This happened. This was very good. Every match I had high expectations for delivered.
1. I did not have high expectations for Finlay/JBL and it was not that good. Even for a 1999 WWF Hardcore Match, as The-W user AlbySure called it, it was not laid out particularly well -- at the least they could've saved the return of Horn Swoggle for a big crescendo towards the end. **
2. I loved Money in the Bank. It's great every year, but I'm always surprised that there are new spots left to be thought of. And there were some fine, fine maneuvers here. The Matt Hardy return worked perfectly and the ending was legit stunning. ****
3. Batista/Umaga was pretty disappointing. Demonbombing him was pretty cool though. *3/4
4. I am starting to believe that WWE does not take the ECW brand and its world championship very seriously!!!
5. For the awkward situation of a babyface retiring Ric and the tough proposition of a 60-year-old man having a long, epic match, Flair vs. Shawn was pretty amazing. Ric couldn't get up on the bridge sequence and he was really blown up at the end but goddamn. I think I cried y'all! I think Shawn cried because he destroyed his ribs. ****
6. Then they introduced the Raw threeway and all of a sudden, the world had gone crazy. Uh ... I'm glad I didn't make fun of all the people who predicted Orton was going to retain. Oh man, Crippler Crossface, Laddertamer, Finlay diving out of the ring into a garbage can lid shot? They should've inducted Benoit into the HOF this year. ***3/4
7. Bunnymania was not at all as bad as I expected. Melina doing that moonsault off of The Glamazon's shoulders was more dangerous than anything in Money in the Bank. The lights went out and I was like OH SHIT TNA INVASION ATTACK OF THE KNOCKOUTS but no.
8. MONEY MAYWEATHER is the greatest man in the world. OMG he acquired Griz and Dot Com for his posse -- is there nothing his money can't buy? Darned if they didn't make this match work. **3/4
9. Baha the gogogaga ended the main event of Wrestlemania. Other than that, this match got awesome. Charles Robinson RAN FOR IT. They countered their moves with patented moves. The only other glaring mistake was that afterwards when Taker was posing with the belt and the fireworks went off, he should've turned around and come face to face with KANE holding his ECW belt. BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION HUG OF DESTRUCTION. ****
Mayweather vs. Show pretty much took the place of the overbooked McMahon match at Wrestlemaina. And just like most of the McMahon matches at Mania it was entertaining at least.
The lights being out hurt the triple threat a little, but it was still a solid match. Orton could have used a little more offense though. And Cena coming out to the marching band playing his music seemed silly at first, but it grew on me really fast. I liked it
Undertaker vs. Edge was good as well. No one will ever stop Undertaker's streak at this point so putting them on last seemed a little too predictable. But they put on a great match and managed to give Edge believable pinfall opportunities so nice job with that.
Flair and Michaels was amazing. And the way Flair has looked the last few months you would have never expected it. But they way it turned out this was probably match of the night and could have convincingly closed the show. Perfect storytelling and a perfect way for Flair to bow out. Which means he will be wrestling again soon, probably at Backlash.
Here are some more thoughts from a demented mind in Central Florida: Back from O-Town, and still reeling from this event. I've just come from attending Wrestlemania - a first for me, and something to cross off the bucket list. Section 19, Row H, Seat 15.... maybe 15-20 rows from ringside. Wow.
What did it for me was just the production and the pyro and such. Hard to believe that, in such a crappy part of town, in a not-so-great stadium, was such a grand event. And WWE clearly spared no pyro expense in the fireworks capital of America.
Re: Booking - I swear, more so than any other Wrestlemania I can remember, this one seemed booked like a March Madness, bracket-busting Wrestlemania. Lots of unexpected stuff going on here, and match orders and results that I just didn't see coming. Cases in point - JBL winning, the WWE Title Triple Threat not ending the show (and Orton retaining clean, to boot!), the World Heavyweight Title match ending the show, Beth Phoenix and Milena winning Bunnymania, etc.
This year's Wrestlemania was a very mixed bag to me. While I didn't expect it, this year's Money in the Bank match was great, with some new spots, and a surprising-but-pleasing ending with CM Punk taking the briefcase. And hey, we might finally get that blow-off to the Matt Hardy-MVP feud we've all been begging for! Taker and Edge got off to a slow and somewhat sloppy start, but they managed to pick it up (despite a possible legit injury to Taker?) and have a good match. Mayweather-Show was good for what it was, but damn, Mayweather ended up looking like a bitch from that. I'm not sure he'll live it down. I'm curious to see where things go with Kane as ECW Champ and the Brothers of Destruction as co-Smackdown-ECW Champs.
On the minus side, I was down on JBL winning over Finlay. Come on, man, Wrestlemania's the time for the faces to get their vengeance against heels and for heels to get their comeuppance. Batista vs. Umaga was probably the worst match on the card, with both guys blowing up waaaayyyy too early and the fugliest Demonbomb I can ever recall seeing. Flair-HBK was good, but not deserving of the five-star ratings and IWC-blowjobs it seems to be getting so far. This match was hurt by HBK's refusal to play the heel (despite the promo on Raw last Monday), and was just missing... something else. And the technical problems with the lights and overhead video screens blowing out during the Bunnymania match (which carried over to the WWE Title Triple Threat) kinda became distracting from where I was.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays on DVD and PPV replays.
Why yes, I am both a musician and a lawyer. Thanks for asking. :)
Flair and Michaels should have been the last match. Nothing else really felt as important after that match ended.
This was SWERVE-A-MANIA! JBL wins. CM Punk wins?! Orton wins????!!!! Thankfully the Undertaker is there to make sure at least one WM match has absolutely no suspense or interest. To be fair the crowd tried to get into the final match, and it was very well done, but short of Edge blowing off UT's head with a shotgun I wasn't ever doubting even with all the shocks that came before it.
Maybe HHH has learned something being friends with Flair after all. Right result for that match. The money right now is still in chasing Orton.
I didn't expect to be nearly as entertained by Show/Mayweather as I was. Probably my third favorite match on the card, and it was the most fun to watch.
I expect that someone other than Punk will cash in the MitB before all is said and done, but damn it still popped SPF Manor something fierce when he grabbed the case.
But it all shrinks and becomes small when compared to Ric Flair's final match. Watching Ric Flair walk that aisle one last time. Alone, tired, a little bloody, old and aching. Looking one last time at one of the biggest crowds of his career (Pyongyang was much bigger of course) and knowing that an era has ended. The last true link to the old days, the last link to the real NWA and the real territory system. The greatest wrestler of all time, with tears in his eyes, going behind the curtain one last time. There will be wrestling tomorrow night and thousands of nights in the future. There will be 5 star matches and interviews that bring you to laughter, tears, anger, and a desire to buy a ticket to see the next match in your town. The industry will go on, but it is a poorer place, a little less interesting place today without the possibility of a Ric Flair match coming up. I know it was the right time, the right moment, and really, the right opponent, but there's never a good time to say goodbye to the ones you love.
MitB was very fun. Loved the wedging the 2 ladders together into the vee configuration, & playing with that. Tie between Shelton & Morrison for Best Cool Spots. Run-in by Matt was fun -- I wasn't expecting that at all. (I'm not so sure about Punk winning it, but I'm willing to give it a chance.)
Taker / Edge was good, in spite of the predictable conclusion. That is the most natural looking use of that submission move that I've seen since he's been using it. It looked like it just happened to be the exact right thing to use at that moment.
And that's as much as I thought was really Wrestlemania-worthy.
HHH/Cena/Orton was a good solid PPV match, but I didn't get the big WM feeling I was looking for.
I laughed at the Kane/Chavo mismatch. Given some of the guys that Kane's dragged good matches out of lately, he deserves some kind of belt. (Interesting observation, FLRockAndLaw -- it hadn't really sunk in yet that the Brothers have the belts for the comingled brands. Hmmm.)
The Diva's match wasn't bad at all. Other then the Snoop Dog(g) crap, I enjoyed it.
Batista / Umaga was ... not particularly interesting. At least it was relatively short. And hopefully Batista didn't strain much on that finish.
Does anybody actually want to see Bradshaw wrestle? I know don't. Finlay has been working so hard selling this whole premise, & then trying to work with Bradshaw here, but there's only so much he could do.
Big Show vs. punk-ass boxer dude was really, really lame. Show having to sell that premise was just awful. (Spf, you & I are about as far apart on this one as is possible. Maybe you have to like boxing to buy the premise.) I'd'a been much happier to use JBL with boxer dude, & put Show with Finlay -- that way, *one* of the two matches would have been good.
Originally posted by emmaBig Show vs. punk-ass boxer dude was really, really lame. Show having to sell that premise was just awful. (Spf, you & I are about as far apart on this one as is possible. Maybe you have to like boxing to buy the premise.) I'd'a been much happier to use JBL with boxer dude, & put Show with Finlay -- that way, *one* of the two matches would have been good.
I suspect being a boxing fan definitely would help. For me, having been dying to see someone beat up Mayweather in a real fight, it was nice to see someone rough him up at least in a planned setting like this one. If all Mayweather is to you is "punk-ass boxer dude" then I can kind of see why this wouldn't butter your muffins. But when he's "Floyd Mayweather, bext boxer on earth, and guy you HATE more than any heel wrestling has had in forever" then it becomes much more interesting.
I think it might have helped if Mayweather had been the heel from the beginning, and Show had never beat up Rey. If it had just been Mayweather being a dick from day one, with Big Show defending WWE instead of them being stuck in that weird nether region of neither one being able to really be face or heel. It muddied the waters leading up to the match.
What a blah Wrestlemania. For the biggest event of the year, this one sure felt like it was just there.
JBL/Finlay was a nice throwback to the garbage matches of the late 90's. JBL going over relatively clean was somewhat baffling, making me think they're grooming him for a title chase. God help us all.
With a clunker of a match, it might be time to retire the Money in the Bank concept. This didn't live up to the past two, though one could argue that Jeff's absence really hurt things. Matt Hardy's return was a great moment, but just serves to remind me that his big blowoff with MVP should have come on this night. I can't believe that great feud has to come to an end on a throwaway PPV like Backlash. Punk winning surprises me and makes me think we're seeing a John Cena/CM Punk main event at a future throwaway PPV like the Great American Bash.
Batista/Umaga was terrible and a total waste of the brand crossover gimmick. Not to mention a total waste of Batista, who has his good streak of matches come to an end with a huge thud.
It's a huge shame that they spend weeks upon weeks trying to build up Chavo by putting him over Punk cleanly twice on ECW TV, only to treat him like a total joke on the biggest night of the year. What a waste.
Flair's retirement loss felt incredibly anti-climactic. I'm in the minority on this, but I think it would have been a much grander moment if Triple H had been the one to put him down.
They're really not going to give up on Orton, are they? Sigh. And can we PLEASE now end the "John Cena always wins" talk after he fails to win the big one for two PPV's in a row.
The Divas had a good match, with the glaring exception of Ashley. Can we send her back to Survivor? Please?
I honestly have no bloody clue what the thought process behind Show/Mayweather was supposed to be. Looking at the ending, you'd have to imagine that this feud MUST continue! But unless you throw another $20M Mayweather's way, I don't see how that's possible. Essentially, all this program accomplished was making Big Show look like a total chump. Which is nice and all, but then what the hell was the point of bringing him back to begin with? You couldn't have plugged in another guy and gotten the same result? You're telling me you couldn't have plugged in Batista or Umaga into Show's slot and gotten the same thing. It just doesn't make sense to me.
What does make sense to me is UT's victory. I'd imagine Edge gets a PPV rematch where he REALLY tries to stack the deck in his favor. And after that great match, I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Overall, it just didn't FEEL like Wrestlemania. Maybe it was something in the outdoor air.
For what it's worth, you can view highlights of Show/Mayweather over at espn.com, so it appears they may have been at least have way succesful in generating some mainstream interest. Of course at time of writing, this thread has as many responses as the highlights, so mibbees no after all.
Decent show overall. Won't convince me to start watching again every week, but that's probably more a reflection of personal apathy than programming quality.
Originally posted by emmaInteresting observation, FLRockAndLaw -- it hadn't really sunk in yet that the Brothers have the belts for the comingled brands. Hmmm.
FLRockandLaw?! Poor Justin just doesn't get his props sometimes.....
Originally posted by F'n Shapiro way back in post #1The only other glaring mistake was that afterwards when Taker was posing with the belt and the fireworks went off, he should've turned around and come face to face with KANE holding his ECW belt. BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION HUG OF DESTRUCTION. ****
I think the only weak spots were Umaga-Batista, which was the very definition of phoning it in, and of coarse, the Bunny match. The rest of the show ranged from good to very good.
I do like that there were some surprises, but JBL should not have won the blow off match that he was shoe-horned into a month ago. And while Punk winning was a big surprise, I would've preferred if they went with Morrison, who seemed to really shine during the match. He also looks the part of a star, unlike Punk.
Orton winning was a major shock, but I forgot about Cena making a movie, and with HHH maybe taking time to be with his new baby, it makes more sense in hindsight.
I think I actually guessed Kane would win the ECW title in the prediction thread, but I don't even care enough to check.
People have given much praise to Shawn for his acting in the Flair match, but I doubt he had to try very hard to find the emotion at the end of that match. That's not a knock on him, but a praise of the storyline as a whole. I liked that Flair chose to do the honors on the way out,a s if there was ever any doubt that he would. He was always a pro, and I also liked that Shawn did not hang around to share the spotlight.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
the only problem i had with wrestlemania was the same I had with wrestlemania 3 and 6 the ramp was just to damn long. I mean it is like running 2 blocks just to get hit with a foot to the nuts.
Me and the wife thought it was a good show but didn't the WWE tittle match seem kinda short? I mean at about 14 min and it just didn't seem like it was sopost to end that quick. after all the build that they did it just seamed that some in there just didn't care.
Originally posted by JustinShapiro The only other glaring mistake was that afterwards when Taker was posing with the belt and the fireworks went off, he should've turned around and come face to face with KANE holding his ECW belt. BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION HUG OF DESTRUCTION. ****
Thums up show. Not perfect, but every match was good/great with the obvious exceptions. (Although I'm disappointed that Umaga didn't get to look like more of a monster before getting beat.) I feel like there's nothing that I'm really going to remember except for Flair (which was just amazing. I feel like the match and the story told is second only to Macho & Liz for making wrestling feel just a bit more imporant than it usually is).
Is Kane's 10+ years between World title reigns a record?
It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.
Also noted that Bad News Barrett appropriately absconded to the backstage without getting a Shield beatdown. Seems like almost the entire show was about Shield beatdowns, which gave it an oddly unified quality.