Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Lesnar/Cena last night was something really special. I can't believe I saw a match like that happen in a WWE ring. I've never seen anything like that before. Cena was at his best because he had the perfect monster to go against in Lesnar. I very rarely think that Cena can't win a match but I was fooled into think it this time. Lesnar was such a great heel in the match too. By the end I was rooting for Cena to win, and was really happy when he did.
Wrestlemania 28 Review
I think enough time has passed that I might be able to look at this without total live bias.
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Daniel Bryan(c) w/AJ vs. Sheamus
The one thing that made me really angry while I was here. I really would love to congratulate WWE for making the worst possible booking decision they could make. Bryan was super over and so was Sheamus. Instead of putting on a good match we get this shit and now Sheamus, the guy they want to push as a top face in the company, is going to have a lot of fans turn against him. Also next 3 matches would have audible chants for Daniel Bryan because of this.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
While not anything special I thought it was a very solid match that built into a great conclusion. Orton came out guns blazing and was taking it right to Kane for the first few minutes before Kane was able to take control of the match. His control segment wasn't all that exciting but it built into Orton's comeback nicely. Watching this a second time I have to say I was really impressed with what they managed to do. There was limited time and they couldn't go crazy with false finishes and a million kickouts but they put together an enjoyable and smartly worked match.
Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes(c) vs. The Big Show
I can't say I was impressed with this one at all. I was happy to see Big Show get a happy moment at Wrestlemania, it looked like real emotion after he won so that was nice to see because Big Show does seem like a really good guy. There were a few nice moments of the match but there was almost no back and forth stuff. They exchanged control segments and then Big Show hit a brutal looking spear and got the win with the knockout punch. I won't say that it was a bad match but it was very unspectacular.
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Eve and Beth Phoenix
I made a pretty epic run to the bathroom and to refill my drink during the entrances of this match.The match itself was decent all things considered. I liked that they worked Maria's ribs since they were injured. In fact the structure of the match was really put together well but the execution for a lot of the moves just wasn't. Some stuff looked really good but just as many of the moves looked terrible. I just give a match with so many bad looking moves a high rating.
End of an Era Hell in a Cell:
Undertaker vs. Triple H
Special Referee: Shawn Michaels
Triple H had done a lot of talking about how Undertaker only wanted this match so his career could come to an end. Undertaker had been looking more and more mortal the last 3 years and just when you thought he was weak enough to beat he came out swinging and looking like a total badass. He took it right to Triple H and within the opening minutes you knew this was going to be a war and not Undertaker's funeral. What I liked about the control segments was that there was always a devastating move that was able to break up the segment and turn the tide of the match. I wasn't all that close to the ring but watching some of the chair shots was brutal. I had no idea they were laying into each other so much.
While the Undertaker came out strong it didn't last as he ended up at the mercy of Triple H not too far into the match. It's amazing how they were able make the "nothing left" thing work so early on in the match. The crowd was popping for a nearfall without having seen a single finisher. They got to the same point they made it to last year in the first half of the match, Undertaker was done and Triple H was ready to finish him off, and they built on it from there. This is where Shawn got involved and he made a really interesting dynamic in the match since he clearly did not want any of this to be happening. I totally missed why Shanw got locked into the Hell's Gate live but it was brilliant to see why he did it. Shawn went to call for the bell and it was the only way Undertaker could stop him.
Oh, and then they make this even more amazing by doing the same finish last year with a Hell's Gate out nowhere but the ref is down. Charles Robinson makes another epic run to the ring only to get a chokeslam for not counting to 3. The Sweet Chin Music/Pedigree nearfall might be one of my favorite moments ever. There are very few times in a high profile match like this where I really think a match is going to end and this was one of them. I remember looking at the crowd and I saw thousands of grown men jumping up and down in excitement over this nearfall. Undertaker sitting up after it and starting a comeback was also an awe inspiring moment and the look on Triple H's faces where he's like, "Oh shit!" is priceless.
The ending of the match was everything that it needed to be. It really felt like it was the end of the road for Triple H and I loved how he just wouldn't stay down against the Undertaker. We got the conclusive ending with a clear and obvious winner that was able to walk out on his own. The ending was another awesome flashback to their match last year.
I'm not sure if I've ever seen any match like this before. There was a lot of talking and Shawn's role was really odd. I was able to understand where Shawn was coming from with all his emotion though and it created this cool dynamic where you had someone very human in the middle of a battle between these two monsters. I view a wrestling match as a fake fight that tells a story. That's probably the best definition of what a wrestling match is that I can come up with and based off that definition this match is perfect. It's the WWE style of a match worked to perfection and there isn't a company in the world today that could ever come close to creating a match like this. I'm not even sure if there are two guys in wrestling who could pull something off like this either. I don't have a bad thing to say about the match. Being there live was an experience unlike any other and the match didn't lose that feel when I watched it again.
Winner is GM of Both Shows:
Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, Great Khali, Booker T, R-Truth, Santino Marrella, and Zack Ryder) vs. Team Johnny (Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, David Otunga, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre)
Really tough spot that they have as the crowd just saw a classic. The problem with these matches on a WM is usually that they usually have the main goal of getting everyone ring time in very limited time. We actually got a solid control segment from Team Johnny on Booker T but due to time restrains there wasn't a hot tag, everyone just ran in and they went right to the finishing stretch. Hey at least the finishing stretch was really exciting. Santino got the crowd going and made a hot tag with Ryder. The combination of Ryer/Ziggler/Miz did some awesome stuff in the ring before Eve got involved and cost Team Teddy the match. It was good and with some more time to get in a hot tag and extend the finishing stretch it could have been a lot better. Still a fun match.
WWE Championship Match:
CM Punk(c) vs. Chris Jericho
I loved the stipulation that was made right before the match where Punk could lose the belt by DQ. Going into the match you just wanted to see Punk beat the shit out of Jericho and now he had to keep control or lose the title. Jericho of course takes advantage of this and his offense consisted mostly of insults and slaps to the face. I was a little confused at some of the things that the ref was making Punk break for (elbows to the side of the head shouldn't be illegal). Being able to hear all the insults was a lot of fun but none of the comments were as good as hearing a young child in the crowd scream (in total seriousness), "The TITLE, think about the TITLE" when Punk was thinking of using a chair. The Jericho insults were almost as good though. Punk gets in a lot of offense but he's clearly distracted and Jericho takes advantage of that and is able to take control of the match. He hit a suplex from the apron to the floor which looked and sounded brutal to take control of the match and from there he worked the back.
Jericho's offense was so smart here as he hit a huge move to hurt the back of Punk and in the weeks leading to this match Jericho had been going after the back time and time again. Here's where the offense gets even better; all of this was used to set up the Walls of Jericho. There were a few times where it looked like they were getting close to the end but they just kept going and really built the suspense up to it. Loved the chain wrestling they did at the end. It was the little things like Punk adjusting his position so Jericho couldn't knee him in the back of the head that really made me appreciate how good these guys are.
I really enjoyed the match and it kind of felt like I was watching a Japanese crowd. I know when I was there I was watching intently but there were times when the crowd would just explode. The only downside to the match was that there really didn't seem to be much selling on Punk's side. I mean he seemed hurt but it didn't look like his back was hurt and that's what Jericho devoted a lot of his offense to. I also would have liked them to incorporate the DQ stipulation at least once towards the end of the match because after the opening minutes it was sort of abandoned. Minor gripes though as the match was compelling to watch from bell to bell. A great effort from both guys and I would be tempted to go higher if they had done a few little things better.
John Cena vs. The Rock
There was just a buzz in the stadium as they faced off. Very few matches get this feel to them where you can honestly say that you feel the electricity in the air but this match is certainly one of them. After the initial face off they establish early on that the Rock is still the fucking Rock as he wins their first exchange. Cena's reaction to it all was fantastic. While it was a great sign seeing the Rock show he still had it Cena's reactions to it all really were spot on. It started with surprise and went to confusion, when he put Cena in a headlock his face was saying, "what should I do?" Cena even rolled out of the ring to regroup which is something that Cena just doesn't do. He's able to regroup though and then we see a control segment by Cena, another thing I'm not used to seeing.
The Rock hurts his ribs and Cena was all over it. Cena just seemed different in this match, which is certainly a good thing. I've seen him wrestle in some really hostile environments before but he never acts this different. It was refreshing to see even if his control segment wasn't particularly interesting as there were a couple lengthy bear hugs that made up a good chunk of his control segment. While it wasn't the most interesting part of the match it did set up nicely for the hot comeback from the Rock. They did work the crowd well with this as the match started at a fever pitched but they slowed things down so when they were ready to pick up the pace the crowd was also ready for it.
Cena manages to react even better to the match as it goes on. After controlling the match for an extended period of time we see him get back some of his confidence. It wasn't the determined confidence that he always showed, his grins looked downright cocky at times.
There was a period leading up to the finish where I thought the match dragged a bit but the crowd was red hot for the finish. I got fooled for the second time of the night when Cena countered the cross body into another Attitude Adjustment for a two count. Cena going for the People's Elbow was a total dick move on his part. The crowd's reaction to the Rock jumping back up as Cena ran over him and hitting the Rock Bottom for the 3 will probably end up being the happiest I've ever been while watching a wrestling match. I thought there was no chance in hell that the Rock would win clean and the pop when he did win was the loudest the crowd was all night. I get chills when thinking about the reaction the crowd had when the Rock hit that Rock Bottom.
Is this a wrestling classic? No I suppose it's not by any means but it was a spectacal and another type of match that only the WWE can provide. The match had some flaws in it but when I look back at the match none of them really seem to matter in the long run. Cena gave a great performance and this loss has turned him into one of the more compelling characters in wrestling. This is one of those matches where I can see people arguing over the rating. I tend to rate these matches high as it was a highly entertaining 20+ minute match that told a pretty awesome story. That being said the high rating I'm giving this really doesn't do awesomeness of the match justice.
Overall I thought Wrestlemania this year was incredible. There were two matches that can't happen in any other company and on any other show. It's matches like Cena/Rock and Triple H/Undertaker that make Wrestlemania much more than just another PPV. The undercard matches were decent, they've been better other years for sure, but for the most part they were all kept short. There were 3 matches that got significant time and all 3 of those matches delivered. Obviously the Daniel Bryan title loss is my biggest complaint and it's frustrating to see how much filler they put onto the show instead of letting them have some time to work a real match. The main events I felt were on par with some of the better Wrestlemanias that we've seen but the average undercard prevents this show from being one of the best Wrestlemanias ever. Still well worth a watch and I think this will still end up being the best show of the year for WWE.