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The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII

Live from Miami, FL

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

Opening match, World title: Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus

Well we knew that one of the World titles would be opening the show. Kind of a heel reaction for Sheamus for some reason. And then he hits Bryan with the Brogue Kick and pins him to win the title at 0:15. What the FUCK? The crowd is not terribly pleased about that. I was looking forward to seeing that match. Why even bother having it on the show? Unless they think that this was Bryan’s Honky Tonk Man moment where the heel finally gets his comeuppance, but people LIKE Bryan.

Meanwhile, Team Johnny and their dorky t-shirts rally around Johnny Ace, in his Col Robert Parker suit.

Kane v. Randy Orton

Orton hammers away in the corner, but Kane EMBRACES THE HATE and fires back. Orton stomps him down and tries the draping DDT, but Kane drops him on the top rope and boots him down to take over. Seated dropkick gets two. Chinlock, but Orton slugs out until Kane boots him down for two. Sideslam gets two and Kane goes back to the chinlock. Orton with a neckbreaker for two and the crowd is dead silent. Can’t blame them. Delayed suplex gets two. And it’s ANOTHER chinlock. They couldn’t have made this one the 15 second win by the babyface? Orton flips out of the chinlock and gets the backbreaker, and the powerslam. Draping DDT (which Cole calls a bulldog, faceplant and DDT in succession) sets up the RKO, but Kane counters with a boot for two. Kane to the top, but Orton catches him with a dropkick coming down. Kane dodges the punt and chokeslams him for two. Kane gets upset and pounds away in the corner, but Orton dropkicks the knee and they fight to the top. Kane brings him down with a chokeslam and pins him at 11:00. Seriously? What is the point of Kane going over here? So that we’re gonna have to watch this shitty match AGAIN, but with stipulations? I mean, I’m no Randy Orton booster, but he’s been doing WAY too many jobs. This was slow and plodding and just never got going, and Randy didn’t even get to do the RKO so you KNOW they have to have a million rematches until he does. *1/2 And Kane has been on a rampage of sucky matches since his return. EMBRACE THE CRAP!

Meanwhile, Santino and Mick Foley help plug the Deadliest Catch and eat crab. Shouldn’t Santino be getting ready for his match?

Intercontinental title: Cody Rhodes v. Big Show

Cody runs away to start and tries a dive, but Show catches him and tosses him back in. Show pounds away and gives him a stinkface in the corner, but Cody dropkicks the knee and elbows him down for two. Cody goes to work on the knee, but Show swats him down and makes the comeback. Cody goes up to escape and Show sends him to the floor, but Cody comes back in with the disaster kick. Another one is countered with a badly timed spear, and Show knocks him out and pins him at 5:18 to win the title. Another nothing match. **

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos v. Beth Phoenix & Eve

Kelly gets a rana on Eve for two, but a handspring elbow hits knee. Eve goes up and Kelly brings her down, giving us a double stinkface from the babyfaces. Maria’s makeup actually rubs off on Maria’s white pants, which prompts my wife to exclaim “What the hell is that on her ass?” and thus I have to stop and explain the mechanics of the stinkface to someone who doesn’t watch wrestling. That whole conversation is much more interesting than the match, as Maria plays celebrity-in-peril through a series of bearhugs by the heels, but Maria kicks Eve out of the ring to block the rumpshaking moonsault. Yeah, I can’t believe what I’m forced to type some days either. Kelly gets the hot tag and does her spinning headscissors on Beth, into a somersault senton for two. Huh. Beth comes back with the Glam Slam, but Kelly reverses it into a bulldog. Maria tags in again despite her injuries, and Beth collides with Eve and gets pinned at 6:50. Best match of the show thus far. Not really a compliment to the show, but whatever. **1/4

Hell In A Cell: Undertaker v. HHH

Rather subdued entrance for COOHHH tonight, although the cell gets its own entrance music. Seriously. I’m surprised Undertaker’s new Mohawk didn’t get its own entrance, too. By the way, despite the pictures circulating before the show that made it look like a big black cage or something, it’s just the standard mesh cell. JR joins us for commentary, thank god. They throw hands in the corner and head to the floor, and HHH meets the stairs as Michael Cole brings up Jimmy Snuka as the first victim of the streak. Well, since he brought it up, how can I not mention that Snuka has a daughter named Tamina Snuka? They slug it out on the floor as the announcers keep talking about how it’s the END OF AN ERA, an era that we’ll never return to. What are they talking about? Anyway, back in the ring, Taker works the arm and goes old school. Back to the floor, and the stairs get pulled apart, leading to the guillotine on the apron by UT. HHH responds with a DDT and rams Undertaker into the stairs a few times, but can’t get a Pedigree on them, as Taker backdrops him off. HHH comes back with a spinebuster onto the stairs, and THAT had to hurt. He stupidly comes in blind, though, and Taker catches him in the gogoplata again. HHH quickly counters out with a slam for two. And now the chairs get involved, as HHH pummels him with one and runs him into the stairs. HHH lays in another beating with the chair, just destroying the back until even Shawn is offended. The crowd gets pretty uncomfortable as HHH just keeps pounding him with the chair, but of course Undertaker won’t quit. Finally HHH covers and gets two. More from the chair and Undertaker still won’t stay down, so HHH retrieves his trusty sledgehammer while he tells Shawn to stop the match or else. Undertaker won’t quit, so HHH levels him with the hammer for two. He goes to BASH UNDERTAKER’S SKULL IN, but Shawn finally grabs it from Hunter to save. Shawn is once again tempted to ring the bell, but Undertaker grabs him and puts him out with the gogoplata to prevent it. Well that’s one way. HHH breaks it up with the sledgehammer, but Undertaker kicks him in the nuts and locks in the gogoplata. HHH grabs the hammer like last year, but Taker chokes him out completely with Shawn Michaels also out cold. This brings Charles Robinson running out like a madman, because Shawn is ONE OF HIS PEOPLE now, and the chokeslam gets two. It’s ingrained into referees to run down whenever another striped shirt is in jeopardy. Taker takes out his problems on Robinson, chokeslamming him, but Shawn superkicks Undertaker, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. THE SECRET PLAN! What an awesome near fall. The crowd agrees and chants about how awesome it is. HHH gets rid of Shawn again, but Undertaker sits up and he’s FUCKING PISSED. He beats the shit out of HHH and hits Snake Eyes and the big boot and legdrop, but the tombstone only gets two. Also an awesome near-fall. Shawn is nearly rocking in the corner like an emotional wreck. You have to love that. They slug it out from the mat and just keep firing away, but HHH gets another Pedigree for two. Undertaker recovers first while HHH crawls for the hammer, but Undertaker gets the chair. And steps on the hammer. Uh oh. HHH gets MAULED by the chair until Shawn finally steps in as the voice of reason, but Undertaker gives HHH one more shot and gets two. Well the chair was broken anyway. HHH gets the hammer again but he’s not really in much condition to use it, and now Undertaker is the one telling him to stay down. HHH takes one last swing, and Undertaker shrugs him off and takes the hammer like it’s a toy. HHH crotch chops him in response, so Undertaker lays him out with the hammer, pulls him up, and the tombstone finishes at 30:45. And there’s your second ***** match for the weekend. Just an amazing performance from both, as they just beat the shit out of each other and let it all hang out. I literally don’t think they could have produced a more perfect match given the guys involved, unless there had been blood or something. Shawn and Undertaker mend their fences afterwards, and everyone goes out together, because they’re real men who settled their differences like men, and now they respect each other again. That is what wrestling is supposed to be. Just fantastic.

The Hall of Fame group is introduced, and yeah, Ric Flair is there. Edge with short hair is just wrong.

Meanwhile, Heath Slater bugs Flo Rida and gets beat up as a result.

Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga) v. Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, Santino)

As feared, everyone is wearing t-shirts and they don’t even get separate entrances, as each side uses the theme song of the GM. It just makes everyone look like such nerds. Kofi with a crossbody on Dolph for two, and Truth comes in for the double-team for two. Drew is in and he gets dominated by the faces and chopped down by Khali. Booker chops him in the corner and gets a sideslam for two, and he goes after the heels on the apron and gets laid out as a result. Swagger (who has new, non-American themed tights) comes in with a chinlock, and clotheslines Booker for two. Over to Henry, who pounds Booker down as the crowd is DEAD. Miz continues the beating to dead silence and Dolph drops an elbow for two. Miz comes in with his own chinlock as it just gets deader and deader and the crowd is literally silent. Finally Khali comes in with the big chop and they start randomly doing the wacky finisher spots, leading up to the babyfaces doing a triple dive onto the heels. The chicks get into a random catfight and we’ve got Santino and Miz left in the ring. Flying headbutt sets up the Cobra for two. Over to Zack and Dolph takes a crazy bump off a monkey flip. And of course Eve comes in and screws him over, allowing Miz to hit the stroke at 10:44 to give Johnny Ace both shows. Really, eleven minutes for that finish? Ryder’s getting pinned by Miz now, he might as well hang up his tights. And Eve turns on him formally afterwards and kicks him in the junk, as I guess we’re supposed to be shocked that heel Eve would do something bad to Zack. What a boring load of shit this whole thing was. You’d think it would be a bunch of comedy spots or crazy brawling or something, but no, just a super-dull tag match with the heat on Booker the whole time. DUD So yeah, to recap, Zack gets no revenge, gets pinned by Miz to lose the match, and Eve kicks him in the nuts to dump him. Great night for him.

Meanwhile, Big Johnny waives the DQ rule in the WWE title match, just to mess with CM Punk.

WWE title: CM Punk v. Chris Jericho

They’ve certainly got a lot of time to save this show. They take it to the mat to start and Punk hits him with crossfaces and stomps him in the corner. They’re basically wearing matching outfits tonight, which is either a fashion faux pas or Jericho trying to play mindgames. Punk keeps pounding him in the corner and flirting with a DQ, so Jericho eggs him on with a comment about his dad and Punk pounds him with elbows. To the top, but Jericho rolls out to escape, so Punk hits him with a flying clothesline to the floor instead. Jericho: “How’s your SISTER?” So Punk grabs a chair and Jericho flings insults, hoping for the DQ, but Punk just spinkicks him instead, and Jericho regroups with a dropkick to take over. They head to the apron and Jericho clotheslines him back into the ring and then suplexes him to the floor. Now there’s a spot you don’t see often, for good reason. Back in, Jericho gets two. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, and another backbreaker gets two. Senton gets two. Punk fights back and goes up, but Jericho yanks him down hard on the back of his head and gets two. Jericho goes to the surfboard and Punk escapes with the mule kick. This thing just isn’t clicking at all and the crowd, as usual tonight, is dead silent. Punk comes back with the leg lariat and neckbreaker for two. Jericho blocks the bulldog and tries the Lionsault, but Punk gets the knees up, so Jericho goes for the Walls, and Punk escapes that. High kick gets two. Punk goes up with the flying elbow, but he takes forever and Jericho gets his knees up and then hits the Codebreaker. Punk flies out of the ring on the sell, but he waits for Jericho to throw him back in and then hits a GTS out of nowhere. That gets two. Punk comes back with a powerslam for two. They trade back elbows and Jericho suplexes Punk onto the top rope and hits the Lionsault for two. “Not often you see someone kick out of the Lionsault” notes Cole. Except for every opponent of Chris Jericho, ever. They head up and Punk tries a rana, but Jericho hangs on and gets the Walls off that. Cool spot there. Punk quickly makes the ropes, and dumps a charging Jericho. This leads to Punk hitting a high knee that rams Jericho’s head into the post, and they head back in…where Punk springboards right into a Codebreaker. That gets two. Jericho stops to talk some trash and Punk tries the GTS, but Jericho elbows out and goes to the top, so Punk brings him down with a GTS…that Jericho counters into the Walls. Or rather, the Liontamer, but Punk fights out and cradles for two. Jericho reverses for two, so Punk turns THAT into the Anaconda Vice. Jericho rolls him over for two, but Punk hangs on until Jericho knees him in the head repeatedly to break. Back to the Walls, but Punk kicks him in the face and hooks the Vice again, moves out of the way of the knees, and Jericho taps at 22:18. Man, they took their sweet time getting into gear, but it ended up a near-classic with crazy drama and submission reversals. Unfortunately that beginning just dragged it down too far to fully recover from. ***1/2

Brodus Clay comes out and calls his mama. This leads to a big group dance number with dancers dressed as Brodus Clay’s mama. And this leads to nothing, as I guess they had too much time to use up and just needed the stupidest fucking thing possible.

John Cena v. The Rock

And after all those weeks of trying for the 50/50 reaction, John Cena gets booed out of the building. Team Edward and Team Jacob indeed. Although Twilight is so 2 years ago; kids killing each other in dystopian arenas is what all the pre-teens are into these days. Even with MGK doing his pre-entrance musical interlude. My god, who would boo Machine Gun Kelly? No friend of mine, that’s who. The Rock is looking JACKED tonight. Cena wins the epic lockup battle to start, but Rock wins the second try. Rock with the headlock and armdrags, into the majastral cradle for two. No ring rust there. Cena gets his own headlock, but Rock slugs him down and tries the Sharpshooter, so Cena bails. Back in, Cena hits a shoulderblock in the corner and lays Rock out with a clothesline, but it only gets one. Rock slugs away, but Cena dumps him and sends him into the table. Back in, Cena gets two and starts to wrestle quite heelish, stomping the ribs to set up a belly to belly suplex for two. Cena with the bearhug, but Rock slugs out of it and gets the DDT for two. Cena pounds the ribs in the corner, but Rock comes back with a clothesline and spinebuster…but Cena breaks up the People’s Elbow with an STF attempt. Rock escapes, so Cena gets the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, with a smile on his face during the Five Knuckle Shuffle. FU is escaped and they clothesline each other, but Rock is up first and it’s the slugfest. Rock stops to talk the trash, and Cena hits the FU for two. Rock pops up with Rock Bottom for two. Rock lays the smackdown in the corner, but Cena gets a sideslam for two. He goes up and gets the guillotine for two, as Rock took forever getting into position. Another FU is blocked, and Rock takes him down with the Scorpion King Deathlock, and he still can’t do it properly. Cena makes the ropes regardless, so Rock pulls him back and applies it again, and Cena gets the ropes again and bails to the apron. They brawl on the floor and Cena meets the stairs. Back in, Cena suddenly gets the STF and pulls Rock into the center to thunderous boos. Rock is the most awesome actor in the world because he actually makes it look like the move is painful and causing him to block out. That’s Oscar-caliber right there. And we go OLD SCHOOL, as the ref checks the arm, but Rock is up on the third drop. And he makes the ropes. Cena charges and walks into a samoan drop, and it’s the double KO spot. Rock is up first and slugs away, but Cena fires back into the ribs…and it’s SPINEBUSTER AND PEOPLE’S ELBOW. For two. Cena with a small package for two. The crowd goes crazy with duelling chants and Cena catapults Rock into the corner for two. Cena puts him on the top, but Rock sends him down again and goes AERIAL with the high cross, but Cena rolls through with the FU for two. Cena’s at a loss now and does a People’s Elbow for the hell of it, and ROCK BOTTOM finishes his ass at 30:38. Thank god they changed the finish. ****1/2 Rock was a bit gassed, but he just went 30 minutes after being retired for years, can you blame him? Other than that, tremendously epic stuff that delivered exactly what was promised.

The Pulse

I’m pretty sure 90% of the people buying this show were doing it for Rock/Cena and HHH/Undertaker, and both matches delivered tremendously, so that’s a thumbs up show from me. I just wish that something else had turned into a show-stealing classic to really elevate this thing to the upper tier of Wrestlemanias, but sadly nothing did and in fact a couple were really horrible from a quality and booking standpoint. Still, HHH v. Undertaker is well worth your $65 and I left happy that I bought the show.

Comments

  1. ***** for Taker/HHH? ****1/2 for Rock/Cena?

    I'll be honest, I wasn't exactly expecting those ratings.

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  2. Needs more Brock.

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  3. Anybody have any guesses on what they'll do with Cena now? My guess is that on Raw, he cuts a generic promo about trying your best and they'll just continue with business as usual.

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  4. That's because those matches aren't deserving of those ratings.

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  5. I guess I'm the only person sick of all of the cliches they threw together to emulate drama in the Cell match (apparently, the only purpose of the Cell was so the wrestlers could fling chairs and sledgehammers without injuring the crowd) I sure hope that's the last time we see any of those three in the ring.

    The storytelling of Rock/Cena was so much more subtle and interesting. Looking forward to the RAW fallout.

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  6. TheRealCitizenSnipsApril 1, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    "I’m no Randy Orton booster, but he’s been doing WAY too many jobs."

    Nah, Randy Orton can never do too many jobs.

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  7. I much preferred this version of HHH/UT to last year's.

    Last year, they were trying for another UT/HBK match, which there was no chance of happening. This year, there was a lot more psychology, and I thought that Shawn's role was perfectly played. Good stuff.

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  8. *** for Rock/Cena.  Taker/HHH gets one wanking star and likes it.

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  9. If I was a betting man I would've had Scott putting the Divas match at about -**1/2. Instead, he went +**1/2. That's a bigger shock than Bryan-Sheamus getting only 18 seconds.

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  10. My ratings

    Sheamus vs Bryan - DUD

    Kane vs Orton - ** 3/4

    Cody vs Show - * 1/4

    Divas Tag - *

    Undertaker vs Triple H - **** 3/4(More like **** 999/1000)

    12 Man Tag - ** 3/4

    Jericho vs Punk - **** 1/2 (I was actually expecting ***** from this)

    Rock vs Cena - ****

    Overall a VERY good Wrestlemania, and had Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan gotten time, say 15 minutes or so, this would be a Top 5 'Mania

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  11. What exactly was *bad* about the Divas match?  Kelly and Maria exceeded expectations in my book, and it felt like a perfectly acceptable use of seven minutes.

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  12. Wait...I agree that HHH/UT III was the match of the night, hands down, and worthy of *****. But I think you got your star ratings reversed in the last 2 matches there, Scott. Both were good, but Jericho/Punk was WAY better than Cena/Rock.

    I think you might wanna wait a day or 2 and re-watch/re-rant b/c for what was a really good, honest upper-tier Wrestlemania you just sound cranky and shit all over stuff that honestly wasn't THAT bad. Orton/Kane was actually pretty decent, and while Bryan losing in 15 seconds SUCKED at least given his character's story since winning the belt it made sense.

    Broadus & all the music though was a total abortion (that'll thankfully get edited out of the DVD) that I didn't mind missing while getting more food & taking a piss.

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  13. Sorry, Scott, but I think your inner mark got the best of you here.

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  14. Scott's just in a pissy mood tonight, you can tell.

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  15. Rock should hop back into his DeLorean and retcon Wrestlemania 27 out of history, because THIS was the show we should've gotten last year instead of that turd that we ended up with.

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  16.  My friend's girlfriend, who had been watching Raw casually with us for most of the past year, turned to him after Punk/Jericho and asked, without a hint of condescension, "Is that what wrestling can be?" BITW, indeed.

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  17. Agree with just about everything except the Taker/HHH match -- I'll hand it to them for the ending, which I loved, definitely a real poignant moment there despite the announcers trying to manufacture it by constantly mentioning the incredibly vague line about "this is the last time (by gawd) that we'll see these men in this place, at this location, at this stadium, in this moment, at this time... it's the end of an era!" 

    Clearly they have the building drama down pat, it was a ***** affair in terms of that... but with the exception of the ending it felt very artificial to me -- lots of style and sizzle but no real content.  So much laying around and doing nothing.  So much 'you lay around while I hit you with my weapon a thousand times'.  Too much lumbering around and punch-kicky offense.  The lack of energy on both guys parts made the 'brutality' they were going for seem weak (with the exception of some of those chair shots). 

    Also, I think near falls are great in a match where you lose yourself in the contest, but I was almost just waiting for them to do a zillion of them, because that's becoming the whole gimmick of how to pop the crowd in the UT streak matches when neither guy can do much else.  It's sort of a new kind of cheap heat to me -- they're veering dangerously close to just having two guys go out and exchange finishers and pinfalls for 20 minutes in order to manufacture a classic match.

    I don't know, as I said in the other thread -- maybe I'm expecting way too much in terms of actual in-ring action for two guys who are both on the other side of 40.  It wasn't a bad match, but I don't think it's one I'd ever want to see again.

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  18. I feel like I'm not watching the show correctly after seeing ***** for HHH/Taker and ****1/2 for Rock/Cena. 

    I wonder how 2003 Scott would have judged those matches....

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  19. Also, anybody check on that Machine Gun Kelly kid? When he came out I thought somebody had handed one of those Make-A-Wish kids a mic. 

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  20. Yeah, scott reviewed those matches as a fan.  What a moron, right? 

    You people are idiots.

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  21. HHH/Taker was pretty damn awesome, so awesome that the crowd couldn't even muster enough energy afterward to even get the requisite hot tag pop for the tag match. Man, that thing was stone cold silent, and I ain't talking 3:16. Hopefully, that will get the message to the suits that no one cares about the GM power struggle, but they won't.

    Was pissed that Bryan got KO'd so fast, mainly cause the arena was firmly behind him with the chants and all those awesome YES! signs. Still, they booked the card right, put the crap in the first hour like an undercard (sad that the World Title has to be in there, but c'est la vie) and stack the latter three. Once we got to HHH/Taker and went from there, I thought it was a pretty fantastic show, best WM since 21 IMO.

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  22. I am a huge Bryan fan but i thought it made sense from a booking standpoint for him to drop the title that way considering how much of a chicken shit champ he was.

    Also did anyone else notice Cena face during that match? Rock must have actually nailed him with multiple punches, most likely accidentally but wow.

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  23. I'd give HHH/Taker **1/2 and Cena/Rock *** (those are the only 2 matches I saw). HITC was really disappointing, with the cage having no real effect on the match, no real wrestling except the near-fall finishers, no fighting outside the cage, and no blading. This should have been a bloodbath, fuck it if there's kids watching. Compare this to the original HITC and it's not even in the same league. Hell, it's not even the same fuckin sport (to quote Jules from Inglewood). I get the feeling that next year for the reposts Scott will downgrade his rating a bit. Rock/Cena was ok, but I was waiting for Brock (or Batista) to show up and was disappointed to not see it happen, though Rock winning was a pretty big shock. The anti-Cena signs in the crowd were almost better than the match. The kicking out of all the finishers got really annoying too. 

    Sidenote: this is the first PPV I've stolen since sometime in 1998. Fuck you, DirecTV!

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  24. I'm starting to believe John Cena is either perpetually stoned or mentally ill. STOP SMILING!

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  25. Sorry to rain on your precious legends' circle jerk and tarnish your childhood memories, but the match wasn't that good. It was an overbooked garbage brawl soap opera that was poorly acted and overstayed its welcome. You're a clown.

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  26. I've noticed Scott tends to overrate Wrestlemania matches on his first recap than for other PPVs.  He'll surely re-rant these and bring the star ratings lower for most of the matches here, especially Rock vs. Cena.  Then again, Scott is so hard up Rock's ass, he'd give The Rock taking a shit ***

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  27. If Sheamus v Bryan had opened the show with a 15 minute match, this show would've worked so much better. The crowd was clearly looking forward to it and all those "YES!" signs in the crowd were awesome.

    WWE really needs to cut out the fat at Wrestlemania. Musical performances at WM never work and the skits should be kept to a minimum. The Ron Simmons "DAMN!" was the only one we liked where I was watching it. The World Title deserved the time more than Flo Rida did.

    Punk v Jericho was great in my opinion. I'd give it ****. The ending sequence was fantastic. Rock v Cena was great, although the ending was a little out of nowhere. Like Summerslam 99, where you think "wait, really?! Mankind beats Austin with the DDT?! Uh...cool!" At the time its a bit, huh, but as you think about you're quietly content. The WWE basically just showed Cena was beatable, which will lead to some interesting character developments hopefully. He had to win and he failed. More interesting than a straight out heel turn. Plus, Rock finally got his big Wrestlemania main event moment (that he should've got at WM2000). WMX8 was cool, but it was more of a Hogan moment really.

    Taker v HHH had a great match, that told a good story and was quite emotional. The pedigree into the superkick had me buying that it was over. I did get the feeling that this was the Undertaker and HHH's last match. Undertaker is 20-0, he can retire with that as his legacy. HHH can transition to a non wrestling role and still perform if needs be, but that seemed fairly final. I like how they reversed things by having HHH unable to walk out under his own power.

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  28.  Tomorrow night, he''ll find and assault the guy that ripped off Kurt Angle's 80 year old mom and still be booed out of the building

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  29. I agree with the rating for Hell In A Cell.  No, it wasn't a "wrestling match", and yes, it was cliched at times, but it told a hell of a story that built upon both of Shawn's matches with Undertaker and HHH's attempt to end the streak last year.  If you can tell a riveting, flawless story, I'll rate a match highly even if it's not a workrate masterpiece.

    I think the rating for Rock/Cena is a bit high.  Something about the match just didn't work for me for the most part.  I don't know - it seemed like the two just really don't like each other and didn't fully trust each other in the ring.  Everything seemed forced.

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  30. So...we weren't watching them as fans? Or are opinions aren't valid?

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  31. I think it's something along those general lines with Cena planting the seed of wanting a rematch, with Cena badly needing to defeat Rock. I'm hopeful the fact that Cena got cocky and lost as a result leads to a more serious Cena, and eventually you get Rock/Cena 2. I'm not sure if Scott has some kind of inside information or not, but I don't think the finish got changed, I think it was supposed to be that. Rock winning like that means you can go somewhere with a rematch or with Cena's character (or both). Cena winning is the status quo and that's not necessarily working.

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  32. Clearly, the crowd hated it.  They were ready for that match to be over, I could tell by their reactions.

    I'm a clown, or you're a moron. 

    It's the latter.

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  33. I gave Rock taking a shit *1/2. That being said, as far as guys doing #2 goes, Rock's about as good as it gets.

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  34. I'm pretty much in agreement on all those. I'd probably go a little lower on Rock/Cena, and I'd debate whether or not to go the full 5 on HHH/Taker, but it was easily at least 4.5 stars to me. Great, great drama, and while there was only a little blood on HHH, I'm sorry, the eye cut and the massive bruises on Taker's back from the chair shot made it look pretty damn brutal.

    Also, I'm like, the poster child for "Putting monster heels over top faces cleanly because the faces can take it and it makes the heel look better", nor do I like Orton, but I have to agree with Scott there, Orton has been jobbing too much lately. I'm sure he'll recover from it without an issue, but if you're going to put a heel over him clean...Kane? Seriously? Henry was the right move before, but Kane too?

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  35. And it did what for the company long-term? It made you giddy like a schoolgirl because you're a sad manchild, but it does nothing for WWE the other 364 days of the year. 

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  36. I agree with the part about trimming the fat.  I think it's time to start considering a three-hour show instead of a four hour-one.  I *think* the only reason to do the four hour show is to give everybody a big pay-day and if that is the case -- I think they should keep doing it despite the first hour being a total bathroom break -- and I can accept that, but if it makes no difference then I think they'd be better off to cut all the filler and make a much more tight, brisk show that leaves you exhilarated instead of exhausted.

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  37. I was a bit peeved that Brock or Batista didn't show up, so I'm hoping(and assuming) they will on Raw tomorrow. 

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  38. Giant Gonzalez taking a shit is the only way he'd ever get a ***** rating in his life as well as Big Show, as they both probably take mammoth dumps that would put The Rock's to shame. 

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  39. I think post-2002 Shawn is to '"blame" for this trend of older wrestlers relying more on brilliant storytelling and superb selling for great matches as they physically break down. Shawn couldn't rely on his athleticism so he made the proper adjustments, and HHH and Taker have followed suit.

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  40. I really want to like the HHH/Taker matches, I really do want to think that they're all about what wrestling is supposed to be... But to me, it's not. It's two guys with long careers beating the shit out of each other with chairs. They could have had that fight anywhere. It just happened to be in a wrestling ring. It's an interesting match to view alongside Punk/Jericho, which was quite clearly superior technically and at times just as brutal (Jericho's suplex on Punk to the floor is the kind of spot guys always tease but NEVER go through with because it's so bloody dangerous), but didn't have the strength of storyline that HHH/Taker had.

    To me, the Shawn/Taker matches had it all, both sides of the storytelling/wrestling coin, and they've kind of been treading water with the streak ever since. Yes, the look of tragedy on Shawn's face said it all a thousand times over. Yes, it was cool to see those three guys together, helping each other to the back. I marked out when JR painted the picture. But match quality wise? It's barely wrestling. It's Hogan slamming Andre. It's Bret putting Vince in the sharpshooter. It's sports entertainment.

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  41. One thing I've been wondering is if they bring back Brock, are they gonna bring back Sable too? They might as well, seeing as how she'll be with him anyway.

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  42. Let me be the first to say that records and streaks are meant to be broken and Taker needs to let someone end his mania streak before he finally retires. It's the right thing to do, especially in this business. He doesn't need this streak to be considered an all-time great.  In fact, it makes him look too selfish.  ALL the great ones have jobbed in at least one WM, why should Taker be the only exception?

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  43. In all fairness, if Rock had taken a shit during the match, I probably would have upped my rating for it to ***. 

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  44. Any of that would be better than squashing your world champ in 18 seconds in the opening match of the biggest PPV of the year. Of course, hearing that an Irishman went over for the belt made me smile.

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  45. Since when does WWE do anything long-term?

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  46. I only paid about $10 for this show because I split the cost with some folks, so I definitely got my money's worth with UT-HHH, Jericho-Punk, & Rock-Cena.

    I am disappointed that none of the younger guys really got a chance to step up and shine.
    - Daniel Bryan got destroyed in 18 seconds. Yes, Sheamus got a bit of a rub because he was the one who destroyed Bryan, but I don't think he gained much more popularity after this match.
    - Cody Rhodes didn't put up much of a fight against The Big Show. Optimistically, this means maybe Cody can head to Raw & onto bigger and better things. Still, I would've liked to see him get a victory on a huge stage against an upper carder like Show.
    - Ziggler, Ryder, Kingston, McIntyre & The Miz all got lost in the 12-man shuffle, and nobody really had a chance to get over.
    - It was nice to see Punk get the win, though he's already firmly cemented as a main eventer.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to Raw tomorrow, especially to see how Cena reacts to his loss. They also alluded to bringing back the Johnny Ace-CM Punk feud tonight; I wouldn't mind seeing Punk feud with some of Johnny's lackey's (Christian, Henry, Ziggler, Del Rio).

    Bryan losing in 18 seconds still pisses me off though.

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  47. Very well may be true -- and perhaps they have successfully conditioned the audience to accept that, and more power to them if that is the case.  I certainly have the stance that Shawn's post 1998 work is fairly overrated, after being a freak of nature between 1994 and 1997 or so. 

    I enjoyed his first match back a lot because the fact that he could do ANYTHING surprised me and thus the drama of it all seemed genuine.  Now they want to sell you on nothing but the drama and then anything that happens in the match is just supposed to be gravy -- well that's totally backwards.  Maybe they could pull off if the match was 15 or 20 minutes long like Hogan/Rock at WrestleMania 18, but it's just too long and I feel myself itching for a fast-forward button.

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  48. Finally got around to catching the pre-show match, which was pretty fun, and would have been worthy of being on the show itself. 

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  49. http://youtu.be/hrB4Al8Sk_4 My Wrestlemania 28 review

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  50. Maria Menounos almost took a shit in her match but alas, it was just makeup.

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  51. The HIAC went too long. By the end of the match I just wanted them to get to the GM match already.

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  52. After seeing that sharpshooter, I'd say he did take a shit during the match. People that aren't from Canada (with the exception of Sting) should just stop doing the move, it always looks like ass. Considering that half the people that are known for using it are dead, I think it time to retire it all together.

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  53. D-Bry-Sheamus had the potential to be a show stealer, so it not only gets relegated to the opening match, but Bryan jobs in 18 seconds. Randy Orton jobbing clean was a nice surprise. I'm glad they threw Kane a bone. I just hope this is the beginning of Orton's descent down the card and not just a one-off show of respect to Glen Jacobs.Even though I agree with Big Show going over, the way it was booked made Cody look like a jobber instead of someone on his way to bigger and better opportunities.

     Taker-Triple H was a series of near falls with escalating improbability. The whole match was little more than a glorified, virtually nonathletic spotfest, consisting entirely of finishers and prop shots. It was so completely overbooked that the kickouts became more predictable as the match went on. HBK's comical facial expressions and his whole "please guys, don't hurt each other" schtick made him look like a nagging housewife, which at least added some entertainment value. I think we found our leading man in drag for WWE Films' Hairspray 2. The dreary, extended circle jerk at the end of the match was insufferable, and this geriatric soap opera not only took time away from talent like Sheamus, Bryan, Kofi, Ziggler and Rhodes, people they should be focusing on as they look ahead, but it did little more than sate the ravenous egos of these three narcissistic vultures, adding absolutely nothing to the company long-term. 

    Miz going over for Team Johnny was the wrong decision. He was a poor draw as champion and he's outclassed by better young heels like Cody, Dolph and Barrett. Kofi or Dolph should've gone over. They're more talented than The Miz and aren't proven main event failures like he is.

    Punk-Jericho was a great match, with a riveting finishing sequence, and I thought it was quite easily the best match on the show. However, I disagreed with the finish and felt Jericho should've gone over to extend this excellent feud. It was a very stupid decision to have Cena job clean to an actor who has wrestled two matches in eight years. Cena has been the strongest booked wrestler of the last eight years and this clean loss devalues the entire active roster. It should've ended with Brock costing Cena the match. That way, Rock wins still wins and everyone goes home happy, but Cena looks strong. 

    I haven't seen a WrestleMania since XX, and that was a far better show than what we got tonight. I started watching WWE (and wrestling) again, when I heard that Daniel Bryan won the title, but I was very disappointed with this show and I'm probably done watching WWE on a regular basis. Even though the writing had been steadily declining since No Way Out (save for Punk-Jericho), this was still a sharp drop. I don't think I agreed with any of the booking choices, except for maybe Orton-Kane, but as much as I despise Orton for being a blackhole of charisma, Kane IS 45....

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  54. I don't know why Bryan lost so quickly, but I don't think he'll be hurt by it. He's one of those guys now that can lose and not have it hurt his standing with fans. I'm just surprised WWE hasn't truly gone all the way with stereotyping Shame Asses Irish heritage by having him piss all his money away on alcohol and tossing potato bombs.

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  55. Miz has never jobbed at Wrestlemania.

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  56. Good video review!  I like your analysis a lot and your demeanor.  You treat it with some enthusiasm and professionalism too --- I get sick of all the YouTube wrestling and video-game reviewers with the 'yell and scream profanities a lot' gimmick.

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  57. Miz isn't an all-time great and never will be one.

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  58. I'm glad that at least one other person in the world thought that HiaC was as insufferable as I did. I hope all three of them are enjoying each other's company in the hotel room now, but I really don't want them to display their love for each other in public again.

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  59. I thought they told a hell of a story. This is coming from a man who hasn't liked a match in about...4 years. Just fell out of it. Even matches I loved from before, now...eh. Whatever. But this? Sucked me in like nothing has in a long, long time.

    Them laying around? Punch-kicky offense? While I certainly disagree, you're entitled to your opinion. But consider this...for decades - DECADES - before there was work rate and before high spots, wrestling did just fine with a bearhug as a finisher. Because they had the timing right, they had the audience - they were storytellers.

    In 30 minutes, The Undertaker - a wrestler I never liked, nor ever marked for, ever - went from being a Legend, to a broken down 48(?) year old MAN, to a Force of Fucking Nature. Just awesome.

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  60. I've been watching the predictions for weeks and I cannot believe how many of you all on this site (Scott included) actually thought and believed that John Cena was walking out of Sun Life Stadium as the victor. After God only knows how many months of negotiating to get him back IN the ring and on WWE tv, and another solid year of hyping up this main event and show, spending money on new merchandising and a new DVD - there was no way Rock was losing this match...

    I know that Cena is the face of the company. I know that he sells a ton of merch. I know that he does a lot for make-a-wish. But if he would've won tonight, then management would've totally alienated over 70% of the remaining audience w/ this superCena stuff. In my opinion, the company is doing everything possible to try and bring back some of the Attitude audience. They are also trying to make themselves more marketable to casual viewers. Tonight was apart of that step.  Tonight was also about sending the crowd in attendance and viewers at home extremely happy.  No one was gonna wait for a rematch at SummerSlam, even less for a rematch at next year's Mania.  Rock had to win TONIGHT...

    ...now we see where they go from here. 

    ...and its interesting. Do they finally begin the slow Cena heel turn after tonight? Has it already begun? They sure have given him (John) the background to do so...

    Yes, Rock was gassed and performed the worst Scorpion Deathlock I have seen in 25 years of watching this stuff - but seeing that he has been away from a singles match for damn near a decade I will cut him a HUGE amount of slack. He showed up and worked his ass off...

    John brought it. Period. Now, everything he's done gets challenged. From a business perspective it seems very bad. But then again, we can be on the ride for a ton of new stuff...

    ...if he turns heel... 

    As far as Rock winning and why some were against it, I understand. Big Show, JBL, HHH, HBK, Edge, and Bautista have all lost to John in WM's past to make him huge but for some reason the mainstream audience is tired of dude. I know that Rock's win can arguably undermine ALL of what I just mentioned above. But maybe that's what they want as background... Hell its getting all of us talking which is what the company more than ever wants to generate interest...

    We'll see where things go. I still liked this show. It wasn't WMx7, WM10, WM22, WM18, or classics of the past. But it was better than last year.

    Final point: I also think that this was Vince making up to Rock for 3 straight years of jobbing in WM main events against Austin (twice) and HHH. Yeah its a decade later, but to repair and strengthen a legacy- some decisions have to be made.

    Good show nonetheless and we'll remember this one more in depth than WM2000...

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  61. Totally agree with everything about HITC. I watched that match with my brother, and he asked me why Shawn looked like he was about to start crying, and I really had no answer. I still don't see what the point of UT chokeslamming Charles Robinson was either (ugly botch there, too), unless it was some kind of inside joke giving a shout-out to Flair or something.

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  62. Was talking with someone on another site who attended WM live, and he made a great point on why the crowd wasnt really feeling Punk/Y2J and why they didn't click: the (unnecessary) DQ stipulation. Now instead of focusing on the match, everyone's waiting for the DQ situation and now Punk/Jericho have to play to it instead of just doing the match. I liked it just fine, but I think the stip, and the angle (which was equally unnecessary), did more harm than good.

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  63. Shit...is there a dislike button?

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  64. But if a match is only about the wrestling, then Vince only gives you 18 seconds...9 to kiss your pretend girlfriend, and 9 to kiss your title goodbye.

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  65. Well, I think it comes down whether or not you believed in the story they were trying to tell. 

    For me, it was far too deliberate and dare I say boring, which took me out of the story they were trying to tell pretty early on. 

    After awhile there was nothing else to focus on but "when are the near-falls going to start"?  Once they did, they didn't add any new twists onto what is becoming a pretty standard sequence -- "guys hit finishers multiple times, exchange near falls, stand around and make shocked faces at each other".  A few years ago that was an exciting sequence, but they got the least mileage out of it this time out.

    I felt like they sort of got lost after that too and the whole period after that was a bit awkward until they moved into the stuff with Shawn and the finish.

    Where you saw drama, I guess I just saw two old guys killing time, waiting around to get to their next big spot.

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  66. Let me also finish this point with the belief that I don't consider this a streak, it's just continuous self-masturbation.  Taker might as well come back in the next WM and just get in the ring, drop his pants and jerk off in front of the audience, then the refs raises his hand and he heads back in hiding.  Rinse, repeat the year after. 

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  67. A bearhug is still one person trying to hurt somebody, and another person actively suffering.  It's not the same as two people lying motionless on their backs five feet away from each other for eternity at the ten minute mark, while the referee tries to distract everyone by having a nervous breakdown.

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  68. along with your career, maybe.

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  69. That's what they said about Hunter Hearst Helmsley for a long time.

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  70. wow, you are flying blind if you really think Miz compares to HHH.  HHH, even at his lowest, had much more talent than Miz at his best. 

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  71. Should the ref still raise his hand even if he can't get it up for the money shot?

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  72. That is the dumbest thing I've ever  read.  A match is good or it isn't, the quality isn't dependant on how it helps the company in the future.  Holy crap you're a moron.

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  73. Mark Henry is also a terrible worker... Hey wait a minute, he isnt! My point is just because miz isn't great now doesn't mean he can't be.

    Miz needs a long program with someone who can make him a better worker. Maybe Orton?

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  74. Excellent point.  A wrestler can do a lot of rest holds, but as long as they WORK the holds, at least that keeps you somewhat engaged in the match while the guys catch their wind.  For me a match doesn't have to have an amazing work-rate to be a great match, but it does have to keep me engaged through actual physical activity in the ring. 

    You can play the "these guys are so physically worn down from this hellacious battle that they can hardly stand!" card for a few moments, but I am not going to buy it for nearly the whole match.

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  75. I'm not saying that Miz is Awesome right now.  I do think that he has the potential to get much better if he's willing to keep working at it.

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  76. good one, Joe, good one.  But Vince will probably have his wife come over to fluff him up so he can drop his load. The ref, of course, better wear gloves before he raises the hand.  

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  77. I'd also like to give props to Michael Cole, he was as good as he's been in years tonight, while still retaining his heelishness.

    And I love JR, but some of his lines were cringe worthy. He came off like he was trying too hard, he REALLY tried to force that alliteration.

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  78. Since they booked Rock/Cena a year ago?

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  79. Well, I'll have to agree to disagree.  I don't see the fascination with the guy.  He's absolutely the worst world champion in history outside of David Arquette and Vince.  And I don't see any potential in him as anything other than a mildly amusing midcarder and JTTS. 

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  80. JR jumped the shark in that match with "carcinogenic right hands"  Really, I hope that that was his last match too.

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  81.  I thought the stip actually worked as a cool little red herring: Punk had to control himself in order to get past the mindgames and power through - think of it as an inversion of the Orton/Christian use of the same rule last year.

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  82. Agreed too, I did like the ending more than any of you guys did, but the line about "Taker-Triple H was just a series of near falls with escalating improbability" perfectly sums it up. 

    I was also a little confused by Shawn's character developments -- "wait, was it all a plot, did he just turn on UT?"... "wait is he gonna turn on HHH now?"... "why is he crying in the corner"?  It was awfully Russo-esque in terms of them not wanting to have him commit to any one thread of character motivation and instead it just came off as totally illogical.  Why wouldn't UT just kick his ass after nailing him with the superkick?  What about all the stuff about him wanting the match to be "pure" too?  I guess the multiple sledgehammer and chairshots didn't rattle his morale compass too much.

    Punk/Jericho was easily the most interesting match and well executed match on the show.

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  83. I suppose he can get the job done if he only has to do it once a year.

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  84. Yeah, that was a horrible line.  Made me embarassed to be watching the PPV when I heard it. 

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  85. Vince McMahon or Vince Russo?

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  86. Overall Cole wasn't gratingly annoying I guess but it was annoying me in the Orton match when he would call the DDT from the ropes spot a "bulldog".  He did it twice for sure.  I was actually surprised when the Rock did a DDT in the main event and Cole called it correctly.

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  87. McMahon.   I don't think Russo's ever booked himself to win a title, except maybe he was living vicariously through Arquette, since he booked that abomination.

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  88. No, Russo did win the WCW title from Booker T.

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  89.  Talk about mutual masturbation. Get a room, guys.

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  90. That depends. Will UT wash his hands first? I don't care how hardcore you are, that's just unsanitary.

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  91. If the WWE has, in fact, signed Lesnar, they dropped a GOLDEN opportunity to set up MAJOR heat for next year's mania if they had Brock sneak attack while HHH, HBK and Taker were having their little moment together after the match.  Imagine Brock spearing Taker and hitting an F5 on him, then taking the mic and telling everyone Taker now knows how it feels to be kicked while you're down after a match (referencing Taker shit talking Brock after he lost to Cain Velazquez in the UFC).  Bam, you have instant heat and a ready-made match for next year's mania and a worthy guy to end Taker's Mania self-masturbation fest.  Oh well, we'll see where they go with this on Raw.

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  92. I was also hoping Kane vs. Orton would end in one of them hitting their finisher on the other in short order and (while I didn't expect them to get a lot of time) Bryan and Sheamus would at least have an actual match. I mean, I went in knowing a Sheamus squash was likely, but I hoped Bryan would at least get some offense and try to weasel his way out of losing the belt one last time before getting his head kicked off. That said, at least the Rumble winner won the belt for once.

    I really wish they hadn't added the "Punk loses the belt if he's DQ'd" stip at the last minute, because I loved the match once the matched stopped revolving around whether Punk would forget to stop kicking him before the five count. I was seriously marking out for the last third of it. So was the sports bar I was watching the show in, which was nice to see.

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  93. Yeah, you're right, I forgot about that.  Wow, WCW was truly wretched in Russo's hands and to think he was the guy hired with the hopes of turning things around for them. 

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  94.  Sure, it is in Bryan's character to be a chickenshit heel but man.... Since we know wrestling is a work and more like a real sport, like say boxing, even though its in his character it is still easier to view as a burial I think. Think of it this way, on betting lines (yes Im surprised they have them for a worked performance like wrestling) Bryan was a 2-1 underdog and HHH was a 8-1 underdog. Bryan beat in 15 seconds, HHH beat in 31 minutes after all the crazy near falls and fabricated drama. Its just funny, if this were boxing, a world champion being beaten in 15 seconds would be the biggest story in the history of the sport. I feel like its only a small footnote in this Wrestlemania though. And maybe that devalues the title as people are saying. A world title bout does not last 15 seconds anywhere, suspension of disbelief or not.

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  95. The superkick to Pedigree nearfall and the cross-body roll-thru into the AA were outstanding nearfalls.

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  96. The feud that they booked the night after Wrestlemania, ignored for months, reignited when they remembered Survivor Series was coming, ignored AGAIN, and then restarted after Elimination Chamber?  There is no long-term plan in WWE.  They have no clue how to get from Point A to Point B in advance anymore.  

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  97. I would switch the ratings on the last two matches. Punk/Jericho was a flawlessly executed match and a great story with a kickass finishing sequence where either guy could've won.. not sure how it was only a star better than the Divas botchamania-fest.

    Rock/Cena I felt transitioned from hip tosses and bear hugs to finishers without a build up to it. Maybe 4-stars on this for the atmosphere; but Id give Punk match in the 4.25-4.5 star range.

    I'm fine with 5-stars on HHH/Taker... that was pro wrestling at it's finest.

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  98. Maybe 15 years ago.  But after all, the last UFC HW title fight lasted 64 seconds and half that time was standing around before the leather flew.  I believe Frank Shamrock tapped someone in a title fight in 12 seconds also.  Hell, Alberto Del Rio (then Dos Caras Jr.) fought Crocop in PRIDE and only lasted a couple minutes also.  Every 10 or 12 UFC shows someone will get KO'd in the 1st punch of the fight.

    MMA fans are used to this kind of thing.

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  99. Don't get your love for this show Scott.

    I  thought the HHH vs UT match was hindered by the HITC & HBK.  Last years match was much more interesting, this year you had Shawn crying in the corner 1/2 the time, trying to screw the Taker and in the end the mutual admiration society stood victorious.  Last year there was still drama on who would win, this year it was a foregone conclusion UT would win.  HITC took away the table spots, HBK added nothing to the match.  HBK as a surprise run in to superkick UT allowing HHH to pedigree him would have been much better than him as referee.

    Punk/Jericho was average, or at best *** for a few cool reversals.  No drama, nothing worthwhile whatsoever in that match to even remember.  On top of that they added the HHH/Orton, Christian/Orton DQ and you lose the title gimmick to really screw the match.

    Rock/Cena was the match of the night but wasn't epic.  If that's 4 1/2, Rock vs Hogan is 5 stars, same with Warrior vs Hogan.  Cena can't have a great WM match, maybe he chokes under the pressure.  I'm glad to see Rock & Cena didn't hug.

    Overall the wrestlers played it safe and it showed in their average matches, nothing significant occurred outside the result of the main event and it'll be business as usual tomorrow.

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  100. He'll probably be okay. Hey, he's certainly doing better than Heath Slater! (Please don't let him turn in to Heath Slater.)

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  101. It is the kind of magic we hold out for.

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  102. HHH/Taker was awesome, and the crowd was INTO it.

    It felt like a faster-paced match than last year's. Blood would have been nice, but I was entertained for the full half hour, and that's really all I can ask for. Taker's back looked like a mess after taking all those chair shots. Good storytelling, lots of brutality/stiffness, lots of drama, hot crowd, and believable near falls. 

    One note on the main event: The Rock sold the shitty Cena STF like death, but it just looked silly because Cena's fat baby arms don't even look like they're clenched in on anything. 

    I was glad to see Rock win even though the crowd was kind of deflated for the match. 

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  103. Good review man. Good show in general. Here's my own review--

     http://xfearbefore.blogspot.com/2012/04/wwe-wrestlemania-xxviii.html

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  104. For the most part, I agree with everything. Awesome show!

    Sheamus vs. Bryan: DUD. Yeah, maybe next year they'll have a 3rd match and get 5 mins in the middle of the show.

    Kane vs. Orton: *** Maybe you were still upset about the opener getting shafted(or you just have an opinion of your own that's different than mine...IMPOSSIBLE) but I thought this was a good match. Certainly not horrible. The second rope chokeslam was just cool. 

    Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show: **1/2 After getting over the dissappointment of Cody losing and the abrupt ending, I really liked this match. Nothing classic, but far from the worst match ever.

    Kelly/Maria vs. Beth/Eve: ** Not horrible and props to Maria for going out there beat up and taking some abuse on her ribs. Kelly busted out some nice moves too.

    Undertaker vs. Triple H: ***** THIS IS WRESTLING. This is everything that wrestling can be. This was an AWESOME match. Everything they did meant something and the crowd was molten every step of the way. Triple H said something in the hype to Rock-Cena, he said "those two guys are going to paint the ultimate masterpiece" No offense to Rock or Cena, but Triple H and Undertaker went out there and painted a masterpiece of story telling and violence. I loved every second of this match and it flew by. And the moment afterward with all three embracing was something I won't forget. Also the Superkick-Pedigree nearfall might be the best nearfall ever. 

    Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy: **1/2 The crowd was dead for most of it, but once the action picked up they were into it. 

    Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk: ****1/2 I agree the match did start slow, but that's something that Jericho is a master at. He usually will start slow and build the match so that by the end, the house is rocking. I was scarred they were gonna go the DQ route but thankfully they didn't. In the Diaries thing on WWE . com Jericho mentioned that this was his first chance to steal the show since WM 19 because unlike WM 26 there was no "Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels" Unfortunately for these two guys, there was no "Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels" but there was an Undertaker vs. Triple H. Still that doesn't take away from what these guys did.

    Rock vs. John Cena: ****1/2 It lived up to the hype and it was a rollar coaster of excitement the whole time. It was fun and that's what wrestling is supposed to be. Surprised to see Cena lose, but either way it was great.

    Slow start to the show but once Shawn's music hit the show was spectacular. A ***** match, and two ****1/2 matches makes me a happy fan. Wow. Awesome show. 

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  105. Cole was awful in the main event.

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  106. I agree that the Jericho-Punk match was better than Rock-Cena, though both were very good.  There just was not much heat for the WWE title match.  I'm not sure if it was really because they weren't clicking as Scott says or because the crowd was already burned out.

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  107. If they had given Bryan a match, he wouldve been the biggest star of the night....heel crowd + awesome heel = star time.

    I almost wonder if the WWE did the BS 18-second match to avoid Sheamus getting booed out fo the building, which you know wouldve happened.

    They need to work on the structure for WrestleMania. The past couple of WrestleManias have been dominated by 2, maybe 3, big matches, where everything else is filler. Which on a 4-hour show sucks. Think about 17, 19, 20, 21, etc....good matches that got time from start to finish. Not stupid filler like Orton & Kane for 10 minutes.

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  108. I disagree with the brutality seeming weak. Did you see the blood on Trips' face or the disgusting welts on Takers back? I loved the match. I value story over how many moves they do and how fast. I'll take the Undertaker vs. Triple H match over anything in Dragon Gate. People have different tastes, to me Taker/HHH was a masterpiece. On the subject of punchy kicky offense and laying around, given the build up I don't think it makes sense to expect them to trade holds and counter holds. It makes sense that they would punch each other in the fact. And them laying around was the product of selling the fact that they had been hit with chairs, sledgehammers and steal chairs. Of course they'd be worse for wear. Again, maybe it's just me, but I'll take the "punchy-kicky offense and laying around" when it MEANS something, over a match where they take a powerbomb, get up, take a suplex, a lariat, no sell it and hit three more variations of a suplex "just cuz" they need some moves to fill time. 

    Of course they are going to be down for a period of time. They took about 40 chair shots combined, a couple pedigrees, some tombstones etc. They went through hell it makes sense they'd stuggle to stand. 

    And the story of the match, to me, wasn't two old guys lying around killing 30 minutes. It was two guys, who for 20 years had given EVERYTHING they had to this business, and for as long as the match was they were going to push their bodies *THAT* much further. They were going to push their limits and beat the hell out of each other. They wanted to fight and hurt each other so they did. Simple story there. Hell of a match and hell of a story in my opinion. 

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  109. I'll take brilliant story telling and awesome selling over athletic moves. There's a reason matches like Flair-Steamboat are timeless. It's not the moves they did, it's what those moves meant. It's the intensity with which those moves are delivered and the story of the match. I'll take story telling and selling over moves any day. 

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  110. Nothing more than just a series of nearfalls? It was a match that emphasized story and brutality, and near falls came as a result of that too. But to say the match was just nearfalls while ignoring the story through out is doing the match an injustice. 

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  111. What? You honestly just sound like a guy who needs something to bitch about. Self-Masturbation? Really, I doubt Undertaker had the clout to make sure he won his matches when he first got to the company. If anything it's Vince jerking Taker off.

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  112. This should've played during the brofest after HIAC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scLPV5jYd20

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  113. **1/4 stars for the diva tag match? Those four managed to go nearly seven minutes without a single move that looked like it hurt. I was especially impressed with Eve who kept banging her head into the turnbuckle after Kelly let go. That's dedication.

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  114. Well, let's look at the other guys who got the under 30 second title loss treatment.  Honkytonk Man, Bob Backlund, Chavo Guerrero, JBL...none of those guys ever got back to that level again (of course, JBL never intended to...)  We'll see if D-Bry can buck the trend, but I'm not optomistic.

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  115. I find that Keith tends to overrate any match with a Canadian by a full *, and any Main Event Brawl-style match (ie. anything by Rock/Austin and usually HHH & Taker) by about *1/2 to **. This means I can generally still find out how much I'd like a match by how much Keith liked it, despite us having different interests in some cases.

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  116. This is what kills me about the World Heavyweight Championship match: as big a fanboy for Bryan Danielson as I am, I can see amazing storyline potential coming out of this match. So far, we've seen Bryan develop the ultra-rare nerdy jerk boyfriend routine with the super-sweet (and hot) AJ. After this horrifyingly bad booking, the only way to redeem this is to have Bryan channel his inner Macho Man and truly cultivate the Savage/Elizabeth aspect of this pairing. Have him become more... demented, more intense, and more dangerous. Build on Bryan's intensity and play to his wrestling skills more while highlighting the innocence of AJ, without resorting to the brainless bimbo archetype that Maria filled years back. Then, have AJ finally stand up for herself and split with Bryan at SummerSlam while he challenges for the WWE Championship (seems like a Punk/Bryan program is possible now that the WHC is off of him). From there, you can go one of two ways: you could have Bryan destroy AJ and enter Jake Roberts Molten Heat territory, or you could do a slow burn face turn, where Bryan begins to evolve as Savage did, albeit in a more methodical way. Have Bryan heed Sheamus's pre-WM advice and try to win back what he didn't realize he had.

    Oh, God, I've become my wife... Meh, no matter. Bryan will be buried safely in the midcard by May anyways, coaching Divas Champion AJ while acting like he's the title holder...

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  117. I agree. The Miz > "Hunter Hearst Helmsley"

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  118. He actually had a bunch of terrible lines like that. I think his day is done.

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  119. They changed the finish?

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  120. You mean like Cena almost killing rock with that stupid top rope legdrop.

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  121. Yeah, I did notice one welt on Cena's head.

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  122. Referring to Taker's punches as "carcinogenic" has to be the all time worst, although I guess infecting your opponent with cancer isn't the worst finisher in the world. 

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  123. Perhaps you should e-mail me in advance so I know what the proper ratings are next time and can adjust my opinions accordingly.

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  124. So they have time for the embarrassing waste of money that was the Brodus Clay segment, but they don't have time to give everyone in the GM match separate entrances?  Scott's right - that made them all look like such jobbers, and most of them deserved better than that.  And who's bright idea was it to have chinlocks and restholds in a match with 12 people in it.  If you're tired, tag one of the 4774 people standing on the apron.  And it's not like they had any overly contrived spots they needed to call in the ring.  No wonder the crowd was dead...what a disaster.

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  125. Not that I'm complaining about less Orton, but who did he piss off to get shunted down the card?  He's been jobbing like crazy, been out of the title hunt, and then loses in a match that has zero reason for existing.  Maybe he needs to start trashing hotel rooms again.

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  126. That is basically EXACTLY what I was hoping for with the extended exit.  I love it the way it was for the emotional impact, but if Brock came out and tore them apart, especially Taker, it would have been money.

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  127. I've been watching wrestling since 1988 and I swear I am saying this without  hyperbole. The Undertaker vs Triple H was the greatest match I have ever seen. 

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  128. I disagree with the ratingings of HHH/Taker and Cena/Rock, as I believe they should both be a snowflake less than what you rated them) but to each his own. I'm just glad the Rock/Cena match played out the way it did with the Rock playing the veteran that was one step behind Cena and capitalized on a mistake. Cena played smarmy heel enough without going full retard. And the best part was...NO MUTUAL RESPECT HANDSHAKE AT THE END.

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  129. Wow way more dislike for this than I would have thought.  A couple things about the show.
    I guess the black "cage" we saw in the pics this week was the screen that surrounded the cage while it was hanging, could tell from a couple shots up from inside the ring.  Also looked like Taker was trying to draw hardway blood from HHH with a couple of those early shots, probably to get around WWE's rule.  Loved Otunga when he came into the team interview early on and made sure to flex before taking a drink from his coffee cup.  Ziggler's 450 sell of the monkey flip made me laugh out loud.  Pissed they did that to the opening match but the world will still spin.  Thought that Kane vs Orton was better than your rating, the last half of it really picked up the action and the crowd to where they really popped for Kanes finish.  Lastly it would appear that we have 2 "Taker vs HHH WM 27" matches on this card where everybody either thinks it was a great epic match or it was dogshit and everybody who likes them is a big doody head.  I bought into both of them, I was a little drunk so that helps, but Im sure rewatching them tonight isnt going to change my mind, I thought both were around ****.

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  130. It's what happens after years of "not calling the moves but selling the emotion of the match." Any 8 year old kid that watches wrestling knows Ortons signature moves.

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  131. Did that mean his hand is cancerous or if you are touched by it you'll eventually die from cancer?

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  132. uh...shawn wanted it to be "pure" and call it straight down the middle, and was getting pissed when they were killing each other with chairs.  then UT shoves shwan twice.  then puts him in the googleplex.  so shawn retaliates with a super kick as soon as he recovers, and then feels badly about it because he doesn't want to be the cause of the streak ending.  seems pertty clear.

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  133. Sigh. The opening 'match' soured much of the show for me. Every time they showed an advert for GI Joe, or next year's Wrestlemania, or some other time-wasting shit, it annoyed me further. Bullshit of the highest stench.

    The first hour was probably the worst in Wrestlemania history. Anyone care to disagree?

    I had Punk/Jericho, HHH/Taker and Rock/Cena at around ***1/2 - **** each. All good, but none at the level I'd hoped for. I guess my expectations were too high.

    And how come they've forgotten how to book a good multi-man tag match? Those things used to be all sorts of fun.

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  134. I agree with your assessment of HHH/Taker.

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  135. exodus316 exodus316April 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    I was entertained throughout and on my feet for HIAC and the main event.  Always happy to see Orton job and I liked the ending of Punk vs. Jericho.  No complaints here.

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  136. HHH would try but he'd probablly tear a quad in the process.

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  137. Couple of random comments:  I enjoyed the majority of this show.  Too often in wrestling, there's not enough emphasis about winning and losing.  For the 3 big matches (and even the World Title match), it was ALL about who won.  One thing I dislike about Cena is his goofy "whatever" attitude where his opponent is deadly serious and he's just out there hamming it up.  Even on his way to the ring last night it wasn't like he was really zeroed in on the task at hand.  And I love that it bit him in the a$$ because it was him clowning and going for the People's Elbow that cost him.  

    I thought the announcing was pretty solid last night.  I generally can't stand Cole, but I appreciated his shaking JR's hand and letting him do his thing for the HIAC match.  Speaking of that, doesn't anyone else think that maybe HBK gave 'Taker the superkick as retaliation for the Hell's Gate?  I see a lot of criticism on Shawn's motives, personally I think his emotions just got the better of him so he laid out UT and then regretted it shortly after.  

    Lastly, I'll agree that last night's show does nothing for the long-term future of WWE.  But if this show breaks 1M buys, you have to figure there are a LOT of casual fans forking over $$ to watch. And they didn't pay to see John Cena beat the Rock clean.  And they're not going to "tune in to Raw" to see what happens next...they will just spend their $65 on something else next time if they weren't entertained last night.  

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  138. Yeah. I thought he had a black eye at one point.

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  139. One other thing, this is more of a question for others:

    As I was watching the buildup and I heard some comparisons between Rock/Cena to Rock/Hogan.  Is Cena really that big of a star?  I'm sorry, but to me he's more of a "big fish/small pond" than a true superstar.  I know he's a sure-fire HoFamer, but he's running the show during an all-time low point in WWE history.  Rock was one of (if not THE) biggest draws in one of WWF's all-time high points.  

    My point is, I've got guys like Rock/Hogan/Austin/HHH on one tier, and Cena definitely not on that level.  

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  140. Actually I thought the underrated story told was Jericho/Punk. When Punk put Jerichoion the Anaconda Vice for the last time and he adjusted so he wouldn't get kicked I thought it was genius.

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  141. I wonder if the reason Rock can't do the sharpshooter is because he's so big/tall? He's definitely the biggest dude to do the move with legs that are way longer than most guys who do the sharpshooter or take it and maybe that's why he can't cinch it correctly? I remember when he had his submission thingy with Benoit and tried a figure four but couldn't get it right because his legs were so big and Benoit was so small.

    The super-gorgeous Maria Menuonos is one gutsy chick. I was cringing for her the entire match since cracked ribs are no joke and when Beth gave her that kick to the side, the whole room winced. She's hardcore! She's hardcore!

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  142. Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but something seemed off about the beginning of the Rock/Cena match.  One of the armdrags looked really awkward, and right after it they went into a rest hold with Rock and Cena having a lengthy (and visible) conversation.  Everything for the next 5 minutes then moved at half speed.  Wonder if Rock was shaken up?

    Then again, with the exception of HITC, all the matches seemed to start really slow before going into high gear for the finish.  Punk/Jericho being the prime example, with an awesome finish after a really slow opening. 

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  143. Maybe greatest FIGHT, but not "match". 8 )

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  144. As I've said before, hopefully the wrestlers bitch at him for losing until be begs Rock for a rematch to save face. The Rock declines and goes back to Hollywood. (He even goes as far as sending him videos from Hollywood teasing him about losing until Cena eventually snaps.)

    Whatever the case, in a perfect world, the rematch would be in Boston.

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  145. So am I the only person who just doesn't remember Orton doing a bunch of jobs?  Basically, the only person he's jobbed to clean since, I believe, his face turn a couple of years ago is Mark Henry.  He MAY have lost a match or two to Barrett -- under nefarious means -- but he came out of the feud on top.  When did he job a bunch of times?

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  146. If you're looking at it solely in terms of WWE success, then you could debate it.  But if you're talking about the whole universe, it's Hogan by a mile.  He has had way more mainstream success and crossover appeal than Cena in his career, and it's not even close.

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  147. Oh Scott, come on. You're losing your marbles, mate.

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  148. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho was at least 4 stars.  You were just cranky from the 12 man tag match.

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  149. I can't wait to re-watch WM, because the main matches were just awesome live, sans f'n palm trees - stupid set. 

    Without a doubt, I felt that UT-HHH was a 5 star classic.  It didn't have any of the plodding that last year's match suffered in my opnion. 

    I loved the main event as well, a notch below HITC and a day later, I stlil can't believe they actually had Cena jobbed, not because I didn't want him to mind you. 

    I'm not sure what went wrong with Jericho-Punk the first 7-9 minutes but the crowd was just dead.  I get that they went the mat wrestling approach; but it was missing some intensity.  After every Jericho said to Punk about his family, Punk should've been rabid and wanting to kill Jericho; but it just didn't happen.  Match got much better towards the end; but i'll have to agree with Scott's ratings.

    In fact, I agree with all 3 main match ratings.

    On to D-Bry...sigh...not sure what the deal is with this.  However, based on the crazy amount of people that just randomly were shouting "Yes!" from the concession stands, to the parking lot, to the stadium (loved the Bryan chants during Orton-Kane), I don't think he'll have a problem regaining his heat back.

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  150. A few random thoughts as I wake up this morning after Wrestlemania, a bunch of beer, and still somewhat confused about what I saw.  Most of the show sucked.  I felt like I was watching an outdoor episode of RAW.  Until....we get to the big matches of the night (I expected Dbry and Shaemus to be one of these "big" matches but...oh well).  Taker vs HHH wasn't very good.  Why did it need to be in a cell?  The best cell matches are when the cell actually becomes a character in itself.  This could have been a normal cage match.  Why can't they blade?  It's END OF AN ERA...it's PPV...it's WRESTLEMANIA...let somebody blade...c'mon vince.  They did beat the crap out of each other.  But, does that make it a good match?  I guess you can argue that it "told a story" but that story was very anti climactic and had no real drama.  At least VKM had the foresight to not let his son-in-law Trips defeat Taker and end the streak.  Good job Vince.  Depends on what your personal rating system is but this was ** 1/2.  

    Jericho vs Punk was easily the match of the night.  I imagine these guys could phone in a *** match at the bare minimum.  I'm a huge Punk mark, but I expected Jericho to go over because now, his comeback looks like an epic failure.  So, I'm confused here.

    Cena vs Rock was hyped for a solid year and just based on that came nowhere close to meeting expectations.  Rock looked out of gas the entire time.  Didn't I hear him say he had been training with some guys from NXT for a year?  Wow.  I expected Cena to go over since Rock isn't even a full time wrestler.  Wow.  Again, I'm very confused by this although I did enjoy the finish where Cena tries to do the people's elbow but gets caught into a rock bottom.  That was nice.  If Rock was full time I would expect him to go over but....I was left in a state of confusion.

    Overall, I agree that nothing amazing happened.  There was no "Savage/Steamboat" match to elevate this into the list of great Wrestlemanias.  

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  151. I'd take WrestleMania 29's opening hour over the opening hour of WrestleMania XI in a heartbeat. And pretty much all of WrestleMania XV was garbage until the Euro Title and the Main Event matches, so there's that also.

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  152. I enjoyed the show.  I think it has an old school WrestleMania feel in the sense that the big matches that everyone bought the show for delivered while the rest of the show was forgettable nonsense.

    I think with the passage of time, this show will be remembered with the likes of WrestleMania VIII and WrestleMania XII...firmly in the middle of the second tier WMs with some very memorable moments, but not a stellar top-to-bottom show.

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  153. Christopher HirschApril 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    No freaking way Cody/Big Show was a better match than Kane/Orton.

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  154. Christopher HirschApril 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Scott, was your audio different than mine? Crowd seemed much more split on Rock/Cena than I expected, and I didn't think they were dead for much of the night.

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  155. Christopher HirschApril 2, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Yes, Shawn's motive was revenge for the Hells Gate. He was beside himself after he did that, it was pretty clear to me.

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  156. Christopher HirschApril 2, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I remember a bunch of crap being rushed at WM 20. I think people romanticize WM's and forget that there has always been useless filler and not every match is ZOMG amazing.

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  157. Would've been great if Jericho capped off his in-match antagonizing by looking Punk right in the eyes and bellowing "GARBAGE DAAAY!?!"  

    Man, people prematurely drawing comparisons to Steamboat-Savage look stupid right now.Brodus Clay segment was delightfully strange and certainly a spectacle.   Major props to John Cena.  He conveyed the main event story insanely well, I thought. Schooling Rock's ass, getting the point across that the Rock is too rusty and too Hollywood to be in the ring, THEN getting cocky, thus underestimating the guy and ultimately losing the match for doing so.   A Buffalo Wild Wings in Knoxville, TN is still looking for its roof after it was blown off.   Anyone reading this thinks they found it, call 865-966-7300.  Thanks. 

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  158. Again, I want to point out that I haven't liked a match in about 4 years. Joe vs. Punk bored me. Kobashi vs. Joe seemed pointless to me. Didn't even like Taker v Shawn (Call me a non-fan, and you might be right) But this? One of the greatest matches I've ever seen. Up there with Rock v Austin 2. 

    That being said...two guys killing time???

    Dude, did you see Taker's BACK???? When was the last time you saw that??? Yeah, they were killing something...just not sure it was time.

    Hey, its all subjective, but that story? Moved me. Go ahead and call me shallow.

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  159. He jobbed to Cody on Smackdown last year. Semi-cleanish if I'm remembering correctly.

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  160. I think it's all part of the WWE's strategy to clearly establish CM Punk as the #2 guy in the promotion.  Think about it -- Punk cleanly and successfully defends the WWE title on the same show where Orton loses cleanly to Kane.  Pretty clear who's being more highly positioned on the card.

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  161. I always think back to that SNL bit when Cena made a cameo during Tracey Morgan's monologue and absolutely NO ONE knew who he was. And he had been "The Man" for a few good years by that point.

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  162. I think Punk/Jericho put that stip in themselves cause they wanted to go out and have a top notch, pure wrestling match, but they needed a reason to explain why Punk would go out and chain wrestle a guy who had made things so personal.

    Most people were hoping for a match more in the vein of Bret/Owen than HHH/Taker (lots of strikes, power moves, and finishers). Jericho went out and made Punk angrier than he had ever been, so Punk's going to show him with... an inside cradle?

    I thought the stip actually HELPED the match. It also

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  163. Fair enough. I hereby retract my statement and will replace it with the following:

    'The first hour was the worst in well over a decade.'

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  164. He will still get booed out of the building.

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  165. Too much filler for my liking but the big matches delivered.  I'll go **** for Jericho/Punk though (Not going to ding them for the early part of the match since it fit the storyline, which is what its about after all no?)


    I really feel the concert leading into each entrance hurt the initial
    entrance pops A LOT, Rock's sounded low at first than picked up huge
    when he came down the aisle.  If you had that 5-10 seconds of silence
    followed by their entrance music blasting the place would have been
    going apeshit for both, which would have lead directly into the
    beginning of the match

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  166. agree. the crowd reacted perfectly to the big moves and spots but the two just didn't give them enough in the first minutes. I am pretty sure that going "all out" right from the beginning would be a better approach (since it would have been the only way to hold the level of crowd energy after the HIAC).

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  167. The most important question is: what did Charlie Reneke think about Taker/HHH 2?

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  168.  A "match" takes into account the whole package, action, story, emotion, circumstances, etc.  Can't judge everything just as a technical checklist

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  169. I'm always in favor of more guys getting a WM payday. Brodus deserves it, he's been great in his new role. I'd rather he make some extra bank than Truth getting to rap to the ring, or Kofi clapping in sync with his fireworks.

    Match did suck, though.

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  170. I wouldn't say Cena got booed out of the building at all.  Yes, he got booed, but in no way was it "HOLY SHIT, DO THEY HATE HIM!"  Maybe it's a side effect of the open air, but my group agreed that the reactions were nothing like what we all were hyped to believe.

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  171. Anyone find it interesting when Rock actually sat on top of Cena and laid into him with punches? I don't think I've ever seen him to anything like that before, and it was a nice change of pace.  Plus the (admittedly awkward) plancha he busted out was a nice throwback to his original finisher.

    And I'll say it again, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Rock ONCE did the People's Eyebrow during this feud.

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  172. Agree with the match being hindered by HBK. I think it would have been better with a regular ref.

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  173. Thank god they changed the finish.

    What was it supposed to be?  There were reports that things were getting re-written all weekend.

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  174. So is the Undertaker.

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  175. Why am I in the minority for Taker/HHH?
    I felt it was a good match but not one for the ages or anything to hang this show on.  I think the HIAC gimmick really hurts my view of this fight.  The cage was barely used and there was not really any blood.  The chair and steps damage to Taker was good but when you put that cage around the ring and exepect people to pay $60 there should be blood.  I think it would have helped Shawn too.  Early on when Shawn was pleading it seemed lame to me because we have seen both these guys take more punishment than this with out anyone crying and acting like someone is going to die.  However if these two were a bloody mess by match end then you would feel like HBK was watching his friends die in front of his eyes.  Yes the psychology was good and the finisher/kickouts were nice but it felt more of the same from last year without the cage adding anything to it.  Again I thought it was a nice match but more of a 3 1/2 to me. 

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  176. I'm trying to come up with a Sid joke here, but I'm drawing a blank.

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  177. Re: Rock not being 'in shape'.

    Come on, it was the guy's first singles match in 9 years, in the main event of WM. There's being in good shape and being in game shape. Nothing can recreate the intensity of performing in front of 70,000 people with the lights shining. I'd cut any man, whether I was a fan of his or not, some serious slack.

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  178. Regarding the little bit of blood in UT/HHH III, I think HHH tried to blade and make it look hardway so he wouldn't get in trouble. Didn't cut deep enough though it seems.

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  179. See I felt that way by the middle of it, but then the ending sequences were just so fucking awesome & well done that it made up for the sluggish initial pace. It was litteraly like a final **'s were added once the ref drama ended and the war of attrition started.

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  180. at one point rock was over by the announce table , either selling or in pain.  Cena rolled into the ring to give him time.  the camera was on Cena , up close, when he looked outside the ring, and clearly said "ready now?"  at the same time, the announcers mike picked up someone, either rock or one of the officials saying something about his ribs.

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  181.  I think your points are well-founded. Still, to some, the biggest moment of Bryans WWE career so far will be jobbing the world title in 15 seconds at Wrestlemania. Leaves a sour taste in the mouth so its up to them to make him a big star and erase what happened last night.

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  182. Anyone feel that the ring set up was too similar to WM XXIV?

    Also, on an unrelated topic: is the plan to go back to using the old blog?  I'm finding the .net site to be slow and clunky (slow loading, doesn't scroll smoothly).

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  183. That's not a fair comparison. All of those guys were on the downward slope of their careers (you can argue HTM). DB has still got years as a top flight performer left to go. I'm looking forward to the next step in the AJ storyline.

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  184. Just finished watching it again. That first hour is possibly the worst first hour to a PPV EVER. They killed that crowd DEAD with that D-Bry shit.


    I think, over time (and more Rocky appearances) this will go into the history books for Taker/HHH 3 over Rock/Cena. It was a good match and probably the best both guys could do but it certainly wasn't as epic feeling or as emotional as the HitC. 

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  185. You too? I thought it was my browser plug-ins slowing things down.

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  186. I'm not getting alot of the glowing praise I'm seeing across the internet.  I understand the finish to Sheamus-Bryan logically sets up a rematch...but I was looking forward to a match and it left a horrible taste in my mouth and soured me on the rest of the show.  Too much damn filler, matches the ultimately are worthless (Kane-Orton, Rhodes-Show, the Divas)....finally the HHH-Taker match knocked my socks off, an absolute epic encounter that brought me back into the show, I was on the edge of my seat.  Then more videos...backstage segments...Team Johnny  vs Team Teddy...once again I was turned off till Punk-Jericho which was DAMN GOOD but not the classic they hyped it to be.  Felt like a good RAW main event or the main event of a lesser show but just lacked SOMETHING.  Finally Rock-Cena was awesome too and am interested to see what happens next. Overall though, a show that on paper looked like it could be the best WM EVER just felt like a huge letdown to me...the two main matches delivered, so I guess you could say thats a success but when everything is else is a disappointment of some degree...you really feel shafted.  Call me purist but I like to feel like EVERYTHING means something, not just the main events...Thumbs in the middle only because the main events delivered, but other than that, an absolute shitstorm of a show.

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  187. Seconded, for some bizarre reason it takes FOREVER for the comment section to load, which has to be something here as Disqus itself always works very fast. 

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  188. The Bryan v Sheamus "match" is one of the worst booking decisions in Wrestlemania history. It completely deflated the live crowd, which is the exact opposite of what the opening match should do. It also left viewers like me feeling cheated right from the start of the PPV. Not only was that match one of the reasons i'd paid for the event, as a world title match i think we were entitled to expect a proper match, not a comedy moment. As a result, it skewed my feelings about the event right from the outset.

    As for the rest of the card... HHH v Undertaker was great but the fact HHH's career wasn't at stake definitely took away from the occasion. It was all very dramatic but it felt like we'd seen it before and, ultimately, because the career-ending stipulation didn't exist it didn't really mean anything in the long-term.

    Punk v Jericho was great but probably suffered from the HBV v Perfect Summerslam '93 effect in that it was almost impossible for the match quality to live up to expectations.

    Rock v Cena was suitably epic and i think they made the right choice going with Rock to win. If he's going to wrestle 1-2 matches a year, it makes sense that he wins sometimes. Otherwise, you end up with a Mick Foley situation in that becase the guy loses so often it no longer becomes an achievement to beat him. Having Rock defeat Cena will make it more meaningful if someone like Punk gets to go over The Great One at a future event.

    Like Scott, i don't see any logic in Kane beating Orton. Kane's been a really loyal servant to the company but his time's up. He's the past whereas Orton is the present. Strange decision and i don't think anyone has any desire to see a rematch between these two. This whole feud has felt like filler since day one and nothing's going to change that.

    Likewise, i don't see the point in putting Big Show over Cody Rhodes. Rhodes needed the win more and considering how many world titles Show's won, winning the IC belt is a demotion if anything.

    The Divas and 12-man tag were as expected. Overall, i'd say the show was good but could have been so much more.

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  189. Judging by the crowd reaction to D-Bry last night I'd say he's probably safe.

    The whole front row was going BATSHIT for his character.

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  190. Allegedly they were trying to break the record for quickest title match at Mania, that was the booking. But I guess because of the kiss the match went 18 seconds instead of beating Chavo's 9 second record.

    Fuck them.

    That crowd was losing their shit for D-Bry, he deserved better.

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  191. How was it not a match?  That doesn't even make any sense.

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  192. I thought the Rock looked sloppy and I didn't get his selling of the stfu (not a chokehold Dwayne) and couldn't believe rock was gassed so quickly.

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  193. Even if we give him that.....it was quite a while ago and, again, Orton came out of the feud on top.  This isn't the only place I've heard "Orton has jobbed too much lately."  I've heard it elsewhere as well.  I just don't know where it's coming from.  What was the last feud he came out of that he lost?

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  194. Yes, this site is slower than molasses at loading certain things.

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