WWE WrestleMania 28 01/04/2012
On paper, a pretty great looking card. Watching it live, it was a fun event mostly and I enjoyed most of the matches. Now to see how things hold up on a re-watch and after I've had some time to digest everything.
Daniel Bryan Vs Sheamus - World Heavyweight Championship
I was looking forward to this match. Out of the £15 I spend to watch WM live, £5 of it went on this match. What a waste of fucking money.
So the bell rings, and Bryan wants AJ to give him a good luck kiss before they officially get into it. They kiss, and Bryan turns around into a kick to the face and is pinned, losing the WHC. What a load of fucking bullshit.
Now, this MIGHT very well lead to something good, with Bryan's character developing even more than it already has in the last few months. It might lead to somewhere truly great, and that's, well, great. But that's no excuse for doing this at WRESTLEMANIA. Do it on SD. Do it at a "B" PPV like Extreme Rules. But don't do it at WRESTLEMANIA. Can I get my £5 back? And while I'm at it, I paid £7.50 to see this match last year too and it didn't even fucking happen on the show. I had to buy the show again on Bluray to see it.
Kane Vs Randy Orton
Kane shook Orton's hand last year so now they need to have a match at WM. Totally understandable...
I was actually surprised by this match; it didn't suck. Kane since his return really hasn't looked that good, but here at WM he looked better than he has in a while.
Orton kept trying to go full speed ahead but Kane would absorb everything thrown at him and then nail Randy with one big powerful looking move, allowing him to wear down the Viper and control the match.
This is WrestleMania though, and Orton just keeps coming back again and again, forcing Kane to take bigger chances such as attempting the clothesline from the top rope which doesn't go as well as he'd hoped. Neither does the chokeslam, with Randy being able to kick out!
So if the chokeslam don't work, what do you do? Super chokeslam! Was actually expecting Orton to reverse this into an RKO ala WM 21, but damn, Kane actually hit it AND got the 3 count! I legit thought Kane stood no chance of winning a WrestleMania match against a guy like Orton, but he did it. Which I guess means a re-match at Extreme Rules. Not fussed about this "feud" continuing, but it keeps Orton out of the title picture for a little while longer and with a stipulation they could have another good match.
All in all, solid stuff here. Kane actually looked good, Orton in a loss still looked good as it took a super chokeslam to beat him AND he never hit the RKO so we don't know for sure if Kane would have been able to kickout of it had he landed it.
Cody Rhodes Vs The Big Show - Intercontinental Championship
One of the few matches on this show with a decent build up, and honestly Cody was the one carrying the feud with his promos and the video packages of Show's embarrassing WM moments lol.
This one goes exactly as I thought it would; Show starts dominant, Cody finds an opening for a little while, then Show mauls Cody and wins. I just hoped that Cody would find a way to retain the title because Show doesn't need it in the slightest, and I don't see Cody going into the main event scene just yet so taking the title from him was pointless. Unless he moves to Raw and does something with the US belt before that dies completely (Santino has it still, right? Urgh).
Best part of this match was Show spearing Cody in the balls.
Luckily this isn't too long (though they might as well have had this go as long as the WHC match with Show just knocking out Cody, so the WHC match could have actually been a match). Its not BAD, but its short and there isn't much to it so I can't call it good either. Just kinda there, not annoying me, but entertaining me a little.
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos Vs Beth Phoenix & Eve
Literally had no idea what this match was happening or who Maria was going into WM. Luckily they showed up a video of how the match was set up. Was fucking awful lol. Such bad acting by everyone. And I still don't really know who Maria is. Gotta love WWE getting someone with main stream appeal!
I will give Maria come credit though. Had I not watched WWE for a few months and then just randomly saw this match without seeing the "build up" video, I would have assumed she was a normal diva, because she's about as untalented as everyone else.
Kelly Kelly and Maria win, because Maria is a "celebrity" and they can't possibly have a celeb lose a match.
The Undertaker Vs Triple H - Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels - Hell in a Cell Match
Fuck. Yes. This is where another £5 went lol. Awesome that JR got to call the match, and they actually didn't ruin it by playing up on all the shit between him and Cole. In fact, Cole was toned down a TON all night, which was awesome. He's decent when he isn't being a retard.
The build up to this one hasn't been epic, but I have enjoyed it more than any other WM match build this year. The whole "uncertainty" angle with Undertaker was a great way to set up the re-match imo. I remember listening to a radio show with JR, and the host summed up this angle in a great way. Its just like Rocky II. Undertaker is Apollo Creed, and he wants the rematch because, and I quote "I won but I didn't BEAT him". And that's just perfect for this. Undertaker got the win last year, but he was unable to leave the ring on his own and wasn't able to return until a year later. So he wants another shot at HHH to prove that he CAN beat The Game and not JUST win the match.
Undertaker's coat looks epic btw. And his new hair cut reveal isn't nearly as bad as I was thinking. I was expecting him to be completely bald and clean shaven on top of his head, but its grown back a little and he even has a slight Mohawk going that actually adds to his new look.
The cell lowers to the sound of Metallica, and I have to wonder what shitty generic rock music they'll replace it with when they release the show on DVD/Bluray. Seriously, why bother getting music like that for JUST the one night and not including it on the DVD/Bluray releases? They've done it before in the part, but now they replace anything they don't already own the rights to.
Last year, Triple H ran straight into The Undertaker to start the match and would be the one to control the pace and the match for the most part. This year, Undertaker has something to prove to himself and to HHH, so HE starts the match on fire and takes the fight right to HHH, showing him that the beating he took last year isn't going to happen again; at least, not to HIM.
I've been reading Mick Foley's first book as of late, and there is a chapter where he talks a little about the best way to bust someone open "the hard way". It involves targeting the spot just above the eyebrow... and about 3 minutes into this match I noticed that Undertaker starts targeting that exact spot with a couple of right hands and a few headbutts! Blood might be a big no-no in WWE these days, but hey, if someone is "accidentally" busted open, they can't be punished, right? Besides, who the FUCK is going to come down to the ring and stop a Hell in a Cell match between HHH and THE UNDERTAKER? Nobody with a brain.
The match slows down a little for a while now unfortunately. The match is inside the cell so I guess they figure they should do SOMETHING with it, and that ends up as nothing more than throwing each other into the side of it a couple of times. There really was no need to put this contest inside HIAC. I think they did it just to say that HHH and Undertaker finally had a HIAC match.
Things pick up again when HHH tries to get himself back into the match with a quick DDT. He attempts a Pedigree on the steel steps that Undertaker brought in the ring, but a back body drop puts a stop to that. A nice little callback spot I guess you could say from their previous match, except last year it was a table HHH got back dropped.
Another callback spot from last year with HHH hitting a brutal AA Spinebuster, except its the steel steps once again standing in for the table and damn does it look and sound a hell of a lot worse than last year! A desperate Undertaker sees an opportunity to use Hells Gate, but HHH has it scouted and is able to power Undertaker up and set him crashing to the mat! Undertaker's back has taken some punishment now, so its time for the cerebral assassin to do what he does best; go to work on an injured body part.
Time for the HBK factor to get involved in the match, with HHH brutalising The Undertaker with a steel chair, causing Shawn to show some concern for the man who ended his career. Triple H tells Shawn to end it, to ring the bell and stop the suffering of one of the biggest legends, or else HE'LL end it, and it won't be as quick and painless as ringing a bell. Undertaker makes damn sure to tell Shawn not to end it, which just infuriates HHH to the point where he brings out his trusty Sledgehammer to finish the job.
HBK gets involved again, actually preventing HHH from smashing the sledgehammer down on the head of the Dead Man. Instead he looks like he's going to ring the bell, a way he sees best to prevent HHH from not just beating HHH, but ENDING him. But its WrestleMania, and The Undertaker isn't going to let a match end like this any time, never mind HIS show. And if Shawn is considering ringing the bell, Undertaker believes he needs to take out Shawn, and he locks in the Hells Gate! With Shawn gone, HHH is next to feel the pain of Hells Gate, and just like the end of last year's match, HHH does his best to use the sledgehammer but he passes out from the pain! This one is OVER! Except... HBK is still out!
Another referee runs down as Undertaker levels HHH with a Chokeslam, and we get probably the biggest near fall a Chokeslam has gotten in quite some time, as HHH was still out from the Hells Gate and might not have been able to kick out. The referee suffers for only making a 2 count, and then...
SWEET CHIN MUSIC! SWEET CHIN MUSIC! HBK kicks Undertaker's teeth down his throat, and sends him straight into a Pedrigee! Its over! Its over! NO!!! Undertaker WILL NOT DIE!
Triple H goes back to the trusty Sledgehammer, but Undertaker sits up and nearly scares HHH into submission! Its almost like Undertaker is remembering everything that happened to him last year, and its firing him up more than ever before! Tombstone! HBK makes the count... only 2! Shawn is GREAT here as he sits in the corner looking like an emotional wreck, knowing he almost screwed Undertaker out of his streak, and almost counted out his best friend in this "end of an era" match.
We get a great battle from both men as they throw big lefts and rights at each other to the "yey!" and "boo!" of the crowd, with them starting off on their knees before staggering up and continuing it on their feet. PEDIGREE! Another 2 count, and Shawn looks like he just wants this one to end so nobody has to get hurt any more.
With both men hurting badly, they begin to crawl to separate weapons. Undertaker goes for a chair, and HHH for his sledgehammer. A great visual as Undertaker has the chair in his hand, and stands on the sledgehammer before HHH can pick it up. All the chair shots Undertaker received earlier are now fresh in his mind, and similar to the HIAC match with Edge back in 2008, Undertaker looks now to give everything back to his opponent and then some. Chairshots the head have been outlawed in WWE, but the way these two have been swinging the chair for just back shots more than makes up for it. These are hard and every bit as brutal as a chair shot to the head would be.
The match now really is a reverse of last year; Undertaker has destroyed HHH with chair shot after chair shot and is screaming at HHH to stay down, but like Undertaker last year, HHH refuses to, even though he has almost nothing left. Another tremendous visual moment as HHH charges at Undertaker one last time with the sledgehammer, only for Undertaker to put a stop to it and shake his head. HHH, like his best friend HBK 2 years earlier, is defiant to the end and essentially forces Undertaker to finish him because there really is no other way. Another Tombstone, and this one is over. The Undertaker is able to put his year of uncertainty behind him as he not only won, but he BEAT Triple H.
The stuff that follows the match is really fucking great too. We have Undertaker and Shawn hugging, as Undertaker breaks away from his "Dead Man" character as much as possible without being Mark Calaway. And it was great to see Undertaker and HBK help HHH up and WALK him up the ramp to the back. Almost like Undertaker didn't want HHH to go through what he went through last year. It might not have been on his own, but dammit, HHH WALKED out of WrestleMania. As JR put it, "That ladies and gentlemen, is respect". This really was an end of an era, because its going to be a long damn time before anything like this is going to be able to take place in WWE.
This was incredible. Better than last year. If it wasn't for the part near the beginning of the match slowing things down and not really going anywhere, I'd throw the full ***** at it. This is one hell of a way to finish the incredible story arc that in a way began at WrestleMania 24 with HBK ending the career of Ric Flair. It really doesn't get any better than this.
Team Johnny: David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, Mark Henry & The Miz Vs Team Teddy: Santino Marella, Kofi Kongston, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Booker T & Zack Ryder - Winning GM gains control of both Raw and Smackdown
Team Teddy is the worst team of all time. Not one guy worth a damn. Luckily Team Johnny has some talented guys who can take great bumps and hopefully make this match interesting.
I mentioned earlier about Cole on commentary actually being decent as he wasn't playing up on his heel persona, and King wasn't bitching at him much either. Unfortunately this match is where things go to hell a little bit as they start their bitching at each other because Cole is on Team Johnny's side and Lawler is on Long's. And from there we get the typical "Be a STAR, not a bully... unless it involves Vickie Guerrero" bullshit and some pointless arguing between the announcers lol.
The actual match is... well its not bad, and has a few fun moments. Too much talent involved and not enough time (though believe me, given most of the guys involved I wouldn't want this to last half an hour lol) for them to really get things going and to have a full on match. But what they give us is pretty fun for the most part at least. Heart skipped a beat when Santino was left along in the ring with Miz and hit the Cobra. Thank fuck for Ziggler. Not just for breaking up the 3 count, but in general
And thank fuck Team Johnny won, and LOL at Eve causing Zack to be the one to lose, then kicking him in the balls for being such a retarded fuck. He deserved everything he got tbh. She played him, was after Cena... then when Cena turned her down she went back to Zack and his cock took over his brain and he let her back in his life even though she was still shitting all over him. Moron.
So yeah. Fun mostly, but nothing much else. The right team won. Had low expectations for this so I was more surprised with how much fun it was than disappointed with the fact it wasn't technically "good". I'd rather watch this than a lot of WM 27.
CM Punk Vs Chris Jericho - WWE Championship
And here is where my last £5 went. Yep, I didn't pay to see Cena/Rock. I'll talk more about that when I get to it though.
Before the match, Punk is backstage and runs into Johnny, who adds the stipulation that if Punk loses his cool and gets DQ'd, he also loses the WWE Title. Punk does his best to look... pissed off? I dunno. His facial expressions as of late have been fucking horrible lol, making me want to laugh during this feud more than anything. Jericho added to that with his hilarious dick headed comments about Punk's family. Wrestling needs more dick head heels btw. Been watching a bunch of ROH stuff from Joe and Danielson and KENTA in 06 when Bryan was a heel and the other 2 were... I dunno, tweeners maybe, and all 3 just act like complete DICKS to each other and it makes their matches, be it singles, tag or triple thread, so much fucking fun. So yeah. More dick heads in wrestling please! Austin Aries in TNA is one of the best things going right now because of the way he acts tbh.
The match begins with some nice little mat work, with both men wanting to prove that they are the best in the world. But Punk has more on his mind; he wants to beat the hell out of Jericho as well. Jericho sees this, and goes to work...
The new stipulation allows Punk and Jericho to add a little something more to their match here. Jericho gets to be a DICK and its just great to watch. With the title now being able to change hands on a DQ, Jericho decides he's going to make Punk so mad he'll get himself DQ'd and literally hand the belt to Chris.
It starts off with a couple of slaps, but that doesn't seem to be getting the job done. So Jericho brings up Punk's Dad, but again Punk is able to cool himself off and not fully lose control. Time to bring out the Sister card, and again Punk goes crazy but pulls himself together before before he does something he'll regret. Jericho literally BEGS Punk to hit him in the head with a chair, and its just awesome. He's so fucking happy as he does it too. Only Funk and Foley come to mind when I think about people smiling and begging to be hit with a chair lol.
When it becomes obvious Punk isn't going to get himself DQ'd, Jericho has to out-wrestle Punk in order to win, and luckily for him all the things he has been saying has caused Punk to lose focus. Love the transition spot into Jericho's "wrestling" part of the match. The suplex from the ring to the outside was a hell of a manly bump.
We get some really nice back work from Chris, and the spot where Jericho throws Punk off the ropes is great due to the slow motion replay and both Cole and Lawler just going "oh MAN" at the same time while watching it. Looked sick in slow motion.
Punk makes his comeback and the match becomes more of a back and forth even contest which fits in nicely with the story of both men claiming to be the best in the world. Only real complaint I have here is how Punk shrugs off the back work completely. Didn't expect him to sell his back like death for the rest of the match, especially since Jericho doesn't go back to it aside from the Walls of Jericho, but damn, one minute Punk is having his back worked over, and the next he's fighting back and acting like nothing happened at all lol.
Anyone else for a moment thought that Jericho was going to hit the Styles Clash when he countered a Hurricanrana into a Walls of Jericho? Just me? Ah well lol.
I love how they transition seamlessly from the back and forth stuff into a finishing stretch, and do it without completely killing the concept of finishers too. I think Punk kicks out of a Codebreaker ONCE, and only because he had time to rest and recover before Jericho made the cover, and in a big match at WM that's kinda to be expected, and in this match it really works into the story of both men being the best in the world and having what it takes to kick out of such things.
They really work their submissions beautifully in the match too. Jericho finding a way out of the Anaconda Vice by using his knees is great, and then Punk finding a way to counter the counter which results in Jericho having to tap is even better.
Totally loved this match. Great storytelling, starting out with Jericho trying to get Punk to lose his temper and get DQ'd, then moving onto both men just trying to prove they are the best in the world. Prefer Undertaker/HHH to it, but I've come to expect that I'll like "big" Undertaker matches more than most people, and I can certainly see a lot of people thinking this was the best match of the night and other than my personal preference for Undertaker/HHH I'd find it hard to come up with much of a reason to disagree. Blew my expectations away, which were a little low as I didn't want to be disappointed and I honestly doubted both men a little in their ability to have a truly great match with each other. Luckily they proved me wrong!
John Cena Vs The Rock
Urgh. It always sucks a little when they most hyped up match for WrestleMania doesn't interest you in the slightest. I don't like The Rock. Never have. I'm not one of those people who bitches because he left for Hollywood. I like that he left for Hollywood because it meant he wasn't on my wrestling show any more. I don't care much for Cena. I'm not one of those people who thinks he can't wrestle in the slightest or have good matches, I just don't enjoy his character. Even as the rapper. I've just never connected with Cena, but I've always at least been able to enjoy his matches when they have been good, and yeah, he's got a bunch of them. Same can be said for The Rock, I like a bunch of his matches too.
Unfortunately I just can't find any motivation to give a shit about this match. I don't like either guy, I don't like their characters, and the build up to this one has been atrocious. Absolutely atrocious. They had an ENITRE YEAR to build this one up, and it consisted of the same old shit from both men over and over again. Oh, The Rock left and I'm always here. Well, Cena is a fruity pebble and a *insert takeaway food here* bitch. A year of THAT. It wasn't good, clever or funny the first time they did it. Why would it be any of that the next billion times they said it? I hear people say that feuds these days are too short and in the good old days they could last a year blah blah blah. Well in this day and age its impossible to keep things going for a long time because a) there is far more programming than there was 20 years ago, and b) creative struggle to come up with an interesting angle that last longer than a fucking week. And that's all this one was; a week's worth of ideas on repeated for a fucking year. As I write this, I haven't had the chance to see Raw yet (Its Tuesday afternoon), so I don't know what might have happened there, but I have to say, I fucking HOPE they don't announce a rematch because I don't know if I could take this boring, shitty, uncreative feud any more.
Nice to see that both guys get extremely long and shitty entrances from so called "singers" that I've never heard of and for good reason because they suck, while the WHC match got 18 seconds. Once again, FUCK YOU, ROCK. Your shitty boring pointless promo last year at WM prevented Bryan/Sheamus from happening on the show, and this year your shitty boring pointless entrance took away all but 18 seconds from Bryan/Sheamus. And fuck you too, Cena. And Vince McMahon.
Now I have that out of my system, time to watch the match. Urgh.
Collar and Elbow tie ups to start things off, with Cena powering Rock across the ring the first time, kinda like he was saying "LOL @ Teh Moviez Star". Then Rock powers Cena across the ring with the second one as if to say "I may have been to Hollywood, but I'm as much of a wrestler as you as, so don't take me lightly, bitch". Then Rock busts out some ZOMGWRESTLING moves that shocks Cena and almost catches him off guard so much he almost gets pinned!
Cena is getting frustrated, but takes a time out and this allows him to regain his composure and when he gets back into the ring, he is able to take control of the match by targeting Rock's ribs and utilises the bear hug. Unfortunately these bear hug spots are as dull as shit and damn, I know wrestling is "fake" but come on, if you are going to talk to each other in holds, try and do it quietly lol. Takes away from the match a little, and believe me, I'm not into the match that much to begin with
After a while they take turns at hitting finishers, which breaks up the dull fest of bear hugs nicely, and then Cena goes back to controlling Rocky followed by a Rock control segment which involves his terrible attempt at a Sharpshooter.
Speaking of shitty attempts at submission holds... STFU! More god awful, dull and shitty submission spots from Cena. This match is way too long.
We go into the finishing stretch now, and its finishers for the most part, which I'm fine with because its a "huge" match and nobody is going to buy either of these being beaten by just ONE finisher. Rock goes to the ropes at one point, and in a nice throwback to his early days, lands a crossbody! But Cena rolls throw and hits the FU (or AA, whatever)! Legit thought this was it, but Rock kicked out and then I remembered something; movie stars always win! And yeah, Rock wins. Rock Bottom while Cena mocks Rock by attempting the People's Elbow.
So its finally over. The whole "Once in a lifetime" stuff better be fucking true because I don't want to see this match again as long as I live. It went on WAY too long, and if it wasn't for the crowd I probably would have shot myself half way through. Rock/Hogan not only had a better atmosphere than this in all honestly, but the actual MATCH was better too imo. Watching it live I was able to keep with it and somewhat enjoyed it. Didn't hold up on a re-watch. Kane/Orton was better as far as a MATCH goes. Crowd and Atmosphere were obviously better than anything Kane/Orton had, but that's the ONLY thing this match had over it.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
For the most part I really enjoyed this show. Undertaker/HHH and Punk/Jericho were both fantastic, and while nothing else on the undercard really stands out, its all mostly FUN at least.