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The Kyle Report: Wrestlemania 29 Review

Wrestlemania 29 was the 29th annual "Grand Daddy of Them All", held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey on April 7th, 2013. It drew 80,676 fans according to WWE, becoming the second highest attended WWE event ever, and about 1,048,000 ordered it worldwide. 
The initial video package talked about Hurricane Sandy, and it focused on the strong people that assisted those affected by it. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, narrated the entire thing and then welcomed us to WrestleMania 29.
The wide-shot camera angles showed the jammed-packed crowd in attendance. An enthused Michael Cole said there were over 80,000 people there, and the event was sold out. Then, a video package was shown of some of the classic moments in WrestleMania’s history and slides of the wrestlers involved in this show.
Your Hosts Are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Opening Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins,  Roman Reigns, and Dean Abmrose)
As usual, the Shield arrived through the crowd while Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton entered separately. Their entrances foreshadowed the story of the match. The Shield worked together as a cohesive team, while Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton were fragmented. The Shield went to hit the three-man powerbomb on Sheamus, but the Big Show saved Sheamus by spearing Reigns. The problems between Team Sheamus started to happen when Sheamus tried to tag in The Big Show, but Orton selfishly tagged himself to be the legal man. Orton cleaned house, while the camera showed Big Show visibly pissed off. Orton set up for the RKO on Dean Ambrose, but wound up RKO’ing Rollins, who jumped off the turnbuckle, in mid-air. Out of nowhere, Reigns speared Orton, allowing Ambrose to pick up the win by pinning Orton. JBL speculated that the Shield might be the greatest team ever. After the match, Big Show ended up punching both Sheamus and Orton in the face and then walked away in disgust.
Winners: The Shield in 10:37
Thoughts: An adequate, inoffensive opening tag match. The story of the match was that the Shield worked as a cohesive unit, while team Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton could not put their differences aside. People speculated whether or not Randy Orton would finally turn heel, but WWE ended up not pull the trigger on the turn. Like I said, it was solid, but the Shield have had much better matches on free TV. ** 1/2
A video package was shown hyping up the John Cena vs The Rock match
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Henry took control early on by delivering a powerslam and then a clothesline. Ryback went for Shell Shock, but Henry pushed him into the turnbuckle. Henry then applied a bear hug. The crowd then started to chant “Sexual Chocolate”, illustrating how little the crowd cared about this match. Henry applied another bear hug, only for Ryback to drive Henry into the corner where he delivered a couple of clotheslines. The crowd came alive when Ryback executed the “Feed Me More” clothesline. The crowd then popped huge when Ryback got Henry up for Shell Shock, but Henry countered by grabbing the ropes and landing on Ryback's back. Henry proceeded to pick up the win by pinning him in a very anti-climactic finish. After the match, Ryback hit Shell Shock, which made Henry’s win rather pointless.
Winner: Mark Henry in 8:20
Thoughts: The match was tedious, and the crowd only popped for the big spots, but it was not as bad as it could have been. They did not try to do more than they could, so neither Henry nor Ryback were exposed for being less than stellar workers. I still do not understand why Ryback lost this match because he ended up becoming the number one contender the next night. I also wonder if WWE has a long-term plan for Ryback losing every big match on PPV in his WWE career. * 1/4
Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) © vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
AJ kissed Ziggler at the start of the match. Ziggler turned around only to be kicked in the head by Daniel Bryan (in what was a convincing near-fall that played off how Bryan lost to Sheamus last year). Ziggler tagged in Langston and Bryan tagged in Kane. Boo!. Langston delivered Kane three backbreakers in a row, and then hit a running body attack. He's pretty strong, to be honest. The heels made some quick tags and worked over Kane, but Kane fought back by hitting a sick-looking DDT on Langston. Ziggler pulled Bryan off the apron, but Kane ended up hitting a sidewalk slam on Ziggler. The pace is really picking up. Kane went for a top-rope clothesline, but Ziggler moved out of the way. Ziggler botched a Fameasser and got a two count out of it. Afterwards, Kane tossed Langston outside the ring, and Bryan nailed Langston in the head with a stiff knee. Ziggler nailed the Zig Zag and got a close near-fall out of it. AJ Lee preoccupied the ref, as Kane dodged a briefcase shot and then gave Ziggler a Chokelsam. Kane tagged in Bryan, and he hit the Flying Headbutt on Ziggler. It was good enough to pick up the win.
Winners: Team Hell No in 8:22
Analysis: The de ja vu spot was a nice play off of last year’s Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan match, and it was actually very believable near-fall. All four men worked hard, and thus got the rather silent crowd engaged into it. Overall, it was a rock-solid, energetic match, with all four men playing their specific roles well. I just wish they had more time and that Bryan and Ziggler wrestled together longer. ** ¾

John Cena discussed Make-A-Wish and told us that we can donate $10 by texting 80088.

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Fan-dan-go! started by doing a little dancing, only to get suplexed by Jericho. Bret Hart thought his dancing was more entertaining than a HHH match. Out of nowhere, Jericho Codebreaker. (By the way, every time I say out of nowhere, Don West screaming on top of his lungs comes to my mind. God, I miss that guy.) Fan-dan-go! fell out of the ring, though. Jericho then followed up by giving him a dropkick. Back in the ring, Fan-dan-go! started to control the match, but Jericho came back by hitting a double axehandle and then a Thesz Press. Bah, gawd. Jericho then nailed a cross body block to pick up a two count. Fandango, however, threw Jericho shoulder first into the ring post. Fan-dan-go! hit a neckbreaker, and then proceeded to hit his unique Leg Drop off the top rope, getting a close near-fall. Jericho attempted the Walls of Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! reversed it and then executed a clothesline. Fan-dan-go! went to the top again, but it was Jericho grabbed the top rope. Jericho went for a superplex, but Fan-dan-go! countered by hitting a headbutt. Fan-dan-go! went for his top-leg drop, but Jericho moved out of the way. Things got messy when it appeared Jericho was supposed to hit the Liontamer, but Fan-dan-go! was too close to the ropes. Jericho tried to cover the botch up by going for the Walls of Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! countered with a sloppy inside cradle to pick up the win.
Winner: Fan....dan....go! in 9:11
Thoughts:  I forgot to breathe in the A's, I think. Anyway, another decent match. There was a good amount of back-and-forth action and counter-for-counter wrestling exchanges. Jericho’s mission was to make Fandango look good, and he did a good job of doing so. Aside from the sloppy finish, Fandango appeared to have some wrestling ability. Jericho is so good at being able to adapt with anyone and have a watchable match with them, though. 

The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction, but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky, cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving little-to-no reaction at all. ** ½
Diddy performed, which made me hit the fast-forward button. I like it when they use a music performer to sing someone’s theme, but to give them their own mini-concert would be equal to Diddy allowing wrestlers to wrestle at his concerts. I mean people order WM to see wrestling, not an eight-minute concert. The time wasted here should have been used for the mid-carders that were short-changed.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter
Zeb Colter cut a promo on just about every nationality to get cheap heat. Del Rio started aggressively at the start until Zeb Colter sidetracked him, which allowed Swagger get the upper hand by throwing Rio into the post. Del Rio got a hope spot in by rolling up Swagger for a two count but then got a big boot to the face from Swagger. Del Rio made his comeback by using clotheslines, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then a side kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a shoulder block to the knee of Del Rio. Del Rio attempted an enziguiri, but Swagger ducked it. Swagger went for the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio countered and then hit a Backstabber for a two. Del Rio tried to end it, but Swagger reversed it with a Gutwrench Powerbomb for two. The work is solid but the crowd does not care. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio reversed it with his Cross Armbreaker submission. Swagger countered back with the Patriot Lock. We Da People! Del Rio managed to break the hold by kicking Swagger in the head. Colter put Swagger's leg on the ropes while Del Rio was pinning him. Rodriguez chased after Colter on his crutches, but Colter ended kicking one of his crutches, which made Rodriguez fall to the ground. Honestly, I think Rodriguez and Cotler wrestling would have created more heat than this match. Del Rio was looking at what was going on outside the ring, which allowed Swagger to attack him from behind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio put in the Cross Armbreaker, which made Swagger tap.
 Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 10:23
Analysis: Solid work, but nothing remarkable. They had a rather decent scientific match that displayed some quality mat-work, but the issue was that it just lacked emotion and intensity. It  honestly felt like they were having an ordinary match, as it just lacked a sense of urgency and desperation and had no heat whatsoever. That could have been because the feud was too complex for the fans to understand what it was all about. Or, because Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s characters are uninteresting. Or, because they lacked a great deal of charisma in their particular roles. ** ½
 The Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Living Colour played Cult of Personality" and received a big pop from the crowd. The Undertaker’s entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not. Punk bitch slapped Undertaker in the face early on, only for Undertaker to come back with a huge boot to the face. Outside the ring, Undertaker tossed Punk into the security wall. He then threw Punk’s head right onto the announce table and then into ring post. Undertaker executed a leg drop on the apron on Punk’s throat. After, Punk took Taker down with an arm drag when Taker went for Old School. Punk then hit the Old School Clothesline, and Punk dodged the Undertaker's big boot, sending him knee first into the top turnbuckle. With Taker outside, Punk nailed a double axehandle off the top to the floor and then inside the ring, he hit a neckbreaker to get a two count. Undertaker attempted to mount a comeback via punches, but Punk countered with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Punk went for the top-rope Old School clothesline, but he was crotched on the top rope. Undertaker punched Punk in the face, knocking him outside the ring. Undertaker tried to dive outside the ring, but Heyman got on the apron, which allowed Punk to attack with a top-rope clothesline.
Later, Punk went to the top rope and hit the Flying Elbow, although the table did not break. Taker sneaked into the ring before being counted out. Taker locked in the Hell's Gate submission, but Punk answered by rolling him up for two count. Punk locked in the Anaconda Vice submission Undertaker, which led to a great visual when Undertaker looked Punk sadistically into his eyes. Punk got out of the way of a Chokeslam and hit the GTS. Undertaker bounced off the ropes and then hit a Tombstone, only for two. Great spot. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, but  Undertaker caught him and went  for the Last Ride. Heyman gave Punk the urn, and Punk nailed Taker in the back of the head. Punk only got a two, though. Just an awesome exchange there. Punk went for the GTS, Undertaker countered and hit the Tombstone Piledriver to for win. After the match, Taker walked off the urn that held Paul Bearer's ashes.
Winner: The Undertaker in 22:30
Thoughts: This match was a perfect example of "it is not what you do, it is when and why you do it". Everything they did fit the context of the story they were telling. Both men also had great body language, facial expressions, and mannerisms, which helped elevate the match's  drama and also helped transition the match to each different stage. They also built the match off the audience’s reactions, had them in the palms of their hands and sent them on a roller coaster ride.
Basically, CM Punk tried to defeat the Undertaker by using a well-developed strategic plan. He did certain tactics to attempt to play mind games with the Undertaker (which is something that few little people have been able to pull off). Even though it worked for a good portion of the match, it was not enough to defeat the immortal Undertaker. 
Also, despite CM Punk going into the match with not a lot of momentum due to him losing four out of the five previous matches, both the Undertaker and CM Punk were able to fool a lot of people by making them believe that Punk had several chances of ending the streak. Just a terrific match. **** ½

No Holds Barred: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
They brawled right off the bat, as HHH threw Lesnar into the security wall and then slammed him into the announce table. After, Lesnar went after Triple H on the floor, but Hunter drilled Lesnar with a stiff clothesline, which literally knocked Lesnar out. Lesnar had a chair in his hands, but Triple H drilled him in the face with a knee. Outside, Lesnar drilled a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Lesnar hit vertical suplex into a slam that broke the Spanish announce table. After that, a lot of boring stuff happened. Brock Lesnar dominated Triple H forever. HBK tried to save his friend, but Brock Lesnar was having none of that, so he F-5'd HBK. Later on, Lesnar drove HHH into the steps that were in the ring,but HHH applied the Kimura Lock. He picked up HHH again and drilled him into steps. This time, Triple H hung onto his head and drilled his head into the steps. Hunter hit Lesnar with a sledgehammer and then a Pedrigree onto the steps, picking up the win.
Winner: Triple H in 23:30 minutes
Thoughts: They worked hard. They really did. The problem was nobody cared. The reason the fans did not care was because: (A) Not many people care about Triple H anymore. (B) They never believed he had a chance of losing. Or (C), the Undertaker and CM Punk match burnt them out. Whatever the case may have been, the match just lacked that “career on the line” atmosphere. The match also failed to top their brawl on Raw, which was way more of a intense and bloody back-and-forth brawl, and most of all, I didn't know who was going get the upper hand.
In my opinion, though, the biggest problem with the match were the dynamics. Ass-kicker vs ass-kicker matches are difficult to pull off, especially with WWE's violence restrictions. I mean Lesnar is a good big man worker, but it is obvious that his matches with bigger guys aren't that impressive. His best matches come with people who can bump like a fish in the water and take a beating (or at least give off the illusion that they are taking a bad one). Triple H has been known to take a good beating in the past, but due how fragile his body has become, he can hardly bump anymore. So, basically, he was not the right size, character, and he could not take enough sick bumps in order to mesh with Lesnar. ** 3/4

A commercial for The Rock's next movie, Pain & Gain, is shown. There were clips from the Hall of Fame ceremony too. Then Hall of Famers were on the stage.
WWE Championship: The Rock vs. John Cena
Rock avoided a  Five Knuckle Shuffle and then hit a DDT. The Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Cena countered with a Crossface. Rock countered it with a pinfall attempt but only got two. Cena hits the spinning slam and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Rock wiggled his way out of the Attitude Adjustment and then delivered a Spinebuster. Cena locked in a the STF, but the Rock got out of it. Rock then hit a Rock Bottom in for two. Then Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a count. Selling, no? Okay.
Cena went to the top rope but missed a leg drop. The Rock connected with  Spinebuster and then the People's Elbow for a two count. Cena caught Rock in his arms and then went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock hit the Rock Bottom for another two count. Again, really? Rock wanted another People's Elbow, but Cena reversed it with an Attitude Adjustment for two. This is becoming stupid. They exchanged punches, and then Cena hit a Rock Bottom for a two count. This is like a Davery Richards match on crack. Cena went for the People’s elbow; you know, the same move that made him lose their previous match. Nice psychology....not. He then went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock countered into Rock Bottom for two. Do they even have finishers anymore? Jesus. They exchanged finishing move attempts again a few times, but neither guy could hit. Rock hit a DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom, Cena slipped out, and hit the Attitude Adjustment, which was enough to win the WWE Championship. It's finally over! After the match, they shook hands. Respect is earned! 
Winner and new WWE Champion: John Cena in 20:23 minutes
Thoughts: This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and rarely did either John Cena or the Rock played off their previous match at all. There was no transitional period that elevated the match into the finisher galore stage of the match either. During the beginning, they should have worked over a body part or told some sort of story. Instead, they used a cheap method to get the fans invested into the match. Trading finisher after finisher just devalued the credibility of their finishers, and it was a very lazy way to put together the supposed biggest match of the year. And, unlike CM Punk and Undertaker, Cena's victory was never in doubt. I might get some heat for this rating, but I do not care. I did not enjoy this match at all. * ½
Final Thoughts: The mid-carders on the show were evidently held down, so their matches would not overshadow the main events. That would have been fine had the main events delivered. However, a show should never rely on one or two matches, because this is what could happen. 

In addition, the crowd was ready to go home after Undertaker’s epic match yet again. I’ve always believed that a title match should go on last, but I think the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania matches have become an exception to the rule. If Taker loses, the streak is over, whereas wrestlers lose and then win back the title all the time.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.


  1. "The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction, but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky, cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving little-to-no reaction at all"
    I'm so tempted to give a lengthy diatribe about how wrong this opinion is but I don't have the strength honestly. And you're crazy if you think Fandango gets "little to no reaction at all" now.

  2. Wrestlemania 2 took place at Nassau Coliseum.

  3. Punk works best as a heel when he has the "OH SHIT I"M ABOUT TO DIE" expressions, which this match had in spades.

    It was the only match that seemed...WrestleMania like. Plus the workrate wasn't that bad.

  4. Actually Cena doing the People's Elbow was a callback, and considering he didn't get pinned because of it, how is that bad psychology?

    Yeah that match was bleh, but don't hate on it because of that spot.

  5. I'm asking why would you do the same match that costed you the previous match. It's like when he did his leg drop from the top-rope against Batista, after it was the move that 'broke his neck'. It would be like a football team doing a double reverse against the same team that took one of the handoffs back for a touchdown.

  6. "This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and neither John Cena nor the Rock played off their previous match at all. "

    The spot where Cena went for the people's elbow but instead anticipated a counter from Rock and goaded him into an attitude adjustment, but still posed, pandered and smiled like a dumbass allowing Rock to reverse it into a Rock Bottom was a direct reference to the finish of their first match that even the commentary team picked up. It was really finisher heavy, but I don't think its fair to claim that no reference to their history was made when they literally played off of the only truly memorable part of their first match.

  7. Surely Scott Keith could have "underrated" the show in your opinion as well, but I gave the opener 1/4* more, Henry-Ryback a * more, the tag match 3/4 more, Fandago-Jerich 1/2* less, the same for the WHW title match, 1/2* more for Taker-Punk, 3/4* more for Lesnar-HHH, and 1 1/2 less than the Rock-Cena match. So I'm not the only one who felt this show wasn't all that great.

  8. The commentary team clearly played up Cena learning from last year and roping the rock in. He just still took too long to hit his move and Rock caught him with a different counter. You could even argue that played into the finish because Cena finally just said "FUCK YOU" and hit him with a super quick AA instead of stopping to smile at the hard camera like he did earlier.

  9. He doesn't get any reaction.

  10. Great, in depth analysis on the Undertaker-CM Punk match, Kyle.

  11. I really enjoyed this review. I'll admit I skipped over the actual match descriptions but I read all of your thoughts and analysis. Personally I think they were all spot on. Even if you don't agree with what he wrote. At least he was detailed in explaining why he felt that way.

    Kudos for a great review.

    I was supposed to go to this event. I'm actually from East Rutherford, New Jersey. But I couldn't get off work. Than I got strep throat the day before I was planning to leave. So my plans all fell through. Though I'm sad I didn't get to go to my first Wrestlemania I was slightly happy that the show was kinda blah.

  12. Because the Cena character is both A) a guy who doesn't really face adversity and B) a guy who's actually incredibly proud and egotistical.

    He's going to hit the move that fucked him the last time because he KNOWS he can hit it this time. He is John Cena, kicker of asses and taker of names.

    He's not a guy who isn't used to loss, and that's why he completely undersells his loses (because he knows he'll beat them the next time) and completely oversells people tricking him (because he's not that clever).

    Actually, this is totally divergent, but Cena lacking imagination when it comes to verbal spars and clever plots explains a lot. He wrote off Ryback because all he did was beat him up (and Cena can take and deliver physical abuse no problem) but when it comes to being outplayed like he was by Mark Henry, it's disgraceful and an insult and totally not cool.

    Just a weird thing I noticed.

  13. Good stuff, and I agree completely with the Cena-Rock rating, lazy lazy effort from both men, Cena should have done better to elevate Rock, even if it means using some heel tendencies without turning.

  14. "1,0480,000 ordered it worldwide" Over a BILLION buys! With those numbers we will be getting Rock/Cena III at WM30 :D

  15. I get that this was a typo... but that still wouldn't be a billion buys...

  16. Undertaker's entrance was weird, because of Goblins?

    No, it was awesome, because of ZOMBIES!

  17. The whole universe unanimously agrees that UT/Punk was the only match worthy of Wrestlemania this year

  18. I strongly disagree with the main event rating. Yes based on the match they had the year before its a disappointment. But the last 10 minutes of that match were incredible. It started badly but finished very strong. Its gotta be a 3 star overall match at least.

  19. What typo?

  20. Your_Favourite_AssholeJune 27, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    might i please inquire as to how I might become educated on how to descend from you?

  21. It's not a five star match and I think people were rushing to call it perfect after it aired just cause of excitement. I have it at 4 stars, and leaving it at that

  22. I think that's a part I'm people overrating it, is cause it was miles better than anything else on the show

  23. "1,0480,000"

    It should be 10,480,000... which is over 10 million buys... obviously not correct... but neither is the billion that you had in your post before you edited it...

  24. I must be deaf then because I clearly hear people reacting to him when he comes out. Now I will admit he doesn't have a strong face/heel character now but he'd be best as creepy heel.

  25. Luck.

    How does anyone vote Zombies down?

  26. "The Undertaker’s entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not."


  27. I know :/ I only posted it to be facetious... ahhh well. Friends?

  28. It was alright, but I agree, not great by any stretch.

  29. the last ten minutes was the laziest "oh look, he kicked out of a finish" booking in wrestlemania history. it wasn't the real drama of Taker-Michaels. it was bullshit fabricated drama

  30. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJune 27, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    I agree, that match sucked. Though knowing now that Rock was hurt (and I believe Cena has since said he had food poisoning that night), it's kind of understandable.

  31. people say ROH is just one finisher after another, and I say no it's not--that Rock Cena match was that

  32. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryJune 27, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    That match did have a very indyish feel, which is the last thing a WM main event should be.

  33. Yes... especially The One Where Joey Speaks French

  34. It'd say it's the very definition of a four star match. Fun, memorable spots, a good pace, a story. But it wasn't hitting on every cylinder while telling an awesome story and having the fans hang on every move.


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