Friday 6 April 2012

WrestleMania XXVIII Review

It's hard to believe WrestleMania has passed. Through the year long feud, battle for supremacy and the end of an era, WrestleMania has come and gone, leaving a lasting impression which I'm sure left a lot of people happy.

The show had everything you could ask for really. It had the spectacle, the action, the old faces, and some surprise results which kept the show fresh. Of course, it wasn't a perfect show. It still had some disappointing and head scratching moments, but fortunately the good parts overshadowed the bad parts.

World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan

I've kind of calmed down since Sunday. With the show being on live at 12 o'clock, and with me having work the next morning I decided to watch the first match... all 18 seconds of it. I think it's fair to say that afterwards, I went to bed feeling pretty disgusted.

You'd wonder what went through WWE' heads to go with such a finish. The fans looked revved up for the first match of the evening and then BOOM, it was over in an instant. Not only was this a slap in the face to Bryan, but it was a slap in the face to Sheamus as well. Sure, he won the World Championship, but even he deserved a better match in the biggest show of the year. I Could go on and on about how poor of a decision this was, but I'll just drop it.

Kane def. Randy Orton

A surprisingly decent match between these two. The match was pretty slow in fairness, but the pacing suited the style of both men, and in the end came off fairly well. The match also had some nice spots to get a reaction out of the crowd, and I think the ending came as a surprise to everyone. I thought for sure that Orton pick up the win with his RKO 'out of nowhere', but it wasn't to be.

Intercontinental Championship
Big Show def. Cody Rhodes

Nothing much to say here apart from a congratulations Big Show, you deserved your WrestleMania moment, even if it wasn't necessarily a big one.

The match was nothing special, as both men weren't given a lot of time. Of course they made the most of it and did try their best with what they had, but ultimately, it was nothing more than an under card filler. The match was fine, but just a tad short.

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos def. Eve & Beth Phoenix

While I didn't agree with Maria Menounos being put in a WrestleMania match ahead of some other well deserving Diva (such as Natalya), you have to tip your hat off to someone who is isn't a wrestler, and someone who wrestled while injured.

The match was fairly well structured and thought out as they kept Maria relatively safe and got some decent spots in as well. A forgettable match, but not a bad match.

End of an Era
Undertaker def. Triple H

Where do I even start? Everything about this match was just so damn good. I guess I'll start with this though, is there anyone better at storytelling than Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels? Not only was this a fantastic match, but all three men told such an incredible story which got you hooked from the moment the bell rang. Everything from HBK's late reaction to giving Undertaker the Sweet Chin Music, to Triple H admitting defeat with the crotch chop towards the Deadman.

I was slightly worried that this match wouldn't be as good as their previous encounter, but in the end I think it surpassed it. Not only was the storytelling excellent, but the action was brutal as well. We saw some nasty chair shots to the back, the always welcome introduction of blood and finishers galore.

The match was then capped off with the perfect image of all three men walking up the ramp and hugging in front of the '20-0' sign. A classic ending to a classic match.

Team Johnny def. Team Teddy

I think it was obvious this match was always going to be clustered, and it proved to be just that. Everyone tried to get their little WrestleMania spot in, but due to the large amount of people in the match it just didn't come off very well.

Through all this though, I was delighted with the outcome, even if it was an obvious one. Mr. Excitement now has control of both Raw and Smackdown, and Teddy can leave, looking back at how fortunate he was to get such a long career out of the WWE, even though he was terrible at everything he did.

WWE Championship
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

I never expected to see a Match of the Year candidate from these two men, so I really wasn't disappointed in their match. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it though, because I really did. It was a very solid match from start to finish.

I really liked how the match told two stories here. The first being Punk looking to get his hands on Jericho at every moment, while knowing that he couldn't afford to lose the five count, and the second becoming more about who is the 'best in the world'.

The match featured everything you'd want from two wrestlers like these. It had brawling, good storytelling, nice spots and really nice reversals which really was a big feature in this match. Although it won't go down as the years best match, there still is really nothing wrong with this match. A great showing from both men.

Once in a Lifetime
The Rock def. John Cena

And then it was the big one. The match, once in a lifetime, The Rock vs. John Cena. If a match signifies what WrestleMania is all about, this is probably it. It had the musical guests, the spectacle, the big match feeling and two massive superstars squaring off to settle it once and for all.

To be the critic that I am, I have to say that the match was slow in places. The crowd was on and off, and some bits in the match didn't make that much sense (such as Rock delivering a People's Elbow, getting caught in a roll up and then staying layed out on the mat after kicking out, only for Cena to get up first).

Through all this though, it was an exciting match, and the ending was nothing short of shocking. I had no doubt in my mind that Cena would be picking up the victory in Miami, so it came as a great surprise to see Rock deliver the Rock Bottom for the 1-2-3. And to have that happen because Cena's ego was so big that he had to go for the People's Elbow... even better.

While the Hell in the Cell match was the most brutal match up of the night, and the WWE Title match being the best pure wrestling match of the night, this was certainly the biggest spectacle of the night. It was a joy to watch.

This really has to go down as one of the best WrestleMania's of all time, and really, can you deny that? Was any of the WrestleMania's from XX to XXVII any better than this one? Did any of them have three stand out matches that all delivered. And the same goes for any match from WrestleMania I onwards, there's simply not enough that could push this out of the top 5 ever. Yes, it had its downsides, but as I said at the start of this review, the good parts overshadowed the bad parts.

All in all, it really was a fantastic WrestleMania.

Stray Observations:

  • At least there were some 'Daniel Bryan' chants in the first hour of the show, little things like that will show WWE that fans won't take results like that lightly.
  • It was great to see JR announce the Hell in a Cell match, and just as good to see him get some much deserved respect from Michael Cole as well. JR was simply brilliant during that match.
  • Having the Cell go down to Metallica was hilarious, but absolutely awesome nonetheless.
  • Seeing Undertaker make Triple H bleed the hard way was a lot more brutal than if Triple H just bladed.
  • Your sisters a drug addict! Hit me!”
  • Many people may not have liked the mini concert before the main event, but I actually thought it came off really well. It brought more excitement and energy to the main event.

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