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 26

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Overall, Wrestlemania 26 was a solid show that had some nice moments, but does not go down in the top 10 best Wrestlemania’s category.

The highlights:

– The Money in the Bank ladder match is always a blast and I have yet to see one that was not fun to watch. This year’s featured Jack Swagger, Christian, Matt Hardy, and Evan Bourne, among others, with those 4 really standing out. Bourne performed an impressive shooting star press from a ladder on to Christian that got a huge response from the crowd. Jack Swagger eventually won and got a nice reaction from the audience.

– Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes battled in a triple threat match that officially ended The Legacy trio and was well worked by all three performers. Orton won with an RKO to DiBiase that got the crowd on their feet cheering.

– Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk was another good match with a satisfying ending of Mysterio getting his revenge on Punk for weeks of torment and securing the pinfall.

– Edge vs. Chris Jericho was another good match with Jericho retaining his World Title. Any time these two went head to head you knew you were in for something good.

– The most memorable moment of the night was the main event which featured a re-match of last year’s show with The Undertaker battling Shawn Michaels with the stipulation that if Michaels lost he would retire. It was not quite the match they put on last year, but it was solid nonetheless with The Undertaker going 18-0 at Wrestlemania and Shawn saying an emotional goodbye to the crowd. It was a real honor to know he had his final match in my home state of Arizona.

Now for the lowlights:

– 10 Diva tag match. The less said the better.

– Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon. The storyline of McMahon trying to screw over Bret for a second time was unnecessary. Bret stumbled a bit when delivering his promo and seemed a little bit confused. This was not a solid match at all and seemed to be ‘over stuffed’ with the Hart family at ringside.

– Big Show and The Miz successfully defended their Tag Team Championship over R-Truth and Morrison. This is unfortunate since Morrison and Truth are excellent performers who were not allowed to shine so they could put over the current Tag Champs in a pointless match.

Overall, not a bad show, but a little uneven in the booking department.

Looking forward to Wrestlemania 27 since I do not remember seeing that show and I look forward to watching the one Wrestlemania that The Miz always brags about headlining in his current promos 🙂

Wrestlemania 25

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Wrestlemania 25 was one of the better modern Wrestlemania’s. With the exception of a horrid Divas Battle Royal and the overly long Kid Rock mini-concert there were many memorable matches.

The Money in the Bank ladder match kicked off the show in grand style. Featuring CM Punk, Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian, and Finlay (with Punk winning for the second time) was a blast as always with my personal highlight being when Benjamin performed a senton bomb off the top of a high ladder on to the rest of his opponents. These matches never disappoint.

Chris Jericho pinning Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka, and Roddy Piper was a very well worked match that came about due to Jericho belittling the legends over the previous couple of months. Ricky Steamboat was simply amazing. For a man well into his 50’s when this match took place to come out and perform repeated top rope maneuvers and never seem out of breath was inspiring.

The match of the night though was The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. Holy you-know-what that was a great match! Definitely one of the best in pro wrestling history. False finishes galore with not only Michaels high flying, but The Undertaker doing the same was an experience of a lifetime. This is a match that must be watched. It is the perfect example of why so many of us love wrestling.

The next match was Big Show vs. John Cena vs. Edge which was a solid match with Cena winning the World Heavyweight Championship, but was forgettable following Michaels vs. The Undertaker stealing the show.

The last match featured Triple H beating Randy Orton amidst a very dead/silent crowd. Watching it again it was a solid match with a great build up with Orton attacking Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, but The Undertaker/Michaels match left everyone breathless and really should have ended the show.

Overall, a solid PPV and I am looking forward to 26 which was held in my home state of Arizona!

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!

 

Wrestlemania’s 21 and 22

 

 

 

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Wrestlemania 21 was a terrific show from start to finish. When a show begins with a match featuring Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero (in what would be his last Wrestlemania before his untimely passing), which was simply amazing, you know it will be a good night for wrestling.

We also had the first Money in the Bank ladder match, which Edge won, which was an incredible match for something we were seeing for the first time. The other participants were Chris Jericho, Christian, Chris Benoit, Edge, Shelton Benjamin, and Kane who all did a great job with Shelton really standing out. He is an amazing athlete that I wish was still part of the WWE today.

Other notable matches were John Cena winning the WWE Title over JBL and Batista winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H. A nice passing of the torch from these two legends to the young guys who would become legends in their own rights.

The best match of the night was Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels. Holy s@$t was this a great match! Two of the best performers in the history of professional wrestling who had an amazing chenistry in the ring and turned in a classic. If you are a wrestling fan or wonder how could someone be a wrestling fan, then watch this match and you will understand.

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Wrestlemania 22 the following year was another great show.

Edge beat Mick Foley in a hardcore match which ended with a spectacular finish of Edge spearing Foley through a burning table. This is a match that is not for the faint of heart with a lot of extreme violence and blood which is a stark contrast from the WWE today.

A surprisingly good match was Mickie James defeating Trish Stratus fro the Women’s Championship. Both women worked hard and put on a very solid match.

The second MITB ladder match was won by Rob Van Dam and was amazing just like the year before.

The highlight though was Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels in a no-holds-barred match. There is a reason Michaels was known as ‘Mr. Wrestlemania’ since he had a tendency to steal the show with his incredible athleticism. McMahon always amazes me due to the fact that he will put his body on the line and make himself look as bad as needed to entertain the fans. The abuse he took during this match was crazy and the final spot with Michaels jumping down on McMahon, who was lying prone on a table with a garbage can over his head and upper body, from a large ladder was mind blowing.

Overall, another great show that makes me anticipate the 31st installment this Sunday even more!

Wrestlemania’s 19 and 20

I was a little off my schedule the past week so I have just 2 Wrestlemania’s to discuss, 19 and 20. As always, there will be some spoilers.

Rarely is there a ‘bad’ Wrestlemania. There are some that were definitely less memorable than others, but usually the WWE puts everything they have into making it the best show of the year.

Wrestlemania 19 was a solid show, but despite the fact I have watched it more than once I never seem to remember the card much before I start watching the 19th installment of the longest running PPV. Overall, it is a good show, but the only match that really stands out in my memory is Stone Cold vs. The Rock. This was a top notch match where The Rock finally got a Wrestlemania victory after losing to Stone Cold in Wrestlemania main events the past two times they met. This was Stone Cold’s last Wrestlemania main event since his injuries forced him to retire from full time wrestling. It was a great way to go out and if you watch this match you can see that The Rock is truly appreciative of Austin doing the job for him and subtly thanks him after the final pinfall.

Another match of note is Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon in a street fight. Way better than it had any right to be and both men busted their asses to put on the best show possible. Several high spots, a lot of blood shed by both men, and classic Hogan moments make this an entertaining match with Hogan winning.

Chris Jericho going against Shawn Michaels was another major highlight. Seeing these two legendary and very athletically gifted performers going head to head was a match made in heaven. They have similar styles yet are very unique in their move sets. Both guys were clearly trying to be the match of the night and they did a great job doing so.

The final match of the night was Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesner. An incredible match that had a ton of buildup with a nice payoff of Lesnar winning the WWE title. With both men having legendary amateur wrestling careers seeing them go to head to head in the WWE was a dream match and it did not disappoint.

Wrestlemania 20 was an okay show. Not bad, but not great. The low light of the night was Goldberg’s final match in the WWE against Brock Lesnar. The fans in attendance had no interest in the match and both wrestlers did not gel at all. It was awkward and unfortunate for both men.

Highlights were Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (both all time great performers), the Cuiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Title (featuring Rey Misterio, Billy Kidman, Tajiri, and others), and the tag match between The Rock and Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair/Batista/Randy Orton in a 3 on 2 handicapped match.

Overall, a good show, but definitely flawed in the fact that there was just too much going on. At this time the WWE had an over abundance of talent and did not always seem to know what to do with them.

Still, this was a historic Wrestlemania being the 20th installment and still worth a few hours of your time.

10 more to go before this year’s Wrestlemania!

2015

The New Year is finally here and with it comes promise, hope, and a ton of untold surprises for all of us.

I do not believe in making New Year’s resolutions since they seem to never be held to so I just promise to continue on my path to being a better, happier, and more successful person.

One of the most popular resolutions involves weight loss. Since I have been on that journey for 2 years now my goal has not changed.

In February of 2013 I weighed 267 lbs. and I am now down to 196.  I got back to slightly over 200 during the holidays, but made sure to get back on track and continue to get myself to my goal weight of 185. Only 11 lbs. to go and I have no doubt I will get there by next month.

My main health related goal this year is to get myself in the best shape possible. Even though I am very close to the appropriate weight for my age and height I still would not look good on the beach sans shirt. I did not work out the last 2 weeks of the year, but have gotten myself right back on track with DDP Yoga 3 days a week and weight lifting 2 days a week. My family and I always spend a few days in San Diego on the beach around July and I want to be comfortable doing the one thing I have never done at the beach and that is go swimming without a shirt. I am aiming for a Shawn Michaels type of physique, fit but not overly muscled:

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I used to be in fine shape when I was in high school, but never Shawn Michaels-fit so it will be interesting to see if I can get myself to that point at age 40. It has been hard work, but fun and worthwhile at the same time. My weight loss has improved my stamina, my athleticism, made it so I can fit comfortably on amusement park rides, and improved my overall self-confidence.

There is part of me that wishes I did this sooner, but I am glad I finally convinced myself to do so now since this has improved my life in so many ways.

My only bit of advice for anyone who wants to do the same…if even I can do it, then anyone can!