It's that time of the year - WRESTLEMANIA!
First up is Keri Hilson singing America the Beautiful. I don't know anything about the girl, but she does a good job.
Oh my God, did the announcer just say "la la la la la pie eating" with an incredibly dorky inflection? Hahaha.
Out comes the Rock, where he spends 5 minutes getting to the ring. It definitely feels like WrestleMania. The Rock promises that this will be the most memorable WrestleMania ever. Instead, we're still in the middle of promo land, hyping up a ppv that people are already watching. I wouldn't mind a minute of this, but now we're 10 minutes into the show and this is all we've had so far - and if that means they're cutting a match, I'm going to be pissed. And now that we're 15 minutes into the show and the Rock has ended his speech, we're met with a commercial about WrestleMania.
HOLY SHIT, they're starting the ppv off with the World Heavyweight title match????
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
First comes Del Rio, car and all. Second out is Christian. I'm surprised he has his own entrance. On commentary tonight is the typical lineup of Cole, Lawler, and Mathews, along with the Spanish announcers (who you know will get destroyed when HHH vs Taker happens). Edge is PUMPED. I really don't understand why the Royal Rumble winner doesn't main event WrestleMania, but instead, is the curtain jerker. I also don't get the point of cutting the US title match (most likely) just to get the Rock to stand for a few extra minutes and promote the ppv that people are already in attendance for. So far, they're keeping it pretty standard, pacing themselves and not wanting to go crazy yet. Things pick up a bit when Del Rio jumps to the outside accidentally and Edge follows it up by launching himself over the top rope on top of him. Del Rio does an arm drag to Edge from the top rope and continues working on Edge's arm to set up his finisher later on. Edge rolls Del Rio up, but Del Rio reverses and locks in the armbreaker. Edge makes it to the ropes, though. Del Rio hits the enziguri on Edge. Edge puts his foot on the ropes, but Rodriguez takes it off. Edge kicks out anyway. Christian attacks Rodriguez and is stopped by Clay. Edge rolls up Del Rio but gets a two. He goes for a spear and misses. Armbreaker is on again. Edge flips Del Rio around and gets a two-count. Then Edge locks in his modified Sharpshooter. Christian attacks Clay, preventing him from helping Del Rio. Alberto escapes BUT IS SPEARED! Edge gets the pinfall and retains the title!
WINNER: Edge via pinfall.
For an opening match, this was very good. If it would have been a main event, it would have been a let down. It never should have opened the ppv to begin with, but we'll talk more about that later. Focus on the positives: the match itself for it's position on the card was very entertaining, and I guessed that Edge would win and nobody believed me haha.
Edge makes his way over to Del Rio's car and the fans start chanting "do it". He then starts kicking it and jumping on the hood. There's a sign in the crowd that says "I'd tap it". Christian comes out with a bat or something, maybe a pipe. He hands a crowbar to Edge who starts scratching up the car. The window-bashing of course is next. Cole correctly says that Edge should be arrested.
And here we go with a commercial for Tough Enough. Pay-per-commercial...since you know, you didn't pay to watch matches, like the US title being defended.
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
Cody's new tron video has the word "grotesque" all over it haha. He comes out wearing what looks like a pleather hoodie. If you're worried about your appearance, you don't dress like that haha. Rey comes out dressed as....well....a version of Captain America that looks like Captain Mexico. He couldn't have been Captain America? You can tell right off the bat that Cody is excited to have this match and is into it. He hits that Beautiful Disaster kick (that's what he calls it right?) and gets a two-count. Cole supports Rhodes via storyline, naturally, and Lawler stutters in saying that Cole's the only one who thought Rhodes was attractive and Cody can scare a hot dog off a bun. Cole makes fun of the stuttering (lmao). There's a "let's go Cody" chant going on (that I'm in full support of). Cody's got Rey up with a delayed vertical suplex on the middle rope! NICE. The fans are clapping for them as well and now another Cody chant is going. Rey counters Cross Rhodes and throws Cody to the outside, then misses a baseball slide but sends Cody into the side of the ring. He hits a top rope West Coast Pop and stacks Cody up on his shoulders in an unorthodox pin, but only gets a two. Captain Mysterio is what they're referring to him as now. I guess that's what the M is for instead of Captain Mexico. I have no clue why I didn't see that before but hey, I can be an idiot once in a while too. Mysterio misses a 619 and Cody's now exposing Rey's knee brace to try to remove it. Cody's mask is now off and Rey hits a 619 on him. Rey misses a splash and then just kicks Cody, but doesn't get the pinfall. I think something might have been messed up there. Rey's now putting on Cody's mask. He's...headbutting him, I guess? Cody ends up crotch-first on the middle rope and Rey gets a splash and another two-count. Cody's getting cheered by the crowd again. Cody hits Cross Rhodes and wins!
WINNER: Cody Rhodes via pinfall.
Much better than I was originally expecting, since I thought they'd have a lot less time. Very good. Cody definitely should be rewarded for his performance here tonight cause not only has he carried this entire feud, but he carried this match as well. Awesome job.
Backstage with Snoop Dogg and Teddy Long
Snoop is looking for people for some kind of tour. I think this will be a waste of time. William Regal starts rapping. Beth and Khali are doing Grease. Wow. The man, Zack Ryder gets a pretty good reaction from the crowd singing Friday and Rowdy Roddy Piper nails him haha. Masters starts moving his pecs to "We Will Rock You" while Yoshi sings. Hornswoggle (ugh) does something but I don't know what the hell it is. Oh, now he's actually rapping and speaking English. The Bella twins do their obligatory ass shake (not that I mind) to accompany him. Hornswoggle ruined the segment for me because I just fucking hate that character so much. I would have rather seen a match, of course, or an episode of Zack Ryder's YouTube show.
The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston
Santino speed-walks to the ring hahaha. Kofi comes out to an awesome entrance. I really liked that a lot. He looks like a legitimate STAR with that pyro going off and all that energy with the huge set. Very quickly into this, it's all broken apart and everyone is in the ring. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Wade Barrett. Santino is going for the Cobra and hits it on Slater. Big Show hits the knockout punch on Slater and they get the victory...already. Wow, squash match.
WINNERS: Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston via pinfall.
That was lame. You cut a match for the ppv and have a squash like that on top of it to make room for a stupid Hornswoggle joke and more advertisements? Fucking ridiculous. Let's hope this doesn't get worse and that this is the top of the Low-Blows list later on.
Backstage with the Rock and Eve
The Rock congratulates Eve for being the Divas champion. Yeah, congrats on not having a match on the card. He promises to have an electrifying moment with the next person that walks around and there's Mae Young waiting. He calls her a divasaurus. I hope they don't do the obligatory kiss shit. She slaps him on the ass. He complains that it couldn't have been anyone else around the corner and turns around to find Stone Cold. The crowd pops. They have a bit of a talk/stare down and shake hands.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Orton's got his leg wrapped up a little bit, which is good showing that they're following continuity after the attack Punk did with the wrench. He goes back to his old pose, which has been absent recently. That's good. I like Orton doing that pose better than Austin's sans the middle fingers. It looks like their goal is to try to have a fast paced match based on intelligence. Punk hits a nice crossbody from the top rope for a two-count. Punk fake-limps to taunt Orton. Orton responds by doing his trademark backbreaker. Punk starts working more on Orton's leg. Orton's caught up in the ropes (tree of woe) and Punk hits an elbow drop onto him from the top rope. This results in a CM Punk chant from the crowd. Punk sets Orton up for the GTS but Orton reverses into an attempt at the RKO, which Punk stops with a swift kick to the head and a two-count. Orton hits a super-plex on Punk. Two-count. Punk slams Orton's leg on the ring post and then puts him in a Figure Four using the ring post. The crowd naturally lets out a few "woo" chants. Orton and Punk are now battling it out while laying on the canvas, basically gnawing at each other and headbutting and such. Orton starts picking up the pace, hitting his scoop slam and an Angle Slam. CM Punk puts him in the Anaconda Vice and Orton rolls over to the ropes. Orton pushes Punk into the ring post and then hits his DDT. He's now in "coiling mode", hitting the ring and staring down Punk. He goes to the turnbuckle to set up for the punt, but his leg gives out. Orton ALMOST hits an RKO, but Punk falls backward to escape it. Punk goes for his springboard clothesline BUT ORTON HITS THE RKO. 1-2-3, it's over.
WINNER: Randy Orton via pinfall.
I've got no complaints, do you? The end of the match was very cool, too. They executed that perfectly.
Backstage with the Rock and Gene Okerlund
The Rock says John Cena's #1 fan is upset with him. Gene says he's already here. Out comes Pee Wee Herman. "Do you want to be a man on Team Bring It, or a little boy on the Fruit Loop Troop?"
Now we're watching another commercial for The True Story of WrestleMania.
Hall of Fame
The Fink announces the Hall of Fame inductees. Sunny looks scrumptious (call me ;) haha). Drew gets booed. Good reaction for Hacksaw. They give HBK a good pause before his entrance, complete with music. He teases that he's going to run to the ring. My #1 favorite of all time and the guy I consider the very best without a doubt. Very cool to see him have that moment honoring him.
Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry "the King" Lawler with special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin
Booker T comes out to join the commentary team. Jim Ross comes out as well! That makes up for Booker. Michael Cole comes out looking like a total idiot with some weird ring attire, cutting a promo about how he took Jim Ross's job. No entrance music? He says King and JR are both overweight, overrated, and over the hill. He says when the night is over, Jim Ross will go back to making bad BBQ sauce, Lawler will be humiliated, Stone Cold will raise Cole's hand in victory, and the WWE Universe is going to proclaim him the new Mr. WrestleMania. Out comes Jack Swagger. His push-ups are interrupted by the glass breaking and Austin coming out and almost running over Swagger. Very good, Lawler comes out to his old music instead of the new one. I wasn't digging that new music and it didn't feel right to me that he would come out to that instead, so I'm very glad to see they're using his true music. He's all decked out with a robe (still not wearing the crown, though, as always). Classic ring attire with the crowns on his tights. Cole's warming up on top of the table inside the Cole Mine. The bell rings and we're already into Swagger vs Lawler. Jerry throws him into the security barricade and takes him out. Cole begs for mercy while inside the Cole Mine and extends his hand. Lawler grabs it and starts slamming Cole into the plexiglass. Lawler climbs over the top and rams Cole head-first into pretty much everything inside. Here comes the punches. Lawler throws Cole into the Raw GM stand. Austin's in the ring smiling. Lawler puts Cole in the ring and Austin goes over to him. While he's distracted, Swagger attacks Lawler. Cole hits a baseball slide on Lawler and Swagger puts King in the ankle lock. "Cole is a pimple on the buttocks of life" - Jim Ross. Cole works on Lawler's leg. "You can't wrestle" chant from the crowd. Cole hesitatingly does a very weak variation of the Swagger Bomb, which looks hilarious. JR says it's an embarrassment for someone like Cole to be in a WWE ring. What about Snooki later on? "Boring" chant from the crowd. Cole pulls down one of his straps and puts King in the ankle lock. Lawler kicks him off. King stomps a mudhole in Cole in the corner. Swagger throws the towel in and says to ring the bell. Austin uses the towel to wipe his head and throws it at Swagger, who gets in the ring to get the match to stop. Stunner time. Yep. Cole now begs to Austin, but then lashes out. Austin pushes him into Lawler, who lands a punch. Dropkick to Cole. Jerry goes to the ropes, points to the heavens, and lands his punch. Lawler pulls Cole up at 2 to make sure the match doesn't end. Lawler puts Cole in the ankle lock and Cole immediately submits. Austin waits a long time before calling for the bell.
WINNER: Jerry Lawler via submission.
I think it went on a little too long, but Cole did a better job than I think a lot of us were expecting, and the storyline was there.
Swagger picks Cole up Bodyguard style and carries him away. Steveweiser celebration time. Booker joins in with a spinarooni. Hahaha, Austin gives Booker a stunner. Why the hell not? Good angle of Booker spitting out the beer while going down. The Raw GM noise goes off! I thought it was my text message ringtone. The Raw GM says that since Austin interfered in the match, Cole wins via disqualification. Josh gets a stunner for reading the email.
No Holds Barred: Undertaker vs. Triple H
Triple H is coming out to Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Not my taste of music, but I'm sure some people liked it. Now his true music kicks in, so that's good (in my mind). At the request of a friend of mine, I've got a stopwatch going on this to count how much time HHH and Taker have devoted to their entrances. I think Taker not having his normal theme hindered his entrance. Ok, I clocked both entrances together at 9 minutes and 48 seconds. You know...that could have been a certain scheduled title defense. Taker almost immediately sets the Spanish announcers' table up for future destruction. Triple H tackles him through the Cole Mine. Someone just chanted "break his neck, Triple H!" HHH goes to pedigree Taker through the table but Taker back body drops him off of it onto the outside. There's a fan chanting "18 leg drops" over and over. Taker dives over the top rope onto HHH, causing the first "holy shit" chant. HHH damn near missed him, but nowhere near as bad as Snuka from WM 25. Taker sets the stairs up next to the Spanish announcers. "Break his spine!" from a fan in the crowd. Taker runs and HHH reverses into a spinebuster through the table. "Holy shit" chant #2. Taker hits a chokeslam but it's only a two-count. A chair's introduced into the match, but HHH sees the worst of it. He lands a pedigree but doesn't get the win. Taker hits a Last Ride and gets 2. A tombstone gets another two-count. Taker goes for another tombstone and HHH escapes and turns it into a DDT onto the the steel chair. HHH hits another pedigree and Undertaker kicks out again. HHH hits a third pedigree, but still, Undertaker kicks out. Triple H starts hitting Taker over and over in the back with the steel chair and shouts "stay down". Taker pulls himself up using the ropes and HHH hits him in the head with the chair. Hey Vince...that's not allowed, remember? Suspension for son-in-law. Triple H asks what's wrong with Taker and why doesn't he stay down, to which Taker replies by choking HHH. Triple H then gives Undertaker a tombstone and folds his arms. Taker kicks out. The crowd breaks out a "this is awesome" chant. Hunter breaks out the sledgehammer. Out of nowhere, Undertaker locks in the Hell's Gate! After a very long, long stall, HHH taps out.
WINNER: The Undertaker via submission.
A little better than I originally expected. I still don't think it comes even remotely close to HBK vs Taker at WrestleMania 25. It was good, though. Even better, I'm glad that HHH tapped. He never taps.
Now they're doing a thing where Undertaker isn't really moving, but Triple H is standing up. Now the problem here is that this has gone on so long that if Taker really was hurt, someone else would have been out to help instead of just one ref and one trainer. I think it would have been a good idea if HHH would have helped Taker up and they'd have both walked to the back together, but they're going for the stretcher route (or, what looks like a flatbed truck instead). I guess he's being written off TV for a few more months to heal again. NOW they run the "don't try this at home" ad hahaha.
Mixed Tag Match: Dolph Ziggler & LayCool with Vickie Guerrero vs. John Morrison, Trish Stratus, & Snooki
Abdullah the Butcher looks terrible. Oh wait, that's Snooki. On the good side, Trish looks fucking amazing. Trish and Michelle fall from the top rope to the outside. The crowd's really not into this. Even the bigger moves aren't getting a good reaction from what I can hear. Morrison hits Starship Pain onto the outside to Ziggler. Snooki gets tagged in and is received by a CHORUS of boos. Credit where credit is due, she does a cartwheel better than some of the other divas that have tried. She then does a splash or something, I don't know for sure, as I was too busy looking at Michelle, and gets the win.
WINNERS: John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki via pinfall.
Really, what did you expect? If you thought this would be anything but a shit match with an even shittier cherry on top of Snooki getting the win, then I don't know what to tell you. Naturally you can look for this later on in the Low Blows section.
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. John Cena
Set is staged with the words "awesome" that Miz breaks open to come out between. Pyro, nice. Riley is with him, carrying around that briefcase for some reason. There's a choir out for Cena's entrance. Oh wait, no, they're there for his promo. So the champion comes out first and then has to stand in the ring while a promo airs about his challenger? They're starting a clap. I wonder if this is there attempt to convince people to clap for Cena when he comes out. BOOS! Hahahaha. Just turn him heel, WWE. You've tried everything for a few years now and it just isn't working, the people that don't like him still don't like him. You might as well roll with the punches. Surprise, surprise, he has a new shirt tonight, and it's red, white, and blue. For some reason, they ring the bell twice. I have a feeling everyone watching is just thinking "when is the Rock going to come out?" which isn't really good for WWE. Miz hits a side effect on Cena. I'm sure we'll hear from Matt Hardy later about that. Cena almost misses his leg drop from the top rope. There's really no energy from the crowd. They're not responding at all. Once Cena starts making his comeback, the pace picks up, and you'd think the crowd would be more into it, which they are, but in the wrong way. They wake up by BOOING. Definitely the story behind the crowd in this match is that Taker/HHH tired them out, the Snooki match pissed them off, and now they're in a situation where they don't want to cheer the heel Miz, but can't find it in them to cheer Cena, so they're basically just sitting there watching. The Miz just removed the turnbuckle and now Chioda is distracted, so Cena misses out on his inside cradle pinfall victory. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment (and is booed) but Miz gets out. Cena puts Miz in the STF. Miz gets to the ropes. Riley helps Miz and Cena ends up in the exposed turnbuckle. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale, but Cena kicks out. This is very reminiscent of HHH vs Orton at WrestleMania XXV. Chioda is taken out. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment but his pinfall isn't counted via the normal unconscious referee scenario. Now why isn't Riley coming into the match? Ok, now he is. Riley hits Cena with the briefcase and on cue, Chioda wakes up out of his slumber to cover a two-count. Miz goes to hit Cena with the briefcase but ends up hitting Riley. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment and Miz kicks out, which surprises the crowd (and me). Miz starts climbing over the security wall and Cena tackles him over it. They both land on the concrete. There's a double count out.
WINNER: Draw. The Miz retains by default.
I'm not going to comment yet as you know it's not over. The Rock comes out and the Raw GM noise sounds off. He says "as Raw general manager, I think" and stops. "It doesn't matter what you think!" Rock says to restart the match, no disqualifications, no count outs. Once he's done talking, then of course, they're both fine and immediately go to the ring. The bell rings.
ROCK BOTTOM TO CENA!
The Miz crawls over and covers Cena and wins the match!
WINNER: The Miz via pinfall.
I'm surprised that the Miz retained seeing as how it was the main event, but of course the double count out thing was going to result in the Rock coming out and restarting the match. The match itself wasn't great. Again, similar to Orton/HHH from WM 25.
The Rock comes back to the ring and hits a spinebuster and People's Elbow on the Miz. So Sheamus and Daniel Bryan get shorted out of their title match because they need more Rock time and they need to fit in a Snoop Dogg segment, HHH buries the roster during the build of the Taker match, and the Rock ends WrestleMania by beating down the face of the company and the WWE champion. Yeah. That's planning for the future.
Nonetheless, the pay-per-view, overall, was pretty damn good. I have my problems with some of the things, as said above, and this definitely won't go down in history as one of the best WrestleManias, nor will any of the matches be on any "best ever" lists, but it was an enjoyable ppv and only three matches gave me a problem (one of which genuinely sucking - the Snooki one, one being a pointless squash - Corre, and the other a result of poor booking and bad foresight - the main event). No titles changed hands, which is weird in one way because it's WrestleMania, but not weird when you consider how only TWO out of SIX championships were even defended. I guess we'll have to watch Raw to figure out what they're thinking with some of the booking...even though WrestleMania should be the payoff instead of the build up to another ppv. But, like I said, when you weigh the good and the bad, you come out with more good in my opinion, especially in terms of match quality.