I’m still not feeling it. I had hoped that at some point today the Wrestlemania spirit would hit me, but it hasn’t. I’m excited for a couple of the matches (namely Punk vs Jericho), but I’m not excited for Wrestlemania as a whole. It’s probably because all of the hype is predicated on the ‘Rock vs Cena’ match. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I honestly don’t care who wins. I’m not on Team Cenation or Team Bring It… I’m on Team Best in the World. If Cena wins, then he’s what? The top guy in WWE? He already is. If Rocky wins, then he’s what? One of the best of all time? He already is. This is worse than a zero-sum game, it’s a nothing-sum game. Neither person gains anything if they win or lose. I have to give credit to WWE, though, for manipulating a lot of people into thinking this match actually has value.
Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan, becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion
WHAT I LIKED: I loved all the YES! signs in the crowd and the ‘Yes!’ chants before the match.
WHAT I HATED: Are you fucking kidding me? Is this some kind of April Fool’s Day joke? It’s enough that the World Title match is being wasted as the first match of the evening, but for it to only last what, 15 seconds? That’s pathetic. Does WWE have no idea how amazing the wrestling ability is of Daniel Bryan? Isn’t this something they’d want to display on their flagship show? Hell, even Sheamus is a good competitor and deserves his opportunity to be showcased at Wrestlemania. This is just as big an insult to him as it is to Daniel Bryan. For two years straight, WWE has basically told both Daniel Bryan and Sheamus that they are not worth the time or effort to be featured at Wrestlemania. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Way to start Wrestlemania off on a negative note. A big FUCK YOU to the Internet Wrestling Community and to wrestling purists everywhere. If it weren’t for the Punk vs Jericho match, I’d stop watching this show right now.
Kane def. Randy Orton
WHAT I LIKED: Thank you Miami for the ‘Daniel Bryan’ chants during this match! Maybe WWE will listen. I doubt it. Wow. I was not expecting Kane to pull of an upset. Or for Orton to lose clean. I thought for sure that the SUPERFACE would win at Wrestlemania. So far this Wrestlemania has not gone according to trend.
WHAT I HATED: It sucks that a match like this that was just thrown together with no real storyline whatsoever is treated as more important and gets more time than a match for the World Title. They might as well have just have combined these first two matches and made it a Fatal 4-Way.
Big Show def. Cody Rhodes, becoming the new Intercontinental Champion
WHAT I LIKED: First, I have to lament how about happy I am to see the Intercontinental Championship actually being defended at Wrestlemania. It’s been a while. I’m also happy to hear more ‘Daniel Bryan’ chants during this match. Keep it up, guys.
WHAT I HATED: This matchup is a clash of different styles and weight-classes. These matches never end up as a Match of the Night candidate, but if done correctly they can be pretty competitive. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them. It was clumsy and awkward. Not a match befitting of Cody Rhodes’ ability.
Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly def. Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix
WHAT I LIKED: More ‘Daniel Bryan’ chants!!! Credit to Maria Menounos for actually participating in this match after injuring herself on Dancing with the Stars. I don’t know if she was actually hurt during this match or not, but she has to be the best seller in the business.
WHAT I HATED: Why is Beth Phoenix, the Divas Champion, coming out to Eve’s music? She’s the Champion, dammit! Nevermind whatever the hell that was on her head. I wonder if anyone else realizes the implications of this match? Kelly Kelly basically just beat Eve and Beth Phoenix by herself because Maria Menounos was of no help whatsoever. Kelly beat Eve and the Divas Champion by herself. Kelly. WTF!? Please come back soon Kharma. I can’t take much more of this.
Undertaker def. Triple H
WHAT I LIKED: This match wouldn’t be historic without Jim Ross calling it. I’m glad he was brought out to do it. A lot of people might not like how prevalent weapons became in this match or how much Triple H relied on them to beat Undertaker, but I do. It’s like Triple H said when he was initially denying Undertaker the rematch, the only way to beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania is to ‘put him down’ for good. But even then, it won’t work. Did it sacrifice a lot of the technical wrestling? Yeah. But if you remember, the first half of their match last year was pure physicality before they settled in the ring for some actual wrestling – or close to it. The same thing happened this time – or close to it. Undertaker vs Shawn Micheals at Wrestlemania 24 set the bar very high and none of the matches since then has come close to that amazing feat. But that doesn’t take anything away from this match, which was pretty good as well.
WHAT I HATED: In my mind, it’s not the weapons or the Cell that ruined the potential legacy of this match. It was HBK. I love Shawn as much as the next guy, but adding him in this match as a Special Guest Referee was bound to have its drawbacks. It’s the gun theory in writing. If you introduce a gun in a story, you have to use it at some point. There was no way that HBK would just be a bi-partisan referee. He was bound to get involved at some point in time. When he finally did, when he superkicked Undertaker, it changed everything. True, HBK’s inclusion did add an extra element to this match – namely that HBK might lead to Undertaker losing – but that was never really in question. 20-0 was always going to happen.
Team Johnny def. Team Teddy
WHAT I LIKED: I’m happy that Team Johnny won and that John Laurinaitis will be the General Manager for both shows – even though its really meaningless – because heel GMs are always better. The edict that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is lost when the GM is a babyface and tries to be fair. In my opinion, the best GM of all-time is Eric Bischoff, a heel. A mega-heel. John Laurinaitis has the propensity to be even better if he can stop making dumb mental errors. I’m even happier that The Miz was the one who made the winning pinfall. Hopefully, John Laurinaitis will be happy for the win and put Miz back where he belongs – in the WWE Championship hunt.
WHAT I HATED: I can’t believe this match, which has no real purpose whatsoever, is not only being treated with this much importance, but it follows Undertaker vs Triple H? Not cool. I guess it’s better than the Divas match being the buffer. They just had to give the Bella Sluts some screen time, didn’t they? This should have been an elimination match. It could have served to rid the match of all the dead weight and made the end much more believable than the other 10 wrestlers just sitting outside of the ring.
CM Punk def. Chris Jericho, retaining the WWE Championship
WHAT I LIKED: This is the match that I’ve been waiting for all night long. This is the match that should have been one year in the making. Best in the World vs Best in the World. And even better, that qualifier isn’t just added to their namesakes – they’ve each earned the right to call themselves that. I don’t think anyone that actually knows wrestling would ever attribute that to John Cena. That last segment of this match, where Punk and Jericho were reversing each other back and forth was probably the best mat-based wrestling I’ve seen in WWE in a long time.
WHAT I HATED: How ridiculous is it that the WWE Championship match is not the main event of the night? For two years straight a match other than the WWE Championship has ended the night. The message there is that apparently the WWE Championship is not the richest prize in the industry anymore. No, the main event at Wrestlemania is just whichever match receives the most hype.
WHAT I HATED: There’s no use in even putting a LIKE column here. This is just pure bullshit. Pure bullshit on an immaculate level. This time, this wasted fucking time could have better been served on the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. I cannot believe this shit. This is pathetic. This is ridiculous. This is just fucked up. I mean, they had to know that the fans were going to make this connection. Especially the IWC. I’m beginning to suspect that they just don’t care. I’m starting not to either.
The Rock def. John Cena
WHAT I LIKED: I knew the crowd would be the most important factor in this match and they did not disappoint. They were very rowdy which added to the atmosphere of this match. And it was that atmosphere that made this match much better than I thought it would be. I’m not gonna lie, I’m happy that The Rock won only because it meant Cena lost.
WHAT I HATED: Diddy. Machine Gun Kelly. Flo Rida. I’m willing to bet that Vince paid them more than he paid any of the mid-card talent tonight. Yet, for some reason, they have a problem with The Rock returning for a ‘payday’. At least The Rock helped build the WWE. These guys are just sparkly trimming around a match that can’t possibly live up to the hype. And again, I have to point out that the 15+ minutes used for these extravagant entrances could have been used to actually have a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. How dare they do the official in-ring introductions for this match and not for the heavyweight title matches? What kind of message does that send to your champions, WWE? Like I said in the intro, I have no dog in this fight. But I do happen to hate John Cena more than I dislike The Rock, so I love it when Cena is left holding his nuts in his hand. The only thing about this, is that it means there will definitely be a Rock vs Cena II. So much for ‘Once in a Lifetime’, eh…
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I don’t even think there was a loser in this thing.” – Micheal Cole
The lengths WWE will go to to protect John Cena’s image is ridiculous. There was indeed a loser in this thing, Cole. It was John Cena. He lost.
Once again, WWE ruined Wrestlemania by trying to make it more of a spectacle than a wrestling program. I can’t help but wonder why Vince runs a wrestling company when he so clearly hates wrestling.