So yeah, on Sunday night I watched WrestleMania as is my tradition ever since I first watched it back in 2001 with WrestleMania 17. WrestleMania 27 is getting a lot of mixed reviews from great to god awful. I’ve heard described as brilliant by some and then a clusterfuck by others. My thoughts range somewhere in between the two extremes. While it certainly wasn’t my favorite WrestleMania, I've seen much worse (WrestleMania 20 anybody?). This was an up and down show, but in general I liked it so let’s get to the card.
U.S. Title Match: Sheamus VS Daniel Byran – Taken off the card at the last minute, and never actually happened as advertised. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to this match and I thought it would have been a great opener to get people excited, but alas… I can’t get too upset mostly because this is not the first time a good match has been bumped from the Mania card. Heck, Lance Storm never got to wrestle at a live Mania because both times he got bumped. Once for the Miller Lite Catfight girls. No, seriously. Shame we didn’t get to see it. Heard these guys were having great house shows.
World Heavyweight Title Match: Edge VS Alberto Del Rio – This was a strange match to start the night off with and honestly I thought this match would have been better in the middle of the show. As it was this was a fine match, but it was a bit too slow to work as the opening match. Del Rio actually looked very credible in this match, and considering what happened in the main event I’m glad Smackdown’s new heel is being booked as a threat. Great ring work with some nice spots and it ended with Edge getting the pin off a Spear. A bit anti-climactic, but it worked. Solid match.
Cody Rhodes VS Rey Mysterio – This match was amazing and honestly might have been my favorite of the night. The storyline leading to this was stupid, and I’ll continue to say this would have been more interesting if Cody’s face was kept hidden most of the match only to reveal mid-match that it was fine. Still, Cody looked very impressive in this match, and Mysterio got Rhodes over big time. I actually sort of like Rhodes’ gimmick now as he’s a bit more mysterious and psychopathic which could work wonders for him in the future. The finish saw Rhodes taking off Rey’s knee brace, then sliding out of the ring to hit him with it while the ref was distracted. A great finish and these guys put on one hell of a match for something that really didn’t interest me going in.
CORRE VS Big Show, Kane, Santino, and Kofi – A squash match essentially, but for the wrong guys. The current Intercontinental and Tag Team champions were utterly destroyed here in a match that was basically one hot tag. Some nice athleticism from Kofi, but that’s about all I can say positively about this match. Even if they had to make CORRE lose this match, they should have lost with a bit more style. You’d never realize that three guys in that match were champions, and the fourth guy they’re trying to build as the next Batista. Very poor match.
Randy Orton VS CM Punk – As I’ve said plenty of times, Randy really is a bad face--even if he is a tweener. It’s tough to really root against Punk considering this feud all started because Orton was a dick two years ago, and the build has been Orton systematically killing Punk’s partners. Still, I thought this was a great match due to some amazing ring psychology. CM Punk is amazing at this and he worked the leg all night long. Orton sold it great too and he really looked crippled out there. The finish saw Orton going for the punt then falling, and Punk narrowly escaping a surprise RKO. He attempted a diving crossbody only for Orton to come out with another surprise RKO. It was a great ending showing Punk narrowly avoiding one move just to fall into it again, and it really sells the RKO as the new Sweet Chin Music—i.e. a finisher that can come from anywhere. I heard reports saying Orton was pissed that this match was so low on the card and a bit shorter, but honestly I thought it went great. A nice mid card battle with some great ring work. Kudos to both men.
Jerry Lawler VS Michael Cole w/ Special Guest Referee Stone Cold Steve Austin – This was both a great and awful match. On one hand Michael Cole got the living shit beat out of him at WrestleMania which was the only thing anyone wanted. On the other hand this match was painfully long during Cole’s offensive, and the ending was baffling. They had the chance to kill the Cole heat at Mania, but instead they’re giving Cole the overturned win via DQ which suggests this feud will continue. I don’t know how it could, and honestly it was a pretty big downer ending to match that should have been a feel good “everybody leaves happy” sort of match. Very strange.
Triple H VS The Undertaker – This was an amazing match put on by two great veterans. You can tell these guys aren’t as fast as they once were and some of the time things didn’t go perfectly, but honestly Taker just can’t do a bad Mania match anymore. The emotions were overwhelming in this match and Taker, God bless him, absolutely destroyed himself for this match. Seeing Taker kick out of a Pedigree and a Tombstone Piledriver was amazing—even I thought HHH was going to win once he hit the Tombstone. The finish wasn’t as impressive just because it didn’t look like Taker got the Hell’s Gate locked in correctly unless I was mistaken that it was supposed to look like a chokehold. Triple H tapping for the finish was great though, and I can’t say anything bad about this match that wouldn’t be nitpicking. Some people think the end wasn’t planned and they had to cut the match short because Taker was hurt, and that’s entirely possible, but if that is the case then even more props to Taker and HHH because that definitely looked planned. A fantastic match.
Dolph Ziggler & Laycool VS John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki – People were dreading this match as soon as it happened, but I actually was surprised by it. First of all this was really Trish Stratus VS Laycool featuring others, and it was very refreshing to see Trish in the ring again. She looked sharp, she was entertaining, and it all flowed rather well. The finish saw Snooki getting the hot tag and doing some cartwheel moved to pin Michelle McCool. I was actually impressed by this because Snookie could have totally gone the easy way out and done some stupid slap or horribly botched DDT. What she did didn’t exactly look threatening, but it took some athleticism, and I can appreciate that.
WWE Title Match: The Miz VS John Cena – This match was terrible from almost the very beginning. It started off actually pretty nice with a promo for Miz showing his time on the Real World intercut with scenes of great Mania moments. It built him up as this new heel that, like it or not, was going to make a WrestleMania memory. It was all downhill from there. Cena then had his own promo and honestly it was a complete clusterfuck. It was this very religious prayer played over images of Cena that came off extremely awkward, and throughout the match Cena looked distracted. For a promo all about him being an inspiration and a symbol for children, Cena pretty much ignored the crowd which did nothing to help the already dreary energy of the night. People wanted excitement, but more than that people wanted The Rock. Instead we got a very boring match full of way too many pinfalls. Every few seconds someone would go for a pin, and it really killed the match’s tempo. The only cool spot of the match came when Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment, and then Miz kicked out. That sole moment made Miz look credible, but it ended after that. The “finish” came with Miz attempting to leave the arena when Cena attacked him and the two got counted out. A double DQ was not going to sit well with the fans, so The Rock came out, ordered the match to restart as a No DQ match. He then Rock Bottom’d Cena, and Miz scored the win.
Again, this was a clusterfuck. The match itself was boring and filled with too many pinfalls on banal maneuvers that killed the tempo for me. The match absolutely destroyed Miz’s chance to look credible which he honestly desperately needed. Miz needed to look good here to come out looking credible, but instead he was your standard chicken shit heel. He didn’t look dominant or memorable, and aside from kicking out of the AA he was mostly forgettable. The end just stank and again, killed Miz’s credibility as he only won after having the match restarted and The Rock laying out Cena for him. I thought this was a terrible match and honestly the worst way to end the night. Even ending the night on the shitty 8-Man tag match would have been better because at least the faces won. Nobody got what they wanted here. Cena fans saw Cena lose. Cena haters still had to endure Cena looking like the dominant combatant. Miz fans can’t really cheer this win as a legitimate victory, and Rock fans can’t cheer because honestly he came off like a heel.
This was a horrible way to end Mania and really dropped the show’s appeal in my eyes because even more than Taker & HHH, this was the most important match. Taker/HHH was a match that defined a generation, but Cena/Miz should have been a match to showcase the next generation, but honestly came off looking flat and pointless. Overall I still liked WrestleMania 27. I loved the Rhodes/Mysterio, Punk/Orton, and Taker/HHH matches immensely, and the rest were relatively good. All three of the above matches were WrestleMania caliber to me, and I’d definitely love to see those programs continue—though I doubt the latter will. I’d give WrestleMania 27 a 7/10 or a B if you will.
Until next time, Namaste