut, spinning its wheels, and going nowhere. There were no big surprises on this show, no angles that made me excited for the immediate future, and it ultimately left me with little hope that there will be anything worth watching in the promotion going into the summer. I didn't expect (nor did I want) a huge shocking swerve on the show. No Cena heel turn, no big run ins during the top matches, nothing like that. But I did expect SOMETHING. A tag title change, a Ziggler cash-in, a midcard turn... just something to get excited about and to serve as a catalyst for something new. WrestleMania was void of that this year.

I could look past the ho-hum predictability if the actual wrestling was top notch, but it wasn't. The show started off promising, as I thought that the opening six-man tag was very good. The ending sequence was fantastic, and all three men in the Shield are just outstanding. I pray that they give these guys the ball and let them run with it, because they have the potential to be huge, even Roman Reigns. As a side note, it was a little surreal seeing Dean Ambrose pin Randy Orton at WrestleMania just a few years after attending a local independent show with 100 attendees, and watching the then-Jon Moxley blow the roof off of a building hosting weekly flea markets.  He was great then, and he was great tonight in front of 80,000.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry was what it was. Not any worse than I had anticipated, but nothing that I would want to see again. The finish and the post-match did nothing for me. Nobody got over, and it looks like that we are indeed going to have a rematch. Team Hell No vs. Ziggler and Langston was great for a six minute match. And that was the problem. That they didn't get more time. Langston was impressive, although it will be interesting to see if he is as impressive in a longer match. I really wish that they changed the titles here. Not only because Ziggler needs all the help he can get at this point, but because Daniel Bryan needs to move onto something bigger and better.

The highlight of the Jericho vs. Fandango match was Jericho's entrance. Very cool. Match didn't really do much for me. A bit sloppy. Fandango was serviceable, though I don't think that the match got him over to the extent that they had hoped. If they want to go all the way with this guy, I would honestly have rather him win in dominating fashion. Del Rio vs. Swagger didn't light my fire either. Not enough time. Swagger didn't even get an entrance. No buys here. The match itself was largely forgettable for me, as it just seemed like a small step above a top of the hour Raw match. Just the fact that the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania didn't even go eleven minutes blows my mind. I just don't get it. On the bright side, I thought that Colter's promo before the match was great. Probably the best he's done in the entire program.

Undertaker vs. Punk was solid, as expected. I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think it came close to the quality of the matches Taker has had the last four years with Michaels and Triple H. Don't get me wrong, it was very, very good, but not close to being a subjective five stars like we've come to expect. The table spot and some of the sloppy finishers might be clouding my judgement, but I don't think it was the all time classic that we were expecting. Last year's match with Triple H is what they need to do with Undertaker from here on out. Heavy story telling, while relying less on actual wrestling. Again, great match, just not REALLY great.

I loved the Triple H vs. Lesnar match. I thought the story was great, and I loved the ending sequence with Triple H and the Kimura. That crowd reaction though... it boggles my mind. I don't even know what caused it. You can point to the open air stadium, the weather, the lack of a buffer match, the career stipulation basically giving away the finish of the match etc., but you still expect more noise than what we got. You could almost hear a pin drop. Bizarre to say the least. Honestly, if the crowd was in to the match, reacting the way that they should have, this could have gone down as an all time classic. Instead we got a great match that somehow felt awkward and out of place. Also, it's been yelled ad nauseum, but the fact that Brock is 1-2 since his return is so stupid that it's almost laughable.

The main event was pretty dreadful. The last five minutes were great, but the build to the finish was terrible. Slow, boring, and predictable. It felt like a carbon copy of last year's match. Nothing else to say that hasn't already been said. The same goes for the post match.

Honestly, my other problem with the show outside of nothing really changing or anyone getting over was the match length. Nothing on the undercard felt special, nor memorable when they went an average of six minutes. It's impossible. How can you have a four hour show (five if you count the pre-show) and have only two hours of actual in-ring action? I just don't understand it. It does not feel like a big match when it lasts only a few minutes, and everything at WrestleMania should feel like a big match. It's been a huge problem since the company went "mainstream" with Mania,  dubbing it an "entertainment spectacular", but it was extremely noticeable this year. The show was overbooked, a match got cut, I'm assuming that the annual big main event entrances got cut, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had a national anthem planned, but cut it due to time. And this isn't my first rodeo, I know they need time for the big entrances, the video packages are aired to give them a chance to set those entrances up and to check the ring and fill in the viewers who don't watch weekly but buy Mania every year, but as a wrestling fan it's to the point that I would give up the huge stages, fireworks shows, and elaborate entrances (the entire "grandeur" of WrestleMania), if it means that we have more time for matches to develop and play out the way that they should. It feels like Mania isn't for wrestling fans anymore, and that's a shame, because as much as I think WWE truly believes--and wants us to believe--that they are an integral piece of popular culture, engrained into the psyche of America, they aren't, and they never will be. Nobody watching the show, whether on PPV or live in the building, gave a rat's ass about Diddy performing. No disrespect towards him, but everyone watching was bitterly clinging to the idea that the time could have been better spent, and bragging over the fact that Snooki and Michael Strahan were in attendance at their biggest show of the year shows just how out of touch they are (again, no disrespect intended). What I'm trying to say is that the last few years, Mania has felt less and less like a wrestling show, and that's a dangerous reality, because it will NEVER be more than that despite those at the top's best efforts, and they risk alienating their audience if they fail to realize that.

-Ryan Niepagen
Bloomington, IL

Thumbs up

I ordered this show with my cousin. We loved the show save for the Ryback Henry finish which seemed to have been placed there solely to have a finish that wasn't predictable (since they immediately negated the win after the match)
I can't believe Taker, after all of these years now, still manages to have the best match on the show.

Triple H vs Brock was really good the last few minutes, though tha wrong man won.

Punk Cena was better than last year

The rest of the show was so/so

Will Kingsley Queens NY

Thumbs Up

 

Best Match – Punk/Taker

 

Worst Match – HHH/Brock

 

Was there live on the floor and it was an amazing experience.  Was surprised to see Miz win the IC Title, and it was a really quick match.  The video they showed to open the show of the WWE Stars over the years was great and I think it’s a bit telling that RVD was included in this clip.

 

Shield/Sheamus-Show-Orton was what I expected except for Show doing the heel turn at the end (if you can call it that)  Nice to see the young guys get the win.

 

Henry/Ryback was what you would expect, and that was fine for me.  Ryback got his heat back in the end and there was a HUGE “Sexual Chocolate” chant for Henry during the match.

 

Hell No/Langston-Ziggler was a short match, but the crowd was happy to see Bryan get the win and the YES chants at the end were some of the loudest of the night.

 

Fandango/Jericho was a pretty good match and Dango looked good in his first official match.  I liked the ending with the small package, but I do wish he would get a new finisher.

 

Punk/Taker was just simple amazing life.  This is only my second show, but this match raised the bar for what I’ve seen and all the near falls were amazing.  This match left me on such a high.

 

HHH/Brock just didn’t seem to click for me at the start.  It’s a no holds barred match and there weren’t going nuts doing suplexes and wrestling moves.  It picked up at the end and I loved HBK’s involvement.  As for the ending I hated it beyond belief and that’s the reason I said it was the worst match.  I don’t understand why HHH needed to go over. I do think this match was hurt going after Punk/Taker.

 

HOF part was nice and expected, and then Cena’s music hit and I think the crowd was mostly shocked, but they quickly turned to boos.  NY/NJ just doesn’t like Cena and we let him know.  The first time he threw his hat in the crowd it was thrown back.  Rock was loved, but there was a noticeable lack of Rock chants, most a Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks chant.  The match was an improvement over last years and I liked it despite the ending which you knew was going to happen.

Chris Callan



Thumbs Up
Best Match: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match: The 8 person tag that never happened.
 
This show was the passing of the torch...for CM Punk. After this match, I realize that he’s viewed as a/the top guy by a majority of the fans. I was there live,and his match with the Undertaker had the most reaction of anything at the show. I think he might have just earned himself another bump up at the top of the card based on how great he was tonight.
 
I saw the 8 person tag was the worst match because Triple H and Brock Lesnar wound up being the cool down match because the crowd was done by the time they got out there. I hear other people say the match was good, but I was just sitting there, numb to the whole situation.
 
I will not kill you all with a long review, but it was my first WrestleMania, and one of the highlights of my life.

Troy Cummings

Naugatuck, CT


Dave,
 
I just got back home from Mania, and I was reading your report and saw where you mentioned people telling you it was cold.  I'm not sure where those people are from, but from someone that lives in Jersey, for this time of year and that time of night, it was not cold.  I sat outside the entire night with a short sleeve shirt on, and no jacket.  The only time I felt like putting on a jacket was near the very end of the show.  I found it to be rather comfortable.
 
Bottom line is it was an outdoor show in New Jersey in early April.  It wasn't like it was gonna be 80 degrees.  I'm not sure what people expected.
 
I don't buy people being cold as a reason why the crowd reaction wasn't what was expected in some matches.  To me, it was a crowd that saw a couple of guys as stars, and they came to see those guys, and reacted big to those guys.  They saw Rock, Cena, Taker and Punk as the big stars.  HHH and Lesnar to a lesser degree.  Jericho also got a big reaction for his entrance, but the people died during his match with Fandango. 
 
The crowd reaction during the Taker/Punk match was one of the most amazing reactions live that I've ever seen in my 28 years of being a fan and going to shows.  And I think that's the reason why people didn't react well to Brock/HHH following it.  They were exhausted after Taker/Punk, and I said to my friend at the show when it happened that I thought it was a big mistake putting Brock/HHH on right after, and not putting some sort of buffer after Taker/Punk. 
 
When it's a 4 hour show and really 5 hours if you count the pre-show, you have to bring the crowd down after a big match, and give them a chance to catch their breath.  You can't just go main event after main event after main event, cause people get tired and burned out.  And then you get lessened crowd reactions like happened in some cases tonight. 
 
They used to always book their cards like that in the old days, with a couple of buffer matches to stick in between the main events, and keep the crowd fresh.  I'm not sure why they've abandoned that formula in recent years.  Didn't they used to call it the "Kill The Crowd Before The Hulkster" match back in the day?
 
That's my opinion on what happened with the crowd tonight.  I don't believe for one second that the weather had anything to do with it.
 
Dan Wahlers

Hi Dave,
 
Longtime reader Brett Birks from the UK here.
 
I recently bought a Samsung Smart TV and a few weeks ago the WWE App went live, promising consumers the ability to stream Wrestlemania live, at a price obviously, as well as subsequent pay per views.
 
In an effort to embrace the digital age, I thought I'd order the show this way. Slight problem- once downloaded, the App doesn't work. It won't even open. Everything else works wonderfully with the TV so am assuming the fault lies entirely with WWE. Not sure if this is a UK specific problem or affects you guys in the US too?
 
As a result, for the first time since 1992, I haven't watched Mania, though judging by your report, I haven't missed much- ridiculously short undercard matches, weak crowd reactions and predictable main events.
 
If you could mention the App problems I'd be grateful, just to see if anyone else is affected.
 
Many thanks,
 
Brett Birks

Hey Dave:
 
Thumbs down
 
Best match: None (using a Wrestlemania standard)
Worst match: Mark Henry vs. Ryback
 
I was on the fence as whether to buy the show or not after the build was one of the absolute worst I can remember leading up to a Wrestlemania. I ended up ordering the show and watched it with my brother, who hasn't been a wrestling fan since the 90s and lost interest about an hour into the show. Needless to say I can't believe I wasted $70 dollars on what was nothing more than a "B" show with a spectacular set.
 
I must say the set up look spectacular and came across amazing on tv at first sight. That was about the end of the good things I can say about the show.  As far as the wrestling while punk and taker had a good match, I thought it was a poor man's version on taker/edge from a few years back and just fell short of a four star match.  Other than that match nothing came close to anything more than above average match. Brock/HHH was fun but was hurt by the crowd and while it probably came across good on paper, didn't in execution. The Jericho/Fandano, the tag team title, and the shield matches all had the potential to be good or great but weren't given the time.
 
I also have to note besides the crowd being dead for most of the show the announcing was atrocious.  My TV might of well been muted as the announcing did nothing to add to the matches.  This needs to be addresses immediately as none of their main announcers at the moment can get me excited or interested in anything, which shows when the wrestling isn't lighting the world on fire either.
 
I feel WWE alienated a lot of fans who paid $70 for a completely forgettable Wrestlemania.  While not the worst, this wrestlemania has to be near the bottom for overall entertainment. Thanks for all you and Bryan do and keep up the great work.
 
 
-Josh Goldman


 


Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who should get the next featherweight title shot?