Hey, remember The Five Count? Let's bring that back and talk about my five favorite moments at WrestleMania 28:
5. The Big Show gets vindication
I doubt Big Show being the WrestleMania fall guy is something that most people worry about and I think his chance for a true, stand-tall-at-the-end-of-the-show moment is long gone, but this was just really sweet. After years of being the extra guy in a match, being the guinea pig for whatever special attraction they'd wheel out or just being left off the show entirely, he at least got to punch someone in the face and win the one title that's eluded him throughout his WWE career, the Intercontinental Championship. I like Big Show, he's stuck with WWE through some really rough patches in career and has always struck me as someone who's really humble and really appreciative to do what he does. He deserved this.
4. Dolph Ziggler: silently awesome
For another year, Ziggler gets saddled in a big clusterfuck match, but handled it the way he always does, by working his ass off. Not much caught my eye in that 12-man match, but Ziggler bouncing all over the place and selling a monkey flip so well it had RVD counting his days until his TNA contract expired, stood out. If this guy isn't in a title match at WrestleMania 29, it would be borderline criminal.
3. Poor Randy
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I know everyone's been all doom and gloom about The Miz lately, but hey, he won his match last night. Hopefully, Miz has passed the Curse of the Falling Star onto ol' Randall and we can get back to Miz being awesome and Orton being a constant disappointment all year. That sounds more harsh than I intended, but after nine years of this guy being shoved down my throat as the closest thing we have to a modern day Stone Cold, it was nice to see him chokeslammed down a peg.
2. Watching CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the second time
I re-watched Punk vs. Jericho this morning and it was way better than it was live. During the match, all I could wonder is "why does this crowd suck so bad?" but going into it with that knowledge and watching as they eventually did start to come through at the end, it was a lot easier to enjoy. I'm not a person who religiously re-watches matches, usually once is enough for me for most, but this is one that I think will age well and get even better on more repeated viewings.
1. Triple H vs. The Undertaker
Is it possible to heap too much praise onto this match? Probably, but I'm going to do it anyway. I've seen some talk that it didn't need the Cell, but I disagree. Perhaps it wasn't needed in the way that it was needed for Taker/HBK in 97 when they had to keep the entire locker room out and give Kane a cool way to debut; perhaps it wasn't needed like it was needed for Taker/Edge in 08 when it was the logical conclusion for the feud, but it created an atmosphere.
When they first announced the Taker/HHH rematch, most people weren't that excited because there's no way it would top Taker's rematch with Shawn Michaels, but they gave it that extra splash of flavor. Triple H is not as good as Shawn Michaels, but I'd gladly put last night's match right up there with WM25 and WM26 as an instant classic and I'm not sure that would've been the case without the vibe of the Cell.
That's not to take away from the quality of the match, because it was superb, but this is what separates these guys from most of the locker room and really what separates WWE from many other wrestling companies - atmosphere. If you'd be cool watching two guys chain wrestle in an empty room, I wouldn't take that away from you, but for this particular blogger, wrestling is at least 51% spectacle and 49% everything else. Without atmosphere, drama and story, I'm just not that into it. That's not to say I don't enjoy watching two guys put on a wrestling clinic, but when I do, I prefer it to be in a WWE ring.
Triple H and The Undertaker outperformed two guys who have a legitimate claim to "best in the world" as well as the "biggest match in WWE history." For two guys whose best days are behind them, that speaks volumes about their abilities as storytellers. I'm sure we'll see both Taker and Triple H (and probably HBK, for that matter) lace up the boots again, but there'd be no shame in calling it a day on this match. Perfection.