Bell to Bell: Thoughts from Wrestlemania XXVIII
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Last night we had ourselves a Wrestlemania. Let’s see how we did…
— Pfft. Go figure. Bryan and Sheamus get left off Wrestlemania last year, and this year their match, a World Heavyweight Title match none the less, is a mere 18 seconds long. What a disappointment! Thankfully, Daniel Bryan got some much-deserved chants from the crowd throughout the night. Technically though, I was right about A.J. having an impact on the match outcome…
— But wait, if they were just going to have The Big show beat Cody Rhodes anyway, why not make that match the short one? Have Rhodes run around for a little while, then have Show finally catch him and knock his head off! Incidentally, Big Show is now perhaps the most decorated wrestler ever, having worn the WWE Heavyweight, WCW Heavyweight, WWE-owned ECW, United Stated, and Intercontinental Championships.
— The Orton/Kane match was precisely what I thought it would be. By and large a slow match, with a few high spots. That chokeslam from the top was pretty cool, though. And how about that? Kane picks up a win!
— The segment with Santino, Mick Foley and the guy from Deadliest Catch who I don’t care about would have been brutal had they not brought Ron Simmons in with the “Damn” line. Turned an otherwise horrible skit into a funny one.
— So Beth Phoenix is the Divas Champion, but as she and Eve make their way to the ring they play Eve’s music? That makes sense, how? Crowd was largely dead for this match too, with the exception of the “Daniel Bryan!” chants. Really sucks that Beth, a legit wrestler, had to get pinned by Maria Menounos. I give Maria credit for going out there with broken ribs, though. Kelly Kelly, who I’m not usually a fan of, had a nice high spot as well.
— Jim Ross is still so damn great. These three icons, Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, likely requested that he announce their match. Why? Because he’s the best. And yet, we still can’t hear his voice on Raw every week. Why? Got me…
— Was that an old Dungeon of Doom set that Triple H entered the ring from?
— I won’t lie, when I initially saw Undertaker’s robe with the spikes my initial thought was: “It’s a Super Shredder!” But once the lights came up, I got it. I’m glad he didn’t fully shave his head, though. The close-cropped look works for him, though it’ll take some getting used to. I’m not sure I would have been a fan of bald Taker. Loved the respect he got from Miami, a contrast to the “What” chants he got a few weeks ago.
— An uncharacteristic amount of dialogue used in the Cell match, but as I expected, we got an amazing story told. I enjoyed how they incorporated moments reminiscent of their match last year, as well as Shawn’s match with Taker from Wrestlemania XXVI. And whether it was staged or not, when Shawn and Taker helped Triple H up the ramp and then turned around to look at the crowd, it truly did signify the end of something, didn’t I? Those three men were big parts of my childhood, folks. It was a Wrestlemania moment for sure.
— Really Otunga? You brought your coffee traveler for your Wrestlemania entrance? You. Clown.
— DO NOT give up your day job, Nikki Bella. “Standard barrier Hornswoggle.” YOU. Clown.
— Crowd was pretty dead for the 12-man tag until the Kofi Kingston/R-Truth/Zack Ryder tandem move. But once again, this story makes no sense. Eve was with Team Teddy, by virtue of her association with Ryder. And of course, she cost Teddy’s team the match. Eve’s involvement in the outcome was rather obvious the moment we saw her walk out with Zack. Were we supposed to just forget the fact that we saw her be a heel just AN HOUR EARLIER??? The finish makes everyone on Team Teddy look like an idiot, particularly Ryder, who the fans were hot for by the way. A ridiculous ending to an otherwise solid tag team match.
— I’d have liked for the crowd to have been a bit livelier for the CM Punk/Chris Jericho match. Even so, it was an excellent match. A bit more dialogue used on the part of Jericho, which absolutely did not register with most of the live crowd. The story with Punk’s back was very effective, though. And we had a nice series of seesaw maneuvers before Punk finally got the win. Jericho was really cinching up on the Walls of Jericho, wasn’t he? It hurt just watching it.
— So Daniel Bryan only gets 18 seconds at Wrestlemania, but Brodus Clay gets a dance number with a bunch of chicks dressed like geriatrics? Well that just sucks.
— John Cena’s match with The Rock wasn’t what I wanted to see from a match standpoint. Rock’s in phenomenal shape, but almost a decade later he still doesn’t know how to apply the Sharpshooter. Nor Cena the STF. I really wanted the crowd to be into it more than they were. Perhaps it was unfair to compare this match to The Rock’s match with Hulk Hogan in 2002. But I loved, loved, LOVED the finish. It was perfect. Cena gets overconfident and proceeds to mock Rocky with an attempted People’s Elbow, and Rock catches him off guard with the Rock Bottom and the quick pin. As The Rock celebrates, we see a devastated Cena sitting in the aisle.
This is it, folks. This is the stuff heel turns are made of. After weeks of talking about how he needed to win, Cena will be a broken man. A broken man tends to give up on his principles. Principles like hustle, loyalty and respect. If that’s not where they’re going, then I’ll freely admit I have no idea what lies ahead. But then again, that’s usually half the fun, isn’t it?
All in all, not a great Wrestlemania, but a solid one. The big matches were worth seeing. Undertaker and Triple H stole the show, with The Rock and Cena in the runner up spot by virtue of the crowd, who were hot for the match, just not as much as I’d have hoped for. Punk and Jericho take a very close third.
All images from pwpix.net.