Wrestlemania Opening and Main Event: Wrestlemania XXVII
Before we start with the new project we must continue with the old one. Luckily the “main events” opened and closed the show so I kill two birds with one stone.
Overall I don’t think this card will be remembered as one of the better ones. There was a terrific Punk-Orton match that most people will agree on. The Michael Cole stuff was fine until he actually went over. More or less I find that the people who like the card thought Undertaker-HHH was great and the ones that didn’t like the match didn’t like the card.
Wrestlemania XXVII: The Biggest Wrestlemania Ever
From The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted by Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio
Who is that in Alberto Del Rio’s corner? No not Ricardo Rodriguez that other guy. What’s his name? Brodus Clay or something? I think I’ve heard of him. Christian is in Edge’s corner to even the odds.
These guys start off with the fistacuffs and Edge gets a back body drop but Del Rio goes right to work on the arm that he injured during a previous episode of SmackDown. Edge, however, rallies and sends Del Rio over the top. He goes for the baseball slide but Del Rio moves out of the way and sends Edge, arm first, into the ring barricade. He rams the arm into the ring steps and gets back in the ring for two. Del Rio goes to a wear down hold, a single-arm crucifix and when Edge fights back Del Rio casually grabs his hair and pulls it down. Del Rio with more pretty unique moves to work on the arm along with some basic ones and he gets another near fall. Del Rio with a hammerlock now, a standing hammerlock. Edge tries to rally but eats a knee. Del Rio goes for a kill shot but Edge moves and the challenger goes flying to the floor. Edge busts out the somersault dive to the floor (!!). Edge goes to the top but Del Rio meets him there and gives him a top-rope armdrag for two. Back to the arm but Del Rio lets up and Edge hits a leg lariat.
Del Rio charges again and eats a high boot but Edge can’t capitalize. Both men back up and Edge with two clotheslines and a face buster. Del Rio, however, fight backs with a code breaker of sorts to the arm. That was cool. Cross arm breaker is countered with the Edge-u-cation for two. Del Rio misses a corner charge and rolls up Del Rio but the challenger reverses and gets the cross arm breaker. Edge gets to the ropes. Edge strategically gets to the ring apron and executes a hangman on Del Rio. Edge goes to the top slowly and gets caught but Del Rio’s running climbing front kick for two. Christian and Clay get into it on the floor and Clay hits the “suplex baby” to Christian which distracts Del Rio long enough for Edge to get a roll up for two. Edge with the Edge-u-cution for two. Edge goes for the spear but Del Rio side steps and Clay sends Edge, arm first into the ring post. Cross arm breaker but Edge counters with a rollup for two. Sharpshooter by Edge and on the floor Christian hits a spinning DDT to eliminate Clay. Del Rio escapes the sharpshooter but Edge hits the spear for the pinfall!
(Edge def. Del Rio, pinfall, ***3/4, I really dug this one as Del Rio’s single-minded focus on the arm against Edge’s determination told a great story. Sadly it would be the last in-ring appearance of the Rated R Superstar as a major neck injury forced him to retire. I think his Wrestlemania record is around 10-3 and he was a hell of a big-match performer.)
And the finale.
WWE Heavyweight Championship: The Miz vs. John Cena
The build for this match centered much more around Cena and The Rock and they had to really amp up the Miz in the final couple of weeks to remind people that this was the match. By then I thought it was too little too late and they needed to pull some sort of an audible. A lot of people disagree but that’s fine.
Anyway Miz’s pre-introduction was an amazing vignette done to the tune of “Hate Me Now” by Nas. Naturally when the guys in Stamford want to put together the theatrics they can do it like few others. Miz upsets me by entering the ring first. He shouldn’t enter the ring first, he’s the fucking champion, and this isn’t a hard rule to obey. Cena’s video, done with “The Prayer” by DMX wasn’t as good but the choir entrance was pretty strong. I’m hoping they don’t give Cena something too over the top this year since I’m expecting the boobirds to rain down on him pretty hard.
They do a good bit of stalling to get this sucker started and then go into basic wrestling mode with Cena landing the first real blow – a hip toss. They reset and Cena gets a headlock but Miz corners him and lays in a few shots, mostly stomps. Miz with a corner whip and he follows it with his hanging clothesline. More punching as Cena is trying a little too hard with the selling. Cena rallies with a gut wrench bomb and gets two but they are moving at a pace that would make you think they were in there for 20 minutes. Side effect by Miz gets two and he lets Cena recover in the corner before going for another clothesline which misses. Cena hits the fameasser from the top and gets two but misses a corner charge. Miz hits a running kick and gets two. Miz waits and hits a high kick for two. There’s no flow to this match. It’s move, stall, wait, move and they are just eight minutes into this. Miz pops Cena a couple of times as the challenger gets to his feet.
Miz with an Irish whip and he ducks a Cena cross body attempt. Miz baseball slides Cena to the floor and hits a knee lift. Back in the ring he gets a two count. Miz goes for a skull-crushing finale but Cena blocks. Two shoulder blocks and a atomic bomb later Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle and goes for the attitude adjustment but Miz counters with a DDT. Miz continues with his slow pace and almost gets caught in the STF but counters with his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz removes the padding from the top turnbuckle and gets caught with an inside cradle for two. Attitude Adjustment #2 is blocked but not the STF. Miz, however, makes the ropes. While Cena backs off to the ropes to break Alex Riley rams his head into the exposed buckle and Miz hits the skull-crushing finale for a near fall. At that point there’s no reason to believe he’s going over here.
Miz goes for a second one but Cena beals him into the official. Attitude adjustment finally hits but the referee is out cold. While Cena checks on the official Riley sneaks in the ring and nails Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Now why do they still have the briefcase? They are suppose to hand it in with the title shot? Anyway that doesn’t kill Cena. So Riley distracts the ref and Miz grabs the case but Cena ducks and Miz nails Cena. Attitude Adjustment hits and doesn’t get the pin. Wow I would have bet money on that being the finish. They roll to the outside and Cena clotheslines Miz over the ring barricade and then follows up with a dive and both of their bodies go SPLAT on the floor. Yikes. Referee makes the double countout and it looks like a bad finish to the match but we know that’s not happening at Wrestlemania. The Miz looks really fucked up here.
Anyway The Rock comes down to the ring and he’s not happy. After a little comedy segment with the anonymous GM, The Rock says its time to restart this match with no disqualification, countout, whining, bitching, complaining or appeal. They get back to the ring and the bell sounds. Cena goes for another Attitude Adjustment but Miz blocks and when Cena turns around he experiences Rock Bottom and the Miz retains. After the Miz celebrates The Rock beats him up too.
(Miz def. Cena, ***1/4, this was a little better than I remembered as Cena did his best to keep things together with his bumping and overselling and Miz tried but he just isn’t the caliber of worker to have a classic match without some gimmicks involved. In hindsight there were a million ways to book this and the best one probably being with Rock as the guest referee. Miz was pretty much buried by Cena the following night and he’s been in a bit of a fall since.)