Monday, April 2, 2012

4/1/12 WrestleMania XXVIII

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Title): N/A

Kane vs. Randy Orton: ***

Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes (IC Title): *1/2

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres: *3/4

Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell): ****1/2

Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy (Six-on-Six): **

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Title): ****

The Rock vs. John Cena: ****1/4

Tag titles were defended in a dark match prior to WM. Primo and Epico retained.

Lilian Garcia opens with "America the Beautiful." Nice set.

I know I'm not alone when I loved hearing the World Heavyweight Title match was up first. And I know I'm not alone when I thought that was one of the crappiest ways to treat such a match. I seriously hope there's more to this, because DB shouldn't otherwise have been required to do an 18-second job. Look at all the "YES!" signs in the crowd. The crowd was going nutso with the "YES!" chants. And then THIS happened?!

I refuse to rate such a squash, but I was seriously tempted to give that negative stars. Very close.

Daniel may be playing a heel, but he's still got a loyal following, myself included. I suspect that this will be the start of DB officially dumping AJ. He'll likely blame her for the loss somehow and perhaps align slowly with Brie Bella.

Team Johnny was talking backstage. Looks like Swagger got a haircut of some sort?

Next year's WM is at Metlife Stadium in NJ. Fun.

Orton and Kane is next. ROFL, was that "Daniel Bryan" chants during Orton/Kane?!?! Now that's awesome. Honestly, the equivalent of a very good free TV match, certainly worthy of a PPV spot. Crowd was vocal at times, anyway. Orton kicked out of Kane's chokeslam, getting favorable crowd reaction. Nice super chokeslam to finish.

Promoting Deadliest Catch with Santino and Foley. Cobra and Socko! Ron Simmons! Damn! Win.

Cody/Show IC title match followed. Cody's got a new long coat for entrance gear. Cody plays keepaway at the start. Oh man, Big Show stinkface to Cody. Smart strategy from Cody to attack Show's legs, although that's likely the only good choice. One Beautiful Disaster rocks Show, but caught with a spear on the second attempt. One WMD later, Show's the new IC champ. Big Show is now a Grand Slam champ. Awesome.

Divas tag match...what the heck was Beth wearing on her head? That supposed to be a colorful phoenix or something? Otherwise, she was better off in Vegas with the showgirls. MM has the Greek colors going. Faint "Hoeski" chants. Double um...sweetface to Eve. Beth kick to MM's ribs turns the tide. MM coulda sold the moves just a bit better. Hot tag to KK didn't really get a reaction, but that's to be expected. Maria had more ring time than I thought she'd have. Whoa, points for KK on the Molly-Go-Round move (front somersault Thesz-like press from the top). KK counters the Glam Slam into a bulldog, great stuff there. MM got caught on the top, nearly slammed. KK and MM double-team Glamazon, MM with the rollup for three on Beth. KK was the clear MVP of that match. Very impressive.

YES JIM ROSS CALLING TAKER/HHH! Does Ross have a goatee?! HBK out first as the ref. HHH out next, then Taker. Taker with a new long trench coat and hoodie. Pyros for Taker. Taker's ring entrance took eons, of course.

Time to remove the hood! As a lot of people already knew, Taker buzzed his hair for this one. Very short hair now, although not completely shaved bald. White smoke still going as the HIAC comes down.

Bell rings. Slugfest to start. Brawl on the outside using the cell. Huge Taker chants. Nice stat from Cole (or was it from Vince?) about how HHH never lost a match when HBK was the special guest ref. Old School from  Taker as he continues control early on. More Taker chants. Steps to HHH's face. Bigger half of the steps goes in the ring. Vintage Taker legdrop on the ring apron. HHH hits a quick DDT to take over.

Taker's face into steps. Pedigree on steps countered. Arn Anderson spinebuster from HHH to Taker on the steps. But Hell's Gate to HHH! HHH counters with a powerbomb for two. HHH gets two chairs. Huge shots to Taker. Steps propped in the corner, and Taker goes right into them. More chair shots to the back. A ton more. Vicious shots! Holy cow. HBK practically saying that's enough and to cover him, but HHH wants more. HHH shoves HBK aside and delivers more chair shots to Taker. HHH threatening HBK to end it, or HHH will. Taker says don't stop the match. Two more shots, and HHH still only gets two. Literally about 20 chair shots. HHH still telling HBK to end it. Nope.

SLEDGEHAMMER! Uh oh. HBK pleads Taker to let him ring the bell. Not a chance. Sledgehammer shot to the head! TWO! HHH is pissed. Whoa, big sledgehammer shot?! WTF, HBK took it away?! HBK teases calling for the bell a couple of times.

Hell's Gate to HBK! OH SNAP A FLYING SLEDGEHAMMER SHOT! Low blow to HHH! Hell's Gate to HHH. HBK's still down. Crowd's going nuts. HHH has the sledgehammer twice, but completely collapses. Ref's still down, though. All three are down. Charles Robinson comes down to be the emergency ref, but has to get inside the locked cell. Eventually he gets in.

Chokeslam from Taker...TWO! Little Naitch gets a chokeslam...we need another ref! "This is awesome!" chants. HBK's up! SWEET CHIN MUSIC INTO PEDIGREE! WTF!!!! TWO! Priceless look from HBK.

HHH throws HBK out of the ring in frustration. Taker sits up! Oh crap. Snake eyes and big boot! Tombstone! HBK back in for the count! TWO!!! Taker's in shock...even drooling a bit on accident. HBK priceless look again. An emotional wreck. Oh man, this is epic.

Trading blows. Pedigree! TWO! And the match continues. Good grief. And Taker sits up AGAIN. Taker's back is all red/bruised. HHH has the sledgehammer. Taker's got the chair. Taker steps on the sledgehammer. Taker destroys HHH with vicious chair shots. HARD chair shots. Chair is mutilated. Taker covers...and only gets two. Damn.

HHH grabs the sledgehammer but can't even lift it. HHH gasping for air. Taker says "stay down!" HHH lunges with the hammer but Taker blocks. Taker with the hammer now, shoving HHH back in the corner. DX crotch chop from HHH. Defiant to the end. Hammer to the face. HHH crawls to Taker. Throat slash from Taker. Tombstone for three. Damn.

Perfect job from HBK. He got involved, as we all knew he would. But in the end, he also stayed impartial. It wasn't five-star quality, but it was damn close. Just incredible storytelling; shows you don't need a spotfest to generate a MOTY candidate.

HBK pulls Taker up for a classy hug. Respect. Pyros to signal 20-0. HBK and Taker help HHH up and help him to the back. Group hug on the stage. Indelible moment right there, fellas.

Hall of Famers introduced. Fink does the honors. Four Horsemen includes Flair. Tyson with the DX crotch chop. Edge gets his own entrance as the featured inductee of 2012.

Heath Slater got his own backstage segment with Flo Rida? Sure, Hawkins and Reks came in at the end, but seriously now? Slater got just as much airtime than Daniel Bryan. Fail.

Over 78,000 in attendance. Legit or inflated? Not sure.

Six-on-six tag now. Brie introduces Team Johnny. Nikki introduces Team Teddy. Only one fall here, no elimination rules. Unfortunately, crowd is spent following Taker/HHH. Impossible act to follow. Very deliberate match here, but at least everyone got involved somehow. Unless it's Survivor Series and it gets like...30 minutes, please don't do these types of matches.

Anyway, vintage "everyone-gets-involved" spot. Aksana and Vickie go at it, and Bellas try to separate them. Booker and Miz in the ring, Santino's on the apron. Hot tag to Santino, and he works on Miz. Johnny distracts Santino, but cobra to Miz anyway! Dolph with a big save at the last second. Ryder's now in. Huge monkey flip to Ziggler, with DZ flipping once more onto his face. Ryder now on Miz. Rough Ryder to Ziggler. Broski Boot time to Miz?

Wait, Eve's in the ring! Ryder distracted. Miz with SCF to Zack for three. Well, that was peachy. Didn't think Miz would get the pin, but good for him. I guess Miz gets a re-push to the top now. Oh wow, now it's "Johnny Laurinaitis" with total control of RAW and Smackdown. Wait, Miz is undefeated at Mania? Well, I'm sure he won't do a Taker-like 20-0, though. Eve tends to Ryder in the ring. Yeah, keep playing Ryder for storyline's sake. Good match for what it was worth.

OW, Eve kicked Ryder low! Thought it was with the heel at first, but it was more with the shin. "No more children! No more children!"

April 29...Extreme Rules is back for a PPV.

HI TORRIE! Enjoying being with A-Rod? More Axxess moments are shown. Big mistake by me, probably shoulda had WM and/or the Masters as a vacation package. Miami and Augusta. Both were close enough to combine into one trip, right?

Laurinaitis wastes no time with his power. If Punk's DQ'd in his match against Jericho, Punk now loses the title. Jericho out first. "Best in the World" on the ass of his trunks. Great video package shown. Then Punk arrives. Jericho tries to goad Punk into losing his temper early. "How's your father?!" Good stuff. Punk with a flying clothesline from the top to the outside. Jericho mentions Punk's sister. Great mind games from Jericho. Punk's got a chair and Jericho just wants to be hit. Jericho suplexes Punk to the outside, very nice. Jericho works on Punk's back, love this. Set him up for the Walls.

Punk high knee in corner, bulldog blocked. Lionsault blocked, but countered into the Walls -- and then countered out of that. Excellent spot. Punk elbow blocked, Codebreaker sends Punk out of the ring. Jericho gets Punk back in, but GTS out of nowhere! Jericho with the foot on the ropes at two. Powerslam by Punk (not scoop slam, Cole!) for two. Multiple standing switches leads to Lionsault for two.

Punk for a top-rope hurricanrana, countered into Walls! Punk got to the ropes. Suicide dive by Punk on Jericho. OW, high knee to Jericho, and his head hit the post. Punk springboard...CODEBREAKER! Beautiful spot -- and only two. Damn.

Punk back in the Walls. Countered into an inside cradle for two. Countered into more pin attempts...Anaconda Vice! Countered briefly into a Jericho pin, but back to the Vice. Jericho knees. Back to the Walls? Countered out and back to the Vice! Best part there...Punk shifted his body to counter Jericho's attempts to counter. Jericho taps. Outstanding.

Brodus got a match?! Oh, he doesn't. But he brought his mama with a fake big-cushioned behind! And apparently the entire bridge club. Mama's got moves. Oh what a visual this is....

Diddy is in the building! MGK is performing to introduce Cena. Cleveland tank top? Nice indirect LeBron reference. Cena's the underdog? Really? Cena's got a new green shirt tonight. He gets mixed reactions, but thought he'd get booed more.

Flo Rida performs and leads to Rock's intro. Enormous pop. Duh, we're in his hometown.

Main event intros. There are the boos for Cena I was expecting. Still nothing like Hammerstein Ballroom, though. Staredown to start. Tie-up and Cena wins the first test of strength. Crowd going more nutso. Rock wins round two of test of strength. Rock with arm drags, a kip-up, and a rollup for two. Cena's got a WTF look on his face.

Battling on the outside. Rock getting beat down by Cena. Cena's focusing on the ribs. Bear hug? Ugh. Rock manages to get a DDT in for two. Rock battles back...spinebuster! People's! STF attempt! Countered out, but now Cena with his usual comeback moves. Five Knuckle it! AA countered into a double clothesline. Both are up and trade bombs.

AA out of nowhere! ONLY TWO!!!! Fans are going apeshit. ROCK BOTTOM...TWO!!! Elbows from Rock in the corner, but side slam by Cena gets two. Top-rope bulldog legdrop...only two! Cena's surprised. Rock gets the Sharpshooter on Cena. Well, sorta. Rock crossed Cena's legs the wrong way. Cena gets to the ropes. Punches from Rock. Back to Rock's version of the Sharpshooter, but Cena back to the ropes.

To the floor they go. Cena into the steps. Back in ring...STF on Rock! Rock tries to get to the ropes, but Cena brings him back to the center. Rock's fading. Rock slowly appears to pass out. Ref checks. Hand drops once. Hand drops twice. Hand...STAYS UP! One more reach...and got the rope! Match continues. Very good segment. Rock was in that hold about three and a half minutes.

Rock hits a Samoan drop out of desperation. Both back up at eight. Trading bombs again. Rock Bottom countered. AA countered. Rock spinebuster! PEOPLE'S ELBOW! And...ONLY TWO!

Cena inside cradle out of nowhere, but only two. Crowd back to being very vocal. Cena slingshots Rock into the turnbuckle...rollup for two. Cena puts Rock on the top. Superplex, perhaps? Rock fights it off and pushes Cena off the ropes.

Wait...Rock to the top?!?! Can't remember the last time this happened. Cross body...roll through! Cena lifts Rock up! AA...OMGWTFBBQ ONLY TWO?!?! Incredible.

WTF. Cena's gonna mock Rock and do a People's Elbow? Cena caught! ROCK BOTTOM! 1...2...3!!!!! Holy cow. What a match.

I actually can't believe they booked Rock to win. Although now I do wonder if this leads to a possible Cena heel turn. Not often would I think Cena resorts to attempting another person's finisher in such a way. The look Cena has at the end is full of dejection.

Overall, a great PPV. Would have been even better had they actually given time for DB/Sheamus. ***3/4

No comments: