Another WrestleMania has come and gone, with the moments that could only be had at WrestleMania becoming a distant memory. The shine and gleam of the once prominent Show of Shows, now revealing its rust.
Welcome to The Wrestling Times, we are several hours removed from WrestleMania. And after four hours of the Grandest Spectacle of the wrestling calendar year… scratch that… of the calendar year… Word has it that WWE will no longer use the word “wrestling” to describe their company in any way. Meaning, no longer will they be referred to as World Wrestling Entertainment, just WWE. Which, I don’t know how true that is, because what in the blue hell are they going to rename WrestleMania? Entertainment Mania? The company that just stopped giving a damn, Mania? Will they start blurring out the word “Wrestling” on all their past DVDs and books? Let’s discuss that four-hour video package, along with those methodical entrances known as WWE-Mania XXVII.
The one aspect of WrestleMania that was truly upsetting was having Daniel Bryan’s first-WrestleMania match bumped from the card. Instead, Bryan and Sheamus met for their United States Championship bout in a dark match which ended in a No Contest after the Lumberjacks (when did they ever announce lumberjacks?) decided to get in on the action. Theodore Long instead decided on another WrestleMania battle royal, which The Great Khali won. Wow…
The Show of Shows kicked off, of all things, with the World Heavyweight Championship bout between Edge and Alberto Del Rio. The Mexican Aristocrat’s dream of realizing his destiny, which began by winning the Royal Rumble, to main-eventing WrestleMania came to an unfortunate end. While Christian made sure to keep Brodus Clay from interfering on Del Rio’s behalf, Edge retained with a spear. Very disappointed that Alberto’s push to be the next great thing collapsed at the open of the show, and was then humiliated on top of that as E&C did minor damage to his car. At least torch the sucker, was that damage all that the MPAA would allow?
Cody Rhodes’ match against Rey Mysterio was one of the gems of the night. Rhodes may no longer be dashing, but he came a long way from last year’s WrestleMania. He took the fight to Mysterio, even had a game plan involving his mask, and the knee brace he stole from Mysterio on Smackdown. Rey looked amazing in his Captain America (Mexico) ring attire. Nice win for Cody Rhodes.
The time that it took for me to type: The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater) lost to Kane and The Big Show, Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston, was longer than the actual match. In a surprising turn of events, after a melee of superstars brawling, Santino struck Slater with the Cobra, followed by Show putting him away with the Knockout Punch for the victory. It was a horrendous squash match. SD Jones put on a more skillful WrestleMania match than this.
One, if not, the most anticipated match for me was Randy Orton against C.M. Punk. The methods in which Punk punished Orton was beautiful. Hyper extending the injured leg with a shin breaker, dropping legs first on the sternum of Orton as he dangled in the Tree of Woe, locking in the Figure Four around the turnbuckle post, and countering the RKO with an enziguri kick. However, one fatal mistake did Punker in, and that was to go for a high risk maneuver that was countered into an RKO. Though this was a great match, it was not the defining match for C.M. Punk.
Some may not have liked it, but I thought Jerry Lawler’s match with Michael Cole embodied pure satisfying entertainment. How amazing did Jerry Lawler look as he walked down that ramp? His kingly ring garb had a chest plate, which made him look like a warrior. Michael Cole came out in traditional collegiate wrestling attire, and was sporting several tattoos that had us asking, who is this man? The match itself was satisfying, having Michael Cole work Lawler, to then turn around and have Lawler get the better of “The Voice of the WWE.” Lawler went for his patent fist drop from the second rope, but wouldn’t allow for Steve Austin to call the three just there. He wanted to force Cole to submit to the same Ankle lock he had been put in for weeks. But it would not be a glorious victory for Lawler, because the Raw General Manager reversed the decision and granted Cole the victory for Austin stepping his boundaries as a referee. Yeah, not too thrilled about that.
Yes, The Undertaker and Triple-H was the iconic match for this year’s WrestleMania, but is it the final time? After the melt down from Lawler’s match, Stone Cold stunned the rest of the announce team, leaving only Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, the original broadcast team of Monday Night Raw, to call the rest of the show, including this match. HHH and Taker destroyed each other out there. They took No Holds Barred to another level. They destroyed The Cole Mine, and the Spanish announce table. HHH spine busted Taker through the announce table, in the ring, struck him with three pedigrees… he even used Taker’s signature piledriver but it was not enough. The Game, desperate, told Taker why doesn’t he just die. Taker choke slammed HHH and won the match with the longest Hells Gate triangle choke in history. But the aftermath of this epic encounter begs the question, is Undertaker’s in ring career over?
The press, along with wrestling fans across the world, were dazed as Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi performed handspring flips across the ring to land with a back splash to Michelle McCool against the turnbuckle. And then won the match with a standing moonsault. I have nothing bad to say about Snooki, I retract my statement from an earlier post of calling her a troll and an orange basketball. Oh, and Trish Stratus, John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, and Layla were also in that match, but of course, all the press is going to remember is Snooki-Mania.
The Miz and John Cena each had incredible opening montages. The Miz was seen sitting in a chair viewing footage from his career from The Real World, to competing on Tough Enough, to hosting Smackdown, to winning the WWE Championship. The montage was accompanied by Nas’ “Hate Me Now” track. Then John Cena had an entire gospel choir, and his video montage was accompanied by DMX’s “Prayer III” track. Both amazing openers, particularly Miz’ was by far the best.
The match itself pushed The Miz to prove that he wasn’t just hype, that he was the real deal. Who else can say that they kicked out of Cena’s signature fireman carry slam? Who else can say that they made Cena work for this match? That he wasn’t going to be steam rolled through, like all the disbelievers thought would happen? Just like Miz once said, “I’d rather that you hate me for everything that I am, than love me for something I’m not.” The match ended in a Draw, with both men counted out. This was not the most idealistic way to end WrestleMania, but it was better than what happened next. The Rock restarted the match under No DQ rules only to deliver The Rock Bottom to John Cena, allowing The Miz to retain his title. And instead of allowing The Miz to walk out of WrestleMania with his head held up high, The Rock dropped Miz with The Most Electrifying Move in “Entertainment.”
In the words of The Great One, The Rock should have known his damn role, and kept his damn mouth shut.