Monday, April 2, 2012

WWE Wrestlemania 28 Review

The time has come and gone, and the biggest event in sports entertainment is now over. Wrestlemania 28 is officially in the history books. I couldn't write live because I had friends over and I felt that it would have been too distracting from both a writing standpoint and a friend standpoint to try and have my focus in three different places. So I will give you my review of everything here.

No fancy or long intros, I will just get right into the Review:

Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan to Win the World Heavyweight Championship
So, I was totally expecting an actual match here. If there was a match that I thought would get a squash match, I thought for sure it would be Cody Rhodes/Big Show. But after the bell rang, Daniel Bryan kissed A.J., then turned right into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Really? Two guys that are some of the better workers in the WWE don't get the chance to work an actual match? Apparently that was the planned finish for a while, and it completely backfired for the WWE. It is a slap in the face to the World Heavyweight Championship. I don't mind that it was on the opening match again, but it deserves to at least get 10 minutes.

I don't care what they do with Daniel Bryan from here on out, it is going to take a lot to get some heat back on him. In the coming weeks, he needs to pretty much either slap A.J. or do something to her that will get the crowd to cheer him. Sheamus probably should have won the match, but it should have happened with an A.J. distraction 12 minutes into the match. Just bad booking here.

Kane Defeated Randy Orton: **
This match had the unfortunate responsibility of following the travesty that was Daniel Bryan/Sheamus. The match had a lot of rest holds, but it picked up a bit towards the end. But I again question the booking of this. Please tell me what is the point of putting Kane over on Wrestlemania. Kane does absolutely nothing at this point in his career. I feel like he is essentially there to put over stars. But then Kane beats one of your top stars in the company? Clean? Seriously? I will give them credit for the ending spot. The chokeslam from the top was cool. Orton's punt tease was nice. But I don't get the booking. I think Orton is going to the main event soon, so why have him lose to Kane? I expect Orton to win the rematch at Extreme Rules.

Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to Win the Intercontinental Title: *1/2
If there was a match that I would have expected to have a quick finish, it was this one. And I would have been ok with it. The build warranted it. But this match was given a bit more time. Cody got some offense in but Big Show won with the KO Punch and finally got his Wrestlemania moment by winning the Intercontinental Title. It is kind of sad that this turned out to be Big Show's Wrestlemania moment. I mean it brings prestige back to the Title because Show actually looked like he cared about winning the Title. It was time for Cody to move on from the IC Title. Cody should be elevated up the card, whether it be on Smackdown or from a move to RAW. Cody has worked well enough to deserve it. But the match was kind of lacking. It was a typical slow moving Big Show match where his opponent did most of the work until Show made his comeback.

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix & Eve
Yeah, nothing to see here. This got more time than the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH. Maria sold like death, then pinned the Divas Champion. Yawn.

The Undertaker defeated Triple H Inside Hell In A Cell: ****1/4
By no means was this a great wrestling match. It was good, but it was not a great wrestling match. What this was was the perfect example of how you have great story telling in the world of professional wrestling. Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels all went out there and told one of the best stories ever seen inside the wrestling ring. It was three veterans that went out there and showed great emotion and made you buy in to their story. It was a job well done all around.

The match was more brutal than anything. Some of those chair shots taken by both men were tough to watch. The Undertaker and Triple H both had welts and bruises growing on their backs by the time the match was over. Triple H's spinebuster on the steps was brutal as well. They had the crowd buying into every near finish they came up with. I didn't buy the Sweet Chin Music into the Pedigree finish but it did a great job of getting the fans into it. Shawn Michaels was very conflicted in the match. He wanted to ring the bell when Undertaker was getting his beating, but Taker stopped him by locking in the Hell's Gate on Taker, which resulted in the spot I described earlier.

I really liked when Undertaker sat up and stared right back at HHH, sending HHH back in fear and Undertaker went to work on Triple H. It changed the momentum of the match. Taker's chair shots to Hunter were just as brutal as HHH's to Taker. You knew the kickout from the first Tombstone was coming from HHH. Taker walking up to HHH and preventing him from using the Sledgehammer was a good spot to. At that point, you knew Undertaker was in control and going to win. The early part left you with some doubt, but you knew what was coming at that point. HHH yelled "F*** It" and walked into a sledgehammer spot and a Tombstone for the win. Shawn Michaels helped up Undertaker and both men helped up Triple H as they walked up the ramp. They saluted the crowd and walked to the back.

As I said, the story telling made this match. The end of the match felt like the last battle and encounter between these three men. Do I think that the Undertaker or Triple H are retired? Absolutely not. Triple H looked to be in great shape. I expect Undertaker to come back at next year's Wrestlemania. If these guys can continue to tell stories like they did tonight, they can come back anytime. Just a great job by three ring savvy veterans who should that they can all still work the crowd with a great story.

Team Johnny Defeated Team Teddy; John Laurinaitis is Now the GM of Both Shows: *3/4
This match was pretty much a side show that it was suppose to be. There wasn't a lot of good wrestling in it. Nothing to it. There was the normal hodge podge finish where a bunch of people hit a bunch of their moves and what not. Zack Ryder had Miz lined up for a Broski Kick when Eve came in and did the Woo Woo Woo with Ryder. Ryder and the referee got Eve out of the ring, but the distraction allowed Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Ryder for the win. Eve then kicked Ryder in the balls and left, which is pretty much what the WWE has done to Ryder in recent weeks. The outcome was expected. John Laurinaitis has more going for him and Teddy Long seems to have been played out. But what do they do with the brand split now? Is there even a point to it anymore? It'll be interesting to see where this goes, but a heel GM needs to be a power hungry, all powering bastard and Laurinaitis does not show that. He's essentially a comedy figure heel GM with an evil side.

C.M. Punk Defeated Chris Jericho to Retain the WWE Championship: ****1/2
The match started slow, but it definitely picked up in the last half of it and was a great technical master piece. The counters and near falls towards the end of the match were great. I especially loved Jericho's top rope counter into the Walls of Jericho. Just a great job by both men. The best part is that they used some common sense when it came to some wrestling moves. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho and Punk got to the ropes early so Jericho applied a Liontamer the next time and prevented Punk from doing that. Punk adjusted himself when he had the Anaconda Vice in at the end so he could avoid Jericho's knees to the head.

Before the match John Laurinaitis told C.M. Punk that if he got disqualified he would lose the WWE Title. That played into the first five minutes or so of the match, but it was kind of put off to the side when the match kicked into second gear. I can't say enough how great the counters in the end were. A GTS into the Walls, then into a small package, then into the Anaconda Vice. Jericho tried a pin attempt, but Punk countered back into the Vice. Jericho got out of it with some knees to the head and tried another submission move, but Punk reapplied the Anaconda Vice and adjusted himself to avoid Jericho's knee attempts. Jericho tapped out and Punk retained the WWE Title.

Just a great job by two of the better in ring workers to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. They sold you on the intensity of the feud with the build up and promos, and then they delivered in the ring. Some may say I over-rated the match, but I absolutely loved it and can't wait to watch it again. While HHH/Taker told a great story, this match was a great master piece in the ring. I'm assuming the rematch at Extreme Rules is some sort of Submission Match, maybe an I Quit Match. I could watch these two go at it in the ring any day of the week and I look forward to the rematches between these two.

After this match we got a ridiculous Brodus Clay segment where his "momma" came out and danced. Clay told everyone to call their mama. Then about 30 dancers dressed as Mama Benjamin came out and danced. Whoever thought that was a good idea was an idiot.

The Rock Defeated John Cena: ***1/2
We had a year build up. A year to get to this point. It doesn't feel like too long ago that this match was announced. The build didn't live up to the hype, but I would say that the match slightly did. It didn't get all the way there, but it was good. The crowd was very into the match. It didn't match Rock/Hogan, but I don't think anything can or quite frankly ever will. The entrances for both men, however, almost killed the match before it even started. MGK, or whatever his name is, pretty much made Cena the most hated man in Miami after his performance. He looks like a huge tool. And then Flo-Rida went on way too long.

The match itself had no big time moments. It had a couple of good sets of near falls, especially after Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Rock towards the end of the match. I thought it was over there. It was a regular wrestling match between these two where neither man stepped out of their safe zone and stuck to their basic set of moves and didn't expand on them. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but a different move or two might have added something different to the match. Rock passing out in the STF also could have been a conceivable finish, but again, I'm glad they didn't go that way.

I thought the finish was well done. Cena threw Rock into the corner and took him to the top. Rock knocked Cena off and dove onto Cena, but Cena powered through and hit an AA that got a 2 and 99/100 of a fall. Cena did a good job of selling disbelief. He said to the referee "I know we are in Miami but come on." Cena contemplated his next move and just said screw it, and went to do a People's Elbow. But Rock hoped up when Cena turned his back and hit the Rock Bottom for the win.

I must say that I did not think Rock was going to win. While Rock was one of the biggest stars from the Attitude Era, John Cena is the biggest current star in the WWE. Putting a past star over a current star isn't always one of the best things to do but if it is going to lead to something else I guess it makes sense. Cena had talked about how much he needed this win leading into the match. He didn't get it, so what does he do now? I've always maintained that if Cena loss, he should take some time off to "regroup" and come back in the beginning of June to show that he is more focused and determined as ever to get back on top. But that more than likely won't happen because wrestlers never are just given time off anymore. Cena could ask for a rematch, but at this point would a win over Rock not at Wrestlemania mean anything? I really don't know what is in store for John Cena, but if he comes out smiling and joking on RAW acting like nothing happened I will be pissed beyond belief.

Both men gave a great effort in the ring in the hot Miami weather. You could tell Rock was winded by the end of it. But Rock showed he can still work a match, and Cena brought his A game again on the big stage.

I would say the three big matches lived up to expectations. Undertaker/HHH and Punk/Jericho surpassed them while Rock/Cena just lived up to it. Everything else on the card was either booked stupidly or did not mean a damn thing. I would go out of my way to see those three matches and would skip everything else. There just wasn't a lot to the crowd outside of those three matches. I would give the show a slight thumbs up, and that is why I'm giving it a 7. I know that is a little above "slight" thumbs up, but those three matches were very good in my eyes and help cancel out the bad that was the rest of the show.

There was no Brock Lesnar appearance on the show. If he is going to appear, I would now say it looks like it is going to be on RAW. If they want to give John Cena time off, Lesnar could come out while Cena is giving a "I tried my best" speech and F-5 then beat the crap out of Cena. I know Lesnar is going to be working a couple PPVs and Cena won't be out a year, but you could find ways to keep them apart until Wrestlemania 29. I still for some reason have this idea that they are thinking of doing Rock vs Undertaker at next year's Wrestlemania, but I might be the only one. I feel that Brock Lesnar is signed and it is only a matter of time before he returns.

I will be back to writing live for RAW tomorrow.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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