So during WrestleMania, I somehow came down with a cold. Don't ask me how, I sneezed one time and suddenly I had a cold. The hell is that?! Anyway, if the review seems a little loopy, that would be why, thanks for bearing with me.
I was really bummed that they bumped Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan to the dark match. On one hand, I don't want to see them just get five minutes on WrestleMania and be a total waste like Punk vs. Mysterio last year, but at the same time, there was a lot of stuff that could've been trimmed down. More on that later.
Our opening contest was the World Heavyweight Championship Match! What?! I'm sure there was a bit of an internet explosion over that one and even I have to say it was a really weird decision and hurt the crowd for the next match. But as for Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio, I thought they had a hell of a match that's going to be lost to time due to it being put in the opening slot. Still, the crowd was into it, both men brought their A-game and while Del Rio didn't win the big one on his first try, remember, neither did Shawn Michaels. Still think they should've put Christian in it and shocked the world by giving him the win, leading to an awkward few months between him and Edge, but perhaps that's where they'll go from here?
Predictions: 0 for 1
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio was a bummer, they got enough time, but the match just didn't really click until the end. The crowd was worn out from the World Title match and I can't help but think this match should've been the opener. I thought the match was good, just not the show-stealer I was hoping for after the tremendous build... and Cody should've become instantly "DASHING" once he beat Rey-Rey.
Predictions: 1 for 2
The backstage stuff with Snoop Dogg was amusing, but went on too long. William Regal and Zack Ryder were hilarious and Roddy Piper's cameo was a ton of fun, but it could've ended right there. The Hornswoggle rap could've been funny, but it would've been way better if he just looked at the camera and said "fo' shizzle." [/silly white boy]
The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella & Kofi Kingston was pretty much what I expected, reminded me of the 8-man tag from WrestleMania 8 that really had no point in being on the card, but at least that match had Ray Combs doing the ring announcing! The good guys got to hit all their big moves, Kofi's dive off the apron was slick and it brought the crowd back thanks to the comedic stylings of Santino. Pointless? Probably. A WrestleMania match? Not really? Fun? Sure.
Predictions: 1 for 3
The Rock backstage with "Mean" Gene Okerlund & Pee-Wee Herman? Oh. Hell. Yes. The Rock backstage with Stone Cold Steve Austin? OHHHH HEEEELLLLL YEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH!!!
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk very well may have been Randy Orton's best match to date. I have to go back and watch his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 21, but I'm pretty confident this dethroned it. And I'll give credit where credit is due, it wasn't all CM Punk out there (mostly CM Punk, but not all!), Orton had a really strong outing. Bullshit that he won, but you know the old rule, "punked on Monday, win on Sunday." Orton continues to be the most bland good guy to ever be a part of WWE's main event scene for more than a year, but this match was a great match, no doubt about it. Orton countering a flying move into the RKO is a little overplayed, he should've done it out of the GTS, but it was still a slick looking move.
Predictions: 1 for 4
I was surprised how little they did with the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011. It was fine and totally classy, but I figured HBK would've done something else. It was a bit of an off-year for the HOF though, no disrespect to anyone, especially Michaels and the Road Warriors, but they didn't make it the spectacle they usually do.
Michael Cole in his orange singlet, looking like he just came out of the Prison Wrestling Federation, was hysterical. They really just need to give up on him as a commentator, because he will make a fantastic villainous manager. JR & Booker T joined commentary (yay, JR!), Jackie Swaggs made his entrance, Stone Cold came to officiate and finally, Jerry Lawler came to the ring! Lawler looked AWESOME, rocking the old-school get-up that he wore during his Andy Kaufman days and thankfully had his old music back.
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler took some time to get going, with Cole locking himself in the Cole Mine, but Lawler shaking his hand and then bashing his face against the glass was a glorious visual. It obviously wasn't much of a match and it definitely dragged while Cole was on "offense," which I hope was purposefully weak, or else Cole is the biggest pansy on the planet. Once Lawler turned it around, Stone Cold Stunned Swagger and started screwing with Cole, it was TONS of fun. Austin spewing obscenities all over the place had me on the floor laughing and Lawler making Cole tap to the An-Cole Lock was a perfect ending. Well, as perfect as it could've been without a Piledriver. In a classic table turning moment for Lawler, The G?M chimed in and reversed the decision due to Austin's interference. A nice nod to SummerSlam 93 when Bret refused to let Lawler out of the Sharpshooter, but everyone got to drink some beers (except Lawler, who is totally sXe) and Cole had a bloody mouth, I'd call it really fun match... plus five minutes.
Predictions: 1 for 5 (c'mon, it's 1.5 for 5!)
Nothing against Booker T and Josh Mathews, but I'm glad they got Stunners so the rest of the evening would be JR and Lawler on commentary. Ah, just like old times.
Okay, how fucking bad ass was Triple H's entrance? My God, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" gave me chills and that mask/cloak HHH was wearing might be the coolest entrance attire ever.
Triple H vs. The Undertaker was next and after some loooooooong intros, these two beat the holy hell out of each other from bell to bell. I knew when it started with a slugfest instead of a collar and elbow tie-up, these two were going for something much different that HBK vs. The Undertaker from the last two WrestleManias. They destroyed the Cole Mine, Taker did the Suicide Swan Dive (emphasis on suicide), HHH put Taker through the Spanish Announce Table (!!!) with a Double A Spinebuster, and those were just the opening moments of the match.
Anyone who says they stalled too much, you're wrong. I don't usually throw out declarative statements like that, but you're wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, you little failure turtle! These two had an brutal brawl and the No Holds Barred stipulation really added to the drama and after the third Pedigree, I thought Triple H had him. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, my heart sunk into my feet, but Taker held on. He survived numerous chair shots, Triple H grabbing the sledgehammer and managed to lock in Hell's Gate and forced Triple H to limply tap out, making The Undertaker 19-0 at WrestleMania. Instant classic, the cynics were silenced and without question the Match of the Night. This match will surely earn a spot on next year's Top 28 Matches in WrestleMania History. Phenomenal.
What I didn't like though, was The Undertaker apparently slipping back into a vegetative state. It dragged on way too long and the medic checking his pulse while he was CLEARLY breathing was silly. I have no idea where they're going with this, I assume it ends with Taker's finale at WrestleMania 28 when he shoots for 20-0, but this just fell flat and distracted from the amazing match we just witnessed. Too over the top, even for a WWE story involving The Undertaker.
Predictions: 2 for 6
Dolph Ziggler & LayCool vs. John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki was definitely the cool-off match and as I liked to call it, "RubberPantsMania!" Told ya Snooki would surprise you though, that little pumpkin managed to pull of a back handspring way better than Chyna ever did it. Is she the next Fabulous Moolah? Of course not, but with a little training and some dedication, Snooki would fit in perfectly with WWE. The match wasn't anything special, much like the 8-man tag, the good guys got to do some pretty moves and it was a fun little distraction. Morrison and Ziggler need more than this though, just throwing that out there.
Predictions: 3 for 7
Main Event time! The Miz vs. John Cena. Hate to say I told you so, but I TOLD YOU SO! John Cena can't beat The Miz, he just can't do it! The Miz is too awesome, it's just the way it is, learn to love it, because diamonds are forever and so is The Miz!
I loved, loved, loved Miz's entrance in the control room, showing us Miztory through a slick video package to Nas "Hate Me Now," was absolutely EPIC (and I hate that word). In a way, it was kinda like the way Weird Al Yankovic opens his shows with AL-TV (nerd alert!) It was perfect and made Miz feel like a big deal, which is what he needed going into this one, especially since he won! Didn't dig Cena's gospel choir, it came across as a bit arrogant to me, but the audience booing the choir before Cena's music even hit? Stay classy, wrestling fans!
However, the match itself, just like WrestleMania 18 and WrestleMania 25, suffered from crowd fatigue. I know the theory is the title match should always close the show, except in the rarest of instances, but the crowd was booing Cena and they certainly didn't want to cheer for The Miz. That match was perfectly fine, perhaps will even be great on repeated viewings, but the crowd was just wiped out from Triple H vs. The Undertaker and that match should've closed the show. Although not if they still went with the ridiculousness at the end with The Undertaker looking like he'd just been shot.
The Rock saved the match and woke the crowd up when he came out after Miz and Cena went to a double count-out. Obviously no WrestleMania is ending on a double count-out, so Rock trashed The G?M's computer and restarted the match with no count-out and no disqualification. Cena had Miz back in the ring and went for the AA, but Miz floated to the apron, Cena walked into a ROCK BOTTOM! ROCK BOTTOM! ROCK BOTTOM! and The Miz retained the WWE Championship! Woohoo!
Of course, Miz got a spinebuster and the People's Elbow for his accomplishments and the biggest show of the year ended with a non-wrestler standing tall over WWE's main event, but surely this ends in Cena vs. Rock sometime within the next 364 days and you can't complain about that. No doubt in my mind now, The Rock vs. John Cena is happening and hell, we might even see The Rock vs. The Miz. And The Miz will win that match too.
Predictions: 4 for 8
Solid show, not great and I'm not sure if it was WrestleMania as we know it today. It really felt like a WrestleMania of yesteryear, something like the Manias between 1-10 and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, WWE has conditioned us to expect something like WrestleManias 17-26. It looked like a big show, there were some great matches and an instant classic, but I'm not quite sure it was like the more recent Mania events. And while I've been split on the issue for the last year, I think it's pretty clear now that Money in the Bank belongs on WrestleMania. It made for a good PPV last year, but the show has been a WrestleMania attraction and is always guaranteed to entertain, we needed it this year.
Still, I probably sound like I'm being too harsh, because there was a lot to like. Glad I watched it, will probably pick up the DVD, but strange match placements, some curious winners and a quiet crowd kept it from the upper echelon of great WrestleManias.