Monday, April 8, 2013

WrestleMania 29 Thoughts and Review

First things first, I have to get my predictions out of the way. This is yet another example why I do not typically participate in prediction threads.
With that out of the way, I have to say last night's show was pretty good. The only problem with the show was that it lacked a bit of that WrestleMania magic.  There just wasn't that moment that made you go, "Now THAT is your WrestleMania moment!"  That being said let's look at what was a really good card.

WWE Champion The Rock vs John Cena--Judging by what I have read on Twitter I was in the vast minority in enjoying that match.  While I get the criticisms (too much stalling, Rock was blown up, too many finisher reversals, etc.) I thought it met expectations.  The Rock is one of the greatest ever, but he is a part-time wrestler.  That is stated with no disrespect intended and I am happy to have him around, but that did not lead me to expect a great match.  For what it was I enjoyed the match.  While they did get a little AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle with all the finishers, near falls and reversals I thought it was a nice spectacle.  It made perfect sense to have John Cena avenge last year's loss.  The mutual respect shown at the end was a nice touch and an attempt at a WrestleMania moment if I had to guess.

The Undertaker vs CM Punk--The Streak should never be broken in my opinion.  It should be tough to build drama in a match like this that has what seems to be an obvious outcome.  CM Punk and Taker put on one heck of a match.  As usual they delivered a few, "They are going to break The Streak" type moments.  Paul Heyman deserves a ton of credit for his managerial work in this match by the way.  The way he continued to coach Punk up and sell the fact that he was "just one second away" was awesome.  Distracting Taker so Punk could ambush him off the top?  Awesome as well.  The match was just a ton of fun and Punk, Taker and Heyman deserve a ton of credit.  It was the best match of the show in my opinion and I'm not even that big a fan of Undertaker or The Streak.

Triple H vs Brock Lesnar (No Holds Barred, Triple H must retire if he loses)--It was the brutal slugfest that I expected.  I am a bit surprised at the IWC reaction to this one.  Based on the story that had been told Triple H getting the win here made perfect sense.  I am certainly no fan of Triple H, but I had no issue with him getting some revenge on Brock Lesnar.  As far as Lesnar is concerned he is such a scary/intimidating guy that it matters little if he wins or loses.  He is just about bulletproof and will easily continue to garner interest and heat.  Part of his ability to draw heat is based on Paul Heyman who was once again fantastic in this match.  Heyman eating Sweet Chin Music was quite a sight as well.

For the rest we will go with the patented bullet point format:
  • World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger--Much like Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio is better as a heel.  Considering the content of Colter and Swagger's diatribes I don't have a huge issue with Del Rio getting the win here.  The finish was clunky though.  The Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere just fell flat for me.  Bonus points to Zeb Colter for the formal attire under his vest.  I will be interested to see where they go with the Swagger/Colter pairing and ADR for that matter.
  • Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show vs The Shield--Fun match, kept heat on The Shield.  The announcers did a great job selling the idea that The Shield as a collective was better than the "All-Star Team" they faced.  Big Show refusing to help Orton was a nice touch.  I didn't use the term "heel turn" because I never really felt that Show had become a face during this deal.  What really happened with Orton/Sheamus and Big Show was something that JR Ewing mentioned on Dallas this season, "It's a rare and beautiful things when enemies share an enemy."  
  • Ryback vs Mark Henry--Slow paced match, but it fit what they were trying to accomplish.  The finish with Henry grabbing the ropes and splattering Ryback during the Shell Shock attempt was a thing of beauty.  Mark Henry played the whole thing to his intimidating best including keeping the medics out of the ring while screaming, "LET HIM SUFFER!"  Only gripe was Ryback getting his heat back post-match.  I just don't care for segments like that.  Let him do that on RAW or down the road somewhere.  It just seems counterproductive to do it that way.
  • WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston--Big coming out party for Big E Langston.  Team Hell No wins in a fun match, but I think it is time for Bryan and Kane to move on to different things.  Hopefully that will be happening soon especially for Daniel Bryan's sake.
  • Chris Jericho vs Fandango--Interesting match that was rough in some parts, but was really enjoyable.  Again the commentators especially JBL did a great job putting over Jericho's credentials in order to illustrate what a nice win this was for Fandango.  
  • Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins--This match got cut due to time constraints (I'm guessing).  I'd hazard a guess we will see this on RAW tonight.
  • Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs The Miz (Interactive Pre-Show Match)--Non-descript other than the cool reversal into the Figure 4 Leglock Miz used to get the win. 
Good to great show I thought.  The only thing that held it back was that WrestleMania's are held to a higher standard.  This was the exact type of card most of us would like to see with decisive finishes, good action and a lot less nonsense.  The only problem is you need just a bit more than that to make a WrestleMania special.

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