Alert the villagers. Grab your pitchforks and torches and head to Castle Winfieldenstein. Because I am LOVING this show.
Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show vs. The Shield
us of Orton’s WM moment when he won (retained) the title at 24. The
match starts off with Sheamus and Orton handling the Shield without Big
Show’s involvement. That all changes when he tags himself in. He’s able
to handle them until Ambrose takes him out with a dropkick to the knee.
Afterwards, Show gets the hell beat out of him equally from each member.
We see Randy and Sheamus standing in the corner, and I imagine their
conversation is something like, “So, you mean to tell me you NEVER tan?
EVER?” “Nope, no tannin’, fella” “You just mean no tanning beds, right?
You’re still open to self-tanner, right? I have a great brand! It’s
supposed to be used as a deck stainer, but it gives me an awesome glow.”
Eventually, Sheamus gets in and turns the tide with some forearm clubs
and rolling sentons. They turn it back and are about to deliver a triple
powerbomb until Big Show saves with a triple spear. Randy tags himself
in for a bout of show-boating that only earns him a spear, losing the
match for his team. All in all, not an opener forged from the fires of
hell, but perfectly suitable. The Shield was more than capable of
holding their own, and didn’t win as a result of any fluke.
Randy eats a spear from Reigns, and a pin from Ambrose at 10:35 | ***
Big Show is
displeased with the outcome and knocks out Sheamus and Orton. Which is
great, because their whole “Man! We’re smilin’ good guys here to stomp
the baddies!” deal was lame sauce. I imagine in the back Sheamus at some
point said “Nah, Orton. Put MORE Vaseline on your teeth, fella! See
this grin? It’s 80 percent petroleum!”
The video for Cena vs Rock is rather good, and does a far better job of promoting the match than the TV leading up to it.
Mark Henry vs. RybackThey
mention the Bench Press Competition beforehand, and if Henry really
repped out 225 for 53 reps, then that doesn’t speak so much for his
strength, but his body’s
ability to not produce lactic acid. The only reason I’m glad Ryback is
around is because Maffew is using a clip from Under Siege 2 in his
videos. See, Segal’s character in the Under Siege series is named Casey
Ryback. He’s a Navy soldier, as well as a cook. One thing you need to
know, nobody beats him in the kitchen. The punch/clothesline exchange
clearly has the crowd behind Henry. After a small bit of offense, Henry
controls the entire match with clotheslines, head-butts, slams, and the
ultimate crowd pleaser, a bear hug. Seriously, Ryback got in maybe six
moves total. He goes for the Shellshock, but Henry grabs the ropes,
causing Ryback to fall forward, with Mark crushing him. Finish was odd,
but the crowd sure popped when he got him up for the Shellshock. Please,
put Henry in a main event feud, he’s a fantastic monster.
Henry crushes Ryback’s skull for the pin at 8:03 | *1/2
Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston vs. Team Hell NoAJ
doesn’t work whatsoever in the roll of Ziggler’s manager. I’m sure that
I’m in the minority here, but I miss Vickie. I think they really should
have done the Kiss of Death deal again, it would have made this match a
hell of a lot more memorable. Biggie’s move is just begging to be
reversed into the Tombstone. He’s doing the brunt of the damage, while
Dolph comes in to pick at the scraps. He eventually tries to use the
briefcase, only to catch a chokeslam and flying headbutt for his
troubles. Nothing to complain about, nothing worth getting tattooed
A chokeslam & flying head-butt put Ziggler down at 7:29 | **1/4
elaborate entrance for Fandango. I tell you, I was sick of the whole
“Fandangoing” thing the Tuesday after Raw when I saw my Facebook feed
and there were about 500 Fandango memes. Memes are not funny. EVER.
Fandango vs. Chris JerichoIt’s
nice to see Jericho in babyface mode. King lets us know we can get a WM
chair for $80, if we buy $30 worth of WWE stuff from K-Mart. Sounds
like a fair deal. MORE than a fair deal. I still don’t get Fandango’s
character. He’s a dancer? Is he trying to get on “Dancing With The
Stars” and using the WWE as a platform ala Double J? I’ve been
wondering why Jericho is so much smaller than his earlier days, and I
recently saw an interview where he says he no longer hits the gym, and
instead does DDP Yoga. I prefer the bigger Jericho, but I hear that DDP
Yoga is some top notch stuff. As for the match, Jericho controls for a
while until he attempts his 2nd-rope-leap-to-the-outside and Fandango
counters with a simple, yet under-stated kick to the face. What the fuck
is with these stupid twitter tickers? Did Vince just recently see VH1’s
retrospective documentary on the TRL Years and decide to implement some
of the hip-kid stuff from 13 years ago? Fandango has a great set-up
move where he dips his opponent, then snaps back with a reverse Russian
leg-sweep. He needs to ditch the top rope leg-drop though, that’s just
gonna do bad for him after a few years. The match is good stuff.
Fandango is clearly out-matched, yet he finds moments to use his younger
age and agility to get one over on Jericho, and in the end had the
right move at the right moment. Fandango won without it looking like a
fluke, and I think it definitely sets things up for a rematch.
Jericho is rolled up for the pin at 9:33 | ***
We get an
introduction of WrestleMania clips set to one of the themes from Rocky,
to introduce us to a man who is the living embodiment of professional
wrestling and the very name WrestleMania: Puff Daddy.
the video package for the Swagger/Alberto feud has it looking rather
well done. I know that isn’t the case, but their video team could sell
someone coming out on top of a Triple H feud to Triple H himself.
Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio [C] – World Heavyweight Championship
I love that
Lilian makes sure to mention that Swagger is a “real American”. Yeah,
when you’re rockin’ a Stars & Stripes six-string, then we’ll talk,
bucko. Once the match starts, neither are able to hold momentum for
long. It’s always nice when matches stray from the “bad guy beats good
guy till good guy makes comeback” formula. Great moment when Swagger is
sitting on the second rope and Alberto snaps off a Backstabber. Swagger
soon has a great moment of his own when he reverses the
cross-arm-breaker into the Patriot Lock. Soon afterward, Swagger taps to
the CAB in a match that should have been a lot better. There wasn’t
anything wrong with it, but it honestly needed about 5-10 more minutes,
with a great finishing sequence.
Swagger taps at 10:30 | ***
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
Glove? Bummer. Punk checking Paul’s watch is just as brilliant as his
no-sell of Taker’s entrance. Right off the bat the match is different,
with CM Punk being so defiant. I love that ‘Taker couldn’t do the Old
School, only to have Punk execute it, absolutely brilliant, as we’ve
honestly never seen that. So far, this match is such a fresh breath of
air after the ones we’ve seen since WM25. It’s crisp as all get out.
Heyman deserves a ton of credit as well. Punk goes for a cover, get’s
two, to which Heyman screams “A second away, you were just a second
away!” Punk gets a cover of 2 and a half, to which Heyman then yells
“Half a second away! You’re getting closer and closer!”. Finally, Punk
tries Old School for a second time, only to get crotched on the ropes
and sent to the outside with a punch from ‘Taker. Once he hits the
ground, Heyman says “What happened? What happe-…oh no, get up! I know
what he’s doing! GET UP!” as ‘Taker gets ready for the Wrestlemania
leap. Heyman of course blocks it, allowing Punk to get his momentum
back. Such a great fucking match so far. Hell of an elbow for Punk, as
‘Taker laid prone on the announcers table, which did not collapse upon
impact. I wonder if a move like that hurts worse when the table doesn’t
collapse. Soon after, Punk has The Undertaker in the Vice, and just when
you think he’s out The Undertaker does the zombie sit-up, creating one
of the better WM moments. Not long after, he eventually catches Punk
with a Tombstone, and I had a mark-out moment when Punk beat the 3
count. I thought the match was over. But thankfully, it keeps going, and
that’s when I know a match is going to become one of my favorites,
because I don’t want it to end. Eventually it does, with a GTS reversed
into a Tombstone. This match was so fresh and so completely original.
After seeing the same thing for 4 WM’s in a row, this is exactly what
the Streak Match needed. I really can’t say enough about this.
Seriously, that was hands down the best I’ve seen from Undertaker at WM.
This must be how people felt when they saw Shawn/Taker 1 from WM25.
Punk takes the Tombstone & pin at 22:08 | *****
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H – No Holds BarredI’ll
give it to Triple H for withstanding dry-ice burns. He wasn’t
even selling it during his entrance. Wow, the crowd really is dead for
this thing. It sounds like an empty arena match. The promo video
didn’t really have me that excited for it. I mean, Triple H needed a
reason, and Lesnar’s attack on Vince was it? The same guy whose head
Triple H broke a sledge hammer over? Awesome moment where
Brock throws Hunter through a table and then roars. I honestly think if
he roared like that in public he’d be arrested for assault. The King
tries to cover for the fact this crowd doesn’t give a shit by saying
“a hush has fallen over the crowd”. You, good sir, are a liar. The
match so far isn’t bad. Lesnar is beating the hell out of Triple H, with
the momentum finally changing when Lesnar F5s the homeless guy that
Triple H had at ring side. The distraction was enough for Hunter to
execute a Pedigree that Lesnar botched. Soon after though,, Brock is
back up with the power on his side. Eventually he misses a charge and
crashes into the ring-post. From this point, Triple H works the
shoulder, and eventually clocks Lesnar with the sledgehammer and finally
a Pedigree on the steel chairs. Honestly, not nearly as bad a match as
people were saying. If the crowd were alive, and it wasn’t Triple H out
there, this would have received a lot more praise. I thought it was
brutal, with a fine pace and no down time. A better match than the one
at SummerSlam. I wanted a fight, and I got one.
Lesnar takes a Pedigree on the steel stairs and eats the pin at 23:57 | ***3/4
John Cena vs. The Rock [C] – WWE ChampionshipThe
match has barely started and The Rock needs a rest spot. Wow, soon
after both guys are laying down, and the crowd is so dead I literally
had to check my TV to see if I’d hit mute by accident. Cole says that
John needs to win this match to turn the year of 2013 into Cena’s year.
Well, let’s hope so. John hasn’t had a stellar year yet in his career. I
mean, he’s still yet to defeat a planet or a Norse God. Nice little
exchange of reversals, which ends with The Rock applying the Polite
Suggestion. However, he doesn’t even have it on long enough for anyone
to laugh. Great moment where the People’s Elbow is turned into the STFU.
Honestly at one point they’ve traded like 30 finishers a piece. They
really could have earned themselves a quarter of a star with an awesome
finish, but they didn’t commit. Cena goes for the People’s Elbow, like
the previous year, but holds off at the ropes and as The Rock jumps up,
Cena grabs him and tries to turn it into the FU, but Rock counters into a
Rock Bottom. Instead, Cena just pulls an FU out of nowhere for the pin.
We haven’t seen the finisher after finisher type of match in quite a
while, and if there’s a place to do it, it’s here. The Rock knew how bad Cena wanted, and tried to use the big-guns as often as possible. Cena was playing the same card, as he’d been down this road before and knew that what he delivered last year wasn’t enough. Both knew they had to up the damage. Overall, good stuff,
it felt epic, just as it should. It wasn’t as great as last year’s
match, but not nearly as bad as people were making it out to be.
Cena hits Rock with the FU for the pin at 24:01 | ****
Showdown: I actually heard someone say that this WM should be placed
among ones like 9, 11, and 4. That’s an extreme load of bullshit. Most
people were DYING to give this show low marks, and it would have taken
each match to be on the level of MiTB 2011 for them to even think about
admitting they were wrong. Although predictable, the matches still
delivered, and we even got ourselves a classic with Punk vs. Taker.
People need to quit being such cynical babies and drop the whole “I hate
this product or service because hating things is cool” act. Hell,
seeing The Rock not only lose, but lose the title was worth the price of
admission alone. This WM belongs among some of the all-time best, and I
think in a few years people will start to give it the appreciation it
deserves. It made Thriller, man. Thriller.
Much appreciation to my editor, Steven Ferrari. He and I met one night at a club I often attended. At the time I was the biggest producer & director of adult films, and he was nothing more than a bus boy. Soon he became the number one star, of course, until that damn Thomas Jane had to show up.
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser
– I’ve started a new article series known as Man Etiquette, so you’ll
know how to act in certain situations, I pay tribute to the burliest of
the burly from the 8-bit era, talk
about people who shouldn’t use the internet [all of them], Saved By The
Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn’t Know Were Comic Book Films, plenty
of other goods.
WCW In 2000
– Recently updated with the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. You know
what’s shocking? The PPV is GOOD. No joke, it’s seriously good, and
features the best match of WCW’s 2000 year so far.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1
– My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as
well as some fellow BOD’ers. Constant 5 star reviews on amazon. I mean, CONSTANT. Non-stop. Around the clock, baby.
Board for the BoD’ers – We average about 50 people a day stopping by, a constant cast of people posting, and you can talk about anything you want.
Any requests, questions, comments, send’em to [email protected]
– Caliber Winfield