Unified Tag Team Championship: ShoMiz (c) def. John Morrison & R-Truth
Our opening match was pretty decent, but started the running theme of this show of "the good matches felt rushed". Before you could really sink into it, it was over. Nothing really bad in it, but because of the time restraints, they never had a chance to do anything great.
Triple Threat Match: Randy Orton def. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes
Right off the bat, I was surprised. Not only did Cody look more like a face with his new attire, but they brought back his old theme. My first thoughts were, obviously, that he might be turning face during the match. I was proven wrong, haha. I was also proven wrong in this match's placement on the card as I figured Mysterio/Punk would be in this spot instead. The match had a slow start, as expected, with the double team, until the first pinfall caused the dissension (as expected too) and started picking up the pace. Orton's double DDT was fantastic and looked particularly devastating, as it should. Even though Orton won the match in a way that involved punting Rhodes and giving the RKO to DiBiase, placing him above the two, it was done in a fashion where I'm ok with it. Sure, it does appear more like Orton is better than both combined than I'd like, but it wasn't so outrageous that it makes them look like garbage. Orton's pose returns, which I like, as it gives the fans another thing to connect to him with if he's going to maintain this face turn.
Vickie cuts a pretty unnecessary promo, nothing we haven't heard before, and is cut short so Jillian can get on the card with her singing gimmick that I could always do without. Santino plugs Slim Jims which involves the generic "Mae Young kisses someone" spot (so tired of that), but twists things up with Gene Okerlund (which I'll admit, got a chuckle out of me) and then Melina, who looked the best she's been in a while.
Money in the Bank: Jack Swagger def. Christian, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, MVP, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, & Evan Bourne
Biggest shock of the night. I had a feeling Christian might not win it, but I was figuring that if he didn't, the honor would go to MVP so he could lose a cash-in. I was very, very surprised to see Swagger win, as was everyone else watching it with me. Not a whole lot of pyro, and Kofi's was botched, as was his apparel I can only assume because what he was wearing was ridiculous as hell. Swagger's new attire, though, especially that robe, looks awesome, and I hope he continues to sport it. Much of this match was not able to capitalize as well as it could on the spots they planned as Kofi botched upwards of 5 sections, really diminishing this year's "OMG factor". It appears that they weren't concerned with topping the previous Money in the Bank matches and went for overall safety instead, which is a shame, as it killed what makes this match awesome. Shelton's usually a big player and I'm pretty sure everyone expected Bourne to do some crazy things, but they didn't do anything out of the ordinary (or in Shelton's case, anything at all). There were a few good spots in it, still. Swagger being trapped inside the ladder and ramrodded was cool, as was the ladder being broken by Kane, Kofi trying to use the broken ladder as stilts, and McIntyre bringing back the crotch-on-rope spot. Nowhere near as good as it could have been, which is a shame, but it was still fun to watch, and I'm glad Swagger won. It'll be interesting to see what they do with him.
Hall of Fame
What the fuck was up with that face Mad Dog Vachon was doing? Hilarious.
HHH def. Sheamus
So you can push your friend to be undefeated, you can push him to win the world title, and you can push him to get victories over two of the top guys in the company, but once he faces the almighty Triple H, he has to lose twice in a row? C'mon, man. You realize how much this could have meant for Sheamus and what the repercussions are going to be now? Guaranteed, Sheamus would be in so much better of a spot if he were to beat HHH, and it's not like HHH needs to maintain this unbeatable persona 24/7. If he truly wanted Sheamus to be put over, he should be willing to do the job himself, but that's clearly too much to ask for Hunter. The match was ok, but I've never been a fan of Sheamus and I haven't really found HHH too entertaining for a long while now, so it was merely good for what I was expecting, and I have no interest in seeing a rematch unless it's a squash and Sheamus comes out on top. Highlight of the match was a sign in the crowd that said "HHH fears divorce" which no doubt was promptly removed by security because, well, look at who it's attacking.
Rey Mysterio def. CM Punk
I'm not sure how Mysterio being in the Straight Edge Society would have worked, but I was expecting and hoping Punk would win here, if not just to balance out some of the heels winning. I have no clue what the production error was, but there clearly were problems during Mysterio's entrance (or lack-thereof). The match itself was pretty good, but would probably have been better if they allowed it more time. Hopefully they have a rematch at Extreme Rules and get to do more than just some signature maneuvers.
Bret Hart def. Vince McMahon
Here's where things tanked. Good fucking lord, this was terrible. Absolutely terrible. And you know what? I completely saw that coming, didn't I? I maintain my previous statements that it would have been better if they just had a 60 second squash with Bret hitting Vince and then applying the Sharpshooter, but instead, they felt the need to drag this out. I didn't clock it, but it felt to me like the match lasted 3 hours and consisted of nothing but Bret punching Vince. The lumberjack concept with the Hart family was so transparent that it rendered it absolutely useless outside of 3 things that it accomplished: 1) Bret got to rest while Kidd and Smith beat up on Vince, 2) We got to laugh at how much of an idiot Bruce was, 3) Bothering the crap out of me as I couldn't remember Diana's name. This match was just so very bad. Bruce tries to count out Vince, Bret's fake outs of the Sharpshooter did nothing but piss off the crowd rather than build suspense, when he sat in the chair it just appeared as nothing more than an old man taking a rest, etc. It went on far, far, FAR too long and offered absolutely nothing in that time span. You can't necessarily call it a let down, as anyone that was expecting this to be great clearly doesn't have the right mindframe to be judging things, but it was definitely one of the biggest wastes of time and actually made last year's performance from Jimmy Snuka look good.
World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) def. Edge
The previous match absolutely killed this match's momentum and they had to work with an annoyed, bored crowd. Obviously, it took a toll, as this match was never able to pick up any steam and really get interesting. Soon enough, it's over, and Edge ends up spearing Jericho through a section of the security barrier by running on top of the two tables. Kind of odd.
Vickie Guerrero, Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, & Alicia Fox def. Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, & Eve
You can sum this whole match up with one word: botch. The match starts and almost immediately goes into a slew of the girls all botching their finishers against each other, ending with Vickie botching a frog splash, and then botching the pinfall. Yes, she botched a pin. 1, 2, no, Kelly's shoulders are up, and everyone's confused, so just fall down on her again and pin her. Why have the same basic match as the one you did on Smackdown on Friday night? Why bother with this at all? I love how there are still people that try to argue that the women's division in the WWE should be given more focus and more screen time. Look at this match and you can see that you're clearly wrong.
WWE Championship: John Cena def. Batista (c)
Shock to me that this wasn't the last match of the night and even more of a shock at Cena's entrance. What the fuck was the point in the military stuff? We watch them spin their rifles around for like two minutes just so Cena can come out between them, ignoring them, and rush to the ring? Absolutely pointless. He's had some good entrances in the past and this was just crap. Cena looked like he got hurt during the match after Batista gave him a DDT, but I suppose it wasn't as hurtful as it looked as he wrestled fine soon afterwards. The match was ok, and again, I hate to repeat myself, but if it were given more time, it would have been better. This is where you look at your ppvs after they're over and go "alright, next time, let's cut out the divas shit and add a few minutes to the matches that matter". I expected Cena to win with the Attitude Adjustment rather than making Batista tap, but the bigger surprise was Cena taking a photo-op moment with a group of fans wearing "we hate Cena" shirts. Funny.
Streak vs. Career: Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
Good, yet not as good as last year. If this match were on last year, it still would have been the best match at WM 25, but it wouldn't have garnered such a reaction that they'd want to do a rematch. Basically, this couldn't live up to how good the previous one was, even remotely. It's still a good match, but last year's makes this one look like shit. I'm not entirely sure why they gave this the no-dq stipulation if they didn't use it at all, which is a disappointment to say the least, and AGAIN I have to point out that this match would have possibly been better if given more time. HBK pulls the same "just do it" kind of thing that Flair did, which I kind of liked and kind of didn't at the same time. The crowd doesn't seem to believe that Michaels is retiring for good - and neither do I - and it just feels anticlimactic, even if the way Taker delivered that Tombstone was fucking awesome. I'll get some hate for saying this, but I firmly believe this shouldn't have ended the card in retrospect, unless for some reason HBK really is leaving forever, and if that's the case, it's a really shitty exit for him. Taker's knees were really killing him during this match, so you've got to give him some credit for going through with it when it looked like he could barely walk. Two of the oldest guys on the roster, for the second year in a row, have the best match of the night. You've got to love these two. If HBK doesn't come back, I'll be incredibly upset, as this wasn't good enough to be his last match, and not being able to watch my absolute favorite of all time will greatly fuck up my love of the WWE. Here's hoping this is a temporary hiatus.
When it comes to WrestleMania this year, there were quite a bit of problems that dragged it down, which is a shame. The primary culprits are, of course, the Bret Hart match, the Divas match, and a lack of time (which could have been fixed somewhat by limiting the first two problems and diminishing those faults), but there were also a few other chinks in the armor that your average fan might not agree with me on, but I felt made quite a bit of a difference. The first of those I'd have to point out is the production value. At virtually no point did it truly feel like WrestleMania to me. This card was huge, yet it never sucked me in and battered me with grandiose awe. I don't know if it was the set or what, but it felt more like Survivor Series or SummerSlam. Another big thing this ppv missed was Jim Ross. Say what you will, but Jim Ross can sell something better than no other. I feel Cole is better than what most fans give him credit for, and I like Lawler and Striker, but the trio was just crap on commentary tonight. Ross brings an excitement to the table that was severely missing and left a giant hole in the atmosphere that just cannot be replaced by a barrage of "vintage" remarks. Speaking of tables, even though it's just a pet peeve of mine, I wish the Spanish announcer's table was destroyed as it would bring back some good memories. That obviously wouldn't make or break the ppv, but it's just a little nitpicking I'd like to point out.
All in all, this WrestleMania was decent. It's by no means great, there's absolutely nothing on the card that was spectacular in any way, and I don't see it being anyone's pick for best WrestleMania of all time. The majority of the matches were ok, but not fantastic, and there were two massively terrible matches that really overtake everything else like a black hole. It's unfortunate, but it just didn't come close to matching it's immense potential, which was truly inspiring. Some will say I expected too much, but in my mind, you can't argue that, as the WWE wants you to do exactly that: expect the best. After getting me excited and interested in virtually every nook and cranny, it's then up to them to deliver and match or exceed that expectation, and that's exactly what they weren't able to accomplish. It's still better than last year, but I still think overall that HBK vs Taker from WM 25 was better than the rest of that ppv and all of this ppv combined...including this year's main event.
Agree/disagree? Have any thoughts you want to share? Leave some comments below.