Monday, April 2, 2012

Wrestlemania 28; The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Yesterday I watched the "Once in a lifetime" Wrestlemania event (at least until next year's Wrestlemania) in a bar stuffed to the rafters with wrestling fans. Which is pretty much the only way to watch any kind of wrestling show whatsoever.

Here's what I thought about the WWE's mainest of all main event shows.

The Good:

Undertaker vs. Triple H. There was a spot right in the middle where the both of them had very, very near falls on the other. HBK nailed a Sweet Chin Music followed by Triple H's Pedigree, Undertaker landed a Tombstone. Both kicked out. I have to tell you, the bar lost its shit in that moment. It was amazing. Unfortunately, after that moment, the finish felt a little anticlimactic.

I'd felt on the fence about whether I believed Taker would be retiring at nice, round number 20 and 0. Seeing everyone hug it out after the match made me wonder a little harder if this would be the last we saw of the old guy. I would be sad, but the ending was very poignant.

That One Spot in the Big Tag Match. Team Teddy and Team Johnny. Nothing particularly spectacular throughout the whole thing, unless you want to count the time Miz almost jobbed to Santino. Despite being the biggest Mizfit that EVER was, I found that potential outcome quite hilarious. Poor Miz. How far the mighty have fallen!

But there was one spot. You know the spot I'm talking about. Team Red was mostly outside of the ring. Team Blue picked up Hornswoggle and put him on the top rope. He leapt onto Mark Henry, who caught him and tossed him to the side. SUDDENLY OUT OF NOWHERE THREE PEOPLE LEAPT OVER THE TOP ROPE IN A BEAUTIFULLY SYNCHRONIZED SUICIDE DIVE.

Caps and all. It was beautiful.

Punk and Jericho. Unfortunately, I missed a chunk out of the middle of this match because the bar lost power. And then the fire alarms went off. And noooobody evacuated. It took a little while for the satellites to reset and all told I don't think we missed more than five or so minutes. It FELT like a long time though.

I was really surprised that Punk walked away with the belt. I would have bet that it would have been Jericho. So... I'm impressed.

The Bad:

Hey, Let's Squash the WHC Title, Guys... That'll Be Great. I like Sheamus. I like Daniel Bryan. What I did not expect was to see was a ten second squash match of the heavyweight title in the opening match of the show. Really? That was a good idea? To SQUASH one of your main championship titles? Really? And to OPEN YOUR SHOW with that? I can't remember if Daniel Bryan was in Wrestlemania last year. He wrestled a dark match. So if I read everything correctly, this would have been his first real Wrestlemania. He was "headlining" Mania as a heavyweight champ. And he dropped the belt in less than five seconds. How awful must that feel.

Also, you just know they're setting it up for him to blame AJ, and they're gonna further this "Daniel Bryan is an abusive boyfriend" storyline, which is just a BRILLIANT angle, if you ask me. (Unless at some point in the future, AJ rises up righteous and kicks the crap out of Daniel, which of course won't happen, because wrestling is the men's work in this company, darling, why don't you head on back to the kitchen and make us some coffee)

Speaking of Women and Wrestling. I hate Kelly Kelly. I'm sure in real life, she's a wonderful person, and she's very pretty, but she couldn't wrestle her way out of a paper bag if it was wet. She's been wrestling for WWE for six years. She still can't run the ropes. Her "finishers" are a glorified cartwheel and shaking her ass in your face. (I'm sure there is a select number of people in the 'verse who would love to wear Kelly Kelly's ass as a hat. We are not talking to those people... they are very strange.) That's not wrestling. That's an affront to any women wrestlers who actually bust their asses and train and scratch and claw to be taken seriously in the ring.

Maria Menounos is not even a wrestler. Maria Menounos is a TV personality, who barely qualifies for the "star" portion of "Dancing With The Stars." She is quite possibly the only person they could have found who is less of a wrestler than K2.

And instead of pulling a decently qualified member of the lady roster, or someone like Natalya, they pulled in  some random person off the street that I'm willing to bet a comfortable percentage of the people watching had never heard of.

Already this match was an affront to any sane fan of wrestling.

And Maria Menounos pinned Beth Phoenix. I can't even formulate anything to say to that. How weak does that make Beth look, honestly. Beth Phoenix is one of the strongest women they have on the roster, and they job her to this NOBODY? For what purpose, exactly? What in the name of all things does that seek to accomplish??

The Ugly:

Somebody Call My Momma. I have to confess, I died laughing at Brodus Clay's "momma" and her booty shaking bridge club, because it was just SO ABSURD. I literally had no other way to react to it. You guys realize that Brodus Clay and his army of Mommas got more air time than the WHC match? With goddamned DANIEL BRYAN? There's your problem, WWE. That's where you're going wrong.

The Eh:

Randy Orton and Kane. The viper! The big red monster! How could this go wrong? It went wrong.

Do you remember a couple years ago when Orton was out of his mind and he punted Stephanie McMahon in the head and then kissed her while she was unconscious? That was great, right? I thought so.

The point I'm getting at here is both Kane and Orton have been known in the not-so-distant past to be completely batshit insane. What I wanted to see was two completely batshit insane people tear each other and themselves apart in the ring. I wanted fire. I wanted blood. I wanted mayhem. I wanted Crazy!Viper!Orton. I did not get any of these things (unless you count the little bit of Kane's ringpost fire). I got a fairly standard run-of-the-mill match between two guys that really didn't seem to know why they were there. There were no spectacular spots, there didn't seem to be any particular heat between them, just a fairly average... boring match. Nothing was gained or lost in this match.

Boots To Asses. I don't even need to tell you guys how huge this match was hyped. I saw all the same video packages you did. This match had been building for a year. This match was going to be bigger than Jesus. More time was spent on RAW having these two guys talk to each other than any actual wrestling. This match was going to be the best thing ever. This was a ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT. This was THE ROCK AND JOHN CENA.

Did it live up to even a quarter of the hype?

I don't think so. I mean, it was okay. It had some good spots. I thought the Rock looked good in the ring for the first time in I don't even know. Cena jumped off the top rope, which he only does at PPVs. It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, but for all that hype, goddamn.

And I'm not gonna lie, I would have liked to have seen Cena land a People's Elbow on the Rock. I think it would have been funny.

Granted, I think it's pretty hard, if not nigh on impossible to live up to any kind of expectation for a match that's been hyped for over a year. Maybe you shouldn't hype matches up for that long, I don't know. Maybe it was just too heavy, too overbearing.

And in closing. I thought it was fairly decent. Obviously there were a few things they could have done differently, or better, or not at all, but it did certainly have its standout moments.

I have to judge WWE differently than I do other wrestling. I don't watch WWE because I expect to get my mind blown; that why I watch AIW. If I watch WWE and I'm not disgusted or horrified or completely bored for the whole thing, it was a success. Please bear that in mind.

So what did you think?

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