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.

WWE Fastlane

maxresdefaultLast Sunday was the final PPV before Wrestlemania, Fastlane. It was an overall good show and set the stage for the biggest wrestling event of the year quite well.

Some of the matches seemed a little thrown together at the last minute, but overall this show did its job and set the stage for what has the potential to be a great Wrestlemania.

You can still get the WWE Network for the rest of the month free so you can watch the replay so I will not go into great detail, but I will spoil a few key moments.

The confrontation between Sting and Triple H was fantastic. Both performers came off great and to see the two of them fight was awesome. The match between the two of them for Wrestlemania is official and I am beyond excited to see Sting at his first ever Wrestlemania.

There was a big swerve when The Undertaker’s (who has been gone since last year’s Wrestlemania) music hit and a coffin was wheeled out only to reveal Bray Wyatt in the casket. He gave a great promo and extended a challenge to The Undertaker for Wrestlemania. Great build up for what could be a very memorable match.

The biggest resolution of the night was Roman Reigns beating Daniel Bryan to face Brock Lesnar for the World Title at Wrestlemania. It was an excellent match with both performers coming off well. The WWE maintained the legacy of the Royal Rumble victor getting the title shot at the biggest show of the year and did so in a great way.

Overall, there were moments during the show that seemed a bit off, but it did a great job of positioning Wrestlemania to be a great show and give the fans a memorable night.

Wrestlemania XXX

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This past Sunday was the 30th installment of WWE’s Wrestlemania. It is amazing to think that Wrestlemania has been around for so long and shows no signs of slowing down.

I will not be going through this PPV match by match, but briefly discussing what stood out, good or bad.

Overall, it was a very good show that started off perfectly with The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Hulk Hogan doing a bit that was immensely entertaining.

The first match was Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan with the winner to become the third entrant in the main event World title match with Batista and Randy Orton. It was one of the best matches I have seen in a while. Both performers were at the top of their game and the match ended the way it should with Bryan winning.

The match that almost ruined the show was The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar.  It was very slow and fairly boring and the match ended with Lesnar winning which was a huge shock. The Undertaker had a 21-0 record at Wrestlemania and it is a wrestling tradition for him to win. The ending was very surprising and really took the air out of the crowd in attendance. Yes, wrestling is scripted, but this was the one thing all fans thought would never change. After Wrestlemania it was learned that The Undertaker suffered a concussion early in the match and was rushed to the hospital after the match ended which explains why it was so slow moving.

The best part though was the triple threat match for the World title between Orton, Batista, and Bryan. It was a good match throughout and everyone got the ending they wanted with Daniel Bryan becoming the new WWE World Champion. All three wrestlers worked the match perfectly. I hope they give Bryan a fairly long reign since he really puts on great matches.

This was a great show and I cannot wait for next year’s!!