I’m going to do this WrestleMania live write-up a little differently. I’m going to do it diary-style, rather than as a true match-by-match post. It’s only the biggest show probably in years, so why not?
4:00: It’s not once in a lifetime if they do it again next year is it?
4:01: Lilian is looking mighty fine singing “America The Beautiful”. I think she still wants the People’s Strudle.
4:07: After a long opening package showing John Cena and Rock as children, it’s World Heavyweight Championship time.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
4:09: AJ gives a little kiss to the champ.
4:10: It must’ve been the kiss of death. After the kiss, Sheamus kicked Bryan to win the match. After building this match for weeks and weeks and Bryan doing tremendous work, they jobbed him. Not what I want to see when I pay $65 for a show.
4:14: Yes! Nooooooooooo!
4:16: At least it’s time for Kane. Wait, that nearly makes it worse.
Kane vs. Randy Orton
4:20: It took longer for Randy Orton to put baby oil on his nipples than it did for Bryan to lose to Sheamus.
4:26: After losing to John Cena and Big Show recently, Kane is all of a sudden hard to knock off his feet again.
4:28: Kane nearly had his WrestleMania moment, but Orton kicked out of his chokeslam. He was brokenhearted.
4:30: Well, Kane just got his WrestleMania moment pinning Randy Orton with a chokeslam from the top rope. Wow.
4:33: Let’s count the old-timers who we only get to see once a year. So far, Ron Simmons and Mick Foley in a “Damn!” skit.
4:34: It’s Dashing Cody Rhodes time!
Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show
4:36: I think Cody is smuggling bananas in his trunks. Even Shawn Michaels is appalled.
4:43: After Rhodes hit the Beautiful Disaster kick, he went for it again and Big Show speared him right in the balls to set up the punch of death for the win.
Winner: The Big Show
4:44: To sell how important it was for him to win, we see tears of Big Show.
4:47: Now that I think of it, those were tears of joy for not being Daniel Bryan’d.
4:50: Maria Menunos is wearing very nice pants. That’s all I can say.
Beth Phoenix and Eve vs. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menunos
Shawn Michaels may have once lost his smile, but holy heck, his smile saved a long and lifeless segment tonight.
Let’s take a look at every scheduled match and talk about the build.
- Since it was the main event segment, let’s talk about it first. I was pretty disappointed in the Triple H vs. Undertaker segment. What I’ve liked about Triple H’s character in the last two months all went down the drain tonight. He was back to being the grovel-ly, wannabe bad ass, and I’m just through with that character. I liked the grown up character who is in a suit and knows his days are close to being done, but for one night, he can strap up his boots again and go with the best of them. I also think they’ve taken steam off the Undertaker a bit. Duan and I were talking a month ago that Taker is one of the only guys left with that superstar aura. I haven’t felt it the last two times we’ve seen him. Is it because HBK seems more special? Maybe. Might also be because he looks like a goof with the hood on.
What saved this segment for me, and really I think made it work overall in the end was Shawn Michaels’ smile. When Taker told HHH that Shawn was better than him, Shawn smirked and sold the smirk until HHH looked at him dismayed. That was money.
- The Rock and John Cena stuff was toned down tonight and it seems as if they’ve halted all the insults. Rock’s promo was more about it being a huge match and getting the respect from all the great performers of the past. Very little of it was about demeaning Cena. And then he posted this on his Twitter last night:
I’m not sure if there was a directive or not to stop burying each other, but it sure seemed like it. And it’s probably for the better. What I also wonder is if they’re foreshadowing the finish where if Rock has to lose, he loses to an opponent he respects, rather than one he constantly makes fun of. Cena didn’t get a chance to talk, but he was able to show that crazy strength by putting Mark Henry on his shoulders. That gets him over every time.
WWE’s year end PPV wasn’t put together very well. John Cena, the top draw isn’t even on the show. Yet, Triple H and Kevin Nash are having a ladder match, in their first match of the feud. This PPV feels like the writers just threw s*it (and I’m not talking about Rosey) against the wall and went with what stuck. That being said, I’m looking forward to Dolph Ziggler against Zack Ryder and Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T. Those matches have been booked fairly well. I don’t really care too much about any of the main events, but the triple threat TLC match should be good nonetheless.
1. Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder
Ziggler was fantastic in this match, just such a great animated heel. The match picked up near the end with some really great near falls. Vickie was throw out of the match for putting Dolph’s foot on the rope to save him. Ziggler hit the Fame Asser for a near fall. Ryder hit a Frankensteiner from the top rope for a near fall. Ziggler ran into the corner for a splash and was hit with knees to the face and then the leg lariat for the pin. Fun match. Zack is the new US champ.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Cody attacked Booker in the back and Booker’s eyes went wide and he was puffing out his cheeks. He’s been taking his vitamins as he looks good.
2. Air Boom vs. Primo and Epico
Evan Bourne’s not getting the slap on the wrist quite yet. Fun tag team match, and very much by the books, except with all of Bourne’s high flying. Kofi hit Primo with the Trouble In Paradise for the pinfall.
Winner: Air Boom
3. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
After such a great Money In The Bank show, I think we all figured this one wouldn’t quite match up and we were right. However, in its own right, it was a pretty darn good show. Check out what the FGB crew has to say about the 2011 version of SummerSlam.
Best Match: John Cena vs. CM Punk
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly (but it wasn’t bad)
A good show hindered by one major problem – the announcing. Unlike one terrible match which is over when it’s over and you can forget about it, the announcing lasts from beginning to end. It was unbearable on this show (and even worse on Raw) and is really ruining the product.
If you were lucky enough to be watching the Spanish version then you probably loved this show. The main event rocked and was better than Chicago up until the weak finish. Orton vs. Christian was a very good plunder match (although I’m not the biggest fan of those matches). The 6-man opener was a great way to kick off the show too.
Oh and highlight of the show was unquestionably Joey Ryan’s sell when Sheamus and Mark Henry went through the barricade.
Best Match: Randy Orton vs. Christian
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
A little below last month’s show, but still a ‘better than most’ WWE PPV. Once again there can be little to complain about in terms of wrestling. Decent opener, Sheamus / Henry was a solid big man brawl, Divas were better than usual (aside from the idiotic finishing sequence), and D Bryan got a career best performance out of Barrett. Punk vs. Cena was good but nothing to write home about – a decent WWE main event with a flat finish. It did however pose some questions, and the right sort of questions. It gave a reason to tune in to Raw and that’s all that was required from it.
I’m concerned by the timing of Del Rio’s title win. I have never liked the Money in the Bank cash in gimmick anyway. All it does is create a paper champion. Alberto was ready for the belt at Mania, but they blew it and he has dropped off a lot since then. A cheapened title reign will do little to rehabilitate him. I’m willing to wait and see where they’re going with this, but they have a lot of work to do.
Now, there’s a lot of people who like to sound off about Christian and Orton wrestling on every show. Well… Thank goodness they do. What else is there to look forward to on Smackdown? These two guys stole the show again. It was a brilliant, brilliant match. They can fight on every card for the rest of the year for all I care.
This wasn’t quite the smash hit we had last time out, but you just can’t have shows like that all the time – still a value for money PPV.
The key to this show is how well they book the Undisputed WWE title match. It really doesn’t matter who comes away with the belt, but more so, how they continue the storyline. We have a poll on our Fight Game Blog Facebook page on who comes away with the championship.
There’s not much else to this show, except for Christian and Randy Orton fighting for the other belt. It looks like they’ll have to come up with some matches on the fly.
The show starts, not with a match, but with a promo. The Miz, R-Truth and Alberto Del Rio all come out to cut promos. We could see a six-man tag here. Yep, on the other side is Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio.
1. The Miz, R-Truth, and Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio
What a fun opener. Miz was getting over on everyone early until Rey was tagged in. Then all six guys got involved. Mysterio tried to set up the double 619 on Truth and Miz. Miz moved, but Kofi dove off the top rope to the outside on him. He got legit high in the air. Morrison took out Del Rio with a dive outside as well. Mysterio hit the splash off the top on Truth for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio
Punk had to apologize to John Laurinaitis and did so mockingly. Then Stephanie McMahon came out and nearly scared me. She tried to wish Punk luck and offered to shake his hand. He said he knew where that hand had been.
2. Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
Henry went over big, even though he didn’t win by pinfall. He dominated nearly the entire match and then picked Sheamus up and rammed him through the barricade for the count-out victory. Sheamus hit the brogue kick to put Henry out of the ring, but it was mostly Henry here.
Winner: Mark Henry