Monday, April 6, 2009

WrestleMania 25 Was Awesome!

In case you missed it in my first post, I started this blog to be the antithesis of your typical wrestling website. I'm tired of the negativity and the venom that comes from the majority of these sites and tonight is no exception; I've been online for less than ten minutes and have already read someone claiming that WrestleMania 25 was the worst WrestleMania in history? Really? The worst ever? Put down that bottle of hyperbole and take a little journey with me, I'll tell you why tonight's WrestleMania ranks among the best. If I managed to enjoy it, despite an abysmal 2-9 in predictions, then you'll be just fine.

By the way, I tried Twittering during this show, but for some reason my phone and Twitter don't get along. Maybe for Backlash things will be working, but feel free to follow Kick-Out!! on Twitter in the meantime.

I didn't have internet access during the show tonight, so I was unaware that the Tag Title match got bumped to the pre-show. Apparently Primo & Carlito won, which makes little sense to me, but hopefully Miz & Morrison will get the belts in the near future. Obviously an omen for my poor prediction performance when my one definite pick lost in the first match of the night.

CM Punk winning Money in the Bank was a huge surprise. Admittedly, I'm a little disappointed that Christian didn't win, but Punk getting another shot at a World Championship is never going to make me too sad. Without a doubt, that was the best non-singles ladder match I've ever seen. Yes, better than any TLC match, better than any previous MITB, tonight's match was just plain awesome. The highspots were incredibly innovative and the fact that some of them were even physically possible was a surprise to me. How cool was Kofi Kingston climbing that closed ladder? Or Shelton Benjamin's suicide swandive? Or MVP getting powerbombed to the outside? Or the insane ladder bridge? Or Christian's insane balancing act after the ladder got tipped? Awesome, awesome match.

I could've done without the Diva Battle Royal. And Kid Rock (I was honestly hoping for Undertaker to come out later on the motorcycle to American Badass). It was what it was, but nothing really stood out, Santino... excuse me, Santina's win was pretty marvelous though. Silly fun, not going to worry too much over it.

You want to know why Ric Flair said Ricky Steamboat was the greatest guy he ever worked with? Probably because after a 15 year hiatus from the ring, the guy came back and tore the house down in the Handicap Elimination Match. I love Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka, but this was Ricky Steamboat's night and he was on fire. Jericho was an artist in the ring (as always), and watching him and Steamboat lock-up was a dream come true. I admit, I was not excited about this match in the slightest due to the fact that I hate handicap matches, but this was far better than I thought it would be. If Ricky's up for it, I'd love to see him and Jericho go at it one-on-one in the near future. The stuff with Mickey Rourke at the end was fun too and it was a perfect end to this story.

I'll elaborate more on why I don't like the Matt and Jeff Hardy feud in a future blog, but the Extreme Rules match was pretty damn good. The Hardy Brothers have only battled a few times in a WWE ring and they've all been terrible matches, but they broke the curse tonight and all they had to do was beat the hell out of each other. Matt Hardy hitting his head on the steps was pretty rough, but that final Twist of Fate on the chair was just plain gross. I'm sure it didn't hurt as bad as it looked, but man that was nasty.

Despite being one of the shortest matches in Mania history, I loved the Intercontinental Title match. I'm sure all those fans who are just "too cool" to admit they like anything will hate on Rey Mysterio's Joker outfit, but I thought it was awesome. And hey, even if it was under a minute long, at least the Intercontinental Title got defended at WrestleMania, unlike the last seven years. Also, the fact that the last three IC Champs are former World Champions really helps elevate the title back to its former glory.

In one of the few predictions I actually got right, The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels in the match of the night. Not only was that match of the night and an early candidate for match of the year, this match is a candidate for greatest match in WrestleMania history... maybe even WWE history. This match epitomizes what "WWE Style" is all about, two of the greatest of all-time giving literally everything they had and leaving it all in the ring. I honestly thought HBK was hurt bad after the missed moonsault to the outside and I definitely thought Undertaker nearly killed himself with the Mania Dive, but then they both go on to wrestle for what felt like another fifteen minutes! This match is the definition of "instant classic."

I'm sure I'm alone in this one, but I really enjoyed the Triple Threat, despite it having an impossible act to follow. I thought the spots were innovative, the match flowed well and the right man won in the end. For all those Cena haters in the front row, where was that riot you were talking about? Here's a tip - give the "riot" signs a rest. It worked at the One Night Stand PPV in 2006 because those ECW fans were crazy enough to actually start a riot, you are not. Besides, Cena hating is so two years ago, get over it. And oh yeah, how hilarious was John Cena posing in the aisle with that rabid fan flipping him off and screaming in his face? That moment was absolutely priceless.

The WWE Title Match suffered the most from the Undertaker/Shawn Michaels match; it just couldn't live up to it. I'm hereby dubbing this "WrestleMania 18 Syndrome," because much like how Triple H and Chris Jericho had to live up to Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock at that event, Triple H and Randy Orton had to somehow top HBK vs. Taker, and that just wasn't going to happen. I think the DQ stipulation hindered the match from becoming a complete bloodbath, which the match should have been after the build up, but I'm glad Triple H won. As I said in my predictions, you can't let the bad guy get away with physically assaulting the good guy's wife and I should've went with my gut on that one. Really the only match on the card that I didn't downright love, but maybe this will be a lesson that when you have a mega match like The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, you can let it headline WrestleMania even if there's no title involved.

Overall, loved the show despite all the whining from the internet wrestling community. So far the biggest gripe I've heard is that it was too predictable, but when a lifelong fan such as myself gets a lousy two predictions right, that says something... at least to me. I honestly feel like the only match that was easily predictable was Undertaker/HBK, but that was so good, who cares if it was predictable? The rest of the matches really could've went either way; definitely less predictable than last year, where the only legitimate surprises were Randy Orton retaining against Cena and Triple H and CM Punk winning MITB. Lighten up people, it's just wrestling... let yourself enjoy it once in awhile.

3 comments:

  1. I think my problem with it is that I'm a buildup centric person, and I've hated the build to about everything excluding HBK/Taker. And HBK/Taker was good, but I always am sketchy about long matches where it's obvious the finish isn't coming any time soon.

    I also got violently angry during the show over the Colons/Miz and Morrison feud being bucked off the card because I felt WWE had messed with something that fans cared about. The feud was simple, but even in the short time the Bellas had played a part in the conflict, you actually cared about them and about who "liked" who and who might betray the other team. You had the cool kids versus the geeks and the geeks winning would still have been an interesting story.

    But no, it had to be removed for (example) JBL and Rey's short run feud where JBL lost in mere seconds for an inexplicable reason I can't figure out. I guess to drive him to quit?

    Matt and Jeff was fine as a match, but I had no interest to see it. I can't suddenly praise a match when there was nothing about the feud that I cared about in any way. I guess them pinning real life and fake events on Matt is supposed to make me care, but really, it just means they're doing a poor job at making him a heel and must resort to logic leaps and worse to make him heelish and are only continuing to make the audience wonder what is real and what is fake, and not in a good way.

    I did have praise for Steamboat. The guy is still great. I had watched (yes, smark alert) Danielson vs. Aries earlier in the night on the HDNet show and Steamboat looked about as crisp compared to those guys and especially considering the fact that he's 56. Bring him back more often, WWE.

    Also, Santina was funny.

    Problem is, I wasn't captivated like last year and so when this was sort of a repeat of last year in terms of structure (though, Taker/HBK versus HBK/Flair is a toss up in quality) and in workrate, I could not get into Mania 25 while I got into Mania 24.

    I don't know, my opinion, I guess.

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  2. Definitely a fair assessment, I guess I felt pleasantly surprised by the event because of the lackluster buildup. I was bummed that the tag match got bumped, but obviously they were short on time, hence the JBL/Rey match getting cut down. And there's no way they were leaving those two off the actual PPV.

    And nothing wrong with Ring of Honor on HDNet, I'll be providing my thoughts on it in the future, I'm just a couple weeks behind on the shows. I've got two sitting on my DVR that need to be watched.

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  3. I really like your review of Wrestlemania 25. I agree, it really was a fantastic show. The Undertaker/HBK match is now one of my all-time favorites. It's right up there with the Rock/Hogan match at WM18 and Lesnar/Goldberg at WM20. I was pulling for Jeff to win his match, and also hoped to see him pull off a swanton bomb, but the match was still really good. I also agree that the HHH/Orton match may have been a bit overhyped, but I don't think that one is over just yet. I'm sure we'll see HHH/Orton and Matt/Jeff Hardy rematches at Backlash next month.

    Oh, and thanks for commenting on my blog, really appreciate it. You've got a new fan in me now, so keep doing what you're doing!

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