Hi Dave, thumbs in the middle.
Best Match: HHH – Taker
Worst Match: Lawler – Cole
I thought the event was disappointing. With the exception of HHH-Taker, there were really no blow away Mania matches I was hoping for. If it wasn’t for HHH-Taker this would’ve been a thumbs down show. The timing of show seemed off as well
Edge-Del Rio was good, especially the last few minutes. Maybe if they had more time it could’ve been better.
Rhodes-Rey was good too. I really like Rhodes “American Psycho” gimmick, these 2 worked well together.
Corre-Kane/Show/Kofi/Santino – Whatever, why have a match?
Punk-Orton – I thought it was good, seemed slow at times, Orton’s selling of his leg was phenomenal.
Lawler-Cole – horrible, went way too long and what a waste for Austin. Lawler sold too long and Cole is not a performer.
HHH-Taker – Great match even though it was mostly big move/kick out but in this context it worked great. Taker’s selling afterwards was so acute, great story.
6-person tag team- too short, Snooki actually did ok, better than Cole.
Miz-Cena – not even a mid card level match for Mania. Both have main-event charisma but are not main-event wrestlers. They did not seem to gel, especially Cena. The rock run-in was fine, but how are they going to explain waiting until SummerSlam or next Mania if they do that match?
Overall, wasn’t worth the $55 bucks that I shelled for it, even with Taker-HHH.
Best match: Cody v Rey
Worst match: The Corre vs. Big Show & Kane & Kofi Kingston & Santino Marella
Edge v Del Rio, decent enough opener, seemed like they were just getting going when it ended. Kind of shocked that Del Rio didn't win, it did kind of telegraph the finish of the other title match.
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes. This was my favorite match on the show. I LOVED Rey's Captain America costume. I know Rey can't go like he used to but I really liked the story of this match. And thought it made Cody.
The Corre vs. Big Show & Kane & Kofi Kingston & Santino Marella. honestly I went to the bathroom during this match and when I came back it was over. 90 seconds, remember when members of the Corre were part of the hottest freshest angle in WWE in years? just a few months ago? Also they might as well put the tag titles in the trash at this point.
Randy Orton vs. C.M. Punk, decent match with a great well timed finish, looked great.
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole. a disappointment. Lawler should have just destroyed him the entire time. I don't get the decision reversal at the end of the match. Does this mean I still have to put up with the heel Micheal Cole announcer? Also the laptop GM needs to go. When you think about it the three biggest heels in WWE are a dead wrestler's widow, a laptop and the lead announcer. Something is wrong with that picture.
Undertaker vs. HHH. HHH's entrance was just great. I really liked the match but I think it almost had too many false finishes. I plan on rewatching it today. Both guys deserve a ton of credit for working so hard, though. I was surprised by no HBK involvement. Taker must really really like and respect HHH to do a stretcher job like that.
Dolph Ziggler & LayCool vs. John Morrison & Trish Stratus & Snooki. fine for what it was. And was placed in the position in needed to be. Snooki surprised me with her flipz. The right finish which may get them the mainstream publicity they crave so much.
The Miz vs. John Cena. The day of the show I thought that if Rock was going to do a match with Cena, neither of them need the belt. And the book Miz so weak, that I knew that Rock would give Cena the Rock Bottom and Miz would get the pin. The match was ok, maybe HHH-Taker should have gone on last. I really liked Miz's opening video package, this is what they needed to be playing on the shows weeks before Mania, kind of showing how hard he worked to get to be where he is now. Well, that and having him win matches over top stars. I was not a fan of his giant marshmallow AWESOME sign, just looked really corny. I really disliked Cena's entrance, it just seemed really pandering to the audience. Hey, we're in the South, John Cena has a southern choir, his graphic on the titan tron has the rebel flag, please don't boo this man.
Overall, a good not great show. I don't get all the negativity towards it. I mean I lived through Mania 9. Also if Mania 25 didn't have that awesome Taker v HBK match and Steamboat, it would have been an absolute stinker.
Hi Dave, I'm in Atlanta and saw all the shows live. In all it's been an excellent weekend of great matches.
Wrestlemania: Thumbs down
Best match: Undertaker vs HHH
Worst match: Cole vs Lawler
Sure, I can understand that you need to grade a match with a largely untrained announcer on a curve, but it was just inexcusably bad. The crowd died a death, as people sat in silence, baffled by what was going on. And the ending was goofy.
Pulling Sheamus and Bryan for a disastrous battle royal was a poor idea, and the eight man, while mercifully short, was not lighting the world on fire either. I missed the entire mixed-gender match waiting in line for a washroom, so I can't comment.
UT/HHH was alright, but since the ending was not really ever in doubt, and watching two guys spend 20 minutes lying motionless on the canvas selling a never-ending series of finishers just starts to drag. Everything else was fine, I suppose, and maybe if I hadn't seen so many excellent shows leading up to it I would have been more forgiving.
ROH night one: Thumbs way up
Best match: Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong
Worst match: El Generico vs Michael Elgin
Awesome show, neck and neck with the second DGUSA show as the best of the weekend. Three blow-away awesome matches, where I could have easily picked the Kings of Wrestling vs Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team or Eddie Edwards vs Chris Daniels as match of the night. The crowd was pretty hot (unfortunately, for people like me who went to five shows in three days, it's hard to keep up that energy for so long, especially when you're drinking the entire time and hardly sleeping), and it was just a fun atmosphere, where you feel like you're seeing something special.
There was nothing wrong with the Generico match, and it was good that they didn't go all out for the overall pacing, but it was the weakest match. Not a bad match for the entire night though, and three matches in the four-plus star range.
ROH day two: Thumbs up
Best match: American Wolves vs Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team
Worst match: Colt Cabana vs Dave Taylor
Another great show with excellent matches up and down, as The Kings of Wrestling vs Cole and O'Reilly was great if a little short as the opener, The All Night Express brought their A-Game for their match with the Briscoes (including the grisliest juice job I've seen in ages courtesy of Jay). A step down from night one, and the crowd was clearly tired, but still a ton of fun.
DGUSA night one: Thumbs up
Best match: PAC vs Akira Tozawa
Worst match: Jon Moxley vs Arik Cannon
A step up from the second ROH show from earlier in the day, this was another show with three incredible matches, since choosing best match was a coin flip, because Yamato vs Austin Aries and the six man tag main event (Ricochet, CIMA and Naruki Doi vs Ronin). The first half dragged a bit as some matches underperformed, although the amazing second half and my new favourite wrestler Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa made up for any shortcomings. Many people had tears in their eyes from laughing at the poor little goof's antics.
DGUSA day two: Thumbs way up
Best match: Yamato vs Akira Tozawa
Worst match: Dark City Fight Club vs Arik Cannon and Sami Callahan
Possibly the best show of the weekend, at least up there with the first ROH show. None of the matches were bad, but the DCFC against the new team of Callahan and Cannon was short and underwhelming. Stalker again warmed my heart in his wacky comedy match getting squashed by Brodie Lee.
In all a great weekend of wrestling, although the big show came up dreadfully short in comparison, as I can think of at least ten matches from this weekend that were better than anything on Mania. Tozawa was a superstar this weekend, Brodie Lee really impressed, and I was also impressed by Cole and O'Reilly.
Best Match: Undertaker vs Triple H
Worst Match: John Cena vs The Miz
Biggest Disappointment: No Daniel Bryan- Sheamus Match
Predicted Buy: 950,000
There is no way to give a show a thumbs down with a match like Triple H and Undertaker. For as much heat as Triple H has taken through the years, you saw two men that would literally give their lives for Wrestling and the WWE. And nothing I’ve seen in MMA or Wrestling has been better in the last year!
John Cena was horrible in the ring tonight. The Miz looked like he was on but Cena (and I like how JR not so casually pointed this out) was just way off. And the ending just made it a horrible way to end Wrestlemania. They should have stuck with the original plans and put Undertaker vs. Triple H on last.
I think Bryan is going to be surprised with the buy rate. My teenage daughter said even at her High School Wrestlemania was the big talk. How many years has it been since you could say that? I think goofy Snookie paid off
on that end!
Between Cena being so off and the Bryan-Sheamus match not happening the night did end on a bit of a downer but, I still feel I saw something special with Undertaker-Triple H! Just an awesome spectacle!
WrestleMania (EntertainmentMania?) XXVII Thoughts
Thumbs in the middle; leaning up
Best Match: Undertaker vs. Triple H
Worst “Match”: John Cena vs. The Miz
Overview: WrestleMania XXVII was an average show that was derailed by an excess of “ENTERTAINMENT” over the taboo concept of “wrestling.” Time management murdered the last hour of the show, which was almost saved by a superhuman performance by The Undertaker, a man seemingly held together with scotch tape and thumb tacks, and Triple H, who is not doing much better. However, an exceptional amount of long, pointless segments, the exclusion of a potential show stealer, and some of the most inane booking I have ever witnessed at this level left me feeling cold after the closing graphic. Try as they might, Undertaker and HHH could not turn this into a homerun show, but they sure gave it their best shot…
Opening Rock Promo: Good stuff, as you would expect from The Rock. However, looking back on the show as a whole, this was a TON of wasted time. Between America The Beautiful, an intro video package, The Rock’s entrance/promo, and ANOTHER INTRO VIDEO PACKAGE, a half hour of the show was gone. Little did I know that this would be the catalyst for one of this show’s worst issues; lack of time management. But, none of that is the Rock’s fault. He was great here, and the people loved this man. He promised that history would be made, and I was amped. To keep things neat, I will address most of the Rock’s involvement on this show here as well. Between Mae Young, Pee Wee Herman, Mean Gene and whatever time-wasters he starred in, I felt that they used him just because they had him… Pointless segments that make some of the time issues even more frustrating. Having said that, his stare-down with Austin was pretty rad. Man, I wish they could still go…
Edge vs. Alberto del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship): Great opener here. I was really into Alberto as a heel, attacking the arm like a sadist, while Brodus Clay used every opportunity to throw his ample weight around. Christian got involved, the crowd was hot, and the work was excellent. The only black eye on this match is that I was SURE Alberto was going over here, and thought it would have made for a more impactful start to the show. I am worried for Alberto, as I see no logical reason that he should have lost here. At least we appear to be primed for a rematch next month, maybe with a Christian heel turn. Side note: I thought for sure that when Christian was standing by with a pipe, watching Edge wreck del Rio’s car that he was going to ambush Edge. Alas, it was not to be. Booking issues aside, great, hot opener.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: For the most part, I have been very cold on Rhodes. He has done very little for me in the past. However, I am digging this “Phantom of the Opera” gimmick quite a bit, as it is fresh and blows “Dashing” Cody Rhodes out of the water. This was not a show-stealer, but it was a pretty fun match. The heel went over, which is the right move for a new feud. I expected a bit more, but really got into it, especially when Rey started using Cody’s protective mask to do some damage. I expect that their rematch, likely at Extreme Rules, will get more time and tell an even better tale. This is a feud that I expect will get better each time they wrestle. Good, above average match.
Snoop Dogg was there and people sang. I think. I dunno. I have blocked this from my memory already. I recall incoherent Grease lyrics and bouncing pecs… which means this either sucked or was awesome. Who could care? Next…
Team Santino vs. The Corre: I refuse to spend more time recapping this than it lasted. Cobra. Pin. Trombone. Yay. Whatever. Next…
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton: As someone who has never seen the appeal of Orton, as he is slow, boring, and average for the most part, I actually liked this match. I didn’t love it, but I think these guys work well together. Punk’s facials are money. He is a great villain. Really wish they hadn’t given away Randy’s attempted-punt-but-fall-down-go-boom spot on RAW, but this was forgiven with the pretty awesome mid-air RKO to end it. In opposition to Rhodes/Rey having the right ending for a fresh feud, this ended with the face overcoming the dastardly villain, and thus I see no point for a rematch. It’ll happen anyway, and I am fine with it, but… man, I would have liked a Punk victory on the big stage.
I think the Hall of Fame people appeared, but I blinked, and missed it. Except for Shawn, who got a few seconds to pop the crowd. I miss Shawn. Shows like this depress me, because I just don’t know if there will ever be another Shawn Michaels. Ugh.
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole: Thank GOD Lawler came out to his music, and not the abomination that he came out to on RAW. This match should have been better, and much, MUCH shorter. Loved Lawler smashing Cole’s face into the COLE mine. From there, it should have been punch, fist drop, piledriver, stunner, piledriver again, and pin. Then lots and lots of beer. Instead, you had COLE OFFENSE, which was awful, followed by Lawler having to SELL COLE OFFENSE, which was worse. In the end, Lawler got to beat down Cole, which was great, but it needed to be more definitive. I have seen many people proclaim this was the worst match of the show, which I suppose is true from a work rate standpoint… but I cannot fathom giving that distinction to anything but the main event, due to the awful work done there and the terrible, stupid, inane, useless, ridiculous booking. I am getting ahead of myself. This ultimately delivered the visuals of Cole being beaten senseless, despite me having to suffer through him “getting heat” on the King, so it was not a complete wash and ultimately delivered a distilled version of what I wantd. Plus, we got JR on commentary, which made the rest of the show much, much easier on the ears. Best JR line: “Michael Cole is a pimple on the buttocks of life.” I miss you, JR. Save us. Also, Booker T did a great spit take after his stunner, and Austin was great as usual, despite being bleeped… a constant reminder that this is a castrated version of WEE (World Entertainment Entertainment).
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan: Match of the night! **** affair! Amazing work! Bryan unleashed some spectacular submission entertainment on Sheamus, before Sheamus delivered a shot to Bryan’s head with the CHAMPIONSHIP (not a belt) to win like the prick that he is! I am SO GLAD THIS ADVERTISED MATCH WAS ON THE SHOW! (Disclaimer: It wasn’t. And I’m pissed. But, I guess it makes sense. I needed to know about the WrestleMania reading challenge and golf tournament on the $65 pay per view, and any chance to see Pee Wee Herman is a rare treat for us wre… entertainment fans.) Ok, I feel better… not really…
The Undertaker vs. Triple H: I watched this match with a room full of non wrestling fans, and will summarize this match by quoting one of the observers. “Wow, that match seemed a lot more realistic than any of the other ones we have seen so far. Are they in a different division or class or something?” Yes… Yes, they are. These two are in a league of their own, out-classing the entire roster in a match that I feel is an instant WrestleMania classic. I read a review that called this “one of the worst WrestleMania matches of all time” and am still laughing. That is just ignorant. I see the complaints that they did about four minutes of wrestling, and stretched it out for a half hour. I understand that. But… geez… they made those four minutes WORK! What a story! These guys managed to trick EVERYONE into thinking… for at least a second… that the streak was over. HHH delivering THREE (!!!!) pedigrees and a TOMBSTONE (!!!!) lit up the crowd. Two guys who are winding down their careers, and who are HURTING, went out and WRESTLED. Screw entertainment… this is genuine, classic, amazing PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING! These guys both sold this like it was the beating of a lifetime. The imagery of HHH slowly lifting the hammer while locked in the Hell’s gate… only to lose the last remaining bit of energy he had… and then deliver the saddest tap-out I have ever seen. So good. I want to watch this again. Now. Why aren’t I?
This show is over, right? Amazing show! Great show! Loved it… wait, there is another hour? What happens? … … … Oh yeah. Ugh. Ok. If I must…
Morrison/ Trish/ Snooki vs. Laycool/ Dolph Ziggler: Ok, count me in the minority, but this match was hardly a reason to criticize this show. It went like… three minutes, had a bit where Trish got to work, Morrison got to flip, and Snooki did two moves that were better than… say… Donald Trump taking the worst stunner of all time. This was what it was, got some extra publicity for the event, and I am hardly offended by it.
John Cena vs. The Miz (WWE Championship Match): What does offend me is this heaping pile of a main event. Awful match. Terrible. Following some pretty great video packages (especially the Miz one… amazing), these two wrestled an opening match at an early 90s house show, that ended in a double count-out. It was boring and disjointed in the ring, and then ended with a… um… fall/flip/collapse/faint/stupid bump over the guard rail, where they were both COUNTED OUT. Swear to God. That happened. Then The Rock came out and restarted the match. Because he can, I guess. I mean, really, why not re-do Starcade 1997 and have Bret declare himself the ref for no reason too, eh? So, the Rock makes it a no DQ match, so that he can attack Cena. Why bother re-starting the match? Just attack him. Also, why make it NO DQ, if you have the power to restart matches… if Miz got DQ’d because of your interference, just re-start it again? Why not just keep restarting it until both guys collapse in a heap of exhaustion, while the Rock laughs maniacally outside the ring? Then, just to underline the fact that The Miz, ya know, sucks or whatever, The Rock beat him down, too! GREAT! Can I pre-order Extreme Rules now?! Because GOD KNOWS this ending makes me want to see the rematch of the losers who the Rock beat up, as they battle for a meaningless bel… championship? Seriously, who looks good here? Cena looks stupid for doing a move that got him COUNTED OUT in the main event of EntertainmentMania. Miz got beat up by everyone. I’m surprised Alex Riley didn’t pin him on the road to Mania, because I think everyone else did. Miz cannot be taken seriously by anyone at this point. Yeah, he won, after being counted out and pinning a guy that another guy beat up. AAAAAAAAWWESSSSOOOOMEE. Rock looks stupid for making nonsensical calls and rulings, when, if full of such match making power, he could have inserted himself in the match and won the CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE (As a side note, does a championship go around a waist, or is that too SOUTHERN WRASSLIN’?). None of this makes sense. Everyone looks dumb. No one got over. I don’t want to see what comes next here. I. Do. Not. Care. What a horrible end to a show that was pretty good for the most part. I hate when good shows have bad endings… it makes the whole thing seem like a waste.
Dear Vince: Thank you for spending time on what is important, such as making sure no one says “wrestling,” “belts” or “sport.” This has made the product much more meaningful to me, a life-long fan. Some suggestions… maybe they shouldn’t be “matches” anymore, but “meetings” or “spectacles”. Who needs “submission holds” when you could have “stretchy bendys” or “pain-makers”? I think this is an excellent and effective use of time and man-power. In the meantime, unimportant things like “delivering what is advertised” and “logical booking” have been pushed aside, showing that your priorities are, indeed, in order. Hey, maybe you can officially change the name of this event, so that I won’t feel an obligation to buy it next year. Thanks, buddy.
Phew. Glad I got that out of the way. So, main-event fecal matter aside, this was a pretty fun show containing a match that all PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING fans should seek out. Trips and Taker put on a clinic, delivering an instant classic. Do yourself a favor though, and stop watching when that match ends. It makes the show an easy thumbs up.
P.S. : I expect WWE to attempt a make-good here, and deliver a Bryan/Sheamus title match on RAW or Extreme Rules, which will most likely rule. Too little, too late.
I would WM 27 a "thumbs in the middle", I thought it was better than last year's and enjoyable in parts, but overall did not feel like a true 'Mania classic that will be remembered for years to come.
I had no problem with The Rock opening the show as the host. He is so entertaining and watching the crowd practically eat out of his hand and hang on his every word just proves the impact he's had on the audience and how he can dominate a show and make it his own just by uttering a few catch-phrases and making jokes.
Edge VS Del Rio was a strange choice to open, but it was a good match and the crowd was into it (there was a noticeable "Del Rio" chant going on there as well). I didn't expect Del Rio to win, so I had no problem with the finish. However, the vandalism by Edge & Christian in the post-match felt unnecessary.
Rey VS Rhodes was a nice effort, but the live audience appeared to piss on it, which was a shame as both guys tried really hard and told a great story. Rhodes going over was absolutely the right decision.
I thought the "sing off" was ok. I know a few people have complained, but really, it was just a bit of fun, and how much time did it really eat up? Beth & Khali were my favourites.
The 8-Man tag was a waste of time. It was so short; it makes you wonder why the even bothered.
Rock’s meeting with Eve Torres and Mae Young backstage was a good laugh and the "stare-down" with Austin was a nice slice of nostalgia.
I wasn’t so high on Punk/ Orton. It started well, but dragged in the middle, before picking up in the closing moments. The finish, however, looked awesome.
The "Pee Wee Herman" skit was poor, although it was funny to see Mean Gene decked out in the Cena gear.
The Hall Of Fame guys weren’t given enough time. We didn’t see any of the stars who inducted them, plus there was no "highlights package" of the ceremony to promote the edited version that will be shown on USA tomorrow night. Nice to see Shawn get his own introduction, though and Sunny looked radiant on that stage.
Cole/ Lawler was fun in the beginning, but it went downhill when Cole began working on King’s leg for WAY too long and the crowd lost interest. For this match to truly work, they should have shortened it or at least added more distractions or interference (for example, Jim Ross could have got up and got a few shots in on Cole). Also, the finish was appalling (if it’s WM and not Raw, then how can the "anonymous Raw General Manager" have any say-so in a WM-sanctioned match?).
I did feel a bit sorry for Booker T and Josh Mathews in the post-match, but this has always been the way of the "Stone Cold" character ("DTA" and all that). Also, someone should really have a word with Austin and brief him about WWE’s current "PG" policy. The man was dropping "f-bombs" left and right (there must have been a slight delay in broadcasting as WWE’s production team managed to blank them all out). I know the Austin character has never been "PG", however if guys aren’t allowed to blade in a match and Divas aren’t allowed to wear outfits that are too revealing to keep things "PG", then Austin shouldn’t be allowed to blatantly spew obscenities on camera.
Undertaker VS HHH was the best match on the card, although it wasn’t better than either of the ‘Taker/ Michaels ‘Mania matches or the now "erased" ‘Taker/ HHH classic from WM X7. That said, it was better than I thought it would be; very physical and exciting in places. (Disappointed though, that HBK didn’t get involved at all).
However, Undertaker’s condition in the post-match troubled me. I know they may be trying to sell the fact that he was "taken to the brink" by HHH, but ‘Taker looked in bad shape. It took him an eternity to get out of the ring and even then he needed help. I agree he may have been "selling", but even so, he looked to be in rough shape. Surely once he goes "20-0" at next year’s WM, it’ll be time to retire.
Morrison, Trish & Snooki VS Ziggler & Lay-Cool was short and did not make good use of the guys, but was okay while it lasted. Trish doesn’t seemed to have lost a beat since retiring from full-time competition in 2006 and Snooki shocked everyone with her remarkably good hand-spring elbow and finishing splash.
The Miz VS John Cena was just bizarre. The crowd reacted badly to the Gospel choir and it got worse when Cena hit the ring. I think both guys tried here, but the crowd killed it early on (the majority wanted to boo Cena, but Miz also got booed) and the amount of cheap interference from Riley made it appear like a throwaway main event on Raw.
The star of the match was The Rock, but even when he appeared to cut another promo and order a re-start, this too damaged the match (again, it felt like the sort of "cop-out" main event you’d find on Raw). Then he "Rock-Bottomed’" Cena and it was over.
In the post-match, Rock attacked Miz and gave him "The People’s Elbow". I found this a little sad, as Miz is still the WWE Champion and should have had the "last word" on a PPV such as this. As much as I’d loved The Rock all evening, it was odd that WWE chose to end the event with all the attention on him. After all, he’ll be back off to Hollywood before long, leaving the likes of Miz struggling to achieve high ratings and impressive PPV buys as they’ve been portrayed as being inferior to WWE’s stars of the past.
Overall, though, it was an okay show, but I worry how WWE are going to do a WM when the likes of Rock, Austin, ‘Taker etc are officially broken down or retired.
Thumbs in the middle for match quality, Thumbs way down for booking
Best Match: Undertaker / Triple H
Worst Match: Lawler / Cole
I wasn’t going to buy Wrestlemania this year, but I relented when there were rumors of a possible Rock impromptu match at the end. I ended up being very disappointed with the overall show and I feel that the Undertaker / Triple H match was the only one worth paying for, but not $55.
This show proves how badly Vince McMahon has fallen as a booker and how it is past time that he stepped aside and let someone else run the company. This show had the opportunity to have Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, CM Punk, John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger all shine or be elevated. Instead only Cody was elevated, Miz retained but looked weaker than ever doing it, Bryan and Sheamus were pushed off the show and everyone else either got jobbed or was given no time. Instead we got Edge, Orton, Big Show and Snooki going over strong on the future stars and we had Undertaker, Triple H, Austin and Rock outshine everyone else on the card in 2011. Because of this it is a guarantee that next year’s show will need another Undertaker / Triple H match and more Rock and Austin appearances to save the show again. The biggest travesty of the night was the 3 month, textbook perfect push of Alberto Del Rio ending with him getting pinned and humbled as the climax.
It almost feels like the show was built up in a certain direction with new stars going over strong and then they got cold feet and changed their minds at the last minute and went with the “old reliables”. It is obvious from this show’s booking and the interviews with past WWE writers on the site this week that Vince McMahon is incapable of long-term booking and is more concerned with outsmarting the fans that are buying his product and end up leaving unsatisfied. Between this and his delusional notion of suppressing “Wrestling” from the company’s name while at the same time promoting a show called “Wrestlemania”, he is becoming a Howard Hughes-like figure, making decisions based on paranoia and irrationality instead of what’s good for his business, while at the same time looking down on and disenfranchising his most loyal audience. Vince is becoming more and more like TNA in that respect.
Because of his paranoid style of booking, there are only two type of people who will ever be pushed. The first is the “surprise” champion (like Miz) who the fans won’t accept because there was no strong build but satisfies Vince’s need to always fool the audience. The other is the Alberto Del Rio type who gets a solid build that the fans accept, but never gets the logical climax and gets cut off at the knees because the fans always have to be swerved. It proves that he has lost the ability to create new stars for his company and that he is doing tremendous damage to the long-term state of the product. We will see what the future holds, but I feel that the WWE is becoming more and more like a company running on the legacy of its past, being propped up by a shrinking group of hardcore fans that will stay until the bitter end with no expansion of new fans.
Keep up the good work,
Thumb in the middle
Best match: Taker/HHH
Worst match: Cole/Lawler
Just wanted to comment on the HHH/Taker match as it was the match of the night. Great effort by both men and a great job of storytelling. Especially in context to the new Taker intro song by Johnny Cash. 3 Pedigrees and a tombstone just could not hold that body down. ****1/2
Thumbs way down for booking / thumbs up for talent who worked hard when time allowed.
Worst: HHH vs Taker
Best: Orton vs Punk (despite wrong guy going over)
Best moment: Reilly selling Big Show's knockout punch
Worst moment: Anything with Snoop Dogg
Why HHH v Taker as worst? Most of the almost hour of the show it sucked up were walking to the ring, leaving the ring, or laying in the ring. That's not wrestling or entertainment. The most exciting talent on the card -- like Morrison, Bryna or Kingston, got no chance to shine while Big Show or McCool eat up what little ring time that was available. The guys they need to carry company from now on - Punk, Barrett, Miz, and Del Rio come out with no heat. I don't watch WWE anymore. I keep on reading Observer, and only order Wrestlemania. After this, I'm questioning why. I love Austin, Rock, HHH, and Taker who were great performers in their day, but it is time for them to go home.
Overall: Thumbs Up
Best Match: Taker/Hunter
Worst Match: Snooki
I gave this year’s Wrestlemania a thumbs up mainly because I managed my expectations. I bought this show for Triple H/Undertaker, hopping it would be an excellent match and I was not disappointed. I thought maybe Rey and Cody, Edge and Alberto, or Orton and Punk had the potential to step up and have a potential show stealer, but they didn’t. All of these matches were entertaining, but not blow away great Wrestlemania caliber matches. Punk and Orton was the most entertaining of those three. I was surprised Rey did a diving head but in Atlanta, if WWE was still a wrestling promotion maybe Cole could have said “shades of Harley Race,” or something, but anytime I see a diving head but I immediately think Chris Benoit.
Cole and Lawler was a major disappointment. Cole was on offense for way too long and his comedy stalling really pissed me off as did most of the useless video packages and comedy segments. I was looking forward to Sheamus and Bryan so I was watching for things that wasted time – like Cena’s stupid choir which the crowd booed. WWE should have put Cole in a different outfit. His on air character does not seem like the kind of guy that would have tattoos much less tattoos that look like they were acquired in prison. I understand he plays a character but that just slapped the audience in the face with it. The match was the biggest disappointment of the night.
The Snooki match and the Smackdown Geek’s 8 man were just there and mercifully short. Although, Snooki doing handsprings was a surprise and a sight to behold. I guess she stayed sober for the event.
Taker/HHH was awesome. Hunter looked like he came down on his wrist when he took the back drop off the table. He either sold that really well or he is hurt. As someone who has broken a wrist, I knew it was broken right away and the best way to hold my arm to mitigate the most pain was the way HHH held his. Both men’s entrances did take forever but they were great and well worth the time. Undertaker being a dead Dead Man at the end could have been cut in half though.
Cena/Miz was bad, I didn’t expect much though, a piss poor excuse for a main event. Rock’s involvement was disappointing as well. I didn’t expect him to wrestle but I expected more from him, physically. The Raw General Manager deal was stupid on this PPV. He could overturn the Cole match but the Rock could override him in the end!?!?
Overall, not a great wrestling show, but as a pure spectacle it was entertaining. Which, I’m sure, was Vince McMahon’s goal.
Baton Rouge, LA
Thumbs in the middle
Best match HHH v Undertaker
Worst match the tab with Snookie
Rock ok and without him at the end it would have been Thumbs down only matches I really enjoyed were HHH v Undertaker and Punk v Randy. There seemed to be a lot of fill time especially toward the end with Undertaker after his match (unless he was really hurt) and the lead in to the Cena v Miz match.
Thumbs in Middle
I thought if it weren’t for the HHH/Taker the show would be a big thumbs down. The Cena intro was totally disgusting. I felt I was watching a Joel Osteen intro. The Punk/Orton match was a good match. I was not disappointed at the Lawler show, because I expected it to be bad. They should’ve brought out Bill Dundee or Austin Idol to make it more realistic. The Cody/Rey match was dull, and it would’ve been better to have it as a dark match. Do you think if Cody wasn’t Dusty’s kid he’d even be on the show? The Corre is dead, so why not kill them and end it. But end it as a dark match. Why is the Big Fat One Man Gang Clone out during the match. It was disgusting. The Taker/HHH stole the show, and I was amazed at all the chair shots. I won’t be buying another one until next year. They should also offer the Hall of Fame if you buy the show.
What a disappointing weekend wrestling-wise. First I ordered the ROH weekend PPV's and they were barely visible even with a high-end fiber optic connection with great bandwidth. I will never do this again. That said, even though this looked like a 4th generation VHS dub, the action I saw here was world better than this amazing looking HD sensation called WrestleMania.
What a waste for $65. I thought this would be an amazing show given the disappointing line-up I really thought they would amp it up on game day. No Seamus-Bryan, did they ever even announce this on TV? Also was actually looking forward to the 8-man and they killed that quick too. Did they not time this show out until the day of the show?
Obviously Thumbs Down
Best match - Triple H-Undertaker
Worst match - Lawler-Cole
I really want to give worst match to Cena-Miz but it was more due to the fact the crowd was dead for this and the bad booking more than the two athletes in the ring. Even doing the Hogan-Yoko finish would have been better than this.
Lawler-Cole was an embarassment of epic proportions. I guess no one though to look at Lawler-Jimmy Hart from 1981 to see how to properly execute this.
I think I'm done buying PPV's for a while, I think I've seen all I need to see with Cena-Rock-Miz. No reason to pay $50 next month.
Staten Island NY
Best match: Taker vs HHH
Worst match: Lawler vs Cole
Who the F' booked this crap! Will go down in history right there with WM7 & WM9 as the worst WrestleMania of all time. The pacing and timing of the show is all wrong plus they cut Danial Bryan vs Seamus to the pre show warm- up. It was great to get JR back for a coupla matches. And when are they gonna kill/ pay off on the raw gm storyline. Finish or make it go away forever! Tonight raw will likely be a better show than last night.
Thumbs in the middle...barely.
First the good: loved Punk/Orton. Punk especially was great. Also thought Rey/Cody was strong, and enjoyed Cody Rhodes' I'm-scarred-for-life gimmick and Rey's Captain America outfit.
Taker/HHH was good for me but not great. Felt like it was something of a letdown, though I defended the tapout finish to my friends who watched with me.
I enjoyed Edge/Alberto as well, though I agree about people saying the car was more important than the title.
I was totally mystified by Cena/Miz, and am I the only one who noticed Cena's name card on the big screen had a Confederate flag motif? It wasn't the full flag with the X, but it was definitely Confederate inspired. I understand they're in the Dirty South, but even the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie had sense enough to mock the Rebel flag in Atlanta rather than celebrate it. Cena seemed lethargic from the start, the match never really got hot, and yeah that finish was atrocious.
King/Cole was up and down...it dragged up until King finally started getting offense in, and agreed it should have ended with a pildriver, Kaufman-style.
Also everyone is raving about Snooki, but Michelle McCool had to come out of the corner so her handspring move would actually connect, then she botched the backflip to pin as well.
The show also would have benefitted from a solid Bryan/Sheamus match, but hey, we needed star-studded, so Pee Wee and Snoop Dogg got the rub.
Thumbs way, way, way down
Awful show that blew a lot of decent build up. Punk and Orton told the best story of the night, with Rey and Cody just behind. Main event was a waste with a TNA-like finish.
And why is everybody so up the ass of that atrocious Taker/HHH match? They blew their hardcore spots too early and then absolutely killed the crowd with their finisher/pin/kickout/nap sequence that went on forever. Also, Taker murdered what was left of the crowd with his sell job after the match. Just go away old man!
After the shit fest that was WM 25, I told myself I would never buy another WWE PPV. The Rock brought me back, but now I'm staying away forever.
Thumbs WAAAAAY Down.
I don't know how anyone short of a hardcore Miz mark could possibly
like this show. The entire match was weak as The Miz presents no valid
threat to anyone on the roster. The countout, Rock restart, Rock
Bottom for the screwjob finish was downright terrible and still
doesn't get The Miz any credibility. Lawler/Cole had Lawler selling
for much too long. The end was fine until the swerve announcement.
What purpose did that serve? Are we really getting another match? Who
wants that? Not putting Del Rio over and not having Christian do
anything worthwhile made that entire opening segment flat. Who care if
they beat up the car? Doesn't Del Rio supposedly own 100 others?
Dumping Sheamus/Bryan for Snoop Dogg? I didn't watch Wrestlmania for
some has been rapper. Taker/HHH was fine for the most part, but it
didn't seem to have much psychology for most of it. It was far from
great, though may have been the best match on the show by default.
Worst Wrestlemania Ever? It's arguable. In no way was it worth the
money, fun, exciting, or memorable. Again, the ending probably pleased
the Miz marks, but the rest of us who actually like wrestling know
Best Match: Undertaker v HHH
Worst Match: The Corre v Four Guys
Cena could have done without the choir opening OR the video package. But an extra five minutes would not have helped the main event suck slightly less. WWE has had Cena in the main event position for 7+ years and he did have a great match with Batista LAST year, bur he still needs help occasionally and this was one of those times. The Miz needed help for 3-4 months and got very little. His clean wins over second tier guys like Morrison and Lawler in the past few months did nothing to make him seem like a champion - screwjobs over Orton and Cena did not help.
Otherwise a mediocre show except for Hunter and Taker throwing themselves around and working the crowd into a frenzy by the end. I guess even tough HHH had the opportunity to move himself into the main event position, they felt the finish with two veteran guys limping to the back and being crated off - didn't give the appearance of "building for the future." Than again, a 2011 PPV ending with the Rock celebrating does not build confidence that the company is fully behind any new talent.
I cannot think of another WM that ended with a heel victory.
Best match: Undertaker Vs HHH
Worst match: The rest of the show
If I cut off my thumbs and buried them six feet under, it still wouldn't be "thumbs down" enough. Unlike a lot of people who have offered feedback, I won't lower my standards.
This show was a pan of diarrhoea. I haven't ordered or watched a WWE PPV event in years, and this is what I come back to.
As wrestling is now a dirty word, I'll just say that as an entertainment show, it made me want to drive nails into my eyes and sandpaper my ears out.
Aside from the above mentioned best match, and one or two other little things, this was an abortion swimming in the sewer pipes of "sports entertainment".
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Match: Undertaker V Triple H
Worst Match: Eight Man Tag
You know a PPV's in trouble when almost half an hour is gone in the show before the first wrestling match starts (Edge V Del Rio). I understand the national anthem is a mainstay at 'Mania (the girl sang it beautifully, BTW) and that the Rock was always going to get airtime. But come on! Did it WrestleMania really need THREE openings (the national anthem, the "entertainment"-style "Welcome to Atlanta" package and the usual historical opening? I paid my money to see wrestling (sorry Vince), not an extended edition of Raw. The opening match was a good way to start the show, but why have the World Heavyweight Championship match as the curtain raiser? Maybe it's just me, but that booking decision just seemed to demean the title. The aftermath to the Edge/Del Rio encounter was dragged out too long. In fact, with that needless portrayal of vandalism and the extended video packages throughout the night, the Daniel Bryan/Sheamus match could've easily been staged.
It seems Rey Mysterio's WrestleMania costume is now as big an attraction as Undertaker's undefeated streak is. It's just a pity WWE spent more time on his wardrobe than they did planning his match. It wasn't bad for SmackDown, but I guess that can be put down to Rey's opponent. I'm not a fan of Cody Rhodes and definitely not a fan of his character, so I guess I'm a little biased. Randy Orton V CM Punk was an enjoyable bout. But the ending seemed rushed and ended up being nothing more than Monday Night Raw main event (I think I'm going to have to watch that match again).
Jerry Lawler V Michael Cole was disappointing. Okay, it was never going to be a classic, but it just dragged out way too long. I don't understand why the anonymous Raw General Manager can get involved in a PPV match when basically, he/she has no jurisdiction. Oh well. The involvement of Booker T at the end was a waste of airtime (I guess Sheamus and Bryan really appreciated that) and the DQ swerve just added to the bemusement. This was meant to be a match to end the feud. I guess WrestleMania doesn't do that anymore.
The Undertaker V HHH was match of the night. But that's not to say it was great (no where near the quality of 'Taker's last three WM matches). It just came across as a spotfest than a wrestling match (we now know Taker can overcome being beaten by steel chairs, pedigrees, piledrivers etc to keep his streak alive). Great entrances though even if Undertaker's entrance and exit dragged on for longer than it should have.
The eight man tag match was always going to be a filler, so that - at least - lived up to my expectation. The mixed gender tag match was just the same, but credit surely must go to Snooki. For a slightly-chubby girl, she sure can move.
The main event was disappointing. I mean, "Monday Night Raw" quality of disappointing and I still can't get my head around WWE's logic for the ending. Cena's entrance was a yawn-fest, but quite peculiar with it's religious feel. The Miz's entrance video package just dragged. Still, the action in the ring wasn't much better. It was obvious the Rock was going to restart the match, but in hindsight, maybe he should've attacked Cena before the restart. WWE did nothing for Miz here except make him look like a jobber. The beat down by the Rock at the end was unnecessary UNLESS Rock plans to stick around a while. I won't lose any sleep over the fact Cena didn't win, but I hope it sets up a match between him and Rocky. I just don't know where Miz goes from here.
In closing, I give WM XXVII 5/10. It was the worst Mania of recent years, but not as bad a say, WM IX. WWE dropped the ball big time last night. It'll be interesting how they progress from here.
Nathan Patterson, Scotland.
I went quadruple PPV this weekend and bought WrestleMania, the two ROH
shows as well as DGUSA. I have lamented on this issue enough already,
but just on a quick note, the hardest one by far to buy and watch from a
technical standpoint was the WWE show, as you can't order it with a
credit card from outside the U.S., and even when I found a nice member
of the board to order the show for me, there was never a notification
about the direct link to the show sent or noted in the account settings;
I had to ask on the F4W board(!) so that someone could point me to the
right link. With WWE being a "global, integrated media company", this
really shows of a lack of understanding and interest in actually
offering their product worldwide, especially as they can charge
basically the full U.S. PPV price and keep 100% of the cut.
That being said, the WWE stream was superb, quality-wise, even though we
had a two or three lags where the picture froze in the early parts of
the show (but that might have been the local wireless network, when
connecting a network cable, things went smooth). The ROH streams on GFL
really have come a long way and looked pretty good with no technical
issues. The DGUSA stream was a slight notch below that, but still pretty
good; the show had some minor issues early on, as the stream would only
start a few minutes into the first match. Also, WWNLive won't let you
watch the stream, if you are logged onto the side (not even watching the
stream, just logged on) even from the same IP adress (I was still logged
on, on another PC in my LAN and would just get thrown back to the login
page without so much as a notice; had to contact the live chat support
to explain the issue, it woud let me stay on the video page after I
logged out from the other PC).
ROH: Both shows were just awesome and well worth the combined $19.99
spent, especially since on GFL, you can watch replays on-demand for an
unlimited period of time. Just six hours of great, exciting fun action
with just the right amount of angles shot that storylines were
progressed without shoving stuff down out throats. As night 1 aired in
the middle of the night here, I fell asleep a bit during the last match,
solely because of that fact, not because I was bored.
From what I saw, the WGTT/KoW was the best match for me, but I'll really
have to re-watch the last three matches to judge them better. The Joshi
girls were great on both nights, really enjoyed the SHIMMER matches, as
it showcased that women's wrestling works without Playboy models or
trailer park trash profanity in this day and age.
I enjoyed Night 2 even more, the WGTT/American Wolves match just blew
things away for me. I liked how they planted the seeds for an eventual
Davey/Edwards match without exploding the Wolves as TNA would have done
during the first night. The finish kind of played into a future
break-up, but was subtle enough not to distract from the story of the
match. The Briscoes/ANX match was great, and Jay's sick crimson mask
added well to the match for me. I also enjoyed KoW/Cole & O'Reilly; I
really got to know and love Cole and O'Reilly during the wXw 16Carat a
few weeks back and have become a big mark for both men. As stated above,
the SHIMMER showcase was pretty good, and I also got kicks out of
Cabana/Taylor. The Generico/Strong match was sweet and the Danielson
turn, even though predictable added to the feud, as it was just a nice
little angle that didn't really take anything away.
DGUSA: Sadly and stupidly, I constantly fell asleep, again as this aired
in the middle of the night. I basically only saw the first half of the
card and will haver to take DGUSA up on the offer to get the DVD at a
discount, as I enjoyed what I saw. I liked the comedy of the six-way
elimination match. As this was my first exposure to Dragon Gate, I
wasn't as familiar with the wrestlers and stables, but got a kick out of
the whacky comedy, which seemed to be just fine in this match. I've
become a big fan of Sami Calihan during the last two 16 Carat weekends;
I just like how he comes across different from other characters and
enjoy his wild style and pouty, angry facials. I enjoyed the little
angle where he destroyed the enhancements teams and got into the brawl.
No best/worst matches, as it probably wouldn't be fair after only having
seen half the shows.
WrestleMania (this is more a commentary on the show than a quick review;
you might want to put this up as a separate article, if that's an option):
I'll probably judge this show a bit better than it was, for the simple
fact that I saw it together with elven other people (and the show aired
from 1 to 5 am on a Sunday night, mind you) on a big screen with a
beamer set-up at a PPV party - we even had casket-shaped Undertaker
cheescake :). My brother and I probably were the only fans with a degree
of inside knowledge, with the rest ranging from knowing a bit about
everything to people who watched wrestling back in the early 90's and
were into all the obvious big spots and comedy stuff. Anyway, it really
added to the atmosphere, so the two of us were somewhat less critical
then we'd usually be, if we just watched the show by ourselves.
Best match: Taker/HHH, Wort match: 8 man tag
We were disappointed in the Bryan/Sheamus match getting bumped, but
since especially the Rock stuff was so hilarious that I couldn't even be
that mad about it. I could have done without the Pee Wee segment, but at
least Mean Gene got a cameo in that way. The Snoop Dogg stuff was pretty
funny actually, and I have come to accept that Mania also means
celebrity cameos and the show has become an entertainment extravaganza,
instead of a wrestling show. As Bryan/Sheamus probably would have been
the most pure pro-wrestling match on the show, it probably got bumped
for just that reason.
The Rock pumped the crowd up great, and I figured he'd do promos and
segments throughout the show, just as a guest host would. All I could
keep thinking was about how much he stood head and shoulders above the
rest of the roster as far as promo ability and charisma went; not even
Austin could hold a candle to him and everybody on the active roster is
just levels beneath him. That's especially alarming when it comes to
"new" guys, as there probably won't be anybody like him again in a long
One thing I noticed was how much the Money in the bank matches have
meant in the years past, as they would usually warm the crowd up pretty
good, were a great thing to get some deserving mid-carders on the show
and basically guaranteed a great match early on. I was a little less
surprised than others that they went with Edge/Del Rio first, as it felt
big enough to get the crowd going. Glad they didn't go with a Christian
turn, as it wouldn't have made sense to me, but also kind of pissed they
didn't go with Del Rio all the way, after making such a big deal out of
him for months; well until he lost to Christian twice during the
build-up, so I guess the harm already was done. Still a fun little match.
Rey vs. Cody was a good match, and I immediately started guessing what
superhero outfit Rey would come out in this year. The current gimmick
does so much more for Cody than the Legacy or Dashing stuff. Crowd was
not as into it as they should have been - maybe it might have made a
better opener with the Mysterio offense a the start. Kind of surprised
they allowed the flying headbutt, especially given they were in Georgia.
The eight man tag was just there and mercifully was kept short. The
people at our party were a lot into the face team, and would bring up
the comedy segment from RAW more than anything else, besides the
Taker/HHH stuff. Puzzling to me, but then these might just be your
typical WWE fans these days. Kind of felt bad for Wade Barrett, who I
didn't even notice in the match at all. Guy went from being groomed as a
top heel and even rumors of facing Undertaker to being a mid-carder in a
stale remix of a hot group that went downhill fast, losing in a 90
seconds nothing match.
The Rock/Mae/Eve skit was kind of funny with Rock's one liners. The
meet-up with Austin was kind of really, really cool and I got a major
kick out it.
Orton/Punk was a good match, and Punk is so great at what he does it's
not even funny. With Jericho gone, he is by far the best heel on the
roster, bar none, from his promos and antics to his style and facials.
Orton on the other hand just does nothing for me, and hasn't in a long
time. He is no Steve Austin type of guy, and the Viper gimmick is a far
cry from the Rattlesnake for me. I hate his slow, cautious style, even
if it fits the gimmick. He is a decent worker, but he does nothing for
me and if he'd be gone tomorrow, I sure never would miss him. The first
RKO spot before the finish was kind of telegraphed and I liked how Punk
slipped out of it. The finish actually looked good, I just had one
remark during the replay: Punk jumped into it picture perfect and took
it real good. The only problem is, he jumped straight out with his neck
craned out to take the move perfectly - but what move was he supposed to
have done there, hadn't he been caught?
The Pee Wee segment I could have done without and would actually
preferred Sheamus/Bryan as well. Well, as noted before, at least it got
Mean Gene on the show.
Hall of Fame was nice but I also found it too rushed. They should have
done it before the Taker/HHH match and at least have HBK do commentary.
I was ready to riot as they brought out Booker T as I thought Vince had
once again change his mind about JR. I kind of made my peace once he
Lawler/Cole was fine for what it was. Cole played his obnoxious chicken
shit heel role to perfection, and the little heat put on Lawler was fine
in my book. Austin was hilarious as ref, especially with the whole towel
deal and the submission at the end. The post-match beatdown of Booker
and Josh was good too. I can live with the post match DQ - people got
what they wanted, and that was Cole beaten and humiliated and Austin in
Stunner City Mode. It still gives Cole something to brag about, he can
claim he beat Lawler in the match and just go into denial mode and they
can bring the match back as a a gimmick match at Extreme Rules.
HHH-Taker was a great match, again the mood at our party made things
better as some girls were huge Taker marks while some of the guys wanted
to see the streak get ended really bad. They made the best out of what
they physically could, and Taker was just awe-inspiring at times with
what he put himself through. Hunter really botched catching that one
dive, at least one pedigree looked rough and the Hunter tombstone also
looked like Taker's head was too close to the mat. The one thing that
really set me back was that stupid, unprotected chairshot. It added
NOTHING to the match, and between these two, I really would have thought
they'd be smarter about it. There is no place for this in 2011 and all
it dies is give indy geeks the world over the idea that it's OK to do
it, if even these two old veterans did it in their match.
I thought the long selling was a smart move to gain time without making
it look like they were stalling. True, it was kind of like the
Michaels-Taker matches with all the big spots and kick-outs, but these
were two great matches, so if that is the blueprint for future
Undertaker Mania matches, then it's fine in my book. Of course Hunter
had to play Taker and scream at Taker to stay down. Also, of course
nobody but Hunter could ever give Undertaker such a run for his money
and leave such marks on the Phenom. Taker did an awesome job selling
post-match, and even had me concerned for a split-second. Of course,
things would have been handled differently had there been a real,
serious issue. Still, a tremendous job by both guys and Taker in particular.
For some odd reason, during the post-match selling, I kept thinking back
to an old episode of "Paranormal Borderline", where there was a
wrestling match between some dude who always lost, winning against an
old wrestler, played by Terry Funk of all people. After the match he was
told, the guy he wrestled had actually past away hours before the match.
I wouldn't put it past them, to actually go down that route.
I also was a bit surprised that Michaels played no role in the match,
given the angle on Raw last week. I would at least have expected him on
commentary or running n and giving Taker or eventually both guys a
superkick. It probably was for the better that way, just felt like they
didn't tie up a loose end there properly.
The six-person match actually was better than I expected with Trish
still looking great on offense, Morrison's Starship Pain to the outside
and the few cheerleader moves Snooki did at the finish. Didn't think she
would be able to pull off anything even remotely looking good or credible.
The main event. Well, I'll chime in: where the hell has this awesome Miz
video been during the buildup of this show? He came across like a
legitimate star and great world champion in that one and it should have
been all over Raw during the last couple of weeks. The Cena video was
pretty neat as well, but he already was established beyond the point of
needing something like this.
Match was pretty great and finally Miz came across like a champion, in
kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment and dominating Cena at points.
Was it just me, or did the camera/director almost miss the first finish?
The replayed the clothesline over the barricade, just as Cena tackled
Miz the second time and it looked like they almost missed the shot -
they got it in the end, but it was close and at first I didn't even
realize what had happened.
Rock restarting the match was obvious, even though I kept waiting for
him to add himself into the match, or just pin Miz post-match to
actually take home the title. Him Rock-Bottoming Cena outright was a
bold spot, even though The Rock was teflon at this show and people
already hated Cena for the most part. Still, it left the crowd somewhat
In a way the attack on Miz was what the crowd wanted to see and sent
them home happy, and it was a happy ending. On the other hand, you
basically told the people that a guy who hasn't been in WWE in years,
and granted who was one of the biggest stars in the history of this
business, can basically come back at random and just dominate the world
title picture with ease. He can take out and replace your no. 1 babyface
at the snap of a finger and just toy with your world champion as he
pleases. Especially the latter part leaves a small sour taste in my
mouth, as I felt between the introductionary video and his performance
in this match, Miz was finally being established as a worthy champion.
It's kind of okay for Rock to do this, since he is, well, The Rock and
probably the only one who can get away with it. Miz can still brag how
he kept the title and was brutally attacked by Rock after a grueling
match. Still, in the eyes of the majority of the people, where Cena is a
better, tougher, stronger and more established guy, for Miz to fighting
this man to a draw would have made him appear tougher. Even with Rock
restarting the match, he could have just distracted Cena and have Miz
pin him clean with the Skull Crushing Finale. That would establish the
move and Miz, and Cena could still have given Cena the Rock Bottom
during a post match argument, while Miz could have retreated (maybe
sacrifice Riley for the people's elbwo or something).
The finish didn't bother me as much as other people though, and
everybody basically knew this would be The Rock show, so it was fine.
Just could have protected your champion a bit more in my opinion. Really
looking forward to where they go from here, as historically, booking
slumps after the hot Rumble through Mania phase. Will we get Rock/Cena
and if so, when? What is the story with Undertaker and what is next for
Triple H, as "there are no viable challengers left"? Will HBK go back
into a hole and only come out in a few months, or will he play into the
Taker/HHH deal some more? Will del Rio eventually get the title? What's
next for The Miz, if Cena is occupied with Rock? What's next with
Lawler/Cole and the commentary on Raw from this point forward, will JR
be back for good? Also: Who will be affected by the wave of firing what
is probably coming up during spring-cleaning week and which
new/returning stars (Sin Cara, Tyler Black, Richie Steamboat, Skip
Sheffield, etc.) will play a part in the coming months?
In my opinion, the show kind of left enough intriguing questions that
can slowly be played out and answered during the next few weeks or even
months, if WWE plays their cards right and keeps booking strong and
paces everything alright. Sadly, this historically has been their
biggest weakness as they rush things and let things get derailed too
easily with constant changing of plans and impatience getting in the way
of common sense. With Rock probably leaving, there is the risk of
ratings falling to a degree and Vince panicking (without having a reason
to) and going back to "established" stuff, like another Cena/Orton feud
or HHH challenging for the title. WrestleMania in a way has shaken
things up enough that now you could go with new ideas and new concepts
and maybe build for the future, instead of relying on the past, as Rock,
Austin and Trish won't be there to be brought back every year to mask
the problems with the current product/roster and bring back some of the
magic of the glory years.
Which doesn't mean everything old and established has to go, as JR
proved again that he is the best play-by-play man in the business and
really adds to the drama, storytelling and intrigue of the matches and
I give this show a thumbs in the middle. For a normal PPV, might be a thumbs up. For a Mania, though, this has to be well into the bottom-half of the 27 shows over time.
Best match: Taker vs. HHH
Worst match: Cena vs. Miz
I enjoyed the Rock stuff at the end. It felt strange for Mania, though, since it's basically still an opening salvo in what I assume will be a Rock-Cena feud building to Summerslam. Not the kind of big angle blow-off that you expect for Mania.
Besides the obvious Taker-HHH high point, I also enjoyed Punk-Orton and Rhodes-Mysterio.
Cole got the heat on Lawler for WAY too long and it seemed to put a damper on the crowd.
That's all of my major points on the show. Keep up the great work!
Dan Della Posta