WWE WrestleMania Reloaded

Well, hello. I trust you all enjoyed WrestleMania evening as much as I did. My kitchen seems to have been attacked by empty beer bottles. There weren’t any yesterday, yet this morning? Tons of them. I honestly can’t think where they came from… * hic *

I want to have a quick look back at the show, but rather than match by match, I’m gonna split it into the good and the bad. I’ll start with the bad, because I’d rather end on a high note and save the best for last.

Daniel Bryan and Sheamus must be royally pissed off right now. Not only do they get bumped from the main card, but their match gets abandoned and turned into a battle royal… and then neither of them win the damn match, instead Khali goes over! Horrific. I swear, Sheamus must have hit on Stephanie or something to go down the pecking order so fast.

Edge and ADR opening? REALLY? Call me old school, but I believe that you should never open any show with a World Title match, even one that nobody really cares about any more. To their credit, Edge and ADR put on a good bout. But first? Dearie me, no.

The Rock. His opening “monologue” was awful by his usually high standards. And needing a bottle of water after saying a few lines? That’s the worst case of gassing seen at WrestleMania since The Ultimate Warrior ran down the aisle at WrestleMania 8. Seriously though, The Rock was just a bit flat. His confrontation with Austin was awesome, but that was about it. Unless he comes down to Raw tonight, and proclaims that he’s back, and wants a title shot, then what exactly was the point of the post match shenanigans? Pointless and wasteful.

John Cena… he just looked flat and unmotivated. Perhaps the first sign of an ego? Maybe something physically wrong with him? I’m not sure, but even by his standards, it’s one of the worst performances from him I can remember.

The Miz is another one with every right to be annoyed. He’s done everything asked of him, every single media junket, interview, press day, PR stunt, the whole 9 yards. He’s been made to look like the weakest World Champion since David Arquette on a regular basis. All of this, and at WrestleMania, he’s treated as an afterthought. If the WWE want us to take him seriously as champion, book him strongly. I get that he’s your Honky Tonk Man kind of champion, the gig being that he has to look like he can lose the belt at any given time – but that doesn’t fly at this level. Trust him, or take the strap off him.

Being honest, the whole main even was a total anticlimax, and one of, if not THE worst WrestleMania closer I can remember. Everyone was waiting for The Rock’s involvement, everyone knew it was coming, and it ruined the flow of the match totally.

Eight man tag match. A big angle was shot at Axxess and perpetuated online to build to it. Yet, on “the grandest stage of them all” they get less than 2 minutes of ring time. What’s the point? I mean… the entrances took longer than the actual match did! “Time Constraints” were mentioned as the reason for this and the Bryan/Sheamus match being bumped… but we can fit in crap like Snoop Dog rapping, Axxess videos, and The Rock milking the cheers for what seemed like an eternity. Better time management is needed, guys.

Enough of the bad… on to the good, as I saw it.

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler’s match didn’t hit the heights of a 5 star classic, but you know what? I enjoyed it. Purely for Steve Austin. Whether it was being unable to keep a straight face for more than a minute at a time, or being literally inches from killing Jack Swagger on his quad – Austin made this match. The amount of times he and Lawler looked at each other in disbelief – scripted or otherwise – had me cracking up.

Booker’s joyous overselling of the stunner was the icing on the cake as well. The actual match wasn’t great, but it was never expected to be, and there was really no need for the GM intervention, unless it’s subsequently revealed that Cole is the GM after all.

The 6 person tag match actually entertained me more than I thought it would. A lot of that being down to how insanely hot Trish looked, to be fair. The bump she and McCool took off the top looked great, as did Morrison’s Starship Pain to the floor. Hell, even Snooki’s tumbling-whatever-the-hell-it-was made me chuckle.

I did think it was a bit thoughtless of the WWE to put Michelle McCool out straight after the Taker match. Worked or not, she must have been legitimately worried about her real life husband.

Randy Orton and CM Punk put on a great match, Orton as a face doesn’t gel properly for me, but in this match, he hit all the right notes. Being up against a heel like CM Punk helped immensely, though. Punk is the very best heel in the WWE right now, and is pushing William Regal for the owner of the best facial expressions in the WWE.

The finish, with Punk diving from the top rope and Orton hitting an RKO in mid air looked spectacular, and was impeccably timed. It looked stunning, and the crowd rightly went nuts for it. I loved the fact that the match built beautifully from the start to the crescendo finish. On any other night, this would have been match of the night by far.

Not a lot needs to be said about Trips and Taker. For me, it was an awesome match. Every move had a weight behind it, every exchange had a meaning, and for once, kicking out of finisher after finisher made perfect sense. Both men, at their very limit, pushing each other in a desperate attempt to be the better man. It wasn’t quite as good as Taker/HBK I, but edged Taker/HBK II.

The pacing of the match was perfect, the crowd bought into it 100% and it should have been on last as it pretty much killed the buzz of everything that followed. For me, it was a master class in storytelling, and lived up to the epic billing that Taker’s recent Streak matches at WrestleMania have all had. The match of the night for me, just edging Orton/Punk out for those honours.

All in all, a pretty average WrestleMania, especially from one that promised so much. I think the final match being such a non event soured the overall feeling; it sucked the life out of all that came before it. A wasted opportunity.

Until next time, have fun, go mad.

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