Monday, April 4, 2011

Wrestlemania: The Blog

"Bobby Heenan" invades Wrestlemania XXVII
By Kevin Hunsperger

Wow, what a whirlwind.  We got out of the Georgia Dome and back to our hotel a little after midnight.  Up and at 'em at 4 a.m. to catch a flight and then after nearly 2 and a half hour drive in a downpour and windstorm, I'm finally home.  This is just going to be some quick thoughts on Wrestlemania.  Overall, because of the atmosphere and it being Wrestlemania and all, I really enjoyed myself.  But I always do.  Say what you want, the WWE knows how to put on a show, whether you like the outcomes our not, people can't say they weren't entertained.

First, I'm going to throw out a few Mania fun facts. I think I'm right on all this information, I'm going by memory and just a few hours sleep.

*Wrestlemania XXVII is the first in the event's history that did not feature a title change.  Of course only two titles were defended on the card (World heavyweight and WWE championship)

*The crowd last night set an attendance record according to the WWE of 71,617.

*Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Snooki, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Ezkiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater all made their Wrestlemania wrestling debuts last night.  I don't count Daniel Bryan or any of the others in the battle royal as they were not a part of the actual card on pay per view.  Maybe next year fellas.

*This was the 4th straight Wrestlemania where the Royal Rumble winner did not win the title they were pursuing.

Now on to my thoughts...

U.S. Title Match, Sheamus (C) vs. Daniel Bryan (Dark Match):  First, let me say I was extremely disappointed this match was taken off the main card and put on as a preshow event.  Then when the lumberjacks who were added started to brawl, SmackDown! General Manager Teddy Long turned the match into a battle royal.  Does anyone else have a problem with the GM from the show not representing the U.S. title making a new match?  I did.  Problem may be a strong word, but there has to be more consistency with the product.  That's just one example of how attention to detail needs to be paid.  Writers and performers need to be more on the ball.

Oh yeah, most of the fans we were sitting near were cool.  There were a couple of douche bags behind us who kept complaining about EVERYTHING that was going on, and then one even yelled a racial slur.  And yes, a group of African American men was sitting right next to us.  Classy...

Greetings from the Rock
Guest Host The Rock Opens the Show:  I love the Rock.  I think he's one of the all time greats, but I still question why Wrestlemania needed a host.  To me, the open with the Rock just felt like an episode of Raw.  Of course the Rock was funny and entertaining, but it was about 7:20 before the first match on the show started.  But the live crowd was into what he had to say and I'm sure 90% of the WWE Universe was too.  And again, I'm a Rock fan, I just don't understand some of the things that happened last night.  I'll explain more in a bit...

World Title Match, Edge (C) speared and pinned Alberto Del Rio: A lot of people were shocked to see this match open the show.  Some were even upset.  Personally, I thought it was a great way to start the show.  Since there are so many big matches on the Wrestlemania card, good spacing is necessary to keep the crowd going up and down.  Edge and Del Rio put on a hell of a show for us.  The action was intense from bell to bell, and I believed all through the contest that Del Rio was going over and fulfilling his destiny of becoming the World heavyweight champion.  That didn't happen.  I liked the roles Brotus Clay and Christian played in the match, though the mark in me wanted to see Christian added to the match and walk out champion. As someone on Twitter said, "Del Rio has 'Billy Gunned' his Royal Rumble win."  If you don't get that, Google Billy Gunn and King of the Ring and you'll understand. I liked the roles Brotus Clay and Christian played in the match, though the mark in me wanted to see Christian added to the match and walk out champion.  So what I thought was going to be a ho-hum World title match actually impressed me and the show was off to a fantastic start, complete with some car vandalism by Edge. Poor Alberto.

Cody Rhodes pinned Rey Mysterio: I had been eagerly anticipating this match up.  I really felt like the WWE did a good job telling this story and drawing it out until Wrestlemania.  Many times, they'll hot shot an angle or a feud, but this one has been brewing for more than two months, which I know isn't a long time, but in today's world of 5 plus hours of TV time to fill, it worked out.  I had really hoped Cody would win, as he needed the victory much more than Rey did.  And the former "Dashing one" picked up the win.  It was tainted, but it worked and hopefully will help Cody move up the ladder a bit.  Perhaps put him in line for a shot with Edge later this year.

Kane, Big Show, Santino, & Kofi Kingston defeated The Corre:  Every year Wrestlemania has a match that goes under a minute.  This year, this was that match.  I don't really understand why they took Koslov out and added KofiCorre and Nexus have been made to look weak since the original Nexus inception nearly a year ago.

Randy Orton used the RKO to pin CM Punk:  This match had a lot of potential.  The action was pretty good.  Punk plays the best heel in the company right now, sorry Miz.  I really hoped Punk would win this one.  A victory for him was really needed, but instead "The Viper" picked up the 1-2-3.  Randy didn't need it.  He would still be over today without winning.  But Punk's loss makes him and the Nexus look weak.  I would have to assume this is probably the end of that group.  Hope Punk gets some sort of push in the aftermath.

Michael Cole defeated Jerry "the King" Lawler by disqualification: Not even special guest referee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin could stop the anonymous Raw general manager.  The GM reversed Austin's decision because Austin had shoved Cole during the course of the match.  A match, by the way, that went on way too long.  Cole played the heel to a tee and did a good job.  I still insist they take him off the announce team and make him a manager.  Put Jim Ross back where he belongs as the Voice of the WWE.  I think they could have cut this contest in half or more and we would have been fine with that.

There were a couple of backstage vignettes with the Rock and various folks.  Jake Roberts & Rick Martel circa Wrestlemania 7 (blindfold match) could see that Mae Young was going to be the one to come around the corner.  The Pee Wee Herman bit was okay, but took valuable in ring time away.  I know, it's sports entertainment.  The rap auditions were funny.  Loved the fact that Zack Ryder made the cut and sang "Friday."  It was also great seeing Roddy Piper too.

Okay, back to the action...

Undertaker goes 19 and 0 and beats Triple H by submission:  I'm probably in the minority here, but I was not invested in this match at all.  In fact, after the introductions (which were mildly cool) I ran to the restroom.  My bladder was supporting 32 ounces of Coke Zero and needed to be emptied.  So I missed the beginning of the match.  I felt like what I did see was pretty typical of an Undertaker Wrestlemania match.  Look at the last two years against Shawn Michaels.  Lots of near falls with each man kicking out of the other's finisher at the last second.  Heck, H even Tombstoned the Undertaker.  I'll admit, I thought it was over after that.  I had my doubts that the Undertaker would win.  That match took a lot out of him. That's why I'm saying this now.  The Undertaker should retire next year after Mania 20 and 0.  Start building a credible opponent now who can threaten the streak.  At this moment, John Cena is the only man on the roster who poses that threat.  I could live with a Cena-Taker match at Wrestlemania 28.  Can you see me, dead man?

The Jersey Shore heads south...
Snooki, Trish Stratus, & John Morrison beat LayCool & Dolph Ziggler:  Two problems with this match. 66% of the winning team aren't WWE superstars.  Trish is retired and that was Snooki's first match.  I know the WWE has a history of letting the celebrity pick up the win at Mania, but why?  Snooki got quite a lot of boos when she came out.  However, I will give her props for the hand spring she did.  I do watch Jersey Shore, so I'm not hating on her because of that.  I just hope that was a one match deal and she goes back to being drunk and orange on MTV.

The Miz gets the assist from the Rock and pins John Cena:  I figured that's how this match would end, but I had my doubts.  Originally, both men were counted out.  The Raw General Manger was about to make an announcement, but the Rock overrode whatever the message said and made the two guys continuing fighting.  The Great One did the Rock Bottom on Cena and the Miz picked up the win.  Then the Rock whooped up on the Miz afterwards.  What's the point of having someone who hasn't competed for 7 years come in and take out your #1 guy and your heavyweight champion?  I felt like that was a fail on the part of the WWE, although Vince likes to send the crowd home happy, and even though lots of people cheered the Miz's win, members of the CeNation were devastated their guy lost.  So having the Rock destroy both men made the fans cheer.  Get it?

I'd give the show a C+ or a B-.  It wasn't the worst Wrestlemania ever, but it wasn't the best either.  And despite the Rock's promise at the start, it wasn't the most memorable either.  But I'm already making plans to be in Miami for Wrestlemania 28.  Hope to see you there too!

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