Well, y’know, I wasn’t in love with this WrestleMania. It’s not that it wasn’t good, at all, most of the matches were fantastic, and provided the amount of entertainment that was to be expected with any WrestleMania, and with this one specifically. The only problem was.. well, it was predictable. That’s the right word.
Let’s take a look at each match without too much detail, because you don’t want to read all of that, right? (Ed. note: Too bad, I went into a lot of detail.)
Wade Barrett (c.) v. The Miz for the IC Title (WrestleMania Pre-Show)
The Miz won. I honestly didn’t care enough to watch it, really. I watched WrestleMania with my friend, and he doesn’t watch NXT, so I took that time to show him a couple of Bi E. Langston matches because Langston is super over at NXT. I really enjoy Langston’s work in NXT, so I wanted to share some of the fun with my buddy especially since WrestleMania was Langston’s first televised WWE match. So, we watched Big E. Langston v. Seth Rollins for the NXT title, and Langston v. Camacho for Vickie Guerrero’s $5,000 bounty on Langston’s head. Anyway, Langston is hilarious, and it helped build anticipation for what happened to be one of the matches of the night, Team Hell No v. Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. Anyway, like I said, I couldn’t be bothered with the Miz match. I figured Barrett would lose because he’s pointless. He pseudo-stole Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno’s finisher, and Antonio Cesaro was nowhere near the card, so who cares? WWE obviously doesn’t, so neither do I.
The Shield v. Randy Orton, Big Show, and Sheamus
Believe in The Shield! The Shield wins!This was a good match, but not as good as The Shield’s previous televised matches, in my opinion. The story was more about the dissension in the ranks of Team Orton, rather than The Shield’s dominance, which I would have preferred because that’s been the story since they debuted, and the dissension angle wasn’t really built up before this match. Typically, to build something like this, it would have been set up that they were working together as a team, things start breaking down on Raw and SmackDown! between the group, and it culminates in a heel turn, or an inability to work together during the big match. That’s not what happened here. Big Show turned on his team and went right back to where we were before this match was a thought in the writers’ heads. Anyway, this match didn’t really stand out because there wasn’t a big moment that would become a memorable moment from WrestleMania, and that’s going to be a theme for the night. I’m honestly surprised at this, considering Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose’s ability to deliver, which they’ve proved in previous matches. Good match, just not too memorable.
Mark Henry v. The Ryback
This was literally the only match of the night where I was surprised with the result, and that was that in his first WrestleMania appearance, The Ryback lost to “Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry. The match was a powerful, impressive tough guy match from both men, and I don’t like The Ryback, at all, but I was very impressed with his ability to keep Mark Henry on his back whilst he (slowly and painfully) marched around the ring, although it looked like it really hurt him. I figured with Ryback’s streak of losses on PPVs that he’d win this one so he could revitalize his career, but with a loss to Mark Henry, I think we may soon see a heel turn from The Ryback to an eventual match/feud with Cena. Snore. Anyway, decent match, but not a “barn burner.”
Team Hell No (c.) v. Dolph Ziggler + Big E Langston for the Tag Team Championship
This was one of my favorite matches of the night, and it provided one of the only moments from this WrestleMania that will stick out in my mind, and that’s with Daniel Bryan, in his post-match victory celebration, Yes! Yes! Yes!-ing with all 80,000+ people at MetLife Stadium! Good for him, especially after his tarnished experience at last year’s ‘Mania. Speaking of the 18 seconds debacle, there was a wonderful reference to that moment when Dolph Ziggler called for a kiss from AJ Lee which was answered by Bryan with a kick to the head and a near fall. I was literally on the floor hoping for Bryan’s redemption, which ended up happening when he gave a diving headbutt to Dolph Ziggler for the win. Good showing from all involved, with a decent debut from Big E. I loved this match frankly because I love Daniel Bryan.
Fandango v. Chris Jericho
Okay, so I figured Fandango would win this what with the whole “taking forever to debut” thing, but if he lost I assumed they would do away with the character all together, and of course they went with the obvious choice because having him lose would really have been a waste of a lot of time. Well, now that I think about it, Jericho could have been feuding with Cesaro, and that would have actually been an excellent match. Why didn’t that happen, dammit!? Anyway, I wanted Fandango to impress me. I’ve actually been pretty entertained with his segments over the past month, but this match just didn’t do it for me. Jericho dominated and then Fandango rolled him up. It was like a Beth Phoenix match in that aspect. Like I said, this match didn’t do it for me, but that’s okay, I guess. Hopefully he won some people over tonight, and we’ll see what he’s got what it takes to get in the ring with someone who doesn’t do an amazing job of making other wrestlers look good in the ring.
Alberto Del Rio (c) v. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship
Another one of those matches that was technical sound and decent back and forth that really didn’t have that emotional involvement that I enjoy about matches, which is honestly surprising because I’ve really enjoyed the storyline. Maybe the feud went on too long because it seemed like it has been going forever. Since Swagger re-debuted (rebuted?) before Elimination Chamber in February, I got the feeling that he’d be going up against Del Rio considering Swagger’s “border patrol” gimmick. Personally, I was just burnt out on the whole thing, so I really didn’t care who won, I was just hoping for a Ziggler cash-in, which didn’t happen. So, the match was an all around disappointment for me, even though the guys in the ring and outside of it did a great job.
I went to the bathroom, and it was basically done when I got back, so… Perfect! 10/10
CM Punk v. The Undertaker
Match of the night by a mile. Both men (and Paul Heyman) delivered during this one, and it’s one of my favorite Undertaker WrestleMania matches to date. They honestly had me believing that Punk could have taken it at many different points throughout the match, which was good because I knew deep down in my heart that Undertaker would win. But man, from the entrances with the great Living Colour and Undertaker walk through the valley of dead souls to CM Punk’s hardcore mocking of Undertaker’s taunts and moves including a great bit where Punk did the walk-on-rope, or Old School, to which it’s currently referred, and the bevy of reversals and counters of finishers, this match had an old school era feel with current era sensibility. I really didn’t think Punk and Taker would pair off so well, but I’ll be damned if someone couldn’t make the argument that Taker is Punk’s father or something. They worked off of each other amazingly well. My friend and I were going completely crazy the entire time, and a great time was had.
HHH v. BROOOOOOOCK LESNAAAAAAR!!! (HHH’s Career is on the line-No Hold’s Barred)
I wanted a bloody, brutal match from these two. Brock Lesnar is a beast, and I’m legitimately afraid of him. HHH won, which I knew he would, because there’s no way he’s retiring with only a month of build up and at a non-anniversary WrestleMania. No chance, that’s what Lesnar got. It was a decent slow match, which is not to my taste, and I don’t really enjoy either men’s performances unless it’s a Lesnar massacre or something like HHH/Taker or HHH/Foley, but that’s just me. I still enjoyed this match, but I didn’t love it. Paul Heyman was a treat, though. 4/10.
The Rock (c) v. John Cena for the WWE Championship
Cena won because of course he did. I couldn’t bring myself to get into this match because I really didn’t care. I knew Cena would win, and while in many instances multiple finishers can be exciting and put you on the edge of your seat (see: Undertaker v. CM Punk), this match went overkill with it. I’m talking Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards level of overboard where the AA and The Rock Bottom just seem as standard as an armdrag or shoulder tackle. It wasn’t exciting. The Rock didn’t electrify. Cena didn’t add anything interesting to either his arsenal of moves, or his character. The Rock could have literally come into the ring, handed Cena the belt and said, “I have to go make a couple of movies, can you take this off my hands?” and I would have probably enjoyed that moment more because it would have been something I wasn’t expecting, regardless of the boring factor. This match was boring, plain and simple, regardless of the amount of work and energy the men put into it. It’s not like it was a bad match with a lot of botched moves, it’s just that there was no reason for me to be invested in the match, so I wasn’t. The only think this match does is make me more annoyed with Cena, especially since he always acts like the underdog when he is so obviously not. There’s no dimension in which a person who is an eleven time world champion could ever be considered an underdog, unless there are infinite dimensions, in which case it would be a mathematical probability which would provide an exception to that, but that isn’t this Earth. Sorry John Cena, but this isn’t believable. It hasn’t been believable in a long time, and it gets more annoying as each moment goes by. I can’t wait to hear the New York City market boo you at an arena where the crowd loudness won’t go into the air. It will be magnified, and at Raw this week, boos directed at Cena will be the new Yes! Yes! Yes!
All in all, WrestleMania was a great show, but not a whole lot stood out to make this one of the best of all time. The crowd was on fire, and everyone brought their A games, but aside from Daniel Bryan’s celebration, and the entirety of Punk/Undertaker, there weren’t a lot of “WrestleMania moments.” If I were to grade it, I’d say 8/10? Maybe? A solid C+/B ‘Mania, and a B+ PPV.