Sunday, April 3, 2011

4/3/11 WrestleMania XXVII

Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Title): I was excited when the night started off with the World Title match! However, the match really needed more time -- and there was also just too much outside interference for my liking. I was surprised Edge went over in this one, but perhaps they want ADR to chase the belt more. The post-match skit with Edge damaging ADR's Rolls Royce and ADR basically all devastated hopefully doesn't signal the end of ADR's push. In fact, I hope ADR comes back even stronger and eventually wins the belt. **3/4

Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio: Again, I like Cody's revamped gimmick, but don't care for the entrance theme. Leave it to Rey to come out with flashy outfits especially for WrestleMania. This time, it's Captain America. Really, now? Cody was getting a bit of fan support tonight, being in his home state of Georgia. Decent match here. I liked Rey's use of Cody's mask. Dirty win was predictable. ***

Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, The Big Show, & KaneWade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, & Ezekiel Jackson: Kofi was a last-minute addition to this match, as WWE ran an injury angle with Kozlov over the Axxess weekend. And Kofi's attire is filled with lime green...hurting my eyes. So disappointed in this match. It was a virtual squash, and therefore I will not rate it. N/A

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: Great, physical match here. I loved Punk's figure-four around the post. Excellent ring psychology and storytelling as well. The finish was well done. My only concern now is how much this buries New Nexus. I'd rather have Punk in a high-profile storyline, pronto. ***1/2

Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler: I loved how they brought in Jim Ross and Booker T to call the match. Vintage Stone Cold arrival! Cole's wrestling outfit is appropriately ridiculous (and correct, since he's training with Swagger). King came out to his original music this time after having new music on RAW...interesting. Of course, Cole plays the super coward in the match and Swagger gets involved. I personally thought the fans would have gotten louder once Lawler started beating Cole up in that "Cole Mine." Jim Ross showed why he's still the best at what he does. As for the match, it was atrocious when Cole was on offense, but at least the crowd really liked the end. Seems like there was two purposes for giving Cole the win afterward: (1) to let Cole keep an inflated ego on air; and (2) possibly give a reason to write Lawler off the announce team and give Josh Mathews more air time. -*

The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred): It's always great when these two make their entrances. Definitely had the feel of a major heavyweight fight even before the bell rang. Didn't take two minutes before the Cole Mine was destroyed. Amazing that Taker did his over-the-top-rope dive, given how beaten up his body his. This basically was set up to be an all-out war to destroy a lot of stuff near the ring. An incredible match. The storytelling in the ring was amazing, and I thought it was very clever how they recycled much of the ending from Taker/HBK II, but only with Taker in the prone role. The post-match events basically showed Undertaker's inhuman ability in his WrestleMania matches and how much it really means to him to keep the Streak going. Undertaker, quite figuratively, will go in his matches until he can no longer fight. Wow. ****3/4

I know why wanted Taker/HHH last on the card...that match will not be topped on this PPV. But then again, after seeing Taker's inability to celebrate his win, I can see why WWE did not want it last.

John Morrison, Trish Stratus, & Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool, & Layla: Wait, a match occurred? This was more like filler time to me. Nice athleticism from Snooki and Morrison anyway. I'll give it something above a DUD only because Morrison did something cool and Snooki actually showed more talent than Jenna Morasca. 1/4*

The Miz vs. John Cena (WWE Title): Alex Riley interfering was predictable, as was the ref bump. I loved the numerous false finishes in this one. Unfortunately, the finish was horrible. Restarts disrupt the flow of a match, and while the crowd popped huge for the Rock Bottom on Cena, that match could have been so much better. **1/4

MVPs: Undertaker/HHH.

Overall Rating: Looking at the card prior to the event, it was extremely strong. WWE produced top-notch buildup for several of these matches, especially Lawler/Cole, Taker/HHH, and Miz/Cena (and Rock). Buildup for Punk/Orton was also great, as was the strong booking of Alberto Del Rio.

The Cole/Lawler match also benefited Josh Mathews, who got to assume more of a lead announcing/color role during this feud.

71,617 attended WM 27, an record for entertainment shows at the Georgia Dome. Yay.

I was disappointed Sheamus and Daniel Bryan got left off the actual PPV. Next year, I'm hoping DB has a more prominent role in the business. I can only imagine the possibilities...Punk, Regal, even Sin Cara. Just give the man a chance to really show his stuff!

Just having Rock on the show, in my book, was incentive to buy this PPV. He's without question the best mic worker I've seen on a regular basis. Sure, the likes of Jericho, Austin, and Punk are excellent as well, but Rock was able to really mix the serious parts of his promos with the joking/roasting parts. You either have it or you don't. Rock does. The Snoop Dogg Talent Show skit dealie was hilarious. Loved it. Hornswoggle FTW! Also, the Mae Young/Rock and Austin/Rock segments were well done. To have Jim Ross call the final  four matches was nice to see and hear.

As for the matches themselves, it was clear which match stole the show. I did wish Edge and ADR got more time, as well as Mysterio and Rhodes.

I thought the show overall was OK, but it only centered around one match (Taker/HHH), a clear second place match (Orton/Punk), and Rock's appearance. The Cole/Lawler match stunk (because Cole cannot wrestle) and two other matches were just plain short and uneventful. In a sense, booting Bryan/Sheamus off the PPV was wise to get more time to other matches, but they should have put the 8-man tag as the dark match instead. ***

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