Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
WRESTLEMANIA XXIX REVIEW
The Shield defeated Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show ~ ***
I was worried that WWE were going to try and cram this match into five minutes, thankfully they didn’t. The match started at a good pace which made sense because the shield are seen as a real threat to WWE in terms of kayfabe, so the “personal” aspect of this feud was represented well by the frenetic intensity (Rollins, dive into the barricade, fuckin warz!) that only dipped away when Big Show tagged in. However, this just enabled the character work from Ambrose to shine during the slaps to his chest from the giant.
Some solid storytelling was executed at the end with Orton stealing the tag; WWE swerved me by making me think this would lead Show into assisting the shield before pissing off to the back, yet the shield were allowed to go over on their own merits with a crushing spear from Reigns. The finish was a tad anticlimactic but still solid. The aftermath was predictable but made sense. Good storytelling, character work and spots here with the shield continuing to look great. This was worthy of opening any event.
Mark Henry defeated Ryback ~ **
My expectations were low going into this one because Henry is best off working with smaller, more mobile guys who can sell like a dream…Ryback is not that kind of guy. The match actually started well with the strength challenges that tied into the angle that led to this match, Henry’s clothesline on Ryback was particularly beastly.
Unfortunately the pace slowed down quickly after that with tedious bear hug after tedious bear hug, yet this did have a pay off when Henry grabbed the ropes and reversed the shell shock, squashing Ryback’s injured back and picking up the win.
WWE actually booked the result and aftermath perfectly here; Henry looked like a monster and legit threat a WWE title level while Ryback got over by having one of the few “wrestlemania moments” on the card. Not great but both men got something out of this kayfabe wise. The match went about two/three minutes too long for my liking.
Team Hell No defeated Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston ~ ** ½
I think that I might have enjoyed this far more than most people. The start that teased a recall from last year’s squash between Bryan and Sheamus was absolutely brillo pads, fucking loved that.
The limited time that Bryan and Ziggler had in the match together was good, but for some reason unbeknownst to me WWE’s road agents thought that BIG E needed to control the match. Thankfully Kane tagged in asap so that Langston could continue to look strong, which is his only asset. The way that BIG E picked up Kane with sheer ease was quite impressive.
Team Hell No soon regained momentum and Bryan managed to fit in his standard running knee off the apron which always looks great. Then we saw some ACTUAL TAG WORK for the finish, which is probably the reason why I enjoyed this match more than I should have because Bryan got his redemption for last year’s embarrassment.
Fandango defeated Chris Jericho ~ **
I wasn’t exactly invested in Curtis’ new character going into this but I was willing to give the match a try. I got the story that they were trying to play out, the crowd didn’t believe that Fandango could wrestle because he had been avoiding matches, so Jericho having a long control section made sense. However, regardless of that it just didn’t come off as interesting to me, at all. I’ll give Curtis credit where credit is due for the neat looking top rope leg drops, yet that was literally all he contributed to the match. Oh well, I suppose if that’s the way Fandango’s going to wrestle, like a non-active chicken shit, then he could get some intense heat in the months to come.
The finish stretch was sloppy as fuck; Jericho missed Curtis’ legs after the block from the lionsault before the terrible roll up. I appreciate what the guys were trying to do, but it just wasn’t executed very well in my opinion. Jobber (to the ”stars”) Jericho losing yet again was not shocking at all.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger ~ N/A
I’m not going to lie; I was at the bar for this one because I gave zero fucks. Desperados >>>>>> WHC
The Undertaker defeated CM Punk ~ ****
What can be said about this match that hasn’t been said already? It was a brilliant contest that only strengthened the legacy of the streak. When people (mostly idiots, but there you go) criticize Punk for not being “in shape” they should watch matches like this. If he has to sacrifice mass in order to set a lightning pace like he did in this match then so be it.
The ducking and reversals at the start were a great way to display the intensity of the rivalry, the stiff kicks from Punk only added to that. Loved the spot where Heyman gave Taker a legit reason not to perform his dive over the top rope, clever stuff. The brawling on the outside looked class and I’m not even going to allow the table fail to take away from the overall contest because it still looked brutal.
The reversals in the finishing stretch were slick as fuck, leading to that rapid fire tombstone from Taker; allowing Punk to kick out of it was a genius move for me because I thought that the match was done right there, seeing as I didn’t buy Punk as a threat due to WWE’s general fuckery. It’s just a shame that Punk wasn’t able to work in a few more near falls of his own, something that I felt this match needed to go over the top.
This was outstanding stuff and probably the only match that I’m desperate to watch again, and again, and again. Punk deserves to main event a future Mania based on this, he did already deserve it, but this just made it all the more apparent.
Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar ~ **
Eurgh. This was actually worse than there summerslam match for me because there were too many dumb things that put me off from truly enjoying this rematch. First of all, these guys are supposed to legit hate each other due to all of the shenanigans that went on for the past year involving Shawn, Steph, broken arms and blood. So where was that passion for the first portion of the match? Plod, plod, plod. These guys also had the opportunity to do something special due to the fact that this was the only special stipulation match on the card, yet when the weapons came out they were used sparingly and unconvincingly.
The finishing stretch was interesting because the first couple of times that Trips locked on the kimura I was on the edge of my seat, but the third or fourth time it just became repetitive, tedious, unconvincing and incredibly detrimental to Brock who looked like a moron for allowing the situation to recur.
Much like the opener this had an anticlimactic finish with a result that did nobody any favours. Does HHH need to be wrestling anymore? Not really, his best days are well behind him and he’s hardly active now anyway. Brock could have done with this win seeing as his matches are so few and far between; retiring HHH would have put him on the right path. I suppose that Brock can regain his heat again, but how many arms can he break arms before people lose interest? The lack of entertainment, story and end game (pun intended) in this match made it rather pointless, but not terrible.
John Cena defeated The Rock ~ *1/2
Thank fuck for Cena, eh? Seriously, without John’s movement and clever little storytelling moments (I marked hard for the false people’s elbow) this match would have been a complete an utter dud.
Unfortunately we also had the usual shite that is part and parcel with modern Rock matches, lots of nonsensical rest holds. The first half of the match and no rhyme or reason to it at all. Thankfully they did attempt to sort things out in the second half with some tidy reversal sequences, not that they meant much, but they were certainly levels above the interminable rest holds of doom.
The match did end eventually, thankfully, not abruptly but with something of a damp squib of a finish. I guess I just didn’t care because Rock and Cena (mostly the former) didn’t give me a reason to care about the result during the match. Massive laughter was had by me when the WWE put over the Rock by playing his music in DEFEAT while also giving him more camera time than Cena AFTER THE MATCH. The conclusion to the pay per view was predictable and cheesy as fuck, but I suppose it made sense.
The actual show outside of matches ~ *1/2
As for the show itself, the arena/set looked phenomenal. The shield/Punk/Taker entrances were epic and the crowd was outstanding for the streak match, otherwise the atmosphere was fairly lame.
I didn’t watch Cunt Daddy because I was at the bar, thank fuck. There seemed to be a chronic lack of backstage segments and video packages, this is probably the last time I will complain about that.
Yet for me the biggest weakness of this show was the complete and utter lack of memorable moments and satisfying conclusions to angles. Outside of Henry/Ryback finish/aftermath, everything to do with Punk/Taker and Rock “passing the torch” to Cena this was a fairly missable event.
Overall WRESTLEMANIA XXIX rating ~ **