Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Wrestlemania XXVIII Review

It’s Wrestlemania baby! Wrestlemania XXVIII is taking place at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, home of the Miami Dolphins in the first outdoor Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania XXIV. How good will this Wrestlemania be? Let’s take a look.

Before the show, I watched the dark match that was on wwe.com, which was Epico and Primo defending their Tag Team Championships against the Usos and the team of Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd. This was a really fun match with the highlights including Jey Uso throwing Epico up in the air for Jimmy Uso to catch him and do a Samoan Drop; and Tyson Kidd’s tremendous athleticism. The end of the match was when one of the Usos bodysplashed Gabriel, and Epico pulled him off and hit the Backstabber to get the win. I really enjoyed the match and it would be nice if the WWE put a bit more effort into their Tag Team Division.
Winners: Epico and Primo                                                      Predictions: N/A

After we get Lillian Garcia signing America the Beautiful, we open with the World Heavyweight Championship match?? I know they did this last year but the WWE are doing that again? I know it’s normally a great way to open a PPV with a title match but you could have used the Tag Team Championship match for that. Anyway, back to the event. Daniel Bryan defends his title against the Royal Rumble winner Sheamus and I’ve been looking forward to this match as this could be a dark horse for match of the night. I loved the beginning when Bryan made his entrance and the crowd were chanting “yes” at him. The bell rings and Bryan gets a good luck kiss from AJ, turns round and Sheamus practically brogue kicks Bryan’s head off and gets the win?! Wait, what?! That lasted what 15,20 seconds?! Ok, just give me a minute to digest this...

Ok, WHAT THE FUCK WWE?!?!?! ARE YOU TRYING TO PISS ME OFF?! REALLY?! REALLY?! Was WWE inspired by the beginning of TNA Victory Road this year and decided that it would be a good idea to apply that logic to the opening of their biggest event of the year?! What the FUCK?!  This just makes everyone look incredibly stupid. It makes Sheamus not look like he deserved to win it, and Bryan look like a weak Champion. This is complete and utter bullshit and not a good way to start not just any PPV but the biggest one of the year. I need to reluctantly read the dirtsheets but one of these motherfuckers had better be too injured to compete and that was why the WWE had to shit all over this match. Right rant over, the rest of the PPV had better be fucking amazing otherwise I will be not a happy chappy.
Winner: Sheamus                                                                    Predictions: 1 for 1

After an entertaining segment with Team Johnny, which cheered me up slightly, we get Randy Orton against Kane. Great, after getting pissed off with the first match, I now get one that I not really looking forward to. Kane goes for the Chokeslam early on but Orton gets out of it before Kane gets back the momentum. After a while, Orton does his patented DDT and tries to go for the RKO but Kane counters with a big boot. Kane hits a Chokeslam but Orton kicks out at 2. Kane then hits a Chokeslam from the second rope and gets the win. This match was actually pretty decent and after the clusterfuck of a beginning, it has now made me look forward to whatever match is next.
Winner: Kane                                                                          Predictions: 1 for 2

After a backstage segement involving Santino Marella, Mick Foley, Ron Simmons and some guy that I don’t know; the next match is for the Intercontinental Championship as Cody Rhodes is challenged by the Big Show. Rhodes immediately leaves and Show goes after him and throws Rhodes back into the ring. Rhodes takes advantage of a missed avalanche splash to go on the attack. Rhodes hits the disaster kick but it doesn’t knock Show down so he tries again and gets hit with a spear instead. Show then hits the WMD to get the win and become Intercontinental Champion. This was a decent match with strong performances from both Show and Cody.
Winner: Big Show                                                                   Predictions: 2 for 3

Hey, it’s time for a bathroom break as it’s the Divas match. I’m kidding, I’m staying for this one as Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres take on Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos(?)Still don’t know who Maria is but at the minute, I don’t really care. I have to admit, this match was slightly better than I thought it would be. The end comes when Beth had Maria up in the air, Kelly pulls Maris down and Maria does a roll up on Beth for the victory. It was a decent match with a decent amount of time. However, ironically enough I was not happy about it but I’ll get onto that at the end.
Winners: Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos                            Predictions: 3 for 4

After an interview with Shawn Michaels, we get good old Jim Ross down to ringside to commentate. Yay!  And Cole is not acting like a dick towards him for once. It’s always nice to see JR commentate once again.

Now we get to the End of an Era as The Undertaker is going for 20-0 against Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee. Undertaker reveals his new haircut which doesn’t really bother Triple H. The cell is lowered and the match begins. Early on, both guys keep on sending each other into the cell. Michaels tries to look at HHH’s eye to see if he is bleeding but Undertaker pushes him away and continue his assault on HHH. HHH eventually hits a DDT to slow Undertaker’s momentum. HHH tries to do a Pedigree on the steel steps but Undertaker reversed it into a back body drop.  However, HHH gets some momentum after doing an Double A Spinebuster (one of my favourite moves) landing Undertaker onto the steel steps. Undertaker then puts on the Hell’s Gate but HHH reversed it into a powerbomb. HHH attacks Undertaker with a chair and  keeps on attacking him despite Michaels pleas for HHH to stop. HHH starts saying to Michaels that either Michaels should end the match or he will.

HHH brings out the sledgehammer and hits Taker in the head but it only gets a 2 count. HHH tries to hit Taker in the head with the sledgehammer but Michaels pulls it off him. Michaels starts to think about ending the match but Taker puts him in the Hell’s Gate and is stopped by HHH; then HHH is put in the Hell’s Gate and passes out. However, due to Michaels being temporarily incapacitated, the match doesn’t end. Referee Charles Robinson runs in and Taker hits a Tombstone but that only gets 2. Taker doesn’t take that too well and Chokeslams Robinson. Taker goes for another Tombstone, HHH gets out of it and pushes Taker into a Sweet Chin Music followed by a Pedigree, and yet that only gets 2. Michaels starts to get a bit emotional. HHH grabs the sledgehammer and throws Michaels out of the ring. Taker suddenly sits up and beats the crap out of HHH, ending with another Tombstone. However, that only gets a 2 count.

Both guys start punching each other and HHH hits another Pedigree to get a 2 count. Taker grabs a chair and stops HHH from grabbing the sledgehammer Taker destroys HHH with the chair and gets a 2 count out of it. Michaels is pleading with them to end the match, but to no avail. After a defiant gesture by HHH, Taker hits him in the head with the sledgehammer followed by a third Tombstone to get the win and go 20-0. This was an awesome match with a tremendous story. I especially thought Michaels’ role in this match was superb. Michaels probably only wanted to be in the match to feed his own ego. However, he realised very quickly he was out of his depth HHH and Taker were willing to go to finish each other off. Michaels played his role to perfection and the Sweet Chin Music/Pedigree combo made me think for a second that HHH was going to win. It was a match that thoroughly deserved to be the End of an Era and it was a great sight to see them all together at the entrance.
Winner: Undertaker                                                                            Predictions: 4 for 5

Next we see the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 and a little segment in which the One Man Contraband Rock Band Heath Slater gets owned by singer Flo Rida.

The next match is Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Captain David Otunga) taking on Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Booker T, Zack Ryder and Captain Santino Marella) for control of WWE. Some of the highlights include the beginning with Kofi and Dolph, Henry dominating Booker, and R-Truth and Kofi doing suicide somersaults to most of Team Johnny. Booker gets the hot tag to Santino, who dominates the Miz. Santino then tags in Zack, who hits the Rough Ryder on Ziggler (Ziggler once again selling it like he was thrown out of a car). Zack then tries to kick Miz in the head and Eve Torres joins in. The ref gets Eve out of the ring, and when Zack protests, the Miz takes advantage and hits the Skull Crushing Finale to get the win for Team Johnny. Afterwards, Eve kicks Zack in the crotch. I would feel sorry for Zack but I did warn the fucker. This was a fun match and I now have to write “John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the General Manager of both RAW and Smackdown?)”
Winners: Team Johnny                                                                       Predictions: 5 for 6

Next was the WWE Championship match between Chris Jericho and CM Punk. Before the match, John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the General Manager of both RAW and Smackdown?) added the stipulation that if Punk gets disqualified, he would lose the WWE title. Ok, I didn’t think that was necessary but I’ll go with it. The match starts with Jericho trying to get Punk disqualified. After Jericho taunts Punk about his family, Punk grabs a chair but refrains from using it and that is when Jericho starts to take control. Punk tries to get back into the match but Jericho pulls him off the turnbuckle. A little later on, Punk hits the running knee and tries to do the bulldog. However, Jericho slams Punk to the floor and goes for the Lionsault, which Punk puts his knees up to. However, Jericho takes advantage and tries to go for the Walls of Jericho but Punk powers out of it. Jericho counters a Macho Man elbow drop by Punk and hits the Codebreaker, which sends Punk rolling out of the ring. Punk recovers and hits the GTS but Jericho gets his foot on the rope. Jericho then hits the Lionsault but Punk kicks out at 2. Punk tries to hit a top rope hurracarana but Jericho manages to turn it into the Walls of Jericho but Punk gets to the bottom rope. Jericho hits another Codebreaker but Punk kicks out at 2. Punk tries a couple of times to hit the GTs but each time Jericho had managed to counter it. Punk then tries the GTS again. However, Jericho countered it into the Liontamer version of the Walls of Jericho. Punk manages to get out of it and apply the Anaconda Vice yet Jericho gets out of it by kneeing Punk in the back of the head. Jericho goes once again for the Walls of Jericho but Punk applies the Anaconda Vice again and this time, Punk changes position so that Jericho can’t knee him in the back of the head. Eventually, Jericho taps out, giving Punk the victory. This was a really good match and I really enjoyed Jericho trying to goad Punk early on and the numerous counters that took place.
Winner: CM Punk                                                                   Predictions: 5 for 7

Next we get a fun segment with the Funkasaurus Brodus Clay, involving the Funkettes Cameron and Naomi, along with Mama Clay and her bridge club. It was a nice short little segment to keep everyone’s spirits up.

Now it’s the match billed as “Once in a Lifetime” as The Rock takes on John Cena. The artist MGK sings his song “Invincible” and pisses off the crowd when he announces that Cena will win this match. Cena comes out with a new green T-Shirt (Christ, again?). Next we had Flo Rida perform his songs “Good Feeling” and “Wild Ones” to help introduce The Rock. I appreciate what the WWE are trying to do, but I don’t think we need a mini concert to introduce the wrestlers.

Anyway, after the musical interlude, the match finally gets underway. It starts with a lock up and Cena pushes Rock off. We get another lock up and Rock pushes Cena off. The crowd was really up for this match and Rock does a inside cradle for 2, surprising Cena. Rock tries to go for the Sharpshooter but Cena scoots out of the ring to regroup. Cena starts to attack Rock’s ribs, bouncing him off the announce table. This is where Cena starts to dominate the match for a while. Cena uses a bearhug (haven’t seen that move in a few years) which Rock powers out of before hitting a DDT. Rock hits a Spinebuster then goes for the People’s Elbow. However, Cena tries to go for the STF but was unsuccessful. Rock starts punching Cena, but Cena hits the AA for a 2 count. Rock hits the Rock Bottom but Cena kicks out at 2. Cena hits a top rope fameasser for 2. Rock slaps on the Sharpshooter twice but Rock didn’t realise that Cena doesn’t submit. Ever. Cena gets to the bottom rope and Cena hits the STF again and Rock looks like he passes out so the referee does the much missed 3 arm count. Rock keeps his arm on the 3rd count. After a late flurry, Rock hits the Spinebuster followed by the People’s Elbow but Cena kicks out at 2. Cena tries to do a superplex but Rock pushes him off. Rock does a crossbody  but Cena manages to keep hold of the Rock, lift him onto his shoulders and do the AA. Rock, to Cena’s shock, kicks out at 2. Cena then decides to mock the Rock by doing a People’s Elbow. However, Rock jumps up and hits the Rock Bottom to get the victory. Holy fucking shit!!! I know it’s Rock’s home town but I didn’t think that he would actually win. This match had a lot of hype going into it and I think it delivered. However, I didn’t really like the ending as I felt that Cena mocking the People’s Elbow didn’t fit in with Cena’s character. It felt like something the Rock would do, mocking something like the 5 knuckle shuffle. Despite that, I really enjoyed the match and a good way to end the PPV
Winner: The Rock                                                                               Predictions: 5 for 8

 I have mixed feelings about this Wrestlemania. As I mentioned last year in my Summerslam review, this event is not being compared to the last PPV but the last Wrestlemania as well. I don’t really think that this year’s Wrestlemania was better than either Wrestlemania XXVIIor Elimination Chamber. That’s not because of the matches as most of them were enjoyable to watch and I think the Undertaker/HHH is an early contender for LDW Match of the Year. I just wish that they would cut down on some of the segments, some of which wasn’t necessary.

However, the event was mainly ruined for me by the clusterfuck of a first match. I feel really sorry for Sheamus and Daniel Bryan as they seemed to get fucked over at Wrestlemania. Last year, their United States Championship match was relegated to the dark match, which developed into a clusterfuck of a battle royal. This year was even worse with an 18 second opening match. I was looking forward to that match and the WWE really fucked over not just me, but a lot of fans in attendance and on TV. What WWE did really put me in a foul mood (as evidenced by my rant earlier) and I found it really hard to get up for it until the Undertaker match. I might look at this event a lot more fondly in a few years. Unfortunately, one of the most abiding memories will be the first match and how it managed to ruin a great atmosphere.

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