Wrestlemania 29

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The 29th installment of Wrestlemania was a solid show with many highlights and was one of the very few I had not seen. It was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and was billed as a co-location event between New York and New Jersey. It was the fifth Wrestlemania held outdoors which added a Super Bowl-type atmosphere to the proceedings. WWE has held to this new tradition of holding the biggest wrestling event of the year in big stadiums and it really adds to the atmosphere.

The highlights of the night are as follows:

Randy Orton/Big Show/Sheamus vs. The Shield – This was the first Wrestlemania for all three members of The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) and was a solid start to the show. The highlight of the match was when Rollins attempted a top rope maneuver and Randy Orton caught him with an RKO. The match ended with a spear from Reigns to Orton and the pinfall was secured by Ambrose. Great match and The Shield were very over with the crowd.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – A little underwhelming since the match featured two big, slower guys and the crowd was not very interested in this match. It was not horrible, just kind of a throw away match. Henry secured the win after a failed Shell Shock attempt from Ryback.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E – A solid match that featured a very fun team in Daniel Bryan and Kane that I miss since they not only had solid matches, but their vignettes were hysterical with the two of them always being at odds. Ziggler and Big E (with AJ Lee in tow) were a very solid team as well. The match was fairly quick, but exciting with Team Hell No retaining their Tag Team Titles.

Fandango vs. Chris Jericho – This was Fandango’s debut match and the fact that it was against Jericho made it appear that Fandango was set for a big push. It was a fairly good match with Jericho having to carry the night since Fandango was more than a bit green. I could not help but feel that a debut match should not be held at the biggest event of the year. Not fair for a talent to have that kind of pressure put on them. Amazingly enough Fandango got the win, but surprisingly he was not really pushed that much after Wrestlemania. Seems a waste of such a notable victory.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger – This was was kind of an ironic match since both men are known to be very reckless in the ring and have both caused multiple real life injuries to their opponents. The match itself was fine with Alberto retaining his World Title, but I had one HUGE issue with the entire storyline, the racist aspect of it. During this time Swagger came out with Zeb Colter (formerly known as Dirty Dutch Mantel) with Zeb constantly attacking immigrants and mentioning how ‘those people’ should not be in our country. I have loved wrestling since I was a kid and even though I have seen my fair share of embarrassing moments on the screen most of it was fairly benign. This particular angle went too far in my opinion and with racism being a big issue in our country this was one area the WWE should have stayed out of. It got uncomfortable hearing the things that were spewing from Colter’s mouth and made the match less enjoyable.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk -Once again, another great match from The Undertaker with CM Punk being that year’s victim of the streak. They both worked a solid, hard fought match with plenty of moments that made you think Punk could have been the one to end the streak. After a lot of back and forth The Undertaker hit Punk with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar – This match was brutal with both men beating the hell out of each other. Triple H has always been and always will be a solid in-ring performer and he and Lesnar really worked well together with H Securing the victory via his patented Pedigree.

John Cena vs. The Rock – The big rematch from the previous year’s Wrestlemania. Both men had legitimate animosity towards each other and were able to channel that heat into an excellent match with plenty of action and false finishes. John Cena won the WWE Title with the AA and both men embraced after the end of the match showing true respect for each other.

Overall, a good show that was fun to watch for the first time even though I already knew the outcomes of some of the matches.

Next week I will be watching Wrestlemania 30 again and even though I already reviewed it last year, I am looking forward to a second viewing and seeing if my opinion has changed on any of the matches knowing some of the real life stories behind them, especially The Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match which I was not thrilled with a year ago.

Remember, you can watch all of these shows yourself and so much more by subscribing to the WWE Network for only $9.99 a month!

Wrestlemania 28

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The 28th edition of Wrestlemania was a major step up from the previous year’s installment and is a must watch event.

The highlights:

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk – A very good match between two great performers at the top of their game. The story they told in the ring was powerful and engaging. Jericho had spent the past few weeks attacking Punk’s family’s issues (his Dad was an alcoholic and his sister had drug abuse issues) which really added to the drama of the match. The in ring result was a great match that saw Punk win with the Anaconda Vise.

Randy Orton vs. Kane – A solid match between the two which ended with Kane getting a surprising and much deserved win. Kane is one of the all time best big men in wrestling and he has a great in-ring chemistry with Orton.

A Hell in a Cell match featuring The Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee – Simply wow…their match a year before was a classic and this one somehow out did it. The match was brutal, violent, yet technically proficient and ended with The Streak being extended to 20-0. Michaels was also used very effectively in the match. He interfered on a couple of occasions, but it made sense and did not disrupt the quality of the match. He added a significant amount of drama to the bout that worked very well. The ending with the three men embracing was emotional and heart felt.

John Cena vs. The Rock – Great match that ended with a Rock Bottom out of nowhere that secured the win for The Rock. Even though the previous Wrestlemania was frustrating at times, coming off as just a big lead up for 28, it was worth it and provided a great main event.

The skits – I complained about 27’s excessive skits and the 28th edition corrected it. There were a few skits that were brief and effective, especially a funny one involving Mick Foley and Santino.

Honestly, not too much to complain about. The first match of the night for the World Title saw Sheamus take the belt from Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds and was a bit of a disappoint since these two work well together, but it did advance a storyline so it was tolerable.

Definitely a must watch Wrestlemania that gets me excited to see number 29 and the big rematch between Cena and The Rock.

Wrestlemania 27

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The 27th edition of Wrestlemania had some issues, but also featured some very memorable matches.

Starting with the lowlights:

The Rock – I know, sounds blasphemous, but this was the first time for me where I wanted him to get out of the ring and let the matches begin. His opening promo was too long and he really seemed off his game. This was a Wrestlemania I had not seen and just wanted to get to the matches. You can tell the crowd did too.

The main event of The Miz defending the WWE title against Cena – Two very talented performers and great characters that had one of the most boring main events in Wrestlemania history. They both just seemed off. The match ended with a double count out and then The Rock came out to demand the match restart. He Rock Bottomed Cena to give The Miz the win and then took out The Miz afterwards. The only purpose of this whole match was to set up next year’s Wrestlemania main event between The Rock and John Cena which further made this bout pointless. Another thing that made the ending of The Miz getting knocked around was that he had suffered a concussion earlier in the match and seeing him taking blows to the head while looking truly out of it was a little disconcerting. The Miz is still a featured wrestler on WWE programming, but that concussion could have caused long term issues.

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole – The least said the better. By the way, I HATE heel Michael Cole. Enough said.

The skits – Soooooo many skits. Various ones featuring The Rock. Another one with Snoop Dog that was funny, but too long. People want to see actual matches during the biggest show of the year, not comedy routines. The fewer the better.

The positive:

The Edge vs. Alberto del Rio – This was Edge’s final match since he was forced a week later to retire due to a neck injury. He retained his World title in a solid match and got the rare opportunity to retire as champion.

Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio – These two worked amazingly well together. Rey is always incredible, but Cody held his own and was just as amazing. Cody got a big win and it was much deserved.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Yes, The Undertaker continued his win streak, but did a great job of making it look like the streak was truly in danger. They had a brutal, physical match that kept your interest throughout. The match of the night by far.

CM Punk vs. Randy Orton – Another great match with both men working very well together with Orton getting the win via an impressive RKO off a Punk springboard clothesline attempt.

Overall, a good show that was brought down a bit by The Rock and the main event, but not enough to say you should skip this one. Worth a watch for some great matches.

Looking forward to Wrestlemania 28 and the big main event between Cena and The Rock.

Wrestlemania 23 and 24

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Wrestlemania 23 was a good show, but not quite as memorable as the year before.

We got another entertaining MITB match with Mr. Kennedy defeating CM Punk, Randy Orton, Finlay, Matt Hardy, King Booker, Jeff Hardy, and Edge. All performers did a great job and filled the match with a lot of high spots.

The worst match was The Great Khali going over Kane. Khali is not a good performer and it always unfortunate when a top notch wrestler like Kane is stuck putting over someone with no talent.

The Undertaker beat Batista for the World Heavyweight Title in a great, well worked match. Both guys did a terrific job and the match was paced very well which is very important when putting together a good match.

The main event was John Cena beating Shawn Michaels via submission in a solid main event that really helped elevate Cena.

There were some good matches but overall, this was a fairly lackluster event.

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Wrestlemania 24 was a major improvement from the year’s previous show and was highlighted by another excellent MITB match, Edge vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Ric Flair’s retirement match.

 

The MITB ladder match between Chris Jericho, Mr. Kennedy, Carlito, M.V.P., CM Punk, Shelton Benjamin and John Morrison was incredible. Every performer put their all into the match with CM Punk winning the title shot. Morrison is an incredible athlete and did some crazy maneuvers and Shelton took some bumps that were the craziest ever seen.

The final match on the card featured The Undertaker defeating Edge for the title in a great match that showed Edge was truly a main event wrestler and could help carry the biggest show of the year.

The best bout on the card though was the career ending match between Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels was amazing as always and Ric Flair proved he is the greatest professional wrestler of all time. What he did during this match at 60 years old is amazing and proved he is a legend. It was a very emotional match with an amazing amount of back and forth action with no dead spots and Michaels winning with a superkick to Ric Flair. Flair was very emotional at the end of the match and this bout was a great way to end his active wrestling career.

Well, this will be the last Wrestlemania review for the week since the 31st installment is only a few days away and I have run out of time! I will be watching Wrestlemania 31 specials Thursday and Friday night, followed by the Hall of Fame on Saturday and of course Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday!

I will let you know how it all turns out next week!

 

CM Punk

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The saga of CM Punk is one that has overwhelmed the internet wrestling community for the majority of the year. The IWC has been consumed with the drama that led to Punk’s sudden departure from the company that made him famous earlier this year.

For the rare wrestling fan that is not aware, CM Punk suddenly left the WWE in January of this year and does not look to be returning any time soon. Apparently he was burned out, not happy with his schedule and the wear and tear on his body, and did not feel he would be pushed as the top guy in the company. For the most part I understand where he is coming from. It is difficult when you work your ass off for a company and never get the credit you deserve. Wrestling is a very difficult business where you can find yourself working over 300 days a year and putting your body through an incredible physical strain which winds up hurting you emotionally as well. The fame and money can be unbelievable, but the physical and emotional strain can be overwhelming at times and make one question whether the financial success is worth it.

There are two basic opinions out there regarding his departure…those who understand and fault the WWE and those who think Punk is just a drama queen and needs to get over himself.  I only have one opinion of the entire situation:

STOP CHANTING HIS NAME AT WWE EVENTS

I understand during the first couple of months of his departure with fans wanting to show their support for a performer that was involved is some memorable matches. Now it is October and the world has moved on. Sometimes the fans will chant his name for no good reason or they will chant his name during his wife AJ Lee’s matches which is now just getting annoying. He is gone and we all know at some point he will be back, but for now just shut the hell up. It is disrespectful to the other performers and annoying to the people watching at home.

The chants are getting less and less, but they are still noticeable. We all know he will return at some point so just save the chants for that day and move on with your live’s. There is a lot of good stuff going on in the WWE so just enjoy it and chant for people that are still in that ring today busting their butts for all the fans and not going to hockey games and appearing on the Talking Dead.

Thank you and good night!